CAR_Public/060306.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

              Monday, March 6, 2006, Vol. 8, No. 46

                            Headlines

AFG ASIT: Parties Reach Settlement For "Homburger" Suit in Del.
AK STEEL: Federal Judge Orders $46.2M Pension Payment to Workers
AZTAR CORP: Court Grants Request For Fees, Costs in Ariz. Suit
CALIFORNIA: March Deadline Set for Parole Board's Remedial Plan
CERUS CORP: Calif. Court Mulls Securities Fraud Suit Dismissal

CONCORD EFS: Calif. Court to Hear Judgment Motion on March 14
FRANCE: Faces Suit Over WWII Confiscation of Personal Valuables
INDIANA: Suit Claims Scholarship Program Policy Discriminatory
JOURNAL COMMS: Wis. Court Partially Dismisses Advertisers' Suit
LOUISIANA: Tobacco Firms Remove "Lights" Cases to Federal Court

MASSACHUSETTS: Amended Complaint Filed in Suit V. National Guard
MARSH & MCLENNAN: Md. Court Dismisses "Market-Timing" Lawsuits
MCDONALD'S CORPORATION: Faces New "French Fries" Suit in Fla.
NEW YORK: Paying $2.2M to Settle Prison Brutality Litigation
NICOR GAS: Ill. Property Owners Launch Suit V. Oak Park Facility

NICOR GAS: Settles Consumer Fraud Suit in Dupage County Court  
NICOR GAS: Working On Settlement of IL Mercury Injury Litigation
OHIO: Lawsuit V. State Secretary Seeks to Protect Identity Info
PENNSYLVANIA: Sovereign Bancorp Investor Challenges Legislation
QVC INC: Recalls Remote Control with Defective Battery Charger

RELIANCE GROUP: Securities Settlement Hearing set March 21, 2006
RJR TOBACCO: Awaits Fla. High Court's Decision on "Engle" Suit
RJR TOBACCO: Faces "Lights" Lawsuits in Wash., Fla. State Courts
RJR TOBACCO: Faces Medical Monitoring Suits in W.Va., Ore., La.
RJR TOBACCO: Judge Extends Discovery in Schwab "Lights" Case

RJR TOBACCO: N.Y. Judge Dismisses "Simon (II)" Smokers' Lawsuit
RLI CORP: Faces N.J. Insurance Suit Over Contingent Commissions
ROYAL CARIBBEAN: Continues To Face Cabin Stewards "Tips" Lawsuit
ROYAL CARIBBEAN: Faces Suit in N.Y. Over Unlicensed Performances
RYLAND GROUP: Tex. Court Reviews Dismissed Shareholder Lawsuit

SINGLE: Recalls Silk Kimono Tops Made of Highly-Flammable Fabric
SOUTHERN CO: Files Motions V. Second Amended ERISA Suit in Ga.
SOUTHERN POWER: Proceedings in Mirant Stock Case to Resume Soon
UNITEDHEALTH GROUP: Court Yet To Rule on Motion To Amend Lawsuit
UNITEDHEALTH GROUP: Fla. Court to Hear Judgment Motion in March

WEST PHARMACEUTICAL: County Judge Junks Plant Explosion Lawsuit


                 New Securities Fraud Cases

APPLICA INC: Abraham Fruchter Files Fla. Securities Fraud Suit
CHICAGO BRIDGE: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges Stock Suit in N.Y.
IMPAC MORTGAGE: Wechsler Harwood Files Securities Suit in Calif.


                         *********

AFG ASIT: Parties Reach Settlement For "Homburger" Suit in Del.
---------------------------------------------------------------
AFG ASIT Corporation reports that a settlement was reached for
the purported class action, captioned, "Paul Homburger v. Gary
D. Engle, James A. Coyne, et al., (Docket No. CA987-N)," which
was filed in the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware In
and For New Castle County.  

Paul Homburger filed the suit on January 10, 2005 against Semele
Group, Inc., Equis II Corporation ("Equis II"), AFG ASIT
Corporation, PLM MILPI Holdings LLC, Gary D. Engle, and James A.
Coyne as defendants.  AFG ASIT Corporation was the Managing
Trustee of the Trust and is the Manager of the Liquidating
Trust.

The Homburger action was brought on behalf of a purported class
consisting of the former beneficiaries of the Trust, who are
currently beneficiaries of the Liquidating Trust. It alleged
breaches of fiduciary duty, self-dealing and breach of the
governing Trust Agreement in connection with the liquidation of
the Trust, proposed amendments to the governing Trust Agreement
and the sale of certain of the Trust's assets.

The Complaint contained three counts.  The first count alleged a
lack of entire fairness in connection with certain asset sales,
the amendments and the liquidation of the Trust.  The second
count alleged breaches of the Trust Agreement regarding
allocation of certain distributions, the creation of the
Liquidating Trust, and a certain asset sale.  The third count
alleged a breach of the duty of disclosure with regard to a
Consent Solicitation Statement issued in connection with the
solicitation of votes on the proposed sale and amendments.  The
Complaint sought:

     (1) class certification;

     (2) preliminary and permanent injunctions against and
         rescission of the sales, distributions and liquidation;
         and

     (3) damages in an unspecified amount payable to the
         purported class.

The Defendants and all related parties denied all allegations of
liability or wrongdoing in the Complaint.  The parties entered
into negotiations that resulted in a settlement on February 28,
2005 that provided for, a payment of $0.6 million, net of
transaction costs, by the Defendants and all related parties
controlled by Gary Engle.  At December 31, 2004, the Liquidating
Trust had accrued the $0.6 million settlement payment, which is
included in Receivable - other in the accompanying financial
statements.

The Settlement states that the Defendants and all related
parties controlled by Gary Engle do not admit any liability or
wrongdoing.  The Court approved the Settlement in March 2005.  
The approved Settlement required that the Settlement be paid
directly to certain beneficial interest holders of the
Liquidating Trust rather than the Liquidating Trust itself.
Accordingly, the Liquidating Trust wrote off the Receivable -
other in 2005.


AK STEEL: Federal Judge Orders $46.2M Pension Payment to Workers
----------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. District Judge Sandra Beckwith ordered AK Steel Corp. on
Feb. 22 to pay at least $46.2 million in pension benefits to
former employees, according to Associated Press.

The payment arose from a class action filed by workers in 2002
on allegations the company's lump sum pension payment for
members of one of its pension plans is lower than what is
provided under federal law.  It consists of $37.6 million in
damages and $8.6 million in pre-judgment interest.  Post-
judgment interest will accrue at a rate of 4.7% per year until
the payment is made, the judge also ruled.  AK Steel intends to
appeal the ruling, according to the report.

Plaintiffs in the case are retired or were terminated on or
after Jan. 1, 1995, and got their pension benefits under the
Retirement Accumulation Pension Plan in a lump sum by April 1,
2005.  About 1,250 are in line for payment.

AK Steel -- http://www.aksteel.com-- produces flat-rolled  
carbon, stainless and electrical steels, along with tubular
steel products, for customers in the automotive, appliance,
construction and manufacturing markets.

The suit is styled, "West v. AK Steel Retirement, et al., Case
No. 1:02-cv-00001-SSB-TSB," filed in the U.S. District Court for
the Southern District of Ohio under Judge Sandra S. Beckwith
with referral to Judge Timothy S. Black. Representing the
plaintiffs is Thomas R. Theado of Gary, Naegele & Theado, LLC,
446 Broadway, Lorain, Ohio 44052, (Lorain Co.), Phone:
216-244-4809, Fax: 440-244-3462.

Representing AK Steel is Robert Wick of Covington & Burling,
1201 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, District of Columbia
20004-2401, Phone: 202-662-6000, Fax: 202-662-6291.


AZTAR CORP: Court Grants Request For Fees, Costs in Ariz. Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Superior Court of Maricopa County, Arizona granted Aztar
Corporation's request for discretionary award from the plaintiff
and his counsel of the attorneys' fees and costs incurred by the
Company in defending the consumer class action filed against it.  
The plaintiff though seeks to appeal the court's decision.

Plaintiff Aaron Dolgin filed the suit, relating to a $1 per day
telephone surcharge assessed to certain guests at check-in at
the Tropicana Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada and the
Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey (the
"Tropicana Hotels").  The hotels are owned and operated by
subsidiaries of the Company.

The plaintiff brings claims based upon:

     (1) alleged violation of the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act;

     (2) fraudulent advertising;

     (3) breach of contract;

     (4) breach of the implied-in-law covenant of good faith and
         fair dealing; and

     (5) unjust enrichment

In an order dated February 28, 2005, the Court denied the
plaintiff's motion to certify this matter as a class action.  As
a result, only the plaintiff's individual claims based on the
single $1 telephone surcharge he paid to the Tropicana Resort
and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada are still pending.  The
plaintiff has not actively litigated this matter since the
denial of the motion for class certification.  The Court
subsequently placed the case on the Inactive Calendar for
dismissal on June 20, 2005 unless the plaintiff filed a motion
to set the matter for trial before that date.  The plaintiff
failed to file a motion to set the matter for trial before the
June 20, 2005 deadline.  

On July 15, 2005, the Court entered a Judgment of Dismissal
Without Prejudice as to all of the plaintiff's remaining claims
for lack of prosecution.  On August 12, 2005, the Company filed
an application with the Court seeking a discretionary award from
the plaintiff and his counsel of the attorneys' fees and costs
incurred by the Company.  The Court heard oral arguments on that
application on December 6, 2005.  The Court granted the
company's attorneys' fee application, in part.  On December 28,
2005, the Court entered Judgment in favor of the Company and
against the plaintiff in the amount of $222,470 consisting of
$214,409 for attorneys' fees and $8,061 for costs.  On February
2, 2006, the plaintiff filed a Notice of Appeal of the Judgment.  


CALIFORNIA: March Deadline Set for Parole Board's Remedial Plan
---------------------------------------------------------------
The judge presiding over a class action seeking to get due
hearings for prisoners in California told state parole
authorities to present a remedial plant in a trial set March 23,
according to the Sacramento Bee.

Marin County Superior court Judge Verna Adams recently
"immediate measures" to comply with the laws that determine when
a prisoner is eligible to be considered for parole, the report
said.

Corrections spokeswoman Elaine Jennings said the board of parole
does not plan to appeal the ruling.  The board is facing 3,200
overdue parole hearings.  In the spring of 2001, 2,058 cases
were overdue for hearings, by now the backlog has increased by
55%.

The inmates are represented by Keith Allen Wattley of The Prison
Law Office, General Delivery, San Quentin, California, (Marin
Co.).


CERUS CORP: Calif. Court Mulls Securities Fraud Suit Dismissal
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
California has yet to rule on Cerus Corporation's motion to
dismiss the third amended consolidated securities class action
filed against it and certain of its current and former
directors, alleging violations of federal securities laws.

On December 8, 2003, a class action complaint was filed alleging
that the defendants violated the federal securities laws by
making certain alleged false and misleading statements regarding
the compound used in the Company's red blood cell system.  The
plaintiff seeks unspecified damages on behalf of a purported
class of purchasers of the Company's securities during the
period from October 25, 2000 through September 3, 2003.  As is
typical in this type of litigation, several other purported
securities class action lawsuits containing substantially
similar allegations have since been filed against the
defendants.

On May 24, 2004, the plaintiffs filed a consolidated complaint.
The consolidated complaint abandons the allegations raised in
the original complaints. Instead, the plaintiffs claim that the
defendants issued false and misleading predictions regarding the
initiation and completion of clinical trials, submission of
regulatory filings, receipt of regulatory approval and other
milestones in the development of the INTERCEPT Blood Systems for
platelets, plasma and red blood cells. The consolidated
complaint retains the same class period alleged in the original
complaints.

On June 17, 2004, the plaintiffs filed an amended consolidated
complaint substantially similar to the previous consolidated
complaint with additional allegations attributed to a
confidential witness.  On July 20, 2004, the defendants moved to
dismiss the amended consolidated complaint.  On January 20,
2005, the Court dismissed the complaint with leave to amend
within 60 days.  On March 21, 2005, the plaintiffs filed a
second amended consolidated complaint, and on May 24, 2005, the
plaintiffs filed a third amended consolidated complaint.  The
allegations of both the second and third amended consolidated
complaints were similar to those contained in the previous
amended consolidated complaint.  On July 8, 2005, the defendants
moved to dismiss this third amended consolidated complaint.

The suit is styled, "In re Cerus Corporation Securities
Litigation, Case No. 5:03-cv-05517-JF," filed in the U.S.
District Court for the Northern District of California under
Judge Jeremy Fogel.  Representing the Plaintiff/s are, Patrick
J. Coughlin and William S. Lerach of Lerach Coughlin Stoia &
Robbins LLP, 100 Pine Street, Suite 2600, San Francisco, CA
94111, Phone: 415-288-4545, Fax: 415-288-4534, E-mail:
patc@mwbhl.com or billl@lerachlaw.com.  

Representing the Defendant/s are, Terri Garland and Raymond M.
Hasu of Morrison & Foerster, 425 Market Street, San Francisco,
CA 94105-2482, Phone: 415-268-7000, E-mail: rhasu@mofo.com or
tgarland@mofo.com.


CONCORD EFS: Calif. Court to Hear Judgment Motion on March 14
-------------------------------------------------------------
Concord EFS, Inc.'s motion for summary judgment in its favor in
the consolidated class action filed against it, its parent
company First Data Corporation and various financial
institutions will be heard by the United States District Court
for the Northern District of California on March 14, 2006.

On July 2, 2004, Pamela Brennan, Terry Crayton, and Darla
Martinez filed a class action complaint on behalf of themselves
and all others similarly situated in the United States District
Court for the Northern District of California against the
Company, its subsidiary Concord EFS, Inc., and various financial
institutions ("Brennan").  Plaintiffs claim that defendants
violated antitrust laws by conspiring to artificially inflate
foreign ATM fees that were ultimately charged to ATM
cardholders.  Plaintiffs seek a declaratory judgment, injunctive
relief, compensatory damages, attorneys' fees, costs and such
other relief as the nature of the case may require or as may
seem just and proper to the court.

Five similar suits were filed and served in July, August and
October 2004, two in the Central District of California (Los
Angeles), two in the Southern District of New York, and one in
the Western District of Washington (Seattle).  The plaintiffs
sought to have all of the cases consolidated by the Multi
District Litigation panel.  The panel denied that request on
December 16, 2004 and all cases were transferred to the Northern
District Court of California and assigned to a single judge.  
All cases other than Brennan were stayed.

In Brennan, on May 4, 2005, the Court ruled on Defendants'
Motion to Dismiss and Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings.  The
Court did not dismiss the complaint, except for a technical
dismissal of the claims against First Data Corporation, Bank One
Corporation and JPMorgan Chase.  On May 25, 2005, the plaintiffs
filed an amended complaint that clarified the basis for alleging
that the holding companies First Data Corporation, Bank One
Corporation and JPMorgan Chase were liable.  On July 21, 2005,
Concord filed a motion for summary judgment seeking to foreclose
claims arising after February 1, 2001, the date that Concord
acquired the STAR network.  On August 22, 2005, the Court also
consolidated all of the ATM interchange cases pending against
the defendants in Brennan that is now referred to collectively
as the "ATM Fee Antitrust Litigation."

On December 8, 2005, the judge presiding over the case recused
himself and all deadlines previously set were vacated.  The
Company's Motion for Summary Judgment is currently set for
hearing on March 14, 2006.  A status conference for the case is
set for May 3, 2006.  

The suit is styled, "In re ATM FEE ANTITRUST LITIGATION, Case
No. 4:04-cv-02676-SBA," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of California, under Judge Saundra Brown
Armstrong.  Representing the plaintiffs are Daniel O. Myers,
Richardson, Patrick, Westbrook and Brickman, LLC, 1037 Chuck
Dawley, Building A, Mt. Pleasant, SC 92464, Phone: 843-727-6500,
fax: 843-216-6509, E-mail: dmyers@rpwb.com; and Joseph R.
Saveri, Lieff Cabraser Heiman & Bernstein, LLP, 275 Battery
Street, 30th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94111-3339, Phone:
415-956-1000, Fax: 415-956-1008, E-mail: jsaveri@lchb.com.  

Representing the Defendant/s are, Buckmaster DeWolf, Peter
Edward Moll, Esq., Benjamin K. Riley, Brian Wallach, Howrey
Simon Arnold & White, LLP, 301 Ravenswood Avenue, Menlo Park, CA
94025, Phone: 650-463-8100, E-mail: dewolfb@howrey.com,
mollp@howrey.com, rileyb@howrey.com, wallachb@howrey.com.


FRANCE: Faces Suit Over WWII Confiscation of Personal Valuables
---------------------------------------------------------------
Holocaust survivors and relatives of victims are suing the
French government for theft of cash and valuables during World
War II, according to Bloomberg News.

The suit styled, "Freund v. Republic of France (Case No. 06-CV-
1637)," is filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of New York on behalf of 26 individuals.  Plaintiffs
include American citizens Mathilde Freund, and Leo Bretholz.

Defendants are:

     (1) the Republic of France,

     (2) Societe Nationale des Chemins de Fer Francais,

     (3) Caisse des Depots et Consignations

Railway SNCF assembled and ran trains from holding camps to
Auschwitz, Poland and Buchenwald, Germany.  CDC is a state-owned
financial institution.

The suit alleges that French authorities forced prisoners to
turn over valuables when they were loaded on to trains.  It also
claims CDC still holds the money taken from plaintiffs or
received from the sale of their property.  

The total worth of personal properties taken from prisoners at
the provincial camps is estimated at FRF200 million francs
($36.67 million), not including jewelry or other property.


INDIANA: Suit Claims Scholarship Program Policy Discriminatory
--------------------------------------------------------------
A civil rights group is suing the government claiming its 21st
Century Scholar program is unconstitutional and discriminate
because it denies college scholarships to American-born students
with non-U.S. citizen parents, according to Associated Press.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana filed the suit in
U.S. District Court in Indianapolis on behalf of a northern
Indiana teenager, whose parents were neither U.S. citizens nor
legal aliens.  The student, identified only as E.C., is now a
high school senior in Elkhart County.  

Ken Falk, the ACLU of Indiana's legal director, claims the
policy violates both the U.S. Constitution's equal protection
clause and federal immigration policies set by Congress.  He is
seeking class-action status for the lawsuit, and wants a ruling
allowing students who were denied scholarships to reapply.  He
estimated that the policy currently denies scholarships to more
than 10,000 lower-income Indiana students

The suit is styled "E.C. v. Obergfell (1:06-cv-00359-DFH-WTL),"
filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of
Indiana under Judge David Frank Hamilton, with referral to
William T. Lawrence.  Representing the plaintiff are Kenneth J.
Falk and Jacquelyn Bowie Suess, ACLU of Indiana, 1031 East
Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202-3952, Phone:
(317) 635-4059 x229, Fax: (317) 635-4105, E-mail: kfalk@aclu-
in.org and jsuess@aclu-in.org.


JOURNAL COMMS: Wis. Court Partially Dismisses Advertisers' Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Milwaukee County Circuit Court in Wisconsin granted in part
the motion by Journal Sentinel, Inc., which is a subsidiary of
Journal Communications, Inc., to dismiss a class action filed in
April 2005 against it, alleging it misstated its circulation
numbers.

The plaintiff, Shorewest Realtors, seeks to bring a class action
lawsuit against the Company on behalf of "Milwaukee Journal
Sentinel" advertisers, alleging that the newspaper improperly
inflated its circulation numbers from 1996 on.  Shorewest is
seeking disgorgement or restitution by Journal Sentinel of
alleged improperly collected charges (with interest), plus an
unspecified amount of damages.

The Company filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiffs' claims on
July 20, 2005.  On October 10, 2005, the court ruled on the
Amended motion to dismiss.  The court dismissed the plaintiffs'
claims based on breach of contract and breach of the duty of
good faith and fair dealing and allowed the plaintiffs to
proceed with their other claims.  No litigation reserve has been
recorded for this matter.


LOUISIANA: Tobacco Firms Remove "Lights" Cases to Federal Court
---------------------------------------------------------------
RJR Tobacco (RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company) and Brown & Williamson
(B&W) respectively removed two Louisiana "lights" class actions
to federal court.  The cases are:

     (1) Harper v. R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and

     (2) Brown v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp.

On January 27, 2005, the federal judge denied the plaintiffs'
motions to remand in both cases.  

In Harper, the plaintiffs appealed the denial of the motion to
remand on February 15, 2005.  The defendants' request for oral
argument is pending.  On June 17, 2005, RJR Tobacco filed a
motion for summary judgment based on federal preemption.  

In Brown, B&W filed a similar motion on July 5, 2005.  On
September 14, 2005, B&W's motion was granted in part by
dismissing with prejudice the plaintiffs' Louisiana Unfair Trade
and Consumer Protection Act claims.  The remainder of the motion
was denied.  On December 2, 2005, the judge denied B&W's motion
for reconsideration, but the judge granted an immediate appeal.  
In January 2006, B&W filed a petition to the United States Court
of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit for permission to appeal, which
was granted on February 10, 2006.


MASSACHUSETTS: Amended Complaint Filed in Suit V. National Guard
----------------------------------------------------------------
An amended complaint on a suit filed on behalf of four guardsmen
against the Massachusetts National Guard in January states the
non-payment of soldiers' basic expenses were deliberate,
according to Associated Press.  

A confidential informant told Attorney John Shek the National
Guard chose not to pay basic expenses for soldiers called to
duty after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks because of budget
constraints. The allegation is contained in legal papers being
filed in U.S. District Court in Boston.

The amended complaint does not name the informant and does not
include specifics from the statement he gave Mr. Shek, the
report said.

Mr. Shek filed the lawsuit almost two months ago against Brig.
Gen. Oliver Mason on behalf of four guardsmen, including Sgt.
Wayne R. Gutierrez of New Bedford.  Aside for allegations of
non-payment of more than $73 million due to soldiers called to
active duty following the 2001 terror attacks, the suit also
alleged that the office threatened guardsmen who pursued their
financial claims (Class Action Reporter, Jan. 20, 2006).

The lawsuit, "Tortorella, et al. v. Donald H. Rumsfeld, et al.,"
names all U.S., Massachusetts, Army and MNG officials needed to
obtain payment of the soldiers' reimbursement claims.  The
complaint also specifically identifies leaders at the MNG
Command Center who denied the reimbursements.  The current
presiding MNG Adjutant General, Brigadier General Oliver J.
Mason Jr., was in charge of MNG Operations, including personnel
issues, during the class period (Class Action Reporter, Jan. 20,
2006).

The four plaintiffs were among many Massachusetts National Guard
soldiers activated for temporary duty in early December 2001. In
the post 9/11, anti-terror environment, their assignments
included security patrols, lock-downs and construction projects
at bases across the state (Class Action Reporter, Jan. 20,
2006).

The other plaintiffs in the case are:

     (1) Sgt. Wayne R. Gutierrez, of New Bedford, Mass.

     (2) Sgt. Steven M. Littlefield; and

     (3) Joseph P. Murphy, a specialist at Camp Edwards.

The suit seeks reimbursement of all per diem expenses, plus
damages to the plaintiffs and the class.

The suit is styled, "Tortorella et al. v. U.S. of America et
al., Case No. 1:06-cv-10054-RGS," filed in the U.S. District
Court for the District of Massachusetts under Judge Richard G.
Stearns.  Representing the Plaintiff/s are, John R. Shek of
Weston, Patrick, Willard & Redding, PA, 84 State Street, 11th
Floor, Boston, MA 02109-2299, Phone: 617-742-9310, Fax: 617-742-
5734, E-mail: jrs@wpwr.com.  

For more information, contact Weston, Patrick, Willard & Redding
John Shek, Esq., Phone: 617-742-9310; or Robin Estrin, Phone:
781-201-9342 (cell).


MARSH & MCLENNAN: Md. Court Dismisses "Market-Timing" Lawsuits
--------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland granted
Marsh & Mclennan Companies, Inc. its investment management arm
Putnam Investments Trust's motions to dismiss 'market-timing'
claims against them.

MMC and Putnam have received complaints in over 70 civil actions
based on allegations of "market-timing" and, in some cases,
"late trading" activities.  These actions were filed in courts
in various states.  All of the actions filed in federal court
have been transferred, along with actions against other mutual
fund complexes, to the U.S. District Court for the District of
Maryland for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings.  
The lead plaintiffs in those cases filed consolidated amended
complaints on September 29, 2004.  

The consolidated amended class action complaint were purportedly
brought against MMC and Putnam, along with certain of their
former officers and directors on behalf of all purchasers of the
publicly-traded securities of MMC between January 3, 2000 and
November 3, 2003.

In general, the MMC Class Action alleges that the defendants,
including MMC, allowed certain mutual fund investors and fund
managers to engage in market-timing in the Putnam Funds.  The
complaint further alleges that this conduct was not disclosed
until late 2003, in violation of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder.

The complaint alleges that, as a result of defendants'
purportedly misleading statements or omissions, MMC's stock
traded at inflated levels during the Class Period.  The suit
seeks unspecified damages and equitable relief.  In an opinion
dated February 27, 2006, the district court granted defendants'
motions to dismiss all claims against them.


MCDONALD'S CORPORATION: Faces New "French Fries" Suit in Fla.
-------------------------------------------------------------
A Florida couple is filing the fourth suit against McDonald's
Corp. over its wheat- and dairy product-containing french fries,
according to First Coast News.

David and Cherilyn Levy of Coral Springs filed a suit seeking
class action status against the company in the U.S. District
Court in Fort Lauderdale on Feb. 24.  The couple alleges fraud
and is seeking more than $5 million on behalf of consumers who
were allegedly deceived into buying french fries thinking they
were gluten free.  

The Levy's began feeding their five-year old daughter a gluten-
free diet after she was diagnosed with autism.  But they allowed
her to eat McDonald's fries because the company promoted it as
gluten free.  

McDonald's is now facing several lawsuits after it disclosed on
Feb. 13 that its French fries contain wheat and dairy products,
according to Associated Press (Class Action Reporter, Feb. 21,
2006).  Three lawsuits were filed against it by a couple from
Florida, a woman from California, and another woman from
Illinois.

Mark and Theresa Chimiak of Jupiter Florida sued the fast food
chain, claiming their 5-year old daughter has an intolerance to
gluten.  On Feb. 15, Nadia Sugich of Los Angeles, who claims she
is a vegan, sued McDonald's, saying she would not have eaten the
fries if she had known they contained dairy products.  Debra
Moffatt of Lombard, Illinois filed a suit Feb. 17 in Cook County
Circuit Court, accusing the company of misleading the public.  
She seeks unspecified damages.

Attorney Thomas Pakenas says Ms. Moffat has celiac disease, a
gastrointestinal condition set off by eating gluten, a protein
found in wheat.  The Chimiak family's attorney is Brian W. Smith
of West Palm Beach.

According to the report, Oak Brook-based McDonald's says it's
testing its fries through a food allergy research program at the
University of Nebraska.

The Levy couple's lawyer is Edward H. Zebersky of Zebersky &
Payne.  Mr. Zebersky said the Levys want any damages recovered
to fund research on autism and celiac diseases.

For more details, contact Edward H. Zebersky of Zebersky &
Payne, LLP, 4000 Hollywood Boulevard, Presidential Circle, Suite
400 N.  Hollywood, Florida 33021, (Broward Co.), Phone:
954-989-6333, Fax: 954-989-7781.


NEW YORK: Paying $2.2M to Settle Prison Brutality Litigation
------------------------------------------------------------
New York City agreed to pay $2.2 million in a lawsuit filed by
inmates alleging prison guards used a pattern of excessive force
against detainees, according to WBOC 16.  

The city also agreed to install hundreds of video cameras in
jail, and improve training and accountability of guards without
admitting wrongdoing.  

The payment is part of a settlement of a class action brought on
behalf of 22 inmates.  The agreement is still subject to
approval by U.S. District Judge Denny Chin in Manhattan,
according to Associated Press.

Payments to plaintiffs would range between $15,000 to more than
half million dollars, the report said.  The deal is expected to
affect 13,000 inmates in 11 New York City jails.

The suit is styled, "Aviles v. City Of New York, et. al. (1:04-
cv-02792-LAP)," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of New York under Loretta A. Preska.  
Representing the plaintiff is J. McGregor Smyth, Jr., The Bronx
Defenders, 860 Courtlandt Ave., Bronx, NY 10451, Phone:
718-838-7885, Fax: 718-665-0100; E-mail:
mcgregors@bronxdefenders.org.

Representing the defendants is Rachel Amy Seligman, New York
City Law Department, 100 Church Street, New York, NY 10007,
Phone: (212) 788-0784, Phone: (212) 788-9776; E-mail:
rseligma@law.nyc.gov.


NICOR GAS: Ill. Property Owners Launch Suit V. Oak Park Facility
----------------------------------------------------------------
Nicor Gas Company continues to face class actions filed in the
Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, alleging among other
things, that the ongoing cleanup of a former manufactured gas
plant site in Oak Park, Illinois is inadequate.

In December 2001, a purported class action lawsuit was filed
against Exelon Corporation, Commonwealth Edison Company and the
Company.  Since then, additional lawsuits have been filed
related to this same former manufactured gas plant site.  These
lawsuits seek, in part, unspecified damages for property damage,
nuisance, and various personal injuries that allegedly resulted
from exposure to contaminants allegedly emanating from the site,
and punitive damages.


NICOR GAS: Settles Consumer Fraud Suit in Dupage County Court  
-------------------------------------------------------------
The consumer class action filed against Nicor, Inc., Nicor Gas
and Nicor Services, entitled "Rivera v. Nicor Inc., Nicor Gas
and Nicor Services," was recently settled in the first quarter
of 2006.

The class action was initially filed in the Circuit Court of
Cook County, Illinois, charging the Company with deceptive
practices relating to the marketing and sale of the Gas Line
ComfortGuard service offered by Nicor Services.  The plaintiff
also alleges violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and
Deceptive Business Practices Act and unjust enrichment.  The
plaintiff is seeking damages in an amount equal to the total Gas
Line ComfortGuard charges paid by the plaintiff and the putative
class members, punitive damages, and attorney's fees and costs.  
In the third quarter of 2005, the case was transferred to the
Circuit Court of DuPage County, Illinois.

In the first quarter of 2006, Nicor Gas settled the action on an
individual basis with the named plaintiff without any admission
of wrongdoing or liability.  The plaintiff's case was dismissed
with prejudice and no motion to certify a class was ever filed.

The suit is styled "Rivera v. Nicor Inc., Nicor Gas and Nicor
Services, case no. 2005-CH-07875," under Judge Sophia H. Hall.  
Representing the Plaintiffs is MUCH SHELIST FREED, 191 N. Wacker
#1800, Chicago, IL, 60606, Phone: (312) 521-2000.

Representing the Company is SONNENSCHEIN NATH & ROSEN, 8000
Sears Tower, Chicago, IL 60606, Phone: (312) 876-8000.


NICOR GAS: Working On Settlement of IL Mercury Injury Litigation
----------------------------------------------------------------
Nicor Gas Company reached a settlement for lawsuits filed
against it, related to its historical use of mercury in various
kinds of company equipment.

The Company is a defendant in several private lawsuits, all in
the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, seeking a variety of
unquantified damages (including bodily injury, property and
punitive damages) allegedly caused by mercury-containing
regulators.  The suit also names as defendants:

      (1) Commonwealth Edison

      (2) Exelon Corporation

      (3) Illinois Gas Co.

      (4) Northern Illinois Gas Co.

      (5) Village Oak Park

      (6) Parsons Engineering Science

      (7) Oak Park District

      (8) Cindy Melin

Under the terms of a class action settlement agreement, the
Company will continue, until 2007, to provide medical screening
to persons exposed to mercury from its equipment, and will use
its best efforts to replace any remaining inside residential
mercury regulators by 2006.  The class action settlement
permitted class members to "opt out" of the settlement and
pursue their claims individually.  The Company is currently
defending claims brought by 27 households.

The suit is styled, "John Spillane, et al. v. Commonwealth
Edison, et al., Case No. 2001-CH-20680," filed in the Circuit
Court of Cook County, Illinois.  Plaintiff John Spillane is
represented by STERN, HOLSTEIN & ZIMMERMAN, 70 E Walton,
Chicago, IL 60611, Phone: (312) 440-0020.  

Representing the Company is MAYER BROWN ROWE MAW, 71 South
Wacker Dr., Chicago, IL 60606, Phone: (312) 782-0600.


OHIO: Lawsuit V. State Secretary Seeks to Protect Identity Info
---------------------------------------------------------------
A group of lawyers filed a lawsuit against Ohio's Secretary of
State demanding for the removal of social security numbers from
his Web site, according to WCPO.

Attorney Christian Jenkins lodged the complaint seeking class
action at U.S. District Court in Cincinnati on Feb. 26.  The
suit also seeks temporary restraining order to force Secretary
of State Ken Blackwell to remove the numbers immediately.  It is
feared the information could lead to identity theft.  The suit
is filed on behalf of anyone whose social security number can be
accessed on the web site.

The suit is styled, "Estep v. Blackwell, (1:06-cv-00106-SSB-
TSH)," filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of Ohio under Judge Sandra S. Beckwith with referral to
Judge Timothy S. Hogan.  Representing the Plaintiff/s are, Stacy
Ann Hinners, Christian A Jenkins and Marc David Mezibov of
Mezibov & Jenkins, 401 East Court Street, Suite 600, Cincinnati,
OH 45202, Phone: 513-723-1600, Fax: 513-723-1620, E-mail:
shinners@mezibovjenkins.com, cjenkins@mezibovjenkins.com and
mmezibov@mezibovjenkins.com.

For more details, visit: http://ResearchArchives.com/t/s?60b.


PENNSYLVANIA: Sovereign Bancorp Investor Challenges Legislation
---------------------------------------------------------------
Sovereign Bancorp, Inc. shareholder, Relational Investors LLC,
filed a lawsuit against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania seeking
to invalidate Act 6 of 2006, the recently enacted special
legislation passed for the private benefit of the management and
board of directors of Sovereign.  The suit also names as
defendants in their official capacities:

     (1) Edward G. Rendell, the Governor of the Commonwealth of
         Pennsylvania,

     (2) Robert C. Jubelirer, the President Pro Tempore of the
         Senate, and

     (3) John M. Perzel, the Speaker of the House of
         Representatives.

The lawsuit maintains that Act 6, passed by the Legislature as
Senate Bill 595, was enacted in less than 48 hours as part of a
secretive process designed to avoid fair disclosure and
deliberation in violation of the Pennsylvania Constitution.  
Sovereign lobbied extensively to procure this legislation to
prevent Relational from the proper exercise of its shareholder
rights and to thwart Relational's claims in pending litigation
with Sovereign in Federal Court.

The suit alleged that many of the Pennsylvania legislators who
voted in favor of the bill were not physically present for the
vote and had no knowledge of the contents of the bill or had
incorrectly been led to believe that they were helping Sovereign
defend against an attempted takeover by Relational, something
Relational has never attempted and is legally prohibited from
doing.  Furthermore, Senator Waugh, the original sponsor of SB
595, withdrew his sponsorship and voted against the bill.

Ralph V. Whitworth, Principal of Relational Investors, said,
"This legislation was passed at Sovereign's urging under the
cover of darkness without proper deliberation.  In one fell
swoop Sovereign and the Legislature significantly impaired the
rights of Sovereign's approximately 87,000 shareholders, not to
mention the rights of all shareholders of all Pennsylvania
chartered companies.  We believe that all this was done to
insulate Sovereign's directors from being held accountable by
Sovereign's shareholders.  These actions dealt a devastating
blow to Pennsylvania's shareholder rights and made a mockery of
our system of representative government."

The suit seeks a declaratory judgment that Act 6 of 2006, in
whole or part, violates the Pennsylvania Constitution and is,
therefore, null and void.

Relational Investors LLC -- http://www.rillc.com-- is a  
registered investment advisor and asset management firm located
in San Diego, California managing $6.2 billion.  It is the
largest shareholder of Sovereign Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE: SOV) with
approximately 8.4% of the outstanding shares.

Relational Investor Relations is Sandi Christian (Phone:
858-704-3335; E-mail: slc@rillc.com)


QVC INC: Recalls Remote Control with Defective Battery Charger
--------------------------------------------------------------
QVC Inc. of West Chester, Pennsylvania is recalling 180,000
units of Pro Flying Saucer (Radio Control) imported and
distributed by Creative Innovations & Sourcing LLC of
Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

The company said the battery charger cord sold with these flying
saucers could overcharge and cause the toy to overheat, posing a
risk of fire.  There have been at least 56 reports of
overheating, smoking, melting and fire including eight reports
of minor damage to furniture, carpeting or countertops.  There
have been seven reports of minor burns to hands or fingers.

The Pro Flying Saucer is about 13 inches in diameter and comes
in blue or yellow.  It is made of Styrofoam and has a plastic
propeller.  The Pro Flying Saucer comes with a controller unit,
launch pad and a battery charger cord.  The item number of the
recalled product, M12037, is found on the product's packaging.

The China-made remote controls were sold by QVC Inc. exclusively
nationwide from November 2005 through December 2005 for $27 or
$30.

Consumers are advised to stop using the product immediately.  
QVC will notify all purchasers of the product about the recall,
and instruct them to return the battery charger cord to receive
a new battery charger cord.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact QVC Inc.,
toll-free at (800) 367-9444 anytime: QVC on the Net:
http://www.qvc.com.


RELIANCE GROUP: Securities Settlement Hearing set March 21, 2006
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York will hold a fairness hearing for the proposed
$15,000,000 settlement in the matter, "In re: Reliance Group
Holdings, Inc. Securities Litigation, Master File No. 00-CV-4653
(TPG)." The case was brought on behalf of all persons who
purchased the Company's common stock, Reliance 9% Senior Notes
due November 15, 2000 and/or Reliance 9.75% Senior Subordinated
Debentures due November 15, 2003, during the period from
February 8, 1999 through and including December 6, 2000.

The hearing will be held before the Honorable Thomas P. Griesa
in the United States Courthouse for the Southern District of New
York, 500 Pearl St., New York, NY 10007, at 4:30 p.m., on March
21, 2006.

Deadline for submitting a proof of claim is on March 31, 2006.
Any objections to the settlement must be filed by February 13,
2006.

For more details, contact Reliance Group Holdings, Inc.
Securities Litigation Settlement, c/o Analytics Inc., Claims
Administrator, P.O. Box 2007, Chanhassen, MN 55317-2007, Phone:
866-314-5811, Website: http://www.realiancegrouplitigation.com;
Robert A. Wallner, Esq. of Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman,
LLP, One Pennsylvania Plaza, New York NY 10119-0165, Phone:
(212) 594-5300; and Sherrie R. Savett, Esq. of Berger Montague,
P.C., 1622 Locus St., Philadelphia, PA 19103, Phone: (205) 875-
3000.


RJR TOBACCO: Awaits Fla. High Court's Decision on "Engle" Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Florida Supreme Court has yet to release a long-awaited
decision concerning the "Engle" lawsuit, which is a class action
originally led by pediatrician Howard Engle and five other lead
plaintiffs that was filed in Miami in 1994 on behalf of smokers
nationwide.  

Defendants in the case include Philip Morris USA, a unit of
Altria Group Inc., R.J. Reynolds Tobacco (RJR Tobacco) and the
U.S. business of Brown & Williams, now units of Reynolds
American Inc., Lorillard Tobacco Co., a unit of Loews Corp. and
Vector Group Ltd.'s Liggett (Class Action Reporter, Nov. 4,
2004).

Trial began in July 1998 in Florida state court in "Engle v. R.
J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.," in which a class consisting of Florida
residents, or their survivors, alleges diseases or medical
conditions caused by their alleged "addiction" to cigarettes.  

On July 7, 1999, the jury found against RJR Tobacco and Brown &
Williamson (B&W) and the other cigarette-manufacturer defendants
in the initial phase, which included common issues related to
certain elements of liability, general causation and a potential
award of, or entitlement to, punitive damages.

The second phase of the trial, which consisted of the claims of
three of the named class representatives, began on November 1,
1999.  On April 7, 2000, the jury returned a verdict against all
the defendants.  It awarded plaintiff Mary Farnan $2.85 million,
the estate of plaintiff Angie Della Vecchia $4.023 million and
plaintiff Frank Amodeo $5.831 million.  The jury also found,
however, that Frank Amodeo knew or should have known of his
claim prior to May 5, 1990.  RJR Tobacco believes that the legal
effect of that finding should be to bar his claim based on the
applicable statute of limitations.

The trial court also ordered the jury in the second phase of the
trial to determine punitive damages, if any, on a class-wide
basis.  On July 14, 2000, the jury returned a punitive damages
verdict in favor of the "Florida class" of approximately $145
billion against all the defendants, with approximately $36.3
billion and $17.6 billion being assigned to RJR Tobacco and B&W,
respectively.

On November 6, 2000, the trial judge denied all post-trial
motions and entered judgment.  In November 2000, RJR Tobacco and
B&W posted appeal bonds in the amount of $100 million each, the
maximum amount required pursuant to a Florida bond cap statute
enacted on May 9, 2000, and intended to apply to the Engle case,
and initiated the appeals process.

On May 7, 2001, three of the non-RJR Tobacco and non-B&W
defendants entered into agreements with the Engle class to
deposit an additional $1.86 billion into separate escrow
accounts to ensure that the stay of execution in effect pursuant
to the Florida bond cap statute will remain in effect as to
these three defendants throughout the appellate process,
regardless of the results of a challenge, if any, to the Florida
bond statute.  Approximately $700 million of the total amount
deposited by these three defendants is non-refundable and will
go to the trial court to be distributed, regardless of the
result of the appeal.  RJR Tobacco and B&W did not enter into a
similar agreement with the Engle class.  

On May 21, 2003, Florida's Third District Court of Appeal
reversed the trial court's final judgment and remanded the case
to the Miami-Dade County Circuit Court with instructions to
decertify the class.  On May 12, 2004, the Florida Supreme Court
agreed to review the case.  Oral argument occurred on November
3, 2004.  The Florida Supreme Court has not yet ruled.

Although RJR Tobacco cannot predict the outcome of any possible
challenges to the Florida bond statute, RJR Tobacco remains
confident of the applicability and validity of the statute in
the Engle case.


RJR TOBACCO: Faces "Lights" Lawsuits in Wash., Fla. State Courts
----------------------------------------------------------------
Two "lights" class actions, which names RJR Tobacco (RJ Reynolds
Tobacco Company) as a defendant are in the class certification
motion and discovery process.  The cases are:

     (1) Huntsberry v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. in Washington,
         King County Super. Ct.; and

     (2) Rios v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. (Florida)

In Huntsberry, the plaintiffs filed a motion for class
certification on January 12, 2006 with oral argument to occur on
March 31, 2006.


RJR TOBACCO: Faces Medical Monitoring Suits in W.Va., Ore., La.
--------------------------------------------------------------
RJR Tobacco (RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company) and Brown & Williamson
(B&W) along with other cigarette manufacturers are facing two
medical monitoring class actions in West Virginia, Oregon and
Louisiana.

One of those suits is styled, "Blankenship v. American Tobacco
Co., the first tobacco-related medical monitoring class action
to be certified and to reach trial, a West Virginia state court
jury found in favor of RJR Tobacco, B&W and other cigarette
manufacturers on November 14, 2001.  The West Virginia Supreme
Court affirmed the judgment for the defendants on May 6, 2004.

The other suit is styled, "Lowe v. Philip Morris, Inc., an
Oregon state court judge dismissed the medical monitoring
complaint on November 4, 2003, for failure to state a claim.  
The plaintiffs appealed, and oral argument before the Oregon
Court of Appeals occurred on September 26, 2005.  A decision is
Pending.

On November 5, 1998, in the suit styled, "Scott v. American
Tobacco Co.," a Louisiana state appeals court affirmed the
certification of a medical monitoring or smoking cessation class
of Louisiana residents who were smokers on or before May 24,
1996.  On February 26, 1999, the Louisiana Supreme Court denied
the defendants' petition for review.  Jury selection began on
June 18, 2001 and was completed on September 23, 2002.  Opening
statements occurred on January 21, 2003.  On July 28, 2003, the
jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendants, including
RJR Tobacco and B&W, on the plaintiffs' claim for medical
monitoring and found that cigarettes were not defectively
designed.  In addition, however, the jury made certain findings
against the defendants, including RJR Tobacco and B&W, on claims
relating to fraud, conspiracy, marketing to minors and smoking
cessation.  With respect to these findings, this portion of the
trial did not determine liability as to any class member or
class representative. What primarily remained in the case was a
class-wide claim that the defendants, including RJR Tobacco and
B&W, pay for a program to help people stop smoking.  On March
31, 2004, phase two of the trial began to address the scope and
cost of smoking cessation programs.  On May 21, 2004, the jury
returned a verdict in the amount of $591 million on the class
claim for a smoking cessation program.  On September 29, 2004,
the defendants posted a $50 million bond (pursuant to
legislation that limits the amount of the bond to $50 million
collectively for MSA signatories) and noticed their appeal.  RJR
Tobacco posted $25 million (the portions for RJR Tobacco and
B&W) towards the bond.  Briefing is complete, but oral argument
has not been scheduled.


RJR TOBACCO: Judge Extends Discovery in Schwab "Lights" Case
------------------------------------------------------------
The judge in the nationwide "lights" class action, styled,
"Schwab, et al. v. Philip Morris USA, Inc., et al., Civil Action
No. 04-1945 (EDNY)," which was filed on May 11, 2004 and is
pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of New York said that he will allow additional months
for discovery.

The suit was filed against RJR Tobacco (RJ Reynolds Tobacco
Company) and Brown & Williamson (B&W), as well as other tobacco
manufacturers.  The plaintiffs' motion for class certification
and summary judgment motions by both sides were heard on
September 12, 2005 and September 13, 2005.  Although trial was
scheduled to commence on January 9, 2006, Judge Jack B.
Weinstein has ordered that he will permit several months of
additional discovery before deciding the class certification
issue.

The suit is styled, "McLaughlin v. Philip Morris USA, Inc. et
al., Case No. 1:04-cv-01945-JBW-SMG," filed in U.S. District
Court for the Eastern District of New York under Judge Jack B.
Weinstein, with referral to Judge Steven M. Gold.  Representing
the Plaintiff/s are, William P. Butterfield of Finkelstein
Thompson & Loughran, 1050 30th Street, NW Washington, DC 20007,
Phone: 202-337-8000, Fax: 202-337-8090, E-mail: wpb@ftllaw.com;
and Paul T. Gallagher of Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll,
P.L.L.C., 1100 New York Ave., N.W. West Tower, Suite 500,
Washington, D.C., DC 20005, Phone: 202-408-4600, Fax: 202-408-
4699, E-mail: pgallagher@cmht.com.

Representing the Defendant/s are, Mark A. Belasic of Jones Day,
901 Lakeside Avenue, North Point, Cleveland, OH 44114, Phone:
(216) 586-3939, Fax: 216-579-0212, E-mail:
mabelasic@jonesday.com; and Peter A. Bellacosa of Kirkland &
Ellis, Citigroup Center, 153 East 53rd Street, New York, NY
10022-4675, Phone: (212) 446-4800, Fax: (212) 446-4900, E-mail:
peter_bellacosa@ny.kirkland.com.


RJR TOBACCO: N.Y. Judge Dismisses "Simon (II)" Smokers' Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
RJR Tobacco (RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company) reports that Judge
Jack B. Weinstein entered an order dismissing the smoker class
action styled, "In re Simon (II) Litigation," which was filed in
the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New
York.  

In Simon (II), on September 19, 2002, Judge Weinstein certified
a nationwide mandatory, non-opt-out punitive damages class.  On
February 14, 2003, the United States Court of Appeals for the
Second Circuit granted the defendants' petition to review the
class certification decision.  On May 6, 2005, the United States
Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in a unanimous opinion,
decertified the class.  On August 8, 2005, the Second Circuit
denied plaintiffs' petition for rehearing and remanded the case
for further proceedings to the District Court.  On February 6,
2006, Judge Weinstein entered an order dismissing the case, but
stayed the order for 30 days to give the class representatives,
now individual plaintiffs an opportunity to retain new counsel.


RLI CORP: Faces N.J. Insurance Suit Over Contingent Commissions
---------------------------------------------------------------
RLI Corp., RLI Insurance Company and Mt. Hawley Insurance
Company were added in August 2005 as defendants in an ongoing
class action lawsuit in federal court in the District of New
Jersey, which was a consolidated proceeding of actions brought
since October 2004 against 113 insurance brokers and insurance
companies by a putative class of plaintiffs who purchased
insurance from the defendants.

This lawsuit, styled, "QLM ASSOCIATES, INC. v. MARSH & MCLENNAN
COMPANIES, INC. et al.," alleges injury through state and
federal antitrust violations, RICO violations, breach of
fiduciary duties and unjust enrichment resulting from the
payment of contingent commissions by the defendant insurers to
the defendant brokers.  The complaint seeks unspecified amounts
in damages, including punitive damages, as well as other legal
and equitable relief.  It makes no specific allegations against
the Company, but instead includes it in allegations made against
other insurance companies.

The suit is styled, "QLM ASSOCIATES, INC. v. MARSH & MCLENNAN
COMPANIES, INC. et al., Case No. 2:04-cv-05184-FSH-PS," filed in
the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey under
Judge Faith S. Hochberg.  Representing the Plaintiff/s are,
ROBERT S. SCHACHTER and JUSTIN MICHAEL TARSHIS of ZWERLING,
SCHACHTER & ZWERLING, 41 MADISON AVENUE, 32ND FLOOR, NEW YORK,
NY 10010, Phone: (212) 223-3900, E-mail: rschachter@zsz.com and
jtarshis@zsz.com; and KENNETH I. TRUJILLO, 1880 JFK Blvd., 10TH
FLOOR, PHILADELPHIA, PA 19103, Phone: 215-587-1758.  

Representing the Defendant/s are:

     (1) BRIAN ROBERT MEINERS and AUGUSTA MORGAN RIDLEY of KING
         & SPALDING, LLP, 1700 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE, NW
         WASHINGTON, DC 20006, US, Phone: (202) 626-2910 and     
         (202) 737-0500, E-mail: bmeiners@kslaw.com and
         aridley@kslaw.com

     (2) JILL CHRISTINE ANDERSON of FREEBORN & PETERS, 311 SOUTH
         WACKER DRIVE, SUITE 3000, CHICAGO, IL 60606, US, Phone:
         (312) 360-6000

     (3) MITCHELL JAY AUSLANDER of WILLKIE FARR & GALLAGHER,
         LLP, 787 SEVENTH AVENUE, NEW YORK, NY 10019-6099,
         Phone: (212) 728-8000, E-mail: mauslander@willkie.com

     (4) P. RYAN BECKETT of BUTLER, SNOW, O'MARA, STEVENS &
         CANNADA, P.O. BOX 22567, JACKSON, MS 39225-2567, US,
         Phone: 601-948-5711.


ROYAL CARIBBEAN: Continues To Face Cabin Stewards "Tips" Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Royal Caribbean Cruises, Inc. and one of its cruise brands
continues to face a purported class action lawsuit filed in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of
Florida.

Filed in April 2005, the suit alleges that the Company's
Celebrity Cruises Lines improperly requires its cabin stewards
to share guest gratuities with assistant cabin stewards.  The
suit seeks payment of damages including penalty wages under 46
U.S.C. Section 10113 of U.S. law and interest.  


ROYAL CARIBBEAN: Faces Suit in N.Y. Over Unlicensed Performances
----------------------------------------------------------------
Royal Caribbean Cruises, Inc. faces a purported class action
lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York.

The suit was filed on January 2006, alleging that the Company
infringed rights in copyrighted works and other intellectual
property by presenting performances on Company cruise ships
without securing the necessary licenses.  The suit seeks payment
of damages, disgorgement of profits and a permanent injunction
against future infringement.  

The suit is styled, "Jacobs et al v. Carnival Corporation, et
al., Case No. 1:06-cv-00606-DAB," filed in the U.S. District
Court for the Southern District of New York under Judge Deborah
A. Batts.  Representing the Plaintiff/s is Howard J. Schwartz
Porzio, Bromberg & Newman, P.C., (NJ), 156 West 56th St., New
York, NY 10019-3800, Phone: (212) 265-6888, E-mail:
hjschwartz@pbnlaw.com.  

Representing the Defendant/s are, Frank W. Ryan of Nixon
Peabody, LLP, 437 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10022, Phone:
(212) 940-3129, Fax: (866) 947-2289, E-mail:
fryan@nixonpeabody.com.


RYLAND GROUP: Tex. Court Reviews Dismissed Shareholder Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Ryland Group, Inc. reports that a Texas federal court is
reviewing the dismissal of the stockholder class action lawsuit,
styled, "TDH Partners LLP v. Ryland Group Inc., et al."

On January 15, 2004, the suit was filed against the Company and
two of its officers in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Texas.  The lawsuit alleged violations of
federal securities law as a result of information about home
sales during the fourth quarter of 2003.

The lawsuit has been dismissed, but is under review by the court
with respect to various procedural matters which if determined
adversely to the Company could cause the lawsuit to be
reinstated.

The suit is styled, "TDH Partners, LLP, et al. v. Ryland Group,
Inc., et al., Case No. 04-CV-0073," filed in the U.S. District
Court for the Northern District of Texas under Judge Jane J.
Boyle.  Representing the Plaintiff/s are:

     (1) Roger F. Claxton and Robert J Hill of Claxton & Hill,
         3131 McKinney Ave., Suite 700 LB 103, Dallas, TX 75204-
         2471, Phone: 214/969-9029, Fax: 214/953-0583, E-mail:
         claxtonhill@airmail.net

     (2) Thomas E Bilek of Hoeffner & Bilek, 1000 Louisiana St.,
         Suite 1302, Houston, TX 77002, Phone: 713/227-7720,
         Fax: 713/227-9404, E-mail: tbilek@hb-legal.com

     (3) Leonard A. Epstein of Newman Davenport & Epstein, 700
         N. Pearl St., Suite 1650 LB 314, Dallas, TX 75201,
         Phone: 214/754-0025, Fax: 214/754-0936, E-mail:
         leonep@flash.net

Representing the Defendant/s are, Alan W. Harris of DLA Piper
Rudnick Gray Cary - Dallas, 1717 Main St., Suite 4600, Dallas,
TX 75201-4605, Phone: 214/743-4572, Fax: 214/743-4545, E-mail:
alan.harris@dlapiper.com.


SINGLE: Recalls Silk Kimono Tops Made of Highly-Flammable Fabric
----------------------------------------------------------------
Single of Los Angeles, California is recalling about 500 units
of silk kimono tops manufactured by the company, and 57 units
sold to consumers by Victoria's Secret Direct of Columbus, Ohio.

The company said the kimono tops are made of fabric that fails
to meet mandatory standards of fabric flammability in violation
of the federal Flammable Fabrics Act.  The sheer outer shell
fabric of the kimono top can readily ignite and present a risk
of burn injuries.  No incidents or injuries have been reported.

The recall involves the Silk Kimono Top, sold as catalog/Web
site item number 194-860.  This is a two-piece garment with a
kimono outer shell and an orange inner camisole.  The outer
shell's sewn in label states: "Single, 100% Silk, RN 80763, Made
In USA, Dry Clean Only."  A separate label shows the item number
194-860.  The Silk Kimono Tops were sold in paisley print
pattern with metallic threads.

The U.S.-made kimonos were sold at Victoria's Secret Direct
catalogs and Web site only from November 2005 through December
2005 for about $138.  These garments were not sold at Victoria's
Secret stores.

Consumers are advised to stop wearing the garment immediately,
and contact Victoria's Secret Direct for information on
returning the kimono top and to receive a refund and $50 gift
card.

Picture of recalled kimono:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml06/06530.jpg

Consumer Contact: For more information, call Victoria's Secret
Direct's toll-free consumer hotline at (877) 260-8419 between 8
a.m. and 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday.


SOUTHERN CO: Files Motions V. Second Amended ERISA Suit in Ga.
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Southern Company recently filed motions for summary judgment
and to stay discovery in the second amended complaint captioned,
"Woods v. Southern Company, et al., Case No. 1:04-cv-01912-RWS."

In June 2004, an employee of a Southern Company subsidiary filed
a complaint, which was amended in December 2004 and November
2005 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
Georgia on behalf of a purported class of participants in or
beneficiaries of The Southern Company Employee Savings Plan
(Plan) at any time since April 2, 2001 and whose Plan accounts
included investments in Mirant Corporation common stock.  The
complaint asserts claims under ERISA against defendants Southern
Company, SCS, the Employee Savings Plan Committee, the Pension
Fund Investment Review Committee, individual members of such
committees, and the SCS Board of Directors during the putative
class period.

The plaintiff alleges that the various defendants had certain
fiduciary duties under ERISA regarding the Mirant shares
distributed to Southern Company shareholders in the spin-off and
held in the Mirant Stock Fund in the Plan.  The plaintiff
alleges that the various defendants breached purported fiduciary
duties by, among other things, failing to adequately determine
whether Mirant stock was appropriate to hold in the Plan and
failing to adequately inform Plan participants that Mirant stock
was not an appropriate investment for their retirement assets
based on Mirant's alleged improper energy trading and accounting
practices, mismanagement, and business conditions.  The
plaintiff also alleges that certain defendants failed to monitor
Plan fiduciaries and that certain defendants had conflicting
interests regarding Mirant, which prevented them from acting
solely in the interests of Plan participants and beneficiaries.
The plaintiff seeks class-wide equitable relief and an
unspecified amount of monetary damages.

On October 4, 2005, the court dismissed the plaintiff's claims
for certain types of equitable relief, but allowed the remainder
of the ERISA claims to proceed.  The defendants filed answers to
the second amended complaint in January 2006, and filed motions
for summary judgment and to stay discovery in February 2006.

The suit is styled, "Woods v. Southern Company, et al., Case No.
1:04-cv-01912-RWS," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of Georgia under Judge Richard W. Story.  
Representing the Plaintiff/s are, Tobias J. Kammer, Cari C.
Laufenberg and Derek W. Loeser of Keller Rohrback, 1201 Third
Ave, Suite 3200, Seattle, WA 98101, Phone: 206-623-1900, E-mail:
tkammer@kellerrohrback.com, claufenberg@kellerrohrback.com and
dloeser@kellerrohrback.com; and Joseph H. Meltzer of Schiffrin &
Barroway, 280 King of Prussia Rd., Radnor, PA 19087, Phone:
610-667-7706, Fax: 610-667-7056, E-mail:
jmeltzer@sbclasslaw.com.  

Representing the Defendant/s are, James P. Baker of Jones Day,
26th Floor, 555 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94104,
Phone: 415-626-3939, Fax: 415-875-5700, E-mail:
jpbaker@jonesday.com; and Bridget Bobick of Troutman Sanders,
Bank of America Plaza, 600 Peachtree Street, N.E., Suite 5200,
Atlanta, GA 30308-2216, Phone: 404-885-3000, E-mail:
bridget.bobick@troutmansanders.com.


SOUTHERN POWER: Proceedings in Mirant Stock Case to Resume Soon
---------------------------------------------------------------
The class action filed against the Southern Power Company,
certain former and current senior officers of Southern Company,
and 12 underwriters of Mirant Corporation's initial public
offering, which is pending in the United States for the Northern
District of Georgia, is set expected to resume after Mirant's
plan of reorganization becomes effective.  

Several Mirant shareholders originally filed the suit against
Mirant and certain Mirant officers in May 2002. Several other
similar lawsuits filed subsequently were consolidated into this
litigation.  The amended complaint is based on allegations
related to alleged improper energy trading and marketing
activities involving the California energy market, alleged false
statements and omissions in Mirant's prospectus for its initial
public offering and in subsequent public statements by Mirant,
and accounting-related issues previously disclosed by Mirant.
The lawsuit purports to include persons who acquired Mirant
securities between September 26, 2000 and September 5, 2002.

In July 2003, the court dismissed all claims based on Mirant's
alleged improper energy trading and marketing activities
involving the California energy market.  The remaining claims do
not allege any improper trading and marketing activity,
accounting errors, or material misstatements or omissions on the
part of the Company but seek to impose liability on the Company
based on allegations that the Company was a "control person" as
to Mirant prior to the spin off date.  The Company filed an
answer to the consolidated amended class action complaint in
September 2003.  Plaintiffs also filed a motion for class
certification.

As a result of Mirant's Chapter 11 proceeding, the Bankruptcy
Code automatically stayed all litigation as to Mirant.  In
November 2003, the Bankruptcy Court granted a request to extend
this automatic stay to all other non-debtor defendants,
including the Company and its current and/or former officers
named as defendants in the Mirant securities litigation.  
However, the Bankruptcy Court authorized Mirant to agree with
parties in pending actions to allow discovery or other matters
to proceed without violating the stay.  Mirant and plaintiffs'
counsel in the Mirant securities litigation agreed that document
discovery could proceed.  

During Mirant's Chapter 11 proceeding, the securities litigation
was stayed, with the exception of limited discovery.  Since
Mirant's plan of reorganization has become effective, the stay
has been lifted, and activity in this case is expected to
resume.

Under certain circumstances, Southern Company will be obligated
under its Bylaws to indemnify the four current and/or former
Southern Company officers who served as directors of Mirant at
the time of its initial public offering through the date of the
spin off and who are also named as defendants in this lawsuit.
The final outcome of these matters cannot now be determined, the
Company said in a disclosure to the Securities and Exchange
Commission.

The suit is styled, "IN RE Mirant Corporation Securities
Litigation, Case No. 1:02-cv-01467-RWS," filed in the U.S.
District Court for the Northern District of Georgia under Judge
Richard W. Story.  Representing the Plaintiff/s are:

     (1) Robert Abrams, Gustavo Bruckner, Fred Taylor Isquith,
         Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz, 270 Madison
         Avenue, New York, NY 10016, Phone: 212-545-4600, E-
         mail: isquith@whafh.com  

     (2) David Andrew Bain, Martin D. Chitwood, Chitwood &
         Harley, 1230 Peachtree Street, N.E. 2300 Promenade II
         Atlanta, GA 30309, Phone: 404-873-3900, E-mail:
         dab@classlaw.com or mdc@classlaw.com  

Representing the Defendant/s are, Kirk Quillian, Thomas Edward
Reilly, Jaime L. Theriort, Christi A. Cannon, Troutman Sanders
Bank of America Plaza, 600 Peachtree Street, N.E., Suite 5200
Atlanta, GA 30308-2216, Phone: 404-885-3000, E-mail:
kirk.quillian@troutmansanders.com,
thomas.reilly@troutmansanders.com,  
jaime.theriot@troutmansanders.com.  


UNITEDHEALTH GROUP: Court Yet To Rule on Motion To Amend Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York has yet to rule on plaintiffs' motion to file an
amended class action against UnitedHealth Group, Inc.

On March 15, 2000, the American Medical Association filed a
lawsuit against the company in the Supreme Court of the State of
New York, County of New York.  On April 13, 2000, the Company
removed this case to the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York.  

The suit, styled, "The American Medical Association et al. v.
Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, United HealthCare Services.
Inc. and UnitedHealth Group," alleges causes of action based on
Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), as well as
breach of contract and the implied covenant of good faith and
fair dealing, deceptive acts and practices, and trade libel in
connection with the calculation of reasonable and customary
reimbursement rates for non-network providers.  The suit seeks
declaratory, injunctive and compensatory relief as well as
costs, fees and interest payments.  

An amended complaint was filed on August 25, 2000, which alleged
two classes of plaintiffs, an ERISA class and a non-ERISA class.  
After the Court dismissed certain ERISA claims and the claims
brought by the American Medical Association, a third amended
complaint was filed.

On October 25, 2002, the court granted in part and denied in
part the Company's motion to dismiss the third amended
complaint.  On May 21, 2003, the Company filed a counterclaim
complaint in this matter alleging antitrust violations against
the American Medical Association and asserting claims based on
improper billing practices against an individual provider
plaintiff.  

On May 26, 2004, the Company filed a motion for partial summary
judgment seeking the dismissal of certain claims and parties
based, in part, due to lack of standing.  On July 16, 2004,
plaintiffs filed a motion for leave to file an amended
complaint, seeking to assert RICO violations.

The suit is styled, "The A.M.A., et al v. Metropolitan Life, et
al., Case No. 1:00-cv-02800-LMM-GWG," filed in the U.S. District
Court for the Southern District of New York under Judge Lawrence
M. McKenna with referral Gabriel W. Gorenstein.  Representing
the Plaintiff/s is Alan Ross Pearlson of Sills Cummis Epstein &
Gross, P.C. (NYC), 30 Rockefeller Plaza, 27th Floor, New York,
NY 10112, Phone: (212)-643-5495, Fax: 212 643-6500, E-mail:
rpearlson@sillscummis.com.  

Representing the Defendant/s are:

     (1) Jeffrey L. Kessler of Dewey Ballantine, LLP, 1301
         Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10019, Phone:
         (212) 259-8000, Fax: (212) 259-6333, E-mail:
         lpmco@dbllp.com

     (2) Jeffrey S. Klein and Nicholas James Pappas of Weil,
         Gothsal & Manges, 767 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10153,
         Phone: (212) 310-8000 and (212) 735-4566, Fax: (212)-
         735-4643, E-mail: mark.ribaudo@weil.com and
         mark.ribaudo@weil.com

     (3) Thomas F. Fitzgerald of Groom Law Group, Chartered,
         1701 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, DC 20006-
         5893, Phone: (202) 857-0620.


UNITEDHEALTH GROUP: Fla. Court to Hear Judgment Motion in March
---------------------------------------------------------------
UnitedHealth Group, Inc.'s summary judgment motion for the case,
styled, "In re: Managed Care Litigation, MDL No. 1334," is set
to be heard on March 14, 2006.

Beginning in 1999, a series of class action lawsuits were filed
against UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group Company;
Pacificare Health Systems; and virtually all major entities in
the health benefits business.  In December 2000, a multidistrict
litigation (MDL) panel consolidated several litigation cases
involving UnitedHealth Group and our affiliates, including
PacifiCare, in the Southern District Court of Florida, Miami
division.  Generally, the health care provider plaintiffs allege
violations of ERISA and the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt
Organization Act (RICO) in connection with alleged undisclosed
policies intended to maximize profits. Other allegations include
breach of state prompt payment laws and breach of contract
claims for failure to timely reimburse providers for medical
services rendered.

The consolidated suits seek injunctive, compensatory and
equitable relief as well as restitution, costs, fees and
interest payments.  The trial court granted the health care
providers' motion for class certification and the Eleventh
Circuit Court of Appeals reviewed that order.  The Eleventh
Circuit affirmed the class action status of the RICO claims, but
reversed as to the breach of contract, unjust enrichment and
prompt payment claims.  During the course of the litigation,
there have been co-defendant settlements.  Through a series of
motions and appeals, all direct claims against us have been
compelled to arbitration.  A trial date has been set for
September 2006.  The trial court has ordered that the trial be
split into separate liability and damage proceedings.  In August
2005, the capitation-related claims were dismissed from
litigation.  On January 31, 2006, the trial court dismissed all
remaining claims against PacifiCare.  A March 14, 2006 hearing
date has been scheduled for the Company's summary judgment
motion.

The suit is styled, "In re: Managed Care Litigation, MDL No.
1334," filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of Florida, under Judge Federico A. Moreno.


WEST PHARMACEUTICAL: County Judge Junks Plant Explosion Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Craven County Superior Court Judge John R. Jolly Jr. in North
Carolina dismissed a class action arising from a 2003 explosion
at West Pharmaceutical Services in Kinston that killed six and
injured 38, the Sun Journal reports.

The suit was filed in 2003 on behalf of about 350 people against
West Pharmaceutical and Thomas Clagon, the plant manager at the
time of the explosion.  It alleged property damage, medical
issues and exposure to chemicals due to the explosion of the
plant, and asked for damages of more than $10,000 for each
plaintiff.

Donald J. Dunn, a New Bern attorney, represents the plaintiffs.  
Mr. Clagon is represented by Kirk G. Warner of Smith, Anderson,
Blount, Dorsett, Mitchell & Jernigan.

An investigation by the U.S. Chemical Safety Hazard
Investigation Board in July 2005 found that inadequate
engineering at the plant and lack of understanding about
combustible dust were factors leading to the blast.  The plant
manufactures stoppers and other rubber products for medical use.

The Company still faces liability suit in the Lenoir County
Superior Court.  Plaintiffs in the case alleged the plant
explosion was caused by existing design and manufacturing
defects.

For more details, contact Kirk G. Warner of Smith, Anderson,
Blount, Dorsett, Mitchell & Jernigan, L.L.P., 2500 Wachovia
Capitol Center, Raleigh, North Carolina 27601, (Wake Co.), P.O.
Box 2611, Raleigh, NC 27602, Phone: 919-821-1220, Fax: 919-821-
6800.


                 New Securities Fraud Cases


APPLICA INC: Abraham Fruchter Files Fla. Securities Fraud Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Abraham Fruchter & Twersky LLP initiated a class action in the
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida on
behalf of purchasers of Applica Incorporated (APN) common stock
between Nov. 4, 2004 and April 28, 2005.

The complaint charges Applica and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934.  Applica engages in the manufacture, marketing, and
distribution of small household appliances.  The Company markets
and distributes kitchen products, home products, pest control
products, pet care products, and personal care products.

The Complaint alleges that, throughout the Class Period,
defendants issued materially false and misleading statements
highlighting the Company's ability to transform its business and
become more profitable.  As alleged in the Complaint, these
statements were materially false and misleading because they
failed to disclose and misrepresented these adverse facts, among
others:

     (1) that the Company was experiencing decreasing demand for
         its products.  In particular, demand for two key
         products, Tide(TM) Buzz(TM) Ultrasonic Stain Remover
         and Home Cafe(TM) single cup coffee maker, were not
         meeting internal expectations;

     (2) that Applica was materially overstating its net worth
         by failing to timely write down the value of its
         inventory which had become obsolete and unsaleable;

     (3) that Applica was experiencing higher product warranty
         returns, which it had not appropriately reserved for;
   
     (4) that Applica's financial statements issued during the
         Class Period were not prepared in accordance with
         Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and
         therefore were materially false and misleading; and

     (5) as a result of the foregoing, there was no reasonable   
         basis for the Company's revenue and earnings guidance.

The Complaint further alleges that, on April 20, 2005,
Defendants revealed that the Company would not come near
achieving the guidance they had previously sponsored and/or
endorsed, that the Company's business was suffering from
numerous adverse factors and that the Company was marking down
inventory and experiencing increased warranty expenses.  Then,
on April 28, 2005, Defendants further detailed the impact of
these adverse factors on Applica's business.  These belated
disclosures had an immediate, adverse impact on the price of
Applica shares. Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of
all purchasers of publicly traded securities of Applica during
the Class Period.  Deadline for application as lead plaintiff is
April 4, 2006.

The plaintiff's counsel is Jeffrey S. Abraham, Esq. or Ximena
Skovron, Esq. of Abraham Fruchter & Twersky, LLP, One Penn
Plaza, Suite 2805, New York, New York 10119, Phone:
(212) 279-5050, Phone: (800) 440-8986 (toll free), Fax:
(212) 279-3655, E-mail: jabraham@aftlaw.com or
xskovron@aftlaw.com.


CHICAGO BRIDGE: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges Stock Suit in N.Y.
--------------------------------------------------------------
Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP initiated a class action in the U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf
of all securities purchasers of Chicago Bridge & Iron Company
N.V. (NYSE: CBI) between March 9, 2005 and February 3, 2006,
inclusive.

The complaint charges:

     (1) CB&I and Gerald M. Glenn,

     (2) Robert B. Jordan, and

     (3) Richard E. Goodrich

with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

CB&I is an engineering, procurement and construction company,
specializing in lump-sum turnkey projects for customers that
produce, process, store and distribute the earth's natural
resources.

The Complaint alleges that defendants issued a series of false
and misleading statements to the market, artificially inflating
the Company's stock.  More specifically, the Complaint alleges
that the Company failed to disclose and misrepresented the
following material adverse facts known to defendants or
recklessly disregarded by them:

     (1) that the Company materially overstated its financial
         results by improperly recognizing claims on two
         projects and the cost assessment on two other projects;

     (2) that the Company lacked adequate internal controls;

     (3) that the Company's financial results were in violation
         of GAAP; and

     (4) that as a result of the foregoing, the Company's
         financial results were materially inflated at all
         relevant times.

On October 26, 2005, CB&I announced 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 this news, shares of CB&I fell $6.22 per share,
or 20.93 percent, to close at $23.50 per share on October 27,
2005.  On October 31, 2005, the Company announced that the delay
in its release of third quarter financial results was
precipitated by allegations of accounting improprieties.  

On this news, shares of CB&I fell another $1.02 per share, or
4.57 percent, to close at $21.28 per share on November 1, 2005.  
Then, on February 3, 2006, after the close of the market, CB&I
announced that it was terminating Gerald M. Glenn and Robert B.
Jordan.  On news of this, shares of CB&I plunged another $6.67
per share, or 23.00 percent, to close at $22.33 per share.  
Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of class members.  
Deadline for filing as lead plaintiff is April 18, 2006.

For more information, contact Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP (Darren
J. Check, Esq. or Richard A. Maniskas, Esq.) toll-free at
1-888-299-7706 or 1-610-667-7706, or E-mail:
info@sbclasslaw.com.


IMPAC MORTGAGE: Wechsler Harwood Files Securities Suit in Calif.
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Wechsler Harwood LLP initiated securities class
action lawsuit against Impac Mortgage Holdings, Inc. (IMH) on
behalf of purchasers of the publicly traded shares of Impac
between May 13, 2005 and Aug. 9, 2005, inclusive. Filing for
lead plaintiff is until March 13, 2006.

The action filed by Wechsler Harwood, entitled Schriver v. Impac
Mortgage Holdinigs, Inc. Case No. SACV-06-0031 CIC (RNBx), is
pending in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of
California and follows an extensive investigation undertaken by
the firm into the conduct of the named defendants (i.e., the
Company and certain senior officers and directors).

The complaint alleges that, starting on May 13, 2005, the
Company began issuing a series of false and misleading
statements aimed at artificially inflating the price of IMH
common stock so that Company insiders could dump hundreds of
thousands of personally held shares and reap millions in
profits.

The plaintiff's counsel is Jeffrey M. Norton of Wechsler Harwood
(http://www.whesq.com),Phone: 877-935-7400 (ext. 286).


                            *********


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

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

                            *********


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

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