CAR_Public/060102.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

              Monday, January 2, 2006, Vol. 8, No. 1

                            Headlines

ADVANCE AMERICA: FL Court Stays Lawsuits For Fraud, Unfair Trade
ADVANCE AMERICA: NC Court Mulls Lawsuit Dismissal, Certification
AFFIRMATIVE INSURANCE: Policyholders File Fraud Suit in FL Court
AMERICAN SEAFOODS: Appeals Court Affirms Summary Judgment Ruling
BARRIER THERAPEUTICS: Shareholders Launch Securities Suit in NJ

BLUE RIDGE: Moves For New Trial in TN Personal Nuisance Lawsuit
CANADA: Attorneys For Disabled Veterans to Hold Press Conference
COGENT COMMUNICATIONS: Plaintiffs Dismiss Securities Suit in DC
DREAMWORKS ANIMATION: Plaintiffs File Consolidated Stock Suit
ELECTRONIC DATA: Securities Settlement Hearing Set March 7, 2005

GUIDANT CORPORATION: IN Judge Delays Motion V. Merger Agreement
HOLOCAUST LITIGATION: 3,000 Survivors To Receive Compensation
ILLINOIS: County's Attorney to Appeal Strip-Search Suit Ruling
ILLINOIS: New Lenox Pays $100T to Settle Suit V. Cell Phone Fees
ILLINOIS: District U46 Opposes Certification For Race Bias Suit

IPO SECURTIES: Litigation Settlement Hearing Set April 24, 2006
KAISER VENTURES: Dismissed From Unfair Trade Lawsuit in CA Court
NBO SYSTEMS: Reaches Settlement For IL Consumer Fraud Lawsuit
NEW YORK: Firms Seek Single Lawsuit in Seneca Lake Outbreak Case
NORTHSHORE MINING: Settles Gender Discrimination Suit For $1.3M

NTS-PROPERTIES ASSOCIATES: Investor Suit Settlement Deemed Final
ODIMO INC.: Shareholders File Securities Fraud Suits in FL Court
ORANGE COUNTY: Retirees Sue Sheriff's Office Over Lost Benefits
PACIFIC CYCLE: Mother Commences Lawsuit Due To Defective Bikes
PFIZER INC.: IL County Judge Vacates Transfer Order in Lott Case

SONY BMG: Settles NY Suit V. Controversial Anti-Piracy Software
SOUTH CAROLINA: Man Sues State Lottery Over Scratch-Off Tickets
SOUTHERN STAR: KS Court Yet To Rule on Lawsuit Certification
TIME WARNER: Alerts ME Cable Subscribers of Lawsuit Settlement
TRIPLE-S INC.: FL Court Mulls Physicians' Fraud Suit Dismissal

TRIPLE-S INC.: Physicians' Fraud Suit Awaits FL Court's Ruling
TRIPLE-S MANAGEMENT: Discovery Proceeds in RICO Violations Suit
US TRADING: Recalls Products Due to Salmonella Contamination

                 New Securities Fraud Cases

GREAT WOLF: Smith & Smith Files Securities Fraud Suit in W.D. WI
GUIDANT CORPORATION: Scott + Scott Sets Lead Plaintiff Deadline
STONE ENERGY: Smith & Smith Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in LA
SERACARE LIFE: Schatz & Nobel Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in CA


                            *********


ADVANCE AMERICA: FL Court Stays Lawsuits For Fraud, Unfair Trade
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Circuit Court of Palm Beach County, Florida statyed the two
class actions filed against Advance America, Cash Advance
Centers, Inc. and certain of its officers, directors and
employees.

Three of its former customers, Gerald and Wendy Betts and
Donna Reuter, filed the suits in Florida.  The first putative
class action was filed by Ms. Betts and Ms. Reuter in February
2001 in the Circuit Court of Palm Beach County against the
Company's subsidiary, McKenzie Check Advance of Florida, LLC and
certain other parties.  The first lawsuit alleges that the
Company engaged in unfair and deceptive trade practices and
violated the Florida criminal usury statute, the Florida
Consumer Finance Act, and Florida's Racketeer Influenced and
Corrupt Organizations Act.

The Company successfully moved to have Ms. Reuter's case sent to
arbitration and were awarded summary judgment as to Ms. Betts'
claims.  The arbitration order in Ms. Reuter's case is currently
on appeal to the Florida Supreme Court and the summary judgment
order in Ms. Betts' case was reversed on August 11, 2004 by
Florida's Fourth District Court of Appeals.  The Company is
appealing the Fourth District Court of Appeals' ruling.

The suit seeks unspecified damages, and the Company could be
required to refund fees and/or interest collected, refund the
principal amount of payday cash advances, pay multiple damages
and pay other monetary penalties.  The Company expects to
receive an order in the near future reversing the arbitration
order as to Ms. Reuter based on another Florida Supreme Court
decision on arbitration entitled Cardegna v. Buckeye Check
Cashing, Inc., the Company said in a regulatory filing.

A second Florida lawsuit was filed in August 2004 in the Circuit
Court of Palm Beach County by Mr. Betts and Ms. Reuter against
the Company, its subsidiary in Florida and officers and
directors of the subsidiary. The allegations are nearly
identical to those alleged in their first lawsuit discussed in
the preceding paragraph.  The Company has filed motions to
dismiss, to stay the proceedings pending determination of
dispositive actions by the Florida Supreme Court, and to compel
arbitration. These motions have not been fully briefed or set
for hearing yet.  The parties jointly moved for a stay of the
proceedings in light of the appeal of the original Betts and
Rueter case against the Company pending before the Florida
Supreme Court, which stay was granted on July 28, 2005.  

In August 2004, the North Carolina Attorney General's Office in
conjunction with the Commissioner of Banks for North Carolina
issued a subpoena to the Company to produce documents, respond
to written questions and have a corporate representative appear
for a deposition regarding the relationship between the
Company's North Carolina subsidiary and Republic. The Company
believes the primary purpose of the investigation is to
determine whether the Company's operations in North Carolina are
in compliance with North Carolina law. The Company has
cooperated with the investigation. The Attorney General for
North Carolina as well as the class action plaintiffs in the
North Carolina class action case have moved to intervene and
participate in this matter. The Attorney General was granted the
right to intervene and participate, and the class action
plaintiffs were granted the right to submit an amicus brief. The
parties have submitted their briefs and evidence and are
awaiting the Commissioner's findings. During the course of the
proceeding, the Commissioner issued several pre-hearing orders
that clarified the scope of discovery and eliminated the
possibility of retrospective relief.

However, it is possible that the North Carolina Attorney General
or the Commissioner of Banks for North Carolina may make a
determination or finding that is adverse to the Company's
business operations in the state. Specifically, the North
Carolina Attorney General and Commissioner of Banks potentially
could issue an injunction or issue a cease and desist order
based on the Consumer Finance Act. This could result in the
imposition of fines and the alteration or cessation of the
Company's use of the agency business model in North Carolina.
All North Carolina centers currently operate under the agency
business model. On September 15, 2005, the lending bank for
which the Company markets, processes and services payday cash
advances and installment loans in its 117 centers in North
Carolina temporarily suspended its payday cash advance and
installment loan originations.  


ADVANCE AMERICA: NC Court Mulls Lawsuit Dismissal, Certification
----------------------------------------------------------------
The General Court of Justice for the Superior Court Division for
New Hanover County, North Carolina hears motions to dismiss the
class action filed against Advance America, Cash Advance
Centers, Inc.  The suit also names as defendants the Company's
subsidiary that operates in North Carolina and William M.
Webster, IV, its Chief Executive Officer.  The court also heard
motions for summary judgment and class certification, but has
yet to issue a ruling.

On July 27, 2004, John Kucan, Welsie Torrence and Terry Coates,
each of whom is a customer of Republic Bank & Trust Company, the
lending bank for whom we process, market and service payday cash
advances in North Carolina.  The plaintiffs are alleging, among
other things, that the Company, and not the lending bank, are
the "true lender" and are therefore offering usurious payday
cash advances in violation of numerous consumer protection
statutes.  

The suit alleges, among other things, that the relationship
between its subsidiary that operates in North Carolina and
Republic is a "rent a charter" relationship and therefore the
bank is not the "true lender" on the payday cash advances. The
lawsuit also claims that the payday cash advances are made,
administered and collected in violation of numerous North
Carolina consumer protection laws.  The lawsuit seeks an
injunction barring the Company from continuing to do business in
North Carolina, the return of the principal amount of the payday
cash advances made to the plaintiff class since August 2001, the
return of any interest or fees associated with those advances,
treble damages, attorneys' fees and other unspecified costs.  
The case is in its preliminary stages.

So far the only substantive motions the Company has filed are
motions to dismiss or stay proceedings and compel arbitration.
On November 19, 2004, plaintiffs filed a motion seeking class
certification.  On November 16, 2004, North Carolina Superior
Court Judge Ernest Fulwood denied the Company's motion to have
the case designated as a complex business case and assign it to
the North Carolina Business Court and instead granted the
plaintiffs' motion to designate the case as exceptional and
assign it to a specific Superior Court judge. The ruling does
not express any opinion on the merits of the case.

Plaintiffs' counsel indicated at the hearing held prior to the
ruling, and in papers filed in support of their motion for class
certification (which has not yet been fully briefed or set for a
hearing), that the distributions to the Company's stockholders
of substantially all of the net income earned by the Company in
the form of cash dividends may be the subject of a fraudulent
conveyance claim.  At the hearing, plaintiffs' counsel indicated
that they might seek injunctive relief to return such payments
or to hold them in escrow pending a judgment in this lawsuit.
Plaintiffs' complaint contains a fraudulent conveyance claim but
seeks no specific relief with respect to that claim.  

On December 1, 2004, North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice
I. Beverly Lake, Jr. signed a commission appointing Special
Superior Judge D. Jack Hooks, Jr. to hear the case.  On March
10, 2005, Judge Hooks heard arguments on motions to stay
discovery pending a decision on arbitrability and, on May 11,
2005, issued a ruling allowing limited discovery on the issues
of arbitration, personal jurisdiction and class certification
and then stated his intent to set a date to hear these motions
together. Arguments on defendants' motions to dismiss and/or
compel arbitration and plaintiff's motion for class
certification were held in October and November 2005, and the
parties are waiting for a ruling on these motions.

In addition, in September 2004, Republic filed an action in
federal court in North Carolina against the three plaintiffs who
have sued the Company, seeking a declaratory judgment that all
disputes their customers have shall be submitted to arbitration
and an injunction preventing the plaintiffs from pursuing
disputes in a non-arbitral forum. A motion to dismiss Republic's
lawsuit was granted on February 10, 2005, on grounds that
Republic lacks standing.  On February 18, 2005, Republic filed a
motion to alter or amend the judgment and for reconsideration,
which was denied. Republic has filed an appeal of these orders
to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.


AFFIRMATIVE INSURANCE: Policyholders File Fraud Suit in FL Court
----------------------------------------------------------------
Affirmative Insurance Holdings, Inc. faces a purported class
action filed in Florida State Court, alleging that the Company
engaged in a scheme and common course of conduct "to charge
policy holders premiums for "Personal Injury Protection" (PIP)
coverage and then to void the policy when the policy holder
attempted to make a claim for benefits under the policy by
claiming material misrepresentation in the application or lack
of cooperation by the insured.

Included in the allegations are claims for:

     (1) breach of contract;

     (2) breach of fiduciary duty;

     (3) breach of obligation of good faith, fair dealing and
         commercial reasonableness;

     (4) unfair and deceptive acts or practices; and

     (5) civil conspiracy

Plaintiffs seek certification of the case as a class action, as
well as an unspecified amount of compensatory and benefit
damages, attorney's fees, litigation costs, and any other relief
the Court deems proper. The action is pending in the Circuit
Court of the 15th Judicial Circuit in and for Palm Beach County,
Florida. This matter, filed August 29, 2005, is still in the
early procedural stages, and as of the date of this publication,
the class had not been certified.


AMERICAN SEAFOODS: Appeals Court Affirms Summary Judgment Ruling
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has yet to rule
upheld the summary judgment granted to American Seafoods Group
LLC for the class action filed against it in the United States
District Court for the Western District of Washington.

On October 19, 2001, a complaint was filed in the United States
District Court for the Western District of Washington and the
Superior Court of Washington for King County.  An amended
complaint was filed in both courts on January 15, 2002.  The
amended complaint was filed against the Company by a former
vessel crew member on behalf of himself and a class of over 500
seamen, although neither the United States District Court nor
the Superior Court certified this action as a class action.  On
June 13, 2002, the plaintiff voluntarily dismissed the complaint
filed in the Superior Court.

The complaint filed alleges that the Company breached its
contract with the plaintiffs by underestimating the value of the
catch in computing the plaintiff's s wages.  The plaintiff
demanded an accounting of their crew shares pursuant to federal
statutory law.  In addition, the plaintiff requested relief
under a Washington statute that would render the Company liable
for twice the amount of wages withheld, as well as judgment
against the Company for compensatory and exemplary damages, plus
interest, attorneys' fees and costs, among other things.

The plaintiff also alleged that the Company fraudulently
concealed the underestimation of product values, thereby
preventing the discovery of their cause of action.  The conduct
allegedly took place prior to January 28, 2000, the date the
Company's business was acquired American Seafoods, L.P., the
Company's indirect parent (ASLP).

On September 25, 2003, the court entered an order granting the
Company's motion for summary judgment and dismissing the
entirety of plaintiff's claims with prejudice and with costs.  
The plaintiff filed a motion for reconsideration of this order
that was denied by the court.  The plaintiff then appealed the
District Court decision to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Oral arguments occurred on June 7, 2005.  On September 1, 2005,
the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed the
decision of the District Court and the lawsuit was dismissed. As
of September 30, 2005, the Company has not recorded a related
liability since it considers the matter concluded.

The suit is styled "Flores, et al v. American Seafoods Co, et
al., case no. 2:01-cv-01684-TSZ," filed in the United States
District Court for the Western District of Washington, under
Judge Thomas S. Zilly.  

Lawyers for the plaintiffs are Bradley H. Bagshaw, Scott Edward
Collins of HELSELL FETTERMAN LLP, P.O. Box 21846, Seattle WA
98111-3846, Phone: 206-292-1144, Fax: 340-0902, E-mail:
bbagshaw@helsell.com or scollins@helsell.com.  Lawyers for the
defendants are:

     (1) Christopher S. McNulty and John David Stahl, MUNDT
         MACGREGOR LLP, 999 3rd Ave Ste 4200, Seattle WA 98104-
         4082, Phone: 206-624-5950, Fax: FAX 624-5469, E-mail:
         cmcnulty@mundtmac.com or jdstahl@mundtmac.com

     (2) Jay H. Zulauf, HALL ZANZIG ZULAUF CLAFLIN MCEACHERN,
         1200 5th Ave, Ste 1414, Seattle WA 98101, Phone: 206-
         292-5900, Fax: 292-5901, E-mail: jzulauf@hallzan.com


BARRIER THERAPEUTICS: Shareholders Launch Securities Suit in NJ
---------------------------------------------------------------
Barrier Therapeutics, Inc. and certain of its officers face
several securities class actions filed in the United States
District Court for the District of New Jersey on behalf of all
persons who purchased the Company's common stock between April
29, 2004 and June 29, 2005.

The complaints filed allege violations of Sections 10(b) and
20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder, and under Sections 11, 12 and 15 of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1933.


BLUE RIDGE: Moves For New Trial in TN Personal Nuisance Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Blue Ridge Paper Products, Inc. filed a motion for Judgment
Notwithstanding the Verdict or, In the Alternative, Motion for
New Trial in the class action filed against it in the Circuit
Court for Cocke County, Tennessee.

The suit was filed on April 15, 2003 on behalf of approximately
300 residents owning property adjoining the Pigeon River upon
which the Canton Mill is located, and into which the Company has
a permit to discharge. The plaintiffs were seeking damages for
private nuisance in the period commencing June 1, 1999, and
thereafter until present. The plaintiffs in this action alleged
that the discharge of (colored) water from the Canton Mill
resulted in a nuisance (diminution of property value), but did
not contain any allegation relating to health or safety matters.
The demand for damages was limited to a maximum of $74,000
(exclusive of interest and costs) per individual landowner, or
collectively a total of $22.5 million.

On August 17, 2005, a Cocke County Court jury ruled in favor of
the Plaintiff class awarding $2.0 million for nuisance damages
with no punitive damages being awarded. On September 29, 2005,
the Company filed a Motion If this motion is denied, the Company
plans to appeal to the Tennessee Court of Appeals Eastern
Section in Knoxville, Tennessee.


CANADA: Attorneys For Disabled Veterans to Hold Press Conference
----------------------------------------------------------------
Attorneys representing thousands of disabled veterans in a class
action lawsuit against the federal government will hold a news
conference on Friday, December 30, 2005, 10:00 a.m. at the
Raphael Partners Barristers and Solicitors Offices, 181
University Ave., Suite 1812 (Guardian Tower), Toronto, Ontario
to comment on a decision rendered by Ontario Superior Court
Justice H. Brockenshire, quantifying the amount owing by the
federal government.

The decision quantifies the damages owing by the federal
government to thousands of disabled veterans since World War I.
The class action lawsuit, brought against the Federal Government
on behalf of thousands of veterans in October 1999, seeks
redress from the federal government for years of failure to
properly administer the funds of mentally and physically
disabled veterans who had been deemed incapable of managing
their money. The Auditor General of Canada noted in 1986 that
the government had failed in its duty to manage these funds, and
in subsequent court appearances the government has acknowledged
its role as a trustee.

For more details, contact David Greenaway, Lawyer, Raphael
Partners, Phone: (519) 966-1300 Ext. 422 (Windsor, Ontario); and
Raphael Partners Public Relations, Phone: (519) 966-1300 Ext.
560.


COGENT COMMUNICATIONS: Plaintiffs Dismiss Securities Suit in DC
---------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs dismissed the class action filed against Cogent
Communications Group, Inc., its Chief Executive Officer, and its
Chief Financial Officer face several class actions filed in the
United States District Court for the District of Columbia,
alleging violations of federal securities laws.

On August 3, 2005 a class action complaint was filed on behalf
of purchasers of the Company's common stock during the period
from February 14, 2005 (the date the Company filed a
registration statement on Form S-1 for its public offering)
through June 7, 2005 (the date of pricing of Company common
stock in connection with the Public Offering).  Another similar
suit was filed on August 9,2005.

The complaints allege that the registration statement (including
amendments), press releases, and Form 10-K issued during the
class period were false and misleading because the Company and
the named officers allegedly intended to sell the stock at a
materially reduced price from the stock's then-current trading
price.

The suit is styled "CHEN v. COGENT COMMUNICATIONS GROUP, INC. et
al., case no. 1:05-cv-01562-RJL," filed in the United States
District Court for the District of Columbia, under Judge Richard
J. Leon.  Representing the plaintiffs are Keith J. Harrison,
KING, PAGANO & HARRISON, 1730 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite
900, Washington, DC 20006, phone: (202) 371-6800, Fax:
(202) 371-6770, E-mail: kharrison@kph.com.


DREAMWORKS ANIMATION: Plaintiffs File Consolidated Stock Suit
-------------------------------------------------------------
Dreamworks Animation SKG, Inc. and certain of its officers and
directors face a consolidated securities class action filed in
the United States District Court for the Central District of
California, alleging violations of federal securities laws.  

Eight suits were initially filed - seven of these lawsuits were
filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of
California and are pending before a single judge; the eighth was
filed in the Superior Court of the State of California. The
lawsuits generally assert that the Company and certain of its
officers and directors made alleged material misstatements and
omissions in certain press releases, SEC filings and other
public statements, including in connection with the Company's
initial public offering in October 2004, and seek to recover
damages on behalf of purchasers of the Company's securities
during the purported class period (which varies by lawsuit, but
encompasses the period from October 28, 2004 to May 10, 2005).

In July 2005, one of these lawsuits was amended to add
additional causes of action under the federal securities laws
and additional officer and director defendants, and to extend
the purported class period to an ending date of July 11, 2005;
that complaint has since been voluntarily dismissed. The federal
cases have been consolidated and a lead plaintiff will be
appointed to file a consolidated and amended class action
complaint.


ELECTRONIC DATA: Securities Settlement Hearing Set March 7, 2005
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Texas, Tyler Division will hold a fairness hearing in the
matter: "Electronic Data Systems (EDS) Corporation Securities
Litigation, CASE NO. 6:03-MD-1512 + LEAD CASE 6:03-CV-110." The
case was brought on behalf of all persons or entities, who
purchased or otherwise acquired the securities of EDS between
February 7, 2001 through and including September 18, 2002.

The hearing will be held on March 7, 2006 at 10:00 a.m., before
the Honorable Leonard Davis, in the United States District
Courthouse, Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division, located
at 211 W. Ferguson, Tyler, Texas 75702, to determine whether the
proposed settlement of the Litigation on the terms and
conditions provided for in the Stipulation is fair, reasonable
and adequate to the Class and should be approved by the Court;
whether a Judgment should be entered herein; whether the
proposed Plan of Allocation should be approved; and to determine
the amount of fees and expenses that should be awarded.

For more details, contact Electronic Data Systems (EDS)
Corporation Securities Litigation c/o Poorman-Douglas
Corporation, Claims Administrator, P.O. Box 3560, Portland, OR
97208-3560, Phone: 888-230-9850, Fax: 503-350-5890, E-mail:
edssecuritieslitigation@poorman-douglas.com, Web site:
http://www.edssecuritieslitigation.com;and Bernstein Litowitz  
Berger & Grossmann LLP, 12481 High Bluff Drive, Third Floor, San
Diego, CA 92130, and Lowenstein Sandler P.C., 65 Livingston
Avenue, Roseland, NJ 07068-1791 at http://www.blbglaw.comand  
http://www.lowenstein.com,respectively.  


GUIDANT CORPORATION: IN Judge Delays Motion V. Merger Agreement
---------------------------------------------------------------
Rather than granting or denying the lead derivative plaintiff's
request for a Temporary Restraining Order ("TRO") to enjoin
several provisions in the November 14, 2005 merger agreement
between Guidant Corporation (NYSE:GDT) and Johnson & Johnson
("J&J") (NYSE:JNJ), including the Guidant Board's agreement to
pay a $625 million termination fee to J&J if Guidant is sold to
another suitor, the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of Indiana stayed the setting of an evidentiary hearing
while the Guidant Board of Directors continues to negotiate with
J&J, Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) and/or any other potential
suitors.

The shareholder action arose following Guidant's entry into a
ten-count felony plea agreement in June 2003, including a $92.5
million fine, in connection with the distribution of the
defective Ancure Endograft System. The Pension Fund brought a
shareholder action in the Southern District of Indiana, No.
1:03-cv-00955-SEB-WTL, seeking damages and injunctive relief on
behalf of Guidant from its directors and senior officers for
injury the Pension Fund avers Guidant's executives inflicted
upon the company through their failure to oversee its
operations. During 2005, the scope of the Board's alleged
misconduct expanded significantly as it was revealed that the
company had knowingly continued distributing defective
defibrillators and pacemakers. Guidant is now being investigated
by the SEC, the FDA, and several attorneys general on behalf of
34 states. Guidant is also the subject of a second round of mass
tort class actions relating to the implementation of defective
products.

At the Court's urging, the Pension Fund agreed to defer its
request for a TRO, letting its motion stand in abeyance pending
further developments in the case in exchange for the Guidant
Board's agreement to keep the Pension Fund apprised of the
status of merger negotiations with J&J, Boston Scientific and
any other potential suitors and to provide the lead plaintiff
with notice of any planned merger agreement. This agreement was
designed to enable the lead plaintiff to take all appropriate
steps on behalf of Guidant and its shareholders, including
asking the Court to enjoin any unlawful provisions prior to the
finalization of any merger agreement. Lerach Coughlin Stoia
Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP represents the Court-appointed lead
plaintiff in the shareholder action.

The suit is styled, "GUIDANT SHAREHOLDERS DERIVATIVE LITIGATION,
Case No. 1:03-cv-00955-SEB-WTL," filed in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, under Judge
Sarah Evans Barker with referral to Judge William T. Lawrence.
Representing the Plaintiff/s is Darren J. Robbins of LERACH
COUGHLIN STOIA GELLER RUDMAN & ROBBINS, LLP, 655 West Broadway,
Suite 1900, San Diego, CA 92101, Phone: (619) 231-1058, Fax:
(619) 231-7423 (fax), E-mail: e_file_sd@lerachlaw.com; and James
A. L. Buddenbaum of PARR RICHEY OBREMSKEY & MORTON, 201 North
Illinois St., Suite 300, Indianapolis, IN 46204, Phone:
(317) 269-2500, Fax: (317) 269-2514, E-mail:
jbuddenbaum@parrlaw.com.  Representing the Defendant/s is Boris
Feldman of WILSON SONSINI GOODRICH & ROSATI, 650 Page Mill Road,
Palo Alto, CA 94304, Phone: (650) 320-4944, Fax: (650) 565-5100,
E-mail: boris.feldman@wsgr.com; and James H. Ham, III of BAKER &
DANIELS, 300 N. Meridian St., Suite 2700, Indianapolis, IN
46204, Phone: (317) 237-1256, Fax: (317) 237-1000, E-mail:
jhham@bakerd.com.

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


HOLOCAUST LITIGATION: 3,000 Survivors To Receive Compensation
-------------------------------------------------------------
About 3,000 people were cleared to receive the first payouts
from an Austrian fund set up to compensate survivors of the
Holocaust, and another 3,000 should be approved shortly, the
fund's chief overseer said, The Associated Press reports.  

Hannah Lessing, general secretary of the General Settlement Fund
(GSF), told the Austria Press Agency that the first cash
payments would be made before the year 2005 ends. She also said
that the fund hopes by the end of 2006 to have processed all of
the 19,300 survivors who have applied, though she conceded,
"some cases are very complicated."

Ms. Lessing explains, "It is always difficult to judge how long
a decision will take," adding that, "It can take several days or
several months." According to Ms. Lessing, only 6,000
applications were filed within Austria. She said that all the
rest came from abroad.

Noting that many survivors who had held out hope for
compensation have since died, Ms. Lessing told the Austria Press
Agency that there would have been many more applications if
Austria had taken action sooner. She laments, "We could have
reached many more people."

Previously, the $210 million GSF, which was created by Austria
in 2001 to compensate those stripped of businesses, property,
bank accounts and insurance policies under the Third Reich,
mailed the letters to 100 of the 19,300 survivors who have
applied. Ms. Lessing previously told The Associated Press that
the letters say how much the victims will receive, along with a
form they must sign and return promising not to sue Austria or
Austrian companies that benefited from the taken property. In
addition, Ms. Lessing told The Associated Press, "This is the
first step in payment. Now the first payments can be made in the
next 10 days," an earlier Class Action Reporter story (December
19, 2005) reports.

Andreas Kohl, Austria's parliament speaker and chairman of the
fund's board, told The Associated Press that he was determined
to see the first payments go out before year's end, and he
pledged to devote three hours on signing another 1,300 letters.
Earlier this year, the government and Austrian companies pledged
to pay $210 million to endow the fund once all Holocaust
litigation against Austria was resolved, an earlier Class Action
Reporter story (December 19, 2005) reports.

Vienna was home to a vibrant Jewish community of some 200,000
before World War II. Currently, it numbers about 7,000. A
spokeswoman for the community, Erika Jakubovits, previously told
The Associated Press that the group was "very satisfied" that
the first payments would soon be made, an earlier Class Action
Reporter story (December 19, 2005) reports.

A few years back, the payments were delayed due to pending legal
action in the United States. That hurdle was cleared recently
due to two events: a New York court's decision essentially
dismissed class action lawsuits against Austrian businesses and
a ruling last month by a New York appellate court an earlier
Class Action Reporter story (December 19, 2005) reports.

The December 7, 2005, ruling by the U.S. District Court in New
York paved the way for final compensation payments to Holocaust
survivors from Austria. It was greeted with relief by survivor
organizations and the Conference on Jewish Material Claims
Against Germany, parties to a settlement negotiated with the
Austrian government, an earlier Class Action Reporter story
(December 13, 2005) reports.

Gideon Taylor, Claims Conference executive vice president told
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the resulting legal closure
means payments are imminent. Neither the Austrian government nor
businesses would agree to payments without insurance against
future lawsuits. Mr. Taylor further told The Jewish Telegraphic
Agency in a telephone interview, "This fund has been tied up in
legal knots in courts in the U.S., and this had deprived many
Austrian Holocaust survivors and their heirs of the symbolic
payments." He emphasizes though, "like most restitution
payments, this is not an issue of money." Mr. Taylor also
pointed out, "The amounts are small, but the property losses
were large. This is about symbolism. People are frustrated that
what was supposed to be a symbolic gesture turned into a legal
argument," an earlier Class Action Reporter story (December 13,
2005) reports.

All in all, Austrian restitution funds totaled about $500
million. However, the component from the $210 million GSF for
Austrian Jews created in January 2001 through negotiations with
the Claims Conference was held up until December 7. By that
date, Judge Shirley Wohl Kram of the Southern District of New
York dismissed the cases brought against the government and
industry of Austria by some Jews of Austrian background, and by
some heirs, an earlier Class Action Reporter story (December 13,
2005) reports.

Judge Kram threw out the suits after the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court
of Appeals, which had dismissed remaining Holocaust-related
lawsuits against Austria, ordered her on November 23 to resolve
the cases within 60 days. The Appeals Court called GSF a
preferable method of ensuring payments to victims of Nazism, an
earlier Class Action Reporter story (December 13, 2005) reports.

In a 2-1 ruling, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New
York dismissed parts of a class action lawsuit by Austrian
Jewish victims of the Nazi regime in a ruling that may clear the
way for payouts from a settlement fund. Deferring to U.S.
foreign policy interests, the federal appeals court stated in
its ruling that it was "particularly mindful" of the federal
government's statement that dismissing the case would advance
its relations with Austria, Israel and Western, Central and
Eastern European nations. According to the court, the lawsuit
was the final case holding up implementation of an agreement
with Austria that established a fund to compensate Austrian Jews
whose property was confiscated during the Nazi era and World War
II. Essentially, distributions from the Austrian compensation
fund, which included $150 million to cover certain property
claims, were contingent on dismissal of the case, an earlier
Class Action Reporter story (November 24, 2005) reports.

The plaintiffs in the case, which include present and former
nationals of Austria and their heirs and successors who suffered
from Nazi persecution between 1938 and 1945, brought the lawsuit
in October 2000 against the Republic of Austria and an
organization through which Austria owns, operates and controls
commercial enterprises. Austria asked for dismissal of the
lawsuit on the grounds of sovereign immunity, an earlier Class
Action Reporter story (November 24, 2005) reports.

That lawsuit was the final case holding up implementation of an
agreement with Austria that established a fund to compensate
Austrian Jews whose property was confiscated during the Nazi era
and World War II, according to the appeals court. Distributions
from the Austrian compensation fund, which included $150 million
to cover certain property claims, were contingent on dismissal
of the case, an earlier Class Action Reporter story (November
28, 2005) reports.

In 2002, Austrian officials signed an agreement with Ariel
Muzicant, the leader of Austria's Jews to compensate his
community for property stolen and destroyed during Nazi rule.
Under the deal, reached after months of negotiations, Austria's
nine provinces are to pay a total of $17 million (18.2 million
euros) in five yearly installments to the Jewish community, an
earlier Class Action Reporter story (July 17, 2002) reports.  

The federal government already has come to terms with Austrian
Jews and their survivors on compensation. After signing the deal
at a meeting of governors in the Upper Austria city of Gmunden,
some 110 miles west of Vienna, Josef Puehringer, the governor of
Upper Austria, said the deal settled an obligation to the
country's Jews. We "have fulfilled our moral obligations,"
according to Mr. Puehringer. "With this agreement, an important
chapter has been closed." Local leaders also said that the first
installment would be paid only after two wartime-related class
actions pending in the United States against the Austrian
government are withdrawn, an earlier Class Action Reporter story
(July 17, 2002) reports.  


ILLINOIS: County's Attorney to Appeal Strip-Search Suit Ruling
--------------------------------------------------------------
Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow said that he plans to
appeal a federal court ruling on jailhouse strip searches that
could cost the county and its insurer millions of dollars, The
Chicago Tribune reports.

On December 16, 2005, U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman ruled
that Will County Jail officials violated the constitutional
rights of thousands of defendants arrested for minor offenses by
strip-searching them upon incarceration and release. Damages,
which based on awards in other federal strip search cases could
top $2 million, have yet to be determined, so an appeal at this
point would need Judge Gettleman's approval. The 7th Circuit
Appeals Court also would have to agree to take it.

Gerald Haberkorn, the county's attorney in the case told The
Chicago Tribune, "If we are not allowed to immediately appeal,
we will appeal on final judgment. So I would think the judge
would grant the appeal."

Mr. Glasgow defended the jail's strip-search policy, saying it
was instituted to protect personnel and inmates. He told The
Chicago Tribune, "We feel we have strong arguments to make for
the constitutionality of the searches. The safety of that
facility is paramount." He emphasized, "All it takes is one
weapon to come in there, and the security of the facility is
breached. And that could happen with one arrest."

However, Kenneth Flaxman, the plaintiffs' attorney, told The
Chicago Tribune 20 years of federal case law on strip-searches
at penal institutions backs Judge Gettleman's ruling. "It's
going to cost them a lot of money" to appeal, according to him.

Mr. Haberkorn told The Chicago Tribune that many of the other
strip-search lawsuits involved abuses, such as "offensive
touching" of female inmates. At the Will County Jail, someone of
the same sex searched inmates behind closed doors and no
allegations of abuse were ever made.

"The strip searches at issue here do not involve the parade of
terribles and abuses presented by other strip-search cases,"
according to Judge Gettleman's ruling.

Mr. Haberkorn notes that the distinction and the fact that the
Will County sheriff's office followed a written strip-search
policy, unlike other jurisdictions sued in federal court
distinguishes the case from others. The same distinctions also
sparked interest in the case from other counties in Illinois and
other states that have similar policies, according to Mr.
Haberkorn.

The class action suit was filed in May 2003, initially on behalf
of three former inmates, all arrested in cases of mistaken
identity on warrants for failure to appear in court on
misdemeanor or traffic charges. Back then inmates arrested on
misdemeanor and traffic offenses were not strip searched upon
incarceration, in keeping with federal case precedent. However,
Will County policy dictated that similar defendants picked up on
failure-to-appear warrants were strip-searched.

When the suit was filed, inmates facing misdemeanors and traffic
offenses also were strip searched at the jail after court
hearings at which a judge ordered their release. Those searches
took place before their return to their cells to retrieve their
belongings. The policy's aim was to prevent inmates from hiding
weapons or drugs, according to Pat Barry, spokesman for Sheriff
Paul Kaupas.

Judge Gettleman ruled that strip-searching inmates upon
incarceration on failure-to-appear warrants for minor offenses,
without cause to believe they were carrying contraband, violated
the Constitution. However, according to him, when jail personnel
have reasonable suspicion to believe an inmate is carrying
contraband, strip searches could be allowed.

The judge also concluded that strip-searching minor offenders
awaiting release could be avoided, as was done four months after
the suit was filed. Mr. Barry told The Chicago Chronicle that
beginning in September 2003 such inmates were given the option
of not returning to their cells. Jail personnel retrieve their
belongings, making the strip search unnecessary.

Mr. Barry told The Chicago Tribune that searches of inmates
arrested for failure-to-appear on misdemeanors and traffic
offenses were halted after Judge Gettleman's ruling. He adds
that those defendants now are held in the booking area while
awaiting a court appearance instead of being integrated into the
general jail population.

Once a proposed jail expansion is completed, possibly as early
as 2007, new space will allow personnel to separate them from
other inmates, eliminating the need for strip searches, Mr.
Barry tells The Chicago Tribune.

Attorneys handling the case told The Chicago Tribune that an
estimated 3,800 to 5,000 inmates have been strip searched, under
the policies Judge Gettleman found unconstitutional, since May
8, 2001, the earliest date at which inmates could be considered
plaintiffs under the statute of limitations.

The suit is styled, "Calvin, et al v. Sheriff of Will Co, et al.
Case No. 1:03-cv-03086," filed in the United States District
Court for the Northern District of Illinois, under Judge Robert
W. Gettleman. Representing the Plaintiff/s is Kenneth N. Flaxman
of Kenneth N. Flaxman, P.C., 200 South Michigan Ave., Suite
1240, Chicago, IL 60604-6107, Phone: (312) 427-3200, E-mail:
knf@kenlaw.com. Representing the Defendant/s are, Martin W.
McManaman and Gerald Haberkorn of Lowis & Gellen, 200 West
Adams, Suite 1900, Chicago, IL 60606, Phone: (312) 364-2500, E-
mail: martym@lowis-gellen.com and geraldh@lowis-gellen.com; and
Marsha K. Ross of Haskell & Perrin, 200 West Adams St., Suite
2005, Chicago, IL 60606-5284, Phone: (312) 781-9393.


ILLINOIS: New Lenox Pays $100T to Settle Suit V. Cell Phone Fees
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Village of New Lenox in Illinois paid more than $100,000 to
reimburse cellular phone service providers as part of a class
action settlement against municipalities that imposed a fee on
wireless retailers, The Joliet Herald News reports.

The village was among nearly 400 Illinois municipalities that
chose to impose a fee on cellular providers under the former
Municipal Infrastructure Maintenance Fee Act. It was found
liable for a total of $144,122.81, which was actually the
Infrastructure Maintenance Fees it collected from January 1,
1998, through February 7, 2002. According to court documents,
the village had to pay 70 percent of that, or $100,885.97, by
December 19, 2005.

Village Finance Director Kim Auchstetter told The Joliet Herald
News that the village's share of the settlement is being paid
for with current and future telecommunication fees. The village
still collects a fee on landline telecommunication services, she
pointed out.

The Municipal Infrastructure Maintenance Fee Act, signed into
law in 1997, allowed municipalities to charge a 1 percent tax on
the total phone bill of cellular customers with billing
addresses in the respective municipality. The law was terminated
in February 2002 when the state's Simplified Municipal
Telecommunications Act was signed into law.

In 2001, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that it was improper
for towns to impose the fees on wireless retailers without ties
to public rights of way. In 2002 PrimeCo Personal Communications
and U.S. Cellular filed a lawsuit against the municipalities
that imposed the fee.

The lawsuit named more that 100 municipalities in Illinois and
was filed over infrastructure maintenance fees, which were
billed to the carrier and passed on to customers from 1998 to
2002. It challenged the state law, which allowed municipalities
to impose an infrastructure maintenance fee on wireless
companies who utilize the airways for transmission instead of
underground cables, an earlier Class Action Reporter story
(November 1, 2005) reports.

The suit was eventually settled on July 28, 2005. Municipalities
collectively paid more than $16 million in the settlement. While
wireless companies passed the fee on to their customers, the
Illinois Supreme Court decided it would not be feasible to
reimburse each cellular customer. Instead, 60 percent of the
settlement will go to 911 emergency telecommunications programs
and 40 percent to hospitals and emergency medical care
facilities.


ILLINOIS: District U46 Opposes Certification For Race Bias Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Attorneys for Elgin School District U46 say the complaints in a
lawsuit against the state's second-largest school district
center on the closure of Illinois Park Elementary School and
that is not enough to warrant class action status for the suit.

The comments were made in a recently filed response to
plaintiffs' motion to give the bias lawsuit, which once listed
four families as plaintiffs but now lists just two families,
federal class action status. Since the depositions involve
children, plaintiffs and U46's response were sealed.

The district's lawyers also argued that they believe the
standing plaintiffs' complaints are too limited in scope and
don't reflect the larger issues raised when the case was filed
in February. Patricia Whitten, a lawyer with Chicago-based
Franczek Sullivan who is handling the case for U46 said, "People
got involved in this initially and got behind this mainly
because of Illinois Park."

The school was closed as part of a district wide school
attendance zone re-mapping that focused on sending children to
their "neighborhood" schools. Opponents called the plan "de
facto segregation" and some families charged that the closure of
Illinois Park, which was built in 1999 at McLean Boulevard and
Wing Street on the city's west side, unfairly hurt poor and
minority students.

Even so, the 2004 closure of the elementary school, which served
many poor and minority students when it was open, may be moot,
according to attorneys. U46 is planning to reopen a portion of
the school starting next month as the district expands its
preschool program and makes room for a pilot full-day
kindergarten program.

The class action lawsuit alleges that Latino students and those
with limited English skills receive an inferior education in the
Elgin School District U46. It is largely influenced by last
year's decision to redesign school attendance zones to emphasize
the concept of "neighborhood schools." About 700 fewer U46
students now use school buses to attend schools, a move that not
only helps the district financially, but also aids parents who
want to become more involved in their children's education.
Critics though argued that in the process of implementing it, a
"de facto segregation" has been created by lumping larger groups
of poor and minority children into schools on Elgin's east side.
More than one-third of the 40,000 students in U46 are Hispanic,
while about 7 percent are black. District officials have said
that about 6,000 children are non-native English speakers, an
earlier Class Action Reporter story (December 22, 2005) reports.
Federal Judge Robert Gettleman is expected to rule on whether
the case will earn class action status in February 2006.

Previously, in their first public comments since the recent
filing of the suit, U46 officials have called the claims
absolutely false. In a recent newspaper column, U46
Superintendent Connie Neale stated, "The rezoning decision was
not made lightly, but was based on more than two years of study,
as well as years of review and recommendation by our Citizens'
Advisory council." She also states that the new attendance zone
plan has been enhanced more recently through equity-related
policies such as an expansion of a school choice program and two
separate analyses of the district's bilingual programs. The idea
that by creating neighborhood schools and effectively increasing
the populations of Latino students in some schools - some of
them are being set up for failure, is wrong, Ms. Neale said. "I
don't think there's anything automatic about it," she said.
"Just because a child is Latino and speaks another language
doesn't mean they're an at-risk child," an earlier Class Action
Reporter story (February 18, 2005) reports.

The suit is styled, "Daniel et al v. Board of Education for
Illinois School District U-46, Case No. 1:05-cv-00760," filed in
the United States District Court for the Northern District of
Illinois, under Judge Robert W. Gettleman. Representing the
Plaintiff/s is Carol Rose Ashley of Futterman & Howard, Chtd.,
122 South Michigan Ave., Suite 1850, Chicago, IL 60603, Phone:
(312) 427-3600, E-mail: cashley@futtermanhoward.com.
Representing the Defendant/s is Patricia J. Whitten of Franczek
Sullivan, P.C., 300 South Wacker Drive, Suite 3400, Chicago, IL
60606-6785, Phone: (312) 986-0300, E-mail: pjw@franczek.com.


IPO SECURTIES: Litigation Settlement Hearing Set April 24, 2006
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York will hold a fairness hearing in the proposed settlement
in the matter: "In re Initial Public Offering Litigation, 21 MC
92 (SAS)."

The hearing will be held before the Honorable Shira Scheindlin
in the United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York, 500 Pearl St., New York, NY 10007, at 10:00 a.m., on
April 24, 2006.

For more details, contact In re IPO Litigation, c/o The Garden
City Group, Inc., Notice Administrator, P.O. Box 9000 #6239,
Merrick, NY 11566-9000, Phone: (800) 916-6946, Web site:
http://www.iposecuritieslitigation.com/.  


KAISER VENTURES: Dismissed From Unfair Trade Lawsuit in CA Court
----------------------------------------------------------------
Kaiser Ventures LLC has been dropped as a defendant in the class
action filed in the San Bernardino County District Court in
California, styled "Thomas M. Slemmer, et al v. Fontana Union
Water Company, et al., Case No. SCVSS 086856."  The suit also
names as defendants:

     (1) Fontana Union Water Company,

     (2) Cucamonga County Water Company,

     (3) San Gabriel Valley Water and

     (4) individuals serving on the Board of Directors of
         Fontana Union Water Company

Plaintiffs allege that they are the owners of 175 shares of the
stock of Fontana Union Water Company, a mutual water company,
and that the defendants conspired and committed acts that
constitute an unlawful restraint of trade, a breach of fiduciary
duty by the controlling shareholders of Fontana Union and
fraudulent business practices in violation of California law.
Among other things, plaintiffs have requested $25,000,000 in
damages and the trebling of such damages under California law.

All defendants other than the Company remain in the case and a
trial in the matter is currently scheduled to commence in
February 2006. The court's decision effectively dismisses all
the allegations made against the Company. However, the decision
of the court can be appealed and the Plaintiffs have asked the
trial court to reconsider its decision to enter summary judgment
in favor of the Company. If the Plaintiffs are successful in
their motion for reconsideration or upon any appeal, the
allegations against the Company would be reinstated.


NBO SYSTEMS: Reaches Settlement For IL Consumer Fraud Lawsuit
-------------------------------------------------------------
NBO Systems, Inc. reached a settlement for the class action
filed in Illinois State Court in St. Clair County, in connection
with gift cards sold at the St. Clair Square Mall in St. Clair
County, Illinois.

Thomas Ripperda, et al, filed the suit alleging that the term
"valid thru" appearing on the face of the gift card next to the
expiration date of the gift card is misleading.  The plaintiff
seeks a return of all administrative fees charged against his
gift card prior to the "valid thru" date.  If a class were
certified, then the plaintiff would seek to recover similar fees
with respect to all gift cards that the Company sold.

Under the terms and conditions of the gift cards and the gift
card program, the Company disclosed it may charge an
administrative fee against a gift card if the gift card is not
used within 90 days from the date of purchase.  The "valid thru"
date is typically between 12 months and 18 months after the date
the gift card is purchased.  In some cases, the administrative
fee reduces the amount of the gift card prior to the "valid
thru" date on the card.  The Company disclosed the charge of an
administrative fee on the back of the gift card and again in the
written terms and conditions that are distributed to customers
when they purchase the gift cards.  The Company also disclosed
that a gift card may be renewed after the "valid thru" date with
the payment of a renewal fee.

The Company has filed a motion to dismiss, but the plaintiffs
have not yet filed an opposition.  The parties are conducting
discovery.  However, as of September 30, 2005, the plaintiff had
not moved to certify a class. If a class were certified, then
the plaintiff would seek to recover similar fees with respect to
all gift cards that the Company has sold.  

On October 11, 2005, together with codefendants, the Company
entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the plaintiff's
attorney for the settlement of this litigation. Under the terms
of the settlement, the Company denied any wrongdoing or
liability, and, the Company will issue gift cards to gift card
holders who make a sufficient showing that administrative fees
were deducted from their gift cards. Amounts not claimed by gift
card holders will be contributed to a charitable organization.
The Company does not expect its share of the settlement amount
to exceed $90,000. The settlement will be completed and the case
dismissed after the class of plaintiffs has been certified and
the Court has approved the settlement.


NEW YORK: Firms Seek Single Lawsuit in Seneca Lake Outbreak Case
----------------------------------------------------------------
Three law firms representing about 663 people who became ill
after visiting the Seneca Lake State Park sprayground last
summer want to combine their efforts into one class action
lawsuit, The Finger Lakes Times reports.

A January 18 hearing was scheduled in Syracuse, New York where
the Seattle firm of Marler Clark and Rochester attorney Paul
Nunes of Utterberg & Kessler will ask a Court of Appeals judge
to let them join their cases with those of the Dreyer Boyajian
law firm in Albany. According to Mr. Nunes, the three firms want
to team up because they have an expertise in class action
lawsuits involving food-borne and water-contamination illnesses.

Before the decision to combine their efforts, Mr. Nunes and the
Seattle firm were already working together on a class action
suit against the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic
Preservation, which owns and runs the park.

The sprayground was closed in August 15, 2005, after about 40
people complained of a gastrointestinal illness. The state
Health Department later determined that the illness was
cryptosporidiosis, which is caused by a microscopic parasite.

The state found the parasite in the sprayground's two water
tanks and since then the state has investigated how it got
there. By that time nearly 4,000 people got sick after visiting
the sprayground at Seneca Lake State Park in Geneva. Though the
park was closed on August 15, the illness has shown up in people
who visited the park as far back as June, an earlier Class
Action story (September 5, 2005) reports.

During the January hearing, the attorneys also will ask Judge
Nicholas J. Midey to certify the class action lawsuit, according
to Mr. Nunes. He also told The Finger Lakes Times, "It'll
formalize and consolidate our lawsuit. By certifying it, it will
show that this is an appropriate lawsuit to be handled in a
class action suit." The suit will seek compensation for damages,
including pain and suffering, as well as medical expenses and
lost wages.

Assistant Attorney General Ed Thompson, who is representing the
Parks Department, told The Finger Lakes Times that the
certification is just the next step in filing a class action
suit. He emphasizes, "It's just a procedure. This is very, very
early on in the suit."

Working with the state Health Department, the state parks
department has started rewriting regulations governing water
quality at all sprayparks and hopes to implement them by
February.

With so many affected by the outbreak, the situation recently
gained national attention, including coverage in The New York
Times and on CNN, however area tourism staffs are optimistic
that such exposure will not hurt business around the area, an
earlier Class Action story (August 26, 2005) reports.


NORTHSHORE MINING: Settles Gender Discrimination Suit For $1.3M
---------------------------------------------------------------
Northshore Mining Co. agreed to pay $1.3 million to settle a
gender discrimination class action lawsuit brought by present
and former female employees, according to attorneys for the
plaintiffs and company, The Lake County News Chronicle reports.

Holly Mathers, Sue Gundy, Rose Seelen and Dianne Thiel filed the
suit back in December 1999 at the U.S. District Court for the
District of Minnesota. Judge Michael Davis certified it as class
action in September 2003 to include 38 other current and former
women employees of the mining company.

Northshore's mine operations department in Babbitt, Minnesota
employed the four women. All but Ms. Thiel, who resigned in
1997, continues to work for the company, an earlier Class Action
Reporter story (September 26, 2003) reports.

Joseph Mihalek, the attorney for the plaintiffs, told The Lake
County News Chronicle in a recent phone interview, "This is not
a case of sexual harassment. It's a case of gender
discrimination, and the discrimination was related to the
company's practice in regards to promotion, training, job
assignments and overtime. The women alleged that they were not
treated equitably in those four areas."

Mr. Mihalek also told The Lake County News Chronicle that "the
great majority" of the women involved in the lawsuit are still
employed by the Company. According to him, they fill a gamut of
jobs, including running drills and shovels, driving production
trucks, working on the railroad and in office positions.

In the suit, Ms. Mathers claims that when the Company hired her,
she had substantial prior experience operating heavy equipment.
She alleges that she requested training to allow her to operate
various types of equipment so she could be promoted. According
to Ms. Mathers, her requests were denied, discouraged or granted
after undue delay. She also alleged that male employees with
less seniority were given training opportunities.

The suit alleges that Ms. Gundy was denied training so "the
guys" would get training instead. Ms. Seelen and Ms. Thiel also
said they were denied promotions, job assignment requests and
overtime.

Kathleen Bray, who represented the Company and Mr. Mihalek
issued a joint news release stating that the parties reached an
agreement after extensive settlement negotiations conducted by
an impartial mediator. The agreement will become final when
approved by the federal court. Both parties are scheduled to
make an appearance before U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge Raymond
Erickson in Duluth on October 31, 2006.

According to the terms of the settlement, the Company will pay
class members and their attorneys $1.3 million, including
attorney fees and costs. In addition, the Company also agreed to
appoint an anti-discrimination officer and to modify certain
policies and practices related to promotions, training and job
assignments to ensure that female employees are treated fairly.

Though Ms. Bray couldn't be reached for comment, the news
release she co-signed did state, "Although Northshore Mining
Company has consistently maintained that it has never
intentionally or unintentionally discriminated against any
employees on the basis of gender, it agrees that settlement is
in the best interests of all parties involved to avoid the risk
and distraction of costly and protracted class litigation." She
goes on to say, "Northshore Mining Company is sincerely
committed to policies of non-discrimination in the workplace and
offers its apologies to any employee who believes that she has
been treated in a discriminatory manner in the past."

Cleveland-Cliffs Inc., which manages and wholly owns Northshore
Mining Co., manages and holds ownership in six North American
iron ore mines. Northshore Mining is Northeastern Minnesota's
only non-union taconite operation.

The suit is styled, "Mathers, et al v. Northshore Mining Co.,
Case No. 0:99-cv-01938-MJD-RLE," filed in the United States
District Court for the District of Minnesota, under Judge
Michael J. Davis with referral to Judge Raymond L. Erickson.
Representing the Plaintiff/s is, Joseph J. Mihalek of Fryberger
Buchanan Smith & Frederick, PA, 302 W. Superior St., Ste. 700,
Duluth, MN 55802, Phone: 218-722-0861, Fax: 218-725-6800, E-
mail: jmihalek@fryberger.com. Representing the Defendant/s is,
Kathleen S. Bray of Hanft Fride, PA, 130 W. Superior St., Ste.
1000, Duluth, MN 55802-2094, Phone: (218) 722-4766, Fax:
1-218-529-2401, E-mail: ksb@hanftlaw.com.


NTS-PROPERTIES ASSOCIATES: Investor Suit Settlement Deemed Final
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Court of Appeal for the State of California, First Appellate
District upheld the approval of the settlement of the class
action filed against NTS-Properties Associates and the general
partners of four public partnerships affiliated with it, styled
"Buchanan et al. v. NTS-Properties Associates et al."

The action was originally filed in the Superior Court of the
State of California for the County of Contra Costa against the
general partners and several affiliated individuals and entities
in December 2001.  The settlement is subject to, among other
things, preparing and executing a settlement agreement to be
presented to the court for preliminary and final approval.

The proposed settlement would include releases for all of the
parties for any of the claims asserted in the Buchanan
litigation and the class action and derivative litigation filed
in the Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Kentucky and captioned
"Bohm et al. v. J.D. Nichols et al. (Case No. 03-CI- 01740)."

As part of the proposed settlement of the Buchanan and Bohm
litigation, the general partners have agreed to pursue a merger
of the partnerships along with other real estate entities
affiliated with the general partners into a newly-formed
partnership.  The general partners would seek to list the
limited partnership interests to be issued in the merger on a
national securities exchange.  

The merger will be subject to, among other things, approval by
holders of a majority of the limited partner interests in each
partnership, final approval of the court in which the Buchanan
litigation is pending and receipt by the general partners of an
opinion regarding the fairness of the merger to the limited
partners from a financial point of view.

An independent appraiser has been retained to appraise all of
the properties owned by the existing partnerships and affiliated
entities that would be owned after the merger by the new
partnership.  The appraisal will be used in establishing
exchange values which will determine the number of interests
that will be issued to each existing partnership in the merger.  
The interests in the newly-formed partnership will be
subsequently distributed to the limited and general partners in
each existing partnership as though each partnership had been
liquidated.  The general partners have also retained a third
party to provide an opinion on the fairness of the merger to
limited partners from a financial point of view.

On May 6, 2004, the Superior Court of the State of California
for the County of Contra Costa granted its final approval of the
settlement agreement jointly filed by the general partners (the
"Former General Partners") of the Partnerships, along with
certain of their affiliates on December 5, 2003.  At the final
hearing, class members were given the opportunity to object to
the final approval of the settlement agreement, the entry of a
final judgment dismissing with prejudice the California
Litigation, or an application of an award for attorneys' fees
and expenses to plaintiffs' counsel.  The Superior Court's order
provided, among other things, that:

     (1) the settlement agreement, and all transactions
         contemplated thereby, including the merger of the
         Partnerships into the Company, were fair, reasonable
         and adequate, and in the best interests of the class of
         plaintiffs;

     (2) the plaintiffs' complaint and each and every cause of
         action and claim set forth therein is dismissed with
         prejudice; and

     (3) each class member who did not request to be excluded
         from the settlement released all known and unknown
         claims against the defendants, including those claims
         being pursued in a competing class action in Kentucky,

On June 11, 2004, several class members who objected to the
settlement agreement but whose objections were overruled by the
Superior Court, filed an appeal in the Court of Appeal of the
State of California, First Appellate District. On July 28, 2005,
the Court of Appeal issued its decision affirming the Superior
Court's approval of the settlement, and rejecting the objectors'
arguments. On October 5, 2005, the Court of Appeal of the State
of California, First Appellate District entered a Remittitur
Order stating that the time for appeal had expired and that the
judgment of the Appellate Court was final. This effectively
concludes the litigation. The matter was then sent back to the
Superior Court of the State of California for the County of
Contra Costa in order to conduct ministerial proceedings (if
any) to effectuate the settlement.


ODIMO INC.: Shareholders File Securities Fraud Suits in FL Court
----------------------------------------------------------------
Odimo, Inc. faces two purported securities class action
complaints filed in the Circuit Court of the 17th Judicial
Circuit in and for Broward County, Florida.  One suit also names
as defendants Alan Lipton, its President and Chief Executive
Officer, and Amerisa Kornblum, its Chief Financial Officer; and
the other complaint also names as defendants Mr. Lipton, CIBC
World Markets, Oppenheimer & Co., Inc. and Merriman Curhan &
Ford, underwriters in the Company's initial public offering of
securities.

The suits are filed on behalf of a purported class of purchasers
of the Company's common stock in or traceable to the Company's
initial public offering. The complaints generally allege that
the defendants violated Sections 11, 12(a)(2) and 15 of the
Securities Act of 1933 due to allegedly false and misleading
statements in public disclosures in connection with the
Company's initial public offering regarding the impact to the
Company's operations of advertising expenses.


ORANGE COUNTY: Retirees Sue Sheriff's Office Over Lost Benefits
---------------------------------------------------------------
Several retirees from the Orange County Sheriff's Office in
Florida initiated a class action lawsuit against Sheriff Kevin
Beary over the loss of longtime health benefits, The Associated
Press.

About 300 former employees claim Sheriff Beary illegally
stripped them of coverage offered since 1998 to employees who
worked in the agency for more than 20 years. The free coverage
ended in October 2005, after the county Commission learned
Sheriff Beary granted it seven years ago without telling the
government responsible for funding the costly bonus.

Sheriff Beary's spokesman Chief Steve Jones told The Associated
Press that the county tax base simply couldn't support free
retirement healthcare costs.


PACIFIC CYCLE: Mother Commences Lawsuit Due To Defective Bikes
--------------------------------------------------------------
A Mableton, Georgia mother whose son was injured when the front
wheel came off his new mountain bike is suing the manufacturer
of the bike and the store that sold it, The Associated Press
reports.

According to the mother, Sharon Monroe, and her attorneys, while
Wesley Clackum, then 14, was riding home from his neighborhood
pool three years ago, the front wheel of his new mountain bike
flew off, the front fork dug into the asphalt and he was thrown
face-first to the pavement. They told The Associated Press that
the boy was knocked out cold, his eye socket was shattered, his
nose was broken and he suffered a concussion. Though his scars
have nearly healed, his fear of bikes remains strong.

Mr. Clackum's injuries and his anxiety are the basis for a
federal lawsuit against Pacific Cycle Inc., the bike
manufacturer and Wal Mart Stores East L.P., the store that sold
it, a legal matter that joins scores of other similar claims
across the country. More than 60 are pending nationwide, and
testimony began in one case last week in California.

Originally, Ms. Monroe filed the lawsuit in state court, but
Wal-Mart had the matter moved to federal court where it may be
considered along any similar complaints. Though not a class
action lawsuit, such so-called consolidation is not uncommon
when defendants may face similar cases.

Marietta attorney Jesse E. Barrow III, who is representing Mr.
Wesley and his mother, told The Associated Press that Mr.
Wesley's isn't the only case in which someone was seriously
injured when the front wheel fell off a Mongoose-brand mountain
bike. According to, "I can't tell you how many injuries have
occurred or even how many lawsuits there are, but I can tell you
I'm getting calls every day from lawyers all over the country."

Ms. Monroe maintains that she didn't file the lawsuit against
Wal-Mart, which assembled and sold her the bike, and the company
that imports the bikes from Taiwan to extract money, but to
prevent other families from having similar tragedies. She told
The Associated Press, "I just want them to take responsibility
and get these bikes off the market get them away from our kids.
This shouldn't have happened."

An attorney representing Wal-Mart declined to respond to
questions about the lawsuit, referring inquiries to a company
spokesman, who did not respond as well.

The suit is styled, "Monroe v. Wal-Mart et al., Case No. 1:05-
cv-02112-RWS," filed in the United States District for the
Northern District of Georgia, under Judge Richard W. Story.
Representing the Plaintiff/s are, Jesse Emanuel Barrow, III of
The Barrow Firm, P.O. Box 669187, Marietta, GA 30066, Phone:
404-428-1954, E-mail: bldrnr2002@yahoo.com. Representing the
Defendant/s are, Albert J. DeCusati of McLain & Merritt, 3445
Peachtree Road, N.E., Suite 500, Atlanta, GA 30326-1276, Phone:
404-266-9171, E-mail: adecusati@mclain-merritt.com and Howard M.
Lessinger of McLain & Merritt, 3445 Peachtree Road, N.E., Suite
500, Atlanta, GA 30326, Phone: 404-365-4514, Fax: 404-364-3138,
E-mail: hlessinger@mclain-merritt.com.


PFIZER INC.: IL County Judge Vacates Transfer Order in Lott Case
----------------------------------------------------------------
A class action suit against drug maker Pfizer, Inc. that was
moved to Chicago, Illinois last November by Madison County
Circuit Judge George Moran bounced back to Edwardsville, after
Associate Circuit Judge Ralph Mendelsohn vacated his earlier
order, The Madison County Record reports.

The November 28 order in which Judge Moran transferred the case
to Cook County, the judge ruled that under a recent Illinois
Supreme Court decision in Gridley vs. State Farm, he had to
transfer the case. In his ruling, Judge Moran wrote, "Venue is
not proper in Madison County." He pointed out, "Pfizer is not
doing business in Madison County."

In the suit, plaintiffs Ricky Lott of Madison, Gerald Sumner of
Belleville, Sandy Becker of Pontoon Beach and Mike Baldwin of
Smithton claim that Pfizer's false and misleading statements
inflated the value of pain relievers Celebrex and Bextra.

Plaintiff attorney Stephen Tillery moved Judge Moran to
reconsider the order. Thus, the judge set a hearing December 21,
however, five days before it he disqualified himself. Chief
Judge Edward Ferguson then assigned Judge Mendelsohn to the
case, which eventually led to the hearing and the vacating of
the Judge Moran's order.


SONY BMG: Settles NY Suit V. Controversial Anti-Piracy Software
---------------------------------------------------------------
Sony BMG Music Entertainment agreed to a settlement that would
end a nationwide class action lawsuit brought against the
company over security flaws in anti-piracy software that it
shipped on millions of music CDs, The Washington Post reports.

The lawsuit was filed earlier this month against Sony BMG and
First4Internet, the British company that produced the anti-
piracy software. The suit, which could potentially include
consumers in all 50 states, was filed in the U.S. District Court
for the Southern District of New York. The suit's two named
plaintiffs are, James Michaelson from Illinois and an Ori
Edelstein from New Jersey, who are both represented by New York
attorney Scott Kamber. The suit claims, "To date, over 3 million
copies of XCP encoded disks have been sold. It is probable that
millions of consumers have played these discs on their PC's and
thus compromised their systems without knowing it," an earlier
Class Action Reporter story (November 16, 2005) reports.  

Recently, Mr. Kamber told The Washington Post that the two
parties signed a settlement, which is awaiting preliminary
approval by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of
New York. He also told The Washington Post, "We have reached a
settlement with all the parties and that settlement provides
real value to the class in a timely manner." He added, "This
settlement is subject to court approval and no further comment
would be appropriate from me at this time."

Sony BMG spokesperson John McKay confirmed that the company had
reached an agreement with the plaintiffs, saying that the
Company is looking forward to the court approval process.
However, like Mr. Kmaber, he also declined to comment further
about the settlement.

Although billed by The Company as common digital rights
management (DRM) software that is just for copy protection, it
seems that it is really much more. The "XCP" software utilizes
"rootkit" technology that hides the software from users. The
software creates a security risk for personal computers that
allows hackers to hide damaging programs in computers that have
The Company's software in them. The software also secretly
communicates with Sony's servers and can be used to send
information back to the users' media player programs. The
Sunncomm MediaMax software used on some CDs actually installs
itself before the user is asked to agree to the terms of
installation. For both XCP and MediaMax software, the terms of
the End User License Agreement (EULA) are asserted to be
improper and without the proper disclosures for what is actually
occurring when a user clicks on the button to "Agree" to its
terms, an earlier Class Action Reporter story (November 16,
2005) reports.

Under the terms of the proposed settlement, The Company would be
required to stop making CDs outfitted with the flawed "XCP" and
MediaMax digital rights management software. The Company would
also be required to "implement consumer-oriented changes in
operating practices with respect to all CDs with content
protection software that it manufactures in the next two years;
refrain from collecting personal information about users of XCP
CDs or MediaMax CDs without their affirmative consent; and
provide additional settlement benefits to Settlement Class
Members including cash payments, 'clean' replacement CDs without
content protection software, and free music downloads."

The agreement signed by the two litigants also requires the
Company to begin offering relief to customers directly after the
preliminary agreement is approved, not after final approval is
granted, which typically takes a few months. The agreement also
states that both parties will issue a joint news release
directly after preliminary approval.

The settlement also would lay to rest a class action suit
brought against Sony by several other parties, including the
Electronic Frontier Foundation. But despite that, the settlement
will hardly end the Company's legal troubles, though it may
indicate that other settlements are imminent. Case in point, the
Texas attorney general's lawsuit alleging violations of the
state's anti-spyware law is moving forward, and several other
state attorneys general are considering legal action.

The suit is styled, "Michaelson et al v. Sony BMG Music, Inc. et
al, Case No. 1:05-cv-09575-NRB," filed in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York. Under
Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald. Representing the Plaintiff/s are,
Scott Adam Kamber of Kamber & Associates, LLC, 19 Fulton St.,
Suite 400, New York, NY 10038, Phone: (646)-441-7100, Fax:
(212)-202-6364, E-mail: skamber@kolaw.com.


SOUTH CAROLINA: Man Sues State Lottery Over Scratch-Off Tickets
---------------------------------------------------------------
Pete Cuming, a Charleston County resident sued the South
Carolina lottery for fraud, claiming that false advertising
caused him to buy scratch-off lottery tickets for prizes already
claimed, The Associated Press reports.

The suit was filed a week after a state audit revealed that the
lottery, in a single year, sold nearly $20 million worth of
tickets in 16 scratch-off games after all the contests' top
prizes were awarded. According to the suit, "In essence, a
player is led to believe that he or she has the chance to win
the top prize advertised even though he or she does not."

Mr. Cuming's lawyers are seeking class action status for the
case, saying the millions of dollars represent thousands of
misled ticket buyers. Attorney David Haller of Mount Pleasant
called Mr. Cuming a routine scratch-off player but declined to
say how much his client had spent on the games. He told The
Associated Press that the issue is that Mr. Cuming and others
purchase tickets in hopes of winning an advertised top prize
that no longer exists.

Though Ernie Passailaigue, the lottery's executive director,
declined to talk about the lawsuit, he did tell The Associated
Press, "We intend to show up in court and defend the lawsuit
vigorously." He and the Lottery Commission's six members are
named in the suit, filed on December 22, 2005, in Richland
County, where the lottery is headquartered.

Barbara Pate, an employee of an Exxon gas station in Columbia,
which sold the state's first scratch-off tickets in January
2002, called Mr. Cuming's lawsuit "ridiculous." She told The
Associated Press that customers at her store spend up to several
hundred dollars at a time on scratch-off tickets, sometimes
buying an entire roll of $10 tickets because those pay out the
most. She pointed out, "He didn't have to buy the tickets."

Mr. Haller acknowledged that those playing are entitled to buy
or not buy lottery tickets. However, he argues that their
decisions should be based on accurate information. He told The
Associated Press, "They're not getting a fair shot to make an
informed decision."

Each week, the lottery updates online the total prize money and
top prizes left in its instant games. But prizes are often
claimed and unavailable within each seven-day update, and no one
knows, according to Mr. Haller said. In addition, Mr. Haller
pointed out, many who play the scratch-off games don't have
access to the lottery's Web site.

When the Legislative Audit Council released the lottery audit   
December 15, 2005, Lottery Commission Chairman John C.B. Smith
Jr. called the scratch-off findings no big deal. Back then he
said, "We have a rich lower-tier prize structure, and we find
that most players are playing the scratch off games for the
lower-tier prizes."

However, state Sen. Greg Ryberg, R-Aiken, said that's not an
adequate response, since the state continues to promote games
based on the most they pay out. The state senator, who is a
candidate for state treasurer, told The Associated Press that
the lottery should immediately notify retailers when someone
claims the top prizes and require they stop selling those
tickets, as lotteries in California and Virginia do. "If we're
knowingly selling tickets for prizes people have no chance of
winning, it actually borders on criminal," says Sen. Ryberg, who
added he's never liked the lottery. "But this is absolutely a
new low," he said. "How can we do this to our own people?"

A hearing on the suit was scheduled last week in a Columbia
court. Mr. Cuming's attorneys were asking for a temporary order
that would force the state to stop selling tickets for games
advertised for more than what's possible to win.

However, a few days before that, the state moved the case to
federal court, which essentially canceled the hearing. Sen.
Ryberg called that move a mistake saying, "I don't see how a
state agency can move this to federal court. This is the state's
business and the state courts ought to handle it."

Mr. Haller told The Associated Press other lottery players have
called his Mount Pleasant office nonstop, after The (Charleston)
Post and Courier first reported the lawsuit. Mr. Cuming's other
attorneys are Lawrence Richter Jr., also of Mount Pleasant, and
Dick Harpootlian, the former state Democratic Party chairman who
worked to make the lottery legal.


SOUTHERN STAR: KS Court Yet To Rule on Lawsuit Certification
------------------------------------------------------------
The District Court for Stevens County, Kansas has yet to rule on
the motions for and against class certification for the lawsuit
filed against Southern Star Central Corporation and other
natural gas companies, including El Paso Natural Gas Co., styled
"Will Price, et al. v. El Paso Natural Gas Co., et al., Case No.
99 C 30."

In this putative class action filed May 28, 1999, the named
plaintiffs (Plaintiffs) have sued over 50 defendants, including
the Company.  Asserting theories of civil conspiracy, aiding and
abetting, accounting and unjust enrichment, their Fourth Amended
Class Action Petition alleges that the defendants have
undermeasured the volume of, and therefore have underpaid for,
the natural gas they have obtained from or measured for
Plaintiffs.  Plaintiffs seek unspecified actual damages,
attorney fees, pre- and post-judgment interest, and reserved the
right to plead for punitive damages.

On August 22, 2003, an answer to that pleading was filed on
behalf of the Company.  Despite a denial by the court on April
10, 2003 of their original motion for class certification, the
Plaintiffs continue to seek the certification of a class.  The
Plaintiffs' motion seeking class certification for a second time
was fully briefed and the court heard oral argument on this
motion on April 1, 2005.


TIME WARNER: Alerts ME Cable Subscribers of Lawsuit Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------------
Time Warner Cable, Inc. is alerting thousands of Maine
subscribers that they will be eligible for a month's worth of
extra services following the settlement of a class action
lawsuit, The Portland Press Herald reports.

The lawsuit claims that the Company sold subscribers' personal
information, to be used by telemarketers for example, without
first disclosing the practice. It covers people who bought cable
services from the media giant anytime from 1994 to 1998.

Many Maine customers are receiving letters announcing the
proposed settlement, though it could be a year before they
receive their compensation, if they participate at all. Rick
Lowell of Portland, who recently received the settlement letter,
but has yet to reply told The Portland Press Herald, "It will
seem like it will cost me more hassle than it's worth. If they
wanted to credit my regular cable bill, that would be better."

The agreement doesn't shave any money directly off a
subscriber's bill. Instead, it offers either two free on-demand
movies or a month of some service that the customer doesn't
currently buy. For people who are no longer customers of Time
Warner Cable, they can get a free month of service with no
installation fee, or give their portion to someone else. There
is also the possibility that the Company will double the benefit
if few people participate in the settlement. In that case,
customers could get two free months of a service or four movies.

According to the Company, the additional services for cable
customers could include voice-over-Internet telephone, high
speed Internet or movie channels. The cost of a month of
telephone service is between $40 and $50.

While the company will have to pay $5 million to the law firms
that are representing the plaintiffs, the settlement could end
up having benefits for Time Warner. Keith Cocozza, a spokesman
for the parent corporation told The Portland Press Herald, "If
customers have an opportunity to try a service for free that
they haven't tried before, they potentially will see the value
we see in those services." Instead of canceling after the month,
they might decide to pay for it.

The settlement stems from the allegation that the company sold
its customers' private information to another company without
first getting its customers' permission. The free cable service
makes up for some of those dinnertime telemarketing calls.

Though the Company denies any wrongdoing, it did say that the
settlement ends what would have been a long and possibly risky
litigation. Melinda Poore, a spokeswoman for Time Warner Cable
in Maine told The Portland Press Herald, "Ultimately we feel we
would have prevailed in trial, but that can be a lengthy process
and tie up a lot of resources." Ms. Poore adds that she had
heard very little from customers about the settlement.

Proceeds of the settlement are still a long way off. A court
must review the proposal in May 2006, and an appeal period could
stretch out for up to a year.

Time Warner Cable has 110,000 customers in 32 communities in
Maine. Ms. Poore was unable to say how many people are affected
by the settlement.


TRIPLE-S INC.: FL Court Mulls Physicians' Fraud Suit Dismissal
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
Florida, Miami District has yet to rule on Triple-S Inc.'s
motion to dismiss a putative class action suit filed by Kenneth
A. Thomas, M.D. and Michael Kutell, M.D., on behalf of
themselves and all other similarly situated and the Connecticut
State Medical Society against the Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Association  (BCBSA) and multiple other insurance companies,
including the Company.

The individual Plaintiffs bring this action on behalf of
themselves and a class of similarly-situated physicians seeking
redress for alleged illegal acts of the defendants which are
alleged to have resulted in a loss of plaintiff's property and a
detriment to their business, and for declaratory and injunctive
relief to end those practices and prevent further losses.

Plaintiffs alleged that the defendants, on their own and as part
of a common scheme, systematically deny, delay and diminish the
payments due to doctors so that they are not paid in a timely
manner for the covered, medically necessary services they
render.  The class action complaint alleges that the Company's
health care plans are the agents of BCBSA licensed entities, and
as such have committed the acts alleged above and acted within
the scope of their agency, with the consent, permission,
authorization and knowledge of the others, and in furtherance of
both their interest and the interests of other defendants.

On June 18, 2004, the Plaintiffs moved to amend the complaint to
include the Colegio de Medicos Cirujanos de Puerto Rico (a
compulsory association grouping all physicians in Puerto Rico),
Marissel Velazquez, MD, and Andres Melendez, MD, as plaintiffs
against the Company.


TRIPLE-S INC.: Physicians' Fraud Suit Awaits FL Court's Ruling
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
Florida, Miami Division has yet to rule on Triple-S, Inc.'s
motion to dismiss the putative class action filed by Jeffrey
Solomon, MD, and Orlando Armstrong, MD, on behalf of themselves
and all other similarly situated and the American Podiatric
Medical Association, Florida Chiropractic Association,
California Podiatric Medical Association, Florida Podiatric
Medical Association, Texas Podiatric Medical Association, and
Independent Chiropractic Physicians, against the Blue Cross Blue
Shield Association (BCBSA) and multiple other insurance
companies, including the Company, all members of the BCBSA.

The individual Plaintiffs bring this action on behalf of
themselves and a class of similarly situated physicians seeking
redress for alleged illegal acts of the defendants which are
alleged to have resulted in a loss of Plaintiff's property and a
detriment to their business, and for declaratory and injunctive
relief to end those practices and prevent further losses.  
Plaintiffs alleged that the defendants, on their own and as part
of a common scheme, systematically deny, delay and diminish the
payment due to the doctors so that they are not paid in a timely
manner for the covered, medically necessary services they
render.

The class action complaint alleges that the Company's health
care plans are the agents of BCBSA licensed entities, and as
such have committed the acts alleged above and acted within the
scope of their agency, with the consent, permission,
authorization and knowledge of the others, and in furtherance of
both their interest and the interests of other defendants.  On
June 25, 2004, the Plaintiff amended the complaint but the
allegations against the Company did not vary.


TRIPLE-S MANAGEMENT: Discovery Proceeds in RICO Violations Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs asked the United States District Court for the
District of Puerto Rico to grant class certification to the
class action filed against Triple-S Management Corporation
(TSM), certain of its present and former directors, certain of
Triple-S, Inc.'s (TSI) present and former directors and others.

On September 4, 2003, Jose Sanchez and others filed a putative
class action complaint, alleging violations under the Racketeer
Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, better known as the
RICO Act. The suit, among other allegations, alleges a scheme to
defraud the plaintiffs by acquiring control of TSI through
illegally capitalizing TSI and later converting it to a for-
profit corporation and depriving the stockholders of their
ownership rights.  The plaintiffs base their later allegations
on the supposed decisions of TSI's board of directors and
stockholders, allegedly made in 1979, to operate with certain
restrictions in order to turn TSI into a charitable corporation,
basically forever.

On March 4, 2005 the Court issued an Opinion and Order. In this
Opinion and Order, of the twelve counts included in the
complaint, eight counts were dismissed for failing to assert an
actionable injury; six of them for lack of standing and two for
failing to plead with sufficient particularity in compliance
with the Rules. All shareholder allegations, including those
described above, were dismissed in the Opinion and Order. The
remaining four counts were found standing, in a limited way, in
the Opinion and Order. Finally, the Court ordered that by March
24, 2005 one of the counts left standing be replead to conform
to the Rules and that by March 28, 2005 a proposed schedule for
discovery and other submissions be filed.  The count was amended
and accepted by the Court, the discovery schedule was submitted
and the parties just finished class certification discovery.
Plaintiffs filed their briefs in support of their request for
class certification. Defendants also filed their opposition.

The suit is styled "Sanchez, et al v. Triple-S Management, et
al., case no. 3:03-cv-01967-JAF," filed in the United States
District Court for the District of Puerto Rico, under Judge Jose
A. Fuste.  Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (1) Robert G. Blakey, 1341 East Wayne Street North, South
         Bend, IN 46615, Phone: 219-239-5717

     (2) Paul H. Hulsey, Marco Tulio Torres-Moncada of
         Hulsey Litigation Group, L.L.C., Charleston Harbor, 2
         Wharfside 3, Charleston, SC 29401, Phone: 843-723-5303,
         Fax: 843-723-5307, E-mail:
         phulsey@hulseylitigationgroup.com

     (3) Eric M. Quetglas-Jordan, Quetglas Law Office, PO Box
         16606, San Juan, PR 00908-6606, Phone: 787-722-7745,
         Fax: 787-725-3970, E-mail: quetglaslaw@hotmail.com

Representing the Company are Seth B. Kosto and Gael Mahony, 10
St. James Avenue, Boston, MA 02114, Phone: 617-523-2700, Fax:
617-523-6850.


US TRADING: Recalls Products Due to Salmonella Contamination
------------------------------------------------------------
US Trading Co. of Hayward, California is recalling the following
product because they may be contaminated with Salmonella:

     (1) "JHC Brand cooked seasoned anchovy (spicy)", Net Wt.:
         7oz packed in clear plastic container;

     (2) "JHC Brand cooked seasoned anchovy w/sesame", Net Wt.:
         7oz, packed in clear plastic container; and

     (3) "JHC Brand cooked seasoned anchovy Net Wt.: 2oz, packed
         in clear plastic bag.

Salmonella is an organism, which can cause serious and sometimes
fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and
others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected
with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be
bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare
circumstance, infection with Salmonella can result in the
organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe
illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected
aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.

Cooked Seasoning Anchovy was distributed in retail stores
throughout the state of California, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia,
Idaho, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan,
Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oregon, and Wisconsin. There have
been two reported illnesses in Canada associated with the
consumption of this product.

Customers who have purchased these products are urged to cease
use and to return them to the place of purchase for a full
refund or dispose of it. Consumers with questions may contact
the company at 1-800-453-5502.



                New Securities Fraud Cases


GREAT WOLF: Smith & Smith Files Securities Fraud Suit in W.D. WI
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Smith & Smith, LLP, initiated a securities class
action lawsuit on behalf of shareholders who purchased the
common stock of Great Wolf Resorts, Inc. ("Great Wolf Resorts"
or the "Company") (Nasdaq:WOLF), pursuant or traceable to the
Company's Initial Public Offering ("IPO") of common stock on
December 14, 2004, and on behalf of all persons and entities who
purchased or otherwise acquired Great Wolf securities between
December 14, 2004 and July 28, 2005, inclusive (the "Class
Period"). The class action lawsuit was filed in the United
States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin.

The Complaint alleges that defendants violated federal
securities laws by issuing a series of material
misrepresentations to the market during the Class Period
concerning the Company's financial performance and prospects,
thereby artificially inflating the price of Great Wolf Resorts
securities. No class has yet been certified in the above action.

For more details, contact Howard Smith, Esq. of Smith & Smith,
LLP, 3070 Bristol Pike, Suite 112, Bensalem, PA 19020, Phone:
(866) 759-2275, E-mail: howardsmithlaw@hotmail.com.  


GUIDANT CORPORATION: Scott + Scott Sets Lead Plaintiff Deadline
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Scott + Scott, LLC, which initiated a securities
fraud class action on November 3, 2005, in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of Indiana against
Guidant Corporation ("Guidant" or the "Company") (NYSE:GDT) and
certain individual defendants (No. 05CV1658) on behalf of
securities purchasers between December 15, 2004 and November 3,
2005, inclusive (the "Class Period"), reminds interested parties
that they have until January 3, 2006, to move the Court to be
appointed lead plaintiff in the case.

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

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

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

For more details, contact Neil Rothstein of Scott + Scott, LLC,
Phone: +1-800-332-2259, ext. 22 or (Cell) +1-619-251-0887, E-
mail: nrothstein@scott-scott.com, (Institutional Investors)
InstitutionalInvestors@scott-scott.com.


STONE ENERGY: Smith & Smith Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in LA
--------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Smith & Smith, LLP, initiated a securities class
action lawsuit on behalf of shareholders who purchased
securities of Stone Energy Corporation ("Stone Energy" or the
"Company")(NYSE:SGY), between June 17, 2005 and October 6, 2005,
inclusive (the "Class Period"). The class action lawsuit was
filed in the United States District Court for the Western
District of Louisiana.

The Complaint alleges that defendants violated federal
securities laws by issuing a series of material
misrepresentations to the market during the Class Period
concerning the Company's operations and prospects, thereby
artificially inflating the price of Stone Energy securities. No
class has yet been certified in the above action.

For more details, contact Howard Smith, Esq. of Smith & Smith,
LLP, 3070 Bristol Pike, Suite 112, Bensalem, PA 19020, Phone:
(866) 759-2275, E-mail: howardsmithlaw@hotmail.com.  


SERACARE LIFE: Schatz & Nobel Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in CA
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schatz & Nobel, P.C., which has significant
experience representing investors in prosecuting claims of
securities fraud, announces that a lawsuit seeking class action
status has been filed in the United States District Court for
the Southern District of California on behalf of all persons who
purchased the publicly traded securities of SeraCare Life
Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: SRLSE) between May 3, 2005, and December
19, 2005, inclusive (the "Class Period"). Also included are all
those who purchased in the secondary offering on May 24, 2005.

The Complaint alleges that defendants violated federal
securities laws by issuing a series of materially false
statements. It is alleged that defendants directly participated
in an accounting fraud, which materially overstated the
Company's financial results in violation of Generally Accepted
Accounting Principles ("GAAP"). Specifically, the complaint
charges that throughout the Class Period:

     (1) defendants used improper revenue recognition policies
         and practices;

     (2) defendants failed to properly account for and value
         inventory;

     (3) defendants failed to prevent certain Board members from
         exerting undue influence on the financial reporting
         process of the audit process; and

     (4) defendants failed to maintain adequate internal
         controls and as a result were unable to ascertain the
         true financial condition of the Company.

On December 20, 2005, SeraCare announced that its independent
auditors raised concerns with respect to the Company's financial
statements, accounting documentation and the ability to rely on
representations of the Company's management. Specifically, the
auditor questioned certain of the company's revenue-recognition
accounting policies, the valuation of the company's inventory
and raised concerns regarding the perception that a few members
of the board were exerting "undue influence" on the Company's
financial reporting. On this news, SeraCare shares fell from
$19.30 to $10.04.

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

                            *********


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

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

                            *********

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

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

Copyright 2006.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
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