CAR_Public/081222.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

           Monday, December 22, 2008, Vol. 10, No. 253
  
                            Headlines

ABERCROMBIE & FITCH: Court Mulls Certification Motion in "Ross"
ABERCROMBIE & FITCH: Still Faces Remaining Claims in Labor Suit
CASEY'S GENERAL: Aug. 2009 Trial Set for Iowa Managers' Lawsuit
CASEY'S GENERAL: Discovery in FLSA Violations Lawsuit Ongoing
CASEY'S GENERAL: Discovery in Kansas Suit Over Hot Fuel Ongoing

CASEY'S GENERAL: Seeks to Dismiss Amended Complaint in Ill. Suit
COUNTRYWIDE FINANCIAL: Faces Lawsuit in Ky. Over Security Breach
FORCE PROTECTION: Faces Consolidated Securities Lawsuit in S.C.
HONEYWELL INT'L: Several Automotive Filters Suits Still Pending
INSPIRE PHARMACEUTICALS: Court Affirms Dismissal of N.C. Lawsuit

MAPLE LEAF: Settles Canadian Lawsuits Over Tainted Meat Products
NEW YORK & CO: Faces "Johnson" Privacy Lawsuit in California
NEW YORK & CO: Faces "Schakow" Labor Volations Lawsuit in Calif.
PHILIP MORRIS: Law Firm Files N.Y. Suit Over "Lights" Cigarettes
SOCIETE GENERALE: Ontario Court Approves Portus Suit Settlement  

TARRAGON CORP: Continues to Face Consolidated Securities Lawsuit
TENNESSEE VALLEY: Appeal on Junked Global Warming Case Pending
UNITEDHEALTH GROUP: Court Gives Preliminary OK to $895M Deal

* Credit Crisis Spur Shareholder Suit Filings To Highest Level


                   New Securities Fraud Cases

ATRICURE INC: Brower Piven Announces Securities Lawsuit Filing
BRITANNIA BULK: Cohen Milstein Files Securities Lawsuit in N.Y.
CRYSTALLEX INT'L: Vianale & Vianale Files Securities Lawsuit


                           *********

ABERCROMBIE & FITCH: Court Mulls Certification Motion in "Ross"
---------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio has
not yet ruled on a motion seeking for the certification of a
class in a consolidated securities fraud class action filed
against Abercrombie & Fitch Co., according to the company's  
Dec. 5, 2008 Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the quarter ended Nov. 1, 2008.

The suit was filed on behalf of a purported class of all persons
who purchased or acquired shares of Class A Common Stock of the
company between June 2, 2005 and Aug. 16, 2005.

The first suit, "Robert Ross v. Abercrombie & Fitch Co., et
al.," was filed on Sept. 2, 2005.  The suit also named as
defendants the company's officers.  

In September and October of 2005, five other purported class
actions were filed against the company and other defendants with
the same court.  

All six cases seek to allege claims under the federal securities
laws as a result of a decline in the price of the company's
Class A Common Stock in the summer of 2005.  

On Nov. 1, 2005, a motion to consolidate all these purported
class actions into the first case was filed by some of the
plaintiffs.  The company joined in that motion.

On March 22, 2006, the motions to consolidate were granted, and
these actions were consolidated for purposes of motion practice,
discovery and pretrial proceedings.

A consolidated amended securities class action complaint was
filed on Aug. 14, 2006.  On Oct. 13, 2006, all the defendants
moved to dismiss that complaint.  

On Aug. 9, 2007, the Court denied the motions to dismiss.  On
Sept. 14, 2007, the defendants filed answers denying the
material allegations of the Complaint and asserting affirmative
defenses.

On Oct. 26, 2007, the plaintiffs moved to certify their
purported class.  The motion has not been fully briefed or
submitted.

The suit is "Ross v. Abercrombie & Fitch Co., et al., Case No.
2:05-cv-00819-EAS-TPK)," filed with the U.S. District Court for
the Southern District of Ohio, Judge Edmund A. Sargus presiding.

Representing the plaintiffs is:

         Keith W. Schneider, Esq.
         (kwschneider@maguire-schneider.com)
         Maguire & Schneider
         250 Civic Center Drive, Suite 200
         Columbus, OH 43215
         Phone: 614-224-1222
         Fax: 614-224-1236

Representing the defendants are:
   
         Philip Albert Brown, Esq. (pabrown@vssp.com)
         Vorys, Sater, Seymour & Pease
         52 East Gay Street
         Columbus, OH 43216-1008
         Phone: 614-464-6400
         Fax: 614-464-6400

         Roger Philip Sugarman, Esq. (rsugarman@keglerbrown.com)
         Kegler Brown Hill & Ritter
         65 E State Street, Suite 1800
         Columbus, OH 43215-4294
         Phone: 614-462-5400
         Fax: 614-462-5422

              - and -

         Michael Roy Szolosi, Sr., Esq. (mrs@mcnamaralaw.us)
         McNamara and McNamara
         88 East Broad Street, Suite 1250
         Columbus, OH 43215
         Phone: 614-228-6131


ABERCROMBIE & FITCH: Still Faces Remaining Claims in Labor Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Abercrombie & Fitch Co. and Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc. are
continuing to litigate the remaining claims in a class-action
lawsuit in the Superior Court of the State of California for the
County of Los Angeles, according to the company's Dec. 5, 2008
Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended Nov. 1, 2008.

The suit was filed by Lisa Hashimoto on June 23, 2006.  She,
along with several other plaintiffs, alleged on behalf of a
putative class of California store managers employed in
Hollister and Abercrombie stores that they were entitled to
receive overtime pay as "non-exempt" employees under California
wage and hour laws.  

The complaint seeks injunctive relief, equitable relief, unpaid
overtime compensation, unpaid benefits, penalties, interest and
attorneys' fees and costs.   

The defendants filed an answer to the complaint on Aug. 21,
2006.  The parties engaged in discovery.

On Dec. 10, 2007, the defendants reached an agreement in
principle with the plaintiffs' counsel to settle certain claims
in the action.

The agreement resulted in a written Stipulation and Settlement
Agreement, effective as of Feb. 7, 2008, settling all claims of
Hollister and Abercrombie store managers who served in the
stores from June 23, 2002, to April 30, 2004 (Class Action
Reporter, June 30, 2008).

On June 23, 2008, the Superior Court approved that proposed
partial settlement.  The partial settlement does not affect
claims which are alleged to have arisen in the period commencing
on April 30, 2004.  

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. -- http://www.abercrombie.com/-- is a  
specialty retailer that operates stores selling casual apparel,
such as knit shirts, graphic t-shirts, jeans, woven shirts,
shorts, as well as personal care and other accessories for men,
women and kids under the Abercrombie & Fitch, Abercrombie,
Hollister and RUEHL brands.  As of Jan. 28, 2006, the company
operated 851 stores in the U.S. and Canada.


CASEY'S GENERAL: Aug. 2009 Trial Set for Iowa Managers' Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
A tentative trial date of Aug. 3, 2009, has been set in a
purported class-action lawsuit against Casey's General Stores,
Inc., over alleged violations of the state wage laws and the
Fair Labor Standards Act.

The complaint was filed against the company on May 30, 2007, in
the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa by two
former assistant managers who claim that Casey's failed to
properly pay them and other assistant managers overtime
compensation (Class Action Reporter, April 16, 2008).

Specifically, the plaintiffs claim that the assistant managers
were treated as non-exempt employees entitled to overtime pay,
but that the company did not properly record all hours worked
and failed to pay the assistant managers overtime pay for all
hours worked in excess of 40 per week.

The action purports to be a collective action under the Fair
Labor Standards Act brought on behalf of all "persons who are
currently or were employed during the three-year period
immediately preceding the filing of [the] complaint as
'Assistant Managers' at any Casey's General Store operated by
[the] Defendant (directly or through one of its wholly owned
subsidiaries), who worked overtime during any given week within
that period, and who have not filed a complaint to recover
overtime wages."

The complaint seeks relief in the form of back wages owed all
members of the class during the three-year period preceding the
filing of the complaint, liquidated damages, attorneys fees, and
costs.

The company filed an answer denying the claims, as well as a
motion for change of venue to the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of Iowa sitting in Des Moines.  That motion
was granted on Aug. 30, 2007, and the case has been transferred
to Des Moines.  

On Oct. 31, 2007, the Court conditionally certified the
collective action as to "any employees who are or have been
employed by Casey's as an assistant manager at any time since
Nov. 1, 2004, and who have unresolved claims for unpaid
overtime," and authorized the mailing of notice of the action to
all such persons.

On Nov. 20, 2007, the plaintiffs filed a motion to amend their
complaint to include class claims alleging violations of the
state laws of eight states where the company operates, based on
the same general factual allegations underlying the FLSA claim.

The court allowed the amended complaint to be filed, with
modifications.

The deadline for certain potential class members to elect to
“opt-in” and become collective class members was extended by
agreement to Oct. 1, 2008 and has now expired.  A total of 631
potential class members have elected to opt-in.  The company
will be allowed to move to decertify the collective action after
discovery is conducted.

The plaintiffs recently filed amended collective and class
action complaints, essentially asserting the same claims alleged
in previous filings, but expanding the class claims under State
law and extending them to include violations of Wisconsin law.  
In addition, the plaintiffs added as parties defendant five
former and current officers of the company.  The claims against
these five named officers are limited to alleged violation of
the FLSA.

Discovery activities are being pursued by both the plaintiffs
and the company, and a tentative trial date of Aug. 3, 2009, has
been set by the court, according to the company's Dec. 5, 2008
Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended Oct. 31, 2008.

The suit is "Jones, et al. v. Casey's General Stores Inc., Case
No. 5:07-cv-04043-MWB," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of Iowa, Judge Mark W. Bennett presiding.

Representing the plaintiffs is:

         Jon E. Heisterkamp, Esq. (jeheisterkamp@yahoo.com)
         Peters Law Firm PC
         PO Box 1078, 233 Pearl Street
         Council Bluffs, IA 51502-1078
         Phone: 712-328-3157
         Fax: 712-328-9092


CASEY'S GENERAL: Discovery in FLSA Violations Lawsuit Ongoing
-------------------------------------------------------------
Discovery activities are being pursued in a collective action
filed by seven current and former store employees against
Casey's General Stores, Inc., according to the company's Dec. 5,
2008 Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended Oct. 31, 2008.

On Jan. 10, 2008, seven current and former store employees filed
a companion case to the action brought by assistant managers,
Jones, et al. v. Casey's General Stores Inc., Case No. 5:07-cv-
04043-MWB.

The companion was filed by the same attorneys representing the
assistant managers and is also pending in the U.S. District
Court for the Southern District of Iowa in Des Moines.

This action is filed as a collective action under the Fair Labor
Standards Act, and also alleges class claims based on “the
independent statutory state wage and hours laws of Iowa,
Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and South Dakota.”

The action purports to be brought on behalf of a class
consisting of essentially all Casey's non-management-level store
employees employed “during the three-year period immediately
preceding the filing of [the] complaint… at any Casey's General
Store, whether operated directly by Defendant or through one of
its wholly owned subsidiaries.”

The complaint alleges that the subject employees were denied
overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week, as
well as mandatory meal and rest breaks, and that the company
failed to accurately record actual hours worked and willfully
encouraged the employees to work “off-the-clock.”

The complaint seeks damages, including alleged unpaid back
wages, liquidated damages, pre- and post- judgment interest,
court costs and attorneys fees, as well as equitable relief
pursuant to various state laws.

Approximately 30,000 potential collective action members were
provided notice of the action and their right to opt-in to the
FLSA claims.  A total of 2,573 potential members have opted-in
to the collective action claim.  The opt-in period expired on
Oct. 1, 2008.

The plaintiffs recently filed amended collective and class
action complaints, essentially asserting the same claims alleged
in previous filings, but expanding the class claims under state
law and extending them to include violations of Minnesota law.  
In addition, the plaintiffs added as parties defendant five
former and current officers of the company.  The claims against
these five named officers are limited to alleged violation of
the FLSA.  

Casey's General Stores, Inc. -- http://www.caseys.com/--   
operates convenience stores under the name Casey's General Store
in nine Midwest states, primarily Iowa, Missouri and Illinois.  
The stores carry a selection of food (including freshly prepared
foods, such as pizza, donuts and sandwiches), beverages, tobacco
products, health and beauty aids, automotive products, and other
nonfood items.  In addition, all stores offer gasoline for sale
on a self-service basis.  


CASEY'S GENERAL: Discovery in Kansas Suit Over Hot Fuel Ongoing
---------------------------------------------------------------
Discovery efforts by both sides in the consolidated "hot fuel"
litigation are being pursued, according to Casey's General
Stores, Inc.'s Dec. 5, 2008 Form 10-Q filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended
Oct. 31, 2008.

Initially, Casey's General Stores was named as a defendant in
five lawsuits brought with the federal courts in Kansas and
Missouri against a variety of gasoline retailers.  The
complaints generally allege that the company, along with
numerous other retailers, has misrepresented gasoline volumes
dispensed at its pumps by failing to compensate for expansion
that occurs when fuel is sold at temperatures above 60F.  

Fuel is measured at 60F in wholesale purchase transactions and
computation of motor fuel taxes in Kansas and Missouri.

The complaints all seek certification as class actions on behalf
of gasoline consumers within those two states, and one of the
complaints also seeks certification for a class consisting of
gasoline consumers in all states.

The actions generally seek recovery for alleged violations of
state consumer protection or unfair merchandising practices
statutes, negligent and fraudulent misrepresentation, unjust
enrichment, civil conspiracy, and violation of the duty of good
faith and fair dealing.  Several of the suits seek injunctive
relief and punitive damages.

These actions are part of a number of similar lawsuits that have
been filed within the past year in 28 jurisdictions, including
26 states, Guam and the District of Columbia, against a wide
range of defendants that produce, refine, distribute, and market
gasoline products in the United States.

On June 18, 2007, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation
ordered that all of the pending hot fuel cases be transferred to
the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas for
coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings, including
rulings on discovery matters, various pretrial motions, and
class certification.

The court recently denied plaintiff's motion for leave of the
court to file an amended complaint that, among other things,
would have added the company as a party defendant to the action
already pending in federal court in Indiana.

Casey's General Stores, Inc. -- http://www.caseys.com/--   
operates convenience stores under the name Casey's General Store
in nine Midwest states, primarily Iowa, Missouri and Illinois.  
The stores carry a selection of food (including freshly prepared
foods, such as pizza, donuts and sandwiches), beverages, tobacco
products, health and beauty aids, automotive products, and other
nonfood items.  In addition, all stores offer gasoline for sale
on a self-service basis.  


CASEY'S GENERAL: Seeks to Dismiss Amended Complaint in Ill. Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Casey's General Stores, Inc.'s motion to dismiss the amended
complaint in a purported class action lawsuit is pending with
the Circuit Court for the Third Judicial Circuit, Madison
County, Illinois.

The suit was filed on March 13, 2003, by a former store manager,
individually and on behalf of persons similarly situated.  It is
filed under Illinois law on behalf of all persons employed by
the company or one of its affiliates who, at any time from
February 1993 through the time of final judgment, were not paid
overtime compensation for hours worked in excess of 40 per week.

The plaintiff seeks relief for herself and the class members
under the Illinois Minimum Wage Law, the Illinois Wage Payment
and Collection Act and similar laws of other states.

The company answered the complaint and filed a motion to dismiss
the case on grounds that, among other things, the company's
store managers are exempt from overtime laws as executive
employees, or the equivalent, under applicable federal and state
laws.

The court issued its ruling on April 29, 2008, denying the
dismissal motion as it pertains to the plaintiff's individual
claims based on alleged violations of Illinois law, but granting
the dismissal motion as it pertains to the class claims based on
alleged violations of other states' overtime laws.

The plaintiff was granted leave to re-file the class action
claim, provided the purported class could be clearly identified
and provided the plaintiff could demonstrate that she can
adequately and fairly represent the interests of the class
members.

The Court called into question the plaintiff's ability to
represent class members residing outside Illinois, in light of
an August 2005 decision by the Supreme Court of Illinois in an
unrelated case.

The plaintiff, on June 13, 2008, filed an amended complaint in
which the class action claim is limited to persons employed as
managers of Casey's stores within the state of Illinois.

The company has moved to dismiss plaintiff's claim under the
Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act on the grounds that the
Act is not a vehicle to enforce claims under the Minimum Wage
Law, according to its Dec. 5, 2008 Form 10-Q filing with the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended
Oct. 31, 2008.

Casey's General Stores, Inc. -- http://www.caseys.com/--   
operates convenience stores under the name Casey's General Store
in nine Midwest states, primarily Iowa, Missouri and Illinois.  
The stores carry a selection of food (including freshly prepared
foods, such as pizza, donuts and sandwiches), beverages, tobacco
products, health and beauty aids, automotive products, and other
nonfood items.  In addition, all stores offer gasoline for sale
on a self-service basis.  


COUNTRYWIDE FINANCIAL: Faces Lawsuit in Ky. Over Security Breach
----------------------------------------------------------------
Countrywide Financial Corp. is facing a purported class-action
lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of
Kentucky, claiming that it allowed a security breach involving
detailed financial information from more than two million
customers, The Associated Press reports.

The lawsuit was filed on Dec. 17, 2008 by Matthew and Danielle
Holmes of Mount Holly, N.J., under the caption, "Holmes et al v.
Countrywide Financial Corporation et al., Case No. 5:08-cv-
00205-TBR."

The Associated press reported that the couple wants a judge to
grant class-action status to claims that an employee of the
mortgage giant, which is now part of Bank of America Corp.,
stole detailed financial information from customers, sold it to
another person, who then sold it to an unknown number of
companies.

According to Donald Haviland Jr., Esq., the Philadelphia-based
attorney representing the couple, Countrywide Financial had all
his client's financial information including mortgage
information, credit card and Social Security numbers and birth
dates.  He told The Associated Press that the breach has the
potential to wreck their finances.

Additionally, the New Jersey couple is also seeking an
injunction to stop companies that bought the information from
using it in the future and an order requiring them to either
return or destroy the information.

The lawsuits stem from the arrest of Rene Rebollo Jr., 36, of
Pasadena, Calif., a former senior analyst for Countrywide, and
Wahid Siddiqi, 25, of Thousand Oaks, Calif., according to The
Associated Press.

Federal investigators said Mr. Rebollo used a flash drive to
download data from about 20,000 customers a week for two years
from 2006 through August 2008.

According to investigators, Mr. Rebollo then sold the
information to Mr. Siddiqi for $500 and earned a combined
$50,000.  

Mr. Siddiqi pleaded guilty on Dec. 9, 2008 to 10 counts of fraud
and admitted to selling the information to third parties,
including an undercover FBI agent.  On the other hand, Mr.
Rebollo has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled for trial in
January 2009, reports The Associated Press.

The suit is "Holmes et al v. Countrywide Financial Corporation
et al., Case No. 5:08-cv-00205-TBR," filed in the U.S. District
Court for the Western District of Kentucky, Judge Thomas B.
Russell, presiding.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

          Donald E. Haviland, Jr., Esq.
          The Haviland Law Firm
          111 South Independence Mall East, Suite 1000
          Philadelphia, PA 19106
          Phone: 215-609-4661

          Stacey A. Blankenship, Esq. (sblankenship@dklaw.com)
          Denton & Keuler, LLP
          555 Jefferson Street
          P.O. Box 929
          Paducah, KY 42002-0929
          Phone: 270-443-8253
          Fax: 270-442-6000

               - and -

          Kent M. Williams, Esq.
          Heins, Mills & Olson
          608 Second Avenue, South
          700 Northstar East
          Minnespolis, MN 55402


FORCE PROTECTION: Faces Consolidated Securities Lawsuit in S.C.
---------------------------------------------------------------
Force Protection, Inc. is facing a consolidated securities fraud
class-action suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of
South Carolina.

On March 10, 2008, the first of 10 related class actions was
filed against the company and certain of its former and current
board members or officers in the U.S. District Court for the
District of South Carolina on behalf of a proposed class of
investors who purchased or otherwise acquired the company's
securities during the period between Aug. 14, 2006 and Feb. 29,
2008.

The complaints seek class certification, and the allegations
include but are not limited to allegations that the defendants
violated the Exchange Act and made false or misleading public
statements and/or omissions concerning our business, internal
controls, and financial results.  

The plaintiffs assert that as a result of the defendants'
allegedly wrongful acts and omissions, members of the proposed
class have suffered significant losses and damages.

The individual class-action lawsuits were consolidated on June
10, 2008 under caption "In Re Force Protection, Inc. Securities
Litigation, Action No. 2:08-cv-845-CWH."

On June 20, 2008 a group of investors consisting of the
Laborers' Annuity and Benefit System of Chicago, Gary Trautman,
David J. Jager, Bhadra Shah, Panteli Poulikakos, George
Poulikakos, and Niki Poulikakos was appointed lead plaintiff.

The company reported no development in the matter in its Nov.
10, 2008 Form 10-Q Filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2008.

The suit is "In Re Force Protection, Inc. Securities Litigation,
Action No. 2:08-cv-845-CWH," filed in the U.S. District Court
for the District of South Carolina, Judge C. Weston Houck,
presiding.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

          Jeffrey C. Block, Esq. (jblock@bermanesq.com)
          Berman DeValerio Pease Tabacco Burt and Pucillo
          1 Liberty Square
          Eighth Floor
          Boston, MA 02109
          Phone: 615-542-8300

               - and -

          Jason S. Cowart, Esq. (jscowart@pomlaw.com)
          Pomerantz Haudek Block Grossman and Gross
          110 Park Avenue
          26th Floor
          New York, NY 10017
          Phone: 212-661-1100

Representing the defendants are:

          Benjamin Lee, Esq. (blee@kslaw.com)
          King and Spalding
          1180 Peachtree Street NE
          Atlanta, GA 30309
          Phone: 404-572-2820

               - and -

          Eleni Maria Roumel, Esq.    
          (eleni.roumel@nelsonmullins.com)
          Nelson Mullins Riley and Scarborough
          P.O. Box 1806
          Charleston, SC 29402
          Phone: 843-853-5200


HONEYWELL INT'L: Several Automotive Filters Suits Still Pending
---------------------------------------------------------------
Honeywell International, Inc., continues to face several
purported class-action lawsuits in the U.S. And Canada over
allegations that 12 filter manufacturers, including the company,
engaged in a conspiracy to fix prices, rig bids, and allocate
U.S. customers for after-market automotive filters.

Initially, a suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the
District of Connecticut on March 31, 2008, by S&E Quick Lube, a
filter distributor, under the caption, "S&E Quick Lube
Distributors Inc. v. Champion Labortories, Inc. et al., Case No.
3:2008-cv-00475."  It is a purported class-action lawsuit
brought on behalf of direct purchasers who bought filters from
the defendants.

Parallel purported class-action lawsuits, including those on
behalf of indirect purchasers of filters, have been filed by
other plaintiffs in a variety of jurisdictions in the U.S. And
Canada.

The U.S cases have been consolidated into a single multi-
district litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of Illinois.

The Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) is
also investigating the allegations raised in these suits.  The
company is cooperating with the DOJ investigation, according to
the company's Form 8-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission dated Dec. 11, 2008.

The consolidated lawsuit is "S&E Quick Lube Distributors Inc v.
Champion Labortories, Inc. et al., Case No. 3:2008cv00475,"
filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of
Connecticut, Judge Janet Bond Arterton, presiding.

Representing the plaintiffs is:

          Kerry R. Callahan, Esq. (krcallahan@uks.com)
          Updike, Kelly & Spellacy, P.C.
          One State St., Po Box 231277
          Hartford, CT 06123-1277
          Phone: 860-548-2600


INSPIRE PHARMACEUTICALS: Court Affirms Dismissal of N.C. Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has affirmed
the dismissal of a consolidated class-action lawsuit against
Inspire Pharmaceuticals, Inc., The Triangle Business Journal
reports.

In a ruling issued on Dec. 12, 2008, the court said that the
plaintiffs didn't offer enough evidence that the company's
executives willfully misled investors about studies of
diquafosol tetrasodium, according to The Triangle Business
Journal.

Rather, the court says, it seems clear that Inspire withheld the
information for competitive purposes - a legitimate business
purpose.

The Fourth Circuit's ruling upholds an earlier ruling in the
case by Judge William L. Osteen of the the U.S. District Court
for the Middle District of North Carolina, reports The Triangle
Business Journal.

Triangle Business Journal reported that with the ruling any
appeal in the case would have to go to the U.S. Supreme Court.

                        Case Background

On Feb. 15, 2005, the first of five identical purported
shareholder class-action complaints was filed against the
company and certain of its senior officers (Class Action
Reporter, Nov. 13, 2008).

Each complaint alleged violations of sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Securities and
Exchange Commission Rule 10b-5, and focused on statements that
are claimed to be false and misleading regarding a Phase 3
clinical trial of the company's dry eye product candidate,
ProlacriaTM (diquafosol tetrasodium).

Each complaint sought unspecified damages on behalf of a
purported class of purchasers of the company's securities
between June 2, 2004, and Feb. 8, 2005.

On March 27, 2006, following a consolidation of the lawsuits
into a single civil action and the appointment of lead
plaintiffs, a consolidated class action complaint asserting the
same allegations as the original ones was filed.

The consolidated complaint also asserts claims against certain
parties that served as underwriters in the company's securities
offerings during the period relevant to the complaint.

It seeks unspecified damages on behalf of a purported class of
purchasers of the company's securities from May 10, 2004, to
Feb. 8, 2005.

In May 2006, the plaintiffs agreed to voluntarily dismiss their
claims against the underwriters on the basis that they were
time-barred.

On June 30, 2006, the company and other defendants asked the
court to dismiss the complaint on the grounds that it fails to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted and does not
satisfy the pleading requirements under applicable law.

In July 2007, the court granted Inspire's and the other
defendants' request and dismissed the consolidated action with
prejudice.

On Aug. 24, 2007, the plaintiffs filed an appeal to the U.S.
Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and the company and the
other defendants filed an opposition brief in January 2008.

On Aug. 24, 2007, the plaintiffs filed an appeal to the U.S.
Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.  The plaintiffs filed
their opening appellate brief on Nov. 19, 2007.

The company and the other defendants filed an opposition brief
on Jan. 18, 2008.  The plaintiffs filed their reply on Feb. 22,
2008.

The suit is "Mirco Investors, LLC v. Inspire Pharma, et al.,
Case No. 1:05-cv-00118-WLO," filed before the U.S. District
Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, Judge William
L. Osteen, presiding.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

         Leslie Bruce Mcdaniel, Esq.
         Mcdaniel & Anderson, L.L.P.
         P.O. Box 58186
         Raleigh, NC 27658-8186
         Phone: 919-872-3000
         Fax: 919-790-9273
         e-mail: mcdas@mcdas.com

              - and -

         Kristi Stahnke Mcgregor, Esq.
         (kmcgregor@milbergweiss.com)
         Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman, LLP
         5200 Town Ctr. Cir., Ste. 600
         Boca Raton, FL 33486
         Phone: 561-361-5022
         Fax: 561-367-8400

Representing the defendants are:

         William Mark Conger, Esq.
         (mconger@kilpatrickstockton.com)
         Kilpatrick Stockton, L.L.P.
         1001 W. Fourth St.
         Winston-Salem, NC 27101
         Phone: 336-607-7309
         Fax: 336-734-2633

              - and -

         Barry m. Kaplan, Esq.
         Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
         701 Fifth Ave., Ste. 5100
         Seattle, WA 98104
         Phone: 206-883-2500
         Fax: 206-883-2699


MAPLE LEAF: Settles Canadian Lawsuits Over Tainted Meat Products
----------------------------------------------------------------
Settlements have been reached in class-action lawsuits against
Maple Leaf Foods in connection with a listeriosis outbreak from
tainted meats that resulted in the deaths of 20 Canadians last
summer, Chris Thompson of The Windsor Star reports.

The Sutts Strosberg law firm is one of eight across Canada that
have been involved in the lawsuit, which has been settled out of
court for between CDN25 and CDN27 million.

Specifically, Sutts Strosberg is one of five firms in Ontario
involved in the litigation.  Though it could not say how many
people in Windsor and Essex County were part of the lawsuit,
Sutts Strosberg did point out that in late October 2008 about
two dozen locals had signed on.

Under the settlement, which applies in Ontario, Quebec and
Saskatchewan and will be fully funded by the company's liability
insurers, the estate of someone who died from physical symptoms
of listeriosis is entitled to CDN120,000 for their estate,
CDN35,000 for a surviving spouse, CDN30,000 for each surviving
child and CDN5,000 for surviving siblings and grandchildren,
according to The Windsor Star.

Death is one of eight injury levels outlined in the suit.  The
lowest level is compensation for psychological injuries or
trauma as a result of consuming meats covered by the recall.

Medical documentation and proof of purchase is required for a
payment of CDN2,000 per month up to two months for a total of
CDN4,000.

There are currently about 5,000 plaintiffs nationally in the
case and all will have to apply for compensation in one of the
three provinces approved in the suit.

Court approval for the settlement is expected by February 2009
and claimants could begin receiving settlement checks by next
summer, according to The Windsor Star report.

The national class-action suit originally claimed CDN100-million
for all consumers who purchased or consumed products on the
Maple Leaf Foods recall list, reports The Windsor Star.

The Maple Leaf Foods' Toronto meat-processing plant was shut for
a month when it was determined that its deli meats had been
contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

The Windsor Star reported that listeria monocytogenes is a
bacterium that exists in the environment and can contaminate
meats, fish and vegetables.  It can lead to the development of
listeriosis, associated with flu-like symptoms that can include
nausea, vomiting, cramps, diarrhea, high fever, severe headache,
neck stiffness, constipation, persistent fever and death.

Symptoms usually appear within two to 30 days, but it can take
up to 90 days to get sick after someone has eaten contaminated
food.  The elderly, pregnant women, children and those with weak
immune systems are most at risk.

For more details, visit:

            http://www.mapleleaffoodsclassaction.com


NEW YORK & CO: Faces "Johnson" Privacy Lawsuit in California
------------------------------------------------------------
New York & Company, Inc. is defending the class action captioned
Leslie Johnson v. Lerner New York,  Inc., according its Dec. 11,
2008 Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended Nov. 1, 2008.

On March 25, 2008, a class action claim was filed in the
Superior Court of the State of California for the County of San
Diego, the caption of which has been changed to Leslie Johnson
v. Lerner New York,  Inc.

The class action seeks relief for, among other things,
collection of customers' personal information in a manner that
is allegedly in violation of California law.

The company has denied liability.

The company did not disclose further details regarding the claim
in its Dec. 11, 2008 Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended Nov. 1, 2008.

New York & Co., Inc. is a leading specialty retailer of fashion
oriented, moderately priced women's apparel.  The company
designs and sources its proprietary branded New York & company
TM merchandise sold exclusively through its national network of
retail stores and E-commerce store at www.nyandcompany.com.  The
target customers for the company's merchandise are fashion
conscious, value sensitive women between the ages of 25 and 45.
As of Nov. 1, 2008, the company operated 600 stores in 44
states.


NEW YORK & CO: Faces "Schakow" Labor Volations Lawsuit in Calif.
----------------------------------------------------------------
New York & Company, Inc. is facing a class-action lawsuit filed
against it in the Superior Court of the State of California for
the County of Contra Costa.

The class-action claim was filed on April 29, 2008, under the
caption, "Jannika Schakow v. Lerner New York, Inc. and New York
& company, Inc."

It seeks relief for, among other things, meal and rest periods
allegedly not provided or permitted to certain eligible
employees in California.

The company has denied liability.  No further details regarding
the lawsuit were disclosed by the company in its Dec. 11, 2008
Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended Nov. 1, 2008.

New York & Co., Inc. is a leading specialty retailer of fashion
oriented, moderately priced women's apparel.  The company
designs and sources its proprietary branded New York & company
TM merchandise sold exclusively through its national network of
retail stores and E-commerce store at www.nyandcompany.com.  The
target customers for the company's merchandise are fashion
conscious, value sensitive women between the ages of 25 and 45.  
As of Nov. 1, 2008, the company operated 600 stores in 44
states.


PHILIP MORRIS: Law Firm Files N.Y. Suit Over "Lights" Cigarettes
----------------------------------------------------------------
     GREAT NECK, N.Y., Dec. 18, 2008 -- Parker Waichman Alonso
LLP announces that it has filed suit on behalf of a man who
suffered economic damages as a result of misrepresentations made
about Marlboro Lights cigarettes marketed by Philip Morris USA.

     The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of New York, under the caption, "Tang v. Philip
Morris USA, Inc., Case No. 1:08-cv-05085-SLT-VVP."

     The lead plaintiff, a resident of Flushing, New York, has
purchased and smoked Marlboro Lights cigarettes for many years.   
The lawsuit alleges that, because of misrepresentations made by
Philip Morris USA, the plaintiff and members of the class
purchased Marlboro Lights cigarettes in order to benefit from a
low tar, low nicotine alternative to regular cigarettes, but did
not receive those benefits.

     The lawsuit alleges that as early as 1971, Philip Morris
USA deceptively marketed Marlboro Lights cigarettes as a less
dangerous alternative to regular cigarettes.  The lawsuit
charges that Philip Morris USA falsely claimed that Marlboro
Lights had "Lowered Tar and Nicotine," even though the company
knew those cigarettes would not deliver less tar or nicotine to
the consumer.

     The lawsuit is seeking disgorgement of all monies Philip
Morris USA unjustly received through its unlawful conduct, as
well as an injunction barring Philip Morris from unlawfully
marketing Marlboro Lights.

     "Light" cigarettes are designed in such a way that air is
mixed with and dilutes the smoke drawn through the filter.  This
produces a lower measurement of tar and nicotine for "lights" as
compared to regular cigarettes when undergoing standardized
testing by the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") testing
apparatus -- automated smoking machines used by the tobacco
industry to measure tar and nicotine levels in cigarettes.

     Research has shown, however, that smokers who switch to
"light" cigarettes from regular cigarettes compensate for the
lower nicotine level by inhaling more deeply; taking larger,
more rapid, or more frequent puffs; or by increasing the number
of cigarettes smoked per day.

For more details, contact:

          Andres F. Alonso (aalonso@yourlawyer.com)
          Parker Waichman & Alonso, LLP
          111 Great Neck Road, 1st Fl.
          Great Neck, NY 11021
          Phone: (516) 466-6500
          Fax: 516-466-6665


SOCIETE GENERALE: Ontario Court Approves Portus Suit Settlement  
---------------------------------------------------------------
     TORONTO, Dec. 18, 2008 -- Manulife Securities Investment
Services Inc. (Manulife Securities) announced today that the
Honourable Justice Colin Campbell of the Ontario Superior Court
of Justice approved the settlement of a class-action lawsuit
that Manulife Securities commenced against Société Générale
(Canada) (Société Générale) and related entities on its behalf
and on behalf of all purchasers of certain investment products
of Portus Alternative Asset Management Inc. and related
entities.

     Under the settlement, Société Générale has agreed to
repurchase deposit instruments underlying the Portus investments
that are held by KPMG Inc., the Trustee in bankruptcy of the
Portus estate, prior to their maturity such that the total face
value of the all of the Société Générale deposit instruments
will have been paid upon the completion of the settlement.  

     Under the settlement, Société Générale continues to deny
all of the allegations in the lawsuit and completion of the
settlement is subject to Société Générale's right to terminate
the settlement if the Opt-Out Threshold provided for in the
settlement agreement is exceeded.

     At the December 18th hearing approving the settlement,
Justice Campbell commended Manulife Securities both for its
action in 2005 in making its clients whole by acquiring their
investments and in pursuing the class action law suit in a
reasonable but forceful manner to ultimately achieve a fair and
reasonable settlement for the benefit of all Portus investors.

     Justice Campbell also recognized the efforts of all parties
and their legal counsel in bringing this matter to a
satisfactory resolution.

     Notice of the certification and other materials relating to
the settlement will be mailed to all Portus investors, posted on
the Portus Group web-site and published in the Globe and Mail.
Portus investors do not have to take any steps in order to
participate in the settlement.

     Manulife Securities is a subsidiary of Manulife Financial,
a leading Canadian-based financial services group serving
millions of customers in 19 countries and territories worldwide.
Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia, and
primarily through John Hancock in the United States, the Company
offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products
and wealth management services through its extensive network of
employees, agents and distribution partners.

     Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its
subsidiaries were Cdn$385 billion (US$364 billion) as at
September 30, 2008.


TARRAGON CORP: Continues to Face Consolidated Securities Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Tarragon Corp. is still facing a consolidated securities fraud
class-action lawsuit before the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of New York.

Aside from the company, three of its officers -- William S.
Friedman, chairman of the board of directors and chief executive
officer; Robert P. Rothenberg, president and chief operating
officer; and Erin D. Pickens, executive vice president and chief
financial officer -- as well as Beachwold Partners, L.P. (a
Texas limited partnership composed of William S. Friedman, as
general partner, and members of his family, as limited
partners), and the company's independent registered public
accounting firm, were also named as defendants in the matter.

The consolidated suit, captioned "In re Tarragon Corporation
Securities Litigation, Civil Action No. 07-7972," was originally
filed on Sept. 11, 2007, on behalf of persons who purchased the
Company's common stock between Jan. 5, 2005, and Aug. 9, 2007.


The suit is "In re Tarragon Corporation Securities Litigation,
Civil Action No. 07-7972," filed in the U.S. District Court for
the Southern District of New York, Judge P. Kevin Castel,
presiding.

Representing the plaintiffs is:

          Jeffrey Simon Abraham, Esq. (jabraham@aftlaw.com)
          Abraham Fruchter & Twersky, L.L.P.
          One Penn Plaza, Suite 2805
          New York, NY 10119
          Phone: 212-279-5050
          Fax: 212-279-3655

Representing the defendants is:

          Theresa Ann Foudy, Esq. (tfoudy@cm-p.com)
          Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt and Mosle LLP
          101 Park Avenue South 35th Floor
          New York, NY 10178
          Phone: 212-696-6000
          Fax: 212-697-1559


TENNESSEE VALLEY: Appeal on Junked Global Warming Case Pending
--------------------------------------------------------------
The plaintiffs continue to appeal the dismissal of a global
warming class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of Mississippi against several companies,
including Tennessee Valley Authority

In April 2006, the company was added as a defendant to a class
action lawsuit brought in the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of Mississippi by 14 residents of Mississippi
allegedly injured by Hurricane Katrina.  

The plaintiffs sued seven large oil companies and an oil company
trade association, three large chemical companies and a chemical
trade association, and 31 large companies involved in the mining
and/or burning of coal, including the company and other
utilities.  

The plaintiffs allege that the defendants' greenhouse gas
emissions contributed to global warming and were a proximate and
direct cause of Hurricane Katrina's increased destructive force.  

The plaintiffs are seeking monetary damages among other relief.

The district court dismissed the case, and the plaintiffs have
appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

No further developments on the case were reported by the company
in its Dec. 11, 2008 Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended March 31, 2008.

Tennessee Valley Authority -- http://www.tva.gov-- is a wholly  
owned but self-funded United States government corporation,
mandated by federal charter to supply power.  TVA has 36,914
megawatts of dependable generating capacity.  TVA's power
facilities include 11 fossil plants, 29 hydroelectric dams,
three nuclear plants, a pumped-storage facility, multiple
combustion turbine sites, and 16,000 miles of transmission
lines.  Through its locally-owned distributors, TVA provides
power to serve people across parts of seven states in the
Tennessee Valley region.


UNITEDHEALTH GROUP: Court Gives Preliminary OK to $895M Deal
------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota gave
preliminary approval to an $895 million settlement reached in
the matter, "In re UnitedHealth Group Inc. PSLRA Litigation,
Case No. 06-cv-01691-JMR-FLN"

Chen May Yee of the Star Tribune reports that the money will go
into a settlement fund for class members in a securities fraud
lawsuit led by the California Public Employees' Retirement
System (CalPERS) and the Alaska Plumbing and Pipefitting
Industry Pension Trust.

According to the Star Tribune report, a notice to shareholders
eligible for payouts will be mailed on Dec. 29, 2008 and
published the next week.  The deadline for objections is Feb.
17, 2009 and there is a March 16, 2009 hearing for final
approval.

                         Case Background

On May 5, 2006, the first of seven putative class-action suits
alleging a violation of the federal securities laws was brought
by an individual shareholder against certain of the company's
current and former officers and directors with the U.S. District
Court for the District of Minnesota (Class Action Reporter,
Sept. 5, 2008).

A consolidated amended complaint was filed on Dec. 8, 2006,
consolidating the seven actions into a single case.  The action
is captioned, "In re UnitedHealth Group Inc. PSLRA Litigation,
Case No. 06-cv-01691-JMR-FLN."  The appointed lead plaintiff is
California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS).

The consolidated amended complaint alleges that the defendants,
in connection with the same alleged course of conduct identified
in the shareholder derivative actions, made misrepresentations
and omissions during the period between Jan. 20, 2005, and May
17, 2006, in press releases and public filings that artificially
inflated the price of the company's common stock.

The complaint also asserts that during the class period, certain
defendants sold shares of the company's common stock while in
possession of material, non-public information concerning the
matters set forth in the complaint.

The consolidated amended complaint alleges claims under Sections
10(b), 14(a), 20(a) and 20A of the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Act of 1934 and Sections 11 and 15 of the 1933 Act.  It seeks
unspecified money damages and equitable relief.

On March 18, 2008, the court granted the plaintiffs' motion for
class certification.

On July 2, 2008, the company announced that it had reached an
agreement in principle with CalPERS and the plaintiff class
representative Alaska Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry Pension
Trust, on behalf of themselves and members of the class, to
settle the lawsuit.

The proposed settlement will fully resolve all claims against
the company, all current officers and directors of the company
named in the lawsuit, and certain former officers and directors
of the Company named in the lawsuit.

Under the terms of the proposed settlement, the company has
accrued $895 million to be paid into a settlement fund for the
benefit of class members in two installments.

An installment of $450 million will be deposited into the
settlement fund on the earlier of 10 days following preliminary
court approval of the settlement or Sept. 15, 2008.

The remaining $445 million settlement amount will be deposited
into the settlement fund on the earlier of:

        -- 10 days following final non-appealable court approval
           of the settlement of the claims,

        -- 10 days following execution by the plaintiffs and the
           non-settling defendants of an agreement in principle
           for the settlement of the claims against the non-
           settling defendants, or

        -- Jan. 1, 2009.

In addition to the payment to the settlement fund, the company
will also supplement the substantial changes it has already
implemented in its corporate governance policies with additional
changes and enhancements.

The proposed settlement, which has been approved by the boards
of directors of CalPERS and the company, is subject to
completion of final documentation, and preliminary and final
court approval.

The suit is "In re UnitedHealth Group Inc. PSLRA Litigation,
Case No. 06-cv-01691-JMR-FLN," filed in the U.S. District Court
for the District of Minnesota, Judge James M. Rosenbaum,
presiding.

Representing the plaintiff is:

         Ramzi Abadou, Esq. (ramzia@lerachlaw.com)
         Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP
         655 W. Broadway Ste. 1900
         San Diego, CA 92101
         Phone: 619-231-1058

              -and -

         Carolyn Glass Anderson, Esq. (cga@zimmreed.com)
         Zimmerman Reed, PLLP
         651 Nicollet Mall Ste 501
         Minneapolis, MN 55402-4123
         Phone: 612-341-0400
         Fax: 612-341-0844

Representing the defendants is:

         Gretchen A. Agee, Esq. (agee.gretchen@dorsey.com)
         Dorsey & Whitney LLP
         50 S. 6th St., Ste. 1500
         Minneapolis, MN 55402-1498
         Phone: 612-492-6741
         Fax: 612-340-8856

             - and -

         Charles E. Bachman, Esq. (cbachman@omm.com)
         O'Melveny & Myers LLP
         7 Times Square
         New York, NY 10036
         Phone: 212-408-2421


* Credit Crisis Spur Shareholder Suit Filings To Highest Level
--------------------------------------------------------------
     NEW YORK, Dec 18, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The ongoing
credit crisis and turmoil in the financial sector have fueled a
major surge in securities class action litigation in 2008,
according to a new study from NERA Economic Consulting.

     Filings are projected to reach 267 by year's end, which
would represent a 37% increase over 2007 and the largest annual
total since 2002.  

     Excluding atypical cases (related to the IPO securities
litigation, analyst cases, and mutual fund market timing),
filings in 2008 are on pace to reach a 10-year high.

     According to NERA's study, 2008 Trends in Securities Class
Actions, the credit crisis is the most significant factor
contributing to the increase, continuing a trend that began in
2007.  Of the 255 cases filed as of 14 December 2008, 43% or 110
are related to the credit crisis, nearly tripling from 40 in
2007.

     While filings have steadily increased from 2006 through
2008, median settlement values have remained relatively stable.  
The 2008 median settlement resolved for $7.5 million, below the
2007 median of $9.4 million, and above the 2006 median
settlement of $7.0 million.

     Although it is too early to tell what impact the surge in
credit crisis filings may have on future settlement values,
there are two intriguing hypothetical outcomes, according to
study co-author Dr. Stephanie Plancich.

     Historically, large investor losses have been positively
correlated with a larger settlement size, and the median
investor loss for a credit crisis case in 2008 is almost $3.5
billion--approximately nine times the median amount of a non-
credit crisis case filed this year ($387 million).  This
suggests that average and median settlement sizes could grow in
the future as these cases begin to be resolved.

     "On the other hand," says Dr. Plancich, "defendants with
'deep pockets' are the ones who can afford big settlements.
However, the credit crisis has dramatically shrunk the size of
many defendants' pockets. The financial distress faced by
defendant companies could therefore pull median settlement
values down."

Other Notable Findings of the Study Include:
     
       -- Nearly 50% of all filings in 2008 named a company in
          the finance sector as the primary defendant.

       -- Auction-rate securities cases peaked in the first half
          of 2008, following the massive failure of auctions in
          late February.  The pace of these filings has since
          slowed, but they have not disappeared.

       -- The concentration of filings in the Second and Ninth
          Circuits remains a continuing trend, with a particular
          spike in the Second Circuit in 2008 due to a
          clustering of credit crisis cases in this Circuit.


                   New Securities Fraud Cases


ATRICURE INC: Brower Piven Announces Securities Lawsuit Filing
--------------------------------------------------------------
     BALTIMORE, MD – Dec. 18, 2008 -- Brower Piven, A
Professional Corporation announces that a class action lawsuit
has been commenced in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of Ohio on behalf of purchasers of the
securities of AtriCure, Inc. ("AtriCure" or the "Company")
(NASDAQ: ATRC) during the period between May 10, 2007 and
October 31, 2008, inclusive (the "Class Period").

     The complaint accuses the defendants of violations of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by virtue of the Company's
failure to disclose during the Class Period that its publicly
reported revenue and earnings had been improperly inflated due
to illegal activities and that the Company's financial
statements and results were not prepared in accordance with
Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.

     According to the complaint, on October 31, 2008, after the
Company revealed that the U.S. Department of Justice - Civil
Division was conducting an investigation of the Company's
unlawful activities, the value of AtriCure's stock declined
significantly.

     No class has yet been certified in the above action.

For more details, contact:

          Charles J. Piven, Esq. (hoffman@browerpiven.com)
          Brower Piven
          The World Trade Center-Baltimore
          401 East Pratt Street, Suite 2525
          Baltimore, Maryland 21202
          Phone: 410/332-0030
          Web site: http://www.browerpiven.com


BRITANNIA BULK: Cohen Milstein Files Securities Lawsuit in N.Y.
---------------------------------------------------------------
     WASHINGTON, Dec 18, 2008 -- The law firm Cohen Milstein
Sellers & Toll PLLC ("Cohen Milstein") has filed a lawsuit in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York on behalf of its client and on behalf of purchasers of
Britannia Bulk Holdings, Inc.'s (NYSE: DWT) common stock
acquired pursuant and/or traceable to the Registration Statement
and Prospectus issued in connection with Britannia's Initial
Public Offering completed on or about June 17, 2007 ("IPO").

     The complaint charges the defendants with violations of
Sections 11, 12(a)(2) and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 (the
"Securities Act").  

     Britannia, together with its subsidiaries, provides drybulk
shipping and maritime logistics services in the Baltic region.

     The complaint alleges that the Registration Statements and
Prospectus issued in connection with the IPO were materially
false and misleading, and/or omitted material information
necessary to make the statements made, in light of such material
omissions, not materially false and misleading.

     More specifically, according to the complaint, the Company
failed to disclose and/or misrepresented the following material
adverse facts:

       -- that the Company had entered into Forward Freight
          Agreements ("FFAs"), agreements to pay the difference
          between a current price and the future price of moving
          a product from one location to another, that were far
          larger than necessary to hedge against identifiable
          ship or cargo positions and for transactions
          encountered through the normal course of the Company's
          shipping business;

       -- that the FFAs were not purchased to hedge against
          identifiable ship or cargo positions;

       -- that the FFAs violated the Company's historical hedge
          policy;

       -- that the Company faced greater exposure to falling
          charter rates and reduced demand for drybulk shipping
          services than it had disclosed;

       -- that the Company's internal and financial controls
          were inadequate; and

       -- that the Company's financial results and future
          business prospects would be severely affected by
          losses incurred as a result of these speculative
          contracts.

     The complaint alleges that on October 28, 2008, Britannia
issued a press release announcing that it entered into FFAs that
were not purchased to hedge identifiable ship or cargo
positions.

     The complaint further alleges that the Company admitted
that by not following its historic practices concerning FFAs,
its exposure to falling charter rates and reduced demand for
drybulk shipping services was heightened and that it expected a
significant loss for the three months ended September 30, 2008.

     Finally, the complaint alleges that Britannia announced
that there was a high risk that it would default on a $170
million loan and that it was unlikely that shareholders would
recognize much, if any, value for their shares.

     According to the complaint, on this news, Britannia's stock
fell 86% to $0.16 per share. Additionally, according to the
complaint, on October 29, 2008, Britannia announced that a major
lender had accelerated the terms of the $170 million loan.

     Finally, according to the complaint, the subsidiary that
had secured the loan was placed into administration under United
Kingdom insolvency laws, and the New York Stock Exchange
suspended trading of Britannia stock on October 29, 2008, and
filed a notice of intent with the SEC to delist Britannia stock
on November 21, 2008.

For more details, contact:

          Steven J. Toll, Esq. (stoll@cmht.com)
          Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C.
          1100 New York Avenue, N.W.
          West Tower, Suite 500
          Washington, D.C. 20005
          Phone: (888) 240-0775 or (202) 408-4600


CRYSTALLEX INT'L: Vianale & Vianale Files Securities Lawsuit
------------------------------------------------------------
     BOCA RATON, Fla., Dec. 18, 2008 -- The law firm of Vianale
& Vianale LLP announces that it filed a class action lawsuit on
December 8, 2008 on behalf of purchasers of the common stock of
Crystallex International Corporation (AMEX:KRY) during the
period July 28, 2005 through April 30, 2008 (the "Class
Period").

     The complaint alleges that Crystallex hid the full extent
of the problems the Company was experiencing with the Venezuelan
government in securing the requisite "Impact Renewable Natural
Resources Permit" for the exploration, development and mining of
the Las Cristinas mine in Sifontes, Venezuela.

     As a result of the permit denial, the Company's stock fell
roughly from a closing price of $1.68 on April 29, 2008, to a
closing price of $0.91 on April 30, 2008, on heavy trading
volume.

For more information, contact:

          Kenneth J. Vianale, Esq. (kvianale@vianalelaw.com)
          Julie Prag Vianale. Esq.
          Vianale & Vianale LLP
          2499 Glades Road, Suite 112
          Boca Raton, FL 33431
          Phone: 888-657-9960 (Toll Free)
                 561-392-4750


                            *********

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 research,
collectively face billions of dollars in asbestos-related
liabilities.    

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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 S. Senorin, Stephanie T. Umacob, Gracele D.
Canilao, and Peter A. Chapman, Editors.

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

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

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

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

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