CAR_Public/000825.MBX              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Friday, August 25, 2000, Vol. 2, No. 166

                              Headlines

AMEX: Teams up with Canada 3000 on New Frequent Flier Pact
BRIDGESTONE/FIRESTONE, FORD: Engineer Says Rollover a Problem with ATX
BRIDGESTONE/FIRESTONE: AP Reports on Tread and Steel Cord Peeling Away
BRIDGESTONE/FIRESTONE: Lawyers Tell Accident Victims to Avoid Class Suit
COLUMBIA: Anti-Free-Trade Protesters get legal help in L.A.

FAMILY GOLF: Files Ch 11; Not Named in Consolidated NY Securities Suit
FIDELITY HOLDINGS: Milberg Weiss Files Securities Suit in New York
GENAMERICA FINANCIAL: Proposed Settlement for Lawsuit over Life Policies
GEORGIA POWER: Journal Says Cochran in Racism Case Is a Headache for Co.
GROCERY CHAINS: Lawsuit Accuses of colluding on Milk Prices

HMOs: PA Chiropractic Sues Independence Blue Cross over Denial of Care
LOS ANGELES POLICE: Officers Plan to Sue Department over Retaliation
MA MUTUAL: NJ Court Reverses Certification in Vanishing Premium Case
MERCATOR SOFTWARE: Berman DeValerio Files Securities Suit in CT
PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL: Lead Counsel to Amend Securities Complaint in FL

SCIENTIFIC LEARNING: To Seek Early Dismissal Of Securities Suit in CA
SOUTHERN CO: Lawyers Say Racial Discrimination Claims Waiver Is Unfair
TOYSMART.COM: FTC Files Enforcement Action Under New Child Privacy Law
TWO WINTHROP: Investors Sue upon Restructuring of Partnership Debt
WAL-MART STORES: TX Ap Ct Says Pharmacists Not Required to Warn Patients

WWII VICTIMS: The Daily Yomiuri Reports on Lawsuit against Japanese Cos.

* Third Circuit Affirms Injunction Against Child Online Protection Act

                            *********

AMEX: Teams up with Canada 3000 on New Frequent Flier Pact
----------------------------------------------------------
Amex Bank of Canada has struck a frequent flier deal with Canada 3000
Airlines Ltd., even though it remains mired in a legal morass over the
cancellation of its previous points program with Canadian Airlines Corp.

Amex said that starting Oct. 2, cardholders enrolled in its membership
reward program will be able to redeem points for 40 Canada 3000
destinations.

The credit card company was forced to find a new airline partner after its
program with Canadian Airlines was cancelled in April as part of the
financial restructuring of the carrier. The abrupt end of the program
triggered a chain of lawsuits. Card members in Ontario, British Columbia
and Quebec have launched class action suits totalling $150-million against
Amex. The suits relate to both the companion free ticket program and the
diminution of the value of points, said Malcolm Ruby, a lawyer at Gowling,
Strathy & Henderson in Toronto.

Mr. Ruby said the Canada 3000 agreement is a step in the right direction,
but the new plan is not comparable to the Canadian agreement. 'Canada 3000
is not the airline Canadian was. It has fewer planes, it flies fewer places
and has less frequencies,' he said. 'There is no business class and it's
first come, first served because it has no reserved seating.'

Amex said the new agreement has advantages over the previous deal, notably
travel can be booked without the restrictions of other credit card or
airline frequent flier programs.

For its part, Amex is suing Canadian Airlines International and Canadian
Airlines Corp. in the Superior Court of Ontario over the damages arising
from the termination of the reward program, including defamation. Amex is
seeking $154-million from the airline, which went into bankruptcy
protection earlier this year and is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Air
Canada. It also filed a claim during the Companies Creditors Arrangement
Act process.

The company was listed in the Plan of Arrangement as having a claim of $
500,000 that would be repaid at 14 cents on the dollar. Canadian is not
commenting but is fighting the court case vigorously, said Renee Smith
Valade, a spokeswoman for the carrier. (National Post (formerly The
Financial Post), August 24, 2000)


BRIDGESTONE/FIRESTONE, FORD: Engineer Says Rollover a Problem with ATX
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Sixteen months before Bridgestone/Firestone's Aug. 9 recall of the tires, a
North Biloxi family was returning from a "wonderful family vacation" at
Walt Disney World when a tire separated and their Ford Explorer rolled
over. Brenda Mayo, 31, is partially paralyzed as a result and considered
permanently disabled. The Mayo familiy was going to file a lawsuit against
a tire manufacturer and Ford Motor Co., accusing them of designing and
manufacturing a faulty tire for a popular sport utility vehicle.

Biloxi attorney Paul Minor will file the case in Hinds County Circuit
Court. Minor will also file a separate suit for a Pensacola family involved
in a similar accident.

Minor says many of the accidents have occurred when families were taking
long vacation trips in the South. The heat in southern states makes the
tires more likely to unravel, which is one reason the tire manufacturer is
trying to replace the tires more quickly in the South than in northern
states.

Minor and other plaintiff attorneys and consumer groups nationwide say the
companies failed to act despite receiving complaints about the tires for
years.

Ford began investigating similar incidents in Saudi Arabia a year ago and
has already replaced the tires on almost 50,000 vehicles overseas. The
company says it didn't initiate an earlier recall here because tests
performed earlier this year failed to show problems.

Still, Minor said the companies received complaints that were filed with
federal regulators every year since 1990.

He's hired a former Firestone tire engineer as an expert for the Mayo case.
Dick Baumgardner, who lives in the metro Atlanta area, says the Mayo
accident is a "textbook example" of what is wrong with the Firestone ATX.
In each of the 47 cases he's studied, the tire has unraveled, causing the
SUVs to rollover.

The rollovers are one reason the accidents have a high rate of serious
injury and death. Baumgardner's cases involve 26 deaths and about 99
injuries.

Brenda Mayo wants to force the companies to act responsibly when they have
information about dangerous products.

"It makes me sick to know that they knew about this before our accident,"
Mayo said. "This didn't have to happen to us. It didn't have to happen to
anybody else."

Mayo's husband -- Homer -- was driving on a Florida highway when the rear
left tire separated, causing him to lose control of the Explorer, according
to a report from a state crash investigator. The Mayo's 10-year-old son was
thrown from the vehicle and knocked unconscious. Their 2-year-old, who was
in a restraining seat, received minor injuries, too. Brenda Mayo received
neck and spinal cord injuries that left her hospitalized for almost two
months. She might have brain damage. She doesn't expect to return to her
job as a case manager for an insurance company, or to any job.

"I just want to raise public awareness about the tires," Mayo said. "So no
one else will have to be hurt and have the horrible scar like I have on my
body." (The Sun Herald, August 24, 2000)


BRIDGESTONE/FIRESTONE: AP Reports on Tread and Steel Cord Peeling Away
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A big mystery remains in the recall of 6.5 million Firestone truck tires:
What causes the tires to lose their tread, sometimes at high speeds?

Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. and Ford Motor Co. have said since the recall
began Aug. 9 that they do not know why certain P235/75R15 size Firestone
ATX, ATX II and Wilderness AT tires on some Ford trucks fail. The National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration is conducting its own investigation,
and says it does not know why either.

Some trial lawyers and safety advocates have blamed faulty design or
construction, while others say tire pressure standards set by Ford played a
role. "I don't think there's a simple answer, and I don't think there's
just one factor," said Sean Kane, a researcher with Strategic Safety, a
group working with lawyers suing the companies.

In Bridgestone/Firestone's official Aug. 16 government notification of the
recall, made public in Washington on Wednesday, the company alleged that
improper maintenance and underinflation were responsible for the reported
tire failures.

Asked by the Akron Beacon-Journal if that was still the company's position,
spokeswoman Cynthia McCafferty said, "It is, but we certainly have not
stopped looking for other factors that may be causing this."

All modern radial tires are built with rubber reinforced with several
materials, usually steel and polyester, for stiffness. They're built in
layers around a shell called an innerliner, with sidewalls acting like a
clamp. The rubber tread is the last layer applied, and is bonded to two
layers of steel cords with heat.

Most of the tire failures under investigation by Ford and
Bridgestone/Firestone involve the tread and one layer of steel cord peeling
away. NHTSA is investigating the tires in the deaths of 62 people and more
than 100 injuries. Since the recall began, at least two other deaths have
been blamed on the tires.

Ford spokesman Jon Harmon said Wednesday that the companies are focusing
their investigation on manufacturing "variances" at the Decatur, Ill.,
plant - the source of many of the tires under recall.

Four retired employees of that plant gave depositions Wednesday for
lawsuits filed against the company. According to plaintiffs' attorney Bruce
Kaster, the retirees said they were required to build tires from outdated
rubber and craftsmanship suffered under the strain of mandatory 12-hour
shifts.

But Bridgestone/Firestone spokesman Jim Prescott said the four were
disgruntled former employees who left the company at or about the time of a
bitter strike in 1995.

Several attorneys have filed lawsuits seeking class-action status to
represent consumers affected by the recall, which is expected to cost the
company $350 million. Attorneys general in several states also are
investigating the safety of the tires and the expediency of the recall.

On Thursday, two Florida attorneys suing Bridgestone/Firestone and Ford
were scheduled to push for a broader recall. Supporting their claim will be
William "Max" Nonnamaker, a tire industry expert who has worked both for
and against Firestone in a number of cases.

In an affidavit dated Friday, Nonnamaker claimed that design and
manufacturing flaws in all of the ATX, ATX II and Wilderness tires leave
them vulnerable to losing treads at highway speed.

Several other attorneys and researchers believe the problem stems from the
way the tread bonds with the rest of the tire, and that the problem is
worsened by heat. The majority of complaints involving the tires have come
from four warm-weather states.

Last weekend, C. Tab Turner, a Little Rock, Ark., attorney suing the
automaker and the tire company, released documents showing that Ford
reduced the recommended pressure in the Explorer to 26 pounds per square
inch to improve stability and decrease the chance the vehicle would roll
over.

"In warm climates, and when tires are running with less air, you're going
to have higher temperatures and increased failure rate in less amount of
time," said Kane of Strategic Safety.

But for any theories that blame Ford for a flaw in its specifications, the
company points to its experience with Goodyear. From 1995 to 1997, Ford
built about 470,000 Explorers with the same size Goodyear tires - and the
same pressure recommendation - as the Firestones under recall. Among those
2.3 million Goodyears, only one case of tread separation has been reported.

Congress is also looking into how the recall was handled. Arizona Sen. John
McCain, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, planned to invite Ford
and Bridgestone/Firestone executives to a Sept. 6 hearing, The Wall Street
Journal reported Thursday. The chairman of the House subcommittee on
consumer protection, U.S. Rep. Billy Tauzin, R. La., has also said he will
hold hearing on the recall, but no dates have been scheduled. (The
Associated Press, August 24, 2000)


BRIDGESTONE/FIRESTONE: Lawyers Tell Accident Victims to Avoid Class Suit
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Some lawyers representing people injured in accidents allegedly caused by
Firestone tires are urging their clients to avoid class-action lawsuits
because they say punitive damages are harder to win. Most of the
class-action lawsuits stemming from Firestone's recall of 6.5 million tires
seek money to replace the tires and repair damaged vehicles - not punish
the manufacturer for injuries allegedly caused by tire-related accidents.

"I don't want to be caught up in a swell and held back by these other
cases. Fatalities and serious-injury cases would likely resist going
class-action," Michael Moriarty, a lawyer for a Cypress woman paralyzed in
an alleged tire-related crash, told the Houston Chronicle in Thursday's
editions.

Punitive damages can vastly increase potential awards, but generally
require that plaintiffs meet a higher standard of proof for negligence.

Earlier this month, Nashville-based Bridgestone/Firestone recalled
P235/75R15 ATX and ATX II tires as well as 15-inch Wilderness AT tires made
at a Decatur, Ill., plant. The tires are mostly on Ford trucks and sport
utility vehicles.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating 62
deaths and more than 100 injuries possibly linked to the tires. In many
cases, the tread separated from the tire, causing a blowout and a rollover
accident.

Moriarty represents 19-year-old Andrea Barger, a Blinn College student,
paralyzed from the waist down after a crash on U.S. 290 near Burton June
25. She was a passenger in a Ford Explorer that rolled over after the tread
peeled off a rear Firestone tire, Moriarty said.

Barger's lawsuit seeks $25 million for pain and suffering and lost income
and another $25 million in punitive damages - awards harder to win in
class-action lawsuits, said Salvatore Graziano, a New York City lawyer.

Graziano's firm, Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach, has filed a
class-action suit on behalf of those who need to replace tires. It has also
brought individual suits on behalf of 10 people who claim to have been
injured in Firestone-related crashes. (The Associated Press State & Local
Wire, August 24, 2000)


COLUMBIA: Anti-Free-Trade Protesters get legal help in L.A.
------------------------------------------------------------
Weeks before delegates and protesters were to take to the streets, an
unconventional legal team was making its own preparations for the
Democratic National Convention.

The ink had barely dried on the universal plea agreement for hundreds of
the April anti-free-trade protesters in Washington, D.C., when the Midnight
Special Law Collective arrived in Los Angeles to prepare for the next big
demonstration.

California attorney Katya Komisarek and her traveling band of six legal
workers skipped the similar demonstrations during Philadelphia's Republican
National Convention; otherwise, they would not have had time to lay the
groundwork in Los Angeles.

They set up shop in the four-story warehouse near downtown Los Angeles
where they would work and live as a commune for the next few months --
training attorneys, eyewitnesses and activists in the tactics of solidarity
and gathering the information that might be needed later to defend arrested
protesters and, possibly, to sue the city.

Members of the National Lawyers Guild's Los Angeles chapter had started
preparations, too, and, along with American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
attorneys, they won a federal court challenge in July to the city's ban on
permits for the protests and to its establishment of a protest area miles
from the convention center. But the Midnight Special has special expertise
gained in coping with mass arrests during the World Trade Organization
protests in Seattle and in Washington, D.C.

Attorneys for the Partnership for Civil Justice Inc., in Washington, D.C.;
the ACLU; and the National Lawyers Guild filed suit in a D.C. federal court
on July 27 on behalf of four activist groups and 13 individuals, six of
them class representatives. Fifty Years Is Enough v. District of Columbia,
No. 00CV01796. The allegations include seizure of meeting house, writings
and means of expression; false arrest; lengthy and harsh detention;
unreasonable closure of streets; excessive force; and assault and battery.

"We intend for this lawsuit to spear-head the cases across the country, to
create the case law," says Carl Messineo, co-founder of the Partnership for
Civil Justice. "I am very concerned about the trends we're seeing here. If
we civil rights lawyers don't make the commitment to respond, our children
are going to look back in disbelief and wonder if there was a time when
people could gather in groups of 25 and not expect a massive police
presence."

Mr. Messineo is one of a handful of civil rights lawyers who work with the
Midnight Special on a part-time basis, traveling to trouble spots once the
demonstrations have started.

"It's a tremendous strain on all of us, because we're all maintaining law
practices," he says. "None of us will get paid for this. It's a massive
commitment of resources, and one which none of the attorneys entered into
without a great deal of consideration."

But, he says, their involvement is crucial to counter "overkill" by the
police. "Their response is pre-emptive, intended to stifle and disrupt free
speech," he says. "Their use of force is indiscriminate. It creates such a
chill that people who intend to do nothing but come out and hear what's
going on can't do so without fear of false arrest or being beaten. And it's
a matter of proportionality. The police and government have
over-criminalized nonviolent civil disobedience."

Mr. Messineo made those remarks a few days before he was to leave for Los
Angeles at the start of the Democratic Convention and just as Ms. Komasarek
was wondering whether Los Angeles police would raid the Convergence Center,
the group's headquarters, as police did in Washington, D.C. As the Midnight
Special held daily training sessions for attorneys and the legal observers
who would watch police conduct during the demonstrations, the police
appeared to be monitoring the building from patrol cars and helicopters,
sometimes photographing people entering and leaving and those paying
several visits.

"The LAPD is once again engaged in a dangerous game," says Dan Tokaji,
staff attorney for the ACLU of Southern California. "They've crossed the
line separating legitimate security preparations from unlawful harassment
that violates protesters' First and Fourth amendment rights. The mere
potential for a disturbance does not justify the suspension of our
constitutional rights."

After the police ignored a written demand to stop the alleged surveillance,
civil rights lawyers filed a federal lawsuit on Aug. 10 seeking a temporary
restraining order against the LAPD, to stop what the ACLU calls the pattern
of police harassment and intimidation of protesters at the group's center.

"The press, the chief of police, the mayor and many on the City Council
have done a very good job of violence-baiting this entire movement and
convincing people of this city that there is this group of anarchic
terrorists out there who are planning to come and wreak havoc on the city,"
says James Lafferty, executive director of the Los Angeles chapter of the
Lawyers Guild.

"We're pretty well connected to all of the movements, and I don't know of
anyone who's planning to do anything violent," he said.

                           A 50-lawyer Team

With the help of the Midnight Special, guild members recruited about 50
lawyers to help the demonstrators, both in the streets and in the justice
system, and about 200 people, many of them law students, to work as legal
observers. Wearing green National Lawyers Guild hats, they'll take notes
and pictures.

Once the protests start, the Guild intends to operate out of Loyola Law
School, gathering evidence for the defense of arrestees and a possible
civil suit in the event of police misconduct. Members of the Midnight
Special are to focus on counseling attorneys and demonstrators on jail
solidarity.

"We teach activists their rights, how to negotiate, how the criminal
justice system works and plea bargaining," Ms. Komisarek says. "We use
role-playing techniques in the training and have bought 2,000 plastic
handcuffs, so instead of panicking, they will be practicing their Miranda
rights."

But the Midnight Special, which takes its name from a prison song
popularized by blues singer Huddie "Leadbelly" Led-better, specializes in
the solidarity tactics initially used by labor unions. That amounts to the
protesters' acting and negotiating as a unit to protect organizers against
excess punishment. They refuse to cooperate with authorities, sometimes
chaining themselves together, refusing to eat, going limp, singing, dancing
or disrobing. They insist on speedy trials and demand court-appointed
lawyers, pressuring the system to negotiate.

"Normally, prosecutors have all the bargaining power, but when you have
this many people, the shoe's on the other foot," Ms. Komisarek says.
"Knowing the power of the group will back them up gives people the courage
to engage in this type of campaign."

The team also coaches private lawyers in handling such tactics as mass plea
bargains, keeps track of cases, fields questions from protesters and
amasses evidence.

By the time it leaves town, its members try to make sure all arrestees have
lawyers and, possibly, a plea bargain. The private bar is left to handle
unresolved cases and to pursue any civil suits.

With their savings and private donations running out, members of the mobile
legal team plan to move to permanent headquarters in Oakland, Calif., and
to handle about four major demonstrations a year, Ms. Komisarek says.

"Our cause is justice," she says. "Whether people are demonstrating for
freeing prisoners, saving the environment, stopping runaway jobs, workers'
rights or nuclear weapons, our goal is to support people who are in the
struggle and help them have more control over their fate in the legal
system. We want to teach them they're not dependent on attorneys, but on
their own ability to organize themselves and negotiate effectively." (The
National Law Journal, August 21, 2000)


FAMILY GOLF: Files Ch 11; Not Named in Consolidated NY Securities Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
As previously reported, during the first quarter of this year, several
class action lawsuits were filed against Family Golf Centers Inc. and
certain of its executive officers alleging that federal securities laws
were violated in connection with the sale of our common stock during July,
1998. On or about July 18, 2000, these class action lawsuits were
consolidated into one and a consolidated amended class action complaint was
filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New
York. The Company was not named as a defendant in the amended complaint
because of its filing for protection under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy
Code.

On May 4, 2000, FGC excluding its Canadian subsidiaries, filed petitions
for relief under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in the
United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. We
are presently operating our business as debtors-in-possession.


FIDELITY HOLDINGS: Milberg Weiss Files Securities Suit in New York
------------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP announces that a
class action lawsuit was filed on August 23, 2000, on behalf of purchasers
of the securities of Fidelity Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:FDHG) between November
15, 1999 and April 12, 2000 inclusive. A copy of the complaint filed in
this action is available from the Court, or can be viewed on Milberg Weiss'
website at: http://www.milberg.com/fidelityholdings/

The action, numbered 00CIV5078, is pending in the United States District
Court, for the Eastern District of New York, located at 225 Cadman Plaza E,
Brooklyn, NY 11201, against defendants Fidelity Holdings, Doron Cohen
(Chief Executive Officer and Director), Richard L. Feinstein (Chief
Financial Officer), and Bruce Bendell (Chairman of the Board). The
Honorable Charles P. Sifton is the Judge presiding over the case.

The complaint charges that defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder,
by issuing a series of material misrepresentations to the market between
November 15, 1999 and April 12, 2000. For example, as alleged in the
complaint, on November 15, 1999, Fidelity holdings issued a press release
announcing its financial results for the third quarter of 1999 which
highlighted "record" gross quarterly profits. This statement, the complaint
alleges, was materially false and misleading because the Company failed to
disclose that millions of dollars in third quarter expenses were improperly
deferred into the fourth quarter. On April 12, 2000, the Company issued a
press release announcing a net loss of $3.5 million for its 1999 fiscal
year, which the Company attributed to disproportionately high fourth
quarter expenses, and poor sales at the Company's Technology Division.
Following the announcement, Fidelity Holdings' stock price plummeted to
$3.38 per share, an 83% decline from its class period high of $20 per
share.

Contact: Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP, New York Steven G.
Schulman or Samuel H. Rudman, 800/320-5081
fidelityholdingscase@milbergNY.com http://www.milberg.com


GENAMERICA FINANCIAL: Proposed Settlement for Lawsuit over Life Policies
------------------------------------------------------------------------
GenAmerica Financial Corporation, the holding company for General American
Life Insurance Company, announced on August 24 that it has agreed to settle
all class action cases which had been pending in federal court. The
settlement, if approved by the court, covers approximately 251,000 current
and former policyholders who purchased General American whole life policies
issued between Jan. 1, 1984, and Dec. 31, 1996, and universal life policies
issued between Jan. 1, 1982, and Dec. 31, 1996. The settlement will provide
benefits to policyholders valued at $55 million. In resolving these cases,
General American denies any wrongdoing.

This settlement is similar to those of other major life insurance companies
facing comparable allegations concerning industry-wide sales practices
issues. The attorneys had filed three class actions charging that the
plaintiffs had been damaged because of various alleged improper sales
practices and policy performance. General American denied all of the
charges.


GEORGIA POWER: Journal Says Cochran in Racism Case Is a Headache for Co.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
When three African-American employees filed a race discrimination lawsuit
last month against Georgia Power, the utility reacted almost immediately to
address the allegations. Over the past year, another flagship company in
Atlanta, Coca-Cola, has struggled to overcome a barrage of local and
national publicity from a similar type of lawsuit filed by its
African-American employees.

The Coca-Cola lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, is being negotiated
toward a settlement. The prominent Atlanta law firm of Bondurant, Mixson &
Elmore, which filed the Coca-Cola suit, represents the black plaintiffs
suing Georgia Power.

Shortly after Georgia Power was sued on July 27, the company's chief
executive officer, David Ratcliffe, promised "swift and effective action"
against any racial discrimination in the company. Among a series of moves,
Ratcliffe named Juanita Baranco, one of Georgia Power s three black board
members, to co-chair a diversity committee with him. And last week,
Ratcliffe established a new position at the utility vice president for
diversity action. He named Jim Davis, the utility s senior vice president
for corporate relations, to fill the position. Ratcliffe said Davis reports
directly to him.

But now, Georgia Power has another headache: Johnnie Cochran of O.J.
Simpson fame swooped in to join the Bondurant, Mixson firm in the lawsuit
against the utility. Cochran has been added to put together a "dream team"
of lawyers in the case against Georgia Power. Cochran's entry into the
litigation received a big headline in the Atlanta newspapers. Georgia Power
declined comment.

The lawsuit was initially filed by three black employees, who claim Georgia
Power systematically discriminates against its African-African workforce
and shows a "reckless indifference" to the problem. About 1,800 of the
utility s 8,700 workers are African-American, and the lawsuit seeks
class-action status. Four more workers have since joined the suit, filing
similar allegations against Georgia Power s parent, Southern Co., and its
subsidiaries.

In recent statements, Steven Rosenwasser, a Bondurant, Mixson lawyer
representing the employees, praised Ratcliffe for his swift action. "But
internal changes without external oversight aren t good enough,"
Rosenwasser told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "The company can t be
trusted to change itself. ... The company can t ignore the fact it owes
African-Americans for past discrimination." (The Electricity Daily, August
24, 2000)


GROCERY CHAINS: Lawsuit Accuses of colluding on Milk Prices
-----------------------------------------------------------
A lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court claims Jewel food stores,
owned by Idaho-based Albertson's, and Dominick's are conspiring to keep the
price of a gallon of milk $1 higher in Chicago than the rest of the
country. The lawsuit charges top-level executives from both stores held
secret meetings to discuss keeping retail milk prices high. "If people were
mad about gasoline, they're sure as hell gonna be mad about milk," said
former Senate President Philip Rock, whose law firm filed the lawsuit.

Rock's firm surveyed 30 Jewel and Dominick's stores in the Chicago area and
found every Jewel charged $3.69 for a gallon of Deans milk and 29 out 30
Dominick's charged $3.69 for its own brand of milk. The 30th Dominick's
store charged $3.59.

The lawsuit says Dominick's and Jewel executives participated in a series
of secret meetings and conversations during which retail milk prices were
discussed and agreed to.

Representatives for Jewel and Dominick's deny the charges. "I don't know
how Dominick's determines their price for milk, but our price for milk is
something we determine internally," Jewel spokeswoman Karen Ramos said. "As
for Jewel officers meeting with Dominick's officers, absolutely not."

The lawsuit also charges both companies let representatives of the other
enter their stores with hand-held scanners to record prices. "That is
common in the food industry," said Brian Dowling, a spokesman for
Dominick's parent company, Safeway. "We're not fixing prices - we're
checking to make sure we're competitive on a very sensitive item. We do key
our sensitive items, like milk, to what the competition is doing."

Rock said the two grocery chains raised the price of milk in Chicago $1
above the national average because they can. Jewel controls 37 percent of
the grocery market in Chicago, Dominick's 26 percent. The nearest
competitor is Cub Foods, with 4.6 percent.

The price consumers pay for milk has dropped about 18 cents a gallon around
the country since last summer, the lawsuit charges. In Chicago, the price
of milk purchased in Jewel and Dominick's has risen to $3.69 from $3.09
since last summer.

The lawsuit seeks class action status and damages for consumers who have
bought milk from Jewel and Dominick's.

Jewel is owned by Albertson's Inc. of Boise, Idaho, the nation's
second-largest supermarket chain. Safeway in the nation's third-largest
supermarket group. (The Associated Press State & Local Wire, August 24,
2000)


HMOs: PA Chiropractic Sues Independence Blue Cross over Denial of Care
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Pennsylvania Chiropractic Association (PCA) on August 23 filed a
class-action suit charging Independence Blue Cross and its subsidiaries
with improperly denying needed chiropractic care to subscribers in order to
maximize profits.

The Southern New Jersey Chiropractic Society, four individual doctors of
chiropractic, and two former health-plan subscribers joined PCA in filing
the suit in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. Independence Blue
Cross, a tax-exempt Pennsylvania Health Plan Corporation, is based in
Philadelphia and has subscribers in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.

"We allege in the lawsuit that Independence Blue Cross has breached its
contractual obligations both to subscribers and participating chiropractors
and has also violated the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer
Protection Law," said PCA Executive Vice President Gene G. Veno.

The suit charges that the insurance company established a
"precertification" process aimed at "discouraging or denying coverage for
chiropractic services." The company did so, according to the suit, "in
order to reduce its medical expenses and maximize its profitability." The
result, PCA charges, "is to deny treatment that patients desperately need
and to prevent chiropractors from receiving appropriate compensation for
providing such services."

The complaint names Independence Blue Cross and nine for-profit
subsidiaries: AmeriHealth, Inc.; Keystone Health Plan East, Inc.;
AmeriHealth HMO, Inc.; Healthcare Delaware, Inc.; American Health
Alternatives; AmeriHealth Insurance Co.; QCC Insurance Co.; Vista Health
Plan, Inc.; and AmeriHealth Administrators.

PCA represents some 1,500 chiropractors statewide, of which an estimated
250 are participating providers with IBC.

"Our members are extremely concerned by the patient-care and reimbursement
issues raised here," Veno said. "We have met with Independence Blue Cross
in an attempt to resolve the situation short of litigation, but the
insurance company has taken an inflexible stance and we feel we must now
move forward with the appropriate legal action."

D. Brian Hufford, a partner in the New York law firm of Pomerantz Haudek
Block Grossman & Gross, L.L.P., which is representing PCA and the other
plaintiffs, said, "Through this action, we are asking the court to award
damages, and we are seeking to compel Independence Blue Cross to live up to
its contractual obligations, both to its subscribers and to its
participating chiropractors."

The suit specifically alleges that Independence Blue Cross:

  -- "Refuses in nearly all circumstances to precertify or compensate"
      for two of the most complicated billing codes for spinal
      manipulation and that it does so "without regard to the medical
      necessity of the services."

  -- "Refuses to precertify or compensate" for non-manipulation services
      performed by participating providers while reimbursing non-
      participating providers for the same services.

  -- Restricts "secondary treatment" by precertifying only one
      manipulation procedure per patient visit "even if two or more
      separate manipulations are medically necessary on a particular
      day."

  -- Has adopted "arbitrary limits on the number of [treatment] sessions
      it will approve for particular medical conditions without regard to
      medical necessity."

  -- Cuts off treatment as ineffective if the patient hasn't shown at
      least a 50 percent improvement during the initially approved visits
      and also cuts off treatment as unnecessary if the patient shows
      improvement of 60 to 65 percent.

  -- Allows nurse reviewers rather than chiropractors to deny
      precertification requests on grounds of medical necessity.

  -- Relies on inappropriate guidelines in deciding what is medically
      necessary but makes it impossible to have the guidelines "peer
      reviewed" because it refuses to disclose them.

Contact: Gene G. Veno, Executive Vice President of Pennsylvania
Chiropractic Association, 717-232-5762


LOS ANGELES POLICE: Officers Plan to Sue Department over Retaliation
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Forty officers who say they were punished for reporting misconduct plan to
sue the Los Angeles Police Department for $100 million, their lawyer said.

The current and former officers named as paintiffs in the lawsuit to be
filed Thursday suffered discrimination, harassment and other forms of
retaliation, according to their attorney, Bradley Gage.

"Officers knew they had to keep their mouth shut if someone in management
did something wrong," Gage said.

Officer Don Cox, a police spokesman, said LAPD officials had not seen the
lawsuit and could not comment.

In addition to seeking monetary damages, Gage said he will ask for an
injunction to prevent continuing retaliation and discrimination.

"This lawsuit is about officers who tried to do the right thing by
reporting misconduct and/or illegal activities, who then suffered for
making these reports of wrongdoing," Gage said in a statement.

He said the department used a pattern of harassment known as a "phone
jacket" in which managers passed on confidential information about an
officer who was being transferred to another division "so the harassment
and retaliation will continue to follow the officer until he or she is
forced to leave the department."

He said officers who become the subjects of misconduct reports often are
transferred to another division where they continue the same pattern of
conduct.

Gage said that "good cops" on the force came to fear their own managers and
administrators more than criminals on the street.

"The good cops have been the victims of reporting bad cops," he said.

Gage said he would seek to certify the suit as a class action, which could
ultimately involve thousands of officers.

"The courageous officers in this suit are taking a stand telling the Police
Department that ethics, morals and law must be adhered to by all police
officers, including those in upper management," said Gage. (The Associated
Press State & Local Wire, August 24, 2000)


MA MUTUAL: NJ Court Reverses Certification in Vanishing Premium Case
--------------------------------------------------------------------
An appeals court here has reversed a lower court's denial of class
certification in a vanishing premium action against Massachusetts Mutual
Life Insurance Co., finding plaintiffs are entitled to a "presumption of
reliance" if they can prove their core issue of liability against the
insurer for omission of material facts (Paul Varacallo, et al. v.
Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co., No. A-1257-99T5, N.J. Super., App.
Div.).

Paul Varacallo sued Massachusetts Mutual on behalf of himself and all those
similarly situated alleging they were deceived by the insurer into buying
"vanishing premium" whole life insurance policies. The complaint alleges
claims of common law fraud and violations of the Consumer Fraud Act.

                           Individual Issues

Varacallo moved for class certification but the trial court ruled
individual issues predominate over common questions of law and fact and
denied certification. Varacallo appeals the ruling denying certification of
a class.

The policies were sold between 1985 and 1989 under the name "N-pay"
policies. The policies allegedly shorten the number of years premium
payments are required by having the dividends earned on earlier payments
cover later premium costs. Varacallo alleged the representations made by
the insurer never came to pass.

The policies were sold by independent contract agents; more than 8,250
policies were sold to New Jersey residents by 840 agents. The agents used
several policy illustrations in their sales presentations that were created
by Massachusetts Mutual.

Varacallo alleges Massachusetts Mutual withheld material information from
its printed literature and that the carrier knowingly and intentionally
inflated its dividend rates to sell N-pay policies. Varacallo alleged the
information regarding the accuracy of the illustrations was also withheld
from the insurance agents.

                        Class Certification

The appeals court reversed the denial of class certification of Varacallo's
action, finding class action resolution of the case is the superior method
for adjudication of the claims.

"We perceive from the pronouncements of our Supreme Court that there is an
overarching principle of equity to consider in the application of the class
certification rule. The principle is that class actions should be liberally
allowed where consumers are attempting to redress a common grievance under
circumstances that would make individual actions uneconomical to pursue,"
the appeals court held, citing Strawn v. Canusa (140 N.J. 43, 49, 68, 657
A.2d 420 [1995]) and In re Cadillac (V8-6-4 Class Action, 93 N.J. 412,
424-25, 461 A.2d 736 [1983]).

The appeals court said should the representative plaintiff succeed on
liability, the small amount of damages incurred by each policyholder also
meets the equitable principles of a class action.

The appeals court also ruled individual issues regarding contact with
insurance agents do not predominate over common issues of fact. The appeals
court said the allegations in this case are not against the agents but
rather lie solely with the insurer.

                              Sales Pitches

"It may well be, as Mass Mutual contends, that sales presentations differed
from agent to agent depending on their individual skills, and from client
to client depending on their needs and ability to comprehend. But we find
no evidence in the record that these agents made sales pitches that went
beyond the literature produced by Mass Mutual, or that any of them knew
Mass Mutual could not support the projected dividends and intended to
ratchet them down as a certainty, but failed to tell prospective
policyholders," the appeals court said.

"Even if some or many of the policyholders relied upon the agents' sales
pitch, we have held that reliance element in a common law fraud claim may
be satisfied by proof of indirect reliance where a party deliberately makes
'false representations . . . with the intent that they be communicated to
others for the purpose of inducing the others to rely on them," the court
held, citing Metric Investment Inc. v. Patterson (101 N.J. Super. 301, 306,
244 A.2d 311 [App. Div. 1968]) and Judson v. Peoples Bank & Trust Co. (25
N.J. 17, 134 A.2d 761 [1957]).

The "presumption or inference of reliance" and causation has been extended
to common law and statutory fraud where omissions of material fact are
common to the class, the appeals court held, citing Murray v. Seveir (156
F.R.D 235, 248-49, n. 11 [D. Kan. 1994] and Adams v. Little Missouri
Minerals Ass'n (143 N.W.2d 659, 684-85 [N.D. 1966]).

                          Concept Broadened

"The Supreme Court of California has broadened this concept to include all
material misrepresentations, whether facts are not disclosed or falsely
represented," the appeals court said, citing Vasquez v. Superior Court of
San Joaquin County (4 Cal. 3d 800, 94 Cal. Rptr. 796, 484 P.2d 964, 973
[Cal. 1971]).

The appeals court ruled if plaintiffs can establish their core issue of
liability, they would be entitled to a presumption of reliance. The appeals
court said resolutions of this class might require a number of separate
trials. The appeals court remanded the action for the lower court to enter
a class certification order.

"In doing so," the appeals court said, "we do not intend to strip the trial
court of its discretion to create subclasses should that need develop, or
to de-certify the class in the future should the litigation become
unmanageable for reasons that we have not anticipated."

Varacallo is represented by Bruce D. Greenberg of Lite, DePalma, Greenberg
& Rivas and Joseph N. Kravec Jr. of Specter, Specter, Evans & Manogue, both
of Newark, N.J. Massachusetts Mutual is represented by Robert J. Del Tufo,
Vaughn C. Williams, Stanley Chinitz and Elliot Rothstein of Skadden, Arps,
Slate, Meagher & Flom of New York. (Mealey's Litigation Report: Emerging
Insurance Disputes, July 5, 2000)


MERCATOR SOFTWARE: Berman DeValerio Files Securities Suit in CT
---------------------------------------------------------------
Mercator Software, Inc. (Nasdaq: MCTR) was named on August 24 as a
defendant in a shareholder class action lawsuit filed in the United States
District Court for the District of Connecticut. The action, brought by
Berman, DeValerio & Pease, LLP, www.bermanesq.com, seek damages for
violations of the federal securities laws on behalf of all investors who
purchased Mercator common stock between April 20, 2000 and August 21, 2000
(the "Class Period").

The Complaint alleges that Mercator improperly overstated its gross profits
and net income during the Class Period, while understating its operating
expenses, which required the Company to restate its results for first
quarter ended March 31, 2000 and to adjust its previously reported results
for the second quarter ended June 30, 2000.

On August 21, 2000, after the market had closed, Mercator disclosed that it
restated and lowered first- and second-quarter 2000 earnings to account for
approximately $2.4 million of under-reported expenses. In addition, the
Company announced that it had accepted the resignation of its chief
financial offer and terminated its vice president of finance.

Contact: Patrick T. Egan, Esq., of Berman, DeValerio & Pease LLP,
800-516-9926, or bdplaw@bermanesq.com


PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL: Lead Counsel to Amend Securities Complaint in FL
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP, court-appointed lead counsel for
shareholders in a securities fraud action against Phoenix International,
Inc., will seek leave to file a second amended complaint to add allegations
relating to the Company's August 22 announcement that it was reviewing its
revenue recognition accounting treatment of several of its software
contracts. Lead Plaintiffs' second amended complaint would extend the class
allegations beyond the second quarter of 2000. U.S. District Judge Sharp in
Orlando, Florida, previously upheld plaintiffs' complaint on August 17,
2000.

For further information, please contact: Kenneth J. Vianale Maya Saxena
Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP The Plaza 5355 Town Center Road,
Suite 900 Boca Raton, FL (561) 361-5000.

Contact: Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP, Boca Raton Kenneth J.
Vianale Tel: (561) 361-5000 Fax: (561) 367-8400


SCIENTIFIC LEARNING: To Seek Early Dismissal Of Securities Suit in CA
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Scientific Learning Corporation (Nasdaq: SCIL) announced on August 23 that
it plans to seek early dismissal of a class action lawsuit filed against
the Company and certain of its corporate officers.

Commenting on the litigation, the Company's Chief Executive Officer,
Sheryle Bolton, said, "We believe that there is no valid basis for these
claims, and we intend to ask the court to dismiss the case at the earliest
possible time."

The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco by the Milberg
Weiss law firm. The lawsuit concerns the Company's projected revenues for
the second quarter that ended June 30, 2000. In early July, Scientific
Learning reported that its second quarter revenues were lower than
expected. The Company also reported an 80% year over year increase in
quarterly revenues and $18 million in cash and short-term investments.


SOUTHERN CO: Lawyers Say Racial Discrimination Claims Waiver Is Unfair
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Southern Co. is requiring laid-off African-American employees to waive
racial discrimination claims against the company as a condition for
severance packages, lawyers for seven employees who have sued the company
charged Wednesday.

In a letter to Southern Co. Chief Executive A.W. "Bill" Dahlberg, the
attorneys said the company is seeking such releases from potential members
of a class-action lawsuit. The releases force the employees to make an
"unfair choice" between receiving severance benefits and giving up their
legal rights, the letter said.

Todd Terrell, a Southern Co. spokesman, said severance packages have "for
years'' included a standard release waiving "any and all claims'' against
the company as part of an ongoing streamlining of operations. No new
provisions have been added because of the lawsuit, he said.

But the attorneys called on the company to "immediately cease from
obtaining releases or waivers from putative class members that preclude
them from participating or recovering in this action.'' They noted that
Coca-Cola Co., faced with a similar lawsuit, "made such modifications'' in
its severance agreements.

However, Terrell said, "We support our current policy and have no plans to
modify it.''

In a lawsuit filed in Fulton Superior Court July 27, three Georgia Power
Co. employees alleged the utility and parent Southern Co. foster a "pattern
of discriminating against African-Americans'' who work there and show
"reckless indifference'' to a racially hostile workplace. The plaintiffs
are seeking class-action status to represent 2,100 African-American
employees.

Last week four more employees of Georgia Power and other Southern Co.
subsidiaries joined the lawsuit. (The Atlanta Journal and Constitution,
August 24, 2000)


TOYSMART.COM: FTC Files Enforcement Action Under New Child Privacy Law
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Federal Trade Commission has filed its first enforcement action under
the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act against a bankrupt Internet
toy retailer that is attempting to sell its customer database to raise cash
to pay its creditors. The new charges follow the FTC's 3-2 decision
approving a settlement of previous charges that the retailer, Toysmart.com
Inc., violated its stated privacy policy, thereby running afoul of FTC
regulations. Federal Trade Comm'n v. Toysmart.com. (Computer & Online
Industry Litigation Reporter, August 1, 2000)


WWII VICTIMS: The Daily Yomiuri Reports on Lawsuit against Japanese Cos.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lawyers for a group of nine Chinese and Chinese-Americans filed a lawsuit
Tuesday demanding compensation from 20 Japanese companies in the Mitsui and
Mitsubishi groups, claiming they were forced to work as slave laborers for
the firms during World War II. The lawyers filed the class action lawsuit
at the Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Although more than 30 similar lawsuits have been filed in the United States
since July last year, this is the first time Chinese citizens have been
among the plaintiffs. The lawyers had invited Chinese people forced to work
for Mitsui and Mitsubishi during the war to participate in the lawsuit. The
group of nine plaintiffs consists of five Chinese citizens, one of whom is
participating on behalf of a deceased family member, and four
Chinese-Americans.

According to their lawyers, the five Chinese plaintiffs were forced to work
at mines in Kumamoto Prefecture and other locations in Japan between 1943
and 1944, while the four Chinese-Americans, who were children at the time,
had to work in mines and on bridge construction sites managed by Mitsui in
China.

At a press conference in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Barry Fisher, one of the
group's lawyers, said: "This is a suit on behalf of Chinese people
victimized during the war. There were millions of them and hundreds of
thousands are still surviving." The lawyers said they also plan to file
further class action suits on behalf of people from South Korea, Vietnam,
Myanmar (formerly Burma) and the Philippines who were forced to work by
Japanese companies during the war.

In addition to compensation for damages, the plaintiffs in the most recent
case are demanding the companies pay them for the time they spent doing
forced labor.

After the state of California passed a new law last July to prolong the
statute of limitations on demands for wartime compensation until 2010,
there has been a surge in the number of this type of lawsuit.

The law is not limited to U.S. citizens. People living outside the United
States and bereaved family members of victims also are entitled to file
lawsuits seeking compensation. Former prisoners of war in the United
States, Britain, Australia and the Netherlands have filed suits at courts
in California since the law was passed.

Many of the lawsuits are being handled by a team of Jewish lawyers that
secured a major out-of-court settlement last December in a forced labor
case brought against the German government and several German companies.
The German government and the companies agreed to pay 10 billion marks (540
billion yen) to create a fund to compensate victims of forced labor under
the Nazis.

Lawsuits against the German government and German companies were first
filed four years ago at U.S. federal district courts. However, problems
resulting from the statute of limitations and the limited jurisdiction of
U.S. courts led to deadlocks.

The U.S. and German governments decided to intervene in the cases,
resulting in out-of-court settlements such as the one reached in December.

The lawsuit involving the Chinese plaintiffs is being handled by the same
team of lawyers. The lawyers chose to file a class action suit so all
Chinese forced to do unpaid work by the Mitsui and Mitsubishi groups from
1929 to 1945 could join it if they wished. (Kazuo Ishii Yomiuri Shimbun
Correspondent) (The Daily Yomiuri (Tokyo), August 24, 2000)


TWO WINTHROP: Investors Sue upon Restructuring of Partnership Debt
------------------------------------------------------------------
Twelve Amh Associates Ltd Partnership tells investors that an eleven count
complaint was filed against the defendants on or about July 27, 2000.
seeking to maintain the action as a class action on behalf of all limited
partners of the Partnership, and as a derivative action as to certain
claims. Although the complaint contains allegations based upon the failure
of the Partnership to achieve results projected in the Confidential
Memorandum in 1984, the claims are primarily based upon the May, 2000
restructuring of the Partnership debt. The plaintiff claims, in substance,
that the debt restructuring and related dissolution of the Operating
Partnerships was done in violation of the Partnership Agreement, and that
the limited partners were damaged as a result. The plaintiff also complains
about fees paid to the General Partners and their affiliates during the
life of the Partnership. The plaintiff has asserted claims for breach of
fiduciary duty, breach of contract, fraud and misrepresentation, civil
conspiracy, waste and unjust enrichment. The defendants have obtained an
enlargement of time within which they are to respond to the complaint
through September 8, 2000.

The lawsuit is: Clyde V. Alexander, Jr. M.D. v Two Winthrop Properties,
Inc., Linnaeus-Lexington Associates Limited Partnership, Winthrop Financial
Associates and Twelve AMH Associates Limited Partnership, Superior Court
for the District of Columbia (Civil Action NO. 0005602-00).


WAL-MART STORES: TX Ap Ct Says Pharmacists Not Required to Warn Patients
------------------------------------------------------------------------
In reversing a 1999 jury verdict against a Wal-Mart Stores Inc. pharmacy, a
Texas appellate court has determined that pharmacists are not required by
law to warn patients of the possible adverse side effects of prescription
drugs.

The parents of Cameron Pettus sued Wal-Mart and other defendants after
their son's death in 1993, charging that the druggist had failed to warn
them that the desipramine prescribed for the child's diagnosed attention
deficit hyperactivity disorder was not approved for use for ADHD and was
dangerous for children. Cameron was 14 when he died of a chronic allergic
reaction to desipramine that destroyed his vital organs.

In March 1999 an Austin, Texas, jury awarded the plaintiffs $3 million.
After set-offs for previous settlements and addition of prejudgment
interest, the judgment against Wal-Mart was entered at slightly more than
$1 million.

But on Aug. 10 the Texas Third District Court of Appeals reversed the trial
verdict and rendered a take-nothing judgment in favor of Wal-Mart,
determining that a generalized duty to warn would "unnecessarily interfere"
with the physician/patient relationship by "compelling pharmacies seeking
to escape liability to question the propriety of every prescription they
fill."

The court added that although pharmacists can warn about side effects, they
" are not legally obligated to do so."

The drug was first prescribed for Cameron Pettus when he was 12, said
plaintiffs' attorney Donna Bradshaw, a Denver sole practitioner.

The prescription was first filled at a Walgreen's pharmacy, she noted, and
this druggist did not include a manufacturer's package insert, warning that
the drug was "not recommended for use in children." In addition, the insert
noted that there had been a report of sudden death in an 8-year-old who had
been treated for two years. "There have been additional reports of sudden
death in children," the insert added.

The child's doctor, Lorraine Schroeder, did not warn about any serious side
effects either, Bradshaw said. Cameron began taking the medication in April
1991 and first complained of chest and groin pain two months later. He was
diagnosed with musculoskeletal pain connected to playing sports.

The chest pains continued, and in late 1991, he was hospitalized. No one
indicated a connection with the medication, Bradshaw noted.

In August 1992, his mother switched the prescription from Walgreen's to a
Wal- Mart store. At this time, said Bradshaw, Wal-Mart's pharmacists also
failed to warn about any side effects and did not supply the drug
manufacturer's insert.

The Wal-Mart pharmacist who filled the prescription testified at trial that
she knew the prescription had been first filled at Walgreen's and assumed
that Morgan had been informed of the possible side effects.

Cameron continued taking the medication. He went into a coma in July and
died on Aug. 2, 1993. His parents sued Schroeder; Sidmak Laboratories, the
maker of the drug; Walgreen's; and Wal-Mart, as well as other doctors and
clinics where the boy had been taken. All but Wal-Mart settled in Morgan v.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

The jury apportioned liability for the death at 15 percent to Wal-Mart; 60
percent to Schroeder; 14 percent to Walgreen's; and 11 percent to the boy's
parents.

Wal-Mart appealed, arguing that as a matter of law, the duty to warn of the
potential dangers of desipramine rested with the prescribing physician.
"This death is indeed regrettable and sad," said Thomas Williams, spokesman
for Wal- Mart, "but we didn't do anything wrong."

The plaintiffs contended that under the Texas Pharmacy Act, pharmacists had
a general duty to warn customers of potential side effects. But the appeals
court ruled that courts are not required to "accept it as a standard for
civil liability."

Plaintiffs' appellate counsel Jennifer Hogan of Houston's Hogan, Dubose &
Townsend said that after the appellate court decision, "Wal-Mart and other
retailers still have to warn customers about lawnmowers and cigarette
lighters, but now evidently they don't have to warn patients about the
dangerous side effects of drugs." The plaintiffs will appeal, she said.

Margaret Cronin Fisk is a contributing editor for The National Law Journal,
an American Lawyer Media affiliate based in New York. (The Recorder, August
24, 2000)


* Third Circuit Affirms Injunction Against Child Online Protection Act
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Agreeing with the district court that the American Civil Liberties Union
was likely to succeed on the merits of its case challenging the
constitutionality of the Child Online Protection Act, but basing its
decision on other grounds, the Third Circuit affirmed the lower court's
grant of a preliminary injunction to the plaintiffs, barring enforcement of
the law intended to protect minors from harmful material on the Internet.
American Civil Liberties Union v. Reno. (Computer & Online Industry
Litigation Reporter, August 1, 2000)


                              *********


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

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

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

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