CAR_Public/000926.MBX              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Tuesday, September 26, 2000, Vol. 2, No. 187

                              Headlines

AMUSEMENT TAX: Movie Goers Might Get Refund from Ticket Stubs
AURORA FOODS: SEC and DOJ Investigate on Financial Restatement
BLOCKBUSTER INC: Michigan Court OKs $5.4 Mil Settlement in Consumer Suit
CalPERS: Toxic Mold Taints  Property Deal, Tenants Say
CITRIX SYSTEMS: Announces Product Deals Amidst Shareholders' Litigation

FORD MOTOR: Berger & Montague Files Securities Suit in Michigan
GLOBAL CROSSING: Certain Shareholders Suits in NY Voluntarily Withdrawn
GLOBAL CROSSING: Contests Shareholder Suit Transferred to Monroe, NY
HARMONIC INC: Reports on Securities Lawsuits in California
HOLOCAUST VICTIMS: Polish Denied Compensation in Swiss Banks Case

ICG COMMUNICATIONS: Dyer & Shuman Files Securities Lawsuit in Colorado
ICG COMMUNICATIONS: Milberg Weiss Files Securities Lawsuit in Colorado
NATIONAL TAX: Assignee May Be Vicariously Liable under FDCPA and TILA
OHSL: Law Firm Gene Mesh Files Securities Lawsuit in Ohio
PESTICIDE MANUFACTURERS: NY and CT Lobstermen Sue over Lobster Die-Off

SOTHEBY'S HOLDINGS: Statement from the Board of Directors
SOTHEBY'S: Auction House Ex-Chief to Pay Bulk of Collusion Claims
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Employees Seek to Revive Cert. for Job Bidding Case
Y2K LITIGATION: Complaints on Tel. System Do Not Meet Criteria under Act
Y2K LITIGATION: Nevada Physician Sues Infocure over Deceptive Practices

* Counsel for Special Litigation with Ford Talks about No-Injury Claims

                             *********

AMUSEMENT TAX: Movie Goers Might Get Refund from Ticket Stubs
-------------------------------------------------------------
If a judge next month agrees with the plaintiffs in a class-action suit,
that a 10-cent amusement tax tacked onto movie tickets in Calumet City was
illegal for 17 years, thousands of moviegoers could have a refund
coming--if they have their ticket stubs.

Attorney Thomas Skallas represents three moviegoers who initiated the suit
because they claimed they were unwittingly taxed for tickets they bought in
the city.

The city's amusement tax ordinance was approved in 1979 and expired in
1982, Skallas said. Theaters continued to collect the tax even though city
officials never renewed the ordinance, he said.

That oversight meant that at least $1.2 million was illegally collected
between Sept. 1, 1982, the day the ordinance expired, and Feb. 28, the day
the city stopped collecting the tax, he said.

A proposed settlement seeks to have Calumet City refund the money, which
had been going into the city's general fund since 1982.

A public notice last week in a local newspaper alerted people who may have
bought theater tickets during that time period to submit ticket stubs as
proof, said Skallas. The settlement provides for moviegoers to be paid
between 11 cents and 20 cents for each ticket tax they paid, he said. The
price has been adjusted for inflation.

The settlement also would allow the three named members of the class-action
suit--Bryan Dohman, Brett Larsen and Robert Serdar--to receive $7,000 each.
Skallas' law firm, Childress & Zdeb, Ltd. of Chicago would receive $175,000
in fees.

Assuming that most moviegoers will be unable to prove their ticket purchase
and apply for a refund, Skallas said whatever balance remains of the $1.2
million will be directed to projects in Calumet City that would benefit the
community such as police life safety vests and recreational programs.

Calumet City Atty. Jerry Lambert praised the settlement as a fair solution
to the lawsuit because Calumet City residents will benefit.

Circuit Judge Paul Biebel Jr., who must decide whether to approve the
settlement, has scheduled a public hearing at 2 p.m. Oct. 16 in the Daley
Center, 50 W. Washington St., Chicago. (Chicago Tribune, September 25,
2000)


AURORA FOODS: SEC and DOJ Investigate on Financial Restatement
--------------------------------------------------------------
Aurora Foods Inc. solicited the consent of the holders of the Company's
8-3/4% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2008 and the February and July issues
of the Company's 9-7/8% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2007. The purpose of
the Consent Solicitation was to amend certain provisions of each Indenture
governing the Notes, to waive certain events of default under each
Indenture and to receive a release of certain claims.

The Consent Solicitation expired on September 20, 2000. Upon receiving the
required consents pursuant to the Company's Confidential Consent
Solicitation Statement dated as of August 31, 2000, as supplemented (the
"Consent Solicitation Statement"), the Company and the trustee under the
Indentures executed a Supplemental Indenture with respect to each Indenture
to make the amendments operative and binding on all holders of Notes. In
connection with the successful completion of the Consent Solicitation,
certain investors, including funds affiliated with existing stockholders,
purchased 3,750,000 shares of the Company's Series A Preferred Stock for an
aggregate purchase price of $15,000,000 (the "Financing"). The Company
issued a press release dated September 20, 2000 with respect to the
completion of the Consent Solicitation and the Financing. The foregoing
description is qualified in its entirety by reference to the Consent
Solicitation Statement as supplemented and the Securities Purchase
Agreement for the Series A Preferred Stock which are incorporated herein by
reference.

The Company has been informed that the staff of the Securities and Exchange
Commission (the "SEC") and the Department of Justice (the "DOJ") are
conducting investigations relating to the events that resulted in the
restatement of the Company's financial statements for prior periods ("Prior
Events"). The SEC and DOJ have requested that the Company provide certain
documents relating to the Company's historical financial statements. On
September 5, 2000, the Company received a subpoena from the SEC to produce
documents in connection with the Prior Events. The SEC also requested
certain information regarding some of the Company's former officers and
employees, correspondence with the Company's auditors and documents related
to financial statements, accounting policies and certain transactions and
business arrangements.

The Company tells investors it is cooperating with the SEC and the DOJ in
connection with both investigations. The Company cannot predict the outcome
of either governmental investigation. An adverse outcome in either
proceeding may have a material adverse effect on the Company.


BLOCKBUSTER INC: Michigan Court OKs $5.4 Mil Settlement in Consumer Suit
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wasinger Kickham and Kohls announces Blockbuster Video will begin
implementing a settlement of a class action that will provide approximately
$5.4 million in benefits to approximately 685,000 Michigan members of
Blockbuster. The Wayne County Circuit Court gave final approval to the
settlement on September 1, 2000.

The case, Herrada v. Blockbuster, Inc., Case No. 99-923662-CP, was filed in
July 1999 and alleged that Blockbuster deceived its members in Michigan by
failing to properly and adequately disclose the way it assessed late fees
on overdue video rentals. Plaintiffs alleged, among other things, that
Blockbuster's daily late fees, called "extended viewing fees," were up to
five times the amount of its daily rental fees, and that Blockbuster failed
to adequately disclose that fact to its members.

Effective February 22, 2000, Blockbuster no longer assesses its extended
viewing fees on a daily basis, and allows its customers to return video
rentals by noon the next day, as opposed to midnight the previous evening.

Any Blockbuster member who incurred an extended viewing fee between June 1,
1998 and December 31, 1999, and whose most recent rental activity as of
August 6, 2000 occurred at certain Michigan stores (predominantly in the
Greater Detroit Metropolitan area) is a member of the class and is entitled
to participate in the settlement. Pursuant to the settlement, each of the
approximately 685,000 members of the class will be eligible to receive two
coupons, each of which will entitle them to a free video rental at any
participating Michigan Blockbuster store. The coupons, which have some
limited restrictions, have an approximate total value to each class member
of up to $8. Blockbuster will automatically issue the coupons to any class
member who completes any kind of transaction in a participating Blockbuster
store between September 23, 2000 and November 21, 2000. The coupons must be
used during that same period.

The Plaintiff class was represented by Stephen Wasinger and Gregory Hanley
of Wasinger Kickham and Kohls, a Royal Oak, Michigan law firm specializing
in, among other things, complex commercial litigation matters, including
class actions.

Contact: Wasinger Kickham and Kohls, Royal Oak Stephen Wasinger,
248/414-9942 Gregory Hanley, 248/414-9948


CalPERS: Toxic Mold Taints  Property Deal, Tenants Say
------------------------------------------------------
It was a $929 million deal between the nation's largest pension fund and a
Southern California real estate company. But now things are looking ugly.
Well, not so much ugly, as moldy. According to current and former tenants,
several of the buildings involved in the deal are contaminated with toxic
mold.

In June, the California Public Employees Retirement System and RREEF, a
real estate investment trust, agreed to buy 15 million square feet of
property owned by Pacific Gulf Properties of Newport Beach for $929
million.

RREEF and CalPERS were aware there had been some problems with toxic mold
in one of the buildings, CalPERS spokeswoman Patricia Macht said.

But the problems may have been more widespread than first assumed.
According to Kathy Masera, the publisher of California Job Journal and a
former tenant of Pacific Gulf Properties, who is suing Pacific Gulf for $10
million, there is mold throughout the company's numerous complexes in the
Tribute Road area. The building she occupied is closed and empty, she said.
Uninhabitable because of toxic mold, she said.

An employee of another company, in another Pacific Gulf-owned complex, was
taken to the hospital after suffering a reaction to mold, Masera said.
"They're getting a pig in a poke," Masera warned the new buyers.

In the spring, before the sales agreement with CalPERS and RREEF, Pacific
Gulf landscaped and painted the outside of the properties to "spruce them
up," Masera said. She suspects that Pacific Gulf was looking for a unwary
buyer and found one in the CalPERS group.

Masera had been a tenant involved in other building sales. She said that
the two previous times the buyers spent at least an hour in due diligence
questioning her about building maintenance and potential problems.

But when the team came in to discuss the Tribute Road building, due
diligence took only a few minutes and she was asked three questions, she
said, none of them related to the condition or maintenance of the property.
Had they asked, she could have given them a mouthful.

Twenty-six of California Job Journal's 30 employees had been sick or
hospitalized because of mold in the building, Masera said, suffering from
lung and sinus infections, mouth sores and severe allergic reactions. On
New Year's Eve 2000, the entire company was evacuated because an
environmental scientist had determined the building was unsafe. Pacific
Gulf moved them to another of its buildings, but that one was also
contaminated with mold.

"They've quietly settled a number of lawsuits with other tenants," Masera
said. But she's not going quietly. It's a health hazard and she is working
to get legislation introduced.

Someone has to do something about mold, a problem everyone agrees is bad
but no government agency is regulating, said Alexander Robertson IV, a
Woodland Hills attorney who is representing Masera and has represented
thousands of other plaintiffs.

A Pacific Gulf Properties official said the company would issue a statement
on September 22. In an earlier news release, Pacific Gulf called the mold
allegations "grossly exaggerated" but has not commented on the property
sale except to announce it to shareholders and inform the Securities and
Exchange Commission.

CalPERS spokeswoman Macht said CalPERS was aware that Pacific Gulf had
settled lawsuits regarding the property. But she also said that Pacific
Gulf is going to have to clean up the property before CalPERS completes the
purchase. "They can fix it and certify that it's in tip-top shape or they
can just keep it," Macht said. "CalPERS will not accept a building that has
a toxic problem." (Sacramento Bee, September 22, 2000)


CITRIX SYSTEMS: Announces Product Deals Amidst Shareholders' Litigation
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Citrix Systems' MetaFrame application server software helps beef up
computer networks by letting non-Windows-based (Macintosh, UNIX, Linux)
computers, handheld devices and information appliances run Windows-based
applications remotely from a central server. The company's iBusiness
division caters solely to application service providers, a growing portion
of the company's client base. Nearly half of the company's sales come from
outside the United States. Clients include the U.S. Navy, IBM, Corio and
Motorola. Co-founder and former chairman Edward Iacobucci, who led the
IBM-Microsoft engineering team that created the OS/2 operating system in
the mid-1980s, recently resigned from the company as part of a management
shakeup resulting from the firm's recent poor stock performance.

Xyvision Enterprise Solutions, a developer of content management and
publishing software in Reading, Mass., announced Aug. 10 that it has joined
the Citrix Systems' Citrix Solutions Network as a Gold Solutions Provider.
XyEnterprise will sell and support Citrix application server computing
solutions, including the MetaFrame product, to companies in the aerospace,
automotive, high technology, financial and commercial publishing markets.

One day earlier, the Philadelphia law firm Barrack, Rodos & Bacine issued a
Class Action suit alert on behalf of Citrix shareholders of record between
Oct. 20 and June 9. After the XyEnterprise deal was announced, the Seattle
law firm Keller Rohrback published a reminder addressed to Citrix
shareholders that they had four days left to seek to serve as lead
plaintiff in their class action. The law firm represents individual
shareholders in a class action lawsuit on behalf of investors who purchased
Citrix common stock between Oct. 18 and June 9. Class shareholders allege
that Citrix and certain of its officers and directors violated federal
securities laws by disseminating false and misleading statements about the
company's business and financial condition during the class period.

On Aug. 8, shares of Citrix rose on the news of another deal the software
maker had signed with Beijing Stone Investment Co., an electronics products
distributor in China. The deal calls for Beijing Stone to provide Citrix
server- based computing software to value-added resellers and system
integrators in China that focus enterprise application deployment products.
Terms of the-deal weren't disclosed.

On Aug. 2, Keller Rohrback announced that in response to the Parties' Joint
Motion, 30 related cases in its class action had been consolidated and
assigned to the Judge William P. Dimitrouleas in the U.S. District Court
for the Southern District of Florida, in Fort Lauderdale. Almost two dozen
law suits seeking class action status have been filed against Citrix since
June.

Fiscal Year-End: December

Snapshot:

1999 sales:                  03.3 million
year sales growth:          62.2 percent
1999 net income:            116.9 million
year employee growth:      74.2 percent

Quarterly report:  On May 12, Citrix reported diluted earnings a share of
19 cents for the quarter ended March 31 vs. 14 cents in the year ago
period. In February, the company acquired all of the operating assets of
the Innovex Group, a privately owned ebusiness consulting services
organization for about $47.8 million. Net revenues were $ 117 million for
the latest quarter, compared to $75 million last year.

Key Officers:
Chairman:        Roger W. Roberts
President:       Mark B. Templeton

Shares Owned (as of March 24):
Roberts: 1,689,365
Templeton: 877,604

Salaries/Bonus (as of March 24):
Roberts: N/A
Templeton: $483,896

Stock Price: Traded earlier this week at $19.81

Sources: Citrix Systems


FORD MOTOR: Berger & Montague Files Securities Suit in Michigan
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Berger & Montague, P.C. (http://home.bm.net)on behalf of
its client, on September 22, 2000, filed a lawsuit in the United States
District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division,
Case No. 00-74233, on behalf of all persons who purchased the common stock
of Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) during the period of January 21, 1999
through August 9, 2000 inclusive (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges Ford Motor Company and certain of its officers with
violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934 and Rule 10b-5 of the Securities Exchange Commission. The lawsuit
alleges that defendants issued a series of false and misleading statements
during the Class Period concerning the quality and safety of its products.
The complaint alleges, "inter alia", that defendants failed to reveal that
recalls of the Ford Explorer in combination with Firestone tires were
occurring in foreign countries, including Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, and
that the company failed to adequately test the tires on the Ford Explorer
before it went into production. The complaint also asserts that defendants'
misleading statements and material omissions artificially inflated the
price of the Company's stock during the Class Period.

Contact: Sherrie R. Savett, Esquire, or Sandra G. Smith, Esquire, or
Kimberly A. Walker, Investor Relations Manager, 888-891-2289, or
215-875-3000, or Fax, 215-875-5715, or e-mail, InvestorProtect@bm.net, all
of Berger & Montague, P.C.


GLOBAL CROSSING: Certain Shareholders Suits in NY Voluntarily Withdrawn
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
On June 25, 1999, Frontier Corporation (now known as Global Crossing North
America, Inc.), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Global Crossing Ltd., was
served with a summons and complaint in a lawsuit commenced in the New York
State Supreme Court, Monroe County by a Frontier shareholder alleging that
Frontier and its Board of Directors had breached their fiduciary duties to
shareholders by endorsing a definitive merger agreement with the Company
without having adequately considered an alternative merger proposal made by
Qwest Communications International, Inc. The lawsuit was framed as a
purported class action brought on behalf of all shareholders of Frontier
and sought unstated compensatory damages and injunctive relief compelling
Frontier's board to evaluate Frontier's suitability as a merger partner, to
enhance Frontier's value as a merger candidate, to engage in discussions
with Qwest about possible business combinations, to act independently to
protect the interests of Frontier shareholders, and to ensure that no
conflicts of interest exist which would prevent maximizing value to
shareholders. In July 1999, three additional lawsuits were also commenced
against Frontier in the New York State Supreme Court on behalf of a number
of individual shareholders seeking essentially identical relief. All four
lawsuits were consolidated into a single proceeding pending in Rochester
New York. In February 2000, all four lawsuits were voluntarily withdrawn.


GLOBAL CROSSING: Contests Shareholder Suit Transferred to Monroe, NY
--------------------------------------------------------------------
On July 16, 1999, Frontier was served with a summons and complaint in a
lawsuit commenced in New York State Supreme Court, New York County by a
Frontier shareholder alleging that Frontier and its board breached their
fiduciary duties by failing to obtain the highest possible acquisition
price for Frontier in the definitive merger agreement with the Company. The
action has been framed as a purported class action and seeks compensatory
damages and injunctive relief. The claims against Frontier were asserted in
the same action as similar but separate claims against US West, Inc.
However, the claims against Frontier have been severed from the US West
claims. In February 2000, the Court granted the Company's motion to
transfer the action to Monroe County. The Company believes the asserted
claims are without merit and is defending itself vigorously.


HARMONIC INC: Reports on Securities Lawsuits in California
----------------------------------------------------------
In its report filed with the SEC, Harmonic Inc. tells investors about
securities lawsuits filed earlier this year in California, as has been
previously reported in the CAR.

On June 28, 2000, a securities class action captioned Smith v. Harmonic
Inc., Et. Al., Civil Action No. C-00-2287-PJH was filed against Harmonic
and several of its officers and directors in the United States District
Court for the Northern District of California. Additional actions
containing similar allegations have since been filed. These complaints
allege violations of the federal securities laws, specifically Section 10
(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and seek unspecified damages on
behalf of a purported class of purchasers of Harmonic common stock during
the period from March 27, 2000 through June 26, 2000. The various actions
have not yet been consolidated and no trial date has been scheduled.

On June 29, 2000, a securities class action captioned Krim v. Harmonic
Inc., Et. Al., Civil Action No. CV 790816 was filed against Harmonic and
several of its officers and directors in the California Superior Court for
the County of Santa Clara. The complaint alleges violations of the federal
securities laws, specifically Section 11 of the Securities Act of 1933, and
seeks unspecified damages on behalf of a purported class of persons who
acquired Harmonic common stock pursuant to a Form S-4 Registration
Statement filed March 23, 2000, concerning a transaction completed on May
3, 2000. On July 26, 2000, the action was removed to the United States
District Court for the Northern District of California. No trial date has
been scheduled.

While the Company believes these class actions to be without merit and is
vigorously defending against them, there can be no assurance that the
Company will prevail. An unfavorable outcome of this litigation could have
a material adverse effect on the Company's consolidated financial position,
liquidity or results of operations.


HOLOCAUST VICTIMS: Polish Denied Compensation in Swiss Banks Case
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The following is issued by the Polish American Defense Committee in
California:

    An appellate court has ruled against Polish victims of Nazi persecution
who sought to participate in the $1.25 billion class action against Swiss
Banks. The banks profited from Nazi war crimes. The Germans killed about 3
million Poles, mostly Catholics, and over a million were forced into slave
labor. The Nazi plunder of Poland exceeded that of any other country.

    In August 1998, the Swiss banks agreed to pay $1.25 billion to all
victims similarly situated, including Poles. In the January 1999 final
settlement agreement, however, the victims of Nazi persecution were defined
as those who were Jewish, Romani (Gypsy), Jehovah's Witness, homosexual, or
physically or mentally disabled or handicapped.

    In February 1999, the Polish American Defense Committee (PADC), in Los
Angeles, wrote a letter to the judge, pointing out that omitting the Poles
was historically wrong and a grave injustice. The judge and the attorneys
for the settlement class ignored the PADC until October 1999, when the PADC
filed a motion to intervene.  The class attorneys opposed the motion,
although some of the same lawyers also represented the Polish government
and Polish slave laborers against German companies.

    The judge, Edward Korman of the federal district court in Brooklyn,
denied the motion on the ground that, if the Poles were included, each
victim would get only pennies. He urged the Poles to file a separate class
action against the banks. Yesterday the federal court of appeals upheld
Judge Korman's decision, stating, "intervention at this late stage would
prejudice the existing parties by destroying their Settlement and sending
them back to the drawing board."

    Ted Polak, Chairman of the PADC, said, "a separate class action by
Poles will take years. Polish survivors are dying every day. There is no
rational basis for discriminating against the Poles. The Swiss banks didn't
distinguish gold extracted from the teeth of Polish victims."

Source: Polish American Defense Committee

Contact: Constantine P. Kokkoris, Esq., NY, 212-962-5363, or Robert J.
Wisniewski, Esq., NY, 212-267-2101, both for the Polish American Defense
Committee


ICG COMMUNICATIONS: Dyer & Shuman Files Securities Lawsuit in Colorado
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for
the District of Colorado on behalf of persons who purchased or otherwise
acquired the common stock of ICG Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq:ICGX) between
December 20, 1999, and September 18, 2000.

The complaint alleges 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
December 20, 1999, and September 18, 2000, thereby artificially inflating
the price of ICG common stock. Specifically, the statements made by
defendants were materially false and misleading because they failed to
disclose that the Company was experiencing significant and severe
customer-service issues which had arisen from network outages, equipment
failures and technical problems; that as a result of the Company's
customer-service problems, certain customers were reducing their
commitments to ICG which would inevitably lead to the Company reporting
reduced revenues and earnings; that once the Company's customer-service
problems were made publicly-known, its ability to access the capital
markets would be severely impaired; and based on the foregoing, defendants'
opinions, projections and forecasts concerning the Company and its
operations were lacking in a reasonable basis at all times.

Contact: Dyer & Shuman, LLP, Denver Jeffrey A. Berens or John M. Martin
303/861-3003 or 800/711-6483 Facsimile: 303/830-6920 JBerens@DyerShuman.com



ICG COMMUNICATIONS: Milberg Weiss Files Securities Lawsuit in Colorado
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP announces that a
class action lawsuit was filed on September 22, 2000, on behalf of
purchasers of the securities of ICG Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: ICGX)
between December 20, 1999, and September 18, 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/icg/

The action is pending in the United States District Court, District of
Colorado, located at 1929 Stout Street, Denver, Colorado 80294, against
defendants ICG, John Kane (President- replaced in 1/00), J. Shelby Bryan
(Chairman and Chief Executive Officer- resigned as of 8/00).

The complaint alleges 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
December 20, 1999 and September 18, 2000, thereby artificially inflating
the price of ICG common stock. Specifically, the statements made by
defendants were materially false and misleading because they failed to
disclose and misrepresented the following adverse facts: that the Company
was experiencing significant and severe customer-service issues which had
arisen from network outages, equipment failures and technical problems.
These problems were of a persistent and material nature and were in
existence at all times during the Class Period; that as a result of the
Company's customer-service problems, certain customers were reducing their
commitments to ICG which would inevitably lead to the Company reporting
reduced revenues and earnings; that once the Company's customer-service
problems were made publicly-known, its ability to access the capital
markets would be severely impaired; and based on the foregoing, defendants'
opinions, projections and forecasts concerning the Company and its
operations were lacking in a reasonable basis at all times. Finally, on
September 18, 2000, ICG shocked the market by announcing that the Company
only expected to report EBITDA of $17 million for 2000 and EBITDA of $
100-150 million for 2001 and acknowledged its pervasive customer-service
issues. In response to this announcement, the price of ICG common stock
dropped significantly from $3.90625 per share to $1.65 per share. This
represents a decline of more than 95% from a Class Period high of$39.00
reached on March 27, 2000.

Contact: Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP Steven G. Schulman or
Samuel H. Rudman Phone number: 800/320-5081 Email: icgcase@milbergNY.com
Website: http://www.milberg.com


NATIONAL TAX: Assignee May Be Vicariously Liable under FDCPA and TILA
---------------------------------------------------------------------
In a class action for claims under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
and the Truth in Lending Act, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held
the assignee of tax, sewer and water liens may by held vicariously liable
for the unlawful collection activities carried out by another entity on its
behalf. (Pollice v. National Tax Funding L.P., No. 99-3856 (3rd Cir.
8/29/00).)

National Tax Funding L.P. purchased claims and liens for unpaid taxes and
delinquent water and sewer charges from the city of Pittsburgh, the School
District of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority. The
city, school district and water authority, which had retained servicing
rights, granted Capital Asset Research Corp. Ltd. the right to collect the
claims for the benefit of National.

Tito Pollice and his wife, Violet, sued under the FDCPA and the TILA
claiming the defendants charged interest rates and fees not permitted by
law when offering to extend credit for the payment of delinquent taxes and
unpaid water and sewer charges. Pollice moved for summary judgment.

                       District Court Findings

As to the FDCPA claims, the defendants argued: (1) the water, sewer and tax
obligations did not constitute "debts" under the FDCPA; (2) National, its
general partner, Capital Asset Holdings Inc., and Capital Asset were not
"debt collectors"; (3) defendants did not violate the FDCPA; and (4)
defendants were protected by the FDCPA's "bona fide error" exclusion. As to
the TILA claims, the defendants argued: (1) National and Capital Asset were
not "creditors" under the TILA; (2) the TILA's public utility exemption
applied to the water and sewer claims; and (3) no consumer credit
transactions took place.

After consolidating various cases with the same issues, the U.S. District
Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania held that National and
Capital Asset were not "debt collectors" and dismissed the claims against
them. The District Court concluded Capital Asset was a "debt collector" and
indicated it acted in violation of the FDCPA by seeking to collect rates of
interest for water and sewer claims in excess of that permitted by law. The
District Court determined that tax obligations did not constitute "debts"
under the FDCPA and dismissed the claim against all defendants with respect
to collecting taxes.

As to the TILA claims, the District Court indicated that the payment plans
constituted "consumer credit transactions" under the TILA, but only as to
the water and sewer obligations. The court granted summary judgment for
Capital Asset and dismissed the TILA claim against all defendants regarding
the tax obligations. In addition, the court determined that the original
owners of the liens could assign their right to charge higher interest
rates to National and granted summary judgment for all defendants with
respect to the unjust enrichment claim.

On appeal, the plaintiffs argued that governmental rights relating to tax
and utility claims and liens could not be assigned to private entities. The
3rd Circuit concluded that the government entities had the power to assign
their rights and, therefore, National was entitled to collect the same
interest and penalties that the government entities could on the claims. In
agreeing with the District Court, the 3rd Circuit concluded that
plaintiffs, including those who entered into payment plans, had not "paid a
rate of interest for the loan or use of money" under state law and,
therefore, could not sue under the Pennsylvania Loan Interest Protection
Law.

                                FDCPA Claim

The consumers argued that National and Capital Asset Holding, along with
Capital Asset, were "debt collectors" under the FDCPA. The 3rd Circuit
noted that an assignee could be a "debt collector" if the obligation was
already in default when it was assigned. Although noting the lack of case
law on vicarious liability under the FDCPA, the court stated "there are
cases supporting the notion that an entity which itself meets the
definition of 'debt collector' may be held vicariously liable for unlawful
collection activities carried out by another on its behalf." Therefore, the
court determined that National could be held liable for Capital Asset's
collection activity.

The court also concluded that the general partner of a debt collector
limited partnership could also be held vicariously liable for the
partnership's conduct under the FDCPA. Consequently, the court held that
National and Capital Asset holding may be held liable under the act and
reversed the grant of summary judgment. The court also affirmed the grant
of summary judgment in favor of all defendants with respect to the tax
obligations; the District Court's determination that the water and sewer
obligations constitute "debts" under the FDCPA; and the District Court's
determination that CARC was not exempt from the definition of "debt
collector."

                            TILA Claim

Judge Morton Ira Greenberg ruled that the payment plans constituted
"consumer credit transactions" under the TILA with respect to the water and
sewer obligations but not as to the tax obligations. Therefore, the court
affirmed the dismissal of the TILA claim as to the tax obligations. It also
concluded that National was a "creditor" under the TILA with respect to the
payment plans for water and sewer obligations and affirmed the District
Court's decision to deny National summary judgment.

Michael P. Malakoff and Rudy A. Fabian of Malakoff, Doyle & Finberg in
Pittsburgh and Bernard S. Rubb in Sewickley, Pa., represented Pollice.
Donald Driscoll and Laurence Norton of Community Justice Project in
Pittsburgh represented Houck. Robert L. Byer, Terry M. Aceto, Joseph R.
Gette of Kirkpatrick & Lockhart in Pittsburgh represented the defendants.
(Consumer Financial Services Law Report, September 18, 2000)


OHSL: Law Firm Gene Mesh Files Securities Lawsuit in Ohio
---------------------------------------------------------
Sept, 22, 2000 Notice says that a class action lawsuit was filed on behalf
of all persons who held OHSL common stock between September 27, 1999 and
December 3, 1999 by the law firms of Gene Mesh and Associates, The Brualdi
Law Firm, and Specter Specter Evans & Manogue, P.C. on September 20, 2000,
in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.

OHSL stock was traded on NASDAQ under the symbol "OHSL." The complaint
charges OHSL and its former directors, its then outside counsel, Provident
Financial Group, Inc. ("PFGI") (Nasdaq:PFGI) and its directors with
violating the Federal Securities laws, including the Securities Act of
1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder, by issuing materially false and misleading statements and
omitting to state material facts in the Proxy Materials relating to the
merger. The Proxy Materials stated, inter alia, that the OHSL Board of
Directors had unanimously approved the transaction and believed the merger
with Provident was in the best interest of OHSL and its shareholders.
Instead, it is alleged that the vote was not unanimous in that only 5 of 8
OHSL directors approved the transaction, and that former OHSL CEO and
director Ken Hanauer never believed that the transaction was in the best
interests of OHSL and its shareholders. It is further alleged that former
OHSL CEO and director Ken Hanauer, along with former OHSL director Howard
Zoellner, voted their personal shares against the transaction, despite Mr.
Hanauer leading the October 25, 1999 Special Meeting of Shareholders to
approve the transaction, a meeting that director Zoellner was present at
and participated in.

Contact: Gene Mesh and Associates Michael G. Brautigam, Esq., 513/221-8800
or 888/221-8889 Mgb1335@aol.com


PESTICIDE MANUFACTURERS: NY and CT Lobstermen Sue over Lobster Die-Off
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A band of hardy lobstermen are using the federal court system in an attempt
to claw their way into the treasuries of pesticide manufacturers. New York
and Connecticut lobstermen are saying the companies whose pesticides were
used to combat the West Nile virus owe them no less than $ 125 million for
causing the death of lobsters in Long Island Sound last year.

The lobstermen Aug. 25 filed a class action suit in the U.S District Court
for the Eastern District of New York against Cheminova Agro A/S, its U.S.
distributor Cheminova, Inc, AgrEvo Environmental Health, Inc, Clarke
Mosquito Control Products and Zoecon Corp.

The lawsuit alleges the companies knew their products would enter the sound
and devastate healthy lobster populations. It charges the companies with
allowing improper storage and transport of their products, which may have
caused them to degrade. The pesticides were applied aerially and by ground
spraying and placed in storm drains in several counties in the two states.

The plaintiffs are alleging the defendants' products were "defective,"
containing "impurities, contaminants and toxic metabolites and other
conditions which rendered [them] unfit for their intended use." They are
also charging negligence, saying the companies failed to thoroughly
investigate the effects their products would have on lobsters and other
marine life and the effects of their application in urbanized environments
that created excessive run-off.

The die-off last year affected up to 99% of the lobster population in some
areas of Long Island Sound. The suit states that the "dramatic and severe
decrease in the number of live and healthy lobsters that were capable of
retention occurred almost immediately following the beginning of the
massive and intense application of the pesticides/insecticides in and
around the New York Metropolitan area, and immediately after heavy rainfall
events that caused the applied pesticides/insecticides to wash into Long
Island Sound."

The lobstermen, the suit alleges, have lost income, personal and commercial
property and their way of life, and have suffered mental and emotional
damages as a result of the die-off. They say their circumstances will
continue into the future because younger and larval lobsters have also
died, thus prolonging a rebound among populations in the sound.

The lobstermen are being represented by a New Orleans firm, Smith, Jones &
Fawer, LLP, which is currently involved in separate litigation against
Cheminova. According to spokeswoman Victoria Exnicios, the firm is
representing residents of south central Florida in a class action suit
involving the use of malathion to combat the medfly, a pest which threatens
citrus production. The plaintiffs in that suit include owners of tropical
fish farms, who claim the use of malathion over more than 400 square miles
of the state in 1997 and 1998 resulted in mortality and skeletal
aberrations in their stock.

In fact, the lobstermen claim in their suit that the defendants should have
known their products would ravage lobster populations based on impacts they
had previously had on fish and invertebrates in Florida, California and
Virginia.

The plaintiffs' New York counsel, Lee Snead of the Garden City firm of
Jaspan Schlesinger Hoffman, LLP told Pesticide & Toxic Chemical News that
the plaintiffs must show the use of the chemicals "was more likely than not
the cause of the death of the lobsters." He said the group's legal counsel
has retained experts in the field who have conducted over eight months of
research that support the charges.

The lawsuit cites an EPA opinion that malathion decays slowly when used in
urban areas and is likely to be washed off to adjacent water bodies. It
also cites EPA's finding that methoprene, the active ingredient in one of
the pesticides, "is highly acutely toxic to estuarine invertebrates" and
that its use in aquatic environments "could pose an undue risk to these
species."

The class action lawsuit says more than 1,000 commercial lobstermen may
have been affected by the die-off. The companies will have 20 days to
respond to the charges once they have been served. (Pesticide & Toxic
Chemical News, August 31, 2000)


SOTHEBY'S HOLDINGS: Statement from the Board of Directors
---------------------------------------------------------
The Board of Directors of Sotheby's Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: BID) voted
unanimously to approve the settlements of both the claims against the
Company in the civil antitrust lawsuit relating to auctions in the United
States and the claims against the Company in the shareholder class action
lawsuit. The Independent Committee of the Board of Directors has also
approved the settlement of potential claims between the Company and its
former Chairman, A. Alfred Taubman. The Company is also in serious
negotiations with the United States Department of Justice and is optimistic
that a mutually acceptable resolution will be reached in the near future.

The settlement of the civil antitrust lawsuit provides for a payment to the
class by Sotheby's of $256 million. Sotheby's will be receiving $156
million from Mr. Taubman toward the settlement, will be paying an
additional $50 million in cash, and will be issuing discount coupons to the
class with a value of $50 million, which the class members can use as a
credit against future vendor's commissions. The settlement of the
shareholder class action lawsuit provides for a cash payment to the class
of $30 million. Mr. Taubman has agreed to pay Sotheby's $30 million in
cash, which will be applied by Sotheby's towards this settlement.
Additionally, the class will be issued $40 million in Sotheby's Class A
Common Stock. Sotheby's net cash outlay as a result of all of these
settlements will be $50 million.

Commenting on these settlements, Mr. Taubman said: "I endorse and am
contributing to these settlements to facilitate the resolution of all
matters and to minimize the impact on Sotheby's, a company I care about
deeply." Michael Sovern, the Chairman of the Board of Sotheby's Holdings,
said: "Our goal over the last several months has been to put behind us the
litigation clouding Sotheby's future. The settlements we have approved
resolve the lawsuits in which the Company had the greatest potential
financial exposure. With a Justice Department resolution in prospect, the
Company can move forward with its business under the strong leadership of
its current management team."

Source: Sotheby's Holdings, Inc.


SOTHEBY'S: Auction House Ex-Chief to Pay Bulk of Collusion Claims
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Moving quickly to settle civil claims that it had cheated auction buyers
and sellers for years, the board of Sotheby's last night approved payment
of its half of a $512 million settlement, the auction house announced
September 24. The bulk of the Sotheby's payment will come from its majority
shareholder and former chairman, A. Alfred Taubman.

Mr. Taubman agreed to pay $156 million of the auction house's $256 million
portion during an emergency telephone meeting of Sotheby's directors from
around the world late on Sunday September 24. In exchange, the company
settled all potential claims against him. "I endorse and am contributing to
these settlements to facilitate the resolution of all matters and to
minimize the impact on Sotheby's, a company I care about deeply," Mr.
Taubman said.

In a separate settlement reached, the auction house said it had agreed to
pay $30 million to resolve a long-pending lawsuit by shareholders which
claimed that the company's dealings with its rival, Christie's, depressed
Sotheby's stock and clouded its prospects. This money would also be paid by
Mr. Taubman, the company said. In addition, the auction house agreed to
issue $40 million in class A stock to plaintiffs in the shareholders' suit.

Financial analysts said all these measures were intended to assure
shareholders that the company's problems were over, making the auction
house more attractive for a potential takeover.

Both auction giants remain targets of a federal criminal antitrust
investigation, but Sotheby's said last night that it was "in serious
negotiations with the United States Department of Justice, and is
optimistic that a mutually acceptable resolution will be reached in the
near future."

Christie's, which unlike Sotheby's is privately held, said that it "has
taken all appropriate measures," but would not comment on any settlement.
The formula by which the money will be divided among plaintiffs has not yet
been determined, an official at one of the auction houses said. Also, no
one would say how much of the settlement would go toward legal fees.

The $512 million settlement was reached by lawyers from Weil Gotshal &
Manges, which represents Sotheby's; Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom,
representing Christie's; and Boies Schiller & Flexner, the lead counsel
representing about 120,000 buyers and sellers who filed suit in March. The
suit contended that executives of the two houses had cooperated to fix fees
as far back as 1992.

Sotheby's and Christie's were to vote on the agreement by next Saturday,
but after word of the agreement leaked out, Sotheby's called the meeting.

In a statement, Christie's said the company "has no comment at this time of
the reports that have appeared in the press regarding the civil antitrust
class actions."

Of the $100 million obligation that would remain after Mr. Taubman's
contribution, Sotheby's, like Christie's, would be allowed to pay $50
million in the form of certificates to sellers. These certificates would be
transferrable, and could be used to reduce commission costs of future
consignments.

As a result, Sotheby's would only need to come up with an additional $50
million to satisfy its part of the settlement agreement.

The former chief executive of Sotheby's, Diana D. Brooks, who along with
Mr. Taubman resigned under fire in February, will not contribute to the
settlement at this point, lawyers familiar with the agreement said. But
they added that the company, in fulfilling its responsibility to
shareholders, may yet take financial action against her.

Under the terms of the agreement, in addition to the $256 million that each
house must pay, the two houses must split the costs of notifying buyers and
sellers. They must also split administrative expenses for processing and
distributing claims, which could cost another $1 million.

Figures in the art world reacted with amazement to the size of the
settlement. Herbert Black, a collector and copper trader from Montreal who
was the first to sue the auction houses, said, "Initially I thought it
would be half of what it is, based on what my lawyers led me to believe."
Asked how much money he expected to get, he would only say, "A lot."

As for the certificates, Mr. Black said, "This buys peace between
Sotheby's, Christie's and its clients. Yes, I will definitely use them if I
have something to sell in the future."

Art and antiques dealers -- who make up a large proportion of the company's
buyers and sellers -- said they, too, were staggered by the settlement.

"The amount reached is huge, perhaps significantly more than anyone
anticipated," said Abigail Asher, a Manhattan dealer. "It will go a long
way to ensuring a fair and competitive art market, which benefits
everyone."

"I was shocked at the amount of money," said Stephen Mazoh, an art dealer
based in Rhinebeck, N.Y. "Now, I wonder how the whole thing will unravel
next. Since Christie's is a privately held company, its owner, Francois
Pinhault, can wash the losses against his other businesses. But for
Sotheby's, it's a different matter."

Sotheby's has been preparing for a big payment for months. In February, the
company announced that it had arranged with an international banking
syndicate for up to $300 million in financing.

The class-action suit was filed in March by buyers and sellers who charged
that the two auction houses had deprived customers of the ability to win
better terms. They also charged that the companies swapped lists of their
richest customers, who would be spared any sellers' fees at all.

The suit grew out of a three-year-old investigation by the Justice
Department's antitrust division in New York. That investigation appears to
be nearing a conclusion, one that might be hastened by the civil
settlement. For weeks, prosecutors have been seeking to turn Ms. Brooks
into a witness against Mr. Taubman in return for leniency, but no terms
have been reached. (The New York Times, September 25, 2000)


SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Employees Seek to Revive Cert. for Job Bidding Case
------------------------------------------------------------------------
McCullah v. Southern California Gas Company

Supreme Court Case No. S091102

Case Below: B136358; Cal.Ct.App., 2nd Dist., Div. 6; xx Cal.App.4th xxx, xx
Cal.Rptr.2d xxx, 00 C.D.O.S. xxx

Petition filed: August 29, 2000

Procedure: Petition for review after affirmance of judgment.

Question presented: Where class certification was denied for disabled
employees suing to challenge an employer's job bidding system, did the
trial court properly find that there were no predominant questions of fact
common to all proposed class members, and that the plaintiff failed to show
his claim was typical of the proposed class members?

Facts: The Southern California Gas Company entered into a collective
bargaining agreement, which gave priority in filling positions first to
persons "in the path of layoff," then to qualified persons with
disabilities, and then to nondisabled bidders in order of seniority.

Michael McCullah was qualified as a disabled person as a result of
work-related injuries. He was terminated when he failed to perform
satisfactorily in a customer service trainee position, which was part of a
special program for disabled persons.

McCullah filed suit for violation of the state Fair Employment and Housing
Act (FEHA) and other causes of action, alleging that the Company's bidding
system was discriminatory. He sought to certify a class of individuals who
within the past four years were employed by the Company, became disabled in
the course of employment and are or were eligible to be rehired.

The trial court refused to certify the class, finding that there was no
well-defined community of interest among the purported class members.

The court of appeal affirmed, holding that McCullah did not meet the
community of interest requirement for class certification.

The court concluded that there were no predominant questions of law or fact
common to the class as a whole. The court also found that McCullah did not
show that he qualifies as a class representative because he did not show
his claim was typical of the proposed class members.

The court noted that the question of whether the employer provided
reasonable accommodation would involve a case-by-case inquiry. The court
also noted that McCullah's position would require that the Company grant a
disabled employee job placement rights superior to all other employees.

The court found there is no such duty if it requires the employer to
disregard the rights of other employees under a collective bargaining
agreement.

Counsel for petitioner Michael McCullah: Barry Cappello, Cappello & McCann,
831 State St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101, 805-564-2444

Counsel for respondent Southern California Gas Company: Martin Mead, Paul,
Hastings, Janovsky & Walker, 555 S. Flower St., 23rd Fl., Los Angeles, CA
90071 (California Supreme Court Service, September 8, 2000)


Y2K LITIGATION: Complaints on Tel. System Do Not Meet Criteria under Act
------------------------------------------------------------------------
IN AN ACTION brought by corporations against AT&T Corp. and its successor,
plaintiffs alleged that defendants' products are "Y2K defective."
Plaintiffs, who had purchased or leased defendants' telephone system,
alleged that the system's defect will cause the products to shut down, fail
or produce corrupted data when they must process information containing
dates after Dec. 31, 1999. Defendants argued, among other things, that this
action must be dismissed under the Y2K Act since plaintiffs failed to
satisfy its pleading requirements. The court agreed and dismissed the
second amended complaint, finding, among other things, that two plaintiffs'
complaints do not satisfy its pleading requirements in that they do not
specify the nature and amount of damages or manifestations of defects that
are material.

Judge Koeltl

LEWIS TREE SERVICE, INC. v. LUCENT TECHNOLOGIES, INC. QDS:02762966 - This
is a purported class action brought by Lewis Tree Service, Inc. ("LTS"),
Ned Davis Research, Inc. ("NDR"), and Ironman Magazine ("Ironman") against
AT&T Corporation ("AT&T") and AT&T's successor, Lucent Technologies Inc.
("Lucent"). The plaintiffs, asserting the Court's jurisdiction under 15
U.S.C. @ 6614(c)(1), allege that various products sold by the defendants
are "Y2K defective" inasmuch as they are unable to process information
containing dates after December 31, 1999. The defendants now move to
dismiss the complaint pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b).

I.

On a motion to dismiss, the allegations in the complaint are accepted as
true. See Cohen v. Koenig, 25 F.3d 1168, 1172-73 (2d Cir. 1994). In
deciding a motion to dismiss, all reasonable inferences must be drawn in
the plaintiff's favor. See Gant v. Wallingford Bd. Of Educ., 69 F.3d 669,
673 (2d Cir. 1995); Cosmas v. Hasset, 886 F.2d 8, 11 (2d Cir. 1989). The
court's function on a motion to dismiss is "not to weigh the evidence that
might be presented at trial but merely to determine whether the complaint
itself is legally sufficient." Goldman v. Belden, 754 F.2d 1059, 1067 (2d
Cir. 1985). Therefore, the defendant's motion should only be granted if it
appears that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his
claim that would entitle him to relief. See Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41,
45-46 (1957); Valmonte v. Bane, 18 F.3d 992, 998 (2d Cir. 1994); see also
Goldman, 754 F.2d at 1065.

II.

For the purposes of this motion, the following allegations are assumed to
be true. LTS leased an AT&T Merlin Legend telephone system with Integrated
Solution III ("IS-III") on December 19, 1994. NDR purchased an AT&T Merlin
Legend telephone system with IS-III in April 1995. Ironman leased an AT&T
Merlin Legend telephone system with Conversant Intro v.3.1.1 on February
12, 1996. (Second Amended Complaint ("SAC") PP8-10.)

In addition to other products manufactured and sold by the defendants, all
versions of the Merlin Legend CMS, various versions of the IS-III Platform,
and Conversant VIS Intro version 3.1.1 suffer from the Y2K defect.
According to the Second Amended Complaint, which was filed on November 15,
1999, the defect will cause the products to shut down, fail, or produce
corrupted data when they must process information containing dates after
December 31, 1999. (SAC PP1, 24-25, 77, 82-83.)

To avoid the problems associated with the Y2K defect, the plaintiffs must
repair, replace or upgrade their telecommunications systems. (SAC P26.) In
order to repair, replace or upgrade its telecommunications system with Y2K
compliant products, plaintiff LTS paid defendant Lucent approximately $
8,476 for additional software and hardware that Lucent claimed was Y2K
compliant. (SAC PP27-28.) Rather than accept a solution offered by Lucent,
plaintiff NDR paid a deposit by check to another company for a contract to
repair NDR's telecommunications system. (SAC P32.) Lucent offered plaintiff
Ironman a "software patch" to make Ironman's system Y2K compliant until
December 31, 2001 for $ 1,545 plus $ 1,000 for installation; as an
alternative, Lucent also offered to install and service additional Lucent
equipment at a cost of $ 44,129. (SAC PP33-34.) The repairs, replacements
and upgrades intended to obviate the Y2K defect are a source of profit for
the defendants. (SAC PP58-60.)

Defendant AT&T knew about the Y2K defect at least since the mid-1980's.
Lucent and AT&T marketed and sold, leased, or transferred the defective
products without telling their customers about the Y2K defect. Smaller
customers were unaware of the problem, and the defendants failed to
disclose it. The defendants had the knowledge and the technology to fix the
Y2K problem after 1990, however the defendants took no effective steps to
fix the problem or to make their telecommunications equipment Y2K
compliant. (SAC PP86-89, 94.)

The defendants knew or had reason to know the particular purpose for which
the plaintiffs would use the defendants' telecommunications products. The
defendants' sales and advertising materials touted the defendants'
telecommunications products as being able to carry businesses "beyond the
year 2000 with state-of-the-art memory technology" and made other similar
claims about the future. (SAC PP95, 97-99.) At the time that the
defendants' telecommunications products were sold, the defendants knew that
the products would be inoperable, ineffective, and obsolete whenever the
products were required to process information containing dates after
December 31, 1999. (SAC P100.) The plaintiffs signed form contracts which
had standard disclaimers of implied and express warranties. (SAC P96.)

The plaintiffs assert six causes of action. The plaintiffs assert that the
defendants: (i) violated the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act; (ii) breached
implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose;
(iii) breached contracts; (iv) breached express warranties; (v) committed
common law fraud; and, (vi) breached the duty of good faith and fair
dealing. The defendants move to dismiss the Second Amended Complaint
pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(3) and 12(b)(6).

III.

The parties agree that this action is governed by the Y2K Act, 15 U.S.C. @@
6601 et. seq. The defendants argue that the complaint must be dismissed
because the plaintiffs have failed to satisfy the pleading requirements of
the Y2K Act. The Act requires that "[in] all Y2K actions in which damages
are requested, there shall be filed with the complaint a statement of
specific information as to the nature and amount of each element of damages
and the factual basis for the damages calculation." 15 U.S.C. @ 6607(b).
The Act further requires that "[in] any Y2K action in which the plaintiff
alleges that there is a material defect in a product or service, there
shall be filed with the complaint a statement of specific information
regarding the manifestations of the material defects and the facts
supporting a conclusion that the defects are material." 15 U.S.C. @
6607(c).

The plaintiffs have failed to satisfy these pleading requirements. Of the
three named plaintiffs, only LTS, which alleges that it paid approximately
$ 8,476 in order to make its telecommunications system Y2K compliant, has
provided a statement that even arguably specifies "the nature and amount of
each element of damages and the factual basis for the damages calculation."
While the Second Amended Complaint alleges that NDR paid a deposit by check
to someone other than the defendants for a contract to repair NDR's
telecommunications system, the complaint does not specify the amount of the
deposit, does not state whether the contract was actually performed, and
does not even allege that the deposit was actually retained by the third
party. With respect to plaintiff Ironman, the Second Amended Complaint
alleges that defendant Lucent offered Ironman certain fixes for specified
sums, but the complaint does not allege that Ironman accepted any of the
fixes and does not allege that Ironman paid any money for those fixes.
Thus, at least with respect to NDR and Ironman, the Second Amended
Complaint fails to satisfy the pleading requirement established by 15
U.S.C. @ 6607(b).

Moreover, the Second Amended Complaint, which was filed on November 15,
1999, neither specifies any manifestations of the alleged material defects
nor provides any facts supporting a conclusion that the alleged defects are
material. The complaint alleges only that the purported Y2K defect "will"
cause the plaintiffs' telecommunications products "to shut down, fail, or
produce corrupted data when they must process information containing dates
after December 31, 1999." SAC P25. The Second Amended Complaint does not
allege that the purported Y2K defect has in fact caused the plaintiffs'
products to shut down, fail or produce corrupted data when processing
information containing dates after December 31, 1999. Thus, the Second
Amended Complaint fails to satisfy the pleading requirement established by
15 U.S.C. @ 6607(c). Because it fails to satisfy the pleading requirements
of the Y2K Act, the Second Amended Complaint must be dismissed.

IV.

Even if it complied with the pleading requirements of the Y2K Act, which it
does not, the Second Amended Complaint would still have to be dismissed in
its entirety with respect to NDR, and the First, Third, Fifth and Six
Causes of Action would have to be dismissed with respect to LTS and
Ironman.

   A. The defendants argue with respect to plaintiff NDR that venue is not
proper in the Southern District of New York and therefore move to dismiss
NDR's claims pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(3). The defendants assert
that the contract on which NDR relies specifies "the circuit courts of
Hillsborough County," Florida as the "exclusive venue" "in the event of any
litigation" to enforce or construe its terms. Equipment Agreement, dated
April 24 and 26, 1995, @ 16, attached as Ex. C to Affidavit of J. Jeffrey
Wiessler ("Wiessler Aff."), sworn to February 25, 2000. Inasmuch as the
Second Amended Complaint alleges that the defendants breached their
contract with NDR, the Second Amended Complaint incorporates by reference
the allegedly breached contract and the Court may consider the terms of
that contract on a motion to dismiss. See Allworld Communications Network,
L.L.C. v. MCI Worldcom, Inc., No. 99 Civ. 4256, 2000 WL 1013956, at *2 n.1
(S.D.N.Y. July 24, 2000); Cary Oil Co. v. MG Refining and Marketing, Inc.,
90 F. Supp.2d 401, 407 n.19 (S.D.N.Y. 2000).

The Supreme Court has stated that a "forum clause should control absent a
strong showing that it should be set aside." M/S Bremen v. Zapata Off-Shore
Co., 407 U.S. 1, 15 (1972). To avoid enforcement of a forum-selection
clause, the party resisting its enforcement must clearly demonstrate that
enforcement of the clause "would be unreasonable and unjust, or that the
clause was invalid for such reasons as fraud or overreaching." Id., at 15.
See also Evolution Online Systems, Inc. v. Koninklijke PTT Nederland N.V.,
145 F.3d 505, 509-10 (2d Cir. 1998). Making the necessary showing is
"difficult." Poddar v. State Bank of India, 79 F. Supp.2d 391, 393
(S.D.N.Y. 2000).

Here, the plaintiffs do not dispute the fact that the contract which NDR
signed designates the Hillsborough County, Florida circuit courts as the
exclusive venue in the event of litigation, and the plaintiffs do not claim
that the forum-selection clause is the result of fraud or overreaching.
While the plaintiffs do argue in fairly conclusory terms that New York
provides a less expensive and more convenient forum for NDR's claims, they
have not made a clear showing that enforcement of the forum-selection
clause would be unreasonable or unjust. Therefore, separate and apart from
the plaintiffs' failure to satisfy the pleading requirements of the Y2K
Act, all of NDR's claims must be dismissed on grounds of improper venue.

    B. 1. The plaintiffs' First Cause of Action alleges violation of the
New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, N.J. Stat. Ann. @@ 56:8-1 et seq. As an
initial matter, the contract on which NDR relies specifies that the
"Agreement shall be construed and performed in accordance with the laws of
the state in which the Equipment is installed." Equipment Agreement, @ 22.
The plaintiffs do not dispute the fact that the telecommunications
equipment to which the contract refers was installed in Florida. Thus,
under the terms of the contract, the law of Florida governs the contract
and NDR cannot maintain a cause of action under the New Jersey Consumer
Fraud Act. Therefore, the First Cause of Action must in any event be
dismissed with respect to NDR.

       2. Fed. R. Civ. P. 9(b) provides that "[in] all averments of fraud
or mistake, the circumstances constituting fraud or mistake shall be stated
with particularity." Like fraud claims generally, a claim under the New
Jersey Consumer Fraud Act "must meet Rule 9(b)'s particularity
requirement." Zaro Licensing, Inc. v. Cinmar, Inc., 779 F. Supp. 276, 286
(S.D.N.Y. 1991). See also Naporano Iron & Metal Co. v. American Crane
Corp., 79 F. Supp.2d 494, 512 (D.N.J. 1999). "In order to satisfy Rule
9(b), 'the complaint must (1) specify the statements that the plaintiff
contends were fraudulent, (2) identify the speaker, (3) state where and
when the statements were made, and (4) explain why the statements were
fraudulent.'" Impact Shipping, Inc. v. City of New York, No. 95 Civ. 2428,
1997 WL 297039, at *10 (S.D.N.Y. June 3, 1997) (quoting Mills v. Polar
Molecular Corp., 12 F.3d 1170, 1175 (2d Cir. 1993)). Because the Second
Amended Complaint does not meet these requirements, either with respect to
the First Cause of Action, brought under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act,
or with respect to the Fifth Cause of Action, which alleges common law
fraud, the plaintiffs' First and Fifth Causes of Action must be dismissed.

    C. The Second Cause of Action alleges that the defendants breached
implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose.
The Fourth Cause of Action alleges that the defendants breached various
express warranties. The defendants argue that both the Second and Fourth
Causes of Action must be dismissed because the plaintiffs signed contracts
that expressly disclaimed all warranties, whether implied or express. The
plaintiffs do not dispute the fact that they signed contracts disclaiming
implied and express warranties. See SAC P96. The plaintiffs argue, however,
that the disclaimers are ineffective both because they are unconscionable
and because they are contained within contracts of adhesion.

This dispute cannot be resolved on this motion. First, with respect to
plaintiff Ironman, it is unclear which contract or contracts govern
Ironman's relationship with the defendants. Compare Wiessler Aff., Ex. D,
with Wiessler Supp. Aff., Ex. A. Second, regardless of which contract
governs Ironman's relationship with the defendants, it cannot be said that
Ironman and LTS could prove no set of facts that would entitle them to
relief.

[In] determining whether to enforce the terms of a contract of adhesion,
courts have looked not only to the take-it-or-leave-it nature or the
standardized form of the document but also to the subject matter of the
contract, the parties' relative bargaining positions, the degree of
economic compulsion motivating the 'adhering' party, and the public
interests affected by the contract.

Rudbart v. North Jersey Dist. Water Supply Com'n, 605 A.2d 681, 687 (N.J.
1992). At this stage in the proceedings, neither the relative bargaining
positions of the contracting parties nor the degree of economic compulsion
motivating the allegedly "adhering" parties can be determined.

    D. The Third Cause of Action alleges that the defendants breached their
contractual obligations to the plaintiffs. The Sixth Cause of Action
alleges that the defendants breached the duty of good faith and fair
dealing. These allegations, however, are presented in purely conclusory
terms. See SAC PP124-27, 146. The plaintiffs fail to identify any
particular contractual provision that the defendants have allegedly
breached, and fail to specify any particular conduct that allegedly
breached the duty of good faith and fair dealing. Therefore, because "[the]
Court is not required to accept conclusory allegations even on a motion to
dismiss," R.C.M. Executive Gallery Corp. v. Rols Capital Co., No. 93 Civ.
8571, 1997 WL 27059, at *8 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 23, 1997), the Third and Sixth
Causes of Action must be dismissed. See also Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S.
265, 286 (1986) ("Although for the purposes of this motion to dismiss we
must take all the factual allegations in the complaint as true, we are not
bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual
allegation."). Furthermore, the plaintiffs have not responded to the
defendants' arguments concerning the Third and Sixth Causes of Action,
thereby waiving any arguments the plaintiffs may have had. While at oral
argument, the plaintiffs disclaimed any desire to waive any arguments, they
cannot simply ignore the defendants' arguments. This alone is sufficient
grounds for dismissing those causes of action.

                              Conclusion

For all of the foregoing reasons, the Second Amended Complaint is
dismissed. The plaintiff NDR may, if it so chooses, commence an action in
Florida. The plaintiffs LTS and Ironman may, if they so choose, file a
Third Amended Complaint in this Court. If LTS and Ironman elect to proceed
with this action, they shall file a Third Amended Complaint within fourteen
(14) days of the date on which this Opinion and Order is signed. (New York
Law Journal, September 15, 2000)


Y2K LITIGATION: Nevada Physician Sues Infocure over Deceptive Practices
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
On behalf of himself and other medical professionals like him, Las Vegas
physician Jeffrey Arenswald, M.D., has filed a class-action lawsuit against
Infocure Corp., alleging that the software company engaged in deceptive
practices. Arenswald v. Infocure Corp., No. 36-000524-103, complaint filed
(Nev. Dist. Ct., Clark County, May 10, 2000).

The complaint alleges that throughout the 1990s, Infocure's predecessor,
Medical Software Management Inc., sold an operating system, the IBM RS 6000
System, to medical and health care professionals, even though the hardware
was defective. Infocure also sold its own Kl'ron software, which offered an
integrated physician's practice management system encompassing patient care
and clinical, financial and management applications. In 1998, MSM began
informing purchasers of the IBM RS 6000 that they would need to replace it
with a Y2K-compliant system, and offered to sell them a Hewlett-Packard
system. In a subsequent letter, MSM informed its customers that it would no
longer continue to support the IBM system after June 30, 1999.

When Infocure took over MSM, it advised Kl'ron licensees that the company
was offering a new IBM or Hewlett-Packard system to replace the defective
RS 6000, and would support the new IBM system; what Infocure neglected to
do, however, was tell licensees that a free patch was available from IBM to
fix the problem with the RS 6000 system. The result, Arenswald alleges, is
that each of the members of the class was induced into purchasing a new
computer system, unaware that a free solution to the problem was available
to them.

The complaint asserts that there are hundreds if not thousands of potential
class members, whose identities would be discernible from records in
Infocure's possession. Because of Infocure's ongoing deceptive
representations, the members unnecessarily spent tens of thousands of
dollars to replace the IBM RS Arenswald alleges that after he spent over
$31,000 on the IBM system, he was told it would cost him almost $25,000 to
purchase a replacement system from MSM; he ended up entering into a lease
with another company, at a cost of $930 per month.

The complaint seeks class certification, compensatory damages and
injunctive relief including disgorgement, establishment of a constructive
trust and restitution. (Software Law Bulletin, August 2000)


* Counsel for Special Litigation with Ford Talks about No-Injury Claims
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Byline: Donald J. Lough; Donald J. Lough is Counsel for Special Litigation
with Ford Motor Company.

"One . . . who sells or distributes a defective product is subject to
liability for harm to persons or property caused by the defect."
Restatement Third, Torts: Products Liability Sec. 1 (1998) This sentence
summarizes the common law as it has developed over the course of a
millennium: a products liability plaintiff must prove a defect, physical
harm, and causation. No- injury class actions turn this bedrock principle
of law on its head by basing legal claims on the potential for future harm,
which is another way of saying the absence of harm.

The core allegation in a no-injury class action is much the same as in a
traditional products liability case: that the defendant produced or sold a
defective product and/or failed to warn of the product's dangers. The
striking feature of the typical no-injury class is that the plaintiffs
either have not experienced a malfunction because of the alleged defect (a
"non-incident" class) or have experienced a malfunction but have not been
harmed (an "incident" class). Because the class members in both types of
no-injury cases have not suffered any physical harm or out-of-pocket
economic loss because of the alleged defect, they do not claim damages for
actual harm. Instead, they seek damages for the cost of future repairs,
restitution, a recall, and/or medical monitoring. For this reason, no-
injury classes usually include large numbers of people -- often all current
and former owners of the product. After all, the people who have not been
harmed by a product ordinarily outnumber those who have been harmed.
Because no harm is alleged, causation is not an issue either. Without the
individual issues of harm and causation, so the plaintiffs' logic goes, the
issue of defect predominates and the case should be certified as a class
action. In this context, the issue of defect is being litigated with
profound consequences.

Defect has a very precise meaning in products liability law, and for good
reason. Without some reasonable limitations on liability for imperfect
products, the law would create windfalls to plaintiffs and chill
innovation. The Restatement, therefore, requires plaintiffs to prove that
some alternative design would have reduced the risk of harm to a reasonable
level without imposing offsetting risks and costs. Restatement Third,
Torts: Products Liability Sec. 2. The policy behind this rule should apply
whether the cause of action pleaded in the complaint is labeled strict
liability or consumer fraud.

Although the no-injury case almost always alleges a defect, the legal
claims usually are based upon fraudulent inducement and statutory concepts
such as deceptive trade practices. These fraud- based claims should
increase the plaintiffs' burden because a fraud action typically requires
the plaintiff to prove reliance upon a material misrepresentation of fact.
So, if anything, a no-injury case should be harder to prove than a strict
liability case -- the plaintiff should have to prove both the defect and
fraud.

                        Anatomy of a Claim

No-injury plaintiffs, however, usually argue that they do not need to prove
a defect in the traditional sense; instead, they want to prove only that
the product has inordinate risks that were not disclosed to the consumer.
They start with the defendant's non-public product goals and evaluations.
If the defendant is disappointed by its product, then consumers must be
too. The irony, however, is that the more aggressive the defendant's
engineers are in setting objectives, the more likely they are to be snared
by a no-injury case. The rule of law that emerges from this aspect of
no-injury cases is "don't set your goals too high."

Next, the plaintiffs argue that the defendant's warranty repair rates are
too high. It doesn't matter what they are because their expert will opine
that the cutoff for reasonableness was just below the defendant's rate. If
the defendant repairs many products at its own expense, then the product
must be defective. And if its products last longer than the warranty period
so that the customer bears the cost of repair or replacement, that is
fraud. This Catch-22 is, obviously, a perversion of warranty law.

Plaintiffs will argue that any improvements to the product constitute
admissions that the prior versions are defective. Subsequent remedial
measures are usually excluded in a products liability case, except to prove
feasibility. But in a class action including all owners of all versions of
the product, the later improvements to the product are offered ostensibly
to prove a course of conduct affecting the class. In the process, older
products look worse than newer products. But if a company is doing the
right thing, then its new products should look better. So, again, the
no-injury class action has it backward.

Plaintiffs are usually obliged to offer some anecdotes of actual failures.
The probative value of this evidence is outweighed by its prejudicial
effect because the issue is whether all products in the class are
defective, not the circumstances of any particular or some small number of
failures. That issue should be determined statistically, not anecdotally.
They will also offer self-serving testimony from class members to the
effect that they would not have purchased the product had they known that
it would fail or might fail. This testimony usually ignores the fact of
life that all products can and do fail and does not answer the questions
whether the risks were reasonable and whether an alternative design would
have reduced the risks to a reasonable level without imposing offsetting
risks and costs.

When the defendant is a regulated entity, plaintiffs' lawyers will argue
that the defendant concealed "the defect" from the government. If they can
raise the slightest doubt about the honesty or completeness of the
defendant's disclosures to regulators, they can then argue that the product
must be defective, otherwise the defendant would have had nothing to hide.
"Fraud on the agency" thus becomes a proxy for proving an actual defect.
The obvious question is why a court, rather than the agency itself, should
decide whether the agency was deceived. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected
to decide this question in its upcoming term in Buckman Co. v. Plaintiffs'
Legal Committee, No. 98-1768.

Skillful plaintiffs' lawyers attempt to avoid the rules of evidence and
their burden of proof by creating a "fictional composite plaintiff." They
do this by stitching together arguments from evidentiary fragments that
could not state a prima facie claim of any one plaintiff, but are offered
ostensibly in support of a "class claim" that no class member has. See
Broussard v. Meineke Discount Muffler Shops, Inc., 155 F.3d 331 (4th Cir.
1998). For example, they might argue that the defendant concealed an
internal study done in 1986 from the government during a 1987
investigation. That contention would not support the claims of those who
purchased their products before the study was done. Nor would it support
the claims of those who purchased products that were redesigned after the
study. But that supposed concealment, part of an alleged "course of
conduct," is used to taint the defendant with respect to the entire class.
A related concept is the statistical plaintiff. Rather than identify any
particular person with any particular injury, the plaintiffs use the sheer
size of the no-injury class to argue that someone must have been harmed,
even if they cannot identify anyone.

No-injury plaintiffs will cry foul when a defendant presents state of the
art evidence and other evidence putting its product's performance into
perspective. They argue that "this is not a products liability case" and
that products liability defenses do not apply. But where defect is an
issue, so too are all of the methods by which product liability law judges
products.

                  The Dangers of No-Injury Claims

The danger in all of these approaches to the defect issue is that they
attempt to evaluate product performance in a vacuum devoid of any
perspective -- no analysis of actual effects on real people, no evaluation
of real-world engineering tradeoffs, and no consideration of the economic
consequences or the rule of law that a plaintiffs' verdict would create.
These considerations are built into the Restatement risk/utility standard
and there is absolutely no policy reason to exclude them in a no-injury
case.

The no-injury approach to litigation exists for only one reason: to
facilitate bigger and bolder class actions. No-injury claims can be
asserted against any manufacturer of any product because all products have
risks that an expert can declare to be inordinate and unacceptable and it
is simply impossible to disclose every imaginable risk. And the no-injury
class definition sweeps in the largest numbers of consumers because the
only thing that no-injury class members need to have in common is ownership
or use of a product.

Imagine that a single uninjured plaintiff attempted to assert a no-injury
claim solely on his own behalf. Even the most activist court would have a
hard time finding any merit in that claim. So why then should the no-injury
claims of millions of consumers have merit simply because they are filed as
a class action? Class actions are supposed to be a procedure for
aggregating otherwise valid claims, not to create new theories of liability
or to abolish the rules of evidence.

No-injury claims are not unique to products liability litigation. Claims
against service providers alleging that a defendant created an unreasonable
risk of future harm are quickly spreading. In the class actions against
health maintenance organizations, class members typically do not claim that
they have been denied medical services under their insurance plans.
Instead, they allege that their plans (which their employers typically
selected and paid for in the first place) have a diminished value because
if they incur certain illnesses, they might be denied treatment and that
denial might be attributable to allegedly concealed cost-containment
policies.

The argument in favor of no-injury class actions is that they "level the
playing field" for consumers. In fact, they do more harm than good for most
consumers. Class members give up all of their individual claims for
out-of-pocket losses, such as the cost of medical services for which
coverage was denied, costs to make actual product repairs or consequential
damages for incidents of product failures. They are forced to take extreme
litigation positions crafted to ensure that common issues predominate, but
which create conflicts of interest among class members. For example, if I
own a product that actually failed and I spent $100 to fix it, why would I
want to waive that claim in exchange for a claim for a recall on behalf of
all owners, including those who had no failure at all? Wouldn't I want to
get my $100 back instead of a second fix that I don't need? This is exactly
what no-injury class actions do they force harmed individuals to sacrifice
their claims to preserve lesser claims that everyone can assert. But that
is exactly what class actions are not supposed to do.

People with real injuries are the biggest losers of all. Assume that you
are a member of a no-injury class action that is dismissed on the merits.
The next week, you have an actual product failure causing personal injury.
If you are estopped from relitigating the defect issue on the facts of your
injury, you may feel cheated out of due process. If you are not, the
defendant will be denied the benefit of its judgment in the class action
and taxpayers must bear the cost of relitigating the same issue between the
same parties. Neither result is acceptable.

No-injury class actions can even create dangers for class members.
Decisions about safety recalls should be made by expert regulators, not lay
juries and judges. When plaintiffs' lawyers are permitted to second-guess
or end-run safety experts, they put everyone at risk and they create a risk
of dangerously inconsistent results. A judge in California might rule that
all car seatbacks that yield in accidents are defective. A judge in
Pennsylvania might rule that car seatbacks that do not yield in accidents
are defective. How can a defendant comply with both judgments? They cannot
both be right for consumers. This is precisely why we have federal
regulators make these decisions on a national basis.

So what do consumers get from no-injury class actions? Several years of
experience and research indicate that they get almost nothing. In a recent
report, the Rand Institute for Civil Justice, which conducted a
comprehensive review of class action results, concludes that most
settlements provide little benefit to class members -- often nothing more
than coupons to purchase more of the products that are supposedly defective
-- with less than half of the recovery going to class members and the
lion's share going to the plaintiffs' attorneys. When one considers that
no-injury plaintiffs, by definition, suffered no harm, even coupons may be
a windfall. But if the purpose of the no-injury class action is to reduce
future risks, coupons and token cash settlements do not achieve that
objective.

Even in cases that actually go to trial and result in a verdict for the
class, one has to wonder whether consumers actually "win." In one of the
first no-injury class actions to go to trial, a Philadelphia jury awarded
about $700 to each owner of certain Chrysler vehicles equipped with airbags
that might cause burns if they deploy in a serious accident. If that
verdict is affirmed, several important questions will be left unanswered:
What should class members do with their $700? There is no airbag that can
deploy quickly enough without some risk of injury, so buying a risk-free or
a "safer" airbag is not even an option. What will class members do with
their $700? Common sense tells us that most class members would not seek
out a new airbag (assuming arguendo that there is a "safer" design to
choose from) to replace the incident-free one that they have. Thus, when
the case is finally over, class members will be no safer from the risks
that ostensibly motivated the litigation. But they will face the risk of
dangerous regulations issued from the bench.

                              Conclusion

The good news is that the no-injury approach to product litigation has been
rejected in several important decisions. See, e.g., Briehl v. General
Motors Corp., 172 F.3d 623 (8th Cir. 1999); Ford Motor Co. v. Rice, 726 So.
2d 626 (Ala. 1998). The bad news is that some trial courts, especially
state courts, do not see the dangers of these cases and are permitting them
to proceed to trial. Plaintiffs will continue to press the theory with
increasing vigor as the federal courts clamp down on certification of
product defect classes. The challenge is to convince lawmakers at all
levels and in all branches of government that no-injury class actions make
bad law -- bad for businesses and bad for consumers. (Legal Backgrounder,
September 22, 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
subscription information, contact Christopher Beard at 301/951-6400.


                    * * *  End of Transmission  * * *