/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/051024.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

            Monday, October 24, 2005, Vol. 7, No. 210


ABLE ENERGY: NJ Court Grants Certification To 2003 Fire Lawsuit
APOLLO GROUP: AZ Court Denies Motion to Dismiss Securities Suit
APPLE COMPUTER: CA Nano Owners Sue Over Easily Damaged Screens
ARISTOCRAT LEISURE: Australian Judge Dismisses Investors' Suit
CALIFORNIA: Attorney General Sues Counties For Disabled Access

COMPUTER ASSOCIATES: NY Court Mulls Motion To Vacate Settlement
CREDIT CARDS: Consumers Get Mysterious Charges From Spam Firms
DEEP VEIN THROMBOSIS: Passengers Take Case To UK House of Lords
DELOITTE TOUCHE: CEO Says Public Expects Too Much From Auditors
E-LOAN INC.: Employees File CA Race, Sex Harassment Suit in CA

FAR EAST BROKERS: Recalls Jack 'O Lanterns Due to Fire Hazard
FLORIDA: SEC Files Suit V. Executives For Fraudulent Offerings
GENERAL MOTORS: Recalls 2,351 Chevrolet Malibus For Crash Hazard   
GOOGLE INC.: Open Library Project Faces Two NY Copyright Suits
ILLINOIS: Two Families Back Out Of Elgin District Bias Lawsuit

LIPMAN ELECTRONIC: Q3 Revenue Warning Triggers Securities Suits
LUFKIN INDUSTRIES: Recalls 988 2002 Trailers Due to Crash Hazard   
MARVEL COMICS: CA Court OKs Settlement of Comic Retailers' Suit
MICROSOFT CORPORATION: MN School Districts to Receive Windfall
NBR ANTITRUST: Lawsuit Settlement Hearing Set December 9, 2005

NEW ORLEANS: 1,800 NO Homeowners Commence Contamination Lawsuit
NEW YORK: 5 Pension Funds Receive $78.87M Share in Worldcom Pact
NISSAN NORTH: Recalls 109,437 Quest Mini Vans For Injury Hazard   
OREGON: Portland Parishioners Comment on Diocese's Bankruptcy
PENNSYLVANIA: Firm Joins Motion Addressing Fraud By AHP Trust

SEIBU RAILWAY: Japan Prosecutors Seek Harsher Penalties V. Exec
SMARTFORCE PLC: Suit Settlement Hearing Set November 21, 2005
TOYOTA MOTOR: Recalls 71,392 Scion TC Vehicles For Injury Hazard   
TREK ALLIANCE: MLM Distributor Faces Recruitment Fraud Charges
U-HAUL INTERNATIONAL: Faces Consumer Fraud Lawsuit in PA Court

VIRGINIA: Judge Refuses To Certify Sexual Harassment Lawsuit
WAL-MART STORES: Appeals Court Revives WI Shopper's Salmon Suit
WAL-MART STORES: CA Court Allows Discrimination Suit to Proceed
WELLS FARGO: FL Couple Commences Lawsuit For Excessive Loan Fees
YORKTON SECURITIES: Inks Settlement For Book4Golf Investor Suit

                  New Securities Fraud Cases

BARRIER THERAPEUTICS: Goldman Scarlato Lodges Fraud Suit in NJ
DANA CORPORATION: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges OH Securities Suit
LIPMAN ELECTRONIC: Glancy Binkow Lodges Securities Suit in NY
TAG-IT CORPORATION: Marc S. Henzel Lodges Securities Suit in GA
TEMPUR-PEDIC INTERNATIONAL: Schiffrin Barroway Files Suit in KY


ABLE ENERGY: NJ Court Grants Certification To 2003 Fire Lawsuit
New Jersey State Court granted class certification to a lawsuit
filed against Able Energy, Inc., styled "Hicks vs. Able Energy,

The suit was commenced after the Company's Newton, New Jersey
facility experienced an explosion and fire on March 14, 2003,
which resulted in the destruction of an office building on the
site, as well as damage to 18 company vehicles and neighboring
properties, an earlier Class Action Reporter story (October
4,2003) states.  Due to the immediate response by employees at
the site, a quick evacuation of all personnel occurred prior to
the explosion, preventing any serious injuries.  The preliminary
results of the company's investigation indicate that the
explosion was an accident that occurred as a result of a
combination of human error, mechanical malfunction, as well as
the failure to follow prescribed state standards for propane
delivery truck loading.

On April 3, 2003, the Company received a Notice of Violation
from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs.  The dollar
amount of the assessed penalty totaled $414,000.  The Company
contested the Notice of Violation as well as the assessed
penalties with the State of New Jersey and is waiting for a
hearing date.

A lawsuit was filed on behalf of property owners who allegedly
suffered property damages as a result of the March 14, 2003
explosion and fire.  The Company's insurance carrier is
defending as related to compensatory damages.

A hearing was held on March 11, 2004 on an application on
certain matters by the Plaintiffs, which were denied.  
Plaintiffs then asked the court to grant class certification to
the suit.  On June 13, 2005, the Court granted a motion
certifying a plaintiff class action which is defined as "All
Persons and Entities that on and after March 14, 2003, residing
within a 1,000 yard radius of Able Oil Company's fuel depot
facility and were damaged as a result of the March 14, 2003
explosion". The claim is limited to economic loss and claims for
personal injury have been specifically excluded from the Class
Certification.  The insurer has settled approximately 2190
claims against the Company.

APOLLO GROUP: AZ Court Denies Motion to Dismiss Securities Suit
The U.S. District Court in Arizona denied a motion to dismiss a
class action securities lawsuit filed against Apollo Group, Inc.
(NASDAQ: APOL), The Phoenix Business Journal reports.

The law firm of Robbins Umeda & Fink, LLP filed the suit, which
was brought on behalf of purchasers of Apollo securities last
year between February 27 and September 14. The suit alleges that
during this time frame Apollo management disseminated materially
false and misleading financial statements in an effort to
inflate its stock price and attract investors.

In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission,
the company said that it denies all claims and that it intends
to defend itself vigorously against the allegations made in the
suit.  Apollo Group is a Phoenix-based for-profit education
provider. Its subsidiaries include the University of Phoenix and
Western International University.

The suit is styled, "Sekuk Global Ent, et al v. Apollo Group
Inc, et al, Case No. 2:04-cv-02147-JAT," filed in the united
States District Court for the District of Arizona, under Judge
James A. Teilborg. Representing the Plaintiff/s are:

     (1) Marc M Umeda of Robbins Umeda & Fink, LLP, 610 W Ash
         St., Ste 1800, San Diego, CA 92101-3350, Phone:
         (619) 525-3990;

     (2) Steven G. Schulman and Sharon M. Lee of Milberg Weiss
         Bershad & Schulman, LLP, 1 Pennsylvania Plaza, 49th
         Floor, New York, NY 10119-0165, Phone: (202) 783-6091;

     (3) William Shannon Lerach, Stephen Richard Basser, Daniel
         E. Bacine and Leonard Barrack of Lerach Coughlin Stoia
         Geller Rudman & Robbins, LLP, 655 W. Broadway, Ste.
         1900, San Diego, CA 92101, Phone: (619) 231-1058 and
         619-230-0800, Fax: 619-230-1874;

     (4) Samuel M. Ward of Barrack Rodos & Bacine, 402 W.
         Broadway, Ste. 850, San Diego, CA 92119, Phone; 619-
         230-0800, Fax: 619-230-1874, E-mail: sward@barrack.com;

     (5) Rosemary Joy Shockman of Shockman Law Office, PC, 8170
         N. 86th Pl., Ste. 102, Scottsdale, AZ 85258, Phone:    
         480-596-1986, Fax: 480-596-2689, E-mail:
         RShock@aol.com; and

Representing the Defendant/s are:

     (1) Joseph G. Adams and James R. Condo of Snell & Wilmer,
         LLP, 1Arizona Ctr., 400 E. Van Buren, Phoenix, AZ
         85004-2202, Phone: 602-382-6207 and 602-382-6000, Fax:
         602-382-6070, E-mail: jgadams@swlaw.com and

     (2) Elizabeth A. Brem and Jared M. Toffer of Gibson Dunn &
         Crutcher, LLP, Jamboree Ctr., 4 Park Plaza, Ste. 1400,
         Irvine, CA 92614-8557, Phone: 949-451-3858 and (949)
         451-3800, Fax: 949-475-4694, E-mail:

     (3) Wayne Warren Smith and Robert E. Palmer of Gibson Dunn
         & Crutcher, LLP, Jamboree Ctr., 4 Park Plaza, Suite
         1400, Irvine, CA 92614-8557, Phone: 949-451-4108 and
         949-451-3800, Fax: 949-475-4709, E-mail:

APPLE COMPUTER: CA Nano Owners Sue Over Easily Damaged Screens
California iPod Nano owners initiated a class action against
Apple Computer, Inc., alleging that the music player's screen
scratches easily, rendering it unreadable, The Red Herring

Consumers angry about what they claim is the iPod nano screen's
tendency to scratch easily filed the lawsuit in the U.S.
District Court in the Northern District of California in San
Jose. The consumers want their money back plus a share of the
company's profits on the music player's sales.

The suit, which was filed on behalf of Nano owner Jason Tomczak
and others who have purchased the device, mentions complaints
about the ultra-slim device that have been festering on blogs
and message boards into the courts. It alleges that Mr. Tomczak
rubbed a paper towel on his nano's face and "that alone left
significant scratches."

In addition, the lawsuit charges that screens on the tiny flash-
based digital audio players "scratch excessively during normal
usage, rendering the screen on the Nanos unreadable, and
violating state consumer protection statutes. and causing
Plaintiff class members to incur loss of use and monetary
damages."   Scratch complaints about the iPod nano, unveiled
September 6, have been the subject of many web message boards,
blogs, and even some news stories, which lawsuit cites.

The plaintiffs, represented by the law firms Hagens Berman Sobol
Shapiro and David P. Meyer & Associates, are asking for damages
including the price paid for the Nanos, statutory and punitive
damages, and attorneys' fees. They are asking for a share of
Nano profits.

The suit is styled, "Tomczak v. Apple Computer, Inc., Case No.
5:05-cv-04244-RS," filed in the United States District Court for
the Northern District of California, under Judge Richard
Seeborg. Representing the Plaintiff/s are: Steve W. Berman of
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, LLP, 1301 Fifth Ave., Suite 2900
Seattle, WA 98101, Phone: 206-623-7292, Fax: 206-623-0594, E-
mail: steve@hbsslaw.com and Elaine T. Byszewski or Lee M. Gordon
of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, LLP, 700 South Flower St., Suite
2940, Los Angeles, CA 90017-4101, Phone: 213-330-7150, Fax:
213-330-7152, E-mail: elaine@hagens-berman.com or

ARISTOCRAT LEISURE: Australian Judge Dismisses Investors' Suit
An Australian judge threw out a class action lawsuit filed by
some investors against Aristocrat Leisure Ltd., the world's
second-largest maker of slot machines, ruling that it wasn't in
the correct form, Bloomberg reports.

In a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange, Sydney-based
Aristocrat said that Justice Margaret Stone of the Federal Court
of Australia held that the action had a "fatal flaw" because
shareholders had to be represented by lawyers Maurice Blackburn

The lawsuit alleges Aristocrat misled shareholders by not
keeping them fully informed before announcing earnings
downgrades that wiped $1.5 billion (A$2 billion) from the
company's value in 2003. The lawsuit claims damages of $86.37
million (A$115 million) for losses when shareholders sold their
stock, according to an Australian newspaper report.

In dismissing the suit, Justice Stone has given the plaintiffs
two weeks to consider how they will respond to her decision,
Bloomberg.com reports.

CALIFORNIA: Attorney General Sues Counties For Disabled Access
California Attorney General Bill Lockyer initiated lawsuits
against Kern and Santa Cruz counties in state court which seek
to compel the counties to comply with state and federal laws
protecting the right of voters with disabilities to access
polling places. The lawsuits stem from lengthy investigations
which found nearly three out of every four Santa Cruz polling
places surveyed had at least one barrier that could make
disabled access especially difficult, hazardous or even
impossible; and that more than nine out of 10 polling sites
surveyed in Kern had an accessibility violation.

"The right to vote is the key to our democracy and it is my
legal duty to protect this fundamental right for all
Californians," Mr. Lockyer said. "Extensive surveys conducted
over the course of four separate elections revealed that
barriers impeding or blocking disabled access to Santa Cruz and
Kern county polls were pervasive and are unlikely to be fully
corrected without strong action. I hope these lawsuits will help
ensure that all California voters, including the disabled, are
able to freely and equally exercise their right to vote."

The two lawsuits allege that by failing to ensure that the
polling sites they select satisfy applicable disabled access
standards, local election authorities have violated the federal
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and state elections law.
Specifically, the ADA requires that polling sites be readily
accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities on
election day. Under California law, local elections officials
are authorized to select polling places of their own choosing,
so long as they comply with standards issued by the Secretary of
State, which require that they be accessible to the disabled.

During the March and November statewide elections in 2002, the
Attorney General's Office, with the assistance of the
Independent Living Centers, conducted informal surveys of
randomly selected polling sites throughout California to assess
compliance with accessibility laws. These informal surveys
revealed that Kern and Santa Cruz counties both appeared to have
an exceptionally large number of disability access violations at
their polling sites.

After discussing the results of the 2002 surveys with county
officials, the Attorney General monitored the March and November
2004 statewide elections in Kern and Santa Cruz counties and
found significant violations.

In Santa Cruz, the Attorney General surveyed 98 of the 135
polling sites selected for the November 2004 election and found
that 72 percent of the sites surveyed had at least one "high-
priority barrier" that could make access especially difficult,
hazardous, or even impossible for disabled voters. At least
forty-one percent had two or more high-priority barriers and
approximately 22 percent had three or more such barriers. In
March of 2004, each site surveyed averaged more than four
violations per polling site. Some of the violations found in
Santa Cruz included polling sites with no wheelchair accessible
paths of travel, steep ramps as much as four-times the legal
slope limit, improperly sized disabled parking spaces, non-
compliant door thresholds and door widths that were too narrow,
and ramps without handrails or edge protections.

In Kern County, the Attorney General surveyed 83 of the county's
estimated 146 polling sites during the November 2004 election.
The survey revealed at least one violation at 94 percent of all
the sites surveyed, with an average of 5.5 violations per site.
Among the violations discovered at that election were polling
sites with no wheelchair accessible path of travel, improperly
sized disabled parking spaces, non-compliant door thresholds,
and ramps without handrails or curbs or that were too narrow.

The lawsuits were filed only after exhaustive discussions over
the last three years failed to result in an agreement to insure
improved disabled access and compliance with existing law for
future elections. In fact, recent negotiations with Santa Cruz,
led by Assemblyman John Laird, remained active through much of
last week.

"Assemblyman Laird worked hard to mediate a solution on behalf
of Santa Cruz and the disabled community, and I greatly
appreciate his efforts."

The Attorney General's lawsuits were filed in the Superior
Courts of Santa Cruz and Kern counties, respectively. The suits
request that a court-enforceable order be issued requiring each
county to select polling places that comply with existing law
for future elections beginning with the June 2006 election.

COMPUTER ASSOCIATES: NY Court Mulls Motion To Vacate Settlement
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of New
York has yet to rule on the motion to vacate final order and
dismissal related to the settlement of the stockholder and
derivative litigation filed against Computer Associates
International, Inc. and certain of its officers.

The Company, its former Chairman and CEO Charles B. Wang, its
former Chairman and CEO Sanjay Kumar, and its Executive Vice
President Russell M. Artzt were defendants in a number of
stockholder class action lawsuits, the first of which was filed
July 23, 1998, alleging that a class consisting of all persons
who purchased the Company's common stock during the period from
January 20, 1998 until July 22, 1998 were harmed by misleading
statements, misrepresentations, and omissions regarding the
Company's future financial performance. These cases, which
sought monetary damages, were consolidated into a single action
in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of
New York, the proposed class was certified, and discovery was

Additionally, in February and March 2002, a number of
stockholder lawsuits were filed in the Federal Court against the
Company and Mr. Wang, Mr. Kumar, Ira H. Zar, the Company's
former Chief Financial Officer, and in one instance, Mr. Artzt.
The lawsuits generally alleged, among other things, that the
Company made misleading statements of material fact or omitted
to state material facts necessary in order to make the
statements, in light of the circumstances under which they were
made, not misleading in connection with the Company's financial
performance. Each of the named individual plaintiffs in the 2002
lawsuits sought to represent a class consisting of purchasers of
the Company's common stock and call options and sellers of put
options for the period from May 28, 1999, through February 25,
2002.  The 2002 cases were consolidated, and the Company's
former independent auditor, Ernst & Young LLP, was named as a

In addition, in May 2003, a class action lawsuit captioned "John
A. Ambler v. Computer Associates International, Inc., et al."
was filed in the Federal Court. The complaint in this matter, a
purported class action on behalf of the Computer Associates
Savings Harvest Plan (the CASH Plan) and the participants in,
and beneficiaries of the CASH Plan for a class period running
from March 30, 1998, through May 30, 2003, asserted claims of
breach of fiduciary duty under the federal Employee Retirement
Income Security Act (ERISA).  The named defendants were the
Company, the Company's Board of Directors, the CASH Plan, the
Administrative Committee of the CASH Plan, and the following
current or former employees and/or directors of the Company:

     (1) Charles B. Wang;

     (2) Sanjay Kumar;

     (3) Ira Zar;

     (4) Russell M. Artzt;

     (5) Peter A. Schwartz;

     (6) Charles P. McWade; and

     (7) various unidentified alleged fiduciaries of the CASH

The complaint alleged that the defendants breached their
fiduciary duties by causing the CASH Plan to invest in Company
securities and sought damages in an unspecified amount.

A derivative lawsuit was filed against certain current and
former directors of the Company, based on essentially the same
allegations as those contained in the February and March 2002
stockholder lawsuits discussed above. This action was commenced
in April 2002 in Delaware Chancery Court, and an amended
complaint was filed in November 2002. The defendants named in
the amended complaints were the Company as a nominal defendant,
current Company directors Mr. Artzt, Lewis S. Ranieri, and
Alfonse M. D'Amato, and former Company directors Ms. Shirley
Strum Kenny and Mr. Wang, Mr. Kumar, Willem de Vogel, Richard
Grasso, and Roel Pieper.

The derivative suit alleged breach of fiduciary duties on the
part of all the individual defendants and, as against the
current and former management director defendants, insider
trading on the basis of allegedly misappropriated confidential,
material information. The amended complaints sought an
accounting and recovery on behalf of the Company of an
unspecified amount of damages, including recovery of the profits
allegedly realized from the sale of common stock of the Company.

On August 25, 2003, the Company announced the settlement of all
outstanding litigation related to the above-referenced
stockholder and derivative actions as well as the settlement of
an additional derivative action filed in the Federal Court in
connection with the settlement.  As part of the class action
settlement, which was approved by the Federal Court in December
2003, the Company agreed to issue a total of up to 5.7 million
shares of common stock to the shareholders represented in the
three class action lawsuits, including payment of attorneys'
fees.  In January 2004, approximately 1.6 million settlement
shares were issued along with approximately $3.3 million to the
plaintiffs' attorneys for attorney fees and related expenses. In
March 2004, approximately 0.2 million settlement shares were
issued to participants and beneficiaries of the CASH Plan.  On
October 8, 2004, the Federal Court signed an order approving the
distribution of the remaining 3.8 million settlement shares,
less administrative expenses.  The order was amended in December

The Company issued the remaining 3.8 million settlement shares
in December 2004.  Of the 3.8 million settlement shares,
approximately 51,000 were used for the payment of administrative
expenses in connection with the settlement, approximately 76,000
were liquidated for cash distributions to class members entitled
to receive a cash distribution and the remaining settlement
shares were distributed to class members entitled to receive a
distribution of shares.

In settling the derivative suit, which settlement was also
approved by the Federal Court in December 2003, the Company
committed to maintain certain corporate governance practices.
Under the settlement, the Company and the individual defendants
were released from any potential claim by shareholders relating
to accounting-related or other public statements made by the
Company or its agents from January 1998 through February 2002
(and from January 1998 through May 2003 in the case of the
employee ERISA action), and the individual defendants were
released from any potential claim by the Company or its
shareholders relating to the same matters.  Ernst & Young LLP is
not a party to the settlement.

The settlement was reviewed by the independent directors who
chair the Corporate Governance, Audit, and Compensation and
Human Resource Committees of the Board of Directors as well as
by all non-interested, independent directors who were not named
in any of the suits.  It was also approved by the Board's
independent directors as a whole.

On October 5, 2004 and December 9, 2004, four purported Company
shareholders filed motions to vacate the Order of Final Judgment
and Dismissal entered by the Federal Court in December 2003 in
connection with the settlement of the derivative action. These
motions primarily seek to void the releases that were granted to
the individual defendants under the settlement.  On December 7,
2004, a motion to vacate the Order of Final Judgment and
Dismissal entered by the Federal Court in December 2003 in
connection with the settlement of the 1998 and 2002 stockholder
lawsuits discussed above was filed by Sam Wyly and certain
related parties.  The motion seeks to reopen the settlement to
permit the moving shareholders to pursue individual claims
against certain present and former officers of the Company.  The
motion states that the moving shareholders do not seek to file
claims against the Company.  These motions have been fully
briefed.  On June 14, 2005, the Federal Court granted movants'
motion to be allowed to take limited discovery prior to the
Federal Court's ruling on these motions. No hearing date is
currently set for the motions.

The suit is styled "Barroway, et al. v. Computer Associates
International, Inc., et al., case no. 98-CV-04839," filed in the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of New
York, under Judge Thomas C. Platt.  Representing the plaintiffs
are Milberg, Weiss, Bershad, Hynes & Lerach LLP (San Diego, CA),
600 West Broadway, 1800 One America Plaza, San Diego, CA, 92101,
Phone: 800.449.4900, E-mail: support@milberg.com; and Stull,
Stull & Brody (New York), 6 East 45th Street, New York, NY,
10017, Phone: 310.209.2468, Fax: 310.209.2087, E-mail:
SSBNY@aol.com.  Representing the Company are:

     (1) Bertrand C. Sellier, Proskauer Rose LLP 1585 Broadway,
         New York, NY 10036 Phone: 212-969-3165, Fax: 212-969-
         2900, E-mail: Bsellier@proskauer.com  

     (2) David E. Nachman, Piper Rudnick, 1251 Avenue of the
         Americas, New York, NY 10020 USA, Phone: 212-835-6000

     (3) John P. McEntee, Farrell Fritz, PC, Eab Plaza, West
         Tower-14th Floor Uniondale, NY 11550-0120 USA, Phone:
         516-227-0700, Fax: 516-336-2219, E-mail:

     (4) Caroline S. Press, Solomon, Zauderer, Ellenhorn,
         Frischer & Sharp, 45 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY
         1011 USA, Phone: 212-956-3700

CREDIT CARDS: Consumers Get Mysterious Charges From Spam Firms
Consumers nationwide are receiving unauthorized charges to their
Visa and MasterCard accounts within the last thirty days, from
mysterious companies like "Digital Age Cyprus," "Trouble Bubble
LLC" and "Burdett Inc.," consumeraffairs.com reports.

Cardholders have flooded online forums with news of the charges,
often referred to as "spam charges," based on the idea that the
sheer number of charges, even in small amounts, can generate a
profit for fraudsters and hackers. The amounts are small enough
that many cardholders will pay them without thinking about it.

The cardholders received charges such as $24.99 charge from
"Digital Age Cyprus," $7.95 or $9.95 from "Trouble Bubble LLC"
and "Burdett Inc."  Many of the charges appeared on statements
for cards that haven't been used in months.

Brian Morris, a computer and networking consultant, first became
aware of the scam when he noticed a charge for Digital Age
Cyprus on his MBNA MasterCard on September 28th.  "I keep a very
close watch on my credit card activity and knew that I did not
authorize that charge," Mr. Morris told consumeraffairs.com, "so
I used Google to find the forum on Broadbandreports.com where
many others reported of being hit with this charge."

Mr. Morris believes victims of the fraud are at a disadvantage
because of the lack of coverage the incidents are receiving in
major media outlets.  Victims of the fraud have flooded bulletin
boards and blogs with news of each incident, advice, and
suggestions. Information regarding the source of the spam
charges is still unclear, but speculation centers around a
connection to the CardSystems data breach in June 2005.

Forty million cardholders' accounts were exposed to identity
thieves, and of those cardholders, 263,000 actually had their
information stolen.  Although it would seem like common sense
for card companies to notify cardholders in the event of a
crisis such as the CardSystems breach, a federal judge
disagreed, ruling that it was the responsibility of the issuing
bank to offer warnings.  The ruling came as a setback to a class
action lawsuit filed against Visa, MasterCard, and CardSystems
for the potential damage from the theft.  Many of the affected
cardholders expressed displeasure at how their banks have
handled - or not handled - the incidents.

"Making financial institutions responsible for losses due to
phishing and identity theft is the only way to deal with the
problem. And not just the direct financial losses -- they need
to make it less painful to resolve identity theft issues,
enabling people to truly clear their names and credit
histories," he wrote, consumeraffairs.com reports.

DEEP VEIN THROMBOSIS: Passengers Take Case To UK House of Lords
British Airways passengers who suffered from "economy class
syndrome" are set to file their claim for compensation to the
House of Lords, the Associated Press reports.

Deep-vein thrombosis, or DVT, is a condition in which a blood
clot forms in the deep veins of the legs.  It can be fatal when
part of the clot breaks off and blocks a blood vessel in the
lungs. The condition has been linked to long-haul flights and
other situations in which people sit still for a long time.  The
British government issued an advisory in 2001 recommending
passengers on long flights get up and walk around to avoid
developing blood clots in their calves.

The passengers will ask Britain's highest court of appeal to
rule on whether the potentially fatal blood clots linked to air
travel can be considered accidents under the Warsaw Convention.  
The convention covers compensation for death and injury during
air travel.  A ruling in favor of the claimants would lead to a
class action against 18 airlines, including British Airways,
Qantas, Airtours International Airways, Virgin Atlantic Airways
and Continental Airlines, the Associated Press reports.

In hearings in Britain's High Court in December 2002 and the
Court of Appeal in July 2003, the airlines denied liability for
the condition. They successfully argued that DVT was not caused
by an "unexpected or unusual event" external to the passenger --
the definition of an accident under the 1929 convention, the
Associated Press reports.

British Airways has agreed to waive costs for the case. Usually
under the British judicial system, the losing side is
responsible for the legal costs incurred by the winner -- a
factor which can dissuade claimants from pursuing legal action.

An airline spokesman told AP BA was confident the House of Lords
would uphold the previous decision in favor of the airlines.

DELOITTE TOUCHE: CEO Says Public Expects Too Much From Auditors
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Chief Executive Officer William Parrett
says the investing public is demanding more from auditors than
they can possibly deliver, the Globe and Mail reports.

The firm, one of the world's Big Four accounting firms, faces
several high-profile lawsuits, which were filed against
underwriters since Arthur Andersen LLP was forced out of
business in 2002, as a result of the failure of its auditors to
warn the public of shenanigans at Enron Corporation.  An example
is the class action filed against the firm by investors in the
near collapse of Italian dairy giant Parmalat Finanziaria SpA.  
The investors allege that the firm aided the dairy company's

Recently, two partners from the firm's Italian branch were
indicted along with several Parmalat executives and bankers for
allegedly conspiring to hide nearly $17-billion (U.S.) in debt
in an intricate web of offshore companies, the Globe and Mail
reports.  Earlier this month, Deloitte was embarrassed by the
Public Company Accounting Oversight Board - a monitoring agency
set up by the U.S. Congress - when it reviewed 125 recent audits
by the company and criticized eight, including four in which
companies had to restate earnings.

In an interview with Globe and Mail in his Manhattan office, Mr.
Parrett acknowledged the industry, including Deloitte, has had
to improve its performance in recent years, both in terms of the
rigor of its audits and in eliminating any potential conflict of
interest between auditing and consulting work.  However, he
asserted that there are limits to what an auditor can uncover,
and those limits often fall far short of what investors expect
from the process.

"We've always had this expectation gap between what the auditor
really can do and what the investing public wants the auditor to
do, or wants the audit to represent," he told the Globe and
Mail.  He said investors expect a level of detail that audits
are not designed for, and expect a certification to assure the
company's financial health when it simply is meant to attest to
the accuracy of the financial statements, based on information
provided by the company.

Mr. Parrett added that auditors are now being held responsible
for failing to detect outright fraud perpetrated by several
company insiders who go to great lengths to hide their illicit
activity.  He gave the Parmalat scandal as an example of such
"collusive fraud."  "It's really extremely difficult for the
auditor to find a collusive fraud. We fundamentally were on top
of this issue but it had been going on for a number of years,"
he told the Globe and Mail.

Mr. Parrett added that contrary to public impression, auditing
work requires judgment calls in which different professionals
can reach different conclusions -- including on items as
fundamental as earnings per share.

The demands of the post-Enron age have fundamentally altered the
business landscape for accounting firms like Deloitte, which
spans the globe with member firms in 148 countries including
Canada, the Globe and Mail reports.  After years of
consolidation, the demise of Arthur Andersen left only four
major, global firms, Deloitte, KPMG LLP, Ernst & Young LLP, and
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.  As a result of Enron and other
corporate scandals, U.S. corporations are required under the
Sarbanes-Oxley Act to allocate more resources to auditing, with
senior corporate executives personally responsible for
certifying the results.

The increased emphasis on accounting rigor would suggest a
windfall for the Big Four auditing firms. But, while business is
good, Mr. Parrett told the Globe and Mail the industry is facing
a shortage of qualified people and has had to shift resources
from other areas of practice.

"I don't think there was an economic windfall for the firms," he
said. "On balance, I wish we could all have forgotten about the
last five years because it's been negative for everybody."

The CEO said his firm has been working hard to address the
shortcomings that have been identified by investors and
regulators.  It has appointed an ethics officer in each of its
member national companies, which are separately incorporated
partnerships. It has beefed up audit teams, required deeper
investigation to confirm results, and expanded its use of review
teams to check the initial audits.  "We need to continue to be
diligent around our procedures and continue to focus on doing a
better job to meet these expectations," he told the Globe and

E-LOAN INC.: Employees File CA Race, Sex Harassment Suit in CA
The San Francisco law firm Kerr & Wagstaffe, LLP, initiated a
racial and sexual orientation harassment lawsuit against online
consumer lending company E-Loan, Inc. (Nasdaq: EELN), which
currently is in the process of being acquired by Popular, Inc.

The lawsuit, Maraquita Banks v. E-Loan, Inc., RG05234310, was
filed in the Alameda County Superior Court on behalf of five
former and current E-Loan automobile loan underwriters who
allegedly were subjected to a hostile work environment resulting
from a barrage of racial slurs, insults and jokes by a
supervisor who was transferred from E-Loan's office in Florida
to its headquarters in Pleasanton. Despite numerous complaints
to E-Loan's management, the company allegedly did nothing to
correct the problem.

"The law entitles employees to work in an environment that is
free of discrimination and harassment -- where they are not
called names or humiliated because of who they are," said Keith
Fong, one of the attorneys handling the case on behalf of the
plaintiffs. "It is inconceivable that in 2005 a publicly-traded
company would allow this kind of behavior to go unchecked,
particularly in a company that is based in the Bay Area."

The lawsuit alleges that E-Loan violated the anti-discrimination
provisions of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act,
the California law that forbids discrimination in the workplace.
The complaint also includes claims that E-Loan improperly
classified the plaintiffs so that the company could avoid paying
them overtime and giving them their breaks and meal periods as
required by law.

For more details, contact Keith Fong of Kerr & Wagstaffe, LLP,
Phone: 415-371-8500, E-mail: fong@kerrwagstaffe.com, Web site:

FAR EAST BROKERS: Recalls Jack 'O Lanterns Due to Fire Hazard
In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
(CPSC), Cracker Barrel Old Country Storer of Lebanon, Tennessee
is voluntarily recalling about 3,700 Miniature Musical Bells
Christmas Trees.

According to the Company, the tree could overheat and melt,
posing a fire hazard. Two overheating incidents resulted in
trees melting. No injuries or property damage have been

These battery-operated Miniature Musical Bells Christmas Trees
have the item number 233010. The tree is about 18-inches high
and 8-inches wide with three tiers of bells and a lighted star
at the top. Each tree has "Made in China" embossed on the
bottom. The trees use eight "AA" 1.5-volt batteries.

Manufactured in China, the trees were sold at all Cracker Barrel
Old Country Storer locations nationwide from August 2005 through
September 2005 for $19.99.

Consumers should stop using these trees immediately and contact
Cracker Barrel Old Country Storer for instructions on receiving
a full refund.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, call Cracker
Barrel Old Country Store at (888) 296-2721 between 9 a.m. and 9
p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit their Web site:

FLORIDA: SEC Files Suit V. Executives For Fraudulent Offerings
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil complaint
in the United States District Court for the Middle District of
Florida, Tampa Division, against James Lamar McMichael and his
wife, Nancy McMichael arising out of their roles in connection
with the unregistered and fraudulent securities offerings by
PhyMed Partners, Inc. and Healthcare Preferred Capital, Inc.

According to the Commission's complaint, the McMichaels
orchestrated, directed, and controlled the fraudulent and
unregistered offer and sale of approximately $33 million of
securities issued by PhyMed and Healthcare Preferred from
October 1998 until at least May 2003.  The complaint alleges
that PhyMed and Healthcare Preferred, at the direction of the
McMichaels, offered and sold the securities to more than 500
investors in at least 23 states.  The complaint alleges that
PhyMed developed and operated pain management clinics and
Healthcare Preferred claimed to be a financial services

The Commission's complaint alleges that in connection with the
PhyMed securities offerings, the McMichaels made
misrepresentations and omissions of material fact to investors
concerning, among other things, the likely investment returns,
the use of investor funds, and risks of the investment.  The
complaint also alleges that in connection with the related
Healthcare Preferred securities offerings, the McMichaels made
misrepresentations and omissions of material fact to investors
concerning, among other things, Healthcare Preferred's misuse of
investor funds by transferring the funds to PhyMed and the
McMichaels. According to the complaint, both PhyMed and
Healthcare Preferred are now defunct and investors collectively
have lost over $20 million. The Commission's complaint seeks
permanent injunctions, an order of disgorgement of ill-gotten
gains, and an order of civil money penalties against the
McMichaels for violating the antifraud and registration
provisions of Sections 5(a), 5(c) and 17(a) of the Securities
Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The action is styled, SEC v.
James Lamar McMichael and Nancy A. McMichael, U.S. D.C., M.D.
Fla., Tampa Division, Civil Action No. 8:05-cv-01937-RAL-TGW

GENERAL MOTORS: Recalls 2,351 Chevrolet Malibus For Crash Hazard   
General Motors Corporation in cooperation with the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Office of Defects
Investigation (ODI) is voluntarily recalling about 2,351 units
of 2006 CHEVROLET / MALIBUS due to crash hazard.

According to the ODI, certain vehicles fail to conform to the
requirements of Federal Motor Safety Standard No. 110, "Tire
Selection and Rims." The tire label specified the 15-inch spare
for the front disc/rear drum brake system and it should specify
a 16-inch spare tire size. A misprinted label would lead to
improper vehicle loading specifications or tire inflation, which
could result in a tire failure, increasing the risk of a crash.

As a remedy, dealers will mail to consumers the corrected label.
The manufacturer did not provide an owner notification schedule.

For more details, contact Chevrolet, Phone: 1-800-630-2438OR OR
the NHTSA Auto Safety Hotline: 1-888-327-4236 or 1-800-424-9153,
Web site: http://www.safecar.gov.

GOOGLE INC.: Open Library Project Faces Two NY Copyright Suits
Google Inc. faces two massive copyright infringement class
actions filed in the United States District Court in Manhattan,
New York, challenging its Google Print Library Project, the
National Post reports.

The Author's Guild, a Lincoln biographer, a children's book
author, and a former Poet Laureate of the United States filed
the suit against the project, which allows people to use the
Internet to search for excerpts of books.  Through the program,
the search engine and advertising giant is reproducing works
still under the protection of copyright as well as public domain
works from the collection of the University of Michigan's

The suit alleges that the unauthorized scanning and copying of
books amounts to massive copyright infringement at the expense
of the rights of individual writers.  "This is a plain and
brazen violation of copyright law," said Authors Guild president
Nick Taylor in a statement on the group's website
(http://www.authorsguild.org). "It's not up to Google or anyone  
other than the authors, the rightful owners of these copyrights,
to decide whether and how their works will be copied."

The individual plaintiffs are Herbert Mitgang, a former New York
Times editorial writer and the author of numerous fiction and
nonfiction books, including "The Fiery Trial: A Life of
Lincoln," published by Viking Press; Betty Miles, the award-
winning author of many works for children and young adults, and
the co-author of "Just Think," published by Alfred A. Knopf; and
Daniel Hoffman, the author and editor of many volumes of poetry,
translation, and literary criticism, including "Barbarous
Knowledge: Myth in the Poetry of Yeats, Graves and Muir" and
"Striking the Stones," both published by Oxford University
Press. Mr. Hoffman was the 1973-74 Poet Laureate of the United

On October 19,2005, The Association of American Publishers (AAP)
also filed a lawsuit against the Company, after lengthy
discussions broke down between AAP and Google's top management
regarding the copyright infringement implications of the Google
Print Library Project.  

The AAP was among the first to object to the project by sending
a letter in May this year to the Company.  In the letter, the
association posed a series of detailed questions to Google about
the project and its scope, given that the company is making a
copy of books still in copyright without explicit permission
from each publisher, creating the potential for financial harm
to its members.

"The fact is Google Print for Libraries appears to be built on a
gigantic fair use claim, which we think is questionable at
best," Peter Givler, executive director of the Association of
American University Presses told CNET News.  "If the fair use is
not valid, it could be a gigantic copyright violation. There are
fundamental questions about copyright that need to be answered."

In a statement published on their website
(http://www.publishers.org),the AAP said "as a way of  
accomplishing the legal use of copyrighted works in the Print
Library Project, AAP proposed to Google that they utilize the
well-known ISBN numbering system to identify works under
copyright and secure permission from publishers and authors to
scan these works. Since the inception of the ISBN system in
1967, a unique ISBN number has been placed on every book,
identifying each book and linking it to a specific publisher.   
Google flatly rejected this reasonable proposal."

The AAP suit, which seeks a declaration by the court that Google
commits infringement when it scans entire books covered by
copyright and a court order preventing it from doing so without
permission of the copyright owner, was filed on behalf of five
major publisher members of AAP:

     (1) The McGraw-Hill Companies,

     (2) Pearson Education,

     (3) Penguin Group (USA),

     (4) Simon & Schuster and

     (5) John Wiley & Sons

The suit has the strong backing of the publishing industry and
was filed following an overwhelming vote of support by the 20-
member AAP Board which is elected by, and represents, the
Association's more than 300 member publishing houses, AAP said
in their statement.

"The publishing industry is united behind this lawsuit against
Google and united in the fight to defend their rights," said AAP
President and former Colorado Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder.
"While authors and publishers know how useful Google's search
engine can be and think the Print Library could be an excellent
resource, the bottom line is that under its current plan Google
is seeking to make millions of dollars by freeloading on the
talent and property of authors and publishers."

The Company has indicated its intention to go forward with the
unauthorized copying of copyrighted works beginning on November
1.  In a company blog posting
authors-guild.html), Vice President of Product Management Susan
Wojcicki defended the project.  She wrote, ".we regret that this
group chose to sue us over a program that will make millions of
books more discoverable to the world--especially since any
copyright holder can exclude their books from the program .
Google respects copyright. The use we make of all the books we
scan through the Library Project is fully consistent with both
the fair use doctrine under U.S. copyright law and the
principles underlying copyright law itself, which allow
everything from parodies to excerpts in book reviews."
Last month, the Company said it would temporarily halt its book
scanning in the project in response to the criticisms. It said
at the time that it also was making changes to its Google Print
Publisher Program, in which books are scanned at the request of
the publisher so people can view excerpts, CNET News reports.

ILLINOIS: Two Families Back Out Of Elgin District Bias Lawsuit
Two families withdrew as plaintiffs in a discrimination class
action filed against the Elgin Area School District U-46 in
Illinois, just as attorneys were set to seek class certification
for the suit, The Daily Herald reports.

The suit alleges U-46 illegally segregates bilingual students
from English-speaking children and provides Latino and black
students with less academic stability than their white
classmates.  Four families were initially named as plaintiffs in
the suit.  

The two remaining plaintiffs - one Latino and one black family -
will ask the court to grant class certification, allowing every
Latino and black child in the district who sat in a bilingual
class in the past three years to join the suit.  The attorneys
for the plaintiffs said that halving the plaintiff class did not
shake the legal footing of the case.

"The question is not how many named plaintiffs you have. It
doesn't bear on the class issue in the case. Two can go
forward," attorney Carol Rose Ashley of Chicago's Futterman and
Howard law firm, which represents the families, told The Daily
Herald.  "It's the commonality of the case."

District attorneys offered a different view.  "We think there's
more than a little significance to that. That's literally half
the plaintiffs," Patricia Whitten, an attorney with Chicago's
Franczek Sullivan law firm that represents the district, told
The Herald.  "It, of course, only leaves two families to
represent the classes they are seeking."

Ms. Whitten said district attorneys plan to fight efforts to
make the lawsuit a class action case. A reply is expected next

Many more than the two families remaining in the lawsuit, their
attorneys said, were wronged by the district's neighborhood
boundary plan last year. A class action would remedy that,
corralling everyone affected together, The Herald reports.

Yet many Elgin civic leaders fear class action could signal the
loss of local control over the lawsuit. They fear Elgin could
fall into the downward spiral that gripped Rockford schools for
12 years.  "In class action, I think most people fear it will be
that point of no return," the Rev. Nathaniel Edmond of Elgin's
Second Baptist Church told the Herald.  "I'm afraid the
certification of class action is going to divide this community,
and it will take an awful long time to unite it again."

Such concerns may be well founded, legal experts said.  "It does
take decision-making from local authorities and puts it in the
court's hands," Howard Prossnitz, an attorney specializing in
class action lawsuits with the Chicago's Birndorf & Birndorf law
firm, told the Herald.

"If a class action is settled," Mr. Prossnitz said, "it has to
be settled with the entire class, not just the named plaintiffs.
.You have a lot more flexibility in settling individually."

Whether U.S. Judge Robert Gettleman grants class action status -
a decision that could take months - will not deter Latino
leaders in Elgin from trying to jumpstart talks between
attorneys on both sides of the legal fray.  "Class action,"
George Irizarry, who heads Elgin's Latino Political Action Team,
told the Herald "to me, that doesn't change anything. I'm just
interested in seeing if I can get these parties to the table and
maybe just take a few steps to get a resolution without having
long, drawn-out litigation."

LIPMAN ELECTRONIC: Q3 Revenue Warning Triggers Securities Suits
The second straight revenue warning that Lipman Electronic
Engineering released for Q3 2005 triggered a flood of class
action motions, The Ha'aretz reports.

Recently a deluge of law firms, including: Tel Aviv-based Jacob
Sabo, Federmann & Sherwood of Oklahoma, Pomerantz Haudek Block
Grossman & Gross of New York, Schatz & Nobel of Hartford,
Connecticut, Glancy Binkow & Goldberg of Los Angeles, and
Charles J. Piven of Baltimore, stated intentions to sue the
Israeli firm for allegedly misrepresenting the state of business
at its British subsidiary Dione.

Charles J. Piven told Ha'aretz that the case, whose class are
investors who bought Lipman stock on Nasdaq or the Tel Aviv
Stock Exchange between October 4, 2004 and September 27, 2005,
inclusive, is being handled in the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of New York.

Since last week, solicitations for class actions were appearing,
all of them based on the claim that Lipman did not disclose its
business' true situation, and therefore, artificially kept its
share price high. The plaintiffs in these cases are demanding
compensation for losses they accuse the company of causing them.

The class though has yet to be certified, and investors
belonging to the class may motion the court by December 12, 2005
to serve as lead plaintiff.

According to the Jacob Sabo law firm, "Among other things,
plaintiff claims that defendants' material omissions and
dissemination of materially false and misleading statements
caused Lipman's stock price to become artificially inflated,
inflicting damages on investors."

"The Complaint alleges that defendants issued public statements
which fraudulently created a false impression concerning the
Company's business operations and prospects following the
acquisition of Dione, a United Kingdom-based supplier of `smart
card' payment systems."

The Tel Aviv law firm continued that Rosh Ha'ayin-based Lipman
had expected the Dione acquisition to be earnings accretive
within a year, and during the period in question the company
"touted the Dione acquisition." However, the bottom line was
that Dione under performed compared to expectations.

Lawyers alleged that during the class period, Lipman's fog
enabled it to conduct a secondary offering, getting $29.75 per
share in May 2005.

On September 28, Lipman admitted that "weaker-than-expected
performance of Dione" forced it to cut its 2005 earnings
estimates from $1.39-1.42 per share to $0.88-0.98 per share. It
also fired Dione CEO Shaun Gray on the spot, and admitted to
expecting a non-cash impairment charge relating to goodwill and
other intangible assets for the year. As a result of the
company's September disclosure, investors made their feelings
clear, and Lipman stock sank 22 percent in one day.

Lipman is a worldwide provider of electronic payment systems,
developing handheld, wireless and landline point of sale (POS)
terminals, electronic cash registers, retail ATM units, PIN
pads, and smart card readers, as well as integrated PIN and
smart card (Chip & PIN) solutions.

LUFKIN INDUSTRIES: Recalls 988 2002 Trailers Due to Crash Hazard   
Lufkin Industries, Inc. in cooperation with the National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration's Office of Defects Investigation
(ODI) is voluntarily recalling about 988 units of 2002 LUFKIN /
TRAILERS due to crash hazard. NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number:

According to the ODI, on certain van trailers equipped with
Tuthill trailer suspensions, Model REYCO RS3162, the beam/axle
pivot connection joint is misaligned causing excessive play with
the trailer allowing the trailer to wander. A vehicle crash can
occur should the trailer wander without notice.

As a remedy, Lufkin is working with Tuthill to notify the owners
of the affected vehicles and provide remedy.

For more details, contact Tuthill, Phone: 800-753-0025, Lufkin,
Phone: 1-936-634-2211 OR the NHTSA Auto Safety Hotline:
1-888-327-4236 or 1-800-424-9153, Web site:

MARVEL COMICS: CA Court OKs Settlement of Comic Retailers' Suit
A California court approved a settlement in a class action
lawsuit filed by a San Francisco retailer against Marvel Comics,
The Publishers Weekly reports.

Brian Hibbs, owner of the Comix Experience filed the suit in
2002, alleging that the comics publisher reneged on a policy of
accepting returns of unsold comics that were delivered to the
store late or had different artists and writers than originally
promoted. Under the settlement agreement, which Marvel confirmed
when contacted by Publishers Weekly, it denied any wrongdoing.

Though the comics shop market buys wholesale on a non-returnable
basis Mr. Hibbs argued that Marvel's contract had "unambiguous"
terms that allowed returns in specific cases. Even then, Mr.
Hibbs said, it's usually not worth it to return comics. But,
according to court records, Mr. Hibbs and other retailers began
to complain when many of Marvel's top-selling titles began
arriving late, making them harder to sell.

Although he told The Publishers Weekly that it was difficult to
put a figure on the settlement, he estimates that the agreement
will translate into about two weeks' worth of credits for free
comics for most comics stores.  He also told The Publishers
Weekly, "Most comics stores are mom and pop operations. That's
pretty significant to an indie comics bookseller."

MICROSOFT CORPORATION: MN School Districts to Receive Windfall
The Duluth school district could receive as much as $800,000 in
credit for hardware, software and staff development from the
settlement of a class action lawsuit against Microsoft
Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT), The Duluth News Tribune reports.

The suit, which was filed by Minnesota consumers and business
owners who claimed that the Microsoft overcharged for some of
its software, was settled in April 2004.  The Redmond,
Washington-based firm planned to distribute $174.5 million in
vouchers to Minnesota consumers and business owners who
purchased software from May 18, 1994, to March 17, 2003. To
receive those vouchers, interested parties had to fill out claim
forms by February 22, 2005.  However, since much of the money
was not claimed, half of it, which is estimated to be around $50
million, will be distributed to school districts throughout the

Rick Hagstrom, lead prosecuting attorney told The Duluth News
Tribune, "We didn't want unclaimed money to just sit in
Microsoft's hands."

Mary Mehsikomer, a senior project planner for the Minnesota
Department of Education, told The Duluth News Tribune that a
claims administrator is still finalizing consumer and business
claims, so the amount distributed to each school district might
fluctuate as much as 10 percent. No matter what the amount is,
the unexpected financial assistance is needed throughout the
state, according to her.

Districts seeking settlement credit must send technology plans
to a claims administrator by October 28, which must include what
districts plan to do with the credit, the use of which is
restricted to hardware, software and professional development
relating to technology. Districts though cannot begin purchasing
items until January 27 and no credit can be used after 2012.  
Ms. Mehsikomer told The Duluth News Tribune that the amount each
district will receive is based on the number of low-income
students in each district when compared to the state total.

NBR ANTITRUST: Lawsuit Settlement Hearing Set December 9, 2005
The United States District Court for the Western District of
Pennsylvania will hold a fairness hearing for the proposed $3.5
million settlement with defendants Zeon Chemicals, Inc. and Zeon
Chemicals, LP, in the matter: In Re NBR Antitrust Litigation,
Civil Action No. 03-1898 on behalf of all individuals or
entities (excluding government entities) who directly purchased
NBR in the United States or form a facility located in the
United States from any defendant from January 1, 1995 to June
30, 2003.

The hearing will be held in the United States Post Office and
Courthouse, Seventh Ave., and Grant St., Courtroom 7A,
Pittsburgh, PA 15219, at 10:00 a.m., on December 9, 2005.

For more details, contact In Re NBR Antitrust Litigation
(Paratec/DESC) c/o Gilardi & Co., LLC by Mail: P.O. Box 1110,
Corte Madera, CA 94976-1110 OR Michael D. Hausfeld of Cohen,
Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C. by Mail: 1100 New York
Avenue, N.W. Suite 500, West Tower, Washington, DC 20005-3964
Phone: 202-408-4600 or by Fax: 202-408-4699 OR Robert N. Kaplan
of Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer, LLP, 805 Third Ave., New York, NY
10022, Phone: 800-290-1952 or 212-687-1980, Fax: 212-687-7714,
E-mail: rkaplan@kaplanfox.com.

NEW ORLEANS: 1,800 NO Homeowners Commence Contamination Lawsuit
A group of more than 1,180 West Bank, New Orleans residents
filed a suit against landowners, oil companies and
subcontractors that cleaned offshore drilling pipes near their
homes and churches in Harvey, saying the operations left the
area uninhabitable, the Times-Picayune reports.

The suit, filed in the 24th Judicial District Court in Gretna,
New Orleans, seeks a jury trial and unspecified damages after
more than 30 years of cleaning at the site near the Harvey Canal
has caused "an inordinate amount" of diseases, cancers,
miscarriages and other ailments.  New Orleans attorney George
Riess, filed the lawsuit, which also names as defendants:

     (1) members of the Grefer family and Charles Jones, who own
         the contaminated land near the Harvey Canal,

     (2) Exxon Mobil

     (3) ITCO,

     (4) Chevron USA,

     (5) Alpha Technical Services Inc.,

     (6) Conoco Inc.,

     (7) Homeco Inc.,

     (8) Mobil Exploration & Producing Southeast Inc.,

     (9) Phillips Petroleum Co.,

    (10) Sexton Oil and Mineral Corp.,

    (11) Shell Offshore Inc.,

    (12) Shell Oil Co.,

    (13) Shell Western E&P Inc.,

    (14) System Fuel Inc.,

    (15) Texaco Inc. and

    (16) Tubular Corp.

The plaintiffs were included in a proposed class-action suit
already filed in Orleans Parish Civil District Court but opted
out in favor of a separate one in Jefferson Parish, Mr. Riess
told the Times-Picayune.  "A class action didn't serve these
people," he said. "A class action is a great vehicle for a large
amount of people who have suffered a small amount of damage.
These people have really suffered over there."

The plaintiffs claim they were exposed to naturally occurring
radioactive material, or NORM, a byproduct of the cleaning
operation.  They allege that the area within a 15-mile radius of
the land "is unfit for human habitation," according to the

The Grefers, including retired state district Judge Joseph
Grefer, leased about 33 acres bounded by Pailet Street, Breaux
Avenue, St. Joseph Lane and 16th Street to Intracoastal Tubular
Services, or ITCO, which cleaned used drilling pipe for Exxon at
the site.  The Grefers, who are defendants in the lawsuit, could
not be reached for comment, the Times-Picayune reports.

The lawsuit is the latest of several in connection with the
property. In April, an Orleans Parish civil jury awarded $15
million to the family of a former ITCO employee, Lee Dell Craft
Sr., who died of lung cancer in 1986.

NEW YORK: 5 Pension Funds Receive $78.87M Share in Worldcom Pact
Five of New York City's pension funds will receive $78.87
million share in the settlement with WorldCom's underwriters,
former directors, auditors and a securities analyst,
NewYorkBusiness.com reports.  The pension funds are:

     (1) Employees' Retirement System,

     (2) Teachers' Retirement System,

     (3) Police Pension Funds,

     (4) Fire Department Pension Fund and

     (5) Board of Education Retirement System

The pension funds lost more than $100 million when WorldCom went
bankrupt in 2002 amid a massive $11 billion accounting fraud
scandal.  They opted out of the class action in February 2004,
believing that they could recover a larger amount by pursuing
their own litigation.

The city said the agreement, which does not require court
approval, ends pending securities fraud claims against
Citigroup, J.P. Morgan, Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, ABN AMRO
and Lehman Brothers, as well as former Salomon Smith Barney
analyst Jack Grubman, WorldCom's former directors and Arthur
Andersen, WorldCom's auditors, NewYorkBusiness.com reports.

The settlement is about three times the amount the funds
estimate they would have received if they had remained part of a
class action suit that was finalized last month for $6.1

"We are pleased with this settlement, which allows the New York
City Pension Funds to recover for their members a substantial
portion of their WorldCom investment losses at levels we believe
significantly exceed what the funds would have recovered if they
remained in the Federal class action," said the city's
Corporation Counsel Michael Cardozo in a statement,
NewYorkBusiness.com reports.

NISSAN NORTH: Recalls 109,437 Quest Mini Vans For Injury Hazard   
Nissan North America, Inc. in cooperation with the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Office of Defects
Investigation (ODI) is voluntarily recalling about 109,437 units
of 2004-06 NISSAN / QUEST mini vans due to injury hazard.

According to the ODI, certain mini vans, there is a seat
adjustment mechanism that contains exposed moving components
located at the rear inside edge of the second row seat. When the
operator attempts seat adjustment, a finger may be pinched in
the moving seat adjustment mechanism, which could cause an

As a remedy, on earlier model vehicles built through June 28,
2004, dealers will replace the inboard second row seat
adjustment handle, rivet a plastic reinforcement to the backside
of the existing seat back cover carpeting, install tie-down and
flange to the inboard side shield. On vehicles produced fron
June 29, 2004 through September 26, 2005, dealers will rivet a
plastic reinforcement to the backside of the existing seat back
cover carpeting, install tie-downs and a flange on the inboard
side shield. The recall is expected to begin on December 15,

For more details, contact Nissan, Phone: 1-800-647-7261 OR the
NHTSA Auto Safety Hotline: 1-888-327-4236 or 1-800-424-9153, Web
site: http://www.safecar.gov.

OREGON: Portland Parishioners Comment on Diocese's Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth Perris recently heard comments from
some of 390,000 parishioners, who were notified that they are
class action defendants in the Archdiocese of Portland
bankruptcy case, The Catholic Sentinel reports.

Parishioners who attended the recent hearing expressed strong
feelings against the western Oregon Catholic churches possibly
being counted as part of the archdiocese's estate, significantly
boosting settlements for clergy sex-abuse plaintiffs.

"I think they should be paid, but their lawyers are looking for
too much money," says Rosemary Kelleher, a member of St. Michael
the Archangel Parish in downtown Portland. "It makes me mad,
trying to take the property of the parishes. We worked hard for
those parishes."

Sonja Spitznagel, a member of Christ the King Parish in
Milwaukie, told the court that parishioners are "innocent
victims" caught up in errors made decades in the past. She
explains, "I give to the collection on Sunday; I give to the
Archbishop's Appeal and to Catholic Charities. That is my money,
given for good works, that they're trying to take."

Part of the hearing was open to parishioners who wanted to
comment on the class action suit, which is meant to bring
everyday worshipers into the parish ownership dispute.

The archdiocese, the parishes and canon law say that parish
assets belong to the parishes, not the archdiocese. However,
attorneys for abuse claimants contend that the archdiocese is
the owner.

With the difference amounting to more than $450 million, a win
by the plaintiffs will likely make the court order more
lucrative payments.

Julie Bryan Maack, a member of Our Lady of the Lake Parish in
Lake Oswego, told the court that parishioners would be victims
if the plaintiffs win. Mrs. Maack, who has two of her children
attending Our Lady of the Lake School and a third at Jesuit
High, also said "I know no amount of money heals a victim of
child abuse. As far as I can tell, any amount that victimizes
another group of innocent children is too much. Potentially
taking away the value of schools and churches that our children
attend, schools that have provided stability and nurturing, is
abusive. This price is too high. It is my hope that this court
can somehow find a framework that incentivizes compromise,
compassion, sensibility, practicality, and disincentivizes

Another parishioner argued that the court should consider not
only canon law in its determinations, but the true law of the
church - the Gospels. He said, "Compassion, justice and healing
has to be brought in too, not just who owns the property," he
said. Judge Perris thanked him, but also reminded him that the
courts' foundation is U.S. law.

Doug Pahl, a Portland attorney representing parishes and
parishioners, says that 281 Catholics and organizations have
opted out of being in the class.

Judge Perris though worked to explain to the handful of
parishioners present that being a member of the class is likely
to be helpful. She said, "Part of the point here is to give the
parishes, the parishioners a voice. By having the parishes and
the parishioners represented through this class action means
that they will be part of the solution."

PENNSYLVANIA: Firm Joins Motion Addressing Fraud By AHP Trust
The law firm of Napoli Kaiser Bern & Associates, LLP, added
their voices to a recent motion filed in the National Diet Drug
Multi-District Litigation (MDL-1203) before the United States
District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania by Class
Counsel. Class Counsel's motion alleges widespread fraud and
anti-claimant bias by the cardiologists who designed and
administered the AHP Settlement Trust claims screening and audit

"What is most notable about Class Counsel's motion," says firm
Senior Partner Marc Jay Bern, "is that it substantively echoes
allegations we initially made almost a year ago in our motion
opposing the Trust's proposed new auditor training program, and
for the same reasons."

Ten months after the Napoli Kaiser Bern office opposed the
proposed new auditor training rules, Class Counsel filed its
"Disclosures and Request for Instructions With Respect To The
Integrity Of The Audit System." That motion set forth the
widespread instances of alleged fraud by Trust expert Dr. Joseph
Kisslo, including such purported wrongdoing as Dr. Kisslo
signing his name to boilerplate reports denying benefits when he
had never reviewed the claimants' echocardiogram tapes, and
instances where Dr. Kisslo is alleged to have arranged to have
other Trust auditors pressured by himself or Dr. John Dent,
another leading Trust expert, to alter their findings and thus
deny claimants' benefits.

In response, the Napoli Kaiser Bern office has filed its "Motion
for Joinder And Cross Motion For Removal And Disqualification Of
Dr. Joseph Kisslo And Dr. John Dent From Involvement With The
Trust And Audits Of Claims Under The National Class Action
Settlement Agreement With American Home Products, Inc." This
motion not only joins in the Class Counsel motion for Dr.
Kisslo's removal, but goes several steps beyond, arguing that
Dr. John Dent and each of the auditors who was improperly
pressured by Drs. Kisslo and Dent should also be excluded from
Trust activities, and that all of the claims denied as a result
of these two cardiologists' involvement in the audit procedure
should be reopened and re-audited to assure that the claimants'
rights have not been improperly denied as a result of any anti-
claimant bias by Dr. Kisslo and Dr. Dent.

In December of 2004, the Napoli Kaiser Bern firm opposed the
"AHP Settlement Trust's Motion for Approval of Revised Audit
Rules and Enhanced Auditor Training," (available at
http://www.fen-phen-eresource.com/auditor.pdf)arguing that the  
underlying premise for the proposed new rules, i.e., allegations
by Dr. Kisslo of widespread fraud by plaintiffs' attorneys and
physicians, had no factual support. In their motion, the Napoli
firm cited repeated instances where Dr. Kisslo had overruled the
findings by Trust auditors in favor of claimants, and argued:

In each of these examples, Dr. Kisslo criticized the claimant's
attesting physician's findings, ignoring the Trust's auditing
cardiologist's findings; in each case, using similar language
for all criticisms and making no specific measurements of his
own. Each of the class members' attesting/diagnosing physicians
are Board Certified, highly qualified cardiologists as is
demonstrated by their curricula vitae. Furthermore, Dr. Kisslo
not only disregards each of the class members' physicians'
opinions as "not medically reasonable", but by doing so, utterly
dismisses without specific cause the AHP Trust's auditing
cardiologists concurrences with each diagnosis. Dr. Kisslo's
findings are substantiated only by his own opinion of what is
medically reasonable; there is neither legal nor medical support
for his wholesale dismissal of the attesting and auditing
physicians' opinions. As such, the Kisslo audits are no more
medically reasonable - and, if anything, have less evidentiary
support -- than the valid diagnoses of the attesting doctors and
the Trust's auditing cardiologists.

"It is gratifying, after more than three years of the AHP
Trust's allegations that claimants, their attorneys and their
physicians across the country have routinely filed fraudulent
claims, to learn that Class Counsel has seen the light and taken
steps to support the claimants," said Bern, "but more
importantly, it is nice to finally feel that we and our clients
have been vindicated by Class Counsel's disclosures in this
battle we have been fighting for so long."

For more details, contact Napoli, Kaiser & Bern, LLP, by Phone:
1-888-LAW-IN-N, Web site: http://www.nblawfirm.com.

SEIBU RAILWAY: Japan Prosecutors Seek Harsher Penalties V. Exec
Japanese prosecutors demanded Yoshiaki Tsutsumi, the former
president of Seibu Railway and once the world's richest man,
serve a three-year prison sentence and pay a Y5M fine for
insider trading and falsifying financial statements, FT.com

In October 2004, the railway announced that it would fall under
the "delisting criteria" of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, and
revealed its long-time practice of falsifying its financial
statements.  More than 200 shareholders in the Company filed a
class actions suit, seeking about 350 million yen ($3.4 million)
in damages against the railway, its parent Kokudo Corporation
and former top executives, including Mr. Tsutsumi, an earlier
Class Action Reporter story (February 3,2005) reports.

The attorneys for the plaintiffs also filed a criminal complaint
with the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor's Office against the
railway, Mr. Tsutsumi, and former Seibu Railway Presidents
Terumasa Koyanagi and Hiroyuki Toda on suspicion of falsifying
financial statements, which is in violation of the Securities
and Exchange Law.  In their suit, the plaintiffs accuse Mr.
Tsutsumi and other former Seibu Railway executives of misleading
shareholders and asked that "they should be held responsible for
committing an illegal act of falsification." The suit states
that the maximum amount sought by each shareholder is 20 million

In Tokyo district court on Friday, prosecutors argued that the
stiff penalties reflected the "leading role" Mr. Tsutsumi played
in the "unprecedented, vicious . economic crime that was
systematically committed by a leading conglomerate in Japan,"
according to media reports (FT.com).

SMARTFORCE PLC: Suit Settlement Hearing Set November 21, 2005
The United States District Court for the District of Hampshire
will hold a fairness hearing for the proposed partial settlement
valued $8 million by defendants Ernst & Young, Chartered
Accountants and Ernst & Young, LLP, in the matter of In Re
Smartforce (SkillSoft) PLC Securities Litigation on behalf of
all individuals who bought or acquired American Depository
Shares ("ADSs") of SmartForce PLC from April 27, 1999 through
September 6, 2002; exchanged common stock of SkillSoft
Corporation for ADSs of SmartForce PLC in connection with the
merger between SmartForce PLC and SkillSoft Corporation on
September 6, 2002 (the "Merger"); or bought or acquired
SmartForce PLC and/or SkillSoft PLC ADSs from September 6, 2002
through and including November 18, 2002.

The fairness hearing, which will be held before the Honorable
Paul J. Barbadoro in the United States District Court for the
District of Hampshire, Warren B. Rudman U.S. Courthouse, 55
Pleasant St., Concord, New Hampshire 03301 at 2:30 pm on
November 21, 2005.

For more details, contact Glen DeValerio, Kathleen M. Donovan-
Maher or Nicole R. Starr of Beerman DeValerio Pease Tabacco Burt
& Pucillo by Mail: One Liberty Square, Boston, MA 02109 by
Phone: (800) 516-9926 or visit their Web site:
http://www.bermanesq.com;Max W. Berger, Jeffrey N. Leibell or  
Joseph A. Fonti of Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossman LLP by
Mail: 1285 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10019 by Phone:
(800) 380-8496 or visit their Web site: http://www.blbglaw.com;
SmartForce PLC Securities Litigation by Mail: c/o Complete Claim
Solutions, Inc. - P.O. Box 24768, West Palm Beach, FL 33416 or
visit their Web site: http://www.completeclaimsolutions.com.

TOYOTA MOTOR: Recalls 71,392 Scion TC Vehicles For Injury Hazard   
Toyota Motor North America, Inc. in cooperation with the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Office of
Defects Investigation (ODI) is voluntarily recalling about
71,392 units of 2005-06 TOYOTA / SCION TC passenger vehicles due
to crash hazard.

According to the ODI, on certain passenger vehicles equipped
with a glass wind deflector, the deflector, if impacted by a
projectile such as road debris, while driving with the wind
deflector in the upward-tilted position at highway speeds, may
shatter and separate from the frame. Pieces of the wind
deflector glass may separate from the frame and fall upon the
vehicle occupants causing driver distraction and/or injury.

As a remedy, dealers will inspect the wind deflector and apply a
plastic film to the inside of the deflector glass. The recall is
expected to begin during late October 2005.

For more details, contact Toyota, Phone: 1-800-331-4331 OR the
NHTSA Auto Safety Hotline: 1-888-327-4236 or 1-800-424-9153, Web
site: http://www.safecar.gov.

TREK ALLIANCE: MLM Distributor Faces Recruitment Fraud Charges
A top distributor in a multilevel-marketing program, who
deceptively led prospective recruits to believe they would be
applying for marketing jobs and that they would make a
substantial income, has been banned from the multilevel
marketing industry and has paid $5,000 to settle Federal Trade
Commission charges.  In addition, the defendant is further
prohibited from making any material misrepresentations about
other business opportunities she may promote in the future.

The defendant, Sandra Lee Jacobson, was a high-level distributor
for Trek Alliance (Trek), a multilevel-marketing company that
sold water filters, cleaning supplies, nutritional supplements,
and beauty aids.  Ms. Jacobson had previously been a distributor
for Equinox International, a company operating an alleged
pyramid scheme that the FTC sued in 1999. The FTC sued Trek and
its principals in December 2002. That case is still in

Ms. Jacobson helped start and manage numerous Trek training
centers, which functioned primarily as recruitment centers.
Distributors who worked in these training centers often used
classified ads, in the Help Wanted section, to solicit new
recruits. The FTC's complaint alleged that, in numerous
instances, prospective recruits were deceptively told that they
could expect to receive substantial income, and that salaried
employment positions were being offered. The complaint further
alleged that Jacobson participated in making these
misrepresentations and provided the means and instrumentalities
for other distributors to make these misrepresentations. It also
alleged that Jacobson participated in Trek's marketing of an
illegal pyramid scheme.

In addition to the ban on multilevel marketing and the
prohibition against making future material misrepresentations,
the order also prohibits Jacobson from helping others make
misrepresentations when selling business opportunities. As part
of the stipulated final order, a judgment was entered against
Jacobson in the amount of $804,813 - the amount Trek paid her in
commissions. The amount was reduced to $5,000 based on financial
documentation provided by the defendant. If it is found those
documents were falsified, she will be responsible for the full
amount. Finally, the order contains standard monitoring and
record-keeping provisions.

The State of Maryland was a co-plaintiff in this case with the
FTC. The order announced today settles all of the FTC's and all
of the State of Maryland's charges against Jacobson. The FTC
appreciates the assistance of the Maryland Attorney General's
office in this case.

The Commission vote authorizing the staff to file the stipulated
final order was 4-0. The stipulated final order for permanent
injunction was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District
of Maryland on September 6, 2005.

Copies of the stipulated final order are available from the
FTC's Web site at http://www.ftc.govand also from the FTC's  
Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue,
N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. The FTC works for the consumer to
prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in
the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers
spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or
Spanish (bilingual counselors are available to take complaints),
or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics, call
toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use the complaint
form at http://www.ftc.gov.The FTC enters Internet,  
telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related
complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database
available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement
agencies in the U.S. and abroad.  For more details, contact
Jacqueline Dizdul, Office of Public Affairs, by Phone:
202-326-2472 or John Jacobs or Jennifer Brennan, FTC's Western
Region, Los Angeles by Phone: 310-824-4343 or contact Kevin
Enright, Maryland Attorney General's Office by Phone:
410-576-6357 or visit the Website:

U-HAUL INTERNATIONAL: Faces Consumer Fraud Lawsuit in PA Court
U-Haul International, Inc. and its subsidiary U-Haul Company of
Pennsylvania, Inc., face a class action lawsuit in the Court of
Common Pleas, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The suit was filed on behalf of all individuals who rented U-
Haul moving equipment from a U-Haul center or independent dealer
in the state of Pennsylvania after August 7, 1992 and were
charged for a second rental term despite returning the equipment
within 24 hours.

The suit, styled Boyle, et al. v. U-Haul International, et al.,
August Term 1998, No. 0840, is seeking a refund of any improper
charges.  For more details, contact Ann M. Caldwell of Caldwell
Law Office, 108 W. Willow Grove Ave., Suite 300, Willow Grove,
PA 19118, Phone: (215) 248-2030, Fax: (215) 248-2031, E-mail:
acaldwell@classactlaw.com; Richard D. Greenfield of Greenfield &
Goodman, LLC, 7426 Tour Drive, Easton, MD  21601, Phone:
(410) 745-4149, Fax: 410-745-4158, E-mail:
whitehatrdg@earthlink.net; and Anthony J. Bolognese and Michael
E. Gehring of Bolognese & Associates, LLC, One Penn Center, 1617
JFK Blvd., Suite 650, Philadelphia, PA 19103, Phone:
215-814-6750, Fax: 215-814-6764, E-mail: abolognese@bolognese-
law.com and mgehring@bolognese-law.com OR visit

VIRGINIA: Judge Refuses To Certify Sexual Harassment Lawsuit
Other women will not join a former employee who accused Roanoke
Sheriff George McMillan of sexual harassment in a class action
lawsuit with similar allegations, according to a federal judge's
ruling, The Roanoke Times reports.

U.S. District Court Judge Samuel Wilson to deny class action
certification was not a total victory for Sheriff McMillan,
however, since the judge also denied the sheriff's motion to
dismiss the original lawsuit, citing that former sheriff's
deputy Lespia J. King "has stated a hostile work environment
claim related to her own alleged experiences."

Court records show that Ms. King had claimed in an August
lawsuit that Sheriff McMillan hugged her inappropriately while
on the job and once pulled her into his lap and asked for a

Since then, at least six women have come forward with similar
allegations against the sheriff. In requesting that her lawsuit
be expanded to include all victims of the sheriff's alleged
sexual harassment, Ms. King's attorney estimated that there
could be up to 30 women across the country with similar

"However, she has forecasted no evidence to support the
existence of these hypothetical women," Judge Wilson wrote in
the recently released decision.

Ms. King filed the suit against Sheriff McMillan and his office
on August 16, alleging gender discrimination, sexual harassment,
and assault and battery. She began working for the department in
August 2000, but the complaint covers a period of time between
January 2003 and her resignation in March 2004, according to
court records, an earlier Class Action Reporter story (September
21, 2005) reports.

About a month after filing the suit, Ms. King filed a motion to
certify the case as a class action, and since that time, seven
more women have come forward with declarations to support the
motion. The women who supported the motion were Jennifer
Donovan, Malinda Bland, Kristen Darnell, Rhonda G. Johnson, Erin
M. Bachinsky and Tamara D. Speight. The seventh additional
woman, a former health care contractor with the Roanoke City
Jail named Angela Linkous, filed a declaration supporting the
motion recently, an earlier Class Action Reporter story (October
13, 2005) reports.

The suit is styled, "King v. McMillan, Case No. 7:05-cv-00521-
sgw," filed in the United States District Court for the Western
District of Virginia, under Judge Samuel G. Wilson. Representing
the Plaintiff/s is Terry Neill Grimes of TERRY N. GRIMES, PC,
320 ELM AVE., SW ROANOKE, VA 24016, Phone: 540-982-3711, Fax:
345-6572, E-mail: tgrimes@terryngrimes.com. Representing the
Defendant is Elizabeth Kay Dillon of GUYNN MEMMER & DILLON, PC,
P.O. BOX 20788, ROANOKE, VA 24018, Phone: 540-387-2320, Fax:
540-389-2350, E-mail: elizabeth.dillon@g-mpc.com.

WAL-MART STORES: Appeals Court Revives WI Shopper's Salmon Suit
A lawsuit by a Wisconsin shopper who contends Wal-Mart Stores,
Inc. (NYSE: WMT) engaged in deceptive advertising by offering
farm-raised salmon as the more expensive wild version of the
fish was recently revived by a state Court of Appeals, The
Associated Press reports.

Filed by Miguel Gallego of Madison, the suit alleged that Mr.
Gallego commonly purchased the fish believing it to be salmon
caught in the wild because of its pink or reddish coloring, in
contrast to the "gray, unappealing flesh" of farm-raised salmon.  
Mr. Gallego contends in his suit that Wal-Mart deceived
consumers by failing to indicate on the label that the salmon
had artificial coloring, inducing people to pay more for lower
quality fish.

The lawsuit was dismissed in Dane County Circuit Court, in part
because one of the two laws under which Mr. Gallego sought
protection only allows for monetary damages for false
advertising of merchandise, not food.  In arguing against the
appeal, Wal-Mart contended that if the statute was invalidated
in the lawsuit, then the claim for monetary damages under that
same statute must also be invalidated.

However, the appeals court pointed out that damages could still
be sought for violating rules that the state Department of
Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection sets on fair trade
practices, according to Mr. Gallego's attorney David Bender.

Mr. Bender told The Associated Press, the fact that the lawsuit
can continue is a win for consumers, although the most Mr.
Gallego could collect under the fair-trade-practices law would
only be about double the amount he spent on the salmon over a
couple of years.  In addition, Mr. Bender told The Associated
Press that the suit was filed as a class action, and he will
move that the judge certify it as such. If class status is
granted, the suit could apply to all consumers who bought the
salmon, possibly thousands of people, according to him.

Attorney Naikang Tsao of the law firm of Foley & Lardner, who
has represented Wal-Mart in the case, did not return calls from
The Associated Press seeking comment.

WAL-MART STORES: CA Court Allows Discrimination Suit to Proceed
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
California allowed the female employee discrimination lawsuit
filed against Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., styled "Dukes v. Wal-Mart
Stores, Inc.," to proceed, Foxreno.com reports.

The suit was filed in June 2001 on behalf of all past and
present female employees in all of the Company's retail stores
and wholesale clubs in the United States. The complaint alleges
that the Company has engaged in a pattern and practice of
discriminating against women in promotions, pay, training and
job assignments. The complaint seeks, among other things,
injunctive relief, front pay, back pay, punitive damages, and
attorneys' fees.

Following a hearing on class certification on September 24,
2003, on June 21, 2004, the District Court issued an order
granting in part and denying in part the plaintiffs' motion for
class certification. The class, which was certified by the
District Court for purposes of liability, injunctive and
declaratory relief, punitive damages, and lost pay, subject to
certain exceptions, includes all women employed at any Wal-Mart
domestic retail store at any time since December 26, 1998, who
have been or may be subjected to the pay and management track
promotions policies and practices challenged by the plaintiffs.
The class as certified currently includes approximately 1.6
million present and former female Associates, an earlier Class
Action Reporter story (August 10,2005) reports.

Judge Martin Jenkins took nine months to decide whether to
expand the lawsuit to include virtually all women who work or
have worked at Wal-Mart's 3,500 stories nationwide since,
December 1998.  His ruling makes the lawsuit targeting the
Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailing powerhouse the nation's
largest class action.  

The Company had earlier sought to limit the class in the case.  
In a September hearing, company attorneys urged Judge Jenkins to
allow so-called mini-class action lawsuits targeting each
outlet.  They argued that Wal-Mart's stores, including Sam's
Club warehouse outlets, operate with so much autonomy that they
are like independent businesses with different management styles
that affect the way women are paid and promoted.  Pursuing the
allegations as a single class action "is absolutely unmanageable
on a nationwide basis," Wal-Mart lawyer Paul Grossman told Judge
Jenkins, Foxreno.com stated.  "It would require a mind-boggling
number of individual determinations."

In his ruling, Judge Jenkins said that a congressional act
passed during the civil rights movement in 1964 prohibits sex
discrimination and that giant corporations are not immune.  The
judge also stated that the women put on enough anecdotal
evidence to warrant a class-action trial.

He ruled that the "plaintiffs present largely uncontested
descriptive statistics which show that women working at Wal-Mart
stores are paid less than men in every region, that pay
disparities exist in most job categories, that the salary gap
widens over time, that women take longer to enter management
positions, and that the higher one looks in the organization the
lower the percentage of women."  Finally, Judge Jenkins found
that the evidence so far "raises an inference that Wal-Mart
engages in discriminatory practices in compensation and
promotion that affect all plaintiffs in a common manner."

"I think it's a terrific victory for the women who work at Wal-
Mart who have labored for years under working conditions where
they have been told repeatedly they have been unsuitable for
management and not suitable to make as much as men," said Joseph
Sellers, one of the attorneys representing the women, told

A company spokeswoman downplayed the significance of the ruling
and promised an appeal.  "Today's ruling has absolutely nothing
to do with the merits of the case," spokeswoman Mona Williams
told Foxreno.com. "Judge Jenkins is simply saying he thinks it
meets the legal requirements necessary to move forward as a
class action."

Trial date has not been set.  The trial is expected to play out
in at least two phases.  It would start with the women trying to
demonstrate that Wal-Mart has a pattern of paying women lower
wages and passing them over for promotions.  Wal-Mart would then
get a chance to dismantle that theory, Foxreno.com reports.

The next phase, if a judge or jury found Wal-Mart did have a
pattern of discrimination, would let the plaintiffs seek
damages. With so many women in the case, the plaintiffs
attorneys have developed a mathematical model to help them
determine how much each plaintiff was owed - whether for wages
or because they were passed over for promotion.

John C. Fox, a California labor attorney, told Foxreno.com women
could be entitled to recover wages if a statistical analysis
shows similarly situated male employees earned more. But if
women are seeking compensation for being glossed over for
promotions, each plaintiff would have to prove that to Jenkins,
which Fox said could be virtually impossible because of the
number of women involved.  "Absent any upset on appeal, it
strikes me this case is crying to be settled," he said. "It's a
lifetime of work for hundreds of lawyers on both sides."

The suit is styled "Dukes et al v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., case
no. 3:01-cv-02252," filed in the United States District Court
for the Northern District of California, under Judge Martin J.
Jenkins.  Representing the plaintiffs is Brad Seligman of The
Impact Fund, 125 University Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94710, Phone:
510-845-3473 ext 304, Fax: 510-845-3654, E-mail:
bs@impactfund.org.  Representing the Company is Nancy L. Abell
of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP - Employment, 555 South
Flower Street, 25th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90071-2371, Phone:
213 683-6162, Fax: (213) 627-0705, E-mail:

WELLS FARGO: FL Couple Commences Lawsuit For Excessive Loan Fees
Wells Fargo Bank faces a class action filed in Miami-Dade
Circuit Court in Florida, alleging they charged customers
excessive loan fees, law.com reports.

Donna and Diego Gomez are part of the suit.  They spent almost
$300,000 for a Miami condo earlier this year and were charged
$2,200 in loan fees by the bank.  The couple said the bank set
up contests called "Pick of the Pros" and "Play of the Week" to
pay back business associates for referrals, and a portion of
their fees helped fund the kickbacks, violating the federal Real
Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA).  The couple, however,
does not contend that the fees were undisclosed to them.

"The issue is that money that went for this referral program,
which we refer to as a kickback prize program, should have gone
to lower their fees," the couple's attorney, Jeremy Friedman of
Downs Brill Whitehead & Sage in Coral Gables, Fla, told law.com.

Bank spokesman Kevin Waetke said the company has not received
notice of the lawsuit and declined to comment.

The couple paid $287,405 for a one-bedroom condo in the Club at
Brickell Bay at 1200 Brickell Bay Drive in Miami. Wells Fargo
financed $229,924 of the purchase price at an interest rate of
5.375 percent.

After the couple closed on their condo purchase, Diego Gomez
consulted with Mr. Friedman. Mr. Friedman, who has represented
Gomez in business matters, researched the lender on the
Internet.  He discovered that Wells Fargo, through Gage
Marketing, conducted national incentives contests for real
estate salespeople, builders' employees, accountants and
attorneys.  The winners got prizes ranging from DVD players and
color TVs to trips to Hawaii and $25,000 cash, law.com reports.

Mr. Friedman told law.com Wells Fargo is under investigation for
RESPA violations by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban
Development. He declined to state how he knows that.

Bank spokesman Waetke said in a subsequent e-mail that the
company is unaware of any HUD investigation of its Play of the
Week program. He did not mention the Pick of the Pros contest
and could not be reached again before deadline, law.com reports.  
HUD spokesman Brian Sullivan in Washington said the agency
doesn't discuss ongoing investigations.

The Gomezes' lawsuit is the second involving their Miami condo
purchase.   In July, they filed another lawsuit as a proposed
class action in Miami-Dade Circuit Court alleging RESPA
violations against the condominium and its developers, Tibor and
Wayne Hollo.  The suit contends buyers were required to buy
title insurance through the South Florida Title Group, a title
insurance company in Miami Beach.

"We've alleged that notwithstanding any referral agreement, if
there is one, they improperly required Gomez and other class
members to use that title agency for title charges," Mr.
Friedman told law.com.

Gary Phillips of Phillips Eisinger & Brown in Hollywood,
attorney for the Hollos and their development, is seeking
dismissal.  "We don't believe it has any merit," he told
law.com.  The Gomezes "never requested to write their own title
insurance. In cases where people did request that, it was

YORKTON SECURITIES: Inks Settlement For Book4Golf Investor Suit
A settlement has been reached in the Ontario class action filed
against Yorkton Securities, Inc., holding it liable to the class
members who suffered a net loss in trading in Book4Golf.com
corporation.  The suit also names as defendants:

     (1) Yorkton Financial Inc.

     (2) Gordon Scott Paterson,

     (3) Philip A. Deleon,

     (4) Roger Dent,

     (5) Alain Lambert,

     (6) Harry McCullough,

     (7) OnX Incorporated,

     (8) Sheldon M. Pollack,

     (9) Kurt Portman and

    (10) W. Carter Siebens

The parties are asking the court to certify the class action on
behalf of "each and every person wherever resident, except
excluded persons, who, during the period of October 14,1996 to
June 26,2002, were retail clients of Yorkton and who purchased
shares of Book4Golf on the secondary markets for their Yorkton
accounts."  The parties are also seeking the appointment of
Robert Toevs as the class representative.  

Under the settlement, the Company and Mr. Paterson will pay
class counsel the sum of $650,000 in full payment of the
plaintiff's obligation to pay counsel fees, disbursements and
applicable taxes.  Settlement hearing is set for December

For more details, contact Joseph Groia, Groia and Company
Barristers and Solicitors, 1000-372 Bay Street, Toronto ON
M5H2W9, Phone: 416-203-4472, Fax: 416-203-9231 or E-mail:
jgroia@groia.com; or Kirk Baert of Koskie Minsky Barristers and
Solicitors, 900-20 Queen Street West, Toronto ON M5H3H3, Phone:
416-595-2117, Fax: 416-204-2889 or by E-mail:
kbaert@koskieminsky.com, or visit the website:

                 New Securities Fraud Cases

BARRIER THERAPEUTICS: Goldman Scarlato Lodges Fraud Suit in NJ
The law firm of Goldman Scarlato & Karon, P.C., initiated a
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of
New Jersey, on behalf of persons who purchased or otherwise
acquired publicly traded securities of Barrier Therapeutics Inc.
("Barrier" or the "Company") (NASDAQ:BTRX) between April 29,
2004 and June 29, 2005, inclusive, (the "Class Period"). The
lawsuit was filed against Barrier and certain officers and
directors ("Defendants").

The complaint alleges that Defendants violated the Securities
Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
Specifically, the complaint alleges that Barrier made a series
of false and misleading statements concerning its business and
products in development. More specifically, these statements
were false and misleading because the Company failed to disclose
or misrepresented that it had failed to perform its clinical
trials according to FDA guidelines, as they failed to disclose
they had substituted the petroleum base within Zimycan, and that
the Company's drug Hyphanox did not have a better safety profile
than fluconazole/Diflucan.

On June 29, 2005, Barrier announced that its drug trials failed
to demonstrate that Hyphanox worked as well as fluconazole. In
reaction to this news, the share price of Barrier plummeted
approximately 45%, or about $6.75 per share to below $8.00 per
share on very heavy trading volume.

For more details, contact Brian Penny, Esq. of The Law Firm of
Goldman Scarlato & Karon, P.C., Phone: 888-753-2796, E-mail:

DANA CORPORATION: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges OH Securities Suit
The law firm of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP, initiated a class
action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Ohio, Western Division (Toledo) on behalf
of all securities purchasers of Dana Corporation (NYSE: DCN)
("Dana" or the "Company") from April 21, 2004 through October 7,
2005, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges Dana, Michael J. Burns, and Robert C.
Richter with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
Dana Corporation engages in the engineering, manufacture,
supply, and distribution of systems and components for vehicle
manufacturers worldwide. It operates in two segments, Automotive
Systems Group and Heavy Vehicle Technologies and Systems Group.
The complaint alleges that defendants' Class Period
representations regarding Dana's financial statements, business,
and prospects were materially false and misleading when made.
Specifically, the defendants failed to disclose:

     (1) that the Company had improperly recognized price
         increases in its commercial- vehicle business, which
         materially inflated its income figures;

     (2) the Company's financial statements were presented in
         violation of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles
         ("GAAP"); and

     (3) that the Company lacked the necessary personnel and
         controls to issue accurate financial reports and

On September 15, 2005, Dana cut its full-year earnings forecast
to about 60 cents to 70 cents a share from a range of $1.30 to
$1.45 previously, excluding gains and losses on divestitures and
asset sales, and other items. Before the announcement, analysts'
average estimate for Dana's 2005 earnings stood at $1.20 a
share. Additionally, the Company said it likely would restate
second-quarter results to correct inappropriate recognition of
price increases in its commercial vehicle business during the
period, a move that could reduce earnings by $10 million to $15
million. In reaction to this announcement, the price of Dana
stock fell dramatically, from $12.78 per share on September 14,
2005 to $9.86 per share on September 15, 2005, a one-day drop of
22.8 percent on unusually heavy trading volume.

On October 10, 2005, prior to the opening of the market, Dana
announced that it would restate its 2004, first-quarter 2005,
and second-quarter 2005 financial statements. Also, the Company
stated that it had postponed its third-quarter 2005 earnings
release and was withdrawing its earnings guidance for full-year
2005. In reaction to this announcement, the price of Dana stock
fell dramatically, from $9.19 per share on October 7, 2005 to
$6.04 per share on October 10, 2005, a one-day drop of 34.28
percent, on unusually heavy trading volume.

For more details, contact Darren J. Check, Esq. or Richard A.
Maniskas, Esq. of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP, 280 King of Prussia
Road, Radnor, PA 19087, Phone: 1-888-299-7706 or 1-610-667-7706,
E-mail: info@sbclasslaw.com, Web site:

LIPMAN ELECTRONIC: Glancy Binkow Lodges Securities Suit in NY
The law firm of Glancy Binkow & Goldberg, LLP, filed a class
action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of New York on behalf of a class (the "Class")
consisting of all persons or entities who purchased or otherwise
acquired securities of Lipman Electronic Engineering, Ltd.
("Lipman" or the "Company") (Nasdaq:TASE:)(TASE:LPMA) on the
Nasdaq National Market and/or Tel Aviv Stock Exchange between
October 4, 2004 and September 27, 2005, inclusive (the "Class

The Complaint charges Lipman and certain of the Company's
executive officers with violations of federal securities laws.
Among other things, plaintiff claims that defendants' material
omissions and dissemination of materially false and misleading
statements caused Lipman's stock price to become artificially
inflated, inflicting damages on investors. Lipman maintains its
principal corporate offices at Rosh Haayin, Israel, and engages
in the development, manufacture, marketing and sale of
electronic payment systems and solutions worldwide. The
Complaint alleges that defendants issued public statements which
fraudulently created a false impression concerning the Company's
business operations and prospects following the acquisition of
Dione, Plc ("Dione"), a United Kingdom-based supplier of "smart
card" payment systems. Defendants claimed that the Dione
acquisition would add to Lipman's earnings within one year and
"provide important new customer relationships that would add
critical mass to our U.K. presences."

During the Class Period, defendants touted the Dione
acquisition, claiming it would provide "important new customer
relationships" and enable the Company to penetrate new markets,
among other things. Defendants' public statements, however,
misled the public concerning Lipman's ability to leverage
purported "operational and technological synergies that exist
between the two companies." The Complaint alleges defendants
knew or recklessly disregarded and failed to disclose that the
Dione acquisition would not provide an immediate boost to
Lipman's earnings or easily establish the Company's presence in
the United Kingdom and other European countries. Instead,
defendants' statements misled Lipman shareholders and
artificially inflated the Company's stock price. Additionally
during the Class Period, defendants' materially misleading
statements and omissions enabled to Company to complete a
secondary offering of 1,973,044 shares at $29.75 per share in
May 2005.

On September 28, 2005, less than one year after completing the
Dione acquisition, Lipman made a stunning admission that the
"weaker than expected performance of Dione" caused the Company
to slash its 2005 earnings estimates, from a previous forecast
of $1.39 to $1.42 per share, down to $0.88 to $0.98 per share.
The Company also announced that it had terminated the employment
of Dione CEO Shaun Gray and that the Company anticipated it
would take a non-cash impairment charge relating to goodwill and
other intangible assets in 2005.

Investor reaction was sharply negative to this news, causing
Lipman's share price to plunge nearly 22 percent following the
disclosure of the Company's inability to leverage the Dione
acquisition to expand Lipman's European market presence.

For more details, contact Lionel Z. Glancy, Esq., of Glancy
Binkow & Goldberg LLP, 1801 Avenue of the Stars, Suite 311, Los
Angeles, CA 90067, Phone: (310) 201-9150 or (888) 773-9224, E-
mail: info@glancylaw.com, Web site: http://www.glancylaw.com.

TAG-IT CORPORATION: Marc S. Henzel Lodges Securities Suit in GA
The Law Offices of Marc S. Henzel initiated a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Central
District of California on behalf of all persons who purchased
Tag-It Pacific, Inc. (AMEX: TAG) securities on the open market
during the period November 14, 2003 through August 12, 2005.

The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants
caused Tag-It to issue numerous press releases and file
quarterly and annual reports with the SEC, materially misstating
its financial condition, accounts receivable and inventory, and
falsely stating that the Company, notwithstanding the loss of
its largest customers, was expanding its customer base,
continuing sales growth, and improving gross margins.
Unbeknownst to investors, as a result of the loss of its largest
customers in 2003, millions of dollars in inventory became
obsolete and millions of dollars in accounts receivable became

On August 15, 2005, Tag-It stunned the market when it revealed
its true financial condition, informing investors that the
Company was going to report a "significant operating loss" due
to an increase in reserves for accounts receivable and
inventory. On this news, Tag-It's share price plummeted 41.38%
to $1.36 from the prior days closing of $2.32. On August 22,
2005, the Company further disclosed that it was required to
increase its reserve for doubtful accounts by $6.4 million and
increase its reserve for inventory obsolescence by $1.55

For more details, contact Marc S. Henzel, Esq. of The Law
Offices of Marc S. Henzel, 273 Montgomery Ave, Suite 202 Bala
Cynwyd, PA 19004-2808, Phone (888) 643-6735 or (610) 660-8000,
Fax: (610) 660-8080, E-mail: Mhenzel182@aol.com, Web site:

TEMPUR-PEDIC INTERNATIONAL: Schiffrin Barroway Files Suit in KY
The law firm of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP, initiated a class
action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of Kentucky on behalf of all securities
purchasers of Tempur-Pedic International, Inc. (NYSE: TPX)
("Tempur-Pedic" or the "Company") between April 22, 2005 and
September 19, 2005 inclusive (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges Tempur-Pedic, Dale E. Williams, Robert B.
Trussell, JR., H. Thomas Bryant and P. Andrews Mclane with
violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. More
specifically, the Complaint alleges that the Company failed to
disclose and misrepresented the following material adverse facts
known to defendants or recklessly disregarded by them:

     (1) that contrary to defendants' express representations
         the demand for Tempur-Pedic's expensive visco-elastic
         mattresses slowed;

     (2) that the Company faced increased competition in its
         niche sector in the form of cheaper offerings from
         Sealy, Simmons Bedding, and Serta International; and

     (3) that as a consequence of the foregoing defendants'
         encouraging statements about Tempur-Pedic's business
         prospects and market position lacked in any reasonable

On September 19, 2005, Tempur-Pedic lowered its financial
guidance for fiscal 2005. On this news, shares of Tempur-Pedic
common stock fell $4.68 per share, or 28.5 percent, on September
19, 2004, to close at $11.70 per share.

For more details, contact Darren J. Check, Esq. or Richard A.
Maniskas, Esq. of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP, 280 King of Prussia
Road, Radnor, PA 19087, Phone: 1-888-299-7706 or 1-610-667-7706,
E-mail: info@sbclasslaw.com, Web site:


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

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


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

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
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Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick, Maryland
USA.   Glenn Ruel Senorin, Aurora Fatima Antonio and Lyndsey
Resnick, Editors.

Copyright 2005.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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