/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/000414.MBX                  C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

                  Friday, April 14, 2000, Vol. 2, No. 74


BREAST IMPLANT: Korean Claimants Appeal Their Lower Payments from Dow
CHEM INTERNATIONAL: Reaches Settlement with Vitamin Direct Purchasers
COCA-COLA: New Lawyer Can't Take Part in Settlement Talks, Judge Rules
CONSECO, INC: Cohen & Malad Files Securities Suit in Indiana
CONSECO, INC: Weiss & Yourman Files Securities Lawsuit in Indiana

CUMULUS MEDIA: Berger & Montague Files Securities Lawsuit in Wisconsin
INMATES LITIGATION: Fulton to Improve or Risk Suits, Judge Warns
JDN REALTY: NY Times Tells of Disarray after a Series of Disclosures
JOHNSON & JOHNSON: Heartburn Drug Propulsid Target of Lawsuit in VA
LOCKHEED MARTIN: Class over Contaminated Groundwater in Redlands Denied

MTBE LITIGATION: Petroleum Cos. Sued Over Additive
NATIONAL AUTO: Announces Settlement for Securities Suit in Ohio
PACIFIC GATEWAY: Shapiro Haber Files Securities Suit in California
PACIFIC GATEWAY: Schubert & Reed Files Securities Suit in California
PACIFIC GATEWAY: Wolf Popper Announces Securities Lawsuit

RAVISENT TECHNOLOGIES: Berger & Montague Files Securities Suit in PA
TOBACCO LITIGATION: 3 Kansans with Medicaid Sue over Tobacco Money
TOBACCO LITIGATION: Smokers Seeking Funds from B&W Denied Cert. in CA


BREAST IMPLANT: Korean Claimants Appeal Their Lower Payments from Dow
The first hearing in an appeal of Bankruptcy Judge Arthur A. Spector's
decision to allow Dow Corning to pay Korean women much less than
American women is scheduled for April 13. Under Dow Corning's Joint Plan
of Reorganization, Dow Corning is to pay a combined total of
approximately $ 3 million to 177,000 women around the world, but Korean
plaintiffs are to receive only 35 percent of the amount set aside for
American women. Accordingly, they will receive $ 1,200 to $ 25,000 each,
compared with the $ 2,000 to $ 100,000 earmarked for American women.
About 1,200 Korean women have joined in the appeal.

According to Dow Corning, the discrepancy is justified by Korea's
current medical technology level and economic conditions, as well as
possible errors in surgical procedures.

Despite the court's approval of lower payments for the Korean women, the
attorney representing the Korean plaintiffs praised the court's
recognition of written diagnoses by Korean physicians as valid
supporting evidence.

On the Canadian front, a Canadian woman who was the named plaintiff in a
1994 class action against Dow Corning is now suing the Canadian
government for failing to protect Canadians from the potential harmful
effects of breast implants.

Manon Doyer is alleging that Health Canada breached its duty to ensure
the safety of all Quebec breast implant recipients. She claims that
products like breast implants should not be available for use without
the federal government's guarantee of safety and reliability. She is
asking for $ 200,000 in general damages and $ 200,000 in supplementary
damages for herself and the other plaintiffs.

In the meantime, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are continuing their
two-year-old criminal investigation to determine whether Health Canada
ignored years of warnings from its own health protection branch.

Meanwhile, the debate over whether to ban silicone gel breast implants
continues in the United Kingdom. In its March 3 session, the British
Commons was urged by Liberal Democrat Tom Brake to ban silicone breast
implants. He described the painful experience of one of his constituents
who said she ended up feeling suicidal as a result of the problems she
had with her implants.

Junior Health Minister Gisela Stuart said the government had spent many
thousands of pounds on research, monitoring, and improving information
on implants. A new booklet with better information is due to be
published at the end of March. (Medical Legal Aspects of Breast
Implants, March 2000)

CHEM INTERNATIONAL: Reaches Settlement with Vitamin Direct Purchasers
Chem International, Inc., (Nasdaq: CXIL, CXILW) announced on April 13
that the Company received a $792,000 cash payment in settlement of a
pending class action lawsuit. The Settlement Agreement is with a major
vitamin supplier in connection with a multi-district consolidated class
action brought on behalf of direct purchasers of vitamin products, in
which plaintiffs have alleged violations of Section 1 of the Sherman
Antitrust Act and other wrongful anti-competitive conduct in violation
of various federal and state laws. This settlement is in addition to the
$5.5 million in payments announced earlier this year. The Company
anticipates settling with the remaining defendant prior to the end of
June. This settlement represents the last significant amount of the
lawsuit for the Company.

The Company also announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a
stock repurchase program whereby the Company may repurchase up to
500,000 shares of its outstanding common stock. The shares may be
repurchased from time-to-time in open market or private transactions.
Currently, the Company has approximately 5.2 million shares outstanding.

"The stock buyback program demonstrates our commitment to increasing
shareholder value. With our current market opportunities and our strong
cash position, the Board believes that Chem's common stock represents a
compelling value at current prices," said Seymour Flug, Chem's
president. "We believe that our current capital structure is adequate to
fund our growth objectives and this repurchase program. Our board will
re-evaluate our repurchase program from time-to-time in view of the
current market conditions and the price of our common stock."

Chem International manufacturers, markets and sells vitamins,
nutritional supplements and herbal products. The Company's subsidiary,
Manhattan Drug Company, Inc., manufactures and sells its products for
sale to distributors and multi-level marketers. The Company operates a
retail store and mail order business under its own private label "The
Vitamin Factory"

COCA-COLA: New Lawyer Can't Take Part in Settlement Talks, Judge Rules
A federal judge has weighed in on the confusion created when four
plaintiffs in the employee racial discrimination suit against Coca-Cola
retained a new lawyer. U.S. District Judge Richard Story ruled Wednesday
April 12 that Florida attorney Willie Gary cannot participate in the
settlement discussions now under way between Coke and the attorneys who
have been handling the case for more than a year.

The decision came only a few hours after the four plaintiffs explained
to reporters that they hired Gary because of a lack of trust in their
previous attorneys, led by Cyrus Mehri.

"There was a breakdown in the attorney-client relationship," plaintiff
Gregory Allen Clark said at a news conference. "There were insensitive
responses to our questions." Clark, a security officer, said that is why
he and the three other plaintiffs approached Mehri's legal team two
weeks ago and asked that an African-American lawyer be added. They
specifically wanted Gary, a prominent attorney known for winning large

Instead, Clark said, he and two other plaintiffs received letters from
the Mehri team dismissing them as representatives of the 2,000
prospective class members in the case. The class would include current
and former black salaried Coke employees in the United States. "They
said I was discharged because I was seeking personal gain over the
class," Clark said. "That is not true. ... This is not a selfish move.
This is a righteous move."

But the attorneys who have been handling the case of the eight
plaintiffs said they withdrew their representation of Clark and two
other plaintiffs for good reason.

As prospective "class representatives," each of the plaintiffs is
supposed to act in the best interest of everyone who could benefit from
a settlement or judgment. But Mehri's team said Clark and the others did
not do that.

The falling-out may have been caused by a disagreement over how a
possible monetary settlement would be divided among the suit's named
plaintiffs and the prospective class members.

Mehri's team is now pursuing a settlement on behalf of the four
plaintiffs who currently speak for the prospective class. As of now, the
four plaintiffs represented by Gary no longer speak for the prospective
class. Gary said he is only representing them as individual plaintiffs.
Gary also said he hoped to work with Mehri's team. A member of Mehri's
legal team concurred. Perkins' Birmingham-based firm was brought into
the case.

The federal suit, filed a year ago, alleges that Coca-Cola has
discriminated against African-American employees in pay, promotions and
performance evaluations. The company has denied the allegations in the

Aside from Clark, Gary is now representing former administrative
assistant Motisola Malikha Abdallah, former information systems
specialist Ajibola Laosebikan and assistant scientist Wanda Williams.
Williams, who was not dismissed by Mehri's legal team, chose to join the
other three plaintiffs who were.

Larry Jones, a former Coke human resources manager organizing a bus
"ride for justice" to the company's annual meeting in Delaware, attended
Gary's news conference but said his presence didn't indicate his
preference for one legal team over the other. (The Atlanta Journal and
Constitution, April 13, 2000)

CONSECO, INC: Cohen & Malad Files Securities Suit in Indiana
Pursuant to Section 21(D)(a)(3)(A)(i) of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934, Cohen & Malad, P.C., a prominent Indianapolis law firm experienced
in securities litigation, hereby gives notice that a class action
lawsuit for violations of the federal securities laws has been filed
against Conseco, Inc. (NYSE:CNC) and certain of its officers and
directors in the United States District Court for the Southern District
of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. The lawsuit was brought on behalf of
all persons who purchased Conseco common stock between April 28, 1999
and April 5, 2000, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges Conseco and certain of its officers and/or
directors with violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Exchange
Act and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder. Specifically, the complaint
alleges that defendants issued a series of materially false and
misleading statements concerning the Company's subsidiary, Conseco
Finance, which was formerly known as Green Tree Financial Corporation
and the value of Green Tree's portfolio of interest-only securities. The
complaint charges that because of the issuance of such false and
misleading statements and defendants' failure to disclose material
information, the price of Conseco common stock was artificially inflated
during the Class Period.

Contact: Cohen & Malad, P.C. Rich Bell, 317/636-6481

CONSECO, INC: Weiss & Yourman Files Securities Lawsuit in Indiana
A class action lawsuit against Conseco, Inc. (NYSE:CNC) and its senior
executives was commenced in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of Indiana seeking to recover damages on behalf of
defrauded investors who purchased Conseco securities. If you purchased
Conseco shares between April 28, 1999 and April 5, 2000, please read
this notice.

The complaint charges Conseco and its top executives with violations of
the antifraud provisions of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The
complaint alleges that defendants issued false and misleading statements
concerning its subsidiary Conseco Finance, which was formerly known as
Green Tree Financial Corporation ("Green Tree"), and the value of Green
Tree's portfolio of interest-only securities.

Contact: Weiss & Yourman James E. Tullman (888) 593-4771 (212) 682-3025
wynyc@aol.com The French Building 551 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1600 New York
City 10176

CUMULUS MEDIA: Berger & Montague Files Securities Lawsuit in Wisconsin
The law firm of Berger & Montague, P.C. on March 24, 2000, filed an
amended complaint in a lawsuit on behalf of its client in the United
States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin on behalf of
all persons who purchased the common stock of Cumulus Media, Inc.
(Nasdaq:CMLS - news) during the period of May 11, 1999 through March 16,
2000 inclusive, and on behalf of all persons who purchased Cumulus
common stock in a secondary offering at$39 per share pursuant to a
Registration Statement and Prospectus dated November 18, 1999.

The amended complaint alleges that Cumulus, certain of its officers and
directors, and several lead underwriters violated sections 11, 12(a),
and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 and sections 10(b) and 20 of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934. According to the amended complaint,
defendants engaged in a scheme to artificially inflate the revenues and
profits of Cumulus by improperly recording revenues on contract sales in
violation of generally accepted accounting principles in order to
accomplish the Company's various stock offerings at the maximum price
per share, and to then create the expectation in the market that Cumulus
was an increasingly profitable company. To carry out their scheme,
defendants issued false financial results which overstated revenues for
the first three quarters of 1999. These false financial results were
also contained in the November 18, 1999 Prospectus.

On March 16, 2000, after the market closed, defendants announced that
certain revenues and expenses for the first, second, and third quarters
of the year 1999 were misallocated. The misallocation relates
principally to revenue associated with contract sales spanning more than
one accounting period. As a result, the Company restated results for the
first three quarters of 1999, resulting in a decrease in net revenues,
and an increase in net losses. In response to this announcement,
Cumulus' stock price dropped from $16-15/16 on March 16, 2000, to open
at $11 on March 17, a loss of over 30%.

Contact: Berger & Montague, P.C. Sherrie R. Savett, Esq. or Michael T.
Fantini, Esq. 888/891-2289 InvestorProtect@bm.net or von Briesen,
Purtell & Roper, s.c., Beth Kushner, Esq., 414/287-1373

INMATES LITIGATION: Fulton to Improve or Risk Suits, Judge Warns
A federal judge has warned Fulton County officials they might lose
immunity to suits if they fail to improve conditions at the jail quickly
for all inmates.

U.S. District Senior Judge Marvin H. Shoob ordered county officials to
comply with the settlement agreement reached in a class action suit
brought by HIV-positive inmates complaining about terrible medical care.
Foster v. Fulton County, No. 1:99-cv-900 (N.D. Ga. March 24, 2000).

Following a March 31 report by Correctional Healthcare monitor Dr.
Robert B. Greifinger, Shoob wrote that the settlement agreement should
apply to all aspects of medical care that could affect the plaintiffs.
The jail should monitor the inmate intake process, physician care,
specialty care, medication and communicable diseases for all inmates, he

But Shoob's latest order goes far beyond a narrow focus on medical care
to include environmental conditions at the jail that affect inmate

"The court finds that the scope of the settlement agreement includes
overcrowding at the jail because overcrowding poses significant health
risks to HIV-positive inmates as well as to other inmates, staff and the
community," Shoob wrote.

In his order, Shoob directs the county to take 12 steps toward improving
conditions. Among them: Improving methods of identifying, treating and
monitoring inmates with communicable diseases; developing a quality
management and needs assessment plan; improving the physical conditions
in jail cells; monitoring staff vacancies; and hiring additional staff
to reduce the backlog of health care work at the jail.

                          County to Comply

Fulton County Sheriff Jacquelyn H. Barrett says the county already is
making improvements along the lines the judge suggested. But
overcrowding, she says, is serious. She has 3,100 inmates housed in a
jail meant to hold 2,200.

"I think the judge has recognized a point I have been making, and that
is that we have systemic problems we can't resolve without addressing
the problem of overcrowding," she says.

Though he set no specific timetable, the judge directs the county to
comply "promptly."

Lead plaintiffs' lawyer Tamara H. Serwer with the Southern Center for
Human Rights says the order is far more comprehensive than she had

"It is massive," she says. "I think it is sort of a recognition that all
parties have had that you can't change conditions for a small class of
people without changing conditions throughout the whole system."

County Commission Chair Michael Kenn called Shoob's order "wonderful"
and says he hopes it leads to a new jail for Fulton.

"I've been pushing for it all along," he says. "I knew if we didn't do
it soon a federal judge would give us the impetus."

Kenn says he would add a discussion of plans for a new jail as an
emergency item to the agenda for the commission's meeting.

Six HIV-positive inmates brought the class action suit in April 1999,
charging that the jail denied them emergency care and access to the
medication they need to stave off catastrophic illness.

The county reached a settlement with the plaintiffs in January and Shoob
appointed Greifinger, a former chief medical authority for jails in New
York City and New York state, to monitor the jail's compliance.

In his first report, Greifinger noted serious health problems at the
jail, among them unsanitary conditions, failure to provide medicine for
communicable diseases and a lack of medical attention for some gravely
ill inmates. (Daily Report, March 16, 2000).

According to Shoob's order, Greifinger found that at least one inmate
may have died because of the lack of access to medical care.

As a result of the report, Barrett decided not to renew the jail's
contract with Correctional Healthcare Services. She appointed
Correctional Medical Associates Inc. to handle medical care on an
interim, emergency basis March 1.

                          Settlement Violated

Shoob issued a scathing order on March 13 declaring the county had
violated the settlement agreement.

Subsequent reports from CMA supported Greifinger's findings. According
to the CMA report, 500 inmates had not received physicals to determine
whether they suffered from chronic or communicable diseases. Some of
them, the report said, had been in prison up to four months.

The company cited a long list of conditions it called "unacceptable" and
dangerous to all inmates. According to the report, jail records were
chaotic, inmates with chronic diseases received only sporadic treatment
and many inmates had little access to the medicine they need to survive.
(Daily Report, March 28, 2000).

CMA's report also found that medical conditions were extremely
unsanitary. Staffers left new and used hypodermic needles lying around
and infrequently washed their hands, according to the report.

Serwer of the Southern Center says jail conditions show how important it
was to remedy the problems quickly. "This is really a public policy
issue; this is a public health issue," she says.

In his March 31 report, Greifinger found that jail officials had made
some progress by repairing some of the cells and providing hand-washing

"There has been a significant change in operations at the Fulton County
Jail since my last report," he wrote.

However, Greifinger also found some inmates continued to have problems
receiving necessary medicine, others with diseases went untreated and
still others lived in overcrowded conditions, some sleeping on
mattresses on the floor. He told the judge he plans to return April 24
for another inspection.

Shoob lauded CMA for changes it had made at the jail. In his order,
Shoob directed Barrett to extend the company's contract for a year.
However, he noted that the county must move quickly to improve
conditions in order to comply with the settlement.

"The court believes it should point out that. ... If remedial action is
not promptly and expeditiously taken, there is a very serious question
as to whether the sheriff and individual county commissioners, who have
now been fully apprised of the deplorable conditions at the jail, would
be entitled to qualified immunity as to injuries sustained by inmates at
a future date arising from such conditions," Shoob wrote.

                    Motive Change, Not Damages

But Serwer says the plaintiffs never intended to sue individual
defendants for damages. She would rather the county spend money to
improve medical care for prisoners, she says.

"Our motive from the beginning was what is the way we can get the most
substantive change the quickest," she says.

Serwer notes that the succession of reports and orders had brought the
case to "a really productive stage" in which both sides recognize the
problems and are trying to solve them in cooperation with each other.

"I hope that this is the kind of spur all the parties need to address
the scope of the problem," she says. (Fulton County Daily Report, April
13, 2000)

JDN REALTY: NY Times Tells of Disarray after a Series of Disclosures
First the founder was in charge. But then came an accounting scandal,
and he stepped aside -- sort of. Replacing him were two other
executives: his wife and the man who oversaw accounting. But then
another accounting scandal became public April 12, and they stepped
aside, too -- sort of.

Who's running the company this morning? A member of the board who has
supposedly been overseeing the company's executives since the day it
went public in 1994.

This is JDN Realty, an Atlanta-based real estate investment trust that
was one of the industry's most respected firms in the 1990's. It is also
one of the prime developers for Wal-Mart Stores. But in the last two
months, JDN disclosed that it had been making under-the-table payments
to two of its own executives for years, that it improperly billed its
two largest clients, that it defaulted on its main bank loan and that it
would have to restate all of its earnings since 1994. Law firms across
the country have filed class-action lawsuits. With the latest
announcement, JDN's stock has dropped 43 percent since February.

"The more you look into this, the stranger it gets," said Patrick S.
McGurn, a vice president at Institutional Shareholder Services, which
advises large investors on corporate governance issues. "There is so
much wrong with this that it's almost the plot for a satire."

More seriously, management experts say, JDN's travails offer a case
study of the problems that can befall a public company that continues to
operate like a private one. At a time when companies are going public at
a record rate, and many are flouting widely accepted management
guidelines, the lessons are particularly relevant. At the core of JDN's
troubles, corporate governance specialists say, is a board that is too
closely aligned with management to be an effective advocate for
shareholders. The directors are a small inbred group -- mostly men who
have business ties to JDN or personal ties to J. Donald Nichols, the
founder, and his wife, Elizabeth. Most have been board members since the
company went public in 1994. The board even lacks a nominating

JDN executives, through a spokesman, and board members declined to
comment. A lawyer investigating the company's problems on behalf of the
board said the directors had aggressively responded to the company's
problems. "The interests of the shareholders have been paramount in
their minds," said John Latham, a partner at Alston & Bird in Atlanta.

To analysts and investors, however, JDN's problems -- jeopardizing
almost every relationship the company has and undercutting its financial
statements for the last six years -- are deep enough that an independent
board would have discovered them sooner. Even after they become public,
the company has reacted in ways that have ensured bad news will continue
to dribble out, the critics say.

In February, for example, Ms. Nichols was one of two JDN executives on a
conference call to analysts in which she emphasized that Mr. Nichols,
her husband, did not seem to have benefited personally from the
off-the-books payments. And the company said it would not publish its
1999 earnings by the end of this week, violating a two-week extension it
had previously received from the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company also acknowledged the billing "discrepancies" in previous
deals with its two largest customers, Wal-Mart and Lowe's, a home
improvement retailer. The problems, which analysts said amounted to
overstating costs, leave JDN open to legal claims from the two
companies, it acknowledged.

After the market closed, Mr. Nichols resigned as chairman, according to
Mr. Latham. Mr. Nichols had already stepped aside as chief executive in

Now JDN faces the difficult task of regaining the trust of clients,
analysts and investors who say they still have little solid
understanding of the company's problems.

"Those things cause you to lose a significant amount of confidence in
management," said one investor who has sold JDN shares in the last two

And Wal-Mart and Lowe's, the two companies JDN wrongly billed for the
construction, leasing and sale of shopping malls, are now conducting
their own inquiries, spokesmen for the companies said.

"Anytime we have to pay something we shouldn't, we take that very
seriously," said Les Copeland, the Wal-Mart spokesman. If anything, he
added, "We're going to overreact to it and manage it very carefully."

Until recently, Mr. Nichols seemed to have a golden touch. After five
years playing minor league baseball in the Baltimore Orioles' system, he
switched to the business world, joining J. C. Bradford & Company, a
Nashville investment firm, according to a 1998 article in Forbes
magazine about his art collection,

He then struck out on his own, getting his first break by helping
Wal-Mart build a store near his boyhood home in Franklin, Tenn. His real
estate business expanded in the 1980's, thanks in part to Wal-Mart's
rise as the nation's biggest retailer. JDN went public in March 1994,
and its stock consistently outperformed other real estate investment
trusts, giving shareholders a 79 percent return between January 1995 and
January 2000. Real estate indexes returned about 50 percent during that
same period.

JDN "had a superior growth rate and a predictable earnings stream," said
Andrew Jones, a real estate analyst at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter.
"People really understood how they made money."

The executives did it by establishing solid relationships with the
country's strongest retailers like Wal-Mart and Home Depot. JDN won a
reputation for finishing its projects on time and, seemingly, on budget.
Retailers, Mr. Jones said, "will pay a little bit more for
predictability." In the highly leveraged real estate business, a small
amount of additional cash flow makes a big difference to profits.

All the while, JDN continued to operate with largely the same board it
had on the day it went public. Until Mr. Nichols resigned, it included
him and Ms. Nichols, along with William B. Green, a bank and real estate
executive who knew the Nicholses from Tennessee, where the couple
continue to live; Craig Macnab, a Nashville financial executive who also
once worked at J. C. Bradford, one of the underwriters of JDN's first
stock sale; and Haywood D. Cochrane Jr., a Nashville health-care
executive who says he met Mr. Nichols through mutual friends shortly
before JDN's initial public offering.

Of the two directors who have joined in the last six years, one is
William G. Byrnes, a retired Alex. Brown executive whom Mr. Nichols
recently praised for the vital role he played in shepherding JDN's
public offering. The other, Philip G. Satre, is the president of
Harrah's Entertainment and also has a Tennessee connection. For years,
he was based in Memphis as a hotel executive.

The best evidence of the coziness between the directors and executives,
critics say, is the lack of a nominating committee on the board. Without
one, the choice of directors often falls solely to the chief executive.
"That in itself ends up leading to a lot of cronyism on boards," said
Ann Yerger, the director of research at the Council of Institutional
Investors. "You want to know there are at least one or two independent
directors asking the hard questions."

Three-quarters of public companies in the United States have nominating
committees, according to a recent study by Korn/Ferry International, a
recruiting firm.

But executives of many public real estate investment trusts, known as
REIT's, often continue to run them more like the private firms they once
were, governance specialists said. As REIT's have stumbled in recent
years, investors have turned more attention to their management
structures. At the Council of Institutional Investors' annual meeting
last summer, its members held a specific discussion about the industry,
Ms. Yerger said.

At JDN, management experts said, a more independent board may not have
been able to prevent the off-the-books payments, but it probably would
have responded more forcefully once the scandal broke.

On Feb. 14, the company announced that two executives, Jeb L. Hughes and
C. Sheldon Whittelsey, had received $4.9 million in payments that JDN's
earnings statements did not reflect. Many of the payments, the company
said, were approved by Mr. Nichols. The payments, which analysts said
could have come in the form of cash or real estate, ranged from 4
percent to 20 percent of JDN's annual earnings between 1994 and 1998.

Mr. Nichols may have made the payments, Mr. Jones at Morgan Stanley
said, in an attempt to retain the executives at a time when private real
estate firms were doing much better, and paying more, than public

The company offered no explanation, however. It did announce that Mr.
Nichols was stepping aside as chief executive but that he would remain
chairman, in charge of maintaining "tenant relationships."

Under the circumstances, the company should have immediately dismissed
Mr. Nichols, said Mr. McGurn, the shareholder adviser, rather than
"talking about reassigning him to other duties in the corporation."

Mr. Latham, the board's lawyer, said the directors initially chose to
weigh Mr. Nichols's mistakes against the importance of his ties to big
clients. "It's a business decision the board had to make," he said.

Ms. Nichols and JDN's chief financial officer, William J. Kerley, then
took over as co-chief executives, and the board began investigating the
payments, as well as searching for a new chief executive. Yesterday, Mr.
Kerley resigned, Ms. Nichols returned to her job as company president,
and the board named one of its members, Mr. Macnab -- the former J. C.
Bradford employee -- to the top job.

Analysts and investors, meanwhile, are still trying to figure out when
the next piece of news will come and what it will contain.

"I've heard so many different things, I don't really know what's true
and what's not," said Jessica C. Tully, an analyst at Wachovia
Securities in Atlanta, who downgraded JDN's stock to "sell" on April 12.
(The New York Times, April 13, 2000)

JOHNSON & JOHNSON: Heartburn Drug Propulsid Target of Lawsuit in VA
A popular heartburn drug that may be the cause of deadly irregular
heartbeats is the target of a class action lawsuit in West Virginia.
Charles and Sandra Sprouce filed the lawsuit Wednesday April 12 in
Marshall County against the manufacturers of Propulsid. The lawsuit
seeks compensatory and punitive damages from Johnson & Johnson and one
of its subsidiaries, Janssen Pharmaceutica. Dr. Jasbir Makar of Weirton
also was named as a defendant.

Charles Sprouce took the drug, which "is not reasonably safe, and thus
is a defective product," the lawsuit said. His wife alleges that the
drug has caused a loss of relations with her husband.

The Food and Drug Administration last month announced that Propulsid was
too dangerous for continued routine prescription. The FDA worked with
Janssen Pharmaceutica to create an unusual program allowing Propulsid to
be taken only by a limited number of patients with serious illnesses.

Under the plan, Janssen will stop marketing Propulsid on July 14 and
remove it from pharmacies in mid-August. Certain patients with serious
medical conditions can apply to get the drug after general sales end.

A consumer advocacy group urged the FDA to move faster to stop sales of
Propulsid. About 6 million prescriptions for Propulsid were filled in
the U.S. in 1999. About 30 million have been filled since the drug
gained FDA approval in 1993. As of Dec. 31, the FDA cited 80 deaths and
341 other heartbeat abnormalities linked to Propulsid.

The consumer group Public Citizen said it had counted an additional 23
Propulsid-related deaths reported to the FDA this year, bringing the
toll to 103. (The Associated Press, April 13, 2000)

LOCKHEED MARTIN: Class over Contaminated Groundwater in Redlands Denied
A class action claim against Lockheed Martin Corp. sank under its own
weight April 11 when the Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled that
residents of Redlands could not sue as a community for exposure to
contaminated groundwater.

In issuing its order to decertify the class, the court of appeal held
that proposed damages in the form of a court-supervised medical
monitoring program relied too heavily upon factors unique to each
individual in the 50,000- to 100,000-member class.

"Many courts, both California and federal, have found that mass tort
actions for personal injuries are not appropriate for class treatment
due to the plethora of individual factual issues regarding liability,
causation and damages," Acting Presiding Justice Thomas Hollenhorst
wrote for the unanimous court.

Justices Art McKinster and James Ward concurred that the community could
not prove that enough common issues exist to support a class action. "A
class action cannot be maintained if each individual's right to recovery
depends on facts peculiar to that individual," the panel held.

Plaintiffs in Lockheed Martin Corp. v. Superior Court, E025064, claim
that beginning as early as 1954, Lockheed and other defendants conducted
manufacturing operations in San Bernardino County that resulted in the
discharge of dangerous chemicals that seeped into the Redlands

Plaintiffs allege that they were exposed to a laundry list of harmful
solvents, including rocket fuel components and rocket fuel decomposition

They asserted that the geographic boundaries of the class were
legitimate because the evidence was based on water contamination
records. Plaintiffs' sought relief in the form of the medical program as
well as punitive damages.

San Bernardino Superior Court Judge Ben Kayashima granted class status
to the plaintiffs on the grounds that the medical monitoring program was
a form of injunctive relief.

But relying on the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in _Amchem v. Windsor_
(1997) 521 U.S. 591, as well as California case law, the appellate
struck that ruling down.

"Common issues do not predominate to allow certification of a class in
mass toxic tort exposure cases such as ours," Hollenhorst wrote. (The
Recorder, April 12, 2000)

MTBE LITIGATION: Petroleum Cos. Sued Over Additive
A lawsuit filed on behalf of well owners in 16 states accuses the
nation's largest petroleum companies of knowing about the potential
dangers of the gasoline additive MTBE for nearly two decades.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday April 12 in Madison County Circuit Court,
asks that the companies be ordered to pay for the testing of wells and
either the installation of filtering systems or connection to
alternative water supplies. The lawsuit also asks that the companies pay
for temporary supplies of bottled water if such supplies are necessary.

The attorneys who filed the lawsuit claim that once MTBE contaminates
groundwater, a foul taste and odor leaves the water virtually unusable
and unfit for human consumption.

In Illinois, 27 of the 1,800 community water supplies regulated by the
state's Environmental Protection Agency have been found to have
detectable amounts of MTBE, according to the lawsuit.

Named as defendants are Atlantic Richfield Co., Amoco as well as BP
Amoco PLC (former by British Petroleum's acquisition of Amoco), Citgo
Petroleum Corp., Conoco Inc., Chevron Corp., Exxon Mobil Corp., Equilon
Enterprises LLC, Phillips Petroleum Co., Royal Dutch-Shell Group of Cos.
and Texaco Inc.

An industry spokesman did not dispute that MTBE has caused problems.
''If it gets near your drinking water, you have real trouble. Nobody
disagrees about that,'' Michael Shanahan, a spokesman for the
Washington-based American Petroleum Institute, said. But he added that
the petroleum companies used MTBE as a means to improve air quality
because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ordered them to do so
in some states. ''So from the beginning, the industry's position has
been that the government should not mandate which additives get used,''
Shanahan said.

The use of MTBE and how much it contaminates ground water has been hotly
debated nationwide.

Farm-state lawmakers were split over whether Congress should repeal a
clean-fuels standard that requires gasoline sold in many cities to
contain oxygen-enhancing additives such as MTBE and corn-based ethanol.

Last month, the Clinton administration said it planned to ban MTBE
because it has been found to be contaminating underground water supplies
and proposed that Congress eliminate the oxygenate standard.

To ensure a continued market for ethanol, which is more expensive than
MTBE, the administration suggested replacing the oxygenate standard with
a requirement that gasoline refiners continue using a minimum amount of
ethanol and other fuels made from renewable resources.

The lawsuit names six Madison County residents as plaintiffs. Their
attorneys are asking that it be certified as a class-action lawsuit that
would include other well owners in Illinois, California, Wisconsin,
Indiana, Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts,
Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas
and Virginia. (AP Online, April 13, 2000)

NATIONAL AUTO: Announces Settlement for Securities Suit in Ohio
National Auto Credit, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: NAKD) ("NAC") announced
on April 12 that it had reached an agreement in principle to settle the
class action securities litigation filed against it and certain of its
current and former officers and directors in the United States District
Court for the Northern District of Ohio. Under the terms agreed upon,
NAC will pay to the plaintiffs' class $6.5 million in consideration for,
among other things, the release of all defendants from liability. The
settlement is not an admission of liability by any party. The settlement
is subject to preparation of final documentation and court approval.

NAC further announced that its Board of Directors had amended the
company's by-laws on April 5, 2000 to establish procedures for action by
written consent without a meeting of stockholders. Generally, the
amendment provides that a stockholder wishing to take action by written
consent must request a record date, after which time the Board of
Directors has five business days to set a record date, which may be no
later than five business days after the Board acts. The amendment also
requires that the request for a record date contain certain information
about the proposed action by consent. If the Board does not set a record
date, then the record date is the date upon which the consent is
delivered to the company, absent prior action of the Board as may be
required by Delaware law. To be valid, a written consent action must be
signed by holders of outstanding stock representing not less than the
minimum number of votes necessary to take the corporate action at a
meeting at which all shares are present and voted. The Board of
Directors also adopted a by-law requiring an affirmative vote of eighty
percent (80%) of outstanding shares of each class of voting stock in
order to alter, add, amend or repeal the company's by-laws.

NAC also announced that on April 7, 2000, it filed a complaint in the
Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware captioned National Auto
Credit, Inc. v. Sam J. Frankino, Civil Action No. 17973, seeking
injunctive and monetary relief against defendant Frankino for breaches
of fiduciary duty in his capacity as a director of the company.

On April 7, 2000, Sam J. Frankino delivered to NAC a written consent
purportedly representing the holders of a majority of the outstanding
shares of the company's common stock. The consent action purports to (a)
rescind any and all amendments to the company's by-laws made on or after
March 1, 2000 (including those described in the third paragraph of this
release); (b) declassify the Board of Directors of the company; and (c)
remove the following directors from the Board: John Gleason, David
Huber, Donald Jasensky, William Marshall, James McNamara, Philip Sauder,
Henry Toh, and Peter Zackaroff. Messrs. Huber, Jasensky, Sauder and
Zackaroff were previously elected to serve on the Board of Directors by
Mr. Frankino.

NAC is reviewing the validity of the written consent. Although this
review is ongoing, the company notes that (i) the consent does not
appear to represent the holders of a majority of the company's
outstanding stock, (ii) the consent was not preceded by a request for a
record date as required by the company's by-laws, and (iii) the consent
does not purport to represent an action by the holders of eighty percent
(80%) of each class of the company's outstanding voting stock, as
required for an amendment to the company's by- laws.

PACIFIC GATEWAY: Shapiro Haber Files Securities Suit in California
A class action suit alleging securities fraud has been filed in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of California
against Pacific Gateway Exchange, Inc. (Nasdaq: PGEX) 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 Pacific common
stock during the period May 13, 1999 through March 31, 2000, inclusive
(the "Class Period").

The complaint charges defendants with violations of sections 10(b) and
20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder. The complaint alleges that defendants falsely reported that
Pacific had earnings per share of $0.22, $0.13 and $0.18, respectively,
in the first, second and third quarters of 1999. During the Class
Period, the price of Pacific stock rose to highs of over $40 per share.
Defendants sought to profit from Pacific's false record profits and
supposed growth and sold more than 20,000 shares during the Class
Period, resulting in proceeds of over $1 million. Pacific shocked
investors after the market had closed on March 31, 2000, revealing that
it would restate its earnings for the first three quarters of 1999. This
announcement caused Pacific stock to plunge to as low as $9 per share in
the subsequent days.

Contact: Edward F. Haber, Esq. or Lisa Palin, paralegal, of Shapiro
Haber & Urmy LLP, 800-287-8119, or cases@shulaw.com

PACIFIC GATEWAY: Schubert & Reed Files Securities Suit in California
A class action suit alleging securities fraud has been filed in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of California
against Pacific Gateway Exchange, Inc. (Nasdaq: PGEX)and certain of its
officers and directors, by the San Francisco law firm Schubert & Reed
LLP. The case was filed on behalf of all persons who purchased Pacific
common stock during the period May 13, 1999 through March 31, 2000,
inclusive (the "Class Period").

As alleged in the Complaint, defendants violated Sections 10(b) and
20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder by issuing a series of materially false and misleading
statements concerning the Company's financial results, as a result of
which the price of Pacific common stock was artificially inflated during
the Class Period. Specifically, the complaint alleges that defendants
created the fiction that Pacific had earnings per share of $0.22, $0.13
and $0.18, respectively, in the first, second and third quarters of
fiscal year 1999. After the market had closed on March 31, 2000, Pacific
shocked investors, revealing that it would restate its first, second and
third quarter earnings for fiscal year 1999, and that the Company's
chief financial officer had resigned. This revelation caused Pacific
stock to plummet to $10-1/4 per share on the following trading day, a
decline of 75% from its Class Period high of over $40 per share.
Pacific's shares continued their descent to $7-1/2 in the days that

Evidence that a number of corporate insiders sold a substantial number
of their shares of Pacific common stock at artificially inflated prices
and reaped proceeds in excess of $1 million -- in particular shortly
after the announcement of the Company's revenues for the first quarter
of fiscal year 1999 -- suggests that defendants were motivated by
personal gain to falsely inflate the price of the Company's shares.

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

PACIFIC GATEWAY: Wolf Popper Announces Securities Lawsuit
Pacific Gateway Exchange (Nasdaq: PGEX), and certain directors and
senior officers have been charged with committing securities fraud in a
lawsuit filed by Wolf Popper LLP. That lawsuit was filed on April 12,
2000, on behalf of all persons who purchased Pacific Gateway Exchange
common stock from May 13, 1999 through March 31, 2000.

The Complaint charges the defendants with manipulating Pacific Gateway
Exchange's stock price by improperly accounting for certain expenses and
misleading the public about the Company's ability to continue operating
as a going concern, resulting in the material misstatements contained in
the Company's financial and operating results from May 1999 and through
March 2000.

The Complaint further alleges that the individual defendants sought to
profit from their accounting manipulations by selling Pacific Gateway
Exchange stock at prices artificially inflated by their illegal actions.

Contact: James A. Harrod, Esq. (212-451-9642) or Douglas Rotela,
Investor Relations Representative (212-451-9625), Wolf Popper LLP, 845
Third Avenue, New York, NY 10022-6689, Toll Free: 877-370-7703,
Facsimile: 212-486-2093 or 212-486-2238, E-Mail: jharrod@wolfpopper.com
or IRRep@wolfpopper.com Website: http://www.wolfpopper.com

RAVISENT TECHNOLOGIES: Berger & Montague Files Securities Suit in PA
The law firm of Berger & Montague, P.C. on behalf of its client, on
March 15, 2000, filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for
the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on behalf of all persons who
purchased the common stock of Ravisent Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: RVST)
during the period of July 15, 1999 through March 14, 2000 inclusive (the
"Class Period").

The Complaint alleges that Ravisent and certain of its officers and
directors violated the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. According to the
Complaint, defendants engaged in a scheme to artificially inflate the
revenues and profits of Ravisent by improperly recording revenues on
contracts in violation of generally accepted accounting principles in
order to accomplish the Company's Initial Public Offering ("IPO") at the
maximum price per share, and to then create the expectation in the
market that Ravisent was an increasingly profitable company. Pursuant to
their scheme, defendants determined to effectuate the IPO during the
fiscal quarter so that there would be no current period certified
financial statements of Ravisent included.

On February 18, 2000, defendants announced that the release of its 1999
audited financial statements would be delayed due to final audit
procedures as a result of its discussions with its independent auditors
concerning Ravisent's having inappropriately recognized revenue in 1999
on certain contracts. As a result of this announcement, Ravisent's share
price plunged $9 to close at $18 9/18 on traded volume in excess of
3,500,000 shares. Also, on March 14, 2000, after the close of the
market, defendants finally announced that it is restating previously
reported financial results for the second and third quarters ended June
30, 1999 and September 30, 1999, respectively. The restatement is due to
the fact that the Company improperly recognized revenues on transactions
with customers. Thus, the restated second quarter 1999 revenues and net
loss are $ 7,679,000 and ($1,150,000), as compared to the previously
reported revenues and net loss of $11,601,000 and ($248,000),
respectively. In addition, the restated third quarter 1999 revenues and
net income are $5,238,000 and$530,000, as compared to the previously
reported revenues and net income of $5,988,000 and $ 1,097,000,
respectively. In response to this announcement, Ravisent's share price
dropped from $18 1/4 on March 14, 2000 to open at $15 15/16 on March

Contact: Berger & Montague, P.C., Philadelphia Sherrie R. Savett,
Esquire, 888/891-2289 or Michael T. Fantini, Esquire, 888/891-2289 or
Kimberly A. Walker, Investor Relations Manager 215/875-3000 or
888/891-2289 Fax: 215/875-4604 http://home.bm.netInvestor

TOBACCO LITIGATION: 3 Kansans with Medicaid Sue over Tobacco Money
Three Kansans who have received Medicaid benefits for smoking-related
illnesses have filed a lawsuit seeking part of the state's $1.77 billion
settlement with big tobacco companies.

Attorneys representing the three Kansans filed the lawsuit in U.S.
District Court in Topeka on Wednesday April 12 and are requesting that
the lawsuit be made a class action. Such status could open the case to
tens of thousands of plaintiffs, with a settlement worth millions, said
Thomas Lemon, one of the lawyers. Another attorney, Harold Houck, said
the state got a "windfall" in its settlement. "The state did a good job,
too good of a job," he said.

Plaintiffs are John Puleo, a disabled worker from Topeka who has a heart
condition, a lung condition and pneumonia; Judith Clark, a Johnson
County woman who has a lung disorder; and Tammy Thomas, a Johnson County
woman with emphysema.

Defendants in the case are Attorney General Carla Stovall, who
prosecuted and settled the state's tobacco lawsuit; Janet Schalansky,
secretary of the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, which
oversees the state's Medicaid program; and Citibank, which receives,
manages and distributes the funds paid to Kansas by the tobacco

Spokeswomen for Stovall and Schalansky said their agencies hadn't
received copies of the lawsuit and declined to comment.

Defendants in federal lawsuits have 20 days to respond or to seek an
extension to file a response.

The case stems from the state's successful lawsuit against R.J. Reynolds
Tobacco Co. That lawsuit was filed in Shawnee County District Court in
1996. The state settled that case and others with tobacco companies in
1998. Kansas is among 46 states that expect to split $206 billion from
the settlement over 25 years.

In the lawsuit against the state, the plaintiffs say federal law
requires Kansas to pay Medicaid recipients all money recovered from
third parties in excess of money needed to reimburse state and federal
Medicaid programs.

"The state has taken no steps to disburse to the plaintiffs any portion
of the settlement amount or to inform the plaintiffs of their rights to
claim that portion of the settlement monies to which they are legally
entitled," the lawsuit states. Kansas is among 12 states in which
Medicaid recipients have filed lawsuits to recover part of the
settlement. (The Associated Press., April 13, 2000)

TOBACCO LITIGATION: Smokers Seeking Funds from B&W Denied Cert. in CA
A California state superior court in San Diego has denied class
certification for Brown, et al. v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco, et al.
The suit was filed on behalf of California smokers who were seeking
funds for smoking cessation programs. "The decision by the Superior
Court of California is yet another demonstration that smoking and health
lawsuits cannot be maintained as class actions," said Mitch Neuhauser,
an attorney for Brown & Williamson. "The court's decision continues the
trend of federal and most state courts refusing to certify a class
action in a smoking and health case."

In his opinion rejecting the plaintiffs' application for class
certification, Judge Ronald S. Prager said, "(T)he plaintiff seeks class
certification of a mass tort action, seeking recovery under seven
different common law causes of action, against eleven different
defendants, concerning hundreds of different brands of cigarettes, and
premised on various wrongful acts spanning more than four decades. It is
almost academic from the mere face of such a synopsis of this action
that class certification is inappropriate."

"Judge Prager's decision lays out the numerous reasons why a case
involving the claims of thousands of individual smokers cannot be
treated as a class action," Neuhauser said. "Each individual smoker's
claim is inherently individual and unique. The court's opinion mirrors
Brown & Williamson's position on class action suits that the facts
involving each individual's smoking and health experiences are unique
and should be handled as such," Neuhauser said.


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
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Washington, DC. Theresa Cheuk, Managing Editor.

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

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