CAR_Public/050516.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

               Monday, May 16, 2005, Vol. 7, No. 95


                           Headlines

AUDIOVOX CORPORATION: Ends Exec Pay Probe, Opts To Face Suits
CALPINE CORPORATION: CA Investor Case Conference Set July 2005
CALPINE CORPORATION: Trial For CA Securities Suit Set June 2005
CALPINE CORPORATION: Plaintiffs Allowed To Replead CA ERISA Suit
CALPINE ENERGY: Employees Launch Overtime Wage Suit in CA Court

CAN-SPAM ACT: FTC Seeks Public Comment on Anti-Spam Provisions
CAPTARIS INC.: Discovery Proceeding in Unsolicited Fax Lawsuits
CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: NJ Court OKs Elizabeth Center Settlement
COUNTERFEIT DRUGS: FDA Warns V. Fake Lipitor, Viagra, Evista
COUNTRYWIDE FINANCIAL: Settles Second Overtime Lawsuit in CA

ESSEX PROPERTY: Maintenance Employees Launch Overtime Suit in CA
FASHION BUG: Plaintiff Moves To Dismiss Lawsuit Over Gift Cards
FIDELITY GROUP: Discovery Proceeds in Suit For RICO Violations
FRESENIUS MEDICAL: U.S. Pension Fund Files Suit Over Acquisition
HUDSON'S BAY: Judge Grants Class Status To Pension Fund Lawsuit

INTERLOCK INDSUTRIES: Firm, Employee Penalized Over Leaky Roofs
INTERPOOL INC.: Asks NJ Court To Dismiss Securities Fraud Suit
JAMESON INNS: GA Court Approves Shareholder Lawsuit Settlement
JILBERT DAIRY: Recalls Ice Cream Due To Listeria Contamination
JOHN Q. HAMMONS: Shareholders Commence Fraud Lawsuit in DE Court

K-MART CORPORATION: IL Court To Hear Motion For Gift Card Suit
LOUISIANA: Committee OK's Lawsuit Curb Over PSC-Regulated Firms
MASSACHUSETTS: Judge Approves Settlement For 1999 Inmates' Suit
MOHAWK INSTITUTE: Canadian Supreme Court Allows Suit To Proceed
NEXGEN3000.COM: Reaches Settlement With FTC Over Pyramid Scheme

NOVASTAR FINANCIAL: MO Judge Denies Motion To Dismiss Lawsuit
OM GROUP: Reaches Settlement for Consolidated OH Securities Suit
ORANGE 21: Shareholders Launch Securities Fraud Suits in S.D. CA
PHILIPS ELECTRONICS: Suit Settlement Hearing Set June 17, 2005
QUALITY DISTRIBUTION: Reaches Settlement For FL Securities Suits

R.J. REYNOLDS: MN Judge Dismisses "Lights" Cigarette Lawsuit
SERVICE CORPORATION: Faces Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. Texas
SERVICE CORPORATION: TX Court Allows Consumer Suit To Proceed
SOUTH CAROLINA: CMRTA Reaches Settlement With Disability Group
STILLWATER MINING: Reaches Settlement For MT Securities Lawsuit

WORLD AIR: Continues To Face Suits On Cancelled Nigeria Flights


                 New Securities Fraud Cases


AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL: Mager & White Lodges ERISA Suit in NY
AVAYA INC.: Shepherd Finkelman Files Securities Fraud Suit in NJ
BEARINGPOINT INC.: Schoengold Sporn Lodges Securities Suit in VA
FRIEDMAN BILLINGS: Charles J. Piven Lodges Securities Suit in NY
FRIEDMAN BILLINGS: Stull Stull Files Securities Fraud Suit in NY

MBNA CORPORATION: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges Stock Suit in DE
PETCO ANIMAL: Glancy Binkow Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in CA

                         *********


AUDIOVOX CORPORATION: Ends Exec Pay Probe, Opts To Face Suits
-------------------------------------------------------------
Audiovox Corporation ended its month long investigation into
allegations of excessive executive pay following the sale of its
cellular division and will instead fight the matter in court,
Newsday.com reports.

According to its quarterly report, Hauppauge-based Audiovox had
formed a special litigation committee to look into the
allegations made in class action and derivative suits in which
shareholders sought to rescind more than $25 million in special
payments to a current and a former executive after the sale of
the cellular division.

However, Audiovox spokesman Glenn Wiener told Newsday that the
board had disbanded the probe and the committee withdrew a
motion in Delaware Chancery Court to delay the combined suits.
He also said, "We intend to vigorously defend the matter in
court."

The suits call into question an estimated $20 million paid to
Philip Christopher, former chief executive of the cellular
group, Audiovox Communications Corporation, after it was sold to
UTStarcom last year. In addition, the suits are also seeking the
return of $1.9 million paid to Audiovox chairman and chief
executive officer John Shalam as part of the transaction, as
well as $5 million in severance paid to other employees in the
cellular group.  Shareholders approved the sale, and the
payments last year, but critics noted Mr. Shalam's ownership of
supervoting shares that give him 53 percent control over the
company.

The special litigation committee was made up of three Audiovox
directors who are named in the suit.


CALPINE CORPORATION: CA Investor Case Conference Set July 2005
--------------------------------------------------------------
Case management conference for the class action filed against
Calpine Corporation is set for July 5,2005 in the California
Superior Court for Santa Clara County.  The suit is styled
"Hawaii Structural Ironworkers Pension Fund v. Calpine, et al."

This case is a Section 11 case brought as a class action on
behalf of purchasers in the Company's April, 2002 stock
offering. This case was filed in San Diego County Superior Court
on March 11, 2003, but defendants won a motion to transfer the
case to Santa Clara County.  The suit also names as defendants:

     (1) Peter Cartwright, its Chairman, President and Chief
         Executive Officer,

     (2) Ann B. Curtis, director

     (3) John Wilson,

     (4) Kenneth Derr,

     (5) George Stathakis,

     (6) Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB),

     (7) Banc of America Securities,

     (8) Deutsche Bank Securities, and

     (9) Goldman, Sachs & Co.

Plaintiff is the Hawaii Structural Ironworkers Pension Trust
Fund.  The Hawaii Fund alleges that the prospectus and
registration statement for the April 2002 offering had false or
misleading statements regarding:

     (i) the Company's actual financial results for 2000 and
          2001;

    (ii) its projected financial results for 2002;

   (iii) Mr. Cartwright's agreement not to sell or purchase
         shares within 90 days of the offering; and

    (iv) the Company's alleged involvement in "wash trades."

The core allegation of the complaint is that a March 2003
restatement (concerning two sales-leaseback transactions)
revealed that the Company had misrepresented its financial
results in the prospectus/registration statement for the April
2002 offering.

There is no discovery cut off date or trial date in this action.
The next scheduled court hearing will be a case management
conference on July 5, 2005, at which time the court should set a
discovery deadline and trial date.


CALPINE CORPORATION: Trial For CA Securities Suit Set June 2005
---------------------------------------------------------------
Trial in the consolidated securities class action filed against
Calpine Corporation and certain of its employees, officers and
directors is set for November 7,2005 in the United States
District Court for the Northern District of California.

Beginning on March 11, 2002, fifteen securities class action
complaints were filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of California.  All of these actions were
ultimately assigned to Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong, and Judge
Armstrong ordered the actions consolidated for all purposes on
August 16, 2002, as "In re Calpine Corp. Securities Litigation,
Master File No. C 02-1200 SBA."  There is currently only one
claim remaining from the consolidated actions: a claim for
violation of Section 11 of the Securities Act of 1933.  The
Court has dismissed all of the claims brought under Section
10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 with prejudice.

On October 17, 2003, plaintiffs filed their third amended
complaint (TAC), which alleges violations of Section 11 of the
Securities Act by the Company, Peter Cartwright, Ann B. Curtis
and Charles B. Clark, Jr.  The suit alleges that the
registration statement and prospectuses for the Company's 2011
Notes contained materially false or misleading statements about
the factors that caused the power shortages in California in
2000-2001 and the resulting increase in wholesale energy prices.
The suit alleges that the true but undisclosed cause of the
energy crisis is that the Company and other power producers were
engaging in physical withholding of electricity.

In discovery, plaintiff has argued that the suit is not based
solely on allegedly concealed physical withholding, but instead
is based on alleged undisclosed market manipulation in the form
of physical withholding, economic withholding, and trading
strategies.  The suit defines the potential class to include all
purchasers of the Notes pursuant to the registration statement
and prospectuses on or before January 27, 2003.  The Court has
not yet certified the class, although class certification
hearing was held on May 3, 2005.

On April 15, 2004, The Policemen and Firemen Retirement
System of the City of Detroit (the "Detroit Fund") filed a
request to be appointed as lead plaintiff in the case.  The
Court granted the Detroit Fund's request for appointment as lead
plaintiff on May 7, 2004.  The Court also approved the Detroit
Fund's choice of Kohn, Swift & Graf, P.C. (Philadelphia) as lead
counsel for the class.

At the Court's invitation, defendants subsequently moved for
summary judgment on grounds that the Section 11 claim was barred
by the statute of limitations. On November 2, 2004, the Court
denied the motion on grounds that defendants had not established
as a matter of law that plaintiff was on notice of the alleged
misstatement prior to January 27, 2002, one year before
plaintiff first alleged that the Company had misrepresented the
causes of the energy crisis. Fact discovery will close on July
1, 2005.

The suit is styled "Weisz et al v. Calpine Corporation et al,
case no. 4:02-cv-01200," filed in the United States District
Court for the Northern District of California under Judge
Saundra Brown Armstrong.  Representing lead plaintiff The
Policemen and Firemen Retirement System of the City of Detroit
is Joseph C. Kohn of Kohn Swift & Graf P.C., One South Broad
Street, Suite 2100 Philadelphia, PA 19107 Phone: 215-238-1700.  
Representing the Company is D. Anthony Rodriguez of Morrison &
Foerster LLP, 425 Market Street San Francisco, CA 94105-2482
Phone: (415) 268-6685 Fax: (415) 268-7522 E-mail:
drodriguez@mofo.com.


CALPINE CORPORATION: Plaintiffs Allowed To Replead CA ERISA Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
California allowed plaintiffs to re-plead a dismissed claim in
the consolidated class action filed against Calpine Corporation,
alleging violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security
Act (ERISA).

On April 17, 2003, James Phelps filed a complaint, styled
"Phelps v. Calpine Corporation, et al., alleging claims under
ERISA.  On May 19, 2003, Lenette Poor-Herena filed a nearly
identical class action complaint in the Northern District.  The
parties agreed to have both of the ERISA actions assigned to
Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong.  On August 20, 2003, pursuant to
an agreement between the parties, Judge Armstrong ordered that
the two ERISA actions be consolidated under the caption, "In re
Calpine Corporation ERISA Litig., Master File No. C 03-1685
SBA."  Plaintiff James Phelps filed a consolidated ERISA
complaint on January 20, 2004.  Ms. Poor-Herena is not
identified as a plaintiff in the Consolidated Complaint.

The Consolidated Complaint defines the class as all participants
in, and beneficiaries of, the Calpine Corporation Retirement
Savings Plan (the "Plan") for whose accounts investments were
made in Company stock during the period from January 5, 2001 to
the present. The Consolidated Complaint names as defendants the
Company, the members of its Board of Directors, the Plan's
Advisory Committee and its members (Kati Miller, Lisa
Bodensteiner, Rick Barraza, Tom Glymph, Patrick Price, Trevor
Thor, Bob McCaffrey, and Bryan Bertacchi), signatories of the
Plan's Annual Return/ Report of Employee Benefit Plan Forms 5500
for 2001 and 2002 (Pamela J. Norley and Marybeth Kramer-Johnson,
respectively), an employee of a consulting firm hired by the
Plan (Scott Farris), and unidentified fiduciary defendants.

The Consolidated Complaint alleges that defendants breached
their fiduciary duties involving the Plan, in violation of
ERISA, by misrepresenting the Company's actual financial results
and earnings projections, failing to disclose certain
transactions between the Company and Enron that allegedly
inflated revenues, failing to disclose that the shortage of
power in California during 2000-2001 was due to withholding of
capacity by certain power companies, failing to investigate
whether the Company's common stock was an appropriate investment
for the Plan, and failing to take appropriate actions to prevent
losses to the Plan.  In addition, the consolidated ERISA
complaint alleges that certain of the individual defendants
suffered from conflicts of interest due to their sales of
Company stock during the class period.

Defendants moved to dismiss the consolidated complaint. At a
February 11, 2005 hearing, Judge Armstrong granted the motion
and dismissed three of the four claims with prejudice.  The
fourth claim was dismissed with leave to amend. This claim was
based, in part, on the same statements that are at issue in the
Section 11 bond class action. Plan participants did not receive
the prospectus supplements that are at issue in the Section 11
bond class action, but plaintiffs' counsel told Judge Armstrong
that these statements appeared in documents that were given to
Plan participants. Relying on assurances by plaintiffs' counsel
that misstatements about the California energy crisis appeared
in documents that were given to Plan participants (or that were
incorporated by reference into documents given to participants),
the Court granted leave to re-plead this claim.

The suit is styled "In re Calpine Corporation ERISA Litig.,
Master File No. C 03-1685 SBA," filed in the United States
District Court for the Northern District of California, under
Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong.  Representing the Company is
Robert L. McKague of Morrison & Foerster LLP, 755 Page Mill Road
Palo Alto, CA 94304 Phone: 650/813-5835 Fax: 650-494-0792 E-
mail: rmckague@mofo.com.  Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (1) Edward W. Ciolko, F. Andre Delfi, and Joseph H.
         Meltzer, Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP, 280 King of Prussia
         Radnor, PA 19087 Phone: 610-667-7706 Fax: 610-667-7056
         E-mail: jmeltzer@sbclasslaw.com;

     (2) Robert S. Green and Robert A. Jigarjian, Green Welling
         LLP, 235 Pine Street 15th Floor San Francisco, CA 94104
         Phone: 415/477-6700 Fax: 415-477-6710 E-mail:
         CAND.USCOURTS@CLASSCOUNSEL.COM


CALPINE ENERGY: Employees Launch Overtime Wage Suit in CA Court
---------------------------------------------------------------
Calpine Corporation faces a class action filed in the Santa
Clara County Superior Court in California, styled "Hulsey, et
al. v. Calpine Corporation."

On September 20, 2004, Virgil D. Hulsey, Jr. (a current
employee) and Ray Wesley (a former employee) filed a class
action wage and hour lawsuit against the Company and certain of
its affiliates.  The complaint alleges that the purported class
members were entitled to overtime pay and the Company failed to
pay the purported class members at legally required overtime
rates.  

The Company filed an answer on January 7, 2005, denying
plaintiffs' claims.  The parties have agreed to discuss possible
resolutions alternative to litigation, the Company said in a
disclosure to the Securities and Exchange Commission.


CAN-SPAM ACT: FTC Seeks Public Comment on Anti-Spam Provisions
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Federal Trade Commission published a Federal Register notice
on May 12,2005 seeking public comment on certain definitions and
substantive provisions under the Controlling the Assault of Non-
Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003 (CAN-SPAM or the
Act).

In this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), the Commission
proposes rule provisions on five topics:

     (1) defining the term "person," a term used repeatedly
         throughout the Act but not defined there;

     (2) modifying the definition of "sender" to make it easier
         to determine which of multiple parties advertising in a
         single e-mail message will be responsible for complying
         with the Act's "opt-out" requirements;

     (3) clarifying that Post Office boxes and private mailboxes
         established pursuant to United States Postal Service
         regulations constitute "valid physical postal
         addresses" within the meaning of the Act;

     (4) shortening from ten days to three the time a sender may
         take before honoring a recipient's opt-out request; and

     (5) clarifying that to submit a valid opt-out request, a
         recipient cannot be required to pay a fee, provide
         information other than his or her e-mail address and
         opt-out preferences, or take any steps other than
         sending a reply e-mail message or visiting a single
         Internet Web page.

This NPRM is a follow-up to an Advance Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking (ANPR) on these and other CAN-SPAM topics that the
Commission published on March 11, 2004. The comment period for
the ANPR ended April 20, 2004. The Commission received 13,517
comments and suggestions from representatives of a broad
spectrum of the online commerce industry, trade associations,
individual consumers, and consumer and privacy advocates. The
current proposals are based on the comments received in response
to the ANPR, as well as the Commission's law enforcement
experience.

The NPRM also addresses a number of other topics that were
raised in comments responding to the ANPR, although those topics
are not the subject of any proposed rule provisions. These
include: CAN-SPAM's definition of "transactional or relationship
message;" the Commission's views on how CAN-SPAM applies to
certain email marketing practices, including "forward-to-a-
friend" e-mail marketing campaigns; and the Commission's
determination not to designate additional "aggravated
violations" under section 7704(c)(2) of the Act.

Comments responding to the NPRM should refer to "CAN-SPAM Act
Rulemaking, Project No. R411008", to facilitate the organization
of comments. A comment filed in paper form should include this
reference both in the text and on the envelope, and should be
mailed to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, CAN-
SPAM Act, Post Office Box 1030, Merrifield, VA 22116-1030.
Please note that courier and overnight deliveries cannot be
accepted at this address. Courier and overnight deliveries
should be delivered to the following address: Federal Trade
Commission/Office of the Secretary, Room H-159, 600 Pennsylvania
Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. Comments containing
confidential material must be filed in paper form. Comments
filed in electronic form should be submitted by clicking on the
following Web link: https://secure.commentworks.com/ftc-canspam/
and following the instructions on the Web-based form. Comments
must be received by June 27, 2005.

Copies of the Federal Register Notice are available from the
FTC's Web site at http://www.ftc.govand also from the FTC's  
Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue,
N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. The FTC works for the consumer to
prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in
the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers
spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or
Spanish (bilingual counselors are available to take complaints),
or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics, call
toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use the complaint
form at http://www.ftc.gov.The FTC enters Internet,  
telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related
complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database
available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement
agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

For more details, contact Claudia Bourne Farrell, Office of
Public Affairs by Phone: 202-326-2181 or contact Sana Coleman,
Bureau of Consumer Protection by Phone: 202-326-2249, or visit
the Website: http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2005/05/canspamfrn.htm


CAPTARIS INC.: Discovery Proceeding in Unsolicited Fax Lawsuits
---------------------------------------------------------------
Discovery is proceeding in litigation filed against Captaris,
Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiary MediaTel Corporation,
alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

One of the services provided by MediaTel Corporation was the
transmission of facsimiles to travel industry participants on
behalf of travel service providers. MediaTel held a license to
use a database supplied by NFO PLOG and then Northstar Travel
Media that listed recipients for these facsimiles. All of the
assets of MediaTel were sold to a subsidiary of PTEK Holdings,
Inc. ("PTEK") on September 1, 2003.

On July 29, 2003, Travel 100 Group, Inc. filed three lawsuits in
Circuit Court in Cook County, Illinois, one against
Mediterranean Shipping Company ("Mediterranean"), the second
against The Melrose Hotel Company ("Melrose") and the third
against Oceania Cruises ("Oceania").  On April 13, 2004, a
fourth lawsuit was filed by another travel agent, Travel Travel
Kirkwood, Inc. ("Kirkwood"), against Oceania Cruises. That case
was subsequently removed to the U.S. District Court, Eastern
District of Missouri.  The complaints are substantially
identical in form and allege violations of the Telephone
Consumer Protection Act in connection with the receipt of
facsimile advertisements that were transmitted by MediaTel.  
Each of the Travel 100 complaints seeks injunctive relief and
unspecified damages and certification as a class action on
behalf of Travel 100 and others similarly situated throughout
the United States that received the facsimile advertisements.
The Kirkwood complaint seeks injunctive relief and unspecified
damages but does not seek to certify a class action.

Under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, a court can impose
liability of $500 per fax on a party that sends a fax without
the consent of the recipient. A court can increase the liability
to $1,500 per fax if the sending of the fax is willful.

In its answer filed on September 23, 2003, Mediterranean named
the Company as a third-party defendant and asserted that, to the
extent that Mediterranean is liable, the Company should be
liable under theories of indemnification, contribution or breach
of contract for any damages suffered by Mediterranean.
Similarly, in its answer filed on October 14, 2003, Melrose
named the Company, as well as PTEK, as third-party defendants
based on allegations of breach of contract, indemnification and
contribution. On September 8, 2004 and November 18, 2004,
Oceania filed Answers and Third-Party Complaints against the
Company and MediaTel in the Travel 100 and Kirkwood cases,
respectively, making similar allegations to those made in the
other two cases in its counts for fraud, indemnification and
contribution.

In response to Mediterranean's third-party complaint, the
Company filed its answer on November 3, 2003, denying the
allegations filed by Mediterranean and further answering by way
of affirmative defenses that to the extent the Company is found
liable for any damages allegedly suffered by plaintiffs or any
third-party plaintiffs in this action, it is entitled to
indemnification and/or contribution from other non-parties to
this action.  The Company filed similar answers to the Melrose
complaint on November 20, 2003 and the Oceania complaints on or
about January 19, 2005 and January 12, 2005, respectively. Both
the Company and MediaTel have denied any liability in the cases
because, among other facts and defenses, MediaTel understood
that the database and lists of travel agent recipients to whom
faxes were sent had authorized that information could be sent to
them by fax.  Based on the Company's analysis to date, the
Company estimates that there were approximately 500,000 faxes
sent relating to the Mediterranean case and approximately
200,000 faxes sent relating to the Melrose case. The Company has
not yet determined how many faxes were sent relating to the
Oceania cases.

In Oceania, plaintiff, Travel 100, filed a motion to voluntarily
dismiss the Oceania complaint because, according to Travel 100's
counsel, Travel 100 no longer wanted to participate in the
prosecution of that case.  Plaintiff's counsel requested that it
be given 90 days to find another plaintiff to pursue the claim
that Travel 100 had filed, and that if it could not find a
plaintiff within that period then the complaint would be
dismissed.  The Company and Oceania opposed allowing plaintiff's
counsel 90 days to find a substitute plaintiff.  On March 24,
2005, the Court agreed with the Company and Oceania and
dismissed Travel 100's complaint against Oceania, without
allowing 90 days to find a substitute plaintiff.  The Court in
turn dismissed Oceania's complaint against the Company and
MediaTel without prejudice.  Accordingly, the Oceania case is no
longer pending.

Discovery is ongoing in all other cases and the parties are in
the process of working out a schedule for class certification
briefing.  The Company expects the plaintiffs in the
Mediterranean case to push for a hearing on class certification
in the second half of 2005.  


CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: NJ Court OKs Elizabeth Center Settlement
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
gave preliminary approval to the terms of a settlement of a
class action filed against Correctional Services Corporation, on
behalf of persons who were detained in the Elizabeth INS
Detention Center in New Jersey while the Company operated it.

The suit was initially filed in March 1996 in the Supreme Court
of the State of New York, County of Bronx by several former
detainees in the INS Detention Center that the Company formerly
operated for the INS in Elizabeth, New Jersey, on behalf of
themselves and others similarly situated, in which the
plaintiffs in the suit claimed $500,000,000 in compensatory and
punitive damages on a variety of legal theories.

This suit was removed to the United States District Court,
Southern District of New York, in April 1996, and subsequently
transferred to the United States District Court for the District
of New Jersey. The plaintiffs in this case obtained
certification from the Court to try their case as a class
action.

On February 17, 2005, the Court approved the terms of a
settlement in this case that was negotiated by the Company's
liability insurance carrier and the plaintiffs' case in order to
resolve this case. The Company has no obligation to contribute
to this settlement, which will be funded in full by the
Company's liability insurance carrier.  The Company's defense
counsel and the plaintiffs' counsel are currently preparing the
settlement documentation.  The Company expects that the
settlement documentation will be completed and that the Court
will formally approve the settlement in the near future.


COUNTERFEIT DRUGS: FDA Warns V. Fake Lipitor, Viagra, Evista
------------------------------------------------------------
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning the public
about the sale of counterfeit versions of Lipitor, Viagra, and
an unapproved product promoted as "generic Evista" to U.S.
consumers at pharmacies in Mexican border towns.

Consumers who have any of these counterfeit products should not
use them and should contact their healthcare provider
immediately. FDA is warning consumers that prescription drugs
purchased in foreign countries are not regulated by the FDA and
do not carry the same FDA assurances of safety, effectiveness,
and manufacturing quality as drugs purchased within the United
States.

Counterfeit versions of Lipitor (a cholesterol-lowering drug),
Viagra (a treatment for erectile dysfunction), and Evista (a
treatment and prevention medication for osteoporosis in
postmenopausal women) can pose significant risks to consumers.
Counterfeit Lipitor that contains no active ingredient or not
enough active ingredient could present a long-term risk for the
various complications of high cholesterol, such as heart
disease. The counterfeit product purchased in Mexico was
associated with several reports of high cholesterol in consumers
who had used the product. Counterfeit Viagra that contains
little or no active ingredient would be less effective than a
legitimate product or altogether ineffective. Women who take the
substandard generic Evista product that contains no active
ingredient may be at risk for developing osteoporosis or for
having their osteoporosis progress.

The "generic Evista" was analyzed by FDA in coordination with
the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy and was found to
contain no active ingredient. The counterfeit Lipitor and
counterfeit Viagra were analyzed by Pfizer, Inc. and were also
found to contain no active ingredient.

The "generic Evista" product was purchased from Agua Prieta,
Sonora, Mexico and is labeled as "Raloxifeno, fenilox, 50
tabletas, 60mg", made or distributed by Litio and labeled as
manufactured in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. The label has red
triangles across the top and bottom. (See the website noted
below for photographs of the products.)

Counterfeit Lipitor and Viagra were purchased in the Mexican
border towns of Juarez, Los Algodones, Nogales, and Tijuana .
The counterfeit Lipitor and counterfeit Viagra products were
labeled only in English, whereas legitimate Mexican
pharmaceuticals are usually labeled in Spanish. In addition, the
counterfeit Lipitor was provided in round white plastic bottles;
however authentic Lipitor in Mexico is sold only in boxes of
blister packs.

FDA and Mexican federal health officials are continuing to work
together to address the issue of counterfeit human drug
products, especially along the United States' and Mexico's
common border. Recently, federal health officials in Mexico's
Federal Commission for the Protection from Sanitary Risks
(COFEPRIS) have undertaken several specific operations to target
illegal drugs, including counterfeit drugs, in Mexican drug
stores. These operations, throughout Mexico, including the areas
that border on the U.S. have resulted in the suspension of 19
pharmacies and the confiscation and recall of over 105 tons of
medicines.

Reports of suspected counterfeit drugs can be submitted to FDA
at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch. For additional consumer  
information on counterfeit drugs, visit the following websites:

FDA Consumer Education for Counterfeit Medicine:
http://www.fda.gov/cder/consumerinfo/counterfeit_text.htm  
Counterfeit Drug Photographs:
http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/news/photos/border.html


COUNTRYWIDE FINANCIAL: Settles Second Overtime Lawsuit in CA
------------------------------------------------------------
Countrywide Financial Corporation settled a second lawsuit
brought by employees who claimed they were misclassified as
managers and denied overtime, The Los Angeles Times reports.

Under the term of the settlement, employees working for the
mortgage lender's Full Spectrum Lending unit in Rosemead, Simi
Valley, Pasadena and Van Nuys will share the $7.5-million
settlement, minus $1.9 million for attorney fees.  The
settlement, which was tentatively approved in March by a U.S.
District Court judge in Texas, stemmed from a class action filed
in 2003 by employees of Full Spectrum, which specializes in
loans to borrowers with poor credit. However, the court sealed
details of the settlement agreement including the number of
workers affected.

In a press statement, the Calabasas-based Company said it acted
lawfully but "decided to settle in order to avoid the expense
and uncertainty of litigation."  Previously, the firm agreed to
resolve a similar class action for $30 million affecting more
than 400 employees of two of its Southern California call
centers.  In both cases, plaintiffs' attorneys argued that
despite being given a title of "account executive," workers
spent most of their time on non-managerial tasks. Thus, the
attorneys pointed out that the employees were entitled to pay
for time worked beyond eight hours a day.

According to a claim notice sent to Full Spectrum personnel,
employees will be eligible to receive "an amount equal to at
least $82.50 for each week worked" from November 1998 to last
December.  A final approval hearing is set for July 11 by which
time class members can have an option to opt out and pursue
their own court claims.


ESSEX PROPERTY: Maintenance Employees Launch Overtime Suit in CA
----------------------------------------------------------------
Essex Property Trust faces a class action filed in the
California Superior Court in the County of Alameda, styled
"Chace Nelson and Douglas Korte, et al. v. Essex Property
Trust."

In this lawsuit, two former Company maintenance employees seek
unpaid wages, associated penalties and attorneys' fees on behalf
of a putative class of the Company's current and former
maintenance employees who were required to wear a pager while
they were on call during evening and weekend hours.  


FASHION BUG: Plaintiff Moves To Dismiss Lawsuit Over Gift Cards
---------------------------------------------------------------
Granite City resident Ashley Peach dropped her class action suit
filed against Charming Shoppes Inc., which does business as
Fashion Bug, for refusing to give change on gift card purchases,
The Madison County Record reports.  Jeffrey Millar of the Lakin
Law Firm filed her complaint last June.

As previously reported in the November 3, 2004 edition of the
Class Action Reporter, Ms. Peach claims that after Christmas
2003, she used her Fashion Bug gift card to purchase a shirt for
approximately $12 at a Granite City store. After the purchase,
Ms. Peach demanded the balance remaining on a gift card
(approximately $8) to be returned to her as change, as if she
had used cash or a gift certificate. However, according to her,
the cashier refused to provide her with change in the form of
cash, which she claims was her right to possess immediately and
without condition.

In addition, Ms. Peach claims that by refusing to return change
from a left over balance in the form of cash, Fashion Bug
wrongfully and without authorization assumed control, dominion
and ownership over the remaining balance and that Fashion Bug's
action in refusing to return the balance on a gift card is a
willful and wanton disregard of her rights.

In the motion to dismiss, Mr. Millar wrote, "Plaintiff's
voluntary dismissal is not part of any compromise or settlement
of any claims of any member of the proposed class."

Even with the move to dismiss, Ms. Peach's class action suits
against K-Mart and Wal-Mart still continue with the later filing
a dismissal motion that will be heard by Judge Byron in May 20.


FIDELITY GROUP: Discovery Proceeds in Suit For RICO Violations
--------------------------------------------------------------
Discovery is proceeding in the class action filed against
Fidelity Group, Inc. and HealthPlan Services, Inc. (HPS), a
former subsidiary of ProxyMed, Inc.'s PlanVista subsidiary, for
unspecified damages.  The complaint stems from the failure of a
Fidelity insurance plan, and alleges:

     (1) unfair and deceptive trade practices;

     (2) negligent undertaking;

     (3) fraud;

     (4) negligent misrepresentation;

     (5) breach of contract; civil conspiracy; and

     (6) violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt
         Organizations Act (RICO)

Two principals of the Fidelity plan have been convicted of
insurance fraud and sentenced to prison in a separate
proceeding. The class has been certified and the case is
proceeding in discovery.


FRESENIUS MEDICAL: U.S. Pension Fund Files Suit Over Acquisition
----------------------------------------------------------------
Fresenius Medical Care AG confirmed that a U.S. pension fund
initiated a class action lawsuit against the company over the
purchase price of Renal Care Group, which was announced last
week, The AFX News Limited reports.

A spokesman confirmed that the acquisition, for $3.5 billion or
$48 per share, is facing a complaint from a U.S. pension fund,
which is claiming that the price is too low.  "We expect no
delays in the acquisition, despite this suit from a not very
well-known pension fund," the spokesman told AFX News.


HUDSON'S BAY: Judge Grants Class Status To Pension Fund Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Ontario Superior Court Judge Maurice Cullity certified a lawsuit
by 2,000 current and former workers seeking to block the use of
their pension funds to pay those of employees from other
acquired companies against Canada's largest retailer, Hudson's
Bay Co., as a class action, Bloomberg.com reports.

The suit was brought by former employees of Simpsons stores,
which was acquired by Hudson's Bay in 1979. It seeks to prevent
the company from using their pension funds to pay into the
pension plans of former employees of Zellers Inc. and Kmart
Canada, both of which were bought by Hudson's Bay.

By certifying the case as a class action, the court allows all
affected ex-Simpsons employees to sue in one comprehensive
lawsuit rather than individually, giving them more leverage to
achieve a settlement or victory at trial.

In a telephone interview, Mark Zigler, a lawyer with Koskie
Minsky, who filed the lawsuit told Bloomberg, "It will probably
take through the summer" to collect the necessary documents from
Hudson's Bay before the case can go to trial.

In the meantime, Hudson's Bay will continue to defend against
the lawsuit, according to Mariana Di Rezze, a spokeswoman for
Toronto-based Hudson's Bay, tells Bloomberg in a telephone
interview. She also adds, "We proceeded with the merger of these
pension plans and as far as we're concerned that was the correct
thing to do."

The workers claim that Hudson's Bay has already diverted more
than C$76 million ($60.8 million) from the Simpsons pension
plan. They sought to have the money repaid with interest and
administrative expenses. Additionally they are seeking about
C$20 million in punitive damages from the company.

Hudson's Bay bought Simpsons, a department-store chain, in 1979,
a year after it had acquired Zellers, while Kmart Canada was
acquired by the firm in 1998.

Court documents indicate that Simpsons had created a defined
benefit pension plan for its employees in 1971, with plan
members cited as the sole beneficiaries. However, Hudson's Bay
ceased making contributions to the pension plan in 1984 and in
1988, Hudson's Bay revoked the trust and said any surplus assets
would be refunded to the company.

The complaint states that the company diverted C$31.2 million
from the Simpsons surplus to fund a Zellers pension plan and
C$21.6 million to pay for required contributions into the Kmart
plan by 2000. "This diversion of surplus assets from the trust
fund of the Simpsons plan is continuing to this day at the rate
of approximately C$7 million in respect of the Zellers
employees' pensions and C$4.5 million per year in respect of the
Kmart employees' pension," the complaint further states.

The case is styled "Ronald Sutherland v. the Hudson's Bay Co.,
No.: 02-CV-233990CP," filed in the Ontario Superior Court of
Justice, Toronto.

INTERLOCK INDSUTRIES: Firm, Employee Penalized Over Leaky Roofs
---------------------------------------------------------------
Former Honolulu roofing contractor Interlock Industries Inc. and
Mark Wenzel, its top employee have had their licenses revoked
and fined $205,000 by the state in response to complaints after
they skipped town and left some customers with leaky roofs, The
Honolulu Star-Bulletin reports.

According to a state order, following a recent state Department
of Commerce and Consumer Affairs hearing, Interlock and Mr.
Wenzel, were found to have violated several state laws "by
failing to maintain a record or history of competency,
trustworthiness, fair dealing and financial integrity,"

Christine Hirasa, DCCA public information officer told the Star-
Bulletin, "The fine was large due to the number of complaints.
The board felt that there was a pattern to the complaints and
noted that the company did not follow up with customers after it
closed and left town."

In the hearing, the state found that Interlock Industries, which
installed approximately 2,700 roofs in Hawaii from 1997 to 2001,
failed to report address and telephone number changes to the
state contractors license board, engaged in unfair or deceptive
acts, refused to complete work and failed to provide contracts
to customers as well as obtain bonding for roofing projects.

Ricky King, the company's installation manager, was fined $500
for failing to report the company's change of address to
authorities within 10 days of its closing in 2001. Mr. King
though was excluded from more serious charges because of his
efforts to assist homeowners, the order said.

Even with the fines and the revocation of licenses some like
Susan Sugino, a retiree who hired Interlock Industries to put a
roof on her Wailuku, Maui, home in 2001, said the order is
insufficient, though she is glad that the state has responded to
her complaint and the dozens made by other customers. She told
the Star-Bulletin, "That's not enough because they have taken in
much more than that." Mrs. Sugino explained that she had paid
the company $29,800 to replace a leaking roof, which was
supposed to be backed by a lifetime guarantee. She interpreted
the guarantee to mean that if her Interlock roof leaked because
of improper installation or was defective, the company would fix
the problem.

However, less than a year later, Mrs. Sugino said she tried to
contact Interlock Industries to report a leaky roof, which was
causing mold growth. No one though responded when she called the
company's listed phone number. According to her, "I kept
calling, but I got no replies. Finally, the number was
disconnected."

Eventually, Mrs. Sugino paid another contractor to patch her
roof and then joined a class-action lawsuit filed by Kailua-
based attorney Buck Ashford of Ashford & Associates against
Interlock Industries as well as Ivor Wenzel and Mark Wenzel, the
father-and-son team who oversaw the company's Hawaii operations.

Mr. Ashford told the Star-Bulletin, "They had a wonderful
marketing strategy: They guaranteed each roof for the life of
the customer and in return the customers paid a premium price.
But in October of 2001, they shut their doors and went away."

The suit, on behalf of a class of about 1,000 people, is seeking
to prevent Interlock Industries from ever again contracting in
Hawaii to install roofs with lifetime warranties without
complying with state requirements. Parties in the suit are
seeking restitution as well as general, special, compensatory
and punitive damages.


INTERPOOL INC.: Asks NJ Court To Dismiss Securities Fraud Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Interpool, Inc. asked the United States District Court for the
District of New Jersey to dismiss the consolidated securities
class action filed against Interpool Inc. and certain of its
present and former executive officers and directors.

In February and March 2004, several lawsuits were filed,
alleging violations of the federal securities laws relating to
the Company's reported Consolidated Financial Statements for the
years ended December 31, 2000 and 2001 and the nine months ended
September 30, 2002, which the Company announced in March 2003
would require restatement. Each of the complaints purported to
be a class action brought on behalf of persons who purchased our
securities during a specified period.  

In April 2004, the lawsuits, which seek unspecified amounts of
compensatory damages and costs and expenses, including legal
fees, were consolidated into a single action with lead
plaintiffs and lead counsel having been appointed. The
plaintiffs filed a consolidated amended complaint in September
2004, which includes allegations of purported misstatements and
omissions in the Company's public disclosures throughout an
expanded purported class period from March 31, 1999 through
December 26, 2003.

In November 2004, the Company filed a motion to dismiss the
amended complaint, which is currently pending.  In the event the
motion to dismiss is denied, the Company would expect to incur
additional defense costs typical of this type of class action
litigation.


JAMESON INNS: GA Court Approves Shareholder Lawsuit Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Superior Court of DeKalb County, Georgia approved the
settlement for the class action filed against Jameson Inns, Inc.
and its directors, styled "Tammy Newman v. Jameson Inns, Inc. et
al."  The shareholder suit seeks class action status and
derivative status for claims based on the Company's acquisition
of Kitchin Hospitality, LLC.  The Company is named as a nominal
defendant.

This case was settled by agreement of the parties for certain
non-monetary actions we agreed to take and a payment to the
plaintiff's attorneys for their legal fees of $175,000. In
addition, Thomas W. Kitchin has agreed to additional provisions
in his employment contract with the Company that provide that he
will not compete with the Company in its existing lines of
business and territories without the approval of its independent
directors.  The Company also paid the costs of providing notice
of the settlement to its shareholders, which were approximately
$25,000.  In September 2004, the final settlement of this case
was approved by the court and the case was dismissed.  In
October 2004, payment was made to the plaintiff's attorneys and
reimbursement was received from the insurance carrier.


JILBERT DAIRY: Recalls Ice Cream Due To Listeria Contamination
--------------------------------------------------------------
Jilbert Dairy of Marquette, MI is recalling its pint and l/2
gallon packages of Vanilla Supreme ice cream because they have
the potential to be contaminated with Listeria Monocytogenes, an
organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections
in young children, frail or elderly people and others with
weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer
only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache,
stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, listeria
infection can cause miscarriage and stillbirths among pregnant
women.

The recalled Vanilla Supreme ice cream was distributed in retail
stores across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and bordering
Wisconsin counties.

The product comes in a pint and l/2 gallon paper container with
a production number of 5053 stamped on the bottom.

No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this
problem.

The potential for contamination was noted after routine testing
by the Michigan Department of Agriculture revealed the presence
of Listeria Monocytogenes in the pint and l/2 gallon packages of
Vanilla Supreme ice cream.

Consumers who have purchased pint or l/2 gallon packages of
Vanilla Supreme ice cream with the production code of 5053
stamped on the bottom are urged to return them to their retailer
for a full refund. Consumers with questions can contact Jilbert
Dairy at 1-888-292-3081.


JOHN Q. HAMMONS: Shareholders Commence Fraud Lawsuit in DE Court
----------------------------------------------------------------
John Q. Hammons Hotels, Inc. faces a consolidated shareholder
class action filed in the Court of Chancery of the State of
Delaware in and for New Castle County.  

Two suits were initially filed, styled "Jolly Roger Fund L.P.
and Jolly Roger Offshore Fund, Ltd. vs. John Q. Hammons Hotels
Inc., et al," filed October 19, 2004 and "Garco Investments LLP
v. John Q. Hammons Hotels, Inc., et al.," filed October 20,
2004. Both of these class action lawsuits originally sought
injunctive relief to prevent any merger transaction and asserted
that the original price offered to the public shareholders of
the Company was not equivalent to the "sweetheart deal" offered
to John Q. Hammons. These lawsuits have been consolidated into
one action and the complaint has been amended to seek
compensation, attorney fees and costs of the action for
plaintiffs' efforts because they allegedly added value for the
minority public shareholders as evidenced by the fact the
proposed stock acquisition price has risen from the initial
$13.00 a share to the current proposal of $24.00 per share.

The parties have agreed that no responsive pleadings are
required to be filed until March 31, 2005.  The Company has not
recorded an obligation with regard to this matter, as a loss is
not yet probable nor can an amount of loss be reasonably
estimated. Management will continue to assess the situation and
adjustments will be recorded, if necessary, in the period in
which new facts and circumstances arise.


K-MART CORPORATION: IL Court To Hear Motion For Gift Card Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit filed against K-Mart Corporation over a
52-cent discrepancy will be in court on May 20, 2005 on a motion
to dismiss, The Madison County Record reports.  Ashley Peach of
Granite City filed the suit because the store did not refund a
gift card balance in cash.  

Company lawyers Louis Bonacorsi and Jennifer Kingston of Bryan
Cave LLP in St. Louis state, "Plaintiff's entire complaint
should be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted."  The Company further claims that Ms.
Peach did not state any facts establishing that the store
engaged in any unfair act or practice. They will also argue that
Ms. Peach cannot prove she suffered actual damages.  Represented
by the Wood River-based Lakin Law Firm, Ms. Peach is seeking
real and punitive damages in the case not to exceed $75,000.

K-Mart also asserted, "The gift card was bought for the express
purpose of purchasing K-Mart inventory and it cannot now be
transformed into a right to collect cash."

As reported in previous editions of the Class Action Reporter,
Ms. Peach also filed similar lawsuits against Wal-Mart and
Fashion Bug claiming the retailers failed to return remaining
balances on gift cards, but she recently dropped her suit
against Fashion Bug.  According to Ms. Peach's attorney Jeffery
Millar, who represents her in all three class action cases, K-
Mart "wrongfully and without (her) authorization assumed
control, dominion, and ownership over that remaining balance."

Ms. Peach is also accusing K-Mart of unfairly charging a $2.10
"service fee" on gift cards that go unused for two years. In her
complaint, she claims that K-Mart's ulterior motive of this fee
is to reduce card account balances to zero.

However, K-Mart points out that Illinois law does not provide
for the award of treble punitive damages based on a conversion
or an unjust enrichment theory, therefore Mr. Peach's request
for damages in wholly unsupported in law.


LOUISIANA: Committee OK's Lawsuit Curb Over PSC-Regulated Firms
---------------------------------------------------------------
Major utility companies won an important battle recently that
protects them from lawsuits for violating anti-monopoly laws in
Louisiana thank in due part to House Bill 381 by Rep. Ronnie
Johns, R-Sulphur, which was approved 13-2 by the state House
Commerce Committee and sent to the House of Representatives for
debate, The Shreveport Times reports.

Rep. Johns told the Times that the bill sprang from a
multimillion-dollar lawsuit against CLECO, which was later
settled by the Public Service Commission by ordering a $16
million refund to customers. In that settlement, the plaintiffs'
attorneys got $1.9 million and the attorney representing
Entergy, which was found to have overcharged companies, got more
than $1 million.

According to Rep. John, since class-action court cases against
PSC-regulated companies are sent back to the commission for
review anyway, the bill would cut out the court for some
lawsuits. He reiterated though, "This does not take away a
plaintiffs' day in court. And it's not retroactive," so lawsuits
previously filed can continue.

However, opponents of the measure, which would apply to any gas
or electric utility that already is subject to regulation by the
PSC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission or other any other
public utility regulatory authority, pointed out that fewer than
a dozen anti-trust lawsuits have been filed since the law was
adopted 90 years ago, so there's really no need to change it.

Committee debate on the measure raised more questions than it
answered, Rep. Gary Smith, D-Norco told the Times, one of only
two on the 15-member committee who opposed the measure. The main
effect, he argues, is "big companies are trying to get out of
answering to the true public for fees they charge."  In
addition, Rep. Smith agreed with another attorney's assessment
that the bill would stop complaints from going to civil court
and the PSC and would take away leverage plaintiffs have in
getting utility companies to settle lawsuits over improper acts.

Recently, Alexandria officials expressed concern that the bill
could affect a lawsuit it is considering filing against CLECO if
negotiations with the utility company fail. However, after the
hearing, Alexandria Mayor Ned Randolph told the Times that the
bill "doesn't really bother us."

City attorney Howard "Trey" Gist though complained to the
committee that the bill is "overbroad" and "reaches some things
that are not intended. The bill would exempt any companies that
you deal with that are regulated by the PSC." He told the Times
that the current act was approved in 1915 and, "This is the
first time that anyone has come to the Legislature to get out of
it."

Wayne Anderson of Entergy Corporation told the committee that
since the price utilities can charge is regulated by the PSC,
"They've never been able to engage in price fixing."

Entergy recently was ordered by the PSC to refund $72 million to
its customers because of overcharging on fuel adjustments
allowed by the commission as "pass-throughs," meaning companies
cannot charge more than it costs them.


MASSACHUSETTS: Judge Approves Settlement For 1999 Inmates' Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
A federal judge accepted a settlement agreement in a 1999 class
action lawsuit that accuses the Suffolk County sheriff's office
of routinely subjecting inmates to racial epithets, beatings,
denial of medical care, and keeping them away from their
families, The Boston Globe reports.

Calling for annual mandatory training for some correction
officers, surveillance cameras in elevators, and greater
discretion when using force with inmates, the deal settles part
of a long court battle between 55 current and former inmates and
supervisors of the embattled Suffolk County House of Correction
in Massachusetts.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs though point out that the settlement
does not resolve allegations by inmates who say they were
victims of a "reign of terror" under former sheriff Richard J.
Rouse, who retired in 2002 amid allegations of brutality and sex
abuse at the prison and accusations of chronic mismanagement. A
lawyer for the inmates even told the Boston Globe that they plan
to go forward with litigation alleging widespread abuse and
misconduct.

Another of the attorneys for the inmates also told the Boston
Globe that their clients plan to go forward with individual
claims alleging abuse and misconduct by members of the sheriff's
department, which came under both state and federal scrutiny for
its alleged lapses. After the settlement hearing, Theodore H.
Goguen Jr., who represents inmates in their suits said, "It's
not over."  

A lawyer for the Suffolk County sheriff's office said that the
agreement should not be interpreted as an admission of
wrongdoing by the department, but instead illustrates a
commitment to reform.

According to Michael R. Perry, the lawyer for the sheriff's
office, sheriff Andrea Cabral, who replaced sheriff Rouse in
2002 and retained her post in last year's election, had started
making important changes.

The settlement, which does not award money for the inmates but
compels the sheriff's office to pay $175,000 for their lawyer's
fees, calls for the sheriff's office to change internal policies
and procedures as it relates to the use of heavy force, officer
and command staff training, and documenting abuse allegations.


MOHAWK INSTITUTE: Canadian Supreme Court Allows Suit To Proceed
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Supreme Court of Canada has denied the request of the
Federal Government and the Anglican for leave to appeal a
decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal to certify a class
action against them.

In a unanimous decision released December 3rd, the Ontario Court
of Appeal certified a class action brought by the former
students of the Mohawk Institute Residential School (the
"School"), a native residential school in Brantford, Ontario,
and their families. The students sought to recover damages for
the harm inflicted on them as a result of them attending the
school. The action was brought against the Government of Canada,
the diocese of Huron and the New England Company. The School was
located in Brantford, Ontario, near the Six Nations Reserve. The
School was opened in 1828 as a residential school for First
Nations' children. It was founded by the New England Company, a
charitable organization, dating back to the 17th Century, with
the mission of teaching the Christian religion and the English
language to the native peoples of North America.

The New England Company ran the School until 1922, when it
leased the School to the Federal Government. Under the lease,
Canada agreed to continue the School as an educational
institution for native children and agreed to continue to train
them in the teachings and doctrines of the Church of England.

In 1929, Canada sought to appoint an Anglican clergyman as
principal of the School and looked to the Bishop of the diocese
of Huron to nominate appropriate candidates, a selection process
that was repeated in 1945. The School closed in 1969.

The class action covers the years of 1922 to 1969. During that
time, there were 150 to 180 students at the School each year,
ranging in age from 4 to 18 and split roughly equally between
boys and girls. All were native children, that is, Indians
within the meaning of the Indian Act. In all, approximately
1,400 native children attended the School during those years.
The plaintiffs are members of the various First Nations from
which the students came. They allege that the Government of
Canada, the New England Company and the diocese of Huron, either
singly or together, were responsible for the operation and
management of the School.

The plaintiffs claimed that the School was run in a way that was
designed to create an atmosphere of fear, intimidation and
brutality. Physical discipline was frequent and excessive. Food,
housing and clothing were inadequate. Staff members were
unskilled and improperly supervised. Students were cut off from
their families. They were forbidden to speak their native
languages and were forced to attend and participate in Christian
religious activities. It is alleged that the aim of the School
was to promote the assimilation of native children.

The courts below had refused to allow the case to proceed. The
Ontario Court of Appeal, Ontario's highest court, decided that
the courts below erred in refusing to allow the case to proceed,
and ordered that it should be certified as a class action and
permitted to proceed to trial.

The court certified claims for breach of fiduciary duty,
negligence and breach of aboriginal rights. The court found that
dealing with all of the facts and issues raised in the case
should be dealt with in one trial because it would result in a
substantial saving of time and expense. The court also found
that access to justice would be greatly enhanced by a class
action. The evidence before the court was that many of the
former students are ageing, very poor, and in some cases, still
extremely emotionally troubled by their experiences at the
School.

Ultimately, the court held that the students could not afford to
bring individual actions and that a class action was the best
way to ensure that they had access to justice and the
possibility of redress.

The plaintiffs claim more than 1 billion dollars in damages
against the defendants. The law firms of Cohen Highley LLP and
Koskie Minsky LLP represent the plaintiffs.

For more details, contact Kirk M. Baert, Koskie Minsky LLP, by
Phone: (416) 595-2117 or by E-mail: kbaert@koskieminsky.com or
Russell M. Raikes of Cohen Highley LLP by Phone: (519) 672-9330
or by E-mail: raikes@cohenhighley.com.


NEXGEN3000.COM: Reaches Settlement With FTC Over Pyramid Scheme
---------------------------------------------------------------
Operators of online malls that disguised themselves as
legitimate business opportunities have settled Federal Trade
Commission charges that they were actually illegal pyramid
schemes, in violation of federal law. Seven individuals and four
businesses will be barred from making false or misleading
statements about earnings or income and engaging in illegal
pyramid operations. Four also will be barred from participating
in any multilevel marketing businesses. The defendants are
subject to suspended judgments totaling $12 million.

The Internet mall businesses operated independently, but they
shared attributes: both operations promised substantial incomes;
both touted products, but investors didn't really earn money by
selling them, but by bringing in other investors; and most
investors lost money.

In July 2003, the FTC filed a complaint charging that Tucson,
Arizona-based NexGen3000.com and its principals marketed
Internet "shopping malls" that they claimed would enable
investors to earn substantial income and commissions on products
bought over the Internet. The malls contained a collection of
links to retail Web sites maintained by merchants. The
defendants allegedly advertised their business opportunity
through the NexGen Web site, live presentations, and
telemarketing calls, and maintained a network of affiliates to
help promote and sell the malls. Consumers paid a registration
fee to join the NexGen program, and most also purchased a
"WebSuite" including the Internet mall and related goods and
services. A "Basic WebSuite"cost $185, including the
registration fee, and a "Power Pack WebSuite" cost $555. NexGen
allegedly claimed that "each activated business center has the
potential to earn up to $60,000 per week."

The FTC alleged that the defendants deceptively represented that
consumers who participated in their scheme would earn
substantial income, when in fact most investors lost money in
the operation. The complaint also states that the defendants
provided deceptive marketing material to affiliates - providing
them with the means to deceive others. The agency alleged that
the defendants failed to disclose that a substantial percentage
of participants would lose money, and that the scheme was
actually an illegal pyramid. The practices violated the FTC Act.

The defendants, NexGen3000.com, Inc.; Globion, Inc.; Robert J.
Charette, Jr.; David A. Charette; Stephen M. Diamond; Christine
Wasser; Infinity2, Inc.; and Edward G. Hoyt are permanently
barred from participating in any pyramid plan, and all but Hoyt
and Infinity2 are barred from participating in any multi-level
marketing businesses in the future. All are barred from making
false or misleading earnings or income claims, and if any
earnings, profits or sales claims are made, the settlements
require that the defendants disclose the number of people who
have earned, profited, or sold at least the amount and the
percentage of total participants or purchasers who have earned,
profited or sold the amount. The settlements include suspended
judgments in the amount of $1,651,034 against David Charette and
Stephen Diamond. If financial documents provided by defendants
David Charette and Stephen Diamond to the Commission are found
by the court to contain material misrepresentations or
omissions, the entire amount of the suspended judgment would be
immediately due.

Another Internet mall, Mall Ventures, Inc., doing business as
2by2.net, recruited investors into their pyramid as "eCommerce
Consultants" for $300 to $420 per spot. According to the FTC's
complaint, the defendants touted 2by2.net as a lucrative
business opportunity in which consumers could earn over $1,000
per month if they were just "1% successful," and up to $117,000
per month after five years of effort. Many consumers were
persuaded to pay up to $2,940 for multiple spots and to spend
thousands of dollars more in their attempts to make money
through 2by2.net. As with the NexGen program, 2by2.net's
Internet malls contained links to retail Web sites maintained by
third-party merchants. The FTC alleged that 2by2.net falsely
represented to its eCommerce Consultants that they could make
substantial commissions on purchases made through these 2by2.net
Internet malls, as well as by selling Internet access, vitamins,
and prepaid long distance telephone cards. The defendants also
stated that consultants were "limited" to earnings of $15,000
per week, implying that it was reasonable to hope to earn that
much money as an eCommerce Consultant. As the FTC charged in its
complaint, the few eCommerce Consultants who made money through
2by2.net did so by recruiting others into the program, and the
vast majority of eCommerce Consultants made very little or no
money, regardless of the effort expended.

The settlement with Mall Ventures and its co-founders Jeffrey P.
Morgan and Dennis Wong bars them from participating in any
prohibited marketing scheme, including any business that
operates as a pyramid scheme. It bars them from misrepresenting
the potential or likely earnings or income from any business
venture, the benefits any participant can expect, and assisting
others to make misleading claims. They are required to provide
upfront disclosures about actual earnings and prohibited from
erecting unreasonable barriers to investors who want refunds.

The order contains a suspended monetary judgment of $10.4
million, the amount of consumer injury. Based on the defendants'
financial condition, the order requires them to pay $400,000. If
the court finds that the defendants misrepresented their assets
to the Commission, the entire $10.4 million will become due.

Copies of the complaints and settlements are available from the
FTC's Web site at http://www.ftc.govand also from the FTC's  
Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue,
N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. The FTC works for the consumer to
prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in
the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers
spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or
Spanish (bilingual counselors are available to take complaints),
or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics, call
toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use the complaint
form at http://www.ftc.gov.The FTC enters Internet,  
telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related
complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database
available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement
agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

For more information, contact Claudia Bourne Farrell, Office of
Public Affairs by Phone: 202-326-2181 or contact Chris M.
Couillou or Robin L. Rock, FTC Southeast Region by Phone:
404-656-1390 (NexGen) or Faye Chen Barnouw, FTC Western Region
by Phone: 310-824-4343 (2by2.net) or visit the Website:
http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2005/05/nexgen.htm.


NOVASTAR FINANCIAL: MO Judge Denies Motion To Dismiss Lawsuit
-------------------------------------------------------------
NovaStar Financial, Inc. (NYSE: NFI), a residential lender and
mortgage Real Estate Investment Trust, reports that a judge
denied the company's motion to dismiss a class action
shareholder suit in the U.S. District Court for the Western
District of Missouri.

"The Court's decision assumed the truth of the allegations in
the complaint and viewed them in the light most favorable to
plaintiffs. Plaintiffs' allegations survived the motion to
dismiss only because the Court made this assumption in
plaintiffs' favor," according to Lanny J. Davis, Orrick,
Herrington & Sutcliffe, attorney for NovaStar.

The plaintiffs' consolidated complaint generally alleges that
the company made statements that were misleading for failing to
disclose certain regulatory and licensing matters in 2003 and
2004.

"The Court's decision did not rule on the facts of the lawsuit,
but only allowed the case to move forward. The company continues
to believe these claims are without merit and we intend to
vigorously defend against them," said Jeffrey D. Ayers, Senior
Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary.

For more details, contact Mike Enos, Media Relations Contact or
Jeffrey A. Gentle, Investor Relations Contact both of NovaStar
Financial, Inc. by Phone: 816-237-7597 or 816-237-7424 or visit
their Web site: http://www.novastarmortgage.com.


OM GROUP: Reaches Settlement for Consolidated OH Securities Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
OM Group, Inc. reached a tentative settlement for the
consolidated securities class action filed against it in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio,
Eastern Division.

In November 2002, the Company received notice that two
shareholder class action lawsuits, styled "Sheth v. OM Group,
Inc., et al., case no. 1:02CV2163, and "Rischitelli v. OM Group,
Inc., et al., case No. 1:02CV2189," were filed against the
Company related to a decline in the Company's stock price after
its third quarter 2002 earnings announcement.  The lawsuits
allege virtually identical claims under Sections 10(b) and 20(a)
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and SEC Rule 10b-5
against the Company, its former Chief Executive Officer and
Chairman, its former Chief Financial Officer and the members of
the Board of Directors. Plaintiffs seek damages in an
unspecified amount to compensate persons who purchased the
Company's stock at various dates between November 2001 and
October 2002 at allegedly inflated market prices.  In July 2004,
these class action lawsuits were amended to include 1999 through
2001 and to add the Company's independent auditors, Ernst &
Young LLP, as a defendant.  

In November 2002, the Company also received notice that
shareholder derivative lawsuit, styled "Cropper, et al. v. Lee
R. Brodeur, et al. case No. 1-03-0021," was filed in the same
court against the members of the Company's Board of Directors.
Derivative plaintiffs allege the directors breached their
fiduciary duties to the Company in connection with a decline in
the Company's stock price after its third quarter 2002 earnings
announcement by failing to institute sufficient financial
controls to ensure that the Company and its employees complied
with generally accepted accounting principles by writing down
the value of the Company's cobalt inventory on or before
December 31, 2001.  Derivative plaintiffs seek a number of
changes to the Company's accounting, financial and management
structures and unspecified damages from the directors to
compensate the Company for costs incurred in, among other
things, defending the aforementioned securities lawsuits.  In
July 2004, the derivative plaintiffs amended these lawsuits to
include conduct allegedly related to the Company's decision to
restate its earnings for the period 1999-2003.

The Company has been engaged in mediation sessions with the
plaintiffs regarding the shareholder class action and
shareholder derivative lawsuits. The Company anticipates these
lawsuits will be resolved during 2005. The Company and the lead
plaintiff of the shareholder class action lawsuits have entered
into an "Agreement to Settle Class Action" (Agreement) dated
March 7, 2005, which is an agreement in principle that outlines
the general terms of a proposed settlement of these lawsuits
subject to the satisfaction of various conditions and execution
of a definitive agreement.

Based on the Agreement and the Company's consideration of the
shareholder derivative lawsuits described above, the Company has
reserved $84.5 million at December 31, 2003 for the settlement
of these cases, which is proposed to be payable $76.0 million in
cash and $8.5 million in common stock. Insurance proceeds are
expected to be available for contribution to the resolution of
the cases but the Company does not expect these lawsuits to be
resolved within the limits of applicable insurance.  

The consolidated suit is styled "In Re: OM Group Inc. Securities
Litigation, case no. 02-CV-02163," filed in the United States
District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, under Judge
Donald C. Nugent.  Representing the plaintiffs are Bernstein
Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP (New York, NY), 1285 Avenue of
the Americas, 33rd Floor, New York, NY, 10019 Phone:
212.554.1400, Fax: 212.554.1444, E-mail: blbg@blbglaw.com; and
Climaco, Lefkowitz, Peca, Wilcox & Garofoli Co. L.P.A.,
Cleveland, OH, Phone: 216.621.8484, E-mail:
cmjani@climacolaw.com.


ORANGE 21: Shareholders Launch Securities Fraud Suits in S.D. CA
----------------------------------------------------------------
Orange 21, Inc., its directors and certain of its officers face
several securities class actions filed in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of California. The
complaint purports to seek unspecified damages on behalf of an
alleged class of persons who purchased the Company's common
stock pursuant to its registration statement it filed in
connection with its public offering of stock on December 14,
2005.

The complaints uniformly allege that the Company and its
officers and directors violated federal securities laws by
failing to disclose material information about the status of the
Company's European operations and whether certain of its
products infringe on the intellectual property rights of Oakley,
Inc. in that registration statement.

The complaints allege that on December 14, 2004, Orange 21
accomplished its IPO of 3.48 million shares at $8.75 per share
(including 2.48 million shares sold by Orange 21 and 1 million
shares sold by No Fear, Inc.) for net proceeds of $20.2 million
to Orange 21 and $8.1 million to No Fear, pursuant to the
Registration Statement. The Registration Statement failed to
disclose that Orange 21 was engaging in copyright infringement
and that its European operations were underperforming and would
have to be restructured, which costs would adversely affect 2005
results, an earlier Class Action Reporter story (March 29,2005)
reports.

On February 17, 2005, Orange 21 announced reduced earnings
expectations for 2005 due in part to changes in its European
infrastructure. On this news, Orange 21's stock price collapsed
to around $6.00 per share. Subsequently on March 7, 2005, Orange
21 disclosed it had received a cease-and-desist letter from
Oakley, Inc. In response, the Company would be required to make
changes based on the alleged infringements.

According to the complaints, the Registration Statement omitted
the following:

     (1) the Company's European operations were underperforming
         and lacked the requisite infrastructure necessary to
         perform consistent with defendants' representations and
         expectations and that as a result the Company would
         need to restructure these operations and incur material
         costs, thereby materially adversely affecting the
         Company's operating performance for 2005;

     (2) the Company was violating patents and trademarks
         associated with its key product, fashion frames, and
         that the Company would halt the production of certain
         products, including the New Meteor New Espador and 42
         fashion frames; and

     (3) the Company was modifying its distribution policies
         which necessarily would increase the Company's cost
         structure and erode the Company's margins and net
         income by $700,000 for FY 2005.


PHILIPS ELECTRONICS: Suit Settlement Hearing Set June 17, 2005
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Los Angeles Superior Court will hold a fairness hearing for
the proposed settlement in the matter: Harrell v. Philips
Electronics North America Corporation, Case No. BC 318897 on
behalf of all persons who reside or resided in California and
who, between July 22, 2000 and April 19, 2005, purchased a
Sonicare Toothbrush.

The Honorable Morris B. Jones will hold a final approval hearing
on June 17, 2005 at 8:30 a.m. in Department 48 of the Los
Angeles Superior Court, located at 111 North Hill Street, Los
Angeles, California.

For more details, contact Michael D. Braun, Esq. of the BRAUN
LAW GROUP, P.C. by Mail: 12400 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 920, Los
Angeles, California 90025 by E-mail: info@braunlawgroup.com or
visit: http://www.sonicare.com.


QUALITY DISTRIBUTION: Reaches Settlement For FL Securities Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Quality Distribution, Inc. reached a settlement for two
shareholder class actions and a shareholder derivative demand
stemming from the Company's disclosure of irregularities at
Power Purchasing, Inc. (PPI), a non-core subsidiary.

On February 24, 2004, a putative class action lawsuit titled,
"Meigs v. Quality Distribution, Inc., et al.," was filed in the
United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida,
Tampa Division, against the Company, Thomas L. Finkbiner, its
President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board,
and Samuel M. Hensley, its former Senior Vice President and
Chief Financial Officer.

The plaintiff purports to represent a class of purchasers of the
Company's common stock traceable to its November 2003 initial
public offering.  The complaint alleges that, in connection with
the IPO, the Company filed a registration statement with the SEC
that incorporated a materially false or misleading prospectus.
Specifically, the complaint alleges that the prospectus
materially overstated the Company's financial results for the
years ended December 31, 2001, December 31, 2002, and the nine
months ended September 30, 2003.  In addition, the complaint
alleges that these financial statements were not prepared
consistently with generally accepted accounting principles.
Accordingly, it asserts claims (and seeks unspecified damages)
against all defendants based on the alleged violations of
Section 11 of the Securities Act of 1933 and against Mr.
Finkbiner and Mr. Hensley as "control persons," under the
Securities Act's Section 15 by virtue of their positions at the
Company.

On May 11, 2004, the Court consolidated "Meigs" with a
substantially identical action titled "Cochran v. Quality
Distribution, Inc.," also pending in the United States District
Court for the Middle District of Florida.  On June 28, 2004, the
Court appointed Jemmco Investment Management LLC as lead
plaintiff under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of
1995.

A second suit, styled "Steamfitters Local 449 Pension Retirement
Security Funds v. Quality Distribution, Inc., et al.," was filed
in the Circuit Court for the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit in and
for Hillsborough County, Florida, on March 26, 2004.  In
addition to the Company, Mr. Finkbiner and Mr. Hensley, the suit
names as defendants the other signatories to the registration
statement, namely directors Anthony R. Ignaczak, Joshua J.
Harris, Michael D. Weiner, Marc J. Rowan, Marc E. Becker, and
Donald C. Orris, and three of the Company's IPO underwriters,
Credit Suisse First Boston LLC, Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc., and
Deutsche Bank Securities Inc.  The "Steamfitters" complaint
alleges substantially identical facts to those in the "Meigs"
complaint and also includes the same claims, plus an additional
claim for rescission or damages based on an alleged violation of
Section 12 of the Securities Act.

In exchange for broad releases from all claims that were or
could have been asserted by shareholders in respect of QDI
shares, and to eliminate the burden and expense of further
litigation, the Company and its primary directors' and officers'
liability insurer, on behalf of all defendants, have agreed to
pay the class $8,150,000, of which $5,875,000 would be paid
directly by the insurer and the balance of $2,275,000 would be
paid by the Company. The Company has also agreed to pay the
State Action Plaintiffs' attorneys' fees and expenses in an
amount not to exceed $600,000. The Company will record a pre-tax
charge of $2.875 million in the fourth quarter for these
settlements.

The settlements are contingent on several factors, including
approval by both the state and federal courts. No aspect of the
settlements constitutes an admission or finding of wrongful
conduct, acts or omissions.


R.J. REYNOLDS: MN Judge Dismisses "Lights" Cigarette Lawsuit
------------------------------------------------------------
A Minnesota judge dismissed a class-action lawsuit initiated
against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. contending that the "light"
designation on cigarette labels was misleading, The Associated
Press reports.  The lawsuit, entitled Dahl v. R.J. Reynolds
Tobacco Company, said the company's actions conflicted with the
federal "Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act."

According to Martin L. Holton III, senior vice president and
deputy general counsel for R.J. Reynolds, "We obviously are
pleased with the decision and believe the court's reasoning
should apply to all cases with claims relating to 'Lights'
cigarettes."

R.J. Reynolds is a subsidiary of Reynolds American Inc. The
company manufactures Camel, Winston, Kool, Salem and Doral.


SERVICE CORPORATION: Faces Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. Texas
--------------------------------------------------------------
Service Corporation International faces a consolidated
securities class action filed against it and several of its
current and former executive officers or directors in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of Texas,
Houston Division.  The suit is styled "Conley Investment Counsel
v. Service Corporation International, et al; Civil Action 04-MD-
1609."

The suit resulted from the transfer and consolidation by the
Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation of three lawsuits,
namely:
      
     (1) Edgar Neufeld v. Service Corporation International,
         et al.; Cause No. CV-S-03-1561-HDM-PAL; In the United
         States District Court for the District of Nevada;

     (2) Rujira Srisythemp v. Service Corporation International,
         et. al.; Cause No. CV-S-03-1392-LDG-LRL; In the United
         States District for the District of Nevada; and

     (3) Joshua Ackerman v. Service Corporation International,
         et. al.; Cause No. 04-CV-20114; In the United States
         District Court for the Southern District of Florida

The suit alleges that the defendants failed to disclose the
unlawful treatment of human remains and gravesites at two
cemeteries in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, Florida.
Since the action is in its preliminary stages, no discovery has
occurred, and the Company cannot quantify its ultimate
liability, if any, for the payment of damages.

The suit is styled "Conley Investment Counsel v. Service
Corporation International et al, case no. 4:04-md-01609," filed
in the United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York under Judge Lynn N. Hughes.  Representing the lead
plaintiff are Thomas E. Bilek, 1000 Louisiana Suite 1302
Houston, TX 77002 Phone: 713-227-7720, Fax: 713-227-9404 E-mail:
tbilek@hb-legal.com; and Christopher L. Nelson of Schiffrin &
Barroway LLP Three Bala Plz E Ste 400 Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004,
Phone: 212-545-4600.  The Company is represented by
Andrew M. Edison and J. Clifford Gunter III of Bracewell and
Giuliani LLP, 711 Louisiana Ste 2300 Houston, TX 77002, Phone:
713-221-1371 Fax: 713-221-2144; and Roger B. Greenberg of
Schwartz Junell et al, 909 Fannin Ste 2000 Houston, TX 77010
Phone: 713-752-0017 Fax: 713-752-0327, E-mail:
rgreenberg@schwartz-junell.com.


SERVICE CORPORATION: TX Court Allows Consumer Suit To Proceed
-------------------------------------------------------------
The County Court of El Paso County, Texas, County Court at Law
Number Three allowed plaintiffs to proceed with their class
action against Service Corporation International, styled "David
Hijar v. SCI Texas Funeral Services, Inc., SCI Funeral Services,
Inc., and Service Corporation International, case no. 2002-740
(Hijar Lawsuit)."

The Hijar Lawsuit is a putative statewide class action brought
on behalf of all persons, entities and organizations who
purchased funeral services from the Company or its subsidiaries
in Texas at any time since March 18, 1998.  Plaintiffs allege
that federal and Texas funeral related rules (Rules) required
the Company to disclose its markups on all items obtained from
third parties in connection with funeral service contracts and
that the failure to make required disclosures of markups
resulted in fraud and other legal claims.  

The Company believes that the plaintiffs' interpretation of the
Rules is incorrect. The Hijar Lawsuit seeks to recover an
unspecified amount of monetary damages.  Each side in the Hijar
Lawsuit filed motions to summarily establish that its
interpretation of the Rules was correct, and the judge has ruled
in favor of the plaintiffs.  No class has been certified.


SOUTH CAROLINA: CMRTA Reaches Settlement With Disability Group
--------------------------------------------------------------
Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority (CMRTA) has made a
commitment to improve disability access to public
transportation, The WLTX.com reports.

CMRTA, its service provider Connex, Protection and Advocacy for
People with Disabilities, and the Disability Action Center
worked together to establish a committee that will focus on
handicapped access to the entire transit system.

CMRTA has agreed to provide on-going training in the Americans
with Disabilities Act to employees, as well as make a donation
to Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities, Inc.

The agreement stems from a federal class action lawsuit that the
Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities, Inc. filed
against CMRTA on behalf of four individuals and the Disability
Action Center nearly three years ago. The lawsuit had claimed
that the transit system violated the Americans with Disabilities
Act.

According to Gloria Prevost, executive director of Protection
and Advocacy for People with Disabilities, Inc., "From the
beginning, our goal has been to ensure that people with
disabilities in Columbia have access to a dependable and
efficient public transportation system."


STILLWATER MINING: Reaches Settlement For MT Securities Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Stillwater Mining Co. reached a settlement for the consolidated
securities class action filed against it in the United States
District Court for the District of Montana.

In 2002, nine lawsuits were filed in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of New York against the Company
and certain senior officers on behalf of a class of all persons
who purchased or otherwise acquired common stock of the company
from April 20, 2001 through and including April 1, 2002.  They
assert claims against the company and certain of its officers
under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934. Plaintiffs challenge the accuracy of certain public
disclosures made by the company regarding its financial
performance and, in particular, its accounting for probable ore
reserves.

In July 2002, the court consolidated these actions, and in May
2003, the case was transferred to federal district court in
Montana.  In May 2004, defendants filed a motion to dismiss
plaintiffs' second amended complaint, and in June 2004,
plaintiffs filed their opposition and defendants filed their
reply.

Defendants have reached an agreement in principle with
plaintiffs to settle the federal class action subject to
documentation and court approval. Under the proposed agreement,
any settlement amount will be paid by the company's insurance
carrier and will not involve any out-of-pocket payment by the
company or the individual defendants.  


WORLD AIR: Continues To Face Suits On Cancelled Nigeria Flights
---------------------------------------------------------------
World Air Holdings, Inc. continues to face a consolidated class
action, arising out the discontinuance of flights to Lagos,
Nigeria.  The suit is pending in the United States District
Court for the Eastern District of New York.

In January 2004, ten purported class action complaints (six in
the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New
York, one in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York, one in the Superior Court of DeKalb
County, Georgia, one in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of New Jersey and one in the United States
District Court for the Northern District of Illinois) and four
individual complaints (all in the United States District Court
for the Eastern District of New York), and thirteen small claims
actions (one in California, three in New Jersey, one in Georgia
and eight in New York) were filed against the Company arising
out of the discontinuance of charter flights upon the expiration
of the Company's obligation to provide services under an air
services agreement.

Seven of the eight small claims actions in New York were settled
for a total of $14,000 (or $2,000 per plaintiff).  The purported
class action cases were consolidated for discovery purposes into
the Eastern District of New York.  

The Company had operated the charter flights between cities in
the United States and Lagos, Nigeria for Ritetime Aviation and
Travel Services, Inc. ("Ritetime").  The Company's obligation to
perform air services for Ritetime ended with the last chartered
flight on December 30, 2003.  From the allegations made by the
various plaintiffs, it appears that Ritetime continued to sell
tickets to passengers for flights purportedly scheduled to
depart after the expiration of the Company's contractual
obligations for air services. The plaintiffs purport to act for
themselves and on behalf of other persons who held tickets
issued by Ritetime for the non-contracted flights. Ritetime is
also named as a defendant in each of these lawsuits. The
plaintiffs seek compensatory, punitive and/or treble damages and
costs and expenses, including attorneys fees, based on various
legal theories including breach of contract, fraud, negligent
misrepresentation, unjust enrichment, illegal/excess tax and
violations of U.S. federal laws and regulations governing air
transportation and of the Federal Racketeer Influenced and
Corrupt Organization Statute (RICO).

The Company's insurance carrier has responded and assumed the
defense of these cases and agreed to conditionally indemnify the
Company for the costs of litigation and any judgment. In March
2004, Ritetime filed a Demand to Arbitrate in Peachtree City,
Georgia, and subsequently the Company responded and filed a
counterclaim. The matter was heard in October 2004, and the
arbitrator awarded the Company the amount of $2.2 million
against Ritetime, plus indemnification on all judgments, fees
and expenses incurred by the Company in the Ritetime litigation.
However, it is doubtful that Ritetime has assets to pay the
award. The DOT is investigating this matter and the Company is
negotiating the terms of a settlement with the DOT, without
admitting or denying any allegations, which settlement the
Company believes will not be material to its financial
condition, results of operations or liquidity.


                New Securities Fraud Cases


AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL: Mager & White Lodges ERISA Suit in NY
-------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Mager White & Goldstein, LLP initiated a class
action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of New York on behalf of participants or beneficiaries
of the American International Group, Inc. ("AIG") 401(K) Savings
Plan (the "Plan") (NYSE:AIG). The lawsuit cites AIG's violations
of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) resulting
in the decreased value of AIG stock held by current and past
employees of AIG through the Plan.

The lawsuit charges that AIG's financial officers breached their
fiduciary responsibilities by leading participants to invest in
AIG stock between November 1, 1998 and the present (the "Class
Period"), while failing to disclose improper business practices,
and disseminating false and misleading financial statements to
investors. Specifically, since February 2005, AIG has admitted
to a number of accounting errors in several areas of the
Company's operations that led to financial statements that
falsely gave the appearance of financial growth. As a result,
AIG has delayed issuance of its Annual Report. AIG has also
admitted that it anticipates reducing its net worth by over $2
billion and restating its financial results for the period 2000
through 2004.

AIG claimed to be experiencing strong growth and demonstrating
positive results. The true facts which were concealed from
investors revealed that AIG was engaged in a plan in which AIG
paid illegal "contingent commissions" or kick-backs to certain
brokers for business "steered" to AIG and AIG had major
involvement in a "bid-rigging" scheme devised to protect itself
and certain other insurance companies from competition. These
illegal business practices resulted in gross overstatements of
AIG's income and revenue, leading to the Company's inflated
stock price. The aim of this litigation is to recover damages
sustained by Plan participants or beneficiaries. Your ability to
share in any recovery is not affected by whether or not you
serve as lead plaintiff in the case. You may retain Mager White
& Goldstein, LLP, or other counsel, to represent you in this
action.

For more details, contact Ann D. White by Mail: One Pitcairn
Place, Suite 2400, 165 Township Line Road, Jenkintown,
Pennsylvania 19046 by Phone: 215-481-0273 or 866-481-0272 by
Fax: 215-481-0271 or by E-mail: awhite@mwg-law.com.


AVAYA INC.: Shepherd Finkelman Files Securities Fraud Suit in NJ
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLC filed a
lawsuit seeking class action status in the United States
District Court for the District of New Jersey on behalf of all
persons (the "Class") who purchased the securities of Avaya Inc.
(NYSE: AV) ("Avaya" or the "Company") during the period October
5, 2004 and April 19, 2005 (the "Class Period").

The Complaint charges Avaya, Donald K. Peterson and Garry K.
McGuire ("Defendants") with violations of Sections 10(b) and
20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder, by issuing a series of materially false
and misleading statements to the market throughout the Class
Period that had the effect of artificially inflating the market
price of the Company's securities. The Complaint alleges that
Defendants misrepresented and/or omitted to disclose, despite a
duty to do so, that:

     (1) the costs of the Tenovis merger were greater than
         represented and, as such, the Tenovis merger would not
         be accretive on Avaya's earnings in fiscal year 2005;

     (2) Avaya was experiencing severe disruptions in sales due
         to changes in its delivery methods of products to the
         market; and

     (3) Avaya was experiencing a dramatic reduction of demand
         in its U.S. market. Due to the foregoing, the Complaint
         alleges that Avaya had no reasonable basis to project
         an increase in profits or an increase in revenues of
         25-27% for fiscal 2005.

The truth began to emerge on April 19, 2005, when Avaya released
its financial and operational results for the second quarter of
fiscal 2005, reporting revenues and earnings far short of
previous guidance and analyst expectations. The market's
reaction to this news was swift and negative. One analyst at
J.P. Morgan called the results "horrid" and cut it's rating on
the stock to "neutral" from "overweight." The stock fell more
than 25% on April 20, 2005 on extremely heavy trading volume.

For more details, contact James E. Miller, Esq. or James C.
Shah, Esq. of Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLC by Phone:
1-866-540-5505 or 1-877-891-9880 or by E-mail:
jmiller@classactioncounsel.com or jshah@classactioncounsel.com.


BEARINGPOINT INC.: Schoengold Sporn Lodges Securities Suit in VA
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schoengold Sporn Laitman & Lometti, P.C. filed a
class action lawsuit for one of its institutional investor
clients against BearingPoint Inc. ("BearingPoint" or the
"Company") (NYSE: BE) and certain key officers and directors in
the United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Virginia.

This action has been brought on behalf of all purchasers of
BearingPoint securities during the period between April 14,
2003, and April 21, 2005, (the "Class Period").

The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants
made materially false and misleading statements regarding the
Company's business and prospects. On March 17, 2005,
BearingPoint announced that it was delaying the filing of its
annual report on Form 10-K. According to BearingPoint, it had
experienced significant delays in completing its consolidated
financial statements. The delays were due, in part, to:

     (1) additional substantive procedures necessary to validate
         financial information due to control deficiencies;

     (2) the need to confirm the financial information generated
         by the Company's new financial accounting system,
         particularly in the area of revenue recognition; and

     (3) the Company's simultaneous, ongoing efforts to complete
         management's assessment of its internal controls over
         financial reporting in accordance with Section 404 of
         the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

Then on April 20, 2005, BearingPoint shocked the market,
disclosing that it had found errors in its financial statements
spanning the past two years, that the SEC had begun an
investigation into its accounting, and that it had fired nine
executives. More specifically, the Company stated that: during
the fourth quarter of the fiscal year ended December 31, 2004
("FY04"), BearingPoint determined that a triggering event had
occurred, which caused the Company to perform a goodwill
impairment test. As a result of an initial impairment analysis,
on March 17, 2005, the Company determined that a material, non-
cash charge would be taken during the fourth quarter of FY04 as
a result of the impairment of its goodwill with respect to the
operations in its Europe, the Middle East and Africa ("EMEA")
segment. The Company estimated that the amount of the impairment
charge would be $250 million to $400 million.

BearingPoint also stated that the following previously issued
reports should not be relied upon due to errors in those
financial statements its Form 10-Qs for each of the first three
quarters of FY04, its Form 10-K for the six-month transition
period ended December 31, 2003 and its Form 10-K for the fiscal
year ended June 30, 2003. On this news, shares of BearingPoint
dropped $2.49 per share -- or 32% -- from $7.77 per share on
April 20th to $5.28 per share on April 21st, with 67.7 million
shares traded, or 17 times its daily trading volume.

According to the complaint, the true facts -- known by the
defendants -- but concealed from the investing public, were as
follows:

     (i) that the Company had materially overstated its net
         income and earnings per share and undervalued its
         identifiable intangibles (goodwill) by approximately
         $250-400 million;

    (ii) that the Company had inflated its earnings by
         improperly accounting for restructuring charges
         relating to acquisitions;

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

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

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

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


FRIEDMAN BILLINGS: Charles J. Piven Lodges Securities Suit in NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, P.A. initiated a securities
class action on behalf of shareholders who purchased, converted,
exchanged or otherwise acquired the common stock of Friedman,
Billings, Ramsey Group, Inc. ("FBR") (NYSE: FBR) between January
29, 2003 and April 25, 2005, inclusive (the "Class Period").

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

For more details, contact The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven,
P.A. by Mail: The World Trade Center-Baltimore, 401 East Pratt
Street, Suite 2525, Baltimore, Maryland 21202 by Phone:
410/986-0036 or by E-mail: hoffman@pivenlaw.com.


FRIEDMAN BILLINGS: Stull Stull Files Securities Fraud Suit in NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Stull, Stull & Brody initiated a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York, against Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group,
Inc. ("FBR" or the "Company") (NYSE: FBR) on behalf of
purchasers of the publicly traded securities Friedman, Billings,
Ramsey Group, Inc. between January 29, 2003 and April 25, 2005
(the "Class Period").

The Complaint alleges that FBR violated federal securities laws
by issuing false or misleading public statements. Specifically,
the Complaint alleges that FBR did not properly disclose the
adverse effect of an SEC and NASD investigation into FBR's 2001
role as a placement agent for an issuer in a PIPE (private
investment in public equity) transaction. On November 9, 2004,
FBR filed its third quarter 2004 Form 10-Q in which it disclosed
this SEC and NASD investigation. On this news, FBR's stock
dropped to $16.93 per share. On April 4, 2005, Emanual J.
Friedman, DBR's CEO, resigned. Then, on April 25, 2005, FBR
announced disappointing preliminary results for the first
quarter 2005, including a charge for its liability in the PIPE
transaction. On this news, FBR's stock dropped to $12.52 on
volume of 7.5 million shares.

For more details, contact Tzivia Brody, Esq. of Stull, Stull &
Brody by Phone: 1-800-337-4983 by Fax: 212/490-2022 by E-mail:
SSBNY@aol.com or visit their Web site: http://www.ssbny.com.


MBNA CORPORATION: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges Stock Suit in DE
--------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP initiated a class
action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
District of Delaware on behalf of all securities purchasers of
MBNA Corporation (NYSE: KRB) ("MBNA" or the "Company") between
January 20, 2005 and April 21, 2005, inclusive (the "Class
Period").

The complaint charges MBNA, Bruce L. Hammonds, Kenneth A.
Vecchione, Richard K. Struthers, Charles C. Krulak, John R.
Cochran, III, Michael G. Rhodes, Lance L. Weaver and John W.
Scheflen with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
More specifically, the Complaint alleges that the Company failed
to disclose and misrepresented the following material adverse
facts, which were known to defendants or recklessly disregarded
by them:

     (1) that the Company grossly underestimated the cost of the
         restructuring charge associated with the Company's
         previously announced plan to reduce overhead by
         offering early retirement to its workers;

     (2) that the Company was experiencing a high level of
         customer delinquencies;

     (3) that the Company's customers were paying down their
         credit card bills, particularly on high- interest-rate
         cards, reducing the dollar value of managed loans in
         MBNA's portfolios;

     (4) that due to faster customer pay downs MBNA was forced
         to reevaluate its interest-only strips resulting in a
         $206 million loss in securitization activity; and

     (5) that the Company's projected earnings growth of 10
         percent in fiscal 2005 lacked in all reasonable basis
         when made.

On April 21, 2005, MBNA announced net income for the first
quarter of 2005. The Company's results were significantly
impacted by the restructuring charge and unexpectedly high
payment volumes from U.S. credit card customers. News of this
shocked the market. Shares of MBNA fell $3.83 per share or 16.57
percent, on April 21, 2005, to close at $19.28 per share.

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: info@sbclasslaw.com.


PETCO ANIMAL: Glancy Binkow Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in CA
--------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Glancy Binkow & Goldberg LLP initiated Class
Action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of California on behalf of a class (the
"Class") consisting of all persons or entities who purchased or
otherwise acquired securities of PETCO Animal Supplies Inc.
("PETCO" or the "Company") (Nasdaq:PETC) during the period
November 18, 2004 through April 14, 2005, inclusive (the "Class
Period").

The Complaint charges PETCO and certain of the Company's
executive officers with violations of federal securities laws.
PETCO is a San Diego, California-based company that owns and
operates more than 650 pet stores in 43 states. Plaintiff claims
defendants' omissions and material misrepresentations
artificially inflated the Company's stock price, inflicting
damages on investors. The Complaint alleges that during the
Class Period, defendants reported strong earnings and sales
growth and represented that such growth would continue in 2005.

Unbeknownst to investors, however, PETCO's fourth quarter 2004
earnings were materially artificially inflated through
accounting manipulation. Specifically, PETCO had been under-
accruing expenses, thereby inflating its earnings. For the same
reason, the Company's favorable projections for 2005 were
lacking in any reasonable basis, and were premised on the
continuation of the improper accounting practices. On April 15,
2005, before the open of regular trading, PETCO issued a press
release announcing that it will delay filing its 2004 Form 10-K
with the SEC, due to accounting errors related to under-accrual
of expenses. Based on its review, PETCO will need to adjust
downward, possibly in a restatement, its reported fourth quarter
2004 earnings by $0.05 to $0.07 per share. PETCO's expected 2005
earnings will be reduced by the same amount, according to the
Company.

In response to the announcement that the Company had inflated
its earnings through accounting manipulation, PETCO's stock
price dropped by 13.6% in one day - from $35.14 per share on
April 14, 2005, to a closing price of $30.36 on April 15, 2005,
in unusually heavy trading.

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


                            *********


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

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

                            *********


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

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless Hills,
Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick, Maryland
USA.   Glenn Ruel Senorin, Aurora Fatima Antonio and Lyndsey
Resnick, Editors.

Copyright 2005.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
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