CAR_Public/050210.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

            Thursday, February 10, 2005, Vol. 7, No. 29


                            Headlines

AMERICAN HONDA: Recalls 302 Minivans, SUVs Due To Crash Hazard
ARKANSAS: $750,000 Settlement To Be Distributed To Charity
AUGUST TECHNOLOGY: Shareholder Lodges Suit in MN To Block Merger
CALIFORNIA: Jurors Mistakenly Request $1.8 Billion in Damages
COLORADO: Joins Others in Nationwide SUV Safe Driving Campaign

DIRECT GENERAL: Shareholders Launch Securities Suits in M.D. TN
DUKE ENERGY: $2.7M Settlement To Fund USD's Energy Policy Center
ELAN CORPORATION: Agrees To Pay $15 Mil To Settle SEC Charges
FIRST COMMAND: Shareholders Launch Securities Suit in S.D. CA
GANDER MOUNTAIN: Shareholders File Securities Fraud Suits in MN

GEORGIA: Judge Rules That Abused Kids Are Entitled To Legal Aid
IDAHO: Attorney General Bares Top Consumer Complaints in 2004
ILLINOIS: Attorney General Bares Top 10 Consumer Complaints List
ILLINOIS: A.G. Madigan Launches Inflated Drug Pricing Suit
IMPERIAL TOBACCO: Vows To Appeal Class Certification in BC Suit

INDIANA: Business Coalitions Backs Federal Bill To Curb Lawsuits
JENNIFER CONVERTIBLES: Judge OKs Derivative Suit Settlement
LIVENT INC.: NY Judge Orders Producers To Pay $23M in Fraud Case
MICHELIN NORTH: Recalls Tires Due To Missing Treadwear Indicator
MORGAN STANLEY: Shareholders Launch Securities Suit in S.D. CA

NORTH DAKOTA: State Supreme Court To Decide On Human Rights Suit
SCHWAN'S FOOD: Expands Recall of Egg Rolls With Pieces of Glass
SIERRA WIRELESS: Shareholders Launch Securities Suits in S.D. NY
SILICON IMAGE: Shareholders Launch Securities Suits in N.D. CA
SPRINT CORPORATION: KS Judge Allows Investor's Suit To Proceed

THE SHUTTLE: IL A.G. Madigan Lodges Customer Fraud Complaint
TOWER AUTOMOTIVE: Shareholders File Securities Suit in S.D. NY
UNITED STATES: Republicans Close To Passing Class Action Limits
UNITED STATES: Uninsured Patients' Legal Offensive Continues
ZUCHORA CONSTRUCTION: FL A.G. Crist Begins Consumer Fraud Suit

                  New Securities Fraud Cases

ATHEROGENICS INC.: Lerach Coughlin Lodges Securities Suit in NY
FIRST COMMAND: Whatley Drake Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in KY
GANDER MOUNTAIN: Glancy Binkow Files Securities Fraud Suit in MN
HUFFY CORPORATION: Lasky & Rifkind Lodges Securities Suit in OH
HYPERCOM CORPORATION: Schatz & Nobel Files Securities Suit in AZ

HYPERCOM CORPORATION: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges AZ Stock Suit
OFFICEMAX INC.: Cohen Milstein Files Securities Fraud Suit in IL
SIERRA WIRELESS: Milberg Weiss Files Securities Fraud Suit in NY
SIPEX CORPORATION: Lasky & Rifkind Lodges Securities Suit in CA
TOWER AUTOMOTIVE: Stull Stull Commences ERISA Investigation

                            *********

AMERICAN HONDA: Recalls 302 Minivans, SUVs Due To Crash Hazard
--------------------------------------------------------------
American Honda Motor Co. is cooperating with the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) by voluntarily
recalling 302 minivans and sport utility vehicles, namely:

     (1) HONDA / ODYSSEY, model 2005

     (2) HONDA / PILOT       2005

On certain minivans and sport utility vehicles, the steering
column may be incorrectly assembled, which could result in a
loss of steering control.  Loss of steering control can cause a
vehicle crash without prior notice.

Owners were notified by telephone on January 25,2005, and
arrangements were made to have their vehicles towed to their
dealers and have the repairs performed.  The recall began on
January 25,2005.  For more details, contact the NHTSA's auto
safety hotline: 1-888-327-4236.


ARKANSAS: $750,000 Settlement To Be Distributed To Charity
-----------------------------------------------------------
As the result of a class-action lawsuit settlement, $750,000
will be given to organizations that help feed the hungry and
improve the nutritional health of Arkansans, state Attorney
General Mike Beebe announced in a statement.

The McMath Law Firm brought the class-action suit against
vitamin manufacturers alleging an illegal price-fixing
conspiracy regarding vitamin additives in food products.  The
lawsuit affected all Arkansans, and therefore settlement funds
could not be distributed to individual Arkansans.  Instead, the
McMath Firm contacted the Attorney General's Office for
assistance in determining statewide programs that would use the
money in their work to improve the health and nutrition of
Arkansans statewide.

$350,000 will go to the Meals On Wheels Association of America.
Through contracted agencies in all 75 Arkansas counties, Meals
On Wheels feeds nutritious, hot-or-frozen food to elderly,
homebound people who cannot shop or prepare their own meals.

An additional $350,000 will go to the Arkansas Hunger Relief
Alliance (ARHA).  In 2004, ARHA provided 13.6 million pounds of
food to nearly 1,000 emergency food pantries, homeless shelters,
soup kitchens and other organizations that work to reduce hunger
in our state.  Members of ARHA include:

     (1) Arkansas Foodbank Network in Little Rock, Arkadelphia
         and Warren

     (2) Northeast Arkansas Foodbank in Jonesboro

     (3) North Central Arkansas Foodbank in Norfork

     (4) Ozark Foodbank in Bethel Heights

     (5) Northwest Arkansas Foodbank in Fort Smith

     (6) Harvest Texarkana

Finally, $50,000 will go to the UAMS Champions Club of Arkansas.
The program helps overweight children and their families make
permanent, healthy lifestyle changes to manage weight and
improve overall health.  Based in Little Rock, the program is
expanding to sites in Magnolia, Mountain Home, Jonesboro and
Arkadelphia.

"I'm pleased that my office was able to help distribute this
money to agencies that will help thousands of Arkansans, both
young and old," Beebe said.  "I applaud the efforts of the
McMath Law Firm in this class-action case, and am confident
these funds will be put to good use to assist those who need a
helping hand."

Additional funds from this same settlement will be used to help
fund nursing-education programs in Arkansas.  An announcement
regarding those funds will be made this Thursday, February 11,
at 11:00 a.m., at Mid-South Community College in West Memphis.


AUGUST TECHNOLOGY: Shareholder Lodges Suit in MN To Block Merger
----------------------------------------------------------------
Shareholders filed a lawsuit against Bloomington-based August
Technology Corporation to stop its impending merger with
competitor Nanometrics Inc., claiming the proposed deal is
preventing shareholders from accepting a better offer, the St.
Paul Pioneer Press reports.

Filed in Hennepin County District Court in Minneapolis, the
lawsuit came eight days after Rudolph Technologies Inc., which
is based in Flanders, N.J. and makes equipment to inspect
semiconductors for defects, issued a counteroffer for August
Technology, which makes semiconductor equipment.

The lawsuit noted the share price of August fell 13 percent from
$9.15 to $7.99 when the proposed merger with Milpitas,
California-based Nanometrics was announced January 21. The suit
claims that when Rudolph made its competing bid on January 27,
the share price jumped 18 percent.

Theodore O'Neill, a senior analyst at Wells Fargo Securities
told the St. Paul Pioneer Press, August shareholders became
dissatisfied with the proposed merger when the value of their
shares immediately dropped. He further adds, "The board was
trying to solve a business problem, but investors were looking
at this as a sale. Now they've got a lawsuit and a PR disaster
on their hands."

Negotiations between August and Rudolph have stalled because
Rudolph has not signed a confidentiality agreement with August,
the Minnesota-based Company said.

The lawsuit also claims that the merger agreement requires any
company that makes a counteroffer to August to sign a
confidentiality agreement that would prevent that company from
making a subsequent offer directly to August shareholders. That
same agreement, the suit contends, also requires August to
notify Nanometrics of the specific terms of any counteroffers,
including showing Nanometrics any relevant documents or letters.
The suit further contends that if August pulls out of the
merger, it must pay Nanometrics an $8.3 million "termination
fee" that represents about 5 percent of the value of the merger.

The suit was filed by an August stockholder identified as David
Richard, who is represented by Schiffrin & Barroway, a
Philadelphia-area law firm that specializes in class-action
suits.

Company officials said that August Technology agreed to merge
with Nanometrics to create a new company with better long-term
prospects selling a wider product line for the semiconductor and
flat-panel display industries. The deal would create a $140
million company with each Nanometrics share of stock swapped for
one of the new company. August shareholders would receive 0.6401
share of the new firm for each August share.

The merger is expected to close within three months, but the
lawsuit asks that the merger provisions be dropped and the deal
halted, says Lee Rudy, an attorney with Schiffrin & Barroway. No
court date has been set, Mr. Rudy added.


CALIFORNIA: Jurors Mistakenly Request $1.8 Billion in Damages
-------------------------------------------------------------
A jury in California inadvertently ordered a Manhattan Beach
man, who was convicted in a fraudulent house giveaway contest to
pay $1 million to 1,800 contestants setting his total punitive
damages at an enormous amount of $1.8 billion, the Associated
Press reports.

Apparently the jurors meant for Benjamin Waldrep, 81, to pay
contestants in the class action suit a total of $1 million
roughly equivalent to the cost of the house to be given away,
said jury forewoman Nicoline Iungerich. After the jury was
dismissed, several jurors tried to return to the downtown Los
Angeles courtroom to tell Superior Court Judge Andria Richey
about their mistake but that were told it was too late. Jurors
had convicted Mr. Waldrep of fraud and ordered him to return
each contestant's $195 entry fee plus $50 interest.

Mr. Waldrep's attorney, Craig Forry, declined to comment on the
award, telling AP, "We'll evaluate our position, before deciding
whether to appeal."

"It was an unusual verdict," David Brown, an attorney for the
contestants, told AP. A judge could lower the damages, but
nevertheless Mr. Brown said he was pleased that he and his
clients could be in for a windfall, he added though that he
would be satisfied if they were reimbursed for their entry and
legal fees. He also said that he is not optimistic about
collecting the money since he believes Mr. Waldrep "has moved
his assets to make them uncollectable."

In 2000, the contestants paid the fee and wrote an essay about
why they wanted Mr. Waldrep's home with the hopes of winning his
$800,000 digs. Mr. Waldrep collected more than $360,000 from
entrants but then sold the house to David McNair of Canada for
$1.2 million.

During the trial, it was revealed that Mr. Waldrep's daughter
boosted the evaluation of Mr. McNair's essay. The same day Mr.
Waldrep gave Mr. McNair the deed to the house, Mr. McNair signed
it back to Mr. Waldrep and also agreed to rent it to him, though
he never paid rent.

Questions about the contest first arose when Mr. McNair did not
come forward to collect the home. Some professional writers who
entered the contest also complained about the poor quality of
Mr. McNair's essay.


COLORADO: Joins Others in Nationwide SUV Safe Driving Campaign
--------------------------------------------------------------
Interim Colorado Attorney General John W. Suthers is joining
with the nation's other Attorneys General to launch the ESUVEE
Safety Campaign, a $27 million, yearlong national education
program designed to reduce SUV rollovers, particularly among
younger male drivers who have the highest incidence of such
accidents.

The Safety Campaign, which uses no public funds, was conceived
in December 2002, when Colorado and the other 49 states, the
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Territory of the U.S. Virgin
Islands and the District of Columbia reached a settlement
agreement with the Ford Motor Company. The agreement resolved
state lawsuits alleging that Ford's marketing practices misled
consumers on how to drive, load and maintain Ford Explorers. As
part of the settlement, Ford agreed to fund a $27 million
consumer education campaign on SUV safety.

Although one consumer is killed in a SUV accident per hour on
average, a new consumer survey shows that more than four in 10
Americans think that they are safer in a SUV than in a regular
car. "Consumers need to remember that driving a SUV is different
than driving a vehicle with a lower center of gravity," said
Suthers. "Fortunately, smart drivers can save lives by taking
some very simple steps: check your tire pressure monthly, don't
overload your SUV, always wear your seatbelt, try to avoid
abrupt maneuvers, and don't speed," he added.

"SUVs can give you a sense of invincibility, but if you lose
control they become very dangerous due to their weight and high
center of gravity," said David Champion, senior director, Auto
Test Department, Consumer Reports. "To reduce SUV rollover risk,
choose one that has not tipped in NHTSA's tests, has performed
well in Consumer Reports tests, and is equipped with electronic
stability control."

The Campaign aims to inform the public about the following
critical safety elements that can help save lives:

     (1) Handling: SUVs have a higher center of gravity than
         passenger cars, which contributes to the higher risk of
         rollover. The chances of an SUV rollover are further
         increased by speeding, abrupt maneuvers,
         inattentiveness, tailgating, recklessness,
         aggressiveness or impaired driving.

     (2) Loading: According to the new consumer survey, nearly
         50 percent of Americans do not know that overloading an
         SUV increases the risk of rollovers. The number of
         occupants, as well as the weight and distribution of
         cargo, raises a SUV's center of gravity, increasing the
         risk of rollover.

     (3) Tires: Tire size, pressure and maintenance are keys to
         SUV safety. Drivers should monitor each of these, and
         take them into account when loading an SUV.

     (4) Seat belts: Perhaps the most preventable cause of death
         in an SUV rollover is ejection from the vehicle. Eighty
         percent of those killed in SUV rollovers are unbelted.

The SUV Safety Campaign will use a mascot, ESUVEE, to engage the
target audience of younger drivers. This previously undiscovered
species makes its first appearance during today's campaign
kickoff at New York's Central Park Zoo. New York City has
officially declared January 31st to be SUV Safety Day. The 16-
foot long, 11-foot wide and 10-foot tall ESUVEE will serve as
the Campaign's focal point, appearing at events nationwide
throughout this year. ESUVEE is prominently featured on the
Campaign's web site, www.ESUVEE.com, a source of tips and
information about safe operation and maintenance of SUVs.
Throughout the year, the site will also provide information on
upcoming events where ESUVEE will appear, such as SUV Safety
Days in individual states. ESUVEE will also anchor a hard-
hitting public relations campaign promoting SUV safety,
including cinema, billboards, print, online and broadcast
advertisements


DIRECT GENERAL: Shareholders Launch Securities Suits in M.D. TN
---------------------------------------------------------------
Direct General Corporation faces several securities class
actions filed in the United States District Court for the Middle
District of Tennessee, on behalf of purchasers of the Company's
common stock from August 11,2003 to January 26,2005.

The suits seek to pursue remedies under the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934.  The complaints allege that Defendants issued, or
caused to be issued, false and misleading statements to
artificially inflate the value of Direct General Stock.

Specifically, Defendants concealed from the investing public the
negative effect a change in the Florida Personal Injury
Protection scheme would have on the Company's business
operations. The Company also failed to properly reserve for its
insurance losses as a result of the change in the Florida
statute. While the stock's value was just a few dollars from its
Class Period high, and almost $15 from its current price,
Defendants and other insiders sold over 3.3 million shares for
net proceeds of $108 million. Further, on or around January 26,
2005, the Company admitted that its current reserves were
inadequate and disclosed for the first time the substantial
impact the revised Florida PIP Statute was having on its
operations.

The first identified complaint is styled "Paulena Partners, LLC,
et al. v. Direct General Corp., et al."  The plaintiff firms in
this litigation are:

     (1) Barrett, Johnston & Parsley, 217 Second Avenue, N,
         Nashville, TN, 37201, Phone: 615.244.2202,

     (2) Brodsky & Smith, LLC, 11 Bala Avenue, Suite 39, Bala
         Cynwyd, PA, 19004, Phone: 610.668.7987., Fax:
         610.660.0450, E-mail: esmith@Brodsky-Smith.com

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

     (4) Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins (Boca
         Raton), 197 South Federal Highway, Suite 200, Boca
         Raton, FL, 33432, Phone: 561.750.3000, Fax:
         561.750.3364, E-mail: info@lerachlaw.com

     (5) Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins
         (Melville), 200 Broadhollow, Suite 406, Melville, NY,
         11747, Phone: 631.367.7100, Fax: 631.367.1173, E-mail:
         info@lerachlaw.com

     (6) Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman LLP (Boca Raton), The
         Plaza - 5355 Town Center Road, Suite 900, Boca Raton,
         FL, 33486, Phone: 561.361.5000, Fax: 561.367.8400, E-
         mail: info@milbergweiss.com

     (7) Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman LLP (New York), One
         Pennsylvania Plaza, 49th Floor, New York, NY, 10119,
         Phone: 212.594.5300, Fax: 212.868.1229, E-mail:
         info@milbergweiss.com

     (8) Schatz & Nobel, P.C., 330 Main Street, Hartford, CT,
         06106, Phone: 800.797.5499, Fax: 860.493.6290, e-mail:
         sn06106@AOL.com

     (9) 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

    (10) Wolf Popper, LLP, 845 Third Avenue, New York, NY,
         10022-6689, Phone: 877.370.7703, Fax: 212.486.2093, E-
         mail: IRRep@wolfpopper.com


DUKE ENERGY: $2.7M Settlement To Fund USD's Energy Policy Center
----------------------------------------------------------------
Funds from a $2.7 million settlement lawsuit against Duke Energy
will go towards establishing an Energy Policy Initiative Center
(EPIC) on the campus of the University of San Diego (USD), the
RenewableEnergyAccess.com reports.

The settlement to San Diego County was only a part of the
compensation that went to several small and large counties
throughout the state that were participating in a class action
suit against Duke Energy for overcharging consumers on their
utility bills during 2000 and 2001.

Bonnie M. Dumanis, District Attorney for San Diego County, told
RenewableEnergyAccess.com, "As our office vigorously prosecuted
our case, we knew that the most effective use of any settlement
funds would not result in nominal returns to rate payers, but
instead would be used to educate those committed to finding
permanent solutions to our region's ever-growing energy
problems."

Daniel Rodriguez, who is the dean at the USD School of Law told
RenewableEnergyAcess.com, "The EPIC will integrate research, law
school study, and public education, and legal advocacy to
provide expertise and information about future energy needs and
their efficient and environmentally responsible provision. Our
school is extremely grateful to the Office of the District
Attorney for giving us this opportunity and entrusting us with
the responsibility to build a center that will provide long term
benefits to San Diego County residents."

An academic and research center, EPIC will study energy supply,
costs, and opportunities and how they affect the San Diego
County region and Southern California. The center became a
reality partly because of Robert Fellmeth, a USD Law School
professor and executive director of the USD Center for Public
Interest Law, who presented the state Attorney General's office
with the proposal for San Diego's portion of the settlement.
Part of the center's mission will be to encourage the use of
alternative, environmentally friendly energy resources. District
Attorney Bonnie M. Dumanis approved the proposal.  Mr. Fellmeth
called the EPIC program "unique, and conceivably the only one of
this type in the nation."

The University of San Diego School of Law is accredited by the
American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of
American Law Schools.


ELAN CORPORATION: Agrees To Pay $15 Mil To Settle SEC Charges
-------------------------------------------------------------
Irish pharmaceutical producer, Elan Corporation, has agreed to
pay $15 million to settle charges that it misled investors, the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said, Reuters reports.

According to the SEC, investors in 2000 and 2001 were falsely
led to believe through regulatory filings and press releases
that Elan had achieved record results through improvements in
the company's business, but the gains were actually due to
product divestitures and transactions within the company.

Before its off-balance sheet units came under scrutiny after the
2001 collapse of U.S. energy giant Enron, Elan was one of the
biggest companies on the Irish stock exchange. However, the
ensuing accounting probe sent Elan shares into a tailspin and
brought the company close to bankruptcy and default on $2
billion in debt.

The SEC said that during 2000 and 2001, Elan made materially
misleading public statements that made it appear that the
company was generating record revenue, net income and operating
cash flow from drug sales and licensing activities. Furthermore,
the regulatory agency noted that Elan failed to disclose that a
substantial portion of its product revenue came from selling off
drug product lines and rights, that its joint ventures paid
license fees using money that Elan had provided to the venture
partners, and that a sale of some joint-venture-related
securities to an "unaffiliated third party" was actually to an
organization Elan had created.

In October, Elan recorded a $55 million charge for estimated
legal liabilities, which was net of about $50 million of related
insurance coverage. The company said then it agreed to a $15
million settlement with the SEC and would pay $75 million to
settle a class action shareholder lawsuit.

Elan spokeswoman Anita Kawatra told Reuters, "We've said all
along that if we could settle this case in a manner that was in
the best interests of our patients, shareholders and employees,
we would do so."


FIRST COMMAND: Shareholders Launch Securities Suit in S.D. CA
-------------------------------------------------------------
First Command Financial Planning, Inc. and certain of its
officers face a shareholder class action filed in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of California on
behalf of purchasers of the Company's securities from January
4,1999 to December 15,2004.

According to a press release dated February 03, 2005, the
complaint alleges that First Command and certain of its officers
and directors violated the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and
the Investment Advisers Act. The complaint further alleges that
the defendants' conduct also violated the Texas Deceptive Trade
Practices Act, California's Unfair Competition Act and First
Command's fiduciary duties to investors. First Command is a
seller of investment plans and insurance principally to military
personnel.

More specifically, the complaint alleges that, during the Class
Period, defendants through an affinity marketing scheme made
false and misleading statements regarding First Command's
investment plans and insurance. Specifically, the case involves
First Command's marketing and sales of indirect interests in
mutual-fund shares through an SIP. The defendants are alleged to
have made false statements and concealed the truth with respect
to the SIP, the effect of the charges associated with this
investment, and the investment alternatives.

The true facts, which were known by each of the defendants, but
concealed from the investing public during the Class Period are
alleged to be as follows:

     (1) the First Command SIP was among the worst, if not the
         worst, investment of its kind for the Class Members;

     (2) First Command's SIPs have no redeeming financial upside
         potential and the same minimum downside risks as
         comparable investments;

     (3) an investment in a Thrift Savings Plan ("TSP") was an
         undisputedly better investment alternative for military
         personnel than First Command's SIP;

     (4) only 43% of First Command clients retained their SIP
         long enough to even receive their principal back;

     (5) the recommended whole life insurance plans coupled with
         the SIP were inappropriate for the Class Members;

     (6) First Command did not tailor investment plans to the
         specific needs of each Class Member;

     (7) First Command steered Class Members to SIPs based
         solely on fact that First Command received
         substantially more in fees (50% of the first year's
         deposit) from the SIPs;

     (8) the majority of First Command customers have not
         completed the 15-year period of the SIP;

     (9) the Family Financial Plan ("FFP") was not an objective
         and truthful investment plan;

    (10) the long-term costs of owning no-load funds are
         substantially lower than the costs of owning load funds
         such as SIPs;

    (11) the no-load investment index funds offered by the TSP
         had substantially lower net expense ratios than even a
         no-load fund and most certainly the SIPs sold by First
         Command; and

    (12) there was no empirical evidence to support the
         inference that SIPs will outperform other funds due to
         low "cash-flow volatility."

As a result of the defendants' false and misleading statements,
and concealment of facts known to them, Class Members were
placed into unsuitable investments and paid excessive sales
commissions and fees to defendants in connection with the
purchase of publicly traded securities.

The complaint further alleges that on December 15, 2004 the
Securities & Exchange Commission ("SEC") instituted a public
administration and cease and desist proceeding against First
Command. In response to the SEC proceeding and related
disciplinary actions by the National Association of Securities
Dealers ("NASD"), First Command submitted an Offer of Settlement
which the SEC accepted, and submitted a Letter of Acceptance,
Waiver, and Consent to the NASD which provided for restitution
only to those customers who, as of December 15, 2004, had
already terminated their First Command SIP. As a result, no
relief was provided to the Class Members.

The complaint was filed on behalf of all persons who still owned
their Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) on December 15, 2004
(Class Members), all amounts paid into First Command's
Systematic Investment Plan for indirect interests in mutual-fund
shares which had not been withdrawn as of December 15, 2004
(Class Period).

The suit is styled "Michael McPhail, et al. v. First Command
Financial Planning, Inc., et al., case no. 05-CV-0179," filed in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of
California, under Judge Irma E Gonzalez.  The plaintiff firm for
this litigation is Blumenthal & Markham, 2255 Calle Clara, La
Jolla, CA, 92037, Phone: 858.551.1223, Fax: 858.551.1232, E-
mail: bam@bamlawlj.com


GANDER MOUNTAIN: Shareholders File Securities Fraud Suits in MN
---------------------------------------------------------------
Gander Mountain Company faces several securities class actions
filed on behalf of purchasers of the Company's common stock from
April 20, 2004 to March 13, 2005 in the United States District
Court for the District of Minnesota.

The actions charge that defendants violated federal securities
laws by issuing a series of materially false and misleading
statements to the market throughout the Class Period, which
statements had the effect of artificially inflating the market
price of the Company's securities.  More specifically,
defendants failed to disclose that:

     (1) the Company's co-branded credit card program was
         faltering;

     (2) the value of the Company's inventory was overstated,
         causing the Company's future margins to be negatively
         impacted;

     (3) the Company's debt capacity was jeopardized and was
         inconsistent with defendants' growth plans;

     (4) the Company was experiencing average trends with
         respect to its sales; and

     (5) defendants' projections of positive comparable sales
         growth of 3%-5% and pretax income of $13 million were
         materially misleading.

On or around November 9, 2004, Gander Mountain announced it had
"lowered its outlook for pretax income for fiscal 2004 to a
range of $8 million to $13 million, compared with the company's
prior guidance of $16 million to $21 million." On January 14,
2005, the Company issued a press release lowering its outlook
for pretax income for fiscal 2004 even further, "to a range of
$2.0 million to $4.0 million, compared with the company's prior
guidance of $8 million to $13 million." As a result, Gander
Mountain's shares plummeted to a close of $9.43. During the
Class Period, Gander Mountain traded as high as $24.65.

The first identified complaint is styled "Joseph Merrelli, et
al. v. Gander Mountain Company, et al."  The plaintiff firms in
this litigation are:

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

     (2) Reinhardt, Wendorf & Blanchfield Attorneys at Law, E-
         1000 First National Bank Building, 332 Minnesota
         Street, St. Paul, MN, 55101, Phone: 800.465.1592, Fax:
         651.297.6543, E-mail: info@ralawfirm.com

     (3) Schatz & Nobel, P.C., 330 Main Street, Hartford, CT,
         06106, Phone: 800.797.5499, Fax: 860.493.6290, E-mail:
         sn06106@AOL.com

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

     (5) Smith & Smith LLP, 3070 Bristol Pike, Suite 112,
         Bensalem, PA, 19020, Phone: (866)759-2275, E-mail:
         howardsmithlaw@hotmail.com


GEORGIA: Judge Rules That Abused Kids Are Entitled To Legal Aid
---------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Marvin H. Shoob of Federal District Court in Atlanta,
Georgia ruled that abused and neglected children have a
constitutional right to legal representation, a ruling that
lawyers who represent such children said was an important first
step in establishing that right nationally, the New York Times
reports.

The ruling by the federal judge came in a class-action lawsuit
that was filed by a national organization against Georgia's
child welfare agency, claiming that it is itself neglectful of
children. The organization, Children's Rights, also sued Fulton
and DeKalb Counties, which together encompass the Atlanta
metropolitan area.

Children's Rights accused them of failing to provide adequate
legal counsel to children, saying court-appointed lawyers in
Fulton County had an average caseload of more than 400 children,
or four times the recommended number, while the DeKalb County
lawyers have an average caseload of more than 180.

Judge Shoob refused the counties' motion to dismiss the case,
writing, "Foster children have both a statutory and a
constitutional right to counsel."

Marvin Ventrell, the president and chief executive of the
National Association of Counsel for Children, who appeared as an
expert witness for the plaintiffs, told the Times that if an
appellate court agrees with Judge Shoob, thereby creating case
law, "it would be one of the biggest steps toward justice for
children that we could make."

While the Supreme Court has ruled that indigent parents must be
assigned lawyers when the state seeks to terminate their
parental rights, only about half of all states require that
courts appoint lawyers for abused children, according to a
survey conducted in 2003-4 by First Star, a nonprofit
organization in Washington for abused and neglected children.

In Georgia, children in the welfare system are assigned lawyers
only in cases where the state is seeking to terminate their
parents' rights. Mr Ventrell pointed out, "While there is a
right to counsel in delinquency cases, ironically, abused and
neglected children don't have that right."

Ira Lustbader, the associate director of Children's Rights, told
the New York Times that the organization could find no previous
federal ruling that children have the right to a lawyer in child
welfare cases. Mr. Lustbader also said that legal counsel was
especially important in a system like Georgia's, which he said
failed to provide all foster children with basic medical care or
protect them from being abused by foster parents.

Georgia's Division of Family and Children's Services has argued
that it has made steady improvements without court intervention.


IDAHO: Attorney General Bares Top Consumer Complaints in 2004
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Idaho Attorney General's Office recovered a record
$5,777,643 for Idaho consumers in 2004, Attorney General
Lawrence Wasden said in a statement.  He released his office's
annual report on consumer protection during a news conference in
Boise. The Attorney General said the office's consumer
protection enforcement efforts also collected $528,318 in civil
penalties, fines and fees.

"The restitution recovered and distributed to Idaho residents
and businesses equates to $10.30 for each taxpayer dollar
appropriated for consumer protection staff," Attorney General
Wasden said. "Additionally, money from civil penalties, fees and
reimbursed costs is deposited into the consumer protection
account and, pursuant to appropriation by the legislature, used
to fund consumer education. This year we transferred nearly
three quarters of a million dollars in surplus funds from the
consumer protection account to the state's general fund."

A.G. Wasden also released the annual Attorney General's Top Ten
List of Consumer Complaints for 2004. The office handled 4,078
complaints last year, the highest number since 1998.  "The top
ten list gives us an indication of what is on the minds of Idaho
consumers," A.G. Wasden said. " What seems most to be on their
minds this year is faxes, unsolicited faxes containing ads, to
be more specific."

The telecommunications category moved to the number one
position, with 2,726 complaints, Attorney General Wasden said.
This category accounted for two-thirds of the complaints
received by the Attorney General's Office. Although this
category includes all complaints about telephone service, such
as billing issues, cramming and slamming, A.G. Wasden said the
majority of telecommunications complaints in 2004 related to fax
advertising.

"I hope that this will get better with Fax.com barred from
sending faxes into Idaho, but only time will tell," A.G. Wasden
said, referring to a settlement this year prohibiting the
nation's largest fax-spammer from operating in Idaho. "In the
meantime, we will continue to enforce the law as best we can,
and I encourage Idaho consumers, including businesses, to file
complaints with us regarding unsolicited fax advertisements. As
a side note, I want to remind everyone that simply sending an
unsolicited ad by fax is a violation of state law. There is
nothing in the law that permits sending these faxes until the
consumer tells you to stop."

The telephone solicitations category contains complaints about
telemarketers, including violations of the No Call Law.
Telephone solicitation complaints plummeted 48% in 2004, moving
this category to number two on the list. This is the third
straight year that complaints about telemarketers have fallen.

"I attribute this to a combination of our enforcement efforts
with regard to the No Call Law and to improved compliance by
telemarketers," A.G. Wasden said. "It is worth noting that there
are now more than 360,000 Idaho telephone numbers registered on
the Attorney General's No Call List."

The Top Ten Complaint categories for 2004 are:

     (1) Telecommunications - 2,726 complaints

     (2) Telephone solicitations - 326 complaints

     (3) Motor vehicles - 229 complaints

     (4) The Internet - 111 complaints

     (5) Mail order sales - 92 complaints

     (6) Credit cards - 69 complaints

     (7) Electronic equipment and service - 66 complaints

     (8) Construction - 58 complaints

     (9) Retail store sales and service - 57 complaints

    (10) Finance and lending - 50 complaints

To view the entire report, visit the Website:
http://www2.state.id.us/ag/consumer/annual_reports/consumerannua
l2004.pdf.


ILLINOIS: Attorney General Bares Top 10 Consumer Complaints List
----------------------------------------------------------------
Kicking off National Consumer Protection Week, Attorney General
Lisa Madigan announced last week her Consumer Protection
Division received 24,050 consumer complaints in 2004. The 2004
list marks the 19th year the list has been released.

For the fourth year in a row, telecommunication complaints
involving wireless phone service, Internet service, Internet
auctions and other related problems topped the list of Illinois
consumer gripes, logging 3,538 complaints, or 15 percent, of the
state's 24,050 consumer complaints. Credit issues ranked second
on the list with 3,325 complaints, or 14 percent, and home
improvement issues ranked third with 2,895 complaints, or 12
percent of all complaints lodged with A.G. Madigan's office in
2004.

"The annual Top Ten list serves as a reflection of the issues
concerning and affecting Illinois consumers on a daily basis,"
A.G. Madigan said. "This list is a roadmap that leads us to
where we need to concentrate our efforts and resources."

Telecommunications complaints to A.G. Madigan's office consisted
of issues related to wireless service and cellular phones (848
complaints), including poor reception, dropped calls and no
service available in consumer's area, among others; local phone
service and repairs (745), including long waits for installation
of service, general billing issues and errors and poor customer
service, among others; long distance service (517), including
complaints about calling plans, general billing issues and
errors, poor customer service, not receiving low international
rates, among others; Do Not Call (456), which includes
soliciting consumers after they have signed up for the Do Not
Call List; telecommunications equipment leases to businesses
(344), including failure to provide advertised
telecommunications service and related equipment; Internet
service providers and Internet-related scams (342), including
companies continuing to bill after contracts are cancelled,
computer rebate offers with no local Internet service and
billing for long distance charges when a consumer thought a call
was local, among others; and other complaints (286), including
cramming, slamming, pagers and calling cards.

Following years of negotiations to improve wireless service,
A.G. Madigan's office in July 2004 announced a settlement with
three of the nation's largest cell phone providers requiring
them to provide more accurate coverage maps, give consumers a
three-day right to cancel their contracts and improve how they
market services to consumers. The District Attorney's office led
the investigation, which included 31 other state attorneys
general, of the marketing techniques of Verizon Wireless,
Cingular Wireless and Sprint PCS.

Complaints regarding credit came in second on this year's list
and included problems with collection agencies (1,610
complaints), including harassment by debt collectors and late
fees, among others; credit cards (958), including unauthorized
charges on credit card bills from discount membership buying
clubs, fraudulent credit loss protection plans telemarketed to
consumers and general billing issues, among others; identity
theft (278); credit reporting agencies (157), including disputes
over and retention of entries on consumers' credit files; credit
repair services (130), including promises to improve consumers'
credit; and other credit complaints (192).

Construction and home improvement fraud, which came in third on
the 2004 list, has ranked as one of the top three consumer
complaints for the past 10 years. Complaints regarding
construction and home improvement in 2004 included those related
to remodeling (2,024 complaints), roofs and gutters (408),
siding, windows and doors (349), and new construction (114).
Most of the complaints centered on failure to start or complete
work, excessive charges and shoddy workmanship. In 2004, in
addition to mediating thousands of complaints concerning home
construction and improvement fraud, A.G. Madigan's office filed
35 law enforcement actions against fraudulent home repair
companies.

The Top 10 consumer complaints of 2004 are as follows (figures
do not reflect all complaints):

     (1) Telecommunications - 3,538 complaints

     (2) Credit - 3,325 complaints

     (3) Construction: Home Improvement - 2,895 complaints

     (4) Promotions and Schemes - 2,411 complaints

     (5) Motor Vehicle: Used Auto Sales - 1,324 complaints

     (6) Mail Order: Catalog - 1,158 complaints

     (7) Business and Professional Services - 1,019 complaints
         (alleged fraudulent business consulting, fraudulent
         financial planning, invoice scams, among other
         complaints)

     (8) Financial Services - 900 complaints

     (9) Motor Vehicle: Non-Warranty Repair - 834 complaints

    (10) Motor Vehicle: New Auto Sales - 703 complaints

A.G. Madigan has taken new steps to reach out to consumers in
the past two years, including outfitting a Mobile Community
Service van that travels to neighborhoods and has "office hours"
for consumers who might not be able to come downtown;
translating consumer education brochures into multiple languages
and translating the office's entire Web site into Spanish; and
sending a monthly "Consumer Corner" column to hundreds of
publications, businesses and senior centers across the state.

The Attorney General said consumers' complaints are critical
because they often lead to mediation between the companies and
the consumers, lawsuits filed against the fraudulent companies,
new legislation to address issues raised by the complaints and
consumer education and outreach initiatives aimed at preventing
future incidents of fraud. Madigan urged consumers to file
consumer complaints with her office whenever they believe they
have been the victim of fraud and noted that in 2004, her
Consumer Protection Division recovered through mediation claims
of more than $4.175 million for consumers.

Today's release of the Attorney General's Top 10 list comes at
the beginning of National Consumer Protection Week, which runs
from February 6 to February 12 and is sponsored by the FTC. For
more information, visit the FTC Website:
http://www.consumer.gov/ncpw,visit Madigan's Web site for
consumer protection information:
http://www.IllinoisAttorneyGeneral.govor call the Consumer
Fraud Hotlines: Chicago: 1-800-386-5438 and 1-800-964-3013
(TTY), Springfield: 1-800-243-0618 and 1-877-844-5461 (TTY),
Carbondale: 1-800-243-0607 and 1-877-675-9339 (TTY), Spanish-
language hotline: 1-866-310-8398


ILLINOIS: A.G. Madigan Launches Inflated Drug Pricing Suit
----------------------------------------------------------
In an effort to help combat soaring drug prices and recover
inflated prices paid by the state and Medicare consumers,
Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a lawsuit in Cook County
Circuit Court against 48 pharmaceutical companies alleging that
for more than a decade, the drug makers fraudulently published
inflated prices for prescription drugs - forcing government
programs and Illinois Medicare consumers to overpay hundreds of
millions in drug costs.

Reimbursements by state and federal government health insurance
programs to providers such as doctors, pharmacies and hospitals
are based on prices the drug companies themselves report to
publications to be used as benchmarks. However, the drug
companies allow the providers to buy drugs at a cost
substantially less than what the states or consumers are paying
based on the published drug prices. The difference between the
published benchmark price, known as the average, wholesale price
(AWP), and the amount that providers pay is called a spread. The
bigger the spread, the more money providers are able to pocket
for themselves.

According to A.G. Madigan's complaint, providers - seeking
bigger profits for themselves - tend to prescribe and sell the
drug with the largest spread - and the most kickback for
themselves. This practice results in state Medicaid programs and
Medicare participants who must pay co-pays being gouged even as
providers and drug companies rake in billions.

"Drug companies have manipulated the average wholesale prices
and used these prices to overcharge state and federal government
programs, taxpayers and Medicare consumers," A.G. Madigan said.
"We allege that this scheme is deceptive and illegal and has
cost the state government and Medicare consumers millions of
dollars."

As an example of how the scheme has cost the state and Medicare
consumers, A.G. Madigan noted that Dey's Albuterol Sulfate 5
mg/ml solution, 20 ml, had an AWP of $14.99 in 2000. However, it
could be purchased for $4.05, which resulted in a spread of 270
percent, causing the state's Medicaid program and Medicare
participants who must pay a co-pay to pay excessive prices for
the Albuterol, an asthma medication. More than 650,000 children
and adults in metropolitan Chicago have asthma, according to the
American Lung Association of Metropolitan Chicago.

"It is likely that Illinois' Medicaid program has overpaid for
Albuterol on behalf of the many Illinoisans who suffer from
asthma and take this drug," A.G. Madigan said. "It is also
likely that a number of Medicare recipients who must pay co-pays
have been overcharged for this drug. This suit seeks to recover
for these overpayments."

The Attorney General also noted that in one class action
complaint in Massachusetts, Baxter was alleged to have an AWP
for its sodium chloride of $928.51. The U.S. Department of
Justice (DOJ) determined that the actual AWP for Baxter's sodium
chloride solution was $1.71. The difference was $926.80 and the
percentage spread was 54,199 percent.

As of December 2004, approximately 1.8 million Illinois
citizens, or 14 percent of the state's population, were enrolled
in the state's Medicaid programs. The state pays all
prescription drug costs for Medicaid patients. In addition,
Illinois' senior citizens and residents with disabilities who
participate in the Medicare program have paid substantially
higher prices for their prescription drug co-payments.

In addition to the allegations about the AWP scheme, A.G.
Madigan's lawsuit also alleges that to conceal the true prices,
the drug manufacturers have given secret discounts and rebates
to providers and have used various other devices including
marketing schemes and confidentiality agreements.

A.G. Madigan's suit charges 48 pharmaceutical companies with
multiple violations of Illinois' Consumer Fraud and Deceptive
Business Practices Act, Public Assistance Fraud Act and
Whistleblower Reward and Protection Act.

The Attorney General's lawsuit asks the court to award millions
of dollars in restitution and actual damages to the State of
Illinois and its Medicare participants for all excessive
prescription drug payments and co-payments made as a result of
the defendants' fraudulent conduct.

The lawsuit also asks the court to order the defendants to pay
all court costs, as well as civil penalties of $50,000 per
violation found to have been committed with the intent to
defraud and additional penalties of $10,000 per violation found
to be committed against a person 65 years of age or older.
Finally, Attorney General Madigan's lawsuit seeks to prohibit
the defendants from further engaging in this conduct.

In addition to Illinois, approximately 19 other states have sued
drug companies in similar actions.

Public Interest Division Chief Benjamin Weinberg, Complex
Litigation Counsel Paul Gaynor, and Special Assistant Attorneys
General Judson Miner and Charles Barnhill are handling the case
for A.G. Madigan's office.

Attorney General Madigan's lawsuit names as defendants:

     (1) Abbott Laboratories

     (2) Alpharma, Inc.

     (3) Alpha Therapeutic Corporation

     (4) Amgen, Inc.

     (5) Astrazeneca Pharmaceuticals, LP

     (6) Astrazeneca, LP

     (7) Aventis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

     (8) Aventis Behring, LLC n/k/a ZLB Behring

     (9) B. Braun of America, Inc.

    (10) Barr Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

    (11) Baxter International, Inc.

    (12) Bayer Corporation

    (13) Ben Venue Laboratories, Inc.

    (14) Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation

    (15) Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

    (16) Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.

    (17) Chiron Corporation

    (18) Dey, Inc.

    (19) Elkins-Sinn, Inc.

    (20) Forest Laboratories, Inc.

    (21) Immunex Corporation

    (22) Ivax Corporation

    (23) Ivax Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

    (24) Janssen Pharmaceutical Products, LP

    (25) Johnson & Johnson

    (26) McGaw, Inc.

    (27) McNeil-PPC, Inc.

    (28) Merck & Co., Inc.

    (29) Mylan Laboratories, Inc.

    (30) Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

    (31) Novopharm USA, Inc.

    (32) Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation

    (33) Ortho Biotech Products, LP

    (34) Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

    (35) Par Pharmaceutical Cos., Inc.

    (36) Pfizer, Inc.

    (37) Pharmacia Corp.

    (38) Purepac Pharmaceutical Co.

    (39) Roxane Laboratories, Inc.

    (40) Sandoz, Inc., f/k/a Geneva Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

    (41) Schering-Plough Corp.

    (42) Smithkline Beecham Corp., d/b/a GlaxoKlineSmith

    (43) Sicor Pharmaceuticals, Inc., f/k/a Gensia Sicor
         Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

    (44) Tap Pharmaceutical Products, Inc.

    (45) Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.

    (46) Warrick Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd.

    (47) Watson Pharma, Inc., f/k/a Schein Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

    (48) Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc.


IMPERIAL TOBACCO: Vows To Appeal Class Certification in BC Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Imperial Tobacco Canada will appeal the British Columbia
Superior Court of Justice's decision to allow certification of a
class action against it in BC.

During the course of the certification hearing, which began on
October 25, 2004 and ended October 29, 2004, Imperial Tobacco
Canada argued that the allegations in the procedures are not
appropriate for certification. The judgment only allows
certification - a procedural mechanism that allows the case to
proceed. It is in no way a judgment of liability.

The Company also named the federal government as a third party
in the suit, arguing that the federal government instigated and
authorized the development of lower-tar tobacco products. The
federal government actively encouraged Canadian tobacco
manufacturers to develop, manufacture, sell and promote low-tar
cigarettes in Canada.

Imperial Tobacco Canada provided the Honorable Justice Satanove
with details of the federal governments' involvement in the
development of "light" and "mild" tobacco products, including:
threatened legislation in 1967 requiring that tar and nicotine
levels be printed on cigarette packaging and advertisements;
pressuring the manufacturers to promote these products
throughout the 1970s; and subsequently encouraging smokers to
switch to lower delivery products. Up until mid-2003, Health
Canada's Web site (lung cancer section) continued to state:
"Switching from non-filter to filter or from high- to low-tar
cigarettes may slightly reduce lung cancer risk".

"This is a copy-cat suit - an opportunistic attempt to cash-in
on American-style litigation that in no way reflects the
Canadian reality," said spokesperson for the company, Christina
Dona. "Imperial Tobacco Canada will put up a vigorous defense to
any action of this kind. In the short term, we plan to have a
close look at the judgment before formally filing our appeal."

For more details, contact Christina Dona, Manager, Media
Relations, Imperial Tobacco Canada, (514) 932-6161, ext. 2474,
Cellular: (514) 704-8717.


INDIANA: Business Coalitions Backs Federal Bill To Curb Lawsuits
----------------------------------------------------------------
An Indiana coalition is backing a federal bill, which would make
it easier to move class action lawsuits into federal court that
is to be voted on in the U.S. Senate this week, the Inside
Indiana Business reports.

Representatives from Hoosier companies including WellPoint,
Hill-Rom, Eli Lilly, Vectren and other groups have signed a
letter supporting the measure.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Great Lakes Region Executive Director
Sean Heather told Inside Indiana class action lawsuits are often
in state jurisdictions rather than federal court. Mr. Heather
says cases that involve multiple people in numerous
jurisdictions should be in federal court rather than state court
where they are subject to the laws of that one particular state.

He added that the bill has a provision that if a lawsuit is
greater than $5 million, then it automatically goes to federal
court. If it is worth less than that, then it can stay in state
court. If two-thirds of the plaintiffs and the defendant are
from a certain state, then it can also remain in state court.
The bill also sets up a Plaintiff's Bill of Rights to make sure
that settlements are paid in cash and not just in coupons for
goods or services.


JENNIFER CONVERTIBLES: Judge OKs Derivative Suit Settlement
-----------------------------------------------------------
Judge Hurley of the Eastern District Court in Hauppauge, Long
Island has approved the settlement of the derivative lawsuit
filed against Jennifer Convertibles, Inc., which began in 1994.

On July 6, 2001, a related private company and Jennifer entered
into a series of agreements designed to settle the derivative
action among such private company, certain of Jennifer's current
and former officers and directors, former accounting firms and
Jennifer. The Company has been operating under an Interim
Operating Agreement designed to implement certain of the
provisions prior to court approval.

Harley J. Greenfield, Chief Executive of Jennifer Convertibles,
Inc. said, "We are pleased to have finally settled and received
court approval of the last piece of litigation which began in
1994. With the class action and derivative suits finally behind
us, we can now turn our full attention to building a profitable,
growing business."

Jennifer Convertibles is the owner and licensor of the largest
group of sofabed specialty retail stores in the United States,
with 192 Jennifer Convertibles(R) stores and 16 Jennifer Leather
stores. As of January 30, 2005, the Company owned 133 stores and
licensed 75 (including 24 owned and operating stores by a
private company on a royalty free basis.)


LIVENT INC.: NY Judge Orders Producers To Pay $23M in Fraud Case
----------------------------------------------------------------
Former Broadway producers Garth Drabinsky and Myron Gottlieb,
who were responsible for hits including Ragtime, were ordered by
Manhattan Federal Judge Victor Marrero to pay $23,333,146 to
investors who bought notes issued by Livent, Inc., a now-
bankrupt entertainment company. Mr. Drabinsky was formerly
Livent's chairman and chief executive, while Mr. Gottlieb was
formerly Livent's president.

Judge Marrero made the ruling in granting summary judgment
against the defendants to plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit.
Pomerantz Haudek Block Grossman & Gross LLP represents the
plaintiffs. Murielle Steven Walsh of Pomerantz's New York office
successfully obtained the summary judgment ruling.

The plaintiff class is comprised of investors who purchased
notes included in a $125 million 1997 offering by Livent.
Subsequent to the offering, Livent restated much of the key
financial information that was disseminated to the investing
public at the time of the offering.

Both defendants repeatedly invoked the Fifth Amendment and
refused to answer when Pomerantz attorneys questioned them under
oath as part of the case.

In entering summary judgment against Drabinsky and Gottlieb,
Judge Marrero commented, "the evidence submitted by Mr.
Drabinsky and Mr. Gottlieb in support of their defense" was
"utterly inadequate."

Numerous other defendants in the case, including CIBC
Oppenheimer Securities Corp, an underwriter of the notes
offering, auditor Deloitte & Touche, and Livent outside
directors including A. Alfred Taubman, have previously entered
into settlements with the plaintiffs.

For more details, contact Murielle Steven Walsh, Esq. of
Pomerantz Haudek Block Grossman & Gross LLP by Phone:
(212) 661-1100 by E-mail: mjsteven@pomlaw.com.


MICHELIN NORTH: Recalls Tires Due To Missing Treadwear Indicator
----------------------------------------------------------------
Michelin North America, Inc. is cooperating with the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) by voluntarily
recalling 41,797 BF Goodrich Land Terrain tires.

Certain BF Goodrich land terrain P235/75R15 manufactured
beginning the week of February 29 and through August 19,2004.
The tire treadwear indicator required by federal motor vehicle
safety standard no. 109, new pneumatic tires, is missing.

Michelin will notify its customers and replace the affected
tires free of charge.  The recall is expected to begin during
February 2005.  Owners who do not receive the free remedy within
a reasonable time should contact BF Goodrich Tires by Phone:
1-877-788-8899.  Also customers can contact the NHTSA's auto
safety hotline: 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).


MORGAN STANLEY: Shareholders Launch Securities Suit in S.D. CA
--------------------------------------------------------------
Morgan Stanley DW, Inc. faces a class action filed in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of California,
on behalf of purchasers of the Company's variable annuity
insurance products from January 1,1990 to January 20,2005.

The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, Morgan
Stanley made false and misleading statements and omitted
material facts concerning its undisclosed financial interests
with third party suppliers of annuity contracts. The third
parties paid monies and other incentives to have Variable
Annuities steered to them by Morgan Stanley without properly
disclosing the preexisting arrangement to its customers. More
specifically, the complaint alleges that rather than providing
independent and unbiased services for clients wanting to
purchase Variable Annuities, Morgan Stanley maintained secret
contingent fee sharing agreements with a number of insurance
company underwriters of annuity contracts. These activities
cause insurance companies to collect higher premiums than would
be paid absent these arrangements and result in Morgan Stanley
customers paying inflated premiums for the Variable Annuities.

A variable annuity is an insurance contract with characteristics
causing it to be treated as an "investment" under the Securities
Act of 1933. A Variable Annuity contract generally provides that
the purchaser agree to a simple "lump sum" premium or scheduled
fixed premiums for a pre-set number of years. The premiums are
deposited into a separate account after deducting expenses, fees
and charges specified in the contract. The premiums thus
collected in the annuitant's separate account are available for
tax deferred investment in one or more portfolios (called sub-
accounts). Upon maturity of the annuity, the annuitant receives
payment from the accumulated value in such amounts and upon the
terms specified in the underlying investment contract.

The plaintiff firms in this litigation are:

    (1) Barrack, Rodos & Bacine (San Diego), 402 West Broadway,
        San Diego, CA, 92101, Phone: 619.230.0800, Fax:
        619.230.1874, E-mail: info@barrack.com

    (2) Finkelstein & Krinsk LLP, 501 West Broadway, Suit 1250,
        San Diego, CA, 92101, Phone: 877.493.5366, Fax:
        619.238.5425,

    (3) Law Office of Ronald A. Marron, APLC, San Diego, CA,
        92101, Phone: 619.685.6969, Fax: 619.690.0983


NORTH DAKOTA: State Supreme Court To Decide On Human Rights Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
After hearing oral arguments in the case, the state Supreme
Court is set to decide, if hundreds of North Dakotans waiting
for the Department of Labor to act on their discrimination
complaints can join a class-action lawsuit, the In-Forum
reports.

The lawsuit was filed in Cass Count District Court, it centers
around three Fargo residents who filed discrimination complaints
with the labor department in 2003 and have since been waiting
for the labor commissioner to decide whether or not
discrimination occurred.

Mark Schneider, the Fargo attorney representing plaintiffs David
Shove, Charles Stebbins and Patricia Villanueva, legal guardian
for Lisa Villanueva, told the In-Forum the purpose of the
lawsuit is to get the labor commissioner to do her job and
enforce the state's Human Rights Act, which in essence prohibits
discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations,
public services and credit transactions or lending.

East Central District Judge Douglas Herman in August certified
the class-action suit for the three individuals, indicating,
"there may be no way to determine the full effect of these
claims absent class certification."

Douglas Bahr, attorney for State Labor Commissioner Leann
Bertsch, appealed the certification to the North Dakota Supreme
Court saying that Judge Herman failed to follow the laws for
class certification and that the purpose behind the class-action
certification is not clear. Furthermore, Mr. Bahr, who is with
the North Dakota attorney general's office, argued that the
certification should not be allowed, since the certified class
is too broad and each person has his or her own set of
circumstances that wouldn't necessarily represent everyone else
in the class.

In his appeal Mr. Bahr also argued, "Numerous separate and
distinct reasons can exist why an individual did not receive a
probable cause determination. A common question of law does not
exist."

However, Mr. Schneider said the issue at hand, for the
individuals and for others in the same situation now and in the
future, is the process. He points that under North Dakota law,
once a discrimination complaint is filed and investigated, the
Human Rights Division of the Department of Labor must decide if
discrimination occurred and when probable cause is found, the
issue should go to an administrative law judge for a hearing,
assuming the plaintiff wants one. "(The) Department of Labor has
left scores to languish without either resolution of their
claims or enforcement for those few claims where probable cause
exists to support them," Mr. Schneider contends in his reply to
the appeal.

One glitch is that the law doesn't specifically say how long is
too long when it comes to the labor commissioner's job of
investigating claims and making determinations.  Supreme Court
justices Dale Sandstrom and William Neumann questioned if the
court would ultimately find itself micromanaging the labor
department. "It raises huge issues of separation of powers,"
Justice Sandstrom told the In-Forum.

Mr. Schneider told the In-Forum that legislation already
dictates the process for handling discrimination complaints and
according to him, it's just not being followed. "All the court
is doing is breathing life into the legislative remedy," he
adds.

The original lawsuit, whose plaintiffs are not seeking monetary
compensation, included seven individuals, but Judge Herman
determined that four did not belong in the class as well as that
the North Dakota Human Rights Coalition does not have standing
to be part of the suit.

The lawsuit also named former Labor Commissioner Mark Bachmeier,
who left his position last summer to further pursue his
education and was replaced by Ms. Bertsch in September.
In this case, none of the plaintiffs is seeking monetary
compensation.


SCHWAN'S FOOD: Expands Recall of Egg Rolls With Pieces of Glass
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Minh production facility of Schwan's Food Manufacturing,
Inc., located in Pasadena, Texas, is voluntarily expanding its
recall of January 19, 2005 to include an additional 191,033
pounds of frozen egg rolls and other frozen food products that
may contain fragments of glass, the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced.  On
January 19, the firm recalled approximately 162,500 pounds of
frozen egg rolls.

The following products subject to the expanded recall were
distributed to the National School Lunch Program:

     (1) 9.75 pound cases of "COYOTE GRILL, 3" X 4" X 1" TACO
         CHALUPA CHEESE, COOKED BEEF PATTY CRUMBLES AND SAUCE IN
         A TACO SHELL." Each case bears the date code "384313"
         or "384314."

     (2) 9.75 pound cases of "COYOTE GRILL, 3" X 4" X 1" TACO
         CHALUPA CHEESE SUBSTITUTE/CHEESE, COOKED BEEF PATTY
         CRUMBLES AND SAUCE IN A TACO SHELL." Each case bears
         the date code "384315."

     (3) 15.75 pound cases of "MINH, EGG ROLLS WITH PORK &
         VEGETABLE PROTEIN PRODUCT." Each case bears the date
         code "384313" or "384315."

The following products subject to the expanded recall are
distributed to retail stores nationwide:

     (i) 11-ounce packages of "PAGODA, WHITE MEAT CHICKEN EGG
         ROLL." Each package bears the date code "384313."

    (ii) 11-ounce packages of "PAGODA, SAVORY PORK & VEGETABLE
         EGG ROLL." Each package bears the date code "384313."

   (iii) 11-ounce packages of "PAGODA, SWEET & SOUR CHICKEN EGG
         ROLL." Each package bears the date code "384313."

    (iv) 20-ounce packages of "TONY'S PIZZA TWISTS, SAUSAGE AND
         PEPPERONI." Each package bears the date code "384313."

     (v) 6.4-ounce packages of "PAGODA, SAVORY PORK MINI EGG
         ROLLS." Each package bears the date code "384314."

    (vi) 36-ounce packages of "JADE MOUNTAIN CLASSIC, EGG ROLLS
         WITH PORK & TEXTURED VEGETABLE PROTEIN PRODUCT." Each
         package bears the date code "110904" or "384314."

   (vii) 6.4-ounce packages of "PAGODA, WHITE MEAT CHICKEN MINI
         EGG ROLLS & TEXTURED SOY FLOUR." Each package bears the
         date code "384314."

  (viii) 11-ounce packages of "HEB CLASSIC SELECTIONS, WHITE
         MEAT CHICKEN & TEXTURED SOY FLOUR EGG ROLLS." Each
         package bears the "Use By" code "03/09/05."

    (ix) 13.5 pound cases of "LOTUS GARDEN, EGG ROLLS, 1.5 oz.,
         PORK & TEXTURED VEGETABLE PROTEIN PRODUCT." Each case
         bears the date code "384315."

     (x) 11-ounce packages of "PAGODA, SOUTHWEST STYLE CHICKEN
         EGG ROLLS." Each package bears the date code "384313."

Each package also displays the establishment number "EST. 5630"
inside the USDA mark of inspection.

The products that were subject to the January 19 recall are:

     (a) 11-ounce packages of "PAGODA, WHITE MEAT CHICKEN EGG
         ROLLS & TEXTURED SOY FLOUR." Each package bears the
         date code "384315."

     (b) 11-ounce packages of "PAGODA, PORK AND SHRIMP &
         VEGETABLE PROTEIN PRODUCT." Each package bears the date
         code "384314" or "384315."

     (c) 3.75-pound packages of "MINH GOURMET CHICKEN EGG ROLLS,
         WHITE MEAT CHICKEN." Each package bears the date code
         "384313."

Each package also displays the establishment number "EST. 5630"
inside the USDA mark of inspection.

The egg rolls were packaged between November 8 and 10, 2004, and
were distributed to retail stores nationwide.  The problem was
discovered after the company received consumer complaints. FSIS
has received no reports of injury from consumption of these
products. Anyone concerned about an injury from consumption of
the products should contact a physician.

Consumers with questions about the recall may contact Kevin
Mayer, company consumer representative at (800) 551-5961. Media
with questions about the recall may contact Howard Miller,
company media relations representative, at (507) 537-8517.

Consumers with food safety questions can phone the toll-free
USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at (800) 535-4555. The hotline is
available in English and Spanish and can be reached from l0 a.m.
to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food
safety messages are available 24 hours a day.


SIERRA WIRELESS: Shareholders Launch Securities Suits in S.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
Sierra Wireless, Inc. faces several securities class actions
filed in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York, on behalf of purchasers of the Company's
securities from January 28,2004 to January 26,2005.

The Complaints allege that Sierra and certain of its officers
and directors violated federal securities laws by issuing a
series of material misrepresentations to the market during the
Class Period concerning the Company's prospects and financial
performance, thereby artificially inflating the price of Sierra
Wireless securities.

Specifically, defendants failed to disclose the following
materially adverse facts:

     (1) that Sierra's strategy to correct its deficiency in
         technology by introducing the Voq Smartphone was flawed
         and its business model was not working;

     (2) that Sierra was facing increasing competition,
         intensified by its failure to enter into the WCDMA
         (wideband code-division multiple access) market;

     (3) that Sierra's recent venture into the Smartphone market
         with the introduction of its new Voq line was a serious
         misstep, as it did little to add revenue and further
         seriously harmed Sierra's relationship with a prime
         customer palmOne as its Voq Smartphone would compete
         with palmOne's Treo -- the product for which Sierra was
         a supplier;

     (4) that Sierra's dependence on revenue from palmOne in its
         original equipment manufacturer ("OEM") business was
         substantially greater than had been reported; and

     (5) that Sierra's customers were materially over-
         inventoried, which would lead to greatly diminished
         orders and sales in future quarters.

Further, on or around January 26, 2005, Sierra issued a press
release announcing that its revenue for the fourth quarter of
2004 was well below the previous guidance and that it expected a
steep decline in its revenue going forward. As a result, on the
next trading day, January 27, 2005, Sierra's stock plummeted 38%
to $8.97 per share.

The plaintiff firms in this litigation are:

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

    (ii) Schatz & Nobel, P.C., 330 Main Street, Hartford, CT,
         06106, Phone: 800.797.5499, Fax: 860.493.6290, E-mail:
         sn06106@AOL.com

   (iii) Smith & Smith LLP, 3070 Bristol Pike, Suite 112,
         Bensalem, PA, 19020, Phone: (866)759-2275, E-mail:
         howardsmithlaw@hotmail.com


SILICON IMAGE: Shareholders Launch Securities Suits in N.D. CA
--------------------------------------------------------------
Silicon Image, Inc. faces a shareholder class action filed in
the United States District Court for the Northern District of
California on behalf of purchasers of the company's common stock
from October 19,2004 to January 24,2005.

According to a press release dated February 1, 2005, a class
action lawsuit was filed on behalf of all persons who purchased,
converted, exchanged, or otherwise acquired the common stock of
Silicon Image, Inc., against defendants Silicon Image and
certain officers and directors of the Company.

The Complaint alleges that defendants violated Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5
promulgated by the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC")
thereunder, thereby artificially inflating the price of Silicon
Image securities. Specifically, the Complaint alleges that the
Company gave fourth quarter guidance on October 19, 2004 and has
since undergone a time of undisclosed executive uncertainty, and
distractions that were not disclosed while insiders sold Company
stock.  Plaintiffs allege that:

     (i) on November 11, 2004, the Company appointed Steven Laub
         as Chief Executive Officer and President;

    (ii) the Company failed to disclose material adverse facts,
         including fundamental disputes between Steven Laub and
         others at Silicon Image regarding Mr. Laub's relative
         role and responsibility which resulted in substantial
         distractions from achieving guidance;

   (iii) 281,742 shares were sold by insiders at Silicon Image
         who were in a position to know of the material adverse
         information of the fundamental disputes and resulting
         distractions; and

    (iv) the SEC commenced a formal investigation into trading
         in Silicon Image shares on January 25, 2005.

Further, on or around January 25, 2005, the Company issued two
press releases. One release, entitled "Silicon Image Announces
Appointment of Steve Tirado as Chief Executive Officer Replacing
Steven Laub," announced the resignation of its Chief Executive
Officer and President, Steven Laub, and appointment of
Christopher Paisley as the Company's new Chairman of the Board
of Directors. The second press release, entitled "Silicon Image
Reports Fourth Quarter 2004 Financials," stated that the
Company's revenue in the fourth quarter decreased by 4% in
comparison to the third quarter. The price of the Company stock
has declined by 15% since January 24, 2005.

The suit is styled "Landon Curry, et al. v. Silicon Image, Inc.,
et al., case no. 05-CV-00456," filed in the United States
District Court for the Northern District of California, under
Judge Maxine M. Chesney.  The plaintiff firms in this litigation
are:

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

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


SPRINT CORPORATION: KS Judge Allows Investor's Suit To Proceed
--------------------------------------------------------------
Johnson County District Judge Kevin Moriarty has denied Sprint
Corp.'s motions to dismiss a class-action lawsuit brought by
investors against itself, its board of directors and some former
executives over the Overland Park-based telecommunication
company's decision last year to recombine its wire line and
wireless business stocks, the Associated Press reports.

After operating for almost six years with two stocks, Sprint had
said last spring that it had planned to recombine the stocks.
The company converted each share of PCS wireless stock into half
a share of FON, the tracking stock for the company's traditional
local and long-distance business.

However, PCS stockholders cried foul, saying the wireless stock
had steadily risen in value and that they were being
shortchanged. A legal battled between the PSC stockholders and
the company ensued with several lawsuits charging Sprint's board
of directors with breach of fiduciary duty. The shareholders
also claimed company officials had unfairly manipulated the PCS
stock price by filing false financial reports.

Attorneys for the shareholders welcomed the judge's decision not
to dismiss their lawsuits and noted that Sprint last fall wrote
off $3.2 billion in long-distance assets, which the plaintiffs
said was proof FON was overvalued. According to Jay Eisenhofer,
attorney for Dallas-based Carlson Capital LP, money marketing
fund and lead plaintiff, "This is a huge victory for Sprint
shareholders and we look forward to going to trial in this
case."

Company spokesman Scott Stoffel, told AP that officials were
"disappointed" but noted that the ruling simply allows the case
to move forward and doesn't find fault with Sprint. He also
adds, "We will now turn our attention toward developing the
facts we believe will show that the plaintiffs' claims to be
unfounded and without merit."


THE SHUTTLE: IL A.G. Madigan Lodges Customer Fraud Complaint
------------------------------------------------------------
The office of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed suit
against the owner of a defunct Quincy shuttle service that last
summer stranded customers who had already paid for rides to and
from the St. Louis area.

At least six of the alleged victims were senior citizens; one of
those consumers not only was overcharged the stated fare, but
the senior's credit card was charged twice for a trip that never
happened.

From December 2003 to August 2004, Anna Cowgill, d/b/a The
Shuttle and Ace Passenger Transportation, advertised her shuttle
service to and from Lambert-St. Louis International Airport and
other locations in the metropolitan area. According to A.G.
Madigan's suit, consumers would call or go to The Shuttle's Web
site to book a specific date and time to be picked up and pay in
advance by credit card or check. A confirmation number would
follow.  Ms. Cowgill's fleet included a 1997 van and a 1992
luxury automobile with a typical round-trip charge of
approximately $100.

A.G. Madigan's suit alleges that beginning last August,
customers complained that the shuttle failed to show up at
appointed times to take them to their destination, resulting in
missed flights in St. Louis and last-minute changes that
required purchasing new airline tickets, car rentals and
gasoline. In all, complainants say they are out an additional
$2,100.

"Ms. Cowgill's shuttle continued to book customers knowing she
could never get them out of Quincy, much less to St. Louis and
back," Madigan said.

Attorney General Madigan's Consumer Fraud Bureau has received
more than a dozen complaints from consumers who pre-paid $1,598
in reservations on The Shuttle. To date, no money has been
refunded even though Ms. Cowgill allegedly promised to do so.
Madigan's office said Ms. Cowgill shut down the business without
leaving a forwarding address. The business telephone has been
disconnected and its Web site carries the message "Site is Not
Available."

Ms. Cowgill is charged with violating the Consumer Fraud and
Deceptive Business Practices Act for failing to fulfill promised
transportation services and failing to provide promised refunds.
In addition, the complaint alleges she charged a senior citizen
more than the agreed price for her service. The suit seeks a
permanent injunction against Ms. Cowgill operating a shuttle,
restitution and a civil penalty of up to $50,000 and an
additional $10,000 for each senior citizen allegedly defrauded.

Assistant Attorney General Karen Winberg-Jensen is handling the
case filed February 2 in Adams County Circuit Court for
Madigan's Consumer Fraud Bureau.

For more details, contact Melissa Merz by Phone: 312-814-3118 or
877-844-5461 (TTY) or by E-mail: mmerz@atg.state.il.us


TOWER AUTOMOTIVE: Shareholders File Securities Suit in S.D. NY
--------------------------------------------------------------
Tower Automotive, Inc. faces a securities class action filed in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York, on behalf of purchasers of the company's common stock
from February 14,2003 to January 21,2005.

The complaint alleges violations of federal securities laws,
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
and Rule 10b-5, including allegations of issuing a series of
material misrepresentations to the market which had the effect
of artificially inflating the market price. The complaint
further alleges that the officers and directors of Tower
Automotive, Inc. actively concealed facts that the Company's
liquidity issues were so poor that bankruptcy was imminent.

Law firm for the plaintiffs is the Law Offices of Alfred G.
Yates, 519 Alleghany Bldg., 429 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA,
15219, Phone: 412.391.5164.


UNITED STATES: Republicans Close To Passing Class Action Limits
---------------------------------------------------------------
Congress is close to making it easier for corporations to thwart
the deluge of class-action lawsuits that according to businesses
are bankrupting them while rewarding lawyers and doing little to
help victims, The Associated Press reports.

Headed for a vote this week in the Senate and probably next week
in the House, the bill would be the first fulfillment of one of
President Bush's priorities for his second term. However, a
fragile compromise could be undone, if senators make changes in
the bill, such as giving federal judges a little more discretion
to keep lawsuits alive.

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, told The AP, "If the
Senate passes any amendment, then they are jeopardizing."
Opponents of the legislation have said that if the bill pushes
through, it would only hurt average citizens and let big
business escape multimillion-dollar judgments for wrongdoing.

However, President Bush, echoing business leaders' complaints,
says a judicial system that lets lawyers look for friendly
forums in state courts for "junk lawsuits" is tilted against
corporate defendants, The AP reports.  In his recent State of
the Union speech he said, "Justice is distorted, and our economy
is held back, by irresponsible class actions."

The bill's supporters say that the mere threat of a class action
lawsuit in which one person or a small group represents the
interests of an entire class of people in court can allow
lawyers to win quick, easy settlements, making more money for
themselves than the victims they're representing.

The legislation that President Bush supports would move many
class actions with plaintiffs from several different states into
federal court, where according to critics judges have sent them
back to state courts because applying the various applicable
state laws was too unmanageable. Critics also say that it would
effectively end multi-state class-action suits since state
courts would be prohibited from hearing them.

"The effect of this legislation as it stands now is to virtually
guarantee that all large class-action lawsuits will be
dismissed," said Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., who with support
from some Republicans, including Judiciary Committee Chairman
Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania wants the Senate to change the
bill to let a federal judge decide to pick one state law and
apply it to the case if multiple states' laws would make the
case unmanageable, AP reports.

Sen. DeLay said such a change in the bill's language would be a
deal breaker, since under the compromise legislation, class-
action suits would be heard in state court if the primary
defendant and more than one-third of the plaintiffs are from the
same state. But if less than one-third of the plaintiffs were
from the same state as the primary defendant, the case would go
to federal court. At least $5 million would have to be at stake
for a federal court to hear a class-action suit, AP reports.

The bill would also limit lawyers' fees in so-called coupon
settlements when plaintiffs get discounts on products instead of
financial settlements by linking the fees to the redemption rate
of the coupon or the actual hours spent working on a case.


UNITED STATES: Uninsured Patients' Legal Offensive Continues
------------------------------------------------------------
Richard F. Scruggs, a lead attorney in the national class action
litigation commenced June 17, 2004 against nonprofit hospital
systems and hospitals alleging highly improper and
discriminatory practices with respect to uninsured patients,
revealed a second major legal onslaught, the filing of class
action lawsuits in state courts. This second legal front will be
waged on a parallel track to the legal actions now underway in
federal courts against the same nonprofit hospitals and will
include new state lawsuits against nonprofit hospitals who have
not yet been named in the litigation.

At present, the litigation against nonprofit hospital systems
and hospitals names a total of 68 cases in 23 states, involving
60 nonprofit hospital systems. Of these cases, 43 are pending in
federal courts and 25 are in state courts.

Mr. Scruggs stated, "The more we pursue our litigation against
the defendant nonprofit hospitals, the more disturbing the crime
scene becomes. It is clear to us that the wrongdoings the
defendant nonprofit hospital systems and hospitals are
perpetrating on the uninsured involve clear violations of both
federal and state laws. Accordingly, we will now vigorously move
against nonprofit hospital violators in the state courts in
addition to federal venues.

"Under state laws, uninsured patients have been victimized by
nonprofit hospitals, through illegal acts in areas such as
consumer fraud; breach of contract; deceptive business
practices; unfair and predatory debt collection practices; and
breach of usury limits, to name a few. For years, these
wrongdoers have tried to stay under the radar screen of justice
through different community public relations ploys while
engaging in schemes to enrich themselves and their managements
at the expense of the very communities they allegedly serve and
particularly off the backs of uninsured patients. As we peel
back the layers of misinformation and deceit by defendant
nonprofit hospital systems and hospitals, we are sadly finding
that in many ways the defendants are little 'Enrons' in their
own communities -- breaching the trust of taxpayers, patients
and the hard working and dedicated employees of their own
organizations.

"In state courts, the defendants will find themselves directly
before their own communities in front of juries made up of the
very people whom they are supposed to be serving. For the
defendant nonprofit hospital systems and hospitals, it is truly
like jumping from the frying pan into the fire. With over 45
million uninsured in our country today, the wrongdoings
perpetrated by many nonprofit hospitals must end, and justice
must prevail," Mr. Scruggs said.

For more details, contact Richard Scruggs of the Scruggs Law
Firm, P.A. by Phone: (662) 281-1212 or visit their Web site:
http://www.nfplitigation.com.


ZUCHORA CONSTRUCTION: FL A.G. Crist Begins Consumer Fraud Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist filed a civil complaint
alleging that a contractor no longer licensed by the State of
Florida sold contracts to elderly South Florida consumers
promising hurricane preparedness services, but then failed to
deliver the services during the state's devastating 2004
hurricane season.  A.G. Crist sued Zuchora Construction, Inc.,
and its President, Ronald Zuchora, for violations of the Florida
Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.

Mr. Zuchora, a resident of Lighthouse Point, had his general
contractor's license revoked by the state in 2001. The Attorney
General's complaint alleges that since 2000, Broward County-
based Zuchora Construction sold $250-a-year service contracts to
Palm Beach County consumers - most of whom were elderly -
promising to install hurricane shutters whenever a hurricane
warning was issued for their area. Mr. Zuchora promised to then
remove the shutters within 72 hours after the hurricane warning
was lifted. The Company said it would perform the services
automatically, without the consumer having to make a specific
request. However, the services were not provided as promised
during the recent hurricane season.

"Many of our elderly citizens were the victims of empty
promises," said A.G. Crist. "These consumers thought they were
buying a measure of comfort and security, but in the end all
they received were disappointment and worry. There is no place
in our state for anyone who would treat consumers with such
shameful disregard."

The Attorney General's complaint alleges that in order to
solicit customers, Zuchora Construction repeatedly
misrepresented that it was a state-certified general contractor,
even though its license had been revoked. The company received
$250 annual payments from customers, but was not required to
perform the promised installation services for several years
because no hurricanes threatened the Palm Beach County area.
Many consumers renewed their contracts annually, paying Zuchora
Construction up to $1,250 for five consecutive years of
hurricane protection.

The Company began to break its promises in 2004, when Hurricanes
Frances and Jean threatened Palm Beach County. Some customers
received the shutter services, but many received nothing from
Zuchora but false promises that hurricane shutters would be
installed promptly. To date the Attorney General's Office has
received complaints and sworn affidavits from 91 consumers, the
vast majority of whom reported that Zuchora failed to install
any shutters for them during the 2004 hurricane season. Many of
these consumers had to make emergency arrangements with other
installers at prices ranging from $200 to $1,050, while others
were forced to place their lives and property at risk by
foregoing hurricane protection.

Zuchora sent a letter of apology to its customers promising
refunds, and did in fact make some refunds. However, the
majority of consumers have not received the promised refunds.
The Attorney General's lawsuit seeks full restitution for all
affected consumers and an injunction prohibiting Zuchora
Construction and Ronald Zuchora from contracting for hurricane-
or shutter-related services, from general contracting work, or
from any services involving the collection of an advance payment
or deposit. The complaint also seeks penalties of $15,000 per
violation where the victim was a senior citizen and $10,000 for
each violation involving younger victims.

A copy of the complaint against Brink can be viewed at:
http://www.myfloridalegal.com/ZuchoraComplaint.pdf


                 New Securities Fraud Cases


ATHEROGENICS INC.: Lerach Coughlin Lodges Securities Suit in NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins
LLP ("Lerach Coughlin") initiated a class action in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York on
behalf of purchasers of AtheroGenics, Inc. ("AtheroGenics")
(NASDAQ:AGIX) publicly traded securities during the period
between September 28, 2004 and December 31, 2004 (the "Class
Period").

The complaint charges AtheroGenics and certain of its officers
and directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934. AtheroGenics is a research-based pharmaceutical company,
focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of
novel drugs for the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases,
including heart disease (atherosclerosis). The Company has
developed a vascular protectant (v-protectant) technology
platform to discover drugs to treat these types of diseases.
AtheroGenics's flagship product candidate is AGI-1067, a novel
small molecule v-protectant(R) product candidate that was
designed to treat atherosclerosis of the blood vessels of the
heart, or coronary artery disease.

The complaint alleges that defendants rapidly progressed AGI-
1067 through early stage clinical trials, including Phase II
clinical trials. Following completion of those trials,
AtheroGenics received permission in early 2003, under a U.S.
Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") Special Protocol
Assessment, to begin a pivotal Phase III clinical trial to
evaluate AGI-1067 for the treatment of atherosclerosis. On or
before September 27, 2004, defendants became aware of troubling
interim results of their Phase II study, impacting the ability
of the Company to determine a definitive approach to the design
and execution of its proposed Phase III trial. On or before
November 22, 2004, the defendants became aware of remarkable and
alarming findings during the course of the Phase III trial,
impacting the Company's ability to rely on the study to prove
that the drug was safe and efficacious for the treatment of
atherosclerosis. Fully aware of the alarming implications of
observed trends and preliminary results observed during the
Phase III study, on November 22, 2004, defendants issued two
separate press releases designed to offer investors false and
misleading information and impressions regarding the prospects
for approval of the drug and the timetable for completion of the
study and the clinical program for AGI-1067. Then, on January 3,
2005, the Company reported that problems with the Phase III
study were so serious that they required submission of proposed
amendments to the clinical trial to the FDA. Based on this news,
the price of AtheroGenics stock plunged 20.54%, to $18.72, for a
loss of $4.84 per share, on volume of 7 million shares.

According to the complaint, defendants knew, but concealed from
the investing public during the Class Period, the following
adverse information:

     (1) while the Company reported that the interim results of
         the Phase II trial were highly encouraging, the interim
         study data was equivocal and assured a deficient and
         defective design of the Phase III study;

     (2) successful completion of the AGI-1067 clinical program
         was in jeopardy, since the Phase III study protocol was
         highly flawed and defective;

     (3) increasing the number of patients enrolled in the Phase
         III trial would not accelerate the completion of the
         study or assure submission of an NDA for AGI-1067 by
         the end of 2005;

     (4) since the design of the Phase III clinical trial was
         flawed and deficient, achievement of favorable results
         was not possible unless the protocol was amended; and

     (5) submission of necessary amendments to the clinical
         protocol for the Phase III trial to the FDA would
         increase the risk of changes in the scope of the trial,
         delay study completion and push back the submission of
         the NDA for AGI-1067.

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/atherogenics/.


FIRST COMMAND: Whatley Drake Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in KY
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firms of Whatley Drake, LLC, Gray Weiss & White and
Franklin & Hance, LLC filed an amended class action on behalf of
all persons who owned or purchased from the defendants First
Command Financial Planning and First Command Financial Services,
Inc. a periodic payment plan (also known as systematic
investment plan or contractual plan) between the period January
1, 1995 and December 15, 2004 ("Class Period"), inclusive. The
periodic payment plans involved are Fidelity Destiny Plans I &
II, Pioneer Independence Plans, AIM Summit Investors Plans II
and Templeton Capital Accumulation Plans II.

The action titled Kevin Morrison et al. v. First Command
Financial Planning, Inc. et al., Civil Action No. 3:04cv748-H is
pending in the United States District Court for the Western
District of Kentucky. The courthouse is located at 601 W.
Broadway, Louisville, Kentucky 40202. The Hon. Judge John G.
Heyburn is presiding over this action.

The action was initially filed in the Circuit Court of Jefferson
County, Kentucky on November 24, 2004 and removed to the United
States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. The
complaint was amended on January 28, 2005 to add specific
allegations that defendants violated Section 10(b) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder, by making materially false and misleading scripted
statements and comparisons about the advantages of investing in
a periodic payment plan and by omitting material information
about such plans. The amended complaint also alleges that
defendants violated Section 206 of the Investment Advisors Act
and Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 by engaging in a
deceptive course conduct which operated as a fraud or deceit
upon the named plaintiffs and class members. The alleged
deceptive course of conduct involved, but was not limited to,

     (1) false and misleading statements about the volatility of
         no-load funds,

     (2) the purpose and effect of a fifty (50) percent front
         load on the first twelve (12) installments under the
         Plan;

     (3) the charges associated with the periodic payments plans
         sold to the named plaintiffs and class members;

     (4) the representation that the financial planning document
         known as a Family Financial Plan (FFP) was an objective
         analysis of the clients needs and

     (5) the use of former officers as sales representatives.

The amended complaint also alleges that the same deceptive
course of conduct was used to sell whole life insurance policies
to some of the named plaintiffs.

For more details, contact Matthew White of Gray Weiss & White by
Phone: 502-585-2060 or by E-mail: mcheekgw@aol.com OR Richard P.
Rouco at Whatley Drake, LLC by Phone: 205-328-9576 or by E-mail:
rrouco@whatleydrake.com.


GANDER MOUNTAIN: Glancy Binkow Files Securities Fraud Suit in MN
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Glancy Binkow & Goldberg LLP initiated a Class
Action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
District of Minnesota on behalf of a class (the "Class")
consisting all persons or entities who purchased or otherwise
acquired securities of Gander Mountain Company ("Gander
Mountain" or the "Company") (Nasdaq:GMTN) between April 20, 2004
and January 13, 2005, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The Complaint charges Gander Mountain and certain of the
Company's executive officers with violations of federal
securities laws. Plaintiff claims defendants' omissions and
material misrepresentations concerning Gander Mountain's
financial performance and prospects artificially inflated the
Company's stock price, inflicting damages on investors. Gander
Mountain is a specialty retailer offering merchandise that
caters to outdoor lifestyle enthusiasts, with a particular focus
on hunting, fishing and camping. The Complaint alleges that
prior to going public (and even afterward) Gander Mountain was
controlled by the Erickson family (including certain of the
defendants named in the complaint) through their individual
ownership in the Company as well as their holdings in the
Company's major shareholders. Defendants knew that unless the
Company went public, their shares in the Company would remain
illiquid, and virtually worthless. Further, defendants knew that
unless the Company went public prior to revelations of lowered
earnings expectations in November 2004 and January 2005, the
Company would be prevented from going public altogether,
jeopardizing defendants' ability to infuse value and liquidity
into their shares via the IPO, as well as the Company's ability
to repay a $9.8 million debt owed to a Erickson-family owned
company.

The Complaint alleges that each of the defendants knew, but
concealed from the public during the Class Period, that: (a) the
Company's co-branded credit card program was faltering; (b) the
value of the Company's inventory was overstated, requiring
massive reductions and causing the Company's future margins to
be negatively impacted as a result; (c) the Company's debt
capacity was jeopardized and was inconsistent with the
defendants' own growth plans; (d) the Company was actually
experiencing average trends with respect to its sales; and (e)
as a result of the above, defendants' own projections of
positive comparable sales growth of 3% - 5% and pretax income of
$8-$13 million were materially false and misleading.

Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of Class members
and is represented by Glancy Binkow & Goldberg LLP, a law firm
with significant experience in prosecuting class actions, and
substantial expertise in actions involving corporate fraud.

For more details, contact Lionel Z. Glancy of Glancy Binkow &
Goldberg LLP by Phone: (310) 201-9150 or (888) 773-9224 by E-
mail: info@glancylaw.com.


HUFFY CORPORATION: Lasky & Rifkind Lodges Securities Suit in OH
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Lasky & Rifkind, Ltd. initiated a lawsuit in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio,
on behalf of persons who purchased or otherwise acquired
publicly traded securities of Huffy Corp. ("Huffy" or the
"Company") (OTC:HUFCQ) between April 16, 2002 and August 13,
2004, inclusive, (the "Class Period"). The lawsuit was filed
against Huffy and certain officers and directors ("Defendants").

The complaint alleges that Defendants violated Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder. Specifically, the complaint alleges that
Defendants issued a series of materially false and misleading
statements regarding the Company's growth and long-term
prospects. More specifically, Defendants failed to disclose or
misrepresented that the Company was experiencing difficulties
integrating the McCalla and Gen-X acquisitions, that the
Company's Canadian operations were engaged in improper
accounting practices by failing to properly account for returns
and reductions and failed to timely write down the value of its
inventory, that costs resulting from its discontinued operations
were draining cash from the Company's operations and that as a
result the Company was quickly approaching insolvency.

On August 13, 2004, Huffy issued a press release indicating that
certain accounting entries, in the range of $3.5 to $5.0 million
related to customer deductions, credits and reserves and
doubtful accounts receivables for Huffy Sports Canada had been
improperly recorded. Shares of Huffy declined from $0.58 per
share to $0.35 per share, a decline of 40%. Then on August 16,
2004, the Company announced that the New York Stock Exchange had
suspended trading of Huffy shares. On October 20, 2004, the
Company announced that it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
protection.

For more details, contact Edwin J. Mills, Esq. or Tzivia Brody,
Esq. by Phone: 1-800-337-4983 by Fax: (212) 490-2022 or by E-
mail: ssbny@aol.com.


HYPERCOM CORPORATION: Schatz & Nobel Files Securities Suit in AZ
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schatz & Nobel, P.C. initiated a lawsuit seeking
class action status in the United States District Court for the
District of Arizona on behalf of all persons who purchased the
publicly traded securities of Hypercom Corporation (NYSE: HYC)
("Hypercom") between April 30, 2004 and February 3, 2005 (the
"Class Period").

The Complaint alleges that Hypercom violated federal securities
laws by issuing false or misleading public statements during the
Class Period. Specifically, the Complaint alleges that leases
originated by its subsidiary Hypercom EMEA, Inc., were
improperly accounted for as "sales-type leases," rather than
"operating leases" and that, as a result of this, Hypercom's net
revenue for the first three quarters of 2004 was overstated by
at least $4.0 million and its operating profit was overstated by
at least 65-75%. On February 4, 2005, Hypercom announced a
restatement of prior 2004 quarterly financials admitting that
approximately 3,200 Hypercom EMEA leases had been improperly
accounted for. Moreover, it announced that management would be
unable to conclude that Hypercom's internal controls over
financial reporting were effective as of December 31, 2004, and
that Ernst & Young LLP was expected to issue an adverse opinion
in regard to such controls.

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


HYPERCOM CORPORATION: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges AZ Stock Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP initiated a class
action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
District of Arizona on behalf of all securities purchasers of
Hypercom Corporation (NYSE: HYC) ("Hypercom" or the "Company")
from April 30, 2004 through February 3, 2005, inclusive (the
"Class Period").

The complaint charges Hypercom and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934. Hypercom Corporation manufactures, designs and sells end-
to-end electronic payment solutions that include point-of-sale
(POS)/point-of-transaction terminals, peripheral devices,
transaction networking devices, transaction management systems
and application software and provides related support and
services. The Complaint alleges that the Company failed to
disclose and misrepresented the following material adverse facts
which were known to defendants or recklessly disregarded by
them:

     (1) that the Company's leases originated during the Class
         Period, by the Company's UK subsidiary, Hypercom EMEA,
         Inc., were improperly accounted for as "sales-type
         leases," rather than "operating leases;"

     (2) that as a result of this, the Company materially
         overstated its net revenue for the first three quarters
         of 2004 by at least $4.0 million;

     (3) that the Company had materially overstated its
         operating profit by at least 65-75% during the Class
         Period;

     (4) that the Company's financial statements were not
         prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted
         Accounting Principles ("GAAP");

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

     (6) that as a result, the value of the Company's net income
         and financial results were materially overstated at all
         relevant times.

On February 4, 2005, prior to the opening of the market,
Hypercom announced a restatement of prior 2004 quarterly
financials. More specifically, the Company stated that certain
leases originated during that period by the Company's UK
subsidiary, Hypercom EMEA, Inc., were incorrectly accounted for
as sales-type leases, rather than operating leases. This
accounting error, which related to approximately 3,200 leases,
resulted in an overstatement of net revenue for the first three
quarters of 2004. The Company currently estimated that the
adjustment to its financial statements would decrease net
revenue for the nine months ended September 30, 2004 by up to
$4.0 million as compared to previously announced results, and
that operating profit for the same period would decrease by
approximately 65 to 75% of the amount of the net revenue
reduction. The Company had also determined that the internal
control deficiency that gave rise to this restatement
represented a material weakness, as defined by the PCAOB's
Auditing Standard No. 2. Consequently, management would be
unable to conclude that the Company's internal controls over
financial reporting were effective as of December 31, 2004, and
the Company's independent auditors, Ernst & Young LLP, were
expected to issue an adverse opinion with respect to the
Company's internal controls over financial reporting.

News of this shocked the market. Shares of Hypercom fell $1.00
per share, or 18.32 percent, to close at $4.46 per share on
unusually high trading volume.

For more details, contact Marc A. Topaz, Esq. or Darren J.
Check, Esq. of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP by Mail: 280 King of
Prussia Road, Radnor, PA 19087 by Phone: 1-888-299-7706 or
1-610-667-7706 or by E-mail at info@sbclasslaw.com.


OFFICEMAX INC.: Cohen Milstein Files Securities Fraud Suit in IL
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C.
initiated a lawsuit on behalf of its client and on behalf of
other similarly situated purchasers of the securities of
OfficeMax, Inc. (Nasdaq:OMX - News; "OfficeMax" or the
"Company") from January 22, 2004 through January 11, 2005,
inclusive (the "Class Period"), in the United States District
Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

The complaint names as defendants OfficeMax, George Harad
(Chairman of the OfficeMax Board of Directors), Christopher
Milliken (OfficeMax Chief Executive Officer), and Ted Crumley
(OfficeMax Chief Financial Officer). The Complaint alleges that,
during the Class Period, defendants made materially false and
misleading statements with respect to OfficeMax's financial
performance and internal controls. On December 20, 2004, the
Company announced that it had launched an internal investigation
into vendor claims, "that certain employees acted
inappropriately in requesting promotional payments and in
falsifying supporting documentation for approximately $3.3
million in claims billed to the vendor by OfficeMax during 2003
and 2004."

The complaint further alleges that on January 11, 2005,
defendants announced that:

     (1) the Company's recently appointed Chief Financial
         Officer, Brian Anderson, had resigned;

     (2) the Company was postponing the release of its earnings
         for the fourth quarter and full year 2004 pending the
         conclusion of an investigation into issues relating to
         its accounting for vendor income;

     (3) the company's investigation had confirmed the claims by
         a vendor to its retail business that certain employees
         fabricated supporting documentation for approximately
         $3.3 million in claims billed to the vendor by
         OfficeMax during 2004 and 2003;

     (4) the Company was expanding its investigation into vendor
         rebates and revenue recognition; and

     (5) the Company had terminated four employees as a result
         of information discovered through its investigation.

On this news, the Company's stock fell $1.42, or 4.7%, to
$28.88.

For more details, contact Steven J. Toll, Esq. or Robert Smits
of Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C. by Mail: 1100 New
York Avenue, N.W. West Tower B Suite 500, Washington, D.C. 20005
by Phone: (888) 240-0775 or (202) 408-4600 or by E-mail:
stoll@cmht.com or rsmits@cmht.com.


SIERRA WIRELESS: Milberg Weiss Files Securities Fraud Suit in NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman LLP announces
that a class action lawsuit was filed on February 7, 2005, on
behalf of purchasers of the securities of Sierra Wireless, Inc.
("Sierra Wireless" or the "Company") (Nasdaq: SWIR) between
January 28, 2004 and January 26, 2005, inclusive, (the "Class
Period") seeking to pursue remedies under the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act").

The action, case number 05-CV-1924, is pending in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York
against defendants Sierra Wireless, David B. Sutcliffe (CEO) and
David G.McLennan (CFO).

The complaint alleges that Sierra Wireless, at all relevant
times, purported to be a leading provider of communications
hardware and software products designed to enable wireless
Internet access from mobile devices such as laptops and hand-
held computers. The complaint further alleges that, throughout
the Class Period, defendants made highly positive statements
concerning demand for the Company's AirCard wireless modem,
embedded modules and about its newly introduced Voq Smartphone.
These statements were materially false and misleading because
they misrepresented or failed to disclose the following facts,
among others:

     (1) the Company's reportedly strong financial performance
         was achieved by stuffing the channels with inventory
         far in excess of end-user demand;

     (2) the Company was not "well-positioned to capitalize on
         opportunities for further growth" but, on the contrary,
         was losing market share to competitors;

     (3) the Voq Smartphone was generating sluggish sales at
         best;

     (4) although the defendants disclosed that sales of
         embedded modules to a major customer would end in the
         fourth quarter of 2004, they failed to disclose the
         extent of the negative impact this would have on the
         Company's financial performance and prospects; and

     (5) for these reasons, the Company's financial and
         operational performance and prospects were, at all
         times, materially overstated.

The truth began to emerge on January 26, 2005. On that date, the
Company, citing sharply lowered demand for its flagship AirCard
products and embedded modules, stated that it expected to report
a massive drop in earnings and revenue in the first quarter of
2005, i.e., a loss of $0.35 to $0.38 per share on revenue of $19
million compared with analysts' Company-guided expectations of
$0.20 per share profit on revenue of $54 million. (In
comparison, Sierra Wireless's direct competitor, Novatel
Wireless, Inc., announced that it expected first-quarter
revenues of between $32 million and $34 million-more than double
its revenues from the same quarter a year ago.) Sierra Wireless
reported fourth quarter revenue of $58 million and net earnings
of $7.3 million compared to its guidance of net earnings of $7.7
million, or $0.29 per diluted share, on revenues of $63 million.
This announcement was so extraordinary that one analyst at first
thought it was a hoax. In reaction to the Company's
announcement, shocked investors drove the Company's share price
down by 38%, or $5.16, to $9.34, wiping out a third of the
Company's market capitalization.

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


SIPEX CORPORATION: Lasky & Rifkind Lodges Securities Suit in CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Lasky & Rifkind, Ltd. initiated a lawsuit in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of
California, on behalf of persons who purchased or otherwise
acquired publicly traded securities of Sipex Corporation
("Sipex" or the "Company") (NASDAQ:SIPX) between April 10, 2003
and January 20, 2005, inclusive, (the "Class Period"). The
lawsuit was filed against Sipex and Douglas M. McBurnie, Walid
Maghribi, Phillip A. Kagel and Clyde R. Wallin ("Defendants").

The complaint alleges that Defendants violated Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder. Specifically, the complaint alleges that
Defendants failed to disclose or misrepresented that the Company
inappropriately recognized revenue on sales for which price
protection, stock rotation and or return rights were granted,
that the Company's financial results were in violation of
Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ("GAAP") and that the
Company lacked adequate internal controls.

On January 20, 2005, Sipex announced that the Company may
restate its financial statements for the fiscal year ended
December 31, 2003 and the fiscal quarters ended April 3, 2004,
July 3, 2004 and October 2, 2004 due to the possible improper
recognition of revenue during these periods. Shares of Sipex
reacted negatively to the news, sending the shares $0.90 per
share, or 23.4% lower on January 21, 2005 to close at $2.94 per
share.

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


TOWER AUTOMOTIVE: Stull Stull Commences ERISA Investigation
-----------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Stull, Stull & Brody commenced an investigation
relating to the 401(k) defined contribution plans of Tower
Automotive, Inc. (NYSE: TWR) ("Tower Automotive" or the
"Company").

Among other things, Stull, Stull & Brody is investigating
whether fiduciaries of the 401(k) plans of the Company may have
violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974
("ERISA") by failing to disclose the Company's true financial
and operating condition to participants and beneficiaries of the
plans and/or by offering Tower Automotive stock as an investment
option under the plans when it was not prudent to do so. Tower
Automotive and its domestic subsidiaries recently filed
voluntarily petitions in the United States Bankruptcy Court for
the Southern District of New York seeking reorganization relief
under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. The Company also
recently announced that it has elected not to appeal an
application by the Staff of the New York Stock Exchange to the
Securities and Exchange Commission to delist Tower Automotive
common stock from the NYSE.

For more details, contact Edwin J. Mills, Esq. or Tzivia Brody,
Esq. by Phone: 1-800-337-4983 by Fax: (212) 490-2022 or by E-
mail: ssbny@aol.com.


                            *********


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

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

                            *********


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