CAR_Public/051206.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

            Tuesday, December 6, 2005, Vol. 7, No. 241

                            Headlines

ALAMOSA HOLDINGS: Faces Derivative Suit in TX Over Sprint Merger
ALLSTATE INSURANCE: Settles Insurance Adjusters' Suit For $120M
AMERICAN ELECTRIC: Faces Canadian Environmental, Injury Lawsuit
APPALACHIAN POWER: Faces Canadian Environmental, Injury Lawsuit
AON CORPORATION: IL Court Mulls Final Suit Settlement Approval

AON CORPORATION: Consumer Suits Still Pending in Various Courts
CHEVRON: Investors Submit Resolution For Toxic Legacy in Ecuador
CHICO'S FAS: CA Judge OKs $800T Settlement in Dress Code Case
DELL COMPUTERS: Lerach Coughlin Lodges Consumer Fraud Suit in CA
DUQUESNE LIGHT: Approves PA Securities Fraud Lawsuit Settlement

FIDELITY MORTGAGE: KS Mortgage Broker Sues Over Retirement Plans
FLORIDA: Broward Sheriff's Office Faces Suit Over Strip Searches
ILLINOIS: Parents File Suit V. DCFS Over Forced Removal of Kids
JNI CORPORATION: NY Court Preliminarily Approves Suit Settlement
J.S. HOVNANIAN: NJ Judge Approves Settlement in Residents' Suit

KENTUCKY POWER: Faces Canadian Environmental, Injury Litigation
LIBERTY NATIONAL: AL Court Reviews Race Bias Suit Certification
LUFKIN INDUSTRIES: Appeals TX Decision in Race Bias Litigation
MASSACHUSETTS: Lawyer Coalition Plans Suit V. Soft Drink Makers
MERCK & CO.: Faces Massive Vioxx Personal Injury Litigation

MERCK & CO.: Asks NJ Court To Dismiss Securities Fraud Lawsuit
MERCURY INSURANCE: Trial in CA Consumer Suit Set February 2006
MERCURY INSURANCE: CA Court Postpones CLRA Suit Dismissal Ruling
MERCURY INSURANCE: Faces Collective Suit For FL FLSA Violations
MOTOROLA INC.: Continues To Face DC Securities Fraud Lawsuit

MOTOROLA INC.: Plaintiffs Appeal IL ERISA Fraud Suit Dismissal
NASHUA CORPORATION: Plaintiffs Appeal Dismissal of IL Stock Suit
NEW YORK: Judge Allows Continuation of Bag Searches at Subways
NORTHWESTERN CORPORATION: MI Pension Fund Launches Suit in SD
OHIO: Girard City Files Response Regarding Speed-Camera Lawsuit

PHARMOS CORPORATION: Plaintiffs File Consolidated Lawsuit in NJ
REFCO INC.: Scott Scott Prevents Ex-CEO From Using of IPO Sales
SYMBOL TECHNOLOGIES: Implements NY Securities Suit Settlement
SYMBOL TECHNOLOGIES: Shareholders Launch Fraud Suits in E.D. NY
UNITED AMERICAN: FL Court Affirms Certification For Fraud Suit

WAL-MART: Unionized Store Workers in Quebec to Appeal Ruling
WMS INDUSTRIES: Indemnification Claim in Gambler's Suit Pending

                  New Securities Fraud Cases

GUIDANT CORPORATION: Provost & Umphrey Lodges Fraud Suit in IN
MIKOHN GAMING: Milberg Weiss Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in NV
MIKOHN GAMING: Schatz & Nobel Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in NV
STONE ENERGY: Ann D. White Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in LA
STONE ENERGY: Federman & Sherwood Lodges Securities Suit in LA
STONE ENERGY: Spector Roseman Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in LA


                            *********


ALAMOSA HOLDINGS: Faces Derivative Suit in TX Over Sprint Merger
----------------------------------------------------------------
Alamosa Holdings Inc. faces a purported shareholder derivative
class action filed in the District Court of Lubbock County,
Texas, related to its impending merger with Sprint Nextel
Corporation, The Dow Jones Newswires reports.

According to Alamosa, the suit alleges that its executives
provided confidential information to Sprint in exchange for
stock options that vest when the company is sold. The purported
class action was filed a day after, Sprint Nextel's planned
acquisition of Alamosa for about $3.4 billion in cash, or $18.75
per share, was announced on November 22.

The plaintiffs are seeking to halt the merger, to impose a
constructive trust upon any benefits improperly received by
defendants as a result of wrongful conduct and reimbursement of
legal fees. The merger, expected to close in the first quarter
of 2006, is pending shareholder approval.

Alamosa is a Sprint-affiliated holding company based in Lubbock.
Through its units, it provides mobile phone services under the
Sprint PCS brand name and uses Sprint's national network.


ALLSTATE INSURANCE: Settles Insurance Adjusters' Suit For $120M
---------------------------------------------------------------
Insurance adjusters who claimed they weren't paid overtime by
Allstate Insurance Co. won a $120 million settlement from the
insurer, The Associated Press reports.

According to attorneys for adjusters in the class action case,
employees were forced by Allstate to work more than 70 hours a
week but they were only paid for 40 hours since at least
November 27, 1996. Attorney R. Rex Parris told The Associated
Press, "This case changed thousands of lives. It wasn't just
about money. It was about giving people their lives back. We
took their chains off."

Under the terms of the settlement, which was reached last month
in California, Allstate agreed to change its policy and begin
paying adjusters overtime. Workers eligible to file overtime
claims will be awarded between $500 and $100,000, depending on
experience and salary. So far, 88 percent of the 2,600 eligible
workers have filed claims.

In a similar class action case last year, State Farm Insurance
paid a $135 million settlement to insurance adjusters for
overtime. The insurance adjusters' case hinged on how the
company classified its employees. If Allstate adjusters were
considered administrators, they were not entitled to overtime;
if they were production employees, they were.


AMERICAN ELECTRIC: Faces Canadian Environmental, Injury Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
American Electric Power Co., Inc. was named as one of 21
defendants in a lawsuit filed in the Superior Court of Justice
in Ontario, Canada.  The defendants are alleged to own or
operate coal-fired electric generating stations in various
states that, through negligence in design, management,
maintenance and operation, have emitted NOx, SO2 and particulate
matter that have harmed the residents of Ontario.

The lawsuit seeks class action designation and damages of
approximately $50 billion, with continuing damages of $4 billion
annually. The lawsuit also seeks $1 billion in punitive damages.
      

APPALACHIAN POWER: Faces Canadian Environmental, Injury Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Appalachian Power Co. was named as one of 21 defendants in a
lawsuit filed in the Superior Court of Justice in Ontario,
Canada.  The defendants are alleged to own or operate coal-fired
electric generating stations in various states that, through
negligence in design, management, maintenance and operation,
have emitted NOx, SO2 and particulate matter that have harmed
the residents of Ontario.

The lawsuit seeks class action designation and damages of
approximately $50 billion, with continuing damages of $4 billion
annually. The lawsuit also seeks $1 billion in punitive damages.


AON CORPORATION: IL Court Mulls Final Suit Settlement Approval
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois has yet to grant
final approval to the settlement of a class action fled against
Aon Corporation, styled "Daniel v. Aon (Affinity)."

Several suits were initially filed against Aon subsidiaries
Affinity Insurance Services Inc. and K&K Insurance Group,
alleging that they entered into "profit-sharing" relationships
with the underwriters without disclosing the income to their
policyholder clients.  The suit seeks to determine whether the
Company's having received or being eligible for receipt, without
consent of its clients, undisclosed commissions or 'kickbacks'
in connection with the placement of insurance, violates the
fiduciary or confidential obligations imposed under Illinois
law, according to an earlier Class Action Reporter story (August
3,2004).  

The suit was filed on behalf of of current or former
policyholders of the Aon Corporation, Aon Group, and Aon
Services Group as class members alongside lead Plaintiffs Alan
S. Daniel and the Williamson County (Illinois) Agricultural
Association.  On July 28, 2004, the Court granted plaintiff's
motion for class certification.  On March 9, 2005, the Court
gave preliminary approval to a nationwide class action
settlement within the $40 million reserve established in the
fourth quarter of 2004.

The suit is styled "Daniel v. Aon (Affinity), case no. 1999-CH-
11893," filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois,
under Judge Julia M. Nowicki.  Plaintiff Alan S. Daniel is
represented by HARTUNIAN FUTTERMAN & HOW, 122 S. Michigan 1850,
Chicago IL 60603, Phone: (312) 427-3600.  The Company is
represented by KIRKLAND & ELLIS LLP, 200 E. Randolph Dr.,
Chicago IL 60601, Phone: (312) 861-2000


AON CORPORATION: Consumer Suits Still Pending in Various Courts
---------------------------------------------------------------
Aon Corporation and other insurance companies face a number of
putative class actions have been filed by purported clients
under a variety of legal theories, including state tort,
contract, fiduciary duty, and statutory theories, and federal
antitrust and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations
Act theories (RICO).

These actions are currently pending at early stages in state
court in California and Florida and in federal court in
Illinois, South Carolina and New Jersey.  The Company believes
it has meritorious defenses in all of these cases, and intends
to vigorously defend itself against these claims, it stated in a
regulatory filing.


CHEVRON: Investors Submit Resolution For Toxic Legacy in Ecuador
----------------------------------------------------------------
For the third year in a row, Chevron Corporation shareholders
submitted a resolution on Texaco's toxic legacy in Ecuador. This
year, the resolution calls on the company to report the total
costs relating in any way to the health and environmental
consequences of hydrocarbon exposures and Chevron's remediation
of Texaco drilling sites in Ecuador.

The shareholder proposal was filed by Trillium Asset Management,
a Boston, Massachusetts-based and socially responsible
investment firm that manages more than $900 million in assets
for individual and institutional clients. In a sign of
increasing awareness of the financial implications for investors
of the Ecuadorian situation, the New York State Common
Retirement Fund, holding 10.2 million shares in Chevron
currently worth more than $603 million, has also joined the
filing. Amnesty International USA, the American section of the
world's largest membership-based human rights organization, and
Boston Common Asset Management, LLC, on behalf of its client
Brethren Benefit Trust, Inc. co-filed the proposal.

The resolution expresses concern by shareholders that Chevron is
addressing issues in the Amazon as a public relations problem
rather than a serious health and environmental problem. They
believe this damages Chevron's reputation and credibility as an
environmentally responsible corporate citizen, jeopardizes the
ability of the company to compete in the global marketplace, and
may lead to significant financial costs.

The problem is rooted in a Texaco-Petroecuador joint venture
that extracted more than 1.4 billion barrels of oil from the
Ecuadorian Amazon between 1972 and 1992. As operator, Texaco
designed, built and managed all exploration, extraction and
transportation facilities. During this time, the trans-
Ecuadorian pipeline spilled an estimated 19 million gallons of
oil, and disposed of an estimated 18.5 billion gallons of toxic
wastewaters into open, unlined pits, waterways and wetlands.

In 1998, Texaco completed a cleanup of 156 of the 627 unlined
toxic waste pits pursuant to a controversial agreement with the
Ecuadorian government. Groundwater contamination, however, was
not remediated, and the adequacy of the cleanup is being
challenged in a third-party, class-action lawsuit in Ecuador
representing 30,000 plaintiffs seeking billions of dollars of
additional remediation. Evidence gathered by both sides is
showing total hydrocarbon soil contamination that greatly
exceeds thresholds set by Ecuador and the United States. A final
ruling is not expected for at least two years.

"We're not convinced that Chevron's mitigation activities have
been sufficient to insulate the company from further liability
that could damage share value. Nearly twice as much oil was
spilled in the Ecuadorian rainforest by Chevron and its partner
than the amount that flowed from the Exxon Valdez," said Shelley
Alpern, Director of Social Research and Advocacy at Trillium.

Independent studies of the contamination's health impacts on
neighboring communities have found that exposure to and
consumption of the contaminated waters has led to numerous types
of infections and cancers, far exceeding historical incidence
rates, and that children under 15 are three times more likely to
contract leukemia in the area where Texaco operated than in
other Amazonian provinces. In the Spring edition of the
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health,
61 physicians and public health researchers from around the
world signed a statement excoriating Chevron for buying full-
page ads in Ecuador's major newspapers, in which paid scientific
consultants cast doubts on studies linking oil development to
adverse health effects in the Amazon.

"Amnesty International is deeply concerned about ongoing abuses
in Ecuador. Oil development in the Amazon rainforest has posed a
serious danger to human rights, including people's right to
life, health, livelihood, and a safe environment," said Mila
Rosenthal, Director of the Business and Human Rights Program for
Amnesty International USA. "We are mobilizing Amnesty
International members across the United States to support this
resolution through the shares owned in their own investments, by
their employers, their state and local funds, and their
universities to ensure the affected communities get the
attention they deserve from Chevron's management."

A similar resolution received 9% of votes cast by shareholders
in 2004 and 2005. Since last year's vote, articles about the
contamination in Ecuador, and the pending lawsuit, have appeared
in prominent papers such as the New York Times and the Wall
Street Journal. Yet in numerous press releases, Chevron has
categorically denied that the contamination that remains from
Texaco's drilling poses any risk to human health or the
environment.

"Chevron Corporation's reputation continues to be questioned
because of the ongoing environmental problems in the Amazon.
This is a company that depends on the hospitality of and good
faith business arrangements with the international community.
Each day this environmental and health crisis continues, Chevron
risks its ability to be welcomed by other countries for future
business opportunities. After more than a decade of being
entangled in this controversy, Chevron should re-examine how it
has been handling the situation," said Alan Hevesi, Comptroller
of New York State and sole trustee of the second largest public
pension fund in the United States. A representative from Mr.
Hevesi's office toured the affected areas last year as part of
an investor delegation arranged by the indigenous advocacy group
Amazon Watch.

For more details, contact Shelley Alpern, Director of Social
Research & Advocacy, Phone: (617) 292-8026, X 248; Julie
Gresham, New York State Common Retirement System, Phone:
(212) 681-4480; and Mila Rosenthal, Amnesty International USA,
Phone: (212) 633-4196.


CHICO'S FAS: CA Judge OKs $800T Settlement in Dress Code Case
-------------------------------------------------------------
A San Francisco judge approved an $800,000 settlement of a class
action case involving allegations that employees of the women's
clothing chain Chico's FAS Inc. were forced to buy the company's
products in order to work at the store, The San Francisco
Chronicle reports.  Previously, other retailers including Gap,
Banana Republic and Abercrombie & Fitch, settled similar suits
over company dress codes.

Under the terms of the settlement with Chico's approved by San
Francisco Superior Court Judge Ronald Quidachay, about 800
current and former California employees will divide nearly
$220,000 in cash and $300,000 in gift cards. Lead plaintiff
Charissa Villanueva will receive $15,000.

Under its terms, Chico's admitted no wrongdoing. Sandy Rhodes,
an attorney with the Fort Myers, Florida, company, described the
settlement as one of "the unfortunate costs of doing business in
California."


DELL COMPUTERS: Lerach Coughlin Lodges Consumer Fraud Suit in CA
----------------------------------------------------------------
The world's largest seller of personal computers is using high-
tech advertising, bait-and-switch marketing and false claims of
low-cost financing to lure and victimize California purchasers
of Dell Computers and products, customers charge in a suit filed
against the company and its financial partners.

The law firm of Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins,
LLP, filed the class action suit in Superior Court for San
Francisco County on behalf of two named Dell customers and
others who are victims of the giant global company and its
lending service. Besides Dell Inc., the suit (No. CGC-05-438648)
names Dell Financial Services L.P. (DFS) and CIT Bank. DFS is
jointly owned by Dell Inc. and CIT Bank and is promoted by Dell
to finance purchases of Dell products, often at high interest
rates and with false claims, the suit alleges.

The suit covers anyone who purchased a Dell Computer or other
Dell products or services between February 14, 2001 and up to
the present, or dealt with Dell Financial Services or CIT Bank
for the purchase of Dell products or services.

The lawsuit says that Dell Inc. controls all of its
manufacturing, marketing, advertising and sales orders and that
it deliberately advertises computers and other electronic
products at attractive low prices and then systematically
substitutes higher-priced products or lower quality equipment
for those it advertised to customers, or increases the purchase
price without notice to buyers, whom it admits often are
unsophisticated. Dell also unilaterally cancels orders when it
decides not to honor advertised deals.

Unlike most products, Dell equipment and services are sold
exclusively by telephone and through Dell's Internet Web site,
and Dell customers view only pictures of the products prior to
sale -- never the product itself. In 2004 Dell spent $300
million advertising its products on TV, in newspapers and
catalogues and on the Internet. That same year Dell shipped 5.4
million personal computers in the United States and generated $6
billion in revenue from U.S. consumers.

The complaint alleges that Dell preys on unsuspecting consumers
with its financing practices, as well, promoting low rates and
"easy" financing which, without notice to the customer, are
changed to include much higher interest rates and hidden
charges.

The suit charges Dell, DFS and CIT with violating California's
Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) by false advertising and
bait-and-switch practices; fraud and deceit in its sales and
advertising representations; breach of contract by unilaterally
modifying terms and conditions of sales and financing; violating
the California Business and Professions Code by knowingly
distributing false and misleading information; violating the
Unruh Act with unlawful retail installment contracts; engaging
in deceptive practices in its financing programs; and entering
into unlawful contracts and charging excessive finance charges.

For more details, contact Jack Janus of National Public
Relations, Phone: 908-917-0985, Web site:
http://www.lerachlaw.com/cases/dell/complaint.pdf.


DUQUESNE LIGHT: Approves PA Securities Fraud Lawsuit Settlement
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Western District of
Pennsylvania approved the settlement of the consolidated
securities class action filed against Duquesne Light Holdings,
Inc. and David Marshall, its former chairman, chief executive
officer and president, styled "In re DQE, Inc. Securities
Litigation, Master File No. 01-1851 (W.D. Pa.)."

The plaintiffs filed a second consolidated amended complaint on
April 15, 2002. The complaint alleges violations of Section
10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act) and
Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, and Section 12(a)(2) of the
Securities Act of 1933 (Securities Act). The complaint also
alleges controlling person liability under Section 20(a) of the
Exchange Act and Section 15 of the Securities Act.

The complaint alleges that between December 6, 2000 and April
30, 2001, the defendants issued a number of materially false and
misleading statements concerning investments made by the
Company's subsidiary, DQE Enterprises, Inc., and the impact that
these investments would have on its current and future financial
results.  

On May 20, 2003, the court certified a class to include
purchasers of the Company's common stock during the period from
December 6, 2000 through April 30, 2001, and a sub-class to
include purchasers of the Company's common stock through its
dividend reinvestment and stock purchase plan during the same
period.  In March 2005, the Company reached an oral agreement in
principle with counsel for the plaintiffs to settle all claims
of the class and sub-class.  In April 2005, the Company agreed
in principle to settle all claims of the class and sub-class. On
October 7, 2005 the court approved a final settlement of all
claims.

The suit is styled "ELOVITZ v. DQE, INC., et al., case no. 2:01-
cv-01851-WLS-ARH," filed in the United States District Court for
the Western District of Pennsylvania, under Judge William L.
Standish.  Representing the Company are Keren Estime, Douglas M.
Krauss and Joseph N. Sacca, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher &
Flom, 4 Times Square, New York, NY 10036-3897, Phone: (212) 735-
3000; and Gary P. Hunt of Tucker Arensberg, 1500 One PPG Place,
Pittsburgh, PA 15222, Phone: (412) 566-1212, E-mail:
ghunt@tuckerlaw.com.  Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (1) Matthew K. Bucher, J. Allen Carney, Steven A. Owings,
         T. Brent Walker of Cauley, Geller, Bowman & Coates,
         11311 Arcade Drive, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72212,
         Phone: (501) 312-8505

     (2) Susan M. Greenwood, Steven G. Schulman and Richard H.
         Weiss of Milberg, Weiss, Bershad & Schulman, One
         Pennsylvania Plaza, New York, NY 10119, Phone: (212)
         594-5300

     (3) James E. Tullman, Weiss & Yourman, 551 Fifth Avenue,
         New York, NY 10176, Phone: (212) 682-3025

     (4) Alfred G. Yates, Jr., Law Offices of Alfred G. Yates,
         Jr., 429 Forbes Avenue, 519 Allegheny Building,
         Pittsburgh, PA 15219, Phone: (412) 391-5164, E-mail:
         Yateslaw@aol.com


FIDELITY MORTGAGE: KS Mortgage Broker Sues Over Retirement Plans
----------------------------------------------------------------
A Kansas mortgage broker is leading a class action lawsuit that
accuses two of the nation's largest financial services companies
of defrauding small-business retirement plans the companies run,
The Kansas City Star reports.

Filed in federal district court in Kansas City by Donna Huffman,
who owns Home Quest Mortgage in Oskaloosa, Kansas, the suit
alleges that Fidelity Investments in Boston, Massachusetts and
Automatic Data Processing Inc. (ADP) of Roseland, New Jersey,
conspired to hide the actual costs of retirement plans that
small-business owners establish for themselves and their
employees. It also alleges that a large but unknown number of
small-business owners who bought what are known as SIMPLE IRAs
from the two companies between late November 1998 and mid
January 2004 suffered financial damages.

SIMPLE plans, formally called Savings Incentive Match Plans for
Employees, are tax-friendly retirement plans that business
owners with fewer than 100 employees can establish to avoid the
complications and expenses of a 401(k) plan. ADP, the nation's
largest outsourced human resources provider, and Fidelity, the
largest mutual fund company, are among the leading providers of
SIMPLE plans.

Additionally, the suit, which did not specify damages, also
alleges that the firms, along with the executives, fund managers
and others named as defendants, failed to adequately disclose
fees that ADP received for referring businesses' plans to
Fidelity, as well as fees that Fidelity collected for managing
the accounts. According to the lawsuit, the fees that Fidelity
allegedly paid ADP are similar to "shelf space" revenue-sharing
arrangements that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
and other securities regulators investigated last year.

Mutual fund providers in those arrangements allegedly offered
commissions and other payments to brokers who referred business
to them without fully disclosing the payments to clients or
regulators.


FLORIDA: Broward Sheriff's Office Faces Suit Over Strip Searches
----------------------------------------------------------------
A federal lawsuit against the Broward Sheriff's Office in
Florida contends that detention deputies are conducting illegal
strip searches over the past five years, The Miami Herald
reports.

Court records show that Daisy Cole refused to speak with the
Plantation police officer that stopped by her home to talk about
a crash involving her car. She told him to contact her attorney,
however the officer instead arrested her on an obstruction
charge, a misdemeanor.

What happened to Ms. Cole, 35, three years ago at the Broward
County Jail resulted in a class action lawsuit against the
Broward Sheriff's Office (BSO). That suit contends that BSO
violated Ms. Cole's and dozens of other detainees'
constitutional rights by conducting illegal strip searches on
those arrested for misdemeanor offenses.

Under the state statute strip searches in cases that are violent
in nature or involve a weapon or illegal drugs are allowed, but
not for most misdemeanor arrests.

BSO spokesman Elliot Cohen told The Miami Herald though that the
agency is in compliance with federal and state statutes. He
pointed out that there are "many categories where an inmate can
fall where it is constitutionally legal to conduct a strip
search." He also told The Miami Herald, "You can search an
inmate if they have a violent history. Strip searches are not
illegal."

However, a policy of searching everyone who walks in the door of
the jail is illegal, according to Fort Lauderdale attorney Kevin
Kulik.

BSO detention Deputy Susette Bryant stated in a deposition that
she strip-searched detainees when asked between 1999 and 2002.
And, she told The Miami Herald, "every person that walked in
that door was strip-searched."

In a deposition on August 7, 2003, Ms. Cole said she was asked
to strip as soon as she entered the jail. She states, "I told
[the female detention deputy] it wasn't necessary for me to be
strip searched." She adds, "She said 'you must do this or we
will do this for you. Everybody that comes into the jail has to
be strip searched.'" According to her, the door of the room was
open while she undressed adding that she could see deputies walk
past.

When Martha Echeverry was arrested on October 6, 2001, for
domestic battery, detention deputies at the North Broward
detention facility ordered her to strip down, bend over and
cough.  Ms. Echeverry, 41, of Pembroke Pines, stated in a
deposition that a man walked around the room while she was
strip-searched. Charges against her were later dropped.

Last April, Miami-Dade County agreed to pay out $4.5 million for
illegal cavity searches conducted for years by corrections
officials.

Mr. Kulik's suit is a federal civil rights suit, which means
there is no cap on how much plaintiffs can receive. He told The
Miami Herald, "The average settlement on this type of suit is
$5,000 per plaintiff."

Circuit Judge Jeffrey Streitfeld signed the order recently that
certified the lawsuit as a class action. Mr. Kulik told The
Miami Herald that there might be thousands of people who had
their civil rights violated. According to him, "BSO books about
115,000 people a year. I expect to have maybe 20,000 to 30,000
clients by the time this is all done."


ILLINOIS: Parents File Suit V. DCFS Over Forced Removal of Kids
---------------------------------------------------------------
Several people demonstrated outside the Department of Children
and Family Services (DCFS) building in Galesburg, Illinois to
publicize a class action lawsuit against the agency, The Peoria
Journal Star reports.

The four-person suit, which was also filed against the 9th and
10th Illinois Judicial Circuits, claims that DCFS forcibly
removed children from the legal care and control of their
parents without adequate notice and "without court order,
warrant or due process." It was filed on November 21 in federal
court in Peoria. The suit cites five counts of wrongdoing and
seeks $300,000 in compensatory damages and $300,000 for punitive
damages per individual, per count.

Galesburg resident Susan Plue said that her five children were
taken by DCFS in 2004 after she had a fight with her ex-
boyfriend. She told The Peoria Journal Star that she has been to
court numerous times but her case has always been held over,
increasing the amount of time away from her children. Mrs. Plue,
who says she was initially told that they would be gone only for
six months, also tells The Peoria Journal Star, "They still
haven't returned my kids." Though she isn't a part of the suit,
Mrs. Plue was one of eight people who stood outside the DCFS
office on Main Street to support other people who say they're
going through the same thing.

Debra Wisely, one of the four plaintiffs in the suit told The
Peoria Journal Star, "They stole my kids." Mrs. Wisely adds that
she sought help from DCFS in 2002 when her oldest son became
violent toward her. The boy, now 15, was taken into protective
custody and his younger brother was taken in 2004 after Mrs.
Wisely was deemed neglectful, according to her.

Amy Deweese of Peoria told The Peoria Journal Star that her
three children were taken from her in 2003, including her
newborn son. Ms. Deweesee recounts that because she had a fight
with her husband and because she was living in a women's
shelter, her children were taken away. "I did everything before
it was court ordered," Mrs. Deweese told The Peoria Journal Star
of DCFS requirements such as family counseling and parenting
classes, but her children were never returned. "They're in the
process of terminating my parental rights," according to Mrs.
Deweese, whose children are now living with their grandparents
but are still wards of the state.

Representatives at the DCFS office in Springfield told The
Peoria Journal Star that they had not received notice of the
lawsuit as of yet. Calls to the Galesburg office for comment
were not returned as well. A DCFS representative though did
offer to talk with the protesters, but they declined.

The suit is styled, Wisely et al v. Illinois Department of
Children and Family Services et al, Case No. 1:05-cv-01364-JBM-
JAG," filed in the United States District Court for the Central
District of Illinois, under Judge Joe Billy McDade with referral
to John A. Gorman.


JNI CORPORATION: NY Court Preliminarily Approves Suit Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York granted preliminary approval to the settlement of the
consolidated securities corporation filed against JNI
Corporation and the underwriters of its initial and secondary
public offerings of common stock, styled "In re JNI Corporation
Initial Public Offering Securities Litigation, case no. 01 Civ
10740 (SAS)."

In November 2001, a class action lawsuit was filed, alleging
that defendants violated the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 in
connection with the Company's public offerings.  This lawsuit is
among more than 300 class action lawsuits pending in this court
that have come to be known as the "IPO laddering cases."

In June 2003, a proposed partial global settlement, subsequently
approved by the Company's board of directors, was announced
between the issuer defendants and the plaintiffs that would
guarantee at least $1 billion to investors who are class members
from the insurers of the issuers.  The proposed settlement, if
approved by the court and by the issuers, would be funded by
insurers of the issuers, and would not result in any payment by
JNI or the Company.

The Court has granted its preliminary approval of settlement
subject to defendants' agreement to modify certain provisions of
the settlement agreements regarding contractual indemnification.
The Company has accepted the Court's proposed modifications.  
The court has set a hearing for final approval of the settlement
for January 9, 2006.


J.S. HOVNANIAN: NJ Judge Approves Settlement in Residents' Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
A Superior Court judge in New Jersey finalized an agreement in a
class action suit filed by Mount Laurel residents of the Holiday
East Village against a developer.

Filed in November 2002, the suit claims that the utility rooms
in homes built by J.S. Hovnanian & Sons LLC in the age-
restricted community do not provide enough ventilation to safely
operate a gas furnace, water heater and clothes dryer. According
to the suit, because of this, lint from the dryer could be
sucked into the furnace intake and block it, causing carbon
monoxide to accumulate in the home, an earlier Class Action
Reporter story (November 16, 2005) reports.

In his decision to approve the settlement, Superior Court Judge
Michael J. Hogan said, "I believe (the residents) are receiving
a fair and reasonable settlement."

Under the proposed settlement, the developer would make any
repairs needed to the homes, according to Harry Schmoll, one of
the plaintiffs. Other plaintiffs in the case are Mr. Schmoll's
wife, Rita, and Leonard and Eleanor Egnack. Commenting on the
suit Mr. Schmoll told The CourierPostOnline.com, "Even though
it's taken a long time, I feel this is a great victory for
residents. It shows the little guy can stand up," an earlier
Class Action Reporter story (November 16, 2005) reports.

Court records show that a December 2, 2005 hearing was set in
Burlington County Superior Court to review the proposed
settlement. Residents who object to the proposal will have only
10 days before deadline to file their paperwork with the court,
an earlier Class Action Reporter story (November 16, 2005)
reports.

Michael Mouber, Mount Laurel solicitor told The
CourierPostOnline.com that as part of the agreement, residents
will soon receive letters informing them that they will have a
specified amount of time to arrange for an inspection with the
township.

The developer will pay for the inspections and add additional
ventilation or install a louvered door if needed. It is
estimated about 500 homes are affected in the suit. "We have
agreed to voluntary test the homes defined in proceedings.
However, it was also determined no violations existed,"
according to Peter Hovnanian, with J.S. Hovnanian & Sons.

The trial in April 2005 ended after four days when the two
parties came to the agreement. Judge Hogan now needs to
determine if the developer will cover about $500,000 in legal
fees requested by the class-action attorneys. The township is
not seeking any reimbursement. The class action attorneys say
the developer should pay the fees because they won the case. But
the developer maintains no violations occurred to entitle them
to fees.


KENTUCKY POWER: Faces Canadian Environmental, Injury Litigation
---------------------------------------------------------------
Kentucky Power Co. was named as one of 21 defendants in a
lawsuit filed in the Superior Court of Justice in Ontario,
Canada.  The defendants are alleged to own or operate coal-fired
electric generating stations in various states that, through
negligence in design, management, maintenance and operation,
have emitted NOx, SO2 and particulate matter that have harmed
the residents of Ontario.

The lawsuit seeks class action designation and damages of
approximately $50 billion, with continuing damages of $4 billion
annually. The lawsuit also seeks $1 billion in punitive damages.


LIBERTY NATIONAL: AL Court Reviews Race Bias Suit Certification
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
Alabama is reconsidering its ruling granting class certification
to the multi-district litigation filed against Liberty National
Life Insurance Company, involving allegations of racially
discriminatory pricing in the sale of insurance to African
Americans prior to 1966.  The relief sought is primarily refund
of premium differentials with interest.

This litigation began with the filing on December 8, 1999 of
"Moore v Liberty National Life Insurance Company, Case No. CV-
99-BU-3262-S" in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Alabama. There are currently over 29 race-
distinct mortality cases with in excess of 2,000 named
plaintiffs, which have been consolidated in the Moore case that
are pending in the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Alabama (either originally filed with the Court or
transferred to that Court) and one pending case in Alabama
Circuit Court (Baldwin v. Liberty National Life Insurance
Company, Case No. CV 00-684), which is currently stayed pending
disposition of the Moore case.

One individual, multi-plaintiff lawsuit which was originally
filed in state court in Mississippi and subsequently transferred
to U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi
has been dismissed administratively and without prejudice. Six
additional individual, multi-plaintiff lawsuits (included in the
aforementioned 29 cases) were filed in June 2005 in the U.S.
District Court for the Middle District of Alabama and were
subsequently transferred to the Northern District of Alabama.
Four additional individual, multi-plaintiff lawsuits (also
included in the aforementioned 29 cases) were filed in August
2005 in the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Alabama.   

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama
issued an order certifying a Rule 23(b)(2) plaintiff class in
the Moore case on March 31, 2004.  The Company moved the Court
to reconsider its class certification decision. Plaintiffs also
sought to file an amended complaint and to have the Court
reconsider its decisions to deny class certification pursuant to
Rule 23(b)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and to
exclude potential class members who purchased policies from
companies acquired by or in blocks of insurance business
reinsured by the Company.  

On March 31, 2005, the Court denied all of the above-mentioned
plaintiffs' motions and dismissed plaintiffs' Alabama state law
breach of contract claims. On that date, the Court also granted
the Company's motion in part by amending the class certification
order to clarify that the policies at issue are only those
policies issued by the Company and a former subsidiary, Service
Insurance Company of Alabama, to clarify the definition of
"industrial life" policies or "burial" policies, to eliminate
certification of plaintiffs' state law breach of contract claims
and to eliminate Rule 23(b)(2) certification of the plaintiffs'
punitive damages demand.  

The Company's petition to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
Eleventh Circuit filed on April 12, 2005, seeking permission to
appeal the U.S. District Court's decision certifying the
plaintiff's class as a Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 23(b)(2)
class, was denied by the Court of Appeals. On September 8, 2005,
the Court of Appeals denied Company's petition seeking a jury
trial in the Moore case.  The Company plans to file a Petition
for Writ of Certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court on the issue
of a jury trial. However, such action may not be necessary as
the District Court indicated on November 3, 2005 that the Court
was reconsidering its ruling on the jury trial issue and in all
probability would allow a jury trial. The merits discovery phase
ended November 4, 2005 and a trial date of December 5, 2005 has
been set.

The suit is styled "Moore, et al v. Liberty Natl Ins Co., 2:99-
cv-03262-UWC," filed in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Alabama, under Judge U W Clemon.  
Representing the Company is Andrew P. Walsh, GAINES LLC, PO Box
395, Birmingham, AL 35201-0395, Phone: 619-320-2800 Fax:
619-320-2811, E-mail: awalsh@gainesllc.com.  Representing the
plaintiffs is Eric J Artrip, WATSON JIMMERSON GIVHAM MARTIN &
MCKINNEY PC, 203 Greene Street, PO Box 18368, Huntsville, AL
35804, Phone: 1-256-536-7423, E-mail:
artrip@watsonjimmerson.com.


LUFKIN INDUSTRIES: Appeals TX Decision in Race Bias Litigation
--------------------------------------------------------------
Lufkin Industries, Inc. appealed the United States District
Court for the Eastern District of Texas' decision, awarding back
pay and ordering the Company to pay plaintiffs' court costs and
attorneys' fees in the class action filed against it, alleging
race discrimination in employment.

An employee and a former employee filed the suit on March
7,1997.  Certification hearings were conducted in Beaumont,
Texas in February 1998 and in Lufkin, Texas in August 1998. In
April 1999, the Court issued a decision that certified a class
for this case, which included all persons of a certain minority
employed by the Company from March 6, 1994, to the present.  The
Company appealed this class certification decision by the
District Court to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth
Circuit in New Orleans, Louisiana.  This appeal was denied on
June 23, 1999.

The case was closed from 2001 to 2003 while the parties
unsuccessfully attempted mediation. Trial for this case began in
December 2003, but was postponed by the District Court and was
completed in November 2004.  The only claims made at trial were
those of discrimination in initial assignments, promotions and
compensation.  On January 13, 2005 the District Court entered
its decision finding that the Company discriminated against
African-American employees when awarding initial assignments and
promotions.  The District Court also concluded that the
discrimination resulted in a shortfall in income for those
employees and ordered that the Company pay those employees back
pay to remedy such shortfall, together with pre-judgment
interest in the amount of 10%, compounded annually.  The
Company's preliminary estimate is that the total amount of back
pay that it would be required to pay to the class of affected
employees could total up to $6 million (including interest). In
addition to back pay with interest, the Court:

     (1) enjoined and ordered the Company to cease and desist
         all racially biased assignment and promotion practices,

     (2) ordered the Company to pay court costs and

     (3) agreed to consider a request for awarding plaintiffs'
         attorneys' fees against the Company.

On January 27, 2005, the plaintiffs moved for an interim award
of attorney fees and costs, which they estimated to be $6.5
million, but to date the District Court has not ruled on this
request. The Company has reviewed this decision with its outside
counsel and intends to appeal the decision to the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.  

On August29, 2005, the District Court determined that the
backpay award for the class of affected employees would be $3.4
million (including interest to January1, 2005) and provided a
formula for attorney fees that the Company estimates will result
in a total not to exceed $2.5 million.  The Company has reviewed
this decision with its outside counsel and on September 19,
2005, appealed the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
Fifth Circuit.

The suit is styled "McClain, et al, v. Lufkin Industries, case
no. 9:97-cv-00063-HC," filed in the United States District Court
for the Eastern District of Texas, under Judge Howell Cobb.  
Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (1) Morris J. Baller, Teresa Demchak, Meetali Jain, Nina
         Rabin, Goldstein Demchak Baller Borgen 300 Lakeside Dr
         Suite 1000 Oakland, CA 94612 Phone: 510-763-9800 Fax:
         15108351417 E-mail: mjb@gdblegal.com, dem@gdblegal.com,
         mjain@gdblegal.com, nrabin@gdblegal.com;

     (2) Timothy Borne Garrigan, Stuckey Garrigan & Castetter
         2803 North Street PO Box 631902 Nacogdoches, TX 75963-
         1902 Phone: 936/560-6020 Fax: 19365609578 E-mail:
         tbgstugar@cox-internet.com

     (3) Darci E. Burrell, Linda M. Dardarian, Joshua G.
         Konecky, Saperstein Goldstein Demchak & Baller 300
         Lakeside Dr Ste 1000 Oakland, CA 94612 Phone: 510/763-
         9800 Fax: 15108351417 E-mail: deb@gdblegal.com,
         jgk@gdblegal.com  

Representing the Company are Christopher V. Bacon, Douglas
Edward Hamel and John H. Smither, Vinson & Elkins, 1001 Fannin
St Suite 2300 Houston, TX 77002-6760 Phone: 713/758-2222 Fax:
17136155014 E-mail: cbacon@velaw.com, dhamel@velaw.com.


MASSACHUSETTS: Lawyer Coalition Plans Suit V. Soft Drink Makers
---------------------------------------------------------------
A coalition of attorneys who actively and successfully sued
tobacco companies says it is close to filing a class action
lawsuit against soft drink makers for selling sugared sodas in
schools, The Washington Post reports.

The attorneys, who have been trying to develop a case against
the soft drink makers for more than two years, say a lawsuit
could be filed within the next few weeks, probably in
Massachusetts, which has one of the nation's most plaintiff-
friendly consumer-protection laws.

As news reports of the pending lawsuit proliferate, the beverage
industry is preparing for any eventuality. Just last week, the
American Beverage Association released a study that showed a 24
percent drop in purchases of full-calorie carbonated soft drinks
at schools from 2002 to 2004. The study showed that in 2004,
high schoolers drank the equivalent of one 12-ounce can of such
soda a week, while younger students drank less.

Susan Neely, president of the beverage association told The
Washington Post that reduction in soft-drink consumption in
schools "started long before there were trial lawyers looking
for an industry to sue." She adds, "Litigation isn't the answer
to a complex social problem like childhood obesity."

The beverage association's study showing the decline "reflects
the overall trend of the industry," according to John Sicher,
editor and publisher of Beverage Digest. He told The Washington
Post, "Carbonated soft drinks are down across the board; water
and sports-drink consumption is up."

Richard Daynard, an associate dean at Northeastern University
School of Law in Boston, who is also president of the Tobacco
Control Resource Center and chairman of the Tobacco Products
Liability Project, both of which have provided legal support to
attorneys suing tobacco companies, is the figure behind the
soft-drink litigation. Previously, Mr. Daynard was involved in
many of the state cases against the tobacco firms that led to
the landmark $246 billion settlement in 1998. Joining Mr.
Daynard in the legal campaign is Stephen Sheller, a Philadelphia
lawyer who came up with the legal theory that tobacco firms
deceived consumers into thinking their low-tar and -nicotine
cigarettes were safer to smoke than regular cigarettes. That
theory helped lead to a $10 billion consumer-fraud verdict
against Philip Morris USA in an Illinois state court two years
ago, which is under appeal.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer
advocacy group that has aggressively pressed for more explicit
food labels and less fat and sodium in all kinds of food is also
another participant in the prospective lawsuit. Earlier this
year, the group called for federally mandated health warnings
similar to those on cigarettes.

In a recent interview, Mr. Daynard told The Washington Post,
"The idea is to get soda machines out of schools because they
are clearly making a substantial contribution to the obesity
epidemic." He adds, "This is an unfair practice under state
consumer-protection laws." The suit's legal basis will be tied
to the concept of "attractive nuisance: If somebody has
something on his land like a swimming pool that he knows is
attractive to kids and dangerous, then he has some obligation to
keep the kids away from it," according to Mr. Daynard. He also
pointed out to The Washington Post, "You want to keep kids away
from dangerous objects, and a soda machine is demonstrated to be
a dangerous object for kids."

In addition, Mr. Daynard also told The Washington Post that
while the legal theory is ready, the challenge is finding the
right set of parents to sign on as plaintiffs for the class
action case. "It's taking us longer than we expected," according
to him.

The lawsuit is just part of an ongoing campaign to get soda
machines out of schools. At the urging of parents, many public
school systems have already imposed restrictions.


MERCK & CO.: Faces Massive Vioxx Personal Injury Litigation
-----------------------------------------------------------
Pharmaceutical firm Merck & Co., Inc. faces federal and state
product liability lawsuits involving individual claims, as well
as putative class actions, with respect to its controversial
drug Vioxx.

As of September 30, 2005, the Company has been served or is
aware that it has been named as a defendant in approximately
6,400 lawsuits, which include approximately 11,700 plaintiff
groups, alleging personal injuries resulting from the use of
Vioxx.   Of these lawsuits, approximately 2,900 lawsuits
representing approximately 6,300 plaintiff groups are or are
slated to be in the federal MDL (discussed below) and
approximately 2,750 lawsuits representing approximately 2,750
plaintiff groups are included in a coordinated proceeding in New
Jersey Superior Court before Judge Carol E. Higbee. Certain of
these lawsuits include allegations regarding gastrointestinal
bleeding, cardiovascular events, thrombotic events or kidney
damage. The Company has also been named as a defendant in
approximately 160 putative class actions alleging personal
injuries or seeking medical monitoring as a result of the
putative class members' use of Vioxx, disgorgement of certain
profits under common law unjust enrichment theories, and/or
various remedies under state consumer fraud and fair business
practice statutes, including recovering the cost of Vioxx
purchased by individuals and third-party payors such as union
health plans (all of the actions discussed in this paragraph are
collectively referred to as the "Vioxx" Product Liability
Lawsuits).  

The actions filed in the state courts of California, Texas, New
Jersey, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, respectively, have been
transferred to a single judge in each state for coordinated
proceedings. In addition, on February 16, 2005, the Judicial
Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (the JPMDL) transferred all
Vioxx Product Liability Lawsuits pending in federal courts
nationwide into one Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) for
coordinated pre-trial proceedings. The MDL has been transferred
to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Louisiana before District Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

Judge Fallon has indicated that he intends to try four cases
during the period November 2005 through the first half of 2006,
one in each of the following categories:

     (1) heart attack with short term use;

     (2) heart attack with long term use;

     (3) stroke; and

     (4) cardiovascular injury involving a prescription written
         after April 2002 when the labeling for Vioxx was
         revised to include the results of the VIGOR trial.

On August 3, 2005, Judge Fallon issued an order setting the
Evelyn Irvin Plunkett vs. Merck case as the first case to be
tried in the MDL.  The trial began on November 29, 2005 in
Houston, Texas and has been brought by Evelyn Irvin Plunkett, on
behalf of her late husband Richard Irvin, Jr., who died from an
apparent heart attack. Plaintiff alleges that Mr. Irvin took
Vioxx for approximately one month and thus, this action falls
within the category of heart attack with short-term use. Judge
Fallon has also scheduled three additional trials in the MDL
which are currently scheduled to commence in February, March,
and April 2006, respectively, although no determination has been
made as to the order in which the second, third or fourth
categories described above will be tried or the specific cases
that will be tried after the Plunkett case. In addition, there
are other state court trials currently scheduled in the next six
months and beyond, including Zajicek vs. Merck and Guerra vs.
Merck, each in Texas, in March and April 2006, respectively.

As previously disclosed, on August 19, 2005, in a trial in state
court in Texas, the jury in Ernst vs. Merck reached a verdict in
favor of the plaintiff and purported to award her a total of
$253 million in compensatory and punitive damages. Under Texas
law, the maximum amount that could be awarded to the plaintiff
is capped at approximately $26 million. The Company intends to
appeal this verdict after the completion of post-trial
proceedings in the trial court.  The Company believes that it
has strong points to raise on appeal and is hopeful that the
appeals process will correct the verdict.

On November 3, 2005, in the case of "Frederick and Mary Jackson
Humeston vs. Merck & Co., Inc., Superior Court of New Jersey,
Law Division, Atlantic County," a jury returned a verdict in
favor of Merck on all counts. The case was the second Vioxx
personal injury case to go to trial.  Mr. Humeston, a 60-year
old United States Postal employee from Idaho, alleged that he
suffered a heart attack in September 2001 as a result of taking
Vioxx.  He sought compensatory and punitive damages. The jury of
6 women and 3 men found, by an 8 to 1 vote, that the Company did
not fail to provide an adequate warning to prescribing
physicians of an association between Vioxx and an increased risk
of serious cardiovascular events prior to Mr. Humeston's heart
attack. The jury also unanimously found that the Company did not
violate the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act in marketing the drug
to prescribing physicians.

The company has entered into a tolling agreement (the "Tolling
Agreement") with the MDL Plaintiffs' Steering Committee that
establishes a procedure to halt the running of the statute of
limitations (tolling) as to certain categories of claims
allegedly arising from the use of Vioxx by non-New Jersey
citizens. The Tolling Agreement applies to individuals who have
not filed lawsuits and may or may not eventually file lawsuits
and only to those claimants who seek to toll claims alleging
injuries resulting from a thrombotic cardiovascular event that
results in a myocardial infarction or ischemic stroke. The
Tolling Agreement provides counsel additional time to evaluate
potential claims. The Tolling Agreement requires any tolled
claims to be filed in federal court. As of September 30, 2005,
approximately 3,000 claimants had entered into Tolling
Agreements.

In addition, as previously disclosed, on July 29, 2005, a New
Jersey state trial court certified a nationwide class of third-
party payors (such as unions and health insurance plans)
that paid in whole or in part for the Vioxx used by their plan
members or insureds. The named plaintiff in that case seeks
recovery of certain Vioxx purchase costs (plus penalties) based
on allegations that the purported class members paid more for
Vioxx than they would have had they known of the product's
alleged risks.  The Company believes that the class was
improperly certified. The trial court's ruling is procedural
only; it does not address the merits of plaintiffs' allegations,
which the Company intends to defend vigorously.  The New Jersey
state Superior Court, Appellate Division, has accepted the
Company's appeal for a review of the class certification order
on an expedited basis.

As previously reported, the Company has also been named as a
defendant in separate lawsuits brought by the Attorneys
General of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. These actions
allege that the Company misrepresented the safety of Vioxx and
seek recovery of the cost of Vioxx purchased or reimbursed by
the state and its agencies; reimbursement of all sums paid by
the state and its agencies for medical services for the
treatment of persons injured by Vioxx; damages under various
common law theories; and/or remedies under various state
statutory theories, including state consumer fraud and/or fair
business practices or Medicaid fraud statutes, including civil
penalties.


MERCK & CO.: Asks NJ Court To Dismiss Securities Fraud Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Merck & Co., Inc. asked the United States District Court for the
District of New Jersey to dismiss the consolidated securities
class action filed against it and certain of its current and
former officers and directors.

A number of putative class action lawsuits were filed in late
2003 and early 2004 by several shareholders.  After the
announcement of the voluntary worldwide withdrawal of Vioxx, the
Company was named as a defendant in additional securities
lawsuits filed in (or removed to) various federal courts.  On
February 23, 2005, the Judicial Panel on Multi-district
Litigation (JPMDL) transferred all of these securities lawsuits
along with related lawsuits discussed below, to the United
States District Court for the District of New Jersey before
District Judge Stanley R. Chesler for inclusion in a nationwide
multidistrict litigation (MDL) for coordinated pretrial
proceedings.  Judge Chesler has consolidated the Vioxx
Securities Lawsuits for all purposes.  On June 9, 2005,
plaintiffs in the Vioxx Securities Lawsuits filed a Fourth
Consolidated and Amended Class Action Complaint superseding
prior complaints in the various cases.  

Plaintiffs request certification of a class of purchasers of
Company stock between May 21, 1999 and October 29, 2004. The
Complaint, which names additional current and former officers
and directors of the Company, alleges that the defendants made
false and misleading statements regarding Vioxx in violation of
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934,
and seeks unspecified compensatory damages and the costs of
suit, including attorneys' fees.  The Complaint also asserts a
claim under Section 20A of the Securities and Exchange Act
against certain defendants relating to their sales of Merck
stock.  In addition, the Complaint includes allegations under
Sections 11, 12 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 that
certain defendants made incomplete and misleading statements in
a registration statement and certain prospectuses filed in
connection with the Merck Stock Investment Plan, a dividend
reinvestment plan. Defendants have filed a motion to dismiss the
Complaint, which is pending.

On August 15, 2005, a complaint was filed in Oregon state court
by the State of Oregon through the Oregon state treasurer on
behalf of the Oregon Public Employee Retirement Fund against the
Company and certain current and former officers and directors.  
The complaint, which was brought under Oregon securities law,
alleges that plaintiff has suffered damages in connection with
its purchases of Merck common stock at artificially inflated
prices due to the Company's alleged violations of law related to
disclosures about Vioxx.  The Company has removed this lawsuit
to the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, and the
JPML has conditionally ordered it to be transferred to the
Shareholder MDL.  Plaintiff has filed a motion to remand the
case to state court, which is pending.

The suit is styled "MERCK & CO. INC. SECURITIES LITIGATION IN
RE: MDL1658, case no. 3:05-cv-02367-SRC-TJB," filed in the
United States District Court for the District of New Jersey,
under Judge Stanley R. Chesler.  Representing the Company is
Robert H. Baron of CRAVATH SWAINE & MOORE, LLP, WORLD WIDE PLAZA
825 EIGHTH AVENUE, NEW YORK, NY 10019, Phone: (212) 474-1000, E-
mail: merck@cravath.com.  Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (1) DAVID A.P. BROWER, MILBERG WEISS BERSHAD SCHULMAN, LLP,
         ONE PENNSYLVANIA PLAZA, NEW YORK, NY 10119, Phone:
         (212) 594-5300, E-mail: dbrower@milbergweiss.com  

     (2) MARK LEVINE, STULL, STULL & BRODY, ESQS., 6 EAST 45TH
         STREET, 5TH FLOOR, NEW YORK, NY 07661, Phone: (212)
         687-7230

     (3) PETER S. PEARLMAN, COHN, LIFLAND, PEARLMAN, HERRMANN &
         KNOPF, LLP, PARK 80 PLAZA WEST ONE, SADDLE BROOK, NJ
         07663, Phone: (201) 845-9600, E-mail: PSP@njlawfirm.com


MERCURY INSURANCE: Trial in CA Consumer Suit Set February 2006
--------------------------------------------------------------
Trial in the class action filed against Mercury Insurance
Company, styled "Marissa Goodman, on her own behalf and on
behalf of all others similarly situated v. Mercury Insurance
Company," is set for

The suit, filed June 16, 2002, challenges the Company's use of
certain automated database vendors to assist in valuing claims
for medical payments. The suit alleges that these automated
databases systematically undervalue medical payment claims to
the detriment of insureds.  The Plaintiff is seeking unspecified
actual and punitive damages.  The Plaintiff is seeking to have
the case certified as a class action and is required to file
their motion for class certification by September 30, 2005.  

Similar lawsuits have been filed against other insurance
carriers in the industry. The case has been coordinated with two
other similar cases, and also with ten other cases relating to
total loss claims. The Company and the other defendants were
successful on Demurrer. The Plaintiffs filed a Second Amended
Complaint on June 28, 2004 which was substantially the same as
the original Complaint. The Company has answered the Second
Amended Complaint and filed a Motion for Summary Judgment as to
the claims of Ms. Goodman. The Court denied the Company's Motion
holding that there is an issue of fact as to whether Ms. Goodman
sustained any damages as result of the Company's handling of her
medical payments claim.


MERCURY INSURANCE: CA Court Postpones CLRA Suit Dismissal Ruling
----------------------------------------------------------------
The California Superior Court for Los Angeles County sealed its
ruling on Mercury Insurance Company's motion to strike the
fourth amended class action filed against it, styled "Sam
Donabedian, individually and on behalf of those similarly
situated v. Mercury Insurance Company," in the hope that the
parties will reach a settlement.

The suit originally asserted, among other things, a claim that
the Company's calculation of persistency discounts to determine
premiums is an unfair business practice, a violation of the
California Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) and a breach of
the covenant of good faith and fair dealing.  

The Company originally prevailed on a Demurrer to the Complaint
and the case was dismissed; however, the California Court of
Appeal reversed the trial court's ruling, deciding that the
California Insurance Commissioner does not have the exclusive
right to review the calculation of insurance rates/premiums. On
June 28, 2005, the Plaintiff filed a Fourth Amended Complaint,
which asserts a claim for violation of California Business &
Professions Code Section 17200 as well as a claim for breach of
the covenant of good faith and fair dealing (the CLRA claim was
dismissed with prejudice).  In its Fourth Amended Complaint, the
Plaintiff again seeks injunctive relief, unspecified restitution
and monetary damages as well as punitive damages and attorney's
fees and costs. Without leave of court, the Plaintiff also has
attempted to state claims for breach of contract and fraud.

The Company has filed a Demurrer to the Plaintiff's Fourth
Amended Complaint and the hearing on this Demurrer is scheduled
for September 12, 2005.  On June 9, 2005, the trial court
overruled a separate Demurrer by the Company and permitted The
Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights to file a Complaint
in Intervention alleging that the Company's calculation of
persistency discounts constitutes a violation of Insurance Code
Section 1861.02 (a) and (c).  The Company has filed an answer to
The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights' pleading and
intends to vigorously defend the entire case.  No trial date has
been scheduled and the Plaintiff has not filed a motion to
certify the putative class. There currently is a stay on
discovery in place.

At a status conference on October 24, 2005, the Court agreed to
postpone the litigation and to seal its ruling on the Company's
Demurrer and Motion to Strike certain portions of the Fourth
Amended Complaint until January 9, 2006 to see if the case could
be resolved without further litigation. If the case is not
resolved by that date or if progress towards settlement has not
been made, the Company expects the Court will unseal its ruling
on the Demurrer and Motion to Strike and discovery will
commence.  


MERCURY INSURANCE: Faces Collective Suit For FL FLSA Violations
---------------------------------------------------------------
Mercury Insurance Services, LLC faces a collective action,
styled "Cynthia Markovich and Patricia Carnegie v. Mercury
Insurance Services, L.L.C.," filed in the United States District
Court for the Middle District of Florida.

The suit asserts that the Plaintiffs were denied overtime
compensation while working as claims adjusters for the Company
in violation of the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The Plaintiffs are seeking class certification to include all
claims adjusters during the three years preceding the filing of
this action and recovery of overtime compensation, liquidated
damages, attorney fees, costs and other compensation.

This case is currently in discovery and the Company is not able
to evaluate the likelihood of an unfavorable outcome or to
estimate a range of potential loss in the event of an
unfavorable outcome at the present time. The Company intends to
vigorously defend this case.


MOTOROLA INC.: Continues To Face DC Securities Fraud Lawsuit
------------------------------------------------------------
Motorola, Inc. and Iridium World Communications continue to face
the consolidated securities class action filed against them in
the United States District Court for the District of Columbia,
styled "Freeland v. Iridium World Communications, Inc., et al."

The consolidated suit arose out of alleged misrepresentations or
omissions regarding the Iridium satellite communications
business.  The suit was originally filed on April 22, 1999.  On
August 31, 2004, the court denied the motions to dismiss that
had been filed on July 15, 2002 by the Company and the other
defendants.  While the still pending cases are in various stages
and the outcomes are not predictable, an unfavorable outcome of
one or more of these cases could have a material adverse effect
on the Company's consolidated financial position, liquidity or
results of operations, the Company stated in a disclosure to the
Securities and Exchange Commission.

The suit is styled "FREELAND, et al v. IRIDIUM WORLD COMM, et
al., case no. 1:99-cv-01002," filed in the United States
District Court for the District of Columbia, under Judge Nanette
K. Laughrey.  Representing the plaintiffs are Douglas Graham
Thompson, Jr. of FINKELSTEIN, THOMPSON & LOUGHRAN, 1050 30th
Street, NW, Washington, DC 20007, Phone: (202) 337-8000, Fax:
202-337-8090, E-mail: dgt@ftllaw.com; and Eric J. Belfi of
MURRAY, FRANK & SAILER LLP, 275 Madison Avenue, Suite 801, New
York, NY 10016, Phone: (212) 682-1818, Fax: (212) 682-1892, E-
mail: ebelfi@murrayfrank.com.  Representing the Company is
Jeffrey L. Willian of KIRKLAND & ELLIS, 200 East Randolph Drive,
Chicago, IL 60601, Phone: (312) 861-2000, Fax: 312-861-2200, E-
mail: jwillian@kirkland.com.


MOTOROLA INC.: Plaintiffs Appeal IL ERISA Fraud Suit Dismissal
--------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs appealed the United States District Court for the
District of Illinois' dismissal of the class action filed
against Motorola, Inc. and certain of its officers and
employees, styled "Howell v. Motorola, Inc., et al.,"

The suit alleges breach of fiduciary duty and violations of the
Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The complaint
alleged that the defendants had improperly permitted
participants in the Company's 401(k) Profit Sharing Plan (the
Plan) to purchase or hold shares of common stock of the Company
because the price of the stock was artificially inflated by a
failure to disclose vendor financing to Telsim in connection
with the sale of telecommunications equipment by the Company.
The plaintiff sought to represent a class of participants in the
Plan for whose individual accounts the Plan purchased or held
shares of common stock of Motorola from May 16, 2000 to the
present, and sought an unspecified amount of damages.

On October 3, 2003, plaintiff filed an amended complaint
asserting three claims for breach of fiduciary duties under
ERISA against 24 defendants grouped into five categories and
seeking an unspecified amount of damages. On September 23, 2004,
the Court dismissed the plan committee defendants from the case,
without prejudice. On October 15, 2004, plaintiff filed a second
amended complaint and a motion for class certification. On
December 3, 2004, defendants filed a motion for summary judgment
seeking to dismiss the Howell Complaint and a corresponding
motion to deny class certification. On September 30, 2005, the
Court granted defendants' motion and dismissed the Howell
Complaint.  Plaintiff filed an appeal to the dismissal on
October 27, 2005. In addition, on October 19, 2005, plaintiff's
counsel filed a motion seeking to add a new lead plaintiff and
assert the same claims set forth in the Howell Complaint.


NASHUA CORPORATION: Plaintiffs Appeal Dismissal of IL Stock Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs appealed the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois'
ruling dismissing the consolidated class action filed against
Nashua Corporation, Cerion Technologies, Inc., certain directors
and officers of Cerion, and the Company's underwriter, on behalf
of all persons who purchased the common stock of Cerion between
May 24, 1996 and July 9, 1996.

The amended consolidated complaint alleged that, in connection
with Cerion's initial public offering, the defendants issued
materially false and misleading statements and omitted the
disclosure of material facts regarding, in particular, certain
significant customer relationships.  In October 1997, the court
on motion by the defendants dismissed the consolidated
complaint.  The plaintiffs filed a second amended consolidated
complaint alleging similar claims as the first consolidated
complaint seeking damages and injunctive relief.

On May 6, 1998, the Court, on motion by the defendants,
dismissed with prejudice the second amended consolidated
complaint.  The plaintiffs appealed the Court's ruling.  On
November 19, 1999, the Appellate Court reversed the ruling that
dismissed the second amended consolidated complaint.  The
Appellate Court ruled that the second amended consolidated
complaint represented a valid claim and sent the case back
to the Circuit Court for further proceedings.  

On December 27, 1999, the Company filed a petition with the
Supreme Court of Illinois.  In that petition, the Company asked
the Supreme Court of Illinois to determine whether the Circuit
Court or the Appellate Court is correct.  The Company's petition
was denied and the case was sent to the Circuit Court for trial.  
Discovery has been completed, but no date has been set for trial
and pre-trial motions.  On October 8, 2003, the Court heard
motions on a Summary Judgment motion and a class action
certification motion.  No ruling has been made.  The Company
said in a regulatory filing that it expects the court will issue
rulings on the motion in the third quarter of 2005.
On August 16, 2005, the Circuit Court issued an order granting
our motion for Summary Judgment and dismissed the plaintiff's
Complaint. On September 15, 2005, the plaintiffs appealed the
Circuit Court's grant of Summary Judgment.

The Company believes that it will receive the value of its 37.1
percent ownership in the Cerion Liquidating Trust, which its
ownership was valued at $.9 million on an after-tax basis at
September 30, 2005, the Company said in a disclosure to the
Securities and Exchange Commission.

The suit is styled "ILL Student Assist v. Nashua Corporation, et
al., case no. 1994-M1-146053," filed in the Circuit Court of
Cook County, Illinois, under Judge Robert Quinn.  Representing
the plaintiffs is WEXLER & WEXLER, 500 W. Madison #2910,
Chicago, IL 60661, Phone: (312) 474-1000.


NEW YORK: Judge Allows Continuation of Bag Searches at Subways
--------------------------------------------------------------
A federal judge gave the New York Police Department the green
light to continue random searches of straphangers' bags at
subway turnstiles, ruling that the counter-terrorism program is
constitutional, The New York Post reports.

In his 41-page opinion, tossing out the class action suit filed
by the New York Civil Liberties Union, Judge Richard Berman
said, "The need to prevent a terrorist bombing of the New York
City subway system is a governmental interest of the very
highest order." He also stated that the inspections are "an
effective measure to help deter and detect a terrorist attack
against New York City's subway system."


NORTHWESTERN CORPORATION: MI Pension Fund Launches Suit in SD
-------------------------------------------------------------
The City of Livonia Employees' Retirement System, a city-
employee pension fund in Michigan that owns shares in
NorthWestern Corporation initiated a lawsuit seeking class
action status against the energy company, alleging that it
violated its duty to shareholders by stifling offers to buy the
company, The Associated Press reports.

Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based NorthWestern, which has two
separate offers to buy or absorb the company, declined to
comment on the lawsuit, which was filed in a South Dakota
federal court. The company serves more than 300,000 utility
customers in Montana.

Missoula Mayor Mike Kadas, the leader of an effort by five
Montana cities to buy NorthWestern and turn it into a publicly-
owned utility, told The Associated Press that the lawsuit was
"totally out of the blue." However, he pointed out that it shows
that some company shareholders disagree with NorthWestern's
decision to reject the cities' $2.18 billion offer.

Mayor Kadas explains to The Associated Press, "What you're
seeing here is a shareholder who has been watching that and
saying 'Wow, that looks like a pretty good offer. Why aren't you
taking them seriously?"' Previously, NorthWestern's board of
directors said that the cities' offer poses too many risks and
is not in the best interest of shareholders.

In the lawsuit, Livonia officials claim that the board acted in
its own interest and ignored its fiduciary duty to shareholders
by refusing the possible deal. The suit stated, "Plaintiff seeks
to prevent further harm to NorthWestern and its public
shareholders by compelling (the board) to fulfill their
fiduciary responsibility as directors and prevent (the board)
from ... taking any additional actions that will (impede) the
maximization of shareholders' value."

Just recently, Rapid City, South Dakota-based energy/utility
firm Black Hills Corporation proposed a merger with
NorthWestern. The company's board has been less hostile toward
the Black Hills offer, but has said only that it will evaluate
the offer.

The suit is styled, "City of Livonia Employees' Retirement
System v. Draper et al, Case No. 4:05-cv-04178-LLP," filed in
the United States District Court for the District of South
Dakota, under Judge Lawrence L. Piersol. Representing the
Plaintiff/s are: Randall J. Baron and Darren J. Robbins of
Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins, LLP, 655 W.
Broadway, Suite 1900, San Diego, CA 92101, Phone:
(619) 231-1058, Fax: 231-7423; and Timothy J. Dougherty of
Dougherty & Dougherty, P.O. Box 1004, Sioux Falls, SD 57101-
1004, Phone: 335-8586.


OHIO: Girard City Files Response Regarding Speed-Camera Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The city of Girard, Ohio is telling an appellate court that its
traffic camera speed enforcement system doesn't violate Ohio
law, The Youngstown Vindicator reports.

Attorneys for the city recently filed their response to a class
action lawsuit filed in the 11th District Court of Appeals last
month. That lawsuit asks the court to stop the city's camera
traffic enforcement system.

The city's recently filed response outlines what parts of the
lawsuit the city denies and also those parts that it agrees are
true. The city denies that Girard's camera system fails to
comply with Ohio traffic laws in the manner in which violators
are notified of their violation. It denies that the system
employs a hearing officer to handle the cases who is not a judge
or magistrate elected or appointed according to the Ohio
Constitution.

The city also denies that the city's ordinance creating the
Automated Traffic Enforcement Division is unconstitutional and
violates equal protection, due process, confrontation and
separation of powers parts of the Ohio Constitution. Girard also
says the system doesn't violate Ohio law requiring that courts
assess points for a violation of any law or ordinance pertaining
to speed.

Julie Sferra filed the class action suit through her lawyers
Brian P. Kish and David J. Betras of Canfield. Previously, the
appeals court granted Ms. Sferra's request to stop hearings
against her in her speeding case, but the order applied only to
Ms. Sferra's hearing, not the rest of the class.

Mr. Betras, however, previously told The Youngstown Vindicator
that having one hearing stayed is not good enough. He is thus
planning to include the hearings of others, who are disputing
the fines imposed by the camera in a class action suit against
the city, an earlier Class Action Reporter story (November 7,
2005) reports.

Mr. Betaras told The Youngstown Vindicator that subpoenas for
the names of all those fined will be sent to the city if the use
of the camera for ticketing purposes is not immediately stopped.
He further told The Youngstown Vindicator, "I am going to tell
the mayor of Girard to either dismantle that machine or I am
going to go after them for all the money collected." He adds,
"The ball is in the mayor's court; he can either follow the law
or continue to act like a tyrant." The city, according to Mr.
Betras, should use the camera only to issue warnings to those
found speeding, an earlier Class Action Reporter story (November
7, 2005) reports.

The city and representatives of Traffipax, the Columbia,
Maryland firm in charge of operating and maintaining the camera
unit, see the appellate court decision much differently than do
Mr. Betras and Mr. Kish. Mayor James Melfi, who has long
contended that the camera is more for safety than revenue, told
The Youngstown Vindicator that the situation involving Ms.
Sferra, who authorities said was driving 27 mph over the posted
speed limit, is proof of the camera's contribution to safety in
the city. He pointed out, "Someone doing 52 miles per hour in a
25 mile-per-hour zone is making the streets unsafe for other
citizens, and in that respect, the camera is working
wonderfully," an earlier Class Action Reporter story (November
7, 2005) reports.

The city's response states that Ms. Sferra's suit fails to state
a claim upon which relief can be granted and that the appeals
court lacks jurisdiction. Girard adds that Ms. Sferra possesses
other remedies at law, specifically a lawsuit filed in Trumbull
County Common Pleas Court by Dan Moadus of Girard.

Mr. Moadus filed suit in August, attempting to overturn the
city's then 2-month-old traffic ordinance that allows a camera
to be used to catch speeders in the city. Those cited are sent
tickets in the mail but aren't assessed no points on their
licenses. Mr. Moadus' suit says the system is contrary to law.
It says taxpayers and citizens of Girard, as well as other
drivers and citizens, will suffer irreparable harm if the system
is not stopped. It says a municipality may not create a non-
criminal or civil offense for speeding, as the city has done. It
can only create a civil offense for stopping, standing, parking,
regulating traffic flow or speed in parks, the suit says.


PHARMOS CORPORATION: Plaintiffs File Consolidated Lawsuit in NJ
---------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs filed a consolidated securities class action against
Pharmos Corporation and three of its current officers in The
United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
alleging violations of federal securities laws.

These lawsuits assert claims under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder on
behalf of a class of purchasers of the Company's common stock
during the period from February 10, 2000 through and including
December 17, 2004.  The complaints allege generally that the
defendants knowingly or recklessly made false or misleading
statements during the Class Period regarding the effectiveness
of dexanabinol in treating traumatic brain injury (TBI), which
had the effect of artificially inflating the price of the
Company's shares. The complaints seek unspecified damages.

These class actions have been consolidated by order of the Court
and lead plaintiffs and lead plaintiffs' counsel have been
appointed.  

The first identified complaint in the litigation is styled
"Shlomi Cohen, Israel Manela, Eli More, et al. v. Pharmos Corp.,
et al."  The plaintiff firms in this litigation are:

     (1) Berman, DeValerio, Pease, Tabacco Burt & Pucillo (MA),
         One Liberty Square, Boston, MA, 2109, Phone:
         617.542.8300, Fax: 617.230.0903, E-mail:
         info@bermanesq.com

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

     (3) Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C. (New York,
         NY), 825 Third Avenue - 30th Floor, New York, NY,
         10022, Phone: 212.838.7797, Fax: 212.838.7745, E-mail:
         lawinfo@cmht.com

     (4) Federman & Sherwood, 120 North Robinson, Suite 2720,
         Oklahoma City, OK, 73102, Phone: 405-235-1560, E-mail:
         wfederman@aol.com

     (5) Kirby, McInerney & Squire LLP, 830 Third Avenue 10th
         Floor, New York Ave, NY, 10022, Phone: 212.317.2300,

     (6) Law Offices of Brian M. Felgoise, P.C., Esquire, 261
         Old York Road, Suite 423, Jenkintown, PA, 19046, Phone:
         215.886.1900, E-mail: securitiesfraud@comcast.net

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

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

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

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

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

    (12) Wolf, Haldenstein, Adler, Freeman & Herz LLP, 270
         Madison Avenue, New York, NY, 10016, Phone:
         212.545.4600, Fax: 212.686.0114, E-mail:
         newyork@whafh.com

    (13) Wolf, Haldenstein, Adler, Freeman & Herz LLP, 270
         Madison Avenue, New York, NY, 10016, Phone:
         212.545.4600, Fax: 212.686.0114,


REFCO INC.: Scott Scott Prevents Ex-CEO From Using of IPO Sales
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Scott + Scott, LLC, the nationally recognized
firm at the front line in the Refco, Inc. securities litigation,
reached an agreement with Refco's former CEO Phillip R. Bennett
("Bennett"), whereby, unless otherwise ordered by the Court, he
is enjoined indefinitely during the pendency of the action from
dissipating any and all proceeds he obtained from his sale of
Refco stock in the August 2005 Initial Public Offering.

Refco securities purchasers between August 11, 2005, and October
18, 2005, inclusive (the "Class Period") are putative class
members in a class action filed by the firm, but Scott + Scott
encourages anyone who purchased these securities to contact the
firm to discuss their rights. Bond purchasers dating back to the
August 2004 bond offering are also welcome to join this all-
securities class action. Scott + Scott named twenty-seven
defendants to date, but this number will increase as the firm
prepares to file a more comprehensive complaint.

The Scott firm represents major institutional and individual
investors in this securities class action filed on October 11,
2005 in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York regarding the Refco, Inc. ("Refco") (OTC:
RFXCQ) fraud / negligent IPO ordeal (Case No. 1:05-cv-08663-DC).

On October 31, 2005, based on a motion filed by Scott + Scott on
behalf of the investor Class, as well as discussions with
counsel for Mr. Bennett, the Court entered a Temporary
Restraining Order to freeze over $111 million in assets that
Bennett obtained from his Refco stock sales in the Company's
August 2005 IPO. The freezing of the assets was in effect
pending a hearing scheduled for December 1, 2005. Scott + Scott,
however, reached the aforementioned agreement with Bennett's
counsel yesterday prior to the scheduled hearing. An agreed
order, which may well benefit the shareholders upon the
successful resolution of the case, has been submitted to the
Court.

Through Scott + Scott's investigation, litigation and success in
the freezing of Mr. Bennett's assets during the pendency of this
case, it is confident that a successful resolution will be
reached and according to one source, these defendants have more
than enough capital and/or insurance to cover the liabilities
incurred by those damaged at the hands of the defendants'
negligence and fraud.

For more details, contact Neil Rothstein of Scott + Scott, LLC,
Phone: 1-800-332-2259 ext. 22, or +1-619-251-0887, E-mail:
nrothstein@scott-scott.com OR Institutional Investors, Phone:
1-800-404-7770 or +1-860-537-3818, Fax: +1-860-537-4432 or
+1-619-233-0508, E-mail: InstitutionalInvestors@scott-scott.com.  


SYMBOL TECHNOLOGIES: Implements NY Securities Suit Settlement
-------------------------------------------------------------
Symbol Technologies, Inc. has implemented the terms in the
settlement of the three securities class actions filed against
it and certain of its former and current officers and directors
in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of
New York.

One suit, styled "Pinkowitz v. Symbol Technologies, Inc., et
al.," was filed on behalf of purchasers of the Company's common
stock between October 19, 2000 and February 13, 2002, inclusive,
against the Company and certain members of its former management
and its former board of directors.  The complaint alleged that
the defendants violated the federal securities laws by issuing
materially false and misleading statements throughout the class
period that had the effect of artificially inflating the market
price of the Company's securities.

Two other suits, styled "Hoyle v. Symbol Technologies, Inc., et
al." and "Salerno v. Symbol Technologies, Inc., et al.," were
filed in the same court against the Company and certain members
of the Company's former management and its former board of
directors.  The Hoyle and Salerno complaints were brought on
behalf of a class of former shareholders of Telxon Corporation
("Telxon") who obtained the Company's common stock in exchange
for their Telxon stock in connection with the Company's
acquisition of Telxon in November 2000.  The complaint alleges
that the defendants violated the federal securities laws by
issuing a Registration Statement and Joint Proxy Statement/
Prospectus in connection with the Telxon acquisition that
contained materially false and misleading statements that had
the effect of artificially inflating the market price of the
Company's securities.  

On June 3, 2004, the Company announced its settlement of the
Pinkowitz, Hoyle and Salerno class action lawsuits.  Under the
settlement, the Company agreed to pay to the class members an
aggregate of $1.75 million in cash and an aggregate number of
shares of common stock having a market value of $96.25 million,
subject to a minimum and maximum number of shares based upon the
volume-weighted moving average trading price of the Company's
common stock for the five day period immediately prior to the
Company's payment of the common stock to the class ("Determined
Price").  If the Determined Price is greater than $16.41 per
share, then the Company will issue 5,865.3 shares of its common
stock to the class. If the Determined Price is between $16.41
per share and $11.49 per share, then the Company will issue to
the class the number of shares of common stock equal to a market
value of $96.25 million divided by the Determined Price.  If the
Determined Price is less than $11.49 per share, the Company will
issue 8,376.8 shares of its common stock to the class.  The
settlement also provides that the Company has the right to pay
up to an additional $6.0 million in cash to reduce the number of
shares of its common stock that it is required to deliver in an
amount equal to the amount of additional cash divided by the
Determined Price.  If there occurs any event that would lead to
the de-listing of the Company's common stock or its board of
directors recommends the approval of a tender offer or the
purchase of a majority of our common stock or the
Determined Price is less than $11.90 per share, then the lead
counsel for the plaintiffs can require the Company to place into
escrow the number of shares that would otherwise be payable to
the class and would have the right to sell all or any portion of
the escrowed shares and invest such proceeds until distribution
to the class.  If the Company does not deliver its common stock
as required by the settlement agreement within the ten days of
such requirement, the lead counsel for the plaintiffs may
terminate the settlement agreement.

The court held a fairness hearing regarding the settlement on
October 4, 2004 and approved the fairness of the settlement by
an order entered on October 20, 2004.  On November 17, 2004, the
Company delivered 586,500 shares, or 10% of the settlement
amount (at $16.41 per share), as satisfaction of the plaintiffs'
attorneys' fees, pursuant to the court's order.  On July 21,
2005, the court entered a final distribution order authorizing
the distribution of the shares to the class. The final
Determined Price was calculated to be $11.606.  As a result, the
Company was required to deliver 8,293.1 shares of its common
stock pursuant to the settlement, which includes the 586.5
shares of common stock delivered in November 2004 as
satisfaction of the plaintiffs' attorneys fees. On August 3,
2005, the Company tendered 7,706.6 shares for distribution,
which was the balance of the shares required to be issued under
the court approved settlement, pursuant to the distribution
instructions from the claims administrator.

The suit is styled "Pinkowitz et al v. Symbol Technologies, Inc.
et al., case no. 2:02-cv-01383-LDW-JO," filed in the United
States District Court for the Eastern District of New York,under
Judge Leonard D. Wexler.  Representing the plaintiffs are Daniel
Lawrence Berger, Bernstein, Litowitz, Berger & Grossman, LLP,
1285 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10019, Phone:
212-554-1406, Fax: 212-554-1444, E-mail: dan@blbglaw.com.  
Representing the Company is Neil A. Steiner, Swidler Berlin
Shereff Friedman, LLP, 405 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 01074,
Phone: (212) 973-0111.


SYMBOL TECHNOLOGIES: Shareholders Launch Fraud Suits in E.D. NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
Symbol Technologies, Inc. and two of its former officers face
several securities class actions in the United States District
Court for the Eastern District of New York, alleging violations
of federal securities laws.   

Robert Waring filed the first suit, after which, several
substantially similar suits were filed.  The plaintiffs allege
that the defendants misrepresented that, in connection with
settlements of earlier criminal and civil investigations, we had
implemented processes to improve the Company's internal controls
when, in fact, its internal controls were insufficient.  In
addition, the plaintiffs allege that as a result of the
insufficient internal controls, the Company violated the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by issuing statements concerning
its prospects, financial results and financial controls that
were allegedly false and misleading. The plaintiffs allege that
they were damaged by the decline in the price of the Company's
stock on August 1, 2005, the date it released its results for
the second quarter of 2005.  The complaints seek unspecified
damages.

The lead suit is styled `Waring v. Symbol Technologies, Inc. et
al., case no. 2:05-cv-03923-DRH-JO," filed in the United States
District Court for the Eastern District of New York, under Judge
Denis R. Hurley.  Representing the plaintiffs are Samuel H.
Rudman, Lerach, Coughlin, Stoia, Geller, Rudman & Robbins, LLP,
200 Broadhollow Road, Suite 406, Melville, NY 11747, Phone:
631-367-7100, Fax: 631-367-1173, E-mail:
srudman@cauleygeller.com.  Representing the Company are William
Kennedy Dodds and Andrew J. Levander, Dechert, Price & Rhoads,
30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112, Phone: (212)698-3500,
Fax: (212)698-3599, E-mail: william.dodds@dechert.com or
Andrew.levander@dechert.com.


UNITED AMERICAN: FL Court Affirms Certification For Fraud Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Florida Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court
ruling granting class certification to the lawsuit filed against
United American Insurance Company, styled "Moore v. United
American Insurance Company, Case No. 16-2003-CA-001955-XXX-
MA, Division CV-E."

The suit was filed on March 13, 2003 in the Circuit Court of
Duval County, Florida.  The plaintiff, representing a class with
in excess of 8,000 members, asserted that the annual additional
fees that the Company charges him and its other Medicare
Supplement insurance policyholders for electronic processing of
claims was a premium charge subject to filing with and approval
by the State of Florida's Department of Financial Services
(formerly the Department of Insurance) and that such charge was
never filed by the Company with and approved by the Department.  
The plaintiff alleged claims for breach of contract and the
implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing as well as for
declaratory relief. Compensatory damages including the refund of
all premium charges found to be illegal, a declaratory judgment,
interest, costs, and attorney's fees were sought.

The Company filed a motion to dismiss this action, which was
granted by the Circuit Court on July 14, 2003. The case was
subsequently refiled by the plaintiff and the Company filed
another motion to dismiss the case, which was denied by the
Circuit Court on October 22, 2003.  The company filed
appropriate responsive pleadings with the Circuit Court and on
March 3, 2005, the Circuit Court issued an order denying
certification of a plaintiff's class. On September 30, 2005, the
Florida Court of Appeals affirmed the Circuit Court's ruling.


WAL-MART: Unionized Store Workers in Quebec to Appeal Ruling
------------------------------------------------------------
Unionized workers at a Wal-Mart store in Quebec, which closed
last April 2005, will appeal a Superior Court decision that
threw out their class action lawsuit seeking damages for
wrongful dismissal, The Canadian Press reports.

Previously, Justice Marc Beaudoin of the Quebec Superior Court
ruled that the case was more appropriate for the Quebec Labour
Relations Board that in court. He specifically ruled that the
board is capable of handling the case and granted damages to
plaintiff Alain Pedneault if he won, an earlier Class Action
Reporter story (November 8, 2005) reports.

Court records show that the store was closed on April 29 as
workers sought to form a union. Wal-Mart continues to maintain
that the closure was not related to the workers actions argues
that it was shut because it was not making money, an earlier
Class Action Reporter story (November 8, 2005) reports.

The workers though are arguing that Justice Beaudoin erred when
he made the ruling. According to the workers' lawyer, Gilles
Gareau, the conflict stems from a "violation of fundamental
rights" protected by Quebec's charter of rights and freedoms.

The 182 workers, who are seeking $20,000 in damages, became the
first Wal-Mart employees to unionize since a Windsor, Ontario
outlet was briefly accredited in the 1990s. The Arkansas-based
retailer though closed the Quebec store before the workers could
obtain a collective agreement, an earlier Class Action Reporter
story (September 28, 2005) reports.


WMS INDUSTRIES: Indemnification Claim in Gambler's Suit Pending
---------------------------------------------------------------
WMS Industries, Inc. and Video Lottery Consultants, Inc., a
subsidiary of IGT (VLC) continue to face an indemnification
claim from the La Societe de Loteries du Quebec (Loto-Quebec)
filed in the Superior Court of the Province of Quebec, relating
to a lawsuit filed against Loto-Quebec.

The class action lawsuit discussed in Loto-Quebec's claim was
brought on May18, 2001 against Loto-Quebec in the Superior Court
of the Province of Quebec.  It alleges that the members of the
class developed a pathological gambling addiction by using Loto-
Quebec's VLTs and that Loto-Quebec, as owner, operator and
distributor of VLTs, failed to warn players of the alleged
dangers associated with VLTs.  Class status was granted by the
Court on May6, 2002, authorizing Jean Brochu to act as the
representative plaintiff. The class of 119,000 members is
requesting damages totaling almost $700 million Canadian
dollars, plus interest.

The pleadings allege that Loto-Quebec would be entitled to be
indemnified by the manufacturers of Loto-Quebec's VLTs,
specifically WMS and VLC, if the class action plaintiffs are
successful in the pending class action lawsuit against Loto-
Quebec.  


                  New Securities Fraud Cases


GUIDANT CORPORATION: Provost & Umphrey Lodges Fraud Suit in IN
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Provost & Umphrey Law Firm, LLP, initiated a securities
fraud class action against Guidant Corporation (NYSE: GDT) in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of
Indiana on November 29, 2005.

According to the suit, by issuing false statements and by
failing to disclose material non-public information, Guidant and
its officers and directors violated the anti-fraud provisions of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These violations caused the
Company's stock price to be artificially inflated from December
15, 2004 through November 4, 2005. Indeed, when true and
complete disclosures were revealed regarding the Company's pace-
maker product lines, Guidant's stock plunged, and the announced
merger with Johnson & Johnson nearly collapsed.

On December 15, 2004, Guidant announced that it had been sold to
Johnson & Johnson for approximately $25 billion. Guidant's
defibrillator/pace-maker product lines were an integral part of
this deal with Johnson & Johnson. Mindful of this fact, the
Defendants intentionally concealed manufacturing defects of
various defibrillator/pace-maker product lines from both Johnson
& Johnson as well as investors.

On June 17, 2005, the FDA recalled Guidant's defibrillators. In
doing so, the government warned the public not only of the
nature of the malfunctioning devices, but also that these
devices could lead to a serious, life-threatening event for a
patient. On this news, Johnson & Johnson pulled out of its
December 14, 2004 purchase agreement, and ultimately purchased
Guidant for $21.5 billion, more than $4 billion less than the
original offer price.

For more details, contact Willie Briscoe of Provost & Umphrey
Law Firm, LLP, Phone: +1-214-744-3000, Web site:
http://www.provostumphrey.com.


MIKOHN GAMING: Milberg Weiss Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in NV
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman, LLP, initiated
a class action lawsuit on behalf of purchasers of the securities
of Mikohn Gaming Corporation (d/b/a Progressive Gaming
International Corporation)("PGIC" or the "Company") (NasdaqNM:
PGIC) between February 22, 2005 through October 19, 2005,
inclusive (the "Class Period"), seeking to pursue remedies under
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act").

The action, numbered 05-CV-01410, is pending in the United
States District Court for the District of Nevada against PGIC,
Russel H. McMeekin (CEO) and Michael A. Sicuro (CFO).

The complaint alleges that PGIC is a supplier of Integrated
Casino Management Systems software and games for the gaming
industry. The complaint further alleges that defendants issued
quarter after quarter of strong financial results, and issued
strong forecasts for future quarters. For example, for the third
quarter of 2005, Defendants assured investors that PGIC would
report earnings per share of between $0.08 and $0.10. This
strong growth projection was crucial to enable Defendants to
close on a highly-anticipated strategic acquisition of a related
gaming company, VirtGame Corporation, which acquisition was
scheduled to close in the second quarter of 2005, and to
complete a secondary offering of common stock announced on
August 31, 2005.

The Complaint also alleges that defendants knew that VirtGame
shareholders would vote on the acquisition in September 2005. As
a result, they knew it was vital to the closing of the
acquisition to keep the stock price artificially inflated and to
avoid the disclosure of any adverse information during this
time. Therefore, Defendants engaged in accounting fraud by
failing to comply with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles
("GAAP"). In particular, Defendants failed to disclose the
impact of the Financial Accounting Standards Board's Accounting
Standard ("SFAS") 153 which applies to exchanges of non-monetary
assets. Despite the fact that SFAS 153 was issued in December
2004, and took effect in June 2005, Defendants failed to include
any discussion of the impact of its application in PGIC's public
filings.

On October 20, 2005, Defendants shocked the market by revealing
that because the Company failed to properly account for two non-
monetary transactions in accordance with SFAS 153, the Company
expected to report a loss of $.09 a share rather than a gain of
$.08-$.10, as Defendants had previously represented. According
to Defendants, the accounting treatment had to be changed after
the national office of the Company's auditor, BDO Seidman,
informed the Company that it had to comply with SFAS 153 and
could not recognize the revenues in the third quarter from these
two transactions. In response to this shocking news, the price
of PGIC stock plunged by nearly 30% on unusually large trading
volumes of over 6.6 million shares traded.

For more details, contact Maya Saxena and Joseph White of
Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman, LLP, 5200 Town Center Circle,
Suite 600, Boca Raton, FL 33486, E-mail:
msaxena@milbergweiss.com and jwhite@milbergweiss.com; and 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, Web site:
http://www.milbergweiss.com.


MIKOHN GAMING: Schatz & Nobel Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in NV
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schatz & Nobel, P.C. initiated a lawsuit seeking
class action status has been filed in the United States District
Court for the District of Nevada on behalf of all persons who
purchased the publicly traded securities of Mikohn Gaming
Corporation d/b/a Progressive Gaming International Corporation
("PGIC") (Nasdaq:PGIC) between February 22, 2005 and October 19,
2005.

The Complaint alleges that PGIC violated federal securities laws
by issuing false or misleading financial statements.
Specifically, the Complaint alleges that PGIC acted improperly
when it belatedly disclosed the expected impact of FASB
Statement No. 153, concerning exchanges of non-monetary assets.
On October 20, 2005, PGIC announced that due to the
implementation of FASB Statement No. 153, it would be reporting
a quarterly loss of $.09 a share rather than a gain of $.08-$.10
a share, which it had previously represented. On this news, PGIC
shares fell from a close of $13.03 per share on October 19,
2005, to close at $9.28 per share on October 20, 2005.

For more details, contact Wayne T. Boulton or Nancy Kulesa of
Schatz & Nobel, P.C., Phone: (800) 797-5499, E-mail:
sn06106@aol.com, Web site: http://www.snlaw.net.
          

STONE ENERGY: Ann D. White Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in LA
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Law firm Ann D. White Law Offices, P.C., commenced a Class
Action in the United States District Court for the Western
District of Louisiana, on behalf of a class of persons who
purchased the securities of Stone Energy Corp. (NYSE:SGY)
("Stone" or the "Company") between March 4, 2002 and October 6,
2005, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The complaint alleges that Stone made false and misleading
statements regarding its financial performance. On October 6,
2005 Stone announced, among other things, its intention to take
a significant reserve write-down of its "proven" oil reserves of
$161 million -- a 20% decline. As a result, Stone's stock price
fell $7.93 to $48.14. On November 8, 2005, Stone announced its
intention to restate its financial statements for 2001 through
2004 and for the first two quarters of 2005. The Company
launched an internal investigation into its reserve practices
and admits that it overstated its oil reserves.

For more details, contact Ann D. White Law Offices, P.C., Phone:
1-866-389-0274, E-mail: awhite@awhitelaw.com.  


STONE ENERGY: Federman & Sherwood Lodges Securities Suit in LA
--------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Federman & Sherwood initiated class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Western
District of Louisiana against Stone Energy Corporation (NYSE:
SGY).

The complaint alleges violations of federal securities laws,
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
and Rule 10b-5, including allegations of issuing a series of
material misrepresentations to the market which had the effect
of artificially inflating the market price. The class period is
from June 17, 2005 through October 6, 2005.

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


STONE ENERGY: Spector Roseman Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in LA
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Spector, Roseman & Kodroff, P.C., initiated a
securities class action lawsuit in the United States District
Court for the Western District of Louisiana, on behalf of
purchasers of the common stock of Stone Energy Corporation
("Stone Energy" or the "Company") (NYSE:SGY) between June 17,
2005 through October 6, 2005, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The Complaint alleges that defendants violated the federal
securities laws by issuing materially false and misleading
statements contained in filings with the Securities and Exchange
Commission and press releases during the Class Period.
Specifically, defendants failed to disclose and misrepresented
the following adverse facts that:

     (1) Stone Energy was materially overstating its financial
         results by overvaluing its oil reserves through
         improper and aggressive reserve methodologies;

     (2) the Company lacked adequate internal controls and was
         therefore unable to ascertain its true financial
         condition; and

     (3) as a result of the foregoing, the values of the
         Company's proven reserves, assets and future net cash
         flows were materially overstated at all relevant times.

On October 6, 2005, Stone Energy issued a press release
announcing that it intends to take a significant reserve write-
down, among other things. On this news, the price of Stone
Energy stock fell $7.93 per share or almost 14% to close at
$48.14 per share. Then, on November 8, 2005, Stone Energy issued
a press release announcing that it will restate its financial
statements for the periods from 2001 to 2004 and for the first
six months of 2005. As a result of this disclosure, Stone Energy
initiated an internal investigation into its reserve practices.

For more details, contact Robert M. Roseman or Andrew Abramowitz
of Spector, Roseman & Kodroff, P.C., Phone: (888) 844-5862, E-
mail: classaction@srk-law.com, Web site: http://www.srk-law.com.  



                            *********


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

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

                            *********


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

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

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

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
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