CAR_Public/010105.MBX             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Friday, January 5, 2001, Vol. 3, No. 4

                             Headlines

21ST CENTURY: Quisenberry & Kabateck Sues Northridge Earthquake Insurer
BANK OF AMERICA: Payouts Being Made to NationsBank Customers
CAREERENGINE NETWORK: Subsid. Faces CA Complaint over Bond Tax Exemption
CREDIT CARDS: Judge Dismisses Bait-and-Switch Lawsuit
EXXON CHEMICAL: Judge Steps Down From Two Lawsuits Over Major Fires

FORD MOTOR: Looking to Settle Explorer SUVs Rollover Suits
HMOs: Lawyers Add New Complaints to TX Medicaid Lawsuit
MICROSOFT CORP: New Employment Racial Bias Lawsuit Has Been Filed
MOTOROLA INC: Testimony on Proportional Trading Model Rejected in IL
MTBE CONTAMINATION: Financial Settlement In Gas Station Leak Now Public

NANOPHASE TECHNOLOGIES: Stull, Stull Announces on Securities Suit in IL
NETWORK ASSOCIATES: Security Software Company Names New Chief Executive
PAC BELL, SBC: DSL Woes Give Rise to Suits; CA Customers Suffer Slowdown
PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL: Agrees to Settle Securities Suit in Florida
QWEST COMMUNICATIONS: Agrees to Settle AZ Lawsuit over Phone Line Delay

RELIANT ENERGY: SEC Filing Reminds of CA Electricity Antitrust Lawsuits
TOBACCO LITIGATION: First Medical Monitoring Suit to Take Place in VA
UNITED AIRLINES: 7th Cir Rejects Bias Claim Past EEOC Deadline

                            *********

21ST CENTURY: Quisenberry & Kabateck Sues Northridge Earthquake Insurer
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit was filed on Jan. 2 against 21st Century Insurance
Co. on behalf of policyholders who filed timely property damage claims
stemming from the 1994 Northridge earthquake but whose claims were
mishandled, said plaintiffs' attorney Brian Kabateck, partner in the Los
Angeles law firm of Quisenberry & Kabateck. (Stephanie Baruch vs. 21st
Century Insurance Company, et al., Los Angeles Superior Court, BC
242674).

The complaint charges that 21st Century Insurance (formerly 20th Century
Insurance) took part in unfair and fraudulent business practices to
minimize the amount of benefits it had to pay to insureds who incurred
property damage during and after the Jan. 17, 1994, Northridge
earthquake. More than 4,000 21st Century Insurance policyholders may be
part of the class.

"The lawsuit is alleging that 21st Century deliberately lowballed
policyholders on the estimated damage from the earthquake or tried to
attribute the damage to pre-existing conditions of the property," said
Kabateck, who has represented hundreds of victims against their insurance
companies.

"The insurance company also is alleged to have used unlicensed,
uncertified or unqualified contractors, engineers and testing companies
to assess and estimate damage and losses. Mistakes were made. When
policyholders found more damage and contacted 21st Century to file
additional claims, they were told the statute of limitations for filing
had expired."

21st Century, the complaint alleges, tried everything in its power to
discourage and delay policyholders from filing additional claims, even
though it was within their right to do so.

"The practice was pervasive throughout the company," said Kabateck. "We
plan to show that there was a pattern of conduct designed to defraud
policyholders. Unless these unscrupulous business practices are stopped,
21st Century will continue to deceive their policyholders."

Under a new law that went into effect on Jan. 1, 2001, policyholders have
a right to sue their insurance companies to force them to reopen
previously filed insurance claims relating to the Northridge earthquake.

"This case is different," explained Kabateck. "In addition to having all
21st Century earthquake claims reopened and reviewed, we're seeking to
halt the allegedly unethical business practices by 21st Century that
created the insurance mess to begin with. Otherwise, when the next big
disaster hits, policyholders will be faced with the same set of
problems."

Contact: Quisenberry & Kabateck, Los Angeles LaShawn King, 310/785-7966
lking@qklaw.com or Rumbaugh Public Relations, Thousand Oaks, Calif. Diane
Rumbaugh, 805/493-2877 rumbaugh@earthlink.net


BANK OF AMERICA: Payouts Being Made to NationsBank Customers
------------------------------------------------------------
Bank of America will pay about $ 26-million to 7,200 NationsBank
customers who wrongly thought they invested in federally insured
securities.

Three years and five months after NationsBank agreed to pay $ 30-million
to settle a landmark class-action case filed by its customers, the checks
finally are being cut.

U.S. District Judge Steven Merryday in Tampa has signed off on a plan to
distribute about $ 26-million to some 7,200 past and present customers of
the bank, which since has been renamed Bank of America. Customers lost
from a few dollars to thousands of dollars by investing in securities
they erroneously thought were federally insured.

Though a settlement was reached in 1997, lawyers and fund administrators
took much longer than anticipated to decide how much money individual
investors were due. Merryday received the proposed payout list in
September. "It took a long time, but sometimes justice takes longer than
one would want," said Jonathan Alpert, a Tampa lawyer who led the
class-action suit against NationsBank. "It was a very complicated swindle
by the bank. It was a complicated settlement process."

Bank of America, without acknowledging wrongdoing, set aside the money in
1998 in a fund it could not touch. "This has been anticipated for some
time," bank spokeswoman Ann McNeish said.

Originally, attorneys expected the money to be distributed by late 1999.
McNeish said she could not address reasons for the delay. But Alpert and
fund administrators said they were trying to include as many claimants as
possible and that calculating payouts was an arduous process. In an order
dated Dec. 28, Merryday directed the Garden City Group, the New York
group administering the fund, to distribute the money within 14 days.

Duped mutual fund customers are being paid dollar for dollar for their
losses, reimbursed as if they had invested as they thought they had: in a
"safe" one-year CD paying 5 percent. Investors in individual stocks and
bonds, who the court thinks should have had a better idea of the risk,
will get back about 50 percent of their loss.

Most losses were for less than $ 20,000. But a few claimants were heavy
investors, such as Julia G. Urena of Madeira Beach, who lost $ 240,643.
Claims of less than $ 3 will not be distributed.

The allegations against the bank originated in Tampa in 1994 when
NationsBank broker David Cray told the St. Petersburg Times that his
company was using misleading sales practices. Cray lost his job after the
story was published and filed suit againstNationsBank.

The story prompted NationsBank customer Leilani Demint to file a
class-action suit. Investigations followed by Florida, Texas, the
Securities and Exchange Commission, the Office of the Comptroller of the
Currency, the National Association of Securities Dealers and the U.S.
Attorney's Office. Other banks across the country were investigated for
similar practices.

To settle the last of the regulatory investigations, Bank of America in
November agreed to pay a civil fine of $ 6.75-million to the U.S.
Attorney's office and set aside $ 11.5-million for investor losses in two
government securities. (St. Petersburg Times, January 04, 2001)


CAREERENGINE NETWORK: Subsid. Faces CA Complaint over Bond Tax Exemption
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Careerengine Network Inc. reveals in its SEC report that, in November
2000 one of Careerengine’s subsidiaries was served with a summons and
complaint in connection with an action commenced in October 2000, by the
Housing Authority of the County of Riverside, California against multiple
defendants. This action was filed in the Superior Court of California
County of Riverside and is currently pending.

The plaintiffs issued certain bonds, the interest on which was to be
treated as tax-exempt. The Internal Revenue Service later determined that
the interest on these bonds was not tax-exempt. The plaintiffs alleged in
connection with the issuance and underwriting of the bonds, various
defendants negligently and fraudulently misrepresented to plaintiffs that
the interest on the bonds would be tax-exempt. Plaintiffs are seeking
damages as a result of such misrepresentation in the amount of
$1,100,000, which damages plaintiffs have requested be trebled as
permitted by statute. Plaintiffs are also seeking punitive damages in an
unspecified amount.


CREDIT CARDS: Judge Dismisses Bait-and-Switch Lawsuit
-----------------------------------------------------
In a major victory for banks, a federal judge has ruled that credit-card
holders cannot sue under the Truth in Lending Act over an alleged "bait
and switch" in which they say they were promised a card with no annual
fee only to learn six months later that a fee was being imposed.

In his seven-page opinion in Rossman v. Fleet Bank, U.S. District Judge
Bruce W. Kauffman found that the TILA has a narrow scope and requires
only that banks disclose all of the terms that will apply to credit-card
holders on the day they receive the card. "If as alleged, Fleet lured
consumers into opening credit card accounts with relatively favorable
terms while intending to switch those terms shortly thereafter, then
Fleet unquestioningly engaged in wrongdoing. But wrongdoing alone does
not automatically trigger application of the TILA's provisions," Kauffman
wrote. Kauffman found that Fleet's disclosures in the solicitations it
sent to consumers in late 1999 were "accurate with respect to the terms
offered at that time; the fact that Fleet allegedly intended to change
those terms in the near future did not render the disclosures inaccurate
for purposes of the TILA."

Plaintiffs' attorney Michael D. Donovan of Donovan Miller was dismayed
and said he and the other lawyers on his team are considering an appeal.
"This decision interprets the Truth in Lending Act to mean that it's OK
to outright lie ... If TILA means anything, it means that you can't lie
when you send out the initial solicitation," Donovan said.

In the suit, lead plaintiff Paula Rossman claims she responded to a Fleet
solicitation that pitched a credit card with no annual fee but that Fleet
added a $ 35 annual fee just six months later. (A second class action
suit is pending against Fleet, brought by consumers who say the company
promised a low interest rate but raised it soon after. No rulings have
been issued in that case.)

Fleet's explanation for the annual fee was that the Federal Reserve Board
had recently raised interest rates. But the suit alleges that Fleet
planned all along to impose a fee if interest rates rose. But Fleet's
lawyers, Alan S. Kaplinsky and Burt M. Rublin of Ballard Spahr Andrews &
Ingersoll, argued that the plaintiffs were trying to stretch TILA to fit
an ordinary fraud case so they could bring a class action in federal
court. Courts have routinely rejected such TILA claims, they said, and
have strictly construed the federal law to apply only where the allegedly
false statements were false at the time they were made.

In Fleet's motion to dismiss the federal claim, Rublin and Kaplinsky
cited a decision from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that said TILA "is
not a general prohibition of fraud in consumer transactions or even in
consumer credit transactions." Even if Fleet had engaged in a "bait and
switch" scheme to hide its true intention of imposing an annual fee, they
said, such a claim might properly be brought as a fraud claim or as a
violation of consumer protection law, but not under TILA. In a footnote,
the defense team insisted that the plaintiffs' motive for adding the TILA
claim was to get into federal court and to get fees for the lawyers.
"Plaintiff is undoubtedly attempting to contrive a TILA claim here
because TILA provides for the recovery of attorneys' fees and also
because she believes that it will be less difficult to obtain
certification of a nationwide class under TILA than under her state law
claims," Rublin and Kaplinsky wrote. "The gravamen of plaintiff's
complaint is fraud, and her effort to dress up the fraud claims in TILA
garb should be rejected," they wrote.

In defending the TILA claim, Fleet also offered a more general defense
for its actions, noting that consumers were clearly advised that the
terms of a credit card can change at any time.The solicitation materials
stated: "We reserve the right to change the benefit features associated
with your Card at any time." And when the card arrived in the mail, the
agreement that came with it was even more explicit, saying: "We have the
right to change any of the terms of this Agreement at any time."But a
national team of plaintiffs' lawyers Michael Donovan and David A. Searles
of Donovan Miller; Andrew S. Kierstead of Huron Zieve & Kierstead in
Portland, Ore.; Timothy E. Eble of Ness Motley Loadholt Richardson &
Poole in Mount Pleasant, S.C.; and John H. Bright of Keller Rorhback in
Seattle pointed to language in TILA and its regulations that, they said,
allows a claim over such a bait and switch.One regulation, they said,
specifically requires banks to disclose any fee that "may be imposed."

But Judge Kauffman rejected the argument that the term "may be imposed"
should be read to include a fee that "might be imposed in the future."
Turning to the dictionary, Kauffman said: "Although the term 'may' can be
used to connote possibility, the term can also be used to connote
permission." Kauffman opted for the latter, quoting and emphasizing a
portion of the "official interpretations" of the regulation that say the
bank's disclosures "should reflect the credit terms to which the parties
are bound at the time of giving the disclosures." (The Legal
Intelligencer, January 4, 2001)


EXXON CHEMICAL: Judge Steps Down From Two Lawsuits Over Major Fires
-------------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. District Judge Frank Polozola stepped down Tuesday from two lawsuits
stemming from major fires at Baton Rouge Exxon facilities. The move comes
just two weeks after Polozola declared that settlement efforts in the
lawsuits, which encompass hundreds of plaintiffs had failed and put the
cases on track for trial.

The two fires, one in 1993 at the company's chemical plant and one in
1994 at the refinery, resulted in three deaths and numerous injuries.

Polozola did not give reasons for the recusal in the two-sentence order
issued Tuesday afternoon.

The recusal is the latest in a string of cases Polozola has reassigned to
other judges or stepped down from. In recent months, the chief judge
recused himself from one of the criminal trials stemming from a sprawling
investigation of former Gov. Edwin Edwards as well as several complex
civil cases.

On Dec. 13, Polozola issued an order saying he would not accept new
criminal cases until further notice. Polozola ordered Lawrence Talamo,
the federal court clerk in Baton Rouge, to delay reassigning the case to
one of the three other judges in the district. Instead, Polozola wrote,
he will attempt to find an available judge in another district that can
preside over the case. The new judge assigned to the Exxon cases will
work with Magistrate Stephen C. Riedlinger, who is handling pretrial
preparations. Polozola previously ordered pretrial preparations in the
cases stopped while settlement negotiations took place.

The lawsuits were filed in the wake of two fires at the Exxon plants in
Baton Rouge.

The first fire, on Aug. 2, 1993, killed three workers at the Exxon
Chemical Co. Americas plant north of the city. The fire began about 4
a.m. when an "elbow" pipe that was part of an asphalt processing unit
split. The fire burned out of control for nearly three hours. About 400
people immediately filed suit against Exxon.

The second fire, on Aug. 8, 1994, destroyed a coker facility at the Exxon
Co. USA refinery. Several contract workers were injured.

Polozola had ordered attorneys for Exxon and those injured in the fires
to begin settlement discussions Aug. 21.

Once Riedlinger takes over the case and a new district judge is assigned,
he will set a conference with the lawyers to work on a pretrial schedule.

That schedule likely will include deadlines for exchanging documents and
witness lists. Such a schedule does not preclude lawyers from settling
the case.

Last summer, Polozola and state District Judge Mike Caldwell issued Exxon
a legal setback. Exxon sought to hold Foster Wheeler Co. liable for the
elbow pipe that split and caused the 1993 fire. Exxon claimed Foster
Wheeler made an inadequate product that resulted in the fire.

Foster Wheeler claimed the statute of limitations had run out, meaning
Exxon had no legal right to sue over the part.

Polozola and Caldwell ruled the statute of limitations to sue over the
faulty part had expired, leaving Foster Wheeler without any legal
liability in the case. Polozola also ordered Exxon, Foster Wheeler and
the plaintiffs to evenly split the costs of a mediator. The mediator's
bill has not been submitted. (The Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA.), January 3,
2001)


FORD MOTOR: Looking to Settle Explorer SUVs Rollover Suits
----------------------------------------------------------
According to the Wall Street Journal, Thursday, Ford Motor Co [F] is
offering generous settlements to victims of injuries and deaths from
rollovers of its Explorer SUVs and their families in a bid to settle all
pending lawsuits.

The WSJ report says that Ford settled four suits on Wednesday in Miami
and is close to settling one more. Ford is also trying hard to settle a
high-profile lawsuit filed by a Texas woman against the company and tire
company Bridgestone/Firestone Inc.

The company badly wants to settle the suits because of the scheduled
launch of a new Explorer in February, the report says.

Krusel denied the settlement program was related to the release of the
new Explorer. "Certainly the launch is important but settling of the
lawsuits has nothing to do with the launch."

Ford is also in talks to settle a consolidated lawsuit in Indianapolis
involving 180 individual claims, the Wall Street Journal report says.


HMOs: Lawyers Add New Complaints to TX Medicaid Lawsuit
-------------------------------------------------------
Lawyers accusing Texas of failing to provide adequate health care for
children enrolled in the state's Medicaid program have added two more
complaints to the class-action lawsuit.

In the complaints filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Tyler,
plaintiffs claimed the state has not enrolled enough dentists in the
Medicaid program and that ill children are not treated in a reasonable
amount of time as federal law requires.

The Texas Attorney General's office had not seen the filing and had no
immediate comment, said spokeswoman Heather Browne.

The state is appealing an August order by Judge William Wayne Justice
that said Texas does not adequately provide dental care, regular
checkups, transportation to doctors or information about what services
are available to children in Medicaid, despite a 1996 agreement in which
the state promised to make major improvements.

Justice will decide if lawyer Susan Zinn's newest complaints can be added
to that original lawsuit. No hearing date has immediately been set. "Some
parents are having to take their children 150 miles to find a dentist who
takes Medicaid," said Ed Cloutman, another attorney for the plaintiffs.

There are 1.5 million children enrolled in the state's Medicaid program.
An additional 200,000 children have been enrolled in the state's
Children's Health Insurance Program.

However, some 600,000 of Texas' 1.4 million uninsured children are
eligible for but not enrolled in Medicaid. (The Associated Press State &
Local Wire, January 3, 2001)


MICROSOFT CORP: New Employment Racial Bias Lawsuit Has Been Filed
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Seven former and current employees of the Microsoft Corporation filed a
lawsuit on January 4 contending that the company had engaged in racial
discrimination in its employment practices, and seeking certification as
a class action on behalf of all former and current black Microsoft
employees.

The suit, filed in federal district court here, builds on a
discrimination suit brought in June by Rahn D. Jackson, a former account
executive for Microsoft. Mr. Jackson's complaint was refiled to include
the six other plaiontiffs.

Mr. Jackson said at a news conference that he had raised his concerns
with Microsoft before filing his suit, but that he received little
response. "We really didn't want to have to be here today," he said.

The plaintiffs are four former employees from Microsoft's office in the
District of Columbia and two former and one current employee at its
headquarters in Redmond, Wash.

The case is scheduled to be heard by Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, who
presided over the government's antitrust case against Microsoft and
ordered the company to be split into two parts. Microsoft, which is
appealing, has argued that Judge Jackson committed substantive errors in
the antitrust case.

Deborah Willingham, vice president for human resources at Microsoft, said
the company was "100 percent committed to diversity." She declined to
comment on the specific complaint because she had not reviewed it.

Willie E. Gary, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said at the news conference
that Microsoft discriminated against black employees in evaluations,
compensation, promotions and termination. "There are glass ceilings and
glass walls in place for African- Americans at Microsoft," he said.

Mr. Gary, who won a bias lawsuit against the Walt Disney Company last
year, also represents four plaintiffs in a pending discrimination suit
against the Coca-Cola Company.

Mr. Gary presented employment figures that he said supported the
complaint. In 1999, 2.6 percent of the company's employees were black,
Mr. Gary said, and of the company's managers, just 1.6 percent were
black. Mr. Gary said that he gathered the figures by speaking to
Microsoft employees and from internal company documents.

Ms. Willingham said that "Microsoft has a zero-tolerance policy toward
discrimination in the workplace." She added that, "We take any
allegations of discrimination very seriously, and immediately investigate
any concern that is raised."

A company spokeswoman said that 2.7 percent of Microsoft's domestic work
force of 27,249 was black and that in the last three years, there had
been an 81 percent increase in the number of black employees. The
percentage of all minority employees at the company has risen from 16.8
percent in 1997 to about 22 percent of the domestic work force today, she
said.

This is not the only lawsuit contending racial bias at Microsoft. In
October, Monique Donaldson, a former program manager for Microsoft, filed
a lawsuit against the company claiming racial and gender bias; that
lawsuit is pending in federal district court in Seattle.

And Peter Browne, who had been Microsoft's highest-ranking black
executive before leaving the company in September, filed a discrimination
lawsuit shortly after his departure. (The New York Times, January 4,
2001)


MOTOROLA INC: Testimony on Proportional Trading Model Rejected in IL
--------------------------------------------------------------------
In response to a motion in limine filed by Motorola Inc., the Northern
District of Illinois has precluded the testimony of Dr. Gregg A. Jarrell
regarding the "proportional trading model" used in securities class
action to determine aggregate damages. The court concluded the model does
not meet the reliability standards articulated by the U.S. Supreme Court
in Daubert. Kaufman et al. v. Motorola Inc. et al., No. 95-1069 (N.D.
Ill., Sept. 21, 2000).

In an attempt to determine damages for the class-action plaintiffs, Dr.
Jarrell's method multiplied the alleged per share price differential by
the aggregate number of shares that were bought during the purported
fraud. To do so, Jarrell started with the number of shares purchased
during the class period, or after the date when Motorola should have
revealed the "truth" about its inventories.

However, a model is required to estimate the figure because the actual
number of shares cannot be computed empirically. This is due to the fact
that, even though the number of shares purchased during the class period
can be ascertained, a number of those purchases were made by brokers for
short sales and the like.

Both sides in the dispute agreed that in determining the number of
"damages shares," the calculation must eliminate those shares not
purchased for actual investment.

The court noted that under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals , 509
U.S. 579 (1993), it has a gatekeeper function and must access the
reliability of any expert testimony offered under Fed. R. Civ. P. 702.
District courts are to consider four factors:

-- whether the theory or technique can be and has been tested;

-- whether the technique or theory has been subject to peer review and
    publication;

-- the known or potential rate of error; and

-- the "general acceptance" of the theory.

"The proportional trading model does not meet any of the Daubert
standards," said District Judge Robert W. Gettleman, who added that it
appears to be a theory developed for securities litigation. The court
also noted that professional economists have never accepted the model.

Even Dr. Jarrell admitted that the model has never been tested against
reality and said there is no way to test the reliability of the theory.

"Although it may be correct to conclude that some type of model is needed
in order to compute aggregate damages, this does not mean that absent
such a computation any alleged securities law violation would go
unremedied," said the court.

Only actual damages can be awarded to shareholders under the antifraud
provisions of federal securities law and an adequate remedy may be
fashioned by having the jury determine a per share damage loss and
requiring the filing of claims by each shareholder, the court concluded.
(Securities Litigation & Regulation Reporter, November 8, 2000)


MTBE CONTAMINATION: Financial Settlement In Gas Station Leak Now Public
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
A financial settlement between Conoco Inc. and New Hanover County
residents who lived next to a leaking gas station finally has become
public.

But one Wrightsboro resident whose family was awarded $600,000 for the
contamination says people shouldn't think he is fortunate to receive a
windfall. Buddy Sellers says no amount of money can compensate the family
for more than four years of drinking groundwater polluted with the
additive MTBE and cancer-causing benzene. "What worries me is what the
doctor said about it not leaving your body," Sellers said of the
pollutants. "I wish it had never happened."

Sellers and his family were part of a $36 million settlement between
Conoco and 179 Wrightsboro mobile home park residents affected by the
leak. The September 1997 out-of-court settlement had been sealed, but it
was made public for the first time in November.

U.S. District Judge W. Earl Britt released the settlement in response to
a July ruling by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that he had failed
to follow the proper procedures for sealing it.

The contamination prevented residents at the Carrol C Mobile Home Park,
where Sellers' family lived, from drinking water from their taps.

Details of the settlement may be one of few benchmarks for people
determining how much a company should pay when it is found liable for
fraud and negligence in covering up such leaks.

In the $36 million settlement, the plaintiffs' attorneys received $11.25
million; individual amounts ranged from about $22,000 to $320,000. The
average adult plaintiff received roughly $118,000, while the average
minor won about $ 178,000. The amounts were based on factors such as age,
gender and length of exposure.

Many residents worried the pollutants were making them sick.

Sellers quit his trucking job three months ago, unable to muster the
energy to continue. Sellers also suffers from panic attacks and is
considering going on disability. "I just don't have no more durability,"
Sellers said at the mobile home park where he still lives. He's worried
about the health of his two children. His son, now 20, has struggled to
recover from short-term memory loss and episodes where his hands would
turn a purplish blue.

Residents of the Carrol C and Wind Sail mobile home parks sued Conoco in
1995 for the alleged contamination. A jury found the oil company liable
in a federal trial, but the two sides reached a settlement before jurors
set damages. Britt sealed the settlement.

But the Morning Star of Wilmington revealed the settlement amount after
two people familiar with the deal divulged the $36 million figure under
the condition that they remain anonymous. Britt found the Morning Star
and a reporter in contempt of court after she looked at a copy of the
sealed agreement given to her by a federal court clerk. He ordered the
newspaper to pay roughly $600,000 and, later on, directed a second
reporter to reveal the unnamed sources in the article. The 4th Circuit
reversed Britt's actions.

Conoco attorneys argued that the company had paid a premium to keep the
deal secret and, with the cooperation of the court, sought some
compensation for the information leaks. The court kept $1 million while
Conoco attorneys questioned the parties involved in the deal. The company
never determined who the sources were, and Judge Britt decided to release
the remaining $1 million when making the court documents public.

Jonathan Sasser, a Raleigh attorney retained by Conoco, said the company
has no plans to appeal. "There just needed to be some resolution of this
thing finally," he said. "And we're satisfied with Judge Britt's
opinions."

Sellers sank most of his settlement money into a new home and care for
his children, he said. But he's back in the family's Carrol C unit for
now while he and his wife work out a divorce. Two groundwater treatment
devices continue to operate near the mobile home park and state officials
say pollution levels are improving. Conoco also has paid to have New
Hanover County drinking water lines extended to the two mobile home
parks. (The Associated Press State & Local Wire, January 4, 2001)


NANOPHASE TECHNOLOGIES: Stull, Stull Announces on Securities Suit in IL
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The following is an announcement by the law firm of Stull, Stull and
Brody:

United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
Eastern Division

In re: Nanophase Technologies No. 98 C 3450 Corporation Securities
Litigation

This Document Relates To: All Actions Except 98 C 7447

Judge David H. Coar Magistrate Judge Martin C. Ashman

Summary Notice of Class Action, Proposed Settlement and Hearing Thereon
To: All Persons and Entities Who Purchased the Common Stock of Nanophase
Technologies Corporation From November 26, 1997 Through and Including
January 8, 1998 ("The Class")

YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED that a hearing shall be held before the Honorable
David H. Coar, United States District Judge, on March 27, 2001, at 9:30
a.m. in Courtroom 1419 of the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Illinois, 219 South Dearborn Street, Chicago,
Illinois 60604, to determine whether an order should be entered (i)
finally approving the proposed settlement of the claims asserted by
Plaintiffs in this Action against Defendants Nanophase Technologies
Corporation, Leonard A. Batterson, Robert W. Cross, Dennis J. Nowak,
Steven Lazarus, Robert W. Shaw and Richard W. Siegel, Donaldson, Lufkin &
Jenrette Securities Corp., Furman Selz LLC and CIBC Oppenheimer Corp. on
the terms set forth in the Stipulation of Settlement dated November 14 ,
2000 (the "Settlement"); (ii) dismissing this Action with prejudice; and
(iii) 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 Nanophase Securities Litigation c/o David
Berdon & Co. LLP P.O. Box 4171 Grand Central Station New York, NY 10163
Telephone: (800) 766-3330 Fax: (516) 931-0810 Website:
www.dberdon.com/claims

PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT THE COURT OR THE CLERK'S OFFICE FOR INFORMATION
Dated: January 4, 2001 Clerk of the Court United States District Court
Northern District of Illinois

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


NETWORK ASSOCIATES: Security Software Company Names New Chief Executive
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
In a bid to restore investor confidence following the abrupt resignation
of three top executives recently, Network Associates Inc. named a 22-year
IBM veteran, George Samenuk, as president and chief executive officer
Wednesday.

Samenuk, who left International Business Machines Corp. last year to
briefly serve as president and CEO of Tradeout, an online exchange for
surplus business products, said he had accepted the post at the Santa
Clara maker of security software because "it has the best-of-breed
products in the industry" and is on sound financial footing. "Everyone is
going toward Internet availability and security," Samenuk said. "They
have to do that for obvious reasons."

Samenuk steps into the top job at Network Associates at a difficult time
for the maker of McAfee antivirus software.

When the company announced the departures of Chairman and CEO Bill Larson
and two of his lieutenants on Dec. 26, it also forecast a major shortfall
in its fourth-quarter revenue and said it expected a net loss for the
quarter of $ 130 million to $ 140 million rather than a profit. The news,
which was released after the market closed, caused the company's shares
to plunge 62 percent in trading the next day and triggered the filing of
four lawsuits claiming the company deceived investors.

As previousely reported in the CAR, Network Associates is already
battling several class-action suits that were filed in 1999, when the
company said it would restate earnings for 1997 and 1998 after the
Securities and Exchange Commission challenged its method of accounting
for charges related to acquisitions.

During the conference call when Larson announced his resignation, he
blamed the company's problems on a slowing world economy and the
deteriorating financial condition of its distributors. As a result, he
said, Network Associates would alter its method of accounting for sales
and only book revenue for products that had been sold by distributors to
end users.

"We strongly suspect that the explanation by the company, which we find
is highly unusual, is a cover-up for channel stuffing," said Richard
Heimann, a San Francisco attorney who is representing thousands of
Network Associates shareholders in a federal class-action suit that
accuses Larson and others of having "engaged in a scheme to improperly
and fraudulently manage the reporting of the company's quarterly and
year-end financial results" through April 6, 1999.

"Channel stuffing" refers to the practice of selling more products to
distributors than are warranted by customer demand in order to beef up
quarterly financial results. Such financial juggling will not be possible
under the Network Associates' new accounting method.

Heimann said his firm is considering asking the judge to broaden the
scope of the suit to include the more recent events. "We are particularly
interested in the revenue recognition, sales and marketing practices of
the company at this point," he said.

Neither Network Associates nor Samenuk would comment on pending lawsuits.
In an interview, Samenuk emphasized the positive: Network Associates' $
650 million in cash and its "blue-chip customers."

But some analysts said Samenuk must work to win back credibility for the
company with Wall Street. "Network Associates has a bad history from the
Street's perspective of channel stuffing," said Richard Williams, an
analyst at Jeffries & Co. "I don't know if that is fair or fully
deserved, but it has to be dealt with."

The company said it made the decision to change accounting practices in
November, when it undertook a search for new executive management.

Around the same time, John Thompson, vice chairman of executive search
firm Heidrich & Struggles, contacted Samenuk and asked him to meet with
Larson and other members of the board of directors.

A founding executive and former general manager of IBM's Global Services
division, Samenuk's last post at Big Blue was general manager of Canada,
Latin America and the United States. Before that he served was president
and general manager of the ASEAN/South Asia region.

Samenuk, who will also serve on Network Associates' board of directors,
said he will seek to expand the current five-member board, which has been
criticized for weak leadership. Some board members have also been named
in shareholder lawsuits alleging insider trading.

Williams said Samenuk had a "good opportunity" to turn the company
around. "We think he has the potential to be a constructive agent for
change," he said. (San Jose Mercury News, January 4, 2001)


PAC BELL, SBC: DSL Woes Give Rise to Suits; CA Customers Suffer Slowdown
------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Bay Area's DSL headaches continue, and this time around, hundreds of
Earthlink customers have found that their connections to the Internet
have slowed to a crawl. About 400 to 800 customers, including many from
the East Bay, who receive DSL services from Earthlink Inc. have had to
endure a series of severe slowdowns in their DSL product.

The glitches began to sprout in late November and have plagued
Earthlink's DSL subscribers in parts of Northern California ever since.
It's possible thousands of customers have been affected at one time or
another during the past several weeks.

Atlanta-based Earthlink hopes to have service restored within a day or
two, said Mike Lunsford, executive vice president-broadband service with
Earthlink. "It's a funky problem that we have our hands around, and the
problem is in its death throes," Lunsford said. "We almost have it
whipped."

Some Earthlink customers have reported severe slowdowns in receiving
files from the Web, as well as e-mail services. The connection speeds
have begun to flounder so badly that consumers say their DSL service is
slower than conventional dial-up computer modems. "This is a bad
incident." Lunsford said. "We will find a way to reimburse all of the
customers who have been affected."

When it operates properly, DSL is a technology that can connect people to
the Internet at fast speeds, but its roll-out has been hounded by fumbles
on a number of fronts.

Pacific Bell, the principal provider of DSL service in the Bay Area, has
suffered numerous difficulties in its delivery and maintenance of the
product. The problems, from time to time, have included connection
slowdowns and e-mail failures. Numerous subscribers have griped about not
being able to reach customer service, and others have had to wait weeks
or even months for an installation.

The telephone giant's DSL woes in California have resulted in the filing
of three lawsuits against Pacific Bell and parent SBC Communications Inc.
At least one suit seeks class-action status for subscribers. But the
latest problem can't be blamed on Pacific Bell or SBC, even though Pac
Bell supplies crucial elements of the DSL service to Earthlink. "This is
entirely on Earthlink's shoulders," Lunsford said.

The problem originated in equipment located in Oakland. A group of
components and software that connects Earthlink's DSL facilities with Pac
Bell's DSL system didn't operate properly, causing the severe slowdowns.

Earthlink has 139,000 DSL subscribers nationwide.

Difficulties such as those endured by Pac Bell and Earthlink could damage
the reputation of DSL as a technology.

"DSL has been giving itself a black eye for months," said Tim Bajarin,
principal analyst with Creative Strategies, a Silicon Valley market
researcher. "DSL represents an alternative for broadband. But there are
other alternatives, such as wireless broadband and cable modems. Bajarin
added, "It doesn't help that these things are happening at a time when
many companies want to expand delivery of DSL services." (Contra Costa
Times, January 4, 2001)


PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL: Agrees to Settle Securities Suit in Florida
------------------------------------------------------------------
As previously reported in the CAR, on November 23, 1999, a lawsuit was
filed in the District Court for the Middle District of Florida as a
purported class action initiated by George Taylor, a former Phoenix
employee. Initially, Phoenix and our chief executive officer were named
as defendants. The lawsuit alleges, among other things, that Phoenix and
our chief executive officer improperly recognized revenues, overstated
revenues and failed to disclose that our revenues were allegedly in
decline, all of which allegedly caused our stock price to be higher than
it otherwise would have been during the class period. The lawsuit alleges
that these purported actions violate Section 10(b) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder. On May 5,
2000, the plaintiffs filed an Amended Complaint which, among other
things, (1) adds four additional investors as named plaintiffs and
proposed class representatives; (2) expands the purported class period to
the period from May 5, 1997 to April 15, 1999; and (3) adds Phoenix's
president as an additional named defendant.

Phoenix and the other two defendants filed Motions to Dismiss, which were
denied by the Court without opinion in August 2000.  The parties are
beginning to conduct discovery. Phoenix's insurance carriers have denied
coverage for the claims in this lawsuit.

                                 Update

On October 24, 2000, Phoenix entered into an agreement in principle to
settle the consolidated securities class action litigation with a
settlement class comprising shareholders who acquired Phoenix common
stock during the period between May 5, 1997 and August 22, 2000. The
settlement is subject to certain customary conditions, notice to the
proposed settlement class, confirmatory discovery and preliminary and
final court approval.


QWEST COMMUNICATIONS: Agrees to Settle AZ Lawsuit over Phone Line Delay
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Qwest Communications International Inc. has agreed to settle its service
lawsuit with an estimated 300,000 Arizonans who suffered delays in
getting phone lines, providing them with a total of $22 million in
credits or refunds. The settlement of the class-action lawsuit against
the Denver-based phone company, formerly U S West, comes on the heels of
similar agreements in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.

All four agreements are still subject to final court approval. The
Arizona settlement will go before a Maricopa County judge April 23.

Arizona business and residential customers would be eligible for credits
or refunds ranging from a few dollars to nearly $1,500, depending on the
length of installation delay, according to settlement notices sent to
eligible claimants.

The company decided to settle the cases to put the matter to rest, said
Qwest spokesman Matt Barkett, who added it decided not to risk larger
court awards.

The original lawsuit was filed against U S West in Denver in 1997. It
alleges that it diverted company resources from local phone service to
new cable and wireless ventures, harming customers.

The phone company has been fined millions of dollars by regulators in
Arizona and other states for failing to meet service-quality standards,
including those pertaining to installation delays. Qwest, which acquired
U S West in a merger in July, disputes those allegations and has denied
any wrongdoing as part of the settlement, Barkett said.

Eligible for credits under the proposal are customers who placed orders
for new or additional phone lines between Jan. 1, 1993, and Nov. 20,
2000, but suffered delays "due to a lack of US West facilities." Current
Qwest customers would get credits on their phone bills, while former
customers would get refund checks. The amounts of the credits or refunds
vary depending on the type of line and the length of delay from the first
date service was promised, Barkett said.

A local consumer advocate said the settlement is good for consumers but
doesn't guarantee better service. "You take a look at (Qwest's) cash
flow, and $22 million is a drop in the bucket," said Al Sterman, vice
president of the Arizona Consumers Council, a nonprofit consumer advocacy
group. Sterman said the phone company must add staff to keep up with
rapid growth in Arizona.

Barkett said Qwest is working hard to improve service across its 14-state
territory. (The Associated Press State & Local Wire, January 4, 2001)


RELIANT ENERGY: SEC Filing Reminds of CA Electricity Antitrust Lawsuits
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Reliant Resources Inc. reveals in its report to the SEC that Reliant
Energy has been named as one of a number of defendants in a class action
lawsuit filed against a number of companies that own generation plants in
California and other unnamed sellers of electricity in California
markets.

Under the terms of the master separation agreement, Reliant Resources has
agreed to indemnify Reliant Energy for any damages arising under this
lawsuit and may elect to defend this suit at our own expense. Our
domestic trading and marketing subsidiary has been named as one of
multiple defendants in another class action lawsuit against marketers and
other unnamed sellers of electricity in California markets. Both of these
lawsuits were filed in the Superior Court of the State of California, San
Diego County in November 2000 and allege violations by the defendants of
state antitrust laws and state laws against unfair and unlawful business
practices.

The first lawsuit alleges aggregate damages of over $4 billion. The
second lawsuit alleges damages in excess of $1 billion. In addition to
injunctive relief, the plaintiffs in these lawsuits seek treble the
amount of damages alleged, restitution of alleged overpayments,
disgorgement of alleged unlawful profits for sales of electricity during
all or portions of 2000, costs of suit and attorneys' fees. A petition to
remove each case to Federal District Court in San Diego was filed in
December 2000. These lawsuits have only recently been filed. Therefore,
the ultimate outcome of the lawsuits cannot be predicted with any degree
of certainty at this time. However, we do not believe, based on our
analysis to date of the claims asserted in these suits and the underlying
facts, that the resolution of these suits will have a material adverse
effect on our financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.


TOBACCO LITIGATION: First Medical Monitoring Suit to Take Place in VA
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Tobacco companies have been forced to spend hundreds of millions of
dollars on the medical bills of dead or dying smokers. They have had to
spend more on ad campaigns to discourage young people from smoking.

Now six West Virginians will decide whether the industry should spend as
much as $500 million on medical tests for healthy people who, despite the
warnings, decided to keep smoking. Jury selection started Thursday in
Ohio County Circuit Court for a precedent-setting case that is expected
to span 14 weeks and include nearly 50 witnesses. Opening statements are
likely to begin Tuesday, Jan. 9.

It is the first time a class-action medical monitoring lawsuit against a
tobacco company has made it to trial in the United States. Thirteen other
cases have been filed around the country since 1996, says North Carolina
attorney Jeff Furr, who represents R.J. Reynolds.

Ten of the 13 were denied class-action status and dismissed. One, in
Nevada, is still under review by the courts. A Louisiana case has been
granted class-action status, but it is not expected to go to trial until
next summer.

"This is an extremely unique case - to have uninjured plaintiffs who have
knowingly and voluntarily exposed themselves to the most widely known
risk in our society, and who are not sick," Furr says. Smokers want to
continue exposing themselves to a known danger but still be assured of
health exams. "They want to have it both ways," he says.

Lawyers representing more than 250,000 West Virginians covered by the
lawsuit say five cigarette manufacturers and two distributors should
provide free periodic medical tests for smokers who are currently healthy
but at risk of contracting various cancers and lung or heart diseases.
"West Virginians are entitled to obtain monitoring as a result of their
exposure to a very toxic group of substances," argues Charleston attorney
Scott Segal.

Four manufacturers that collectively have 96 percent of the U.S. market
share are named as defendants in the West Virginia case: Philip Morris
Inc. of New York; Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. of Louisville, Ky.;
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. of Winston-Salem, N.C.; and Lorillard Tobacco
Co. of New York.

Also targeted are industry turncoat Liggett & Myers Tobacco Co. of
Mebane, N.C., whose top executive is expected to be a key witness for the
smokers, and two West Virginia distribution companies, McClure Company
Inc. and Anchor Tobacco Co.

The lawsuit would benefit people who, since 1995, have smoked the
equivalent of a pack a day for five years but do not currently have a
cigarette-related illness. The smokers want a court-supervised and
industry-funded medical board to be created so they can receive free
tests to detect any illnesses they are likely to develop.

Furr says that could cost the tobacco industry as much as $500 million.

Medical monitoring claims have primarily evolved from cases where people
were unknowingly exposed to an invisible health hazard. Furr contends
that shouldn't apply to tobacco, which has had warning labels for
decades.

Through some 15 witnesses, however, the smokers will argue that tobacco
manufacturers were negligent in disclosing the extent of the health risks
associated with smoking. They also maintain that warning labels are
inadequate.

The smokers say cigarettes have a design defect, and that manufacturers
have failed to incorporate changes that would make their products safer.

Cigarettes, they argue, are "less safe than the ordinary consumer would
expect them to be," with risks that far outweigh any benefits.

Smokers do not have to prove they were addicted because the judges have
ruled that the law requires only proof of significant exposure.

Circuit judges Arthur Recht and Tod Kaufman expect to spend almost six
hours listening to opening statements once a jury and four alternates are
seated. Two judges are hearing the case because of the protracted length
of the trial and the volume of work; both are also experienced in mass
litigation.

The smokers hope to bolster their case with the videotaped testimony of
Bennett S. LeBow, chief executive officer of Liggett & Myers' parent
company, Brooke Group.

Liggett has tried unsuccessfully to extract itself from the lawsuit, and
its competitors have joined the battle, with Furr arguing LeBow's
testimony is intended simply "to poison the jury against the other
defendants."

LeBow, a Miami financier who bought Liggett in 1986, became the first top
tobacco executive to admit smoking was addictive in 1997 and has since
continued to break ranks with the industry.

Liggett, which has only 1.2 percent of the U.S. market, has settled many
lawsuits by states seeking reimbursement for smoking-related health
costs. LeBow has testified about the dangers of smoking at other trials,
and the company has disclosed thousands of secret industry documents.

"There's no real dispute between Liggett and the plaintiffs," Furr
contends. "Liggett is a defendant in form only. Essentially, Liggett is
not going to defend the case. Whatever the jury does is fine with them."

Liggett lawyer Julie Fischer disputes that assertion but fears that
evidence against the other tobacco companies could overwhelm any good
conduct her company has demonstrated.

Whatever the outcome of the case, Furr says it could have significant
ramifications for the state, where medical monitoring was only recognized
in 1999.

"There is only one published decision in West Virginia," he says, "so in
many ways, the parties in the trial court are making new laws." (The
Associated Press State & Local Wire, January 4, 2001)


UNITED AIRLINES: 7th Cir Rejects Bias Claim Past EEOC Deadline
--------------------------------------------------------------
Saying a flight attendant waited too long to complain that she was a
victim of discrimination, a federal appeals court has declined to clear
the way for the woman to pursue her lawsuit against her former employer.

In that suit, Bettina S. Sharp claimed her pregnancy lay behind United
Airlines Inc.'s refusal to reinstate her to her job on the same terms as
other attendants who were fired for failing to comply with United's
weight restrictions.

Sharp argued that she was unlawfully singled out from former co-workers
who were allowed to return to work while pursuing a class-action lawsuit
challenging United's discontinued policy of setting differing weight
requirements for male and female flight attendants.

United's insistence that she agree not to participate in any litigation
against the airline as a condition of reinstatement constituted
discrimination based on pregnancy, Sharp claimed.

But the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday did not reach the
merits of Sharp's claim. The court concluded that Sharp missed the
deadline for filing a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission. Quoting 42 U.S.C. sec2000e-5(e)(1), the court
said Sharp was required to bring a charge within 300 days of the alleged
unlawful employment action."

But Sharp did not turn to the EEOC until June 1998, about 22 months after
she learned that United would not renew a reinstatement offer that would
have allowed her to participate in the class-action suit, according to
the appeals court.

The court affirmed a decision by U.S. District Judge Elaine E. Bucklo to
grant summary judgment in favor of United. Judge Kenneth F. Ripple wrote
the opinion for a three-member panel of the 7th Circuit. Joining the
opinion were Judges Diane P. Wood and Terence T. Evans.

Bettina S. Sharp v. United Airlines Inc., No. 00-1875.

In a separate per curiam opinion in the same case, the panel discharged a
rule to show cause issued after United's counsel, Seyfarth Shaw, omitted
information from a disclosure statement filed with the appeals court.

When asked to identify any law firm whose lawyers had appeared or were
expected to appear for United, Seyfarth Shaw failed to note that Mayer,
Brown & Platt had previously represented the airline in a motion to
dismiss Sharp's complaint.

The 7th Circuit panel accepted Seyfarth Shaw's word that it had
inadvertently omitted the information from the statement.

But while saying that the mistake was obviously an oversight," the panel
emphasized that disclosure requirements are important to the expeditious
and fair adjudication of cases filed in this court."

The judges of the court rely on the representations of counsel in
determining whether any judge or staff member is ineligible to
participate in the case," the panel said. Misstatements, even when
discovered by the court in the early stages of the adjudication of the
case, can cause significant delays and the waste of already stretched
judicial resources." The panel noted that lawyers who appear before the
7th Circuit have the means to keep track of proceedings in their cases.

Modern technology affords the practicing bar significant tools to record
the history of a case and to retrieve expeditiously that history when it
is needed in order to comply with requirements such as those contained in
Circuit Rule 3," the panel said. We have every confidence that, in the
future, counsel will afford themselves of the advantages of this
technology to ensure that a repetition does not occur and, indeed, we
commend such a practice to the rest of the practicing bar."

Sharp worked as a flight attendant for United from July 1990 until she
was fired in October 1993 for exceeding the airline's weight
restrictions. Sharp and other female attendants brought a class-action
suit in the Northern District of California alleging that United
discriminated against them from 1989 to 1994 by requiring them to be
thinner than their male counterparts.

Last summer, a divided panel of the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit
Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the flight attendants. United is
seeking review before the U.S. Supreme Court.

In February 1995, United offered to reinstate Sharp and 13 other class
members in the California litigation with no loss of seniority. United's
offer did not require the women to waive any potential claims they might
have against the airline stemming from their firing.

Although Sharp initially declined to return to work because she was in
the second trimester of a high-risk pregnancy, she later asked United to
renew its offer. United rejected that request in August 1996 after noting
that Sharp had missed a 30-day deadline to accept the reinstatement
offer.

But after Sharp lobbied various United officials to renew the offer, the
airline in February 1998 said she could have her job back if she signed a
general release and waived participation in any litigation against
United. Sharp rejected the revised offer and filed a charge with the EEOC
alleging that United had discriminated against her on the basis of
pregnancy. Sharp claimed flight attendants who were not pregnant were
treated more favorably because they were not required to waive their
right to take part in the class-action suit.

Bucklo granted summary judgment in favor of United after finding that
Sharp had not shown that her pregnancy -- rather than her rejection of
the original reinstatement offer -- was the reason United refused to
rehire her.

The 7th Circuit panel said it did not need to address that issue because
Sharp's suit was time-barred. Although United refused to renew its
original offer in August 1996, Sharp did not file her discrimination
charge with the EEOC until June 1998, the panel said. The panel rejected
Sharp's argument that various legal theories saved her suit from the
300-day deadline.

Citing Lever v. Northwestern University, 979 F.2d 552 (7th Cir. 1992),
the panel said the doctrine of equitable estoppel does not apply merely
because an employer provides an avenue (or avenues) for review of adverse
employment actions, without more."

Equitable tolling also does not help Sharp because she knew in August
1996 that United was not going to renew the original reinstatement offer
and therefore had the information she needed to bring a discrimination
charge, the panel said.

And the panel said Sharp had not offered evidence of a continuing
violation of her rights that might extend the statute of limitations.

Quoting Lever, the panel said United's refusal to renew its original
reinstatement offer could not constitute a continuing course of pregnancy
discrimination because a refusal to undo a discriminatory decision is not
a fresh act of discrimination." (Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, January 3,
2001)


                             *********


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.


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