/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/060227.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

            Monday, February 27, 2006, Vol. 8, No. 41


ALABAMA: Conclusion Nears for Johnny Reynolds Race Bias Case
ARIZONA: Senate Approves English Learning Bill, Hits House Snag
ARNOLD FOODS: Alerts Public on Undeclared Walnuts in Wheat Bread
CALIFORNIA: Canyon Back Sues L.A. for Access to Stoney Hill Road
CALIFORNIA: Athletes Group Helps Jump-Start Aid Cap Suit v. NCAA

CANADA: Court Refuses Trial to Abortion Fee Lawsuit V. Manitoba
ENRON CORPORATION: Court Approves $6.7B Settlement by Bankers
GUIDANT CORPORATION: Exec Says FDA Misled About Defibrillators
HEALTHSOUTH CORP: Reaches Deal for Ala. Stock, Derivative Suits
HEBRON AUTO: Plaintiffs Want Loan Payments Deposited in Escrow

HILTON HEAD: Heart Catheterizations Patients Lodge Suit in S.C.
H&R BLOCK: Office of Thrift Supervision Postpones Bank Decision
IT SOLUTIONS: CEO's Wife Files Stock Fraud Suit, Report Says
JBC & ASSOCIATES: Debt Demand Letters Threaten Thousands in Md.
KB HOME: Tex. Court Initially Approves Trevino Suit Settlement

LONG ISLAND: Law Firms File N.Y. Suit V. Improper Rate Increases
LOUISIANA: City Settles Suit Over Firings of Former Employees
MARITO'S BAKERY: Public Alert Out on Undeclared Milk in Muffins
MASSACHUSETTS: House Passes Bill V. Item-Pricing Litigations
MASSACHUSETTS: Talks to Start on Care for Mentally Ill Children

MEAD JOHNSON: FDA Warns of Nationwide Infant Formula Recall
MEAT PACKERS: April Hearing on S.D. Suit V. Cattle Producers Set
MERCK & CO: Reacts to Medical Journal's Criticism of Vioxx Study
MICHIGAN: Leelanau County Joins Suit V. DNR Over Leland Dam Fees
N.C. SOFT: Suit Mulled V. Korean Firm Over Identification Thefts

NEW JERSEY: Gloucester County Clerk's Office Sued Over Copy Fees
PHONE COMPANIES: Wants Maryland Judge to Reconsider Decisions
QUIZNOS CORPORATION: Faces Franchisees' Suits in N.J., Canada
RANDOM HOUSE: Fraud Suit Filed Over Marketing of Mr. Frey's Book
RHYTHMS NETCONNECTIONS: Colo. Court Okays Class of Stock Lawsuit

SAN DIEGO: Calif. Human Rights Center Faces Discrimination Suit
SBC COMMUNICATIONS: Faces Lawsuit Over Hollywood Wiretappings
UNITED PARCEL: HR Employees Launch Overtime Wage Suit in N.Y.
UNITED STATES: Reforms on Multiple-Plaintiff Litigation Sealed

                   New Securities Fraud Cases

CHICAGO BRIDGE: Marc Henzel Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in N.Y.
COCA-COLA ENTERPRISES: Chitwood Harley Lodges Stock Suit in Ga.
COOPER COMPANIES: Schatz & Nobel Files Securities Suit in Calif.
MILLS CORP: Smith & Smith Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in Va.
PROQUEST COMPANY: Charles Piven Lodges Securities Suit in Mich.


ALABAMA: Conclusion Nears for Johnny Reynolds Race Bias Case
After decades of work and spending more than $100 million, the
Johnny Reynolds racial discrimination class-action could be
coming to an end says Alice Ann Byrne, general counsel of the
Alabama's Personnel Board, The Montgomery Advertiser reports.

The lawsuit, which was filed in 1985 by the late Mr. Reynolds
against the Department of Transportation (DOT), his employer,
had alleged that the department did not promote him because he
was black.  Others would later join the suit.  According to the
attorney general's office, the suit remains one of Alabama's
oldest active court cases, costing the state more than $250
million in settlements, fines, legal fees and other costs,
(Class Action Reporter, Jan. 12, 2006).

The case came to a settlement agreement in 1994, and the state
and private lawyers have been working through the details of
that "consent decree" ever since.  In July 2003, 1,800 black
plaintiffs began receiving their share of $46 million in back
pay.  A group of 1,000 white employees who intervened in the
case, because hiring and promotion freezes were keeping them
from advancing split $8.4 million.

In addition to these settlements DOT had to change its hiring,
recruitment and testing practices, something the state has been
working on for decades, making measurable progress in the past

Just recently, a "special master" in the case, C.A. Gonzalez,
recommended that the federal court refund some contempt fines
the state has paid for failing to live up to its end of the 1994
decree.  This is more progress in a case that Gov. Bob Riley has
pushed for an end to since taking office.  In the meantime, the
case is scheduled to come to a close Dec. 31.  However, briefs
by plaintiffs' attorneys could change that.

Ms. Byrne told The Montgomery Advertiser, "We've been trying for
several months to get the plaintiffs and interveners to agree on
a mediator."  DOT Assistant Director Dan Morris told The
Montgomery Advertiser that he is hopeful that Alabama will
finally see the case come to a close.

As of Sept. 30, the state had spent $61 million on legal fees
for both sides in the case and another $61 million in settlement
costs.  Gov. Riley and others have claimed that hiring freezes
from the case, lifted only within the past two years, cost
Alabama $100 million, because the state has had to hire outside
help for projects it could have done in-house if the department
had the people it needed.

"The courts recognize that we're in compliance," Maury Buster,
manager of the Personnel Department transportation team told The
Montgomery Advertiser.

As late as last year, Alabama was paying $31,500 a week in court
fines for failing to live up to various parts of the 1994
agreement.  "We feel like we are through," according to Ms.

The suit is styled, "Reynolds v. Dept/Transportation, et al.,
Case No. 2:85-cv-00665-MHT-CSC," filed in the U.S. District
Court for the Middle District of Alabama under Judge Myron H.
Thompson with referral to Judge Charles S. Coody.  Representing
the Plaintiff/s are, Russell Wayne Adams, Steven Lee Atha, Henry
Wallace Blizzard, III, Robert F. Childs, Jr. and Susan Gale
Donahue of Wiggins Childs Quinn & Pantanzis, PC, 301 19th Street
North, Birmingham, AL 35203-3204, Phone: 205-314-0640 and 205-
314-0500, Fax: 205-458-1259 and 205-254-1500, E-mail:
radams@wcqp.com, sla@wcqp.com, hwb@wcqp.com, rfc@wcqp.com and
sgd@wcqp.com; and Richard Hamilton Gill of Copeland Franco
Screws & Gill, P.O. Box 347, Montgomery, AL 36101-0347, Phone:
334-834-1180, Fax: 834-3172, E-mail: gill@copelandfranco.com.

Representing the Defendant/s are, Alice Ann Byrne of State
Personnel Department, 64 North Union Street, Folsom
Administrative Building, Suite 316, Montgomery, AL 36130, Phone:
(334) 242-3450, Fax: (334) 353-4481, E-mail:
aabyrne@personnel.state.al.us and Laszlo Daniel Morris, Jr. of
Alabama Department of Transportation, 1409 Coliseum Boulevard,
Montgomery, AL 36110, Phone: 334-242-6775, Fax: 334-353-6505, E-
mail: morrisd@dot.state.al.us.

ARIZONA: Senate Approves English Learning Bill, Hits House Snag
The Arizona Senate narrowly approved a new Republican bill on
revamp programs for the instruction of students learning
English, The Associated Press reports.

The House delayed further action so the measure can be rewritten
to make it harder for Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano to make
major changes.  The bill, approved 16-14 by the Senate, is the
Republican-led Legislature's latest attempt to resolve an issue
that has the state accumulating daily court fines set to rise to
$1 million on Feb. 24, 2006.  The issue is over a missed
deadline to improve instructional programs for students learning
the English language.

Previously, U.S. District Judge Raner C. Collins ordered the
Legislature to improve and adequately fund Arizona's educational
programs for students learning the English language and set
fines that would rise to $2 million a day if deadlines aren't
met.  The order was part of a ruling in a 13-year-old education
class action that was originally filed in 1992 on behalf of
Nogales Unified School District students and parents, (Class
Action Reporter, Jan. 30, 2006).

Judge Collins ordered fines to start at $500,000 a day beginning
15 days after the January 9 start of the Republican-led
Legislature's 2006 regular session if lawmakers haven't fixed
the programs and increased their funding.  The fines would
eventually rise to $1 million a day and $1.5 million at
designated points beyond that until reaching $2 million a day at
the end of the session, (Class Action Reporter, Jan. 30, 2006).

Gov. Napolitano vetoed three previous versions of the Republican
plan, and House Majority Leader Steve Tully told The Associated
Press that lawmakers were considering possible changes to avoid
opening the door for Gov. Napolitano to use her line-item veto
authority to erase provisions and make the plan more to her
liking.  Rep. Tully, R-Phoenix, adds that making changes to
avoid that possibility could involve substantially rewriting the
Senate-approved bill in a House-Senate conference committee or
starting over with a new piece of legislation.

Republican leaders already this session have obtained
authorization from lawmakers to sue to overturn a line-item
veto, which Republicans said exceeded Gov. Napolitano's
authority to veto appropriations.  The recent legislative action
came the day after the latest round of negotiations between
legislative leaders and Gov. Napolitano ended without agreement
and one day before court fines that began Jan. 25 at $500,000
rise to $1 million.  Gov. Napolitano vetoed the initial version
of the plan last May and cast two more vetoes of revised
versions in January.

The latest version's changes include the omission of a school-
choice provision that was in the January bills.  The provision
would have given businesses an income tax credit for donations
for private school tuition grants for students learning English.

Gov. Napolitano criticized other parts of the Republicans'
evolving plan in addition to the tax credit, and said that she
won't decide what to do with the latest version until it hits
her desk and she can study it.  She had called the tax break a
costly distraction unrelated to improving English Language
Learning programs in public schools.

The state has accumulated $15 million in daily $500,000 fines
under a court order aimed at compelling compliance with a
federal law requiring equal opportunities in education.  The
daily fine rises to $1 million on Feb. 24, 2006, and further
noncompliance would push it to $1.5 million 30 days later and $2
million at the end of the current session.

A lawyer for class-action plaintiffs whose lawsuit forced the
state to act told The Associated Press that Gov. Napolitano
should veto it.  The plan provides inadequate funding, is
unrealistic because most students take at least three years to
learn English and because elements conflict with federal law,
according to attorney Tim Hogan.

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

ARNOLD FOODS: Alerts Public on Undeclared Walnuts in Wheat Bread
Arnold Foods Company, Inc. is recalling Brownberry brand Natural
Wheat Bread (24 ounces) sold in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North
Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee because it may contain
undeclared walnuts.  People who have an allergy to walnuts run
the risk of life threatening or serious allergic reactions if
they consume the product.

The product being recalled has a blue or white square lock tab
closure with a code date of "Feb 27" printed on the lock tab

The company announced the recall after receiving reports from
two consumers who found walnuts in the bread, which are known
allergens that were not named on the ingredient list.  The
company has received no other reports from consumers.  There are
no reports of injuries.

All products with the above code date are being removed from
store shelves.  No other Arnold brand or Brownberry brand
products are affected.

Consumers with allergies to walnuts who have purchased the
product can return the product to its place of purchase for a
full refund or call the company at 1-800-984-0989.

CALIFORNIA: Canyon Back Sues L.A. for Access to Stoney Hill Road
Canyon Back Alliance filed a lawsuit against the City of Los
Angeles, seeking a court order requiring the City to remove the
gates and fences that prevent the public from accessing Stoney
Hill Road, a public street in the Mountaingate community in

Stoney Hill Road separates the Mt. St. Mary's Fire Road (MSM)
Trail in the Santa Monica Mountains from the "Big Wild" network
of public trails, which spans 21,000 acres of protected
wilderness in the Santa Monica Mountains.  Since the 1940s, the
MSM Trail was freely used for recreational purposes until the
City "withdrew" Stoney Hill Road from public use and then
allowed restrictive gates to be installed.

"Mountaingate residents, with the City's active assistance, have
conferred upon themselves the right of exclusive access by
gating-off Stoney Hill Road to the public -- thereby severing
the historical connection between the MSM Trail and the Big
Wild," said Canyon Back Alliance attorney Tom Freeman of Bird,
Marella, Boxer, Wolpert, Nessim, Drooks & Lincenberg.  "But
Stoney Hill Road is a public street.  Nobody has the right to
erect gates and hire security guards to keep the public off a
public street."

In court papers filed Feb. 22 with Los Angeles County Superior
Court, Canyon Back Alliance (http://www.canyonback.org)a  
nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving public access to
trails in the Santa Monica Mountains, charges that Stoney Hill
Road is a public street and it is therefore illegal to block
public access.  The Alliance maintains that Mountaingate's
security guards, gates, intimidating signs, and newly-enhanced
security fences make public access impossible to all but Stoney
Hill residents, their invited guests and employees.

In 1994, the State Court of Appeal held that the City violated
state law by allowing residents to erect gates on public streets
in the Whitley Heights neighborhood because public streets must
be open to all on an equal basis.

"The same clear rule applies to Stoney Hill Road in
Mountaingate," Mr. Freeman said. "The City's refusal to restore
public access, despite the Court of Appeal's unambiguous ruling
in the Whitley Heights matter, is simply lawless.  We have been
trying to get the City to comply with the law for nearly a year.
But now, we are looking to the courts to force Mountaingate and
the City of Los Angeles to comply with state law."

CALIFORNIA: Athletes Group Helps Jump-Start Aid Cap Suit v. NCAA
The Collegiate Athletes Coalition (CAC), a group formed by the
UCLA football team in 2001, said it helped bring forth a class
action against the National Collegiate Athletes Association
(NCAA).  According to a statement from the group, the lawsuit is
yet another chapter in the ongoing players' rights movement that
the group started over five years ago.

The CAC worked to secure plaintiffs for the lawsuit and gave
their lawyers background information about college sports and
the experience of the student-athlete, CAC said.

Although the CAC considered this lawsuit several years ago, it
stopped short because it believed it could reason with the NCAA.  
However, the NCAA [reportedly] refused to meet with the CAC, and
has moved much too slow on critical issues that affect student-
athletes.  The CAC decided to give this lawsuit the green light
only after years of being ignored by the NCAA.

"It's a shame that the NCAA has such little regard for the
protections of student-athletes that student-athletes have to
seek refuge via the legal system," stated Ryan Roques, the CAC
Director of Organizing.

The goal of the lawsuit is to increase the scholarship limit to
allow schools to provide funds for necessities such as
toothpaste, soap, and deodorant.  The lawsuit has been carefully
designed to preserve the current structure of college sports.  
It will not turn college athletes into professional athletes.

CAC founder and Chairman Ramogi Huma stated, "Student-athletes
are grateful for their opportunities.  However, they do not get
a 'free ride.' Football and basketball players pay for their
opportunities through rigorous year-round workouts and risking
and sustaining injuries while generating almost $4 billion per
year. They deserve to have basic protections."

Mr. Huma pointed out that there is more than enough new money
from the NCAA's $6 million TV contract to make sure that no
school has to pay for any increase in the scholarship amount.  
This would prevent any small school from being adversely
impacted and also not affect the competition for recruits.  In
addition, student-athletes from other sports would not lose

The CAC notes that 85% of student-athletes do not qualify for
the Pell Grant or the NCAA's Special Assistance Fund, and few
students are able to work part-time jobs because of the year-
round time demands of their sports.

Despite being ignored by the NCAA, the CAC has secured a number
of protections for student-athletes:

     (1) An increase in health coverage for student-athletes,

     (2) Safety guidelines to help prevent workout-related

     (3) An increase in the NCAA death benefit from $10,000 to

     (4) Elimination of the $2,000 salary cap on legitimate

The CAC (http://www.cacnow.org)has also testified in Congress  
and helped bring forth a proposal for a Student Athletes Bill of
Rights in California.

The players are being backed in their efforts by the United
Steelworkers (USW).  The United Steelworkers remain in full
support of the CAC and has voiced its strong support of this

                   Case Background

Three former college athletes filed an antitrust suit in the           
federal district court in Los Angeles against the National
Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

The lawsuit challenges an agreement under which the NCAA and its
member schools have imposed a maximum cap on the amount of
athletics-based financial aid, or "grant-in-aid" (GIA), support
available to student athletes competing in major college sports.  
Under this agreement, the amount of the GIA is artificially
fixed at an amount that falls far short of the full "cost of
attendance" (COA) at NCAA member institutions.  The lawsuit
alleges that this agreement is an unlawful restraint of trade in
violation of the federal antitrust laws.

The suit is brought as a class action on behalf of all football
and men's basketball players at major Division I schools.  The
plaintiffs allege that major college football and men's
basketball are lucrative and profitable businesses, with the
NCAA and its member institutions taking in hundreds of millions
of dollars each year as a result of the efforts of the student

The plaintiffs further allege that the NCAA has enforced an
agreement to short-change student athletes by imposing an
artificial cap on the amount of financial aid a student athlete
may receive in the form of an athletic scholarship, or GIA. The
plaintiffs allege that this artificial cap has imposed
significant hardships on many student athletes, and that
competition among NCAA schools would result in student athletes
receiving GIA's covering the full COA if the artificial cap were

The named plaintiffs and class representatives are:

     (1) Jason White, who played football at Stanford;

     (2) Brian Polak, who played football at UCLA; and

     (3) Jovan Harris, who played basketball at the University
         of San Francisco.

The plaintiffs and class are represented by Marc Seltzer, Steve
Morrissey and Steven Sklaver of Susman Godfrey L.L.P., and
Maxwell Blecher and Courtney Palko of Blecher & Collins, P.C.

For information contact Stephen E. Morrissey, Phone:
(310) 789-3103; Fax: 310) 789-3150; E-mail:  
smorrissey@susmangodfrey.com; or Maxwell M. Blecher, Phone:
(213) 622-4222; Fax: (213) 622-1656; E-mail:

CANADA: Court Refuses Trial to Abortion Fee Lawsuit V. Manitoba
Canada's Supreme Court refused to hear a lawsuit filed by two
women seeking for compensation for private abortion, according
to LifeNews.com.

The women sued the provincial government of Manitoba in 2001
because they said they had to be placed on an eight-week waiting
list for an abortion at a government-funded hospital.  The
province pays for abortions at public medical centers as
required by Canadian law.

In December 2004, a Canadian judge ruled the province had to pay
for abortions whether they were performed at a public-backed
facility or not.  A Court of Appeal allowed the case to proceed
to trial in September.  

According to the report, the Canadian high court does not give a
reason for declining to hear cases.

ENRON CORPORATION: Court Approves $6.7B Settlement by Bankers
U.S. District Judge Melinda Hammon preliminarily approved a $6.7
billion settlement by three banks accused of helping bankrupt
Enron Corporation defraud shareholders, according to Reuters.

Under the settlement Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce will pay
$2.4 billion, JP Morgan Chase will pay $2.2 billion, and
Citigroup will pay $2.0 billion.

"These banks participated in a scheme to defraud the Enron
investors for their own financial gain," William Lerach, lead
attorney representing Enron shareholders said.  According to
him, the settlement is the largest recovery for fraud in

The $6.7 billion settlement includes interest accrued since
those proposed settlements were first announced last year, he
said.  It will bring the amount due for distribution to
shareholders to $7.2 billion after settlements with Lehman
Brothers, and Bank of America.  Plaintiffs in the case lead by
the University of California claimed they lost $40 billion when
Enron collapsed in 2001.  Enron declared bankruptcy in December
2001 after it emerged it used side deals to hide debt and
inflate profits.

"Those [banks] that haven't settled are going to go to trial and
be held liable..." Mr. Lerach said.  Those banks include Merrill
Lynch, Barclays Plc, Credit Suisse First Boston, Toronto
Dominion Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, and Royal Bank of Scotland,
according to the report.

GUIDANT CORPORATION: Exec Says FDA Misled About Defibrillators
Fred McCoy, head of Guidant Corp.'s cardiac rhythm management
division, acknowledged the medical device maker made changes to
one of its defibrillators in 2002 and later incorrectly told
federal regulators it had no effect on the product's
performance, The Associated Press reports.

However, the Guidant executive said in a recently released
deposition that he didn't think the faulty defibrillator was
responsible for patients' deaths.  In a January deposition, Mr.
McCoy said, "This particular failure mechanism does not have the
capacity to kill a patient.  It may be unable, as a device, to
save the patient."

The defibrillator, a Ventak Prizm 2 Model 1861, was among some
88,000 recalled by the Indianapolis-based Company since June
2005.  It also recalled or issued safety warnings for more than
200,000 pacemakers.  At least seven deaths have been linked to
the recalled devices.  The first product liability case stemming
from those recalls is set to begin April 10 in Corpus Christi,

In the 168-page deposition, Mr. McCoy pointed out that the
Company made two repairs to the Ventak Prizm 2 in 2002 to keep
it from short-circuiting.  However, the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration approved neither modification, and only one was
disclosed in an annual report.  In that filing, the Company
maintained that the alteration had no affect on the device's

In a filing two years later, the company incorrectly said it had
received FDA approval to make the changes. Company executives
waited nearly three years to publicly disclose the flaws, and
continued selling some of the defective models.

Bob Hilliard, who is representing two patients in the case, told
The Associated Press that Mr. McCoy's testimony could prove that
the Company sold an unapproved defibrillator, which is a
violation of federal law.  "They've hung out every single doctor
in the country if the device was unapproved," Mr. Hilliard
pointed out.

The Company, which Boston Scientific Corp. officials hope to
acquire by the end of next month, faces state and federal
regulatory investigations as well as 60 class actions and
another 145 individual suits related to its recalls, according
to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Mr. McCoy also stated in the deposition that he wasn't told
about problems with the devices until May 2005.  He also added
that if he were a patient about to receive one of the devices,
he would not want to know if it had a specific problem that
could be deadly.  He is quoted as saying, "As an individual, I
would not want to know, but I can concede many would."

Joe Duffey, the Florida-based producer of an online support site
for defibrillator patients and their families, said Mr. McCoy's
statements surprised him.  He told The Associated Press, "If
someone wants to keep their head in the sand, that's their
business.  But personally, I would want all the information
available so I could make a reasoned decision with my doctor.
Guidant has a responsibility to the end user to tell us what the
heck is going on so we can make an informed judgment.  That's
what they deprived people of."

The Company and Natick, Massachusetts-based Boston Scientific
are still awaiting regulatory and shareholder approval for their
$27.2 billion cash-and-stock acquisition.  The companies hope to
complete the deal by March 31.

HEALTHSOUTH CORP: Reaches Deal for Ala. Stock, Derivative Suits
HealthSouth Corp. reached a global, preliminary agreement in
principle with:

     (1) the lead plaintiffs in the federal securities class
         actions and the derivative actions, and

     (2) its insurance carriers,

to settle litigation filed against the Company, certain of its
former directors and officers and other parties.  

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of Alabama and the Circuit Court in Jefferson County,
Alabama in relation to the company's financial reporting and
related activity in March 2003.

                        Settlement Terms

Under the proposed settlement federal securities and fraud
claims brought in the class action against the Company and
certain of its former directors and officers will be settled for
consideration consisting of HealthSouth common stock and
warrants valued at $215 million and cash payments by
HealthSouth's insurance carriers of $230 million or aggregate
consideration of $445 million.  

In addition, the federal securities class action plaintiffs will
receive 25% of any net recoveries from future judgments obtained
by or on behalf of the Company with respect to claims against
Richard Scrushy, the company's former chief executive officer,
Ernst & Young, the company's former auditors, and UBS, the
company's former primary investment bank, each of which remains
a defendant in the derivative actions as well as the federal
securities class actions. The proposed settlement is subject to
the satisfaction of a number of conditions, including the
successful negotiation of definitive documentation and final
court approval.

"This proposed settlement represents a major milestone in
HealthSouth's recovery and a powerful symbol of the progress we
have made as a company," said HealthSouth President and Chief
Executive Officer Jay Grinney.  "With the support of our
dedicated employees across the country, HealthSouth is on the
verge of putting another issue from the past behind us."

"Over the past two years, HealthSouth has successfully
negotiated a number of significant legal obstacles resulting
from the massive fraud perpetrated against us," said Gregory L.
Doody, HealthSouth's General Counsel and Secretary.  "The
proposed settlement with our stockholders and bondholders, when
completed -- together with our agreement with the Securities and
Exchange Commission in 2005, our bondholder consent agreement in
June of 2004 and our previous settlement with the U.S.
Department of Justice - Civil Division and the Centers for
Medicare & Medicaid Services in December 2004 -- will put the
bulk of the legal issues relating to pre-March 2003 periods
behind us and allow us to move forward."

The proposed settlement will not contain any admission of
wrongdoing by the Company or any other settling defendant.
Securities issued by the Company in the proposed settlement will
consist of an aggregate of 25,118,856 shares of its common stock
and eleven-year warrants to purchase an aggregate of 40,756,326
additional shares of HealthSouth common stock at an exercise
price of $8.28 per share.  The Company, the lead plaintiffs and
the insurance carriers are continuing discussions toward a
definitive settlement agreement. There can be no assurance,
however, that such an agreement can be reached or that the
proposed settlement will receive the required court approval.

The proposed settlement does not include Ernst & Young, UBS,
Scrushy or any former Company officer who entered a guilty plea
or was convicted of a crime in connection with the company's
former financial reporting activities.

The suit is styled "In re HealthSouth Corporation Litigation v.
Master Case Docket, et al., Case No. 03-cv-01500-KOB," filed in
the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama,
under Judge Karon O. Bowdre.  Representing the Plaintiff/s are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     (8) M. Clay Ragsdale, IV, RAGDSDALE LLC, Concord Center,
         Suite 820, 2100 Third Avenue North, Birmingham, AL
         35203, Phone: 205-251-4775, Fax: 205-251-4777, E-mail:
         clay@ragsdalellc.com; and

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

Representing the Defendant/s are:

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

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

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

    (iv) James L Goyer, III, MAYNARD COOPER & GALE PC, AmSouth
         Harbert Plaza, Suite 2400, 1901 6th Avenue North,
         Birmingham, AL 35203-2618, Phone: 205-254-1000, E-mail:
         jgoyer@maynardcooper.com; and

     (v) M. Kay Kelley, MESTRE & KELLEY LLC, The Massey
         Building, 2025 Third Avenue, North, Suite 500,
         Birmingham, AL 35203, Phone: 205-251-1248, Fax: 205-
         251-1211, E-mail: kaykelley@mindspring.com.

HEBRON AUTO: Plaintiffs Want Loan Payments Deposited in Escrow
The plaintiffs in a lawsuit against a company that financed car
sales at Hebron Auto Sales are asking to make their loan
payments to a judge or receiver, The Kentucky Post reports.

Documents filed with the Boone Circuit Court revealed that
representatives of Credit Acceptance Corp. continually call and
harass the borrowers for payments on cars they don't yet hold
title to.  The plaintiffs' attorney, Brandon Voelker of
Covington, wrote in the filing, "In the event that Plaintiff
never receives title and ownership of the automobile Hebron Auto
Sales sold them, they are faced now with the dilemma of having
to either make additional payments on a car they do not own or
risk having their credit harmed."  Mr. Voelker is asking the
court to set up an escrow account to which Credit Acceptance
customers can make their car loan payments, rather than to the

In addition, Mr. Voelker also wants the lawsuit made into a
class action on behalf of the dozens who bought cars from Hebron
Auto Sales, but didn't receive a proper title or no title at
all.  Among them are Vincent and Jessica Childers of Hebron, the
plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

Their lawsuit says the company and Credit Acceptance Corp. in
Southfield, Michigan, one of the country's largest consumer
credit companies, have been defrauding customers for years.  The
Childers allege that they, along with at least 59 other
customers, purchased used automobiles from Hebron Auto Sales for
which the dealership did not have title.  The couple alleges
that dealership kept the money, but did not give the car titles
to the purchasers.  In addition, the Childerses allege that
Credit Acceptance Corp. assisted in the scheme by making cash
advances on vehicles prior to Hebron Auto Sales holding valid
title, (Class Action Reporter, Feb. 15, 2006).

In January, Hebron Auto Sales closed its lots in Richwood and in
Colerain Township in Hamilton County and Middletown, Ohio.  It
left dozens of people, perhaps as many as 80, without clear
title to their cars.

HILTON HEAD: Heart Catheterizations Patients Lodge Suit in S.C.
Patients of Hilton Head Regional Medical Center in South
Carolina initiated a class-action lawsuit against the hospital,
seeking to recoup costs and damages for cardiac procedures they
say violated state rules.

The three Beaufort County residents say they are among patients
who received heart catheterizations between 1997 and 2000 when
the hospital did not have an open-heart-surgery unit.  The unit
provides a safety net should something go wrong during the

In 2001, the hospital admitted to state regulators that 242
unauthorized therapeutic caths were done over a 39-month period
beginning in 1997.  The state health department fined the
hospital $100, the minimum allowed by law, for each unauthorized
procedure.  The lawsuit says, though, that hospitals make
thousands of dollars for cash.

H&R BLOCK: Office of Thrift Supervision Postpones Bank Decision
Federal regulators told H&R Block Inc. that they would need
another month to review the Company's request to start its own
bank, The Associated Press reports.

The U.S. Office of Thrift Supervision was supposed to decide on
the Kansas City-based company's application by February 17,
2006.  However, according to Company spokeswoman Linda
McDougall, the agency said it would extend the deadline for 30
days to further consider the matter.  One of the nation's
largest tax preparer, the Company said that it wants a bank
charter to provide a cheap banking alternative for tax clients
and other customers who don't typically use mainstream banks.

Consumer advocates though opposed the charter, saying that the
Company could use the bank to expand the sale of tax refund
loans and push subprime mortgages in poor neighborhoods. In
fact, the Company's refund anticipation loans (RAL) have led to
several class-action lawsuits protesting high fees for low-
income customers.

With RAL, customers due a tax refund could receive most of the
money in two or three business days by paying a fee to file the
return electronically plus a loan-processing fee.  Critics claim
that such loans prey upon low-income households, immigrants and
financially unsophisticated taxpayers who weren't adequately
informed about the high interest rates, (Class Action Reporter,
Jan. 3, 2006).

The Company though says that it doesn't plan to use the bank to
sell refund anticipation loans or subprime mortgages.

IT SOLUTIONS: CEO's Wife Files Stock Fraud Suit, Report Says
A Pomeroy IT Solutions, Inc., shareholder, who's also the wife
of company Chief Executive Steve Pomeroy, filed a class action
against the firm, Chairman Dave Pomeroy, and her husband on
Friday, according to Jim McNair at The Cincinnati Enquirer.

Jennifer Sierra Pomeroy lodged the suit in Kenton County Circuit
Court, alleging fraud, negligence and breach of fiduciary duty
on the part of the defendants.  She seeks unspecified
compensatory and punitive damages for the decreased value of her
39 shares of common stock, according to The Enquirer.  She wants
to represent thousands of shareholders in the case.  The suit is
Case No. 06-CI-00515, captioned Jennifer Sierra Pomeroy vs.
Pomeroy IT Solutions, Inc.

Pomeroy IT Solutions has 12.7 million shares of common stock
outstanding.  That gives Mrs. Pomeroy a 0.0003% equity stake in
the company.  She claims the value of her shares dropped about
25% since she acquired it; she doesn't say whether she purchased
the shares or whether they were a gift of some kind.  Trading in
Pomeroy shares closed on Friday at $9.82.  She claims the
defendants breached their fiduciary duty by allowing Mr. Pomeroy
to serve as CEO and president of the company "knowing it was not
in the best interests of the shareholders."

The suit is the third Mrs. Pomeroy's filed against her husband,
according to court records available at http://www.kycourts.net/
on line.  In October, she filed for divorce and the
nullification of her prenuptial agreement.  The divorce
proceeding is Case No. 05-CI-02726.  The next hearing in that
domestic relations matter is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on March
23, 2006.

In January, Mrs. Pomeroy filed civil lawsuit, identified as Case
No. 06-CI-00179, accusing her husband of physically abusing her
over a two-year period.  Mr. Pomeroy denied the allegations in
the domestic assault case.  Also on Friday, she filed suit
against Verizon Wireless Services, accusing it of allowing an
unnamed friend of Steve Pomeroy to access her on-line account
and retrieve telephone records.

Mrs. Pomeroy is represented by:

     Eric C. Deters, Esq.
     Eric C. Deters & Associates, P.S.C.
     5247 Madison Pike
     Independence, KY 41051

in all of her lawsuits.  Mr. Deters tells Mr. McNair that his
client has evidence that Mr. Pomeroy was reimbursed with
corporate cash for personal expenses.  Mrs. Pomeroy also accused
her husband of using the company's corporate jets for non-
business trips.

JBC & ASSOCIATES: Debt Demand Letters Threaten Thousands in Md.
JBC & Associates P.C. has requested a new trial date in a case
that scrutinizes its debt collection strategy.  A new trial date
has not yet been scheduled, according to WBAL-TV 11 News I-Team.

The class action was filed by Tom Mael of Maryland, who in
October 2003 received a debt collection letter from the company.  
The letter claimed Mr. Mael owed Precision Tune more than $800
and that the alleged debt was 10 years old.  Mr. Mael told the
WBAL-TV 11 News I-Team he gave JBC the benefit of the doubt, and
sent the amount thinking the matter would be closed.  But Mr.
Mael received another letter claiming he was 9 cents short.  
Citing a Maryland law, the firm charged $1,000 in fines and fees
and demanded full payment.

Mr. Mael's case went to trial in December 2005, but JBC did not
turn up.  JBC is now asking for a new trial date claiming it
didn't receive proper notice from the court about the trial

Scott Borison, Mr. Mael's lawyer, believes JBC may buy old debt
databases auctioned for pennies on the dollar.  But in court
records, JBC admitted only to collecting debt on behalf of
financial institutions and to sending similar demand letters to
nearly 6,000 Marylanders, according to the report.

In the December 2005 hearing, the judge awarded Mael $61,000,
$1,000 for each time JBC called him after he asked them to stop.  
Later, the members of the class action were awarded more than
$11 million.

Further into the case, it turned out that JBC & Associates,
which is run by Jack Boyajian, changed its name to JBC Legal
Group P.C. in December 2003.  But according to 11 News I-Team,
the company is not licensed to collect debt in Maryland under
either name and the state has issued a cease and desist order.   
It also turned out, according to a U.S. judiciary Web site, that
both companies are or have been involved in more than 60 federal
lawsuits nationwide.

KB HOME: Tex. Court Initially Approves Trevino Suit Settlement
A Laredo, Texas district court gave tentative approval to a
settlement between KB Home Inc. and tens of thousands of Texan
who bought homes from the firm's local subsidiary KB Home Lone

Under the settlement, the homebuilder agreed to drop binding
arbitration from its customer warranties, according to the San
Antonio Express-News.  The homeowners had complained the
condition is unfair because the arbitration process can be
expensive, and its proceedings do not afford the same rights to
parties as a court would.

A May 16 final ruling is set to approve the proposed settlement
of the Trevino v. KB Home case.  After forty-five days KB Home
is to mail notices informing homeowners of the amendment to its
existing warranties.  The notice will tell KB Home customers
that as of July 13, 2003, any warranty-related arbitration
clause is binding on KB Home, but not on the homeowner.  Texas
residents who purchased a KB Home within the past 10 years won't
have to use binding arbitration should they ever have a warranty
dispute.  About 60,000 Texas residents are affected, said Cathy
Teague, a spokeswoman for KB Home Lone Star's San Antonio

Should the customer choose to use arbitration, KB Home will
shoulder the cost of the process, a sample notice in the court
filing says, according to the report.

The settlement also provides for Alice Oliver-Parrott, the
attorney for the class action, to transfer control to KB Home of
two inactive Internet domain names that were intended to set up
forums where the public could complain about the company's

The builder also will have to pay attorneys' fees and costs,
which could amount to $850,000, the report said.

Contact: Alice Oliver-Parrott of Burrow & Parrott, L.L.P., 1301
McKinney, Suite 3500, Houston, Texas 77010-3092 (Ft. Bend,
Harris & Montgomery Cos.), Phone: 713-222-6333; Fax:

LONG ISLAND: Law Firms File N.Y. Suit V. Improper Rate Increases
The law firms of Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann, LLP, and
Jaspan Schlesinger Hoffman, LLP, initiated a class action
against the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) on behalf of all
residential and business customers of LIPA since 2001 seeking to
recover monies paid to LIPA as a result of an improper rate

The plaintiff, a resident of Suffolk County, has seen her
electric bills steadily increase as LIPA improperly imposed a
series of "fuel surcharges" ostensibly tied to LIPA's costs to
purchase fuel.  However, according to a report issued by State
Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi, "LIPA has avoided [Public Service
Commission] scrutiny of its actions that increased prices by
terming them surcharges, while expanding the list of items it
included in a fuel and purchased power surcharge."

The lawsuit alleges that LIPA used these fuel surcharges to
increase the effective rate paid for power by Long Island
residents and businesses in order to avoid the conditions placed
on it by the Public Authority Control Board.  These conditions
bar LIPA from implementing a rate increase of more than 2.5%
without the approval of the Public Service Commission.  By
stretching its definition of fuel costs, LIPA included a number
of vague and extraneous costs as fuel costs, and then passed
those costs on to its consumers as a fuel surcharge.

The complaint filed by Bernstein Litowitz and Jaspan Schlesinger
in New York State Supreme Court, Nassau County, alleges that
LIPA implemented new fuel surcharges even at times when fuel
costs had decreased.  As a result, the effective electric rates
paid by LIPA customers increased even when other public and
private electric utilities were able to decrease the rates
charged to their respective customers.  

Bernstein Litowitz partner Gerald Silk stated, "Long Island
residents already pay some of the highest power rates in the
country.  The fact that LIPA would breach its promises to lower
electric rates by hiking rates in the form of surcharges is
disturbing, to say the least. These broad ranging surcharges
walk and talk like rate hikes and our suit seeks to recover the
hundreds of millions of dollars wrongfully taken from LIPA

The complaint asserts claims for breach of contract, unjust
enrichment, and deceptive trade practices in violation of New
York General Business Law   349, and seeks compensatory damages
and injunctive relief.

The suit is styled, "Carol Patti v. Long Island Power Authority,
Index No. 06-3149," filed in the Supreme Court of the State of
New York, County of Nassau.  Representing the Plaintiff/s are,
Max W. Berger, Gerald H. Silk and Avi Josefson of Bernstein
Litowitz Berger & Grossmann, LLP, 1285 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10019, Phone: 212-554-1400, Web site:
http://www.blbglaw.com/complaints/LIPAComplaint.pdf;and Michael  
E. White of Jaspan Schlesinger Hoffman, LLP, 300 Garden City
Plaza, Garden City, New York 11530, Phone: 516-746-8000, Web
site: http://www.jshllp.com.

LOUISIANA: City Settles Suit Over Firings of Former Employees
Three former officials of the city of Alexandria, Louisiana will
each receive $25,000 and a statement from the mayor exonerating
them of any wrongdoing in a settlement of a suit filed after
they were fired on September 23, KATC reports.

In a prepared statement, Mayor Ned Randolph said that Harold
Chambers, Sonny Craig and Darrell Williamson, who joined the
mayor's administration in the 1980s, "were not dismissed for any
personal wrongdoing."  Charlie Weems, the city's attorney in the
case told KATC only that there were "no specific reasons" for
the firings and that the mayor "just felt like it was time to go
in a different direction."

Plaintiff attorney Jock Scott though told KATC that Mayor
Randolph's remarks were "a complete exoneration of all three
men."  Less than a week after they were let go, all three men
and their wives filed the lawsuit, which leveled many charges at
city government including conspiracy, no adequate reason for
being fired and unsound methods of recouping money from Cleco
Corporation by awarding lawyers contingency contracts.  The suit
also sought class-action status for city electricity customers.

MARITO'S BAKERY: Public Alert Out on Undeclared Milk in Muffins
State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick H. Brennan alerts
consumers that Marito's Bakery in 521 Union Ave., Westbury, New
York 11590 is recalling 8 ounce packages of "Keikitos" (muffins)
due to an undeclared milk ingredient.  People who have allergies
to milk run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic
reactions if they consume this product.

The recall includes all codes of "Keikitos" (muffins) in 8 oz.
plastic bags.  The product was sold in Long Island, New York,
and New Jersey.

The problem was discovered as a result of routine sampling by
New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Food
Inspectors.  Subsequent analysis by the Department's Food
Laboratory personnel revealed the presence of a milk ingredient
in product packages, which were not declared on the label.

No illnesses have been reported to date to this Department in
connection with the problem.  Consumers who have purchased
"Keikitos" (muffins) are advised to return the product to the
place of purchase.

MASSACHUSETTS: House Passes Bill V. Item-Pricing Litigations
The Massachusetts House passed and sent to the Senate a bill
pushed by BJ's Wholesale Club that would prohibit class actions
against retailers for failing to comply with the state's item-
pricing laws, The Boston Globe reports.

Amended and approved in an informal session, the legislation
would insulate the Company from a pending court action when only
non-disputed items are supposed to be considered.  Other
retailers that might benefit include Crate & Barrel, Petco, Pep
Boys, and Circuit City.

House Majority Leader John H. Rogers, a Democrat from Norwood,
told The Boston Globe that many lawmakers were concerned that
the item-pricing class actions were being filed under the
state's Consumer Protection Act not to protect consumers but to
provide a windfall for lawyers.  According to Rep. Rogers, "I've
talked with businesses who have been sued, and they say this law
is right now being abused."

Previously, Home Depot, Wal-Mart, and Walgreens settled class
actions over their failure to price individual items by paying
millions in attorneys' fees and making contributions to various
nonprofit groups.  However, consumers received no direct
restitution under the settlements.

By contrast, Staples Inc. last month settled a similar class
action by agreeing to pay $210,000 in attorneys' fees and to
give away vouchers worth $7.50 to as many as 76,800 shoppers at
its 64 Massachusetts stores.  The date of the giveaway though
was not yet set.

Samuel Perkins, the attorney who negotiated the Staples
settlement and is currently working on cases against the
Company, Petco, and Pep Boys, told The Boston Globe that all
three chains gained a competitive advantage by not complying
with the state's item-pricing laws and are continuing to flout
them.  Commenting on the newly passed legislation, he said,
"This bill is a 'get out of jail free' card for the worst
violators in the state."

The Natick-based Company took an active role in pushing for the
legislation with its lobbyist, John E. Murphy, pushing for the
bill on Beacon Hill.  In addition, Brian Leary, one of the
Company's attorneys participated in a number of discussions with
lawmakers about the item-pricing cases.  

Amy Russ, a spokeswoman for the Company, read a prepared
statement, which said, "BJ's became aware of a number of bills
in the Legislature on item pricing, and we wanted to be sure we
had an opportunity to express our thoughts and opinions on the

In addition to banning all pending and future item-pricing class
actions, the legislation would also bar individuals from suing
unless they could demonstrate that they actually lost money or
property as a result of a retailer's failure to item price.  

The House bill would also step up enforcement of item-pricing
violations.  Under existing law, Attorney General Thomas F.
Reilly is charged with enforcement at nonfood retailers though
he hasn't exercised his authority.  It would also give the
state's Division of Standards the authority to inspect aisle
scanners used by nonfood retailers to comply with the attorney
general's item-pricing regulation and issue fines of $100 to
$500 for violations.

MASSACHUSETTS: Talks to Start on Care for Mentally Ill Children
State officials and advocates for mentally ill children will
begin meeting next month to negotiate how Massachusetts should
provide required care for the youngsters, The Associated Press

The meeting comes after a federal judge's ruling that the state
failed to provide the children with many of the services they're
entitled to.  In deciding the class action filed by the families
of eight mentally ill children, U.S. District Judge Michael
Ponsor stated that Massachusetts violated federal law by not
giving proper medical assessments and home-based services to
children with serious emotional disturbances.

After a six-week trial, Judge Ponsor ruled that thousands of
emotionally disturbed children are unnecessarily confined in
residential facilities rather than getting the help they need at
home.  Thus, the judge ordered lawyers for the families and the
state to work out a system for getting the children the services
they're entitled to.

The lawyers are expected to report to Judge Ponsor soon.  But,
in a document filed recently with in the U.S. District Court in
Springfield, both sides say it may take as long as six months to
come up with a plan, which will need the judge's approval.  

The lawyers said though they'd meet once every two weeks between
March 8 and June 5, and then decide whether they need more time
to negotiate.  Steven Schwartz, a lawyer for the families told
The Associated Press, "We cannot tolerate the remedy phase of
this case to go on for months and months and months.  These kids
need services now, or as close to now as possible."

Richard Powers, a spokesman for the state's Department of Health
and Human Services, told The Associated Press that it's too soon
to say what types of services the state will agree to provide.  
During the trial, state attorneys argued that Massachusetts
meets federal mandates and has taken steps to prevent children
from being put in hospitals and group homes unnecessarily.  In
recently filed court documents, they made it clear that any new
public services must be limited to allowances under federal
Medicaid laws and would not include programs for autistic

Commenting on the current situation, Mr. Schwartz told The
Associated Press, "The plaintiffs are focusing on what the
programs will look like, and the defendants are focusing on what
the limitations should be."

The suit is styled, "Rosie D., et al. v. Romney, et al., Case
No. 3:01-cv-30199-MAP," filed in the U.S. District of
Massachusetts under Judge Michael A. Ponsor.  Representing the
Plaintiff/s are, James C. Burling of Wilmer Cutler Pickering
Hale and Dorr, LLP, 60 State St., Boston, MA 02115, Phone: 617-
526-6416, Fax: 526-5000, E-mail: james.burling@wilmerhale.com;
and Cathy E. Costanzo and Steven J. Schwartz of Center for
Public Representation, 22 Green Street, Northampton, MA 01060,
Phone: 413-586-6024, Fax: 413-586-5711, E-mail: ccostanzo@cpr-
ma.org and sschwartz@cpr-ma.org.  

Representing the Defendant/s are, Daniel J. Hammond and Deirdre
Roney of Attorney General's Office, One Ashburton Place, Room
2019, Boston, MA 02108-1698, Phone: 617-727-2200, Fax: 617-727-
5785, E-mail: dan.hammond@ago.state.ma.us and
deirdre.roney@ago.state.ma.us; and Adam Simms of Deutsch
Williams, 99 Summer St., Boston, MA 02110, Phone: 617-951-2300,
Fax: 617-951-2323, E-mail: ASimms@dwboston.com.

MEAD JOHNSON: FDA Warns of Nationwide Infant Formula Recall
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is alerting the public to
a recall being conducted by Mead Johnson for their GENTLEASE
powdered infant formula, lot number: BMJ19 with a Jul 1, 2007
expiration.  This lot was found to contain metal particles,
consisting of up to 2.7 millimeter in size.

No illnesses have been reported to date.   However, in the rare
instance that an infant were to inhale the infant formula into
the lungs, the presence of these particles could present a
serious risk to the infant's respiratory system and throat.  Any
injuries associated with this problem would be likely to show up
within three to four hours.  The symptoms could be varied
depending on whether there is damage to the throat or lungs.

Damage to the throat may include coughing, difficulty swallowing
or difficulty breathing.  Similarly damage to the lungs could
include coughing and difficulty breathing.  Consumers who may
have fed this lot of GENTLEASE to their babies, and may have any
concerns about their baby's health, are advised to contact their
baby's health professional for guidance.

There were approximately 41,464 24-ounce cans of this lot of
recalled product distributed, beginning on Dec. 16, 2005,
through many major retail stores across the country, so the
consumer should concentrate on the code on the can rather than
on the place of purchase.  The affected products can be
identified by the lot number and expiration/use by date embossed
on the bottom of the can of BMJ19, which is '1 Jul 07.'

Mead Johnson informed the FDA of this problem.  FDA and Mead
Johnson are currently investigating the cause of the metal
particles found in the infant formula in this highly unusual

Consumers who have a can of this batch of GENTLEASE powdered
infant formula are advised against using the product and to
contact Mead Johnson at 888-587-7275 immediately.

MEAT PACKERS: April Hearing on S.D. Suit V. Cattle Producers Set
A federal jury trial will begin in South Dakota on April 3 to
consider fraud claims filed against four large U.S. beef
packers, according to Prairie Star.

The plaintiffs are three cattle producer Herman Schumacher,
Michael Callicrate and Roger Koch.  The lawsuit, filed in the
U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota, claims
that "packers unlawfully underpaid the class members for cattle
sold to them [between April 2 and May 11, 2001] and seeks to
require the defendants to pay these sums to the class members."  

The plaintiffs claim that during the first six weeks of the U.S.
Department of Agriculture's new boxed beef price reporting
method around April to May 2001, some of USDA's figures were
inaccurate due to computer glitches. They contend that the
defendants knowingly used this flawed data to get better prices
on fed cattle from processors and violated the Packers and
Stockyards Act (Class Action Reporter, April 26, 2005).

The U.S. Government Accountability Office report released in
December showed more than half of the government's meatpacker
audits revealed inaccuracies, omissions or undocumented

The defendants are:

     (1) Tyson Fresh Meats Inc., formerly IBP Inc.;

     (2) Cargill Meat Solutions, d/b/a Excel Corporation;

     (3) Swift & Co., formerly known as ConAgra Beef Co.; and

     (4) National Beef Packing Co., formerly known as Farmland
         National Beef Packing Co.

U.S. District Court Judge Charles Kornmann certified the case
(No. 02-1027) as a class action on behalf of all cattle
producers who sold fed cattle on the cash market in June 2004.  
The defendants moved to have the case dismissed, but Judge
Kornmann denied the motion in January.

According to Prairie Star, the plaintiffs intend to prove at the
April trial that the four packer-defendants caused total damages
to cattle-producer class members exceeding $40 million.

In an information campaign aimed at identifying potential
members in a class action against Tyson Foods Inc. and other
beef processors the Beef Packer Class Action group launched
http://www.packerclassaction.comin 2005.

MERCK & CO: Reacts to Medical Journal's Criticism of Vioxx Study
The top editors of the New England Journal of Medicine resumed
their criticism of a study, sponsored by Merck & Co., on the
arthritis drug Vioxx, repeating that the November 2000 article
should be corrected, TheStreet.com reports.

Officials from the Company and other authors of the article
responded in separate letters to the Journal, saying that their
manuscript followed proper standards of research and
presentation.  "Our original article followed appropriate
clinical trial principles and does not require a correction,"
says the response of the non-Merck researchers, including Dr.
Claire Bombardier, of the University Health Network, who was the
lead author for the clinical trial, known as VIGOR.

The Journal's editors reiterated their "expression of concern"
that was issued in December where in they said that the VIGOR
article was based on an "untenable" trial design, "which
inevitably skewed the results."  In addition, they also stated
that the article "did not accurately reflect the potential for
serious cardiovascular toxicity" with Vioxx.

The latest fight between editors and authors is contained in an
online release of letters for an upcoming issue of the Journal.
In an attempt to press their case against the Company,
plaintiffs' lawyers are using the editors' criticism that some
data was withheld from publication.  As of Dec. 31, Merck was
the defendant in 9,650 U.S. personal-injury suits and 190 class
action suits, all alleging personal injuries or economic losses.
So far, the Company already won two cases, and is appealing the
one case that it lost.

The Company pulled back Vioxx from the market in September 2004,
after being informed by an independent safety monitoring
committee that another clinical trial, known as APPROVE,
detected a higher cardiovascular risk among patients taking
Vioxx vs. those taking a placebo after 18 months.  APPROVE was
testing whether Vioxx could treat colon polyps.

The VIGOR trial wasn't looking for heart risks, but was designed
to assess if Vioxx caused fewer gastrointestinal side effects
than an older pain reliever, naproxen.  VIGOR found that both
drugs were equally effective and that Vioxx caused fewer
gastrointestinal problems, a key issue for people taking pain
relievers, especially the elderly.

MICHIGAN: Leelanau County Joins Suit V. DNR Over Leland Dam Fees
The Leelanau County Board of Commissioners decided to join in a
class-action suit against the Michigan Department of Natural
Resources that is being filed by a state association of county
drain commissioners, The Leelanau Enterprise reports.

Of the approximately 1,200 owners of public and private
waterfront property on Lake Leelanau, who have been required to
help pay for state-mandated improvements to the Leland Dam, only
the DNR declined to pay its share.  With the suit, the
association hopes to force the agency to pay its share of "lake
level special assessments" imposed in recent years by county
governments throughout Michigan.

In October 2005, the county board approved a special assessment
on all waterfront property owners on Lake Leelanau who will
benefit from a recently completed project to repair and improve
the Leland Dam, which helps control water levels on Lake
Leelanau by regulating water flow from the Leland River into
Lake Michigan.  All Lake Leelanau waterfront property owners are
shouldering half of the $930,000 project.  All taxpayers through
the Leelanau County's general fund budget are paying for the
other half.

At its recently rescheduled executive committee meeting, the
county board heard from Leelanau County drain commissioner Steve
Christensen, who recommended that the county join in the state-
wide suit against the DNR over its non-payment of numerous "lake
level special assessments" throughout Michigan.  Mr. Christensen
explained that DNR officials have acknowledged that they are
legally obligated to pay the special assessments like all other
waterfront property owners, but have declined to do so, because
the state Legislature never appropriated money to pay the
assessments.  He added that letters were sent to state Sen.
Michelle McManus (R-Lake Leelanau) and state Rep. David Palsrok
(R-Manistee) about the issue, but no response was ever received.

According to Leelanau County equalization director Pam Zientek,
the DNR owns more than 5,500 feet of water frontage on eight
parcels on Lake Leelanau, and owes Leelanau County $4,538.11 in
special assessment fees.

Under state law, no waterfront property owner is exempt from
paying a lake level special assessment.  Those paying the
assessment include hundreds of private property owners as well
as each of the six township governments with frontage on Lake
Leelanau, the county government itself, and several private non-
profit organizations such as the Leelanau Conservancy and St.
Mary's Catholic Church.

"It's kind of ironic that the state required us to improve the
Leland Dam under state law," said county administrator David
Gill, "and now the state DNR won't pay up what state law says it
owes us to help pay for the project.  Go figure."

Mr. Christensen noted that if Leelanau County were to pursue
litigation against the DNR by itself, the legal fees alone would
likely far exceed any amount the county is owed from the special
assessment.  The Lansing legal firm working for the statewide
drain commissioners association indicated that each county
joining the lawsuit can expect to receive at least a portion of
what it is owed if the suit is successful.  In the past the said
firm has been successful in forcing the DNR to pay similar
assessments, according to a letter Mr. Christensen provided to
county commissioners.

The DNR owns one parcel with 264 feet of water frontage in
Bingham Township, one parcel with 400 feet of water frontage in
Centerville Township, and one parcel with 215 feet of frontage
in Suttons Bay Township.  All of those parcels are considered
"100-percent usable" and have been assessed the full $2.57 per
front foot.  The DNR operates public boat launches at those

The largest block of water frontage owned by the DNR, some 3,750
front feet, is along Victoria Creek near the southern end of
Lake Leelanau.  Because the frontage is mostly a swampland and
"unusable," it has been assessed at 10-percent, or roughly 26
cents per front foot.  The DNR also owns three waterfront
parcels in Leland Township for which it owes special assessment

N.C. SOFT: Suit Mulled V. Korean Firm Over Identification Thefts
Lawmarket Asia, a legal Internet portal site, along with the
K.R. law firm, said that it would lead a class action against
Korean online game maker N.C. Soft and its blockbuster hit game
Lineage, to demand compensation for massive identification
thefts, The Korea Herald reports.

"N.C. Soft holds the responsibility for causing the I.D. theft
by willful negligence.  The game maker failed to verify the
identifications of members when they registered.  This is the
first time that a lawsuit has been filed for reparation claims
against a webmaster on whose website hacking was conducted,
rather than on the hackers themselves," according to a Lawmarket

Police recently began investigating the South Korea's biggest
ever case of online identification theft, after nearly 224,000
reported their I.D. numbers were stolen and registered at

Lawmarket is planning to demand that N.C. Soft compensate each
I.D. theft victim with about $1,034.3 (1 million won) for
violating personal information protection.  "It will only cost
each victim 10,000 won ($10.34) to join the group lawsuit, so it
is practically a lawsuit with no charge, for the public
interest," the Lawmarket spokesperson told The Korea Herald.

Around 100 people have joined the litigation so far by
submitting a delegation contract to Lawmarket Asia.  The firm
told The Korea Herald that it would accept requests over the
next two weeks via their home page.  "We are planning to submit
a written arraignment to the court as our first action, and we
will file the lawsuit together with lawyer Park Hyuk muk of K.R.
law firm," a Lawmarket Asia spokesperson said.  Attorney Park is
a member of the Internet Lawyers' Association and an expert in
litigations involving Internet issues.

"We have decided to file the lawsuit to achieve an objective in
the public interest, to establish a healthy environment for
using the Internet," Kang Se joon of Lawmarket Asia tells The
Korea Herald.

NEW JERSEY: Gloucester County Clerk's Office Sued Over Copy Fees
Ernest Bozzi of Burlington County, New Jersey filed a lawsuit
against the Gloucester County Clerk's Office, alleging that it
violates the state's public-records laws by overcharging for
photocopies from its self-service copy machines, The Cherry Hill
Courier Post reports.

The clerk's office charges a flat fee of 50 cents per page for
copies of records made on the machines, the suit claims.  Mr.
Bozzi, a developer from Eastampton Township, contends in a
Superior Court lawsuit that was filed on Feb. 15, 2006, that the
self-service fees in Gloucester County exceed the clerk's office
actual cost.

Under the state's Open Public Records Act, public agencies can
charge a sliding scale of 75 cents per page for the first 10
pages, 50 cents per page for the next 10 pages and 25 cents each
for any additional pages.

A state Appellate Court decision in a separate case last year
found that Burlington and Camden counties were overcharging for
self-service copies under common law.  The decision though did
not affect Gloucester County.  In that case, the court found
that those copy fees should be based on the actual cost of
providing the copies.  As a result, copying costs dropped from
$1 to 19 cents per page in Camden County and from 50 cents to 10
cents per page in Burlington County.

County Clerk James N. Hogan told The Cherry Hill Courier Post
that he notified his office's attorney when the Appellate
decision was issued last year.  According to him, "I assumed
they were handling it.  I did what I thought was the correct
thing."  The attorney, Harvey Johnson, told The Cherry Hill
Courier Post that he believes the county is in compliance with
the law because the copying fees are set by contract with an
outside firm that owns and maintains the machines.

But, Sander Friedman, the Marlton attorney who filed the suit on
Mr. Bozzi's behalf, disagrees.  He told The Cherry Hill Courier
Post, "I don't think they can plausibly argue that their actual
cost is 50 cents."  Previously, Mr. Friedman also filed the
lawsuit that resulted in Burlington and Camden changing their
fees.  For this case he is seeking to have it certified by a
judge as a class action, which would allow additional defendants
to join.

In the lawsuit, Mr. Bozzi asks that Gloucester County refund to
any plaintiffs all the money it has collected in excess of the
actual cost of providing self-service copies.  That amount has
yet to be determined, Mr. Friedman told The Cherry Hill Courier
Post.  In addition, Mr. Bozzi also seeks a change in the self-
service copying fees in the clerk's office.

PHONE COMPANIES: Wants Maryland Judge to Reconsider Decisions
Major mobile-phone carriers and manufacturers petitioned U.S.
District Judge Catherine Blake to reconsider her recent decision
to have two health-related lawsuits sent back to state courts in
California and Florida and a third lawsuit remanded to a federal
court in Louisiana, citing new legal developments prompted by
the addition of South Korean giant L.G. Electronics Mobilecomm
U.S.A. Inc. as a defendant in the litigation, The RCR Wireless
News reports.

On Feb. 15, 2006 Jude Blake advised the Judicial Panel on
Multidistrict Litigation that (Class Action Reporter, Feb. 20,

     (1) a mobile headset suit be returned to U.S. District
         Judge Ivan Lemelle in Louisiana;

     (2) a class-action brain cancer suit filed by now-deceased
         Gibb Brower to be remanded to a California state court;

     (3) that a brain suit filed by the wife of James Louther be
         returned to a Florida court.

Wireless industry lawyers, who filed the motion in federal court
in Baltimore, Maryland, informed the judge that two class-action
headset lawsuits in Maryland and Pennsylvania were removed to
federal court.  According to them, "LG has removal rights under
the Class Action Fairness Act because the litigation.
'commenced' after the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) of 2005's
effective date."  President George W. Bush signed CAFA-tort
reform legislation-into law on Feb. 18, 2005.

The cell-phone industry wants Judge Blake to retain one brain-
cancer lawsuit and three class action suits seeking to force
mobile-phone carriers to supply consumers with headsets to
minimize radiation from cell phones.

In recent years, Judge Blake's court has been the primary venue
for cell-phone health litigation.  After her Feb. 15 decision to
send back more cases for state courts, it appeared that might be
coming to an end, but it appears not to be the case.

Judge Blake rejected an $800 million brain-cancer lawsuit in
2002 and five class-action headset lawsuits in 2003, only to
remand six brain-cancer suits to the Superior Court of the
District of Columbia in 2004.  In 2005, a divided 4th U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, overturned Judge
Blake's headset ruling.  The U.S. Supreme Court declined to
review the 4th Circuit's headset decision.

Last year, Judge Blake also remanded to the D.C. Superior Court
a lawsuit filed by Sarah Dahlgren in which it is alleged mobile-
phone companies failed to make consumers aware of possible
health risks and the lack of consensus in the scientific
community on possible dangers posed by cell phones.

QUIZNOS CORPORATION: Faces Franchisees' Suits in N.J., Canada
Denver-based Quiznos Corporation is facing a pair of proposed
class-action lawsuits over delays in getting locations approved
for its franchisees, The Denver Post reports.

Plaintiffs in both cases claim the toasted-sub chain is selling
them franchise territories, failing to locate or approve sites
and then threatening to terminate their franchise agreements,
because they failed to open stores within the required time.
Such termination would result in the forfeiture of franchisee
fees that start at $25,000.

A Quiznos spokeswoman told The Denver Post that that the Company
"complies with all applicable laws" and will "vigorously" defend
itself against the allegations in both suits.  The Company is
reportedly on the market, although officials have not commented
on the potential sale.

"The Quiznos franchisees are taking this action because they
have been financially injured," according to attorney Justin
Klein, who is representing the plaintiffs in a case filed
recently in New Jersey Superior Court.  That case alleges
"deceptive business practices" in the Company's franchise sales
method and demands that the company stop selling franchises in
New Jersey until all existing franchisees get locations or are
refunded their franchise fees.

Previously, Mr. Klein represented more than two-dozen Quiznos
franchisees in a similar suit that was settled under
confidential terms last summer.  He told The Denver Post that he
is pursuing a class-action case, due to the number of
franchisees in similar situations.

In a separate case filed in December 2005 in the Ontario
Superior Court of Justice, the plaintiffs allege that the
company is violating Canadian franchise law by not disclosing to
potential franchisees full details and processes for securing
locations.  Lead attorney Ben Hanuka of Toronto law firm
Goldman, Sloan, Nash & Haber, LLP, told The Denver Post that the
Company has been threatening to terminate the franchise
agreements of franchisees who signed agreements after 2001, but
have not been granted locations.  According to Mr. Hanuka, "A
lot of class members who don't know about the case are at risk
of compromising their rights" if they allow their agreements to
be terminated.  That suit is seeking compensation for loss of
income and foregone opportunity cost.

Both suits though must receive certification to proceed as class

RANDOM HOUSE: Fraud Suit Filed Over Marketing of Mr. Frey's Book
A consumer lawsuit has been filed seeking class status against
three publishing companies and a bookstore in relation to James
Frey's book "A Million Little Pieces," according to Chicago Sun-

Sara Brackenrich filed the suit in U.S. District court against
Mr. Frey, Doubleday & Co. Inc., Random House Inc., Vintage
Anchor Publishing Inc. and Borders Group Inc.  The suit claims
Mr. Frey misled the public by advertising the book as a memoir
when it was actually fiction.  It charges four counts, including
consumer fraud and unjust enrichment, against the defendants.

It is seeking unspecified damages and an injunction against the
defendants from advertising and promoting the book as a memoir.  
The suit is the fourth federal suit filed over the book, the
report said.

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

In Michigan, E. Powell Miller of Miller Shea and Bingham Farms
lawyer Mark S. Baumkel of Provizer & Phillips recently filed new
suits against Random House in the U.S. District Court in
Detroit, alleging violations of the Michigan Consumer Protection
Act (Class Action Reporter, Feb. 24, 2006).

According to the report, the suit alleged that Random House
"published, marketed, advertised, distributed, manufactured,
and/or sold [a fiction novel] as a true autobiographical work of
non-fiction covering the actual real life factual experiences of
the author."

Earlier, Montreal resident Joshua Adam Levy filed a complaint
seeking class-status in a Quebec Superior Court on behalf of
Quebec readers who he claims were defrauded by what they see as
a literary fraud, according to CTV.ca News (Class Action
Reporter, Feb. 13).

Mr. Levy is suing the book's author, James Frey, publisher
Random House Inc., and its Canadian arm, Random House of Canada
Ltd. for marketing the book as non-fiction.  He is demanding $2
million as reimbursement for the class.  Mr. Levy's lawyer is
Jeff Orenstein.

Jennifer Cohn, a Manhattan social worker, on Jan. 30 filed a
suit against the author and the publisher claiming she was
'injured' by the book and asking $10 million in compensation.  
Karen Futernick filed a lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan on
Jan. 27, seeking the return of $14.95 she spent for the book
(Class Action Reporter, Feb. 2, 2006).

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

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

Random House on the Net: http://www.randomhouse.com/.

RHYTHMS NETCONNECTIONS: Colo. Court Okays Class of Stock Lawsuit
The U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, granted
class action status to the suit, captioned, "In re Rhythms
Securities Litigation, Civil Action No. 02-CV-35-JLK-CBS
(consolidated with 02-CV-46-JLK-CBS, 02-CV-64-JLK-CBS, 02-CV-78-
JLK-CBS, 02-CV-137-JLK-CBS, 02-CV-145-JLK-CBS, 02-CV-146-JLK-
CBS, 02-CV-152-JLK-CBS, 02-CV-161-JLK-CBS, 02-CV-168-JLK-CBS,
02-CV-304-JLK-CBS, and 02-CV-351-JLK-CBS)."

In this lawsuit, Lead Plaintiff asserts that certain former
officers and directors of Rhythms NetConnections Inc. (former
NASDAQ symbol "RTHM"), during the period between January 6, 2000
and April 2, 2001, made false and/or misleading statements
regarding, among others, Rhythms' reported subscriber line
count, growth, and financial condition.  The Company itself is
not a named defendant in the Action because it filed for
bankruptcy protection in August of 2001.

The suit is styled, "In re Rhythms Securities Litigation, Civil
Action No. 02-CV-35-JLK-CBS (consolidated with 02-CV-46-JLK-CBS,
02-CV-64-JLK-CBS, 02-CV-78-JLK-CBS, 02-CV-137-JLK-CBS, 02-CV-
145-JLK-CBS, 02-CV-146-JLK-CBS, 02-CV-152-JLK-CBS, 02-CV-161-
JLK-CBS, 02-CV-168-JLK-CBS, 02-CV-304-JLK-CBS, and 02-CV-351-
JLK-CBS)," filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of
Colorado under Judge John L. Kane.  

Representing the Plaintiff/s are, Timothy J. Burke of Stull,
Stull & Brody-California, 10940 Wilshire Boulevard #2300, Los
Angeles, CA 90024, U.S.A, Phone: 310-209-2468, Fax:
310-209-2087, E-mail: tburke@ssbla.com; and Lori G. Feldman of
Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman, LLP-Washington, 1001 Fourth
Avenue #2550, Seattle, WA 98154, Phone: 206-839-0730, Fax: 839-
0728, E-mail: lfeldman@milbergweiss.com.

Representing the Defendant/s are, Deborah S. Birnbach of Goodwin
Procter, LLP-Massachusetts, Exchange Place, 53 State Street,
Boston, MA 02109, U.S.A, Phone: 617-570-1000, Fax: 617-570-1231,
E-mail: dbirnbach@goodwinprocter.com; and Barbara Ann Grandjean
of Jacobs, Chase, Frick, Kleinkopf & Kelley, LLC, District Court
Box 1, 1050 Seventeenth Street #1500, Denver, CO 80265, Phone:
303-892-4458, Fax: 303-685-4869, E-mail: bgrandjean@jcfkk.com.

For more details, contact, In re Rhythms Securities Litigation
c/o The Garden City Group, Inc., Notice Administrator, Post
Office Box 9000 #6392, Merrick, NY  11566-9000, Phone:
1 (800) 495-6949, Web site: http://www.gardencitygroup.com.

SAN DIEGO: Calif. Human Rights Center Faces Discrimination Suit
Handal & Associates has filed a second lawsuit against the San
Diego Regional Center for the Developmentally Disabled (SDRC)
alleging that the SDRC has engaged in an active campaign to rid
itself of disabled employees and employees over the age of 40.

In the lead lawsuit, Plaintiff, Marie Fuess, former SDRC
employee, alleges that she was forced to endure a year of
harassment and intolerable working conditions at SDRC until she
was finally terminated without cause.  The suit is styled "Fuess
v. San Diego Regional Center for the Developmentally Disabled,"
filed in the San Diego Superior Court.

Both suits further allege SDRC maintains a culture of fear and
intimidation and that a routine practice for supervisors is to
harass, threaten, and intimidate employees to quit in order to
save costs on health care, retirement benefits, or other costs
associated with older employees and those with disabilities.

SDRC (http://www.sdrc.org/c_home.php)is non-profit  
organization, which receives both state and federal funding.  
SDRC enters contracts with the California State Department of
Developmental Services to assist persons in San Diego and
Imperial counties who have developmental disabilities.  SDRC
states that its corporate goals include protecting individual
rights through advocacy.

Handal & Associates (http://www.handal-litigation.com)contact:  
Pamela C. Chalk, E-mail: pchalk@handal-law.com; Phone: (619)

SBC COMMUNICATIONS: Faces Lawsuit Over Hollywood Wiretappings
A federal lawsuit seeking class action status was filed on
February 17, 2006 by Erin Finn against SBC Communications,
alleging that it was responsible for the actions of two
employees accused of helping Hollywood private investigator
Anthony Pellicano acquire confidential information, The
Associated Press reports.

According to a recently unsealed a 110-count federal indictment
Mr. Pellicano, along with a former phone company worker, a
former Los Angeles police officer and four others are accused of
crimes that include racketeering and conspiracy, wiretapping,
identity theft, witness tampering and destruction of evidence.  
In particular, Mr. Pellicano, 61, is accused of illegally
wiretapping the phones of celebrities such as Sylvester Stallone
and paying police officers to run background checks through
government databases.  Mr. Pellicano, who has worked for some of
the biggest names in Hollywood such as Elizabeth Taylor and
Michael Jackson, denied any wrongdoing though.

"It was such a pervasive plan that we just don't believe it's
credible for a phone company to say they have a rogue employee,"
said attorney Brian Kabateck, who represents Ms. Finn.  Mr.
Kabateck told The Associated Press that about 50 people who
suspect their phones had been tapped or their names had been run
through databases have contacted his firm.  Of those, according
to him, at least six were named as victims in the indictment.

UNITED PARCEL: HR Employees Launch Overtime Wage Suit in N.Y.
Current and former United Parcel Service (NYSE: UPS) human
resources department employees allege in a federal lawsuit that
the Company violated federal and New York state labor laws by
misclassifying employees as exempt from federal overtime
requirements, according to the law firm representing the

Joseph Dorfman, of Amenia, N.Y., and Maryann Barone, of West
Babylon, N.Y., allege in a lawsuit filed on Feb. 16 that current
and former employees at New York state facilities, including
supervisors, part-time supervisors, specialists and part-time
specialists, were misclassified by UPS as salaried employees
exempt from the overtime requirements of the federal Fair Labor
Standards Act (FLSA).  Many of these employees, it is alleged,
have worked in excess of 40 hours per week - sometimes more than
60 hours per week - without additional compensation.

The law firm of Outten & Golden LLP, of New York, represents Mr.
Dorfman and Ms. Barone, and will seek to have the case certified
as a class action that includes current or former misclassified
supervisor/specialist employees of UPS in the state of New York.

According to the Complaint, Mr. Dorfman, who has been employed
by UPS since 2000, worked at the Company's Maspeth, New York,
facility, and Ms. Barone, who worked for the company for about
five years until 2005, was employed at UPS human resources
department facilities in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey,

Jack A. Raisner, an attorney at Outten & Golden's New York
office, said, "We allege that UPS committed over a period of
several years widespread violations of the FLSA by
misclassifying New York employees in supervisor/specialist
positions as exempt. We also allege that UPS reclassified
certain employees as non-exempt early in or about January 2005,
but has not paid them for overtime worked during several years
prior to the filing of this suit."

The suit is styled, "Dorfman, et al. v. United Parcel Service,
Case No. 1:06-cv-00703-FB-JMA," filed in the U.S. District Court
for the Eastern District of New York under Judge Frederic Block.  
Representing the Plaintiff/s is Jack A. Raisner of Outten &
Golden, LLP, 3 Park Avenue, 29th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10016,
Phone: (212) 468-8836, Fax: 212-977-4005, E-mail:
jar@outtengolden.com, Web site: http://www.outtengolden.com.

UNITED STATES: Reforms on Multiple-Plaintiff Litigation Sealed
The "The Class Action Fairness Act of 2005," was signed into law
on Feb. 23.

American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) President & Chief
Executive Frank Keating stated, "This is an important day for
life insurers and, indeed, businesses and consumers. The 'Class
Action Fairness Act of 2005' represents common sense reform that
is long overdue, but very welcome today.

"President Bush deserves high marks for his determination in
getting the reform legislation enacted into law.  Congress also
deserves great credit for acting quickly this year to address
class action abuses.  In addition, Tom Donohue and the U.S.
Chamber of Commerce earned special recognition for their role on
this issue.  Without the leadership of Tom and Chamber, it is
not clear whether we'd be celebrating [].

"This new law will help remove the threat of frivolous lawsuits
by, among other things, ensuring cases involving people from
varying states will be heard in federal courts.  No longer will
certain trial lawyers be allowed to hunt for a jurisdiction that
will easily grant class action status to a case involving people
from around the country.

"But let's also be clear about the rights of plaintiffs: they
will continue to enjoy all rights to have their grievances
addressed.  No one with a legitimate complaint will be denied
their day in court."

"Perhaps the biggest winner is the consumer, who has ultimately
been paying the high price for class action abuses, which
unnecessarily drove up the cost of products and services.  
Indeed, the signing of 'The Class Action Fairness Act of 2005'
represents a good day for the nation."

                   New Securities Fraud Cases

CHICAGO BRIDGE: Marc Henzel Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in N.Y.
The Law Offices of Marc S. Henzel initiated a class action in
the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on
behalf of purchasers of Chicago Bridge & Iron Co. NV (NYSE: CBI)
publicly traded securities during the period between March 9,
2005 and February 3, 2006, (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges Chicago Bridge and certain of its officers
and directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934.  Chicago Bridge operates as an engineering, procurement,
and construction company and offers conceptual design,
engineering, procurement, fabrication, field erection,
mechanical installation, and commissioning services.

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 Chicago Bridge's 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 failing to properly utilize
         percentage-of-completion accounting;

     (2) that the Company was not following its publicly stated
         revenue recognition policies; and

     (3) as a result of the foregoing, the Company's financial
         statements were not prepared in accordance with
         Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ("GAAP") and
         therefore were materially false and misleading.

According to the complaint, on October 26, 2005, Chicago Bridge
issued a press release announcing that it would be delaying the
release of its third quarter financial results because the
results were not "finalized in time to meet the original
schedule."  On October 31, 2005, Chicago Bridge issued a press
release announcing a delay in its release of third quarter
financial results that was "precipitated by a memo from a senior
member of CB&I's accounting department alleging accounting
improprieties, including the determination of claim recognition
on two projects and the assessment of costs to complete two

Then, on February 3, 2006, after the close of the market,
Chicago Bridge issued a press release announcing the
terminations of Defendants Glenn and Jordan and that it would
further elaborate on the terminations on a conference call the
week of February 13, 2006.  Two hours after the announcement of
the terminations, an attorney representing Defendants Glenn and
Jordan issued a press release representing that they had been
terminated in connection with the Company's internal accounting

In response to these announcements, on February 6, 2006, the
price of Chicago Bridge stock dropped from $29.00 per share to
$22.33 per share on extremely heavy trading volume.

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

COCA-COLA ENTERPRISES: Chitwood Harley Lodges Stock Suit in Ga.
Chitwood Harley Harnes, LLP, filed a securities fraud class
action complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of Georgia against Coca-Cola Enterprises, Inc. ("CCE"),
Lowry F. Kline, John R. Alm, Patrick J. Mannelly, Rick L. Engum,
E. Liston Bishop, III, G. David Van Houten, Jr. and Summerfield
K. Johnston, Jr.  The case was filed on behalf of all persons
who purchased or otherwise acquired CCE stock between October
15, 2003 and July 28, 2004 (the "Class Period") and were damaged

The case is pending before the Honorable Thomas W. Thrash and is
entitled Argento Trading Company, L.P. v. Coca-Cola Enterprises,
Inc. et al., No. 1:06-cv-00275 (TWT).

The Complaint alleges that the Defendants violated Sections
10(b), 20(a) and 20A of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the
"Exchange Act") and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, by
failing to disclose to the investing public that CCE had a
longstanding and systemic practice of channel stuffing --
forcing extra product onto its customers to boost revenue. CCE's
reported financial results and future earnings prospects were
materially misleading without disclosure about CCE's channel
stuffing practices and how those practices affected CCE's
financial condition. The complaint also alleges that CCE's
channel stuffing resulted in the improper recognition of revenue
in violation of GAAP.

While defendants were misrepresenting CCE's financial condition,
and CCE's stock price climbed through the Class Period, the
individual defendants engaged in substantial insider trading.
For example, Defendant Johnston sold over $172 million worth of
his CCE stock, representing 19.52% of his holdings or 6,481,082
shares. Defendant Mannelly sold approximately 372,396 shares of
his CCE common stock, with proceeds totaling approximately
$9,353,964, and Defendant Van Houten sold approximately 225,953
shares of CCE common stock, for proceeds totaling approximately
$6,123,757. Other individual defendants sold substantial amounts
of CCE stock as well.

For more details, contact Meryl W. Edelstein of Chitwood Harley
Harnes, LLP, 75 Spring Street, S.W., Atlanta, GA 30303, Phone:
888-873-3999, ext. 6881, E-mail: medelstein@chitwoodlaw.com.

COOPER COMPANIES: Schatz & Nobel Files Securities Suit in Calif.
The law firm of Schatz & Nobel, P.C., which has significant
experience representing investors in prosecuting claims of
securities fraud, announces that a lawsuit seeking class action
status has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central
District of California on behalf of all persons who purchased or
acquired the publicly traded securities of The Cooper Companies,
Inc. ("Cooper" or the "Company") between July 29, 2004, and
November 21, 2005, inclusive, (the "Class Period").

Also included are all those who acquired Cooper through its
acquisition of Ocular Sciences, Inc. ("Ocular").
The Complaint alleges defendants violated federal securities
laws by issuing a series of materially false statements
regarding Cooper's business condition. Specifically, defendants
failed to disclose that:

     (1) Cooper improperly accounted for assets acquired in the
         Ocular merger, as reported in the Proxy Statement, by
         misclassifying intangible assets as tangible, which had
         the effect of lowering amortization expense;

     (2) Cooper's aggressive earnings guidance reflected the
         improper accounting for intangible assets and was
         inflated by the amount of the understated amortization

     (3) the merger synergies touted by defendants were

     (4) Ocular had stuffed the channel with its Biomedics

     (5) Cooper's lack of a two-week silicone hydrogel product
         would prevent it from meeting its aggressive growth
         targets for 2005 and beyond, contrary to defendants'
         repeated representations that the Company's Proclear
         product was competing favorably against the silicone
         hydrogel products; and

     (6) Cooper and Ocular in fact competed in the two-week lens

When the truth emerged on November 21, 2005, and November 22,
2005, Cooper fell $21 per share, or 29%, to close at $51.47 per
share on November 22, 2005. During the Class Period, insiders
sold 1,970,233 shares of common stock for proceeds of

For more details, contact Schatz & Nobel, Phone: (800) 797-5499,
E-mail: sn06106@aol.com, Web site: http://www.snlaw.net.

MILLS CORP: Smith & Smith Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in Va.
Smith & Smith, LLP, initiated a securities class action on
behalf of shareholders who purchased common stock of The Mills
Corporation ("Mills Corp." or the "Company") (NYSE:MLS), during
the period August 14, 2003 through January 6, 2006, inclusive
(the "Class Period").  The class action was filed in the U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

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

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

PROQUEST COMPANY: Charles Piven Lodges Securities Suit in Mich.
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, P.A. initiated a securities
class action on behalf of shareholders who purchased, converted,
exchanged or otherwise acquired the common stock of ProQuest
Company (NYSE: PQE) between January 9, 2003 and February 8,
2006, inclusive (the "Class Period").

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

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


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collectively face billions of dollars in asbestos-related


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