CAR_Public/060313.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Monday, March 13, 2006, Vol. 8, No. 51

                            Headlines

ARIZONA: Gov. Napolitano Sends English Learning Bill to Court
ASSOCIATED ESTATES: Asks Ohio Court for Summary Judgment in Suit
AT&T INC: Wins Favorable Ruling in Pregnancy Discrimination Suit
BAYVIEW CREMATORIUM: Operator Admits Illegal Operation in Mass.
BOSTON SCIENTIFIC: Employees Launch ERISA Fraud Suits in Mass.

BOSTON SCIENTIFIC: Faces Consolidated Securities Suits in Mass.
BOSTON SCIENTIFIC: Faces Suit in Minn. Over Guidant Acquisition
BRIDGESTONE CORPORATION: Calif. Court Stays Frosini Litigation
DAVOL/BARD: Recalls Hernia Repair Patch with Faulty Recoil Ring
DECATHLON USA: Recalls Snowboard Bindings with Defective Base

DOWNEY SAVINGS: Former Employee Launches Labor Suit in Calif.
GEICO: Car Insurance Suit Plaintiffs Silent on Decertification
HAYES-SAMMONS: Plaintiffs Want Ban on JD Salinas' Political Ad
HEARTLAND ADVISORS: Lawyer Seeks 30% Cut From $8.25M Settlement
HEWLETT-PACKARD CO: Suit Settlement Hearing Set March 16, 2006

ILLINOIS: Judge to Hear Complaints V. Juvenile Center Next Month
KPMG LLP: Two High-Profile Names Emerge as Tax Shelter Buyers
KPMG LLP: Tex. Federal Judge Remands Werner Case to State Court
NATIONAL MONEY: Attempt to Block Payday Loans Suit Falls Through
NATIONWIDE MUTUAL: Lawsuit Settlement Hearing Set March 20, 2006

NETGEAR INC: Consumer Suit Settlement Hearing Set March 21, 2006
NOVOPHARM: Canadian Court Rejects Option Consommateurs' Lawsuit
OHIO: Testimony in Steubenville Traffic Camera Case is Complete
OKLAHOMA: House Committee Approves HB3120 Lawsuit Reform Bill
P&O PACIFIC: Faces Threat of Suit Over Singapore Cruise Delays

POULTRY INDUSTRY: Blue Green Suit Trial to Continue in September
PRAXAIR INC: Faces Consolidated Manganese Injury Suit in Ohio
RECORD COMPANIES: Faces Allegations of 'Price Fixing' in Calif.
RIGHTSTAR HAWAII: Accounting Probe Spots $30M Gap in Trust Fund
SONY BMG: EFF Campaigns to Facilitate Settlement in RootKit Suit

SSC INC: Recalls UV-Protected Infant Seats for Shopping Carts
TRANSKARYOTIC THERAPIES: Mass. Court Okays Class in Stock Suit
UNITED STATES: D.C. Court Affirms Dismissal of Gender Bias Case
UNITED STATES: NERA Research Recommends Disclosing Risks Early
USF CORPORATION: Penn. Judge Okays $7M Settlement with Workers

VOLKSWAGEN OF AMERICA: Berry Case Remanded to Miss. State Court
WESTLAND DEVELOPMENT: Investors Object to Sale of Firm, Property
WESTPOINT CORPORATION: IMF Contributes $15M to Mulled Lawsuit
WILD OATS: Canadian Court Okays Settlement of Hepatitis A Suit
WYETH INC: Goldstein Howe Seeks High Court Review of Clark Case

                New Securities Fraud Cases

COOPER CO: Smith & Smith Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in Calif.
GRAFTECH INT'L: Marc Henzel Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in Del.
OMNICARE INC: Marc S. Henzel Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in Ky.
PROQUEST CO: Smith & Smith Sets April 11 Lead Plaintiff Deadline


                            *********


ARIZONA: Gov. Napolitano Sends English Learning Bill to Court
-------------------------------------------------------------
Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano finally allowed to become law
the latest version of a Republican bill seeking to revamp
programs for students learning English, according to Associated
Press.  

Gov. Napolitano considers the bill still inadequate after
vetoing three previous versions, but she allowed it to become a
law for U.S. District Judge Raner C. Collins to decide.

The state was ordered to improve its offering to students
learning English after Judge Collin's predecessor ruled in 2000
that the state's programs for approximately 150,000 students
were inadequately funded.  The deficiency effectively violated a
federal law that guarantees equal opportunities in education,
the ruling said.  The state was fined $500,000 on Jan. 25 for
missing a deadline to draft ways to improve the program.  The
fine was increased to $1 million in January.

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.


ASSOCIATED ESTATES: Asks Ohio Court for Summary Judgment in Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Ohio Court of Common Pleas, Franklin County has yet to rule
on Associated Estates Realty Corporation's motion seeking
summary judgment in the class action filed against it by Melanie
and Kyle Kopp, seeking undetermined damages, injunctive relief
and class action certification.  

This case arose out of the Company's Suredeposit program.  This
program allows cash short prospective residents to purchase a
bond in lieu of paying a security deposit.  The bond serves as a
fund to pay those resident obligations that would otherwise have
been funded by the security deposit.  

Plaintiffs allege that the non-refundable premium paid for the
bond is a disguised form of security deposit, which is otherwise
required to be refundable in accordance with Ohio's Landlord-
Tenant Act.  Plaintiffs further allege that certain
nonrefundable pet deposits and other nonrefundable charges
required by the Company are similarly security deposits that
must be refundable in accordance with Ohio's Landlord-Tenant
Act.  

On January 15, 2004, the plaintiffs filed a motion for class
certification.  The Company subsequently filed a motion for
summary judgment.  Both motions are pending before the Court.  


AT&T INC: Wins Favorable Ruling in Pregnancy Discrimination Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Ninth U.S. District Court of Appeals in Francisco has ruled
that AT&T Inc. is not required to equalize retirement credits of
pregnant and disabled employees before 1979, the San Francisco
Chronicle reports.

AT&T is facing a suit filed by four women in 2001.  Representing
the women is lawyer Suzanne Murphy.  The suit was lodged as a
proposed nationwide class action, but certification was put on
hold pending a ruling on whether the company is required to pay
equal benefits for pregnant and disabled workers.  The women
took pregnancy leaves between 1968 and 1976.  At the time, the
company allowed up to 30 days of service credit for pregnancy
leave but granted credit for the entire length of any other
disability leave.

After Congress passed Pregnancy Discrimination Act, AT&T granted
pregnant employees full credit for time spent on leave but did
not equalize credits for pre-1979 leaves.  The women now alleged
they lost between six months and a year of retirement credit.  
They are seeking increases in their current or future benefits.

The women based their arguments on a 1991 appeals court ruling
that required equal retirement benefits for employees who took
pregnancy leave before 1979.  But the court said in a March 8
ruling the 1991 decision had been repealed by a 1994 Supreme
Court order that limited the retroactive effect of new federal
laws.


BAYVIEW CREMATORIUM: Operator Admits Illegal Operation in Mass.
---------------------------------------------------------------
The operator of a Seabrook, Massachusetts' crematory that is
facing class action has pleaded guilty to illegally performing
dozens of cremations, according to WMURChannel.com.

James Fuller, who ran Bayview Crematorium, also admitted forging
paperwork needed for the cremations, the report said.   He
operated the crematory from 2000 until it was closed in 2005.  
Under the plea agreement, Mr. Fuller will spend no more than 12
months in county jail.  He is to be officially sentenced in May.  
An April trial, meanwhile, has been set against Bayview's owner,
Derek Wallace.

In May 2005, 36 Massachusetts residents filed a class action
against Bayview and 11 Bay State funeral homes, according to
Eagle-Tribune.  The suit was filed in Essex Superior Court
seeking unspecified monetary damages for "negligent and
intentional emotional distress" caused by the discovery of how
the bodies of their relatives were handled at the crematory.

The suit named Linda Stokes, owner of the property where the
Seabrook crematory is located, and funeral directors in
Lawrence, Haverhill, Boston, Quincy, Dracut, Brighton and
Newburyport.  

The funeral homes named in the suit were Farrah Funeral Home and
Hart-Wallace Funeral Home in Lawrence and the Scatamacchia
Funeral Home in Haverhill, as well as William F. Spencer Funeral
Services, American Cremation Society, Cremation Society Inc.,
Commonwealth Cremation & Shipping Service, Commonwealth Funeral
Service, Dracut Funeral Home, Hamel, Wickens & Troupe Funeral
Home and Simplicity Burial & Cremation.

The lead plaintiff is Paul Anzalone of Mansfield, Massachusetts,
who is represented by:

     Charlip Law Group, LC
     Harrison Executive Centre
     1930 Harrison Street, Suite 208
     Hollywood, FL 33020
     Phone: 1-800-773-1955
            (954) 921-2131
     Fax: (954) 921-2191
     Web site: http://www.charliplawgroup.com;and  

     Lisa DeBrosse Johnson
     The Pilot House, Lewis Wharf
     Boston, Massachusetts 02110
     (Suffolk Co.)
     Phone: 617-854-3740
     Fax: 617-854-3743


BOSTON SCIENTIFIC: Employees Launch ERISA Fraud Suits in Mass.
--------------------------------------------------------------
Boston Scientific Corp. and certain of its officers face several
Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) of 1974 class
actions filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of
Massachusetts.

On January 19, 2006, George Larson, on behalf of himself and all
others similarly situated, filed a purported class action
complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of
Massachusetts on behalf of participants and beneficiaries of the
Company's 401(k) Plan and GESOP, together the "Plans", during
the period March 31, 2003 through January 19, 2006, alleging
that the Company and certain of its officers and employees
violated certain provisions under ERISA, as amended (ERISA) and
Department of Labor Regulations.

The complaint principally alleges that the defendants breached
their fiduciary duties to the Plans' participants, failed to
disclose adverse information about the Company to the Plans'
participants and imprudently made contributions to the Company's
401(k) plan and GESOP in the form of Company stock.  It seeks
unspecified damages, and equitable and injunctive relief.  

On January 26, 2006, February 8, 2006, February 14, 2006 and
February 23, 2006, Robert Hochstadt, Jeff Klunke, Kirk Harvey
and Michael Lowe, respectively, on behalf of themselves and
others similarly situated, filed purported class action
complaints in the same court on behalf of the participants and
beneficiaries in the Company's Plans.  These complaints allege
similar misconduct under ERISA and seek similar relief.

The suits are styled:

     (1) "Larson v. Boston Scientific Corporation, et al., Case
         No. 1:06-cv-10105-JLT under Judge Joseph L. Tauro;"

     (2) "Hochstadt v. Boston Scientific Corp., et al., Case No.
         1:06-cv-10159-JLT under Judge Joseph L. Tauro;"

     (3) "Klunke v. Boston Scientific Corporation, et al., Case
         No. 1:06-cv-10236-JLT under Judge Joseph L. Tauro;"

     (4) "Harvey v. Boston Scientific Corporation, Case No.
         1:06-cv-10265-RCL, under Judge Reginald C. Lindsay;"

     (5) "Lowe v. Boston Scientific Corporation, et al., Case
         No. 1:06-cv-10336-JLT under Judge Joseph L. Tauro."


BOSTON SCIENTIFIC: Faces Consolidated Securities Suits in Mass.
---------------------------------------------------------------
Boston Scientific Corporation and certain of its officers and
directors face a consolidated securities class action filed in
the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.  The
suit is styled, "Shankar v. Boston Scientific Corporation, et
al., Case No. 1:05-cv-11934-JLT."

On September 23, 2005, Srinivasan Shankar, on behalf of himself
and all others similarly situated, filed a purported securities
class action suit on behalf of those who purchased or otherwise
acquired the Company's securities during the period March 31,
2003 through August 23, 2005, alleging that the Company and
certain of its officers violated certain sections of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

The complaint principally alleges that the Company did not
adequately disclose its ability to satisfy FDA regulations
governing medical device product quality, which resulted in the
artificial inflation of the Company's stock price and enabled
certain of the Company's officers to profit from the sale of
Company stock at such inflated prices. The complaint seeks
unspecified damages, equitable, and injunctive relief.

On September 28, 2005, October 27, 2005, November 2, 2005 and
November 3, 2005, Jack Yopp, Robert L. Garber, Betty C. Meyer
and John Ryan, respectively on behalf of themselves and all
others similarly situated, filed a purported securities class
action suit in the same Court on behalf of the same purported
class, alleging similar misconduct and seeking similar relief.

The Company believes the suits will be consolidated.  On
November 21, 2005, six plaintiffs or plaintiff groups filed
motions for consolidation, appointment of lead plaintiff and
selection of lead counsel.  The Court held a hearing on these
motions on February 9, 2006.  On February 15, 2006, the Court
ordered that the five class actions be consolidated and
appointed the Mississippi Public Employee Retirement System
Group as lead plaintiff.

The suit is styled, "Shankar v. Boston Scientific Corporation,
et al., Case No. 1:05-cv-11934-JLT," filed in the U.S. District
Court for the District of Massachusetts under Judge Joseph L.
Tauro.  Representing the plaintiff/s are:

     (1) Carolyn G. Anderson of Zimmerman Reed, PLLP, Suite 501,
         651 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55402, US, Phone:
         612-341-0400, Fax: 612-341-0844, E-mail:
         cga@zimmreed.com; and

     (2) Gregg M. Fishbein of Lockridge Grindal Nauen, P.L.L.P.,    
         Suite 2200, 100 Washington Avenue South, Minneapolis,  
         MN 55401, US, Phone: 612-339-6900, Fax: 612-339-0981,   
         E-mail: gmfishbein@locklaw.com.

Representing the defendant/s are:

     (1) Miranda Hooker, William H. Paine and Monika A. Wirtz of
         Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, LLP, 60 State
         Street, Boston, MA 02115, Phone: 617-526-6000 and 617-
         526-6896, Fax: 617-526-5000 and 617-526-5000, E-mail:  
         monika.wirtz@wilmerhale.com,
         miranda.hooker@wilmerhale.com and
         william.paine@wilmerhale.com; and

     (2) Timothy J. Perla of U.S. District Court, 1 Courthouse
         Way, Boston, MA 02210, Phone: 617-526-6696, Fax: 617-
         526-6000, E-mail: timothy.perla@wilmerhale.com.


BOSTON SCIENTIFIC: Faces Suit in Minn. Over Guidant Acquisition
---------------------------------------------------------------
A senior citizen initiated a class action in the U.S. District
Court for the District of Minnesota against Boston Scientific
Corporation, which seeks to stop the Company from acquiring
Guidant Corp.

On January 26, 2006, Donald Wright filed a purported class
action complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of
Minnesota against the Company and Guidant on behalf of himself
and all other senior citizens and handicapped persons similarly
situated seeking a permanent injunction to prohibit the Company
from completing its acquisition of Guidant, alleging violations
of the Minnesota Fraudulent Transfers Act and Consumer Fraud
Act.

The complaint seeks restitution on behalf of those persons who
suffered injury related to Guidant's cardiac pacemakers and/or
defibrillators.  It also seeks monetary damages and injunctive
relief.  On February 14, 2006, Donald Wright filed a motion for
preliminary and permanent injunction directing the Company to
interplead $6.3 billion of the $27 billion purchase price to be
paid to stockholders of Guidant.  The motion alleges violations
of the Minnesota Fraudulent Transfers Act and Consumer Fraud
Act.  On February 21, 2006, Mr. Wright filed an amended
complaint dropping his claim for monetary damages.

The Company has not yet answered the complaint or responded to
the February motion, but intends to vigorously deny the
allegations.

The suit is styled, "Wright v. Boston Scientific, et al., Case
No. 0:06-cv-00363-DWF-AJB," filed in the U.S. District of
Minnesota under Judge Donovan W. Frank with referral to Judge
Arthur J. Boylan.  Representing the plaintiff/s is Benjamin S.
Houge of Houge Law Office, 13481 N. 60th St., Ste. 201, Oak Park
Heights, MN 55082, Phone: 612-868-1947, Fax: 651-439-3742, E-
mail: bshmih@aol.com.  Representing the defendant/s are:

     (1) Stuart J Baskin of Shearman & Sterling, LLP, 599
         Lexington Ave., New York, NY 10022, Phone: 212-848-
         4974, E-mail: sbaskin@shearman.com;

     (2) Boris Feldman of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, 650
         Page Mill Rd., Palo Alto, CA 94304, Phone: 650-320-
         4944, E-mail: boris.feldman@wsgr.com; and

     (3) Marianne D. Short of Dorsey & Whitney, LLP, 50 S. 6th
         St., Ste. 1500, Minneapolis, MN 55402-1498, Phone: 612-
         340-2600, Fax: 612-340-2807, E-mail:
         short.marianne@dorsey.com.


BRIDGESTONE CORPORATION: Calif. Court Stays Frosini Litigation
--------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Christina A. Snyder granted defendants' request for a stay
on the action styled, "Frosini v. Bridgestone Firestone North
American Tire, LLC, No. 05-00578," which was filed in the U.S.
District Court for the Central District of California, according
to McGlinchey Stafford of http://www.cafalawblog.com.  

In somewhat of a role reversal, the plaintiffs in this case
filed their complaint in California federal court against
Bridgestone Corporation and other tire manufacturers, asserting
federal jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA)
of 2005.  However, the Company and the other defendants moved
for a stay of the action until a California state court could
adjudicate the pending action, which involved one of the named
plaintiffs in the federal suit and Bridgestone.  

In the state court action, the complaint asserted essentially
the same claims against the Company as asserted in the federal
action, in which a removal/remand fight that resulted in the
case being remanded back to state court, had already bloodied
the battlefield.  Further, the plaintiff's counsel in the state
court action, which is the same counsel as in the federal
action, had already moved to certify the class in the state
court, but class certification was denied.  That denial of class
certification though was on appeal to the California Court of
Appeals at the time the federal court drafted its opinion.

To satisfy the high precedential bar for staying a federal
action on the basis of a concurrent state proceeding, the
Company attempted to demonstrate the "exceptional circumstances"
required to stay the federal action, arguing that the actions
addressed the same issues and the subject matter, claims, asked
for identical relief, and beyond the jurisdictional
requirements, the two suits were virtually identical.  In
addition, the defendants also argued that staying the federal
action would avoid piecemeal litigation, and avoid the risk of
conflicting results based solely on jurisdiction.

The plaintiffs though responded that, to the contrary, the
action was "just the type of class action that Congress had in
mind when drafting the Class Action Fairness Act . . . and that
to stay the proceedings would serve to undermine this
congressional intent."  Apparently anticipating, if not
conceding, a loss on appeal of the state class certification,
the plaintiffs also argued that the federal action would not
result in piecemeal litigation, since the state court action
only concerned the underlying claims of the two named
plaintiffs, not the entire class.  Finally, the plaintiffs
contended that the state action was an inadequate forum to
protect the federal litigants' rights.

Though not explicitly addressing either side's arguments, Judge
Snyder apparently decided that the defendants' arguments were
sufficient, as she concluded that the Company had satisfied its
heightened burden, and stayed the federal action for ninety
days.

The suit is styled, "Martin Frosini, et al. v. Bridgestone
Firestone North American Tire, et al., Case No. 5:05-cv-00578-
CAS-RZ," filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central
District of California under Judge Christina A. Snyder with
referral to Judge Ralph Zarefsky.  Representing the plaintiff/s
are, Gail M. Lisoni and Joseph L. Lisoni of Lisoni & Lisoni, 225
South Lake Ave, 9th Floor, Pasadena, CA 91101, Phone:
626-440-1333, Fax: 626-564-6004.  

Representing the defendant/s are, Edward F. Ryan, Colin P. Smith
and Richard T. Williams of Holland & Knight, Phone: 312-578-6552
and 213-896-2400, E-mail: rwilliam@hklaw.com.

For more details, visit: http://researcharchives.com/t/s?659
(Frosini Opinion).


DAVOL/BARD: Recalls Hernia Repair Patch with Faulty Recoil Ring
---------------------------------------------------------------
Bard/Davol and FDA notified healthcare professionals of a class
1 recall of Bard Composix Kugel Mesh X-Large Patch Oval with
ePTFE.  The product is used to repair ventral (incisional)
hernias caused by thinning or stretching of scar tissue that
forms after surgery.

The "memory recoil ring" that opens the Composix Kugel Mesh
Patch after it has been inserted into the intra-abdominal space
can break.  This can lead to bowel perforations and/or chronic
intestinal fistulae (abnormal connections or passageways between
the intestines and other organs).


DECATHLON USA: Recalls Snowboard Bindings with Defective Base
-------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
Decathlon USA, of Wilmington, Massachusetts, is recalling 230
Quechua "Rn'x7FX" snowboard bindings.

The company said the snowboard binding's plastic base can break
during use, posing a risk that snowboarders can fall and suffer
a serious injury.  Decathlon USA has received one report of a
broken binding, though no injuries have been reported.

The model Rn'x7FX Quechua snowboard bindings are white or black.  
The word "Quechua" is located on the back of the binding.  The
model number is stamped on the box.  Other Quechua snowboard
bindings are unaffected by the recall but consumers may bring
them to the store for proper identification.

The bindings were made in China and sold at Decathlon USA stores
in Massachusetts from October 2005 through December 2005 for
about $90.

Consumers are advised to stop using the snowboard bindings
immediately and return them to a Decathlon store for a gift
certificate or reimbursement.  Consumers will also receive a
free pair of self-heating snow gloves.

Picture of the recalled product:

http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml06/06104a.jpg
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml06/06104b.jpg
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml06/06104c.jpg
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml06/06104d.jpg

Consumer Contact: Decathlon, Phone: (800) 721-7780 between
8:30a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday: On the Net:
http://www.decathlon-usa.com.


DOWNEY SAVINGS: Former Employee Launches Labor Suit in Calif.
-------------------------------------------------------------
A former loan-underwriting employee brought a purported class
action against Downey Savings and Loan Association, FA, in
Contra Costa Superior Court, entitled, "Teresa Sims, et al. v.
Downey Savings and Loan Association, Case No. C05-01293."  

Filed on June 21, 2005, the complaint seeks unspecified damages
for alleged unpaid overtime wages and bonuses, inadequate meal
and rest breaks, and related claims.  It is seeking class action
status to represent all other current and former Downey Savings
employees that held the position of loan underwriter, including,
but not limited to, the job title of Senior Loan Underwriter
within the State of California at any time during the four years
prior to June 21, 2005 and/or who was employed by Downey Savings
on or about September 30, 2002, when the Company terminated an
annual bonus program.  

Based on a review of the current facts and circumstances with
retained outside counsel, the Company plans to oppose the claim
and assert all appropriate defenses and management has provided
for what is believed to be a reasonable estimate of exposure for
this matter in the event of loss.  While acknowledging the
uncertainties of litigation, management believes that the
ultimate outcome of this matter will not have a material adverse
effect on its financial condition, results of operations or cash
flows.


GEICO: Car Insurance Suit Plaintiffs Silent on Decertification
--------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs in a class action filed against Washington-based
insurer GEICO failed to respond to a motion to decertify the
suit by a February deadline, the company's lawyers said,
according to The Madison St. Clair Record.

Plaintiffs had been given until Feb. 13 to respond to a
decertification motion by GEICO lawyers.  Attorney Sheila
Carmody of Phoenix filed the motion Oct. 28.

The suit was filed in 2001 by Myron Billups, whose Pontiac Grand
Am crashed in 1998.  He was joined later by Patricia Singleton,
whose Cadillac was stolen and wrecked.  Jeff Millar of the Lakin
Law Firm in Wood River signed the complaint, which also listed
three Chicago firms and two attorneys from Marion, according to
the report.

The plaintiffs sought to represent drivers whose vehicles GEICO
had paid off as total losses.  In 2004, Madison County Circuit
Judge Nicolas Byron certified their representation in 2004, as
well as a multi-state class on breach of contract claims and an
Illinois class on consumer fraud claims.  In 2002, GEICO asked
Judge Byron to postpone a decision on a class certification
pending the Supreme Court's ruling on Avery vs. State Farm, a
Williamson County class action.  In August, the Court ruled that
Avery and the other plaintiffs failed to prove deception or
damages, throwing out a verdict of more than $1 billion.

The news that plaintiffs failed to send a response emerged in a
Feb. 15 request for a ruling from Judge Byron by attorney Joseph
Brown of Edwardsville.  In court filings, GEICO also recorded
excerpts from depositions of Mrs. Singleton and her son, Khari
Sharp, supporting assertion that the plaintiff suffered no
damage.  Judge Byron has set a March 24 hearing.

GEICO -- http://www.geico.com/-- is a personal lines auto  
insurance company based in the U.S..  GEICO stands for
Government Employees Insurance Company.

Lawyers' contact information: Jeffrey A.J. Millar of The Lakin
Law Firm, P.C., 300 Evans Avenue, P.O. Box 229, Wood River,
Illinois 62095-0027, (Madison Co.), Phone: 618-254-1127,
Telecopier: 618-254-0193; Sheila Carmody of Snell & Wilmer
L.L.P., One Arizona Center, Phoenix, Arizona 85004-2202,
(Maricopa Co.), Phone: 602-382-6000, Fax: 602-382-6070; Joseph
R. Brown, Jr. of Lucco, Brown, Threlkeld & Dawson, LLP, P.O. Box
539, Edwardsville, Illinois 62025, (Madison Co.), Phone:
618-656-2321; Fax: 618-656-2363.


HAYES-SAMMONS: Plaintiffs Want Ban on JD Salinas' Political Ad
--------------------------------------------------------------
Some plaintiffs in a class action against Hayes-Sammons Chemical
Co. are furious over a campaign advertisement that they claim
insults families of chemical contamination victims.  

Ginger Silva and at least a dozen other plaintiffs are demanding
that the ad by JD Salinas, who is campaigning for a position as
Hidalgo County Judge be taken off the air, according to KGBT.  
She is taking side with her attorney Ramon Garcia, who is
alleged to have 'bilked' 75% of the fees from the class action.  
"That doesn't leave much for families exposed to banned
pesticides like DDT," states the narrator in the advertisement.

A class action against about 25 chemical companies began in 1998
after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency filed a lawsuit
against certain chemical companies to clean up the Hayes-Sammons
plant in the early 1980s.

The resident who are involved in the case are seeking
compensation for negligence, medical bills and devalued
property, according to attorney Linda Laurent of Houston-based
Reich and Binstock, one of several lawyers for the plaintiffs, a
previous Class Action Reporter story says (Nov. 21, 2005).  

The defendants in the case include Union Pacific Railroad
Company, URS Corporation and Chevron Chemical Corporation.  They
are represented by Richard Newman of San Antonio-based Fulbright
& Jaworski L.L.P.


HEARTLAND ADVISORS: Lawyer Seeks 30% Cut From $8.25M Settlement
---------------------------------------------------------------
Lawyers for shareholders of two defunct mutual funds run by
Milwaukee's Heartland Advisors Inc. want a fee of 30% of the
$8.25 million settlement of a class action against the Company's
accounting firm, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.  They
also want $1 million to cover expenses.

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP agreed to the settlement in January,
just as the case was to go to the jury following 12 days of
testimony before U.S. District Judge J.P. Stadtmueller in
Milwaukee.  The money will be paid to settle a claim that the
accounting firm failed to properly audit the old Heartland High-
Yield Municipal Bond Fund and Short Duration High-Yield
Municipal Fund.  

The case started after a sharp fall in the value of the two
funds in October 2000.  At that time, assets in the High-Yield
Municipal Bond fund were marked down by 69% and those in the
Short Duration fund were marked down by 44%, an earlier Class
Action Reporter story (November 25, 2005) reports.

C. Oliver Burt III, a lawyer from West Palm Beach, Florida, who
tried the case and filed for the 30% fee plus expenses, told The
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that how much any of the 10,000 to
11,000 investors in the funds will receive depends on when they
bought and sold their shares.

The payments will be made after a pair of hearings before Judge
Stadtmueller, where he will decide how much Mr. Burt should
receive.  Mr. Burt told The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he
and his team incurred costs of $1,050,435 in the matter, which
he asked to be awarded in addition to 30% of the settlement,
which is $2,475,000.

Eric Jacobson, who is following the matter for Morningstar, Inc.
in Chicago, told The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel a 30% fee
"doesn't sound unusual to me."

Earlier, Heartland settled the case for $14 million, and
Interactive Data Corp., a company that provided prices for some
of the thinly traded bonds in the funds, paid $1 million.  The
former shareholders also received slightly more than $30 million
when a receiver liquidated the assets in the funds.

The suit is styled, "White v. Heartland High-Yield, et al, Case
No. 2:00-cv-01388-JPS," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of Wisconsin under Judge J. P. Stadtmueller.  
Representing the plaintiff/s are, C. Oliver Burt, III of Berman
DeValerio Pease Tabacco Burt & Pucillo, Esperante Bldg., 222
Lakeview Ave. - Ste. 900, West Palm Beach, FL 33401, Phone:
561-835-9400; and Thomas A. Doyle of Saunders & Doyle, 20 S.
Clark St. - Ste. 1720, Chicago, IL 60603, Phone: 312-551-0051,
Fax: 312-551-4467.

Representing the Defendant/s are, Timothy A. Duffy of Kirkland &
Ellis, LLP, 200 E. Randolph Dr. - 60th Fl., Chicago, IL 60601,
Phone: 312-861-2445, Fax: 312-861-2200, E-mail:
tduffy@kirkland.com.


HEWLETT-PACKARD CO: Suit Settlement Hearing Set March 16, 2006
--------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
will hold fairness hearing for the proposed settlement in the
matter: "Schaffer v. Hewlett-Packard Company, (Case No. 2:04-cv-
71391-JCO-SDP)."  The case was brought on behalf of a class
defined as, all end users who purchased one of the following
models of HP Pavilion computer models 8655c, 8660c, 8750c,
8754c, 8755c, xl756 and xl759.  The proposed Settlement resolves
a lawsuit over whether HP sold Pavilion desktop computers with
defective motherboards that caused the computers to "hang,
freeze or lock" on a recurring basis.

The hearing will be held on March 16, 2006 at 2:00 p.m. in the
Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, E.
Liberty St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104.

Any objections to the settlement must be filed by February 10,
2006.  

For more details, contact Elwood S. Simon and John P. Zuccarini
of Elwood S. Simon Assoc., 355 S. Woodward Avenue, Suite 250,
Birmingham, MI 48009, Phone: 248-646-9730, Fax: 248-258-2335, E-
mail: esimon@esimon-law.com and zuccarinis@aol.com; and Thomas
J. Foley of Foley, Baron, (Farmington Hills), 33533 W. Twelve
Mile Road, Suite 350, Farmington Hills, MI 48331-5611, Phone:
248-488-1533, Fax: 248-488-1254, E-mail: tfoley@fbmlaw.com, Web
site: http://www.hppavilionsettlement.com/.


ILLINOIS: Judge to Hear Complaints V. Juvenile Center Next Month
----------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. District Judge John Nordberg set April 18 for a full
hearing on conditions at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary
Detention Center, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The hearing will take up allegations by the American Civil
Liberties Union of Illinois that the county failed to abide by a
2003 memorandum of agreement that orders improvement at the
facility under a class action ruling.  Lawyers for ACLU alleged
the center is dirty and unsafe to hundreds of youths being
housed there.  They have asked the judge to name an independent
manager to oversee reform efforts and develop an improvement
plan.

The attorney for the center, Patrick Driscoll, a supervisor in
the Cook County state's attorney's office, had asked for 90
additional days to prepare, the report said.

The suit was styled, "Doe, et al. v. Cook Co, et al., Case No.
1:99-cv-03945," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of Illinois, under Judge John A. Nordberg.  
Representing the Defendants is Patrick Malone Blanchard of
State's Attorney of Cook County, 500 Richard J. Daley Center,
Chicago, IL 60602, Phone: (312) 603-5440, E-mail:
pblanch@cookcountygov.com.

Representing the Plaintiff/s are, Benjamin S. Wolf of Roger
Baldwin Foundation of ACLU, Inc., 180 North Michigan Ave., Suite
2300, Chicago, IL 60601-7401, Phone: (312) 201-9740; and Colby
Anne Kingsbury of Kirkland & Ellis LLP (Chicago), 200 East
Randolph Drive, Suite 6100, Chicago, IL 60601, Phone:
(312) 861-2000, E-mail: ckingsbury@kirkland.com.


KPMG LLP: Two High-Profile Names Emerge as Tax Shelter Buyers
-------------------------------------------------------------
The owner of the Golden State Warriors basketball team and a
former U.S. ambassador to Ireland are included in the list of
investors who bought tax shelters sold by accounting firm KPMG
LLP, Inside Bay Area reports.

The list, unveiled recently by U.S. District Judge Dennis
Cavanaugh in Newark, New Jersey, at the request of Bloomberg
News, named Christopher Cohan, who owns the NBA's Warriors, and
Richard Egan, the ex-ambassador and a co-founder of EMC Corp.  

The Internal Revenue Service found the tax shelters, which
helped taxpayers who bought them elude $2.5 billion in taxes, to
be "abusive." A grand jury in New York has indicted 19 people,
including KPMG's former chief financial officers, former KPMG
tax professionals and a former lawyer at Sidley, Austin, Brown &
Wood LLP, which worked with KPMG, in connection with the shelter
sales (Class Action Reporter, Nov. 2, 2005).

A $195 million settlement was reached in September intended to
compensate former clients of KPMG and Sidley Austin who
participated in the tax shelters known as Blips, Flip and Opis,
as well as some former clients who participated in a shelter
called Short Option Strategy (Class Action Reporter, Nov. 2,
2005).  Sidley Austin is paying about 20% of the settlement.  

The settlement was to go to court for final approval on Feb. 24,
2006, but U.S. District Court Dennis Cavanaugh in Newark, New
Jersey rescheduled the hearing to give time for revisions
because many have opted out, and are planning to file separate
claims.  The settlement reached in September covered four tax
shelters offered by KPMG.

Awards which by law cannot cover back taxes and IRS penalties,
will be a portion of the transaction fees that the taxpayers
paid to arrange the shelters.  The average payout would be
$750,000, according to Melvyn I. Weiss, a class action lawyer
whose firm negotiated the settlement with KPMG.  He added that
taxpayers without statute of limitation issues would get about
65 percent of their fees, while those with such issues would get
25 percent.  The remaining $30 million would go to Milberg Weiss
Bershad & Schulman, LLP (Class Action Reporter, Nov. 2, 2005).

The four shelters were the subjects of KPMG's settlement
agreement with federal prosecutors in New York in August. Under
that agreement, KPMG admitted criminal wrongdoing in creating
fraudulent tax shelters and agreed to pay $456 million in
penalties. However, under that same agreement, KPMG won't face
criminal prosecution as long as it complies with its terms
(Class Action Reporter, Nov. 2, 2005).

The case before Judge Cavanaugh is among dozens of lawsuits
brought by former KPMG clients in state and federal courts
around the nation. According to KPMG's deferred-prosecution
agreement with federal prosecutors, KPMG sold the four shelters
to about 600 wealthy people from 1996 to 2002 (Class Action
Reporter, Nov. 2, 2005).

The suit is styled, "Simon et al v. KPMG LLP et al, Case No.
2:05-cv-03189-DMC-MF," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
District of New Jersey, under Judge Dennis M. Cavanaugh.
Representing the Plaintiff/s are James E. Cecchi and Melissa E.
Flax of Carella Byrne Bain Gilfillan Cecchi Stewart & Olstein,
PC, 5 Becker Farm Road, Roseland, NJ 07068, Phone:
(973) 994-1700, Fax: (973) 994-1744, E-mail:
jcecchi@carellabyrne.com and mflax@carellabyrne.com.

Representing the Defendant/s are, Dennis J. Drasco of Lum,
Danzis, Drasco & Positan, LLC, 103 Eisenhower Parkway, Roseland,
NJ 07068-1049, Phone: (973) 403-9000, E-mail:
ddrasco@lumlaw.com; and Anthony J. Marchetta of Pitney Hardin,
200 Campus Drive, Florham Park, NJ 07932, Phone: 973-966-8032,
E-mail: amarchetta@pitneyhardin.com.


KPMG LLP: Tex. Federal Judge Remands Werner Case to State Court
---------------------------------------------------------------
In remanding the case entitled, "Werner v. KPMG LLP, Case No.
4:05-cv-00821," back to Texas state court, Judge Lee H.
Rosenthal of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District
of Texas provides the parties a thorough background and
straightforward analysis of some of the prominent issues
presently surrounding Class Action Fairness Act litigation,
according to McGlinchey Stafford of http://www.cafalawblog.com.    

In conducting her excursion through CAFA, Judge Rosenthal
discusses several timely issues, including the burden of proof
in remand battles, and the "date of commencement" issue, and
specifically the link between the relation-back doctrine and
whether amended pleadings trigger the application of CAFA to an
existing action.  The framework providing the judge with her
opportunity to discuss these wide-ranging issues centers around
an interesting Texas statute that allows a defendant to name
"responsible parties" without actually making the "responsible"
entity a party to the lawsuit.  

The original putative class action was filed pre-CAFA in state
court by investors of two Texas limited partnerships who claimed
that KPMG facilitated the general partners' self dealing and
mismanagement of the limited partnerships.  On January 6, 2005,
pre-CAFA, KPMG filed a third-party complaint designating the
general partners and other individuals as "responsible third
parties" under Section 33.004 of the Texas Civil Practice and
Remedies Code, the statute which allows defendants to designate
"responsible parties" who may have caused or contributed to
causing the harm the defendant is accused of in order to
allocate responsibility to those parties.  The statute "does not
require a designated responsible third party to file and answer
or responsive pleading, and a failure to do so cannot result in
a default judgment."

Despite this, two of the parties KPMG designated: St. James
Entities and Charles E. Underbrink, answered the Company's
third-party petition prior to CAFA becoming law.  After CAFA's
effective date, the plaintiffs amended their petition to include
the St. James Entities and Underbrink, who subsequently removed
the action, asserting minimal diversity jurisdiction under CAFA.  
The plaintiffs then moved to remand, setting the stage for Judge
Rosenthal's CAFA exhibition.

Judge Rosenthal first recognized the debate CAFA has induced
regarding the burden of proof in the remand context.  After
reviewing the arguments made to date on both sides of the
debate, the court discusses the legislative history relied on by
some courts to find a shift in the traditional burden of proving
federal jurisdiction from the party invoking federal
jurisdiction to the party advocating remand.  

Instead, relying on the Seventh Circuits' language in "Brill v.
Countrywide," she concludes that the statute's textual silence,
when contrasted with its explicit modification of other aspects
of removal practice, indicated Congress's intent not to disturb
the status quo, thus declining to transfer the burden, holding
that "the party opposing remand continues to bear the burden of
proving federal jurisdiction."

In addressing the commencement issue, Judge Rosenthal takes an
in-depth look at the host of federal decisions finding that
state law determines when a case "commences."  After reviewing
cases applying the relation-back doctrine to determine when an
amended pleading kicks off a new action, Judge Rosenthal
described the common invocation of this doctrine: "The relation-
back concept is applied as an analytic tool, a way of
determining whether amended pleadings so change the claims or
parties as to be a new civil action, rather than a `workaday
change' that continues a pending action."

However, Judge Rosenthal's analysis of the case focused not on
whether the plaintiffs' decision to sue the St. James Entities
and Underbrink was a post-CAFA amendment of their complaints and
thus the commencement of a new action, but rather, that the real
determination was whether the two new defendants had turned
themselves into "parties" to the suit before the plaintiffs
amended their complaint to include them.  Judge Rosenthal found
in the affirmative that the former non-party "responsible
parties" had in effect "intervened and became parties to the
action when they filed breach of contract claims against the
plaintiffs" in their answers to KPMG's third party complaint.
The court concluded that the St. James Entities and Underbrink
morphed into "parties" on January 31, 2005, upon the filing of
their responsive pleadings to KPMG's third-party petition,
officially intervening in the action under Texas law.

Thus, Judge Rosenthal concluded that the plaintiffs' March 2005
amended petition did not "commence" a new action for removal
purposes, since the removing defendants were already parties to
the suit, and since the amendments, which, according to
relation-back principles, "arose out of the same transactions or
occurrences as the pre-CAFA claims against KPMG."  The court
concluded, "CAFA does not apply because this action `commenced'
as to the removing defendants before CAFA's enactment and the
plaintiffs' amended pleading filed after CAFA did not `commence'
a new action," and accordingly, shipped the case back to Texas
state court.

The suit is styled, "Werner, et al. v. KPMG LLP, Case No. 4:05-
cv-00821," filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of Texas under Judge Lee H. Rosenthal.  Representing
the plaintiff/s is Demetrios Anaipakos of Ahmad Zavitsanos, et
al., 1221 McKinney St., Ste. 3460, Houston, TX 77010-2009,
Phone: 713-655-1101, Fax: 713-655-0062.  

Representing the defendant/s are:

     (1) David Michael Bond of Boyar & Miller, PC, 4265 San
         Felipe, Ste. 1200, Houston, TX 77027, Phone: 832-615-
         4290, Fax: 832-615-4291, E-mail: dbond@boyarmiller.com;

     (2) Alexander Carl Chae of Gardere Wynne, et al., 1000
         Louisiana, Ste. 3400, Houston, TX 77002-5007, Phone:
         713-276-5539, Fax: 713-276-6539, E-mail:
         achae@gardere.com; and

     (3) Paul J. Dobrowski of Dobrowski, LLP, 1010 Lamar, Ste.
         1350, Houston, TX 77002, Phone: 713-659-2900, Fax: 713-
         659-2908.

For more details, visit: http://researcharchives.com/t/s?65a
(Werner Opinion) and http://researcharchives.com/t/s?65b(Brill  
v. Countrywide).


NATIONAL MONEY: Attempt to Block Payday Loans Suit Falls Through
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed a bid by cheque-cashing
company National Money Mart to have a proposed class action
against it dismissed, according to the Toronto Star.

The suit was filed by Windsor pensioner Margaret Smith, who
alleged the fees and interest combined on the company's short-
term payday loans exceeds the legal rate of interest set out in
the Criminal Code.  The Code provides a maximum charge of 60%
per annum.  Ms. Smith is represented by:

     Jasminka Kalajdzic
     Jasminka Kalajdzic, of Sutts, Strosberg
     Phone: (519) 561-6231
     Fax: (519) 561-6203
     Web site: http://www.strosbergco.com/

The representative claimant is seeking from Money Mart and its
U.S. parent company $555 million, on behalf of Canadian
borrowers, according to the report.

A hearing has been set in May to determine whether the fees and
interest charged on the company's payday loans, when combined
and calculated as interest, contravene section 347 of the
Criminal Code.

National Money Mart -- http://www.moneymart.ca/-- is a chain of  
350 cheque-cashing firm, owned by U.S. parent company Dollar
Financial Corp.


NATIONWIDE MUTUAL: Lawsuit Settlement Hearing Set March 20, 2006
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Circuit Court of the Twentieth Judicial Circuit in and for
Lee County, Florida will hold a fairness hearing for the
proposed settlement in the matter, "Dory Sabielny v. Nationwide
Mutual Fire Insurance Company, Case No. 99-2634-CA."  

The case was brought on behalf of all persons who purchased a
new or renewal Florida automobile, homeowners, property and
casualty, surety or marine insurance policy issued by the
Defendant effective on or after May 1, 1997 and who paid all
premiums owed, including at least one installment fee greater
than $1.00 on or after May 1, 1997 and or before May 13, 2002
pursuant to an installment payment plan offered by Defendant
that charged fees allegedly constituting a "premium finance
charge," "installment fee," "service charge," or "service fee"
greater than $1.00 per installment or an "interest charge"
exceeding 18 percent simple interest per year on the unpaid
premium balance.

The hearing will be held on March 20, 2006 at 1:30 a.m., before
the Honorable R. Thomas Corbin of the Circuit Court for Lee
County, Florida, Lee County Courthouse, 1700 Monroe St., Fort
Myers, FL 33901.

Deadline for submitting a proof of claim is on March 15, 2006.  
Any objections to the settlement must be filed by March 1, 2006.  

For more details, contact Viles, of Viles & Beckman, LLC, 2075
West First St., Fort Myers, FL 33901, Phone: 239-334-3933, Fax:
239-334-7105, E-mail: info@vilesandbeckman.com.


NETGEAR INC: Consumer Suit Settlement Hearing Set March 21, 2006
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara will
hold a fairness hearing for the proposed settlement in the
matter, "Zilberman v. Netgear, Inc., Case No. 1-04-CV-021230."
The case was brought on behalf of all persons or entities that
purchased between January 1, 1999 through November 22, 2005 any
wireless products sold by Netgear, Inc.  

The hearing will be held before the Honorable Jack Komar on
March 21, 2006 at 9:00 a.m. at Santa Clara Superior Court, 161
N. First St., Dept. 17C, San Jose, California 95113.  

Deadline for submitting a proof of claim is on July 5, 2006.  
Any objections to the settlement must be filed by March 6, 2006.  

For more details, contact Jordan L. Lurie and Zev B. Zysman of
Weiss & Lurie, 10940 WILSHIRE BLVD., SUITE 2300, LOS ANGELES,
CALIFORNIA 90024, Phone: (310) 208-2800, Fax: (310) 209-2348,
Web site: http://www.netgearsettlement.com/.


NOVOPHARM: Canadian Court Rejects Option Consommateurs' Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Superior Court of Quebec, Canada has refused certification
to class action filed against a number of drug manufacturers
accused of giving "illegal rebates, saying the suit has no
material basis, Mondaq reports.

Consumer rights advocate Option Consommateurs filed a suit
seeking class-action status against the companies in 2003.  The
suit styled "Option Consommateurs v. Novopharm et al." seeks
some CA$4 billion in damages.  

The suit was filed after a newspaper article appeared in La
Presse reporting that certain unnamed pharmaceutical
manufacturers may have given "illegal" rebates to pharmacists in
Quebec and other provinces in the form of benefits.  Further
reports said an investigation was launched into this matter by
the Regie de l'assurance maladie du Quebec.

Option Consommateurs sought to represent all Quebec residents
against nine manufacturers of medications, alleging the
"illegal" rebates increased the cost of private or public drug
insurance plans in Quebec.  In January, however, the Superior
Court of Quebec ruled that the "the authorization of class
action proceedings is not simply a rubber-stamp process which
invites the institution of proceedings grounded merely on
general and vague allegations and pure speculation," according
to the report.


OHIO: Testimony in Steubenville Traffic Camera Case is Complete
---------------------------------------------------------------
Final arguments were recently made in the controversial case
regarding Steubenville, Ohio's traffic cameras, wtov9.com
reports.

Steubenville attorney Gary Stern initially filed suit against
the city and Traffipax Inc., the company who supplied the
cameras, on behalf of his wife, who received one of the $85
tickets issued by a traffic camera.  The attorney argued that
the cameras are illegal and unconstitutional.

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

Earlier, Jefferson County Common Pleas Judge David E. Henderson
ordered the removal of speed cameras in Steubenville after a Mr.
Stern challenged the installation of the device in a class
action.  Mr. Stern, whose wife received two speed camera
citations in the mail, each bearing a $85 fine, said in the
lawsuit the city does not follow the terms of its own ordinance
which requires a 14-day notice before installing the cameras.  
Mr. Stern wants the $229,000 in fines already collected by the
city to be refunded, according to I-Newswire, (Class Action
Reporter, Feb. 15, 2006).

With the completion of final arguments, Judge David E. Henderson
will now decide if the city can continue using the traffic
cameras to issue citations, something that will impact hundreds
of drivers who received the automated traffic tickets.

In the courtroom, Mr. Stern questioned a representative from
Traffipax about the accuracy of the cameras, specifically how
often they are calibrated.  According to him, "They're basically
disregarding a certain constitutional right, and also frankly
doesn't even satisfy anybody knowing whether this equipment is
working, whether it's accurate, whether it's reliable," he said.

Traffipax did not give a specific answer of when or how those
cameras were calibrated.  The company and the city declined
comment.

On February 15, Jefferson County Judge David E. Henderson ruled
that a class action suit could proceed against the city of
Steubenville and Traffipax.  The judge said the case is not
about whether the cameras are good or bad, or whether or not
they actually slow drivers down.

The suit is styled, "April Stern v. The city of steubenville,
Ohio and Traffipax, Inc., Case No. 05 CV 524," filed in the
Court of Common Pleas of Jefferson County, Ohio, under Judge
David E. Henderson. Representing the Plaintiff is GARY M. STERN
of STERN, STERN & STERN CO., LPA, 108 South Fourth St.,
Steubenville, OH 43952, Phone: (740) 284-1211, Web site:
http://www.sternlawyer.com/complaint.htm.


OKLAHOMA: House Committee Approves HB3120 Lawsuit Reform Bill
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Oklahoma House of Representatives Judiciary Committee
approved House Bill 3120, the Common Sense in the Courtroom Act,
which was proposed by the House Republican leadership, The
Insurance Journal reports.

The bill will now go to the full House for a vote.  Speaker Todd
Hiett told The Insurance Journal that he expects the bill to win
easy passage when it comes before the full House, but passing
the Senate is key.  According to him, "Lawsuit reform is a major
step we must take to attract and keeping good jobs here."  He
adds, "While surrounding states have passed lawsuit reform,
we've fallen behind.  If we don't act, Oklahoma's hardworking
families will continue to pay the costs in more expensive
healthcare, lower wages and fewer job opportunities."

"For more than three years, meaningful lawsuit reform has been
blocked by powerful trial lawyers," echoes Rep. Fred Morgan (R-
Oklahoma City), chair of the House Judiciary Committee.  He
added, "We can only pass true lawsuit reform this year if Senate
Democrat leaders will work in a bipartisan fashion to move
Oklahoma forward."

According to Rep. Hiett, the Common Sense in the Courtroom Act
tackles five major areas of reform:

     (1) Summary judgments to avoid costly trials;

     (2) class action reforms; stopping the trial lawyer hunt
         for "deep pockets" by passing a true proportionate
         liability rule (joint and several liability reform);

     (3) medical liability reforms; and

     (4) common sense protections for business owners (such as
         preventing lawsuits over choice-based products like
         fast food).

The complete text of the bill is available through the Oklahoma
Legislature Web site: http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/2005-
06HB/HB3120_int.rtf or http://researcharchives.com/t/s?66a
(Draft).


P&O PACIFIC: Faces Threat of Suit Over Singapore Cruise Delays
--------------------------------------------------------------
Some P&O Pacific Sky passengers who were stranded on a trip to
Singapore are considering filing class action against the
shipping line, according to ABC News Online.

The cruise ship was stranded in Malacca Straights after leaving
port on Saturday due to engine problems.  Because of some
repairs, it bypassed two ports to recover lost traveling time.  
P&O says the 1,500 passengers will be given $350 in
compensation, according to the report.

In 2003, Carnival Corporation and P&O Princess Cruises plc
merged via a dual listed company structure, forming Carnival
plc.  Carnival -- http://www.carnivalcorp.com-- operates with  
12 cruise lines and almost 80 ships carrying about 6.8 million
passengers.


POULTRY INDUSTRY: Blue Green Suit Trial to Continue in September
----------------------------------------------------------------
Washington County Circuit Judge Kim Smith decided to continue a
case against poultry farms until September after disputes over
expert witnesses and sharing evidence delayed the suit, The
Morning News reports.

A suit filed by Michael Blu Green was originally scheduled for
trial April 3.  The case stems from allegations of about 50
families in Prairie Grove, Arkansas that chicken litter spread
on nearby fields caused health problems in the community.  

Judge Smith told parties in the case on March 4 to work out a
final scheduling order including specific cutoff dates for
exchanging evidence.  He ordered plaintiffs' attorney in January
to pay $1,000 for failing to comply with his November order to
answer questions in a timely manner.

According to the report, the various lawsuits over the
environmental problem include about 100 plaintiffs.  Defendants
include Alpharma, Alpharma Animal Health, Cal-Maine Farms,
Cargill, George's, Peterson, Simmons and Tyson Foods.  Judge
Smith ruled last year that the claims are too different to be
tried as a single class action.


PRAXAIR INC: Faces Consolidated Manganese Injury Suit in Ohio
-------------------------------------------------------------
Praxair, Inc. faces a consolidated class action filed in the
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, alleging
that exposure to manganese contained in welding fumes in company
facilities caused neurological injury.

As of June 30, 2005, the Company was a co-defendant with many
other companies in 1,538 lawsuits alleging personal injury
caused by manganese contained in welding fumes. The cases were
pending in state and federal courts in Alabama, Arkansas,
California, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri,
Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and West Virginia. There were a
total of 11,314 individual claimants in these cases.

Six of the cases are proposed statewide class actions seeking
medical monitoring on behalf of welders.  None of the class
actions have been certified.  All of the cases filed in or
removed to federal courts have been (or are in the process of
being) transferred by the Judicial Panel for Multidistrict
Litigation to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District
of Ohio for coordinated pretrial proceedings. The plaintiffs
seek unspecified compensatory and, in most instances, punitive
damages.

In the past, the Company has either been dismissed from the
cases with no payment or has settled a few cases for nominal
amounts.  In a disclosure to the Securities and Exchange
Commission, the Company said that it has never manufactured
welding consumables. Its predecessor company manufactured such
products prior to 1985.

The coordinated federal proceeding is styled, "Valdays v. A.O.
Smith Corporation, et al., Case No. 1:05-cv-18034-KMO," filed in
the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, under
Judge Kathleen M. O'Malley.  Representing the plaintiff/s are
Scott R. Bickford, Spencer R. Doody of Martzell & Bickford, 338
Lafayette Street, New Orleans, LA 70130, Phone: 504-581-9065,
Fax: 504-581-7635, E-mail: usdcndoh@mbfirm.com; and Sarah Ranier
Kearney, Brett M. Powers, Drew Ranier, of Ranier, Gayle &
Elliot, 1419 Ryan Street, P.O. Box 1890, Lake Charles, LA 70602-
1890, Phone: 337-494-7171, Fax: 337-494-7218, E-mail:
bp@brettpowers.com and dranier@rgelaw.com.  

Representing the Company are Celeste R. Coco-Ewing, Mark J.
Fernandez, Neely Sharp Griffith, Stephen H. Kupperman and
Richard E. Sarver of Barrasso Usdin Kupperman Freeman & Sarver,
1800 LL&E Tower, 909 Poydras Street, New Orleans, LA 70112,
Phone: 504-589-9725, Fax: 504-589-9925, E-mail:
ccoco-ewing@barrassousdin.com or rsarver@barrassousdin.com.


RECORD COMPANIES: Faces Allegations of 'Price Fixing' in Calif.
---------------------------------------------------------------
San Diego lawyer William Lerach has filed a complaint in federal
court accusing major music labels of fixing prices for Internet
music downloads and CDs, according to Red Herring.

The suit, filed in a federal court in San Francisco, California
names as defendants Sony BMG, Universal Music, Time Warner,
Bertelsmann, and EMI.  It alleged that the companies "conspired
to fix and maintain" music prices, and sought to shut down
online music pioneer Napster at the same they were introducing
their own joint ventures to sell online music, the report said.

The suit follows a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into
the pricing of online music and collusion among the major labels
on how songs are sold over the Internet.

For more information, contact William Lerach, Phone:
(619) 231-1058 or (800) 449-4900; E-mail: wsl@lerachlaw.com; On
the Net: http://www.lerachlaw.com/.


RIGHTSTAR HAWAII: Accounting Probe Spots $30M Gap in Trust Fund
---------------------------------------------------------------
Up to $30 million owed to about 50,000 purchasers of "pre-need"
funeral plans and cemetery plots in Hawaii is missing from trust
accounts of RightStar group of companies, according to Honolulu
Advertiser.

The missing amount was revealed at a recent court hearing in
relation to an attempt by the state to amend terms of a
foreclosure sale of RightStar's assets.  In 2004, Vestin
Mortgage files foreclosure lawsuit against RightStar, as the
state appoints Guido Giacometti as receiver to run day-to-day
operations of RightStar companies.

John Candon, an appointed official examining the RightStar
group's books, said in a preliminary review of the firm's
finances that Pre-Need Trusts have been routinely misused,
mismanaged and robbed by operators of RightStar companies.  Mr.
Candon was selected in May 2005 by state Circuit Judge Sabrina
McKenna to oversee a financial accounting of the trusts.  

In June 2005, a class action was launched against RightStar
Hawaii Management Inc., its officers and former trustees,
alleging that Hawaii's largest funeral services business
violated state law and their trust duties by withdrawing over $9
million from customer trust fund accounts since 2002,
TheHawaiiChannel.com reports (July 1, 2005).  The pre-need trust
accounts has 40,000 to 50,000 members.

State Rep. Scott Saiki, D-22nd (McCully, Pawa'a), is one of the
attorneys who filed the class action.  Two former RightStar
customers are named as plaintiffs in the suit, but Rep. Saiki
stated that an estimated 1,057 RightStar customers could have
been adversely affected by the companies' business practices.

RightStar -- http://www.rightstarhawaii.com/-- owns and  
operates Valley of the Temples on Oahu, Kona and Homelani
Memorial on the Big Island and Maui Memorial.  Among its
trustees is former Gov. John Waihee.


SONY BMG: EFF Campaigns to Facilitate Settlement in RootKit Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) recently set up a few
web sites to help the victims of Sony BMG's infamous rootkit CDs
clean their computers and get their fair share of a recent class
action settlement, The ARS Technica reports.

The Foundation is asking webmasters and bloggers to help spread
the word through a variety of banners.  It's the first time the
EFF has had reasons to run a campaign like this.

First, the EFF was a party to the lawsuit itself, and their
action directly brought a public settlement or opportunity for
restitution.  Making the ordinary consumer aware that his
favorite CD may have infected his PC, and that he is entitled to
some cash and/or free music is not only a nice humanitarian move
on the EFF's part, but also good PR.  There are security
implications to using the affected products, which means that
the Internet as a whole gets a little healthier for every
patched rootkit.

According to EFF Staff Attorney Corynne McSherry, "In this case,
there isn't a complete record of everyone who bought (or was
given) an XCP or MediaMax CD, and all of those folks may have a
security risk on their computers."  Ms. McSherry also said in
the e-mail to the Orbiting HQ, "So it's important to get the
word out in as many ways as possible, to as many people as
possible.  Besides, EFF has a unique platform as a public
interest advocate.  We're happy to use that platform to let
music fans know that they can finally get what they thought they
were buying in the first place--music that will play on their
computers without restriction or security risk."

EFF and its co-counsel, Green and Welling; Lerach, Coughlin,
Stoia, Geller, Ruchman and Robbins, and the Law Offices of
Lawrence E. Feldman and Associates, along with a coalition of
other plaintiffs' class action counsel, reached the settlement
after negotiations with the Company.

One of the suits affected by the settlement was filed back in
November against Sony BMG and First4Internet, the British
Company that produced the anti-piracy software.  The suit, which
could potentially include consumers in all 50 states, was filed
in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New
York. The suit's two named plaintiffs are, James Michaelson from
Illinois and an Ori Edelstein from New Jersey, who are both
represented by New York attorney Scott Kamber.  The suit claims,
"To date, over 3 million copies of XCP encoded disks have been
sold. It is probable that millions of consumers have played
these discs on their PC's and thus compromised their systems
without knowing it," (Class Action Reporter, Nov. 16, 2005).  

Although billed by the Company as common digital rights
management (DRM) software that is just for copy protection, it
is really much more.  The "XCP" software utilizes "rootkit"
technology that hides the software from users.  The software
creates a security risk for personal computers, potentially
allowing hackers to hide damaging programs in computers that
contain the Company's disguised software.  

The software also secretly communicates with Sony's servers and
can be used to send information back to the users' media player
programs.  The Sunncomm MediaMax software used on some CDs
actually installs itself before the user is asked to agree to
the terms of installation.  For both XCP and MediaMax software,
the terms of the EULA are asserted to be improper and without
the proper disclosures for what is actually occurring when a
user clicks on the button to "Agree" to its terms, (Class Action
Reporter, Nov. 16, 2005).

What a consumer receives under the settlement depends on what
version of the botched DRM they were affected by.  If it was
MediaMax 3.0 (check your CD insert), they're good for free
downloads of the music that he/she bought to begin with.  
MediaMax 5.0 gives the consumer that, plus one free album
download from iTunes, Wal-Mart, FYE, or CONNECT Music.  XCP
protection means that the consumer will get the free download, a
replacement, DRM-free disc, and his/her choice of either $7.50
plus one free album download from one of the services mentioned
above, or no cash and three albums.

In return, the consumer must submit a proof of purchase, but if
he/she lost the original receipt, they still do have other
options.  Ms. McSherry explains, "There are a variety of proofs
you can submit.  For MediaMax, for example, if you don't have a
copy of the receipt, you can submit the CD itself, the original
UPC symbol cut out of the album artwork, a copy of a credit card
or bank statement reflecting your purchase, or a copy of a
cancelled check reflecting your purchase."  

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

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

To submit claim, visit: http://www.eff.org/sony;for litigation  
documents and frequently asked questions:
http://www.eff.org/IP/DRM/Sony-BMG/


SSC INC: Recalls UV-Protected Infant Seats for Shopping Carts
-------------------------------------------------------------
SSC Inc. of Fairfield, New Jersey, in cooperation with the U.S.
Consumer Product Safety Commission, recalled 4,000 safe-seat
plus model infant seats for shopping carts.  

The company said these seats may have a white chalky powder or
residue on their surface.  It is the UV Absorber that has
separated from the seat due to a molding defect that affected
some seats produced in one or more molding runs.  This could
cause skin irritation to children who come into contact with the
residue.  No injuries have been reported.

The products are gray or red infant seats that are permanently
attached to shopping carts in retail stores.  "SAFE-SEAT +" is
molded into the side of these seats.  A metal tube around the
frame of the seat attaches it to the shopping cart.

The products are made in the U.S., and sold by SSC Inc.
nationwide to grocery stores and other retail stores that
provide shopping carts for consumer use.  Units sold from June
2005 through December 2005.

Customers who notice chalky white residue in the seats are
advised to remove them from consumer use immediately and call
SSC Inc. to arrange for free replacement seats.

Picture of the recalled product:

http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml06/06532a.jpg
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml06/06532b.jpg

Consumer Contact: SSC Inc., Phone: (800) 448-8945 (toll free)
between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. ET Monday through Friday: On the
Net: http://www.seatreplacement.com.


TRANSKARYOTIC THERAPIES: Mass. Court Okays Class in Stock Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Transkaryotic Therapies Inc. (TKT) said that the U.S. District
Court for the District of Massachusetts granted plaintiff's
motion for class certification in the consolidated securities
class action styled, "In re Transkaryotic Therapies, Inc.,
Securities Litigation, C.A. No. 03-10165-RWZ."  

In January and February 2003, various parties filed purported
class actions against TKT, which was acquired by Shire, PLC, on
July 27, 2005, and Richard Selden, TKT's former Chief Executive
Officer, in the U.S. District Court for the District of
Massachusetts.  

The complaints generally allege securities fraud during the
period from January 2001 through January 2003.  Each of the
complaints asserts claims under Section 10(b) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, and
Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act, and alleges that TKT and its
officers made false and misleading statements and failed to
disclose material information concerning the status and progress
for obtaining U.S. marketing approval of TKT's REPLAGAL product
to treat Fabry disease during that period.

In March 2003, various plaintiffs filed motions to consolidate,
to appoint lead plaintiff, and to approve plaintiffs' selections
of lead plaintiffs' counsel.  In April 2003, various plaintiffs
filed a Joint Stipulation and Proposed Order of Lead Plaintiff
Applicants to Consolidate Actions, to Appoint Lead Plaintiffs
and to Approve Lead Plaintiffs' Selection of Lead Counsel,
Executive Committee and Liaison Counsel.  

Also, in April 2003, the Court endorsed the Proposed Order,
thereby consolidating the various matters under one matter: "In
re Transkaryotic Therapies, Inc., Securities Litigation, C.A.
No. 03-10165-RWZ."

In July 2003, the plaintiffs filed a Consolidated and Amended
Class Action Complaint against:

     (1) TKT;

     (2) Dr. Selden;

     (3) Daniel Geffken, TKT's former Chief Financial Officer;

     (4) Walter Gilbert, Jonathan S. Leff, Rodman W. Moorhead,
         III, and Wayne P. Yetter, then members of TKT's board
         of directors;

     (5) William R. Miller and James E. Thomas, former members
         of TKT's board of directors; and

     (6) SG Cowen Securities Corporation, Deutsche Bank
         Securities Inc., Pacific Growth Equities, Inc. and
         Leerink Swann;

Company, underwriters of TKT's common stock in prior public
offerings.

The Amended Complaint alleges securities fraud during the period
from January 4, 2001 through January 10, 2003.  The Amended
Complaint alleges that the defendants made false and misleading
statements and failed to disclose material information
concerning the status and progress for obtaining U.S. marketing
approval of REPLAGAL during that period.  

The Amended Complaint asserts claims against Dr. Selden and TKT
under Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder; and against Dr. Selden under Section
20(a) of the Exchange Act.  The Amended Complaint also asserts
claims based on TKT's public offerings of June 29, 2001,
December 18, 2001 and December 26, 2001 against:

     (1) each of the defendants under Section 11 of the
         Securities Act of 1933 and against Dr. Selden under
         Section 15 of the Securities Act; and

     (2) against SG Cowen Securities Corporation, Deutsche Bank
         Securities Inc., Pacific Growth Equities, Inc., and
         Leerink Swann & Company under Section 12(a)(2) of the
         Securities Act.  

The plaintiffs seek equitable and monetary relief, an
unspecified amount of damages, with interest, and attorneys'
fees and costs.

In September 2003, TKT filed a motion to dismiss the Amended
Complaint. A hearing of the motion occurred in December 2003. In
May 2004, the U.S. District Court for the District of
Massachusetts issued a Memorandum of Decision and Order denying
in part and granting in part TKT's motion to dismiss the
purported class action.

In the Memorandum, the Court found several allegations against
TKT arose out of forward-looking statements protected by the
"safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation
Reform Act of 1995 (PSLRA).  The Court dismissed those
statements as falling within the PSLRA's safe harbor provisions.  
The Court also dismissed claims based on the public offerings of
June 29, 2001 and December 18, 2001 because no plaintiff had
standing to bring such claims.  The Court allowed all other
allegations to remain.

In June 2004, TKT submitted an unopposed motion seeking
clarification from the Court that the Memorandum dismissed
claims based on the first two offerings as to all defendants.
The Court granted the motion.  In July 2004, the plaintiffs
voluntarily dismissed all claims based on the third offering
because no plaintiff had standing to bring such claims.  

The plaintiffs subsequently filed a motion seeking permission to
notify certain TKT investors of the dismissal of the claims
based on the offerings, and to inform those investors of their
opportunity to intervene in the lawsuit.  TKT filed an
opposition to this motion in July 2004.  A hearing on this
motion was held in September 2004.  The Court denied this
motion. TKT filed an answer to the Amended Complaint in July
2004.  The plaintiffs then filed a motion for class
certification in July 2004.  

TKT filed an opposition to this motion in March 2005, and the
plaintiffs filed a reply in April 2005.  A hearing on class
certification was held in April 2005.  Following that hearing,
TKT filed a supplemental brief in opposition to the motion for
class certification and the plaintiffs filed a supplemental
brief in support of the motion.  In November 2005, the court
granted the plaintiffs' motion for class certification.  

The suit is styled, "In re Transkaryotic Therapies, Inc.,
Securities Litigation, C.A. No. 03-10165-RWZ," filed in the U.S.
District Court for the District of Massachusetts under Judge Rya
W. Zobel.  Representing the plaintiff/s are, Lauren Antonino of
Chitwood & Harley, 2900 Promenade II, 1230 Peachtree Suite NE,
Atlanta, GA 30309, Phone: 404-873-3900; and Paul J. Geller of
Cauley Geller Bowman & Rudman, LLP, 197 S. Federal Highway,
Suite 200, Boca Raton, FL 33432, Phone: 561-750-3000, Fax: 561-
750-3364.  

Representing the defendant/s are, Michael G. Bongiorno of Wilmer
Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, LLP, 60 State Street, Boston, MA
02115, Phone: 617-526-6145, Fax: 617-526-5000, E-mail:
michael.bongiorno@wilmerhale.com; and Michael K. Fee of Ropes &
Gray, LLP, One International Place, Boston, MA 02110, Phone:
617-951-7000, Fax: 617-951-7050, E-mail: MFEE@ropesgray.com.


UNITED STATES: D.C. Court Affirms Dismissal of Gender Bias Case
---------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
reaffirmed the dismissal by the U.S. District Court for the
District of Columbia of the gender discrimination class action
styled, "Love v. Johanns, Case No. 00cv02502," according to
Robert Loblaw of http://appellatedecisions.blogspot.com/.

Back in 1999, the U.S. Department of Agriculture settled a
massive class action suit filed by African-American farmers,
known as the Pigford case.  The USDA gives local farmer
committees the authority to approve federal loans and
assistance, and the plaintiffs in Pigford alleged that the local
committees disproportionately delayed or denied the applications
of minorities.  In the current class action, female farmers are
piggybacking on Pigford's success by alleging that the local
committees are also discriminating based on gender.

The plaintiffs are Rosemary Love and nine other female farmers,
who are claiming on behalf of themselves and "not less than
3,000" similarly-situated women, that the USDA discriminatorily
administered its lending programs, and that the Department
failed to process and properly investigate women's
discrimination complaints over the last quarter-century.  

The District Court denied class certification, and just recently
the D.C. Circuit affirmed that decision.  The Court explains
that the District Court did not abuse its discretion in finding
that the plaintiffs' evidence of commonality was not sufficient,
even though the Court might have also upheld class certification
on the same evidence.  On the plaintiffs' claim that the USDA
failed to investigate their discrimination complaints, the Court
finds that the record is not sufficiently developed to affirm
the district court's dismissal.  Thus, it remands for further
development the plaintiffs' Administrative Procedure Act claim.

The suit is now styled, "LOVE et al. v. VENEMAN, Case No. 1:00-
cv-02502-JR," filed in the U.S. District Court for the District
of Columbia under Judge James Robertson.  Representing the
plaintiff/s are:

     (1) Rebecca S. Behravesh, Kristine J. Dunne and Marc L.
         Fleischaker of Arent Fox Kintner Plotkin & Kahn, PLLC,
         1050 Connecticut Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20036-5339,
         Phone: (202) 857-6281, (202) 857-6385 and (202) 857-
         6053, Fax: (202) 857-6395 and (202) 342-5108, E-mail:
         dunnek@arentfox.com, behravesh.rebecca@arentfox.com and
         fleischm@arentfox.com;

     (2) Phillip L. Fraas, 3050 K Street, NW, Suite 400,
         Washington, DC 20007, Phone: (202) 342-8864, E-mail:
         philfraas@aol.com;

     (3) Susan E. Huhta of Washington Lawyers' Committee for
         Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, 11 Dupont Circle, NW,
         Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036, Phone: (202) 319-1000,
         Fax: (202) 319-1010, E-mail: sue_huhta@washlaw.org; and

     (4) Alexander John Pires, Jr. of CONLON, FRANTZ, PHELAN &
         PIRES, 1818 N. Street, NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC
         20036, Phone: (202) 331-7050, Fax: (202) 331-9306, E-
         mail: IH@cfppllaw.com.
   
Representing the defendant/s are, Joshua Z. Rabinovitz of U.S.
Department of Justice, Civil Division, 20 Massachusetts Avenue,
NW, Washington, DC 20001, Phone: (202) 353-7633, Fax: (202) 616-
8202, E-mail: joshua.rabinovitz@usdoj.gov.

For more details visit: http://researcharchives.com/t/s?654
(Love Opinion) and http://researcharchives.com/t/s?653(Pigford  
Overview).


UNITED STATES: NERA Research Recommends Disclosing Risks Early
--------------------------------------------------------------
A new study suggests that revealing the possibility of bad news
before it becomes a certainty can mitigate damages in the event
of a securities class-action lawsuit, according to David M. Katz
of CFO.com.

In addition, according to the study, which was done by a senior
vice president at New York-based NERA Economic Consulting, doing
this can also guide senior finance executives in assessing the
legal risks that their companies would face should they be
forced to restate financial results.
  
In his working paper, "Risk Disclosures and Damages Measurement
in Securities Fraud Cases," David Tabak pointed out that those
risks could arise when a company discloses an omission or
misrepresentation of material information later than it might
have.  He suggests that if plaintiffs in a securities class-
action lawsuit prove that tardy disclosure caused them to lose
money, the damages they collect could well be higher.

Indeed, those legal risks appear to be on the rise, triggered by
the current surge in restatements.  According to shareholder
advisory firm Glass, Lewis & Co., 971 public companies restated
their earnings in the first 10 months of 2005 compared with 619
in all of 2004, USA Today reported late last year.

Given the increasing potential for shareholder lawsuits, Mr.
Tabak believes that top managers should give greater weight to
the option of revealing the possibility of bad news before it
becomes a certainty.  The realization of such perils as an
adverse interest-rate movement, a product failure, or an
impending government probe "could easily lead to a large decline
in a company's stock price" - a greater decline, he asserts,
than what would have occurred earlier if the company had merely
disclosed the probability that an event would take place.

That reasoning, according to Mr. Tabak figures prominently in
the damages assessment of a securities-fraud case.  Courts begin
that assessment by gauging "the artificial inflation" of the
company share price over its "true value."  He noted that the
true value is what "the price would be if defendants corrected
any previous misrepresentations or unlawful omissions of
information."

In other words, a company that makes such a disclosure would
enable the market to factor the risk into the company's share
price.  At the time of the disclosure, since there would be
little or no artificial share-price inflation, the company would
have little or no liability.

On the other hand, a company that fails to make such a
disclosure, or that spreads disinformation, would not allow the
market to take the risk into account, and investors might pay
too much for their shares.  Later, once the misrepresentation is
revealed and the share price drops, those investors might very
well sue to recover their financial loss.

Risks do not always turn into reality, of course.  A company
might make a disclosure and experience some decline in its share
price, later, when the possible bad news hasn't come to pass,
managers might rue that the share price took a hit.  However,
such regret might be a small price to pay for knowing that a
shareholder suit isn't in the works.

For more details, visit: http://researcharchives.com/t/s?656
(NERA Study).


USF CORPORATION: Penn. Judge Okays $7M Settlement with Workers
--------------------------------------------------------------
The regional director of the National Labor Relations Board
found USF Corp. in complete compliance with law when it closed
its Red Star division after a brief strike in Philadelphia in
2004.

Dorothy L. Moore-Duncan wrote in her decision recently that
USF's closure was justified by legitimate concerns over future
loses resulting from a May 21 shutdown of operations, The
Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Robert F. O'Brien of Cherry Hill alleged in an unfair-labor
complaint in 2004 that the closure was in retaliation for the
strike.  Workers staged a strike against the company after it
refused to allow office members to join the International
Brotherhood of Teamsters.

In January, a federal judge in Philadelphia approved a $7
million settlement to 1,700 union employees in a related class
action over closure warnings.  USF Corp., of Chicago, is now
owned by YRC Worldwide Inc., of Overland Park, Kansas.

In 2005, USF faced several class actions filed in Pennsylvania
and New York federal courts, alleging violations of the federal
Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) (Class
Action Reporter, Dec. 21, 2005).

On November 19, 2004, the Teamsters National Freight Industry
Negotiating Committee (TNFINC) filed a complaint against the
Company, USF Red Star Inc. and USF Holland Inc. in the United
States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  
In connection with the shut down of USF Red Star, the Teamsters
claimed certain violations of the National Labor Relations Act
(the NLRA), alleging (among other things) that the shut down was
in breach of USF Red Star's labor contract.  The Teamsters asked
for unspecified damages.  On January 13, 2005, service of
process was effectuated on all three USF defendants.  TNFINC
alleges certain violations of the National Labor Relations Act
and asks for damages.

                       WARN Class Actions

Additionally, the Teamsters filed a class action suit on behalf
of the employees of USF Red Star alleging violations of the
federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (Act),
seeking 60 days back compensation for USF Red Star employees due
to allegedly shutting down USF Red Star without adequate notice
under the WARN Act.  The Teamsters also requested the National
Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to issue a complaint against USF,
USF Red Star and USF Holland for allegedly unfair labor
practices for these same allegations.

Including the Teamsters WARN action mentioned above, either or
both of USF or USF Red Star are currently named in five class
actions alleging violations of the federal WARN Act.  These
suits have been consolidated into one action in the U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  The
plaintiffs in these suits are seeking 60 days back compensation
for USF Red Star employees due to allegedly shutting down Red
Star without adequate notice under the WARN Act.

USF Red Star sued the Teamsters in connection with their strike
on USF Red Star in the Northern District of New York, alleging
that the strike was in breach of Teamsters' labor contract and
that the strike was illegal secondary conduct under the NLRA,
intending to pressure USF Dugan to allow organizing efforts at
USF Dugan to succeed.  USF Red Star sought unspecified damages
from the Teamsters in connection with this lawsuit.

The Teamsters, the Company, USF Holland, USF Red Star and the
WARN class action plaintiffs have tentatively settled all of
these disputes arising out of the USF Red Star shutdown.  
Pursuant to the tentative settlement, USF Red Star would pay the
WARN Act plaintiffs $7 million; the WARN Act plaintiffs would
release USF Red Star, USF Holland and USF from any further
liability; the unfair labor practice charges before the NLRB
would be withdrawn; and certain related labor grievances would
be settled. The tentative settlement is subject to final
approval of the court.

The suit is styled "In Re: USF Red Star Inc. Worker Notification
Litigation, case no. 2:05-md-01655-PBT," filed in the U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, under
Judge Petrese B. Tucker.  Representing the Company are Steven
Brenneman and Craig R. Thorstenson, Matkov Salzman, 55 East
Monroe St., Suite 2900, Chicago IL 60603, Phone: 312-332-0777,
E-mail: brenneman@matkovsalzman.com or
thorstenson@matkovsalzman.com; and Nicholas N. Price, Schnader
Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP, 1600 Market St., Ste 3600,
Philadelphia PA 19103, Phone: 215-751-2196, Fax: 215-751-2205.  
Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (1) Charles A. Ercole, Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzburg &
         Ellers LLP, 260 South Broad Street, 4th Floor,
         Philadelphia, PA 19102, Phone: 215-569-4282, Fax: 215-
         568-6603, E-mail: cercole@klehr.com

     (2) Thomas Herman Kohn, Markowitz & Richman, 121 S. Broad
         street, suite 1100, Philadelphia, PA 19107, Phone: 215-
         875-3129, E-mail: tkohn@markowitzandrichman.com

     (3) JAMES A. Mc CALL, International Brotherhood of
         Teamsters, Special Counsel, 25 Louisiana Avenue, NW,
         Washington, DC 20001

     (4) Robert F. O'Brien, O'Brien Belland & Burshinsky, LLC
         2111 New Road, Suite 101, Northfield, NJ 08225, Phone:
         609-677-7930

     (5) Raymond M. Pfeiffer, 70 Niagara St., Suite 500,
         Buffalo, NY 14202, Phone: 716-847-0003, E-mail:
         willett_2@msn.com

     (6) Richard T. Sponzo, Attorney General's Office Labor
         Relations, 55 Elm Street, P.O. Box 120, Hartford, CT
         06101, Phone: 860-808-5050, E-mail:
         richard.sponzo@po.state.ct.us   


VOLKSWAGEN OF AMERICA: Berry Case Remanded to Miss. State Court
---------------------------------------------------------------
A federal judge from the Western District of Missouri remanded
the class action, styled, "Berry v. Volkswagen of America, Inc.,
No. 05-1158," back to state court, according to McGlinchey
Stafford of http://www.cafalawblog.com.   

On January 20, 2005, almost a month prior to the effective date
of the Class Action Fairness Act, Darren Berry filed this action
in Missouri state court, seeking certification of two classes: a
nationwide class, and a second class consisting only of citizens
of Missouri.  

In both classes, Mr. Berry alleged that the Company engaged in
active concealment in connection with the marketing and sale of
automobiles with "defective window regulators."  He also
asserted a second claim under the Missouri Merchandising
Practices Act on behalf of the state class only.  On October 20,
2005, the plaintiff amended his petition adding to the fray an
additional named plaintiff as a class representative and a
number of California citizens as additional plaintiffs in the
nationwide class definition.  On November 18, 2005, the Company
removed the action to federal court, alleging that the amended
petition and addition of plaintiffs commenced a new action for
the purposes of CAFA.

District Judge Ortrie D. Smith was quick off the line as to when
an amendment relates back to the original complaint, "Whenever
the claim or defense asserted in the amended pleading arises
from the conduct, transaction, or occurrence set forth or
attempted to be set forth in the original pleading, the
amendment related back to the date of the original pleading."  
In addition, Judge Smith also relied heavily on the Eighth
Circuit's recent holding in "Plubell v. Merck & Co.," in which
the court held that substituting a new class representative does
not necessarily commence a new action under CAFA.  Moreover, if
a defendant "knew or should have known that it would be required
to defend against claims asserted by the newly-added plaintiff,"
then the amended petition will relate back to the original
filing.

In an effort to distinguish "Plubell," the Company argued that
it was impossible to know that the class membership would be
amended to include thousands of plaintiffs from California, a
seemingly logical argument.  However, that argument did not hold
when Judge Smith countered that the number of added plaintiffs
was of no importance to a relation-back determination, deciding
instead that the focus of the relation-back inquiry should be
whether the amended petition asserted any new claims of which
the defendant did not have notice of at the time of the original
filing.  

Judge Smith also noted that the Company itself had argued that
the same nationwide warranty claims were made in a 2004
California putative class action, so Volkswagen had prior notice
that it might have to defend those claims.  Finding further that
the new petition asserted no new claims, but rather, asserted
the exact claims as the original complaint, the court held that
the amended petition related back to the pre-CAFA filing date,
thus precluding the application of CAFA.

In conclusion, Judge Smith wrecked the Company's alternative
argument that supplemental jurisdiction provided federal
jurisdiction for the claims under "Exxon v. Allapattah," and
remanded the case back to Missouri state court.

The suit is styled, "Berry v. Volkswagen of America, Inc., Case
No. 4:05-cv-01158-ODS," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Western District of Missouri under Judge Ortrie D. Smith.  
Representing the plaintiff/s are, Todd Eugene Hilton, Norman Eli
Siegel and Patrick J. Stueve of Stueve, Siegel, Hanson, Woody,
LLP, 330 West 47th Street, Suite 250, Kansas City, MO 64112,
Phone: (816) 714-7118, (816) 714-7112 and (816) 714-7110, Fax:
(816) 714-7101, E-mail: hilton@sshwlaw.com, siegel@sshwlaw.com
and stueve@sshwlaw.com.

Representing the defendant/s are, John W. Cowden, David M.
Eisenberg and Gregory J. Pals of Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice,
LLP, Suite 500, 2400 Pershing Road, Kansas City, MO 64108-2504,
Phone: 816-471-2121, (816) 448-9343, Fax: 816-472-0288, E-mail:
Cowden@bscr-law.com, eisenberg@bscr-law.com and pals@bscr-
law.com.

For more details, visit: http://researcharchives.com/t/s?49c
(Berry Opinion), http://researcharchives.com/t/s?4f6(Plubell  
Opinion, 8th Cir.), http://researcharchives.com/t/s?65e("Exxon  
v. Allapattah").


WESTLAND DEVELOPMENT: Investors Object to Sale of Firm, Property
----------------------------------------------------------------
Westland Development Corp. in Albuquerque, New Mexico is facing
a lawsuit over its plan to sell the company and its West Side
property, according to Albuquerque Journal.

The suit was filed in state District Court by Maria Elena Rael
on March 2.  Representing Ms. Rael is:

     Nicholas Koluncich, III
     6804 Fourth St. N.W.
     Albuquerque, New Mexico
     (Bernalillo Co.)

Mr. Koluncich, who represents about a dozen Westland
stockholders, is also acting for Rachel Stubbs, who filed a suit
against the company on Feb. 21.  He said the suits are part of a
larger class action against the firm.  It claims that nine
Westland executives and board members agreed to sell the company
and its 55,000 acres property for monetary proceeds.  The
company's board is selling the company to Sedora Holdings, a
Nevada-based development company for $255 a share plus $1
million each year for the next 100 years to buy Westland.  This
was after similar talks with ANM Holdings fell through.

The suit is seeking:

     (1) to invalidate the ANM and Sedora agreements;

     (2) damages;

     (3) the creation of a cultural heritage committee to pass
         on the area's history and legacy.

Shareholders controlling more than 67% of Westland's 829,927
shares are still to approve the deal.

Westland is also facing a class action threat from Concerned
Heirs of Atrisco, who become heirs of the property under a 1967
state law.  


WESTPOINT CORPORATION: IMF Contributes $15M to Mulled Lawsuit
-------------------------------------------------------------
A planned class action by investors against the failed Westpoint
Corp. was given a $15 million funding boost, The Sunday Times
reports.

Perth, Australia-based litigation funding group IMF put up $15
million to fund legal action by law firm Slater and Gordon
against the failed property development group.  The Westpoint
collapse is the largest of its type in recent years, with small
investors being the biggest group affected, Slater and Gordon
lawyer Rob Lees told The Sunday Times.

According to Mr. Lees, with 4000 people losing a total of more
than $300 million, ordinary investors were lining up in droves
to take part in the lawsuit.  He added that the sums people lost
ranged from $50,000 to more than a million dollars.

Mr. Lees also told The Sunday Times that he believes more than
2000 people could join the case against the Perth-based company,
since according to him, "I have not seen anything on this scale
before."  He added, "I doubt whether Australia has ever seen
anything of this scale involving, if you like, mums and dads
investors.  The sheer amount of money lost is staggering."

Between 700 and 800 Westpoint clients contacted Slater and
Gordon in the past six weeks and others were still contacting
them on a daily basis, according to Mr. Lees.  

Investors also were contacting the litigation funder in large
numbers, consumer advocate, and IMF spokeswoman Denise Brailey
told The Sunday Times.  "People simply have nowhere else to go,"
she pointed out, adding, "They are working out things for
themselves, they are looking at two or three options and
realizing the IMF model is possibly the only way to go at this
stage."  She adds, "So we are getting an enormous response
around Australia."

Ms. Brailey also told The Sunday Times that the legal action
would be complex.  She explains, "It is complex in the fact that
we are talking about ... investors that are in every state in
Australia, a couple of those people are over overseas."  The IMF
spokeswoman added, "We are talking about seven jurisdiction and
we are talking about 140 planning firms and rising."

Mr. Lees told The Sunday Times that it would take time to work
out what legal action would be taken, but it was likely the
first targets would be financial planners and advisers, adding,
"We will only take action if we believe there is a strong
prospect of being successful."  It was impossible to put a time
frame on how long the legal action would take, according to him.


WILD OATS: Canadian Court Okays Settlement of Hepatitis A Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
A Canadian subsidiary of Wild Oats Markets, Inc. reached a
settlement for the class action styled,  "Helen Fakhri and Ady
Aylon, as Representative Plaintiffs v. Alfalfa's Canada, Inc."  

Wild Oats Markets Canada, Inc., as successor to Alfalfa's
Canada, Inc., was named as a defendant in the suit.  The class
action, which seeks monetary damages, was brought in the Supreme
Court of British Columbia, Canada by the representative
plaintiffs on behalf of two groups of claimants: those who claim
to have contracted Hepatitis A allegedly through the consumption
of food purchased at a Capers Community Market in the spring of
2002, and those who were inoculated against Hepatitis A in March
and April, 2002, after handling and/or consuming food products
from Capers that were or might have been contaminated with
Hepatitis A.

In July 2005, the Court approved a settlement agreement pursuant
to which plaintiffs submitted proof of claim received, at their
election, either cash or a gift card, redeemable at our Canadian
stores, in amounts determined by classification of the claimant
within one of three separate categories.  The Company exhausted
its deductible, and its insurers have provided coverage for
excess defense and administrative costs and settlement
liability.


WYETH INC: Goldstein Howe Seeks High Court Review of Clark Case
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm Goldstein & Howe, PC, filed a petition for writ of
certiorari with the Supreme Court of the U.S. to review the
judgment of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in
the case, styled, "Clara Clark v. Wyeth, Inc.," according to Amy
Howe of http://www.scotusblog.com/.

Plaintiffs in the case are individuals who brought state law
tort claims against the Company based on injuries they suffered
from taking the diet-drug combination "fen-phen."  They
contended that their claims were not precluded by a prior
nationwide settlement of fen-phen-related litigation, since they
had received constitutionally inadequate representation in the
negotiations that produced that settlement.  

The Third Circuit held as a matter of law that absent class
members are forbidden from collaterally attacking a settlement
when the district judge previously considered the adequacy of
representation.  The court of appeals acknowledged a direct
conflict between its decision and "Stephenson v. Dow Chemical
Co., 273 F.3d 249 (CA2 2001), aff'd by an equally divided Court,
539 U.S. 111 (2003).

Court documents revealed that the Clara Clark, et al. are former
users of "fen-phen," a combination of drugs that, until
withdrawn from the market, was widely prescribed for weight
loss.  Studies have revealed that fen-phen causes a variety of
medical conditions, ranging from relatively minor health
concerns to fatal heart disease.  Many of the conditions are
asymptomatic and can be discovered only through medical testing.

When plaintiffs learned that they had contracted illnesses
associated with fen-phen, they sought to sue the Company for
damages.  In response, the Company contended that their claims
were precluded by an earlier nationwide settlement of fen-phen-
related litigation.  With respect to some plaintiffs, the
settlement purports to limit their right to sue; with respect to
other petitioners, the settlement purports to extinguish their
claims altogether, leaving them with no remedy at all.

For more details, Thomas C. Goldstein, Amy Howe and Kevin K.
Russell of GOLDSTEIN & HOWE, P.C., 4607 Asbury Pl., NW
Washington, DC 20016, Phone: (202) 237-7543 and (202) 237-7594,
Fax: (202) 237-7542, Web site: http://www.goldsteinhowe.com/and  
http://researcharchives.com/t/s?65f(Supreme Court Petition).


                New Securities Fraud Cases


COOPER CO: Smith & Smith Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in Calif.
---------------------------------------------------------------
Smith & Smith, LLP, initiated a securities class action on
behalf of shareholders who purchased securities of The Cooper
Companies, Inc. (NYSE:COO) between July 29, 2004 and November
21, 2005, inclusive, including those who received Cooper shares
through its acquisition of Ocular Sciences, Inc.

The class action was filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Central District of California.  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 business and financial
performance, thereby artificially inflating the price of Cooper
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.  


GRAFTECH INT'L: Marc Henzel Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in Del.
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Marc S. Henzel initiated a class action in  
Delaware Federal Court on behalf of purchasers of GrafTech
International Ltd. (NYSE: GTI) securities from November 3, 2005,
through February 8, 2006, inclusive.

GrafTech provides synthetic and natural graphite and carbon-
based products, as well as technical and R&D services.  Its
synthetic graphite products include: graphite electrodes,
cathodes, and advanced synthetic graphite products.  The
complaint charges GrafTech and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934.

The complaint alleges defendants made materially false and
misleading statements regarding the Company's business
prospects, which served to artificially inflate the price of the
Company's securities.  Specifically, defendants knew and
concealed that:

     (1) pricing power for the Company's graphite electrode
         products was nonexistent, particularly in the European
         markets;

     (2) announced cost-cutting measures were insufficient to
         improve the Company's bottom line;

     (3) contraction in the non-graphite market was contributing
         to the Company's financial woes;

     (4) the Company was unable to accurately forecast growth
         and report guidance; and

     (5) the Company's inability to determine the required
         extent of its restructuring activities and charges
         necessary to counter the costs of its staggering debt
         and loss of pricing power grossly understated the true
         costs the Company would incur in restructuring.

On February 8, 2006, GrafTech revealed the truth about its
business prospects.  As a result, the price of GrafTech shares
plunged 37.0%, on unusually high volume, falling from $7.31 per
share on February 8, 2006 to $4.60 per share on February 9,
2006, for a one-day drop of $2.71 per share, on volume of 9.8
million shares, nearly twelve times the average daily 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:
http://members.aol.com/mhenzel182.


OMNICARE INC: Marc S. Henzel Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in Ky.
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Marc S. Henzel initiated a class action in
the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky on
behalf of purchasers of Omnicare, Inc. (NYSE: OCR) publicly
traded securities during the period between August 3, 2005 and
January 27, 2006.

The complaint charges Omnicare and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934. Omnicare provides pharmaceutical care for elderly people
primarily in the U.S. and Canada.

The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants
made false and misleading statements regarding the Company's
business and prospects.  As a result of these false statements,
Omnicare stock traded at inflated levels during the Class
Period, trading as high as $61.85 per share, and the Company was
able to complete offerings of more than $2.5 billion worth of
securities.

On January 30, 2006, Associated Press reported that on January
27, 2006, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Michigan
attorney general's office raided Omnicare's offices in Livonia
and other cities.  On this news, an analyst with Stifel Nicolaus
downgraded the stock due to his concerns regarding the raid and
the potential for further raids on the Company's offices.  In
response, on January 30, 2006, Omnicare shares fell $5.09 to
$49.96 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

According to the complaint, the true facts, which were known by
each of the defendants but concealed from the investing public
during the Class Period, were as follows:

     (1) the Company was artificially inflating its earnings by
         engaging in improper generic drug substitution;

     (2) the Company was not in compliance with Medicare laws;

     (3) the implementation of the Medicare Part D Plan had
         dramatically increased the Company's costs and
         increased the number of rejected Medicare claims to
         nearly 40%;

     (4) the Company was not "well-positioned to add value under
         the new Medicare Part D" Plan, but rather, the Company
         lacked adequate staff and internal compliance controls
         to ensure the Company could benefit from the new plan
         and instead, the Part D Plan wreaked havoc on the
         Company's business model, sending costs, rejection
         rates and receivables far higher than shareholders were
         led to believe.

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:
http://members.aol.com/mhenzel182.


PROQUEST CO: Smith & Smith Sets April 11 Lead Plaintiff Deadline
----------------------------------------------------------------
Smith & Smith, LLP, set an April 11, 2006, deadline to move to
be a lead plaintiff in the securities class action filed on
behalf of shareholders who purchased securities of ProQuest
Company (NYSE:PQE), during the period January 9, 2003 through
February 8, 2006.  The shareholder lawsuit is pending in the
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

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 ProQuest 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.  



                            *********


A list of Meetings, Conferences and Seminars appears in each
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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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