CAR_Public/060508.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

               Monday, May 8, 2006, Vol. 8, No. 90

                            Headlines

360NETWORKS INC: Lawsuit Settlement Hearing Set May 18, 2006
BAUSCH & LOMB: Faces Federal Suit in R.I. Over "ReNu" Solution
BAUSCH & LOMB: Parker & Waichman Files Suit in W.Va. Over "ReNu"
BAUSCH & LOMB: "MoistureLoc" Contact Lens Solution Sales Halted
BBB GROUP: Brickell Bay Condo Buyers File Fraud Lawsuit in Fla.

C&S WHOLESALE: N.Y. Employees' Unpaid Wages Suit Without Merit
CALIFORNIA: Guilty Plea Deal Fingers Milberg Weiss Partners
COLORADO: Company Solicits Complaints for Possible Suit V. BBB
COUNTRYWIDE HOME: Loan Claims in Suit Settlement Paid in Error
DEL MONTE: Faces Fla. Suit Over Treatment of Immigrant Workers

FLORIDA: Judge Dismisses Island Beachfront Case, Appeal Planned
GENERAL MOTORS: Suits Pursued in B.C., Alberta and Nova Scotia
ILLINOIS: Court Asked to End Isolation of Mentally-Ill Residents
LOUISIANA CITIZENS: Judge Steps Down From Policyholders' Lawsuit
MARYLAND: Homeless Group Sues Baltimore County School Board

MAXTOR CORP: Settles Calif. Suit Over Seagate Technology Merger
MISSOURI: Judge Permanently Bans State Law on Adoption Subsidies
MONTANA: Billings City Council to Deliberate Firefighter Ruling
NATURAL GAS: Litigation Settlement Hearing Set May 19, 2006
PALM CORP: Consumers Sue Over Problem Plagued Treo Cell Phones

PHILIPPINES: Ninth Circuit OKs $35M to Marcos Regime Victims
QUANTUM CORP: Settlement Reached in DLT IV Litigation in Calif.
ROSENBERG RICH: Stock Suit Settlement Hearing Set May 18, 2006
TIME WARNER: Suit Settlement Hearing Scheduled for May 19, 2006
UNITED STATES: Capitol Police Board Faces Racial Bias Lawsuits

UNITED STATES: Government Faces Fla. Suit Over "Dual Eligibles"
VIRGINIA: FPN Mulls Suit for Businessman Pressured by Activist
VISA USA: NACS Files Amended Complaint in N.Y. Interchange Suit
WISCONSIN: ACLU Files Suit Over Prison Conditions at Taycheedah

                   New Securities Fraud Cases

AMERICA SERVICE: Cohen Milstein Lodges Securities Suit in Tenn.
AMERICAN INT'L: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Lawsuit in E.D. N.Y.
CHINA ENERGY: Kahn Gauthier Files Securities Fraud Suit in N.Y.
COMVERSE TECHNOLOGY: Lerach Coughlin Files Stock Suit in N.Y.
DISCOVERY LABORATORIES: Charles J. Piven Files Stock Suit in Pa.

NATURE'S SUNSHINE: Spector Roseman Files Securities Suit in Utah
PXRE GROUP: Murray Frank Files Securities Fraud Lawsuit in N.Y.
PXRE GROUP: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Securities Suit in N.Y.
VITESSE SEMICONDUCTOR: Berman DeValerio Files Calif. Stock Suit
XM SATELLITE: Charles Piven Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in D.C.

XM SATELLITE: Schatz & Nobel Files Securities Fraud Suit in D.C.

                            *********


360NETWORKS INC: Lawsuit Settlement Hearing Set May 18, 2006
------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York will hold a fairness hearing for the proposed $7
million settlement in the matter: "In re 360Networks Securities
Litigation, Case No. 02 CV 4837 (MGC)."

The case was brought on behalf of all persons who purchased or
otherwise acquired 360Networks, Inc. subordinate voting shares
between April 20, 2000 and June 28, 2001.

The hearing will be held before the Honorable Miriam Goldman
Cedarbaum on May 18, 2006, 10:00 a.m. at the Daniel Patrick
Moynihan U.S. Courthouse, 500 Pearl Street, Courtroom 14A, New
York, New York.

Deadline for filing proof of claim and release is June 8, 2006.
Deadline for filing request for exclusion and objection is May
11, 2006.

For more information, contact 360networks Securities Litigation
c/o The Garden City Group, Inc., Claims Administrator, Post
Office Box 91035, Seattle, WA  98111-9135, Phone: (866) 630-
2245; Web site: http://www.360networksclassaction.com;David r.  
Scott of Scott + Scott, LLC, 108 Norwich Ave, P.O. Box 192,
Colchester, Connecticut 06415, Phone: 1-800-404-7770, E-mail:
drscott@scott-scott.com; or Samuel Kadet of Skadden, Arps,
Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, Four Times Square, New York, New York
10036-6522; and Robert J. Jossen of Dechert LLP, 30 Rockefeller
Plaza, New York, New York 10112-2200, Phone: 212-735-2570, Fax:
917-777-2570, E-mail: skadet@skadden.com.


BAUSCH & LOMB: Faces Federal Suit in R.I. Over "ReNu" Solution
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Mason Law Firm, P.C. and The Law Offices Of Peter N. Wasylyk
initiated a class action on behalf of all persons in the United
States who used ReNu with MoistureLoc solution, manufactured by
Bausch & Lomb, Inc. (BOL).

The suit, entitled, "Barbara M. Cavallaro, et al. v. Bausch &
Lomb, Inc., was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of
Rhode Island. (Case number 06-205-S)."

On April 13, 2006, Bausch & Lomb, Inc. advised consumers to
switch to another lens care solution and asked all retailers to
remove ReNu with MoistureLoc(TM) from their shelves. This action
came after the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
and the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued
public health warnings on April 10, 2006, concerning serious
fungal infections, such as fusarium keratitis, associated with
contact lens solution use.

The CDC stated that it had interviewed 30 patients suspected of
having fusarium keratitis.  Of those 30 patients, 28 wore soft
contact lenses and 26 used Bausch & Lomb ReNu contact lens
solution in the month prior to the fungal infection diagnosis.

Fusarium keratitis is a severe infection of the cornea.
Symptoms of fungal keratitis include eye pain, eye discomfort,
decrease in vision and light hypersensitivity.  The infection
can require prolonged drug therapy with antifungal medication.

Those infected with fungal keratitis who do not receive or who
do not respond to medical treatment may experience significant
loss of vision and will usually require surgical intervention,
including corneal transplantation.  Risk factors for infection
usually include trauma (generally with plant material), chronic
ocular surface diseases, immunodeficiencies, and, rarely,
contact lens use.

Named plaintiff Barbara M. Cavallaro, used the ReNu with
MoistureLoc solution and suffered a fungal eye infection caused
by fusarium as a result.  The fungal eye infection became so
severe that she was forced to undergo a corneal transplant
surgery on December 30, 2005, and will require at least one more
corneal transplant. She has also developed cataracts, which will
require surgery.

For more details, contact Gary E. Mason of The Mason Law Firm,
P.C., Phone: 202-429-2290, Web site: http://www.masonlawdc.com.


BAUSCH & LOMB: Parker & Waichman Files Suit in W.Va. Over "ReNu"
----------------------------------------------------------------
Parker & Waichman, LLP, and Wexler Toriseva Wallace, LLP,
initiated a lawsuit on behalf of a woman who became permanently
blind in her left eye after using ReNu with MoistureLoc(tm) lens
solution, manufactured by Bausch & Lomb, Inc. (BOL).

The damage to the left eye occurred after the woman was
diagnosed with Fusarium keratitis.  The suit was filed in Mason
County Circuit Court in West Virginia (Civil Action No: 06-C-63-
E).

On April 13, 2006, Bausch & Lomb, Inc. advised consumers to
switch to another lens care solution and asked all retailers to
remove ReNu with MoistureLoc(tm) from their shelves.

This action came after the FDA and the CDC issued public health
warnings on April 10, 2006, concerning serious fungal infections
associated with contact lens solution use.

The CDC stated that it had interviewed 30 patients suspected of
having fungal keratitis.  Of those 30 patients, 28 wore soft
contact lenses, and 26 used Bausch & Lomb ReNu contact lens
solution in the month prior to the fungal infection diagnosis.

In this case, the injured woman, who resides in West Virginia,
was diagnosed with a Fusarium fungal infection in her left eye
after using ReNu with MoistureLoc.  Various medical and surgical
treatments were attempted but proved unsuccessful.

As a result, the injured party is now permanently blind in her
left eye and wears an ocular shell.  Numerous individuals
diagnosed with Fusarium keratitis and other fungal infections
that suffer from impaired vision as a result of damage to their
eyes caused by the infection have retained Parker & Waichman,
LLP.

Fusarium keratitis is a severe infection of the cornea. Risk
factors for infection usually include trauma (generally with
plant material), chronic ocular surface diseases,
immunodeficiencies, and, rarely, contact lens use.  An estimated
30 million persons in the United States wear soft contact
lenses; the annual incidence of microbial keratitis is estimated
to be 4-21 per 10,000 soft contact lens users.  Fusarium
keratitis is a condition more prevalent in warm climates.

First-line treatment includes topical and oral antifungal
medications; patients who do not respond to these treatments
usually require surgical intervention, including corneal
transplantation.  These fungal infections are not transmitted
from person to person.

For more details, contact Jason Mark, Esq. and Melanie H.
Muhlstock, Esq. of Parker & Waichman, Phone: (800) 529-4636, E-
mail: info@yourlawyer.com, Web site: http://www.yourlawyer.com
and Teresa C. Toriseva of Wexler Toriseva Wallace, LLP, Phone:
(304) 238-0066, Web site: http://www.wtwlaw.us.

ReNu with MoistureLoc Information: http://www.renulawsuit.comor  
http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/renu_contact_solution.


BAUSCH & LOMB: "MoistureLoc" Contact Lens Solution Sales Halted
---------------------------------------------------------------
Bausch & Lomb, Inc., producer of ReNu with MoistureLoc contact
lens solution, asked retailers in the U.S. to remove eye-care
product from shelves after the product was linked to reports of
Fusarium keratitis, a serious corneal infection, since June of
last year, the cybermed.it reports.

Bausch & Lomb recommends consumers use another contact lens
solution while U.S. health officials conduct their
investigation. The Company plans to place advertisements in
major newspapers to inform consumers about alternative products.

Though health officials have found no direct link between
MoistureLoc and the infection, Meg Graham, spokeswoman for
Bausch & Lomb, said the Company is working with the Centers for
Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration to
determine "if there is indeed a relationship between these
infections and any particular product" (Class Action Reporter,
May 4, 2006).

"We find ourselves in a position where the safety of one of our
products, ReNu with MoistureLoc manufactured at our United
States plant, is in question," Company chairman and chief
executive Ronald L. Zarella said in a statement.


BBB GROUP: Brickell Bay Condo Buyers File Fraud Lawsuit in Fla.
---------------------------------------------------------------
Several buyers of the failed 1390 Brickell Bay condominium tower
initiated a class action in Miami-Dade Circuit Court against
developer Kenneth Baboun and his Company BBB Group claiming
fraud and breach of contract, The Miami Herald reports.

Mr. Baboun pulled the plug on the proposed 49-story condo near
Miami's Brickell Avenue in February, saying hurricane-related
delays and rising construction costs doomed the project.  He
returned buyers' deposits, which amounted to 20 percent of their
purchase price earlier this year.

However, 56 buyers sued alleging that they were defrauded when
Mr. Baboun announced groundbreaking in June 2005 even though he
was far from ready to start construction.  At groundbreaking
buyers were required to put down the second 10 percent deposit
on their units.

Attorneys Stephen Walroth-Sadurni and John Squitero of Katz
Barron claim in the lawsuit that the move was "part of an effort
to fraudulently persuade the plaintiffs to remain as purchasers
. . . and induce payment of the second deposit."

Mr. Baboun's lawyer, Lee Stapleton Milford of Baker & McKenzie
countered though that the complaint is "baseless," calling it "a
shakedown attempt -- a way to get a condo windfall without
purchasing a condo in today's very difficult market."

The condo was to go up at 1390 Brickell Bay Dr. in Miami and was
Mr. Baboun's only project in South Florida.  Mr. Baboun, 25, and
a Mexico native, started the project with no previous high-rise
experience.

The plaintiffs seek not only interest on their deposit but the
value of the condo if it had been built.  Mr. Walroth-Sadurni
said that if Mr. Baboun can be shown to have acted in bad faith
the plaintiffs are due the benefit of their bargain, not merely
a returned deposit plus interest.

"We think the money damages per each unit is $200,000 and up,"
according to Mr. Squitero, noting that many buyers purchased
their units in 2003 when prices, even with a currently cooling
market, were much lower than today.  Such a calculation in the
369-unit project would vault the total damages into the many
millions.

Meanwhile, the suit gives a glimpse into who some of the buyers
are for Miami condos.  Thirty-five of the 56 plaintiffs are from
Colombia.  The rest come from areas including Venezuela, Mexico,
England, New York, North Carolina and Miami.

For more details, contact Stephen Walroth-Sadurni and John R.
Squitero of Katz Barron Squitero Faust, 2699 South Bayshore
Drive, Seventh Floor, Miami, Florida 33133-5408, (Miami-Dade
Co.), Phone: 305-856-2444, Fax: 305-285-9227, E-mail:
sws@katzbarron.com and jrs@katzbarron.com, Web site:
http://www.katzbarron.com/.


C&S WHOLESALE: N.Y. Employees' Unpaid Wages Suit Without Merit
--------------------------------------------------------------
C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc. spokeswoman Nancy Steffens said the
lawsuit filed against it by employees, the Company uses what it
says is a team approach to organizing its warehouses, which has
been widely praised by academics, the Hartford Courant reports.

Four C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc. employees - Armando Hernandez,
Michael Wands, Michael Rodrigues and Joseph Alvarez - filed a
nationwide class action in the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of New York alleging that their employer is
routinely cheating thousands of its piece-rate warehouse workers
out of millions of dollars a week in wages, seeking class
certification for all C&S "piece-rate incentive warehouse
employees" under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
and similar laws in each of the 14 states where C&S warehouses
are located (Class Action Reporter, April 10, 2006).

The state Department of Labor has had four complaints about
hourly pay at C&S since 2001, spokeswoman Nancy Steffens said.
Three were found to be unsubstantiated, and one resulted in a
payment earlier this year, she said.

C&S services major grocery chains and operates in 14 states,
including a 1.1 million-square-foot warehouse in Windsor Locks
with 674 employees and a 79,000-square-foot warehouse in
Suffield with 100 employees.

The suit is styled, "Hernandez, et al. v. C & S Wholesale
Grocers, Inc., Case No. 7:06-cv-02675-CLB," filed in the U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of New York under Judge
Charles L. Brieant.  Representing the plaintiffs are Jeremy
Heisler and Steven Lance Wittels of Sanford Wittels & Heisler,
LLP, Phone: (212) 779-3935 and (646) 723-2947, Fax: (212) 779-
3956 and (646) 723-2948, E-mail: jeremy.heisler@verizon.net and
swittels@nydclaw.com.


CALIFORNIA: Guilty Plea Deal Fingers Milberg Weiss Partners
-----------------------------------------------------------
Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles, California finally got their
first guilty plea in the protracted investigation of the class
action plaintiffs firm Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman, The
Recorder reports.

In saying that he and his family took nearly $2.5 million in
illegal kickbacks from Milberg Weiss in exchange for serving as
lead plaintiffs in several class actions, Howard Vogel fingered
four partners at the New York firm and agreed to cooperate in
the ongoing investigation.

Prosecutors alleged in a document charging Mr. Vogel with a
single count of making false statements in federal court that he
and the firm, referred to as "the New York Law Firm," "had an
established pattern and practice that the New York Law Firm
would secretly pay defendant Vogel a percentage of the
attorneys' fees that the New York Law Firm obtained in class
actions and shareholder derivative actions."

Plea documents also allege that a high-profile Denver criminal
defense attorney and a small New York real estate firm passed
Mr. Vogel payments from Milberg in cases stretching from 1991 to
2005.

While no lawyers are named in the indictment, sources familiar
with the case told The Recorder that the three Milberg partners
with whom Mr. Vogel says he dealt are David Bershad, Steven
Schulman and Robert Sugarman.

For several months, federal prosecutors were training their
sights on Messrs. Bershad and Schulman.  Lawyers close to the
case said the main sticking point in their indictment has been
prosecutors' delay in deciding whether to indict their firm as
well.

Mr. Sugarman, who left Milberg in 1999, cooperated with
prosecutors for some time now, according to Edward Hayes, Mr.
Schulman's former lawyer.  Mr. Hayes told The Recorder recently
that he is no longer representing Mr. Schulman.

The plea papers allege that in 1991, Mr. Vogel approached the
firm hoping to file a securities class action, and to share in
the profits if it was successful.  Mr. Sugarman, referred to as
"Partner E," "confirmed that Vogel would be paid," the papers
allege.

But "it was explained to Vogel that since he was a plaintiff, a
possible conflict of interest arose from his receipt of payment
from the New York Law Firm," the documents allege.  So Mr.
Sugarman and Bershad, identified as "Partner C," told him "that
he needed to find a lawyer through whom the New York Law Firm
would pay Vogel.  Partner C and Partner E explained that this
was an established practice of the New York Law Firm."

It would be illegal for a client to accept such fees because
lead plaintiffs must represent other class members, and are
required to sign papers saying their interests are in line with
the rest of the class.  Mr. Vogel's plea relates to such a
document.

The lawyer Mr. Vogel found, identified in the indictment as
"Intermediary A," was Gary Lozow, according to lawyers familiar
with the case.  Mr. Lozow is a well-known Denver lawyer who has
recently represented a former Qwest Communications executive who
pleaded guilty to wire fraud, in addition to the family of Dylan
Klebold, one of two teenagers who killed 13 people in the 1999
Columbine High School shootings.

Lawrence Drath, a partner at Holm & Drath, a small New York real
estate firm is identified as "Intermediary B" in court papers.
The government alleged that Holm & Drath accepted a single
payment of about $44,000 from Milberg in 1997 and passed it on
to Mr. Vogel, a Florida real estate developer.

In another case, against Mercie Corp. in 1996, prosecutors
allege Mr. Sugarman "handed Vogel an envelope constituting
Vogel's share of the attorneys' fees.  Partner E explained that
the amount of cash being paid to Vogel was less than Vogel's
usual 14 percent share of attorneys' fees because Vogel was
being paid in cash, Vogel would not have to report the cash on
his tax returns, and there were other plaintiffs in Mercer with
respect to whom the New York Law Firm had financial
obligations."

The issue of Vogel's percentage came up again in 2003, the
papers allege, when Mr. Lozow went to New York to discuss the
matter with Partner A.  Sources close to the case say Partner A
is Melvyn Weiss, Milberg's lead partner.

Mr. Weiss' attorney, Benjamin Brafman, didn't return a phone
call to comment on the matter.  But Mr. Weiss does not appear to
be facing imminent indictment, and the Vogel plea papers say
only that he discussed a fee to be paid to Mr. Lozow.

In 2003, the papers allege, Mr. Vogel wanted to negotiate
payment in a case where his stepson was lead plaintiff. Mr.
Schulman, the documents allege, "instructed Vogel to have an
intermediary lawyer contact another partner."

That partner -- Partner A -- is Mr. Weiss, said sources close to
the case.  He "refused to engage in substantive discussions with
Vogel Intermediary A" -- Mr. Lozow -- "over the phone, but
instead insisted on meeting with Vogel Intermediary A in person
in New York."  Mr. Lozow allegedly met with Mr. Weiss that
November, and Mr. Weiss "reaffirmed that the New York Law Firm
would pay Vogel a percentage of its attorneys' fees" in two
cases.

The scheme outlined in the Vogel plea is not new; in fact, it
first came up in 2000 when a Beverly Hills eye doctor named
Steven Cooperman, facing a lengthy prison sentence for insurance
fraud, told prosecutors that as a former Milberg lead plaintiff,
he accepted kickbacks from the firm paid via his personal
attorney.

The information provided by Mr. Cooperman and his circle is too
old to be of much use to prosecutors, say sources familiar with
the investigation.  And Mr. Cooperman's testimony is looked at
with particular skepticism because his history as a fraudster
won't go over well with a jury.

Another Milberg client, Seymour Lazar, was indicted last year
with his attorney, Paul Selzer, on similar charges.  Messrs.
Lazar and Mr. Selzer have so far refused to cooperate, and are
slated for trial this fall.

Lawyers close to the case expect indictments of Messrs. Bershad,
Schulman and likely the Milberg Weiss firm to follow in coming
weeks.  But William Lerach, the star partner who split away to
start his own firm, Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman &
Robbins, seems to be outside the prosecutors' sights for the
foreseeable future, they said.


COLORADO: Company Solicits Complaints for Possible Suit V. BBB
--------------------------------------------------------------
General Steel Corp., who in the past was sued by the state of
Colorado for deceptive sales practices, is now raising similar
allegations against the Denver/Boulder Better Business Bureau
(BBB), a nonprofit agency that works to protect consumers from
such crimes, The Denver Post reports.

Lawyers for the Company are currently soliciting complaints for
a potential class action against the BBB for allegedly
misrepresenting itself while soliciting new members.  In
addition the Company also claims the BBB uses its relationship
with the Colorado attorney general's office to entice new
members and issues favorable reports about businesses that pay
membership fees.

Paying businesses in good standing are allowed to advertise that
they are BBB members.  "If you pay them a lot of money, you have
your consumer problems go away," according to the Company's
chief executive Jeffrey Knight. "If you don't pay, they bring
your business down."

Response by the BB was swift with one of its attorneys, Thomas
Kelley, calling the allegations as "utterly contrived."  The
local BBB, whose 6,500 members fund the bulk of its annual $3.5
million budget, collects consumer complaints about businesses
and issues reliability reports about the companies.

The agency periodically relays complaints to the attorney
general's office.  Its mission is to "make a more ethical
marketplace," according to local president Jean Herman.

Mr. Knight paid for a half-page ad that ran in The Denver Post
recently asking businesses to relay their BBB experiences to the
Company's attorneys.  He estimates that more than 100 companies
have responded, though he wouldn't disclose the names of the
businesses.  Mr. Knight also told the Denver Post that it would
likely be six months before a potential class action is filed.


COUNTRYWIDE HOME: Loan Claims in Suit Settlement Paid in Error
--------------------------------------------------------------
Loan claims in the settlement of a class action against
Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., were paid in error, The St.
Petersburg Times reports.

In a letter to the St. Petersburg Times' Action column, seeking
help, JoAnn Bart Servotke of Florida stated that she attempted,
unsuccessfully, to obtain an additional $10 due from the Company
as a result of a class action suit against it.  Settled before
2005, it allowed a $10 refund per loan.

Ms. Servotke stated that she had three loans and according to
instructions, submitted three loan account numbers to the
settlement administrator.  On April 4, 2005, she received
settlement for two of the loans.

She later made numerous attempts to resolve the misunderstanding
but despite our many letters to the management/settlement
administrator (all sent return receipt requested) she did not
even had the courtesy of a reply.

The St. Petersburg Times' Action column later forwarded Ms.
Servotke's complaint to Flaxman settlement administrator and
later heard back from L.S. Tilghman, who Countrywide's records
indicate that Ms. Servotke actually was overpaid in connection
with the settlement.

"The settlement involves a benefit payable to borrowers who
submitted valid claim forms relating to loans originated by
Countrywide Home Loans Inc. Consumer Markets Division from Jun.
13, 1996, through Dec. 23, 2003," L.S. Tilghman explained.

"While each of the three Servotke loans was originated within
that time frame, none of them was originated through the
Countrywide Home Loans Consumer Markets Division.  Two of the
loans originated through Full Spectrum Lending Inc., an
affiliate of the Company.  The third originated through a
mortgage broker, First National Funding Corp. and Countrywide
Home Loans' Wholesale Lending Division."

In essence, Ms. Servotke was not a class member with regard to
the settlement and shouldn't have received a claim form or any
benefit.  L.S. Tilghman said she could keep the benefit paid in
error, however under the circumstances, nothing more will be
forthcoming.


DEL MONTE: Faces Fla. Suit Over Treatment of Immigrant Workers
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Southern Poverty Law Center's Immigrant Justice Project
(IJP) initiated a purported class action in the U.S. District
Court for the Southern District of Florida designed to force Del
Monte Fresh Produce to take responsibility for mistreatment of
its workers, Workpermit.com reports.

The suit, filed on April 21, 2006, was filed on behalf of
migrant farm workers who were underpaid while working in South
Georgia for subsidiaries of the Company.  Named as plaintiffs in
the suit are Hector Luna, Julian Garcia, Santos Maldonado and
Bartolo Nu ez.  The named defendants are Del Monte Fresh Produce
(Southeast), Inc. and Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A., Inc.

The plaintiffs all worked for the Company's facilities in
Georgia's Wheeler and Telfair counties.  The Company recruited
the workers for planting and harvesting vegetables from 2003
through till the current season.

Guest workers are brought legally into the U.S. from other
countries on special visas under the H-2A visa program, which
allows them to work only for the employer who requested them.

The workers were promised and were entitled to receive the
Adverse Effect Wage Rate.  This is set by the U.S. Department of
Labour each year to ensure foreign workers do not negatively
impact the wages of the domestic labor force.  The plaintiffs
left their homes and families, and paid their own way to work
for the Company.

The immigrant workers were then cheated out of the wages to
which they were entitled, the lawsuit states.  IJP Director Mary
Bauer told Workpermit.com, "This case is particularly
significant because it aims to combat a disturbing trend by
large corporate growers importing workers.  Increasingly, those
corporations attempt to evade responsibility for their workers
by having middlemen submit the applications for H-2A workers,
instead of the wealthy corporations doing so themselves."

Greg Schell of the Migrant Farm worker Justice Project in
Florida, who is serving as local counsel on the case also told
Workpermit.com, "Most corporate growers rely on their sub-
contractors, the undercapitalized contractors whose assets
consist of a bus and maybe a piece or two of equipment, to file
the H-2A applications."

"Del Monte and others turn a blind eye when workers are
underpaid and abused, by claiming that the workers are solely
the employees of the middlemen," Mr. Schell said.  "In fact, the
workers labour on fields owned by Del Monte, live in housing
provided by Del Monte, and are Del Monte's employees in every
important respect."

The suit is "Hector Luna, et al. v. Del Monte Fresh Produce
(Southeast), Inc., et al., Case No. 06-21015," filed in the U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

For more details, visit http://researcharchives.com/t/s?8b2.


FLORIDA: Judge Dismisses Island Beachfront Case, Appeal Planned
---------------------------------------------------------------
Mallory Horne, the attorney for two St. George Island, Florida
residents, who are seeking to extend the lot lines of Gulf of
their Mexico beachfront homes south to the water's edge said his
clients plan to appeal a ruling from Circuit Judge William Gary
that went against them, EmeraldCoast.com reports.

Just recently, Judge Gary dismissed with prejudice a case that
was first filed in September 2005 by William H. and Dorothy C.
Wilson against Franklin County and Alexis Marketing.  The
judge's recent decision means the plaintiffs cannot re-file the
case with the circuit court.

Mr. Horne told EmeraldCoast.com that the process before the
First District Court of Appeals will take from 10 months to
year, and following that, if the judges uphold Judge Wilson's
position, he will form a class of individuals and try again to
lodge his class action.

"There are about 200 I think," according to him. "I will invite
them once we have a standing case to become class members.  They
won't have to pay a nickel, and if we ultimately win that issue,
they could gain an extra 200 feet of land."

A former Speaker of the Florida House and President of the
Florida Senate, Mr. Horne also told EmeraldCoast.com that the
Wilsons have based their case on a "misunderstanding" that has
existed since the original plat as to whether the homeowners
owned the land between the southern edges of their lots and the
mean high water mark.

"Historically, at some juncture after all of this was set in
concrete, it was discovered there's a four-mile strip between
the mean high water mark (and the edge of their lots),"
according to Mr. Horne.  "My rights would be based on the
misunderstanding when they conveyed those lots.  They all felt
it went to the mean high water mark."

Mr. Horne estimated that this would include a four-mile-long
stretch in Units 1, 2 and 3 that runs down the center of the
island, but does not affect lots in the Plantation or lands of
the state park.

In addition, he estimated that the land under dispute ranges in
depth from 125'to 200' from the southern lot lines to the mean
high water mark.  "Some of it is 200' or slightly over and some
is short of it," Mr. Horne said.

County Attorney Michael Shuler has said this could become the
county's first class action suit if the courts eventually agree
to certify the class of St. George Island beachfront homeowners.

For more details, contact Mallory E. Horne, 106 East College
Avenue, Suite 1200, Tallahassee, Florida 32301, Phone: (850)
224-9634, Fax: (850) 222-0103 or Thomas Michael Shuler of Shuler
and Shuler, 34 4th Street, P.O. Box 850, Apalachicola, FL 32320,
Phone: (850) 653-9226, Fax: (850) 653-8627.


GENERAL MOTORS: Suits Pursued in B.C., Alberta and Nova Scotia
--------------------------------------------------------------
Attorneys commenced class actions against General Motors of
Canada Limited and General Motors Corporation in B.C., Alberta
and Nova Scotia.

The plaintiffs' claims are that General Motors designed,
marketed, tested and manufactured, in the 1995-2004 model years,
various Buick, Chevrolet, Oldsmobile and Pontiac motor vehicles
with a 3.1, 3.4, 3.8 or 4.3 litre engine, using a defective
intake manifold gasket.

A similar action has been commenced in Ontario. T he list of
affected vehicles has been expanded.  The vehicles include those
listed below:

      -- 1995-1997 Buick Riviera

      -- 1995-1998/2000-2003 Buick LeSabre

      -- 2000-2003 Buick Century

      -- 2002-2003 Buick Rendezvous

      -- 1996/1998-2001 Chevrolet Lumina

      -- 1997-2003 Chevrolet Venture

      -- 1999-2003 Chevrolet Malibu

      -- 1995-1998 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight

      -- 1996-2003 Oldsmobile Silhouette

      -- 1999 Oldsmobile Cutlass

      -- 1999-2003 Oldsmobile Alero

      -- 1997-1998/2000-2003 Pontiac Grand Prix

      -- 1996-1999 Pontiac Trans Sport

      -- 1999-2003 Pontiac Grand Am

      -- 1999-2003 Pontiac Montana

      -- 2001-2003 Pontiac Aztec

      -- 1995-2004 Buick Park Avenue

      -- 1996-2004 Buick Regal

      -- 1997-2004 Buick LeSabre

      -- 1998-2004 Chevrolet Monte Carlo

      -- 2000-2004 Chevrolet Impala

      -- 1995-1999 Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight

      -- 1998-1999 Oldsmobile Intrigue

      -- 1995-2004 Pontiac Bonneville

      -- 1997-2003 Pontiac Grand Prix with 3.8L V6 Engine

Ward Branch, a partner with the law firm Branch MacMaster, in
Vancouver, B.C., and author of the text book Class Actions in
Canada, said, "The claim here is for the same problems that are
being pursued in Ontario and across North America arising from
reported problems from General Motors' use of inadequate
plastics in the IMG. We allege that the plastic degrades
prematurely causing coolant to leak into the engine and that
this can cause serious problems. We are concerned about engines
overheating and seizing completely, requiring engine
replacements at considerable expense to owners."

General Motors finally introduced a new gasket but it has not
replaced all the old gaskets.

There is a coalition of lawyers working across the country to
ensure Canadian owners or lessees of these vehicles are treated
fairly. Colin P. Stevenson of Stevensons LLP in Toronto stated
that: "The national team of lawyers is committed to ensuring the
best possible result for the class."

It is too early at this stage to quantify the claims of the
potential class members but it is anticipated that the amount is
very significant.  It was previously estimated that there are
400,000 vehicles in the class in Canada.

An average claim of $3,000 makes the claim worth $1,200,000,000.
Any Canadians concerned about their GM vehicle are encouraged to
visit http://www.classproceedings.ca,and fill out and remit the  
questionnaire.

For more details, contact Ward Branch, Branch MacMaster, Phone:
(604) 654-2999, E-mail: wbranch@branmac.com; C. Kenneth W.
Kolthammer, Kolthammer Batchelor & Laidlaw LLP, Phone: (780)
489-5003, E-mail: kkoltham@telusplanet.net; Colin P. Stevenson,
Stevensons LLP, Phone: (416) 599-7900, E-mail:
cstevenson@stevensonlaw.net; and Jason P. Gavras, Gavras Slone
Lenehan, Phone: (902) 423-5711, Phone: jgavras@eastlink.ca.


ILLINOIS: Court Asked to End Isolation of Mentally-Ill Residents
----------------------------------------------------------------
Residents of Illinois nursing homes charged that they and many
others with mental illnesses are "needlessly segregated and
inappropriately warehoused" in violation of federal laws
including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

They are thus asking the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of Illinois to order state agencies to develop suitable
community-living alternatives for them.

The request came in the suit, "Williams v. Blagojevich," filed
in August 2005 by two individuals forced into nursing homes in
the Chicago area.

The recently filed amended complaint asks the court to grant
class action status to obtain relief for adults who are
unnecessarily confined in for-profit nursing homes classified by
state officials as "institutions for mental diseases" (IMDs).
More than 5,000 people are housed in such facilities in
Illinois.

"More than two decades ago, the state closed large public
institutions, saying it would provide better care in the
community for people with mental illnesses," said Benjamin Wolf,
associate legal director for the ACLU of Illinois, one of five
legal organizations representing the plaintiffs.  "But today,
people with mental illnesses are forced to live in private
institutions because no Governor, no Department, no General
Assembly has kept that promise."

The plaintiffs cite the 1999 Olmstead decision by the U.S.
Supreme Court, which requires states to serve people with
disabilities in "the most integrated setting appropriate to
their needs."

"When the ADA was enacted in 1990, Congress identified the
segregation of people with disabilities as a severe form of
discrimination," says Barry Taylor, legal advocacy director at
Equip for Equality, which is also representing the plaintiffs.
"Yet 16 years later, Illinois continues to channel thousands of
people with mental illnesses into large institutions while other
states offer them the choice to live in the community."

The complaint details the highly regimented nature of many of
the institutions where the plaintiffs are confined.  These
facilities offer no privacy and many provide little more than
shelter and board.  Most residents get federal disability
benefits, but must sign over their monthly checks to the
facility and receive an allowance of only $30 a month.

"As an organization of people with disabilities, including some
who used to live in nursing homes, we understand the plaintiffs'
desire to live on their own and make their own decisions about
their lives," said Marca Bristo, president and CEO of Access
Living, which also represents the plaintiffs.  "Like everyone
else, they want to be able to see friends and choose what to eat
or what movie to see -- opportunities that don't exist for most
people who must live in IMDs."

"It's both unjust and irresponsible to confine people in IMDs
instead of developing community alternatives for them," points
out Jennifer Mathis, staff attorney at the Washington D.C.-based
Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, another of the plaintiffs'
lawyers.

"No federal Medicaid dollars are available for services to
people between the ages of 22 and 64 in an IMD, so state
taxpayers foot the bill.  If these people were served in the
community, the state could collect federal funds to cover up to
50 percent of their care."

According to state statistics, Illinois currently licenses 27
IMDs, with more than 5,000 beds, at an annual cost of more than
$160 million. Transitioning 2,000 residents to the community
over five years (as proposed by legislation defeated in the 92nd
General Assembly) would save the state more than $57 million in
today's dollars.

Lawyers from a collaborative of organizations interested in
basic rights for all persons are representing the plaintiffs,
including Access Living, the Bazelon Center for Mental Health
Law, Equip for Equality, the Roger Baldwin Foundation of the
ACLU of Illinois and the Chicago office of the law firm Kirkland
& Ellis.

A copy of the amended complaint is available: http://www.aclu-
il.org/news/archives/imd.pdf.

The suit is "Williams v. Blagojevich, Case No. 05-4673," filed
in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
Illinois.  Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (1) Benjamin S. Wolf of the ACLU of Illinois, 180 North
         Michigan Ave., Suite 2300, Chicago, Illinois 60601,
         Phone: (312) 201-9740 ext. 320, Fax: (312) 201-9760, E-
         mail: bwolf@aclu-il.org;

     (2) Barry C. Taylor of Equip for Equality, 20 N. Michigan,
         #300, Chicago, IL 60601, Phone: (312) 341-0022, Fax:
         (312) 341-0295, E-mail: Barryt@equipforequality.org;

     (3) Max Lapertosa of Access Living, Phone: 312-253-7000
         ext. 131, Fax: (312) 253-7001, E-mail:
         Mlapertosa@accessliving.org; and

     (4) Lee Carty of Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental
         Health Law, Phone: 202-467-5730 ext. 121, Fax: (202)
         223-0409, E-mail: Leec@bazelon.org.

     (5) Ann Chen of Kirkland & Ellis, LLP, 200 East Randolph
         Drive, Chicago, IL 60601, Phone; (312) 861-2000, Fax:
         (312) 861-2200.

Representing the defendants are:

     (i) Thomas A. Ioppolo, AAG, Office of the Illinois Attorney
         General, 100 W. Randolph, 13th Floor, Chicago, IL
         60601, Fax: (312) 814-4425; and

    (ii) Kerry R. Peck Esq. and ray K. Koenig, III, Esq. of
         Peck, Bloom, Austriaco & Mitchell, LLC, 105 W. Adams
         St., 31st Floor, Chicago, IL 60603, Fax: (312) 201-
         0803.


LOUISIANA CITIZENS: Judge Steps Down From Policyholders' Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Civil District Judge June Darensburg disqualified herself from a
lawsuit brought by policyholders against Louisiana Citizens
Property Insurance Corp., The Associated Press reports.

According to the judge she recently found out that she has a
policy from the insurer, which was created by the state
Legislature in 2003 to act as a safety net for those who can't
get policies from private insurance companies.

The suit seeks class action status for plaintiffs who say
Citizens Fair Plan, the insurance plan of last resort for
homeowners and renters, who do not live in coastal areas of the
state, did not adjust claims in a timely fashion, leading to
additional property damage for policyholders.

Attorneys have estimated that the class could range from 20,000
policyholders to all 65,000 Citizens policyholders.

Before the judge removed herself, Terry Lisotta, executive
director of Citizens, testified that the state-sponsored
insurance plan implemented its catastrophe plan on August 27,
two days before Hurricane Katrina hit.

Ms. Lisotta said the Company that administers claims had mailed
out claims forms to 70,000 customers after the storm, but that
many had been returned because policyholders had moved.  She
said 92 percent of the claims have been paid.

For more details, contact Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance
Corp., Phone: (504) 831-6930 (Regarding Policies) or (225) 928-
5444 (Regarding Claims) E-mail: PolicyAdmin@lacitizens.com, Web
site: http://www.lacitizens.com/.


MARYLAND: Homeless Group Sues Baltimore County School Board
-----------------------------------------------------------
The Baltimore County Board of Education faces a purported class
action in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland over
allegations that the public school system did not met its
obligations to provide educational continuity to homeless
students, The Baltimore Sun reports.

The suit, filed on April 27, 2006, was brought on behalf of
three homeless families who claims that they were not informed
by the school system that federal law allows the children to
attend the school they had been enrolled in before losing their
permanent housing or that they are allowed to enroll in the
school closest to their temporary housing.

The families, represented by Francine K. Hahn, an attorney with
the Public Justice Center, also were not initially provided with
the required transportation, the lawsuit alleges.

The county schools rely on regional pupil personnel workers to
identify homeless students, inform their parents about school
choice and connect them with such services as transportation,
according to Ms. Hahn said. "It creates a bottleneck," she adds.

The suit is "Peterson, et al v. Board of Education of Baltimore
County, et al., 1:06-cv-01067-CCB," filed in the U.S. District
Court for the District of Maryland under Judge Catherine C.
Blake.  Representing the plaintiffs are, Francine K. Hahn and
Sally Dworak Fisher of Public Justice Center, Inc., 500 E.
Lexington St., Baltimore, MD 21202, Phone: 14106259409, Fax:
14106259423, E-mail: hahnf@publicjustice.org and dworak-
fishers@publicjustice.org.


MAXTOR CORP: Settles Calif. Suit Over Seagate Technology Merger
---------------------------------------------------------------
Seagate Technology and Maxtor Corp. settled a purported
shareholder class action in the Superior Court of the State of
California, County of Santa Clara over the proposed merger of
the computer hard-drive makers filed by shareholder, the Reuters
reports.

The settlement requires Maxtor to pay $467,500 in legal fees and
make certain disclosures related to the acquisition, which were
provided in the Company's regulatory filing.

Seagate and Maxtor are preparing to close the merger on May 19,
pending regulatory clearance from other countries. Regulators in
the European Commission and Taiwan have given them clearance to
proceed with the deal.

Theodore F. Vahl filed the suit on January 20, 2006 against the
Company, the Company's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and
certain members of the Company's Board of Directors alleging
that the defendants violated their fiduciary duties in
connection with the proposed merger of the Company with Seagate
Technology.  The complaint seeks only equitable relief (Class
Action Reporter, March 1, 2006).


MISSOURI: Judge Permanently Bans State Law on Adoption Subsidies
----------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. District Judge Scott O. Wright banned a Missouri law that
would limit state subsidies for families adopting foster
children to those below a certain income threshold, The
Associated Press reports.

The judge's ruling makes permanent a temporary restraining order
he issued in September to block the law passed by the Missouri
Legislature in 2005.

Previously, Judge Wright told lawyers for the state and the
plaintiffs by phone that he would grant a temporary restraining
order blocking, for now, the law limiting adoption subsidies.
The order, given orally, and following a telephone conference of
oral argument by the two sides with the judge, is not final
until a written order is filed with the federal court clerk,
(Class Action Reporter, Aug. 19, 2005).

That order comes after a class action lawsuit filed in the U.S.
District Court for the Western District of Missouri accused Gov.
Matt Blunt and Gary Sherman, director of the Missouri Department
of Social Services, of failing to protect the interests of
abused and neglected children, (Class Action Reporter, Aug. 19,
2005).

The suit, which was filed on behalf of 16 children, says the
cuts are illegal.  It also claims that budget cuts approved
earlier this year stipulated that monthly checks were eliminated
for families earning more than 250 percent of the poverty level,
or about $48,375 for a family of four.  In most cases, the
payments are $225 a month per child, (Class Action Reporter,
Aug. 19, 2005).

The suit argues that the state cannot legally end the payments
without violating contracts signed at the time of adoption and
that the cuts are unconstitutional, since they treat different
classes of adopted children differently, (Class Action Reporter,
Aug. 19, 2005).

Despite the judge's recent ruling, state officials have not
decided whether to appeal.  "We are analyzing the judge's
decision and will be talking with the Department of Social
Services about our options," Blunt spokesman Spence Jackson told
The Associated Press.

John Ammann, a Saint Louis University law professor and a lawyer
for the plaintiffs, told The Associated Press that the ruling
"provides some security for parents who have adopted already,
and it restores the incentive Missourians have had for 30 years
to adopt special needs kids from foster care."

Missouri gives about $225 a month per child to families who have
adopted some 11,000 children out of foster care - regardless of
the family's income. Last year, lawmakers grappling with a tight
state budget created limits restricting the subsidies to
families earning less than 250 percent of the poverty level -
currently $50,000 annually for a family of four.

The state has estimated that about 2,000 children would lose
subsidies, with estimates of between $6 million and $8 million
in annual savings.

At a recent hearing in Kansas City, child advocates said the law
would mean that more children would remain in the foster care
system until "aging out" at age 18, instead of being adopted.
Plaintiffs also said Missouri already ranks next-to-last in the
amount it pays in adoption subsidies.

In his ruling, Judge Wright said the "means test" provision of
the law "will not save taxpayer money, but will increase the
overall cost of child welfare in the State of Missouri."  He
also said that the law "provides for differential treatment
among similarly situated special needs foster children without
adequate justification."

Gov. Blunt repeatedly stated that the cuts are necessary to
sustain a program that adds hundreds of families each year.  The
governor's spokesman even issued a statement describing
remaining adoption benefits as generous,  "In addition to
generous subsidies, taxpayers spent tens of millions of dollars
last year alone paying for free health care and child care for
Missouri's adopted children, a generous program by any
standard," (Class Action Reporter, Aug. 19, 2005)

As is the case with all states, Missouri's adoption subsidies
are offered as an incentive to families who provide permanent
homes to foster children. Supporters say the program saves the
state money by reducing the need for more expensive foster care.
Federal law limits the ability of states to alter their subsidy
programs.  At a minimum, states cannot cut off monthly checks to
adoptive children who once lived in impoverished homes. Such
children qualify for federal funds, (Class Action Reporter, Aug.
17, 2005)

Missouri officials argued that they have the legal right to cut
payments to other children.  According to Mr. Ammann, the state
had only one adoption subsidy program, which relies on a mix of
state and federal money. He adds, that by cutting payments to
certain parents the state is violating regulations dealing with
the federal money, (Class Action Reporter, Aug. 17, 2005)

The suit is "E.C., et al. v. Blunt, et al., 2:05-cv-00726-SOW,"
filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of
Missouri under Judge Scott O. Wright.  Representing the
plaintiffs are:

     (1) John J. Ammann of St. Louis University Legal Clinic,
         St. Louis University School of Law, 321 North Spring
         Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63108, Phone: (314) 977-2796,
         Fax: (314) 977-3334, E-mail: ammannjj@slu.edu;

     (2) Loretta E. Burns-Bucklew of Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP-
         Grand, 2555 Grand Boulevard, Kansas City, MO 64108-
         2613, Phone: (816) 474-6550, Fax: (816) 421-5547, E-
         mail: lbucklew@shb.com; and

     (3) Stephen Reynolds of Berg, Borgmann, Wilson & Wolk, LLC,
         7711 Bonhomme, Suite 850, Clayton, MO 63105, Phone:
         (314) 725-5955, Fax: (314) 725-0559, E-mail:
         spr@bbwwllc.com.

Representing the defendants are, Gary L. Gardner and Douglas G.
Leyshock of The Missouri Attorney General's Office - JC, 221
West High Street, 6th Floor, P.O. Box 899, Jefferson City, MO
65101, Phone: (573) 751-3321, Fax: (573) 751-9456, E-mail:
gary.gardner@ago.mo.gov and doug.leyshock@ago.mo.gov.


MONTANA: Billings City Council to Deliberate Firefighter Ruling
---------------------------------------------------------------  
The Billings City Council in Montana will meet on May 8, 2006 to
discuss what to do in the wake of a judge's decision that the
city owes a group of its firefighters nearly $4 million, The
Billings Gazette reports.

In a recent ruling, Montana District Judge G. Todd Baugh ruled
that the city must pay firefighters $625,000 and another $81,000
in back pay.  Back in November, Judge Baugh ruled the city owed
the firefighters close to $3 million in back pay, (Class Action
Reporter May 3, 2006).

The judge also ordered the city of Billings to pay $253,000 in
penalties, bringing the damages and penalties owed to just under
$4 million, (Class Action Reporter May 3, 2006).

About six years ago, a group of 119 firefighters filed a class
action against the city, claiming that they'd been working more
than 40 hours a week for years, but are only receiving an annual
wage equivalent to a 40-hour work week, (Class Action Reporter
May 3, 2006).

Interim City Administrator Tina Volek told The Billings Gazette
that the council would meet in executive session during a recent
night work session to talk about what to do next.  City Attorney
Brent Brooks and Helena attorney Rick Larson, who has
represented the city in the case, will join council members.

Mr. Brooks outlined city's options, which are essentially to
settle the lawsuit or to appeal Judge Baugh's ruling to the
Montana Supreme Court.

The city has 60 days from the date of judgment to file an
appeal.  If it does, state law requires parties in this kind of
lawsuit to submit to mediation before the case goes to the high
court.

Ms. Volek said there is no money set aside to pay the judgment,
and it is not the kind of claim that would be covered by the
city's insurance policy.  Where the money will come from if it
has to be paid is another subject that the council will have to
discuss, according to her.

The lawsuit was brought by individual firefighters, not their
union.  It was based on the claim, upheld by Judge Baugh, that
because of their 27-day work cycle, consisting of 24-hour shifts
followed by multiple days off, firefighters had been working
more than 40 hours a week for years but had been paid for only
40 hours.  It eventually grew into a class action on behalf of
119 current and former firefighters to whom the city owed money.

Judge Baugh looked at three contracts between the city and the
firefighters covering the years 1991-93, 1993-94 and 1995-97.
He found that the two earlier contracts stated the firefighters
were paid an annual wage.  But in the 1995-97 contract the
wording was changed, and it became an hourly wage agreement.

Since the wording of that contract was kept in later labor
agreements, Judge Baugh ruled, the period of liability ran from
1995 onward.  The period of liability ended June 30, the day
before a new contract went into effect.  The new contract
stipulated that the firefighters were to be paid an hourly wage.

For more details, contact Richard A. Larson of Harlen,
Chronister, Parish & Larson, P.C., Attorneys at Law, 36 W. Sixth
Avenue, P.O. Box 1152, Helena, Montana 59624, Phone: (406) 443-
0360, Fax: (406) 449-3693, E-mail: info@hcpllaw.com, Web site:
http://hcpllaw.com/attorneys.html.


NATURAL GAS: Litigation Settlement Hearing Set May 19, 2006
-----------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
will hold a fairness hearing for the proposed partial settlement
in the amount of $72,750,000 in the matter: "In Re Natural Gas
Commodity Litigation, Master File No. 03 CV 6186 (VM)."

The case was brought on behalf of all persons who purchased,
sold, or settled New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) Natural
Gas contracts between June 1, 1999 and December 31, 2002 (the
Class Period) in a lawsuit against the following Settling
Defendants: Cinergy Marketing and Trading, L.P.; CMS Field
Services (n/k/a Cantera Gas Co., LLC); CMS Marketing Services &
Trading Co. (n/k/a CMS Energy Resource Management Co.); Cook
Inlet Energy Supply, LLC; Duke Energy Trading and Marketing,
LLC; Dynegy Marketing & Trade (including West Coast Power, LLC);
Enserco Energy, Inc.; Entergy-Koch Trading, LP; e-prime, Inc.;
MidAmerican Energy Co.; Mieco, Inc.; ONEOK Energy Services
Company, L.P. (f/k/a ONEOK Energy & Marketing Company, L.P.);
ONEOK, Inc.; Reliant Energy Services, Inc.; Sempra Energy
Trading Corp.; WD Energy Services, Inc.; Western Gas Resources,
Inc.; Williams Companies, Inc.; and Williams Power Company
(f/k/a Williams Energy Marketing and Trading Company).

The hearing will be held on May 19, 2006, at 2:00 p.m. before
the Honorable Victor Marrero in Courtroom 905, U.S. District
Courthouse, New York, New York.

Any objections or exclusions to the settlement must be filed by
April 26, 2006.  Proof of claim must be submitted by July 28,
2006.

For more details, contact In re Natural Gas Commodity Litigation
c/o Complete Claim Solutions, Inc., P.O. Box 24626, West Palm
Beach, FL 33416, Phone: 1-877-741-1231, Web site:
http://www.naturalgascase.com/naturalgas/default.htm;and  
Christopher Lovell, P.C. of Lovell Stewart Halebian, LLP, 500
Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10110, Phone: 212-608-1900,
Fax: 212-719-4677, Web site: http://www.lshllp.com.


PALM CORP: Consumers Sue Over Problem Plagued Treo Cell Phones
--------------------------------------------------------------
Palm Corp. continues to face litigation from California
consumers, who are angry with the Company's allegedly faulty
Treo Smartphones, CBS 11 TV reports.

Each cell phone retails for about $500.  The Company says their
phone is "one of the best devices" on the market.  You can talk,
send e-mail, snap pictures and cruise the web.

But, the California consumers who are suing the Company alleges
otherwise.  They claim that the Treo Smartphones are prone to
software crashes, electrical surges, and poor display screens.

Their suit also claims that the Company concealed the phones
"high failure rate" and that it's "inherently defective."
Franca Depaoli and Eric Parker are plaintiffs in this suit.

Between the two of them, they had gone through 8 Treo devices in
only 2 years.  They say for Palmr "it's all about money" and it
shouldn't have released the phone until it got the tweaks worked
out.

Asked for comment on the matter of the phones, the Company sent
CBS 11 TV an email that stated: "We work very hard to deliver
great products and excellent service.  Our products are in high-
demand and earn very high customer-satisfaction ratings.
Unfortunately, being the target of lawsuits is often the cost of
doing business."

According to Stanford University, Computer Science Professor
Alex Aiken, companies release products knowing they don't work
perfectly.  He pointed out to CBS 11 TV that: "They generally
put things out there knowing there are bugs in them."

Some consumers think they are the guinea pigs for some of these
companies.  Ira Rothken, a lawyer representing the consumers
says the case is simple. "This device has 2 main features,
making phone calls and keeping data and it doesn't do either one
of those reliably."

In the last year, Palm issued updates to fix problems with the
Treo, including battery life and memory problems, and the
ability to locate 911 callers.

The consumer class action lawsuits filed in state and federal
courts in California against the Company on behalf of all
purchasers of Palm Treo 600 and Treo 650 products, were recently
related before a single judge of the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of California, (Class Action Reporter, Jan.
25, 2006).

In September and October 2005, five purported consumer class
action lawsuits were filed against the Company, namely:

     (1) Moya v. Palm, filed in the U.S. District Court for the
         Northern District of California, Case No. 5:05-cv-
         03926-RMW;

     (2) Berliner v. Palm, filed in the U.S. District Court for
         the Northern District of California, Case No. 5:05-cv-
         03854-RMW;

     (3) Loew v. Palm, filed in the U.S. District Court for the
         Northern District of California, Case No. 5:05-cv-
         03980-RMW;

     (4) Geisen v. Palm, filed in the U.S. District Court for
         the Northern District of California, Case No. 5:05-cv-
         04120-RMW; and

     (5) Palza v. Palm, filed in the Superior Court of
         California for Santa Clara County.

All the complaints allege in substance that the Company made
false or misleading statements regarding the reliability of its
Treo 600 and 650 products in violation of various California
laws and breached its warranty of these products.  The
complaints seek unspecified damages, restitution, disgorgement
of profits and injunctive relief, (Class Action Reporter, Jan.
25, 2006).

In September 2005, a purported consumer class action lawsuit
entitled, "Gans v. Palm, Case No. 5:05-cv-03774-RMW" was filed
against the Company in the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of California on behalf of all purchasers of the Treo
650 product, (Class Action Reporter, Jan. 25, 2006).

That complaint alleges that, in violation of various California
laws, the Company made false or misleading statements regarding
automatic email delivery to the Treo 650 product.  The complaint
seeks unspecified damages, restitution, disgorgement of profits
and injunctive relief, (Class Action Reporter, Jan. 25, 2006).

The Company removed the "Palza" case to the U.S. District Court
for the Northern District of California.  Subsequently, all six
cases were related before a single judge in that Court.  The
related cases are in the early stages, (Class Action Reporter,
Jan. 25, 2006).


PHILIPPINES: Ninth Circuit OKs $35M to Marcos Regime Victims
------------------------------------------------------------
Thousands of Filipinos seeking compensation from the regime of
former dictator Ferdinand Marcos won their first financial
battle in their 10-year quest to recover a $2 billion jury
verdict to settle human rights abuses, The Associated Press
reports.

According to a ruling by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for
the Ninth Circuit, the 9,500 Filipinos, most of them living in
the Philippines, can share among themselves $35 million in a New
York brokerage account that the Pres. Marcos opened in 1972 with
a $2 million deposit.

The Philippine government claimed the money belonged to its
treasury, but the appeals court said it had no legal right to
that deposit.

The plaintiffs filed a class action against the Marcos estate in
1986, the year he was deposed as president after ruling for 20
years.  Pres. Marcos and his family fled to Hawaii, where he
died in exile in 1989.

In 1995, using a two-century-old U.S. law, a Honolulu jury
awarded the group $2 billion after finding Pres. Marcos
responsible for summary executions, disappearances and torture.

So far, none of the award has been distributed, as foreign banks
and the Philippine government are claiming ownership, thus tying
it up.  The original award is nearing $4 billion with interest.

Last year, the San Francisco, California-based Ninth Circuit,
which covers Hawaii and eight other western states, ruled that
the 9,500 plaintiffs have no right to recover $683 million in
Marcos assets that were transferred from a Swiss account to the
Philippine government, which claimed ownership of the money.

The plaintiffs also are pursuing other avenues to collect the
judgment.  They are trying to seize $22 million in Marcos assets
located in a bank in Singapore, and other properties in various
countries.


QUANTUM CORP: Settlement Reached in DLT IV Litigation in Calif.
---------------------------------------------------------------
Quantum Corp. reports that a settlement was proposed in a class
action pending in San Francisco Superior Court that involves DLT
IV tapes that the Company licensed.

The case, entitled, "Franz Inc. v. Quantum Corporation, Case No.
CGC-03-423301," will provide free tapes for individuals or
entities that submit valid Claim Forms.

A DLT IV tape is a type of magnetic tape storage in a cartridge
form that is inserted into a tape drive in order to back-up or
archive data for businesses and other computer users and retails
for approximately $43.00.

The lawsuit claims that the defendants Quantum Corp., Hitachi
Maxell, Ltd., Maxell Corp. of America, Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd.
and Fuji Photo Film U.S.A., Inc. (Defendants) attempted to keep
Imation Corp. from entering the market for DLT IV tapes, causing
the prices for those tapes to be higher than they should have
been.

Defendants deny the claims made in the lawsuit and further deny
that anyone has been financially harmed in relation to the
claims.

Under the terms of the proposed settlement, Defendants have
agreed to make 185,000 DLT IV tapes available for individuals
and entities that submit valid Claim Forms.  To qualify for the
free tapes, Class Members must complete and send in the Claim
Form by July 31, 2006.

"I would encourage anyone in California who purchased one of
these tapes during the class period to visit the settlement web
site to get complete information regarding their legal rights
and a Claim Form," said Lead Class Counsel Robert C. Schubert of
San Francisco's Schubert & Reed LLP.

Individuals and businesses are eligible to file a claim if they
meet the following criteria:

      -- They purchased DLT IV tapes (excluding Imation-
         certified Blackwatch Digital Linear Tape IV brand)
         between Aug. 5, 1999 and May 30, 2002;

      -- The purchase was made in California;

      -- They were either a California resident or a business
         located in California at the time of purchase; and

      -- They did not purchase the DLT IV tape or tapes to
         resell to others.

Retailers, distributors or wholesalers who purchased the DLT IV
tapes directly from Quantum, Maxell or Fuji, or from anyone else
for resale, are not Class Members and therefore ineligible to
file Claim Forms.

For more details, call 1-866-216-0278 or visit
http://www.tapedrivesettlement.com.


ROSENBERG RICH: Stock Suit Settlement Hearing Set May 18, 2006
--------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey will hold
a fairness hearing for the proposed settlement in the matter:
"Smith, et al. v. Rosenberg, Rich, Baker, Berman and Company,
Case No. 3:03-cv-04425-SRC-TJB."

The case was brought on behalf of all persons and entities who
purchased or acquired shares of common stock or warrants of
Medi-Hut Company, Inc. during the time period from January 18,
2001 through April 4, 2003 and who were damaged thereby.

The hearing will be held before the Honorable Stanley R. Chesler
in the U.S. Courthouse, 402 East State St., Trenton, NJ 08608 at
10:00 a.m. on May 18, 2006 in Courtroom 5050.

Deadline for submitting a proof of claim is on June 30, 2006.
Any objections or exclusions to the settlement must be filed by
April 25, 2006.

For more details, contact Lisa J. Rodriguez of Trujillo
Rodriguez & Richards, LLP, 8 Kings Highway West, Haddonfield, NJ
08033, Phone: (856) 795-9002, E-mail: lisa@trrlaw.com; and
Claims Administrator, Smith V. Rosenberg, Heffler Radetich &
Saitta, LLP, P.O. Box 58776, Philadelphia, PA 19102-8776, Phone:
(800) 528-7199, E-mail: claimsadministrator@heffler.com, Web
site: http://www.hrsclaimsadministrator.com.


TIME WARNER: Suit Settlement Hearing Scheduled for May 19, 2006
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of New
York will hold a fairness hearing for the proposed settlement in
the matter: "Parker, et al. v. Time Warner Entertainment Co., et
al., Case No. CV 98-4265."  The case was brought on behalf of
anyone who subscribed to Time Warner Cable at anytime between
January 1, 1994 and December 31, 1998 and was on a list of
subscribers whose personal information may have been sold by the
Company.

The Court will hold a hearing in this case on May 19, 2006 at
10:00 a.m., before the Honorable I. Leo Glasser at the U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of New York, 225 Cadman
Plaza East, Brooklyn, New York, Courtroom 5, to decide whether
to approve the settlement.

Deadline to Submit a Claim Form is on July 24, 2006, the
deadline to Request Exclusion from the Settlement Class is on
March 24, 2006 and the deadline to Object to the Settlement is
on May 4, 2006.

For more details, contact Time Warner Cable Settlement c/o The
Garden City Group, Inc., Settlement Administrator, P.O. Box 9000
#6328, Merrick, NY 11566-9000, Phone: 1-800-291-3831, Web site:
http://www.twcsettlement.com/.


UNITED STATES: Capitol Police Board Faces Racial Bias Lawsuits
--------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Capitol Police Board is a defendant in several racial
discrimination class actions that are pending in the U.S.
District Court for the District of Columbia, The SFBayView.com
reports.

On the suit is entitled, "Blackmon-Malloy et al. v. United
States Capitol Police Board, 1:01-cv-02221-EGS-JMF," which was
filed in 2001 by more than 200 African American Capitol police
officers, who are members of the U.S. Capitol Black Police
Association.

That suit is alleging disparate treatment based on race in
personnel decisions, such as promotions, other selections, work
assignments, discipline and termination (by creation of a
hostile work environment) and through harassment and retaliation
against African American officers who oppose discrimination.

The other suit, entitled, "Bolden-Whitaker, et al. v. United
States Capitol Police Board, 1:03-cv-02644-EGS" was filed in
2003 by four police officers, who alleged retaliation by the
department over their participation in the 2001 suit.

According to the suit, "Officer Duvall Phelps joined the United
States Capitol Police on Oct. 6, 1975, and 25 years later was
forced into early retirement on Oct. 31, 2000."

Mr. Phelps, the liaison between the class action members and the
lead counsel, Joseph D. Gebhart, alleges that he was retaliated
against because of his participation in the lawsuit.

The suit specifically states, "In January 2002, Phelps was
denied building access on several occasions by white officers .
even though there is a standing practice to allow building
access to retired Members of Congress and Capitol Police
Officers."  It goes on to state, "Sgt. Leonard later told a
female officer that he was tired of Mr. Phelps being in the
building."

The following year, "Lt. Rosencrans announced at roll call that
a certain retiree was illegally entering the buildings and that
he should be denied access and required to park his car where
the public parks.  Capitol Police officials in the House
Division have requested that African American Officer Braswell
park the vehicle of a particular white Capitol Police retiree
named Schwartz in the Upper D Street Garage - a restricted
parking garage reserved for staff - when that retiree visits
Capitol Hill."

In July 2003, the suit alleges, "Items were stolen from Mr.
Phelps' vehicle, including his Capitol Police credentials and
badge.  Lead Class Agent Sharon Blackmon-Malloy's vehicle was
also tampered with in the same timeframe.  Mr. Phelps'
credentials were turned in to the Capitol Police on July 31 or
Aug. 1, 2003."

"White officers who are not members of the Blackmon-Malloy class
have not been subjected to similarly retaliatory and
discriminatory treatment.  White retired Officers were not
denied access to Capitol complex buildings or otherwise
harassed."

For more details, contact Charles W. Day, Jr. and Joseph D.
Gebhardt of Gebhardt & Associates, 1101 17th Street NW, Suite
607, Washington, DC 20036, Phone: (202) 496-0400, Fax: (202)
496-0404, E-mail: billday@covad.net and jgebhardt@covad.net; or
Laurie J. Weinstein of United States Attorney's Office, 555 4th
Street, NW, E4820, Washington, DC 20530, Phone: (202) 514-7133,
Fax: (202) 514-8780, E-mail: Laurie.Weinstein2@usdoj.gov.


UNITED STATES: Government Faces Fla. Suit Over "Dual Eligibles"
---------------------------------------------------------------
National Senior Citizens Law Center (NSCLC) initiated a class
action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
California to force the Secretary of the U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services (HHS) to ensure that the 6.4 million
seniors and disabled individuals across the nation who receive
both Medicare and Medicaid (dual eligibles) have effective,
timely access to prescription medication under the new Medicare
Part D prescription drug program.

Dual eligibles are an extremely vulnerable group.  They are
poorer and sicker than other Medicare beneficiaries.  Almost 40
percent of them have mental or cognitive impairments, 25 percent
live in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities, most
have incomes well below the poverty level, and all are either
elderly or disabled.

Congress specifically ordered HHS to develop a Medicare
prescription drug program that would enroll all dual eligibles
into Part D prescription drug plans; provide them with a subsidy
to defray Part D cost-sharing expenses; and allow dual eligibles
to switch plans at any time.  The complaint demands that HHS
immediately design and implement a system that will meet these
Congressional mandates.

Dual eligibles were supposed to have a seamless transition from
Medicaid drug coverage to Medicare drug coverage when the new
Medicare program went into effect on January 1, 2006.

"Because HHS has failed to effectively implement this provision
of the law, there are widespread problems, confusion and lack of
access to needed medication for dual eligibles throughout the
country," according to Jeanne Finberg, attorney with the
National Senior Citizens Law Center.  "These are not `glitches,'
as described by HHS, but serious, on-going problems affecting
people's health."

"Our clients are poor, frail, and disabled.  They cannot afford
to pay for their medicines or to go without them, as they have
been forced to do," explains Vicki Gottlich, senior policy
attorney for the Center for Medicare Advocacy, Inc.

For more details, contact Jeanne Finberg of the National Senior
Citizens Law Center, Phone: (510) 663-1055 x305, E-mail:
jfinberg@nsclc.org; and Vicki Gottlich of the Center for
Medicare Advocacy, Inc., Phone: (202) 216-0028, E-mail:
vgottlich@medicareadvocacy.org OR visit
http://researcharchives.com/t/s?8af(Complaint) and  
http://researcharchives.com/t/s?8ae(Plaintiffs' Memorandum for  
Class Certification).


VIRGINIA: FPN Mulls Suit for Businessman Pressured by Activist
--------------------------------------------------------------
A Christian businessman in Arlington, Virginia is in trouble
with his local government after he "politely refused" to
duplicate two pro-homosexual films for a longtime homosexual
activist, according to the conservative Family Policy Network
(FPN), which is considering a suit on behalf of the beleaguered
entrepreneur, BP News reports.

Tim Bono of Bono Film and Video cited his desire to honor
biblical prohibitions against the sin of homosexual behavior
when he informed Lillian Vincenz that he would not fulfill her
duplication request, according to an April 25 FPN news release.

Ms. Vincenz asked Arlington County officials to force Mr. Bono
to duplicate her materials, and after an investigation, the
Arlington County Human Rights Commission held a public hearing
in March to discuss the alleged discrimination.

"I've never in my life felt that insulted," Ms. Vincenz told a
local television station regarding the incident with Mr. Bono.
FPN noted though that she was forced out of the military because
of her homosexual behavior, while several pro-homosexual
websites indicate she has promoted the homosexual agenda for
more than four decades.

Joe Glover, president of the Family Policy Network said, "For
years, homosexual activists have spread the lie that they just
want to be left alone to practice their perversions in private.
With the help of Arlington County, this lesbian activist proves
that they're really out to publicly use the power of the
government to destroy the religious liberties of decent people."

On April 18, the Arlington County Human Rights Commission
ordered Mr. Bono to comply with Ms. Vincenz's duplication
request, and FPN is considering a class action against the
county on behalf of Mr. Bono.

"Arlington County's involvement in this anti-Christian, pro-
homosexual witch hunt isn't just a crime against one
businessman, it's a heavy-handed threat to turn the government
against Christians who want to live their lives according to
Scripture," Mr. Glover said.  "Even if they can't win a case
like this on the merits, they're out to strike fear in the
hearts of Christians who want to live according to their faith."

For more details, contact Family Policy Network, Phone: (202)
470-5095 or (804) 419-4483, Fax: (202) 470-5095, or visit
http://familypolicy.net/va-alerts/va/?p=449.


VISA USA: NACS Files Amended Complaint in N.Y. Interchange Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
An amended consolidated complaint was filed for a class action
by a broad range of merchant groups, including the National
Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) against Visa U.S.A.,
MasterCard and several major banks.

This consolidated complaint, filed on April 24, 2006, in the
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York,
updates an earlier complaint filed in September 2005 by NACS and
other groups that alleged that Visa, MasterCard and the banks
engage in collusive practices to fix credit card interchange
fees.  The complaint updates the earlier complaint to include
debit cards, and additional merchant associations joined as
plaintiffs.

"We believe that price fixing of interchange is equally as
problematic in debit cards as it is in credit cards," said NACS
President and CEO Henry O. Armour.  "Because debit cards are
commonly used at convenience stores, especially at the gas pump,
this is a significant amendment to the complaint," said Mr.
Armour.

"Whether debit or credit cards, the fact is that Visa and
MasterCard charge Americans some of the highest interchange fees
in the world," said Mr. Armour, who on Feb. 15 testified before
the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Commerce,
Trade and Consumer Protection in the hearing "The Law and
Economics of Interchange Fees."

The complaint in the lawsuit seeks a permanent injunction
barring the companies from continuing practices that violate
antitrust law.

Interchange, a fee that is collectively set by Visa and
MasterCard's member banks, is a percentage of each transaction
that banks collect from retailers every time a credit or debit
card is used to pay for a purchase, adding up to billions of
dollars each year.

The complaint alleges that Visa and MasterCard are able to set
these fees without apparent respect to the typical market
forces.

"The system is clearly broken," added Mallory Duncan, chairman
of the Merchants Payments Coalition (MPC), a coalition of some
20 trade associations representing retailers, restaurant,
supermarkets, drug stores, convenience stores, gas stations, on-
line merchants and other businesses that accept debit and credit
cards that is fighting for a more competitive card system.

"Visa and MasterCard compete to charge the highest interchange
fees--fees that banks don't pay but all consumers do. In
virtually every other marketplace, competition results in lower
prices, but not with interchange fees," says Mr. Duncan, who
also is senior vice president and general counsel at the
National Retail Federation.

In addition to a fairer fee structure, the MPC, of which NACS is
a founding member, is calling for more transparency as it
relates to the "hidden" nature of the rules that govern
interchange.

"It's not just that the fees are unfair, they are hidden," Mr.
Duncan said. "Credit card companies can increase their
interchange fees--which can approach 2 percent or more on each
transaction--by any amount, and they forbid merchants from
disclosing the fees they charge."

In the U.S., interchange impacts not only the merchants, but has
the largest impact on American consumers.  This "hidden" tax was
estimated to cost approximately $26 billion in 2004.

Several members of the MPC are litigants in the lawsuit,
including NACS, the National Grocers Association, the National
Restaurant Association and the National Association of Travel
Plazas and Truckstops.

The Law office of Robins, Kaplan, Miller and Ciresi filed the
case, which is expected to go to trial in 2008.  It seeks
injunctive relief as well as damages, (Class Action Reporter,
Jan. 10, 2006).

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of New York on September 23, 2005.  The law firm acted
on behalf of the National Association of Convenience Stores,
National Association of Chain Drug Stores, the National
Community Pharmacists Association and the National Cooperative
Grocers Association, (Class Action Reporter, Jan. 10, 2006).

The suit's plaintiffs added they would seek damages and
injunctive relief to stop the alleged anticompetitive practices
of banks and credit card companies.  "We are not seeking some
form of temporary relief; we are looking for long-term reform of
the credit card interchange fee system," said John Rector,
General Counsel of the National Community Pharmacists
Association, (Class Action Reporter, Jan. 10, 2006).

"The current system discriminates against small, independent
businesspersons, and there is no basis for that discrimination.
We ultimately seek a competitive and fair interchange fee
system.  Interchange is much higher in the United States than
any other country, and there is no legitimate basis for that,"
(Class Action Reporter, Jan. 10, 2006).

The suit is "National Association of Convenience Stores, et al.
v. Visa U.S.A., Inc., et al, Case No. 1:05-cv-04521-JG-RLM,"
filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New
York, under the Honorable John Gleeson, presiding.  Representing
the plaintiffs are:

     (1) Neal A. Deyoung of Koskoff Koskoff & Bieder, 350
         Fairfield Ave., P.O. Box 1661, Bridgeport, CT 06604,
         Phone: 203-336-4421, Fax: 203-368-3244, E-mail:
         ndeyoung@koskoff.com; and

     (2) David A. Balto of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi,
         L.L.P., 2800 LaSalle Plaza, 800 LaSalle Avenue,
         Minneapolis, MN 55402, US, Phone: 612-349-8500, Fax:
         612-339-4181.

Representing the defendants are:

     (i) Gary R. Carney, Jr., Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton &
         Garison, LLP, 1285 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY
         10019-3051, Phone: (212) 373-3051, E-mail:
         gcarney@paulweiss.com;

    (ii) Gregory T. Casamento of Lord, Bissell & Brook, LLP, 885
         Third Avenue, 26th Floor, New York, NY 10022, Phone:
         212-812-8325, Fax: 212-947-1202, E-mail:
         gcasamento@lordbissell.com;

   (iii) Cathy A. Fleming of Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge, LLP,
         750 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10022, Phone: 212-
         756-0329, Fax: 888-325-9807, E-mail:
         cfleming@EdwardsAngell.com; and

    (iv) Andrew J. Frackman of O'Melveny & Myers, LLP, Times
         Square Tower, 7 Times Square, New York, NY 10036,
         Phone: 212-326-2017, Fax: 212-326-2061, E-mail:
         afrackman@omm.com.


WISCONSIN: ACLU Files Suit Over Prison Conditions at Taycheedah
---------------------------------------------------------------  
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) initiated a class
action in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of
Wisconsin on behalf of women prisoners, charging that the state
prison system puts their lives at risk through grossly deficient
health care and provides far inferior mental health treatment as
compared to men.

The lawsuit, filed by four women prisoners at Taycheedah
Correctional Institution, the ACLU's National Prison Project and
the ACLU of Wisconsin, asks the court to order reforms to the
system so that constitutionally adequate care is made available.

"When the government puts someone behind bars, it has an
obligation to provide humane treatment," said Gouri Bhat, a
lawyer with the National Prison Project.  "The women at
Taycheedah are in prison to pay their debt to society, not to be
subjected to untreated disease and premature death.  But that is
exactly what they are enduring at Taycheedah."

In its legal complaint, the ACLU charged that the prison's
health system violates the Constitution's Eighth Amendment
prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment, as well as the
Fourteenth Amendment guarantee of equal protection, because the
women receive mental health care far inferior to what male
prisoners receive.  The ACLU said these lapses in mental health
care occur against the backdrop of a prison system that has a
suicide rate of twice the national average.

According to the complaint, the system dramatically fails women
with both physical and mental diseases, as two well-publicized
incidents demonstrate.

In February 2000, a 29-year-old asthmatic prisoner collapsed and
died in Taycheedah's cafeteria after repeated requests for
medical help.

In June 2005, an 18-year-old suicidal prisoner hanged herself in
her cell while supposedly "in observation" in the mental health
unit at Taycheedah, which provides no in-patient care and serves
only to isolate and punish the most vulnerable women.

Unlike the women at Taycheedah, men with severe mental health
issues may be assigned to the Wisconsin Resource Center, an
inpatient psychiatric facility that provides round-the-clock
care and individualized treatment for male offenders.

Even beyond these high-profile cases, the medical system is
failing women at Taycheedah on a daily basis, said the ACLU.

The lawsuit graphically describes the human suffering resulting
from the breakdown of an understaffed, underfunded and
dangerously dysfunctional health care system in Wisconsin's
prisons.

Debbie Ann Ramos, one of the plaintiffs did not see a
gynecologist for seven years after arriving at Taycheedah,
despite a diagnosis of chronic endometriosis and progressively
worsening vaginal bleeding.  Ms. Ramos ultimately needed a
hysterectomy that might have been avoided by timely care.

Another prisoner, Tammy Young, developed painful, bleeding sores
on her scalp in November 2003.  Despite her repeated requests
for treatment for more than 18 months, the medical staff at
Taycheedah failed to test her for MRSA, a highly contagious form
of staph infection that plagues prisons and other institutions.
Today, scores of women at Taycheedah are infected with MRSA.

The prison's mental health system, which seems to consist of
little more than solitary confinement and the over prescription
of psychotropic drugs, may be responsible for even greater harm.

One of the plaintiffs, Kristine Flynn, has received no group or
individual therapy in five years at Taycheedah even though she
has been diagnosed as bipolar and seriously mentally ill.  Ms.
Flynn attempted suicide six days after prison staff abruptly
discontinued her eight medications.

Vernessia Parker, another plaintiff who has been suicidal, was
found by a court to be in need of in-patient mental health
treatment but has never left Taycheedah, where she rarely sees
mental health care staff and her calls to crisis intervention
staff go unanswered for weeks

"These situations are not isolated mistakes," said Larry Dupuis,
the ACLU of Wisconsin's legal director.  "They are
manifestations of a system that has been in crisis for years,
and the state has made no meaningful effort to address its
underlying problems."

A 2002 study by the National Institute of Corrections found
grossly inadequate staffing, confused lines of supervision and
almost no mechanism for preventing medical errors throughout the
Wisconsin prison system.  Compounding the problem, medicines are
distributed by untrained prison guards instead of medical staff.
Other internal studies have confirmed the seriousness of these
problems.

"It is time for Wisconsin to live up to its constitutional
obligations to provide decent health care to women in its
custody," said Chris Ahmuty, the ACLU of Wisconsin's executive
director.  "Since the legislature and the administration can't
muster the political will to do so voluntarily, we are asking
the courts to order these reforms, before more women suffer and
die unnecessarily."

The lawsuit was filed against senior officials in the state
corrections department as well as Governor Jim Doyle. The four
named women in the lawsuit are Ramos, Flynn, Parker and Lenda
Flournoy.

For more details, contact David C. Fathi of the National Prison
Project of the ACLU Foundation, Phone: (202) 393-4930, Fax:
(202) 393-4931, E-mail: gbhat@npp-aclu.org or Laurence J. Dupris
of the ACLU of Wisconsin Foundation, Phone: (414) 272-4032, Fax:
(414) 272-0182.

A copy of the complaint is available at: http://www.aclu-
wi.org/wisconsin/police_prisons/TCI%20Complaint%20--
%20for%20filing.pdf.



                   New Securities Fraud Cases


AMERICA SERVICE: Cohen Milstein Lodges Securities Suit in Tenn.
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C., filed a
lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of
Tennessee on behalf of its client and on behalf of other
similarly situated purchasers of America Service Group, Inc.
(ASGR) common stock between September 24, 2003 through and
including March 16, 2006 (the Class Period).

The Company and its subsidiaries provide managed healthcare
services to correctional facilities in the United States.  The
Company operates its Correctional Healthcare Services segment
through its subsidiary Prison Health Services (PHS) and its
Pharmaceutical Distribution Services segment through its
subsidiary Secured Pharmacy Plus (SPP).

The Complaint charges ASG and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the Exchange Act).  The
Complaint alleges that defendants omitted or misrepresented
material adverse facts about the Company's financial condition,
business prospects, and revenue expectations during the Class
Period.

Specifically, the Complaint alleges that, during the Class
Period, defendants issued numerous materially false and
misleading statements, which caused ASG's securities to trade at
artificially inflated prices.

As alleged in the Complaint, these statements were materially
false and misleading and violated Generally Accepted Accounting
Principles (GAAP), because they misrepresented and failed to
disclose that:

      -- ASG was not charging its customers in accordance with
         applicable contracts;

      -- ASG failed to properly credit customers with discounts,
         rebates or price savings resulting from purchases from
         alternative sources;

      -- ASG failed to provide customers with proper credit for
         the return of pharmaceutical products;

      -- defendants inappropriately established and used
         reserves during various periods over the last five
         years to more closely match SPP reported earnings to
         its budgeted results;

      -- the Company lacked adequate internal controls and was
         therefore unable to ascertain its true financial
         condition; and

      -- as a result, the values of the Company's net income,
         retained earnings and reserves were materially
         overstated at all relevant times.

According to the Complaint, after the market closed on March 15,
2006, ASG issued a press release announcing the findings of its
internal investigation into SPP.

As a result of the findings of the investigation, the Company
announced that it will restate earnings for the years ended
December 31, 2001 through December 31, 2004 and for the first
six months of 2005 and issue refunds of $3.6 million, plus
interest, to customers for instances in which it failed to
credit them with discounts, rebates or price savings to which
they were entitled, among other things.

The Complaint alleges that in response to the Company's
announcement, the price of ASG stock fell $5.65 per share, or
almost 29%, to close at $13.95 per share, on unusually heavy
volume.

Interested parties may no later than June 5, 2006 request that
the Court appoint you as Lead Plaintiff of the class.

For more details, contact Steven J. Toll, Esq. and Emilie Schulz
of Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C., 1100 New York
Avenue, N.W., West Tower, Suite 500, Washington, D.C. 20005,
Phone: 888-240-0775 or 202-408-4600, E-mail: stoll@cmht.com and
eschultz@cmht.com.


AMERICAN INT'L: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Lawsuit in E.D. N.Y.
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP, initiated a class
action in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of
New York on behalf of all those who purchased Van Kampen mutual
funds from the AIG Advisor Group (Parent Company is defendant
American International Group, Inc. (NYSE: AIG), hereinafter from
June 30, 2000 through June 8, 2005, inclusive.

During the Class Period, the AIG Advisor Group consisted of the
following broker-dealers: Royal Alliance, Inc., SunAmerica
Securities, Inc., FSC Securities Corp., Sentra Securities
Corporation, Spelman & Co., Inc., and Advantage Capital Corp.

The Van Kampen mutual funds and their respective symbols are as
follows:

    Van Kampen Aggressive Growth (VAGAX)(VAGBX)(VAGCX)(VAGDX)

    Van Kampen American Value (MSAVX)(MGAVX)(MSVCX)

    Van Kampen CA Insured Tax-Free (VKCIX)(VCIBX)(VCICX)

    Van Kampen Comstock (ACSTX)(ACSWX)(ACSYX)(ACSDX)(ACSRX)

    Van Kampen Corporate Bond (ACCBX)(ACCDX)(ACCEX)

    Van Kampen Emerging Growth (ACEGX) (ACEMX) (ACEFX) (ACEDX)
    (ACEEX)

    Van Kampen Emerging Markets (MSRAX)(MSRBX)(MSRCX)

    Van Kampen Enterprise (ACENX)(ACEOX)(ACEPX)

    Van Kampen Equity and Income (ACEIX) (ACEQX) (ACERX) (ACETX)
    (ACESX)

    Van Kampen Equity Growth (VEGAX)(VEGBX)(VEGCX)

    Van Kampen Exchange (ACEHX)

    Van Kampen Global Equity Alloc (MSGAX)(MSGBX)(MSGCX)

    Van Kampen Global Franchise (VGFAX)(VGFBX)(VGFCX)

    Van Kampen Global Value Equity (MGEAX)(MGEBX)(MGECX)

    Van Kampen Government Securities (ACGVX)(ACGTX)(ACGSX)

    Van Kampen Growth and Income (ACGIX) (ACGJX) (ACGKX) (ACGMX)
    (ACGLX)
    Van Kampen Harbor (ACHBX)(ACHAX)(ACHCX)(ACHIX)

    Van Kampen High Yield (ACHYX)(ACHZX)(ACHWX)(ACHVX)

    Van Kampen High-Yield Municipal (ACTHX)(ACTGX)(ACTFX)

    Van Kampen Insured Tax-Free Inc  (VKMTX)(VMTBX)(VMTCX)

    Van Kampen Interm-Term Muni (VKLMX)(VKLBX)(VKLCX)

    Van Kampen International Advantage (VKIAX)(VKIBX)(VKICX)

    Van Kampen Limited Duration (ACFMX)(ACFTX)(ACFWX)

    Van Kampen Mid Cap Growth (VGRAX)(VGRBX)(VGRCX)

    Van Kampen Municipal Income (VKMMX)(VMIBX)(VMICX)

    Van Kampen NY Tax-Free Income (VNYAX)(VBNYX)(VNYCX)

    Van Kampen PA Tax-Free Income (VKMPX)(VKPAX)(VKPCX)

    Van Kampen Pace (ACPAX)(ACPBX)(ACPCX)

    Van Kampen Real Estate Secs (ACREX)(ACRBX)(ACRCX)

    Van Kampen Select Growth (VSGAX)(VBSGX)(VSGCX)

    Van Kampen Senior Loan (XPRTX)(XSLCX)

    Van Kampen Small Cap Growth (VASCX)(VBSCX)(VCSCX)

    Van Kampen Small Cap Value (VSCAX)(VSMBX)(VSMCX)

    Van Kampen Strategic Municipal Inc (VKMHX)(VKTFX)(VMHCX)

    Van Kampen Technology (VTFAX)(VTFBX)(VTFCX)

    Van Kampen U.S. Mortgage (VKMGX)(VUSBX)(VUSCX)

    Van Kampen Utility (VKUAX)(VKUBX)(VKUCX)

    Van Kampen Value Opportunities (VVOAX)(VVOBX)(VVOCX)(VVOIX)

On June 8, 2005, the NASD announced that it had fined AIG in
connection with the receipt of directed brokerage in exchange
for preferential treatment for certain mutual fund companies and
certain mutual fund families (the Shelf-Space Funds).

The Shelf-Space Funds included the following mutual fund
families: AIG SunAmerica, AIM, AllianceBernstein, American
Funds, American Skandia, Columbia, Fidelity, Franklin Templeton,
Hartford, John Hancock, MFS, NationsFunds, Pacific Life,
Pioneer, Putnam, Oppenheimer, Scudder, Van Kampen, and WM Funds
Distributor, Inc.

The Complaint charges AIG and certain of its affiliated entities
with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  More
specifically, the Complaint alleges that the defendants, in
clear contravention of their disclosure obligations and
fiduciary responsibilities, failed to properly disclose that
they had been aggressively pushing sales personnel to sell the
Shelf-Space Funds that provided financial incentives and rewards
to AIG and its personnel based on sales.

Instead of offering fair, honest and unbiased recommendations to
investors, the AIG Financial Advisors gave pre-determined
recommendations, pushing clients into a pre-selected limited
number of mutual funds so that the Financial Advisors could reap
millions of dollars in kickbacks from the Shelf-Space Funds,
with which they had struck secret, highly lucrative deals to
profit at shareholders' expense.

The defendants' sales practices created a material
insurmountable conflict of interest between the defendants and
their clients by providing substantial monetary incentives to
sell Shelf-Space Funds, sales of which increased the defendants'
overall profits, but diminished investors' returns in the
process.

While Shelf-Space Funds were aggressively sold to investors, the
defendants failed to disclose any of these financial incentives
for selling such funds.  The conflict of interest created by the
defendants' failure to disclose the incentives is a clear
violation of federal securities laws.

Interested parties you may no later than June 6, 2006, move the
Court to serve as lead plaintiff of the class.

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


CHINA ENERGY: Kahn Gauthier Files Securities Fraud Suit in N.Y.
---------------------------------------------------------------
Kahn Gauthier Swick, LLC (KGS) initiated a securities class
action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of
New York, on behalf of shareholders who purchased or otherwise
acquired the common stock of China Energy Savings Technology,
Inc. (NASDAQ: CESV) between April 21, 2005 and February 15,
2006.

The Complaint alleges that Defendants violated the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 by issuing a series of material
misrepresentations. On February 14, 2006, the Company filed its
delayed Form 10-Q, which revealed that the Company and its
independent auditors were the subject of an informal SEC
inquiry. On February 15, 2006, Nasdaq announced that trading was
halted in China Energy, the current status of the stock.

Interested parties have until June 30, 2006, to move the court
to serve as lead plaintiff.

For more details, contact Lewis Kahn of KGS, Phone: 1-866-467-
1400, ext., 100, or 504-648-1850, E-mail: lewis.kahn@kglg.com.


COMVERSE TECHNOLOGY: Lerach Coughlin Files Stock Suit in N.Y.
-------------------------------------------------------------
Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins, LLP, initiated
class action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of New York on behalf of purchasers of Comverse
Technology Inc. (CMVT) common stock during the period between
December 14, 2004 and March 13, 2006.

Interested parties can move the Court no later than June 19,
2006.

The complaint charges Comverse, Kobi Alexander, and David
Kreinberg with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934.  Defendants Alexander and Kreinberg are referred to herein
as the "Individual Defendants."

The Company and its subsidiaries engage in the design,
development, manufacture, marketing, and support of software,
systems, and related services for multimedia communication and
information processing applications.

The complaint alleges that, during the Class Period, Comverse
embarked on a scheme whereby the Company backdated option grants
given to the Individual Defendants and other executives ahead of
favorable news in order to give the recipients a better chance
of profiting from exercising the options.

According to the complaint, prior to the Class Period,
Defendants issued and filed a series of materially false and
misleading statements and quarterly reports with the SEC
concerning the Company's financial performance.  These
statements were materially false and misleading because they
misrepresented and failed to disclose the following adverse
facts:

      -- that the Company backdated option grants given to the
         Individual Defendants and other executives ahead of
         favorable news in order to give the recipients a better
         chance of profiting from exercising the options;

      -- that the Company was not properly accounting for
         additional compensation expenses incurred by this
         scheme;

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

      -- that as a result of the foregoing, the values of the
         Company's income from operations, net income and
         retained earnings were materially overstated at all
         relevant times and the Company has admitted that it
         will be restating its financial statements for its
         historical financial statements for each of the fiscal
         years ended January 31, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002 and 2001
         and for the first three quarters of the fiscal year
         ended January 31, 2006.

On March 14, 2006, the Company issued a press release announcing
it has created a special committee of its Board of Directors
composed of outside directors to review matters relating to the
Company's stock option grants, including, but not limited to,
the accuracy of the stated dates of option grants and whether
all proper corporate procedures were followed.

Following this announcement, shares of Comverse common stock
declined $4.30 per share, or 15%, to close at $24.85 per share,
on extraordinarily heavy trading volume.

Then, on April 17, 2006, the Company issued a press release
announcing the results of the special committee's review.  As a
result of the review, the Company revealed "that the actual
dates of measurement for certain past stock option grants for
accounting purposes differed from the recorded grant dates for
such awards."

As a result, the Company will need to restate its historical
financial statements for each of the fiscal years ended January
31, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002 and 2001 and for the first three
quarters of the fiscal year ended January 31, 2006 because "any
such stock-based compensation charges would have the effect of
decreasing the income from operations, net income and retained
earnings figures contained in the Company's historical financial
statements."

Prior to disclosing these adverse facts, the Individual
Defendants sold 614,443 shares of their personally-held stock,
thereby reaping more than $16 million in gross proceeds. In
fact, over 75% of the common stock sold by the Individual
Defendants during the Class Period was a product of these
improper option grants.

For more details, contact David A. Rosenfeld or Mario Alba Jr.
of Lerach Coughlin, Phone: 800/449-4900 or 619/231-1058, E-mail:
wsl@lerachlaw.com, Web site:
http://www.lerachlaw.com/cases/comverse.


DISCOVERY LABORATORIES: Charles J. Piven Files Stock Suit in Pa.
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, P.A. initiated a securities
class action on behalf of shareholders who purchased, converted,
exchanged or otherwise acquired the common stock of Discovery
Laboratories, Inc. (DSCO) between December 28, 2005 and April
25, 2006, inclusive.

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

Interested parties you may move the court no later than June 30,
2006 to serve as a lead plaintiff for the proposed class.

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


NATURE'S SUNSHINE: Spector Roseman Files Securities Suit in Utah
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Spector, Roseman & Kodroff, P.C., initiated a
securities class action in the U.S. District Court for the
District of Utah, on behalf of purchasers of the common stock of
Nature's Sunshine Products, Inc. (NSPI) (Pink Sheets:NATR)
between May 13, 2002 through March 24, 2006, inclusive.

The Complaint alleges that the defendants violated the federal
securities laws by issuing materially false and misleading
statements contained in press releases and filings with the
Securities and Exchange Commission during the Class Period.

Specifically, it is alleged that:

      -- the Defendants knew or recklessly disregarded material
         adverse information about the Company's financial
         results and then existing business condition; and

      -- the Company's financial statements were materially
         misstated due to the fact that NSPI failed to properly
         account for foreign transactions.

As a result of defendants' false statements, NSPI stock traded
at artificially inflated prices during the Class Period,
reaching a high of $23.34 per share on September 30, 2005.

On March 20, 2006, the Company announced that its publicly filed
financial statements for each quarter from 2002 through 2005
should not be relied upon due to a Preliminary Report issued by
its Audit Committee and an independent consultant, which
revealed certain "internal control weaknesses" and "potential
violations of law."  As a result of this disclosure, NSPI's
stock dropped to $14.33 per share.

On March 24, 2006, following the Company announcement that it
had received a noncompliance notice from the NASDAQ due to its
failure to file its Form 10-K in a timely manner, the price of
its stock fell to $11.68 per share.

Five days later, on March 29, 2003, the Company's President and
CEO resigned and on April 5, 2006, NSPI announced that it had
been delisted from NASDAQ.  On April 26, 2006, the Company's
stock closed at $10.95 per share.

Interested parties may no later than June 2, 2006, move to be
appointed as a Lead Plaintiff in this class action.

For more details, contact Robert M. Roseman of Spector, Roseman
& Kodroff, P.C., Phone: 888-844-5862, E-mail: classaction@srk-
law.com, Web site: http://www.srk-law.com.


PXRE GROUP: Murray Frank Files Securities Fraud Lawsuit in N.Y.
---------------------------------------------------------------
Murray, Frank & Sailer, LLP, filed a class action in the U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf
of all who purchased the securities of PXRE Group Ltd. (PXT)
between July 28, 2005 and February 16, 2006, inclusive.  The
Complaint alleges violations of both the Securities Exchange Act
of 1934 and the Securities Act of 1933.

PXRE is a worldwide provider of catastrophe reinsurance products
and services to both primary insurers and reinsurers.  Since
1987, it has specialized in offering catastrophe and risk excess
reinsurance.

The Complaint alleges that defendants' issued a series of false
and misleading statements to the market artificially inflating
the Company's stock.  More specifically, the Defendants failed
to disclose the following materially adverse facts to the
market:

      -- that the Company concealed from investors the full
         impact on its business of hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and
         Wilma (the 2005 Hurricanes);

      -- that, in fact, the Company's cost of the 2005
         Hurricanes had doubled to an estimated $758 million to
         $788 million;

      -- that the magnitude of the loss would cause the Company
         to lose key financial-strength and credit ratings from
         A.M. Best, an influential industry-rating agency;

      -- that the Company concealed the losses in order to
         complete a $114 million secondary offering and raise
         more than $350 million from an offering of perpetual
         preferred shares; and

   -- that as a consequence of the foregoing, the Company's
      statements with respect to its loss estimates for the
      2005 Hurricane season lacked in all reasonable basis.

On February 16, 2006, after the close of the market, PXRE
shocked investors when it announced that it would be increasing
its estimates of the net pre-tax impact of Hurricanes Katrina,
Rita and Wilma by an amount between $281 million to $311 million
for the year ended December 31, 2005 compared to the high end of
their prior announced estimates.

Later that same day, February 16, 2006, A.M. Best announced that
it had downgraded the financial strength rating of PXRE to B++
(Very Good) from A- (Excellent).

News of PXRE's announcement regarding the impact of the 2005
Hurricanes, as well as the subsequent downgrade, sent shares of
PXRE spiraling downward on February 17, 2006.

By the end of the day, shares of PXRE had fallen $7.85 per
share, or 65.94 percent, on high trading volume, to close at
$4.05 per share.

Interested parties may no later than July 3, 2006, move the
Court to serve as lead plaintiff.

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


PXRE GROUP: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Securities Suit in N.Y.
--------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP, initiated a class
action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of
New York on behalf of all securities purchasers of PXRE Group
Ltd. (PXT) between July 28, 2005 and February 16, 2006,
inclusive.

The Complaint charges PXRE, Jeffrey L. Radke, and John M. Modin
with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

PXRE is a worldwide provider of catastrophe reinsurance products
and services to both primary insurers and reinsurers.  Since
1987, they have specialized in offering catastrophe and risk
excess reinsurance.

More specifically, the Complaint alleges that the Company failed
to disclose and misrepresented the following material adverse
facts, which were known to defendants or recklessly disregarded
by them:

      -- that the Company concealed from investors the full
         impact on its business of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and
         Wilma (2005 Hurricanes);

      -- that, in fact, the Company's cost of the 2005
         Hurricanes had doubled to an estimated $758 million to
         $788 million;

      -- that the magnitude of the loss would cause the Company
         to lose key financial-strength and credit ratings from
         A.M. Best, an influential industry-rating agency;

      -- that the Company concealed the losses in order to
         complete a $114 million secondary offering and raise
         more than $350 million from an offering of perpetual
         preferred shares; and

      -- that as a consequence of the foregoing, the Company's
         statements with respect to its loss estimates for the
         2005 Hurricane season lacked in all reasonable basis.

On February 16, 2006, after the close of the market, PXRE
shocked investors when it announced that it would be increasing
its estimates of the net pre-tax impact of Hurricanes Katrina,
Rita and Wilma by an amount between $281 million to $311 million
for the year ended December 31, 2005 compared to the high end of
their prior announced estimates.

Later that same day, February 16, 2006, A.M. Best announced that
it had downgraded the financial strength rating of PXRE to B++
(Very Good) from A- (Excellent).

News of this sent shares of PXRE spiraling downward on February
17, 2006. By the end of the day, shares of PXRE had fallen $7.85
per share, or 65.94 percent, on high trading volume, to close at
$4.05 per share.

For more details, contact Darren J. Check, Esquire and Richard
A. Maniskas, Esquire of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP, 280 King of
Prussia Road, Radnor, PA 19087, Phone: 1-800-299-7706 or 1-610-
667-7706, E-mail: info@sbclasslaw.com, Web site:
http://www.sbclasslaw.com.


VITESSE SEMICONDUCTOR: Berman DeValerio Files Calif. Stock Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Berman DeValerio Pease Tabacco Burt & Pucillo field a class
action in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of
California against Vitesse Semiconductor Corporation (VTSS),
accusing the Company of securities law violations.

The complaint, filed as 06-CV-2647, seeks damages for violations
of federal securities laws on behalf of all investors who
acquired Vitesse securities from October 23, 2003, through and
including April 26, 2006.

The lawsuit claims that Vitesse and three individual defendants
violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act
of 1934 ("Exchange Act"), 15 U.S.C. Sections 78j(b) and 78t(a),
and SEC Rule 10b-5, 17 C.F.R. Section 240.10b-5, promulgated
thereunder.

Vitesse engages in the design, development, manufacturing, and
marketing of integrated circuits for systems manufacturers in
the communications and storage industries.

According to the plaintiff's complaint, Vitesse and three
individual defendants violated the federal securities laws by
issuing materially false and misleading statements during the
Class Period that artificially inflated the Company's stock
price. Specifically, the defendants:

      -- failed to properly account for credits issued to or
         requested by customers;

      -- failed to properly apply payments received to the
         appropriate account receivable; and

      -- failed to properly account for the stock options
         granted to senior officers and directors.

On April 18, 2006, Vitesse disclosed that its Board of Directors
had appointed a special committee to conduct an internal
investigation into past stock option grants, the timing of such
grants and related accounting and documentation.

The day after the announcement, on April 19, 2006, Vitesse's
shares plunged more than 32% to open at $2.35 (from a prior
close of $3.11) and closed that day at $2.48, down $.63.

On April 26, 2006, Vitesse announced that its previously
reported financial statements for the three months ended
December 31, 2005 and the three years ended September 30, 2005,
and possibly earlier periods, should not be relied upon.

The Company further stated that the Management Report on
Internal Control over Financial Reporting as of September 30,
2005, and the Report of KPMG LLP relating to the effectiveness
of the Company's internal controls over financial reporting and
management's assessment, both included in the Company's Form 10-
K for the year ended September 30, 2005, should not be relied
upon.

Vitesse also disclosed that the Company's ongoing internal
investigation had uncovered evidence that its accounts
receivable and revenues may have been misstated.

Following this disclosure, on April 27, 2006, Vitesse's shares
sank 23.5% to $1.92, and closed that day at $1.83, down $.68.

For more details, contact Joseph J. Tabacco, Esq. and Lesley A.
Hale, Esq. of Berman DeValerio Pease Tabacco Burt & Pucillo, 425
California Street, Suite 2100, San Francisco, CA 94104, Phone:
(415) 433-3200, E-mail: sflaw@bermanesq.com, Web site:
http://www.bermanesq.com/pdf/Vitesse-Cplt.pdf.


XM SATELLITE: Charles Piven Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in D.C.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, P.A. initiated securities class
action on behalf of shareholders who purchased, converted,
exchanged or otherwise acquired the common stock of XM Satellite
Radio Holdings, Inc. (XMSR) between July 28, 2005 and February
15, 2006, inclusive.

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

Interested parties may move the court no later than July 3, 2006
to serve as a lead plaintiff for the proposed class.

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


XM SATELLITE: Schatz & Nobel Files Securities Fraud Suit in D.C.
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schatz & Nobel, P.C., initiated a lawsuit
seeking class action status in the U.S. District Court for the
District of Columbia on behalf of all persons who purchased or
otherwise acquired the common stock of XM Satellite Radio
Holdings, Inc. (XMSR) between July 28, 2005 and February 15,
2006, inclusive.

The Complaint alleges that defendants violated federal
securities laws by issuing a series of materially false
statements.

Specifically, defendants made misrepresentations regarding XM's
ability to reduce the costs of its new subscribers as it reached
its goal of 6 million subscribers by year-end 2005.

In reality, XM would be forced to spend extraordinarily large
sums of money in the fourth quarter of 2005, in order to stay on
track to achieve its stated goal.

Despite defendants' knowledge that XM would be making those huge
expenditures in the fourth quarter of 2005, defendants failed to
disclose to the market that XM's cost of subscriber acquisition
would rise to extraordinary levels, leading to huge increases in
XM's net losses, which was in complete reversal of the trends of
declining subscriber acquisition costs and net losses defendants
were reporting.

During the Class Period, several key insiders of XM made huge
sales of their personal taking advantage of the artificial
inflation of XM's common stock.

On February 16, 2006, defendants issued a press release
announcing XM's results for the fourth quarter 2005 and year
2005 results. In the release, they disclosed the truth about the
skyrocketing level of XM's subscriber acquisition costs.  On
this news, XM's common stock fell 13% to close at $21.96 on
February 17, 2006.

Interested parties have no later than July 3, 2006 to request
that the Court appoint them as lead plaintiff of the class.

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



                            *********


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

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

                            *********


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

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