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            Wednesday, August 2, 2000, Vol. 2, No. 149


DISCOVER FINANCIAL: IL Court OKs Settlement for Cardholders' TILA Claims
DRAGSTERS' LEASE: Canberra's Racers May Appeal to Keep Motor Running
E. COLI: Watermelon on Salad Bar Linked to Contamination
FALCON CABLE: Camhy Karlinsky Announces Final Notice Period
FRITZ COMPANIES: Investors Who Hold Stock Can Sue under Common Law

FRONTIER INSURANCE: Bernstein Liebhard Files Securities Lawsuit in NY
HMOs: Mental Health Professionals File Suit on Benefit Misrepresentation
INMATES LITIGATION: Group Wants to Reopen CA Case on Medical Negligence
INSURERS: Alleged of Settling Injury Claims Within Days; CT Investigates
KENTUCKY DEPT: Lawsuit Seeks Compliance with Law over Treatment of Dogs

LIQUOR TAX: Drinkers Join Suit; Ruling Increases Potential Refund Claims
NE HHS: Lawsuit Claims Welfare Eligibility Clock Started Too Soon
PHILIPPINE OFFICIALS: Garbage Dump Tragedy Survivors to Sue
ST JUDE: Australians Will Sue on Warnings of Defect in US Pacemaker
STUDENT TRAVEL: Nedra Campbell Files Suit on Behalf of Spring Breakers

TOBACCO LITIGATION: FL Smokers' Attorneys Ask Judge to Send Case Back
UNIFY CORPORATION: Barrack Rodos Files Securities Suit in CA
UNIFY CORPORATION: Pittsburgh Law Firm Files Shareholders Lawsuit in CA
UNIFY CORPORATION: Wolf Popper Charges with Securities Fraud in CA
WONDER BREAD: CA Jury Awards $11M for Workplace Racial Discrimination

YBM MAGNEX: Bankruptcy Court Modifies Section 304 Injunction


DISCOVER FINANCIAL: IL Court OKs Settlement for Cardholders' TILA Claims
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois recently
found the class action settlement between a credit card company and its
cardholders, who alleged they received a threatening letter in violation of
the Truth in Lending Act, to be fair and reasonable. (Follansbee v.
Discover Financial Services Inc., No. 99 C 3827 (N.D. Ill. 6/21/00).

Discover Financial Services Inc. sent a form letter to Janice Follansbee
and over 50,000 other Discover card debtors in November 1998, stating they
owed Discover a large sum for credit card charges and that "the IRS may
treat the unpaid account balance as income to the cardholder, and require
that the cardholder pay taxes on the unpaid account balance." The letter
stated Discover would be required to report any unpaid balances to the
Internal Revenue Service and that these amounts may be taxable to the
credit cardholder.

Follansbee sued Discover in the District Court on behalf of all recipients
of the letter alleging it was deceptive and misleading under the TILA. The
complaint alleged that the letter "created the impression that the alleged
unpaid balance would be treated as taxable income of the debtor, when in
fact the alleged unpaid balance would not be so treated." The complaint
further alleged that since Follansbee's credit card debt was discharged in
bankruptcy, the letter overstated Follansbee's account balance since she
did not owe Discover any money. Follansbee also asserted a violation of the
Massachusetts Consumer Fraud Act in a demand letter sent to Discover.

One week later, Matthew Morkavage, who received the same warning letter,
filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts against
Discover and other affiliates, alleging violations of the TILA and the
Massachusetts Consumer Fraud Act.

                          Proposed Settlement

The Follansbee parties submitted to the District Court a proposed class
action settlement. Under the settlement terms, the class members who had
filed for bankruptcy prior to delivery of the warning letter would receive
a check for 20, minus attorney's fees, and a refund of any amount paid to
Discover after receipt of the warning letter. Those who were present
cardholders but did not file for bankruptcy would receive a 10 credit
against the balance they owed to Discover. Those who were no longer
cardholders and did not file for bankruptcy would receive a check for 10.
Discover also agreed to pay Follansbee a 1,000 incentive for serving as
class representative.

The District Court entered a preliminary order granting the parties' motion
to conditionally certify the class, preliminarily approved the proposed
settlement, ordered notice be sent to the class and designated Follansbee
as class representative. A fairness hearing was held. Morkavage filed a
motion to intervene and for the court to deny final approval of the
settlement and decertify the class. Follansbee filed a motion for final
approval of the proposed class action settlement.

Morkavage maintained that his claims were so different from Follansbee's
claims that she could not adequately represent the interests of the entire
class. The court stated that a class representative can adequately
represent the claim so long as "it arises from the same event or practice
or course of conduct that gives rise to the claims of other class members
and his or claims are based on the same legal theory." Furthermore, the
court refused to disqualify Follansbee merely because she could assert
additional claims based on her bankruptcy discharge that Morkavage could
not claim.

The court noted that the alleged TILA claims would face many obstacles,
including whether the warning letter qualified as a "periodic statement"
governed by TILA regulations. Discover could also raise the TILA defenses
of bona fide errors and unintentional violations, said the court.
Nonetheless, the court looked at the strength of the plaintiffs' claims.
The court found Follansbee to be an adequate class representative and that
the questions of law and fact common to the class members "predominate[d]
over any questions affecting only individual members." The court,
therefore, finalized certification of the settlement class.

               Final Approval of the Settlement

Morkavage argued that the settlement unfairly gave some class members a
better deal. The court disagreed, stating that the bankrupt members could
also argue that the warning letter violated their bankruptcy discharges
and, therefore, they should receive more of the settlement.

Judge Moody concluded that the class settlement was fair and reasonable and
granted Follansbee's motion for final approval of the proposed class
settlement and application for attorney's fees and incentive award. The
court denied Morkavage's motion to decertify the class, but it did grant
his motion to intervene in order to preserve his right to appeal the
court's decision approving the settlement. (Consumer Financial Services Law
Report, July 24, 2000)

DRAGSTERS' LEASE: Canberra's Racers May Appeal to Keep Motor Running
Canberra's drag racers plan to keep their motors running despite a Supreme
Court judgment that locked them out of their home of 10 years at Pialligo.

The drag racers' club is considering an appeal, a claim for compensation
and a class action which they think, if successful, could cost the
territory upwards of $10 million.

Justice Richard Cooper rejected the dragsters' claim for a lease extension
last Wednesday because in December 1998 when the old lease ran out, the ACT
Government had failed to decide whether the land would be needed for public
purposes during the term of a 10-year extension. The judge said this was
proper because the dragway was on 'national land' even though the lease was
with the ACT Government.

Manager of the Canberra International Dragway Geoff Develin said the club
believed the judge had made an error. "The judge couldn't enforce the lease
because those decisions (by the ACT Government) weren't made," Mr Develin
said. "What we will be asking the Full Bench to say is that the territory
didn't acquit its responsibility."

In his judgment, Justice Cooper said the lease required the territory " to
make a decision with respect to the availability of the land for a 10-year
period". If the territory did not know the Commonwealth's plans, it was
still required to form an opinion which would be used in making the
"necessary declaration" of the land's availability. He said the Minister
for Urban Services, Brendan Smyth, had acted " honestly and responsibly"
despite not forming an opinion on the use of the land, because he "could
not have concluded that the land was not required for a national land

Mr Develin said if the appeal was successful, the Canberra Drag Racing Club
would be seeking compensation of $5 million to $7 million for 10 years'
lost business and $1.96 million for the facilities it had built at the

About 250 drag racers from Canberra and interstate might join a class
action for compensation for loss of sponsorship income and the opportunity
to compete for prize money. "On top of that there's 10 years of lost
revenue to the territory, worth $20 million, because we used to attract
18,500 visitors each year."

The club didn't want to sue the territory. "We don't want to go down that
road but we've got the backing, I can assure you." He said the stand-off
had already cost the territory $4.5 million. (The Canberra Times, August 1,

E. COLI: Watermelon on Salad Bar Linked to Contamination
Contaminated watermelon on a salad bar may have caused some of the more
than 40 cases of food poisoning linked to a local Sizzler restaurant, the
city health commissioner said.

Restaurant customers who ate watermelon from the salad bar were eight times
more likely to be sick than those who did not, Health Commissioner Seth L.
Foldy said.

He said the statistical correlation was becoming stronger as more people
called the health department to report illness.

At least 42 people, some of them children, became ill in July from E. coli
bacteria that health officials have traced to the Sizzler restaurant on
Milwaukee's southside. One child, a 3-year-old girl, died. Another victim
has filed a lawsuit.

A Pennsylvania meat packing company that recalled due to E. coli concerns
more than 340,000 pounds of beef, some of which was distributed in
Wisconsin, said Tuesday its product is not to blame for Milwaukee's E. coli

Daren Williams, spokesman for Moyer Packing Co., said the firm had
contacted the retailers to which it had sent meat and none distributed any
to Milwaukee or a Sizzler's restaurant.

Foldy said health officials are not blaming the watermelon itself for
making people sick, but rather bacteria that may have been transferred to
the melon.

That means the bacteria on the outside of the melon could have been
transferred to the inside when it was cut, he said. The bacteria was
present for more than a day because people were contaminated on different
days, Foldy said.

Tests of items from the restaurant found a raw beef product that tested
positive for E. coli. But Foldy said it is not unusual to find the bacteria
before meat is cooked, and there was no direct connection between the meat
sample and the watermelon.

The Sizzler has been closed.

Of the 42 cases, 18 are adults and 24 are children between the ages of 1
and 15. At least nine adults and eight children have been hospitalized.
3-year-old Brianna Kriefall died. The girl suffered from a complication
known as hemolytic uremic syndrome.

Three children remained at Children's Hospital Monday, one in intensive
care and two "doing well," said Dr. Michael Chusid, head of the hospital's
infectious disease unit. Gabrielle Cetta, a 4-year-old from Long Island,
N.Y., who ate at the Sizzler while visiting her grandparents in Milwaukee,
was in critical but stable condition Monday at Schneider Children's
Hospital in New York. Foldy also said another child was hospitalized Monday
with HUS. Foldy declined to provide more information, saying only that the
child was at Children's Hospital and was considered stable.

One of the adults who became ill, Jo-Anne Bushberger of New Berlin, filed a
class action lawsuit Monday against Sizzler USA Franchise, Inc. and E.B.
Management Co., said attorney Merton Rotter.

Bushberger, 58, was hospitalized at St. Luke's Medical Center after eating
watermelon and cantaloupe at Sizzler July 19. She became ill two days
later. "I never have been so sick in my life," Bushberger said in a
telephone interview Monday from the hospital.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for medical expenses, pain and
suffering, loss of earnings and other damages resulting from the illness.
Health officials also are looking into a Pennsylvania packing company's
recall of ground beef that could be contaminated with E. coli.

The U.S. Agriculture Department said Saturday that Moyer Packing Co. is
recalling 346,700 pounds of beef. The meat was produced July 11 and
distributed to wholesalers in Connecticut, Delaware, Louisiana,
Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania,
Virginia and Wisconsin.

USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service said the meat may have been
reground and sold to retailers.

John Butcher, vice president of marketing for Sizzler USA, told the
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the company had not established whether mistakes
by the restaurant or some other cause led to the contamination. He said the
company would try to retrace the handling of the watermelon to try to
determine whether any mistakes were made by the restaurant or by suppliers
and distributors who delivered the fruit.

Butcher told the newspaper that not all of the people who have reported
illness during the outbreak ate at Sizzler.

In August 1993, E. coli contamination sickened at least 10 patrons at a
Sizzler restaurant in Corvallis, Ore. In March 1993, six people were
sickened at Sizzlers in Grants Pass and North Bend in Oregon. Unpasteurized
milk contaminated with E. coli bacteria was blamed for that outbreak. (The
Associated Press State & Local Wire, August 1, 2000)

FALCON CABLE: Camhy Karlinsky Announces Final Notice Period
The following is an announcement from Camhy Karlinsky & Stein LLP:


The purpose of this Follow-up Notice is to enable the Claims Administrator,
identified below, to complete the list of members of the Holder Class who
are entitled to participate in the settlement of the above consolidated
class action. The Claims Administrator therefore requests all members of
the Holder Class and brokers who have not supplied claims information to
forward to the Claims Administrator a letter identifying the name, current
address, current telephone number and the number of limited partnership
units which were cashed out in connection with the liquidation of
unitholders of the Falcon Cable Systems Company on July 23, 1996, together
with supporting documentation establishing the number of units held as of
July 23, 1996. Please mail such letters to:

Falcon Cable Settlement Claims Administrator Camhy Karlinsky & Stein LLP
Attn: L. Ford 1740 Broadway, 16th Floor New York, NY 10019

All inquiries in writing only. Please be advised that individuals and
brokers who have already contacted the claims administrator or who have
received payments from the settlement fund should not submit additional
information. Duplication of claims will only result in delay of payment.

The Court has previously approved the settlement (the "Settlement") of the
above-captioned consolidated class action (the "Action") with defendants
(the "Defendants") Falcon Cable Systems Company, Falcon Cable Investors
Group, Falcon Holding Group, L.P., Falcon Holding Group, Inc., Marc B.

The complete text of the Court's final order and the stipulation of
settlement may be accessed at www.ckslaw.com.

All new claims must be received within thirty days of the date of this

Contact: Camhy Karlinsky & Stein LLP Douglas Amedeo, 212/977-6600

FRITZ COMPANIES: Investors Who Hold Stock Can Sue under Common Law
California's First District Court of Appeal ruled last Friday July 28 that
a common law fraud case is not trumped by regulations in the field of
securities fraud litigation, allowing a class action complaint against a
transportation firm to go forward.

The case, Greenfield v. Fritz Companies, 00 C.D.O.S. 6342, stems from a 55
percent drop in the company's stock value after it revised downward its
economic prospects in July 1996. The case is unique because plaintiffs
neither bought nor sold stock based on the flawed financial reports, but
held it.

Justice Marcel Poch, writing for the three-judge panel, said that such
suits, which cannot be brought under California securities statutes, may be
brought under common law. "Because no sale is involved, defendants face no
statutory liability," Poch noted. "They are trying to secure a like
immunity from common law exposure.!. . . There is no logical or legal
reason why defendants should be given such immunity."

The case aligns California law with several other states, including New
York and Massachusetts.

Fritz and its lawyer, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe partner William
Alderman, had argued that such a ruling would open up "an entire universe
of potential investors who could state a class action fraud claim any time
a stock price fluctuated."

But Poch said simply, "Defendants overstate." Joined by Justices Daniel "
Mike" Hanlon and Patricia Sepulveda, Poch decided to let the legal process
separate the wheat from the chaff.

The decision overturns the trial court, which threw out the complaint.

Harvey Greenfield filed the suit against the company and three of its
executives on behalf of stockholders who received a rosy financial report
in April 1996, only to see the report revised that July, causing the stock
to drop more than $15 per share.

Poch's opinion lays into both parties, saying "neither side has been
exemplary in appreciating the scope of the arguments which are legitimate
for this appeal nor overly scrupulous in their presentation."

He also didn't buy the defendant's argument that the cause of action
Greenfield alleged was without precedent.

"Our research proves otherwise," Poch wrote. "The core of plaintiff's
complaint is that defendants made misrepresentations which induced him to
continue holding shares of the corporation that he otherwise would have
sold, but for the misrepresentations. Starting almost a century ago,
virtually identical causes of action have already been recognized in New
York, Massachusetts and New York." (The Recorder, August 1, 2000)

FRONTIER INSURANCE: Bernstein Liebhard Files Securities Lawsuit in NY
A securities class action lawsuit was commenced on behalf of purchasers of
the publicly-traded securities of Frontier Insurance Group, Inc. (NYSE:
FTR) between August 5, 1997 and April 14, 2000, inclusive (the "Class
Period"). A copy of the complaint is available from the Court.

The case is pending in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York, located at 300 Quarropas Street, White Plains, New

Named as defendants in the complaint are Frontier, Harry W. Rhulen
(President and Chief Executive Officer), Mark H. Mishler (Chief Financial
Officer), Patrick W. Kennedy (Executive Vice President)and Peter L. Rhulen
(Director). The case has been assigned to the Honorable Barrington D.

The complaint charges defendants with violations of Sections 10(b) and
20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder. The complaint alleges that the defendants issued materially
false and misleading information concerning, among other things, the
Company's financial and operating condition and the Company's prospects.
For example, as alleged in the complaint, on December 4, 1997, Frontier
announced that it expected to boost the scope of its medical malpractice
business through the acquisition of Western Indemnity Insurance Company
("Western"). In fact, as revealed on April 14, 2000, the increase in the
Company's medical malpractice business resulted from the relaxation of
underwriting standards, loosening of policy terms and predatory pricing --
not simply the acquisition of Western's medical malpractice business.
Furthermore, on April 14, 2000, Frontier announced a revision to its
previously reported financial results for 1999, causing its stock price to
close at $1 per share, dramatically below its Class Period high of $38.6875
per share.

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

HMOs: Mental Health Professionals File Suit on Benefit Misrepresentation
The American Psychological Association, independent mental health
professionals and local organizations have filed several class actions
against HMOs and other mental health insurers seeking damages for
fraudulent misrepresentation, breach of contract and unjust enrichment.

The suits were filed in state courts in California, New Jersey and Florida
and in Washington, D.C., Superior Court and seek to enjoin the mental
health plans from misrepresenting benefits of their HMO plans and to
require the plans to fully disclose all internal guidelines and limits to
mental health care.

                                Cases Filed

The cases were filed between 1996 and 1999. They are New Jersey
Psychological Association, et al. v. MCC Behavioral Care Inc., No. MRS
L-1825-96, N.J. Super., Morris Co.; California Psychological Association,
et al v. Aetna U.S. Healthcare, et al., No. BC204113, Calif. Super., Los
Angeles Co.; Richard F. Brown v. Magellan CBHS Holdings Inc., No. 99-2653,
Fla. Cir., Hillsborough Co.; and Virginia Academy of Clinical
Psychologists, et al. v. Group Hospitalization and Medical Services Inc.
d/b/a Blue Cross/Blue Shield of the National Capital Area, et al., No.
9400-98, D.C. Super.

(Complaints available. New Jersey: Document # 31-000526-005. 26 pages.
California: Document # 31-000529-006. 19 pages. Florida: Document #
31-000526-007. 9 pages. Washington, D.C.: Document # 31-000526-008. 30

The New Jersey action was filed on behalf of the NJPA members who were
terminated by MCC Behavioral Care Inc. from its list of providers because
they were not "managed care compatible" and because the psychologists
allegedly overused the treatment sessions available to their patients under
MCC health care plan. The association alleged breach of contract, implied
covenant of good faith and fair dealing, fraud, contract adhesion and the
doctrine of fundamental fairness, as well as tortious interference with
economic advantage.

The California action was filed as a false advertising and unlawful, unfair
and fraudulent business practices action and sought to enjoin Aetna U.S.
Healthcare from leading California residents into selecting its HMO by
advertising prompt, accessible mental health treatment services that it in
fact denies. The association said that Aetna's actions violate California's
Unfair Competition Act, the California Business and Professions Code, the
state's False Advertising statute and the state's Consumer Legal Remedies
Act. Specifically, the California plaintiffs alleged that Aetna's contracts
with its subcontractors are capitated and create a financial incentive to
restrict or limit mental health care. The nature of these contracts are not
disclosed to subscribers or enrollees.

                            Florida Action

The Florida action was filed based on Magellan CBHS Holdings Inc.'s
interference with the doctor-patient relationship and Magellan's alleged
failure to reimburse Dr. Richard F. Brown for care provided. The counts in
this action include tortious interference, fraudulent misrepresentation,
breach of contract and quasi contract or unjust enrichment.

Finally, the suit filed in Washington, D.C., seeks to remedy fraudulent and
unlawful conduct occurring in connection with the marketing, sale and
administration of an HMO plan used by mental health patients throughout the
nation's capital. According to the complaint, the psychologists allege that
compensation rates for psychologists have been drastically cut by more than
30 percent, which is in violation of provider contracts and has resulted in
a decrease in the number of psychologists on the provider list.

"Yet neither patients, subscribers nor employer-purchasers have been
informed of the details of the reduction in Provider compensation or the
reduction in the number of psychologists on the HMO Provider panel," the
complaint said.

The association also alleged that the HMO plans have falsely led
subscribers and employers to believe that the plans will pay for 20
sessions and, in some cases, up to 52 sessions a year.

The psychologists seek damages for breach of contract, fraudulent
misrepresentation, breach of implied contract and tortious interference.

The New Jersey complaint was filed by William F. Maderer of Saiber
Schlesinger Satz & Goldstein in Newark, N.J. The California complaint was
filed by John E. McDermott of Howrey & Simon in Los Angeles. The Florida
complaint was filed by Kerry H. Brown and Michael C. Addison in Tampa, Fla.
The Washington complaint was filed by Dwight P. Bostwick of Comey Boyd &
Luskin in Washington, D.C. (Mealey's Managed Care Liability Report, May 26,

INMATES LITIGATION: Group Wants to Reopen CA Case on Medical Negligence
BODY: A prisoners advocacy group asked a federal judge to reopen a
class-action lawsuit over medical negligence in California prisons, saying
it would not have agreed to a 1997 settlement had it known a laboratory
faked medical tests for prisoners.

The move stems from a 1995 lawsuit charging the state Department of
Corrections with failing to provide crucial medical care to seriously ill
women. The suit was filed on behalf of thousands of inmates at Central
California Women's Facility in Chowchilla and the California Institution
for Women in Frontera.

In a 1997 settlement, the state agreed to improve medical care at the two
facilities, and a monitoring team found them near compliance in January

But in a motion filed in U.S. District Court, an advocacy group said the
state had violated the court's discovery process by failing to tell
plaintiffs' attorneys that tests by B.C.L. Clinical Labs on thousands of
state inmates were unreliable.

A Chronicle investigation found that seven state prisons were warned that
B.C.L. had faked test results on inmates in the mid-1990s. But the state
Corrections Department has been unable to show that it retested inmates or
notified them that their test results were in question.

The tests ranged from pap smears to hepatitis tests to screens for HIV.
"That was to me an extremely shocking development," said Elizabeth
Alexander, attorney for the Washington D.C.-based National Prison Project,
which brought the suit along with Legal Services for Prisoners With
Children in San Francisco. "It was highly relevant to the evidence that we
were planning to present at trial."

If the information had been disclosed, Alexander said, the plaintiffs would
have insisted on a settlement requiring the prisons to review medical
records and retest prisoners whose test results were in question.

But John Appelbaum, a state deputy attorney general representing the
Department of Corrections, said the problems at B.C.L. had "absolutely
nothing to do" with the 1995 lawsuit. The settlement dealt with care
rendered after prisons stopped contracting with B.C.L., he said.

And a spokesman for the Department of Corrections said the agency had met
the terms of the settlement. "We fulfilled the requirements that were
mandated by the court," said spokeswoman Jeanie Esajian. "We are awaiting
disposition of the case."

In October, U.S. District Judge William Shubb is expected to rule on
whether to reopen discovery and schedule the case for trial.

July 31's motion contained other serious allegations, including charges
that prison officials tampered with a medical care audit at the Chowchilla
prison. The audit was a requirement of the original settlement.

Appelbaum said the claims of tampering should have been brought to the
state's assessor before his report was issued in January. "If these women's
claim that tampering with medical records is true, they had ample
opportunity to bring it to light sooner," Appelbaum said. "For whatever
reason, they waited till now. That's an unsavory tactic." (The San
Francisco Chronicle, AUGUST 1, 2000)

INSURERS: Alleged of Settling Injury Claims Within Days; CT Investigates
The state Insurance Department is investigating the settlement practices of
two insurance companies, following lawsuits that accuse the insurers of
violating state law.

Civil claims in Superior Court allege Progressive Northwestern Insurance
Co. and Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. settled personal injury claims
within a few days of car accidents.

State law requires a 15-day waiting period, so claimants can assess
injuries and property damage before agreeing to a settlement payoff from an

Connecticut lawyers for both companies said they cannot comment on pending

Insurance Department legal counsel Mark Franklin said he could not comment
further on the investigation.

But lawyers are trying to get class-action status for their complaints
after Progressive's answers in court documents showed the 15-day rule may
have been violated 816 times between February 1997 and February 2000.

New Haven lawyer Kenneth Bartlett said he also has asked Nationwide to
provide answers about how many times the 15-day rule was not followed.

The lawsuits allege the insurers violated the Connecticut Unfair Trade
Practices Act, and further accuses Progressive of a pattern of abuse. "I
would think with 800-odd times, that's a pattern," Bartlett said.

Both lawsuits seek more than $15,000 in damages and injunctions to prevent
the companies from settling claims before the waiting period has ended.

One lawsuit claims Anna Rodriguez of New Haven was injured after an October
1999 car collision with a Progressive client.

Two days after the collision, Rodriguez was home in bed when a Progressive
adjuster visited her and manipulated her into signing a settlement contract
for $1,500, the lawsuit claims. Rodriguez ended up spending about $8,000
for treatment of neck and shoulder injuries, her case claims. "The
company's policy is not to comment on pending litigation," said William
Prout, a New Haven lawyer for Progressive.

Another lawsuit claims Nationwide "wrongfully and deceptively" convinced
Dominick Diglio of East Haven to release the company of liability four days
after a June 1999 collision. (The Associated Press State & Local Wire,
August 1, 2000)

KENTUCKY DEPT: Lawsuit Seeks Compliance with Law over Treatment of Dogs
A suit seeks to require the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and 70
counties to comply with a law requiring counties to have dog wardens and to
provide shelter for stray or vicious animals.

Since 1954, state law has required county governments to make such

But many of the state's 120 counties have ignored that mandate, and others
have provided so little financial support as to make their effort at
compliance a sham, according to a class-action lawsuit filed in Franklin
Circuit Court at Frankfort, Ky.

The lawsuit, brought by a coalition of community humane societies, animal
rights groups and individuals, seeks to require the Kentucky Department of
Agriculture and 70 counties to comply with the law.

Randy Skaggs - founder of The Trixie Foundation, a cageless, no-kill dog
sanctuary in Eastern Kentucky and lead plaintiff in the lawsuit - says that
in some counties pounds are "nothing more than crates tied together," and
that seven counties responded to a survey that they euthanize dogs by
shooting them.

"It's sad how civilized people can do this to helpless creatures," said
Skaggs, who opened his shelter in 1990. "It's terrible enough its (an
animal's) life has to cease simply because it was born, but they shouldn't
have to die in terror or indiscriminately."

The lawsuit filed recently seeks to have animals at shelters euthanized by
lethal injection. "This lawsuit never would have happened if there had been
some direction from Frankfort (the state capital)," said Keith McKinney, a
Louisville attorney representing the plaintiffs. The state's agriculture
department, he said, is supposed to publicize and enforce standards for
facilities used as pounds and for training and equipment for people
employed as dog wardens.

He suggested that counties split costs by developing only holding pens in
individual counties and having regional shelters.

Many counties named in the lawsuit say they are meeting the requirement of
the law, and Nancy Yelson, an attorney and director of governmental affairs
for the Kentucky Association of Counties, described the 1954 law as
"nonspecific" about requirement for compliance.

The organization is expected to provide legal representation for most of
the 70 counties named in the lawsuit. (Scripps Howard News Service, August
1, 2000)

LIQUOR TAX: Drinkers Join Suit; Ruling Increases Potential Refund Claims
Liquor drinkers around the state became part of a class action lawsuit
Monday as a result of a ruling Monday in a civil suit that attacks the
constitutionality of the state's liquor tax hike passed last year.

The decision by Cook County Circuit Judge Alexander White broadens the
number of people who could potentially collect refunds from the suit
against several state agencies and the parent company of Judge and Dolph,
one of Illinois' largest liquor distributors.

But in a written ruling, White declined to broaden the class of defendants
beyond Wirtz Corp., reasoning that doing so would require that proprietary
sales information about sales would end up being shared by competitors in
the liquor business.

White, however, is expected to enter an order as early as Wednesday
requiring the Wirtz Corp. to pay the liquor tax proceeds it collects into a
special account known as a protest fund.

If such an order is approved, the money would be held in the fund until the
question of whether the state's liquor tax hike, which is expected to add
$115 million to state coffers this year, meets constitutional muster.

The liquor tax hike was passed by the state legislature as part of a
broader financing package to pay for Gov. George Ryan's $12 billion
Illinois FIRST program to renovate the state's sagging infrastructure.

In filings in the lawsuit, state officials have argued that dismantling the
tax hike could be "drastic and detrimental," jeopardizing millions now
earmarked for school infrastructure improvements.

Despite his order establishing a class of plaintiffs in the case, White has
yet to consider the constitutional questions raised by the lawsuit filed by
Evanston resident Saul Wexler.

In his lawsuit filed against Wirtz Corp. and the state comptroller,
treasurer and the Illinois Department of Revenue, Wexler asserted that the
bill containing the increase in the liquor tax was flawed.

Specifically, Wexler contended that the tax hike had been bundled with a
bill dealing with other subjects, a possible violation of a rule requiring
most legislation to address a single subject.

Wexler also argued that the tax provision hadn't followed the necessary
procedures for enacting legislation required by the state constitution.
Additionally, Wexler complained that the liquor tax hike was improper
because different rates were set for different alcoholic products.

In a ruling last May, White said that Wexler had "raised a fair question"
about whether the legislature had violated the constitution. White also set
up the protest fund that now holds 90 cents--the amount of tax Wexler paid
on a bottle of vodka purchased at an Evanston liquor store. (Chicago
Tribune, August 1, 2000)

NE HHS: Lawsuit Claims Welfare Eligibility Clock Started Too Soon
State officials are starting the eligibility clock too early for families
on welfare, cutting short much-needed government assistance, a class-action
lawsuit claims.

"This has caused low-income families across Nebraska to lose months of
eligibility for cash assistance and related services and opportunities for
economic self-sufficiency," said the lawsuit filed Monday in Lancaster
County District Court by the Nebraska Appleseed Center for Law in the
Public Interest.

The lawsuit claims the state Department of Health and Human Services went
beyond the state's 1997 welfare reform law on writing rules and

The lawsuit seeks additional months of aid for up to 11,000 families who
have received Aid to Dependent Children benefits since Dec. 27, 1997. It
seeks an injunction against the rules in question, a recalculation of time
limits that apply to each family and an offer of a hearing for each family.
It also asks for families to be notified regularly of how many months of
benefits they have left.

The 1997 law set a 24-month limit on benefits for families. The time limit
is to start after recipients and caseworkers sign contracts outlining steps
for recipients to take to get off welfare and become self-sufficient.

Defendants named are the state of Nebraska, the state Department of Health
and Human Services and Ron Ross, the agency's director. Agency officials
had not seen the lawsuit and could not comment on it.

Under the state agency's rules, the 24 months are to begin either when a
self-sufficiency contract is signed or 90 days after a person applies for
benefits. Another rule requires a contract to be signed within 90 days
after the application is received.

Five Nebraskans who have lost benefits or are in danger of losing benefits
under those rules are named as plaintiffs, including Kelly Jones, Aquarius
Hopkins and Sarah Engelhart of Lincoln, Janice Montgomery of Omaha and Lynn
Houseman of Kearney.

Jones applied for help in August 1998. According to the lawsuit, he is a
single father of three who had medical problems that prevented him from
working and a child with serious behavioral disorders that require Jones'
frequent presence.

Those factors were ignored in the self-sufficiency contract offered Jones
by his state caseworker, the lawsuit said. In addition, the contract was to
be backdated to November 1998, with his 24 months beginning then.

When Jones refused to sign the contract, the lawsuit says, his aid was cut

Engelhart is a single mother of two who has severe dyslexia and cannot
read. She applied for ADC in summer 1999 and asked her caseworker for help
dealing with her disability. She got no help and saw no self-sufficiency

But, the lawsuit alleges, her caseworker told Engelhart she had signed a
self-sufficiency contract in fall 1999 and her 24 months had begun. The
lawsuit also alleges that Engelhart has never been shown a copy of the
contract and was not given an opportunity for a hearing to question her
alleged signing.

Although those five are named, the petition was filed on behalf of all
families who have received ADC benefits since Dec. 27, 1997. (The
Associated Press State & Local Wire, August 1, 2000)

PHILIPPINE OFFICIALS: Garbage Dump Tragedy Survivors to Sue
Survivors of the July 10 collapse of a mountain of garbage on shanty homes
in a metropolitan Manila dumpsite and relatives of the more than 200 people
who were killed filed a 1 billion peso ($22.22 million) damages suit
Tuesday against local authorities and three firms.

The class action suit was filed by 18 residents of the dumpsite in Payatas,
Quezon City at the Quezon City Regional Trial Court.

The suit names as respondents Mayor Ismael Mathay and other city government
officials, Jejomar Binay, chairman of the government-run Metropolitan
Manila Development Authority, the two firms that own the land occupied by
the dumpsite, and a private garbage contractor.

Human Rights Lawyer Romeo Capulong, who represents the plaintiffs, said in
a statement they are seeking damages for gross negligence on the part of
the respondents under the Civil Code. 'They heedlessly allowed the dumping
of garbage that continuously accumulated weight and height until the
structure collapsed on the houses and families nearby,' Capulong said. He
said the suit is seeking 3 million pesos ($66,666) for each plaintiff but
that 'no amount of money is enough to render justice to the victims of the
Payatas tragedy.' Capulong also said he will push for indictments of Mayor
Mathay, Binay, and 'even President (Joseph) Estrada and ex-President
(Fidel) Ramos.'

Capulong said the plaintiffs would use any damages they receive for
relocation and housing programs, therapy for survivors, and education

Residents of the dumpsite are mostly impoverished families who survive by
scavenging and selling recyclable waste. Disaster relief officials said
that as of Tuesday, 218 bodies had been recovered from the site while an
undetermined number of people remain missing. In the suit, the plaintiffs
put the number of missing at about 100. (Japan Economic Newswire, August 1,

ST JUDE: Australians Will Sue on Warnings of Defect in US Pacemaker
Warnings of a defect in a US pacemaker left patients fitted with the device
worrying they might not survive another day, a lawyer said. While only
those totally dependent on the pacemaker needed immediate replacement
surgery, others had rushed to have the pacemaker replaced anyway, lawyer
Rebecca Gilsenan (Gilsenan) said.

Ms Gilsenan, of law firm Maurice Blackburn Cashman, is mounting a class
action involving more than 40 people fitted with pacemakers following the
Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) warning last June. Parties to the
claim come from Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia. Another 10
people with claims contacted the Melbourne-based law firm  when news broke
that the action was going ahead.

The class action seeks compensation for stress, worry and medical expenses
the pacemaker-users were subjected to, Ms Gilsenan told AAP. A directions
hearing as to how the case will be conducted will be held in the Federal
Court in Sydney on Thursday.

TGA warned four St Jude brand pacemakers had been discovered with defects
that could stop them working at any time without warning. Its alert applied
to 994 Australians implanted with the St Jude Medical Tempo Pacemakers -
some totally dependent, others less dependent, on their pacemakers. Doctors
assessed which people needed urgent surgery.

People with the pacemakers felt they had to be put everything "on hold"
until they had the surgery, Ms Gilsenan said. "It was very stressful and
worrying for them, waking up in the morning and wondering whether they
would make it through the day," she said. "Some, not as dependent on it,
were having it (the pacemaker) taken out anyway because they became so
concerned and stressed by the warning. "Others are now having their
pacemakers regularly monitored." "A lot of clients have now lost confidence
in that brand."

Ms Gilsenan said one cardiologist had estimated that most people with the
pacemaker will have to have it replaced. Grounds for the action under the
Trades Practices Act are that the manufacturers, St Jude and the
distributor, Medtel (Medtel) Pty Ltd, engaged in misleading and deceptive
conduct and that the product is unfit for its purpose and defective.

Ms Gilsenan said attempts to settle the claim outside court had failed.
Medtel referred queries to Stuart Clark, a partner in the Sydney firm
Clayton Utz, who is representing St Jude. Mr Clark said it was untrue to
say attempts were made to discuss the claim first when the court action
started on June 22, before Maurice Blackburn Cashman had contacted the
company. He said the company stood by its product and would defend the
action. It also stood by its product and its previous offer to replace the
pacemakers and cover medical expenses not covered by private insurance or
Medicare, up to $2,000. "Medical devices are extremely complex machines and
the issue of a hazard alert is not unusual," he said. "The company regrets
that this is yet another example of a trend to United States-style
litigation that, at the end of the day, only increases the costs to
consumers and patients."

"Our clients have had to put their lives on hold while this problem is
fixed," Ms Gilsenan said in a statement. "It is reasonable to expect that
St Jude and the distributor, Medtel Pty Ltd, should compensate those
affected for their pain and suffering as well as medical costs and loss of
income." Ms Gilsenan said her firm had written to Medtel in late June to
discuss compensation arrangements.

Medtel said St Jude's policy was to only offer a replacement St Jude
pacemaker and a maximum of $2,000 for medical costs if the patient was not
covered by Medicare or private health insurance. "The offer by St Jude and
Medtel Pty Ltd is woefully inadequate and does nothing for patients' peace
of mind," Ms Gilsenan said. She said many of her clients had lost faith in
the St Jude product and wanted an alternative replacement. "We have done
all we can to avoid litigation but unfortunately the company's attitude has
given us no choice and we'll now be proceeding with a class action in the
Federal Court," she said.

A 42-year-old woman is angry that she has twice had to go through the
ordeal of being told her pacemaker could fail at any moment and must be
replaced. Sandi (Sandi) McCullagh said she was devastated months ago to
find out accidentally that her St Jude Medical Tempo pacemaker had a defect
and was the subject of a health hazard warning.

"I was absolutely devastated," Ms McCullagh told AAP. "I found out through
a friend who was doing some research on the Internet." Only two years
earlier, Ms McCullagh had been involved in a pacemaker scare over one of
its parts, a Pacific Dunlop Telectronic J lead, which had to be replaced.
An instrument technician at Melbourne's Alfred Hospital, Ms McCullagh said
that to have to go back to hospital for a replacement operation then was
bad enough. "It was traumatic. I had eight weeks off work, and to find out
I have to go back again ...," she said.

Ms McCullagh is one of more than 40 people involved in a Federal Court
class action against the St Jude pacemaking manufacturer and its
distributor Medtel Pty Ltd. She said she was particularly distressed when
she rang St Vincent's Hospital in Melbourne last June for further
information on the pacemaker alert. "I was told there was no-one to talk to
... that they had been inundated with phone calls about it and had only
just found out about the alert themselves." She said the hospital told her
that "the worst thing that could happen to me was that my pacemaker could
malfunction".   "It was very traumatic," she said. Ms McCullagh has worn a
pacemaker since she was 28 when she was struck down with Guillain-Barre
(Guillain-Barre) syndrome, a muscle-wasting disorder. Her heart stopped
twice and she spent seven months in hospital. "I rely heavily on my
pacemaker to get me through the day," said Ms McCullagh from Melbourne's
bayside suburb of Black Rock. "My fear is that it will fail me. Often when
I'm going to sleep that thought is with me through the night." She said
learning her pacemaker had a defect added to this worry and in the three
weeks before her pacemaker was surgically replaced, she said, "I couldn't
sleep; I couldn't eat; I had headaches. "I wrapped myself in cotton wool,"
she said. She had to take two weeks off work for the operation, finding
someone to fill in for her. Her husband took off time to look after her and
even then, she went back to work too early and suffered stress. As well,
she has been left with a reopened scar right across her body, which she
described as "ugly" and "embarrassing". What irks her most is that she
considers her ordeal unnecessary: "It could have been avoided. "Companies
need to look at how they do their testing before implanting something with
the potential to malfunction." Stuart Clark, of Sydney law firm Clayton
Utz, representing Medtel, said: "Pacemakers do not have an infinite life.
Batteries run down and pacemakers have to be replaced from time to time."
(AAP Newsfeed, August 1, 2000)

STUDENT TRAVEL: Nedra Campbell Files Suit on Behalf of Spring Breakers
Class action lawsuit was filed against Baltimore Maryland tour operator
Student Travel Services ("STS") in an Oakland County Michigan Circuit Court
on Tuesday, July 25th. The suit, filed by Detroit attorney, Nedra Campbell,
alleges that STS made significant misrepresentations on its website like
suggesting that Cancun Plaza, where her clients were to be accommodated,
would be a "party" hotel when it is actually a condominium with several
rules including a "No Noise after 10:00 PM" rule. The suit also indicated
that the Spring Breakers were to be accommodated in a roach-infested
condominium with poor water pressure and sporadic electricity.

When the group arrived at the property, they discovered several STS
customers complaining about the property. After they checked in to the
hotel, they discovered roaches, no running water, and sporadic electricity.
They spoke to the Cancun Plaza manager who in turn contacted STS. The STS
representative spoke with Danny Garmo, the lead plaintiff, and allegedly
hung up the phone on him after he asked that his group be relocated to
another STS property. The group vacated the premises for a hotel.

Upon returning, Garmo wrote STS 3 letters, informing it that he was hung-
up on and asking for reimbursement for the hotel. The company failed to
respond. It was not until he could not get a response from the company that
he asked Campbell to represent him.

The suit seeks compensatory damages for out-of-pocket expenses, punitive
damages for STS willfully making misrepresentations, and an injunction to
force STS to remove its misrepresentations from its website. Campbell filed
the suit after weeks of settlement negotiations in the wake of the
company's Demand for Arbitration filed with the American Arbitration
Association. The suit may be accessed at www.VacationProblems.com , a site
being sponsored as a discussion forum and as a means of locating potential
class participants.

Contact: Nedra D. Campbell, Esq., 248-355-4638, or 248-894-5326, or
248-671-0357, or fax, 248-671-0356, or justice@nedraonline.com

TOBACCO LITIGATION: FL Smokers' Attorneys Ask Judge to Send Case Back
Attorneys for sick Florida smokers scorned a move by the tobacco industry
to move the case to federal court as a desperate attempt to find a friendly
judge after losing a record $ 145 billion verdict.

Responding to the industry's notice seeking to shift the case to federal
court, smokers' attorneys asked the judge to send it back to state court
without any discussion. A hearing before U.S. District Judge Ursula
Ungaro-Benages is set for Aug. 8.

The move by tobacco "is a final desperate attempt by defendants to
forum-shop after seven years of litigation, a two-year trial, three jury
verdicts and multiple state court appellate opinions and decisions" against
the industry, smokers' attorneys Stanley and Susan Rosenblatt said in a
court filing.

They called the industry's tactic unorthodox and based on a "frivolous"
motion by a union to intervene in the case moments before the verdict was
read July 14. Federal courts are reputed to be less friendly to large class
actions than state courts.

The jury in the first smokers' class action to go to trial decided the
nation's five biggest cigarette makers made deadly, defective products,
awarded $ 12.7 million in compensatory damages to three smokers
representing the class of 300,000 to 700,000 sick Floridians, and set a
U.S. record for punitive damages.

The tobacco defendants are expected to appeal the $ 145 billion Miami-Dade
Circuit Court verdict to the Third District Court of Appeal. (Sun-Sentinel
(Fort Lauderdale, FL), August 1, 2000)

UNIFY CORPORATION: Barrack Rodos Files Securities Suit in CA
A class action has been commenced in the Northern District of California on
behalf of purchasers of Unify Corporation ("Unify") (Nasdaq: UNFY) publicly
traded securities during the period between May 19, 1999 and July 28, 2000
(the "Class Period").

The complaint charges Unify and certain of its officers and directors with
violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Unify develops, markets
and supports Internet application server solutions that enable information
technology organizations to deliver e-commerce applications by integrating
enterprise, custom-built, and packaged applications with the Internet.
Unify went public in 6/96 at $6 per share (adjusted for 2-for-1 stock split
in 12/99). The complaint alleges that after the Initial Public Offering,
Unify's stock was a poor performer and traded below the offering price for
much of 1997 and 1998. Unify reported little in the way of revenue and
earnings growth. In early 1999, the insiders sought to increase Unify's
stock price to take advantage of the boom in Internet stock prices so they
could sell their personal Unify stock for large gains. Thus, to portray the
Company as a financially viable Internet play, the individual defendants
caused Unify to issue false financial results during the Class Period and
make false statements about its results and demand for its new products,
including Unify e-Wave, causing its stock to trade at artificially inflated
levels. Defendants took advantage of this inflation by selling 700,288 of
their personal Unify shares for proceeds exceeding $7.8 million. Then on
7/31/00, Unify issued a press release disclosing that the Company had
engaged in improper accounting practices and admitted that its reported
fiscal 1999 (ended 4/30/99) and fiscal 2000 results had been false, that
portions of its previously reported revenues had been "improperly
recognized" and that its top two officers had been placed on "leave." On
these shocking disclosures, trading in Unify's stock was halted, after last
trading at $ 3-15/16. As a result of the defendants' false statements,
Unify's stock price traded at inflated levels during the Class Period,
increasing to as high as $ 37-1/2 in 12/99 (split-adjusted).

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

UNIFY CORPORATION: Pittsburgh Law Firm Files Shareholders Lawsuit in CA
A class action lawsuit has been filed in the United States District Court
for the Northern District of California on behalf of all persons who
purchased or otherwise acquired common stock (collectively the "common
stock") of Unify Corporation (Nasdaq: UNFY) (the "Company") between May 19,
1999 through July 28, 2000, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges Unify and certain of its officers and directors with
violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Unify develops, markets
and supports Internet application server solutions that enable information
technology organizations to deliver e-commerce applications by integrating
enterprise, custom-built, and packaged applications with the Internet.
Unify went public in 6/96 at $6 per share (adjusted for 2-for-1 stock split
in 12/99). The complaint alleges that after the Initial Public Offering,
Unify's stock was a poor performer and traded below the offering price for
much of 1997 and 1998. Unify reported little in the way of revenue and
earnings growth. In early 1999, the insiders sought to cause Unify's stock
price to take advantage of the boom in Internet stock prices so they could
sell their personal Unify stock for large gains. Thus, to portray the
Company as a financially viable Internet play, during the Class Period the
individual defendants caused Unify to issue false financial results and
make false statements about its results and demand for its new products,
including Unify e-Wave, causing its stock to trade at artificially inflated
levels. Defendants took advantage of this inflation by selling 700,288 of
their personal Unify shares for proceeds exceeding $7.8 million. Plaintiff
is represented by the Law Office of Alfred G. Yates Jr, a law firm with
extensive experience in prosecuting class actions.

This class action lawsuit is available to all individual and institutional
investors who purchased Unify Corporation common stock between May 19, 1999
through July 28, 2000, inclusive (the "Class Period"). If you wish to serve
as a lead plaintiff or discuss this action, please contact:

Alfred G. Yates, Jr., Esq., 519 Allegheny Building, 429 Forbes Avenue,
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219, TELEPHONE toll free at 800-391-5164, or
412-391-5164, or via e-mail at yateslaw@aol.com or fax at 412-471-1033.
Your ability to share in any recovery is not affected by the decision
whether or not to serve as a lead plaintiff.

Contact: Alfred G. Yates, Jr., Esq. of the Law Office of Alfred G. Yates
Jr, 800-391-5164, or 412-391-5164, or fax, 412-471-1033, or

UNIFY CORPORATION: Wolf Popper Charges with Securities Fraud in CA
Unify Corporation (Nasdaq: UNFY) and certain of its senior officers have
been charged with securities fraud by Wolf Popper LLP in a class action
lawsuit brought on behalf of all persons who purchased Unify common stock
from May 19, 1999 through July 28, 2000, filed in the United States
District Court for the Northern District of California.

The Complaint charges that defendants artificially inflated Unify's stock
price by improper accounting practices which misrepresented the Company's
reported revenues for its fiscal year ended April 30, 2000, including a
substantial misstatement of fourth quarter results. The Company has
acknowledged in a press release issued on July 31, 2000 that its fiscal
2000 financial statements were misstated and that its fiscal 1999 financial
statements may have been misstated. The President and Chief Executive
Officer and Chief Financial Officer have been placed on administrative
leave pending completion of the investigation. Unify's common stock was
halted from trading upon the Company's admission that its financial
statements had been materially inflated.

Contact: Robert C. Finkel of Wolf Popper LLP, 212-451-9620 or 212-451-9625,
fax 212-486-2093 or 877-370-7704

WONDER BREAD: CA Jury Awards $11M for Workplace Racial Discrimination
A San Francisco Superior Court jury Monday awarded more than $11 million to
21 plaintiffs in a class action discrimination suit against the nation's
largest baker.

The plaintiffs, all African-Americans who had worked at the bakery for up
to 30 years, alleged that racial discrimination led to denied promotions,
wrongful termination and retaliation for filing suit.

Attorney Angela Alioto, who represented 18 plaintiffs, hugged and kissed
her clients, and a reporter, after the jury verdicts were read. She
exclaimed, "Unreal! So cool! How sweet it is! How sweet it is! Do you know
how wonderful they have to feel after 30 years?"

In a written statement from Interstate Bakeries Corp., of Kansas City, Mo.,
the makers of Wonder Bread, HoHos and Twinkies, the company said it would
appeal the verdicts. "We believe substantial legal errors were committed in
the trial and fully expect to be exonerated in appeal," the statement said.
"We do not believe the decision supports the record of the company."

Nearing the end of a trial that began May 22 in Carroll v. Interstate
Brands Corp., 995728, the 12-person jury was given the task of completing a
complex three-page verdict form in deciding how much in compensatory
damages to award each plaintiff, all of whom had different causes of
action, but all of whom alleged they were discriminated against because of
their race.

Among other things, the plaintiffs said they were denied promotions in
favor of white employees; that white employees were given better delivery
routes, and that white managers hurled racial epithets at black employees.

The jury was comprised of four women and eight men, including two African-
Americans, two Asian-Americans, and one Hispanic.

Early Monday, the jurors came back with incomplete verdicts, but Superior
Court Judge Stuart Pollak sent them back for further deliberations. "It
would be worth seeing if you would spend a little additional time -- if it
would be helpful," Pollak said.

The jury found all of the plaintiffs were discriminated against but in
varying degrees. "We're going to have change," said 40-year-old Gerald
Brown, who won the largest sum, with $805,000. His charges included that he
was denied promotions and fired two years ago because he filed a separate
discrimination suit. "We have younger kids that have to enter the work
force and we want it to be fair," he said. "It's been a long battle. For
this to be going on in San Francisco in the year 2000 is unbelievable."

Brown was one of 17 plaintiffs who will get punitive damages. The jury will
consider more evidence Wednesday before deciding how much.

The lead plaintiff in the suit, Theodis Carroll Jr., 34, was awarded
$155,000 in compensatory damages but in his claim, the jury did not come
back with a verdict for punitive damages. "Overall, I feel I won because I
freed 21 black men from a plantation mentality," Carroll said, but added
that he may have not gotten punitive damages because, "When you are a
leader in the African- American community, you are seen as a troublemaker."

In a backdrop to the case, Carroll's attorney, Waukeen McCoy, and Alioto
have been in embroiled in a feud. Both attorneys have filed actions against
each other, with Alioto alleging that McCoy stole three of her clients. But
those clients have accused Alioto, known as a liberal, of being racially

Because another of McCoy's three clients, George Lassiter, did not receive
punitive damages, Carroll hinted that it was maybe because Alioto was white
and McCoy is black.

McCoy, for his part, said he did not know why the jury did not award two of
his clients punitive damages. But about the verdict awards, he said, "I was
confident overall that the jury would come back and put an end to the
institutional practices of Wonder Bread." (The Recorder, August 1, 2000)

YBM MAGNEX: Bankruptcy Court Modifies Section 304 Injunction
Stephen Raslavich, Bankruptcy Judge.

Based upon the totality of the circumstances, the bankruptcy court modified
its Section 304 injunction to allow cross-claims to be asserted against the
foreign debtor in an American class action.

The debtor was a Canadian company incorporated in the province of Alberta.
It was charged with securities fraud in the United States. It was
subsequently placed into receivership by order of a court in Alberta. The
Canadian receiver filed a petition with the bankruptcy court under Section
304 to commence a case ancillary to the Canadian receivership. Pursuant to
Section 304(b), the bankruptcy court enjoined litigation involving the
debtor or its officers and directors. By that time, however, a securities
class action had been filed against the debtor and its officers and
directors in the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
By consent order, the bankruptcy court lifted the litigation stay as
against the officers and directors but not as against the debtor. In
addition to the American class action, two securities class actions were
commenced in Canada.

Currently before the bankruptcy court were motions filed by the debtor's
officers and directors seeking further modification of the injunction so as
to permit their prosecution of cross claims for contribution and indemnity
against the debtor in the American class action. The movants argued that
the situation had changed in the 15 months the injunction had been in
place. The debtor had discontinued its business and its assets, save for
causes of action, had been liquidated. The Canadian receiver had not
opposed the Alberta court's decision to permit the movants to pursue
contribution and indemnity claims against the debtor in the Canadian class
actions. The American class action would reach trial much earlier than the
Canadian class actions.

The bankruptcy court granted the motions.

Section 304 provides a mechanism for United States courts to aid foreign
bankruptcy proceedings and accommodate the extraterritorial effect of those
proceedings in the United States. This prevents piecemeal distribution of
assets in the United States by means of actions initiated in domestic
courts by local creditors. The foreign court which presides over the
original proceeding is in the best position to assess where and when claims
against a debtor should be liquidated. But absolute deferral by the
bankruptcy court in all cases, irrespective of the circumstances, would be

The case at bar did not portend a flood of litigation -the securities suit
was being prosecuted in the United States as a class action. The American
class action causes of action were stated under American securities law,
not Canadian law, and the Canadian class action involved different legal
issues. Moreover, the movants were not seeking permission to reach assets
under the protection of the Canadian receiver. It was incumbent on the
receiver, in opposition to the motion, to come forward with something more
than generalities or platitudes. (BCD News and Comment, July 26 2000)


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

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

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

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
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Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to be
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