CAR_Public/041026.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

              Tuesday, October 26, 2004, Vol. 6, No. 212

                          Headlines

AMERICAN AIRLINES: Continues To Face Travel Agents' RICO Lawsuit
AMERICAN AIRLINES: Court Yet To Rule on Summary Judgment Appeal
AMERICAN AIRLINES: Montreal Court Mulls Certification For Suit
AMERICAN AIRLINES: CA Court Refuses Certification For RICO Suit
AMERICAN AIRLINES: Faces Amended Travel Agency Suit in S.D. NY

AMERICAN AIRLINES: Passengers Launch Privacy Lawsuits in NY, TX
AMERICAN INDIANS: Judge Sets Out Guidelines On Suit Notification
APPLEDORE SMOKED: Recalls Salmon Due To Listeria Contamination
ARMOR HOLDINGS: FL Court Okays Soft Body Armor Suit Settlement
BAPTIST HEALTH: AL Judge Dismisses Lawsuit By Uninsured Patients

BRIDGESTONE CORPORATION: OH Appeals Court OKs Shareholders' Suit
COMPUTER SCIENCES: Employee Lodges Overtime Wage Lawsuit in CT
CONNECTICUT: Attorney Lodges Suit V. City's Bootfinder Scanner
CORPORATE AIRLINES: Plane Crew Worked 15 Hours Before MO Crash
HOLLYWOOD ENTERTAINMENT: IL Court Okays Rental Fees Settlement

HOLLYWOOD ENTERTAINMENT: Plaintiffs To File New Suit V. Merger
HOLLYWOOD ENTERTAINMENT: Reaches Settlement For CA Wage Lawsuits
MARK NUTRITIONALS: Former Head Agrees To Settle FTC Allegations
MCDONALD'S CORPORATION: OH Food Safety Suits To Be Consolidated
MEDS-STAT: TX A.G. Abbott Sues Over Flu-Vaccine Price-Gouging

MISSOURI: Lawyer Lodges Lawsuits V. Hospitals For Overcharging
ORGANON USA: MI A.G. Cox Joins Nationwide Remeron Settlement
ORGANON USA: Vermont To Participate in Remeron Suit Settlement
ORGANON USA: Missouri To Participate in Remeron Antitrust Pact
SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS: Settles NY AG Wrongful Rebate Denial Suit

STARPROSE CORPORATION: Faces Suit For MO Consumer Law Violations
SUPERVALU INC.: Settlement of MN Securities Lawsuit Deemed Final
TENNESSEE: Judge Refuses To Certify Lawsuit V. Sex Offender Law
UNITED STATES: BASS Files Writ Of Mandamus For Race Bias Suit

                 New Securities Fraud Cases

ACE LIMITED: Murray Frank Lodges Securities Fraud Lawsuit in NY
AON CORPORATION: Emerson Poynter Commences ERISA Investigation
APOLLO GROUP: Lasky & Rifkind Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in AZ
CHIRON CORPORATION: Lerach Coughlin Lodges Securities Suit in CA
DOBSON COMMUNICATIONS: Federman & Sherwood Lodges OK Stock Suit

DOBSON COMMUNICATIONS: Lerach Coughlin Lodges OK Securities Suit
DOBSON COMMUNICATIONS: Schatz & Nobel Lodges OK Securities Suit
HARTFORD FINANCIAL: Emerson Poynter Opens ERISA Investigation
HARTFORD FINANCIAL: Murray Frank Lodges Securities Lawsuit in CT
HIENERGY TECHNOLOGIES: Rosen Law Lodges CA Securities Fraud Suit

MARSH & MCLENNAN: Abbey Gardy Commences ERISA Investigation
MARSH & MCLENNAN: Goodkind Labaton Lodges Securities Suit in NY
MARSH & MCLENNAN: Squitieri & Fearon Lodges ERISA Lawsuit in NY
MERCK & CO.: Cohen Milstein Lodges ERISA Fraud Lawsuit in NJ
MERCK & CO.: Squitieri & Fearon Lodges ERISA Fraud Lawsuit in NJ

NEW YORK: Dyer & Shuman Investigates Roslyn Securities Claims
STAAR SURGICAL: Murray Frank Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in CA
STAR GAS: Abbey Gardy Lodges Securities Fraud Lawsuit in CT
STAR GAS: Dyer & Shuman Lodges Securities Fraud Lawsuit in CT
STAR GAS: Murray Frank Lodges Securities Fraud Lawsuit in CT

STAR GAS: Schatz & Nobel Lodges Securities Fraud Lawsuit in CT
STAR GAS: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Securities Fraud Suit in CT
TECO ENERGY: Bull & Lifshitz Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in FL
VALASSIS COMMUNICATIONS: Lerach Coughlin Lodges Stock Suit in MI
VALASSIS COMMUNICATIONS: Schatz & Nobel Files MI Securities Suit

VALASSIS COMMUNICATIONS: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges Suit in MI

                         *********

AMERICAN AIRLINES: Continues To Face Travel Agents' RICO Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
American Airlines continues to face a class action filed in the
United States District Court for the Central District of
California, Western Division, styled "Westways World Travel,
Inc. v. AMR Corporation, et al."  The suit names as defendants
the Company and:

     (1) AMR Corporation,

     (2) AMR Eagle Holding Corporation,

     (3) Airlines Reporting Corporation, and

     (4) the Sabre Group Holdings, Inc.

The lawsuit alleges that requiring travel agencies to pay debit
memos to the Company for violations of American's fare rules (by
customers of the agencies):

     (i) breaches the Agent Reporting Agreement between American
         and AMR Eagle and the plaintiffs;

    (ii) constitutes unjust enrichment; and

   (iii) violates the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt
         Organizations Act of 1970 (RICO)

The certified class includes all travel agencies who have been
or will be required to pay money to American for debit memos for
fare rules violations from July 26, 1995 to the present.  The
plaintiffs seek to enjoin American from enforcing the pricing
rules in question and to recover the amounts paid for debit
memos, plus treble damages, attorneys' fees, and costs.


AMERICAN AIRLINES: Court Yet To Rule on Summary Judgment Appeal
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has yet to
decide of plaintiffs' appeal of summary judgment in favor of
American Airlines, Inc. and other airlines in the class action
styled "Hall, et al. v. United Airlines, et al.," pending in the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of North
Carolina.

The suit alleges that between 1995 and the present, the Company
and over 15 other defendant airlines conspired to reduce
commissions paid to U.S.-based travel agents in violation of
Section 1 of the Sherman Act.  The plaintiffs are seeking
monetary damages and injunctive relief.  The court granted class
action certification to the plaintiffs on September 17, 2002,
defining the plaintiff class as all travel agents in the United
States, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands, who,
at any time from October 1, 1997 to the present, issued tickets,
miscellaneous change orders, or prepaid ticket advices for
travel on any of the defendant airlines.

The case is stayed as to US Airways and United Airlines, since
they filed for bankruptcy.  Defendant carriers filed a motion
for summary judgment on December 10, 2002, which the court
granted on October 30, 2003.

Between April 3, 2003 and June 5, 2003, three lawsuits were
filed by travel agents, some of whom have opted out of the Hall
class action to pursue their claims individually against
American Airlines, Inc., other airline defendants, and in one
case against certain airline defendants and Orbitz LLC.  The
suits are styled:

     (1) Tam Travel et. al., v. Delta Air Lines et. al., in the
         United States District Court for the Northern District
         of California - San Francisco (51 individual agencies),

     (2) Paula Fausky d/b/a Timeless Travel v. American
         Airlines, et. al, in the United States District Court
         for the Northern District of Ohio Eastern Division (29
         agencies) and

     (3) Swope Travel et al. v. Orbitz et al. in the United
         States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
         Beaumont Division (6 agencies)

Collectively, these lawsuits seek damages and injunctive relief
alleging that the certain airline defendants and Orbitz LLC:

     (i) conspired to prevent travel agents from acting as
         effective competitors in the distribution of airline
         tickets to passengers in violation of Section 1 of the
         Sherman Act;

    (ii) conspired to monopolize the distribution of common
         carrier air travel between airports in the United
         States in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act;
         and

The suit also alleged that between 1995 and the present, the
airline defendants conspired to reduce commissions paid to U.S.-
based travel agents in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman
Act.  These cases have been consolidated in the United States
District Court for the Northern District of Ohio Eastern
Division.


AMERICAN AIRLINES: Montreal Court Mulls Certification For Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Federal Court of Canada, Trial Division in Montreal has yet
to decide on class certification for the suit filed against
American Airlines, Inc., other airlines and the International
Air Transport Association (IATA), styled "Always Travel, et. al.
v. Air Canada, et. al."

The suit alleges that between 1995 and the present, American,
the other defendant airlines, and the IATA conspired to reduce
commissions paid to Canada-based travel agents in violation of
Section 45 of the Competition Act of Canada.  The named
plaintiffs seek monetary damages and injunctive relief and seek
to certify a nationwide class of travel agents.


AMERICAN AIRLINES: CA Court Refuses Certification For RICO Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Central District of
California refused to grant class certification to a lawsuit
filed against American Airlines, Inc., styled "All World
Professional Travel Services, Inc. v. American Airlines, Inc."

The lawsuit alleges that requiring travel agencies to pay debit
memos for refunding tickets after September 11, 2001:

     (1) breaches the Agent Reporting Agreement between American
         and plaintiff;

     (2) constitutes unjust enrichment; and

     (3) violates the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt
         Organizations Act of 1970 (RICO)

The alleged class includes all travel agencies who have or will
be required to pay money to American for an "administrative
service charge," "penalty fee," or other fee for processing
refunds on behalf of passengers who were unable to use their
tickets in the days immediately following the resumption of air
carrier service after the tragedies on September 11, 2001.  The
plaintiff seeks to enjoin American from collecting the debit
memos and to recover the amounts paid for the debit memos, plus
treble damages, attorneys' fees, and costs.


AMERICAN AIRLINES: Faces Amended Travel Agency Suit in S.D. NY
--------------------------------------------------------------
American Airlines, Inc. faces an amended class action filed in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York, styled "Power Travel International, Inc. v. American
Airlines, Inc., et al."  The suit also names as defendants
Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, and
Northwest Airlines.

The suit alleges that American and the other defendants breached
their contracts with the agency and were unjustly enriched when
these carriers at various times reduced their base commissions
to zero.  The as yet uncertified class includes all travel
agencies accredited by the Airlines Reporting Corporation "whose
base commissions on airline tickets were unilaterally reduced to
zero by" the defendants.

The case is stayed as to United Airlines, since it filed for
bankruptcy.  Although the Company believes that the litigation
is without merit, a final adverse court decision awarding
substantial money damages or forcing the Company to pay agency
commissions would have an adverse impact on the Company, the
company said in a regulatory filing.


AMERICAN AIRLINES: Passengers Launch Privacy Lawsuits in NY, TX
---------------------------------------------------------------
American Airlines, Inc. faces four purported class actions,
arising from the disclosure of passenger name records by its
vendor, styled:

     (1) Kimmell v. AMR, et al., filed in the United States
         District Court in Texas

     (2) Baldwin v. AMR, et al., filed in the United States
         District Court in Texas,

     (3) Rosenberg v. AMR, et al., filed in the United States
         District Court in New York and

     (4) Anapolsky v. AMR, et al., filed in the United States
         District Court in New York

The Kimmell suit was filed in April 2004. The Baldwin and
Rosenberg cases were filed in May 2004.  The Anapolsky suit was
filed in September 2004.  The suits allege various causes of
action, including but not limited to, violations of the
Electronic Communications Privacy Act, negligent
misrepresentation, breach of contract and violation of alleged
common law rights of privacy.  In each case plaintiffs seek
statutory damages of $1000 per passenger, plus additional
unspecified monetary damages.


AMERICAN INDIANS: Judge Sets Out Guidelines On Suit Notification
----------------------------------------------------------------
A federal district judge has set guidelines on how to
communicate with American Indians who are part of the massive,
class action against the Interior Department over the sale of
lands and account statement, the Seattle Times reports.

The guidelines includes one that will require the department to
send one of three notices U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth
recently approved yesterday to help meet the demand that Indians
must be kept informed of the lawsuit anytime they try to sell or
exchange their lands or other assets.

According to Interior spokesman Dan DuBray, the department
openly welcomes the newly approved notices since they will allow
for the release of nearly 18,000 account statements after more
than a year's delay.

The suit, filed in 1996 on behalf of more than 300,000 Indians,
claims that billions of dollars were mismanaged or stolen from a
trust fund Congress set up to manage oil, gas, timber and
grazing royalties on American Indian lands since 1887.


APPLEDORE SMOKED: Recalls Salmon Due To Listeria Contamination
--------------------------------------------------------------
Appledore Smoked Foods of Calais, Maine is recalling Appledore
Atlantic Smoked Salmon due to Listeria contamination.

Listeria is a common organism found in nature. It can cause
serious complications for pregnant women, such as stillbirth.
Other problems can manifest in people with compromised immune
systems. Listeria can also cause serious flu-like symptoms in
healthy individuals.

The problem was discovered after routine sampling by New York
State Department of Agriculture and Markets food inspectors and
subsequent analysis by the Department's food laboratory
personnel found the product to be positive for Listeria
monocytogenes. No illnesses have been reported to date.

Consumers who have purchased Appledore Smoked Foods - Smoked
Atlantic Salmon packed in 4 oz. and 8 oz. vacuum packages having
the code number 42588/1967 should not consume it, but should
return it to the place of purchase. These products have been
sold in the New York City metropolitan area.

Consumers with questions may contact the company at
1-888-472-5666.


ARMOR HOLDINGS: FL Court Okays Soft Body Armor Suit Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Florida Circuit Court granted final approval to the
settlement of one of the two class actions filed against Armor
Holdings, Inc. relating to its bullet-resistant soft body armor
or vests.

In April 2004, two class actions were filed by police
organizations and individual police officers, alleging, among
other things, that the Company's bullet-resistant soft body
armor (vests) manufactured and sold under the American Body
Armor, Safariland and ProTech(TM) brands, do not have the
qualities and performance characteristics as warranted, thereby
breaching express warranty, implied warranty of merchantability,
implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose and duty to
warn.

On August 12, 2004, the Company reached a preliminary settlement
with respect to the class action lawsuit filed in Duval County,
Florida by the Southern States Police Benevolent Association
("Southern States PBA"), subject to final court approval.  After
a fairness hearing held on September 30, 2004, the Florida
Circuit Court gave final approval to that settlement as to all
purchasers of Zylon(R)-containing body armor manufactured under
the brand name American Body Armor, and scheduled a final
fairness hearing for November 5, 2004, with regard to purchasers
of all other Zylon(R)-containing body armor manufactured by our
subsidiaries, Safariland(R) and ProTech(TM).

Pursuant to the terms of the class action settlement, the
warranty on the American Body Armor Xtreme ZX(R) vest (both NIJ
threat level II and IIIA) has been reduced from 5 years to 2 1/2
years.  In addition, a purchaser of the Xtreme ZX(R) vest has
one of the following two options:

     (1) receive a new American Body Armor Xtreme ZX(R) vest
         (either threat level II or IIIA) with a 2 1/2 year
         warranty, an extra carrier and a transferable rebate
         coupon for $100 applicable toward the next purchase of
         any soft body armor from American Body Armor,
         Safariland, or ProTech(TM); or

     (2) receive any new vest of his/her choosing from American
         Body Armor, Safariland, or ProTech, which must be the
         same threat level as the original vest purchased, and a
         transferable rebate coupon for $100 applicable toward
         the next purchase of any soft body armor from American
         Body Armor, Safariland, or ProTech.

The exchange for the new vest will be at no additional cost to
the purchaser.  In addition, if the purchase price of the new
vest is less than the credit (based upon a court approved
formula) for the original vest, the purchaser will receive a
cash refund for the difference.

The Company will also make available on its website, and
pursuant to a request made from the NIJ or a bona fide law
enforcement agency to its customer service department, testing
data and protocols, and results relating to the testing of its
vests.  The Company will also continue to test all of its
Zylon(R)-containing vests, and if such testing demonstrates that
the tested vests fail to perform in accordance with their
warranties, the Company will implement an exchange program for
those models on a reasonably comparable basis to the American
Body Armor Xtreme ZX(R) exchange program outlined above.

All of the potential class members in the other Zylon(R)-related
class action lawsuit filed against the Company by the National
Association of Police Organizations, Inc. ("NAPO"), in Lee
County, Florida, are also among the class members in the
Southern States PBA case and are therefore covered by the terms
of the settlement.  Accordingly, the Company believes that the
NAPO lawsuit should be dismissed and is seeking a voluntary
discontinuance from plaintiffs' counsel, and if necessary, will
move to dismiss that action.


BAPTIST HEALTH: AL Judge Dismisses Lawsuit By Uninsured Patients
----------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. District Judge Virginia Emerson Hopkins in Birmingham
dismissed a class-action lawsuit that was filed on behalf of
uninsured patients who claimed they were overcharged and
subjected to unfair collection tactics by Baptist Health System,
The Birmingham News reports.

The federal judge ruled that the three named plaintiffs could
not sue in federal court since they already had lost in state
court when Baptist sued them to collect unpaid medical bills.
Furthermore, the judge pointed out that to sue in federal court,
the plaintiffs should have filed counterclaims to Baptist's
collection suits.

The plaintiffs' claims that Baptist violated the federal law
that requires a hospital to provide emergency medical care
regardless of ability to pay was also dismissed by Judge
Hopkins, since according to her ruling the plaintiffs did
receive treatment.

The case against Baptist is the first one to be dismissed at the
defendant's request and is actually one of 48 filed nationally
on behalf of the uninsured, spearheaded by Richard Scruggs, the
Mississippi lawyer who sued tobacco companies.

The common denominator among the suits is the claim that
nonprofit hospitals are not living up to their charitable
missions since they charge uninsured patients much more than
insured patients and then go after the patients aggressively to
collect the bills.

According to Archie Lamb, the local lawyer in Baptist's case,
though he was disappointed for the three plaintiffs, he stated
that his fight against Baptist is far from over and already he
is planning to re-file a suit on behalf of other patients whose
cases will not have the procedural problems cited by the judge.


BRIDGESTONE CORPORATION: OH Appeals Court OKs Shareholders' Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati ruled that a
shareholder lawsuit against Bridgestone Corporation over money
lost after the company's Firestone brand tires were involved in
hundreds of fatal crashes could proceed, the Associated Press
reports.

The three-judge panel's ruling virtually overturns much of a
lower court's decision to throw out the lawsuit, which contends
Bridgestone and its Nashville-based subsidiary Bridgestone-
Firestone made fraudulent statements about the tire problems.

The lawsuits, which had been consolidated, were filed in January
2001 at Nashville by a pension fund for Monroe, Michigan, city
employees and a Colorado woman. The shareholders had sued the
company over misleading information contained in annual reports
from 1996-1999 and in a statement issued Aug. 1, 2000.  The case
was now being sent back to the District Court in Nashville for
the shareholders to prove their claims that the company
knowingly deceived them.

However, Company spokeswoman Christine Karbowiak stressed that
the appeals judges' order simply returned the case back to the
lower court for further review, and did not rule on the
substance of the case.

The ruling comes two days after another decision went against
the company in a consumer case filed against Japan-based
Bridgestone for faulty tires. A Riverside, California, judge
agreed to consider a plaintiff's bid to pursue a national class-
action lawsuit claiming defects in Firestone Steeltex tires.


COMPUTER SCIENCES: Employee Lodges Overtime Wage Lawsuit in CT
--------------------------------------------------------------
Mario Richards, a customer support analyst who works at a
Computer Sciences Corporation office in Norwich is pressing a
class-action lawsuit against the company alleging that it
required mandatory overtime without pay, the Norwich Bulletin
reports.

In his suit, which was granted class action status by a federal
judge in Hartford, Connecticut on September 28, Mr. Richards
claims that the company, which employs 90,000 people worldwide
required workers to put in additional time before and after the
official start of their shifts.

According to Michael Melly of the law firm of Bartinik,
Gianacoplos, Bartinik, Bartinik and Grater in Groton, who is
representing Mr. Richards, he expects other workers of El
Segundo, California-based corporation to join the suit.

Mr. Richards, who does troubleshooting for clients of the
company, is seeking back wages and punitive damages going back
to 2001. His attorney stated that he did not know what the total
value of the suit was and that other workers in Mr. Richards'
position were required to work similar hours.

Furthermore, Mr. Melly also stated that he is currently serving
notice to other employees of the class action status of the
lawsuit and offering them the opportunity to opt in.


CONNECTICUT: Attorney Lodges Suit V. City's Bootfinder Scanner
--------------------------------------------------------------
Attorney Arthur D. Machado initiated a class-action lawsuit in
Superior Court against the city of New Haven over its prized
BootFinder license plate scanner, alleging that the device
subjects car owners to illegal search and seizure and denies
them due process, the New Haven Register reports.

The attorney argues that the BootFinder, which scans license
plates to determine instantly if the vehicle is stolen or the
owner is delinquent on parking tickets or motor vehicle taxes
violates the Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth amendments of the U.S.
Constitution and sections of the state constitution.

The city, which is one of only two that used the BootFinder had
unveiled the device in September with great fanfare, claiming it
would make the city safer and revolutionize tax collecting with
Arlington County, Virginia being the only other city that uses
it.

Mr. Machado, who acknowledges that he is suing in response to
his car being towed, further argues that the U.S. Supreme Court
says you can't randomly search cars because it's too fraught
with partiality.

The class action lawsuit, which seeks a permanent injunction
barring use of the device, along with more than $15,000 in
damages names Mr. Machado as plaintiff and the city of New Haven
as defendant. The suit also states that the scanner is being
used randomly, and without probably cause, to track license
plate numbers of vehicles which the defendant has no reason to
believe are in violation.

However, Corporation Counsel Thomas Ude Jr. on behalf of city
officials defended the BootFinder and pointed out that Mr.
Machado is just upset that his car was towed.

Mr. Machado's lawsuit also takes aim at the city's parking
enforcement, arguing that it too violates constitutional rights
to privacy and due process.

Meantime, Arlington County, Virginia officials stated that the
BootFinder has helped the county collect more than $30,000 in
unpaid taxes since April and has not been challenged in court.


CORPORATE AIRLINES: Plane Crew Worked 15 Hours Before MO Crash
--------------------------------------------------------------
The crew of a commuter plane that crashed in northeastern
Missouri, killing 13 of its passengers had been on duty nearly
15 hours that day, an investigator with the National
Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced, the Associated
Press reports.

The Jetstream 32 twin-engine turboprop, Corporate Airlines
Flight 5966 was on a regular route from St. Louis, Missouri when
it crashed shortly after 7:50 p.m., Elizabeth Isham Cory, a
spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration in Chicago,
told AP.  The plane crashed into woods four miles south of the
Kirksville Regional Airport, an earlier Class Action Reporter
story (October 22,2004) stated.

Carol Carmody, head of the NTSB team investigating the crash,
said that the two crew members had been on duty for 14 hours and
41 minutes, which is within Federal Aviation Administration
regulations.  The St. Louis to Kirksville flight was the crew's
sixth for the day, she said, AP reports.  The pilot, Capt. Kim
Sasse, and First Officer Jonathan Palmer, both died in the
crash, along with 11 of their 13 passengers.

According to data gathered from the plane's voice and data
recorders and traffic control tapes, all indications of the
plane's approach to the Kirksville airport was routine.  "The
crew activated the runway lights at the airport, and all the
lights were operational," Carmody said, according to AP. "After
several seconds of discussion, the captain said, 'Field in
sight.' Thirteen seconds later there was the sound of an impact
on the recording, and three seconds later the recording ended."

"It was a completely routine approach to the runaway," she
continued.  "There was no change in direction, speed or heading.
There was no emergency call from the aircraft."

The NTSB member said the flight data recorder showed the plane
was traveling at a normal approach speed of 120 knots (around
140 mph) as it neared the airport. She said its rate of descent
was constant before the data recording ended, with the plane
climbing slightly in the last four seconds.

"At this point, we don't know the exact terrain of the ground,
so we don't know precisely how far above the ground the plane
was," she said, according to AP.  She continued that a review of
maintenance records on the aircraft over the last 30 days was
"very unremarkable."  She would not speculate on what role, if
any, the weather may have played in the crash. Skies were
overcast and misting, with some thunderstorms in the area, at
the time.

The two survivors, Dr. John Krogh, 69, of Wallsburgh, Utah, and
his assistant, Wendy Bonham, 44, of Spanish Fork, Utah, remained
hospitalized at Kirksville.  Ms. Carmody said it was
"remarkable" that the two survived the crash, according to AP.


HOLLYWOOD ENTERTAINMENT: IL Court Okays Rental Fees Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Circuit Court of St. Clair County, Twentieth Judicial
Circuit, State of Illinois granted preliminary approval for the
class action filed against Hollywood Entertainment Corporation,
alleging regarding its membership application and additional
rental period charges.  The suit is entitled George DeFrates v.
Hollywood Entertainment Corporation, No. 02 L 707.

The Company received preliminary approval on August 10, 2004 of
an agreement to settle these claims and expects final approval
in June 2005.  Notice to class members began on October 10, 2004
and will last for six months.


HOLLYWOOD ENTERTAINMENT: Plaintiffs To File New Suit V. Merger
--------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs intend to file a consolidated amended class action
against Hollywood Entertainment Corporation, over its proposed
merger with an affiliate of Leonard Green & Partners, L.P.
(LGP).

Eight suits were initially filed in the circuit courts of Oregon
for the counties of Clackamas and Multnomah related to the
proposed merger pursuant to the initial Agreement and Plan of
Merger, dated as of March 28, 2004, among the Company and
affiliates of LGP (the "March 28 Merger Agreement").

These purported class action and derivative suits each seek a
court order enjoining completion of the Merger, and costs and
attorneys' fees to the plaintiffs' lawyers.  Some of the suits
additionally request damages in an unstated amount allegedly
suffered by the Company's shareholders by reason of the March 28
Merger Agreement.

The Clackamas County suits were consolidated and, on July 28,
2004, the parties to the Clackamas and Multnomah County suits
entered into a memorandum of understanding regarding a potential
settlement of claims.  The proposed settlement included
additional disclosure in the Company's proxy statement regarding
the merger, modifications to the termination fee and shareholder
approval requirements in the March 28 Merger Agreement,
covenants from an affiliate of LGP regarding the future sale of
the Company, and payment of $995,000 of the plaintiff's attorney
fees.

An amended and restated merger agreement was entered into on
October 13, 2004.  Plaintiffs in the consolidated cases have
informed the Company of their intent to file a consolidated
complaint that includes allegations regarding the amended and
restated merger agreement.  It is not clear how the reduction in
the per share consideration and other changes in the amended and
restated merger agreement will affect the settlement
negotiations and there is no assurance that a settlement will be
effected or that current reserves for this litigation will be
adequate, the Company said in a regulatory filing.


HOLLYWOOD ENTERTAINMENT: Reaches Settlement For CA Wage Lawsuits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Hollywood Entertainment Corporation reached a settlement for
three wage and hour class actions filed in California State
Court, alleging that certain of the Company's California
employees were denied meal and rest periods.  There are several
additional related wage and hours claims for unpaid overtime,
late payment of wages and off the clock work.

A mediation took place on September 9, 2004 and the parties
reached a settlement of all claims alleged in each of the
actions.  The parties will jointly move for preliminary approval
of the settlement in November 2004.  Following preliminary
approval, notice of the settlement will be provided to class
members.


MARK NUTRITIONALS: Former Head Agrees To Settle FTC Allegations
---------------------------------------------------------------
Harry Siskind, former President of Mark Nutritionals, Inc., the
now defunct maker of Body Solutions Evening Weight Loss Formula,
has agreed to settle charges by the Federal Trade Commission
that he falsified his financial statements in an effort to hide
assets from the Commission and to obtain a more favorable
settlement to a lawsuit filed against him by the FTC.

The agreed order calls for a judgment of $155 million to be
entered against Mr. Siskind, personally, and provides for
findings by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of
Texas that Mr. Siskind failed to disclose material assets and
materially misrepresented the value of assets in financial
statements he provided to the FTC and the court.  If the
district court approves the proposed settlement, the $155
million would be due immediately.

In December 2002, the Federal Trade Commission sued Mr. Siskind
and several other defendants alleging that they engaged in a
nationwide scheme to bilk millions of consumers out of $155
million.  The FTC reached settlement agreements with all
defendants in the fall of 2003.  The settlement with Mr. Siskind
required him to pay $500,000 and was based on his sworn
financial statements that he had no additional assets.

The FTC later uncovered evidence establishing that Mr. Siskind
falsified the financial statements, upon which the Commission
relied in accepting the original settlement.  The original
settlement with Siskind also contained a $155 million suspended
judgment and provided that, if his financial disclosures
contained misrepresentations, a judgment for the full $155
million would be entered against him.

In May 2004, the Commission filed a motion detailing Mr.
Siskind's false financial statements and asking the district
court to reinstate the $155 million judgment against him.  The
Commission's motion alleged that Mr. Siskind misrepresented the
nature, cost, and value of assets worth approximately $600,000
and failed to disclose assets worth an additional $300,000.

The FTC charged that Mr. Siskind's actions were not mere
oversights, but rather part of an elaborate scheme to defraud
the FTC and the district court.  Just prior to a hearing on the
Commission's motion, Mr. Siskind agreed to the reinstatement of
the full, suspended judgment in the amount of $155 million.  The
proposed settlement also would require him to cooperate fully
with the Commission in all attempts to collect the amounts due,
including cooperating with attempts to locate, liquidate, and/or
transfer assets.

The stipulated order to reinstate suspended judgment for $155
million against defendant Harry Siskind was filed in the U.S.
District Court, Western District of Texas, San Antonio Division,
on October 21, 2004. The Commission vote authorizing staff to
file the stipulated order was 4-0-1, with Commissioner Pamela
Jones Harbour recused.

Copies of the Stipulated Order to Reinstate Suspended Judgment
for $155 Million Against Defendant Harry Siskind and Plaintiff's
Motion to Enforce the Stipulated Final Order are available from
the FTC's Web site: http://www.ftc.govand also from the FTC's
Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue,
N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580.

For more details, contact Brenda Mack of the Office of Public
Affairs by Phone: 202-326-2182 or Tom Carter of the FTC
Southwest Region - Dallas by Phone: 214-979-9350.


MCDONALD'S CORPORATION: OH Food Safety Suits To Be Consolidated
---------------------------------------------------------------
Lawyers for Dayton-based law partnerships of Hochman, Roach &
Plunkett Co. and Dyer, Garofalo, Mann & Schultz, which had filed
lawsuits seeking class-action status for the more than 125
individuals, who reported becoming ill after eating ice cream,
sundaes or shakes at a McDonald's in Piqua, Ohio have asked a
Miami County judge to consolidate the suits, the Dayton Daily
News reports.

The lawyers filed joint motions asking Judge Jeffrey Welbaum to
consolidate the suits against the local operators of the
McDonald's at 995 E. Ash St., Ohio and McDonald's Corporation of
Oak Brook, Illinois.

Filed within 24 hours on October 5 and 6 in Miami County Common
Pleas Court, the motions for consolidation contends that the
cases have similar defendants and make similar claims that laws
pertaining to the safe handling, processing, supplying, storage
and/or preparation of food products were violated.

According to Piqua health officials preliminary test results
indicate that a staphylococcus organism was allowed to grow in
the ice cream machine because of a mechanical malfunction.


MEDS-STAT: TX A.G. Abbott Sues Over Flu-Vaccine Price-Gouging
-------------------------------------------------------------
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott sued two distributors of the
scarce flu vaccine for allegedly charging exorbitant prices to
hospitals in Houston, Dallas and Sherman, in violation of state
law.

The Attorney General sued ASAP Meds Inc., dba Meds-Stat, of Fort
Lauderdale, Florida, and Dubin Medical Inc. of San Diego,
California for unconscionable pricing of the critical vaccine
and for perpetrating fraud in the face of a health care
challenge in Texas.  The suit was filed in Harris County
District Court and comes after an investigation the Attorney
General began on October 18, 2004.

"The Texas health care community relies on the professional
conduct of those who manufacture and distribute medications that
may mean the difference between life and death for some people,"
said Attorney General Abbott in a statement.  "The companies
allegedly marked up this critical vaccine by more than 1,000
percent for sale to providers. This is an outrageous scheme in
light of the challenge we face in Texas in getting this vaccine
to those who need it most."

The suit contends the companies offered 10-dose vials, which
would typically cost between $65 and $80 each, for as much as
$950 and demanded cash on delivery. The Attorney General's suit
asks the court to order the companies to relinquish all profits
realized from this unconscionable pricing scheme against
providers. It also seeks civil penalties under the Texas
Deceptive Trade Practices Act, as well as temporary and
permanent injunctions.

The Attorney General provided sworn affidavits from pharmacy
directors and purchasers at hospitals in Harris, Dallas and
Grayson counties. The hospitals included Ben Taub Hospital in
Houston, Wilson Jones Medical Center in Sherman, and Charlton
Methodist Hospital in Dallas.

The hospitals said they were asked to pay between $400 and $950
for a 10-dose vial. The price was considered unaffordable at
Methodist Charlton, a charity institution, which chose not to
purchase the vaccine. As a result, the hospital now has no flu
vaccine available for critically ill patients or essential
health care providers.


MISSOURI: Lawyer Lodges Lawsuits V. Hospitals For Overcharging
--------------------------------------------------------------
Attorney Scott S. Bethune recently filed two related but
separate class action suits in Greene County Circuit Court
against CoxHealth and St. John's hospitals alleging that they
charge inordinate, unreasonable and inflated prices for medical
care to uninsured patients while enjoying the substantial
benefits of tax-exempt status of not-for-profit organizations,
the News-Leader.com reports.

Furthermore, the suits allege that both hospitals, which had
acquired tax-exempt status in 1923 and 1891 respectively,
pursued "aggressive collection practices" that often result in
lawsuits, judgments and garnishments against uninsured patients,
and sometimes require impoverished patients to seek relief in
bankruptcy.

The suit against Cox names as plaintiff Ozark resident Dennis C.
Johnson on behalf of a class of people in similar circumstances.
Meanwhile, the suit against St. John's names Donna M. Meierer of
Springfield, guardian for Matthew A. Meierer, as representative
of a class of similar, unnamed individuals.

The suits describes Mr. Johnson and Matthew Meierer as former
patients who do not have medical insurance and are being pursued
to pay off their bills of $43,985 and $108,748, respectively,
even though it would create a financial hardship.

Hospital officials declined to comment for this story other than
to refer to a joint prepared statement, which reiterates that
both Cox and St. John's charity and billing practices are
consistent with the community missions of both hospitals and
that both are committed to working with patients who need
charitable assistance in paying for the services they receive.
It further reiterated that Cox and St. John's do not deny care
because a patient cannot pay and we provide millions of dollars
in charity and uncompensated care each year.

The suit is seeking a jury trial, actual and compensatory
damages and establishment of a trust fund for the medical care
of plaintiffs.


ORGANON USA: MI A.G. Cox Joins Nationwide Remeron Settlement
------------------------------------------------------------
A proposed $36 million nationwide settlement for consumers,
state purchasers, and other end payors with drug maker Organon
USA Inc. and its parent company Akzo Nobel N.V. over the
antidepressant drug, Remeron has been completed, Michigan
Attorney General Mike Cox announced in a statement last week.
The funds will be awarded due to a multi-state complaint against
Organon USA Inc. and Akzo Nobel N.V. for allegedly maintaining
an illegal monopoly over mirtazapine, the active ingredient of
Remeron.

"The defendants in this case abused the regulatory scheme to
stifle competition and prevent consumers from having access to
low-cost generic equivalents of this drug. This lawsuit
represented a way for us to help lower prescription drug costs
for consumers," AG Cox said.

The states' complaint alleged that Organon unlawfully extended
its monopoly by improperly listing a new "combination therapy"
patent with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  In addition,
the complaint alleged that Organon delayed listing the patent
with the FDA in another effort to hinder the availability of
lower-cost generic substitutes.  This resulted in higher prices
to those who paid for the drug.  With annual sales in excess of
$400 million at its peak, Remeron is Organon's top-selling drug.

Michigan consumers will be among consumers nationwide who can
submit claims for reimbursement.  If the court approves the
settlement, the Attorneys General will implement a claims
administration process for consumers who purchased Remeron or
its generic equivalent between June 15, 2001 and the present.
Michigan will also be among states receiving monies for damages
incurred by certain governmental entities that purchased Remeron
or its generic equivalent.  These monies will be allocated to
consumers, state entities such as Medicaid, and institutional
end payors, including the Michigan Public School Employees
Retirement System.

Preliminary settlement papers were filed in New Jersey federal
court last week.  Subject to court approval, Organon will pay
monies that should bring financial relief to state agencies and
thousands of consumers.  A ten-month state investigation, led by
Texas, along with Florida and Oregon, led to this settlement,
which was joined by every U.S. state and territory.  The
settlement resolves claims brought by state Attorneys General,
as well as a private class action brought on behalf of a class
of end payors.

For more details, contact Randall Thompson of the State of
Michigan, Department of Attorney General by Phone: 517-373-8060
(Office).


ORGANON USA: Vermont To Participate in Remeron Suit Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------------
Vermont Attorney General William H. Sorrell announced a proposed
$36 million nationwide settlement with Organon USA, Inc., the
manufacturer of the antidepressant drug Remeron.  If the court
approves the settlement, Organon will pay restitution to state
agencies and thousands of consumers.  All 50 states are joining
in this settlement.

The states' complaint, filed in federal court in New Jersey,
alleges that Organon misled the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration about the scope of a new "combination therapy"
patent it had obtained in order to extend its monopoly over the
drug.  In addition, the complaint alleges that Organon delayed
listing the patent with the FDA in another effort to delay the
availability of lower-cost generic substitutes.  This resulted
in higher prices to those who paid for the drug.  With annual
sales in excess of $400 million at its peak, Remeron is
Organon's top-selling drug.

Organon will also be required to make timely listing of patents
and prohibits Organon from submitting false or misleading
listing information to the FDA.

"Organon has been engaged in the same abusive practices that we
have seen from several other pharmaceutical manufacturers," said
Attorney General Sorrell in a statement.  "They have manipulated
the federal regulatory scheme to stifle competition and delay
the arrival of lower-cost generics into the marketplace. This
suit is part of our ongoing effort to lower prescription drug
costs by stopping these abusive practices."

If the court approves the settlement, Vermont consumers will be
able to submit claims for reimbursement. The Attorneys General
will implement a claims administration process for consumers who
purchased Remeron or its generic equivalent between June 15,
2001 and the present. Vermont state agencies will also receive
damages for purchases of Remeron or its generic equivalent at
prices made artificially high by the defendants' actions. The
exact amounts that consumers and state agencies will receive has
yet to be determined by the court.

For more details, contact the Attorney General's office by Mail:
109 State Street, Montpelier VT 05609-1001 by Phone: (802) 828-
3171 or by Fax: (802) 828-5341.


ORGANON USA: Missouri To Participate in Remeron Antitrust Pact
--------------------------------------------------------------
Missourians who bought the anti-depressant drug Remeron could
soon receive refunds under a nationwide settlement announced by
Attorney General Jay Nixon in a statement last week.

Atty. General Nixon and attorneys general from across the nation
filed a preliminary settlement with drug maker Organon USA Inc.
and its parent company, Akzo Nobel N.V., in New Jersey federal
court.  The settlement resolves allegations contained in an
accompanying complaint that Organon delayed the introduction of
a generic version of Remeron, resulting in higher prices for
consumers.

Based on estimates, Missouri consumers are expected to receive
more than $150,000 in refunds.  The Missouri Medicaid program
also will be reimbursed under the $36 million nationwide
settlement.

"This drug maker abused the system to stifle competition,
effectively taking money out of the pockets of thousands of
Missourians," AG Nixon said.  "By taking swift action against
this company, we're helping lower prescription drug costs, and
we are putting other companies on notice that these monopolistic
practices will not be tolerated."

The settlement is the result of a 10-month investigation.  The
attorneys general alleged Organon delayed listing the patent
with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to push back the
availability of lower-cost generic substitutes, resulting in
higher prices to those who paid for the drug.  Organon also
allegedly misled the FDA about the scope of a new "combination
therapy" patent it had obtained in order to extend its monopoly.

If the court approves the settlement, the attorneys general will
establish a claims process for consumers who purchased Remeron
or its generic equivalent between June 15, 2001, and the
present. Missouri also will be among states receiving money for
damages incurred by the state's Medicaid program.  In addition
to resolving claims brought by state attorneys general, the
settlement resolves a private class action lawsuit. The court
must approve the settlement before it becomes final.


SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS: Settles NY AG Wrongful Rebate Denial Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer reached a settlement
with New Jersey-based Samsung Electronics America, Inc.,
requiring the company to fulfill more than 4,100 manufacturer
rebate claims that were wrongfully denied.  Pursuant to the
settlement, eligible consumers will receive a total of over
$200,000.

Samsung offers rebates to consumers who purchase electronic
merchandise manufactured by the company.  For each product, the
rebate is limited to one per household.  After a rebate is
issued to a consumer, any subsequent rebate form submitted by a
member of the same household is denied on the basis of "Maximum
Number of Requests Exceeded."

However, Samsung's rebate program failed to recognize that many
consumers live in apartment buildings and other multiple unit
dwellings where they share the same address with other
residents.  Once Samsung issued a rebate to a consumer who lived
at a particular address, any rebate form submitted by another
consumer with the same address was denied - even if the consumer
resided in a different apartment and was a member of a different
household.  As a result, over 4,100 consumers across the nation
who were eligible for a rebate received a denial notification.

Pursuant the settlement, the wrongfully-denied rebates range
from $10 to $150 in value, will now be fulfilled.  In addition,
Samsung has agreed to implement procedures to ensure that rebate
claims submitted by consumers who live in multiple dwellings are
no longer denied unless the consumers actually reside in the
same apartment or are members of the same household.

"Manufacturer rebates can provide significant discounts on
consumer products. However, Samsung's rebate program, which
restricted payment to the first consumer at a particular address
to file a claim, was unfair to the millions of consumers who
reside in multiple dwellings. This settlement will ensure that
eligible consumers who reside in multiple dwellings can receive
their rebates from the company," AG Spitzer said in a statement.

Out of the total to be refunded nationwide, $200,740, there will
be $26,590 going to 530 New York consumers who were denied
rebates. The Company will also pay the State $50,000 to cover
the cost of the investigation.

This case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Doris K.
Morin under the supervision of Gary S. Brown, Assistant Attorney
General in Charge of the Westchester Regional Office.  For more
information, contact the Attorney General's office: (212) 416-
8060.


STARPROSE CORPORATION: Faces Suit For MO Consumer Law Violations
----------------------------------------------------------------
Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon is suing a website operator
that sent spam e-mails to Missouri public school superintendents
under the guise of being open records requests but actually were
demands for personal information from the superintendents,
including their sexual orientation.

The suit, filed in Camden County Circuit Court, says StarProse
Corporation, of Abilene, Texas, violated Missouri's consumer
protection laws, specifically the law regarding unsolicited
commercial e-mail.

"The cyber-bullies at StarProse are sending out e-mails that are
misleading and attempt to intimidate the recipients," AG Nixon
said in a statement.  "Like most bullies, they also are cowards,
hiding their true intent and firing off these threats from
behind a keyboard."

Several school superintendents contacted Nixon after receiving
e-mail on October 20 from StarProse labeled "Open Records
Request."  The e-mail, which was sent to many superintendents
throughout the state, said StarProse was compiling a list and if
superintendents did not respond, they would be listed as
homosexual by default.

The lawsuit states StarProse Corporation violated Missouri law
by providing false or misleading information in the subject line
of the e-mail.  AG Nixon's suit says the Company used the false
or misleading subject line to induce the superintendents to open
the e-mail, then threatened them by declaring it would list the
superintendent as homosexual if he or she did not reply to the
e-mail.

The Attorney General is seeking a temporary restraining order to
stop the violations.  AG Nixon is asking the court to prohibit
StarProse Corporation from sending unsolicited commercial e-mail
to any school personnel, school or school district in Missouri.
He also is asking the court to order StarProse Corp. to shut
down any Web site that posts information regarding the sexual
orientation of any school personnel in Missouri.

Nixon also is seeking an injunction barring StarProse
Corporation from further violations of Missouri's consumer
protection laws and a civil penalty of $5,000 for each
violation.


SUPERVALU INC.: Settlement of MN Securities Lawsuit Deemed Final
----------------------------------------------------------------
The settlement of the consolidated securities class action filed
against SuperValu, Inc. and certain of its officers and
directors in the United States District Court for the District
of Minnesota is deemed final, after plaintiffs did to appeal the
approval by September 15,2004, the deadline set by the court.

The suit was filed on behalf of purchasers of the company's
securities between July 11, 1999 and June 26, 2002.  The lawsuit
alleged that the company and certain of its officers and
directors violated Federal securities laws by issuing materially
false and misleading statements relating to its financial
performance.

On April 29, 2004, the court granted preliminary approval to a
stipulation of settlement between the company and plaintiffs.
The court granted final approval of the settlement on August 16,
2004.


TENNESSEE: Judge Refuses To Certify Lawsuit V. Sex Offender Law
---------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. District Court Judge Todd J. Campbell of Nashville denied
class-action status for a lawsuit over a new state law regarding
sex offenders, ruling that in light of a new state law's
constitutional problems, expanding the ongoing lawsuit would be
unnecessary, The Tennessean reports.

The new sex offender law, which was to take effect on August 1,
2004, makes it a felony for convicted sex offenders to live or
work within 1,000 feet of a school or day care. The new law
though was not to be enforced by the state until the case is
resolved.  The lawsuit, which was filed by attorney Brent Horst
in early August on behalf of plaintiff "John Doe," who had
argued that the new law was unconstitutional.

Before class action status was denied, Mr. Horst argued that the
case deserves to be certified as a class action on behalf of
about 7,000 offenders he says now find themselves in similar
legal limbo. Like his client, he asserts, they are unsure if the
police, or a district attorney, are about to lock them up based
on where the convicted offenders live or work, as the law says
they can.

However, Judge Campbell wrote in his ruling that such a move
would be redundant and that it is simply unnecessary in this
case, since class status would not affect how he ultimately
rules on the law's constitutionality.  Legal experts point out
that if the law is found unconstitutional, the court can
permanently order the state not to enforce it.


UNITED STATES: BASS Files Writ Of Mandamus For Race Bias Suit
-------------------------------------------------------------
Representatives of the Black Secret Service Agents (BASS)
instructed their attorneys to file a Writ of Mandamus in the
U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit,
compelling the court to expedite their class action race
discrimination suit filed in 2000.

BASS representatives allege that in the last four years, the
Bush Administration and the Secret Service have used the
judicial process to prevent a discussion of this case on its
merits, citing the lack of progress in the case. A single
witness has not been called, nor has a single document been
produced.

"The refusal to address the merits of the Black Agents' case is
shameful," said Special Agent Reginald G. Moore, BASS, Inc.
president. "It is particularly disappointing that nothing was
done after Representative J.C. Watts arranged a meeting with
White House Associate Counsel Stuart Bowen and the class
representatives to discuss the case. This is not a situation
where the White House is unaware of the issues, nor could they
be after the appearance of several front-page stories on the
gross mismanagement and racial discrimination in the Secret
Service."

Former Special Agent Cheryl Tyler agreed stating, "We have no
choice but to take this extreme step. We have been waiting
patiently for years. Justice delayed is justice denied."

Special Agent Moore also has corresponded directly with Bush-
appointed Secret Service Director Ralph Basham in an attempt to
resolve the case. Basham, however, refused to discuss the case,
instead referring Moore's letter to John Ashcroft's U.S.
Department of Justice.

"We take this unusual step today because we cannot take four
more years of denial and delay," Moore continued. "Every day
that passes, we lose witnesses and evidence. The Secret Service
'accidentally' fails to retain relevant documents. For the
future of the Secret Service, we must have a hearing on the
merits of more than 20 years of racial discrimination and a
remedy that dissolves the 'Good Ol' Boy' network, which has
worked so often to disadvantage black agents."

The lawsuit (Moore et al. v. Ridge, No. cv00953), filed on May
3, 2000, alleges the Secret Service has discriminated against
African-American special agents in selections for competitive
promotions, performance evaluations, transfers, assignments,
other career-enhancing opportunities, awards and bonuses,
assignments to undercover work, hiring practices, testing,
discipline and other terms and conditions of employment. It also
alleges that the Secret Service created and maintained a hostile
work environment and retaliated against agents who reported
discrimination. BASS is the nonprofit organization organized to
represent the interests of the Black Special Agents of the
Secret Service. They have retained David J. Shaffer and Ronald
A. Schmidt of the Washington, D.C. office of Garvey Schubert
Barer to represent the agents' interests in this matter.

                New Securities Fraud Cases

ACE LIMITED: Murray Frank Lodges Securities Fraud Lawsuit 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 purchasers of the
securities of ACE Limited ("ACE" or the "Company") (NYSE:ACE)
between May 30, 2002 and 10:58a.m, Eastern Daylight Time on
October 14, 2004, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The complaint alleges that defendants made statements during the
class period that were materially false and misleading because
they failed to disclose and misrepresented the following adverse
facts:

     (1) the Company had implemented and executed an
         unsustainable business practice whereby the Company
         participated in a business plan under which it entered
         into "placement service agreements" with Marsh &
         McLennan and agreed to pay them "contingent
         commissions" in return for steering it business and
         shielding it from competition;

     (2) the Company's illicit scheme exposed it to significant
         regulatory penalties and threatened loss of consumer
         goodwill jeopardizing the Company's ability to sustain
         any performance in its legitimate business practices;

     (3) the Company's revenues and earnings would materially
         overstated and would have been significantly less had
         the Company not engaged in such unlawful practices; and

     (4) at no time during the Class Period did defendants
         disclose the fact that, or the extent to which, ACE's
         business, revenue, and income were dependent upon the
         unlawful and unsustainable business practices alleged
         herein.

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


AON CORPORATION: Emerson Poynter Commences ERISA Investigation
--------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm Emerson Poynter LLP commenced an investigation
regarding Aon Corporation ("Aon" or the "Company") (NYSE:AOC)
for violations of Federal and State securities laws and the
Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA") in
relation to Aon's handling of investments in the Company's
employee retirement benefit plan (the "Plan").

Emerson Poynter's investigation focuses on concerns that Aon and
Company executives have violated securities laws and may have
breached their ERISA-mandated fiduciary duties of loyalty and
prudence by failing, among other issues, to disclose that
hundreds of millions of dollars of the Company's profits derive
from illegal activities, namely "contingent commissions,"
special payments received from insurance companies that were far
beyond normal sales commissions. These payments were
compensation for the business that Aon and its independent
brokers steered and allocated to the insurance companies,
distinguished by Aon as compensation for "market services."

Aon Corporation's stock price has fallen since New York Attorney
General Eliot Spitzer filed suit against Marsh & McClennan
(NYSE:MMC) and announced his office's investigation of Aon and
others. Spitzer has stated that his office is investigating
allegations that Aon steered business to insurers in return for
those firms using Aon as a broker for their own reinsurance
packages. These concerns have prompted credit rating agencies
such as Moodys Investor Services to downgrade the debt rating of
Aon Corporation.

For more details, contact Charles Gastineau, Tanya Autry or
Michelle Raggio of Emerson Poynter LLP by Phone: (800) 663-9817
by E-mail: epllp@emersonpoynter.com or visit their Web site:
http://www.emersonpoynter.com


APOLLO GROUP: Lasky & Rifkind Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in AZ
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Lasky & Rifkind, Ltd. initiated a lawsuit in the
United States District Court for the District of Arizona, on
behalf of persons who purchased or otherwise acquired publicly
traded securities of Apollo Group, Inc. ("Apollo" or the
"Company") (NASDAQ:APOL) between March 12, 2004 and September
14, 2004, inclusive, (the "Class Period"). The lawsuit was filed
against Apollo, Todd S. Nelson, Kenda B. Gonzales and Daniel E.
Bachus ("Defendants").

The complaint alleges that Defendants violated Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder. Specifically, the complaint alleges that
the Company failed to disclose and misrepresented that the
Company improperly based recruiters compensation on enrollment
statistics, in violation of Federal regulations that forbid
schools whose students receive federal financial aid from tying
pay directly to enrollments, that as a result of these actions,
the Company was able to post stellar results even as its
recruiters enrolled unqualified students, and that as a result
earnings and net income were materially inflated during the
Class Period.

On September 15, 2004, the Wall Street Journal published an
article titled, "Will Apollo's Bad Report Card Get Its Shares
Grounded?" The article indicated that Apollo engaged in a
culture where recruitment supervisors monetarily rewarded sales
employees for registering new students, including those who
would shortly fail out. Shares of Apollo declined in reaction to
the news, falling $1.41 per share, or approximately 2% on
September 15, 2004.

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


CHIRON CORPORATION: Lerach Coughlin Lodges Securities 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 Chiron Corp. ("Chiron") (NASDAQ:CHIR)
publicly traded securities during the period between January 12,
2004 and October 4, 2004 (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges Chiron and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934. Chiron is a global pharmaceutical company focused on
developing products for cancer and infectious diseases. It
commercializes its products through three business units: blood
testing, vaccines and biopharmaceuticals. The Company's fiscal
2004 results were dependent upon its ability to sell its
influenza vaccine.

The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants
disseminated materially false and misleading statements
regarding the Company's business and prospects and failed to
disclose the following facts, which were known to each of the
defendants during the Class Period but were concealed from
Chiron's shareholders:

     (1) schedules and requirements for the qualification,
         validation and maintenance of equipment and facilities
         dedicated to the manufacture of Chiron's flu vaccine at
         the Liverpool manufacturing site were inappropriate to
         meet the greatly increased production goals set for the
         2004-2005 flu season;

     (2) the manufacturing process for the vaccine was
         antiquated and inappropriate to meet the greatly
         increased production goals for the vaccine set for the
         2004-2005 flu season;

     (3) the training and number of technicians and support
         staff dedicated to production of the vaccine for the
         2004-2005 flu season at the Liverpool manufacturing
         site was inadequate;

     (4) the Company would be unable to assure product quality
         for the greatly increased production goals for the
         vaccine set for the 2004-2005 flu season at the
         Liverpool manufacturing site;

     (5) the rejection rate for the manufacture of the vaccine
         lots was unacceptably high;

     (6) the vaccine manufacturing process was "out of control"
         with respect to microbial and sterility limits for
         quality assurance testing;

     (7) human health through the use of the vaccine was at risk
         since it was no longer possible to assure that
         individual doses of the vaccine were free of
         contamination;

     (8) delayed notification of human health authorities of the
         chronic production problems at the Liverpool facility
         would postpone disclosure of the millions of dollars in
         financial losses expected to result from the large-
         scale rejection of production lots and millions of
         vials of the vaccine; and

     (9) as a result of the above, defendants' projections for
         fiscal 2004 were grossly overstated.

On October 5, 2004, the U.K. Medicines and Healthcare products
Regulatory Agency ("MHRA") suspended Chiron Vaccines'
manufacturer's license for influenza vaccines. As a result of
this action, the Company will not be able to release any batches
of its influenza vaccine manufactured at its Liverpool facility
to any market. The suspension was imposed as a result of
Chiron's failure to comply with the requirements of Good
Manufacturing Practice, leading to concerns of possible
microbial contamination of the product. Upon this revelation,
the Company drastically slashed its guidance for future
quarters, sending the Company's shares into a free fall,
plunging to as low as $29 per share before closing at $37.98,
down 16% from the previous day's closing price.

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/chiron/


DOBSON COMMUNICATIONS: Federman & Sherwood Lodges OK Stock Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Federman & Sherwood initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the Western
District of Oklahoma on behalf of shareholders of Dobson
Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: DCEL) ("Dobson") for the class
period from May 19, 2003 through August 9, 2004.

The lawsuit alleges, in part, that Dobson concealed a
significant decrease in roaming revenues, the single largest
contributor to Dobson's revenues, thereby causing the Company's
stock to trade at artificially inflated levels.

For more details, contact William B. Federman of FEDERMAN &
SHERWOOD by Mail: 120 N. Robinson, Suite 2720, Oklahoma City, OK
73102 by Phone: (405) 235-1560 by Fax: (405) 239-2112 by E-mail:
wfederman@aol.com or visit their Web site:
http://www.federmanlaw.com


DOBSON COMMUNICATIONS: Lerach Coughlin Lodges OK Securities Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins
LLP ("Lerach Coughlin") initiated a class action lawsuit in the
United States District Court for the Western District of
Oklahoma on behalf of purchasers of Dobson Communications, Inc.
("Dobson") (NASDAQ:DCEL) common stock during the period between
May 19, 2003 and August 9, 2004 (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges Dobson and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934. Dobson is a rural and suburban wireless communications
services provider offering wireless calling, voice privacy and
call security, tri-mode handsets and roaming.

The Complaint alleges that, throughout the Class Period,
defendants issued numerous positive statements describing the
Company's financial prospects and the continued growth in the
Company's roaming minutes, which are based on increased minutes
of use. As alleged in the complaint, these statements were
materially false and misleading because defendants knew, but
failed to disclose that:

     (1) the Company's growth in roaming minutes was
         substantially declining, and the Company had
         experienced negative growth in October 2003;

     (2) AT&T, the Company's largest roaming customer, had
         notified defendants that it wanted to dispose of its
         equity interest in Dobson that it had held since
         Dobson's IPO, significantly decreasing AT&T's interest
         in purchasing roaming capacity from Dobson;

     (3) Bank of America intended to dispose of its substantial
         equity interest in Dobson as soon as AT&T disposed of
         its equity interest in Dobson;

     (4) the Company had been missing sales quotas and losing
         market share throughout the Class Period; and

     (5) the Company lacked the internal controls required to
         report meaningful financial results.

On February 17, 2004, defendants announced that the Company had
fallen materially short of hitting its earnings projections
forecast in October 2003 and that it would drastically reduce
its 2004 projections. Defendants now admitted that roaming
revenue had declined from a 36% growth rate in April 2003 over
April 2002 to a 22% decline by October 2003, causing the Company
to miss EBITDA expectations by $9.5 million. On this news, the
Company's shares plunged by 36% on extremely high trading
volume. Then, on August 9, 2004, Dobson issued a press release
announcing its second quarter financial results. The Company
reported a net loss of $15.9 million per share, or $(0.12) per
share. Dobson also dramatically cut its forecasts for subscriber
additions. In response to this news, the price of Dobson stock
plunged an additional 55% per share.

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


DOBSON COMMUNICATIONS: Schatz & Nobel Lodges OK Securities Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schatz & Nobel, P.C. initiated a lawsuit seeking
class action status in the United States District Court for the
Western District of Oklahoma on behalf of all persons who
purchased the publicly traded securities of Dobson
Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: DCEL) ("Dobson") between May 19,
2003 and August 9, 2004, inclusive (the "Class Period"). Also
included are all those who acquired Dobson's shares through its
acquisitions of American Cellular Corp. and NPI-Omnipoint
Wireless.

The Complaint alleges that Dobson, a wireless communications
services provider, and certain of its officers and directors
issued materially false statements. Specifically, defendants
issued numerous positive statements describing Dobson's
financial prospects and the continued growth in Dobson's roaming
minutes, which are based on increased minutes of use. It is
alleged that defendants knew, but failed to disclose that:

     (1) Dobson's growth in roaming minutes was substantially
         declining, and the Company had experienced negative
         growth in October 2003;

     (2) AT&T, the Company's largest roaming customer, had
         notified defendants that it wanted to dispose of its
         equity interest in Dobson that it had held since
         Dobson's IPO, significantly decreasing AT&T's interest
         in purchasing roaming capacity from Dobson;

     (3) Bank of America intended to dispose of its substantial
         equity interest in Dobson as soon as AT&T disposed of
         its equity interest in Dobson; and

     (4) the Company had been missing sales quotas and losing
         market share throughout the Class Period.

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


HARTFORD FINANCIAL: Emerson Poynter Opens ERISA Investigation
-------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm Emerson Poynter LLP commenced an investigation
regarding the Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. ("Hartford
Financial" or the "Company") (NYSE:HIG) and Hartford Fire
Insurance Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hartford
Financial, for violations of the Employee Retirement Income
Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA") in relation to its handling of
investments in the Company's employee retirement benefit plan
(the "Plan").

The material facts being investigated relate to allegations that
Hartford Financial allegedly had allowed Plan Participants to
purchase and/or hold the Company's stock or funds which included
Company stock while knowing that the value of the Company's
shares was inflated. New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has
alleged that Hartford Financial and other insurance brokers have
engaged in "bid rigging" and "kickbacks" in connection with
their insurance brokerage business. On October 14, 2004, it was
disclosed that Hartford Financial allegedly had been engaging in
such misconduct. Shares of Hartford Financial declined
precipitously, nearly 10%, in the wake of this disclosure.

The primary focus of Emerson Poynter's investigation is whether
the Company and certain Plan administrators breached their
fiduciary duties by:

     (1) negligently misrepresenting and negligently failing to
         disclose material facts to the Plan and the Plan
         Participants in connection with the management of the
         Plan's assets and

     (2) negligently permitting the Plan to purchase and hold
         Hartford Financial stock when it was imprudent to do
         so.

For more details, contact Charles Gastineau, Tanya Autry or
Michelle Raggio of Emerson Poynter LLP by Phone: (800) 663-9817
by E-mail: epllp@emersonpoynter.com or visit their Web site:
http://www.emersonpoynter.com


HARTFORD FINANCIAL: Murray Frank Lodges Securities Lawsuit in CT
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Murray, Frank & Sailer LLP initiated a class
action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
District of Connecticut on behalf of purchasers of the
securities of The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.
("Hartford" or the "Company") (NYSE: HIG) between November 5,
2003 and October 13, 2004, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges Hartford, Ramani Ayer, David M. Johnson,
David K. Zwiener, Robert J. Price and Thomas M. Marra 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
which were known to defendants or recklessly disregarded by
them:

     (1) that the Company 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 the Company 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, the defendants
         guaranteed Hartford material amounts of business;

     (4) that by concealing these "contingent commissions" and
         such "contingent commission agreements" the defendants
         violated applicable principles of fiduciary law; and

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

On October 14, 2004, Attorney General Eliot Spitzer ("Spitzer")
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
Hartford as an alleged participant in bid-rigging. On these
revelations, the Company's shares fell $3.78 per share, or 6.08
percent, to close at $58.40 per share on unusually high trading
volume on October 14, 2004. By October 15, 2004, shares of
Hartford fell another $2.10 per share, or 3.60 percent, to close
at $56.30 per share.

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


HIENERGY TECHNOLOGIES: Rosen Law Lodges CA Securities Fraud Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Rosen Law Firm announced today that it has filed a class
action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
Central District of California on behalf of purchasers of
HiEnergy Technologies, Inc. (OTC BB: HIET)("HiEnergy" or the
"Company") common stock during the period from February 22, 2002
through July 8, 2004, inclusive (the "Class Period"). A copy of
the complaint filed in this action is available from the
District Court or from the Rosen Law Firm.

The complaint charges that HiEnergy and certain of its current
and former officers and directors violated Section 10b of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by failing to disclose material
information concerning the background of certain of its officers
and directors. In addition, the complaint alleges that at least
of the Company's former officers acted with another individual
to manipulate the price of HiEnergy's stock. The complaint also
alleges that the Company filed false financial statements during
the Class Period. As a result of these misrepresentations,
according to the complaint, the price of HiEnergy securities was
artificially inflated during the Class Period.

For more details, contact Laurence Rosen, Esq. of The Rosen Law
Firm by Phone: 866-767-3653 or by E-mail: lrosen@rosenlegal.com
or visit their Web site: http://www.rosenlegal.com


MARSH & MCLENNAN: Abbey Gardy Commences ERISA Investigation
-----------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Abbey Gardy, LLP has been retained to commence
an investigation against Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc.'s
("MMC" or the "Company") for violations of the Employee
Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA") on behalf of
all participants and beneficiaries of MMC's Employee Retirement
Plan ("Plan").

The investigation will focus on whether MMC and certain of its
officers and directors breached their duties under ERISA by

     (1) failing to properly manage the Plans' assets by
         imprudently investing a significant amount of the
         Plans' assets in MMC stock;

     (2) failing to provide complete and accurate information to
         participants and beneficiaries; and

     (3) engaged in prohibited transactions under ERISA.

For more details, contact Nancy Kaboolian by Mail: (212) 889-
3700 or by E-mail: nkaboolian@abbeygardy.com


MARSH & MCLENNAN: Goodkind Labaton Lodges Securities Suit in NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Goodkind Labaton Rudoff & Sucharow LLP initiated
a lawsuit pursuant to the Employee Retirement Income Security
Act of 1974 ("ERISA") on October 22, 2004 in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York, on behalf
of persons who, as of October 14, 2004, were participants in or
beneficiaries of ("Participants") one or more of the retirement
plans offered by Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. ("Marsh" or
the "Company") (NYSE:MMC), including: Marsh & McLennan
Companies, Inc. Stock Investment Plan ("SIP" or "401(k)"), Marsh
& McLennan Companies, Inc. Stock Investment Supplemental Plan
("SISP"), and Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. Global Stock
Purchase Plan ("Stock Purchase Plan"), and Marsh & McLennan
Companies, Inc. U.S. Retirement Program, including the
Retirement Plan, Benefit Equalization Plan, and Supplemental
Retirement Plan ("Retirement Plan"), all of which are
collectively referred to herein as the "Plans". The lawsuit was
filed against Marsh and certain fiduciaries of the Plans
("defendants").

Plaintiff alleges that defendants, fiduciaries of the Plans,
breached their duties to Plaintiff and to the other Participants
in the Plans, in violation of ERISA, particularly with regard to
the Plans' holdings of Marsh stock. Each of the Plans maintained
significant holdings in Marsh stock and/or required
Participants' investments to be held, in whole or in part, in
Marsh stock. For example, in the Company's SIP, Participants'
investments were overwhelmingly limited to Company stock, all
matching funds were in Company stock, and Participants were not
permitted to meaningfully diversify their investments. Where
Participants were permitted to diversify, they were
substantially limited to investments in funds managed by Putnam
Investments, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marsh.

According to the plaintiff, the defendants acts were especially
egregious given the Company's business practices. In order to
make customers believe that Marsh had received "bids" from
various insurance companies in attempt to get the lowest
possible price and most favorable terms for the customer, Marsh
allegedly "rigged" bids by asking certain insurance companies to
bid higher than the company to which Marsh had already
determined to steer the customer's business. Marsh's alleged
"bid rigging" schemes were not only in direct conflict of
interest with Marsh's customers, but were fraudulent and
illegal, and have opened the Company up to massive civil and
criminal liability, lost future revenues, tarnished reputation,
potential inability to borrow, and potential loss of customers.

For these reasons, the complaint alleges, defendants knew or
should have known that Marsh stock was an imprudent investment
alternative for the Plans due to the improper business practices
at the Company and the overwhelming risk that the Plans assumed
by holding Company stock in such large, concentrated amounts.
Defendants are liable under ERISA to restore losses sustained by
the Plans and Participants as a result of defendants' breaching
their fiduciary obligations to

     (1) monitor the Company's administrators and to provide
         them with accurate information;

     (2) provide complete and accurate information to the
         Participants;

     (3) avoid conflicts of interest; and

     (4) diversify Participants' investments.

For more details, contact Christopher Keller, Esq. by Phone:
800-321-0476 by E-mail: investorrelations@glrslaw.com


MARSH & MCLENNAN: Squitieri & Fearon Lodges ERISA Lawsuit in NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Squitieri & Fearon, LLP initiated a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York on behalf of participants and beneficiaries
of the Marsh & McLennan Companies Stock Investment Sharing,
Retirement and Savings Plan and Marsh & McLennan Companies Stock
Investment Plan Employee Stock Ownership Plan (the "Plans"), who
were invested in Marsh & McLennan shares through the Plans
between January 1, 2000 and October 14, 2004 (the "Class
Period").

The complaint alleges that defendants Marsh & McLennan
Companies, Inc. (NYSE:MMC), its Employee Benefits Policy
Committee, and certain of its officers and directors breached
their duties under ERISA by

     (1) failing to properly manage the Plans' assets by
         imprudently investing a significant amount of the
         Plans' assets in Marsh & McLennan stock;

     (2) failing to provide complete and accurate information to
         participants and beneficiaries; and

     (3) engaged in prohibited transactions under ERISA.

For more details, contact Lee Squitieri of SQUITIERI & FEARON,
LLP by Mail: 32 East 57th Street, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10022
by Phone: (212) 421-6492 or by E-mail: lee@sfclasslaw.com


MERCK & CO.: Cohen Milstein Lodges ERISA Fraud Lawsuit in NJ
------------------------------------------------------------
The law firms of Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, PLLC, Vianale
& Vianale LLP and Sarraf Gentile LLP have filed a lawsuit in the
United States District Court District of New Jersey on behalf of
its client against the fiduciaries of its retirement (401k)
Plans that invest in Merck stock for violations of the federal
pension law (ERISA) in connection with the loss of value in
Merck's stock acquired and held by present and former employees
of Merck or Medco Health Solutions within their retirement
plans. The goal of this lawsuit is to restore losses in Merck
stock to the accounts of employees in the Plans.

This lawsuit concerns whether the fiduciaries of the Plans
violated their fiduciary duties from October 30, 2003 to the
present when Merck failed to disclose material information
during the Class Period concerning the safety profile of its
drug Vioxx. As a result, Merck's stock traded at artificially
inflated prices, as demonstrated by the precipitous decline in
the stock price following the disclosure of this information.

For more details, contact Marc I. Machiz, Esq., R. Joseph
Barton, Esq. or Abigail Gustafson of Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld &
Toll, PLLC by Mail: 1100 New York Avenue, N.W., Suite 500,
Washington, D.C. 20005 by Phone: 888-240-0775 or 202-408-4600 or
by E-mail: jbarton@cmht.com or agustafson@cmht.com OR Kenneth
Vianale, Esq. of Vianale & Vianale LLP by Mail: The Plaza -
Suite 801, Boca Raton, FL 33486 by Phone: 888-657-9960 or 561-
391-4900 or by E-mail: kvianale@vianelelaw.com OR Ronen Sarraf,
Esq. or Joseph Gentile, Esq. of Sarraf Gentile LLP by Mail: 111
John Street, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10038 by Phone: 212-433-
1312 by E-mail: ronen@sarrafgentile.com or
joseph@sarrafgentile.com


MERCK & CO.: Squitieri & Fearon Lodges ERISA Fraud Lawsuit in NJ
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Squitieri & Fearon, LLP initiated a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court District of New
Jersey on behalf of participants and beneficiaries of the Merck
& Co., Inc. Employee Stock Purchase and Savings Plan and the
Merck & Co., Inc. Employee Savings and Security Plan (the
"Plans"), who were invested in the Plans between March, 2000 and
October 11, 2004 (the "Class Period").

The complaint alleges that defendants Merck & Co., Inc.
(NYSE:MRK); its Employee Benefits Policy Committee, and certain
of its officers and directors breached their duties under ERISA
by

     (1) failing to properly manage the Plans' assets by
         imprudently investing a significant amount of the
         Plans' assets in Merck stock;

     (2) failing to provide complete and accurate information to
         participants and beneficiaries; and

     (3) engaged in prohibited transactions under ERISA.

For more details, contact Lee Squitieri of SQUITIERI & FEARON,
LLP by Mail: 32 East 57th Street, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10022
by Phone: (212) 421-6492 or by E-mail: lee@sfclasslaw.com


NEW YORK: Dyer & Shuman Investigates Roslyn Securities Claims
-------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Dyer & Shuman, LLP is investigating potential
federal securities claims of former holders of Roslyn Bancorp,
Inc. ("Roslyn") securities who acquired shares of New York
Community Bancorp, Inc. ("NYB") (NYSE: NYB), in connection with
the 2003 merger of those two companies.

On October 19, 2004, a lawsuit was filed in the United Stated
District Court for the Eastern District of New York against NYB
and certain officers and directors for alleged violations of the
federal securities laws on behalf of purchasers of NYB
securities between 6/27/03 and 7/01/04.

For more details, contact Kip B. Shuman of Dyer & Shuman, LLP by
Phone: 800-711-6483 or by E-mail: Kshuman@DyerShuman.com


STAAR SURGICAL: Murray Frank Lodges Securities Fraud Suit 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 Staar Surgical Company
("Staar" or the "Company") (Nasdaq:STAA) between April 3, 2003
and September 28, 2004, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The Complaint alleges that, during the Class Period, Defendants
violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Act of 1934
and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder. Specifically, the
Complaint alleges that, during the Class Period, the Defendants
failed to disclose significant problems with the manufacture of
Staar's premier product, the ICL (implantable contact lenses),
and injuries resulting from the use of Staar's products. On
January 6, 2004, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration website
posted a warning letter to the Company, dated December 22, 2003,
concerning serious violations of manufacturing standards and
inadequate reporting relating to the ICL. The news caused the
share price of Staar common stock to fall to $9.22 per share,
almost 18% below the previous day's closing price.

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


STAR GAS: Abbey Gardy Lodges Securities Fraud Lawsuit in CT
-----------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Abbey Gardy, LLP initiated a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of
Connecticut on behalf of a class (the "Class") of all persons
who purchased or acquired securities of Star Gas Partners, L.P.
("Star Gas" or the "Company") (NYSE: SGH; NYSE: SGU) between
December 4, 2003 and October 18, 2004 inclusive (the "Class
Period").

The Complaint alleges that defendants violated Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder. The Complaint names as defendants Star
Gas Partners, L.P., Irik P. Sevin and Ami A. Trauber. The
Complaint alleges that Defendants issued a series of material
misrepresentations to the market during the Class Period thereby
artificially inflating the price of Star Gas securities. As a
result of this inflation, Star Gas was able to complete a
secondary public offering of 1.3 million common units and two
note offerings totaling $65 million, raising net proceeds of $95
million during the Class Period. More specifically, the
complaint alleges that the Partnership failed to disclose and
misrepresented the following material adverse:

     (1) that the Partnership was unable to pass costs of rising
         heating oil prices on to its customers because the
         Partnership had earlier acquired heating oil at a much
         lower cost;

     (2) that as a result of this, defendants were unable to
         increase or maintain profit margins in its heating oil
         segment;

     (3) that the Partnership was experiencing massive customer
         attrition; and

     (4) that the Partnership's Petro heating oil division's
         operational restructuring, undertaken at the beginning
         of the Class Period, was a complete and utter failure
         because of delays in the centralization of Star's
         dispatch system.

On October 18, 2004, TheStreet.com issued an article, entitled
"Stocks In Motion: Star Gas," which stated: "Earnings at Star
Gas' heating oil unit are expected to decline substantially, the
company said, which will not permit it to meet the borrowing
conditions under its working capital line. Star is currently in
talks with lenders to modify conditions and other terms that
would allow its business unit to operate through the winter. If
lenders do not agree, however, to offer modified terms, Star
said it could be forced to seek alternative financing on
'extremely disadvantageous' terms or even be forced to seek
bankruptcy protection." On this news, Star Gas's stock dropped
to $4.32 per share from a closing price of $21.60 on the
previous trading day.

For more details, contact Nancy Kaboolian by Phone:
(212) 889-3700 or by E-mail: nkaboolian@abbeygardy.com


STAR GAS: Dyer & Shuman Lodges Securities Fraud Lawsuit in CT
-------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Dyer & Shuman, LLP initiated a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of
Connecticut on behalf of purchasers of Star Gas Partners, L.P.
("Star Gas") (NYSE: SGU); (NYSE: SGH) publically traded
securities during the period between December 4, 2003 and
October 18, 2004 (the "Class Period"), and that a potential
class member has retained Dyer & Shuman, LLP to prosecute an
action against Star Gas.

The complaint filed against Star Gas and two officers, Irik P.
Sevin and Ami Trauber, alleges that defendants caused Star Gas's
shares to be artificially inflated during the Class Period
through the issuance of false and misleading statements.

For more details, contact Kip B. Shuman of Dyer & Shuman, LLP by
Phone: 800-711-6483 or by E-mail: Kshuman@DyerShuman.com


STAR GAS: Murray Frank Lodges Securities Fraud Lawsuit in CT
------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Murray, Frank & Sailer LLP initiated a class
action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
District of Connecticut on behalf of purchasers of the
securities of Star Gas Partners LP ("Star Gas" or the "Company")
(NYSE:SGU) (NYSE:SGH) between December 4, 2003 and October 18,
2004, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants
caused Star Gas's shares to trade at artificially inflated
levels through the issuance of false and misleading statements.
As a result of this inflation, Star Gas was able to complete a
secondary public offering of 1.3 million common units and two
note offerings totaling $65 million, raising net proceeds of $95
million during the Class Period. 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 the Company was experiencing massive delays in the
         centralization of its dispatch system and causing its
         customers to flee to competitors;

     (2) that the Company's Petro heating oil division's
         business process improvement program was faltering and
         not generating the benefits claimed by defendants;

     (3) that contrary to defendants' earlier indications, the
         Company was not able to increase or even maintain
         profit margins in its heating oil segment;

     (4) that the Company's second quarter 2004 claimed profit
         margins were an aberration and not indicative of the
         Company's success or ability to pass on the heating oil
         price increase because the Company had earlier acquired
         heating oil (sold in the second quarter) at a much
         lower basis; and

     (5) that as a result, defendants were facing imminent
         bankruptcy and would no longer be able to service the
         Company's debt, all of which would halt the Company's
         ability to maintain the Company's credit rating and/or
         obtain future financing.

On October 18, 2004, TheStreet.com issued an article, entitled
"Stocks In Motion: Star Gas," which stated: "Earnings at Star
Gas' heating oil unit are expected to decline substantially, the
company said, which will not permit it to meet the borrowing
conditions under its working capital line. Star is currently in
talks with lenders to modify conditions and other terms that
would allow its business unit to operate through the winter. If
lenders do not agree, however, to offer modified terms, Star
said it could be forced to seek alternative financing on
'extremely disadvantageous' terms or even be forced to seek
bankruptcy protection." On this news, Star Gas's stock dropped
to $4.32 per share from a closing price of $21.60 on the
previous trading day.

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


STAR GAS: Schatz & Nobel Lodges Securities Fraud Lawsuit in CT
--------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schatz & Nobel, P.C. initiated a lawsuit seeking
class action status has been filed in the United States District
Court for the District of Connecticut on behalf of all persons
who purchased the securities of Star Gas Partners, L.P. (NYSE:
SGU; SGH) ("Star Gas") between December 4, 2003 and October 18,
2004 (the "Class Period"), including anyone who purchased in the
February 2, 2004 public offering.

The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, Star Gas
violated federal securities laws by issuing false and misleading
public statements. On October 18, 2004, TheStreet.com issued an
article, entitled "Stocks In Motion: Star Gas," which stated:
"Earnings at Star Gas' heating oil unit are expected to decline
substantially, the company said, which will not permit it to
meet the borrowing conditions under its working capital line.
Star is currently in talks with lenders to modify conditions and
other terms that would allow its business unit to operate
through the winter. If lenders do not agree, however, to offer
modified terms, Star said it could be forced to seek alternative
financing on 'extremely disadvantageous' terms or even be forced
to seek bankruptcy protection." On this news, Star Gas's stock
closed at $4.32 per share on October 18, 2004, down from a
closing price of $21.60 per share on the previous trading day.

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


STAR GAS: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Securities Fraud Suit in CT
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP initiated a class
action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
District of Connecticut on behalf of all securities purchasers
of Star Gas Partners, L.P. (NYSE: SGU) (NYSE: SGH) ("Star" and
the "Partnership") from April 20, 2003 through October 15, 2004
inclusive (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges Star, Irik P. Sevin, and Ami Trauber 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 Partnership failed
to disclose and misrepresented the following material adverse
facts which were known to defendants or recklessly disregarded
by them:

     (1) that the Partnership was unable to pass costs of rising
         heating oil prices on to its customers because the
         Partnership had earlier acquired heating oil at a much
         lower cost;

     (2) that as a result of this, defendants were unable to
         increase or maintain profit margins in its heating oil
         segment;

     (3) that the Partnership was experiencing massive customer
         attrition; and

     (4) that the Partnership's Petro heating oil division's
         operational restructuring, undertaken at the beginning
         of the Class Period, was a complete and utter failure
         because of delays in the centralization of Star's
         dispatch system.

On October 18, 2004, Star issued a press release with the
headline: "STAR GAS PARTNERS, L.P. ANNOUNCES SUSPENSION OF
COMMON UNIT DISTRIBUTION." Therein, the Partnership stated that
it had recently advised its Petro heating oil division bank
lenders of a substantial expected decline in earnings for this
division for the fiscal year that ended on September 30, 2004,
and a further projected decline in earnings for the fiscal year
ending September 30, 2005, which would not permit Petro to meet
the borrowing conditions under its working capital line.
According to Star, the source of the problem was a combination
of the inability to pass on the full impact of record heating
oil prices to customers, and the effects of unusually high
customer attrition principally related to its operational
restructuring undertaken in the past 18 months. Petro was
continuing to submit borrowing requests under its working
capital line. Star was in discussions with the lenders to modify
conditions and other terms necessary to assure that Petro would
have sufficient liquidity to operate through the winter. Star
anticipated that because of the requirements of Star's current
and potential lenders, it would not be permitted to make any
distributions on its Common Units. Star believed that with the
support of its existing lenders, which cannot yet be assured, it
could manage the extraordinary challenges arising from current
energy prices and other factors. However, without that support,
Star may be forced to seek interim financing on extremely
disadvantageous terms or even to seek to restructure its debts
under the protection of the bankruptcy courts.

News of this shocked the market. Shares of Star fell $17.28 per
share, or 80 percent, to close at $4.32 per share on unusually
high trading volume on October 18, 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


TECO ENERGY: Bull & Lifshitz Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in FL
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Bull & Lifshitz, LLP initiated a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Middle
District of Florida on behalf of purchasers of TECO Energy, Inc.
("TECO") (NYSE:TE) securities during the period between October
30, 2001 and February 4, 2003 (the "Class Period").

The lawsuit charges TECO and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934. TECO is a holding company for regulated utilities and
other unregulated businesses. During the Class Period, TECO
concealed problems with independent power plant construction
ventures for which it would ultimately be fully responsible,
including the Company's full exposure to the demise of Enron
Corporation and the vulnerability of the company's large cash
dividend, causing TECO securities to trade at artificially
inflated levels. The individual defendants sold over $4.2
million of their own stock and raised over $792 million selling
equity securities. In late 2002 and early 2003, several large
projects and their liabilities were "put" to TECO, moving
hundreds of millions of dollars of off-balance sheet debt into
TECO's balance sheet. TECO took over a billion dollars in
impairment charges as a result, causing its stock to fall from a
Class Period high of over $28 per share, to below $13 per share
on February 4, 2003.

For more details, contact Bull & Lifshitz, LLP by Phone:
(212) 213-6222 by Fax: (212) 213-9405 by E-mail:
counsel@nyclasslaw.com or visit their Web site:
http://www.nyclasslaw.com/infopackage.html


VALASSIS COMMUNICATIONS: Lerach Coughlin Lodges Stock Suit in MI
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins
LLP ("Lerach Coughlin") initiated a class action lawsuit in the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Michigan on behalf of purchasers of Valassis Communications,
Inc. ("Valassis") (NYSE:VCI) common stock during the period
between April 25, 2002 and October 23, 2002 (the "Class
Period").

The complaint charges Valassis Communications and certain of its
officers and directors with violations of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934. Valassis prints, markets and distributes
coupons and newspaper advertising inserts. The Company provides
free-standing inserts ("FSI"), solo specialized promotional
programs, newspaper-delivered sampling programs, consumer
promotion and direct response merchandising and advertising on
the pages of newspapers. Historically, more than two-thirds of
Valassis' revenues and more than 90% of its profits have been
derived from its FSI business.

The complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period,
defendants issued materially false and misleading statements
concerning the Company's performance and future prospects,
causing Valassis' shares to trade at artificially inflated
levels. As alleged in the complaint, these statements were
materially false and misleading because defendants knew, but
failed to disclose:

     (1) that the price increase implemented by the Company in
         2001 in its FSI business and then retracted in February
         2002 was negatively impacting the Company's ability to
         win contracts;

     (2) that the Company was experiencing increased competition
         from News America who was offering customers lower
         prices and longer contract terms; and

     (3) based on the foregoing, defendants lacked a reasonable
         basis for their positive statements about the Company
         and their earnings forecasts which were false when
         made.

On October 24, 2002, Valassis released its financial and
operational results for the third quarter ended September 30,
2002, and shocked the investing public when it announced that it
would dramatically lower its earnings' guidance for 2003 to
$2.22 per share, well below analysts' consensus of $2.70 per
share. Market reaction was swift and negative, with Valassis
stock falling from a close of $34.96 on October 23, 2002 to a
close of $26.01, or a single-day decline of more than 25%, on
extremely heavy trading volume.

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


VALASSIS COMMUNICATIONS: Schatz & Nobel Files MI Securities Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schatz & Nobel, P.C. initiated a lawsuit seeking
class action status in the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of Michigan on behalf of all persons who
purchased the publicly traded securities of Valassis
Communications, Inc. (NYSE: VCI) ("Valassis") between April 25,
2002 and October 23, 2002, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The Complaint alleges that Valassis, a company that prints,
markets and distributes coupons and newspaper advertising
inserts, and certain of its officers and directors issued
materially false statements concerning Valassis' performance and
future prospects, causing Valassis' shares to trade at
artificially inflated levels. Specifically, defendants knew, but
failed to disclose:

     (1) that the price increase implemented by the Company in
         2001 in its free-standing inserts business and then
         retracted in February 2002 was negatively impacting the
         Company's ability to win contracts;

     (2) that the Company was experiencing increased competition
         from News America who was offering customers lower
         prices and longer contract terms; and

     (3) based on the foregoing, defendants lacked a reasonable
         basis for their positive statements about the Company
         and their earnings forecasts which were false when
         made.

On October 24, 2002, Valassis released its financial and
operational results for the third quarter ended September 30,
2002, and shocked the market when it announced that it would
dramatically lower its earnings' guidance for 2003 to $2.22 per
share, well below analysts' consensus of $2.70 per share. On
this news, Valassis stock fell from a close of $34.96 on October
23, 2002 to a close of $26.01, a decline of more than 25%.

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


VALASSIS COMMUNICATIONS: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges Suit in MI
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP initiated a class
action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Michigan on behalf of purchasers of Valassis Communications,
Inc. ("Valassis") (NYSE: VCI) common stock during the period
between April 25, 2002 and October 23, 2002 (the "Class
Period").

The complaint charges Valassis Communications and certain of its
officers and directors with violations of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934. Valassis prints, markets and distributes
coupons and newspaper advertising inserts. The Company provides
free-standing inserts ("FSI"), solo specialized promotional
programs, newspaper-delivered sampling programs, consumer
promotion and direct response merchandising and advertising on
the pages of newspapers. Historically, more than two-thirds of
Valassis' revenues and more than 90% of its profits have been
derived from its FSI business.

The complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period,
defendants issued materially false and misleading statements
concerning the Company's performance and future prospects,
causing Valassis' shares to trade at artificially inflated
levels. As alleged in the complaint, these statements were
materially false and misleading because defendants knew, but
failed to disclose:

     (1) that the price increase implemented by the Company in
         2001 in its FSI business and then retracted in February
         2002 was negatively impacting the Company's ability to
         win contracts;

     (2) that the Company was experiencing increased competition
         from News America who was offering customers lower
         prices and longer contract terms; and

     (3) based on the foregoing, defendants lacked a reasonable
         basis for their positive statements about the Company
         and their earnings forecasts which were false when
         made.

On October 24, 2002, Valassis released its financial and
operational results for the third quarter ended September 30,
2002, and shocked the investing public when it announced that it
would dramatically lower its earnings' guidance for 2003 to
$2.22 per share, well below analysts' consensus of $2.70 per
share. Market reaction was swift and negative, with Valassis
stock falling from a close of $34.96 on October 23, 2002 to a
close of $26.01, or a single-day decline of more than 25%, on
extremely heavy trading volume.

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


                            *********


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collectively face billions of dollars in asbestos-related
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                            *********


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