/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/000222.MBX                 C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

               Tuesday, February 22, 2000, Vol. 2, No. 37


AMOCO OIL: 8th Cir OKs Settlement for 3 Subclasses of Property Owners
ARENA FOOTBALL: Players File with NLRB, FL Unfair Labor Practice Claims
BANKAMERICA, NATIONSBANK: MO Suit Re Fraud in Merger Survives Dismissal
CENTURY BUSINESS: Schatz & Nobel Files Securities Suit in Ohio
CHRISTIE'S, SOTHEBY'S: Update on Antitrust Case; Mounting Suits Filed

HMOs: Patients' Rights under Doctors' Incentive Scheme Go to Supreme Ct
JDN REALTY: Berger & Montague Files Securities Lawsuit in Georgia
JDN REALTY: Finkelstein, Thompson Files Securities Suit in Georgia
LOUISIANA PACIFIC: Contests with ABT Lawsuit in AL Re Hardboard Siding
LOUISIANA PACIFIC: Contests with ABT Lawsuit in MO Re Hardboard Siding

LOUISIANA PACIFIC: FL Ct OKs Settlement with Users of OSB Siding
LOUISIANA PACIFIC: OR Ct OKs Nationwide Settlement for OSB Siding Users
MICROSOFT CORP: Mediation Talks for Antitrust Lawsuit Sputter
PUBLISHERS CLEARING: Fed Judge OKs $30 Mil Sweepstakes Settlement
SOTHEBY'S HOLDINGS: Savett Frutkin Files Securities Complaint in MI

SUNTERRA CORP: Berger & Montague Files Securities Suit in Florida
THQ INC: Milberg Weiss Files Securities Complaint in California
THQ INC: Spector, Roseman Files Securities Lawsuit
URANIUM MINING: Scheduling Order Violations Lead to Dismissal of Claims


AMOCO OIL: 8th Cir OKs Settlement for 3 Subclasses of Property Owners
In a class action brought to recover damages to property from pollution,
the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court's
approval of a settlement that issued varying awards to three subclasses.
(Petrovic v. Amoco Oil Co., No. 98-3816 (8th Cir. 12/30/99).)

Christopher Petrovic and over 5,000 other people brought a class action
against Amoco Oil Co. seeking injunctive and monetary relief for damage
to their property allegedly caused by underground oil seepage from an
Amoco petroleum refinery. The U.S. District Court for the Western
District of Missouri approved a settlement of the class action. The
settlement agreement provided both injunctive and compensatory relief.
Various plaintiff class members appealed their objections to the
settlement to the 8th Circuit. The appellants also challenged the
District Court's decision granting a motion for summary judgment in
favor of Amoco on CERCLA claims brought by the class. The 8th Circuit
affirmed the District Court's decision on all counts.

                 No Conflict Between Class Members

The settlement agreement approved by the District Court divided the
property owners affected by the pollution into three groups and awarded
different monetary benefits to each group. The first group owned
property located on top of the underground oil. The second group owned
property surrounding the first group's properties. And the third group,
which included approximately 5,000 properties, was the farthest removed
from the underground oil. The property owners of the third group did not
receive a sum certain. Rather, the owners were permitted to make a
showing of damages on a case-by-case basis to receive compensation.

The appellants argued that the District Court's failure to divide the
certified class into subclasses deprived the class members of adequate
representation because the interests of the three groups conflicted.

The 8th Circuit discussed the District Court's duty to ensure that a
class remains certifiable once certified and that the court's decision
would only be reviewed for an abuse of discretion. The court pointed out
that the litigation had been pending for over three years and the class
had been certified long before the settlement. The 8th Circuit found
that the appellants' arguments that the boundaries between property
owners were arbitrary and inaccurately established and that different
class members received very different monetary awards did not clearly
explain why the class members' interests in cleaning up the pollution
caused by Amoco differed. Rather, the court explained, the arguments
were directed at the settlement itself. The 8th Circuit held that a
conflict of interest is not created when different class members receive
different awards, as long as the harm suffered can be clearly identified
and quantified.

Further, the 8th Circuit held that the interests of the class members do
not all have to be identical if common objectives are shared. Larger
award for a litigant who opted out of settlement. The 8th Circuit held
that the first group of property owners received more compensatory
damages than the property owners that had opted out and were victorious
at trial. Their awards were large due to punitive damages awarded. The
8th Circuit held that "the speculative possibility of punitive damages
... [w]as not enough to find that the District Court abused it
discretion in approving the settlement."

                       Settlement Was Adequate

As part of the settlement, Amoco agreed to work towards containing and
remediating the underground oil, to perform future tests of the
community drinking water, to work with the property owners to make the
contaminated property useful again, and to make concessions to
facilitate the building of a local road. Although the appellants argued
that the measures agreed to would probably not be very effective, the
8th Circuit found that the arguments were not sufficient to warrant
finding that the District Court had abused its discretion in approving
the settlement and it probably was not likely that any injunctive relief
would have been received at trial.

The 8th Circuit held that the settlement agreement only prevented cases
brought on the same claims against Amoco to be estopped. The parties
always had the right to bring actions based on a third-party
governmental agency's failure to enforce the law in an area affected by
the settlement.

The 8th Circuit further held that no subgroup of the class was treated
unfairly and the District Court weighed all of the evidence.

                  Settlement Notices Do Not Have to
                 Include Specific Formulas for Awards

The 8th Circuit held that prior cases require that the notice only needs
to satisfy the broad reasonableness standards imposed by due process.
The 8th Circuit held that the notice did not need to contain the
complete formula for calculating individual awards to be adequate.

           Petroleum Byproducts Are Not Hazardous Substances

The District Court had found that all of the contaminants on the
properties derived from petroleum hydrocarbon products and granted
summary judgment because petroleum is specifically excluded from the
definition of hazardous substance under CERCLA. The 8th Circuit affirmed
based on the "petroleum exclusion" found in the CERCLA statute.
(Opinion: Circuit Judge Morris Sheppard Arnold) ((Real
Estate/Environmental Liability News, February 18, 2000)

ARENA FOOTBALL: Players File with NLRB, FL Unfair Labor Practice Claims
Arena Football League (AFL) players on February 21 filed unfair labor
practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against
all the owners of AFL teams. The charges, filed with the NLRB in Tampa,
Fla., allege that the owners are illegally attempting to coerce players
into supporting a union they do not want, as part of the owners' plan to
avoid liability for their violations of federal and state antitrust
laws. The players, who have already made it clear that they do not want
to form a union, are seeking injunctive relief to restrain owners from
continuing to threaten and coerce them.

James Guidry, a quarterback with the Oklahoma Wranglers and the
president of the AFL Players Association, is one of the players who
filed the unfair labor practice charges with the NLRB. According to
Guidry, "The AFL teams are holding all AFL players hostage, trying to
force us to support a union selected and financed by the owners, as part
of their continuing efforts to keep player salaries, insurance, medical
care and injury protection below any reasonable standards. The few
players who are supporting the union selected by the league are only
doing so in response to the illegal threats to cut off their pay and
benefits and to terminate the 2000 season. The players are simply not
going to tolerate a continuation of this type of conduct."

The charges the players filed with the NLRB include allegations that the
owners are:

* Coercing players to give up their right under federal law to refrain
  from forming or supporting a union;
* Withholding pay and benefits from players who refuse to support the
  owners' union;
* Threatening players who refuse to support a union with firing,
  blacklisting from ever being a player or a coach in the league, and
  the shutdown of the 2000 season;
* Providing financial support and other assistance to the union the AFL
  owners want the players to support; Refusing to offer contracts to
  players and engaging in other illegal reprisals because players have
  exercised their right not to join a union.

On Feb. 3, the players filed a major class action antitrust lawsuit in
the United States District Court in Newark, N.J., seeking damages and an
injunction against the illegal practices by AFL teams and owners that
eliminate competition for AFL players' services. The suit contends that
the owners of AFL teams have joined together in violation of the Sherman
antitrust act, to reduce the owners' costs for player services, by
fixing the terms of employment for AFL players at unfair and
noncompetitive levels, prohibiting injury and other contractual
guarantees, and forcing the players into "take it or leave it"
situations in which the owners can dictate whatever terms they want. The
players are seeking judicial orders ending the owners' illegal contracts
and three times the damages suffered by AFL players since 1996.

For more information about the NLRB charges or the players' antitrust
lawsuit, contact Jeffrey L. Kessler of Weil, Gotshal & Manges,
212-310-8646 or Mark S. Levinstein of Williams & Connolly, 202-434-5012.
Jeffrey L. Kessler of Weil, Gotshal & Manges, 212-310-8646, or Mark S.
Levinstein, of Williams & Connolly, 202-434-5012

BANKAMERICA, NATIONSBANK: MO Suit Re Fraud in Merger Survives Dismissal
The Eastern District of Missouri has refused to dismiss a securities
fraud class action challenging disclosures made during the NationsBank
Corp. (NB) and BankAmerica (OBA) merger. Shareholders allege the banks
did not reveal the extent of OBA's investment in D.E. Shaw & Co. that
resulted in a $372 million charge-off shortly after the merger due to
downswing in the foreign currencies market. In re BankAmerica Corp.
Securities Litigation, MDL No. 1264 (ED MO, Dec. 15, 1999).

In April 1998, NB (a North Carolina corporation) and OBA (a Delaware
corporation) agreed to a merger in a stock-for-stock exchange in which
NB shareholders received about 54 percent of the new BankAmerica (NBA)
and former OBA shareholders got 46 percent.

NB filed a registration statement (including a joint proxy/prospectus)
for the combined companies' stock in August 1998, which was also sent to
shareholders for their approval. The merger was described as a "merger
of equals," based on the percentage control of the new entity by NB and
OBA shareholders.

The proxy incorporated OBA's 1997 annual report, which said that OBA had
"established a relationship" with D.E. Shaw & Co. to enhance its ability
to offer additional financial products to its customers. However, OBA
did not disclose that the relationship involved a $1.4 billion unsecured
loan from OBA to Shaw, which Shaw managed as a separate trading
portfolio. Under the terms of their agreement, 50 percent of any
resulting profits went back to OBA. Subsequently, Shaw leveraged the
loan to support a bond portfolio valued at $20 million.

When Russia defaulted on its debt on Aug. 17, 1998, many financial
institutions declared losses in their foreign securities portfolios, and
even OBA announced a $220 million trading loss. Nevertheless, the merger
was approved by shareholders on Sept. 24, 1998. At an Oct. 1, 1998 press
conference, Hugh L. McColl, Jr., Chairman and CEO of NBA, said the bank
had outstanding loans to hedge funds in an amount "below $300 million"
and reiterated that the company had an "investment" in Shaw.

Later that month, NBA took the $372 million charge-off from the Shaw
loan and reversed $70 million in related income. Additionally, the
company revealed its investment in the relationship was $1 billion after
the charge-off.

A few weeks later, NBA's CFO James Hance said in a Wall Street Journal
interview that, "BankAmerica Corp. knew as early as August about losses
at its high-risk trading operation with D.E. Shaw & Co., but decided not
to disclose the problem [yet] because it feared the publicity could
cause the bank to lose its entire $1.4 billion loan to the fund."

The article also stated Hance, McColl and other top executives had been
scrambling since late September to deal with the Shaw situation. David
M. Coulter, President of NBA and heir apparent to McColl, resigned
shortly after the article was published.

                        The Class Action

Shareholders of the banks filed multiple class actions alleging
securities fraud due to the misleading statements regarding the Shaw
investment and Coulter's resignation. They allege:

-- false or misleading statements in the proxy in violation of Sec.
   14(a) of the Exchange Act;

-- false statements in the registration statements in violation of Sec.
   11 of the Securities Act;

-- fraud under Sec. 10b and Rule 10b-5 thereunder; and

-- control officer liability under Sec. 20(a) of the Exchange Act.

The banks moved for dismissal claiming, among other things, failure to
fulfill the heightened pleading standards of the Private Securities
Litigation Reform Act. (PSLRA).

Judge John F. Nangle, writing for the district court, adopted the Second
Circuit's standards as the Eighth Circuit has not addressed the issue

The court concluded plaintiff's claims raised a strong inference of
fraud even though the allegations are not as specific as the Second and
Ninth Circuit require. Judge John F. Nangle said the internal reports
regarding the progress of OBA's portfolio with Shaw and Hance's
published statements were sufficient to meet the heightened pleading

The court also concluded the "group pleading doctrine" survived the
PSLRA. This doctrine attributes knowledge of information to all officers
and directors with involvement in the day-to-day affairs of the

                  Allegations of False Statements

Regarding the allegedly misleading statements in the proxy, the
defendants argue that there was no duty to disclose the details of the
financing relationship and, moreover, they didn't decide to take the
charge off until the night before.

Citing Chiarella v. U.S. (U.S. 1980), the court ruled that corporate
insiders, due to their fiduciary obligations, have a duty to disclose
material information when a failure to disclose would be a detriment of

"Because the failure to disclose the information caused the stock of OBA
to be overvalued, the BA holders received a better exchange rate under
the terms of the merger than they should have," the court said.

The allegations of false statements in the registration statement are
based on its usage of the term "merger of equals." Plaintiffs allege
that defendants had no intention for control of NBA to be shared, or for
Coulter to succeed McColl.

Although defendants argued the term was too vague to be actionable, the
court was not persuaded, stating that the proxy/prospectus and
registration statements define the term. "If the BA holders had known
that defendants never intended for control to be shared and for Coulter
to succeed McColl, they would likely not have voted for the merger," the
court said. Consequently, this information is not so vague as to be
immaterial, Judge Nangle concluded.

Overall, the court allowed the securities fraud and misrepresentation
claims by the stockholders to survive the motion to dismiss. Only
individual or control person liability against certain defendants was
dismissed. (See Document Section D for the opinion.) (Securities &
Commodities Litigation Reporter, January 26, 2000)

CENTURY BUSINESS: Schatz & Nobel Files Securities Suit in Ohio
The law firm of Schatz & Nobel, P.C. filed a securities complaint in the
United States District Court of the Northern District of Ohio on behalf
of all persons who purchased or otherwise acquired the common stock of
Century Business Inc. between November 9, 1999, and January 28, 2000,

The complaint asserts among others that Century Business Services Inc.
and its officers sought to inflate results through false and misleading
statements regarding the Company's internal financial reporting

The complaint also charges that during the Class Period, the Company and
certain of its officers violated the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and
Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder. The Complaint alleges, among other
things, that during the Class Period, the Defendants made false and
misleading statements regarding its internal financial reporting
structure. The Complaint further alleges that by making these material
misrepresentations, the Defendants artificially inflated the price of
the common stock during the Class Period.

Prior to the Class Period, in 1997 and 1998, Century had engaged in an
aggressive acquisition campaign during which time Century acquired over
100 companies. As a result of these acquisitions, Century did not have
in place adequate internal controls and management reporting structures
to assure that it timely reported material changes in its operation

For more information on the above-mentioned lawsuit, you may contact
Andrew M. Schatz or Jeffrey S. Nobel toll-free at (800) 797-5499, or by
e-mail at SN06106@aol.com and for more information about Schatz & Nobel,
P.C., you may visit website at http://www.snlaw.net

CHRISTIE'S, SOTHEBY'S: Update on Antitrust Case; Mounting Suits Filed
Thirty-eight class-action lawsuits were filed in Manhattan as of
February 14, said Robert A. Skirnick, an antitrust lawyer representing
some of the customers. Others have been filed in other states, and
Sotheby's shareholders have also sued, according to a report on the New
York Times, and Judge Lewis Kaplan, a federal judge in Manhattan, has
scheduled a hearing to begin consolidating the lawsuits.

Disgruntled customers contend they were overcharged because of collusion
by the two rival auction houses, and they are basing their class-action
suits on a criminal antitrust investigation the United States Justice
Department has been conducting. As part of that process a federal grand
jury in Manhattan is looking into whether the auction houses conspired
to fix the commissions they charge buyers and sellers at auctions dating
back to 1992, said people in art and legal circles who are involved in
the matter.

About three dozen other people have sued, some of whom may have simply
bought a wristwatch or sold a great aunt's antique commode, the New York
Times reports. Some of these people, like Mr. Black the copper trader,
may have had longstanding disagreements with the auction houses; last
year, Sotheby's admitted that a pair of antique chairs for which Mr.
Black paid about $2.7 million were, in fact, recent reproductions. But
others were simply shocked when they learned of the antitrust
investigation. Civil suits like these are common in the wake of a
criminal antitrust investigation, class-action lawyers said. But
plaintiffs in these cases are not just any old consumers. They are
richer, and probably tougher.

The unusual makeup of the plaintiffs -- mainly angry rich people --
should come as no surprise, said Joseph J. Tabacco, one of the lawyers
involved in the suits against Sotheby's and Christie's. After all, he
said, "The zone of greatest impact is probably up and down Park Avenue."

The fallout could be not just embarrassing but also expensive for
Sotheby's and Christie's, which could end up paying their clients tens
of millions of dollars, according to the New York Times.

The report says some worry that publicity from the antitrust case will
shake the public's confidence at a time when the art market has been
booming. "For a lot of people to whom the art world is hype anyway, does
it increase their fears and cynicism?" wondered Angela Westwater, a
dealer of contemporary art in SoHo.

If the Justice Department's investigation results in criminal charges,
Sotheby's could face fines and its top executives short prison terms.
Last month Christie's announced that in return for immunity from
criminal prosecution it was cooperating with the investigation and
turning over information to the Justice Department. Under the
department's amnesty program, leniency can be extended only to the first
member of a cartel to come forward and spill the beans.

Sotheby's stock price has plunged, from its high last spring of $47 to
$17 3/4 on February 18. Ron Baron, president of Baron Capital
Management, by far the largest outside shareholder in Sotheby's,
described himself as "surprised, puzzled and disappointed" at the
antitrust news, though he said he was confident that the outcome would
not be financially significant.

Christie's, which was bought by a French businessman for more than $1
billion in 1998, is now a private company and no longer obligated to
report its financial results publicly.

Both companies, which control about 95 percent of the $4 billion
worldwide auction market, will have to cope with the class-action
lawsuits by disgruntled customers, who could number in the thousands. If
the customers win, they could recover three times the damages they
suffered. The losses for the auction houses could come at a bad time.
Both businesses have just spent huge sums on snazzy headquarters, and
Sotheby's is pouring millions of dollars into an Internet auction

The investigation could also result in increased governmental
regulation. The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, which
regulates auctioneers, is "following the antitrust action closely, said
Jules Polonetsky, commissioner of the department. Moreover, the art
dealers fear that more regulations in the auction business could hurt
the entire art trade.

Many in the insular art world are riveted by the drama and waiting for
Sotheby's next move, the New York Times says. Some dealers and
collectors, who generally have a love-hate relationship with the two big
houses, seem to be privately aghast and slightly gleeful at their
problems. Lawyers, too, are watching with interest as a patient and
painstaking federal prosecutor named John J. Greene deals with some of
the most experienced, expensive and aggressive defense lawyers in the
country (Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom for Christie's and Weil,
Gotshal & Manges for Sotheby's).

The report points out that the investigation comes at a time when the
art auction business seems finally to have recovered from the deep
recession that followed the frenzied art sales of the late 1980's.

After a drop in revenues, the auction houses began raising their fees,
and by exactly the same amount. In 1992 Sotheby's announced that it was
increasing the commission that buyers pay to 15 percent of the purchase
price on the first $50,000 and 10 percent on the rest. In 1995, another
tough year in the auction business, the pattern of price increases was
repeated, this time on the commissions that Sotheby's and Christie's
charge sellers. Within six weeks of each other, the two announced a
sliding scale that would apply to all sellers; previously, the two had
officially charged fixed commissions, but often cut them to woo big

"Once they instituted that elaborate sliding scale, there was no
negotiation unless maybe for the Onassis estate," said Jeffrey A.
Klafter, a lawyer representing customers in some of the 40-odd
class-action cases that have been filed in the last month.

Financially, the price changes worked out well for the houses. In 1996
the amount of art sold at auction at Sotheby's edged down by almost 4
percent, but its revenues from auctions rose 7 percent.

By that time Mr. Greene was already taking a close look at the art
world. He had brought several cases against antiques dealers who
secretly agreed not to bid against one another at auctions.

In the spring of 1997 both the auction houses and a dozen top art
dealers were subpoenaed for truckloads of documents, including
datebooks, phone lists and correspondence. Though the main focus seemed
to be on dealers, some lawyers suggested that the Justice Department was
also looking at the commission increases. According to the New York
Times, lawyers for several dealers who received subpoenas said recently
that their clients had not heard from prosecutors for a long time,
suggesting that the investigation may have stalled or that prosecutors
began focusing on only the auction houses.

Meanwhile things were changing at Christie's. Francois Pinault, who owns
the auction house, installed a team of accountants to comb through its
books and records. He also began shaking up Christie's management.

On Christmas Eve Christie's announced the resignation of Christopher M.
Davidge, who had been the auction house's chief executive for six years.
Mr. Davidge's lawyer, Joseph Linklater, declined to comment on his
client's departure. A month later Christie's said it "recently became
aware of information relevant to the antitrust investigation," and had
turned it over to the Justice Department. Christie's added that it had
entered the department's amnesty program, which allows companies to turn
themselves in for antitrust violations in return for leniency or
immunity from criminal prosecution.

According to the New York Times, one reason for a company to confess to
a crime that might otherwise seem difficult to prove is simple the
threat of jail time and large fines. Criminal antitrust cases are
notoriously difficult to prove, the report says, but a trial is a risk
for targeted businesses, especially when there is tangible evidence. So
rather than recommending that their clients try to tough it out, lawyers
often tell them to cooperate with prosecutors -- before someone else
does. "There's a footrace to the prosecutors," said Stephen M. Axinn, a
specialist in antitrust defense.

It is not enough just to turn state's evidence, antitrust lawyers said.
For the courts to recognize that a conspiracy has ended, the conspirator
must make an open, public break with the cartel agreement.

Then there is the broader question of what Sotheby's will do about the
antitrust investigation, the article in the New York Times brings up.
Some lawyers said that the auction house would reach a settlement with
the government rather than go to trial. "There's no possible benefit, in
terms of the art world, in having all this ugly stuff in the newspaper
every day," said Mr. Axinn, the defense expert. (The New York Times,
February 21, 2000)

HMOs: Patients' Rights under Doctors' Incentive Scheme Go to Supreme Ct
The Supreme Court will hear a case on February 23 that goes to the heart
of the current national furor over managed care: Can patients trust
doctors who are paid bonuses by their health plans to cut medical costs?

The outcome may determine whether the 125 million Americans who are in
group health plans have legal recourse when they suspect that their
doctors have denied them care because of a financial incentive paid by
the managed care company that employs them.

Until now, aggrieved HMO patients have found little relief in federal
courts. But the case of Cynthia Herdrich may change all that. Herdrich,
now an environmental planner in Loveland, Colo., was 33 years old in
1991 when she went to her Illinois HMO doubled over in pain. Her doctor
diagnosed her with a urinary tract infection and sent her home with an
antibiotic. When Herdrich returned nearly a week later, still in pain,
her physician, Lori Pegram, said that she had an ovarian cyst and
recommended an ultrasound. But before Herdrich could have the ultrasound
at a hospital in her HMO's network, which was 50 miles away, her
appendix ruptured and caused a severe infection. Treatment required a
weeklong hospital stay, plus five days of intravenous antibiotics at

Her lawyer says that this was not merely a case of medical error. "They
had hidden incentives that basically say you can receive an annual bonus
for not ordering diagnostic tests and not making referrals to
specialists," said the attorney, James P. Ginzkey. "That creates a
blatant conflict of interest. And it explained what happened here. At
every step, they took the cheap way out."

Herdrich sued her doctor and her HMO. Among other things, she alleged
that because her doctor was paid a year-end bonus for limiting referrals
for tests and treatments at out-of-network hospitals, the HMO had
violated its responsibilities under a federal law that requires
administrators of a benefit plan to put first the interests of people
covered by the plan.

The fight over the Herdrich case - many of the biggest players in the
health care industry have filed briefs - is part of a growing political
and legal battle over the rights of patients. If the Supreme Court rules
in Herdrich's favor, the decision is likely to have huge financial and
legal consequences for the managed health care system, which uses
incentive payments to encourage doctors to hold down costs. It also
could unleash a flurry of lawsuits against managed health care plans and
boost prospects for more than a dozen class-action lawsuits that have
been filed against some of the nation's largest plans.

"It would open the door to a tremendous amount of litigation against
every managed care plan," said Carter Phillips, the prominent
Washington-based lawyer who is representing Carle Clinic, the HMO sued
by Herdrich.

Karen Ignagni, president of the American Association of Health Plans, an
HMO trade group, predicted an even more dire result. "If the court rules
in her favor, it would potentially unravel the entire health care system
because these incentives are used not just by private health care plans
but in the federal Medicare and Medicaid programs, and in state employee
benefit plans," Ignagni said. Trial lawyers and patient advocates see it
differently. Because of the way the federal law has been interpreted
until now, most patients who are injured by health plans have had little
recourse in either state or federal courts. A ruling in favor of
Herdrich, or even partly in her favor, would begin to right the
inequities, they say.

"Up to now, what federal law has done ... is to insulate managed care
from liability, from judicial oversight and from state regulatory
oversight," said Peter Jacobson, a law professor at the University of
Michigan. "If the court rules in Herdrich's favor, it won't be the end
of managed care. Liability didn't undermine hospitals, and it's not
likely to destroy managed care," he said.

The threshold legal question to be decided by the court is whether an
HMO or managed health care plan - like the employer that sponsors the
overall benefits plan - functions as a fiduciary of the benefits plan.
If so, HMOs likely would have to live up to the same trustee-type
responsibilities expected of employers. Those responsibilities include
disclosure of the plan's operations, loyalty to plan members and a
prohibition against enriching the plan's administrators at the expense
of participants in the plan. In the case of HMOs, that implies a duty to
act in the sole interest of patients.

HMOs have argued that their systems to hold down costs, including
physician incentives, benefit all members because they lower the overall
cost of the plans.

But Herdrich's lawyers argue that some of those cost-saving measures
conflict with the interests of patients because they compromise their
access to care.

The legal question is further complicated, some legal scholars say, by
the dual and hard-to-separate roles played by managed care plans. As
plan administrators responsible for making benefit decisions, health
plans are covered by the 1974 Employment Retirement Income Security Act,
or ERISA; as deliverers of health care, they are not.

Until recently, courts interpreted the law to mean that, even when an
HMO patient was injured because of a doctor's negligence, the HMO was
shielded from liability both in federal and state courts. Judges
reasoned that since ERISA does not deal with negligence or malpractice
and because the HMO was serving a plan regulated under the federal law,
it was shielded from malpractice suits in state courts. Patients can,
however, sue a specific doctor under state malpractice laws.

The only exception to this shield was if an HMO wrongly denied a patient
a benefit covered by the plan. In that case, the patient could recover
damages under the federal law but only the cost of the benefit that was

Thus a woman denied a mammogram, which the plan was supposed to cover,
and whose breast cancer then progressed undetected, could be reimbursed
only for the cost of the mammogram. Few lawyers took such cases because
so little money could be recovered.

Now, however, courts are revising some of those rulings and opening the
door to some lawsuits against managed care plans by injured patients and

In 1996, a jury heard Herdrich's malpractice claim in an Illinois state
court and awarded her $ 35,000 in damages against her physician. But the
trial judge tossed out her federal employee benefit claim against her

However, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago, in a ruling that stunned
the health care industry, revived Herdrich's claim against the clinic
and said the allegations, if true, would justify a damage verdict
against the HMO itself. Doctors cannot work "solely in the interest" of
the patients if they receive "yearly kickbacks" for denying care, said
Judge John L. Coffey for the 7th U.S. Circuit Court.

Before the case could go to trial, the HMO, backed by the health care
industry, persuaded the Supreme Court to rule squarely on whether HMOs
in this type of case are acting as fiduciaries and can be sued under
federal employee benefits law for using financial incentives.

The Clinton administration filed a brief urging the high court to rule
against Herdrich, saying that her HMO's bonus plan did not appear to
violate the federal benefit law. But it also argued that other types of
financial incentives could violate ERISA, and said that the court should
not close the door to such suits.

Filing briefs on behalf of Herdrich are health care scholars and
ethicists, as well as a number of public-interest health groups. A
decision in the case, Pegram vs. Herdrich, will be handed down by the
court within a few months. (The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC),
February 21, 2000)

JDN REALTY: Berger & Montague Files Securities Lawsuit in Georgia
Berger & Montague, P.C. filed a class action lawsuit for violations of
the federal securities laws in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Georgia against JDN Realty Corp. and certain of its
officers and directors, on behalf of all persons who purchased JDN
securities between March 28, 1997, and February 14, 2000, inclusive.

The complaint alleges that JDN and certain of its directors and officers
violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934. The complaint alleges that defendants failed to disclose that from
1994 to 1998 certain executives of the Company received $4.9 million in
compensation payments in connection with real estate development
projects. The complaint also alleges that defendants issued materially
false and misleading financial statements which failed to record the
payments as expenses or to identify the related party transactions.

On February 14, 2000, the Company revealed publicly for the first time
that the previously unreported payments would cause it to default on its
main credit line and that the Company's 1999 fourth quarter earnings
announcement would be delayed in order to restate its earnings for each
of the past five years. The company also announced that its chief
executive officer had resigned that post immediately, along with the two
executives who had received the compensation. Plaintiff seeks to recover
damages on behalf of himself and all persons who bought JDN securities
during the Class Period.

Contact: Sherrie R. Savett Esq., Stuart J. Guber Esq. or Kimberly A.
Walker, Investor Relations Manager of Berger & Montague, P.C. 1622
Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, by telephone at 215-875-3000 or
888-891- 2289, or fax at 215-875-5715 or at InvestorProtect@bm.net via
e- mail.

JDN REALTY: Finkelstein, Thompson Files Securities Suit in Georgia
Finkelstein, Thompson & Loughran has filed a class action lawsuit in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia on
behalf of all persons who purchased JDN Realty Corp. common stock from
March 31, 1997 through February 13, 2000, inclusive.

The Complaint charges that defendants fraudulently funneled undisclosed
compensation to certain officers of the Company, engaged in undisclosed
related party transactions, understated expenses and overstated funds
from operations and net income in reporting the company's financial
results during the Class Period. Specifically, the Complaint alleges
that, during the period between 1994 and 1998, defendants concealed at
least $5 million of undisclosed compensation, and overstated net income
by at least $5 million. The Complaint further charges that officers of
the Company engaged in significant insider sales, selling over 50,000
shares of JDN stock to the unsuspecting public, for total proceeds in
excess of $1.3 million.

On February 14, 2000, JDN Realty announced that J. Donald Nichols had
resigned as Chief Executive Officer, and that two corporate vice
presidents had also resigned, in light of "the company's discovery of
certain real estate transactions which included undisclosed compensation
arrangements and related party transactions." The company further stated
that "these transactions were not accurately recorded or disclosed in
JDN's audited financial statements for its years ended December 31, 1994
through 1998." The company also indicated that "the compensation and
other amounts are likely to be accounted for as an expense for each of
the years incurred, which would result in a restatement of the company's
financial statements for each of those years, and reduce net income and
funds from operations for those periods." These revelations spurred a
precipitous drop in JDN's share price, with the share price closing at
$9 9/16, down 41% from the previous day's closing price.

For additional information on this lawsuit, you may contact Donald J.
Enright with Finkelstein, Thompson & Loughran, toll-free at 888-
333-4409, or at 202-337-8000, or by e-mail at DJE@FTLLAW.com Web page at

LOUISIANA PACIFIC: Contests with ABT Lawsuit in AL Re Hardboard Siding
On January 25, 1999, Louisiana Pacific Corp. commenced a tender offer to
purchase all outstanding shares of ABT Building Products Corporation
(ABT) for $15 per share. On February 25, 1999, L-P and ABT merged
following the successful completion of the tender offer. L-P acquired
approximately 10.7 million shares of ABT for cash proceeds of
approximately $160 million.

In March 1999, L-P filed a shelf registration statement for $500 million
of debt securities to be offered from time to time in one or more
series. The amount, price and other terms of any such offering will be
determined on the basis of market conditions and other factors existing
at the time of such offering. The proceeds from the sale of such
securities are anticipated to be used by L-P for general corporate
purposes, which may include repayment of debt, including debt incurred
in the acquisition of ABT.

ABT, ABTco, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of ABT ("ABTco" and,
together with ABT, the "ABT Entities"), Abitibi-Price Corporation
("Abitibi"), a predecessor of ABT, and certain affiliates of Abitibi
(the "Abitibi Affiliates" and, together with Abitibi, the "Abitibi
Entities") have been named as defendants in a conditionally certified
class action filed in the Circuit Court of Choctaw County, Alabama, on
December 21, 1995 and in six other putative class action proceedings
filed in the following courts on the following dates: the Court of
Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania on August 8, 1995; the
Superior Court of Forsyth County, North Carolina on December 27, 1996;
the Superior Court of Onslow County, North Carolina on January 21, 1997;
the Court of Common Pleas of Berkeley County, South Carolina on
September 25, 1997; the Circuit Court of Bay County, Florida on March
11, 1998 (subsequently removed to the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of Florida); and the Superior Court of Dekalb County,
Georgia on September 25, 1998.

These actions were brought on behalf of various persons or purported
classes of persons (including nationwide classes) who own or have
purchased or used hardboard siding manufactured or sold by the ABT
Entities or the Abitibi Entities. In general, the plaintiffs in these
actions have alleged unfair business practices, breach of warranty,
fraud, misrepresentation, negligence, and other theories related to
alleged defects, deterioration, or other failure of such hardboard
siding, and seek unspecified compensatory, punitive, and other damages,
attorneys' fees and other relief. In addition, Abitibi has been named in
certain other actions, which may result in liability to ABT under the
allocation agreement between ABT and Abitibi. Except in the case of
certain of the putative class actions that have been stayed, the ABT
Entities have filed answers in these proceedings that deny all material
allegations of the plaintiffs and assert affirmative defenses. L-P
intends to cause the ABT Entities to defend these proceedings

LOUISIANA PACIFIC: Contests with ABT Lawsuit in MO Re Hardboard Siding
L-P, the ABT Entities and the Abitibi Entities have also been named as
defendants in a putative class action proceeding filed in the Circuit
Court of Jackson County, Missouri on April 22, 1999 and brought on
behalf of a purported class of persons in Missouri who own or have
purchased hardboard siding manufactured by the defendants. In general,
the plaintiffs in this proceeding have alleged breaches of warranty,
fraud, misrepresentation, negligence, strict liability and other
theories related to alleged defects, deterioration or other failure of
such hardboard siding, and seek restitution, punitive damages,
attorneys' fees and other relief. L-P and the ABT Entities intend to
defend this proceeding vigorously.

ABT and Abitibi have agreed to an allocation of liability with respect
to claims relating to (1) siding sold by the ABT Entities after October
22, 1992 ("ABT Board"), and (2) siding sold by the Abitibi Entities on
or before, or held as finished goods inventory by the Abitibi Entities
on, October 22, 1992 ("Abitibi Board"). In general, ABT and Abitibi have
agreed that all amounts paid in settlement or judgment (other than any
punitive damages assessed individually against either the ABT Entities
or the Abitibi Entities) following the completion of any claims process
resolving any class action claim (including consolidated cases involving
more than 125 homes owned by named plaintiffs) shall be paid (a) 100% by
ABT insofar as they relate to ABT Board, (b) 65% by Abitibi and 35% by
ABT insofar as they relate to Abitibi Board, and (c) 50% by ABT and 50%
by Abitibi insofar as they cannot be allocated to ABT Board or Abitibi

In general, amounts paid in connection with class action claims for
joint local counsel and other joint expenses, and for plaintiffs'
attorneys' fees and expenses, are to be allocated in a similar manner,
except that joint costs of defending and disposing of class action
claims incurred prior to the final determination of what portion of
claims relate to ABT Board and what portion relate to Abitibi Board are
to be paid 50% by ABT and 50% by Abitibi (subject to adjustment in
certain circumstances).

ABT and Abitibi have also agreed to certain allocations (generally on a
50/50 basis) of amounts paid for settlements, judgments and associated
fees and expenses in respect of non-class action claims relating to
Abitibi Board. ABT is solely responsible for such amounts in respect of
claims relating to ABT Board. Based on the information currently
available, management believes that the resolution of the foregoing
matters will not have a material adverse effect on the financial
position or results of operations of L-P.

LOUISIANA PACIFIC: FL Ct OKs Settlement with Users of OSB Siding
A settlement of a class action in Florida, similar to the nationwide
action on OSB Siding Matters, was approved by the Circuit Court for Lake
County, Florida, on October 4, 1995.

Under the settlement, L-P has established a claims procedure pursuant to
which members of the settlement class may report problems with L-P's OSB
siding and have their properties inspected by an independent adjuster,
who will measure the amount of damage and also determine the extent to
which improper design, construction, installation, finishing, painting,
and maintenance may have contributed to any damage.

The maximum payment for damaged siding is $3.40 per square foot for lap
siding and $2.82 per square foot for panel siding, subject to reduction
by up to 75 percent for damage resulting from improper design,
construction, installation, finishing, painting, or maintenance, and
also subject to reduction for age of siding more than three years old.
L-P has agreed that the deduction from the payment to a member of the
Florida class will be not greater than the deduction computed for a
similar claimant under the national settlement agreement described
above. Class members will be entitled to make claims until October 4,

LOUISIANA PACIFIC: OR Ct OKs Nationwide Settlement for OSB Siding Users
Louisiana Pacific Corp. reports in its filing with the SEC that it has
been named as a defendant in numerous class action and nonclass action
proceedings, brought on behalf of various persons or purported classes
of persons (including nationwide classes in the United States and
Canada) who own or have purchased or used OSB siding manufactured by
L-P, because of alleged unfair business practices, breach of warranty,
misrepresentation, conspiracy to defraud, and other theories related to
alleged defects, deterioration, or failure of OSB siding products.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon has given final
approval to a settlement between L-P and a nationwide class composed of
all persons who own, have owned, or subsequently acquire property on
which L-P's OSB siding was installed prior to January 1, 1996, excluding
persons who timely opted out of the settlement and persons who are
members of the settlement class in the Florida litigation described

Under the settlement agreement, an eligible claimant whose claim is
filed prior to January 1, 2003 (or earlier in certain cases) and is
approved by an independent claims administrator, is entitled to receive
from the settlement fund established under the agreement a payment equal
to the replacement cost (determined by a third-party construction cost
estimator and currently estimated to be in the range of $2.20 to $6.40
per square foot depending on the type of product and geographic
location) of damaged siding, reduced by a specific adjustment (of up to
65 percent) based on the age of the siding.

Class members who previously submitted or resolved claims under any
other warranty or claims program of L-P may be entitled to receive the
difference between the amount payable under the settlement agreement and
the amount previously paid.

The extent of damage to OSB siding at each claimant's property is
determined by an independent adjuster in accordance with a specified
protocol. Settlement payments are not subject to adjustment for improper
maintenance or installation.

A claimant who is dissatisfied with the amount to be paid under the
settlement may elect to pursue claims against L-P in a binding
arbitration seeking compensatory damages without regard to the amount of
payment calculated under the settlement protocol. A claimant who elects
to pursue an arbitration claim must prove his entitlement to damages
under any available legal theory, and L-P may assert any available
defense, including defenses that otherwise had been waived under the
settlement agreement. If the arbitrator reduces the damage award
otherwise payable to the claimant because of a finding of improper
installation, the claimant may pursue a claim against the
contractor/builder to the extent the award was reduced.

The settlement requires L-P to contribute $275 million to the settlement
fund in seven annual installments payable during the period from 1996
through 2002 in the following amounts: $100 million; $55 million; $40
million; $30 million; $20 million; $15 million; and $15 million. As of
December 31, 1998, L-P had funded the first three installments. L-P also
had funded a significant portion of the last four installments through
the Early Payment Program discussed below. The estimated cumulative
total of approved claims under the settlement, as calculated under the
terms of the settlement (without giving effect, in the case of unpaid
claims, to discounted settlements under the Early Payment Program),
exceeded $500 million at December 31, 1998.

In these circumstances, unless L-P makes an additional contribution of
$50 million to the settlement fund by August 2001, the settlement will
terminate as to all claims in excess of $275 million that remain unpaid.
In addition, unless L-P makes a second additional contribution of $50
million to the settlement fund by August 2002, the settlement will
terminate as to all claims in excess of $325 million that remain unpaid.
If L-P makes both of these additional contributions, the settlement
would continue in effect until at least August 2003, at which time L- P
would be required to make an election with respect to all unpaid claims
that were filed prior to December 31, 2002. If, in August 2003, L-P
elects to pay pursuant to the settlement all approved claims that remain
unpaid at that time, 50% of the unpaid claims must be paid by August
2004 and the remaining 50% must be paid by August 2005. If L-P elects
not to pay the unpaid claims pursuant to the settlement, the settlement
will terminate with respect to such unpaid claims and all unpaid
claimants will be free to pursue their individual remedies from and
after August 2003.

If L-P makes all payments required under the settlement agreement,
including all additional payments as specified above, class members will
be deemed to have released L-P from all claims for damaged OSB siding,
except for claims arising under their existing 25-year limited warranty
after termination of the settlement agreement. The settlement agreement
does not cover consequential damages resulting from damage to OSB
Inner-Seal siding or damage to utility grade OSB siding (sold without
any express warranty), either of which could create additional claims.
In addition to payments to the settlement fund, L-P was required to pay
fees of class counsel in the amount of $26.25 million, as well as
expenses of administering the settlement fund and inspecting properties
for damage and certain other costs. After accruing interest on
undisbursed funds and deducting class notification costs, prior claims
costs (including payments advanced to homeowners in urgent
circumstances) and payment of claims under the settlement, as of
December 31, 1998, approximately $5.8 million remained of the $195
million paid into the fund to date (all of which was dedicated to the
payment of expenses or held in reserve).

On October 26, 1998, L-P announced an agreement to offer early payments
to eligible claimants who have submitted valid and approved claims under
the original settlement agreement (the "Early Payment Program") and to
establish an additional $125 million fund to pay all other approved
claims that are filed before December 31, 1999 (the "Second Fund").

The Early Payment Program is available to all claimants who are entitled
to be paid from the $80 million of mandatory contributions to the
settlement fund that remained at December 31, 1998 to be made under the
settlement agreement, and to all claimants who otherwise would be paid
from the proceeds of the two optional $50 million contributions to the
settlement fund that L-P may elect to make under the settlement

The early payments in respect of the $80 million of mandatory
contributions are discounted at a rate of 9% per annum calculated from
their original payment dates (1999-2002) to the date the early payment
offer was made. The early payments in respect of the two $50 million
optional contributions are discounted at a rate of 12% per annum
calculated from 2001 and 2002, respectively, to the date the early
payment offer was made. For purposes of determining whether L-P has made
any such mandatory or optional contribution to the settlement fund as of
the respective due date therefor, L-P will receive credit for the
undiscounted amount of such contribution in respect of which discounted
amounts have been paid pursuant to the Early Payment Program.

In November, 1998, L-P commenced the implementation of the Early Payment
Program by starting to mail checks reflecting discounted early payments
to eligible claimants. Such claimants may accept or reject the
discounted early payments in favor of remaining under the original
settlement, but may not arbitrate the amount of their early payments. At
December 31, 1998, approximately $106.7 million in Early Payment Program
checks had been mailed and $60.8 million had been cashed in settlement
claims, while approximately $26.6 million in such checks remained to be
mailed. Giving effect only to Early Payment Program checks that had
actually been cashed, L-P had effectively satisfied a cumulative total
of approximately $266.5 million of its mandatory and optional
contributions to the settlement fund at December 31, 1998.

The $125 million Second Fund represents an alternative source of payment
for all approved and unpaid claims that are not eligible for the Early
Payment Program and all new claims filed before December 31, 1999. In
early 2000, claimants electing to participate in the Second Fund will be
offered a pro rata share of the fund in complete satisfaction of their
claims, which they may accept or reject in favor of remaining under the
original settlement. Claimants who accept their pro rata share may not
file additional claims under the settlement or arbitrate the amount of
their payments. Claimants who elect not to participate in the Second
Fund remain bound by the terms of the original settlement. If L-P is
dissatisfied with the number of claimants who elect to be paid from the
Second Fund, L-P may refuse to proceed with funding at its sole option.
In that event, the Second Fund will be canceled and all the claimants
who had elected to participate in it will be governed by the original

MICROSOFT CORP: Mediation Talks for Antitrust Lawsuit Sputter
Combatants in the Microsoft antitrust trial see little chance of a
settlement before February 22's closing arguments, though analysts say a
deal in coming weeks is still possible. The two sides set February 22 as
an unofficial deadline because the case would then be back in the hands
of Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson. Microsoft and government lawyers have
made little progress in talks mediated by Judge Richard Posner.

Representatives of the Justice Department and 19 states have proposed a
breakup of the company; Microsoft has suggested limited conduct
restrictions, say people familiar with the matter. Still, a pact could
be struck in the weeks before Jackson hands down a ruling on whether the
company violated antitrust laws.

Most lawyers expect Jackson to find Microsoft liable in light of his
harsh November findings that the software giant is a monopoly that
stifled innovation and bullied rivals.

Such a liability ruling is expected to be used by plaintiffs in the 107
class-action lawsuits filed against the titan. "The potential of an
adverse decision on the private lawsuits is still huge," says lawyer
Rich Gray of San Jose, Calif., adding there's a chance for a deal by
Tuesday, February 22. "You settle it just before a deadline."

But people familiar with the case are not optimistic. While Microsoft
CEO Bill Gates has said he's working hard to settle, some analysts think
the company's strategy is to keep fighting, especially since any penalty
would likely be stayed during appeal. "The longer they stall, the more
things can happen," says Bob Lande, professor at University of Baltimore
Law School.

First, he says, Microsoft still believes an adverse ruling from Jackson
could be overturned by a more conservative appeals court.

Also, a Republican presidential victory this fall would mean a new
attorney general who might settle for minimal sanctions, Lande says. In
that event, "I have no doubt a large number of the states would step up
to the plate" and pursue the case, says Stephen Houck, former lead
lawyer for the states, now at Reboul MacMurray in New York. Still, Lande
says a divided prosecution team would not bode well.

Finally, Lande says, the marketplace in a year or two may shift so
dramatically from the personal computers Microsoft dominates to the
Internet that it "can claim (the sanction) is obsolete," and present new

Lande doesn't think the class-action suits make Microsoft quiver. The
company, he says, will likely argue that final judgments in those cases
should be suspended until Jackson's ruling is appealed. (USA Today,
February 21, 2000)

PUBLISHERS CLEARING: Fed Judge OKs $30 Mil Sweepstakes Settlement
Settlement approved in sweepstakes suit A federal judge in East St.
Louis, Ill., has approved a $ 30 million settlement of a class action
lawsuit that accused Publishers Clearing House of misleading its
sweepstakes entrants. The suit claimed the company duped people into
buying magazines by falsely leading them to believe it would increase
their chances of winning millions of dollars. The settlement had won
preliminary approval last June by U.S. District Judge G. Patrick Murphy.
But attorneys general from many states objected, contending it would
prevent further claims. Murphy's order, issued February 18, does not
stop the states from pursuing their own legal actions. However, they
cannot sue for further restitution. Murphy concluded the settlement was
fair, reasonable and adequate. (The Atlanta Journal and Constitution,
February 21, 2000)

SOTHEBY'S HOLDINGS: Savett Frutkin Files Securities Complaint in MI
Savett Frutkin Podell & Ryan, P.C filed a class action complaint in the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan on
behalf of a Class of persons who purchased the common stock of Sotheby's
Holdings, Inc. at artificially inflated prices during the period
February 11, 1997 through January 28, 2000 and who were damaged thereby.

The complaint charges Sotheby's and its senior officer with violations
of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The
complaint alleges that defendants issued a series of false and
misleading statements about the Company's revenues which resulted in
artificially inflated stock prices during the Class Period. The
complaint further alleges that defendants failed to disclose that the
Company's revenues were both reliant upon and unsustainable at the Class
Period levels in the absence of an illegal price fixing arrangement with
Christie's International PLC.

For questions or information regarding this action, you may contact
Robert P. Frutkin or Barbara A. Podell of Savett Frutkin Podell & Ryan.
P.C. at 800/993-3233 or 215/923-5400 or via e-mail at sfprpc@op.net

SUNTERRA CORP: Berger & Montague Files Securities Suit in Florida
The law firm of Berger & Montague, P.C. filed a lawsuit in the United
States District Court for the Middle District of Florida on behalf of
all persons who purchased the common stock of Sunterra Corp. during the
period of October 4, 1998 through January 19, 2000, inclusive.

The Complaint alleges that Sunterra and certain of its officers and
directors violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange
Act of l934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder by, among other
things, misrepresenting and/or omitting material information from press
releases and SEC filings. On January 20, 2000, the company revealed that
its fourth quarter results would be between $.01 to $.08 per share,
compared with $.31 per share for the prior year, and that the company
planned to take a $38 to $45 million charge in order to write-off
delinquent receivables improperly left on its books.

For additional information on the above-mentioned lawsuit, you may
contact Sherrie Savett at 888-891-2289, 1622 Locust Street,
Philadelphia, PA l9103, or by e-mail at InvestorProtect@bm.net with your
name, mailing address and telephone number.

THQ INC: Milberg Weiss Files Securities Complaint in California
Milberg Weiss (http://www.milberg.com)announced on February 19 that a
class action has been commenced in the United States District Court for
the Central District of California on behalf of purchasers of THQ Inc.
(Nasdaq:THQI) publicly traded securities during the period between
October 26, 1999 and February 10, 2000.

The complaint charges THQ and certain of its officers and directors with
violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. THQ develops,
publishes and distributes interactive entertainment software worldwide
for a variety of hardware platforms including PC CD-ROM and those
manufactured by Sega, Nintendo and Sony. The complaint alleges that
during the Class Period, THQ falsely represented the state of its
business, financial results, and prospects causing its stock price to be
inflated to as high as $38-1/4 (split-adjusted). The Individual
Defendants named herein took advantage of this inflation and sold
522,912 shares (split-adjusted) of their THQ stock for $14.7 million.
Later, THQ selectively disclosed to certain analysts that its first half
2000 results would be much lower than previously represented. After this
information was belatedly disseminated to the market, THQ's stock then
dropped to as low as $17-3/8 per share.

Contact: Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP William Lerach, toll
free: 800/449-4900 or by e-mail at wsl@mwbhl.com

THQ INC: Spector, Roseman Files Securities Lawsuit
Spector, Roseman & Kodroff announced that a class action lawsuit has
been filed on behalf of all persons and entities who purchased the
common stock of THQ, Inc.. (Nasdaq:THQI) between October 26, 1999 and
February 10, 2000, inclusive.

The Complaint alleges that THQ and certain of its officers and directors
violated the federal securities laws. According to the Complaint,
defendants knew that the first and second quarter earnings f 2000 were
going to be materially below the first and second quarters of 1999.

Although the defendants knew that the disclosure of this information
would have an adverse affect on THQ's stock price, rather than timely
disclose this material information publicly, as required by the federal
securities laws, on or about February 8, 2000, THQ selectively disclosed
this information to certain analysts.

As a result of this selective disclosure, top clients of these analysts
were able to unload significant holdings in THQ stock prior to the
public becoming aware though third party disclosure of THQ's true
financial condition. As a direct result of defendants' affirmative
decision to selectively disclose material information to a limited
group, and not to the investing public, the price of THQ stock was
artificially inflated.

Contact: Spector, Roseman & Kodroff, P.C. Robert M. Roseman toll free at
888/844-5862 or by e-mail at classaction@spectorandroseman.com and more
information about the firm is available at

URANIUM MINING: Scheduling Order Violations Lead to Dismissal of Claims
In two related mass tort cases dismissed by the district court for
plaintiffs' failure to comply with a magistrate judge's scheduling
orders, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has reminded federal
practitioners about the "wide discretion afforded district judges over
the management of discovery." Interestingly, in both cases the court's
reminder actually speaks to the pre-discovery stage of litigation.
(Acuna, et al. v. Brown & Root Inc., No 98-51073; Garcia, et al. v.
Conoco Inc., et al., No. 98-51133 (5th Cir. Jan. 11, 2000).)

In the two separate suit filings - consolidated for appeal purposes -
more than 1,600 claimants sought damages for injuries allegedly arising
from uranium mining activity. In both cases, the plaintiffs alleged that
their direct or secondary exposure to the defendants' mining and
processing activities was the legal cause of their injuries.

Although the plaintiffs initially sought damages under Texas law by
filing their complaints in state court, the defendants removed the cases
to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas. That court
asserted jurisdiction under the Price-Anderson Act, 42 USC 2210 - the
federal statute that permits public liability claims against entities
licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Agency.

                   Case Management under Rule 16

Given the complexity of the litigation, the magistrate judge assigned to
handle pre-trial discovery matters issued pre-discovery scheduling
orders in each of the cases. These Rule 16-based orders required the
claimants to establish a number of elements of their claims through the
use of expert affidavits. The affidavit-related information was to
specify each plaintiff's injury or illness, the identity of the material
or substance causing the injury or illness, the location of the nuclear
facility believed to be a contaminating source, relevant dates and
circumstances and the scientific and medical bases for the expert's

The claimants in both cases responded with the submission of affidavits
from a single expert whose sworn statements the magistrate judge found
did not satisfy the specificity requirements of his scheduling orders.

Following the magistrate judge's recommendation in both cases, the
District Court dismissed both cases for failure to comply with the
scheduling orders.

                   Providing Needed Definition

The 5th Circuit found no abuse of discretion by the lower court in its
decision to dismiss both multiple-plaintiff cases.

The pre-discovery orders issued by the magistrate judge - named for a
1986 New Jersey state court decision, Lore v. Lone Pine Corp. (N.J.
Super. Ct.) - provide an appropriate tool to deal with the complexities
associated with mass tort litigation. "In the federal courts, such
orders are issued under the wide discretion afforded district judges
over the management of discovery under Fed.R.Civ.P.16," the court said.

As further support for the orders, the court noted that information
sought by the magistrate judge related to the basic information required
by Rule 11(b). This rule provides - among other things - that a party's
attorney certify that "the allegations and other factual contentions
have evidentiary support or, ... are likely to have evidentiary support
after a reasonable opportunity for further investigation or discovery."
(Federal Discovery News, February 15, 2000)


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

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by Bankruptcy
Creditors' Service, Inc., Princeton, NJ, and Beard Group, Inc.,
Washington, DC.   Romeo John D. Piansay, Jr., editor, Theresa Cheuk,
Managing Editor.

Copyright 1999.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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

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

The CAR subscription rate is $575 for six months delivered via e-mail.

Additional e-mail subscriptions for members of the same firm for the
term of the initial subscription or balance thereof are $25 each.  For
subscription information, contact Christopher Beard at 301/951-6400.

                    * * *  End of Transmission  * * *