/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/000417.MBX                  C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

                  Monday, April 17, 2000, Vol. 2, No. 75


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Georgians' Remand Bid Rejected
AVON PRODUCTS: Faces Lawsuits over Hazardous Waste Sites
AVON PRODUCTS: Trial for Securities Suit Filed '91 May Be Held in 2000
COCA-COLA: Money, Trust Behind Plaintiffs' Split in Racial Bias Case
COCA-COLA: Plaintiffs in Employment Racial Bias Case Hire New Lawyer

CONSECO, INC: Abbey, Gardy Files Securities Suit in Indiana
CONSECO, INC: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Securities Lawsuit in Indiana
ECONNECT, INC: Burt & Pucillo Files Securities Suit in California
ECONNECT, INC: Settlement With the SEC Does Not Impact Private Actions
FEN-PHEN: Over 200,000 People Registered for AHP Settlement

FIDELITY NATIONAL: Chicago Title Sued in CA over Escrow Funds
FIDELITY NATIONAL: Recording Fees Lawsuit Stayed Pending CA AG's Suit
FIRST UNION: FL Suit Accuses of Ignorng Corporate Client's Scam
HOLOCAUST VICTIMS: Austrian Leaders Reject U.S. Attorney's Lawsuit
INTEGRATED TRANSPORTATION: Faces SEC Inquiries & NY Suit Re Disclosures

KOZMO.COM: Alleged of Excluding Black Areas in Washington for Service
MICROSOFT CORP: Could the Case Hinder Competition?
MICROSOFT CORP: Triangle Law Firm Files Antitrust Suit in NC
MP3.COM INC: Musicians Sue Web and Record Companies for Royalty Payment
MUSICMAKER.COM INC: Dreier Baritz Announces Response to Securities Suit

MUSICMAKER.COM: Chitwood & Harley Announces Securities Suit in CA
MUSICMAKER.COM: Retained Wilson Sonsini for Securities Suit in CA
NEXTEL COMMUNICATIONS: Settlement Proposed for Securities Suit in NJ
OIL COMPANIES: Amoco, Arco Merger Approved, Competition Issues Resolved
PACIFIC GATEWAY: Barrack Rodos Files Securities Suit in California

PHYAMERICA PHYSICIAN: Shareholders Accuse CEO of 'Looting'
PRUDENTIAL INSURANCE: Fed Suit over Employee Benefit Plans Filed in NJ
RAVISENT TECHNOLOGIES: Wolf Haldenstein Announces Securities Suit in PA
SOLUTION 6: Extends Elite Bid for Fifth Time for FTC Review
TERAYON COMMUNICATIONS: Milberg Weiss Files Securities Suit in CA

TOBACCO LITIGATION: Senators Panel Floats a Tax Hike to Shield Funds
WATER CONTAMINATION: HI Case Says Pesticides Cause Illnesses

* Supreme Court to Weigh Limits on LSC Grantees


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Georgians' Remand Bid Rejected
In 1991, when federal courts transferred pending asbestos cases to U.S.
District Senior Judge Charles R. Weiner, it seemed a settlement for
Georgians and other plaintiffs was likely. Nine years later, that
massive settlement has been rejected by higher courts and some
plaintiffs lawyers are clamoring to get their asbestos cases out of
Weiner's court and back to their home federal district for trial.

Frustrated with Weiner's procedures and what they perceive as his
pro-defense stance in pressing for smaller settlements, several groups
of plaintiffs turned to the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation
seeking orders to remand their cases. When the panel turned them down,
the plaintiffs asked the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals to issue a
writ of mandamus ordering all the cases remanded.

But in a decision in In re Patenaude handed down on April 11, a
three-judge panel found Weiner's impressive track record of settling
cases shows he is still busy conducting "coordinated pretrial
proceedings'' - as the multidistrict legislation statute authorizes him
to do - and that the MDL Panel therefore did not err in deferring to
Weiner's judgment. "Because individual settlement negotiations and
conferences are ongoing in the plaintiffs' individual cases, and because
the transferee court is conducting discovery on overlapping issues that
affect many asbestos cases, even if not the plaintiffs', coordinated
pretrial proceedings have not concluded and the plaintiffs have not
demonstrated a clear and indisputable right to the relief they seek,''
Senior U.S. Circuit Judge Walter K. Stapleton wrote.

Attorney Steven Baughman Jensen of Baron & Budd in Dallas, Texas, who
argued the case on behalf of three groups of plaintiffs from Georgia,
New York and Oregon, said he was disappointed by the ruling and is
considering a petition to the full 3rd Circuit or the U.S. Supreme

"Nothing that the MDL statute was designed to do is going on in MDL 875
right now,'' Jensen said. In his brief, Jensen argued that the MDL
Panel's 1991 order said the types of matters appropriate for Weiner to
consider included exploring opportunities for global settlements and
using MDL as a vehicle for a national class action. But Jensen argued
Weiner's efforts to coordinate global negotiations have failed.

At first, he said, Weiner organized plaintiffs' and defendants' steering
committees. In November 1991, the defendants made a lump sum offer to
settle all pending and future cases, but the plaintiffs rejected the
offer and "negotiations fell apart." Later, 20 defendants broke off to
form the Center for Claims Resolution in an attempt to structure a
class-action settlement. But the $1 billion settlement of the case,
which came to be known as Georgine v. Amchem, ultimately was rejected by
the Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court, both of which deemed
the class too large and unwieldy to satisfy the requirements of Rule 23.

Jensen argued that since then, discovery and settlement activities in
MDL 875 are "entirely plaintiff specific."

Instead of presiding over coordinated or consolidated pretrial
proceedings, he argued, Weiner instead presides over discovery and
settlement negotiations in discrete groups of cases involving individual
plaintiffs' firms. "As a practical matter, the transferee court now acts
as nothing more than a facilitator of a centralized, mandatory
alternative dispute resolution system for ad hoc resolution of the
highly individualized claims of asbestos personal injury victims,"
Jensen wrote in a brief joined by Baron & Budd attorneys Frederick M.
Brown and Steven D. Wolens and Portland, Ore., attorney Jeffrey S.
Mutnick of Landye Bennett & Blumstein.

Jensen said the proceedings before Weiner "have devolved so far into
piecemeal proceedings that the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee has not
even met since 1993.'' He complained that Weiner has publicly and
privately repeated that he is unwilling to remand cases to their
originating courts for trial unless the claimant is seriously ill or
dying or all avenues of settlement are exhausted. And when he does
remand cases, Weiner severs claims for punitive damages, Jensen noted.

Since Weiner is no longer performing the function of an MDL transferee
judge, Jensen said, the MDL Panel should have granted the requests for
remands in 88 cases from New York; 61 cases from Georgia and 67 cases
from Oregon.

Weiner, he said, now "oversees no common discovery, decides no common
legal issues and directs no global negotiations that affect all of the
thousands of asbestos claims trapped in MDL 875.''

                          Defense Arguments

Arguing on behalf of Owens-Illinois Inc., attorney Robert H. Riley of
Schiff Hardin & Waite in Chicago noted that Weiner's handling of MDL 875
has received well-earned praise.

In 1991, Riley said, there were two new asbestos cases coming into the
federal courts for every one disposed of. Weiner took control of 27,000
cases from 89 federal districts.

By 1997, Weiner had received more than 69,000 cases and settled more
than 44,000. His disposition rate of 7,000 to 8,000 cases per year for
the first time exceeded the new filing rate.

Riley said Weiner's "great success'' earned him "a great deal of
deference'' when it came to deciding when the coordinated pretrial
process was exhausted and remand was appropriate. The MDL Panel, he
noted, has rejected broad-scale remand requests on several occasions.

In 1996, the panel refused to remand all cases or at least certain cases
from Florida; in 1998, it said no to remanding Oregon cases, noting that
Weiner had closed 53,000 cases and returned 976 for trial, including 29
to Oregon; and in 1999 it rejected similar requests from groups of
plaintiffs in New York and Georgia.

By statute, orders of the MDL Panel are not appealable. The only
mechanism for seeking review is by writ of mandamus-a rather high

As Riley described it in his brief: "Mandamus is an extraordinary remedy
reserved for occasions of extreme urgency, when the lower court's
decision is wildly wrong and petitioner's right to relief from it is
beyond dispute." The plaintiffs, he said, had no support for their
argument that MDL 875 "is some sort of judicial black hole where cases
languish with no hope of resolution.''

Riley also disputed that the MDL transferee court is limited to
conducting consolidated or common-issue discovery. Instead, he said, the
law gives the court all pretrial powers.

By seeking a writ to win remands, Riley said, the three groups of
plaintiffs were "seek ing to deprive the federal courts of the one
tool-multidistrict litigation-that has been successful in helping to
manage the crushing burden of asbestos litigation.''

Now the 3rd Circuit has sided with Riley and his defense colleagues,
finding the plaintiffs failed to meet their high burden of showing that
they had an indisputable right to have their cases remanded.

Stapleton, in a 23-page unpublished opinion joined by U.S. Circuit
Judges Morton I. Greenberg and Jane R. Roth, found that a large number
of the cases assigned to Weiner have been resolved. In 1997 and 1998
alone, he said, Weiner closed nearly 10,000 cases per year. (Fulton
County Daily Report, April 14, 2000)

AVON PRODUCTS: Faces Lawsuits over Hazardous Waste Sites
Avon discloses in its report to the SEC that it is involved in a number
of proceedings arising out of the federal Superfund law and similar
state laws. In some instances Avon, along with other companies, has been
designated as a potentially responsible party which may be liable for
costs associated with these various hazardous waste sites. The Company
says that based upon its current knowledge of the proceedings,
management believes, without taking into consideration any insurance
recoveries, if any, that in the aggregate they would not have a material
adverse impact on Avon's consolidated financial position, results of
operations or cash flows.

AVON PRODUCTS: Trial for Securities Suit Filed '91 May Be Held in 2000
In 1991, a class action lawsuit was initiated against Avon on behalf of
certain classes of holders of Avon's Preferred Equity-Redemption
Cumulative Stock ("PERCS"). This lawsuit alleges various contract and e
securities law claims relating to the PERCS (which were fully redeemed
that year). Avon has rejected the assertions in this case, believes it
has meritorious defenses to the claims and is vigorously contesting this
lawsuit. It is anticipated that a trial may take place later in 2000.

In the opinion of Avon's management, based on its review of the
information available at this time, the total cost of resolving such
contingencies should not have a material adverse impact on Avon's
consolidated financial position, results of operations or cash flows.

COCA-COLA: Money, Trust Behind Plaintiffs' Split in Racial Bias Case
The issues of money, race and deteriorating attorney-client
relationships are surfacing as possible reasons for the recent split by
three of the eight plaintiffs in the Coca-Cola Co. bias suit. One member
of the plaintiffs' legal team says, at bottom, the dispute was over
money while another simply says the three plaintiffs weren't thinking
about the class as a whole.

The team of plaintiffs' lawyers withdrew its representation of the three
because they were not acting in the best interests of the class, says
Cyrus Mehri, among the co-counsel in the suit. But the trio's newly
hired lawyer disagrees, blaming a confidence issue for the split. And a
civil rights leader who has taken up the cause of the dropped plaintiffs
says money played a part and that race was a factor.

The three clients-Gregory Allen Clark, a security guard, information
systems specialist Ajibola Laosebikan and former administrative
assistant Motisola Malikha Abdallah-announced they had a new lawyer:
Willie Gary, a prominent Florida personal injury lawyer.

At their and Gary's side was local civil rights activist Joseph H.
Beasley, southern regional director of Rainbow/PUSH Coalition. Hours
later, an order issued by the federal judge assigned to the case
effectively barred Gary from participating in the current case or in the
settlement talks.

                    What Breakaway Means to Suit

As the tumultuous week ends, it remains unclear what the breakaway might
mean to the suit and to ongoing settlement talks with the soft drink

Gary cited a "breakdown in the attorney-client relationship" as the key
factor in the split. "There were concerns about trust with the other
lawyers," he says. "You have to trust your lawyer. There were some
concerns about that." He would not elaborate. Money had nothing to do
with the split, he says, adding "I can say this about my clients. They
have never ever put anybody ahead of the class. They never wanted to be
ahead of the class.. It's not been about the money."

Gary also says the order barring him from negotiations was unnecessary.
"We're going to have our own negotiations down the road," he says.

Beasley of the PUSH Coalition also says the three dropped plaintiffs
were "uncomfortable with the representation" from a team that includes
Bondurant, Mixson & Elmore and Mehri, Malkin & Ross while, at the same
time, the lawyers began viewing the three as "malcontents."

Race, money and the level of trust among the plaintiffs and their former
lawyers all were factors, Beasley says.

"This black-white dynamic is still something we have to work on,"
Beasley says. "That became a barrier in the case of Mr. Gary, who is a
well-known and highly respected attorney."

Believing an African-American lawyer should be part of the legal team,
the plaintiffs - among them Clark, the security guard - contacted Gary,
Beasley says. "They were interested in Mr. Gary joining the suit because
his reputation was one of strong support for the black community," he

Beasley says he suggested to Cyrus Mehri of the Mehri, Malkin firm that
the lawyers expand the legal team to include an African-American
attorney. But when efforts to include Gary on the existing legal team
didn't work, the three plaintiffs "thought they would be better served
casting their lot with Mr. Gary," Beasley says. But, he adds, that
happened only after "the ir lawyers had jettisoned them from the suit."

                        The Money Issue

The three also were concerned, Beasley says, that the original legal
team would get the better part of the money in any settlement while
those named plaintiffs "who really put themselves on the line" would get
little more than everyone else in the named class. "The lawyers get all
the money, and, here again, the black community is left high and dry,"
Beasley says. But, he insists, their concerns were not driven by greed.

Robert L. Wiggins Jr., a name partner at Gordon, Silberman, Wiggins &
Childs, the Alabama firm brought in to assist Mehri's legal team, says
he understands the disagreements were about money rather than concerns
over the race of their lawyers.

The issue was about distribution of back pay, Wiggins says, adding that
the three dropped plaintiffs wanted a larger share. But this created a
conflict, he says, because the plaintiffs' lawyers "aren't allowed to
give special treatment on other than a modest basis and this was
anything but modest."

Two of the Birmingham firm's attorneys joining the case are
African-Americans. Wiggins says his firm - known for its employment
discrimination work - was hired because of its expertise and not
because, as it has been portrayed in some press accounts, it is an
African-American firm-which it isn't. About 80 percent of Gordon,
Silberman's lawyers are white and 20 percent are black, he says

The firm had been talking to the other plaintiffs' lawyers in the case
for several months because of their expertise in test validation and
statistics, Wiggins says.

His firm was tapped to help combat the similar expertise that Paul,
Hastings, Janofsky & Walker partner R. Lawrence Ashe Jr. brings to the
table for Coke, added Wiggins.

                     Mixson: Race Not Involved

Co-counsel H. Lamar Mixson of Bondurant, Mixson & Elmore of Atlanta also
says the Birmingham lawyers' race had no bearing on their addition to
the legal team. "They were brought in entirely because of their
expertise," Mixson says. "We've been talking to them since the lawsuit
was filed. We're at the stage now where their expertise in settling
these types of cases and trying them is very, very helpful."

As for what impact the breakaway might have on the case, Mixson says the
week's developments don't change "anything as far as the settlement
talks are concerned."

Nor do they send a signal to Coke that the plaintiffs' ranks are in
disarray, insists Mixson. "We started with four plaintiffs . We added
four. We dropped three," he says. "You only need one" plaintiff to serve
as a class representative.

But one lawyer who frequently handles class actions involving securities
says now is a "very bad time" for such developments. "It's the last
thing you would want to happen now," says Pitts Carr of Carr, Tabb &
Pope of Atlanta because splits in the ranks suggest a "chink in armor."
And from the company's point of view, such divisions cast doubt on the
ability of plaintiffs' counsel to "bring global peace," Carr says.

In most circumstances, individual plaintiffs who break away from a class
may either accept a class settlement once it is made or pursue their own

But Mehri declined to say whether the plaintiffs his firm discharged as
clients will have that option. "We wish them the best in pursuit of
their individual claims," Mehri says. "We won't do anything to interfere
with their pursuit."

                      No Connection to Gary

But, he adds, there is no partnership with Gary. "We are authorized to
fight for the class," he says. "That's what we're going to focus on."

He wouldn't discuss the status of mediation or what the class goals are.
But, he says, "I think things are very, very comfortable right now. I'm
feeling very, very good about the case. "Each plaintiff has the right to
hire other counsel," Mehri says. "The rest of us have a unity of purpose
to fight as hard as possible to get the best possible settlement for the

U.S. District Court Judge Richard W. Story, who has not yet certified a
class in the case, issued an order that indicated the mediator had
informed him the dropped plaintiffs had requested to participate in the
mediation "through other counsel."

Story noted that Bondurant, Mixson; Mehri, Malkin; Gordon, Silberman and
the Marietta firm of Deville Milhollin & Voyles were the only firms who
had filed an entry of appearance and received authorization to negotiate
on behalf of the putative class.

Should mediation end in a settlement, Story wrote, he would review any
settlement to ensure the interests of the entire class were protected.
Class members also would have the opportunity to object to any

Beasley says it would be unfair to cut the dropped plaintiffs out of the
process. "Judge Story is not the czar," Beasley says. "He's not the
ruler of the world. Just because he's spoken, saying he Gary can't be
part of the pending litigation doesn't mean other avenues can't be
taken. These named plaintiffs have got to be made whole."

And Coca-Cola still must consider the claims of the original plaintiffs
who have now retained Gary, Beasley says. "The African-American
community at large is watching Coke closely," he says. "They will not be
able to get away with just dumping these four complainants; I don't care
what the courts say."

                   Barge Cites Degree of Conflicts

Employment discrimination lawyer R. Mason Barge of Parks, Chesin &
Miller says, generally speaking, the degree to which named plaintiffs'
interests conflict with those of the class "is a huge consideration in
whether or not a class is certified ... and would be of enormous concern
to the judge and the lawyers.

"I can't imagine that Judge Story is going to certify a second class.
That would be kind of extraordinary," Barge says. A likelier scenario in
cases like this, he adds, is that the breakaway plaintiffs will pursue
trial, reach their own settlement or lose.

Once a class is certified, plaintiffs still may opt out in the damage
portion of the suit, says Barge. But, he adds, judges generally will not
allow them to opt out of a class pursuing injunctive relief because
"they want to avoid inconsistent verdicts for people who are similarly

The suit against Coke, filed last April, accuses the soft drink giant of
discriminating in pay and promotions against approximately 2,000
African-American employees. (Fulton County Daily Report, April 14, 2000)

COCA-COLA: Plaintiffs in Employment Racial Bias Case Hire New Lawyer
Four of the eight plaintiffs in a racial discrimination case against the
Coca Cola Co. have hired lawyer Willie Gary after being dropped by the
attorneys seeking class-action status.

Gary, a Stuart-based attorney, has tried cases in numerous states and
has won civil verdicts of up to $ 500 million against large companies.
After successfully fighting for workers in Floridas sugar cane fields,
he later defended sugar giant Flo-Sun in another case. It is unclear how
much Garys appearance will affect the settlement negotiations now under
way between the soft drink company and the existing attorneys.

Coke security guard Gregory Allen Clark, one of the plaintiffs who
retained the Florida attorney, of Gary who is black said they found they
needed to have at least one African-American lawyer on the team that's
representing approximately 2,000 African-American workers. Gary now
represents Coke information systems specialist Ajibola Laosebikan,
former administrative assistant Motisola Malika Abdallah, and assistant
scientist Wanda Williams, in addition to Clark. Gary says he is
currently not a representative in the class-action suit, but that could
change since he now represents half of the original clients. (Broward
Daily Business Review, April 13, 2000)

CONSECO, INC: Abbey, Gardy Files Securities Suit in Indiana
A class action lawsuit was filed on April 14 in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis
Division, on behalf of purchasers of Conseco Inc. (NYSE: CNC) stock
between April 28, 1999 and March 31, 2000.

The complaint charges defendants with violations of Sections 10(b) and
20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and SEC Rule 10b-5
thereunder. Defendants include Conseco, Stephen B. Hilbert (the
Company's Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board) and Rollin
M. Dick (the Company's Chief Financial Officer). Among other things,
plaintiff claims that defendants issued materially false and misleading
statements regarding the value of Conseco subsidiary Conseco Finance
Corp.'s (formerly known as Green Tree Financial Corporation) portfolio
of interest-only securities. On March 31, 2000, the last day of the
Class Period, Conseco announced that it would take a charge of
approximately $350 million because the value of Conseco Finance's
interest-only securities had to be written-down. This reduced Conseco's
1999 profit by about one-third.

Contact: Jill S. Abrams, Esq., Patricia Toher Abbey, Gardy & Squitieri,
LLP, 212 East 39th Street, New York, New York 10016, TELEPHONE:
800-889-3701 or 212-889-3700, FAX: 212-684-5191, E-MAIL:

CONSECO, INC: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Securities Lawsuit in Indiana
The law firm of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP announces that a class action
lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of Indiana on behalf of all persons who purchased preferred
securities of Conseco, Inc. (NYSE: CNC-H) in the Company's public
offering conducted on August 26, 1999.

The complaint charges Conseco, certain of its high-ranking officers and
lead underwriters with violations of Sections 11, 12(a)(2) and 15 of the
Securities Act of 1933. The complaint alleges that the defendants'
Registration Statement and Prospectus (including any amendments and
supplements thereto) for the public offering of Conseco preferred
securities contained a series of false and misleading statements
concerning its subsidiary, Conseco Finance, which was formerly known as
Green Tree Financial Corporation ("Green Tree"), and the true value of
Green Tree's portfolio of interest-only securities.

Contact: Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP Stuart L. Berman, Esq. Three Bala
Plaza East, Suite 400, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 1-888-299-7706 (toll free)
or 1-610-667-7706 Or by e-mail at info@sbclasslaw.com

ECONNECT, INC: Burt & Pucillo Files Securities Suit in California
On April 12, 2000, a class action lawsuit alleging violations of the
federal securities laws was filed in the United States District Court
for the Central District of California against EConnect, Inc. The action
is brought on behalf of a class of persons who purchased the common
stock of EConnect, Inc. (OTCBB:ECNC) during the period from November 23,
1999 and March 13, 2000 (the "Class Period").

The complaint alleges that EConnect and certain of its officers and
directors violated the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 by
issuing materially false and misleading information concerning
EConnect's business and financial condition during the Class Period.

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, while failing to
disclose information which would have been of material importance to any
reasonable shareholder. Specifically, the complaint alleges that
defendants failed to disclose: (a) that, contrary to EConnect's November
23, 1999 press release, EConnect had never acquired Top Sports SA; (b)
that, contrary to EConnect's February 22, 2000 press release, EConnect
was not generating anywhere near $10,000 a day from its PowerClick
division's network of websites; (c) that, contrary to EConnect's
February 28, 2000 press release, EConnect did not have a strategic
alliance with Empire Financial Group, Inc.; and (d) that, contrary to
the implication of EConnect's February 29, 2000 SEC filing, EConnect did
not have an agreement to use an internet cash payment system developed
by SafeTpay.

The Company'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 suspicion that the
Company was issuing false and misleading press releases to artificially
inflate the Company's share price.

The action was filed by the firm of Burt & Pucillo, LLP ("Burt &
Pucillo") of West Palm Beach, Florida.

Contact: Burt & Pucillo, LLP, West Palm Beach Michael J. Pucillo and
Wendy H. Zoberman 561/835-9400 or 800/349-4612 E-mail:
law@burt-pucillo.com or burtpucill@aol.com http://www.burtpucillo.com

ECONNECT, INC: Settlement With the SEC Does Not Impact Private Actions
A statement issued April 14 by the law firm of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP
says that the settlement agreement of eConnect, Inc. with the Securities
and Exchange Commission as announced by eConnect on April 13 related to
the SEC's securities fraud action filed earlier this year against
eConnect, Inc. and does not affect Schiffrin & Barroway's pending class
action against the company.

On March 13, 2000, Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP, filed a class action
Complaint in the United States District Court for the Central District
of California on behalf of all purchasers of the common stock of
eConnect, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board:ECNC) from November 23, 1999 through
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 which were acquired by the

The complaint charges eConnect, Inc. and certain of its officers and
directors with issuing false and misleading statements and/or omissions
concerning the financial condition and business prospects of the

Contact: Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP Marc A. Topaz, Esq. Robert B. Weiser,
Esq. Three Bala Plaza East, Suite 400, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
888/299-7706 (toll free) or 610/667-7706 Or by e-mail at

FEN-PHEN: Over 200,000 People Registered for AHP Settlement
Over 200,000 class members have registered for settlement benefits in a
class action settlement intended to resolve claims against American Home
Products Corporation (NYSE:AHP) arising from the use of its diet drugs
Pondimin(R) and Redux(TM), according to an announcement made by Levin,
Fishbein, Sedran & Berman Arnold Levin on April 13.

Fewer than 40 objections were made, and approximately only 45,000 people
opted out of the class, representing less than 1% of the estimated 5.8
million individuals who took the diet drugs. A majority of the persons
who opted out of the settlement have not filed a lawsuit against AHP, so
their individual claims may be barred by applicable statutes of

In addition, it appears that the vast majority of individuals who opted
out of the settlement may not have symptomatic medical conditions as a
consequence of taking the diet drugs. Therefore, it is unlikely these
individuals will obtain better relief by not participating in the

Contact: Levin, Fishbein, Sedran & Berman Arnold Levin, Esq.,

FIDELITY NATIONAL: Chicago Title Sued in CA over Escrow Funds
On November 10, 1999, a plaintiff's class action entitled Baker v. First
American Title Insurance Company was filed in the San Francisco,
California Superior Court. Chicago Title Company and Chicago Title
Corporation are named defendants. The complaint alleges that the
defendants failed to escheat certain escrow funds to the State of
California, charged home buyers and other customers improper fees, and
failed to pay over to customers interest payments, or payments in lieu
of interest, made by various banks on escrow charges deposited by the
defendants on behalf of such customers, in violation of various
California laws.

The plaintiffs seek damages and other relief. The plaintiffs have
petitioned to coordinate the action with the California Attorney
General's lawsuit, the Sobol v. Chicago Title Company lawsuit, and other
pending California class action lawsuits. Various defendants, including
Chicago Title Company, have opposed that petition for coordination. The
Company says that at this time, liability related to the aforementioned
three cases is neither probable or estimable and as such, the
accompanying financial statements contain no specific provision for
these contingent liabilities other than accruals for certain defense

FIDELITY NATIONAL: Recording Fees Lawsuit Stayed Pending CA AG's Suit
On March 20, 2000, Fidelity National Financial, Inc., a Delaware
corporation, completed its acquisition of Chicago Title Corporation, a
Delaware corporation, pursuant to the Agreement and Plan of Merger,
dated as of August 1, 1999 and amended as of October 13, 1999, between
Fidelity and Chicago Title. As provided in the Merger Agreement, which
was approved by the stockholders of Fidelity and Chicago Title at
special meetings of stockholders held on February 9, 2000 and February
11, 2000, respectively, Chicago Title merged with and into Fidelity,
with Fidelity as the surviving corporation in the merger.

On June 22, 1999, a plaintiff's class action lawsuit entitled Sobol v.
Chicago Title Company, a subsidiary of CTIC, was filed in the Los
Angeles, California Superior Court. The complaint alleges that when
acting as a closer, Chicago Title Company charged for reconveyance
recording fees when no recording occurred. That action has been stayed
indefinitely pending the outcome of the California Attorney General's

                California Attorney General's Lawsuit

On May 19, 1999, the California Attorney General, on behalf of the
People of the State of California, the Controller of the State of
California, and the Insurance Commissioner of the State of California
filed a complaint against an alleged class of defendants consisting of
title insurers and escrow companies doing business in California.

The complaint alleges that defendants failed to escheat certain escrow
funds to the State of California, charged home buyers and other
customers improper fees, and failed to pay over to customers interest
payments, or payments in lieu of interest, made by various banks on
escrow funds deposited by defendants on behalf of such customers, in
violation of various California laws. The plaintiffs seek damages
according to proof, return of allegedly improper fees, disgorgement of
the alleged interest payments or payments in lieu of interest, payment
to the State of California of the funds that allegedly should have been
escheated, interest, costs of suit including attorneys' fees and
investigative fees, civil penalties, and injunctive relief. Neither
Chicago Title nor any of its subsidiaries has been identified by name as
a defendant in this lawsuit.

FIRST UNION: FL Suit Accuses of Ignorng Corporate Client's Scam
Victims of what authorities say was a multimillion-dollar pyramid scheme
are suing First Union Corp., claiming the banking company ignored the
crooked dealings of one of its corporate customers.

In a class action filed in Circuit Court in Miami earlier this month,
First Union is accused of being "an accommodating home" for a scheme
perpetrated by Unique Gems International Corp. The plaintiffs are asking
for $20 million in damages from the Charlotte, N.C., company.

Starting in October 1995, Unique Gems took deposits from South Florida
residents wishing to become jewelry assemblers for the company. In
return for a $3,000 deposit, they received kits containing string and
beads for necklaces. The company bought the finished products back for
$1,800, and would then offer more kits in return for additional

After discovering that it was paying assemblers with deposited money,
not proceeds from jewelry sales, Florida shut down Unique Gems in March
1997. By that time more than 15,000 individuals had sent the company
about $91 million, according a report by a forensic accountant. Company
officials left the country before their assets were frozen, escaping
with more than $40 million, authorities say.

Most of Unique Gems' cash made its way through a bank account at First
Union. The lawsuit says First Union and Hector Ponte, the former manager
of the branch where Unique Gems conducted its business, did not do
enough to make sure their customer was legitimate.

"First Union and Ponte completely and utterly failed to follow statutory
and regulatory requirements, as well as industry standards and First
Union's own internal rules," the suit says. "First Union and Ponte
either knew about the illegality at Unique Gems and cooperated, or
decided simply to cast a blind eye to the red flags raised by the

In a six-month period that ended in March 1997, the suit claims, First
Union processed 74 wire transfers for Unique Gems and sent at least $19
million to a bank account in Liechtenstein and other amounts elsewhere.

It may be tough to prove that $254 billion-asset First Union is liable.
A Miami attorney familiar with the case but who asked not to be
identified said that even if it can be shown that Mr. Ponte knew what
was going on, it "is not going to be easy to say what senior bank
management knew, or what they should have known."

While the suit contends that Unique Gems wired as much as $1 million a
day, it also notes that the transactions were split into smaller amounts
in a manner that suggests an attempt to avoid tripping the bank's
internal alarms.

A spokeswoman for First Union said it does not comment on pending
litigation, and Mr. Ponte could not be reached. The case is not expected
to come before a judge for at least three to six months, according to a
court spokesman.

Unique Gems had less success with some other banks. In a report to the
Florida attorney general, forensic accountant Lewis B. Freeman said
SunTrust Banks Inc., for example, refused to wire Unique Gems' funds
offshore because the company "failed to meet both the client criteria
set by bank management and the guidelines within the banks' compliance

The suit describes Unique Gems' product as "a modern-day version of
snake oil." In advertisements featuring a psychic, the company said the
beads had magical healing powers. It also says that Unique Gems made
little effort to sell the assembled goods, and that it stored most of
them in a warehouse.

Unique Gems was taking in about $1 million a day from assemblers, many
of whom waited hours at its offices to deposit their money, the suit
charges. (The American Banker, April 14, 2000)

HOLOCAUST VICTIMS: Austrian Leaders Reject U.S. Attorney's Lawsuit
Austrian leaders last Friday April 14 rejected a U.S. attorney's
class-action suit filed in the name of Holocaust and slave labor
victims, requiring Austria and some 80 Austrian banks and companies to
pay a total of $ 18 billion in damages.

The lawsuit was filed last Thursday by New York lawyer Ed Fagan in the
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, his German
partner, Michael Witti, told The Associated Press. Witti, who was
reached by telephone in his Munich law firm, refused to discuss the
substance of the suit but said it had been ''signed, stamped, and it is
at court.''

Earlier this year, the Austrian government appointed Maria Schaumayer, a
former National Bank president, to work out an agreement with former
victims or their families on compensation for former slave laborers in
Nazi-ruled Austria.

The government's argument is that it is faster and more expedient to
settle the labor claims before dealing with other issues, including
compensation for Austrian Jews or their heirs whose property was stolen
by the Nazis.

In his first public comment on Fagan's action, Chancellor Wolfgang
Schuessel told Austrian state radio, ''I don't have the ambition to deal
with Fagan now. Austria has conscionably offered a gesture for the
victims.'' He also said his government had ''full confidence'' in
Schaumayer's work,

A statement issued by Fagan in New York, as quoted by the Austrian Press
Agency, said he was undertaking ''the first global lawsuit against the
Austrian private industry and the government.''

According to APA, the 80 banks and companies cited in the suit allegedly
used forced laborers or benefitted from ''Aryanization,'' a Nazi-era
term used to describe the seizure of homes, businesses and other
property from owners not deemed as ethnically pure.

The list contains many companies whose names are household words in
modern Austria. They include the Austrian Postal Savings Bank, the
Vienna Dorotheum auction house, the recently carved-up VOEST-Alpine iron
and steel concern and Laenderbank and Creditanstalt, the two major banks
that are now operating under a single ownership.

Vice Chancellor Susanne Riess-Passer from the far-right Freedom Party of
Joerg Haider, called the lawsuit ''incomprehensible,'' hinting the
attorneys involved were more interested in their fees than in the cause
they represent. Finance Minister Karl-Heinz Grasser, also of
Riess-Passer's party, spoke of ''public pressure'' being used ''as an
instrument,'' adding that ''the population's patience should not be

A statement by Witti, also reported by APA, said his lawsuit was
expanding the scope of legal claims which the Austrian government and
industry have to deal with. ''We are cofident that the Austrian
government and private industry will realize that it is time to act
quickly so that the claims of the victims can be satisfied ''once and
for all.'' (AP Worldstream, April 14, 2000)

INTEGRATED TRANSPORTATION: Faces SEC Inquiries & NY Suit Re Disclosures
In early 1998, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission
commenced an informal inquiry relating to public disclosures in 1997 by
Dawson Science Corporation, former parent company of Integrated
Transportation Network Group. The public disclosures involved, among
other things, press releases relating to the acquisition of Shenzhen
Jinzhenghua Transport Industrial Development Co., Ltd., the value of
Dawson's assets, Dawson's financial prospects and Dawson's anticipated
revenues and earnings.

In August 1998, a stockholder of the Company filed a class action
complaint in the United States District Court for the Southern District
of New York naming the Company, Dawson, and their respective executive
officers and directors as defendants. The complaint alleges that the
Public Disclosures omitted or misrepresented material facts. The
plaintiff seeks unspecified damages on behalf of himself and all other
persons who purchased shares of Dawson's common stock between March 25,
1997 and December 30, 1997, together with interest and costs, including
attorney fees, under sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities and
Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10(b)(5) thereunder.

The Company currently is engaged in settlement discussions with respect
to the class action referred to above. Based on these discussions,
during the fourth quarter of 1998, the Company established a $1,500
liability with respect to the class action. There can be no assurance,
however, that the settlement discussions will result in a final
settlement, or that the liability for a final settlement will be limited
to $1,500. If these settlement discussions are not the basis for a final
settlement, the liability with respect to the class action could
materially exceed this amount.

KOZMO.COM: Alleged of Excluding Black Areas in Washington for Service
Kozmo.com, the online service that promises delivery of convenience
foods and products, became the target of a civil rights lawsuit that
claimed its service area excluded many predominantly black neighborhoods
in Washington.

In what its lawyers called the "nation's first civil rights class action
litigation against an Internet company," the Equal Rights Center, a
Washington-based civil rights group, and two African-American plaintiffs
are suing Kozmo for alleged racial "redlining" because of what they
believe is a pattern of those neighborhoods not being served. Redlining
is a term for refusing to sell something to someone due to age, race or

The District of Columbia is the only Kozmo-served city where a lawsuit
has been filed. The company has operated in Atlanta since March 31.

Kozmo.com offers online ordering of items such as sodas, snack foods,
videos, books and music, promising home delivery in under an hour. In
addition to Atlanta and Washington, the company operates in Boston,
Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Seattle.

The lawsuit follows a April 11 investigation by MSNBC.com. Reporters
Elliott Zaret and Brock N. Meeks used Washington as an example of
redlining in their story (http://www.msnbc.com/news/373212.asp).
Kozmo.com rolled out its services there last fall. "The nation's capital
has a substantial black population, living in neighborhoods that are
largely segregated," the story said. "But in a city that is 66 percent
black, the neighborhoods Kozmo delivers to are 65 percent white and only
25 percent black." MSNBC's research relied on data from the U.S. Census
Bureau. According to the data, nearly 350,000 of the city's 400,000
black residents live outside of the areas served by the company. But
130,000 of Washington's 170,000 white residents were within Kozmo's
delivery area.

Kozmo denied the allegations. "We have not seen the suit, so we can't
really comment on it in particular," Kozmo.com spokesman Phillip Pierce
said. However, he said Kozmo did take issue with the MSNBC.com story.
"We reject completely the allegations rasied in the MSNBC.com story,"
Pierce said. "We reject the allegations that Kozmo's delivery areas are
drawn to exclude minorities. Those allegations are completely false and
a clear misrepresentation of how Kozmo.com conducts its business. "It's
important to know that as an Internet-based company, Kozmo makes
decisions about which markets and areas it serves based on where there
is the greatest Internet penetration and usage. As a technology-based
company we believe in and look forward to the expansion of Internet
access to all Americans across the country. "The story contains
conclusions that are contrary to MSNBC's own research," Pierce said.
"Kozmo.com serves many diverse communities in each of the markets where
we've launched our service. Our present service area includes minority
neighborhoods and we are a growing company."

Proving Kozmo.com deliberately eschews ethnic neighborhoods may be hard.
"If you walk into a store, you can't be refused service based on your
race," Anita Ramasastry, associate director for the Center for Law,
Commerce and Technology told MSNBC.com. "However, the government can't
force a business to locate in a particular area ... It would be
interesting to see if you can make that argument that they have that
duty to serve because it's Web-based." (The Atlanta Journal and
Constitution, April 14, 2000)

MICROSOFT CORP: Could the Case Hinder Competition?
A recent article in St. Louis Post-Dispatch raises the question of
whether knocking off the big guy could hinder competition and whether
Microsoft is a monopoly - the modern-day incarnation of Standard Oil or

The article says that the federal judge who ruled that Microsoft engaged
in "predatory practices" applied antitrust laws created during the
Robber Baron era. Their goal was, and is, to prevent firms from fixing
prices and preventing competition.

Monopolies harm consumers in two ways: Prices are higher than under
competition; and the innovative drive of competition -- building the
better mousetrap -- is stifled. So, firms like Standard Oil or AT&T were

The article points out it is hard to say how much Microsoft's actions
have actually harmed consumers. It says prices for computers and
software have fallen while speed and computing power have increased.
Even so, the government's economists will calculate the price at which
Windows might have sold under more competition. Although this is an
exercise in advanced guesswork, multiple class-action suits will be
filed, and the plaintiffs will fight over their share.

The article puts forward the argument that the problem in this New
Economy-age is that Microsoft did not use its position to gouge
consumers. The price of Windows would be marginally lower if Microsoft
faced stronger competition, it is said, but considering the fact that
Windows amounts to a small fraction of a new PC (about 5 percent), the
difference probably would not even be noticed by consumers. Attorney
General Janet Reno opines that "consumers who have been harmed can now
look forward to benefits."

The size of the settlement against Microsoft undoubtedly will be a
considerable sum. Paul Krugman, professor of economics at MIT recently
put it, "a coalition of states is demanding damages from Microsoft, as
if Windows caused lung cancer. Buyers of computer software may get
cheated if this suit casts a pall over the innovative climate that
characterizes the computer industry, St. Louis Dispatch says.

The government argues that by controlling the operating system,
Microsoft controlled software development and innovation. In other
words, Microsoft dictated the path for innovation by establishing the
dominant technology: play by the Window-based rules or suffer. Judge
Thomas Penfield Jackson concluded in his fact-finding document last
November, "innovations that would truly benefit consumers never occur
for the sole reason that they do not coincide with Microsoft's

The article raises the question of why one can easily substitute
Netscape and WordPerfect for Windows-based applications if Microsoft's
actions stifled innovation by other developers. It says that a
disturbing issue is whether the pursuit of Microsoft harms consumers.
Microsoft's dominance is in the "old" part of the computer market. The
"new" market is moving increasingly to Internet computing, an area in
which Microsoft has little advantage. This does not absolve Microsoft of
any past wrongs, of course. The article further asks the question of
whether the application of antitrust laws geared toward price fixing
viable in a world where innovation is the means to capture the market.
If potential innovators feel the chill of the Microsoft case, the
inclination to expand research and development may suffer, it points

In today's rapidly changing world of computer and software technologies,
decision-makers at Justice and in capitals around the nation must
appreciate the potential effects of this suit, it is opined in St. Louis

It further contends that Microsoft is not big tobacco, and a similar,
all-out pursuit could diminish the growth in the technology sector to
which many attribute our recent economic growth. The article concludes
that policy should not be motivated by some political desire to knock
Bill Gates and other Microsoft billionaires down a few pegs. (St. Louis
Post-Dispatch, April 14, 2000)

MICROSOFT CORP: Triangle Law Firm Files Antitrust Suit in NC
A Triangle law firm, Sanford Holshouser, filed a class-action lawsuit
against Microsoft, accusing the software company of violating North
Carolina's antitrust laws.

The suit seeks to represent anyone in the state who has bought the
company's Windows 98 operating system for Intel-based computers. It
claims the personal computer systems were priced higher than what
Microsoft could have charged in a competitive market.

The lawsuit, filed in Wake Superior Court on behalf of two Raleigh men,
is similar to an estimated 120 suits that have been filed in more than
30 states. Additional suits are expected following the recent ruling by
a federal judge declaring Microsoft an illegal monopoly. U.S. District
Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson said the company unlawfully tied its Web
browser to its Windows operating system, which dominates the PC market.

R. Grady Rankin III and Christopher M. Huwe filed the North Carolina
lawsuit after having problems trying to install an alternate browser and
e-mail program on their Dell and Toshiba computers because Windows 98 is
bundled with Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser.

Huwe is a systems administrator who says many of his clients use
Netscape but want to use Microsoft's Outlook as an e-mail program. To do
that, Huwe first has to install Explorer for Outlook to work properly,
even though Netscape is the browser. The lawsuit estimates that at least
25,000 people in North Carolina qualify to join in the class action.

The suit seeks unspecified damages, and asks that they be tripled under
the state's Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act. The damages should
be based on the difference in price that consumers would have paid in a
more competitive market, which the lawsuit estimates is less than $ 75
for each system. It does not seek an injunction against the company as
lawsuits in some other states have done. (The News and Observer
(Raleigh, NC), April 14, 2000)

MP3.COM INC: Musicians Sue Web and Record Companies for Royalty Payment
MP3.com Inc. and several prominent record labels were sued in federal
court by musicians who seek royalty payments for the distribution of
their songs over the Internet. The suit, filed by musicians who perform
as the Chambers Brothers, the Coasters and the Original Drifters, seeks
a ruling that neither MP3.com nor the record companies -- Time Warner
Inc., Sony Corp. of America and two others -- have the right to transmit
their songs over the Internet. The lawsuit seeks class-action status on
behalf of other artists who made recordings before 1995, when Congress
passed a new digital copyright law. Spokesmen for MP3.com, Time Warner
and Sony, a unit of Sony Corp., could not be reached for comment. In a
separate lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, the music
group Metallica sued Internet music search site Napster Inc., USC, Yale
University and Indiana University for illegally allowing the heavy-metal
band's music to be distributed free over the Web. (Los Angeles Times,
April 14, 2000)

MUSICMAKER.COM INC: Dreier Baritz Announces Response to Securities Suit
Dreier Baritz & Federman announces that it has received an extremely
large response from investors in Musicmaker.com (Nasdaq: HITS). Dreier
Baritz & Federman filed a securities class action alleging that the
company and certain officers and directors violated federal securities
laws by either misrepresentations or omissions of material facts. In
addition, Dreier Baritz & Federman questioned transactions in the
securities of the company.

Contact: William B. Federman of Dreier Baritz & Federman, 405-235-1560,
fax, 405-239-2112, or email, wFederman@aol.com

MUSICMAKER.COM: Chitwood & Harley Announces Securities Suit in CA
Chitwood & Harley has filed a securities class action in the United
States District Court for the Central District of California on behalf
of a class of persons and entities, other than Defendants, who purchased
Musicmaker.com common stock between July 7, 1999 and November 15, 1999,
inclusive (the Class Period).

The complaint alleges that Musicmaker.com and certain of its officers
and directors have violated certain provisions of the Securities Act of
1933 as well as the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The complaint
alleges that defendants made misrepresentations about the Companys
business, earnings growth, and financial statements, as well as its
ability to continue to achieve profitable growth in order to
artificially inflate and maintain the price of Musicmaker.coms stock.
The complaint alleges that defendants' material omissions and the
dissemination of materially false and misleading statements regarding
the nature of Musicmaker.com's operations drove the Company's stock
price to a Class Period high of $28.125 per share and enabled insiders
to profit from sales of Musicmaker.com common stock at artificially
inflated prices.

Contact: Chitwood & Harley Martin D. Chitwood, Esq. Nichole T. Browning,
Esq. Corey D. Holzer, Esq. 888/873-3999 or 404/873-3900 ntb@classlaw.com

MUSICMAKER.COM: Retained Wilson Sonsini for Securities Suit in CA
Musicmaker.com (Nasdaq: HITS) announced on April 14 that it has retained
the law firm of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati to represent it in the
securities class action lawsuits filed against the company in Los
Angeles last month.

NEXTEL COMMUNICATIONS: Settlement Proposed  for Securities Suit in NJ
The law firm, Abbey, Gardy & Squitieri, LLP announces on April 14, 2000
that in conncection with the Litigation which was conditionally
certified as a class action on February 23, 2000, on behalf of all
purchasers of Nextel Communications, Inc. Common Stock during the period
from July 22, 1993 through January 10, 1995, on February 17, 2000, the
parties to this Litigation entered into a Stipulation of Settlement upon
certain terms and conditions.

A hearing has been scheduled to be held before the Honorable Stanley R.
Chesler, on June 15, 2000 at 1 p.m. in the United States District Court
for the District of New Jersey to determine, among other things, whether
the proposed settlement of the Litigation for cash in an aggregate
amount of up to Twenty-Seven Million Dollars ($27,000,000) should be
approved by the District Court.

Please do not call or contact the court or the clerk's offices directly
for such information. Contact: Nancy Kaboolian of Abbey, Gardy &
Squitieri, LLP, 212-889-3700.

OIL COMPANIES: Amoco, Arco Merger Approved, Competition Issues Resolved
BP Amoco PLC promised last Thursday April 13 to move swiftly to conclude
its purchase of Atlantic Richfield Co. after receiving government
approval for the merger that had been held up for months over concern
about its impact on competition.

The Federal Trade Commission voted 5-0 to approve the merger of BP Amoco
and Atlantic Richfield, or Arco, for $27.6 billion after an agreement to
divest significant holdings in Alaska.

The new company will be the second-largest oil company not owned by a
government, behind Exxon Mobil Corp., a merger approved by the FTC last

To get government approval, BP Amoco already has agreed to sell all of
Arco's Alaska holdings to the Phillips Petroleum Co. The sale must be
completed within 30 days.

FTC approval came after months of intense negotiations over how to
resolve the government's concerns about the impact of the merger on
competition in Alaska and the West Coast retail gasoline market.

In February, the FTC blocked the merger and prepared to battle it in
federal court. At the time, FTC lawyers said the merger would create ``a
colossus'' that would dominate oil exploration, production and
transportation in Alaska and dictate prices to West Coast refiners,
which rely heavily on Alaska oil.

But as part of the agreement last Thursday, BP Amoco agreed to sell all
of Arco's holdings in Alaska, including oil and gas interests, tankers,
pipeline interests and exploration rights. The divestiture would reduce
the combined new company's holding in Alaska from roughly 70 percent to
45 percent, according to industry analysts.

``The sweeping wholesale divestitures called for by the consent order
resolve the competitive concerns,'' Richard Parker, director of the
FTC's Bureau of Competition, said in a statement. A majority of the five
FTC commissioners said in a statement that the consent agreement with BP
Amoco ``would entirely eliminate the overlap ... that allegedly would
create a competitive problem.'' FTC Chairman Robert Pitofsky and one of
the commissioners, Mozelle Thompson, issued a separate statement
expressing support for the merger but concern that it would not restrict
BP Amoco exports of Alaska oil.

BP Amoco, based in London, had been in tense negotiations with the FTC
for months to try to resolve the federal agency's concerns about

The FTC in early February moved to block the merger in federal court,
arguing that it would violate federal antitrust laws because of the
company's market dominance in Alaska. That move, prompted additional
concessions by BP Amoco, including the divestitures that led to
Thursday's approval.

Separately, Exxon Mobil said it had reached an agreement with the
companies over the sale of the Alaska holdings. Exxon Mobil had filed a
lawsuit seeking an injunction against the sale.

Meanwhile, California, Washington and Oregon, which together filed a
separate antitrust complaint in federal court in San Francisco against
the merger, also announced settlement of their action, ending any
challenge to the deal.

The sale of Arco's Alaska holdings will mean that the new company will
continue to control about 45 percent of the oil production on the North
Slope. BP Amoco, under the consent agreement, also must sell some
pipeline and oil storage holdings in Cushing, Okla.

Once the merger goes through, Arco shareholders, who own 329.6 million
shares of stock, would get 1.64 shares of BP Amoco for each share they
hold. In trading Thursday on a broadly declining New York Stock
Exchange, the U.S. shares of BP Amoco were down 62 1/2 cents at $51.50 a
share while Arco was down 75 cents at $83.43 3/4. (Washington AP)

PACIFIC GATEWAY: Barrack Rodos Files Securities Suit in California
Counsel for Class Plaintiff, Barrack, Rodos & Bacine, announces on April
14 that a  class action has been filed in the United States District
Court for the Northern District of California on behalf of all persons
who purchased the publicly traded securities of Pacific Gateway
Exchange, Inc. (Nasdaq: PGEX) between May 13, 1999 and March 31, 2000,
inclusive (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges Pacific and certain of its officers and directors
with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The complaint
alleges that while defendants were publicly reporting profits of more
than $10.1 million for Pacific's first, second and third quarters of
1999, defendants used Pacific common stock to acquire the assets of Robo
Tel, Inc., and attempted to use its stock to fund its most important
acquisition ever, the acquisition of NOS Communications, Inc., just
weeks before revelations of accounting fraud had surfaced.

The complaint further alleges that as Pacific continued to report per
share profits of $0.22, $0.13 and $0.18, respectively, in the first,
second and third quarters of 1999 - which defendants later admitted were
false - the price of Pacific stock rose to a Class Period high of
$44-5/8. According to the complaint, defendants sought to profit from
Pacific's fictional record profits and purported growth by selling over
31,000 shares during the Class Period for profits of $1.1 million.

After the market closed on March 31, 2000, Pacific shocked investors by
revealing that it would restate its first, second and third quarter
earnings for This revelation caused Pacific's stock to plummet on the
next trading day to $10-1/4 per share, a decline of 75% from its Class
Period high. Pacific's shares continued their descent to $7-1/2 in the
days that followed.

Contact: Counsel for Class Plaintiff, Barrack, Rodos & Bacine,
Shareholder Relations Manager, 800-417-7305 or 215-963-0600, or fax,
888-417-7306 or 215-963-0838, or e-mail, msgoldman@barrack.com

PHYAMERICA PHYSICIAN: Shareholders Accuse CEO of 'Looting'
Steven Scott, the founder and top executive of PhyAmerica Physician
Group, "systematically looted" the struggling company by selling off its
subsidiaries to himself at cut-rate prices, according to a lawsuit filed
by two shareholders.

Also, Scott and an Ohio-based firm that has provided financial backing
for PhyAmerica orchestrated a "pattern of racketeering" by manipulating
PhyAmerica's results to hide a money-skimming scheme, the suit alleges.

Scott said it is PhyAmerica's policy not to comment on pending
litigation. The Durham-based company, which changed its name from
Coastal Physician Group last summer, manages emergency rooms for about
270 U.S. hospitals.

Eugene Dauchert, one of the five other PhyAmerica executives named as
defendants in the case, said the company is reviewing the allegations
and will respond within the next month. The five-count suit, filed last
month in U.S. District Court in Delaware, seeks unspecified monetary
damages and asks the court to oust Scott as the company's chairman and
chief executive.

"I don't know whether removing Scott would solve all of this company's
problems, but it would go a long way toward doing that," said Jay
Eisenhofer, a lawyer representing the two shareholders. Scott and the
other defendants could be held liable for damages that could exceed $
200 million if a jury agrees with the racketeering violations,
Eisenhofer added.

Charles Bosco of Ohio and Michael McGee of Illinois own a total of
136,000 PhyAmerica shares that they purchased in June 1998. They are
asking the federal court to give the suit class-action status,
representing all shareholders who bought stock from 1998 onward -
excluding those affiliated with Scott, who owns more than half of the

In 1997, Scott started selling PhyAmerica's unrelated businesses to
other firms he controls, in a bid to revive the sinking company by
streamlining its operations and focusing on ER management services.
PhyAmerica shares have fallen from $ 40 in 1994 to less than 50 cents.
Its stock has been delisted from the New York Stock Exchange and losses
have totaled hundreds of millions of dollars.

Through various holding companies he controls, Scott bought from
PhyAmerica a chain of doctors' clinics, a physicians practice management
company, a billing company and two HMOs. In 1998, Scott paid PhyAmerica
$ 6 million for Doctors Health Plan, an HMO with more than 30,000
members, mostly in the Triangle.

Those sales, however, were part of Scott's plan "to strip the company
bare by transferring its valuable assets to himself," the suit says. In
the case of Doctors, PhyAmerica provided a $ 1 million loan to Scott's
holding company for part of the purchase price. That loan was later
forgiven, the suit says.

Doctors has had its own problems, losing more than $ 25 million in 1997
and 1998. Also in 1998, the N.C. Department of Insurance fined the HMO $
500,000 - the largest HMO fine in the state - for various violations,
including poor handling of customer complaints and appeals. DOI
investigators recently conducted a follow-up review of the company, and
another fine is possible once their report is finished later this year.

The two PhyAmerica shareholders also are suing National Century
Financial Enterprises and its CEO, Lance Poulsen. That company, based in
Dublin, Ohio, specializes in financing health-care companies. It
provided the funding when PhyAmerica bought Sterling Healthcare Group
last summer for $ 69 million plus another $ 20 million in debt. After
that deal, Coastal was renamed PhyAmerica.

That deal and mounting losses left PhyAmerica with the equivalent of $
180 million of debt, with interest rates averaging 15 percent. After
becoming a shareholder, McGee offered to help PhyAmerica find less
expensive sources of financing, only to be rebuffed and threatened with
legal action, the lawsuit says.

That resistance raised red flags, which led McGee to discover "the
pattern of abusive, wrongful and unfair practices," the suit says. Since
Scott owns more than half of the company and controls most of the board
members, it was impossible for McGee to address his concerns with
PhyAmerica, the suit says.

In the course of his investigation, McGee found a plan that allowed
National Century to skim money from PhyAmerica, the suit says. The
financing company bought PhyAmerica's accounts receivable in 1997,
allowing it to essentially control all of the money collected for its ER
management services and skim off the top, according to the lawsuit.

A spokeswoman for National Century and Poulsen declined to comment on
pending litigation.

In exchange for looking the other way, Scott got financial help for his
personal transactions, including the purchases of PhyAmerica's various
unrelated businesses, the suit says. Scott helped conceal the plan by
falsifying PhyAmerica's quarterly and annual statements filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission, the suit says.

This is the fourth shareholder lawsuit filed against PhyAmerica, which
Scott founded as Coastal in 1977. The other three have been settled or

The company has about 10 other lawsuits pending, mostly involving
contract disputes with physicians, said PhyAmerica's Dauchert. The
company also handles between 100 and 150 malpractice lawsuits a year,
stemming from providing emergency room services for 4 million patients

A suit in Florida related to how PhyAmerica tried to collect unpaid
bills from thousands of residents was recently dismissed, Dauchert said.
That suit also sought class-action status, a request that the state
court in Florida had denied. (The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), April
14, 2000)

PRUDENTIAL INSURANCE: Fed Suit over Employee Benefit Plans Filed in NJ
A federal class-action lawsuit filed against Prudential Insurance and
its healthcare subsidiaries may affect several million people across the
U.S. who are participants in, or beneficiaries of, Prudential employee
welfare benefit plans.

The action was filed Tuesday, April 11, 2000, in the United States
District Court, District of New Jersey, by two of the preeminent
plaintiff class action law firms, Pomerantz Haudek Block Grossman &
Gross LLP and Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP, against the
Prudential Insurance Company of America and the Prudential Health Care
subsidiaries (collectively, "PruCare"). It was filed on behalf of a
proposed class of all participants or beneficiaries in employee benefit
plans who have received their health insurance through PruCare. In
August 1999, Aetna, Inc. acquired Prudential's health care business.

The case alleges, among other things, that PruCare breached the express
terms of its health care plans by using procedures for determining
whether proposed care is "medically necessary" that are inconsistent or
conflict with generally accepted medical standards. In particular,
plaintiffs claim that PruCare improperly permits non-physicians or
physicians who are not qualified in the appropriate specialty to make
denials of care based on medical necessity and, further, that in making
such decisions PruCare relies on actuarial guidelines developed by
Milliman & Robertson, Inc., when such guidelines do not reflect accepted
standards within the medical community.

Aetna U.S. Healthcare, Inc., Aetna U.S. Healthcare of North Texas, Inc.
and Prudential Health Care Plan, Inc. jointly submitted with the
Attorney General of the State of Texas a proposed settlement of a case
brought by the State of Texas on behalf of its residents. Among other
things, Aetna agreed that "the determination of medically necessary care
is an analytical process that will be applied by Aetna on a case-by-case
basis by qualified professionals who have the appropriate training,
education, and experience and who possess the clinical judgment and
case-specific information necessary to make these decisions."

In the recently filed Prudential action, plaintiffs allege that their
contracts require PruCare to follow this standard and that it has failed
to do so. The plaintiffs seek to compel PruCare to comply with its
contractual obligations on a nationwide basis, as Aetna has now agreed
to do in Texas.

In the settlement, Aetna also agreed that any non-case specific
guidelines or policies it uses to determine medical necessity will be
publicly disclosed and made available for peer review, to the extent
permissible by applicable law or relevant contracts. In the PruCare
complaint, the plaintiffs allege that PruCare relies on the Milliman &
Robertson guidelines, which have neither been disclosed nor been made
available for peer review. To the extent such guidelines are protected
from disclosure by contract, they would not be required to be disclosed
under the proposed settlement. In the Prudential action, plaintiffs
allege that reliance on the Milliman & Robertson guidelines for
determining medical necessity is improper, and seek to compel Prudential
Healthcare to alter its decision-making process.

Contacts: D. Brian Hufford, Pomerantz Haudek Block Grossman & Gross,
LLP, 888-476-6529 (toll free), Edith M. Kallas or David L. Rosenstein,
Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP, 212-594-5300.

RAVISENT TECHNOLOGIES: Wolf Haldenstein Announces Securities Suit in PA
Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP announces that it filed a
securities class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for
the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on behalf of investors who bought
Ravisent Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: RVST) stock between July 15, 1999
and March 14, 2000 (the "Class Period").

The lawsuit charges Ravisent and certain officers of the Company, with
violations of the securities laws and regulations of the United States.
The lawsuit alleges that defendants issued a series of false and
misleading statements during the Class Period concerning the Company's
revenues. The complaint alleges that defendants' false and misleading
statements artificially inflated the price of the Company's stock during
the Class Period.

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 no current period
certified financial statements of Ravisent would be included in the IPO

On February 18, 2000, defendants announced that the release of its 1999
audited financials statements would be delayed due to final audit
procedures as a result of its discussions with its independent auditors
concerning Ravisent 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 trading 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 plaintiff seeks to recover damages on
behalf of all class members and is represented by the law firm of Wolf
Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP (http://www.whafh.com).The Wolf
Haldenstein firm has a full service commercial practice consisting of
approximately 50 attorneys based in New York City and San Diego. The
firm's litigation department has been recognized by courts throughout
the country as highly experienced and skilled in complex litigation,
particularly with respect to federal securities laws, class actions and
shareholder litigation. The firm's qualifications have repeatedly
received very favorable judicial recognition. The firm has achieved
recoveries of $2 billion on behalf of investors and shareholders.

Contact: Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP, 800-575-0735
(Michael Miske, George Peters, Gregory Nespole, Esq., Fred Taylor
Isquith, Esq. or Shane T. Rowley, Esq.) (http://www.whafh.com).

SOLUTION 6: Extends Elite Bid for Fifth Time for FTC Review
Solution 6 Holdings Ltd has extended its $150.5 million takeover for US
based technology firm Elite Information Group Inc for the fifth time, to
allow the United States Federal Trade Commission more time to review the
merger. Solution 6 said the S11.00 per share offer, which was made in
December last year, would now expire on April 28, 2000. "The expiration
date is being extended to provide the Federal Trade Commission time to
complete its review of the proposed merger," Solution 6 said in a

The FTC launched an enquiry into the deal following the launch of a
class action by a US law firm against Solution 6 and Elite. In January,
San Diego based firm Milberg Weiss Bershad Hyned and Learch LLP filed a
complaint in the Los Angeles County Superior Court saying that Elite
directors, by entering into the merger agreement were violating their
fiduciary duties to Elite stockholders. Solution 6 said that it had
responded to information requests by the FTC and "anticipates the FTC
will complete its review by the end of April."  (AAP Newsfeed, April 14,

TERAYON COMMUNICATIONS: Milberg Weiss Files Securities Suit in CA
Milberg Weiss (http://www.milberg.com/terayon/)announced on April 13
that a class action has been commenced in the United States District
Court for the Central District of California on behalf of purchasers of
Terayon Communications Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:TERN) publicly traded
securities during the period between February 2, 2000 and April 11, 2000
(the "Class Period").

The complaint charges Terayon and certain of its officers, directors and
company insiders with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
This action involves defendants' dissemination of materially false and
misleading statements concerning, among other things, the certification
of the Company's proprietary S-CDMA cable modem technology by CableLabs
(the industry regulating organization), the Company's financial
condition and their effects on the Company's operations.

The complaint alleges that defendants' scheme: (i) deceived the
investing public regarding Terayon's business, new product capabilities
and acceptability as an industry standard technology, foreseeable
product demand, growth, operations and the intrinsic value of Terayon
common stock; (ii) allowed defendants to register and/or sell over $439
million worth of Terayon shares at artificially inflated prices via
share-for-share acquisitions of other companies, which acquisitions also
allowed defendants to appropriate valuable proprietary technologies
previously owned by other companies; (iii) allowed Company insiders,
several of whom are named as defendants herein, to sell over 71,000
shares of their privately held Terayon common stock, during the Class
Period, while in possession of materially adverse, undisclosed
information, allowing them to reap proceeds of at least $ 15.9 million;
and (iv) caused plaintiff and other members of the Class to purchase
Terayon common stock at artificially inflated prices.

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

TOBACCO LITIGATION: Senators Panel Floats a Tax Hike to Shield Funds
Two words rarely heard in the Republican-controlled Legislature were
uttered last Thursday April 13 with enthusiasm: Tax increase. A panel of
state senators floated the idea of a cigarette tax hike as a way to fill
the state's coffers if tobacco companies go bankrupt. Sen. Jim Horne, an
Orange Park Republican considered among the most fiscally conservative
lawmakers in the Capitol, signed up to draft the cigarette tax proposal.

It is unclear whether the Legislature would be willing to pass a tax
increase in an election year. But the fact that the unthinkable has even
been spoken is a clear sign that, amid conflicting advice, lawmakers are
flummoxed over how to protect the state's multibillion-dollar settlement
with tobacco companies.

Lawmakers are concerned that the $ 17.4-billion the state expects to
receive from the tobacco industry over the next 30 years is in jeopardy
because of a huge class action lawsuit in Miami.

A jury awarded $ 12.7-million in compensatory damages to three
representative smokers and is scheduled on May 15 to begin the next
phase of the trial - awarding punitive damages for as many as 500,000
Floridians. The fear is that the award could near $ 300-billion,
potentially bankrupting tobacco companies and stopping payments to the

Senators appeared to be leaning toward protecting the companies by
limiting the amount of the bond required during any appeal of a punitive
damages award. Several other states have taken that approach.

But in Florida, the vote between doing something and doing nothing is
extremely close. The Senate panel rejected a proposal to cap the amount
of punitive damages tobacco companies would have to pay in any given

Lawmakers also heard from critics who argued that the state should do
nothing to help companies whose products kill. "The tobacco industry has
been found guilty in a court of law, and the courts should be allowed to
handle this phase without interference from the Legislature," a
coalition of anti-smoking groups wrote to Gov. Jeb Bush.

Neal Roth, president of the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, said the
tobacco companies are fueling unfounded bankruptcy concerns in a
"Chicken Little ploy." The law doesn't allow punitive damages that
bankrupt a company, Roth told lawmakers. He also said the plaintiffs'
attorney in the Miami class action personally assured him that he would
do nothing to bankrupt tobacco companies because he wants his clients to
get paid.

Lawmakers also are considering a proposal by Bush that would hedge the
state's bets. He wants to sell $ 9-billion of the state's tobacco
settlement to investors, who would assume the risk that tobacco
companies would make the payments. The state would get $ 2.8-billion
upfront, which it could invest. Even at a good rate of return, however,
the state stands to lose hundreds of millions because the transaction
would involve huge payments to lawyers, bond experts and others.

That led to the unlikely talk of a cigarette tax increase. Sen. Locke
Burt, the Senate's chief budget writer and another fiscal conservative,
said the state could immediately hike the cigarette tax by as much as 10
cents to pay the cost of selling off future tobacco revenues.

Burt said the higher cost of cigarettes would have the added benefit of
reducing teen smoking. Burt and Horne are considering another option
that would obviate the need for selling future tobacco revenues: The
state automatically would increase the cigarette tax if any one of the
four big tobacco companies that owe the state goes bankrupt or fails to
make payments. The tax would increase just enough to offset the money
the state lost. "I view this as a form of self-insurance," Burt said. "I
think it's an idea we ought to explore.

The tax proposals took Carol Licko, the governor's top lawyer, by
surprise. She said she did not know how he would react. "I'm sure he'll
be interested to hear about it," she said. (St. Petersburg Times, April
14, 2000)

WATER CONTAMINATION: HI Case Says Pesticides Cause Illnesses
The "real" Erin Brockovich - an activist about whom a popular movie was
recently released, is directing research over allegations of birth
defects and illnesses resulting from pesticides in drinking water, the
Honolulu Star-Bulletin reported March 21.

"Brockovich is working in partnership with Hawaii law firm Tam &
Stanford and two other mainland firms on a case charging disease and
defects were caused by pesticide contamination in Central Oahu," says
the Bulletin. "The first amended complaint was filed in Circuit Court
March 7 and awaits the response of the defendants. Several hundred
plaintiffs ... are involved in the suit, and their ranks are growing.

The defendants include local and national companies responsible for
making or applying pesticides to crops grown in Central Oahu, among them
Del Monte Corp. and Dole Foods Corp." Lawyer Glenn Stanford says "I
think our case here in Hawaii is more dramatic [than the one in the
movie]. Our injuries appear to be every bit as severe if not more
serious." Brockovich is quoted as saying, "I see myself as a vehicle for
a greater message about corporate deceit and what it does to us as a
people. Corporate deceit and ground water contamination did not begin,
nor does it end, in Hinckly, California." (Pesticide & Toxic Chemical
News, March 23, 2000)

* Supreme Court to Weigh Limits on LSC Grantees
The Supreme Court agreed to decide whether one of the congressional
efforts to rein in the Legal Services Corp. violates the First
Amendment. The high court on April 3 agreed to review a decision by the
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit striking down one of those
restrictions: a provision that bars legal services lawyers from
challenging welfare laws.

In 1996, Congress enacted sweeping restrictions on legal services
lawyers, barring them from joining in class actions and from lobbying
legislators, among other things.

The appeals court last July upheld the restrictions on lobbying and
other activities by legal-services-funded lawyers, but said the welfare
restriction ran afoul of the First Amendment. By barring litigation
against welfare rules, but allowing litigation under those rules, the
court reasoned that Congress had engaged in impermissible viewpoint
discrimination. The 2nd Circuit decision conflicted with a 1998 decision
by the 9th Circuit upholding the same provision of the law.

The regulations were challenged by more than a dozen New York City legal
services lawyers and agencies, a group of clients, and by several New
York officeholders.

By agreeing to hear the cases of United States v. Velazquez and Legal
Services Corp. v. Velazquez, the high court will revisit one of the most
nettlesome areas of its First Amendment jurisprudence: what restrictions
government may place on expression when it is footing the bill for that
expression. In general, the Court has said that government can prefer
one speech over another as long as its criteria for choosing do not
depend on the viewpoint expressed.

The 2nd Circuit, in a 2-1 decision, agreed that the restriction on
welfare law challenges amounted to the kind of viewpoint discrimination
that is prohibited.

The Supreme Court has long viewed litigation as a form of protected
expression under the First Amendment. But the Clinton administration has
challenged the 2nd Circuit finding, arguing that the disputed law is not
viewpoint discrimination.
"While a courtroom might be referred to as a public forum in the sense
that courts conduct public (as opposed to private) proceedings," the
government argues in a brief signed by Solicitor General Seth Waxman,
"we are aware of no case holding that a courtroom is a public forum for
the robust expression of ideas by attorneys or clients or for applying
strict scrutiny to rules regulating attorneys' speech."

The case will be argued in the fall, with decisions unlikely before
2001. (Legal Times, April 10, 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.

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