CAR_Public/041124.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

            Wednesday, November 24, 2004, Vol. 6, No. 233

                           Headlines

AMERICAN EXPRESS: Plaintiffs Appeal NY Securities Suit Dismissal
AMERICAN EXPRESS: FL Court Approves Settlement of Consumer Suits
AMERICAN EXPRESS: Court Yet To Rule on Antitrust Suit Dismissal
AMERICAN EXPRESS: To Seek Dismissal For Mutual Fund Fraud Suit
AMERICAN EXPRESS: To Ask NY Court To Dismiss Credit Card Lawsuit

AMERICAN HONDA: Recalls 61 SUVs Because Of Fuel Tank Defects
ASTRAZENECA PLC: Law Firm Commences Suit Over Nexium Deception
CABLEVISION SYSTEMS: Plaintiffs To File Amended DE Stock Lawsuit
CABLEVISION SYSTEMS: Court Stays Breach of Fiduciary Duty Suit
CALIFORNIA: Clinic Awarded Legal Fees, Students' Work Recognized

COMMERCE BANCORP: Shareholders Lodge Securities Fraud Suit in NJ
DYNACRAFT BSC: Pays $1.4M Fine for Violating Reporting Policies
DYNEGY INC.: Lawsuit Settlement Hearing Set December 10, 2004
E PRIME: NY Court Refuses To Dismiss Securities Fraud Lawsuit
FORD MOTOR CO.: LA Lawsuit V. Police Cars Granted Certification

FRED MEYER STORES: Ex-Worker, Residents Launch Overcharging Suit
LaFARGE NORTH: Moves For Rehearing of Certification For MI Suit
LENDINGTREE INC.: SEC Files Insider Trading Suit V. Ex-Employees
LIBERATE TECHNOLOGIES: Settlement Hearing Set February 15, 2005
MERCK & CO.: Scott + Scott Lodges Breach Of Fiduciary Suit in NJ

MERCEDES-BENZ USA: Former Executive Denies Price Fixing Charges
MERCK & CO.: Seeks Consolidation of Vioxx Personal Injury Suits
MERCK & CO.: Faces Securities Fraud, ERISA Lawsuits Over Vioxx
MERCK & CO.: Withdrawal of Vaccine Litigation Funding Appealed
MERCK & CO.: Trial in Thimerosal Litigation Scheduled For 2005

NEW YORK: Groups Commence Suit Over Detention Of GOP Protesters
NORTHWESTERN CORPORATION: Working For SD Stock Suit Settlement
NORTHWESTERN CORPORATION: Reaches Settlement For MT Stock Suit
NORTHWESTERN CORPORATION: Dropped From CornerStone Fraud Lawsuit
NOVASTAR HOME: Madison County Resident Lodges Fraud Suit in IL

ORION BUS INDUSTRIES: Recalls Buses For Exhaust Systems Defects
PACCAR INC.: Recalls 251 Peterbilt Trucks Due To Seat Defects
RR DONNELLEY: IL Court Approves Settlement of Race Bias Lawsuit
SAVIENT PHARMACEUTICALS: Asks NJ Court To Dismiss Stock Lawsuit
SOUNDVIEW TECHNOLOGY: Focus Cases in NY IPO Litigation Certified

SUNRISE POWER: CA Court Mulls Remand of Lawsuit To State Court
UNITED STATES: Liner Yankelevitz Settles Two ERISA Fraud Suits
WESTAR ENERGY: Mediation Proceeds in KS Securities Fraud Lawsuit
WESTAR ENERGY: Mediation Proceeds in Consolidated KS ERISA Suit
XCEL ENERGY: Faces Natural Gas Prices Antitrust Suit in E.D. CA

               Meetings, Conferences & Seminars

* Scheduled Events for Class Action Professionals
* Online Teleconferences


                  New Securities Fraud Cases

JAKKS PACIFIC: Brian M. Felgoise Lodges Securities Suit in NY
SIRVA INC.: Charles J. Piven Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in IL
SIRVA INC.: Schatz & Nobel Lodges Securities Fraud Lawsuit in IL
UTSTARCOM INC.: Glancy Binkow Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in CA
VALASSIS COMMUNICATIONS: Cohen Milstein Lodges Stock Suit in MI

                          *********

AMERICAN EXPRESS: Plaintiffs Appeal NY Securities Suit Dismissal
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs appealed the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York's dismissal of the consolidated
securities class action filed against the American Express
Company, styled "In re American Express Company Securities
Litigation."

The suit alleges violations of the federal securities laws and
the common law in connection with alleged misstatements
regarding certain investments in high-yield bonds and write-
downs in the 2000-2001 timeframe.  The purported class covers
the period from July 18, 1999 to July 17, 2001.  The actions
seek unspecified compensatory damages as well as disgorgement,
punitive damages, attorneys' fees and costs, and interest.

On March 31, 2004, the Court granted the Company's motion to
dismiss the lawsuit.  Plaintiffs have appealed the dismissal to
the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

The suit is styled "Slayton, et al. v. American Express Company,
et al., docket number 02-CV-5533 (RMB)," filed in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York,
under Judge Richard M. Berman.  The plaintiff firms in this
litigation are:

     (1) Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz LLP (New York, NY), 10 E.
         40th Street, 22nd Floor, New York, NY, 10016, Phone:
         800.217.1522, E-mail: info@bernlieb.com

     (2) Cauley Geller Bowman Coates & Rudman LLP (Little Rock,
         AR), P.O. Box 25438, Little Rock, AR, 72221-5438,
         Phone: 501.312.8500, Fax: 501.312.8505

     (3) Charles J. Piven, World Trade Center-Baltimore,401 East
         Pratt Suite 2525, Baltimore, MD, 21202, Phone:
         410.332.0030, E-mail: pivenlaw@erols.com

     (4) Leo W. Desmond, 2161 Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard, Suite
         204, West Palm Beach, FL, 33409, Phone: 561.712.8000,
         E-mail: stocklaw@bellsouth.net

     (5) Lovell Stewart Halebian LLP, 500 Fifth Avenue, New
         York, NY, 10110, Phone: 212.608.1900, Fax:
         212.719.4677, E-mail: info@lshllp.com

     (6) Paskowitz & Associates, Phone: 800.705.9529, E-mail:
         classattorney@aol.com

     (7) Rabin & Peckel LLP, 275 Madison Avenue, 34th Floor, New
         York, NY, 10016, Phone: 212.682.1818, Fax:
         212.682.1892, E-mail: email@rabinlaw.com

     (8) Weiss & Yourman (New York, NY), Mail: The French
         Building, 551 Fifth Ave., Suite 1600, New York, NY,
         10126, Phone: 212.682.3025, Fax: 212.682.3010, E-mail:
         info@wyca.com


AMERICAN EXPRESS: FL Court Approves Settlement of Consumer Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
Florida granted preliminary approval to the nationwide
settlement of the class actions filed against American Express
Co.

The suits allege that the Company violated the respective
state's laws by wrongfully collecting amounts assessed on
converting transactions made in foreign currencies to U.S.
dollars and/or failing to properly disclose the existence of
such amounts in its Cardmember agreements and billing
statements.  The plaintiffs in the actions seek, among other
remedies, injunctive relief, money damages and/or attorneys'
fees on their own behalf and on behalf of the putative class of
persons similarly situated.

On October 15, 2004, the Court granted preliminary approval of a
nationwide class action settlement to resolve all lawsuits and
allegations with respect to the Company's collection and
disclosure of fees assessed on transactions made in foreign
currencies in the case captioned "Lipuma v. American Express
Bank, American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc. and
American Express Centurion Bank" (filed in August 2003).

The settlement that has been preliminarily approved by the Court
contemplates that the Company would deposit $75 million into a
fund that would be established to reimburse class members with
valid claims, make certain contributions to charitable
organizations to be identified later and pay attorneys' fees and
make certain changes to the disclosures in its Cardmember
agreements and billing statements regarding its foreign currency
conversion practices.

The preliminary approval order enjoins all other proceedings
that make related allegations pending a final approval hearing
including, but not limited to the following cases:

     (1) Environmental Law Foundation, et al. v. American
         Express Company, et al., Superior Court of Alameda
         County, California (filed March 2003);

     (2) Rubin v. American Express Company and American Express
         Travel Related Services Company, Inc., Circuit Court of
         Madison County, Illinois (filed April 2003);

     (3) Angie Arambula, et al. v. American Express Company, et
         al., District Court of Cameron County, Texas, 103rd
         Judicial District (filed May 2003);

     (4) Fuentes v. American Express Travel Related Services
         Company, Inc. and American Express Company, District
         Court of Hidalgo County, Texas (filed May 2003);

     (5) Wick v. American Express Company, et al., Circuit Court
         of Cook County, Illinois (filed May 2003);

     (6) Bernd Bildstein v. American Express Company, et al.,
         Supreme Court of Queens County, New York (filed June
         2003);

     (7) Janowitz v. American Express Company, et al., Circuit
         Court of Cook County, Illinois (filed September 2003);

     (8) Paul v. American Express Company, et al., Superior
         Court of Orange County, California (filed January
         2004); and

     (9) Ball v. American Express, et al., Superior Court of San
         Joaquin, California (filed August 2004)


AMERICAN EXPRESS: Court Yet To Rule on Antitrust Suit Dismissal
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York has yet to rule on American Express Company's motion to
dismiss the purported class actions in which the plaintiffs
allege an unlawful antitrust tying arrangement between the
Company's charge cards, credit cards and debit cards in
violation of various state and federal laws.

The suits are styled:

     (1) Cohen Rese Gallery et al. v. American Express Company
         et al., U.S. District Court for the Northern District
         of California (filed July 2003);

     (2) Italian Colors Restaurant v. American Express Company
         et al., U.S. District Court for the Northern District
         of California (filed August 2003);

     (3) DRF Jeweler Corp. v. American Express Company et al.,
         U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New
         York (filed December 2003);

     (4) Hayama Inc. v. American Express Company et al.,
         Superior Court of California, Los Angeles County (filed
         December 2003);

     (5) Chez Noelle Restaurant v. American Express Company et
         al., U.S. District Court for the Southern District of
         New York (filed January 2004);

     (6) Mascari Enterprises d/b/a Sound Stations v. American
         Express Company et al., U.S. District Court for the
         Southern District of New York (filed January 2004);

     (7) Mims Restaurant v. American Express Company et al.,
         U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New
         York (filed February, 2004); and

     (8) The Marcus Corporation v. Amercian Express Company et
         al., U.S. District Court for the Southern District of
         New York (filed July, 2004)

The plaintiffs in these actions seek injunctive relief and an
unspecified amount of damages. Upon motion to the Court by the
Company, the venue of the Cohen Rese and Italian Colors actions
was moved to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District
of New York in December 2003.  Each of the above-listed actions
(except for Hayama) is now pending in the U.S. District Court
for the Southern District of New York.

On April 30, 2004, the Company filed a motion to dismiss all the
actions filed prior to such date that were pending in the U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of New York.  A
decision on that motion is pending.  In addition, the Company
has asked the Court in the Hayama action to stay that action
pending resolution of the motion in the Southern District of New
York.


AMERICAN EXPRESS: To Seek Dismissal For Mutual Fund Fraud Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
American Express Company intends to ask the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York to dismiss
a class action filed against it, styled "In re American Express
Financial Advisors Securities Litigation."  The action also
names as defendants:

     (1) American Express Financial,

     (2) American Express Advisors, and

     (3) James M. Cracchiolo in his capacity as President and
         CEO of American Express Financial and Chairman and CEO
         of American Express Advisors

Certain American Express Funds are also named as nominal
defendants.  The action is a consolidation of the following
actions:

     (i) Naresh Chand v. American Express Company, American
         Express Financial Corporation and American Express
         Financial Advisors, Inc. (filed March 2004);

    (ii) Elizabeth Flenner v. American Express Company et al.
         (file March 2004);

   (iii) John B. Perkins v. American Express Company et al.
         (filed March 2004);

    (iv) Kathie Kerr v. American Express Company et al. (filed
         April 2004); and

     (v) Leonard D. Caldwell, Gale D. Caldwell and Richard T.
         Allen v. American Express Company et al. (filed April
         2004)

The plaintiffs allege violations of certain federal securities
laws and/or state statutory and common law.  The plaintiffs,
among other things, allege that the defendants did not
adequately disclose AEFA financial advisors' incentive to sell
American Express-branded mutual funds to clients, as well as the
"incentive arrangements" for the sale to and continued holding
by AEFA clients of mutual funds of eleven mutual fund families
("preferred funds") from whom AEFA received revenue sharing
payments.  The lawsuits seek an unspecified amount of damages,
rescission and restitution.

In addition, two lawsuits making similar allegations (based
solely on state causes of actions) were filed in the Supreme
Court of the State of New York: "Beer v. American Express
Company and American Express Financial Advisors" and "You v.
American Express Company and American Express Financial
Advisors."  The Company has sought to remove these two actions
to the United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York.  Plaintiffs have sought to remand the cases to state
Court.  The Court's decision on the remand motion is pending.


AMERICAN EXPRESS: To Ask NY Court To Dismiss Credit Card Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The American Express Company intends to ask the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York to dismiss
a purported class action filed against it captioned "Ross, et
al. v. American Express Company, American Express Travel Related
Services and American Express Centurion Bank."

The complaint alleges that AMEX conspired with the Visa,
MasterCard and Diners Club in the setting of foreign conversion
rates and in the inclusion of arbitration clauses in certain of
their card member agreements.  The basis for these allegations
is the presence of an American Express lawyer at a seminar where
legal issues common to the financial services industry were
discussed.  The meetings were attended by in-house lawyers of
financial institutions, including American Express.

The suit seeks injunctive relief and unspecified damages.  The
class is defined as "all Visa, MasterCard and Diners Club
general purpose cardholders who used cards issued by any of the
MDL Defendant Banks...." American Express cardholders are not
part of the class.


AMERICAN HONDA: Recalls 61 SUVs Because Of Fuel Tank Defects
------------------------------------------------------------
American Honda Motor Co. in cooperation with the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Office of Defects
Investigation is voluntarily recalling about 61 Year 2005 Acura
MDX and Year 2005 Honda Pilot motor vehicles due to fuel system
defects.

According to the ODI, on certain sports utility vehicles, some
fuel tanks were improperly manufactured. In case of a crash, the
fuel tank could damaged and leak fuel, which could then result
to fire, if an ignition source is present.

As a remedy dealers will replace the fuel tanks. For more
details, contact NHTSA Auto Safety Hotline: 1-888-327-4236.


ASTRAZENECA PLC: Law Firm Commences Suit Over Nexium Deception
--------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Goodkind Labaton Rudoff & Sucharow LLP initiated
a class action lawsuit against AstraZeneca on Behalf of Third-
Party Payors alleging deception over Nexium, the "Purple Pill,"
which is marketed to treat gastroesphogeal reflux disease.

The crux of the allegations is that AstraZeneca deceptively
promoted Nexium as a "more powerful and more effective" drug
than Prilosec. AstraZeneca started this false promotional
campaign as the patent for Prilosec was set to expire in 2001.
As of 2003, Prilosec sells at $0.46 per pill in comparison to
Nexium's cost of $4.00 per pill.

The Complaint alleges that AstraZeneca said that Nexium was
superior while failing to disclose flaws in its studies and
studies to the contrary. The false promotional campaign was
undertaken aggressively to medical professionals, the public and
the medical community at large.

"AstraZeneca's cynical conduct in promoting Nexium as superior
to over the counter Prilosec has cost the benefit providers
million and millions of dollars. It's reprehensible that they
would exacerbate the problems of high prescription costs with
their misleading promotions," said Barbara J. Hart, a partner of
the firm representing a class of benefit payors.

The action was brought on behalf of: Teamsters Local 237 Welfare
Fund; Local 237 Teamsters Retirees' Benefit Fund; Local 237
Teamsters-Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District Health
and Welfare Trust Fund; Local 237 Teamsters-North Babylon School
District Health and Welfare Trust Fund; Local 237 Teamsters-
Brentwood School District Health and Welfare Trust Fund; and,
Local 237 Teamsters-Suffolk Regional Off-Track Betting
Corporation Health and Welfare Trust Fund.

For more details, contact Barbara J. Hart of Goodkind Labaton
Rudoff & Sucharow LLP by Mail: 100 Park Avenue, 12th Floor, New
York, NY 10017-5563 by Phone: (212) 907-0862 by Fax:
(212) 883-7062 or by E-mail: bhart@glrslaw.com OR Kellie Safar
of Goodkind Labaton Rudoff & Sucharow LLP by Mail: 100 Park
Avenue
New York, New York 10017-5563 by Phone: (212) 907-0885 by Fax:
(212) 818-7085 or by E-mail: ksafar@glrslaw.com.


CABLEVISION SYSTEMS: Plaintiffs To File Amended DE Stock Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs intend to file an amended consolidated class action
against Cablevision Systems Corporation and each of its
directors, including Charles F. Dolan and Thomas C. Dolan, in
the Delaware Chancery Court.

In August 2002, purported class actions were filed, alleging
breach of fiduciary duties and breach of contract with respect
to an exchange by the Company of its Rainbow Media Group
tracking stock for Cablevision NY Group common stock.  The
suits, brought on behalf of all holders of publicly traded
shares of the Company's Rainbow Media Group tracking stock,
sought to:

     (1) enjoin the exchange of Rainbow Media Group tracking
         stock for Cablevision NY Group common stock,

     (2) enjoin any sales of "Rainbow Media Group assets," or,
         in the alternative, award rescissory damages,

     (3) if the exchange is completed, rescind it or award
         rescissory damages,

     (4) award compensatory damages, and

     (5) award costs and disbursements

The actions were consolidated into one action on September 17,
2002, and on October 3, 2002, the Company filed a motion to
dismiss the consolidated action.  The action was stayed by
agreement of the parties pending resolution of a related action
brought by one of the plaintiffs to compel the inspection of
certain books and records of the Company.

On October 26, 2004, the parties entered into a stipulation
dismissing the related action, and providing for the Company's
production of certain documents.  The parties also entered into
a stipulation setting the schedule for the filing of an amended
consolidated complaint and also setting forth a schedule for the
filing of an answer or a motion to dismiss.  The Company
anticipates that plaintiff will file a consolidated amended
complaint on December 13, 2004.


CABLEVISION SYSTEMS: Court Stays Breach of Fiduciary Duty Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The New York Supreme Court stayed the class action filed against
Cablevision Systems Corporation, its directors and officers,
including Charles F. Dolan and Thomas C. Dolan, and certain
current and former officers and employees of the Company's
Rainbow Media Holdings and American Movie Classics subsidiaries
(including Joshua W. Sapan.

The Teachers Retirement System of Louisiana filed the suit,
relating to the August 2002 Rainbow Media Group tracking stock
exchange by Cablevision and allege, among other things, that the
exchange ratio was based upon a price of the Rainbow Media Group
tracking stock that was artificially deflated as a result of the
improper recognition of certain expenses at the national
services division of Rainbow Media Holdings.

The complaint alleges breaches by the individual defendants of
fiduciary duties.  The complaint also alleges breaches of
contract and unjust enrichment by the Company.  The Complaint
seeks monetary damages and such other relief as the Court deems
just and proper.

On October 31, 2003, the Company and other defendants moved to
stay the action in favor of the previously filed actions pending
in Delaware or, in the alternative, to dismiss for failure to
state a claim.  On June 10, 2004, the Court stayed the action
until a review by the Court at the earlier of a decision in the
previously filed actions in Delaware on the pending motion to
dismiss in those actions or at a conference before the Court on
November 10, 2004.


CALIFORNIA: Clinic Awarded Legal Fees, Students' Work Recognized
----------------------------------------------------------------
A law clinic at the University of California, Davis, has been
awarded more than $235,000 in legal fees and recognition for the
"complex and legally sophisticated work" done by 34 former
students, UC Davis reports.

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
on November 19, awarded attorneys $289,011 in legal fees in a
class action lawsuit involving the civil rights of Muslim
prisoners at California State Prison-Solano in Vacaville. The
Civil Rights Clinic at the UC Davis School of Law is to receive
the lion's share, at $235,267.50.

"This is the largest single award of attorney's fees that the
clinic has been awarded," said Carter White, the attorney who
supervises the clinic's students. "The decision is recognition
by the federal judiciary that our students are doing excellent
work, and so we're proud of that."

In June, after more than seven years of litigation in
Mayweathers vs. Terhune et al, Muslim inmates in California
prisons secured their right to practice their religion without
fear of discipline from prison officials. The Court held that
prison officials could no longer impose any form of discipline
on Muslims for exercising their religious right to attend
Jumu'ah, an hour-long religious service every Friday, and to
wear half-inch beards, a practice observed in the religion.

That decision, now being appealed by the State of California,
made the clients of the law clinic the prevailing party and
eligible to seek legal fees. Friday's decision awarding the fees
could also be appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals,
White said.

In the order, Judge Lawrence Karlton noted that the UC Davis law
students "worked on a wide variety of tasks, including
discovery, taking and defending depositions, legal research and
writing and arguing motions in Court."

Affirming the $60 per hour rate awarded for the students' work,
he wrote, "Because of the nature of the action and the issues
involved, the work done by the (clinic) students was more
complex and legally sophisticated than work typically performed
by law clerks or paralegals in law firms."

The Civil Rights Clinic can receive attorney's fees because its
work involves federal civil rights. In this case, the students
proved an actual violation of the prisoners' rights, and so the
clinic was entitled to an award of attorney's fees.

Other fees totaling $53,743.50 will be awarded to Sue Christian,
the former supervising attorney at the UC Davis clinic, as well
as the law offices of Stewart Katz and the Prison Law Office,
where she worked after leaving the clinic in June 2001.

In the past, White said, the UC Davis clinic has received a few
awards for attorney's fees, generally in the tens of thousands
of dollars. The fees are used to continue the work of the
clinic.

At one stage of the Mayweathers lawsuit, the state appealed a
preliminary injunction and student Shan‚e Williams represented
the prisoners before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. "I was
probably scared to death, but it was such an awesome
experience," she said. "I really knew at that point I wanted to
be a litigator."

Williams, who graduated with a law degree in 2002, is now with
the Palo Alto law firm of Dechert LLP, where she practices
intellectual property litigation. "Working in the clinic was a
starting point for my litigation practice. It was a big head
start."

Judges of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of
California ask the legal clinic to take the cases of indigent
prisoners in which there is the greatest concern for the well-
being of the inmate or a major question of law at issue. Under
the supervision of the clinic's staff attorney, second- and
third-year law students work on the cases, sometimes continuing
through the appellate level. At any given time, about 12
students are working on six to eight active cases.

UC Davis also has family protection, immigration law, and prison
law clinics.


COMMERCE BANCORP: Shareholders Lodge Securities Fraud Suit in NJ
----------------------------------------------------------------
Commerce Bancorp and certain of its current and former officers
and directors face a consolidated securities class action filed
in the United States District Court for the District of New
Jersey, Camden Division.

Six class action complaints were initially filed in the United
States District Court for the District of New Jersey and the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania, containing virtually the same
factual allegations and causes of action.

The suits allege that the defendants violated the federal
securities laws, specifically Sections 10 (b) and 20 (a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 of the Securities
and Exchange Commission.  The plaintiffs seek unspecified
damages on behalf of a purported class of purchasers of the
Company's securities during various periods.


DYNACRAFT BSC: Pays $1.4M Fine for Violating Reporting Policies
---------------------------------------------------------------
Dynacraft BSC Inc., of San Rafael, California, has agreed to
pay a $1,400,000 civil penalty to settle allegations that it
violated federal reporting requirements, the United States
Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced.  CPSC
alleged that Dynacraft failed, on multiple occasions, to inform
the government in a timely manner about a serious defect with
their mountain bicycles.

Between July 1999 and March 2001, Dynacraft imported nearly
250,000 mountain bicycles that were manufactured with two types
of defective forks. The forks, which are part of the steering
column, can break apart and separate from the front wheel,
causing the rider to lose control and suffer serious injuries.
Over 50,000 of these bicycles also were made with a defect that
caused the pedals to come loose and fall off, resulting in a
loss of control by the rider.

In January 2000, Dynacraft reported to CPSC that a limited
number of Vertical XL2 bicycles were involved in incidents where
the fork broke and riders suffered chipped teeth, a sprained
back, or bumps and bruises to the head.  Based on this
information, CPSC and the firm recalled only 19,000 bicycles in
February 2000. Yet, the firm knew of additional consumers who
experienced the same problem with the bicycles, but these
incidents were not reported to CPSC until July 2000.

As a result, the February 2000 recall was expanded in September
2000 to include another 24,800 Vertical XL2 and Magna
Electroshock model bicyles.  Dynacraft reported problems with
the Magna Electroshock model in August 2000, including 35
incidents and injuries (concussions, fractures, and lost teeth).

In March 2001, Dynacraft informed CPSC about 31 riders using the
Next Shockzone model mountain bikes who were injured between
March 2000 and March 2001.  In addition to broken bones, cuts
and bruises, one rider suffered a blood clot in the brain.  The
recall of 38,000 Next Shockzone bicycles in April 2001 also
involved defective suspension forks.

An additional 54,000 units were recalled in May 2001 after the
Company reported incidents and serious injuries involving the
Magna Equator models, due to defects with the pedals.  The
largest and last recall took place in June 2002, when 132,000
Next Ultra Shock mountain bicycles were recalled due to
defective Ballistic 105 forks.  Dynacraft reported 21 injuries
involving the Next Ultra Shock, including concussions,
abrasions, chipped teeth, and chest trauma.

Federal law requires manufacturers, distributors, and retailers
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, Dynacraft BSC Inc. denies that
it violated the reporting requirements of the Consumer Product
Safety Act.


DYNEGY INC.: Lawsuit Settlement Hearing Set December 10, 2004
-------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
Texas - Houston Division will hold a fairness hearing for the
proposed $30.5 million settlement in the matter, Dynegy, Inc.
ERISA Litigation (Civil Action No. H-02-3076) on behalf of all
persons who were Plan participants between April 27, 1999 and
January 30, 2003 whose Plan account balances were invested in
Dynegy Stock, as well as their beneficiaries and certain other
representatives and successors.

The Court will hold the fairness hearing on December 10, 2004,
2:00pm at the Bob Casey United States Courthouse, 515 Rusk
Avenue, Houston, Texas 77002 in Courtroom B9 (or in the
Courtroom then occupied by U.S. District Judge Sim Lake)

For more details, Lynn Lincoln Sarko, Elizabeth Leland, Gary
Gotto or T. David Copley of Keller Rohrback L.L.P. or visit the
settlement Web sites: http://www.chmt.comor
http://www.kellersettlements.com.


E PRIME: NY Court Refuses To Dismiss Securities Fraud Lawsuit
-------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York refused to dismiss the class action filed against e
prime, inc. and three other defendants, styled "Cornerstone
Propane Partners, L.P., et al., vs. e prime, inc., et al."

Cornerstone Propane Partners, L.P., Robert Calle Gracey and
Dominick Viola filed the suit on behalf of a class who purchased
or sold one or more New York Mercantile Exchange natural gas
futures and/or options contracts during the period from January
1, 2000 to December 31, 2002.  The complaint alleges that
defendants manipulated the price of natural gas futures and
options and/or the price of natural gas underlying those
contracts in violation of the Commodities Exchange Act.

In February 2004, the plaintiff requested that this action be
consolidated with a similar suit involving Reliant Energy
Services.  In February 2004, defendants, including the Company,
filed motions to dismiss.


FORD MOTOR CO.: LA Lawsuit V. Police Cars Granted Certification
---------------------------------------------------------------
A lawsuit against Ford Motor Co. over cars used by Louisiana
state troopers was recently classified as a class action, making
it possible for any of Louisiana's law-enforcement agencies to
join the suit, the Associated Press reports.

State District Judge Wilson Fields ruled in favor of Louisiana,
one of nine states that contend that the Ford Crown Victoria
Interceptor is unsafe. The states say the car's gasoline tank
increases the risk of explosions in rear-end collisions. Suits
alleged at least a dozen deadly fires have occurred because of a
design flaw.

Lawyers for the automaker, who plan to appeal Judge Fields'
ruling say the cars are safe and are opposed to the suit's
certification as a class-action status.

According to Ford, a number of law enforcement agencies in
Louisiana have separate suits pending, which include St.
Charles, St. John the Baptist, Lafourche, Terrebonne, Avoyelles
and Iberville parishes, and the cities of Houma and Ball that
are all pending in state Court. Shreveport on the other hand is
suing in federal Court.

The case stems from a May 19, 1998 accident in which Trooper
Hung Le was killed in a fiery crash when his Crown Victoria was
rear-ended.


FRED MEYER STORES: Ex-Worker, Residents Launch Overcharging Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Fred Meyer Stores Inc., a subsidiary of Cincinnati-based grocery
chain giant Kroger Co., has for years been illegally
overcharging meat customers by tiny amounts, according to a
lawsuit that was recently filed in King County Superior Court,
the Seattle Post Intelligencer reports.

Fred Meyer employee, David Galego, who had previously been the
subject of an Oregon state regulators' investigation over
overcharging is one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit along with
customers Robin Alexander and Cathy Wiseman, both King County
residents.

The lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, accuses the
Portland, Oregon-based grocery and department store chain of
knowingly charging customers for a portion of the packaging of
its meat products, in violation of state law in Oregon,
Washington and other states where Fred Meyer operates. The
lawsuit claims that the total cost to customers is more than $1
million per year even though the extra cost to customers only
averaged about 16 cents per package. It further claims that the
practice has continued despite warnings from employees and the
Oregon Department of Agriculture.

Though declining to comment on the lawsuit, Fred Meyer said in a
statement that it has strict guidelines to ensure that per-pound
prices are "accurate, fair and consistent."


LaFARGE NORTH: Moves For Rehearing of Certification For MI Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
LaFarge North America, Inc. petitioned the United States Sixth
Circuit Court of Appeals for a rehearing of the Court's
affirmation of a lower Court ruling granting class certification
to a personal injury and property damage suit against the
Company.

On April 19, 1999, several individuals living in Alpena,
Michigan filed a class action complaint against the Company in
the United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Michigan claiming personal injury and property damages allegedly
stemming from certain emissions which they claim originated from
the Company's cement manufacturing plant in Alpena.

On October 24, 2001, the trial Court ordered that the case could
proceed as a class action on behalf of all persons who owned
single family residences in Alpena from April 1996 to the
present who have suffered damage from emissions from the Alpena
plant.  The Company appealed the Court's decision on several
grounds, including that the Court did not have jurisdiction over
the putative class as not all class members' claims satisfied
the $75,000 amount in controversy for diversity jurisdiction.

On September 7, 2004, a Panel of the United States Court of
Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed the lower Court's order
of class certification.  On September 21, 2004, the Company
petitioned the Sixth Circuit for Rehearing and Rehearing En
Banc, which petition remains pending as of the date of filing.

In addition, the U.S. Supreme Court has granted petitions for
certiorari in two cases in which the Court is expected to
address the jurisdictional question at issue in the case.


LENDINGTREE INC.: SEC Files Insider Trading Suit V. Ex-Employees
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission initiated an insider
trading complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Western
District of North Carolina against Mark P. Mead, Michael J.
Ricks, and John H. Woody, former employees of LendingTree, Inc.
(LendingTree), a financial services Company based in Charlotte,
North Carolina. The Commission's complaint alleges that Mead
(Vice President of National Accounts), Ricks
(Senior Director of Strategy and Sales) and Woody (Senior
Director of Sales and Product Management) purchased LendingTree
securities prior to the May 5, 2003, public announcement
(Announcement) of the proposed merger between LendingTree and
USA Interactive, after learning of the proposed transaction
during the course of their employment. As alleged in the
complaint, LendingTree's stock price rose sharply on the day of
the Announcement to close at a 41% premium over the closing
price of the previous trading day. By trading on this material,
nonpublic information, the complaint alleges, Mead, Ricks and
Woody realized substantial illicit profits and violated the
antifraud provisions of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
(Exchange Act).

Without admitting or denying the allegations in the complaint,
Mead, Ricks, and Woody consented to the entry of final judgments
against them that permanently enjoin them from future violations
of Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.
The final judgments also require Mead, Ricks, and Woody to
disgorge illegal trading profits of $62,756, $62,102.50, and
$86,612.50, respectively, and pay prejudgment interest thereon.
Finally, the final judgments order each defendant to pay a civil
penalty in an amount equal to their disgorgement obligations,
pursuant to Section 21A of the Exchange Act.

The Commission's complaint alleges that while working as
LendingTree employees, Mead, Ricks, and Woody learned of the
pending merger between LendingTree and USA Interactive by
observing unusual activity at LendingTree's headquarters related
to the merger, including a senior management meeting with USA
Interactive. The complaint also alleges that Mead, Ricks and
Woody worked in close proximity to LendingTree executives and
employees who were aware of the merger negotiations  -- and  all
three had access to pertinent information and documents related
to the pending merger.  The complaint further alleges that just
prior to the Announcement, Mead, Ricks, and Woody approached
LendingTree's senior management and asked whether the unusual
activity at headquarters signified that LendingTree was going to
be acquired.  Furthermore, the complaint alleges that most of
the illegal trading by Mead, Ricks and Woody in LendingTree
securities occurred on Friday, May 2, 2003 -- the last trading
day before the Announcement. Finally, the complaint alleges that
Mead's, Ricks' and Woody's trades in the days leading up to the
Announcement were their first purchases of LendingTree equities
in the secondary market - as well as the first purchases by
Ricks and Woody of LendingTree option contracts.

The Commission wishes to thank the Chicago Board Options
Exchange for its assistance in this matter. The Commission's
investigation in this matter is continuing. The action is
titled, SEC v. Michael J. Ricks, John H. Woody, and Mark P.
Mead, Civil Action No. 3:04CV576.


LIBERATE TECHNOLOGIES: Settlement Hearing Set February 15, 2005
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
California will hold a fairness hearing for the proposed
settlement in the matter, In Re Liberate Technologies Inc.
Securities Litigation (Master File No. C-02-5017 MJJ) on behalf
of all persons who purchased or otherwise acquired the common
stock of the Company between September 20, 2001 and October 15,
2002, inclusive.

The Court will hold a fairness hearing before the Honorable
Martin J. Jenkins on February 15, 2005, at 9:30am, in the United
States District Court, Northern District of California, located
at 450 Golden Gate Ave., San Francisco, CA 94102.

For more details, contact Gregory Castaldo or Kay Sickles of
Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP by Mail: Three Bala Plaza East, Suite
400, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 by Phone: 610-667-7706 or by Fax:
610-667-7056 OR In Re Liberate Technologies Inc. Securities
Litigation c/o The Garden City Group, Inc. - Claims
Administrator by Phone: P.O. Box 9000 #6258, Merrick, NY 11566-
9000 by Phone: 1-800-292-1878 or visit their Web site:
http://www.gardencitygroup.com.


MERCK & CO.: Scott + Scott Lodges Breach Of Fiduciary Suit in NJ
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Scott + Scott, LLC initiated a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of
New Jersey on behalf of participants and beneficiaries of the
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK) Savings and Security Plan and the
Employee Stock Purchase and Security Plan. ERISA clients include
both union and non-union workers as well as current and former
employees.

This lawsuit has already been filed as a purported class action
of which all or most plan participants are members and any
threat of denying future benefits to a purported class member or
any other threat or undue pressure by any party to give up such
rights should be reported at once to this firm. Anyone signing
with Scott + Scott will have their name kept confidential.

The complaint alleges that defendants Merck & Co., Inc. and
other Plan fiduciaries breached their fiduciary duties under
ERISA (the Employee Retirement Income Security Act) by, among
other things:

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

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

     (3) failing to monitor those Defendants who were charged
         with managing the Plans and their assets; and

     (4) failing to avoid conflicts of interest with respect to
         the Plans.

Merck withdrew Vioxx from the market Sept. 30 because the drug
significantly increased the risk of heart attacks and strokes in
patients taking it longer than 18 months. After the drug had
been withdrawn, the Wall Street Journal reported that internal
Company emails and memos showed that Merck was aware of the
problems with Vioxx as early as March 2000, over 4 years before
the drug was withdrawn. Also, earlier this week, the SEC and the
Department of Justice announced that they were investigating
whether Merck misled investors and federal regulators about the
safety of Vioxx. Since Vioxx was withdrawn from the market,
Merck's stock price has dropped over 40% and is currently
trading at an 8 1/2 year low.

Other pharmaceutical companies that have come under scrutiny
lately have been Phizer (NYSE: PFE), AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN),
GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK) and Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT),
among others. If you are a member of one of the Plans and wish
to discuss this announcement, are interested in actively
participating in this or other litigation with others, desire to
merely monitor the litigation and/or have information relevant
to the ongoing investigations, please contact Scott + Scott,
LLC.

For more details, contact Neil Rothstein by Mail: 108 Norwich
Avenue, Colchester, CT 06415 by Phone: 860-537-3818 or
800-404-7770 (EDT) or 800-332-2259 (PDT) or 619-233-4565
(California) by Fax: 860/537-4432 by E-mail: nrothstein@scott-
scott.com.


MERCEDES-BENZ USA: Former Executive Denies Price Fixing Charges
---------------------------------------------------------------
AutoNation Chairman and Chief Executive Mike Jackson recently
filed a motion to quash a subpoena in a lawsuit over price
fixing that allegedly occurred when he headed their U.S.
operations, the Miami Herald reports.

Mr. Jackson, who was Mercedes-Benz's top U.S. executive before
joining Fort Lauderdale's AutoNation and is viewed by some as a
key source of information in a 5-year-old legal dispute between
Mercedes-Benz USA and American buyers who say they were cheated,
is fighting an effort to make him give a deposition in the case.

Lawyers for car buyers who claim they were overcharged hundreds
or thousands of dollars have subpoenaed Mr. Jackson, who had
spent nine years at Mercedes and is credited with reviving the
brand in the United States. Just recently though he has sought a
federal Court order to quash the subpoena. A hearing on Mr.
Jackson's request hasn't been set yet, according to the Court
docket.

The lawsuit, which was filed a few weeks before AutoNation's
then-chairman, H. Wayne Huizenga, tapped Mr. Jackson in
September 1999 to lead the Company, accused Mercedes-Benz of
conspiring to fix prices at New York-area dealerships.

According to AutoNation spokesman Marc Cannon, "Mr. Jackson is
not a party to the case and neither is AutoNation." In his Court
filings, Mr. Jackson even stated that he "has no first-hand
knowledge about the alleged price-fixing conspiracy in the New
York region."

However, Joseph Barton, a Washington lawyer for the car buyers,
disagrees and states, "we think he has knowledge of the
conspiracy; at least we want to be able to find that out." He
also adds that Mercedes-Benz USA "policed and enforced the
conspiracy."

According to the class-action lawsuit, which was filed in New
Jersey federal Court, Mercedes collected proprietary pricing and
sales information from the dealerships and compiled monthly
profit analyses. The information was then shared with Sheft Kahn
& Co., its New York accountants.

The lawsuit further adds, that Sheft Kahn held regular
gatherings with at least two-dozen dealers to review pricing and
profit reports and that at these meetings, the dealers were
lectured about the importance of not competing against each
other on the basis of price, and any dealer whose monthly
reports indicated lower pricing and gross profit levels than the
others was singled out and berated."

The plaintiffs ''have not uncovered a shred of evidence that Mr.
Jackson attended any of the meetings involving Sheft Kahn and
New York Mercedes-Benz dealers,'' Jackson responded in a
November 12 filing in Fort Lauderdale federal Court. Another
reason Jackson gave for why he doesn't want to be deposed: "It
would unnecessarily and unfairly take [him] away from his
service to AutoNation's shareholders and employees."

Some 120,000-car buyers in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut
claim they were overcharged from 1992 to 1999 as a result of the
alleged price fixing, The New York Times reported in December.
The paper added four dealers settled accusations by paying
nearly $4 million.


MERCK & CO.: Seeks Consolidation of Vioxx Personal Injury Suits
---------------------------------------------------------------
Merck & Co. filed a petition with the Judicial Panel on
Multidistrict Litigation to consolidate all federal and state
personal injury lawsuits involving individual claims, and
putative class actions filed against it with respect to its
popular Vioxx drug.

As of October 31, 2004, the Company has been served or is aware
that it has been named as a defendant in approximately 375
lawsuits, which include approximately 1,000 plaintiff groups
alleging personal injuries resulting from the use of Vioxx.
Certain of these lawsuits include allegations regarding
gastrointestinal bleeding, cardiovascular events and kidney
damage.

The Company has also been named as a defendant in several
putative class actions seeking medical monitoring as a result of
the putative class members' use of Vioxx.  In addition, certain
state Court actions seek various remedies under state consumer
fraud and fair business practice statutes, including recovering
the cost of Vioxx purchased by individuals and third-party
payers such as union health plans (all of the actions discussed
in this paragraph are collectively referred to as the  "Vioxx
Personal Injury Lawsuits").

The actions filed in the state Courts of California and New
Jersey, respectively, have been transferred to a single judge in
each state for coordinated proceedings.  In addition, the
Company has filed a motion with the JPMDL to transfer to a
single federal judge and consolidate for pretrial purposes all
federal cases of a similar nature alleging personal injury
and/or economic loss relating to the purchase or use of Vioxx>;
several plaintiffs in certain Vioxx Personal Injury Lawsuits
pending in federal Court have made similar requests.


MERCK & CO.: Faces Securities Fraud, ERISA Lawsuits Over Vioxx
--------------------------------------------------------------
Merck & Co., Inc. and certain of its current and former officers
face a number of purported class action lawsuits, alleging
violations of federal securities laws relating to its statements
regarding Vioxx.

Several suits were filed in the third quarter of 2003 and the
first quarter of 2004 by several individual shareholders in the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Louisiana naming as defendants the Company and several current
or former officers of the Company.  The suits allege that
defendants made false and misleading statements regarding Vioxx
in violation of the federal securities laws.

The plaintiffs request certification of a class of purchasers of
the Company's common stock between May 22, 1999 and October 22,
2003, and seek unspecified compensatory damages and the costs of
suit, including attorney fees.

After the announcement of the withdrawal of Vioxx, the Company
was named as a defendant in four additional purported securities
class action lawsuits filed in federal Courts in New Jersey and
Pennsylvania.  These later-filed actions request certification
of a class of purchasers of Company stock during various periods
between September 23, 2003 and September 30, 2004.  The
allegations in the later-filed actions are similar to those in
the earlier-filed actions, except that the later-filed actions
also contain allegations relating to the withdrawal of Vioxx
from the market.  The complaint in the earlier-filed
consolidated actions has been amended to include allegations
regarding the withdrawal of Vioxx and to extend the purported
class period until October 29, 2004.

In October 2004, a purported class action lawsuit was filed in
the New Jersey Superior Court for Hunterdon County against the
Company and certain officers and members of the Board of
Directors (past and present) alleging that the defendants made
incomplete and misleading statements and omissions in a
registration statement and certain prospectuses filed in
connection with the Merck Stock Investment Plan, a dividend
reinvestment plan.

The plaintiffs in this case request certification of a class of
investors who acquired the Company's common stock through the
Merck Stock Investment Plan between April 26, 2002 and September
30, 2004, and seek unspecified compensatory damages, rescission
and the costs of suit, including attorney fees (all of the
actions discussed in this paragraph are collectively referred to
as the "Vioxx Securities Lawsuits").


In March 2004, two shareholder derivative actions were filed in
the United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Louisiana naming the Company and certain members of the Board
(past and present), together with certain executive officers, as
defendants.  The complaints arise out of substantially the same
factual allegations that are made in the Vioxx-related federal
securities putative class actions filed against the Company,
which principally allege that the Company made false and
misleading statements regarding Vioxx.

The derivative suits, which are purportedly brought to assert
rights of the Company, assert claims against the Board members
and officers for breach of fiduciary duty, waste of corporate
assets and unjust enrichment.  The Court in the Eastern District
of Louisiana has consolidated the shareholder derivative actions
with the earlier-filed consolidated securities actions.

In October 2004, two shareholder derivative actions were filed
in the New Jersey Superior Court for Hunterdon County against
the Company and certain officers and members of the Board (past
and present).  The allegations in the later-filed actions are
similar to those in the earlier-filed actions, except that the
later-filed actions also contain allegations relating to the
withdrawal of Vioxx from the market (all of the actions
discussed in this paragraph are collectively referred to as the
"Vioxx Derivative Lawsuits").

On October 29, 2004, attorneys representing two individual
shareholders made a demand on the Board to take legal action
against Mr. Raymond Gilmartin, Chairman, President and Chief
Executive Officer and other unspecified individuals for
allegedly causing damage to the Company with respect to the
allegedly improper marketing of Vioxx.

In addition to these shareholder actions, since the announcement
of the withdrawal of Vioxx, seven putative class actions have
been filed against the Company, two in the United States
District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana and five in
the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
on behalf of certain of the Company's current and former
employees who are participants in certain of the Company's
retirement plans asserting claims under the Employee Retirement
Income Security Act (ERISA).

The lawsuits make similar allegations to the allegations
contained in the shareholder lawsuits described above.  The
plaintiff in one of the Vioxx ERISA Lawsuits has filed a motion
with the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to transfer
to a single federal judge and consolidate for pretrial purposes
all of the Vioxx  ERISA Lawsuits.

In addition to the lawsuits discussed above, the Company has
been named as a defendant in actions in various countries in
Europe, Canada, Brazil and Israel related to Vioxx.


MERCK & CO.: Withdrawal of Vaccine Litigation Funding Appealed
--------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs appeal withdrawal of public funding for the
litigation filed against Merck & Co. in the United Kingdom,
asserting claims under the Consumer Protection Act of 1987,
relating to its M-M-R II children's vaccine.

The litigation alleges that certain children suffer from a
variety of conditions as a result of being vaccinated with
various bivalent vaccines for measles and rubella and/or
trivalent vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella, including the
Company's M-M-R II.  The conditions include autism, with or
without inflammatory bowel disease, epilepsy, diabetes,
encephalitis, encephalopathy, deafness, chronic fatigue syndrome
and transverse myelitis.

In early September 2003, the Legal Services Commission announced
its decision to withdraw public funding of the litigation
brought by the claimants.  This decision was confirmed on appeal
by the Funding Review Committee (FRC) on September 30, 2003.
The claimants' application for judicial review of the decision
to withdraw public funding was dismissed in February 2004 and
the April 2004 trial date was vacated.

The lead claimants have decided not to apply to the Court of
Appeal for permission to appeal that decision.  Therefore, legal
aid for all lead claimants has now been discharged.  The non-
lead claimants were subject to a "show cause" procedure to
withdraw legal aid unless the claimants could show cause as to
why it should not be withdrawn.

The FRC heard 37 of the "show cause" appeals by the non-lead
claimants in October 2004.  The appeals involving autism (26)
were unsuccessful, but funding was reinstated for 11 appeals
involving other non-autism conditions, such as epilepsy,
deafness, encephalitis and transverse myelitis.  It is not yet
known how many of the 11 appeals involve claimants suing the
Company.  All claimants for all conditions have until December
2004 to give notice of their intention to continue or
discontinue with their claims, irrespective of whether or not
they have secured legal aid funding.


MERCK & CO.: Trial in Thimerosal Litigation Scheduled For 2005
--------------------------------------------------------------
Trial in three state Court cases and two federal cases against
Merck & Co., relating to its pediatric vaccines containing
thimerosal, a preservative used in vaccines is set for 2005.

The Company is also a party to individual and class action
product liability lawsuits and claims in the United States
involving pediatric vaccines (i.e., hepatitis B vaccine and
"haemophilus influenza" type b vaccine) that contained
thimerosal.  Other defendants include vaccine manufacturers who
produced pediatric vaccines containing thimerosal as well as
manufacturers of thimerosal.

In these actions, the plaintiffs allege, among other things,
that they have suffered neurological and other injuries as a
result of having thimerosal introduced into their developing
bodies.  The Company has been successful in having many of these
cases either dismissed or stayed on the ground that the National
Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP) prohibits any person
from filing or maintaining a civil action seeking damages
against a vaccine manufacturer for vaccine-related injuries
unless a petition is first filed in the United States Court of
Federal Claims.

A number of similar cases (M-M-R II alone and/or thimerosal-
containing vaccines) have been filed in the United States Court
of Federal Claims under the NVICP for a determination first on
general causation issues.


NEW YORK: Groups Commence Suit Over Detention Of GOP Protesters
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Center for Constitutional Rights and the New York chapter of
the National Lawyers Guild initiated a federal class action suit
against the city claiming that the protesters detained during
the Republican National Convention were held too long and in
"excessive, unnecessary and punitive" conditions, the New York
Post reports.

The lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan
sought class-action status on behalf of nearly 2,000 arrested
during the convention and unspecified damages for physical and
mental pain and anguish.

That suit contends that the constitutional rights of those
arrested were violated by arbitrary arrests and by harsh
conditions at Pier 57, a former bus repair depot where they were
held for as long as 48 hours on minor charges. The suit further
contends that the pier was contaminated with asbestos and toxic
chemicals. It also contends that those arrested were subjected
to "intolerable and cruel and inhumane conditions," including
denying them access to family and lawyers for an unreasonable
amount of time.

According to Jonathan C. Moore, one of the lawyers who filed the
suit, New York created a "little Guant namo on the Hudson and
that all that was missing were the orange jumpsuits."

However, Deputy Police Commissioner Paul J. Browne vigorously
disputed the allegations, saying that Pier 57 was "safe and
clean to temporarily hold" those who were arrested. He further
stated that the police, in preparation for the convention, had
installed lighting, ventilation and sanitary facilities and had
ordered an environmental inspection.


NORTHWESTERN CORPORATION: Working For SD Stock Suit Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------------
Northwestern Corporation is working to settle the litigation
filed against it and certain of its present and former officers
in the United States District Court for the District of South
Dakota, Southern Division, alleging federal securities law
violations.

Numerous complaints were initially filed against the Company and
certain of its present and former officers, alleging violations
of Sections 11, 12 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 and
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder.

In June 2003, the complaints were consolidated in the United
States District Court for the District of South Dakota and given
the caption "In re NorthWestern Corporation Securities
Litigation, Case No. 03-4049," and Carpenters Pension Trust for
Southern California, Oppenheim Investment Management, LLC, and
Richard C. Slump were named as co-lead plaintiffs.

In July 2003, the Lead Plaintiffs filed a consolidated amended
class action complaint naming the Company, NorthWestern Capital
Financing II and III, Blue Dot, Expanets, certain of its present
and former officers and directors, along with a number of
investment banks that participated in the securities offerings,
as defendants.

The amended complaint alleges that the defendants misrepresented
and omitted material facts concerning the business operations
and financial performance of NorthWestern, Expanets, Blue Dot
and CornerStone, overstated NorthWestern's revenues and earnings
by, among other things, maintaining insufficient reserves for
accounts receivable at Expanets, failing to disclose billing
problems and lapses and data conversion problems, failing to
make full disclosures of problems (including the billing and
data conversion issues) arising from the implementation of
Expanets' EXPERT system, concealing losses at Expanets and Blue
Dot by improperly allocating losses to minority interest
shareholders, maintaining insufficient internal controls, and
profiting from improper related-party transactions.

The Company, and certain of its present and former officers and
directors, were also named as defendants in two complaints
purporting to be class actions which were filed in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York,
entitled "Sanford & Beatrice Golman Family Trust, et al. v.
NorthWestern Corp., et al., Case No. 03CV3223," and "Arthur
Laufer v. Merle Lewis, et al., Case No. 03CV3716," which were
brought on behalf of the purchasers of the Company's 7.20%,
8.25%, and 8.10% trust preferred securities which were offered
and sold pursuant to the Company's registration statement on
Form S-3 filed on July 12, 1999.

The plaintiffs' claims are based on similar allegations of
material misrepresentations and omissions of fact relating to
the registration statement in violation of Sections 11 and 12 of
the Securities Act of 1933, and they seek unspecified
compensatory damages, rescission and attorneys', accountants'
and experts' fees.

In July 2003, Arthur Laufer v. Merle Lewis, et al. was
transferred to the District of South Dakota and consolidated
with the consolidated actions pending in that Court.  In
September 2003, Sanford & Beatrice Golman Family Trust, et al.
v. NorthWestern Corp., et al. was also transferred to the
District of South Dakota.  In February 2004, the Golman Family
Trust action was also consolidated with the actions pending in
that Court.  The actions have been stayed as to NorthWestern
Corporation due to its bankruptcy filing.

In October 2003, Expanets, Blue Dot, and certain of
NorthWestern's present and former officers and directors filed
motions to dismiss the consolidated amended class action
complaint for failure to state a claim, which are currently
pending in the District of South Dakota.

Certain of the Company's present and former officers and
directors and NorthWestern, as a nominal defendant, have been
named in two shareholder derivative actions commenced in the
United States District Court for the District of South Dakota,
Southern Division, entitled "Deryl Lusty, et al. v. Richard R.
Hylland, et al., Case No. CIV034091" and "Jerald and Betty
Stewart, et al. v. Richard R. Hylland, et al., Case No.
CIV034114."

These shareholder derivative lawsuits allege that the defendants
breached various fiduciary duties based upon the same general
set of alleged facts and circumstances as the federal
shareholder suits.  The plaintiffs seek unspecified compensatory
damages, restitution of improper salaries, insider trading
profits and payments from NorthWestern, and disgorgement under
the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.

In July 2003, the complaints were consolidated in the United
States District Court for the District of South Dakota and given
the caption "In re NorthWestern Corporation Derivative
Litigation, Case No. 03-4091."  In October 2003, the action was
stayed pending a ruling on defendants' motions to dismiss in the
related securities class action, "In re NorthWestern Corporation
Securities Litigation."

On November 6, 2003, the Bankruptcy Court entered an order
preliminarily enjoining the plaintiffs in "In re NorthWestern
Corporation Derivative Litigation" from prosecuting the
litigation against the Company, its subsidiaries and its current
and former officers and directors until further order of the
Bankruptcy Court.

On February 7, 2004, the parties to the above consolidated
securities class actions and consolidated derivative litigation,
together with certain other affected persons and parties,
reached a tentative settlement of the litigation.  On April 19,
2004, the parties and other affected persons signed a memorandum
of understanding (MOU) which memorialized the tentative
settlement.  On June 16, 2004, the parties and other affected
persons signed a settlement agreement memorializing the
tentative settlement and addressing various issues necessary for
federal Court approval.

The Company obtained approval of the MOU in the NorthWestern and
Netexit bankruptcy cases on October 7, 2004 and September 15,
2004, respectively.  On October 26, 2004 Magten filed a notice
of appeal of the Bankruptcy Court's approval of the MOU.  Prior
to those approvals from the Bankruptcy Court in both the
NorthWestern and Netexit bankruptcy cases, the federal Court in
Sioux Falls indicated that it intended to grant preliminary
approval of the settlement agreement pending the Bankruptcy
Court approval, and has set a date for final approval on
December 13, 2004.

Among the terms of the proposed settlement, the Company,
Expanets, Blue Dot and other parties and persons will be
released from all claims to these cases, a settlement fund in
the amount of $41 million (of which approximately $37 million
would be contributed by our directors and officers liability
insurance carriers, and $4 million would be contributed from
other persons and parties) will be established, and the
plaintiffs will have a $20 million liquidated securities claim
against Netexit.


NORTHWESTERN CORPORATION: Reaches Settlement For MT Stock Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
A tentative settlement has been reached for the class action
filed against Northwestern Corporation and several others in the
United States District Court in Montana, styled "McGreevey, et
al. v. The Montana Power Company, et al."

The lawsuit, which was filed by former shareholders of The
Montana Power Company (most of whom became shareholders of Touch
America Holdings, Inc. as a result of a corporate reorganization
of the Montana Power Company), claims that the disposition of
various generating and energy-related assets by The Montana
Power Company were void because of the failure to obtain
shareholder approval for the transactions.  Plaintiffs thus seek
to reverse those transactions, or receive fair value for their
stock as of late 2001, when plaintiffs claim shareholder
approval should have been sought.

The Company is named as a defendant due to the fact that the
Company purchased Montana Power LLC, which plaintiffs claim is a
successor to the Montana Power Company.

On November 6, 2003, the Bankruptcy Court approved a stipulation
between the Company and the plaintiffs in "McGreevey, et al. v.
The Montana Power Company, et al."  The stipulation provides
that litigation, as against NorthWestern, Clark Fork, The
Montana Power Company, Montana Power LLC and Jack Haffey, shall
be temporarily stayed for 180 days from the date of the
stipulation.  Pursuant to the stipulation and after providing
notice to NorthWestern, the plaintiffs may move the Bankruptcy
Court for termination of the temporary stay.

On July 10, 2004, the Company and the other insureds under the
applicable directors and officers liability insurance policies
along with the plaintiffs in the McGreevey case, plaintiffs in
the "In Re Touch America Holdings, Inc. Securities Litigation"
and the Touch America Creditors Committee reached a tentative
settlement through mediation.

Among the terms of the tentative settlement, the Company, Clark
Fork and other parties will be released from all claims in this
case, the plaintiffs in McGreevey will dismiss their claims
against the third party purchasers of the generation assets and
non-regulated energy assets of Montana Power Company including
PPL Montana, and a settlement fund in the amount of $67 million
(all of which will be contributed by the former Montana Power
Company directors and officers liability insurance carriers)
will be established.  The settlement is subject to the
occurrence of several conditions, including approval of the
proposed settlement by the Bankruptcy Court in our bankruptcy
proceeding, where a hearing has been set for November 3, 2004,
and approval of the proposed settlement by the Federal District
Court for the District of Montana, where the class actions are
pending.


NORTHWESTERN CORPORATION: Dropped From CornerStone Fraud Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Northwestern Corporation has been dropped as a defendant in the
amended consolidated securities class action filed in the United
States District Court for the Northern District of California
against CornerStone Propane Partners, LP and other defendants.

The Company and certain of its former officers and directors,
were named as defendants in certain complaints filed against
CornerStone Propane Partners, LP and other defendants purporting
to be class actions filed in the United States District Court
for the Northern District of California.

Purchasers of units of CornerStone Propane Partners filed the
suits, alleging violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder.  Through November 1, 2002, the Company held an
economic equity interest in a subsidiary that serves as the
managing general partner of CornerStone Propane Partners, LP.
Certain former officers and directors of NorthWestern who are
named as defendants in certain of these actions have also been
sued in their capacities as directors of the managing general
partner.

These complaints allege that defendants sold units of
CornerStone Propane Partners based upon false and misleading
statements and failed to disclose material information about
CornerStone Propane Partners' financial condition and future
prospects, including overpayment for acquisitions, overstating
earnings and net income, and that it lacked adequate internal
controls.  All of the lawsuits have now been consolidated and
Gilbert H. Lamphere has been named as lead plaintiff.  The
actions have been stayed as to NorthWestern due to its
bankruptcy filing.

On October 27, 2003, the plaintiffs filed an amended
consolidated class action complaint.  The new complaint does not
name NorthWestern as a defendant, although it alleges facts
relating to NorthWestern's conduct.  Certain of its former
officers and directors are named as defendants in the amended
consolidated complaint.  The plaintiffs seek compensatory
damages, prejudgment and postjudgment interest and costs,
injunctive relief, and other relief.

On November 6, 2003, the Bankruptcy Court entered an order
approving a stipulation between NorthWestern and plaintiffs in
this litigation.  The stipulation provides that litigation as
against NorthWestern shall be temporarily stayed for 180 days
from the date of the stipulation.  Pursuant to the stipulation
and after providing notice to NorthWestern, the plaintiffs may
move the Bankruptcy Court for termination of the temporary stay.

On March 2, 2004, the plaintiffs filed a corrected consolidated
amended complaint against CornerStone and the individual
defendants, which also did not name NorthWestern.  In June 2004,
CornerStone Propane Partners, LP along with its subsidiaries and
affiliates filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 of
the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.  As a result of that filing this case
is now stayed against CornerStone Propane Partners and other
named subsidiaries and affiliates.


NOVASTAR HOME: Madison County Resident Lodges Fraud Suit in IL
--------------------------------------------------------------
NovaStar Home Mortgage Inc. and NovaStar Financial Inc.,
national lenders, which face class action suits across the
country for allegedly violating the Securities Exchange Act, are
now targets in Madison County Circuit Court, the Madison County
Record reports.

Filed on October 29 by Evan D. Buxner of the St. Louis firm
Walther Glenn Law Associates on behalf of Karen Miller of
Madison, the class action lawsuit accuses the lenders of making
kickbacks to affiliate branches "to ensure a ready pipeline of
nonconforming loan originations." Furthermore, the suit accuses
Novastar (NFI) and Novastar Home Mortgage (NHMI) of defrauding
class members by making undisclosed kickbacks to its unlicensed
affiliate branches for placing nonconforming residential
mortgage loans with Novastar.

According to the suit, "counsel for plaintiffs and the class
believe that in excess of $200 million in settlement fees was
split unlawfully."

Ms. Miller claims that NovaStar would retain a percentage of the
settlement fees collected by affiliate branches on a basis
wholly distinct from what was disclosed in the HUD-1 (Housing
and Urban Development) settlement statements.

The suit alleges that plaintiffs and class members received
fraudulent HUD-1 statements that:

     (1) Included phony entries regarding the recipients of
         various settlement fees.

     (2) Phony entries regarding the amount of the settlement
         fees actually being paid to the service providers who
         were identified; and

     (3) Phony information regrding the basis upon which the
         identified servide provider was actually receiving a
         fee, according to the complaint.

The suit also alleges NFI and NHMI attempted to cover up its
violation of mortgage lending laws by terminating agreements
with its affiliate branches in February 2004, retroactive to
January 1, 2004. "In fact, NFI/NHMI was attempting to put the
genie back in the bottle by retroactively addressing its illegal
practices," according to the suit. "These efforts included the
dissemination of demonstrably false and material information by
NFI officers regarding the affiliate branch structure during
quarterly earnings conference calls."


ORION BUS INDUSTRIES: Recalls Buses For Exhaust Systems Defects
---------------------------------------------------------------
Orion Bus Industries, Inc. in cooperation with the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Office of Defects
Investigation is voluntarily recalling about 545 Year 2002,
2003, 2004 ORION VII buses due to exhaust system defects.

According to the ODI, on certain buses equipped with compressed
natural gas fuel containers, the thermal properties of the
original exhaust blanket were insufficiently achieved with the
component supplied. The performance of the exhaust temperature
and the exhaust blanket were incorrectly evaluated for the
supplied blanket. The exhaust blanket can be degraded and lose
insulating value. Surrounding components can degrade in the
engine compartment and can malfunction due to the effect on
wires and hoses.

As a remedy dealers will install a replacement exhaust blanket.
The manufacturer has not yet provided an owner notification
schedule. For more details, contact NHTSA Auto Safety Hotline:
1-888-327-4236.


PACCAR INC.: Recalls 251 Peterbilt Trucks Due To Seat Defects
-------------------------------------------------------------
Paccar Inc. in cooperation with the National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration's Office of Defects Investigation is
voluntarily recalling about 251 Year 2005 Peterbilt 201 trucks
Year 2004, 2005 Peterbilt Model 387 due to seat defects.

According to the ODI, on certain trucks, the pivot bolts which
hold the seat back frame to the seat cushion frame can loosen
and possibly fracture or dislodge, causing the seat back to fail
to provide full support to the driver. A possible crash could
occur should the seat fall backwards during use.

As a remedy GRA-MAG will provide customers with repair kits,
which include instructions and parts to repair the seat. For
more details, contact NHTSA Auto Safety Hotline: 1-888-327-4236
or GRA-MAG: 614-875-8435 or Peterbilt: 510-790-4013.


RR DONNELLEY: IL Court Approves Settlement of Race Bias Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court in Chicago, Illinois granted
preliminary approval to the settlement of a class action filed
against R.R. Donnelley & Sons, Co., styled "Jones et al. v. R.R.
Donnelley & Sons Co."

The suit was filed on November 25, 1996, against the Company in
the United States District Court in Chicago, Illinois, on behalf
of current and former African-American employees, alleging that
the Company racially discriminated against them in violation of
the Civil Rights Act of 1871, as amended, and the U.S.
Constitution, an earlier Class Action Reporter story (November
11,2003) reports.

The complaint seeks declaratory and injunctive relief, and
asks for actual, compensatory, consequential and punitive
damages in an amount not less than $500 million.  The Company
settled that portion of Jones, et al. v. R.R. Donnelley & Sons
Co., relating to claims arising in locations other than
the closure of the Chicago catalog operations in 1993 without
any admission of wrongdoing by the Company.

On September 16, 2002, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
overturned a ruling by the trial Court and held that a two year
statute of limitations applies to the claims of these classes,
which absent any other ruling would result in dismissal of the
claims on the basis of timeliness.  On May 19, 2003, the United
States Supreme Court agreed to review the issue of the
appropriate statute of limitations to apply and set the matter
for argument in the 2003 term.

On February 24, 2004, the matter was argued before the high
Court.  On May 3, 2004, the Supreme Court reversed the circuit
Court ruling, held that a four-year statute of limitations
applies to the claims of the two classes and remanded the case
for further proceedings consistent with the Supreme Court's
opinion, an earlier Class Action Reporter story (June 14,2004)
reports.

On October 21, 2004, the district Court judge granted
preliminary approval of a settlement agreement with respect to
"Jones."  Notice of the settlement has been sent to the
plaintiffs and any objections by the plaintiffs are to be
returned by November 19, 2004.  A fairness hearing is scheduled
for November 30, 2004.  Under the terms of the agreement, on or
before November 11, 2004 the Company will pay $15.0 million into
escrow for distribution to the plaintiffs and their attorneys
upon the settlement becoming final.

The suit is styled "JONES et al. on behalf of herself and a
class of others similarly situated v. R. R. DONNELLEY & SONS
CO.," filed in the United States District Court in Chicago,
Illinois.  Lead counsel for the plaintiff is H. Candace Gorman,
542 S. Dearborn Suite 1060, Chicago, IL 60605, Phone:
312-427-2313.

Lawyers for the defendants are:

     (1) Richard Schnadig of Veder, Price, Kaufmann Kammhol,
         222 N. LaSalle Street, Chicago, IL 60601-1003, Phone:
         312-609-7500

     (2) Carter G. Phillips of Sidley Austin Brown & Wood LLP,
         1501 K Street, NW Washington, DC 20005, Phone: 202-736-
         8000


SAVIENT PHARMACEUTICALS: Asks NJ Court To Dismiss Stock Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Savient Pharmaceuticals, Inc. asked the United States District
Court for the District of New Jersey to dismiss a purported
stockholder class action filed against it and three of its
officers, styled "A.F.I.K. Holding SPRL v. Fass, No. 02-6048
(HAA)."

The suit alleges violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  Plaintiff purports to
represent a class of stockholders who purchased shares of the
Company between April 19, 1999 and August 2, 2002.   The
complaint asserts that the Company's financial statements were
materially false and misleading because the Company restated its
earnings and financial statements for the years ended 1999, 2000
and 2001, as reflected in the Company's Form 8-K and
acCompanying press release issued August 2, 2002.

The lead plaintiffs filed an amended consolidated complaint in
March 2004.  In July 2004, the Company filed a brief in support
of a motion to dismiss this case and in October 2004, the lead
plaintiffs filed their brief in opposition to the motion to
dismiss.  The Company cannot predict when the Court will make a
decision on this motion.


SOUNDVIEW TECHNOLOGY: Focus Cases in NY IPO Litigation Certified
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York certified the focus class actions in the initial public
offering (IPO) allocation litigation filed against Soundview
Technology Group, Inc. one or more of its subsidiaries and other
financial institutions.

Multiple purported securities class actions were filed on behalf
of persons who either directly or in the aftermarket purchased
IPO securities during the time period between March 1997 and
December 2000.  The plaintiffs allege that the Company and the
other underwriters named as defendants required persons
receiving allocations of IPO shares to pay excessive and
undisclosed commissions on unrelated trades and to purchase
shares in the aftermarket at specific escalating prices in
violation of the federal securities laws.

Soundview has been named in 31 of the actions - each involving a
different Company's IPO - that have been consolidated with 280
other actions in which Soundview is not named as a defendant

The parties, with the assent of the Court, have selected 17
focus cases as the subject of case-specific discovery, and, in
some instances, class-certification motions.  Wit Capital, a
Soundview predecessor, is a defendant in one of the focus cases.
Additionally, Soundview and/or related entities had underwriting
commitments in approximately 11 of the remaining focus cases;
Soundview entities are not named as defendants in these cases,
but may have indemnification obligations to the lead
underwriters depending on the outcome of these actions.

On October 13, 2004, a federal judge issued a ruling certifying
the existence of a class in the focus cases.

The suit is styled "In Re: IPO Securities Lit., et al v. , et
al, 1:21-mc-00092-SAS," under Judge Shira A. Scheindlin.  The
plaintiff firms in this litigation are:

     (1) Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz LLP (New York, NY), 10 E.
         40th Street, 22nd Floor, New York, NY, 10016, Phone:
         800.217.1522, E-mail: info@bernlieb.com

     (2) Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach, LLP (New York,
         NY), One Pennsylvania Plaza, New York, NY, 10119-1065,
         Phone: 212.594.5300

     (3) Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP, Mail: 3 Bala Plaza E, Bala
         Cynwyd, PA, 19004, Phone: 610.667.7706, Fax:
         610.667.7056, E-mail: info@sbclasslaw.com

     (4) Sirota & Sirota, LLP, 110 Wall Street 21st Floor, New
         York, NY, 10005, Phone: 888.759.2990, Fax:
         212.425.9093, E-mail: Info@SirotaLaw.com

     (5) Stull, Stull & Brody (New York), 6 East 45th Street,
         New York, NY, 10017, Phone: 310.209.2468, Fax:
         310.209.2087, E-mail: SSBNY@aol.com

     (6) Wolf, Haldenstein, Adler, Freeman & Herz LLP, 270
         Madison Avenue, New York, NY, 10016, Phone:
         212.545.4600, Fax: 212.686.0114, E-mail:
        newyork@whafh.com


SUNRISE POWER: CA Court Mulls Remand of Lawsuit To State Court
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court in San Diego, California heard
the plaintiffs' motion to remand the consolidated class action
filed against Sunrise Power Company and other sellers of long-
term power to California state Court.

The Company sells all its output to the California Department of
Water Resources.  On May 15, 2002, a complaint was filed in the
Superior Court of the State of California, City and County of
San Francisco, by James M. Millar, "individually, and
on behalf of the general public and as a representative taxpayer
suit" against sellers of long-term power to the California
Department of Water Resources, including the Company.

The lawsuit alleges that the defendants, including the Company,
engaged in unfair and fraudulent business practices by knowingly
taking advantage of a manipulated power market to obtain unfair
contract terms.  The lawsuit seeks to enjoin enforcement of the
"unfair and oppressive terms and conditions" in the contracts,
as well as restitution by the defendants of excessive monies
obtained by the defendants.

Plaintiffs in several other class action lawsuits pending in
Northern California have filed petitions seeking to have the
Millar lawsuit consolidated with those lawsuits.  Defendants,
including the Company, have stipulated to respond to the
complaint thirty days after it is assigned to a specific Court
of the San Francisco Superior Court.

In December 2003, Mr. Millar filed a First Amended Class Action
and Representative Action Complaint which contains allegations
similar to those in the earlier complaint but also alleges a
class action.  One of the newly added parties has again removed
the lawsuit to federal Court.  After various procedural motions,
the case has been re-assigned to Judge Whaley in San Diego,
who has heard plaintiff's motion to remand and has asked for
supplemental briefing.  A decision on the remand is expected
before the end of 2004.

The suit names as defendants:

     (1) Allegheny Energy Supply Company, LLC

     (2) Alliance Colton LLC

     (3) Calpeak Power-Border LLC

     (4) Calpeak Power - El Cajon LLC

     (5) Calpeak Power - Enterprise LLC

     (6) Calpeak Power-Midway LLC

     (7) Calpeak Power - Mission LLC

     (8) Calpeak Power - Panoche LLC

     (9) Calpeak Power - Vaca Dixon LLC

    (10) Calpine Energy Services, L.P.

    (11) Clearwood Electric Company LLC

    (12) Constellation Power Source

    (13) Coral Power LLC

    (14) Dynegy Power Marketing, Inc.

    (15) El Paso Merchant Energy

    (16) Fresno Cogeneration Partners

    (17) Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.

    (18) GWF Energy LLC

    (19) High Desert Power Project, LLC

    (20) Imperial Valley Resource Recovery Company, LLC

    (21) Mirant American Energy Marketing LP

    (22) Morgan Stanley Capital Group, Inc.

    (23) Pacificorp Power Marketing, Inc.

    (24) PG&E Energy Trading

    (25) Pinnacle West Capital Corporation

    (26) Sempra Energy Resources

    (27) Soledad Energy LLC

    (28) Sunrise Power Company LLC

    (29) Wellhead Power Panoche, LLC

    (30) Wellhead Power Gates, LLC

    (31) Whitewater Energy Corporation

    (32) Williams Energy Marketing and Trading Co.

The suit is styled "James M. Millar, individually and on behalf
of all others similarly situated and on behalf of the general
public v. Allegheny Energy, et al., Case No. 04-CV-901," pending
in the United States District Court for the Southern District of
California, under Judge Robert H. Whaley.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs are Steve W Berman of Hagens and
Berman, 1301 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2900, Seattle, WA 98101, Phone:
(206)623-0594 or (206)623-7292; and Kevin P Roddy of Hagens
Berman, 700 South Flower Street, Suite 2940, Los Angeles, CA
90017-4101, Phone: (213)330-7150 or (213)330-7152


UNITED STATES: Liner Yankelevitz Settles Two ERISA Fraud Suits
--------------------------------------------------------------
Earlier this year, former and current Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD)
employees began enjoying the benefits of a $67.76 million
settlement that Ronald S. Kravitz negotiated in an ERISA class
action against the drug store chain. Mr. Kravitz didn't stop
there. He continued his work on behalf of employee benefit plan
participants by prosecuting cases involving the Reliance
Insurance Company and APL Limited (formerly known as American
President Companies, Ltd.).

Mr. Kravitz, a partner in the San Francisco office of Liner
Yankelevitz Sunshine & Regenstreif LLP, obtained a $5 million
settlement for participants and beneficiaries of the Reliance
Savings Incentive Plan in LaManna, et al. v. Steinberg, et al.,
Case No. 01-CV-3571 (E.D. Pa. Oct. 6, 2004).

The settlement is especially impressive because Reliance
Insurance Company is in liquidation. In recent years it was
discovered that, although the Company was paying dividends to
its officers and directors, the Company actually was not
profitable and was heavily encumbered by debt. The controversy
surrounding Saul Steinberg, who served as a Reliance officer
and board member, was detailed in the January 2001 issue of
Vanity Fair. The price of Reliance stock fell from approximately
$15 per share in early 1998 to $0.02 in 2001.

The Plaintiffs in LaManna alleged that, although the employee
benefit plan fiduciaries knew or should have known it was no
longer prudent for the plan to hold Company stock, they failed
to protect the plan and plan participants from enormous losses.

Mr. Kravitz and his partner, Kim Zeldin, tackled another ERISA
class action in Keehner v. APL Retirement Account Plan, et al.,
Case No. C 03-1973 (N.D. Ca. Oct. 1, 2004). The Liner lawyers
obtained a $1.125 million settlement for plan participants who
elected to take their benefits in the form of a lump sum and did
not receive the cost-of-living adjustment they would have
received had they elected to receive their benefits in the form
of an annuity. Because of the settlement, an amendment was made
to the plan so that, in the future, plan participants who elect
a lump-sum benefit will receive a cost-of-living adjustment.

"This is an example of how class actions ought to work," Judge
William H. Alsup told class members at the fairness hearing.
"You didn't have to do a thing except fill out a postcard, and
you're going to get a lot of money...tell your friends when they
complain about lawyers what a good job happened in this case."

For more details, contact Ronald S. Kravitz of Liner Yankelevitz
Sunshine & Regenstreif LLP by Mail: 199 Fremont Street, Suite
2000, San Francisco, CA 94105 by Phone: (415) 489-7700 by Fax:
(415) 489-7701 by E-mail: rkravitz@linerlaw.com or visit their
Web site: http://www.linerlaw.com.


WESTAR ENERGY: Mediation Proceeds in KS Securities Fraud Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Mediation for the settlement of the class action filed against
Westar Energy, Inc. and certain of its present and former
officers is proceeding.  The suit, styled "In Re Westar Energy,
Inc. Securities Litigation, Master File No. 5:03-CV-4003," is
pending in the United States District Court in Topeka, Kansas.

Plaintiffs filed a Consolidated Amended Complaint on July 15,
2003.  The lawsuit is brought on behalf of purchasers of the
Company's common stock between March 29, 2000, the date the
Company announced its intention to separate its electric utility
operations from its unregulated businesses, and November 8,
2002, the date the KCC issued an order prohibiting the
separation.

The lawsuit alleges that the Company violated federal securities
laws by making material misrepresentations or omitting material
facts concerning the purpose and benefits of the previously
proposed separation of the Company's electric utility operations
from its unregulated businesses, the compensation of its senior
management and the independence and functioning of its board of
directors and that as a result the Company artificially inflated
the price of the Company's common stock.

On August 26, 2004, the Court issued an order granting a joint
motion of all parties, which stayed the lawsuit until December
7, 2004, pending efforts to settle the lawsuit through
mediation.  The Court also denied without prejudice motions to
dismiss the lawsuit filed by the Company and other defendants.
The Court stated its intention to set aside the order upon
notice by any party that mediation efforts were unsuccessful, in
which case the Court will address the motions to dismiss the
lawsuit.


WESTAR ENERGY: Mediation Proceeds in Consolidated KS ERISA Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Mediation is proceeding in the consolidated class action filed
against Westar Energy, Inc. and certain of its present and
former officers and employees, styled "In Re Westar Energy ERISA
Litigation, Master File No. 03-4032-JAR."

The suit is pending in the United States District Court in
Topeka, Kansas, on behalf of participants in, and beneficiaries
of, the Company's Employees' 401(k) Savings Plan between July 1,
1998 and January 1, 2003.  The lawsuit alleges violations of the
Employee Retirement Income Security Act arising from the conduct
of certain present and former officers and employees who served
or are serving as fiduciaries for the plan.

The conduct is related to alleged securities law violations
related to the previously proposed separation of the Company's
electric utility operations from our unregulated businesses, its
rate cases filed with the KCC in 2000, the compensation of and
benefits provided to its senior management, energy marketing
transactions with Cleco Corporation (Cleco) and the first and
second quarter 2002 restatements of its consolidated financial
statements related to the revised goodwill impairment charge and
the mark-to-market charge on its putable/callable notes.

On August 26, 2004, the Court issued an order granting a joint
motion of all parties, which stayed the lawsuit until December
7, 2004, pending efforts to settle the lawsuit through
mediation.  The Court also denied without prejudice motions to
dismiss the lawsuit filed by us and other defendants.  The Court
stated its intention to set aside the order upon notice by any
party that mediation efforts were unsuccessful, in which case
the Court would address the motions to dismiss the lawsuit.


XCEL ENERGY: Faces Natural Gas Prices Antitrust Suit in E.D. CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Xcel Energy, Inc. faces a class action filed in the United
States District Court for the Eastern District of California,
"Fairhaven Power Company vs. Encana Corporation, et al."

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of a purported class of natural gas
purchasers, alleges that the Company falsely reported natural
gas trades to market trade publications in an effort to
artificially raise natural gas prices in California and engaged
in a conspiracy with other sellers of natural gas to inflate
prices.


                  Meetings, Conferences & Seminars



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


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

December 6-7, 2004
FEN-PHEN CONFERENCE
Mealey Publications
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Philadelphia
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

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

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

December 7-8, 2004
PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY
American Conferences
New York
Contact: http://www.americanconference.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

January 24-25, 2005
THIRD ANNUAL ADVANCED INSURANCE COVERAGE CONFERENCE: TOP TEN
ISSUES
Mealey Publications
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Philadelphia
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

January 31-February 01, 2005
LEXISNEXIS PRESENTS DEFENSE STRATEGIES IN PHARMACEUTICAL
LITIGATION
CONFERENCE
Mealey Publications
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Phoenix, AZ
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

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

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

February 10-11, 2005
CLINICAL TRIALS
American Conferences
New York, NY
Contact: http://www.americanconference.com

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

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

February 17-19, 2005
INSURANCE COVERAGE LITIGATION COMMITTEE MEETING
American Bar Association
Phoenix, AZ
Contact: 800-285-2221; abasvcctr@abanet.org

February 22-23, 2005
INSURANCE COVERAGE 2005: CLAIM TRENDS & LITIGATION
New York, NY
Practising Law Institute
Contact: 800-260-4PLI; 212-824-5710; info@pli.edu

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

February 28 - March 1, 2005
INSURANCE LITIGATION 101
Mealey Publications
The Rittenhouse Hotel, Philadelphia
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

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

March 3-4, 2005
TRANSPORTATION MEGACONFERENCE VII
American Bar Association
New Orleans, LA
Contact: 800-285-2221; abasvcctr@abanet.org

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

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

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

March 18, 2005
CONFERENCE ON INSURANCE AND FINANCIAL SERVICES LITIGATION
American Bar Association
New York
Contact: 800-285-2221; abasvcctr@abanet.org

March 17-18, 2005
Mass Torts Made Perfect
The Plaza New York, New York
Mass Torts Made Perfect
Contact: 1-800-320-2227; 850-436-6094

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

November 01-30, 2004
CONSTRUCTION DISPUTES: TEXAS RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION DEFECT
LIABILITY
CLEOnline.Com
Contact: 512-778-5665; info@cleonline.com

November 01-30, 2004
TLIE PRESENTS: "LAW AND DISORDER: SUE-- LEGAL ETHICS AND LEGAL
MALPRACTICE
ISSUES
CLEOnline.Com
Contact: 512-778-5665; info@cleonline.com

November 01-30, 2004
TLIE PRESENTS: "DODGING THE BULLET": LEGAL ETHICS AND LEGAL
MALPRACTICE
ISSUES
CLEOnline.Com
Contact: 512-778-5665; info@cleonline.com

November 01-30, 2004
HBA PRESENTS: AUTOMOBILE LITIGATION: DISPUTES AMONG
CONSUMERS, DEALERS, FINANCE COMPANIES AND FLOORPLANNERS
CLEOnline.Com
Contact: 512-778-5665; info@cleonline.com

November 01-30, 2004
HBA PRESENTS: ETHICS IN PERSONAL INJURY
CLEOnline.Com
Contact: 512-778-5665; info@cleonline.com

November 01-30, 2004
IN-HOUSE COUNSEL AND WRONGFUL DISCHARGE CLAIMS:
CONFLICT WITH CONFIDENTIALITY?
CLEOnline.Com
Contact: 512-778-5665; info@cleonline.com

November 01-30, 2004
AVOIDING MALPRACTICE CLAIMS: THINGS TO DO (AND NOT DO)
ON THE FIRST DAY YOU REPRESENT A CLIENT
CLEOnline.Com
Contact: 512-778-5665; info@cleonline.com

November 01-30, 2004
BAYLOR LAW SCHOOL PRESENTS: 2004 GENERAL PRACTICE INSTITUTE --
FAMILY LAW, DISCIPLINARY SYSTEM, CIVIL LITIGATION, INSURANCE
& CONSUMER LAW UPDATES
CLEOnline.Com
Contact: 512-778-5665; info@cleonline.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RECOVERIES
Big Class Action
Contact: seminars@bigclassaction.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


                  New Securities Fraud Cases


JAKKS PACIFIC: Brian M. Felgoise Lodges Securities Suit in NY
-------------------------------------------------------------
The law offices of Brian M. Felgoise, P.C. filed a securities
class action on behalf of shareholders who acquired JAKKS
Pacific, Inc. (NASDAQ: JAKK) securities between February 16,
2000 and October 18, 2004, inclusive (the Class Period).

The case is pending in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York, against the Company and certain
key officers and directors.

The action charges that defendants violated the federal
securities laws by issuing a series of materially false and
misleading statements to the market throughout the Class Period
which statements had the effect of artificially inflating the
market price of the Company's securities. No class has yet been
certified in the above action.

For more details, contact Brian M. Felgoise, Esq. by Mail: 261
Old York Road, Suite 423, Jenkintown, PA 19046 by Phone:
(215) 886-1900 or by E-mail: FelgoiseLaw@aol.com.


SIRVA INC.: Charles J. Piven Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in IL
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law offices of Charles J. Piven, P.A. initiated a securities
class action on behalf of shareholders who purchased, converted,
exchanged or otherwise acquired the common stock of SIRVA, Inc.
(NYSE:SIR) between November 24, 2003 and November 9, 2004,
inclusive (the "Class Period").

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


SIRVA INC.: Schatz & Nobel Lodges Securities Fraud Lawsuit in IL
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schatz & Nobel, P.C. initiated a lawsuit seeking
class action status has been filed in the United States District
Court for the Northern District of Illinois on behalf of all
persons who purchased the securities of SIRVA, Inc. (NYSE: SIR)
("SIRVA") between November 24, 2003 and November 9, 2004 (the
"Class Period") including all who purchased in the November 24,
2003 Initial Public Offering ("IPO") and/or the June 9, 2004
secondary offering.

The Complaint alleges that during the Class Period, SIRVA
violated federal securities laws by issuing materially false or
misleading public statements. Specifically, the Complaint
alleges that SIRVA misrepresented or failed to disclose

     (1) that it maintained inadequate reserves in its Network
         Services division;

     (2) that the growth and profitability of its Network
         Services division was being adversely affected;

     (3) that SIRVA failed to rationalize capacity, reduce fixed
         costs, and generate a more meaningful relocation volume
         growth in its European division; and

     (4) that the profitability of the European operations was
         suffering.

On November 9, 2004, SIRVA reported that its third-quarter
profit fell from the previous year due in part to a $15.2
million charge to increase its insurance loss reserves. On this
news SIRVA shares fell from a close of $23.78 per share on
November 9, 2004, to close at $17.95 per share on November 10,
2004, on extremely heavy volume.

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


UTSTARCOM INC.: Glancy Binkow Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in CA
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Glancy Binkow & Goldberg LLP initiated a class
action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of California, Case No. 04-541-S-EJL, on
behalf of a class (the "Class") consisting of all persons who
purchased or otherwise acquired securities of UTStarcom, Inc.
("UTStarcom" or the "Company") (Nasdaq:UTSI) between April 16,
2003 and September 20, 2004, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The Complaint charges UTStarcom and certain of the Company's
officers and directors with violations of federal securities
laws. Plaintiff claims that defendants' omissions and material
misrepresentations concerning UTStarcom's financial performance
artificially inflated the Company's stock price, inflicting
damages on investors. UTStarcom designs, manufactures and sells
telecommunications equipment and products, and provides services
associated with their operation. The Complaint alleges that
defendants misrepresented material adverse facts during the
Class Period, including, but not limited to:

     (1) significant problems with the Company's internal
         controls;

     (2) problems related to the Company's revenue recognition
         polices and procedures; and

     (3) supply chain problems that delayed recognition of
         certain revenues.

On September 16, 2004, UTStarcom filed its second-quarter 2004
financial results with the Securities and Exchange Commission
stating, among other things, that a Company-initiated review of
a $290 million contract with Japan Telecom Co., Ltd. "led
management to conclude that certain significant control
deficiencies exist related to the review and evaluation of
criteria related to revenue recognition. ..."

Four days later, on September 20, 2004, UTStarcom announced that
the Company was revising its financial guidance downward for
third-quarter and full-year 2004 and, moreover, would defer
recognition of the entire $290-million Japan Telecom contract,
rather than recognize revenue of $220 million in the second half
of 2004.

For more details, contact Michael Goldberg, Esq. of Glancy
Binkow & Goldberg LLP by Mail: 1801 Avenue of the Stars, Suite
311, Los Angeles, CA 90067 by Phone: (310) 201-9150 or
(888) 773-9224 by E-mail: info@glancylaw.com or visit their Web
site: http://www.glancylaw.com.


VALASSIS COMMUNICATIONS: Cohen Milstein Lodges Stock Suit in MI
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, PLLC initiated
a securities class action on behalf of purchasers of the common
stock of Valassis Communications, Inc. ("Valassis" or the
"Company") (NYSE:VCI) between April 25, 2002 and October 23,
2002, inclusive (the "Class Period"), seeking to pursue remedies
under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act").

The action is pending in the United States District Court for
the Eastern District of Michigan, against Valassis and
individual defendants, Alan F. Schultz (Chairman, President and
CEO) and Robert L. Recchio (CFO). According to the complaint,
defendants violated sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Exchange
Act, and Rule 10b-5, by issuing a series of material
misrepresentations to the market during the Class Period.

Valassis prints and publishes cents-off coupons and other
consumer purchase incentives for packaged goods manufacturers.
The Company provides free-standing inserts (FSIs), solo
specialized promotional programs, newspaper delivered sampling
programs, consumer promotion and direct response merchandising
and advertising on the pages of newspapers. FSIs account for
approximately 70% of the Company's annual revenues.

According to the complaint, throughout the Class Period,
defendants issued materially false and misleading statements
about the Company's performance and future prospects, which
caused Valassis' shares to trade at artificially inflated
levels. These statements are alleged to be materially false and
misleading because when made, defendants knew but failed to
disclose the following:

     (1) that the price increase the Company charged in 2001 in
         its FSI business and then retracted in February 2002
         hurt the Company in its ability to win contracts;

     (2) that the Company was facing increased competition from
         news America, which was offering customers lower prices
         and longer contract terms; and

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

On October 24, 2002, Valassis surprised investors when it
released its financial and operational results for the third
quarter ended September 30, 2002 and announced that it would
dramatically lower its earnings' guidance for 2003 to $2.22 per
share, well below analysts' predicted $2.70 per share. The
market reacted swiftly as the price of Valassis stock fell from
a close of $34.96 on October 23, 2002 to a close of $26.01, on
extremely heavy trading volume, a decline of greater than 25%.

For more details, contact Steven J. Toll, Esq., Elena M. Takacs
of Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, PLLC by Mail: 1100 New York
Avenue, N.W. West Tower - Suite 500, Washington, D.C. 20005 by
Phone: 888-240-0775 or 202-408-4600 or by E-mail: stoll@cmht.com
or etakacs@cmht.com.


                            *********


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

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

                            *********


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

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless Hills,
Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick, Maryland
USA.   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
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without
prior written permission of the publishers.

Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed
to be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The CAR subscription rate is $575 for six months delivered via
e-mail.  Additional e-mail subscriptions for members of the same
firm for the term of the initial subscription or balance thereof
are $25 each.  For subscription information, contact Christopher
Beard at 240/629-3300.

                  * * *  End of Transmission  * * *