/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/060202.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

            Thursday, February 2, 2006, Vol. 8, No. 24


AT&T, INC.: Facing Multi-Billion Dollar Wiretapping Lawsuit
AUSTRALIA: Legal Reforms Threaten Queenslanders in Vioxx Cases
AUSTRIA: Arbitration Court Awards Looted Artworks to CA Woman
CHASE H&Q: Shareholders Encouraged to File Arbitration Claim
DIOCESE OF COVINGTON: Paying $85M to Settle Sex Abuse Lawsuits

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Judge Nixes Tax Assessments, Orders Refund
DOUBLEDAY BOOKS: James Frey's Memoir Attracts Additional Suits
EMC CORPORATION: Ex-Worker Lodges Suit in MA over Work Schedule
FIRST YEARS: Recalls Teethers at Risk of Bacteria Contamination
FLORIDA: Supreme Court Set to Release Decision on "Engle" Suit

HASTY TASTY: Recalls Sandwiches Due to Undeclared Allergens
IDAHO: Settlement Ends Field-Burning Suit, Parties Unsatisfied  
ILLINOIS: Suit Challenges Cook County Jail's Strip-Search Policy
ILLINOIS: Suit V. Chicago Archdiocese Seeks Names of Priests
KANSAS: Health Workers Sue to Protest Reporting of Teenage Sex

MICROSOFT CORPORATION: Settlement Brings Windfall to MN Schools
MULTIPLEX GROUP: Law Firm Considers Suit over Dismal Performance
MURPHY OIL: LA Judge Gives Class Status to Meraux Oil Spill Case
PIONEER HI-BRED: Farmer Alleges Price Fixing on Soybean Sees
PIXAR ANIMATION: Investors Oppose $7.4B Disposal to Walt Disney

RAJAH FOODS: Issues Allergy Alert on Sulfite-Containing Dates
ROYAL GROUP: Faces Putative Shareholder Complaint in S.D. NY
SCHOLASTIC, INC.: Facing Suit for Alleged Deceptive Marketing
TENNESSEE: Motorist Issued Speeding Ticket Files Complaint
TRAVELERS INDEMNITY: CO Court Denies Class Status in Morris Case

UNITED STATES: Research Reveals Common Disregard of EPL Risk
UNITED STATES: Global Bankers Wary of Retail Credit Card Suit
UPM-KYMMENE OYJ: Finnish Firm Faces Multiple Labelstock Lawsuits
WAL-MART STORES: Ex-Workers File Suit Over "Time Shaving" in HI

                New Securities Fraud Cases

AMKOR TECHNOLOGY: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges Stock Suit in PA
IMPAC MORTGAGE: Lerach Coughlin Lodges CA Securities Fraud Suit
REFCO CAPITAL: Kirby McInerney Files Securities Fraud Suit in NY
ROYAL GROUP: Lerach Coughlin Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in NY
SONUS NETWORKS: Charles J. Piven Lodges MA Securities Fraud Suit


AT&T, INC.: Facing Multi-Billion Dollar Wiretapping Lawsuit
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a class action
against AT&T, accusing the telecom giant of violating the law
and the privacy of its customers by collaborating with the
National Security Agency (NSA) in a massive and illegal program
to wiretap and data-mine Americans' communications.

The NSA program came to light in December, when the New York
Times reported that the president had authorized the agency to
intercept telephone and Internet communications inside the
United States without the authorization of any court.  Over the
ensuing weeks, it became clear that the NSA program has been
intercepting and analyzing millions of U.S. citizens'
communications, with the help of the country's largest phone and
Internet companies.

Reports also indicated that those same companies -- and AT&T
specifically -- have given the NSA direct access to their vast
databases of communications records, including information about
whom their customers have phoned or emailed in the past.  The
suit alleges little has been accomplished by this spying. Recent
reports have shown that the data from this wholesale
surveillance has "done little more than waste FBI resources on
dead leads."

"The NSA program is apparently the biggest fishing expedition
ever devised, scanning millions of ordinary Americans' phone
calls and emails for 'suspicious' patterns, and it's the
collaboration of U.S. telecom companies like AT&T that makes it
possible," said EFF Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston. "When the
government defends spying on Americans by saying, 'If you're
talking to terrorists we want to know about it,' that's not even
close to the whole story."

In the lawsuit, EFF alleges that AT&T, in addition to allowing
the NSA direct access to the phone and Internet communications
passing over its network, has given the government unfettered
access to its over 300 terabyte "Daytona" database of caller
information-one of the largest databases in the world.

"AT&T's customers reasonably expect that their communications
are private and have long trusted AT&T to follow the law and
protect that privacy.  Unfortunately, AT&T has betrayed that
trust," said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Lee Tien.  "At the NSA's
request, AT&T eviscerated the legal safeguards required by
Congress and the courts with a keystroke."

By opening its network and databases to unrestricted spying by
the government, EFF alleges that AT&T has violated the privacy
of AT&T customers and the people they call and email, as well as
broken longstanding communications privacy laws.

While other organizations are suing the government directly, EFF
is seeking to protect Americans' privacy by stopping the
collaboration of AT&T with the NSA spying program and making it
economically impossible for AT&T to continue to give its
customers' information to the government.

"Congress has set up strong laws protecting the privacy of your
communications, strictly limiting when telephone and Internet
companies can subject your phone calls to government scrutiny,"
said EFF Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl.  "The companies that have
betrayed their customers' trust by illegally handing the NSA
direct access to their networks and databases must be brought to
account. AT&T needs to put a sign on its door that reads, 'Come
Back With a Warrant.'"

In the suit filed Jan. 31, EFF is representing the class of all
AT&T customers nationwide.  EFF is seeking an injunction to stop
AT&T's participation in the allegedly illegal NSA program, as
well as billions of dollars in damages for violation of federal
privacy laws.  Working with EFF in the lawsuit are the law firms
Traber & Voorhees, and Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman &
Robbins LLP.  

AT&T, Inc. on the Net: http://www.att.com/.

The case was styled "Hepting et al v. AT&T Corp. et al (3:06-cv-
00672-VRW)," filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of California, under Judge Vaughn R. Walker.  
Representing the plaintiff(s) is Cindy Ann Cohn of Electronic
Frontier Foundation (http://www.eff.org),454 Shotwell Street,  
San Francisco, CA 94110, Phone: 415-436-9333 x 108; Fax: (415)
436-9993; E-mail: cindy@eff.org.  

AUSTRALIA: Legal Reforms Threaten Queenslanders in Vioxx Cases
Legal reforms intended to reduce the cost of personal injury
litigation could be used to force Queenslanders out of national
class actions and into costly individual court cases, The
Brisbane Courier Mail reports.

Approximately 30 elderly people from Queensland, Australia, are
at risk of being struck out of a national action against the
makers of the anti-arthritis drug Vioxx, due to a state
requirement for them to undertake mediation before suing.  Just
recently attorneys for Merck & Co., the makers of the drug, have
applied to the Victorian Supreme Court for the class action to
be struck out on the basis that the claimants are not entitled
to join the court proceedings.  That application prompted
warnings that residents of Queensland could be prevented from
taking part in all future mass personal injury actions.

National law firm Slater and Gordon is running the class action
on behalf of around 500 people who suffered heart attacks or
strokes after taking Vioxx.  The writ alleges that the drug
manufacturer failed to warn health professionals and users that
Vioxx contained rofecoxib, an ingredient that more than doubles
the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Acting for the drug's distributors, Merck Sharp & Dohme
Australia, lawyers from the Clayton Utz law firm, are understood
to have asked the Victorian Court to rule out the claims of the
30 Queenslanders on the basis that they have not complied with
the State's Personal Injuries Proceedings Act.  That Act
requires people to undergo mediation and exchange offers for
settlement before beginning litigation.

Slater and Gordon's Brisbane partner James Higgins told The
Brisbane Courier Mail that the application, to be heard on
February 17, would force Queenslanders "to go outside the class
action process and, in effect, preclude them from any benefit of
it."  He pointed out that the aims of a class action were "not
dissimilar" to the state legislation, which aims to deal with
complaints without clogging up the courts or exposing parties to
severe legal costs.

Mr. Higgins further explains, "I don't think it was ever the
Government's intention to introduce legislation which would have
prevented Australian citizens, just because they live in
Queensland, from accessing the benefits of group actions run
under Commonwealth law or in those states where class action
proceedings exist."  He added, "The reality is that these type
of mass tort actions don't recognise state boundaries.  People
buy products all over the place, and they're entitled to the
same sort of protection as the rest of Australia."

Clayton Utz refused to comment on the case, as did Queensland's
Attorney-General Linda Lavarch. However, shadow Attorney-General
Mark McArdle blasted the move, saying the application would
escalate the time, resources and cost for individuals involved
in fighting a major corporation.  He expounds, "It would
compromise our whole system that people in various states have a
right to commence an action in another state provided they meet
the necessary conditions."

Commenting on the Company's application to the Victoria court,
former Vioxx user Laurie Vaughan of Dalby told The Brisbane
Courier Mail that everyone who had suffered as a result of
taking the drug should be recognized equally by the legal

AUSTRIA: Arbitration Court Awards Looted Artworks to CA Woman
In a closely watched ruling over ownership of artworks stolen by
the Nazis, an Austrian arbitration court ordered its government
to turn over five multimillion-dollar paintings by Gustav Klimt
to a Jewish woman whose family fled Vienna in 1939, The Los
Angeles Times reports.

Maria Altmann, who now lives in Los Angeles, California, fought
a seven-year legal battle for the paintings, which are valued at
an estimated $150 million.  The most valuable among them is the
renowned 1907 portrait of Ms. Altmann's aunt, Adele Bloch-Bauer,
which one Klimt expert called "the most important painting that
has ever been restituted" in a Nazi art case.

There was no immediate response from the Austrian government,
but Wilfried Seipel, director of Vienna's museum for fine arts,
the Kunsthistorisches Museum, told the Austrian Press
Association that although "a precious asset of the Austrian
Gallery has been lost," the decision "should be accepted."  
Under an agreement between the Austrian government and Ms.
Altmann, the arbitration court's decision will be the last word.

Jane Kallir, co-director of the Galerie St. Etienne in New York,
which staged the first U.S. exhibition of Klimt's work in 1959
told The Los Angeles Times, "This is really David and Goliath."  
She hailed the court ruling against the Austrian government as a
surprising but significant move saying, "Klimt's paintings are
extraordinarily rare, and most of the major ones are in

In March, after a U.S. Supreme Court decision gave Ms. Altmann
the right to sue Austria in U.S. courts, she and attorneys for
the Austrian government agreed to end the roller coaster of
litigation by submitting the dispute to binding arbitration in
Austria.  The court ruling, which became public recently, says
that Austria is legally obligated to return the artworks, which
were held by the Austrian National Gallery for more than 50
years.  A formal announcement of the decision is expected today
in Austria.

Ms. Altmann's attorney, E. Randol Schoenberg, told The Los
Angeles Times that he learned of the ruling via e-mail.  He said
at hastily assembled news conference at Ms. Altmann's Cheviot
Hills home, "The arbitrators wanted us to keep it confidential,
but the news leaked."

Ms. Altmann, 89, is among the heirs to the art collection of her
uncle, sugar magnate Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer, whose wife, Adele,
was Klimt's patron and, historians have suggested, probably the
artist's lover.  The five paintings include three landscapes and
two portraits of her aunt, including "Portrait of Adele Bloch-
Bauer I," one of the artist's celebrated "gold paintings,"
adorned with metallic paint.

Surrounded by family members in her living room, Ms. Altmann
wore a smile as bright as her red sweater and said, "It's about
time."  She goes on to say, "I'm very happy; I cannot deny that
it came to a very happy solution.  I sort of expected it - I'm a
very positive person, and I somehow always hoped that it would
go that way.  There were setbacks, but I was always hoping."  
When asked whether she was pleased to have the matter resolved
before her 90th birthday, she wisecracked, "I'd rather be 50,
but it's all right."

Mr. Schoenberg told reporters that the future of the paintings
remained to be determined. He reiterated, "It's a decision the
whole family has to make; there are four other heirs, we haven't
wanted to count the chickens before they hatch.  Let's let it
sink in a little bit.  No decision has been made yet."

Despite her attorney's caution about discussing the disposition
of the paintings, Ms. Altmann was adamant that they should
remain in public institutions saying, "I would not want any
private person to buy these paintings.  It is very meaningful to
me that they are seen by anybody who wants to see them, because
that would have been the wish of my aunt."

In addition, Ms. Altmann also told reporters that she would not
object to any of the artworks remaining at the Austrian National
Gallery, so long as restitution was made.  She explains, "After
the way they behaved, I have no resentment.  First of all, I'm
not a person who has a lot of resentments to begin with.  I was
very much hoping it would never come to all this fighting and

Although legal experts say it is unlikely that Austria would
dispute the court's ruling, the loss of the paintings could have
a profound effect on the country.  For Austrians, even those who
believe the court made the right decision, the paintings' move
to the other side of the Atlantic Ocean symbolizes a loss of a
piece of national heritage.

Edwin M. Smith, a professor of international law and academic
director for graduate and international programs for the U.S.C.
law school, said that for all the decision's importance to Ms.
Altmann and Austria, it posed no precedent for any other cases.  
He points out that arbitration is a popular option for just that
reason.  "You get the dispute resolved but you don't set any
precedent for other disputes," according to him.  "Arbitrations
only occur when the parties agree to the process of
arbitration."  But for Ms. Altmann and Austria, "this is the end
of the ballgame," Mr. Smith said.

Mr. Klimt, born near Vienna in 1862, is known for his decorous
murals and sensuous smaller nudes and portraits, which often
provoked controversy but won him a wide audience.  He died in

Beyond the five paintings covered by the ruling, one other Klimt
sought by Ms. Altmann, "Portrait of Amalie Zuckerkandl," will
remain at the Austrian National Gallery because, according to
Mr. Schoenberg, the family of the woman in the portrait is also
claiming ownership.

Though Ms. Altmann's case represents the highest-profile example
in recent years, the controversy over Nazi-looted artwork has
been heating up for more than a decade.  In 1998 as a result of
a handful of well-publicized claims against museums by Jewish
heirs, the American Assn. of Museum Directors issued guidelines
calling for museums to search their collections for artworks
that had been looted by the Nazis.

This is the second major restitution judgment for Ms. Altmann,
who last year shared with her relatives $21 million from the
Claims Restitution Tribunal, a fund established in 1998 in the
settlement of class-action lawsuits brought against Swiss banks.

That suit charged that the Swiss banks collaborated with the
Nazis and withheld from Holocaust survivors and their heirs
money deposited for safekeeping before World War II.  A
consortium of Swiss financial institutions agreed to pay $1.25
billion to Holocaust victims.

CHASE H&Q: Shareholders Encouraged to File Arbitration Claim
Law firm Klayman & Toskes, P.A. advises all Chase H&Q n/k/a J.P.
Morgan Securities customers who are eligible to participate in
the Settlement of the Initial Public Offerings Securities
Litigation (In Re Initial Public Offering Securities Litigation,
No. 21 MC 92 (SAS)), to explore all of their legal options
against Chase H&Q n/k/a J.P. Morgan Securities, one of the non-
settling defendant underwriters.  According to K&T, investors
should strongly consider pursuing an individual securities
arbitration claim as a means to recovering their financial

According to the IPO Securities Litigation, various issuers and
underwriters caused securities to trade at artificially inflated
prices, in connection with the initial public offering of the
securities, causing customers to lose billions of dollars.   
Investors who may have a claim against Chase H&Q n/k/a J.P.
Morgan Securities, a non-settling defendant underwriter, include
those who suffered net losses as a result of their purchase
and/or receipt of the following stocks through Chase H&Q n/k/a
J.P. Morgan Securities, during the relevant time periods:

Loudeye Corp. (LOUD)     Mar. 15, 00 - Dec. 6, 00
NaviSite, Inc. (NAVI)    Oct. 22, 99 -  Dec. 6, 00
Microtune, Inc. (TUNE)   Aug. 4, 00 -  Dec. 6, 00
Net2Phone, Inc. (NTOP)   Jul. 29, 99 -  Dec. 6, 00

Several defendant underwriters, including Chase H&Q n/k/a J.P.
Morgan Securities, have not settled with the Class Members of
the Initial Public Offering Securities Litigation.  Therefore,
K&T urges investors who suffered substantial losses to proceed
with a securities arbitration claim against Chase H&Q n/k/a J.P.
Morgan Securities, rather than waiting for a potential class
action settlement.  Empirical evidence shows that investors may
achieve an overall higher rate of recovery by filing an
individual securities arbitration claim.

For more information, contact Lawrence L. Klayman, Esquire of
Klayman & Toskes P.A. (http://www.nasd-law.com),Phone: 888-997-

DIOCESE OF COVINGTON: Paying $85M to Settle Sex Abuse Lawsuits
Special Judge John Potter approved on Jan. 31 an $85 million
settlement between sexual abuse victims and the Roman Catholic
Diocese of Covington, Kentucky, according to CBS News.  The
settlement covers 361 victims who claimed they were abused over
a 50-year period by priests in the diocese.

A state judge approved the proposed settlement between victims
of sexual abuse and the Diocese in July (Class Action Reporter,
Nov. 8, 2005).  According to CBS News, the diocese originally
agreed to pay $120 million in anticipation that 700 to 800
victims would file for compensation.  Under the initial deal,
the diocese would pay $40 million and its insurance companies
would pay up to $80 million.  But only half of the expected
number of claimants applied for payments, cutting the need for
insurance money.  

The payouts to victims are between $5,000 and $450,000,
depending on the severity and duration of the abuse they
suffered.  Some money will also be set aside to pay for
counseling for abuse victims.  Those in the highest category of
abuse will be eligible to apply to a special fund for
extraordinary claims, according to the report.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Judge Nixes Tax Assessments, Orders Refund
D.C. Superior Court Judge Eugene Hamilton invalidated a third of
the District of Columbia's 2002 property assessments and ordered
city officials to pay back a staggering $15 million to tens of
thousands of homeowners whose tax bills were based on what he
called "arbitrary" and "capricious" assessments, The Washington
Examiner reports.

Previously, the judge ruled that city officials "knowingly,
intentionally and deliberately" violated the law when they
changed the rules for assessing residential property for tax
purposes.  The court's former chief judge concluded that lawyer
Peter S. Craig and other Cleveland Park homeowners, who filed a
class action complaint to appeal their 2002 residential property
tax assessments "fully established the material allegations of
their petition," (Class Action Reporter, Sept. 30, 2005).

Court records show that significant increases in the assessed
values of their homes, resulting in considerably higher tax
bills, prompted the homeowners to question the basis for the new
assessments.  Ultimately, the city's use of a "trending" process
to assess homes located within designated neighborhoods, rather
than considering individual characteristics of properties as
required by D.C. law, led to the court challenge, (Class Action
Reporter, Sept. 30, 2005).

According to the suit, tax officials selectively used renovated
properties as the basis for inflated assessments of all nearby
homes whether they'd been improved or not.  The end result: Only
17 percent of assessments were within 5 percent of market value
as required by law.  The rest were either vastly over- or under-

"They didn't bother inspecting the houses or pay any attention
to building permits," Mr. Craig, who filed two class action
lawsuits after getting the brush-off from city officials, told
The Washington Examiner.  In Mr. Craig's own Cleveland Park
neighborhood, single-family assessments almost doubled after
officials in the Office of Tax and Revenue secretly switched
from a property-specific method of assessing value to a
statistically invalid "market trends" approach.  This was
undoubtedly a political decision: City Hall realized it could
rake in more tax revenue that way without having to ask the D.C.
Council to raise the tax rate.

With the ruling, D.C. was recently ordered to notify 45,000
homeowners in two-dozen neighborhoods that they are
automatically entitled to a cash refund plus interest pending an
appeal of Judge Hamilton's decision.  

DOUBLEDAY BOOKS: James Frey's Memoir Attracts Additional Suits
More lawsuits are being filed over James Frey's memoir "A
Million Little Pieces, published by Doubleday, a division of the
Random House group, according to Fox News.  

Jennifer Cohn, a Manhattan social worker, on Jan. 30 filed a
suit against the author and the publisher claiming she was
'injured' by the book and asking $10 million in compensation.  
Karen Futernick filed a lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan on
Jan. 27, seeking the return of $14.95 she spent for the book.

Earlier, a suit was initiated in a Washington federal court
seeking compensation for lost time reading Mr. Frey's story of
recovery from alcohol and drug addiction.  Attorney Mike Myers
filed the suit, which is seeking class action status, on behalf
of two Seattle residents representing more than 2 million people
who bought the novel (Class Action Reporter, Jan. 27, 2006).

Chicago law firm Dale and lawyer Thomas Pakenas previously sued
Doubleday Books in a Cook County, Illinois court, alleging
consumer fraud (Class Action Reporter, Jan. 17, 2006).  The
company acted on behalf of Pilar More, who said she felt cheated
after knowing key details of the memoir were fabricated.  The
suit did not specify how much it is seeking for damages.

Mr. Frey previously admitted on "Larry King Live" at CNN that he
added some details to his story, but insisted that is part of

EMC CORPORATION: Ex-Worker Lodges Suit in MA over Work Schedule
A lawsuit against EMC Corporation that was filed in Middlesex
Superior Court in Massachusetts by a former worker alleges that
the Company is violating state labor laws, The Boston Globe

According to the suit, the Company requires many of its
technical support employees to work an eight-day week each
month, a practice that allegedly violates state law.  Kevin T.
Bujold, 50, of Templeton, a former technical support engineer at
the Company in Hopkinton, claims that he was fired in Nov. 2005
for refusing to work 10 hours per day for eight days in a row.

Mr. Bujold, who tested and maintained customer's data storage
systems, told The Boston Globe, "I did not want to be in a
position where I could crash my car on the way home."  He added,
"I know that when I get overly tired, I lose the ability to
control myself.  We all have our breaking points.  A steady diet
of those hours would have been a problem."

Federal law says that salaried and management employees can be
required to work longer than 40 hours per week without a break
or extra pay.  However, state law says that anyone employed by
manufacturing, mechanical, or retail businesses must receive a
24-hour break after working six consecutive days.  The Company
manages and makes data-storage systems.

A Company spokesman denied the claims.  "The suit is without
merit," Mark Fredrickson, vice president of communications told
The Boston Globe.  He added, "Beyond that, we will not comment
on ongoing litigation."

Mr. Bujold's lawsuit, filed on Jan. 24, seeks class action
status and unspecified financial damages as well as a permanent
injunction barring the Company from requiring employees to work
seven consecutive days without a 24-hour break.

Harvey Schwartz, a lawyer at Rodgers, Powers & Schwartz in
Boston, who is representing Mr. Bujold told The Boston Globe,
"We are looking for a decision that would apply to all workers
in such establishments."  He explained, "If we win, no employer
operating a manufacturing, mechanical, or retail establishment
could require any employees, even salaried or management
employees, to work more than six consecutive days without a day

In addition, Mr. Schwartz told The Boston Globe that if the
court rules in Mr. Bujold's favor he would ask Massachusetts
Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly to assess penalties.  The
Massachusetts Day of Rest Law, enacted in 1913, gives the
attorney general the power to set penalties of $350 per
violation for each instance in which an employee is forced to
work more than six days in a row.

The Company employs approximately 26,000 people worldwide.  Of
those, 15,000 are in the United States and about 5,000 are in
Massachusetts.  In his lawsuit, Mr. Bujold alleges that several
hundred workers in Massachusetts are required, as part of their
regular schedule, to work more than six straight days without a

Mr. Bujold, who joined the Company in 1993, told The Boston
Globe that he sometimes worked longer hours during emergencies
or for short-term projects, but he turned down the request to
accept a permanent schedule requiring him each month to work an
eight-day week, with three days off.  He said that he wanted to
spend more time with his grandchildren.

He also told The Boston Globe, "In the past, I was always able
to avoid those hours by moving to another department or getting
another assignment.  This time, I offered to do another job that
had the responsibilities of two people just to avoid those
hours, but there was no solution."

FIRST YEARS: Recalls Teethers at Risk of Bacteria Contamination
The First Years, a subsidiary of RC2 Corporation, is voluntarily
recalling liquid filled teethers due to possible bacterial
contamination.  The liquid inside the teethers may contain
pseudomonas aeruginosa and pseudomonas putida, which can cause
serious illness in children if the teether is punctured and the
liquid from the teether is ingested.  Consumers are advised to
stop using the recalled products immediately.

The products recalled are:

     (1) Disney Days of Hunny Soft Cool Ring Teether--Style

     (2) Disney Soft Cool Ring Teether--Style Y1470,

     (3) Disney Soft Cool Ring Teether--Style Y1490,

     (4) The First Years(R) Cool Animal Teether/Fish, Zebra and
         Dinosaur designs--Style Y1473,

     (5) The First Years(R) Floating Friends Teether-- Style

     (6) Sesame Beginnings(TM) Chill & Chew Teether-- Style

This recall is for 6 different styles of liquid-filled teethers
for infants (3+ months old) to soothe gums during the feeding
stage.  The 6 styles affected have the same general construction
of a durable vinyl exterior with clear liquid pre-filled inside.  
Some designs have printed graphics while others have floating
internal characters.  No illnesses have been reported to date in
connection with this problem.

The teethers are sold nationwide including major retailers,
grocery, drug and specialty stores from July 2005 to January
2006 for $2.99 to $3.99.

Consumers are advised to put the teether in its current
condition into a sealed plastic storage bag, place in envelope,
and return to: Parent Service Center, RC2/The First Years, 100
Technology Center Drive, Stoughton, Massachusetts, 02072.
Consumers should include their mailing address in the envelope
to receive a replacement teether and free gift.

The First Years (http://www.thefirstyears.com),Parent Service  
Center, Phone: 1-866-725-4407.

FLORIDA: Supreme Court Set to Release Decision on "Engle" Suit
The Florida Supreme Court is preparing to render a decision that
could either make tobacco executives breathe easier or trigger a
new fight over a multimillion-dollar pot they handed over in
more desperate times, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The long-awaited decision concerns the "Engle" lawsuit, which is
a class action originally led by pediatrician Howard Engle and
five other lead plaintiffs that was filed in Miami in 1994 on
behalf of smokers nationwide.  Defendants in the case include
Philip Morris USA, a unit of Altria Group Inc., R.J. Reynolds
Tobacco and the U.S. business of Brown & Williams, now units of
Reynolds American Inc., Lorillard Tobacco Co., a unit of Loews
Corp. and Vector Group Ltd.'s Liggett (Class Action Reporter,
Nov. 4, 2004).

In 1996, Florida's Third District Court of Appeal allowed the
case to proceed as a statewide class action (Class Action
Reporter, Sept. 18, 2003).  Though the case was eventually
limited to Florida smokers, a two-year trial, from 1998 to 2000,
ended with a $145 billion punitive-damages award, the largest in
U.S. history.  In addition, jurors ended up concluding that
tobacco companies were liable for lying about cigarettes.

However, in 2003 an intermediate appellate court overturned the
judgment.  In its 68-page opinion issued on May 21, 2003 the
Third District Court of Appeal set forth in considerable detail
why the Engle case failed to meet virtually every legal
requirement for class certification; it also reversed the $145
billion punitive-damages award in favor of the now-decertified
class and the compensatory-damage awards totaling $12.7 million
in favor of three individual plaintiffs whose claims were tried
in the second phase of the trial, (Class Action Reporter, Sept.
18, 2003).  

A year later, the Florida Supreme Court decided to review the
case.  Cigarette makers now await word from the court.  The
smart money is betting that the court will uphold the appellate
court's decision, thus ending the last major piece of smoker
class-action litigation.  A successful appeal to the U.S.
Supreme Court is considered unlikely.

That sets the stage for a fierce legal squabble over $709
million that the tobacco-company defendants, including Altria
Group Inc.'s Philip Morris USA, put into an escrow account after
initially losing the case.  The money was expected to be paid
out to the class of Florida smokers no matter which side won,
however in its 2003 decision, the appellate court ruled that the
legal claims of Florida smokers shouldn't have been lumped
together and tried as one massive lawsuit.  If the Supreme Court
upholds that view, tobacco companies are likely to question how
the windfall can go to a class that doesn't exist.

The quandary illustrates how dramatically the legal fortunes of
the cigarette companies changed over the past five years.  Some
tobacco companies agreed to forfeit the $709 million, regardless
of the case's ultimate outcome, so they could pursue an appeal
of the $145 billion award.  At the time, in 2001, tobacco
companies felt they had their backs to the wall.  They had lost
the massive case at trial.

While Florida lawmakers intervened to reduce the amount needed
to appeal the ruling, plaintiffs' lawyers were threatening a
fight over the issue.  Nervous about the outcome of the dispute,
three of the tobacco companies namely: Philip Morris, Loews
Corp.'s Lorillard Tobacco unit and Vector Group Ltd.'s Liggett
Group struck a deal with plaintiffs' lawyers by agreeing to
create the nonrefundable $709 million escrow account.

Now, in the event of the Florida Supreme Court upholding the
appellate court's ruling, the question becomes: "Where would
that money go?"

According to people familiar with their thinking, tobacco
companies are likely to argue that they should get the money
back, or at least that they are entitled to reimbursement of
their own legal costs.  Philip Morris USA placed its $500
million share of the fund in a separate interest-bearing escrow
account, according to regulatory filings by corporate parent

Robert L. Rabin, a Stanford Law School professor who follows
tobacco litigation and believes the Florida Supreme Court will
uphold decertification of the class told The Wall Street
Journal, "The tobacco companies would be very, very reluctant
and unhappy to see the tobacco money go to the plaintiffs
because this has been a bitter, and hard-fought legal battle for
many years."

If the money isn't returned to the companies, paying it out to
smokers who are no longer certified as a class by the court
could be difficult.  The 700,000 Florida smokers represented by
the original suit haven't been clearly identified.

About 20 to 50 of the individual claimants have their own
lawyers, according to Chuck Tauman, a Portland, Oregon attorney
and president of the Tobacco Trial Lawyers Association, which
has roughly a dozen active members.  "That's not chicken feed,"
he says, of the enormous escrow fund.  "I suspect there will be
gigantic fights."

"For the trial court, this is going to create a real headache,"
adds Jonathan Turley, professor at George Washington University
Law School. He also pointed out to The Wall Street Journal,
"This isn't a common thing to face."

What's more, the $709 million pot raises the chance that the
plaintiffs' lawyers, Stanley and Susan Rosenblatt, could pocket
many millions in fees and costs even if they lose the class-
action suit.  Just 10 percent of the escrow would be $70.9
million, and in contingency-fee cases, plaintiffs' attorneys
normally claim one-third.  

HASTY TASTY: Recalls Sandwiches Due to Undeclared Allergens
Hasty Tasty Food Service Inc./DBA Valley Vending of Davenport
Iowa is recalling its Chicken Salad, Egg Salad, Ham Salad, and
Tuna Salad sandwiches because they contain undeclared Dairy
allergens (sweet dairy whey and butter).  People who may have an
allergy or severe sensitivity to Dairy products run the risk of
serious or life threatening allergic reaction if they consume
these products.

The Chicken Salad, Ham Salad, Egg Salad sandwiches were branded
Valley Vending/Hasty Tasty, Venture Vending, Prime Vending, and
M & M Vending. Only the Tuna Salad Sandwiches were labeled with
the Valley Vending/Hasty Tasty label.  The sandwiches were
distributed in the states of Iowa and Illinois through our
mobile catering trucks and/or vending machines.  These products
can be identified by the brand name and are packaged in a
plastic wedge container with a date code on or before Jan. 26,
06.  The net weight on the label is 4.5 oz.  No illnesses have
been reported to date.

The recall was initiated after it was discovered that the sliced
bread containing sweet dairy whey and butter was distributed in
packaging that did not reveal the presence of these listed
allergens on the label.  Subsequent investigation indicated the
problem was caused by a temporary breakdown in the company's
production and packaging processes.  All products have been
pulled from distribution and label corrections have been

Consumer contact, Hasty Tasty Food Service Inc./DBA Valley
Vending, Phone: (563) 333-6783.

IDAHO: Settlement Ends Field-Burning Suit, Parties Unsatisfied  
After nearly six years of legal wrangling, the battle between
North Idaho grass farmers and 283 Inland Northwest residents
with breathing problems came to an end recently in a Coeur
d'Alene courtroom though neither side seemed particularly
satisfied, The Spokesman Review reports.  

After court costs and expenses, about $600,000 will be split and
paid out to those who say they've been harmed from grass smoke,
with a typical asthmatic getting $1,000.  If anything, the class
action lawsuit that was meant to end field-burning ended up
sparking decisions that helped protect the practice.  The suit
was originally filed in Idaho's 1st District Court, but was
later moved to 4th District Court (Class Action Reporter, Nov.
17, 2005).

Farmers were not exactly thrilled with agreeing to a payout.  
But, the settlement was seen as the quickest way to end the
case, Peter Erbland, a Coeur d'Alene attorney who represents
many of the roughly 60 grass farmer defendants in the case told
The Spokesman Review.  Following the brief court hearing, during
which the settlement was finalized, Mr. Erbland says, "Insurers
have decided that it's the best thing to do."  Insurance
companies for northern Idaho grass farmers agreed to the
settlement, reasoning that it was cheaper to settle the case,
(Class Action Reporter, July 19, 2005).

Bluegrass seed farmers in North Idaho burn their fields each
year to clear crop refuse.  The fire also stimulates the
perennial grass plants into sending up another seed-bearing
stalk the next season, which effectively saves farmers the cost
of replanting each year.  However, brown smoke from the fields
contains several pollutants that irritate the throat and lungs.

After the case was filed in June 2002, a judge initially halted
field burning and declared unconstitutional a shield law that
protected farmers from lawsuits.  The Idaho Supreme Court
reversed the ban and also restored the shield law.  The U.S.
Supreme Court though declined to hear an appeal on the case.

"The legal fight is essentially over," Mr. Erbland The Spokesman
Review, adding later, "It has ended with a whimper as far as
we're concerned."

The 51 cystic fibrosis sufferers included in the lawsuit are
eligible for up to $50,000 each, depending on a detailed formula
approved by retired state district Judge William Woodland.  But
the group will have to divvy up half of the roughly $600,000
settlement - this averages out to about $6,000 per person with
the chronic lung condition.  The other half of the settlement
will go to 232 asthmatics and others harmed by smoke.  Only
residents of Spokane County and Idaho's five northern counties
were eligible to join the class action suit.

Hagens Berman, the Seattle law firm that brought the case, will
collect roughly $250,000.  Attorney Steve Berman previously
stated the firm was waiving its normal fees and that the money
will be used to cover the case's extensive court costs,
including hiring medical experts.  A representative of the
defense team said 61,000 pages of documents were generated
during the case.

Only one victim appeared to be in the courtroom gallery, Alex
Heisel, a 14-year-old Post Falls resident with cystic fibrosis,
and her father had mixed emotions about the settlement.  Jim
Heisel told The Spokesman Review, "We're not jumping around for
joy.  We didn't stop field burning and that was our ultimate
goal...But with the new laws, it's almost all we can hope for."

Mr. Heisel also told The Spokesman Review that his daughter must
leave the area for days at a time during the late summer burning
season.  Every breath of smoky air only exacerbates her
condition.  He explains, "We accommodate field burning as
opposed to them accommodating us.  We can't continue to do
things that hurt people, even if it's what our dads did."

People often ask Mr. Heisel why the family stays in North Idaho.  
Mr. Heisel answers that question by saying that his daughter's
doctor, Mike McCarthy, is one of the best in the world for
treating cystic fibrosis.  In addition, according to him, the
family has deep roots in the area.  Apart from the relatively
brief burning season, the air in the Inland Northwest is
actually ideal for those with bad lungs, according to Mr.
Heisel, who added, "We're dug in."

Mr. Heisel's daughter didn't have much to say about the court
preceding.  With her breaths betraying a slight raspiness, she
told The Spokesman Review, "A lot of big words."  After thinking
for a few moments about the long legal fight against field
burning, she added, "Well, it didn't stop it.  I can't do
anything about that."

Field burning opponents now have their hopes hinging on two
lawsuits pending in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.  The
federal cases are seeking to rescind EPA's approval of state and
tribal burning programs in Idaho.  Oral arguments are scheduled
for summer.

Patti Gora, director of Safe Air For Everyone, which is one of
the groups that filed the federal lawsuits, told The Spokesman
Review that the fight against field burning would continue.  She
adds, "We're committed to keep working on this until not one
more person needs to be hospitalized."  In comments made outside
the courtroom she also said, "A lot of people continue to be
hurt by this practice."

Mrs. Gora also said that her 16-year-old son, who suffers from
asthma, has broken "every blood vessel in his eyes" from
breathing and coughing during burning season.  But Mrs. Gora
lives in Pullman, Washington, which is outside of the area to be
eligible for joining the class action.

Mr. Erbland, the attorney for the grass farmers, called the
federal challenges "desperate measures."  He pointed out that a
judge would not settle the practice of field burning.  

The region's real estate gold rush is prompting grass fields to
be turned into housing developments.  This might mean an end to
smoke, but it also means an end to green open spaces.  Mr.
Erbland pointed out that housing developments and businesses are
more likely to pollute the massive drinking water aquifer
underneath the Rathdrum Prairie.  He thus argues, "Rather than
be criticized, (grass farmers) should be protected and they
should be lauded.  There will be a day when people will regret
not having stood up for their neighbors."

ILLINOIS: Suit Challenges Cook County Jail's Strip-Search Policy
A lawsuit was initiated in a Chicago federal court on behalf of
two people who claim that Cook County Jail's strip-search
procedures violated their constitutional rights, The Associated
Press reports.

Filed recently, the suit challenges the jail's policy that women
in custody undergo vaginal swabbing and men are subject to
cavity searches.  It seeks class-action status for any detainees
who underwent searches under the jail's rules.

Cook County Jail spokesman Bill Cunningham told The Associated
Press that officials hadn't seen the lawsuit, but reiterates
that the jail's policies are "virtually identical" to searches
in prisons across the country.

ILLINOIS: Suit V. Chicago Archdiocese Seeks Names of Priests
Attorney Jeff Anderson filed a class action lawsuit in Illinois
asking the court to force the Chicago archdiocese to reveal the
names of all priests suspected of abuse over the past 50 years,
The Associated Press reports.

Asked for comment on the suit, Chicago archdiocese spokesman Jim
Dwyer told The Associated Press that the church's lawyers are
still looking into the case.  In addition, he notes that priests
who've been convicted of abuse are already on a public list for
sexual offenders.

However, Mr. Anderson, who is known for representing church
abuse victims, wants the archdiocese to release all its files on
priests who've been the target of complaints.  His lawsuit was
filed more than a week after a priest from a church on the
city's West side was charged with molesting two boys.  Mr.
Anderson represents the family of a third boy who has talked to
authorities about the priest, Father Dan McCormack.

KANSAS: Health Workers Sue to Protest Reporting of Teenage Sex
A hearing on the class action brought by health workers in
Kansas who are against a directive forcing them to report sexual
activity by people under age 16, opened on Jan. 30, according to
Times of India.

The lawsuit stems from a 2003 opinion by the Kansas Attorney
General, Phill Kline, a conservative Republican, who contends
that any pregnant, unmarried minor had by definition been the
victim of rape or abuse.  As such, reporting to state
authorities by health care professionals and educators had to be
mandatory whenever there was "compelling evidence of sexual

The plaintiffs argue that reporting of the sexual activity
violates right to privacy and endangers health, according to The
Guardian.  Some contend it would stop many teenagers from
seeking contraception or treatment for sexually transmitted
diseases.  Kansas is one of 12 states where sex by those under
16, 17 or 18 years of age is illegal, regardless of the age
difference between the participants.  

Steve Alexander, an assistant district attorney, is defending
the suit.  Bonnie Scott Jones, a lawyer for the Center for
Reproductive Rights in New York, represents the plaintiffs, the
The Ledger said.

MICROSOFT CORPORATION: Settlement Brings Windfall to MN Schools
Due to a court settlement with Microsoft Corp., Minnesota
schools will share $55 million that they can use to buy new
computers and software, The Associated Press reports.

Though schools have known since 2004 that they had some money
coming their way, the final amount was up in the air until
recently.  Gov. Tim Pawlenty told The Associated Press that the
technology vouchers have just started going out.  

The governor explained, "With the fast-paced changes in the
field of technology, it is often difficult for schools to keep
pace.  This money will allow them to update, and in many cases,
expand their technology, which in turn will help students learn
and achieve at higher levels."

The amount each school gets depends on the concentration of
poverty in their school districts.  Some will receive only a few
thousand dollars, while others, like Minneapolis and St. Paul,
are in line for more than $6 million each.  School districts
have until 2012 to use up the vouchers.

The money is left over from a settlement to a class-action
lawsuit in which Minnesota customers and businesses claimed the
Company was violating antitrust laws by overcharging for its
Windows operating system and its Excel and Word programs.  The
company had denied the charges saying that the prices on its
products had dropped.

In 2000, the Company faced a flurry of lawsuits back for using
its market power to force customers to pay higher prices for its
Windows operating system.  Those federal cases were later
consolidated in the United States District Court for Maryland.  
These cases allege that the Company competed unfairly and
unlawfully monopolized alleged markets for operating systems and
certain software applications, and they seek to recover alleged
overcharges for these products.  To date, courts have dismissed
all claims for damages in cases brought against the Company by
indirect purchasers under federal law and in 17 states.  Nine of
those state court decisions have been affirmed on appeal.  An
appeal of one of those state rulings is pending.  There was no
appeal in four states.  Claims under federal law brought on
behalf of foreign purchasers have been dismissed by the U.S.
District Court in Maryland as have all claims brought on behalf
of consumers seeking injunctive relief under federal law, (Class
Action Reporter, Nov. 2, 2005).

The ruling on injunctive relief and the ruling dismissing the
federal claims of indirect purchasers are currently on appeal to
the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, as is
a ruling denying certification of certain proposed classes of
U.S. direct purchasers.  Courts in eleven states have ruled that
indirect purchaser cases may proceed as class actions, while
courts in two states have denied class certification, (Class
Action Reporter, Nov. 2, 2005).

At the elementary school where Gov. Pawlenty detailed the
payout, Principal Patricia Steingruebl was ecstatic to learn her
school would be getting $55,000.  She told The Associated Press
that the school now spends about $2,000 a year on new
technology.  According to the principal, "We don't plan to spend
that all at once."  One priority, she said, will be new software
to help teach reading.

The vouchers will automatically go to districts and they will be
able to shop from a list of 1,500 hardware and software
products, Richard Hagstrom, an attorney with a Minneapolis law
firm involved in the case told The Associated Press.  He added
that offerings go beyond Microsoft products.

MULTIPLEX GROUP: Law Firm Considers Suit over Dismal Performance
Attorneys in Slater & Gordon continue to consider filing a class
action on behalf of Multiplex Group shareholders who are
frustrated by the firm's underperformance over the past years,
according to Geelong Advertiser.

Partner Lisa Nichols said Wembley's update didn't provide any
new estimates for the losses at its project to reconstruct
London's Wembley Stadium.  A senior manager has now given a 70%
chance of the venue being ready in time for the FA Cup final on
May 13, according to the report.

Multiplex's hope to achieve progressive handover of the stadium
to begin in January failed to materialize.  In a market update,
it said progressive handover will be achieved if it could have
satisfactory performance in February.  

In an earlier Class Action Reporter story, Ms. Nichols told The
Sydney Morning Herald how Wembley progressively reduced its
expected financial returns on the project from a large profit to
a AU$109 million loss (Class Action Reporter, Sept. 8, 2005).  
Slater & Gordon had already raised the possibility of a class
action against the firm last year.

Multiplex Group on the Net: http://www.multiplex.biz.
Slater & Gordon on the Net: http://www.slatergordon.com.au.

MURPHY OIL: LA Judge Gives Class Status to Meraux Oil Spill Case
A Louisiana federal judge certified as a class action a lawsuit
against Murphy Oil Corp., which was brought by Louisiana
residents who claim that their homes were damaged by oil after
tanks ruptured at a Company plant in Meraux during Hurricane
Katrina, The Arkansas Business Online reports.

The suit, which was filed by property owner Patrick Joseph
Turner on behalf of at least 500 property owners in St. Bernard
Parish, states, "As a direct and proximate cause of the
negligence of the defendant, plaintiffs sustained damages that
include contamination of property, mental anguish, emotional
distress, inconvenience, loss of use, loss of property value,
loss of income, loss of profits, loss of business opportunity
and fear of cancer," (Class Action Reporter, Sept. 20, 2005).

The spill sent some 85,000 barrels of crude oil from a storage
tank at the Company refinery into the surrounding community and
drenched houses in several feet of oily sludge.  The August 29
hurricane and the flooding that followed devastated St. Bernard
Parish, which lies to the east of New Orleans and had a pre-
storm population of almost 70,000 people, (Class Action
Reporter, Jan. 16, 2006).

U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon's decision centers on an area
in St. Bernard's Parish.  The Company has said that the spill
affected only about one square mile and 2,900 residences.  But
those bringing the lawsuit say the spill affected six square
miles and about 10,000 residences.

There is no final estimate of the damage done by the oil spill
in St. Bernard Parish, which adjoins New Orleans.  But the
Company has been confident that insurance would cover the cost
of the cleanup, whatever it might be.

In a recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission,
the Company even said, "The company believes that insurance
coverage exists for this release and the lawsuits, and the
ultimate costs for cleanup of the site and resolution of the
class-action lawsuits will not have a material adverse effect on
its net income, financial condition or liquidity in a future

The suit is styled, "Turner v. Murphy Oil USA, Inc., Case No.
2:05-cv-04206-EEF-JCW," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of Louisiana, under Judge Eldon E. Fallon with
referral to Judge Joseph C. Wilkinson.  Representing the
Plaintiff/s is Mickey P. Landry of Landry & Swarr, LLC, 1010
Common St., Suite 2050, New Orleans, LA 70112, Phone:
504-299-1214, E-mail: mlandry@landryswarr.com and Joseph M.
Bruno of Bruno & Bruno, 855 Baronne St., New Orleans, LA 70113,
Phone: (504) 525-1335, E-mail: jbruno@brunobrunolaw.com.  
Representing the Defendant/s is George A. Frilot, III of Frilot
Partridge Kohnke & Clements (Lafayette), 107 Global Circle,
Lafayette, LA 70503, Phone: 337-988-5422, E-mail:

PIONEER HI-BRED: Farmer Alleges Price Fixing on Soybean Sees
An Audubon County farmer has sued Pioneer Hi-Bred International
Inc., claiming that the Des Moines-based crop seed company has
violated state antitrust laws since 1997 by conspiring with
other major seed companies to fix prices for Roundup Ready
soybean seeds.  Gary Larsen of Exira filed a class-action
lawsuit against Pioneer on Jan. 27 in Dallas County District
Court in Adel, Iowa.

Roundup Ready soybean seeds are genetically engineered to
withstand application of a popular herbicide that otherwise
would kill soybean plants.  Roundup Ready seeds last year were
planted on 87 percent of U.S. soybean acreage.  Monsanto Co.
developed the Roundup Ready gene and licensed access to it,
resulting in dozens of companies marketing the seed under their
own labels.  Pioneer and other competitors, which agreed on
prices for Roundup Ready soybeans.  

Mr. Larsen alleged that the companies "fixed, raised,
maintained, or stabilized at artificial and supra-competitive
levels" the prices farmers have been paying for Roundup Ready
soybean seed since Sept. 1, 1997.  The farmer also claimed the
companies conspired to keep competitors of the Roundup Ready
technology off the market.   The lawsuit names Monsanto,
Syngenta Seeds Inc., and Aventis CropScience USA as co-
conspirators with Pioneer.

"We have not seen this lawsuit yet," said Desiree Fletcher-
Hayes, a spokeswoman for Pioneer, adding that the company sets
"its own prices independently and without consultation with our
competitors."  A Monsanto spokesman said company officials had
not seen the lawsuit, and declined to comment.  The other
companies could not be reached for comment.

Larsen is seeking injunctive relief, compensatory damages and
punitive damages, as well as money Pioneer made "as a result of
unjust enrichment."  He also wants a jury trial.

Pioneer Hi-Bred on the Net: http://www.pioneer.com.

PIXAR ANIMATION: Investors Oppose $7.4B Disposal to Walt Disney
Shareholders of Pixar Animation Studios Inc. filed a class
action against the company on Jan. 27, claiming that a buyout
offer last week from The Walt Disney Co. was too low and stood
to mostly benefit top brass.

The complaint argues that a judge should stop the deal, claiming
it will enrich Pixar executives and give them plum positions at
the newly combined animation powerhouse while leaving investors
out in the cold.

"Absent judicial intervention, the company's shareholders will
be stripped of their ownership interests through improper and
illegal means," according to the lawsuit filed in Alameda County
Superior Court.

Burbank-based Disney and Emeryville-based Pixar agreed to a $7.4
billion deal that would put the maker of "Toy Story" under
Disney's ownership.  Also, it would make Pixar's chief executive
Steve Jobs the largest individual shareholder in Disney and give
him a seat on the entertainment giant's board.

Wall Street hailed the deal as a win-win for both companies,
which have enjoyed a lucrative partnership in movie
distribution.  But some analysts argue the deal favored Disney
and may have ripped off Pixar shareholders.  Even before the
lawsuit, David Miller, an analyst at Sanders Morris Harris,
noted that Pixar shareholders should have received better

"We believe the deal is a better one for Disney than it is for
Pixar and sympathize with Pixar shareholders who are left
wondering why Mr. Jobs sold out at $58.69 when he could have
received a heftier premium," Mr. Miller wrote to investors.

If a majority of shareholders for both companies approve, the
deal could be finalized as early as this summer.  But these
shareholders are trying to derail the effort, which would pay
them a 2.5 percent premium over the closing price of $57.26 on
Jan. 18, when newspapers first reported a potential deal.

Led by the only named plaintiff, shareholder Jonathan Levene,
the suit complains that the selling price did not accurately
reflect the value of Pixar, which has earned $3.2 billion at the
box office on its first six films.  Pixar didn't return a call
Monday for comment.  The complaint will undergo certification of
the class members before the matter would go to trial.

Pixar Animation Studios on the Net: http://www.pixar.com.

RAJAH FOODS: Issues Allergy Alert on Sulfite-Containing Dates
Rajah Foods is recalling "Swad brand Dry Dates" containing
undeclared sulfites, according to Acting Agriculture
Commissioner Patrick H. Brennan.  People with severe sensitivity
to sulfites are warned they might run the risk of serious or
life-threatening reactions if they consume this product.

The recalled "Swad brand Dry Dates," a product of India, are
packaged in a 7-ounce, uncoded plastic bag.  It was sold
throughout New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts,
Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia.  

Routine sampling by New York State Department of Agriculture and
Markets Food Inspectors and subsequent analysis of the product
by Food Laboratory personnel revealed the product contained high
levels of sulfites, which were not declared on the label.  The
consumption of 10 milligrams of sulfites per serving has been
reported to elicit severe reactions in some asthmatics.  
Anaphylactic shock could occur in certain sulfite sensitive
individuals upon ingesting 10 milligrams or more of sulfites.  

No illnesses have been reported to date to this Department in
connection with this problem.  Consumers who have purchased
"Swad brand Dry Dates" should return them to the place of

ROYAL GROUP: Faces Putative Shareholder Complaint in S.D. NY
Royal Group Technologies Limited (Royal Group or the company)
(RYG.SV - TSX, RYG - NYSE) faces a putative class action
shareholder lawsuit filed against Royal Group and certain of its
former directors and officers in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of New York.

The case was filed on behalf of a class consisting of all United
States citizens and entities that purchased or otherwise
acquired Royal Group's common stock and all foreign persons or
entities that purchased or otherwise acquired Royal Group's
common stock on the New York Stock Exchange. The putative class
period in the complaint is February 24, 2000 through October 18,

Royal Group understands that the complaint alleges, among other
things, that the defendants failed to disclose certain related-
party transactions in violation of U.S. securities laws.  The
factual allegations in the suit are substantively similar to the
allegations in a prior lawsuit in the same Court that the Court
dismissed without prejudice on November 21, 2005 on the grounds
that Canadian courts would provide a more convenient and
appropriate forum.  

The reference suit is styled, "In Re: Royal Group Technologies,
Ltd. Securities Litigation, Case No. 04-CV-09809," filed in the
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.  
Firms involved in this litigation are, 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; and
Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins, LLP, 200
Broadhollow, Suite 406, Melville, NY, 11747, Phone:
631.367.7100, Fax: 631.367.1173, E-mail: info@lerachlaw.com.

For more details, contact Mark Badger, Vice President of
Marketing and Corporate Communications, Royal Group
Technologies Limited, Phone: (905) 264-0701.

SCHOLASTIC, INC.: Facing Suit for Alleged Deceptive Marketing
Consumers filed a proposed nationwide class action against
Scholastic, Inc., claiming the publisher of children's books
dupes consumers into a scheme to purchase unsolicited books and
educational items.

According to the complaint, Scholastic uses its marketing
presence within elementary schools to convince parents to
purchase educational products, and then bombards parents with
unsolicited goods, demanding payment in violation of state and
federal law.  Scholastic settled a charge brought by the FTC for
similar actions in 2005.

Under Washington state law, and that of 14 other states,
unsolicited goods are deemed gifts, bearing no obligation for
the receivers to pay for or return them.

Nick Styant-Browne, lead attorney for the proposed class,
believes there may be as many as 50,000 potential class members
who have fallen victim to what he calls "one of the most cynical
marketing ploys I've witnessed."

"Scholastic plays on parents' desire to help their children
academically," said Mr. Styant-Browne. "Hiding behind this
guise, we intend to show that Scholastic hits parents with an
unsolicited barrage of books and products while holding out
their hand demanding payment."

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Web site,
Scholastic is required to fully disclose the terms of its book
clubs to consumers following suits filed by the FTC and the
Missouri attorney general over its negative option billing

While negative option billing is not illegal, plaintiffs in this
case claim that when they tried to cancel their membership they
were harassed, deceived, intimidated, and threatened.  Negative
option billing requires the recipient to cancel an ongoing order
or they will continue to be sent and charged for new items.

A news release issued by the Better Business Bureau states that
the consumer-rights organization has received more than 250
complaints about Scholastic's tactics in one regional office
alone.  According to the complaint, named plaintiff Carly
Alcombrack Hart responded to an advertisement in a magazine
offering free "Barbie and Friends" books from Scholastic.  
According to Ms. Hart, after receiving the free books,
Scholastic then sent unsolicited encyclopedias, which her
husband and co-plaintiff, Johnnie Hart, returned in a pre-paid
company envelope.

After sending back the encyclopedias, the Harts received a bill
for the returned items even though they no longer had them in
their possession.  Soon after the encyclopedia bill a multitude
of other items began to arrive from Scholastic -- each one
unsolicited and each one with a bill.

"We began receiving intimidating letters and calls from
Scholastic for items we never ordered," said Ms. Hart.  "It has
gotten to the point in which we are afraid to answer the phone
since they call to browbeat us almost daily."

According to Ms. Hart, the company has sent her account to a
collection agency and has threatened to provide a negative
report to the National Credit Reporting Agency, which may stay
on her file for seven years.  She said Scholastic continues to
harass her family to this day with constant telephone calls and
statements demanding immediate payment.

"We plan to show that Scholastic's policy of trapping consumers
between paying for unwanted items or having their credit
negatively affected is patently illegal," said Mr. Styant-
Browne. "We intend to stop the company from engaging in this
practice and compensate those already harmed by its illegal

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Seattle by Nick
Styant-Browne of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro and Sim Osborn,
managing partner of Osborn Machler, seeks to represent and to
recover money lost for all those who received and were charged
for unsolicited goods from Scholastic in the United States.

The case was styled "Hart et al v. Scholastic, Inc. (2:06-cv-
00151-RSM)," filed in the U.S. District Court for the Washington
Western District under Judge Ricardo S. Martinez.  Representing
the plaintiffs are: Steve W. Berman of Hagens Berman Sobol
Shapiro, LLP (http://www.hbsslaw.com),1301 5th Ave., STE 2900
Seattle, WA 98101, Phone: 206-623-7292; E-mail:
steve@hbsslaw.com; Simeon J. Osborn, Osborn Machler, 2125 Fifth
Avenue Seattle, WA 98121, U.S., Phone: 206-386-5505; Fax: 206-
386-5505; E-mail: simosborn@osbornmachler.com; and Nicholas John
Styant-Browne of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, LLP, 1301 5th Ave.
STE 2900, Seattle, WA 98101, Phone: 206-623-7292; E-mail:

TENNESSEE: Motorist Issued Speeding Ticket Files Complaint
A Whiteville man is seeking class-action status on behalf of
drivers he believes were asked to pay excessive fines for
speeding by the city of Oakland.  He is also asking that his
citation be dismissed for the failure of the City court to give
him a hearing and right of appeal.  

Eddie G. McKinney Jr. filed a complaint against the City in
Fayette County Circuit Court in Somerville on Jan. 26 in
relation to a citation issued to him on Oct. 30, 2005.  He
argued that the $273.75 fine he was served for speeding 60 mph
in a 45-mph zone is "excessive."  He alleges violation of his
civil rights, and suggested extortion on the part of the
authorities for refusing to give him a city court hearing,
threatening to arrest him and revoke his driving privileges and
attempting to collect excessive fines and/or court costs

Mr. McKinney is also asking that his attorneys, Charles M. Cary
of Bolivar and Andrew Steven Johnston of Memphis, be designated
as the attorneys for the class.

TRAVELERS INDEMNITY: CO Court Denies Class Status in Morris Case
U.S. District Court Judge Edward Nottingham denied a class
certification for the suit entitled, "Morris v. Travelers
Indemnity Co. of America," The Insurance Journal reports.

The law firm Morrison & Foerster, LLP, represented the Company
in the federal case, which is one of a series of class action
lawsuits brought by plaintiffs based on Colorado's now repealed
no fault automobile insurance law.  Generally, the suits allege
that the insurance companies' policies did not comply with the
requirements of the no fault statutes.

In most cases, the courts considering these suits declined to
allow them to proceed as a class action, and have required
instead that the plaintiff proceed individually.  In the latest
decision in which plaintiff Cezer Morris sought reformation of a
Company policy and damages on behalf of himself and all others
similarly situated in Colorado, continues that trend, according
to the law firm.

Eric Elliff, managing partner of Morrison & Foerster's Denver
office, explained to The Insurance Journal, "Colorado's no fault
laws were a complicated mix of statutes modified in many
instances by case law.  No fault opened a Pandora's Box full of
plaintiff's lawsuits against the insurance industry, and this
latest round of class actions hopefully represents the last of

The suit is styled, "Morris v. Travelers Indemnity Company of
America, Case No. 1:05-cv-00727-EWN-BNB," filed in the U.S.
District Court for the District of Colorado under Judge Edward
W. Nottingham with referral to Judge Boyd Boland.  Representing
the Plaintiff/s are, Leif Garrison and Leo Daniel Rector of
Carey Law Firm, 2301 East Pikes Peak Ave., Colorado Springs, CO
80917, U.S.A, Phone: 719-635-0377, Fax: 635-2920, E-mail:
lgarrison@careylaw.com and drector@careylaw.com.  Representing
the Defendant/s are, Lila Marie Bateman and J. Eric Elliff of
Morrison & Foerster, LLP-Colorado, 370 Seventeenth St., #5200
Republic Plaza, Denver, CO 80202-2236, U.S.A, Phone:
303-592-1500, Fax: 303-592-1510, E-mail: lbateman@mofo.com and

UNITED STATES: Research Reveals Common Disregard of EPL Risk
A research commissioned by specialist insurer Beazley among
leading brokers of employment practices liability (EPL)
insurance identified a misplaced optimism among many small and
mid-sized U.S. businesses about the scale of the risk presented
by EPL claims.

Brokers reported that many of their clients continue to adopt an
attitude of "it will never happen to me," despite clear evidence
that the severity of EPL claims is on the rise.  According to
the latest figures from Jury Verdict Research, published in
November 2005, median compensatory jury awards for EPL suits
have been rising by an average of almost 5% per annum, from
$164,200 in 1998 to $218,133 by 2004.  One driver of the trend
has been the increasingly aggressive approach adopted by the
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which
reported that it obtained an unprecedented $168.1 million in
monetary relief through litigation in 2004.

Part of the reason for the lack of concern on the part of small
and mid-sized businesses, according to brokers, is the media
bias toward reporting only multi-million dollar awards against
Fortune 500 corporations.  This reinforces a widespread
impression that EPL claims are primarily a big company problem.

"Nothing could be further from the truth," said Carrie
Brodzinski, EPL product manager for Beazley in the United
States.  "The largest number of EPL settlements fall into the
$100,000 to $250,000 dollar range.  These are not multinational
corporations defending massive class action lawsuits.  They are
mainstream businesses, often employing only a few hundred

Service and retail firms have been the target of EPL litigation
more often than any other category of firm since 1998, according
to Jury Verdict Research.  But although these actions
outnumbered those against manufacturing and industrial companies
by more than three to one, the level of median awards against
manufacturing and industrial companies was far higher, at
$250,000 compared with $137,853 for service and retail

Another strong message coming out of Beazley's research among
brokers is that many clients wish to use their own lawyers to
defend them against EPL claims.  Insurers have historically been
reluctant to do this, insisting that their policyholders select
defense counsel from a panel assembled by the insurer.

UNITED STATES: Global Bankers Wary of Retail Credit Card Suit
A group of international bankers warned that a looming class-
action suit from U.S. retailers, which is accusing credit card
associations, Visa and MasterCard and several big banks of
price-fixing could cost the credit card industry more than $100
billion in damages and hit banks beyond American shores, Reuters

Back in June 2005 the first of some 47 lawsuits were filed by
U.S. retailers and trade groups, accusing credit card
associations and issuing banks of colluding to set artificially
high interchange fees, the fees the merchants pay to credit card
banks.  It was the latest in a series of legal attacks on Visa
and MasterCard by merchants who object to rising fees.

These suits are expected to be consolidated and certified as a
class action under Judge John Gleason of the U.S. District Court
for the Eastern District of New York.  Though a trial might not
begin for years, these international bankers fear a class-action
suit could impose tens of billions of dollars in damages and
hobble an important cash cow for the banking industry.

Michael Lafferty, chairman of International Card and Payments
Council, a London-based group of international cards executives
told Reuters, "A merchant victory would reverberate
disastrously."  He also said, it "could bankrupt the global
cards industry infrastructure and lead to a bank-card system
that would be more expensive and bureaucratic to manage."

In recent years, retailers complained that the market dominance
of the credit card associations let them ratchet up fees without
fear of losing customers.  Moreover, banks work closely together
to set these fees, according to the lawsuits.

Craig Wildfang, a Minneapolis lawyer who seeks a lead position
in the class action told Reuters, "Merchants don't dispute cards
are valuable devices of great usefulness.  But so are
telephones, copiers and air travel -- all sorts of things where
the sellers can't get together and fix the price."

Concerned that banks and retailers are on a collision course,
Council members intend to lobby the Federal Reserve and other
regulators to intervene in the suit.  Regulators in Australia
and Europe already took steps to strike a balance between banks
and retailers.

The Fed "should tell the court to dismiss the lawsuits or offer
a resolution that will prove the least disruptive to the banking
system and the U.S. economy," Duncan MacDonald, a consultant and
former general counsel for the cards business of Citigroup's
Citibank told Reuters.

In a letter last February 2005, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan
Greenspan told lawmakers that interchange fees were outside the
Fed's purview, but he pointed out that the Fed would monitor the

In a worst-case scenario, the Council argued that banks facing
huge liabilities could be forced to rein in lending while
hundreds of millions of dollars in card fees would be

Purchase, New York-based MasterCard, which is preparing for an
initial public offering this year, in a recent filing said it is
too early to estimate liability and no reserves have been set
aside.  A Company spokeswoman told Reuters, "MasterCard believes
these lawsuits are without merit, and are a clear demonstration
of merchants wanting the benefits of accepting payment cards
without having to pay for the value of the services they

Likewise, Visa said it is premature to speculate on damages and
remains confident it will prevail.  The interchange suit may
also have unintended costs for consumers, a Company spokeswoman
told Reuters, such as checkout fees for using plastic.  The Visa
spokeswoman, who observed that more than 6 million merchants now
accept its cards, also said, "The plaintiffs have the burden of
proving their case and they'll have a tough time.  They have to
convince the court that price controls are the answer."  

However, in recent years, Visa and MasterCard have had a rough
stretch in the courts.  The card associations in 2004 lost a
landmark U.S. Justice Department antitrust suit that voided
rules banning members from issuing cards from rivals like
American Express Co.  

In 2003 both Companies agreed to pay $3 billion over 10 years to
settle a suit filed by Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which challenged a
rule requiring merchants to accept both credit and debit cards.  
That case, notably, was also argued before Judge Gleason, which
only adds to the bankers' anxiety.

"We think there is quite considerable danger there," Chris
Davis, a former senior banking executive at London-based
Barclays Plc. and Austria's Raiffeisen International told

UPM-KYMMENE OYJ: Finnish Firm Faces Multiple Labelstock Lawsuits
UPM-Kymmene Oyj made no provisions for multiple class action
investigations being launched against it, the Finnish paper
manufacturer said in a statement detailing its 2005 financial
revenue.  UPM has been named defendant in lawsuits against
labelstock and magazine paper manufacturers in the U.S.  The
case may last several years, the company said.

In 2003, Goodkind Labaton Rudoff & Sucharow LLP initiated a
securities class action on behalf of all open market purchasers
of the common stock of Avery Dennison Corporation.  The
complaint alleged that defendants engaged in an illegal anti-
competitive scheme with Avery's main competitor, UPM-Kymmene, to
manipulate the labelstock supply market and that Avery's
financial results were a result of defendants' anti-competitive
behavior (Class Action Reporter, May 23, 2003).  

The complaint alleged that defendants knew such behavior could
subject the Company to regulatory scrutiny if such anti-
competitive behavior was discovered.  It also claimed that
Avery's financial results would be materially impacted if Avery
was forced to cease its improper behavior.

UPM-Kymmene OYJ: http://w3.upm-kymmene.com/www.upm-kymmene.com

WAL-MART STORES: Ex-Workers File Suit Over "Time Shaving" in HI
Three Hawaiians initiated a class-action lawsuit against their
former employer Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. for allegedly deleting
thousands of hours of time worked from employees' payroll
records, in a practice known as "time shaving," The Dissident
Voice reports.

The complaint takes the world's largest retail store to task
"for its knowing and systematic failure to pay its hourly
employees for all time worked."  Tammy L. Poha, who worked from
1996 to 2000 at the Hilo store, and Moke K. Palakiko, who worked
there from 1997 to 2000, filed the original lawsuit back Nov. 1,
2005 in a Honolulu federal court.  It was amended on Dec. 28 to
include Davelyn M. Paaoao-Sako, who worked at both the Kona and
Hilo stores for nearly a decade, until 2004.

Arthur Park, one of the plaintiff's attorneys, explained to The
Dissident Voice in a telephone interview, "A class-action suit
means that it represents all people who were similarly
situated."  He pointed out, "These three plaintiffs represent
all Wal-Mart workers in the state from the mid-1990s to 2004."

The plaintiffs and Mr. Park met with a Dissident Voice reporter
in downtown Hilo on Jan. 13, 2006 to tell their story.  He noted
in that meeting, "Some current workers also wanted to join the
suit.  But we were concerned for them."

"Wal-Mart took advantage of us by stealing from us," according
to Moke K. Palakiko, who added, "I felt hurt that they train us
not to steal from them, and then they turn around and steal from
us.  I used to check my time, but when the checks came out I was
shorted.  I spoke up and they said they would fix it, but they
never did.  When you start questioning things, they go after

Ms. Poha told The Dissident Voice, "Wal-Mart was greedy.  We are
only asking for what they took from us.  We worked the hours and
should be paid for it."  She added, "We are going after what is
rightfully ours.  We are doing this for others -- those working
now and those who came before."

Mr. Park added, "These three plaintiffs do not stand to gain
much personally.  It is the larger class of workers that will
benefit from their speaking up." Ms. Paaoao-Sako told The
Dissident Voice, "I'm sure this time shaving is happening at all
stores.  It happened in Kona when I was there, and then in

"When I left the company others workers said, `I hope you will
say something that can be heard, to get something done,'"
commented Mrs. Paaoao-Sako, while holding one of her five young
grandchildren throughout the interview with the Dissident Voice
reporter.  According to her, "People work over-time and are not
paid for it.  If you question it, management asks if you want to
keep your job.  Lots of associates (as Wal-Mart calls its
employees) cannot speak up.  They walk on eggshells.  The Wal-
Mart attitude is that you need us, but we do not need you."

Mrs. Paaoao-Sako added, "Our pride has been degraded.  I have
seen other Wal-Mart workers sit down and cry in response to how
they were treated.  They rob your pride and make you feel bad."
She later added in that interview, "We are hard workers and we
appreciate what we get.  We are the little guys who make the
company happen.  But we get overlooked."

The plaintiffs described beginning their jobs at Wal-Mart with
pride, even thinking that they might eventually retire there. In
fact, Mrs. Paaoao-Sako, had worked for Wal-Mart for nearly a
decade. She told The Dissident Voice that she was let go a month
before she was to complete her ten years and thus qualify for
profit sharing and other retirement benefits.

Mr. Park noted, "Our suit will probably take many years to
resolve," adding that, "We are in the process of serving Wal-
Mart.  Then there will be a discovery request in which we will
try to obtain Wal-Mart's payroll records. They will fight us and
we will eventually get the documents. If they did not pay what
they owed their employees, we will go to trial with a jury."

Previously, some former Wal-Mart managers admitted to the New
York Times that they engaged in time shaving.  "Five former Wal-
Mart managers acknowledge erasing time to cut costs," according
to the newspaper report.  The report stated, "Victor Mitchell
said that as an assistant manager in Hazlehurst, Miss., in 1997,
he frequently shaved time. `We were told we can't have any
overtime,' he said."  The newspaper article continues, "More
than a dozen former Wal-Mart employees said in interviews and
depositions that managers had altered time records to
shortchange employees."

Wal-Mart though vehemently denies that it engages in time
shaving.  Wal-Mart Vice President Mona Williams is quoted as
saying in the Times article, "Our policy is to pay hourly
associates for every minute they work."

Mr. Park though asserted in the interview with The Dissident
Voice, "Most employees do not realize that the time shaving is
happening."  He expounds, "It happens so subtly.  The vast
majority of workers did not realize this was happening until
they heard about it through the Times article."  Ms. Poha noted,
"You never question that this might be happening. You just go on
your merry way.  Over the years it becomes more noticeable."

The suit is styled, "Poha, et al v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc, et al,
Case No. 1:05-cv-00697-SOM-BMK," filed in the U.S. District
Court for the District of Hawaii, under Judge SUSAN OKI MOLLWAY
with referral to Judge BARRY M. KURREN.  Representing the
Plaintiff/s are, Arthur Y. Park, John C. McLaren, Don V. Huynh
and Laurent J. Remillard, Jr. of Park Park Yu & Remillard, Ocean
View Center, 707 Richards St., Ste. 500, Honolulu, Hi 96813-
4613, Phone: 536-3905, E-mail: john@ppyrlaw.com and
dhuynh@ppyrlaw.com.  Representing the Defendant/s are, Barbara
A. Petrus of Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel, LLLP, 1099 Alakea
St., Ste. 1800, Honolulu, HI 96813-2639, Phone: 547-5600, E-
mail: bpetrus@goodsill.com.

                New Securities Fraud Cases

AMKOR TECHNOLOGY: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges Stock Suit in PA
Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP filed a class action in the United
States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
on behalf of all securities purchasers of Amkor Technology, Inc.
(AMKR) from October 27, 2003 through July 1, 2004 inclusive.

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.  It offers traditional
packaging, which includes traditional lead frame products; and
advanced packaging, which includes advanced lead frames and
laminate products.

The complaint alleges that defendants issued a series of false
and misleading statements to the market artificially inflating
the Company's stock.  As a consequence of the Company's material
inflation of its stock price, the Defendants were able to raise
$152 million in a secondary offering and to complete a $250
million note offering.  More specifically, the Defendants failed
to disclose the following materially adverse facts to the

     (1) that the Company was shipping inventory to customer far
         in excess of customer demand;

     (2) as a result of this deliberate channel stuffing, the
         Company undermined the future demand for its products;

     (3) that the Company's profit margins were significantly
         and negatively impacted by the rapidly rising material
         costs; and

     (4) that as a consequence of the foregoing, the Company's
         positive statements about its condition and future
         prospects were lacking in a reasonable basis.

On April 27, 2004, Amkor announced that the Company was
experiencing weakness for its cell phone products.  On this
news, shares of Amkor fell $4.26 per share, or $31.74 percent,
to close, on April 27, 2004, at $9.16 per share.  Following this
disclosure, on July 1, 2004, Amkor announced that it failed to
meet its expected guidance for net income in the second quarter
of 2004.  On this news, shares of Amkor fell $2.39 per share, or
29.22 percent, to close, on July 1, 2004, at $5.79 per share.

Then, on August 22, 2005, Amkor announced that the SEC issued a
formal order of investigation concerning certain trading in
Amkor securities.

For more details, contact Darren J. Check, Esq. or Richard A.
Maniskas, Esq., Phone: 1-888-299-7706 or 1-610-667-7706: E-mail:
info@sbclasslaw.com, Web site: http://www.sbclasslaw.com.

IMPAC MORTGAGE: Lerach Coughlin Lodges CA Securities Fraud Suit
Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP initiated a
class action in the United States District Court for the Central
District of California on behalf of purchasers of Impac Mortgage
Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:IMH) publicly traded securities during the
period between May 13, 2005 and August 9, 2005.

The complaint charges Impac Mortgage and certain of its officers
and directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934.  Impac Mortgage operates as a mortgage real estate
investment trust, which engages in the acquisition, origination,
sale, and securitization of nonconforming Alt-A mortgages.

The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants
made false and misleading statements regarding the Company's
business and prospects, including its projected taxable income
and projected dividend payouts, which were of critical
importance to the market, causing the Company's stock to trade
at artificially inflated prices of as high as $22.07 per share.

On August 9, 2005, Impac Mortgage announced that it had posted a
net loss of $55 million, or $(0.78) per share, versus a profit
of $143.2 million or $2.17 per share.  The Company also
announced that it was forecasting a cut in its dividend from
$0.75 per share to $0.50-$0.60 per share in Q3 2005.  In
reaction to this news, shares of Impac Mortgage fell $2.39 per
share, or 14.6%, on August 10, 2005, to close at $13.98 per
share.  Prior to these revelations, the Company's top officers
and directors sold shares of their personal Impac Mortgage stock
for $5 million in proceeds.

The true facts, which were known by each of the defendants but
concealed from the investing public during the Class Period,

     (1) that the Company had no ability to achieve the
         Company's projections for Q3-Q4 2005;

     (2) that even as the Company was projecting Q3 2005 taxable
         EPS in excess of $.50, defendants knew that key metrics    
         like the rate of "prepayments" had already limited the
         Company's projected profitability and had impacted the
         Company's ability to cover its Q3 2005 dividend of   

     (3) that the Company failed to properly account for the
         fair value of its derivative instruments;

      (4) that the Company's margins were negatively impacted by
          the rise in short-term interest rates and, as a
          result, Impac Mortgage would not be able to sustain  
          its dividend payouts;

     (5) that the Company lacked adequate internal controls; and

     (6) that as a result of the above, the Company's Q3 and Q4
         2005 projections were grossly overstated, and equally
         false were the Company's statements concerning the
         Company's concealment of mark-to-market accounting
         Losses. which ultimately required a charge of nearly
         $100 million.

For more details, contact William Lerach or Darren Robbins,
Phone: 800-449-4900 or 619/231-1058, E-mail: wsl@lerachlaw.com,
Web site: http://www.lerachlaw.com.

REFCO CAPITAL: Kirby McInerney Files Securities Fraud Suit in NY
The law firm of Kirby, McInerney & Squire, LLP, initiated a
securities class action lawsuit in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of all
brokerage customers of Refco Capital Markets, Ltd. ("RCM") who,
at any time from October 17, 2000 to October 17, 2005, entrusted
securities to RCM and/or Refco Securities, LLC, directly or
indirectly, as custodian and broker for safe-keeping, and
continued to hold positions with RCM on October 17, 2005 (the
"Class Period") or thereafter.

The action charges Refco, fourteen of Refco's senior officers
and directors, Refco's controlling shareholders, Refco's
auditor, and nineteen financial institutions that underwrote
Refco's common stock and bond offerings with violations of
Sections10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934,
and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder.

The gravamen of the claim is that during the Class Period Refco
engaged in a practice of surreptitiously selling securities
being held by RCM in custody for plaintiff and the class with
the undisclosed intent to misappropriate the proceeds.  Pursuant
to federal securities laws and regulations, Refco Securities,
LLC was required to maintain all of the customer securities held
in RCM customer accounts and had a fiduciary relationship with
each customer.  Plaintiff's suit alleges that defendants
essentially engaged in a ponzi scheme pursuant to which
approximately $2.25 billion worth of the proceeds of the sales
of plaintiff's securities (or the securities themselves) were
transferred to other Refco affiliates -- through improper and
undisclosed inter-company "lending" transactions -- in order to
offset losses which were being incurred by Refco's separate
subsidiaries.  These "loans" were fraudulently omitted from
Refco Group's consolidated financial statements and other
disclosures during the Class Period.

For more details, contact Mark Strauss of Kirby, McInerney &
Squire, LLP, Phone: (888) 529-4787, E-mail: mstrauss@kmslaw.com.

ROYAL GROUP: Lerach Coughlin Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in NY
Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP ("Lerach
Coughlin") and Labaton Sucharow & Rudoff, LLP ("Labaton
Sucharow") commenced a class action lawsuit in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf
of a class (the "Class") consisting of all United States
citizens and entities that purchased or otherwise acquired the
common stock of Royal Group Technologies Limited ("Royal Group"
or "the Company") (RYG: NYSE; TSE) on the New York Stock
Exchange ("NYSE") or the Toronto Stock Exchange ("TSE"); and all
foreign persons and entities that purchased or otherwise
acquired the common stock of Royal Group on the NYSE during the
period between February 24, 2000 and October 18, 2004, inclusive
(the "Class Period").

The complaint charges Royal Group and certain of its officers
and directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934.  Royal Group is a vertically integrated manufacturer of
polymer-based home improvement, consumer and construction
products.  Royal Group's operations are located primarily in
Canada and the United States, with international locations in
Mexico, South America, Europe and Asia.

The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants
caused Royal Group's shares to trade at artificially inflated
levels through the issuance of false and misleading financial
statements.  The statements were materially false and misleading
because defendants knew, but failed to disclose, that Company
officers and directors systematically treated the Company like
their personal piggy bank - routinely causing the Company to
engage in financial transactions either with themselves or with
companies under their control.  As detailed in the Complaint,
the course of self-dealing conduct that transpired at Royal
Group was pervasive and substantial.  Royal Group's executives
ran the Company as their personal fiefdom and were not held
accountable by Royal Group's Board of Directors for the wrongful

On October 15, 2004, the Company announced that Company officers
and directors were the subject of a Royal Canadian Mountain
Police ("RCMP") criminal investigation in connection with their
engaging in self-dealing transactions with Royal Group.  Then,
on October 18, 2004 (after the close of trading), the Company
announced that the Company itself was being criminally
investigated by the RCMP in connection with the self-dealing

As a result of the revelations of the substantial self-dealing
transactions by Defendants, the price of Royal Group's stock
dropped precipitously, falling from $8.97 per share on October
13, 2004 to $7.15 per share on October 19, 2004, a decline of
$1.82 per share, or more than 20%.

For more details, contact William Lerach or Darren Robbins,
Phone: 800-449-4900 or 619/231-1058, E-mail: wsl@lerachlaw.com,
Web site: http://www.lerachlaw.com/cases/royalgroup/.

SONUS NETWORKS: Charles J. Piven Lodges MA Securities Fraud Suit
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, P.A. initiated a securities
class action on behalf of shareholders who purchased, converted,
exchanged or otherwise acquired the common stock of Sonus
Networks, Inc. (SONS) between December 11, 2000 and January 16,
2002, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The case is pending in the United States District Court for the
District of Massachusetts against defendant Sonus Networks and
one or more of its officers and/or directors.  The action
charges that defendants violated federal securities laws by
issuing a series of materially false and misleading statements
to the market throughout the Class Period, which statements had
the effect of artificially inflating the market price of the
Company's securities.  No class has yet been certified in the
above action.

For more details, contact The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven,
P.A., The World Trade Center-Baltimore, 401 East Pratt St.,
Suite 2525, Baltimore, MD 21202, Phone: 410/986-0036, E-mail:


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

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