CAR_Public/050804.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

            Thursday, August 4, 2005, Vol. 7, No. 153

                            Headlines

ALTON MEMORIAL: Uninsured Patient Lodges Overcharging Suit in IL
ARIZONA: Plaintiffs Ask Federal Judge to Block Highway Funding
ASHANTI GOLDFIELDS: Suit Settlement Hearing Set November 2, 2005
CIBC: Settles Newby v. Enron Corporation Litigation For $2.4B
CNA FINANCIAL: Employees Launch Overtime Wage Suits in CA Court

COCA-COLA CO.: Shareholders Launch Fraud, Derivative Suits in GA
CONTINENTAL CASUALTY: Court Reverses TX Lawsuit Certification
CONTINENTAL CASUALTY: Plaintiffs File Amended Fraud Suit in WV
DESA HEATING: Recalls 534 Compact Fireplaces For Injury Hazard
E PRIME: Plaintiffs Seek Certification For NY Securities Lawsuit

E PRIME: Consumers Launch Natural Gas Antitrust Suit in E.D CA
GENERAL ELECTRIC: Insurance Customers Launch Consumer Suit in IL
GULF SOUTH: Plaintiffs To Convert LA Suits To Individual Actions
HALLIBURTON CO.: Asks TX Court To Dismiss Amended Stock Lawsuit
HUNDAI CARRIBEAN: Recalls 330 Tucson Vehicles For Crash Hazard  

IRVING MATERIALS: Six Additional Price Fixing Suits Filed in IN
IRWIN BUSINESS: NJ Court Refuses Certification For Consumer Suit
IRWIN BUSINESS: Plaintiffs Withdraw FL Norvergence Inc. Lawsuit
IRWIN MORTGAGE: IN Court Mulls Consumer Lawsuit Summary Judgment
IRWIN UNION: Seeks Dismissal of RICO, RESPA, TILA Suits in AL,PA

JACKSON HEWITT: Discovery Proceeds in CA Consumer Loans Lawsuit
JACKSON HEWITT: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Tax Preparation Lawsuit
KAWASAKI MOTORS: Recalls 155T 2001-05 ATVs Due to Injury Hazard
LANDSTAR SYSTEM: FL Court Orders Mediation For OOIDA Lease Suit
MAINE: Hearing Fails to Produce Ruling In Strip Search Lawsuit

MEDCO HEALTH: Working To Settle ERISA Fraud Lawsuits in S.D. NY
MEDCO HEALTH: Plaintiffs File Amended Antitrust Suit in CA Court
MEDCO HEALTH: Pharmacies Launch AWP Fraud Suit in AL State Court
MERCK & CO.: ME Resident Files State's First Vioxx Injury Suit
MICHIGAN: Law Firm Sues Attorney For Falsifying Court Documents

NEXTEL COMMUNICATIONS: Continues To Face MD Wireless Phone Suit
NEXTEL COMMUNICATIONS: Working To Settle Consumer Fraud Lawsuits
OREGON: Lawsuit Launched Over Improperly Taxed Disability Checks
PREMCOR REFINING: Faces IL Injury Suits V. Blue Island Refinery
RENT-A-CENTER INC.: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Thorn Americas Suit

RENT-A-CENTER INC.: TX Court Refuses To Dismiss Securities Suit
RENT-A-CENTER INC.: TX Court Reverses Fraud Suit Certification
RJ REYNOLDS: CT AG Blumenthal Joins False Advertising Lawsuit
SIMON PROPERTY: CT AG's Motion To Dismiss Gift Card Suit Granted
SONY PICTURES: CA Judge Finalizes Settlement Over Bogus Critic
TELEMARKETING LITIGATION: Canadian Telemarketers Settle FTC Suit

TENNESSEE: Attorney Commences Lawsuit V. Sevier County Officials
TRIBUNE CO.: Advertisers Sue Over Inflated Circulation Numbers
TRIBUNE CO.: Shareholders Launch Stock Fraud Lawsuits in N.D. IL
UNITED STATES: Attorney Responds To Vatican Sex Abuse Lawsuit
UNITED STATES: CEI Files Suit, Disputes 1998 Tobacco Settlement

U.S. BUS: Recalls 40 2001-04 Buses For Stop Arm Assembly Defect
US SMOKELESS: CA AG Sues For 1998 Master Settlement Violations

                 New Securities Fraud Cases

AVON PRODUCTS: Stull Stull Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in NY
GUIDANT CORPORATION: Milberg Weiss Lodges Securities Suit in IN
LEAPFROG ENTERPRISES: Lerach Coughlin Provides Litigation Update
MOLINA HEALTHCARE: Federman & Sherwood Lodges Stock Suit in CA
NAVARRE CORPORATION: Glancy Binkow Sets Lead Plaintiff Deadline

                          *********

ALTON MEMORIAL: Uninsured Patient Lodges Overcharging Suit in IL
----------------------------------------------------------------
Uninsured hospital patient Robert Honke filed the 43rd class
action lawsuit in Madison County Circuit Court this year, which
claims that Alton Memorial Hospital (AMH) charged him more for
services than for patients with health insurance, The Madison
County Record reports.

Mr. Honke, who is represented by Lanny Darr of Alton and Evan
Schaeffer of Godfrey, filed the suit on August 2. In his suit he
claims that he sustained an injury and went to the hospital for
a surgical procedure. The suit though does not indicate when the
procedure took place.  According to the complaint, AMH was to
only charge Mr. Honke reasonable and customary rates for
healthcare services and he would only be obligated to pay
reasonable charges for the services he received.

However, the complaint states, "When Honke and other uninsured
patients received treatment from AMH, the hospital deceptively
failed to advise or intentionally concealed from its patients
that they would be charged for healthcare at rates which were
unreasonable." It adds, "There was no justifiable basis to
charge Honke significantly more than what was and is
reasonable."  Mr. Honke claims AMH's conduct resulted in
financial harm to him and others as it collected or attempted to
collect amounts greater than reasonable and necessary.

The complaint also states that Mr. Honke will fairly and
adequately assert and protect the interests of the class and his
interests coincide with and are not antagonistic to the other
members of the class. He claims that members of the class are so
numerous that joining them is not practicable and believes there
are hundreds or thousands of members whose identities can be
easily ascertained from hospital records.  According to Mr.
Honke, common questions of law and fact predominate over any
questions affecting only individual members of the class which
include whether the hospital:

     (1) failed to inform its patients that they will be charged
         at a higher rate than in reasonable and customary;

     (2) violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act;

     (3) is entitled to assert a lien and seek to recover from
         personal injury settlements for an amount greater than
         what is reasonable and customary; and

     (4) is entitled to charge higher rates for services to its
         patients who do not have insurance than those patients
         who have insurance benefits.

Additionally, the complaint states that eligible to join the
class are, "All Illinois patients of AMH who did not have
insurance and who the hospital sought to receive payment from
for an amount greater than what can be considered reasonable,
either by initiating collection activity, garnishment or
asserting a lien on personal injury settlements or verdicts."

Mr. Honke claims AMH overcharged him in an attempt to influence
reimbursement rules from third parties not associated with this
litigation and deceptively added amounts to its charges to
uninsured patients for medical care that served no purpose other
than to increase the hospital's profit, charges that were not
added to insured patients. His complaint states, "AMH
deceptively set the costs of its health care for the uninsured
arbitrarily in a way that was unconscionable, unfair, and
discriminatory to the uninsured, in that the costs charged to
insured patients and bore no relation to the true and actual
costs and value of the healthcare services."  Mr. Honke, who
states that he does not criticize the patient care rendered by
AMH and is not asserting a claim for any harm or damages arising
from patient care, is seeking along with the class damages under
$75,000 per class member and a grand total not to exceed $5
million.


ARIZONA: Plaintiffs Ask Federal Judge to Block Highway Funding
--------------------------------------------------------------
Class action plaintiffs in a school funding case are asking a
federal judge to block the flow of federal highway dollars to
Arizona until the state satisfies years-old court orders
requiring the state to improve programs for students learning
the English language, The Associated Press reports.

In a long-anticipated motion filed in U.S. District Court in
Phoenix, the plaintiffs' attorneys told the court that the state
Legislature failed to meet deadlines set by itself and the
federal court. Also, the attorneys pointed out that the forceful
sanctions are needed to prod the state into action and that
cutting off highway dollars would do that because of the state's
interest in building new roadways.

The filing of the new motion follows by eight days the
plaintiffs' filing of a related one, wherein they had asked that
English-learning students be exempted from the approaching
requirement that high school seniors pass the AIMS (Arizona's
Instrument to Measure Standards) test in order to graduate.

As previously reported in the July 27, 2005 edition of the Class
Action Reporter, attorney Tim Hogan argued in that motion that
its unfair to require English language learners to pass the AIMS
test to graduate when they've been denied equal educational
opportunities guaranteed to them under federal law. Mr. Hogan
represents class action plaintiffs who sued the state over the
adequacy of English-learning programs in K-12 schools.

The AIMS graduation requirement begins in 2006 with students
becoming seniors this fall. However, a law passed by the
Legislature this spring is expected to allow small numbers of
students who don't pass the test to still graduate by getting
extra points through good grades on required courses.


ASHANTI GOLDFIELDS: Suit Settlement Hearing Set November 2, 2005
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of New
York will hold a fairness hearing for the proposed $15 million
settlement in the matter: In re Ashanti Goldfields Securities
Litigation, CV 00-0717 (DGT) (RML), on behalf of all persons who
purchased or otherwise acquired the Global Depository Receipts
of Ashanti in transactions on stock exchanges in the United
States during the period between April 21, 1997 and October 5,
1999.

The hearing will be held before the Honorable David G. Trager in
the United States Courthouse, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn,
NY, 11201, at 12:01 p.m., on November 2, 2005.

For more details, contact the Claims Administrator, In re
Ashanti Securities Litigation, c/o The Garden City Group, Inc.,
Claims Administrator, P.O. Box 9000 #6244, Merrick, NY, 11566-
9000, Phone: (800) 331-4487, Web site:
http://www.gradencitygroup.comOR Paul D. Young, Esq. of Milberg  
Weiss Bershad & Schulman, LLP, One Pennsylvania Plaza, New York,
NY, 10119-0165, Phone: (212) 594-5300 OR S. Gene Cauley, Esq. of
Cauley Bowman Carney & Williams, PLLC, 11311 Arcade Drive, Suite
120, Little Rock, Arkansas, 72212, Phone: (501) 312-8500.


CIBC: Settles Newby v. Enron Corporation Litigation For $2.4B
-------------------------------------------------------------
CIBC (NYSE: BCM, TSX: CM) reached an agreement in principle to
settle the Enron class action litigation entitled Newby v. Enron
Corporation, brought on behalf of Enron security purchasers. The
lawsuit is currently pending in the United States District Court
for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division.

Under the terms of the settlement, CIBC will pay U.S. $2.4
billion to the settlement class. Plaintiffs' attorneys' fees
will be paid out of the settlement. The settlement does not
include any admission of wrongdoing by CIBC. CIBC stated that it
agreed to the settlement solely to eliminate the uncertainties,
burden and expense of further protracted litigation. The Board
of Regents of the University of California, the lead plaintiff
in the case, must approve the class action settlement before it
is submitted to the United States District Court for the
Southern District of Texas.

CIBC reports that it expects to take a charge to earnings of
approximately Cdn. $2.8 billion (pre-tax) or approximately Cdn.
$2.5 billion (after-tax) in the quarter ended July 31, 2005 to
increase its litigation reserves to cover this settlement and
its remaining Enron-related legal matters. After taking this
charge into account, CIBC expects that its Tier 1 capital ratio
will be approximately 7.5% as at July 31, 2005, above the
regulatory requirement of 7.0% for a well-capitalized financial
institution, but below the bank's objective of 8.5% or higher.
CIBC believes that its future earnings generating capability
will restore the Tier 1 capital ratio to 8.5% or higher by mid-
2006.

CIBC's normal course common share issuer bid is currently not
active, as is customary, pending the announcement of the third
quarter financial results on August 24, 2005. CIBC's intention
is not to resume its issuer bid until the Tier 1 ratio returns
to 8.5% or higher.

Gerry McCaughey, President and Chief Executive Officer, said:
"We are working in a number of areas to move CIBC forward. A key
priority for us is to resolve this case and substantially reduce
our litigation risk. By settling this case and maintaining what
we believe are adequate reserves for our remaining Enron related
legal issues, we can better focus our energies on our other
priorities."

CIBC will hold an analyst/media conference call at 8:00 a.m.
(EDT) tomorrow (Wednesday, August 3, 2005). Participants should
call the following number 10 minutes prior to the call:
416-340-2216 or 1-866-898-9626. An Instant Replay will be
available within approximately one hour following the completion
of the call at 1-800-408-3053, access code 3160279 until
midnight August 16, 2005.

CIBC is a leading North American financial institution. CIBC
provides a full range of products and services to over nine
million retail clients, administers Cdn. $184.5 billion of
assets for individuals and meets the complex business needs of
corporate and institutional clients. At year-end, CIBC's total
assets were Cdn. $278.8 billion and its market capitalization
was Cdn. $25.7 billion.

The suit is styled, Mark Newby et al., v. Enron Corp., et al.,
H-01-3624 (S.D. Tex.), pending in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of Texas before Judge Melinda
Harmon. William Lerach of Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman &
Robbins, LLP, Phone: 800/449-4900 or 619/231-1058, E-mail:
wsl@lerachlaw.com, is representing the Plaintiff/s.


CNA FINANCIAL: Employees Launch Overtime Wage Suits in CA Court
---------------------------------------------------------------
CNA Financial Corporation faces two class actions filed in
California Superior Court, on behalf of its present and former
employees, styled:

      (1) Ernestine Samora, et al. v. CCC, Case No. BC 242487,
          Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles,
          California; and

      (2) Brian Wenzel v. Galway Insurance Company, Superior
          Court of California, County of Orange No. BC01CC08868

The plaintiffs assert that they worked hours for which they
should have been compensated at a rate of one and one-half times
their base hourly wage over a four-year period.  The suits seek
"overtime compensation," "penalty wages," and "other statutory
penalties" without specifying any particular amounts.


COCA-COLA CO.: Shareholders Launch Fraud, Derivative Suits in GA
----------------------------------------------------------------
Coca-Cola Co. and certain of its former and current executives
face a purported shareholder derivative action and four putative
class action lawsuits were filed against the company, the
Company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange
Commission, according to The Dow Jones Newswires.

According to the Atlanta-based company's filing, the derivative
suit was filed by Maryann Chapman on June 30 in the Superior
Court of Fulton County, Georgia. It alleges violations of state
law, abuse of control and gross mismanagement by the company and
other defendants including former Chief Executive Douglas N.
Daft. The filing noted that the plaintiff seeks monetary damages
in an unspecified amount and that the company intends to defend
its "interests in this matter."

Coca-Cola also disclosed that a putative class action lawsuit
was filed July 8 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of Georgia against the company, Mr. Daft and others
alleging violations of antifraud provisions of the federal
securities laws, as well as false and misleading statements. As
in the derivative suit, the plaintiffs in this case seek
compensatory damages and as always the company said in it's
filing that it "believes that it has meritorious defenses to
this action."

Additionally, Coca-Cola also stated in its filing that it and
former and current executives were served with three similar
putative class action lawsuits filed in May, June and July in
the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia by
participants in the company's thrift and investment plan.
According to it's filing, the lawsuits allege that the
defendants "failed to exercise the required care, skill,
prudence and diligence in managing the plan and its assets,"
among other things and that it seeks damages for plan losses and
lost profits and other relief. The company also said that it
"believes that it has meritorious defenses in each of these
cases."

Coca-Cola also faces a potential class action shareholder
lawsuit filed May 9 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of Georgia that alleges the company and Mr. Daft made
misleading statements about the company's financial condition.


CONTINENTAL CASUALTY: Court Reverses TX Lawsuit Certification
-------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a
lower court ruling granting class certification for the lawsuit
filed against Continental Casualty Company and other insurance
companies, styled "Sandwich Chef of Texas, Inc. v. Reliance
National Indemnity Insurance Co., 202 F.R.D. 480."

The suit, filed in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of Texas, alleges that the Company, as part of
an industry-wide conspiracy, included improper charges in their
retrospectively rated and other loss-sensitive insurance
programs. Among the claims asserted are violations of state
antitrust laws, breach of contract, fraud and unjust enrichment.

The suit is styled "Sandwich Chef of Tx v. Reliance National, et
al, case no. 4:98-cv-01484," filed in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of Texas under Judge David
Hittner.  Representing the Company are:

     (1) Brent R. Austin, Michael L McCluggage, Wildman Harrold
         et al, 225 W Wacker, Chicago, IL 60606, Phone:
         312-201-2000

     (2) John E. Chapoton, Jr. of Cunningham Darlow et al, 600
         Travis Ste 1700, Houston, TX 77002, Phone:
         713-255-5500, Fax: 713-255-5555

     (3) Eric J R Nichols of Beck Redden & Secrest, 1221
         McKinney Ste 4500, Houston, TX 77010-2010, Phone:
         713-951-3700, Fax: 713-951-3720

Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (i) Charles M Silver, Attorney at Law, 727 East Dean
         Keeton, Austin, TX 78705, Phone: 512-913-0550, Fax:
         512-471-3829

    (ii) Susan Klein, Attorney at Law, 5304 Cuesta Verde,
         Austin, TX 78746, Phone: 512-232-1324

   (iii) Scott Monroe Clearman, McClanahan & Clearman, 700
         Louisiana Ste 4100, Houston, TX 77002, Phone:
         713-223-2005, Fax: 713-223-3664 fax, E-mail:  
         scott@mcllp.com


CONTINENTAL CASUALTY: Plaintiffs File Amended Fraud Suit in WV
--------------------------------------------------------------
Continental Casualty Company faces an amended class action filed
in the Circuit Court of Kanawha County, West Virginia, styled
"Adams v. Aetna, Inc., et al."  The suit alleges that the
Company and other insurers violated West Virginia's Unfair Trade
Practices Act (UTPA) in handling and resolving asbestos claims
against their policyholders.

The Adams litigation had been stayed pending a planned motion by
plaintiffs to file an amended complaint that reflects two June
2004 decisions of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.  
In June 2005, the court presiding over Adams and three similar
putative class actions against other insurers, on its own
motion, directed plaintiffs to file any amended complaints by
June 13, 2005 and directed the parties to agree upon a case
management order that would result in trial being commenced by
July 2006.

Plaintiffs' Amended Complaint greatly expands the scope of the
action against the insurers, including the Company.  Under the
recently filed Amended Complaint, the defendant insurers,
including the Company have now been sued for alleged violations
of the UTPA in connection with handling and resolving asbestos
claims against all their insureds which have had asbestos
personal injury or wrongful death claims asserted against them
in the West Virginia courts.  

Recently, the Company, along with other insurer defendants,
filed a notice to remove the Adams Amended Complaint to Federal
court, under the Caption "Adams v. Ins. Co. of North America
(INA) et al." (S.D. W. Va. No. 2:05-CV-0527).  The petition for
removal to Federal court remains pending. Numerous factual and
legal issues remain to be resolved that are critical to the
final result in Adams, the outcome of which cannot be predicted
with any reliability. These issues include:

     (1) the legal sufficiency of the novel statutory claims
         pled by the claimants;

     (2) the applicability of claimants' legal theories to
         insurers who issued excess policies and/or neither
         defended nor controlled the defense of certain
         policyholders;

     (3) the possibility that certain of the claims are barred
         by various Statutes of Limitation;

     (4) the fact that the imposition of duties would interfere
         with the attorney-client privilege and the contractual
         rights and responsibilities of the parties to the
         Company's insurance policies;

     (5) whether plaintiffs' claims are barred in whole or in
         part by injunctions that have been issued by bankruptcy
         courts that are overseeing, or that have overseen, the
         bankruptcies of various insureds;

     (6) whether some or all of the named plaintiffs or members
         of the plaintiff class have released the Company from
         the claims alleged in the Amended Complaint when they
         resolved their underlying asbestos claims; and

     (7) the potential and relative magnitude of liabilities of
         co-defendants.


DESA HEATING: Recalls 534 Compact Fireplaces For Injury Hazard
--------------------------------------------------------------
In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
(CPSC), DESA Heating Products, of Bowling Green, Kentucky is
voluntarily recalling about 534 units of "Vanguard" and "FMI"
Compact Fireplaces.

According to the CPSC, the burner tube connection to the gas
valve can leak gas when the main burner is on. This leaking gas
can ignite, causing a minor flare-up, which could cause nearby
combustibles to ignite. DESA has received one report of a minor
flare-up of the fireplace. DESA has received no reports of
personal injury or property damage.

The recall includes DESA Heating Products 10,000 Btu
Thermostatically Controlled Compact Classic Hearth Fireplaces
that burn propane or natural gas. They have the following model
names and number: Vanguard (VMH10TPC & VMH10TNC) and FMI
(EFS10TPA & EFS10TNA). They have serial numbers between
015200000 and 017400000. The model and serial numbers are on the
end of the shipping carton and on the model data tags inside the
lower access door of the compact fireplaces.

Manufactured in United States, the fireplaces were sold at all
hearth shops, central heat and air conditioning retailers and
gas suppliers nationwide from April 2004 through June 2005 for
between $639 and $912.

Consumers should stop using this fireplace immediately and
contact your retailer to schedule a free repair. If consumers
have any questions concerning this recall, they should contact
their local retailer or DESA.

Consumer Contact: Contact DESA toll-free at (866) 279-3225
between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or visit
the DESA Web site: http://www.desatech.com.


E PRIME: Plaintiffs Seek Certification For NY Securities Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs asked the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York to grant class certification for
the lawsuit filed against e prime inc., styled "Cornerstone
Propane Partners, L.P. et al. vs. e prime inc. et al."

Cornerstone Propane Partners, L.P., Robert Calle Gracey and
Dominick Viola filed the suit on February 2, 2004, on behalf of
a class who purchased or sold one or more New York Mercantile
Exchange natural gas futures and/or options contracts during the
period from January 1, 2000, to December 31, 2002.  The
complaint alleges that defendants manipulated the price of
natural gas futures and options and/or the price of natural gas
underlying those contracts in violation of the Commodities
Exchange Act.

In February 2004, the plaintiff requested that this action be
consolidated with a similar suit involving Reliant Energy
Services.  In February 2004, the defendants, including the
Company, filed motions to dismiss. In September 2004, the court
denied the motions to dismiss.  On January 25, 2005, plaintiffs
filed a motion for class certification, which defendants
opposed.  The court has not reached a decision concerning this
motion.

The suit is styled "Cornerstone Propane Partners, L.P. et al v.
E Prime, Inc. et al., case no. 1:04-cv-00758-VM," filed in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York, under Judge Victor Marrero.  Representing the plaintiffs
is Bernard Persky, Goodkind Labaton Rudoff & Sucharow LLP, 100
Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017, Phone: (212) 907-0868, Fax:
(212) 883-7068, E-mail: bpersky@glrslaw.com.  Representing the
defendants are Jennifer A. Cohen and Jayant W. Tramble of Jones
Day, Reavis & Pogue, 222 east 41st Street, New York, NY 10017,
Phone: (212) 326-3939.


E PRIME: Consumers Launch Natural Gas Antitrust Suit in E.D CA
--------------------------------------------------------------
e prime inc. and Xcel Energy, Inc. faces a class action filed in
the United States District Court for the Eastern District of
California, on behalf of a purported class of gas purchasers.

Ever-Bloom, Inc. filed the suit, alleging that defendants
falsely reported natural gas trades to market trade publications
in an effort to artificially raise natural gas prices in
California purportedly in violation of the Sherman Act.


GENERAL ELECTRIC: Insurance Customers Launch Consumer Suit in IL
----------------------------------------------------------------
General Electric Capital Assurance Company faces a lawsuit filed
in the Circuit Court for the Third Judicial Circuit in Madison
County, Illinois, styled "Wilma Juanita Kern, et al. v. General
Electric Capital Assurance Company."

The plaintiffs seek to proceed on the basis of a class action,
brought on behalf of Illinois purchasers of long term care
insurance. Plaintiffs allege the improper refusal to provide
long term care benefits to long term care insureds who were
cared for in unlicensed facilities in Illinois, and the improper
sale of policies requiring insureds to reside in licensed
assisted care facilities during a time period when no licensed
facilities, or too few licensed facilities, were available in
Illinois.  Plaintiffs seek unspecified damages for breach of
contract, violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act and
unjust enrichment.  The Company has filed a motion to dismiss
and, in the alternative, a motion to transfer venue.


GULF SOUTH: Plaintiffs To Convert LA Suits To Individual Actions
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs in the two class actions filed against Gulf South
Pipeline Company, L.P. in Louisiana State Court intend to
convert the suits into individual actions.

On December 24, 2003, natural gas was observed bubbling at the
surface near two natural storage caverns that were being leased
and operated by the Company for natural gas storage in
Napoleonville, Louisiana.  The Company commenced remediation
efforts immediately and has ceased using those storage caverns.
Two class action lawsuits have been filed to date relating to
this incident; a declaratory judgment action has been filed and
stayed against the Company by the lessor of the property, and
several individual actions have been filed against the Company
and other defendants by local residents and businesses.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the
Company said that plaintiff's counsel informed them that the
plaintiffs intend to convert the class actions lawsuits into
individual actions. Pleadings to institute such a change in
status have been circulated in one of the cases.


HALLIBURTON CO.: Asks TX Court To Dismiss Amended Stock Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Halliburton Co. asked the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Texas to dismiss the third amended
securities class action filed against it, on behalf of
purchasers of its common stock.

On June 3, 2002, a class action lawsuit was filed against us in
federal court on behalf of purchasers of the Company's common
stock during the period of approximately May 1998 until
approximately May 2002 alleging violations of the federal
securities laws.  In addition, the plaintiffs allege that the
Company overstated its revenue from unapproved claims by
recognizing amounts not reasonably estimable or probable of
collection. After that date, approximately twenty similar class
actions were filed against the Company.  Several of those
lawsuits also named as defendants Arthur Andersen LLP, our
independent accountants for the period covered by the lawsuits,
and several of its present or former officers and directors. The
class action cases were later consolidated and the amended
consolidated class action complaint, styled "Richard Moore, et
al. v. Halliburton Company, et al., was filed and served upon us
on April 11, 2003.

Subsequently, in October 2002 and March 2003, two derivative
actions arising out of essentially the same facts and
circumstances were filed, one of which was subsequently
dismissed, while the other was transferred to the same judge
before whom the "Moore" class action was pending.  

In early May 2003, the Company announced that it had entered
into a written memorandum of understanding setting forth the
terms upon which both the "Moore" class action and the remaining
derivative action would be settled. In June 2003, the lead
plaintiffs in the "Moore" class action filed a motion for leave
to file a second amended consolidated complaint, which was
granted by the court. In addition to restating the original
accounting and disclosure claims, the second amended
consolidated complaint includes claims arising out of the 1998
acquisition of Dresser Industries, Inc. by the Company,
including that the Company failed to timely disclose the
resulting asbestos liability exposure (the "Dresser claims").
The Dresser claims were included in the settlement discussions
leading up to the signing of the memorandum of understanding and
are among the claims the parties intended to be resolved by the
terms of the proposed settlement of the consolidated "Moore"
class action and the derivative action.

The memorandum of understanding called for the Company to pay $6
million, which would be funded by insurance proceeds. After the
May 2003 announcement regarding the memorandum of understanding,
one of the lead plaintiffs in the consolidated class action
announced that it was dissatisfied with the lead plaintiffs'
counsel's handling of settlement negotiations and what the
dissident plaintiff regarded as inadequate communications by the
lead plaintiffs' counsel.  The dissident lead plaintiff further
asserted that it believed that, for various reasons, the $6
million settlement amount is inadequate.

The attorneys representing the dissident plaintiff, filed
another class action complaint in August 2003, raising
allegations similar to those raised in the second amended
consolidated complaint regarding the accounting and disclosure
claims and the Dresser claims. In addition, the complaint
enhances the Dresser claims to include allegations related to
the Company's accounting with respect to the acquisition,
integration, and reserves of Dresser.  The Company moved to
dismiss that complaint, styled "Kimble v. Halliburton Company,
et al.;" however, the court never ruled on our motion and
ordered the case consolidated with the "Moore" class action. On
August 3, 2004, the attorneys representing the dissident
plaintiff filed a motion for leave to file yet another class
action complaint styled "Murphey v. Halliburton Company, et
al.," which was subsequently granted by the court. The Murphey
complaint raised and augments allegations similar to those in
the "Moore" class action and the "Kimble" action, including
additional allegations regarding disclosure of asbestos
liability exposure.

On June 7, 2004, the court entered an order preliminarily
approving the settlement.  Following the transfer of the case(s)
to another district judge and a final hearing on the fairness of
the settlement, on September 9, 2004, the court entered an order
holding that evidence of the settlement's fairness was
inadequate and denying the motion for final approval of the
settlement in the "Moore" class action and ordering the parties,
among other things, to mediate.  After the court's denial of the
motion to approve the settlement, the Company withdrew from the
settlement as it believes it is entitled to do by its terms,
although the settling plaintiffs assert otherwise. In the days
preceding the mediation, two union-sponsored pension funds filed
motions seeking leave to intervene in the consolidated class
action litigation and to file their own class action complaint.
The court has granted those motions. The mediation was held on
January 27, 2005 and, at the conclusion of that day, was
declared by the mediator to be at an impasse with no settlement
having been reached.

After the mediation, the lead plaintiff and lead counsel filed
motions to withdraw as lead plaintiff and lead counsel. The
court conducted a hearing on those motions on April 29, 2005. At
that hearing the court appointed co-lead counsel and directed
that they file a third consolidated amended complaint not later
than May 9, 2005 and that the Company file its motion to dismiss
not later than June 8, 2005.  That motion has now been filed and
fully briefed.  The court has set a hearing on that motion for
August 2, 2005.

On September 9, 2004, the court ordered that if no objections to
the settlement of the derivative action described above were
made by October 20, 2004, the courtwould finally approve the
derivative action settlement. On February 18, 2005, the court
entered an order dismissing the derivative action with
prejudice.

The suit is styled "The Archdiocese of Milwaukee Supporting
Fund, Inc., et al v. Halliburton Company, et al., case no. 3:02-
cv-01152 ," filed in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Texas, under Judge Barbara M. G. Lynn.  
Representing the Company is Thomas E Bilek of Hoeffner & Bilek,
1000 Louisiana St, Suite 1302, Houston, TX 77002, Phone:
713/227-7720, Fax: 713/227-9404, E-mail: tbilek@hb-legal.com.  
Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (1) Richard S Schiffrin, Schiffrin & Barroway - Radnor, 280
         King of Prussia Rd, Radnor, PA 19087, Phone:
         610/667-7706, Fax: 610/667-7056

     (2) Marc R. Stanley, Stanley Mandel & Iola, 3100 Monticello   
         Ave, Suite 750, Dallas, TX 75205, Phone: 214/443-4301,
         Fax: 214/443-0358, E-mail: mstanley@smi-law.com  

     (3) Thomas Burt, Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz, 270
         Madison Ave, Ninth Floor, New York, NY 10016, Phone:
         212/545-4600


HUNDAI CARRIBEAN: Recalls 330 Tucson Vehicles For Crash Hazard  
--------------------------------------------------------------
Hyundai Caribbean-Puerto Rico in cooperation with the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Office of Defects
Investigation (ODI) is voluntarily recalling about 330 units of
2005 Hyundai / Tucson passenger vehicles due to crash hazard
stop arm assembly defect. NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 05V342000.

According to the ODI, on certain vehicles, the parking lever
ratchet pawl was not properly manufactured and may damage the
teeth of the parking lever ratchet. Damaged parking brake lever
ratchet teeth may prevent the parking brake from engaging or may
allow the parking brake to release after it has been engaged.
The inability to engage or the inadvertent release of the
parking brake lever, may allow the vehicle to roll while it is
parked and may result in a crash.

As a remedy, dealers will replace the parking brake lever
assembly.

For more details, contact Hyundai of Puerto Rico, Phone:
1-800-981-0188 OR the NHTSA Auto Safety Hotline: 1-888-327-4236
or 1-800-424-9153, Web site: http://www.safecar.gov.


IRVING MATERIALS: Six Additional Price Fixing Suits Filed in IN
---------------------------------------------------------------
Six lawsuits were launched against Irving Materials Inc. in the
last 10 days, bringing to 14 the total number of cases against
the ready-mixed concrete firm, Indianapolis Star reports.   The
suits are seeking class action status and triple damages against
IMI, which will pay a $29.2 million fine.

The companies filing suit are A&K Concrete of Greenwood,
Cherokee Development Inc. of Edinburgh, Englehardt Contracting
of Bloomington, Myers Concrete Finishing of Mitchell, and M&M
Properties, MDR Properties and 502 Properties, all of
Louisville, Kentucky.

As previously reported in the July 4, 2005 edition of the Class
Action Reporter, the Justice Department's price-fixing
investigation into the Indianapolis-area ready mix concrete
industry triggered lawsuits by contractors claiming they were
forced to overpay for concrete.  The first of this suits was by
Boyle Construction Management Co. Inc. of Indianapolis, which
filed a class action complaint against concrete maker Irving, a
day after the Greenfield firm pleaded guilty and accepted a
$29.2 million fine, the highest fine ever in a domestic
antitrust case.


IRWIN BUSINESS: NJ Court Refuses Certification For Consumer Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Superior Court of New Jersey, Monmouth County refused to
grant class certification to the class action filed against
Irwin Business Finance Corporation, styled "Exquisite Caterers,
LLC et al. v. Popular Leasing et al."

The suit was amended to include the Company and others as
defendants on September 1, 2004. The plaintiffs seek
certification of a class of persons who leased network computer
equipment from NorVergence, Inc. whose leases were assigned to
defendants. The complaint alleges that NorVergence
misrepresented the services and equipment provided, that the
lessees were defrauded and the lease agreements should not be
enforced. The action alleges violations of, among other things,
the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act; the New Jersey Truth-in-
Consumer Contract, Warranty, and Notice Act; the FTC Holder
Rule; the FTC Act; and breach of contract and implied
warranties.  The plaintiffs seek compensatory, statutory and
punitive damages, and injunctive relief, including rescission of
the leases and cessation of collections.

On June 16, 2005, the court denied Plaintiffs' alternative
motions for certification of either a nationwide class or a
class of New Jersey residents only. Plaintiffs have filed a
motion for reconsideration of the order denying certification of
a class limited to New Jersey residents.  A hearing on the
motion for reconsideration is scheduled for early August 2005.


IRWIN BUSINESS: Plaintiffs Withdraw FL Norvergence Inc. Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed a class action filed against
Irwin Business Finance Corporation and other lenders in the
Circuit Court of the 11th Judicial Circuit, Miami-Dade County,
Florida.

A suit, styled "Sterling Asset & Equity Corp. et al. v.
Preferred Capital, Inc. et al.," was originally filed in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of
Florida in October 2004 and was voluntarily dismissed in January
2005.  The plaintiffs then filed a similar complaint in the
Circuit Court of the 11th Judicial Circuit, Miami-Dade County,
Florida on January 14, 2005 seeking class certification on
behalf of Florida persons or entities who leased equipment from
NorVergence, Inc. and whose agreement was assigned to one of the
named lenders.

The plaintiffs alleged that NorVergence engaged in false,
misleading and deceptive sales and billing practices.  The
complaint alleges violations of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair
Trade Practices Act, the FTC Holder Rule, and breach of contract
and warranties. Plaintiffs sought, among other relief,
compensatory and punitive damages, injunctive and/or declaratory
relief prohibiting enforcement of the leases, rescission, return
of payments, interest, attorneys' fees and costs.  Plaintiffs
voluntarily dismissed this action in June 2005 after the Company
had filed its motion to dismiss the complaint.


IRWIN MORTGAGE: IN Court Mulls Consumer Lawsuit Summary Judgment
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Indiana Superior Court for Marion County heard Irwin
Mortgage Corporation's motion for summary judgment in the class
action filed against it, styled "Silke v. Irwin Mortgage
Corporation."  The suit, filed in April 2003, alleges that the
Company charged a document preparation fee in violation of
Indiana law for services performed by clerical personnel in
completing legal documents related to mortgage loans.

The Company filed an answer on June 11, 2003 and a motion for
summary judgment on October 27, 2003.  On June 18, 2004, the
court certified a plaintiff class consisting of Indiana
borrowers who were allegedly charged the fee by the Company any
time after April 17, 1997.  This date was later clarified by
stipulation of the parties to be April 14, 1997.  In November
2004, the court heard arguments on the Company's motion for
summary judgment and plaintiffs' motion seeking to send out
class notice.


IRWIN UNION: Seeks Dismissal of RICO, RESPA, TILA Suits in AL,PA
----------------------------------------------------------------
Irwin Union Bank and Trust Company is seeking the dismissal of
two class actions filed in connection with loans Irwin Union
Bank purchased from Community Bank of Northern Virginia
(Community).

The first suit, styled "Hobson v. Irwin Union Bank and Trust
Company" was filed on July 30, 2004 in the United States
District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.  As amended
on August 30, 2004, the "Hobson" complaint, seeks certification
of both a plaintiffs' and a defendants' class, the plaintiffs'
class to consist of all persons who obtained loans from
Community and whose loans were purchased by Irwin Union Bank.
The suit alleges that defendants violated the Truth-in-Lending
Act (TILA), the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act
(HOEPA), the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and
the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).
On October 12, 2004, the Company filed a motion to dismiss the
"Hobson" claims as untimely filed and substantively defective.
On March 4, 2005, the court held a hearing on the Company's
motion to dismiss.

The second suit is styled "Kossler v. Community Bank of Northern
Virginia" and was originally filed in July 2002 in the United
States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.
The Company was added as a defendant in December 2004.  The
complaint seeks certification of a plaintiffs' class and seeks
to void the mortgage loans as illegal contracts. Plaintiffs also
seek recovery against the Company for alleged RESPA violations
and for conversion. On June 23, 2005, the company filed a motion
to dismiss the Kossler action.

The plaintiffs in both suits claim that Community was allegedly
engaged in a lending arrangement involving the use of its
charter by certain third parties who charged high fees that were
not representative of the services rendered and not properly
disclosed as to the amount or recipient of the fees. The loans
in question are allegedly high cost/high interest loans under
Section 32 of HOEPA.  Plaintiffs also allege illegal kickbacks
and fee splitting.

In "Hobson," the plaintiffs allege that the Company was aware of
Community's alleged arrangement when it purchased the loans and
that it participated in a RICO enterprise and conspiracy related
to the loans.  Because the Company bought the loans from
Community, the "Hobson" plaintiffs are alleging that the Company
has assignee liability under HOEPA.


JACKSON HEWITT: Discovery Proceeds in CA Consumer Loans Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Discovery is proceeding in the class action filed against
Jackson Hewitt Tax Service, Inc. and the Santa Barbara Bank &
Trust (SBB&T) in the Superior Court of California, Santa Barbara
County.

On April 4, 2003, Canieva Hood and Congress of California
Seniors filed the suit in connection with the provision of
refund anticipation loans, seeking declaratory relief as to the
lawfulness of the practice of cross-lender debt collection, the
validity of Santa Barbara's cross-lender debt collection
provision and whether the method of disclosure to customers with
respect to the provision is unlawful or fraudulent.  Jackson
Hewitt was joined in the action for allegedly collaborating, and
aiding and abetting, in the actions of SBB& T.  

The Company filed a demurrer to the complaint.  The Court denied
the demurrer and granted leave to plaintiffs to amend their
complaint.  The Company has answered the amended complaint,
denying any liability.  The case is in its discovery and
pretrial stage.  

Ms. Hood has also filed a separate suit against the Company and
Cendant Corporation on December 18, 2003 in the Ohio Court of
Common Pleas (Montgomery County) and is seeking to certify a
class in the action.  The allegations relate to the same set of
facts as the California action.  In January 2004, the Company
filed a motion to remove this case to federal court in Ohio and
also moved the federal court to stay, or dismiss, the Ohio
action while permitting the California action to proceed.  The
case was remanded to state court where the Company filed a
motion to stay or dismiss, which was denied.  


JACKSON HEWITT: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Tax Preparation Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Jackson Hewitt Tax Services, Inc. asked the Supreme Court of the
State of New York, County of New York to dismiss an amended
class action filed on behalf of residents of the State of New
York who engaged the Company to provide tax preparation services
and who, through the Company, entered into an agreement to
receive a refund anticipation loan (RAL).  

Myron Benton filed the suit on June 18,2004, and also names
Pacific Capital Bancorp and the Santa Barbara Bank & Trust as
defendants.  The suit was filed in connection with disclosures
made in connection with the provision of RALs, alleging that the
disclosures and related practices are fraudulent and otherwise
unlawful, and seeking equitable and monetary relief.

The Company filed a motion to dismiss that complaint.  In
response, Mr. Benton withdrew his original complaint and filed
an amended complaint on January 3, 2005.  


KAWASAKI MOTORS: Recalls 155T 2001-05 ATVs Due to Injury Hazard
---------------------------------------------------------------
In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
(CPSC), Kawasaki Motors Corporation U.S.A., of Irvine,
California is voluntarily recalling about 155T units of Kawasaki
Model Year 2001-2005 Prairie and Brute Force All-Terrain
Vehicles (ATVs).

According to the CPSC, a significant impact to the front wheel
of the ATV while the steering is fully turned to either side can
result in suspension damage, wear, and an eventual loss of
steering control that could result in injury or death. Kawasaki
previously recalled the Prairie 700 4x4 in March 2005 because
the age recommendation-warning label was missing. Kawasaki has
received 42 reports of ball joint separation, which could result
in loss of steering control. Three injuries have been reported.

The recall includes 2001 through 2005 Prairie and Brute Force
Kawasaki ATVs. The following Kawasaki ATV models are included in
this recall: Prairie 300, Prairie 300 4x4, Prairie 360, Prairie
360 4x4, Prairie 400, Prairie 400 4x4, Prairie 650 4x4, Prairie
700 4x4, and Brute Force 650 4x4. The model numbers can be found
on the identification label located on the frame of the ATV.
"Prairie" or "Brute Force" is printed on each side of the
vehicle's gas tank.

Manufactured in United States, were sold at all Kawasaki dealers
nationwide from August 2000 through July 2005 for between $4,400
and $7,400.

Consumers should stop using the recalled ATVs immediately and
contact an authorized Kawasaki ATV dealer to arrange for a free
repair. Registered owners of the vehicles will be notified
directly by Kawasaki about the recall.

Consumer Contact: For more information, call Kawasaki toll-free
at (866) 802-9381 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. PT Monday
through Friday, or visit their Web site:
http://www.kawasaki.com.


LANDSTAR SYSTEM: FL Court Orders Mediation For OOIDA Lease Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Middle District of
Florida, Jacksonville Division ordered parties in the class
action filed against Landstar System, Inc. to enter mediation,
which is due to begin on September 7, 2005.

On November 1, 2002, the Owner Operator Independent Drivers
Association, Inc. (OOIDA) and six individual Independent
Contractors filed a putative class action complaint, alleging
that certain aspects of the Company's motor carrier leases with
its Independent Contractors violate certain federal leasing
regulations and seeks injunctive relief, an unspecified amount
of damages and attorney's fees.

On March 8 and June 4, 2004, the Court dismissed all claims of
one of the six individual Plaintiffs on the grounds that the ICC
Termination Act is not applicable to leases signed before the
Act's January 1, 1996, effective date, and dismissed all claims
of all remaining Plaintiffs against four of the seven Company
entities previously named as Defendants.  Claims currently
survive against the following Company entities - Landstar Inway,
Inc., Landstar Ligon, Inc. and Landstar Ranger, Inc.

With respect to the remaining claims, the June 4, 2004 order
held that the Act created a private right of action to which a
four-year statute of limitation applies.  On November 30, 2004,
the Court heard oral argument on a motion by OOIDA to certify
the case as a class action.  On April 7, 2005, Plaintiffs filed
an Amended Complaint that included additional allegations with
respect to violations of certain federal leasing regulations.  
On April 18 and June 10, 2005, Defendants filed motions for
partial summary judgment to address the claims of the Amended
Complaint. The Court is expected to rule prior to trial on the
pending motions for class-certification and summary judgment.  
Trial for this matter has been set for the trial term beginning
October 3, 2005.


MAINE: Hearing Fails to Produce Ruling In Strip Search Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
A recent hearing in Portland, Maine failed to rule on the
propriety of a settlement in a class action suit against the old
York County, which accused of illegal strip searches at the
county's jail, The WMTW.com reports.

In the settlement, the county agreed to pay more than $3 million
to those people who were strip searched at the jail after
October 1996. At the time, the jail's policy was to strip-search
everyone, regardless of why they were arrested.

The lawsuit argued that the policy was unfair and intrusive.
York County agreed to the terms of the settlement, which pays
out $1,400 to male claimants and $2,800 to female claimants last
December.  However, Judge Brock Hornby, who presided over the
case did not make a final decision at the recent hearing.


MEDCO HEALTH: Working To Settle ERISA Fraud Lawsuits in S.D. NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
Medco Health Solutions, Inc. and Merck-Medco Managed Care, LLC
is working on the settlement of several class actions filed
against them alleging violations of the Employee Retirement
Income Security Act (ERISA).

In December 1997, a lawsuit captioned "Gruer v. Merck-Medco
Managed Care, L.L.C."  was filed in the U.S. District Court for
the Southern District of New York.  The suit alleges that the
Company should be treated as a "fiduciary" under the provisions
of ERISA and that the Company has breached fiduciary obligations
under ERISA in a variety of ways.

After the Gruer case was filed, a number of other cases were
filed in the same court asserting similar claims.  In December
2002, Merck and the Company agreed to settle the Gruer series of
lawsuits on a class action basis for $42.5 million, and agreed
to certain business practice changes, to avoid the significant
cost and distraction of protracted litigation.  The release of
claims under the settlement applies to plans for which the
Company has administered a pharmacy benefit at any time between
December 17, 1994 and the date of final approval. It does not
involve the release of any potential antitrust claims.

The plaintiff in one of the cases discussed above, "Blumenthal
v. Merck-Medco Managed Care, L.L.C., et al." has elected to opt
out of the settlement.  In May 2004, the district court granted
final approval to the settlement.  The settlement becomes final
only after all appeals have been exhausted. Two appeals are
pending.

Similar ERISA-based complaints against the Company and Merck
were filed in eight additional actions by ERISA plan
participants, purportedly on behalf of their plans, and, in some
of the actions, similarly situated self-funded plans. The ERISA
plans themselves, which were not parties to these lawsuits, have
elected to participate in the settlement discussed above and,
accordingly, seven of these actions have been dismissed.

The plaintiff in another action, styled "Betty Jo Jones v.
Merck-Medco Managed Care, L.L.C., et al.," has filed a Second
Amended Complaint, in which she seeks to represent a class of
all participants and beneficiaries of ERISA plans that required
such participants to pay a percentage co-payment on prescription
drugs.  The effect of the release under the settlement discussed
above on the "Jones" action has not yet been litigated.

In addition to these cases, a proposed class action complaint
against Merck and the Company has been filed by trustees of
another benefit plan, the United Food and Commercial Workers
Local Union No. 1529 and Employers Health and Welfare Plan
Trust, in the United States District Court for the Northern
District of California.  This plan has elected to opt out of the
settlement. The United Food action has been transferred and
consolidated in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York by order of the Judicial Panel on
Multidistrict Litigation.

In April 2003, a lawsuit captioned "Peabody Energy Corporation
v. Medco Health Solutions, Inc., et al." was filed in the U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.  The
complaint, filed by one of the Company's former clients, relies
on allegations similar to those in the ERISA cases discussed
above, in addition to allegations relating specifically to
Peabody, which has elected to opt out of the settlement
described above.  In December 2003, Peabody filed a similar
action against Merck in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of Missouri.  Both of these actions have been
transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District
of New York to be consolidated with the ERISA cases pending
against Merck and the Company in that court.

In June 2002, a lawsuit captioned "Miles v. Merck-Medco Managed
Care, L.L.C.," based on allegations similar to those in the
ERISA cases discussed above, was filed against Merck and the
Company in the Superior Court of California. The theory of
liability in this action is based on a California law
prohibiting unfair business practices. The Miles case was
removed to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of
California and was later transferred to the U.S. District Court
for the Southern District of New York and consolidated with the
ERISA cases pending against Merck and the Company in that court.

In March 2003, a lawsuit captioned "American Federation of
State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) v. AdvancePCS et
al." based on allegations similar to those in the ERISA cases
discussed above, was filed against the Company and other major
PBMs in the Superior Court of California.  The theory of
liability in this action is based on a California law
prohibiting unfair business practices. The plaintiff, which
purports to sue on behalf of itself, California non-ERISA health
plans, and all individual participants in such plans, seeks
injunctive relief and disgorgement of revenues that were
allegedly improperly received by the Company.  In March 2005,
the court in the "AFSCME" case dismissed that action with
prejudice.  That ruling is being appealed.

The suit is styled "In Re: Medco Health ERISA Litigation, case
no. 7:03-md-01508-CLB," filed in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of New York under Judge Charles
L. Brieant.  Representing the plaintiffs are Linda J. Cahn and
Mark Gardy of Abbey, Gardy & Squitieri, LLP, 212 East 39th
Street, New York, NY 10016, Phone: (212) 889-3700; or Philippe
Z. Selendy, BOIES, SCHILLER & FLEXNER, LLP, 570 Lexington Avenue
16th floor, New York, NY 10022, Phone: (212) 446-2300.  
Representing the Company are Bruce B. Kelson, Kenneth M. Kramer,
James P. Tallon of Shearman & Sterling, 555 California Street,
20th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104, Phone: (415) 616-1100, E-
mail: jtallon@shearman.com.  


MEDCO HEALTH: Plaintiffs File Amended Antitrust Suit in CA Court
----------------------------------------------------------------
Medco Health Solutions, Inc. faces an amended class action filed
in the Superior Court of California, styled "Alameda Drug
Company, Inc., et al. v. Medco Health Solutions, Inc., et al."  

The plaintiffs, which seek to represent a class of all
California pharmacies that have contracted with the Company and
that have indirectly purchased prescription drugs from the
Company, allege, among other things, that since the expiration
of a 1995 consent injunction entered by the U.S. District Court
for the Northern District of California, if not earlier, the
Company has failed to maintain an Open Formulary (as defined in
the consent injunction), and that the Company and Merck-MedCo
Managed Care LLC had failed to prevent nonpublic information
received from competitors of Merck and the Company from being
disclosed to each other.

The plaintiffs further allege that, as a result of these alleged
practices, the Company has been able to increase its market
share and artificially reduce the level of reimbursement to the
retail pharmacy class members, and that the prices of
prescription drugs from Merck and other pharmaceutical
manufacturers that do business with the Company have been fixed
and raised above competitive levels.  The plaintiffs assert
claims for violation of California antitrust law and California
law prohibiting unfair business practices.  The plaintiffs
demand, among other things, compensatory damages, restitution,
disgorgement of unlawfully obtained profits, and injunctive
relief.  In an Amended Complaint, the plaintiff further alleges,
among other things, that the Company acts as a purchasing agent
for its plan sponsor customers, resulting in a system that
serves to suppress competition.


MEDCO HEALTH: Pharmacies Launch AWP Fraud Suit in AL State Court
----------------------------------------------------------------
Medco Health Solutions, Inc. faces a class action filed in the
Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Alabama, styled "CAM
Enterprises, Inc. v. Merck & Co., Inc. and Medco Health
Solutions, Inc., et al."

The plaintiff, which seeks to represent a national class of
independent retail pharmacies that have contracted with the
Company under a formula that included the Average Wholesale
Price (AWP) as a method of reimbursement, alleges, among other
things, that the Company has refused to reimburse the plaintiff
using the correct AWP and has deceptively misled the plaintiff
regarding the nature of the Company's AWP reimbursement
methodology for brand-name prescriptions.  The plaintiff asserts
claims for misrepresentation/suppression, breach of contract,
unjust enrichment, and conspiracy.  The plaintiff seeks
compensatory damages, punitive damages, imposition of a
constructive trust, and injunctive relief.


MERCK & CO.: ME Resident Files State's First Vioxx Injury Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Bucksport resident Carol Lally initiated Maine's first federal
lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Bangor against Merck & Co.
Inc., the New Jersey firm that manufactured Vioxx, which is used
to relive pain and inflammation, The Bangor Daily News reports.

Ms. Lally, who is represented by prtland attorney Joseph L.
Bornstein, is seeking to become part of a class action suit
against the maker of Vioxx, which withdrew the drug from the
market last year after a long-term study showed that patients
who took Vioxx had an increased danger of heart attacks and
strokes after taking the drug for more than 18 months.  
According to the complaint, as of the moment, Ms. Lally has not
suffered any ill effects from Vioxx, but she is at a greater
risk of heart attack and stroke in the future. Court documents
though do not indicate Ms. Lally's age or why or for how long
she took Vioxx.

In the lawsuit, Ms. Lally is asking that Merck pay for non-
routine medical screenings as well as treatment for any
potential illness she may suffer as a result of having used the
drug. She also is seeking a jury trial. Although filed in Maine,
Ms. Lally's case is expected to be transferred, along with
others, to another state.

About 4,300 Vioxx-related lawsuits have been filed in state and
federal courts across the country. Vioxx suits against Merck
also are pending in state courts in New Jersey, California and
Texas.  More than 1,100 cases have been combined in U.S. Eastern
District Court of Louisiana in New Orleans with U.S. District
Judge Eldon E. Fallon overseeing them all. About 100 plaintiffs
of those cases are seeking class action status, according to
court documents.

As previously reported in the October 4, 2004 edition of the
Class Action Reporter, Merck & Co. withdrew its Vioxx drug
because of an increased risk of heart attack and stroke on
September 2004. In withdrawing the drug, Merck stated that new
data from a three-year clinical trial revealed that patients
taking Vioxx for more than 18 months have double the risk of
heart attack and stroke, compared to those taking a placebo.

Merck also said that the data showing the increased risk of
cardiovascular complications began 18 months after patients
began taking Vioxx at a 25-milligram dose once daily. Peter S.
Kim, president of Merck research labs, even said at a recent
press conference that 7.5 patients out of 1,000 taking the
placebo had a heart attack or stroke after 18 months, while 15
patients out of 1,000 taking Vioxx had a heart attack or stroke
during the same 18 months.  An estimated 12,000 Maine residents
were taking the medication at the time it was withdrawn.


MICHIGAN: Law Firm Sues Attorney For Falsifying Court Documents
---------------------------------------------------------------
A lawsuit was filed in Oakland County Circuit Court against a
Southfield attorney already facing criminal charges accusing him
of falsifying court documents, The Associated Press reports.

According to the Macuga and Liddle law firm, it filed the
$25,000 lawsuit against Howard A. Katz. The suit, which seeks
class action status, alleges that Mr. Katz falsified documents
to obtain judgments against hundreds of people accused of not
paying debts.

Court records revealed that Mr. Katz is accused of filing
paperwork with courts stating that debtors had received notices
that were never served. According to records, when debtors
failed to show up in court, judges ruled against them by
default.  Mr. Katz, who could face more than 24 years in prison,
if convicted, was charged last month in Lincoln Park District
Court with about 300 counts of criminal contempt.


NEXTEL COMMUNICATIONS: Continues To Face MD Wireless Phone Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
reversed the dismissal of the consolidated class action filed
against Nextel Communications, Inc. and other wireless carriers
and manufacturers of wireless telephones and reinstated the suit
in the United States District Court for the District of
Maryland.

The complaint alleges that the defendants, among other things,
manufactured and distributed wireless telephones that cause
adverse health affects.  The plaintiffs seek compensatory
damages, reimbursement for certain costs including reasonable
legal fees, punitive damages and injunctive relief.  

On March 5, 2003, the court granted the defendants' consolidated
motion to dismiss plaintiffs' claims on preemption grounds.  In
April 2004, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth
Circuit reversed that dismissal and reinstated the cases, and a
motion for rehearing was denied.

The suit is styled "In re Wireless Telephone Radio Frequency
Emissions Products Liability Litigation, case no. 1:01-md-01421-
CCB," filed in the United States District Court in Maryland,
under Judge Catherine C. Blake.  

Representing the plaintiffs is Mayer Morganroth, Morganroth and
Morganroth PLLC, 3000 Town Cntr Ste 1500, Southfield, MI 48075,
Phone: 1-248-355-3084, Fax: 1-248-355-3017, E-mail:
jgurfinkel@morganrothlaw.com.  Representing the Company is
Kenneth L. Thompson and Michael E. Yaggy, DLA Piper Rudnick Gray
Cary US LLP, 6225 Smith Ave, Baltimore, MD 21209-3600, Phone: 1-
410-580-3000, Fax: 1-410-580-3001, E-mail:
kenneth.thompson@dlapiper.com, michael.yaggy@dlapiper.com;
Anthony Michael Conti, Conti and Fenn LLC, 36 S Charles St Ste
2501, Baltimore, MD 21201, Phone: 1-410-837-6999, Fax:
1-410-510-1647, E-mail: tony@contifenn.com.


NEXTEL COMMUNICATIONS: Working To Settle Consumer Fraud Lawsuits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Nextel Communications, Inc. is working to settle litigation
filed in state and federal courts around the United States,
challenging the manner by which the Company recovers the costs
of federally mandated universal service, Telecommunications
Relay Service payment requirements imposed by the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC), and the costs (including costs
to implement changes to the Company's network) to comply with
federal regulatory requirements to provide enhanced 911, or
E911, telephone number pooling and telephone number portability.

In general, these plaintiffs claim that the Company's rate
structure that breaks out and assesses federal program cost
recovery fees on monthly customer bills is misleading and
unlawful. The plaintiffs generally seek injunctive relief and
damages on behalf of a class of customers, including a refund of
amounts collected under these regulatory line item assessments.

The Company has reached a preliminary settlement with the
plaintiff, who represents a nationwide class of affected
customers, in one of the lawsuits that challenged the manner by
which the Company recovers the costs to comply with federal
regulatory requirements to provide E911, telephone number
pooling and telephone number portability.  The settlement has
been approved by the court and affirmed by the United States
Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, but a petition for
certiorari was filed with the U.S. Supreme Court.


OREGON: Lawsuit Launched Over Improperly Taxed Disability Checks
----------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit filed in Marion County Circuit Court in
Oregon is seeking refunds for hundreds of state employees who
claim taxes were improperly withheld from their disability
checks, The Associated Press reports.

Specifically, the suit charges the Public Employees Retirement
System and state Department of Revenue with negligence. The
started after Salem resident Brad Howser, a former state
employee, discovered that his disability checks had been taxed
improperly for 11 years, but that he could only get three years'
payments refunded under state and federal rules.

For at least two decades, PERS told workers that payments for
work-related disabilities were taxable, and taxes were withheld.
But in February, PERS said new legal advice had concluded that
the checks should never have been taxed.  Thus, PERS encouraged
Mr. Howser and the others to seek refunds for 2001, 2002 and
2003, however they stated that it was too late to get earlier
taxes refunded.

According to Mr. Howser, he is owed some $20,000 in earlier
taxes he paid. He also adds, "They need to correct a wrong that
they had done not only me, but with everybody that's fallen in
this category." He goes on to say, "They made a mistake and they
need to correct it."  Mr. Howser told The Associated Press that
he received calls from other disabled workers after an article
about his grievance appeared in the Salem Statesman-Journal in
May.

Paul Connolly, the Republican candidate for Oregon attorney
general in 2004, is representing Mr. Howser and Bryon Beaulieu,
a former Winston police officer.  With a class action lawsuit,
Mr. Connolly told The Associated Press that he could win refunds
for approximately 300 other workers as well. Referring to an
earlier Oregon Tax Court decision, Mr. Connolly, who is seeking
full reimbursement plus 9 percent interest said, "They had this
information for four years, and it wasn't until February of 2005
that PERS sent notices to duty-disability recipients that they
made a mistake and should apply for refunds. This shows gross
negligence on the state's part."

Steve Rodeman, manager of the PERS policy, planning and legal
analysis group, told The Associated Press that he has not seen
the Oregon Tax Court decision and was not aware of it. He adds
that the state's position has been that it was the recipients'
responsibility to file their taxes properly.


PREMCOR REFINING: Faces IL Injury Suits V. Blue Island Refinery
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Premcor Refining Group, Inc. faces several class actions
relating to its Blue Island refinery's accidental release of
used catalyst into the air in October 1994 and in June 2000.

In October 1995, a class action, styled "Rosolowski v. Clark
Refining & Marketing, Inc., et al.," was filed against the
Company seeking to recover damages in an unspecified amount for
alleged property damage and non-permanent personal injury
resulting from that catalyst release.  The complaint underlying
this action was later amended to add allegations of subsequent
events that allegedly interfered with the use and enjoyment of
neighboring property.

In June 2000, the Company's Blue Island refinery experienced an
electrical malfunction that resulted in another accidental
release of used catalyst into the air. Following the 2000
catalyst release, two cases were filed purporting to be class
actions, "Madrigal et al. v. The Premcor Refining Group Inc."
and "Mason et al. v. The Premcor Refining Group Inc."  Both
cases sought damages in an unspecified amount for alleged
property damage and personal injury resulting from that catalyst
release.

"Mason" was voluntarily dismissed in 2004.  "Rosolowski" and
"Madrigal" have been consolidated for the purpose of conducting
discovery, which is currently proceeding.  Other single
plaintiff cases regarding the same incidents are also pending.
The cases are pending in Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois.

One suit is styled "Kenneth Mason v. Premcor Refining Group,
Inc., case no. 2000-L-007134," filed in the Circuit Court for
Cook County, Illinois, Chancery Division under Judge Albert
Green.  Plaintiff Mason is represented by Robert J. Wagner, 108
Walkup Ave., Crystal Lake, IL 60014, Phone: (815) 455-1448.  

The other suit is styled "Priscilla Rosolowski v. Premcor
Refining Group, Inc., case no. 1995-L-014703," filed in the
Circuit Court for Cook County, Illinois, Law Division, under
Judge Lawrence Leck.  Plaintiff Rosolowski is represented by
Mary Ann Pohl, P.C., 77 W. Washington #519, Chicago, IL 60607,
Phone: (312) 641-2387.

The Company is represented Mayer Brown & Platt, 190 S. LaSalle,
Chicago, IL 60603, Phone: (312) 782-0600.


RENT-A-CENTER INC.: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Thorn Americas Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Rent-A-Center, Inc. asked New York Superior Court to dismiss the
class action filed against Thorn Americas, Inc., which was
assumed by the Company in connection with the Thorn Americas
acquisition.

The suit, styled "Colon v. Thorn Americas, Inc." was filed in
November 1997.  The plaintiff acknowledges that rent-to-own
transactions in New York are subject to the provisions of New
York's s Rental Purchase Statute but contends the Rental
Purchase Statute does not provide Thorn Americas immunity from
suit for other statutory violations.  The plaintiff alleges
Thorn Americas has a duty to disclose effective interest under
New York consumer protection laws, and seeks damages and
injunctive relief for Thorn Americas' failure to do so. This
suit also alleges violations relating to excessive and
unconscionable pricing, late fees, harassment, undisclosed
charges, and the ease of use and accuracy of its payment
records.  In the prayer for relief, the plaintiff requested
class certification, injunctive relief requiring Thorn Americas
to cease certain marketing practices and price their rental
purchase contracts in certain ways, unspecified compensatory and
punitive damages, rescission of the class members contracts, an
order placing in trust all moneys received by Thorn Americas in
connection with the rental of merchandise during the class
period, treble damages, attorney's fees, filing fees and costs
of suit, pre- and post-judgment interest, and any further relief
granted by the court.  The plaintiff has not alleged a specific
monetary amount with respect to the request for damages.

The proposed class includes all New York residents who were
party to the Company's rent-to-own contracts from November 26,
1994. In November 2000, following interlocutory appeal by both
parties from the denial of cross-motions for summary judgment,
the Company obtained a favorable ruling from the Appellate
Division of the State of New York, dismissing the plaintiff's
claims based on the alleged failure to disclose an effective
interest rate. The plaintiff's other claims were not dismissed.

The plaintiff moved to certify a state-wide class in December
2000.  The plaintiff's class certification motion was heard by
the court on November 7, 2001 and, on September 12, 2002, the
court issued an opinion denying in part and granting in part the
plaintiff's requested certification. The opinion grants
certification as to all of the plaintiff's claims except the
plaintiff's pricing claims pursuant to the Rental Purchase
Statute, as to which certification was denied.  The parties have
differing views as to the effect of the court's opinion, and
accordingly, the court granted the parties permission to submit
competing orders as to the effect of the opinion on the
plaintiff's specific claims. Both proposed orders were submitted
to the court on March 27, 2003, and on May 30, 2003, the court
held a hearing regarding such orders.  No order has yet been
entered by the court.

From June 2003 until May 2005, there was no activity in this
case. On May 18, 2005, the Company filed a motion to dismiss the
plaintiff's claim and to decertify the class, based upon the
plaintiff's failure to schedule her claim in this matter in her
earlier voluntary bankruptcy proceeding.  The plaintiff filed a
response, and the motion is currently pending.


RENT-A-CENTER INC.: TX Court Refuses To Dismiss Securities Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court in Texarkana, Texas dropped
several defendants but refused to dismiss the class action filed
against Rent-A-Center, Inc. and certain of its current and
former officers and directors, styled "Terry Walker, et. al. v.
Rent-A-Center, Inc., et. al."

The suit was filed on January 4, 2002, alleging that the
defendants violated Sections 10(b) and/or Section 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder by
issuing false and misleading statements and omitting material
facts regarding the Company's financial performance and
prospects for the third and fourth quarters of 2001.  The
complaint purported to be brought on behalf of all purchasers of
the Company's common stock from April 25, 2001 through October
8, 2001 and sought damages in unspecified amounts. Similar
complaints were consolidated by the court with the "Walker"
matter in October 2002.

On November 25, 2002, the lead plaintiffs filed an amended
consolidated complaint, which added certain of our outside
directors as defendants to the Exchange Act claims.  The amended
complaint also added additional claims that the Company, and
certain of its current and former officers and directors,
violated various provisions of the Securities Act as a result of
alleged misrepresentations and omissions in connection with an
offering in May 2001 and also added the managing underwriters in
that offering as defendants.

On February 7, 2003, the Company, along with certain officer and
director defendants, filed a motion to dismiss the matter as
well as a motion to transfer venue. In addition, the Company's
outside directors named in the matter separately filed a motion
to dismiss the Securities Act claims on statute of limitations
grounds.  On February 19, 2003, the underwriter defendants also
filed a motion to dismiss the matter.  The plaintiffs filed
response briefs to these motions, to which the Company replied
on May 21, 2003. A hearing was held by the court on June 26,
2003 to hear each of these motions.

On September 30, 2003, the court granted the Company's motion to
dismiss without prejudice, dismissed without prejudice the
outside directors' and underwriters' separate motions to dismiss
and denied the Company's motion to transfer venue.  In its order
on the motions to dismiss, the court granted the lead plaintiffs
leave to replead the case within certain parameters.  On October
9, 2003, the lead plaintiffs filed a motion for reconsideration
with the court with respect to the Securities Act claims, which
the court subsequently denied.

On July 7, 2004, the plaintiffs again repled their claims by
filing a third amended consolidated complaint, raising
allegations of similar violations against the same parties
generally based upon alleged facts not previously asserted.  The
Company, along with certain officer and director defendants and
the underwriter defendants, filed motions to dismiss the third
amended consolidated complaint on August 23, 2004.  The
plaintiffs filed response briefs to these motions on October 6,
2004, to which the Company filed a reply brief on November 18,
2004, and the other defendants filed reply briefs on November
17, 2004.  A hearing on the motions was held on April 14, 2005.
On July 25, 2005, the court ruled on these motions, dismissing
with prejudice the claims against the Company's outside
directors as well as the underwriter defendants, but denying the
Company's motion to dismiss. In evaluating this motion to
dismiss, the court was required to view the pleadings in the
light most favorable to the plaintiffs and to take the
plaintiffs' allegations as true.


RENT-A-CENTER INC.: TX Court Reverses Fraud Suit Certification
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Texas Court of Appeals reversed the certification of a
lawsuit filed against Rent-A-Center, Inc., styled "Carey Duron,
et. al. v. Rent-A-Center, Inc."

This matter is a putative class action filed on August
29, 2003 in the District Court of Jefferson County, Texas by
Carey Duron, who alleges the Company violated certain provisions
of the Texas Business and Commerce Code relating to late fees
charged by the Company under its rental purchase agreements in
Texas.  In the complaint, Ms. Duron alleges that her contract
provided for a percentage late fee greater than that permitted
by Texas law, that she was charged and paid a late fee in excess
of the amount permitted by Texas law and that the Company had a
policy and practice of assessing and collecting late fees in
excess of that allowed by Texas law.  Ms. Duron has not alleged
specific damages in the complaint, but seeks to recover actual
damages, statutory damages, interest, reasonable attorney's fees
and costs of court.

When this matter was filed, the Company promptly investigated
Ms. Duron's allegations, including the formula the company used
to calculate late fees in Texas. While the Company does not
believe the formula it utilized during this time period violated
Texas law, in late 2003, the Company sent written notice to
approximately 29,500 of its Texas customers for whom it had
records and who were potentially adversely impacted by the
Company's calculation.  The Company also refunded approximately
$37,000 in the aggregate to the customers it could locate.  In
taking these measures, the Company believes it complied with the
curative measures provided for under the Texas statute, the
Company said in a disclosure to the Securities and Exchange
Commission.  The Company also reprogrammed its computer system
in Texas to modify the formula by which late fees are
calculated.

Under the Texas statute, a consumer damaged by a violation is
entitled to recover actual damages, statutory damages equal to
twenty-five percent of an amount equal to the total amount of
payments required to obtain ownership of the merchandise
involved (but not less than $250 nor more than $1,000),
reasonable attorney's fees and court costs.  With respect to the
approximately 29,500 Texas customers for whom the Company hs
records (representing approximately two years of the recently
certified class), it believes that twenty-five percent of the
total amount of payments to obtain ownership (the maximum
percentage applicable to statutory damages) under those rental
purchase agreements was approximately $600 per agreement on
average.

On November 26, 2003, the Company filed a motion for summary
judgment in this matter. On December 4, 2003, Ms. Duron filed
her motion for class certification. On March 11, 2004, the
company was notified that the court denied its summary judgment
motion and granted the motion for class certification.  The
certified class included its customers in Texas from August 29,
1999 through March 5, 2004 who were charged and paid a late fee
in excess of the amount permitted by Texas law.  The Company
appealed the certification order to the Court of Appeals, which
it was entitled to do as a matter of right under applicable
Texas law.  On October 28, 2004, the Court of Appeals reversed
the trial court's certification order and remanded the case back
to the trial court.  Ms. Duron did not perfect an appeal to the
Texas Supreme Court, as she was entitled to do, and she has not
taken any further action in the case since the decision by the
Court of Appeals.


RJ REYNOLDS: CT AG Blumenthal Joins False Advertising Lawsuit
-------------------------------------------------------------
Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal joined eight
other states and the District of Columbia today in suing R.J.
Reynolds Tobacco Company for falsely claiming that its Eclipse
cigarettes may pose a lower health risk than other brands.

The action also charges that Eclipse advertising violates the
Master Settlement Agreement that ended the multi-state lawsuit
against the tobacco industry. The agreement prohibits tobacco
companies from misrepresenting the health consequences of
tobacco use.

"These claims for a safer cigarette are specious - a total
eclipse of the truth - because smoking cannot be made safer or
safe, now or ever," Mr. Blumenthal said. "No one has ever proven
one cigarette 'safer' than another, and anyone claiming
otherwise willfully and knowingly misleads the public. R. J.
Reynolds' studies fail to back its spurious assertions that
Eclipse may present a lower health risk than other cigarettes.
No amount of advertising or spin can conceal the simple fact
that cigarettes sicken and kill.

"The Eclipse campaign is yet another chapter in Big Tobacco's
long and shameful history of lies about the health hazards of
cigarettes. Eclipse is in the tradition of false claims that
filtered and 'low tar' cigarettes are less hazardous. The
company has violated the Master Settlement Agreement, and we
will hold it accountable," Mr. Blumenthal continued.  "Our
alliance of attorneys general will continue to vigorously fight
any attempt by tobacco companies to downplay or deny the dangers
of their product."

During an approximately 18-month investigation, Mr. Blumenthal
and others asked R.J. Reynolds for scientific proof of its
advertising claims that smokers of Eclipse cigarettes may have a
reduced risk of cancer, chronic bronchitis, emphysema and other
smoking-related illnesses compared with smokers of other brands.
Evidence presented by the company failed to prove those
assertions.

The suit cites the following specific advertising claims as
false or misleading:

     (1) "Scientific studies show that, compared to other
         cigarettes, Eclipse may present less risk of cancer,
         chronic bronchitis and possibly emphysema."

     (2) "Eclipse responds to concerns about certain smoking-
         related illnesses. Including cancer."

     (3) "The best choice for smokers who worry about their
          health is to quit. The next best choice is Eclipse."

The lawsuit demands that R. J. Reynolds stop making
unsubstantiated health claims about its Eclipse cigarettes. It
also seeks monetary damages.

Mr. Blumenthal joined California, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine,
New York, Tennessee and Vermont in the lawsuit, which was filed
in state court in Burlington, Vermont.


SIMON PROPERTY: CT AG's Motion To Dismiss Gift Card Suit Granted
----------------------------------------------------------------
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal won a round in his fight to
stop Simon Property Group L.P. from slapping illegal inactivity
fees and expiration dates on its gift cards when a federal judge
dismissed the company's lawsuit challenging Blumenthal's
jurisdiction.

U.S. District Court Judge Stefan Underhill granted Mr.
Blumenthal's motion to dismiss Simon Property's lawsuit, which
alleges federal law prevents the attorney general from enforcing
Connecticut statutes prohibiting gift card inactivity fees and
expiration dates. Simon Property owns Crystal Mall in Waterford.

"The judge's ruling assures that state law can be applied - and
we will do so aggressively - to protect consumers against
Simon's unconscionable fees and expiration dates," Mr.
Blumenthal said. "The judge unequivocally rejected Simon
Property's claim that federal law preempts state protections or
shields its violations. The judge's action leaves the company's
defense teetering on the edge of collapse."

Mr. Blumenthal, state Treasurer Denise L. Nappier and Department
of Consumer Protection (DCP) Commissioner Edwin R. Rodriguez
sued Simon Property for the illegal fees and expiration dates in
November in state court.

The company's gift card expires after a year in violation of
state law. In addition, the company subtracts $2.50 a month from
its gift cards if an unused balance remains after six months and
also levies a $7.50 fee to reactivate an expired card. Both
charges defy state law, which specifically prohibits such fees.  
The suit also charges that Simon Property fails to properly
inform customers of two additional fees: a 50-cent charge to
check the card balance and a $5 fee to replace a stolen or lost
card.


SONY PICTURES: CA Judge Finalizes Settlement Over Bogus Critic
--------------------------------------------------------------
A U.S. judge has finalized a settlement of a lawsuit brought by
disgruntled moviegoers who accused Hollywood's Sony studio of
using a fake critic to trick them into seeing mediocre films,
according to lawyers involved in the litigation, The News24,
South Africa reports.

According to the moviegoers' attorney Norman Blumenthal, Sony
Pictures' Entertainment agreed to pay $1.5 million to resolve
the class action suit, which was filed in 2001 that claimed the
studio invented a bogus critic to heap praise on its movies.  
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Carolyn Kuhl finalized the
decision in late July, ahead of a hearing in the case that had
been scheduled for this week, Mr. Blumenthal revealed.

As previously reported in the September 6, 2004 edition of the
Class Action Reporter, Sony Pictures Entertainment settled the
class action lawsuit, which was filed in June 2001 by Omar Rezec
of Los Angeles and Ann Belknap of Sierra Madre, California,
claiming they were duped into seeing movies by fake reviews
company executives had planted in advertisements.

In the suit, the Plaintiffs claimed they were duped into seeing
the film, "A Knight's Tale", based on a bogus review by a
fictitious critic, named David Manning, who was concocted up by
Sony marketing executive Matthew Cramer of Ridgefield,
Connecticut, as a reviewer for a Connecticut newspaper,
specifically, The Ridgefield Press. Sony then placed glowing
reviews by the fictional Manning in advertisements for its
movies.

Filed on the behalf of "all consumers nationwide who paid to see
any movie" on Mr. Manning's recommendation, the class action
suit sought injunctive relief, restitution, and for Sony to make
restitution to everyone who bought a ticket to the falsely
advertised movies.  When the deception was exposed by Newsweek
magazine, it proved to be a major embarrassment for Sony, who
immediately pulled the ads and suspended Mr. Manning's creator
and his supervisor, Josh Goldstine.

Under the settlement, Sony Pictures admitted no liability but
agreed to settle the suit to avoid the cost and uncertainty of
litigation, according to a court-ordered legal notice. In
return, the members of the class-action suit will release their
claims against Sony.  The Settlement Class includes all persons
who, between August 3, 2000 and October 31, 2001, purchased a
ticket to the theatrical exhibition of Hollow Man, Vertical
Limit, A Knight's Tale, The Animal, or The Patriot in the United
States.

The suit is styled, Omar Rezec, Ann Belknap v. Sony Pictures
Entertainment, Inc. Inc. (Case No. BC 251923), which is pending
in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Norman B. Blumenthal,
David R. Markham and Kyle R. Nordrehaug of Blumental & Markham;
Kevin M. Prongay and Jon W. Borderud of Prongay & Borderud;
Philip C. Cifarelli; Alan Himmelfarb; and Henry A. Koransky
represent the Plaintiffs and Respondents. Robert M. Schwartz,
Marvin S. Putnam and Ruth M. Moore of O' Melveny & Myers
represent the Defendant and Appellant.


TELEMARKETING LITIGATION: Canadian Telemarketers Settle FTC Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Canadian telemarketers who duped consumers into revealing their
bank account information and debited hundreds of dollars from
their accounts have been permanently banned from engaging in
telemarketing in the future under a settlement with the Federal
Trade Commission (FTC).

The settlement provides that accounts with companies that
processed the debits will be turned over to the FTC for consumer
redress. It also bars the operators from using or selling the
personal or financial information they have about U.S.
consumers.

In November 2004, the FTC charged three Ontario, Canada-based
companies and their principals with violating federal laws by
masquerading as Social Security or Medicare representatives, and
claiming that, due to a Social Security Administration computer
failure, the consumers' personal information had been erased
from the system. The defendants told consumers that they had to
provide their bank account and routing information to remedy the
problem. Consumers who were reluctant to comply were told they
risked losing their Social Security payments. The FTC also
charged that the defendants told consumers they would enroll
them in a new Medicare insurance program that would give them
discounts on medication purchases and eyeglasses. According to
the FTC, the defendants debited consumers' accounts $299 each
for their "enrollment" but the consumers received nothing in
return.

The FTC charged that the defendants violated the Telemarketing
Sales Rule and provisions of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act that bar
people from making false or fraudulent statements to obtain
financial information about another person. U.S. District Court
Judge James B. Zagel ordered a halt to the illegal practices and
froze the defendants' assets, pending trial. The settlement
announced today ends that litigation.

The settlement permanently bans Xtel Marketing, Navin Baboolal,
and Annilla Ramkissoon, doing business as Millenium Consulting
and Med Supply, from telemarketing or assisting others to
telemarket. It bars them from making deceptive claims in
advertising, promoting, or selling any good or service, and bars
them from fraudulently obtaining or attempting to obtain
consumers' financial institution account information. The
settlement also bars the use or sale of confidential consumer
account information that they fraudulently obtained.

It contains reporting and record-keeping provisions to allow the
FTC to monitor the defendants' compliance with the order and a
$623,000 suspended judgment that would become due if the court
determines that the defendants misrepresented their financial
situation. Under the settlement, accounts with companies that
processed the defendants' debits will be turned over to the FTC
for consumer redress.

The FTC brought this matter with assistance of the members of
the Toronto Strategic Partnership, a cross-border fraud law
enforcement effort that includes, in addition to the FTC:
Competition Bureau Canada, the Ontario Provincial Police Anti-
Rackets, the Toronto Police Service Fraud Squad, the Ontario
Ministry of Consumer and Business Services, and the United
States Postal Inspection Service. The Toronto Police Service
executed search and arrest warrants and charged the defendants
with fraud. The FTC also received significant assistance from
the Social Security Administration's Office of the Inspector
General.

Copies of the complaint and stipulated final judgment and order
are available from the FTC's Web site at http://www.ftc.govand  
also from the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600
Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. The FTC works
for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair
business practices in the marketplace and to provide information
to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a
complaint in English or Spanish (bilingual counselors are
available to take complaints), or to get free information on any
of 150 consumer topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP
(1-877-382-4357), or use the complaint form at
http://www.ftc.gov.The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing,  
identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer
Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of
civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and
abroad.  For more details, contact Claudia Bourne Farrell,
Office of Public Affairs by Phone: 202-326-2181 or contact John
C. Hallerud, FTC Midwest Region by Phone: 312-960-5615 or visit
the Website: http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2005/07/millenium.htm.


TENNESSEE: Attorney Commences Lawsuit V. Sevier County Officials
----------------------------------------------------------------
Knoxville attorney John Eldridge initiated a proposed class
action lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Tennessee against
Sevier County officials on behalf of inmate John Matkin, The
WBIR-TV reports.  The suit alleges that the facility is troubled
with overcrowding, inmate violence, inadequate staffing and
unsanitary conditions.

It's not the first time the jail has been the subject of a
lawsuit. Another attorney filed suit in the 1980s over
conditions at the former jail, which is a small and aging
facility. That lawsuit resulted in the building of the current
jail, WBIR-TV reports.

Sheriff Bruce Montgomery told WBIR-TV that the current jail has
exceeded its capacity. Sevier County Executive Larry Waters also
told WBIR-TV that the county officials have been working on a
plan for a new jail for several months.


TRIBUNE CO.: Advertisers Sue Over Inflated Circulation Numbers
--------------------------------------------------------------
Tribune Co. faces several class actions filed in New York state
and federal courts, alleging the Company overcharged for
advertising as a result of inflated circulation numbers at their
"Newsday" and "Hoy" publications.

Newsday is a morning newspaper published seven days a week and
circulated primarily in Long Island, New York, and in the
borough of Queens in New York City.  Hoy, New York, is a Spanish
language newspaper that is also published seven days a week, an
earlier Class Action Reporter story (November 3,2004) states.

On February 11, 2004, a purported class action lawsuit was filed
in the United States District Court in New York by certain
advertisers of "Newsday" and "Hoy," New York.  The purported
class action also alleges that entities that paid a "Newsday"
subsidiary to deliver advertising flyers were overcharged.  On
July 21, 2004, another lawsuit was filed in New York Federal
Court by certain advertisers of "Newsday" alleging damages
resulting from inflated "Newsday" circulation numbers as well as
federal and state antitrust violations.  On July 8, 2005, a
lawsuit was filed in New York State Court by a former "Hoy"
advertiser alleging damages resulting from inflated "Hoy," New
York, circulation figures.


TRIBUNE CO.: Shareholders Launch Stock Fraud Lawsuits in N.D. IL
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Tribune Company and certain of its officers face several
securities class actions filed in the United States District
Court, Northern District of Illinois, on behalf of purchasers of
the Company's securities (NYSE:TRB) securities from January 24,
2002 through July 15, 2004, inclusive.

The complaints alleges that the Company and certain of its
officers and directors knowingly or recklessly overstated the
Company's circulation numbers throughout the Class Period, and
thereby caused the Company's stock price to trade at
artificially inflated prices in violation of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934.

Specifically, the true facts, which were known by defendants but
concealed from the investing public during the Class Period,
were as follows:

     (1) since at least FY 2001, Defendants were inflating the
         circulation of Tribune's Hoy and Newsday publications;
   
     (2) as a result of said inflation, the Company's financial
         results during the Class Period were artificially
         inflated (including revenue, earnings per share ("EPS")
         and accounts receivables), and the Company's
         liabilities were understated;

     (3) the Company's revenue and income was grossly overstated
         by millions of dollars;

     (4) defendants had knowingly established extremely weak, if
         not purposeless, circulation controls which allowed for
         the circulation overstatements and did not require that
         circulation managers certify the claimed circulation;
         and

     (5) as a result, defendants' ability to continue to achieve
         future EPS and revenue growth would be severely
         threatened and would and did result in $95 million in
         costs, fines, refunds and investigation expenditures.

In June 2004, Tribune reported that two of its papers, Newsday
and Hoy, had inflated circulation figures since 2001. This
announcement set off a wave of increased scrutiny throughout the
publishing industry, with advertisers keen to ensure that they
were not being similarly duped. Tribune also came under
increased scrutiny with the Audit Bureau of Circulations, a non-
profit, private entity charged with monitoring the accuracy of
circulation numbers for publications nationwide. As a result of
this increasing pressure, Tribune admitted on July 15, 2004 that
its reported circulation numbers for Hoy and Newsday were
overstated. Tribune eventually announced it was conducting an
internal investigation and that it may refund to advertisers all
amounts that they had been overcharged. In response to this
announcement, Tribune's stock price fell to $41 at the close of
business on July 15, 2004, and has never recovered.

The first identified complaint in the litigation is styled
"Margaret K. Hill, Trustee of Kelk Irrevocable Trust, et al. v.
Tribune Company, et al.," filed in the United States District
Court for the Northern District of Illinois.  The plaintiff
firms in this litigation are:

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

     (2) Glancy Binkow & Goldberg LLP (LA), 1801 Ave. of the
         Stars, Suite 311, Los Angeles, CA, 90067, Phone: (310)
         201-915, Fax: (310) 201-916, E-mail: info@glancylaw.com

     (3) Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP (NY),
         200 Broadhollow Road, Suite 406, Melville, NY, 11747,
         Phone: 631-367-7100, Fax: 631-367-1173,

     (4) Murray, Frank & Sailer LLP, 275 Madison Ave 34th Flr,
         New York, NY, 10016, Phone: 212.682.1818, Fax:
         212.682.1892, E-mail: email@rabinlaw.com

     (5) Pomerantz,Haudek, Block, Grossman & Gross, 100 Park
         Avenue, 26th Floor, New York, NY, 10017-5516, Phone:
         212.661.1100,

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

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

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


UNITED STATES: Attorney Responds To Vatican Sex Abuse Lawsuit
-------------------------------------------------------------
Bill McMurry, the Louisville attorney, who is at odds with the
Vatican over the Catholic sex abuse crisis, recently filed his
response to church's attempt to drop his class action lawsuit,
The WAVE 3 TV reports.  The case, which attorney Bill McMurry
wants to argue in U.S. Federal Court against the Vatican is that
abused in the parish, covered up in the diocese, but linked to
one ultimate authority.

Mr. McMurray told WAVE 3 TV that he believes the Vatican is
ultimately responsible for the actions of Father Louis Miller
and all abusive priests. His lawsuit was filed last June 5th,
and since then attorneys for the Catholic Church have argued
that the case is flawed, saying the Vatican is a sovereign
nation, and that the lawsuit was not properly filed.

Vatican officials also raised questions about the translation of
the lawsuit into Latin, but Mr. McMurry points out that the
message is clear, "We are convinced the condition in this
country, the pervasive child sexual abuse problem within the
Roman Catholic Church, came about as a result of the directive
of the Pope to U.S. Bishops to keep this contained."

A total of 240 abuse victims shared a settlement from the
Louisville Archdiocese for $25.7 million in 2003. As part of
that agreement, all plaintiffs in that lawsuit released the
Archdiocese from future liability, but not the Vatican.

Mr. McMurry turned his attention on the Vatican after obtaining
a confidential copy of a 1962 document, which, according to him,
the Vatican instructs, all Bishops to cover up the sex abuse
crisis or risk excommunication. "I think that the Archbishops
that allowed Father Miller to abuse were following directives
from the Vatican," he adds.

Mr. McMurray's latest response defends the translation of his
lawsuit and following proper procedure he hopes to force the
Vatican into court. If the suit stands up on translation and
procedure, the next hurdle is the test of sovereign nations.
They are often exempted from lawsuits, but Mr. McMurry will
argue he is suing the Vatican as the head of the church not as a
country.


UNITED STATES: CEI Files Suit, Disputes 1998 Tobacco Settlement
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Competitive Enterprise Institute, a non-profit, non-partisan
public policy group dedicated to the principles of free
enterprise and limited government, filed a constitutional
challenge to the 1998 tobacco settlement.

The suit alleges that the agreement between 46 states and major
tobacco companies is unconstitutional because it violates the
Compact Clause of the Constitution: "No State shall, without the
Consent of Congress, enter into any Agreement or Compact with
another State."  (Article I, Section 10)

The Compact Clause was meant to prevent states from collectively
encroaching on federal power or ganging up on other states. The
tobacco settlement set up a national government/tobacco cartel
that harmed consumers and small businesses by increasing
cigarette prices and restricting competition.  

According to the terms of the settlement, major tobacco
companies would make annual payments to the states in
perpetuity, with an estimated cost of $206 billion over 25
years.  Small tobacco companies that were never part of the
settlement are nonetheless required to make separate payments to
the states.

"The tobacco settlement was a major government power grab at the
expense of taxpayers and the rule of law," said CEI President
Fred L. Smith, Jr.  

"This lucrative backroom deal between state attorneys general
and the trial bar has created a new model for targeting other
politically incorrect industries and their customers," said
CEI's general counsel, Sam Kazman.

"The states became business partners in establishing one of the
most effective and destructive cartels in the history of the
nation," the complaint alleges.  

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western
District of Louisiana on behalf of a distributor, two small
tobacco manufacturers, a tobacco store and an individual smoker,
against the state's attorney general, Charles C. Foti, Jr.  

For more details, visit http://www.cei.org/.


U.S. BUS: Recalls 40 2001-04 Buses For Stop Arm Assembly Defect
---------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. Bus Corporation in cooperation with the National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration's Office of Defects Investigation
(ODI) is voluntarily recalling about 40 units of 2001-04 U.S.
Bus / SBCX59, 2002-04 U.S. Bus / SD, 2001 and 2003-4 U.S. Bus /
SDX, 2001 U.S. Bus / UC, 2001 U.S. Bus / UF 2002 U.S. Bus / XBC
and 2002 U.S. Bus / XUC buses due to stop arm assembly defect.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 05V336000.

According to the ODI, certain 2001 through 2004 U.S. Bus school
buses originally sold or currently registered in the following
states: Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois,
Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan,
Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New
Mexico, New York, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon,
Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah,
Virginia, Washington, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and the
District of Columbia. In extremely cold weather, the
microswitches used internally to position the sign in the open
and closed positions may malfunction, causing the sign to open
or close in an improper position, or to not open at all. Should
the stop arm not perform properly, a child or pedestrian may be
endangered by passing vehicles should the motorist not stop at
the correct location.

As a remedy, U.S. bus will notify all its customers of this
campaign. For those buses operated in or near any of the states
listed above, U.S. bus is encouraging the bus owners to obtain
the replacement switch. For those buses operated in the warmer
states, the Company will replace the switch upon owner request.
For those customers who request the remedy, U.S. Bus will
replace the original switch with a switch pack that is not
sensitive to extreme cold weather and will inspect to insure the
microswitch heater wiring is properly connected.

For more details, contact U.S. Bus, Phone: 8765-939-3984 OR the
NHTSA Auto Safety Hotline: 1-888-327-4236 or 1-800-424-9153, Web
site: http://www.safecar.gov.


US SMOKELESS: CA AG Sues For 1998 Master Settlement Violations
--------------------------------------------------------------
California Attorney General Bill Lockyer filed a lawsuit against
U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company (USSTC) alleging the firm has
violated a landmark 1998 national settlement by promoting its
Skoal brand through sponsorship of National Hot Rod Association
(NHRA) drag racing events at which youths compete.

"Where our children are contestants, smokeless tobacco companies
cannot be sponsors. It's that simple," said Mr. Lockyer. "The
terms of the 1998 settlement could not be clearer. The objective
could not be more important: protecting the health of our kids."

USSTC in 1998 signed the Smokeless Tobacco Master Settlement
Agreement (STMSA), reached in conjunction with a separate
national settlement between tobacco companies and the states.
Among other marketing restrictions, the STMSA prohibits
companies from "any brand name sponsorship in any state" of
events in which any contestants are youths (under 18).

USSTC has used its Skoal brand to sponsor NHRA's POWERade Drag
Racing Series and Sport Compact Series events. Both sponsorships
began in 2004. The POWERade agreement remains in effect, while
the Sport Compact arrangement was terminated at the end of 2004.
The sponsorship agreements differ for various NHRA events. But
taken together, they have allowed USSTC to advertise pervasively
at sponsored races. Under the varying arrangements, USSTC has
placed large "Skoal Racing" sign across the bottom of big-screen
video displays at events, placed semi-permanent signs on both
sides of drag strips, and broadcast public address announcements
at events.

Drivers under 18 competed at both POWERade and Sport Compact
events sponsored by Skoal, the complaint alleges. NHRA Jr. Drag
Racing League drivers as young as nine competed at Skoal-
sponsored events in November 2004 at the Pomona Raceway. Because
youths under 18 were contestants, the complaint alleges, Skoal's
sponsorship of the events violated the STMSA.

USSTC's actions in connection with the Skoal sponsorship of NHRA
events violated other provisions of the STMSA, according to the
complaint. Those alleged violations include: paying to display
the Skoal brand name on drag racers; selling clothing or other
merchandise bearing the Skoal brand name; placing the Skoal
brand name on outdoor advertising; and engaging in more than one
brand name sponsorship in one year.

Mr. Lockyer's complaint asks the court to impose an unspecified
amount of monetary penalties and issue an order barring USSTC
from further violations of the STMSA.  To help illustrate the
importance of the case, the complaint notes USSTC's web site
bills the company as the "world's leading producer and marketer
of the only growing segment of the tobacco industry, moist
smokeless tobacco." The web site claims USSTC sells more than
1.7 million cans of smokeless tobacco every day, and about 650
million cans annually.

Regarding Skoal, the web site calls the brand "the No. 1
flavored moist smokeless tobacco on the market," with annual
retail sales exceeding $1 billion. Government statistics,
meanwhile, show youths who use smokeless tobacco
disproportionately favor Skoal. In a 2003 survey conducted by
the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 35 percent of
minors aged 12-17 indicated they preferred Skoal over 14 other
popular brands.

In 1999, Mr. Lockyer established a full-time Tobacco Litigation
and Enforcement Section to enforce California laws regarding the
sale and marketing of tobacco products. The section also
enforces the national Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) reached
with tobacco companies in November 1998.

Californians who suspect violations of state tobacco laws, or
the STMSA or MSA, can file complaints by calling 916-565-6486 at
any time, or by writing to the Tobacco Litigation and
Enforcement Section at P.O. Box 944255, Sacramento, CA 94244-
2550. Additional information is available on the Attorney
General's web site: http://www.ag.ca.gov/tobacco/.


                 New Securities Fraud Cases

AVON PRODUCTS: Stull Stull Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in NY
-------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Stull, Stull & Brody initiated a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York, on behalf of purchasers of Avon Products,
Inc. ("Avon") (NYSE: AVP) common stock between April 8, 2005 and
July 18, 2005, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The Complaint alleges that Avon violated federal securities laws
by issuing misleading public statements. Specifically,
defendants failed to disclose the following:

     (1) that Avon was experiencing increasing resistance to its
         expansion efforts in China;

     (2) that Avon's revenue growth in its Central and Eastern
         Europe markets was dramatically slowing from internally
         forecasted levels such that Avon would not reach its
         earnings projections;

     (3) that Avon's expansion efforts in Russia were being
         delayed due to a variety of adverse factors.

On July 19, 2005, Avon announced that its earnings for the
second quarter of 2005 would be below expectations because of
two factors "an unexpected temporary decline in China as Beauty
Boutique owners reacted with concern to the imminent resumption
of direct selling in that country" and "lower-than-anticipated
revenue growth in Central and Eastern Europe resulting from
underperformance of several key marketing offers as well as
delayed expansion into new geographies within Russia." On this
news, Avon stock closed at $31.30 per share, a decline of $5.30
per share from the previous day's close.

For more details, contact Tzivia Brody, Esq. of Stull, Stull &
Brody, 6 East 45th St., New York, NY, 10017, Phone:
1-800-337-4983, Fax: 212/490-2022, Web site:
http://www.ssbny.com.  


GUIDANT CORPORATION: Milberg Weiss Lodges Securities Suit in IN
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman LLP initiated a
class action lawsuit was filed on July 22, 2005, on behalf of
purchasers of the securities of Guidant Corporation ("Guidant"
or the "Company") (NYSE: GDT) between December 1, 2004 and June
23, 2005, inclusive (the "Class Period"), seeking to pursue
remedies under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the
"Exchange Act").

The action, numbered 05-CV-1078-LJM-WTL, is pending in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of
Indiana, Indianapolis Division, against defendants Guidant,
Ronald W. Dollens (CEO, President), Guido J. Neels (COO), Keith
E. Brauer and Peter J. Mariani.

The Complaint alleges that, defendants' positive Class Period
press releases and SEC filings were materially false and
misleading because:

     (1) a material portion of the Company's defibrillator
         products contained life-threatening defects;

     (2) the unsafe defibrillators presented a material,
         undisclosed risk to investors;

     (3) the Company faced tens and potentially hundreds of
         millions of dollars in unreserved liabilities related
         to the defective defibrillators, such that the
         Company's financial statements were not true or
         accurate or in compliance with Generally Accepted
         Accounting Principles ("GAAP");

     (4) as a result of the significant product defects in
         Guidant's defibrillators, the Company foreseeably faced
         a massive, expensive product recall, which would
         undermine the Company's market credibility, future
         sales of Guidant products and profitability; and

     (5) defendants lacked any reasonable basis to claim that
         Guidant was operating according to plan, or that the
         Company could maintain its growth in sales of
         defibrillators in the foreseeable near-term.

On June 17, 2005, Guidant announced a recall of approximately
50,000 defibrillators. Then, on June 24, 2005, before the open
of trading, defendants announced that it was investigating the
safety of certain defibrillator components and advised doctors
to "discontinue implants of these devices pending further
notice." In reaction to this announcement, the price of Guidant
stock fell to $63.90 per share, from $68.60 per share on June
22, 2005, on unusually heavy trading volume.

Defendants were motivated to engage in the wrongdoing alleged in
the complaint because it enabled company insiders to sell over
866,515 Guidant shares at artificially inflated prices, for
proceeds exceeding $63.5million.

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


LEAPFROG ENTERPRISES: Lerach Coughlin Provides Litigation Update
----------------------------------------------------------------
The court-appointed lead plaintiff in In re LeapFrog Enterprises
Securities Litigation, No. C-03-05421 RMW, which is represented
by the law firm of Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins
LLP, filed a consolidated class action complaint on June 17,
2005 in the United States District Court for the Northern
District of California on behalf of purchasers of LeapFrog
Enterprises Inc. ("LeapFrog") (NYSE:LF) class A common stock and
options during the period between July 24, 2003 and October 18,
2004 (the "Class Period").

Previously it was announced that a class action complaint had
been commenced in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of California on behalf of purchasers of
LeapFrog common stock between August 20, 2003 and October 21,
2003, and motions to be appointed lead plaintiff had to be filed
no later than 60 days from December 2, 2003. On April 6, 2005
the court appointed Cupples and Sullivan as lead plaintiff and
approved their selection of Lerach Coughlin as lead counsel.
Lead plaintiff and lead counsel filed the consolidated complaint
on June 17, 2005, expanding the class period through October 18,
2004. The court has directed lead plaintiff to publish a new
notice to inform purchasers that they can move to be appointed
lead plaintiff.

The complaint charges LeapFrog and certain of its current and
former officers and directors with violations of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934. LeapFrog's biggest retail product is its
family of LeapPad products which are hand-held and lap-top
electronic platforms that are sold with a variety of content
books that utilize game and entertainment technologies to teach
reading, writing and math skills. By 2003 LeapFrog was the third
largest overall U.S. toy manufacturer (behind industry leaders
Hasbro and Mattel) as it had successfully cornered its niche
market of electronic educational toys which had been largely
abandoned by the other major toy companies. On July 10, 2003,
Mattel's Fisher Price launched its own version of the LeapPad
called "PowerTouch," which mimicked LeapPad and was designed to
capture LeapFrog's market share, utilizing Mattel's superior
marketing abilities.

Lead Plaintiff alleges that the defendants misled investors by
making numerous false and misleading statements about LeapFrog's
current and future business results. In addition, the defendants
knew that LeapFrog was losing millions of dollars in sales and
profits to Mattel's competing PowerTouch product. The defendants
downplayed the impact of the PowerTouch on sales of LeapFrog's
products and falsely represented that the Company's sales and
market share could actually increase. Lead plaintiff alleges
that defendants' false and misleading statements caused the
price of LeapFrog stock to trade at artificially inflated prices
and took advantage of the artificial inflation to sell millions
of their own LeapFrog shares.

After the close of the market on October 18, 2004, after
repeatedly assuring investors that LeapFrog would report solid
financial results in 3Q04 and 4Q04 and that the distribution and
supply chain problems had been fixed, the defendants announced
that LeapFrog's 3Q04 results would be significantly worse than
the guidance previously provided by the defendants. In response,
the price of LeapFrog's stock plummeted $6.21 causing class
members to suffer actual economic losses.

For more details, contact William Lerach or Darren Robbins of
Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP, Phone: 800-
449-4900, E-mail: wsl@lerachlaw.com.  


MOLINA HEALTHCARE: Federman & Sherwood Lodges Stock Suit in CA
--------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Federman & Sherwood initiated a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court of the Central
District of California against Molina Healthcare (NYSE: MOH).

The complaint alleges violations of federal securities laws,
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
and Rule 10b-5, including allegations of issuing a series of
material misrepresentations to the market which had the effect
of artificially inflating the market price. The class period is
from November 3, 2004 through July 20, 2005.

For more details, contact William B. Federman of Federman &
Sherwood, 120 N. Robinson, Suite 2720, Oklahoma City, OK, 73102,
Phone: (405) 235-1560, Fax: (405) 239-2112, E-mail:
wfederman@aol.com, Web site: http://www.federmanlaw.com.  


NAVARRE CORPORATION: Glancy Binkow Sets Lead Plaintiff Deadline
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Glancy Binkow & Goldberg LLP representing
shareholders of Navarre Corporation stated that August 12, 2005
is the deadline to move to be a lead plaintiff in the
shareholder lawsuit on behalf of all persons and institutions
who purchased securities of Navarre Corporation ("Navarre" or
the "Company")(NYSE: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 according to defendants 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 Lionel Z. Glancy or Michael Goldberg
of Glancy Binkow & Goldberg LLP, Los Angeles, CA, Phone:
(310) 201-9150 or (888) 773-9224, E-mail: info@glancylaw.com,
Web site: http://www.glancylaw.com.  


                            *********


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

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

                            *********


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Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
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Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick, Maryland
USA.   Glenn Ruel Senorin, Aurora Fatima Antonio and Lyndsey
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Copyright 2005.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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