CAR_Public/051110.mbx            C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

           Thursday, November 10, 2005, Vol. 7, No. 223


                         Headlines

24 HOUR FITNESS: Attorneys File CA Suit Over Billing Practices
ALKERMES INC.: MA Court Dismisses Consolidated Securities Suit
CALIFORNIA: Groups Want JAMS' Arbitrators to Comment on Clauses
CANADA: Vitamin Manufacturers Settle Quebec Price Fixing Suit
CAPTARIS INC.: Discovery Proceeds in Travel 100 TCPA Suits in IL

COMMERCE BANCORP: NJ Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Over Indicted Execs
DOW CHEMICAL: County Judge Denies Request to Delay Dioxin Suit
GEMSTAR-TV GUIDE: CA Court Approves KPMG Stock Suit Settlement
GILEAD SCIENCES: Faces Additional Medicaid Overpricing Lawsuits
GILEAD SCIENCES: CA Court Dismisses Securities Fraud Litigation

IDX SYSTEMS: Shareholders Launch VT Suit Over Proposed GE Merger
INDEPENDENCE COMMUNITY: Faces Lawsuit in DE Over Sovereign Deal
INVESTORS FINANCIAL: Faces Securities Fraud Lawsuits in MA Court
LOUISIANA: Katrina Suit's Allegations Confirmed by Senate Probe
NIKON INC.: Recalls 200T EN-EL3 Battery Packs Due to Burn Hazard

NORTHERN IRELAND: Police Officers File Trauma Suit Over Troubles
PERINI CORPORATION: MA Court Gives Final OK to Suit Settlement
PSI ENERGY: Sued Over Emissions From Coal Plants in US, Canada
RADIAN GUARANTY: PA Court Grants Summary Judgment in Fraud Suit
RADIOSHACK CORPORATION: Plaintiffs Granted Suit Summary Judgment

REGENERON PHARMACEUTICALS: Reaches Settlement For NY Stock Suit
SEMPRA ENERGY: CA Antitrust Trial Focuses on Handwritten Notes
SONY: Virus-Like Anti-Piracy Software Triggers Suits in CA, NY
STILLWATER MINING: Reaches Settlement For NY Securities Lawsuit
SUNRISE POWER: CA Court Sustains Preemption, Filed Rate Demurrer

SUPERCONDUCTOR TECHNOLOGIES: CA Court Approves Suit Settlement
WASHINGTON: County Settles Lawsuit Over Public Defender System
WORLDCOM INC.: AK Recovers Million in Settlement of Litigation
VERISIGN INC.: Firm, Unit Faces Suit in AR Over Free Ring Tones
VERMONT: Tenants Appeal Building Condemnation to Supreme Court

                 New Securities Fraud Cases

ANDRX CORPORATION: Law Firms Lodge Securities Suit in S.D. FL
FIRST BANCORP: Milberg Weiss Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in PR
GUIDANT CORPORATION: Brodsky & Smith Files Securities Suit in NY
GUIDANT CORPORATION: Stull Stull Lodges Securities Suit in NY
GUIDANT CORPORATION: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Fraud Suit in NY

PEGASUS COMMUNICATIONS: Rosen Law Lodges Securities Suit in PA


                            *********


24 HOUR FITNESS: Attorneys File CA Suit Over Billing Practices
--------------------------------------------------------------
San Francisco attorneys Daniel Feder and Patrick Kitchin filed a
class action lawsuit against 24 Hour Fitness USA, alleging the
company's customer billing practices are deceptive and illegal.

According to claims made in the case, 24 Hour Fitness takes up
to two full months to stop charging month-to-month customers
after they quit and turn in their membership cards. The lawsuit
claims that the practice imposes an illegal penalty on all
monthly customers who have ended their memberships.

Jennifer Pickering, the lead plaintiff in the case, claims that
24 Hour Fitness continued to charge her a monthly membership fee
for 63 days after she cancelled her membership. A provision in
very small print on the back of the long and complicated
membership agreement gives 24 Hour Fitness the contractual right
to engage in this practice. Ms. Pickering claims the practice is
unfair and permits 24 Hour Fitness to earn illegal profits. She
believes the unfair practice has affected tens of thousands of
24 Hour Fitness customers in California.

The lawsuit also alleges the company collects illegal fees by
setting expiration dates on pre-paid, personal fitness sessions.
If a customer pre-pays for a number of fitness sessions but
fails to use them all within 6 months, 24 Hour Fitness simply
keeps the customer's money. Pickering alleges this happened to
her. She claims 24 Hour Fitness refused to return $239.00 to her
for fitness sessions she did not use.

Ms. Pickering wants to see the practice stopped and is asking
the court to appoint her lead plaintiff in a class action
lawsuit on behalf of 24 Hour Fitness customers. Patrick Kitchin,
one of Ms. Pickering's attorneys, says such practices violate
California's Contracts for Health Studio Services Act, a law
passed to protect consumers from fraud and unfair business
practices in the fitness industry.

24 Hour Fitness is the world's largest privately owned and
operated fitness center chain and has over 3 million customers
and over 340 clubs in 16 states.

For more details, contact attorney Law Office of Patrick R.
Kitchin, Phone: 415-677-9058, E-mail: info@kitchinlegal.com.


ALKERMES INC.: MA Court Dismisses Consolidated Securities Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the District of
Massachusetts dismissed the consolidated securities class action
filed against Alkermes, Inc. and certain of its current and
former officers and directors, styled "In re Alkermes Securities
Litigation, Civil Action No.03-CV-12091-RCL."

Beginning in October 2003, the Company and certain of its
current and former officers and directors were named as
defendants in six purported securities class action lawsuits,
captioned:

     (1) Bennett v. Alkermes, Inc., et. al., 1:03-CV-12091 (D.
         Mass.);

     (2) Ragosta v. Alkermes, Inc., et. al., 1:03-CV-12184 (D.
         Mass.);

     (3) Barry Family LP v. Alkermes, Inc., et. al., 1:03-CV-
         12243 (D. Mass.);

     (4) Waltzer v. Alkermes, Inc., et. al., 1:03-CV-12277 (D.
         Mass.);

     (5) Folkerts v. Alkermes, Inc., et. al., 1:03-CV-12386 (D.
         Mass.); and

     (6) Slavas v. Alkermes, Inc., et. al., 1:03-CV-12471 (D.
         Mass.)

On May 14, 2004, the six actions were consolidated into a single
action. On July 12, 2004, a single consolidated amended
complaint was filed on behalf of purchasers of the Company's
common stock during the period April 22, 1999 to July 1, 2002.
The consolidated amended complaint generally alleged, among
other things, that, during such period, the defendants made
misstatements to the investing public relating to the
manufacture and FDA approval of the Company's Risperdal Consta
product. The consolidated amended complaint sought unspecified
damages.  On September 10, 2004, the Company and the individual
defendants filed a motion seeking dismissal of the litigation on
numerous legal grounds, and the Court referred that motion to a
federal magistrate judge of the United States District Court for
the District of Massachusetts for issuance of a report and
recommendation as to disposition of the motion to dismiss.

The Court heard oral argument on the motion on January 12, 2005.
On October 6, 2005, the federal magistrate judge issued a report
and recommendation for dismissal, in its entirety, of the above-
captioned purported securities class action litigation. After
issuance of this ruling, on October 21, 2005, the lead plaintiff
and the Company and the individual defendants filed a
stipulation with the United States District Court for the
District of Massachusetts providing for dismissal of this
action, in its entirety and with prejudice.  On October 27,
2005, the Court entered an order dismissing the action with
prejudice as provided in such stipulation and terminating the
case on the Court's docket.


CALIFORNIA: Groups Want JAMS' Arbitrators to Comment on Clauses
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC) and five other
lawyer groups want to get arbitrators of JAMS, The Resolution
Experts, in California on the record about whether they think
mandatory arbitration clauses that prohibit consumer class
actions should be enforced, The Recorder reports.

In letters sent to more than 100 JAMS neutrals last week, the
attorneys demanded that they state whether they believe that
such clauses violate the company's longstanding standards of
fairness. They strongly hinted in the letters that the answer
would affect neutrals' bottom line and that anyone who doesn't
answer will be presumed unwilling to stand against such class
action prohibitions.

The lawyer groups wrote, "In order to make an informed choice on
using JAMS or its neutrals as providers, we want to know where
each neutral stands on this issue." The six organizations plan
to report all responses on their Web sites.

About a year ago, JAMS got cheers from the plaintiffs bar when
the ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) provider announced a
new policy, saying that it would no longer enforce contract
clauses that forbid consumer and employment class actions. The
decision got some corporate clients and their lawyers riled up
and at least one large client took its business elsewhere
because of it.

However, four months later, JAMS reversed course saying that at
the time, the legality of class action preclusion clauses have
varied by jurisdiction and that "JAMS and its arbitrators will
always apply the law on a case-by-case basis in each
jurisdiction."

According to JAMS GC John "Jay" Welsh, the arbitration firm
still thinks that the clauses may be unfair to workers and
consumers. But, nevertheless, the service changed its policy to
counter the perception of outside lawyers that JAMS, which had
been the only ADR provider to refuse to enforce exclusion
clauses, was favoring the plaintiff bar, an earlier Class Action
Reporter story (March 17, 2005) reports.

Mr. Welsh also explains its recent decision by saying, "People
on each side of the aisle were misrepresenting our position.
Plaintiffs interpreted it in a way that was beneficial to them,
and defense attorneys interpreted it in a way that was
detrimental." He also insisted that image and not lost business
was the reason for changing the policy, an earlier Class Action
Reporter story (March 17, 2005) reports.

Still, some plaintiff attorneys accused JAMS of caving under
financial pressure. Thomas Brandi, the CAOC's designated liaison
on the issue, told The Recorder that some in the plaintiff bar
have heard privately from "several of the JAMS judges" that they
disagree with the ADR provider's current stance.

In their letter, the organizations point out that JAMS still has
written standards for consumer arbitrations that say JAMS will
only work with mandatory arbitration clauses that don't preclude
"remedies that would otherwise be available to the consumer"
under federal, state or local law.

The letter makes it clear that, in their eyes, "class action
prohibitions" violate those standards and thus they are asking
each neutral to sign a statement saying whether they agree with
that assessment. The letters also state that, "The absence of a
response will be deemed a lack of commitment to enforcing JAMS'
Minimum Standards."

Alan Kaplinsky, a Philadelphia-based partner at defense firm
Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll who fought the policy JAMS
announced last November, called the plaintiffs lawyers' letter
"outrageous." He told The Recorder, "I would compare it to
anybody writing a letter to a judge out of the blue, asking a
judge, 'If you were to get a case that would involve a
particular issue, how would you decide it?' And your response or
non-response would be published on our Web site. ... It's
completely out of bounds."

And he contrasts it with the pressure that he and other
attorneys put on JAMS to reverse its 2004 policy, pointing out
that they dealt with JAMS as a body, "like if a court adopted a
rule of procedure" and critics commented on it. "There's nothing
wrong with that," he pointed out.

Mr. Brandi counters that the letters aren't pushing for a policy
change, but for transparency. He contrasts arbitration with the
court system, where the proceedings are open and clients have
leeway to avoid a judge with a peremptory challenge. He told THe
Recorder, "What we'll know as a result of this letter is, which
judges are on the record saying they'll uphold the standards of
fairness."

The five other lawyer groups that signed into the letter are:
The Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, San Francisco
Trial Lawyers Association, Trial Lawyers for Public Justice,
National Employment Lawyers Association and National Association
of Consumer Advocates.


CANADA: Vitamin Manufacturers Settle Quebec Price Fixing Suit
-------------------------------------------------------------
Four of the world's leading vitamin manufacturers settled a $130
million lawsuit by Quebec consumers group over vitamin price-
fixing, The Canadian Press reports.

Six years ago, Hoffmann-Laroche, BASF, Rhone-Poulenc and Lonza
were found guilty of hiking the price of vitamins and various
products including milk, cereals, shampoo and creams.

The money from the settlement will be divided between local non-
profit organizations and companies that bought the vitamins for
their products. Individuals though will not get any cash.

Class action lawyer Paul Unterberg believes the settlement sends
a message to multinationals. He told The Canadian Press that
companies that want to get together with competitors to raise
prices would now think twice about it.

In 1999, Hoffmann-Laroche and BASF paid a combined $725 million
to settle charges laid by the U.S. Department of Justice related
to the worldwide price-fixing scam. The head of federal agency
at the time described the case as "the most pervasive and
harmful criminal antitrust conspiracy ever uncovered."


CAPTARIS INC.: Discovery Proceeds in Travel 100 TCPA Suits in IL
----------------------------------------------------------------
Discovery is proceeding in the class actions naming Captaris,
Inc. as a third-party defendant, filed in the Circuit Court in
Cook County, Illinois, alleging violations of the Telephone
Consumer Protection Act.

On July 29, 2003, Travel 100 Group, Inc. (Travel 100) filed
three lawsuits, one against Mediterranean Shipping Company
("Mediterranean"), the second against The Melrose Hotel Company
("Melrose") and the third against Oceania Cruises ("Oceania").
On April 13, 2004, a fourth lawsuit was filed by another travel
agent, Travel Travel Kirkwood, Inc. ("Kirkwood"), against
Oceania Cruises.  That case was subsequently removed to the
United States District Court, Eastern District of Missouri.

The Oceania case was dismissed without prejudice in March 2005.
In June 2005, the parties entered into a cash settlement of the
Kirkwood case, the Company's portion of which was not material,
and that case was dismissed with prejudice as to all parties on
June 28, 2005.  The complaints in the remaining cases are
substantially identical in form and allege violations of the
Telephone Consumer Protection Act in connection with the receipt
of facsimile advertisements that were transmitted by MediaTel.
Each of the Travel 100 complaints seeks injunctive relief and
unspecified damages and certification as a class action on
behalf of Travel 100 and others similarly situated throughout
the United States that received the facsimile advertisements.
Under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, a court can impose
liability of $500 per fax on a party that sends a fax without
the consent of the recipient.  A court can increase the
liability to $1,500 per fax if the sending of the fax is
willful.

In its answer filed on September 23, 2003, Mediterranean named
the Company as a third-party defendant and asserted that, to the
extent that Mediterranean is liable, the Company should be
liable under theories of indemnification, contribution or breach
of contract for any damages suffered by Mediterranean.
Similarly, in its answer filed on October 14, 2003, Melrose
named the Company, as well as PTEK, as third-party defendants
based on allegations of breach of contract, indemnification and
contribution.

In response to Mediterranean's third-party complaint, the
Company filed its answer on November 3, 2003, denying the
allegations filed by Mediterranean and further answering by way
of affirmative defenses that to the extent the Company is found
liable for any damages allegedly suffered by plaintiffs or any
third-party plaintiffs in this action, the Company is entitled
to indemnification and/or contribution from other non-parties to
this action.  The Company filed similar answers to the Melrose
complaint on November20, 2003. Both the Company and MediaTel
have denied any liability in the cases because, among other
facts and defenses, MediaTel understood that the database and
lists of travel agent recipients to whom faxes were sent had
authorized that information could be sent to them by fax.  Based
on the Company's analysis to date, approximately 500,000 faxes
were sent relating to the Mediterranean case and approximately
200,000 faxes were sent relating to the Melrose case.  Discovery
is ongoing in the remaining Travel 100 cases and the parties are
in the process of working out a schedule for a class
certification briefing.  The Company expects the plaintiffs in
the Mediterranean case to push for a hearing on class
certification in the first quarter of 2006.


COMMERCE BANCORP: NJ Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Over Indicted Execs
----------------------------------------------------------------
Ruling that Commerce Bancorp will not have to pay shareholders
who took a financial hit after two company executives were
indicted in a Philadelphia City Hall corruption case last year,
U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler dismissed a lawsuit against
the Cherry Hill-based bank, The Associated Press reports.

The suit, which was filed by eight shareholders and sought class
action status, claimed that company executives knew the firm was
breaking the law as it misled shareholders about how well it was
doing. It also claimed the bank violated federal law by not
disclosing its wrongdoing.

However, according to Judge Kugler's ruling, the boasting about
the company's performance was run-of-the-mill puffery of the
sort that should make investors skeptical. Court documents show
that on the heels of the indictment, Commerce stock dropped
dramatically though it has since bounced back.

The suit came in response to the federal indictments of two
former bank executives charged with making loans to a
Philadelphia city official in exchange for getting $300 million
worth of city business for the bank, an earlier Class Action
Reporter story (January 31, 2005) reports.

Commerce executives Glenn Holck and Stephen Umbrell were
convicted just this year of approving loans to Philadelphia's
city treasurer to get the inside track on city banking business
and sentenced to more than two years in prison. Both are free
though pending an appeal of the case.

The lawsuit named Mr. Holck, Mr. Umbrell and other Commerce
executives, including founder and CEO Vernon Hill and George E.
Norcoss III, the head of the bank's insurance division and a
Democratic Party powerbroker in New Jersey.


DOW CHEMICAL: County Judge Denies Request to Delay Dioxin Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Saginaw County Chief Circuit Judge Leopold P. Borrello refused
to grant Dow Chemical Co.'s request to delay a dioxin-related
lawsuit until the company has taken its case before the Michigan
Court of Appeals, The Saginaw News reports.

In his ruling, Judge Borrello said, "If a delay is granted in
this case, it is not going to come from this court. You'll have
to get it somewhere else."

On October 21, 2005, Judge Borrello decided that a class action
lawsuit against Dow could proceed on claims that historic dioxin
releases have devalued riverside properties. Kathy Henry along
with her husband filed the suit in March 2003 after the state
uncovered contamination along the Tittabawassee River in
Michigan.

That decision, which is only the second time in the last 20
years that a Saginaw County judge certified a class action
lawsuit, expands the case from 160-plus named plaintiffs to
about 2,000 property owners who live within the flood plain of
the Tittabawassee. In his ruling Judge Borrello stated that the
suit is best handled on a group basis. He also said, "To deny a
class action in this case and allow the plaintiffs to pursue
individual claims would result in up to 2,000 individual claims
being filed in this court. Such a result would impede the
convenient administration of justice," an earlier Class Action
Reporter story (October 25, 2005) reports.

Despite Judge Borrollo's most recent decision, Dow officials
still maintain that the case was wrongly decided. Thus, they
intend to file an appeal by next week.

Meanwhile, the attorneys for the plaintiffs are preparing for a
mass mailing that will reach about 2,000 property owners, who
are now included in the lawsuit. The letters will likely go out
this month, according to them. Commenting on lawsuit's progress,
attorney Bruce F. Trogan told The Saginaw News, "This case has
been pending for two years and eight months. It needs to go
forward."

Dow attorneys though still argue that it makes no sense to
proceed when the case could change course or even sink with a
Court of Appeals ruling. Dow spokesman Scot Wheeler even told
The Saginaw News, "While the judge feels it is important to move
forward, it is also important to do things correctly. We believe
this issue needs to be looked at because it is quite a bit
different if you are looking at 2,000 versus a couple hundred
plaintiffs."

Judge Borrello also stated in his ruling that the case already
has dragged on too long. He said, "I believe in the old adage
that says, 'Justice delayed is justice denied,'" adding, "When I
think of the last two and a half years, I think it's time for
both parties to move forward."


GEMSTAR-TV GUIDE: CA Court Approves KPMG Stock Suit Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Central District of
California approved the settlement between the plaintiff class
and KPMG LLP for the class action filed against Gemstar-TV Guide
International, Inc. and certain of its executive officers and
directors.

The suit alleges violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934 (the 1934 Act) and the Securities Act of 1933 (the 1933
Act).  The alleged claims were brought under Sections 10(b) and
20(a) of the 1934 Act, Section 11 of the 1933 Act and SEC Rule
10b-5 and seek unspecified monetary damages.  The court
appointed the Teachers Retirement System of Louisiana and the
General Retirement System of the City of Detroit as co-lead
plaintiffs, and appointed Bernstein, Litowitz, Berger &
Grossman, L.L.P. as lead plaintiffs' counsel.

Plaintiffs filed an amended, consolidated complaint, alleging
violations of the securities laws in connection with the
Company's accounting for certain transactions, which were
subsequently restated between November 2002 and March 2003. The
amended complaint seeks money damages on behalf of a purported
class of holders of the Company's securities during the relevant
time period.

On May 2, 2003, the Company filed a motion to dismiss the
amended consolidated complaint, which was heard on July 14,
2003.  On August 18, 2003, the court granted the Company's
motion to dismiss.  The court also granted plaintiffs leave to
amend the amended complaint.  The Company later reached a
settlement for the complaint.  On September 19, 2005, the Court
approved the settlement between plaintiff Class and KPMG
resolving the Class' claims against KPMG, which included the
claims assigned to the Class by the Company. Only the Class'
securities fraud claims against Dr. Yuen, the Company's former
Chief Executive Officer, and Ms. Leung, the Company's former
Chief Financial Officer, are still pending.


GILEAD SCIENCES: Faces Additional Medicaid Overpricing Lawsuits
---------------------------------------------------------------
Gilead Sciences, Inc. faces three additional lawsuits, alleging
that it reported inaccurate prices for their products, causing
the government entity named as the plaintiff to overpay for
pharmaceutical products furnished to participants in the
Medicaid program.

A number of states, counties and municipalities have filed
complaints against the Company and other pharmaceutical firms.
Twenty-six separate actions filed by New York City and numerous
New York counties were consolidated in a multi-district
litigation proceeding before the United States District Court
for the District of Massachusetts.  On August 23, 2005, these
cases were voluntarily dismissed with respect to the Company.
To its knowledge, the Company has been named in three additional
cases:

     (1) State of Alabama v. Abbott Laboratories, Inc., et al.,
         currently pending in the Circuit Court for Montgomery
         County, Alabama;

     (2) County of Erie v. Abbott Laboratories, Inc., et al.,
         currently pending in the United States District Court
         for the District of Massachusetts and

     (3) State of Mississippi v. Abbott Laboratories, Inc., et
         al., currently pending in the Chancery Court of Hinds
         County, Mississippi

The complaints assert claims under federal and state law and
seek damages (and, in the State of Alabama case, treble damage)
and attorneys' fees.


GILEAD SCIENCES: CA Court Dismisses Securities Fraud Litigation
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
California granted Gilead Sciences, Inc.'s motion to dismiss the
consolidated securities class action filed a against the Company
and its Company's Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial
Officer, former Executive Vice President of Operations (and
current Senior Business Advisor), Executive Vice President of
Research and Development, Senior Vice President of Manufacturing
and Senior Vice President of Research.

Several suits were initially filed, alleging that the defendants
violated federal securities laws, specifically Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended,
and Rule 10b-5 of the Securities and Exchange Commission, by
making certain alleged false and misleading statements. The
plaintiffs sought unspecified damages on behalf of a purported
class of purchasers of Gilead's securities during the period
from July 14, 2003 through October 28, 2003.  The court issued
an order consolidating the lawsuits into a single action on
December 22, 2003.  On February 9, 2004, the court issued an
order appointing lead plaintiffs in the consolidated action.  On
April 30, 2004, the lead plaintiffs, on behalf of the purported
class, filed their consolidated amended complaint.  On June 21,
2004, the Company and individual defendants filed their motion
to dismiss the consolidated amended complaint.

On January 4, 2005, the court granted the defendants' motion to
dismiss with leave to amend. Plaintiffs filed a second amended
complaint on February 25, 2005 and a third amended complaint on
March 11, 2005. On October 11, 2005, the court granted the
defendants' notion to dismiss the third amended complaint with
leave to amend.


IDX SYSTEMS: Shareholders Launch VT Suit Over Proposed GE Merger
----------------------------------------------------------------
IDX Systems Corporation (Nasdaq: IDXC), its chairman and co-
founder Rich Tarrant, and its other nine directors, are facing a
class action lawsuit that alleges the proposed merger with
General Electric is a bad deal for shareholders, and will only
enrich company officials, The Vermont Guardian reports.

In addition, the shareholders' suit allege that company
officials haven't done enough to allow other companies to make a
competing offer, and agreed to pay GE $43 million if the merger
doesn't happen, according to a copy of the lawsuit obtained by
The Vermont Guardian.

Filed in Chittenden Superior Court in Burlington on October 24,
the suit is not yet publicly available, since it has not been
served to all the parties. It specifically, challenges the price
of and the process leading to IDX's previously announced merger
agreement with General Electric and a GE subsidiary.

IDX recently agreed to merge with General Electric Healthcare, a
subsidiary of GE, selling its shares for $44 apiece, or a total
of $1.2 billion. The merger will net Mr. Tarrant, who co-founded
the company is 1969 and owns roughly 7.9 percent of the
company's shares, a reported $108 million.

According to the suit, "The proposed merger is wrongful, unfair
and harmful to IDX shareholders, and represents an attempt by
the Individual Defendants to aggrandize or, at a minimum,
maintain their personal and financial positions and interests
through continued management positions and to enrich themselves
and avoid tax payments, at the expense of and to the detriment
of the public stockholders of the company."

Asked for comment, Matthew Houston, a New York City attorney
representing the shareholders in the case only told The Vermont
Guardian, "We like to let the lawsuit speak for itself and
reserve our comments for the court proceedings."

The suit also alleges that Mr. Tarrant, co-founder Robert Hoehl
and current CEO James H. Crook, Jr., entered into shareholder
agreements with GE stating they would vote in favor of the
merger. Mr. Hoehl owns about 8.9 percent of IDX, valued at about
$122 million. All in all, the trio owns about 20 percent of the
outstanding stock in IDX.

In addition, the suit alleges that the company and its directors
did not determine if there might be other possible purchasers,
or better offers, to ensure that shareholders were getting the
highest possible price for their stock in any sale of the
company. It also claims that the $43 million termination fee to
be paid to GE if the merger isn't approved is "excessive and may
wrongfully dissuade potential bidders for IDX from coming
forward and making an offer."

Though regulators and IDX shareholders must approve the merger,
officials from both companies expect to close the deal by early
2006. The boards of directors of GE and IDX have approved the
transaction also.

IDX officials said that they would defend the transaction, and
believe that the lawsuit lacks merit. In a prepared statement,
James H. Crook, Jr., chief executive officer of IDX,
specifically said, "We believe the allegations are without
merit. We adhered to a comprehensive and rigorous review of
strategic alternatives and firmly believe that the transaction
with GE is in the best interests of IDX and its shareholders.
This type of legal action is not uncommon and we intend to
vigorously defend ourselves. We have no reason to believe that
this lawsuit will affect the close of the transaction," an
earlier Class Action Reporter story (November 3, 2005) reports.


INDEPENDENCE COMMUNITY: Faces Lawsuit in DE Over Sovereign Deal
---------------------------------------------------------------
The board of directors for New York's Independence Community
Bank (NASDAQ: ICBC) are being sued by their own stockholders,
who contend they will be shortchanged in a planned $3.6 billion
purchase of the bank by Wyomissing, Pennsylvania-based Sovereign
Bancorp (NYSE: SOV), Bloomberg News reports.

In a suit filed in Delaware Chancery Court, three Independence
shareholders, namely: Zahava Rosenfeld, Devorah Smilow and
Howard Lasker, claim that the directors violated their duty to
get the best price by agreeing to a $42-per-share offer.

The lawsuit asks a judge to give the case class action status on
behalf of all outside shareholders to stop the transaction under
the current terms and to award unspecified damages and legal
fees.


INVESTORS FINANCIAL: Faces Securities Fraud Lawsuits in MA Court
----------------------------------------------------------------
Investors Financial Services Corporation and five of its
officers face three purported class action complaints filed on
August 4, 2005, August 15, 2005, and September 30, 2005 in the
United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts,
Boston, Massachusetts.

Among other things, the complaints filed on August 4, 2005 and
August 15, 2005 assert that the defendants violated Sections
10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during
the period October 15, 2003 until July 15, 2005.  Among other
things, the complaint filed on September 30, 2005 asserts that
the defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the period July 16, 2003
until July 15, 2005.  The allegations in the complaints
predominantly relate to the Company's October 2004 restatement
of its financial results, and the Company's July 2005 revision
of public guidance regarding its future financial performance.
The complaints seek unspecified damages, interest, fees, and
costs.


LOUISIANA: Katrina Suit's Allegations Confirmed by Senate Probe
---------------------------------------------------------------
A New Orleans, Louisiana attorney, who launched a lawsuit
charging malfeasance and incompetence by public officials
responsible for levee protection, says a U.S. Senate Committee
probe reinforces the allegations in his suit, filed three weeks
after Hurricane Katrina.

Attorney Ashton O'Dwyer, alleges in his class action suit filed
in U.S. District Court, that public officials at all levels of
government (federal, state and local) failed to protect
residents from death, injury and property damage by allowing
incompetent engineering and design of levees including the 17th
Street and London Avenue Canals.

Much of the New Orleans east bank was inundated with 6 to 10
feet of flood waters only one day after Katrina when a 200 foot
wide breach of the 17th Street Canal levee pushed water deep
into the city, including its downtown area.

At least two independent investigations into the levee breaks
have indicated poor engineering and design flaws led to the
disaster. One of the groups hearing testimony this week was the
Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
Mr. O'Dwyer claims, among other things, in his "Victims of
Katrina" suit, that the engineering flaws and the failure of
public officials to identify potentially dangerous soil
conditions were the major cause of the deaths, damage and
destruction in New Orleans, and not hurricane Katrina itself.

For more details, contact Ashton O'Dwyer, Phone: 504-884-6727.


NIKON INC.: Recalls 200T EN-EL3 Battery Packs Due to Burn Hazard
----------------------------------------------------------------
In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
(CPSC), Nikon Inc., of Melville, New York is voluntarily
recalling about 200,000 (About 710,000 Worldwide) units of Nikon
Rechargeable Battery Packs with Model Number EN-EL3.

According to the company, the battery packs can short circuit,
causing them to overheat and possibly melt, posing a burn hazard
to consumers. Nikon has confirmed four reports of incidents of
the problem worldwide with no reports of injuries.

The recall involves the Nikon rechargeable lithium ion battery
pack with model number EN-EL3, which is written on the side of
the battery. The batteries are rated at 7.4V/1400mAh, which also
is written on the battery. The battery is included as a power
source for Nikon's digital SLR D100, D70, and D50 model cameras.
The battery pack was also sold separately. Pictures of recalled
battery pack and the cameras they are used in:

     (1) http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml06/06023d.jpg

     (2) http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml06/06023a.jpg

     (3) http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml06/06023b.jpg

     (4) http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml06/06023c.jpg

Manufactured in China, the battery packs were sold at all
camera, mass merchandise, catalog, Internet, and office supply
stores nationwide from May 2004 through November 2005 for about
$50 for the battery only and about $800 to $1500 when sold with
the digital SLR camera.

Remedy: Consumers with battery backs with model number EN-EL3
should contact Nikon's Web site to determine if it is included
in the recall. If so, they should stop using it immediately.
Nikon will provide a free replacement battery pack.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Nikon Inc.
Customer Service at (800) 645-6678 anytime, or access Nikon's
Web site: http://www.nikonusa.com.


NORTHERN IRELAND: Police Officers File Trauma Suit Over Troubles
----------------------------------------------------------------
About 5,000 active and retired police officers that served in
the city of Derry in Northern Ireland during the Troubles began
a legal action claiming compensation for trauma they suffered
during the last 30 years, The Derry Journal reports.

In one of the biggest trauma civil actions ever taken in British
judicial history, the officers are suing the chief constable and
the Policing Board for injuries caused by "a failure to diagnose
or treat" post-traumatic stress disorder.

To be overseen by Mr. Justice Coghlin, the case began in Belfast
on recently and is due to last four months. It is proceeding as
a class action with up to 20 individual cases being selected to
represent issues common to all the claims. The chief and most
common among the officers' claims are that they were not
prepared for what they experienced and that adequate support
mechanisms were not in place.

The officers also claim that many of them faced direct attack,
witnessed terror attacks at first hand or had to cope with the
aftermath of atrocities. Meanwhile, other officers involved in
the case are fighting for loss of earnings after being medically
discharged as a result of what they faced in the line of duty.
Officers involved in the case range in rank from constable to
chief superintendent with 2,000 of them still serving in the
Police Service of Northern Ireland.

A lawyer for the officers told the Northern Ireland High Court
that whilst the men and women volunteered for a highly dangerous
job, they "stayed hurt more than they should have" and this was
a case of "system failure."

In a hearing slated to last up to four-months, the officers will
claim that their employers made inadequate provision to deal
with posttraumatic stress disorder. One major issue in the case
is the duty of care, which the chief constable owed to his
officers.


PERINI CORPORATION: MA Court Gives Final OK to Suit Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the District of
Massachusetts granted final approval to the settlement of the
amended class action filed against certain of the Perini
Corporation's current and former directors, on behalf of holders
of the Company's $2.125 Depositary Convertible Exchangeable
Preferred Shares, representing 1/10 Share of $21.25 Convertible
Exchangeable Preferred Stock.

Frederick Doppelt, Arthur I. Caplan and Leland D. Zulch filed
the suit on October 15, 2002.  Mr. Doppelt is a current director
and Mr. Caplan is a former director of the Company.

Specifically, the original complaint alleged that the defendants
breached their fiduciary duties owed to the holders of the
Depositary Shares and to Perini. The plaintiffs principally
alleged that the defendants improperly authorized the exchange
of Series B Preferred Stock for common stock while
simultaneously refusing to pay accrued dividends due on the
Depositary Shares.

In July 2003, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint.  The
amended complaint added an allegation that the defendants had
further breached their fiduciary duties by authorizing a tender
offer for the purchase of up to 90% of the Depositary Shares and
an allegation that the collective actions of the defendants
constitute unfair and deceptive business practices under the
provisions of the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act.  The
amended complaint withdrew the allegation of a breach of
fiduciary duty owed to the Company, but retained the allegation
with respect to a breach of those duties owed to the holders of
the Depositary Shares.

On April 12, 2004, pursuant to Defendants' Motions to Dismiss,
the Court dismissed the claim under the Massachusetts Consumer
Protection Act.  The Court did not dismiss the claim for breach
of fiduciary duty, except as such claim relates to the tender
offer for the purchase the Company's Depositary Shares.
Pursuant to the Court's April 12, 2004 Order, in May 2004 the
plaintiffs filed a third amended complaint and a motion for
class certification.  Defendants filed an answer denying any and
all claims of wrongdoing and asserting affirmative defenses. On
November 30, 2004, the Company announced that the parties had
reached an agreement for settlement of the Action.  Under the
terms of the settlement, Perini would purchase all of the
Depositary Shares submitted in the settlement for consideration
per share of $19.00 in cash and one share of Perini common
stock.

On April 19, 2005, the District Court of Massachusetts
conditionally certified a class of holders of Depositary Shares
for purposes of settlement only.  On May 5, 2005, the Court
preliminarily approved the settlement as being fair, just,
reasonable and adequate, pending a final hearing.  On September
21, 2005, the Court gave final approval to the settlement as
being fair, just, reasonable and adequate.  The settlement and
the number of Depositary Shares participating in the settlement
became final on October 24, 2005.  Under the terms of the
settlement, effective November 2, 2005, the Company purchased
all of the 374,185 participating Depositary Shares that were
submitted for $19.00 in cash and one share of the Company's
common stock for each Depositary Share for an aggregate of $7.1
million in cash and 374,185 shares of common stock.  After
consummation of the settlement, 185,088 Depositary Shares remain
outstanding and Frederick Doppelt will resign from his position
as a director of the Company.


PSI ENERGY: Sued Over Emissions From Coal Plants in US, Canada
--------------------------------------------------------------
PSI Energy, Inc. and approximately 20 other utility and power
generation companies face a class action filed in Superior Court
in Ontario, Canada alleging various claims relating to
environmental emissions from coal-fired power generation
facilities in the United States and Canada and damages of
approximately $50 billion, with continuing damages in the amount
of approximately $4 billion annually.  The lawsuit also claims
entitlement to punitive and exemplary damages in the amount of
$1 billion.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the
Company said, "We have not yet been served in this lawsuit,
however, if served, we intend to defend this lawsuit vigorously
in court.  We are not able to predict whether resolution of this
matter would have a material effect on our financial position or
results of operations."


RADIAN GUARANTY: PA Court Grants Summary Judgment in Fraud Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Pennsylvania granted Radian Guaranty, Inc.'s motion for summary
judgment in the class action filed against it on behalf of a
nationwide class of consumers who allegedly were required to pay
for private mortgage insurance provided by Radian Guaranty and
whose loans allegedly were insured at more than the Company's
"best available rate," based upon credit information obtained by
the Company.

Whitney Whitfield and Celeste Whitfield filed the suit in
January 2004, alleging that the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
requires a notice to borrowers of such "adverse action" and that
the Company violated FCRA by failing to give such notice. The
action sought statutory damages, actual damages, or both, for
the people in the class, and attorneys' fees, as well as
declaratory and injunctive relief. The action also alleged that
the failure to give notice to borrowers in the circumstances
alleged is a violation of state law applicable to sales
practices and sought declaratory and injunctive relief for this
alleged violation.

On September 6, 2005, the federal district court heard oral
arguments on the Company's motion for summary judgment, and on
October 21, 2005, the court granted the motion for summary
judgment.  The court held that mortgage insurance transactions
between mortgage lenders and mortgage insurers are not consumer
credit actions and are not subject to the notice requirements of
FCRA. This ruling may, and likely will, be appealed.  Similar
cases, at least three of which are still pending, have been
brought against several other mortgage insurers.


RADIOSHACK CORPORATION: Plaintiffs Granted Suit Summary Judgment
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
Illinois granted plaintiffs' motion for partial summary judgment
in the class action filed against Radioshack Corporation, styled
"Alphonse L. Perez et al. v. RadioShack Corporation."  The suit
alleges that the Company misclassified certain Company store
managers as exempt from overtime in violation of the Fair Labor
Standards Act.

On September 9, 2005, the judge granted, in part, the
plaintiffs' motion for partial summary judgment.  This
interlocutory ruling held that any Perez class member not
supervising at least 80 hours of weekly payroll at least 80% of
the time could not be deemed exempt from overtime pay. In a
filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Company
said that it respectfully disagreed with the ruling and will
continue to defend its position.  The filing further stated
"Although the plaintiffs' counsel in Perez has publicly stated
that they believe our alleged liability, as a result of the
judge's September 9th ruling, may be in excess of $10 to $15
million, we strongly disagree with this assessment. Based on our
current analysis, we believe that our alleged liability upon the
final disposition of this ruling will be substantially less, if
any at all. We anticipate that the trial of all remaining issues
in the Perez case will begin in February 2006, and we believe it
is likely we will prevail on all of the remaining issues at
trial."


REGENERON PHARMACEUTICALS: Reaches Settlement For NY Stock Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. reached a settlement for the
consolidated securities class action filed against it and
certain of its officers and directors in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York.

In May 2003, several securities lawsuits were filed and later
consolidated in October 2003.  The complaint, which purports to
be brought on behalf of a class consisting of investors in the
Company's publicly traded securities between March28, 2000 and
March30, 2003, alleges that the defendants misstated or omitted
material information concerning the safety and efficacy of
AXOKINE, a product then being developed by the Company for the
treatment of obesity, in violation of Sections 10(b) and 20(a)
of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule10b-5
promulgated thereunder.

On August 2, 2005, the plaintiffs and the Company entered into a
Stipulation and Agreement of Settlement settling all claims
against the Company in this lawsuit. The settlement requires no
payment by the Company or any of the individual defendants named
in the lawsuit. The Company's primary insurance carrier agreed
to make the required payment under the settlement, which is in
an immaterial amount to the Company. The settlement includes no
admission of wrongdoing by the Company or any of the individual
defendants. The settlement must be finally approved by the
United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York following notice and hearing.  Separately, the plaintiffs
and the individual defendants named in the lawsuit entered into
a Stipulation of Voluntary Dismissal, dismissing all claims
against the individuals. The voluntary dismissal shall
automatically become a dismissal with prejudice, without costs,
upon the court entering an order and final judgment approving
the settlement.


SEMPRA ENERGY: CA Antitrust Trial Focuses on Handwritten Notes
--------------------------------------------------------------
Handwritten notes by a bored executive and an agenda for a
meeting in a Phoenix hotel room were tackled in a recent hearing
for a class action lawsuit, which alleges that Sempra Energy and
its utility companies conspired with a Texas company to limit
natural gas supplies, The San Diego Union Tribune reports.

The often sketchy paperwork, depending on which side interprets
it, amount to either a plot between the San Diego energy company
and El Paso Gas Co. to stifle competition or an attempt by the
companies to be more competitive and save California ratepayers
money.

The $24 billion lawsuit, which was originally filed in December
2000 against Sempra and its utilities and later consolidated in
San Diego Superior Court, alleged that they conspired with El
Paso to prevent competition for cheaper and more plentiful
Canadian natural gas. Additionally, the suit alleges that Sempra
and its companies conspired to protect their respective market
dominance over the supply and transportation of natural gas into
and within California, reaping enormous profits at the expense
of California consumers and businesses, an earlier Class Action
Reporter story (January 24, 2005) reports.

The plaintiffs, including the cities of Los Angeles and Ventura
County, stated that the alleged agreement happened in a
clandestine meeting at a Phoenix hotel involving 11 senior SoCal
Gas, SDG&E and El Paso executives in September 1996, an earlier
Class Action Reporter story (January 24, 2005) reports.

Recently in their opening statement and during the past few days
of the trial, plaintiffs attorneys homed in on a handwritten
note that lists El Paso, SoCal Gas, Southern California
electricity generators and Southwest natural gas producers as
"Team 1." The note includes a "Team 2" designation for Northern
California energy suppliers and producers.

The attorneys claim that the memo provides evidence of El Paso
and Sempra carving up the regional natural gas market in a two-
team structure to stifle competition. According to them, that
team concept was forged in a 1996 hotel room meeting in Phoenix,
where SoCal Gas and SDG&E representatives met with El Paso, the
company that owned the largest east-west gas pipelines into
California and supplied gas to SoCal Gas. The attorneys added
that though at the time of the meeting, Sempra did not exist,
the parent companies of SoCal Gas and SDG&E were in negotiations
to merge. The merger that created Sempra was completed in 1998.

Lance Astrella, a plaintiffs' attorney, portrayed SoCal Gas and
El Paso as a team that worked in concert to thwart competition.
He stated at the recent hearing, SoCal Gas, fearful that it
would be cut out as a middleman supplier of natural gas, agreed
to give preference to El Paso's pipeline over other competitors.
In turn, El Paso agreed not to bypass SoCal Gas and sell its
natural gas directly to the generating plants that used it to
produce electricity, according to Mr. Astrella.

However, Steven Miller, the Sempra manager who presented the
Team 1-Team 2 idea at the Phoenix meeting, denied that there was
anything sinister about the "team." Mr. Miller, who was director
of business strategies for SoCal Gas' parent company at the time
of the meeting, stated during the hearing that the designation
of Team 1 and Team 2 was a football team metaphor for the
competition that was emerging after the state-mandated
restructuring of the electricity industry.

Mr. Miller explains that Southern California "Team 1" was at a
competitive disadvantage to Northern California's "Team 2," in
part because SoCal Gas was paying for excess capacity on El
Paso's pipeline that it didn't use and was forced to pass those
costs onto customers. He also pointed out that the main purpose
of the Phoenix meeting was for a frustrated SoCal Gas to
persuade El Paso not to expand its pipeline for a project in
Mexico and to instead use SoCal Gas' excess capacity.

It was only at the end of the Phoenix meeting that Mr. Miller
said he presented an idea for a "single combined rate" that El
Paso and SoCal Gas could agree to charge for delivery of natural
gas to Southern California electricity plant clients.

Each company would agree to charge less, so together they could
offer a price that was competitive with the price of natural gas
coming from Canada into Northern California, according to Mr.
Miller. He further explains that Southern California clients
could then better compete with Northern California generating
plants, more plants would be built in Southern California, and
that in turn would help soak up the excess capacity on the El
Paso line. In the end, Mr. Miller pointed out that his
"brainstorming" was deemed not feasible and the rate plan was
never implemented.

Though the Team 1-Team 2 concept was Mr. Miller's, the actual
notes about it from the Phoenix meeting were taken by Al Clark,
an El Paso Gas marketing executive. In video testimony last
week, Clark said he took the notes but had "no recollection of a
Team 1 or Team 2 doing anything in particular."

In a court proceeding devoid of humor, Mr. Clark's testimony
drew a sympathetic laugh from the jury when he identified as his
a page of notes that contained doodles and his signature written
several times in increasingly ornate style. "All the scribbling,
I think I was genuinely bored during the meeting," Mr. Clark
said.


SONY: Virus-Like Anti-Piracy Software Triggers Suits in CA, NY
--------------------------------------------------------------
Vernon, California-based attorney Alan Himmelfarb initiated a
class action lawsuit on behalf of California consumers who might
have been harmed by anti-piracy software installed by some Sony
music CDs, The Washington Post reports.

According to experts, the Sony CDs use virus-like techniques to
install digital rights management software on computers. The
experts pointed out that Windows users cannot listen to the
protected CDs on their computers without first installing the
software, which hides itself on the users' system and cannot be
uninstalled by conventional removal methods.

Filed on November 1, 2005, in Superior Court for the County of
Los Angeles, the suit asking the court to prevent Sony from
selling additional CDs protected by the anti-piracy software. In
addition, the suit seeks monetary damages for California
consumers who purchased them.

The suit alleges that Sony's software violates at least three
California statutes, including the "Consumer Legal Remedies
Act," which governs unfair and/or deceptive trade acts; and the
"Consumer Protection against Computer Spyware Act," which
prohibits software that takes control over the user's computer
or misrepresents the user's ability or right to uninstall the
program. It also alleges that Sony's actions violate the
California Unfair Competition law, which allows public
prosecutors and private citizens to file lawsuits to protect
businesses and consumers from unfair business practices.

In a related matter, a nationwide class action lawsuit is
expected to be filed against Sony in a New York court. That suit
will be seeking relief for all U.S. consumers who have purchased
any of the 20 music CDs in question.

New York attorney Scott Kamber told The Washington Post that he
plans to file class action suits targeting Sony under both New
York consumer protection statutes and a federal criminal statute
that allows civil actions. He told, The Washington Post, "This
situation is particularly egregious and surprising from a
company that should be familiar with concerns people have with
programs crashing their Windows computers. What Sony is saying
with this software is that 'Our intellectual property is more
deserving of protection than your intellectual property,' and
Sony can't be allowed to get away with that."

Sony's move is the latest effort by the entertainment companies
to rely on controversial "digital rights management" (DRM)
technologies to reverse a steady drop in sales that the industry
attributes in large part to piracy facilitated by online music
and movie file-sharing networks like Kazaa and Limewire, an
earlier Washington Post article reports.

Experts who studied the Sony program told The Washington Post
that it has a built-in file-cloaking feature that could also be
used by attackers to hide viruses and other files on a user's
computer, and that conventional means of removing the anti-
piracy software renders the user's CD-Rom drive inoperable.

In response to public criticism over the invasiveness of the
software, Sony recently made available on its Web site a "patch"
that would prevent its software files from hiding on the user's
system. However, according to further research by a variety of
security experts, that patch can lead to a crashed system and
data loss.

For more details, on the California lawsuit, visit
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-
srv/technology/daily/graphics/ca_complaint_110805.pdf.


STILLWATER MINING: Reaches Settlement For NY Securities Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Stillwater Mining Corporation reached a settlement fort the
consolidated securities class action filed against Stillwater
Mining Corporation and certain of its senior officers in the
United States District Court, Southern District of New York,
purportedly on behalf of a class of all persons who purchased or
otherwise acquired common stock of the Company from April 20,
2001 through and including April 2002.

Nine suits were initially filed, asserting claims against the
Company and certain of its officers under Sections 10(b) and
20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Plaintiffs
challenge the accuracy of certain public disclosures made by the
Company regarding its financial performance and, in particular,
it's accounting for probable ore reserves.  In July 2002, the
court consolidated these actions, and in May 2003, the case was
transferred to federal district court in Montana. In May 2004,
defendants filed a motion to dismiss plaintiffs' second amended
complaint, and in June 2004, plaintiffs filed their opposition
and defendants filed their reply.

Defendants have reached an agreement in principle with
plaintiffs to settle the federal class action subject to
documentation and court approval. Under the proposed agreement,
any settlement amount will be paid by the Company's insurance
carrier and will not involve any out-of-pocket payment by the
Company or the individual defendants. In light of the proposed
settlement, the hearing on defendants' motion to dismiss has
been taken off calendar, without prejudice to their right to
reinstate the motion in the event the parties are not successful
in negotiating the terms of the final settlement papers.


SUNRISE POWER: CA Court Sustains Preemption, Filed Rate Demurrer
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Superior Court of the State of California, City and County
of San Francisco sustained Sunrise Power Company's demurrer
regarding preemption and filed rate doctrine in the class action
filed against it, styled "James M. Millar, "individually, and on
behalf of the general public and as a representative taxpayer
suit v. Sunrise Power Company, et al." The suit also names as
defendants other sellers of long-term power to the California
Department of Water Resources.

The lawsuit alleges that the defendants, including the Company,
engaged in unfair and fraudulent business practices by knowingly
taking advantage of a manipulated power market to obtain unfair
contract terms. The lawsuit seeks to enjoin enforcement of the
"unfair and oppressive terms and conditions" in the contracts,
as well as restitution by the defendants of excessive monies
obtained by the defendants. Plaintiffs in several other class
action lawsuits pending in Northern California have filed
petitions seeking to have the Millar lawsuit consolidated with
those lawsuits.

In December 2003, James Millar filed a First Amended Class
Action and Representative Action Complaint, which contains
allegations similar to those in the earlier complaint but also,
alleges a class action. One of the newly added parties removed
the lawsuit to federal court, and the court ordered remand to
the San Francisco Superior Court. Defendants filed a responding
pleading on May 6, 2005. Following a hearing on September7,
2005, the court sustained defendants' demurrer regarding
preemption and filed rate doctrine. The plaintiff has waived his
right to appeal.


SUPERCONDUCTOR TECHNOLOGIES: CA Court Approves Suit Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Central District of
California approved the settlement of the consolidated
securities class action filed against Superconductor
Technologies, Inc. and certain of its officers in the United
States District Court for the Central District of California.

Several suits were initially filed in April 2004.  The cases
were consolidated in August 2004, and the plaintiffs filed an
amended consolidated complaint in October 2004. The plaintiffs
allege securities law violations by the Company and certain of
its officers and directors under Rule 10b-5 and Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.
The complaint was filed on behalf of a purported class of people
who purchased the Company's stock during the period between
January 9, 2004 and March 1, 2004 and seeks unspecified damages.
The plaintiffs base their allegations primarily on the fact that
the Company did not achieve its forecasted revenue guidance of
$10 to $13 million for the first quarter of 2004.

In February 2005, the Company settled with the lead plaintiffs
appointed by the District Court to handle this matter. Under the
terms of the settlement, the Company's insurers will pay $4.0
million into a settlement fund, and the Company will pay up to
$50,000 of the costs of providing notice of the settlement to
settlement class members. The Company recorded a liability in
its December 31, 2004 consolidated financial statements for the
proposed amount of the settlement of $4,050,000. Because the
insurance carrier involved in this suit agreed to pay $4.0
million of the settlement amount, and therefore recovery from
the insurance carrier was probable, a receivable was also
recorded for that amount. These amounts were paid into the
settlement fund in April 2005. The District Court approved the
settlement on August 8, 2005, and the Company does not expect
any further legal action related to this matter.


WASHINGTON: County Settles Lawsuit Over Public Defender System
--------------------------------------------------------------
Officials of Grant County, Washington agreed to a six-year
action plan to settle a class action lawsuit over the adequacy
of the county's public defender system, according to
representatives of both parties, The Seattle Times reports.

The settlement in the closely watched case calls for a limit on
the number of cases a lawyer can handle as a public defender,
assurances that defenders won't suffer financially for diligent
representation of their clients and the use of a monitor to
assure compliance.

In addition, the county agreed to pay the plaintiffs $500,000
for fees and costs to the law firms Perkins Coie and Garvey
Schubert Barer, plus $100,000 for each year the county fails to
meet the requirements of the settlement.

Filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and Columbia Legal
Services, the suit had been set for trial next week. It was seen
as emblematic of the problems faced by other financially hard-
pressed public defender programs around the state of Washington.

The lawsuit accused the county of using lawyers who were
overworked, unqualified or bound by contracts that discouraged
full and fair representation for the poor.

ACLU spokesman Doug Honig told The Seattle Times that the
settlement should be "a strong warning to all counties around
the state that have trouble providing adequate defense for
people who can't afford their own attorneys."

Specifically, the settlement provisions include:

     (1) Minimum qualifications for public defenders.

     (2) A case limit of 150 felonies annually per lawyer, plus
         restrictions on private work defenders do on the side.

     (3) The hiring of one full-time investigator for every four
         public defenders, a full-time supervisor for defenders
         and provision of an interpreter for lawyer-client
         meetings in jail.

     (4) Payment of $350 for each day a public defender is in
         trial, rather than a limit of payments to a flat fee of
         $650 per case.


WORLDCOM INC.: AK Recovers Million in Settlement of Litigation
--------------------------------------------------------------
Alaska Attorney General David M rquez reports that the state
will receive $14.2 million as a result of a settlement reached
in the WorldCom, Inc. bond litigation, as compensation for
losses the state incurred on purchases of WorldCom bonds and
stocks from 1998-2001.

In 2002, WorldCom filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. At the time
the company was the nation's second largest long-distance
provider and operated the world's largest Internet network. With
the assistance of outside counsel, the Department of Law
commenced this litigation in April 2003 against the underwriters
and investment bankers involved in the issuance of WorldCom
bonds purchased by some of the state's investment funds.

"The state lost about $26 million that it had invested in
WorldCom bonds prior to WorldCom's collapse, said Mr. M rquez.
"While it was impossible to recover the full amount of our
investment, the settlement we reached is significant and amounts
to approximately 50-percent of the state's overall bond losses.
I commend the efforts of the state's attorneys involved for
obtaining such a large recovery."

The state became a plaintiff in this litigation to recover
losses on bond investments not covered in a class action lawsuit
filed against the underwriters of these bonds. A majority of the
proceeds the state will receive are to cover bond loss. Some of
the recovery is for WorldCom stock loss as well.

State pension funds held a significant portion of Alaska's
investment in WorldCom said M rquez. The pension funds invested
in this company included the Public Employees' Retirement
System, the Teachers' Retirement System, the Judicial Retirement
System and the National Guard and Naval Militia Retirement
System.

Treasury accounts also held investments in WorldCom. Treasury
accounts are similar to mutual fund accounts, with different
participants owning varying shares in the accounts. These owners
include: the Mental Health Trust Fund, the Exxon Valdez Oil
Spill Fund, the University of Alaska Trust Fund, the
Constitutional Budget Reserve, the Public School Trust Fund and
the Alaska Children's Trust Fund.

Mr. M rquez said generally, when the state recovers damages in a
lawsuit, the proceeds would go to the general fund. However,
proceeds from this settlement will be used to offset WorldCom
losses incurred by the state investment accounts.


VERISIGN INC.: Firm, Unit Faces Suit in AR Over Free Ring Tones
---------------------------------------------------------------
A federal lawsuit against VeriSign Inc. and one of its units
that is making its way through the Eastern District of Arkansas
in Little Rock alleges that thousands of unsuspecting cell phone
users in the state were charged millions of dollars for a
service they didn't seek, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports.

Tom Thrash, the Little Rock attorney who filed the lawsuit told
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that ordering ring tones
advertised as free, in fact, has cost at least 45, 000 Arkansas
cell-phone customers $ 2. 3 million.

The deceptive advertising, according to the suit, which was
updated recently to seek class action status, is aimed at
teenagers and young adults, prompting them to call a number for
a free ring tone. However, instead of the ring tone, the
customers, or in many cases their parents soon find themselves
inundated with unauthorized charges on their cell-phone bills,
charges that are not easily removed, according to the suit,
which Mr. Thrash, filed after his own son, Adam, and a friend of
his son, also named Adam, both fell for what he considers a far
reaching scam.

Mr. Thrash told The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that he first
became aware of the practice when he received a bill from
Cingular for his son's cellular telephone service. One charge
for $ 1.99 was unexplained except for the words "direct bill,"
according to him. Mr. Trash also told The Arkansas Democrat-
Gazette that at first he didn't think too much about it until he
received another monthly bill with similarly unexplained weekly
charges of $ 4.99, $ 5.99 and $ 1.99.

After learning of the higher charges, Mr. Trash sought an
explanation from his son, who told him that all he'd done was
call a phone number displayed on television to get a free ring
tone. After his son explained the situation, Mr. Trash told The
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that he then decided to call Cingular
about the unauthorized charges. However, a representative, who
couldn't explain them, referred him to the Cingular Web site,
which he couldn't navigate because he didn't have a pass code.

"I fussed with them long enough that they finally gave me
Jamster's telephone number," Mr. Trash said, referring to the
company that he says advertised free ring tones and then began
sending weekly text messages, for a fee, to each cell phone that
downloaded the tone. He told The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette,
"They said it was a fee for text-messaging that number and
giving [the cell-phone user] an opportunity to buy more ring
tones."

While Cingular, AT&T and T-Mobile are mentioned in the lawsuit
as cell phone companies whose customer bills have included the
Jamster charges, they are not named as defendants.

Instead, the suit specifically names Jamster and its parent
company, VeriSign, as defendants, accusing both of fraud, unjust
enrichment, negligence and violation of the Arkansas Deceptive
Trade Practices Act, a law often used by Attorney General Mike
Beebe's office to pursue consumer fraud lawsuits. Jamster is the
U.S. name of Jamba AG, a German mobile content provider that
VeriSign acquired in June 2004, an earlier Class Action Reporter
story (April 7, 2005) reports.

Matt DeCample, Mr. Beebe's spokesman, told The Arkansas
Democrat-Gazette though that he was not aware of any formal
complaints being filed with the attorney general's office over
the ring tones and text messages.

In response to Mr. Thrash's lawsuit, Jamster and VeriSign
acknowledge that Jamster has contacted some 45, 000 Arkansans'
cell phones with text messages since December 2004. Those people
were charged a total of about $ 2.3 million for repeated text
messages that they didn't order, Mr. Thrash told The Arkansas
Democrat-Gazette, citing the documents.

Mr. Trash told The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that Jamster, a
German company marketed in Europe as Jamba, has charged text-
messaging fees to 2.6 million people nationwide.

VeriSign spokesman Brian O'Shaughnessy told The Arkansas
Democrat-Gazette that the company is aware of the lawsuit, which
mirrors one filed earlier this year in California, but he
declined to comment on it.

VeriSign, described in the lawsuit as "a leading provider of
intelligent infrastructure services," and Jamster, a subsidiary
since June 2004 that provides ring tones and other mobile
content services to cell phone service providers, are
represented locally by attorney Kevin Crass of Little Rock.

Originally, Mr. Trash filed his lawsuit in Pulaski County
Circuit Court, seeking class action status to include as
plaintiffs all Arkansans in the same situation as the named
plaintiff, his son's friend, college student Lloyd "Adam" Page.

However, after VeriSign removed the case to federal court for
undisclosed reasons, Mr. Thrash amended his complaint to try to
have Mr. Page, a 20-year-old sophomore at the University of
Central Arkansas in Conway, represent a national class of cell
phone users that Mr. Thrash says were enticed into a financial
mess by misleading ads.

The suit seeks restitution and monetary damages, as well as an
injunction to stop what it called unauthorized billing. The case
is assigned to U. S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright, who has
not ruled on whether to grant class action status.

If the judge does grant class action status on a national scale,
the Arkansas case could end up swallowing the California case,
which is seeking worldwide class action status. Similarly, if
the California case is certified as a class action first, it
could take over the Arkansas case.

Mr. Thrash told The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that his lawsuit
may be slowed down because Jamster is a German company, and he
may have to serve the lawsuit through international courts,
unless the company waives the formality. Still, he plans to
persevere telling The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, "This is awful
what they're doing. We're hoping this will stop them."

The suit is styled, "Page v. VeriSign Inc. et al, Case No. 4:05-
cv-01629-SWW," filed in the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of Arkansas, under Judge Susan Webber Wright.
Representing the Defendants are John Dewey Watson, Jamie Marie
Huffman Jones, Kevin A. Crass and David D. Wilson of Friday,
Eldredge & Clark, LLP - Little Rock, Regions Center, 400 West
Capitol Ave., Suite 2000, Little Rock, AR 72201-3493, Phone:
(501) 370-1536, (501) 370-1430, (501) 370-1592 and
(501) 370-1564, E-mail: watson@fec.net, jjones@fec.net,
crass@fec.net and wilson@fec.net; and John R. Danos, Ruth M.
Holt and Laurence J. Hutt of Arnold & Porter, LLP - Los Angeles,
777 South Figueroa St., Suite 4400, Los Angeles, CA 90017-5844,
Phone: 213-243-4000. Representing the Plaintiff/s are:

     (1) Charles F. Barrett of Barrett Law Office - Nashville,
         3319 West End Ave., Suite 600, Nashville, TN 37203,
         Phone: (615) 386-8391, E-mail:
         cfbarrett@barrettlawoffice.com;

     (2) Don Barrett of Barrett Law Office - Lexington, Post
         Office Box 987, Lexington, MS 39095-0987, Phone: (662)
         834-2376;

     (3) Dewitt M. Lovelace of Lovelace Law Firm, P.A., 36474
         Emerald Coast Parkway, Suite 4202, Post Office Box
         6205, Destin, FL 32541, Phone: (850) 837-6020, E-mail:
         DML@lovelacelaw.com; and

     (4) Thomas P. Thrash of Thrash Law Firm, 1101 Garland St.,
         Little Rock, AR 72201, Phone: (501) 374-1058, E-mail:
         tomthrash@sbcglobal.net.


VERMONT: Tenants Appeal Building Condemnation to Supreme Court
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Vermont Supreme Court is slated to hear arguments on behalf
of four St. Albans tenants who were required to move in 2002
when the state labeled their building an "imminent fire hazard"
and condemned it, The Associated Press reports.

The tenants contend that rather than just closing unsafe
buildings and evicting them, the state should have prosecuted
landlord Thomas Komasa and required him to fix a long list of
safety violations. Maryellen Griffin, a Vermont Legal Aid lawyer
who represents the tenants told The Associated Press, "They did
not have to close the building. When the state is aware of
housing violations it should use its powers to bring the
building up to code."

If the court rules in favor of the tenants, the case could end
up affecting roughly 9,000 Vermont families who a recent study
estimated live in substandard housing.

However, such tough measures like the one the tenants are
seeking would be very costly for taxpayers, according to
Clifford Peterson, an assistant attorney general defending the
state in the case. He told The Associated Press, "I don't think
there are enough zeros" to define the enforcement regimen
envisioned by Ms. Griffin and her tenant-clients.

Ms. Griffin told The Associated Press that state officials
failed to issue fines against Mr. Komasa or order him to make
repairs even though his building had faulty sprinklers,
inadequate escape routes, unsafe stairways and bad wiring. It
also lacked smoke detectors, she adds.

Instead of going after Mr. Komasa, the state forced the tenants
to move out and search for new housing, Ms. Griffin pointed out.
She told The Associated Press, "They knew about these violations
for a long time and did not do anything. There were no
prosecutions, no fines and no civil actions. They only issued
orders as a prelude to closing the building. That is not
enough."

Legal Aid is hoping the high court orders the state to crack
down on landlords on code violations, compensate displaced
renters, and make the lawsuit a class action one so that it can
cover hundreds or even thousands of other tenants.

Mr. Peterson though points out that the court should allow the
state to maintain flexibility in housing enforcement. He told
The Associated Press, "Government in many respects must have
discretion. There are too many variables to apply a rigid
standard in all cases."



                New Securities Fraud Cases


ANDRX CORPORATION: Law Firms Lodge Securities Suit in S.D. FL
-------------------------------------------------------------
The law firms of Vianale & Vianale LLP and Law Offices Bernard
M. Gross, P.C. initiated a securities fraud class action lawsuit
on behalf of shareholders who sustained damages as a result of
their purchases of the securities of Andrx Corporation ("Andrx")
(NASDAQ: ADRX) between March 9, 2005 and September 5, 2005.

The action (case no. 05-cv-61640) is pending before Judge
William P. Dimitrouleas in the United States District Court for
the Southern District of Florida and names as defendants Andrx
Corp. and Thomas Rice, Chief Executive Officer of the Company.

The Complaint charges defendants with violations of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The Complaint alleges that
defendants were aware of and failed to disclose the fact that
their manufacturing facilities did not comply with all
applicable good manufacturing practices ("cGMP") regulations and
that Andrx was facing serious regulatory sanctions as a result
of its cGMP violations including a sanction that would preclude
Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") approval of Andrx's pending
and future drug applications. On September 6, 2005, defendants
shocked the market when they announced that the FDA had recently
placed a halt on approving Andrx's drug applications. In
response to this press release, Andrx stock dropped from a
closing price of $17.94 on September 5, 2005 to $14.89 on
September 6, 2005 on heavy trading volume.

For more details, contact Kenneth J. Vianale, Esq. or Julie Prag
Vianale, Esq. of Vianale & Vianale, LLP, 2499 Glades Road, Suite
112, Boca Raton, FL 33431, Phone: (561) 392-4750 or
888-657-9960, Web site: http://www.vianalelaw.com.


FIRST BANCORP: Milberg Weiss Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in PR
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman, LLP, initiated
a class action lawsuit on behalf of purchasers of the securities
of First BanCorp ("First BanCorp" or the "Company") (NYSE: FBP)
between March 31, 2003 and October 21, 2005 inclusive, (the
"Class Period"), seeking to pursue remedies under the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act").

The action is pending in the United States District Court for
the District of Puerto Rico against defendants First BanCorp,
Angel Alvarez-Perez, and Annie Astor-Carbonell.

The Complaint alleges that Defendants orchestrated a massive
accounting fraud through which they artificially inflated the
price of First BanCorp stock. Defendants improperly accounted
for mortgages purchased from other Puerto Rican banks in an
effort to boost earnings and reduce necessary loan reserves
beginning in 2000. As a result of its initial informal inquiry
into the Company's accounting practices, the SEC is now
conducting a formal investigation into the Company's treatment
of certain loans it purchased from R&G Financial Corp. and other
Puerto Rican banks during the period of 2000 to 2005. According
to the Company's October 21, 2005 press release, it may need to
restate certain financial periods as far back as 2000 in order
to correct the overstatement of earnings and understatement of
reserves associated with the subject transactions. Furthermore,
in the midst of the SEC's investigation and the recent
disclosure of a possible restatement, the CEO and CFO both
resigned from the Company and are names as defendants in this
action. As a result of the above disclosures, First BanCorp's
stock has plummeted 56% from its Class Period high of $32.09 to
$14.03 after the truth was revealed on October 21, 2005.

For more details, contact Steven G. Schulman 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; and Maya Saxena, Joseph E. White III
and Ariel Acevedo of Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman, LLP, 5200
Town Center Circle, Suite 600, Boca Raton, FL 33486, Phone:
(561) 361-5000, E-mail: msaxena@milbergweiss.com,
jwhite@milbergweiss.com and aacevedo@milbergweiss.com, Web site:
http://www.milbergweiss.com.


GUIDANT CORPORATION: Brodsky & Smith Files Securities Suit in NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Law offices of Brodsky & Smith, LLC, initiated a securities
class action lawsuit on behalf of shareholders who purchased the
common stock and other securities of Guidant Corporation (NYSE:
GDT) ("Guidant" or the "Company") between December 15, 2004 and
November 4, 2005, inclusive (the "Class Period"). The class
action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for
the Southern District of New York.

The Complaint alleges that defendants violated federal
securities laws by issuing a series of material
misrepresentations to the market during the Class Period,
thereby artificially inflating the price of Guidant securities.
No class has yet been certified in the above action. Until a
class is certified, you are not represented by counsel unless
you retain one. If you purchased this stock during the above
referenced class period you have certain rights. To be a member
of the class you need not take any action at this time, and you
may retain counsel of your choice. If you want to discuss your
legal rights, you may e-mail or call the law office of Brodsky &
Smith, LLC who will, without obligation or cost to you, attempt
to answer your questions. You may

For more details, contact Evan J. Smith, Esq. or Marc L.
Ackerman, Esq. of Brodsky & Smith, LLC, Two Bala Plaza, Suite
602, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004, Phone: 877-LEGAL-90, E-mail:
clients@brodsky-smith.com.


GUIDANT CORPORATION: Stull Stull Lodges Securities Suit in NY
-------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Stull, Stull & Brody, initiated a class action
in the United States District Court for the Southern District of
Indiana against Guidant Corporation ("Guidant") (NYSE: GDT) and
certain individual defendants. Guidant securities purchasers
between December 15, 2004 and November 3, 2005, inclusive (the
"Class Period") are putative class members.

The complaint alleges that Guidant and certain of its officers
and directors violated provisions of the Securities Exchange Act
of 1934, causing the Company's stock price to become
artificially inflated. On December 15, 2004, Guidant entered
into a $24.5 billion merger deal with Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:
JNJ). According to the complaint, while the Company pointed to
its defibrillator business as a key component of that deal, it
concealed from investors significant unaddressed product defect
and liability issues of the Company's implantable defibrillator
product lines.

On June 17, 2005, the FDA issued a nationwide recall
notification impacting Guidant's implantable defibrillators and
cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillators. Within that
notification, the FDA advised the public that the malfunction of
Guidant's devices could lead to a serious, life-threatening
event for a patient. On July 18, 2005, the FDA published a
"Recall - Firm Press Release" on its website, that now revealed
the Company's knowledge of pacemaker-related defects. In the
recall publication, Guidant warned physicians and patients to
seek replacement of at least nine different cardiac pacemaker
models and product lines.

Johnson & Johnson representatives subsequently revealed to the
investment community that, as of October 18, 2005, it was
seeking alternatives to the merger deal in earnest, as a direct
result of the "developments" at Guidant. On November 2, 2005,
Johnson & Johnson warned that it might withdraw from the merger
deal due to broad product recalls and a regulatory agency
investigation. Finally, on November 3, 2005, the Attorney
General of the State of New York filed a complaint, alleging
"repeated and persistent fraud" by the Company in connection
with its defibrillator sales. As investors learned the truth
about the allegations of fraud made by the State of New York,
the Company's shares tumbled from $60.40 on November 2, 2005, to
as low as $57.05 per share in heavy trading.

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, E-mail: SSBNY@aol.com.


GUIDANT CORPORATION: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Fraud Suit in NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP, initiated a class
action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York on behalf of purchasers of the
publicly traded securities of Guidant Corporation (NYSE: GDT)
("Guidant" or the "Company") between December 15, 2004 and
November 4, 2005, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges Guidant and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934. On December 15, 2004, Guidant, who describes itself as a
company that "pioneers lifesaving technology," entered into a
$25.4 billion merger deal with Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ)
(referred to as the "Guidant/Johnson & Johnson merger"), which
was to close on November 4, 2005. On news of this, shares of
Guidant rose to $72.05 per share. While the Company pointed to
its defibrillator business as a key component of that deal, the
Complaint alleges it concealed from Johnson & Johnson and
investors significant unaddressed product defect and liability
issues of the Company's implantable defibrillator product lines.
More specifically, defendants knew or recklessly disregarded:

     (1) that as early as 2002, Guidant's defibrillator products
         were defective and caused harm to patients;

     (2) that this fact was concealed in order for Guidant to
         maintain the revenue stream it received from its
         lucrative defibrillator products and make itself a more
         attractive merger candidate; and

     (3) that once Guidant forged a deal with Johnson & Johnson,
         defendants continued to conceal from its shareholders
         and public that its defibrillator products were
         defective because such information caused an
         overwhelming threat to the Guidant/Johnson & Johnson
         merger.

About 6 months after the Guidant/Johnson & Johnson merger was
announced, Guidant's scheme began to unravel. On June 14, 2005,
The New York Times published an article with the headline
"Implants With Flaws: Disclosure And Delay." Therein, reporter
Barry Meier wrote that Guidant discovered the design flaw in
early 2002 and did not inform doctors. Thereafter, on June 17,
2005, the FDA issued a nationwide recall notification, impacting
Guidant's implantable defibrillators and cardiac
resynchronization therapy defibrillators. Within that
notification, the Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") advised
the public that the malfunction of Guidant's devices could lead
to a serious, life-threatening event for a patient. By June 20,
2005, shares of Guidant fell $3.36 per share, or 4.23 percent,
to close at $70.33 per share on heavy trading volume.

On June 24, 2005, Guidant announced that it was voluntarily
advising physicians about important safety information regarding
certain devices. Guidant apprised the FDA of this action, and
the FDA may classify this action as a recall. At this time,
Guidant was in the very early stages of a diligent evaluation of
the component failure. Moreover, the Company stated that as a
precautionary measure, physicians should discontinue implants of
these devices pending further notice. On news of this, shares of
Guidant fell $4.70 per share, or 6.85 percent, to close at
$63.90 per share on unusually heavy volume.

Then, on October 18, 2005, prior to the opening of the market,
Johnson & Johnson's vice chairman, Robert J. Darretta Jr., on a
conference call with investors, stated that the company was
reviewing its options under the terms of the Guidant/Johnson &
Johnson merger. Specifically, Mr. Darretta stated: "We are
continuing to closely monitor the situation at Guidant[.] In
light of these matters and their impact, we are continuing to
consider the alternatives under our merger agreement." On news
of this, shares of Guidant, on October 18, 2005, shed $8.28 per
share, or 11.64 percent, to close at $64.10 per share on heavy
trading volume.

Following news that the Guidant/Johnson & Johnson merger may not
be completed, Guidant and its shareholders received more bad
news when Guidant announced, on October 25, 2005, that it had
received administrative subpoenas from the United States
Department of Justice U. S. Attorney's offices in Boston and
Minneapolis issued under the Health Insurance Portability &
Accountability Act of 1996. The subpoena from the U.S.
Attorney's office in Boston requested documents concerning
pacemakers, ICDs, leads and related products. The subpoena from
the U.S. Attorney's office in Minneapolis requested documents
relating to Guidant's VENTAK PRIZM(R) 2 and CONTAK RENEWAL(R) 1
and 2 devices. Following this news, shares of Guidant fell $2.25
per share, or 3.48 percent, on October 26, 2005, to close at
$62.45 per share, on heavy trading volume.

On November 2, 2005, Guidant and its shareholders received some
good news when it was announced that the Federal Trade
Commission cleared the Guidant/Johnson & Johnson merger. The
good news, however, was short-lived. On November 2, 2005,
Johnson & Johnson warned that it might pull out of a $25.4
billion deal to buy Guidant because of potential liability
arising from the medical device maker's sweeping product recalls
and a regulatory investigation. Moreover, Johnson & Johnson
stated that it was not required to close the acquisition.
Furthermore, Johnson & Johnson stated the following: "Johnson &
Johnson cannot assure that the companies will resume those
discussions or, if discussions do resume, whether they will be
able to reach agreement on revised terms that would allow
Johnson & Johnson to proceed with the transaction." News of this
sent shares of Guidant spiraling downward. Guidant's shares fell
$2.70 per share, or 4.28 percent, to close at $60.40 per share
on November 2, 2005.

On November 3, 2005, Guidant was accused by New York Attorney
General Eliot Spitzer of misleading doctors about a design flaw
in a heart device. The complaint contends that Guidant, the
second-biggest maker of implantable defibrillators, failed to
inform doctors that its VENTAK PRIZM(R) 2 DR Model 1861
defibrillator could malfunction with potentially fatal
consequences. On November 3, 2005, shares of Guidant fell $2.83
per share to close at $57.57 per share.

Then, Johnson & Johnson missed the November 4, 2005 deadline for
completing the Guidant/Johnson & Johnson merger. Following this
on November 7, 2005, Guidant announced that it had commenced a
lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson, seeking to force the health
care company to complete a $25.4 billion acquisition of Guidant.
Moreover, Guidant disclosed in its Form 10-Q that the United
States Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") had begun a
formal inquiry into some of its product disclosures and trading
in Guidant stock.

Following this series of announcements, Johnson & Johnson, on
November 7, 2005, issued a response to the Guidant lawsuit. More
specifically, Johnson & Johnson stated it still believed that it
was not required to complete its acquisition of Guidant. Johnson
& Johnson further stated that it viewed Guidant's product
recalls and related regulatory investigations as serious matters
and believed they have had a "material adverse effect" on
Guidant. On this news, shares of Guidant plunged even further on
November 7, 2005. Shares of Guidant fell $1.40 per share, to
close at $57.52 per share on heavy trading volume.

For more details, contact Darren J. Check, Esq. or Richard A.
Maniskas, Esq. of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP, 280 King of Prussia
Road, Radnor, PA 19087, Phone: 1-888-299-7706 or 1-610-667-7706,
E-mail: info@sbclasslaw.com, Web site:
http://www.sbclasslaw.com.


PEGASUS COMMUNICATIONS: Rosen Law Lodges Securities Suit in PA
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Rosen Law Firm initiated a class action in the United States
District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on
behalf of purchasers of Pegasus Communications Corporation
("Pegasus") (OTC: PGTV) common stock during the period from
November 10, 2000 through June 2, 2004 (the "Class Period").

The Complaint alleges that Pegasus and certain of its management
violated A10b and Rule 10b-5 of the federal securities laws by
failing to disclose its "exclusive" distribution rights for
DirecTV services could be terminated without cause prior to
2008. On June 2, 2004 Pegasus disclosed that its exclusive
rights to distribute DirecTV services had been terminated. That
same day certain Pegasus' operating subsidiaries filed for
bankruptcy protection, damaging investors.

The Rosen Law Firm has already filed a class action lawsuit on
behalf of Pegasus shareholders. The case is styled as Madden v.
Pagon, Civ. No. 05-5868.

For more details, contact Laurence Rosen, Esq. of The Rosen Law
Firm P.A., Phone: (212) 686-1060 or 1-866-767-3653, Fax:
(212) 202-3827, E-mail: lrosen@rosenlegal.com, Web site:
http://www.rosenlegal.com.


                            *********


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

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

                            *********


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

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

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

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