CAR_Public/041102.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Tuesday, November 2, 2004, Vol. 6, No. 217

                          Headlines

AETNA INC.: Continues To Settle Provider Healthcare Suits in FL
AETNA INC.: Faces Lawsuit For RICO Act Violations in CA Court
ARTHUR J. GALLAGHER: Discovery Proceeds On Commissions Lawsuit
ARTHUR J. GALLAGHER: Faces Insurance Antitrust Suit in S.D. NY
ASTRAZENECA: Advocate Seeks Removal of Crestor Drug From Sale

AT&T WIRELESS: CO Court Approves $3.75 Million Suit Settlement
AUTONATION INC.: Appeals Court Nixes Certification of TX Suits
CANADA: Mobile Phone Firms Face Suit Over "System Access Fees"
CONNECTICUT: Amtrak Derails In New Haven, Two Passengers Injured
CORNING INC.: Files Briefs On Appeal of Stock Lawsuit Dismissal

ENRON CORPORATION: UC, Lehman Brothers Ink $225 Mil Settlement
GILLETTE: Recalls Oral-B Toothbrushes, Refills For Injury Hazard
GUNDLE/SLT ENVIRONMENTAL: Reaches Settlement For Investor Suits
INSURANCE COMPANIES: Faces Suit For RICO Violations in S.D. CA
JOHNSON HEALTH: To Pay Fine For Not Reporting Treadmill Defect

METROPOLITAN INVESTMENTS: WA Agency Sues 15 Brokers For Fraud
MICHIGAN: Fathers Lodge Suit V. State To Gain Parental Equality
MORRIS NATIONAL: Recalls "Jelly Candy" Due To Undeclared Eggs
ORKIN EXTERMINATING: Reaches Settlement For AL Consumer Lawsuit
RAYTHEON CORPORATION: MA Court Approves Securities Lawsuit Pact

RAYTHEON CORPORATION: Discovery Continues in Securities Lawsuit
RAYTHEON CORPORATION: Asks MA Court To Dismiss ERISA Fraud Suit
THE REGIONAL MEDICAL: Faces Suits For Overcharging The Uninsured
SCHERING-PLOUGH: Discovery Proceeds in K-DUR Antitrust Lawsuits
SEARS ROEBUCK: To Pay For Failing To Report Lawn Mower Defects

TOBACCO LITIGATION: FL Court To Review $145 Bil Tobacco Verdict
WD 40: Plaintiffs Appeal Denial of Certification to FL Lawsuit
WD 40: Continues To Face Consumer Fraud Lawsuits in CA Courts

                   New Securities Fraud Cases

AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL: Stull Stull Lodges Securities Suit in NY
AON CORPORATION: Wolf Haldenstein Lodges Securities Suit in IL
AUTOBYTEL INC.: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges CA Securities Suit
AXIS GLOBAL: Schatz & Nobel Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in NY
CONVERIUM HOLDING: Murray Frank Lodges Securities Lawsuit in NY

INFINEON TECHNOLOGIES: Murray Frank Lodges Securities Suit in NY
INTERACTIVECORP: Murray Frank Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in NY
MARSH & MCLENNAN: Wolf Haldenstein Lodges Securities Suit in NY
METLIFE INC.: Stull Stull Lodges Securities Fraud Lawsuit in NY
METLIFE INC.: Wolf Haldenstein Files Securities Fraud Suit in NY

MONDAVI CORPORATION: Wolf Haldenstein Lodges Securities CA Suit
STAR GAS: Chitwood Harley Lodges Securities Fraud Lawsuit in CT
STAR GAS: Wolf Popper Lodges Securities Fraud Lawsuit in CT
STONEPATH GROUP: Murray Frank Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in PA
TOMMY HILFIGER: Murray Frank Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in NY

UNITED RENTALS: Goodkind Labaton Lodges Securities Lawsuit in CT


                           *********


AETNA INC.: Continues To Settle Provider Healthcare Suits in FL
---------------------------------------------------------------
Aetna, Inc. continues to work to settle several class actions,
which are part of a wave of similar actions targeting the health
care payor industry and, in particular, the conduct of business
by managed care companies, called "the "Managed Care Class
Action Litigation."

The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation transferred all
of the federal actions, including several actions originally
filed in state courts, to the United States District Court for
the Southern District of Florida for consolidated pretrial
proceedings.  The Florida Federal Court created a separate track
for all cases brought on behalf of health care providers.

Thirteen Provider Cases were presided over by the Florida
Federal Court, and a similar action is pending in Louisiana
state court, on behalf of purported classes of physicians.
These Provider Cases alleged generally that the Company and each
of the other defendant managed care organizations employed
coercive economic power to force physicians to enter into
economically unfavorable contracts, imposed unnecessary
administrative burdens on providers and improperly denied claims
in whole or in part, and that the defendants did not pay claims
timely or did not pay claims at proper rates.

These Provider Cases further charged that the Company and the
other defendant managed care organizations conspired and aided
and abetted one another in the alleged wrongdoing.  These
actions alleged violations of the Racketeer Influenced and
Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), the Employee Retirement Income
Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), state unfair trade statutes, state
consumer fraud statutes, state laws regarding the timely payment
of claims, and various common law doctrines and sought various
forms of relief, including unspecified damages, treble damages,
punitive damages and injunctive relief.

Effective May 21, 2003, the Company and representatives of over
900,000 physicians, state and other medical societies entered
into an agreement (the "Physician Settlement Agreement")
settling the lead physician Provider Case pending in the Florida
Federal Court.  The Physician Settlement Agreement was approved
by the Florida Federal Court on November 6, 2003, a decision
affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh
Circuit on September 24, 2004.  Assuming no further proceedings
challenging the approval order, the Company believes that the
approval order resolves all pending Provider Cases filed on
behalf of physicians that did not opt out of the settlement,
including the Louisiana state court action, the Company said in
a regulatory filing.

A Provider Case brought on behalf of the American Dental
Association made similar allegations on behalf of a purported
class of dentists.  Effective August 22, 2003, the Company and
representatives of approximately 150,000 dentists entered into
an agreement (the "Dentist Settlement Agreement") settling the
dentist action.  The Dentist Settlement Agreement was approved
by the Florida Federal Court on July 20, 2004.  The approval of
the Dentist Settlement Agreement concludes this Provider Case.

Several Provider Cases filed in 2003 on behalf of purported
classes of chiropractors and/or all non-physician health care
providers also make factual and legal allegations similar to
those contained in the other Provider Cases.  These Provider
Cases have been transferred to the Florida Federal Court for
consolidated pretrial proceedings.


AETNA INC.: Faces Lawsuit For RICO Act Violations in CA Court
-------------------------------------------------------------
Aetna, Inc. faces a class action filed by Ronald Scott Shirley
in the United States District Court for the Southern District of
California, alleging a conspiracy to fraudulently market, sell
and administer a variety of insurance products through employee
benefit plans.  The suit also names as defendants Universal Life
Resources (ULR), a broker, and others, including other major
insurance companies.

The suit seeks unspecified damages, changes to business
practices and other relief on behalf of a purported nationwide
class of persons who purchased insurance products brokered
through ULR.  The suit seeks this recovery for alleged
violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations
Act and of contractual and fiduciary duties.


ARTHUR J. GALLAGHER: Discovery Proceeds On Commissions Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Limited discovery on the issue of class certification is ongoing
in the class action filed against Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.,
styled "Village of Orland Hills v. Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.,
Case No. 00 CH 13855, pending in the Circuit Court of Cook
County, Illinois."

The suit challenges the propriety of alleged "undisclosed
contingent commissions" paid pursuant to certain compensation
arrangements between the Company and various insurance
companies.  This action was terminated when the Company's motion
for summary judgment was granted in early 2002 but was
reinstated in September 2003 when the ruling was overturned by
an intermediate appeals court.


ARTHUR J. GALLAGHER: Faces Insurance Antitrust Suit in S.D. NY
--------------------------------------------------------------
Arthur J. Gallagher faces a class action filed in the U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of New York by OptiCare
Health Systems Inc.  The suit also names as defendants the ten
largest U.S. insurance brokers and four of the largest
commercial insurers, and is designated as Case No. 04 CV 06954.

The amended complaint alleges that the defendants used the
contingent commission structure of placement service agreements
in a conspiracy to deprive policyholders of "independent and
unbiased brokerage services, as well as free and open
competition in the market for insurance."


ASTRAZENECA: Advocate Seeks Removal of Crestor Drug From Sale
-------------------------------------------------------------
A consumer advocate sent a letter to the United States Food and
Drug Administration (FDA), seeking to get the anti-cholesterol
drug Crestor removed from sale, the Associated Press reports.

Dr. Sidney Wolfe wrote to the FDA, citing that that out of 4.5
million prescriptions for the drug between January 1,2001 and
September 30,2003, 29 cases of kidney problems - were diagnosed.
18 of the cases were of kidney failure and 11 were of kidney
insufficiency.  Dr. Wolfe asserts that the number is higher than
those reported by all other statin-type anti-cholesterol drugs.

Emily Denney, a spokesperson for drugmaker AstraZeneca,
responded that the Company keeps close watch of safety reports
for the drug and "we feel ever more confident with Crestor," AP
reports.  She said a Company analysis of FDA data indicated
that, compared to other statins, Crestor was about average for
kidney failure as a percentage of side effects.

Data provided by AstraZeneca indicated that kidney failure made
up 3.5 percent of adverse events for Crestor - known by the
generic name rosuvastatin - compared to 5.7 percent for
lovastatin, 4.0 percent for simvastatin and fluvastatin, 3.0
percent for pravastatin and 2.2 percent for atorvastatin,
according to AP.  There was no immediate response to Wolfe's
letter from the FDA.


AT&T WIRELESS: CO Court Approves $3.75 Million Suit Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------------
Denver District Judge Herbert Stern approved a $3.75 million
settlement in a class action lawsuit that challenges the billing
practices at Redmond, Washington-based AT&T Wireless, the
Associated Press reports.

The settlement, which covers an estimated 3 million current and
former subscribers, most of who will have to file a claim to
receive an average value of $3, was awarded by the Judge two
weeks after he dismissed the case. Under the settlement,
consumers could also get up to $25 in benefits like calling
cards, free air time or discount coupons for phone accessories.
The settlement mostly applies to certain customers who had cell-
phone service before December 1999.

AT&T Wireless Services Inc. has denied any wrongdoing involving
so-called out-of-cycle bills for calls that subscribers made on
other carrier's networks.

In a breach-of-contract complaint that was filed in 1999, AT&T
customers alleged that the Company cheated customers by using a
delayed billing process, which charged customers for roaming
calls they wouldn't have incurred if the calls had been billed
in the month they were placed.


AUTONATION INC.: Appeals Court Nixes Certification of TX Suits
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a
lower court ruling granting class certification to two of the
lawsuits filed against Autonation, Inc.'s Texas store
subsidiaries and other members of the Texas Automobile Dealers
Assocation (TADA).

Three suits were initially filed, alleging that since January
1994, Texas dealers have deceived customers with respect to a
vehicle inventory tax and violated federal antitrust and other
laws as well.  The two actions in state court were later
consolidated.

In April 2002, in two actions (which have been consolidated),
the state court certified two classes of consumers on whose
behalf the action would proceed.  In October 2002, the Texas
Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's order of class
certification in the state action and the Company and other
defendants appealed the ruling to the Texas Supreme Court which,
on March 26, 2004, declined to review the class certification.

The defendants then petitioned the Texas Supreme Court to
reconsider its denial of review of the class certification and
that petition was denied on September 10, 2004.  In the federal
antitrust case, in March 2003, the federal court conditionally
certified a class of consumers.  The Company and other
defendants appealed the ruling to the Fifth Circuit Court of
Appeals.  On October 5, 2004, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
ll, reversed the class certification order, remanding it back to
the federal district court for further proceedings.


CANADA: Mobile Phone Firms Face Suit Over "System Access Fees"
--------------------------------------------------------------
Four of Canada's mobile phone carriers face a class action filed
in Saskatchewan Court, alleging that they falsely advertised and
misrepresented an exorbitant "system access fee" charged monthly
to its wireless customers, The Toronto Star reports.

Quarterly financial reports from Rogers Wireless, Inc. and
Microcell Telecommunications, Inc. disclosed the claim.  Telus
Mobility and Bell Mobility also confirmed the claim, although
they have yet to file their financial reports.

The system access fees appears monthly on most wireless phone
bills as a $6.95 charge but can sometimes vary in value from
region to region.  The fee could add as much as 40% to the
advertised cost of mobile phone plans, however, it is not
required by the government.

User agreements broadly describe the fee as a "charge covering a
number of costs associated with the maintenance and expansion of
mobile-phone networks, including government licensing fees and
related regulatory costs."  In April, the Toronto Star
discovered in an investigation that the companies stood to earn
more than $800 million from the special fees.

The facts about the fees have not been consistently conveyed to
the public.  In its April investigation, the Star called a
number of customer service agents and was often told the access
fee was a mandatory government charge or a fee collected on
behalf of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications
Commission.

Early last year, Industry Canada, which controls the licensing
of wireless airwaves, raised the issue after receiving numerous
consumer complaints.  Subscribers were being told the charges
were a mandatory fee collected on behalf of the federal
department.

"The proceeding involves allegations of deceit,
misrepresentation and false advertising by wireless
telecommunications service providers with respect to the monthly
system access fees being charged to customers," Microcell said
in its quarterly earnings report released Wednesday.  All four
carriers said the proceeding has not been certified as a class-
action suit.  Rogers and Microcell said they have good defences
to the allegations, while Telus and Bell declined further
comment, the Toronto Star reports.  The carriers now risk
breaching their licence if caught describing the fee as a
mandatory government charge.

Heather Armstrong, a spokeswoman for Rogers Wireless, said the
Company goes to great lengths to fully explain the fee and what
it's used for.  "We believe the claim is without merit," she
told the Star.

Tony Merchant of Regina-based Merchant Law Group is representing
the plaintiff in the case. He did not return phone calls from
the Star.  Merchant, a former member of the Saskatchewan
legislature, is well known in class-action circles, having filed
suits against Conrad Black and Hollinger Inc., Vioxx maker Merck
& Co. Inc. and IBM Canada subsidiary ISM Canada.


CONNECTICUT: Amtrak Derails In New Haven, Two Passengers Injured
----------------------------------------------------------------
An Amtrak train derailed slightly in New Haven, Connecticut,
leaving two passengers with minor injuries and disrupting Metro-
North commuter service, officials said, according to the
Associated Press.

The Acela Express train was carrying 60 passengers and 12
employees from Boston to Washington, when it got stuck on the
tracks while backing up slowly about a mile south of Union
Station Thursday last week, Amtrak officials said.  An overhead
wire was torn down and utility officials turned off the power to
the tracks.  A Metro-North train took stranded passengers back
to Union Station, where they were to take buses to their
destination.

Vernae Graham, spokeswoman for the rail service told AP that the
rear passenger car came partially off the tracks.  She added
that it was not immediately clear why the train was backing up.
One passenger was being treated for minor injuries at Yale New
Haven Hospital, and another was treated and released, Metro-
North spokeswoman Marjorie Anders told AP.

Ms. Anders said Metro-North service from the New Haven, Milford
and Stratford stations would be disrupted Friday as the tracks
and wires were repaired.  Morning commuters at those stations
would take express buses to Bridgeport, where Metro-North
service would resume, she said.


CORNING INC.: Files Briefs On Appeal of Stock Lawsuit Dismissal
---------------------------------------------------------------
Corning, Inc. and plaintiffs filed their respective briefs
relating to plaintiffs' appeal of the United States District
Court for the Western District of New York's dismissal of the
consolidated securities class action filed against the Company
and three of its officers and directors.

The suit alleges violations of the U.S. securities laws in
connection with Corning's November 2000 offering of 30 million
shares of common stock and $2.7 billion zero coupon convertible
debentures, due November 2015.  The suit also alleges misleading
disclosures and non-disclosures that allegedly inflated the
price of Corning's common stock in the period from October 2000
through July 9, 2001.  The plaintiffs seek to represent classes
of purchasers of Corning's stock in all or part of the period
indicated.  The consolidated amended complaint requests
substantial damages in an unspecified amount to be proved at
trial.

In February 2003, defendants filed a motion to dismiss the
complaint for failure to allege the requisite elements of the
claims with particularity.  The Court heard arguments on May 29
and June 9, 2003 and on April 9, 2004 entered a Decision and
Order dismissing the complaint.  In May 2004, Plaintiffs filed a
notice of appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals of the Second
Circuit.  Plaintiffs filed their appellate brief on August 30,
2004.  Defendants filed their appellate brief on October 13,
2004.  Oral argument has not yet been scheduled.


ENRON CORPORATION: UC, Lehman Brothers Ink $225 Mil Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------------
The University of California (UC) reached a $222.5 million
settlement with Lehman Brothers, which was responsible for
underwriting millions of dollars of Enron notes, in the
securities class action filed against Enron Corporation, the
Tri-Valley Herald reports.

The settlement was for a class-action suit was filed by
thousands of shareholders, who were left with worthless stock
after the Enron collapse.  It is still subject to court
approval.

UC is the lead plaintiff in a class action suit filed in Houston
and is scheduled for an October 2006 trial date by thousands of
shareholders left with worthless stock from the scandal-ridden
energy giant Enron Corporation. About three-dozen financial
institutions, law firms and corporate officers are named in the
case and are accused of duping shareholders.

According to a UC statement, the underwriting firm wasn't
accused of fraud, but was charged with violations of the 1933
Securities Act, which makes underwriters responsible for
misstatements in a security registration statement.

William Lerach, the university's lead-counsel in the litigation
said, "We expect that we will achieve even larger settlements or
judgments from those defendants whose potential liability is
much greater."

The university alleges Enron bilked $144 million from UC's $60
billion investment portfolio. The case and settlements will have
no tangible effect on UC's finances because most of the
portfolio covers retirement benefits and plays no part in the
day-to-day budget operations of the 11-campus UC system.


GILLETTE: Recalls Oral-B Toothbrushes, Refills For Injury Hazard
----------------------------------------------------------------
Gillette in cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration announces the recall of Oral-B CrossAction Power
and PowerMAX Toothbrushes and Refills after receiving reports of
instances where the brush head of an Oral-B CrossAction Power or
PowerMAX toothbrush has become loose in the mouth during
brushing.

There have been three reported incidents that occurred while
consumers were using our Oral-B CrossAction Power and PowerMAX
toothbrushes and refills to assist in brushing the teeth of
persons with special needs, such as cerebral palsy or autism.
During brushing, the head of the toothbrush became unlatched,
and the loose brush head was caught in the throat or swallowed.
This may have occurred when the release latch was bitten or hit
by front teeth. None of the consumers suffered any permanent
injury, but medical assistance was required.

Gillette is therefore recommending that consumers stop using the
CrossAction Power or PowerMAX toothbrushes and brush refills to
assist in brushing the teeth of people with special needs. No
other Oral-B product is affected.

If you are currently using a CrossAction Power or PowerMAX to
assist in brushing the teeth of a person with special needs,
Oral-B will replace it -- at no charge -- with our Oral-B
Advance Power 400, which is better suited for use in assisted-
brushing environments because it has a brush head without a
latch.

In addition, among consumers without special needs, there have
been a small number of reports of brush heads being loose in the
mouth. None of these consumers swallowed the brush head, no
medical assistance was needed, and there were no reports of any
permanent injury. We recommend that all consumers use care not
to bite down on the brush head during brushing.

Gillette is redesigning the brush heads for these toothbrushes
to eliminate issues related to the unlatching of the brush head.
The new brush head refills, when available, will fit into the
current CrossAction Power and PowerMAX toothbrushes. The new
Oral-B CrossAction Power and CrossAction PowerMAX toothbrushes
and brush refills are scheduled to be available in stores in
January 2005.

Please call 1-800-496-6557 between the hours of 9:00 AM and 5:00
PM (EST) on Monday through Friday and Oral-B will send you a
prepaid mailing envelope to return your CrossAction Power or
PowerMAX toothbrush to us. Once received, we will send you an
Oral-B Advance Power 400 battery toothbrush.


GUNDLE/SLT ENVIRONMENTAL: Reaches Settlement For Investor Suits
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Delaware Court of Chancery approved the settlement of the
consolidated class action filed against Gundle/SLT
Environmental, Inc., its its directors, Code Hennessy & Simmons
LLC, GEO Sub Corporation and GEO Holdings.

Three suits were initially filed in January 2004, namely:

     (1) Calhoun v. Gundle/SLT Environmental, Inc., et al., C.A.
         No.153-N,

     (2) Twist Partners LLP v. Badawi, et al., C.A. No.150-N,
         and

     (3) Bell v. Gundle/SLT Environmental, Inc., et al., C.A.
         No.169-N

These complaints alleged the Company's directors breached their
fiduciary duties by allegedly failing to auction the Company, to
undertake an appropriate evaluation of the Company as a
merger/acquisition candidate, to act independently to protect
the Company's stockholders and to ensure that no conflicts of
interest existed or that any conflicts were resolved in "the
best interests of the Company's public shareholders."

The complaints sought, among other relief, to rescind the Merger
and to obtain unspecified damages from the defendants.  On
February 10, 2004, the Delaware Court of Chancery entered an
order consolidating the three actions for all purposes and
requiring the plaintiffs to file a consolidated amended
complaint as soon as practicable.  The parties to the
consolidated actions executed a Stipulation and Agreement of
Compromise, Settlement and Release dated May 26, 2004,
which provides for dismissal of the actions, on the merits and
with prejudice.

At a settlement hearing on August 12, 2004 the Court:

     (1) certified the actions permanently as a class action;

     (2) approved the settlement as fair, reasonable and
         adequate;

     (3) entered the order as final judgment, inter alia,
         dismissing the actions as to defendants and releasing
         the released parties from the settled claims; and

     (4) granted the application of plaintiffs' Counsel for an
         award of attorneys' fees and reimbursement of expenses
         in the aggregate sum of $330,000.


INSURANCE COMPANIES: Faces Suit For RICO Violations in S.D. CA
--------------------------------------------------------------
Several prominent insurance firms face a class action filed in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of
California, charging them with conspiring with California
insurance broker Universal Life Resources to steer business the
Company's way in exchange for kickbacks, the Associated Press
reports.  The suit names as defendants:

     (1) Aetna Inc.,

     (2) Metlife Inc.,

     (3) Prudential Financial Inc.,

     (4) Cigna Corporation,

     (5) Life Insurance Company of North America and

     (6) UnumProvident Corporation

The suit alleges that the Companies engaged in a scheme to
fraudulently market, sell and administer insurance products
through employee benefit plans, Aetna stated in a disclosure
with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) (See related
story above).

Universal Life Resources' clients allegedly include mid- to
large-sized employers seeking to obtain insurance policies to
offer under employee benefit plans.  Rather than providing
unbiased brokerage services, Universal Life allegedly conspired
with the defendants to steer its clients to the insurers in
exchange for undisclosed fees and kickbacks.  The lawsuit claims
the actions allowed the insurers to collect higher premiums than
would be paid in a competitive market.

The suit alleges violations of the Racketeer Influenced and
Corrupt Organizations Act, also known as the RICO Act, and of
contractual and fiduciary duties, according to Aetna's report
with the SEC.  The suit, filed on behalf of people who bought
insurance brokered through Universal Life Resources, seeks
unspecified damages, changes to business practices and other
relief.

Leading the class action is San Diego law firm Lerach Coughlin
Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP, home of high-profile trial
lawyer William Lerach, AP reports.

In an interview with Dow Jones Newswires on Thursday, Aetna
Chairman and Chief Executive Dr. John W. Rowe said the Company
is conducting an internal review that indicates Aetna is
complying with the law.

MetLife spokesman John Calagna said Friday that MetLife will
vigorously defend itself against the action, but declined
further comment, AP reports.  UnumProvident spokesman Jim
Sabourin said the Company is reviewing the lawsuit, but wouldn't
comment further. Prudential Financial Inc. spokesman Bob
DeFillippo also declined to comment.  Spokesmen for Universal
Life Resources and Cigna Corp, the parent of Life Insurance
Company of North America, weren't immediately available for
comment.


JOHNSON HEALTH: To Pay Fine For Not Reporting Treadmill Defect
--------------------------------------------------------------
A fitness equipment manufacturer and a treadmill importer have
agreed to pay a civil penalty to settle allegations that both
companies failed to report a serious safety hazard with their
treadmills to the federal government, the United States Consumer
Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced in a statement.

Johnson Health Tech Co. Ltd., of Taiwan, and Horizon Fitness
Inc., of DeForest, Wisconsin, have agreed to pay a total of
$500,000 for allegedly violating federal reporting requirements
by not informing the CPSC in a timely manner about problems with
the control panel on the treadmills.

Between August 2000 and June 2001, Johnson Health Tech
subcontracted to have motor control boards made for their
treadmills, which were to be imported and distributed by Horizon
Fitness.  Between September 2000 and December 2001, Horizon
imported over 10,000 treadmills that contained defective
electronic control panels that caused the motor and walking belt
to rapidly and unexpectedly accelerate.  In some cases, the
exercise machines also failed to stop when the safety key was
activated.

Johnson and Horizon received 180 reports of "runaway" treadmills
and safety stop-key failures between January 2001 and January
2002.  Fifteen of these reports alleged injuries, including
sprain, strains, a torn rotator cuff, bruises and serious
friction burns.  The companies never reported these incidents to
CPSC.  Instead, the companies attempted to correct these defects
by redesigning the product on three occasions.

On January 14, 2002, three days after CPSC contacted Horizon to
schedule an inspection of the Company's documents, a full report
was made to CPSC.  In April 2002, CPSC and Horizon announced a
voluntary recall of 5,900 defective "Paragon," "Quantum" and
"Omega" brand treadmills.

According to federal law, manufacturers, distributors, and
retailers are required to report to CPSC immediately (within 24
hours) after obtaining information which reasonably supports the
conclusion that a product contains a defect which could create a
substantial risk of injury to the public, presents an
unreasonable risk of serious injury or death, or violates a
federal safety standard.

In agreeing to settle the matter, Johnson Health Tech Co. and
Horizon Fitness Inc. deny that the treadmills were defective and
that they violated the reporting requirements of the Consumer
Product Safety Act.


METROPOLITAN INVESTMENTS: WA Agency Sues 15 Brokers For Fraud
-------------------------------------------------------------
Washington's Department of Financial Institutions charged 15 of
Metropolitan Investment Securities, Inc.'s brokers face with
making misleading recommendations to thousands of older,
unsophisticated investors who were trying to save for
retirement, the Associated Press reports.

In civil charges filed Thursday, the department alleged that the
brokers sold more than $162 million worth of unsuitable
investments from Metropolitan and its sister company, Summit
Securities Inc. from 2001 to 2003.  Both companies filed for
Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February.

The agency alleged that the defendants targeted people with
limited assets who were looking for low-risk investments to
sustain them during retirement.  Many of these investors put
their life savings in risky investments, based on the advice of
their brokers.

The agency seeks to revoke or suspend the securities licenses of
many of the brokers, censure others and seek fines.  "Brokers
have an independent duty to make sure that their investment
recommendations are suitable," said Helen Howell, agency
director, according to AP. "We believe that these brokers
ignored that duty by recommending Metropolitan and Summit
securities and abused the trust of some of our most vulnerable
citizens."

Scott Cordell, spokesman for Western United Life Assurance Co.,
a subsidiary of Met Mortgage, said the brokerage no longer
exists and would not be able to defend the brokers if they
request a hearing, AP reports.  One of the brokers charged said
he did not know about the state's action and could not comment;
the others did not return calls for comment or had unlisted
numbers.


MICHIGAN: Fathers Lodge Suit V. State To Gain Parental Equality
---------------------------------------------------------------
Michigan fathers seeking to make joint custody the norm in
divorce cases have initiated a class action lawsuit against the
state in hopes that it will stop the courts from marginalizing
their role in their children's lives, the Lansing State Journal
reports.

The suit, which claims that the state's family courts have
violated fathers' civil rights by awarding the mothers custody
and reducing them to visitors, was filed at a time when
noncustodial parents in 43 other states filed similar suits, and
when fathers are seeking similar parental equity in Europe and
Canada.

According to Troy resident Michael Ross, the primary litigant,
whose court order grants him parenting time with his three
children every other weekend and a few hours during the week,
"the lawsuit is not about me but what is best for them (the
children): substantial time with their mother and substantial
time with their dad."

Legal experts point out that the lawsuit is the latest attempt
by Michigan's noncustodial parents, who are mostly fathers, to
force courts to presume that joint custody is in a child's best
interest at the outset of a divorce. Though judges will still
have the authority to decide what's best for the child, Mr. Ross
points out that that the suit aims to reduce some of their
discretion. Currently, judges base their decision on what they
consider to be best for the children, but fathers have argued
that those decisions are rooted in cultural stereotypes that
mothers are better parents.

Physical custody has long been disproportionately awarded to
mothers. Out of the state's 19,108 divorce cases involving
children in 2002, mothers were given physical custody in 64
percent of the cases, while fathers were given physical custody
in 10 percent of the cases, according to the Michigan Department
of Community Health. Joint custody was awarded in 23 percent of
the cases. Additionally, for couples who never marry, Michigan
law grants custody to mothers, bolstering fathers' argument that
the system is unfair.

Leighton Stamps, a University of New Orleans professor who has
studied child custody, explains that the reason for these
disproportionate figures is due to the cultural history of women
being the primary caretakers. Mr. Stamps further states, "a lot
of the judges' attitudes depend on their age. Older judges tend
to be more traditional. Younger judges tend to be more
egalitarian." However, custody laws like Michigan's, which rest
on the best interest of the child, give judges a lot of
latitude, Stamps added.


MORRIS NATIONAL: Recalls "Jelly Candy" Due To Undeclared Eggs
-------------------------------------------------------------
The FDA is warning consumers about the possibility that
undeclared egg allergens may be present in "Jelly Candy Pops
Sour Zip Kids" brand candy that has been marketed during this
Halloween season. Preliminary analysis by FDA indicates that
this product contains enough egg protein to cause serious or
life-threatening injury to those who suffer from severe allergy
to eggs.

The product consists of individually wrapped lollipop candies in
a cardboard display box. The label on the front of the display
package reads: "JELLY CANDY POPS SOUR ZIP KIDS ***." The candy
comes in the form of gelatin-based lollipops with frosting made
to look like various Halloween figures (e.g., ghosts, monsters,
etc.). The lollipops are individually cellophane wrapped with
the ingredient statement and the name of the distributor, Morris
National, Inc. The ingredients statement does not list eggs. To
date FDA is not aware of any reported injuries.

The candy is imported from China by Morris National, Inc. Azusa
CA, and was distributed through "Tuesday Morning" stores
throughout the country. Although Morris National Inc. is in the
process of removing the product from the shelves, FDA is
concerned that people who may have already purchased this
product are unaware of the potential risk.

Those who have purchased this candy should not consume it, but
should instead return it to the place of purchase for a refund.
Individuals who have egg allergies who may have consumed this
candy should contact their doctors.

For more details contact the U.S. Food & Drug Administration by
Phone: 301-827-6242 (Media Inquiries) or 888-INFO-FDA (Consumer
Inquiries)


ORKIN EXTERMINATING: Reaches Settlement For AL Consumer Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Orkin Exterminating Company, Inc. reached a settlement for the
class action filed against it in the District Court of Houston
County, Alabama, styled "Helen Cutler and Mary Lewin v. Orkin
Exterminating Company, Inc. et al."

The plaintiffs filed the suit in March 1996 seeking monetary
damages and injunctive relief for alleged breach of contract
arising out of alleged missed or inadequate re-inspections.  The
attorneys for the plaintiff contend that the case is suitable
for a class action and the court ruled that the plaintiffs would
be permitted to pursue a class action.

The parties have now agreed to settle this matter and the court
has approved an order of settlement.  The Company agreed to pay
certain attorney fees, $5,000 each to the two named plaintiffs,
and agreed to perform additional termite re-inspections, if
requested by individual members of the class.


RAYTHEON CORPORATION: MA Court Approves Securities Lawsuit Pact
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court in Massachusetts granted
preliminary approval to the settlement of the consolidated
securities class action filed against Raytheon Corporation and
certain of its former and present officers.

The Consolidated Complaint principally alleged that the
defendants violated federal securities laws by making misleading
statements and by failing to disclose material information
concerning the Company's financial performance during the
purported class period.

In March 2000, the Court certified the class of plaintiffs as
those people who purchased the Company's stock between October
7, 1998 and October 12, 1999.  In August 2001, the court issued
an order dismissing most of the claims asserted against the
Company and the individual defendants.  In March 2003, the
plaintiff filed an amendment to the Consolidated Complaint,
which sought to add the Company's independent auditor as an
additional defendant.  In May 2003, the Court issued an order
dismissing one of the two claims that had been asserted against
the Company's independent auditor.

In February 2004, the Company and the individual defendants
filed a motion for summary judgment, which the plaintiff
opposed. The Company's independent auditor also filed a motion
for summary judgment, which the plaintiff opposed.  The Court
heard arguments on the summary judgment motions in April 2004
and denied the motions.  In May 2004, without admitting any
liability or wrongdoing, the Company reached an agreement to
settle this class action lawsuit on behalf of the Company and
all individual defendants.

The terms of the settlement include a cash payment of $210
million and the issuance of warrants for the Company's stock
with a stipulated value of $200 million.  The warrants will have
a five-year term with a strike price of $37.50 and will be
issued when the settlement proceeds are distributed to the
claimants.  Upon final approval, the settlement will resolve all
claims asserted against the Company and the individual
defendants.

In connection with the settlement, the Company recorded a charge
of $329 million, of which $325 million was included in other
expense, a $410 million accrued expense, and an $85 million
receivable for insurance proceeds primarily related to this
settlement.  The charge for the settlement will be revised in
future quarters to reflect changes in the fair value of the
warrants after they are issued.  In the three months ended
September 26, 2004, the Company paid $210 million into escrow in
connection with the settlement.  In May 2004, the Company's
independent auditor also reached a settlement with the
plaintiff, which is also subject to final court approval.


RAYTHEON CORPORATION: Discovery Continues in Securities Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Discovery is proceeding in the securities class action filed
against Raytheon Corporation and certain of its officers on
behalf of all purchasers of common stock or senior notes of
Washington Group, International (WGI) during the class period of
April 17, 2000 through March 1, 2001.

The plaintiff class claims to have suffered harm by purchasing
WGI securities because the Company and certain of its officers
allegedly violated federal securities laws by misrepresenting
the true financial condition of Raytheon Engineers &
Constructors (RE&C) in order to sell RE& C to WGI at an
artificially inflated price.  An amended complaint was filed in
October 2001 alleging similar claims.

The Company and the individual defendants filed a motion seeking
to dismiss the action in November 2001.  In April 2002, the
motion to dismiss was denied.  The defendants have filed their
answer to the amended complaint and discovery is proceeding.  In
April 2003, the District Court conditionally certified the class
and defined the class period as that between April 17, 2000 and
March 2, 2001, inclusive.


RAYTHEON CORPORATION: Asks MA Court To Dismiss ERISA Fraud Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Raytheon Corporation asked the United States District Court of
Massachusetts to dismiss the consolidated amended class action
filed on behalf of participants in the Company's savings and
investment plans who invested in the Company's stock since
October 7,1998.

The suit alleges claims under the Employee Retirement Income
Security Act (ERISA).  The suit alleges that the Company, its
Pension and Investment Group, and its Investment Committee
breached ERISA fiduciary duties by failing to:

     (1) prudently and loyally manage plan assets,

     (2) monitor the Pension and Investment Group and the
         Investment Committee and provide them with accurate
         information,

     (3) provide complete and accurate information to plan
         participants and beneficiaries, and

     (4) avoid conflicts of interest


THE REGIONAL MEDICAL: Faces Suits For Overcharging The Uninsured
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Regional Medical Center (TRMC) was recently issued a summons
and complaint on the part of Willie R. Morgan, "and others
similarly situated" claiming the hospital was in breach of
contract "to charge reasonable rates" and thus "unjustly
enriched itself" at the expense of "working class individuals"
who do not qualify for Medicaid, Medicare or charity care, but
cannot afford private health insurance, the Orangeburg Times
Democrat, SC reports.

The complaint must be answered by the hospital within 60 days of
its issuance. The lawsuit, which according to Bob Horger,
hospital attorney, will take an extended period of time to be
resolved, is currently in state court.

The suit alleges that the hospital uses an "unconscionable two-
tier pricing scheme" behind a "veil of secrecy" that does not
publish prices to uninsured patients. Furthermore, it goes on to
allege that TRMC "does not negotiate with uninsured patients"
who are charged to "make up for the rates charged to other
categories of patients at lower profit margins."

However, TRMC denied the allegations and explained that all
patients are charged the same rates, but the source of payment
(whether insured, charity care or self-pay) results in different
percentages being collected. "The hospital provides a tremendous
amount of unreimbursed care in 2004, provides a number of
outreach programs and tries to provide care for anyone who walks
in the door," Mr. Horger said. "We don't believe this suit is
warranted and it is just another strain on the resources we have
to have to provide the very finest care in the community."

The class action suit mirrors approximately 50 other similar
lawsuits brought forth against an estimated 370 hospitals since
June 17, 2004. All of them charges the defendants with requiring
their uninsured patients to pay unfair and unreasonable health
care prices that are far in excess of discounted amounts
accepted by these same defendants from their insured patients.


SCHERING-PLOUGH: Discovery Proceeds in K-DUR Antitrust Lawsuits
---------------------------------------------------------------
Discovery is ongoing in the class actions filed against
Schering-Plough Corporation on behalf of direct and indirect
purchasers of K-DUR, the Company's long-acting potassium
chloride product, which was the subject of Abbreviated New Drug
Applications (ANDAs) filed by Lederle and Upsher-Smith, Inc.

On April 2, 2001, the FTC started an administrative proceeding
against the Company, Upsher-Smith and Lederle.  The complaint
alleged anti-competitive effects from the settlement of patent
lawsuits between the Company and Lederle, and the Company and
Upsher-Smith, relating to generic versions of K-DUR.  The class
actions all allege essentially the same facts and claim
violations of federal and state antitrust laws, as well as other
state statutory and/or common law causes of action.

On April 6, 2004, the court overseeing these actions in federal
court remanded 19 of the approximately 40 lawsuits back to
various state courts.  On September 30, 2004, the federal court
overseeing many of these cases denied the Company's motion to
dismiss.


SEARS ROEBUCK: To Pay For Failing To Report Lawn Mower Defects
--------------------------------------------------------------
Sears, Roebuck and Co., of Hoffman Estates, Illinois has agreed
to pay a $500,000 civil penalty to settle allegations that it
violated federal reporting requirements, the United States
Consumer Product Commission (CPSC) announced in a statement.

Between April 1999 and September 2001, Sears received about
1,600 reports of fuel leakage and fuel tank cracking with
certain models of Craftsman rear-engine riding lawn mowers.
Although there were no known injuries or deaths involving these
lawn mowers, the Company failed to report the defect to CPSC as
required under the Consumer Product Safety Act.

Murray Inc., of Lawrenceburg, Tenn., manufactured 36,000 rear-
engine riding mowers for Sears under the Craftsman label. Murray
recalled the lawn mowers in March 2003 and paid a $375,000 civil
penalty in September 2003 for filing a late report on the lawn
mowers.

According to federal law, manufacturers, distributors, and
retailers are required to report to CPSC immediately (within 24
hours) after obtaining information which reasonably supports the
conclusion that a product contains a defect which could create a
substantial risk of injury to the public, presents an
unreasonable risk of serious injury or death, or violates a
federal safety standard.

In agreeing to settle the matter, the Company denies that it
violated the reporting requirements of the Consumer Product
Safety Act.


TOBACCO LITIGATION: FL Court To Review $145 Bil Tobacco Verdict
---------------------------------------------------------------
The morning after Election Day, Florida's Supreme Court is set
to review a lower court ruling that threw out both the money and
a decision for a two-year trial against the tobacco industry
that produced the biggest award ever delivered by an American
jury to a group of sick and angry cigarette smokers, $145
billion, the Times Daily reports.

In the midst of an evolving legal climate on tobacco-related
lawsuits, the warring sides have been joined by an impressive
array of interested parties, including public health, public
policy and business interests.

According to Martin Feldman, a tobacco analyst with Merrill
Lynch, the case is ``one of the three most important challenges
against the industry'' - all with potential multibillion-dollar
consequences. He further states that the other cases are the
Justice Department's racketeering claim currently on trial in
Washington and a Philip Morris appeal challenging a $10.1
billion verdict in a light cigarette class action in Illinois.

The 3rd District Court of Appeal in Miami had attacked virtually
every part of the Miami smokers' case last year, but another
panel on the same court issued an order that guided the trial by
shrinking the lawsuit from a national class action to a
statewide case in 1996.

The state's high court did not say why it wanted to examine the
Miami case. But attention has focused on three legal issues -
whether smokers could bind together as a class, the appeals
court's elimination of punitive damages as an option based on
the state's settlement of its Medicaid reimbursement claims in
1997, and the trial court order allowing the gigantic punitive
damage award for all smokers when the compensatory claims of
only three cancer patients were aired.

Though not saying why it wants to examine the case, which would
have allowed the state's smokers to sue as one, the state's High
Court points out that attention in the case has focused on three
legal issues, whether smokers could bind together as a class,
the appeals court's elimination of punitive damages as an option
based on the state's settlement of its Medicaid reimbursement
claims in 1997, and the trial court order allowing the gigantic
punitive damage award for all smokers when the compensatory
claims of only three cancer patients were aired.

The defendants in the case, Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds, Brown
& Williamson, Lorillard and Liggett had insisted that smoking
histories and illnesses vary so much that the lawsuit covering
somewhere between 300,000 and 700,000 Floridians cannot survive
on appeal. And according to Bob Montgomery, one of the attorneys
who represented Florida in its Medicaid recovery suit, applauds
the husband-and-wife law partners Stanley and Susan Rosenblatt
for taking on ``a Herculean case'' for the smokers but sees
little chance of getting the original verdict reinstated.

The punitive damage award is in question several ways. Tobacco
companies insist they would be forced out of business trying to
pay, and state law bars bankrupting verdicts. They also argue
punitive damages must bear some relationship to compensatory
damages and cannot be decided for the group until everyone's
compensatory claims are addressed.


WD 40: Plaintiffs Appeal Denial of Certification to FL Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs appealed the Circuit Court of the 11th Judicial
Circuit for Miami-Dade County, Florida's refusal to grant class
certification to the legal action filed against WD 40 Co., by
Michael William Granese, a Florida citizen, on behalf of himself
and others similarly situated in the State of Florida, for
damage claims allegedly arising out of the use of the automatic
toilet bowl cleaners (ATBCs) marketed and sold by the Company
under the brand names, 2000 Flushes and X-14.

The plaintiff sought to certify a class of plaintiffs consisting
of consumers in the state of Florida who, since September 1,
1998, purchased and used ATBCs sold by the registrant.  Class
certification was sought for claims for damages based upon the
purchase price of the ATBCs arising out of alleged violations of
the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (Fla. Stat.
501.201, 501.213) for the asserted failure to disclose to
consumers that the ATBCs allegedly could cause harm to internal
toilet tank components and for the representations that the
ATBCs are safe for plumbing and septic systems.

On April 26, 2004, the Court issued an order denying the
plaintiff's application for class certification.  The action
remains pending with respect to the plaintiff's individual
claims.


WD 40: Continues To Face Consumer Fraud Lawsuits in CA Courts
-------------------------------------------------------------
WD 40 Co. continues to face several consumer fraud suits in
various California courts, over its automatic toilet bowl
cleaners (ATBCs).

Two separate but substantially identical legal actions were
filed in September 2003 in the San Diego County, California and
the Alameda County, California Superior Courts by Patricia Brown
on behalf of the general public seeking a remedy for alleged
violation of California Business and Professions Code sections
17200, et seq., and 17500.

The complaints alleged that the Company misrepresented that its
2000 Flushes Bleach, 2000 Flushes Blue Plus Bleach and X-14
Anti-Bacterial ATBCs are safe for plumbing systems and
unlawfully omitted to advise consumers regarding the allegedly
damaging effect the use of the ATBCs has on toilet parts made of
plastic and rubber.  The complaints sought to remedy such
allegedly wrongful conduct:

     (1) by enjoining the Company from making the allegedly
         untrue representations and to require the Company to
         engage in a corrective advertising campaign and to
         order the return, replacement and/or refund of all
         monies paid for such ATBCs;

     (2) by requiring the Company to identify all consumers who
         have purchased the ATBCs and to return money as may be
         ordered by the court; and

     (3) by the granting of other equitable relief, interest,
         attorneys' fees and costs.

On September 18, 2003, Patricia Brown voluntarily dismissed the
Alameda County action and elected to pursue the claims in San
Diego Superior Court.  On June 14, 2004, the complaint was
amended to re-allege violations of the same statutes based on a
theory that the ATBCs were negligently designed; the amended
complaint seeks remedies similar to those originally pleaded.
The Company's demurrer to the amended complaint was denied and
the case remains pending.

Another complaint was filed against the Company on September 4,
2003, in the San Diego County, California Superior Court by
Genevieve Valentine.  This complaint, filed by the same law
firms that filed the Brown Actions, was brought as a nationwide
consumer class action on the same or similar grounds as alleged
in the Brown Actions and sought substantially similar relief on
behalf of the purported class of similarly situated plaintiffs.
An amended complaint was filed by the plaintiff on June 14, 2004
alleging putative causes of action for unjust enrichment, breach
of warranty, negligent design, and negligent inspection or
testing of the ATBCs.  As in the pending Brown Action, the
Company's demurrer to the amended complaint was denied.  A
motion to certify a class action in this case has not been
filed.

                   New Securities Fraud Cases


AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL: Stull Stull Lodges Securities Suit in NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Stull, Stull & Brody initiated a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York, on behalf of all securities purchasers of
American International Group, Inc. ("AIG") (NYSE:AIG) between
October 28, 1999 and October 13, 2004, inclusive (the "Class
Period") against AIG, Maurice Greenberg, Howard Smith and Thomas
Tizzio.

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. More specifically, the complaint alleges
that the Company failed to disclose and misrepresented the
following material adverse facts, which were known to defendants
or recklessly disregarded by them:

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

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

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

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

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

On October 14, 2004, Attorney General Eliot Spitzer ("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 AIG
as an alleged participant in steering and bid rigging. It was
also revealed that two AIG executives: Karen Radke, a senior
vice president, and Jean-Baptist Tateossian, a manager had pled
guilty to charges related to the probe. This news shocked the
market. Shares of AIG fell $6.99 per share, or 10.43 percent, on
unusually high trading volume of more than 48 million shares
traded, on October 14, 2004, to close at $60.00 per share. On
the following day, October 15, 2004, shares of AIG tumbled an
additional $2.15 per share or 3.58 percent, on more than 60
million in volume, to close at $57.85 per share.

For more details, contact Tzivia Brody, Esq. of Stull, Stull &
Brody by Mail: 6 East 45th Street, New York, NY 10017 by Phone:
1-800-337-4983 by Fax: 212/490-2022 or by E-mail: SSBNY@aol.com
or visit their Web site: http://www.ssbny.com


AON CORPORATION: Wolf Haldenstein Lodges Securities Suit in IL
--------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP
initiated a class action lawsuit in the United States District
Court for the Northern District of Illinois, on behalf of all
participants and beneficiaries of the 401(k) Savings Plan (the
"Plan") of Aon Corporation ("Aon" or the "Company") (NYSE: AOC),
between November 1, 1998 and the present, inclusive (the "Class
Period"), against defendant Aon and certain officers and
directors of the Company.

The Complaint alleges that during the Class Period, Plan
fiduciaries knew or should have known, that the Company was
paying illegal and concealed "contingent commissions" pursuant
to illegal "contingent commission agreements;" that violated
applicable principles of fiduciary law, subjecting the Company
to enormous fines and penalties totaling potentially tens -- if
not hundreds -- of millions of dollars.

Plan fiduciaries knew, or should have known, that this business
practice was improper and unsustainable and that the value of
the Company's stock, and thus the value of the Plan, was based
on financial results dependent on these unsustainable business
practices.

By no later than November 1, 1998, AON and the Individual
Defendants knew, or should have known, that AON's stock was a
highly inappropriate investment for a long-term retirement
savings plan such as the Plan because of the financial issues
described above and other questionable business practices.
Despite this, Defendants continued to offer AON's stock as a
Plan investment alternative, continued to cause AON matching
contributions to be invested in AON stock, and failed to impute
their full knowledge of the Company's operations on Plan
participants so that the Plan participants could make an
informed decision concerning their Plan investments in Company
stock.

For more details, contact Mark C. Rifkin, Esq., Gustavo
Bruckner, Esq., or Derek Behnke of Wolf Haldenstein Adler
Freeman & Herz LLP by Mail: 270 Madison Avenue, New York, NY
10016, by Phone: (800) 575-0735 by E-mail: classmember@whafh.com
or visit their Web site: http://www.whafh.com


AUTOBYTEL INC.: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges CA Securities Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP initiated a class
action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
Central District of California on behalf of all securities
purchasers of the Autobytel Inc. (Nasdaq: ABTL) ("Autobytel" or
the "Company") from July 24, 2003 through October 20, 2004
inclusive (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges Autobytel, Michael Fuchs, Jeffrey
Schwartz, and Hoshi Printer 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 inappropriately recognized some
         unapplied credits;

     (2) that as a result of this, the Company's financial
         results were materially inflated by $900,000;

     (3) that the Company's financial results were in violation
         of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ("GAAP");

     (4) that the Company lacked adequate internal controls; and

     (5) that as a result of the above, the Company's financial
         results were materially inflated at all relevant times.

On October 21, 2004, Autobytel announced partial third quarter
2004 financial results and that it would reschedule its earnings
conference call and webcast, which had been scheduled for that
afternoon. Furthermore, the Company announced that the Audit
Committee of the Board of Directors of the Company was directing
an internal review of the accounting treatment of certain
unapplied credits that were recognized as revenue during the
four quarters ended March 31, 2004. This news shocked the
market. Shares of Autobytel fell $1.93 per share, or 21.91
percent, on October 21, 2004, to close at $6.80 per share.

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


AXIS GLOBAL: Schatz & Nobel Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in NY
--------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schatz & Nobel, P.C. initiated a lawsuit seeking
class action status in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York on behalf of all persons who
purchased the securities of AXIS Capital Holdings Ltd. (NYSE:
AXS) ("AXIS") between August 6, 2003 and October 14, 2004 (the
"Class Period"), including anyone who purchased in the June 30,
2003 Initial Public Offering ("IPO") or the April 15, 2004
secondary offering.

AXIS is a holding Company that through its subsidiaries provides
a range of insurance and reinsurance products on a world-wide
basis. The Complaint alleges that during the Class Period, AXIS
violated federal securities laws by making materially false or
misleading public statements. Specifically, the Complaint
alleges that AXIS was involved in the payment of "contingent
commissions" which improperly influenced the insurance bid-
making process. On October 14, 2004, New York Attorney General
Elliot Spitzer announced that he had charged several of the
nation's largest insurance companies and the largest broker with
bid rigging and pay-offs that he claimed violated fraud and
competition laws. On these revelations, AXIS' shares fell
approximately 10%, from a close of $25.89 per share on October
13, 2004 to close at $23.36 on October 15, 2004.

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


CONVERIUM HOLDING: Murray Frank Lodges Securities 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 all purchasers of
Converium Holding AG securities ("Converium") (NYSE:CHR) during
the period between December 11, 2001 through July 20, 2004 (the
Class Period").

The complaint charges Converium, Dirk Lohmann, and Martin Kauer
with violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder. More
specifically, the complaint alleges that the Company failed to
disclose and misrepresented the following material adverse facts
known to defendants or recklessly disregarded by them:

     (1) that Converium maintained inadequate loss reserves in
         its Converium North America subsidiary;

     (2) that the Company, contrary to representations, did not
         establish adequate loss reserves to cover claims by
         Converium North America policy holders;

     (3) that reserve increases announced by the Company during
         the Class Period were materially insufficient; and

     (4) as a consequence of the understatement of loss
         reserves, Converium's earnings and assets were
         materially overstated at all relevant times.

On July 20, 2004, Converium announced that second quarter
results would be impacted by a reserve strengthening for US
casualty business and subsequent asset impairments on the
balance sheet of Converium Reinsurance. News of this shocked the
market. Shares of Converium fell $11.12 per share, or 44.44
percent, on July 20, 2004, to close at $13.90 per share. On
August 31, 2004, Converium announced that the Company had
completed external actuarial review of Converium's reserves. On
September 2, 2004, Converium announced that following the
announcement of the external reserve review's outcome and
resulting capital measures, Standard & Poor's and A.M. Best have
lowered their ratings on Converium and its subsidiaries. On this
news, shares of Converium fell an additional $1.04 per share, or
10.51 percent, to close at $8.86 per share.

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


INFINEON TECHNOLOGIES: Murray Frank Lodges Securities Suit in NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Murray, Frank & Sailer LLP and Tilp
Rechtsanwaelte initiated a class action lawsuit in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York on
behalf of all purchasers of Infineon Technologies AG securities
("Infineon") (Nasdaq:IFX) during the period between March 13,
2000 and September 15, 2004 (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges Infineon, Ulrich Schumacher, Peter Bauer,
and Peter J. Fischl with violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a)
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder. More specifically, the complaint alleges
that the Company failed to disclose and misrepresented the
following material adverse facts known to defendants or
recklessly disregarded by them:

     (1) that the Company entered into and engaged in a
         combination and conspiracy in the United States and
         elsewhere to suppress and eliminate competition by
         fixing the prices of Dynamic Random Access Memory
         ("DRAM") to be sold to original manufacturers of
         personal computers and servers;

     (2) that as a result of the price fixing, the Company was
         able to maintain higher profit margins;

     (3) that as a consequence of the foregoing, the Company's
         announced financial results were in violation of
         generally accepted accounting principles; and

     (4) that the Company's financial results were materially
         inflated at all relevant times.

On September 15, 2004, Infineon announced that it had reached an
agreement with the United States Department of Justice --
Antitrust Division to plead guilty to a single and limited
charge related to the violation of U.S. antitrust laws in
connection with the pricing in its DRAM business between July 1,
1999 and June 15, 2002. Under the terms of the agreement,
Infineon had agreed to pay a fine of $160 million, an amount
fully covered by the Company's recent third quarter accrual. On
this news, shares of Infineon fell $.21 per share, or 2.04
percent, on September 15, 2004, to close at $10.07 per share.

For more details, contact Eric J. Belfi or Aaron D. Patton of
Murray, Frank & Sailer LLP by Phone: (800) 497-8076 or
(212) 682-1818 by Fax: (212) 682-1892 or by E-mail:
info@murrayfrank.com OR Alexander Reus of Tilp Rechtsanwaelte
PLLC by Mail: 100 SE Second Street, Suite 2610, Miami, FL 33131
by Phone: (786) 235-5000 or by Fax: (786) 235-5005


INTERACTIVECORP: Murray Frank Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Murray, Frank & Sailer LLP initiated a class
action in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York on behalf of all persons who purchased the
publicly traded securities of IAC/InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ:IACI)
"IAC" and the "the Company") between March 19, 2003 and August
4, 2004, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The Complaint alleges that IAC, an intermediary between
suppliers and consumers, which aggregates large blocks of
consumer goods and services (primarily travel-related products
such as hotel rooms and airline tickets) from suppliers and
sells them to consumers over the Internet, issued materially
false statements in connection with the acquisitions of Expedia,
Hotels.com and LearningTree.com, and with IAC's financial
reports and other statements. Specifically, in early 2003,
defendants began to artificially inflate the price of IAC's
common stock in order to decrease the amount of stock IAC would
ultimately have to issue to acquire all of the outstanding
shares of Expedia and Hotels.com, permitting IAC to use its
inflated stock as acquisition currency. Throughout the Class
Period, defendants also caused IAC to spend over $1.5 billion to
repurchase over 47 million shares of its own common stock to
further prop-up the Company's stock price.

On August 4, 2004, IAC disclosed in its Q2 2004 earnings release
that its net income fell 24% from the same quarter in 2003 and
that it was cutting its forecast for full-year operating
profits, admitting that it was being provided less airline seats
and hotel rooms to sell. On this news, the Company's stock price
dropped from its Class Period high of $42.74 per share on July
7, 2003 to close at $22.80 per share on August 4, 2004.

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


MARSH & MCLENNAN: Wolf Haldenstein Lodges Securities Suit in NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP
initiated a class action lawsuit in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of New York against Marsh &
McLennan Companies, Inc. ("Marsh" or the "Company") (NYSE: MMC)
and certain major insurance companies, on behalf of all persons
who purchased the securities of Marsh, between October 15, 1999,
through October 14, 2004, inclusive.

The Complaint alleges that defendants violated the federal
securities laws by issuing materially false and misleading
statements and failing to disclose material facts regarding the
Company's financial performance throughout the Class Period that
had the effect of artificially inflating the market price of the
Company's securities.

The Complaint specifically alleges that during the class period
Marsh failed 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. As alleged, these payments were compensation for
the business that Marsh and its independent brokers steered and
allocated to the insurance companies, distinguished by Marsh as
compensation for "market services." Additionally, the Complaint
alleges that Marsh occasionally solicited bogus bids, in order
to mislead its customers into believing that true competition
had taken place. Marsh allegedly did this while it asserted in
public statements that its "guiding principle" was to always
regard its client's best interests.

The Complaint also alleges that during the Class Period,
statements made by the defendants were each 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
         designed and executed a business plan under which
         insurance companies agreed to pay so-called "contingent
         commissions" in return for Marsh to steer them business
         and shield them from competition;

     (2) the defendants have described only that revenue
         attributable to Marsh's risk and insurance business
         consists primarily of fees paid by clients, commissions
         and fees paid by insurance and reinsurance companies,
         interest income on funds held in a fiduciary capacity
         for others, and compensation for services provided in
         connection with the organization, structuring, and
         management of insurance. In particular, the defendants
         stated the revenue generated by Marsh's risk and
         insurance business is fundamentally derived from the
         value of the service provided to clients and insurance
         markets. Although the defendants stated that
         commissions vary in amount depending upon the type of
         insurance or reinsurance coverage provided, the
         particular insurer or reinsurer, the capacity in which
         the broker acts, and negotiations with clients, the
         Company failed to disclose the kick-backs or the bid-
         rigging scheme;

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

     (4) the Company's revenues and earnings would have been
         significantly less had the Company not engaged in such
         unlawful practices.

For more details, contact Mark C. Rifkin, Esq., Gustavo
Bruckner, Esq., or Derek Behnke of Wolf Haldenstein Adler
Freeman & Herz LLP by Mail: 270 Madison Avenue, New York, NY
10016, by Phone: (800) 575-0735 by E-mail: classmember@whafh.com
or visit their Web site: http://www.whafh.com/cases/marsh.htm


METLIFE INC.: Stull Stull Lodges Securities Fraud Lawsuit in NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Stull, Stull & Brody initiated a class action
lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York, on behalf of all persons who
purchased the securities of MetLife, Inc. ("MetLife") (NYSE:MET)
between April 5, 2000 and 9:31 a.m., Eastern Time, October 19,
2004, inclusive (the "Class Period") against MetLife and certain
officers and directors of the Company.

The complaint alleges that defendants violated the federal
securities laws by issuing materially false and misleading
statements and failing to disclose material facts regarding the
Company's financial performance throughout the Class Period that
had the effect of artificially inflating the market price of the
Company's securities.

The Complaint specifically alleges that during the Class Period
MetLife failed to disclose that in order to steer business its
way, the Company paid tens of millions of dollars of contingent
commissions "kickbacks." In fact, on October 19, 2004, MetLife
admitted that in 2003 alone, it paid $25 million in contingent
commissions. In addition, MetLife also paid other fees for data
processing, billing and "communication" services.

For more details, contact Tzivia Brody, Esq. of Stull, Stull &
Brody by Mail: 6 East 45th Street, New York, NY 10017 by Phone:
1-800-337-4983 by Fax: 212/490-2022 or by E-mail: SSBNY@aol.com
or visit their Web site: http://www.ssbny.com


METLIFE INC.: Wolf Haldenstein Files Securities Fraud Suit in NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP
initiated a class action lawsuit in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of New York, on behalf of all
persons who purchased the securities of MetLife, Inc. ("MetLife"
or the "Company") (NYSE: MET) between April 5, 2000, through
9:31 a.m., Eastern Time, October 19, 2004, inclusive, (the
"Class Period") against defendants MetLife and certain officers
and directors of the Company.

The Complaint alleges that defendants violated the federal
securities laws by issuing materially false and misleading
statements and failing to disclose material facts regarding the
Company's financial performance throughout the Class Period that
had the effect of artificially inflating the market price of the
Company's securities.

The Complaint specifically alleges that during the class period
MetLife failed to disclose that in order to steer business its
way, the Company paid tens of millions of dollars of contingent
commissions "kickbacks." In fact, on October 19, 2004, MetLife
admitted that in 2003 alone, it paid $25 million in contingent
commissions. In addition, MetLife also paid other fees for data
processing, billing and "communication" services.

For more details, contact Mark C. Rifkin, Esq., Gustavo
Bruckner, Esq., or Derek Behnke of Wolf Haldenstein Adler
Freeman & Herz LLP by Mail: 270 Madison Avenue, New York, NY
10016, by Phone: (800) 575-0735 by E-mail: classmember@whafh.com
or visit their Web site: http://www.whafh.com/cases/metlife.htm


MONDAVI CORPORATION: Wolf Haldenstein Lodges Securities CA Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP filed
a class action lawsuit in the Superior Court of the State of
California, County of Napa, on behalf of all Robert Mondavi
Corp. ("Mondavi" or the "Company") (Nasdaq: MOND) common stock
holders, other than defendants, in connection with the Company's
restructuring plan and the recent tender offer by Constellation
Brands Inc. ("Constellation") for all of all of the outstanding
shares of Mondavi's class A common stock.

The case name is Bamboo Partners LLC v. Ted W. Hall, et al.,
Civ. No. 26- 27170. On October 19, 2004, Constellation offered
to pay $53 per share in cash for all of the outstanding shares
of Mondavi's class A common stock and $61.75 in cash for each
share of outstanding class B common stock. The Class B stock is
controlled by members of the Mondavi family.

The complaint alleges that defendants, including the Board of
Directors of the Company, have breached the fiduciary duties
owed to shareholders in connection with their responsibilities
to maximize shareholder value. In particular, the complaint
alleges that defendants have failed to take appropriate steps to
give proper consideration to the Constellation offer - an offer
that provides shareholders superior value to the Company's
restructuring plan. Rather, the complaint alleges, the
defendants have taken numerous steps to fend off the
Constellation offer and implement the Company's proposed
restructuring plan, which gives the Mondavi family increased
equity, in order to entrench the Mondavi family's control of the
Company at the expense of the class A common stock holders.

On October 29, 2004, a hearing was held in Napa County,
California, on plaintiff's motion to obtain documents critical
to evaluate the Constellation offer and the Mondavi
restructuring plan. The Court continued the hearing until
November 9, 2004.

For more details, contact Mark C. Rifkin, Esq., Gustavo
Bruckner, Esq., or Derek Behnke of Wolf Haldenstein Adler
Freeman & Herz LLP by Mail: 270 Madison Avenue, New York, NY
10016, by Phone: (800) 575-0735 by E-mail: classmember@whafh.com
or visit their Web site: http://www.whafh.com/cases/mondavi.htm


STAR GAS: Chitwood Harley Lodges Securities Fraud Lawsuit in CT
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Chitwood & Harley LLP initiated a securities
fraud class action complaint in the United States District Court
for Connecticut, against Star Gas, L.P., ("Star Gas" or the
"Company") (NYSE: SGU)(NYSE: SGH), Irik P. Sevin, Ami Trauber,
and the General Partner of the Company, Star Gas, L.L.C., on
behalf of purchasers of Star Gas securities, during the period
between July 25, 2000 and October 18, 2004 (the "Class Period").
The civil action number is 04CV1832(MRK).

The complaint alleges that defendants' publicly disseminated
Class Period statements, which portrayed the Company's business
as robust, even in the face of rising heating oil prices and a
significant restructuring, were materially false and misleading
for the following reasons:

     (1) Star Gas was experiencing serious problems as a result
         of its reorganization, particularly in the area of
         customer service, which was deteriorating rapidly,
         resulting in a migration of customers;

     (2) the purported cost savings from the restructuring in
         the heating oil division had not materialized and, in
         fact, had resulted in operating deficiencies that
         negatively impacted the Company;

     (3) the Company had not adequately hedged against a sharp
         rise in heating oil prices during the Class Period;

     (4) the Company was ill-equipped to handle the surge in
         heating oil prices during the Class Period and falsely
         comforted investors with representations that Star Gas
         would simply pass on high wholesale prices to retail
         customers;

     (5) the Company's problems and deteriorating business
         seriously threatened its ability to pay out its
         quarterly distribution, a major reason investors
         purchase the Company's units; and

     (6) the Company's business had deteriorated so sharply over
         the Class Period that it was in palpable danger of
         breaching financial and/or performance covenants in its
         loan agreements, thereby seriously jeopardizing its
         liquidity and viability. Defendants engaged in the
         wrongdoing alleged in the complaint so that the
         Company's units would trade at artificially inflated
         prices, paving the way for several securities offerings
         during the Class Period, totaling $96 million.

The truth was revealed on October 18, 2004, before the open of
ordinary trading, when Star Gas shocked the market by announcing
that the Company's Petro division had suffered a substantial
earnings decline in fiscal 2004, which was expected to continue
into fiscal 2005, due to an inability to pass on increased oil
prices to its customers and to problems with its restructuring,
forcing the Company to cut its Minimum Quarterly Distribution.
Moreover, the earnings shortfall breached covenants in the
Company's credit agreements, jeopardizing its liquidity and
raising the possibility of bankruptcy, according to the
Company's press release. In response to this announcement, the
price of Star Gas common units dropped precipitously, falling
80% in one day, from a closing price of $21.60 per unit on
October 15, 2004, to a closing price of $4.32 per share on
October 18, 2004 (the next trading day), on trading volume that
was many times its average daily trading volume.

For more details, contact Josh M. Wilson, Esq. by Phone:
1-888-873-3999 ext. 4861 by E-mail: jsw@classlaw.com OR Lauren
S. Antonino, Esq. by E-mail: lsa@classlaw.com or visit their Web
site: http://www.classlaw.com


STAR GAS: Wolf Popper Lodges Securities Fraud Lawsuit in CT
-----------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Wolf Popper LLP initiated a securities fraud
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of
Connecticut against Star Gas Partners, L.P. ("Star Gas" or the
"Partnership") (NYSE: SGH; NYSE: SGU), its affiliated companies,
and certain of its officers and directors, on behalf of all
persons who purchased Star Gas securities on the open market
from December 4, 2003 through October 18, 2004 (the "Class
Period").

The complaint charges Star Gas, its affiliated companies, and
certain of its officers and directors 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 during the Class Period, defendants
caused Star Gas to issue numerous press releases and file
quarterly and annual reports with the SEC in which 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 experiencing massive customer
         attrition;

     (2) that the Partnership was facing a steep decline in
         earnings due to a significant loss of customers

     (3) that the defendants were deceptively covering up the
         decline in earnings and customers with sales and
         customers carried over from its acquisition program

     (4) that the defendants attempted to place a portion of the
         blame on the rising cost of heating oil; and

     (5) that the Partnership's "Business Process Redesign
         Improvement Program," which the defendants repeatedly
         claimed was going to produce tremendous savings, was in
         fact a complete failure.

Within time, the massive costumer defections, the initial costs
of Star Gas's acquisitions, and the failure of the Partnership
to generate savings from its Business Process Improvement
Program created a substantial drain on its cash flow. On October
18, 2004, Star Gas stunned the market when it finally revealed
in a press release that it had suspended its dividend and may
have to file for bankruptcy. On this news, Star Gas's common
unit share price plummeted 80% to $4.32 from $21.60.

For more details, contact James Kelly-Kowlowitz of Wolf Popper
LLP by Mail: 845 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10022 by Phone:
212-451-9635 or 877-370-7704 by E-mail: irrep@wolfpopper.com or
visit their Web site: http://www.wolfpopper.com


STONEPATH GROUP: Murray Frank Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in PA
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm Murray, Frank & Sailer LLP initiated a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania on behalf of all purchasers of
Stonepath Group, Inc. securities ("Stonepath") (AMEX:STG) during
the period between May 7, 2003 and September 20, 2004 (the
"Class Period").

The complaint alleges that, throughout the Class Period,
defendants issued numerous statements and filed quarterly and
annual reports with the United States Securities and Exchange
Commission regarding the Company's current financial performance
and future earnings. As alleged in the complaint, these
statements were materially false and misleading because
defendants knew, but failed to disclose:

     (1) that Stonepath was materially overstating its financial
         results by engaging in improper accounting practices.
         As detailed herein, Stonepath has admitted that its
         prior financial reports are materially false and
         misleading as it announced that it is going to restate
         its results for 2003 and the first two quarters of
         2004;

(2) that the Company lacked adequate internal controls and
         was therefore unable to ascertain its true financial
         condition; and

(3) that as a result of the foregoing, the values of the
Company's net income and Earnings Before Interest,
Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization ("EBITDA") were
materially overstated at all relevant times.

On September 20, 2004, Stonepath shocked the market when it
issued a press release announcing its intention to restate 2003
and first and second quarter 2004 financial statements. The
Company admitted that its Domestic Services division had
understated its accrued purchased transportation liability and
related costs of purchased transportation. The amount of the
under accrual was estimated to be in the range of $4.0-$6.0
million for 2003 and in the range of $500,000 to $1.0 million
for the first six months of 2004. After giving effect for these
estimated incremental expenses, the Company's reported EBITDA
would be reduced to the range of $2.6-$4.6 million for 2003 and
reduced to the range of $200,000-$700,000 for the first six
months of 2004. Upon this shocking news, shares of the Company's
stock fell $0.73 per share or almost 50% to close at $0.86 per
share, on unusually heavy trading volume.

Prior to disclosing these adverse facts to the investing public,
Stonepath:

     (i) acquired several companies using its overvalued shares
         as consideration;

    (ii) increased its credit facilities by $10 million on more
         favorable terms;

   (iii) completed a private placement of its common stock for
         gross proceeds of approximately $13 million; and

    (iv) filed a shelf registration statement with the
         Securities and Exchange Commission for the potential
         offering of up to $50 million in equity securities.

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


TOMMY HILFIGER: Murray Frank Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Murray, Frank & Sailer LLP initiated a class
action lawsuit in the Southern District of New York on behalf of
a class (the "Class") consisting of all persons who purchased or
otherwise acquired the securities of Tommy Hilfiger Corporation
("Tommy Hilfiger" or the "Company") (NYSE:TOM) between November
3, 1999 and September 24, 2004, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges Tommy Hilfiger, Joel J. Horowitz, Joseph
Scirocco, Joel H. Newman, Silas K.F. Chou, Lawrence S. Stroll,
James P. Reilly, and David F. Dyer with violations of Sections
10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule
10b-5 promulgated thereunder. More specifically, the complaint
alleges that the Company failed to disclose and misrepresented
the following material adverse facts known to defendants or
recklessly disregarded by them:

     (1) that the defendants shifted profits to lower-tax
         jurisdictions by paying buying-agency commissions to
         other Tommy Hilfiger subsidiaries;

     (2) more specifically, the defendants reported revenue
         generated in the United States as if it were earned in
         a foreign division, thereby effectively lowering the
         Company's tax rate;

     (3) that as a result of this, the Company's financial
         results were in violation of generally accepted
         accounting principles ("GAAP");

     (4) that the Company lacked adequate internal controls; and

     (5) that as a result of the above, the Company's financial
         results were materially inflated at all relevant times.

On September 24, 2004, after the market closed, Tommy Hilfiger
announced that Tommy Hilfiger U.S.A., Inc. ("THUSA"), a wholly
owned subsidiary of Tommy Hilfiger, had received a grand jury
subpoena issued by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern
District of New York seeking documents generally relating to
THUSA's domestic and/or international buying office commissions
since 1990. Certain of THUSA's current and former employees had
also received subpoenas. According to the Company, THUSA pays
buying office commissions to a non-U.S. subsidiary of Tommy
Hilfiger to provide or otherwise secure certain services,
including product development, sourcing, production scheduling
and quality control functions. It appears that the investigation
is focused on whether the commission rate is appropriate.

News of this shocked the market. On September 27, 2004, shares
of Tommy Hilfiger fell $2.87 per share, or 21.79 percent, to
close at $10.30 per share on unusually high trading volume.

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


UNITED RENTALS: Goodkind Labaton Lodges Securities Lawsuit in CT
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Goodkind Labaton Rudoff & Sucharow LLP has been
retained to represent bondholders in a class action lawsuit
against United Rentals Inc. ("United Rentals" or the "Company")
(NYSE:URI) now pending in the United States District Court for
the District of Connecticut. The suit was brought on behalf of
persons who purchased or otherwise acquired publicly traded
securities of the Company between October 23, 2003 and August
30, 2004, inclusive, (the "Class Period").

Existing complaints allege that named defendants violated
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder. More specifically, the
complaints allege that the Company failed to disclose and
misrepresented that the Company in an attempt to inflate its
stock price and raise capital, manipulated its financial results
through the use of restructuring charges, asset write downs and
a major debt refinancing, that it improperly delayed recognition
of bad accounts receivables and that as a result of these
manipulations, its reported results were not presented in
accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles
("GAAP").

For more details, contact Christopher Keller, Esq. of Goodkind
Labaton Rudoff & Sucharow LLP by Phone: 800-321-0476


                            *********


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

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

                            *********


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

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
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Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick, Maryland
USA.   Glenn Ruel Se¤orin, Aurora Fatima Antonio and Lyndsey
Resnick, Editors.

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

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
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