/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/061227.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

           Tuesday, December 26, 2006, Vol. 8, No. 255


ABC: Brisbane Staff Who Contracted Breast Cancer May File Suit
AMERICAN AIRLINES: Mass. "Skycaps" File Lawsuit Over Lost Tips
ASTEA INTL: Pa. Court Mulls Dismissal of Securities Fraud Suit
AUSTRALIA: F-111 Mechanics File Suit Over Chemical Exposure
AWB LTD: Faces N.Y. Litigation Over U.N. "Oil-for-Food" Fraud

BODISEN BIOTECH: Jan. 16 Lead Plaintiff Appointment Deadline
BRIO AB: Recalls Wooden Bell Rattles Due to Choking Hazard
CHOICEPOINT INC: Ga. Court Mulls Dismissal of ERISA Litigation
CHOICEPOINT INC: Ga. Court Mulls Motion to Dismiss Stock Suit
CONTINENTAL TIRE: Sued in Ohio Over Retiree Health Care Benefits

CRAY INC: Wash. Court Dismisses Consolidated Securities Suit
EL PASO: March 6 Hearing Set for $285M Stock Suit Settlement
ENCORE MEDICAL: Faces Lawsuits Over Blackstone Capital Proposal
FAIRFIELD RESORTS: Faces Labor Lawsuit by Immigrant Workers
GLAXOSMITHKLINE PLC: Notice of $63.8M Paxil Suit Deal Published

GRANGE MUTUAL: Settles Ohio Lawsuit Over Car Insurance Premiums
INFORMATION COS: Settle DPPA Violations Litigation in Fla.
INSURANCE COS: Ill. Court Closes Suit Over Workers Compensation
INSURANCE COS: Settles Georgia Lawsuit Over Insurance Refunds
INTERNET CAPITAL: N.Y. Court Mulls OK for IPO Suit Settlement

JDS UNIPHASE: Continues to Face Calif. Securities Fraud Lawsuit
KENTUCKY: Mediation Ordered in Suit by Breckinridge Families
MACY'S MERCHANDISING: Recalls Infant Coveralls for Choking Risks
MASSACHUSETTS: Guardsmen Reimbursed for Post-9/11 Expenses
MIVA INC: Fla. Court Mulls Dismissal of Consolidated Stock Suit

MIVA INC: Still Faces Calif. I-Net Gambling, Unfair Trade Suit
MULTIPLEX LTD: Pays Off Investors After AU$100M "Wembley" Suit
NEOPHARM INC: Still Faces Consolidated Securities Suit in Ill.
PHILIP MORRIS: Mass. Smokers Files Federal Suit for Chest Scans
QUIK PAYDAY: Ontario Court Okays CA$170T Payday Loan Suit Deal

REWARDS NETWORK: Enters Preliminary Settlement for "Bistro" Suit
SONY ELECTRONICS: Class Certification in Vaio Lawsuit Reversed
TOBACCO LITIGATION: Supreme Court Issues Ruling on "Engle" Suit
UAE: Rulers Seek Dismissal of Fla. Suit Over Young Camel Jockeys
UNITED STATES: Immigrants Sue U.S. Government Over Benefit Cuts

U.S. TOY: Recalls Butterfly Necklaces for Lead Poisoning Hazard
WURLD MEDIA: Former Employees File Labor Violations Suit in N.Y.
*ISS Develops Securities Class Action Loss Calculator

                   New Securities Fraud Cases

TECHNICAL OLYMPIC: Federman Sherwood Announces Stock Suit Filing
TOP TANKERS: Wolf Haldenstein Files N.Y. Securities Fraud Suit


ABC: Brisbane Staff Who Contracted Breast Cancer May File Suit
Women who worked at ABC's studio in Toowong, Brisbane, Australia
and were diagnosed of breast cancer is preparing a lawsuit
against the company, reports say.

An independent study has found that women who worked at the
reported breast cancer at a rate of up to 11 times higher than
the general working community.  

Twelve women who worked at the Toowong office have been
diagnosed with breast cancer in the past 11 years.  But it is
yet unknown what caused the high incidence, the reports said.

The facility had been closed and the 350 staff working there had
been transferred to other studios.  ABC managing director Mark
Scott rejected suggestions the staff should have been moved
sooner.  It would not have been appropriate to act before the
study was completed, he said.

ABC journalist Ian Eckersley, who worked with a team
commissioned by the ABC in July to investigate the high
incidence of cancer, said he had been notified that women were
already starting to pursue avenues for compensation.

"I know there's one staff member, or ex-staff member, who's been
investigating that pretty thoroughly and it wouldn't surprise me
if there's a class action out of this," he said.

AMERICAN AIRLINES: Mass. "Skycaps" File Lawsuit Over Lost Tips
American Airlines, Inc. faces a purported class action in
Suffolk Superior Court in Massachusetts that was filed by two
"skycaps" at Logan International Airport, The Boston.com
Business reports.

A "skycap" is a porter employed by an airport.  While the
company that employs them usually pays them, it is customary to
tip these workers in the U.S.

Don DiFiore and Leon Bailey, the two "skycaps" that filed a
class action brought it against the carrier and G2 Secure Staff,
the contract company that employs the plaintiffs, for allegedly
withholding their tip money and failing to pay them minimum
wage.  Attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan of Boston represents both
"skycaps" in the case.

The accusations stem from a $2-per-bag fee that the airline
began imposing in 2005 on travelers who use its curbside check-
in service, a charge that the airline concedes may cause tips to
plummet, since few passengers offer a tip in addition to the bag

Traditionally, "skycaps," have received most of their
compensation from tips, however, they have not benefited from
the new charge imposed, according to the complaint.  Instead,
the charge flows primarily to the companies with which American
Airlines contracts for "skycap" services.

The suit is also accusing the defendants of not adequately
notifying passengers that the bag fee is not a tip.

For more details, contact Shannon Erika Liss-Riordan of Pyle,
Rome, Lichten, Ehrenberg & Liss-Riordan, P.C., 18 Tremont
Street, Suite 500, Boston, MA 02108, Phone: 617-367-7200, Fax:
617-367-4820, Web site: http://www.prle.com/.

ASTEA INTL: Pa. Court Mulls Dismissal of Securities Fraud Suit
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
has yet to rule on a motion to dismiss the amended complaint in
the consolidated securities fraud class action against Astea
International, Inc.

On and shortly after April 6, 2006, certain purported
shareholder class actions were filed in the U.S. District Court
for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against the company and
certain of its directors and officers.  

The lawsuits, alleging that the company and certain of its
officers and directors violated federal securities laws and
state laws, relate to the company's March 31, 2006 announcement
of the accounting restatement for overcapitalized software
development costs during the first two quarters of 2005 and
undercapitalized software development costs during the third
quarter of 2005.  

Pursuant to a stipulation and order of the court entered July
12, 2006, the putative class actions were consolidated, certain
persons were appointed as lead plaintiffs, and a consolidated
amended complaint was filed on Sept. 11, 2006.  

The defendants filed a motion to dismiss the consolidated
amended complaint on Oct. 26, 2006, and the court will decide
this motion once briefing has been completed.  

The suit is "Shanahan v. Astea International Inc. et al., Case
No. 2:06-cv-01467-WY," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania under Judge William H. Yohn,

Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (1) David Felderman of Spector, Roseman & Kodroff, 1818
         Market Street, Suite 2500, Philadelphia, PA 19103,
         Phone: 215-496-0300, E-mail: dfelderman@srk-law.com;

     (2) Andrew N. Friedman of Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld, and
         Toll, 1100 New York Avenue, N.W., West Tower, Suite
         500, Washington, DC 20005-3964, Phone: 202-408-4600,
         Fax: 202-408-4699; and

     (3) Michael D. Gottsch of Chimicles & Tikellis, LLP, 361
         West Lancaster Avenue, Haverford, PA 19041, Phone: 610-
         642-8500, E-mail: michaelgottsch@chimicles.com.

Representing the defendants is Robert L. Hickok of Pepper
Hamilton, LLP, 3000 Two Logan Sq., 18TH & Arch Sts.,
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2799, Phone: 215-981-4583, E-mail:

AUSTRALIA: F-111 Mechanics File Suit Over Chemical Exposure
Former Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) maintenance workers
launched a class action against the federal government for
chemical exposure while servicing F-111 fuel tanks decades ago,
ABC News Online reports.  

The suit was filed in the Brisbane Supreme Court on Dec. 11,
2006.  Heading the suit is Allan Henry of Loganholme, in
Brisbane, who reportedly worked in the RAAF for 20 years from
1975 as a resealer/desealer for 16 years.

Mr. Henry and about 400 colleagues who worked at the Amberley
base, west of Brisbane, between 1973 and 1989, are seeking
compensation for lung diseases, depression and memory loss that
they are suffering due to exposure to toxic chemicals.  

They allege breach of duty of care because of lack of protective
equipment, operational pressures and inadequacy of supervision
and training.

Plaintiffs' attorney Scott McLennan puts damages sought at least

AWB LTD: Faces N.Y. Litigation Over U.N. "Oil-for-Food" Fraud
Osen and Associate, together with three other law firms, filed a
lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of
New York on behalf northern Iraqis who were entitled to receive
benefits under the United Nations' oil-for-food program,
Sharewatch Online reports.

The suit was filed against BNP Paribas and AWB. Ltd., and is
seeking class-action status.  It is alleging that the companies
cheated the citizens of Iraq from June 10, 1999 to June 3, 2003.

According to the lawsuit, residents of the Irbil, Dohuk and
Sulaimaniyah areas of Iraq claimed they did not receive the full
benefits to which they were entitled.

The lawsuit claims the companies stole from the Iraqis "by
engaging in a brazen kickback scheme" in which money earmarked
for the benefit of Iraqis were instead improperly transferred
"into the coffers of Saddam Hussein's corrupt Iraqi regime or
used to indemnify goods suppliers, including AWB, for the bribes
they had paid Iraq."

In addition, the suit alleges the companies disguised and
misrepresented the kickbacks to make them appear to be
legitimate costs.  

It also accused them of knowing or recklessly disregarding that
money was being paid illegally to the government of Saddam

Joshua Glatter of Osen and Associate said that the two companies
"are liable for depriving class members from the benefits they
were entitled to under the program."

Under the U.N. program Iraq's oil was sold on the world market,
the proceeds of which were to be used to purchase food,
medicines and other items not embargoed after the 1991 Gulf war.

The lawsuit also claims BNP paid as much as $1.5 billion in
kickbacks to Saddam Hussein's deposed government while AWB paid
more than $200 million.

A U.N. report last year found out that AWB paid $221.7 million
in kickbacks to a trucking company linked to Hussein's
government (Class Action Reporter, Nov. 20, 2006).

Earlier this year, retired Judge Terence Cole began
investigating AWB for payments it made in Iraq through the
United Nations' oil-for-food program.  

In his final report, public hearings for which began in January,
Judge Cole found AWB, 11 of its former executives, and one
former BHP Billiton executive may have broken Australian laws,
including criminal and banking codes.  

The lawsuit is seeking at least $200 million in damages under
the RICO the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the International
Emergency Economic Powers Act.

For more details, contact Joshua D. Glatter of Osen & Associate,
LLC, 700 Kinderkamack Road, Oradell, New Jersey 07649, (Bergen
Co.), Phone: 201-265-6400, Fax: 201-265-0303, Web Site:

BODISEN BIOTECH: Jan. 16 Lead Plaintiff Appointment Deadline
Shareholders of Bodisen Biotech, Inc., may no later than Jan.
16, 2007, move the court for lead plaintiff appointment in the
shareholder lawsuit filed by Bodisen shareholders.

The suit is filed on behalf of shareholders who purchased or
otherwise acquired the securities of Bodisen Biotech, Inc.
between Aug. 26, 2005 and Nov. 14, 2006.

The complaint charges Bodisen, certain of the company's
executive officers, and Benjamin Wey (a/k/a Benjamin Wei) and
his company New York Global Group, Inc. (NYGG) with violations
of federal securities laws.

Among other things, plaintiff claims that defendants' material
omissions and dissemination of materially false and misleading
statements concerning Bodisen's business and operations caused
the Company's stock price to become artificially inflated,
inflicting damages on investors.

Bodisen describes itself as primarily engaged in the
development, manufacture and sales of organic fertilizers and
pesticides in the People's Republic of China.  

The complaint alleges that during the class period defendants
failed to disclose material information concerning the company's
relationships with Benjamin Wey, NYGG and related companies.

On Nov. 12, 2006, Bodisen issued a press release stating, among
other things, that it had received a Deficiency Letter from the
American Stock Exchange (AMEX), concerning Bodisen's
relationship with NYGG, stating, "AMEX believes that the company
made insufficient or inaccurate disclosure in its public filings
with regard to its relationship with, and payments to, a
consultancy firm and its affiliates both prior to and subsequent
to its listing on the AMEX.

Additionally, in the context of the company's relationship with
the consultancy firm, AMEX expressed concern that the Company
has internal control issues related to its accounting and
financial reporting obligations."

The Nov. 12, 2006, press release followed news reports, which
had raised concerns about the company's relationships with
Benjamin Wey and NYGG and certain of its affiliated entities.

Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of class members
and is represented by Glancy Binkow & Goldberg, LLP, a law firm
with significant experience in prosecuting shareholder lawsuits,
and substantial expertise in actions involving corporate fraud.

For more information, contact Michael Goldberg, Esquire, of
Glancy Binkow & Goldberg LLP, 1801 Avenue of the Stars, Suite
311, Los Angeles, California 90067, Phone: (310) 201-9150 or
(888) 773-9224, E-mail: info@glancylaw.com.

BRIO AB: Recalls Wooden Bell Rattles Due to Choking Hazard
BRIO AB, of Sweden, in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer
Product Safety Commission, is recalling about 5,550 units of
BRIO Bell Rattles.

The company said the small bell positioned between the wood
slats can break and allow access to small parts.  This poses a
choking hazard to young children.  No injuries or incidents have
been reported.

This recall involves wooden rattles with six-multi-colored slats
used to connect the two, red round ends.  A metal bell is
contained within the slats.  The rattles measure 2 1/2-inches in
diameter by 2 1/2-inches in height.  The name BRIO appears on
one of the wooden sides.

These bell rattles were manufactured in China and are being
distributed by K'NEX Industries Inc., of Hatfield, Pennsylvania
and are being sold by mail order, Internet and specialty toy
stores nationwide from February 2005 through April 2006 for
about $5.

Picture of the recalled bell rattle:

Consumers are advised to immediately take the toys away from
children and contact K'NEX for a free replacement toy.

For additional information, contact K'NEX Industries at (800)
543-5639 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. ET Monday through
Friday, or E-mail: email@KNEX.com.

CHOICEPOINT INC: Ga. Court Mulls Dismissal of ERISA Litigation
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia has
yet to rule on a motion to dismiss the purported class action
against ChoicePoint, Inc. that is alleging violations of the
Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

On May 20, 2005, the class action was filed against the company
and certain individuals who are alleged to be fiduciaries under
the ChoicePoint, Inc. 401(K) Profit Sharing Plan.  

The suit alleged violations of ERISA fiduciary rules through the
acquisition and retention of ChoicePoint stock by the Plan on
and after Nov. 24, 2004.  Plaintiffs sought compensatory
damages, injunctive and equitable relief, attorneys' fees and

On April 14, 2006, the defendant filed a motion to dismiss,
which remains pending before the court, according to the
company's Nov. 8 Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the period ended Sept. 30.

The suit is "Curtis R. Mellot v. ChoicePoint Inc., et al., Case
No. 1:05-cv-01340-JTC," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of Georgia under Judge Jack T. Camp.  

Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (1) Thomas J. McKenna of Gainey & McKenna, 4th Floor, 295
         Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10017, US, Phone: 212-983-
         1300, Fax: 212-983-0383, E-mail:

     (2) Lisa T. Millican of Greenfield Millican, P.C., 800 The
         Grant Building, 44 Broad Street, NW Atlanta, GA 30303,
         Phone: 404-522-1122, E-mail:

     (3) Ronen Sarraf of Sarraf Gentile, LLP, 485 Seventh
         Avenue, Suite 1005, Suite 1005, New York, NY 10018,
         Phone: 212-868-3610, E-mail: ronen@sarrafgentile.com;

     (4) Kenneth J. Vianale of Vianale & Vianale, 2499 Glades
         Road, Suite 112, Boca Raton, FL 33431, Phone: 561-392-
         4750, Fax: 561-392-4775, E-mail:

CHOICEPOINT INC: Ga. Court Mulls Motion to Dismiss Stock Suit
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia has
yet to rule on the motion to dismiss the consolidated amended
complaint in the securities fraud class action against
ChoicePoint, Inc.

On March 4, 2005, a purchaser of the company's securities filed
a lawsuit against the company and certain of its officers in the
U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.  

The complaint alleged that the defendants violated federal
securities laws by issuing false or misleading information in
connection with the fraudulent data access.

Additional similar complaints were filed by other purchasers of
the company's securities in the U.S. District Court for the
Central District of California on March 10, 2005 and in the
Northern District of Georgia on March 11, 2005, March 22, 2005
and March 24, 2005.

By court order, the cases pending in the California were
transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District
of Georgia.  

By order dated Aug. 5, 2005, the court consolidated the pending
cases into a single consolidated action, "In re
ChoicePoint Inc. Securities Litigation, 1:05-CV-00686."

On Nov. 14, 2005, the court entered an order appointing the
Alaska Laborers Employers Retirement Fund as lead plaintiff for
the proposed plaintiff class.  

A consolidated amended complaint was filed on Jan. 13, 2006,
seeking certification as a class action and unspecified
compensatory damages, attorneys' fees, costs, and other relief.

On March 14, 2006, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss the
consolidated amended complaint, which remains pending before the

All proceedings in the case are stayed while the motion is
pending, according to the company's Nov. 8 Form 10-Q filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the period ended
Sept. 30.

The suit is "In re ChoicePoint Inc. Securities Litigation, 1:05-
CV-00686," filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of Georgia under Judge Jack T. Camp.  

Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (1) Martin D. Chitwood of Chitwood & Harley, 1230 Peachtree
         Street, N.E. 2300 Promenade II, Atlanta, GA 30309,
         Phone: 404-873-3900, E-mail: mdc@classlaw.com;

     (2) Edward P. Dietrich of Lerach, Coughlin, Stoia, Geller,
         Rudman & Robbins, LLP, Suite 1900, 655 West Broadway,
         San Diego, CA 92101, Phone: 619-231-1058, Fax: 619-231-
         7423, E-mail: edd@lerachlaw.com; and

     (3) Christopher Kim of Lim Ruger & Kim, Suite 2800, 1055
         West 7th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90017, Phone: 213-955-

Representing the defendants is Tracy Cobb Braintwain of King &
Spalding, LLP, 1180 Peachtree Street, NE Atlanta, GA 30309-3521,
Phone: 404-572-2714, Fax: 404-572-5139, E-mail:

CONTINENTAL TIRE: Sued in Ohio Over Retiree Health Care Benefits
United Steelworkers retirees and their union have filed a class
action against Continental Tire North America, Inc. to force the
tire maker to uphold its obligations to thousands of retirees,
spouses, and surviving spouses to provide retiree medical
benefits throughout retirement.

The lawsuit was filed Dec. 13, 2006 in the U.S. District Court
for the Northern District of Ohio.  The retirees allege
Continental Tire breached agreements promising lifetime
insurance coverage by announcing that effective on various dates
in 2007 it will shift a large part of the cost of retiree
medical coverage from the company to the retirees and surviving

Continental Tire's violation of those agreements is actionable
under the Labor Management Relations Act and the Employee
Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).  

The retirees claim the rights to receive retiree medical
benefits were earned and vested over decades of service at the
tire and rubber facilities of Continental Tire.  

Rights to retirement benefits were created through collective
bargaining between Continental Tire and the Union that had
represented the retirees while they were employed.

Virtually the same language from these agreements promised
lifetime retiree medical benefits for retirees and spouses at
Continental Tire facilities, such as plants in Akron, Ohio,
Mayfield, Kentucky, Charlotte, North Carolina, Waco, Texas, and
Bryan, Ohio.

"In late November, [Continental Tire] sent letters to me and
other retirees announcing that, effective in 2007, it "will be
implementing a $3,000 cap on the Company contribution to the
cost of health care coverage for retirees and their eligible
dependents," said Mike Dassaro, a Continental Tire retiree and
plaintiff from Charlotte.  "They think they have the right to
alter my benefits and make me pay for it, but they must not have
read the contracts.  It is important for everyone that we stand
up for what's right."

Plaintiffs seek a declaration that their rights to retiree
health care benefits provided under agreements and the Group
insurance Plan cannot be unilaterally modified or terminated by
defendants, a preliminary and permanent injunction prohibiting
such modification or termination, and damages and equitable
relief to remedy the reduction in benefits.

Overall, the USW presents more than 850,000 members in the U.S.
and Canada.  Some 70,000 are employed in the tire, rubber and
plastics industry.

The suit is "Pringle et al. v. Continental Tire North America,
Inc. et al., Case No. 3:06-cv-02985-DAK," filed in U.S. District
Court for the Northern District of Ohio under Judge David A.

Representing plaintiffs Maxwell Pringle and United Steel, Paper
and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial
and Service Workers International Union, AFL-CIO/CLC are:

     (1) William T. Payne, 1007 Mt. Royal Blvd., Pittsburgh, PA
         15223, Phone: 412-492-8797, Fax: 412-492-8978, E-mail:

     (2) Stephen M. Pincus and John E. Stember at Stember
         Feinstein, 1705 Allegheny Bldg., 429 Forbes Avenue,
         Pittsburgh, PA 15217, Phone: 412-338-1445, 412-338-
         1448, Fax: 412-232-3730, E-mail:

CRAY INC: Wash. Court Dismisses Consolidated Securities Suit
The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington
dismissed with prejudice a consolidated securities class action
filed against Cray Inc. and certain of its present and former
officers and directors.

Several suits were initially filed, alleging federal securities
law violations in connection with the issuance of various
reports, press releases and in some cases, statements in
investor telephone conference calls.  

Each complaint requested certification of the class described
therein and seeks unspecified damages, interest, attorneys'
fees, costs and other relief.   

The suits were filed against the company and five of its present
and former officers and directors on behalf of purchasers of its
securities between Oct. 23, 2002, and May 12, 2005.  

It alleged that the defendants had violated the securities laws
by knowingly making false or misleading statements to the

On Oct. 19, 2005, the court ordered the consolidation of these
cases into a single action and ordered that an amended complaint
be filed by Nov. 15, 2005.  

On Sept. 8, 2006, the court entered judgment in favor of the
defendants dismissing the consolidated action with prejudice.

The suit is "Limantour v. Cray Incorporated et al., case no.
2:05-cv-00943-TSZ," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Western District of Washington, under Judge Thomas S. Zilly.  

Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (1) Steve W. Berman, Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, 1301  
         5TH Ave, Ste 2900, Seattle, WA 98101, Phone: 206-623-
         7292, Email: steve@hbsslaw.com
     (2) Elizabeth Ann Leland, Juli Farris Desper, Lynn Lincoln  
         Sarko, Keller Rohrback, 1201 3RD AVE, STE 3200,  
         SEATTLE, WA 98101-3052, Phone: 206-623-1900, Fax:  623-
         3384, E-mail: bleland@kellerrohrback.com,
         jdesper@KellerRohrback.com, lsarko@kellerrohrback.com
     (3) Christopher Ian Brain, Tousley Brain Stephens, 1700  
         Seventh Ave., Ste 2200, Seattle, WA 98101-1332, Phone:  
         206-682-5600, Email: cbrain@tousley.com

     (4) Tamara J Driscoll, Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman  
         & Robbins (WA), 1700 Seventh Avenue, STE 2260, Seattle,  
         WA 98101, Phone: 206-749-5544, Fax: 206-749-9978,  
         Email: tdriscoll@lerachlaw.com

Representing the company is Lois Omenn Rosenbaum, Stoel Rives,
900 SW Fifth Avenue, Ste 2600, Portland OR 97204, Phone: 503-
294-9293, Fax: 1-503-294-9113, Email: lorosenbaum@stoel.com.

EL PASO: March 6 Hearing Set for $285M Stock Suit Settlement
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas will
hold a fairness hearing for the proposed $285 million settlement
on March 6, 2007 at 9:00 a.m. in the matter, "Wyatt et al, et al
v. EL Paso Corporation, et al., Case No. 4:02-cv-02717."

The court will hold the hearing at U.S. District Courthouse, 515
Rusk Avenue, Houston, Texas 77002.

Any objections and exclusions to and from the settlement must be
made by Feb. 2, 2007.  Claim forms should be submitted by April
18, 2007.

The settlement covers persons or entities that acquired
securities of El Paso Corp. (EP) from Feb. 20, 2000, through
Feb. 17, 2004.

                       Case Background

Oscar S. Wyatt, Jr., Jacksonville Police & Fire Pension Fund,
and Oklahoma Firefighters Pension and Retirement System brought
the securities class action against El Paso Corp. and other
defendants, alleging violations of the securities laws.  

Under the settlement, defendants will pay $285 million.  Of
this, $273 million will be paid by El Paso, while
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP will pay $12 million.  After
deductions for attorneys' fees and other expenses, the remainder
will be distributed to the class members.  

For more details, contact A.B. Data, Ltd., Phone: (800) 949-
0148, Web site: http://www.elpasosecuritiessettlement.com.

ENCORE MEDICAL: Faces Lawsuits Over Blackstone Capital Proposal
Encore Medical Corp. and its directors face purported class
actions in Delaware and Texas over its proposed acquisition by
Blackstone Capital Partners V L.P.

The suits are:

      -- "Louis Dudas et al. v. Encore Medical Corporation et
         al.," filed on July 7, 2006 in the District Court of
         Travis County, Texas, 345th Judicial District; and

      -- "Robert Kemp et al. v. Alastair J. Clemow et al.," was
         filed on July 18, 2006 in the Court of Chancery of the
         State of Delaware, New Castle County.  

Blackstone, Grand Slam Holdings, LLC, and Grand Slam Acquisition
Corp. are also named as defendants in the Delaware action.

Both complaints seek to enjoin the proposed acquisition of
Encore by Blackstone on grounds that the directors breached
their fiduciary duties by agreeing to an allegedly inadequate
acquisition price.  

The complaints allege that our directors will receive
substantial benefits from the acquisition that supposedly will
not be shared with other stockholders, and that the directors
and Blackstone timed the acquisition so that the agreement would
be announced before the company released its second quarter 2006
financial results, which allegedly would have caused the stock
price to rise.

The complaints further allege that the directors who approved
the transaction were not sufficiently independent and
disinterested and did not conduct a competitive auction and did
not obtain an adequate price from Blackstone for the merger.

Thus, plaintiffs seek injunctive relief to enjoin the
consummation of the acquisition and rescind any actions that
have already been taken to consummate the acquisition;
rescissory damages; an accounting of all "profits and any
special benefits" obtained by our directors; and the plaintiffs'
reasonable costs and attorneys' fees and expert fees.

In addition, the Delaware action also seeks an accounting of all
"profits and any special benefits" obtained by the company
directors and asserts a claim for damages on behalf of the
putative class.

FAIRFIELD RESORTS: Faces Labor Lawsuit by Immigrant Workers
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
certified as a class action a lawsuit filed by immigrant workers
against Fairfield Resorts, Inc., which alleges that they were
denied overtime pay, among others, the Daily Press reports.

The federal judge still has to approve "a form of notice" for
the class action, according to according to Sandy Waterman, an
attorney for the workers.

The suit was filed in August 2005 on behalf of 44 workers from
Mongolia, Slovakia, Russia and Ukraine.  The plaintiffs alleged
they were not paid three years in overtime pay, had been wrongly
required to pay pre-employment deposits and had been threatened
about seeking legal help.

About 300 to 400 people could be included in the suit, according
to Mr. Waterman.  He said he represents about 105 workers in
three lawsuits against Fairfield and some companies that staff
the resorts.

For more details, contact Avery Tillinghast "Sandy" Waterman,
Jr. of Patten, Wornom, Hatten & Diamonstein, L.C., Patrick Henry
Corporate Center, Suite 300, 12350 Jefferson Avenue, Newport
News, Virginia 23602, (Independent City), Phone: 757-223-4500,
Fax: 757-249-3242; 757-249-1627; 757-223-4518.

GRANGE MUTUAL: Settles Ohio Lawsuit Over Car Insurance Premiums
Grange Mutual Casualty Group and its subsidiary Trustgard
Insurance Co. reached a settlement in an Ohio class action over
car insurance, The Columbus Dispatch reports.

The settlement calls for the partial refunding of past car
insurance premiums for about 7,000 Ohio residents who were
customers of the defendants.  

Some drivers who insured their vehicles with Grange Mutual from
November 2000 to June 2001 will receive a refund of as much as
$60 next year.

The class action alleges that Grange Mutual raised car insurance
rates by 3.46 percent without filing for a rate increase with
the Ohio Department of Insurance.  Trustgard Insurance writes
car-insurance policies for high-risk drivers, who might
otherwise have problems getting insurance.

The settlement is expected to cost Grange $407,226, plus
$500,000 to cover plaintiffs' legal fees.

Ohio Department of Insurance spokesman Robert Denhard said the
agency investigated the incident and it appeared Grange Mutual
had inadvertently made a mistake.  

Mr. Denhard was quick to add though that both the department and
the company have since taken action to ensure they follow rate-
filing procedures.

Under Ohio law, insurers are required to file an application
when they change their rates.  The insurance department must
then approve the rates.

Customers who paid the unapproved rates are eligible for a
refund as part of the court settlement, according to Rex Elliot,
an attorney for the policyholders.

About 37,000 Ohioans were eligible, however, only 7,163 people
took the necessary steps to claim money before the deadline.

Under the settlement, people who are still insured by Grange, or
who agree to return to the company, will receive a $60 credit
toward their premium.  

Those who aren't eligible for Grange insurance, either because
they moved to a state where the company doesn't do business or
they no longer have a car or license, also will receive $60.  

Meanwhile, former policyholders who refuse to return to the
company will receive a one-time cash payment of $18.

For more details, contact Rex Elliot of Cooper & Elliott, LLC,
2175 Riverside Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43221, Phone: 614-481-6000,
Fax: 614-481-6001, E-mail: rexe@cooperelliott.com, Web site:

INFORMATION COS: Settle DPPA Violations Litigation in Fla.
National information companies reached a settlement with Florida
drivers who filed a suit alleging the firms are improperly using
motor vehicle records for marketing purposes, The Associated
Press reports.

The companies include Atlanta-based Choicepoint Inc., Costa
Mesa, Calif.-based Experian Information Solutions, Inc., and
U.S. units of London-based Reed Elsevier, PLC, according to the

The original suit was filed in federal court in Miami in April
2003, claiming that information providers violated the federal
Drivers Privacy Protection Act by impermissibly obtaining
personal information from motor vehicle records.  Ten other
cases bringing similar claims were combined with the original

Under the agreement, most of the defendant companies would adopt
a series of safeguards aimed at protecting personal data
commonly available from state motor vehicle agencies.  

Each of the original plaintiffs would get up to $15,000 each and
the lawyers involved could get $25 million in fees and expenses
from the companies, but no damages would be paid.

U.S. District Judge Jose Martinez of the Southern District of
Florida will decide whether the settlement should be applied to
all 50 states.  It could affect as many as 200 million people
whose driver's license or vehicle registration data, were
obtained by the companies since April 1, 1998.

Non-settling defendants in the case are R.L. Polk & Co. of
Southfield, Michigan, and Acxiom Corp. of Little Rock, Arkansas.

The suit is "Brooks, et al. v. Auto Data Direct, et al., Case
No. 0:03-cv-61063-JEM," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of Florida under Judge Jose E. Martinez with
referral to Judge Ted E. Bandstra.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (1) Tod N. Aronovitz at Aronovitz Trial Lawyers, 150 W
         Flagler Street, Suite 2700 Museum Tower, Miami, FL
         33130, Phone: 305-372-2772, Fax: 375-0243, E-mail:
         ta@aronovitzlaw.com; and

     (2) Carlos F. Barrett is Mark S. Fistos at James Hoyer
         Newcomer & Smiljanich, 3301 Thomasville Road, Suite A-
         200, Tallahassee, FL 32308, Phone: 850-325-2680, Fax:

Representing the defendants are:

     (1) Robert Chanderline Bauroth at Wicker Smith Tutan O'Hara
         McCoy Graham & Ford, 515 E Las Olas Boulevard, Suite
         1400 Suntrust Bank, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301, Phone:
         954-467-6405, Fax: 760-9353, E-mail:
         dgrauer@wickersmith.com; and

     (2) Raymond W. Bergan at Williams & Connolly, 725 12th
         Street NW, Washington, DC 20005-3901, Phone: 202-434-
         5000, Fax: 434-5029.

INSURANCE COS: Ill. Court Closes Suit Over Workers Compensation
Madison County Circuit Judge Andy Matoesian accepted
stipulations by plaintiffs dismissing several defendants and
closing a class action over workers compensation premiums,
according to the Madison County Record.

Lisa Kernan of Korein Tillery in St. Louis filed the suit in
2004, accusing insurers of overcharging for workers
compensation.  The lead plaintiff in the suit is Berco
Construction.  Defendants included:

     -- American International Group,
     -- a subsidiary of American Home Assurance,
     -- Ohio Casualty Insurance,
     -- Pekin Insurance,
     -- American States Insurance,
     -- Federated Mutual Insurance,
     -- Milwaukee Insurance (formerly Milwaukee Mutual),
     -- Zurich Insurance,
     -- Westport Insurance, and
     -- West American Insurance Co.

Individual plaintiffs filed the stipulations of dismissal.  They
offered no details of the settlement.

Judge Matoesian ordered each side to pay individual fees and

INSURANCE COS: Settles Georgia Lawsuit Over Insurance Refunds
A nationwide notification program began on Dec. 21, as ordered
by the Superior Court of Muscogee County, Georgia, to alert
people who bought credit insurance when they took out loans for
cars and other purposes, and did not receive refunds for any
unearned premiums when the loans were paid off early.

Two separate settlements in these cases will provide payments to
people who are owed refunds.

                The Desportes Suit Settlement

The insurers in the first settlement, "Desportes v. American
General Assurance Company, No. SU-04-CV-3637," include:

     -- American General Assurance Co.,

     -- Old Line Life Insurance Co.,

     -- Sooner Life Insurance Co.,

     -- USLIFE of Arizona,

     -- AG Bancassurance,

     -- AG Bancassurance Agency Services,

     -- American General Indemnity,

     -- U.S. Life Insurance Company,

     -- American Centennial Reinsurance Co.,

     -- Wesco Insurance Reinsurance Co.,

     -- American Centennial AGBA,

     -- Wesco AGBA,

     -- Balboa AGBA,

     -- General Fidelity Reinsurance AGAC,

     -- First Alliance Insurance Co.,

     -- AI Life,

     -- AI Life of New York,

     -- AIG Life,

     -- AI Life Assurance Co. of New York,

     -- USLIFE Credit Life Insurance Co.,

     -- all American Life Insurance Co., and/or any and all of
        their respective parents (including American
        International Group, Inc. and American General Corp.),

     -- predecessors, affiliates and subsidiaries, excluding
        North Central Life Insurance Co.

                  The Carter Suit Settlement

The insurers in the second settlement, "Carter v. North Central
Life Insurance Co., No. SU-06-CV-3764-6)," include:

     -- North Central Life Insurance Co. and its parent
        corporations, predecessor corporations, successor
        corporations, affiliate corporations and subsidiary
        corporations which include

        * USLife Corp.,
        * American General Corp.,
        * The United States Life Insurance Co. in the City of
          New York, and
        * American International Group, Inc.

The settlements include anyone who, at any time on or before
Nov. 17, 2006, bought a policy from one of the insurers
involved, paid full premiums at the start of the loan, and did
not receive a refund of unearned premiums when they paid off
their loan early while the policy was still in force.

Anyone who received any benefits from their policy, was refunded
any pre-paid premiums, already settled their claims with the
defendants and signed a release, defaulted on their loan, or
their debt was discharged in bankruptcy are not included in the

The settlements provide a full refund of any unearned premiums
plus an additional 15%.  Additionally, up to $1.25 million will
be donated to non-profit organizations selected by the parties
and the court.  

Defendants in the lawsuit will also change their business
practices in order to help customers obtain refunds on credit

Those affected by these settlements can send in a claim form to
ask for a payment, or they can ask to be excluded from, or
object to, the settlements and their terms.  The deadline for
objections and exclusions is March 30, 2007.  The deadline to
file claims is May 24, 2007.  

Notices informing class members about their legal rights will be
mailed, and are scheduled to appear in newspapers, magazines,
and on television and radio, leading up to a hearing on April
24, 2007, when the court will consider whether to approve the

The lawsuits claimed that the defendants broke their contracts
when they did not refund unearned premiums to customers who
bought credit life, credit disability, GAP, and involuntary
unemployment insurance when their loans were paid off early.  

They also allege that defendants got money from these unearned
premiums that rightfully belonged to their customers, and failed
to properly administer their credit insurance by not refunding
unearned premiums.  

Defendants deny that they did anything wrong, and the
settlements are not an admission of wrongdoing or an indication
that any laws were violated.

A toll-free number, 1-800-896-5685, has been established in the
cases, along with a website, http://www.creditpremiumcase.com,
where notices, claim forms, and the settlement agreements may be
obtained.  Those affected may also write to Credit Premium
Settlement, PO Box 1385, Minneapolis, MN 55440-1385.

INTERNET CAPITAL: N.Y. Court Mulls OK for IPO Suit Settlement
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
has yet to issue an order with respect to the final approval of
the settlement of a consolidated securities class action against
Internet Capital Group, Inc., according to the company's Nov. 9,
2006 Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the period ended Sept. 30, 2006.

In May and June 2001, certain of the company's present
directors, along with the company, certain of its former
directors, certain of its present and former officers and its
underwriters, were named as defendants in nine class action
complaints filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of New York.  Plaintiffs and the alleged classes they
seek to represent include present and former stockholders of the

The complaints generally allege violations of Sections 11 and 12
of the Securities Act of 1933 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated under
the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, based on, among other
things, the dissemination of statements allegedly containing
material misstatements and/or omissions concerning the
commissions received by the underwriters of the initial public
offering and follow-on public offering of the company as well as
failure to disclose the existence of purported agreements by the
underwriters with some of the purchasers in these offerings to
buy additional shares of the company's stock subsequently in the
open market at pre-determined prices above the initial offering
prices.  Plaintiffs seek for themselves and the alleged class
members an award of damages and litigation costs and expenses.  

The claims in these cases have been consolidated for pre-trial
purposes -- together with claims against other issuers and
underwriters -- before one judge in the Southern District of New
York federal court.

In April 2002, a consolidated amended complaint was filed
against these defendants -- generally alleging the same
violations -- and also refers to alleged misstatements or
omissions that relate to the recommendations regarding the
company's stock by analysts employed by the underwriters.

In June and July 2002, defendants, including the company
defendants, filed motions to dismiss plaintiffs' complaints on
numerous grounds.  The company's motion was denied in its
entirety in an opinion dated Feb. 19, 2003.  

In July 2003, a committee of the company's board of directors
approved a proposed settlement with the plaintiffs in this

The settlement would provide for, among other things, a release
of the company and of the individual defendants -- who had been
previously dismissed without prejudice -- for the wrongful
conduct alleged in the amended complaint.  

The company would agree to undertake other responsibilities
under the partial settlement, including agreeing to assign away,
not assert, or release certain potential claims the company may
have against its underwriters.

Any direct financial impact of the proposed settlement will be
borne by the company's insurers.  The complete terms of the
proposed settlement is on file with the court.

The court overseeing the litigation granted preliminary approval
of the settlement in February 2005 subject to a change in the
terms to bar cross-claims by defendant underwriters for
contribution, but not for indemnification or otherwise.

The parties to the settlement agreed on revised language to
effectuate the changes regarding contribution/indemnification
claims requested by the court and it has accepted such language.
A final fairness hearing on the settlement was held on April 24,
2006.  The court has not yet ruled on the settlement.

For more details, visit http://www.iposecuritieslitigation.com/.

JDS UNIPHASE: Continues to Face Calif. Securities Fraud Lawsuit
JDS Uniphase Corp. certain former and current officers and
directors continues to be named defendant in a litigation filed
since March 27, 2002 in the U.S. District Court for Northern
District of California under the federal securities laws,
according to the company's Nov. 9, 2006 Form 10-Q filing with
the Securities and Exchange Commission for the period Sept. 30,

On July 26, 2002, the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of California consolidated all the securities actions
then filed in or transferred to that court as, "In re JDS
Uniphase Corporation Securities Litigation, Master File No. C-
02-1486 CW," and appointed the Connecticut Retirement Plans and
Trust Funds as lead plaintiff.  

The complaint in "In re JDS Uniphase Corporation Securities
Litigation" purports to be brought on behalf of a class
consisting of those who acquired the company's securities from
Oct. 28, 1999, through July 26, 2001, as well as on behalf of
subclasses consisting of those who acquired the company's common
stock pursuant to its acquisitions of The Optical Coating
Laboratory, Inc. (OCLI), E-TEK Dynamics, Inc., and SDL Ltd.

Plaintiffs allege that defendants made material misstatements
and omissions concerning demand for the company's products,
improperly recognized revenue, overstated the value of
inventory, and failed to timely write down goodwill.

The complaint seeks unspecified damages and alleges various
violations of the federal securities laws, specifically Sections
10(b), 14(a), 20(a), and 20A of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act
of 1934 and Sections 11, 12(a)(2), and 15 of the Securities Act
of 1933.  

In January 2005, the court denied the motion to dismiss claims
against the company, Jozef Straus, Anthony R. Muller, and
Charles Abbe, and granted in part and denied in part the motion
to dismiss claims against Kevin Kalkhoven.  Defendants
subsequently filed answers denying liability for the claims
asserted against them.  On Dec. 21, 2005, the court granted
Plaintiffs' motion for class certification.

On April 6, 2006, the court granted plaintiffs' motion for
approval of its proposed plan for providing notice of class
certification to members of the plaintiff class.

Discovery in "In re JDS Uniphase Corporation Securities
Litigation" is ongoing.  Each party has noticed and taken
depositions of both party and non-party witnesses.

The deadline for fact discovery, except for depositions and
discovery arising from new information obtained at depositions,
was Sept. 29, 2006.  The closing date for completion of
depositions and discovery arising from new information obtained
at depositions is Dec. 1, 2006.  The closing date for expert
discovery is March 19, 2007.

The next case management conference is scheduled for May 4,
2007, and trial is scheduled for Oct. 1, 2007 (Class Action
Reporter, Sept. 22, 2006).

The suit is "In re JDS Uniphase Corp. Securities Litigation, C-
02-1486," filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of California under Judge Claudia Wilken with referral
to Judge Elizabeth D. Laporte.

Representing the plaintiffs are:  

     (1) Reed R. Kathrein and Darren J. Robbins of Lerach  
         Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins, LLP, Phone:  
         415-288-4545 and 619-231-1058, Fax: 415-288-4534 and  
         619-231-7423, E-mail: reedk@lerachlaw.com and  
         e_file_sd@lerachlaw.com; and  

     (2) John Frith Stewart of Segal, Stewart, Cutler, Lindsay,  
         Janes & Ber, 1400-B Waterfront Street, 325 West Main  
         Street, Louisville, KY 40202-4251, Phone: 502-568-5600.  

Representing the defendants are, Philip T. Besirof and Jordan  
David Eth of Morrison & Foerster, LLP, 425 Market St., San  
Francisco, CA, Phone: 94105-2482, Fax: (415) 268-7000 and 415-
268-7522, E-mail: PBesirof@mofo.com and jeth@mofo.com.

KENTUCKY: Mediation Ordered in Suit by Breckinridge Families
Federal claims court Judge Susan Braden ordered mediation in a
suit filed against the government by the Breckinridge Land
Committee, a group of families displaced from their land in
Henderson, Union, and Webster counties, according to the
(Owensboro) Messenger-Inquirer.  Judge Braden recommended Fred
F. Fielding to mediate the suit.

Nancie Marzulla, lawyer who is representing the families of the
original landowners, said that several issues have to be
considered before the landowners agree to the mediation,
according to the report.

The landowners could choose the claims court's dispute
resolution process over mediation, Ms. Marzulla said.  The
parties have until Jan. 31 to agree to Judge Braden's

The government purchased the 35,849 acres of farmland in the
three counties in 1942 so it could build Camp Breckinridge, a
World War II-era training facility.  Court documents said the
government first condemned the land, and then sold them to
landowners.  In all, the government paid $3.107 million for the
land, the report said.

In 1965, the government sold the oil and mineral rights to gas,
coal, oil and chemical companies for more than $30 million.    
The families have been attempting to receive compensation for
their loss since 1968.  The U.S. Court of Federal Claims
declared their case a class action in June.

MACY'S MERCHANDISING: Recalls Infant Coveralls for Choking Risks
Macy's Merchandising Group Inc., of New York, in cooperation
with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, is recalling
about 500 Baby greendog girl's knit coveralls.

The company said the snaps on the legs of the coveralls can
detach, posing a choking hazard to young children.  No injuries
have been reported.

The recalled knit coveralls are off-white with long sleeves.
There are pastel stripes on the sleeves and legs, and a floral
motif on the right-hand side of the chest. It was sold with a
matching striped cap. The coveralls were sold in sizes 0-12
months. Style number 1053EGR410 is printed on the hang tag.

These Baby greendog girl's knit coveralls were manufactured in
China and are being sold exclusively at Macy's stores nationwide
from August 2006 through October 2006 for about $30.

Picture of the recalled Baby greendog girl's knit coveralls:

Consumers are advised to stop using these coveralls immediately
and return them to any Macy's store for a full refund or store

For more information, contact Macy's Merchandising Group toll-
free at (877) 874-2812 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday
through Friday, or visit the firm's Web site:

MASSACHUSETTS: Guardsmen Reimbursed for Post-9/11 Expenses
Officials of the Massachusetts National Guard (MNG) announced
that it has repaid 126 soldiers for expenses they incurred while
protecting possible targets after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist
attacks, Michelle Tan of The Army Times reports.

In a report filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of
Massachusetts, MNG officials gave updates to Judge Richard
Stearns on its progress in reimbursing the soldiers.  

The report noted that that an additional 70 soldiers had been
paid, bringing the total number of soldiers reimbursed so far to
126.  The average amount paid to each of the 70 soldiers was
approximately $1,100.

The report stems from a purported class action filed by four
soldiers back in January 2006, which is seeking $73 million in
unpaid expenses for them and hundreds of other soldiers as a
class action.

When the lawsuit was filed, attorneys for the MNG asked Judge
Stearns to dismiss the lawsuit, since there already is an
administrative procedure in place to reimburse the soldiers.

Judge Stearns ruled Aug. 7, 2006 that he was going to defer his
decision on whether to dismiss the suit until after the MNG
completes an internal audit designed to fix the pay discrepancy.

Guard officials had addressed individual concerns on a case-by-
case basis as early as 2002, but a formal internal audit of
soldier compensation issues was initiated in May 2005 because of
the number of cases being brought to officials' attention,
according to Maj. Winfield Danielson, a MNG spokesman.

                        Case Background

The four soldiers are claiming that they were denied
reimbursement for meals, travel and lodging while guarding
potential targets after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks
(Oct. 13, 2006).  

Specific plaintiffs named are Wayne R. Gutierrez, of New
Bedford, Mass., Sgt. Steven M. Littlefield, and Joseph P.
Murphy, a specialist at Camp Edwards, (Class Action Reporter,
Jan. 20, 2005).

They were among many MNG soldiers activated for temporary duty
in early December 2001.  In the post Sept. 11 anti-terror
environment, their assignments included security patrols, lock-
downs and construction projects at bases across the state.

The fourth soldier, who is the lead plaintiff in the case, is
Sgt. Louis Tortorella of New Hampshire, who died in March 2006
of a heart attack.

In the past, Judge Richard G. Stearns has expressed his doubt
that the case belonged in his court.  He said it would appear to
belong in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, in Washington, D.C.,
which handles disputes where people say they are owed money by
the federal government (Class Action Reporter, Aug. 14, 2006).

The suit names the Department of Defense and the Massachusetts
National Guard as defendants.  Judge Stearns said the names of
individual government officials, including Secretary of Defense
Donald Rumsfeld and Gov. Mitt Romney, would be dropped because
the action was against government agencies.

It seeks $73 million in compensation and argues there could be
as many as 1,000 Massachusetts National Guard soldiers who
deserve reimbursements.

The suit is "Tortorella et al. v. U.S. of America et al., Case
No. 1:06-cv-10054-RGS," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
District of Massachusetts under Judge Richard G. Stearns.  
Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (1) John R. Shek of Weston, Patrick, Willard & Redding, PA,
         84 State Street, 11th Floor, Boston, MA 02109-2299,
         Phone: 617-742-9310, Fax: 617-742-5734, E-mail:
         jrs@wpwr.com; and  

     (2) Constance A. Driscoll of Stevens Law Office, 127
         Mountain Road, P.O. Box 1200, Stowe, VT 05672, US,
         Phone: 802-253-8547, Fax: 802-253-9945, E-mail:

Representing the defendants are:

     (i) Mark T. Quinlivan, United States Attorney's Office, 1
         Courthouse Way, Boston, MA 02210, Phone: 617-748-3606,
         Fax: 617-748-3969, E-mail: mark.quinlivan@usdoj.gov;

    (ii) Brian M. Donovan, Office of the Attorney General, Room
         1813, One Ashburton Place, Boston, MA 02108, Phone:
         617-727-2200, Fax: 617-727-3076, E-mail:

MIVA INC: Fla. Court Mulls Dismissal of Consolidated Stock Suit
The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida has
yet to rule on renewed motion to dismiss the consolidated
securities class action filed against Miva, Inc., formerly
Findwhat.com, Inc., and certain of its officers and directors.

Beginning on May 6, 2005, five putative securities fraud class
action were filed, alleging that the company and the individual
defendants violated Section 10(b) of the U.S. Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 and that the individual defendants also
violated Section 20(a) of the Act as "control persons" of

Plaintiffs purport to bring these claims on behalf of a class of
the company's investors who purchased company stock between Jan.
5, 2004 and May 4, 2005.

Plaintiffs allege generally that, during the putative class
period, the company made misleading statements and omitted
material information regarding the goodwill associated with a
recent acquisition and certain material weaknesses in its
internal controls.

Plaintiffs assert that the company and the individual defendants
made these misstatements and omissions in order to keep its
stock price high to allow certain individual defendants to sell
stock at an artificially inflated price.  Plaintiffs seek
unspecified damages and other relief.

On June 13 and July 7, 2005, the company and the other
defendants moved to dismiss each of these complaints for failure
to comply with the mandatory pleading requirements of the Reform
Act and also served answers to the complaints.  In response to
the motions to dismiss, Plaintiffs requested leave to file a
consolidated amended complaint.

On July 27, 2005, the court consolidated all of the outstanding
lawsuits under the case as, "In re MIVA, Inc. Securities
Litigation," selected lead plaintiff and lead counsel for the
consolidated cases, and granted plaintiffs leave to file a
consolidated amended complaint.  

The company and the other defendants then had until Sept. 6,
2005 to file an answer and/or a motion to dismiss.  The company
and the other defendants moved to dismiss the complaint on Sept.
8, 2005.

On Dec. 28, 2005, the court granted defendants' motion to
dismiss.  The court granted plaintiffs leave to submit a further
amended complaint, which was filed on Jan. 17, 2006.  

On Feb. 9, 2006, defendants filed a renewed motion to dismiss,
according to the company's Nov. 9, 2006 Form 10-Q filing for the
period ended Sept. 30, 2006.

The suit is "In re MIVA, Inc. Securities Litigation, Case No.
2:05-cv-00201-JES-DNF," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Middle District of Florida under Judge John E. Steele.  

Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (1) Chris A. Barker of Barker, Rodems & Cook, P.A., 300 W.
         Platt St., Suite 150, Tampa, FL 33606, Phone: 813/489-
         1001, Fax: 813/489-1008, E-mail:
         cbarker@barkerrodemsandcook.com; and

     (2) Christopher S. Polaszek of Milberg, Weiss, Bershad &
         Schulman LLP, 5200 Town Center Circle, Suite 600, Tower
         One, Boca Raton, FL 33486-1018, Phone: 561-361-5000,
         Fax: 561-367-8400, E-mail: cpolaszek@milbergweiss.com.  

Representing the defendant is Joseph G. Foster, Porter, Wright,
Morris & Arthur, P.A., 5801 Pelican Bay Blvd., Suite 300,
Naples, FL 34108, Phone: 239/593-2900, Fax: 239/593-2990, E-
mail: jfoster@porterwright.com.

MIVA INC: Still Faces Calif. I-Net Gambling, Unfair Trade Suit
MIVA, Inc., formerly Findwhat.com, Inc., remains a defendant in
a putative class action filed in the Superior Court of the State
of California, County of San Francisco.

Mario Cisneros and Michael Voight filed the suit on Aug. 3,
2004, on behalf of themselves, all other similarly situated,
and/or for the general public.  The suit also names other
Internet search sites and service providers.

The complaint alleges that acceptance of advertising for
Internet gambling violates several California laws and
constitutes an unfair business practice.

The complaint seeks unspecified amounts of restitution and
disgorgement as well as an injunction preventing the company
from accepting paid advertising for online gambling.  

Three of the company's industry partners, each of whom is a co-
defendant in the lawsuit, have asserted indemnification claims
against the company for costs incurred as a result of such
claims arising from transactions with the company.

On Oct. 11, 2005, the court held a bifurcated trial on the issue
of whether California public policy and the doctrine of in pari
delicto are defenses to plaintiffs' claims for restitution for
the gambling losses Internet gamblers purportedly incurred on
Internet gambling sites, and the Court ruled that California
public policy barred Plaintiffs' claim for restitution.

Issues that remain outstanding include:

      -- Plaintiffs' disgorgement theory, pursuant to which
         plaintiffs seek disgorgement of revenues earned from
         ads for online gaming,

      -- the question of whether the Court should issue an
         injunction barring companies in MIVA's industry from
         displaying ads for online gaming, and

      -- whether Plaintiffs should be awarded attorneys' fees.

The suit is "Mario Cisneros et al., v. Yahoo! Inc., et al., Case
No. CGC-04-433518," filed in the California Superior Court in
San Francisco County, under Judge Richard A. Kramer.

Representing the plaintiffs is Ira P. Rothken of The Rothken Law
Firm, 1050 Northgate Drive, Suite 520, San Rafael, CA 94903,
Phone: (415) 924-4250, E-mail: feedback@techfirm.com, Web site:

Representing the company are David T. Biderman, Robert Harvey
Binzel, Janet L. Cullum, Charles H. Dick, Jr., Albert Gidari,
Richard Jay Idell, Matthew P. Kanny, David H. Kramer, Thomas P.
Laffey, Ryan M. Malone, Laurence F. Pulgram, John C. Rawls,
David O. Stewart.

MULTIPLEX LTD: Pays Off Investors After AU$100M "Wembley" Suit
Multiplex, Ltd. has agreed to compensate investors who were left
out of pocket over the redevelopment of London's iconic Wembley
Stadium a day after a class action was filed against the
construction company, The Asia Pulse Businesswire reports.

In September 2002, Multiplex won a contract to rebuild Wembley
Stadium. Cost blowouts and problems with contractors delayed
construction and caused hundreds of millions in losses.

Earlier, the law firm Maurice Blackburn Cashman lodged a AU$100
million class action in the Federal Court, in Melbourne, on
behalf of shareholders of Australian property developer
Multiplex over the redevelopment of London's iconic Wembley
Stadium (Class Action Reporter, Dec. 19, 2006).

The suit claims shareholders were victims of Multiplex's failure
to keep the market properly informed about problems it was
having with the $1 billion project and the likely impact those
problems would have on the company's profits.

The compensation arises after a decision by Multiplex last year
to wait three weeks before disclosing it had cut its profit
forecast for the $US782.45 million project from $US70.26 million
to zero.

The adjustment was agreed by the Multiplex board on Feb. 2, 2005
but not disclosed until February 24, which caused the drop of
Multiplex's share price from about $US4.36 to $US3.72 wiping
about $US532.07 million from its market capitalization.

Multiplex has agreed to a $US25.04 million enforceable
undertaking (EU) with the Australian Securities and Investments
Commission (ASIC), that is enforceable in court, and is an
alternative to civil or administrative action.

The ASIC has been investigating the company's disclosures
between June 2004 and December 2005 that related to the Wembley

However, Multiplex spokesperson Vivienne Bower said the EU
wasn't a response to the $A100 million class action, lodged by
Melbourne law firm Maurice Blackburn Cashman.  "They are two
completely separate things," she said.

"The class action is being run by a separate law firm and being
done by private investors. This is the outcome of a 22-month
long investigation done by ASIC, this is purely (an undertaking
between) ASIC and Multiplex."

Further, Ms. Bower denied that by entering into the undertaking,
there was an automatic admission of guilt by the company.

In its undertaking with ASIC, Multiplex has agreed to pay a
settlement to certain security holders in early 2007 up to
$US25.04 million in total.  

This will apply to stapled securities contracted to be acquired
on, or after, February 3, 2005, and which were not contracted to
be sold, transferred or disposed of, on, or before, February 23

The settlement payment is subject to registered holders and
their ultimate beneficial owners satisfying certain criteria
including providing a release of any claims relating to the
Wembley project and disclosures about that project.

Ms. Bower, however, was unable to say whether any of the 45
investors involved in the class action would be available for
compensation under the EU.

Multiplex Class Action on the net:


NEOPHARM INC: Still Faces Consolidated Securities Suit in Ill.
Neopharm, Inc. remains a defendant in a consolidated securities
fraud class action filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of Illinois.  

The suit alleges various violations of the federal securities
laws in connection with the company's public statements during
the period from Oct. 31, 2001 through April 19, 2002 as they
relate to the company's LEP drug.  

The original lawsuits also named as individual defendants:

      -- John N. Kapoor, Chairman of the Company,

      -- James M. Hussey, President and CEO, and

      -- Dr.Imran Ahmad, current Chief Scientific Officer and
         Senior Vice President of Research and Development.

On Nov. 4, 2002, the company moved to have the complaint
dismissed.  The company's motion to dismiss was granted in part
and denied in part in February 2003.  Dr. Kapoor was dismissed
from the lawsuit at that time.  

In November 2004, the plaintiffs filed a motion to amend and a
motion for summary adjudication.  The motion to amend seeks to
again make Dr. Kapoor a defendant, and re-alleges that certain
pre-class period statements are actionable. The Company opposed
both motions.  No trial date has been set and discovery is

The suit is "Carson et al. v. Neopharm Inc., et al, case no.
1:02-cv-02976," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of Illinois under Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow.    

Representing the plaintiffs are Eric Belfi of Murray, Frank &
Sailer LLP, 275 Madison Avenue, #801 New York, NY 10016, Phone:
(212) 682-1818; and Joel P Laitman, Schoengold and Sporn, P.C.,
19 Fulton Street, Suite 406, New York, NY 10038, Phone: (212)

Representing the Company is Leann Pedersen Pope, Burke, Warren,
MacKay & Serritella, P.C., 330 North Wabash Avenue, 22nd Floor
Chicago, IL 60611-3607, Phone: (312) 840-7000
Email: lpope@burkelaw.com.

PHILIP MORRIS: Mass. Smokers Files Federal Suit for Chest Scans
Philip Morris USA, Inc. faces a purported class action in the
U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts filed by
Marlboro smokers who want the cigarette maker to pay for their
screenings that may detect the early stages of lung cancer, The
Associated Press reports.

The suit, filed on Dec. 14, 2006, identified the following
smokers as plaintiffs, all represented by attorneys of Thornton
& Naumes and Todd & Weld:

      -- James Teague,
      -- Kathleen Donovan, and
      -- Patricia Cawley.

The class action was filed on behalf of current and former
Marlboro smokers over 50 years old who smoked a pack or more a
day for 20 years, and have not been diagnosed with lung cancer.  

Attorneys for Thornton & Naumes estimated that as many as 80,000
at-risk Massachusetts residents may become part of the

The suit demands that the tobacco company pay for their annual
computerized X-ray chest scan.  The low-dose and noninvasive
scans cost about $500, but are rarely covered by health
insurance.  Plaintiffs do not demand any monetary damages.

Plaintiffs targeted Philip Morris, a unit of Altria Group, Inc.,
since the cigarette maker accounts for half of all tobacco
product sales.

According to Neil Leifer of Thornton & Naumes, Philip Morris
could have manufactured a safer cigarette with fewer

Mr. Leifer explains that their clients have smoked those
cigarettes that have carcinogens in them for years and now
they're at great risk for lung cancer because of the Philip
Morris product.  

He adds that because of that fact, it seems reasonable to
plaintiffs that Philip Morris provide this sort of early
detection measure that might maybe their lives.

The suit is "Donovan et al v. Philip Morris USA, Inc., Case No.
1:06-cv-12234-NG," filed in the U.S. District of Massachusetts
under Judge Nancy Gertner.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (1) Neil T. Leifer, Michael A. Lesser, and David C. Strouss
         of Thornton & Naumes, LLP, 30th Floor, 100 Summer
         Street, Boston, MA 02110, Phone: 617-720-1333, Fax:
         617-720-2445, E-mail: nleifer@tenlaw.com,
         mlesser@tenlaw.com and dstrouss@tenlaw.com.

     (2) Kevin T. Peters and Christopher Weld, Jr. of Todd &
         Weld, 31 Floor, 28 State Street, Boston, MA 02109,
         Phone: 617-720-2626, Fax: 617-227-5777, E-mail:
         kpeters@toddweld.com and cweld@toddweld.com.

QUIK PAYDAY: Ontario Court Okays CA$170T Payday Loan Suit Deal
The Ontario Superior Court of Justice issued a ruling on Dec. 1
certifying a class for settlement purposes and approving a
CA$170,000 settlement brought against the now defunct internet-
based payday lender, Quik Payday Inc., and its U.S. parent.

The court appointed plaintiffs Edward Joseph as class
representative and Bruneau Group as Claims Administrator.  The
class is defined as all persons in Canada other than the
defendants, their past or present employees, officers,
directors, agents or affiliated companies, who, between Oct. 2,
2002 and Feb. 11, 2005 borrowed money from Quik Payday Inc. as a
"Payday Loan," and either:

      -- Subclass 1 - have repaid Quik Payday Inc. in full; or

      -- Subclass 2 - defaulted on the payment of their final
         Payday Loan from Quik Payday Inc.

Defendants in the suit are:
      -- Quik Payday Inc.,
      -- Quik Payday Inc.,
      -- David M. Dunkley, and
      -- Linda Miller.

The settlement will see Quik Payday Inc. pay all of its
remaining assets into a settlement fund, which will be used to
repay to customers a portion of the interest and fees they paid
at the time the payday loans were advanced, and to pay for the
costs of the action and settlement administration.

Settlement funds will only be available to customers who did not
default on the repayment of any of their loans with Quik Payday.  
To qualify to receive a payment, customers will have to complete
a claim form on or before March 1, 2007.  The claim form is
available on-line at http://www.claimsadministrator.ca/payday.  
The amount of the settlement payment each customer will receive
will depend upon the number of people who complete the claims.

In addition to the payments to customers in good standing, Quik
Payday has agreed that it will take no collection action against
any of its customers who defaulted on their payday loans.

All customers of Quik Payday, Inc., will be bound by this
settlement unless they complete and deliver an opt-out form and
deliver it to class counsel on or before Feb. 2, 2007.  The opt-
out form is available on-line at
http://www.paydaylendersclassactions.com,as well.

Class counsel in this action is the law firm Paliare Roland
Rosenberg Rothstein, LLP.

Claims Administrator Bruneau Group Inc.
                     111-372 Rideau St.
                     Ottawan, ON
                     Phone: 1-866-393-8080
                     Fax: 1-613-562-0321

Class Counsel        Paliare Roland Rosenbeg Rothstein LLP
                     250 University Ave., Suite 501
                     Toronto, Ontario M5H 3E5
                     Phone: (416) 646-4300
                     On the Net:

REWARDS NETWORK: Enters Preliminary Settlement for "Bistro" Suit
Rewards Network, Inc., reached an agreement in principle to
settle its pending class action litigation in California.

The settlement agreement, if approved by the court, would
resolve all claims made in "Bistro Executive, Inc. et al v.
Rewards Network Inc., Case No. 2:04-cv-04640-CBM-Mc," by certain
California-based restaurants participating in the company's
dining credits purchase plan from May 2000 through December

"Resolving this lawsuit is the right thing to do for our
business," said Ron Blake, Rewards Network's President and Chief
Executive Officer. "We believe that we have always acted
lawfully and provided value to our customers.  We have decided
to settle this matter to avoid ongoing distraction and allow us
to focus entirely on serving our customers and building for the

The preliminary settlement agreement provides for a claims
process in which eligible class participants will be entitled to
receive a combination of cash and airline miles, payable in
three installments in 2007, 2008 and 2009, valued at up to $26
million to $28 million.

Additionally, Rewards Network will forego collection from
certain eligible class participants amounts above the cash
advanced under the company's dining credits purchase plan, and
will pay administrative costs of the settlement and attorneys
fees for the class.

In connection with the proposed settlement agreement, the
company expects to record a provision between $30 million and
$34 million ($18 million to $21 million after-tax) during the
fourth quarter of 2006 to reserve for the settlement and for
settlement-related expenses.

The settlement is subject to certain conditions, including
approval by the U.S. District Court for the Central District of
California and agreement on the definitive terms of a final
settlement agreement.

The company expects a preliminary fairness hearing to be held in
early 2007, with a final approval hearing occurring thereafter.
The company will enter into this resolution with no admission of

"Having this litigation behind us strengthens our ability to
drive profitable, sustainable growth for Rewards Network going
forward," Mr. Blake concluded.

                         Case Background  

On May 25, 2004, Bistro Executive, Westward Beach Restaurant
Holdings, LLC and MiniBar Lounge filed a complaint in the Los
Angeles County Superior Court against the company and its
subsidiaries.  Plaintiffs were all participants in the company's
dining credits Purchase Plan (Dining Plan), and their respective

The complaint was brought as a putative class action and alleges
that amounts paid by the company under the Dining Plan
constituted loans in violation of California usury laws and the
California Unfair Competition Law.

The suit seeks, among other relief, damages and equitable and
injunctive relief, including disgorgement of all purported
"interest" and profits earned by the company from the Dining
Plan in California, which plaintiffs allege to be a significant
portion of an amount in excess of $300 million, and treble
damages for all purported "interest" paid within one year prior
to the filing of the complaint.   

On June 25, 2004, the action was removed to the U.S. District
Court for the Central District of California.

On Oct. 11, 2005, plaintiffs' motion for class certification was
granted certifying two classes as:

     (1) all California restaurants which, from May 25, 2000 to   
         May 25, 2004, participated in the Dining Plan and which   
         took a cash advance from the company pursuant to its      
         California Dining Plan agreements, and   

     (2) all persons who, from May 25, 2000 to May 25, 2004,   
         guaranteed payment of cash advances underlying the   
         company's California Dining Plan agreements.  
On July 20, 2006, the U.S. District Court for the Central
District of California issued a decision denying the company's
motion for summary judgment and granting plaintiffs' motion for
summary judgment as to plaintiffs' usury and usury-based claims.
The district court did not reach any determination regarding
monetary relief.

On Aug. 23, 2006, the district court issued an order granting
the company's motion to certify an issue for interlocutory
appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

On Aug. 30, 2006, the district court also issued an order
continuing the trial date in this matter from Oct. 3, 2006 to
Dec. 12, 2006.

On Oct. 16, 2006, the Ninth Circuit granted the company's
petition for an interlocutory appeal of the district court's
summary judgment ruling in favor of plaintiffs and set a
briefing schedule for the appeal that contemplates that briefing
will be completed in March 2007.

The suit is "Bistro Executive Inc., et al. v. Rewards Network
Inc., et al., Case No. 2:04-cv-04640-CBM-Mc," filed in the U.S.
District Court for the Central District of California under
Judge Consuelo B. Marshall with referral to Judge James W.

Representing the plaintiffs are:   

     (1) John S. Purcell, Kenneth R. Chiate, Daniel L. Brockett,   
         James E. Doroshow, Chandra L. Gooding of Quinn Emanuel   
         Urquhart Oliver & Hedges, 865 S. Figueroa St., 10th   
         Fl., Los Angeles, CA 90017-2543, Phone: 213-624-7707   
         and 213-443-3000, Fax: 213-624-0643 and 213-443-3100,   
         E-mail: danbrockett@quinnemanuel.com; and   

     (2) Anat Levy of Anat Levy and Associates, 8840 Wilshire   
         Boulevard, Third Floor, Beverly Hills, CA 90211, Phone:   
         310-358-3138, E-mail: alevy96@aol.com.

Representing the defendants are, Scott M. Pearson, Daniel A.
Rozansky and Julia B. Strickland of Stroock Stroock & Lavan,
2029 Century Park E, 18th Fl., Los Angeles, CA 90067-3086,
Phone: 310-556-5800, Fax: 310-556-5959, E-mail:

SONY ELECTRONICS: Class Certification in Vaio Lawsuit Reversed
The California Court of Appeal for the Fourth District has ruled
that a lower court improperly certified a class action that
claimed Sony Electronics' Vaio GRX Series Notebook computers
suffer from a manufacturing defect, The Metropolitan News-
Enterprise reports.

The court noted in its ruling that granting class-action status
was wrong, since membership in a class action based on ownership
of a product with an alleged specified manufacturing defect is
invalid for lack of ascertainability.

Thus, the court issued a writ, directing Judge Luis R. Vargas of
the San Diego Superior Court to vacate his order granting class
certification to plaintiffs who alleged Sony notebook computers
they purchased had a common manufacturing defect.  It also asked
the judge to conduct further proceedings on whether class
certification of a different class is appropriate.

Judge Vargas ruling was in relation to a lawsuit filed by Martin
Hapner in 2002, alleging that the company marketed and
distributed GRX Series Notebook computers knowing they had
defective memory chip sockets, but without disclosing such
defects to consumer.

In 2005, Mr. Hapner, owners of a GRX550 Notebook computer, filed
a motion for class certification, contending that Sony Vaio GRX
series notebook computers suffered from inadequate soldering of
connector pins located on their memory slots, preventing "many"
of them from properly "booting" -- starting the operating system
when turned on or utilizing computer memory.

The judge granted the motion and certified a class comprising of
all persons in the U.S. that are original purchasers of Sony
Vaio GRX Notebook computers from Sony or from an authorized
reseller, and in which the memory connector pins for either of
the two memory slots were inadequately soldered, which resulted
in the impeding the recognition of installed memory causing boot
failures, and other problems.

The company opposed Mr. Hapner's motion, contending that there
was no common soldering defect in all of the GRX Series Notebook

It also contended that the symptoms of the alleged manufacturing
defect could result from numerous causes other than inadequate
soldering, thus making individual issues predominant over class-
wide issues.

Evidence that the company submitted in backing their argument
against class certifications, described possible causes for
start-up and memory-related errors like those Hapner
experienced, but which resulted from circumstances other than
inadequate soldering.  

Thus, the company argued that there was no evidence that the
GRX600 and 700 Series Notebook computers suffered from the
alleged manufacturing defect described by Mr. Hapner.

Judge Vargas ultimately granted Mr. Hapner's motion stating that
the though class definition was "an imperfect solution," since
membership in the class depended on the existence of a defect,
consumers were still entitled to a remedy.

The judge pointed out that this was especially true, if Mr.
Hapner's allegations were proven.  In this regard, the judge
also pointed out that the class action provided a superior
mechanism for providing such a remedy over the institution of
individual lawsuits.

After Judge Vragas' decision was handed down, the company filed
a writ petition contending that class certified by Vargas was
invalid for lack of sufficient ascertainability.  

The company argued that the class definition is not based on
objective criteria, but instead on the issue of ultimate
liability, i.e., whether a particular person's Notebook has a
soldering defect.

Justices James A. McIntyre, Richard D. Huffman, and Judith L.
Haller of the Court of Appeal, agreed.  They noted in the ruling
that though the class consisted of purchasers of GRX Series
Notebook computers that have inadequate soldering of the memory
slot connector pins, there was unfortunately no evidence showing
that this alleged manufacturing defect is universal to all GRX
Series Notebook computers.  

Thus, the appellate court concluded that the members of such a
class are not readily identifiable so as to permit appropriate
notice to be given and the definition would not permit persons
who receive notice of this action to determine whether they are
part of the class.

Though the court held that the class certified by Judge Vargas
was invalid, it did not order him to deny Mr. Hapner's motion

Instead, the appellate court directed Judge Vargas to conduct
further proceedings on the issue of whether an alternative class
is properly certifiable.  

A copy of the court's opinion is available free of charge at:

The case is "Sony Electronics, Inc. v. Superior Court (Hapman),

TOBACCO LITIGATION: Supreme Court Issues Ruling on "Engle" Suit
The Florida Supreme Court remanded the class action "Engle et
al. v. Liggett Group, Inc., et. al., Case No. SC03-1856," to the
Third District Court of Appeal for further proceedings, the
Newsinferno.com reports.

The Supreme Court justices agreed with the appellate court's
decision to reverse the $145 billion in punitive damages awarded
in 2000 in a landmark class-action suit against cigarette

The court also decided to decertify the class, saying that the
remaining issues "are highly individualized and do not lend
themselves to class action treatment."

According to their 4-2 decision, the justices ruled that "the
class should be decertified without prejudice to the class
members filing individual claims within one year of the issuance
of our mandate."

The state's highest court said, "although we approve the Third
District's reversal of the $145 billion class action punitive
damages award, we quash the remainder of the Third District's

Two of the three individual plaintiffs in the original suit will
have their compensatory awards reinstated.

Cigarette makers, including Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds, Brown
& Williamson, Lorillard, and the Liggett Group, are considering
whether-and how-to appeal the decision, the report said.

However, as the ruling currently stands, plaintiffs do not have
to wait until the appeal is heard before pursuing their own
individual legal actions. The original decision cited the health
dangers of smoking, the addictiveness of nicotine, and
misleading marketing by the industry as reasons why the
companies are liable.

                         Case Background

Miami lawyers Stanley and Susan Rosenblatt, purportedly on
behalf of all "addicted" smokers in the U.S. who had suffered
alleged smoking-related injuries, filed the Engle case in 1994.

In 1996, an intermediate state appellate court ruled that the
case could proceed as a class action, but it reduced the breadth
of the class to Florida residents.

In July 1999, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the
plaintiffs on a number of these broad questions, such as generic
causation and addiction.  In addition, the jury returned a
verdict for plaintiffs on extremely broad questions dealing with
fraud, breach of warranty and strict liability, among others.
The jury also said that the tobacco companies' conduct rose to
the level that would permit the potential award of punitive

On April 7, 2000, the jury determined that the companies bore
the majority of responsibility for the plaintiffs' injuries and
that compensatory damages should be awarded.

The trial then entered a punitive damages phase, and on July 14,
2000, the jury awarded plaintiffs $145 billion.  In November
2000, Judge Robert P. Kaye entered an order of final judgment in
that amount.

On May 21, 2003, Florida's Third District Court of Appeal set
aside a Dade County Circuit Court jury's decision in the Engle
case and ordered the Engle class decertified against Philip
Morris USA and other cigarette makers, overturning the nearly
$145 billion punitive damages award.

On Sept. 22, 2003, Florida's Third District Court of Appeal
rejected all petitions by the Engle class for reconsideration
and other relief.  Attorneys for the class have sought review of
the Third District decision by the Florida Supreme Court and the
parties are awaiting the court's decision.

On May 12, 2004, the Florida Supreme Court agreed to consider
the Engle plaintiffs appeal and directed all parties to brief
the issues involved.  All briefing has been completed, and oral
argument before the court occurred on Nov. 3, 2004.

On July 6, 2006, the Florida Supreme Court decertified the Engle
class and reversed the state court jury's award of $145 billion
in punitive damages.  The court also concluded that certain
issues decided by the Engle trial jury may be considered as
resolved for any potential future cases filed by former class
members (Class Action Reporter, July 10, 2006).

On Aug. 8, Altria Group Inc.'s Philip Morris USA and other major
cigarette makers asked the Florida Supreme Court to reconsider
and clarify parts of its decision to dismiss the punitive-damage
award against the tobacco industry (Class Action Reporter, Aug.
10, 2006).

The case is "Engle et al. v. Liggett Group, Inc., et. al., Case
No. SC03-1856."

UAE: Rulers Seek Dismissal of Fla. Suit Over Young Camel Jockeys
United Arab Emirates (UAE) rulers are asking the U.S. District
Court for the Southern District of Florida to dismiss a
purported class action, seeking damages for thousands of
children who were forced to become racing camel jockeys, The
Associated Press reports.

They are arguing that the issue is being fully addressed and
that U.S. courts have no jurisdiction.  In court papers, it was
indicated that UAE authorities in conjunction with the United
Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), established a program in May
2005 to compensate, provide services, for and repatriate young
camel jockeys to their home countries, primarily Pakistan,
Bangladesh, Sudan and Mauritania.

UAE, which banned use of underage camel jockeys in July 2005,
announced on Dec. 11, 2006 that it would set aside a minimum of
$9 million to expand and extend the program through 2009.

According to dismissal motion, which was filed by former U.S.
Attorney Marcos Daniel Jimenez, legal representative for the
UAE, "As a result of these international efforts, the practice
of using underage camel jockeys has ended in the U.A.E, and the
lives of former camel jockeys are being changed for the better

The dismissal motion includes several documents in support of
the UAE program regarding underage camel jockeys, including:

     -- A letter from leading Pakistani human rights activist
        Ansar Burney to Motley Rice, LLC, the plaintiffs' law
        firm handling the case, saying that the Emirates has
        "initiated and implemented effective measures for
        curbing the use of children in camel racing" and urging
        that the lawsuit be withdrawn.

     -- The recent UNICEF report stating that the "initiative
        puts children first by providing support to victims of
        trafficking and exploitation ... it's now up to the rest
        of the world to follow the initiative and example set by
        the UAE"

     -- A State Department report on human trafficking issued in
        September noting enactment of the youthful jockey ban
        and stating that "all identified victims were
        repatriated at the government's expense to their home

Plaintiffs contended that the federal court in Miami is a proper
legal venue, since, the UAE's royal family members own hundreds
of horses at farms upstate in Ocala and because no other court
in the world could fairly address the claims.

However, the UAE argued that there is no connection between
anyone involved in the camel jockey issue and the Miami federal
court and that the country's rulers have immunity as heads of
state.  Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga has not yet ruled on the
dismissal request or on whether the case should be a class

                        Case Background

In September, Motley Rice, LLC, in association with attorney
John A. Thornton of Miami, filed suit against several Arab
Sheikhs, including Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and
Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai, United Arab
Emirates, for the alleged abduction and human trafficking of
thousands of young boys from Asia and Africa (Class Action
Reporter, Sept. 14, 2006).

According to the complaint, filed in U.S. District Court,
Southern District of Florida, boys as young as two years old
have been stolen from their families, trafficked across
international borders, and kept in brutal camel-racing camps
throughout the UAE, forced to train camels and perform as

Once abducted, the children were allegedly sold into slavery to
serve as camel jockeys for the entertainment of the Arabian

Camel racing has long been a favored pastime of the Arab elite.
Yet, despite the enactment of legal weight and age limits, child
jockeys weighing less than 20 kg (44 lbs.) have become the
standard in races.  

Because of the extreme danger involved in camel racing, Arab
sheikhs have not used their own children for training or riding,
and instead have resorted to this alleged child enslavement.  

According to the lawsuit, this practice has resulted in a vast
conspiracy among camel owners to buy boys in the slave trade,
hold them in brutal camps, forcing them to care for and exercise
the camels, and then race against each other on "race days."

Because one cannot race without competitors, it is alleged that
the use of enslaved boys by the named defendants caused others
to do the same.  

According to the 2005 U.S. Department of State Trafficking in
Persons Report, "Those who survive the harsh conditions are
disposed of once they reach their teenage years."  Having been
ripped from their families at such a young age, these children
are typically unable to locate their families again or even, in
most cases, speak their own language.  

The suit is brought on behalf of the boys and/or the legal
guardians of the boys who were allegedly enslaved and is brought
against the individual slave owners in Dubai and the United Arab

Dubai's ruling family has denied the allegations of abduction
and human trafficking.  The ruling Maktoum family believes that
the alleged enslaving of thousands of young camel jockeys is
"baseless."  Also the family believes a U.S. court has no
jurisdiction over things, which happen outside the U.S (Oct. 18,

On its part, the ruling family claimed it had banned child
jockeys and revamped the sport.  According to family members,
they have overhauled the sport, banned the use of child jockeys
and helped UNICEF in a rehabilitation program for them.

According to the Maktoums' representative, Dr. Habib al-Mullah,
Dubai's rulers feel the efforts they have made to enforce
regulations in the sport are being overlooked.  In this
relation, it should be noted that it has been illegal to use
children as camel jockeys in the UAE since 1993.

The suit is "Minor R.M., et al v. Bin Rashid, et al., Case No.
1:06-cv-22253-CMA," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of Florida under Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga.

Representing plaintiffs are Ronald L. Motley of Ness Motley
Loadholt Richardson & Poole, 28 Bridgeside Boulevard, Mount
Pleasant, SC 29464, Phone: 843-216-9000; and John Andres
Thornton, 100 SE 2 Street, Suite 2700, Miami, FL 33131, Phone:
305-532-6851, Fax: 538-1070, E-mail:

UNITED STATES: Immigrants Sue U.S. Government Over Benefit Cuts
The Social Security Administration (SSA) and several other
federal agencies were named as defendants in a purported class
action for cutting the benefits of thousands of disabled

Filed on Dec. 6, 2006 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania, the suit charges that thousands of
elderly and disabled refugees who qualify for government
benefits while awaiting U.S. citizenship are being cut off
because their citizenship applications are mired in post Sept.
11 delays.

According to the suit, the refugees have been told that they
can't receive Social Security benefits until they're re-approved
for U.S. citizenship, which falls under a seven-year limit.  It
adds that some are even expected to lose their benefits by 2012
as they wait for approval.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit include:

      -- Mashaalah,
      -- Eshetu Meri,
      -- Feride Mandija,
      -- Lidiya Burtseva,
      -- Mary Amrezaei Aliaghaei,
      -- Nelli Olevskaya,
      -- Rouzbeh Aliaghaei,
      -- Shmul Kaplan, and
      -- Tasim Mandija.

Legal advocates like Jonathan M. Stein of Community Legal
Services in Philadelphia, who filed the class action, have
called the cutoffs unconstitutional, saying they are beyond the
control of the refugees.

In states like Virginia, the seven-year cutoff leaves immigrants
with almost no safety net, as it affects their eligibility for
food vouchers and government health care, Mr. Stein explains.

The suit names the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the
U.S. Office of Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Federal
Bureau, SSA, and others as defendants.

Plaintiffs want to the benefits, which pay about $600 a month to
individuals, and $900 to couples who are severely disabled,
blind or elderly, reinstated.

The suit is "Kaplan et al v. Chertoff et al., Case No. 2:06-cv-
05304-ER," filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania under Judge Eduardo C. Robreno.

Representing the plaintiffs is Jonathan M. Stein of Community
Legal Services, Inc., 1424 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA
19102-2505, Phone: 215-981-3762, E-mail: jstein@clsphila.org.

U.S. TOY: Recalls Butterfly Necklaces for Lead Poisoning Hazard
U.S. Toy Co. Inc., of Grandview, Missouri, in cooperation with
the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, is recalling about
29,000 units of children's butterfly necklaces.

The company said the clasps on the necklaces contain high levels
of lead. Lead is toxic if ingested by young children and can
cause adverse health effects.  No injuries were reported.

The recalled necklaces are silver-colored with multi-colored
pendants shaped as butterflies.  The pendant hangs from a
silver-colored chain.  The necklaces' packaging is pink and
purple cardboard with "Butterfly Necklace" printed on the front
and "Item #JA442" on the back.

These recalled butterfly necklaces were manufactured in China
and are being sold by U.S. Toy Co. retail stores, at
http://www.ustoy.com,children's, and small discount stores  
nationwide from October 2005 through November 2006 for about $4
per dozen.

Picture of the recalled butterfly necklaces:

Consumers are advised to immediately take the recalled jewelry
away from children and return the necklaces to the store where
purchased for a free replacement product, or contact U.S. Toy
Company for information on returning recalled necklaces
purchased on the Web site.

For more information, contact U.S. Toy Co. Inc. at (800) 832-
0224 between 8:30am and 5 p.m. CT, Monday through Friday, or
visit the firm's Web site: http://www.ustoy.com.

WURLD MEDIA: Former Employees File Labor Violations Suit in N.Y.
Wurld Media, Inc., faces a purported class action in the U.S.
District Court for the Northern District of New York filed by
four former employees, according to The Albany Times Union.

Filed on Dec. 18, 2006, the suit is claiming the company owes
the employees pay since last March.  It also claims the company
kept money from the employees' paychecks that was for a 401(k)

Named as plaintiffs in the suit are:

      -- Benjamin deGonzague,
      -- Julie Vittengl,
      -- Sarah Kays, and
      -- Thomas Borst.

Plaintiffs stated in their suit that they did not know how many
other workers were also owed payment.  They do seek unspecified

Wurld Media operates a peer-to-peer music file-sharing network
that allows downloading music and videos on the Internet.

The suit is "Vittengl et al v. Wurld Media, Inc., Case No. 1:06-
cv-01513-DNH-DRH," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of New York under Judge David N. Hurd with
referral to Judge David R. Homer

Representing the plaintiffs is James T. Towne, Jr. of The Towne
Law Offices, PC, 7 Wembley Court, Albany, NY 12205, Phone: 518-
452-1800, Fax: 518-452-6435, E-mail: james.towne@townelaw.com.

*ISS Develops Securities Class Action Loss Calculator
Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) announced major
enhancements to its Securities Class Action Service (SCAS) with
the creation of an interactive Loss Calculator, which is
designed to help pension funds, and other institutional
investors, calculate their potential losses stemming from
incidents of corporate fraud.  

The December 15 product release will also feature database and
portfolio monitoring enhancements that have been central to ISS'
industry-leading SCAS.

Through its securities class actions division, ISS maintains the
industry's most comprehensive securities litigation database and
provides professional monitoring and claims filing services to
public pension funds and investment managers whose clients have
a stake in class action suits.

ISS is the only firm that delivers a complete, outsourced class
action service to specifically help institutional investors meet
their fiduciary responsibility to file claims on behalf of
eligible accountholders.

"With tens of billions in losses and resulting settlements
associated with securities litigation, ISS' Loss Calculator is
an invaluable tool for public funds and other institutional
investors weighing a possible lead plaintiff decision," said
Nick Cafferillo, ISS' Chief Product Officer.  "Money managers of
all sizes can also use the Calculator to estimate the size of a
loss for their clients."

Loss calculations provide portfolio specific and confidential
notification of estimated losses throughout the case lifecycle
and until disbursement, using three choices of National
Association of Public Pension Attorneys (NAPPA) formulas.  

Many institutional investors rely on such calculations to help
them consider whether to apply to be a lead plaintiff in a newly
filed case.

Additional enhancements to ISS' SCAS include integration with
ISS' Governance Analytics platform for proxy services,
portfolio-specific views of cases and settlements, enhanced
notifications and, an online report library.

With 15 years of history and over 4000 individual cases tracked,
ISS' SCAS database serves as an important compliance tool for
institutions that have a fiduciary responsibility to file claims
in class action settlements on behalf of their underlying
clients.  More than 200 institutions worldwide look to ISS as
their partner in carrying out these fiduciary duties.

In 2006 alone, ISS filed more than 170,000 claims on behalf of
its clients and identified more than $15 billion in pending and
tentative securities class action settlements for which claims
were still available.

For more details, contact Cheryl Gustitus, Senior Vice
President, Communications and Sarah Cohn, Director of
Communications, both of Institutional Shareholder Services,
Phone: +1-301-556-0538 and +1-212-354-4643, E-mail:
cheryl.gustitus@issproxy.com and sarah.cohn@issproxy.com, Web
site: http://www.issproxy.com.

                   New Securities Fraud Cases

TECHNICAL OLYMPIC: Federman Sherwood Announces Stock Suit Filing
Federman Sherwood announces that on Dec. 8, 2006, a class action
lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of Florida against Technical Olympic USA, Inc. (NYSE:

The complaint alleges violations of federal securities laws,
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the 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 Aug. 1, 2005 through Nov. 6, 2006.

Interested parties may request the court for appointment as lead
plaintiff in the case on or before Feb. 12, 2007.

For more details, contact William B. Federman of Federman &
Sherwood, 10205 North Pennsylvania Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK
73120, E-mail: wfederman@aol.com, Web site:

TOP TANKERS: Wolf Haldenstein Files N.Y. Securities Fraud Suit
Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz, LLP, filed a class action
in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New
York, on behalf of all persons who purchased the common stock of
TOP Tankers, Inc. between June 28, 2005 and Nov. 28, 2006
against defendants TOP Tankers, and certain of its officers and
directors, including Evangelos J. Pistiolis and Stamatios N.
Tsantanis, alleging violations under the U.S. Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, 15 U.S.C. Section 78j(b), and 78t(a) and
Rule 10b-5, promulgated thereunder, 17 C.F.R. Section 240.10b-5.

The complaint alleges that throughout the class period,
defendants issued numerous, positive press releases, statements
and quarterly financial reports filed with the SEC that
described the company's financial performance.

During the class period, defendants issued numerous positive
press releases, statements, and financial reports describing the
company's strong financial performance.  

These statements were materially false and misleading because
they failed to disclose that:

      -- the company improperly accounted for certain sale and
         leaseback transactions by recognizing gains prior to
         the receipt of payments;

      -- the company's financial statements violated Generally
         Accepted Accounting Principles and SEC reporting rules;

      -- the company lacked adequate internal controls and
         procedures necessary to properly engage in its complex
         commercial transactions; and

      -- as a result of the foregoing, the Company's financial
         results were materially overstated at all relevant

On Nov. 29, 2006, before the market opened, TOP Tankers
disclosed that its auditors, Ernst & Young, LLP resigned as the
company's independent auditors due to a disagreement regarding
the accounting treatment of certain sale and leaseback
transactions for thirteen vessels in March and April of 2006.

The company further revealed that it would be forced to restate
its interim unaudited financial statements for the first and
second quarters of 2006 in order to retroactively eliminate
reported earnings.

Following this news, TOP Tankers stock dropped 14%, or $0.82, in
a single day on unusually heavy trading volume to close at $5.04
on Nov. 29, 2006. This sharp decline caused material harm to
investors, including plaintiff and other purchasers of TOP
Tankers' stock during the class period.

As a result of the dissemination of the false and misleading
statements set forth above, the market price of TOP Tankers
common stock was artificially inflated during the class period.

In ignorance of the false and misleading nature of the
statements described above, and the deceptive and manipulative
devices and contrivances employed by said defendants, plaintiffs
and the other members of the class relied, to their detriment,
on the integrity of the market price of the options in
purchasing TOP Tankers common stock.  

Had plaintiffs and the other members of the Class known the
truth, they would not have purchased said common stock, or would
not have purchased them at the inflated prices that were paid.

The case name is "Abouelhiga v. TOP Tankers, Inc., et al."
Interested parties may request the court for appointment as lead
plaintiff in the case on or before Feb. 9, 2007.

For more details, contact Gregory M. Nespole, Esq. or Derek
Behnke of Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz, LLP, 270
Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10016, Phone: (800) 575-
0735,), E-mail: classmember@whafh.com, Web site:


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
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Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed
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