CAR_Public/001026.MBX               C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Thursday, October 26, 2000, Vol. 2, No. 209

                             Headlines

CBS INC: Settle Techniciansí Sex Discrimination Lawsuit
CSX TRANSPORTATION: Parties Mull over High Court Certiorari Denial
DOJ: Target Date Set for Deal on Special-Raters' Back Pay Awards
ENTERPRISE LEASING: Five Black Employees Accuse of Discrimination
FOAMEX INTERNATIONAL: Stull, Stull Announces Settlement with Investors

FORD MOTOR: Mantese Miller Files Suit over Concealed Ignition Defects
GATEWAY INC: Suit Says Computer Retailer Failed to Reveal MBNA Card Rate
HMOs: Fed Judge in Miami Assigned to Coordinate Lawsuits
HMOs: State Investigate Business Practices of Aetna, Humana
HOLOCAUST VICTIMS: Mainichi Daily Says Nazi Victims May Give Up Suits

JOSEPH VARGO: Financial Adviser Ordered to Stop Selling Ventures
MICROSOFT CORP: Cohen, Milstein Files Female and Black Employees' Suit
OGDEN CORP: Court Dismisses Securities Fraud Lawsuit
ORBITAL SCIENCES: Goodkind Labaton Announces Summary Settlement Notice
PALM BEACH: $ 30 Mil Suit over School Fees Is Refiled

PASADENA DISTRICT: Parents Sue over Collection of Student Activity Fees
PRIME RETAIL: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Securities Suit in Maryland
PUBLIX SUPER: Six Hispanic Warehouse Workers Allege Racial Bias
RITALIN LITIGATION: Target of Suits in New Jersey, Texas and California
WATER CONTAMINATION: Contaminated Trench Found on FAG Property

* Korean Industries Oppose Class Action Suit System As Corp Governance

                            *********

CBS INC: Settle Techniciansí Sex Discrimination Lawsuit
-------------------------------------------------------
CBS Inc. has agreed to pay $8 million to settle a class-action sex
discrimination lawsuit involving some 200 women technicians, officials
said.

CBS admitted no liability or wrongdoing in the settlement, which must be
approved by a federal judge.

The agreement also includes changes in how CBS handles job, training and
overtime opportunities, said Susan Stokes, one of the attorneys
representing the women.

The lawsuit, filed in 1996, accused CBS of discriminating against its
female technical employees at television stations in Minneapolis, New
York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit and Green Bay, Wis. Earlier this
year, U.S. District Judge Donavan Frank approved the case as a class
action suit.

The women claimed they were denied assignments, promotions, overtime and
training and were forced to work in a sexually hostile work environment.

"We do not believe there was any discrimination," CBS said in a
statement. "However, given the expenses associated with such a
long-standing litigation, we felt we were best served to move on."

As part of the agreement, CBS must post open positions and training
opportunities and set up a mechanism for technicians to express interest
in working overtime or on certain assignments, Stokes said. The women in
the class will get additional training "to make up for what's been denied
them in the past," she said, and CBS will change its equal employment
opportunity policy and complaint procedures.

CBS' compliance will be monitored for four years. The amount of money
each woman will receive will be based on length of service and the type
of claim, Stokes said. An average figure wasn't available. "We're very
pleased with it," Stokes said. "It provides a lot of important changes
that will help make the playing fields level for everyone."

The stations involved are WCCO-TV in Minneapolis, WCBS-TV in New York,
KCBS-TV in Los Angeles, WBBM-TV in Chicago, WWJ-TV in Detroit and WFRV-TV
in Green Bay.

In November 1999, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission determined
that CBS had discriminated against female technicians at its stations.
CBS has denied the allegations. (The Associated Press, October 25, 2000)


CSX TRANSPORTATION: Parties Mull over High Court Certiorari Denial
------------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Supreme Court has denied certiorari to CSX Transportation Inc.
in an appeal of a $ 50 million punitive damages judgment, letting stand
one of the largest punitive awards ever to a single family.

But according to the lead plaintiffs' counsel, this does not indicate any
greater willingness by the nation's high court to accept massive
punitives.

Instead, tort reform measures have left rules on punitives so stringent
that any such damages that have survived post-trial motions or initial
appellate review are "pretty unassailable," said Christian D. Searcy of
West Palm Beach, Fla.'s Searcy, Denney, Scarola, Barnhart & Shipley, the
plaintiffs' counsel. "Florida, like many states, passed some very
restrictive statutes in bringing punitive damages claims."

                   Eight Killed in Wreck

By the time the $ 50 million punitive judgment had reached the U.S.
Supreme Court, he said, two Florida courts had decided that the
plaintiffs had met the state's burden of proving clear and convincing
evidence of willful and wanton negligence.

The $ 50 million punitive award came in litigation arising out of the
derailment of an Amtrak train on a CSX track in South Carolina on July
31, 1991. Eight people were killed and 70 injured when the last five cars
of the train derailed and smashed into a freight train parked on an
adjacent track.

Paul Palank, a 35-year-old Miami police sergeant, was one of the
passengers killed.

His family sued CSX, charging that the accident had been caused by the
railroad's negligence in maintaining the track. A crosspin in a railroad
switch was missing, said Mr. Searcy. "After the first 13 cars of the
train cleared successfully, the switch popped open," sending the rest of
the cars off the track.

This crosspin, he added, "had been missing for at least seven months,"
according to an on-site investigation by the National Transportation
Safety Board and the Federal Railroad Administration. Yet, Mr. Searcy
charged, "federal safety regulations require careful inspection of all
railroad switches at least twice a week and not on consecutive days."

The plaintiffs further alleged that the lack of maintenance was caused by
CSX cutbacks in personnel.

In July 1995, a Florida jury awarded the Palanks $ 6.1 million in
compensatories. The compensatory award was appealed, but affirmed and
subsequently paid, with interest, in 1997. The punitives phase was in
July CSX denied any breakdowns in safety maintenance or any conduct that
could draw punitive damages. But a second Florida jury found CSX liable
for punitive damages, then ordered the railroad to pay an additional $ 50
million.

CSX filed motions to set aside or remit the punitive verdict. "CSX never
disputed the facts surrounding the case," said company spokeswoman Kathy
Burns. "But the punitives were unwarranted and excessive." Mr. Palank's
family, she added, "was very adequately compensated by the $ 6 million in
compensatory damages."

Under Florida law, any punitives that are more than three times
compensatory damages are presumed excessive unless the evidence of
willful and wanton negligence is clear and convincing. But in October
1997, Circuit Court Judge Arthur J. Franza denied all defense motions.

In 1999, Florida's Fourth District Court of Appeal also rejected CSX's
appeal, agreeing that CSX's conduct showed "reckless disregard" for
safety. Early this year, the Florida Supreme Court denied cert and CSX
paid the punitive judgment, by then at $ 60 million with interest, said
Mr. Searcy.

But CSX took one last shot by petitioning for cert before the U.S.
Supreme Court. The company cited BMW v. Gore. In Gore, Mr. Searcy said,
"the Supreme Court said it was not appropriate for a jury, in awarding
punitives, to consider profits" earned in states where the offense
charged was legal.

In its appeal, CSX charged that the Palank plaintiffs were "basing our
case on CSX making personnel cutbacks, which is legal," Mr. Searcy said.
The plaintiffs countered, he said, that the evidence about the cutbacks
"was not to show any violation of statutes but to show the motive." CSX
Transportation Inc. v. Palank, No. 99-1987. (The National Law Journal,
October 23, 2000)


DOJ: Target Date Set for Deal on Special-Raters' Back Pay Awards
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Justice Department and National Treasury Employees Union told a
federal judge that they would try to reach an agreement by Nov. 30 on how
to award back pay in the "special rates" class-action lawsuit.

The case, which covers more than 188,000 current and former federal
employees, has been in litigation and settlement talks for 17 years.
Millions of dollars in back pay could be awarded to engineers,
scientists, clerical workers and others covered by the case.

The department and the union announced their target date during a status
conference before U.S. District Judge John Garrett Penn. During the
conference, the judge steered clear of any discussion of what formula
would be used to allocate back pay awards.

The union, which requested the court session, signaled its frustration
with the time spent in negotiations. "We are extremely dissatisfied with
the pace of negotiations," NTEU attorney Greg O'Duden said. He described
the settlement talks as "sporadic" and suggested that some people covered
by the class-action suit have probably died since the talks got underway
three years ago.

Justice Department attorney John Tyler said the government was anxious to
resolve the case, which he described as "remarkably complex" and as a
"daunting task." Tyler compared the talks to a football team's being on
the 5- or 10-yard line, struggling to cross the goal line. He said he was
"cautiously optimistic" that both sides would be able to report success
by Nov. 30.

O'Duden said he hoped the case had moved to the 5-yard line. "There are
difficult issues, but this case is not rocket science," he told Penn.

Penn urged the department and the union to "use whatever resources are
necessary" to agree on a remedy by Nov. 30. He scheduled a hearing Dec. 7
for a report on the negotiations.

The case goes back to the Reagan administration, when the Office of
Personnel Management issued a ruling that was challenged by NTEU.

OPM decided that annual salary increases given to the government's
white-collar employees would not apply to special rate employees--who
were receiving higher pay because they worked in hard-to-fill jobs or in
difficult locations.

The OPM regulation caused many special rate employees to receive little
or no pay increases from 1982 through 1988, the union contends.

Three years ago, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled
that the government owed the employees back pay, and it sent the case
back to District Court to determine how awards would be set. Since the
union's court victory, NTEU has pressed the government to agree to a plan
for awarding the back pay.

Bob Morris, a Defense Department engineer in San Antonio, is among
several thousand employees who have followed the progress of the case.
Morris, an Air Force veteran, was hired by Defense in 1986.

The OPM decision led to smaller pay raises for special rate employees, he
said. "Some of our guys wrote a lot of letters and were unhappy," he
recalled.

Morris said he was puzzled over the length of negotiations. "You would
think once they got a court ruling, they could get it out of the way and
go on to the next case," he said. "But I guess government lawyers like to
negotiate." (The Washington Post, October 25, 2000)


ENTERPRISE LEASING: Five Black Employees Accuse of Discrimination
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Enterprise Leasing Co., nation's largest automobile rental firm, has been
named in a federal class-action lawsuit alleging discrimination.

Five current and former black employees filed the lawsuit Tuesday in
federal court in St. Louis.

The lawsuit alleges Enterprise discriminated against minority workers.
They contend they were passed over for in hiring and promotions in favor
of less experienced white employees. In some cases, the jobs went to
workers that the black employees had trained, the lawsuit said.

The workers also claim they were subjected to offensive racial remarks,
and the company did nothing to correct such action. Enterprise
spokeswoman Christy Conrad said Enterprise does not discuss pending
litigation.

"We do, however, strongly disagree with any assertion that we have
discriminated against employees," she said. "We believe there is
absolutely no basis to these claims and are confident that the court will
agree with our position."

The workers alleged in the lawsuit that after they complained or filed
charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the company
retaliated by giving them less favorable performance evaluations, not
allowing them to hire their own employees and demoted or reassigned them
to less favorable work locations.

Enterprise, based in the suburb of Clayton, had about $4.7 billion in
sales last year. It has about twice as many locations as its next two
largest competitors, Avis and Hertz. Enterprise employs about 38,700
people in five countries. (The Associated Press State & Local Wire,
October 25, 2000)


FOAMEX INTERNATIONAL: Stull, Stull Announces Settlement with Investors
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The following is an announcement by the law firm of Stull, Stull and
Brody:

United States District Court Southern District of New York In Re Foamex
Securities : 99 CV 3004 (DC) Litigation

Summary Notice of Class Action, Proposed Settlement and Hearing Thereon

To: All Persons and Entities Who Purchased the Common Stock of Foamex
International, Inc. From May 7, 1998 Through and Including April 16, 1999
("the Class")

YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED that a hearing shall be held before the Honorable
Denny Chin, United States District Judge, on January 11, 2001 at 9:15
a.m. in Courtroom 11A of the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York, 500 Pearl Street, New York, New York
10007, to determine whether an order should be entered (i) certifying
this action as a class action on behalf of the above-defined Class for
settlement purposes; (ii) finally approving the proposed settlement of
the claims asserted by Plaintiffs in this Action against Defendants
Foamex International, Inc., Trace International Holdings, Inc., Andrea
Farace, Marshall S. Cogan and John A. Feenan on the terms set forth in
the Stipulation of Settlement dated August 23 , 2000 (the "Settlement");
(iii) dismissing this Action with prejudice; and (iv) awarding counsel
fees and reimbursement of expenses to counsel for Plaintiffs and the
Class. If you are a member of the Class and have not yet received the
"Notice of Class Action, Proposed Settlement and Hearing Thereon," which
more completely describes the terms of the proposed Settlement and your
rights thereunder, you should obtain a copy by contacting:

Claims Administrator In re Foamex Securities Litigation c/o David Berdon
& Co. LLP P.O. Box 3218 Grand Central Station New York, NY 10163
Telephone: (800) 766-3330 Fax: (212) 702-0138 Website:
www.dberdon.com/claims

If you have any questions regarding this litigation you may also contact
Lead Counsel for Plaintiffs and the Class: Edwin J. Mills, Esq., Stull,
Stull and Brody, 6 East 45th Street, New York, NY 10017 (212/687-7230).

PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT THE COURT OR THE CLERK'S OFFICE FOR INFORMATION
Dated: October 25, 2000 Clerk of the Court United States District Court
Southern District of New York

Contact: Stull, Stull and Brody, New York Edwin J. Mills, Esq.,
212/687-7230


FORD MOTOR: Mantese Miller Files Suit over Concealed Ignition Defects
---------------------------------------------------------------------
A class action was filed earlier this month in St. Louis Circuit Court,
against Ford Motor Company, accusing the company of installing defective
ignition modules on 29 popular models of cars, including the Taurus,
Mustang, Escort and Bronco. The suit alleges that the defective ignition
modules -- installed in vehicles in the 1980s and '90s -- are a safety
defect because they cause the vehicles to stall. A state judge in
California, in recently ordering the recall of 1.7 million vehicles in
California, recently ruled that, "Ford has been aware since at least
1982, that installing its ignition modules on the distributors ... made
them inordinately prone to failure due to exposure to excessive heat and
thermal stress."

The suit was filed on behalf of Thunderbird owner Michael Memos, who was
advised by his Ford dealership that there are so many complaints against
Ford that the needed replacement part is back ordered for over 3,000
vehicles and will not be available until January 2001.

"This is a pervasive defect that Ford has not dealt with in a responsible
way. Ford needs to acknowledge that this is a defect and to recall and
repair the millions of affected vehicles. It cannot continue to deny the
problem and hope that it goes away," emphasized Gerard Mantese, an
attorney for Mr. Memos.

Attorneys for Mr. Memos will also be filing a motion with the court,
asking the court to forthwith approve the filing as a class action. "We
intend to file a motion for class action tomorrow because we believe that
this is a critical defect that should be dealt with immediately,"
explained Mr. Robert Radice, another attorney for Mr. Memos.

Contact: Gerard Mantese of Mantese Miller and Shea, PLLC, 248-267-1200;
or Robert Radice of Horas, Radice & Dean, 314-963-9300


GATEWAY INC: Suit Says Computer Retailer Failed to Reveal MBNA Card Rate
------------------------------------------------------------------------
An Alabama man is seeking class-action status for a lawsuit accusing the
computer retailer Gateway Inc. of offering customers its MBNA-cobranded
credit card without disclosing the annual interest rate. MBNA Corp.,
whose MBNA America Bank of Wilmington, Del., issues the card, is not
named as a defendant.

Marvin R. Hamm, the plaintiff, said that when he received the MasterCard
product and discovered its interest rate was 26.99%, he tried to cancel
the account by returning the computer he had bought with the card.
According to his complaint, Gateway refused to take the computer back.

Steven Schulman, a partner in the New York law firm of Milberg Weiss
Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP who is representing Mr. Hamm, said the
practice is common at Gateway. He filed suit Oct. 11 in a San Diego state
court. Since his firm began publicizing the lawsuit, "we have had a very
large response from other people who have similar gripes," Mr. Schulman
said. He would not specify the number but said the firm has found
"widespread" evidence that the San Diego-based retailer engages in the
practice.

The lawsuit alleged that Mr. Hamm got a Gateway brochure in the mail
promising a competitive interest rate on a Gateway "Moola" MasterCard and
offering both credit card and personal loan financing options. He bought
a computer by phone from a Gateway customer service representative and
requested financing.

The complaint alleged that the Gateway representative who took Mr. Hamm's
credit application told him financing was approved but did not tell him
the interest rate, whether he would get a credit card, or whether he had
been approved for a consumer loan.

Mr. Hamm said he still had not gotten a statement with the details of his
loan 30 days after receiving his computer. He alleged that he learned the
interest rate only when he received the card along with a statement. He
decided the interest rate was unacceptable and called Gateway's toll-free
number to return the computer and cancel the card but was told that
company policy does not allow computer returns after 30 days, the lawsuit
said.

Mr. Schulman said that his client did not speak to any MBNA
representative. An MBNA spokesman declined to comment on the case.

The lawsuit stated that a Gateway employee identified only as Latisha
told Mr. Hamm that the company had received many complaints from angry
customers over the issue of undisclosed interest rates. Latisha allegedly
told him: "Gateway salespeople are pressured to sell the Moola MasterCard
because they will get bigger commissions, and that is how they earn much
of their income."

A spokesman for Gateway said that the company disagrees with the
allegations and will defend itself vigorously.

Anita L. Boomstein, a partner in the New York law firm of Hughes, Hubbard
& Reed LLP, said that concealing interest rates is illegal and that the
situation alleged in the suit does not sound typical. "I can't see that
it would be a Gateway employee" who would process credit card
applications, she said.

Either way, the Truth-in-Lending law requires disclosure of interest
rates, Ms. Boomstein said. The circumstances alleged in the suit "don't
sound correct," she said. (The American Banker, October 25, 2000)


HMOs: Fed Judge in Miami Assigned to Coordinate Lawsuits
--------------------------------------------------------
A federal judge in Miami has been assigned to coordinate lawsuits
covering 80 million U.S. patients who charge the managed-care industry
with a string of broken promises. U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno
already was handling a case against Humana Inc., and a panel of federal
judges decided Monday to assign lawsuits against seven other companies to
Moreno, as well.

Moreno has yet to decide whether the consumer claims can legally be
grouped as class actions.

For the patients, the lead attorneys are Dickie Scruggs, who beat the
large tobacco companies in state lawsuits, and David Boies, the Justice
Department's top private attorney on the Microsoft antitrust case.

The other managed health-care companies involved are Cigna, Foundation
Health Systems, PacifiCare Health Systems, Prudential and United
HealthCare. (Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL), October 25, 2000)


HMOs: State Investigate Business Practices of Aetna, Humana
-----------------------------------------------------------
Floridas attorney general is conducting a wide-ranging investigation into
the business practices of two of the nations largest HMOs.

Attorney General Bob Butterworth is probing the operations of HMOs run by
Aetna Inc. and Humana Inc. The state attorney generals office confirmed
the investigation, saying that, among other things, it is looking at
allegations that the companies awarded doctors financial incentives to
steer patients away from costly treatments.

Similar allegations have been made in a national class-action suit filed
against seven HMOs, including Aetna and Humana. The other HMOs sued in
the class action, but not subjects of the probe, are: Cigna, Foundation
Health Systems, Pacificare Health Systems, Prudential and United
Healthcare.

The state investigation into Aetna and Humana, which together have about
738,000 subscribers in Florida, was not prompted by the lawsuit, said
assistant attorney general Keith Vanden Dooren. Rather, he said, it was
prompted by media reports and complaints filed with the state Department
of Insurance, which is assisting the probe. The Humana investigation
began Oct. 25, 1999, and the Aetna one, May 1.

The investigation is being conducted under state Racketeering Influenced
and Corrupt Organizations statutes. Once reserved for fighting organized
crime, RICO more recently has been used against businesses.

Humana lawyer Brian Boyle and Aetna spokeswoman Joyce Oberdorf both said
they dont comment on ongoing investigations.

The previously unreported investigation came to light in court documents
concerning the class-action case. That suit has been brought by some of
the same attorneys who helped Butterworth win billions in a fight against
Big Tobacco on behalf of Florida smokers.

Vanden Dooren said the state will likely share information and discovery
from the investigation with lawyers involved in the civil action.

We dont shy away from talking to plaintiffs lawyers, Vanden Dooren said.

The lawyers fighting the HMOs include Richard Scruggs, the famed
Mississippi lawyer featured in the film The Insider who won $ 300 million
in attorneys fees from Big Tobacco, and David Boies, who worked with the
U.S. Department of Justice on the Microsoft antitrust case.

The probe came to light in a memo filed with the federal Judicial
Multidistrict Litigation Panel, which Monday decided to consolidate the
national class-action suits into a single federal court in Miami. The
state filed the memo in support of a motion for consolidation filed by
the 45 or so law firms involved in the national litigation, which
eventually could affect some 80 million subscribers.

The memo said that state investigators in Florida already have obtained
20,000 documents, have taken a myriad of witness statements and have
asked the panel to consolidate the cases in Miami.

The stance pitted Butterworth against Connecticut Attorney General
Richard Blumenthal, who has filed a class-action suit against four other
health insurers and wanted some of the national cases consolidated in his
state.

Although Aetna is not one of the companies the state of Connecticut sued,
it is based in Connecticut and there is reason to believe that a
substantial amount of documents and witnesses will be located in
Connecticut, Blumenthal said in his own memo to the multidistrict
litigation panel.

But, the panel clearly agreed with Butterworth, who wrote that neither
Aetna nor Humana are defendants in the Connecticut suit. Humana, stated
the memo, has about 371,000 enrollees in Florida, more than in any other
state. (Aetna has about 367,000 subscribers in Florida.)

The memo cited the ongoing state investigation as another reason the
cases should be consolidated in Miami.

The case marked the first time Butterworth has personally appealed to the
multidistrict litigation panel on behalf of a civil action, said Vanden
Dooren.

It is very helpful to have actions in your home state, he said, so you
dont have to go traipsing all over the country.

The investigation is being conducted under state Racketeering Influenced
and Corrupt Organizations statutes. Once reserved for fighting organized
crime, RICO more recently has been used against businesses.

Humana lawyer Brian Boyle and Aetna spokeswoman Joyce Oberdorf both said
they dont comment on ongoing investigations.

The previously unreported investigation came to light in court documents
concerning the class-action case. That suit has been brought by some of
the same attorneys who helped Butterworth win billions in a fight against
Big Tobacco on behalf of Florida smokers.

Vanden Dooren said the state will likely share information and discovery
from the investigation with lawyers involved in the civil action.

We dont shy away from talking to plaintiffs lawyers, Vanden Dooren said.

The lawyers fighting the HMOs include Richard Scruggs, the famed
Mississippi lawyer featured in the film The Insider who won $ 300 million
in attorneys fees from Big Tobacco, and David Boies, who worked with the
U.S. Department of Justice on the Microsoft antitrust case.

The probe came to light in a memo filed with the federal Judicial
Multidistrict Litigation Panel, which Monday decided to consolidate the
national class-action suits into a single federal court in Miami. The
state filed the memo in support of a motion for consolidation filed by
the 45 or so law firms involved in the national litigation, which
eventually could affect some 80 million subscribers.

The memo said that state investigators in Florida already have obtained
20,000 documents, have taken a myriad of witness statements and have
asked the panel to consolidate the cases in Miami.

The stance pitted Butterworth against Connecticut Attorney General
Richard Blumenthal, who has filed a class-action suit against four other
health insurers and wanted some of the national cases consolidated in his
state.

Although Aetna is not one of the companies the state of Connecticut sued,
it is based in Connecticut and there is reason to believe that a
substantial amount of documents and witnesses will be located in
Connecticut, Blumenthal said in his own memo to the multidistrict
litigation panel.

But, the panel clearly agreed with Butterworth, who wrote that neither
Aetna nor Humana are defendants in the Connecticut suit. Humana, stated
the memo, has about 371,000 enrollees in Florida, more than in any other
state. (Aetna has about 367,000 subscribers in Florida.)

The memo cited the ongoing state investigation as another reason the
cases should be consolidated in Miami.

The case marked the first time Butterworth has personally appealed to the
multidistrict litigation panel on behalf of a civil action, said Vanden
Dooren.

It is very helpful to have actions in your home state, he said, so you
dont have to go traipsing all over the country. (Broward Daily Business
Review, October 25, 2000)


HOLOCAUST VICTIMS: Mainichi Daily Says Nazi Victims May Give Up Suits
---------------------------------------------------------------------
In a move perhaps promising a reprieve for the nation's companies facing
U.S. lawsuits for using slave labor during World War II, victims of
Japan's one-time Nazi allies are poised to end their U.S. court battles
to gain compensation, a top German official has told the Mainichi.

U.S. courts appear to have recognized that a multi-billion yen trust the
German government set up over the summer in conjunction with German
companies will suffice as a way of compensating the Nazi regime's slave
workers, according to Michael Jansen, head of the trust.

Although not yet confirmed, most class action suits against the German
government and selected German companies that benefited from the use of
slave labor under the Nazis will be dropped.

The German move is expected to have an influence on suits in U.S. courts
from those seeking compensation from Japanese companies for forced labor
during World War II.

Berlin and numerous German companies had refused repeated demands to
compensate wartime slave laborers, saying that compensation was a matter
settled between governments and leaving no room for settling individual
claims.

However, over the past few years, mostly Jewish group litigants in the
United States have filed around 50 class action lawsuits in U.S. courts
seeking compensation from such heavyweight German companies as BMW,
Volkswagen, Daimler-Chrysler and Siemens.

To avoid having to fight these legal battles, the German government
joined hands with some 4,200 German companies to set up in August a 470
billion yen trust from which compensation could be paid to Nazi victims.

Each of the roughly 1.2 million Nazi victims -- mostly Jews, but also
Poles and those from the former Soviet Union -- stand to receive a
compensation payout from the trust ranging from 240,000 yen to 700,000
yen.

Jansen says that payouts from the trust will only be made upon receipt of
a promise not to pursue further legal action. Germans involved in the
establishment of the trust sold the idea to the U.S. government, courts
and leaders of groups suing them. The courts have since recognized that
the trust payments could be used instead of formal compensation payments.
(Mainichi Daily News, October 25, 2000)


JOSEPH VARGO: Financial Adviser Ordered to Stop Selling Ventures
----------------------------------------------------------------
The state has ordered a Willowick financial adviser to stop selling
investments in four ventures after investors lost $1.3 million. The
losses for investors in Cuyahoga, Lake and Summit counties occurred when
two of the ventures defaulted.

The stop-selling order was issued Monday by the Ohio Department of
Commerce's Division of Securities against Joseph A. Vargo, 40, owner of
Vargo Capital Group.

The 1998 collapse of Serengeti Diamonds U.S.A. Inc. and Lomas de la Barra
Development Inc. has spurred the filing of class-action lawsuits.

Vargo said he made a mistake by allowing his securities license to lapse
in 1998 but said he had nothing to do with the insolvency of the two
ventures. "I didn't rip anybody off," Vargo said. "I lost everything I
owned, plus my business, plus everything else in the process." (The
Associated Press State & Local Wire, October 25, 2000)


MICROSOFT CORP: Cohen, Milstein Files Female and Black Employees' Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Seattle's Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll has filed a class action on
behalf of the female and black salaried employees of Microsoft Corp. The
software giant is accused of engaging in a pattern of race and sex
discrimination that violates federal civil rights laws. Cohen partner
Michael D. Hausfeld is leading the case, along with Steven J. Toll.

The complaint takes issue with Microsoft's evaluation and promotions
process, and alleges discrimination in compensation. It argues that the
company's evaluation system "permits managers, who are predominantly
white males, to rate employees based upon their own biases rather than
based upon merit."

The spokesperson for Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft was traveling and not
immediately available to comment.

About 2.5% of Microsoft's 18,000 employees are blacks and 26% are women.
The lead plaintiff in the case is a black female program manager in the
company's operations division. The case, Donaldson v. Microsoft Corp.,
No. C00-1684P, is before U.S. District Judge Marcia Pechman in Seattle.
(The National Law Journal, October 23, 2000)


OGDEN CORP: Court Dismisses Securities Fraud Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------
In a securities fraud class action, defendants moved to dismiss, citing
pleading requirements of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act.
Plaintiffs sought to represent a class of people who purchased stock
during a certain time period. The corporation had announced plans to
split into two separate companies on March 11, 1999, but on Sept. 17,
1999 it announced that it would not be splitting. Plaintiffs argued that
evidence of intent to defraud in the company's original statement was
found by its subsequent statement that it would not split because the
divisions were "too small and financially constrained" to operate alone.
The court dismissed the complaint. It said that while facts indicated
that management may have been negligent in not recognizing problems
earlier, there was no "strong inference" of fraudulent intent.

Judge Martin

IN RE OGDEN CORP. SECURITIES QDS:02763068 - In this securities fraud
class action, Defendants move to dismiss on the ground that the complaint
fails to satisfy the pleading requirements of the Private Securities
Litigation Reform Act ("PSLRA"). The motion is granted.

Plaintiffs seek to represent a class of people who purchased the stock of
Ogden Corporation ("Ogden") between March 11, 1999 and September 17,
1999. The March 11 date is significant because on that date Ogden
announced plans to split itself into two separated companies, one
combining its Entertainment and Aviation Divisions and the other
containing its Energy Division. On September 17 Ogden announced that it
would not be splitting up, that it was taking certain accounting
write-offs, and that it was ceasing payments of its cash dividend. Not
surprisingly, the announcement of September 17 caused a substantial drop
in the price of Ogden's stock.

The principal claims in the amended complaint are that the defendants,
the company and three of its principal officers, knew on March 11 that
(1) the split-up of the company could not take place because the
Entertainment and Aviation Divisions were too small and financially
constrained to operate independently and (2) the Company should
write-down at least $ 28.8 million in assets.

The PSLRA provides that

[in] any private action arising under this chapter in which the plaintiff
may recover money damages only on proof that the defendant acted with a
particular state of mind, the complaint shall, with respect to each act
or omission alleged to violate this chapter, state with particularity
facts giving rise to a strong inference that the defendant acted with the
required state of mind.

15 U.S.C. @ 78u-4(b)(2).

The impact of this legislation on the pleading requirements in securities
fraud cases such as this was carefully analyzed in the recent opinion of
Judge Walker in Novak v. Kasaks, 216 F.3d 300 (2d Cir. 2000). In Novak,
Judge Walker reviewed the history of the PSLRA and the cases in this
circuit concerning the pleading requirements in securities fraud cases
and concluded:

[Plaintiffs] must allege facts that give rise to a strong inference of
fraudulent intent. "The requisite 'strong inference' of fraud may be
established either (a) by alleging facts to show that defendants had both
motive and opportunity to commit fraud, or (b) by alleging facts that
constitute strong circumstantial evidence of conscious misbehavior or
recklessness." Acito, 47 F.3d at 52 (quoting Shields, 25 F.3d at 1128)
(internal citations omitted). However, this statement of the standard
conceals the complexity and uncertainty that often surround its
application. This difficulty in application stems, at least in part, from
the "inevitable tension" between the interests in deterring securities
fraud and deterring strike suits.

216 F.3d at 307.

In this case Plaintiffs attempt to meet the first of the above standards
by alleging that the defendants' motive for the frauds was their desire
(1) to appear to be responding to an announced challenge to management by
a large shareholder that had nominated its own slate of directors and (2)
to use the stock of the company to make acquisitions. The problem with
the first argument is that the proxy fight occurred almost a year before
the period in which it is alleged the fraud took place and the insurgent
lost the battle.

While the desire to inflate the price of stock to increase its value in
making acquisitions may in some circumstances be sufficient to establish
a motive for fraud, see Rothman v. Gregor, 220 F.3d 81, 93 (2d Cir.
2000), plaintiff's argument fails because the acquisitions for which the
stock was issued occurred prior to the commencement of the class period
and, therefore, the desire to make those acquisitions could not have been
the motivation for the false statements allegedly made during the class
period. For example, the principal false statement alleged is the
statement that the company would split itself into two parts. Since this
announcement was made on March 11, 1999, it could not have been motivated
by a desire to increase the stock price for acquisitions that had already
been completed.

Even if the stock acquisitions had occurred after the beginning of the
class period, the complaint does not contain facts demonstrating that
these acquisitions were so substantial and important to the company that
they would have motivated its principal officers to commit fraud. The
complaint also refers to other acquisitions made during the same year
where no stock was used and there is no reason to believe that the use of
stock was essential to the acquisition program.

As Judge Walker observed in Novak: Plaintiffs could not proceed based on
motives possessed by virtually all corporate insiders, including: (1) the
desire to maintain a high corporate credit rating, see San Leandro
Emergency Med. Group Profit Sharing Plan v. Philip Morris Cos., Inc., 75
F.3d 801, 814 (2d Cir. 1996), or otherwise sustain "the appearance of
corporate profitability, or of the success of an investment," Chill, 101
F.3d at 268; and (2) the desire to maintain a high stock price in order
to increase executive compensation, see Acito, 47 F.3d at 54, or prolong
the benefits of holding corporate office, see Shields, 25 F.3d at 1130.
Rather, plaintiffs had to allege that defendants benefitted in some
concrete and personal way from the purported fraud.

216 F.3d at 307-08 (emphasis added). The amended complaint in this case
does not allege the type of personal benefit to the individual defendants
that would give rise to a strong inference of an intent to defraud.

The question that remains is whether the amended complaint can be
sustained because it alleges facts that constitute strong circumstantial
evidence of conscious misbehavior or recklessness.

With respect to the announcement that the company planned to split itself
into two parts, the plaintiffs argue that evidence of an intent to
defraud is found in the fact that on the day after the company announced
that the spin-off of the Entertainment and Aviation Divisions would not
take place, the company's new president stated that these divisions were
"too small and financially constrained" to operate as a stand-alone
company. However, the March 11 announcement said that the company was
exploring ways to spin-off the two divisions and had retained Goldman
Sachs to advise it in this regard. The fact that the company abandoned
these plans after a period of review with its outside expert is no
evidence that the company's original statement of its intention was
fraudulent. Indeed, the fact that the company announced that it was
hiring an expert to assist it with the plan is evidence that the
company's officers did not have sufficient expertise to finalize a
judgment on the proposed spin-off and should have put the public on
notice that the plans might change after the experts had adequate time to
study the proposal. Thus, the amended complaint's allegations concerning
the announcement that the company intended to split itself into two parts
do not give rise to a "strong inference" that the defendants acted with
fraudulent intent.

Similarly, the allegations concerning the company's delay in writing off
$ 28.8 million in assets do not give rise to a "strong inference" of
fraudulent intent. The defendants argue that the failure to write off
these assets did not make the company's financial statements false
because the company had $ 4 billion in assets and annual revenues of
approximately $ 2 billion. While Plaintiffs argue that the issue of
materiality of the false statements is an issue of fact to be decided by
the jury, the Court need not decide that issue because even if the
plaintiffs are correct that the financial statements were false in a
material respect, the amended complaint does not establish that the
defendants acted with fraudulent intent.

In considering whether the amended complaint alleges facts "giving rise
to a strong inference" that the defendants acted with fraudulent intent,
it is important to consider how significant the dollar value of the
write-offs was compared to the total assets and revenue of the company.
While the failure to write off assets that would clearly be material to
the company's financial statements might by itself be enough to give rise
to an inference of fraudulent intent on the part of the corporate
officers, where, as here, the assets in question amount to only a small
fraction of the company's net worth, the mere fact that a proper
application of General Accepted Accounting Principles ("GAAP") would have
resulted in an earlier write-off does not provide any evidence that the
senior corporate officers acted with fraudulent when they issued the
financial statements in question. As Judge Walker noted in Novak:

allegations of GAAP violations or accounting irregularities, standing
alone, are insufficient to state a securities fraud claim. See Stevelman,
174 F.3d at 84; Chill, 101 F.3d at 270. Only where such allegations are
coupled with evidence of "corresponding fraudulent intent," Chill, 101
F.3d at 270, might they be sufficient.

216 F.3d at 309.

While to the average citizen the $ 28.8 million in assets referred to in
the amended complaint would appear to be material, no reasonable person
could conclude from the facts alleged in the amended complaint that the
three individual defendants, who were respectively the President, the
Controller, and Chief Financial Officer, or anyone else in senior
management of this $ 4 billion dollar company, focused on these assets
and made a deliberate or reckless decision not to write them off when
required.

For example, one of the write-offs that Plaintiffs allege to have been
fraudulently deferred was the write-off of $ 4.2 million in connection
with the sale of the company's Grizzly Nature Center. Plaintiffs refer to
a September 28, 1999 press report in Billings, Montana, where the park
was located, which stated that in July company officials had come to the
park and told employees that if a suitable buyer was not found for the
park it would be closed. However, there is no reason to believe that
senior executives, such as the individual defendants, would have focused
their attention on the Grizzly Nature Center, which had revenues of only
$ 1 million, and recognized that when it was sold the company would have
to take a $ 4.2 million write-off. Moreover, even if one assumed that in
July 1999, the defendants came to realize that the write-off was
required, nothing improper was done since the write-off was made in the
financial statements for the third quarter, which ended September 30,
1999. Given the relatively insignificant nature of the Grizzly Nature
Center to the total operations of the company, the company would not be
expected to make a special announcement of a decision to sell the
operation and the possibility that the sale would result in a write-off
of some of its book value.

There is similarly no reason to conclude that anyone in senior management
focused on the need to write off $ 6.5 million of contract acquisition
costs for food concessions operated at the Great Western Forum and the
U.S. Air Arena because new arenas were under construction in these areas
and the teams playing in these venues had announced plans to move to the
new sites. While the company was obviously aware that these new arenas
were under construction and, indeed, announced in its annual report that
it had been awarded the concessions contract for the Staples Center,
which would effectively replace the Great Western forum, the amended
complaint does not contain a single factual allegation that would suggest
that anyone in the company focused on the impact that the opening of
these new arenas would have on the company's existing concessions. Since
the company had a total of $ 132,818,000 of such acquisition costs on its
books, it cannot be assumed that the $ 6.5 million dollars of such costs
associated with these two venues were brought to the attention of senior
management.

There is similarly no evidence of fraudulent intent with respect to the
largest single write-off referred to in the complaint, the forfeiture of
a $ 10 million non-refundable deposit in connection with the termination
of the planned acquisition of Volume Services of America, Inc. ("Volume
Services") that the company announced on June 28, 1999. The problem with
Plaintiffs's argument that the defendants fraudulently failed to write
off the $ 10 million deposit Ogden paid to Volume Services is that it
requires the Court to find that Ogden entered into the acquisition
contract knowing that it would be unable to consummate the acquisition
and would, therefore, forfeit its $ 10 million. The amended complaint
offers no logical reason why any corporate officer would enter into such
a transaction knowing that it would not be consummated. Indeed, the fact
that the defendants entered into this contract containing a $ 10 million
forfeiture provision is strong evidence that they did not recognize the
problems that were confronting the company that ultimately lead to the
abandonment of the spin-off plans and the other actions announced on
September 17.

Before turning to the remaining write-offs alleged in the amended
complaint to have been fraudulently delayed, it is significant to note
that in addition to announcing that it would not be splitting up into two
separate corporations and that it expected to report a loss for the third
quarter, the company's September press release also announced that R.
Richard Albon, the Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive
of the company, had resigned all of his positions and the company had
appointed a new chief executive officer. This fact is significant because
it suggests that the decision to abandon certain lines of business and to
write down other assets was the result of a fresh examination of the
company's operations by new management rather than decisions that prior
management knew to be necessary but fraudulently deferred.

The clearest examples of such challenged write-offs which the facts
suggest resulted from the decision of new management are the write-offs
of $ 2.1 million in connection with the termination of a casino joint
venture in South Africa and a $ 2.5 million write-off in connection with
the sale of a casino operation in Aruba. The amended complaint is devoid
of any allegation relating to the South Africa casino other than that the
write-off occurred in the third quartet of With respect to the Aruba
casino, the complaint alleges only that its operations had been
unprofitable in 1998 and 1999. The amended complaint contains no factual
allegation that would suggest that, prior to the election of new
management, anyone in the company had made a decision to terminate either
of these casino projects or had any other reason to believe that the book
value of these assets would ultimately be written down.

The final $ 3 million of allegedly concealed loses referred to in the
amended complaint is an amount of loss that the company announced for the
third quarter in its Ogden Environmental Services Division. While the
amended complaint alleges that the company regularly shifted costs in
this division from unprofitable to profitable contracts, even if true,
that fact would not have any effect on the total profit or loss for the
overall operation of the division. There are no facts alleged to support
an inference that the $ 3 million loss in this division in the third
quarter should have been recognized in an earlier period. Thus, there is
no conceivable basis for an inference that the company and its principal
officers acted with fraudulent intent with respect to this particular
loss.

In sum, read in its entirety, the amended complaint does no more than
paint a picture of a company run for years by an entrenched and not
overly competent management, who when faced with shareholder discontent
hired Goldman Sachs to advise them with respect to a plan to split up the
company. It appears that as a result of Goldman Sachs' review of the
companies operations, management learned that their plans for the company
did not make economic sense and that painful changes had to be made in
the companies operations. While these facts indicate that the company's
management may have been negligent in not recognizing its problems
earlier, the amended complaint is totally lacking in factual allegations
"giving rise to a strong inference that the defendants acted with
[scienter]." See SEC v. Price Waterhouse, 797 F. Supp. 1217, 1240
(S.D.N.Y. 1992). For that reason the complaint is dismissed.

In view of the fact that the amended complaint is the second pleading
filed by the plaintiffs in this case and that the plaintiffs' opposition
papers do not suggest the existence of any unpleaded fact that might
ultimately sustain the complaint, Plaintiffs' application for leave to
file an amended complaint is denied. (New York Law Journal, October 17,
2000)


ORBITAL SCIENCES: Goodkind Labaton Announces Summary Settlement Notice
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The following was released on October 16 by: Goodkind Labaton Rudoff &
Sucharow LLP:

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA

ALEXANDRIA DIVISION

In re ORBITAL SCIENCES CORPORATION SECURITIES LITIGATION

Civil Action No. 99-197-A

SUMMARY NOTICE OF SETTLEMENT OF CLASS ACTION

To: (A) ALL PERSONS WHO PURCHASED THE COMMON STOCK OR CALL OPTIONS OF
ORBITAL SCIENCES CORPORATION ("ORBITAL") DURING THE PERIOD JULY 22, 1997
THROUGH OCTOBER 29, 1999 INCLUSIVE.

ALL PERSONS WHO PURCHASED ORBITAL COMMON STOCK IN ITS APRIL 15, 1998
SECONDARY OFFERING (THE "SECONDARY OFFERING").

PLEASE READ THIS NOTICE CAREFULLY. YOUR RIGHTS MAY BE AFFECTED BY A CLASS
ACTION LAWSUIT PENDING IN THIS COURT.

. . .

The proposed settlement resolves all claims which were asserted or could
have been asserted against Defendants and certain related entities
(collectively the "Released Parties") in this Action. The settlement
consideration consists of $22,500,000, comprised of $11,000,000 in cash
and $ 11,500,000 of warrants to be issued by Orbital, which warrants are
described more fully in the detailed Notice of Settlement of Class
Action.

A hearing will be held by the court on December 13, 2000 at 9:00 a.m., in
the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia,
401 Courthouse Square, Alexandria, Virginia 22314. The purpose of the
hearing will be, among other things: (1) to determine whether the
proposed settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate and should be
approved and, therefore, whether this class action should be dismissed on
the merits and with prejudice and without costs; and (2) to consider the
reasonableness of an application by Lead Counsel for the payment of
attorneys' fees and reimbursement of expenses incurred in prosecuting the
class action.

Please Do Not Contact The Court Or The Clerk's Office For Information.
Dated: September 7, 2000
By Order Of The United States
District Court For The Eastern
District Of Virginia

Source: Goodkind Labaton Rudoff & Sucharow Llp

Contact: Ginny Ponzini, Complete Claim Solutions, 561-651-7777, for
Goodkind Labaton Rudoff & Sucharow LLP


PALM BEACH: $ 30 Mil Suit over School Fees Is Refiled
-----------------------------------------------------
Lawyers refiled a class-action suit against the Palm Beach County School
Board, demanding an end to fees charged for academic courses.

The suit also seeks at least $ 30 million in refunds to students and
parents who paid for textbooks, art and science lab materials and field
trips during the past four years.

A group of parents, former students and the South Florida Educational Law
Center filed the suit in June 1999. The center is a nonprofit watchdog
group based in Boca Raton.

Palm Beach Circuit Judge James T. Carlisle said the suit tried to
micro-manage school funds and dismissed the complaint on Sept. 14. He
allowed plaintiffs until Oct. 16 to address his concerns and refile.

The fees violate the Florida Constitution, which mandates everyone is
entitled to a quality, free public education, says lead plaintiffs
counsel Gerald F. Richman of Richman Greer Weil Mirabito & Christensen in
West Palm Beach.

The school district says in court documents that it is entitled to charge
the fees, but plans at its Nov. 21 meeting to consider a new policy which
would substitute voluntary fees for fees, said Bruce A. Harris of Weiss &
Handler in Boca Raton, acting chief counsel to the board, in a letter to
Richman.

Says Richman of the new lingo: It has to be a donation, not a fee; the
characterization doesnt make any sense.

Harris said in the letter that the proposed change was not a result of
the complaint against the School Board. (Broward Daily Business Review,
October 25, 2000)


PASADENA DISTRICT: Parents Sue over Collection of Student Activity Fees
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
A lawsuit filed by three parents seeks to end the collection of student
activity fees and demands a refund for money already paid for athletic
clothes, ID cards and notebook organizers. The lawsuit, which was filed
Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, claims the practice of collecting
fees for extracurricular activities is unconstitutional

An attorney for the state Department of Education said the lawsuit's
demand for a refund was highly unusual. "It's a novel case and an
interesting thing to follow," Roger Wolfertz, the department's deputy
general counsel told the Los Angeles Times. Though courts have held that
such fees are unconstitutional, Wolfertz said "no appellate-level
decision on reimbursement has ever been made."

The 1984 case of Hartzell vs. Connell, which stemmed from a dispute
involving the Santa Barbara County school district, established that
extracurricular activities, including band and cheerleading, are part of
the education program that must be provided free.

The question of a refund did not come up in the precedent setting case.
Some education fees are permissible under state law, such as the charge
for bus transportation in rural areas, but they are few and are detailed
in state law.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday claims that the Pasadena district has required
students to pay for athletic uniforms; student organizer books; mandatory
student identification cards and associated student body cards, which are
required at some schools in order to join an athletic team or pep squad.
"In a community in which over two-thirds of the students qualify for
government food aid because of their low family income, forcing families
to cough up fees, knowing that it is illegal, is reprehensible," said
plaintiff Rachel Peregrina.

Lawyers for the district, which serves more than 23,000 students from
Pasadena, Altadena and Sierra Madre, have denied charging students
illegal fees.

The attorney for the plaintiffs, Kevin Snider, said he will seek an order
to grant the suit class action status covering all district parents.

The state Education Department receives about a dozen complaints a year
from parents about districts charging mandatory fees. Districts that are
aware of the law seek voluntary donations for items, but do not exclude
students who don't pay, Wolfertz said. (The Associated Press State &
Local Wire, October 25, 2000)


PRIME RETAIL: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Securities Suit in Maryland
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Notice of October 24 by the law firm of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP says
that a class action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court
for the District of Maryland on behalf of all purchasers of Prime Retail,
Inc's. Securities [including common and preferred stockholders] (NYSE:
PRT and PRTA) from May 28, 1999 through January 18, 2000, inclusive (the
"Class Period").

The complaint charges Prime Retail and certain of its officers and
directors with issuing false and misleading statements concerning the
Company's business and financial condition. Specifically, the complaint
alleges that on May 28, 2000, Prime Retail announced the construction of
an outlet center in Puerto Rico without revealing its lack of financing
for the project. This required the Company to fund the project with cash
that it did not have because its operations were deteriorating.
Furthermore, the complaint alleges that Prime Retail assured its
investors throughout the Class Period that it would issue a dividend in
its fourth quarter of 1999, even though it knew that its deteriorating
operations and debt-laden balance sheet would make issuing a dividend
impossible. On January 18, 2000, Prime Retail announced that it would
suspend its common dividend for 2000 because of lowered occupancy rates
and cash shortage. The value of Prime Retail's securities declined on the
news of this announcement.

Contact: Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP Marc A. Topaz, Esq. Robert B. Weiser,
Esq. 888/299-7706 (toll free) or 610/667-7706 info@sbclasslaw.com


PUBLIX SUPER: Six Hispanic Warehouse Workers Allege Racial Bias
---------------------------------------------------------------
Six current and former warehouse workers for Publix Super Markets Inc.
have filed a discrimination lawsuit against the grocer alleging they were
denied promotions and treated unfairly because they are Hispanic. The
suit seeks class-action status on behalf of all Hispanic employees who
work or have worked in the Lakeland grocer's 13 distribution and
warehouse plants. A Publix spokeswoman said the company had not seen the
suit. (St. Petersburg Times, October 25, 2000)


RITALIN LITIGATION: Target of Suits in New Jersey, Texas and California
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Class actions in New Jersey, Texas and California are attacking a New
Jersey pharmaceutical company in a suit over the drug Ritalin, a
stimulant prescribed to millions of children diagnosed with attention
deficit disorders.

The New Jersey case was filed in Bergen County Superior Court on Sept.
13. Dawson v. Ciba-Geigy, BER-L-7774-00. It alleged that Novartis
Pharmaceuticals Corp. conspired with a doctors' group and a nonprofit
association to boost Ritalin sales. Ciba and Sandoz Pharmaceuticals Corp.
merged in 1996 to form Novartis.

As early as the 1950s, the suits say, Novartis/Ciba and the American
Psychiatric Association began conspiring to create the diagnoses of
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and attention deficit disorder,
to include these illnesses in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of
Mental Disorders, to encourage the overdiagnosis of these ailments and to
promote Ritalin (methylphenidate) as the drug of choice for treatment.

The complaint alleges that the Maryland-based Children and Adults with
Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) conspired with Novartis
and the psychiatric group to increase Ritalin sales and to reduce legal
restrictions on its use.

The suit alleges false advertising about Ritalin and its side effects.
The complaint estimates that Novartis/Ciba has sold more than $ 1 billion
worth of the drug in New Jersey alone.

Novartis' chief national counsel for the Ritalin cases, James O'Neal of
Minneapolis' Faegre & Benson, declined to respond to the allegations. New
Jersey counsel John Brenner of Newark's McCarter & English did not return
a call. A written company response called the allegations unfounded and
preposterous and characterized the plaintiffs' assertions as "contrary to
medical evidence and scientific consensus."

Cecilia Obejero, a spokeswoman for the psychiatric group, said that it
hadn't retained counsel to defend the New Jersey suit. A statement on the
Texas suit called the charges ludicrous and labeled the action "an
opportunistic attack on the scientific process."

A CHADD statement called the lawsuits "a shocking insult to the millions
of families coping with this very serious condition." (The National Law
Journal, October 23, 2000)


WATER CONTAMINATION: Contaminated Trench Found on FAG Property
--------------------------------------------------------------
Nearly a decade after high levels of industrial solvent were discovered
in Silver Creek drinking wells, investigators say they have finally
confirmed the source. A wide trench containing trichloroethylene -
commonly known as TCE - has been found on the FAG Bearings Corp. plant
near this southwest Missouri village.

Despite years of denial from the company, residents of Silver Creek were
hardly surprised by the news. "About 12 years ago, FAG filled in what we
thought was a pond over there," Mayor John Hannon said. "The next thing
we know, up pops the devil."

In 1991, the Missouri Department of Health found that a handful of
household wells in the area contained TCE, a solvent that has been linked
to birth defects and cranial nerve damage.

The Environmental Protection Agency mapped a plume of contamination that
extended about 250 yards south of the FAG plant through Silver Creek and
Saginaw villages.

Investigators identified FAG as the probable source of the contamination.
Records showed that the plant used TCE as a degreaser in its ball-bearing
manufacturing operation, but could not account for the disposal of 30,195
gallons of TCE purchased between 1977 and 1982.

FAG settled a class-action lawsuit with property owners for $7.5 million
last year, but the company had refused to admit liability.

The trench was discovered earlier this year during exploratory drilling
conducted by the company, FAG spokesman Steve Hale said on Tuesday. "We
had drilled previously in the vicinity of the trench, but it was
something of a surprise to FAG when it was found. No TCE of such
significance had been found previously," Hale said. "It was the one place
we missed in searching for the source."

Representatives from FAG, along with federal and state environmental
agencies, will meet with residents of the villages Thursday evening to
explain a cleanup agreement.

In October 1998, a federal judge at Kansas City threw out FAG's claim
that two Joplin companies - Midcon Cables Co. and Gulf States Paper Corp.
- were responsible for the contamination.

In a 92-page opinion, the judge ruled that FAG was the cause of the
contamination and that its lawyers knew that to be the case, but
proceeded with the lawsuit against Midcon and Gulf States. The judge said
FAG and its lawyers acted in bad faith.

FAG was assessed a $640,000 judgment and was ordered to pay the fees of
the attorneys who represented Gulf States and Midcon. Those fees amounted
to more than $1.5 million. (The Associated Press State & Local Wire,
October 25, 2000)


* Korean Industries Oppose Class Action Suit System As Corp Governance
----------------------------------------------------------------------The
Federation of Korean Industries Wednesday expressed opposition to
proposals for collective voting rights for small shareholders and a class
action suit system being contemplated by the government as part of a
measure to improve corporate governance.

The FKI, in a report dealing with the problems involved in the governance
improvement measure, said that the collective voting right and class
action suit system would hurt management activities and capital markets.

The report said the collective voting right would stand little chance of
actually enabling small shareholders to select directors representing
them, but would instead result in the selection of those representing the
second or third largest shareholders, resulting only in a struggle for
management control.

It said in most advanced countries, the collective voting right system is
left up to the autonomous decision of individual companies. The global
trend today is toward changing binding measures for collective voting to
nonbinding ones.

The class action suit system could lead to massive failures of companies
and accounting firms, and would make companies wary of going public, the
report said.

It also said it is unreasonable to adopt the class action suit system
without making an overall review of the civil litigation law system, it
said. (Asia Pulse, October 25, 2000)


                             *********


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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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