CAR_Public/041220.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Monday, December 20, 2004, Vol. 6, No. 250

                            Headlines

724 SOLUTIONS: Asks NY Court To Approve Stock Lawsuit Settlement
AETNA LIFE: Fibromyalgia Patient Sues Over Disability Denial
AFC ENTERPRISES: GA Court Mulls Dismissal of Securities Lawsuit
AFC ENTERPRISES: Court Refuses To Hear Appeal of GA Suit Remand
ANTI-SPAM LITIGATION: New Regulations on Spam E-mails Announced

ASCENDANT SOLUTIONS: Appeal of Suit Certification Denial Allowed
BAYER PHARMACEUTICALS: Canadian Courts Approve Baycol Settlement
BLUE MARTINI: Asks NY Court To Okay Securities Suit Settlement
CENTERPLATE INC.: To Enter Mediation For CA Overtime Wage Suit
CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS: SC Court Stays Consumer Fraud Lawsuit

COCA-COLA: Racial Bias Task Force's Report Praises Improvement
CONNECTICUT: Monitor Applauds DCF Progress, But Says More Needed
DAVID LESLIE: SEC Files Action Over Fraudulent Sales, Schemes
DIGITAL IMPACT: Asks NY Court To Approve Securities Lawsuit Pact
DUPONT CO.: EPA, DuPont Argue Meaning of PFOA Production Report

DYNABAZAAR INC.: Asks NY Court To Approve Stock Suit Settlement
IMMERSION CORPORATION: Asks NY Court To OK Stock Suit Settlement
INDUSTRIAL ALLIANCE: Reimburses Mortgage Holders in Toronto Suit
INSWEB CORPORATION: Asks NY Court To OK Stock Lawsuit Settlement
INTERMIX MEDIA: Parties in CA Securities Lawsuit Enter Mediation

JUPITERMEDIA CORPORATION: DE Court OKs Settlement, Drops Suit
JUPITERMEDIA CORPORATION: Named in CA Internet Gambling Lawsuit
KALIA TOWER: Hawaii Judge Grants Certification To Mold Lawsuit
KNIGHT SECURITIES: Pays Over $79M To Settle SEC, NASD Charges
MARYLAND: Prison Inmate Charges Abuse, Overcrowding At Facility

MICHIGAN: State To Receive $3M Share in Buspar Suit Settlement
NATIONWIDE INSURANCE: CT Jury Awards $2.3M in Damages To Agent
NETSOLVE INC.: Asks NY Court To Approve Stock Lawsuit Settlement
NETSOLVE INC.: Shareholders Launch Suit V. Acquisition by Cisco
PENNICHUCK CORPORATION: SEC Issues Orders Over False Disclosures

PHILIPS INTERNATIONAL: NY Court Orders Investor Suit Dismissal
RALPH LAUREN: Enters Mediation For CA Employee Wardrobing Suit
SHURGARD STORAGE: Settles Nationwide Wage, Hour Suit in N.D. CA
SWING-N-SLIDE: Recalls 72T Swing Seats Because of Injury Hazard
THEGLOBE.COM: Asks NY Court To Approve Investor Suit Settlement

UNITED STATES: Madison County Subject Of White House Conference
VERTICALNET INC.: Asks NY Court To Approve Securities Settlement

                   New Securities Fraud Cases

OSI PHARMACEUTICALS: Lerach Coughlin Lodges Stock Fraud in NY
OSI PHARMACEUTICALS: Schoengold Sporn Lodges Stock Suit in NY
PFIZER INC.: Finkelstein Thompson Lodges Securities Suit in NY
STAR GAS: Scott + Scott Lodges Securities Fraud Lawsuit in CT

                          *********


724 SOLUTIONS: Asks NY Court To Approve Stock Lawsuit Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
724 Solutions, Inc. asked the United States District Court for
the Southern District of New York to grant preliminary approval
for the settlement of the consolidated securities class action
filed against it, certain of its officers and directors and the
underwriters of its initial public offering.

Several class actions were initially filed in federal court in
the Southern District of New York between approximately June 13,
2001 and June 28, 2001 (collectively the "IPO Allocation
Litigation").  The IPO Allocation Litigation was filed on behalf
of purported classes of plaintiffs who acquired the Company's
common shares during certain periods.  These lawsuits have since
been consolidated into a single action and an amended complaint
was filed on or about April 19, 2002. Similar actions have or
since been filed against over 300 other issuers that have had
initial public offerings since 1998 and all are included in a
single coordinated proceeding in the Southern District of New
York.

The amended complaint in the IPO Allocation Litigation names as
defendants, in addition to the Company, some former directors
and officers of the Company (the "Individual Defendants") and
certain underwriters of the Company's initial public offering of
securities (the "Underwriter Defendants").  In general, the
amended complaint alleges that the Underwriter Defendants:

     (1) allocated shares of the Company's offering of equity
         securities to certain of their customers, in exchange
         for which these customers agreed to pay the Underwriter
         Defendants extra commissions on transactions in other
         securities; and

     (2) allocated shares of the Company's initial public
         offering to certain of the Underwriter Defendants'
         customers, in exchange for which the customers agreed
         to purchase additional common shares of the Company in
         the after-market at certain pre-determined prices.

The amended complaint also alleges that the Company and the
Individual Defendants failed to disclose these facts and that
the Company and the Individual Defendants were aware of, or
disregarded, the Underwriter Defendants' conduct.

In October 2002, the Individual Defendants were dismissed from
the IPO Allocation Litigation without prejudice.  In July 2003,
a committee of the Company's Board of Directors conditionally
approved a proposed partial settlement with the plaintiffs in
this matter.  The settlement would provide, among other things,
a release of the Company and of the Individual Defendants for
the conduct alleged in the action to be wrongful in the amended
complaint.  The Company would agree to undertake other
responsibilities under the partial settlement, including
agreeing to assign away, not assert, or release certain
potential claims the Company may have against its underwriters.
Any direct financial impact of the proposed settlement is
expected to be covered by the Company's insurers. The committee
agreed to approve the settlement subject to a number of
conditions, including the participation of a substantial number
of other issuer defendants in the proposed settlement, the
consent of the Company's insurers to the settlement, and the
completion of acceptable final settlement documentation.
Furthermore, the settlement is subject to a hearing on fairness
and approval by the Court overseeing the IPO Allocation
Litigation.


AETNA LIFE: Fibromyalgia Patient Sues Over Disability Denial
------------------------------------------------------------
Seattle lawyer Fred Langer, a partner at Nelson Tyler Langer
P.L.L.C., is trying to organize a class-action lawsuit against a
Hartford insurer over the insurer's handling of disability
claims, the NU Online News Service reports.

Filed in the U.S. District Court in Seattle, the suit accuses
Aetna Life Insurance Company of systematically denying and
terminating valid short-term and long-term disability claims
submitted by employees of The Boeing Company, Seattle, since
1998.

The suit accuses Aetna Life, a unit of Aetna Inc., Hartford, of
ignoring Social Security disability awards and favoring the
assessments of its own claims reviewers over those of the
employees' treating physicians. The named plaintiff, Bonnie
Biery, says she suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome and
fibromyalgia.


AFC ENTERPRISES: GA Court Mulls Dismissal of Securities Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
Georgia has yet to rule on AFC Enterprises, Inc.'s motion to
dismiss the consolidated securities class action filed against
it and several of its current and former directors and officers.

On January 26, 2004, the plaintiffs filed a Consolidated Amended
Class Action on behalf of a putative class of persons who
purchased or otherwise acquired Company stock between March 2,
2001 and March 24, 2003.  In the consolidated complaint,
plaintiffs allege that the registration statement filed in
connection with AFC's March 2001 initial public offering (IPO)
contained false and misleading statements in violation of
Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933.

The defendants to the 1933 Act claims include AFC, certain of
AFC's current and former directors and officers, an
institutional shareholder of AFC, and the underwriters of AFC's
IPO.  Plaintiffs also allege violations of Sections 10(b) and
20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder.  The plaintiffs' 1934 Act allegations
are pled against AFC, certain current and former directors and
officers of AFC, and two institutional shareholders.

The plaintiffs also allege violations of Section 20A of the 1934
Act against certain current and former directors and officers
and two institutional shareholders based upon alleged stock
sales.  The Consolidated Complaint seeks certification as a
class action, compensatory damages, pre-judgment and post-
judgment interest, attorney's fees and costs, an accounting of
the proceeds of certain defendants' alleged stock sales,
disgorgement of bonuses and trading profits by AFC's CEO and
former CFO, injunctive relief, including the imposition of a
constructive trust on certain defendants' alleged insider
trading proceeds, and other relief.

The plaintiff firms in this litigation are:

     (1) Abbey Gardy, LLP, 212 East 39th Street, New York, NY,
         10016, Phone: 212.889.3700, E-mail: info@abbeygardy.com

     (2) 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

     (3) Faruqi & Faruqi LLP, 320 East 39th Street, New York,
         NY, 10016, Phone: 212.983.9330, Fax: 212.983.9331, E-
         mail: Nfaruqi@faruqilaw.com

     (4) Goodkind Labaton Rudoff & Sucharow LLP, 100 Park
         Avenue, New York, NY, 10017, Phone: 212.907.0700, Fax:
         212.818.0477, E-mail: info@glrslaw.com

     (5) Hoffman & Edelson, 45 West Court Street, Doylestown,
         PA, 18901-4223, Phone: 215.230.8043,

     (6) Landskroner - Grieco, Ltd., 1360 West 9th St., Suite
         200, Cleveland, OH, 44113-1904, Phone: 866.522.9500, E-
         mail: jack@landskronerlaw.com

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

     (8) Much Shelist Freed Denenberg Ament & Rubenstein, PC,
         Chicago, IL, Phone: 800-470-6824, Fax: 312-621-1750,

     (9) 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

    (10) Terry D. Goldberg & Associates, Phone: 215.354.9100, E-
         mail: no1piguy@aol.com


AFC ENTERPRISES: Court Refuses To Hear Appeal of GA Suit Remand
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals refused AFC
Enterprises, Inc.'s appeal of the remand of a securities class
action against the Company to Georgia state court, saying it
lacked jurisdiction to hear the appeal.  The suit will return to
state court

On May 15, 2003, a plaintiff filed a securities class action
lawsuit in Fulton County Superior Court, State of Georgia,
against the Company and certain current and former members of
the Company's board of directors on behalf of a class of
purchasers of the Company's common stock "in or traceable to"
AFC's December 2001 $185.0 million public offering of common
stock.  The lawsuit asserts claims under Sections 11 and 15 of
the 1933 Act.

The complaint alleges that the registration statement filed in
connection with the offering was false or misleading because it
included financial statements issued by the Company that were
materially in error.  The complaint seeks certification as a
class action, compensatory damages, attorneys' fees and costs,
and other relief.  The plaintiff claims that as a result of
AFC's announcement that it was restating its financial
statements for fiscal year 2001 (and at the time of the
complaint, were examining restating its financial statements for
fiscal year 2000), AFC will be absolutely liable under the 1933
Act for all recoverable damages sustained by the putative class.

On July 20, 2003, the defendants removed the action to the
United States District Court for the Northern District of
Georgia.  The plaintiff filed a motion to remand the case to
state court.  The defendants opposed the motion to remand. On
November 25, 2003, the federal district court entered an order
remanding the case to state court but staying the order to allow
the defendants to appeal the decision.


ANTI-SPAM LITIGATION: New Regulations on Spam E-mails Announced
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Federal Trade Commission issued final regulations to
facilitate the determination of whether an e-mail message has a
commercial primary purpose and is subject to the provisions of
the CAN-SPAM Act.

The CAN-SPAM Act, which took effect January 1, 2004, requires
the Commission to issue regulations "defining the relevant
criteria to facilitate the determination of the primary purpose
of an electronic mail message."  The FTC published a Federal
Register notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on August 13,
2004, seeking public comment on its proposed primary purpose
criteria.  The NPRM followed an Advance Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking, issued on March 11, 2004, on this and other related
issues raised by the CAN-SPAM Act.

As detailed in the Federal Register notice, which will be
published shortly and can be found on the Commission's Web site
as a link to this press release, the final Rule is substantially
similar to the proposal contained in the NPRM, but adds a
criterion for determining the primary purpose of an e-mail
message containing only "transactional or relationship" content,
among other minor changes.  The CAN-SPAM Act regulates both
commercial messages and transactional or relationship messages.

The notice makes clear that the Commission does not intend to
regulate non-commercial speech through the Rule. The notice also
addresses public comments received about the constitutionality
of the CAN-SPAM Act, as well as of the FTC's "primary purpose"
criteria.  The final Rule sets forth criteria for determining
the primary purpose of various kinds of e-mail messages. These
include:

     (1) For e-mail messages that contain only the commercial
         advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or
         service ("commercial content"), the primary purpose of
         the message will be deemed to be commercial;

     (2) For e-mail messages that contain both commercial
         content and "transactional or relationship" content as
         set forth in the Act's definition of "transactional or
         relationship message" and in the final Rule, the
         primary purpose of the message will be deemed to be
         commercial if either a recipient reasonably
         interpreting the subject line of the e-mail would
         likely conclude that the message contains commercial
         content; or the e-mail's "transactional or
         relationship" content does not appear in whole or
         substantial part at the beginning of the body of the
         message;

     (3) For e-mail messages that contain both commercial
         content and content that is neither "commercial" nor
         "transactional or relationship," the primary purpose of
         the message will be deemed to be commercial if either a
         recipient reasonably interpreting the subject line of
         the message would likely conclude that the message
         contains commercial content; or a recipient reasonably
         interpreting the body of the message would likely
         conclude that the primary purpose of the message is
         commercial.  Factors relevant to this interpretation
         include the placement of commercial content in whole or
         in substantial part at the beginning of the body of the
         message; the proportion of the message dedicated to
         commercial content; and how color, graphics, type size,
         and style are used to highlight commercial content; and

     (4) For e-mail messages that contain only "transactional or
         relationship" content, the message will be deemed to
         have a "transactional or relationship" primary purpose.

Finally, the final Rule incorporates the "Sexually Explicit
Labeling Rule" as promulgated in April 2004. The Commission vote
approving publication of the Federal Register notice was 4-0-1,
with Commissioner Jon Leibowitz not participating.

For more details, contact the FTC's Consumer Response Center,
Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580
or visit the website: http://www.ftc.gov.Also, contact Mitchell
J. Katz, Office of Public Affairs, by Phone: 202-326-2161 or
Catherine Harrington-McBride or Michael Goodman, Bureau of
Consumer Protection by Phone: 202-326-2452 or 202-326-3071.


ASCENDANT SOLUTIONS: Appeal of Suit Certification Denial Allowed
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals allowed
plaintiffs to appeal the denial of class certification to the
consolidated amended securities class action filed against
Ascendant Solutions, Inc., certain of its directors and a
limited partnership of which a director is a partner.

Between January 23, 2001 and February 21, 2001, five putative
class action lawsuits were filed in the United States District
Court for the Northern District of Texas, asserting causes of
action under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934, as amended, for an unspecified amount of damages on
behalf of a putative class of individuals who purchased the
Company's common stock between various periods ranging from
November 11, 1999 to January 24, 2000.  The lawsuits claim that
the Company and the individual defendants made misstatements and
omissions concerning its products and customers.

In April 2001, the Court consolidated the lawsuits, and on July
26, 2002, plaintiffs filed a Consolidated Amended Complaint
(CAC).  The Company filed a motion to dismiss the CAC on
September 9, 2002.  On July 22, 2003, the Court granted in part
and denied in part defendants' motion to dismiss.  On September
2, 2003, defendants filed an answer to the CAC.  Plaintiffs then
commenced discovery.  On September 12, 2003, plaintiffs filed a
motion for class certification, and on February 17, 2004, the
Company filed its opposition.  On July 1, 2004, the Court denied
plaintiffs' motion for certification.


BAYER PHARMACEUTICALS: Canadian Courts Approve Baycol Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Ontario Superior Court of Justice and the Quebec Superior
Court approved a settlement between pharmaceutical giant Bayer
Pharmaceuticals Corporation and Canadians who allege they became
sick after taking the cholesterol-lowering drug Baycol, which
was made without any admission of liability on the part of the
defendants, Canadian Press reports.

Baycol was voluntarily withdrawn from the Canadian market in
August 2001 amid continued reports of side effects it has also
been linked to two deaths in Canada and 100 others around the
world.

The class-action suit, naming Bayer and its Canadian distributor
Fourier Pharma Inc., was launched in September 2001 after
patients complained they contracted the muscle disease
rhabdomyolysis after taking the drug. Rhabdomyolysis is a
condition in which muscle cells are destroyed and released into
the bloodstream.

At the same time that the settlements were announced that the
courts on also certified classes of Baycol users who suffered
from rhabdomyolysis. More than 50 Canadian patients are known to
have become ill while taking Baycol, which the suits allege can
cause fever, nausea, and vomiting and kidney failure, among
other symptoms.

The settlement though does not include complainants in British
Columbia, who have launched a separate suit. Notices detailing
the settlement will be published across the country in the
coming days.


BLUE MARTINI: Asks NY Court To Okay Securities Suit Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------------
Blue Martini Software, Inc. asked the United States District
Court for the Southern District of New York to grant preliminary
approval of the settlement of the consolidated securities class
action filed against it, Monte Zweben, William Zuendt, certain
of its former officers and directors and Goldman Sachs and the
other underwriters of our initial public offering, or IPO,
styled "In re Blue Martini Initial Public Offering Securities
Litigation."

Plaintiffs claim that the defendants violated the federal
securities laws because the Company's IPO registration statement
and prospectus allegedly contained untrue statements of material
fact or omitted material facts regarding the compensation to be
received by, and the stock allocation practices of, the IPO
underwriters.  The plaintiffs seek unspecified monetary damages
and other relief.

Similar complaints were filed in the same Court against hundreds
of other public companies that conducted IPOs of their common
stock since the mid-1990s.  On August 8, 2001, all IPO-related
lawsuits were consolidated for pretrial purposes before United
States Judge Shira Scheindlin of the Southern District of New
York. In accordance with Judge Scheindlin's orders, the Company
did not answer the complaint, and no discovery was served.  Also
in accordance with Judge Scheindlin's orders, plaintiffs filed
amended consolidated complaints on April 19, 2002.

The Company joined in a global motion to dismiss the IPO
Lawsuits on July 15, 2002.  On October 9, 2002, its directors
and officers were dismissed without prejudice pursuant to a
stipulated dismissal and tolling agreement between the
plaintiffs and certain individual defendants.  On November 1,
2002 Judge Scheindlin presided over an all-day hearing on the
global motions to dismiss.  On February 19, 2003, Judge
Scheindlin issued a ruling on the global motion to dismiss; with
respect to the Company, the motion was granted in part and
denied in part.  In June 2003, the Company joined in a tentative
global settlement that would, among other things, result in the
dismissal with prejudice of all claims against all issuers and
their officers and directors in the IPO-related lawsuits, and
the assignment to plaintiffs of certain potential claims that
the issuers may have against their IPO underwriters.  The
tentative settlement provides that, in the event that the
plaintiffs ultimately recover less than $1 billion in settlement
or judgment against the underwriter defendants in the IPO-
related lawsuits, the plaintiffs would be entitled to payment by
each participating Issuer's insurer of a pro rata share of any
shortfall in the plaintiffs' guaranteed recovery.  The tentative
settlement does not involve any payment or admission of
wrongdoing by the Company.

In July 2003, pursuant to the authorization of a special
litigation committee of the Company's Board of Directors, we
entered into a non-binding memorandum of understanding
reflecting the settlement terms.  In September 2003, in
connection with the possible settlement, the Company's officers
and directors described above who had entered tolling agreements
with plaintiffs agreed to extend those agreements so that they
would not expire prior to any settlement being finalized.

In July 2004, the IPO underwriter defendants filed a response
opposing the motion for approval.  Though Blue Martini executed
the final settlement agreement in May 2004, it remains subject
to a number of procedural conditions, as well as formal approval
by the court.  No amount has been accrued for as the Company
does not believe a loss is probable or estimable.


CENTERPLATE INC.: To Enter Mediation For CA Overtime Wage Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Centerplate, Inc. (formerly Volume Services America Holdings,
Inc.) agreed to enter non-binding mediation for the class action
filed against it in the California Superior Court for the County
of Orange, styled "Holden v. Volume Services America, Inc. et
al.," by early 2005.

A former employee at one of the California stadiums the Company
serves filed the suit, alleging violations of local overtime
wage, rest and meal period and related laws with respect to this
employee and others purportedly similarly situated at any and
all of the facilities the Company serves in California.  The
Company removed the case from California State Court to the
United States District Court for the Central District of
California, but in November 2003 the court remanded the case
back to the California Superior Court.  The purported class
action seeks compensatory, special and punitive damages in
unspecified amounts, penalties under the applicable local laws
and injunctions against the alleged illegal acts.

In August 2004, a second purported class action, Perez v. Volume
Services Inc, d/b/a Centerplate, was filed in the Superior Court
for Yolo County, California.  Perez makes substantially
identical allegations to those in Holden.  Consequently, the
Company filed a Demurer and the case was stayed on November 9,
2004 pending the resolution of Holden.


CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS: SC Court Stays Consumer Fraud Lawsuit
-------------------------------------------------------------
The South Carolina Court of Common Pleas stayed a class action
filed against Charter Communications Holding Company, LLC
pending final approval of the settlement of a similar class
action in Georgia.

In October 2001, two customers, Nikki Nicholls and Geraldine M.
Barber, filed a class action against the Company in South
Carolina Court of Common Pleas (the "South Carolina Class
Action"), purportedly on behalf of a class of the Company's
customers.  The suit alleges that the Company improperly charged
them a wire maintenance fee without request or permission.  They
also claimed that the Company improperly required them to rent
analog and/or digital set-top terminals even though their
television sets were "cable ready."

A substantively identical case was filed in the Superior Court
of Athens, Clarke County, Georgia by Emma S. Tobar on March 26,
2002 (the "Georgia Class Action"), alleging a nationwide class
for these claims.

In April 2004, the parties to both cases participated in a
mediation.  The mediator made a proposal to the parties to
settle the lawsuits.  In May 2004, the parties accepted the
mediator's proposal and reached a tentative settlement, subject
to final documentation and court approval.  On July 8, 2004, the
Superior Court of Athens, Clarke County, Georgia granted a
motion to amend the Tobar complaint to add Nicholls, Barber and
April Jones as plaintiffs in the Georgia Class Action and to add
any potential class members in South Carolina.  The Court also
granted preliminary approval of the proposed settlement on that
date.  The Court heard arguments for final approval on November
10, 2004.  On August 2, 2004, the parties submitted a joint
request to the South Carolina Court of Common Pleas to stay the
South Carolina Class Action pending final approval of the
settlement and on August 17, 2004, that court granted the
parties' request.


COCA-COLA: Racial Bias Task Force's Report Praises Improvement
--------------------------------------------------------------
Coca-Cola's African-American employees are better off now than a
year ago, with more opportunities to get jobs that reach into
the company's upper levels, according to a report released by a
court-appointed task force that monitors the beverage giant, the
Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

The Company stated that it has met or exceeded many personnel
goals, from new mentoring programs for minority staffers to an
overall increase in the number of nonwhites who work at the
company. Coca-Cola, however, according to the task force, still
needs to do a better job in a number of areas, including
developing a better pipeline of up-and-coming minority staffers.

In releasing the task force's third annual report on Coca-Cola,
U.S. District Judge Richard Story mostly lauded the Company,
expressing surprise that a process that began with a divisive
lawsuit has evolved into cooperation. "Don't get me wrong --
this task force is not a group of patsies," Judge Story said.
This year's report that the task force produced was an 83-page
document that covered the nuts-and-bolts of Coke's personnel
practices.

Coca-Cola and the seven members of the task force believe they
are working together so well that Coke voluntarily asked to have
the group continue its duties a year longer than required by the
court, through 2006.

The creation of the task force was one of the most contentious
parts of the Company's estimated $192.5 million settlement with
current and former African-American employees in 2000. Four
plaintiffs had sued the Company in 1999, seeking class-action
status with the resulting settlement deal eventually involving
about 2,200 people.

According to Alexis Herman, a former U.S. secretary of labor,
who leads the independent task force, she's looking forward to a
longer-than-expected tenure, given Coke's request for ongoing
monitoring.

In the big picture, 31.2 percent of Coke's full-time U.S. work
force is made up of minorities, an increase of 2.5 percentage
points since the settlement was reached in 2000, according to
the task force, which had based its latest report on a yearlong
period ending in September and found, among other things, that
of 54 positions filled in middle management or above, nearly 43
percent went to minorities and 31 percent to women.

However, the Company has made many other changes. Cyrus Mehri,
an attorney for the plaintiffs in the case, said he likes Coke's
new mentoring program, along with the company's focus on making
sure it assembles a diverse group of candidates for all jobs.

On the downside though, the task force is worried about issues
that include Coke's hiring patterns for minorities in middle
positions. The task force wrote that while the number of
minorities hired for these jobs improved as 2004 went on,
"strict oversight and monitoring continues to be needed to
prevent backsliding," the task force wrote.

The task force also wrote in its report that it found
improvements, including better overall attitudes about
diversity. "However, African-American employees continue to
remain significantly more negative about the company's diversity
climate," the report found.

Don Knauss, president of Coca-Cola North America, told the
Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the company is starting to
create new practices that will foster a more diverse
environment. "This is a real, collaborative effort," he said.
"We're all trying to make the Coca-Cola Co. better."


CONNECTICUT: Monitor Applauds DCF Progress, But Says More Needed
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Department of Children and Families continues to make
progress toward meeting goals necessary to leave court
oversight, but still needs to improve in some areas, according
to a recently released report by a federal court monitor, the
Associated Press reports.

Court monitor D. Ray Sirry praised the agency for making big
gains in ensuring that children are adopted quickly after they
enter state care, and making sure that workers have manageable
caseloads. However, the same report warns that more work and
more state funding to do that work will be needed in the coming
months if DCF wants to leave court oversight by 2006. The agency
is required to meet 22 goals to exit from oversight, and it is
trying to move to an approach that emphasizes family and
community connections.

DCF Commissioner Darlene Dunbar told the Associated Press, "We
have much more to accomplish in a very short amount of time, but
we see evidence that hard work by staff and support from our
many partners generate considerable forward progress."

Furthermore the report stated that the agency met the goals of
reducing the number of children abused in foster homes, offering
training to foster and adoptive parents, meeting case load
standards, minimizing multiple placements for children and
helping teens exit care. It has also made progress toward
meeting benchmarks of completing investigations in a timely
manner, placing children in licensed facilities or homes,
completing adoptions, transferring guardianship, and completing
medical, educational and dental assessments quickly after
children enter state care.

DCF is under court oversight as the result of a 1989 class-
action lawsuit that alleged the state was violating federal laws
by not adequately protecting children.

"We're encouraged by the monitor's approach to establishing the
groundwork for systemic reforms in the management structure, and
then dealing with priority areas in terms of child welfare
practice," said Ira Lustbader, an attorney with New York-based
Children's Rights Inc., a plaintiff in the lawsuit.

The report also outlined key areas where the agency must
dramatically improve, chief among them, DCF must make gains in
the recruitment, retention and training of foster parents, and
it must overhaul shelters so they can be used to treat children
instead of just housing them while they wait for treatment. Most
importantly, the agency must reform the planning process it uses
to prepare to treat children, the monitor's report further
stated said.

Too many DCF social workers and supervisors consider the
treatment planning process and resulting plan to be of little
value, the report said, rather than the primary document guiding
the agency's involvement with a child, the report said. "The
difficulty of revamping the treatment planning process cannot be
overstated," Mr. Sirry wrote. "It is a huge task that will
require a major change throughout DCF."

DCF spokesman Gary Kleeblatt told the Associated Press that the
agency is taking several steps in the coming months, including
increasing the number of facilities that perform evaluations
when children come into state care and that help guide treatment
plans.

However, the report was unable to measure the agency's progress
on some goals including how quickly child abuse investigations
begin; whether the agency reduced the number of children
returning to DCF care; how quickly DCF was reuniting children
with their families, in cases where that was possible; how often
the agency found relatives or other adults to help children
throughout their lives; and the frequency of workers visiting
children in out-of-state care and in-state care.

The department is currently upgrading its information system
that handles that data, and it is expected to be ready by mid-
2005 with the three-panel monitor planning a full review of all
available information at that time.


DAVID LESLIE: SEC Files Action Over Fraudulent Sales, Schemes
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a settled federal
court action in the United States District Court for the
District of Columbia against David James Leslie, a resident of
Marietta, Ga., alleging that Leslie engaged in two fraudulent
trading schemes. The complaint alleges that in the first scheme,
Leslie executed over 200 wash sales or matched orders in at
least four different stocks between various brokerage accounts
that he controlled. As alleged in the complaint, Leslie placed
near-simultaneous matching limit orders to buy and sell the same
security in two of the accounts that he controlled. These
matching limit orders were often placed at prices that were away
from the existing market price. Leslie was able to match up his
orders at artificial prices by choosing relatively illiquid
stocks and by trading those stocks in the less liquid after-
hours market using the Instinet ECN. Leslie's trading operated
as a fraud or deceit upon the market, because the wash sales,
along with the contrived prices at which they were traded, were
reported to the market and thereby created a false appearance of
market activity, and did not accurately reflect the supply and
demand for the stocks he was trading.

In the second scheme, the complaint alleges that Leslie engaged
in an unlawful "free-riding" scheme, in which he induced his
broker to unwittingly assume the risks of his trading by
misrepresenting or concealing the material fact that he was
financing purchases in his cash account with the anticipated
proceeds from the sale of the very same securities. In so doing,
Leslie violated the federal securities laws (Regulation X) by
willfully causing his broker to extend him credit in violation
of the federal securities laws (Regulation T), because he
obtained, received, and enjoyed the beneficial use of extensions
of credit for the purpose of purchasing and carrying securities:
without there being sufficient funds in his cash account and
without his intending in good faith promptly to make full cash
payment in his relevant cash account when payment was due and by
placing sell orders for such securities prior to making payment
for the purchase of these securities.

Simultaneously with the filing of the complaint, Leslie
consented, without admitting or denying the allegations of the
Commission's complaint, to the entry of a final judgment that:
permanently enjoins him from violating Section 17(a) of the
Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, Section 7(f) of the
Exchange Act and Regulation X promulgated by the Federal Reserve
Board, and requires him to pay a civil penalty in the amount of
$30,000. The action is titled, SEC v. David James Leslie, Civil
Action No. 04 CV 2166, RMU, D.D.C.


DIGITAL IMPACT: Asks NY Court To Approve Securities Lawsuit Pact
----------------------------------------------------------------
Digital Impact, Inc. asked the United States District Court for
the Southern District of New York to grant preliminary approval
to the settlement of the consolidated securities class action
filed against it, certain investment bank underwriters for the
Company's initial public offering (IPO), and various of the
Company's officers and directors, styled "In re Digital Impact,
Inc. Initial Public Offering Securities Litigation, Civil Action
No. 01-CV-4942.

The suit alleges undisclosed and improper practices concerning
the allocation of the Company's IPO shares, in violation of the
federal securities laws, and seek unspecified damages on behalf
of persons who purchased the Company's stock during the period
from November 22, 1999 to December 6, 2000.  The Court has
appointed a lead plaintiff for the consolidated cases.

On April 19, 2002, plaintiffs filed an amended complaint.  Other
actions have been filed making similar allegations regarding the
IPOs of more than 300 other companies.  All of these lawsuits
have been coordinated for pretrial purposes as "In re Initial
Public Offering Securities Litigation, Civil Action No. 21-MC-
92."  Defendants in these cases filed omnibus motions to dismiss
on common pleading issues.  Oral argument on these omnibus
motions to dismiss was held on November 1, 2002.  The Company's
officers and directors have been dismissed without prejudice in
this litigation.  On February 19, 2003, the court granted in
part and denied in part the omnibus motion to dismiss.  The
court's order did not dismiss any claims against the Company.

A stipulation of settlement for the claims against the issuer-
defendants, including the Company, has been submitted to the
court. The settlement is subject to a number of conditions,
including approval of the court.


DUPONT CO.: EPA, DuPont Argue Meaning of PFOA Production Report
---------------------------------------------------------------
At a recent federal hearing, attorneys for DuPont Co. vehemently
denied that it improperly withheld information about
environmental and possible health effects of a chemical used to
make Teflon, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

The Company did not notify federal regulators on several
occasions when the chemical, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), was
found in public water supplies near its factory in Parkersburg,
W.Va., starting in 1984. However, a change in reporting
requirements by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
hammered out in several stages between 1991 and 1996, absolved
industry from having to disclose any such information that came
to light before 1992, DuPont's attorneys told administrative law
judge Barbara A. Gunning.

EPA attorneys countered that the disclosure requirement still
applied, according to agency attorney Meredith Miller, "In 1991,
they were required to satisfy the ... reporting requirement.
They failed to do so. That is why [the] EPA is here today."

The courtroom arguments marked the first round of a battle that,
if maximum penalties were assessed, would cost DuPont more than
$300 million, though the final amount is expected to be
significantly less. The recent proceedings were a reminder that
20 years after PFOA was discovered in West Virginia and Ohio
drinking water, many questions remain about this persistent
environmental contaminant, which is commonly found in blood
samples of people and animals worldwide. The chemical has also
been linked to liver toxicity and other health problems in lab
animals, though scientists remain unsure whether it is unsafe
for humans at current levels.

A form of PFOA is used to make Teflon and other non-stick
coatings for pots and pans, medical equipment and airplane
parts, among many other products. PFOA is used up during the
manufacturing process and is generally not found in the final
products, and scientists are unsure how it is getting into human
blood. People living near the Parkersburg factory, known as
Washington Works, were exposed to the chemical through drinking
water.

In September, Dupont agreed to pay at least $108 million to
settle a class action suit brought by residents near the West
Virginia factory.

In addition to the drinking-water data, the EPA also has accused
DuPont of failing to disclose that in 1981, the chemical was
found to have crossed the placentas of pregnant factory workers.
In its original complaint in July, the EPA said two separate
laws required DuPont to have disclosed that information. One law
required it to be disclosed when it was first detected in 1981;
another law required disclosure in 1997, when the factory's
hazardous-waste permit was under review. The EPA is seeking
penalties under both laws.

The 1981 allegation was not part of the recent arguments,
because DuPont has requested more information on it from the
EPA. As for the 1997 allegation, DuPont's attorneys said that
the company was not required to disclose the exposure because
the chemical is not classified as a hazardous waste.

In addition, said attorney John C. Martin of the Washington,
D.C., firm of Patton Boggs, there was no evidence that the
chemical was harmful. "This was not known toxicological
information," Mr. Martin told Judge Gunning.

Not so, countered EPA attorney Ilana Saltzbart. "This count is
not about whether PFOA is a hazardous waste," Saltzbart said,
accusing DuPont's attorneys of making a "mischaracterization of
the law." "DuPont had a duty to disclose this information when
EPA specifically requested it," Saltzbart adds.

The agency requested all health-related information on the
chemical at the time, and DuPont provided some of it, but not
the data about PFOA crossing the placenta. Much of EPA's case
against DuPont was prompted by the research of Environmental
Working Group, a Washington-based advocacy group that sent
representatives to Judge Gunning's courtroom.  The judge is not
expected to make a decision on the charges until at least next
year.


DYNABAZAAR INC.: Asks NY Court To Approve Stock Suit Settlement
---------------------------------------------------------------
Dynabazaar, Inc. asked the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York to approve the settlement of the
consolidated securities class action filed against it and:

     (1) Scott Randall (former President, Chief Executive
         Officer and Chairman of the Board of Dynabazaar),

     (2) John Belchers (former Chief Financial Officer of
         Dynabazaar),

     (3) U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray Inc.,

     (4) Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. and

     (5) FleetBoston Robertson Stephens, Inc.

The lawsuits have been filed by individual shareholders who
purport to seek class action status on behalf of all other
similarly situated persons who purchased the common stock of
Dynabazaar between March 14, 2000 and December 6, 2000.  The
lawsuits allege that certain underwriters of Dynabazaar's
initial public offering solicited and received excessive and
undisclosed fees and commissions in connection with that
offering.

The lawsuits further allege that the defendants violated the
federal securities laws by issuing a registration statement and
prospectus in connection with Dynabazaar's initial public
offering which failed to accurately disclose the amount and
nature of the commissions and fees paid to the underwriter
defendants.

On October 8, 2002, the Court entered an Order dismissing the
claims asserted against certain individual defendants in the
consolidated actions, including the claims against Mr. Randall
and Mr. Belchers, without any payment from these individuals or
the Company.  On February 19, 2003, the Court entered an Order
dismissing with prejudice the claims asserted against the
Company under Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934 as amended.  As a result, the only claims that remain
against the Company are those arising under Section 11 of the
Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

The Company has entered into an agreement-in-principle to settle
the remaining claims in the litigation.  The proposed settlement
will result in a dismissal with prejudice of all claims and will
include a release of all claims that were brought or could have
been brought against the Company and its present and former
directors and officers.  It is anticipated that any payment to
the plaintiff class and their counsel will be funded by the
Company's directors & officers liability insurance and that no
direct payment will be made by the Company.  The proposed
settlement is subject to a number of significant conditions and
contingencies, including the execution of a definitive
settlement agreement, final approval of the settlement by the
Company's directors & officers liability insurance carriers
and by the plaintiff class, and the approval of the settlement
by the Court.


IMMERSION CORPORATION: Asks NY Court To OK Stock Suit Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
Immersion Corporation asked the United States District Court for
the Southern District of New York to grant preliminary approval
for the settlement of the class action filed against it, styled
"In re Immersion Corporation Initial Public Offering Securities
Litigation, No. Civ. 01-9975 (S.D.N.Y.)," related to "In re
Initial Public Offering Securities Litigation, No. 21 MC 92
(S.D.N.Y.)."

The named defendants are the Company and three of its current or
former officers or directors and certain underwriters of the
Company's November 12, 1999 initial public offering (IPO).
Subsequently, two of the individual defendants stipulated to a
dismissal without prejudice.

The operative amended complaint is brought on purported behalf
of all persons who purchased the common stock of the Company
from the date of the IPO through December 6, 2000.  It alleges
liability under Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933
and Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934, on the grounds that the registration statement for the IPO
did not disclose that:

     (1) the underwriters agreed to allow certain customers to
         purchase shares in the IPO in exchange for excess
         commissions to be paid to the underwriters; and

     (2) the underwriters arranged for certain customers to
         purchase additional shares in the aftermarket at
         predetermined prices.

The complaint also appears to allege that false or misleading
analyst reports were issued.  The complaint does not claim any
specific amount of damages.

Similar allegations were made in other lawsuits challenging over
300 other initial public offerings and follow-on offerings
conducted in 1999 and 2000.  The cases were consolidated for
pretrial purposes.  On February 19, 2003, the Court ruled on all
defendants' motions to dismiss.  The motion was denied as to
claims under the Securities Act of 1933 in the case involving
the Company, as well as in all other cases (except for 10
cases).  The motion was denied as to the claim under Section
10(b) as to the Company, on the basis that the complaint alleged
that the Company had made acquisition(s) following the IPO.  The
motion was granted as to the claim under Section 10(b), but
denied as to the claim under Section 20(a), as to the remaining
individual defendant.

The Company and most of the issuer defendants have settled with
the plaintiffs.  In this settlement, plaintiffs have dismissed
and released all claims against the Immersion Defendants in
exchange for a contingent payment by the insurance companies
collectively responsible for insuring the issuers in all of the
IPO cases, and for the assignment or surrender of certain claims
the Company may have against the underwriters.  The Immersion
Defendants will not be required to make any cash payments in the
settlement, unless the pro rata amount paid by the insurers in
the settlement exceeds the amount of the insurance coverage, a
circumstance which the Company believes is remote.  The
settlement will require approval of the Court, which cannot be
assured, after class members are given the opportunity to object
to the settlement or opt out of the settlement.

The suit is styled ""In re Immersion Corporation Initial Public
Offering Securities Litigation, No. Civ. 01-9975 (S.D.N.Y.),"
related to "In re Initial Public Offering Securities Litigation,
No. 21 MC 92 (S.D.N.Y.)," filed in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of New York, 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, 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, newyork@whafh.com


INDUSTRIAL ALLIANCE: Reimburses Mortgage Holders in Toronto Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Mortgage holders fighting for fair treatment from their banks
and financial institutions have scored a second victory in a
$100 million class action lawsuit as Industrial Alliance, a
financial institution with operations across Canada, has agreed
to fully reimburse some mortgage holders who did not get the
benefit of their right to pay down their mortgage before being
penalized for closing it out early.  The settlement was reached
through mediation talks with Regional Senior Justice Warren
Winkler, the head of the Toronto class action team.

Industrial Alliance mortgage holders were entitled to prepay 15%
of their mortgage without penalty provided that payment was made
on a "regular instalment date." Instalments dates could be
weekly, bi-weekly or monthly.  The terms of the settlement
provide for full recovery of the excess penalty charged to those
who paid out their mortgage on a "regular instalment date."
Those who did not pay out their mortgage on a proscribed
instalment date will not participate in the compensation
package, according to the terms of the settlement. In making the
settlement, Industrial Alliance becomes the second financial
institution to settle with its mortgage holders.

Mortgage holders who believe they qualify should visit
www.bankclassaction.com to sign up for updates or contact their
local Industrial Alliance office.

Earlier this year, Ottawa-based Civil Service Co-operative
agreed to pay a total of $147,329 to 780 customers who found
themselves in similar circumstances.

The remaining actions against most of Canada's largest chartered
banks continue before the courts. For most chartered banks
however, a prepayment can be made at any time or on any payment
date suggesting a much broader class entitled to participate in
any award or settlement which may be reached.

Meanwhile, the frustration that many Canadians have with those
banks is plainly evident in the responses that have deluged a
web site tied to the class action lawsuits.

The web site, http://www.bankclassaction.com,provides
information on the class actions first launched against 11
financial institutions. The actions seek the return of more than
$100 million to about 200,000 Canadians who did not receive
prepayment credits on their mortgage payouts.

Since the web site's launch in June 2004, it has received visits
from more than 10,000 Canadians, 1,000 of whom have registered
for updates. Eight hundred people have used the web site to send
e-mails to their banks and 1,200 have sent emails to the class
action legal counsel.

A TD Canada Trust client, Unjoo Burlie of Surrey, B.C., writes:
"If I had been asked by the loans officer whether I wanted to
choose prepayment before discharging the mortgage I would have
replied without hesitation, YES! The loan officer failed to
mention this option... I feel that I was treated without proper
consideration."

Bank customers are clearly angered by the practice. "I am quite
frankly disgusted at the way the Bank of Montreal has decided to
treat their clients," says Steven Wacker of Regina,
Saskatchewan. "Canadians expect that if they ask their bank for
the "cost" of paying out their mortgage early, their bank will
behave honourably and advise them of the lowest-cost option
allowed for by the mortgage contract" said John Farah, of Farah
& Associates, class counsel for the representative plaintiffs,
with the assistance of the law firm of Koskie Minsky LLP.
"Surely the opportunity to save $500 is a worthwhile amount when
getting out of a mortgage early."

Banks, in recent advertising campaigns, have suggested that they
are there to help Canadians save money, he added, "but it is
clearly the opinion of these customers that the banks did not do
so in these cases."

The full text of the class member quotes - and the voices of
many more disgruntled bank customers - are appended to this
press release and can be found at:
http://www.bankclassaction.com/media.cfm

Lawsuits have been filed against all major banks and financial
institutions in Canada, with the notable exception of the Royal
Bank of Canada. The Royal Bank consistently extended to its
mortgage holders the right to pay down their mortgages before
being penalized to close them.

The suits contend that the other banks have consistently
overcharged homeowners who paid out their mortgages. People
closing a mortgage before it matures have overpaid, the lawsuits
says, because most banks have neither allocated a portion of the
payout to the prepayment nor informed them of their right to pay
down their mortgages before being penalized on the balance owed.

The claims arise when homeowners pay out their mortgage when
selling or re-financing their homes, for instance. The standard
industry contract says a homeowner may do so with the payment of
a penalty, usually three months' interest. The banks and other
mortgage lenders, however, calculate the interest penalties on
the full balance owed, even though most customers have a
contractual right to pre-pay 10-20% yearly without any interest
penalty.

Exercising these rights makes a substantial difference to the
pocketbooks of homeowners. For example, if a homeowner owed
$200,000 on a mortgage, at an interest rate of 7%, the three
months' penalty charged by the financial institutions would
amount to $3,500. However, if the bank credited the homeowner
the 15% penalty-free prepayment, the balance owing would be
reduced to $170,000 and the three months' interest penalty would
be just $2,975 - a savings of $525.

Canadians who think they may have been overcharged by their
financial institution are encouraged to visit
http://www.bankclassaction.comto participate or get more
information.


INSWEB CORPORATION: Asks NY Court To OK Stock Lawsuit Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
InsWeb Corporation asked the United States District Court for
the Southern District of New York to grant preliminary approval
to the settlement of the consolidated securities class action
filed against it, on behalf of all persons who purchased InsWeb
common stock from July 22, 1999 through December 6, 2000.  The
complaint also named as defendants certain current and former
officers and directors, and three investment banking firms that
served as underwriters for InsWeb's initial public offering in
July 1999.

The complaint, as subsequently amended, alleges violations of
Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 and Sections 10
and 20 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, on the grounds
that the prospectuses incorporated in the registration
statements for the offering failed to disclose, among other
things, that:

     (1) the underwriters had solicited and received excessive
         and undisclosed commissions from certain investors in
         exchange for which the underwriters allocated to those
         investors material portions of the shares of the
         Company's stock sold in the offerings and

     (2) the underwriters had entered into agreements with
         customers whereby the underwriters agreed to allocated
         shares of the stock sold in the offering to those
         customers in exchange for which the customers agreed
         to purchase additional shares of InsWeb stock in the
         aftermarket at pre-determined prices.

No specific damages are claimed.  Similar allegations have been
made in lawsuits relating to more than 300 other initial public
offerings conducted in 1999 and 2000, all of which have been
consolidated for pretrial purposes.  In October 2002, all claims
against the individual defendants were dismissed without
prejudice.  In February 2003, the Court dismissed the claims in
the InsWeb action alleging violations of the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934 but allowed the plaintiffs to proceed with the
remaining claims.

In June 2003, the plaintiffs in all of the cases presented a
settlement proposal to all of the issuer defendants.  Under the
proposed settlement, the plaintiffs will dismiss and release all
claims against participating defendants in exchange for a
contingent payment guaranty by the insurance companies
collectively responsible for insuring the issuers in all the
related cases, and the assignment or surrender to the plaintiffs
of certain claims the issuer defendants may have against the
underwriters.  InsWeb and most of the other issuer defendants
have accepted the settlement proposal.  The settlement is
subject to approval of the Court, which cannot be assured.

The suit is styled "In re InsWeb Corporation Initial Public
Offering Securities Litigation, (S.D.N.Y.)," related to "In re
Initial Public Offering Securities Litigation, No. 21 MC 92
(S.D.N.Y.)," filed in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York, 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, 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, newyork@whafh.com


INTERMIX MEDIA: Parties in CA Securities Lawsuit Enter Mediation
----------------------------------------------------------------
Parties in the consolidated securities class action filed
against Intermix Media, Inc. and certain of its current and
former officers and employees entered into mediation in the
United States District Court for the Central District of
California.

The consolidated suit arises out of the Company's restatement of
quarterly financial results for fiscal year 2003 and includes
allegations of, among other things, intentionally false and
misleading statements regarding the Company's business
prospects, financial condition and performance.  On December 17,
2003, plaintiffs in the Securities Litigation filed an amended
and consolidated class action complaint reiterating those
allegations and also naming the Company's former auditor as an
additional defendant.

The Company and other defendants filed motions to dismiss the
lawsuit for, among other things, the failure of the complaint to
state facts sufficient to constitute a valid claim for violation
of securities laws.  On June 9, 2004, the Court granted the
Company's and other defendants' motions to dismiss the lawsuit
and plaintiffs were permitted to file an amended complaint.  On
July 15, 2004, the Securities Litigation was stayed until
October 13, 2004, in order to attempt a mediated settlement of
the claims asserted in the matter.  On October 8, 2004, the stay
was extended by the Court upon stipulation of the parties until
November 15, 2004.


JUPITERMEDIA CORPORATION: DE Court OKs Settlement, Drops Suit
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Delaware Chancery Court approved the settlement of, and
dismissed with prejudice the class action filed against
Jupitermedia Corporation by a former stockholder of Mecklermedia
Corporation.

The suit alleges that Mr. Alan M. Meckler and Mr. Christopher S.
Cardell, each an executive officer and director of the company,
as well as the other former directors of Mecklermedia, breached
their fiduciary duties of care, candor and loyalty in connection
with the approval of both the sale of Mecklermedia to Penton
Media, Inc., or Penton Media, in November 1998 and the related
sale of 80.1% of the Internet business of Mecklermedia to Mr.
Meckler.

The action was brought as a class action on behalf of a class of
all stockholders of Mecklermedia (other than any defendant)
whose shares were acquired by Penton Media, and seeks damages
from all defendants and the imposition of a constructive trust
on the benefits obtained by any defendant, including Mr.
Meckler's holdings of Jupitermedia.

On November 7, 2000, defendants were served with an amended
complaint, which named three additional plaintiffs.  As with the
original complaint, the amended complaint asserted that the
former directors of Mecklermedia breached their fiduciary duties
of care, candor, loyalty and good faith to the Mecklermedia
stockholders in connection with approving the Penton Media
transaction and the related sale of 80.1% of the Internet
business of Mecklermedia to Mr. Meckler.  The amended complaint
asserted claims for damages, and also named Jupitermedia as a
defendant seeking that a constructive trust be established
consisting of any benefits derived by the defendants in respect
of the alleged breaches but not seeking damages against the
Company.

On October 9, 2001, plaintiffs filed a Second Amended Class
Action Complaint.  The suit adds allegations concerning
defendants' alleged failure to disclose certain facts concerning
Mr. Meckler's role in the transactions, his role in negotiations
with a third party, and the valuation of the assets at issue.
Defendants filed a motion to dismiss the suit on April 1, 2002.
On November 6, 2002, the Chancery Court issued an opinion
denying defendants' motion to dismiss the suit.  On December 13,
2002, all of the defendants, including Jupitermedia, served an
answer to the suit generally denying the allegations therein,
denying that the directors of Mecklermedia breached any
fiduciary duties, and asserting certain affirmative defenses.

In early April 2004, the parties to the Delaware Action and the
parties to a related class action brought against Penton Media
in the United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York (the "Penton Action") reached an agreement to settle
both actions for $7.5 million.  The insurance carrier that
provided director and officer liability insurance to the
directors of Jupitermedia has agreed to pay $2.875 million
toward the settlement and Penton Media's insurance carrier has
agreed to pay the remaining portion of the settlement.  The
settlement agreement has been executed and notice of the
settlement has been provided to members of settlement class.
The New York court issued an order and final judgment approving
the settlement and dismissing the Penton Action with prejudice
subject to the terms of the settlement agreement.  The Delaware
court issued an order and final judgment approving the
settlement and dismissing the Delaware Action with prejudice.


JUPITERMEDIA CORPORATION: Named in CA Internet Gambling Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Jupitermedia Corporation faces a class action filed in the
Superior Court of the State of California, County of San
Francisco on behalf of the general public.  The suit also names
other Internet search engines.

Mario Cisneros and Michael Voight filed the suit, alleging that
acceptance of advertising for Internet gambling violates several
California laws and constitutes an unfair business practice.
The complaint seeks unspecified amounts of restitution and
disgorgement as well as an injunction preventing the Company
from accepting paid advertising for on-line gambling.


KALIA TOWER: Hawaii Judge Grants Certification To Mold Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Circuit Court Judge Sabrina McKenna certified a class-action
lawsuit filed by guests who stayed in the Kalia Tower at the
Hilton Hawaiian Village two years ago between June 14 and July
23, 2002, a time when a mold problem was discovered, the
TheHawaiiChannel.com reports.

The guests, who want their money back on the rooms for which
they paid are pointing out that the issue here is one of
disclosure. According to their attorneys, the Hilton should have
told guests it had found mold in some of the rooms at the Kalia
Tower in June and July of 2002.

Attorney Tom Grande told the TheHawaiiChannel.com that "Any
guest that stayed at the hotel should have been told about that
mold problem to either get an opportunity to stay in another
tower or to make a decision for themselves whether they did want
to stay in the Kalia Tower."

But attorneys for the Hilton countered this statement by saying
that they were told the mold was relatively harmless and experts
believed the hotel caught the problem early. Lawyers pointed out
that the varying amounts of mold found in the hotel rooms at the
beginning would make it difficult to fight a class-action suit.

"What should Hilton have said if anything?" Hilton attorney
Trevor Brown asked Judge McKenna in court. "It's not a document
that says the same thing to everybody or is the same condition.
It's not a pill that has the same chemicals."

To this question, Judge McKenna replied, "The problem I see here
is that it appears that a lot of people weren't given the
choice."

Attorneys said there might be about 2,000 people included in the
lawsuit and it will be up to a jury to decide how much each
guest would receive in compensation and it might take a year
before the case goes to trial.

The mold that shut down the 453-room tower is called erotium, a
common form of mildew found in Hawaii, the hotel believes that
the mold was caused by high humidity in the rooms. The cleanup
that cost the hotel about $55 million took a little more than a
year.

Hilton has already filed separate lawsuit against the tower's
architect and contractors. Meanwhile, the class-action lawsuit
against Hilton does not include claims of personal injury due to
the mold problem.


KNIGHT SECURITIES: Pays Over $79M To Settle SEC, NASD Charges
-------------------------------------------------------------
Knight Securities, L.P. consented to entry of a Securities and
Exchange Commission Order instituting settled administrative
cease and desist proceedings, without admitting or denying the
findings therein. The Commission's Order finds between January
1999 through November 2000 Knight defrauded its institutional
customers by extracting excessive profits out of its customers'
not-held orders while failing to meet the firm's duty to provide
best execution to the institutions that placed those orders.
The Order finds that during the same period Knight failed
reasonably to supervise Knight's former leading sales trader and
the person primarily responsible for Knight's fraudulent
trading.  The Order also finds that between 2000 and 2001,
Knight failed reasonably to supervise its institutional sales
traders while they were systematically misusing Automated
Confirmation Transaction Service trade modifiers which led to
the sales traders recording inaccurate execution times on the
firm's trading blotters.  Finally, the Order finds that Knight
violated the books and records provisions of the federal
securities laws.

In the Commission's order, Knight consented to the entry of the
Commission's order, which requires that Knight pay disgorgement
in the amount of $41,146,663.50 and prejudgment interest thereon
in the amount of $13,195,068, pay a civil money penalty in the
amount of $12,500,000 to the Commission, cease and desist from
committing or causing any violation and any future violation of
Sections 15(c)(1) and 17(a) of the Exchange Act and Rules 17a-
3(a)(1), 17a-3(a)(7), 17a-4(b)(1) and 17a-4(b)(4) of the
Exchange Act, and (iv) be censured pursuant to Section 15(b)(4)
of the Exchange Act.  Knight will also pay an additional
$12,500,000 million in fines to settle a parallel NASD
proceeding. Knight has also voluntarily agreed to retain an
Independent Compliance Consultant. The Commission acknowledges
the assistance of the National Association of Securities Dealers
in the investigation of this matter.


MARYLAND: Prison Inmate Charges Abuse, Overcrowding At Facility
---------------------------------------------------------------
Charles Brent, an inmate at the Eastern Correctional Institution
on the Eastern Shore is alleging in federal court that the state
prison is rife with unconstitutional conditions due to
overcrowding, the WBOC TV 16, MD reports.

In his complaint, Mr. Brent, who is seeking legal representation
and class action status for a lawsuit, wrote, "This court has
been told that E.C.I. defendants have a history of intimidation,
coercion, harassment, and retaliation against anyone filing
litigation against any E.C.I interests. This case is no
different." He also alleges in his complaint that there is a
lack of adequate health care and a practice of retaliation
against inmates who try to sue prison officials.

U.S. District Judge William Nickerson has ordered the state to
respond to claims that there is an "unconstitutional level of
violence" at the facility. The claims have been distilled from a
165-count complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.
Several pleadings have been filed that "appear to be written by
the same person and seek identical relief," Judge Nickerson
wrote in his order. The cases have been consolidated with Judge
Nickerson asking the state to file motions by January 19.

The state almost always asks judges to throw such cases out of
court, and judges usually dismiss inmate complaints, but the
judge's order that was handed down late last month doesn't
indicate whether this case will be different.

Philip Pickus, an assistant Maryland attorney general, said the
state is working on a response to the Eastern Shore case and
declined further comment.

Cases of inmate-on-staff assaults at the facility, which houses
about 3,000 inmates, went up last year, from 31 in 2002 to 44 in
2003, according to state corrections spokesman Mark Vernarelli.
So far this year, there have been 38 such assaults, most of the
assaults having been minor, Mr. Vernarelli adds. There were 286
inmate-on-inmate assaults at the facility in 2003, compared with
232 this year.

The facility, which is one of the state's biggest and is
situated in Westover, has been dealing with staff reductions. It
now has 29 correctional officer vacancies, Mr. Vernarelli said.
Nevertheless, he described the prison as "a well-run facility"
that's "not a problematic institution for us."


MICHIGAN: State To Receive $3M Share in Buspar Suit Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------------
The state of Michigan will receive over $3 million as part of
its settlement with the Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, the makers
of Busparr, Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox announced in a
statement.  The settlement stems from an antitrust case which
alleged fraudulent conduct and price-fixing on the part
of Bristol-Myers Squibb.

"When a company tries to circumvent the market to charge
consumers more, there needs to be repercussions," AG Cox said.
"I'm pleased that not only has this settlement given back to
those individuals affected by the actions of Bristol-Myers
Squibb but also to the State of Michigan.  This sends a very
clear message: unethical behavior will simply not be tolerated."

In the settlement, Michigan will get back over $3 million for
Medicaid, the active and retired State Employees' Health Plan,
the Michigan Public School Employees' Retirement Health Plan,
the former Michigan Emergency Pharmaceutical Program for Seniors
(MEEPS, now Elder Prescription Insurance Coverage [EPIC]), and
Michigan prisons.

The settlement was reached in an antitrust case filed in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York.  Michigan joined the other 49 states, the District of
Columbia, and U.S. territories in this lawsuit.  Claims were
made on behalf of the states and for consumers who paid for
Busparr and its generic equivalent buspirone HCL.  The lawsuit
asserted that Bristol-Myers Squibb Company engaged in fraudulent
conduct and conspired with a potential competitor to prevent the
entry of generic competitors and to illegally maintain its
monopoly in the United States over the sale of the drugs.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company denied any wrongdoing or liability.

In November 2003, the federal court approved a settlement
negotiated by the Attorneys General on behalf of the states and
consumers in all the states and territories.  Last July, AG Cox
announced that nearly $900,000 would be refunded to the 1,486
Michigan consumers who submitted timely and valid claims for
purchases of Busparr or its generic form buspirone HCL as a
result of a settlement.

For more details, contact Randall Thompson by Phone:
517-373-8060


NATIONWIDE INSURANCE: CT Jury Awards $2.3M in Damages To Agent
--------------------------------------------------------------
An eight person jury in the United States District Court in
Connecticut awarded $2.3 million in compensatory damages to an
independent insurance agent in a decision expected to have
serious ramifications on the relationship between insurance
companies and their independent agents all across the country.
The case, which had been pending for seven years, was decided
December 9, 2004 after a seven day trial and marked the first
time an Independent Contract Agent had been held to be a
Franchisee and therefore covered under Franchise law. Judgment
on the verdict entered on December 13, 2004.

Alex Charts, for 23 years one of the most successful and
respected agents for Nationwide Insurance, and at one time the
number two agent in the United States, sued Nationwide after it
terminated his contract in January 1996. The jury found that
Nationwide terminated Mr. Charts without good cause. It also
found that Nationwide violated the implied covenant of good
faith and fair dealing and, more significantly, violated The
Connecticut Franchise Act and the Connecticut Unfair Trade
Practices Act. Nationwide never informed Charts in writing why
it terminated their agreements with him, but contended that
Charts had violated unidentified state law and unwritten company
policy; that it did not have to show it had good cause to
terminate the agreements; and that it was not required to inform
Charts in writing of the reasons for his termination.

"The typical industry contract with an Independent Contract
Agent contains a clause that says it can be terminated at any
time 'with or without cause.' Nationwide argued that Mr. Charts'
agreement had such a clause," says Ray Garcia of Garcia & Milas,
P.C., the law firm representing Charts. "This jury decision is
groundbreaking in that it is the first in the United States to
apply Franchise rules to the Insurance business, in effect
invalidating the 'without cause' provision."

"The potential impact of this verdict reaches far beyond Mr.
Charts and his case," said Garcia. "According to federal law and
many state laws, before requiring a franchisee to sign any
contracts, a franchisor must provide detailed disclosure
documents that describe company business plans and pending and
resolved litigation. No franchise can be sold until such
disclosures are provided. Some states also ensure that no
franchisee can be terminated without good cause. Several of the
major insurance companies such as Nationwide, Allstate and
Prudential operate through networks of independent agents just
like Mr. Charts."

"The jury's decision means that independent agents, acting as
stand alone businesses, fall under the purview of franchise law
and therefore have far more protection against some actions
taken by insurance companies." Garcia said, "It opens up the
possibility of future class action suits against major insurance
companies from independent agents terminated in the last few
years without cause, or those who were not given reasons for
their termination even when accused of illegal conduct.
Nationwide claimed that it could terminate Mr. Charts regardless
of cause and that it acted in good faith after conducting a
"fulsome" investigation.

"During the pretrial phase," Garcia said, "Nationwide made very
significant stipulations which bear on the franchise law issue.
Nationwide stipulated that the Company: controlled the pricing
and availability of its insurance products subject to applicable
law and regulation; was able to audit and/or examine the Charts
business at all times; required Charts to comply with the
advertising rules and regulations prescribed by Nationwide; and
maintained supervisory responsibility over Charts' performance
and business operations."

"Charts contended that he had been terminated by a vindictive
manager who aborted a bungled investigation into rumors based on
hearsay. Charts also contended that he had done nothing wrong
and had been made a sacrificial lamb by a company that paid a
$50,000 fine to the Connecticut Insurance Commissioner in 1998
arising from its sales practices from 1993 to 1997."

"Post trial motions for legal fees and prejudgment interest are
expected to be filed this week." According to Garcia, if
granted, those motions could increase the verdict by more than
$3,000,000. Nationwide will move to set aside the verdict.


NETSOLVE INC.: Asks NY Court To Approve Stock Lawsuit Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
NetSolve, Inc. asked the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York to grant preliminary approval to
the settlement of the consolidated securities class action filed
against it, certain of its officers and directors, and the
underwriters of its initial public offering (IPO).

Hundreds of other companies ("Issuers"), directors and officers
and IPO underwriters, were named as defendants in a series of
class action shareholder complaints filed in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York.  Those
cases, including the one against the Company, are now
consolidated under the caption "In re Initial Public Offering
Securities Litigation, Case No. 91 MC 92."

In the amended complaint, the plaintiffs allege that the
Company, certain of its officers and directors and its IPO
underwriters violated section 11 of the Securities Act of 1933
based on allegations that the Company's registration statement
and prospectus failed to disclose material facts regarding the
compensation to be received by, and the stock allocation
practices of, the IPO underwriters.  The complaint also contains
a claim for violation of section 10(b) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 based on allegations that this omission
constituted a deceit on investors.  The plaintiffs seek
unspecified monetary damages and other relief.

In February 2003, the Court issued a decision denying the motion
to dismiss the Section 11 claims against the Company and almost
all of the other Issuers, and granting the motion to dismiss the
Section 10(b) claim against the Company.  The Court dismissed
the Section 10(b) claim against the Company without leave to
amend.  In June 2003, the Issuers and plaintiffs reached a
tentative settlement agreement that would, among other things,
result in the dismissal with prejudice of all claims against the
Issuers and their officers and directors in the IPO lawsuits.  A
special committee of disinterested directors appointed by the
board of directors received and analyzed the settlement proposal
and determined that, subject to final documentation, the
settlement proposal should be accepted.  Although the Company
has approved this settlement proposal in principle, it remains
subject to a number of procedural conditions, including formal
approval by the Court.

The suit is styled "In re Netsolve, Inc. Initial Public Offering
Securities Litigation, No. (S.D.N.Y.)," related to "In re
Initial Public Offering Securities Litigation, No. 21 MC 92
(S.D.N.Y.)," filed in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York, 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, 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, newyork@whafh.com


NETSOLVE INC.: Shareholders Launch Suit V. Acquisition by Cisco
---------------------------------------------------------------
Netsolve, Inc. and its directors face two class actions filed in
the District Court of Travis County, Texas by purported
shareholders of the Company on behalf of a putative class of
shareholders.

The plaintiffs claim self-dealing and breaches of fiduciary duty
on the part of the directors in connection with the announced
agreement between the Company and Cisco Systems, Inc. for the
acquisition of the Company for a purchase price of $11.00 per
share in cash ("Acquisition").  The plaintiffs seek injunctive
relief, including enjoining the Company and the directors from
consummating the Acquisition, and attorneys' fees.


PENNICHUCK CORPORATION: SEC Issues Orders Over False Disclosures
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced the issuance
against Pennichuck Corporation of an Order Instituting Cease-
and-Desist Proceedings, Making Findings, and Imposing a Cease-
and-Desist Order Pursuant to Section 21C of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934.

The Order finds that Pennichuck, a New Hampshire corporation
based in Merrimack, New Hampshire, made false and misleading
disclosures in its filings with the Commission concerning
Pennichuck's real estate operations. Pennichuck's
Form 10-KSB for the fiscal year ended December 31, 1998
contained the false statement that an executive officer of
Pennichuck purchased a home from one of Pennichuck's real estate
joint ventures on the same terms that were available to any
independent third party. In fact, in 1998, Pennichuck's then-
chief executive officer, Maurice L. Arel, purchased a home from
Pennichuck's joint venture, and obtained favorable terms worth
approximately $70,000 that were not available to other
purchasers. Pennichuck's false statement went uncorrected until
early 2003. In addition, Pennichuck's public filings for the
period 1998 through 2002 failed to disclose that its real estate
joint ventures paid a company controlled by its former CEO's son
approximately $800,000 for landscaping work during that period.

Pennichuck's public filings from 1998 through 2002 were also
inaccurate and incomplete concerning the extent of its real
estate transactions with a single developer because Pennichuck's
public filings failed to disclose that the same developer was
its partner on six joint ventures, obtained multiple contracts
and loans from Pennichuck, and provided its CEO with favorable
terms on his home purchase and the CEO's son with landscaping
contracts worth approximately $800,000.

Based on the above, the Order requires Pennichuck to cease and
desist from committing or causing any violations and any future
violations of Sections 10(b), 13(a), and 14(a) of the Exchange
Act and Rules 10b-5, 12b-20, 13a-1, 13a-13, and 14a-9
thereunder. Pennichuck consented to the issuance of the Order
without admitting or denying any of the findings in the Order.

The Commission simultaneously announced the filing of a settled
civil injunctive action in the federal district court in New
Hampshire against Maurice L. Arel of Nashua, New Hampshire,
enjoining Arel from future violations of the federal securities
laws and prohibiting him from acting as an officer or director
of a public company for causing Pennichuck Corporation to make
false and misleading statements in reports filed with the
Commission during his tenure as CEO and a director of the
company.


PHILIPS INTERNATIONAL: NY Court Orders Investor Suit Dismissal
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York issued a stipulation allowing voluntary dismissal of
the class action filed against Philips International Realty
Corporation and its directors.  The complaint alleged a number
of improprieties concerning the pending plan of liquidation of
the Company.

On November 9, 2000, the Court, ruling from the bench, denied
the plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction. This bench
ruling was followed by a written order dated November 30, 2000
wherein the Court concluded that the plaintiff had failed to
demonstrate either that it was likely to succeed on the merits
of its case or that there were sufficiently serious questions
going to the merits of its case to make it fair ground for
litigation.

On February 5, 2002, the Court denied the plaintiff's motion for
class action certification.  The plaintiff may elect to proceed
with its claims on its own now that class certification has been
denied.  The plaintiff also has asserted derivative claims for
alleged breaches of fiduciary duty by the directors of the
Company.

On February 28, 2002, the Company announced that the plaintiff
had sought permission from the Court of Appeals for the Second
Circuit to appeal the denial of class certification discussed
above.  In order for plaintiff to have obtained permission to
appeal, it had to demonstrate that the denial of class
certification effectively terminated the litigation and that the
District Court's decision was an abuse of its discretion.  The
Company opposed plaintiff's application.  If the Court of
Appeals granted plaintiff's request, plaintiff would then have
been able to appeal the District Court's denial of class
certification.

On May 28, 2002, the United States Court of Appeals for the
Second Circuit ordered that the plaintiff's petition to appeal
the District Court's denial of class certification also be
denied.  The United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York then entered a stipulation and order
providing for voluntary dismissal, which withdrew the class
action with prejudice and without cost to the Company or its
directors.


RALPH LAUREN: Enters Mediation For CA Employee Wardrobing Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation entered mediation with the parties
in the class action filed against it and its Polo Retail, LLC
subsidiary in the United States District Court for the District
of Northern California.

On September 18, 2002, an employee at one of the Company's
stores filed a lawsuit, alleging violations of California
antitrust and labor laws.  The plaintiff purports to represent a
class of employees who have allegedly been injured by a
requirement that certain retail employees purchase and wear
Company apparel as a condition of their employment.  The
complaint, as amended, seeks an unspecified amount of actual and
punitive damages, disgorgement of profits and injunctive and
declaratory relief.

The Company answered the amended complaint on November 4, 2002.
A hearing on cross motions for summary judgment on the issue of
whether the Company's policies violated California law took
place on August 14, 2003.  The Court granted partial summary
judgment with respect to certain of the plaintiff's claims, but
concluded that more discovery was necessary before it could
decide the key issue as to whether the Company had maintained
for a period of time a dress code policy that violated
California law.  The Court ordered the parties to conduct
limited discovery to that end.  Discovery has been stayed
pending the outcome of voluntary mediation between the parties,
which commenced on May 12, 2004.

On April 14, 2003, a second putative class action was filed in
the San Francisco Superior Court.  This suit, brought by the
same attorneys, alleges near identical claims to those in the
federal class action.  The class representatives consist of
former employees and the plaintiff in the federal court action.
Defendants in this class action include the Company and its Polo
Retail, LLC, Fashions Outlet of America, Inc., Polo Retail, Inc.
San Francisco Polo, Ltd. subsidiaries as well as a non-
affiliated corporate defendant and two current managers.  As in
the federal action, the complaint seeks an unspecified amount of
actual and punitive damages, restitution of monies spent, and
declaratory relief.  The state court class action has been
stayed pending resolution of the federal class action.

The suit is styled "Young v. Polo Retail, LLC et al., 3:02-cv-
04546-VRW," filed in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of California, under Judge Vaughn R. Walker.
Lead plaintiff is Toni Young.  Lawyers for the plaintiffs are:

     (1) Daniel L. Feder, Law Offices of Daniel Feder, 807
         Montgomery Street San Francisco, CA 94133, Phone: 415-
         391-9476, Fax: 415-391-9432, E-mail:
         danfeder@pacbell.net

     (2) Joseph Lewis Fogel, Tonita Marie Helton, Richard B.
         Levy, Freeborn & Peters, 311 S. Wacker Drive, Suite
         3000 Chicago, IL 60606 Phone: 312-360-6568, E-mail:
         jfogel@freebornpeters.com or thelton@freebornpeters.com

Lawyers for the defendants are:

     (i) Mary L. Guilfoyle and Joseph D. Miller, Epstein Becker
         & Green, P.C., One California Street, 26th Floor, San
         Francisco, CA 94111-5427, Phone: 415-398-3500, Fax:
         415-398-0955 or E-mail: mguilfoyle@ebglaw.com or
         jmiller@ebglaw.com

    (ii) Patrick R. Kitchin, Law Office of Patrick R. Kitchin,
         807 Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CA, Phone: (415)
         677-9058 E-mail: prk@investigationlogic.com


SHURGARD STORAGE: Settles Nationwide Wage, Hour Suit in N.D. CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Shurgard Storage Centers, Inc. (NYSE:SHU), a leading self-
storage real estate investment trust (REIT) in the United States
and Europe, reached a tentative agreement to settle an alleged
nationwide wage and hour class action lawsuit filed in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of
California, entitled Scura, et.al. vs. Shurgard Storage Centers,
Inc. Case No. C 02-5246-CRB. The basic terms of the proposed
agreement are reflected in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU),
which will be incorporated into a definitive Settlement
Agreement that must be submitted for approval by the District
Court.

Pursuant to the proposed settlement agreement, it is anticipated
that payments to participating class members (together with
attorney fees and other litigation costs) will be made in the
first half of 2005. Notwithstanding this proposed agreement, and
as an express part thereof, Shurgard continues to deny any and
all allegations of wrongdoing raised by this lawsuit. Shurgard
estimates that the proposed settlement will result in a charge
in the fourth quarter of approximately $3 million, or $.06 per
share for Earnings per share and Funds from Operations. As a
result of the proposed settlement, the company is lowering its
guidance for Funds from Operations (FFO) given in its press
release dated November 10, 2004, by that amount.

"We were surprised to obtain a quick settlement of this lawsuit,
which we were not anticipating for at least another year. We are
satisfied that settlement of this lawsuit is in the best
interests of Shurgard, its shareholders, and other stakeholders
including our employees" said David K. Grant, President and
Chief Operating Officer of Shurgard.


SWING-N-SLIDE: Recalls 72T Swing Seats Because of Injury Hazard
---------------------------------------------------------------
Swing-N-Slider Corp., of Janesville, Wisconsin is cooperating
with the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission by
voluntarily recalling about 72,000 Extra-Duty and Heavy-Duty
Swing Seats.

A manufacturing defect can cause the metal grommet securing the
seat to break. If this happens, the user can fall to the ground.
Swing-N-Slider has received five reports of the swing's seat
breaking. No injuries have been reported.

Included in this recall are extra-duty and heavy-duty plastic
Swing-N-Slider swing seats. Sold in either green (extra-duty) or
yellow (heavy-duty), the seats are suspended from a crossbeam by
two plastic-coated metal chains. On the bottom of each seat, in
raised lettering, are the words, "Swing-N-Slider Corp., 1212
Barberry Drive, Janesville, WI 53545, (800) 888-1232."

Manufactured in China, the seats were sold at all Home Depot,
Lowe's, Ace, DIBC, TruServ, Handy Hardware and Emery-Waterhouse
stores nationwide from January 2004 through June 2004 for about
$30.

Consumers should take down the extra-duty and heavy-duty seats
and contact Swing-N-Slider for information on how to return the
swing for a replacement. The company will send consumers a
postage-paid package to return the product.

Consumer Contact: Consumers should contact Swing-N-Slider toll-
free at (800) 888-1232 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday
through Friday. Consumers may also write to Extra/Heavy-Duty
Swing Seat Recall, Swing-N-Slider, 1212 Barberry Drive,
Janesville, Wisconsin 53545.


THEGLOBE.COM: Asks NY Court To Approve Investor Suit Settlement
---------------------------------------------------------------
TheGlobe.com, Inc. asked the United States District Court for
the Southern District of New York to grant preliminary approval
to the settlement of the consolidated securities class action
filed against it, certain of its current and former officers and
directors and several investment banks that were the
underwriters of the Company's initial public offering.

On and after August 3, 2001 and as of the date of this filing,
six putative shareholder class action lawsuits were filed on
behalf of purchasers of the stock of the Company during the
period from November 12, 1998 through December 6, 2000.
Plaintiffs allege that the underwriter defendants agreed to
allocate stock in the Company's initial public offering to
certain investors in exchange for excessive and undisclosed
commissions and agreements by those investors to make additional
purchases of stock in the aftermarket at pre-determined prices.

Plaintiffs allege that the Prospectus for the Company's initial
public offering was false and misleading and in violation of the
securities laws because it did not disclose these arrangements.
On December 5, 2001, an amended complaint was filed in one of
the actions, alleging the same conduct described above in
connection with the Company's November 23, 1998 initial public
offering and its May 19, 1999 secondary offering.  A
Consolidated Amended Complaint, which is now the operative
complaint, was filed in the Southern District of New York on
April 19, 2002.  The action seeks damages in an unspecified
amount.

On February 19, 2003, a motion to dismiss all claims against the
Company was denied by the Court.  On October 13, 2004, the Court
certified a class in six of the approximately 300 other nearly
identical actions and noted that the decision is intended to
provide strong guidance to all parties regarding class
certification in the remaining cases.  Plaintiffs have not yet
moved to certify a class in theglobe.com case.

The Company has approved a settlement agreement and related
agreement which set forth the terms of a settlement between the
Company, the plaintiff class and the vast majority of the
other approximately 300 issuer defendants.  Among other
provisions, the settlement provides for a release of the Company
and the individual defendants for the conduct alleged in the
action to be wrongful.  The Company would agree to undertake
certain responsibilities, including agreeing to assign away, not
assert, or release certain potential claims the Company may have
against its underwriters. It is anticipated that any potential
financial obligation of the Company to its plaintiffs pursuant
to the terms of the settlement agreement and related agreements
will be covered by existing insurance.  Therefore, the Company
does not expect that the settlement will involve any payment by
the Company.  The settlement agreement has been submitted to the
Court for approval.  Approval by the Court cannot be assured.

The suit is styled "In Re theglobe.com, Inc. Initial Public
Offering Securities Litigation," filed in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York, 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, 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, newyork@whafh.com


UNITED STATES: Madison County Subject Of White House Conference
---------------------------------------------------------------
Though tort reform played a substantive role in a two-day
economic conference held at the White House on Wednesday and
Thursday (December 15-16), Madison County, Illinois stole the
limelight by achieving recognition as a "speed trap" for
American civil litigation, the Madison County Record reports.

Addressing a panel comprised of select business leaders from
across the country, U.S. President George W. Bush said that
litigation costs make it harder for U.S. interests to compete
internationally. The president specifically stated, "The cost of
litigation in America makes it more difficult for us to compete
with nations in Europe." President Bush even told a businessman
from Louisiana, who has been hit by more than 100 lawsuits, "A
judicial system run amok is one that makes it really hard for
small businesses to stay in business. And I appreciate you for
sharing your story with us. It's a -- frankly, a painful tale to
listen to because -- what makes it even more painful is that
there's a lot of people like you."

The president further addressed to the business leaders that
"Most new jobs in America are created by small business owners.
And when you hear a small business owner talking like that, and
he says we got a problem we'd better address now before it's too
late, thank you for sharing it with us."

Also at the conference, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Don Evans
introduced various speakers, including Home Depot Chief
Executive Officer Bob Nardelli, who had singled out Madison
County, Illinois as a lawsuit magnet, pointing to a 5000 percent
increase in class action lawsuits there since 1998.

As the Secretary of Commerce introduced him, Mr. Nardelli was
asked to give his insights regarding lawsuit abuse, its impact
on his employees as well as on his company. The Home Depot CEO
started his speech by singling out Madison County courts and
about how it has contributed to the 5000 percent increase in the
number of class action filings since 1998.

Regarding the controversial courts of Madison County, the CEO
ended his remarks by stating, "So if we continue to leave this
issue, as I see it, of national importance to the whims of the
greedy, Mr. President, instead of the needy, we're going to
continue to have a huge price in this country to pay for abusive
litigation."

As he was about to end his speech, Mr. Nardelli stated the
importance of the Class Action Reform Act and why it is
essential that such a law should be passed. He also made
comments about asbestos litigation and what it has done to
business and what needs to be done to curb it. To conclude his
remarks, Mr. Nardelli called the President the best person to
reform the judicial system of the country and vowed that he was
behind the him in leading the charge for relief from what he
calls, trial lawyer tax.


VERTICALNET INC.: Asks NY Court To Approve Securities Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
Verticalnet, Inc. asked the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York to grant preliminary approval to
the settlement of the consolidated securities class action filed
against it and several of its officers.

On June 12, 2001, a class action lawsuit was filed against the
Company and several of its officers and directors, styled "CJA
Acquisition, Inc. v. Verticalnet, et al., C.A. No. 01-CV-5241
(the "CJA Action")."  Also named as defendants were four
underwriters involved in the issuance and initial public
offering of the Company's common stock in February 1999:

     (1) Lehman Brothers Inc.,

     (2) Hambrecht & Quist LLC,

     (3) Volpe Brown Whelan & Company LLC, and

     (4) WIT Capital Corporation

The complaint in the CJA Action alleges violations of Sections
11 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 (the "Securities Act")
and Section 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the
"Exchange Act") and Rule 10b-5 promulgated there under, based
on, among other things, claims that the four underwriters
awarded material portions of the initial shares to certain
favored customers in exchange for excessive commissions.  The
plaintiff also asserts that the underwriters engaged in a
practice known as "laddering," whereby the clients or customers
agreed that in exchange for IPO shares they would purchase
additional shares at progressively higher prices after the IPO.
With respect to Verticalnet, the complaint alleges that the
Company and its officers and directors failed to disclose in the
prospectus and the registration statement the existence of these
purported excessive commissions and laddering agreements.

After the CJA Action was filed, several "copycat" complaints
were filed in U.S. Federal Court for the Southern District of
New York. Those complaints, whose allegations mirror those found
in the CJA Action, include:

     (i) Ezra Charitable Trust v. Verticalnet, et al., C.A. No.
         01-CV-5350;

    (ii) Kofsky v. Verticalnet, et al., C.A. No. 01-CV-5628;

   (iii) Reeberg v. Verticalnet, C.A. No. 01-CV-5730;

    (iv) Lee v. Verticalnet, et al., C.A. No. 01-CV-7385;

     (v) Hoang v. Verticalnet, et al., C.A. No. 01-CV-6864;

    (vi) Morris v. Verticalnet, et al., C.A. No. 01-CV-9459, and

   (vii) Murphy v. Verticalnet, et al., C.A. No. 01-CV-8084.

None of the complaints state the amount of any damages being
sought, but do ask the court to award "rescissory damages." All
of the foregoing suits were amended and consolidated into a
single complaint that was filed with the U.S. Federal Court on
April 19, 2002.  This amended complaint contains additional
factual allegations concerning the events discussed in the
original complaints, and asserts that, in addition to Sections
11 and 15 of the Securities Act, the Company and its officers
and directors also violated Sections 10(b), 20(a), and Rule 10b-
5 of the Exchange Act in connection with the IPO.

In addition to this amended and consolidated complaint, the
plaintiffs in this lawsuit and in the hundreds of other similar
suits filed against other companies in connection with IPOs that
occurred in the late 1990s have filed "master allegations" that
primarily focus on the conduct of the underwriters of the IPOs,
including the Company's IPO.  On October 9, 2002, the U.S.
Federal Court for the Southern District of New York entered an
order dismissing, without prejudice, the claims against the
individual Verticalnet officers and directors who had been named
as defendants in the various complaints.  In February 2003, the
District Court entered an Order denying a Motion made by the
defendants to dismiss the actions in their entirety, but
granting the Motion as to certain of the claims against some
defendants.  However, the District Court did not dismiss any
claims against Verticalnet.

On June 5, 2003, Verticalnet's counsel, with the approval of the
Company's directors, executed a Memorandum of Understanding on
behalf of Verticalnet with respect to a proposed settlement of
the plaintiff's claims against Verticalnet.  This proposed
resolution of the litigation has been publicly announced
(although not yet formally accepted by the plaintiffs) and
widely reported in the press.  The proposed settlement, if
approved by the District Court, would result in, among other
things, the dismissal of all claims against Verticalnet, its
officers and directors. Under the present terms of the proposed
settlement described above, Verticalnet would also assign its
claims against the underwriters to the plaintiffs in the
consolidated actions.

The suit is styled "In Re Verticalnet, Inc. Initial Public
Offering Securities Litigation," filed in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York, 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, 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, newyork@whafh.com


                   New Securities Fraud Cases


OSI PHARMACEUTICALS: Lerach Coughlin Lodges Stock Fraud in NY
-------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins
LLP ("Lerach Coughlin") initiated a class action in the United
States District Court for the Eastern District of New York on
behalf of purchasers of OSI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("OSI
Pharmaceuticals") (NASDAQ:OSIP) common stock during the period
between April 26, 2004 and November 18, 2004 (the "Class
Period"), including those who acquired the shares pursuant
and/or traceable to the Company's November 10, 2004 follow-on
public offering (the "Offering").

The complaint charges OSI Pharmaceuticals and certain of its
officers and directors with violations of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 and the Securities Act of 1933. OSI
Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the
development and commercialization of cancer treatment drugs. The
drug company's flagship product was to be its drug Tarceva -- a
drug designed to treat patients with advanced stages of lung
cancer who have stopped responding to other medications. Tarceva
is in an emerging class of drugs called epidermal growth factor
receptor ("EGFR") inhibitors, which work by blocking signaling
molecules that cancer cells depend upon to grow.

The complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, OSI
Pharmaceuticals issued false and misleading statements
concerning Tarceva's survival benefits and the size of Tarceva's
potential market upon FDA approval of the drug, causing OSI
Pharmaceuticals' stock to trade at artificially inflated prices
and allowing the Company to access the capital markets by
completing a public offering of 6.9 million shares of common
stock, receiving proceeds of $445 million one week before the
truth about Tarceva's limited marketability would be disclosed.

On April 26, 2004, defendants announced that Tarceva had met its
primary end-points and that the Company would be seeking FDA
approval for Tarceva based upon its findings in its clinical
trials of Tarceva. Defendants stated that the study showed that
patients who took Tarceva lived on average two months longer
than patients who took a placebo. Given defendants'
representations that Tarceva increased survival by two months,
in addition to shrinking tumors as well as lower-priced drugs
already on the market, OSI Pharmaceuticals' stock soared,
increasing $52.96 in one day. Throughout the Class Period,
defendants continued to publicize positive findings concerning
Tarceva's survival benefits, causing the stock to trade at
inflated prices.

According to the complaint, defendants' statements about the
survival benefits attributable to Tarceva were materially false
and misleading in that they concealed that according to OSI
Pharmaceuticals' own clinical trials the much touted survival
benefits would be limited only to those patients whose tumors
were determined to be EGFR protein positive. Importantly, the
Company's internal trials indicated that Tarceva had no effect
on the survival of patients whose tumors were determined to be
EGFR negative. As a result, many EGFR protein negative patients
could not use the drug and many more whose EGFR protein status
was unknown would not be willing to pay Tarceva's high premium
price.

On November 17, 2004, defendants issued and sold 6.9 million
shares of the Company's stock for $445 million in proceeds.
Then, on the evening of November 18, 2004, OSI Pharmaceuticals
announced that the FDA had approved Tarceva for use in the
treatment of patients with advanced lung cancer. However, in
addition to this news, the market learned for the first time
about the severe limitations on the number of patients who could
use Tarceva and obtain the survival benefits of the drug. This
disclosure caused OSI Pharmaceuticals' stock price to decline
dramatically by $6.09 per share, or 10.5%.

For more details, contact Samuel H. Rudman or David A. Rosenfeld
of Lerach Coughlin by Phone: 800-449-4900 or 619-231-1058 by E-
mail: wsl@lerachlaw.com or visit their Web site:
http://www.lerachlaw.com/cases/osipharmaceuticals/.


OSI PHARMACEUTICALS: Schoengold Sporn Lodges Stock Suit in NY
-------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schoengold Sporn Laitman & Lometti, P.C.
initiated a class action lawsuit against OSI Pharmaceuticals,
Inc. ("OSIP" or the "Company") (NASDAQ: OSIP) and certain key
officers and directors in the United States District Court for
the Eastern District of New York on behalf of all purchasers of
OSIP securities during the period between October 26, 2004 and
November 22, 2004 (the "Class Period").

The Complaint alleges that defendants OSIP, Colin Goodard,
Robert I. Ingram, Gabriel Leung, Nicole Onetto, Robert L. Van
Nostrand, John P. White and certain members of the Company's
Board of Director violated Section 11, 12(a)(2) and 15 of the
Securities Act of 1933 having caused, allowed or permitted false
and materially misleading registration statement and prospectus
dated November 10, 2004 to be issued, whereby $445,000,000 of
OSIP's stock was sold to the investing public at artificially
inflated prices. In addition, defendants violated Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder, by issuing a series of material
misrepresentations about the Company's new anti-cancer drug
Tarecva, which failed to disclose and /or misrepresented the
following adverse facts, among others, that the defendants knew,
at least as early as October 26, 2004 that:

     (1) the Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") would require
         that OSIP disclose in it labeling for Tarceva that no
         survival benefit was observed in the epidermal growth
         factor receptor ("EGFR")-negative subgroup; and

     (2) OSIP did not have sufficient data to claim that Tarceva
         provided a survivability benefit for EGFR-negative
         patients.

As a result of the foregoing, the defendants' positive
statements only served to artificially inflate the Company's
stock price.

On November 19, 2004, a Piper Jaffray analyst report commented
on the FDA's approval of Tarceva and a "surprise" in the
labeling of Tarceva. The "surprise" in labeling shows that
contrary to the Company's prior representation to the investing
public, there is currently no scientifically significant data
for OSIP's statement that Tarceva provided a survivability
benefit for EGFR-negative patients. The revelation in this
analyst report caused OSIP's stock price to drop from $64.25 per
share on November 18, 2004 to $58.16 per share on November 19,
2004, on volume of 18,496,800 -- over ten times the previous
day's volume. The Company's common stock price continued to drop
following the publication of the Piper Jaffray analyst report to
$54.22 per share on Monday, November 22, 2004.

For more details, contact Schoengold Sporn Laitman & Lometti by
Phone: (866) 348-7700 by E-mail:
shareholderrelations@spornlaw.com or visit their Web site:
http://www.spornlaw.com.


PFIZER INC.: Finkelstein Thompson Lodges Securities Suit in NY
--------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Finkelstein, Thompson & Loughran initiated a
securities fraud class action lawsuit in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York, on behalf
of investors who purchased or otherwise acquired the publicly
traded common stock of Pfizer, Inc. ("Pfizer" or the "Company")
between November 1, 2000 and November 10, 2004, inclusive (the
"Class Period").

The complaint alleges that, throughout the Class Period,
defendants misrepresented and omitted material facts concerning
the safety and marketability of Pfizer's Celebrex and Bextra
products. Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that at all times
during the Class Period, Defendants were aware of strong
indicators that Celebrex and Bextra, drugs known as "Cox-2
Inhibitors," posed serious undisclosed health risks to
consumers, that these undisclosed health risks would limit their
marketability, and that the potential financial liability Pfizer
faced from the harms these drugs caused posed a serious threat
to the Company's finances. Nevertheless, Defendants concealed
these facts from the investing public.

Toward the close of the Class Period, a series of factual
revelations from several sources caused the market to gradually
perceive the truth about Pfizer's Bextra and Celebrex products.
For example, on November 4, 2004, the Calgary Herald reported
that "Celebrex, a popular pain drug touted as the safe
alternative after Vioxx was pulled from drugstore shelves, is
suspected of causing at least 14 deaths and numerous heart and
brain side effects." Then, on November 10, 2004, the New York
Times further shocked the market by reporting on a study finding
that "[t]he incidence of heart attacks and strokes among
patients given Pfizer's painkiller Bextra was more than double
that of those given placebos."

As a result of these and other revelations, Pfizer's share price
dropped from a closing price of $29.45 on November 3, 2004 to
$27.15 on November 11, 2004 -- a drop of 8%.

Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of all those who
purchased or otherwise acquired Pfizer common stock during the
Class Period, and is represented by the law firm of Finkelstein,
Thompson & Loughran. With offices in Washington, D.C. and San
Francisco, CA, Finkelstein, Thompson & Loughran has spent almost
three decades delivering outstanding representation to
institutional and individual clients in connection with
securities and other finance-related litigation, and has been
appointed as lead or co-lead counsel in dozens of federal
securities fraud class actions. Indeed, in the past ten years,
the firm has served in leadership roles in cases that have
recovered almost $1 billion for investors and consumers.

For more details, contact Donald J. Enright or Michael G.
McLellan of Finkelstein, Thompson & Loughran by Phone:
(866) 592-1960 or by E-mail: dje@ftllaw.com or mgm@ftllaw.com.


STAR GAS: Scott + Scott Lodges Securities Fraud Lawsuit in CT
-------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Scott + Scott, LLC initiated complaints in the
United States District Court for the District of Connecticut,
charging Star Gas (NYSE:SGU) or (NYSE:SGH) and certain of its
officers and directors (Irik P. Sevin and Amy Trauber) with
violations of the Federal Securities Laws (Securities Exchange
Act of 1934). Star Gas is a holding company for regulated
utilities and other unregulated businesses. The initial
complaint on file had a date beginning with securities'
purchasers of 12/4/03 (the complaint Scott + Scott, LLC filed
for other counsel has an initial opening period of July 25,
2000. Upon appointment of lead plaintiff and the filing of an
amended complaint, this issue will be resolved in the best
interest of the damaged class as defined at that time.)

On October 6, 2004, Wachovia Securities, a non-bank subsidiary
of Wachovia Corporation downgraded a company called Inergy LP
(Nasdaq:NRGY), a public stock trading on the Nasdaq under the
symbol NRGY. Defendant Star Gas's stock dropped to $4.32 per
share from a closing price of $21.60 after it announced it was
selling its propane unit. Seemingly, this Wachovia downgrade was
unrelated to any of the facts at hand and oddly, the stock price
of Inergy went up 18 cents that day. On November 5, 2004, Star
Gas Partners L.P. announced that it had successfully entered
into a Letter Amendment and Waiver under its Credit Agreement
with Wachovia Bank, National Association, as Administrative
Agent and other lenders. The company added that the ability to
borrow under the amendment was subject to a number of specific
conditions in addition to the usual borrowing conditions. The
special stipulations include the Partnership's Propane segment-
Petro-keeping in effect, without any amendment, its proposed
commitment letter with JP Morgan.

The company said that its Star Propane division entered into a
Commitment Letter with JP Securities Inc. and JP Morgan Chase
Bank, providing for funding of a refinancing by Petro and Star
Propane, of all of their existing working capital facilities and
all of the outstanding institutional indebtedness of Petro and
Star Propane. Under the Commitment Letter, JP Morgan Chase Bank
committed to provide a $300 million asset-based senior secured
revolving credit facility and an additional $300 million senior
secured bridge facility to Star Propane and Petro as joint
borrowers.

The company disclosed that the proceeds of the above credit
facility and the bridge facility or public or private offering,
whichever one, had to be used to refinance the existing working
capital facilities, including the above mentioned amendment with
Wachovia and others, and to refinance all of the outstanding
institutional indebtedness of Petro and Star Propane. Further
the company revealed that, its Star Propane Segment issued an
Engagement Letter, and appointed JP Morgan Securities to act as
the underwriter or placement agent of a $300 million public or
private offering of debt securities. The waiver is valid until
December 17, 2004.

Suddenly and without any warning, Star Gas agreed on November
18, 2004 to sell its propane unit to Inergy LP for about $475
million. The deal, as announced, was expected to close in late
December, but for financial purposes would be treated as if it
closed Nov. 30, 2004. Star Gas stated that it would use the
proceeds from the sale to, amongst other things, prepay debt of
the propane segment, a significant amount of which was owed to
Wachovia Bank.

That same day, November 18, 2004, Inergy announced a reported
net loss of $9.6 million, which it claims is typical for the 4th
Quarter because of the season. The previous year, it stated a
net loss of $5.4 million. Also on that date, Inergy entered into
a material definitive agreement as reported in a Form 8-K. Part
of that agreement forced Star Gas Partners, L.P. and Star Gas
LLC to enter into a five-year noncompetition agreement with
respect to the propane business in certain regions. In order to
finance the deal, Inergy entered into a commitment letter with
none other than JP Morgan Chase Bank, JP Morgan Securities Inc.,
who had been supposedly coming to the rescue of Star Gas, and
Lehman Commercial Paper Inc. and Lehman Brothers Inc. for a $400
million, 364-day credit facility and $325 million five-year
credit facility, all of which would be secured by all of Inergy,
L.P.'s assets. On November 19, 2004, the day after Inergy had
announced its reported net loss, Wachovia Securities upgraded
Inergy back to the position it had been in.

On November 30, 2004, Inergy announced equity commitments in
connection with the Star Gas Acquisition -- privately signed and
negotiated -- to allow Kayne Anderson MLP Investment Company and
Tortoise Energy Infrastructure Corporation (NYSE:TYG), two major
Star Gas shareholders, to sell common units for net proceeds
estimated at $85-$110 million. Finally on December 9, Inergy and
its newly formed subsidiary Inergy Finance Corporation announced
that they intended to do a private placement sale, subject to
market conditions, $400 million senior unsecured notes due 2014.
It stated that it intended to use part of those proceeds to pay
for the proposed purchase of the propane division of Star Gas
Partners, L.P. -- being sold for $450 million.

For more details, contact Scott + Scott, LLC by Phone:
800/404-7770 (EDT) or 800/332-2259 (PST) or 860/537-3818
(Connecticut) or 619/233-4565 (California).


                            *********


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

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

                            *********


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

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

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

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
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