/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/000815.MBX              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Tuesday, August 15, 2000, Vol. 2, No. 158


AMERITECH: Lawyers Get Cash, Subscribers Get Service in Phone Deal
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asst Surgeon General Warns of Risks from Insulation
BAAN: Dutch Protestants Sue Invensys Subsidiary over Lost Guilders
BRIDGESTONE/FIRESTONE: Abbey, Gardy Sues in FL for Consumers Nationwide
BRIDGESTONE/FIRESTONE: Cohen Milstein Files Maryland Tire Owners' Suit

BRIDGESTONE/FIRESTONE: Oppenheim Pilelsky and Kluger Peretz Sue in FL
CITY OF BRAZIL: IN ACLU Sues over Lack of Disabled-Accessible Sidewalks
CREDIT CARDS: Federal Reserve Wants Banks to Increase Size of Print
FIRSTWORLD COMMUNICATIONS: Harvey Greenfield Files Securities Suit in CO
HMOs: Appeals Court Upholds Dismissal of Maio RICO Suit against Aetna

HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL: Harvey Greenfield Files Securities Suit in NJ
LERNOUT & HAUSPIE: Berman, DeValerio Says More Shareholder Suits Filed
LERNOUT & HAUSPIE: Chestnut & Cambronne Files Securities Lawsuit in MA
MATAV CABLE: Faces Suit in Nazarat Ct over Restrictive Trade Practices
MOHAWK INDUSTRIES: Announces Settlement of Suits on Carpet Price Fixing

MTI TECHNOLOTY: Berman, DeValerio Extends Securities Suit Period in CA
SCORING ERRORS: MN May Not Be Unique for Students' Test Result Problems
SHAW INDUSTRIES: Anticipates Settlement in Antitrust Cases
TOBACCO LITIGATION: Stocks Healing As Some See Smoke Clearing
TOSHIBA CORP: Notebook Owners and Retailers Sue in Shanghai over Flaw

XCELERA.COM, INC: Kirby McInerney Files Securities Lawsuit in CT
XCELERA.COM, INC: Lionel Z. Glancy  Files Securities Suit in Connecticut
WALT DISNEY: Guilty Of Stealing Ideas For Theme Park, FL Jury Says
WAYERHAEUSER CO: Claims Process Begins in Settlement Re Hardboard Siding
WICHITA: 40,000 Residents Sue over Detainment for Not Paying Fines


AMERITECH: Lawyers Get Cash, Subscribers Get Service in Phone Deal
The lawsuit was filed in 1995 by a group of Illinois lawyers who managed
to get it certified as a class action representing Ameritech customers in
five states. The Illinois class was settled separately to the tune of
some $150 million. Ameritech declined to say how much is allocated for
consumers in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin. Reports last year
indicated those four states will split $76 million.

Plaintiffs had charged that Ameritech failed to explain to consumers that
its $3.79 a month Line-Backer service was optional. Line-Backer, offered
since 1987, is a sort of insurance that covers rarely needed repairs to
telephone wires inside the home. Without it, service by an Ameritech
technician could cost up to $100 per hour, the company has said.

Consumers also complained that Ameritech sold the product to renters as
well as homeowners -- even though landlords, not tenants, would be
responsible for that type of repair.

Ameritech denies all allegations and says it agreed to the settlement in
order to avoid years of litigation.

People who paid for Line-Backer between Jan. 1, 1987, and Nov. 7, 1997,
may claim settlement benefits.

You need not be a current Line-Backer subscriber (or Ameritech customer)
in order to make a claim, but your benefits will be reduced if you've
cancelled the service.

Current subscribers will receive upgraded wire maintenance coverage and
one free pay-per-use Ameritech service each month for nine months,
beginning in October. That includes: *69/Auto Call Back, which tells you
the phone number, date and time of your last missed phone call and
redials for you; 3-way Calling or Repeat Dialing.

The free services normally cost an average of 85 cents each, so nine of
them are worth $7.65 over nine months. You may not apply the free use to
any services you already subscribe to.

Current subscribers also get two pre-paid 12-minute calling cards (mailed
six months apart) which the company says are worth $5 each.

Former subscribers get only the calling cards.

The benefits are laughable considering that someone who unwittingly paid
for 10 years worth of Line-Backer shelled out about $450.

Invested in stocks at a 10- percent annual return, the $3.79 a month
could have become $776.39 by now. That works out to about $32 a minute
for the use of those calling cards.

Oh, and the attorneys who instigated the suit on your behalf? One report
says the judge awarded them about $15 million -- in cash, not phone cards
-- for their trouble.

To get your settlement benefits, return the claim form provided in the
settlement notice by Oct. 1 or call (800) 769-3169 to request a
replacement form and instructions. (The Detroit News, August 14, 2000)

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asst Surgeon General Warns of Risks from Insulation
Anyone working around vermiculite insulation, found in millions of attics
and walls nationwide, faces a substantial health risk, an assistant U.S.
surgeon general has warned.

Testing of Zonolite insulation, along with internal documents from
manufacturer W.R. Grace & Co. "reveals that even minimal handling by
workers or residents" exposes them to danger from asbestos, wrote Dr.
Hugh Sloan of the Public Health Service in a request for help from other
federal health experts.

A copyright report on Sloan's memorandum was published by the Seattle
Post-Intelligencer. Grace officials would not comment on the memorandum
Friday, the P-I reported.

Estimates of homes containing Zonolite insulation range from 2.5 million
to 16 million nationwide, the newspaper said.

Asbestos refers to a number of fibrous minerals, including chrysotile,
amosite, crocidolite, anthophyllite, actinolite and tremolite, a natural
contaminant of vermiculite ore. All forms of asbestos have been linked to
lung cancer and other disease.

Zonolite insulation was made with ore from a vermiculite mine operated by
Grace in Libby, Mont., until it was closed in 1990.

Recent studies show even casual handling of the insulation can expose
workers or homeowners to 150 times the asbestos level considered safe
under federal regulations, Sloan wrote in a memo to Linda Rosenstock,
director of the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health.

Sloan asked the institute to determine the risk to nursery, construction,
insulation and other workers who use vermiculite products and to issue a
nationwide warning.

He also asked the institute to update earlier studies on asbestos-tainted
vermiculite, examine the progression of asbestos-related disease and
determine whether tremolite is more toxic then previously believed.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission earlier this year opened a
nationwide investigation of asbestos in consumer products.

Vermiculite from Libby was sold for use in garden products, fireproofing,
cement mixtures and more than a dozen other consumer products. The bulk
of the ore was heated until it expanded like popcorn, then marketed as
Zonolite insulation.

Even very brief high-level exposure in an enclosed space such as an attic
can be dangerous, said Dr. Henry Anderson, Wisconsin's chief medical
offer, who has studied health impacts from asbestos for 25 years.

"In order to safeguard public health, it is essential that homeowners
with Zonolite insulation, and those contractors who may be called upon to
work on it, be warned about the presence of asbestos in the product,"
Anderson said.

In Washington state there are at least 53,505 homes with Zonolite,
according to lawyers who have filed a class-action lawsuit asking that
Grace be ordered to warn homeowners of the danger. A hearing is scheduled
next month in Spokane.

Similar cases have been filed elsewhere, including one in federal court
in Boston.

Federal investigators are conducting medical tests in the Libby area
following reports that hundreds of vermiculite miners and their relatives
have died or are dying from asbestos-related diseases. Several lawsuits
have been filed on behalf of workers and their families.

In the Spokane case, Grace is accused of knowing that inhaling asbestos
fibers could lead to cancer and of making "a calculated business decision
to nonetheless continue to sell Zonolite Attic Insulation without any
warnings as to dangers posed to home owners."

Sloan's memo referred to a Grace risk assessment, done while the mine was
open, that predicted 30,000 additional lung cancers would result from
exposure to asbestos by those "involved in the application of our

Grace issued a statement acknowledging that some products made in the
1970s and '80s contained "minute quantities of naturally occurring
asbestos." The statement did not mention insulation.

Vice president of corporate affairs William Corcoran said Grace maintains
that the attic insulation and other vermiculite-based products present no
health risk to consumers.

The P-I reported that it had obtained internal documents showing company
officials were aware of health risks from asbestos in insulation in the

"We believe that a decision to affix asbestos warning labels to our
products would result in substantial sales losses," executive vice
president E.S. Wood wrote on May 24, 1977, the newspaper reported. "The
risk of liability to customers is heightened by the decision not to label
our products." (The Associated Press State & Local Wire, August 14, 2000)

BAAN: Dutch Protestants Sue Invensys Subsidiary over Lost Guilders
FIRST there was the challenge from a group of dissident shareholders led
by an accordion-playing folk musician. Now fresh embarrassment is facing
Invensys through its new subsidiary - in the form of legal action by a
group of Dutch Protestants.

In an extraordinary move, a Dutch religious foundation has hired the most
famous lawyer in The Netherlands to represent 350 Protestants who have
lost millions of guilders in Baan, the software firm now owned by

They are determined to recover their money from Jan and Paul Baan, the
brothers who founded the firm in 1978, and accuse them of misleading
investors and precipitating the firm's collapse after an accounting
scandal in 1998.

Rien van Hoeven, the chairman of the Keursteen Foundation, a Protestant
organisation near The Hague, told The Times: "The Baan brothers are
fanatically religious. They show themselves as holy people, but they are
praying to make sure they stay rich."

He said that the foundation had received letters from Baan investors
criticising the brothers, who are both members of the Dutch Reformed
Church, and sending money to help to pay for a lawsuit against the two

The foundation, set up three years ago, confirmed that it had hired
Abraham Moszkowicz. Although Mr Moszkowicz, whose family runs a law
practice in Amsterdam, did not return phone calls, his office confirmed
that he was working for the Keursteen Foundation. "No decisions have been
taken yet on the size of the claim or any other details," said an

Baan was once one of the most successful companies in The Netherlands and
by 1997 it was worth Pounds 7.5 billion, making it Europe's
second-largest software group.

However, its decline has been swift after a 1998 accounting scandal that
forced the Baan brothers to resign and cast doubt over their projections
and management. Baan now faces a class-action lawsuit in the US and the
possibility of two further lawsuits in Europe.

Although Britain's Invensys will not be affected by the lawsuit against
the Baan brothers directly, it is a fresh embarrassment for the company
at the end of a long struggle to gain control of its Dutch rival. The
Baan brothers were unavailable for comment. (The Times (London), August
14, 2000)

BRIDGESTONE/FIRESTONE: Abbey, Gardy Sues in FL for Consumers Nationwide
Abbey, Gardy & Squitieri, LLP filed a class action lawsuit in the Circuit
Court of the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit in and for Broward County,
Florida, on behalf of all consumers nationwide who purchased or leased
vehicles that have Firestone ATX, ATX II or Wilderness tires against
Bridgestone/Firestone and Ford Motor Company and other automobile

The lawsuit alleges, among other things, that the Firestone ATX, ATX II
and Wilderness tires are defectively designed and manufactured in that
the tire treads peel away from their casings causing the vehicles to
crash. The complaint also alleges that defendants had begun investigating
the defective tires in 1992 but that they failed to warn consumers of
potential problems with the tires. The complaint seeks damages, which
include, without limitation, costs to inspect, repair and/or replace the
defective tires, including the costs to replace such tires with temporary
replacement tires.

Contact: Nancy Kaboolian, nkaboolian@a-g-s.com, or Mark C. Gardy,
mgardy@a-g-s.com, both of Abbey, Gardy & Squitieri, LLP, 800-889-3701, or

BRIDGESTONE/FIRESTONE: Cohen Milstein Files Maryland Tire Owners' Suit
On behalf of all Maryland consumers who own or lease motor vehicles that
have Firestone ATX, ATXII or Wilderness tires, the law firm of Cohen
Milstein Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C. and the Waldorf, Maryland based firm
of Dross, Levenstein, Perilman & Kaptstein has filed a lawsuit in the
Circuit Court for St. Mary's County, Maryland against

The suit alleges that the ATX, ATXII and Wilderness tires are defectively
designed and manufactured such that the treads separate from the casings
leading to crashes and thus imperiling the safety of drivers and
passengers of motor vehicles on which the tires are mounted. According to
Cohen Milstein partner Gary E. Mason, "Bridgestone has been actively
investigating this problem since 1992 and has yet to fix the defect in
the tires. This utter neglect has put the lives of millions of drivers in

The suit seeks damages and injunctive relief that would force
Bridgestone/Firestone to inspect, repair and/or recall of the affected

On Aug. 9, 2000, Bridgestone/Firestone announced that it was going to
recall 6.5 million ATX, ATXII or Wilderness tires. However, as Mason and
his colleague, Cohen Milstein attorney Alexander Barnett, indicated, the
recall is insufficient to remedy the defect. As Mason noted, "The recall
is limited only to 15 inch ATX and ATXII tires and to 15 inch Wilderness
tires made in Decatur, Illinois, yet the fact that class representative
Mark Weeks had thread separation on his 16 inch tires illustrates that
the recall leaves on the roads millions of other defective tires, such as
those of class representative Mark Weeks."

"Moreover," added Barnett, "the recall is to be implemented in three
phases, beginning in Arizona, California, Texas and Florida, then moving
to other southern states and then finally to the rest of the country,
including Maryland. Accordingly, Maryland drivers who have the affected
tires will be forced by Bridgestone/Firestone to choose between paying
hundreds of dollars out of their own pockets to replace their tires or to
drive around on defective tires for many months."

Contact: Cohen Milstein Hausfeld & Toll, PLLC Gary E. Mason 202/408-4600,
Alexander E. Barnett, 202/408-4600

BRIDGESTONE/FIRESTONE: Oppenheim Pilelsky and Kluger Peretz Sue in FL
Families refuse to ride with danger - South Florida suit asks for
emergency vouchers to replace tires. As the anxiety builds regarding the
nationwide recall of millions of Firestone tires, several South Florida
families have filed a class action suit against the tiremaker. The
lawsuit was filed in Miami-Dade County Circuit Court by attorneys Roy
Oppenheim and Bill McCarty of Oppenheim Pilelsky, and Alan Kluger and
Steve Silverman of Kluger Peretz Kaplan & Berlin.

The suit asks for emergency "equitable relief" for those persons who have
been refused immediate replacement of tires by Bridgestone/Firestone,
Inc., the manufacturer of the tires. Drivers of Ford Explorers and other
vehicles outfitted with the recalled tires have been told they must wait
until Bridgestone/Firestone can replace them, which could be months away,
due to the magnitude of the recall. This means they are compelled to
drive on unsafe tires. The lawsuit demands "vouchers" be issued
immediately so that the recalled tires can be replaced with suitable
tires from any other manufacturer.

"Lives are in danger," said attorney Roy Oppenheim. "It is imperative
that Firestone take corrective and instantaneous measures to assure the
safety of every driver, passenger and the unsuspecting motoring public.
This lawsuit will hopefully compel the company to do the right thing."

"While this suit was brought by some families with financial concerns,
the intent is to represent all owners of these potentially hazardous
tires without regard to their financial status," said attorney Alan
Kluger. "There are many families where an outlay of hundreds of dollars
for new tires is simply not possible. Firestone must make certain that no
more accidents or deaths result from these potentially dangerous tires
and provide the means to have all customers receive new tires."

According to Oppenheim, "Families are reluctant to wait, knowing the
potential danger of these tires. Airlines provide vouchers for passengers
who miss a flight due to a problem caused by the airline. It makes sense
for Bridgestone/ Firestone to do the same. In fact, it is shameful that
this offer has not already been made."

Vouchers for new tires would allow anyone affected, regardless of their
personal finances, to replace tires immediately. Because the company has
agreed to eventually do this, vouchers eliminate the waiting time.

"Bridgestone/Firestone needs to be proactive," said co-counsel Alan
Kluger. "With the heat of a South Florida summer and the composition of
the roads, the likelihood of tread separation appears to be much greater.
These tires are, in essence, ticking time bombs. The staggered recall -
and waiting period - could be eliminated by offering vouchers that would
be accepted at any tire retailer."

Bridgestone/Firestone has already targeted Florida, Arizona, Texas and
California as the first states to receive relief based on the high summer
temperatures, which appear to affect the tires. However, the company has
said that the complete process of replacement will take approximately 18
months' and be lengthy even for the four primary states. According to
co-counsel Bill McCarty, "Based on the press accounts of approximately 50
deaths and numerous injuries already attributable to the recalled
Firestone tires, another 18 months use of these tires will certainly
result in further injuries and loss of life which can be prevented with
the voucher system."

Steve Silverman, also a partner at Kluger Peretz Kaplan & Berlin,
reaffirmed the families' commitment to seeing this lawsuit through. "This
lawsuit is not about financial gain. It's about corporate responsibility
and public safety," he said.

Contact: Boardroom Communications, Plantation, Fla. For Oppenheim
Pilelsky and Kluger, Peretz, Kaplan & Berlin: Christine Manna, Fran
Schwartz or Dave Bloom 954/370-8999 or fschwartz@boardroompr.com,

CITY OF BRAZIL: IN ACLU Sues over Lack of Disabled-Accessible Sidewalks
The Indiana Civil Liberties Union has filed a class-action lawsuit
against the city of Brazil, alleging that its sidewalks are virtually
impossible for the disabled to maneuver. The lawsuit was filed Aug. 8, in
United States District Court in Terre Haute on behalf of James Targett,
81, who uses a three-wheeled scooter to travel.

It accuses the city's of violating provision of the Americans with
Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act for failing to provide
adequate curb ramps and sidewalks.

The sidewalks' poor condition means that Targett and people with similar
disabilities must sometimes travel on roadways, including heavily
traveled U.S. 40, said Ken Faulk, ICLU executive director. "The city is
lucky there hasn't been a tragedy," he said. "The condition of the
sidewalks is just not acceptable."

According to the lawsuit, Brazil has failed to provide adequate curb
ramps on city streets. That, combined with the fact that many sidewalks
are in poor condition makes it "extremely difficult, if not impossible"
for disabled persons to use them, it states.

The lawsuit asks the court to require the city to take all actions
necessary to ensure that it the sidewalks are fully accessible to and
usable by Targett and residents with similar disabilities. It also asks
the court to award Targett costs and attorney's fees.

Brazil Mayor Kenny Crabb, and City Attorney Eric Wyndham said they have
not seen a copy of the suit, and could not comment. The city has 20 days
to respond to the lawsuit or ask the court for more time.

The Americans with Disabilities Act states that no disabled individual
can be excluded from participation in, or be denied the benefits of the
services, programs or activities of a public entity or be subjected to
discrimination by any such entity.

The city's failure to provide adequate facilities for the handicapped is
reprehensible, said Faulk. "In touring the city, I have seen where new
sidewalks have been put in without curb cuts," Faulk said.

But the ADA required cities to make all public facilities, including
sidewalks, accessible by Jan. 26, 1995, five years after the ADA went
into affect. It also requires curb cuts to be included whenever new
paving of streets is done, Faulk said. (The Associated Press State &
Local Wire, August 14, 2000)

CREDIT CARDS: Federal Reserve Wants Banks to Increase Size of Print
According to the Sun-Sentinel, there's a big fight going on between the
banks and the Federal Reserve, which wants banks to increase the size of
the teensy type they use in their card offer disclosures.

Banks argue that "this will require significant redesign" of their forms,
plus great expense, to accommodate the larger print. "That cost ought not
be imposed on the industry without good grounds," gripes the Consumer
Bankers Association.

They've gotta be kidding. The industry rang up a record profit of $ 22.5
billion in the first quarter of 2000 alone, according to Weiss Ratings
Inc., a bank-rating agency based in Palm Beach Gardens.

You would think card peddlers would want to invest some of that money to
educate consumers on what they're really buying when they get those
"pre-approved" pitches in the mail.

Robert K. Heady is the founding publisher of Bank Rate Monitor. You can
send e-mail to jrnl8888@aol.com or write to him in care of the
Sun-Sentinel. (Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL), August 14, 2000)

FIRSTWORLD COMMUNICATIONS: Harvey Greenfield Files Securities Suit in CO
The Law Firm of Harvey Greenfield has filed a class action lawsuit in the
United States District Court for the District of Colorado on behalf of
purchasers of securities of FirstWorld Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:
FWIS) pursuant or traceable to the Company's initial public offering
("IPO") on March 8, 2000.

The Complaint alleges that FirstWorld and its executives violated the
Securities Act of 1933 by making false and misleading statements in its
Prospectus/Registration Statement, which resulted in undue inflation of
the Company's IPO stock price and caused damage to all who purchased
FirstWorld stock under the IPO and in the early after market.

Contact: Harvey Greenfield, Esq. at the Law Firm of Harvey Greenfield, 60
East 42nd Street, Suite 2001, New York, NY 10165, telephone 212-949-5500,
or toll free 877-949-5500, facsimile 212-949-0049, or by e-mail at

HMOs: Appeals Court Upholds Dismissal of Maio RICO Suit against Aetna
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upheld a lower court
dismissal of the Maio class action lawsuit (Maio v. Aetna Inc. et al), a
complaint filed against Aetna Inc. for alleged violations of the
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).

The Court of Appeals held that the plaintiffs' position "had been
significantly undermined by the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision in
Pegram," and that allowing the RICO claims would "be expanding the
concept of RICO injury beyond the boundaries of reason." The Court also
emphasized that any claim arising out of actual injury "would have to be
alleged and proven on an individual basis."

The Third Circuit noted that "If there is any doubt concerning the result
we reach, which there is not, with respect to the message underlying
appellant's damages theory, it surely would vanish when considered
against the backdrop of the Supreme Court's recent decision in Pegram."
The court found "particularly compelling that aspect of Pegram which
articulated clearly the myriad of practical problems which undoubtedly
arise in a situation in which the federal courts are asked to determine
the social utility of one particular HMO structure as compared to
another." The Third Circuit also pointed out that the complaint asks the
trier of fact to "inappropriately act as a state regulatory commission
and determine the value of Aetna's product."

This decision in Maio is the latest of several federal court rulings on
class action suits against the managed care industry. In addition to the
Maio and Pegram cases, earlier this year in Ehlmann v. Kaiser et al, the
Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a lower court had correctly
dismissed a complaint trying to read new disclosure requirements into the
Employee Retirement and Income Security Act (ERISA).

For a complete text of the Third Circuit's decision in Maio, go to:

CONTACT: Robyn S. Walsh 860-273-6184 Walshr@aetna.com

HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL: Harvey Greenfield Files Securities Suit in NJ
The Law Firm of Harvey Greenfield has filed a class action lawsuit in the
United States District Court for the District of New Jersey on behalf of
purchasers of securities of Honeywell International, Inc. (NYSE: HON)
between December 20, 1999 and June 19, 2000 (the "Class Period").

The Complaint alleges that Honeywell and its executives made false and
misleading statements concerning the Company's earnings and, in
particular, the success of Honeywell's merger with Allied Signal,
resulting in artificial inflation of the price of the Company's stock
during the Class Period.

Contact: Harvey Greenfield, Esq. at the Law Firm of Harvey Greenfield, 60
East 42nd Street, Suite 2001, New York, NY 10165, telephone 212-949-5500,
or toll free 877-949-5500, facsimile 212-949-0049, or by e-mail at

LERNOUT & HAUSPIE: Berman, DeValerio Says More Shareholder Suits Filed
& Hauspie Speech Products N.V. (NASDAQ: LHSP) was named as a defendant in
two more shareholder class actions filed August 11 in the United States
District Court for the District of Massachusetts. The actions, which seek
damages for alleged violations of the federal securities laws, has been
brought on behalf of all investors who purchased L&H common stock from
December 28, 1999 through and including August 7, 2000 (the "Class

The complaints allege that the Company's statements regarding its
business and financial results were materially misleading because they
included overstated and/or fictitious sales in Korea. After the truth
about the Korean sales was revealed, the price of L&H's shares fell as
low as $26-3/4 per share.

Contact: Berman, DeValerio & Pease LLP Julayne M. Lazar (800) 516-9926

LERNOUT & HAUSPIE: Chestnut & Cambronne Files Securities Lawsuit in MA
Chestnut & Cambronne P.A. announced on August 11 that it commenced a
class action suit on August 11, 2000 in the United States District Court
for the District of Massachusetts on behalf of purchasers of LERNOUT &
HAUSPIE SPEECH PRODUCTS NV (NASDAQ:LHSP). The action is on behalf of
Daniel J. Perrington and all other purchasers of LHSP stock during the
period December 28, 1999 through August 7, 2000.

The complaint states that during the alleged class period, the company
and its Chief Executive Officer, Gaston Bastiaens, misled the investment
community by disseminating false information about the sales of its
products to Korean customers. The complaint also states that when
accurate information became known, the stock price fell dramatically,
causing significant losses to persons who purchased during the class

Contact: Chestnut & Cambronne PA, Minneapolis Becky Erickson 612/339-7300

MATAV CABLE: Faces Suit in Nazarat Ct over Restrictive Trade Practices
Matav Cable Systems Media Ltd. (Nasdaq: MATV), a leading Israeli provider
of broadband cable TV services, gave notice that on August 9, 2000, a
motion was received at the Company's offices for approval of a class
action pursuant to the Restrictive Trade Practices Law.

The said motion was filed against the Company in the Nazerat District
Court by a subscriber of the Company who seeks recognition of his action
as representing the Company's subscribers. If the class action is
approved, the Court shall be requested, according to the Applicant's
claim, to require the Company to pay its subscribers compensation in
connection with the subscription fees collected, allegedly, above the
permissable fees determined under the Compay's license and subscription
fees collected for services provided to subscribers' outlets that are not
connected to the Company's setup converters.

The Applicant claims that he has sustained damages in a sum of NIS 461.71
and that the compensation to all the relevant subscribers is
approximately NIS 93,687 thousands.

The Company's response to this motion is due to be filed within 20 days
from the date of receipt thereof. The Company is currently studying the
details of the motion and mentions that the subscription fees it collects
from its subscribers are, and have always been subject to the supervision
and approval of the official authorities, including the Ministry of

Matav is one of Israel's three cable television providers, serving
roughly 25 percent of the population in a government-mandated monopoly
market. Matav's investments include 15 percent of Partner Communications
Ltd., a GSM mobile phone company, 10 percent of Barak Ltd., Israel's
second-largest provider of international long distance and Internet
telephony, and 100 percent of Non- Stop, a new company offering broadband
Internet services.

MOHAWK INDUSTRIES: Announces Settlement of Suits on Carpet Price Fixing
Mohawk Industries, Inc. (NYSE: MHK) has reached an agreement in principle
to settle two antitrust class actions filed against Mohawk and other
carpet manufacturers in the United States District Court in Rome,
Georgia. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Mohawk will
contribute $13,500,000 to a settlement fund to resolve price fixing
claims brought by a class of purchasers of polypropylene carpet and a
proposed settlement class of purchasers of nylon carpet. The settlement
is subject to preliminary approval of the court, notice to members of the
two settlement classes, certification of the proposed settlement classes
and final approval by the court after a hearing. The settlement will be
paid in one cash installment after the final approval and the class
members are properly notified of their rights in the settlement. After
taking into account the impact of reserves established in preceeding
periods for potential liabilities, a pre-tax charge of $7,000,000 will be
recorded to operating earnings in the third quarter of 2000 in connection
with this settlement. The Company denies all wrongdoing and has agreed to
settle the case to avoid additional costs to defend the lawsuits.

MTI TECHNOLOTY: Berman, DeValerio Extends Securities Suit Period in CA
MTI Technology Corp. (Nasdaq: MTIC) was charged with misleading investors
in a securities class action with respect to the financial condition of
the Company. The Class Period has been extended to include purchasers of
MTI common stock during the period July 22, 1999 through and including
July 27, 2000. The case, filed by the San Francisco and Boston based
Berman, DeValerio, www.bermanesq.com, is pending in the United States
District Court for the Central District of California.

The action charges that MTI and certain of its officers violated the
securities laws by issuing a series of false and misleading statements
concerning the Company's financial condition and business prospects
during the Class Period. In particular, the Complaint charges that MTI
failed to disclose the implementation of a revised compensation plan
which required the Company to pay out more than $3 million in commissions
and bonuses during the fourth quarter 2000 causing MTI to report a loss
for that quarter. Further, the Company failed to disclose that sales to
dot-com companies were waning and that it was unable to collect payments
for products sold to dot-com companies, resulting in a substantial
earnings shortfall for both the fourth quarter 2000 and the first quarter
2001. As a result of these revelations, MTI's stock collapsed, falling
from a Class Period high of $54 3/8 to as low as $4 per share. Moreover,
during the Class Period, but prior to the disclosures, MTI executives
sold their stock for proceeds of over $24 million. Plaintiff seeks to
recover damages on behalf of all those who purchased or otherwise
acquired MTI common stock during the Class Period.

Contact: Jennifer L. Finger, Esq., of Berman, DeValerio & Pease LLP,
800-516-9926, or Jennifer Abrams, Esq., of Berman, DeValerio, Pease &
Tabacco, 415-433-3200

SCORING ERRORS: MN May Not Be Unique for Students' Test Result Problems
Jimmy Dressen was supposed to become a pipefitter after high school
graduation in June. But the senior from Shakopee, Minn., never got the
chance. The job required a diploma, but Dressen was barred from receiving
one after failing the state's basic standards math test in February and
April. Now, he gathers shopping carts at a local Kmart. "After he got his
scores, I fought with him to finish out the year," says his mother,
Lorraine. "He said, 'Why bother? I'm not going to graduate anyway.' He
didn't want to go to his senior class party; I had to force him. Can you
imagine that? A mother forcing her son to go to a party?"

But this month, the Dressens got a jolt: Jimmy had actually passed the
test--not once, but twice. He is not alone. In perhaps the most serious
scoring error in the history of graduation testing, 336 Minnesota seniors
were improperly denied diplomas. In all, nearly 8,000 students in grades
8 through 12 actually passed when they were told they had failed.

Wayne Martin of the Washington, D.C.-based Council of Chief School
Officers said: "The Minnesota case is probably the first one where
seniors have not gotten diplomas. But Minnesota is not unique."

Last summer, for example, 9,000 New York City elementary students
mistakenly were sent to summer school because of a scoring mistake.
Martin, who monitors testing assessment for the organization of top state
education officials, says that more states require standardized tests for
graduation and that Minnesota's problem is just a sign of things to come.
Nineteen states mandate such tests, and seven more will join the list by
2003; Illinois currently uses standardized testing only to rate schools,
but students do not have to pass to graduate.

"Everyone wants to give these tests as late in the year as possible, but
they want the results back as soon as possible," Martin notes. "The
[scoring] industry is very peak driven, and there's not enough skilled
people to go around. Some states just don't spend enough reviewing the

Because Minnesota's mistake was discovered weeks after the school year
ended, there have been many cases such as what happened to the Dressens.
Some seniors were denied college admissions and scholarships; others lost
jobs and vacations attending summer school they didn't need. Some
families spent hundreds of dollars on unnecessary tutoring.

And there are less quantifiable costs--ruined graduation parties, family
tension and shame. "It was humiliating," says Cassandra Moriarity, a
Jordan, Minn., sophomore who was also a victim of the scoring mistake.
"All my friends passed, and when they asked me, I had to say no." Says
her father, Jim: "I'm just like any other parent--I was mad at her when
she failed. Now I'm mad at the state." Marty Swaden, a parent from
Mendota Heights, Minn., who discovered the error, has emerged as a local
folk hero after badgering state officials for almost three months to
review the test.

Swaden, a lawyer, says he had no intention to argue about the test; he
merely wanted to review the questions his 9th-grade daughter, Sydney, had
missed. Like some states, Minnesota does not publish the tests--a
cost-saving measure to avoid wholesale rewrites--and instead requires
parents to schedule reviews with state staffers.

Swaden waited 11 weeks for an appointment, becoming increasingly "mad and
frustrated" but remaining persistent. When he was able to review the
67-question test, it became clear something was wrong. "We were going
through the questions one by one. It wasn't taking very long--the exam
wasn't that difficult," Swaden says. "My daughter clearly got many
answers wrong. But then we hit a block of five questions where her answer
appeared to be the correct answer, and their key appeared to be wrong. To
his credit, the [staffer] was increasingly upset--not with me, but with
the situation."

The state's private-sector contractor, Minnesota-based National Computer
Systems, rearranged the last page of test questions on February and April
tests but forgot to change its answer key.

Rachel Tschida, a spokeswoman for Minnesota's Department of Children,
Families, and Learning, which has oversight for education, says a simple
"frequency distribution" would have shown a suspiciously high number of
wrong answers on the questions. However, the state could not review the
firm's work because the company was not scheduled to turn over raw data
until August.

Martin says Texas is often held up as an example of how to test late in
the year and review results promptly. "Everybody's using the same
timeline as Texas. What everyone doesn't realize is it's taken Texas 10
years to get it right, and many of these states are just starting."

National Computer Systems, which receives $2.9 million annually from
Minnesota, has apologized to the students who were affected and has
offered college-bound seniors $1,000 scholarships.

Parents of underclassmen such as Moriarity aren't impressed, calling the
money a "bribe" to forestall lawsuits. If so, the offer hasn't worked;
one class-action suit has already been filed and another is planned.
(Chicago Tribune, August 14, 2000)

SHAW INDUSTRIES: Anticipates Settlement in Antitrust Cases
Shaw Industries, Inc. (NYSE: SHX) announced on August 11 that it has
reached an agreement in principle to recommend that the Court approve a
settlement of the two class action antitrust suits pending against the
Company and other carpet manufacturers in the United States District
Court in Rome, Georgia.

Under the terms of the agreement in principle entered into with Martin D.
Chitwood, counsel for the plaintiffs, all claims against the Company and
its affiliates will be dismissed with prejudice and the Company will pay
to the plaintiff classes, an aggregate settlement amount of $27.5
million, including attorneys fees and costs. The settlement is subject
to, among other things, court approval and the execution of a definitive
settlement agreement.

TOBACCO LITIGATION: Stocks Healing As Some See Smoke Clearing
Shares of U.S. tobacco companies bolted higher last Friday morning after
a prominent Wall Street analyst said Philip Morris and Loews shares were
severely undervalued. The move marked a continuing recovery for tobacco
stocks, which had fallen nearly 65% from their all-time highs in
September 1997 to recent lows in March of this year. So far this year, an
Investor's Business Daily index of tobacco stocks has risen by 25%.

The analyst did not raise his 12-month target prices on the stocks, but
he did say Philip Morris shares could triple in two years, and said
Loews' shares were "even more severely mispriced." He believes last
month's $ 145 billion punitive-damage verdict in the Engle class-action
suit will be the "high-water mark in litigation against the tobacco
industry." "All week they've been acting strong, and you're seeing more
of that today," Credit Suisse First Boston's Bonnie Herzog said,
referring to tobacco companies in general. "I think a lot of investors
realize they want to be in these names, especially when they start

Another industry analyst affirmed that tobacco-related stocks,
particularly Philip Morris and Loews, were moving up because of Goldman
Sachs analyst Marc Cohen's research note. In a research note issued last
Thursday afternoon, Cohen said a valuation analysis of Philip Morris and
Loews indicated that shares of the companies, which both have large
non-tobacco units, could rise 50%-60% by next year. Cohen reiterated a
12-month target price of 40 for Philip Morris and 95 for Loews. Besides
being the top U.S. cigarette maker, Philip Morris also owns Kraft, the
largest U.S. foodmaker, and Miller Brewing Co. Loews has majority stakes
in cigarette maker Lorillard, insurer CNA Financial Corp., Loews Hotels,
Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc. and watchmaker Bulova Corp. Cohen sees
"good likelihood that tobacco company valuations will improve
significantly" in the next 12-18 months "as the threat of aggregated
claims cases recedes."

Lawyers said after a brief court hearing in Miami that U.S. District
Judge Ursula Ungaro-Benages took no position on a motion filed on behalf
of a union health care plan to move the Engle case to federal court from
Florida state court. Many analysts do not expect a decision from
Ungaro-Benages until early September. "The litigation environment in
general is improving; you've just got a lot of positives going on for the
companies," Herzog said. Herzog also noted the strong fundamentals of the
companies, particularly Philip Morris, with its pending acquisition of
Nabisco Holdings Corp. and the planned Kraft initial public offering, was
piquing interest in tobacco shares. UST Inc. shares were up 1/4 at 16 1/2
after the company, the top U.S. maker of chewing tobacco, announced that
the Kentucky court hearing its Conwood lawsuit granted UST's request that
the appeal bond in the case be set at $ 500 million, substantially below
the judgement amount. (Investor's Business Daily, August 14, 2000)

TOSHIBA CORP: Notebook Owners and Retailers Sue in Shanghai over Flaw
In what Shanghai Youth Daily is labeling the 'Toshiba Disturbance,' the
three parties are demanding that Toshiba repurchase the potentially
flawed notebook computers from them and issue a written apology.

The report did not indicate when the suit was filed.

The Shanghai plaintiffs, two of them electronics retailers, join three
individuals who sued Toshiba for 80,000 yuan (about $9,660) in a Beijing
court in May, claiming the company violated Chinese consumer protection

A verdict has yet to be reached in the Beijing case, the Shanghai Youth
Daily noted.

The spotlight has been on Toshiba in China since a May 8 Internet report
pointed out that U.S. Toshiba notebook owners had won a $1.1 billion
class-action lawsuit against the company's U.S. subsidiary last fall, but
that Chinese consumers were ineligible for compensation.

The news set off a volley of anti-Japan invective in Chinese Internet
chat rooms.

Toshiba has offered to supply its Chinese customers with free software
patches to fix the flaw, but has thus far declined to offer monetary
compensation, which runs as high as $443.21 per cusso ineligible for

Toshiba maintains that despite the settlement, reached Oct. 29 in Texas,
it is unaware of any instance in which a Toshiba user has experienced
data loss or data corruption relating to the controller.

The company has said it agreed to the settlement in light of legal
precedents in the U.S. indicating a potentially substantial amount of
compensation could be awarded by a jury.

In addition to the ongoing Toshiba lawsuit, China's court system has seen
several other high-profile cases filed against Japanese companies this

Last Friday a Beijing court ordered Mitsubishi Motors Corp. (MMC) to pay
500,000 yuan in compensation to the family of a man who died in 1996
after the front window of the MMC vehicle he was traveling in suddenly

And late last month a 29-year-old man in Chongqing, a city in
southwestern China, sued Canon Inc. for 'psychological distress' after
discovering that a promotional CD included with the company's laser
printers listed Taiwan and Hong Kong as separate countries from mainland

Beijing considers Taiwan to be a Chinese province and Hong Kong returned
to Chinese sovereignty in 1997. (Japan Economic Newswire, August 14,

XCELERA.COM, INC: Kirby McInerney Files Securities Lawsuit in CT
The law firm of Kirby McInerney & Squire, LLP announces on August 11 that
a class action lawsuit has been commenced in the United States District
Court for the District of Connecticut on behalf of all purchasers of
Xcelera.com, Inc. (AMEX: XLA) common stock between April 1, 1999 and July
31, 2000 (the "Class Period").

The complaint alleges that, during the Class Period, Xcelera and certain
of its senior executives - in violation of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 - made material misrepresentations of
facts and material omissions of facts, which misrepresentations and
omissions were responsible for a dramatic inflation of the price of
Xcelera's common stock. As Xcelera's stock, propelled by a stream of
positive and sometimes misleading press releases principally regarding
its Mirror Image subsidiary, was appreciating by approximately 60,000% to
reach a split-adjusted peak of $112.50 per share in March 2000, the
complaint alleges that company insiders began to sell their shares and
continued to do so until they had pocketed well over $200 million. After
March 2000, Xcelera's stock declined in value as skeptics began to refute
the company's misleading announcements.

On July 31, 2000, the company admitted to investors for the first time
that: (i) as a result of transactions entered into prior to April 1,
1999, current shareholders were facing a previously-undisclosed potential
dilution of 32-45%; and that (ii) as a result of a transaction announced
on March 22, 2000 with Exodus Communications, current shareholders could
face a previously-undisclosed tax of between $2 and $7 per share.
(Company insiders, the day after the March 22 announcement, sold Xcelera
stock worth over $45 million dollars, and sold another $45 million within
a week). Xcelera's stock, which by the time of the July 31st surprise had
lost approximately 85% of its value to fall to $15.25 per share, promptly
lost over 25% of the value remaining to them in the days that followed.

Contact: Kirby McInerney & Squire, LLP, New York Ira Press, Esq. or Orie
Braun 212/317-2300 or 888/529-4787 obraun@kmslaw.com

XCELERA.COM, INC: Lionel Z. Glancy  Files Securities Suit in Connecticut
Notice is hereby given that a class action lawsuit has been commenced in
the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut
asserting claims on behalf of all purchasers of the common stock of
Xcelera.com, Inc., (AMEX:XLA) between April 1, 1999 and July 31, 2000
(the "Class Period").

The complaint alleges that in violation of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Xcelera, an Internet holding
company, and certain of its senior executives, undertook to drive up the
price of Xcelera's stock in a scheme to sell part of the Company and dump
$200 million of artificially inflated stock on the unsuspecting public.
Specifically, in March 2000, when the Company's stock price had been
artificially run up by 80,000%, defendants struck a deal to sell a
portion of its principal subsidiary, Mirror Image, without disclosing
that as a result of the sale, Xcelera's U.S. investors would be subject
to special taxing provisions transferring the tax burden on the gain
directly to Xcelera's shareholders at a rate reported to be between $2
and $7 per share. Also undisclosed during the Class Period were certain
disputes related to Xcelera's original acquisition of Mirror Image,
resolution of which may result in Xcelera issuing 45 million new shares
in the Company, thereby diluting existing shareholders by almost 45%.

The complaint further alleges that after defendants accomplished their
goal of selling part of the Company at an astronomically inflated value,
defendants ceased supporting the artificially inflated price of the
stock, and Xcelera's stock price plummeted from a 52-week high of $112.50
in March 2000 to approximately $11.75 recently. During the Class Period,
certain defendants sold more than $200 million in Xcelera stock at
artificially inflated prices to the unsuspecting public.

Contact: Law Offices of Lionel Z. Glancy, Los Angeles Lionel Z. Glancy,

WALT DISNEY: Guilty Of Stealing Ideas For Theme Park, FL Jury Says
(CNBC News Transcripts, August 11, 2000)

Anchors: Sue Herera
Reporters: Jim Paymar
Sue Herera, Co-Anchor

A Florida jury has found Disney guilty of stealing ideas for a sports
theme park from a former baseball umpire and an architect. The jury then
awarded the two business partners $ 240 million in damages. But that is a
fraction of the $ 1.5 billion the plaintiffs were suing for. Jim Paymar
has more on the case of the stolen stadium.

    JIM PAYMAR reporting: At issue: the $ 103 million Wide World of
Sports complex in Orlando, Florida, where 800,000 people a year go to
play sports and watch the Atlanta Braves during the exhibition season.
Two founders of a company called All Pro Sports Camps, Inc. say Disney
stole the concept from them. And a jury found in their favor.

Unidentified Judge: What is the amount of damages to be awarded the
plaintiff? Two hundred-forty million dollars.

    PAYMAR: Outside the courtroom, jubilation from the plaintiffs and the

    Unidentified Man #1: It was worth the wait. They couldn't get away
with this.

    Unidentified Man #2: It's wonderful.

    Unidentified Man #1: They stole and stole and stole. And I got the
best here.

    PAYMAR: And the judge in the case will hold a hearing on whether to
double that award. Disney says it will appeal the verdict. Legal counsel
Lou Meisinger.

    Mr. LOU MEISINGER (Disney Legal Counsel): Appeal was to the jury's
emotions and to their sense of antagonism toward business and
corporations. Those issues are not properly argued b--before a jury.
You're supposed to confine your arguments to the facts and the law.

    PAYMAR: Meisinger went on to say: 'We're not knocked out. The notion
that we had to steal this idea is utterly preposterous. This verdict will
not stand. This is an aberrational verdict and a one-time thing.' And
even if it does stand, Disney may not lose anything but legal fees in the

    Unidentified Man #3: We're looking at a year or more before we know
the actual final impact on Disney from a financial point of view.

    PAYMAR: And it's possible the case could be thrown out.

    Unidentified Man #3: If the appellate court felt that the basis
for--for the lower court's ruling was not substantiated, they would more
than likely either reverse it outright or remand it back to a trial court
for some determination on the damages issue, which could drag it out even

    PAYMAR: As for how the case will affect Disney going forward,
analysts are not convinced a company with $ 23 billion in annual revenues
will be hurt even if they ultimately lose the case.

    Mr. JEFF LOGSDON (WR Hambrect) I would say the impact is going to be
rather minimal given the size of the company and the fact that probably
we've not heard or seen the last of this situation.

    PAYMAR: Disney has claimed that the Wide World of Sports complex,
which opened in 1997, was the company's own concept and was created by
its own in-house designers. The company went on to say the complex was
similar to many other existing sports centers, and no one company could
claim ownership of an idea to build sports complexes. And, Sue, we
haven't heard the last on this.

    HERERA: Indeed, we haven't. Thank you, Jim.

    PAYMAR: Sure.

    HERERA: Not much rea--not much reaction, I should say, to that
decision from Wall Street today. The stock gained a 1/4 on Disney to 40

    RON INSANA (Co-anchor): And coming up, a preview of Barron's
magazine. We'll tell you about one stock that may help to clean up your

    HERERA: And which Internet site gets the most traffic? We'll have the
exclusive details of a new survey when BUSINESS CENTER comes back.

WAYERHAEUSER CO: Claims Process Begins in Settlement Re Hardboard Siding
A Court ordered notification and claims process has begun in the proposed
nationwide class action settlement related to Weyerhaeuser brand exterior
hardboard siding now pending in the Superior Court of California in and
for the County of San Francisco in the class action Williams, et al., v.
Weyerhaeuser Company, Civil Action No. 995787.

The proposed Settlement will pay claims for damages associated with
Weyerhaeuser brand hardboard siding as defined by the Settlement
Agreement. Under the Settlement reached July 7, 2000, which the Court
preliminarily approved on July 12, 2000, Weyerhaeuser has agreed to pay
all timely and qualified claims for siding damage with no cap on the
total monetary damages to be paid.

Notices are scheduled to appear in newspapers, magazines and on radio
throughout the United States leading up to a hearing on December 21,
2000, when the Court will be asked to decide whether the proposed
Settlement should receive final approval.

Class Members affected by the Settlement are those who own or owned a
structure in the United States on which Weyerhaeuser brand hardboard
siding has been installed from January 1, 1981 through December 31, 1999.
A detailed Mailed Notice identifies certain exclusions from the Class,
including personal injury claims.

The Settlement establishes a claims process to pay monetary damages for
valid claims for certain damage to siding, including thickness swell,
edge checking, physical degradation, buckling, surface welting, swelling,
delamination, sponginess, wax bleed, and raised or popped fibers. Siding
damage caused by improper building design or installation will be
excluded. The Settlement also provides a compensation formula, which will
be used to determine how much money, if any, claimants are entitled to
receive. To receive compensation, claimants will be required to prove
that their property has Weyerhaeuser hardboard siding.

The Settlement Agreement provides a staggered claims program. Under these
guidelines, the later the siding was installed, the more time you have to
file a claim. Class Members may call or visit the website to receive a
Mailed Notice or request a Claim Form.

At the hearing on December 21, 2000, the Court will consider whether to
grant final approval to the proposed Settlement and the Class Counsel's
request for attorneys' fees and costs. Class Members have the right to
appear at the hearing if they choose.

Class Members may comment on, or object to, the terms of the proposed
Settlement by November 13, 2000. The Mailed Notice describes how to
submit comments or objections.

Those Class Members who do not wish to participate in or be bound by the
proposed Settlement must exclude themselves by November 13, 2000, or be
barred from prosecuting any legal action against Weyerhaeuser relating to
the settled claims.

A toll free phone number has been established, 1-800-365-0697, along with
a website www.weyerclaims.com where Class Members may obtain a Mailed
Notice or request a Claim Form. Class Members may also write to
Weyerhaeuser Hardboard Siding Class Action Settlement, Independent Claims
Administrator, P.O. Box 9443, Garden City, NY 11530-9443. Class Members
are asked not to contact the Court.

Source: The Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco

Contact: Plaintiff's Class Counsel: Jonathan Selbin of Lieff, Cabraser,
Heimann & Bernstein, 212-355-9500, or Christopher Brain of Tousley Brain,
206-682-5600; or Eileen Cavanagh of Weyerhaeuser, 253-924-4498

WICHITA: 40,000 Residents Sue over Detainment for Not Paying Fines
More than 40,000 Wichita residents could end up suing city hall. But even
if they win, it will cost them. The suit was initiated by David
Reinschmidt in July 1999, claiming he was denied due process when he was
jailed for not paying $500 in fines. Now, residents with similar claims
can seek legal relief. At issue are claims that the municipal court
detained residents unjustly for not paying fines. Last Friday, Sedgwick
County District Judge Paul Clark certified class-action status for the

City officials say they have ended the practice. Jack Focht, a lawyer for
the city, said the lawsuit pressures the city to settle and constituted
"judicious blackmail." "This is a mammoth class action," Focht told
Clark. "It will cost millions that the city will have to pay to address
this, and the only place that comes from is from taxpayers."

Focht's services do not come cheap. City officials have been billed
$40,000, at $200 and hour, for this case and another potential
class-action suit pending in federal court.

Gary White, lead attorney for Reinschmidt's case, said the city lacked
standing to complain about spending taxpayer money on litigation. He
argued that the city tacked on nearly $1.7 million in improper fees for
those who didn't pay fines. "What they're asking the court to do is to
let them steal from these people," said White, noting that those affected
were among the city's most disenfranchised. "The city of Wichita
unconstitutionally abused the indigent mentally ill and the physically

Focht used that point to argue Reinschmidt shouldn't be the
representative plaintiff for the class because he was incompetent to
participate in the trial. Reinschmidt had suffered from memory problems,
social anxiety and attention deficits, Focht said.

But White said Reinschmidt had testified during depositions, worked with
the lawyers and was representative of the people affected by what was
called the time-to-pay docket.

Reinschmidt's lawyers submitted the names of 40,481 people they claim
were punished through the time-to-pay docket from 1997 through 1999.

Notice will be sent to each person by Aug. 31 and a hearing held in

White said damages sought by each plaintiffs would amount to less than
$100 each. "We acknowledge, as the defendant alleges, that there has been
some who have suffered loss of freedom, pain and mental anguish," White
said. "But they will be a small number - less than a few thousand."

The Kansas Supreme Court will hear another case involving the time-to-pay
issue. It relates to Clark's decision to grant a petition asking the city
to release those jailed for failure to pay fines. (The Associated Press
State & Local Wire, August 14, 2000)


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

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

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

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without prior
written permission of the publishers.

Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to be
reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The CAR subscription rate is $575 for six months delivered via e-mail.
Additional e-mail subscriptions for members of the same firm for the
term of the initial subscription or balance thereof are $25 each.  For
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