CAR_Public/050629.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

            Wednesday, June 29, 2005, Vol. 7, No. 127


AAIPHARMA INC.: Former COO Pleads Guilty For Conspiracy, Fraud
ABATIX CORPORATION: Suit Settlement Hearing Set August 11, 2005
ABATIX CORPORATION: Suit Settlement Hearing Set August 11, 2005
ALCAN INC.: EU To Probe Insider Trading in 2003 Pechiney Deal
ARKANSAS: Overseer Says County's Refund Process Almost Complete

AT&T CORPORATION: Suit Settlement Hearing Set September 30, 2005
AUSTRALIA: 2 Liquor Retailers To Face Possible Antitrust Lawsuit
CARDIAC SCIENCE: Reaches Settlement For Suits V. Quinton Merger
CARDSYSTEMS SOLUTIONS: Faces First Suit Over Credit Card Breach
CHEVRON CORPORATION: Supreme Court to Review Gas Operators' Case

CONSUMER REWARDS: ND AG Issues Cease-And-Desist Order V. Fraud
DISCOVER BANK: CA Cardholder Fraud Lawsuit Back to Appeals Court
DRAM FIRMS: Memory Firms Face DRAM Antitrust Lawsuit in N.D. CA
EASY REALTY: PA AG Reaches Agreement For Real Estate Fraud Suit
EXXON MOBIL: To Pay $1.3B in Damages in Gas Owners Fraud Lawsuit

GLAXOSMITHKLINE PLC: Returns Antidepressant Paxil CR To Market
GOLD LINE: Group Files Claim For Noise Standards Implementation
HYTRIN LITIGATION: ND Residents To Participate in Antitrust Pact
ION GROUP: Law Firm Seeks Investors To Join Lawsuit V. Collapse
LOS GALLEGUITO: Recalls Sausages Due To Listeria Contamination

LOUISIANA: Court Mulls Certification For Lawsuit v Shreveport
LOUISIANA: City Asks For Dismissal of Lawsuit Over Strip Club
LOUISIANA: Shrimpers Say New Lagasse Shrimp Product Substandard
MAGNETIC IDEAS: NM Attorney General Files Consumer Fraud Lawsuit
MICROMUSE INC.: Settles Consolidated Securities, Derivative Suit

MILBERG WEISS: Mentioned in Lawsuit V. CA Lawyer Over Kickbacks
NBR ANTITRUST: Lawsuit Settlement Hearing Set September 9, 2005
NORTEL NETWORKS: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Shareholder Lawsuit
NORTH DAKOTA: ND AG Reaches Settlement With Illegal "Charities"
PENNSYLVANIA: PA Court Considers Special Education Lawsuit Pact

RURAL CONSTRUCTION: PA AG Corbett Initiates Consumer Fraud Suit
SIMON PROPERTY: NH AG Reaches Settlement For Antitrust Complaint
THAXTON GROUP: SC Judge Grants Certification To Investors' Suit
UNITED STATES: ACEC Head Cautions V. Suit V. Credit Card Firms
UNITED STATES: High Court to Hear Scheidler RICO Abortion Case

VIRGINIA: Suit Filed V. Dairy Industry Over Weight-Loss Claims

                  Meetings, Conferences & Seminars

* Scheduled Events for Class Action Professionals
* Online Teleconferences

                  New Securities Fraud Cases

CORN PRODUCTS: Stull Stull Lodges Securities Fraud Lawsuit in IL
DRDGOLD LIMITED: Gainey & McKenna Lodges Securities Suit in NY
NAVARRE CORPORATION: Glancy Binkow Lodges Securities Suit in MN
GUIDANT CORPORATION: Charles J. Piven Lodges Stock Lawsuit in IN
PEGASUS COMMUNICATION: Rosen Law Initiates Securities Inquiry


AAIPHARMA INC.: Former COO Pleads Guilty For Conspiracy, Fraud
Former aaiPharma, Inc. chief operating officer David Hurley
pleaded guilty to fraud conspiracy charges, for his role in a
scheme to inflate the Company's 2003 sales results, Newsday

Mr. Hurley served as chief operating officer and executive vice
president for the pharmaceutical firm agreed to accept a plea
deal on conspiracy to commit wire fraud, mail fraud, securities
fraud and related charges.  In exchange, Mr. Hurley agreed to
cooperate with government investigation, U.S. Attorney Gretchen
Shappert said, according to

Ms. Shappert's office alleged that Mr. Hurley engaged in
"channel stuffing" in which product was purportedly "sold" to
pharmaceutical wholesalers in a particular fiscal quarter, when,
in fact, that product was not reasonably needed by the
wholesalers."  Mr. Hurley was also an active participant in the
conspiracy and created at least one false invoice to conceal a
fraudulent deal.

Mr. Hurley left aaiPharma in February 2004, saying he planned to
become the chief executive officer at a startup pharmaceutical
company, Newsday reports.  He faces a maximum sentence of five
years in prison and a $250,000 fine.  No sentencing date has
been set. His attorney did not immediately return a phone call
Thursday, according to Newsday.

In May, the Company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection
in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, which it said was part of a sales
agreement negotiated with Xanodyne, a privately held corporation
located in Florence, Kentucky.

ABATIX CORPORATION: Suit Settlement Hearing Set August 11, 2005
The United States District Court for the District of Texas,
Dallas Division will hold a fairness hearing for the proposed
$900,000 settlement in the matter: Family Medicine Specialists,
et al. v. Abatix Corporation, et al., Civil Action No. 3:04-CV-
972-B (JJB), on behalf of all persons or entities who purchased
the common stock of the Company during the period between 5:05
p.m. Eastern Standard Time on April 14, 2004 and April 30, 2004
and all current shareholders of the Company's common stock.

The hearing will be held before the Honorable Jane J. Boyle at
the United States District Court for the Northern District of
Texas, Dallas Division, 1100 Commerce St., Room 1376, Dallas,
TX, 75242-1003, at 10;00 a.m., on August 11, 2005.

For more details, contact Abatix Securities Litigation
Settlement Fund c/o Analytics, Inc., Claims Administrator, P.O.
Box 2006, Chanhassen, MN, 55317-2006, Phone: 866-217-3491, Web
site: http://www.abatixsettlement.comOR Lee A. Weiss, Esq. of  
Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman, LLP, One Pennsylvania Plaza,
NY, 10119-0165, Phone: (212) 594-5300.

ABATIX CORPORATION: Suit Settlement Hearing Set August 11, 2005
The District Court of Dallas County, Texas - 162nd Judicial
District will hold a fairness hearing for the proposed
settlement of the shareholder derivative action pending under
the caption, Daniel M. Johnson v. Terry Shaver, et al., Cause
No. 2004-04-4841, on all current shareholders of the Abatix
Corporation's common stock.

The hearing will be held before the Honorable Lorraine A. Raggio
at the District Court of Dallas County, 600 Commerce St.,
Dallas, TX, 75202, at 7:30 a.m., on August 11, 2005.

For more details, contact Abatix Securities Litigation
Settlement Fund c/o Analytics, Inc., Claims Administrator, P.O.
Box 2006, Chanhassen, MN, 55317-2006, Phone: 866-217-3491, Web
site: http://www.abatixsettlement.comOR William D. Federman,  
Esq. of Federman & Sherwood, 120 N. Robinson Ave., Suite 270,
Oklahoma City, OK, 73102, Phone: (405) 235-1560.

ALCAN INC.: EU To Probe Insider Trading in 2003 Pechiney Deal
The European Commission intends to investigate allegations that
some of its officials participated in insider trading during
Canadian aluminum producer Alcan Inc.'s takeover of France's
Pechiney SA in 2003, Newsday reports.

The Financial Market Authority earlier sent a note to the Paris
prosecutor's office, asking about a possible European Commission
link to suspected insider trading, which involved about 11
million shares worth more than 5 million euros ($6 million), Le
Figaro newspaper reported.  Only the commission knew about the
deal during the trading dates in question, the report said.  

The names of seven European Union antitrust officials who were
aware of the deal several weeks before it was announced publicly
have been given to French investigators, said Jonathan Todd, the
EU's antitrust spokesman, Newsday reports.   The seven officials
continue to work on antitrust matters and the commission has "no
reason" to believe they were guilty of any offense, he said.

"The European Commission has fully cooperated with French
requests for information," Mr. Todd stated, adding that the EU
head office has been aware of the French investigation since
last August.  "There are no grounds to believe that the European
Commission was involved in insider trading. The commission has
dealt with over 3,500 mergers and there has not been a single
case of insider trading."

Financial Market Authority spokeswoman Charlotte Judet declined
to speak about the Le Figaro report, reports.

ARKANSAS: Overseer Says County's Refund Process Almost Complete
Benton County is halfway through the process of distributing
refunds of overpaid property taxes from the settlement of an 8-
year-old class action lawsuit, according to the special master
overseeing the refund process, The Morning News reports.

Duane Neal told the Morning News that though it's still a
struggle to find some people to deliver their checks, close to
$1 million of the checks have been cashed. He also pointed out
that approximately 154,000 refund checks were mailed in April
and May, and that 35,000 were returned by the post office
because people had moved, died or addresses were incomplete.

In addition, Mr. Neal said that county officials sorted and
cataloged the returned letters, which are being held for
collection in Room 210 of the County Administration Building in
Bentonville. Only refunds greater than $1 were processed though,
while for any checks not cashed, those dollars will be returned
to the county's general fund.

The settlement is connected to the class action lawsuit that
claims local school districts and governments violated Amendment
59 of the Arkansas Constitution by over collecting property
taxes between 1992 and 2003. The county opted to settle its
portion of the suit for $2.3 million.

According to Mr. Neal, "Most people are surprised the average
check is in the $5 to $7 range. They thought there would be
more. If you just owned a car and personal property, you're
probably not going to get a check at all."

He explains that those who owned a mid-range home for the period
are likely to get a check of $5 to $9. He also adds, "For people
who have quite a lot of property, it would be in the $40 to $60
range, but there are few of them."

Mr. Neal says that the biggest source of confusion is "what
we're working on now is the Benton County portion." Adding that,
"There hasn't been a settlement for the schools and cities --
that will come later and the judge will have to agree to the

Benton County Circuit Judge Tom Keith must approve the amount
and establish a process to distribute those refunds. A hearing
in the case is set for August 10, when the judge may give
preliminary approval with a final hearing set for September 22.

As previously reported in the February 22, 2005 edition of the
Class Action Reporter, the suit was filed in 1997 and alleges
that property owners in Benton County were overtaxed. According
to Dale Evans, one of the attorneys who filed the suit, as soon
as it was filed, property taxes in the county were considered
"paid under protest" allowing them to be questioned in court.

Taxes paid before then traditionally could not be challenged,
however attorneys are protesting that fact, and the state
Supreme Court in 2000 said they can pursue their argument: That
taxpayers had no way of knowing the assessments were illegal.

Attorneys Mr. Evans and E. Kent Hirsch both of whom filed the
lawsuit back in 1997 on behalf of taxpayers, claims local school
districts and governments violated Amendment 59 to the Arkansas
Constitution by over collecting property taxes for several years
in the 1990s. Amendment 59 limits the increase in property tax
revenue from reappraisals to 10 percent per year for each taxing
entity such as a school district or city. When a taxing entity's
revenue collection would increase more than 10 percent because
of property reappraisal, Amendment 59 triggers a mileage
rollback though the limit does not apply to increases resulting
from new construction or improvements.

Mr. Evans told the Springdale Morning News that representatives
of the Bentonville School District tentatively agreed to a $1.9
million settlement.

The remaining defendants -- the cities of Rogers and Lowell,
NorthWest Arkansas Community College and school districts in
Rogers, Bentonville, Siloam Springs and Gravette -- decided in
early April to settle their portions for $5.3 million.

For more details, contact Benton County, Phone: (479) 271-1099
or 366-0654 or visit their Web site:  

AT&T CORPORATION: Suit Settlement Hearing Set September 30, 2005
The Oklahoma District Court for Muskogee County will hold a
fairness hearing for the proposed settlement in the matter:
Bobby Gene Allen, et al., v. AT&T Corporation, Civil Action no.
CJ-99-2168 on behalf of all AT&T Residential Customers and
Business Customers in twenty-eight states for some period of
time between January 1, 1994 and April 12, 2005, who were
charged a city or municipal tax on AT&T long distance calls and
who, in fact, did not reside or maintain an office service
address within the city or municipal boundaries of such taxing
authority at the time such charges were assessed.

The fairness hearing will be held at 1:30 p.m. on September 30,
2005 at Oklahoma District Court for Muskogee County, Muskogee
County Courthouse, 220 State St., Muskogee, OK, 74401.

For more details, contact OCL Settlement Center, P.O. Box
130119, Dallas, TX, 75313-0019, Phone: 1-888-818-5717, E-mail:, Web site:

AUSTRALIA: 2 Liquor Retailers To Face Possible Antitrust Lawsuit
Two of Australia's major liquor retailers, Liquorland and
Woolworths, face a class action, charging them with
anticompetitive behavior, the Australian Broadcasting
Corporation (ABC) News reports.

Earlier, Australia Federal Court ordered Liquorland to pay a
$4.75 million fine after it pled guilty to anticompetitive
behavior.  A similar suit is pending before the Australian
Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) against Woolworths.

Ben Slade of the Melbourne law firm Maurice Blackburn Cashman is
proposing the class action, stating that some hotel and bottle
shop owners say they are between $500,000 and $2 million out of
pocket because of the alleged conduct of the big retailers.  
Mr. Slade told ABC news he is also disappointed authorities have
not sought redress for the affected small business people, while
pursuing the anti-competitive claims.

"Nothing is done to ensure that the compensation is paid to the
victims of that conduct," he said.  "It just seems a shame to us
that the ACCC and ASIC won't take that further step to ensure
compensation is paid."

He told ABC News that if the damages claim proceeds, it could be
costly for both companies.  "The people that we've talked to so
far believe that their damages are between $500,000 and $2
million," he said.  "One person is saying just under $2 million
. We're not sure if that's right, it will require some expertise
and fairly careful analysis of their business practices and what
the business would have been like if they had been given an
unrestricted license."

CARDIAC SCIENCE: Reaches Settlement For Suits V. Quinton Merger
Cardiac Science, Inc. (Nasdaq: DFIB), a leading manufacturer of
life-saving automatic public-access defibrillators, has executed
a memorandum of understanding with plaintiffs' class counsel to
dismiss the class action lawsuit pending in the Delaware
Chancery Court.  The lawsuits related to the Company's proposed
merger with Quinton Cardiology Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: QUIN).

Several suits were initially filed against the Company, alleging
that the board breached its fiduciary obligations with respect
to the transaction by failing to negotiate for sufficient
compensation for the Company, as opposed to the compensation
received by Quinton and engaging in self-dealing because the
senior note holders purportedly are entitled to receive more
than their fair share in the Mergers, as opposed to the common
stockholders.  The complaints seek, inter alia, an injunction
enjoining the proposed Mergers, rescissionary damages if the
Mergers are completed, and an order that the board hold an
auction to obtain our best value, an earlier Class Action
Reporter story (April 26,2005) reports.

Plaintiffs' class counsel has agreed to withdraw their motion
for preliminary injunction and release all parties associated
with the transaction regarding disclosure claims involving the
merger.  Counsel for an institutional shareholder in a related
case has also entered into the same agreement.  In addition,
plaintiffs' class counsel in the Delaware class action has
agreed to dismiss all remaining damage claims without prejudice.  
In exchange for such agreements, the Company agreed to make
additional disclosures in its registration statement on Form S-4
filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in connection
with the proposed merger transaction.  A final settlement
agreement is subject to approval by the Delaware Chancery Court.

For more details, contact Rene Caron (Investors), Allen & Caron,
Inc. by Phone: 949-474-4300 or by E-mail: or; or contact Roderick de Greef and Len Hall,
EVP and CFO, Cardiac Science, Inc. by Phone: (949) 797-3800

CARDSYSTEMS SOLUTIONS: Faces First Suit Over Credit Card Breach
The Rothken Law Firm initiated a class action lawsuit on behalf
of California credit card holders and merchants against
Cardsystems Solutions, Inc. and others alleging a failure to
maintain adequate data security, which led to a security breach
exposing over 40 million credit card holders to potential fraud.

The suit, filed in San Francisco Superior Court, alleges that
Cardsystems Solutions was negligent for failing to adequately
secure consumers' credit card data, and for breaking Visa and
MasterCard "Data Security Standards" which prohibit storing
certain kinds of confidential consumer information.

The lawsuit alleges that Cardsystems Solutions, Merrick Bank,
Visa and MasterCard have violated their duty to timely and
properly inform consumers of the nature and degree of the
alleged security breach. The suit claims that these violations
constitute "unfair, unlawful and deceptive business practices"
under California's Unfair Competition Law.

The lawsuit seeks a declaration from the Court that Cardsystems
violated the standard of care in its data security methods and
that cardholders are entitled to notice of the nature and extent
their private credit card data was compromised and on-going
credit monitoring to prevent fraud.

"There are strong privacy laws and public policies in California
protecting consumers' confidential financial information --
consumers, in our view, have the right to be immediately
informed if the privacy and security of their credit card
information have been violated so they can make an informed
decision on whether to change account numbers or take some other
prompt remedial action," said Ira Rothken, counsel for the
consumer and merchant class plaintiffs.

For more details, contact Ira P. Rothken, Esq. of the Rothken
Law Firm, Phone: 415-924-4250, E-mail:,
Web sites: http://www.techfirm.comor

CHEVRON CORPORATION: Supreme Court to Review Gas Operators' Case
The Supreme Court is considering whether to dismiss a lawsuit
accusing Chevron Corporation and Shell Oil Co. of improperly
inflating gas prices in the late 1990s, The Associated Press

Court documents revealed that justices in October, the court's
next term, would review a lower court ruling that allowed the
class action lawsuit by 23,000 gas station owners to proceed.
The lawsuit accuses Shell and Texaco, now part of Chevron, of
setting up two joint ventures in 1998 to illegally fix gas

Previously, the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit of Appeals
ruled that the suit should go to trial because of evidence
suggesting the venture unfairly restrained trade. In its ruling,
the court noted that when crude oil was at historic lows of $10
to $12 a barrel, the ventures increased the Shell and Texaco
brands by 40 cents a gallon in Los Angeles and by 30 cents in
Seattle and Portland, Ore.

The ventures, Motiva Enterprises and Equilon Enterprises,
operated from 1998 to 2001, when Texaco sold its stake to win
approval of its purchase of Chevron. During that time, however,
Texaco and Shell continued to maintain separate brand names and
competed for customers "at the pump," according to the ruling.

Attorneys for the gas station operators stated that distributors
paid $1 billion or more in excessive charges, which they will
seek to recoup. Consumers, though, may not be eligible for any

CONSUMER REWARDS: ND AG Issues Cease-And-Desist Order V. Fraud
North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem issued on June
3,2005 a Cease and Desist Order against a California business,
Consumer Rewards Network, and its affiliates Mega Movie Club,
Health Net and Net Forever.

Consumer Rewards Network is believed to be engaging in deceptive
telephone solicitations in North Dakota. The company has been
calling consumers claiming they were from Wal-Mart and offering
consumers vouchers for Wal-Mart shopping sprees worth up to
$500, in return for which the consumer agrees to pay a nominal
fee by automatic bank withdrawal. The consumers were asked for
bank account information and to authorize automatic withdrawal.
Consumer Rewards used the account information to commit the
consumer to various additional and automatic charges for movie
and health services. Wal-Mart has not authorized the calls, or
any vouchers for shopping sprees, and is not affiliated with the
bogus solicitations.

"This is not a legitimate offer by Wal-Mart and anyone receiving
one of these calls should not agree to purchase and should not
under any circumstances provide bank account or other personal
information. Once a business has a consumer's bank account
information, it can control the account. The business can make
many withdrawals or simply empty the account before a consumer
realizes it," cautioned Mr. Stenehjem.

In response to complaints, Mr. Stenehjem's Consumer Protection
Division investigated Consumer Rewards Network and its
affiliates. The investigation exposed the companies' fraudulent
practices and prompted Mr. Stenehjem to issue the Cease and
Desist Order prohibiting the company from conducting business in
North Dakota.  Violations of the order subject the business to
civil penalties up to $1,000 per violation of the Order. The
solicitations also are violations of the consumer fraud law and
could result in civil penalties up to $5,000 per violation.

For more details, contact the Attorney General's Consumer
Protection Division toll-free by Phone: 1-800-472-2600.

DISCOVER BANK: CA Cardholder Fraud Lawsuit Back to Appeals Court
The California Supreme Court ruled in the lawsuit filed against
Discover Bank in Los Angeles Superior Court in California,
saying that corporations could not always require Californians
to give up their right to pursue consumer complaints on a class
action or group basis, CBS 5 reports.

In its ruling the court stated that "at least under some
circumstances," arbitration clauses prohibiting class-wide
resolutions of complaints and allowing only individual claims
are "unconscionable under California law" and cannot be

Credit card holder Christopher Boehr filed the suit, claiming
that that the bank deceived card holders because it allegedly
said it would not impose a $29 late payment fee if it received
payment by a certain date, but in fact did charge the fee if the
payment arrived after 1 p.m. on that date. He is thus seeking to
pursue the claim as a nationwide class action on behalf of an
estimated 25 million Discover Card holders who sometimes pay
late fees.

Court documents revealed that the bank's contract with consumers
requires that complaints be taken to arbitration and also
forbids any consolidation or class action consideration of
individual claims being arbitrated.

Though the state high court did not reject the entire
arbitration agreement, it did state that being forced to give up
a class action within the arbitration is unconscionable under
California law in certain situations involving amounts of money
that are individually small but large group-wide.

Justice Carlos Moreno wrote that those circumstances include
cases where a large company is alleged to have "carried out a
scheme to deliberately cheat large numbers of consumers out of
individually small sums of money." He also noted that class
actions have historically been used in California as a way of
punishing fraudulent conduct that costs individual consumers
only a small amount but brings a company a large amount of
profit from all consumers.

In ruling, the high court essentially sent the case back to a
state Court of Appeal panel in Los Angeles to consider whether
Mr. Boehr's lawsuit should be arbitrated under California law or
the law of Delaware, where Discover Bank is headquartered.

Mr. Boehr's lawyer, Brian Strange, told CBS 5, "The court's
ruling enforced the strong public policy in using class actions
to deter wrongdoing." He also added, "Consumers still have the
right to pursue class action remedies when corporations are
taking small amounts from large groups of people."

Mr. Strange also told CBS 5 that the use of arbitration
agreements barring class actions has increased in recent years
on the part of credit card companies, rental car firms and
telephone companies.

Julia Strickland, a lawyer for Discover Bank, which is a
subsidiary of Morgan Stanley, told CBS 5 that the attorneys for
the company could not comment because case was sent back to the
appeals court and is still pending.

The case is styled, Discover Bank v. Superior Court of Los
Angeles, S113725.

DRAM FIRMS: Memory Firms Face DRAM Antitrust Lawsuit in N.D. CA
Several computer dynamic random access memory (DRAM)
manufacturers face a class action filed in the United States
District Court for the Northern District of California, alleging
that the firms conspired to fix prices on DRAM, the Inquirer
reports.  Petro Computer Systems and other plaintiffs filed the
suit against:

     (1) Elpida,

     (2) Hynix,

     (3) Infineon,

     (4) Mosel Vitelic,

     (5) Nanya,

     (6) NEC,

     (7) Samsung,

     (8) Winbond and

     (9) Micron

The court dockets are not yet available, but the complaint looks
similar to the one filed by British manufacturer Centerprise in
Philadelphia last month against virtually the same firms.  The
suit alleges all these firms are part of a long running
international conspiracy beginning 1st July 1999 and running to
30th of June 2002, the aim being to fix prices, eliminate and
suppress competition, and "committing other unlawful and
unconscionable practices designed to inflate and stabilise" the
prices of DRAM around the world.  The suit further alleges that
the prices exceeded those which would have been levied if DRAM
was decided by a competitive market.

EASY REALTY: PA AG Reaches Agreement For Real Estate Fraud Suit
The operator of an Allegheny County, Pennsylvania rent-to-own
real estate business will pay $17,000 in restitution, fines and
investigation costs following claims that they failed to fully
disclose all terms of the contracts with consumers and used
misleading sales tactics to encourage potential buyers to move
into the homes, Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett
announced in a statement dated June 8,2005.  The business will
also pay restitution to eligible consumers who come forward and
file complaints with Mr. Corbett's Office before July 10, 2005.

Mr. Corbett said his Bureau of Consumer Protection reached a
legal agreement in Commonwealth Court with James C. Platts,
President and Secretary of Easy Realty Solutions Inc., P.O. Box
1168, Wexford, Allegheny County, to resolve alleged violations
of Pennsylvania's Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection

Investigators said the company through 2005 entered into
contracts with consumers allowing them to rent homes, throughout
western Pennsylvania, with the option to buy. Many consumers who
signed contracts typically had poor credit ratings and were
unable to obtain financing to purchase a home.  Under the terms
of the rent-to-own agreements, consumers were required to pay
Easy Realty a non-refundable down payment ranging from $3,500 to
five percent of the total sales price to reserve the option to
purchase the home.

The business was investigated following complaints that the
terms of the "option to buy" agreement failed to disclose, that
through no fault of their own, consumers' properties could be
sold, foreclosed upon or put up for sheriff's sale.

In one case, Mr. Corbett said an Allegheny County woman paid
$8,000 for an option to purchase the property that she was
renting from Easy Realty. Much to her surprise, the home was
sold at a sheriff's sale and she received a notice stating that
she had 10 days to vacate the home.

In another case, an Allegheny County couple claimed that they
were given properties in an "as is" condition and were required
to accept full responsibility for all the maintenance and
repairs of the property.

"We heard from consumers who were current on their payments and
from those who unfortunately defaulted on their rent-to-own
properties," Mr. Corbett said. "In both cases, we believe the
harm to these potential home buyers was excessive. This
agreement clarifies what is expected under state law and offers
refunds to those who lost their deposits or other funds in these

Mr. Corbett said Mr. Platts and his business were also accused

     (1) Failing to provide consumers remedies in the event that
         they are forced to vacate the properties if the homes
         are sold, foreclosed upon or put up for sheriff's sale
         due to the actions of third parties.

     (2) Requiring consumers to continue to make increased
         rental payments even though with default, the consumers
         forfeited their option to purchase the property.

     (3) Failing to make any warranties regarding the condition
         of the rent-to-own properties.

     (4) Failing to provide consumers with a copy of the
         "Seller's Disclosure" before signing rent-to-own
         agreements, plus failing to advise consumers in writing
         that they have a right to have an independent home
         inspection prior to entering into the rent-to-own

     (5) Falsely referring to Easy Realty as the
         "Seller/Landlord" in agreements signed by consumers
         when Easy Realty is not the property owner.

     (6) Failing to record the Option to Purchase Agreement with
         the local Recorder of Deeds or similar governmental

     (7) Falsely advertising that its rent-to-own programs
         "puts you in legal control of a property for a
         specified period of time without having to actually own
         the property."

     (8) Subjecting consumers to an excessive $100 per day
         penalty for late rental payments.

Mr. Platts and the company are permanently barred from operating
in violation of the Consumer Protection Law and other applicable
state laws. In addition, the parties agree to pay $13,000 in
restitution to consumers who filed complaints claiming that they
were misled by the terms and conditions of the rent-to-own
agreements. The court settlement also requires payment of more
than $4,000 in civil penalties and the Commonwealth's
investigation costs.

Mr. Corbett encouraged consumers who suspect that they are
entitled to restitution in this case to contact his office
before July 10, 2005. Consumers can obtain a complaint form by
calling 1-800-441-2555 or by visiting the Website:  

The legal agreement was filed in Commonwealth Court. The case is
being handled by Deputy Attorney General Amy L. Schulman of
Corbett's Bureau of Consumer Protection in Pittsburgh.

EXXON MOBIL: To Pay $1.3B in Damages in Gas Owners Fraud Lawsuit
Exxon Mobil Corporation might pay as much as $1.3 billion in
damages to gas station owners, after the United States Supreme
Court affirmed the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals' decision
in the Exxon dealer "Discount for Cash" class action, styled
"Allapattah Services, Inc. et al. v. Exxon Corporation, Case No.
04-70," the Houston Chronicle reports.

The suit was filed on behalf of current or former direct-served
gas station dealers who owned or operated an Exxon service
station between March 1, 1983 and August 28, 1994.  The dispute
centered on the Company's August 1982 "discount for cash"
program, which promised station owners a price reduction to
offset a new fee on credit-card sales.  The suit alleges that
the Company overcharged the plaintiffs for the wholesale price
of motor fuel for eleven years and then fraudulently concealed
the charges.  The law firm of Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler
Alhadeff & Sitterson, P.A. represents the class, an earlier
Class Action Reporter story (June 17,2005) states.

The United States District Court in Miami, Florida ruled in
favor of the plaintiffs, which the Company appealed.  The
Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals later affirmed the verdict and
orders of the trial court.  The Company appealed to the Supreme
Court, which accepted review only on the limited question of
whether the trial court had jurisdiction over individual class
member claims worth less than $50,000 at the time the case was
filed in 1991.

The high court ruled last week that the claims of 11,000 station
owners were properly included in a single class action lawsuit
in Miami, rejecting the Company's bid for a new trial.  The 5-4
ruling will have limited application beyond the Company dispute
because a federal law enacted in February will govern future
class actions.

The award will be the largest the Company has ever paid as a
result of a jury verdict.  The Company, based in Irving, took an
after-tax charge of $550 million last year to cover part of the
damages in the case, the Houston Chronicle reports.

The market factored in a decision against the company since
Exxon Mobil took the charge, Gene Pisasale, who helps manage $33
billion in investments at Wilmington Trust Corp. in Wilmington,
Del., including 8.6 million Exxon Mobil shares, told the
Chronicle.  "Investors had been expecting this," he said.

Exxon Mobil is disappointed by the ruling, a company spokeswoman
said in an e-mailed statement, according to the Chronicle.  "We
continue to believe that Exxon Mobil operated its discount for
cash program in good faith and met its obligations in the best
interest of our dealers and customers," company spokeswoman Prem
Nair said in the statement.  "This case has never been clear-

The Company argued that the case shouldn't have included station
owners who were seeking less than $50,000, which at the time was
the threshold for certain types of stand-alone federal suits.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the court, said the trial
judge properly exercised "supplemental jurisdiction" over those
claims because they were attached to larger claims.

The suit was originally filed in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of Florida and is styled
"Allapattah Services, Inc., et al. v. Exxon Corporation," case
no. 04-70.   

GLAXOSMITHKLINE PLC: Returns Antidepressant Paxil CR To Market
Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline PLC returned its
controversial antidepressant Paxil CR to the market, almost four
months after federal officials seized the drug from three
factories for failing to meet manufacturing standards, Newsday

In March, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials seized
both drugs from the Tennessee distribution facility and
manufacturing and distribution plant in Puerto Rico.  According
to the FDA, the tablets could be split apart, potentially
leaving portions without the active ingredient or controlled-
release characteristic.  Some Avandamet tables didn't have the
correct dose of one active ingredient.   While federal
regulators did not believe the seized drugs posed a significant
threat to patients' health, they wanted to halt distribution
until problems could be corrected.  The drugs were taken after
an incomplete recall by the Company in February.

The Company said it has identified and fixed the source of
manufacturing problems at its Knoxville, Tennessee and Cidra,
Puerto Rico facilities.  The improvements were certified by a
third party.  

Paxil tablets are now available in U.S. pharmacies and other
markets around the globe will soon stock them as well, the
Company told Newsday.  Avandamet will return to distribution
within two weeks, the company said. Avandamet treats Type II
diabetes while Paxil treats depression and panic disorder.

GOLD LINE: Group Files Claim For Noise Standards Implementation
A citizens' group submitted a government claim against the
Federal Transportation Administration (FTA) which demands that
the FTA and California agencies responsible for the Metro Gold
Line Light Rail implement Federal noise and vibration standards
for the entire Gold Line.  Failure to apply those Federal
standards universally could result in a lawsuit by the citizens'
group for $220 million in damages and a halt to the expansion of
the Gold Line into San Gabriel Valley east of the current
terminus in Arcadia.

Odom Stamps, Mayor of South Pasadena, expressed his concern and
is taking great strides to work with the parties to bridge the
gap between local concerns and the regional issues facing
California and the FTA.  "The Gold Line segments in South
Pasadena and Los Angeles don't meet the Federal standards that
will be used on the expanded line.  (A citizens' group) has
already filed a Federal claim. My goal, working with those
residents, the City Council, and other elected state and Federal
officials, is to urge adoption of the same standards here in
South Pasadena. If we can reach consensus on bringing the
current line up to those standards everyone will save millions
in legal costs and funding delays, and the whole region will get
the streetcar we desire," Mayor Stamps said in a statement.

South Pasadena recently made additional comments on the Draft
Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed extension of the
Metro Gold Line Light Rail project (Phase II Foothill
Extension).  The impact of those comments is starting to
resonate well beyond the small city of 25,000 and could impact
rail transportation throughout all of Los Angeles. The first
domino fell when PAMRC (the citizens' group, the Pasadena Avenue
Monterey Road Committee) submitted its government claim to the
FTA making a similar segmentation argument: segmenting the Gold
Line into three phases (Phase I, the East Side Extension, and
Phase II) to avoid the application of Federal environmental
criteria on impacts caused by the entire line's usage is illegal
under both state and Federal law.

The overall concern is that the expanded Gold Line will be
subject to a patch-work of environmental criteria that will
allow its builders to save money (and avoid more stringent
environmental review) on the mitigation of vibration and sound
by treating the phases of the Gold Line as separate projects.

South Pasadena's Mayor Stamps added, "We are not seeking to stop
the Gold Line, but only to make it live up to the same standards
that our neighbors in East L.A. and the rest of the (San
Gabriel) Valley will enjoy. It's a matter of fundamental

Earlier this year South Pasadena, the Los Angeles Metro Transit
Authority, and the state agency in charge of the construction of
the Gold Line worked out an arrangement that will significantly
reduce noise and vibration problems along the Gold Line as it
runs through South Pasadena. And, several South Pasadena
residents, including some members of PAMRC, affected by the
noise and vibration of the Gold Line have filed a class action
for inverse condemnation arising from the Gold Line's alleged
effect on their properties.

For more information on the settlement agreement and other Gold
Line issues, residents and others interested are encouraged to
visit and register for email updates at the Website:
http://www.streetcarwedesire.comor contact South Pasadena City  
Hall by Phone: (626) 403-7214.  Also contact Karen Heit,
Transportation Manager, City of South Pasadena, by Phone:

HYTRIN LITIGATION: ND Residents To Participate in Antitrust Pact
North Dakota consumers who purchased the brand-name prescription
medication Hytrin may be eligible for refunds from a $30.7-
million nationwide settlement agreement, state Attorney General
Wayne Stenehjem announced in a statement dated June 8,2005.

Hytrin is used in the treatment of hypertension and enlarged
prostate.  According to a federal lawsuit, Abbott Laboratories,
which manufactures Hytrin, paid Geneva Pharmaceuticals to delay
introduction of its generic version of the drug.  Under the
settlement agreement, which is still subject to final court
approval, Abbott and Geneva will pay $28.7 million for consumers
and third-party payers in North Dakota and 17 other states.

Consumers who purchased terazosin products between October 15,
1995, and March 7, 2005 may request a refund. The refund amount
will depend on how many consumers file claims against the
settlement fund. Consumers can obtain claim forms from the
settlement website at:;by  
calling the settlement administrator toll-free at 1-877-886-
0283; or by writing to the settlement administrator at:
In re Terazosin Hydrochloride Antitrust Litigation, c/o Complete
Claim Solutions, Inc., P.O. Box 24607, West Palm Beach, FL
33416. Claims forms must be mailed to the settlement
administrator's address no later than July 15, 2005.

The settlement applies to consumers and third-party payers in
Alabama, California, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Michigan,
Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North
Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia
and Wisconsin.  

ION GROUP: Law Firm Seeks Investors To Join Lawsuit V. Collapse
Small investors in Australian firm Ion group are being invited
to participate in a class action against the auto parts company,
in order for them to reclaim part of the former value of their
investments, The Advertiser reports.

Administrators McGrathNicol and Partners told shareholders on
June 17 they would not receive any distribution for their
shares.  However, listed litigation company IMF (Australia)
announced on Friday it would fund claims by Ion shareholders to
help recoup their losses.

IMF Managing Director John Walker said it was retail "mum and
dad" investors who usually carried the burden of corporate
collapses, the Advertiser reports.  "Institutional investors
spread the risk around through super funds and managed funds
while the loss weighs heavily on smaller investors," Mr. Walker
said yesterday.

The IMF case would claim recovery of loss and damages sustained
by shareholders as a result of Ion's collapse. This was "on the
basis that between October 20, 2003, and December 7, 2004 (the
date voluntary administrators were appointed), Ion engaged in
misleading or deceptive conduct and breached the continuous
disclosure provisions of the Corporations Act by failing to keep
the market fully informed," the Advertiser reports.

LOS GALLEGUITO: Recalls Sausages Due To Listeria Contamination
Los Galleguito, a Union City, N.J., firm, is voluntarily
recalling approximately 720 pounds of Spanish sausage that may
be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, the U.S. Department
of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)

Subject to recall are 8-ounce packages of "Los galleguitos
four sausages and bears the code "021606."  The establishment
code, "EST. 5447" is printed inside the USDA mark of inspection.
The sausages were packaged on June 16, 2005 and were distributed
through retail stores in Florida.

The problem was discovered through routine FSIS microbial
sampling. FSIS has received no reports of illnesses associated
with consumption of these products.

Consumption of food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes can
cause listeriosis, an uncommon but potentially fatal disease.
Healthy people rarely contract listeriosis. However, listeriosis
can cause high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness and
nausea.  Listeriosis can lead to miscarriages and stillbirths,
as well as serious and sometimes fatal infections in infants,
the elderly and persons with compromised immune systems.

Media and consumers with questions about the recall should
contact company owner Frank Torres at (201) 865-7232.  Consumers
with food safety questions can phone the toll-free USDA Meat and
Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854). The hotline
is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from l0
a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded
food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.

LOUISIANA: Court Mulls Certification For Lawsuit v Shreveport
Louisiana's Second Circuit Court of Appeals heard the city of
Shreveport's appeal over class certification for the lawsuit
filed against it, alleging that city money meant for a
Shreveport public park was diverted for other purposes, the
Associated Press reports.

John Milkovich filed the suit on behalf of city voters, who
approved $5 million for development of a public park on Cross
Bayou in downtown Shreveport.  The suit alleges that the money
was diverted to other projects, including the city's $100
million dollar convention center and a parking lot catering to a
strip club's customers.  

A lawyer for the city says the lawsuit should not be awarded
class-action action status. Neil Erwin says making the suit a
class action would pit the city against 70,000 of its own
citizens.  The three-judge Second Circuit panel is expected to
rule within the next two months, AP reports.

LOUISIANA: City Asks For Dismissal of Lawsuit Over Strip Club
Attorneys representing the city of Shreveport in the ongoing
legal battle surrounding city's Deja Vu strip club are asking
the three-member panel of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals,
which is composed of Judges James Stewart, Sr., Gay Gaskins and
D. Milton Moore III, to throw out the class action lawsuit,
filed on behalf of taxpayers, KSLA-TV reports

According to Neil Erwin, the city's lead attorney on the case,
"The trial court erred in certifying a class action in this

In the original lawsuit, the plaintiffs are claiming that the
city of Shreveport misused money designated for a downtown park,
instead, the city built a parking lot on the site and allowed
the DeJa Vu strip club to open up across the street, which uses
the lot in question. Additionally, because of the club's
proximity to that site, the plaintiffs are claiming that the
land is no longer legally suitable for a park. The suit calls
for Deja Vu to be shut down and for taxpayers to get a refund.  
The plaintiffs' attorney, John Milkovich, even told the judges,
"The city violated its own ordinances in about 20 respects."  

However, the city's attorney argued that the class action case
is unnecessary and premature. Mr. Erwin said that there are
other legal questions that need to be answered first. He adds,
"We think they have to resolve their own zoning and
administrative claims before we ever reach this class warfare,
or the class action."

Mr. Milkovich, though, sees it as an issue that shouldn't have
to wait saying, "We believe that community leaders and pastors
leaders should have a right to go to court to say, 'Look. This
is wrong. We're speaking on behalf of many members of the

Ultimately, though, it's what the three judges have to say that
will determine whether this case ever has its day in court. The
arguments that were presented are only a portion of what the
judges, who are expected to announce their decision in a couple
of months, will use.

LOUISIANA: Shrimpers Say New Lagasse Shrimp Product Substandard
Louisiana shrimpers criticized popular TV chef Emeril Lagasse's
new line of frozen shrimp, saying that it was below expected
quality, Newsday reports.

Mr. Lagasse's product, named "Emeril's Louisiana Shrimp," aims
to lift the "Wild American Shrimp" to the same cuisine status as
Burgundy grapes or Angus beef.  This product was seen as crucial
to a government-backed program to brand Gulf of Mexico shrimp as
superior to the inexpensive, pond-raised imports that now
comprise 87 percent of the U.S. market.  

However, some shrimpers criticized the product, saying it did
not live up to the "Wild American Shrimp" logo or the Commerce
Department's certification as top-of-the-catch U.S Grade A.

"It wasn't the quality of shrimp that I thought Emeril would be
packing," Byron Despaux, a Barataria fisherman and member of the
Louisiana Shrimp Association told Newsday. "There were broken
tails, some pieces and some black spots."

"Believe me, it's junk" Pete Gerica, president of the Lake
Pontchartrain Fishermen's Association, told Newsday on
Wednesday. "I wanted to see a quality product so we could move
Louisiana's share of the market at a higher price."

Mr. Lagasse has a show on cable's Food Network and made his name
as chef at New Orleans' Commander's Palace restaurant.  He
declined to comment, however, his spokeswoman, Mimi Rice Duncan,
said in a statement, that the company is committed to providing
top-quality products.  "We continually review each lot
inspection, and to date have maintained a consistent, high-
quality rating," the statement said, according to Newsday.

Craig Borges, co-owner of the New Orleans Fish House and Mr.
Lagasse's distributor, said Lagasse's shrimp was top grade, but
that supermarkets may have damaged the shrimp.  "Once we ship
them from our plants and ship them to market, we lose control of
them," he said, according to Newsday. "I don't have control if
grocery store freezers aren't working."

Prompted by complaints, the Wild American Shrimp campaign took
samples of the Emeril shrimp and found some of it beneath its
standards.  "Some samples were not of the quality we wanted to
get out to the consumer, but it was not severe enough for a
recall," said Eddie Gordon, the campaign's executive director.  
He told Newsday the campaign has asked the Commerce Department
to step up inspections of shrimp it certifies as Grade A.

In the meantime, some Louisiana shrimpers say Lagasse's less-
than-stellar product shows that Louisiana needs its own
certification program.  Louisiana State University is developing
one such program, Newsday reports.

"We've got to get some assurance programs in place that
guarantee our buyers and consumers the right stuff," said Harlon
Pearce, a processor and chairman of the Louisiana Seafood
Promotion and Marketing Board. "When it says Louisiana on the
box, it's got to be that."

MAGNETIC IDEAS: NM Attorney General Files Consumer Fraud Lawsuit
New Mexico Attorney General Patricia Madrid filed a motion in
Bernalillo District Court asking for a judgment on restitution
and civil penalties against Magnetic Ideas and C. Gene Abbott.  
The motion asks for almost $86,000 in restitution, plus $740,000
in civil penalties.

Attorney General Madrid said, "We have identified 74 New
Mexicans around the state who lost almost $86,000.  Magnetic
Ideas would regularly entice consumers, usually targeting senior
citizens, by offering free dinners at popular local restaurants.  
Once they made their high-pressure sales pitch and had the
consumer's money in their pocket, the company left town.  
Consumers unhappy with the merchandise found that they couldn't
return it or obtain a refund. We filed a lawsuit against this
business in 2002.  Our action must have sent a strong message:
since filing the lawsuit we have not had a single complaint
about this type of business."

Ms. Madrid's motion provides for the $85,979.90 in restitution
to be deposited in a trust held by her office.  Once the company
pays this amount plus interest, the Attorney General's office
will contact affected consumers and notify them of the
opportunity to receive recovery within a 30-day period.  Funds
unclaimed by consumers will remain in trust with the Attorney
General's office to by used for consumer protection education
efforts.  The $85,979.90 amount is the exact amount of sales
made by Magnetic Ideas in 2002 to New Mexico consumers.

Albuquerque resident Mr. Horacio Montoya and his wife purchased
a magnetic seat cushion for his vehicle from Magnetic Ideas and
paid $129.  He later attempted to return the product and get a
refund, but the company refused to accept his return and refund
his money.  Mr. Montoya said, "This lawsuit is a good thing for
New Mexico to prevent this business from hurting other people.  
It would be nice to get our money back, but I hope word gets out
about this business to other people so that they won't get
burned like we did."

Another Albuquerque resident, Ms. Marcia Hahn, attended a
presentation by Magnetic Ideas and decided to purchase a twin-
size magnetic mattress cover.  She paid $798 for the cover and
received "a gift" of two magnetic pillows.  After using the
products for the suggested 180 days, she wasn't satisfied and
attempted to return the merchandise, which the company refused.  
Ms. Hahn said she was upset because of the company's
"unscrupulous way they went about presenting and selling their
product.  I do appreciate the Attorney General's Office for
going after them.  I was happy to cooperate in the lawsuit
because I would be doing this on principle so [the company]
wouldn't be doing this to others."

In 2002, Magnetic Ideas solicited and offered free dinner
presentations inviting the public to attend a sales presentation
for magnetic pads. The dinner presentations were held at local
restaurants in various cities around New Mexico. The company
claimed that their magnetic pads would relieve pain, restore
energy and improve sleep.  They also claimed consumers who used
their magnetic pads would have certain health ailments cured.  A
100% satisfaction warranty on the pads was provided if the
buyers would try the product for six months.

At the time of the sale, Magnetic Ideas gave the buyers other
items "free" as promotional items for purchasing the magnetic
pads. But once buyers who were not totally satisfied with the
pads attempted to return them, Magnetic Ideas only partially
refunded the amount the consumer paid and would often deduct the
cost of the so-called "free item."  The company claimed that the
buyer could no longer get the promotional items free and that
they had to pay for them. When the consumers offered to return
the promotional items, the company responded that the
promotional items were not returnable.

Ms. Madrid filed a lawsuit against Magnetic Ideas and its owner
C. Gene Abbott in 2002, which alleged that these sales are door-
to-door sales and that a three-day notice of cancellation was
not given to the buyers.  The company agreed not to make any
other sale in New Mexico following the lawsuit.  At the time,
the Attorney General's Office was aware of at least eleven
different companies selling `magnetic pads.' Since the filing of
the lawsuit, the office has not received any more complaints
about this type of business.

For more details, contact Sam Thompson by Phone: (505) 222-9174
or visit the Website:

MICROMUSE INC.: Settles Consolidated Securities, Derivative Suit
Micromuse Inc. (Nasdaq: MUSE), the leading provider of ultra-
scalable, realtime business and service assurance software,
reached an agreement to settle the consolidated securities class
action entitled In Re: Micromuse Inc. Securities Litigation,
Case No. C-04-0136 SBA, pending in the U.S. District Court for
the Northern District of California against the Company and a
number of the Company's current and former officers and related
to the Company's restated financial statements filed May 17,
2004. In addition, the Company settled a related shareholder
derivative suit, Sutterfield v. Carney et al., Case No. C-04-
0893 SBA, pending in the same court.

Under the proposed settlement, the lawsuits will be terminated
in exchange for a payment that will have no material adverse
financial impact on the Company, as it will be covered largely
by the Company's insurance policies. This settlement has been
reached with no admission of liability by any party and has been
entered into to avoid costly and time-consuming litigation by
all parties. All parties have agreed to expeditiously seek the
required court approvals of the settlement. As part of the
settlement, the Company made no admission of wrongdoing.

For more details, contact Allison Parker, Investor Relations of
Micromuse Inc., Phone: 415-343-7640, E-mail: OR Nicole Fortenberry, Public
Relations of Micromuse Inc., Phone: 212-895-8732, E-mail:

MILBERG WEISS: Mentioned in Lawsuit V. CA Lawyer Over Kickbacks
In a move that brings a three-year federal probe to the door of
one of the leading U.S. securities law firms, former California
entertainment lawyer Seymour Lazar was charged with taking
illegal kickbacks to act as a plaintiff in dozens of corporate
class action lawsuits launched by Milberg Weiss Bershad &
Schulman, The Reuters News Agency reports.

The 66-page indictment, which was recently handed down by a
federal grand jury in Los Angeles, comes as prosecutors try to
make a case that Milberg Weiss improperly paid plaintiffs to
file suits against publicly traded companies.

Although the indictment against former California lawyer only
names "a New York law firm with principal offices in New York
and California" as the source of the kickbacks he is alleged to
have taken, the cases that were listed in the indictment were
filed by Milberg Weiss.

A spokeswoman for the law firm told Reuters last week that
Milberg Weiss was subpoenaed in connection with the
investigation and "has complied completely with the government."

The indictment, which also names Palm Springs lawyer Paul T.
Selzer as a defendant, describes a scheme in which Mr. Lazar or
one of his family members agreed to serve as lead plaintiff for
a share of the attorney fees. It also stated that Mr. Lazar
collected at least $2.4 million in "secret and illegal kickback
payments" from the law firm through Mr. Selzer and others.

The federal probe into allegations against Milberg Weiss, which
once dominated class action law in the United States, accounting
for 85% of all such suits filed in California and 60% elsewhere
in 2001, came to light in January 2002, when a flurry of
subpoenas went out to scores of lawyers and stockbrokers from
major firms and plaintiffs who had participated in Milberg Weiss

In a statement, Milberg Weiss said that although the indictment
did not name the firm, it "unfairly implicates the firm in the
wrongdoing alleged against Mr. Lazar."

The 1995 Private Securities Litigation Reform Act, which was
drafted with Milberg Weiss in mind, limits plaintiffs to no more
than five class actions in three years.

NBR ANTITRUST: Lawsuit Settlement Hearing Set September 9, 2005
The United States District Court for the Western District of
Pennsylvania will hold a fairness hearing for the proposed $3.5
million settlement with defendants ParaTec Elastomers L.L.C. and
DESC S.A. de C.V. in the matter: In Re NBR Antitrust Litigation,
Civil Action No. 03-1898 on behalf of all individuals or
entities (excluding government entities) who directly purchased
NBR in the United States or form a facility located in the
United States from any defendant from January 1, 1995 to June
30, 2003.

The hearing will be held in the United States Post Office and
Courthouse, Seventh Ave., and Grant St., Room 1036, Pittsburgh,
PA 15219, at 10:00 a.m., on September 9, 2005.

For more details, contact In Re NBR Antitrust Litigation
(Paratec/DESC) c/o Gilardi & Co., LLC by Mail: P.O. Box 1110,
Corte Madera, CA 94976-1110 OR Michael D. Hausfeld of Cohen,
Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C. by Mail: 1100 New York
Avenue, N.W. Suite 500, West Tower, Washington, District of
Columbia 20005-3964 Phone: 202-408-4600 or by Fax: 202-408-4699.

NORTEL NETWORKS: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Shareholder Lawsuit
As the cost of settling shareholders' lawsuits in the United
States skyrocket, Nortel Networks Corporation is asking U.S.
District Court in Manhattan to dismiss a class action lawsuit
against the company on the grounds that only Canadian courts
should hear the case, The Ottawa Citizen reports.

Nortel's New York lawyers stated in their brief, "By becoming
shareholders of a Canadian company, plaintiffs implicitly
selected Canada as the forum in which derivative (class-action)
actions must be heard. That argument was further reinforced by
additional briefs that were filed by a former justice of the
Supreme Court of Canada and a former chairman of the Ontario
Securities Commission.

Attorneys though, who are fighting the case against Nortel for
New Jersey and Ontario public-sector pension plans have
countered with expert briefs arguing the opposite point of view.

According to individuals familiar with the matter, Nortel's new
line of defense could be a signal that it has no immediate
intention of settling scores of such lawsuits triggered by five
years of revisions to financial results that cost investors
billions of dollars. They also pointed out that there's plenty
of incentive to avoid a trial or negotiated settlement in the

Some analysts were even forecasting last year that the cost of
settling of U.S. class action lawsuits has exploded in the past
month, raising questions whether Nortel will be able to settle
its cases for the $1 billion U.S.

In a brief filed in New York, retired Supreme Court of Canada
Justice Peter Cory said: "Canadian cases clearly establish that
the exclusive and sole basis on which the shareholders of the
corporation may bring a derivate (class) action is the Canadian
Business Corporation Act." In a similar brief, Stanley Beck, a
former Ontario Securities Commission chairman, also made the
same argument.

However, Bruce Welling, a professor at the University of Western
Ontario law school, argues that the Canadian legislation "does
not, and was never intended to" prevent a United States citizen
from suing derivately in the United States."

NORTH DAKOTA: ND AG Reaches Settlement With Illegal "Charities"
North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem reached a
settlement with an out of state fundraiser that illegally
collected about $30,000 in contributions from North Dakota

The settlement, entered as an order in Burleigh County district
court on June 2,2005, named the Association for Disabled
Firefighters, Coalition of Police & Sheriffs, and American
Veterans Relief Foundation, all of California, and their
professional fundraiser, Public Awareness and Duane Kolve, of

"We received complaints that Public Awareness was telling people
that the Association for Disabled Firefighters would use the
donations for `children's burn centers' in North Dakota," said
Attorney General Stenehjem. "We have no such children's burn
centers in North Dakota."

The Attorney General barred Public Awareness from conducting
solicitations while his Consumer Protection Division
investigated the complaints.  The investigation also revealed
Public Awareness used private mail service centers in various
North Dakota communities to retrieve charitable contributions,
creating the false impression that the fundraiser was a local
organization.  "These entities played on the knowledge that
donors are more likely to give to a local organization," said
Attorney General Stenehjem.

The Attorney General sued the defendants in October 2002,
alleging they engaged in "false and deceptive acts" and the
charitable solicitations were illegal because the organizations
were not licensed in North Dakota and Public Awareness was not
registered as a professional fundraiser.

Under the terms of the settlement, the defendants cannot conduct
any charitable solicitations in North Dakota for 18 months and
must pay $30,000 in lieu of civil penalties.  The Attorney
General will distribute $25,000 to North Dakota organizations
engaged in fire protection, law enforcement, or public safety
activities, and the remainder will cover investigation costs and
attorney's fees.  The defendants will also forfeit the donations
it raised illegally, which were recovered from the local mail

According to Parrell Grossman, Director of the Attorney
General's Consumer Protection Division, this case helped educate
the public and raise awareness of misleading or fraudulent
charitable solicitations. "Here the Attorney General has
established for these defendants, and similar charities, a line
they are not permitted to cross when it comes to
misrepresentations," Mr. Grossman said.

PENNSYLVANIA: PA Court Considers Special Education Lawsuit Pact
The United States District Court in Pennsylvania is mulling the
approval of a settlement of a class action filed against the
Pennsylvania Department of Education by parents of mentally
disabled children, the Associated Press reports.

Parents filed the suit, alleging the state broke federal law by
not allowing their children into regular classrooms.  The suit
was given class certification in 1995.  

Under the settlement, the Pennsylvania Department of Education
would set up a five-year monitoring system to determine which
school systems have deficiencies and would work to improve those
programs, while helping with technical assistance and
professional development.  The settlement also would create a
15-member advisory panel, at least nine of whom would be parents
of children with disabilities. The monitoring system would be
three-tiered, with levels for districts designated as being in
different states of need.

Supporters of the settlement say that it would allow more
disabled students to succeed in regular classrooms.  They added
that mentally disabled children should be allowed the chance to
succeed in regular classrooms, and that they be removed only if
it is shown that they are not thriving in normal classrooms.

"I also know that so many parents are not aware of their right
to have that kind of placement in a regular class," Joe Gaskin,
who along with his wife was one of the families to sue the state
Board of Education in 1994, told the Associated Press.  "In the
past, there was a tendency to say, 'Oh, that child has mental
retardation. We have a life-skills class for that.'"

Mr. Gaskin's daughter Lydia, now 21, got her high school diploma
this year. She thanked the court in person Friday, giving her
father a kiss on the cheek after his testimony, according to AP.

Linda Rhen, director of the bureau of special education at the
state Department of Education, told AP she supports the

While many parents at the hearing spoke of the settlement in
glowing terms, it does face opposition. One parent said she
worried it would have the unintended consequence of hurting some
special-education programs.  "The potential exists for special
classes to be shut down in favor of full inclusion," Kathleen
Carney, who has two children with disabilities, told AP.  Ms.
Carney supports inclusion, but said it's not right for all
disabled children.

U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno said he would take further
comment on the agreement for 30 days before making a decision
within 60 days after that. Many parents going before him said
the proposal would prevent disabled children from becoming
segregated, AP reports.

RURAL CONSTRUCTION: PA AG Corbett Initiates Consumer Fraud Suit
Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett's Bureau of Consumer
Protection filed a civil lawsuit against a Lackawanna County
home improvement contractor accused of accepting substantial
payments from consumers to perform home repairs that he either
refused to start, complete or finished below standard.  

Attorney General Corbett identified the defendant as Jason
Kupiec, 86 Vista Lane, Taylor, Lackawanna County, owner of Rural
Construction and Rally Roofing.  The suit accuses Mr. Kupiec of
violating Pennsylvania's Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer
Protection Law.

Agents said Mr. Kupiec entered into contracts with consumers to
perform various home improvement and construction projects.
Prior to starting the jobs, the defendant required that
consumers pay a significant deposit or the full amount of the
contract.   The lawsuit follows an investigation into complaints
from consumers who claimed that the defendant accepted their
money and never showed up to do the work, or performed shoddy or
below standard work.  Other consumers claimed that Mr. Kupiec
failed to return to their homes to complete the jobs as
promised, repair his substandard work or return consumers'

According to the lawsuit, the defendant accepted a down payment
of nearly $3,800 from an Old Forge homeowner towards a roofing
contract.  Mr. Kupiec failed to perform any work and ignored
repeated requests from the consumer to either do the work or
issue a refund.  Despite Mr. Kupiec's promise to return the
consumer's money by January 2005, the homeowner has not received
a refund.

Similarly, an Olyphant couple complained that they paid Mr.
Kupiec nearly $4,000 to perform roof repairs on their home. The
couple said Mr. Kupiec cashed their check and never returned to
their home to perform the work.  Again, the defendant allegedly
promised to return the money but failed to make good on that

In a separate count of the complaint, Mr. Kupiec is also accused
of charging a Throop couple nearly $7,000 for a new roof that
ended up being poorly constructed resulting in severe leaks in
the consumers' home.  Mr. Kupiec refused to honor his contract
warranties and return to the home to make the needed repairs.
The roof was not repaired and the defendant failed to refund the
consumers' money.

The Attorney General said in another case, a homeowner
complained that after the defendant repaired his roof it began
leaking and then a section of the roof had blown off during a
storm. According to that filed complaint, Mr. Kupiec failed to
correct the problems or offer the homeowner a refund.

The lawsuit also accuses the defendant of failing to provide
consumers with a notice of cancellation informing them of their
right to void a contract within three days.

"We contend that Jason Kupiec has clearly defrauded consumers by
cashing their payments and doing little to no home improvement
work in violation of his own contracts," Attorney General
Corbett said. "This business practice is unacceptable and today
I ask the court to hold the defendant accountable for his

The Attorney General said the complaint asks the court to:

     (1) Require the defendant to forfeit his right to conduct
         business as a contractor in Pennsylvania until he pays
         restitution, civil penalties and costs.

     (2) Require the defendant to pay more than $24,000 to eight
         consumers, plus pay restitution to those who come
         forward with documentation of similar harm.

     (3) Pay civil penalties of $15,000.

     (4) Pay the Commonwealth's investigation costs.

     (5) Appoint a receiver if necessary to determine and
         collect the defendant's assets to satisfy the court's

He encourages consumers who wish to file a complaint in this
case to contact his office by calling 1-800-441-2555 or visiting

The lawsuit was filed in Lackawanna County Court. The case is
being handled by Senior Deputy Attorney General J. P. McGowan of
Corbett's Bureau of Consumer Protection in Scranton.

SIMON PROPERTY: NH AG Reaches Settlement For Antitrust Complaint
New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly A. Ayotte's Office entered
into a settlement with Simon Property Group and Sterling
Jewelers for alleged violations of New Hampshire's antitrust

According to documents filed with the Merrimack County Superior
Court, the State alleges that in 2002, Simon Property Group
agreed to rent a retail space in the Pheasant Lane Mall to David
Bellman, a Manchester jeweler, so that Mr. Bellman could
establish a kiosk where customers could have their jewelry
appraised. Later, Mr. Bellman decided to change his business in
the mall to one where he would sell unmounted diamonds. Simon
approved the change, and in the autumn of 2003, Mr. Bellman
reopened his kiosk under the name Diamonds Direct, and began
selling diamonds to the public.

Sterling Jewelers, Inc., owns and operates jewelry stores in the
mall under the name of Kay's Jewelers and Belden's Jewelers. The
state alleges that shortly after Bellman reopened his kiosk and
began doing business as Diamonds Direct, he was told that his
lease was being terminated. The State alleges that the reason
for the premature termination of Diamonds Direct's lease was the
result of complaints relating to Diamonds Direct's discount
pricing that were lodged by competing jewelers, primarily Kay's
Jewelers, which was located in close proximity to Bellman's

"Both the New Hampshire Constitution and statutory law establish
that free and fair competition is the policy of this state.
Thus, business must be conducted in a competitive environment,"
Attorney General Ayotte said. "When my office learned that a
business may have been forced out of the shopping center
primarily because of its policy of competing aggressively on
pricing, action was necessary. We will ensure that a competitive
marketplace exists within the state."

Both Simon Property Group and Sterling Jewelers, Inc., have
executed Assurances of Discontinuance with the Attorney
General's Office. Under the terms of the agreement, they have
agreed to reimburse the state for its investigative costs, and
to maintain a competitive environment in their business
activities in New Hampshire in the future. Both Simon Property
Group and Sterling Jewelers, Inc., deny any wrongdoing.

THAXTON GROUP: SC Judge Grants Certification To Investors' Suit
South Carolina District Judge Robert Anderson granted class
action status for a lawsuit against three defendants in the
Thaxton Group bankruptcy case, The Associated Press reports.

The judge approved the motion on June 8 in a suit filed by
investors against Finova Capital Corporation, accountants Cherry
Bekaert and Holland, and the law firm of Moore and Van Allen.
The suit alleges the defendants committed securities fraud that
led to Thaxton's collapse.

Previously, attorneys for Thaxton argued that the investors
should not get class action status, since they stand to get back
all of their losses in Delaware bankruptcy court. They also
argued that the defendants don't want to group together
investors from different states, which might have different

As previously reported in the April 28, 2005 edition of the
Class Action Reporter, investors initiated a lawsuit against the
Thaxton Group over the company's bankruptcy and had asked a
federal judge to give their suit class action status.

Bankruptcy court documents show that a subsidiary of the
Lancaster-based company, which offered high-interest loans and
insurance products to people with poor credit histories, owes
more than $120 million to about 3,800 people who invested in its
subordinated note program. The company, which filed for
bankruptcy in October, discontinued the program last fall at the
request of the attorney general's office.

According to Mark Parry, whose law firm represents the unsecured
creditors in bankruptcy court, about $100 million has been
recovered from the sale of Thaxton's assets, and the planned
sale of another Thaxton subsidiary Southern Management Co. was
expected to bring another $60 million to $70 million.

The losses from the investors represented the largest portion of
Thaxton's $242 million total losses, according to bankruptcy
court documents.

Gilbert Bagnell, a lawyer for the investors previously told AP
that class action status would save investors from hiring
attorneys to pursue damages individually. Mr. Bagnell also
stated that the investors accuse Thaxton of using fraud to keep
operating while the company was millions of dollars in the red.

UNITED STATES: ACEC Head Cautions V. Suit V. Credit Card Firms
The merchant lawsuits filed over the last few weeks against
credit card companies over the cost of accepting payment cards
could come back to hit consumers at the check out counter,
according to Susan Molinari, National Chairperson for Americans
for Consumer Education and Competition (ACEC).
"Some retailers and class action lawyers have said their lawsuit
is about lowering the fees they pay for accepting plastic, but
it's really an attempt to dramatically shift their costs onto
the backs of consumers," stated Molinari. "At first glance, this
might look like a war between retail and financial industry
giants, but we need only look at what's happening in Australia
to see that regulating the interchange fee will lead to higher
annual fees, higher prices at check out and weaker rewards
programs for consumers. It was tried there and it failed."

The Reserve Bank of Australia set its standard on interchange
fees in 2003, and drastically reduced the fees merchants pay to
accept credit. DATAMONITOR performed an independent analysis of
the credit card market in Australia today as a result of the
interchange decision and among many conclusions, found this:
"Taken collectively the direct impacts of the interchange
reforms on consumers have been wholly negative. They are paying
more in annual fees for credit cards and loyalty schemes, some
retailers are now surcharging for credit card usage and they are
not seeing lower prices at the checkout."

"As it stands now, more consumers are using debit and credit
cards than cash to purchase goods and merchants who accept the
credit cards for payment are benefiting from increased volume
and higher sale amounts," said Ms. Molinari. "It requires a vast
network to support hundreds of thousands of transactions a day.
The process is working."

Ms. Molinari noted that concerned consumers can go to ACEC's
website,,for a more in-depth  
explanation of interchange fees and surcharging or "check out
fees." Americans for Consumer Education & Competition advocates
for financial literacy and consumer rights initiatives. In
addition, ACEC serves as a clearing-house for information on
financial issues, as the organization monitors, tracks and
provides analysis of financial legislation and litigation that
has a direct impact on consumers.

"The bottom line is that consumers want efficiency and choice,"
said Molinari. "If they are using electronic forms of payment
now more than cash, isn't that illustrative of consumer

"Australian consumers are now reeling from the effects of unwise
regulatory intervention. Let's protect American consumers from
merchant-imposed check out fees and higher prices down the

ACEC has the financial support of VISA USA and communicates with
more than 15 thousand consumers interested in ACEC issues from
financial literacy to budgeting for retirement to cardholder
benefits and rights.

UNITED STATES: High Court to Hear Scheidler RICO Abortion Case
After making final rulings in cases briefed and argued during
this last Term and before leaving for their summer recess, U.S.
Supreme Court Justices held a fourth "conference" on the latest
(third) high Court appeal by defendants in the marathon, epic-
scale class action lawsuit, NOW v. Scheidler.

For the last two decades (since July 1986), NOW and the nation's
abortion providers have sued to curb abortion clinic protests
under federal antitrust, racketeering (RICO), and extortion
laws. Traditionally, orders entered at conferences issue the
next morning at 10 a.m. EDT. So defendants -- who appear at
least to have gotten the high Court's attention -- hope that the
Justices will issue a new ruling (Scheidler III) on Tuesday
morning marking the ultimate demise of this seemingly unending
clash between the contending sides in the fight to save lives at
street level.

In Scheidler II, decided in February 2003, a decisive,
bipartisan majority of the Justices joined in an opinion by
Chief Justice Rehnquist and ruled 8-1 that the judgment that
defendants violated RICO "must be reversed," because "all" the
predicate acts underlying that judgment "must be reversed."
Ergo, the nationwide RICO injunction limiting pro-life protests
"must necessarily be vacated." Despite these words -- "all,"
three "musts," and "necessarily" -- the same Seventh Circuit
appellate panel that Scheidler II reversed took a whole year to
decide that four predicate violations allegedly survived the
high Court's 2003 ruling. The panel directed the trial judge to
determine if the four acts sufficed to keep the RICO decree in
effect. Defendants moved for rehearing en banc. After nearly
another year elapsed, this was denied.

Last March, defendants Scheidler, et al filed another petition
for Supreme Court review, crafted by Alan Untereiner of the D.C.
law firm Robbins, Russell, et al, billing their new appeal as a
case of "deja vu all over again." Petitioners asked the Supreme
Court for summary reversal of the Seventh Circuit panel's
ruling. The petition argued three points. First, the panel's
ruling betrayed a flagrant disregard of the Supreme Court's
explicit directions and clearly expressed rationale in Scheidler
II. Second, the panel created a new circuit split. Claiming that
the four allegedly surviving predicate acts could qualify as
violations of the federal Hobbs Act, although unconnected to any
plan or scheme of extortion or robbery, the panel was inventing
a new, unprecedented federal crime - one that would federalize
vast portions of state and local criminal law and would also
drastically reduce the threshold for new RICO suits against
protesters of all stripes and other defendants too. Finally, the
panel ignored that the Justices had granted review in Scheidler
II on the issue whether any private litigant could secure a RICO
injunction, but then declined to resolve the issue only because
the defendants were found to have committed no RICO violation
for which any remedy was warranted. The panel ruling, however,
resuscitated this issue - which had been fully briefed and
argued already during the Supreme Court's October Term, 2002.

A host of amici curiae have filed or joined briefs supporting
the defendants' appeal, including scores of protesters, protest
groups and supporters (Dan Berrigan, Kathy Kelly, PETA, Pax
Christi USA, Helen Prejean, Martin Sheen, Abe Bonowitz, Howard
Zinn, etc.), big unions (IBEW, IBT), nine states including
Alabama, Delaware, Michigan, Ohio, etc. (fearing suits based on
the panel's newly invented "federal crime"), and Concerned Women
for America. As former Solicitor General Olson conceded to
Ginsburg, J. in the Scheidler II oral argument, NOW's expansive
'extortion' theory could have shut down civil rights protest.
This newly invented Hobbs Act crime is broader and more perilous
for civil protest.

Tom Brejcha, lead defense counsel for the Scheidler defendants
from nearly the inception of the case, commented: "Tuesday
morning's 'Order List' may tell us whether this contentious suit
will shortly conclude, or whether we'll be plunging headlong
into our third decade of federal litigation, bound to come back
to the Supreme Court years hence -- 'deja vu all over again,
again!' Or perhaps the Justices will re-list the case for yet
another conference during October Term, 2005. In any event,
we're committed to see this thing through to the end, whenever
it may come!"

For more details, visit

VIRGINIA: Suit Filed V. Dairy Industry Over Weight-Loss Claims
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is contending
in a soon to be launched class action lawsuit that the dairy
industry and several food companies are falsely claiming that
dairy consumption can help people lose weight, The Associated
Press reports.

In their lawsuit, the physicians group is targeting industry-
funded TV and print ads that claim consuming 24 ounces of fat-
free or low-fat dairy per day can help the body burn fat. The
group plans to file the suit on January 28. The group, which
advocates a vegan diet, is asking a district court in Virginia
to issue an injunction banning the ads.

The suit claims that most scientific evidence shows people will
either gain pounds or remain the same weight when increasing
dairy consumption.

International Dairy Foods Association, a trade group that
represents manufacturers that use dairy products, is one of the
defendants named in the suit. A spokeswoman for the group, Susan
Ruland, recently denied the allegations, saying that many
studies back up the industry's position. She told AP, "We have
been very conservative and careful in the messaging that's been
developed. The USDA is reviewing the claims. We can see no basis
for this suit other than to get attention for the animal rights

Two other defendants in the case, the National Dairy Council and
Dairy Management Inc., which promote U.S. dairy consumption,
said the IDFA speaks for them as well.

Another defendant in the case is Golden Valley, Minnesota-based
General Mills, which makes Yoplait yogurt. Company spokeswoman
Marybeth Thorsgaard told AP that General Mills strongly believes
its claims are valid. The other defendants in the case, Kraft
Foods, Dannon Co., Lifeway Foods and McNeil PPC, did not return
phone messages to AP regarding the matter.

The physicians committee's president, Neal Barnard told AP,
"Obesity is a serious problem. This is a completely bogus

The lawsuit follows similar complaints filed by the group
earlier this year with the Federal Trade Commission and the Food
and Drug Administration.

In the latest filing, the group enlisted one of its members,
Catherine Holmes, of Arlington, Virginia, as a plaintiff in the
class action suit.

Ms. Holmes, 46, said she went from 162 pounds to 164 pounds
while increasing her dairy consumption with products such as
yogurt and cottage cheese. She told AP, "I love dairy anyway and
wanted to see if it (the weight) would come rolling off.
Unfortunately, it didn't." Mr. Holmes adds, that she still eats
dairy products but not as a weight-loss product saying, "I won't
have three a day anymore."

The specific claim made by the dairy industry is that studies
show that people will lose weight by consuming three servings of
dairy a day if they already are eating a reduced-calorie diet.

The physicians committee filing says the industry heavily relies
on a University of Tennessee researcher, Michael B. Zemel. They
argued in their suit that his findings are suspect because he
receives funding from the dairy industry.

However, Mr. Zemel, who runs the university's Nutrition
Institute, told AP that the funding he has received from General
Mills and the National Dairy Council hasn't affected his
findings saying, "People who raise this red flag really don't
understand science. Science is an incredibly transparent

He added that he's been a vegetarian himself for 36 years,
although he does consume dairy and that he gave up eating meat
because of ethical concerns about animals. He also commented on
the groups suit by saying, "I understand the Physicians
Committee for Responsible Medicine wants to promote an ethical
agenda of animal rights, but as a vegetarian, I'm deeply
offended by their approach."

                  Meetings, Conferences & Seminars

* Scheduled Events for Class Action Professionals

June 2005
Mealey Publications
London, England
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;  

July 21-22, 2005
Mealey Publications
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, New Orleans
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;  

July 28-29, 2005
Practising Law Institute
New York, NY
Contact: 800-260-4PLI; 212-824-5710;

August 18-19, 2005
San Francisco
Contact: 215-243-1614; 800-CLE-NEWS x1614

August 25-26, 2005
Contact: 215-243-1614; 800-CLE-NEWS x1614

September 8-9, 2005
Practising Law Institute
Chicago, IL
Contact: 800-260-4PLI; 212-824-5710;

September 19-20, 2005
Mealey Publications
The Four Seasons Hotel, Philadelphia
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;  

September 26-27, 2005
American Conferences
New York

September 26-27, 2005
Mealey Publications
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Boston
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;  

September 26-27, 2005
Mealey Publications
The Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey Los Angeles
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;  

September 26-27, 2005
Mealey Publications
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Philadelphia
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;  

September 27, 2005
Mealey Publications
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Boston
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;  

September 27-28, 2005
American Conferences
New York

October 2005
Mealey Publications
London, England
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;  

October 2005
Mealey Publications
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;  

October 6-7, 2005
Contact: 215-243-1614; 800-CLE-NEWS x1614

October 7, 2005
Practising Law Institute
New York, NY
Contact: 800-260-4PLI; 212-824-5710;

October 17-18, 2005
Mealey Publications
The Ritz Carlton, Phoenix
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;  

October 27-28, 2005
Mealey Publications
Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino,Las Vegas
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;  

November 3-4, 2005
Washington DC
Contact: 215-243-1614; 800-CLE-NEWS x1614

November 3-4, 2005
Mealey Publications
The Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove, Miami
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;  

November 7, 2005
Mealey Publications
The Ritz-Carlton, Boston
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November 7-8, 2005
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Downtown Conference Center at Pace University, New York City
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November 7-8, 2005
Mealey Publications
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November 9, 2005
Mealey Publications
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November 10-11, 2005
Mealey Publications
Four Seasons Resort Santa Barbara
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November 14-15, 2005
Mealey Publications
The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans
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November 17-18, 2005
Mealey Publications
London, England
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;  

November 17-18, 2005
Mass Torts Made Perfect Seminar
Las Vegas, Nevada
Contact: 800-320-2227; 850-436-6094 (fax)

December 5-6, 2005
Mealey Publications
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December 6, 2005
Mealey Publications
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December 12-13, 2005
Mealey Publications
Caesars Palace, Las Vegas
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February 16-17, 2006
Coral Gables, Miami, Florida
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September 28-30, 2006
Contact: 215-243-1614; 800-CLE-NEWS x1614

Mealey Publications
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Mealey Publications
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Mealey Publications
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* Online Teleconferences

June 01-30, 2005
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July 28-29, 2005
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The Meetings, Conferences and Seminars column appears in the
Class Action Reporter each Wednesday. Submissions via e-mail to are encouraged.

                  New Securities Fraud Cases

CORN PRODUCTS: Stull Stull Lodges Securities Fraud Lawsuit in IL
The law firm of Stull, Stull & Brody initiated a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Illinois on behalf of all persons who purchased the
securities of Corn Products International Inc. ("Corn Products"
or the "Company") (NYSE: CPO) between January 25, 2005, and
April 4, 2005, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges Corn Products, Samuel Scott and Cheryl
Beebe 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 was experiencing manufacturing
         problems at some of its facilities, which resulted in
         increased manufacturing expenses;

     (2) that the Company's net corn costs were significantly
         higher due to the Company's speculative hedging of
         Canadian corn;

     (3) that US sweetener price increase, contrary to the
         Company's representations, failed to offset higher
         energy costs; and

     (4) that as a result of the foregoing, defendants lacked
         any reasonable basis for their positive statements
         concerning the Company and its earnings and prospects.
On April 5, 2005, Corn Products said that it expected first-
quarter diluted earnings per share to decline 35 percent to 40
percent from the first quarter of 2004. News of this shocked the
market. Shares of Corn Products fell $4.88 per share or 18.87
percent, on April 5, 2005, to close at $20.98 per share.

For more details, contact Tzivia Brody, Esq. of Stull, Stull &
Brody, Phone: 1-800-337-4983, Fax: 212/490-2022, E-mail:, Web site:

DRDGOLD LIMITED: Gainey & McKenna Lodges Securities Suit in NY
The law firm of Gainey & McKenna initiated a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York on behalf of purchasers of DRDGOLD Limited
("DRDGOLD") (Nasdaq: DROOY - News), formerly known as Durban
Roodepoort Deep, Limited, securities during the period between
October 23, 2003 and February 24, 2005 (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges DRDGOLD and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934. Specifically, the complaint alleges that, throughout the
Class Period, defendants made numerous statements regarding:

     (1) the successful restructuring of the Company's North
         West Operations in South America;

     (2) the Company's ability to reduce the negative impact of
         the increasing value of the South African Rand versus
         the U.S. Dollar; and

     (3) the increasing strength of the Company's balance sheet.
Unbeknownst to the market, the Company's restructuring problems
with its North West Operations were never fully resolved.
Moreover, despite assertions to the contrary, the Company
continued to be negatively impacted by the increasing value of
the South African Rand, especially as compared to the U.S.
dollar. Consequently, These problems resulted in the Company
announcing the decreasing strength of the Company's balance

For more details, contact T.J. McKenna, Phone: (212) 983-1300,

NAVARRE CORPORATION: Glancy Binkow Lodges Securities Suit in MN
The law firm of Glancy Binkow & Goldberg LLP initiated a class
action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
District of Minnesota on behalf of a class (the "Class")
consisting of all persons or entities who purchased or otherwise
acquired securities of Navarre Corporation ("Navarre" or the
"Company") (Nasdaq:NAVR), between January 21, 2004 and February
22, 2005, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The Complaint charges Navarre and certain of the Company's
executive officers with violations of federal securities laws.
Plaintiff claims defendants' omissions and material
misrepresentations during the Class Period artificially inflated
Navarre's stock price, inflicting damages on investors. Navarre
is a publisher and distributor of home entertainment and
multimedia products, including personal computer software, audio
and video titles, and interactive games. The Complaint alleges
defendants made materially false and misleading statements
concerning the Company's business and financial results. On
January 10, 2005, Navarre announced the acquisition of
FUNimation for $100 million in cash and between 1.495 million
and 1.827 million shares of Navarre stock. After this
announcement, Navarre's stock reached its Class Period high of
$18.77 per share. While the price of Navarre stock was inflated
during the Class Period, defendants sold 994,362 shares of
Navarre stock for proceeds of $13.8 million.

On January 18, 2005, Navarre filed a registration statement with
the SEC to raise up to $140 million through the sale of its
common stock to fund the acquisition of FUNimation. On January
26, 2005, Navarre reported favorable third quarter fiscal 2005
results, which defendants claimed reflected "the continuing
execution of our strategic plan." Then, on February 22, 2005,
the Company suddenly withdrew its Registration Statement
initially filed for the purpose of funding its acquisition of
FUNimation. The Complaint alleges that this sudden withdrawal
reignited rumors of problems with the Company's accounting.

As a result of this news, Navarre stock dropped to less than $7
per share. Subsequently, the Company announced that it would
postpone the release of its fourth quarter and fiscal year 2005
financial results and that it was reviewing the recognition and
classification of certain fiscal 2005 tax items.

For more details, contact Michael Goldberg, Esq., of Glancy
Binkow & Goldberg LLP, 1801 Avenue of the Stars, Suite 311, Los
Angeles, CA, 90067, Phone: (310) 201-9150 or (888) 773-9224,

GUIDANT CORPORATION: Charles J. Piven Lodges Stock Lawsuit in IN
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 Guidant
Corporation (NYSE: GDT) between December 15, 2004, and June 17,
2005, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The case is pending in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of Indiana against defendant Guidant 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., The World Trade Center-Baltimore, 401 East Pratt Street,
Suite 2525, Baltimore, MD, 21202, Phone: 410/986-0036, E-mail:  

PEGASUS COMMUNICATION: Rosen Law Initiates Securities Inquiry
The Rosen Law Firm commenced an investigation into allegations
that Pegasus Communications Corporation ("Pegasus" or the
"Company") (Pink Sheets:PGTV) violated the federal securities
laws by failing to disclose material adverse information
concerning its business.

The Rosen Law Firm's investigation focuses on allegations that
Pegasus and its management may have violated Section 10b and
Rule 10b-5 of the federal securities laws by failing to disclose
that its "exclusive" distribution rights for DirecTV services
could be terminated without cause prior to 2008. On June 2, 2004
Pegasus disclosed that its exclusive rights to distribute
DirectTV services had been terminated. That same day certain of
Pegasus' operating subsidiaries filed for bankruptcy protection.

As a result of these allegations, the Rosen Law Firm is
considering filing a class action on behalf of investors who
purchased Pegasus stock during the period from July 3, 2000
through June 2, 2004 against the Company and its former

For more details, contact Laurence Rosen, Esq. of The Rosen Law
Firm P.A., Phone: (212) 686-1060, 1-866--767-3653 or
917-797-4425, Fax: (212) 202-3827, E-mail:, Web site:


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


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Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
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Copyright 2004.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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