CAR_Public/080428.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Monday, April 28, 2008, Vol. 10, No. 83
  
                            Headlines

AVON PRODUCTS: Recalls Warming Polar Bears for Fire, Burn Risks
CAR RENTAL: CA Suit Alleges Consumers Legal Remedies Act Breach
CELESTICA INC: Continues to Face Securities Fraud Lawsuits
CHARTWELL ENTERPRISES: Investors Prepare to Sue Over Collapse
CNN: Chinese Women Sue for US$1.3 Bln Over Commentator's Remarks

DOWNEAST CONCEPTS: Recalls Bottles Failing Lead Paint Standard
EDUCATIONAL INSIGHTS: Recalls Toys Violating Lead Paint Standard
FIRST TRUST: June 9 Settlement Hearing Set for $190 Mln. CA Suit
HARD ROCK CAFE: Faces Lawsuit in Mass. Over Undistributed Tips
LEXISNEXIS RISK: Background-Checks Suit Settled for $20 Million

LIGGETT GROUP: Faces W.V., Kans., N,Mex. Cigarette-Related Suits
LIGGETT GROUP: Second Circuit Considers Appeal in "Schwab" Case
MOTOROLA: Court Gives Go Signal to Iridium Securities Fraud Suit
PERRY JOHNSON: Settlement Approval in Junk Fax Lawsuit on Appeal
PUTNAM INVESTMENTS: Faces Suits in Maryland Over Putnam Funds

R.J. REYNOLDS: Oregon Sup. Ct. Considers Appeal in "Lowe" Case
R.J. REYNOLDS: Plaintiffs Appeal Dismissal of "Daniels" Lawsuit
R.J. REYNOLDS: Plaintiffs Appeal Decertification of "Brown" Case
R.J. REYNOLDS: Ill. Court Mulls Class Certification of "Cleary"
R.J. REYNOLDS: May 14, 2008 Mediation Set in N.C. ERISA Lawsuit

R.J. REYNOLDS: Kans. Court Stays Proceedings in "Smith" Lawsuit
R.J. REYNOLDS: N.Mex. Court Considers Appeal in "Romero" Lawsuit
R.J. REYNOLDS: Still Faces Tobacco Lawsuits in La., W.Va., Mo.
R.J. REYNOLDS: La. Supreme Court Denies Review Bid in "Scott"
R.J. REYNOLDS: Ill. Court Dismisses Appeal in "Turner" Lawsuit

REYNOLDS AMERICAN: Ill. Court Affirms Stay Order in "Howard"
SOUTHFIELD: Settlement in Concrete Price-Fix Suit Needs Court OK
TEK NEK: Recalls Plush Rocker Toys Due to Fall Hazard
VEOLIA WATER: Stewart & Irwin Sues Over Unread Water Meters


                  New Securities Fraud Cases

AGRIA CORP: Coughlin Stoia Files Securities Fraud Suit in N.Y.
FORCE PROTECTION: Whatley Drake Files Suit in South Carolina
ISTAR FINANCIAL: Schiffrin Barroway Files Securities Fraud Suit



                           *********


AVON PRODUCTS: Recalls Warming Polar Bears for Fire, Burn Risks
---------------------------------------------------------------
Avon Products Inc., of New York, N.Y., in cooperation with the
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, is recalling about
113,000 Cozy Warming Polar Bears.

The company said the warming pouch inside the bear can overheat
and ignite when heated in a microwave oven, posing a fire and
burn hazard to consumers.

Avon has received 41 reports of the warming polar bear
overheating, including six reports of minor burns.

The recalled white plush warming bear has a red hat and brown
nose.  It is about 17 inches long and comes with a buckwheat-
filled pouch that is heated in a microwave oven and is inserted
into an opening in the bear's belly.  "Avon Products" is printed
on a white tag sewn onto the bear.

These recalled white plush warming bears were manufactured by
Haiyan Boai Gifts Factory and Yangzhou Honesty Arts & Crafts Co.
Ltd., of China and were sold exclusively by Avon independent
sales representatives and at http://www.avon.com/from July 2007  
through February 2008 for about $13 when sold alone, or as part
of a gift set that sold for about $100.

A picture of the recalled white plush warming bears is found at:

   http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08554.jpg

Consumers are advised to immediately stop using the recalled
warming bear and return the buckwheat-filled pouch for a full
refund. Avon is directly contacting consumers who purchased the
warming bear.

For additional information, contact Avon toll-free at (877) 217-
0916 between 6:00 a.m. and midnight ET Monday through Saturday,
and on Sunday between 12:00 p.m. and midnight ET, or visit the
firm's Web site at: http://www.avon.com/


CAR RENTAL: CA Suit Alleges Consumers Legal Remedies Act Breach
---------------------------------------------------------------
Priceline.com Inc., Alamo Rent-A-Car LLC, and Vanguard Car
Rental USA Inc. are facing a class-action complaint filed on
April 23, 2008, with the Superior Court of the State of
California, City and County of Alameda alleging the companies
accept prepaid rental care reservations and then refuse to
provide the promised car at the promise rate, or to refund
money, CourtHouse News Service reports.

Named plaintiff Glen Hauer brings this action over:

     -- violations of Sections 17200 ad 17500 et seq. of the
        California Business and Professions Code,

     -- violation of the California Consumers Legal Remedies
        Act,

     -- breach of contract and

     -- fraud deceit and misrepresentation.

The plaintiff brings this action pursuant to Section 382 of the
California Code of Civil Procedure and Section 1781 of the
California Civil Code on behalf of all California residents who
paid Priceline for a car rental but did not receive the agreed
rental car at the agreed price when they attempted to claim
their pre-paid reservations.

The plaintiff wants the court to rule on:

     (a) whether the defendants failed to transfer car rental  
         reservation information to their partner companies that
         provide the cars, but nevertheless charged (and refused
         to refund) customers for the reservations;

     (b) whether the defendants required class members to pay  
         additional amounts to receive rental vehicles and
         refused to reimburse them for additional expenses
         related to defendants' failure to provide agreed
         services;

     (c) whether the defendants engaged in the alleged conduct
         knowingly, recklessly, of negligently;

     (d) whether the defendants' advertising regarding pre-paid
         reservations was likely to deceive class members or was
         unfair;

     (e) whether the defendants' alleged conduct constitutes a
         breach of their written contracts with plaintiffs and
         class members as posted on the websites and contained
         in email confirmations;

     (f) the amount of revenues and profits the defendants
         received and the amount of monies or other obligations
         lost by class members as a result of such wrongdoing;

     (g) whether class members are entitled to injunctive and
         other equitable relief and, if so, what is the nature
         of such relief; and

     (h) whether class members are entitled to payment of
         actual, incidental, consequential, exemplary and
         statutory damages plus interest thereon, and if so, the
         nature of such relief.

The plaintiff asks the court for:

     -- the greater of actual or compensatory damages
        according to proof;

     -- restitution and disgorgement pursuant to, without
        limitation, the California Business & Professions Code
        Section 17200 et seq. and 17500, et seq.;

     -- injunctive relief pursuant to, without limitation,
        the California Business & Professions Code Section
        17200, et seq. and 17500, et seq; and

     -- exemplary or statutory damages.

The suit is "Glen Hauer et al v. Priceline.com Inc. et al., Case
No. 08383503," filed with the Superior Court of the State of
California, City and County of Alameda.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

          Adam J. Gutride, Esq.
          Seth A. Safier, Esq.
          Gutride Safier LLP
          835 Douglas Street
          San Francisco, California 94114
          Phone: (415) 336-6545
          Fax: (415) 449-6469


CELESTICA INC: Continues to Face Securities Fraud Lawsuits
----------------------------------------------------------
In 2007, securities class action lawsuits were commenced against
Celestica Inc. and their former Chief Executive and Chief
Financial Officers, with the United States District Court of the
Southern District of New York by individuals who claim they were
purchasers of company stock, on behalf of themselves and other
purchasers of company stock, during the period January 27, 2005
through January 30, 2007.

The plaintiffs allege violations of United States federal
securities laws and seek unspecified damages.  They allege that
during the purported class period the company made statements
concerning their actual and anticipated future financial results
that failed to disclose certain purportedly adverse information
with respect to demand and inventory in their Mexican operations
and their information technology and communications divisions.

In an amended complaint, the plaintiffs have added one of the
company directors and Onex Corporation as defendants.  A
parallel class proceeding has recently been issued against the
company and its former Chief Executive and Chief Financial
Officers, in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, but neither
leave nor certification of the action has been granted by that
court.

The company believes that the allegations in these claims are
without merit and intends to defend against them vigorously.

However, there can be no assurance that the outcome of the
litigation will be favorable to the company or will not have a
material adverse impact on their financial position or
liquidity.  In addition, the company may incur substantial
litigation expenses in defending these claims.  The company has
liability insurance coverage that may cover some of the expense
of defending these cases, as well as potential judgments or
settlement costs.

Toronto-based Celestica Inc. provides a range of services and
solutions to original equipment manufacturers in the
communications, computing, consumer and industrial, aerospace
and defense sectors.  The Company has operations throughout
Asia, the Americas and Europe.


CHARTWELL ENTERPRISES: Investors Prepare to Sue Over Collapse
-------------------------------------------------------------
The sudden collapse of Chartwell Enterprises on April 21, 2008,
has left investors in the dark and some with millions at stake,
Geelong Advertiser reports.

According to the report, a group of Chartwell investors are
preparing to launch a class action against Chartwell bosses
Graeme Hoy and Ian Rau and their associated companies.

These investors, Geelong Advertiser relates, want all their
money returned and their names cleared after the fall-out from
last week's closure of the Geelong share trading company.

"We are organising it now," investor and close friend of Mr.
Hoy, Paul Wowk told Geelong Advertiser.  "We are going to launch
a class action against Chartwell Enterprises and Black Swan
Holdings."

Mr. Wowk said he was left stunned and in financial crisis by the
company's woes and his friend's subsequent disappearance.  "I
have three kids and a mortgage that I can't even pay now," he
said.

Mr. Wowk claims to have invested thousands of dollars in Black
Swan's restaurant, Riviera on Yarra, and later its nightclub,
the Wool Exchange, after being befriended by Mr. Hoy about five
years ago.  Mr. Wowk invested in these businesses by
contributing to equipment in their fit-outs.

Mr Wowk shared with Geelong Advertiser that it was while he ran
that restaurant that he became keen to join those reaping 35%
interest from investing with Mr. Hoy.

Geelong Advertiser was not able to contact Mr. Hoy and Mr. Rau
for comments.


CNN: Chinese Women Sue for US$1.3 Bln Over Commentator's Remarks
----------------------------------------------------------------
Media giant CNN is facing a class action lawsuit filed by two
Chinese women in a United States federal court, demanding one
dollar for every Chinese person on the planet, which means a
total of US$1.3 billion, China Internet Information Center
reports.

According to CIIC, New York beautician Liang Shubing and Beijing
primary school teacher Li Lilan signed the complaint against the
broadcaster.  They are represented by Ming Hai, Esq., and his
law office.

The suit claims that remarks by commentator Jack Cafferty
labeling Chinese "goons and thugs" violated the dignity and
reputation of the Chinese people and intentionally or recklessly
inflicted emotional distress on the plaintiffs.

"So I think our relationship with China has certainly changed, I
think they're basically the same bunch of goons and thugs
they've been for the last 50 years," Jack Cafferty said in the
program "Situation Room" that aired on April 9, 2008.

Mr. Cafferty, and CNN's parent company Turner Broadcasting, are
named as co-defendants.  According to New York-based overseas
Chinese Web site Sinovision.net, the court has accepted the
case.

Lawyers said the court will send subpoenas to the defendants
within two weeks.  If the defendants fail to respond within 30
days, the judge can find for the plaintiffs by default.  Lawyers
said the massive compensation figure would force CNN to contest,
but declined to comment on the outcome or claims the case was a
symbolic action rather than a serious attempt to seek damages.

CNN earlier issued a statement denying Mr. Cafferty or CNN had
intended to offend the Chinese people.  Mr. Cafferty clarified
that he was referring to the Chinese government, but his
clarification was denounced by the Chinese Foreign Ministry as
"an attempt to incite the Chinese people against the government"
and as confirmation that the intention of CNN coverage of Tibet
and the torch relay was to demonize China.

Moreover, Mr. Ming argued that Mr. Cafferty used "they" rather
than "it", implying he was talking about the Chinese people not
the government.  And when the commentator referred to "junk" and
"poisoned pet food" produced by the Chinese, he was evidently
not talking about the Chinese government.  Freedom of speech
doesn't mean freedom to libel, the lawyer said.

According to CIIC, a hotel has banned CNN programs in Xuzhou,
Jiangsu Province.  The notice says the action will be continued
"until CNN sincerely apologize for its tomfoolery".

Ming Hai has assembled a team of six lawyers, including a judge
from New York Superior Court.  "We are going to win because
justice is on our side," Mr. Ming said.  "And I also believe
Jack Cafferty will suffer during the long legal proceedings."

"US$1.3 billion averages out at one dollar per Chinese person,
so it isn't much," he added.

The report points out that an online survey conducted by China
Central TV shows that 97.61% of 3.52 million Chinese voters want
CNN and Mr. Cafferty to apologize; 90.96% of 3.28 million voters
said Mr. Cafferty was morally corrupt and should be barred from
broadcasting for life; and 90.82% of 3.27 million voters called
on CNN to fire Mr. Cafferty.


DOWNEAST CONCEPTS: Recalls Bottles Failing Lead Paint Standard
--------------------------------------------------------------
Downeast Concepts Inc., of Yarmouth, Maine, in cooperation with
the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, is recalling about    
18,000 Backyard and Beyond Metal Water Bottles.

The company said the surface paint on the metal water bottles
contains excessive levels of lead, violating the federal lead
paint standard.  No injuries have been reported.

Backyard and Beyond brand water bottles with model numbers
67402, 67404, 67442, 67444, 67742, 60442, 67744, 67746, 67748
and 60448 printed on the hang tag.  The metal water bottles have
a black plastic sip-top and were sold in green, pink or blue
with assorted animal or insect graphics on the exterior.

These recalled water bottles were manufactured in China and were
being sold at major retailers, gift shops, convenience stores,
mass merchandise and drug stores nationwide from February 2006
through February 2008 for about $8.

A picture of the recalled water bottles is found at:

   http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08231.jpg

Consumers are advised to immediately take the recalled water
bottles away from children and return it to the store where
purchased for a refund.

For additional information, contact Downeast Concepts at (800)
343-2424 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. ET Monday through
Friday, or visit the firm's Web site at
http://www.backyard-beyond.comor send an e-mail message to  
productsafety@downeastconcepts.com


EDUCATIONAL INSIGHTS: Recalls Toys Violating Lead Paint Standard
----------------------------------------------------------------
Educational Insights, of Vernon Hills, Ill., in cooperation with
the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Standard, is recalling about
130 Ring Toss Games.

The company said the paint on the yellow peg of the toy contains
excessive levels of lead, violating the federal lead paint
standard.  No injuries have been reported.

The recalled ring toss game has three plastic blue rings and
five 4-inch wooden pegs.  Four of the five pegs are purple and
one is yellow.  The base of the game is made of two red wooden
boards that form an "X" when assembled.

These recalled ring toss games were manufactured in Hong Kong
and were being sold to school supply stores nationwide from
December 2007 through February 2008 for about $30.

A picture of the recalled toss games is found at:

   http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08553.jpg

All purchasers have been contacted and requested to return the
games for a store credit or refund.

For additional information, contact Educational Insights toll-
free at (888) 591-9334 between 8:00 a.m. And 5:00 p.m. CT Monday
through Friday, or visit the firm's Web site at
http://www.educationalinsights.comor send an e-mail message to  
service@edin.com


FIRST TRUST: June 9 Settlement Hearing Set for $190 Mln. CA Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court in Los Angeles has set a June 9, 2008
hearing related to a settlement deal concluding a class-action
lawsuit stemming from the $190-million D.W. Heath & Associates
investment fraud case, The Press-Enterprise reports.

In 2005, investors in D.W. Heath & Associates filed a class
action suit against Colorado-based First Trust Corporation,
alleging First Trust helped cover up illegal activities by D.W.
Heath's president that resulted in a multi-million fraud (Class
Action Reporter, May 6, 2005).

D.W. Heath President Daniel Heath, along with three others, had
pleaded not guilty to fraud and grand theft charges filed by the
Riverside County district attorney's office.  Prosecutors allege
that Mr. Heath ran a Ponzi scheme for years after the state told
him to stop selling investments.  

A Ponzi scheme is one in which early investors are paid with
money from later ones.  The firm eventually closed by a federal
court order.

The suit was filed on behalf of more than 1,600 Heath investors,  
alleging First Trust neglected its duties and ignoring  
information that could have prevented the fraud.  It alleged
that the Company administered Heath IRAs worth more than  
$60 million, almost one-third of which was ultimately raised by  
Heath & Associates.  The Company allegedly covered up illegal  
activities by keeping a lid on the investment firm's many  
complaints and record-keeping errors.

In March 2003, the Company warned investors in a letter that
Mr. Heath might not be complying with a five-year-old order from
the state Department of Corporations telling him to halt
investment sales.  

At that time, the Company told investors and the state  
that it would no longer accept accounts from Heath & Associates.   
However, the suit contends that by then the Company knew that  
Mr. Heath's investment firm was floundering and concealed  
information from investors.  

The lawsuit claims, for example, that Mr. Heath revealed to the
Company that $60 million invested by its customers was worth as
little as $15 million.   

The suit adds that the Company did not review investment
paperwork and it neglected to keep on file a prospectus for most  
Heath offerings, even though the company told investors it had  
done both.  "Had First Trust required these documents, the Heath  
criminals could not have perpetrated their scam," the suit said.

In July 2007, a San Diego County Superior Court Judge ruled the
suit could proceed, but that decision was overturned by an
appeals court.

In September 2007, the California Supreme Court denied a
petition for review.

The original trial court vacated its decision in December 2007,
effectively ending the case in favor of the Corporations
Department.

In January 2008, Mr. Heath, his father, John W. Heath, and
business associate Denis T. O'Brien were convicted on numerous
criminal charges for bilking 1,600 mostly elderly investors out
of nearly $190 million over a 10-year period.

A tentative settlement of $8.5 million was reached in February.
The court at that time ordered attorneys to establish a
settlement fund and a claims process for victims, and will
review final settlement provisions and attorney fees at the June
hearing.

According to The Press-Enterprise, attorneys for both sides
could not be reached for comment.

First Trust denies any wrongdoing.


HARD ROCK CAFE: Faces Lawsuit in Mass. Over Undistributed Tips
--------------------------------------------------------------
Hard Rock Cafe International is facing a class-action complaint
filed on April 18, 2008, with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
accusing it of cheating its service employees of tips,
CourtHouse News Service reports.

Named plaintiffs Mende Williams and Aaron Hickson bring this
action on behalf of waitstaff at the Hard Rock Cafe for the
failure to distribute the full proceeds of gratuities to its
employees as required by law, for an unlawful tip distribution
policy pursuant to which waitstaff employees submit a portion of
their gratuities from customers to employees who do not serve
food and beverages.

The plaintiffs allege that the defendant violated Mass. Gen. L.
c. 149 Section 152A and Mass. Gen. L. c. 151 Sections 1 and 7
and that the defendant is also liable under Massachusetts common
law for quantum merit, interference with contractual and
advantageous relations, breach of implied contract, breach of
the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, conversion, and
unjust enrichment.

The plaintiffs ask the court for:

     -- restitution for all gratuities not properly distributed
        to employees;

     -- restitution for the portion of the minimum wage that
        defendants did not pay their employees in base pay;

     -- an injunction ordering defendant to comply with Mass.
        Gen. L. c. 149 Section 152A and Mass. Gen. L. c. 151
        Sections 1 and 7;

     -- statutory trebling of all damages; and

     -- attorney's fees and costs.

The suit is "Mende Williams et al. v. Hard Rock Cafe
International, Inc., Case No. 08-1783," filed with the
Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

          Shannon Liss-Riordan, Esq.
          Hillary Schwab, Esq.
          Pyle, Rome, Lichten, Ehrenberg & Liss-Riordan, PC
          18 Tremont Street, 5th Floor
          Boston, MA 02108
          Phone: (617) 367-7200


LEXISNEXIS RISK: Background-Checks Suit Settled for $20 Million
---------------------------------------------------------------
A lawsuit filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania about improper background checks at
LexisNexis Risk Management Inc. has triggered a settlement
exceeding $20 million with the company that owns the checking
agency, The Virginian-Pilot reports.

The suit began with six people who worked in 2005 at the call
center, then known as Telespectrum.  It accused the Newport News
call center of failing to give employees sufficient notice of
problems it had uncovered and, later, of creating too many
hurdles when workers requested reviews.

According to Christopher Colt North, Esq., a Newport News
attorney who represented the plaintiffs, the case did not hinge
on inaccurate information, but on two other points:

    1. Lack of notice.  The employees, he said, were notified
       about problems uncovered by the reports sometimes "10 or
       more" days after their employer received them.  The
       employees did not receive the reports until they were
       fired.

       "When the law says you're supposed to give someone the
       background check before you fire them, that doesn't mean
       minutes before or hours before," Mr. North said.

       The employees, he said, should have received the initial
       notice no more than one day after the employer did.  They
       should have received the full report at least five
       business days before they were dismissed.

       "For people who were walked out based on a background  
       check, even if they were really a felon, you have to give
       them a right to explain," Mr. North said.

    2. Appeal hurdles.  When employees questioned the reports,
       Mr. North said, LexisNexis asked them to provide two
       types of identification before it would investigate.

       "Not sending the letter on time and then requiring those
       people to jump through hoops -- those people never had a
       chance," Mr. North said.  He said he knows of only three
       employees that were reinstated.

The class-action settlement is open to 270,000 people across the
country who were the subjects of background checks by LexisNexis
from mid-2004 to mid-2007.  The proposed agreement provides a
settlement fund of at least $20.7 million, including attorneys'
fees of at least $5.7 million.

In the settlement, LexisNexis denied wrongdoing.

According to The Virginian-Pilot, Jeffrey Cox, Esq., a lawyer in
Dayton, Ohio, who represented LexisNexis, did not respond to a
phone message.

The plaintiffs' lawyer, Mr. North, can be reached at:

          Christopher Colt North, Esq.
          751-A Thimble Shoals Boulevard
          Newport News, VA 23606-3563
          Phone: (757) 873-1010
          Fax: (804) 873-8375


LIGGETT GROUP: Faces W.V., Kans., N,Mex. Cigarette-Related Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Liggett Group LLC, a subsidiary of Vector Group Ltd., is facing
several class action suits that were filed in West Virginia
(Blankenship), Kansas (Smith), and New Mexico (Romero).

"Blankenship" is dormant.  "Smith" and "Romero" are actions in
which the plaintiffs allege that cigarette manufacturers
conspired to fix cigarette prices in violation of antitrust
laws.  

Class certification was granted in "Smith v. Philip Morris" in
November 2001.  Discovery is ongoing.

Class certification was granted in "Romero v. Philip Morris" in
April 2003 and was affirmed by the New Mexico Supreme Court in
February 2005.  

In June 2006, the trial court granted the defendants' motions
for summary judgment in "Romero."  The Plaintiffs appealed to
the New Mexico Court of Appeals.

Briefing was completed in August 2007 and the parties are
awaiting a decision, according to the company's Feb. 29, 2008
Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2007.

Vector Group Ltd. -- http://www.vectorgroupltd.com/-- is a  
holding company for a number of businesses through its wholly
owned subsidiary, VGR Holding Inc.  Vector Group is engaged in
the manufacture and sale of cigarettes in the United States
through its subsidiary, Liggett Group LLC; and the development
and marketing of the low-nicotine and nicotine-free QUEST
cigarette products and the development of reduced risk cigarette
products through its subsidiary, Vector Tobacco Inc., and the
real estate business through its subsidiary, New Valley LLC,
which owns 50% of Douglas Elliman Realty, LLC.  Douglas Elliman
Realty, LLC operates as a residential brokerage company in the
New York metropolitan area.


LIGGETT GROUP: Second Circuit Considers Appeal in "Schwab" Case
---------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has yet to rule
on an appeal that seeks the review of the certification of a
class in the matter, "[Schwab] McLaughlin v. Philip Morris USA,
Inc. et al., Case No. 1:04-cv-01945-JBW-SMG," filed with the
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, and
names Liggett Group LLC, a subsidiary of Vector Group Ltd., as a
defendant.

The suit, pending in federal court in New York since 2004,
generally alleges that the use of the terms "light" and "ultra
light" constitutes unfair and deceptive trade practices, among
other things.  It seeks to create a nationwide class of "light"
cigarette smokers.  

The action asserts claims under Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt
Organizations Act or RICO.  The proposed class is seeking as
much as $200,000,000 in damages, which could be trebled under
RICO.

In November 2005, the court ruled that the plaintiffs would be
permitted to calculate damages on an aggregate basis and use
"fluid recovery" theories to allocate them among class members,
if the class was certified.  

Fluid recovery would permit potential damages to be paid out in
ways other than merely giving cash directly to plaintiffs, such
as establishing a pool of money that could be used for public
purposes.

In September 2006, the court granted plaintiff's motion for
class certification.  

In November 2006, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second
Circuit granted the defendants' motions to stay the district
court proceedings and for review of the class certification
ruling.  

Oral argument was held in July 2007 and the parties are awaiting
a decision, according to the company's Feb. 29, 2008 Form 10-K
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2007.

Vector Group Ltd. -- http://www.vectorgroupltd.com/-- is a  
holding company for a number of businesses through its wholly
owned subsidiary, VGR Holding Inc.  Vector Group is engaged in
the manufacture and sale of cigarettes in the United States
through its subsidiary, Liggett Group LLC; and the development
and marketing of the low-nicotine and nicotine-free QUEST
cigarette products and the development of reduced risk cigarette
products through its subsidiary, Vector Tobacco Inc., and the
real estate business through its subsidiary, New Valley LLC,
which owns 50% of Douglas Elliman Realty, LLC.  Douglas Elliman
Realty, LLC operates as a residential brokerage company in the
New York metropolitan area.


MOTOROLA: Court Gives Go Signal to Iridium Securities Fraud Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Nanette Laughrey of the U.S. District Court for the
District of Columbia has allowed shareholders to sue Motorola
Inc. over statements the company made back when Iridium
Satellite was having problems getting the venture off the
ground, National Post reports.

The company was named as one of several defendants in the
securities class actions arising out of alleged
misrepresentations and omissions regarding the Iridium satellite
communications business.

"Freeland v. Iridium World Communications, Inc., et al.,"
originally filed on April 22, 1999, was brought before the U.S.
District Court for the District of Columbia on March 15, 2001.

The lawsuit alleges violations of the federal securities laws
arising from alleged material misrepresentations or omissions
regarding difficulties in the satellite communications business
of Iridium World Communications, LTD, Iridium LLC and Iridium
Operating LLC.  The alleged class consists of purchasers of all
Iridium securities during the period from Sept. 9, 1998, to
March 29, 1999.

On Jan. 9, 2006, the court granted plaintiff's motion for class
certification.

Recently Judge Laughrey has given a green light for shareholders
to proceed with a nine-year-old class action lawsuit.

"Much of this case centers on the strength of Iridium, and
Plaintiffs have properly alleged that insiders knew even before
commercial launch that the company was shaky," the judge wrote
at page 34 of the ruling.  "The Court, therefore, denies
Motorola’s request to grant summary judgment against class
members who purchased shares prior to December 23, 1998."

The trial is scheduled to begin on May 22, 2008  (Class Action
Reporter, March 21, 2007).

The suit is "Freeland, et al. v. Iridium World Comm, et al.,
Case No. 1:99-cv-01002" filed with the U.S. District Court for
the District of Columbia, under Judge Nanette K. Laughrey.  

Representing the plaintiffs are:

          Douglas Graham Thompson, Jr., Esq. (dgt@ftllaw.com)
          Finkelstein, Thompson & Loughran
          1050 30th Street
          NW Washington, DC 20007
          Phone: (202) 337-8000
          Fax: 202-337-8090
  
               - and -

          Eric J. Belfi, Esq. (ebelfi@murrayfrank.com)
          Murray, Frank & Sailer, LLP
          275 Madison Avenue, Suite 801
          New York, NY 10016
          Phone: (212) 682-1818
          Fax: (212) 682-1892

Representing the defendants are:

          Jeffrey L. Willian, Esq. (jwillian@kirkland.com)
          Kirkland & Ellis
          200 East Randolph Drive
          Chicago, IL 60601
          Phone: 312-861-2000
          Fax: 312-861-2200

               - and -
       
          James F. Moyle, Esq. (james.moyle@cliffordchance.com)
          Clifford Chance U.S. LLP
          31 West, 52nd Street
          New York, NY 10019
          Phone: (212) 878-8508
          Fax: 212-878-8375


PERRY JOHNSON: Settlement Approval in Junk Fax Lawsuit on Appeal
----------------------------------------------------------------
A class action filed in 2001 for "junk faxes" has resulted in a
court-approved settlement awarding discount coupons to a total
of 112 persons.  The settlement deal provides that in return for
issuing the coupons, the sender of the junk faxes will be
excused from over $71,000,000 in damages that could have been
awarded if the case had not settled.  

Most of the persons entitled to get the discount coupons,
however, have since signed affidavits stating that they have no
use for the coupons.  

                        Case Background

The suit was filed in San Mateo, California by Hypertouch, Inc.
-- a small California Internet Service Provider -- against Perry
Johnson, Inc. -- a Michigan-based quality control trainer.

Hypertouch claimed that PJI faxed ads to thousands of fax users
around the country between October 5, 1997, and the present,
without their prior consent, in violation of the federal anti-
junk fax law  -- the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.  That
law allows recipients of unsolicited commercial faxes to recover
$500 for each fax, or up to $1,500 if the sending was "knowing
or willful."

More than 20 other suits and a citation by the Federal
Communications Commission mirrored Hypertouch's allegations.   
PJI answered all charges by claiming that its telemarketers
routinely obtained the recipients' consent before the faxes were
sent, but the records of those consents were not produced in the
Hypertouch suit.  

After four years of battle in the courts, Hypertouch and PJI
agreed to settle for the coupons and a one-year prohibition
against more faxing, and the deal was approved by the San Mateo
Superior Court.  

PJI's fax manager testified that the faxes were sent at a rate
of 25,000 per week for about nine years, and that it took three
or four months to cycle through the fax database.  From these
figures, the database contained over 300,000 fax numbers.

PJI was never required to produce the database, which the court
ruled was a trade secret; nor was the database used to notify
class members of the suit or the settlement.  Instead, a
consultant was hired to identify callers to PJI's toll-free
number, which was printed at the bottom of each fax ad, asking
that their fax numbers be deleted from the database.   There
were 142,000 such calls during a 14-month period, itemized on
PJI's phone bills.

PJI argued that anyone who did not call and request deletion
consented to the faxes, although the TCPA does not require that
a recipient call to request deletion before suing, placing the
burden of obtaining consent on the sender.

          PJI's Fax Database and Preliminary Settlement

The parties reached a tentative deal in 2006 to settle the
lawsuit.

The proposed settlement would provide vouchers for 25% credit
(valued up to $424.75) for the purchase of Perry Johnson product
to the recipients of these faxes valid for two years after the
entry of a final, non-appealable judgment.  The Settlement
Vouchers are freely transferable, including for example by sale
to third parties via eBay.

Class members are not required to have kept a copy of the "junk
fax."  Those who have received one of the faxes were told to
obtain detailed information and a Claim Form at
http://www.junkfaxlawsuit.comand were required to submit the  
forms by mail no later than Nov. 16, 2006.  The date to opt out
of the settlement was Nov. 1, 2006.

The consultant could only find names and mailing addresses for
42,000 of the 142,000 persons who had called to request
deletion.  Thus, postcards were mailed just to those 42,000,
announcing the proposed settlement and the option to object to
it.  News of the settlement was also posted on a Web site, sent
to a publicist, and posted on blogs.  There was no publication
in a national newspaper.

The discs containing the PJI phone bill data used for the
reverse look-ups, however, contained call details for outgoing
faxes from PJI.  This amounted to a snapshot of PJI's fax
database, which could have been used to notify most of the
actual fax recipients.  The attorneys made no effort initially
to bring this fact to the court's attention, as the settlement
had already received preliminary approval, and this new
discovery might derail the deal.  Instead, Hypertouch itself
(through its president, Joe Wagner) wrote a letter directly to
the court explaining the discovery.  The court nevertheless gave
its final approval to the settlement.

                     Settlement Objections

Objections to the Hypertouch settlement were filed by one of the
fax recipients, Kogok Corporation.  Kogok had received several
of the PJI faxes, and had filed its own suit, which was stayed
because of the settlement in the Hypertouch suit.

Kogok argued that:

   -- direct notice to the 42,000 via postcard was not
      sufficient;

   -- direct notice should have been faxed to all fax numbers in
      the PJI database;

   -- insurance should have been explored; and

   -- the coupon settlement was unfair.

Kogok's objections were denied by the court, and Kogok appealed.  
The case is now before the Court of Appeal in San Francisco.

The case is "Hypertouch, Inc. v. Perry Johnson, Inc., Case No.
418600," filed with the Superior Court of California, San
Mateo County.

Kogoc Corp. is represented by:

          Stephen H. Ring, Esq. (shr@ringlaw.us)
          Stephen H. Ring, P.C.
          20300 Seneca Meadows Parkway-
          Germantown, Maryland 2087
          Phone: 301-540-8180
          Fax: 301-540-8195

               - and -

          John C. Brown, Esq. (jbrown@redbrownlaw.com)
          Rede bacher & Brown, LLP
          580 California Street, Suite 1600
          San Francisco, California 94104
          Phone: (415) 409-8600
          Fax: (415) 520-0141


PUTNAM INVESTMENTS: Faces Suits in Maryland Over Putnam Funds
-------------------------------------------------------------
Putnam Investments Trust, which was purchased by Great-West
Lifeco, Inc., from Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc., is facing two
purported class action suits in Maryland, generally alleging
violations of the Investment Company Act.

Two putative class actions by investors in certain Putnam Funds
are pending against Putnam.  

One action asserts claims under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Exchange Act, and Section 36(b) of the Investment Company Act of
1940.  The parties are engaged in discovery in this action.

The other action purports to assert derivative claims on behalf
of all Putnam Funds under Section 36(b) of the Investment
Company Act.

Both suits seek to recover unspecified damages allegedly
suffered by the Putnam Funds and their shareholders as a result
of purported market-timing and late trading activity in certain
Putnam Funds, according to Marsh & McLennan's Feb. 29, 2008 Form
10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2007.

Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc. -- http://www.mmc.com/-- is a global  
professional services firm providing advice and solutions in the
areas of risk, strategy and human capital.  It is the parent
company of a number of risk experts and specialty consultants,
including Marsh, the insurance broker, intermediary and risk
advisor; Guy Carpenter, the risk and reinsurance specialist;
Kroll, the risk consulting firm; Mercer, the provider of human
resources and related financial advice and services; and Oliver
Wyman Group, the management consultancy.  MMC provides analysis,
advice and transactional capabilities to clients in more than
100 countries. MMC conducts business through three operating
segments: Risk and Insurance Services, Consulting and Risk
Consulting and Technology.


R.J. REYNOLDS: Oregon Sup. Ct. Considers Appeal in "Lowe" Case
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Oregon Supreme Court has yet to issue a ruling on an appeal
regarding the dismissal of a medical monitoring class action
suit against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., a wholly-owned
subsidiary of Reynolds American, Inc., and several other
cigarette manufacturers.

"Lowe v. Philip Morris, Inc.," which was filed in November 2001
with the Circuit Court in Multnomah County, Oregon, was
dismissed by a judge on Nov. 4, 2003, for failure to state a
claim in an action seeking creation of a court-supervised
program of medical monitoring, smoking cessation and education,
and recovery of attorneys' fees.

On Sept. 6, 2006, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial
court's dismissal.  

On March 20, 2007, the Oregon Supreme Court granted the
plaintiffs' petition for review.  Oral arguments were heard on
Sept. 5, 2007.

A decision from the Supreme Court is pending, according to
Reynolds American, Inc.'s Feb. 27, 2008 Form 10-K filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year
ended Dec. 31, 2007.

Reynolds American, Inc.  -- http://www.reynoldsamerican.com/--    
is a holding company.  It has two business segments: RJR Tobacco
and Conwood.  RAI's wholly owned subsidiaries include R.J.
Reynolds Tobacco Co.; Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co., Inc.; Lane,
Limited; R.J. Reynolds Global Products, Inc.; and Conwood Co.,
LLC, Conwood Sales Co., LLC; Scott Tobacco LLC; and Rosswil LLC,
which are collectively referred to as the Conwood companies.  
The RJR Tobacco segment consists of the primary operations of
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.  The Conwood segment consists of the
Conwood companies and Lane.  RAI's wholly owned operating
subsidiaries Santa Fe and GPI, among others, are included in All
Other.


R.J. REYNOLDS: Plaintiffs Appeal Dismissal of "Daniels" Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The plaintiffs in the matter, "Daniels v. Philip Morris Cos.,
Inc.," filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the U.S.
Supreme Court, appealing the dismissal of the case, which names
the major U.S. cigarette manufacturers, including R.J. Reynolds
Tobacco Co. -- a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reynolds American,
Inc. -- as defendants.

The lawsuit was filed in April 1998 with the Superior Court, San
Diego County, California.  On Nov. 30, 2000, a judge, certified
-- based on a California unfair business practices statute -- a
class consisting of all persons who, as California resident
minors, smoked one or more cigarettes in California between
April 2, 1994, and Dec. 1, 1999.

The suit is seeking to recover an unspecified amount of
compensatory and punitive damages, restitution to each member of
the class and to the general public, and an injunction
prohibiting the defendants from engaging in further violation of
California Business and Professions Code Section 17200 and
Section 17500.  

The plaintiffs alleged that due to the deceptive practices of
the defendants, they became addicted to cigarettes as teenagers.

The court granted the defendants' motions for summary judgment
on preemption and First Amendment grounds and dismissed the suit
on Oct. 21, 2002.  

The plaintiffs appealed the trial court's dismissal.  And on
Oct. 6, 2004, the California Court of Appeal affirmed the trial
court's decision.  

On Aug. 2, 2007, the California Supreme Court affirmed the
California Court of Appeal's ruling.

On Nov. 30, 2007, the plaintiffs filed a petition for writ of
certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court, according to Reynolds
American, Inc.'s Feb. 27, 2008 Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended
Dec. 31, 2007.

Reynolds American, Inc.  -- http://www.reynoldsamerican.com/--    
is a holding company.  It has two business segments: RJR Tobacco
and Conwood.  RAI's wholly owned subsidiaries include R.J.
Reynolds Tobacco Co.; Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co., Inc.; Lane,
Limited; R.J. Reynolds Global Products, Inc.; and Conwood Co.,
LLC, Conwood Sales Co., LLC; Scott Tobacco LLC; and Rosswil LLC,
which are collectively referred to as the Conwood companies.  
The RJR Tobacco segment consists of the primary operations of
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.,  The Conwood segment consists of the
Conwood companies and Lane.  RAI's wholly owned operating
subsidiaries Santa Fe and GPI, among others, are included in All
Other.

    
R.J. REYNOLDS: Plaintiffs Appeal Decertification of "Brown" Case
----------------------------------------------------------------
The plaintiffs in the matter, "Brown v. American Tobacco Co.,
Inc.," are appealing to the California Supreme Court the
decertification of a class action suit that names major U.S.
cigarette manufacturers, including R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. --
a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reynolds American, Inc. -- as
defendants, according to Reynolds American's Feb. 27, 2008 Form
10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2007.

The case was filed on April 11, 2001, with the Superior Court in
San Diego County, California.  The presiding judge granted in
part the plaintiffs' motion for certification of a class
composed of California residents who smoked at least one of the
defendants' cigarettes from June 10, 1993, through April 23,
2001, and who were exposed to the defendants' marketing and
advertising activities in California.

The suit is seeking to recover restitution, disgorgement of
profits and other equitable relief under California Business and
Professions Code Section 17200 et seq. and Section 17500 et seq.

Certification was granted as to the plaintiffs' claims that the
defendants violated Section 17200 of the CBPC pertaining to
unfair competition.  The court, however, refused to certify the
class under the California Legal Remedies Act and on the
plaintiffs' common law claims.

On March 7, 2005, the court granted the defendants' motion to
decertify the class.  

On Sept. 5, 2006, upon plaintiffs' appeal, the California Court
of Appeal affirmed the judge's decertification order.  

On Nov. 1, 2006, the plaintiffs' petition for review with the
California Supreme Court was granted.  Supplemental briefing is
underway, but oral argument has not yet been scheduled.

Reynolds American, Inc.  -- http://www.reynoldsamerican.com/--    
is a holding company.  It has two business segments: RJR Tobacco
and Conwood.  RAI's wholly owned subsidiaries include R.J.
Reynolds Tobacco Co.; Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co., Inc.; Lane,
Limited; R.J. Reynolds Global Products, Inc.; and Conwood Co.,
LLC, Conwood Sales Co., LLC; Scott Tobacco LLC; and Rosswil LLC,
which are collectively referred to as the Conwood companies.  
The RJR Tobacco segment consists of the primary operations of
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.,  The Conwood segment consists of the
Conwood companies and Lane.  RAI's wholly owned operating
subsidiaries Santa Fe and GPI, among others, are included in All
Other.


R.J. REYNOLDS: Ill. Court Mulls Class Certification of "Cleary"
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Circuit Court, Cook County, Illinois has yet to rule on a
motion seeking for class-action status to the case, "Cleary v.
Philip Morris, Inc.," which names as defendants major U.S.
cigarette manufacturers, including R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. --
a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reynolds American, Inc.

The case was filed in June 1998.  The action is brought on
behalf of persons who have allegedly been injured by:  

      -- the defendants' purported conspiracy pursuant to which  
         defendants concealed material facts regarding the           
         addictive nature of nicotine;

      -- the defendants' alleged acts of targeting its  
         advertising and marketing to minors; and  

      -- the defendants' claimed breach of the public right to  
         defendants' compliance with the laws prohibiting the  
         distribution of cigarettes to minors.  

The plaintiffs request that the defendants be required to
disgorge all profits unjustly received through its sale of
cigarettes to the plaintiffs and the class, which in no event
will be greater than $75,000 each, inclusive of punitive
damages, interest and costs.  

The plaintiffs filed their motion for class certification on
Dec. 21, 2001.

On April 8, 2005, the plaintiffs filed a second amended
complaint.  On Feb. 3, 2006, a hearing on the defendants' motion  
to dismiss occurred.   

The court dismissed two counts (public nuisance and unjust
enrichment) in the case on March 27, 2006.   

On April 5, 2006, the plaintiffs filed a motion to reconsider
certain of the findings in the court's ruling on the defendants'
motion to dismiss the two counts in the plaintiffs' second
amended complaint.   

The plaintiffs' motion for reconsideration was granted in part
and denied in part.  The court stated that reconsideration would
not revive the plaintiffs' public nuisance and unjust enrichment
claims because they still cannot allege a special or separate
harm.   

The court merely reconsidered certain components of its
analysis, but did not modify its original decision.  On July 11,
2006, the plaintiffs filed a motion for class certification.  A
hearing was held on Sept. 6, 2007, but no order has yet been
entered.

Reynolds American reported no further development in the matter
in its Feb. 27, 2008 Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2007.

Reynolds American, Inc.  -- http://www.reynoldsamerican.com/--    
is a holding company.  It has two business segments: RJR Tobacco
and Conwood.  RAI's wholly owned subsidiaries include R.J.
Reynolds Tobacco Co.; Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co., Inc.; Lane,
Limited; R.J. Reynolds Global Products, Inc.; and Conwood Co.,
LLC, Conwood Sales Co., LLC; Scott Tobacco LLC; and Rosswil LLC,
which are collectively referred to as the Conwood companies.  
The RJR Tobacco segment consists of the primary operations of
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.,  The Conwood segment consists of the
Conwood companies and Lane.  RAI's wholly owned operating
subsidiaries Santa Fe and GPI, among others, are included in All
Other.


R.J. REYNOLDS: May 14, 2008 Mediation Set in N.C. ERISA Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
A May 14, 2008 mediation is scheduled in connection with the
matter captioned "Tatum v. The RJR Pension Investment
Committee," filed with the U.S. District Court for the Middle
District of North Carolina and names R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.,
a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reynolds American, Inc., as
defendant.

An employee of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco filed the class action suit
on May 13, 2002, alleging that the defendants -- R.J. Reynolds,
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings, Inc., The R.J.R. Pension
Investment Committee of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. Capital
Investment Plan and the RJR Pension Investment Committee --
violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.

The actions about which the plaintiff complains stem from a
decision made in 1999 by RJR Nabisco Holdings Corp.,
subsequently renamed Nabisco Group Holdings Corp., referred to
as NGH, to spin off RJR, thereby separating NGH's tobacco
business and food business.

As part of the spin-off, the 401(k) plan for the previously
related entities had to be divided into two separate plans for
the now separate tobacco and food businesses.  

The plaintiff contends that the defendants violated ERISA by not
overriding an amendment to RJR's 401(k) plan requiring that,
prior to Feb. 1, 2000, the stock funds of the companies involved
in the food business, NGH and Nabisco Holdings Corp., be
eliminated as investment options from RJR's 401(k) plan.

In his complaint, the plaintiff requests, among other things,
that the court require the defendants to pay as damages to the
RJR 401(k) plan an amount equal to the subsequent appreciation
that was purportedly lost as a result of the liquidation of the
NGH and Nabisco funds.

On July 29, 2002, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss the
case, which motion the court granted on Dec. 10, 2003.  On
Jan. 7, 2004, the plaintiff appealed to the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which, on Dec. 14, 2004,
reversed the dismissal and remanded the case for further
proceedings.

On Jan. 20, 2005, the defendants filed a second motion to
dismiss the case on other grounds.  

On March 7, 2007, the court granted the plaintiff leave to file
an amended complaint and denied all pending motions as moot.  On
April 6, 2007, the defendants moved to dismiss the amended
complaint.  

On May 31, 2007, the court granted the motion in part and denied
it in part, dismissing all claims against the RJR Employee
Benefits Committee and the RJR Pension Investment Committee.  
The remaining defendants filed their answer and affirmative
defenses on June 14, 2007.  

On June 28, 2007, the plaintiff filed a motion to amend the
complaint to add as parties the six members of the RJR Pension
Investment Committee and the RJR Employee Benefits Committee.

On July 23, 2007, the defendants filed their opposition to this
motion, which remains pending.

On November 19, 2007, the plaintiff filed a motion for class
certification.  This motion is fully briefed.  

The court-ordered mediation is scheduled for May 14, 2008,
according to Reynolds American's Feb. 27, 2008 Form 10-K filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal
year ended Dec. 31, 2007.

The suit is "Tatum v. R.J.R. Pension, et al., Case No. 1:02-cv-
00373-NCT," filed with the U.S. District Court for the Middle
District of North Carolina under Judge N.C. Tilley, Jr.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

         Lisa Belenky, Esq.
         Lewis Feinberg Renaker & Jackson, P.C.,
         1330 Broadway, Ste. 1800
         Oakland, CA 94612
         Phone: 510-839-6824

         Robert M. Elliot, Esq. (rmelliot@epmlaw.com)
         Elliot Pishko Morgan, P.A.
         426 Old Salem Rd.
         Winston-Salem, NC 27101
         Phone: 336-724-2828
         Fax: 336-714-4499

              - and -

         James M. Fingerg, Esq.
         Leiff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
         275 Battery St., 30th Floor
         San Francisco, CA 94111-3339
         Phone: 415-956-1000

Representing the defendants is:

         Adam H. Charnes, Esq. (acharnes@kilpatrickstockton.com)
         Kilpatrick Stockton, L.L.P.
         1001 W. Fourth St.
         Winston-Salem, NC 27101
         Phone: 336-607-7382
         Fax: 336-734-2602


R.J. REYNOLDS: Kans. Court Stays Proceedings in "Smith" Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Seward County District in Kansas stayed the antitrust class
action captioned "Smith v. Philip Morris Cos., Inc.," which
names major U.S. cigarette manufacturers, including R.J.
Reynolds Tobacco Co. -- a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reynolds
American, Inc. -- as defendants.

The case was filed in February 2000, alleging that the
defendants participated in a conspiracy to fix or maintain the
price of cigarettes sold in the U.S.

The plaintiffs are seeking to recover an unspecified amount in
actual and punitive damages.

The court granted class certification to the suit on Nov. 15,
2001.  

On Dec. 17, 2007, the Seward County District Court stayed the
matter, according to Reynolds American, Inc.'s Feb. 27, 2008
Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2007.

Reynolds American, Inc.  -- http://www.reynoldsamerican.com/--    
is a holding company.  It has two business segments: RJR Tobacco
and Conwood.  RAI's wholly owned subsidiaries include R.J.
Reynolds Tobacco Co.; Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co., Inc.; Lane,
Limited; R.J. Reynolds Global Products, Inc.; and Conwood Co.,
LLC, Conwood Sales Co., LLC; Scott Tobacco LLC; and Rosswil LLC,
which are collectively referred to as the Conwood companies.  
The RJR Tobacco segment consists of the primary operations of
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.,  The Conwood segment consists of the
Conwood companies and Lane.  RAI's wholly owned operating
subsidiaries Santa Fe and GPI, among others, are included in All
Other.


R.J. REYNOLDS: N.Mex. Court Considers Appeal in "Romero" Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The District Court in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, has yet to
rule on an appeal in the antitrust class action, "Romero v.
Philip Morris Cos., Inc.," which names major U.S. cigarette
manufacturers, including R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. -- a wholly-
owned subsidiary of Reynolds American, Inc. -- as defendants.

The suit, which was filed in April 2000 and granted class-action
status on May 14, 2003, alleges that the defendants conspired to
fix, raise, advance and stabilize prices for cigarettes in the
State of New Mexico from at least as early as Jan. 1, 1998,
through the present.  

The suit is seeking to recover an amount not to exceed $74,000
per class member in actual and punitive damages, exclusive of
interest and costs.

On June 30, 2006, the court granted the defendants' motion for
summary judgment.  On Aug. 14, 2006, the plaintiff appealed this
decision to the New Mexico Court of Appeals.

The parties completed briefing of the issues on appeal on
Aug. 27, 2007, and await a decision, according to Reynolds
American, Inc.'s Feb. 27, 2008 Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended
Dec. 31, 2007.

Reynolds American, Inc.  -- http://www.reynoldsamerican.com/--    
is a holding company.  It has two business segments: RJR Tobacco
and Conwood.  RAI's wholly owned subsidiaries include R.J.
Reynolds Tobacco Co.; Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co., Inc.; Lane,
Limited; R.J. Reynolds Global Products, Inc.; and Conwood Co.,
LLC, Conwood Sales Co., LLC; Scott Tobacco LLC; and Rosswil LLC,
which are collectively referred to as the Conwood companies.  
The RJR Tobacco segment consists of the primary operations of
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.,  The Conwood segment consists of the
Conwood companies and Lane.  RAI's wholly owned operating
subsidiaries Santa Fe and GPI, among others, are included in All
Other.


R.J. REYNOLDS: Still Faces Tobacco Lawsuits in La., W.Va., Mo.
--------------------------------------------------------------
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reynolds
American, Inc., continues to face three tobacco lawsuits that
are either stayed or have limited activity.

                        Young Litigation

The case "Young v. American Tobacco Co., Inc.," was filed in
November 1997 with the Circuit Court, Orleans Parish, Louisiana.  

It is an Environmental Tobacco Smoke class action against U.S.
cigarette manufacturers, including R.J. Reynolds and Brown &
Williamson Holdings, Inc., and parent companies of U.S.
cigarette manufacturers, on behalf of all residents of Louisiana
who, though not themselves cigarette smokers, have been exposed
to secondhand smoke from cigarettes which were manufactured by
the defendants, and who suffer injury as a result of that
exposure.

The plaintiffs seek to recover an unspecified amount of
compensatory and punitive damages.

On Oct. 13, 2004, the trial court stayed this case pending the
outcome of the appeal in Scott v. American Tobacco Co., Inc.

                       Parsons Litigation

The case "Parsons v. A C & S, Inc.," was filed in February 1998
with the Circuit Court, Ohio County, West Virginia.  

The plaintiff sued asbestos manufacturers, U.S. cigarette
manufacturers, including R.J. Reynolds and B&W, and parent
companies of U.S. cigarette manufacturers, seeking to recover
$1,000,000 in compensatory and punitive damages individually and
an unspecified amount for the class in both compensatory and
punitive damages.

The plaintiff alleges that her use of tobacco products and
exposure to asbestos products caused her to develop lung cancer
and to become addicted to tobacco.

The case has been stayed pending a final resolution of the
plaintiffs motion to refer tobacco litigation to the judicial
panel on multi-district litigation filed in "In Re: Tobacco
Litigation," which is pending with the the Supreme Court of
Appeals of West Virginia.

On Dec. 26, 2000, three defendants: Nitral Liquidators, Inc.;
Desseaux Corp. of North American; and Armstrong World
Industries, filed bankruptcy petitions with the U.S. Bankruptcy
Court for the District of Delaware, "In re Armstrong World
Industries, Inc."

Pursuant to section 362(a) of the Bankruptcy Code, "Parsons" is
automatically stayed with respect to all defendants.

                        Jones Litigation

The case "Jones v. American Tobacco Co., Inc.," was filed in
December 1998 with the Circuit Court, Jackson County, Missouri.

The defendants removed the case to the U.S. District Court for
the Western District of Missouri on Feb. 16, 1999.  

The action was brought against major U.S. cigarette
manufacturers, including R.J. Reynolds and B&W, on behalf of
tobacco product users and purchasers on behalf of all similarly
situated Missouri consumers.

The plaintiffs allege that their use of the defendants' tobacco
products has caused them to become addicted to nicotine.  The
plaintiffs seek to recover an unspecified amount of compensatory
and punitive damages.

The case was remanded to the Circuit Court on Feb. 17, 1999.
There has been limited activity in this case.

Reynolds American reported no further development in the matters
in its Feb. 27, 2008 Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2007.

Reynolds American, Inc.  -- http://www.reynoldsamerican.com/--    
is a holding company.  It has two business segments: RJR Tobacco
and Conwood.  RAI's wholly owned subsidiaries include R.J.
Reynolds Tobacco Co.; Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co., Inc.; Lane,
Limited; R.J. Reynolds Global Products, Inc.; and Conwood Co.,
LLC, Conwood Sales Co., LLC; Scott Tobacco LLC; and Rosswil LLC,
which are collectively referred to as the Conwood companies.  
The RJR Tobacco segment consists of the primary operations of
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.,  The Conwood segment consists of the
Conwood companies and Lane.  RAI's wholly owned operating
subsidiaries Santa Fe and GPI, among others, are included in All
Other.


R.J. REYNOLDS: La. Supreme Court Denies Review Bid in "Scott"
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Louisiana Supreme Court denied an application for writ of
certiorari that was filed by the defendants in the matter "Scott
v. American Tobacco Co.," which names R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.
-- a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reynolds American, Inc. -- as
one of the defendants, according to Reynolds American's Feb. 27,
2008 Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2007.

The case was filed in May 1996 with the District Court, Orleans
Parish, Louisiana.  On Nov. 5, 1998, the trial court certified a
medical monitoring or smoking cessation class of Louisiana
residents who were smokers on or before May 24, 1996.

The action, which seeks to recover an unspecified amount of
compensatory and punitive damages, was also filed against major
U.S. cigarette manufacturers.

The plaintiffs allege that their use of the defendants' products
caused them to become addicted to nicotine.  

Opening statements occurred on Jan. 21, 2003.  On July 28, 2003,
the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendants on the
plaintiffs' claim for medical monitoring and found that
cigarettes were not defectively designed.

However, the jury also made certain findings against the
defendants on claims relating to fraud, conspiracy, marketing to
minors and smoking cessation.  Notwithstanding these findings,
this portion of the trial did not determine liability as to any
class member or class representative.  

What primarily remained in the case was a class-wide claim that
the defendants pay for a program to help people stop smoking.

On March 31, 2004, phase two of the trial began to address only
the scope and cost of smoking cessation programs.  On May 21,
2004, the jury returned a verdict in the amount of $591 million
on the class's claim for a smoking cessation program.

On Sept. 29, 2004, the defendants posted a $50-million bond,
pursuant to legislation that limits the amount of the bond to
$50 million collectively for MSA signatories, and noticed their
appeal.  R.J. Reynolds posted $25 million towards the bond.  

On Feb. 7, 2007, the Louisiana Court of Appeals upheld the class
certification and found the defendants responsible for funding
smoking cessation for eligible class members.

The appellate court also ruled, however, that the defendants
were not liable for any post-1988 claims, rejected the award of
prejudgment interest and struck eight of the twelve components
of the smoking cessation program.

In particular, the appellate court ruled that no class member,
who began smoking after Sept. 1, 1988, could receive any relief,
and that only those smokers, whose claims accrued on or before
Sept. 1, 1988, would be eligible for the smoking cessation
program.  

The plaintiffs have expressly represented to the trial court
that none of their claims accrued before 1988 and that the class
claims did not accrue until around 1996, when the case was
filed.

There is currently no final judgment for a specific amount of
damages, and the appellate court remanded the case to the trial
court for further proceedings, which will likely lead to
additional appellate review if any new judgment is entered.

On March 2, 2007, the defendants’ application for rehearing and
clarification was denied. The defendants filed an application
for writ of certiorari with the Louisiana Supreme Court on April
2, 2007.

The defendants application for writ of certiorari with the
Louisiana Supreme Court was denied on Jan. 7, 2008.  The
deadline for the defendants to file a writ of certiorari with
the U.S. Supreme Court is April 7, 2008.

Reynolds American, Inc. -- http://www.reynoldsamerican.com/--    
is a holding company.  It has two business segments: RJR Tobacco
and Conwood.  RAI's wholly owned subsidiaries include R.J.
Reynolds Tobacco Co.; Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co., Inc.; Lane,
Limited; R.J. Reynolds Global Products, Inc.; and Conwood Co.,
LLC, Conwood Sales Co., LLC; Scott Tobacco LLC; and Rosswil LLC,
which are collectively referred to as the Conwood companies.  
The RJR Tobacco segment consists of the primary operations of
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.,  The Conwood segment consists of the
Conwood companies and Lane.  RAI's wholly owned operating
subsidiaries Santa Fe and GPI, among others, are included in All
Other.


R.J. REYNOLDS: Ill. Court Dismisses Appeal in "Turner" Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Illinois Fifth District Court of Appeals dismissed R.J.
Reynolds Tobacco Co.'s appeal in the matter, "Turner v. R.J.
Reynolds Tobacco Co.," and remanded the case to the circuit
court.

The class in the case generally seek to recover $50,000 to
$75,000 per class member for compensatory and punitive damages,
injunctive and other forms of relief, and attorneys fees and
costs from the defendants.

In general, the plaintiffs allege that defendants made false and
misleading claims that lights cigarettes were lower in tar and
nicotine and were less hazardous or less mutagenic than other
cigarettes.  

The suit was filed on February 2000 with the Circuit Court,
Madison County, Illinois.  A judge certified a class on Nov. 14,
2001.

On June 6, 2003, R.J. Reynolds filed a motion to stay the case
pending Philip Morris' appeal in the matter, "Price v. Philip
Morris Inc.," which the judge denied on July 11, 2003.

On Oct. 17, 2003, the Illinois Fifth District Court of Appeals
denied R.J. Reynolds' emergency stay/supremacy order request.  

On Nov. 5, 2003, the Illinois Supreme Court granted R.J.
Reynolds' motion for a stay pending the court's final appeal
decision in "Price."

On Oct. 11, 2007, the Illinois Fifth District Court of Appeals
dismissed R.J. Reynolds' appeal and remanded the case to the
circuit court, according to Reynolds American, Inc.'s Feb. 27,
2008 Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2007.

Reynolds American, Inc. -- http://www.reynoldsamerican.com/--    
is a holding company.  It has two business segments: RJR Tobacco
and Conwood.  RAI's wholly owned subsidiaries include R.J.
Reynolds Tobacco Co.; Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co., Inc.; Lane,
Limited; R.J. Reynolds Global Products, Inc.; and Conwood Co.,
LLC, Conwood Sales Co., LLC; Scott Tobacco LLC; and Rosswil LLC,
which are collectively referred to as the Conwood companies.  
The RJR Tobacco segment consists of the primary operations of
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.,  The Conwood segment consists of the
Conwood companies and Lane.  RAI's wholly owned operating
subsidiaries Santa Fe and GPI, among others, are included in All
Other.


REYNOLDS AMERICAN: Ill. Court Affirms Stay Order in "Howard"
------------------------------------------------------------
The Illinois Fifth District Court of Appeals affirmed the stay
order issued in the class action, "Howard v. Brown & Williamson
Tobacco Corp.," which named an affiliate of Reynolds American,
Inc., as a defendant.

The class in the case generally seeks to recover $50,000 to
$75,000 per member for compensatory and punitive damages,
injunctive and other forms of relief, and attorneys fees and
costs from the defendants.

In general, the plaintiffs allege that the defendants made false
and misleading claims that lights cigarettes were lower in tar
and nicotine and were less hazardous or less mutagenic than
other cigarettes.  

The suit was filed in February 2000 with the Circuit Court,
Madison County, Illinois.  A judge certified a class on Dec. 18,
2001.

On June 6, 2003, the trial judge issued an order staying all
proceedings pending resolution of Philip Morris' appeal in the
matter, "Price v. Philip Morris Inc."

The plaintiffs appealed this stay order to the Illinois Fifth
District Court of Appeals, which affirmed the Circuit Court's
stay order on Aug. 19, 2005, according to Reynolds American,
Inc.'s Feb. 27, 2008 Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2007.

Reynolds American, Inc. -- http://www.reynoldsamerican.com/--    
is a holding company.  It has two business segments: RJR Tobacco
and Conwood.  RAI's wholly owned subsidiaries include R.J.
Reynolds Tobacco Co.; Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co., Inc.; Lane,
Limited; R.J. Reynolds Global Products, Inc.; and Conwood Co.,
LLC, Conwood Sales Co., LLC; Scott Tobacco LLC; and Rosswil LLC,
which are collectively referred to as the Conwood companies.  
The RJR Tobacco segment consists of the primary operations of
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.,  The Conwood segment consists of the
Conwood companies and Lane.  RAI's wholly owned operating
subsidiaries Santa Fe and GPI, among others, are included in All
Other.


SOUTHFIELD: Settlement in Concrete Price-Fix Suit Needs Court OK
----------------------------------------------------------------
An Indianapolis attorney who represents thousands of people and
businesses that are victims of a price-fixing conspiracy in
Central Indiana is asking a federal judge to approve a large
settlement with one of the ready-mixed concrete companies
involved -- Southfield Corporation, WISH-TV Indianapolis
reports.

The settlement with Southfield calls for $19 million going to
members of a class action lawsuit.

WISH-TV recounts that earlier this month, a federal court
approved settlements with two other ready-mixed concrete
companies.  These earlier settlements aggregated more than
$5 million.

Even if the judge approves the agreement with Southfiled, there
are three other companies that attorneys believe still need to
pay up and they are the ones that have also been found
criminally culpable.  These three companies are: Irving
Materials Inc., Beaver Materials, and Builder's Concrete.

According to WISH-TV, the price-fixing scheme came to light in
2005 when the federal government announced the largest anti-
trust fine in U.S. history going to IMI at $29 million.


TEK NEK: Recalls Plush Rocker Toys Due to Fall Hazard
-----------------------------------------------------
Tek Nek Toys Int'l L.P., of Southlake, Texas, in cooperation
with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, is recalling
about 122,000 units of Rock 'N Ride Plush Rocker Toys.

The company said the base of the rocker can become unstable and
allow the rocker to tip forward or backward, posing a fall
hazard to children.

Tek Nek Toys has received 35 reports of the rockers tipping
over, including ten reports of injuries such as bumps, bruises
and lacerations.

This recall involves Rock 'N Ride plush rocker toys sold in
eight models: brown pony, pink pony, pink unicorn, deluxe pony,
deluxe bull, lil' penguin, lil' propeller plane and Clifford big
red rocker.  The toys have molded plastic rocker bases and were
sold for children at least 18 months old and up to 65 lbs.  A
button on the toy's ear, hat or dash activates songs and phrases
when pressed.  Rockers included in this recall have a date code
from July 26, 2007, through December 29, 2007.  The date codes
are printed on a sticker inside the battery compartment.

These recalled rocker toys were manufactured in China and were
being sold at Wal-Mart, Toys "R" Us, Kmart, Target, Atwoods, and
Pamida stores nationwide and Internet retailers from September
2007 through March 2008 for about $30.

Pictures of the recalled rocker toys are found at:

   http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08233a.jpg

   http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08233b.jpg

   http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08233c.jpg

   http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08233d.jpg

   http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08233e.jpg

   http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08233f.jpg

   http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08233g.jpg

   http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08233h.jpg

   http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08233i.jpg

Consumers are advised to immediately take the rocker toys away
from young children and contact Tek Nek Toys for a free
replacement base.

For additional information, contact Tek Nek Toys toll-free at
(888) 686-2728 anytime, or visit the firm's Web site at
http://www.teknektoys.com/


VEOLIA WATER: Stewart & Irwin Sues Over Unread Water Meters
-----------------------------------------------------------
Stewart & Irwin, P.C., filed a class action with the Marion
County Superior Court on behalf of two plaintiffs and over  
250,000 residential water consumers served by Veola Water in
Central Indiana.

The complaint alleges Veolia Water failed to read the meters of
its customers at least every two months as required by law and
overestimated water usage for thousands of its customers.  The
complaint also alleges that Veolia Water overcharged their
customers for late fees as well as breached their agreement with
Indianapolis Water, and committed deceptive acts including
fraud.

The complaint has been filed individually on behalf of David
Lear, an Indianapolis resident, Jason Bond, a Zionsville
resident, and seeks class action status on behalf of all 250,000
residential customers served by Veolia Water in Central Indiana.

"Within recent weeks, local media coverage has revealed
widespread concern about the misconduct of Veolia Water in
reading and estimating water bills.  We believe the facts will
show that Veolia Water has harmed its customers in Central
Indiana by the conduct described in the complaint," stated Peter
Kovacs, Esq., the attorney filing the complaint.

Under a 20-year management agreement Veolia Water manages and
operates the water works of Indianapolis Water, a department of
the City of Indianapolis.  Veolia Water receives in excess of
$33,000,000 per year from the City of Indianapolis under this
contract with the city.  In 2007 Veolia Water received over
$9,000,000 in incentive payments from the City of Indianapolis
(in addition to the yearly payment) for meeting certain
benchmarks including meter reading and revenue enhancement.

For more information, contact:

          Stewart & Irwin, P.C.
          251 East Ohio Street, Suite 1100
          Indianapolis, IN 46204
          Phone: (317) 639-5454
          Fax: (317) 632-1319


                  New Securities Fraud Cases

AGRIA CORP: Coughlin Stoia Files Securities Fraud Suit in N.Y.
--------------------------------------------------------------
Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP commenced a class
action lawsuit with the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York on behalf of investors who
purchased the American Depositary Receipts pursuant and
traceable to the Company's initial public offering on or about
November 6, 2007, seeking to pursue remedies under the
Securities Act of 1933.

The complaint charges Agria and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Act.

The Company engages in the research and development and
production and sale of upstream agricultural products in the
People's Republic of China.  Agria conducts substantially all of
its operations in China through its contractual arrangements
with a consolidated affiliated entity, Primalights III
Agriculture Development Co., Ltd. (P3A), and a wholly-owned
subsidiary in China, Aero-Biotech Science & Technology Co., Ltd.

According to the complaint, the Registration Statement issued in
connection with the IPO contained untrue statements of material
facts, omitted to state other facts necessary to make the
statements made not misleading and was not prepared in
accordance with the rules and regulations governing its
preparation.  Specifically, the complaint alleges that the
Registration Statement and Prospectus were required to disclose
that, at the time of the IPO, the Company was already running
the risk of potentially damaging its relationship with P3A and
losing a member of its management team, thereby adversely
affecting its financial success.

Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of all those who
purchased ADRs of Agria pursuant and traceable to the Company's
IPO on or about November 6, 2007.

Interested parties may move the court no later than June 10,
2008, for lead plaintiff appointment.

For more information, contact:

          Samuel H. Rudman, Esq.
          David A. Rosenfeld, Esq.
          Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP
          655 West Broadway, Suite 1900
          San Diego, CA 92101
          Phone: 800-449-4900
          e-mail: djr@csgrr.com


FORCE PROTECTION: Whatley Drake Files Suit in South Carolina
------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Whatley, Drake & Kallas, LLC, disclosed that a
class action lawsuit was filed with the United States District
Court for the District of South Carolina on behalf of purchasers
of common stock of Force Protection, Inc. between August 14,
2006, and March 17, 2008, inclusive.

Charleston-based Force Protection produces and markets armored
vehicles designed to protect their occupants from landmines,
hostile fire, and improvised explosive devices.  The largest
buyer of the Force Protection vehicles is the United States
military, including the Army and the Marine Corps.  Force
Protection also sells its armored vehicles to the Iraqi military
and British Ministry of Defense.

The complaint, which was filed on April 17, 2008, alleges that
Force Protection and several of its current and former
executives issued materially false and misleading financial
statements that violated the federal securities laws and
Generally Accepted Accounting Principles to maintain
artificially inflated financial results.

The complaint alleges that Force Protection and its officers
consistently presented a false and misleading picture of its
performance and falsely assured investors that Force Protection
was the leader in its product market because of its superior
products and on- time delivery capabilities.  As alleged in the
complaint, however, the true facts were that:

     (a) Force Protection could not meet its delivery deadlines,

     (b) Government audits had criticized the Company's
         financial controls,

     (c) Force Protection's accounting department lacked the
         necessary staff and resources to perform its required
         functions,

     (d) Force Protection had inadequate internal controls, and

     (e) Force Protection's financial results for at least the
         third quarter 2007 were misstated.

On February 29, 2008, Force Protection announced that it would
delay the filing of its 2007 Form 10-K with the Securities and
Exchange Commission.  Force Protection also announced that it
would restate financial statements for the period ending
September 30, 2007, because of significant accounting errors.  
On March 17, 2008, Force Protection announced that it would
delay for a second time the filing of its 2007 Form 10-K.  
During the class period, Force Protection stock traded at a high
of $30.27 per share.  After its true financial situation was
disclosed, the price of Force Protection stock plummeted 88
percent from the class period high to a closing price of $3.58
per share on March 3, 2008; Force Protection stock further
plummeted on March 17, 2008 to $1.37 per share.

Interested parties may move the court no later May 9, 2008, for
lead plaintiff appointment.

For more information, contact:

          Joe R. Whatley Jr.
          Whatley, Drake & Kallas, LLC
          1540 Broadway, 37th Floor
          New York, New York 10036
          Phone: 205/328-9576


ISTAR FINANCIAL: Schiffrin Barroway Files Securities Fraud Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schiffrin Barroway Topaz & Kessler, LLP filed a
securities class action with the United States District Court
for the Southern District of New York on behalf of all
purchasers of common stock of iSTAR Financial Inc. pursuant or
traceable to the Secondary Public Offering on December 13, 2007,
inclusive.

The Complaint charges iSTAR and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Act of 1933. iSTAR
is a finance company focused on the commercial real estate
industry.

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

     (1) that the Company was experiencing "material change" to
         its continuing operations;

     (2) specifically, the Company's ability to operate was
         being adversely impacted by negativity in the credit
         markets;

     (3) that the Company's corporate loan and debt portfolio
         showed more than $200 million in unrecognized losses;

     (4) that the Company lacked adequate internal and financial
         controls; and

     (5) that, as a result of the foregoing, the Company's
         Registration Statement was false and misleading at all
         relevant times.

On February 28, 2008, the Company announced that for the fourth
quarter of 2007, it would report a loss of $78.7 million, or
$0.62 per share.  The Company stated that the results were
impacted by $134.9 million of non-cash charges associated with
the impairment of two credits in its corporate loan and debt
portfolio.  Finally, the Company stated that it increased its
loan loss provisions by $113 million.

In response to this news, shares of the Company's stock declined
$2.66 per share, or 11.64 percent, to close on February 28,
2008, at $20.19 per share, on unusually heavy trading volume.
Shares of the Company's stock continued to fall over the next
several days, closing on March 6, 2008 at $13.98.  This closing
price on March 6, 2008, represented a cumulative loss of $14.43,
or over 50 percent, of the value of the Company's shares at the
time of its SPO just months prior.

The plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of class
members.

Interested parties may move the court no later than  June 13,
2008 for lead plaintiff appointment.

For more information, contact:

          Darren J. Check, Esq.
          Richard A. Maniskas, Esq.
          Schiffrin Barroway Topaz & Kessler, LLP
          280 King of Prussia Road
          Radnor, PA 19087
          Phone: 1-888-299-7706 (toll free)
                 1-610-667-7706
          e-mail: info@sbtklaw.com






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asbestos defendants that, according to independent research,
collectively face billions of dollars in asbestos-related
liabilities.                         

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Copyright 2008.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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