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               Thursday, March 8, 2001, Vol. 3, No. 47


BLACK HAWK: Gaming Co. Announces Filing of Suit in CO By Shareholder
BROADCOM CORP: Accused of Defrauding Investors, Says Berman DeValerio
BROADCOM CORP: Cauley Geller Announces Securities Lawsuit Filed in CA
BROADCOM CORP: Charles J. Piven Announces Securities Lawsuit Filed in CA
BROADCOM CORP: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Securities Suit in CA

CITIGROUP: FTC Takes Lender to Court for Abusive Practices
CYBERGUARD CORP: Action Vs. KPMG Re Financial Statement 96-98 Goes on
CYBERGUARD CORP: Continues to Defend Securities Suit Filed in 1998 in FL
CYBERGUARD CORP: SEC Investigation Commenced in 1998 Goes on
DEPARTMENT 56: Lionel Z. Glancy Announces Securities Lawsuit Filed in MN

FAX.COM INC: Judge Rules Fd Law Can Be Used In State Ct In Junk Fax Case
FIRSTPLUS FINANCIAL: Ends Negotiations to Acquire Nineteenth Investment
HIP IMPLANTS: Charfoos & Christensen Files Suit against Sulzer Medica
HOLOCAUST VICTIMS: Judge Refuses to Dismiss Lawsuit Vs. German Banks
HOLOCAUST VICTIMS: Poland OKs Limited Payments for Seized Property

HOLOCAUST VICTIMS: Schroeder to Meet with German Industry on Payments
KCP&L: Fd Judge Says Claims Too Broad for Race Bias Class V. Kansas City
KIA MOTORS: PA and NJ Suits Allege Brake Defects in 1998, 1999, 2000
NAPSTER: Indicates Readiness to Comply with Injunction, Seeks Settlement
NATIONAL GUARD: Lawsuit Seeks Tens of Millions for Sexual Harrassment

ONTARIO REALTY: Lawsuit Targets Toxic Mouldy Newmarket Courthouse
ROCK HILL: Investors Sue SC Bank Alleging Fraudulent Investment Program
SCIENTIFIC LEARNING: Notifies of Voluntary Dismissal of Securities Suit


BLACK HAWK: Gaming Co. Announces Filing of Suit in CO By Shareholder
Black Hawk Gaming & Development Company, Inc. (Nasdaq: BHWK) announced on
March 7 that it has been served with a complaint brought by a person
claiming to be a shareholder. The lawsuit purports to be a class action
and was filed in the Colorado District Court in Gilpin County, Colorado.
Black Hawk's directors were also named in the action.

The suit alleges, among other things, that the defendants, allegedly
controlled by Jeffrey P. Jacobs, Chairman and CEO, are violating their
fiduciary duties owed to the public shareholders and are engaging in
improper and unfair dealing and wrongful and coercive conduct. This is
designed, according to the suit, to cause Black Hawk shareholders to
relinquish their shares without an adequate process to ensure that
shareholders receive the highest price obtainable.

On February 27, it was announced that Mr. Jacobs had offered to purchase
all Black Hawk shares not owned by him for $11 per share cash. A Special
Committee of the Board consisting of three independent directors was
immediately appointed to consider the offer. The Special Committee has
engaged its own independent law firm to advise it and it is close to
choosing its own independent investment bankers to assist the Special

The Board believes that it has met and will continue to meet its
fiduciary duties, as will the Special Committee, and that a process has
been put in place to maximize shareholder value. Therefore, the suit will
be vigorously defended.

The plaintiff seeks, among other things, to enjoin the buy-out
transaction and asks the court to award compensatory damages and legal

BROADCOM CORP: Accused of Defrauding Investors, Says Berman DeValerio
Shareholders on March 6 filed a federal class-action lawsuit charging
Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) with securities fraud, the law firm Berman
DeValerio & Pease LLP said.

The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Central
District of California and is captioned Murphy v. Broadcom Corp. et. al.
It seeks damages for violations of federal securities laws on behalf of
all investors who bought Broadcom common stock between July 30, 2000 and
February 27, 2001 (the "Class Period").

Broadcom is charged with improperly accounting for the multi-million
dollar amount of warrants provided to customers who purchased specified
amounts of Broadcom product. In particular, it is charged that Broadcom's
2000 third quarter financial statements improperly failed to reduce net
revenues by the amount of warrants given to customers who purchased
Broadcom product. In addition, Broadcom is charged with failing to
disclose the specific information relating to its granting customers
warrants in exchange for buying Broadcom product.

On February 27, 2001 The Wall Street Journal published an article
concerning Broadcom's practices relating to granting warrants to
customers in exchange for purchasing product. Broadcom's stock price fell
in the next three trading days from $63 per share to $41 per share, an
almost 35% decline.

In addition, Broadcom's top officers are charged with selling more than
$80 million worth of common stock prior to the revelations about the
warrants for products deals.

Contact: Leslie Stern, Esq. of Berman DeValerio & Pease, 800-516-9926, or
bdplaw@bermanesq.com, or Jennifer Abrams of Berman DeValerio Pease &
Tabacco, 415-433-3200

BROADCOM CORP: Cauley Geller Announces Securities Lawsuit Filed in CA
The Law Firm of Cauley Geller Bowman & Coates, LLP announced that it has
filed a class action in the United States District Court for the Central
District of California on behalf of all individuals and institutional
investors that purchased the common stock of Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq:BRCM)
between October 18, 2000 and February 26, 2001, inclusive (the "Class

The complaint charges that the Company and certain of its officers and
directors violated the federal securities laws by providing materially
false and misleading information about the Company's business and
financial condition, and as a result of these false and misleading
statements the Company's stock traded at artificially inflated prices
during the class period. Specifically, the complaint alleges that during
the Class Period, defendants made positive but false statements about
Broadcom's results and business, while concealing material adverse
information about agreements with certain companies it acquired, which
essentially resulted in Broadcom buying its own revenues. As a result,
Broadcom's stock traded at artificially inflated levels, permitting the
three individual defendants to sell$45.8 million worth of their Broadcom

Then, on 2/27/01, The Wall Street Journal published an article on
Broadcom entitled "Warrant Deals Raise Concerns on Broadcom," in which
analysts and accounting experts questioned the "legitimacy" of the
transactions and termed the agreements "troubling." Broadcom's stock
immediately dropped, falling 16% to $53, before closing at $53.625 on
2/27/01, and falling to $49.25 on 2/28/01.

Contact: Cauley Geller Bowman & Coates, LLP, Boca Raton Sue Null, Charlie
Gastineau or Jackie Addison Media: Sue Null or Charlie Gastineau Toll
Free: 1-888-551-9944 E-mail: info@classlawyer.com

BROADCOM CORP: Charles J. Piven Announces Securities Lawsuit Filed in CA
Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, P.A. advised investors that on March 6,
2001, it filed a class-action lawsuit charging Broadcom Corporation
(NASDAQ:BRCM) with securities fraud in the United States District Court
for the Central District of California, Case No. SACV01-279 GLT (ANx).
The suit seeks damages for violations of federal securities laws on
behalf of all investors who bought Broadcom Corporation common stock
between July 31, 2000 through February 27, 2001 (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges Broadcom and certain of its officers and directors
with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The complaint
alleges that during the Class Period, defendants made positive but false
statements about Broadcom's results and business, while concealing
material adverse information about agreements with certain companies it
acquired, which essentially resulted in Broadcom buying its own revenues.
As a result, Broadcom's stock traded at artificially inflated levels,
permitting the three individual defendants to sell $45.8 million worth of
Broadcom stock. On 2/27/01, The Wall Street Journal published an article
on Broadcom entitled "Warrant Deals Raise Concerns on Broadcom," in which
analysts and accounting experts questioned the "legitimacy" of the
transactions and termed the agreements "troubling." In reaction,
Broadcom's stock fell 16% to $53, before closing at $53.625 on 2/27/01,
and fell to $49.25 on 2/28/01. Plaintiffs seek to recover damages on
behalf of all purchasers of Broadcom common stock during the Class Period
(the "Class").

Contact: Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, P.A., Baltimore Charles J.
Piven, 410/332-0030 pivenlaw@erols.com

BROADCOM CORP: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Securities Suit in CA
The law firm of Schiffrin & Barroway give notices that a class action
lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Central
District of California on behalf of all purchasers of the common stock of
Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) from October 18, 2000 through February 26,
2001, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges Broadcom Corp. and certain of its officers and
directors with issuing false and misleading statements concerning its
business and financial condition. Specifically, the complaint alleges
that defendants made positive but false statements about Broadcom's
results and business, while concealing material adverse information about
agreements with certain companies it acquired, which essentially resulted
in Broadcom buying its own revenues. As a result, Broadcom's stock traded
at artificially inflated levels, permitting the three individual
defendants to sell $45.8 million worth of their Broadcom stock.
Furthermore, on February 27, 2001, the Wall Street Journal published an
article on Broadcom entitled "Warrant Deals Raise Concerns on Broadcom,"
in which analysts and accounting experts questioned the "legitimacy" of
the Company's transactions and termed the agreements "troubling."
Broadcom's stock immediately dropped, falling 16% to $53, before closing
at $53.625 on February 27, 2001. Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on
behalf of class members and is represented by the law firm of Schiffrin &
Barroway, LLP, who has significant experience and expertise prosecuting
class actions on behalf of investors and shareholders. For more
information on Schiffrin & Barroway, please visit www.sbclasslaw.com.

Contact: Marc A. Topaz, Esq. or Robert B. Weiser, Esq., both of Schiffrin
& Barroway, LLP, 888-299-7706, 610-667-7706 or info@sbclasslaw.com

CITIGROUP: FTC Takes Lender to Court for Abusive Practices
A consumer lending company acquired last year by financial giant
Citigroup Inc. (C.N) was charged with systematic and widespread abusive
loan practices in a suit filed on Tuesday by the U.S. Federal Trade
Commission, according to Reuters news. The FTC alleges that Associates
First Capital Corp. used deceptive marketing practices to induce
consumers to refinance existing debts into home loans with high interest
rates, costs and fees, the report says. The FTC is seeking redress for
all customers who were harmed as a result of the alleged practices,
reports Reuters.

The lawsuit alleges the actions violated the Federal Trade Commission
Act, the Truth in Lending Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, and the Equal
Credit Opportunity Act.

The suit filed in federal court in Atlanta, also names Citigroup Inc. and
CitiFinancial Credit Co. as successors to Associates, one of the nation's
largest lenders in the ``subprime'' market for higher-rate loans to
high-risk borrowers.

In response, Citigroup said it had tried to address the FTC's concerns
and the suit was ``counterproductive'' to a shared objective of making
attractive loan products available to all borrowers. Citigroup said in a
statement that it had already put in place a program to address the
practices of Associates and had contacted almost 500,000 customers to

The FTC said Associates customers were falsely told that the debt
consolidation loans would lower their monthly payments and save them
money. The FTC did not estimate the number of borrowers affected or the
amount of money involved.

                       Consumer Group Criticism

Citigroup's purchase of Dallas-based Associates, the former consumer
finance arm of Ford Motor Co. (F.N), has continued to draw criticism from
community and consumer groups who say the reforms at the lending arm have
been inadequate.

``The FTC case backs up what we've been saying, that Associates has been
ripping off homeowners across the country,'' said Maude Hurd, president
of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN).

The FTC alleged Associates targeted people who had to borrow money to
meet ``emergency needs'' and misrepresented the loan terms. In fact, the
FTC said, First Capital charged customers high interest and inflated the
cost of the loans by packing them with optional fees. The FTC further
alleges that Associated First Capital then used ``unfair tactics'' to
collect payments from debtors.

The company trained its employees to tell consumers that the loans would
contain no out-of-pocket fees and ``no upfront out-of-pocket costs, the
FTC said. In fact, the FTC said, First Capital charged customers high
interest and inflated the cost of the loans by packing them with optional

The lawsuit mirrors complaints against the company by consumer groups
since the Citigroup acquisition closed in December. A group of activists
set up an Internet site at http://www.tellcitibank.orgto gather
complaints about the company.

Last year, Citigroup said it would take steps to improve the consumer
lending practices at Associated First Capital and merged the company in
with its CitiFinancial consumer lending unit.

``We are proud of the progress we have made on these initiatives, which
establish us as the best-practices leader in the industry,'' Citigroup

In 1999, Associated First Capital's consumer finance portfolio totaled
$29.7 billion, and the company serviced 480,000 home equity loans, the
FTC said. In 1997, the last year for which figures were available, the
company also had nearly 3 million personal loans, according to the
agency. (Reuters, March 7, 2001)

CYBERGUARD CORP: Action Vs. KPMG Re Financial Statement 96-98 Goes on
On September 16, 1999, the Company filed a lawsuit against KPMG and
August A. Smith, the KPMG engagement partner. The lawsuit is pending in
the Circuit Court of the 17th Judicial Circuit in and for Broward County,
Case No. 00-004102-CACE-14.


On May 1, 2000, the Company filed the First Amended Complaint, alleging
that KPMG failed to properly audit the Company's financial statements and
provided inaccurate advice on accounting matters for fiscal years 1996,
1997 and 1998. The action alleges professional malpractice, breach of
fiduciary duty, breach of contract and breach of implied duty of good
faith, and seeks damages in excess of $10 million. KPMG and Mr. Smith
filed motions to dismiss, which were denied.

In August 2000, KPMG and Mr. Smith filed their answers and KPMG filed
counterclaims against the Company, alleging the Company's breach of
contract, negligent misrepresentation and abuse of process, and seeks an
unspecified amount of damages consisting of unpaid service fees and legal
fees and costs.

CYBERGUARD CORP: Continues to Defend Securities Suit Filed in 1998 in FL
On August 24, 1998, the Company announced, among other things, that due
to a review of its revenue recognition practices relating to distributors
and resellers, it would restate prior financial results.

After the August 24, 1998 announcement, twenty-five purported class
action lawsuits were filed by alleged shareholders against the Company
and certain former officers and directors. Pursuant to an order issued by
the Court, these actions have been consolidated into one action, styled
Stephen Cheney, et al. v. CyberGuard Corporation, et al., Case No.
98-6879-CIV-Gold, in the United States District Court, Southern District
of Florida. On August 23, 1999, the plaintiffs filed a Consolidated and
Amended Class Action Complaint. This action seeks damages purportedly on
behalf of all persons who purchased or otherwise acquired the Company's
common stock during various periods from November 7, 1996 through August
24, 1998.

The complaint alleges, among other things, that as a result of accounting
irregularities relating to the Company's revenue recognition policies,
the Company's previously issued financial statements were materially
false and misleading and that the defendants knowingly or recklessly
published these financial statements which caused the Company's common
stock prices to rise artificially. The action alleges violations of
Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act") and
SEC Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder and Section 20(a) of the Exchange

Subsequently, the defendants, including the Company, filed their
respective motions to dismiss the amended complaint.

On July 31, 2000, the Court issued a ruling denying the Company's and
Robert L. Carberry's (the Company's CEO from June 1996 through August
1998) motions to dismiss. The court granted the motions to dismiss with
prejudice for defendants William D. Murray (the Company's CFO from
November 1997 through August 1998), Patrick O. Wheeler (the Company's CFO
from April 1996 through October 1997), C. Shelton James (former Audit
Committee Chairman), and KPMG Peat Marwick LLP ("KPMG"). On August 14,
2000, the plaintiffs filed a motion for reconsideration of that order.
The Company filed an answer to the plaintiffs' complaint on August 24,

The Company's obligation to indemnify its officers and directors under
the aforementioned lawsuit is insured to the extent of the limits of the
applicable insurance policies. The Company has notified its insurance
carrier of the existence of the lawsuit, and the carrier has sent the
Company a reservation of rights letter.

The Company intends to vigorously defend this action, and believes that
in the event that it is unsuccessful, insurance coverage will be
available to defray a portion, or substantially all, of the expense of
defending and settling the lawsuit or paying a judgment. However, the
Company is unable to predict the ultimate outcome of the litigation.
There can be no assurance that the Company will be successful in
defending the lawsuit or if unsuccessful, insurance will be available to
pay all or any portion of the expense of the lawsuit. If the Company is
unsuccessful in defending the lawsuit and the insurance coverage is
unavailable or insufficient, the resolution of the lawsuit could have an
effect on the Company's consolidated financial position, results of
operations, and cash flows.

CYBERGUARD CORP: SEC Investigation Commenced in 1998 Goes on
In August 1998, the Securities and Exchange Commission commenced an
informal inquiry into certain accounting and financial reporting
practices of the Company and its officers, directors and employees. On
March 25, 1999, the SEC issued a formal order of investigation (which the
Company learned of on September 27, 1999) into certain accounting and
financial reporting practices of the Company and its officers, directors
and employees. The SEC's investigation is ongoing.

DEPARTMENT 56: Lionel Z. Glancy Announces Securities Lawsuit Filed in MN
The Law Offices of Lionel Z. Glancy commenced a Class Action lawsuit in
the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota on behalf
of a class consisting of all persons who purchased securities of
Department 56 Inc. (NYSE:DFS) between February 24, 1999, and April 26,
2000, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The Complaint charges Department 56 and its chief executive officer with
violations of federal securities laws. Specifically, plaintiff claims
that defendants immediately became aware that a new enterprisewide
computer system was a complete failure, resulting in massive problems
with every aspect of the Company's business, including order taking,
order processing, shipping and billing.

Defendants, however, concealed the full extent of the widespread
pervasive failure of the system until accounts receivable spiraled out of
control and the Company was forced to take significant accounting charges
and place a "high level" of orders on hold to correct the situation.

Contact: The Law Offices of Lionel Z. Glancy, Los Angeles 310/201-9150 or
888/773-9224 Lionel Z. Glancy/Michael Goldberg info@glancylaw.com

FAX.COM INC: Judge Rules Fd Law Can Be Used In State Ct In Junk Fax Case
Companies that flood fax machines with unwanted advertisements can be
sued in Pennsylvania courts under a federal law, an Allegheny County
judge has ruled.

Judge R. Stanton Wettick Jr. said his ruling appears to be the first in
Pennsylvania allowing the federal statute prohibiting unsolicited faxes
to be used in the state's courts.

His ruling came after fax.com Inc. claimed a lawsuit against it should be
dismissed because Pennsylvania has no state law barring unsolicited faxed

Mark Aronson, a retired consumer advocate in the Pittsburgh suburb of
Churchill Borough, sued the Costa Mesa, Calif.-based company for $2,500 -
$500 for each unwanted fax he said he received from the company last

Aronson's suit against fax.com includes the five faxes which range from
offers of luncheon specials to cruises in the Bahamas.

"I thought it was wrong that they send me these things. My fax machine is
in my bedroom and they would come in at night," said Aronson, 59. "This
is not a business. This is in my residence. ... It got to be silly."

Fax.com challenged Aronson's case claiming that Pennsylvania did not have
a law that allowed state courts to hear cases based on the federal law.

But Wettick ruled Pennsylvania doesn't need such a law because The
Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, a federal law that prohibits
such faxes, applies to the state.

Wettick also cited court cases in three states - Georgia, New Jersey and
New York - that allowed the federal law to be used in state courts.

The law prohibits people from sending fax advertisements to others except
in specific instances and allows people who get the unwanted faxes to sue
the advertisers or the fax companies they use for as much as $1,500 per
fax if a court rules the sender flouted the law.

Unsolicited faxes are allowed if recipient has permitted it, is in
business with the sender or the sender is a nonprofit organization.

James Schadel, who is listed as an attorney for fax.com in court
documents, referred calls to Philadelphia lawyer Michael Broadhurst.

Lawsuits for unsolicited faxes are not uncommon. Attorneys general in
Arkansas, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey and Texas have filed cases
against companies in the past two years. The Pennsylvania attorney
general's office has also filed lawsuits against companies who send
unwanted faxes, said Barbara Petito, a spokeswoman for the office's
consumer protection division. The handful of lawsuits were all settled,
she said.

Aronson is also the lead plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit, also filed
in Allegheny County, against West Roxbury, Mass.-based Uno Restaurant
Corp. for advertisements he claims were faxed to people statewide. That
case is under review by Allegheny County Judge Robert Horgos, who had
been waiting for Wettick's ruling. When Horgos will rule on the
class-action suit is unclear. (The Associated Press State & Local Wire,
March 7, 2001)

FIRSTPLUS FINANCIAL: Ends Negotiations to Acquire Nineteenth Investment
FIRSTPLUS Financial Group, Inc. (Pink Sheets: FPFX) announced on March 5
that it has ended its negotiations to acquire Nineteenth Investment
Corporation. Under the previously announced proposal, FIRSTPLUS would
have acquired Nineteenth in a tax free stock-for- stock transaction.

The proposed transaction was subject to the resolution of several issues,
which included liquidity issues, the pending shareholder class action and
other litigation, audit and Securities and Exchange Commission regulatory
compliance issues and the negotiation of liabilities and encumbrances,
including the defaulted obligations to FIRSTPLUS' convertible

Due to the timing difficulties in resolving these issues and considering
the organized opposition of several FIRSTPLUS shareholder groups to the
proposed transaction, both companies have mutually agreed to end
negotiations for the acquisition of Nineteenth and to pursue other
opportunities. Dan Phillips, Chairman and CEO of FIRSTPLUS, noted that
"We've expended a great deal of effort in trying to resolve these issues,
but certain factions do not recognize the negative impact that their
demands are having on other shareholders and the company as a whole."

FIRSTPLUS has no operating business and it is unlikely that FIRSTPLUS
will reconstitute any of its previous business plans, such as originating
mortgage loans, servicing mortgage loan portfolios, or investing in
mortgage loan portfolios and Interest Only Strips. Dan Phillips also
stated that "The company will continue to monitor and manage its
shareholders' residual interests in the company's interest only strips
and continue to move forward with its accounting and SEC compliance
initiatives." The above statements contained in this press release that
are not historical facts, including, but not limited to, statements that
can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as
"may," "will," "expect," anticipate," "estimate," or "continue" or the
negative thereof or other variations thereon or comparable terminology,
are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private
Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, and involve a number of risks
and uncertainties. The actual results of the future events described in
such forward-looking statements in this press release could differ
materially from those stated in such forward-looking statements. Among
the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially are:
short term interest rate fluctuations, level of defaults and prepayments,
general economic conditions, competition, government regulation and
possible litigation, as well as the risks and uncertainties set forth
from time to time in the Company's public reports and filings and public

HIP IMPLANTS: Charfoos & Christensen Files Suit against Sulzer Medica
A national class-action lawsuit was filed Tuesday, March 6, 2001 in
federal court against Sulzer Medica USA, Inc. and Sulzer Orthopedics,
Inc., claiming money damages as a result of the defendants' defective hip
implant that was recalled on December 5, 2000.

Detroit law firm Charfoos & Christensen filed this first of its kind suit
in Michigan in Federal Court on behalf of Susan Jarrell of Sparta,
Michigan, and the class of people who also received these defective
implants. Ms. Jarrell underwent hip replacement surgery in June, 2000.
Sulzer's Inter-Op acetabular shell was used.

An estimated 17,500 persons received the defective implant, Sulzer's
Inter-Op acetabular shell, almost 90% of whom reside in the United
States. The shells were primarily sold after October, 1999, and a small
number of lots were sold after July, 1997.

Ms. Jarrell has filed claims for strict liability for a defective
product, breach of warranty, negligence and strict liability for failure
to warn. The complaint also seeks medical monitoring for the class.

Commenting on the lawsuit, J. Douglas Peters, Charfoos & Christensen,
P.C. shareholder, said, "If Sulzer had been receiving reports of problems
since October, 1999, we wonder why doctors and the public were not
informed until December, 2000. Many patients could have been spared
needless pain and suffering and would not be facing the prospect of a
second surgery to replace the defective prosthesis."

The class action complaint alleges that a lubricant used in the
manufacturing process of the Inter-Op shells was inadequately removed
from the shell surface during the cleaning process. The lubricant residue
prevents the implant from properly bonding with the bone, causing the
shells to loosen. It can cause inflammation and pain and prevent the
patient's bones from fusing normally with the hip implant. Plaintiff also
alleges that Sulzer failed to issue any warning of the defect to her,
physicians or the general public.

Since October, 1999, Sulzer received 61 reports of loosening of the
shells. The company said that small amounts of mineral-oil based
lubricants in the machines used in the manufacturing process may remain
on the implant surface after the cleaning process. In January a company
press release announced new multi-stepped procedures to address the

Contact: Attorney J. Douglas Peters of Charfoos & Christensen, P.C.,
313-875-8080, or Fax: 313-875-8522

HOLOCAUST VICTIMS: Judge Refuses to Dismiss Lawsuit Vs. German Banks
A judge presiding over Holocaust litigation against German banks on
Wednesday refused to dismiss a class-action lawsuit, saying to do so
would endanger the claims of people who have waited decades to be

U.S. District Judge Shirley Wohl Kram concluded in a written decision
that it would be unjust to dismiss the lawsuit even though some lawyers
have said a dismissal would allow more than one million former slave
laborers to be paid from a compensation fund approved by the banks.

Kram noted that the compensation fund would be distributed by a
yet-to-be-funded German foundation set up as the exclusive forum for the
resolution of all labor and property claims against German entities.

The judge said she could not dismiss the lawsuit without assurance that
the foundation had already been funded and that the claims of people who
could not yet appear before the court would be handled fairly.

''Many of the absent plaintiffs in this case have waited decades to
receive compensation for their property claims, and it would be unjust to
divert their claims to a forum whose funding remains in question,'' Kram

''Granting the instant motion would effectively block absent class
members from pursuing any remedy other than the foundation, which is not
yet fully funded,'' she said.

The German government declined to comment immediately on the judge's
decision. A spokeswoman said they must first examine the judge's reasons.

The plaintiffs had asked that their lawsuit be dismissed because of an
out-of-court settlement setting up the dlrs 4.6 billion fund to
compensate people enslaved by the Nazis during World War II. The money is
to be funded in equal parts by German industry and the German government.

''I don't have any comment at this time. I have to absorb it,'' said Burt
Neuborne, a lawyer for the plaintiffs.

Volker Beck, one of the German fund's trustees and a member of the junior
partner in the governing coalition, the Greens, said the decision ''costs
time that we don't have.'' He said he was ''bitter'' at Kram's ruling.

''The American government must act now,'' Beck said in a statement. ''It
promised comprehensive legal peace for German companies in the United
States ... now it must keep its word.''

A spokesman for the U.S. Department of Justice, which had urged Kram to
dismiss the lawsuit, did not immediately return a telephone message for

The dismissal of the lawsuit had also been recommended by Charles
Stillman, a neutral party charged with making recommendations to the
judge on the case.

The judge quoted Stillman in a footnote in her 26-page ruling as
concluding that dismissal of the lawsuit might ''create a substantial
impediment, and a level of prejudice to a now-absent class member, if
that person decides to bring a case in the future.''

Kram earlier had conducted a hearing to determine whether to dismiss the

Kram said then that she wanted to be sure there was a mechanism to ensure
that the funds would be distributed fairly, and that any victims who were
not part of the current lawsuit would still be able to seek legal

She also said she wanted to be sure money would not be wrongly diminished
by high lawyer fees or by the addition of cases involving Austrian banks
with branches in Germany during the war.

More than one million former laborers worldwide, most of them central and
eastern Europeans, are expected to be eligible for payments. The fund
also will compensate people subjected to Nazi medical experiments and
some with other Holocaust-related claims. (AP Worldstream, March 7, 2001)

HOLOCAUST VICTIMS: Poland OKs Limited Payments for Seized Property
Poland's parliament gave final approval Wednesday to a bill compensating
people for property seized by the old communist regime, but narrowed it
to exclude most emigres, including Jews.

The measure now goes to President Aleksander Kwasniewski, who has
indicated he will veto it if he believes it is unfair or too costly.

The final version limits eligibility to victims who were Polish citizens
as of Dec. 31, 1999. The provision has drawn sharp criticism from Polish
emigre groups, especially Jews who fled communist persecution.

The plan allows compensation equivalent to 50 percent of the value of
property seized from 1944 to 1962, either in kind or in the form of

The head of a Polish group pursuing property compensation, Miroslaw
Szypowski, estimated that the citizenship requirement would block claims
from 40,000 people, many of them now living in the United States and

Poland's Solidarity-led government had hoped the bill would head off
class action lawsuits in the United States. The current version is
unlikely to satisfy anyone, however, and there is wide speculation that
Kwasniewski will veto it. He has 21 days to decide.

Attorney Mel Urbach, who represents Jewish claimants in a lawsuit filed
in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, New York, said by telephone he would
need time to study the bill before commenting. But he has in the past
sharply criticized efforts to impose a citizenship restriction.

Urbach said he expects a decision ''any day'' on whether the court will
agree to proceed with the lawsuit.

The Solidarity-led government's original draft was opposed by the
ex-communist opposition and some maverick Solidarity legislators who said
it would be too expensive.

The Senate stripped the citizenship requirement from the original bill
approved by the Sejm, parliament's lower house. But on Wednesday the Sejm
voted 311-101, with eight abstentions, to restore it.

Foreign Minister Wladyslaw Bartoszewski sharply criticized the move,
saying it could lead to costly legal battles.

''Those who will feel harmed will probably make their claims against the
Polish state,'' the Polish news agency Pap quoted him as saying.

The bill does not specifically address restitution for World War II
Holocaust victims or their heirs. But it would provide a way for them to
seek compensation because most property they lost during the Nazi
occupation was later seized by the communist regime.

Poland is the only ex-communist state of Eastern Europe that still lacks
such legislation.

Poland also has been under pressure from the European Union, which it
hopes to join in the next few years, to settle the issue.

If it is vetoed by Kwasniewski, an ex-communist, the Sejm is considered
unlikely to muster the necessary two-thirds majority to override him.

That probably would delay further consideration of the compensation issue
until after parliamentary elections due this fall. (AP Worldstream, March
7, 2001)

HOLOCAUST VICTIMS: Schroeder to Meet with German Industry on Payments
Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder is to meet with German industry
representatives soon to attempt to resolve open questions delaying
compensation for former slave laborers under the Nazis, a government
spokesman said Wednesday.

German firms and the German state have each undertaken to provide five
billion marks (2.5 billion euros, 2.3 billion dollars) for the

But while the state has come up with its share, the firms are still some
1.4 billion marks short.

The spokesman said Schroeder would wait until a US judge ruled on a class
action suit on behalf of former slave laborers against German banks, at
which time he would discuss the implications of her decision with
companies for the beginning of payments for the aging claimants.

German industry and the government in Berlin agreed last July to offer
compensation to former slave laborers pending a guarantee by US courts
that German companies would face no further lawsuits on the matter.

German companies are anxiously awaiting the ruling in the case against
the German banks, which is expected soon, to determine whether that legal
security has been provided. (Agence France Presse, March 7, 2001)

KCP&L: Fd Judge Says Claims Too Broad for Race Bias Class V. Kansas City
A federal judge has refused to let a race discrimination lawsuit against
Kansas City Power & Light Co. go forward as a class action.

U.S. District Judge Ortrie Smith ruled that the plaintiffs had failed to
meet the requirements of a class action, which allows representative
members of a large group to sue on behalf of all members of the group.

In a 35-page ruling Thursday, Smith ruled that the class definition was
too broad and that most of the 10 named plaintiffs "do not present all of
the claims that the class intends to pursue."

Lawyers for the plaintiffs said they would proceed, if necessary, to sue
KCP&L one plaintiff at a time.

"We have 40 African-Americans and 14 Hispanics under contract with great
cases. What (this ruling) does for KCP&L is guarantee them three years of
ongoing litigation," said Michael Fletcher, one of the attorneys for the

Dennis Egan, another lawyer for the plaintiffs, said he was prepared to
go forward, "whether it's 10 or 11 people together or 40 people

"We thought a class action would be a more efficient mechanism, so we'll
probably go ahead and appeal (Smith's ruling)," he said. "But as far as
I'm concerned, it's six of one, a half-dozen of the other."

Both Fletcher and Egan represented a KCP&L meter reader who was awarded
more than $1.5 million last year after a federal jury found that he had
been denied promotions by the utility because of his race. Smith, who
also presided over that case, later reduced the award to $320,000, ruling
that the ratio of punitive to actual damages was too high. KCP&L has said
it will appeal the judgment.

The lawsuit in which Smith ruled originally was filed in May 1999 by
Patricia Lang, who later amended it to assert claims "on behalf of all
African-American persons employed by KCP&L at any time from May 11, 1994,
to the present    adversely affected by KCP&L's racially discriminatory
policies and practices."

Lang and the other named plaintiffs alleged discrimination in pay,
promotion, discipline and job requirements, and said KCP&L's policies and
procedures constituted a racially hostile working environment.

In 1999, when Lang sued, KCP&L had 2,198 employees, 207 of whom were

In his decision, Smith said Lang and her fellow plaintiffs failed to meet
the requisites of a class action, including commonality of claims.

Addressing the category of plaintiffs alleging a hostile work environment
at KCP&L, Smith called them "essentially a group of differently situated
individuals, each claiming to have been wronged, and each asserting -
without support or explanation - that some policy has caused that wrong."

Brenda Nolte, a spokeswoman for KCP&L, said the utility's priority is
diversity, "and it is confirmation for Kansas City Power & Light that a
federal court found no basis for a class action."

In another blow to the plaintiffs, Smith refused to consider an expert
report they submitted, saying it would not aid their cause. Smith said
the expert had failed to account for nondiscriminatory reasons for
differences in employee pay, including different job responsibilities and
the fact that nearly two-thirds of KCP&L's work force is unionized and
compensated under the terms of collective bargaining agreements. (The
Kansas City Star, March 7, 2001)

KIA MOTORS: PA and NJ Suits Allege Brake Defects in 1998, 1999, 2000
The consumer law firms of Kimmel & Silverman, P.C.; Francis & Mailman,
P.C.; and Donovan Miller, LLC have filed class action suits in
Pennsylvania and New Jersey against Kia Motors America, Inc., of Irvine,
California, alleging brake defects in the company's 1998, 1999 and 2000
Sephia models. The lead plaintiffs in these cases are Philadelphia, PA
resident Shamell Samuel-Bassett and Plainfield, NJ resident Regina
Little. According to Kia press releases, more than 166,000 Sephia
automobiles have been sold in the United States between 1997 and 2000.

According to documents filed in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia
County and in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Union County, Kia Motors
has known for several years that the brake system in the Sephia model is
defective. In the past three years, more than 300 complaints have been
filed with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration
(NHTSA) for this defect. This problem, which results in premature wear of
the front brake rotors, causes the brakes to grind and the vehicle to
vibrate, and requires continuous replacement of the brake pads and
rotors. In 1996 and 1997, Kia issued Technical Service Bulletins (TSB's)
pertaining to this problem in subsequent Sephia models.

Since purchasing her 2000 Sephia model in October 1999, Pennsylvania lead
plaintiff Shamell Samuel-Bassett has taken her car to Kia authorized
dealers on five separate occasions, complaining of vehicle vibration,
excessive grinding and increased stopping distance. As a result of her
complaints, the vehicle's rotors and pads were repaired four times, all
within the vehicle's first 17,000 miles. On average, replacement of brake
rotors occurs at approximately 50,000 miles if parts are not defective.

Despite constant repairs, Ms. Samuel-Bassett continues to experience
brake problems. She was recently involved in an automobile accident,
hitting a vehicle after the brakes failed to properly stop the car.

"I should feel confident in my car, but I don't," says Ms.
Samuel-Bassett. " My eight-year old son is always talking about the
constant noise and vibrations when I hit the brakes. It's especially
frustrating that Kia knows they have a problem and they are doing nothing
to fix it."

New Jersey lead plaintiff Regina Little purchased her 1999 Kia Sephia in
March, 1999. Ms. Little has also repeatedly returned her car to
authorized Kia dealerships, complaining of the same brake concerns: an
inability to stop the vehicle, continuous vibrations and rotor defects.
Despite Ms. Little's numerous complaints, and the dealers' replacement of
brake and rotors, the problem still exists. Court papers indicate that
employees from three separate authorized Kia dealerships informed Ms.
Little that Kia Motors America is well aware of the problem, but will not
correct it.

"I am very fearful for my safety," says Ms. Little. "Every three months,
my brakes start to grind. When that happens, I have to push the brakes
hard to get the car to stop. I don't have the money to keep repairing the
problem. I am hoping that this class action suit will force Kia to admit
to the general public that this problem does exist."

According to co-counsel Craig Thor Kimmel of Kimmel and Silverman, P.C.,
"This problem puts the safety of Kia drivers and passengers, as well as
all of us who share the road with Sephia drivers, at substantial risk.
You have a car that is inexpensive to purchase and a manufacturer that
claims in advertising to have the best warranty in the business. It is no
wonder people are buying the car. However, with the brake defect so
widespread and Kia's refusal to fix the problem, we believe that
consumers are not getting what they are paying for with the Kia Sephia."

"Consumers have been complaining of this problem for the last five
years," said co-counsel James A. Francis of the firm of Francis and
Mailman. "The frequent replacements go well beyond the normal wear and
tear of the braking system. Normally, drivers rely on the predictability
of brakes for their safety. This is not the case with Sephia drivers."
Owners and lessees of 1998, 1999, and 2000 Kia Sephia models who would
like more information on this class action can log onto www.lemonlaw.com,
contact Craig Thor Kimmel at 1-800-Lemon-Law (800-536-6652) or via e-mail
at Kia@lemonlaw.com.

Contact: Michael Sacks of Kimmel and Silverman, 856-216-0655, or

NAPSTER: Indicates Readiness to Comply with Injunction, Seeks Settlement
Napster, the wildly-popular song-swap software, said on Tuesday it would
comply with U.S. District Court Judge Marilyn Hall Patel's injunction,
ordering it to remove songs from its directory three days after it is
notified by their copyright owners.

"Napster will follow the District Court's order. Even before the court
entered the order, we began making efforts to comply with what we
believed to be the dictates of the Ninth Circuit's ruling," said Hank
Barry, chief executive officer of Redwood City, Calif-based Napster.

Barry said Napster would continue to press its case in court and seek a
mediated resolution as it works to implement the order. Napster will
continue to seek a settlement with the record companies and to prepare
its new membership-based service.

In his statement, Barry said the Ninth Circuit and District Court
rejected the recording industry's argument that Napster was inherently
illegal and that the order called for both the recording industry and
Napster to share the burden of complying.

The world's biggest record labels -- including Vivendi Universal's
Universal Music, Sony Music Warner Music, EMI Group Plc and Bertelsmann
AG's BMG first sued Napster in December 1999, claiming it was a haven for
copyright piracy that would cost them billions of dollars in lost music

The labels are required to provide lists of the material they want
removed. "As we receive notice from copyright holders as required by the
Court, we will take every step within the limits of our system to exclude
their copyrighted material from being shared," he said. (Reuters, March
7, 2001)

NATIONAL GUARD: Lawsuit Seeks Tens of Millions for Sexual Harrassment
Only months out of prison after doing time for perjury, the former chief
of staff of the Illinois Army National Guard has been accused of rape and
sexual harassment in a civil lawsuit brought by eight women who worked
with him at the Guard's Camp Lincoln facility here.

The class-action lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Springfield
last month, also alleges other top officials at the camp allowed an
atmosphere to exist that resulted in requests for sexual favors and
sexual innuendo that the women found intimidating, abusive, hostile and
offensive. They are seeking tens of millions of dollars in damages from
the guard officials and the state and federal governments.

The case followed the guilty plea of Col. James Burgess, 54, former chief
of staff and once the third-highest ranking officer on the Army side of
the Guard. In December 1999, Burgess, of Springfield, admitted to federal
perjury charges arising from a criminal case laced with allegations of
adultery and sexual harassment.

In a court hearing leading up to the guilty plea, a prosecutor said that
at least a dozen women had told the government that Burgess either had
sex with them, tried to, or solicited them. At the time, Assistant U.S.
Atty. Patrick Chesley accused Burgess of engaging in "non-consensual" sex
with women.

Burgess was sentenced to 20 months in prison, but released around the end
of last year, officials said.

The new civil case accuses Burgess of participating in sexual assaults
against three of the women who brought the suit. It also alleges that for
years he had subjected all of the plaintiffs to sexual harassment and
some of them to sexual advances and threats. The suit accuses Burgess and
other male Guard commanders, some unnamed, of harassment.

The women charge that their jobs, pay raises and other terms and benefits
of employment were conditioned upon their acquiescence to embarrassing
and humiliating sexual behavior. They also allege the conduct over the
years "was and continues to be unwelcome, severe and so pervasive that
such is an anathema to all social and employment mores."

For example, one of the plaintiffs alleges "the harassment was in the
form of rape, non-consensual intercourse, unwelcome sexual advances and
touching, sexual innuendoes, harassing telephone calls and dirty jokes."

Among those specifically charged in the suit with harassment and
retaliation is former Assistant Adjutant Gen. Paul Gebhardt. Former
Adjutant Gen. Richard Austin and current Adjutant Gen. David Harris, a
former state representative, also are accused in the suit of knowing
about the behavior but failing to "exercise reasonable care to prevent
and promptly correct the sexually harassing behavior."

Austin declined to comment on the allegations. Burgess and Gebhardt could
not be reached. A statement released by the Illinois Department of
Military Affairs, the agency headed by Harris, said the allegations in
the suit are being reviewed.

"Since this matter is currently pending in U.S. District Court, it would
be inappropriate for this agency to comment on the substance of the
allegations contained in this complaint at this time," the statement

In the suit, the women allege that they were unable to reasonably avail
themselves of internal complaint systems.

The plaintiffs who brought the case are Bobbie Bartley, Beth Graves,
Amanda High, Audrey Maher, Lesa McManigell, Nancy Mills, Nikole
Ozier-Cain and Sherry Rader. (Chicago Tribune, March 7, 2001)

ONTARIO REALTY: Lawsuit Targets Toxic Mouldy Newmarket Courthouse
Occupants exposed York Region and the Ontario Realty Corp. knew the
Newmarket courthouse contained toxic mould but failed to protect the
occupants, a $50 million class action lawsuit alleges.

The suit was filed March 6 on behalf of Special Constable Paul Dumoulin,
a court officer, and "all persons who, during the period 1979 to the
present, were exposed to toxic moulds, harmful gases and substances while
on the premises of the courthouse."

The lawsuit, which must be approved as a class action by the court, could
include people who are not full-time employees and had no choice but to
be in the courthouse, such as prisoners, jurors, witnesses and officers.

The plaintiffs are seeking $15 million for general damages, such as pain,
suffering and loss of enjoyment of life, and $35 million for aggravated
damages for alleged "high-handed, outrageous and reckless" conduct.

Former attorney-general Jim Flaherty closed the Newmarket courthouse last
June 30. Cases were transferred to other courthouses or processed in
trailers in the parking lot.

A 12-page statement of claim says exposure to toxic mould can cause
health consequences.

"To the knowledge of the defendants . . . numerous persons working in the
courthouse began to suffer an unusual number of health complaints,
including headaches, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, migraines, asthma,
irritability, cancer and respiratory diseases," the claim says.

The statement of claim alleges that, when he was working at the
courthouse between 1997 and 1999, Dumoulin was exposed to at least 17
toxic moulds and at least two harmful gases.

In an interview, Dumoulin, 54, said although his doctor proclaimed him in
good health before he started working at the courthouse on Oct. 27. 1997,
he began experiencing fatigue and flu-like symptoms within months. A CAT
scan several months later produced results that "terribly worried" his

Dumoulin's lawyers said a laboratory in California has confirmed his
blood, and that of an unspecified number of other court employees, has
been infected by toxic mould.

The statement of claim contains unproven allegations that have not yet
been tested in court. The defendants may file statements of defence
within 20 days from the time the court papers have been served on them.

Other defendants named include Ellis Don Corp., the construction company
that built the courthouse, Cole Sherman and Associates Ltd., mechanical
engineers involved in the construction, Boigon Petroff Shepherd
Architects Inc., successors of the architects who designed the
courthouse, and ProFac Facility Management Services Inc., the company
responsible for maintaining the courthouse. (The Toronto Star, March 7,

ROCK HILL: Investors Sue SC Bank Alleging Fraudulent Investment Program
Investors are suing a South Carolina community bank for more than $10
million, claiming it helped promote a fraudulent investment program.

Steve McKelvy, an attorney for Rock Hill Bank and Trust Co., denied it
had done anything wrong. "All the bank did was hold the funds in a trust

Court documents say the program promised returns of at least 15% a month
during its 10-month term. Anything more was to go to humanitarian
projects in Venezuela and other developing countries.

The investors claim that Rock Hill and one of its loan officers conspired
with Donald M. Hughes, a construction-firm owner who introduced them to
the "no-risk" deal, to steal their $9.5 million investment. Mr. Hughes'
company was to have undertaken the humanitarian projects.

The loan officer, Robert M. Yoffie, never disclosed that he was also a
director of Mr. Hughes' company, the investors claim. Mr. Yoffie quit the
bank shortly before the Feb. 16 filing of the suit in U.S. District Court
in Rock Hill.

Samuel R. Anthony of Miami, the lead plaintiff in the suit, and his
partners claim Mr. Yoffie and Rock Hill transferred their money out of
the bank without authorization, did not produce promised returns, and
would not return their $9.5 million investment. They are seeking that sum
plus the lost profit from the investment and unspecified punitive

Mr. McKelvy, who is with the Nelson, Mullens, Riley & Scarsborough law
firm in Columbia, S.C., said the dispute is "between and among people
unconnected to the bank." Mr. Yoffie, he said, "never touched the account
on his own," but merely "directed the account as he was told" by Douglas
J. Smith, who ran the investment program out of the Bahamas and had
limited power of attorney.

Mr. Smith, who ran the program through WCH Executive Holdings, claimed
the extraordinary return would be achieved by day trading in the European
bond market, the suit says. He and Mr. Yoffie called it a "no-risk
investment," the suit says.

In January of last year the group deposited $9.5 million in a trust
account at Rock Hill. The suit says the investors signed two agreements:
one granting the limited power of attorney to Mr. Smith; the other with
the bank and Mr. Yoffie, requiring that "at all times, account assets
will be maintained at Rock Hill Bank and Trust."

After eight months produced little or no return on their investment, the
group said, they wrote to WCH Holdings demanding their money back. Mr.
Smith told the group that he had transferred the funds to a Deutsche Bank
branch in Milan, Italy, but promised to refund it, the suit says.

When he did not, court papers state, the group went to the bank, whose
president told them that Rock Hill would try to refund the $9.5 million
they had invested.

Mr. McKelvy said he had no knowledge of anyone at the bank promising
repayment and was "not aware of the bank owing funds to anyone." Rock
Hill has asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Federal
Deposit Insurance Corp. to investigate the allegations, he said. (The
American Banker, March 7, 2001)

SCIENTIFIC LEARNING: Notifies of Voluntary Dismissal of Securities Suit
As previously reported in the CAR, the company announced that it would
seek early dismissal of the securities fraud suit Stitt v. Scientific
Learning Corporation, et al., Civ. No. 00-3014-SC pending in the United
States District Court for the Northern District of California.

On November 30, 2000, the Lead Plaintiffs appointed by the Court to
represent all persons who purchased Scientific Learning Corporation's
(Nasdaq: SCIL) common stock during the period between May 1, 2000 and
July 11, 2000 (the "Class Period"), filed a Stipulation and [P]roposed
Order of Voluntary Dismissal ("[Proposed] Order"), agreed to by
defendants, in Stitt v. Scientific Learning Corporation, et al., Civ. No.

On February 8, 2001, the United States District Court Judge entered the
[Proposed] Order voluntarily dismissing the Complaint for Violation of
the Federal Securities Laws and lawsuit without prejudice.

The Complaint charges Scientific and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The
Complaint alleges that defendants' false and misleading statements
concerning the revenue derived from Scientific's sales of its software
artificially inflated the price of the stock to a Class Period high of

After further investigating this matter, Lead Plaintiffs and their
counsel concluded that the Complaint should be voluntarily dismissed
without prejudice. Accordingly, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 41(a)(1), Lead Plaintiffs notified defendants of their intent,
and defendants agreed to the dismissal, with each side bearing its own
costs. No consideration has been exchanged, and neither Lead Plaintiffs
nor their counsel will receive any compensation or reimbursement of
expenses. Moreover, Lead Plaintiffs believe that the Class will not be
prejudiced, as the statute of limitations has not run, and no members of
the Class are barred from pursuing their own individual claims against
defendants or renewing the class action if they so choose.  If you wish
to discuss this action or have any questions concerning this notice or
your rights or interest, please contact plaintiffs' counsel.

Contact: Reed Kathrein of Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP,
800-449-4900, wsl@mwbhl.com

Lawyers who represented California cities and counties that shared part
of a massive national tobacco settlement were awarded $ 637.5 million in
fees Tuesday by the National Tobacco Fee Arbitration Panel.

The fees, which amount to about 5% of the cities' and counties' $
12.7-billion share of the settlement, will be divided among seven
California law firms and two from out of state. Like the settlements
themselves, the legal fees will be distributed over a 25-year period.

With Tuesday's decision, anti-tobacco attorneys around the country now
have been awarded $ 11.3 billion in fees. The tobacco industry has to pay
that in addition to $ 246 billion in settlements to the states.

California's share of the national settlement was $ 25.4 billion, and
cities and counties around the state get half. Cities and counties
representing about 85% of the state's population sued the industry before
the state filed its case in 1997.

California was the 37th state to sue the tobacco industry. Unlike most of
his counterparts throughout the nation, Dan Lungren, then the state's
Republican attorney general, declined to hire private attorneys to
represent California.

Several of the law firms that represented the cities and counties are led
by Democrats and had made significant contributions to Democratic

Protracted negotiations were held between those attorneys and Lungren's
assistants before an agreement was reached that the city and county
cases--as well as one major private case, Cordova vs. Liggett Group
Inc.--would be settled en masse in December 1998, a month after the
national settlement. (The tobacco companies separately agreed to pay the
California attorney general's office $ 25 million for attorney time and
costs, a spokesman for the office said Tuesday.)

The 5% fee for the lawyers in the California case is considerably lower
than the percentages collected by attorneys for the first few states that
sued the industry: Mississippi, Florida and Texas. Attorneys representing
those states were awarded fees of 19% to 34%.

John Calhoun Wells, a veteran labor mediator who is the arbitration
panel's chairman, said the work of the private attorneys in California
was of "the highest order." Charles Renfrew, a retired federal judge from
San Francisco who is the tobacco companies' representative on the panel,
said the award was "higher than I would have awarded had I been the sole
arbitrator," but said he joined the decision "because I believe unanimity
serves important and valuable purposes in these arbitrations."

Attorney Harry Huge, who is the plaintiffs' lawyers' representative on
the panel, said he would have awarded more. Huge emphasized the
importance of the Cordova case, which was filed by San Diego attorney
Patrick Coughlin of Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach under the
state's unfair business practices statute in 1992.

"It was the first private enforcement action in California that advanced
some of the theories of liability that would ultimately be pressed
forward in other tobacco litigation around the country," Huge wrote. The
main theories centered on a massive, four-decade conspiracy by the
tobacco companies to conceal the dangers of their products and the
addictive nature of nicotine.

Among the law firms sharing in the award are Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann &
Bernstein of San Francisco, which also specializes in class-action cases
on behalf of plaintiffs; and two Southern California firms specializing
in complicated personal injury litigation, Greene, Broillet, Taylor,
Wheeler & Panish of Santa Monica and Robinson, Calcagnie & Robinson of
Newport Beach. The other California firms are Eisner & Hague, Los
Angeles; McCue & McCue, San Diego; and Bushnell, Kaplan & Fielding, San

Cuneo Law Group of Washington and Ness, Motley, Loadholt Richardson &
Poole of Charleston, S.C., which was a driving force in cigarette
litigation and the national tobacco settlement negotiations, also are
getting slices of the pie. The firms declined to say how they are
apportioning the money. (Los Angeles Times, March 7, 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
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