/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/060217.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

            Friday, February 17, 2006, Vol. 8, No. 35


ACTIVISION INC: Plaintiffs Drop Calif. Securities Fraud Lawsuit
ACTIVISION INC: Reaches Settlement in Calif. Derivative Lawsuit
ARISTOCRAT LEISURE: Shareholders Involved in Suit May Increase
CANADIAN PACIFIC: Minn. Jury Deliberations End With No Verdict
CTS: Sued over Failure to Issue Alert on Health Risk of Pet Food

DIOCESE OF COVINGTON: Masters of Abuse Settlement Fund Appointed
EAGLE BUILDING: Securities Suit Settlement Hearing Set April 3
GREAT WOLF: Co-Founder Quit Company Board Amidst Stock Lawsuit
H&R BLOCK: Facing Suit over `Instant' Tax Refunds in California
INDIANA: Local Politicians Seek Ways to Block Junk Food Lawsuits

INFOSYS TECHNOLOGIES: May Face Possible Overtime Suit in Calif.
JDS UNIPHASE: Court to Hear Dismissal Motion V. ERISA Fraud Suit
JDS UNIPHASE: Next Case Management Conference Set May 7, 2007
JDS UNIPHASE: Zelman Litigation in N.D. California Continues
JDS UNIPHASE: OCLI, SDL Continue to Face Calif. Shareholder Suit

MASSACHUSETTS: Lawyers to Start First Soft Drink Obesity Lawsuit
MASSACHUSETTS: Agency Denies Claims of Mistreating Transferees
MATAV-CABLE: Court Denies Certification of Anti-Trust Lawsuit
MICROSOFT CORPORATION: Cannon Falls Schools Get $52T Settlement
MISSISSIPPI: Documents Reveal DHS Failing Kids in Foster Care

NAVAJO TRUST: Meeting to Shed Light on "Pelt v. Utah" Lawsuit
NEW MEXICO: Lawyer Questions Dona Ana Jail's Strip-Search Policy
NORTEL NETWORKS: Chubb Asks Court to Verify Insurance Coverage
OHIO: Judge Allows Steubenville Speed Camera Lawsuit to Proceed
ROSNEFT OIL: Denies Exec's Involvement in Yukos ADR Holders Suit

RYLAND HOMES: Homeowners Push For Fla. Suit to Get Class Status
SONY BMG: Reaches Settlement on MediaMax, XCP CDs Litigation
TATA CONSULTANCY: Denies Receipt of Legal Notice for Calif. Suit
TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Funds File Lawsuit in N.H. Over 3-Way Split
UCI MEDICAL: Court Combines 10 Liver Transplant Program Suits

UNITED KINGDOM: Cost of Fighting Harassment Claims to Increase
UNITED STATES: Balestriere Files Suit v. NASD over Series 7 Exam
UNITED STATES: Barrett, Johnston Sues NASD over Series 7 Exam
UNITED STATES: Retiring Baby Boomers May See Scam Proliferation
VERITAS SOFTWARE: Del. Court Mulls Securities Lawsuit Dismissal

WARNER MUSIC: Named in Calif. Music Download Price Fixing Suit
WD ENERGY: 2005 Result Hit by $30M Calif., N.Y. Suit Settlements
WISCONSIN: Judge Allows Suit V. Family Care Program to Proceed
WMS INDUSTRIES: Discovery Continues in Quebec Gambling Lawsuit
ZIRKLE FRUIT: Plaintiffs' Lawyers Seek Half of $1.3M RICO Pact

                         Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: United Technologies Challenges 2,270 Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Zurn Hurdles 1.9T New Injury Claims in 1Q06
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Exide's French Subsidiary Faces 56 Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Sets ABB Unit Plan Hearing on Feb. 28
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: USA Remediation Slapped With US$500T Fine

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: MS Court Orders Case v. Railroad to Proceed
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: CA Judge Denies Delaying San Diego Gas Suit
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: DE Lawmaker Withdraws Asbestos Legislation
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Aussie Govt. Enacts Laws for Speedy Payouts
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hanson U.S. Unit Reaches US$35M Settlement

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Aearo Co. Challenges 4,104 Claims in 4Q05
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Favors 3M in Product Liability Suit
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Assigns New Counsel in Salvagno Suit
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Sets USG Plan and Disclosure Hearing
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: US Senate Rejects US$140B Fund Legislation

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Industrial Stocks Drop After Fund Failure
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NSW Town Hit With 22 Possible New Lawsuits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Sen. Specter Expects New Compensation Vote
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Fund Opponents Seek New Ways to Stop Suits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Salvagno Witness Served With 10-Month Term

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Coroner Links UK Woman's Death to Exposure
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Worker's Death "Exposure" Says Coroner
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Groups Urge Israel Govt. to Scrap Deposits
ASBESTOS ALERT: NC Court Junks Builder's Appeal in Wallace Suit
ASBESTOS ALERT: Koninklijke Philips Faces 3,984 Injury Lawsuits

ASBESTOS ALERT: Court Remands Toler Suit v. Cardinal Insulation
ASBESTOS ALERT: K-Sea Transportation Dismissed from 38 Lawsuits

                   New Securities Fraud Cases

DOT HILL: Murray Frank Lodges Securities Fraud Lawsuit in Calif.
JARDEN CORPORATION: Federman Sherwood Lodges Stock Suit in N.Y.
MILLS CORPORATION: Lerach Coughlin Files Securities Suit in N.Y.
PROQUEST COMPANY: Schatz & Nobel Lodges Securities Suit in Mich.
TAKE-TWO INTERACTIVE: Milberg Weiss Lodges Stock Lawsuit in N.Y.


ACTIVISION INC: Plaintiffs Drop Calif. Securities Fraud Lawsuit
Plaintiffs dismissed the consolidated securities class action
filed against Activision, Inc. and certain of its current and
former officers and directors in the U.S. District Court for the
Central District of California.

On March 5, 2004, a class action was filed, asserting claims
under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934.  The suit was based on allegations that the Company's
revenues and assets were overstated during the period between
February 1, 2001 and December 17, 2002.  The Construction
Industry and Carpenters Joint Pension Trust for Southern Nevada
filed the suit, purporting to represent a class of purchasers of
Activision stock.  Five additional purported class actions
asserting the same claims were subsequently filed by:

     (1) Gianni Angeloni,

     (2) Christopher Hinton,

     (3) Stephen Anish,

     (4) the Alaska Electrical Pension Fund, and

     (5) Joseph A. Romans.

Consistent with the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act
(PSLRA), the court appointed lead plaintiffs consolidating the
six putative securities class actions into a single case.  In an
Order dated May 16, 2005, the court dismissed the consolidated
complaint because the plaintiffs failed to satisfy the
heightened pleading standards of the PSLRA.  The court did,
however, give the lead plaintiffs leave to file an amended
consolidated complaint within 30 days of the order.  Rather than
file a new complaint, the Plaintiff agreed to dismiss the entire
case with prejudice.  The Order dismissing the action with
prejudice was entered on June 17, 2005.

The consolidated suit is styled, "In Re Activision, Inc
Securities Litigation, lead docket 2:04-cv-01501-PA-E," filed in
the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California,
Western Division, under Judge Percy Anderson, referred to
Magistrate Judge Charles F. Eick.  Representing the Plaintiff/s

     (1) Darren J. Robbins of Lerach Coughlin Stein and Robbins,
         Mail: 401 B Street, Suite 1700 San Diego, CA 92101-4297
         Phone: 619-231-1058 E-mail: Denisey@lcsr.com

     (2) Jason Robert Llorens, Jonathan Behar and William S.
         Lerach of Lerach Coughlin Stoia and Robbins, Mail: 355
         South Grand Avenue, Suite 4170 Los Angeles, CA 90071
         Phone: 213-617-9007

     (3) Daniel E. Bacine, David E. Robinson, Leonard Barrack of
         Barrack Rodos and Bacine, Mail: 3300 Two Commerce
         Square, 2001 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
         Phone: 215-963-0600

     (3) John L. Haeussler, Marisa Livesay, Samuel L. Ward,
         Stephen R. Basser of Barrack Rodos and Racine, Mail:
         402 West Broadway, Suite 850 San Diego, CA 92101,
         Phone: 619-230-0800

     (4) Christopher Kim and Lisa Yang of Lim Ruger & Kim, Mail:
         1055 W 7TH St, Ste 2800, Los Angeles, CA 90017, Phone:
         213-955-9500, Email: Ckim@lrklawyers.com

     (5) Marc A. Topaz and Richard A. Maniskas of Schiffrin and
         Barroway, Mail: Three Bala Plaza East, Suite 400 Bala
         Cynwyd, PA 19004, Phone: 610-667-7706, Fax: 610-667-

     (6) Aaron L. Brody and Jules Brody of Stull Stull and Brody
         Mail: 6 East 45TH Street New York, NY 10017, Phone:

     (7) Joseph H. Weiss of Weiss and Yourman, Mail: 551 Fifth
         Avenue, New York, NY 10176, Phone: 212-682-3025, Fax:

     (8) Michael D. Braun of Stull Stull and Brody, Mail: 10940
         Wilshire Blvd, Suite 2300, Los Angeles, CA 90024,
         Phone: 310-209-2468 Email: Service@secfraud.com

Representing the defendants are:

     (i) Harriet S. Posner and Robert F. Lemoine, Mail: Skadden
         Arps Slate Meagher and Flom, 300 South Grand Avenue Los
         Angeles, CA 90071-3144, Phone: 213-687-5000 Fax: 213-
         687-5600 E-mail: lacefax@skadden.com

    (ii) James E. Lyons of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher and Flom
         4 Embarcadero Center, Suite 3800 San Francisco, CA
         94111, Phone: 415-984-6400 Fax: 415-984-2698

ACTIVISION INC: Reaches Settlement in Calif. Derivative Lawsuit
Parties agreed to a stipulation of settlement for a shareholder
derivative lawsuit captioned, "Frank Capovilla, Derivatively on
Behalf of Activision, Inc. v. Robert Kotick, et al.," which was
filed, purportedly on behalf of Activision, Inc., which in large
measure asserts the identical claims set forth in the federal
class action ("In Re Activision, Inc Securities Litigation, lead
docket 2:04-cv-01501-PA-E.")

That complaint was filed in California Superior Court for the
County of Los Angeles. On August 11, 2005, in light of the
ruling dismissing with prejudice the complaint in the earlier-
filed federal securities class action, plaintiffs in the
shareholder derivative action filed an amended complaint,
dropping most of the causes of action, and focusing only on the
allegations of insider trading and breaches of fiduciary duty
that were based on the same claimed misrepresentations set forth
in the dismissed federal securities class action.

On September 15, 2005, the Company and the individual defendants
filed separate demurrers to the Derivative Action and a motion
to strike plaintiff's jury demand.  Prior to the hearing on the
demurrers, the parties came to a resolution of the action and
agreed to a stipulation of settlement to be submitted to the
court for preliminary approval currently scheduled for hearing
on February 8, 2006.

Subject to court approval, the settlement will require the
dismissal and release of the alleged claims.  No cash recovery
is to be paid to the plaintiff pursuant to the stipulation of
settlement, which also states that the Company vigorously denies
any assertion of wrongdoing or liability.

In furtherance of the settlement, the Company has agreed to pay
$200,000 in plaintiffs' fees, to be funded by the Company's
insurance carrier.  The settlement acknowledges that, after the
time the derivative action was filed, the Company has
implemented certain enhancements to its corporate governance

ARISTOCRAT LEISURE: Shareholders Involved in Suit May Increase
Aristocrat Leisure Ltd., the world's second-largest maker of
slot machines said that the number of shareholders involved in a
class action launched against the Company almost three years ago
might increase significantly, The Age reports.

The company also said, "At this stage, Aristocrat does not know
how many shareholders and former shareholders are potential
members of the expanded class."  It added that it was unable to
determine the extent to which the expansion of the class action
will increase its potential liability, if at all.

Legal firm Maurice Blackburn Cashman (MBC) and litigation
company IMF Australia, Ltd. launched the group action against
Aristocrat over the timing of a profit warning back in November
2003.  The Federal Court granted an application by Dorajay Pty.,
Ltd., which is being represented by MBC to remove a requirement
that class action members retain MBC.

The decision follows a judgment last October that the legal
action could not continue, as "representative proceedings,"
while members were required to retain MBC.  Previously, in a
statement to the Australian Stock Exchange, Sydney-based
Aristocrat said that Justice Margaret Stone of the Federal Court
of Australia held that the action had a "fatal flaw," because
shareholders had to be represented by MBC lawyers and thus
dismissed the suit.

The lawsuit alleges that the Company misled shareholders by not
keeping them fully informed before announcing earnings
downgrades that wiped $1.5 billion (A$2 billion) from the
Company's value in 2003.  The lawsuit claims damages of $86.37
million (A$115 million) for losses when shareholders sold their
stock, according to an Australian newspaper report.

However, the Company said that it had expected the amendment and
did not oppose it.  It adds, "The court had made it clear that
the proceedings could not continue in the way MBC and IMF ...

In addition, the Company said that Dorajay would now conduct the
proceedings on behalf of all Company shareholders who acquired
an interest in shares in the gaming company between September 20
2002, and May 26, 2003.  "This may result in a significant
increase in the number of shareholders represented in the
proceedings," the Company said.  "(But) not all shareholders who
acquired Aristocrat shares during the specified period will have
suffered a compensable loss," it adds.  Additionally, the
Company said that it would analyze its share register of about
18,000 shareholders to work out the number of potential class

CANADIAN PACIFIC: Minn. Jury Deliberations End With No Verdict
A second day of deliberations ended in Hennepin County District
Court in Minneapolis, Minnesota with no decision in the first
cases to come to court from the January 2002 train derailment
and anhydrous ammonia spill in Minot, South Dakota, Eye on
Dakota News reports.

Thirty-one cars on the 112-car Canadian Pacific Railway train
derailed on the west edge of Minot and five broke open early on
the morning of January 18, 2002.  Federal investigators
described the tank car ruptures as "catastrophic."  The National
Transportation Safety Board said the wreck was caused by
inadequate track maintenance and inspections, a conclusion
disputed by Canadian Pacific, (Class Action Reporter, July 11,

Since the derailment, about 450 lawsuits in Minnesota state
court and North Dakota are pending against the Company.  The
suits filed in Minneapolis were grouped together to help them
move through the courts.  The trial is being held in Minneapolis
because it is the U.S. headquarters of Canadian Pacific, which
is based in Calgary, Alberta.  The Company admitted liability in
the current round of lawsuits,  (Class Action Reporter, Jan. 10,

Just recently six cases were settled out of court.  The
settlements included a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the
widow of John Grabinger, 38, who died while trying to escape the
anhydrous ammonia cloud released by the train wreck.  Terms of
those settlements have not been released.  The Company has also
declined to discuss the lawsuits.

The three currently being decided by an 11-person jury will help
the court come up with what's called a 'Settlement Matrix.' That
matrix will be based on the results of these three cases plus
the 12 more cases scheduled to begin in Judge Tony Leung's
courtroom on May 1.  The idea of the matrix is to find
appropriate settlements for the hundreds of cases now pending,
without the need for trials.

As for this trial, questions asked of the judge indicate that
jurors are closely studying the medical costs of the plaintiffs,
both up to now and into the future, to reach a compensation
figure.  But as of the end of the day, jurors have given no
indication they are finished with the task of deciding what fair
compensation looks like in these three cases so deliberations
will continue.  There are eleven members of the jury in this
case because one person, the 12th juror, became ill during the
trial and was excused.

CTS: Sued over Failure to Issue Alert on Health Risk of Pet Food
Israeli pet food distributor CTS is facing a lawsuit for selling
mold-contaminated dog food.  According to Haaretz, a NIS 51
million class action was recently filed against the company in
relation to its Nutra Nuggets Performance series of dog food.
The product was found contaminated with a deadly mold more than
a month ago.  More than 20 dogs reportedly died after suffering
fungal poisoning after consuming the product.

Super-Sol a distributor of Super Class Formula dog food supplied
by CTS has pulled the brand from its shelves, despite assurances
from CTS that the product is safe.  It and CTS reportedly did
not advise customers of the move.

Attorney Amir Rosenberg, who represents the Let the Animals Live
animal rights organization, censured both companies for not
informing the public about the dangers of its product.

DIOCESE OF COVINGTON: Masters of Abuse Settlement Fund Appointed
A top Cincinnati corporate executive and a retired federal judge
will determine how much money each victim of priest sexual abuse
will receive in the $85 million settlement of a class action
against the Diocese of Covington, The Kentucky Post reports.

In a recent hearing in Boone Circuit Court, attorneys for both
parties revealed that William Burleigh, chairman of the board of
the E.W. Scripps Co., which owns The Post, and Thomas D. Lambros
of Ashtabula, Ohio, former chief judge in the Northern District
of Ohio, will be the special masters of the settlement fund.  In
that role, the duo will meet with those who filed claims,
determine the validity of each claim and award the victim a cash
settlement in accordance with the settlement outline.

After his appointment, Mr. Burleigh told The Kentucky Post, "My
role is to do my part to try to bring equity and fairness to the
final disposition of this case, and to help heal this awful

However, that might not happen anytime soon.  Senior Judge John
Potter of Louisville warned the 20 or so victims who sat in the
courtroom that it could be six months to a year before they see
any payments.  He explains that the paperwork, insurance
settlements and other details might take months to finalize.

Attorneys had hoped to begin awarding the cash payments, which
will range from $5,000 to $450,000, depending on the nature of
the abuse, sometime this summer.

Judge Potter set a hearing for March 14 to review the plans for
payment of the money.  He also rejected two people attorneys had
proposed to oversee the masters and administer the payments.
The judge explains that he did not want to choose between
Louisville attorney Alex Rose and retired Kenton Circuit Judge
Ray Lape because both are friends.  He approved the appointments
of Mr. Lambros and Mr. Burleigh, though.

Mr. Lambros, 76, served as a federal judge in northern Ohio from
1967 to 1995.  For the last five of those years, he was chief
judge, and the courthouse in Youngstown is named after him.

Mr. Burleigh, who lives in Rabbit Hash, has some familiarity
with the issue of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.  He was
one of the initial members of the National Review Board, a 13-
member panel of lay Catholics that the U.S. Conference of
Catholic Bishops created in 2002 to implement their new policy
on handling priest sexual abuse.

In 2004, that board issued a study that painted an unflattering
portrait of the U.S. Catholic Church as an institution in which
thousands of young victims, mostly boys, were abused over the
last half-century and in which church leaders were either unable
or unwilling to deal with the problem.  As he served on that
board, Mr. Burleigh said he sat and listened to some horrid
cases of abuse, including one in which a mother and father from
Kansas talked about their son's committing suicide because of

Mr. Burleigh remains a faithful Catholic, however, attending All
Saints Church in Walton and playing a pivotal role in bringing
about the settlement of the lawsuit.  Carrie Huff, the attorney
for the diocese, said that Mr. Burleigh's ability to find common
ground and his calm temperament were a great help at a critical
point in the negotiations.

Cincinnati-based attorney Stan Chesley filed the class action in
Boone County Circuit Court back in 2003, claiming that 21
priests and some other workers abused more than 150 victims in
the Diocese of Covington for decades while church officials did
nothing to stop the misconduct.  According to the court filings,
from about 1956, information on the sexual abuse of minors by
diocesan priests has been concealed from the public, including
parents of children in schools and parishes where the alleged
perpetrators were assigned, as well as from family members of
employees of the diocese.  Specifically, the suit accuses the
diocese, which is just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, of
a 50-year cover-up of sexual abuse by priests and others, (Class
Action Reporter, Feb. 18, 2003).

In July 2005, a state judge granted approval to a proposed
settlement between victims of sexual abuse and the Diocese.  The
settlement would compensate victims, who were fondled, raped or
sodomized by priests and other church employees. The amounts
paid out to plaintiffs will depend on the size of the settlement
fund, the number and nature of claims and the severity of each
victim's abuse.  The Covington Diocese spans 14 counties and has
89,000 parishioners, (Class Action Reporter, Nov. 8, 2005).

The diocese agreed last year to put up $40 million to help
settle the case.  Originally, insurance companies were to kick
in another $80 million, but that figure was cut to $45 million
when fewer victims than expected came forward.

A recent full-day hearing was taken up with how much attorneys
should be paid.  Attorneys in the lawsuit Mr. Chesley and Robert
Steinberg, both of Cincinnati, Michael O'Hara of Crestview
Hills, and Ann Oldfather of Louisville said they deserve 30
percent of the money awarded.  A fifth attorney, Barbara Bonar
of Covington, said she deserves a portion of that 30 percent for
her work in the early stages of the lawsuit.

Mr. Chesley argued that, in many such lawsuits, the attorneys
get 33 to 40 percent.  He and the others should be paid the 30
percent for the extraordinary amount of work done and the risk
taken in filing the lawsuit, he said. Mr. Chesley pointed out
that his firm has fronted more than $1 million in expenses.

More than a dozen of his clients testified under pseudonyms that
the 30 percent fee was more than fair.  They said the attorneys
were hardworking, compassionate and went beyond simply seeking
justice.  "They tried to do the right thing," said one.

For more info, visit: http://www.covingtonkydioceseabuse.com/.

EAGLE BUILDING Securities Suit Settlement Hearing Set April 3
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
will hold on Apri1 3, 2006 a settlement, conditional class
certification, and fairness hearing for the proposed settlement
in the matter, "Eagle Building Technologies, Inc. Securities
litigation (02-80294-CIV-RYSKAMP)."  The case was brought on
behalf of all persons who purchased the common stock of Eagle
Building Technologies, Inc. on Nov. 21, 2000 to Feb. 14, 2002,

Deadline for filing a proof of claim is May 1, 2006.

For more details, contact Eagle Building Sec. Litig., Berdon
Claims Administration LLC, P.O. Box 9014, One Jericho Plaza,
Jericho, NY 11753-8914; or Eric Belfi  of Murray, Frank & Sailer
LLP -- http://www.murrayfrank.com-- Phone: (212) 682-1818.

GREAT WOLF: Co-Founder Quit Company Board Amidst Stock Lawsuit
Great Wolf Resorts Inc., revealed in a filing with the
Securities and Exchange Commission that its co-founder, Marc B.
Vaccaro, resigned from the company's board, The Sheboygan Press

The resignation leaves the $54 million Blue Harbor Resort and
Conference Center, which the Company owns and operates, with
seven board members, five of whom qualify as independent
directors.  The SEC filing indicated that there are no immediate
plans to replace Mr. Vaccaro.  No reason was given for the
departure, and Mr. Vaccaro could not be reached for comment
regarding the issue.

Along with Blue Harbor Resort and Conference Center in
Sheboygan, Wisconsin, the Company owns and operates family
resorts in the Wisconsin Dells; Sandusky, Ohio; Traverse City,
Mich.; Kansas City, Kan.; Williamsburg, Va.; the Pocono
Mountains, Pa.; and has several resorts in development.

Mr. Vaccaro's resignation comes as Blue Harbor faces a class-
action securities fraud suit filed on behalf of stockholders
affected when the company posted a larger-than-expected loss in
July 2005.  Great Wolf Resorts stock dropped from $13.65 a share
to $6.12 on July 28 after news of an earnings shortfall.  The
stock had traded as high as $25.88 a share and opened at $10.85.

The Company blamed the loss on a slower-than-expected occupancy
ramp-up at Blue Harbor, which opened in June 2004, a slower-
than-expected start of the 2005 summer season in the Midwest and
competitive pressures at the company's resort in Sandusky, Ohio.
The company plans to report its fourth quarter earnings on Feb.

H&R BLOCK: Facing Suit over `Instant' Tax Refunds in California
Attorney General Bill Lockyer of the State of California filed a
lawsuit against H&R Block alleging the tax preparation giant has
violated 15 state and federal laws in marketing and providing
high-cost refund anticipation loans (RALs) mainly to low-income

"Millions of Californians have placed their trust in H&R Block,
and unfortunately H&R Block has repaid them by violating that
trust," said Mr. Lockyer. "In marketing and selling these
expensive loans, H&R Block has profited greatly, but deceived
consumers, violated their privacy rights and taken money from
California families who can least afford it.  This lawsuit seeks
to hold the company accountable for unlawful business practices,
prevent future violations and compensate victims."

Mr. Lockyer filed the complaint in San Francisco Superior Court,
along with a request that the court issue a temporary
restraining order (TRO) to prohibit H&R Block from engaging in
deceptive debt collection practices related to RALs.  Judge
James L. Warren is considering the TRO request [a hearing waws
set to hear it at 11 a.m. PST on Feb. 15].

The complaint asks the court to require the defendants to pay
restitution to harmed consumers, plus at least $20 million in
civil penalties.  The complaint does not specify the total
restitution amount, but Mr. Lockyer estimated the maximum could
reach into the hundreds of millions of dollars.

The defendants include H&R Block, Inc. and these subsidiaries of
the Kansas City, Missouri-based firm:

     (1) 1H&R Block Services, Inc.;

     (2) H&R Block Enterprises, Inc.;

     (3) H&R Block Tax Services, Inc.;

     (4) Block Financial Corporation; and

     (5) HRB Royalty, Inc.

The complaint alleges the H&R Block defendants have violated 15
state and federal laws that regulate debt collection practices
and contracts, and prohibit false or deceptive advertising,
unfair business practices, and unauthorized use or sharing of
individuals' tax return information.

As described in the complaint, RALs are loans provided to
taxpayers, secured by their expected refund.  Internal Revenue
Service rules prohibit H&R Block from providing the loans
itself, so it contracts with banks for that purpose.  H&R Block,
however, provides clients the loan applications, fills out the
applications, sends the applications to the banks, and
distributes the loan checks to customers.

In a typical case, the program works like this: A customer comes
into an H&R Block branch office.  A "tax professional"
calculates the customer's taxes and determines they are owed a
refund.  The customer signs up for a RAL. If the bank approves
the application, H&R Block ultimately provides the customer a
check -- not for the full tax refund amount, but for the
estimated refund, minus loan fees, tax preparation fees and
other charges.  Depending on the amount of refund, those fees
can force customers to pay the equivalent of annual interest
exceeding 500 percent, according to the complaint.

Since 2001, the complaint alleges, Californians have bought more
than 1.5 million RALs from H&R Block, "generating tens of
millions of dollars in income for Block."  H&R Block has
received a "substantial portion of the loan fees," according to
the complaint, and has purchased up to 49.9 percent of the
loans.  To illustrate how H&R Block's RAL program targets low-
income families, the complaint notes recipients of the federal
Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) comprise 70 percent of the
company's customers for RALs and similar products, even though
EITC recipients account for just 17 percent of all taxpayers.
The federal government established the EITC to benefit low-
income workers and their families.

H&R Block holds itself out as a tax preparer and adviser that
consumers can trust.  But to maximize its RAL revenue, the
complaint alleges, H&R Block has failed to adequately inform
customers they can keep more of their income throughout the year
and not have to wait for a refund at tax time.

Additionally, H&R Block's marketing of RALs has been deceptive
in a number of ways, according to the complaint.  Advertisements
have portrayed RALs as a "refund" or "instant money," and
falsely told consumers that RAL recipients get "cash, cold,
green, in your hand, out the door."  In reality, the complaint
alleges, the refund is a loan, the cash is a check, and the
check is for substantially less than the refund, after the loan
fees and other charges are deducted.

Further, according to the complaint, H&R Block frequently has
steered customers to companies that charge fees to cash RAL
checks, with H&R Block getting a kickback on a portion of those
fees.  H&R Block has failed to adequately disclose these
arrangements to consumers, the complaint alleges.

H&R Block also participates with banks and other entities in a
deceptive debt collection scheme under the banner of its RAL
program, the complaint alleges.  RAL customers are liable for
paying fees and paying back the borrowed money if their
anticipated refund does not materialize, for whatever reason.
When a customer allegedly owes that debt, H&R Block still will
sell them a new RAL when they come to H&R Block in a subsequent
year to get their taxes prepared.

H&R Block does not adequately tell such customers about any
alleged debts, or that when they sign the new RAL application,
they agree to automatic debt collection -- including collection
on alleged RAL-related debts from other tax preparers or banks.
These applications are denied, and the customer's anticipated
refund is used to pay off the debt, plus a fee. "Therefore,
Block clients who are claimed to owe debt from a prior year are
led to expect a loan, but instead find themselves in a
collection proceeding," the complaint alleges.

Additionally, according to the complaint, H&R Block has used and
shared customers' tax-return information without clients'
written consent, in violation of state and federal law.  H&R
Block has illegally shared customers' information, and
unlawfully used clients' tax return information for marketing
RALs, home mortgages and other financial products, and to
collect debts, the complaint alleges.

For more information, contact Office of the Attorney General of
the State of California -- http://ag.ca.gov/-- 455 Golden Gate
Avenue, Suite 11000, San Francisco, CA 94102-7004, Phone:
(415) 703-5601; Fax: (415) 703-5480.

INDIANA: Local Politicians Seek Ways to Block Junk Food Lawsuits
An Indiana Senate panel will consider legislation shielding
businesses that serve fast foods and other unhealthy edibles
from lawsuits brought by local residents who suffered health
problems after consuming those products, The Munster Times

Essentially, the state would join Illinois and 20 other states
that already adopted a so-called "cheeseburger bill."  The
state's version, known as House Bill 1113, would protect the
food industry from class actions like those that took a toll on
tobacco companies.  Like other eat-at-your-own-risk measures
before it, manufacturers, retailers and marketers could not be
sued by Indiana residents, who blame their weight gain, obesity
or other health problems on a particular brand of calorie-laden

Rep. Charlie Brown and Rep. Vernon Smith, both D-Gary, voted
against the measure two weeks ago, when it passed the House on a
76-21 vote.  Rep. Brown said in opposing the bill, "I am an
advocate of doing whatever we can to slow down this freight
train of obesity and that's just another deterrent or derailing
of the effort to say, 'Somebody's got to take responsibility.'"
He reasons,  "Yes, it's a personal responsibility -- someone
overeating -- but these folks that manufacture, produce these
foods that they know are creating these problems have got to
take responsibility as well."  Rep. Smith backs that argument by
saying, "I think the people ought to have the right to use the
courts if they want to."

Three years ago, a federal judge threw out a highly-publicized
lawsuit brought by two overweight New York teenagers, who
claimed they were misled by McDonald's advertising.  McDonald's
said that the victory showed their food could be part of a
healthy diet.  That assertion though helped spawn "Super Size
Me," a 2004 documentary that offered an unflattering look at one
man's quest to eat nothing, but McDonald's for a month.

Congress now is considering a national "cheeseburger bill."  The
debate helps underscore the referee role state legislatures have
come to play in the ever-heightening battle of the bulge.

Rep. Brown and Rep. Smith both argue that Indiana is moving in
the wrong direction.  In addition to the pending junk-food
lawsuit legislation, they take issue with the handling of Senate
Bill 111, which would set standards for items sold in school
vending machines.  The measure would ban vending machines from
elementary schools, while high schools would have to make sure
that at least half their vending options are water, real fruit
juice and low-fat, low-sugar snacks that meet a set portion

House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, assigned the
legislation to the Education Committee, where legislators may be
more inclined to consider the $27,000 to $230,000 state school
districts receive annually from individual vending contracts.
Rep. Bosma could have sent the measure to the Public Health
Committee, where Rep. Brown is chairman.

Rep. Brown said, "I think that is a clear indication that it
will not meet with much success over here in the House, because
the chairman of the Education Committee has been opposed to
this, for some odd reason.  I think he feels that it's not good
public policy."

Rep. Bosma maintains that the legislation could have gone to
either committee.  According to him, "It is a public health
issue.  It's an education issue also because it deals with
schools, so it's one of those mini-judgment calls you make in
assigning a bill that could go two or three places."

INFOSYS TECHNOLOGIES: May Face Possible Overtime Suit in Calif.
A Californian law firm looks set to file a class action against
Infosys Technologies for allegedly failing to pay overtime wages
to immigrant computer programmers in California, (i.e. Indian
programmers working in that state), DNA Money reports.

The law firm, United Employees Law Group, PC, claims to be
investigating allegations that programmers and software
consultants from India brought to California on H-1B visas are
being paid considerably lesser than what the law stipulates.  It
has said that while the payment is considerably more than what
programmers get paid in India, it is reportedly less than what
the California state laws specify.

Californian labor laws protect employees from unfair business
practices like unpaid overtime.  Specifically, California Labor
Code 515.5 mandates that employees in the computer software
field may be exempt from overtime pay if they meet several
requirements.  One exempt-status requirement involves hourly
wages: "The employee's hourly rate of pay is not less than
$47.81, or the annualised full-time salary equivalent of that

According to details available on the website of the law firm,
if a California-based employee, whether a U.S. citizen or
foreign citizen holding an H-1B visa, works in the computer
software industry and is not paid at least $47.81 per hour or
the annual salary equivalent of approximately $99,445, and works
more than eight hours a day or 40 hours a week, he or she may be
entitled to overtime wages.  In addition, the department of
labor imposes wage requirements on employers of H-1B workers.

California is where Silicon Valley is and software programmers
are the highest paid in the state, which is famous for being the
hotbed of technological innovation around the world.  The
company's California offices are in Silicon Valley - Fremont,
Berkeley Heights, and Lake Forest.

Responding to an email from DNA Money, an Infosys statement said
that the Company adhered to all regulations in the countries
that it operated in.  It further said, "Infosys is a company
that adheres to all legislation in all the countries we operate
in. We are in compliance to the best of our knowledge in all
areas."  The statement though did not give any details on
whether the Company was in receipt of any communication from the
said law firm or whether any of its employees could have brought
any such (illegal) practice to the notice of the law firm.

The law firm has invited employees of Company in California to
write in and give details in case they were paid less than
$47.81 per hour.

JDS UNIPHASE: Court to Hear Dismissal Motion V. ERISA Fraud Suit
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
is set to hear JDS Uniphase Corporation's motion to dismiss the
second amended class action filed against it, styled "In re JDS
Uniphase Corporation ERISA Litigation, Master File No. C-03-4743
CW," on May 15, 2006.

The suit charges the Company and certain of its former and
current officers and directors with violations of the Employee
Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) on behalf of a purported
class of participants in the Company's 401(k) Plan, an earlier
Class Action Reporter story (September 21,2004) reports.

On April 6, 2005, the court referred Defendants' motion to
dismiss the complaint to Judge Schwarzer. On July 14, 2005,
Judge Schwarzer granted the motion in part with leave to amend
and denied the motion in part. On July 20, 2005, Judge Wilken
issued an order transferring the case for all purposes to Judge
Schwarzer. Pursuant to Judge Schwarzer's order on August 1,
2005, Plaintiffs' deadline to file a second amended complaint
was October 21, 2005.  Plaintiffs have begun taking discovery.
No trial date has been set.

On October 31, 2005, Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint.  The
amended complaint alleges that Defendants violated the Employee
Retirement Income Security Act by breaching their fiduciary
duties to the Plans and the Plans' participants.  The amended
complaint alleges a purported class period from February 4,
2000, to the present and seeks an unspecified amount of damages,
restitution, a constructive trust, and other equitable remedies.
Defendants moved to dismiss the amended complaint on December
15, 2005.  That motion is to be heard on May 15, 2006.
Plaintiffs have begun taking discovery.  No trial date has been

The suit is styled, "Pettit v. JDS Uniphase Corporation, et al.,
Case No. 3:03-cv-04743-WWS," filed in the U.S. District Court
for the Northern District of California under Judge William W.
Schwarzer.  Representing the Plaintiff/s are, Alan R. Plutzik of
Bramson Plutzik Mahler & Birhaeuser, LLP, 2125 Oak Grove Road,
Suite 120, Walnut Creek, CA 94598, Phone: 925-945-0200, Fax:
(925) 945-8792, E-mail: aplutzik@bramsonplutzik.com; and Joseph
H. Meltzer of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP, 280 King of Prussia
Road, Radnor, PA 19087, Phone: 610-667-7706, Fax: 610-667-7056,
E-mail: jmeltzer@sbclasslaw.com.

Representing the Defendant/s are, Paul Flum and Terri Garland of
Morrison & Foerster, 425 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94105,
Phone; 415/268-7000, Fax: 415-268-7522, E-mail:
paulflum@mofo.com and tgarland@mofo.com.

JDS UNIPHASE: Next Case Management Conference Set May 7, 2007
Case management conference for the consolidated securities class
action filed against JDS Uniphase Corporation and certain of its
former and current officers and directors in the U.S. District
Court for the Northern District of California, styled, "In re
JDS Uniphase Corporation Securities Litigation, C-02-1486," is
set for May 7, 2007.

The suit purports to be brought on behalf of a class consisting
of those who acquired the Company's securities from October 28,
1999, through July 26, 2001, as well as on behalf of subclasses
consisting of those who acquired the Company's common stock
pursuant to its acquisitions of OCLI, E-TEK, and SDL.  The
complaint seeks unspecified damages and alleges various
violations of the federal securities laws, specifically Sections
10(b), 14(a), 20(a), and 20A of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934 and Sections 11, 12(a)(2), and 15 of the Securities Act of
1933, (Class Action Reporter, Feb. 23, 2004).

The Company asked the court to dismiss the suit, but on January
6,2005, the court denied the motion to dismiss claims against
the Company, Jozef Straus, Anthony R. Muller, and Charles Abbe
and granted in part and denied in part the motion to dismiss
claims against Kevin Kalkhoven.  On July 15, 2005, the Court
denied Lead Plaintiff's motion to strike parts of the Company's
answer to the complaint and also denied the Company's motion for
partial judgment on the pleadings.

The Court also held a case management conference on July 15,
2005.  At that conference, the Court ordered the parties to
mediate, but declined to set a discovery cut-off or trial date.
Pursuant to the Court's order, the parties have agreed to appear
at a mediation session before the Hon. Daniel Weinstein (Ret.)
on November 29, 2005, but did not succeed in resolving their
differences.  Another mediation session is scheduled for March
28 and 29, 2006.

On July 22, 2005, the Oklahoma Firefighters Pension and
Retirement System moved to intervene, seeking to represent the
purported subclass of plaintiffs who exchanged shares of OCLI
stock for shares of Company stock in connection with the merger.
On October 12, 2005, the Court granted that motion.  On August
12, 2005, Lead Plaintiff moved for class certification.

On November 18, 2005, the Court held a case management
conference.  At that conference the Court ordered that fact
discovery be completed by September 29, 2006, and that expert
discovery be completed by January 29, 2007.  The Court also set
a trial date of August 13, 2007.  On December 21, 2005, the
Court granted Lead Plaintiff's motion for class certification.

On January 6, 2006, Defendants petitioned the Ninth Circuit
Court of Appeals for permission to appeal the Court's class
certification order.  The Ninth Circuit has not ruled on
Defendants' petition.  Meanwhile, on January 23, 2006, Lead
Plaintiff moved in the trial court for approval of its proposed
plan for providing notice of class certification to members of
the Plaintiff class.  A hearing on that motion is scheduled for
March 3, 2006.  The next case management conference is scheduled
for May 4, 2007.  Document discovery is ongoing. Each party has
noticed and taken depositions of both party and non-party

The suit is styled, "In re JDS Uniphase Corporation Securities
Litigation, C-02-1486," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of California under Judge Claudia Wilken with
referral to Judge Elizabeth D. Laporte.  Representing the
Plaintiff/s are, Reed R. Kathrein and Darren J. Robbins of
Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins, LLP, Phone: 415-
288-4545 and 619-231-1058, Fax: 415-288-4534 and 619-231-7423,
E-mail: reedk@lerachlaw.com and e_file_sd@lerachlaw.com; and
John Frith Stewart of Segal, Stewart, Cutler, Lindsay, Janes &
Ber, 1400-B Waterfront Street, 325 West Main Street, Louisville,
KY 40202-4251, Phone: 502-568-5600.

Representing the Defendant/s are, Philip T. Besirof and Jordan
David Eth of Morrison & Foerster, LLP, 425 Market St., San
Francisco, CA, Phone: 94105-2482, Fax: (415) 268-7000 and 415-
268-7522, E-mail: PBesirof@mofo.com and jeth@mofo.com.

JDS UNIPHASE: Zelman Litigation in N.D. California Continues
JDS Uniphase Corporation faces a related securities case,
styled, "Zelman v. JDS Uniphase Corp., No. C-02-4656 (N.D.
Cal.)," that was purportedly brought on behalf of a class of
purchasers of debt securities that were allegedly linked to the
price of the Company's common stock.

The Zelman complaint alleges that an investment bank issued the
debt securities during the period from March 6, 2001 through
July 26, 2001.  The complaint names the Company and several of
its former officers and directors as defendants, alleges
violations of the federal securities laws, specifically Sections
10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule
10b-5, and seeks unspecified damages. At a case management
conference held on July 15, 2005, Judge Wilken advised the
parties that the Zelman matter should be mediated at the same
time as "In re JDS Uniphase Corporation Securities Litigation."

On August 11, 2005, Plaintiff moved for class certification in
the Zelman matter.  Subject to certain conditions, JDSU later
agreed to certification of the purported class. On August 26,
2005, Defendants answered the complaint.  On November 16, 2005,
the Court granted Plaintiffs' motion for class certification,
which Defendants had not opposed.  At a case management
conference on November 18, 2005, the Court ordered that
discovery in the Zelman action proceed according to the same
schedule as discovery in "In re JDS Uniphase Corporation
Securities Litigation."  No trial date has been set for this

The suit is styled, "Zelman v. JDS Uniphase Corporation, et al.,
Case No. 4:02-cv-04656," filed in the U.S. District Court for
the Northern District of California under Judge Claudia Wilken.
Representing the Plaintiff/s are, Susan G. Kupfer of Glancy &
Binkow, LLP, 455 Market Street, Suite 1810, San Francisco, CA
94105, Phone: 415-972-8160, Fax: 415-972-8166, E-mail:
skupfer@glancylaw.com; and Ira M. Press of Kirby McInerney &
Squire, LLP, 830 Third Avenue, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10022,
Phone: 212-371-6600, Fax: 212-751-2540, E-mail:

Representing the Defendant/s is Holly H. Tambling of Morrison &
Foerster, LLP, 425 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94105-2482,
Phone: 415 268-7000, Fax: 415-268-7522, E-mail:

JDS UNIPHASE: OCLI, SDL Continue to Face Calif. Shareholder Suit
Plaintiffs purporting to represent the former shareholders of
OCLI and SDL filed suit against the former directors of those
companies, asserting that they breached their fiduciary duties
in connection with the events alleged in the securities
litigation against JDS Uniphase Corporation.

Plaintiffs in the OCLI action, styled, "Pang v. Dwight, No. 02-
231989 (Sonoma Super. Ct.)," purport to represent a class of
former shareholders of OCLI who exchanged their OCLI shares for
JDSU shares when JDSU acquired OCLI.  The complaint names the
former directors of OCLI as defendants, asserts causes of action
for breach of fiduciary duty and breach of the duty of candor,
and seeks unspecified damages. No activity has occurred in the
OCLI action since the Company's last filing.

The plaintiffs in the SDL action, styled, "Cook v. Scifres,
Master File No. CV814824 (Santa Clara Super. Ct.)," purport to
represent a class of former shareholders of SDL who exchanged
their SDL shares for JDSU shares when the Company acquired SDL.
Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on September 12, 2005.
The complaint names the former directors of SDL as Defendants,
asserts causes of action for breach of fiduciary duty and breach
of the duty of disclosure, and seeks unspecified damages.

Defendants demurred to the complaint on October 12, 2005.
Defendants' demurrer is to be heard in February 2006.  A case
management conference is also scheduled in February.  Limited
discovery in the SDL action has occurred.  No trial date has
been set in either the OCLI or SDL action.

MASSACHUSETTS: Lawyers to Start First Soft Drink Obesity Lawsuit
A class action aimed at banning soft drinks from schools will be
launched in Massachusetts, according to BeverageDaily.com.  The
suit will start what will be similar cases in other states

According to the report, the lawsuit will target bottlers of
soft drinks that allegedly violate consumer protection laws by
establishing so-called "pouring rights" supply contracts with

Nearly half of all U.S. schools had an exclusive, so-called
`pouring rights' contract with a beverage company in the 2003-04
school year, according to a report published by the U.S.
Government Accountability Office last August.

The suit will focus on how the soft drink firms reach these
agreements with school authorities who could potentially be
involved in the suit.  School boards have already been informed
of their potential liability, according to the report.

Professors Richard Daynard and John Banzhaf, who previously sued
tobacco companies, are leading the suit.  Mr. Daynard has part-
authored a study on the use of litigation to combat obesity
whose results appeared in the American Journal of Preventive

MASSACHUSETTS: Agency Denies Claims of Mistreating Transferees
Massachusetts' Department of Mental Retardation (DMR) filed a
30-page document, denying allegations it failed to comply with a
1993 court order requiring "equal or better" care for people
transferred out of the Walter E. Fernald Development Center, The
Daily News Tribune reports.

Previously, Boston attorney Beryl Cohen, representing Fernald
residents identified in a 1972 class action against the state
recently filed a report in federal court.  That report alleged
procedural improprieties and a failure to maintain equal or
better care in the cases of 43 residents transferred out of
Fernald since 2003.

In its response, filed in hours before a court hearing, the
department said that the Fernald advocates have presented "no
competent evidentiary support of their serious allegation that
individuals suffered medical, emotional, or behavioral changes
before or after transfer."  The agency also said that six deaths
that occurred after transfer, among a population of 43, do not
represent an unusually high number.

In addition, the agency response further stated, "A significant
number of the individuals served by the Department have a
multitude of serious health and medical issues that they live
with every day.  The individuals who transferred from the
Fernald Developmental Center are no different in that respect."

The document filed by Mr. Cohen reported some residents
experienced trauma "shortly before and after transfer,"
including assaults, self-inflicted injuries and loss of skin
integrity.  Mr. Cohen's report indicated that harm is documented
and he was prepared to present them at a recent hearing.  He
said, "We not only have the names, we have the incidents.  What
we've reported exists."

In recent hearing before U.S. Judge Joseph L. Tauro, U.S.
Attorney Michael Sullivan was appointed as a monitor to resolve
the "fundamental factual and legal disputes" contained in Mr.
Cohen's filing and the Department of Mental Retardation's

The DMR also disputed other core arguments in the filing.  The
agency pointed out that directors at new facilities did sign
documents stating transferred residents would get "equal or
better" treatment, and Fernald staff did follow up to ensure
continuity of care.  Additionally, the agency pointed out that
the transferred residents received letters that document their
option to return to Fernald at any time.

The disputes center around documentation of the alleged
incidences of trauma, documents showing whether the state did
enough to ensure equal or better care in new facilities, and
interpreting state and federal law, and the court's prior
rulings.  Some documents Mr. Cohen requested were not made
available, to protect residents' privacy, the department stated
in its response.  Mr. Cohen cited the same reason for not naming
residents who allegedly suffered trauma in his report, a public

However, Judge Tauro ordered all relevant documents should be
made available for Mr. Sullivan's investigation.  He did not set
a deadline though for Mr. Sullivan to complete his report. The
judge did suspend the state's authority to transfer Fernald
patients, pending the report's completion.

The suit is styled, "Ricci v. Okin, Case No. 1:72-cv-00469-JLT,"
filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of
Massachusetts under Judge Joseph L. Tauro.  Representing the
Plaintiff/s are, Beryl W. Cohen, Room 900, 11 Beacon Street,
Boston, MA 02108, Phone: 617-742-3322, Fax: 617-720-5652; and
Daniel J. Brown of Brown Rudnick Berlack Israels, LLP, One
Financial Center, 18th floor, Boston, MA 02111, Phone: 617-856-
8200, Fax: 617-856-8201, E-mail: dbrown@brownrudnick.com.

Representing the Defendant/s are, Marianne Meacham of
Commonwealth of Massachusetts-Dept. of Mental Retardation, 500
Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA 02118, Phone: 617-624-7701, Fax:
617-624-7573, E-mail: Marianne.Meacham@state.ma.us; and Juliana
deHaan Rice, Attorney General's Office, Room 2019, One Ashburton
Place, Boston, MA 02108-1698, Phone: 617-727-2200 ext.2062, Fax:
617-727-5785, E-mail: Juliana.Rice@ago.state.ma.us.

MATAV-CABLE: Court Denies Certification of Anti-Trust Lawsuit
The Tel-Aviv-Jaffa District Court denied a motion to recognize a
class action against Matav-Cable Systems Media Ltd., which was
filled on April 22, 1999.

The motion alleged, inter alia, that Matav constitutes a
monopoly and that it adversely exploited its position in the
market, in a manner which is, or may be, damaging to the general
public by setting and collecting an unreasonable and unfair fee
for its services.

As detailed above the District Court denied the motion on
February 16, 2006.

Matav is one of Israel's three cable television providers,
serving roughly 25% of the population.  Matav's current
investments include 1.2 percent of Partner Communications Ltd.,
a GSM mobile phone company and 10 percent of Barak I.T.C. (1995)
Ltd., one of the three international telephony providers in

For more information, contact Ori Gur-Arieh, Counsel of Matav
Cable Systems, Phone: +972-7-770-77030; Ayelet Shaked Shiloni,
Integrated IR, Phone: +1-866-447-8633(US)/Phone: +972-3-635-6790
(Israel); E-mail: ayelet@integratedir.com.

MICROSOFT CORPORATION: Cannon Falls Schools Get $52T Settlement
The Cannon Falls school district recently received a notice
stating that it will receive $52,056 as part of the Microsoft
Corporation's Minnesota Cy Pres program, The Cannon Falls Beacon

The funds will come in the form of vouchers, which must be
redeemed by January 27, 2012.  There are guidelines and
restrictions for use of the money, and the district must
research each item to make sure it qualifies.

Superintendent Todd Sesker told The Cannon Falls Beacon that he
wants to take advantage of the windfall to help meet the
school's financial goals.  Most of the vouchers received by the
Cannon Falls schools will be used to purchase hardware and
software, according to him, including $30,000 in vouchers that
will be used to purchase allowable items within the technology

Money will also be spent to upgrade the district's software
licenses to Office 2003, and to purchase additional computers
for classroom use. Mr. Sesker told The Cannon Falls Beacon, "The
guidelines specify how much of these funds can go toward the
cost of software and hardware in both buildings."

Details of how the money will impact the school budget will be
discussed at the next meeting of the finance committee.  Mr.
Sesker told The Cannon Falls Beacon, "The settlement will help
us improve our current technology programs, and will make a
positive impact on our budget.  One of the priorities for the
district next year is to build a healthy fund balance."  He
adds, "The vouchers provided to Cannon Falls as a result of this
program will help offset current technology costs, and will
provide a good start towards this."

The amount is part of the $55.2 million schools statewide will
receive in vouchers, according to information released Jan. 30
from Gov. Tim Pawlenty's office.  Initially, the Company agreed
to pay $174.5 million in vouchers to businesses and consumers in
Minnesota.  Schools in the state could later claim what
consumers did not, (Class Action Reporter, Feb. 9, 2006).

In 2000, the Company faced a flurry of lawsuits 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 U.S. 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, (Class Action Reporter, Feb. 6,

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 U.S. 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).

Statewide, 467 school districts and charter schools will receive
vouchers intended to supplement current technology budgets,
updating computer software and hardware and enhancing
professional development for teachers and staff, (Class Action
Reporter, Feb. 9, 2006).

Cannon Falls and other Minnesota school districts were aware of
the impending settlement, and applied for their share of the
funds last October.  The awards to individual school districts
vary, and are based upon the percentage of students qualifying
for free or reduced price lunches.

Linda Smith, technology director for the local district, has
been following the progress of the awards. She noted, "It is
possible that there will be a second wave of funding, although
the dollar amount would be much less."

MISSISSIPPI: Documents Reveal DHS Failing Kids in Foster Care
Some of Mississippi's 3,000 foster care children rescued from
abusive and neglectful homes have fallen victim to the same
treatment while in state custody, a children's advocacy group
alleged in recently released lawsuit documents, The Clarion-
Ledger reports.

New York-based Children's Rights, which is suing the state
Department of Human Services (DHS), detailed in a few hundred
pages of expert reports alleged problems of sexual abuse,
unqualified employees and fiscal mismanagement.  Specifically,
it cited high levels of children who were maltreated, passed
over for physical exams, not seen by their social worker as
required, or languished in the system when they were eligible
for adoption.

DHS attorney Rusty Fortenberry would not address details in the
reports, but told The Clarion-Ledger that they would be
"disputed very vigorously."  In addition, Mr. Fortenberry
criticized the organization for forcing the department into
costly litigation when Gov. Haley Barbour's administration
already was addressing problems with services.

Both sides say they expect the federal class-action suit to go
to trial, now scheduled for Aug. 7.  Previously, U.S. District
Court Judge Tom S. Lee granted a class-action status back in
March 2005.  In his ruling, the federal judge noted that the
"plaintiffs have identified alleged shortcomings by DHS in terms
... of its staffing, policies and practices, which if proven,
could readily be found to place every child in DHS custody at
substantial risk of harm," (Class Action Reporter, March 16,

The lawsuit, which represents one side of a legal argument, says
that the state has failed to protect the children who depend on
DHS and the Division of Family and Children's Services for
fundamental needs.  It also alleges that DHS has failed to
provide the support necessary for their care, (Class Action
Reporter, March 16, 2005).

Stephen Leech, the Jackson attorney for the children, said a win
in the case could bring about substantial reforms. He told The
Clarion-Ledger, "It means the court will determine the
violations of constitutional rights, then will determine the
remedies for those constitutional rights of all the children who
are in the custody of the Department of Human Services." He also
points out that a remedy could include training caseworkers or
increasing their numbers, (Class Action Reporter, March 16,

Betty Mallett of McGlinchey Stafford PLLC, which is representing
the defendants, explained in a statement that cases against
state child welfare agencies are typically handled as class-
action suits.  She told The Clarion-Ledger though that
Mississippi is no different from other states struggling with a
burgeoning child welfare system in tight budget times. She adds,
"The class action will make this case more expensive and
difficult to try, and we believe the money is better spent when
it is used to support our children instead of using it for
litigation," (Class Action Reporter, March 16, 2005).

DHS Executive Director Don Taylor has sent a memo to employees
at the department instructing them not to speak to reporters,
which he says is a longstanding policy with the agency.  Those
involved in the system though, including social workers and
foster mothers, have cited a fear of retribution in refusing to
speak publicly.

However, Susan Steadman, a Hattiesburg lawyer who adopted her
foster child in 2004, told The Clarion-Ledger that she had one
battle after another with the department and was not surprised
to hear about the problems.  According to her, she experienced a
long waiting period, an inability to easily arrange medical
tests and to get quick access to her daughter's medical results.

Ms. Steadman also said that she had wanted to get psychological
and psychiatric evaluations for her child, who had been brought
into the hospital with shaken baby syndrome.  "She had sustained
a significant brain injury ... We had to fight to get speech
therapy for her.  She ended up being diagnosed with post-
traumatic stress disorder, but we had a long road to argue for
treatment for her," she said.  Ms. Steadman also told The
Clarion-Ledger that her daughter, now 10 and functioning
normally, also had broken ribs and a broken leg when brought to
the hospital as a baby.  She added that she tried to place the
baby in the hospital under a different name so her biological
mother would not have access to her.

However, according to Ms. Steadman, DHS, responded by trying
remove the baby from her care on the eve of the child's brain
surgery.  She pointed out, "In my opinion, that's why a lot of
foster parents don't speak out because the constant threat is:
We will remove the foster child from your care."

According to the reports, based on DHS case files, one in eight
children had documentation of uninvestigated maltreatment while
in foster care.  Nearly five percent of children in DHS custody
were maltreated while in foster care as determined by the

In addition, other numbers showed nearly 88 percent of children
in DHS custody were not seen at least monthly by their social
worker or supervisor over a one-year period.  The report even
revealed that about 32 percent of the youngest foster children
in custody for at least one year did not receive a physical exam
during the two years prior to June 1, 2005.

The group cited in the report that a girl is in a foster home
where a number of foster girls have been physically, emotionally
and sexually abused over the past three years.  The report also
revealed that the department is "losing tens of millions of
dollars" in federal funding because of its failure to document
its eligibility.

Children's Rights attorney Eric Thompson told The Clarion-Ledger
that the trial would have a liability, then a remedy phase.  He
explains that ideally, the trial will lead to court-ordered
reforms at the department, addressing an "immediate safety
assessment in every MDHS placement."

NAVAJO TRUST: Meeting to Shed Light on "Pelt v. Utah" Lawsuit
Information on a lawsuit over a decade in the making that could
be worth up to $150 million will be available to the public on
Feb. 18, 2006 in Bluff, Utah, The Independent reports.

"Pelt vs. The State of Utah," is a case that has the Navajo
Nation protesting Utah's use of the money from oil wells that
were drilled in San Juan County.  Approximately 37.5 percent of
that money was to be put in a trust account that would go to the
Navajo Nation.

The wells were drilled in 1933 and the deal agreed upon by both
sides was that the Navajo Nation would receive almost 40 percent
of the profits, but it's a deal that lawyers for the Navajo
Nation feel the state hasn't kept.  Brian Barnard, the attorney
representing the Navajo Nation told The Independent, "This
lawsuit has been set up as a class action suit on behalf of all
Navajos."  He explains that "in the 1950's, oil came in and the
state of Utah didn't take it seriously and didn't handle it
professionally.  By the mid-50's over $62 million had been put
into the trust fund and the state didn't bother to set up an
agency to manage it."

By 1962 a lawsuit was filed that protested the ways the money in
the Navajo Nation trust fund was being handled and in 1968 the
federal government expanded the number of Navajos being
represented in the suit from 8,000 to all Navajos in San Juan

In 1977, another lawsuit was filed that pointed to a lack of
proper financial management and that case was completed in 1978.
Over the next 12 years complaints came from the Navajo Nation
concerning the trust fund and in 1990 the Utah State Legislature
requested an audit on the trust fund.

Mr. Barnard told The Independent, "He looked at the fund and the
report he wrote said that the state was mismanaging the trust
fund.  That led us up to the case of Pelt vs. Utah, and that was
filed in 1992.  It was a class action filed on behalf of all
Navajos, and we want the state to account for the money in the
trust fund."

"Pelt vs. Utah" is requesting documentation that will show the
money due the account is there and that the money spent on
behalf of the trust fund was spent properly.  The state, Mr.
Barnard alleges, hasn't yet shown that the trust fund is
receiving the agreed upon 37.5 percent and that it has refused
to provide the requested documents.

According to Mr. Barnard, "The state is fighting us tooth and
nail and has put up hurdle after hurdle.  Early on, in 1995, the
case was dismissed, and we appealed, and it was eventually
reversed.  Last month a major decision came that told the state
that past requests for documentation on prior cases didn't mean
we couldn't receive it in this case."  He added, "Because the
accounting was never prepared or submitted, the state couldn't
hold that against us, and that was a major hurdle that the state
put up."

Accountants have added what the Navajo Nation could be owed and
came up with $150 million, Mr. Barnard told The Independent.
But, the numbers won't be exact until the exact documentation is

The meeting in Bluff, which will begin at 2 p.m. at the Desert
Rose Hotel located on 701 West Main in Bluff will allow the
public to ask questions of Barnard and learn of the status of
the lawsuit.  Mr. Barnard explains, "As attorneys representing a
class in a class action suit, we have to meet with our class
members once or twice a year and answer questions about what is
going on and what will happen next."

Previously, U.S. District Judge Tena Campbell ordered an
investigation into the accounting records of the Navajo Trust
Fund to look for some $35 million money intended for tribal
members in San Juan County.  Judge Campbell said the state would
have to repay the trust if it could not account for the money.
That probe will essentially have to deal with records spanning
five decades, (Class Action Reporter, Jan. 17, 2006).

The suit is styled, "Pelt, et al. v. UT, Case No. 2:92-cv-00639-
TC-SA," filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of
Utah under Judge Tena Campbell with referral to Samuel Alba.
Representing the Plaintiff/s are, Brian M. Barnard of Utah Legal
Clinic, 214 E 500 S., Salt Lake City, UT 84111-3204, Phone:
(801) 328-9531, E-mail: ulcr2d2c3po@utahlegalclinic.com; and
Alan Robert Taradash of Nordhaus Haltom Taylor Taradash & Bladh,
LLP, 405 dr. Martin luther king, Jr. Ave., NE Albuquerque, NM
87102, Phone: (505) 243-4275, E-mail: artaradash@aol.com.

Representing the Defendant/s are, Philip S. Lott, Utah Attorney
General's Office (160-6-140856), Litigation Unit, 160 E. 300 S.
6TH FL., P.O. BOX 140856, Salt Lake City, UT 84114-0856, Phone:
(801) 366-0100, E-mail: phillott@utah.gov.

NEW MEXICO: Lawyer Questions Dona Ana Jail's Strip-Search Policy
Routinely strip-searching pretrial detainees at the Dona Ana
County Detention Center in New Mexico could be violating the
constitutional rights of those still presumed to be innocent,
says a Las Cruces attorney who filed a tort claim notice against
the county, The Las Cruces Sun-News reports.

Michael Lilley, who represents 18-year-old Jesus Lira of Las
Cruces, filed notice that he may sue the county, and told The
Las Cruces Sun-News that he may file a class-action lawsuit over
routine strip searches of pretrial detainees.  "It's a systemic
problem, which needs a systemic solution," Mr. Lilley told The
Las Cruces Sun-News.

Despite the allegations, County officials point out that the
jail has a written policy that allows strip searches of many
pretrial inmates.

In his notice of intent to sue, Mr. Lilley said that his client,
Mr. Lira was arrested on Jan. 1, 2006 on charges of drunken
driving, and as he entered the jail was told to disrobe.  After
stripping down to his socks and underwear, jail officers told
him to "take it all off" and visually inspected Mr. Lira,
according to Mr. Lilley's notice.

Mr. Lilley told The Las Cruces Sun-News that he believes "the
vast majority" of pretrial detainees at the Dona Ana County jail
have been strip-searched over the years.  He pointed out,
however, that federal courts including the 10th Circuit Court of
Appeals in Denver, which oversees New Mexico, have ruled that a
strip search must be justified by a reasonable suspicion that a
detainee is concealing weapons or contraband.  The courts have
ruled that "a blanket policy subjecting an entire class of
detainees to a strip search is unconstitutional," Mr. Lilley
told The Las Cruces Sun-News.

County spokesman Jess Williams told The Las Cruces Sun-News that
the county couldn't comment on pending litigation, but provided
a copy of the county policy that permits a "visual body search"
of many pretrial inmates as they are booked into jail.  That
policy allows strip searches at booking if the incoming inmate
is charged with drug or violent felony offenses; if he or she
has a criminal history that includes felony convictions
involving weapons or contraband; if the person has possessed
contraband in jail before; and if he or she refuses to submit to
a pat-down search or there is "suspicion of contraband."  In
addition, the county's written policy also permits strip
searches following visits with members of the public or after
court-ordered detention at arraignment, conviction or

Mr. Lilley is seeking an immediate halt to strip searches of all
incoming pretrial detainees and wants county officials to
respond as soon as possible.

NORTEL NETWORKS: Chubb Asks Court to Verify Insurance Coverage
Chubb Insurance Company of Canada (CICC) filed a declaratory
action in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Toronto
related to its insurance policies for Nortel Networks
Corporation (NNC).

The action seeks a determination by the court regarding the
insurance coverage available for certain securities class
actions filed against NNC in the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of New York (In Re Nortel Networks Securities
Litigation, No. 04 Civ. 02115 (GDB) (S.D.N.Y.)).

The action asks a Canadian court to confirm that the directors
and officers' liability insurance policy CICC issued to NNC for
the November 1, 2003 to November 1, 2004 policy period is the
policy that responds to this securities litigation.  Declaratory
actions are typically filed to provide clarity and direction on
complex, disputed matters that affect multiple parties.

In the action filed, CICC acknowledges its obligation to provide
coverage for this securities litigation under the terms and
conditions of this policy, except for certain former officers of
NNC whom NNC has terminated for cause.  NNC similarly has never
disputed the fact that any coverage CICC provides for this
securities litigation is provided solely under this 2003-2004

In connection with the proposed settlement of this securities
litigation recently announced by NNC, however, an issue has
arisen as to whether this litigation is covered under different
policies that CICC issued to NNC for an earlier policy period.
The earlier CICC policies and the 2003-2004 policy differ in
several respects, including limits of coverage.  As the lead
insurer in these periods, CICC has brought the declaratory
action to confirm that it is the 2003-2004 policy that responds
to this securities litigation, and it looks forward to working
cooperatively with NNC to quickly resolve this issue.

Chubb Insurance Company of Canada has offices in Toronto,
Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary and employs an exclusive network
of more than 200 brokers across Canada.

The case is styled "In re Nortel Networks Corporation Securities
Litigation (1:04-cv-02115-LAP)," filed in the U.S. District
Court for the Southern District of New York under Judge Loretta
A. Preska.  Representing the plaintiffs are Glen L. Abramson,
Berger & Montague, P.C., 1622 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA
19103, Phone: (215) 875-3000; and Lauren S. Antonino of Chitwood
& Harley, L.L.P., 1230 Peachtree Street, Atlanta, GA 30309,
Phone: (404) 873-3900.

Representing the defendant(s) are Tai Hyun Park of Shearman &
Sterling LLP (New York), 599 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY
10022, Phone: 212 848-5364; Fax: 212 848-7179; E-mail:
tpark@shearman.com; and  Lee S Richards, III of Richards Spears
Kibbe & Orbe LLP(Washington, DC), 1775 Eye Street, Nw,
Washington, DC 20006, Phone: 212-530-1800, Fax: 212-530-1801.

OHIO: Judge Allows Steubenville Speed Camera Lawsuit to Proceed
Jefferson County Common Pleas Judge David E. Henderson certified
as class action a lawsuit filed against the city of Steubenville
and German speed camera vendor Traffipax.  The case will now
include the 3,000 people who have paid their tickets and the
4,000 who have not yet paid, according to TheNewspaper.com.

Earlier, Judge Henderson ordered the removal of speed cameras in
Steubenville after lawyer Gary M. Stern challenged the
installation of the device in a class action in November (Class
Action Reporter, Jan. 31, 2006).  Mr. Stern, whose wife received
two speed camera citations in the mail, each bearing a $85 fine,
said in the lawsuit the city does not follow the terms of its
own ordinance which requires a 14-day notice before installing
the cameras.  Mr. Stern wants the $229,000 in fines already
collected by the city to be refunded, according to I-Newswire.

Mr. Stern claims that the cameras are unconstitutional for a
number of reasons among those are that motorists don't have the
right to appeal.  The traffic cameras read the speed of cars
driving by, and if you are in excess of the speed limit, you are
mailed an $85 ticket, according to court documents (Class Action
Reporter, Nov. 25, 2005).

Under a recent court-ordered injunction, anyone who got a
traffic camera ticket after it has two more months before they
need to pay.  Those who already paid will have to wait longer to
see if they'll get their money back.

ROSNEFT OIL: Denies Exec's Involvement in Yukos ADR Holders Suit
Russian state-owned oil firm Rosneft denied that its president,
Sergei Bogdanchikov, was served with court papers naming him as
co-defendant in a class action filed by U.S.-based ADR holders
of Russian oil firm Yukos Oil.

"We deny this information," Rosneft spokesman Nikolai Manvelov
told The Moscow Times by telephone on Wednesday.  Moscow Times
earlier reported earlier that Mr. Bogdanchikov was served with
the notice while he was in London to give a keynote address at
an energy conference.  The Yukos Minority Shareholder Coalition
revealed the information in an E-mail on Tuesday, according to
the report.

The suit accuses Mr. Bogdanchikov of playing a key role in a
conspiracy to confiscate Yukos from its owners (Class Action
Reporter, Feb. 16, 2006).

Mr. Bogdanchikov took over Yukos' main production asset,
Yuganskneftegaz in December 2004, just days after it was sold
off by the government as payment for more than $28 billion in
back taxes.

His notice brings to three the number of top Russian executives
to be served with court papers.  Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin
was served similar document last month; Industry and Energy
Minister Viktor Khristenko received his in late October.

A report by The Lawyers says Washington DC firm Covington &
Burling, led by international litigation partner Thomas Johnson,
is representing at least 12 holders of ADRs, who filed a civil
suit to recoup millions in lost share value.

RYLAND HOMES: Homeowners Push For Fla. Suit to Get Class Status
An arbitrator is to decide if Ryland homeowners can turn their
claim into a class action suit, wftv.com reports.

At a hearing, the arbitrator heard testimony that could bring
thousands of people into the case and lead to a better
settlement.  A good portion of the hearing was about stucco
versus decorative cementious finish, water-resistant versus
weather-resistant, but lawyers representing unhappy Ryland
homeowners said it's not about words, it's about houses.

Orange County Building Director Bob Olin was questioned for more
than two hours about the county's building codes and whether
Ryland Homes violated them.  One of the things that came out at
that hearing is that the codes are contradictory.  Mr. Olin
said, "The new edition of the Florida building code accepts
stucco as a weather resistant finish, however it actually states
in the ASTM [American Society for Testing and Materials] that
stucco should not be considered a water proofing finish."

More than 100 unhappy Ryland homeowners are trying to prove that
Ryland Homes violated the codes and industry standards so that
more than 3,000 Ryland customers with the same construction
issues will be added to the lawsuit.  Some homeowners had
waterfalls within their walls and flooding inside, while others
had enough moisture to cause mold damage.  "The walls don't work
the way they're supposed to. The water gets inside and can't get
back out," said homeowners' attorney Dixon Robertson.

The homeowners maintain that regardless of whether Ryland Homes
found loopholes through the building code, it cannot dodge its
responsibility to build homes that keep the rain out, whether
the builder accomplishes that by putting a thicker coat of
textured concrete over the block, putting stucco over it, using
better paint or a combination of those things.

Ryland Homes is fighting a bid for class action status, which
could open up the builder to higher liability.  But company
attorneys would not talk about it.

SONY BMG: Reaches Settlement on MediaMax, XCP CDs Litigation
The site http://www.sonybmgcdtechsettlement.comis now active to
fulfill claims in the class action settlement concerning certain
music CDs sold by SONY BMG Music Entertainment.

In announcing the rapid deployment of the settlement Web site,
representatives of SONY BMG and the law firms of Girard Gibbs &
De Bartolomeo LLP and Kamber & Associates, LLC declared that
they "were pleased to work together to provide class members a
website through which they can receive the full benefits of the
class action settlement quickly and efficiently."

This web-based claims process was established by order of the
Honorable Naomi Reice Buchwald of the U.S. District Court for
the Southern District of New York in "In re: SONY BMG CD
Technologies Litigation, Case No. 1:05-09676-NRB."  On January
6, Judge Buchwald preliminarily approved the settlement of the
class actions brought against SONY BMG over music CDs that
contained "XCP" and "MediaMax" content protection software.

U.S. residents who purchased, received, came into possession of
or otherwise used one or more MediaMax CDs and/or XCP CDs since
August 1, 2003, are eligible for settlement benefits.

SONY BMG has, since November 2005, enabled persons with any of
the 49 SONY BMG CD titles with "XCP" software to exchange their
XCP CDs for a version of the same CD without any content
protection software, and to receive free MP3 downloads of the
music on the CD.

Under the settlement, people who exchange their CDs, or who
already have done so, also will now receive either $7.50 plus
one free album download from a list of specified albums from the
Connect, FYE, iTunes or Wal-Mart download services; or three
free album downloads from that list.

Persons with any of the 53 SONY BMG CD titles with "MediaMax"
Version 3.0 or Version 5.0 software, who submit proof of
purchase of those CDs, are entitled under the settlement to
receive free MP3 downloads of the music on the CDs.  Purchasers
of CDs with MediaMax Version 5.0 also may receive any one of the
free album downloads from the download services mentioned above.

The settlement provides for other benefits, as well, including
free utilities to uninstall or update the MediaMax and XCP
software to remove all known security vulnerabilities.

The suit was styled, "Michaelson et al v. Sony BMG Music, Inc.
et al, Case No. 1:05-cv-09575-NRB," filed in the U.S. District
Court for the Southern District of New York under Judge Naomi
Reice Buchwald.  Representing the Plaintiff/s are, Scott Adam
Kamber of Kamber & Associates, LLC, 19 Fulton St., Suite 400,
New York, NY 10038, Phone: (646)-441-7100, Fax: (212)-202-6364,
E-mail: skamber@kolaw.com; and Jonathan K. Levine of Girard
Gibbs & De Bartolomeo, LLP, 601 California St, Suite 1400, San
Francisco, CA 94108, Phone: 415-981-4800; Fax: 415-981-4846; E-
mail: jkl@girardgibbs.com.

Representing the defendant(s) are Jeffrey S. Jacobson of
Debevoise & Plimpton, LLP(NYC), 919 Third Avenue, New York, NY
10022, Phone: 2129096479; Fax: 2129096836; E-mail:

TATA CONSULTANCY: Denies Receipt of Legal Notice for Calif. Suit
Tata Consultancy Services, Ltd., said that it has so far not
been served with any papers in an alleged class action in the
U.S. that was filed against the Company by one of its employees,
alleging violation of employment laws.

According to India Infoline, the Company therefore has had no
opportunity to examine the veracity of the allegation made.  It
said that is surprised at the allegation since it has been
legally advised that it is fully compliant with all the
applicable federal and state laws in all the jurisdictions where
it operates.

All the Company's employees in the U.S. are paid their
remuneration in accordance with the terms of their employment
contracts, which are fully compliant with the applicable
employment laws. The Company will appropriately and adequately
respond to any legal proceeding in this regard as and when it is
formally served.

Previously, the law firm of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein,
LLP, on behalf of Gopi Vedachalam, an employee of Tata America
International Corporation, filed a nationwide class action in
U.S. District Court in San Francisco against Tata America
International Corporation, and its parent corporations Tata
Consultancy Services, Ltd., and Tata Sons, Ltd. (collectively
referred to as "Tata").   Among other allegations, the suit
charges that the Tata unjustly enriched itself by requiring all
of its non-U.S.-citizen employees to endorse and sign over their
federal and state tax refund checks to Tata.

Tata is one of India's largest business conglomerates, with
revenues last fiscal year in excess of $17 billion.   The
proposed class consists of thousands of current non-U.S. citizen
employees of Tata working in the U.S., plus former Tata
employees dating back to 2000.

"Tata's employees from India and other countries working legally
in the U.S., including thousands of technical support personnel
and project managers, work hard to see that the American
corporations they support and Tata are profitable," stated Lieff
Cabraser partner Steven M. Tindall.  "These workers are entitled
to any amount of taxes they overpaid federal and state tax

Mr. Tindall noted that this case constitutes one of the first
class actions against a company engaged in "reverse
outsourcing," bringing non-U.S. citizens to the U.S. to work in
U.S. corporations, for violation of labor laws.

The complaint charges that most Tata employees in the U.S. are
non-U.S. citizens.  These employees are granted visas, which
allow them to work and live in the U.S.  Tata requires each
employee to sign an agreement, which states that the employee's
gross amount of compensation will be includable as earnings in
the U.S. and reported to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.  The
complaint alleges that these employees are not paid the amount
promised them in these agreements.

The complaint alleges further that, at least until July 2005,
Tata required its non-U.S.-citizen employees to sign power of
attorney agreements delegating an outside agency to calculate
and submit each employee's tax return to state and federal
authorities.  Tata then required its non-U.S.-citizen employees
who received tax refunds from state and federal tax authorities
to endorse the tax refund checks and send them back to Tata.

Under California Labor Code Section 221, it is unlawful "for any
employer to collect or receive from an employee any part of
wages theretofore paid by said employer to said employee."  The
complaint also charges that Tata's conduct violates this Code
section as well as the common law forbidding unjust enrichment
and conversion.

From 2000 to 2003, plaintiff Gopi Vedachalam worked in Hayward,
California, as a Tata project manager assigned to Target.  Since
2003, he has worked as a Tata project manager for 21st Century
Insurance in Woodland Hills, California.  "I work hard for Tata
and the companies I have been assigned to.  I should receive the
full wages Tata agreed to pay me, as should all other Tata
employees in America.  I did not hand over my tax refund checks
voluntarily. I tried to recover these wages through Tata's
internal procedures, but I was met with either silence or

Mr. Vedachalam is asking the federal court to certify the case
as a class action and issue an injunction against Tata,
preventing it from requiring its employees to endorse their tax
refund checks to the company to the extent it is still doing
so.  The complaint also seeks compensation and damages for
current and former employees who were not paid what they were
promised and who were deprived of their tax refunds.

The suit is styled, "Vedachalam v. Tata America International
Corporation, et al., Case No. 3:06-cv-00963-MEJ," filed in the
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
under Judge Maria-Elena James.  Representing the Plaintiff/s
are, James M. Finberg, Steven M. Tindall and Peter Edwin Leckman
of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, 275 Battery Street,
Suite 3000, San Francisco, CA 94111-3339, Phone: 415-956-1000
x2236, Fax: 415-956-1008, E-mail: JFinberg@lchb.com,
stindall@lchb.com and pleckman@lchb.com.

TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Funds File Lawsuit in N.H. Over 3-Way Split
Institutional investors launched lawsuit seeking to block Tyco
International Ltd. from splitting into three publicly traded
companies, Pensions & Investments Online reports.

The investors include the $12.8 billion Teachers' Retirement
System of Louisiana, the $7.3 billion Louisiana State Employees'
Retirement System and the $3.8 billion Plumbers and Pipefitters
National Pension Fund.

Filed in U.S. District Court in Concord, New Hampshire, the suit
accuses the Company of engineering the split to shield corporate
assets.  It seeks assurance that all of Tyco's assets "will
remain available for recovery in the event of a judgment in the
ongoing securities class action," according to a statement from
the group.  The same plaintiffs sued Tyco in 2002, accusing the
company of accounting and securities fraud, Allan Ripp, a
spokesman for the group told Pensions & Investments Online that
that case is currently pending.

According to the new lawsuit, the Company refused "to structure
the transaction to provide for joint and several liability among
the resulting separate entities, or to provide plaintiffs with
any other appropriate assurances that the split-up plan will not
frustrate plaintiffs' ability to satisfy an award of damages" in
securities litigation.

Other plaintiffs in both cases are United Association General
Officers Pension Plan, United Association Office Employees
Pension Plan and United Association Local Union Officers &
Employees Pension Fund, all based in Virginia, and Voyageur
Asset Management.  The law firms of Grant and Eisenhofer,
Milberg Weiss Bershad and Schulman, and Schiffrin and Barroway
are representing plaintiffs in the both cases, Mr. Ripp told
Pensions & Investments Online.

In response to the suit, Sheri Woodruff, Tyco spokeswoman,
released a company statement, saying, "Under Tyco's proposed
separation plan, any existing or potential liabilities that
cannot be associated with a particular entity will be allocated
as appropriate among each of the businesses.  In addition, as a
backstop for such liabilities, there will be an agreement among
the three post-spinoff companies to be jointly and severally
liable for these liabilities.  This includes the liabilities, if
any, related to the pending shareholder litigation."

"Although formal agreements will not be drafted until much later
in this planned separation process, we believe that the planned
treatment of these liabilities addresses any concerns that a
current or potential claimant might have.  We are confident that
the planned separations can be completed as previously

The suit is styled, "Plumbers and Pipefitters National Pension
Fund et al v. Tyco International, Ltd., Case No. 1:06-cv-00062-
PB," filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New
Hampshire under Judge Paul Barbadoro.  Representing the
Plaintiff/s are, William L. Chapman of Orr & Reno, PA, One Eagle
Sq., P.O. Box 3550, Concord, NH 03302-3550, Phone: 603-224-2381,
E-mail: wlc@orr-reno.com.

UCI MEDICAL: Court Combines 10 Liver Transplant Program Suits
Santa Ana Superior Court Judge Jonathan H. Cannon ordered the
consolidation of all lawsuits pending against The Regents of the
University of California arising over the University of
California at Irvine's Liver Transplant Program.

Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP's 10 wrongful death and personal
injury lawsuits will be consolidated with other similar cases
and will be controlled by Judge Cannon.  The Judge also ruled
that the Plaintiffs may begin deposing the Defendants 46-days
from Feb. 15.

"We want to get to the bottom of why UCI's Liver Transplant
Program failed to adhere to its own mandate," stated Mark T.
Quiqley, whose firm Greene Broillet & Wheeler represents ten of
the individuals or families who have sued UCI, "and we intend to
be aggressive in deposing all responsible parties to uncover the
truth.  It is our ultimate goal to hold UCI accountable for the
clear harm and grief that it has caused our clients."

"The UCI Liver Transplant Program dangled our client Elodie
Irvine for over four years before she took action against them
and reported her concerns to Federal authorities," explained Mr.
Quigley.  Even then, UCI did not take any proactive steps to
correct its problems and waited until the government decertified
the program and shut it down last November.  It seems that UCI's
Liver Transplant leadership was more interested in appearances
and profits than patient safety.  Greene Broillet & Wheeler has
the depth of litigation experience and resources necessary to
see these cases through to trial and we will work with co-
counsel to see that justice is served."


Greene Broillet represents the Arms Family, the Degenhardt
Family, the Hambarian Family, the Henderson Family, the Vu
Family and the Wade Family, who all filed complaints for damages
for the wrongful death of a family member who allegedly died
while under the care of UCI's Liver Transplant Program.  The
firm also represents Barry Johnson, Chris Millington, Yolanda
Sanchez, and Diane Tovar, who all filed complaints for damages
for personal injuries allegedly sustained while awaiting an
organ transplant as a patient of UCI's Medical Center.  The
partners handling these cases are Browne Greene and Mark T.
Quigley with the Santa Monica, CA. law firm of Greene Broillet &
Wheeler, LLP. Arms, et. al. vs. Regents of the University of
California, Case Number 06CC01920.

                         Case Background

A lawsuit seeking class action status was launched in Orange
County Superior Court against UCI Medical Center for negligence,
fraud and conspiracy [in 2005], The Associated Press reports
(Class Action Reporter, Nov. 16, 2005).

The lawsuit alleged that hospital officials didn't tell patients
that the University of California, Irvine Medical Center hadn't
had a resident liver transplant surgeon since June 2003.  Its
two surgeons were based in San Diego, some 90 miles away, and
worked under contract, according to the suit (Class Action
Reporter, Nov. 16, 2005).

In addition, the 11-page lawsuit also alleged that three
doctors, Dr. David Imagawa, Dr. Muhammad Sheikh and Dr. Sean
Cao, conspired to perform surgeries that were more lucrative and
cutting-edge while neglecting transplant patients, even when
organs became available.  According to the suit, the other
procedures attracted "more prestige, more patients, more profit
and more research funding" than transplants.  The plaintiffs in
the case are, Andrea Razetto, her husband, Carlos, and Audrey
Degenhardt (Class Action Reporter, Nov. 16, 2005).

For more information, contact Browne Greene and Mark T. Quigley
of Greene Broillet & Wheeler (http://www.greene-broillet.com),
Phone: 310.576.1200.  The attorneys also represent Elodie Irvine
in her appeal of her civil suit against UCI's Medical Center.

UNITED KINGDOM: Cost of Fighting Harassment Claims to Increase
An authoritative new study indicated that the cost to British
business of fighting discrimination and harassment lawsuits from
employees increased by 70 per cent in the past three years, The
Observer reports.

Currently, U.K. Companies are spending about $249,546,492.16
(210 million) a year on employment tribunal claims.  And after
age discrimination becomes illegal this October, the figure is
set to rise by another 70 per cent to $427,793,986.56 (360
million) in 2007.

Around 30,000 legal actions mostly claiming unfair dismissal,
unequal pay or sex discrimination are filed with the employment
tribunal service each year.  Although many of these claims are
eventually settled out of court, they still cost companies
$12,178.33 (7,000) on average, mainly to cover lawyers' fees.

Committed2Equality, a think-tank that advises the government on
discrimination in the workplace, compiled the aforementioned
statistics.  Janet Lakhani, the Company's chief executive,
warned that companies were failing to update their procedures in
line with legal changes.

She cited a court of appeal judgment back in 2005 that imposes a
"presumption of guilt" on employers that are sued, obliging them
to provide proof that they did not discriminate.

Employment tribunals have seen some enormous claims in recent
years, particularly those brought against City firms.  Just
recently Claire Bright, a London-based senior asset manager,
filed a $19,131,447.22 (11 million) action against HBOS
alleging discrimination and victimization, which the bank

In the U.S., several female bankers have brought a $1.4 billion
class action against Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein Securities,
LLC, alleging they were marginalized and denied promotion.  The
Company though denies their claims.

UNITED STATES: Balestriere Files Suit v. NASD over Series 7 Exam
Balestriere PLLC commenced class action in the U.S. District
Court for the Southern District of New York against the National
Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) on behalf of nearly
2,000 individuals who it claims the NASD incorrectly informed
they failed the Series 7 broker qualification examination.

The lawsuit seeks class action status on behalf all persons who
took the Series 7 administered by the NASD between October 1,
2004 and December 20, 2005 and were allegedly incorrectly
informed that they failed the examination.

Passing the Series 7 exam is necessary in order for an
individual to register with the NASD and the exam must be passed
in order for an individual to take many other principle exams
offered by the NASD.  The complaint alleges that the NASD
administered a faulty examination to over 60,000 individuals and
negligently informed members of the Class that they had failed
the Series 7 examination when in fact, the members of the Class
had passed the examination.

As a result, plaintiff and all members of the Class suffered
damage to their reputation and business relationships, and many
class members lost their jobs, had to relocate, received lower
bonuses, lost commissions, were unemployable or had to accept
lower paying jobs which did not require a Series 7 license.
Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf the Class.

The plaintiff is represented by Balestriere PLLC
(http://www.balestriere.net). The plaintiff's counsel is
Catherine Riccards (Phone: 212-374-5404; E-mail:

UNITED STATES: Barrett, Johnston Sues NASD over Series 7 Exam
Barrett, Johnston & Parsley commenced class action in the U.S.
District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee against the
National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) on behalf of
1,882 individuals who were incorrectly informed by the NASD that
they failed the Series 7 examination.

The lawsuit seeks class action status on behalf all persons who
took the Series 7 examination administered by the NASD between
October 1, 2004 and December 20, 2005 and were incorrectly
informed that they failed the examination.

Passing the Series 7 exam is necessary in order for an
individual to register with the NASD and the exam must be passed
in order for an individual to take many other principle exams
offered by the NASD.  The complaint alleges that the NASD
admitted that it improperly informed the Class that they had
failed the Series 7 examination due to the NASD's negligence
when they, in fact, passed the examination.

As a result, plaintiff and many members of the Class lost their
jobs, had to relocate, received lower bonuses, lost commissions,
were unemployed and/or had to accept lower paying jobs which did
not require a Series 7 license.  Plaintiff seeks to recover
damages on behalf the Class.

For more information, contact Gerald Martin of Barrett, Johnston
& Parsley, 217 Second Avenue N., Nashville, TN 37201, Phone:
615-244-2202; E-mail: jmartin@barrettjohnston.com.

UNITED STATES: Retiring Baby Boomers May See Scam Proliferation
As the first of 79 million baby boomers turn 60 this year,
"free-this" and "free-that" financial seminars are thriving with
community centers and hotels becoming backdrops for what
regulators see as aggressive sales pitches geared toward
seniors, The USA Today reports.

While people 60 and older make up 15 percent of the U.S.
population, they account for about 30 percent of fraud victims,
according to estimates by Consumer Action, a consumer-advocacy

As this vast generation of boomers starts to retire, "You're
going to see more of these seminars and more of these sales
pitches," James Nelson, assistant secretary of state in
Mississippi told USA Today. "Wherever retirees are congregated,
you're going to have these people preying on them."

Older people have long been a lucrative market for the
financial-services industry because of the assets they have
accumulated.  However, the sheer number of baby boomers
approaching retirement and seeking a place to park their assets
is causing a frenzy of aggressive sales tactics.

Research firm Cerulli Associates estimates that boomers have
more than $8.5 trillion in investable assets and over the next
40 years, they stand to inherit at least $7 trillion from their
parents.  As baby boomers swell the retiree population,
regulators worry not just about estate-planning seminars for
seniors, but also about sales of promissory notes, unregistered
securities and lottery scams.

"It's the topic of the next few decades: senior investments and
senior fraud," according to Patricia Struck, president of the
North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA).
"There are marketing seminars that are being held nightly and in
every city," echoes Bryan Lantagne of the Massachusetts
Securities Division.  He adds, "They get you to come in and do a
financial plan. Their goal is to put you in one of these

Though senior estate-planning seminars aren't new, they are
drawing more regulatory scrutiny because they are ramping up in
areas with large elderly populations.  Typically, the people who
attend them need advice about leaving assets to their children,
managing income or minimizing taxes in retirement.

Beverly Buhs, 81, of Millbrae, Calif., attended one of these
financial seminars with her husband, Art, in 1997.  They bought
a living trust on the spot, she says.  They were told it would
let them avoid probate, a process by which one's assets are
allocated after they die.  In addition, Mrs. Buhs and her
husband also bought an equity-index annuity, a high-cost
insurance product with returns based partly on the stock market.

After her husband died, Mrs. Buhs found the trust didn't fully
protect their assets from probate and that she couldn't access
the money in the annuity without paying big penalties.  Her
complaints are part of a class-action lawsuit against the
financial agents and companies involved in the seminar.

North Dakota Securities Commissioner Karen Tyler calls these
seminars a bait-and-switch tactic.  Ms. Tyler told The USA Today
that the free seminar is the bait, while the switch comes when
the agents urge investors to liquidate portfolios and put the
money into other products.

Dan Danbom of the Society of Certified Senior Advisors, which
helps train insurance agents, brokers and others to conduct
senior seminars, told The USA Today that there's nothing
"inherently dishonest about seminars, any more than there's
anything inherently dishonest about advertising or direct mail."
And some agents argue that their financial seminars fill
seniors' very real need for education.  Theresa Bischoff, an
insurance agent in Palatine, Ill., told The USA Today that she
conducts seminars because "baby boomers are starving for
information on retirement and estate planning."

However, regulators worry that seminars often serve as tools for
unscrupulous salespeople.  In fact last December, NASAA issued
an alert cautioning investors that "bogus" senior specialists
are sometimes using such seminars.  The specialists may take
only a few courses to earn their titles and then use these
designations to create a "false level of comfort" about their
expertise, according to NASAA.

VERITAS SOFTWARE: Del. Court Mulls Securities Lawsuit Dismissal
The U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware has yet to
rule on VERITAS Software Corporation's motion to dismiss the
consolidated securities class action filed against it, alleging
violations of federal securities laws.

On July 7, 2004, a purported class action complaint entitled
"Paul Kuck, et al. v. VERITAS Software Corporation, et al.," was
filed.  The lawsuit alleges violations of federal securities
laws in connection with the Company's announcement on July 6,
2004 that it expected its results of operations for the fiscal
quarter ended June 30, 2004 to fall below estimates that were
earlier provided by the Company.  The complaint generally seeks
an unspecified amount of damages.

Subsequently, additional purported class action complaints have
been filed in Delaware federal court against the same defendants
named in the Kuck lawsuit.  These complaints are based on the
same facts and circumstances as the Kuck lawsuit.  On March 3,
2005, the Court entered an order consolidating these actions and
appointing lead plaintiffs and counsel. A consolidated amended
complaint was filed on May 27, 2005, expanding the class period
back one year, to between April 23, 2004 and July 6, 2004. The
suit also named another officer as a defendant and added
allegations that the Company and the named officers made false
or misleading statements in the company's press releases and SEC
filings regarding the company's financial results, which
allegedly contained revenue recognized from contracts that were
unsigned or lacked essential terms.  On July 2, 2005, Symantec
Corporation completed the acquisition of VERITAS Software
Corporation, or VERITAS, a leading provider of software and
services to enable utility computing.  Defendants filed a motion
to dismiss the consolidated amended complaint on July 20, 2005.

The suit is styled, "Kuck v. Veritas Software, et al., Case No.
1:04-cv-00831-SLR," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
District of Delaware under Judge Sue L. Robinson.  Representing
the Plaintiff/s is Carmella P. Keener of Rosenthal, Monhait,
Gross & Goddess, Citizens Bank Center, Suite 1401, P.O. Box
1070, Wilmington, DE 19899-1070, Phone: (302) 656-4433, E-mail:

Representing the Defendant/s are Erica Niezgoda Finnegan of
Cross & Simon, LLC, 913 North Market Street, 11th Floor, Suite
1001, Wilmington, DE 19801, Phone: (302) 777-4200, (302) 777-
4224, E-mail: efinnegan@crosslaw.com; and Peter J. Walsh, Jr. of
Potter Anderson & Corroon, LLP, 1313 N. Market St., Hercules
Plaza, 6th Flr., P.O. Box 951, Wilmington, DE 19899-0951, Phone:
(302) 984-6037, Fax: (302) 658-1192, E-mail:

WARNER MUSIC: Named in Calif. Music Download Price Fixing Suit
The Warner Music Group Corp. is named in a class action brought
by consumers based on the same subject matter as a New York
attorney general's request for information alleging conspiracy
among record companies to fix prices for downloads, a SEC filing
by the firm reveals.

The complaint seeks unspecified compensatory, statutory and
treble damages.  The action, Richard Feferman et al. v.
Universal et.al. was filed on December, 29, 2005 in the Superior
Court of California, County of San Diego.

The attorney general is launching an industry-wide investigation
as to whether the practices of music industry participants
concerning the pricing of digital music downloads violate
Sections of the Sherman Act, New York State General Business Law
et seq., New York Executive Law, and related statutes.

WD ENERGY: 2005 Result Hit by $30M Calif., N.Y. Suit Settlements
EdCana Corp. recorded $30 million in cost to settle anti-trust
suits in fourth quarter of 2005, according to the company's
report for 2005.

                     California Litigation

As disclosed in July 2003, EnCana's indirect wholly owned U.S.
marketing subsidiary, WD Energy Services Inc., concluded a
settlement with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission
(CFTC) of a previously disclosed CFTC investigation whereby WD
agreed to pay a civil monetary penalty in the amount of $20
million without admitting or denying the findings in the CFTC's

EnCana Corporation and WD are defendants in a lawsuit filed by
E. & J. Gallo Winery in the U.S. District Court in California,
further described below.  The Gallo lawsuit claims damages in
excess of $30 million.  California law allows for the
possibility that the amount of damages assessed could be

Along with other energy companies, EnCana Corporation and WD are
defendants in several other lawsuits relating to sales of
natural gas in California from 1999 to 2002 (some of which are
class actions and some of which are brought by individual
parties on their own behalf).  As is customary, these lawsuits
do not specify the precise amount of damages claimed.  The Gallo
and other California lawsuits contain allegations that the
defendants engaged in a conspiracy with unnamed competitors in
the natural gas and derivatives market in California in
violation of U.S. and California anti-trust and unfair
competition laws.

In all but one of the class actions in the U.S. District Court
and in the Gallo action, decisions dealing with the issue of
whether the scope of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's
exclusive jurisdiction over natural gas prices precludes the
plaintiffs from maintaining their claims are on appeal to the
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Without admitting any liability in the lawsuits, in November
2005, WD agreed to pay $20.5 million to settle the class actions
that were consolidated in San Diego Superior Court, subject to
final documentation and approval by the San Diego Superior
Court.  The individual parties who brought their own actions are
not parties to this settlement.

                       New York Litigation

WD is also a defendant in a consolidated class action filed in
the U.S. District Court in New York.  The consolidated New York
lawsuit claims that the defendants' alleged manipulation of
natural gas price indices affected natural gas futures and
option contracts traded on the NYMEX from 2000 to 2002.  EnCana
Corporation was dismissed from the New York lawsuit, leaving WD
and several other companies unrelated to EnCana Corporation as
the remaining defendants.  Without admitting any liability in
the lawsuit, WD has agreed to pay a maximum of $9.1 million to
settle the New York class action, subject to final documentation
and approval by the New York District Court.

Based on the aforementioned settlements, during the fourth
quarter of 2005 a total of $30 million was recorded, which
amount has been included in Administrative costs in the Net
Earnings from Discontinued Operations.

EnCana Corporation and WD intend to vigorously defend against
the remaining outstanding claims; however, the Company cannot
predict the outcome of these proceedings or any future
proceedings against the Company, whether these proceedings would
lead to monetary damages which could have a material adverse
effect on the Company's financial position, or whether there
will be other proceedings arising out of these allegations.

Encana on the Net: http://www.encana.com.

WISCONSIN: Judge Allows Suit V. Family Care Program to Proceed
U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman refused to dismiss a lawsuit
against Milwaukee County and the state of Wisconsin that claims
the Family Care program discriminates against elderly people
with disabilities, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

The ruling came on the heels of Gov. Jim Doyle's proposal last
month to expand Family Care, which began as a five-county pilot
program, throughout the state.  At the time, Gov. Doyle said
that the expansion wouldn't require budget increases.  Yet in
Milwaukee County, officials have identified a potential revenue
shortfall of $1.8 million for 2006.

The ruling also came within a day of the death of Gerald Nelson,
a plaintiff in the case.  Mr. Nelson, who suffered a brain
injury when he was 5, lived the last seven years in a Hales
Corners group home paid for through Family Care.  Mr. Nelson
died last week at age 73.

Along with several other plaintiffs, Mr. Nelson sued in 2004
after owners of their group homes threatened to pull out of
Family Care in Milwaukee County, because reimbursement rates are
too low to cover their expenses.  If the providers leave the
program, the residents would have to move, which could cause
serious physical and psychological problems, the suit says.

Essentially, Judge Adelman's ruling allows the plaintiffs to
pursue their suit to trial and continue to seek class-action

Plaintiffs' attorney, Robert "Rock" Pledl told The Milwaukee
Journal Sentinel, "The issues in this case won't go away if
Family Care expands statewide.  The policy-makers have to look
closely at the rate question or we are going to lose a lot of
homes for the elderly and people with disabilities to financial

Susan Stefan, a senior staff attorney at the Massachusetts-based
Center for Public Representation and a consultant to President
George W. Bush's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, told
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the case could have national
implications.  The most significant claim to survive, according
to Ms. Stefan, says government programs can't use methods of
administration or set up contracts that have an adverse impact
on people with disabilities.  "If the effect of how they run
their programs is to defeat the objective of their programs,
they're in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act,"
she said.

Mr. Pledl argues that the setup of Family Care does just that.
In Milwaukee County, a combination of state and federal funding
pays for the care of people with disabilities regardless of
their age, the difference though is in the way the money is
administered.  People under 60 are served through the county's
Disability Services Division, which features individualized care
plans but has long waiting lists.  People 60 and over, whether
they have developmental disabilities, medical problems or
physical problems, are served through Family Care.

The county receives the same amount of federal and state funds
each month for each person enrolled in Family Care, no matter
what their needs.  In theory, the money saved on people with
fewer needs should cover overruns for elderly people with

However, the plaintiffs say that hasn't happened in Milwaukee
County, leading providers to the brink of financial disaster,
according to court records.

The suit is styled, "Gerald Nelson et al v. Milwaukee County,
Case No. 2:04-cv-00193-LA," filed in the U.S. District Court for
the Eastern District of Wisconsin under Judge Lynn Adelman.
Representing the Plaintiff/s is Robert Theine Pledl of Pledl Law
Office, Riverfront Plaza, 1110 N Old World 3rd St., - Ste. 670,
Milwaukee, WI 53203-1100, Phone: 414-225-8999, Fax: 414-224-
0811, E-mail: pledl@sbcglobal.net.  Representing the Defendant/s
are, Maureen McGlynn Flanagan and Mary E. Burke of Wisconsin
Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General, 17 W.
Main St., P.O. Box 7857, Madison, WI 53707-7857, Phone: 608-266-
1780 and 608-266-0323, Fax: 608-267-2223, E-mail:
flanaganmm@doj.state.wi.us and burkeme@doj.state.wi.us; and John
F. Jorgensen and Mary Ellen Poulos, Milwaukee County Corporation
Counsel, 901 N. 9th St. - Rm. 303, Milwaukee, WI 53233-1425,
Phone: 414-278-4087 and 414-278-4295, Fax: 414-223-1249 and 414-
223-1249, E-mail: jjorgensen@milwcnty.com and

WMS INDUSTRIES: Discovery Continues in Quebec Gambling Lawsuit
WMS Industries Inc. reports that discovery is proceeding in a
Quebec class action over pathological gambling addiction.

On October 2, 2003, La Societe de Loteries du Quebec (Loto-
Quebec) filed claims against the Company and Video Lottery
Consultants Inc., a subsidiary of IGT (VLC) in the Superior
Court of the Province of Quebec, Quebec City District (200-06-
000017-015).  The pleadings allege that Loto-Quebec would be
entitled to be indemnified by the manufacturers of Loto-Quebec's
video lottery terminals (VLTs), specifically the Company and
VLC, if the class action plaintiffs, are successful in the
pending class action against Loto-Quebec.

The class action discussed in Loto-Quebec's claim was brought on
May 18, 2001 against Loto-Quebec in the Superior Court of the
Province of Quebec.  It alleges that the members of the class
developed a pathological gambling addiction by using Loto-
Quebec's VLTs and that Loto-Quebec, as owner, operator and
distributor of VLTs, failed to warn players of the alleged
dangers associated with VLTs.

Spielo Manufacturing Inc., another manufacturer of VLTs,
voluntarily intervened to support Loto-Quebec's position.  The
Court granted class status on May 6, 2002, authorizing Jean
Brochu to act as the representative plaintiff.  The class of
119,000 members is requesting damages totaling almost $700
million Canadian dollars, plus interest.  The Company is
currently proceeding with discovery.

ZIRKLE FRUIT: Plaintiffs' Lawyers Seek Half of $1.3M RICO Pact
Lawyers for the plaintiffs who sued Zirkle Fruit Co. executives
are asking for nearly half of a $1.3 million Racketeer
Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) settlement for
expenses and fees, The Associated Press reports.

In a notice mailed to potential plaintiffs in the class-action
lawsuit, the Seattle law firm of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro and
the Chicago firm of Johnson & Bell said they would request
$600,000 of the $1.3 million settlement.  The two firms claim
that they spent $210,000 on travel, copying costs and other
expenses.  In addition, they also spent another $1.7 million in
attorney and support staff costs billed at "reasonable and
customary rates."  They are asking for 25 percent of that, or an
additional $390,000.

Previously, William Zirkle, the owner of the Company agreed to
pay $1.3 million to settle the lawsuit, which is accusing him
and two other executives of conspiring to hire thousands of
illegal immigrants in order to keep wages low.  Under the deal,
the executives admitted no wrongdoing.  The corporation, Zirkle
Fruit, was not a defendant in the case.

Ryan Edgley, Mr. Zirkle's attorney, previously told The
Associated Press, "Mr. Zirkle knows no one did anything wrong.
Mr. Zirkle primarily wanted to put an end to the uncertainty."
He also noted that the defendants were concerned that even if
they prevailed before a jury, the plaintiffs would appeal and
that legal costs would continue to mount.  The case was set for
trial on January 9, 2006 before U.S. District Judge Fred Van
Sickle.  Had Mr. Zirkle lost at trial, he and the other
defendants could have faced triple damages under RICO, (Class
Action Reporter, Jan. 3, 2006).

The case obtained class action status back in 2004, which
increased the number of legal workers potentially eligible for
damages to 20,000.  Chicago lawyer Howard Foster filed the case
in 2000.  Although Judge Van Sickle dismissed the case in 2001,
Mr. Foster won at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2002,
(Class Action Reporter, Jan. 3, 2006).

In his complaint, Mr. Foster states that owner William Zirkle
and top executives William Wangler and Gary Hudson conspired to
hire thousands of illegal immigrants for orchard and warehouse
work at Zirkle Fruit in violation of RICO.  Also named, as a
defendant is Selective Employment, a temporary job placement
company used by Zirkle Fruit.  As stated before, Zirkle Fruit,
the business itself, is not a defendant in the case, (Class
Action Reporter, Dec. 30, 2005).

Originally, the civil lawsuit was filed in March of 2000 against
Zirkle Fruit Co., Matson Fruit Co. and the Selective Employment
Agency. Judge Van Sickle dismissed it back in 2001, but a three-
judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San
Francisco, California later revived it, saying the plaintiffs
should have a chance to show if the hiring practices drove down
employees' wages.

The suit was filed on behalf of Olivia Mendoza and Juan
Mendiola, both former employees of Zirkle Fruit, accusing the
two fruit companies of using the Selective Employment Agency to
hire illegal immigrants who would work for wages below minimum
standards, (Class Action Reporter, Sept. 10, 2002).  Filed under
RICO, the suit is the first of its kind in the U.S. where legal
workers sued agricultural employers about intentional wage
depression through the use of illegal labor, (Class Action
Reporter, July 16, 2004).

Eligible employees are those who worked lawfully for the
Company's orchards or packing houses between Nov. 5, 1999, and
Sept. 8, 2004.  Individuals could receive a maximum of $2 an
hour for hours worked during that period.  The sum could be
substantially less depending on how many workers are valid class

The suit is styled, "Mendoza, et al. v. Zirkle Fruit Co, et al.
Case No. 2:00-cv-03024-FVS," filed in the U.S. District Court
for the Eastern District of Washington, under Judge Fred Van
Sickle.  Representing the Plaintiff/s are:

     (1) Steve W. Berman and Andrew M Volk of Hagens Berman
         Sobol Shapiro, LLP, 1301 Fifth Ave., Suite 2900,
         Seattle, WA 98101, Phone: 206-623-7292, Fax:
         12066230594, E-mail: steve@hbsslaw.com and

     (2) Michael V. Connell of Smart Law Offices, PS, 501 North
         2nd St., Yakima, WA 98901-2309, Phone: 509-573-3333, E-
         mail: connell@yvn.com; and

     (3) Howard W. Foster, Jack T. Riley and James Kevin Toohey
         of Johnson & Bell Ltd., 55 E. Monroe St., Suite 4100,
         Chicago, IL 60603-5896, Phone: 312-372-0770, Fax: 312-
         372-9818, E-mail: fosterh@jbltd.com and

Representing the Defendant/s are:

     (i) Alexander A Baehr of Holland & Knight, LLP, 520 Pike
         St., Suite 2600, Seattle, WA 98101-1385, Phone: 206-
         340-1825, E-mail: alexander.baehr@hklaw.com;

    (ii) Mark David Watson of Meyer Fluegge & Tenney, 230 S.
         Second St., P.O. Box 22680, Yakima, WA 98907, Phone:
         509-575-8500, Fax: 15095754676, E-mail:

   (iii) Ryan M Edgley and Paul Hamilton Beattie of Edgley &
         Beattie, PS, 201 East D. St., Yakima, WA 98901, Phone:
         509-248-1717, Fax: 15092481573, E-mail:
         edgleyr@hscis.net and hrappgray@aol.com;

    (iv) Brendan Victor Monahan of Velikanje Moore & Shore, PS,
         405 E. Lincoln Ave., P.O. Box 22550, Yakima, WA 98907,
         Phone: 509-248-6030, E-mail: bmonahan@vmslaw.com; and

     (v) Diehl Randall Rettig of Rettig Osborne Forgette
         O'Donnell Iller & Adamson, LLP, 6725 W. Clearwater
         Ave., Kennewick, WA 99336, Phone: 509-783-6154, Fax:
         15097830858, E-mail: diehl.rettig@rettiglaw.com.

                         Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: United Technologies Challenges 2,270 Claims
United Technologies Corporation, in its 2005 annual report,
states that it is named in about 2,270 asbestos-related lawsuits
involving about 20,100 individual claimants.

As of December 31, 2004, the Company had 1,700 suits involving
about 25,000 claimants. About 18,000 of these claimants were
joined in Mississippi state court lawsuits, which named from 200
to more than 400 other firms as co-defendants. (Class Action
Reporter, February 18, 2005)

As a result of changes in the law governing joinder and pleading
in Mississippi, about 5,700 Mississippi claimants have been
transferred to Pennsylvania's Federal Multidistrict Litigation
asbestos docket.

Many other claimants have been dismissed without prejudice and
required to file claims that allege more specifically the
claimant's asbestos exposure and the resulting harm. At present,
the total number of claimants in Mississippi is about 6,300.

While the Company has never manufactured asbestos and no longer
uses it in any currently manufactured products, certain of its
historical products, like those of many other manufacturers,
have contained components with asbestos.

The complaints did not identify any of the Company's or its
subsidiaries' products nor specify the amount of damages
claimed. In addition, the complaints did not allege which
claimants were exposed to asbestos linked to the Company's
products or premises, nor the extent to which such claimants had
been harmed. To date, the Company has not made payment in a
substantial majority of the cases closed.

Hartford, CT-based United Technologies Corporation makes
building systems and aerospace products through brands like
Carrier, Otis, Pratt & Whitney, and Sikorsky.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Zurn Hurdles 1.9T New Injury Claims in 1Q06
Jacuzzi Brands Inc. reports that its subsidiary, Zurn Industries
Inc., confronts about 1,900 new asbestos claims in the first
quarter of 2006, lower than the 2,200 claims in the same period
for 2005, according to a SEC report.

Claimants allege personal injuries caused by exposure to
asbestos used in industrial boilers formerly manufactured by a
segment of Zurn that has been accounted for as a discontinued
operation. Zurn purchased asbestos from suppliers and did not
manufacture it or its components.

As of December 31, 2005, Zurn defended against 66,300 pending
claims compared to 69,900 as of September 30, 2005. The claims
against Zurn as of December 31, 2005 were included in about
7,900 suits, in which Zurn and about 100 other firms are named
as defendants, and which cumulatively allege damages of about
US$10 billion against all defendants.

At the end of 2006-1st quarter, about 13,800 claims were paid or
pending payment and about 2,900 claims were dismissed or pending
dismissal. At the end of 2005-1st quarter, about 15,300 claims
were paid or pending payment and about 1,100 claims were
dismissed or pending dismissal.

Since Zurn received its first asbestos claim in the 1980s, it
has paid or dismissed or agreed to settle or dismiss about
121,900 asbestos claims including dismissals or agreements to
dismiss of about 27,200 of such claims through December 31,

At September 30, 2005, an independent economic consulting firm
estimated that Zurn's potential liability for asbestos claims
pending against it and for claims estimated to be filed through
2015 is about US$153 million, of which Zurn expects to pay about
US$114 million through 2015 on such claims, with the balance of
the estimated liability being paid in subsequent years.

Zurn estimates that its available insurance to cover its
potential asbestos liability as of December 31, 2005 is about
US$292 million.

West Palm Beach, FL-based Jacuzzi Brands Inc. manufactures and
distributes bath and plumbing products. The Company sells its
products worldwide, although the U.S. accounts for almost three-
fourths of sales. The Company acquired Zurn Industries in June

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Exide's French Subsidiary Faces 56 Claims
Exide Technologies states that, since 1982, the French
governmental agency for workers' illness claims received 56
asbestos illness claims from CEAC, the Company's primary French

In the November 18, 2005 Class Action reporter, the Company
noted 54 claims.

From 1957 to 1982, CEAC, or Compagnie Europeene D'Accumulateur,
operated a plant using crocidolite asbestos fibers in the
formation of battery cases, which, once formed, encapsulated the
fibers. About 1,500 employees worked in the plant over the

For some of those claims, CEAC is obligated to and has
indemnified the agency in accordance with French law for about
US$260,000 and US$378,000 in calendar 2003 and 2004,

In addition, CEAC has been deemed liable to indemnify the agency
for about US$200,000 and US$107,000 during the same periods to
date for the dependents of four such claimants. The Company was
not required to make any payments in calendar year 2005.

Alpharetta, GA-based Exide Technologies makes lead-acid
automotive and industrial batteries. The Company also makes
batteries for farm equipment, golf carts, boats, and
wheelchairs, as well as back-up power supply batteries for
telecommunications, computer, and power plant systems.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Sets ABB Unit Plan Hearing on Feb. 28
The hearing of ABB subsidiary Combustion Engineering's Plan of
Reorganization has been set for February 28, according to a
Company release.

The U.S. District Court judge said he intended to issue an entry
and affirmance of the confirmation order of the Plan on that

If objections will not be made during the 30-day appeals period
following the February 28 hearing, the plan would then become
effective. ABB could then start the process of setting up the
Trust Fund for asbestos claimants.

No appeals were filed against the Plan before the US Bankruptcy
Court in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania confirmed it on December 19,

In September 2005, claimants to a parallel asbestos-related plan
of reorganization for another U.S. subsidiary, ABB Lummus Global
Inc., voted 96% in favor of the plan. That plan has not yet been
filed with the Bankruptcy Court.

"This is a very positive step forward. If the judge confirms the
plan, and no appeals are filed during the 30-day period, the
order will become final and the plan effective, to the benefit
of all parties involved," said Fred Kindle, ABB President and

Based in Zurich, Switzerland, ABB Ltd. operates through two
major divisions, power technologies and automation technologies.
The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and
employs about 103,000 people.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: USA Remediation Slapped With US$500T Fine
Asbestos removal contractor USA Remediation Inc. was issued a
US$500,000 fine for breaching the U.S. Clean Air Act during a
demolition project at the old Westinghouse Electric plant in
Cheektowaga in May 1999, The Buffalo News reports.

Officials of the Warrenton, VA-based Company entered a "no
contest" plea in the case last October 2005, declining to fight
the felony charges filed against them. They were sentenced in
absentia after failing to send a representative to District
Judge John T. Elfvin's court.

U.S. Attorney Michael Battle said that employee Mark Jamieson
was indicted along with USA Remediation Services; Comprehensive
Employment Management; John Toner, a CEM employee who was
supposed to ensure compliance with environmental statutes; Corey
Seamon, an employee of USA Remediation accused of lying to a
federal grand jury; and Robert Birmingham, a foreman for USA
Remediation. (Class Action Reporter, May 20, 2005)

Assistant U.S. Attorney Martin J. Littlefield said the
violations occurred while the Genesee Street plant was being
razed to make room for expansion of Buffalo Niagara
International Airport.

Authorities said USA Remediation had a nearly US$1 million
government contract to remove asbestos. They said Company
employees engaged in "illegal dry removal" of asbestos material,
which is supposed to be soaked with water to prevent it from
being inhaled by workers.

Mr. Littlefield said USA Remediation is in bankruptcy

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: MS Court Orders Case v. Railroad to Proceed
The Mississippi Supreme Court denies Illinois Central Railroad's
request to stop proceedings in a 54-plaintiff asbestos case in
Holmes County, the Sun Herald reports.

The railroad alleged the plaintiffs had failed to provide
specific information about asbestos or silica exposure while
employed by Illinois Central.

Records stated that, in May 2005, Circuit Judge Jannine Lewis
ordered each plaintiff to provide specific information about
when and where exposure occurred and what substance they came in
contact with. She also said she would determine what cases would
be heard in Holmes County and which would be moved to other

Before that could occur, the railroad asked Judge Lewis to
dismiss some plaintiffs who, according to documents, could not
recall the specific asbestos or silica containing products to
which they were exposed.

In its petition to the Supreme Court, the railroad argued the
judge failed to follow the guidelines established in similar
cases dealing with multiple plaintiffs.

Over the past two years, the Supreme Court has ruled that it was
unfair to group the plaintiffs together when their claims did
not arise from the same incident or involve the same defendants.

Justice Jess H. Dickinson said Illinois Central's case did not
fall into that category.

"There is only one defendant, the railroad. The amended
complaints provide the railroad with sufficient notice of each
plaintiff's claims, including the place, period of time and
instrumentality, asbestos and silica, of alleged injury,"
Justice Dickinson said.

Justice Dickinson said the amended complaints also give the
trial judge sufficient information to determine where the cases
should be heard.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: CA Judge Denies Delaying San Diego Gas Suit
El Cajon Superior Court Judge Jan Goldsmith denies a federal
prosecutor's request to delay a civil suit filed in August 2005
alleging that San Diego Gas & Electric Co. improperly removed
asbestos from a Lemon Grove site, the Union-Tribune reports.

Judge Goldsmith noted that county attorneys are seeking civil
penalties of up to US$75,000 a day for the period covering the
alleged violations.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Melanie Pierson had asked Judge
Goldsmith for a six-month delay in the civil suit, saying it was
unfair to allow the defendants' attorneys to question witnesses
in the civil case when the information could be used to the
defendants' advantage in the criminal case.

Ms. Pierson sought to prevent defense attorneys from questioning
26 witnesses in the civil case under oath. She told Judge
Goldsmith that attorneys could talk to the witnesses but should
not be allowed to subpoena them and compel their testimony in a

San Diego Gas & Electric Co., two of its employees and a
contractor are accused of violating safety practices while
removing asbestos from nine miles of pipe while clearing the 16-
acre site in late 2000 and early 2001.

The lawsuit and the criminal charges both name as defendants
SDG&E, Jacquelyn McHugh, a supervisor in SDG&E's environmental
department, and David Williamson, an environmental specialist,
along with Kyle Rheubottom, a project superintendent for the

Senior Deputy County Counsel Tim Barry said attorneys for the
defendants allowed for two years of delays before the county
filed the civil lawsuit. When the federal indictments were
imminent, defense attorneys were no longer willing to put off
the civil case, Attorney Pierson said.

The civil suit also names Sempra Energy, SDG&E's parent Company.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: DE Lawmaker Withdraws Asbestos Legislation
A Delaware congressman withdraws a bill, which he says would
have made it more difficult for workers who have suffered
asbestos exposure to sue the firms that made and supplied the
hazardous material, the Daily Press reports.

William H. Fralin Jr., a Republican representing Roanake, said
his bill, which was backed by various manufacturers'
associations, tried to save payouts for the most serious injury
cases, and prevent the less serious cases from clogging dockets.

Rep. Fralin filed the bill in January at the request of
insurance company lawyers who argued that it is too easy for
workers not seriously injured to sue. The bill also would have
put caps on damages.

However, Rep. Fralin scrapped the bill after numerous complaints
from plaintiffs, including many former shipyard workers in
Hampton Roads exposed since World War II, and their lawyers.

Asserting the bill would impose stringent rules that would have
blocked up to 90% of cases from being filed, the workers and
their lawyers convinced other lawmakers in Richmond to oppose
the change.

Commonly used in the 1980s, asbestos has flame retardant
properties and was used heavily in cement sheets, pipes and
thermal insulation. Inhalation of its fibers can lead to cancer
and asbestosis that can seriously compromise the lungs.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Aussie Govt. Enacts Laws for Speedy Payouts
The South Australian Government enacted laws to ensure that the
state's courts would promptly handle and resolve asbestos-
related claims and that victims can claim compensation for the
care of family members after their death, ABC NewsOnline

The new laws would benefit rural and regional South Australia's
victims who have lodged claims. Some active cases are lodged in
the state's southeast.

Terry Miller, secretary of Asbestos Victims Association, said,
"I'm really pleased that we've been able to get something here
in South Australia which we haven't had in the past and it does
make it easier for South Australians now to make a claim and
children of South Australians as well."

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hanson U.S. Unit Reaches US$35M Settlement
Hanson PLC announces that one of its U.S. subsidiaries, liable
for about 20% of the Group's asbestos costs, has reached a
settlement with its insurers, according to a SEC report.

Under the settlement, the subsidiary will pay the first US$35
million (about GBP20 million) of its future asbestos costs.

Effective January 1, 2006, the settlement resolves issues
relating to historic insurance policies issued before the 1980s,
which insures asbestos-related and other claims. The Group
estimates to pay in about three years.

The subsidiary's asbestos costs will be fully paid by the
insurance carriers up to agreed and undisclosed limits. These
limits are expected to provide asbestos insurance cover for this
subsidiary beyond 2020.

Hanson has previously advised that the its total annual cost of
asbestos, before tax, is estimated to average about US$60
million per annum (about GBP34 million, or GBP21 million after
tax) over the next eight years. Based on the above estimates,
this settlement would reduce the net cost by 20% to US$48
million p.a., after 2008.

The Company's other U.S. subsidiaries continue to claim for
asbestos coverage under their insurance policies, although
resolution through litigation or negotiation may take years to

London, UK-based Hanson PLC produces aggregates, ready-mixed
concrete, bricks, and concrete pipe and building products. Other
operations include quarries, marine dredging, and recycling.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Aearo Co. Challenges 4,104 Claims in 4Q05
Aearo Company I states that, as of December 31, 2005, it defends
against 4,104 asbestos illness-related open claims, according to
a Securities and Exchange Commission report. As of September 30,
2005, the Company defended against 4,124 claims.

The plaintiffs in these suits allege suffering from respiratory
conditions like asbestosis. The defendants are often numerous
and include, in addition to respirator manufacturers and
distributors, manufacturers, distributors and installers of sand
(used in sand blasting), asbestos and asbestos-containing

During the three months ended December 31, 2005, six claims were
settled where the Company was a defendant in asbestos matters.

For the three months ended December 31, 2005, the Company noted
an increase of one claim to the total asbestos-related claims in
which it was named as a defendant.

At December 31, 2005 and September 30, 2005, the Company has
recorded liabilities of about US$5.3 million and US$5.1 million,
respectively, representing estimates for product liabilities
substantially related to asbestos and silica-related claims.

In fiscal 2004 and 2005, 2,152 asbestos and silica claims, which
the Company defended against, were dismissed without payment
because the Company was not a proper defendant or did not make
the product in question.

Aearo Corporation, a subsidiary of Indianapolis, IN-based Aearo
Technologies Inc., owns the Company.

Aearo Technologies Inc. makes and sells personal protection
equipment in more than 70 countries. It derives about 75% of its
sales from safety products. Aearo Technologies sells safety
prescription eyewear and makes energy-absorbing foams.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Favors 3M in Product Liability Suit
The U.S. District Court in Kentucky ruled that the plaintiff in
a product liability suit against Minnesota Mining and
Manufacturing Co. (3M) failed to establish whether the Company's
product is defective.

On February 2, 2006, Judge Charles R. Simpson heard Case No.
Civ.A. 3:01CV-11-S.

Marilyn E. Triplett pursued the case after her husband, Kentucky
resident James K. Triplett, died on July 17, 1999 of lung cancer
allegedly due to asbestos exposure. He worked as a pipe fitter
from 1976 to 1985 at the Colgate-Palmolive plant in
Jeffersonville, Indiana.

Mrs. Triplett alleged that Mr. Triplett used a 3M-made Model
8500 Nontoxic Particle Mask during at least one insulation
removal project and that he was not adequately protected from
exposure to asbestos dust. He manifested symptoms of asbestos
disease and was diagnosed in Kentucky on late 1998 or early

Mr. Triplett contended that 3M knew that certain consumers using
the 8500 mask during exposures to toxic dust, and that usage of
the product exposed the workers to harm. He further contended
that this knowledge should inform the workers of the risk of
harm from misuse of the mask.

The Court determined that there is no issue of material fact as
to defectiveness of the Model 8500 mask, and 3M is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Assigns New Counsel in Salvagno Suit
Instead of handing new sentences to the asbestos removal
conspiracy case of Raul and Alex Salvagno, U.S. District Judge
Howard G. Munson assigned new counsel to the suit, the Times
Union reports.

The Salvagnos' first set of lawyers was dismissed at the
defendants' request. A new team of attorneys was also on hand,
but because they had not spoken to their clients, they could not
join in the proceedings before Judge Munson.

Judge Munson appointed U.S. Magistrate Judge George H. Lowe, who
decided that despite attorneys' pledges to represent clients to
the best of their ability, the Salvagnos had a reasonable

Judge Lowe will assign a government-appointed lawyer to the
Salvagnos to help them decide whether to proceed with the second
set of lawyers or find new ones.

In 2004, 72-year-old Raul and 39-year-old Alex were handed 19
and 25 years, respectively. In April 2005, they reported to the
medium-security Federal Correctional Institute in Otisville,
Orange County. The two men and Alex Salvagno's firm, AAR
Contractor Inc., were ordered to pay US$25 million in fines and

After a five-month trial, they were convicted of racketeering
and conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act and Toxic Substances
Control Act for some 1,555 instances of illegal asbestos removal
in schools, government buildings and other sites, as well as
falsifying about 75,000 laboratory results.

After sentencing, the Supreme Court changed federal sentencing
guidelines from mandatory to advisory, compelling resentencing,
though not necessarily any reduction in their penalties.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Sets USG Plan and Disclosure Hearing
In line with USG Corporation and the other Debtors' anticipated
filing of their plan of reorganization and accompanying
disclosure statement in February 2006, the Bankruptcy Court
scheduled a hearing to consider the Disclosure Statement for
April 3, 2006, and a hearing to consider confirmation of the
Plan beginning on June 15, 2006.

The schedule is concurrent to the implementation of the Asbestos
Agreement executed by the Debtors, the Official Committee of
Asbestos Personal Injury Claimants and the legal representative
for future asbestos claimants, regarding the resolution of all
asbestos personal injury claims and demands in the Debtors'

Under the Asbestos Agreement, the Debtors will use their
reasonable best efforts to have the effective date of their Plan
to occur on or before July 1, 2006.  In addition, the Asbestos
Agreement will terminate if the Plan does not become effective
on or before August 1, 2006.

(USG Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 103; Bankruptcy Creditors'
Service, Inc., 215-945-7000)

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: US Senate Rejects US$140B Fund Legislation
The U.S. Senate voted 58-41 to block legislation to create a
US$140 billion industry financed fund to compensate asbestos
victims, Reuters reports.

The legislation sought to remove asbestos injury claims from
years of court litigation and pay them from a US$140 billion
fund financed by asbestos companies and their insurers.

Companies pushed into bankruptcy by asbestos suits, like W.R.
Grace and Co., USG Corp., and 70 other companies, favor that

John Ensign, a Nevada Republican, objected that the fund could
violate budget rules by forcing taxpayers to pick up some
asbestos costs.

The legislation, which Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin derided as "an
Armageddon of special interests," has deeply divided business
and labor as well as senators in both parties, and struggled to
win support. He added the vote showed the Senate needed to work
together to create better asbestos legislation, such as a bill
to set stricter medical standards for filing claims.

Fund authors, Pennsylvania Republican Arlen Specter and Vermont
Democrat Patrick Leahy, needed 60 senators to win the procedural
vote and had said their bill would die otherwise.

Immediately after the vote, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a
Tennessee Republican, wavered on his earlier vow not to bring
the bill up again this year if it failed. He said he had changed
his vote to "no" at the last minute to give himself the option
of moving to bring the legislation up at some other time.

Asbestos, a fire-retardant fibrous mineral, was widely used in
building insulation until the 1970s. Inhaling fibers of asbestos
has been linked to cancer and other diseases.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Industrial Stocks Drop After Fund Failure
Stocks of chemicals maker W.R. Grace & Co. and other
manufacturers dipped after the U.S. Senate shelved legislation
for a US$140 billion asbestos victims fund, The Associated Press

Under the measure, defendant companies and their insurers would
have contributed US$140 billion to a trust fund to compensate
asbestos victims; all asbestos-related court cases would have
been halted, sparing defendants from paying crippling awards.

Supporters said they have not abandoned a bill that would spare
companies that would be driven out of business by legal fees and
lawsuits. However, analysts say the situation looks bleak for
reviving the bill.

"We believe the extremely close vote highlights the strong
opposition to the trust concept, and would make it difficult for
the majority leader to find the political fortitude to spend
additional time on this measure, given that other priorities lie
ahead," said Susquehanna Financial analyst Crystal Skinner about
the vote.

Some 70 firms have filed for bankruptcy because of asbestos
liabilities. According to supporters, tens of thousands of
people sickened by asbestos have gone uncompensated.

Columbia, MD-based W.R. Grace declared bankruptcy in 2001 after
its asbestos injury claims surged. Its shares plunged US$0.87,
or 8.8%, to US$9.07 on the New York Stock Exchange, and earlier
in the session plunged as low as US$8.67.

Toledo, OH-based fiberglass maker Owens Corning shares fell
US$1.40, or 35%, to US$2.56 in Bulletin Board trading. The
Company filed for bankruptcy in October 2000. It stopped selling
asbestos-containing insulation 25 years ago.

Shares of flooring and ceiling manufacturer Armstrong Holdings
Inc. fell US$0.46, or 30.5%, USto $1.05 cents in Bulletin Board
trading. Industrial products maker Enpro Industries Inc.'s
shares fell US$0.92, or 3.2%, to US$27.93 on the New York Stock

USG Corp., which stocks fell US$2.36 (2.7%) to US$85.27, and
McDermott Industries Inc., which stocks fell US$0.30 to
US$45.60, have reached settlements in bankruptcy court regarding
asbestos claims. However, these deals were contingent on
legislators passing the asbestos bill.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NSW Town Hit With 22 Possible New Lawsuits
Twenty-two former and current residents of Baryulgil, a New
South Wales community, are now diagnosed with possible asbestos-
related illness, ABC NewsOnline reports.

A James Hardie Industries NV mine operated at the small, mainly
aboriginal, town between the 1950s and 1979.

Dr. Ray Jones from the Grafton Aboriginal Medical Service says
the residents have been seeking compensation but are getting
frustrated with their progress.

Dr. Jones said, "They've been going down that road for the last
30 years and they've never got a cent out of it, so they
probably think that it's a lost cause. But I think they are
probably getting closer to some sort of financial settlement out
of the company and I think they're being pushed into a situation
where they might be more prone to give them some sort of

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Sen. Specter Expects New Compensation Vote
Senator Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican, says that the
US$140 billion asbestos compensation bill he co-authored is
"very much alive" and that Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist
told him that there would be another vote on his bill, Reuters

The bill to create an industry-financed fund to compensate
asbestos victims lost a Senate procedural vote by 58-41.

Sen. Specter said a revote would have to wait "at least until
after the recess" the Senate is scheduled to take next week.

Sen. Specter and the legislation's co-sponsor, Vermont Democrat
Patrick Leahy, needed 60 votes to beat the procedural hurdle.

Sen. Specter said they actually had 60 votes. An absentee
senator, Hawaii Democrat Daniel Inouye, was a bill supporter and
Sen. Frist changed his mind at the last minute to give himself
the option, under Senate rules, of asking the Senate to

Asbestos, a fire-retardant fibrous mineral, was used in building
insulation until the 1970s. Inhaling asbestos fibers has been
linked to cancer and other diseases.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Fund Opponents Seek New Ways to Stop Suits
U.S. senators who voted to reject a proposed US$140 billion fund
to compensate asbestos victims are calling for a different
approach to curb lawsuits that have driven almost 80 firms to
bankruptcy, Bloomberg reports.

After voting, fund opponents proposed an alternative, which
requires victims to document their medical condition before
suing for damages.

Nevada Republican Sen. John Ensign, who voted against the fund,
said, "We have a broken legal system that needs to be fixed. The
new approach would `get rid of all the phony claims' and benefit
actual victims."

Four states - Florida, Texas, Georgia and Ohio - have laws that
require victims to show that their cancer or respiratory disease
was caused by asbestos in order to file suit.

The proposed fund would have paid victims from US$25,000 to
US$1.1 million depending on the gravity of their illness.
Opponents of the measure, including most insurance companies,
said there was no guarantee that asbestos claims would not
return to the courts if the fund failed.

Fund opponents cited a Congressional Budget Office analysis that
there was a "significant likelihood" the fund would run out of
money contributed by companies that made or distributed asbestos
products and their insurers. The study estimated that claims
could range from $120 billion to $150 billion.

North Dakota Sen. Kent Conrad, a North Dakota Democrat, said the
trust would be forced to borrow money to pay hundreds of
thousands of pending claims before it collects money from

Fund co-author Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, said the
budget objections were invalid because the federal government's
only involvement is to be a conduit for the private funding.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Salvagno Witness Served With 10-Month Term
Kevin Pilgrim, a witness in a landmark asbestos removal lawsuit,
was found guilty of perjury and sentenced to 10 months in
federal prison, the Times Union reports.

Mr. Pilgrim, a 38-year-old Canadian immigrant, was prosecuted on
perjury charges after he served as a defense witness during the
2004 trial of father-and-son-team Raul and Alex Salvagno, and
their firm, AAR Contractor Inc. He had faced a maximum five
years in prison and a US$250,000 fine.

Mr. Pilgrim admitted that he lied under oath about conspiracy at
AAR to manipulate lab reports and cut corners while removing
dangerous asbestos at hundreds of facilities, including schools,
government buildings, and businesses.

The U.S. Attorney's Office stated in a release, "Mr. Pilgrim
acknowledged that he regularly removed asbestos dry, had
observed indoor snowstorms, saw AAR workers not wearing
respirators at numerous projects, knew that laboratory analysis
was regularly falsified and used, and observed Alex Salvagno
using cocaine."

Raul and Alexander Salvagno were found guilty at trial of
racketeering and conspiracy to violate the federal Clean Air Act
and Toxic Substances Control Act. Raul Salvagno was sentenced to
19 years in prison and Alex Salvagno to 25 years.

Prosecutors asked U.S. District Judge Howard G. Munson to send
Mr. Pilgrim immediately to prison, but the judge allowed him to
report to a federal prison by March 28.

Mr. Pilgrim testified that he worked for the Salvagnos for four
years at AAR Contractor in Latham and Analytical Laboratories in
Albany and never observed or participated in illegal asbestos

The five-month trial of Alex Salvagno and his 71-year-old father
was the longest criminal environmental trial in U.S. history.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Coroner Links UK Woman's Death to Exposure
North East Cumbria coroner, David Osborne, credited an elderly
Carlisle woman's death to asbestos exposure, News & Star

As an 18-year-old, Jennie Tyrell moved asbestos sheets during
her six-month stint working at a chemical factory in Washington
in the northeast when she was called up to serve in World War

The inquest heard that Mrs. Tyrell's death was due to
mesothelioma, a type of cancer that develops in tissues covering
the lungs or abdomen.

Mrs. Tyrell died last September 2005 at the age of 84.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Worker's Death "Exposure" Says Coroner
North East Cumbria coroner, David Osborne, blamed a former
British Rail worker's death on asbestos exposure, which caused
mesothelioma and bronchial pneumonia, News & Star reports.

Sixty-four-year-old Leonard Foster started work cleaning steam
engines as a 15-year-old. In a statement before his death, he
said he was regularly exposed to asbestos at work.

In February 2005, Mr. Foster started to experience back pain,
which he thought was a pulled muscle. In April, he learned he
was suffering from mesothelioma. He died in October.

Mr. Osborne recorded a verdict of death due to industrial

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Groups Urge Israel Govt. to Scrap Deposits
Two environmental groups petitioned Israel's Supreme Court for
halting disposal of hazardous asbestos deposits in the city of
Nahariya, where an asbestos factory used to operate, Haaretz

The Israel Union for Environmental Defense and the Committee for
Quality of Life in Nahariya are asking the Court to issue an
injunction to compel the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of
Environment and the Civil Service to explain why they have
ceased operations.

The petition was handed three and a half months after the
Ministry of Environment stopped the disposal of the deposits
because Nahariya's officials were not properly insured.

The Ministry of Environment had warned repeatedly that it was
halting the disposal because it began receiving requests from
the private and military sectors to dispose of their asbestos

Professor Arthur Frank, an American specialist who visited the
area, said that the danger posed by local asbestos deposits has
grown out of control. He said local doctors reported unusually
high rates of cancer among Nahariya residents.

ASBESTOS ALERT: NC Court Junks Builder's Appeal in Wallace Suit
The North Carolina Court of Appeals dismissed a construction
firm's and its insurer's appeal for failure to strengthen their
arguments in an asbestos suit filed by James Leroy Wallace, a
former employee.

On February 7, 2006, Judge Barbara Jackson decided on Case No.

For 22 years, Mr. Wallace worked for Harbert Yeargin, now known
as Becon Construction Co. From March 31 to August 11, 1997, he
worked for Becon, removing asbestos, replacing pipe insulation,
and maintaining the plant during shutdowns.

On August 12, 2007, Mr. Wallace was diagnosed with lung cancer.

On February 27, 1998, Mr. Wallace filed a claim, which was
initially denied, with the North Carolina Industrial Commission
alleging asbestos exposure. On October 28, 2004, the Commission
reversed the prior decision and awarded him temporary disability

The Commission ordered South Carolina Insurance Guaranty
Association, Becon's insurance firm, to pay all of Mr. Wallace's
medical expenses and ordered Becon to pay his attorneys.

Becon and South Carolina Insurance appealed, arguing that the
Commission erred in finding that Mr. Wallace suffers from a
compensable occupational disease and erred in finding that Mr.
Wallace was exposed during his employment with Becon.

The Court dismissed Becon's and South Carolina Insurance's
appeal, determining that the builder and the insurer failed to
follow the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure.

Edward L. Pauley and Cathy A. Williams, for Wallace & Graham,
represented James Leroy Wallace.

C.J. Childers of Hedrick Eatman Gardner & Kincheloe, LLP,
represented Becon Construction Co. and the South Carolina
Insurance Co.


Becon Construction Company, Inc.
3000 Post Oak Blvd.
Houston, TX 77056-6503
Phone: 713-235-1600
Toll Free: 800-644-7244

The Company provides construction and maintenance services to
industrial, petroleum, chemical, mining, power, and
telecommunications customers. Becon, with offices in North
Carolina and Texas, has completed more than 250 projects in 30
U.S. states.

ASBESTOS ALERT: Koninklijke Philips Faces 3,984 Injury Lawsuits
Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV, which is doing business as
Royal Philips Electronics NV, divulges that it defends against
personal injury suits allegedly from asbestos exposure,
according to a SEC report.

Pending in the U.S., the claims are related to a subsidiary
prior to 1981. The claims relate to asbestos used in the making
of unrelated firms' products in the U.S. and involve claims for
substantial compensatory and punitive damages.

At December 31, 2005, the Company recorded 3,984 pending multi-
defendant cases, representing 8,082 claimants. At December 31,
2004, it had 2,909 cases with 6,028 claimants. At December 31,
2003, it had 1,081 cases with 2,753 claimants.

In 2005, 2,052 cases, with 3,283 claimants, were served against
the Company's subsidiaries. In 2004, there were 2,436 cases with
4,085 claimants against the subsidiaries.

Subsidiaries settled some of these cases for reasonable amounts
given the facts and circumstances of each case. In 2005, 977
cases with 1,229 claimants were settled or dismissed. In 2004,
608 cases with 810 claimants were settled or dismissed.

In addition to the pending cases, a Company subsidiary was one
of about 160 defendants initially named in a case filed in
August 1995 in Morris County, Texas. Since then, the subsidiary
only filed an answer to the complaint and had no information
concerning the types of alleged diseases or injuries involved.

In the 2005-4th quarter, the Court divided this matter into
three cases in favor of the plaintiffs. The first case involved
283 malignant disease claims, the second involved 325
nonmalignant disease claims with alleged impairment, and the
third involved 3,078 claims that have no impairment.

For filed claims at December 31, 2005, the subsidiary
established the accrual for loss contingencies at about EUR65

During 2005, subsidiaries incurred asbestos litigation and claim
administration costs of EUR12 million (EUR10 million in 2004 and
EUR8 million in 2003).

During 2004 and 2005, insurers paid EUR20 million and EUR19
million in 2005 and 2004, respectively for asbestos-related
defense and indemnity costs. At December 31, 2005 and 2004, the
subsidiary recorded a receivable from insurance carriers in the
amount of EUR48 million and EUR24 million, respectively for the
reimbursement of incurred defense and indemnity costs as well as
for probable recoveries of accrued projected settlement costs
with respect to pending claims.

An additional EUR49 million is payable to the subsidiary over
the next three years, provided asbestos legislation in a certain
form is not passed by the US Congress by certain dates.

The subsidiary plans to pursue its litigation against non-
settling insurance carriers and continue settlement discussions
with various insurance carriers in 2006.


Royal Philips Electronics N.V.
Breitner Center, Amstelplein 2
1096 BC Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Phone: +31-20-59-77-777
Fax: +31-20-59-77-070

The Company makes consumer electronics, which accounts for about
a third of its sales, like TVs, VCRs, DVD players, phones, and
fax machines. It also makes light bulbs, electric shavers and
other personal care appliances, picture tubes, semiconductors,
and medical systems.

ASBESTOS ALERT: Court Remands Toler Suit v. Cardinal Insulation
The Kentucky Court of Appeals remanded an asbestos suit filed by
William J. Toler and Frances L. Toler for further proceedings to
its prior court, which denied the Tolers' appeal for lack of

On February 10, 2006, Judge Michael L. Henry, with Chief Judge
Sara W. Combs and Judge Wilfrid Schroder, decided on Case No.

On October 30, 1997, the Tolers sued Cardinal Industrial
Insulation Co. and other defendants alleging that Mr. Toler
contracted asbestosis from his asbestos exposure while working
as a pipe fitter from 1962 to 1997. On January 2002, Cardinal
Industrial answered the Tolers' complaint.

On May 20, 2004, the Jefferson Circuit Court notified the Tolers
that their claims were to be dismissed for lack of prosecution.
Cardinal Industrial also sought to dismiss for the same reason.
On August 16, 2004, the Circuit Court dismissed the Tolers'
action and denied them a new trial date.

On appeal, the Tolers argued that the Circuit Court improperly
dismissed their claims, stating that the dismissal was improper
as they were fully prepared for trial before the original trial
date was postponed as a result of the service issues with
Cardinal Industrial.

Kenneth L. Sales, Joseph D. Satterley, D. Matthew Kannady, of
Louisville, KY, represented William J. Toler and Frances L.

Armer H. Mahan, Jr., Joseph P. Hummel, of Louisville, KY,
represented Cardinal Industrial Insulation Company, Inc.


Cardinal Insulation Co.
1719 BlackCreek Road
Wilson, North Carolina
Tel: 252-291-5770

Cardinal Insulation Co. provides mechanical insulation services
as well as many other technical insulation needs.

ASBESTOS ALERT: K-Sea Transportation Dismissed from 38 Lawsuits
K-Sea Transportation Partners LP divulges that EW Transportation
LLC, a predecessor company, and its predecessors have been
dismissed from 38 out of 39 civil suits arising from past
asbestos exposure and second-hand smoke in several vessels,
according to K-Sea's 10-Q report.

EW Transportation and its predecessors have been dismissed for
an aggregate sum of about US$47,000 and are seeking to settle
the lone remaining case.

Plaintiffs in these cases are various parties, including former
employees, alleging unspecified damages from exposure aboard
some of the vessels that it contributed to K-Sea in connection
with its initial public offering.

K-Sea may be sued in the future from these plaintiffs and others
alleging asbestos exposure due to alleged failure to properly
encapsulate or remove friable asbestos on its vessels, as well
as for exposure to second-hand smoke and other matters.


K-Sea Transportation Partners L.P.
3245 Richmond Terrace
Staten Island, NY 10303
Phone: 718-720-9306
Fax: 718-448-3083

K-Sea Transportation Partners LP operates a fleet of about 100
vessels, consisting mainly of tank barges and the tugboats that
propel them. The Company serves major oil companies, refiners,
and oil traders, primarily along the coast of the northeastern

                   New Securities Fraud Cases

DOT HILL: Murray Frank Lodges Securities Fraud Lawsuit in Calif.
Murray, Frank & Sailer, LLP, filed a class action in the U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of California, on
behalf of shareholders who purchased or otherwise acquired the
securities of Dot Hill Systems Corporation between April 23,
2003 and February 3, 2005, inclusive.  Murray, Frank & Sailer
LLP is seeking to pursue remedies under the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934 against defendants Dot Hill, James L. Lambert, Dana
W. Kammersgard, Preston S. Romm and William R. Sauey.

The complaint alleges that defendants filed with the SEC, and
disseminated to the investing public, false and misleading
statements concerning Dot Hill's business, which artificially
inflated the price of Dot Hill stock. Specifically, the
complaint asserts that during the Class Period, defendants knew
or recklessly disregarded but concealed from the investing
public that:

     (1) the Company's accounting department suffered from
         material weaknesses and deficiencies and lacked the
         necessary staff and resources to perform its required

     (2) the Company's inadequate internal accounting process
         and controls enabled Dot Hill management to manipulate
         the Company's Costs of Goods Sold ("COGS") and
         routinely and inappropriately misclassify "expenses"
         causing Dot Hill to issue false financial statements;

     (3) multiple areas of the Company's internal controls
         suffered serious deficiencies;

     (4) the Company lacked effective internal controls in its
         financial reporting process; and

     (5) the Company falsely reported its Q1-Q3 2004 financial
         results by improperly recognizing revenue and by
         improperly recording expenses.

As a result of defendants' allegedly false and misleading
statements, Dot Hill's stock traded at inflated levels during
the Class Period, rising to as high as $17.37 on December 1,

When defendants' prior misrepresentations and fraudulent conduct
were disclosed, and became apparent to the market, Dot Hill
Stock plummeted.  On February 3, 2005, the Company announced its
preliminary financial results for the fourth quarter 2004 and
that it would be restating its 2004 unaudited financial results
due to the material weaknesses in its internal control over its
financial closing process. On this news, shares of Dot Hill fell
$0.66 per share on increased trade volume, or 10.38 percent, to
close, on February 4, 2005, at $5.70 per share.  For the year
following this disclosure, the stock reached a high of $8.25 and
a low of $4.56.

For more details, contact Eric J. Belfi or Kimberly D. Reilly of
Murray, Frank & Sailer, LLP, Phone: (800) 497-8076 or (212) 682-
1818, Fax: (212) 682-1892, E-mail: info@murrayfrank.com.

JARDEN CORPORATION: Federman Sherwood Lodges Stock Suit in N.Y.
Federman & Sherwood initiated a class action in the U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of New York against
Jarden Corporation.

The complaint alleges violations of federal securities laws,
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
and Rule 10b-5, including allegations of issuing a series of
material misrepresentations to the market which had the effect
of artificially inflating the market price.  The class period is
from June 29, 2005 through January 11, 2006.

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

MILLS CORPORATION: Lerach Coughlin Files Securities Suit in N.Y.
Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP initiated a
class action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of New York on behalf of purchasers of The Mills
Corporation publicly-traded securities during the period between
August 14, 2003 and January 6, 2006.

The complaint charges Mills and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934. Mills, a real estate investment trust (REIT), engages in
the development, redevelopment, leasing, financing, management,
and marketing of retail properties.

The complaint alleges that, during the Class Period, defendants
issued numerous materially false and misleading statements (in
press releases, on conference calls with investors and in
filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission), which
caused Mills' securities to trade at artificially inflated
prices.  As alleged in the complaint, these statements were
materially false and misleading because they misrepresented and
failed to disclose the following adverse facts:

     (1) that the Company was materially overstating its
         financial results by improperly accounting for certain
         investments by its subsidiary, Mills Enterprises, Inc.,
         among other things.  Mills has now stated that it will
         be restating its financial statements for 2000 through
         2004, and for the first three quarters of 2005, cut
         jobs and write off projects, which will result in
         approximately $77 million in charges for the fourth

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

     (3) that, as a result of the foregoing, the values of the
         Company's net income and funds from operations were
         materially overstated at all relevant times.

Beginning on October 31, 2005, the Company began to disclose the
extent of its troubles. On that day, Mills announced that it
would be rescheduling its conference call with investors because
it needed extra time to evaluate its accounting for several
items.  On November 9, 2005, defendants disclosed additional
problems with, among other things, weaknesses in the Company's
internal controls.  Then, on January 6, 2006, the Company
announced that it will be restating its financial results for
2000 through 2004, and for the first three quarters of 2005, cut
jobs and write off projects, which will result in approximately
$77 million in charges for the fourth quarter of 2005. Following
all of these disclosures, shares of Mills common stock declined

For more details, contact Samuel H. Rudman or David A. Rosenfeld
of Lerach Coughlin, Phone: 800/449-4900 or 619/231-1058, E-mail:
wsl@lerachlaw.com, Web site:

PROQUEST COMPANY: Schatz & Nobel Lodges Securities Suit in Mich.
The law firm of Schatz & Nobel, P.C. initiated a lawsuit seeking
class action status in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of Michigan on behalf of all persons who purchased or
acquired the common stock of ProQuest Company between January 9,
2003 and February 8, 2006 inclusive.  Also included are all
those who acquired ProQuest through its acquisition of Voyager
Expanded Learning.

The Complaint alleges defendants violated federal securities
laws by issuing a series of materially false statements
regarding ProQuest's financial condition. Specifically,
defendants concealed the following facts:

     (1) the Company lacked requisite internal controls, and, as
         a result, the Company's projections and reported
         results were based upon defective assumptions and/or
         manipulated facts; and

     (2) the Company's financial statements were materially
         misstated due to its failure to properly defer income
         and royalty payments and its improper capitalization of
         royalty expenses, thereby overstating its revenue and
         income from at least 1999 to 2005.

On February 9, 2006, prior to the market opening, ProQuest
announced that it had discovered material irregularities in its
accounting and would have to restate certain of its previously
issued financial statements.  As a result of the irregularities,
the Company's deferred income and accrued royalty accounts were
materially understated in previously issued financial statements
and its prepaid royalty account was materially overstated.  On
this news, ProQuest's stock fell almost 18% from the previous
day's close to close at $24.19 per share. During the Class
Period, ProQuest traded as high as $37.89 per share on April 12,

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

TAKE-TWO INTERACTIVE: Milberg Weiss Lodges Stock Lawsuit in N.Y.
The law firm of Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman, LLP, initiated
a class action on behalf of all persons who purchased or
otherwise acquired the securities of Take-Two Interactive
Software, Inc. (NasdaqNM: TTWO), between October 25, 2004 and
January 27, 2006, inclusive, seeking to pursue remedies under
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

The action, Civil Action number 06-CV-1131, is pending in the
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
against defendants Take-Two, Paul Eibeler (CEO), Karl H. Winters
(CFO), and Gary Lewis (former COO). According to the complaint,
defendants violated sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Exchange
Act, and Rule 10b-5, by issuing a series of material
misrepresentations to the market during the Class Period.

The complaint alleges that Take-Two, together with its
subsidiaries, published interactive software games designed for
various platforms.  On October 25, 2004, the first day of the
Class Period, defendants announced the launch of Grand Theft
Auto: San Andreas, a sequel in the Company's best-selling
franchise, Grand Theft Auto. During the Class Period, defendants
claimed, among other things, that Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
"was the largest videogame launch in Take-Two's history" and
that it was a top performing product that significantly
contributed to the Company's reportedly positive results.
Unbeknownst to investors, however, defendants engaged in an
undisclosed illegal and fraudulent scheme during the Class
Period to bolster sales of the game by including hidden
pornographic content that was triggered by downloading a third-
party program from the Internet called "Hot Coffee."  Defendants
concealed the hidden sex scenes so that they could get the video
game onto the shelves of major retailers that otherwise refused
to carry products containing sexual content.

On July 8, 2005, the Entertainment Software Rating Board
("ERSB"), a self-regulatory body that enforces ratings on video
games, announced that it was conducting an investigation to
determine whether the Company and its subsidiary violated ESRB
Rules and Regulations requiring full disclosure of the sexually
explicit content in video games and whether to change the game's
rating to "Adult Only 18+" from "Mature 17+."  An "Adults Only
18+" rating, however, would be detrimental to video games sales
because many major retailers refuse to carry such products.

On July 20, 2005, the Company announced that the ESRB changed
the rating on Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas to Adult Only and
major retailers immediately pulled copies of the game off their
store shelves. As a result of the re-rating and the expected
dramatic decline of its sales, Take-Two significantly lowered
its guidance for the third quarter ending July 31, 2005 and
year-ending October 31, 2005.  On July 26, 2005, the Company
announced that it had received notice from the Federal Trade
Commission ("FTC") Division of Advertising Practices that it was
conducting an investigation into whether the Company
intentionally deceived the ESRB to avoid an "Adults Only" rating
on the game.

On January 18, 2006, the Company announced that it was unable to
file its 2005 annual report on time and that it filed a request
for an extension with the SEC.  In its SEC filing, the Company
stated that it failed to maintain effective controls to
"identify, analyze and reconcile related inventory purchases
included in accounts payable to underlying supporting
documentation" and to "calculate amortization expense related to
capitalized software development costs."

The Company stated that these deficiencies resulted in audit
adjustments to its 2005 consolidated financial statements and
may "result in a material misstatement of the annual or interim
financial statements."  On January 25, 2006, the Company
reported that a board member, audit committee chairperson, and a
member of the corporate governance committee had resigned due to
her concerns about the pornographic images in Grand Theft Auto:
San Andreas, the FTC investigation, an SEC inquiry, and her view
that "management failed to keep the board informed of important

On January 27, 2006, the last day of the Class Period, the City
Attorney for the City of Los Angeles was reported to have filed
an action against the Company and its subsidiary for making
misleading statements in the marketing of Grand Theft Auto: San
Andreas and engaging in unfair competition. The action sought
disgorgement of the Company's profits from the sales of the game
in California before the game was re-rated. In reaction to this
news, the price of Take-Two stock plummeted, falling $2.34 per
share, or 13.7%. Defendants were motivated to engage in the
fraudulent and illegal conduct during the class period in order
for company insiders, including the defendants, could sell more
than 661,000 shares of their personally-held take-two stock for
proceeds of over $18 million.

For more details, contact Steven G. Schulman, Peter E. Seidman,
and Andrei V. Rado of Milberg Weiss, Phone: 800-320-5081, E-
mail: sfeerick@milbergweiss.com, Web site:


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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Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
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Copyright 2006.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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