CAR_Public/000310.MBX                C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

               Friday, March 10, 2000, Vol. 2, No. 49

                             Headlines

AMERICAN AIRLINES: Sued by Union Employees over System Re Family Leave
A-PLUS PROGRAM: FL Suit Blasts Bush Plan For Schools for Discrimination
BOISE CASCADE: Faces Lawsuits in DE over Proposed Acquisition of BCOP
CAMERON ASHLEY: Court Issues Temporary Restraining Order Re Buyout
CENDANT CORP: Rate Set in Formerly Announced Settlement of PRIDES Case

CENDANT CORP: Repaid By Ex-Chairman after Resolution of Securities Suit
CINAR CORP: Bernstein Liebhard Files Securities Suit in New York
CINAR CORP: Shareholders in Talks with Potential Suitors
COASTAL, JAVELINA: Refineries Settle Suit with Corpus Christi Residents
COREL CORP: NY Ct Preliminarily OKs Securities Suit Filed in 1998

FEDERAL RESERVE: Target of D.C. Suit over Mismanagement of Pension Fund
FOCUS ENHANCEMENTS: Milberg Weiss Files Securities Suit in MA
FOCUS ENHANCEMENTS: Shapiro Haber Files Securities Suit in MA
FOCUS ENHANCEMENTS: Stull Stull Files Securities Lawsuit in MA
HERTZ GAS: Charge Fuels Suits; Claims over Concealment Given Go-ahead

HMO: Lawyers, Blue Cross Haggle over Fees in Missouri Settlement
HOME DEPOT: Faces Minority Employees' Lawsuit; Engages King & Spalding
HORNER, TOWNSEND: Investors in The American Benefits Services Sue in CA
INACOM CORP: Bernard M. Gross Files Securities Suit in Nebraska
INFORMATION MANAGEMENT: Bernstein Liebhard Files Securities Suit in CT

IVAX CORP: Shareholder Sues over Poison Pill in Shareholder Rights Plan
LEHMAN BROTHERS: Named in NY Suits against Underwriters of IPO
LEHMAN BROTHERS: Settles for '96 NJ Suit Re MobileMedia Underwriting
MICHAEL COWPLAND: Corel's CEO Sued by Ontario Securities Commission
MICHAEL STORES: Recalls All-purpose Lighters That Can Leak Butane

PROCTER & GAMBLE: Pomerantz Haudek Files Securities Suit in Ohio
PROVIDIAN FINANCIAL: Regulators Pressure to Settle Fraud Probes
RETAILERS: Attorney to Sue over Gift Certificates with Expiration Dates
SAFETY-KLEEN CORP: Berger & Montague Files Securities Complaint in SC
SOTHEBY'S HOLDINGS: Bernard M. Gross Files Securities Suit in Michigan

ST JOHN KNITS: Settles '98 Securities Fraud Suit in California
ST JOHN KNITS: Trial for CA Lawsuit over Merger Set for May 2000
TOBACCO LITIGATION: Nurse's Cancer Not Caused By Smoking, Doctor Says
UCAR INTERNATIONAL: Settles Securities Claims; Sues Former Parents
VISX INC: Donovan Miller Files Securities Suit in California

VISX INC: Lowey Dannenberg Files Securities Suit in California
VISX INC: Schubert & Reed LLP Brings Securities Suit in California
VISX: Lockridge Grindal Files Securities Suit in California
WHEATON WARRENVILLE: Judge Won't Stop District 200 Suit Re Health Risks

                            *********

AMERICAN AIRLINES: Sued by Union Employees over System Re Family Leave
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Steven R. Hickman, of Tulsa, Okla.'s Fraiser, Fraiser & Hickman L.L.P.,
has filed suit on behalf of union employees of American Airlines,
charging the nation's second-largest carrier with violating the Family
and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). David R. Cordell, of Tulsa's Conner &
Winters, is local counsel for American, working with the Fort Worth,
Texas, airline's associate general counsel, Debra Hunter Johnson.

In its complaint, the Transport Workers Union of America accuses the
airline of having a flawed system of reviewing family leave requests.
The union argues that workers are entitled to a decision within 48
hours, yet it takes the airline more than a month to answer requests.
The plaintiffs, who are seeking class action status, say that the
airline's managers are not properly trained to abide by the FMLA. The
suit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
Oklahoma. TWU Local 514 v. AA Inc., No. 00-CV-132H. (The National Law
Journal, March 6, 2000)


A-PLUS PROGRAM: FL Suit Blasts Bush Plan For Schools for Discrimination
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Two black legislators from Broward County have orchestrated a lawsuit
that asks a judge to outlaw major portions of Gov. Bush's education
reform plan, Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) reports. The suit
targets Bush's A-Plus program that grades schools on the results of
students' scores on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Tests. State
Sen. Mandy Dawson and U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings persuaded five Broward
residents to be the first plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit filed in
Broward County Circuit Court.

Bush says his program, created last year, holds local educators
accountable for the quality of education, according to Sun-Sentinel
(Fort Lauderdale, FL). But the lawsuit contends that the program does
not treat all citizens equally, violating the state and federal
constitutions, the report says.

Dawson, D-Fort Lauderdale, said Bush's plan is simply part of a
political agenda: "Our children are prisoners of war, held hostage by
political parties, in a political war. Our children, their education,
their health, safety and welfare should not become casualties of our
adult battles," quotes Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL).

The suit asks for an injunction against Bush, Education Commissioner Tom
Gallagher, the state Department of Education and Comptroller Robert
Milligan. At its heart, the suit contends that a school faces an unfair
disadvantage if its enrollment includes students who have difficulty
understanding English and don't do well on the English-only statewide
tests, Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) says. That penalizes not only
foreign-born students, but other students in the same school and the
teachers as well, the suit contends, as mentioned in the Sun-Sentinel
(Fort Lauderdale, FL) report.

The prize at stake is the A-Plus plan's reward of $ 100 per student for
schools that receive an A on the grading scale or schools that raise
their score two letter grade. The money can be spent on programs, field
trips, supplies or even teacher bonuses. "It is unjust and illegal
discrimination to deny (them) from enjoying a realistic opportunity to
compete for the benefit afforded a school in the School Recognition
Program," the suit states according to Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale,
FL).

Gallagher argued that under A-Plus "limited English proficient students"
are exempt from taking the tests or their scores aren't counted if they
have attended Florida schools for two years or less. His spokeswoman
Joanne Carrin also said students who speak limited English who have
attended Florida schools more than two years can be exempted on a
case-by-case basis.

Dawson countered, "If they're doing it on a case-by-case basis, then how
is it that your schools with 40 percent or 70 percent English
proficiency problems are the ones ranked D and F?" "Is it that they
aren't doing the case-by-case exemptions the way they should, or are
they pulling our leg again?"

The suit states that at least 69 percent of Broward schools that have 10
percent Limited English Proficient students received a D or F when the
first grades were announced last summer. Also, 24 of the 43 Broward
schools that failed had 10 percent or more of students who are not
proficient in English.

The suit was drafted by Dawson; Hastings, D-Miramar, and Mikel Jones, an
attorney who also serves as Hastings' aide and has been active in
minority education issues in Palm Beach County.

Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) reports that the plaintiffs include a
parent of a foreign-born Hispanic student, a parent of a Haitian-born
student and an American-born student from a disadvantaged family.
Another plaintiff is a parent of an American-born student attending an
unnamed school with numerous LEP students, called "Mark Doe" in the
suit. "The case of Mark Doe is a perfect example of how children are
being penalized based on where they go to school, rather than how they
perform. Is it Mark's fault that his is an F school?" Dawson asked. The
last plaintiff is a teacher at an unnamed school. "Why should she be
exempted from the bonuses that come to her peers at the A school, just
because of where she works?" Dawson said. "It doesn't matter how good a
teacher she is. It seems to be a matter of location rather than
vocation."

Proponents of Bush's plan discounted the merits of the suit. "There are
those who would like to weaken our accountability program, but it's our
plan to press ahead," Gallagher said. Katie Baur, spokeswoman for House
Speaker John Thrasher, R-Orange Park, said, "Is it now wrong to reward
hard work and success? When did good performance become a negative
thing? "Their ultimate goal is to kill the A-Plus plan."

Accordig to Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL), the A-Plus plan is
already under attack in lawsuits filed last year by a coalition of
teachers, parents, school officials and civic and civil rights groups,
targeting a provision giving students in failing schools a voucher that
could be used to attend private school.


BOISE CASCADE: Faces Lawsuits in DE over Proposed Acquisition of BCOP
---------------------------------------------------------------------
While information on the lawsuits arising out of Boise Cascade Corp's
former manufacture and sale of hardboard siding products is the same as
previously reported in the CAR, in December 1999, the Company, as
disclosed in its report to the SEC, also faces nine lawsuits arising out
of the Company's proposal to acquire BCOP's outstanding minority public
shares. These lawsuits were filed against the company, Boise Cascade
Office Products Corporation, and BCOP's directors and all nine cases
were filed in New Castle County, Delaware. The lawsuits allege, among
other things, that the Company's proposal was wrongful, unfair, and
harmful to BCOP public stockholders. On January 19, 2000, the court,
upon stipulation of the parties, signed a consolidation order that
combined the nine cases into one matter. The Company believes there are
valid factual and legal defenses to these lawsuits and will vigorously
defend all claims alleged by the plaintiffs.

In April 1995, Boise Cascade Office Products Corporation ("BCOP"), then
wholly owned subsidiary of Boise Cascade Corp, completed an initial
public offering of 10,637,500 shares of common stock at a price of
$12.50 per share after giving effect to a two- for-one stock split in
the form of a dividend in May 1996. After the offering, Boise Cascade
owned 82.7% of BCOP's outstanding common stock. At December 31, 1999,
Boise Cascade Corp owned 81.1% of BCOP's outstanding common stock. In
December 1999, the Company announced a proposal to acquire the minority
public shares of BCOP. The Company believes the reintegration of BCOP
with Boise Cascade would enhance BCOP's operating flexibility and allow
management to concentrate fully on its aggressive internal growth
initiatives.

The Company tells investors that any recovery, or liability under
pending litigation or administrative proceedings would not materially
affect its financial condition or operations.


CAMERON ASHLEY: Court Issues Temporary Restraining Order Re Buyout
------------------------------------------------------------------
Beginning in January 2000, shareholders of Cameron Ashley Building
Products Inc. (NYSE:CAB) represented by counsel including Milberg Weiss
Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP commenced actions alleging breaches of the
fiduciary duties owed by Cameron Ashley's directors to Cameron's
shareholders in connection with a management-led buyout of the Company
for $15.10 per share.

On Feb. 25, 2000, after extensive briefing and oral argument, a Dallas
County Court granted plaintiff's application to temporarily restrain
Cameron and its directors from complying with certain portions of the
Jan. 17, 2000 Merger Agreement between Cameron and an affiliate of
several Cameron directors. The Court's order prohibits the Defendants
from making any payment pursuant to the Termination Fee provision and/or
proceeding with, abiding by and/or honoring the No Shop provisions which
plaintiff asserted impaired the transfer of information to third party
bidders and unfairly favored the management-led buyout group over other
bidders.

By subsequent agreement of the parties, the temporary restraining order
will be extended until April 27, 2000, at which time the Court will
consider a hearing on plaintiffs motion for a temporary injunction
pending trial.

Plaintiffs wish to encourage all interested bidders to contact Cameron
director Lawrence R. Klamon and/or his counsel Locke Liddell & Sapp LLP
at 214/740-8000 to discuss the submission any offers to purchase
Cameron.

Contact: Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP William S. Lerach,
800/449-4900 msl@mwbhl.com


CENDANT CORP: Rate Set in Formerly Announced Settlement of PRIDES Case
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Cendant Corporation (NYSE: CD) announced the settlement rate for the new
PRIDES being issued in connection with its previously announced
settlement of the PRIDES class action lawsuit for persons who purchased
these securities on or prior to April 15, 1998. The number of shares to
be purchased by each holder of new FELINE PRIDES on settlement of each
purchase contract will be 2.3036.

As previously announced in a press release issued on March 18, 1999:

Holders of PRIDES on April 15, 1998 whose claims were approved by the
court will receive a new security -- a Right -- for each PRIDES security
held on April 15, 1998. The Rights will be freely tradable from the date
of distribution until their expiration on February 14, 2001.

At any time during the life of the Rights, holders may (a) sell them
(the Rights will be listed on the NYSE) or (b) exercise them by
delivering to Bank One Trust Company, National Association, as Rights
agent, three Rights together with two PRIDES. Rights may only be
exercised if they are first deposited with a participant in The
Depository Trust Company. Exercising Right holders will receive in
exchange two new PRIDES. The 3 for 2 ratio was designed to make the
value of Rights less dependent upon the availability of PRIDES in the
open market.

The terms of the new PRIDES will be the same as the currently
outstanding PRIDES, except that the conversion rate has been revised so
that the number of shares of Cendant common stock to be received upon
the mandatory purchase of common stock associated with the PRIDES in
February 2001 will be increased to 2.3036 shares. A Prospectus
Supplement relating to the offering of the new PRIDES may be obtained by
contacting the Information Agent, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith
Incorporated at 212-236-3790.


CENDANT CORP: Repaid By Ex-Chairman after Resolution of Securities Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Cendant Corporation's former chairman, Walter Forbes, has repaid
about $2.3 million in travel- and entertainment-related expenses that
the company said Mr. Forbes charged improperly, according to the New
York Times. The payment comes after a Federal District Court judge ruled
that he had jurisdiction to decide whether Mr. Forbes must abide by a
previous agreement to reimburse the New York-based marketing and
franchising company, if an audit committee concluded he owed money, the
New York Times notes.

Cendant is planning to use the ruling to force Mr. Forbes, who resigned
in 1998, to return his $47 million severance package, according to The
Wall Street Journal, which first reported the $2.3 million payment, the
report says. Cendant said in court documents that Mr. Forbes improperly
charged the company for personal use of a leased jet, charge card
expenses and cash advances.

Cendant's brands include the Century 21 and Coldwell Banker residential
realty brokerage firms and Days Inn hotels, the New York Times notes.
The company was formed in 1997 by the combination of Mr. Forbes's CUC
International Inc. and Henry Silverman's HFS Inc., the report mentions.
Shortly after the merger, the new company said accounting irregularities
inflated the CUC earnings. That eventually led to an agreement in
December to pay $2.83 billion to settle a class-action lawsuit accusing
the company of defrauding shareholders. Those cases have been reported
in the CAR.


CINAR CORP: Bernstein Liebhard Files Securities Suit in New York
----------------------------------------------------------------
Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz, LLP announced the commencement of a
securities class action lawsuit on behalf of purchasers of the common
stock of CINAR Corporation (Nasdaq: CINR), between February 4, 1999 and
March 6, 2000, inclusive, in the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of New York.

The complaint charges CINAR and certain of its directors and executive
officers with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule
10b-5 promulgated thereunder. The complaint alleges that the defendants
issued materially false and misleading financial statements that
materially overstated the Company's revenues, income and earnings during
the Class Period. The complaint alleges that the Company engaged in a
scheme in which it misrepresented that scripts for television
productions were written by Canadian citizens when, in fact, they were
written by U.S. citizens so that the Company could obtain favorable tax
credits. This allowed CINAR to inflate its financial results which
caused CINAR stock to trade at artificially inflated levels throughout
the Class Period.

Contact: Mr. Mark Punzalan, Director of Shareholder Relations at
Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz, LLP, 10 East 40th Street, New York, New
York 10016, 800-217-1522 or 212-779-1414 or by e-mail at
CINAR@bernlieb.com


CINAR CORP: Shareholders in Talks with Potential Suitors
--------------------------------------------------------
One of Cinar Corp.'s largest shareholders says he has held discussions
with two Canadian entertainment companies that may be interested in
buying a stake in the embattled Montreal-based animation company. The
news came after Cinar announced that its total risk on the investments
made without its board's approval could be as much as US $86-million.

The shareholder, who did not wish to be identified, named CanWest Global
Communications Corp., Corus Entertainment Inc., Nelvana Ltd. and Lions
Gate Entertainment Corp. as likely bidders for Cinar. He confirmed he
had held conversations with two of the companies.

As of December, Cinar's largest shareholders included Fidelity
Management & Research Co., with 15%; John McStay Investments, with 8%;
Edgemont Asset Management, with 4.5%; and Alliance Capital Management
with 4%.

Roman Doroniuk, president of Lions Gate, said: 'We look at every
opportunity presented to us -- making a decision is another matter.'
John Cassaday, chief executive of Corus, said he has had no discussions
with 'any Cinar shareholders.'

Karen Fisman, an analyst with Thomson Kernaghan & Co. Ltd., said Cinar's
announcement on the $86-million in investments has helped clear up some
of the confusion surrounding the unauthorized funds, and likely
contributed to the stock's slight recovery. Shares in Cinar climbed 24%
to close at $10.35 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, one day after they
plunged nearly 70%. 'It allows investors to quantify the damage, whereas
before that the damage was unknown,' Ms. Fisman said.

Cinar announced on March 8 it had recovered more than $35-million (US)
of improperly invested funds, leaving the whereabouts of the remaining
$86-million a mystery. 'We issued it [the press release] to assure
investors that the worst-case scenario is exposure of $86-million,' said
a Cinar spokeswoman. 'We are not saying [the money] isn't there, we
aren't saying it is. We are saying this is the worst-case scenario and
we are still working on it.'

While analysts and shareholders seemed generally relieved the money
hadn't been pledged against derivative securities, they pointed to the
low share price as a sign the market had lost confidence in the company
and repeated their demands the company be sold.


COASTAL, JAVELINA: Refineries Pay, Ending 7-Yr Suit over Contamination
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Two refineries will pay $6 million to 3,300 Corpus Christi households in
a settlement that has taken almost seven years to reach. The lawsuit
alleged that the refineries were liable for air and ground contamination
and damage to properties. The settlement with Coastal and Javelina marks
the end of a class-action lawsuit that began more than seven years ago.

The plaintiffs originally sued several refinery companies, and all but
two of the defendants -- Coastal and Javelina -- settled over the past
few years. The other companies will pay more than $18 million as part of
those other settlements, for a total award of about $24.5 million.

Coastal Corp. operates the Coastal and Javelina refineries in Corpus
Christi, and those two refineries were the only defendants to go to a
jury trial. The Coastal and Javelina trial started in January but ended
in a mistrial two weeks later after a witness gave testimony that had
been previously ruled inadmissible by a judge. The trial began again
with a second jury on Feb. 17, and the settlement was reached before the
jury started its deliberations, said Steve Hastings, one of about seven
lawyers representing the plaintiffs.

Plaintiffs' lawyers are expected to make between $5.3 million and $6
million from the settlement, with the remainder of the more than $24.5
million divided proportionately among the plaintiffs, depending on how
close they live to the refineries.

In earlier out-of-court settlements with refineries, Amerada Hess paid
$2.2 million, Southwestern paid $6.9 million, Champlin paid $1.6
million, and OxyChem paid $575,000. Those settlements already have been
distributed to the plaintiffs. (Austin American-Statesman, March 8,
2000)


COREL CORP: NY Ct Preliminarily OKs Securities Suit Filed in 1998
-----------------------------------------------------------------
On or about February 23, 1998, the Company became aware that a class
action lawsuit had been filed against it by named Plaintiff Great Neck
Capital Appreciation Investment Partnership in the United States
District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The complaint also
names as co-defendants Dr. Michael C. J. Cowpland, Corel's Chairman,
President and Chief Executive Officer, and Mr. Charles Norris, Corel's
former Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer. The
complaint was filed on behalf of all persons who purchased or otherwise
acquired Corel common shares between March 26, 1997 and January 20,
1998.

The complaint alleges that the defendants violated various provisions of
the federal securities laws, including Section 10(b) and 10(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and Securities and Exchange
Commission Rule 10b-5, by misrepresenting or failing to disclose
material information about Corel's financial condition. The complaint
alleges that the defendants issued false and misleading press releases
and financial statements for the first three quarters of fiscal 1997.
Plaintiff alleges, in part, that defendants (a) failed to disclose that
they were overstating Corel's reported profits by, among other things,
inflating reported revenues and earnings through improperly recognizing
revenue on Java technology exchange transactions, and (b) overstated
revenues and earnings by understating reserves in connection with sales
to distributors who had no obligation to keep or pay for the products.
The complaint also alleges that Corel insiders, including the individual
co-defendants, sold common shares during the Class Period at
"artificially inflated prices". The complaint seeks an unspecified
amount of money damages.

The Great Neck complaint was consolidated by order dated June 1, 1998
with four other previously filed complaints: Giskan, Meyer, Mangold and
Hagler. Also on June 1, 1998, the court approved the plaintiff's motion
for the appointment of lead plaintiff and lead counsel. The firm of
Wechsler Harwood Halebian & Feffer is counsel of record. Great Neck (as
lead plaintiff) filed a consolidated amended complaint on behalf of lead
plaintiff and the class on September 9, 1998 (the "Consolidated
Complaint"). The Consolidated Complaint references a revised Class
Period (it has been filed on behalf of all persons who purchased or
otherwise acquired Corel common shares between January 15, 1997 and
January 20, 1998); however, plaintiffs' theories from the individual
complaints (as summarized above) remain the same.

On November 9, 1998, the Company filed a Motion to Dismiss the
Consolidated Complaint in its entirety. On December 30, 1998, Plaintiffs
filed a related Motion to strike certain documents referred to in the
Company's Motion to Dismiss. Both motions were fully briefed by February
12, 1999. On June 18, 1999, the Company filed a second Motion to Dismiss
on the grounds of forum non conveniens. On September 1, 1999, the
parties entered into a Memorandum of Understanding and agreed in
principle to settle this litigation. On January 13, 2000, the parties
executed a Settlement Agreement, subject to approval of the Court. On
January 14, 2000, the parties requested that the Court (a) preliminarily
approve the proposed settlement; (b) schedule a final settlement
hearing; and, (c) direct that notice of the proposed settlement be given
to the members of the class. Corel's motions to dismiss (as described
above) have been denied as moot, pending approval of the proposed
settlement. On February 7, 2000, the Court preliminarily approved the
proposed settlement and fixed May 12, 2000 as the date for the
settlement hearing.


FEDERAL RESERVE: Target of D.C. Suit over Mismanagement of Pension Fund
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Michael Bentzen, of Washington, D.C.'s Hughes & Bentzen, has filed a
class action on behalf of employees of the Federal Reserve Board who
allege mismanagement of their pension fund. Asst. General Counsel
Katherine H. Wheatley is defending the case for the Fed.

In 1985, the Fed stopped contributing to the pension fund because it
already had 130% of the amount needed for future payouts. However, it
never stopped deducting contributions from employee pay. While the Fed
benefited from the stock market boom and a fund surplus that would
eventually roll back to it, employees say, they missed the full
investment opportunities of their contributions. The suit was filed on
Feb. 18 in federal court in Washington, D.C. Albrecht v. Committee on
Employee Benefits of the Federal Reserve Employee Benefit System, No.
1:00CV-00317. (The National Law Journal, March 6, 2000)


FOCUS ENHANCEMENTS: Milberg Weiss Files Securities Suit in MA
-------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit was filed on March 8, 2000, in the United States
District Court for the District of Massachusetts on behalf of all
persons who purchased the common stock of Focus Enhancements, Inc.
(Nasdaq: FCSE "Focus") between April 29, 1999 through March 1, 2000,
announced the law firm Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes.

Contact: Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes, New York Shareholders Services
Dept. 1-800-320-5081 E-Mail: endfraud@mwbhlny.com


FOCUS ENHANCEMENTS: Shapiro Haber Files Securities Suit in MA
-------------------------------------------------------------
A class action suit alleging securities fraud has been filed in the
United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts against
Focus Enhancements, Inc. (Nasdaq: FCSE) and certain of its officers and
directors, by the Boston law firm Shapiro Haber & Urmy LLP. The case was
filed on behalf of all persons who purchased Focus Enhancements common
stock during the period April 29, 1999 through March 1, 2000, inclusive.

The lawsuit, which seeks class action status, is brought for violations
of sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and
Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder.

The action charges that Focus improperly reported its financial results
including revenues and income in its public filings with the Securities
and Exchange Commission and in its press releases for each quarter in
the fiscal year 1999. On March 1, 2000, Focus disclosed that its
independent auditors had brought to the Board of Directors' attention
financial controls issues relating to the fiscal year ending December
31, 1999 and prior quarters. The Board has designated a committee to
investigate the matter. The Company's President and CFO have agreed to a
leave of absence from the Company during the committee's review.

Contact: Thomas Shapiro, Esq. or Lisa Palin, paralegal, Shapiro Haber &
Urmy LLP, 75 State Street, Boston, MA 02109, 800-287-8119, fax at
617-439-0134, or e-mail at cases@shulaw.com


FOCUS ENHANCEMENTS: Stull Stull Files Securities Lawsuit in MA
--------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Stull Stull & Brody announces that a class action has
been commenced in the United States District Court for the District of
Massachusetts on behalf of all persons who purchased the common stock of
Focus Enhancements Inc. (NASDAQ:FCSE) between April 29, 1999 and March
1, 2000, inclusive.

The complaint charges Focus Enhancements and certain of its executive
officers with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule
10b-5 promulgated thereunder. The complaint alleges that the defendants
issued materially false and misleading financial statements for fiscal
year 1999. On March 1, 2000, the Company announced that its independent
auditors had informed the board that it had discovered certain
irregularities relating to the Company's financial controls for fiscal
1999 and prior quarters. The Company's Board announced that it formed a
committee to investigate the matter. Additionally, two of the Company's
top officers were placed on leave and will cooperate with the
committee's review.

Contact: Tzivia Brody, Esq. at Stull Stull & Brody by calling toll free
1-800-337-4983, or by e-mail at SSBNY@aol.com, or by facsimile at
212-490-2022, or by writing to Stull Stull & Brody, 6 East 45th Street,
New York, NY 10017


HERTZ GAS: Charge Fuels Suits; Claims over Concealment Given Go-ahead
---------------------------------------------------------------------
San Francisco Peter Schnall rented a car and didn't fill up the gas tank
before returning it, and it cost him $ 3.19 per gallon. That doesn't
count the filing fees for his class action against The Hertz Corp.
Schnall's suit got the go-ahead from California's 1st District Court of
Appeal on March 8. The court found that Schnall's claim that Hertz
unfairly and fraudulently concealed or obscured the fuel-service charge
on the rental agreement constituted a cause of action under the state's
Unfair Competition Law.

"The fact that the per gallon rate is not disclosed in the rental
agreement but only in the rental record, a small and hard-to-read
document consisting for the most part of indecipherable abbreviations,
may be indicative of an intent to conceal this important information,"
wrote Justice J. Anthony Kline in Schnall v. The Hertz Corp.. "The need
for a separate document is unclear to begin with. "The suit had been
thrown out on a demurrer by San Francisco Superior Court Judge David
Garcia on the basis that the rental agreement unambiguously explained
the various refueling options returning a car with a full tank, paying
Hertz up front for a full tank of gas or paying Hertz a refueling
charge.Kline, with Justices Paul Haerle and Ignazio Ruvolo concurring,
concluded that Hertz's demurrer could not be sustained, as it would
improperly relieve Hertz "of the need to explain and justify its
conduct, or show that customers were not misled by that conduct to their
detriment."

Nevertheless, the justices showed little sympathy for renters who agree
to return a car with a full tank but then fail to do so. Specifically,
they wrote they were "unimpressed" with Schnall's argument that renters
who intend to return a rental car with a full tank are often prevented
from doing so by exigencies such as traffic delays they didn't
anticipate. And the justices even rejected the complaint's claim that
the amount of the fuel-service charge constitutes a cause of action
under the Unfair Competition Law. The justices cited a section of the
law they said "reflects a legislative intention to let the market, not
the courts, determine the reasonableness of avoidable charges for
optional services."

But the justices drew the line on contract agreements that may be
misconstrued by customers, saying that the "deceptive practice the
complaint describes is precisely the type the UCL [Unfair Competition
Law] was designed to address." The failure of a rental car company to
make it clear to customers that an avoidable charge is considerably
higher than the retail rate for an item or service, which in the absence
of contrary information many would expect to apply, would doubtless
encourage some and perhaps many customers to incur a fuel-service charge
they could and would otherwise avoid," the opinion concluded. (This
story originally appeared in The Recorder and was published in The Legal
Intelligencer, March 9, 2000


HMO: Lawyers, Blue Cross Haggle over Fees in Missouri Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
Three court-appointed lawyers are asking to be paid for their work in
assessing the fairness of a settlement creating the state's largest
health care foundation from a suit involving Blue Cross and Blue Shield
of Missouri. The lawyers are not saying publicly how much they hope to
be paid, or even how many hours they worked. If the fees were based on a
percentage of the settlement as they suggest, they could reap millions
-- money that would come out of a fund earmarked for health care for the
poor.

The Attorney General's office and representatives of Blue Cross say such
a percentage would be inappropriate, because the lawyers would be
profiting from a settlement they were hired to review impartially.

The lawyers are Robert G. Russell, a former judge now in private
practice in Sedalia; Dale C. Doerhoff and James W. Gallaher, both of
Jefferson City. Cole County Circuit Judge Thomas G. Brown III appointed
them to conduct an impartial assessment of a settlement proposed in the
Blue Cross suit.

The lawyers want Brown to decide their fee. Because the fee award will
be paid by Blue Cross before the insurer's assets are transferred to
create the Missouri Foundation for Health, the legal bill will reduce
the endowment of a foundation meant to support health services for
low-income and under-served people.

The three court-appointed lawyers came relatively late to the case,
which started in 1994 when Blue Cross created RightChoice Managed Care
Inc. as a for-profit subsidiary. Blue Cross gave Rightchoice all its
profitable insurance business in exchange for 80 percent of RightChoice
stock.

Regulators challenged the conversion, and Brown ruled it violated
Missouri non-profit laws. Having lost in the Circuit Court, Blue Cross
negotiated a settlement with regulators. It offered $ 175,000 in cash
and all its RightChoice stock to endow an independent foundation. Under
the terms of the deal, RightChoice continues as a for-profit insurance
company and insurance coverage is uninterrupted to Blue Cross and
RightChoice policy holders.

Brown wanted an all-cash deal. He said the settlement was unacceptable
because it allowed RightChoice to control RightChoice stock owned by the
foundation, its super-majority shareholder. So he appointed the three
lawyers in the fall of 1998 to review the settlement.

The review process stretched over 14 months and ended in January when,
unable to win Brown's approval of the settlement, Blue Cross and state
regulators withdrew their lawsuits from Cole County Circuit Court and
announced an out-of-court settlement.

The regulators, Blue Cross and lawyers representing 100 state consumer
groups reached an amended agreement that loosened some restrictions on
the foundation's stock and added $ 12.78 million in start-up cash to the
foundation. Russell and Brown rejected the amended settlement. At March
8's closing stock price, the amended settlement was worth slightly under
$ 200 million.

In a fee motion filed recently with Brown's court, Doerhoff and Gallaher
said it would be appropriate for them and Russell to be paid a
reasonable amount based on the "percentage of benefit" they contributed
to the case. The motion does not specify the benefit they claim nor does
it request a set percentage of that unidentified common fund it should
be drawn from. They cite case law where lawyers who worked on
contingency in class action cases received up to 30 percent of a common
fund derived from such suits.

Blue Cross said that unlike plaintiff lawyers in class action cases,
Doerhoff, Gallaher and Russell were not parties to the case and were
never at risk of not being paid for their work.

Doerhoff and Gallaher both declined to be interviewed for this story and
Russell did not return a reporter's phone call. Their fee request is
scheduled for a hearing in Brown's court April 7.

Blue Cross and the Attorney General both argue that the special master
added no apparent benefit to the final settlement, and the chief product
of the review process was to delay the settlement and the foundation's
formation.

Blue Cross and the Attorney General said the three lawyers are asking
Brown to determine their compensation without submitting an accounting
of the hours worked, the tasks performed and their usual hourly fee.
They said that without this information, there is no way for Brown to
determine a fair and reasonable fee.

John Ammann assistant professor and director of the Civil Clinic at St.
Louis University Law School, is familiar with procedure in class action
cases. He said when lawyers take a case on contingency they have an
up-front fee agreement.

With the court review terminated, it is late in the process for the
court's lawyers to raise the prospect of a claim to a percentage of some
common fund, Ammann said. "As a fellow lawyer, I don't know what's wrong
with charging a fair hourly rate. These guys aren't working for minimum
wage." (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 9, 2000)


HOME DEPOT: Faces Minority Employees' Lawsuit; Engages King & Spalding
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Home Depot, which faces a racial discrimination lawsuit filed by
employees at a Michigan store and investors' requests for employment
data, as reported in the CAR, is a client on King & Spalding's roster,
Fulton County Daily Report says.

According to the Fulton County Daily Report, two labor and employment
partners, John F. Wymer III, formerly head of Powell, Goldstein's
employment group, and Samuel M. Matchett, have joined King & Spalding,
which says that the addition of Wymer and Matchett helps the firm
strengthen its representation of the retailer.
The Fulton County Daily Report says that five former and current
employees from the Austell, Ga. store sued the retailer in U.S. District
Court, claiming it discriminated against African-American workers. The
plaintiffs are seeking class status.


HORNER, TOWNSEND: Investors in The American Benefits Services Sue in CA
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
A class action entitled Lubin v. Horner, Townsend & Kent, Inc., et al.,
Civ. 00-CV-0113 L (POR) was commenced in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of California, by plaintiffs Jack B.
Lubin and Rosalie Lubin, Samuel N. Denyer and Betty A. Denyer on behalf
of themselves and all investors in the American Benefits Services and
Financial Federated Title & Trust Viatical Settlement Program during the
period of January 1, 1996 through August 31, 1999.

The complaint alleges that defendants illegally sold viaticated
insurance policies as investment contracts and charges defendants with
negligence and violating the federal securities laws, specifically
Sections 12(a)(1) and 12(a)(2) of the 1933 Securities Act which prohibit
the sale of unregistered securities. Among other things, the complaint
alleges that during the Class Period, at least $115 million in investor
monies were raised through a sales network of insurance agents,
financial planners, brokers and securities sales persons and companies.

Contact: plaintiffs' counsel James C. Krause, Esq., KRAUSE & KALFAYAN,
1010 Second Avenue, Suite 1750, San Diego, CA 92101, Tel: (619)
232-0331. For further information: visit website at
http://www.lawyers.com/krausekalfayanor e-mail James C. Krause at:
jkrause@krausekalfayan.com


INACOM CORP: Bernard M. Gross Files Securities Suit in Nebraska
---------------------------------------------------------------
Law Offices Bernard M. Gross gives notice that a class action lawsuit
was filed on February 24, 2000, in the United States District Court for
the District of Nebraska, on behalf of all persons and entities who
purchased or otherwise acquired the common stock of Inacom Corporation
(NYSE: ICO), between October 9, 1998 and January 4, 2000, inclusive,
including those who acquired Inacom stock as a result of the
stock-for-stock merger with Vanstar.

The complaint charges Inacom and several of its senior officers and
directors with violations of Sections 11, 12 and 15 of the Securities
Act of 1933 as well as Sections 10(b), 14(a)(9) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder.
Specifically, the complaint alleges that Inacom issued materially false
and misleading statements regarding its ability to recognize growth and
remain profitable in light of significant changes in manufacturers'
distribution of computers, which defendants knew or recklessly
disregarded. As a result of these materially false and misleading
statements, among others, plaintiff alleges that the price of Inacom
common stock was artificially inflated during the Class Period.

Contact: Law Offices Bernard M. Gross, P.C. Susan Gross, Esq. Tina
Moukoulis, Esq. 1500 Walnut Street, Suite 600 Philadelphia, PA 19102,
Telephone: 800/849-3120 or 215/561-3600, E-mail:
susang@bernardmgross.com or tina@bernardmgross.com
Website:http://www.bernardmgross.com


INFORMATION MANAGEMENT: Bernstein Liebhard Files Securities Suit in CT
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A securities class action lawsuit was commenced on behalf of purchasers
of the common stock of Information Management, Inc. (Nasdaq: IMAA),
between August 12, 1999 and November 18, 1999, inclusivE, in the United
States District Court for the District of Connecticut.

The complaint charges Information Management and certain of its
directors and executive officers with violations of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder. The
complaint alleges that the defendants issued materially false and
misleading financial statements that materially overstated the Company's
revenues, income and earnings for the second quarter of 1999. As a
result, Information Management stock traded at artificially inflated
levels throughout the Class Period. The complaint alleges that certain
Company insiders took advantage of the inflated price for the Company's
stock to sell substantial amounts of their own shares to the investing
public.

Contact: Mark Punzalan, Director of Shareholder Relations of Bernstein
Liebhard & Lifshitz, LLP, 800-217-1522 or 212-779-1414 or
IMAA@bernlieb.com


IVAX CORP: Shareholder Sues over Poison Pill in Shareholder Rights Plan
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Miami drug maker Ivax Corp. is being sued by one of its shareholders,
who believes a new company policy takes powers away from the board of
directors and could jeopardize the future value of the company. The suit
seeks class-action status to represent shareholders affected by the
plan.

Sidney Goldfisher, a medical practitioner and shareholder, filed the
complaint on March 7 in Miami-Dade Circuit Court. His attorney, Daniel
Becka of Schoeppl and Burke in Boca Raton, said his client is upset over
the company's 1997 decision to pass a shareholder rights plan, which is
designed to prevent a hostile takeover.

As part of the new plan, Ivax installed continuing directors on the
board, giving them powers that Florida law only confers on regular board
members, Becka says. Though current board members also happen to be
continuing directors, the change is significant, he said. When it comes
to selecting directors, the plan effectively deprives shareholders of
the right to vote for anyone other than the incumbent directors or their
successors, the complaint says. This disenfranchises shareholders, Becka
said. The plan allows current continuing directors to essentially pick
their successors until the term of the plan is complete, Becka said. The
plan also devalues shares, the complaint charges, by depriving
shareholders the opportunity to entertain reasonable takeover offers for
their shares.

The plan provides for what's called a poison pill. If a hostile takeover
occurs, Ivax can increase the number of shares by selling off assets. A
party attempting the takeover then would have to spend considerably more
money buying the increased shares, making the deal more costly.

Ivax reported fourth-quarter 1999 net income of $ 29.7 million on
revenue of $ 196.4 million. Year-end net income was $ 70.7 million on
revenue of $ 669.3 million. (Broward Daily Business Review, March 9,
2000)


LEHMAN BROTHERS: Named in NY Suits against Underwriters of IPO
-------------------------------------------------------------- Beginning
in November, 1998, three class actions were filed in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York against in excess
of 25 underwriters of IPO securities, including LBI. Plaintiffs in these
cases seek compensatory and injunctive relief for alleged violations of
the antitrust laws based on the theory that the defendant underwriters
fixed and maintained fees for underwriting certain IPO securities at
supracompetitive levels. These lawsuits are: HAROLD GILLET, ET AL. V.
GOLDMAN SACHS & CO., ET AL.; YAKOV PRAGER, ET AL. V.GOLDMAN, SACHS &
CO., ET AL.; DAVID HOLZMAN, ET AL. V. GOLDMAN, SACHS & CO., ET AL. On
March 15, 1999, plaintiffs filed a Consolidated Amended Complaint.


LEHMAN BROTHERS: Settles for '96 NJ Suit Re MobileMedia Underwriting
--------------------------------------------------------------------
LEHMAN BROTHERS INC was named as a defendant in several purported class
actions filed in December, 1996 in the United States District Court for
the District of New Jersey in connection with (I) a November 7, 1995
offering of common stock of MobileMedia Corporation; and (ii) a November
7, 1995 offering of 9 3/8% senior subordinated notes of MobileMedia
Communications Inc. due in 2007. On November 3, 1997, a consolidated
amended class action complaint was filed naming certain of MobileMedia
Corporation's officers and directors and the four co-lead underwriters
of these offerings, including LBI. MobileMedia filed for Chapter 11
bankruptcy protection on January 30, 1997, and therefore was not named
as a defendant. The complaint alleged that the underwriters violated
Sections 11 and 12 of the Securities Act. Plaintiffs sought rescission
and unspecified compensatory damages. On February 7, 2000, the Court
orally approved a settlement of the action and indicated that it would
enter a Final Judgment and Order upon presentation by the parties.


MICHAEL COWPLAND: Corel's CEO Sued by Ontario Securities Commission
-------------------------------------------------------------------
On October 14, 1999, the Ontario Securities Commission filed charges
against Michael Cowpland, Corel Corp's chairman, president and chief
executive officer and his holding company, M.C.J.C. Holdings Inc., in
the Ontario Court of Justice. The charges include four counts of
violating provisions of the Ontario Securities Act related to insider
trading. The Company and Michael Cowpland continue to deny all
allegations by the Ontario Securities Commission. The trial of these
issues is a private matter between the Ontario Securities Commission and
Michael Cowpland as an individual. As such, it is not expected to affect
the Company's day-to-day activities.


MICHAEL STORES: Recalls All-purpose Lighters That Can Leak Butane
-----------------------------------------------------------------
In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC),
Michael's Stores Inc., of Irving, Texas, is recalling about 213,000
all-purpose lighters. These lighters can leak butane when they are
ignited, causing an excessive burst of flame from the tip or other areas
of the lighter. This presents a risk of fire and burn injuries to
consumers. Michael's Stores Inc. has received 14 reports of excessive
flame, resulting in three reports of burns to consumers' hands.

The recalled all-purpose lighters are refillable and contain butane.
They are about 9 inches long and have a white plastic base; red, green
or blue plastic handle with a black plastic trigger and on/off switch;
and a metal barrel. A yellow label is affixed to the handle and reads in
part, "DANGER: EXTREMELY FLAMMABLE CONTENTS UNDER PRESSURE...MADE IN
CHINA." The lighters were packaged in a cardboard display sleeve under
the brand name Handy Home. The brand name is not on the lighter.

Michael's Stores nationwide sold the lighters from July 1998 through
January 2000 for about $2.


PROCTER & GAMBLE: Pomerantz Haudek Files Securities Suit in Ohio
----------------------------------------------------------------
Pomerantz Haudek Block Grossman & Gross LLP
(http://www.pomerantzlaw.com)has filed a class action suit against
Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) and two of the Company's officers. The case
was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District
of Ohio, Western Division at Cincinnati on behalf of all those who
purchased the common stock of Procter & Gamble during the period between
January 25, 2000 and March 6, 2000 inclusive.

The Complaint charges that Procter & Gamble and its officers violated
Sections 10(b) and 20 (a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by
issuing a series of materially false and misleading statements during
the Class Period regarding the Company's financial and operating
condition, as well as its future prospects which allegedly gave the
impression that the Company was experiencing successful financial growth
in line with an ambitious restructuring plan. Instead, the Company was
allegedly experiencing less than stellar growth due to high raw material
prices, high product launch costs in Europe, delay in the approval of
the drug Actonel, strong North American competition in food and
beverages, and increased price competition in the Latin American laundry
detergent segment, all of which was not disclosed to the public.

On March 7, 2000, Procter & Gamble stunned the market when it announced
that its third quarter earnings per share were 10 to 11 percent below
those of a year ago, rather than the 7 to 9 percent increase it had led
the market to anticipate, and that the Company expected earnings per
share growth for the fiscal year to be 7 percent, compared to the 13
percent originally anticipated. The market reaction to the news was both
swift and disastrous; the price of Procter & Gamble's common stock
plunged approximately 31%.

Contact: Andrew G. Tolan, Esq. of Pomerantz Haudek Block Grossman &
Gross LLP, 888-476-6529 (888-4-POMLAW) or agtolan@pomlaw.com


PROVIDIAN FINANCIAL: Regulators Pressure to Settle Fraud Probes
---------------------------------------------------------------
The San Francisco district attorney's office and federal bank regulators
are exploring a joint settlement of consumer fraud allegations against
credit card giant Providian Financial Corp., The Chronicle has learned.

The move significantly raises the ante in the high-profile case,
increasing pessure on Providian to come to terms with authorities. "If
you get both agencies together, the incentive is bigger to settle," said
Larkspur attorney Steven Saxe, a specialist in banking law. "You can
kill two birds with one stone."

The allegations against the eighth-largest credit card issuer cover a
broad range of issues, including levying late fees against customers who
had paid on time, charging consumers for credit insurance and other
products they had not ordered, and providing deceptive information about
interest rates. The accusations came to light 10 months ago when the
district attorney's office confirmed that it was investigating
complaints against the company.

Providian has said it never intentionally harmed consumers and
voluntarily repaid customers who were accidentally charged improper late
fees. It recently began a pay-by-phone service that allows customers to
avoid the delays of the postal system.

Representatives of the district attorney's office and the office of the
comptroller of the currency met with Providian to explore whether joint
settlement of the agencies' separate investigations of the San Francisco
company might be possible, people familiar with the matter said. The
meeting was said to be preliminary and did not involve negotiations to
settle consumer abuse allegations against Providian. Rather, the two
agencies outlined the alleged abuses their reviews had uncovered in an
attempt to determine whether three-way settlement talks might be
warranted, the representatives said. No follow-up meeting is scheduled
yet.

The comptroller of the currency's investigation of Providian is one of
the first wide-ranging consumer enforcement actions by an agency that
generally focuses on the financial soundness of banks. "We have
previously confirmed that we are having settlement talks with the
district attorney's office," Providian spokesman Konrad Alt said. The
company is prohibited by law from commenting on discussions with bank
regulators, he noted.

                            Risky Procedure

For Providian, the latest development is fraught with risk. Legal
experts said the double-barreled enforcement action presents a greater
opportunity and a greater threat than separate investigations by the
office of the comptroller of the currency and the district attorney's
office.

On the one hand, Providian may now be able to reach a single agreement
that satisfies the two most aggressive law enforcement agencies pursuing
it. In addition, the agencies' combined prestige could dissuade other
authorities from taking action against the company.

Providian is also under investigation by the Connecticut attorney
general and faces several consumer lawsuits seeking class-action status.
But the San Francisco and the comptroller of the currency cases are
generally viewed as the most serious legal challenges to the company.

But a breakdown of talks could lead to a two-pronged legal assault, with
both agencies able to impose their own sets of sanctions.

The district attorney's office could bring civil or -- less likely --
criminal charges, which could lead to hefty fines, force Providian to
repay damaged customers and a court-order to halt allegedly abusive
practices. The office of the comptroller of the currency could force
changes in policies and procedures, require reimbursements to customers
and, ultimately, impose fines and oust senior executives.

                     Common Strategy May Be Elusive

Legal experts said they presumed that the two agencies are sharing the
findings of their investigations to the extent the law permits. That
could strengthen the hands of San Francisco prosecutors should they
choose to go their own way.

The allegations against Providian caused a sensation last year,
prompting the company to rewrite some telemarketing scripts and other
sales materials, and adopt an "enhanced customer satisfaction program"
that includes a two-day grace period for receiving credit card payments.

Details of previous settlement talks between Providian and the district
attorney's office could not be determined. Legal experts said elements
of agreements in this sort of consumer case typically include financial
sanctions and halts to improper practices.

                        Probe Began Last June

The comptroller's investigation of Providian began last June as part of
the its regular examination of the company. Providian issues some of its
credit cards through a nationally chartered bank in New Hampshire,
putting it under the agency's jurisdiction.

The main mission of the comptroller's office is to protect the financial
health of the banks it regulates. But, over the last year, the agency
has advanced the more-expansive doctrine that customer service is a
safety and soundness issue, because lawsuits and action by consumer
protection agencies can cost banks money.

Legal experts said the agency's investigation of Providian may be a
precedent-setting case opening a wide array of consumer practices to
agency scrutiny. (The San Francisco Chronicle, March 9, 2000)


RETAILERS: Attorney to Sue over Gift Certificates with Expiration Dates
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Some of the nation's largest retailers are being accused of violating a
1997 state law by selling gift certificates or gift cards with
expiration dates. A Santa Ana attorney said he is planning to file a
lawsuit on March 9 in Orange County Superior Court on behalf of eight
people who claim they purchased or received gift certificates with
expiration dates.

"After the expiration date , most people throw away the gift
certificates without understanding the certificates are good
indefinitely under California law," attorney Neil B. Fineman said. In
all, more than 20 businesses, from large chains to smaller companies,
are expected to be named as defendants. They include Target and J.C.
Penney.

It has been illegal for retailers to sell a gift certificate containing
an expiration date in fine print since Jan. 1, 1997. "The reason for the
law was that people were paying money for a gift certificate, so how
could you have it expire?" said Tracey Weatherby, a public information
officer for the California Department of Consumer Affairs. "Those who do
not comply are breaking the law." Weatherby said the department has not
kept statistics on the alleged violations because it has received few
complaints. "It's not one of the No. 1 issues we get complaints on or
even in the top 10," she said.

Fineman said most of the expiration dates are printed in small letters
and range from three months to two years. Some of the chains named by
Fineman deny that they provide gift certificates with expiration dates.
"I would presume that we are aware of the law,"

Target spokeswoman Carolyn Brookter said. "We don't have expiration
dates." J.C. Penney is not issuing certificates with expiration dates,
said spokeswoman Stephanie Brown. She could not say whether the company
had issued certificates with expiration dates in the past.

Fineman said some companies attempt to skirt the law by selling gift
cards that may not have an expiration date but contain hidden charges.
"What the holder of the card doesn't realize, unless they read the small
print on the back, is that if the card is not used within a specific
period of time, the store will deduct a 'nonuse service charge' each
month from the card until the card is useless," he said. Fineman said he
will seek an injunction to stop the retailers from continuing to enforce
expiration dates and seeks to create a compensation fund for people who
have discarded a gift certificate or a gift card they thought was
worthless.

The law was passed after similar allegations were raised earlier in the
decade. In 1994, 18 retailers were named in a class-action lawsuit in
San Diego County Superior Court for failing to honor gift certificates
after expiration dates had elapsed. In an out-of-court settlement
retailers agreed to add language stating that the gift certificates
would be honored after any expiration date. The state Legislature later
passed a bill prohibiting the use of expiration dates on these
certificates, unless the expiration date is printed on the front of a
gift certificate in at least 10-point type. Certificates for food
products or charitable donations also are exempt. (Los Angeles Times,
March 9, 2000)


SAFETY-KLEEN CORP: Berger & Montague Files Securities Complaint in SC
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Berger & Montague, P.C. on behalf of its client, on
March 8, 2000, filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for
the District of South Carolina, Columbia Division on behalf of all
persons who purchased the common stock of Safety Kleen Corp. (NYSE:SK)
during the period of July 7, 1998 through March 6, 2000 inclusive.

The complaint charges Safety-Kleen and certain of its directors and
executive officers with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder. The complaint alleges that
the defendants issued materially false and misleading financial
statements that materially overstated the Company's revenues, income and
earnings during the Class Period. On March 6, 2000, Safety Kleen shocked
the market by announcing in a press release that it "has initiated an
internal investigation of its prior reported financial results and
certain of its accounting policies and practices following receipt by
the Company's Board of Directors of information alleging possible
accounting irregularities that may have affected the previously reported
financial results of the Company since fiscal year l998."

Contact: Berger & Montague, P.C., Philadelphia Sherrie R. Savett,
Esquire or Douglas M. Risen, Esquire or Kimberly A. Walker, Investor
Relations Manager 215/875-3000 or 888/891-2289 Fax: 215/875-4604
Website: http://home.bm.nete-mail: InvestorProtect@bm.net


SOTHEBY'S HOLDINGS: Bernard M. Gross Files Securities Suit in Michigan
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Law Offices Bernard M. Gross, P.C. gives notice that a class action
complaint has been filed in the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of Michigan on behalf of a Class of persons who
purchased the common stock and options of Sotheby's Holdings, Inc.
(NYSE: BID) 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 officers with violations
of Section 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 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.

Contact: Law Offices Bernard M. Gross, P.C. Susan Gross, Esq. Tina
Moukoulis, Esq. 1500 Walnut Street, Suite 600 Philadelphia, PA 19102,
Telephone: 800/849-3120 or 215/561-3600, E-mail:
susang@bernardmgross.com or tina@bernardmgross.com
Website:http://www.bernardmgross.com


ST JOHN KNITS: Settles '98 Securities Fraud Suit in California
--------------------------------------------------------------
On January 23, 2000 the Company reached an agreement in principle to
settle a case filed in 1998 by Binary Traders, Inc. for $5 million, an
amount the company's insurance carrier has agreed to pay. On October 13,
1998, Binary Traders, Inc. had filed a complaint on behalf of purchasers
of publicly traded securities of St. John during the period of February
25, 1998 to August 20, 1998 against St. John, Bob Gray, and Kelly Gray
in the United States District Court, Central District of California,
Southern Division (Binary Traders, Inc. v. St. John Knits, Inc. et al.).
The complaint, which sought class action certification, alleged that the
defendants violated federal securities laws by allegedly making
fraudulent statements during the Class Period and sought an unspecified
amount of compensatory damages. The settlement is subject to court
approval, which is expected to occur in the spring.


ST JOHN KNITS: Trial for CA Lawsuit over Merger Set for May 2000
----------------------------------------------------------------
On February 2, 1999, St. John entered into a merger agreement to be
acquired by a group consisting of Vestar Capital Partners III, L.P.
(Vestar) and Bob Gray, Marie Gray and Kelly Gray at an offer price of
$30 per share. Pursuant to the agreement, on July 7, 1999, the Company
consummated two mergers. As a result of the mergers, St. John became a
wholly owned subsidiary of SJKI. The mergers were accounted for as a
recapitalization. The operating results for all periods prior to the
mergers consist entirely of the historical results of St. John and its
subsidiaries.

During fiscal 1997, the Company formed St. John Company, Ltd. in Japan
to operate as a 51 percent owned subsidiary to distribute the Company's
products in Japan. During fiscal 1998, the Company increased its
ownership percentage to 68 percent. During fiscal 1997, the Company also
formed Amen Wardy Home Stores, LLC, a 51 percent owned limited liability
company. During fiscal 1999 the Company changed the name of this
subsidiary to St. John Home Stores, LLC and now owns 100 percent of this
entity. St. John Home operates two home furnishing stores and one outlet
store. The operations of both entities are included in the accompanying
consolidated financial statements.

The Company is a party to six lawsuits that allege claims against some
of St. John's current and former directors for breach of fiduciary duty
alleged to have arisen in connection with the mergers. All of these
lawsuits were filed in the Superior Court of the State of California for
the County of Orange. The principal relief sought in the six actions is
certification of the putative class and a rescission of the mergers,
damages, and attorneys' fees in an unspecified amount. These six
lawsuits were consolidated into one action on February 24, 1999.

On April 15, 1999, the plaintiffs in this lawsuit filed a motion for a
preliminary injunction seeking to prevent the mergers from proceeding.
The preliminary injunction motion was heard by the California state
court on April 28, 1999. On April 30, 1999, the court denied the
plaintiffs' motion. In denying the plaintiffs' request, the court ruled
that the plaintiffs had not shown a "reasonable probability" that they
could succeed in proving at trial that the $30.00 per share offer in the
mergers is unfair. Similarly, the court ruled that the plaintiffs were
unlikely to show that the special committee of St. John's board of
directors that evaluated and approved the terms of the mergers on behalf
of St. John lacked independence or failed to "shop" St. John adequately
to other buyers.

While declining to grant the preliminary injunction, the court imposed a
constructive trust which prevents the Grays from receiving in the
mergers any amount for their St. John shares in excess of $30.00 per
share until a full trial on the merits is held. Prior to the
determination of the final terms of the stock options to be granted to
the Grays after the mergers, the plaintiffs had argued that these
options represent additional consideration for the Grays' St. John
shares. It is the Company's belief that these employee stock options
represent incentive c ompensation for the Grays' services as officers of
St. John Knits International after the mergers and are not additional
consideration for their St. John shares.

The court also imposed a constructive trust preventing two of St. John's
former directors from exercising options that were repriced by the board
of directors in September 1998 until a full trial on the merits is held.
It is the Company's belief that the September 1998 option repricing was
not improper. The repricing was consistent with the repricing of options
held by key employees of St. John, excluding the Grays.

In imposing the constructive trusts, the court indicated that the
plaintiffs had shown "reasonable probability" that they could succeed at
trial in proving that the former St. John directors breached their
fiduciary duties with respect to the repricing of the director options
and the alleged preferential treatment of the Grays to the extent that
the Grays receive a higher price for their shares than the public
shareholders in the mergers.

On January 20, 2000, the court issued a ruling denying summary judgment
motions brought by both the plaintiffs and the defendants, with the
exception of granting plaintiffs' motion to strike defendants'
affirmative defense of ratification and also with the exception of
granting the defendants' motion to dismiss plaintiffs' claim for unjust
enrichment. Virtually all of the fact discovery has been completed and
the court has set a May 8, 2000 trial date.

On September 9, 1999, three of the plaintiffs filed another lawsuit in
the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Orange, naming
SJKI, Pearl Acquisition Corp., Vestar/Gray Investors LLC, SJK
Acquisition, Inc., Vestar Capital Partners III, L.P., Vestar Capital
Partners and Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc. The plaintiffs
claim that each of the defendants aided and abetted the breach of
fiduciary duties alleged in their earlier actions against St. John, Bob
Gray and Kelly Gray. Since the claims in this litigation are based
exclusively on secondary liability and are completely contingent upon
the success of the claims in the earlier action, on November 16, 1999,
at the request of several defendants, the court stayed all proceedings
in this litigation pending the outcome of the earlier action.

The company indicates that it will contest these lawsuits vigorously if
the plaintiffs elect to proceed with their actions. The company expects
to incur legal and other defense costs as a result of such proceedings
in an amount which it can not currently estimate. The Company believes
these proceedings could involve a substantial diversion of the time of
some of the members of management, and an adverse determination in, or
settlement of, such litigation could involve payment of significant
amounts, which could have an adverse impact on the company's business,
financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.


TOBACCO LITIGATION: Nurse's Cancer Not Caused By Smoking, Doctor Says
---------------------------------------------------------------------
An oncologist testifying on behalf of Big Tobacco said a nurse
representing all sick Florida smokers suffers from the type of cancer
the jury found not to be caused by cigarettes.

The tumors in each of Mary Farnan's lungs, which eventually spread to
her brain, are a type of cancer referred to as non-small cell carcinoma,
specifically B.A.C., Dr. Arnold S. Blaustein, of Mount Sinai Medical
Center, testified on Wednesday, March 8 in Miami-Dade Circuit Court.

The Miami doctor is probably the last witness who will be called to
testify on behalf of Big Tobacco. At stake is a potentially
industry-crippling punitive damage award of up to $ 300 billion. His
testimony in the statewide class-action lawsuit against the country's
five largest cigarette makers is the opposite of what several other
doctors said when they were called to testify on behalf of the sick
Florida smokers.

A six-member jury found Big Tobacco guilty in July of engaging in
"extreme and outrageous conduct" in selling and marketing their product
while concealing its health hazards. Also during the trial's first
phase, the jury found that tobacco produced a "defective product" that
is addictive and causes cancer and other diseases. But the one type of
cancer the jury did not find cigarettes responsible for was B.A.C.

During this phase of the trial, the jury must decide whether the
industry's actions can be linked to the lung and brain cancer that
Farnan, a nurse in north Florida, suffers from, or the throat cancer
that has prevented Frank Amodeo, an Orlando clockmaker, from eating or
drinking during the past 12 years. Another sick smoker who was
representing the class of sick Floridians, Angie Della Vecchia, died
last year.

If jurors find there is a link, they will be asked to determine an
amount that Big Tobacco should pay to compensate Amodeo and Farnan for
their illnesses. After that, the jury would be asked to decide how much
the industry should pay in punitive damages to the estimated 500,000
Florida smokers who could be part of the class-action lawsuit.

Under cross-examination by Stanley Rosenblatt, the lawyer for the
smokers, Blaustein said he made his "clinical" diagnosis after reading
Farnan's medical records. He never viewed a sample of the cancer cells
from her body under a microscope, he said.

The doctor also testified that it is not rare, at least at Mount Sinai,
to see people who suffer from lung cancer with B.A.C. And he said he has
never done any research on tobacco smoking. As he continued to try to
chip away at the doctor's credibility with the jury, Rosenblatt
questioned Blaustein about the $ 400 an hour the tobacco defense paid
him to testify. Rosenblatt also brought up the medical malpractice
trials that Blaustein testified in during the last 15 years, at least.
During most of those trials, Blaustein said, he testified on behalf of
the doctors or hospitals being sued.

After Blaustein's testimony, the lawyers began arguing whether a
deposition from a Miami psychologist, hired by Big Tobacco to examine
Farnan and whether she was addicted to cigarettes, should be read into
the court record. Those arguments are expected to continue this morning.

The defendants are: R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Philip Morris Inc., Brown
& Williamson Tobacco Corp., Lorillard Tobacco Co., Liggett Group Inc.
and two industry groups, the Council for Tobacco Research and the
Tobacco Institute. (Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL), March 9, 2000)


UCAR INTERNATIONAL: Settles Securities Claims; Sues Former Parents
------------------------------------------------------------------
UCAR International Inc. (NYSE:UCR), which has settled securities
lawsuits and the appointment of a new director with antitrust experience
to its board, announced its commencement of a lawsuit, in the U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of New York, against its former
parents, Mitsubishi Corporation and Union Carbide Corporation. The
lawsuit is also against two of the respective representatives of
Mitsubishi and Union Carbide who served on UCAR's Board of Directors at
the time of their sale of 75% of UCAR to The Blackstone Group in January
1995, Hiroshi Kawamura and Robert D. Kennedy. Mr. Kennedy is still a
member of UCAR's Board of Directors and the Board of Directors of Union
Carbide.

The January 1995 sale to The Blackstone Group was structured as a
leveraged recapitalization. As a result, the purchase price consisted of
dividend and stock repurchase payments made by UCAR to its former
parents, with Union Carbide retaining a 25% interest in UCAR. Funding
for the payments was derived primarily from approximately $1 billion of
debt incurred by UCAR at that time. Union Carbide sold its remaining
interest in UCAR in UCAR's IPO in August 1995.

In the lawsuit, UCAR alleges, among other things:

  Unlawful Payments -- In January 1995, Mitsubishi and Union Carbide had
knowledge of facts indicating that UCAR had engaged in illegal graphite
electrode price fixing activities and that any determination of UCAR's
statutory capital surplus would be overstated as a result of those
activities. Certain of their representatives knew or should have known
the same. Mitsubishi was indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice last
month for aiding and abetting those activities.

In January 1995, UCAR did not have the statutory capital surplus
required to lawfully authorize the payments that UCAR made to its former
parents. As a result, based on the allegations summarized above, the
defendants are liable to UCAR for damages.

  Unjust Enrichment -- Mitsubishi and Union Carbide were unjustly
enriched by receipts from their investments in UCAR.

  Aiding and Abetting Breach of Fiduciary Duties -- Mitsubishi and Union
Carbide knowingly induced or actively and substantially assisted former
senior management of UCAR to engage in illegal graphite electrode price
fixing activities in breach of their fiduciary duties to UCAR.

  Damages -- Mitsubishi and Union Carbide are liable for more than $1.5
billion in damages, including interest.

UCAR said some of their claims provide for joint and several liability;
however, damages from the various claims would not generally be additive
to each other. Gilbert E. Playford, Chairman and Chief Executive
Officer, commented, "At the direction of our outside independent
directors, we are now seeking to recover for the benefit of our
stockholders the ill-gotten gains received by our former parents and all
other recoveries to which UCAR may be entitled." He continued, "By far
the majority of our debt was incurred to finance payments made to
Mitsubishi and Union Carbide. The lawsuit is the natural progression in
our strategy of proactively addressing issues arising out of the illegal
graphite electrode price fixing activities. UCAR has replaced its former
senior officers. We have settled virtually all of the actual and
potential antitrust claims by customers in the U.S. and Canada in
connection with the sale of graphite electrodes. We have also settled
the securities class action and stockholder derivative lawsuits. We have
resolved the antitrust investigations by the U.S. and Canadian
governmental antitrust authorities as they relate to us, and we are
continuing to cooperate with the European Union governmental antitrust
authority in its pending investigation."

Karen G. Narwold, General Counsel, Vice President and Secretary, added,
"Litigation such as this lawsuit is complex. We have already invested
substantial money and effort in researching and analyzing the facts and
legal theories underlying this lawsuit. We believe that our claims are
strong, and are confident about the ultimate outcome. Accordingly, we
afforded the defendants the opportunity to settle this lawsuit in
advance of filing the complaint in the interests of achieving a fair and
expeditious resolution. We now intend to vigorously pursue this lawsuit
to trial."

Ms. Narwold continued, "Complex litigation can be lengthy and expensive.
We are currently budgeting between $10 million and $20 million for legal
expenses to pursue this lawsuit through trial. These expenses will be
accounted as operating expenses and will be accrued as incurred. Of
course, the ultimate outcome of litigation such as this lawsuit is
subject to many uncertainties, both substantive and procedural,
including motions to dismiss, statute of limitation and other defenses,
and claims for indemnification and other counterclaims."

She concluded, "It is always possible that this lawsuit could be settled
at any time. As is the case with all of the litigation in which we are
involved, it is our policy to not discuss litigation developments,
including the status of any settlement negotiations, until they have
become completed."


VISX INC: Donovan Miller Files Securities Suit in California
------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Donovan Miller, LLC, announced that a class action
lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern
District of California against VISX Inc. (Nasdaq:VISX), and certain of
its Officers and Directors, on behalf of all persons who purchased VISX
securities between March 1, 1999 and February 22, 2000, inclusive.

The plaintiff in the case is a stock purchaser who is alleged to have
sustained losses as a result of defendants' alleged violations.

The Complaint alleges that, during the Class Period, VISX and the six
officer defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 by, among other things, issuing materially false
and misleading statements to the investing public about the Company's
business, revenue growth and earnings expectations for fiscal 2000
relating to its Excimer Laser Systems. The Complaint further alleges
that the price of VISX's shares was artificially inflated as a result of
Defendants' omissions of material fact.

Contact: Michael D. Donovan at Donovan Miller, LLC, 1608 Walnut Street,
Suite 1400, Philadelphia, PA 19103; phone: 800/619-1677 or 215/732-6020;
e-mail: mdonovan@dmlaw.com or dmlaw@erols.com Website
http://www.dmlaw.com


VISX INC: Lowey Dannenberg Files Securities Suit in California
--------------------------------------------------------------
Lowey Dannenberg Bemporad & Selinger, P.C. announced that a class action
has been commenced in the United States District Court for the Northern
District of California on behalf of purchasers of VISX Inc. (Nasdaq:
VISX) common stock, call options and sellers of put options during the
period between March 1, 1999 and Feb. 22, 2000.

The complaint charges VISX and certain of its officers and directors
with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The complaint
alleges that defendants made false and misleading statements about the
Company's business, revenue growth and earnings expectations for fiscal
2000 relating to its Excimer Laser Systems and the limited impact of
competition which would allow VISX to maintain its $250 per procedure
licensing fee in the United States. Plaintiff alleges defendants'
statements artificially inflated the prices of VISX securities and
enabled VISX insiders to sell 1.4 million VISX shares at inflated prices
for $97 million in proceeds. On Feb. 22, 2000, VISX admitted it would
reduce its per procedure fee to $100. This announcement caused its stock
price to drop to as low as $16 and affected the prices of VISX options.

Contact: Lowey Dannenberg Bemporad & Selinger, P.C. David C. Harrison or
Sherrie Brown 877-777-3581 or 914-997-0500


VISX INC: Schubert & Reed LLP Brings Securities Suit in California
------------------------------------------------------------------
A class action suit alleging securities fraud was filed on March 7,
2000, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of
California against VISX Inc. (Nasdaq: VISX), and VISX officers and
directors, including Chairman and CEO Mark Logan, COO Elizabeth Davila,
Executive VP and CFO Timothy Maier, by the San Francisco law firm
Schubert & Reed LLP. The case was filed on behalf of purchasers of VISX
common stock, call options and sellers of put options during the period
between March 1, 1999 and Feb. 22, 2000.

The complaint charges VISX and certain of its officers and directors
with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The complaint
alleges that defendants made false and misleading statements about the
Company's business, revenue growth and earnings expectations for fiscal
2000 relating to its Excimer Laser Systems and the limited impact of
competition which would allow VISX to maintain its $250 per procedure
licensing fee in the United States. Plaintiff alleges defendants'
statements artificially inflated the prices of VISX securities and
enabled VISX insiders to sell 1.4 million VISX shares at inflated prices
for $97 million in proceeds. On Feb. 2, 2000, VISX admitted it would
reduce its per procedure fee to $100. This announcement caused its stock
price to drop to as low as $16 and affected the prices of VISX options.

Contact: Juden Justice Reed, Esq. of Schubert & Reed LLP, 415-788-4220,
or fax 415-788-0161, or mail@schubert-reed.com


VISX: Lockridge Grindal Files Securities Suit in California
-----------------------------------------------------------
Lockridge Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P. announced that a class action has been
commenced in the United States District Court for the Northern District
of California on behalf of purchasers of VISX Inc. ("VISX") (Nasdaq:
VISX - news) common stock during the period between March 1, 1999 and
February 22, 2000.

The Complaint charges VISX and certain of its officers and directors
with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The complaint
alleges that defendants made false and misleading statements about (i)
the steady and increasing revenues the installed base of VISX's Excimer
Laser systems would provide to VISX, (ii) the strong procedure and
equipment royalties VISX was warning, (iii) the limited impact of
competition which would allow VISX to maintain its $250 per procedure
licensing fee in the United States which would lead to consistent
revenue growth, and (iv) VISX's continued market share domination which
would result in 2000 EPS of $1.70 - 1.80. These false and misleading
statements artificially inflated the price of VISX stock to a Class
Period high of $103-7/8 from just $30-1/4 per share (split adjusted) at
the outset of the Class Period. This upsurge in VISX's stock enabled
VISX insiders to sell 1.4 million shares of their VISX stock for $97
million in proceeds.

On December 10, 1999, VISX received an adverse ruling from the
International Trade Commission that competitor Nidek had not infringed
on VISX's patents, and its stock retreated to the $58 - $60 range. This
cast doubt on VISX's competitive position and the ability to maintain
its prices. However, VISX continued to represent that the $250 per
procedure fee was in tact. Then, on January 19, 2000, VISX revealed a
drop in 4thQ 99 revenues versus the 3rdQ 99 and exposed the problems
VISX was having growing its business. On these disclosures, VISX's stock
fell by 29% in one day to $32-1/4. However, it was not until February
22, 2000, that VISX admitted it would reduce its per procedure fee to
$100. This announcement caused its stock price to drop to as low as $16
on huge volume on February 23, 2000.

If you have questions or information regarding this action, or if you
are interested in serving as a lead plaintiff in this action, you may
call or write: Gregory J. Myers Lockridge Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P. 100
Washington Avenue South Suite 2200 Minneapolis, MN 55401, (612) 339-6900
gjmyers@locklaw.com


WHEATON WARRENVILLE: Judge Won't Stop District 200 Suit Re Health Risks
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
DuPage County Judge Hollis Webster denied a motion by defense attorneys
to dismiss a lawsuit against Wheaton Warrenville School District 200.
The district is being sued by parents who want the judge to permanently
close Johnson School on grounds that the school poses environmental
hazards that could pose health risks to occupants.

"Now the case can go forward, and we can seek monetary damages on behalf
of the children and their families," said attorney Tom Zimmerman, who is
representing about 40 families in the class-action suit. The suit seeks
$33.6 million in damages and asks that the building be permanently
closed. The judge's ruling allows the case to go to a trial.

District officials have vehemently denied that the 10-year-old school
building is a health hazard. (Chicago Tribune, March 9, 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. Theresa Cheuk, Managing Editor.

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

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
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