/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/061016.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

            Monday, October 16, 2006, Vol. 8, No. 205


ACXIOM CORP: Ark. Judge Dismisses Suit Over Security Breaches
ADELPHIA COMMUNICATIONS: Plaintiffs Object to Ordered Language
ADOBE SYSTEMS: Plaintiff in Derivative Suit Adds Class Claims
ALBERTSON'S INC: Continues to Face Calif. WARN Violations Suit
APPLE COMPUTER: MacBook Users Mull Litigation Over RSS Problems

BAYVIEW CREMATORIUM: Lawsuit Over Illegal Operation Certified
CABLEVISION SYSTEM: Law Firm Challenges Proposed Insider Buyout
CANADA: High Court Rules Payday Loan Case in Ontario May Proceed
CANADA: Govt., Cantley Landfill Owners Face Lawsuit by Residents
CHATTEM INC: Files Responses to Calif. Bullfrog Suncare Suit

EMORY VALLEY: Caregivers File Tenn. Suit Over Herpes Infections
ENCYSIVE PHARMACEUTICALS: Faces Tex. Securities Fraud Lawsuits
FRANCE: Competition Council Favors Class Action for Consumers
FREDDIE MAC: Oct. Hearing Set for $410M Stock Suit Settlement
HELEN OF TROY: Seeks Dismissal of Tex. Consolidated Stock Suit

ILLINOIS: Court Certifies Class in Well Contamination Lawsuit
INTERVOICE-BRITE: Tex. Court Certifies Class in Securities Suit
JOHNSON & JOHNSON: Faces 500 Claims in Birth Control Patch Suit
KENTUCKY: Lawsuit Planned v. PVA Over Property Tax Assessments
LENDINGTREE LLC: Faces Nationwide Consumer Fraud Suit in Calif.

MASSACHUSETTS: Town Plans Suit Over State Education Budgeting
MOSAIC CO: Seeks Dismissal of Water Pollution Lawsuit in Fla.
MUSICLAND GROUP: Faces Lawsuit in Calif. Superior Court
NEWPARK RESOURCES: Faces La. Consolidated Securities Fraud Suit
OKLAHOMA: Judge Freezes Implementation of New Video Game Law

RIO TINTO: Oceanic Islanders Win Appeal in Calif. Ecocide Suit
TELSTRA CORP: Strike Out Application Hearing Set Oct. 26
TYSON FOODS: Tenn. Court Certifies Class in Workers' Lawsuit
UNITED STATES: Suit Seeks Halt to Immigrant Parents' Deportation
VIRGINIA: Elections Board Sued Over Absentee Voting for Disabled

WAL-MART STORES: Jury Finds Violation of Penn. Employment Laws
WASHINGTON: U.S. High Court Reviews Case Over Use of Union Fees
ZURICH NORTH: Delay Sought in N.J. Broker Pay Suit Settlement

                   New Securities Fraud Cases

LOUDEYE CORP: Federman & Sherwood Announces Stock Suit Filing


ACXIOM CORP: Ark. Judge Dismisses Suit Over Security Breaches
Judge William R. Wilson, Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of Arkansas threw out a class action against
Acxiom Corp. over incidents that resulted in the loss of
personal information of several of the plaintiffs, GigaLaw.com

According to the judge's ruling, even though a spammer had
downloaded more than one billion records from the company, there
was no evidence that Acxiom's purloined database had been used
to send junk e-mail or postal mail.

On April 17, a purported consumer class action was filed in the
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas against
Acxiom Corp. over incidents that resulted in the loss of
personal information of several of the plaintiffs (Class Action
Reporter, June 30, 2006).  

The suit alleges that the company had a duty to notify consumers
of the security breach incidents that occurred in 2003.   

Among others, the complaint seeks an order requiring the company
to notify all class members in writing of the times their
private information was breached, how it was breached, by whom,
and what action the company took to prevent further breaches of

Plaintiff also seeks an order requiring the company to remove
the class members' private information from its computer systems
and enjoining it from obtaining such private information from
the class in the future.  

The complaint also seeks compensatory and punitive damages, and
attorneys' fees, according to the company's June 14, 2006 Form
10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the fiscal year ended March 31, 2006.

The suit is "April Bell v. Acxiom Corp., Case No. 4:06-cv-00485-
WRW," filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District
of Arkansas under Judge William R. Wilson, Jr.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (1) John G. Emerson and Scott E. Poynter of Emerson  
         Poynter, LLP, Phone: 501-907-2555, Fax: 501-907-2556,  
         E-mail: john@emersonpoynter.com and  
         Scott@emersonpoynter.com; and  

     (2) George L. McWilliams, Sean Fletcher Rommel, James Clark  
         Wyly and Jack Thomas Patterson, II of Patton Roberts  
         McWilliams & Capshaw, Phone: (903) 334-7000 and 501-
         372-3480, E-mail: jpatterson@pattonroberts.com,  
         srommel@pattonroberts.com and jwyly@pattonroberts.com.

Representing the defendant is Amy Lee Stewart of Rose Law Firm,  
120 East Fourth Street, Little Rock, AR 72201-2893, Phone: 501-
375-9131, E-mail: astewart@roselawfirm.com.

ADELPHIA COMMUNICATIONS: Plaintiffs Object to Ordered Language
The class action plaintiffs in a lawsuit pending before the
United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York captioned, "In re Adelphia Communications Corp. Securities
& Deriv. Litigation, 03 MD 1529 (LMM)," note that the ACOM
Debtors' proposed Disclosure Statement Order includes language
that was never mentioned in the motion to approve the disclosure
statement related to the Fifth Amended Plan of Reorganization
(Adelphia Bankruptcy News, Issue Nos. 152; Bankruptcy Creditors'
Service, Inc., http://bankrupt.com/newsstand/or 215/945-7000).

The ordered language states that except as ordered by the
court, solely for purposes of voting to accept or reject the
Plan and not for the purpose of allowance or distribution, each
timely filed existing securities laws claim classified in:

      -- Class ACC 8 -- Preferred Stock Interests, or
      -- Class ACC 9 -- Common Stock Interests,

will be allowed in the amount of one share of the security
corresponding to that existing securities laws claim.

The class action plaintiffs object to the inclusion of the
Ordered Language in the company's proposed order.

In the alternative, the class action plaintiffs ask the court to
condition its approval of the Proposed Ordered Language on the
Plan Proponents:

      -- clarifying that the language will be without prejudice
         to the Class Action Plaintiffs and other parties-in-
         interest's rights to object to that relief at, or in
         connection with, confirmation of the Plan; and

      -- providing disclosure in the Disclosure Statement  
         regarding the basis of and need for that relief, and of
         the right to object in connection with confirmation.

The class action plaintiffs are concerned that the proposed
language would affect those individuals or entities holding
claims for damages arising from the purchase or sale of
preferred stock or common stock, or who assert claims for
violations of securities laws, misrepresentations or similar

                        Case Background

Beginning in April 2002, more than 30 individual and class
actions were filed by purchasers of Adelphia debt and equity
securities against Adelphia, its officers and directors, its
outside counsel, Adelphia's auditors Deloitte & Touche, and/or
various of Adelphia's underwriters and lenders, the banks.  

Eventually, plaintiffs in the securities suit agreed with its
auditor and banks to settle the case for $460 million.  The
District Court is set to hold a fairness hearing on the matter
on Nov. 10 at 2:15 p.m.

Deadline for submitting a proof of claim is March 10, 2007.

The settlement covers all persons and entities that purchased or
otherwise acquired securities issued by Adelphia Communications  
Corp. or its subsidiaries between Aug. 16, 1999, and June 10,  
2002.  It consists of two separate settlements:

       -- the $210,000,000 Deloitte & Touche Settlement; and
       -- the $250,000,000 Banks Settlement.

For more details, contact:  

     (1) Adelphia Claims c/o Valley Forge Administrative  
         Services, One Aldwyn Center, P.O. Box 220, Villanova,  
         PA 19085-0220, Phone: 877-965-3300, E-mail:  
         info@adelphiasettlement.com, Web site:  

     (2) Kirby McInerney & Squire, LLP, Phone: 1-888-529-4787;  

     (3) Abbey Spanier Rodd Abrams & Paradis, LLP, Phone: 1-800-

ADOBE SYSTEMS: Plaintiff in Derivative Suit Adds Class Claims
The Superior Court of the State of California for the County of
Santa Clara dismissed with prejudice the complaint in the
lawsuit, "Steve Staehr, derivatively on behalf of Adobe Systems
Inc. v. Bruce R. Chizen, et al."

The suit was filed against Adobe Systems, Inc., as a nominal
defendant, and it's directors and the company.  It is filed in
the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of
Santa Clara, as a derivative action, alleging that the
defendants breached their fiduciary duties of loyalty and due
care and caused the company to waste corporate assets by:

     -- failing to renegotiate or terminate the acquisition
        agreement with Macromedia, Inc., following the
        announcement by Macromedia that it would restate its
        financial results for the fiscal years ended March 31,
        1999 through 2004; and

     -- failing to conduct sufficient due diligence prior to
        entering into the acquisition agreement.  

It seeks, among others, unspecified monetary damages, attorneys'
fees and certain forms of equitable relief, including
preliminarily and permanently enjoining the consummation of the

On August 18, 2005, plaintiff amended his complaint to add a
purported class action.  On May 9, 2006, plaintiff filed a third
amended complaint, to which defendants demurred.

A hearing on the demurrer was held on July 7, 2006 and the court
granted the defendant's motion and dismissed the complaint with
prejudice, according to its Oct. 11, 2006 Form 10-Q filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the period ended
Sept. 11, 2006.

For more details, contact Marc M. Umeda of Robbins Umeda & Fink,
LLP 610 West Ash Street, Suite 1800, San Diego, CA 92101, Phone:
619-525-3990 and 800-350-6003, Fax: 619-525-3991, E-mail:

ALBERTSON'S INC: Continues to Face Calif. WARN Violations Suit
Albertson's, Inc., remains a defendant in the class action,
"Joanne Kay Ward et al. v. Albertsons, Inc. et al.," which was
filed in the Los Angeles County Superior Court in California,
according to Albertson's Oct. 10, 2006 Form 10-Q filing with the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the period ended
Aug. 31, 2006.

The suit alleges that the company and its subsidiaries, Lucky
Stores and Sav-on Drug Stores, paid terminated employees their
final paychecks in an untimely manner.  The suit seeks statutory

On Jan. 4, 2005, the case was certified as a class action.

Idaho-based Albertson's, Inc. -- http://www.albertsons.com-- is  
an operator of retail food and drug chains in the U.S.  As of
February 2, 2006, it operated 2,471 stores in 37 states under
the banners Albertsons, Acme, Bristol Farms, Grocery Warehouse,
Jewel, Jewel-Osco, Max Foods, Osco Drug, Sav-on Drug, Shaw's,
Star Market, Super Saver and Lazy Acres.  SUPERVALU INC.
(Supervalu) led a consortium that included drugstore chain CVS
Corp., private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. and
others to buy Albertsons.  On June 2, 2006, Supervalu acquired
more than 1,100 stores of Albertsons, and the acquired store
brands included Acme Markets, Bristol Farms, Jewel, Shaw's
Supermarkets, Star Markets and Albertsons banner stores; CVS
Corp. acquired approximately 700 standalone Sav-On and Osco
drugstores, and a distribution center in La Habra, California,
from the company, and Cerberus Capital Management L.P. and Kimco
Realty Corp. acquired 665 grocery stores in Florida, Louisiana
and the West.

APPLE COMPUTER: MacBook Users Mull Litigation Over RSS Problems
Owners of Apple Computer, Inc.'s 13-inch MacBook notebooks are
considering filing a class action over problems affecting their
systems, The AppleInsider reports.

Dubbed by uses as "RSS" or Random Shutdown Syndrome, the issue
has been well documented on the company's discussion boards and
other forums around the web.  The phenomenon occurs during
ordinary use, wherein affected MacBooks will randomly shutdown,
thus effectively rendering the system unreliable.

According to AppleInsider, a blog unaffiliated with the company,
users at a Web site called MacBookRandomShutDown.com have
chronicled their problems and have now begun to organize a class
action through ClassAction.com.

The page at ClassAction.com asks MacBook owners:

      -- if they've experienced the problem, and

      -- if they've experienced unusually long periods of
         downtime while waiting for their computers to be

AppleInsider pointed out that compounding user frustrations is
the company's inability to completely remedy the issue,
especially, after holding their faulty systems at repair depots
for lengthy periods of time.

In addition, the repairs that the company has been conducting
don't seem to be effective, since some users have sent back
their laptops after supposedly being "remedied" of the problem.

AppleDefects, another website which has been following the
problem, explains that the laptop certain electrical wires
inside the have a tendency to melt to the surface of the heat
sink, causing the systems to short circuit and shutdown.

According to a more detailed explanation posted at Ogrady's
Power Page, "Essentially the heat sink can expand during use,
and comes into contact with the lead from the [thermometer's]
sensor cable."  He adds, "A short circuit results, and the SMC
(System Management Controller) pulls the plug.  Once the system
cools down, the heat sink [recedes] and contact is broken."

However, despite being the heat sink being replaced by the
company, some users who've had their problem remedied are
reporting that the problem quickly resurfaces.

AppleCare has told some of these users that their systems will
require a new logic board that is under "development" with an
unknown release date.

For more details, visit:

     (1) http://www.appledefects.com/?cat=19;

     (2) http://www.appleinsider.com/article.php?id=2132;and

     (3) http://ResearchArchives.com/t/s?1365.

BAYVIEW CREMATORIUM: Lawsuit Over Illegal Operation Certified
An Essex Superior Court judge granted class-action status to a
lawsuit against Bayview Crematorium over illegally operating a
crematorium, the Boston Globe reports.

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

The lawsuit alleges negligence in the handling of bodies,
consumer protection violations and misrepresentation against
operators Derek Wallace and Linda Stokes, as well as Simplicity
Burial and Cremation Services Inc. of Massachusetts.

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

Last year, police said they discovered that remains at the
crematorium were mishandled, mislabeled and mistreated,
according to the report.

Investigators said they discovered a body decomposing in an
unrefrigerated unit, unlabeled urns of ashes, and more than one
body was being burned at a time.

The funeral homes named in the suit were:

       -- Farrah Funeral Home,  
       -- Hart-Wallace Funeral Home, both in Lawrence,
       -- Scatamacchia Funeral Home in Haverhill,
       -- William F. Spencer Funeral Services,
       -- American Cremation Society, Cremation Society Inc.,  
       -- Commonwealth Cremation & Shipping Service,
       -- Commonwealth Funeral Service,
       -- Dracut Funeral Home, Hamel, Wickens & Troupe Funeral  
          Home, and
       -- Simplicity Burial & Cremation.

In March 2006, James Fuller, who ran Bayview Crematorium from
2000 until it was closed in 2005, pleaded guilty to illegally
performing dozens of cremations and forging paperwork needed for
the cremations (Class Action Reporter, Mar 13, 2006).

The lead plaintiff is Paul Anzalone of Mansfield, Massachusetts,
who is represented by the Charlip Law Group, LC, Harrison
Executive Center, 1930 Harrison Street, Suite 208, Hollywood, FL
33020, Phone: 1-800-773-1955 or (954) 921-2131, Fax: (954) 921-
2191, Web site: http://www.charliplawgroup.com;and Lisa  
DeBrosse Johnson of The Pilot House, Lewis Wharf Boston,
Massachusetts 02110 (Suffolk Co.), Phone: 617-854-3740, Fax:

CABLEVISION SYSTEM: Law Firm Challenges Proposed Insider Buyout
The law firm of Squitieri & Fearon, LLP filed a class action in
the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York
to challenge a proposed buyout of the publicly held shares of
Cablevision System Corp. by the Dolan family, which owns a
controlling share of the company, in an effort to take the
company private.

The complaint charges Cablevision System and its directors,
including Dolan family members, with violating their fiduciary
duties to shareholders by attempting to take the Company private
at an unfair price.

Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of herself and all
holders of Cablevision System's common stock.  Excluded from the
class are the defendants and members of their immediate
families, any entity in which a defendant has a controlling
interest and the heirs of any such excluded party.

In 2005, the Dolan family proposed to acquire outstanding,
publicly held interests in Cablevision following a pro rata
distribution of Rainbow Media Holdings (Class Action Reporter,
March 14, 2006).

On Oct. 24, 2005, the company received a letter from the Dolan
family group withdrawing that proposal and recommending the
consideration of a special dividend.

On Dec. 19, 2005 the Board decided not to proceed with the
proposed special dividend, and on Jan. 31, 2006 the Board
expected to begin reconsideration of a possible special dividend
at its regularly scheduled meeting in March 2006.

On April 7, 2006, Cablevision's Board of Directors declared a
special cash dividend of $10.00 per share, which was paid on
April 24, 2006 to holders of record at the close of business on  
April 18, 2006 (Class Action Reporter, Sept. 26, 2006).

On Aug. 8, 2006, the company disclosed it expected the need to
restate previously issued financial statements in connection
with grants of stock options and Stock Appreciation Rights.

Bethpage, New York-based Cablevision Systems, Corp. (NYSE: CVC)  
-- http://www.cablevision.com/-- is a cable operator in the    
U.S. that operates cable programming networks, entertainment
businesses and telecommunications companies.  Cablevision owns
all of the outstanding common stock of CSC Holdings.   

The plaintiff is represented by the law firm Lee Squitieri of
Squitieri & Fearon, LLP, Phone: (212) 421-6492, E-mail:

CANADA: High Court Rules Payday Loan Case in Ontario May Proceed
The Supreme Court of Canada has allowed a local woman to go
ahead with a purported class action against payday loan company
National Money Mart, a subsidiary of U.S.-based Dollar Financial
Group, Inc., The CBC News reports.

Margaret Smith, who had taken out several loans from Money Mart,
is seeking class-action status for a suit she filed in the
Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

The Windsor pensioner, represented in the case by Jasminka
Kalajdzic, filed the suit on Aug. 19, 2003, alleging that the
fees and interest combined on the company's short-term payday
loans exceeds the legal rate of interest set out in the Criminal
Code.  The Code provides a maximum charge of 60% per annum.  

The suit was brought on behalf of a purported class of Canadian
borrowers (except those residing in British Columbia) who, Ms.
Smith claims, were subjected to usurious charges in payday-loan
transactions (Class Action Reporter, June 7, 2006).  It seeks
restitution and damages, including punitive damages.

The representative claimant is seeking from both Money Mart and
its U.S. parent company, $555 million, on behalf of Canadian
borrowers (Class Action Reporter, Mar. 13, 2006).

Dollar Financial has argued that the Ontario court had no
jurisdiction in the case, but the high court disagreed and sided
with two lower court rulings.

For more details contact Jasminka Kalajdzic of Sutts, Strosberg,
Phone: (519) 561-6231, Fax: (519) 561-6203, Web site:

CANADA: Govt., Cantley Landfill Owners Face Lawsuit by Residents
The Quebec government, the Municipality of Cantley and owners of
the landfill in the city are facing a class action filed by two
people who live near the dump, it emerged in a report by The
Ottawa Citizen.

The report said the Quebec Environment Minister Claude Bechard
permanently closed a controversial Cantley landfill in September
because it lack proper test wells to measure the gas produced at
the site.

The same article stated that in a report by environment ministry
landfill inspector Claude Girard, one of the landfill owners,
told a ministry official he might sell the site to members of
the Hells Angels biker gang.  Gilles Proulx, part owner of the
landfill, reportedly told the minister in a meeting in May 2005
that he had met with four Hells Angels members in a Hull hotel.

The report is included in the ministry's defense against the
class action.

Andre Guibord, a spokesman for Mr. Proulx, and his partner,
Denzil Thom, denied the content of the report, saying the
inspector might have misinterpreted the conversation.  He said
Mr. Proulx might have been referring to a different lawsuit he
then planned to file against landfill opponents.

CHATTEM INC: Files Responses to Calif. Bullfrog Suncare Suit
Chattem, Inc. answered allegations in a coordinated class action
filed in the Superior Court of the State of California for the
County of Los Angeles in relation to the labeling, advertising,
promotion and sale of its Bullfrog suncare products, according
to the company's Oct. 10, 2006 Form 10-Q filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the period ended Aug. 31,

Initially, a putative class action was filed against the company
on Feb. 11, 2004, to which the company filed an answer on June
28, 2004.

An amended complaint was filed March 29, 2006, pursuant to a
court order formally consolidating the lawsuit with eight
existing lawsuits involving other manufacturers of sunscreen
products into a coordinated proceeding in California state

The amended lawsuit seeks class certification of all persons who
purchased the company's Bullfrog sun care products in California
during a four-year period prior to Feb. 11, 2004.  

It seeks restitution and/or disgorgement of profits, actual
damages, injunctive relief, punitive damages and attorneys fees
and costs arising out of alleged deceptive, untrue or misleading
advertising and breach of warranty, fraudulent or negligent
misrepresentations, in connection with the manufacturing,
labeling, advertising, promotion and sale of Bullfrog products
in California.  The company filed an answer to the lawsuit in
April 2006.

Aside from the company, other defendants in the coordinated suit

      -- Schering-Plough (Coppertone);

      -- Sun Pharmaceuticals and Playtex Products (Banana Boat);

      -- Tanning Research Laboratories (Hawaiian Tropic); and

      -- Neutrogena Corp. and Johnson & Johnson (Neutrogena).
The coordinated lawsuit alleges false claims about the
effectiveness of their products in blocking sunrays and
preventing skin diseases.

Sun Protection Factor designations, the suits says, apply only
to protection from Ultraviolet light, type B (UVB) rays, but
manufacturers use it to imply a similar level of ultraviolet
radiation (UVA) protection, which it does not in fact provide.  
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration accepts SPF standards for
UVB but there is no standard to measure UVA protection, law
firms bringing the complaint said.  Both UVA and UVB pose health

The suits also note that the "waterproof" designation is
deceptive because all sunscreen products lose efficacy when
immersed in water and there is no standard for measuring their
efficacy against UVA rays (Class Action Reporter, Apr. 3, 2006).

The company filed an answer to the coordinated cases on April
2006.  The cases are now before Judge Carl J. West in Superior
Court for the State of California, County of Los Angeles.

The amended complaint is available free of charge at:


For more details, contact:

     (1) Abraham Fruchter & Twersky, LLP, One Penn Plaza Suite
         2805 New York, NY 10119, Phone: (212) 279-5050 and
         (800) 440-8986, Fax: (212) 279-3655, E-mail:  
         info@aftlaw.com; and

     (2) Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins, LLP,
         Phone: 1-800-449-4900, Web site:

EMORY VALLEY: Caregivers File Tenn. Suit Over Herpes Infections
Emory Valley Center, Inc. was named as a defendant in a
purported class action filed in Anderson County Circuit Court in
Tennessee by caregivers who are alleging that a patient gave
them herpes, The Knoxville News Sentinel reports.

The suit alleges that the caregivers served a mentally disabled
woman who has herpes and later contracted the incurable disease
from her and have exposed family members and others to the

It is seeking a collective judgment of not less than $1 million
or more than $20 million.  It also seeks class-action status.

Caregivers Deanna Ward and Betsy James of Oak Ridge and Patsy
Williams of Clinton filed the complaint, along with family
members and Ms. Williams' partner.

According to the complaint, both Ms. Williams and Ms. Ward
contracted the highly contagious herpes simplex virus from the
37-year-old resident patient.  Ms. James has been exposed to the
virus, it states.

The suit alleges that all three caregivers "have been scratched,
bitten and spat upon" by the resident, a woman who is described
as mildly mentally disabled and prone to severe mood swings.

Plaintiffs contend that Emory Valley Center was well aware of
the "problems and dangers" posed by the patient, but took no
precautions to protect the caregivers.

Emory Valley Center is a private, nonprofit corporation in Oak
Ridge that provides training services and support to severely
disabled children and adults in Anderson, Morgan and Scott

For more details, contact Emory Valley Center, 715 Emory Valley
Road, Oak Ridge, TN 37830, Phone: (865) 483-4385, Fax: (865)
482-5435, E-mail: E-Mail: jennifer@emoryvalleycenter.com.

ENCYSIVE PHARMACEUTICALS: Faces Tex. Securities Fraud Lawsuits
Encysive Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has been served with two
purported class actions in the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of Texas, alleging that it issued false and
misleading statements about its pulmonary arterial hypertension
drug, Thelin, according to The Houston Business Journal.

According to the biopharmaceutical firm, Gustav R. Bastian filed
a class action complaint on Oct. 10, 2006 on behalf of himself
and other investors against:

      -- Encysive;

      -- Encysive President and Chief Executive Dr. Bruce D.

      -- Richard A.F. Dixon, the company's senior vice president
         and research and chief scientific officer; and

      -- Stephen L. Mueller, Encysive's former vice president,
         finance and administration, secretary and treasurer.

In a press release issued the same day, the law firm of
Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP, detailed the suit filed on behalf of
all Encysive shareholders.

On Sept. 26, 2006, the Massachusetts Laborers' Annuity Fund
filed a similar complaint against the same defendants.  Lerach
Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins, LLP brought the suit on
behalf of all securities purchasers of Encysive from Feb. 19,
2004 through Mar. 24, 2006.  Not much else is known about the
complaint though.

In the Bastain case, Schiffrin & Barroway revealed in its press
release that the case was filed on behalf of all securities
purchasers of Encysive from Feb. 19, 2004 through Mar. 24, 2006
(Class Action Reporter, Oct. 12, 2006).

The complaint charges Encysive and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of
1934.  More specifically, it 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 stride tests involving Thelin failed to
         demonstrate a statistically significant advantage over
         Bosentan, another drug used to treat pulmonary arterial

      -- that, in order to portray Thelin's supposed
         superiority, defendants manipulated the stride tests to
         achieve statistically significant results;

      -- that defendants' claims regarding the potential market
         for Thelin were based upon overinflated patient

      -- that, as a result of the defendants' manipulations,
         U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for Thelin
         would not be forthcoming because the FDA would require
         additional clinical trials before approving the drug;

      -- as a result of the above, the company's statements
         concerning Thelin were lacking in any reasonable basis
         when made.

On Mar. 24, 2006, after the market closed, Encysive stunned
investors when the company announced that, contrary to its
previous statements concerning the bright future of Thelin, the
company's new drug for the treatment of PAH, the approvable
letter which it received from the FDA requested additional
information concerning Thelin, including a request for
additional clinical trial work.

On this news, shares of Encysive plummeted $4.48, or 49.3
percent, to close, on Mar. 27, 2006, at $4.60 per share, on
unusually heavy trading volume.

On July 24, 2006, after the market closed, Encysive announced
that one issue raised in the FDA's March 2006 approvable letter
concerning Thelin remained unresolved.

On this news, shares of Encysive sank an additional $2.49, or
40.3 percent, to close, on July 25, 2006, at $3.69 per share, on
unusually heavy trading volume.

Plaintiffs thus seek unspecified damages on behalf of a
purported class of purchasers of the company's securities during
the period covering Feb. 19, 2004, through Mar. 24 of this year.

In it's filing with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the
company said that it is possible that additional complaints may
be filed in the future.  The company expects that the individual
lawsuits will be consolidated into a single civil action.

Houston, Texas-based Encysive Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:
ENCY) -- http://www.encysive.com/-- is a biopharmaceutical  
company focused on the discovery, development and
commercialization of different synthetic small molecule
compounds for the treatment of a range of cardiovascular,
vascular and related inflammatory diseases.  

FRANCE: Competition Council Favors Class Action for Consumers
France's Conseil de la concurrence is in favor of class action,
under certain conditions, for consumers, the victim of
anticompetitive practices, the competition council said in a

Following the publication in December 2005 of the report
relative to class action, drafted by the working group set up by
the Ministries of Economy and Justice, the Conseil was invited
to give its comments in an opinion published Sept. 21.

The Conseil de la concurrence approves the development of class
action by consumers because they enable them to play a more
active role in the implementation of competition rules, the
statement said.

The council stated: "Class actions can contribute to improve
damages in compensation for losses sustained by consumers as the
result of anticompetitive practices, by restoring the balance of
power between powerful companies, which are often large groups,
and consumers, which are by nature isolated.  Seeking damages
may remain limited on an individual basis, but can constitute
significant amounts on a global basis.

"Moreover, private actions in general and class action
mechanisms in particular can contribute to strengthen deterrence
in making the victim, and notably the consumer, a real player
and an ally of public authorities in the fight against
anticompetitive practices.

"However, the setting up of this type of mechanism requires on
the one hand, a satisfactory coordination between public and
private actions and on the other hand, the preservation of
leniency programs' effectiveness

           The Coordination of Procedures Over Time

"In reference to the model of German legislation, which was
amended recently, the Conseil is rather favorable to civil
actions consecutive or complementary to those brought before it:
firstly, the competition authority adopts a penalty decision and
imposes fines on offending companies, secondly, the victim
acting on an individual or class action basis, made confident by
the recognition of the anticompetitive practice, refers to the
civil judge to seek damages in compensation for its loss.

             The Protection of the Leniency Program

"It appears crucial to ensure that the attractiveness of
leniency programs does not suffer from the introduction of class
actions by consumers.  If members of a cartel do anticipate that
their collaboration with the competition authorities may lead to
increasing the success of individual or collective actions
directed against them, the effectiveness of leniency programs,
which are essential instruments for the detection and the
dismantling of anticompetitive practices, could be reduced.  The
Conseil estimates that it is crucial, notably, to guarantee the
confidentiality of the declarations made by the companies, which
benefit from leniency, so that they cannot be used in a civil

FREDDIE MAC: Oct. Hearing Set for $410M Stock Suit Settlement
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
will hold a fairness hearing on Oct. 26, 2006 at 3:30 p.m. for
the proposed $410,000,000 settlement in the matter, "Ohio Public
Employees Retirement System and State Teachers Retirement System
Of Ohio, et al. v. Freddie Mac f.k.a. Federal Home Loan Mortgage
Corporation, Leland C. Brendsel, Vaughn A. Clarke, David W.
Glenn, and Gregory J. Parseghian, MDL-1584, Lead Case No. 03-CV-
4261 (JES)."

The Final Approval Hearing will be held before Judge John E.
Sprizzo, at the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York, 500 Pearl Street, Courtroom 21C, New York,
New York, 10007.

Any objection and exclusion to and from the settlement must be
made by Oct. 12, 2006.  Deadline for submitting proof of claim
must be submitted by Dec. 7, 2006.

The case covers all persons and entities that purchased shares
of common stock of Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation during
the period from July 15, 1999 through and including Nov. 20,

Freddie Mac announced on Jan. 22, 2003 that it would need to
restate certain of its previously issued financial statements.
The Securities Action stems from:

      -- Freddie Mac's announcement on June 9, 2003, reporting
         the retirement, resignation or termination of Freddie
         Mac's three top executive officers, and

      -- alleged misapplications of generally accepted
         accounting principles (GAAP) and employee misconduct.

On the June 9, 2003 news, the price of Freddie Mac's common
stock dropped to $50.26 per share, from a Class period high of
$70.79 per share.  On Nov. 21, 2003, Freddie Mac announced the
final results of the restatement of its financial statements for
2000, 2001 and 2002, revealing, among other things, that Freddie
Mac had overstated its net income for 2001 by approximately $1.4
billion, and that the net cumulative effect of the restatement
through December 31, 2002 was an increase to the company's net
income of $5 billion.

Multiple securities class action complaints were filed against
Freddie Mac and certain of its officers alleging that the
Securities Defendants knowingly or recklessly made misstatements
concerning Freddie Mac's reported financial results in order to
artificially inflate the price of its common stock. Several
shareholder derivative actions were also filed alleging that
Derivative Defendants had breached their fiduciary duties,
engaged in corporate waste and were unjustly enriched.

On Jan. 15, 2004, Lead Securities Plaintiffs filed an Amended
Class Action Complaint for Violation of the Federal Securities
Laws alleging that the defendants violated Sections 10(b) and
20(a) of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder, by knowingly or recklessly making
materially false and/or misleading statements regarding Freddie
Mac's financial results in press releases, analysts' conference
calls and public financial reports during the Class period to
artificially inflate the value of Freddie Mac common stock, thus
causing damages to Lead Securities Plaintiffs and the other
Class Members who purchased Freddie Mac common stock during the
Class period.

By Order dated Mar. 17, 2004, the court consolidated the
securities cases into the Securities Action, appointed Ohio
Public Employees Retirement System and State Teachers Retirement
System of Ohio as Lead Plaintiffs, and approved Waite,
Schneider, Bayless & Chesley Co., L.P.A. as Lead Counsel and
Bernstein, Litowitz, Berger & Grossmann, LLP and Barrett &
Weber, L.P.A. as Co-Lead Counsel.

On April 1, 2004, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss all of
the claims asserted against them in the Securities Action. Lead
Securities Plaintiffs, through Lead Securities Counsel and Co-
Lead Securities Counsel, opposed that Motion.  Oral Argument was
held on July 19, 2004, and, by Order dated July 19, 2004, the
court denied Defendants' Motion to Dismiss.

Lead Securities Plaintiffs, through Lead Securities Counsel and
Co-Lead Securities Counsel, conducted extensive discovery in the
Securities Action.  Lead Securities Counsel and Co-Lead
Securities Counsel requested or subpoenaed documents from 47
persons or entities, including all defendants, the previous and
current auditors of Freddie Mac, and numerous counter-parties to
transactions with Freddie Mac.  

Lead Securities Plaintiffs moved for class certification on June
15, 2005 in the Securities Action, and oral argument was heard
on March 31, 2006.

By Order dated April 4, 2006, the court granted Lead Securities
Plaintiffs' motion for class certification, but adopted the
position as to class definition advanced by Freddie Mac in its
papers in response to the motion, and certified the Securities
Action to proceed as a class action on behalf of all persons who
purchased Freddie Mac common stock during the period from July
15, 1999 through and including November 20, 2003 and who
allegedly were damaged thereby (excluding the Securities
Defendants and certain other persons), and certifying Lead
Securities Plaintiffs as the Class Representatives.

For more details, contact:

     (1) Stanley M. Chesley, James R. Cummins and Melanie S.
         Corwin of Waite, Schneider, Bayless & Chesley Co.,
         L.P.A., 1513 Fourth & Vine Tower, One West Fourth
         Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202, Phone: (513) 621-0267,
         Fax: (513) 621-0262, E-mail: jcummins@wsbclaw.com and

     (2) Max W. Berger, Darnley D. Stewart and Jeffrey N.
         Leibell of Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann, LLP,
         1285 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10019,
         Phone: (212) 554-1400, Fax: (212) 554-1444, E-mail:
         darnley@blbglaw.com and jeffl@blbglaw.com; and

     (3) Freddie Mac Securities Litigation Settlement c/o The
         Garden City Group, Inc., Claims Administrator, P.O. Box
         9078, Dublin, Ohio 43017-0978, Phone: 1-800-460-3971,
         E-mail: http://www.gardencitygroup.com.

HELEN OF TROY: Seeks Dismissal of Tex. Consolidated Stock Suit
Helen of Troy, Ltd., has filed a motion to dismiss the
consolidated securities fraud class action filed against it in
the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas,
according to the company's Oct. 10, 2006 Form 10-Q Filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the period ended
Aug. 31, 2006.

Class actions have been filed and consolidated into one action
against the company, Gerald J. Rubin, the company's Chairman of
the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer, and Thomas J.
Benson, the company's Chief Financial Officer, on behalf of
purchasers of publicly traded securities of the company.

The company understands that the plaintiffs allege violations of
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of
1934, as amended, and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, on the grounds that
the company and the two officers engaged in a scheme to defraud
the company's shareholders through the issuance of positive
earnings guidance intended to artificially inflate the company's
share price so that Mr. Rubin could sell almost 400,000 of the
company's common shares at an inflated price.

The plaintiffs are seeking unspecified damages, interest, fees,
costs, an accounting of the insider trading proceeds, and
injunctive relief, including an accounting of and the imposition
of a constructive trust and/or asset freeze on the defendants'
insider trading proceeds.  The class period stated in the
complaint was Oct. 12, 2004 through Oct. 10, 2005.

The lawsuit was brought in the U.S. District Court for the
Western District of Texas and is still in the preliminary

On May 15, 2006 the company filed a motion to dismiss the
aforementioned lawsuit citing numerous deficiencies with the
claims it asserted.  On June 29, 2006, the plaintiffs filed with
the court their opposition to the motion to dismiss.  On July
17, 2006 the company filed a reply rebutting the plaintiffs'
June 29th opposition.

The suit is "In Re: Helen of Troy, Ltd., Securities Litigation,
Case No. 3:05-cv-00431-DB," filed in the U.S. District Court for
the Western District of Texas under Judge David Briones.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (1) Ariel Acevedo, Tower One, 5200 Town Center Circle, #600
         Boca Raton, FL 33486, Phone: (561) 361-5000; and

     (2) Daniel R. Malone of The Malone Law Firm, 300 East Main,
         #1100, El Paso, TX 79901, Phone: (915) 533-5000, Fax:

Representing the defendants are:

     (i) Nicholas Even and Noel M. Hensleyof Haynes and Boone,
         LLP, 901 Main St., Ste. 3100, Dallas, TX 75202-3789,
         Phone: (214) 651-5000, Fax: 214/651-5940 and 214/200-
         0470, E-mail: nick.even@haynesboone.com; and

    (ii) H. Christopher Mott of Krafsur Gordon Mott, PC, 4695
         North Mesa Street, El Paso, TX 79912-6103, Phone: (915)
         545-1133, Fax: 915/545-4433, E-mail:

ILLINOIS: Court Certifies Class in Well Contamination Lawsuit
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
granted class action status to a lawsuit against the DuPage
County Forest Preserve (DCFP) and BFI Waste Systems of North
America Inc. over allegations that wells serving several dozen
families were contaminated by vinyl chloride that leaked from a
now-closed county landfill.

In his order, Judge William J. Hibbler certified 150 residents
of Wayne Township as members of the class action against DCFP
and BFI Waste, which is owned by Allied Waste of Scottsdale,

Jeff and Ty Cannata, both residents in the area, filed the suit
on April 20, 2006, blaming the water pollution to a landfill
Mallard Lake Forest Preserve.  They claim that DCFP and BFI
Waste, which respectively own and operate Mallard Lake, the
landfill in Hanover Park, failed to monitor the seepage of vinyl
chloride and a similar chemical (Class Action Reporter, Sept.
19, 2006).

Random testing late last year by the county Health Department
showed elevated levels of the chemical in some of the wells.
But, according to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency,
there is no evidence to date that the landfill is the source of
the contamination.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says drinking water
should contain no more than 2 parts per billion of vinyl

Shawn Collins, the Naperville attorney representing many of the
homeowners, told The Naperville Sun that many of the affected
homes have wells with vinyl chloride levels of between 2 and 5
parts per billion.

The landfill, which opened in 1975 and shut down 24 years later,
is now covered with dirt and planted with grass, though it is
closed to the public.  It was closed down in March 1999 after it
reached capacity, according to Bill Weidner, a spokesman for the
DCFP.  He added that it was filled with household and not
industrial refuse (Class Action Reporter, April 28, 2006).

The suit is "Cannata, et al. v. Forest Preserve District of
DuPage County, et al., Case No. 1:06-cv-02196," filed in the
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois under
Judge William J. Hibbler.  

Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (1) Shawn Michael Collins of The Collins Law Firm, 1770
         North Park Street, Suite 200, Naperville, IL 60563,
         Phone: (630) 527-1595, E-mail: smc@collinslaw.com; and

     (2) Norman Benjamin Berger of Varga Berger Ledsky Hayes &
         Casey, 224 South Michigan Avenue, Suite 350, Chicago,
         IL 60604, Phone: (312) 341-9400, E-mail:

Representing the defendants are:

     (i) David S. Barritt of Chapman & Cutler, 111 West Monroe
         Street, Suite 1600, Chicago, IL 60603, Phone: (312)
         845-3000, E-mail: barritt@chapman.com; and

    (ii) William G. Beck of Lathrop & Gage, L.C., 2345 Grand
         Avenue, Suite 2800, Kansas City, MO 64108-2684, Phone:
         (816) 292-2000, E-mail: bbeck@lathropgage.com.

INTERVOICE-BRITE: Tex. Court Certifies Class in Securities Suit
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas has
granted class-action status to the purported securities fraud
class action against InterVoice-Brite, Inc.

Initially, several related class actions were filed on behalf of
purchasers of common stock of Intervoice during the period from
Oct. 12, 1999 through June 6, 2000.

Plaintiffs have filed claims, which were consolidated into one
proceeding, under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the U.S.
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Securities and Exchange
Commission Rule 10b-5 against us as well as certain named
current and former officers and directors of Intervoice on
behalf of the alleged class members.

In the complaint, plaintiffs claim that we and the named current
and former officers and directors issued false and misleading
statements during the class period concerning the financial
condition of Intervoice, the results of the merger with Brite
Voice Systems, Inc. and the alleged future business projections
of Intervoice.  Plaintiffs have asserted that these alleged
statements resulted in artificially inflated stock prices.

The court dismissed the plaintiffs' complaint because it lacked
the degree of specificity and factual support to meet the
pleading standards applicable to federal securities litigation.

The plaintiffs' appealed the dismissal to the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which affirmed the dismissal in
part and reversed in part.  The Fifth Circuit remanded a limited
number of issues for further proceedings in the court.

On Sept. 26, 2006, the court granted the plaintiffs' motion to
certify a class of people who purchased Intervoice stock during
the period between October 12, 1999 and June 6, 2000.  The
company intends to ask the Fifth Circuit to review the class
certification order.

The suit is "Barrie, et al v. Intervoice Brite Inc., et al.,
Case No. 3:01-cv-01071," filed in the U.S. District Court for
the Northern District of Texas under Judge Ed Kinkeade.  

Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (1) Marc R. Stanley, Stanley Mandel & Iola, 3100 Monticello
         Ave., Suite 750, Dallas, TX 75205, Phone: 214/443-4301,
         Fax: 214/443-0358, E-mail: mstanley@smi-law.com; and

     (2) Lauren M. Winston, Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman
         & Robbins-San Francisco, 100 Pine St, Suite 2600 San
         Francisco, CA 94111, Phone: 415/288-4545.  

Representing the defendants is Timothy R. McCormick, Thompson &
Knight, 1700 Pacific Ave., Suite 3300, Dallas, TX 75201-4693,
Phone: 214/969-1103, Fax: 214/880-3253, E-mail:

JOHNSON & JOHNSON: Faces 500 Claims in Birth Control Patch Suit
Johnson & Johnson is facing 500 claims in lawsuits related to
deaths and injuries caused by its Ortho Evra birth control
patch, the company's regulatory filing for the second quarter
states, according to OpEdNews.com.

On March 1, 2006, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation
issued a transfer order to consolidated the pre-trial
proceedings of 13 federal lawsuits filed by plaintiffs in
different states, along with 54 potentially related actions
pending in multiple federal districts.  The suits are assigned
to Judge David Katz of the U.S. District for the Northern
District of Ohio.

The company is also facing a class action filed in July in
Canada.  The suit alleges that drug makers failed to adequately
warn consumers and doctors that the Ortho Evra patch was
associated with an increased risk of developing blood clots,
pulmonary emboli, strokes, heart attacks and deep vein

New Brunswick, New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) --
http://www.jnj.com-- is engaged in the manufacture and sale of  
a range of products in the healthcare field.  Johnson & Johnson
has more than 230 operating companies.  The Company operates in
three segments: Consumer, Pharmaceutical, and Medical Devices
and Diagnostics.

KENTUCKY: Lawsuit Planned v. PVA Over Property Tax Assessments
Attorney Eric C. Deters plans to file lawsuit over how the Boone
County Property Valuation Administrator's (PVA) office assesses
property for taxation, according to The Kentucky Post.

Mr. Deters, who represents Boone County property owner Bill
Chipman, is seeking class-action certification for the lawsuit
that he will file in Boone County Circuit Court in Kentucky.

Once the court grants the class action status to his case, Mr.
Deters believes that all Boone County property taxpayers could
join in the action.

According to Mr. Chipman, his five acres of property between
Walton and Richwood skyrocketed from a previous assessment of
$105,400 to $750,000 this year.  

Though he appealed the assessment and eventually got it back
down to $105,000, Mr. Chipman, said that he decided to file a
lawsuit after discovering that the assessments of others in the
county also had soared.

For more details, contact Eric C. Deters of Eric C. Deters &
Associates, P.S.C., Independence, Kentucky 41051, Phone: Phone:
(859) 363-1900.

LENDINGTREE LLC: Faces Nationwide Consumer Fraud Suit in Calif.
The law firm of Teuton, Loewy & Parker LLP filed a nationwide
class action against LendingTree, LLC and its wholly owned
subsidiary, Home Loan Center, Inc., on behalf of consumers.

The class alleges that LendingTree, LLC and Home Loan Center,
Inc., which do business as "LendingTree Loans," have engaged in
unfair business practices and false advertising.  The complaint
was filed in Orange County Superior Court on Oct. 11, 2006.

LendingTree's familiar slogan is: "When banks compete, you win."
With this slogan, LendingTree styles itself as an online lending
exchange that connects borrowers to a network of lenders that
allegedly "compete" for the borrowers' business.

The lawsuit alleges, however, that in thousands and thousands of
cases there is no such competition at all, rather, LendingTree
uses its LendingTree.com website and false advertising to
generate leads for its wholly owned, direct-lending division,
Home Loan Center, Inc.

Specifically, the lawsuit alleges that LendingTree's website
attracts over 70,000 potential borrowers per month by touting
LendingTree as a loan origination service that is not a lender,
and claiming that LendingTree's "origination" service allows
lenders to compete for borrowers' business.

The lawsuit further alleges that LendingTree secretly diverts
many LendingTree.com leads to its subsidiary, where unsuspecting
borrowers are sold loans at inflated prices based on the
materially false representation that "competition" has occurred
among lenders.

According to the lawsuit, borrowers are deceived into believing
that they need not shop for a better loan rate because
LendingTree has already done the shopping for them through use
of its lender "network."

In truth, the lawsuit alleges, LendingTree uses the "when banks
compete, you win" slogan as a gimmick to attract unwary
borrowers and sell them loans through the company's direct-
lending division at inflated prices and without any such

The class action seeks declaratory and injunctive relief,
millions of dollars in compensatory and punitive damages,
restitution, and attorneys' fees.

Fadel Lawandy, a former mid-level executive of LendingTree who
was fired for alleged "insubordination" after he complained
about LendingTree's business practices, filed a related lawsuit
on Sept. 15, 2006.

For more information, contact Mark C. Teuton, Esq. of Teuton,
Loewy & Parker LLP, 3121 Michelson Drive, Suite 250, Irvine, CA
92612, Phone: (949) 442-7100, Fax: (949) 442-7105, Website:

MASSACHUSETTS: Town Plans Suit Over State Education Budgeting
Chelmsford town officials are planning to bring a suit,
including a possible class action, against the state's
Department of Education to change the way state education funds
are distributed across the state, the Lowell Sun reports.

"To me, the time is long due," Selectman Philip Eliopoulos said.

Selectmen and the School and Finance committees met in September
and agreed to explore a possible legal action to demand for
equitable distribution of education funding for all towns.

The meeting came after Town Manager Kerry Speidel and
Superintendent of Schools Richard Moser presented the 2008
budgetary forecast that predicts a $1.3 million shortfall,
including $526,000 for the School Department.  

MOSAIC CO: Seeks Dismissal of Water Pollution Lawsuit in Fla.
The Mosaic Co. filed a motion to dismiss a purported class
action arising out of the sudden release of phosphoric acid
process water from the Riverview, Florida phosphogypsum
management system, according to the company's Oct. 10, 2006 Form
10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the period ended Aug. 31, 2006.

In September 2004, prior to the completion of the combination, a
class action complaint and demand for jury trial was filed
against Cargill, Inc. in the Circuit Court of the Thirteenth
Judicial Circuit for Hillsborough County, Florida.

The complaint, which arises out of the sudden release of
phosphoric acid process water from the company's Riverview
facility described, contains four counts, including statutory
strict liability, common law strict liability, common law public
nuisance and negligence.  The strict liability counts relate to
the discharge of pollutants or hazardous substances.

Plaintiffs seek class certification and an award of damages,
attorneys' fees and costs on behalf of a class of unknown size
comprising "all fishermen and those persons engaged in the
commercial catch and sale of fish, bait, and related products in
the Tampa Bay area who lost income and suffered damages because
of the pollution, contamination and discharge of hazardous
substances by the defendant."  

The motion to dismiss the statutory strict liability counts was
granted in November 2005; the company's other motions to dismiss
the action were denied.

Plaintiffs have amended their complaint and the company has
filed an additional motion to dismiss which was heard by the
Circuit Court in August 2006.

Plymouth, Minnesota-based The Mosaic Co. (NYSE: MOS) --
http://www.mosaicco.com/-- is a producer of phosphate and  
potash combined, as well as nitrogen and animal feed
ingredients.  The company operates its business through four
business segments.  The Phosphates segment operates mines and
concentrates plants in Florida that produce phosphate fertilizer
and feed phosphate, and concentrates plants in Louisiana that
produce phosphate fertilizer.  The Potash segment mines, and
processes potash in Canada and the U.S.  The Offshore segment
consists of sales offices, fertilizer blending and bagging
facilities, port terminals and warehouses in several countries,
as well as production facilities in Brazil, China and Argentina.  
The Nitrogen segment includes activities related to the North
American distribution of nitrogen products that are marketed for
Saskferco Products Inc. as well as nitrogen products purchased
from third parties.

MUSICLAND GROUP: Faces Lawsuit in Calif. Superior Court
A class action entitled "Maureen MacLennan v. Musicland Group,
Inc., et al.," is currently pending in the Superior Court of the
State of California, County of Los Angeles, Daniel I. Barness,
Esq., at Spiro Moss Barness Harrison & Barge LLP, in Los
Angeles, California, relates.

The Sam Goody Holding Corp., Mediaplay and Suncoast Motion
Picture Company, Inc., all affiliates of Musicland Group, were
also named defendants in the Class Action.

The company's affiliates have settled the class action and
preliminary approval of the settlement has been granted in the
class action, according to Mr. Barness.  

Mr. Barness also pointed out the liquidation of a claim in favor
of the MacLennan Plaintiffs totaling $295,000 (Musicland
Bankruptcy News; Issue No. 19; Bankruptcy Creditors' Service,
Inc., http://bankrupt.com/newsstand/or 215/945-7000).

Minnesota-based The Musicland Group, Inc. is a subsidiary of Sun
Capital Partners, a Boca Raton, Florida based private equity
firm, and is the nation's leading specialty retailer of pre
recorded entertainment software products.  The company has
developed a strong store base and has become a respected e-
commerce retailer.  Musicland and its subsidiaries operate
stores in 49 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Isalnds and
three branded web sites.

NEWPARK RESOURCES: Faces La. Consolidated Securities Fraud Suit
Newpark Resources, Inc. is a defendant in a consolidated
securities fraud class action filed in the U.S. District Court
for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

Between April 21, 2006 and May 9, 2006, five lawsuits asserting
claims against Newpark for violation of Section 10(b) of the
U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and SEC Rule
10b-5 were filed under the captions:  

      -- "Kim v. Newpark Resources, Inc.;"
      -- "Lowry v. Newpark Resources, Inc.;"
      -- "Galchutt vs. Newpark Resources, Inc.;"
      -- "Wallace vs. Newpark Resources, Inc.;" and
      -- "Farr vs. Newpark Resources, Inc."

Additionally, all five complaints assert that James D. Cole,
former Chief Executive Officer and Matthew W. Hardey, former
Chief Financial Officer are liable for Newpark's violations as
control persons under Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act.

The latter four lawsuits have been transferred to the judge
presiding over the "Kim" case who has consolidated all five
actions as "In re: Newpark Resources, Inc. Securities

The judge has set a deadline for the lead plaintiff's counsel to
file an amended, consolidated class action complaint by Oct. 16,
2006, which date the parties are asking to extend by agreement
to 30 days after the filing of Newpark's Form 10-K/A for the
year ended Dec. 31, 2005.

The complaints, asserting unspecified damages, allege that the
company's April 17, 2006 press release concerning the internal
investigation into potential irregularities in the processing
and payment of invoices at one of its subsidiaries, Soloco
Texas, LP, establishes that the company misrepresented or
omitted to disclose to the investing public irregularities in
the processing and payment of invoices at Soloco and a lack of
internal controls and flawed accounting practices and,
consequently, that Newpark did not prepare its financial
statements according to generally accepted accounting

The suit is "Kim v. Newpark Resources, Inc., et al., Case No.
2:06-cv-02150-ML-KWR," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of Louisiana under Judge Marcel Livaudais under
Judge Karen Wells Roby.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (1) Dawn M. Barrios of Barrios, Kingsdorf & Casteix, LLP,
         One Shell Square, 701 Poydras St., Suite 3650, New
         Orleans, LA 70139-3650, Phone: (504) 524-3300, E-mail:
         barrios@bkc-law.com; and

     (2) Lewis Stephen Kahn of Kahn Gauthier Law Group, LLC, 650
         Poydras St., Suite 2150, New Orleans, LA 70130, Phone:
         504-455-1400, E-mail: lewis.kahn@kglg.com.

Representing the defendants are:

     (i) Robert B. Bieck, Jr. of Jones, Walker, Waechter,
         Poitevent, Carrere & Denegre, Place St. Charles, 201
         St. Charles Ave., 50th Floor, New Orleans, LA 70170-
         5100, Phone: (504) 582-8000, E-mail:
         rbieck@joneswalker.com; and

    (ii) Donald Lucas Hyatt, II, Donald L. Hyatt, II, APLC
         Energy Center, 1100 Poydras St., Suite 2960, New
         Orleans, LA 70163, Phone: 504-582-2466, E-mail:

OKLAHOMA: Judge Freezes Implementation of New Video Game Law
Judge Robin J. Cauthron of the U.S. District Court for the
Western District of Oklahoma handed down a preliminary
injunction halting the implementation of Oklahoma's law, which
prohibits the sale of video games depicting "inappropriate"
violence to minors.

In the decision, the court stated that plaintiffs presented
strong arguments that the Act contains unconstitutional content-
based restrictions and that the Act's language is
unconstitutionally vague.

"This marks the ninth court decision in the past five years to
enjoin restrictions on video games," said Doug Lowenstein,
president of the Entertainment Software Association, the trade
group representing U.S. computer and video game publishers.
"We're grateful for the preliminary injunction and look forward
to prevailing in the effort to permanently strike down the law."

In June, the computer and video game industry filed a suit in
Oklahoma, asking that the state's new video game law be
overturned (Class Action Reporter, June 27, 2006).

The law criminalizes the sale or distribution of violent video
games to minors, even by their own parents.  By subjecting a
parent to criminal liability for providing a video game to their
child, the state of Oklahoma is the first in the country to pass
a law that takes the unprecedented step of telling parents that
the government knows better than they what games their children
should play.

"Legislators have sold parents a bill of goods for political
expediency," said Doug Lowenstein, president of the ESA, the
trade group representing U.S. computer and video game
publishers.  "They know the bill will be struck down, they know
it's based on bad science, and they know it won't help parents
do their jobs.  What they won't tell voters: we just picked your
pocket to the tune of a half million dollars, the amount the
state will have to reimburse the ESA after the inevitable
decision is made to strike down the law."

"Parents, not local police offices, should decide what games are
suitable for their children," said Mr. Lowenstein.  "We stand
ready to work with parents to provide them with information
about the Entertainment Software Ratings system, which has been
called the most comprehensive rating system for any
entertainment medium in the country, in order to help parents
make informed choices about the games their children play."

"The law's definitions are so vague and imprecise that no video
game retailer could ever know whether a particular video game is
covered by the restrictions," said Bo Andersen, president of the
Entertainment Merchants Association, the not-for-profit
international trade association for the retailers and
distributors of console and computer video games and DVDs.  "No
retail clerk should suffer the ignominy of a criminal record
where no reasonable person could determine whether a particular
video game may legally be sold or rented to a minor."  

The suit is "Entertainment Merchants Associations et al v. Henry
et al., Case No. 5:06-cv-00675-C," filed in the U.S. District
Court for the Western District of Oklahoma under Judge Robin J.

Representing plaintiffs are Katherine A. Fallow of Jenner &
Block-DC, 601 13th St NW, Washington, DC 20005, Phone: 202-639-
6000, Fax: 202-639-6066, E-mail: kfallow@jenner.com; and Charles
B. Goodwin and Mack J. Morgan, III both of Crowe & Dunlevy-OKC,
20 N Broadway Ave, Suite 1800, Oklahoma City, OK 73102, Phone:
405-235-7700 or 405-235-7727, Fax: 405-272-5215 or 405-272-5235,
E-mail: goodwinc@crowedunlevy.com or morganm@crowedunlevy.com.

Representing the defendants are John M. Jacobsen of the
Municipal Counselor's Office-OKC, 200 N Walker Ave., Suite 400
Oklahoma City, OK 73102, Phone: 405-713-1600, Fax: 405-713-7178,
E-mail: johjac@oklahomacounty.org; and Richard N. Mann of the
Attorney General's Ofc-LINCOLN-OKC, 4545 N Lincoln Blvd, Suite
260, Oklahoma City, OK 73105-3498, Phone: 405-521-4274, Fax:
405-528-1867, E-mail: richard_mann@oag.state.ok.us.

RIO TINTO: Oceanic Islanders Win Appeal in Calif. Ecocide Suit
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated in August the human
rights claim brought by the people of the island of Bougainville
against London-based Rio Tinto, one of the world's largest
mining companies.

The suit claims that Rio Tinto conspired with the government of
Papua New Guinea (PNG) to savagely quell civil resistance to an
environmentally devastating mining operation, actions that led
to the deaths of thousands.

The ruling remands the case to the U.S. District Court for the
Central District of California, and could have broad
implications for other groups seeking redress from crimes
committed during wartime by private companies acting in concert
with local governments.  It also states that Rio Tinto could be
held liable for actions by the PNG government if the company's
involvement is proven.

A U.S. District Court dismissed the suit, siding with the U.S.
State Department's opinion that the case could not be heard in
U.S. courts, a decision that was appealed by the plaintiffs.

In the recent ruling, the Court of Appeals dismissed Rio Tinto's
arguments that the case should not be heard in the U.S. Court
System, and the U.S. State Department, which argued the case
could interfere with the ongoing peace process on the island.

The case was filed in 2000 as a class action and seeks to
represent Bougainvilleans who continue to be exposed to toxins
resulting from the Panguna mine, individuals who lost property
due to ongoing environmental contamination, and people injured
or killed during the Bougainville conflict between 1989 and

Under the Alien Tort Claims Act, foreign nationals can bring
suit in the United States against companies that violate
international law.  Rio Tinto is the parent company of
subsidiary U.S. Borax Inc., headquartered in Los Angeles.  The
court also ruled that war crimes, crimes against humanity and
racial discrimination are such universally recognized norms that
they can be heard under the Alien Tort Claims Act.

Steve Berman, the managing partner of Hagens Berman Sobol
Shapiro HBSS, who argued the case before the 9th Circuit, said
he was "deeply gratified the Court had seen fit to allow the
people of Bougainville their day in court in the United States."

According to Mr. Berman, the plaintiffs are now free to seek
redress for loss of life and injuries from the war, and to
pursue claims to force Rio Tinto to clean up the island from the
massive environmental destruction caused by the mining

           Environmental Events Leading to the Lawsuit

The Panguna copper mine and the political events that erupted
since the mine was established are at the core of the case.  
Bougainville Island, located northeast of Australia, is part of
the Independent State of Papua New Guinea.

Between 1969 and 1972, the Australian Colonial Administration
leased land on the island to Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL),
a mining subsidiary of Rio Tinto.  The suit claims that
landowners unsuccessfully resisted intrusion onto their land,
and many Bougainvilleans were forced to relocate or flee the
island.  Three principal villages were relocated.

According to the suit, Rio Tinto then destroyed entire villages,
razed the rain forest, sluiced off a hillside and established
the world's largest open-cut mine, spanning two kilometers wide
and half a kilometer deep.  The mine excavated 300,000 tons of
ore and water every day during its operation between 1972 and

The suit alleges that Rio Tinto improperly dumped waste rock and
tailings, emitting chemical and air pollutants without regard
for the villagers.  Those tailings destroyed local fish stock, a
major food source for the islanders.

The Bougainville people -- especially children -- began dying
more frequently from upper respiratory infections, asthma and
tuberculosis, the suit states.

The Panguna mine, located on the Island of Bougainville just off
Papua New Guinea, was once the world's largest copper mine
during the 1980s.

Rio Tinto's actions on Bougainville were so egregious that they
sparked an uprising designed to close the mine in 1990.

According to the complaint, in 1990, villagers started an
uprising, which closed the mine, and in response, Rio Tinto and
the Papua New Guinea (PNG) government brought troops in to
reopen the mine.

The complaint alleges that Rio Tinto provided transport for
these troops and played a role in instituting a military
blockade of the island that lasted for almost 10 years, created
to coerce the Bougainville people into surrendering so that the
mine could be reopened.

The blockade prevented medicine, clothing and other essential
items from reaching the people of Bougainville, closing
hospitals and other vital services.

According to the Red Cross, the blockade killed more than 2,000
children in its first two years of operation.  By the time the
war ended in 1999, 10 percent of the population of Bougainville,
approximately 15,000 civilians, were killed.

The court case alleges that Rio Tinto's conduct violated
customary international law, including prohibitions against
destruction of the right to life and health, and prohibitions
against racial discrimination and war crimes.

In a two-to-one majority opinion, the 9th Circuit stated "we
conclude that most of the plaintiffs' claims may be tried in the
United States," rejecting arguments by Rio Tinto that the U.S.
was not the most appropriate venue to hear the case.

The court also rejected arguments by the U.S. State Department,
which filed a Statement of Interest, saying that "continued
adjudication of the claims . would risk a potentially serious
impact on the peace process."

The court concluded "we cannot uphold the dismissal of the
lawsuit solely on the basis of the Statement of Interest."

TELSTRA CORP: Strike Out Application Hearing Set Oct. 26
Australian company Telstra Corp. is proceeding with its strike
out application in a shareholder class action filed against it.  
A hearing is set for Oct. 26, according to information posted in
the Web site of deListed, a division of BRG Pacific Pty Limited.

On Jan. 20, 2006, aw firm Slater & Gordon filed a legal action
against the company in the Federal Court of Australia, Sydney

Slater & Gordon, on behalf of Telstra shareholders, is alleging
the company failed to fully provide the Australian Stock
Exchange with key financial information.  It is alleged that on
Aug. 11, 2005, Telstra gave a private briefing to senior Federal
ministers forecasting a drop in future earnings and revealing a
$3 billion underspend on operating and capital expenditure in
the previous three to five years.

This information was not revealed to the market, in breach of
the Australian Stock Exchange Listing Rules and the Corporations
Act, until Sept. 7 when Telstra released a copy of the
government briefing to the ASX.

In this four-week period alone, more than 1 billion Telstra
shares were traded with early estimates suggesting investors
paid approximately $300 million over the true market value.

Headquartered at Melbourne, in Victoria, Australia, Telstra
Corp. -- http://www.telstra.com.au/-- is a telecommunications  
and information services company.  Telstra offers a full range
of services and compete in all telecommunications markets
throughout Australia, providing more than 10.3 million
Australian fixed line and more than 6.5 million mobile services.

Shareholders are represented by law firm Slater & Gordon.  On
the Net: http://www.slatergordon.com.au/.

TYSON FOODS: Tenn. Court Certifies Class in Workers' Lawsuit
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee
granted class-action status to a lawsuit against Tyson Foods
Inc. over accusations that it depressed wages by hiring illegal
immigrants at eight plants in Tennessee, Alabama, Indiana,
Missouri, Texas and Virginia, according to The Associated Press.

According to Howard W. Foster, a Chicago-based attorney for
Tyson employees, the ruling is very big step for them.  He
explains that it essentially allows him and his clients to seek
damages for thousands of workers at the eight plants instead of
just the four original plaintiffs.  

In his ruling, issued on Oct. 10, 2006, Judge Curtis L. Collier
also scheduled a Jan. 29, 2007 conference with attorneys where
it is expected he will set a trial date.

Before it went to trial, four former employees at Tyson's
Shelbyville plant namely Birda Trollinger, Robert Martinez,
Tabetha Edding and Doris Jewell filed the suit on April 2, 2002.  

In it they contend that the company violated the Racketeer
Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act by knowingly hiring
illegal immigrants who were willing to work for wages below
those acceptable to U.S. citizens.

The suit claims that the company relied on a network of
recruiters and temporary employment agencies that brought
illegal workers into the U.S. and then supplied them with false

Mr. Foster estimates that company employees' pay was depressed
"probably $8 to $10 an hour" by hiring illegal immigrants.  The
eight Tyson plants named in the suit are at:

       -- Shelbyville, Tenn.;
       -- Corydon, Ind.;
       -- Gadsden, Ala.;
       -- Blountsville, Ala.;
       -- Ashland, Ala.;
       -- Sedalia, Mo.;
       -- Center, Texas; and
       -- Glen Allen, Va.

Despite the court's decision, company spokesman Gary Mickelson
downplayed its significance, saying that it is a procedural
ruling and not based on the merits of the case, which was
actually dismissed by another judge back in 2002.  He adds, "We
remain confident our company will ultimately prevail."

The suit is "Trollinger, et al v. Tyson Foods, Inc., Case No.
4:02-cv-00023," filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of Tennessee under Judge Curtis L. Collier with
referral to Judge William B. Carter.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (1) Howard W Foster of Johnson & Bell, Ltd., 33 East Monroe
         Street, Suite 2700, Chicago, IL 60603-5404, Phone: 312-
         372-0770, Fax: 312-372-9818, E-mail: fosterh@jbltd.com;

     (2) William G. Colvin of Shumacker, Witt, Gaither &
         Whitaker, P.C., 736 Market Street, Suite 1100,
         Chattanooga, TN 37402, Phone: 423-425-7000, E-mail:

Representing the defendants are:

     (i) Roger W. Dickson of Miller & Martin, 832 Georgia
         Avenue, Suite 1000, Volunteer Building, Chattanooga, TN
         37402-2289, Phone: 423-756-6600, E-mail:
         rdickson@millermartin.com; and

    (ii) Thomas C. Green of Sidley, Austin, Brown & Wood, LLP,
         1501 K. Street NW, Washington, DC 20005, Phone: 202-

UNITED STATES: Suit Seeks Halt to Immigrant Parents' Deportation
The federal government faces a purported class action in the
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida that
seeks to stop the deportation of undocumented immigrant parents
of U.S.-born children.

Alfonso Oviedo-Reyes, president of American Fraternity, also
known as the Nicaraguan Fraternity, filed the suit.  Honduran
Unity and the Peruvian-American Coalition joined him in its

The suit argues that the constitutional rights of those young
citizens are being violated by their families' precarious
status, and that deportations of the parents of U.S. citizen
children should stop until congress passes comprehensive
immigration reform (Class Action Reporter, Oct. 6, 2006).

The suit, filed on Oct. 4, 2006, seeks class action status for
60 families in South Florida.  It also seeks from the court an
emergency injunction to halt deportations.

Aside from violating the children's constitutional rights, the
suit claims U.S. immigration laws that force families apart
violate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Nora Sandigo, head of the Nicaraguan Fraternity, is the named
plaintiff in the suit, which was brought on behalf of children
whose parents hail from China, Colombia, Honduras, Nicaragua,
Poland, Venezuela as well as other countries.

Included as defendants in the case are:

      -- President George W. Bush,
      -- the Department of Justice,
      -- the Department of Homeland Security, and
      -- the director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration
         Services, Emilio Gonzalez.

The case's premise is that the U.S. government did not enforce
its own immigration laws, thus allowing millions of undocumented
immigrants to live and work here for many years, eventually
forming families that include children who are American

The suit argues that the government has since lost its right to
deport those parents, since it failed to do so for a long time,
and now the rights of the U.S.-born children trump the long-
unenforced laws that would break up their families.

Though the suit enjoys a modicum of support from the community,
advocates of stricter immigration enforcement laws, argue that
parenthood should not give undocumented immigrants special

According to John Keeley of the Center for Immigration Studies,
the parents have made "breathtakingly bad decisions."  He points
out that "nobody forced them to come here illegally.  This is
their burden.  If they have a duty to care for their children,
they must do so in their home countries."

The suit is "Sandigo v. Bush, et al., Case No. 1:06-cv-22484-
PCH," filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District
of Florida under Judge Paul C. Huck.

Representing the plaintiff are:

     (1) Michael Feldenkrais of Becker & Poliakoff, 5201 Blue
         Lagoon Drive, Suite 100, Miami, FL 33126, Phone: 305-
         262-1017, Fax: 262-4504;

     (2) Irving Joseph Gonzalez, 80 SW 8th Street, Miami, FL
         33130, Phone: 305-374-4343, Fax: 374-4348; and

     (3) Alfonso E. Oviedo-Reyes, 8370 W. Flagler Street, Miami,
         FL 33144, Phone: 305-221-6433, Fax: 221-6519.

VIRGINIA: Elections Board Sued Over Absentee Voting for Disabled
The Virginia Office for the Protection and Advocacy filed a
class action against the state board of elections on behalf of
several mentally disabled Virginians, Associated Press reports.

The suit was filed early in October in U.S. District Court for
the Eastern District of Virginia.  It targets a state law saying
"any person who is unable to go in person to the polls on the
day of election because of physical disability or physical
illness" can vote via mail-in, absentee ballot.  

The new policy states, do not make "specific provisions for
absentee ballots for persons with a mental disability or mental
illness nor does it explicitly prohibit such persons from voting
by absentee ballot," according to VOPA.  The group alleges the
law violates the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, and
seeks a revision to the state law.

Plaintiffs in the suit are David Harvey and King D. Monroe, who
have both been confined to Central State Hospital in Petersburg.
The men are described in the suit as persons with "severe mental
illness" who have not, however, been deemed incompetent (Class
Action Reporter, Oct. 5, 2006).

According to the suit, both men applied for absentee ballots in
May, hoping to vote in the Nov. 7, 2006 election.  However,
according to Colleen Miller, director of VOPA, their
applications were denied based on their mental illness.

The defendants in the suit include:

      -- Gov. Timothy M. Kaine,
      -- Viola Baskerville, secretary of administration, and
      -- the state Board of Elections.

The suit is "Harvey, et al. v. Kaine, et al., Case No. 3:06-cv-
00653-HEH," filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of Virginia under Judge Henry E. Hudson.

Representing the plaintiffs are Julie Colemon Kegley, Steven
Michael Traubert and Jonathan Gerald Martinis of Virginia Office
for Protection and Advocacy, 1910 Byrd Ave., Suite 5, Richmond,
VA 23230, Phone: (804) 225-2042.

WAL-MART STORES: Jury Finds Violation of Penn. Employment Laws
A state jury concluded that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. violated
Pennsylvania labor laws by forcing employees to work through
rest breaks and denying them overtime pay as well, the AP News

Jurors found that Wal-Mart acted in bad faith, but rejected
claims that the company denied workers meal breaks.  Plaintiffs'
lawyers believe that this decision would result in at least $62
million in damages.

However, jurors have yet to determine damages in the class
action, which covers up to 187,000 hourly current and former

Chris Kofinis, a spokesman for WakeUpWalMart.com, a union-funded
effort to improve working conditions at the stores, said of the
decision that it reinforces "the company's sweatshop mindset is
a serious problem, both legally and morally."

The Pennsylvania case involves labor practices at Wal-Mart and
Sam's Club stores between March 1998 and May 1, 2006.

Lead plaintiff Dolores Hummel, who worked at a Sam's Club in
Reading from 1992-2002, charged in her suit that she had to work
through breaks and after quitting time to meet work demands in
the bakery, the report said.  She said she worked eight to 12
unpaid hours a month, on average, to meet work demands.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas certified a class on
Jan. 16 after seeing routine skipping of breaks and non-payment
of extra work in Wal-Mart's computer records (Class Action
Reporter, Jan. 27, 2006).  At that time, the suit is estimated
to cover nearly 150,000 current and former employees.  The case
is now being pursued on behalf of 186,000 workers.

Early this month, Wal-Mart completed its defense in the class
action filed by workers in Pennsylvania, alleging the store
denied them meal and rest breaks, as well as overtime pay (Class
Action Reporter, Oct. 12, 2006).

As the retailer wrapped up its defense, Rodney Bridgers, a
lawyer for two ex-employees suing the company, asked Mr. Coleman
Peterson, Wal-Mart executive vice president for personnel issues
until 2004, if missed breaks and lunches "were a chronic
problem" that Wal-Mart ignored.  Mr. Peterson denied the

The employees are represented by attorney Michael Donovan, of
Donovan Searles, 1845 Walnut Street, Suite 1100, Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania 19103 (Philadelphia Co.), Phone: 215-732-6067, Fax:

Representing Wal-Mart is Brian P. Flaherty of Wolf, Block,
Schorr & Solis-Cohen LLP, 1650 Arch Street, 22nd Floor,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103-2097 (Philadelphia Co.), Phone:
215-977-2000, Telecopier: 215-977-2334.

WASHINGTON: U.S. High Court Reviews Case Over Use of Union Fees
The U.S. Supreme Court is set to review a case filed by a group
of teachers receiving free legal help from the National Right to
Work Foundation in which Washington State's high court struck
down a state law intending to limit the misuse of mandatory
union dues for certain political activities, according to The
National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.  

The voided Washington law required union officials to obtain the
prior consent of nonunion public employees before spending their
mandatory union dues on a tiny fraction of what the union
actually spends on politics.

However, in the process of striking down the law, the state
Supreme Court fabricated a constitutional "right" for union
officials to spend the money of employees who want nothing to do
with the union on politics.

If upheld, the Washington State Supreme Court rulings in
"Davenport v. Washington Education Association (WEA) Union," and
"Washington v. WEA Union," opens the door for activist court
rulings to undermine America's 22 state Right to Work laws,
which make union affiliation and dues payment strictly

Foundation attorneys, who are working in conjunction with Steven
O'Ban of Ellis, Li, and McKinstry of Seattle - originally filed
the class action, "Davenport v. WEA," in 2001 for more than
4,000 Washington teachers who are not union members, but
nonetheless are forced to pay union dues or be fired.

A long-awaited ruling in "Davenport" by the Washington Supreme
Court in mid-March upheld an appellate court's decision to
overturn a trial court -- thereby striking down the last
remaining union dues provisions in I-134, Washington's troubled
"paycheck protection" law.

"These ineffective 'paycheck protection' laws have unfortunately
opened a Pandora's Box, creating an opportunity for activist
courts to award new privileges to union bosses and even to
jeopardize state Right to Work laws," according to Stefan
Gleason, vice president of the National Right to Work

Mr. Gleason adds "While the underlying law is deeply flawed, the
National Right to Work Foundation has a duty to limit the
broader collateral damage done to employees' rights by the court

Key legal documents on the case is available free of charge at:


For more details, contact:

     (1) National Right to Work Legal Defense and Education
         Foundation, Inc., 8001 Braddock Road, Springfield,
         Virginia 22160, Phone: (703) 321-8510 and (800) 336-
         3600, Fax: (703) 321-9613 [general] and (703) 321-9319
         [legal department], E-mail: info@nrtw.org, Web site:

     (2) Steven O'Ban of Ellis, Li & McKinstry, PLLC, Two Union
         Square, 601 Union Street, Suite 4900, Seattle, WA
         98101, Phone: 206-682-0565, Fax: 206-625-1052, E-mail:
         soban@elmlaw.com, Web site: http://www.elmlaw.com/.

ZURICH NORTH: Delay Sought in N.J. Broker Pay Suit Settlement
The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA
National) has asked the U.S. District Court for the District of
New Jersey to delay preliminary approval of a class settlement
with Zurich North America insurers until flaws in a mandatory
disclosure statement are corrected.

In a reply brief filed with the Court on October 6, 2006, PIA
National answered the objections of ten state Attorneys General
who are formally opposing PIA's effort to get the Court to
consider its brief of amicus curiae that the association filed
on September 15, 2006.

"Main Street insurance agents did not commit the alleged abuses
that led to these proposed settlements," said PIA National
Executive Vice President & CEO Len Brevik. "But this settlement
agreement attempts to impose a remedy for wrongdoing on Main
Street agents, who did nothing wrong. That's just not right."

"Agents were shut out of the negotiating process that led to
these proposed settlements, and now the Attorneys General don't
want the Court to hear our concerns," Mr. Brevik said. "That is
unfair and unconscionable."

In addition to the flawed disclosure statement, PIA objects to
this and similar proposed settlements because they would create
disparate impact on PIA members' livelihoods by prohibiting the
payment by carriers of certain contingency payments.

Arguments filed on September 26, 2006 by the Attorneys General
asking that the Court deny PIA's request to file the amicus
brief "lack merit and appear designed to evade PIA's legitimate
concerns," according to the PIA reply brief. PIA reiterates that
it was unfairly shut out of all negotiations and now, the
Attorneys General "seek to silence the agents and brokers most
directly and adversely affected" by provisions of the proposed

PIA also countered the criticism offered by the Attorneys
General that its filing is premature, noting that the proposed
disclosure form "is a part of this class settlement for which
preliminary approval is now sought; the time to address its
fatal deficiencies is now." PIA noted that the plaintiffs in the
case "want to have it both ways" by asking the court to ignore
that insurance is regulated primarily by the respective states
and thereby approving a purported "nationwide" settlement, while
at the same time asking the court to defer PIA's objections
until after provisions it objects to are approved.

As part of the proposed settlement of the class action filed in
August 2005, which was prompted by investigations of alleged
bid-rigging conducted by several State Attorneys General,
professional independent insurance agents would be required to
use a court-mandated Mandatory Disclosure Statement that is
inaccurate, violates existing state and common law and is rife
with serious and fatal flaws.

The PIA reply brief notes the disclosure form as it is now
constituted not only would affect the legal rights and interests
of PIA members, but would mislead class members regarding the
legal relationships of agents and brokers to insurance carriers
like the Zurich Insurers and to class members themselves. PIA's
members, who are small and midsize insurance agents and brokers
across the country, will suffer substantial harm from its use as
currently constituted.

While these ten Attorneys General in their brief contend that
the issues being decided by the Court are few and limited in
scope, a September 26 letter to Judge Faith S. Hochberg from
attorneys for Zurich contradicts them. The letter confirms PIA's
assertion that what is being asked of the Court is approval of a
broad, global settlement that folds all details of existing
proposed agreements into a comprehensive settlement, including a
selective ban on the payment of certain contingent commissions.

"It would appear that the Settling AGs exceeded the considered
judgment of most state regulators," notes the PIA reply. "AGs
are not the primary insurance regulators in their states -- the
insurance commissioners and supervisors are -- and the vast
majority of insurance commissioners have refused to join the
Multi-State Agreement. In fact, the Georgia Commissioner, the
Honorable John W. Oxendine, recently declared that Georgia will
have no part in this ongoing crusade because he felt it 'served
no worthwhile purpose.'"

                      Settlement Agreement  
In March, Zurich Financial Services Group (Zurich) announced
that Zurich American Insurance Co. and its subsidiaries (ZAIC)
reached settlements with nine state attorneys general and one
insurance commissioner relating to their industry-wide
investigations into broker compensation and insurance placement
The agreements call for total payments of $171.7 million and
require the implementation of new disclosure and compliance
regimes.  ZAIC did not admit to any violation of U.S. federal or
state laws as part of the settlements.
The Multi-State Agreement increases the $100 million settlement
fund amount set forth in the MOU to a total of $151.7 million,
and requires ZAIC to pay $20 million for state fees and costs.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners' Broker
Activities Task Force (NAIC Task Force) assisted in developing a
regulatory settlement agreement with ZAIC that the insurance
commissioner from Florida has now executed.  The NAIC Task Force
supported this settlement as a sound regulatory framework, and
had urged all state insurance regulators to consider joining it.
Some of these settlements are dependent on court approvals, as
well as various other conditions.    
The nine state attorneys general who have executed settlement
agreements with ZAIC as part of the Multi-State Agreement are
those from California, Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts,
Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, and West Virginia.
The Multi-State Agreement will work in conjunction with a
proposed settlement between ZAIC and plaintiffs in a nationwide
class action against commercial insurers and brokers that is
pending in the U.S. District Court of the District of New
Jersey.  In October 2005, ZAIC and lead plaintiffs in the class
action entered into the MOU that sets out the principal terms of
settlement of that action.    
A copy of the Regulatory Settlement Agreement is available at:  

A copy of the Reply to the Amicus Curiae Brief is available at:


                   New Securities Fraud Cases

LOUDEYE CORP: Federman & Sherwood Announces Stock Suit Filing
Federman & Sherwood announces that on Oct. 4, 2006, a class
action was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western
District of Washington against Loudeye Corp.

The complaint alleges violations of federal securities laws,
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of
1934 and Rule 10b-5, including allegations of issuing a series
of material misrepresentations to the market which had the
effect of artificially inflating the market price.

The class period is from May 19, 2003 through Nov. 9, 2005.
Interested parties may move the court no later than Dec. 4,
2006, to serve as a lead plaintiff for the class.

For more details, contact William B. Federman Federman &
Sherwood, 10205 North Pennsylvania Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK
73120, Phone: (405) 235-1560, E-mail: wfederman@aol.com, Web
site: http://www.federmanlaw.com.


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


S U B S C R I P T I O N   I N F O R M A T I O N

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless Hills,
Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick, Maryland
USA.   Glenn Ruel Senorin, Maria Cristina Canson, and Janice
Mendoza, Editors.

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

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without
prior written permission of the publishers.

Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed
to be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The CAR subscription rate is $575 for six months delivered via
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firm for the term of the initial subscription or balance thereof
are $25 each.  For subscription information, contact Christopher
Beard at 240/629-3300.

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