CAR_Public/000317.MBX                 C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

                Friday, March 17, 2000, Vol. 2, No. 54

                              Headlines

ACCEPTANCE INSURANCE: Announces Denial of Class Re CRCPlus for Farmers
AOL: IL Joins States Covered by Suits over Damages on Users' Computers
BOEING COMPANY: More Female Employees Join Nationwide Suit Filed in WA
BRANCH DAVIDIAN SIEGE: Plaintiffs in TX Case Ask for Govt Evidence
COMPUSERVE INTERACTIVE: Faces FL Lawsuit over Delayed Rebate Checks

COREL CORP: Bernard M. Gross Files Securities Suit in PA
COREL CORP: Files $5.19M Settlement Deal for '98 Stockholder Suit in NY
ECONNECT INC: Wechsler Harwood Announces Proposed Securities Complaint
ECONNECT INC: Wolf Haldenstein Files Securities Lawsuit
FLORIDA SCHOOL: Bush's Voucher Plan Ruled Unconstitutional

FORD MOTOR: Buys Back 6-Year-Old Vehicles Big to Correct V-6 Engine
Problem
GUN MANUFACTURERS: Cuomo, Religious Groups Call for End to Gun Violence
HMOs: AMA, NY Physicians Say MetLife and United Healthcare Shortchange
INDIAN TRUST: Federal Government Claims Honest Effort to Manage Funds
INMATES LITIGATION: Judge Orders Fulton to Fix Appalling Health Care

KEYSPAN CORP: Moves to Dismiss Huntington Lawsuit Re Ratepayers' Rights
KEYSPAN CORP: Resolves Suit Re Pension Fund Withdrawals 25 Yrs. Ago
LEGATO SYSTEMS: The Pomerantz Firm Announces Securities Suit
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY: Two Men Claim Gender Bias in FL Fire Dept. Hiring
MTBE LITIGATION: Maine Superior Ct. Denies Class Certification

NETWORK SOLUTIONS: Lawyer Challenges Internet Registration Fees Again
PAYDAY LENDERS: Edelman, Combs Sue 4 More Lenders in Indiana
PRUDENTIAL SECURITIES: Named Plaintiff Added to Suit Re Margin Interest
SAFETY-KLEEN CORP: Lockridge Grindal Files Securities Suit in SC
STORAGE TECHNOLOGY: CO Ct Finalizes Settlement for ADEA & ERISA Suit

SYKES ENTERPRISES: Rabin & Peckel Files Securities Suit in Florida
VALENCE TECHNOLOGY: Reminds Investors of Securities Suit Filed '94
WAR VICTIMS: British Gov't Rejects Far East Veterans' Compensation Plea

                               *********

ACCEPTANCE INSURANCE: Announces Denial of Class Re CRCPlus for Farmers
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Acceptance Insurance Companies Inc. (NYSE:AIF), which faces a securities
suit as reported in the CAR, announced on March 15 the denial of
plaintiffs' request for class action status in another lawsuit, one that
is on behalf of all rice farmers who applied for the Company's
CropRevenue CoveragePlus(R) (CRCPlus) has been denied.

In an order filed March 10, the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of Arkansas ruled plaintiffs failed to demonstrate
their claims are typical of class members who elected coverage
alternatives different from the alternatives the plaintiffs chose for
themselves, and that a conflict may exist between persons who withdrew
their applications and those who accepted the Company's offer to provide
coverage at 1 1/2 cents per pound. The Court said the nature of any
damages suffered by plaintiffs was unclear, and that "the difference in
coverage selected or not selected carries with it a myriad of
individualized inquiries such as reliance, formation of a contract, and
nature of damages." Plaintiffs have until March 24 to apply to the
federal Court of Appeals for permission to immediately appeal from the
order.

The Court also reaffirmed its earlier dismissal of plaintiffs' claim the
Company acted in bad faith, concluding that the "Arkansas courts would
not extend the tort of bad faith to the fact situation presented here."


AOL: IL Joins States Covered by Suits over Damages on Users' Computers
----------------------------------------------------------------------
America Online (NYSE:AOL), the world's largest Internet service
provider, is now facing a proposed class-action lawsuit in Illinois by
users who claim AOL 5.0 causes severe damage to users' computers. The
suit, filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County, joins actions against
AOL in at least eight other states across the country.

The lawsuit claims that AOL knowingly released AOL 5.O which, without
warning, made major changes to users' computers, rendering them unstable
and, in some cases, inoperable. The suit claims that these changes
effectively barred customers from connecting with competing ISPs.

Attorney Steve Berman, known for his national expertise in class-action
lawsuits including representing the state of Illinois against Big
Tobacco, filed a lawsuit on behalf of Illinois residents who have
installed AOL 5.0 and have experienced difficulty connecting to
competing ISPs. If approved by the court, the suit would represent all
Illinois residents who have experienced problems.

"Since we filed our initial complaint in Washington, we have literally
received hundreds of calls and e-mails from disgruntled AOL users from
all across the country asking how they could join the AOL lawsuit,"
Berman said. "We've recently filed complaints in a number of states to
make sure that we are providing an avenue of relief for what could be
millions of people," Berman said.

"AOL 5.0 promised users 500 free hours of faster, better Internet
access," Berman said. "But in reality, many novice users found that once
they installed AOL 5.0, removing the software was nearly impossible.
This was a brazen attempt by AOL to hold these customers hostage as long
as they wanted to connect to the Internet."

According to Berman, one of the plaintiffs, Michelle Irish installed AOL
5.0 and immediately found she was unable to connect to an ISP other than
AOL. "Mrs. Irish, who works as a computer analyst, struggled for hours
to undo the damage that the AOL installation caused," Berman said.
"Finally, she had to literally wipe the system clean and reinstall ever
last piece of software including the operating system.

Berman noted that Irish was able to correct the problem, but only
because she is a trained professional and could dedicate hours of work
to the issue. "To ask a lay-person to accomplish the same task is like
asking a flight attendant to pilot a 747."

Another plaintiff, Donald Rubin turned to an outside expert to fix his
machine after the AOL installation. According to Berman, he contacted a
technician who had worked on other machines with the same problem. "The
technician listened to my client and told him it was cheaper to toss his
old machine and buy a new one," Berman said.

Contact: Hagens Berman Steve Berman, 206/623-7292
steve@hagens-berman.com or MEDIA ONLY Mark Firmani, 206/443-9357
mark@firmani.com  Website: http://www.hagens-berman.com


BOEING COMPANY: More Female Employees Join Nationwide Suit Filed in WA
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Ten more women have joined a lawsuit against The Boeing Company seeking
class action status on behalf of an estimated 30,000 female employees
nationwide. The lawsuit alleges widespread gender discrimination at
Boeing facilities throughout the country.

The lawsuit's plaintiffs, who now total 38, constitute a broad
cross-section of Boeing employees including janitors, secretaries,
engineers and regional directors. The new plaintiffs are present and
former employees at Boeing facilities in Western Washington, Southern
California, Wichita, Kan., and St. Louis, Mo.

"Boeing has consistently ignored and failed to investigate complaints
about unlawful work conditions, allowing the problem to worsen," said
Michael Helgren, an attorney for the women. "This lawsuit is about a
very large corporation that is more concerned about profits than
protecting the legal rights and self-esteem of its employees."

The women allege they have been treated differently than men with regard
to promotional opportunities, job assignments, management positions,
training, pay, overtime, and other benefits and conditions of
employment. Federal and state laws require equitable treatment of male
and female employees.

The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for Western Washington,
notes that Boeing's own internal surveys show gender bias in Boeing's
promotion and pay practices. While the plaintiffs are not seeking
special privileges or better treatment than male workers, they maintain
their legal right to equal treatment. The complaint includes sworn
statements by the 38 plaintiffs describing a hostile work environment in
which women fear retaliation for raising concerns about unfair
treatment. Among the treatment described by the new plaintiffs:

Patti Anderson was terminated as a Boeing employee in July 1999. Until
then, she was a third generation Boeing employee (her grandparents,
parents, brother, and husband have all worked for Boeing). In her
grandparents' day, Boeing was the place to work. However, during Ms.
Anderson's tenure working in Boeing's Auburn, Wash. facility, the
company's work environment increasingly became a hostile and unfair
place for female employees. While working for Boeing, she was paid less
than males for equal or substantially similar work. Her husband,
brother, and father all performed the same job but were paid more and
consistently received higher raises. One supervisor boasted that he
would never have women in his work group. In July 1999, Ms. Anderson was
terminated while similarly situated or less-qualified males were
retained.

Esther Gramza Thiry of Washington has worked for Boeing for nearly ten
years in its Auburn, Renton and Everett facilities. She has been denied
some job assignments because her male lead believes a woman is not
"strong enough." She is regularly denied overtime opportunities provided
to male co-workers. She has been called "chesty," and one male co-worker
regularly subjects her to graphic comments of a sexual nature.

Teodosia Grosz is a salaried electrical engineer working in Boeing's
Long Beach, Calif. facility. She is the only female engineer in her
department. Since 1996, she has been paid substantially less than her
male co-workers who are less qualified in performing the same work. Male
co-workers and management treat plaintiff Grosz more like a "helper,"
requiring her to fill out forms and sit "behind the desk."

Nena Holder works in Boeing's Wichita facility as a salaried accountant.
At Boeing, it's an unspoken rule that since males are "heads of
households," they should be paid better than women for equal work. They
are to be protected from layoffs, too. Ms. Holder has witnesses favored
male co-workers who escape layoffs by being transferred to other jobs
where they are "hid."

Terri Wertz has worked in Boeing's St. Louis facility for nearly 13
years. In the past, she has taken pregnancy leave. Before her leave, she
was obtaining substantial raises. Upon her return, the raises became
quite minimal. In January 2000, Ms. Wertz was told by The Boeing Company
that the budget did not permit her to be promoted. That was false, as
three men were promoted to even better, higher levels than her at the
time. She continues to perform the same job duties as men in job
classifications that are two levels higher than her own.

Shelley Sinclair works in sales at Boeing's Long Beach facility. She is
a single mother with three children, and one of only a handful of women
in a sales group of roughly two hundred. In 1999, when Ms. Sinclair told
Boeing she intended to adopt a third child, Boeing told her she would
not be promoted in the future and, shortly thereafter, transferred her
from Seattle to Long Beach, California. She uprooted her family, sold
her home, and relocated in December Two weeks later, Boeing told her
that she should find a new job by February 15, 2000.

Contact: Michael D. Helgren, Jerry R. McNaul, or Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. at
206-467-1816, all of Law offices of law offices of McNaul Ebel Nawrot
Helgren & Vance, 600 University Street, Suite 2700, Seattle, Washington
98101-3143.


BRANCH DAVIDIAN SIEGE: Plaintiffs in TX Case Ask for Govt Evidence
------------------------------------------------------------------
Contending that the government has withheld, destroyed or tampered with
important evidence related to the federal siege of a Waco, Texas,
compound in 1993, lawyers for Branch Davidians who have filed a
wrongful-death lawsuit are asking a federal judge for help. In a 31-page
motion being filed in federal court in Waco, the Davidians' lead counsel
asked U.S. District Judge Walter Smith to schedule a hearing to review
the complaint or to sanction the government. "A disturbing pattern has
emerged," the motion by Davidian lawyer Michael Caddell said. "Much of
the key evidence relating to the events of April 19, 1993, has been
'lost,' altered or tampered with."

In his motion, Caddell complained of "suspicious gaps" in evidence and
said the government had failed to meet the judge's September 1999 order
to produce original audio and video tapes, photographic negatives and
other evidence. Among the originals reported lost by the government,
Caddell said, were negatives for an 11:24 a.m. photo the FBI has
brandished as proof that no gunshots were fired by federal agents into
the Branch Davidian retreat.

The plaintiffs, whose case goes to trial in mid-May, contend that aerial
infrared surveillance footage shot by the FBI offers definitive proof
that government agents fired their weapons as the Davidians' building
burned.

The government, for seven years, has staunchly denied that its agents
fired any shots that day or that it bears any responsibility for the
fire that raced through the compound several hours into an FBI
tear-gassing operation designed to flush the Davidians out.

Davidian leader David Koresh and some 80 followers died, some from the
fire, others from gunshot wounds. The government contends they perished
by their own hand. The plaintiffs, who have deposed dozens of on-scene
FBI personnel, contend an FBI photographer's testimony offers proof that
several rolls of film shot in the crucial hour before the compound
burned are missing from the evidence turned over by the government. "The
pattern of the photographs produced by the FBI suggests only one thing:
the FBI has turned over only those photographs to the court (and the
press) that the FBI wants the court and the public to see," Caddell
charged.

The plaintiffs accuse the government of other wrongdoing, including:

-- Never returning a roll of film confiscated from the Texas Rangers
showing
   bodies and weaponry found inside the decimated concrete bunker. "The
absence
   of these photographs makes it very difficult, if not impossible, to
determine
   if any of these persons were shot outside of that room and moved into
it
   prior to or after the fire," the motion said.

-- Representing as originals audio recordings made from listening
devices
   planted inside the compound during the 51-day siege. An analysis
commissioned
   by the plaintiffs suggests the tapes are copies. The tapes - which
the
   government has relied on for proof that the Davidians spread fuel and
started
   the fire - also bear signs of being recorded with multiple recorders,
the
   plaintiffs' tape expert concluded.

"There existed a number of suspicious record events (i.e. anomalies)
which casts serious doubt on the tapes' originality and authenticity,"
the plaintiffs' tape expert, Steve Cain, wrote in a Feb. 24 report. (The
Associated Press, March 15, 2000)


COMPUSERVE INTERACTIVE: Faces FL Lawsuit over Delayed Rebate Checks
-------------------------------------------------------------------
In the latest legal skirmish over rebate programs in the computer
industry, a Florida law firm has filed a class-action suit against
CompuServe Interactive Services, accusing CompuServe of not giving
rebates to customers in a timely manner. The suit was filed this month
on behalf of two Florida customers who were each promised a $400 rebate
when they purchased a Compaq Presario and signed up for three years of
CompuServe's 2000 Premier Service in August 1999. The suit says the
rebate checks were not received until last month and seeks to have
CompuServe pay interest.

CompuServe began its rebate program with computer manufacturers like
Compaq, Hewlett-Packard and I.B.M. in July 1999. Ann Bentley, a
spokeswoman for CompuServe, said the company advises customers in the
rebate agreement that checks take 8 to 10 weeks to arrive. The rebate
program was similar to those offered by other Internet service providers
as a way to get more people to sign up for their services. CompuServe
has mailed more than 700,000 rebate checks, Ms. Bentley said.

But Byron Petersen, a lawyer at Petersen & Hawthorne in Fort Lauderdale,
Fla., who is handling the suit, said the firm had received more than 100
e-mail messages from CompuServe customers who were awaiting rebate
checks.

Trish Primrose, a spokeswoman for America Online (CompuServe is a wholly
owned subsidiary of AOL), said CompuServe has a Rebate button on its
site that allows customers to check the progress of their rebates. "Some
of the problems in issuing rebate checks stem from CompuServe customers
not filling out the rebate forms correctly," she said.

The Federal Trade Commission recently reached agreements with Memtek
Products and Umax Technologies, stating that the two computer products
companies would provide checks to their customers within the time
specified on the rebate agreements. Mitchell Katz, a spokesman for the
commission, said that it has not filed a complaint against CompuServe in
relation to rebate offers. (The New York Times, March 16, 2000)


COREL CORP: Bernard M. Gross Files Securities Suit in PA
--------------------------------------------------------
On March 17, 2000, in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania, on behalf of all persons and entities who
purchased or otherwise acquired the common stock of Corel Corporation
(NASDAQ:CORL), between December 7, 1999 and December 21, 1999, inclusive
(the "Class Period") on an American Exchange.

The Complaint charges Corel and its senior officer with violations of
Section 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The
Complaint alleges that defendants issued false and misleading statements
about the Company's financial condition which resulted in artificially
inflated stock prices during the Class Period.

Contact: Law Offices Bernard M. Gross, P.C. Susan Gross, Esq.,
800/849-3120 or 215/561-3600 E-mail: susang@bernardmgross.com or or Tina
Moukoulis, Esq., 800/849-3120 or 215/561-3600 E-mail:
tina@bernardmgross.com  Website: http://www.bernardmgross.com


COREL CORP: Files $5.19M Settlement Deal for '98 Stockholder Suit in NY
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Corel Corp. is awaiting a May 12 court approval for an offer of $ 5.19
million to settle a string of U.S. stockholder class-action lawsuits.
The company filed on Feb. 3 the settlement offer to consolidating five
lawsuits filed in early 1998 in New York. "The court has preliminarily
approved the settlement," said Corel spokeswoman Stefania Allevato. "Now
the class members receive a notice about the proposed settlement."
Eastern District Court of New York will rule May 12 if the settlement is
fair, adequate and in the best interest of shareholders, she said.

"The thing the market fears most is uncertainty and a resolution to this
issue will be, by and large, a positive," said Duncan Stewart, fund
manager at Tera Capital Corp. "It's a little bit of a negative, in that
you wish they didn't have to give anybody any money."

The suits alleged Corel artificially inflated the price of its stock in
1997 by making material misrepresentations about the company. They also
alleged Corel CEO Michael Cowpland and other senior executives sold
millions of Corel shares at artificially high prices. (The Ottawa Sun,
March 16, 2000)


ECONNECT INC: Wechsler Harwood Announces Proposed Securities Complaint
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Wechsler Harwood Halebian & Feffer LLP announces that the firm has been
retained to file a class action lawsuit on behalf of purchasers of
eConnect, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: ECNC) common stock between November
23, 1999 and March 13, 2000 inclusive (the "Class Period"), including
those individuals who acquired their eConnect securities in exchange for
shares, ADRs, or options in other companies acquired by eConnect.

eConnect is a provider of a merchant portal, powerclick.com, that
features over 200 merchant listings aimed at generating revenues based
on fees per click. Also, eConnect has "internet cash payment portals"
which aim to sign up merchants and generate revenues through merchant
application fees, listing fees, affiliate link fees, and transaction
fees. Additionally, eConnect is in the business of developing hardware
and software systems designed to enable online remote, credit and ATM
card based transactions, such as those used for online gambling.

The complaint will allege that during the Class Period, defendants made
false and misleading statements and/or omissions concerning the
financial condition and business prospects of the Company, as well as
the financial benefits that would enure to eConnect and its
shareholders, while disregarding information which would have been of
material importance to any reasonable shareholder.

According to the proposed complaint, since the disclosure of these, and
other, adverse facts would have caused a severe decline in the price of
eConnect's stock, defendants set out on a scheme to conceal these facts
to artificially inflate it's stock price.

eConnect's common stock traded as high as $21 on March 9, 2000, and was
maintained at these allegedly inflated levels until the SEC halted
trading in the shares on March 13, 2000 in view of its suspicion that
eConnect was issuing false and misleading press releases to artificially
inflate its share price, including references to a purported Palm Pilot
license arrangement, a strategic alliance with a brokerage firm to
distribute one of eConnect's products, and the amount of revenue
reportedly generated by one of eConnect's web sites.

Contact: Wechsler Harwood Halebian & Feffer LLP Terri Jablonski,
877/935-7400 (toll free) Tjablonski@whhf.com


ECONNECT INC: Wolf Haldenstein Files Securities Lawsuit
-------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court on behalf of
purchasers of eConnect, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: ECNC) common stock
between November 18, 1999 and March 13, 2000 inclusive (the "Class
Period").

The lawsuit charges eConnect and its President, CEO, and Chairman,
Thomas S. Hughes, with violations of the Securities Exchange Act . The
complaint alleges that, during the Class Period, defendants made false
and misleading statements and/or omissions concerning the financial
condition and business prospects of the Company. For example, the
complaint alleges that defendants made false and misleading statements
in SEC filings and press releases regarding the revenues which would be
generated by the Company, including the Company's The Art Auction web
site (http://www.theartauction.com).The Complaint alleges that The Art
Auction is not yet an active web site and thus has generated no revenue
for the Company. The Complaint also alleges that the Company made
misrepresentations concerning the revenue generated from its Powerclick
web site, misrepresentations regarding a purported licensing agreement
with Palm Pilot, and misrepresentations concerning a purported strategic
alliance with the Empire Financial Group.

The Company's common stock increased from a price of $1.37 on February
17, 2000 to as high as $21.87 on March 9, 2000 as a result of
defendants' false and misleading statements.

On March 13, 2000, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission
suspended trading in eConnect's common stock based upon questions
concerning the accuracy of eConnect's publicly released information.
Specifically, the SEC suspended trading in eConnect's stock because of
questions concerning eConnect's purported licensing agreement with Palm
Pilot, questions concerning eConnect's relationship with Empire
Financial Group, and questions concerning the amount of revenue
generated by one of the Company's web sites.

eConnect is subject to a SEC consent decree due to failure to timely
file SEC documents. Since the consent decree was entered, eConnect has
continued to violate the decree by failing to timely file its annual and
quarterly SEC documents. In addition, eConnect's director of investor
relations, Elias Argyropoulos, who drafted eConnect's press releases
along with Hughes, is a former stock broker who was banned from the
brokerage industry in 1995 by the NASD for stock manipulation and
unauthorized trades in customer accounts.

EConnect is a start-up company with two divisions. The first division,
eGaming, is focused on Internet gambling. The second division, eGate, is
developing hardware and software systems designed to facilitate Internet
commerce through the use of remote credit, ATM, and smart cards.
EConnect has recently established an Internet merchant portal,
www.powerclick.com, that is designed to generate revenues based on fees
per click.

Contact: Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP, (New York): Michael
Miske, George Peters, Gregory Nespole, Esq., Fred Taylor Isquith, Esq.,
or Shane T. Rowley, Esq., 800-575-0735, or (San Diego): Frank Bottini,
Esq., (619) 239-4599. Email: classmember@whafh.com


FLORIDA SCHOOL: Bush's Voucher Plan Ruled Unconstitutional
----------------------------------------------------------
A state judge on Tuesday, March 14 ruled that Florida's school voucher
plan - the model for a national program proposed by Republican
presidential hopeful George W. Bush - violated the state's Constitution,
according to a report by Reuters. Leon County Circuit Court Judge L.
Ralph Smith said the publicly funded plan, the first such statewide
voucher program in the United States, violated the Florida
constitutional requirement that the state provide a ``high-quality
system of free public schools,''  quotes the Reuters report.

The report says that Florida's voucher plan initiated by Gov. Jeb Bush,
known as the Opportunity Scholarship Program, grants private school
scholarships to students assigned to public schools that fail
standardized tests, and Smith's ruling barred Florida from taking
further steps to implement the voucher program, but allowed the 53
students currently using vouchers in Escambia County to continue doing
so through the end of the school year.

``The judge has made it very clear,'' said Leon Russell, immediate past
president of the Florida NAACP. ``He's saying you can't take public
dollars and give it to private institutions because the people of the
state of Florida have said education is the prime responsibility and
priority of the state.''

Smith's ruling came in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties
Union and a state teachers' union against Gov. Bush and state education
officials. The ACLU said most private schools in Florida are affiliated
with religious groups and that their educational programs ``are designed
to advance the religious missions of the schools and their sponsoring
churches.''  The ACLU lawsuit said that the voucher plan violated a
state constitutional ban on using public money to benefit religious
institutions, the state requirement to establish a ''system of free
public schools'' and the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment demand for
a separation of church and state.  The judge's ruling did not address
whether the Florida statute violated the U.S. Constitution, says the
Reuters report.

                   The Governor Vowed To Appeal The Ruling

Jeb Bush said the state immediately would appeal the ruling and that he
would help raise private money if necessary to keep the current crop of
voucher students in their private schools.  Jeb Bush's brother, the
Texas governor and prospective Republican presidential nominee, has
proposed using the Florida program as a model nationwide.

ACLU's executive director in Florida, Howard Simon, said, ``It would be
better to focus on doing what's best for Florida's children rather than
engaging in a protracted court battle in pursuit of an ideological
crusade.''

Other opponents said the voucher plan would drain money from public
schools. Under the program, schools are graded according to their
students' performance on the annual Florida Comprehensive Assessment
Test. If a school is rated ``F'' twice in four years, students assigned
to that school can receive private-school vouchers equal to the school
district's per-student cost, or the private school's tuition, whichever
is less, the Reuters report explains. A voucher is currently worth about
$3,400. The law took effect in June 1999 and two Escambia County schools
in the Florida Panhandle immediately became eligible because of poor
test scores. Fifty-three Escambia students opted for vouchers under the
plan. But the number of eligible was expected to rise to as many as
60,000 students at 78 schools in a few months, accordng to the Reuters
report, with the release of the next round of test scores.


FORD MOTOR: Buys Back 6-Year-Old Vehicles to Correct V-6 Engine Problem
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Stung by a major quality problem, Ford Motor Co. is spending at least
$200 million to appease owners of about 700,000 aging cars and minivans.
In an unusual concession, Ford in some cases is willing to buy back
6-year-old vehicles and give their owners $3,000 toward the purchase of
another Ford vehicle.

The problem is the failure of head gaskets on a 3.8-liter V-6 engine on
717,680 vehicles: the Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable (1994 and 1995
models), Ford Windstar (1995) and Lincoln Continental (1994).

Ford is spending lavishly to correct the problem, but it may be too late
to get the maximum benefit. Some owners have given up on Ford products,
say dealers who have dealt with disgruntled customers. Two lawsuits have
been filed seeking class-action status. "Industrywide, this ranks in the
top five warranty campaigns in the last decade," said Joe Grant,
president of J & L Warranty Pros in Auburn, Mich., and a warranty
consultant to dealers. "It is the second-largest at Ford. They are going
way beyond just fixing the head gasket."

The offer to buy back customers' aging cars with known defects
distinguishes Ford's campaign from other warranty actions. The company
will reimburse owners for past repairs or offer $4,000 toward the
purchase of a new Ford, Lincoln or Mercury. The company also will
replace the head gasket and the engine if necessary.

According to documents obtained by Automotive News, if a replacement
engine is not available, Ford will buy damaged vehicles and give
customers $3,000 toward the purchase of a new vehicle. It is not clear
how many buybacks will be necessary. The repurchase amount ranges from
$3,175 for a 1994 Taurus GL to $8,375 for a 1995 Windstar LX, excluding
the $3,000 new-purchase certificates. Ford will adjust the amounts
quarterly based on the NADA Auction Guide, the documents said.

In the past, automakers have replaced cars one at a time under lemon
laws or as goodwill gestures. More rarely, a company has replaced a pool
of new models with a defect.

Ford will salvage the vehicles through the company's new recycling and
used-parts unit called Greenleaf, the documents said. "We are doing our
very best to meet the needs of our dealers as they fix these vehicles
and that includes finding available engines, should engine replacement
be necessary," said Mike Vaughn, Ford spokesman.

Beyond the buybacks and engine replacements, the company will spend an
estimated $210 million just to fix defective head gaskets and reimburse
owners who have paid for the repair, Grant estimated. Ford is
reimbursing owners for repairs at independent shops as well as
dealerships.

The 3.8-liter V-6 may fail altogether following undetected leakage of
engine coolant, according to a sample letter obtained by Automotive News
that will be mailed to affected vehicle owners. "Premature failure of
the head gasket may occur. This condition may result in engine coolant
leakage, which if not detected, can cause engine overheating,' the
letter states. "In extreme cases, this condition may result in engine
failure." Ford revised its 3.8-liter V-6 in the 1996 and 1997 model
years, improving its quality and durability, Vaughn said. Ford will not
say how many of the 717,680 vehicles are expected to require head gasket
or engine replacement. Industry expert Grant estimated that 350,000 of
the units require head gasket repair.

Spokesman Vaughn said Ford is acting to please its owners, not in
response to lawsuits. Two lawsuits seeking class-action status relating
to the head gasket defect have been filed in Ohio and Illinois. Ford
said the lawsuits are without basis and should be dismissed. The
extensive warranty program "is a decision based solely on the data and
an effort to respond to our customers," Vaughn said. Offering a $4,000
purchase incentive to affected customers is "unprecedented," Vaughn
said. "The size of the check is what makes this special."

But some customers may not be swayed. "Families make decisions based on
quality, reliability and durability," said a company dealer who declined
to be identified. "If your old car was reliable, you thought it was a
good value, and you buy another one. If not, you go elsewhere." (The
Orlando Sentinel, March 16, 2000)


GUN MANUFACTURERS: Cuomo, Religious Groups Call for End to Gun Violence
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo joined with leaders
of many of the nation's major religious organizations in an interfaith
call to end gun violence, as the religious leaders released a letter
supporting Clinton Administration initiatives to protect Americans from
gun violence.

More than 100 religious organizations and leaders have signed the
letter, which will be delivered to Congressional leaders. The letter
states: "We support the present efforts of the Clinton Administration --
and in particular the Department of Housing and Urban Development -- to
bring needed change to the gun industry. We urge the Administration and
elected officials to continue to press the gun industry to make
common-sense changes addressing the problem of gun violence."

The letter also states: "Our society faces a challenge. Gun violence
brings tragedy to the lives of far too many people. More than 30,000
deaths and 100,000 injuries are caused by guns each year. The problem
has reached epidemic proportions. As religious leaders, we have seen the
results of these tragedies. It is imperative for us to do what we can to
avoid these incidents ... the gun industry has the opportunity to reduce
the tragedies and bloodshed. We call upon them to make changes that will
increase safety, keep guns away from criminals and our children, and put
safety devices in their products that will cut down on accidental and
unintended deaths and injuries."

Cuomo said: "Let's remember the message Moses brought us from God: thou
shalt not kill. Tragically, this commandment is violated every day, as
innocent men, women and children are gunned down senselessly. How many
more must die before we take reasonable steps to protect ourselves from
the plague of gun violence?"

Cuomo joined Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action
Center of Reform Judaism; Rev. Jim Wallis, Editor-in-Chief of Sojouners
Magazine and Convenor of the Call to Renewal; Rev. Elenora Giddings
Ivory, Director of the Washington office of the Presbyterian Church USA;
and Roman Catholic Bishops Richard Hanifen and Arthur Tafoya of Colorado
at the interfaith gathering.

Cuomo said HUD is working to get unwanted guns off the street through a
gun buyback program that has provided $2.6 million in grants this year
to enable police departments to buy an estimated 50,000 guns for $50
apiece, and will provide more grants in the future.

HUD's buyback is based on successful smaller gun buyback programs
conducted in cities around the country. It is also similar to a $30
million federal gun buyback program proposed in 1994 by Senate
Republican Leader Bob Dole, but never enacted. HUD-funded buybacks have
taken place so far in Louisville, KY and Watervliet, NY with the rest
scheduled to take place in the next few weeks and months. To reduce the
availability of guns, all guns purchased with HUD funds will destroyed,
unless it is determined that a gun was stolen or is needed for an
ongoing law enforcement investigation. Stolen weapons will be returned
to their lawful owners.

The gun buyback initiative is one of several actions the Clinton
Administration is pursuing to reduce deaths and injuries caused by guns
each year across the nation. Other parts of the Clinton Administration's
gun safety agenda include:

   -- A $30 million Community Gun Safety and Violence Reduction
Initiative hat President Clinton proposed in his Fiscal Year 2001
Budget. The initiative, which would be administered by HUD, would fund
computerized mapping of gun violence to help law enforcement agencies
better protect the public, education and outreach programs to promote
responsible safety measures by gun owners, and innovative community
activities to reduce both gun crimes and accidents. If Congress approves
funding for the initiative, local governments, law enforcement agencies,
public housing authorities, community organizations, and other groups
would be eligible to compete for HUD grants to support gun violence
reduction activities in the communities the Department serves.

   -- A $280 million national firearms enforcement initiative that is
also part of the President's proposed budget. The initiative would hire
500 new ATF agents and inspectors to target gun criminals, hire more
than 1,000 prosecutors at all levels of government, fund new gun tracing
and ballistics testing systems to catch more gun criminals, fund local
media campaigns to discourage gun violence, and expand the development
of "smart gun" technologies.

   -- Negotiations between the Clinton Administration and gun
manufacturers, designed to make changes in the design, distribution and
marketing of guns. If negotiations fail, HUD could support a
class-action lawsuit by the nation's public housing authorities against
gun manufacturers.


HMOs: AMA, NY Physicians Say MetLife and United Healthcare Shortchange
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The American Medical Association and the Medical Society of the State of
New York joined with a New York physician and his patient in filing a
class-action lawsuit against Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and
United Healthcare Corporation claiming the two companies used flawed and
invalid data to reduce payments for medical services.

The lawsuit, filed in state court in Manhattan, contends that in using
the flawed data, the two insurance carriers underpay physicians, leaving
patients to pay a much higher balance than terms of the contract
provide.

"Insurance companies need to honor the terms of their contracts, so
patients not only get the care they deserve, but the care they believe
they're paying for in the first place," Donald J. Palmisano, M.D., a
member of the AMA Board of Trustees, said. "This is one more example of
insurance companies playing by their own rules without regard to
patients or the legitimate costs required to care for them.
Unfortunately, there is no reason to think this is an isolated
situation. In fact, the circumstances suggest that this practice is
widespread."

Most insurance contracts allow companies to reimburse physicians using
the lowest amount from three factors: the physician's actual charge, the
physician's usual charge, or the "reasonable and customary charge" for
the service. The "reasonable and customary" charge is typically
determined using the rates charged by similarly trained physicians, for
comparable services within a specific geographic area.

According to the lawsuit, Metropolitan Life and United Healthcare relied
on data provided by the Health Insurance Association of America (HIAA),
to establish the "usual" charge for services and to lower physician
reimbursements. HIAA, itself, admits that it doesn't stand behind the
data.

"We can no longer ignore the fact that insurance companies are
reimbursing patients and physicians what they want to pay for covered
services ... not what they have contracted to pay," John A. Ostuni, MD,
President of the Medical Society of the State of New York, said. "When a
patient or a physician files a claim with their medical insurance
carrier and gets back significantly less than what they think they
should get, it raises the question as to how the insurance carrier made
that decision on payment. That's what this litigation is all about. When
you pay for insurance coverage you should be reimbursed for what you
contracted for, not for what the insurance carrier decides to pay."

The lawsuit is being supported by the Litigation Center of the AMA and
State Medical Societies. The Center -- a partnership between the AMA and
49 state medical societies -- reviews and pursues legal matters of
importance to patients and physicians. The law firms of Sills Cummis
Radin Tischman Epstein & Gross, P.A., and Pomerantz Haudek Block
Grossman & Gross, LLP have been retained to prosecute the action.


INDIAN TRUST: Federal Government Claims Honest Effort in Managing Funds
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Bureau of Indian Affairs officials say they are fed up with accusations
they are not committed to cleaning up millions of mismanaged Indian
trust fund accounts. "Everyone in Indian country wants to get this
fixed. This is a Herculean effort -- trying to fix a system that's been
broken for over a hundred years," said Rex Hackler, BIA spokesperson.

In the three years since a group of American Indians filed suit against
the federal government seeking reconciliation of more than 300,000 trust
fund records that total upwards of $ 500 million, plaintiff's lawyers
have consistently charged that the Department of Interior and the BIA
are not doing everything possible to sort out records, many of which
have either been lost or destroyed. The latest developments include a
recent report by Interior citing that they need more time to put in
place a new accounting system.

In December U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth ordered Interior
and the Treasury Department to file quarterly reports detailing their
clean-up efforts. Last year, the judge cited Interior Secretary Bruce
Babbitt and then-Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin with contempt for not
turning over records. He described the federal government's handling of
the account records as "fiscal and governmental irresponsibility in its
purest form."

After continued complaints by the plaintiffs' lawyers that federal
agencies were still not providing records, Lamberth decided to
personally oversee the reform efforts by requiring the progress reports
for the next five years.

On March 2, Interior released its first report stating it will take
longer than projected to reconcile the accounts. Officials said they
faced problems installing the $ 60 million system, Trust Asset and
Accounting Management System (TAAMS). But plaintiffs' lawyers said the
report revealed that after months of boasting by Interior officials that
the system was the best in the world, it simply was not working, and the
federal government was not meeting the judge's clean-up deadlines.
Hackler said lawyers misrepresent the report. "In great detail, the
report that went to the court shows exactly where it's going and why it
fell behind schedule," he said. "This is exactly what the judge was
asking for."

In addition to coming up with a revised time schedule, the report cites
numerous problems with trying to track records scattered throughout
Indian country because many regional BIA offices use data bases built on
outdated technology. Interior admits it may never recover numerous
accounts that hold proceeds from mineral, oil drilling, logging and
grazing leases dating back to the last century.

Keith Harper, an attorney representing the Indian account holders, told
the Associated Press the Indians face continued uncertainty about
receiving money. "They're going to lose money with a broken system."

But Hackler said the plaintiffs' lawyers are engaged in a pattern of
politicizing the court-ordered process in an attempt to discredit the
federal government's resolve to clean up the accounts. He said the
consistent charge in media reports that federal agencies are dragging
their feet undermines efforts of their employees working on
straightening out the account mess. "I don't think it helps for our
people to have to read that they are not doing the job." "I find it real
interesting that in numerous meetings they (lawyers) have told us, 'Take
your time to get this right,'" Hackler said. "But when we take our time
to get this right, we immediately get attacked by the attorneys. That is
disingenuous at best." In early March, lawyers for the plaintiffs
continued to put pressure on the federal government's clean-up efforts
by filing a request for a temporary restraining order to stop transfer
of account records to a private companies.

The BIA's computer center in Albuquerque, N.M., is set to move to
Virginia. But during the move, computer account records will be
transferred to PRT Group Inc. and the Institute for Scientific
Information. In December, the BIA said moving the computer center from
Albuquerque to Reston, Va., was intended to allow federal officials to
oversee the bureau's computer systems in the clean-up process.

But plaintiffs' lawyers want Judge Lamberth to halt the transfer until
the companies can clear proper security checks. Lawyers are worried that
more accounts could be lost without ensuring the security checks. In an
affidavit filed with Lamberth, Mona Infield, a BIA manager in the
Albuquerque computer center, said the department does not have the
personnel to safely move the records. She said that the center has lost
nearly half of its 87-person staff in the past four months. The loss
caused a level of chaos that has resulted in the center not keeping
records of about 50,000 account checks mailed out to Indians. (Indian
Country Today, March 14, 2000)


INMATES LITIGATION: Judge Orders Fulton to Fix Appalling Health Care
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Finding health care conditions at the Fulton County Jail "appalling," a
federal judge has ordered the county to let him know what steps can be
taken immediately to remedy the problem. In an order signed March 14,
U.S. District Judge Marvin Shoob expressed great dissatisfaction with a
recent inspection of medical care provided to HIV-infected inmates.

A monitor appointed by Shoob had inspected the jail shortly after
settlement in January of a class-action lawsuit filed by HIV-positive
inmates against the county. "In short, the conditions at the Fulton
County Jail as reflected in this report are disgraceful and totally
unacceptable," Shoob wrote. Shoob asked both the county and lawyers for
the plaintiff inmates to address the problems by March 24.

Sheriff Jacquelyn Barrett said the county has a new medical care
provider at the jail that has been addressing the problems. "The next
report should be a better report," she said. The provider at the time of
the monitor's inspection, Pennsylvania-based Correctional Healthcare
Solutions Inc., was replaced on March 1 by Comprehensive Medical
Associates of Atlanta.

"In some ways, the conditions are worse than when we filed this lawsuit
a year ago," said Tamara Serwer, a lawyer representing the HIV-positive
inmates. "I'm horrified. It's not an exaggeration to say that people's
lives are in danger at that jail." The report was prepared by
court-appointed monitor Robert Greifinger, who filed his report to Shoob
on March 7. At least one inmate death at the jail may have been caused
by a delay in receiving HIV care, according to Greifinger's findings. In
the case of another inmate who died, Greifinger found, there were
serious lapses in care that could have hastened the death. Greifinger, a
former chief medical officer at the New York Department of Corrections,
found deficiencies in all facets of medical care he inspected. For
instance, he found that the unhygienic environment at the jail presents
risks to the safety and security of both staff and inmates. An estimated
6 percent of the roughly 3,600 inmates at the Fulton County Jail
population are infected with HIV, Greifinger estimated.

Barrett said the jail's problems will not be solved just by hiring a new
health care vendor. The aging facility has long been plagued by
overcrowding and staff shortages. Barrett repeatedly has asked county
commissioners to increase funding for her operation. "When you don't
have the resources, it becomes difficult to deliver quality care,"
Barrett said. The jail is about 1,000 inmates over capacity, she said.

Commissioner Michael Hightower agreed that more funding is needed. He
said county officials "need to sit down and determine the future
facility needs so we can have improvements."

Atlanta lawyer Bob Cullen represents CMA, the new provider. He said that
when the company took over health care at the jail on March 1 it found "
conditions that appeared to have deteriorated. . . . We are in the
process of listing both the deteriorations we found, a corrective action
plan and compiling an extensive list of the things we've already fixed."
The company was in the process of supplying that information to the
county before it knew about Shoob's order, he added. "I think I can also
say it's going to be impossible to fix this all overnight," Cullen said.
"We're going to move as fast as humanly possible to straighten this
out." (The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, March 16, 2000)


KEYSPAN CORP: Moves to Dismiss Huntington Lawsuit Re Ratepayers' Rights
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
As has been reported in the CAR, MarketSpan Corporation d/b/a KeySpan
Energy (the "Company") is the successor to Long Island Lighting Company
("LILCO"), as a result of a transaction with the Long Island Power
Authority ("LIPA") (the "LIPA Transaction") and following the
acquisition (the "KeySpan Acquisition") of KeySpan Energy Corporation
("KSE"). The Company is a "predominately intrastate" public utility
holding company exempt from most of the provisions of the Public Utility
Holding Company Act of 1935, as amended. As a result of the transaction
with LIPA, LILCO became a wholly-owned subsidiary of LIPA, a public
authority and a political subdivision of New York State. KSE, a
wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company and also an exempt utility
holding company under the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935, as
amended, is no longer a registrant under the Securities Act of 1933, as
amended, and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.

In October 1998, the County of Suffolk and the Towns of Huntington and
Babylon commenced an action against LIPA, Keyspan Corp., the NYPSC and
others in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of
New York. The Huntington Lawsuit alleges, among other things, that LILCO
ratepayers (i) have a property right to receive or share in the alleged
capital gain that resulted from the transaction with LIPA (which gain is
alleged to be at least $1 billion); and (ii) that LILCO was required to
refund to ratepayers the amount of a Shoreham-related deferred tax
reserve (alleged to be at least $800 million) carried on the books of
LILCO at the consummation of the LIPA transaction.

In December 1998, and again in June 1999, the plaintiffs amended their
complaint. The amended complaint contains allegations relating to
certain payments LILCO had determined were payable in connection with
the LIPA Transaction and KeySpan Acquisition to LILCO's Chairman and
certain former officers and adds the recipients of the payments as
defendants. In June 1999, the Company was served with the second amended
complaint. On August 23, 1999, the Company filed a motion to dismiss the
second amended complaint. Pursuant to an agreement among the parties,
the Company's motion to dismiss is being converted to a summary
judgement motion. At this time the Company is unable to determine the
outcome of this ongoing proceeding.


KEYSPAN CORP: Resolves Suit Re Pension Fund Withdrawals 25 Yrs. Ago
-------------------------------------------------------------------
In May 1995, eight participants of LILCO's Retirement Income Plan
("RIP") filed a lawsuit against LILCO, the RIP and Robert X. Kelleher,
the Plan Administrator, in the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of New York (BECHER, ET AL., V. LONG ISLAND LIGHTING
COMPANY, ET AL.). In January 1996, the Court ordered that this action be
maintained as a class action. This proceeding arose in connection with
the plaintiffs' withdrawal, approximately 25 years ago, of contributions
made to the RIP, thereby resulting in a reduction of their pension
benefits. The plaintiffs are now seeking, among other things, to have
these reduced benefits restored to their pension accounts. In November
1997, the Company filed a motion for partial summary judgment with the
District Court. On April 28, 1998, the Court denied the Company's motion
and permitted the Company to file a further motion for partial summary
judgment on additional grounds. On January 27, 1999, the Company entered
a stipulation of settlement which was filed with the Court pursuant to
which the Company will pay approximately $8 million, a substantial
portion of which is recoverable from LIPA. On August 13, 1999, the Court
approved the stipulation of settlement and dismissed the litigation with
prejudice.


LEGATO SYSTEMS: The Pomerantz Firm Announces Securities Suit
------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Pomerantz Haudek Block Grossman & Gross LLP
(http://www.pomerantzlaw.com)announces the Class Period for purchasers
of the common stock of the below listed security: October 20, 1999 to
January 19, 2000, inclusive.

Contact: Andrew G. Tolan, Esq. of the Pomerantz firm at 888-476-6529 (or
(888) 4-POMLAW), toll free, or at agtolan@pomlaw.com by e-mail with
mailing address and telephone number included.


MIAMI-DADE COUNTY: Two Men Claim Gender Bias in FL Fire Dept. Hiring
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Anthony Gomez wanted to live many little boys dreams of becoming a
firefighter. Instead, he owns a towing business. David Blount wanted to
follow in the footsteps of his father and become a firefighter in
Miami-Dade County, Florida. Instead, he works as a firefighter for the
city of Fort Lauderdale.

Both men say their dreams were quashed by the Miami-Dades affirmative
action policy, which, they claim in a lawsuit filed in Miami-Dade
Circuit Court, has been nothing more than a way to discriminate against
more-qualified applicants based on gender. The suit was filed by Janet
Letwin, a Wilton Manors lawyer who has filed similar suits in state and
federal courts in recent years. The county says we want the best-
qualified people, but you dont get them by precluding them for the job,
Letwin said.

It's Letwin's contention that women have been given preferential
treatment. She cites Gomez as an example. She says in 1994 Gomez and his
wife competed for jobs as firefighters with the county. She was hired,
he was not, despite the fact that he ranked 78th in testing and she
ranked 184th. If they were breathing, they got hired, she says of the
women candidates.

Letwin expects this new case will be consolidated with another she filed
last year on behalf of male employees of Miami-Dade County. In that
suit, she alleges that the county has discriminated against those who
have sought better jobs and who were not permitted to sit for exams for
jobs with the fire department.

Assistant county attorney Lee Kraftchick said that the hiring program
has the federal courts blessing. The federal courts have repeatedly
ruled that the fire departments affirmative action plan meets statutory
and constitutional guidelines and we dont see any reason it wont be
upheld in state court, Kraftchick said.

The suit, which seeks class-action status, asks, among other things,
that the county stop using a lottery to exclude male applicants, that
the county do away with the practice of hiring less-qualified female
applicants and that back pay equivalent to the amount the applicants
would have earned had they been hired be paid. (Broward Daily Business
Review, March 13, 2000)


MTBE LITIGATION: Maine Superior Ct. Denies Class Certification
--------------------------------------------------------------
On March 2, 2000, Justice Roland A. Cole of the Maine Superior Court
denied certification of two purported classes of Maine citizens alleging
well water contamination by ARCO Chemical Company and others from
methyl-tertiary-butyl ether, commonly known as MTBE, used in unleaded
gasoline to boost octane levels and reduce engine knock. In his 54-page
Decision and Order, Judge Cole publishes the first significant decision
in MTBE litigation, and, siding with the defendants, concludes that
class certification is not warranted.

Stepping through all of the factors articulated in Rule 23 of the Maine
Rules of Civil Procedure, Judge Cole focuses on predominance. Who is
actually responsible for the contamination, Judge Cole questions in his
decision to deny class certification. Judge Cole suggests that someone
other than ARCO and its co-defendants may have spilled gasoline and that
spill is what contaminated the plaintiffs' drinking water and wells, or
maybe a neighbor's underground tank leaked. "Individual issues of
reliance, causation, comparative negligence, and damages overwhelm this
case to such a degree that certification under [Rule 23(b)(3)] would be
inappropriate," Judge Cole writes. Further, Judge Cole opines, ARCO and
its co-defendants may not have manufactured the MTBE that caused the
contamination.

Additionally, Judge Cole rejects class certification based on a
superiority analysis. Judge Cole opposes the idea that one court and one
jury should be allowed to bind all Mainers when not one individual
plaintiff's case has proceeded to trial anywhere in the country. Judge
Cole sees MTBE litigation in a posture similar to Tobacco Litigation at
the time of the Fifth Circuit's decision in Castano v. American Tobacco
Co., 84 F.3d 734 (5th Cir. 1996). Directing the plaintiffs' attention to
to Geiger, 696 N.Y.S.2d at 353, Judge Cole beleives that MTBE
litigation, given its immaturity as a mass tort, should be tested in
individual cases before any large class is formed.

Alan J. Hoffman, Esq., of Blank Rome Comisky & McCauley LLP, represented
ARCO Chemical Company and Lyondell Chemical Company, in their opposition
to certification of the Maine MTBE Classes. Mr. Hoffman can be reached
at 215/569-5505 by telephone or hossman@blankrome.com via e-mail.
Millett, et al., v. Atlantic Richfield Co., et al., Civ. Action Docket
No. CV-98-555.


NETWORK SOLUTIONS: Lawyer Challenges Internet Registration Fees Again
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Network Solutions, Inc. confirmed that the same lawyer who has
unsuccessfully challenged the company in lawsuits stretching back to
1997 has filed a purported class action on behalf of eight domain name
registrants in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco. The U.S.
Department of Commerce, the National Science Foundation and Network
Solutions, Inc. are named defendants in this most recent suit. The
Company says this suit, like the Thomas case, which was dismissed in its
entirety, again challenges the lawfulness of the registration fees that
Network Solutions was authorized to charge for Internet domain names
from September 1995 to November 1999. The lawsuit purports to be brought
on behalf of all domain name registrants who paid registration fees
during that period and seeks approximately $1.7 billion in damages.

Network Solutions believes that the lawsuit is totally without merit and
will oppose it vigorously.

The Thomas case, which has been reported in the CAR, was filed against
Network Solutions and the National Science Foundation in 1997 in the
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and sought to
invalidate certain portions of the registration fees under various legal
theories. The District Court decided the prior lawsuit in favor of
Network Solutions and the National Science Foundation, dismissing all
counts. The U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the District Court's decision
and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the case. Network
Solutions believes that the similar case filed by the same lawyer will
be equally unsuccessful.

Network Associates says that the Company's (NASDAQ: NSOL) pioneered the
development of registering Web addresses ending in .com, .net, .org and
.edu and also provides domain name registration services for all
available country-code Top-Level Domain Names, for example, .de
(Germany), .fr (France) and .uk (United Kingdom).


PAYDAY LENDERS: Edelman, Combs Sue 4 More Lenders in Indiana
------------------------------------------------------------
The Chicago law firm of Edelman, Combs & Latturner has filed class
action lawsuits against four more Indiana "payday lenders," Rarick's
Eazy Cash, American Payday Loans, Cash in a Flesh, and Custom Financial
Company.

Similar lawsuits are pending against Ace Cash Express, E-Z Payday Loans,
Advance America, Hoosier Check Cashing of Ohio, Ltd., Check 'n Go of
Indiana, Inc., Fast Cash USA, Check Into Cash, All Checks Cashed, and
GRT Inc. (A-1 Payday Loans and Castleton Cash Advance) in the federal
courts in Indianapolis, South Bend and Hammond. The complaints in these
cases allege violation of the Truth in Lending Act and Indiana law in
connection with "payday loans."

One of the Indiana laws alleged to have been violated is the Indiana
Uniform Consumer Credit Code. The Code (i) prohibits lenders from
charging interest of more than 36% interest, (ii) allows a flat fee not
exceeding $33, and (iii) prohibits lenders from using multiple
agreements to obtain more finance charges than would otherwise be
permitted.

The complaints also allege violation of another Indiana statute that
makes it unlawful to charge more than 72% interest in any case. Ind.
Code, This statute was the subject of the Attorney General's recent
opinion.

Finally, the lawsuits allege failure to comply with the disclosure
requirements of the federal Truth in Lending Act and the Indiana Uniform
Consumer Credit Code.

Contact: Daniel A. Edelman of Edelman, Combs & Latturner, 312-739-4200,
or 800-644-4673, or fax, 312-419-0379


PRUDENTIAL SECURITIES: Named Plaintiff Added to Suit on Margin Interest
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
On March 3, 2000, United States District Court Judge Steven D. Merryday
granted a plaintiffs' motion seeking to join Marie M. Heiland as an
additional named Plaintiff to an action which was originally filed in
Tampa, Florida, against Prudential Securities, Incorporated on March 20,
1997, according to a statement issued by Johnson, Blakely, Pope, Bokor,
Ruppel & Burns, P.A. This case asserts claims on behalf of a class of
Prudential margin account customers who maintained debit balances in
excess of $35,000 and who, at any time, paid interest at the rate of
2-1/2 percent over Prudential's base loan rate.

The case asserts that Prudential failed to make adequate disclosure to
class members concerning its actual margin interest program, which
provided for lower interest charges. The case asserts that Prudential's
treatment of class members' accounts violated both the Federal
securities laws and the common law. The case purports to establish a
class for the period of time during which Prudential had its margin
interest program in existence, using agreements and disclosure documents
substantially similar to those attached to the Plaintiff's complaint.

Contact: Guy Burns or Scott Ilgenfritz, both of Johnson, Blakely, Pope,
Bokor, Ruppel & Burns, P.A., 813-225-2500


SAFETY-KLEEN CORP: Lockridge Grindal Files Securities Suit in SC
----------------------------------------------------------------
Pursuant to Section 21D (a)(3)(A)(i) of the Private Securities
Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Lockridge Grindal Nauen & Holstein
P.L.L.P. gives notice that a class action complaint has been filed in
the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina on
behalf of a Class of persons who purchased shares of stock of
Safety-Kleen Corp. (NYSE: SK - news) during the period of July 7, 1998
through March 3, 2000, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The Complaint charges Safety-Kleen and certain of its directors and
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 announced that it had
begun an investigation of its financial results and put its top
executives on administrative leave. The price of Safety-Kleen stock fell
to $2 per share and has declined about 90% from its Class Period high.

Contact: Gregg M. Fishbein, Lockridge Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P., 100
Washington Avenue South, Suite 2200, Minneapolis, MN 55401, (612)
339-6900, email: gmfishbein@locklaw.com



STORAGE TECHNOLOGY: CO Ct Finalizes Settlement for ADEA & ERISA Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------------
As previously reported in the CAR, on December 15, 1999, at a
preliminary fairness hearing, the Company and plaintiffs, representing
certain former employees of the Company, presented the United States
District Court for the District of Colorado (the Court) with a proposed
settlement agreement, which would result in the Company paying $5.0
million for the settlement of litigation alleging the Company violated
the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended (ADEA) and
the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), between the
period of April 13, 1993, and December 21, 1996.

Final approval of this proposed settlement agreement was received from
the Court on March 8, 2000. The settlement agreement states that it
shall not be construed as an admission by the Company that it violated
any law. The Company funded the settlement with a $5.0 million payment
into an escrow account in December 1999. A pre-tax expense of $5.0
million was recognized in connection with the proposed settlement during
1999.


SYKES ENTERPRISES: Rabin & Peckel Files Securities Suit in Florida
------------------------------------------------------------------
A class action has been commenced in the United States District Court
for the Middle District of Florida, on behalf of all person or entities
who purchased Sykes Enterprises, Inc. common stock during the period
from October 25, 1999 through January 31, 2000, inclusive (the "Class
Period").

The Complaint alleges that Sykes, John H. Sykes, Chairman of the Board
and Chief Executive Officer of the Company, and Scott Bendert, Chief
Financial Officer and Treasurer of the Company, violated section 10(b)
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. In particular, it is alleged
that defendants issued a series of false and misleading statements
concerning, among other things, performance of the Company's SHPS
subsidiary, demand for the Company's services, and costs in connection
with customer contracts. The Complaint alleges that, as a result of
these material misstatements and omissions, Sykes' stock price was
artificially inflated throughout the Class Period.

Contact: Joseph V. McBride, Rabin & Peckel LLP, 275 Madison Avenue, New
York, NY 10016, by telephone at (800) 497-8076 or (212) 682-1818, by
facsimile at (212) 682-1892, by e-mail at email@rabinlaw.com


VALENCE TECHNOLOGY: Reminds Investors of Securities Suit Filed '94
------------------------------------------------------------------
In May 1994, a series of class action lawsuits were filed in the United
States District Court for the Northern District of California against
the Company and certain of its present and former officers and
directors. These lawsuits were consolidated, and in September 1994, the
plaintiffs filed a consolidated and amended class action complaint.
Following the Court's Orders on motions to dismiss the complaint, which
were granted in part and denied in part, the plaintiffs filed an amended
complaint in October 1995. The Complaint alleges violations of the
federal securities laws against the Company, certain of its present and
former officers and directors, and the underwriters of the Company's
public stock offerings, claiming that the defendants issued a series of
false and misleading statements, including filings with the Securities
and Exchange Commission, with regard to the Company's business and
future prospects. The plaintiffs represent a class of persons who
purchased the Company's common stock between May 7, 1992 and August 10,
1994. The Complaint seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages,
attorney's fees, and costs.

On January 23, 1996, the Court dismissed, with prejudice, all claims
against the underwriters of the Company's public stock offerings, and
one claim against the Company and its present and former officers and
directors. On April 29, 1996, the Court dismissed with prejudice all
remaining claims against a present director and limited claims against a
former officer and director to the period when that person was an
officer. In December 1996, the Company and the individual defendants
filed motions for summary judgment, which the plaintiffs opposed. In
November 1997, the Court granted the motions for summary judgment and
entered judgment in favor of all defendants. Plaintiffs appealed to the
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which heard argument in December 1998.
In April 1999, the Ninth Circuit issued an opinion reversing the
District Court's order with respect to the grant of summary judgment and
remanded the case back to the District Court.

In its latest regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange
Commission, the Company advises that, pursuant to a recent order from
the District Court, the trial in this case has been set for July 2000.
As previously reported in the CAR, the Company announced on February 10,
2000, that it reached a settlement with plaintiff shareholders.


WAR VICTIMS: British Gov't Rejects Far East Veterans' Compensation Plea
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The British government said it will not give compensation to the
veterans imprisoned by the Japanese military during World War II. The
news came as a great disappointment to the prisoners of war who launched
a campaign last year to demand compensation from the British government.

They made the move after London refused to seek compensation from Japan
under article 26 of the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty, which formally
ended that status of war with Japan. The former servicemen claimed that
the article allowed for signatory governments to make further claims
against the Japanese government if Japan made subsequent compensation
payments higher than those received by other signatory states.

At the time, the British government said despite claims from the POWs
that some countries had received more in compensation payments than
Britain since the 1951 treaty, too much time had elapsed since then to
make a claim.

The POWs legal team disputed this argument but realized that only the
British government could seek compensation from Japan. They decided
therefore to seek compensation from the British government because it
had failed to take action against Japan.

Lewis Moonie, a junior defense minister, told the House of Commons that
although Prime Minister Tony Blair will meet Far East veterans in April,
the government decided that it would not drop its long-standing policy
not to pay compensation to former soldiers. While sympathizing with the
veterans, he added that it would be wrong to single out one group of
former POWs for special treatment.

Reacting to the announcement, the veterans' lawyer Martin Day told Kyodo
News, "We are disappointed by this statement...However, we are still
holding out some hope that the government will be prepared to move on
what they said." The veterans were each hoping for about 10,000 pounds
($ 15,570) each, he said.

Day said the POWs case had nothing to do with the British government's
long-standing policy not to pay compensation to former soldiers. He said
his clients were asking for compensation because the government had
failed to act on their behalf when there was a clear case that it should
do so.

In addition to the compensation claim on the British government, the
former British POWs have been seeking compensation and a meaningful
apology from the Japanese government. So far their claim has been turned
down by Japanese courts and they are now awaiting the results of an
appeal.

Three of the former POWs also lodged a class action at a court in Los
Angeles last month seeking compensation from Japan Energy Corp. for
torture and enslavement during World War II. (Japan Policy & Politics,
March 13, 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
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.

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