CAR_Public/051216.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

            Friday, December 16, 2005, Vol. 7, No. 249

                          Headlines

ACCREDITED HOME: Working To Settle CA Consolidated Employee Suit
ACCREDITED HOME: Seeks Reconsideration of IL Suit Certification
ALTRIA GROUP: IL Ruling Could Affect $206B Tobacco Settlement
AMERICA FIRST: DE Court Dismisses Suit V. America First Merger
ASIAINFO HOLDINGS: NY Court Preliminarily OKs Lawsuit Settlement

AUSTRALIA: Nauru Landowner Upset Over Ruling in Trust Fund Case
BLACK HILLS: Reaches Settlement For Natural Gas Antitrust Suit
CALIFORNIA: Illegal Immigrants' College Fee Break Triggers Suit
CATERPILLAR INC.: Recalls Diesel Engines Due to VAA Line Wear
CERIDIAN CORPORATION: Continues To Face Consolidated Suit in MN

CROSS COUNTRY: Employees Wage Lawsuit Still Pending in CA Court
CROSS COUNTRY: Faces FLSA Violations, Unfair Trade Lawsuit in CA
CROSS COUNTRY: Overtime Wage Suit v. MedStaff Unit Pending in CA
DAIMLERCHRYSLER CORP: Recalls 16,317 SUVs Due to Crash Hazard  
DIGITAS INC.: NY Court Preliminarily Approves Lawsuit Settlement

FRIEDMAN BILLINGS: Continue To Face Investor Fraud Suits in NY
GENERAL ELECTRIC: Settles Suit in FL Over Faulty Refrigerators
GURI IMPORT: Couple Files Suit Over Baby Food Containing Cadmium
ILLINOIS: CPD Faces Federal Suit Over Witness Interview Policies
INSTINET GROUP: DE Court Approves Investor Fraud Suit Settlement

INTRALASE CORPORATION: Opthalmologist Files TCPA Lawsuit in NY
K-MART CORPORATION: Madison County Court to Hear 52-Cent Lawsuit  
LEAPFROG ENTERPRISES: CA Securities Suits Consolidation Sought
MAXIM ENTERPRISE: Recalls 12T Learning Cubes For Choking Hazard
MERCK & CO.: Australians Launch Vioxx Suit, Seek Compensation

MODEM MEDIA: NY Court Preliminarily Approves Lawsuit Settlement
MONEY FOR LIVING: Retirees Launch Suit V. Recommended Attorneys
ODYSSEY HEALTHCARE: Asks TX Court To Dismiss Amended Fraud Suit
OHIO: City of Akron Faces Lawsuits Over Photo Speeding Tickets
OKLAHOMA TURNPIKE: Deal Means Credits For Some PikePass Holders

PENNSYLVANIA: Settlement Reached in Prolonged Big Bass Lake Case
R.J. REYNOLDS: CA A.G. Calls For Halt on Direct Mail Campaign
RIDEAU REGIONAL: Families Claim Victory With Ottawa Court Ruling
SIRENZA MICRODEVICES: NY Court Approves Stock Suit Settlement
SPECIALTY LABORATORIES: Faces Five CA Suits V. Ameripath Merger

UNITED STATES: ATRA Releases Annual "Judicial Hellholes" Report
USI HOLDINGS: Named in NJ Insurance Brokerage Antitrust Lawsuit
VISTAPRINT LTD.: Working To Settle Consumer Fraud Lawsuit in CA

                        Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Reynolds American Faces One Pending Lawsuit
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Japan Group Seeks Asbestos Revision in Law
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: API Awarded US$52.5Mil in Suit v. OneBeacon
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NY Man Sentenced in Asbestos Removal Case
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Tyco International Faces 14T Injury Claims

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: General Cable Faces 42,960 Pending Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: OH Court Remands Widow's Compensation Cause
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Owens Corning to Approve Asbestos Agreement
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Proposed A&E Reserves Not to Affect Allianz
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: KY Court Upholds B&W Reserve Account Ruling

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NTU Says Bill Could Tax Billions to Public
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: EPA Bares Alternate Asbestos Removal Plan
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: EPA Spends US$107Mil in Libby, MT Cleanup
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: OR Subdivision Residents See Litigation End
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Coroner Rules Man's Death as Accidental

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Crane Expects Free Cash Flow at US$130Mil
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: IPALCO Subsidiary Faces Exposure Lawsuits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ABB CEP Seeks Asbestos Resolution in 2006
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Woman Receives GBP152,000 Compensation
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Public Citizen Warns of Legislation Flaws

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Dying Victim Battles to Change Payout Law
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Schools' Asbestos Bills Reach GBP1Mil
ASBESTOS ALERT: UK Waste Management Firm Hit With GBP70,000 Fine

                  New Securities Fraud Cases

DIEBOLD INC.: Stull Stull Files Securities Fraud Suit in N.D. OH
FARO TECHNOLOGIES: Milberg Weiss Lodges Securities Suit in FL
GUIDANT CORPORATION: Lerach Coughlin Files Securities Suit in IN
WELLS FARGO: Stull Stull Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in N.D. CA
WELLS FARGO: Stull Stull Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in N.D. CA


                            *********


ACCREDITED HOME: Working To Settle CA Consolidated Employee Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Accredited Home Lenders, Inc. is working on a settlement for the
class action filed against it in California Superior Court in
Sacramento County, styled "Yturralde v. Accredited Home Lenders,
Inc."

The complaint alleges that the Company violated California and
federal law by misclassifying the plaintiff, formerly a
commissioned loan officer for the Company, as an exempt employee
and failed to pay the plaintiff on an hourly basis and for
overtime worked. The plaintiff seeks to recover, on behalf of
himself and all of our other similarly situated current and
former employees, lost wages and benefits, general damages,
multiple statutory penalties and interest, attorneys' fees and
costs of suit, and also seeks to enjoin further violations of
wage and overtime laws and retaliation against employees who
complain about such violations.

The Company has been served with eleven substantially similar
complaints on behalf of certain other former and current
employees, which have been consolidated with the Yturralde
action.

In addition, prior to the passage of Proposition 64 in
California, a private individual who was not a current or former
employee of an employer could bring an action to enforce certain
provisions of California law against that employer. Such an
action had been filed and served upon the Company; however, in
light of the passage of California Proposition 64, this
complaint was dismissed with prejudice.  AHL has appealed the
court's denial of its motion to compel arbitration of the
consolidated cases, and a resolution of that appeal is not
expected before early 2006. In the meantime, discussions are
ongoing between the parties regarding potential settlement or
mediation of the claims, and the Company has pursued and
effected settlements directly with many current and former
employees covered by the allegations of the complaints.


ACCREDITED HOME: Seeks Reconsideration of IL Suit Certification
---------------------------------------------------------------
Accredited Home Lenders, Inc. asked the Circuit Court for
Madison County, Illinois to reconsider its ruling granting class
certification to the lawsuit filed against it, styled
"Wratchford et al. v. Accredited Home Lenders, Inc.

The suit was filed in December 2002 under the Illinois Consumer
Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and the consumer
protection statutes of the other states in which the Company
does business.  The complaint alleges that the Company has a
practice of misrepresenting and inflating the amount of fees it
pays to third parties in connection with the residential
mortgage loans that it funds.  The plaintiffs claim to represent
a nationwide class consisting of others similarly situated, that
is, those who paid the Company to pay, or reimburse its payments
of, third-party fees in connection with residential mortgage
loans and never received a refund for the difference between
what they paid and what was actually paid to the third party.
The plaintiffs are seeking to recover damages on behalf of
themselves and the class, in addition to pre-judgment interest,
post-judgment interest, and any other relief the court may
grant.

On January 28, 2005, the court issued an order conditionally
certifying a class of Illinois residents with respect to the
alleged violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive
Business Practices Act who, since November 19, 1997, paid money
to the Company for third-party fees in connection with
residential mortgage loans and never received a refund of the
difference between the amount they paid to the Company and the
amount it paid to the third party and a nationwide class of
claimants with respect to an unjust enrichment cause of action
included in the original complaint who, since November 19, 1997
paid money to the Company for third-party fees in connection
with residential mortgage loans and never received a refund of
the difference between the amount they paid the Company and the
amount it paid the third party.

The court conditioned its order limiting the statutory consumer
fraud act claims to claimants in the State of Illinois on the
outcome of a case pending before the Illinois Supreme Court in
which one of the issues is the propriety of certifying a
nationwide class based on the Illinois Consumer Fraud and
Deceptive Business Practices Act. That case has now been decided
in a manner favorable to the Company's position, and, in light
of this ruling, the Company has filed with the court a motion
for reconsideration of the court's order granting class
certification, or in the alternative, the court's denial of the
Company's request for leave to take an interlocutory appeal of
such order.


ALTRIA GROUP: IL Ruling Could Affect $206B Tobacco Settlement
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Illinois Supreme Court is set to rule on a $10 billion
Madison County lawsuit judgment against Philip Morris USA, a
decision that could break America's largest tobacco company and
ripple through dozens of states that rely on payments from the
tobacco industry, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

Wall Street is betting that the justices instead will side with
the cigarette maker, which is a unit of Altria Group Inc., as
the high court is apparently losing patience with the Madison
County Circuit Court.  Christopher Growe, analyst at A.G.
Edwards & Sons in St. Louis told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
"The street expects a win here" for Philip Morris.

The initial billion-dollar judgment in the class action case was
handed down against the cigarette maker by a trial court judge
in March 2003. The Supreme Court then took the unusual step of
bypassing the appellate court and hearing the case on appeal
directly from the trial court. Arguments were heard in November
2004 and investors and analysts have been awaiting a ruling ever
since, an earlier Class Action Reporter story (December 14,
2005) reports.

The case in question is known as Sharon Price and Michael Fruth
v. Philip Morris USA Inc. Madison County Circuit Court Judge
Nicholas Byron's $10.1 billion judgment in the case stated that
Philip Morris USA violated the provisions of Illinois' Consumer
Fraud Act, when it described Cambridge Lights and Marlboro
Lights as having "lowered tar and nicotine" content, which,
among other statements, had the effect of deceiving 1.1 million
Illinois smokers into believing that the "lights" were safer
than the more full-flavored regular cigarettes, an earlier Class
Action Reporter story (April 21, 2003) reports.

The case is one of the major legal issues that Altria Chairman
Louis Camilleri previously said needs to be resolved before the
company executes plans to break Altria into two or three
separate companies, splitting Altria's Kraft Foods Inc. business
from the U.S. and international tobacco units, an earlier Class
Action Reporter story (December 14, 2005) reports.  

The record-setting award spotlighted southern Illinois'
reputation for plaintiff-friendly rulings. Business groups and
other critics say downstate civil courts, especially in Madison
County, are too generous with verdicts against deep-pocketed
defendants.  Many believe, however, that the Supreme Court as of
late has shown a desire to put the brakes on those lower courts,
particularly cracking down on alleged misuse of class action
certification, which is one of Philip Morris' arguments in its
appeal.

Patrick Schumann, senior analyst for Edward Jones in St. Louis
told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "We believe the likelihood is
relatively high that the Illinois Supreme Court will ... dismiss
the verdict." He points out that the prediction is based on
recent rulings by the Illinois Supreme Court in other cases.

In August, the court overturned a $1 billion Williamson County
judgment against State Farm Insurance for using allegedly
inferior automobile replacement parts. The justices ruled that
the lower court had improperly applied Illinois' consumer laws
to policyholders in other states. Justice Charles Freeman
complained in writing that the court is showing "hostility"
toward the concept of class action lawsuits, and that he was
"concerned" that the court was trying to send "a message" to
southern Illinois courts.

In November, the court again ruled in favor of State Farm, in a
different Madison County suit involving allegedly doctored
automobile titles. The court ruled that the Louisiana lead
plaintiff had no legitimate reason to file the case in
Edwardsville.

Pro-business critics of the litigation system agree, and have
hailed the recent cases as a sign the court is fed up with
"jackpot litigation," particularly in southern Illinois.

State governments all over America will be watching the Philip
Morris verdict, with an eye on their own budgets. This is due to
the fact that in 1998 forty-six states entered into a settlement
under which the tobacco industry agreed to pay $206 billion over
25 years to cover the states' smoking-related health costs. Most
states have come to rely on these annual payments. In theory,
these payments could be sharply reduced if Philip Morris, the
biggest money-provider in the settlement, goes bankrupt because
of a private suit.


AMERICA FIRST: DE Court Dismisses Suit V. America First Merger
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Delaware Court of Chancery dismissed the class action filed
against America First Real Estate Investment Partners, L.P.
(AFREZ), its general partner and America First Companies LLC on
behalf of the Partnership's units holders.

The lawsuit alleges, among other things, that the defendants
acted in violation of their fiduciary duties to the Unit holders
in connection with the merger of AFREZ with and into the America
First Apartment Investors, Inc.  The merger of AFREZ with and
into the Company was completed on June 3, 2004 and, as a result,
the Company assumed all liabilities of AFREZ, including any
liability that may be imposed as a result of this lawsuit. To
date, the plaintiffs have not amended their complaint to
formally name the Company as a defendant or to modify the relief
they are seeking.  On August 18, 2005 the lawsuit was dismissed
with prejudice as to the named plaintiffs.


ASIAINFO HOLDINGS: NY Court Preliminarily OKs Lawsuit Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York granted preliminary approval to the consolidated
securities class action filed against Asiainfo Holdings, Inc.,
certain of its officers and directors and the underwriters of
its initial public offering, or IPO.  

On December 4, 2001, a securities class action case was filed,
alleging violations of the federal securities laws and was
docketed in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York as "Hassan v. AsiaInfo Holdings, Inc., et
al." The lawsuit alleged, among other things, that the
underwriters of the Company's IPO improperly required their
customers to pay the underwriters excessive commissions and to
agree to buy additional shares of Company common stock in the
aftermarket as conditions to their purchasing shares in the
company's IPO.  The lawsuit further claimed that these supposed
practices of the underwriters should have been disclosed in the
Company's IPO prospectus and registration statement. The suit
seeks rescission of the plaintiffs' alleged purchases of our
common stock as well as unspecified damages.

In addition to the case against the Company, various other
plaintiffs have filed approximately 1,000 other, substantially
similar class action cases against approximately 300 other
publicly traded companies and their IPO underwriters in New York
City, which along with the case against the Company have all
been transferred to a single federal district judge for purposes
of case management.  On July 15, 2002, together with the other
issuer defendants, the Company filed a collective motion to
dismiss the consolidated, amended complaints against the issuers
on various legal grounds common to all or most of the issuer
defendants.  The underwriters also filed separate motions to
dismiss the claims against them.  On October 9, 2002, the court
dismissed without prejudice all claims against the individual
defendants in the litigation.  The dismissals were based on
stipulations signed by those defendants and the plaintiffs'
representatives.  

On February 19, 2003, the court issued its ruling on the motions
to dismiss filed by the underwriter and issuer defendants.  In
that ruling the court granted in part and denied in part those
motions. As to the claims brought against the Company under the
anti-fraud provisions of the securities laws, the court
dismissed all such claims without prejudice.  As to the claims
brought under the registration provisions of the securities
laws, which do not require that intent to defraud be pleaded,
the court denied the motion to dismiss such claims as to the
Company and as to substantially all of the other issuer
defendants.  The court also denied the underwriter defendants'
motion to dismiss in all respects.

In June 2003, based on a decision made by a special independent
committee of the Company's board of directors, the Company
elected to participate in a proposed settlement agreement with
the plaintiffs in this litigation.  If ultimately approved by
the court, this proposed settlement would result in a dismissal,
with prejudice, of all claims in the litigation against us and
against any of the other issuer defendants who elect to
participate in the proposed settlement, together with the
current or former officers and directors of participating
issuers who were named as individual defendants.  The proposed
settlement does not provide for the resolution of any claims
against the underwriter defendants, and the litigation against
those defendants is continuing.  

The proposed settlement provides that the class members in the
class action cases brought against the participating issuer
defendants will be guaranteed a recovery of $1 billion by
insurers of the participating issuer defendants. If recoveries
totaling $1 billion or more are obtained by the class members
from the underwriter defendants, however, the monetary
obligations to the class members under the proposed settlement
will be satisfied. In addition, all participating issuer
defendants will be required to assign to the class members
certain claims that the Company may have against the
underwriters.  The proposed settlement contemplates that any
amounts necessary to fund the settlement or settlement-related
expenses would come from participating issuers' directors and
officers liability insurance policy proceeds as opposed to funds
of the participating issuer defendants themselves. A
participating issuer defendant could be required to contribute
to the costs of the settlement if that issuer's insurance
coverage were insufficient to pay that issuer's allocable share
of the settlement costs. Consummation of the proposed settlement
is conditioned upon, among other things, negotiating, executing,
and filing with the court final settlement documents, and final
approval by the court.

The suit is styled "In Re Asiainfo, Inc. Initial Public Offering
Securities Litigation," pending in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of New York, under Judge Shira
N. Scheindlin, related to the "IN RE INITIAL PUBLIC OFFERING
SECURITIES LITIGATION, Master File No. 21 MC 92 (SAS)."  The
members of the plaintiff's executive committee are:

     (1) Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz LLP (New York, NY), Mail:
         10 E. 40th Street, 22nd Floor, New York, NY, 10016,
         Phone: 800.217.1522, E-mail: info@bernlieb.com,

     (2) Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach, LLP (New York,
         NY), Mail: One Pennsylvania Plaza, New York, NY, 10119-
         1065, Phone: 212.594.5300,

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

     (4) Sirota & Sirota, LLP, Mail: 110 Wall Street 21st Floor,
         New York, NY, 10005, Phone: 888.759.2990, Fax:
         212.425.9093, E-mail: Info@SirotaLaw.com,

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

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


AUSTRALIA: Nauru Landowner Upset Over Ruling in Trust Fund Case
---------------------------------------------------------------
One of the landowners involved in a class action against the
Nauru Phosphate Royalties Trust expressed disappointment that
the case will be heard in Nauru instead of Australia, Radio
Australia/PNS reports.

In his ruling, Justice Ray Finkelstein stated that the Federal
Court of Australia lacks the jurisdiction to hear the
landowners' case, which requires adjudication by the courts in
Nauru. The issue of jurisdiction needed to be resolved before a
class action brought by landowners can be heard, an earlier
Class Action Reporter story (December 14, 2005) reports.

In their class action, the landowners wanted to sue the Nauru
Phosphate Royalties Trust for money they claim they are owed
from interest earned from funds held by the Trust, an earlier
Class Action Reporter story (December 14, 2005) reports.

Landowner, Aloysius Amwano told Radio Australia/PNS that there
was hope that the case would be heard in Australia, but
accessing records from Nauru would have been difficult. He
explains, "There is a lot of politics in Nauru - we thought it
would be a fair hearing if it was heard in Australia."


BLACK HILLS: Reaches Settlement For Natural Gas Antitrust Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Black Hills Corporation reached a settlement for the class
action filed against its natural gas marketing subsidiary,
Enserco Energy, Inc., entitled "In re Natural Gas Commodity
Litigation, 03 CV 6186 (VM)," in the United States District
Court, Southern District of New York.  

The class action was initiated in 2003 and asserts that
defendants manipulated natural gas futures contracts through
false reporting of prices and volumes.  Specific allegations
include claims that former traders at Enserco reported false
price and volume information to trade publications.  

Although the Company believes that the Class Plaintiffs present
a flawed theory to recover actual damages, events in the third
quarter, including settlements by other defendant companies and
mounting joint defense costs, prompted the Company to seek a
settlement of claims made against it. Accordingly, during the
third quarter of 2005, the Company accrued for a pre-tax charge
of approximately $2.5 million, to reflect the tentative
settlement.

The suit is styled "Cornerstone Propane v. Reliant Energy, et
al., case no. 1:03-cv-06186-VM-AJP," filed in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York, under
Judge Victor Marrero.  Representing the Company is Anthony D
Boccanfuso and James D. Mangiafico of Arnold & Porter, LLP, 399
Park Avenue, New York, NY 10022-4690, Phone: (212) 715-1315,
Fax: (212) 715-1399, E-mail: anthony_boccanfuso@aporter.com.  
Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (1) Louis F. Burke, Louis F. Burke, P.C., 460 Park Avenue,
         21st Floor, New York, NY 10022, Phone: (212) 682-1700,
         Fax: (212) 808-4280

     (2) Christopher J. Gray, Law Office of Christopher J. Gray,
         P.C, 460 Park Avenue 21st Floor, New York, NY 10022,
         Phone: (212) 838-3221, Fax: (212) 508-3695, E-mail:
         gray@cjgraylaw.com

     (3) Gary S. Jacobson and Christopher Lovell of Lovell &
         Stewart, L.L.P., 500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110,
         Phone: (212) 608-1900


CALIFORNIA: Illegal Immigrants' College Fee Break Triggers Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Out-of-state college students initiated a class action lawsuit
challenging a law that lets some illegal immigrants who graduate
from California high schools pay lower in-state fees at the
state's public colleges and universities, The Associated Press
reports.

The 2002 law allows students who attend at least three years of
high school in California to qualify for the same in-state fee
break given California citizens, regardless of their immigration
status. The lower fee levels can save students thousands of
dollars a year. For example, out-of-state students pay nearly
$24,000 a year to attend the University of California, about
$17,000 more than California residents.

Filed in Yolo County, California, the suit, which Challenges the
law that allows undocumented students to qualify for lower in-
state tuition rates, was brought on behalf of 42 plaintiffs,
including two children of a former San Diego congressman.
Plaintiffs' attorneys say that the discriminatory policy affects
60,000 out-of-state students who pay higher fees than in-state
illegal immigrants and will be seeking damages. Redwood City
attorney Michael Brady told The Associated Press, "The class
becomes bigger each year because each year thousands of law-
abiding freshmen enter our system."

At issue is a federal law the plaintiffs claim specifically bars
states from offering benefits to illegal immigrants without also
making them available to U.S. citizens. California is one of
nine states with such laws. A lawsuit filed in federal court in
Kansas challenging that state's law was dismissed, but is being
appealed.

But spokespeople for the California's largest public
universities told The Associated Press that they believe they
are complying with federal and state laws. University of
California spokeswoman Ravi Poorsina also told The Associated
Press that about 70 percent of the UC students who benefit from
the California law are American citizens in unique
circumstances, such as those who attended boarding school in
California despite having a legal address in another state.

According to her, 1,339 of the system's roughly 208,000 students
received the fee break in 2004-05. Ms. Poorsina adds, "When we
adopted the policy, it really had nothing to do with illegal
immigrants. We were conforming the university's policies with
state law."

The California State University system does not record how many
students there are using the law to save the $10,170 a year in
out-of-state fees, according to CSU spokeswoman Clara Potes-
Fellow. She told The Associated Press, "Part of the law is that
this is confidential, so we don't gather names, we don't gather
numbers."

To qualify for the in-state rate, students must have attended a
California high school for at least three years, must graduate
from a California high school and must sign an affidavit
declaring that they will seek to become legal residents as soon
as it is feasible.

Suzanne Kattija-Ari, 23, a University of California-Davis
veterinary student from Hawaii whose father immigrated from
Thailand in the 1970s, told The Associated Press that the fee
break is unfair to those who follow the law but end up paying
more than their illegal counterparts. She said that she has had
to work several part-time jobs and take out student loans to pay
her high out-of-state fees. She also told The Associated Press,
"It's not so much that they got this benefit and we didn't, it's
just the unfairness of it. They're 18 now. They should do the
right thing, apply for citizenship."

The lawsuit was sparked when former Rep. Brian Bilbray, R-San
Diego, discovered that his children would have to pay more than
$2,000 to attend community college after attending private
school in Virginia.

Olgalilia Ramirez, 23, and several other students protested the
lawsuit at the plaintiffs' recent press conference on the
Capital steps. A sociology student at Sacramento State
University, Ms. Ramirez told The Associated Press that she is a
citizen, but some immigrant members of her family have benefited
from the fee discount. "Undocumented out-of-state students still
pay the higher rate. This is solely in support of California
residents. They pay taxes here their parents pay taxes." She
pointed out that most undocumented immigrants want to become
American citizens, but it is a costly and lengthy process, and
students don't usually have the money to pay for it.

Asked for comment by The Associated Press, former Assemblyman
Marco Firebaugh, D-South Gate, who wrote the California law, did
not return a phone call to his Los Angeles office.


CATERPILLAR INC.: Recalls Diesel Engines Due to VAA Line Wear
-------------------------------------------------------------
Caterpillar, Inc. in cooperation with the National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration's Office of Defects Investigation
(ODI) is voluntarily recalling about 55,794 units of 2004-2005
CATERPILLAR / C15 diesel engines due to crash hazard. NHTSA
CAMPAIGN ID Number: 05E078000.

According to the ODI, certain 2004 and 2005 C15 diesel engines
manufactured by Caterpillar between October 2003 and April 2005.
The Variable Valve Actuation (VVA) oil line (VVA line) used iron
6-cylinder, 15L turbocharged and air to air aftercooled diesel
engines of 435-550 horsepower may wear against the sharp edge of
the cylinder head if not oriented correctly. The manufacturer
has not yet provided the agency with a description of the
consequence.

As a remedy, dealers will inspect and add a second clip to
retain the VVA line if VAA line wear is noted during inspection.
The manufacturer has not yet provided the agency with a
notification schedule.

For more details, contact the NHTSA Auto Safety Hotline:
1-888-327-4236 or 1-800-424-9153, Web site:
http://www.safecar.gov.


CERIDIAN CORPORATION: Continues To Face Consolidated Suit in MN
---------------------------------------------------------------
Ceridian Corporation and certain of its executive officers
continue face a consolidated securities class action filed in
the United States District Court, District of Minnesota.  Six
suits were initially filed, styled:

     (1) Edmund Biancarelli v. Ceridian Corp., et al.,

     (2) Garco Investments v. Ceridian Corp., et al.,

     (3) Ellen Lear v. Ceridian Corp., et al.,

     (4) Bruce Valentine Mickan v. Ceridian Corp., et al.,

     (5) Richard Shaller v. Ceridian Corp., et al.,

     (6) Sharon Zaks v. Ceridian Corp., et al.

The complaints for these actions are virtually identical.  These
actions purport to be class actions filed on behalf of all
persons who purchased or otherwise acquired common stock of the
company between April 17, 2003 through and including July 19,
2004, and allege claims against the company and certain of its
officers under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934.  Plaintiffs challenge the accuracy of
certain public disclosures made by Ceridian regarding its
financial performance, and in particular Ceridian's accounting
for revenue at its Stored Value Systems business unit and
accounting for capitalization and expensing of certain costs in
Ceridian's U.S. Human Resource Solutions business.

The suit is styled In Re: Ceridian Corp Securities Litigation,
et al v. et al, case no. 0:97-cv-02044-MJD-JGL," filed in the
United States District Court in Minnesota under Judge Michael J.
Davis.

Representing the Company are:

     (1) Craig W. Gagnon, Michael E. Keyes, Oppenheimer Wolff &
         Donnelly LLP, 3300 Plz VII Bldg, 45 S 7th St Ste 3300,
         Mpls, MN 55402, Phone: (612) 607-7000, Fax: 612-607-
         7100, E-mail: cgagnon@oppenheimer.com or
         mkeyes@oppenheimer.com

     (2) Gregory Paul Joseph, Joseph Law Office, 805 3rd Ave
         31st Fl, New York, NY 10022, Phone: 212-407-1200, Fax:
         1-212-407-1280 (fax), E-mail: gjoseph@josephnyc.com

     (3) Amy J. Longo, O'Melveny & Myers, 610 Newport Center Dt
         17th Fl, Newport Beach, CA 92660, Phone: 949-760-9600,
         Fax: 1-949-823-6994

     (4) Ann Curme Shaw, Ceridian Corp, 3311 E Old Shakopee Rd
         Mpls, MN 55425, Phone: 952-853-4210, Fax: 952-853-3413,
         E-mail: ann.c.shaw@ceridian.com

The plaintiff firms in this litigation are:

     (1) Chestnut & Cambronne, P.A., 3700 Piper Jaffray Tower,
         222 South Ninth Street, Minneapolis, MN, 55402, Phone:
         612.339.730,

     (2) Lockridge, Grindal, Nauen P.L.L.P., Suite 301, 660
         Pennsylvania Avenue Southeast, Washington, DC, 20003-
         4335, Phone: 202.544.9840, Fax: 202.544.9850,

     (3) Milberg, Weiss, Bershad, Hynes & Lerach, LLP (S.F.,
         CA), 100 Pine Street - Suite 2600, San Francisco, CA,
         94111, Phone: 415.288.4545, Fax: 415.288.4534,

     (4) Milberg, Weiss, Bershad, Hynes & Lerach LLP (San Diego,
         CA), 600 West Broadway, 1800 One America Plaza, San
         Diego, CA, 92101, Phone: 800.449.4900, E-mail:
         support@milberg.com

     (5) Savett Frutkin Podell & Ryan, P.C., Philadelphia, PA,
         Phone: 800.993.3233, E-mail: sfprpc@op.net


CROSS COUNTRY: Employees Wage Lawsuit Still Pending in CA Court
---------------------------------------------------------------
Cross County TravCorps, Inc. continues to face a purported class
action captioned "Theodora Cossack, et. al. v. Cross Country
TravCorps, Inc. and Cross Country Nurses, Inc.," filed pending
in the Superior Court of the State of California, Orange County.  
The suit alleges, among other things, that the defendants failed
to pay plaintiffs, and the class they purport to represent,
properly under California law.

On August 26, 2003, Theodora Cossack and Barry S. Phillips,
C.P.A., filed suit, pleading causes of action for:

     (1) Violation of California Business and Professions Code
         Section 17200, et. seq;

     (2) Violations of California Labor Code Section 200, et.
         seq;

     (3) Recovery of Unpaid Wages and Penalties;

     (4) Conversion;

     (5) Breach of Contract;

     (6) Common Counts - Work, Labor, Services Provided; and

     (7) Common Counts - Money Had and Received

Plaintiffs, who purport to sue on behalf of themselves and all
others similarly situated, allege that Defendants failed to pay
plaintiffs, and the class they purport to represent, properly
under California law.  Plaintiffs claim that defendants failed
to:

     (i) pay nurses hourly overtime as required by California
         law;

    (ii) failed to calculate correctly their employees' regular
         rate of pay used to calculate the rate at which
         overtime hours are to be compensated;

   (iii) failed to calculate correctly and pay a double time
         premium for all hours worked in excess of 12 in a
         workday;

    (iv) scheduled some of its employees on an alternative
         workweek schedule, but failed to pay them additional
         compensation when those employees did not work such
         alternative workweek, as scheduled;

     (v) failed to pay for missed meal and rest breaks; and

    (vi) failed to pay employees for the minimum hours
         defendants had promised them.

Plaintiffs seek (among other things) an order enjoining
defendants from engaging in the practices challenged in the
complaint, for an order for full restitution of all monies
Defendants allegedly failed to pay Plaintiffs (and their
purported class), for pre-judgment interest, for certain
penalties provided for by the California Labor Code, and for
attorneys' fees and costs.


CROSS COUNTRY: Faces FLSA Violations, Unfair Trade Lawsuit in CA
----------------------------------------------------------------
Cross Country Healthcare, Inc., its MedStaff subsidiary, and a
number of its individual officers and managers face a purported
class action lawsuit filed on June 21, 2005 in the United States
District Court for the Central District of California in Orange
County.

The lawsuit relates only to corporate employees purportedly
employed by the Company and/or MedStaff, but based on its
allegations appears to be limited to MedStaff corporate
employees. It alleges, among other things, violations of certain
sections of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, the California
Labor Code, the California Business and Professions Code, as
well as claims for breach of contract, unjust enrichment and the
recovery of unpaid wages and penalties.

Plaintiff, Darrelyn Renee Henry, who purports to sue on behalf
of herself and all other similarly situated employees, purport
to encompass a nationwide (rather than a California only)
putative class of employees.  Ms. Henry alleges that the Company
and/or MedStaff failed, under both federal and California law,
to timely and properly compensate employees for all hours worked
(including overtime) and to provide at least the minimum amount
of compensation required for those hours.  She also alleges that
the Company and/or MedStaff failed, under California law only,
to provide meal periods and to pay for those missed meal
periods, suffered employees to work in excess of 16 hours per
day, and breached employment contracts as to the terms of
compensation for all hours worked and the provision of
compensated meal and rest periods. Plaintiffs seek, among other
things, an order enjoining the Company and MedStaff from
engaging in the practices challenged in the complaint, an order
for full restitution of all monies the Company and/or MedStaff
allegedly failed to pay plaintiffs and their purported class,
interest, liquidated damages as provided for by the Fair Labor
Standards Act, penalties as provided for by the California Labor
Code, an equitable accounting and attorneys' fees and costs.

The suit is styled "Darrelyn Henry et al v. Med-Staff et al.,
case no. 8:05-cv-00603-DOC-AN," filed in the United States
District Court for the Northern District of California, under
Judge David O. Carter.  Representing the Company are Enzo Der
Boghossian, Kathleen Frances Paterno, Arthur F. Silbergeld, and
Michael H. Weiss of Proskauer Rose, 2049 Century Park East, 32nd
Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90067-3206, 310-557-2900, Phone:
asilbergeld@proskauer.com or mweiss@proskauer.com.   
Representing the plaintiffs are Henry Hwang, Gregory G.
Petersen, Castle Petersen & Krause, 4675 MacArthur Court, Suite
1250, Newport Beach, CA 92660, Phone: 949-417-5600 E-mail:
atty@cpk-law.com.


CROSS COUNTRY: Overtime Wage Suit v. MedStaff Unit Pending in CA
----------------------------------------------------------------
Cross Country Healthcare Inc.'s MedStaff subsidiary continues to
face a purported class action lawsuit filed on February 18, 2005
in the Superior Court of California in Riverside County.  The
lawsuit only relates to MedStaff corporate employees.

The suit alleges, among other things, violations of certain
sections of the California Labor Code, the California Business
and Professions Code, and recovery of unpaid wages and
penalties.  MedStaff currently has less than 50 corporate
employees in California.  The plaintiffs, Maureen Petray and
Carina Higareda purport to sue on behalf of themselves and all
others similarly situated, allege that MedStaff:

     (1) failed, under California law, to provide meal period
         and rest breaks and pay for those missed meal periods
         and rest breaks;

     (2) failed to compensate the employees for all hours
         worked;

     (3) failed to compensate the employees for working
         overtime; and

     (4) failed to keep appropriate records to keep track of
         time worked

Plaintiffs seek, among other things, an order enjoining MedStaff
from engaging in the practices challenged in the complaint; for
an order for full restitution of all monies MedStaff allegedly
failed to pay plaintiffs and their purported class; for
interest; for certain penalties provided for by the California
Labor Code; and for attorneys' fees and costs. The lawsuit is in
its very early stages and has not yet been certified by the
court as a class action.


DAIMLERCHRYSLER CORP: Recalls 16,317 SUVs Due to Crash Hazard  
-------------------------------------------------------------
DaimlerChrysler Corporation in cooperation with the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Office of Defects
Investigation (ODI) is voluntarily recalling about 16,317 units
of 2006 DODGE / DURANGO sports utility vehicles (SUVs) due to
crash hazard. NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 05V554000.

According to the ODI, on certain SUVs with anti-lock brake
system (ABS), the ABS control module software program may cause
the rear brakes to lock up during certain braking conditions.
This could result in a loss of vehicle control and a crash could
occur without warning.

As a remedy, dealers will reprogram the ABS control module. The
recall is expected to begin on December 12, 2005.

For more details, contact DAIMLERCHRYSLER, Phone: 1-800-853-1403
OR the NHTSA Auto Safety Hotline: 1-888-327-4236 or
1-800-424-9153, Web site: http://www.safecar.gov.


DIGITAS INC.: NY Court Preliminarily Approves Lawsuit Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York granted preliminary approval to the settlement of the
consolidated securities class action filed against Digitas,
Inc., several of its officers and directors and five
underwriters of its initial public offering (IPO).

Between June 26, 2001 and August 16, 2001, several stockholder
class action complaints were filed on behalf of purchasers of
the Company's common stock since March 13, 2000, the date of the
Offering.  The plaintiffs allege, among other things, that the
Company's prospectus, incorporated in the Registration Statement
on Form S-1 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission,
was materially false and misleading because it failed to
disclose that the underwriters had engaged in conduct designed
to result in undisclosed and excessive underwriters'
compensation in the form of increased brokerage commissions and
also that this alleged conduct of the underwriters artificially
inflated the Company's stock price in the period after the
Offering.  The plaintiffs claimed violations of Section 11 of
the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder by
the Securities and Exchange Commission and seek, among other
things, damages, statutory compensation and costs of litigation.

Effective October 9, 2002, the claims against the Company's
officers and directors were dismissed without prejudice.  
Effective February 19, 2003, the Section 10(b) claims against
the Company were dismissed.  The terms of a settlement have been
tentatively reached between the plaintiffs in the suits and most
of the defendants, including the Company, with respect
to the remaining claims.  If completed and if then approved by
the court, the settlement would dismiss those claims against the
Company and is expected to result in no material liability to
it.  

The suit is styled "In Re Digitas, Inc. Initial Public Offering
Securities Litigation, 01 Civ. 5948 (Sas) (Mgc)," pending in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York, under Judge Shira N. Scheindlin, related to the "IN RE
INITIAL PUBLIC OFFERING SECURITIES LITIGATION, Master File No.
21 MC 92 (SAS)."  For more information, please visit
http://securities.stanford.edu/1018/DTAS01/20020419_r01c_015948.
pdf.  The members of the plaintiff's executive committee are:

     (1) Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz LLP (New York, NY), Mail:
         10 E. 40th Street, 22nd Floor, New York, NY, 10016,
         Phone: 800.217.1522, E-mail: info@bernlieb.com,

     (2) Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach, LLP (New York,
         NY), Mail: One Pennsylvania Plaza, New York, NY, 10119-
         1065, Phone: 212.594.5300,

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

     (4) Sirota & Sirota, LLP, Mail: 110 Wall Street 21st Floor,
         New York, NY, 10005, Phone: 888.759.2990, Fax:
         212.425.9093, E-mail: Info@SirotaLaw.com,

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

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


FRIEDMAN BILLINGS: Continue To Face Investor Fraud Suits in NY
--------------------------------------------------------------
Friedman Billings Ramsey Group, Inc. and certain of its current
and former senior officers and directors continue to face a
series of putative class action securities lawsuits filed in the
second quarter of 2005, all of which are pending in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The complaints in these actions are brought under various
sections of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and
allege misstatements and omissions concerning the investigation
conducted by the staff of the Division of Enforcement (SEC
staff) of the Securities and Exchange Commission (Commission)
and the staff of the Department of Market Regulation of NASD
(NASD staff), concerning insider trading and other charges
related to the Company's trading in a company account and the
offering of a private investment in public equity on behalf of
CompuDyne, Inc. in October 2001.  The suits also allege
misstatements and omissions with regard to the Company's
expected earnings, including the potential adverse impact on the
Company of changes in interest rates.

The first identified complaint in the litigation is "Brian T.
Weiss, et al. v. Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group, Inc., et al.,
case no. 05-CV-04617," filed in the United States District Court
for the Southern District of New York.  The plaintiff firms in
this litigation are:

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

     (2) 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) Dyer & Shuman, LLP, 801 E. 17th Avenue, Denver, CO,
         80218-1417, Phone: 303.861.3003, Fax: 800.711.6483, E-
         mail: info@dyershuman.com

     (4) Glancy Binkow & Goldberg LLP (NY), 1501 Broadway, Suite
         1416, New York, NY, 10036, Phone: (917) 510-000, Fax:
         (646) 366-089, E-mail: info@glancylaw.com

     (5) Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins
         (Melville), 200 Broadhollow, Suite 406, Melville, NY,
         11747, Phone: 631.367.7100, Fax: 631.367.1173, E-mail:
         info@lerachlaw.com

     (6) 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

     (7) 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

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

     (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) Scott & Scott LLC, P.O. Box 192, 108 Norwich Avenue,
         Colchester, CT, 06415, Phone: 860.537.5537, Fax:
         860.537.4432, E-mail: scottlaw@scott-scott.com

    (11) Seeger Weiss LLP (New York), One William Street, New
         York, NY, 10004, Phone: 212.584.0700, E-mail:
         info@seegerweiss.com

    (12) Strauss & Troy, The Federal Reserve Building, 150 East
         Fourth Street, Cincinnati, OH, 45202-4018, Phone:
         513.621.2120, Fax: 513.241.8250, E-mail:
         wlwoods@strauss-troy.com

    (13) 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

    (14) Wolf Popper, LLP, 845 Third Avenue, New York, NY,
         10022-6689, Phone: 877.370.7703, Fax: 212.486.2093, E-
         mail: IRRep@wolfpopper.com  


GENERAL ELECTRIC: Settles Suit in FL Over Faulty Refrigerators
--------------------------------------------------------------
A nationwide lawsuit against General Electric Co. (NYSE:GE) that
started in Southwest Florida was recently concluded with GE
agreeing to replace thousands of faulty refrigerators or
reimburse its customers, The News-Press reports.

Asked for comment regarding the agreement, William Turner, the
77-year-old Naples resident who filed the class action lawsuit
back in April, told The News-Press that he got what he wanted in
the proposed settlement. Mr. Turner, who worked in television
news for 50 years, "It was about principle. People had
refrigerators that were not functioning properly and if no one
stepped to the plate, I felt it was important that somebody
file" a lawsuit.

Mr. Turner filed the suit on his own behalf and on behalf of a
class of persons in the State of Florida who purchased and/or
own the makes and models of Refrigerator manufactured, marketed,
advertised, warranted and/or sold by GE, under the "General
Electric" and "Hotpoint" brands, an earlier Class Action
Reporter story (July 26, 2005) reports.

The suit asserts breach of express warranty and implied warranty
of merchantability, unjust enrichment/restitution and negligence
in connection with the defective refrigerators. The suit alleges
that the Company designed, manufactured, marketed, advertised,
warranted and/or sold to Plaintiff and the Class the
refrigerators. In conjunction with each sale, the Company
marketed, advertised and warranted that each refrigerator was
fit for the ordinary purpose for which such goods were used and
was free from defects in materials and workmanship, the suit
states, an earlier Class Action Reporter story (July 26, 2005)
reports.

The suit further alleged that the Company knew or should have
known that the refrigerators were defective in design, were not
fit for their ordinary and intended use, and did not perform in
accordance with the advertisements, marketing materials and
warranties disseminated by the Company nor with the reasonable
expectations of ordinary consumers, an earlier Class Action
Reporter story (July 26, 2005) reports.

The suit specifically alleges that at the time of sale, the
refrigerators contained a defect that results in the formation
of excessive moisture, especially in the icemaker compartment,
which causes, among other things, development of iron oxide or
rust, puddling on the floor beneath the refrigerator and rust or
water running down the side of the refrigerator. The defect in
the refrigerators also caused the formation of metal shavings
and shards of plastic, which are frequently found in the ice
created in the freezer section of the refrigerators. In
addition, the defect causes the refrigerators to suffer from
wavering temperature controls and excessive frost. "The defect
reduces the effectiveness and performance of the Refrigerators
and renders them unable to perform the ordinary purposes for
which they are used," the suit alleged, an earlier Class Action
Reporter story (July 26, 2005) reports.

For example, in many instances, the suit states that the members
of the class experienced food spoiling resulting from the
refrigerator's failure to maintain proper temperatures.  The
defect also causes water damage and other property damage to the
floor and/or walls in the area(s) where the refrigerators are
located, an earlier Class Action Reporter story (July 26, 2005)
reports.

The suit further stated that the Company knew and has admitted
that the Refrigerators were defectively designed, and that it
instituted a program whereby it will, under certain
circumstances, replaces the refrigerators with non-defective
refrigerators. However, the suit asserts the replacement program
is inadequate, an earlier Class Action Reporter story (July 26,
2005) reports.

According to the suit, the Company did not publicize it to all
persons who purchased the refrigerators. In addition, "GE will
only replace a Refrigerator under certain limited circumstances.
And, there is no indication that GE will reimburse consumers who
have paid for repairs to their Refrigerator, nor is there any
indication that GE will reimburse consumers who have paid to
replace their defective Refrigerator," the suit states, an
earlier Class Action Reporter story (July 26, 2005) reports.

The suit specifically affected GE and Hotpoint 20-, 22- and 25-
cubic-foot refrigerators. It was amended three times since it
was filed, and it now includes more than 300 refrigerator
models. "Consumers screamed and GE heard them," according to
Scott Weinstein, who represented Mr. Turner in the class action
suit.

Kim Freeman, a spokeswoman with GE, did not provide an estimate
on how much Mr. Turner's lawsuit will cost GE. She only told The
News-Press, "That information is proprietary, but we'll spend
whatever it costs to take care of our customers."

Under the suit, GE must:

     (1) Reimburse owners for moisture-related service calls;

     (2) Give owners an additional year of warranty protection
         from the time the court gives the settlement a
         preliminary approval, possibly in January

     (3) Or replace refrigerators that have required three
         unsuccessful repair attempts.

With regards to residents who got tired of problems with their
refrigerators, even after three service calls, and decided to
buy a new one, GE has agreed to refund the cost of the faulty
refrigerator. GE tried to fix the problem after hearing about it
this spring, creating a hot line to expedite service calls.

The suit is styled "WILLIAM F. TURNER, on behalf of himself and
all others similarly situated, Plaintiff, v. GENERAL ELECTRIC
CO., Case No. 2:05-CV-186-FtM-33 DNF," filed in the United
States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Fort
Myers Division. Representing the plaintiff are:

     (1) William M. Audet of Alexander Hawes & Audet, L.L.P.,
         300 Montgomery St., Suite 400, San Francisco, CA 94104,
         Phone: 415/921-1776, Fax: 415/576-1776;

     (2) Alexander E. Barnett of The Mason Law Firm, P.C., P.O.
         Box 230758, 144 West 72nd St., #3D, New York, NY 10023,
         US, Phone: 202/408-4600, E-mail:
         abarnett@masonlawdc.com;

     (3) Gary E. Mason of The Mason Law Firm, P.C., 1225 19th
         St., N.W., Suite 500, Washington, DC 20036, US, Phone:
         202/429-2290, Fax: 202/429-2294, E-mail:
         gmason@masonlawdc.com;

     (4) Jordan Lucas Chaikin and Scott Wm. Weinstein of
         Weinstein, Bavly & Moon, P.A., 2400 First St., Suite
         303, Ft. Myers, FL 33901, Phone: 239/334-8844, Fax:
         239/334-1289, E-mail: jordan@weinsteinlawfirm.com and
         scott@weinsteinlawfirm.com; and

     (5) Jonathan W. Cuneo and Charles J. LaDuca of Cuneo
         Gilbert & LaDuca, 507 C. St., NE, Washington, DC 20002,
         Phone: 202/789-3960, Fax: 202/789-1813, E-mail:
         jonc@cuneolaw.com and charlesl@cuneolaw.com.

Representing the Defendant is Charles Wachter of Fowler White
Boggs Banker, P.A., 501 E. Kennedy Blvd. Suite 1700, P.O. Box
1438, Tampa, FL 33601-1438, Phone: 813/228-7411 ext. 1136, Fax:
813/229-6679, E-mail: cwachter@fowlerwhite.com.


GURI IMPORT: Couple Files Suit Over Baby Food Containing Cadmium
----------------------------------------------------------------
Daniel and Rina Solomon initiated a lawsuit against Guri Import
and Distribution, the Israeli importer of Gerber baby food,
asking the Tel Aviv District Court to recognize the petition as
an estimated $13.1 million (NIS 60 million) class action, The
Haaretz reports.

The suit was launched following the Health Ministry's recent
decision to order the removal of Gerber carrots from the
shelves, since it was found to contain 40 times more cadmium
than ministry standards allow.

The couple asked for only $65.4387 (NIS 300) in compensation, or
about twice what they spend on Gerber baby food per year, to
cover both the cost of their now useless purchases as well as
pain and suffering. However, according to them, some 200,000
families are in the same situation, meaning that if the suit
were recognized as a class action, it would cost Guri some $13.1
million (NIS 60 million).

Additionally, the suit is asking that the lawyer who filed it,
Dotan Lindenberg, be recognized as the attorney for the entire
class action, and that his fee be set at least 15 percent of the
final award. At that rate, his fee on an award of $13.1 million
(NIS 60 million) would come to $1.96 million (NIS 9 million).


ILLINOIS: CPD Faces Federal Suit Over Witness Interview Policies
----------------------------------------------------------------
The University of Chicago's MacArthur Justice Center and Mandel
Legal Aid Clinic filed a class action lawsuit in April 2005,
against the Chicago Police Department (CPD) over its witness
interview policies, which have been called unconstitutional in
the on-going legal action, The Medill News Service reports.

The suit was filed on behalf of witnesses to crimes who say that
they were detained and held in interview rooms against their
will, sometimes for days. The witnesses are seeking damages for
violation of their constitutional rights.

By law, witnesses in Illinois, unlike crime suspects, can be
denied access to an attorney during police questioning. In court
testimony in October 2005, former Chief of Detectives James J.
Molloy told the court that even if witnesses are interviewed in
locked rooms, they are free to leave whenever they like. But
detectives are not required to inform them of this right, and
standard practice has been to discourage witnesses from leaving.

Detective Molloy also defended the practice of isolating
witnesses, including keeping them away from family members and
lawyers. He said it protects witnesses from outside influences
and intimidation. In addition, he also testified that it is not
uncommon for witnesses to remain in locked rooms for more than
24 hours. But witnesses are only held longer than 72 hours in
very rare cases, he added.

Aside from seeking damages, lawyers for the witnesses also had
sought a preliminary injunction that would have stopped police
from detaining witnesses while the lawsuit unfolds. However, On
November 14, 2005, U. S. District Judge James F. Holderman
denied that request because he said the new policy proposed by
the police would suffice. Under that policy, detectives must
tell witnesses that they can leave during questioning.

Judge Holderman wrote in his opinion, "If a witness understands
that he or she is free to leave there is no constitutional
violation in holding the witness in a locked interview room for
long periods of time."

While the witnesses' lawyers are pleased the police are making
strides toward reform, they are still pursuing their case. "We
don't think this is enough," attorney Locke Bowman told The
Medill News Service. He pointed out, "Actions speak louder than
words."

The suit is styled, Ayala v. City Of Chicago et al, Case No.
1:05-cv-01967," filed in the United States District Court for
the Northern District of Illinois, under Judge James F.
Holderman with referral to Judge Michael T. Mason. Representing
the Plaintiff/s are, Locke E. Bowman, III of MacArthur Justice
Center, 1111 East 60th St., Chicago, IL 60637, Phone:
(773) 702-0349, E-mail: locke_bowman@law.uchicago.edu; and Craig
Benson Futterman and H. Melissa Mather of Mandel Legal Aid
Clinic, University of Chicago Law School, 6020 South University
Ave., Chicago, IL 60637, Phone: (312) 702-9611, E-mail:
futterman@uchicago.edu and mmather@uchicago.edu. Representing
the Defendant/s are, Sara L. Ellis, George John Yamin, Jr.,
Catherine M. Kelly and Mara Stacy Georges of the City of
Chicago, Department of Law - Police Policy Litigation, 30 North
LaSalle St., Suite 900, Chicago, IL 60602, Phone:
(312) 744-6919, (312) 744-9010, (312) 744-1566 and
(312) 744-2002, Fax: (312) 744-6912, E-mail:
sara.ellis@cityofchicago.org, gyamin@cityofchicago.org and
catherine.kelly@cityofchicago.org.


INSTINET GROUP: DE Court Approves Investor Fraud Suit Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Delaware Court of Chancery in and for New Castle County
approved the settlement of the consolidated class action filed
against Instinet Group, Inc., each of its directors and Reuters.

In April and May 2005, four suits were initially filed.  The
plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed one of the lawsuits. The
remaining lawsuits, styled "Donovan Spamer, et al. v. Instinet
Group, Inc., et al. (Filing ID 5675328; filed on April 22,
2005)," "Caroline Weisz, et al. v. Instinet Group, Inc., et al.
(Filing ID 5773404; filed on May 9, 2005)" and "Dr. Lee J.
Pittman, et al. v. Instinet Group Inc., et al. (Filing ID
5773404; filed May 9, 2005)" were filed on behalf of all
stockholders other than the defendants and were consolidated
under the caption "In re Instinet Group, Inc. Shareholders
Litigation, Civil Action No. 1289-N)."

On June 22, 2005, plaintiffs, through their counsel, filed a
consolidated amended complaint. The consolidated action is being
brought on behalf of a putative class consisting of stockholders
of the company who are not affiliated with the defendants.  The
amended complaint alleges, among other things, that defendants
breached their fiduciary duties as to the Company's public
stockholders in connection with the proposed merger by approving
the transaction at an allegedly unfair and inadequate price. The
amended complaint seeks, among other things, class action
status, an injunction against consummation of the merger,
invalidation of certain provisions of the merger agreement,
damages in an unspecified amount, rescission in the event the
merger is consummated and attorney's fees.

Plaintiffs filed for expedited proceedings, which the Court
granted on June 29, 2005.  On September 9, 2005, the parties
entered into a proposed settlement of the action pursuant to a
Stipulation and Agreement of Compromise, Settlement and Release.
Pursuant to the proposed settlement:

     (1) Instinet revised the definitive proxy statement to
         include certain disclosures that have been agreed upon
         and reviewed by plaintiffs;

     (2) Nasdaq and Instinet agreed to reduce by 15%, from
         $66,500,000 to $56,525,000, the break-up fee that
         Instinet would pay to Nasdaq under certain conditions
         pursuant to Section 8.6(a) of the merger agreement; and

     (3) Nasdaq agreed to waive, with respect to members of the
         purported plaintiff class only, the provisions of the
         merger agreement pursuant to which the aggregate merger
         consideration was to have been reduced by up to $2.5
         million based on the total amount of certain of the
         Company's transaction liabilities, the net effect of
         which is an increase of approximately $0.007 per share
         (or approximately $1.0 million in the aggregate) in the
         merger consideration that will be received by Instinet
         stockholders other than the defendants

On September 16, 2005, the Company mailed a notice of settlement
to its stockholders.  On October 25, 2005, the Delaware Court of
Chancery certified the class of Instinet Group shareholders and
approved the proposed settlement as fair and reasonable.  
Separately, on November 30, 2005, the Court held a hearing to
consider plaintiffs' counsel's application for an award of
attorneys' fees and reimbursement of expenses. The settlement is
still subject to the entry of a final and non-appealable
judgment dismissing the consolidated action with prejudice and
the delivery of appropriate releases.


INTRALASE CORPORATION: Opthalmologist Files TCPA Lawsuit in NY
--------------------------------------------------------------
Intralase Corporation faces a class action filed in the United
States District Court for the Eastern District of New York,
alleging that the Company violated the Telephone Consumer
Protection Act (TCPA) by sending unsolicited fax advertisements
in violation of the TCPA.

Ari Weitzner M.D., P.C., a Brooklyn ophthalmologist, filed the
suit on May 24,2005, seeking statutory damages, costs and
attorneys fees. The TCPA provides for statutory damages of $500
per violation ($1,500 if knowing and willful).

The suit is styled "Weitzner v. Intralase Corp., Case no. 1:05-
cv-02529-NGG-KAM," filed in the United States District Court for
the Eastern District of New York, under Judge Nicholas G.
Garaufis.  Representing the Company is Glenn Charles Colton and
Randollph Gaw of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, 12 E. 49th
Street, 30th Floor, New York, NY 10017, Phone: 212-999-5800,
Fax: 212-999-5899, E-mail: gcolton@wsgr.com.  Representing the
plaintiff is Todd C. Bank, Law Office of Todd C. Bank, 119-40
Union Pike, Fourth Floor, Kew Gardens, NY 11415, Phone:
718-520-7125, E-mail: TBLaw101@aol.com.


K-MART CORPORATION: Madison County Court to Hear 52-Cent Lawsuit  
----------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit over a 52-cent balance on a gift card
will be in court December 21, 2005, on a motion to dismiss and
case management conference, The Madison County Record reports.

K-Mart Corporation, which was sued by Ashley Peach of Granite
City because the store did not refund a gift card balance in
cash, will make its case before Judge Nicholas Byron of the
Madison County Circuit Court in Illinois.

In its motion to dismiss, K-Mart claims, "Plaintiff's entire
complaint should be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted." K-Mart, represented by Louis
Bonacorsi and Jennifer Kingston of Bryan Cave LLP in St. Louis,
claims that Ms. Peach did not state any facts establishing that
the store engaged in any unfair act or practice. K-Mart's legal
team will also argue that Ms. Peach cannot prove she suffered
actual damages.

Represented by the Wood River-based Lakin Law Firm, Ms. Peach is
seeking real and punitive damages in the case not to exceed
$75,000.

"The gift card was bought for the express purpose of purchasing
K-Mart inventory and it cannot now be transformed into a right
to collect cash," K-mart claims. "Peach has not-and cannot-
allege that she is unable to use the remaining balance on her
gift card," they further argue.

According to Ms. Peach's attorney Jeffery Millar, K-Mart
"wrongfully and without (her) authorization assumed control,
dominion, and ownership over that remaining balance." Ms. Peach
also accuses K-Mart of unfairly charging a $2.10 "service fee"
on gift cards that go unused for two years. In her complaint,
she claims that K-Mart's ulterior motive of this fee is to
reduce card account balances to zero.

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

The motion to dismiss has been pending for nearly seven months.
In August, Mr. Millar filed his response to K-mart's motion, but
did so under seal after Judge Byron granted his motion for a
protective order.


LEAPFROG ENTERPRISES: CA Securities Suits Consolidation Sought
--------------------------------------------------------------
Lead plaintiffs file new lead plaintiff motions in the
consolidated securities class action filed against LeapFrog
Enterprises, Inc. and certain of its current and former officers
and directors in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of California.

On December 2, 2003, a class action complaint entitled "Miller
v. LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc., et al., No. 03-5421 RMW," was
filed against the Company and certain of its current and former
officers and directors.  Subsequently, three similar actions
were filed in the same court:

     (1) Weil v. LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc., et al., No. 03-5481
         MJJ;

     (2) Abrams v. LeapFrog Enterprises Inc., et al., No. 03-
         5486 MJJ; and

     (3) Ornelas v. LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc., et al., No. 03-
         5593 SBA.

On March 31, 2005, the Court entered an order consolidating
these actions, appointing lead plaintiffs, and appointing lead
class counsel.

On April 25, 2005, another class action complaint entitled "The
Parnassus Fund et al. v. LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc., et al.,
Case No. 05-01695 JSW," was filed in the same court against the
Company, its current chief executive officer and former chief
financial officer.  On June 3, 2005, a nearly identical class
action complaint captioned "Fredde Gentry et al. v. LeapFrog
Enterprises, Inc. et al.," No. 05-02279 MJJ," was filed in the
same court.

Both the Parnassus and Gentry complaints purport to be class
actions brought on behalf of persons who acquired Company
securities during the period of February 11, 2004 through
October 18, 2004. The complaints alleges violations of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and claim that the defendants
caused the Company to make false and misleading statements about
its business, operations, management and value of its common
stock, which allowed insiders to sell the Company's common stock
at artificially inflated prices and caused plaintiffs to
purchase the Company's common stock at artificially inflated
prices. The complaints do not specify the amount of damages
sought.

On June 17, 2005, lead plaintiffs in the class actions that were
consolidated under the March 31, 2005 order filed a consolidated
complaint.  The consolidated complaint alleges that the
defendants caused the Company to make false and misleading
statements about the Company's business and forecasts about the
Company's financial performance, that certain of its individual
officers and directors sold portions of their stock holdings
while in the possession of adverse, non-public information, and
that certain of the Company's financial statements were false
and misleading.  The consolidated complaint now alleges an
expanded class period of July 24, 2003 through October 18, 2004
and seeks unspecified damages.

On May 10, 2005 and June 28, 2005, lead plaintiffs also filed
notices to relate and consolidate the "Parnassus" and "Gentry"
actions, respectively, with the original class actions that had
been consolidated by the order of March 31, 2005.  The
"Parnassus" plaintiffs have moved to consolidate the "Parnassus"
and "Gentry" lawsuits with one another, but opposed the
consolidation of the "Parnassus" and "Gentry" actions with the
other earlier-filed class actions.

On July 5, 2005, the Court entered an order relating the
"Parnassus" action with the cases consolidated under the March
31, 2005 order.  The Court's July 5, 2005 order also requires
that lead plaintiffs provide notice to members of the purported
class concerning the expanded class period of the consolidated
complaint and giving them an opportunity to move to be appointed
lead plaintiff.  On July 27, 2005, the Court entered an order
denying the lead plantiffs' July 8, 2005 motion for
reconsideration of the notice requirement, and relating the
"Gentry" action with the previously related class actions.

On October 3, 2005, in response to the Court's July 5 and 27
orders, the lead plaintiffs, along with the plaintiffs in the
"Parnassus" action, filed new motions to be appointed lead
plaintiff in the consolidated securities class action. These new
lead plaintiff motions were heard on November 18, 2005.  By
stipulation and order, the Company has not yet responded to the
consolidated complaint, the Parnassus complaint, or the Gentry
complaint. Discovery has not commenced and no trial date has
been set.


MAXIM ENTERPRISE: Recalls 12T Learning Cubes For Choking Hazard
---------------------------------------------------------------
In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
(CPSC), Maxim Enterprise Inc. of Lakeville, Massachusetts and
Target of Minneapolis, Minnesota are voluntarily recalling about
12,000 units of Little Tree Mini Learning Cubes.

According to the companies, small wooden pegs in the top corners
of the toy can come loose posing a choking hazard to young
children. Target has received three reports of incidents
including two reports of children mouthing pieces of the
learning cube. In one incident, an 18-month old girl swallowed a
piece of the recalled learning cube after one side came loose.
The piece became stuck and she had to have it removed in a
hospital emergency room. In a second incident, a child started
choking when she put two of the toy's wooden pegs in her mouth.
In the third incident, a consumer reported the wooden pegs
popped out of the learning cube. No injuries were reported in
the third incident

The recalled learning cube is an 8-inch square wooden box with a
different activity on each side, including an abacus, blocks
with apples and bananas, shapes that can be moved in a zigzag
cutout, and a blackboard. The wooden cover has spiral bead maze
with wooden beads that slide up, down and around.

Manufactured in China, the cubes were sold at Target stores
nationwide from June 2005 through November 2005 for about $15.

Remedy: Consumers should immediately take the recalled learning
cube toy away from young children and return it to Target for a
$15 gift card plus applicable state tax.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Target at
(800) 440-0680 between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. CT Monday through
Friday, or visit Target's Web site: http://www.target.com.


MERCK & CO.: Australians Launch Vioxx Suit, Seek Compensation
-------------------------------------------------------------
More than 400 Australians launched a class action for personal
damages from Merck & Co., the manufacturer of the anti-arthritis
drug, Vioxx, ABC Online reports.

Just recently, the drug maker was bombarded with lawsuits from
around the world ever since it pulled the $2.5 billion-a-year
seller Vioxx from the market in September 30, 2004 after an
internal study found it doubled patients' risks of heart attacks
and strokes if taken for 18 months or longer. More than 20
million people took the drug worldwide before its withdrawal, an
earlier Class Action Reporter story (October 4, 2005) reports.

Vioxx is the trade name for rofecoxib, which is part of the
class of drugs called NSAIDs. It was touted as a pain and
inflammation reliever that did not cause ulcers or
gastrointestinal bleeding, a side effect of many such
medications. Merck previously said that it tested Vioxx on
nearly 10,000 patients during clinical trials and pulled the
drug as soon as the danger of its prolonged use became clear, an
earlier Class Action Reporter story (July 13, 2005) reports.

The law firm of Slater and Gordon is bringing the class action
against the American manufacturer of Vioxx and its Australian
subsidiary.

Special counsel Richard Meeran told ABC Online that clients have
a compelling case for compensation. He said, "This drug is a
defective drug - it increases the risk of heart attack and
stroke by a very significant amount." He also told ABC Online,
"It had been marketed and promoted by the company as being safer
than the alternative drug, when in fact the opposite seems to
have been the case."

In addition, Mr. Meeran told ABC Online that there is evidence
the drug's manufacturers knew Vioxx posed a risk. He says,
"Vioxx was recalled last year at the end of September by the
company because the company's own study has shown that users of
Vioxx has a significantly increased rate of cardiovascular
problems." He also told ABC Online, "We're not seeking specific
amounts for any body - as I said the amounts will vary and I
wouldn't want to put figures on the amounts of damages for that
reason because they'll be so variable."


MODEM MEDIA: NY Court Preliminarily Approves Lawsuit Settlement
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York granted preliminary approval to the settlement of the
consolidated securities class action filed against Modem Media,
Inc., certain of its officers and directors and the underwriters
of its initial public offering (IPO).

Beginning in August 2001, several stockholder class action
complaints were filed on behalf of purchasers of Modem’s
common stock since the date of the Company Offering.  The
plaintiffs allege, among other things, that the Company's
prospectus, incorporated in the Registration Statement on Form
S-1 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, was
materially false and misleading because it failed to disclose
that the underwriters had engaged in conduct designed to result
in undisclosed and excessive underwriters' compensation in the
form of increased brokerage commissions and also that this
alleged conduct of the underwriters artificially inflated the
Company's stock price in the period after the Modem Offering.  
The plaintiffs claim violations of Sections 11 and 15 of the
Securities Act of 1933 and Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder by the Securities and Exchange Commission and seek,
among other things, damages, statutory compensation and costs of
litigation.

The suit is styled "In Re Modem Media, Inc. Initial Public
Offering Securities Litigation," pending in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York, under
Judge Shira N. Scheindlin, related to the "IN RE INITIAL PUBLIC
OFFERING SECURITIES LITIGATION, Master File No. 21 MC 92 (SAS)."  
For more information, please visit
http://securities.stanford.edu/1018/DTAS01/20020419_r01c_015948.
pdf.  The members of the plaintiff's executive committee are:

     (1) Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz LLP (New York, NY), Mail:
         10 E. 40th Street, 22nd Floor, New York, NY, 10016,
         Phone: 800.217.1522, E-mail: info@bernlieb.com,

     (2) Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach, LLP (New York,
         NY), Mail: One Pennsylvania Plaza, New York, NY, 10119-
         1065, Phone: 212.594.5300,

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

     (4) Sirota & Sirota, LLP, Mail: 110 Wall Street 21st Floor,
         New York, NY, 10005, Phone: 888.759.2990, Fax:
         212.425.9093, E-mail: Info@SirotaLaw.com,

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

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


MONEY FOR LIVING: Retirees Launch Suit V. Recommended Attorneys
---------------------------------------------------------------
Australian retirees who sold their homes to Money for Living,
recently launched a class action in the Supreme Court, accusing
the lawyers recommended by Money for Living of negligence, The
Age reports.

It is the second time in a month that Queens Road law firm
Diakou Faigan, which acted for dozens of retirees, was accused
of negligence and failing in its duty of care after advising
Money for Living clients to sign documents authorizing the sale
of their homes.

Money for Living, which collapsed in September, bought 117 homes
from retirees at heavily discounted prices. The retirees were
paid an initial sum, promised the balance in monthly
installments and guaranteed that they could live in their homes
for the rest of their lives. Money for Living then sold about 80
of the houses to investors. It retained some titles and sold
others to a related company.

Lodged with the Supreme Court by Slater & Gordon, the latest
writ involves 70 retirees who sold properties to the failed
company. These properties were sold to third party investors who
agreed to maintain the monthly payments.

However, according to Slater & Gordon partner Rob Lees, four of
the eight third-party investors had ceased their payments,
effectively leaving the retirees with no income. Mr. Lees told
The Age that this affected about 80 per cent of his clients. He
adds, "At least they can stay in their homes but, at the same
time, the money they were counting on is not going to be coming
through."

The writ alleges that Diakou Faigan failed to advise clients of
the risky nature of the scheme and that the installments were
not secured. It further claims that the firm also failed to
ensure that the clients were protected by caveats on the
properties and by registering tenancy agreements.

Mr. Lees pointed out, "The first substantial point we make is
that the scheme was a very risky one and, really, no prudent
solicitor should have advised a client to go into that scheme at
all." He told The Age, "The scheme depended upon the continuing
financial viability of Money for Living and also on the third-
party investors who bought the properties. When you are talking
about payments that are going to continue not just for a week or
two, but for many, many years, there needs to be very strong and
strict safeguards put in place." He also said that many of the
retirees had received only a couple of monthly installments,
while others had received payments over about six months.

Roy Turnbull of Frankston is one of the retirees in the Slater &
Gordon claim. He sold his two-bedroom home to Money for Living
earlier this year for $150,000. Mr. Turnbull, 80, got an initial
lump sum of $6000 and agreed to get the balance in monthly
installments of $759. He told The Age, "It sounded exactly what
I wanted . and my two daughters spoke to the solicitors and were
assured that everything was OK. The regular money was just
terrific because I had very little money and the pension was not
doing a lot for me." Mr. Turnbull's home of 12 years was sold to
a third-party investor without his knowledge and the monthly
installments ceased in November.


ODYSSEY HEALTHCARE: Asks TX Court To Dismiss Amended Fraud Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Odyssey Healthcare, Inc. asked the United States District Court
for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division to dismiss
the amended consolidated securities class action filed against
it, certain of its current and former Chief Executive Officers
and its current Chief Financial Officer.

Plaintiff Francis Layher filed the first suit, Individually and
On Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated, purportedly on
behalf of all persons who purchased or otherwise acquired the
Company's publicly traded securities between May 5, 2003 and
February 23, 2004.  The complaint alleges violations of Sections
10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule
10b-5 promulgated thereunder.  The plaintiff seeks an order
determining that the action may proceed as a class action,
awarding compensatory damages in favor of the plaintiff and the
other class members in an unspecified amount, and reasonable
costs and expenses incurred in the action, including counsel
fees and expert fees.

Six similar lawsuits were also filed in May and June of 2004 in
the United States District Court for the Northern District of
Texas, Dallas Division, by plaintiffs Kenneth L. Friedman, Trudy
J. Nomm, Eva S. Caldarola, Michael Schaufuss, Duane Liffrig and
G.A. Allsmiller on behalf of the same plaintiff class, making
substantially similar allegations and seeking substantially
similar damages. As of the date of this Form 10-K, the lawsuits
have been transferred to a single judge and consolidated into a
single action. Lead plaintiffs and lead counsel have been
appointed.  The consolidated complaint was filed on December 20,
2004, which, among other things, extended the putative class
period to October 18, 2005.

The Company filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. The District
Court granted the Company's motion to dismiss on September 30,
2005. The District Court also granted lead plaintiffs the right
to amend their complaint. Lead plaintiffs filed an amended
consolidated complaint on October 31, 2005.

The suit is styled "Hanson v. Odyssey Healthcare Inc et al.,
case no. 3:04-cv-02751," filed in the United States District
Court for the Northern District of Texas, under Judge David C.
Godbey.  Representing the plaintiffs is Andrew W. Yung of Scott
Yung, 208 N Market St, Suite 200, Dallas, TX 75202, Phone:
214/220-0422, Fax: 214/220-9932, E-mail: ayung@scottyung.com.  
Representing the Company is Karen L. Hirschman of Vinson &
Elkins - Dallas, 3700 Trammell Crow Center, 2001 Ross Ave,
Dallas, TX 75201-2975, Phone: 214/220-7795, Fax: 214/220-7716,
E-mail: khirschman@velaw.com.


OHIO: City of Akron Faces Lawsuits Over Photo Speeding Tickets
--------------------------------------------------------------
The city of Akron, Ohio was recently slapped with two lawsuits
that seek to put an end to city's use of photo speeding tickets
in school zones, The Akron Beacon Journal reports.

Warner Mendenhall, longtime critic of Mayor Don Plusquellic
filed his suit in Summit County Common Pleas Court. Attorney
Tony Dalayanis filed the other lawsuit last week. Both are
seeking class action status and a temporary restraining order
against further ticketing.

So far, 3,093 tickets have been issued by Nestor Traffic Systems
and the city has received $106,550 in fines, according to city
spokesman Mark Williamson, who had no comment on the lawsuits.
The pilot program ends February 22, 2006 and will be suspended
while school is out of session for the Christmas break.

While the mayor and the council work on improving their public
image, the city's law department will have to defend the city's
authority to issue tickets at all. Though the lines of attack
are different, they boil down to whether or not Akron has the
authority to change traffic laws passed by the Ohio legislature.

City officials consistently argued that they have not changed
the speeding laws in and around school zones, only the
enforcement of those laws. Akron's ordinance makes the criminal
law a civil violation if the offender is caught by an automated
camera, which essentially creates a category of offense that
could be called administrative speeding. The ordinance
identifies a different perpetrator than the criminal traffic law
(the registered owner rather than the driver); assigns a
different penalty (different fines and no points on a license);
and provides a different due process (more akin to contesting a
housing code violation than standing trial).

Mr. Mendenhall's suit contends that the state does not allow any
traffic laws to become civil offenses with the exception of
parking violations. The lead plaintiff in the case his wife,
Kelly Mendenhall, who was clocked on Copley Road doing 39 in a
25 mph zone, according to Nestor's records. The argument in this
case mirrors that of another lawsuit filed in Jefferson County
Common Pleas Court contesting the city of Steubenville's
automated speeding enforcement.

In his suit, Mr. Dalayanis alleges that Nestor Traffic Systems
engaged in fraud, civil conspiracy and negligence. The
plaintiffs in it are Janice A. Sipe of Tallmadge, Joanne L.
Lattur of Akron and Wayne H. Burger of Cuyahoga Falls.


OKLAHOMA TURNPIKE: Deal Means Credits For Some PikePass Holders
---------------------------------------------------------------
Some PikePass customers should see a credit of $11 on their next
statement, according to the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority, The
Joplin Globe reports.

The payment is part of a settlement of a class action lawsuit
and is to make up for PikePass customers being charged for miles
they never drove. Tim Stewart, deputy director of the Turnpike
Authority told The Joplin Globe that about 450,000 customers
should receive their credits by January 10, 2006.

Eligible PikePass customers are those with active accounts who
experienced incomplete readings of the PikePass units, which
resulted in being charged for miles not driven. The period
covered in the settlement is from January 1, 1991, through
September 15, 2005. The settlement is the result of a lawsuit
filed in July 2002 against the Turnpike Authority, which manages
the state's 10 turnpikes.

The 2002 lawsuit alleged that customers were over billed because
of incorrect readings by the electronic toll-collection system.  
A PikePass is a prepaid account that automatically deducts tolls
as a customer enters or exits at certain locations on the
state's ten toll roads. Final approval of the settlement had
been scheduled for December 9, 2005, in Oklahoma County District
Court, an earlier Class Action Reporter story (October 14, 2005)
reports.


PENNSYLVANIA: Settlement Reached in Prolonged Big Bass Lake Case
----------------------------------------------------------------
An $800,000 settlement of a 10-year-old class action lawsuit
will provide tax credits to hundreds of residents of Big Bass
Lake in Pennsylvania and cash to some former property owners at
the development, The Scranton Times reports.

Approved by Lackawanna County Judge Terrence Nealon, the
settlement will cost Lackawanna County and its insurer $260,362,
the North Pocono School District and its insurer $156,787 and
Clifton and Covington townships $5,000 each. The county will
also extend $282,137 in tax credits to affected residents and
the school district will provide $90,712 in future tax
forgiveness.

Other provisions of the settlement include:

     (1) $266,666 to Matergia and Dunn, the law firm
         representing the property owners.

     (2) $144,863 to property owners from North Pocono School
         District for tax credit for overpayment in 2005.

     (3) $128,751 to the former owners of 82 parcels at Big Bass
         Lake.

     (4) $25,000 for expert witness fees to Rowland Sharp, an
         appraiser, along with $3,000 for him that was held in
         trust by the property owners' group.

     (5) $3,985 to the Big Bass Lake Community Association for
         lots the group owns but do not qualify for future tax
         credits.

     (6) $2,745 to the community association for administrative
         services.

The settlement results from a 1995 suit initiated by property
owners at the development against the county and the Board of
Assessment Appeals. The suit alleged that their tax assessments
were based on improper ratios dating to 1989. It charged that
the residents' properties were assessed at 31 percent of market
value, but the rate for the rest of the county was 22.5 percent.

Court papers indicated that the county changed the tax ratio,
after the owners of the development, transferred ownership of
common areas to the Big Bass Lake Community Association in 1988.
Prior to the transfer, the development's owners paid property
taxes on the common areas and amenities, including beaches,
picnic areas, clubhouses, tennis courts, a ski area, a pool, a
playground and recreation areas.

However, after the transfer, the amenities and common areas were
exempted from taxation in return for proportionate increased tax
assessments for individual property owners, court records
indicate. The property owners' suit contends that the agreement
violated the state constitution's uniformity of taxation clause.

The settlement affects 244 owners of 283 properties at the
development, according to court papers. Big Bass Lake, which is
partly situated in Wayne County, includes 1,664 properties,
court filings indicated.

John B. Dunn, a Stroudsburg lawyer who represented the property
owners told The Scranton Times that more than 85 residents at
the development would get reduced property assessments. He added
that the county and school district tax savings next year will
amount to about $250,000. The settlement has no effect on
township taxes.

Mr. Dunn also told The Scranton Times, "I'm happy to see there's
a resolution because it's something that shouldn't have
occurred. As a settlement, there's something for both sides. We
didn't get everything and neither did the taxing authorities."

Attorney Alan S. Nadel, a Big Bass Lake property owner and one
of the lead plaintiffs in the case, told The Scranton Times that
the settlement was "a long time coming." He added, "We wanted to
have the rates corrected. That will carry forward into the
future."

Attorney Anthony Piazza III, who represented the county and its
insurance carrier, AIG, told The Scranton Times that he did not
know how much the county would have to pay in the settlement. He
nevertheless stated that the agreement allowed the county to
avoid a possibly serious financial setback. "It could have
potentially been a lot worse, specifically for the county,"
according to him.


R.J. REYNOLDS: CA A.G. Calls For Halt on Direct Mail Campaign
-------------------------------------------------------------
California Attorney General Bill Lockyer recently called on R.J.
Reynolds Tobacco Company (RJR) to immediately cease its "Drinks
on Us" birthday promotion, saying the direct mail campaign
encourages irresponsible drinking by young adults and may be
reaching underage drinkers and smokers.

"For years, RJR has demonstrated it doesn't care about the
health of our children, doing its best to hook them on
cigarettes with targeted advertising, free samples and other
schemes," said Mr. Lockyer. "Now it has expanded its horizons to
encourage young adults to go on drinking binges that endanger
themselves and others. This corporate conduct without a
conscience must stop now."

Mr. Lockyer, joined by Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph
Curran Jr. and New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, urged
RJR to end the promotion in a letter sent today to Susan M.
Ivey, the company's board chairwoman and chief executive
officer.

The "Drinks on Us" campaign markets RJR's Camel cigarettes and
distributes the materials to recipients on their birthday. The
outside of the envelope reads, "Camel. It's your Birthday.
Drinks on us."

Inside, the envelope contains six coasters, each with a recipe
for an alcoholic drink. Under the recipes are tag lines that
encourage excessive, irresponsible and dangerous drinking. The
tag lines include: "LAYER IT ON, GO `TIL DAYBREAK," "MIX THREE
SHOTS TOGETHER OVER ICE, THEN MAKE SURE YOU'RE SITTING," KISS
YOUR WORRIES GOODBYE," "IF YOU TURN GREEN, YOU'RE DOING IT
WRONG," and "POUR OVER ICE, THEN LET IT BURN."

RJR officials contend the company sends the mailings only to
recipients who are over 21 years old on their birthday. But the
company has refused to provide the Attorneys General with
adequate assurances that the materials are not sent to people
who are under the legal ages for drinking or smoking.

Mr. Lockyer, Mr. Curran and Mr. Spitzer initially asked RJR to
end the promotion in a November 21, 2005 letter. The letter
cited the serious public health dangers posed by underage and
excessive drinking, as well as "considerable scientific evidence
that the combined use of cigarettes and alcohol presents health
risks over and above the risks posed by smoking alone." RJR
rebuffed the request to stop the promotion.

In letter, the Attorneys General said they were disappointed by
RJR's refusal to end the campaign and added, "...RJR's disregard
for public health as demonstrated in this marketing campaign is
unconscionable." The Attorneys General added, "We remain hopeful
that RJR will recognize that it should not be encouraging
excessive alcohol consumption by young adults, and will abandon
this promotion immediately."

The "Drinks on Us" coasters specifically mention popular brands
such as Jack Daniels, Baileys Irish Creme, Kahlua, Finlandia
Vodka, Southern Comfort and Bacardi Limon. The companies that
own those brands - Brown-Forman, Diageo, Pernod Ricard and
Bacardi - have told the Attorneys General in writing that RJR
launched the promotion without their knowledge, consent or
participation. All four companies have written to RJR demanding
that RJR stop using their brand names in the promotion.


RIDEAU REGIONAL: Families Claim Victory With Ottawa Court Ruling
----------------------------------------------------------------
Those battling to keep the doors open at Rideau Regional Center
(RRC) were declaring a victory in Ottawa after the Divisional
Court extended a stay blocking the province from moving
residents out, The Brockville Recorder & Times reports.

Dave Lundy, spokesman for Ontario Public Service Employees Union
Local 436, which represents workers at Rideau regional, told The
Brockville Recorder & Times in an interview shortly after
ruling, "This is obviously what everybody was hoping for and we
got it." Though it wasn't the full injunction against transfers
families are seeking, a ruling on that won't happen until the
early next year, Mr. Lundy pointed out, "Having sat through two
days, I'm more confident than ever that this is a case that we
will win."

Justice Douglas Cunningham, associate chief justice of the
Superior Court of Justice, issued the stay at the end of two
days of arguments by lawyers for the Ministry of Community and
Social Services and families at the RRC near Smiths Falls and
Huronia Centre in Orillia. Justice Cunningham is one of three
judges on a panel that includes Justices James Carnwath and
George Lane. Additionally, he extended the stay to cover a third
facility, Southwestern Regional Center in Blenheim, although
families from there were not represented.

All three centers, home to about 1,000 severely mentally
disabled adults including about 415 in Smiths Falls, are slated
to be closed by the government in March of 2009.

The stay is in place until 30 days after the three-judge
Divisional Court panel rules on the families' bid for a
permanent injunction. If granted, the injunction would block
transfers without consent while a class action suit they've
brought to prevent the closure of the facilities is before the
courts.

James Gray told The Brockville Recorder & Times of the court's
final ruling on the injunction, "I wouldn't expect anything
until the end of January, the beginning of February at the very
earliest." Mr. Gray is the Toronto lawyer who brought the class
action suit earlier this year on behalf of his sister, Ann, who
has been a resident at Rideau for nearly 50 years. He isn't
representing the families in court, but sat in the Ottawa
courtroom during both days of arguments this week.

"I think Dave's optimism is not misplaced," he said of Lundy's
observation of what happened. He also told The Brockville
Recorder & Times, "I can't tell you what the end result is going
to be because I don't know, but I think the judges have figured
this out."

Critical to their ruling, Mr. Gray believes, are the arguments
by the families' lawyers Brenda Hollingsworth and Douglas Elliot
regarding the equality of rights of residents under Section 15
of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. He told The Brockville
Recorder & Times that a fundamental flaw in the government's
plan to close the centers and move patients into community-based
care is there is no procedure in place to ensure consent from
residents.

And where residents' guardians disagree with the move, he said
no mechanism exists to resolve the dispute - something the
lawyers argued exists for other Ontarians. He pointed out to The
Brockville Recorder & Times, "This court ought to deal with that
issue and that will be a major step forward for every mentally
disabled person in Ontario."

Noting that the ministry had 10 lawyers in court, Mr. Lundy told
The Brockville Recorder & Times, "Obviously the arguments they
put forward our lawyers destroyed them, in our opinion."

Families launched the class action suit in hopes of overturning
the government's planned closure of the massive home for
severely mentally disabled adults in March 2009. The suit was
filed by Mr. Gray, who issued a claim as a guardian for his
sister, against the Province of Ontario, Ontario Premier Dalton
McGuinty, Community and Social Services Minister Sandra
Pupatello and "any other minister or Crown officer" involved in
the impending closure of the RRC. Approximately 160 families at
the Smiths Falls institution are represented in the case, an
earlier Class Action Reporter story (December 9, 2005) reports.
The suit argues the level of care now received by residents
simply can't be met if they are transferred into the community.


SIRENZA MICRODEVICES: NY Court Approves Stock Suit Settlement
-------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York granted preliminary approval to the settlement of the
consolidated securities class action filed against Sirenza
Microdevices, Inc., various of its officers and certain
underwriters of the Company's initial public offering of
securities.

The suit, styled "In re Sirenza Microdevices, Inc. Initial
Public Offering Securities Litigation, Case No. 01-CV-10596,"
alleges improper and undisclosed activities related to the
allocation of shares in the Company's initial public offering,
including obtaining commitments from investors to purchase
shares in the aftermarket at pre-arranged prices.

Similar lawsuits concerning more than 300 other companies'
initial public offerings were filed during 2001, and this
lawsuit is being coordinated with those actions (the
"coordinated litigation").  Plaintiffs filed an amended
complaint on or about April 19, 2002, bringing claims for
violation of several provisions of the federal securities laws
and seeking an unspecified amount of damages.

On July 1, 2002, an omnibus motion to dismiss was filed in the
coordinated litigation on behalf of the issuer defendants, of
which the Company and its named officers and directors are a
part, on common pleadings issues.  On October 8, 2002, pursuant
to stipulation by the parties, the court dismissed the officer
and director defendants from the action without prejudice.

On February 19, 2003, the court granted in part and denied in
part a motion to dismiss filed on behalf of defendants,
including the Company.  The court's order dismissed all claims
against the Company except for a claim brought under Section 11
of the Securities Act of 1933.

A proposal has been made for the settlement and release of
claims against the issuer defendants, including the Company, in
exchange for a guaranteed recovery to be paid by the issuer
defendants' insurance carriers and an assignment of certain
claims.  The settlement is subject to a number of conditions,
including final approval of the proposed settling parties and
the court.  On August 31, 2005, the court granted preliminary
approval of the settlement. The settlement is subject to a
number of conditions, including final court approval.

The suit is styled "In re Sirenza Microdevices, Inc. Initial
Public Offering Securities Litigation, Case No. 01-CV-10596,"
related " In re Initial Public Offering Securities Litigation,
Master File No. 21 MC 92 (SAS)," filed in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York under Judge
Shira A. Scheindlin.  The plaintiff firms in this litigation
are:

     (1) Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz LLP (New York, NY), 10 E.
         40th Street, 22nd Floor, New York, NY, 10016, Phone:
         800.217.1522, E-mail: info@bernlieb.com

     (2) Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach, LLP (New York,
         NY), One Pennsylvania Plaza, New York, NY, 10119-1065,
         Phone: 212.594.5300,

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

     (4) Sirota & Sirota, LLP, 110 Wall Street 21st Floor, New
         York, NY, 10005, Phone: 888.759.2990, Fax:
         212.425.9093, E-mail: Info@SirotaLaw.com

     (5) 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

     (6) 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


SPECIALTY LABORATORIES: Faces Five CA Suits V. Ameripath Merger
---------------------------------------------------------------
Specialty Laboratories, Inc. and each of its directors face five
purported class action suits filed in October and November 2005
in the Los Angeles Superior Court in California.  One lawsuit
also names as defendant Specialty Family Limited Partnership,
the Company's majority shareholder.  An amended complaint in one
of the five lawsuits also names AmeriPath, Inc. (AmeriPath) as a
defendant.

Company shareholders filed the five suits on behalf of all
similarly situated shareholders, challenging the fairness of the
Company's recently announced merger with AmeriPath.  The
complaints allege, among other things, that the defendants
breached their fiduciary duties to the shareholders of the
Company by entering into the merger agreement.  To support the
allegation of breach of fiduciary duty the complaints assert
that the consideration offered in the merger is inadequate and
is the result of unfair dealing, that in negotiating the
transaction the defendants failed to disclose information that
would have increased the valuation of the Company, and that the
transaction is the result of a conflict of interest, because our
founder and member of our board of directors, Dr. James B. Peter
and his affiliates will receive an equity share in the surviving
corporation.  In the amended complaint adding AmeriPath as a
defendant, AmeriPath is alleged to have aided and abetted the
alleged actions of the other defendants.  The complaints seek an
injunction against the proposed merger or, if it is consummated,
rescission of the merger, as well as money damages, attorneys'
fees, expenses and other relief.

Additional lawsuits could be filed in the future, and the
allegations in these five complaints could be amended or
supplemented, the Company stated in a disclosure to the
Securities and Exchange Commission.  These suits are in their
earliest stages.  The court held an initial status conference
for December 6, 2005.  


UNITED STATES: ATRA Releases Annual "Judicial Hellholes" Report
---------------------------------------------------------------
The American Tort Reform Association's (ATRA) fourth annual
"Judicial Hellholes(r)" report, a ranking of the worst courts in
the United States, was recently released.

The reports stated that the overwhelming majority of state
courts dispense justice in a fair and impartial manner. By way
of contrast, Judicial Hellholes are a few, but powerful, courts
that have a disproportionately harmful impact on civil
litigation. Litigation tourists, who neither lived nor were
injured in these jurisdictions, are guided by their personal
injury lawyers who seek out these places because they know they
will produce a positive outcome, an excessive verdict or
settlement, a favorable precedent, or both. This is venue
shopping run wild.

"It is possible to quench the fires in Judicial Hellholes with
the help of judges, legislators, the electorate and the media,"
said Sherman Joyce, President of the American Tort Reform
Association (ATRA). "By shining the spotlight on the abuses in
these jurisdictions, Judicial Hellholes can become fair courts."

This year, Hampton County, South Carolina has been 'delisted.'
After appearing in the Judicial Hellhole report for three years
in a row due to blatant abuse of the state's former lax venue
law, venue shopping appears to be a problem of the past.
Philadelphia, although included in this year's report, has not
been listed as a Judicial Hellhole due to reforms enacted and
reports of greater fairness in the jurisdiction. Last year,
Mississippi pulled itself out of the negative spotlight through
the resolve of the voters and elected officials in the
executive, legislative and judicial branches. St. Louis also was
delisted last year, and Missouri enacted comprehensive reforms
this year.

"Unfortunately, Judicial Hellholes continue to exist in Texas,
which we hold as a model state for civil justice reform. The
judges in these Texas jurisdictions continue to fail to apply
the laws set forth by a decade of reforms enacted in this
state," said Mr. Joyce.

"Judicial Hellholes can be quenched by public light. The result
is an impartial court that subscribes to a fundamental value of
our legal system: Equal Justice Under Law," said ATRA General
Counsel Victor Schwartz.

The Judicial Hellholes for this year are:

     (1) Rio Grande Valley and Gulf Coast, Texas;

     (2) Cook County, Illinois;

     (3) West Virginia;

     (4) Madison County, Illinois;

     (5) St. Clair County, Illinois; and

     (6) South Florida.

This year's only "Dishonorable Mention" goes to the Wisconsin
Supreme Court for four bad decisions in four months. Wisconsin
has long been known as a good state for business and healthcare.
These decisions by the high court will place the state at risk,
creating a potential access to healthcare crisis and making
businesses think twice about investment in that state.

New this year is the "Watch List," a list of areas that have
been cited in previous Judicial Hellhole reports, or new areas
that are being closely monitored due to growing concerns or
negative developments in the litigation environment. The 2005
Watch List includes: California; Eastern Kentucky; Eastern
Alabama; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; New Mexico; Delaware;
Oklahoma; Orleans Parish, Louisiana; and Washington, D.C.

In addition to identifying Judicial Hellholes, places where
"Equal Justice Under Law" does not exist, the report also
showcases "Points of Light," areas where judges, legislators,
the electorate, and the media intervened to stem abusive
judicial practices. Some Points of Light include: the enactment
of the federal Class Action Fairness Act of 2005; the Illinois
Supreme Court ruling that a state trial judge should not have
granted nationwide class action treatment in Avery vs. State
Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., No. 5-99-0830; and four states
enacting asbestos and silica litigation reform.

The full report is available on the ATRA website at
http://www.atra.org.


USI HOLDINGS: Named in NJ Insurance Brokerage Antitrust Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
USI Holdings Corporation was named as a defendant in the
consolidated amended class actions filed against more than 30
insurance company and insurance brokerage defendants in the
United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.  
The suit is styled "Opticare Health Systems, Inc. v. Marsh &
McLennan Companies, Inc., et al, (Civil Action No. CV 06954
(DC))."

The amended complaint focuses on the payment of contingent
commissions by insurers to insurance brokers who sell their
insurance and alleged bid rigging in the setting of insurance
premium levels. The amended complaint purports to allege
violations of numerous laws including the Racketeer Influenced
and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) and federal restraint of trade
statutes, state restraint of trade, unfair and deceptive
practices statutes and state breach of fiduciary duty and unjust
enrichment laws. The amended complaint seeks class
certification, treble damages for the alleged injury suffered by
the putative plaintiff class and other damages.

The Company is also a defendant in "copycat" or tag-along
lawsuits in the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Illinois, styled `Lewis v. Marsh & McLennan
Companies, Inc., et al., 04 C 7847' and `Preuss v. Marsh &
McLennan Companies, Inc., et al., 04 C 7853,' and during April
2005, it was served in another copycat class action lawsuit,
captioned "Palm Tree Computers Systems, Inc. et ano v. Ace, USA
et al.," and filed in the Circuit Court for the Eighteenth
Judicial Circuit in and for Seminole County, Florida, Civil
Division, Class Representation, No. 05-CA-373-16-W, with the
result that this action has been removed to the United States
District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Orlando
Division, Case No. 6:05-CV-422-2ZKRS. A similar copycat class
action complaint captioned "Bensley Construction, Inc. v. Marsh
& McLennan Companies, Inc. et al., No. ESCV2005-0277 (Essex
Superior Court, Massachusetts)" was served upon the Company in
May 2005.  This action has been removed to the United States
District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

Like the "Opticare" complaint, these complaints contain no
particularized allegations of wrongdoing by the Company. In
February 2005, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation
transferred the actions then pending to the United States
District Court for the District of New Jersey for coordinated or
consolidated pretrial proceedings. The Judicial Panel on
Multidistrict Litigation has transferred the "Palm Tree" lawsuit
to the same court for the same purposes.  The Judicial Panel on
Multidistrict Litigation has not yet ruled on whether the
Bensley lawsuit will be similarly transferred.  

On August 1, 2005, in the multidistrict litigation pending in
the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey,
the plaintiffs filed a First Consolidated Amended Commercial
Class Action Complaint and a First Consolidated Employee
Benefits Class Action Complaint (the "Consolidated MDL
Complaints") that purport to allege claims against the Company
based upon RICO, federal and state antitrust laws, breach of
fiduciary duty and aiding and abetting breaches of fiduciary and
unjust enrichment. The Consolidated MDL Complaints, like the
predecessor complaints, focus the allegations of fact upon
defendants other than the Company. It is anticipated that the
Company will move to dismiss the Consolidated MDL Complaints.
None of the plaintiffs in any of the actions has set forth the
amounts being sought in the particular actions.

The OptiCare suit is styled "In Re Insurance Brokerage Antitrust
Litigation, case no. 2:05-cv-01168-FSH," filed in the United
States District Court in New Jersey, under Judge Faith S.
Hochberg.  Representing the plaintiffs are Joseph P. Guglielmo
and Edith M. Kallas, MILBERG WEISS BERSHAD & SCHULMAN LLP (NYC)
One Pennsylvania Plaza, New York NY 10119 Phone: 212-594-5300;
and Mark C. Rifkin, WOLF HALDENSTEIN ADLER FREEMAN & HERZ LLP,
270 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016 Phone: 212 545-4600 E-
mail: rifkin@whafh.com.


VISTAPRINT LTD.: Working To Settle Consumer Fraud Lawsuit in CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Vistaprint Ltd. is working to settle a class action filed
against one of its subsidiaries and its predecessor corporation
in the Los Angeles Superior Court in California.  The complaint
alleged that the shipping and handling fees the Company charges
for free products are excessive and in violation of sections of
the California Business and Professions Code.

The Los Angeles County Superior Court granted preliminary
approval of a proposed settlement on April 29, 2005 and, on June
17, 2005, gave final approval to the settlement. Under the terms
of the settlement, the Company agreed to change the term
"shipping and handling" to "shipping and processing" on its
websites, to provide all class members who purchase business
cards from the Company for a two year period in the future the
opportunity to receive additional cards at reduced rates, and to
pay reasonable attorneys fees to plaintiffs' counsel. In August
2005, an objector to the settlement filed an appeal of the
Court's final approval of the settlement.


                        Asbestos Alert


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Reynolds American Faces One Pending Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Reynolds American Inc (NYSE: RAI) disclosed that, as of October
14, 2005, one lawsuit was pending against RJR Tobacco and Brown
& Williamson, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission
report.

In the California-pending suit styled Fibreboard Corp v. RJ
Reynolds Tobacco Co, asbestos companies or asbestos-related
trust funds allege that they "overpaid" claims brought against
them to the extent that tobacco use, not asbestos exposure, was
the cause of the alleged personal injuries.

Motions to dismiss those claims have been stayed indefinitely.

Winston-Salem, NC-based Reynolds American Inc was established
when RJ Reynolds Tobacco Holdings and Brown & Williamson merged
in 2004. The Company trails the Altria Group, the owner of
Philip Morris, which steers nearly half of the US tobacco
market.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Japan Group Seeks Asbestos Revision in Law
---------------------------------------------------------------
A task force for Japan's Land, Infrastructure and Transport
Ministry called for the revision of the Building Standard Law to
impose an outright ban on the use of asbestos-containing
construction materials in new buildings, the Kyodo News reports.

Ministry officials said that the Ministry is expected to submit
a revision of the Building Standard Law during the Diet session
in January 2006.

Japan's current Building Standard Law does not impose an
outright ban on asbestos' use. It merely requires asbestos'
exclusion in insulating materials. A revision would bring the
code in line with the Industrial Safety and Health Law, which
bans asbestos' use in workplaces as a measure of worker health
protection.

The planned revision would prevent asbestos spraying, the use of
synthetic fibers containing asbestos or other forms of asbestos
use in the construction of workplaces, homes, and apartments.
The revision would allow local governments to inspect buildings
with asbestos and to possibly order measures to be taken to
prevent scattering.

The Ministry task force also called on the state and local
governments to subsidize asbestos removal, which costs from
JPY5,000 to JPY35,000 a square meter, as the costs have hampered
removal efforts.

The task force drafted the recommendations after asbestos-
related health problems drew public attention following reports
of deaths mainly from mesothelioma and lung cancer at factories
that had made products using asbestos and in the area
neighborhoods.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: API Awarded US$52.5Mil in Suit v. OneBeacon
----------------------------------------------------------------
A Ramsey County jury in Minnesota granted construction group API
Inc. a US$52.5 million verdict in litigation against OneBeacon
America Insurance Company, which failed to defend API against
numerous injury and wrongful death claims to asbestos exposure,
Pioneer Press reports.

The eight-member jury awarded US$27.5 million for breach of
contract, US$10 million for operating in bad faith and US$15
million for breach of duty.

The dispute centered on insurance policy terms from 1958 to
1966.

Established in Minnesota in 1948, API installed and distributed
building insulation materials including asbestos. In the 1980s,
API was hit with more than 700 lawsuits alleging wrongful death
and injury due to asbestos exposure.

API hired investigators to locate insurance records or evidence.
The firm's investigators never found policies but did uncover
paperwork and accounting records indicating that General
Accident Insurance Co covered the Company.

API filed claims with General Accident's successor, OneBeacon,
which denied the existence of the policies and then disputed the
extent of the coverage.

According to the January 14, 2005 Class Action Reporter, API
filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy citing asbestos liabilities. In
court documents, API said OneBeacon's wrongful denial of
coverage has forced the construction company to pay out US$41
million to settle asbestos claims.

"The big message is you cannot mistreat your policy-holders who
went out and bought that insurance for protection," said API
attorney John Faricy Jr.

OneBeacon could file motions with Ramsey County District Judge
John Finley to set aside or reduce the verdict, which was
settled in a trial that lasted a week and a half.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NY Man Sentenced in Asbestos Removal Case
--------------------------------------------------------------
A New York Court sentenced James Todd, the manager of Lambert's
Asbestos Removal Service, to 18 months in prison and ordered to
pay a US$7,500 fine after he was convicted of violating federal
environmental cleanup laws and falsifying records, the Star-
Gazette reports.

Federal prosecutors had accused the 51-year-old manager of
illegally supervising asbestos renovation or demolition projects
performed in central New York and Pennsylvania.

Assistant US Attorney Craig Benedict said in October 2005 that
Mr. Todd had intentionally deceived the US Environmental
Protection Agency by manipulating records linked to removal
projects. Mr. Todd pleaded guilty to charges that he violated
the federal environmental laws.

Mr. Todd, who was given two years' probation, cannot seek
employment in an asbestos related business and must surrender
his contractor's license. He could have received the maximum
sentence of a US$250,000 fine and five years in prison.

In March 2002, before beginning a project at Mansfield
University, Mr. Todd failed to notify environmental regulators.
In April 2002, a complaint filed against Lambert's said that the
contractors had failed to wet down materials that contained
asbestos. In February 2003, another complaint claimed that Mr.
Todd forged signatures for a waste shipment project at
Binghamton University.

It is not known if any of Mr. Todd's co-conspirators will face
any charges or if Lambert's will lose its license.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Tyco International Faces 14T Injury Claims
---------------------------------------------------------------
In its 10-K Securities and Exchange Commission report, Tyco
International Ltd (NYSE: TYC) revealed that it defends itself in
personal injury lawsuits based on alleged asbestos exposure. As
of September 30, 2005, there were about 14,000 liability cases
pending against the Company and its subsidiaries.

The Princeton, NJ-based Company has observed an increase in the
number of these lawsuits in the past several years. The majority
of these cases have been filed against subsidiaries in
Healthcare and Engineered Products and Services. Each case
typically names between dozens to hundreds of corporate
defendants. A limited number of the cases allege premises
liability, based on claims that individuals were exposed to
asbestos while on a subsidiary's property.

Most of the cases involve product liability claims, based mainly
on allegations of past distribution of heat-resistant industrial
products incorporating asbestos or the past distribution of
industrial valves that incorporated asbestos-containing gaskets
or packing.

Tyco's involvement in asbestos cases has been limited because
its subsidiaries did not mine or produce asbestos. Furthermore,
in the Company's experience, a large percentage of these claims
were never substantiated and have been dismissed by the courts.

In 2005, the Company undertook a detailed study of its pending
asbestos claims and also developed an estimate of asbestos
claims that were incurred but not reported, as well as related
insurance and indemnification recoveries. The impact of this
study was not material to the Company's financial position,
results of operations or cash flows.

Manufacturing conglomerate Tyco International Ltd, which offers
security and fire-protection systems, has been reorganized into
five main business segments: Fire and Security; Electronics;
Healthcare; Engineered Products and Services; and Plastics &
Adhesives.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: General Cable Faces 42,960 Pending Claims
--------------------------------------------------------------
In a report to the Securities and Exchange Commission, General
Cable Corporation (NYSE: BGC) reported about 9,700 pending non-
maritime asbestos cases involving its subsidiaries. Most of
these cases involve plaintiffs alleging exposure to asbestos-
containing cable manufactured by the Company's predecessors.

Subsidiaries of the Highland Heights, KY-based Company have also
been named, along with numerous other product manufacturers, as
defendants in about 33,260 suits in which plaintiffs alleged
that they suffered an asbestos-related injury while working in
the maritime industry.

These cases are referred to as MARDOC cases and are currently
managed under the supervision of the US District Court for the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania. On May 1, 1996, the District
Court ordered that all pending MARDOC cases be administratively
dismissed without prejudice and the cases cannot be reinstated,
except in certain circumstances involving specific proof of
injury.

Certain of the Company's insurers may be financially unstable
and, in the event one or more of these insurers enter into
insurance liquidation proceedings, the Company will be required
to pay a larger portion of the costs incurred in connection with
these cases.

General Cable Corporation makes aluminum, copper, and fiber-
optic wire and cable products. The Company also produces power
cables, automotive wire, mining cables, and custom-designed
cables for medical equipment and other products.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: OH Court Remands Widow's Compensation Cause
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Third District Court of Appeals of Ohio remanded a widow's
appeal on whether she has a right to worker's compensation
claims from her husband's death to mesothelioma in November 11,
2001.
  
Decided on December 5, 2005, Case No. 1-05-41 was reviewed by
Presiding Judge Robert R. Cupp and Judges Thomas F. Bryant and
Stephen R. Shaw.

Rosemary Snyder appealed from the ruling of the Allen County
Common Pleas Court granting summary judgment to Ford Motor
Company, General Dynamics Land Systems Inc, and Rockwell
International. The trial court also granted summary judgment to
GF Clingerman, which is represented by the Administrator of the
Worker's Compensation Bureau.
                                       
Allen G. Snyder, Mrs. Snyder's husband worked for Rockwell
located in Kenton, Ohio, until 1971. Between 1973 and 1984, he
worked for Clingerman in Bellefontaine, Ohio. General Dynamics
employed him from 1984 through 1993, and by Ford between 1993
and 1999, in Lima, Ohio. In 2000, he was diagnosed with
malignant mesothelioma.

Mrs. Snyder filed four worker's compensation claims for widow's
benefits alleging that her husband died of mesothelioma. The
Industrial Commission of Ohio denied her claims. She appealed in
the Allen County Common Pleas Court on January 27, 2003.

On January 28, 2003, Mrs. Snyder named Ford, General Dynamics,
and the Administrator in her complaint.

On August 27, 2003, Ford responded to Mrs. Snyder's first
request for admissions, and on September 2, 2003, Ford filed a
motion for summary judgment with the supporting affidavits of
former and current employees: Gregory B. Denny, Gerald P.
Liebrecht, Kevin P. Bruin, and Michael S. Miller.

On January 5, 2004, Mrs. Snyder moved to strike the affidavits
of Mr. Bruin, Mr. Liebrect, Mr. Miller, and Mr. Denny. On
January 8, 2004, the affidavit of Carlos Bedrossian, MD was
filed.

On April 23, 2004, Mrs. Snyder amended her complaint, joining
Clingerman, through the Administrator, and Rockwell as
defendants. On January 10, 2004, Dr. Bedrossian and Mrs.
Snyder's depositions were filed.

Between January 24, 2005 and May 18, 2005, General Dynamics and
Rockwell filed motions for summary judgment, and Ford filed a
second motion for summary judgment. Mrs. Snyder and the
Administrator filed briefs in opposition, and General Dynamics,
Ford, and Rockwell filed reply briefs. On May 18, 2005, the
trial court entered judgment on the defendants' motions.

Mrs. Snyder filed a notice of appeal of June 15, 2005 and
asserted assignments of error as to the trial court's January
15, 2004 and May 18, 2005 judgment entries.

On June 23, 2005, Ford filed a notice of cross-appeal. Ford
raises its assignment of error as to the trial court's January
15, 2004 judgment entry, which overruled its initial motion for
summary judgment.

As the result of a settlement agreement, Mrs. Snyder dismissed
Rockwell with prejudice on September 14, 2005. Therefore, the
Court reviewed only those issues concerning Ford, General
Dynamics, and the Administrator.
                                       
To participate in the worker's compensation fund, Mrs. Snyder
must establish that Mr. Snyder was exposed to asbestos at any
employer's facility. As to any such exposure, Mrs. Snyder must
establish it was injurious. Finally, Mrs. Snyder must establish
that mesothelioma is an occupational disease.

The trial court's January 15, 2004 judgment is affirmed, and the
May 18, 2005 judgment is reversed. Upon remand, the fact-finder
will determine whether Mrs. Snyder has a right to participate in
the worker's compensation fund.

John A. Sivinski, of Cleveland, represented Mrs. Snyder.

John Wetli, of Toledo, represented Ford Motor Company.

Victoria U. Maisch, of Lima, represented General Dynamics Land
Systems Inc.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Owens Corning to Approve Asbestos Agreement
----------------------------------------------------------------
Century Indemnity Company, Central National Insurance Company of
Omaha, through its managing general agent, Cravens Dargan &
Company, Pacific Coast, and ACE Property and Casualty Insurance
Company note that it is not clear from the description of the
confidential settlement agreement whether Owens Corning will
attempt to utilize its terms and the proposed order to
prematurely trigger coverage under other agreements between
Owens Corning and the insurers, including the Wellington
Agreement, an agreement concerning asbestos-related claims dated
as of June 19, 2005.

Marc S. Casarino, Esq., at White and Williams LLP, in
Wilmington, Delaware, says that the order would unfairly
prejudice the rights of the insurers under the insurance
agreements.

The Insurers ask the Court to conditionally approve the
settlement agreement on an express reservation of all of their
rights, claims and coverage defenses under the insurance
agreements.

Specifically, the Insurers reserve all of their rights to:

(a) Assert any and all rights, defenses, limitations and
exclusions in any appropriate manner or forum;

(b) Raise issues in any procedurally appropriate contested
matter or adversary proceeding including a separate adversary
proceeding requesting any declaratory or injunctive relief with
respect to any rights under the insurance agreements that may be
adversely affected by approval of the settlement agreement;

(c) Object to any claim for coverage under any insurance
agreements and seek declaratory or injunctive relief to the
extent that treatment of their rights under the agreement and
approval of the settlement agreement violates any term or
condition of any insurance agreement or gives rise to any
defense on behalf of the insurers; and

(d) Amend, modify or supplement their response as a result of
the filing of any supplemental information pertaining to the
settlement agreement, any discovery being conducted in
connection with approval of the settlement agreement, or any
submission in connection with the motion or the settlement
agreement.

The Insurers also reserve the right to seek adjudication that
the Debtors have waived or forfeited any coverage otherwise
available under the insurance agreements.

(Owens Corning Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 121; Bankruptcy
Creditors' Service, Inc. 215/945-7000)


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Proposed A&E Reserves Not to Affect Allianz
----------------------------------------------------------------
Allianz AG (NYSE: AZ) states that in the United States, the
planned external review of Fireman's Fund's asbestos &
environmental liability reserves poses no net impact for the
Group as a result of already sufficient reserves, minus a US$56
million loss caused by the increase in provisions for
uncollectible reinsurance recoverables, according to a
Securities and Exchange Commission report.

In 2002, Fireman's Fund completed an analysis of its asbestos
and environmental liabilities, resulting in an increase to these
reserves of US$750 million (net and gross) in September 2002.
Also during 2002, Fireman's Fund ceded most of its A&E loss
reserves to Allianz AG.

There are uncertainties in estimating the amount of these
claims. Reserves for asbestos-related illnesses, toxic waste
clean-up claims and latent drug and chemical exposures cannot be
estimated using traditional loss reserving techniques. IBNR
(incurred but not reported) reserves are established to cover
additional exposures on both known and unasserted claims.

In response to the uncertainty associated with these claims,
Fireman's Fund created in 2002 an environmental claims unit
focused on the claims evaluation and remediation for the Allianz
Group's US property-casualty insurance subsidiaries.

The industry-wide loss trends for some of these exposures,
especially for asbestos-related losses, have deteriorated over
the past several years. Some of the reasons include: insureds
who either produced or installed products containing asbestos
have seen more and larger claims brought against them, some of
these companies have declared bankruptcy, which has caused
plaintiffs' attorneys to seek larger amounts from solvent
defendants and to also include new defendants; some defendants
are also seeking relief under different coverage provisions when
the product liability portion of their coverage has been
exhausted.

These developments led the Group to engage outside actuarial
consulting firms to update a previous study conducted in 1995 to
analyze the adequacy of Allianz Group's reserves for these types
of losses. In 1995, Fireman's Fund had increased its net and
gross reserves for A&E by US$800 million and in 2000 an
additional US$250 million was reallocated to A&E.

These A&E reserve analyses were completed during 2002,
ultimately resulting in an additional US$750 million of reserves
attributed entirely to asbestos-related exposures. As previously
stated, Fireman's Fund is planning a regular update of its 2002
reserve study during the course of 2005.

The total net reserve for asbestos and environmental claims
exposure related liabilities for the Allianz Group's US based
subsidiaries at December 31, 2004 was EUR739 million (2003:
EUR906 million), excluding intercompany reinsurance agreements.
The total gross reserve for asbestos and environmental claims
exposure related liabilities at December 31, 2004 was EUR1,097
million (2003: EUR1,263 million).

Munich, Germany-based Allianz AG offers a range of insurance
products and services through some 100 subsidiaries and
affiliates, including life, health, and property & casualty.
Other businesses include risk consulting and public investment
funds.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: KY Court Upholds B&W Reserve Account Ruling
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Kentucky Court of Appeals affirmed the opinion and order of
the Franklin Circuit Court as it held that the Babcock & Wilcox
Company preserved an issue of whether its Reserve Account is
capital.

The opinion and order is reversed due to additional findings.
The matter is remanded to the Circuit Court for more
proceedings.

Decided on December 9, 2005, the case was presented before Chief
Judge Sara W. Combs, Judge William E. McAnulty, Jr., and Senior
Judge Lewis G. Paisley, who sat as Special Judge by assignment
of the Chief Justice.  

The Revenue Cabinet, now known as the Department of Revenue,
filed this appeal from a Franklin Circuit Court ruling that it
did not have enough information to determine whether all or part
of a "Reserve for Product Liability" account held by B&W is
"surplus" and therefore taxable "capital."

B&W, a Delaware company operating in Kentucky, makes and
installs industrial boilers. B&W used asbestos as insulating
material for its boilers until the early 1970s, when Government
regulations began to limit asbestos' use due to its health
hazards.

B&W began to defend asbestos lawsuits in the late 1970s. By
December 31, 1999, B&W had settled over 340,000 asbestos claims,
with about 45,000 claims and presented for settlement, which
have been split by B&W and its insurers.

The Reserve Account reflects B&W's potential liability for
asbestos litigation arising in the future. B&W also maintains
another, separate account, the Insurance Recovery Account, which
reflects the payments that will be made to B&W by its insurers,
pursuant to the 1990 agreement, for products liability claims in
the event such claims become due and owing.

Before 1994, B&W offset the Insurance Recovery Account against
the Reserve Account and listed the net amount of the Reserve as
a "non-current liability" on its financial statements. When B&W
filed its license tax returns for the tax years 1995-1997, it
reported the entire Reserve Account as a "non-current
liability."

Revenue issued a corporation license assessment for B&W that
included the entire amount of the Reserve Account in its
calculation of capital and did not include an adjustment
offsetting the Reserve Account with the Insurance Recovery
Account. B&W filed a Protest Letter, dated July 10, 1998.

Revenue's final letter of October 23, 2001 concluded that the
statutory definition of "capital" includes those liability and
equity accounts mentioned as well as other accounts
representing additional "capital" used and employed in the
business. B&W filed a Petition of Appeal to the Kentucky Board
of Tax Appeals.

B&W's complaint of this decision to the Circuit Court directly
addressed the KBTA's finding that B&W had conceded that the
Reserve Account was capital. The Circuit Court remanded the case
to the KBTA for additional findings of fact and conclusions of
law regarding "whether the Reserve account is surplus and
therefore capital."

Laura M. Ferguson, Frankfort, KY, defended Revenue Cabinet now
known as Department of Revenue, Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Bruce F. Clark and Erica L. Horn, Frankfort, KY, defended the
Babcock & Wilcox Company and the Kentucky Board of Tax Appeals.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NTU Says Bill Could Tax Billions to Public
---------------------------------------------------------------
According to a study released by the 350,000-member National
Taxpayers Union, taxpayers could be soaked for tens or even
hundreds of billions in liabilities for a federal claims fund
whose flawed structure virtually guarantees its failure.

NTU is urging Senators to reject the bill in its current form,
and will include roll-call votes on the legislation in its
Rating of Congress.

"Our society and economy desperately need a solution to the
asbestos crisis, but giving trial lawyers the equivalent of a
taxpayer-backed paid holiday so they can find more clients to
clog the system is no remedy," said study author and NTU Policy
Analyst Jeff Dircksen.

Supporters of S. 852, the Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution
Act, believe the bill offers the best approach to the flood of
claims for asbestos health problems, by creating a federally-
administered trust fund capitalized by insurers and firms that
made or utilized asbestos.

Although proponents of S. 852 believe that adequate safeguards
have been built into the proposal, Mr. Dircksen warned that past
fiscal history provides many cautionary tales of federal
ventures like these. He recommends that instead of S. 852,
Congress should consider legislation that tightens criteria for
filing claims, extends filing deadlines, and limits punitive
damages.

NTU was founded in 1969 to work for lower taxes, smaller
government, and economic freedom at all levels.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: EPA Bares Alternate Asbestos Removal Plan
--------------------------------------------------------------
The US Environmental Protection Agency states that it is
presenting, for external review, a draft Quality Assurance
Project Plan for the Alternative Asbestos Control Method
demonstration project, Axcess News reports.  

Another method for removing asbestos from older buildings during
demolition will be assessed and compared to methods previously
authorized by National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air
Pollutants. The newer method could allow the safe demolition of
many abandoned buildings around the US that present serious
risks to nearby residents.  

The Alternative Asbestos Control Method will be tested in spring
2006 at a remote location at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas, which is
chosen to assure no public exposure.  

EPA's plan first removes the most friable or easily crushed to
powder asbestos-containing materials before demolition, but
leaves some asbestos containing materials, primarily wall
systems, in place.  Then the demolition proceeds using water
containing agents similar to detergents to increase the water's
ability to penetrate dust layers and surfaces, trap asbestos
fibers and minimize their potential release to air.

The project is a joint effort of the Fort Chaffee Redevelopment
Authority, the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, the
US Department of Energy, and the EPA.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: EPA Spends US$107Mil in Libby, MT Cleanup
--------------------------------------------------------------
The US Environmental Protection Agency has spent roughly US$107
million of asbestos removal in Libby, Montana since it began
cleanup three years ago, The Daily Inter Lake reports.

Contractors removed asbestos from 227 contaminated homes in
2005, exceeding EPA's 170-home target. Of the 1,400 Libby and
Troy homes deemed contaminated, 570 have been cleaned to date,
EPA project manager Peggy Churchill said. The average cleanup
cost is US$25,000 to US$30,000 per home.

EPA's cleanup goal for 2006 is 170 homes, but starting next year
the EPA will move into a remedial cleanup program that will
shift the asbestos-removal focus from emergency response to
long-term cleanup, Ms. Churchill said.

The agency said it would allocate US$17 million annually for
Libby cleanup in the next few years, but the money guarantee is
good only through 2006. Cleanup is expected to continue for
another four to five years.

After news of death and disease linked to the former WR Grace &
Company vermiculite mine in Libby made headlines in late 1999,
the EPA set up an office there and inspected most residential
and commercial properties in 2002 and 2003.

Vermiculite mined at Libby by Grace was widely used in attics as
insulation. An estimated 2 million homes nationwide have
vermiculite insulation.

The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an order requiring
Grace to pay the EPA US$54.5 million for asbestos cleanup in
Libby plus future cleanup costs.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: OR Subdivision Residents See Litigation End
----------------------------------------------------------------
After spending nearly three years in asbestos-related lawsuits,
residents of North Ridge Estates in Klamath Falls in Oregon
could be paid for their properties in early 2006 and be out of
the area by spring, the Herald and News reports.

The dismissal of a bankruptcy filing by North Ridge developer
MBK Partnership, a decree by Oregon that it would not seek any
more legal action, and a similar decree by the federal
government are the only legal hurdles that stand between the
homeowners and a buyout of their homes.

On December 17, 2004, MBK filed for bankruptcy amid facing study
and cleanup costs from the Oregon Department of Environmental
Quality and the US Environmental Protection Agency. The filing
was just one of many legal cases in state and federal courts
concerning North Ridge, asbestos and MBK.

To resolve the litigation, homeowners' lawyers, MBK founders and
state and federal government officials drafted a settlement that
pays homeowners 87% of their homes' assessed values. It stated
that no one would be held liable for the asbestos contamination.

Insurance firms for MBK and its founders would pay most of the
US$11.8 million settlement. Details of the settlement became
public when MBK filed on November 21 to have its bankruptcy
dismissed.

Skip McKallip, an attorney for one of MBK's founding partners
Dr. Kenneth Tuttle, said the settlement also was written so
there would a resolution if MBK went bankrupt, but less money
would go to the homeowners.

If the case is dismissed, it will save about US$200,000 in
litigation costs that can be paid to the homeowners, said Bruce
MacIntyre, a Seattle attorney representing North Ridge
homeowners.

Mr. MacIntyre and other attorneys involved with the settlement,
including MBK bankruptcy attorney David Foraker, said they do
not expect any opposition to MBK's move to have the bankruptcy
case dismissed. He added that with the settlement finalized and
payments made, homeowners would probably start moving out of
North Ridge in March or April.

Litigation started in March 2003 against MBK and its founding
partners, Dr. Tuttle, Melvin Stewart and Maurice Bercot. The
company formed in 1977 and developed the North Ridge subdivision
in a scenic wooded valley about three miles northeast of Klamath
Falls.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Coroner Rules Man's Death as Accidental
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Leicester Coroner ruled that the death of Britain's youngest
known mesothelioma victim, who died at the age of 32 on April
27, 2005, is considered accidental.

Barry Welch left a widow, Claire, and three young children,
Natasha, 12, Samantha, 10, and Letitia, 7, in Braunstone,
Leicester. Unlike many victims of the almost invariably fatal
disease, he had never worked with asbestos.

At the inquest into Mr. Welch's death, Leicester Coroner James
Symington, heard how Mr. Welch's stepfather Roger Bugby was
regularly exposed to asbestos dust when he worked as a
scaffolder at Kingsnorth power station in Kent between 1977 and
1979. The family said they were living in a one-room apartment
in Chatham when Mr. Bugby would come home covered in dust on his
overalls, skin, and hair.

Adrian Budgen of Irwin Mitchell Solicitors said, before Mr.
Bugby changed out of his overalls, his stepson would often sit
on his lap, exposing him to the dust and fibers.

Mr. Welch was also exposed to asbestos when his mother shook the
dust from her husband's clothes before washing them. At the age
of 60, Mr. Bugby held no apparent sign of the disease.

Before he died Mr. Welch began legal action for compensation
against the scaffolding firm that had employed his stepfather.
He was denied the industrial injury disablement benefit, as he
had not been exposed to asbestos at work.

Dr. Clive Muatero, consultant oncologist at Leicester Royal
Infirmary, said it was a "reasonable supposition" that Mr.
Welch's illness had been caused by his exposure to asbestos.

Mr. Welch's case is thought to be a landmark in asbestos-related
illnesses. Previous cases have involved women who washed their
husbands' asbestos-covered overalls over many years. However,
his case is the first in which a child could have contracted the
illness after asbestos particles were transferred from the work
place into the home.

Irwin Mitchell Solicitors said they were now planning legal
action on behalf of Mr. Welch's family. Mr. Budgen said, "This
case is particularly complex as we not only have to prove that
his father was negligently exposed to asbestos, but also that
Barry's exposure and illness were a result of the company's
negligence."

Around 1,800 people die of asbestos-related diseases in the UK
each year, but medical officials say this number has not yet
peaked. There are around 14,000 claims for compensation for
pleural plaques every year. Insurers estimate claims will cost
up to GBP10 billion over the next 40 years as the number of
cases rise.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Crane Expects Free Cash Flow at US$130Mil
--------------------------------------------------------------
Crane Co (NYSE: CR), at its annual investor conference, will
provide its 2006 financial performance outlook and discuss its
earnings per share guidance for 2005 and 2006.

Management expects free cash flow, which is cash flow from
operations after costs related to asbestos, environmental
settlements and capital expenditures, but before dividends, in
2005 to be about US$130 million, compared with previous guidance
of US$110 to US$120 million. For 2006, free cash flow is
expected to be US$165 million.

Sales are expected to grow 4% in 2006 to about US$2.15 billion.
Earnings per share in 2006 are expected to be in the range of
US$2.45 to US$2.60. Full year 2005 EPS is expected to be in the
range of US$2.20 to US$2.25 per share, consistent with Crane's
prior guidance.

Eric Fast, President and CEO, will note that Crane expects to
post record earnings in 2005 and has solid momentum going into
2006.

Mr. Fast will note that Crane's Aerospace and Electronics, and
Fluid Handling segments increased their operating margins during
the course of 2005, providing a strong base for the continued
growth in Crane's earnings per share and free cash flow in 2006.

Stamford, CT-based Crane Co makes a variety of industrial
products, including fluid handling equipment, aerospace
components, engineered materials, merchandising systems, and
controls. The Company serves the power generation, general
aviation, commercial construction, food and beverage, and
chemical industries.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: IPALCO Subsidiary Faces Exposure Lawsuits
--------------------------------------------------------------
In its 10-K report to the Securities and Exchange Commission,
IPALCO Enterprises Inc reports that, as of September 30, 2005
and December 31, 2004, its regulated utility unit Indianapolis
Power & Light defends about 110 and 113 pending lawsuits,
respectively, claiming personal injury or wrongful death
stemming from exposure to asbestos and asbestos-containing
products formerly located in IPL power plants.

IPL has been named as a "premises defendant" in that IPL did not
mine, manufacture, distribute or install asbestos or asbestos
containing products. These suits have been brought on behalf of
persons who worked for contractors or subcontractors hired by
IPL.

IPL has insurance, which may cover some portions of these
claims. Currently, counsel retained by various insurers who
wrote policies applicable to the period of time during which
much of the exposure has been alleged is defending these cases.

IPL has settled a number of asbestos related lawsuits for
amounts that, individually and in the aggregate, are not
material to IPL or IPALCO's financial position, results of
operations, or cash flows. Historically, settlements paid on
IPL's behalf have been comprised of proceeds from one or more
insurers along with comparatively smaller contributions by IPL.

Through its regulated utility unit, Indianapolis Power & Light,
Indianapolis, IN-based IPALCO generates, transmits, and
distributes electricity to nearly 460,000 customers in central
Indiana. IPALCO is a subsidiary of The AES Corporation (NYSE:
AES), an independent power producer.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ABB CEP Seeks Asbestos Resolution in 2006
--------------------------------------------------------------
ABB Ltd (NYSE: ABB) Chief Executive Officer Fred Kindle restated
that he hopes the Company's asbestos litigation issue will be
resolved before the end of the year, but added that this may not
happen now until early next year, Forbes reports.

"Whether it happens by the end of this year or at the beginning
of next year, what matters is that it is resolved," Mr. Kindle
said.

Mr. Kindle reiterated the engineering company's guidance of a
"nice profit" this year, which will enable it to pay a dividend
for the first time in five years.

Speaking in an interview with HandelsZeitung, Mr. Kindle
declined to comment on recent business performance, saying only,
"Market conditions, as is known, remain favourable." He also
reiterated ABB's mid-term targets for the period 2005-9.

Zurich, Switzerland-based ABB Ltd., formerly called Asea Brown
Boveri, operates through two major divisions, power technologies
and automation technologies, which serves a broad base of
utility, industrial, and commercial customers. The Company has
undergone extensive restructuring to focus on these two core
units.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Woman Receives GBP152,000 Compensation
--------------------------------------------------------------
National Grid Transco Plc awards Valerie Missen, a 63-year-old
woman diagnosed with asbestos-related cancer, with GBP152,000 as
compensation, Fleet News And Mail reports.

National Grid is the successor to Mrs. Missen's former employer
South East Gas.

Mrs. Missen developed mesothelioma while employed as a technical
expert by Segas from 1969 to 1975. She used to develop
procedures for converting obsolete gas appliances from town gas
to natural gas. To carry out this job she was issued with a
standard Segas tool kit, which included pliers, spanners and an
asbestos mat measuring 3 feet by 4 feet.

Mrs. Missen also worked on ovens, which had to be dismantled and
have their asbestos seals removed. She was never given a mask or
respirator or warned of the risk of inhaling asbestos.

Thompsons Solicitors of Southampton represented Mrs. Missen.

Spokesman John Hall said, "This is an unusual case in that it
was more often men who were exposed to asbestos directly during
their working lives. I anticipate that we will see far more
female victims of asbestos related disease in the future.
Mesothelioma is a killer and sadly there are likely to be many
more men and women who have contracted the disease following
asbestos exposure at work."

Mrs. Missen's case was referred to Thompsons by the Cheshire
Asbestos Victims Support Group, which was founded in 1992 to
help victims of asbestos-related illnesses and their families.

It is run by volunteers, most of who are victims or relatives of
victims, and financed by small grants from various
organizations, plus donations from victims and other supporters.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Public Citizen Warns of Legislation Flaws
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Public Citizen said a recently-released Government
Accountability Office study to help Congress address the
asbestos issue warns of deep flaws besetting existing federal
compensation programs and should be a lesson to lawmakers
contemplating a US$140 billion asbestos trust fund.

Despite significant differences among the four programs it
reviewed, the GAO found that they all shortchanged victims and
swallowed tax dollars.

The GAO discovered that the programs had to be expanded beyond
their original scope to include more categories of claimants,
more medical conditions or additional benefits and that benefit
costs exceeded or will soon exceed initial estimates.

The GAO report's findings echo those of Professor Peter Barth of
the University of Connecticut, who earlier in 2005 reviewed the
three occupational injury programs and cautioned that the
historic pattern of unrealistic forecasting and insufficient
funding would doom the asbestos trust fund as well.

Several analyses of the asbestos proposal as currently conceived
have found that asbestos injury claims could dramatically
outstrip the financial capacity of the fund to satisfy them,
sending victims back to the courts and renewing corporate
liabilities.

The Congressional Budget Office estimate produced for the
Senate's asbestos trust fund bill, S. 852, in August 2005
forecast a US$6 billion shortfall in the first 10 years that
would have to be covered by government borrowing.

It projected the total cost of the fund at US$120 to US$150
billion, excluding financing, but with the disclaimer that the
significant uncertainty surrounding many of its assumptions-such
as the number, severity and timing of claims, future interest
rates and inflation, among others-made this estimate highly
unreliable.

In a November letter addressed to S. 852 author and Senate
Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican, the
CBO flatly stated that the fund might not have sufficient
resources to pay claims greater than US$130 billion.

Bates White LLC, a private financial consulting firm, conducted
its own analysis in November 2005 and concluded that "even under
conservative assumptions" the fund would need US$300 billion to
satisfy claims-more than double the US$140 billion proposed.

The GAO concluded its report on federal compensation programs
with this advice, "Because these programs may expand
significantly beyond the initial cost estimates, policymakers
must carefully consider the cost and precedent-setting
implications of establishing any new federal compensation
programs, particularly in light of the current federal deficit."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Dying Victim Battles to Change Payout Law
--------------------------------------------------------------
A 74-year-old former Glasgow railway worker dying of a rare kind
of asbestos-related cancer spends his last months battling to
change the law, the Evening Times reports.

As John Greig, who was diagnosed with mesothelioma two months
ago, contended with the reality of having a terminal illness, he
also found out that he and his family were forced to agonize
over a dilemma regarding compensation.

Compensation claim rules mean that Mr. Greig, who worked for 20
years as a coach repairer at the St. Rollox railway works in
Springburn, has to make a choice that could see his family lose
thousands of pounds.

By law, Mr. Greig can claim compensation for himself, while his
wife Mary and son Graham are also entitled to a separate claim
for "loss of society" due to Mr. Greig's illness. However, if
his case is successful before he dies his family's claim is
wiped out.

Mr. Greig has to decide whether to claim for himself and hope to
see a settlement in his lifetime, or tell his wife to wait until
he dies so she can make her own claim. He has decided to go
ahead with his claim but is praying the law will have changed by
the time he dies so his family will also be able to seek
compensation.

With the support of campaigners from Clydeside Action on
Asbestos and Clydebank Asbestos Group, Mr. Greig lobbied the
Scottish Parliament urging MSPs to support their attempt to
change the law so victims and families can claim while the
sufferer is alive.

Frank Maguire, of asbestos law firm Thompsons solicitors said
sufferers can expect to receive around GBP55,000 for pain and
suffering, while a separate claim by a wife would get GBP28,000
and children GBP10,000 for "loss of society."

If Mr. Greig is successful his wife and son cannot claim and
would lose GBP38,000 but if they wait until he dies they can
still make their own claim and get compensation on his behalf.

A Scottish Executive spokeswoman said, "Deputy Justice Minister
Hugh Henry has written to the Justice 1 committee advising that
officials are investigating the detail of legislative proposals
by Clydeside Action on Asbestos. He will write again to the
committee with the Executive's considered views."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Schools' Asbestos Bills Reach GBP1Mil
-------------------------------------------------------------
Council officials paid out more than GBP1 million to test for
and treat asbestos in schools across Sunderland, Durham and
South Tyneside in 2004, which prompted a union to say that a
massive cash injection is needed to rid school buildings of
batches of deadly asbestos, Sunderland Today reports.

GMB union officials believe the Government should foot the bill
to clear asbestos from every school where it is found.

According to Freedom of Information Act figures, work was
carried out in 100 schools in Wearside and Durham alone, ranging
from GBP50 to test for dust at one school to GBP19,715 to strip
asbestos out of a city primary.

In Durham, 54 schools had asbestos cleared out costing
GBP750,811, while in South Tyneside, the bill for the last two
years is now running at GBP180,000. In Sunderland, 47 schools
had work carried out, leaving the council to pay out GBP179,286.

Durham County Council also carries out inspections and removes
asbestos during revamps. Asbestos removal from one primary
school cost GBP125,000.


ASBESTOS ALERT: UK Waste Management Firm Hit With GBP70,000 Fine
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Shrewsbury Magistrates Court slapped a Telford, UK-based
waste management firm with GBP70,000 in fines and costs for
polluting the Shropshire countryside, the Shropshire Star
reports.

District Judge Bruce Morgan heard that Wellings Ltd, the
operator of Pink Skips at Ketley, had illegally dumped 7,000
tons of potentially harmful waste, including asbestos, on two
privately owned sites.

The Court fined Wellings Ltd a total of GBP39,000 and ordered to
pay GBP31,000 prosecution costs to the Environment Agency.

The Court heard how hundreds of lorry loads of rubbish including
white asbestos, plastic pipes, polystyrene, shoes, light
fittings, cables, brick and concrete rubble, nails and bolts had
been dumped in 2002 on farmland at Great Bolas, near Telford,
and land used for car boot sales and fishing pools close to the
M54 Telford Services, near Shifnal.

Guilty pleas were entered on the Company's behalf to four
charges of depositing waste without a waste management license
and three of failing to comply with a duty of care under the
Environment Protection Act.

The prosecution dropped seven similar charges against the
company directors individually, brothers Sheridan Jaundrell and
William Wellings, and two charges relating white asbestos.

Wellings Ltd, in a statement issued afterwards, blamed a failure
in its screening machine and a lack of control over the process.


COMPANY PROFILE

Pink Skips
Recycling House
Ruck Road, Ketley
Telford, Shropshire TF1 5HW  
Telephone: 01952 222214  
Fax: 01952 265119  
Email: sheridan@pinkskips.co.uk  
Website: http://www.pinkskips.co.uk

Description:
Involved in the waste industry for over 25 years, Wellings Ltd
operates Pink Skips. Pink Skips is a privately owned waste
management and skip hire companies in the Midlands and is
situated in Ketley, Telford within easy access of the M54
motorway.


                  New Securities Fraud Cases


DIEBOLD INC.: Stull Stull Files Securities Fraud Suit in N.D. OH
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Stull, Stull & Brody initiated a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Ohio on behalf of all persons who purchased the
securities of Diebold Inc. (NYSE: DBD) ("Diebold" or the
"Company") during the period between October 22, 2003 and
September 21, 2005 (the "Class Period") against Diebold and
individual defendants.

The complaint alleges that defendants violated provisions of the
United States securities laws causing artificial inflation of
the Company's stock price. According to the complaint, during
the Class Period, the Company lacked a credible state of
internal controls and corporate compliance and remained unable
to assure the quality and working order of its voting machine
products. It is further alleged that the Company's false and
misleading statements served to conceal the dimensions and scope
of internal problems at the Company, impacting product quality,
strategic planning, forecasting and guidance and culminating in
false representations of astonishingly low and incredibly
inaccurate restructuring charges for the 2005 fiscal year, which
grossly understated the true costs and problems defendants faced
to restructure the Company. The complaint also alleges over $2.7
million of insider trading proceeds obtained by individual
defendants during the Class Period.

Finally, investors learned the truth about the adverse impact of
the Company's alleged defective and deficient inventory-related
controls and systems on Diebold's financial performance. As a
result of defendants' shocking news and disclosures of September
21, 2005, the price of Diebold shares plunged 15.5% on unusually
high volume, falling from $44.37 per share on September 20,
2005, to $37.47 per share on September 21, 2005, for a one-day
drop of $6.90 per share on volume of 6.1 million shares --
nearly eight times the average daily trading volume.

For more details, contact Tzivia Brody of Stull, Stull & Brody,
6 East 45th Street, New York, NY 10017, Phone: 1-800-337-4983,
Fax: 212/490-2022, E-mail: SSBNY@aol.com.


FARO TECHNOLOGIES: Milberg Weiss Lodges Securities Suit in FL
-------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman, LLP, initiated
a class action lawsuit on behalf of all persons who purchased or
otherwise acquired the securities of FARO Technologies Inc.
("FARO" or the "Company") (NasdaqNM: FARO), between May 6, 2004,
and November 3, 2005 inclusive (the "Class Period"), seeking to
pursue remedies under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the
"Exchange Act").

The action, case no. 05-CV-1810, is pending before the Honorable
Anne C. Conway in the United States District Court for the
Middle District of Florida against defendants FARO, Simon Raab
(CEO and Chairman), Gregory A. Fraser (Executive VP, Secretary,
Treasurer and a director), and Barbara R. Smith (CFO). According
to the complaint, defendants violated sections 10(b) and 20(a)
of the Exchange Act, and Rule 10b-5, by issuing a series of
material misrepresentations to the market during the Class
Period.

The complaint alleges that FARO and its subsidiaries develop and
market software and devices for manufacturers in the automotive,
aerospace, power generation, heavy equipment, and electronics
industries to meet precision measurement requirements. The
Company claimed that its products could increase productivity
and profitability by eliminating manufacturing errors. At or
about the beginning of the Class Period, the Company represented
that it had implemented "lean manufacturing" principles that
purportedly increased the Company's production capacity, among
other improvements, by "eliminating wastes," such as
overproduction, wait time, inefficient processes, and product
defects. During the Class Period, defendants issued strong
results and positive guidance which defendants attributed to, in
material part, the Company's purported implementation of
adequate controls and efficient practices. Unbeknownst to
investors, however, these statements were materially false and
misleading, and known or recklessly disregarded by defendants as
such, because the Company's internal inventory and accounting
controls and procedures were wholly defective and inadequate
during the Class Period.

The truth began to emerge on July 18, 2005. On that day, the
Company issued a press release revealing that it had a backlog
of unfilled customer orders that had grown significantly in the
second quarter of 2005 and that, as a result, the Company
significantly lowered its earnings guidance for that quarter. On
November 3, 2005, after the market closed, the Company announced
that it had incurred $1.6 million in "inventory costing and
consumption variances . . . due to processing problems relating
to the implementation of our new accounting and inventory
management systems." Defendant Simon Raab later admitted that
the Company had not been able to keep up with customer orders,
in particular, "late arriving Asian orders in Q2," resulting in
"substantially more complex inventory management situations, and
. . . substantial inventory increases." In reaction to this
news, the price of FARO stock plummeted $4.39, or 19.6%, from
its closing price of $22.38 on November 3, 2005, to finally
close on November 4, 2005, at $17.99, on unusually heavy volume.
As a result of defendants' materially false and misleading
statements, the price of FARO securities became artificially
inflated during the Class Period. Defendants were motivated to
engage in the wrongful and fraudulent conduct alleged in the
complaint to sell over 1.48 million of their personally held
FARO shares for profits of over $40.9 million, and to complete
the acquisition of iQvolution AG using FARO stock.

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


GUIDANT CORPORATION: Lerach Coughlin Files Securities Suit in IN
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins,
LLP, initiated a class actions in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of Indiana on behalf of
purchasers of Guidant Corporation ("Guidant") (NYSE:GDT)
publicly traded securities during the period between December
15, 2004 and November 4, 2005 (the "Class Period").

The complaints charge Guidant and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934. Guidant and its subsidiaries provide therapeutic medical
solutions for customers, patients and healthcare systems
worldwide.

On December 15, 2004, defendants announced that Guidant had been
sold to Johnson & Johnson ("J&J") for approximately $25 billion
in cash and J&J stock, within an imputed value of approximately
$76 per share. Meanwhile, according to the complaints,
throughout the fall of 2004 and spring of 2005, defendants
continued concealing from investors, regulators, and,
ostensibly, J&J, the truth about the known defects in Guidant's
defibrillators and pacemakers, including:

     (1) that they had discovered a design flaw in
         defibrillators manufactured prior to April 2002;

     (2) that despite knowledge of the design flaw, they
         continued to sell these defective defibrillators to
         maintain Guidant's revenue stream;

     (3) that at the time of the proposed merger with J&J, many
         defibrillators and pacemakers had failed or
         malfunctioned;

     (4) that as a result of these manufacturing defects,
         revenues from Guidant's defibrillator and pacemaker
         business would be negatively impacted going forward;
         and

     (5) more importantly, that Guidant would likely be exposed
         to substantial litigation risks as more reports of
         failed defibrillators and pacemakers surfaced,
         significantly decreasing the price J&J would be willing
         to pay for Guidant.

Finally, on November 2, 2005, citing issues surrounding
Guidant's defibrillators and the investigation initiated by the
U.S. Attorney's Office as constituting "material adverse
effects" that delimited its duty to perform on the merger
agreement, J&J announced it was not required to complete the
acquisition of Guidant, signaling it would not. On November 4,
2005, when J&J's 48-hour deadline in which to complete the
transaction expired, shares of Guidant fell to $57.52, a drop of
more than $14 per share from the December 15, 2004 merger
announcement date, erasing over $4.5 billion in market
capitalization. Thereafter, on November 15, 2005, defendants
agreed to sell Guidant to J&J for $21.5 billion, or $4 billion
less than the price announced at the start of the Class Period.

For more details, contact William Lerach or Darren Robbins of
Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins, LLP, Phone:
800-449-4900 or 619-231-1058, E-mail: wsl@lerachlaw.com, Web
site: http://www.lerachlaw.com/cases/guidantcorp/.  


WELLS FARGO: Stull Stull Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in N.D. CA
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Stull, Stull & Brody initiated a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern
District of California against Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC)
and certain of its affiliates, on behalf of those who purchased
Franklin Templeton mutual funds from Wells Fargo Investments,
LLC ("Wells Fargo Investments") or H.D. Vest Investment
Services, LLC ("H.D. Vest") during the period between June 30,
2000 and June 8, 2005, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The Franklin Templeton mutual funds and their respective symbols
are as follows:

Franklin AGE High Income Fund (NASDAQ: AGEFX) (NASDAQ: FAHAX)
(NASDAQ: FHIBX) (NASDAQ: FRAIX) (NASDAQ: FAHRX)
Franklin Adjustable U.S. Government Securities Fund (NASDAQ:
FISAX)
(NASDAQ: FCSCX)
Franklin Aggressive Growth Fund (NASDAQ: FGRAX) (NASDAQ: FRAAX)
(NASDAQ: FKABX) (NASDAQ: FKACX) (NASDAQ: FKARX)
Franklin Alabama Tax-Free Income Fund (NASDAQ: FRALX) (NASDAQ:
FALEX)
Franklin Arizona Tax-Free Income Fund (NASDAQ: FTAZX) (NASDAQ:
FBAZX)
(NASDAQ: FAZIX)
Franklin Balance Sheet Investment Fund (NASDAQ: FRBSX) (NASDAQ:
FBSAX)
(NASDAQ: FBSBX) (NASDAQ: FCBSX) (NASDAQ: FBSRX)
Franklin Biotechnology Discovery Fund (NASDAQ: FBDIX)
Franklin Blue Chip Fund (NASDAQ: FKBCX) (NASDAQ: FKBBX) (NASDAQ:
FBCCX)
(NASDAQ: FBCRX)
Franklin California High Yield Municipal Fund (NASDAQ: FCAMX)
(NASDAQ: FBCAX) (NASDAQ: FCAHX)
Franklin California Insured Tax-Free Income Fund (NASDAQ: FRCIX)
(NASDAQ: FRCBX) (NASDAQ: FRCAX)
Franklin California Intermediate-Term Tax-Free Income Fund
(NASDAQ: FKCIX)
Franklin California Limited Term Tax-Free Income Fund
Franklin California Tax-Exempt Money Fund (NASDAQ: FCLXX)
Franklin California Tax-Free Income Fund (NASDAQ: FKTFX)
(NASDAQ: FCAVX)
(NASDAQ: FCABX) (NASDAQ: FRCTX)
Franklin Capital Growth Fund (NASDAQ: FKREX) (NASDAQ: FEACX)
(NASDAQ: FKEQX) (NASDAQ: FREQX) (NASDAQ: FKIRX)
Franklin Colorado Tax-Free Income Fund (NASDAQ: FRCOX) (NASDAQ:
FCOIX)
Franklin Connecticut Tax-Free Income Fund (NASDAQ: FXCTX)
(NASDAQ: FCTIX)
Franklin Convertible Securities Fund (NASDAQ: FISCX) (NASDAQ:
FROTX)
Franklin Double Tax-Free Income Fund (NASDAQ: FPRTX) (NASDAQ:
FPRIX)
Franklin DynaTech Fund (NASDAQ: FKDNX) (NASDAQ: FDNBX) (NASDAQ:
FDYNX)
Franklin Equity Income Fund (NASDAQ: FISEX) (NASDAQ: FBEIX)
(NASDAQ: FRETX)
(NASDAQ: FREIX)
Franklin Federal Intermediate-Term Tax-Free Income Fund (NASDAQ:
FKITX)
Franklin Federal Limited Term Tax-Free Income Fund (NASDAQ:
FFTFX)
Franklin Federal Money Fund (NASDAQ: FMNXX)
Franklin Federal Tax-Free Income Fund (NASDAQ: FKTIX) (NASDAQ:
FAFTX)
(NASDAQ: FFTBX) (NASDAQ: FRFTX)
Franklin Flex Cap Growth Fund (NASDAQ: FKCGX) (NASDAQ: FKCBX)
(NASDAQ: FCIIX) (NASDAQ: FRCGX)
Franklin Floating Rate Daily Access Fund (NASDAQ: FAFRX)
(NASDAQ: FBFRX)
(NASDAQ: FCFRX)
Franklin Floating Rate Trust (NASDAQ: XFFLX)
Franklin Florida Insured Tax-Free Income Fund (NASDAQ: FFLTX)
Franklin Florida Tax-Free Income Fund (NASDAQ: FRFLX) (NASDAQ:
FRFBX)
(NASDAQ: FRFIX)
Franklin Georgia Tax-Free Income Fund (NASDAQ: FTGAX) (NASDAQ:
FGAIX)
Franklin Global Aggressive Growth Fund
Franklin Global Communications Fund (NASDAQ: FRGUX)
Franklin Global Growth Fund
Franklin Global Health Care Fund (NASDAQ: FKGHX) (NASDAQ: FGHBX)
(NASDAQ: FGIIX)
Franklin Gold and Precious Metals Fund (NASDAQ: FKRCX) (NASDAQ:
FGADX)
(NASDAQ: FAGPX) (NASDAQ: FRGOX)
Franklin Growth Fund (NASDAQ: FKGRX) (NASDAQ: FCGAX) (NASDAQ:
FKGBX)
(NASDAQ: FRGSX) (NASDAQ: FGSRX)
Franklin High Yield Tax-Free Income Fund (NASDAQ: FRHIX)
(NASDAQ: FYIBX)
(NASDAQ: FHYIX)
Franklin Income Fund (NASDAQ: FKINX) (NASDAQ: FRIAX) (NASDAQ:
FBICX)
(NASDAQ: FICBX) (NASDAQ: FCISX) (NASDAQ: FISRX)
Franklin Insured Tax-Free Income Fund (NASDAQ: FTFIX) (NASDAQ:
FBITX)
(NASDAQ: FRITX)
Franklin Kentucky Tax-Free Income Fund (NASDAQ: FRKYX)
Franklin Large Cap Growth Fund (NASDAQ: FKGAX) (NASDAQ: FRGAX)
(NASDAQ: FKGCX) (NASDAQ: FRLGX)
Franklin Large Cap Value Fund (NASDAQ: FLVAX) (NASDAQ: FBLCX)
(NASDAQ: FLCVX) (NASDAQ: FLCRX)
Franklin Louisiana Tax-Free Income Fund (NASDAQ: FKLAX) (NASDAQ:
FLAIX)
Franklin Maryland Tax-Free Income Fund (NASDAQ: FMDTX) (NASDAQ:
FMDIX)
Franklin Massachusetts Insured Tax-Free Income Fund (NASDAQ:
FMISX)
(NASDAQ: FMAIX)
Franklin Michigan Insured Tax-Free Income Fund (NASDAQ: FTTMX)
(NASDAQ: FBMIX) (NASDAQ: FRMTX)
Franklin MicroCap Value Fund (NASDAQ: FRMCX)
Franklin Minnesota Insured Tax-Free Income Fund (NASDAQ: FMINX)
(NASDAQ: FMNIX)
Franklin Missouri Tax-Free Income Fund (NASDAQ: FRMOX) (NASDAQ:
FMOIX)
Franklin Money Fund (NASDAQ: FMFXX)
Franklin Natural Resources Fund (NASDAQ: FRNRX) (NASDAQ: FNRAX)
Franklin New Jersey Tax-Free Income Fund (NASDAQ: FRNJX)
(NASDAQ: FNJBX)
(NASDAQ: FNIIX)
Franklin New York Insured Tax-Free Income Fund (NASDAQ: FRNYX)
(NASDAQ: FNYKX)
Franklin New York Intermediate-Term Tax-Free Income Fund
(NASDAQ: FKNIX)
Franklin New York Limited Term Tax-Free Income Fund
Franklin New York Tax-Exempt Money Fund (NASDAQ: FRNXX)
Franklin New York Tax-Free Income Fund (NASDAQ: FNYTX) (NASDAQ:
FNYAX)
(NASDAQ: FTFBX) (NASDAQ: FNYIX)
Franklin North Carolina Tax-Free Income Fund (NASDAQ: FXNCX)
(NASDAQ: FNCIX)
Franklin Ohio Insured Tax-Free Income Fund (NASDAQ: FTOIX)
(NASDAQ: FBOIX) (NASDAQ: FOITX)
Franklin Oregon Tax-Free Income Fund (NASDAQ: FRORX) (NASDAQ:
FORIX)
Franklin Pennsylvania Tax-Free Income Fund (NASDAQ: FRPAX)
(NASDAQ: FBPTX)
(NASDAQ: FRPTX)
Franklin Real Estate Securities Fund (NASDAQ: FREEX) (NASDAQ:
FRLAX)
(NASDAQ: FBREX) (NASDAQ: FRRSX)
Franklin Rising Dividends Fund (NASDAQ: FRDPX) (NASDAQ: FRDBX)
(NASDAQ: FRDTX) (NASDAQ: FRDRX)
Franklin Short-Intermediate U.S. Government Securities Fund
(NASDAQ: FRGVX)
(NASDAQ: FSUAX)
Franklin Small Cap Growth Fund II (NASDAQ: FSGRX) (NASDAQ:
FSSAX)
(NASDAQ: FBSGX) (NASDAQ: FCSGX) (NASDAQ: FSSRX)
Franklin Small Cap Value Fund (NASDAQ: FRVLX) (NASDAQ: FVADX)
(NASDAQ: FBVAX) (NASDAQ: FRVFX) (NASDAQ: FVFRX)
Franklin Small-Mid Cap Growth Fund (NASDAQ: FRSGX) (NASDAQ:
FSGAX)
(NASDAQ: FBSMX) (NASDAQ: FRSIX) (NASDAQ: FSMRX)
Franklin Strategic Income Fund (NASDAQ: FRSTX) (NASDAQ: FKSAX)
(NASDAQ: FKSBX) (NASDAQ: FSGCX) (NASDAQ: FKSRX)
Franklin Strategic Mortgage Portfolio (NASDAQ: FSMIX)
Franklin Tax-Exempt Money Fund (NASDAQ: FTMXX)
Franklin Technology Fund (NASDAQ: FTCAX) (NASDAQ: FRTCX)
(NASDAQ: FFTCX)
(NASDAQ: FTERX)
Franklin Templeton Conservative Target Fund (NASDAQ: FTCIX)
(NASDAQ: FTCCX)
(NASDAQ: FTCRX)
Franklin Templeton CoreFolio Allocation Fund (NASDAQ: FTCOX)
Franklin Templeton Founding Funds Allocation Fund (NASDAQ:
FFALX)
(NASDAQ: FFABX) (NASDAQ: FFACX)
Franklin Templeton Growth Target Fund (NASDAQ: FGTIX) (NASDAQ:
FTGTX)
(NASDAQ: FGTRX)
Franklin Templeton Hard Currency Fund (NASDAQ: ICPHX)
Franklin Templeton Moderate Target Fund (NASDAQ: FMTIX) (NASDAQ:
FTMTX)
(NASDAQ: FTMRX)
Franklin Templeton Money Fund (NASDAQ: FMBXX) (NASDAQ: FRIXX)
(NASDAQ: FMRXX)
Franklin Tennessee Municipal Bond Fund (NASDAQ: FRTIX)
Franklin Texas Tax-Free Income Fund (NASDAQ: FTXTX) (NASDAQ:
FTXIX)
Franklin Total Return Fund (NASDAQ: FKBAX) (NASDAQ: FBDAX)
(NASDAQ: FBTLX)
(NASDAQ: FCTLX) (NASDAQ: FTRRX)
Franklin U.S. Government Securities Fund (NASDAQ: FKUSX)
(NASDAQ: FUSAX)
(NASDAQ: FUGBX) (NASDAQ: FRUGX) (NASDAQ: FUSRX)
Franklin U.S. Long-Short Fund (NASDAQ: FUSLX)
Franklin Utilities Fund (NASDAQ: FKUTX) (NASDAQ: FRUAX) (NASDAQ:
FRUBX)
(NASDAQ: FRUSX) (NASDAQ: FRURX)
Franklin Virginia Tax-Free Income Fund (NASDAQ: FRVAX) (NASDAQ:
FVAIX)
Templeton China World Fund (NASDAQ: TCWAX) (NASDAQ: TACWX)
Templeton Developing Markets Trust (NASDAQ: TEDMX) (NASDAQ:
TDADX)
(NASDAQ: TDMBX) (NASDAQ: TDMTX) (NASDAQ: TDMRX)
Templeton Foreign Fund (NASDAQ: TEMFX) (NASDAQ: TFFAX) (NASDAQ:
TFRBX)
(NASDAQ: TEFTX) (NASDAQ: TEFRX)
Templeton Foreign Smaller Companies Fund (NASDAQ: FINEX)
(NASDAQ: FTFAX)
(NASDAQ: FCFSX)
Templeton Global Bond Fund (NASDAQ: TPINX) (NASDAQ: TGBAX)
(NASDAQ: TEGBX)
Templeton Global Long-Short Fund (NASDAQ: TLSAX) (NASDAQ: TLSBX)
Templeton Global Opportunities Trust (NASDAQ: TEGOX) (NASDAQ:
TEGPX)
Templeton Global Smaller Companies Fund (NASDAQ: TEMGX) (NASDAQ:
TGSAX)
(NASDAQ: TESGX)
Templeton Growth Fund) (NASDAQ: Inc. (NASDAQ: TEPLX) (NASDAQ:
TGADX)
(NASDAQ: TMGBX) (NASDAQ: TEGTX) (NASDAQ: TEGRX)
Templeton International (Ex EM) Fund (NASDAQ: TEGEX) (NASDAQ:
TGEFX)
Templeton Latin America Fund (NASDAQ: TELAX) (NASDAQ: TLAAX)
(NASDAQ: TLAIX)
Templeton Pacific Growth Fund (NASDAQ: FKPGX) (NASDAQ: FPGCX)
Templeton World Fund (NASDAQ: TEMWX) (NASDAQ: TWDBX) (NASDAQ:
TEWTX)
Mutual Beacon Fund (NASDAQ: TEBIX) (NASDAQ: TEBBX) (NASDAQ:
TEMEX)
(NASDAQ: BEGRX)
Mutual Discovery Fund (NASDAQ: TEDIX) (NASDAQ: TEDBX) (NASDAQ:
TEDSX)
(NASDAQ: TEDRX) (NASDAQ: MDISX)
Mutual European Fund (NASDAQ: TEMIX) (NASDAQ: TEUBX) (NASDAQ:
TEURX)
(NASDAQ: MEURX)
Mutual Financial Services Fund (NASDAQ: TFSIX) (NASDAQ: TBFSX)
(NASDAQ: TMFSX) (NASDAQ: TEFAX)
Mutual Qualified Fund (NASDAQ: TEQIX) (NASDAQ: TEBQX) (NASDAQ:
TEMQX)
(NASDAQ: MQIFX)
Mutual Recovery Fund (NASDAQ: FMRVX)
Mutual Shares Fund (NASDAQ: TESIX) (NASDAQ: FMUBX) (NASDAQ:
TEMTX)
(NASDAQ: TESRX) (NASDAQ: MUTHX)

The Wells Fargo Preferred Funds include mutual funds in the
following mutual fund families: Franklin Templeton Investments,
Putnam Investments, MFS Investment Management, Fidelity
Investments, Evergreen Investments, Alliance Bernstein
Investment Research and Management, Van Kampen Investments, AIM
Distributors, Inc., Oppenheimer Funds, Inc., Eaton Vance Managed
Investments, ING Funds Distributors, LLC, Allianz Global
Investors Distributors, LLC, Federated, The Hartford Mutual
Funds, Dreyfus Service Corporation, Delaware Investments,
Pioneer Investment Management, Inc., Scudder Investments, and
Wells Fargo Mutual Funds.

The H.D. Vest Preferred Funds include mutual funds in the
following mutual fund families: Oppenheimer Funds, Putnam
Investments, Scudder Investments, MFS Investment Management, Van
Kampen Investments, Lincoln Financial Distributors, AIM
Investments, Phoenix Investment Partners, John Hancock Funds,
Wells Fargo Funds, American Funds, and Franklin Templeton
Investments.

The action is pending in the United States District Court for
the Northern District of California against defendant Wells
Fargo & Company and certain of its affiliated entities. The
complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants
served as financial advisors who purportedly provided unbiased
and honest investment advice to their clients. Unbeknownst to
investors, defendants, in clear contravention of their
disclosure obligations and fiduciary responsibilities, failed to
properly disclose that they had engaged in a scheme to
aggressively push Wells Fargo Investments and H.D. Vest sales
personnel to steer clients into purchasing certain Wells Fargo
Funds and Wells Fargo and H.D. Vest Preferred Funds
(collectively, "Shelf Space Funds") that provided financial
incentives and rewards to Wells Fargo and H.D. Vest and their
personnel based on sales. The complaint alleges that defendants'
undisclosed sales practices created an insurmountable conflict
of interest by providing substantial monetary incentives to sell
Shelf-Space Funds to their clients, even though such investments
were not in the clients' best interest. Wells Fargo Investments
and H.D. Vest's failure to disclose the incentives constituted
violations of federal securities laws.

The action also includes a subclass of persons who held any
shares of Wells Fargo Mutual Funds. The complaint additionally
alleges that the investment advisor subsidiary of Wells Fargo,
Wells Fargo Funds Management, created further undisclosed
material conflicts of interest by entering into revenue sharing
agreements with brokers at Wells Fargo Investments and H.D. Vest
to push investors into Wells Fargo Funds, regardless of whether
such investments were in the investors' best interests. The
investment advisors financed these arrangements by illegally
charging excessive and improper fees to the fund that should
have been invested in the underlying portfolio. In doing so they
breached their fiduciary duties to investors under the
Investment Company Act and state law and decreased shareholders'
investment returns.

The action includes a second subclass of persons who purchased a
Wells Fargo Financial Plan that held Wells Fargo Funds. The
Wells Fargo Financial Plans include, but are not limited to Full
Service Brokerage Accounts, Wells Asset Management accounts,
WellsChoice account, and WellsSelect account.

For more details, contact Tzivia Brody of Stull, Stull & Brody,
6 East 45th Street, New York, NY 10017, Phone: 1-800-337-4983,
Fax: 212/490-2022, E-mail: SSBNY@aol.com.


WELLS FARGO: Stull Stull Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in N.D. CA
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Stull, Stull & Brody initiated a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern
District of California against Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC)
and certain of its affiliates, on behalf of those who purchased
Scudder mutual funds from Wells Fargo Investments, LLC ("Wells
Fargo Investments") or H.D. Vest Investment Services, LLC ("H.D.
Vest") during the period between June 30, 2000 and June 8, 2005,
inclusive (the "Class Period").

The Scudder mutual funds and their respective symbols are as
follows:

Scudder Aggressive Growth (NASDAQ: KGGAX) (NASDAQ: KGGBX)
(NASDAQ: KGGCX)
(NASDAQ: KGGIX)
Scudder Blue Chip (NASDAQ: KBCAX) (NASDAQ: KBCBX) (NASDAQ:
KBCCX)
(NASDAQ: KBCIX) (NASDAQ: KBCSX)
Scudder Capital Growth (NASDAQ: SDGAX) (NASDAQ: ACGFX) (NASDAQ:
SDGBX)
(NASDAQ: SDGCX) (NASDAQ: SDGTX) (NASDAQ: SDGRX) (NASDAQ: SCGSX)
Scudder Commodity Securities (NASDAQ: SKNRX) (NASDAQ: SKBRX)
(NASDAQ: SKCRX) (NASDAQ: SKIRX) (NASDAQ: SKSRX)
Scudder Development (NASDAQ: SDVLX) (NASDAQ: SCDVX)
Scudder Dreman Concentrated Value (NASDAQ: LOPEX) (NASDAQ:
LOPBX)
(NASDAQ: LOPCX) (NASDAQ: LOPIX)
Scudder Dreman Financial Services (NASDAQ: KDFAX) (NASDAQ:
KDFBX)
(NASDAQ: KDFCX)
Scudder Dreman High Return Eq (NASDAQ: KDHAX) (NASDAQ: KDHBX)
(NASDAQ: KDHCX) (NASDAQ: KDHIX) (NASDAQ: KDHRX) (NASDAQ: KDHSX)
Scudder Dreman Mid Cap Value (NASDAQ: MIDVX) (NASDAQ: MIDYX)
(NASDAQ: MIDZX) (NASDAQ: MIDIX) (NASDAQ: MIDTX)
Scudder Dreman Small Cap Value (NASDAQ: KDSAX) (NASDAQ: KDSBX)
(NASDAQ: KDSCX) (NASDAQ: KDSIX) (NASDAQ: KDSRX)
Scudder EAFE Equity Index (NASDAQ: BTAEX)
Scudder Emerging Markets (NASDAQ: SEKAX) (NASDAQ: SEMMX)
(NASDAQ: SEKBX)
(NASDAQ: SEKCX) (NASDAQ: SEMGX)
Scudder Emerging Markets Income (NASDAQ: SZEAX) (NASDAQ: SEMKX)
(NASDAQ: SZEBX) (NASDAQ: SZECX) (NASDAQ: SCEMX)
Scudder Equity 500 Index (NASDAQ: BTIIX) (NASDAQ: BTIEX)
Scudder Fixed Income (NASDAQ: SFXAX) (NASDAQ: SFXBX) (NASDAQ:
SFXCX)
(NASDAQ: MFINX) (NASDAQ: MFISX) (NASDAQ: SFXRX) (NASDAQ: SFXSX)
Scudder Flag Communications (NASDAQ: TISHX) (NASDAQ: FTEBX)
(NASDAQ: FTICX)
(NASDAQ: FLICX)
Scudder Flag Equity Partners (NASDAQ: FLEPX) (NASDAQ: FEPBX)
(NASDAQ: FEPCX) (NASDAQ: FLIPX)
Scudder Flag Value Builder (NASDAQ: FLVBX) (NASDAQ: FVBBX)
(NASDAQ: FVBCX)
(NASDAQ: FLIVX)
Scudder Global (NASDAQ: SGQAX) (NASDAQ: ACOBX) (NASDAQ: SGQBX)
(NASDAQ: SGQCX) (NASDAQ: SGQRX) (NASDAQ: SCOBX)
Scudder Global Bond (NASDAQ: SZGAX) (NASDAQ: SGBDX) (NASDAQ:
SZGBX)
(NASDAQ: SZGCX) (NASDAQ: SSTGX)
Scudder Global Discovery (NASDAQ: KGDAX) (NASDAQ: SGDPX)
(NASDAQ: KGDBX)
(NASDAQ: KGDCX) (NASDAQ: SGSCX)
Scudder GNMA (NASDAQ: AGNMX) (NASDAQ: SGINX)
Scudder Gold & Precious Metals (NASDAQ: SGDAX) (NASDAQ: SGLDX)
(NASDAQ: SGDBX) (NASDAQ: SGDCX) (NASDAQ: SCGDX)
Scudder Greater Europe (NASDAQ: SERAX) (NASDAQ: SGEGX) (NASDAQ:
SERBX)
(NASDAQ: SERCX) (NASDAQ: SERNX) (NASDAQ: SCGEX)
Scudder Growth & Income (NASDAQ: SUWAX) (NASDAQ: ACDGX) (NASDAQ:
SUWBX)
(NASDAQ: SUWCX) (NASDAQ: SUWIX) (NASDAQ: SUWRX) (NASDAQ: SCDGX)
Scudder Health Care (NASDAQ: SUHAX) (NASDAQ: SHCAX) (NASDAQ:
SUHBX)
(NASDAQ: SUHCX) (NASDAQ: SUHIX) (NASDAQ: SCHLX)
Scudder High Income (NASDAQ: KHYAX) (NASDAQ: KHYBX) (NASDAQ:
KHYCX)
(NASDAQ: KHYIX)
Scudder High Income Plus (NASDAQ: SGHAX) (NASDAQ: SGHTX)
(NASDAQ: SGHBX)
(NASDAQ: SGHCX) (NASDAQ: MGHYX) (NASDAQ: MGHVX) (NASDAQ: MGHPX)
(NASDAQ: SGHSX)
Scudder High-Yield Tax-Free (NASDAQ: NOTAX) (NASDAQ: SHYFX)
(NASDAQ: NOTBX)
(NASDAQ: NOTCX) (NASDAQ: NOTIX) (NASDAQ: SHYTX)
Scudder Income (NASDAQ: SZIAX) (NASDAQ: AINCX) (NASDAQ: SZIBX)
(NASDAQ: SZICX) (NASDAQ: SZIIX) (NASDAQ: SCSBX)
Scudder Inflation Protected Plus (NASDAQ: TIPAX) (NASDAQ: TIPTX)
(NASDAQ: TIPCX) (NASDAQ: TIPIX) (NASDAQ: TIPSX)
Scudder Intermediate Tax/Amt Free (NASDAQ: SZMAX) (NASDAQ:
SMTTX)
(NASDAQ: SZMBX) (NASDAQ: SZMCX) (NASDAQ: SZMIX) (NASDAQ: SZMVX)
(NASDAQ: SCMTX)
Scudder International (NASDAQ: SUIAX) (NASDAQ: AINTX) (NASDAQ:
SUIBX)
(NASDAQ: SUICX)
Scudder International Equity (NASDAQ: DBAIX) (NASDAQ: DBBIX)
(NASDAQ: DBCIX) (NASDAQ: BEIIX) (NASDAQ: BTEQX)
Scudder International (NASDAQ: SUIIX) (NASDAQ: SCINX)
Scudder International Sel Eq (NASDAQ: DBISX) (NASDAQ: DBIBX)
(NASDAQ: DBICX) (NASDAQ: MGINX) (NASDAQ: MGIVX) (NASDAQ: MGIPX)
(NASDAQ: DBITX) (NASDAQ: DBIVX)
Scudder Japanese Equity (NASDAQ: FJEAX) (NASDAQ: FJEBX) (NASDAQ:
FJECX)
(NASDAQ: FJESX)
Scudder Large Cap Value (NASDAQ: KDCAX) (NASDAQ: KDCPX) (NASDAQ:
KDCBX)
(NASDAQ: KDCCX) (NASDAQ: KDCIX) (NASDAQ: KDCRX) (NASDAQ: KDCSX)
Scudder Large Company Growth (NASDAQ: SGGAX) (NASDAQ: SLGRX)
(NASDAQ: SGGBX) (NASDAQ: SGGCX) (NASDAQ: SGGIX) (NASDAQ: SCQRX)
(NASDAQ: SCQGX)
Scudder Latin America (NASDAQ: SLANX) (NASDAQ: SLAMX) (NASDAQ:
SLAOX)

(NASDAQ: SLAPX) (NASDAQ: SLAFX)
Scudder Lifecycle Long Range (NASDAQ: BTAMX) (NASDAQ: BTILX)
Scudder Lifecycle Mid Range (NASDAQ: BTLRX)
Scudder Lifecycle Short Range (NASDAQ: BTSRX)
Scudder Limited-Duration Plus (NASDAQ: PPIAX) (NASDAQ: PPLCX)
(NASDAQ: DBPIX)
Scudder MA Tax-Free (NASDAQ: SQMAX) (NASDAQ: SMAFX) (NASDAQ:
SQMBX)
(NASDAQ: SQMCX) (NASDAQ: SCMAX)
Scudder Managed Municipal Bonds (NASDAQ: SMLAX) (NASDAQ: AMUBX)
(NASDAQ: SMLBX) (NASDAQ: SMLCX) (NASDAQ: SMLIX) (NASDAQ: SCMBX)
Scudder Micro Cap (NASDAQ: SMFAX) (NASDAQ: SMFBX) (NASDAQ:
SMFCX)
(NASDAQ: MGMCX) (NASDAQ: MMFSX) (NASDAQ: SMFSX)
Scudder Mid Cap Growth (NASDAQ: SMCAX) (NASDAQ: SMCBX) (NASDAQ:
SMCCX)
(NASDAQ: BTEAX) (NASDAQ: BTCAX) (NASDAQ: SMCRX) (NASDAQ: SMCSX)
Scudder Pacific Opportunities (NASDAQ: SPAOX) (NASDAQ: SPOPX)
(NASDAQ: SBPOX) (NASDAQ: SPCCX) (NASDAQ: SCOPX)
Scudder Pathway Conservative (NASDAQ: SUCAX) (NASDAQ: APWCX)
(NASDAQ: SUCBX) (NASDAQ: SUCCX) (NASDAQ: SCPCX)
Scudder Pathway Growth (NASDAQ: SUPAX) (NASDAQ: APWGX) (NASDAQ:
SUPBX)
(NASDAQ: SUPCX) (NASDAQ: SPGRX)
Scudder Pathway Growth Plus (NASDAQ: PLUSX) (NASDAQ: PLSBX)
(NASDAQ: PLSCX)
(NASDAQ: PPLSX)
Scudder Pathway Moderate (NASDAQ: SPDAX) (NASDAQ: SPWBX)
(NASDAQ: SPDBX)
(NASDAQ: SPDCX) (NASDAQ: SPBAX)
Scudder Retirement VI (NASDAQ: KRFFX)
Scudder Retirement VII (NASDAQ: KRFGX)
Scudder RREEF Real Estate Sec (NASDAQ: RRRRX) (NASDAQ: RRRAX)
(NASDAQ: RRRBX) (NASDAQ: RRRCX) (NASDAQ: RRRSX) (NASDAQ: RRREX)
Scudder S&P 500 Index (NASDAQ: SX)PAX) (NASDAQ: ASPIX) (NASDAQ:
SXPRB)
(NASDAQ: SXPCX) (NASDAQ: SCPIX)
Scudder Select 500 (NASDAQ: OUTDX) (NASDAQ: SSLFX) (NASDAQ:
OUTBX)
(NASDAQ: OUTCX) (NASDAQ: OUTRX) (NASDAQ: SSFFX)
Scudder Short Duration (NASDAQ: SDUAX) (NASDAQ: SDUBX) (NASDAQ:
SDUCX)
(NASDAQ: MGSFX) (NASDAQ: SDUSX)
Scudder Short Term Municipal Bond (NASDAQ: SRMSX)
Scudder Short-Term Bond (NASDAQ: SZBAX) (NASDAQ: ASHTX) (NASDAQ:
SZBBX)
(NASDAQ: SZBCX) (NASDAQ: SCSTX)
Scudder Short-Term Muni Bd (NASDAQ: SRMAX) (NASDAQ: SRMBX)
(NASDAQ: SRMCX)
(NASDAQ: MGSMX) (NASDAQ: MSMSX)
Scudder Small Cap Growth (NASDAQ: SSDAX) (NASDAQ: SSDPX)
(NASDAQ: SSDBX)
(NASDAQ: SSDCX) (NASDAQ: SSDIX) (NASDAQ: BTSCX) (NASDAQ: SSDRX)
(NASDAQ: SSDSX)
Scudder Small Company Stock (NASDAQ: SZCAX) (NASDAQ: ASCSX)
(NASDAQ: SZCBX)
(NASDAQ: SZCCX) (NASDAQ: SSLCX)
Scudder Small Company Value (NASDAQ: SAAUX) (NASDAQ: SABUX)
(NASDAQ: SACUX)
(NASDAQ: SCSUX)
Scudder State Tax-Free Income CA (NASDAQ: KCTAX) (NASDAQ: KCTBX)
(NASDAQ: KCTCX) (NASDAQ: SDCSX)
Scudder State Tax-Free Income NY (NASDAQ: KNTAX) (NASDAQ: KNTBX)
(NASDAQ: KNTCX) (NASDAQ: SNWYX)
Scudder Strategic Income (NASDAQ: KSTAX) (NASDAQ: KSTBX)
(NASDAQ: KSTCX)
(NASDAQ: KSTSX)
Scudder Target 2010 (NASDAQ: KRFAX)
Scudder Target 2011 (NASDAQ: KRFBX)
Scudder Target 2012 (NASDAQ: KRFCX)
Scudder Target 2013 (NASDAQ: KRFDX)
Scudder Target 2014 (NASDAQ: KRFEX)
Scudder Tax Adv Dividend (NASDAQ: SDDAX) (NASDAQ: SDDBX)
(NASDAQ: SDDCX)
(NASDAQ: SDDGX)
Scudder Technology (NASDAQ: KTCAX) (NASDAQ: KTCPX) (NASDAQ:
KTCBX)
(NASDAQ: KTCCX) (NASDAQ: KTCIX) (NASDAQ: KTCSX)
Scudder Total Return (NASDAQ: KTRAX) (NASDAQ: KTRPX) (NASDAQ:
KTRBX)
(NASDAQ: KTRCX) (NASDAQ: KTRIX) (NASDAQ: KTRRX) (NASDAQ: KTRSX)
Scudder U.S. Government Securities (NASDAQ: KUSAX) (NASDAQ:
KUSBX)
(NASDAQ: KUSCX) (NASDAQ: KUSIX) (NASDAQ: KUSMX)
Scudder US Bond Index (NASDAQ: BTUSX)

The Wells Fargo Preferred Funds include mutual funds in the
following mutual fund families: Franklin Templeton Investments,
Putnam Investments, MFS Investment Management, Fidelity
Investments, Evergreen Investments, Alliance Bernstein
Investment Research and Management, Van Kampen Investments, AIM
Distributors, Inc., Oppenheimer Funds, Inc., Eaton Vance Managed
Investments, ING Funds Distributors, LLC, Allianz Global
Investors Distributors , LLC, Federated, The Hartford Mutual
Funds, Dreyfus Service Corporation, Delaware Investments,
Pioneer Investment Management, Inc., Scudder Investments, and
Wells Fargo Mutual Funds.

The H.D. Vest Preferred Funds include mutual funds in the
following mutual fund families: Oppenheimer Funds, Putnam
Investments, Scudder Investments, MFS Investment Management, Van
Kampen Investments, Lincoln Financial Distributors, AIM
Investments, Phoenix Investment Partners, John Hancock Funds,
Wells Fargo Funds, American Funds, and Franklin Templeton
Investments.

The action is pending in the United States District Court for
the Northern District of California against defendant Wells
Fargo & Company and certain of its affiliated entities. The
complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants
served as financial advisors who purportedly provided unbiased
and honest investment advice to their clients. Unbeknownst to
investors, defendants, in clear contravention of their
disclosure obligations and fiduciary responsibilities, failed to
properly disclose that they had engaged in a scheme to
aggressively push Wells Fargo Investments and H.D. Vest sales
personnel to steer clients into purchasing certain Wells Fargo
Funds and Wells Fargo and H.D. Vest Preferred Funds
(collectively, "Shelf Space Funds") that provided financial
incentives and rewards to Wells Fargo and H.D. Vest and their
personnel based on sales. The complaint alleges that defendants'
undisclosed sales practices created an insurmountable conflict
of interest by providing substantial monetary incentives to sell
Shelf-Space Funds to their clients, even though such investments
were not in the clients' best interest. Wells Fargo Investments
and H.D. Vest's failure to disclose the incentives constituted
violations of federal securities laws.

The action also includes a subclass of persons who held any
shares of Wells Fargo Mutual Funds. The complaint additionally
alleges that the investment advisor subsidiary of Wells Fargo,
Wells Fargo Funds Management, created further undisclosed
material conflicts of interest by entering into revenue sharing
agreements with brokers at Wells Fargo Investments and H.D. Vest
to push investors into Wells Fargo Funds, regardless of whether
such investments were in the investors' best interests. The
investment advisors financed these arrangements by illegally
charging excessive and improper fees to the fund that should
have been invested in the underlying portfolio. In doing so they
breached their fiduciary duties to investors under the
Investment Company Act and state law and decreased shareholders'
investment returns.

The action includes a second subclass of persons who purchased a
Wells Fargo Financial Plan that held Wells Fargo Funds. The
Wells Fargo Financial Plans include, but are not limited to Full
Service Brokerage Accounts, Wells Asset Management accounts,
WellsChoice account, and WellsSelect account.

For more details, contact Tzivia Brody of Stull, Stull & Brody,
6 East 45th Street, New York, NY 10017, Phone: 1-800-337-4983,
Fax: 212/490-2022, E-mail: SSBNY@aol.com.


                            *********


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news on asbestos-related litigation and profiles of target
asbestos defendants that, according to independent researches,
collectively face billions of dollars in asbestos-related
liabilities.

                            *********


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

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