/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/060130.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Monday, January 30, 2006, Vol. 8, No. 21


AGENT ORANGE: South Korea Orders $65M Payment to War Veterans
ARAB GERMAN: U.K. Brokers Group Shelves Plans for Lawsuit
ARVINMERITOR INC.: Judge Issues Injunction in ERISA Fraud Suits
ARIZONA: Misses English Learning Cut-Off, Fines May Begin
AUSTRALIA: Additional Shareholders Examine Telstra Legal Action

BP NORTH: Trial to Start Soon over 401(K) Retirement Plan Losses
BRADLEY TECHNOLOGIES: Recalls Electric Smokers for Shock Hazard
CANADA: Quebec Judge Raises Case Filing Standards
COTTON YARN: Antitrust Settlement Hearing Set February 14, 2006
DEL REY: Recalls Flour Tortillas Due to Possible Health Risk

DOW CHEMICAL: Rocky Flats Federal Court Trial Nears Conclusion
DRESDNER KLEINWORT: Thompson Wigdor Readies Discrimination Case
ENGELHARD CORP.: Faces Shareholder Suit in NJ Over BASF AG Deal
FORD MOTOR: Certified Vehicle Owners Sue over Extra Premiums
HEALTHSOUTH CORP: Conducts Intense Settlement Negotiations in AL

HYPERCOM CORPORATION: Court Dismisses Securities Fraud Complaint
ILLINOIS: Mattoon's City Council OKs Settlement Payment
ILLINOIS: Plaintiffs File Reply in District U46 Race Bias Suit
ITALY: Milan Judge Wants Exact Damages in Freedomland Failure
KING OF FANS: Recalls Oscillating Heater Due to Fire Danger

LUXOTTICA GROUP: Lawsuit Settlement Hearing Set February 9, 2006
MASSACHUSETTS: Steele Public Housing Ruling May Cost LHA $250T
MARYLAND: Law Firm to Pursue Legal Action V. Mortgage Lenders
MEDQUIST INC.: Discovery Stayed for NJ Shareholder Litigation
MEDQUIST INC.: Hospitals Launch Third Amended Complaint in NJ

MEDQUIST INC.: NJ Court Orders Consolidation of Employees' Suit
MINNESOTA: Three Smokers Launch Lawsuit Over "Health Impact Fee"
MISSOURI: Jasper County Jury Sides with Wyeth in "Fen-Phen" Case
OHIO: Campbell County Settles Overcrowding Suit With Inmates
PACIFIC SHELLFISH: FDA Seeks Injunction on Contaminated Product

PEPSICO INC.: Under Fire for Olestra-containing Product Labeling
STEVE & BARRY'S: Drawstring in Children's Wear Poses Life Hazard
STONE ENERGY: Filing for Lead Plaintiff Appointment Ends Monday
UNITED STATES: Internet Coalition Sets up Anti-"Badware" Site
VOLKSWAGEN SA: South African Court to Decide on Labor Lawsuit

                   New Securities Fraud Cases

AMKOR TECHNOLOGY: Marc S. Henzel Lodges Securities Suit in PA
MIKOHN GAMING: Baron & Budd Sets January Lead Plaintiff Cut-Off
MILLS CORP: Marc S. Henzel Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in VA
SONUS NETWORKS: Lerach Coughlin Files Securities Fraud Suit


AGENT ORANGE: South Korea Orders $65M Payment to War Veterans
Seoul's High Court ordered U.S. chemical firms Dow Chemical Co.
and Monsanto Co. to pay $65.2 million to compensate Vietnam War
veterans who were exposed to defoliants it supplied during the
war.  The decision is a reversal of two lower court decisions,
the People's Daily Online reports.

The ruling says the companies were negligent in manufacturing
defoliants such as Agent Orange that has excess dioxin content.  
The ruling, covers 20,000 war veterans, orders compensation of
between $6,175 and $47,342 to claimants.  Historians estimate
some 300,000 South Korean troops fighting in Vietnam with US-led
forces.  US warplanes dropped defoliant on Vietnamese forests
between 1962 and 1971 to destroy sources of food and cover.
Among the chemical by-products of Agent Orange is dioxin, a
compound that can cause cancer, deformities and organ

Dow and Monsanto were among the seven companies that in 1984
agreed on a $180 million out-of-court settlement to address
claims that Agent Orange caused cancer and other health
problems.  Efforts to claim compensation for illnesses related
to exposure to Agent Orange have also been launched in Australia
and New Zealand.  Vietnam War veterans in New Zealand already
filed a lawsuit for compensation last year.

ARAB GERMAN: U.K. Brokers Group Shelves Plans for Lawsuit
Customers of Jordanian-based Arab German Insurance (AGI) may
never have their claims paid, since broker plans for a class
action against the insurer were shelved, The Post Magazine

Following the insurer's failure to pay valid claims, the British
Insurance Brokers' Association (BIBA) told The Post Magazine
that it is unlikely to pursue a class action against AGI.  Peter
Staddon, head of technical services at BIBA even told The Post
Magazine that although the case was still being discussed, it
appeared unlikely that any further action would be taken.  

Mr. Staddon also explained, "Class actions are very expensive,
so we are trying to find out exactly what our position is at the
moment. We have been in discussions with lawyers but, although
we could take this case forward, we need to ask ourselves: what
is the chance of success?"

In addition, Mr. Staddon told The Post Magazine that BIBA was
still looking into the role of the U.K. distributors that were
involved with AGI, but added that there is an element of caveat
emptor to this situation.  According to him, "At the precise
moment we are not leveling our blame at anybody.  I don't think
brokers are to be blamed for this one, but we all need to be
aware of the dangers of selling products from a non-U.K.
authorized insurer."

He also said, "In today's environment, everything is about
selling on price.  If the client bought products based on the
level of cover and service rather than price, these cases
wouldn't happen."

ARVINMERITOR INC.: Judge Issues Injunction in ERISA Fraud Suits
ArvinMeritor, Inc. and Rockwell Automation, Inc., which
continues to face three separate class action lawsuits filed in
the United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Michigan in 2003 and 2004, as a result of changes made by the
company to its health insurance benefits to certain United Auto
Worker and United Steel Worker retirees, spouses and dependents,
reports that the court has issued an injunction while
considering class action lawsuits over the Company's plan to
discontinue retiree benefits.

According a report by Postcrescent.com, Judge Nancy G. Edmunds
granted the injunction last December.  The report also stated
that one of the plaintiffs in the suit, Oshkosh resident Bernie
Faust, said that the company should restore benefits retroactive
to the judge's Dec. 22 ruling, not Jan. 1 as was indicated in a
company letter to retirees.  

"We have the court order that says we have it, but it's a
logistical nightmare," Mr. Faust told The Postcrescent.com. He
also said, "The Company wasn't prepared to lose the injunction
and now they're scrambling to find companies to administer the
benefits."  The cases affect almost 3,000 ArvinMeritor and
Rockwell retirees in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana
and Wisconsin.

The lawsuits allege that the changes breach the terms of various
collective bargaining agreements entered into with the United
Auto Workers and the United Steel Workers at former facilities
that either have been closed or sold and are located in
Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois and
Michigan.  The complaints also allege a companion claim under
the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA)
essentially restating the alleged collective bargaining breach
claims and bringing them under ERISA.  Plaintiffs seek an
injunction requiring the defendants to provide lifetime retiree
health care benefits under the applicable collective bargaining
agreements, plus costs and attorneys' fees, as well as punitive
and unspecified damages for mental distress and anguish.  

The first identified complaint is styled "Intl U Utd Auto, et al
v. Arvinmeritor Inc, et al., case no. 2:03-cv-73872-NGE," filed
in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Michigan under Judge Nancy G. Edmunds.  Representing the
plaintiffs are Stuart M. Israel of Martens, Ice, (Royal Oak),
306 S. Washington Suite 600, Royal Oak, MI 48067, Phone:
248-398-5900, E-mail: israel@martensice.com; and Daniel W.
Sherrick, UAW International Union, Legal Department, 8000 E.
Jefferson Avenue, Detroit, MI 48214, Phone: 313-926-5216, Fax:
313-926-5216.  Representing the Company are Michael A. Alaimo
and Leonard D. Givens of Miller, Canfield, (Detroit), 150 W.
Jefferson Avenue Suite 2500, Detroit, MI 48226-4415, Phone:
313-963-6420, E-mail: alaimo@millercanfield.com or
givens@millercanfield.com; and Charles S. Mishkind of Miller,
Canfield, (Grand Rapids), 99 Monroe Avenue, N.W. Suite 1200,
Grand Rapids, MI 49503, Phone: 616-454-8656, E-mail:

ARIZONA: Misses English Learning Cut-Off, Fines May Begin
The state of Arizona could now be facing about $500,000 in daily
fines because of a missed deadline to improve instructional
programs for students learning the English language, The
Associated Press reports.

Previously, U.S. District Judge Raner C. Collins ordered the
Legislature to improve and adequately fund Arizona's educational
programs for students learning the English language and set
fines that would rise to $2 million a day if deadlines aren't
met.  The order was part of a 13-year-old education class action
lawsuit that was originally filed in 1992 on behalf of Nogales
Unified School District students and parents, an earlier Class
Action Reporter story (December 20, 2005) reports.

Judge Collins ordered fines to start at $500,000 a day beginning
15 days after the January 9 start of the Republican-led
Legislature's 2006 regular session if lawmakers haven't fixed
the programs and increased their funding.  The fines would
eventually rise to $1 million a day and $1.5 million at
designated points beyond that until reaching $2 million a day at
the end of the session, an earlier Class Action Reporter story
(December 20, 2005) reports.

The Legislature had passed two versions of a bill that would
comply with the court's order, but Gov. Janet Napolitano vetoed
both of them.  Asked recently on whether the fines had begun, a
the former state attorney general told The Associated Press,  
"Ask the attorney general."  A spokeswoman for the Attorney
General's Office told The Associated Press that the fines might
have started to take effect by Jan. 25, but that it wasn't clear
what would happen in that regard.

There was some thought that the fines might not have started
right away because the judge previously said they wouldn't apply
during the five days that Gov. Napolitano had to act on a bill
passed by the Legislature, according to office spokeswoman
Andrea Esquer.  She told The Associated Press, "Because they're
still trying to work some sort of resolution, maybe we're still
in the five-day window."

However, the lawyer for plaintiffs in the protracted class-
action lawsuit, which produced the court orders, told The
Associated Press that he didn't think the five-day period
applied, since Gov. Napolitano had vetoed the latest bill the
same day she got it.  Attorney Tim Hogan adds that he thought
the latest veto meant the fines did start on Jan. 25.  However,
"I don't believe anybody's going to write any checks today," he
pointed out.

Meanwhile, State Treasurer David Pedersen told The Associated
Press that he doesn't have authority under state law to use
state money to pay the fines.  He explains, "It would take a
piece of legislation, a statute, which means it's going to [have
to] be signed by the governor as well."

Mr. Hogan told The Associated Press that he supported a court
motion filed at Gov. Napolitano's request on behalf of the state
to have any fines go to the Department of Education for
distribution to school districts and charter schools for
instruction of ELL students.  The motion stated that use of the
money is appropriate since students are the ones harmed by the
state's noncompliance.  As of the moment there was no immediate
indication when U.S. District Judge Raner C. Collins would rule
on the motion.

Republican legislative leaders said they have no plans to
authorize Mr. Pedersen to pay fines and said they may hire
lawyers to go to court on behalf of the Legislature to oppose
the motion since it would trample on the Legislature's
constitutional power to appropriate.  Senate President Ken
Bennett pointed out, "That's an appropriation of monies and the
governor does not have the authority to appropriate money

The suit is styled, "Flores, et al. v. Arizona, State of, et
al., Case No. 4:92-cv-00596-RCC," filed in the U.S. District
Court for the District of Arizona, under Judge Raner C. Collins.  
Representing the Plaintiff/s is Timothy Michael Hogan of Arizona
Center for Law in the Public Interest, 202 E. McDowell Rd., Ste.
153, Phoenix, AZ 85004, Phone: 602-258-8850, Fax: 602-258-8757,
E-mail: thogan@aclpi.org.  Representing the Defendant/s are,
Lynne Christensen Adams and Jose A. Cardenas of Lewis & Roca,
LLP, 40 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85004-4429, Phone:
602-262-5372 and 602-262-5790, Fax: 602-734-4015 and
602-734-3852, E-mail: ladams@lrlaw.com and JCARDENAS@LRLAW.COM.

AUSTRALIA: Additional Shareholders Examine Telstra Legal Action
The number of Telstra shareholders potentially interested in
suing the Company over an alleged failure to disclose financial
information to the market last year almost doubled since a legal
action was initiated, ZDNet Australia reports.

Law firm Slater & Gordon told ZDNet Australia that it had been
contacted by around 50 additional Telstra shareholders since it
commenced a class action lawsuit on January 20, 2006, adding to
an initial 50 angry at the Company's behavior.  In a statement
issued just after filing the suit, the firm said that the number
of shareholders involved could blow out to several thousand.  
"We've had around 20 on Friday and around 30 today," a
spokesperson told ZDNet Australia.  "We've gone close to
doubling what we initially had."

The suit claims that the Company made selective disclosures by
first briefing the government and journalists about its
financial woes last year before informing the Australian stock
exchange.  Telstra is 51.8% owned by the government, an earlier
Class Action Reporter story (Jan. 23, 2006) reports.

Telstra's stock closed at $5 on August 10, the day before
results were issued. It fell 18c on August 11, the day the
results were released to market. Shares fell a further 24c
between August 11, when analysts received information that the
Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) found the
rest of the market did not, around the time of the government
briefing and September 7, when Telstra issued an earnings
downgrade.  Telstra then warned profits could fall by up to 10%
in the year to June 2006 and that it had underinvested in
capital expenditures during the previous three to five years, an
earlier Class Action Reporter story (Jan. 23, 2006) reports.

Shareholders who bought Telstra shares between the release of
its annual results on Aug. 11 and the profit warning in the week
of Sept. 5 claims they were overcharged for being kept in the
dark about the firm's finances.  Some 50 shareholders have
raised such concern.  Law firm Slater and Gordon said this could
increase to several thousands, according to the report.  Slater
and Gordon Spokesman Michael Salmon said early estimates
indicate shareholders were overcharged some AU$300 in the four-
week period alone.  The firm said anyone who bought Telstra
shares between Aug. 11 and Sept. 7 is eligible to join the suit,
an earlier Class Action Reporter story (Jan. 23, 2006) reports.

BP NORTH: Trial to Start Soon over 401(K) Retirement Plan Losses
A federal court trial in Chicago, Illinois in a case brought by
BP North America Corp. employees to recover $18 million their
401(K) retirement plan lost on investments in Enron Corp. is set
to start soon, The Crain's Chicago Business reports.

The class-action civil suit is one of the first Enron investor
cases to reach the trial stage, though several cases are pending
in federal court in Houston, Texas, the energy trading company's
hometown.  Enron is not named as a defendant in the Chicago

Filed in September 2003, the suit alleges that UBS Global Asset
Management Inc. failed to follow the low-risk investment
strategies promised to BP employees when a UBS-managed money
market fund purchased Enron loans shortly before the company
collapsed in fall 2001.  The money market fund was an investment
option in BP's 401(k) retirement program.

Naperville attorney Shawn Collins, who is representing more than
10,000 current and former BP employees, some of whom worked at
the oil company's plants in Naperville and Whiting, Indiana told
Crain's Chicago Business, "We think it's real clear that no
money market fund with retirement funds should have been
investing in Enron."  He noted that individual BP employees lost
thousands of dollars in their 401(k) accounts when Enron
defaulted on the loans in late 2001.  

As Enron shareholders and other investors lost money, the
lawsuit contends that BP employees invested in the money market
fund to avoid the risks posed by investing in stock and stock-
based funds.  The fund was billed as one of the safest
investment options in BP's 401(k) plan with investments mostly
limited to U.S. government treasury bills and corporate bonds
that matured in as little as three or four days.  According to
the complaint, the rate of return was low, but the money market
hadn't lost money in the 20 years prior to 2001.

However, in early October 2001, UBS' $2.5 billion cash
management fund, which included the money from BP's 401(k) money
market fund, purchased a $3.1 million Enron bond that matured in
Aug. 2002.  Several days later the fund bought a $55 million
chunk of an Enron loan that was sold off in pieces by a bank, a
loan that the complaint notes as being unsecured and typically
can't be sold in a secondary market.

The suit contends that the manager of the cash fund disregarded
warnings about Enron's financial condition, included some coming
from UBS itself, which had been steadily unloading its own loans
to Enron since mid-2001.

Defense attorneys are expected to argue that the investments
were within the guidelines of the money market fund at the time
they were made.  They will also argue that Enron appeared to
have the assets and liquity to cover the debt obligations.

By late November, Enron had defaulted on the $55 million loan,
which was to have matured in 49 days.  The loan was eventually
bought at a deep discount, fetching $4 million.

Since money from BP employees accounted for 40% of money in
UBS's cash management fund, the suit seeks to recover 40% of the
money lost on the Enron investments, about $18 million.  The
bench trial in front of U.S. District Chief Judge Charles
Kocoras is expected to last two weeks.

The suit sis styled, "Nelson v. Brinson Prt Inc, et al, Case No.
1:03-cv-06446," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of Illinois under Judge Charles P. Kocoras.  
Representing the Plaintiff/s are, Robert L. Dawidiuk of Collins
Law Firm, P.C., 1770 North Park 200, Naperville, IL 60563,
Phone: (630) 527-1595, E-mail: rdawidiuk@collinslaw.com; and
Charles Robert Watkins of Susman, Watkins & Wylie, LLP, Two
First National Plaza, Suite 600, Chicago, IL 60603, Phone:
(312) 346-3466, Fax: 312-346-2829, E-mail:
chuckwatkins@ameritech.net.  Representing the Defendant/s are,
James Vincent Hart of Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw, LLP, 71 South
Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL 60606, Phone: (312) 701-8225, E-mail:
courtnotification@mayerbrownrowe.com; and Melissa J. Pastrana
and Jennifer Lynn Rakstad of Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw, LLP, 190
South LaSalle St., Chicago, IL 60603, Phone: (312) 782-0600.

BRADLEY TECHNOLOGIES: Recalls Electric Smokers for Shock Hazard
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Bradley
Technologies (Canada) Inc., of British Columbia, Canada, are
recalling 560 units of Bradley Electric Smokers.  Consumers are
advised to stop using the recalled products immediately.

The company said that in addition to the electric cord that
plugs into the wall, these units have an electric cord with
prongs on both ends that connect the generator to the smoker.  
If the unit is plugged into the wall socket and one end of the
connecting cord is unplugged, there is an electric shock hazard.  
No accidents or injuries have been reported so far.

The recalled electric smokers include models BTST02 (stainless
steel) and BTIS1 (black) and consist of a smoke generator, a
smoke tower and two power cords.  The model number appears on a
silver label on the back of the smoker.  The products have a
"Bradley Smoker" logo on the door and at the bottom under the
red light "Power Indicator."

The recalled black smokers contain one of these serial numbers:

    0508000110000001 to 0508000110000354
    0508000113000001 to 0508000113000294
    0508000116000001 to 0508000116000354

The recalled stainless steel smokers contain one of these serial

    0508000111000001 to 0508000111000354.

The serial number appears on a label on the back of each smoker.

The product, manufactured in China, are sold by retailers
nationwide, including Sportsman's Warehouse, Barbeques Galore,
Bass Pro, Chez Bubba, from October 2005 through December 2005.  
The BTIS1 units sold for between $300 and $350 and the BTST02
units sold for between $400 and $450.

Consumers are advised to immediately stop using these smokers
and contact Bradley Technologies (Canada) Inc. to determine if
the smoker is part of the recall.  Bradley Technologies will
provide a free replacement smoker to consumers.

Consumer contact, Bradley Technologies (Canada) Inc., Phone:
(800) 665-4188 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. PT Monday through
Friday; E-mail: http://www.bradleysmoker.com.

CANADA: Quebec Judge Raises Case Filing Standards
A recent Quebec Superior Court ruling raised the bar for filing
class-action lawsuits in a province that has become a haven for
such pursuits since a change in its civil code in 2003, The
Canadian National Post reports.

The ruling by Madame Justice Claudine Roy derailed the largest
proposed class-action suit to date in Quebec, a $3.8-billion
claim against nine generic drug makers, including Pharmascience
Inc. and Apotex Inc.  The case was based on information
contained in a February, 2003, La Presse newspaper article that
claimed makers of generic drugs gave pharmacists kickbacks,
discounts, rebates or other illicit benefits to prescribe their
drugs, inflating overall costs.  The article did not name any

Two days after the news article's publication, Giuseppina Piro
launched a proposed class-action lawsuit on behalf of all
Quebecers covered under private or publicly funded drug plans,
presenting little more than the La Presse article to back up her
motion.  Ms. Piro has since dropped out, as the lead plaintiff
in the case, however Quebec consumer affairs group Option
Consommateurs is still involved on behalf of the plaintiffs.

Quebec was the first Canadian jurisdiction to introduce class
action legislation, 27 years ago.  Until 2003, petitioners had
to sign a sworn affidavit attesting to the truth of the alleged
facts in their motion and face cross-examination before judges
would grant their cases, as was the case in other North American

However, in January 2003, the Parti-Quebecois government changed
the law.  Petitioners were no longer required to swear the
alleged facts were true, which led to a slew of cases such as
Ms. Piro's based on little more than newspaper articles.

Since the law was changed, plaintiffs have filed roughly one
class action lawsuit per week, with lawyers sometimes scrambling
to make sure their cases are filed before competing actions, as
the court grants class action status on a first-come, first
serve basis.  Quebec is also the only jurisdiction in which
governments subsidize class actions on behalf of plaintiffs.

In her ruling, Justice Roy bemoaned the lack of information
offered to justify certifying (or authorizing) the class action.  
She wrote, "At the authorization stage, the court does not
require complete details of all the facts" that will be put into
evidence at the trial, "but it must have at hand sufficient
information to be in a position to appreciate the seriousness"
of the motion.  Justice Roy pointed out, "This [newspaper]
article alone is not enough to convince the court" the class
action should be authorized.

Attorneys for the defendants hailed the ruling, and Mathieu
Bouchard, a lawyer with Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, who
acts for Pharmascience said, "The significance is that, up to
now, it was a walk in the park for petitioners."  He adds, "It
means plaintiffs will have to do their own research and have
something serious to put before the court before filing a
proceeding.  This shifts the burden back on the plaintiff to
show they have a real course of action."

On the plaintiffs' behalf, attorney Gordon Kugler, only said of
the ruling, "Our initial reaction is surprise.  We will see what
we do with it from here."

COTTON YARN: Antitrust Settlement Hearing Set February 14, 2006
The United States District Court for the Middle District of
North Carolina, Greensboro Division, will hold a fairness
hearing for the proposed $7,800,000 settlement in the matter,
"In re: Cotton Yarn Antitrust Litigation, Civil Action No.
1:04MD1622." The case was brought on behalf of all persons
(excluding governmental agencies, Defendants, their parents,
predecessors, subsidiaries and affiliates) who purchased Cotton
Yarn in the U.S., or from facilities located in the U.S.,
directly from any of the Defendants or any of their
predecessors, subsidiaries and/or affiliates, at any time during
the period from October 1, 2000 to June 15, 2001.

The hearing will be held on February 14, 2006, at 10:00 a.m., at
the Hiram H. Ward Federal Building, 251 North Main St., Winston-
Salem, NC 27101.

Defendants named in the action are:

     (1) Parkdale America, LLC;

     (2) Parkdale Mills, Inc.;

     (3) Frontier Spinning Mills, LLC;

     (4) Frontier Spinning Mills, Inc.;

     (5) Frontier, Inc.;

     (6) Avondale Mills, Inc.; and

     (7) Avondale Inc.

For more details, contact STEVEN A. ASHER of WEINSTEIN
PHILADELPHIA, PA 19103, Phone: 215-545-7200, Fax: 215-545-6535;
BLVD., STE. 650, PHILADELPHIA, PA 19103, Phone: 215-814-6750;
1615, Phone: 312-521-2000; and JOSEPH C. KOHN of KOHN SWIFT &
Phone: 215-238-1700.

DEL REY: Recalls Flour Tortillas Due to Possible Health Risk
Del Rey Tortilleria, Inc., Chicago, Illinois is recalling Flour
Tortillas because government officials have associated
consumption of the flour tortillas with a series of health
symptoms among individuals who complained of stomach pains,
vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and headaches.

These reported symptoms typically occurred very soon after
consuming the flour tortillas and resolved within one day.   
There does not appear to be any long-term adverse health
effects.  The product was distributed nationwide through food
distributors and grocery stores.

The affected products are all sizes and types of Flour Tortillas
with the brand name Del Ray and use-by date codes of March 06,
2006 or earlier.  They may be labeled as White Flour Tortillas;
Tortillas de Harina; Burritos 2, 3 and 4; or Fajita 8" size.

Federal and State officials have determined an association
between consumption of these flour tortillas with a series of
food borne illness outbreaks, but a causative agent is still
being investigated.  Consumers who have eaten product subject to
the recall and experience stomach pains, vomiting, diarrhea,
nausea, and headaches, should consult their health care

Although the company is not certain that its products caused
these symptoms, it is nevertheless recalling the product as a
precaution while its investigation is continuing.  The recall
does not affect flour tortillas made on or after Jan. 20, which
will have use-by date codes of March 09, 2006 or later, or any
other Del Rey Tortilleria products. Consumers are advised to
immediately return any product subject to the recall to the
store where they purchased it for a full refund or replacement.

Consumers contact, Marcy Toledo, General Manager, Phone:

DOW CHEMICAL: Rocky Flats Federal Court Trial Nears Conclusion
The protracted federal trial over whether the Rocky Flats
nuclear weapons plant damaged its neighbors' property values is
nearing an end in the U.S. District Court of Colorado, The Rocky
Mountain News reports.

Closing arguments began recently before U.S. District Judge John
Kane.  After that, the judge will instruct the jury and
deliberations will then begin.

The trial of the $500 million class action lawsuit, filed 15
years ago, began in Oct. 2005.  It had been expected to end
before Christmas.

Residents who owned property near the site, claim that Dow
Chemical Co., which operated the site from the 1950s through
1975, and Rockwell International Corp., which took over in 1975
and operated the plant until it was shut down in 1989,
improperly stored or otherwise mishandled plutonium-laced waste,
resulting in contamination of soil and groundwater.  According
to the suit, both firms operated the plant under a Department of
Energy (DOE)contract, an earlier Class Action Reporter story
(October 11, 2005) reports.  

Those residents, who are the named plaintiffs in the suit, claim
that large fires at the plant and windstorms and other natural
events helped to spread the waste outside the plant's
boundaries.  That contamination, plus what the property owners
said was a stigma attached to houses near the plant, resulted in
plummeting property values, an earlier Class Action Reporter
story (October 11, 2005) reports.  They also contend that Dow,
Rockwell and the DOE have covered up how harmful the plant
really was.

The defendants contend that only miniscule, harmless amounts of
radioactive plutonium and other dangerous materials ever escaped
outside the plant.

Much of the case centers on an FBI raid at the site in the
summer of 1989.  Rockwell, which ran Rocky Flats at the time,
pleaded guilty in 1992 to 10 federal environmental crimes and
paid a fine of $18.5 million.

Built in the 1950s during the Cold War era, the plant has been
shut down. Its 6,500-acre site underwent environmental cleansing
and is slated to become a wildlife refuge.

The suit is styled, "Cook, et al v. Rockwell Intl. Corp., Case
No. 1:90-cv-00181-JLK," filed in the United States District
Court for the District of Colorado, under Judge John L. Kane.
Representing the Plaintiff/s are:

     (1) Gary B. Blum of Silver & DeBoskey, P.C., 1801 York St.,
         Denver, CO 80206, U.S.A, Phone: 303-399-3000, Fax: 303-
         399-2650, E-mail: blumg@s-d.com;

     (2) Stanley M. Chesley of Waite, Schneider, Bayless &
         Chesley Co., L.P.A., 1513 Fourth and Vine Tower, One
         West Fourth St., Cincinnati, OH 45202, U.S.A, Phone:

     (3) Merrill Gene Davidoff, Jennifer E. MacNaughton, Peter
         B. Nordberg, Ellen T. Noteware, Bernadette M. Rappold,
         Stanley B. Siegel and David F. Sorensen of Berger &
         Montague, P.C., 1622 Locust St., Philadelphia, PA
         19103, U.S.A, Phone: 215-875-3084, 215-875-3000 and
         215-875-3051, Fax: 215-875-4671, 215-875-4604 and 215-
         875-5707, E-mail: mdavidoff@bm.net,
         jmacnaughton@bm.net, pnordberg@bm.net,
         enoteware@bm.net and dsorensen@bm.net;

     (4) Bruce H. DeBoskey of Silver & Deboskey, P.C., 1801 York
         St. #700, Denver, CO 80206-5607, U.S.A, Phone: 303-399

     (5) Kenneth A. Jacobsen of Jacobsen Law Offices, LLC, 12
         Orchard Lane, Wallingford, PA 19086, U.S.A., Phone:
         610-566-7930, Fax: 610-566-7940;

     (6) David Evans Kreutzer of Colorado Department of Law,  
         1525 Sherman St., 5th Floor, Denver, CO 80203, U.S.A,
         Phone: 303-866-5667, Fax: 303-866-3558, E-mail:

     (7) Louise M. Roselle of Waite, Schneider, Bayless &
         Chesley Co., L.P.A., 1513 Fourth and Vine Tower, One
         West Fourth St., Cincinnati, OH 45202, U.S.A, Phone:
         513-621-0267, Fax: 513-381-2375, E-mail:

     (8) Clisham, Satriana & Biscan, LLC, 1512 Larimer St., #400
         Denver, CO 80202, U.S.A, Phone: 303-468-5403, Fax: 303-
         942-7290, E-mail: satrianad@csbattorneys.com;

     (9) Holly Brons Shook of Silver & DeBoskey, P.C., 1801 York
         St., Denver, CO 80206, U.S.A, Phone: 303-399-3000, Fax:
         303-399-2650, E-mail: shookh@s-d.com;

    (10) Ronald Simon of Simon & Associates, 1707 N. St., N.W.
         Washington, DC 20036, U.S.A, Phone: 202-429-0094, Fax:
         202-429-0075, E-mail: ron@1707law.com; and

    (11) John David Stoner of Chimicles & Tikellis, L.L.P., 361
         West Lancaster Ave., One Haverford Centre, Haverford,
         PA 19041-0100, U.S.A

Representing the Defendant/s are:

     (i) Joseph John Bronesky and Christopher Lane of Sherman &
         Howard, L.L.C.- 17th St., Denver, CO, United States
         District Court Box 12, 633 Seventeenth St., #3000
         Denver, CO 80202, U.S.A, Phone: 303-299-8450 and 303-
         299-8422, Fax: 303-298-0949 and 303-298-0940, E-mail:
         jbronesk@sah.com and clane@sah.com;

    (ii) Wendy S. White, Timothy P. Brooks, Patrick M. Hanlon,
         Amy Horton, Franklin D. Kramer and Edward J. Naughton  
         Of Goodwin Procter, LLP-DC, 1800 Massachusetts Ave.,
         N.W. #800, Washington, DC 20036, U.S.A, Phone:  202-
         828-2000, Fax: 828-2000;

   (iii) Michael K. Isenman of Goodwin Procter, LLP-DC, 901 New
         York Ave., NW #700, Washington, DC 20001, U.S.A, Phone:
         202-346-4000, Fax: 202-346-4444, E-mail:

    (iv) Lester C. Houtz of Bartlit, Beck, Herman, Palenchar &
         Scott-Colorado, 1899 Wynkoop St., #800 Denver, CO
         80202, U.S.A., Phone: 303-592-3177, Fax: 303-3140, E-
         mail: lester.houtz@bartlit-beck.com;

     (v) Douglas J. Kurtenbach, S. Jonathan Silverman, Mark S.
         Lillie and David M. Bernick of Kirkland & Ellis, LLP-
         Illinois, 200 East, Randolph Drive, #5400 Chicago, IL
         60601, U.S.A, Phone: 312-861-2225, 312-861-2089 and
         312-861-2248, Fax: 861-2200, 312-660-0452 and 312-861-
         2200, E-mail: mlillie@kirkland.com and

    (vi) Douglas M. Poland of LaFollette, Godfrey & Kahn, P.O.
         Box 2719, One East Main St., Madison, WI 53703-2719,
         U.S.A, Phone: 608-257-3911, Fax: 608-257-0609, E-mail:
         dpoland@gklaw.com; and

   (vii) Louis W. Pribila of Dow Chemical Company, 2030 Dow
         Center, Midland, MI 48674, U.S.A, Phone: 517-638-9511,
         Fax: 638-9410.

DRESDNER KLEINWORT: Thompson Wigdor Readies Discrimination Case
A gender discrimination class action against Allianz AG's
banking unit Dresdner Bank is being prepared in the U.K.,
according to Handelsblatt newspaper.  

"We are going to unroll cases of female employees in London who
contacted us," said Kate Webber of law firm Thompson Wigdor &
Gilly LLP.  The case will be set up considering British law.  
Ms. Webber said it received similar complaints in Germany.

Earlier this month, current and former female employees of
Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein Securities, LLC, initiated a $1.4
billion lawsuit in the U.S. claiming that the Company
discriminates against women, preventing advancement and fair
treatment, The Cay Compass reports (Class Action Reporter, Jan.
11, 2006).  The suit is filed in the U.S. District Court in

The six women named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit are seeking an
end to the unlawful denial of promotions as well as compensation
equal to male employees and equality in other conditions of
employment.  They allege in their suit that women can't advance
to senior levels at the company. The women also claim that in
addition to barriers to advancement to the highest executive
level, managing director, there are also barriers to positions
at the lower levels within the company.

As of May 2005, women held only 99, less than 15 percent, of 775
positions as directors, the second-highest executive level in
the company's Capital Markets Division, according to the
lawsuit. It said that 20 percent of the 500 female employees in
the Capital Markets Division were directors compared to 40
percent of their male colleagues.

In addition, the suit pointed out that about 300, or 60 percent,
of the 500 women in the department were associates while only
379, or 22 percent, of the 1,700 male employees in the division
were associates. It notes that the statistics reveal "a telling
picture ... in which women are subjected to the lowest pay and
rank." The suit also pointed out that the results were similar
in the Company's other divisions, leaving "a remarkable lack of
women in the highest executive levels" throughout the Company.

ENGELHARD CORP.: Faces Shareholder Suit in NJ Over BASF AG Deal
Engelhard Corp., which invented pollution-control devices used
in cars, faces a lawsuit filed by one of its shareholders that
seeks to force the Company to negotiate with Germany's BASF AG,
Bloomberg reports.

The suit, which seeks class action status, was filed Jan. 4,
2005, in state court in Trenton, New Jersey, by shareholder
Hindy Silver.

The Company recently rejected an unsolicited $4.9 billion offer
by BASF as inadequate and said another buyer may be sought.
"BASF's offer is opportunistic and undervalues Engelhard," Barry
Perry, chief executive officer of Iselin, New Jersey-based
Engelhard, said in a statement.  BASF, the world's biggest
chemical company, took its bid of $37 a share directly to
shareholders on Jan. 3.

The purchase might help BASF close the gap on DuPont Co. and Dow
Chemical Co. in the U.S. and Canada, since the Company supplies
about a third of catalytic converters used in cars, a market
BASF expects to grow by more than 5 percent a year as pollution
regulations tighten.

FORD MOTOR: Certified Vehicle Owners Sue over Extra Premiums
Ford Motor Co. and one of its dealers are facing a federal
lawsuit filed by Californians who bought its certified pre-owned
vehicles, according to Newsday.  The suit centers on the value
that clients get for paying extra for their cherry-picked

Certified cars are vehicles that undergo rigid inspections to
meet strict age and mileage limits, usually five years or 60,000
miles.  They, however, carry an extra cost that ranges from a
few hundred to a few thousand dollars.  The suit claims Ford
isn't monitoring the program adequately.  Ford declined to
comment on the pending suit, the report said.

The suit is seeking class action status, and is filed in behalf
of every Californian who bought a Ford certified car in the past
four years.  Attorney John H. Gomez of San Diego is one of the
lawyers handling the case.

Lexus dealers last year sold more than 40,000 of certified cars
nationwide.  U.S. new-vehicle retailers sold about 1.5 million.

HEALTHSOUTH CORP: Conducts Intense Settlement Negotiations in AL
In an attempt to eliminate a legal risk remaining from the
massive accounting fraud during the tenure of former Chief
Executive Richard Scrushy, HealthSouth Corp. conducted intense
settlement negotiations on Jan. 18, 2006 with investors who are
suing the Company, The Birmingham News reports.

The intensified settlement discussions with shareholders and
bondholders suing the company for making fraudulent statements
was disclosed at a hearing in U.S. District Court in Birmingham
to rule on legal issues about the case. On that day, Judge Karon
Bowdre stopped the hearing and told the sides to meet in private
to discuss settling the class-action lawsuit.

Judge Bowdre, who presided over the criminal trial at which Mr.
Scrushy was found not guilty last year, told both parties, "It
is my understanding that a mediation proposal is on the table.  
I think it is a reasonable proposal."

A settlement would signify a compromise on the billions in
damages sought by investors.  It would also signal stockholders
that the Birmingham-based operator of physical therapy clinics
is emerging from the legal wrangling that has engulfed it since
a $2.6 billion accounting fraud came to light in 2003.  Five
former finance chiefs pleaded guilty last year to falsifying
HealthSouth's books and records from 1996 through 2002.

HealthSouth's new management has already settled a $100 million
Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit and a $325 million
Medicare overbilling matter, both of which stemmed from Mr.
Scrushy's tenure.  Neither Judge Bowdre nor lawyers for both
parties at the courthouse divulged terms of the proposed

The settlement discussions don't include Company auditor Ernst &
Young or company investment banks Citigroup and UBS, said
Birmingham lawyer Stan Starnes, who represents the banks. They
were also sued by investors and are part of the same case.

The talks do include both the shareholder and bondholder
classes, according to Patrick Coughlin, a lawyer for San
Francisco-based Lerach Coughlin, who represents investors in the
case, many of which are large retirement funds that invest money
to pay for the pensions of public employees.

Both the shareholders and bond owners sued the Company, saying
they unwittingly bought the securities amid a massive fraud that
inflated their value beyond their true worth.  The Company, the
investors and the insurers who might be liable for the company's
damages, have been negotiating with court-appointed mediators in
recent days.  A 15-hour session Jan. 17, 2005, lasted until
midnight, lawyers familiar with the discussions said.

Judge Bowdre, during her hearing on legal matters surrounding
the case, urged the sides to continue their mediation attempts.
Every day without a compromise, according to her, causes "a
major depletion of the insurance resources out there for a

The suit is styled "In re HealthSouth Corporation Litigation v.
Master Case Docket, et al, case no. 03-cv-01500-KOB," filed in
the United States District Court for the Northern District of
Alabama, under Judge Karon O. Bowdre.  Representing the
plaintiffs are:

     (i) Richard Bemporad, Vincent Briganti, Neil L. Selinger,
         Lexington Avenue, Floor 11, White Plains, NY 10601-
         1714, Phone: 1-914-997-0500, E-mail:
         rbemporad@ldbs.com, vbriganti@ldbs.com,

    (ii) Max W. Berger, John P. Coffey, BERNSTEIN LITOWITZ
         BERGER & GROSSMAN LLP, 1285 Avenue of the Americas, New
         York, NY 10019, Phone: 1-212-554-1400, Fax: 1-212-554-
         1444, E-mail: mwb@blbglaw.com, sean@blbglaw.com;

   (iii) Patrick J Coughlin, LERACH COUGHLIN STOIA & ROBBINS
         LLP, 100 Pine Street, Suite 2600, San Francisco, CA
         94111, Phone: 1-415-288-4545, Fax: 1-415-288-4534, E-
         mail: PatC@Lerachlaw.com;

    (iv) John T. Crowder, Jr, Richard T. Dorman, CUNNINGHAM
         BOUNDS YANCE CROWDER & BROWN, PO Box 66705, Mobile, AL
         36660, Phone: 1-251-471-6191, Fax: 1-251-479-1031, E-
         mail: jtc@cbycb.com, rtd@cbycb.com;

     (v) Edward P Dietrich, Kathleen A. Herkenhoff, William S.
         Lerach, Valerie McLaughlin, Debra J. Wyman, LERACH
         Street, Suite 1700, San Diego, CA 92101, Phone: 1-619-
         231-1058, Fax: 1-619-231-7423, E-mail:
         EdD@Lerachlaw.com, KathyH@Lerachlaw.com,
         BillL@Lerachlaw.com, ValerieM@Lerachlaw.com,

    (vi) David R Donaldson, David J. Guin, Tammy McClendon
         Stokes, DONALDSON & GUIN LLC, Two North Twentieth
         Building, 2 North 20th Street, Suite 1100, Birmingham,
         AL 35203, Phone: (205) 226-2282, Fax: (205) 226-2357,
         E-mail: DavidD@dglawfirm.com, davidg@dglawfirm.com,

   (vii) Russell Jackson Drake, G. Douglas Jones, Othni J.
         Latham, Joe R. Whatley, WHATLEY DRAKE LLC, 2323 Second
         Avenue North, Post Office Box 10647, Birmingham, AL
         35202-0647, Phone: 205-328-9576, E-mail:
         ecf@whatleydrake.com, jwhatley@whatleydrake.com,

  (viii) M. Clay Ragsdale, IV, RAGDSDALE LLC, Concord Center,
         Suite 820, 2100 Third Avenue North, Birmingham, AL
         35203, Phone: 205-251-4775, Fax: 205-251-4777, E-mail:

    (ix) Andrew M. Schatz, SCHATZ & NOBEL PC, One Corporate
         Center, 20 Church Street, Suite 1700, Hartford, CT
         06106-1851, Phone: 1-860-493-6292, Fax: 1-860-493-6290,
         E-mail: aschatz@snlaw.net;

Representing the Company are:

     (a) W. Michael Atchison, Anthony C. Harlow, STARNES &
         ATCHISON LLP, PO Box 598512, Birmingham, AL 35259-8512
         205-868-6000, E-mail: wma@starneslaw.com,

     (b) Patrick J Ballard, BALLARD LAW OFFICE, 2214 2nd Avenue
         North, Suite 100, Birmingham, AL 35203, Phone: 205-321-
         9600, Fax: 205-323-9805, E-mail:

     (c) H. L. Ferguson, Jr., FERGUSON FROST & DODSON LLP, 2500
         Acton Road, Suite 200, PO Box 430189, Birmingham, AL
         35243-0189, Phone: 205-879-8722, E-mail:

     (d) James L Goyer, III, MAYNARD COOPER & GALE PC, AmSouth
         Harbert Plaza, Suite 2400, 1901 6th Avenue North,
         Birmingham, AL 35203-2618, Phone: 205-254-1000, E-mail:

     (e) M Kay Kelley, MESTRE & KELLEY LLC, The Massey Building,
         2025 Third Avenue, North, Suite 500, Birmingham, AL
         35203, Phone: 205-251-1248, fax: 205-251-1211, E-mail:

HYPERCOM CORPORATION: Court Dismisses Securities Fraud Complaint
Judge Neil Wake of the U.S. District Court for the District of
Arizona ordered the dismissal of an amended class action
complaint against Hypercom Corp. (HYC).  The suit, alleging
securities violations by Hypercom and two former executives, was
initially filed in 2005.

The complaint related to Hypercom's restatement of its financial
statements for the first three quarters of 2004 because certain
terminal leases generated by a Hypercom subsidiary in the United
Kingdom were accounted for as sales-type leases, rather than
operating leases.  In its Jan. 24, 2006, Order dismissing the
complaint, the Court stated that the plaintiffs failed to plead
particularized facts establishing a strong inference that the
company and the other defendants acted with scienter, as
required by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of

Plaintiffs firms involved in this or similar case:

     (1) Baron & Budd, P.C., 3102 Oak Lawn Avenue, Suite 1100,
         Dallas, TX, 75219, Phone: 800-946-9646, E-mail:

     (2) Brian Felgoise, 230 South Broad Street, Suite 404,
         Philadelphia, PA, 19102, Phone: 215.735.6810, Fax:

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

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

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

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

     (7) Federman & Sherwood, 120 North Robinson, Suite 2720,
         Oklahoma City, OK, 73102, Phone: 405-235-1560, E-mail:

     (8) Goodkind Labaton Rudoff & Sucharow, LLP, 100 Park
         Avenue, New York, NY, 10017, Phone: 212.907.0700, Fax:
         212.818.0477, E-mail: info@glrslaw.com;

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

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

    (11) Smith & Smith, LLP, 3070 Bristol Pike, Suite 112,
         Bensalem, PA, 19020, Phone: (866) 759-2275, E-mail:

For more information, contact: Scott M. Tsujita of Hypercom
Corp., Phone: 602-504-5161; E-mail: stsujita@hypercom.com.

ILLINOIS: Mattoon's City Council OKs Settlement Payment
Mattoon, Illinois' City Council authorized a $68,059.05
expenditure from the Insurance & Tort Judgment Fund in
settlement of a class action lawsuit (PrimeCo v. ICC) filed
against municipalities that collected infrastructure maintenance
fees from wireless telecommunication customers prior to the
effective date of the Illinois Simplified Telecommunications
Tax, The Coles County Leader reports.

The city was among nearly 400 Illinois municipalities that chose
to impose a fee on cellular providers under the former Municipal
Infrastructure Maintenance Fee Act.  Signed into law in 1997, it
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, an earlier Class Action Reporter story
(January 2, 2006) reports.

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, an earlier Class Action
Reporter story (January 2, 2006) reports.

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, an earlier Class Action Reporter story (January 2,
2006) reports.

ILLINOIS: Plaintiffs File Reply in District U46 Race Bias Suit
Plaintiffs in a bias lawsuit against Elgin School District U46
filed a reply in an ongoing legal battle that will decide
whether the case earns federal class-action status, The Eglin
Courier reports.

Like other recent court filings, the latest comments to the
court are sealed.  The plaintiffs' attorney, Carol Ashley of
Chicago-based Futterman & Howard, only told The Eglin Courier
News that the reply to a district filing last month details some
of her clients' concerns.  A statement provided by Futterman &
Howard reads, "Despite the district's claims, the named
plaintiffs in this case are courageous and involved parents who
seek the education for their children that is provided for under
the laws of the State of Illinois and the United States."

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, an
earlier Class Action Reporter story (December 22, 2005) reports.

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.

The two families listed as plaintiffs in the case are seeking
class-action status for the lawsuit.  They sought a proposed
class of all U46 Hispanic and black students, totaling about
16,000, as well as a class of Hispanic students who are
considered to have limited English proficiency.  Both sides are
expected to learn in March whether the suit will take on class-
action status.

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.

ITALY: Milan Judge Wants Exact Damages in Freedomland Failure
Italian Judge Amina Simonetti ruled in a Milan court that the
exact damage inflicted on 2,500 shareholders in failed internet-
TV company, Freedomland, as a result of the release of false
information by the firm, must be established by the end of
October, The IL SOLE 24 ORE reports.

The 2,500 stakeholders are claiming damages in a class action in
connection with the alleged falsification of Freedomland's
balance sheet by its then chairman, Virgilio Degiovanni, in the
run-up to its flotation in 2000.

However, investigators have been told to establish, exactly when
the shares in question were bought.  Those claimants who
purchased their Freedomland shares after October 6, 2000 would
have a less strong case for damages as the Milan prosecutor's
investigation into the company and its chairman was made public
on that day.

KING OF FANS: Recalls Oscillating Heater Due to Fire Danger
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and King of Fans
Inc., of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. are recalling about 75,000 units
of Maxi-Heat(TM) Dream Tower Heater.  Consumers are advised to
stop using the product immediately.

The company said the wires inside the oscillating heater can
short circuit and spark, posing a fire hazard to consumers.  
King of Fans has received 31 reports of heaters smoking or
sparking, and one report of a house fire.  No injuries were

The recalled model is CH920.  The ceramic portable electric
heaters are the oscillating tower type.  They are grey and have
a control panel attached to the top of the unit.  "Maxi-
Heat(TM)" is printed on the control panel.  The model number is
printed on the ETL label on the bottom of the back side of the
unit.  The products, which were made in China, are sold at Wal-
Mart stores nationwide from August 2005 through December 2005
for about $40.  Consumers are advised to immediately stop using
these heaters and unplug them.  Return the recalled heaters to a
Wal-Mart store for a full refund.

Consumer contact: King of Fans (http://www.kingoffans.com),
Phone: (866) 443-1291 (toll-free) between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
E.T., Monday through Friday.

LUXOTTICA GROUP: Lawsuit Settlement Hearing Set February 9, 2006
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of New
York will hold a fairness hearing for the proposed settlement in
the matter, "In re: Luxottica Group, S.p.A. Securities
Litigation, Case No. CV 01-3285 (JBW)."  The case was brought on
behalf of all persons or entities whose shares of Sunglass Hut
International, Inc. were tendered to and accepted by Luxottica
Group, S.p.A. pursuant to the tender offer of March 5, 2001,
which provided for a net cash payment of $11.50 per share.

The Hearing will be held before the Honorable Jack B. Weinstein,
at the United States Courthouse, Courtroom 10, 225 Cadman Plaza
East, Brooklyn, NY 11201, on February 9, 2006 at 10:00 a.m.

The deadline for submitting a proof of claim is on March 1,
2006. Any objections to the settlement must be filed by January
26, 2006.

For more details, contact In re: Luxottica Group, S.p.A.
Securities Litigation, Luxottica Defendants Partial Settlement,
c/o The Garden City group, Inc., Claims Administrator, P.O. Box
9000 #6311, Merrick, NY 11566-9000, Phone: (800) 377-6967.

MASSACHUSETTS: Steele Public Housing Ruling May Cost LHA $250T
In the legal battle over the effort to redevelop the former
Julian D. Steele public housing complex, Suffolk Superior Court
Judge Thomas A. Connors ruled that Massachusetts' Lowell Housing
Authority (LHA) provided insufficient funds to help many former
Steele tenants move into new homes, The Lowell Sun reports.

The ruling could cost the authority as much as $250,000.  Judith
Liben, an attorney for the public-advocacy law firm suing the
LHA, told The Lowell Sun that about 130 former Steele families
received inadequate relocation payments.  She adds that the
LHA's tab could add up to $250,000.

Ms. Liben pointed out, "But that has not been decided yet.  I'm
sure there'll be discussions between the parties to try to see
how to handle the matter now."

LHA Executive Director Gary Wallace told The Lowell Sun that
former Steele tenants already have been paid about $350,000 in
relocation benefits.  He explains that the dispute amounts to a
disagreement over whether state versus federally mandated
benefits should have been paid. According to him, "On the
federal side, they are a little bit higher," adding that the
matter now becomes "a mathematical exercise that we will go
through."  Mr. Wallace also said, "We will come up with an
agreeable number, and we certainly want to resolve it."  

Boston attorney Martin Rooney, co-counsel for the LHA in the
case told The Lowell Sun, "Part of this is very difficult to
estimate given the number of people involved, the types of
places they moved ... and how you calculate utility costs."

Judge Connors also ruled in favor of the LHA and the city of
Lowell in two other aspects of the case, which was argued in
early October.  The case dates back to May 2001, when Ms.
Liben's agency, the Boston-based Massachusetts Law Reform
Institute, sued the LHA, city and state Department of Housing
and Community Development over the Steele project.  Plans call
for building a 180-unit mix of affordable and market-rate
apartments and owner-occupied homes.

The institute is joined by Neighborhood Legal Services, of
Lawrence, in a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of former
Steele tenants and others.  Following the 244-unit complex's
city-funded demolition in 2003, the legal dispute evolved into a
disagreement over how and where Steele residents were relocated
by the LHA and whether the city's DHCD-approved, 220-unit plan
for replacing Steele's subsidized apartments elsewhere in Lowell
is adequate.

In the case Judge Connors was asked to rule on three issues:

     (1) Whether the LHA should compensate Steele residents
         according to a formula that would give them each up to
         $4,000 over four years;

     (2) If the city should replace the lost Steele units "one-
         for-one" because of the way it funded the complex's

     (3) Whether LHA officials are violating the federal Fair
         Housing Act and civil-rights laws by relocating many
         former Steele tenants to subsidized housing in
         neighborhoods with already high minority

On the second count, the judge ruled in the city's favor,
declining to require the one-for-one replacement of Steele
units, and said the third matter should be resolved with a trial
"given the factual dispute present."

Ms. Liben told The Lowell Sun that she is unsure how the
plaintiffs will proceed in the aftermath of those two decisions.
Assistant City Solicitor Kimberley McMahon, the attorney
representing city government in the case, could not be reached
for comment yesterday.

LHA officials dispute the assertions about the clustering of
relocated families, disagreeing with the statistical basis for
those claims and arguing that the families chose to move where
they ended up.

In ruling against the LHA on the first issue, Judge Connors
cited a December 2004 DHCD opinion in which a former Steele
tenant, who initially had been granted about $650 for her
relocation, was awarded up to $4,000 to cover the difference in
rent for her new subsidized apartment.  His ruling notes that
only the "LHA failed to make payments to the (Julian D. Steele)
tenants" and does not address how much the LHA should pay.

MARYLAND: Law Firm to Pursue Legal Action V. Mortgage Lenders
The law firm of Peter G. Angelos is pursuing its fight against
Maryland mortgage lenders charging excessive or illegal fees,
according to Baltimore Sun.

Lead attorney John A. Pica Jr. said he plans to file more
lawsuits in the coming weeks, including one against a top
national lender.  In recent years, U.S. regulators attempted to
clamp down on predatory lending by suing violators in behalf of
consumers.  Its efforts recently led Ameriquest Mortgage Co. to
agree on a $325 million settlement.  Other defendants in class
actions are Greentree Mortgage Corp. in Owings Mills, American
Mortgage Express Corp., based in Mount Laurel, N.J., and Admiral
Mortgage Inc. of Baltimore.

Mr. Angelos' firm have so far filed class actions against banks
such as Irwin Financial Corp., Provident Bankshares Corp., and
mortgage companies such as Mortgage Lenders Network USA Inc.  
Mr. Pica's team includes Thomas P. Kelly and Louis F. Angelos,
Mr. Angelos' son.  They research land records to track the
business area of the companies, sent letters to borrowers and
offered to review their loan documents, according to the report.  
They base their suits on Maryland's Secondary Mortgage Loan Law
and Consumer Protection Act.  Questions, however, have been
raised whether Mr. Angelos' firm violated ethics rules with the
way it searches clients.

MEDQUIST INC.: Discovery Stayed for NJ Shareholder Litigation
Discovery in a shareholder putative class action lawsuit that
was filed in the United States District Court for District of
New Jersey against MedQuist, Inc., is stayed pending the
resolution of the Company's motion to dismiss.

Filed on November 8, 2004, the action, entitled, "William
Steiner v. MedQuist, Inc., et al., Case No. 1:04-cv-05487-FLW,"
was filed against the Company and certain former Company
officials, purportedly on behalf of an alleged class of all
persons who purchased MedQuist common stock during the period
from April 23, 2002 through November 2, 2004, inclusive (the
"Class Period").  It specifically alleged that defendants
violated federal securities laws by purportedly issuing a series
of false and misleading statements to the market throughout the
Class Period, which statements allegedly had the effect of
artificially inflating the market price of the Company's
securities.  The complaint asserts claims under Section 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5,
thereunder.  Named as defendants, in addition to the Company,
were its former president and chief executive officer and its
former executive vice president and chief financial officer.

On August 16, 2005, a First Amended Complaint in the Shareholder
Putative Class Action was filed against the Company in the
United States District Court District of New Jersey.  The First
Amended Complaint named additional defendants, including certain
current and former directors, certain former Company officers,
the Company's former and current external auditors and
Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. ("Philips").  Like the
original complaint, the First Amended Complaint asserted claims
under Sections 10b and 20(a) of the Securities and Exchange Act
of 1934 (the "Act") and Rule 10b5 of the Act.  The Class Period
of the original complaint was expanded 20 months and now
includes the period from March 29, 2000 through June 14, 2004.

Pursuant to an October 17, 2005 consent order approved by the
Court, Lead Plaintiff Greater Pennsylvania Pension Fund filed a
Second Amended Complaint on November 15, 2005.  The Second
Amended Complaint dropped Philips as a defendant, but alleges
the same claims and the same purported class period as the First
Amended Complaint.  Plaintiffs seek unspecified damages.

Pursuant to the provisions of the Private Securities Litigation
Reform Act, discovery in the action is stayed pending the filing
and resolution of the defendants' motions to dismiss, which were
filed on January 17, 2006, and will be fully briefed by May 1,

The suit is styled, "STEINER v. MEDQUIST, INC. et al., Case No.
1:04-cv-05487-JBS-JBR," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
District of New Jersey under Judge Jerome B. Simandle with
referral to Judge Joel B. Rosen.  Representing the Plaintiff/s
(856) 795-9002, E-mail: nicolem@trrlaw.com.  Representing the
Phone: (973) 621-2230, E-mail: jrichter@winston.com.

MEDQUIST INC.: Hospitals Launch Third Amended Complaint in NJ
MedQuist, Inc., which faces a putative class action, entitled,
"South Broward Hospital District, dba Memorial Regional
Hospital, et al. v. MedQuist, Inc. et al., Case No. CV-04-7520-
TJH-VBKx," reports that hospitals/plaintiffs in this litigation
initiated a Third Amended Complaint.

The action was originally filed in the United States District
Court Central District of California on September 9, 2004,
against the Company and certain present and former Company
officials. It was purportedly brought on behalf of an alleged
class of non-Federal governmental hospitals and medical centers
that the complaint claims were wrongfully and fraudulently
overcharged for transcription services by defendants based
primarily on the Company's use of the AAMT line billing unit of
measure discussed below.  The complaint charges fraud, violation
of the California Business and Professions Code, unjust
enrichment, conversion, negligent supervision and violation of
the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.  
Plaintiffs seek damages in an unspecified amount, plus costs and
interest, an injunction against alleged continuing illegal
activities, an accounting, punitive damages and attorneys' fees.

In addition to the Company, other defendants in the case include
a senior vice president, its former executive vice president of
marketing and new business development, its former executive
vice president and chief legal officer, and its former executive
vice president and chief financial officer.

On December 20, 2004, the Company and individual defendants
filed motions to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction and
improper venue, or in the alternative, to transfer the putative
action to the United States District Court District of New
Jersey.  On February 2, 2005, plaintiffs filed a Second Amended
Complaint both adding and deleting named plaintiffs in an
attempt to keep the putative action in the United States
District Court Central District of California.  On March 30,
2005, the United States District Court Central District of
California issued an order transferring the putative action to
the United States District Court District of New Jersey.

On August 1, 2005, the Company and the individual defendants
filed their respective Answers denying the material allegations
contained in the Second Amended Complaint.  On August 31, 2005,
the Company and individual defendants filed motions to dismiss
the Second Amended Complaint for failure to state a claim and a
motion to dismiss in favor of arbitration, or in the
alternative, to stay pending arbitration.  On December 12, 2005,
the plaintiffs filed an Amendment to the Second Amended
Complaint.  On December 13, 2005, the Court issued an order
requiring plaintiffs to file a Third Amended Complaint and set
forth a briefing schedule for the filing of anticipated motions
to dismiss the Third Amended Complaint, which have been set for
hearing on March 8, 2006.

On January 4, 2006, plaintiffs filed the Third Amended
Complaint, which expands the claims made beyond issues arising
from contracts based on AAMT line billing and beyond customers
billed based on an AAMT line, alleging that the Company engaged
in a scheme to inflate customers' invoices without regard to the
terms of individual contracts and even in the absence of any
written contract.  The Third Amended Complaint also limits
plaintiffs' claim for fraud in the inducement of the agreement
to arbitrate to the three named plaintiffs whose contracts
contain an arbitration provision and a subclass of similarly
situated customers.

The suit is styled, "SOUTH BROWARD HOSPITAL DISTRICT et al v.
MEDQUIST INC. et al, Case No. 1:05-cv-02206-JBS-JBR," filed in
the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey under
Judge Jerome B. Simandle with referral to Judge Joel B. Rosen.  
Representing the Plaintiff/s is ROGER B. KAPLAN of GREENBERG
07932-0677, Phone: (973) 360-7957, Fax: (973) 301-8410, E-mail:
kaplanr@gtlaw.com.  Representing the Defendant/s is MARC J.
ROAD, ROSELAND, NJ 07068, Phone: (973) 535-1600, E-mail:

MEDQUIST INC.: NJ Court Orders Consolidation of Employees' Suit
MedQuist Inc. reports that a New Jersey federal court issued a
consent order that requires plaintiffs in two separate class
action lawsuits filed by employees against the Company to file a
single, consolidated class action complaint on or before January
31, 2006.  

One of the plaintiffs is part of a putative class action
entitled, "Myers, et al. v. MedQuist Inc. and MedQuist
Transcriptions, Ltd., Case No. 05CV 4608 (JBS)."  Filed against
the Company on September 22, 2005 in the United States District
Court District of New Jersey, the action was brought on behalf
of a putative class of MedQuist's employee and independent
contractor transcriptionists who claim that they contracted with
the Company to be paid per "AAMT line," but were allegedly
underpaid due to intentional miscounting of the number of
characters and lines transcribed.  The named plaintiffs assert
claims for breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and request an

The allegations of the "Myers" case are substantially similar to
those in "Hoffman, et al. v. MedQuist, et al., Case No. 1:04-CV-
3452 (WSD)," another putative class action filed earlier this
year in federal court in Georgia.  

The "Hoffman" case, filed in the United States District Court
Northern District of Georgia on November 29, 2004, was brought
against the Company and certain current and former Company
officials.  It was purportedly on behalf of an alleged class of
current and former employees and statutory workers of MedQuist,
who are or were compensated on a "per line" basis for medical
transcription services (the "Class Members") from January 1,
1998 to the time of the filing of the complaint (the "Class

The complaint specifically alleged that defendants
systematically and wrongfully underpaid the Class Members during
the Class Period.  It asserted the following causes of action:
fraud, breach of contract, demand for accounting, quantum merit,
unjust enrichment, conversion, negligence, negligent
supervision, and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations
Act violations.  Plaintiffs seek unspecified compensatory
damages, punitive damages, disgorgement and restitution.  On
December 1, 2005, the "Hoffmann" matter was transferred to the
United States District Court District of New Jersey.

On January 3, 2006, a consent order was executed pursuant to
which the "Hoffmann" and "Myers" plaintiffs will file a single,
consolidated class action complaint on or before January 31,

MINNESOTA: Three Smokers Launch Lawsuit Over "Health Impact Fee"
Two Minneapolis, Minnesota law firms launched a lawsuit on
behalf of the three smokers who pay the state's 75-cent-per-pack
"health impact fee," which a judge declared illegal, seeking a
refund of the collected fees, The Associated Press reports.

On Dec. 20, 2005, Ramsey County District Judge Michael Fetsch
ruled that the fee violated a multibillion-dollar 1998
settlement between the state and the tobacco industry.  His
ruling means the state may have to repay about $100 million that
it collected between August and December.  The state though is
appealing that ruling.

The new lawsuit is seeking class action status on behalf of all
the state's smokers.  It was filed in Hennepin County, claiming
that ordinary smokers "ultimately bore the economic burden" of
the fee because tobacco distributors passed on the extra cost on
to consumers, so they should get any refund.  In addition, the
suit also claims that the 14 defendants, including tobacco
manufacturers and wholesalers, aren't entitled to keep the
potential windfall.  So far, plaintiffs in the case include a
Stillwater woman and men from Maple Grove and St. Paul.

Attorney Marshall Tanick, whose firm, Mansfield, Tanick & Cohen,
joined with Heins Mills & Olson in filing the lawsuit, told The
Associated Press that they have precedent on their side.  
According to him, there are cases in which government-imposed
revenue sources have been ruled invalid or illegal.  He pointed
out that in those cases, such as utility rates, courts have
ordered the relief be given to those who paid the unlawful fee
or tax.

The Minnesota Supreme Court recently agreed to hear the state's
appeal of Judge Fetsch's ruling in April.  In the meantime, the
state is still collecting about $20 million a month but is
required to bank the money while the appeal is pending.

In challenging the fee, the cigarette makers and wholesalers
argued that the 1998 multibillion-dollar settlement of the
state's tobacco lawsuit absolved the industry of any further
responsibility for smoking-related health costs.  Randy
Gullickson, an attorney for the wholesalers, told The Associated
Press that it's too early to talk about who will get any money.

Courts often use mathematical formulas to determine eligibility
for parties in class action suits.  However, Mr. Tanick advised
smokers to start keeping their receipts.  He told The Associated
Press, "Whether smoking is a good thing or a bad thing is not an
issue in this case.  It's basically a matter of fundamental

MISSOURI: Jasper County Jury Sides with Wyeth in "Fen-Phen" Case
A Jasper County jury sided with the manufacturer of the so-
called "fen-phen" diet drugs and denied a Webb City woman with
heart-valve disease any damages in her lawsuit against the
company, The Joplin Globe reports.

The jury returned to the Jasper County Circuit Courtroom in
Missouri with the verdict in favor of drug maker Wyeth, formerly
known as American Home Products Corporation, just 45 minutes
after beginning deliberations at the end of a two-week trial.  
Bonnie Weston, 56, a former teacher and school counselor who now
works part time at Lafayette House in Joplin, filed the lawsuit.

Ms. Weston is alleging that severe injuries to her heart valves
is the consequence of taking the diet drugs Pondmin and Redux,
also known as fenfluramine and dexfenfluramine.  Her suit states
that she also may be suffering from pulmonary hypertension
secondary to her heart-valve injuries, but she is not claiming
to be suffering from primary pulmonary hypertension, an earlier
Class Action Reporter story (Jan. 12, 2006) reports.

The lawsuit states that she is seeking only damages that she is
legally entitled to seek as an "intermediate opt-out" to a
national class action settlement.  It also pointed out that she
is not making any claims for punitive, exemplary or multiple
damages or alleging malicious or wanton conduct on the part of
the Company, an earlier Class Action Reporter story (Jan. 12,
2006) reports.

The drugs named in Ms. Weston's lawsuit were withdrawn from the
market in 1997.  The suit claims that the Company had knowledge
of medical evidence of dangerous and potentially fatal side
effects from the use of the drugs beginning in the early 1990s,
and that it continued to market and sell them as wonder diet
drugs.  Those side effects included pulmonary hypertension,
primary pulmonary hypertension and valvular heart disease,
according to the lawsuit, an earlier Class Action Reporter story
(Jan. 12, 2006) reports.

In addition, the suit alleges that the Company breached its duty
to exercise reasonable care in the design, marketing,
manufacture, sale, testing, quality assurance, and control and
distribution of the drugs, and that it failed to conduct
adequate post-marketing surveillance and medical monitoring of
their use.  It also alleges failure to adequately warn of the
drugs' side effects in the company's labeling of its products,
an earlier Class Action Reporter story (Jan. 12, 2006) reports.

Originally, the suit named Dr. Karen Porte, of Joplin, as a co-
defendant for allegedly knowing of Ms. Weston's past use of the
diet drugs and failing to have her undergo an echocardiogram to
determine the presence and severity of any valvular damage to
her heart. However, she was dismissed from the case without
prejudice in 2004, which essentially means that a lawsuit may be
re-filed against her, an earlier Class Action Reporter story
(Jan. 12, 2006) reports.

The verdict form in Wyeth's favor was signed by 10 of the 12
jurors.  Nine jurors would have had to find in favor of Ms.
Weston for her to prevail.

Harvey Kaplan, a Kansas City attorney representing Wyeth, told
The Joplin Globe that the verdict shows that the evidence was
not there to support Ms. Weston's claims that two of the
company's drugs caused her valvular heart disease, that her
disease is significant enough to pose substantial danger to her
health or that the company acted improperly before the Food and
Drug Administration removed the two drugs from the U.S. market.  
"In particular, the medical evidence just did not support the
plaintiff's claims," Mr. Kaplan told The Joplin Globe after the
verdict was rendered.

Ms. Weston took the diet drugs Pondimin, or fenfluramine, and
Redux, or dexfenfluramine, between April 1995 and July 1996 in
an effort to lose weight.  She was diagnosed less than four
years ago with valvular heart disease.

The FDA pulled the drugs from the market in 1997 after the Mayo
Clinic issued a report suggesting a possible connection between
use of the drugs and the development of valvular regurgitation
in several of the clinic's patients.  The FDA has since reported
findings of abnormal echocardiograms in 30 percent of people who
took the drugs.

A national, class-action lawsuit against Wyeth eventually led to
the creation of the National Settlement Trust, a third-party,
legal mechanism through which qualifying users of the drugs who
have developed valvular heart problems may receive damages or
payments for medical treatments.  Ms. Weston sued the Company as
an "intermediate opt-out" of the class-action lawsuit, as others
have chosen to do, and her case was tried separately.

Whether she has aortic regurgitation was not at issue in the
trial.  What caused the valvular heart disease she has and how
severe it is were at issue.  G. Sean Jez, an attorney with a
Houston firm representing Ms. Weston, reminded the jury during
closing arguments of evidence the plaintiff's attorneys had
presented showing that just three months' use of the "fen-phen"
drugs increased users' risk factor for valvular heart disease by
23 times.  

By comparison, smoking raises the risk factor for lung cancer
nine to 10 times, according Mr. Jez.  He pointed to evidence
that was presented previously, which showed that his client had
never been diagnosed with valvular heart disease until after she
had taken the defendant's products, and that there is a 95
percent chance that her disease was caused by the diet drugs.

Mr. Jez also argued that the Company had received 86 reports of
users of Pondimin who had developed valvular heart disease by
the year Ms. Weston began taking the drug, and that the company
did not report them to the FDA.  He pointed out that the Company
did not even initiate a study because it was getting Pondimin's
sister drug, Redux, approved for the market and did not want to
jeopardize the sales it anticipated.

Mr. Kaplan countered Mr. Jez's argument by pitting the
testimonies of the plaintiff's experts against that of her own
treating cardiologist, Dr. Francis Corcoran of Joplin. He
argued, "Their job was to exaggerate her injury for the
courtroom, even though her cardiologist had repeatedly told her
she did not have serious valvular heart disease and was unlikely
to ever require surgery."

OHIO: Campbell County Settles Overcrowding Suit With Inmates
Judge William Bertlesman of the U.S. District Court in Covington
approved on Jan. 25 a settlement agreed in November by the
Campbell County Detention Center and its inmates, Cincinnati
Enquirer reports.  

Attorney Robert Newman, in behalf of 27 prisoners, filed a class
action against the Campbell County alleging they were mistreated
as a result of overcrowding.  In November the parties agreed on
a settlement aimed at improving prison conditions, including the
appointment of a population/pretrial officer to manage and
control the number of inmates at the center.

PACIFIC SHELLFISH: FDA Seeks Injunction on Contaminated Product
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is seeking a permanent
injunction against Pacific Shellfish, Inc., a seafood processor
located at 5040 Cass Street in San Diego California, and Judd J.
Brown, its President.  An injunction is a court order to stop a
firm from manufacturing, distributing, processing, or shipping a
product.  The government's complaint, filed on Jan. 24, 2006 by
the U.S. Department of Justice in the U.S. District Court for
the Southern District of California, charges the defendants with
violating the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act by permitting
ready-to-eat fish held and processed in Pacific Shellfish's
facility to become contaminated.

According to the complaint, recent FDA inspections in 2004 and
2005 revealed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes (Listeria),
a disease-causing bacterium, on Pacific Shellfish's processing
equipment and fish products.  Inspections since 2001 have also
documented persistent unsanitary conditions at the facility.  
FDA issued a letter to the firm on December 8, 2004, after an
inspection revealed unsanitary conditions and contamination with
Listeria.  Although the firm promised to correct its
deficiencies, a 2005 inspection found that a persistent strain
of Listeria remained and the firm had not implemented all of the
promised corrections.

Listeria monocytogenesis the causal agent of listeriosis, a
disease that can be very serious, even fatal, for high-risk
groups such as pregnant women, unborn babies, newborns, and
those with impaired immune systems.  Although proper cooking can
eliminate Listeria in fish products, raw fish products, such as
those found in some types of sushi, pose a serious health risk
if contaminated with Listeria.  Even if fish is intended to be
cooked, however, adequate sanitation is needed to prevent the
spread of this strain of Listeria throughout the distribution
system to restaurants and consumer homes, where it may
contaminate ready-to-eat foods.  The Listeria monocytogenes
strain isolated from the 2004 and 2005 inspections was identical
to a strain that has caused human illness.

The FDA has initiated this action to promote and protect the
public health by enforcing the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic
Act.  FDA's mission includes ensuring the safety or safety and
effectiveness of a broad spectrum of regulated products,
including food, human and animal drugs, vaccines, blood
products, medical devices, electronic products that emit
radiation, and cosmetics.

PEPSICO INC.: Under Fire for Olestra-containing Product Labeling
A consumer advocacy group is threatening to sue PepsiCo Inc.,
the parent company of Frito-Lay, according to The Journal News.  
Stephen Gardner, director of litigation at Center for Science in
the Public Interest, is complaining against the labeling of
Frito-Lay's Light snacks that contain olestra.  

Olestra is a fat-based substitute for conventional fats.  It
entered the market in 1996 with the approval of the Food and
Drug Administration.  Products containing olestra were then
required to have label warnings the substance may cause
abdominal cramping and loose stools.  The labeling policy was,
however, changed in 2003.  Under it olestra-containing products
must declare the ingredient, but they are not required to state
potential side effects.

The FDA said in a news release it changed the requirement
because real-life consumption studies of products containing
olestra showed olestra had only infrequent, mild
gastrointestinal effects.

Meanwhile, according to the report, advocacy group client Jill
Harryman of Des Moines, Iowa, complained of "horrible, doubled-
over stomach cramps" after eating Light Doritos.  Lori Perlow
from Massachusetts complained of becoming "severely gaseous."  
It was not specified what was consumed by Ms. Perlow.  Aurora
Gonzalez, a Frito-Lay spokeswoman, insists the company is in
full compliance with FDA requirements.

The report said that under Massachusetts' law, where Ms. Perlow
lives and where the suit was filed, PepsiCo has 30 days to
respond to Gardner's "demand letter."  If he does not receive a
response he considers reasonable, he can file a lawsuit.  The
lawsuit is contemplated as a class-action suit.

Olestra is produced by Procter & Gamble.  It denied olestra-
containing products could directly cause stomach problems.  
Procter & Gamble's Pringles also contain olestra.

STEVE & BARRY'S: Drawstring in Children's Wear Poses Life Hazard
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Steve & Barry's
University Sportswear, of Port Washington, N.Y. are recalling
334,000 units of children's upper outerwear with drawstrings.  
The company said the drawstring at the hood poses a
strangulation hazard to children.  

In February 1996, CPSC issued guidelines to help prevent
children from strangling or getting entangled on the neck and
waist of drawstrings of upper garments, such as jackets and
sweatshirts.  CPSC was alerted to this hazard by the state of
Wisconsin.  No injuries have so far been reported.

The recalled garments are various color jackets, coats, and
sweaters sold in youth sizes up to size 12 with drawstrings
through the hood.  Many of these garments have the names of
colleges and universities written on them.  A tag sewn on the
garment reads: "Steve & Barry's Quality Athletic Goods."  The
style numbers are 15178, 16105, 16168, 16230, 16231, 16257,
16509, 17197, 17285 and 18346, which is written on a collar or
side label.

The garments, which were manufactured in China, India, Pakistan
and Macau, are sold at Steve & Barry's University Sportswear
stores nationwide from January 2004 through December 2005 for
between $6 and $10.  Consumers are advised to remove the
drawstrings to eliminate the hazard or return the garment to the
store where purchased for a refund.

Consumer contact: Steve & Barry's University Sportswear
(http://www.steveandbarrys.com),Phone: (877) 866-7776 (toll-

STONE ENERGY: Filing for Lead Plaintiff Appointment Ends Monday
Interested parties in the class action filed against Stone
Energy Corp. (SGY) have until Jan. 30, 2006 to file for
appointment of Lead Plaintiff.

On Nov. 30, 2005, the first complaint was filed against Stone
Energy alleging violations of the Federal securities laws.  This
suit arose from the Company's Oct. 6, 2005 press release
announcing that it intended to take a significant reserve write-
down, among other things.  Then, on Nov. 8, 2005, the Company
issued a press release announcing that it will restate its
financial statements for the periods from 2001 to 2004 and for
the first six months of 2005.  On this news, Stone Energy shares
fell $7.93, or almost 14 percent, to close at $48.14 per share
on unusually heavy trading volume.  The class period is between
June 17, 2005 and October 6, 2005.

For more information, contact Randall K. Pulliam, Esq. of Baron
& Budd, P.C., Zan Smith, Phone: (800) 222-2766; E-mail:

UNITED STATES: Internet Coalition Sets up Anti-"Badware" Site
A group including Google Inc. and institutes at Harvard and
Oxford universities plans to unveil a campaign against spyware
and other malicious computer programs that can steal personal
information, snoop on your Web surfing and bombard you with pop-
up ads, The Washington Post reports.

The coalition, which is receiving unpaid advice from Consumer
Reports WebWatch, is launching a web site:
http://www.stopbadware.org/,to catalogue programs that infect  
unsuspecting users and to let them check whether something is
dangerous before downloading it.  In this web site the group
will also spotlight firms that make the software in an effort to
shame them and will gather data that could lay the groundwork
for class-action lawsuits against them.

John Palfrey, co-director of the Stop Badware Coalition and
executive director of Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for
Internet and Society told The Washington Post, "For too long,
unscrupulous companies have made millions of dollars infecting
our computers with malicious software.  This is so dangerous
because there are intruders in your house, but you don't know
that they are in there or how they got there."

The coalition is also aiming to crack down on adware, which are
programs that, among other things, track Web-surfing habits and
launch pop-up or other ads at people who often have no idea how
the software got on their computer.

While computer worms and other viruses of the 1990s were usually
generated by individuals out to cause mischief, in the present
day such problems often are created by cyber-criminals out to
steal money or identity.  Definitions of such software vary
widely, so the group has lumped them all into the term
"badware," which it defines as malicious software that subverts
a computer's operations to benefit a third party.

The Berkman Center and the Oxford Internet Institute are the two
primary groups involved in the effort, which is receiving
funding from Google, the Mountain View, Calif.-based search
engine; Beijing-based Lenovo Group Ltd., which last year bought
International Business Machines Corp.'s personal computer
business; and Santa Clara, Calif.-based Sun Microsystems Inc.,
which sells computer hardware, software and services.

Consumer Reports WebWatch, a grant-funded Consumers Union
project that conducts research on the online marketplace, told
The Washington Post that it supports the coalition's aims and
will be an unpaid adviser.

Companies such as Google and Lenovo have a clear interest in
making sure people can use the Internet with confidence and
therefore keep buying their products and services.  Vinton G.
Cerf, who helped develop the Internet's basic communications
protocol and is now a Google vice president, told The Washington
Post, "These people out there are very important to Google. They
are our customer base. So our interest is very strong in doing
anything we can to help defend against this sort of abusive

VOLKSWAGEN SA: South African Court to Decide on Labor Lawsuit
The class action filed by dismissed workers at Volkswagen S.A.'s
South African plant is being heard at the Grahamstown High
Court, according to The Herald Eastern Cape.  

About 1,300 former workers at the carmaker's plant in Uitenhage
are suing the company and the National Union of Metalworkers of
S.A. in relation to an industrial action launched in January
2001.  The workers protested against Numsa's decision to suspend
13 shop stewards.

According to Danile Mili of Mili Attorneys in Grahamstown, who
is acting on behalf of the group, the lawsuit criticizes the
carmarker for failing to "exercise duty of care toward the
plaintiffs as employees."  The case against Numsa is of a
similar nature.  Mr. Mili said none of the dismissed workers
were able to claim unemployment benefits.  The lawsuit, filed
with the High Court in September 2005, claims of "unwarranted
delays' to the release of information and assistance to enable
them to do so.  The company had opposed the claim saying it was
vague and contradictory.

The workers are seeking $20.3 million from Volkswagen and $16.3
million from Numsa.

                   New Securities Fraud Cases

AMKOR TECHNOLOGY: Marc S. Henzel Lodges Securities Suit in PA
The Law Offices of Marc S. Henzel initiated a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania on behalf of purchasers of Amkor
Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMKR) common stock during the period
between October 27, 2003 and July 1, 2004 (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges Amkor and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934. Amkor operates as a subcontractor of semiconductor
packaging and test services worldwide. The Company offers
traditional packaging, which includes traditional leadframe
products; and advanced packaging, which includes advanced
leadframes and laminate products.

The complaint alleges that during the class period defendants
issued a series of materially false and misleading statements
regarding the Company's increasing financial performance. These
statements were each materially false and misleading when made
because they failed to disclose and/or misrepresented the
following adverse facts, among others:

     (1) that the Company was stuffing its customers with
         inventory far in excess of demand for the products and,
         as a result, customer inventories were rising above
         historical levels such that future sales would be

     (2) that the Company was experiencing rapidly rising
         material costs which were far in excess of budgeted
         material costs, thereby negatively impacting the
         Company's profit margins;

     (3) that the Company had stuffed its distribution channels
         prior to its note offering in order to artificially
         inflate the Company's operating results so that the
         Company could successfully raise $152 million; and

     (4) as a result of the foregoing, Defendants' positive
         statements about the Company and its business were
         lacking in a reasonable basis at all times and
         therefore materially false and misleading.

On April 27, 2004, Amkor issued a press release announcing that
the Company was experiencing weakness for its cell phone
products. Upon this news, the price of Amkor common stock
declined from $13.42 per share to $9.16 per share on extremely
heavy trading volume.

On July 1, 2004, Amkor issued a press release announcing that it
could not meet its expected guidance for net income in the
second quarter of 2004. In response to this announcement the
price of Amkor common stock declined from $8.18 per share to
$5.79 per share on extremely heavy trading volume of 17.2
million shares.

Then, on August 22, 2005, Amkor issued a press release
announcing that the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC")
issued a formal order of investigation concerning certain
trading in Amkor securities. The SEC investigation relates to
transactions in the Company's securities by certain individuals,
including certain insiders or former insiders and persons
associated with them.

For more details, contact Marc S. Henzel, Esq. of The Law
Offices of Marc S. Henzel, 273 Montgomery Ave, Suite 202 Bala
Cynwyd, PA 19004-2808, Phone (888) 643-6735 or (610) 660-8000,
Fax: (610) 660-8080, E-mail: Mhenzel182@aol.com, Web site:

MIKOHN GAMING: Baron & Budd Sets January Lead Plaintiff Cut-Off
Interested parties in a securities fraud suit against Mikohn
Gaming Corporation d/b/a Progressive Gaming International
Corporation have until Jan. 31, 2006 to file for appointment of
Lead Plaintiff, according to the law firm of Baron & Budd, P.C.  

On November 28, 2005, the first complaint was filed against PGIC
alleging violations of Federal securities laws.  This suit arose
from the Company's October 20, 2005 press release announcing
that because it failed to properly account for two non-monetary
transactions in accordance with the Financial Accounting
Standards Board's Accounting Standard 153, the Company expected
to report a loss of $.09 a share rather than a gain of $.08-
$.10, as Defendants had previously represented.  

According to Defendants, the accounting treatment had to be
changed after the national office of the Company's auditor, BDO
Seidman, informed the Company that it had to comply with SFAS
153 and could not recognize the revenues in the third quarter
from these two transactions.  On this revelation, PGIC shares
tumbled $3.75, or nearly 30 percent, to $9.28 on unusually heavy
trading volume.  The class period in the suit is between
February 22, 2005 and October 19, 2005.

For more details, contact Baron & Budd, P.C., Phone:
1-800-222-2766, E-mail: http://www.securitiesactions.com.

MILLS CORP: Marc S. Henzel Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in VA
The Law Offices of Marc S. Henzel initiated a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Virginia against The Mills Corporation, (NYSE: MLS),
The Mills Limited Partnership, and certain of its officers, on
behalf of persons who purchased Mills common stock between
August 14, 2003 through and including January 6, 2006 ("Class

The lawsuit alleges that Mills violated federal securities laws
by issuing false or misleading public statements. Specifically,
the complaint alleges that Mills and various of its officers,
throughout the class period, overstated the Company's net income
and funds from operations in violation of Generally Accepted the
Exchange Accounting Principles ("GAAP"), and misrepresented the
adequacy and quality of its internal controls over financial

On October 31, 2005, Mills announced that its third quarter
results would be delayed because the company needed additional
time to review its accounting, and further announced the Company
expected results to be lower than initially anticipated. On
January 6, 2006, Mills announced that that:

     (1) it needed to restate its financial results for fiscal
         year 2000 through the third quarter of 2005;

     (2) that it had internal control weaknesses and
         deficiencies in regards to its accounting practices;

     (3) that it would write off ten predevelopment business
         projects, constituting a $71 million charge;

     (4) that 17 executives and/or officers were either
         terminated or retired;

     (5) that a $4.1 million dollar loan would not be repaid and
         that Mills had facts available in 2000 sufficient to
         make this determination, but that the $4.1 million loan
         had been improperly reported in all of Mills'
         financials from 2000 through the third quarter of 2005;

     (6) that Mills was in default of certain provisions of its
         line of credit and other project-related loans;

     (7) that Mills had entered into a new $150 million credit
         line to provide short term liquidity; and

     (8) disclosed that investors should no longer rely on its
         financial statements for the period from fiscal year
         2000 through the third quarter of 2005.

Thereafter, on January 12, 2006, Mills announced that the
Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") had launched an
informal investigation into its earlier announcement that a
restatement of its financials for nearly five years would be

In response to the October 31, 2005 announcement, the price of
Mills common stock dropped from a closing price of $53.50 on
October 31, 2005 to close at $45.68 per share on November 1,
2005 -- a dramatic drop of nearly 15%. As a result of the
subsequent January 6, 2006 announcement, the price of Mills
common stock further dropped from a close of $42.23 on January
6, 2006 to a close of $41.05 on January 10, 2006, constituting
an additional decline of 3%.

For more details, contact Marc S. Henzel, Esq. of The Law
Offices of Marc S. Henzel, 273 Montgomery Ave, Suite 202 Bala
Cynwyd, PA 19004-2808, Phone (888) 643-6735 or (610) 660-8000,
Fax: (610) 660-8080, E-mail: Mhenzel182@aol.com, Web site:

SONUS NETWORKS: Lerach Coughlin Files Securities Fraud Suit
Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP initiated
class action on behalf of an institutional investor in the
United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts
on behalf of purchasers of Sonus Networks, Inc. common stock
during the period between Dec. 11, 2000 and Jan. 16, 2002.

The complaint charges Sonus Networks and certain of its officers
and directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934.  Sonus is a telecommunications company with a relatively
small number of customers, all of which are large-scale
communications service providers.

The complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period,
Defendants knowingly or recklessly issued a series of materially
false and misleading statements that misled the investing public
about Sonus's business, operations, performance, and prospects,
and, in particular, the quality and capabilities of its
products.  In fact, Sonus's products did not meet industry
standards for reliability and were not capable of meeting
Sonus's customers' requirements for transmitting voice calls
over packet-based networks.

As alleged in the complaint, on January 16, 2002, the last day
of the Class Period, Sonus shocked the market by announcing
fourth quarter and year end 2001 results.  Actual net loss for
the fourth quarter of 2001 was $13.4 million, or $0.07 per
share, compared with an actual net loss for the fourth quarter
of 2000 of just $6.3 million, or $0.04 per share.  Actual net
loss for fiscal 2001 was $645.4 million, or $3.74 per share,
compared with an actual net loss for fiscal 2000 of only $50.0
million, or $0.52 per share.  Defendants finally stopped
claiming that Sonus provided "carrier-class" products, and that
its products "enable(d) service providers to deploy an
integrated network capable of carrying both voice and data

On this news, the following day Sonus's stock price dropped
below $5, from a Class Period high of $45.88 on January 31,
2001.  Volume was 20,640,000 shares, compared to an average
daily trading volume during the Class Period of 6,259,735.

Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of all purchasers
of Sonus Networks common stock during the Class Period.  The
plaintiff is represented by Lerach Coughlin, which has expertise
in prosecuting investor class actions and extensive experience
in actions involving financial fraud.

For information, contact: Samuel H. Rudman or David A. Rosenfeld
of Lerach Coughlin (http://www.lerachlaw.com/cases/sonus/),
Phone: 800/449-4900 or 619/231-1058; E-mail: wsl@lerachlaw.com.


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

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


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