/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/010423.MBX               C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

               Monday, April 23, 2001, Vol. 3, No. 79


2THEMART.COM: Fd Judge Rules Names of Chat Room Users Won't Be Revealed
BEAR STEARNS: Ruling Rekindles Debate of Brokerage Responsibilities
CREDIT CARD: Coast-to-Coast Headaches For ATM Reseller's Clients
DATASTREAM SYSTEMS: Settlement Concludes Shareholders Suit in SC
GENERAL MOTORS: Wants to Bar Trading on Truck Case Settlement Coupons

INMATES LITIGATION: Ottawa Sun Reports on Suit v. Kingston Penitentiary
LOCKFORMER CO: Parties Will Meet on Saturday about TCE Solvent Spill
LUCENT TECHNOLOGIES: Will face 1 trial in Suits By 2 Shareholder Groups
MICROFIELD GRAPHICS: Contests Securities Suit in N.Y. re 3M Agreement
MICROSTRATEGY INCORPORATED: Issues Letter to Stockholders

MOBILE PHONE: Angelos Wants Industry To Pay To Prevent Health Problems
MOBILE PHONE: Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia Sued Over Alleged Health Risks
PARTSBASE.COM, INC: Reports Shareholder Complaint re IPO
PLANETRX.COM, INC: Wolf Haldenstein Commences Securities Suit in NY
REGENCE/BLUE SHIELD: WA State Chiropractic Association Files Complaint

STRIP SEARCH: Schenectady Policy Violated 4th Amendment, Fd Judge Ruled
TAINTED WATER: DHH Finds More Probems With Plaquemine Plant's Water
VOTING: Groups Sue for Accessibility & Ban on New Touch-Screen Machines
WINSTAR COMMUNICATIONS: Wolf Haldenstein Commences Securities Suit in NY
WITTER DEAN: Lawsuit v. Partnership re Fraud Still Pending in NY Sp Ct

* Crisis Expert Sees Lawsuits in Wake of Dot-com Shakeout


2THEMART.COM: Names of Chat Room Users Won't Be Revealed, Fd Judge Rules
The names of 23 chat room users who were accused by a bankrupt Internet
company of posting critical messages to try to drive its stock price down
will not be revealed, a federal judge has ruled.

The company, 2TheMart.com, sought the names of the users, saying it
needed them to defend itself against a shareholder lawsuit that alleges
it misled investors. The suit was filed in California after 2TheMart fell
into bankruptcy soon after its stock rose more than 2,000 percent, to $50
per share in 1999.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Zilly ruled on April 19 that evidence the
company provided was not compelling enough to set aside the First
Amendment rights of the chat room users. Users of such Internet services
generally post their messages under nicknames.

"The First Amendment clearly applies to the Internet," Zilly said. "The
law says that a person has a right to speak anonymously."

2TheMart, an Irvine, Calif.-based company that hoped to compete with
Internet auction giant eBay, faces a class-action suit in California for
alleged securities fraud. 2TheMart claims that the anonymous chatters
conspired to spread rumors to drive down the price of the company's stock
so they could profit by selling the stock short.

The company sought to have Infospace turn over the names of 23 people who
chatted on a site maintained by Bellevue-based Infospace. Most of the
critical messages were written from May to July 1999.

2TheMart wanted to see the names so it could prove that some of chat room
posters - the ones it believes tried to manipulate the stock price - also
are members of the class-action suit against the company, 2TheMart
attorney Keith Bardellini said.

One of the chat room participants, whose nickname was "No Guano" and was
identified in court documents as "J. Doe," turned for help to the
American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an
Internet privacy group.

Zilly said he agreed with 2TheMart attorneys that "rights to speak
anonymously are not unlimited." But he said the company's reasons for
wanting the names were not sufficient to invade the users' privacy. Zilly
said the firm made no direct claim against the users, except for
"innuendo" they had manipulated the stock.

Kelsey Joyce Hooke, an attorney for 2TheMart, said the company has not
decided if it will appeal.

Zilly's ruling was a significant victory for users of the Internet, ACLU
attorney Aaron Caplan said.

Infospace did not directly intervene in the case but said its customers
rights should be respected. Infospace attorney Brent Snyder said the
ruling is important because it gives guidance to Internet companies,
which receive subpoenas without knowing the merits of a legal dispute.
(The Associated Press State & Local Wire, April 20, 2001)

BEAR STEARNS: Ruling Rekindles Debate of Brokerage Responsibilities
A US federal court ruling has rekindled debate on the duties a brokerage
should have in monitoring fraudulent activities of hedge funds and other
clients whose trades it processes.

US District Judge Denise Cote last Wednesday April 18 dismissed a class
action lawsuit against Bear Stearns, the US investment bank, brought by
former investors in the Manhattan Capital Management hedge fund.

The fund falsely reported investment gains, while in fact bleeding money
and ultimately cost investors more than Dollars 400m (Pounds 280m). The
investors claimed Bear Stearns was partly responsible because it was
aware of the losses and yet continued to extend money to Manhattan to
continue trading.

Plaintiffs' lawyers also accused Bear Stearns of using this information
to tip off certain investors so that they could withdraw money without
suffering losses.

But in dismissing the suit Judge Cote ruled: "While the (MCM) ponzi
(pyramid) scheme may only have been possible because of Bear Stearns'
actions, or inactions, Bear Stearns' conduct was not the proximate cause
of the ponzi scheme."

The decision surprised observers because the brokerage did not deny in
the proceedings that it was aware of the fraud.

It came as a setback for those who argued that clearing firms such as
Bear Stearns should be held liable for the intimate knowledge they
possess of the companies they clear trades and lend money to.

That broader view of clearing responsibilities was set in a 1999 case,
also involving Bear Stearns, in which the company agreed to pay Dollars
42m in fines and restitution in the case of a defunct brokerage it did
business with.

It is a question that is likely to receive more scrutiny in the future as
the unregulated investment funds continue to multiply, and a slew of Wall
Street banks try to wrestle a share of the lucrative prime brokerage
business from Bear Stearns, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs.

"It's a very important decision for clearing firms," said Daniel Kramer,
partner at Schulte, Roth & Zabel, the New York law firm that represented
Bear Stearns. "The decision reaffirms the principle that clearing firms
will not be held liable for aiding and abetting fraud or breach of
fiduciary duty merely because they provided margin and clearing services
to their customers."

Bear Stearns originally cast itself as the hero of the Manhattan affair,
saying it alerted the Securities and Exchange Commission to the fund in
December 1999 after questions were raised by investors.

That seemed in question, however, after testimony provided to the SEC
later showed that Bear Stearns officials had become suspicious about the
fund and called its regulators in Bermuda to express concern almost a
year before its collapse. (Financial Times (London), April 20, 2001)

CREDIT CARD: Coast-to-Coast Headaches For ATM Reseller's Clients
When Rick Northrop, the owner of Northrop Video of White City, Ore.,
signed a contract with Credit Card Center in September to lease an NCR
Corp. automated teller machine, he thought he was getting a great deal.

The ATM reseller guaranteed him $240 a month of advertising revenue
against the $254 monthly lease for the life of the five-year contract. He
also was to get 85% of the transaction fees. "The maximum this machine
would ever cost me is $14 a month," he remembered thinking.

But the next month his check from Credit Card Center bounced, and he
became yet another dissatisfied customer of the Philadelphia company,
which has since caused major financial problems for two of its suppliers,
NCR and Tidel Technologies Inc.

On top of the $42 million NCR says Credit Card Center owes it and the
$26.7 million Tidel says it is owed, the independent sales organization
-- one of the nation's largest -- has been defaulting on numerous
merchant contracts, according to interviews with merchants, and is likely
to face multiple lawsuits or a class action, say attorneys for the

In his frustration, Mr. Northrop, who pays rent on the machine but has
received none of the money promised by Credit Card Center, has hung an
"out-of-service" sign on his ATM. He is not getting the advertising
payments, and he asserts that the company has not made good on its
promise to pick up the cost of the ATM's insurance.

"To date, I still have no proof that this ATM is insured," he said.

When Mr. Northrop started asking questions of other retailers, he
discovered that numerous merchants in his county, Jackson, and around the
country had had similar experiences. He has since organized 14 local
merchants and contacted a lawyer.

"Our objective is the removal of the ATMs and to dissolve both agreements
with Credit Card Center and the lease companies," he said.

He also discovered that he actually is leasing his machine from Advanta
Leasing, a subsidiary of Advanta Corp. of Spring House, Pa. -- an
arrangement, he said, that was not disclosed to him when he signed his
deal with Credit Card Center.

Mr. Northrop said his attorney has also contracted the Oregon attorney
general's office, with an eye toward starting a class action against
Credit Card Center -- or at least "putting pressure" on it to honor its
contracts. Elsewhere, merchants who have had similar experiences with the
company have also called lawyers and attorneys general.

Credit Card Center has not declared bankruptcy and insists it will pay
all its obligations. Andrew Kallok, the company president, did not return
calls, but his lawyer, Scott L. Vernick, said it has recently obtained
funding, though he would not say how much or from whom.

"The proceeds of that new funding have begun to flow to Credit Card
Center," said Mr. Vernick, a partner in the Philadelphia firm of Fox,
Rothchild, O'Brien & Frankel. "That puts us in a position to honor our
obligations, particularly to merchants." Some merchants have been paid
recently out of those funds, he said.

But some merchants say they are skeptical. "They're talking about the
money I want to know where's my money?" said Tim Wallace, manager of the
Daily Market in Lewes, Del. Mr. Wallace, who also has been organizing
merchants who dealt with Credit Card Center, said the ISO owes him nearly

"It's the same story, every week or two," Mr. Northrop said. " 'Next week
we'll have things straightened out, and you'll have it by such-and-such
time,' and the dates come and go, and we never receive any money. No one
is getting paid."

Credit Card Center was opened in early 1996 and grew rapidly into the
biggest reseller of ATMs in the country, largely by cutting deals with
merchants like Mr. Northrop. According to the company, in its first four
years it went from a two-person operation to one that employed more than
700. It reported $140 million of revenue for last year and has cited its
rapid growth as a reason for its woes.

Pete Fagerlin, vice president of QL Capital Inc., which still arranges
funding for merchants that lease ATMs from Credit Card Center, said
another problem was Advanta's decision in January to get out of the
equipment leasing business. "That precipitated it," he said. "Credit Card
Center had a commitment from Advanta to fund them through the first
quarter. They installed the equipment in the merchants' stores, and
Advanta said, 'No, we're not going to fund you.'"

Mr. Fagerlin said his company has never had any problem with the ISO. "We
have a two-year track record with Credit Card Center. They've lived up to
their agreements with us."

Catherine Reid, a spokeswoman for Advanta, said the decision to quit the
equipment leasing business was made "after the evaluation of a number of
strategic alternatives and related to all types of equipment leases, not
just ATMs." She said ATM leasing is about 5% of the company's portfolio.

Advanta has sued Credit Card Center, but Ms. Reid would not comment on
it. Mr. Vernick said Credit Card Center is planning a counterclaim.

But another source close to the ISO, who asked not to be named, said that
Advanta's pulling out of deals with the reseller had nothing to do with
its troubles. Credit Card Center works with numerous financing companies,
the source said, and "Advanta only approved the creme de la creme of
their leases."

Mr. Fagerlin linked Credit Card Center's troubles to another factor, an
exclusive-supplier deal with NCR under which the ISO had to buy a certain
number of machines but has found itself with a full warehouse. "They've
offered to ship them back to Tidel of course, don't want them back because they'd have to restate their
financials," he said. (The American Banker, April 20, 2001)

DATASTREAM SYSTEMS: Settlement Concludes Shareholders Suit in SC
On January 11, 1999, several shareholders filed a putative class action
complaint in the United States District Court for the District of South
Carolina, Greenville Division, naming as defendants, the Company, its
Chief Executive Officer and its former Chief Financial Officer. Several
substantially similar complaints were filed in the same court shortly

The complaints alleged violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Plaintiffs sought to represent a class
of individuals who purchased the Company's common stock from April 1 to
October 20, 1998.

On June 25, 1999, the court ordered that the actions be consolidated and
that a single consolidated complaint be filed. On August 13, 1999, the
plaintiffs filed a consolidated amended class action complaint, which
alleged that defendants artificially inflated Datastream's earnings and
stock price by (i) taking certain one-time charges not in accordance with
generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP") in connection with
Datastream's acquisitions of Insta Instandhaltung technischer Anlagen
GmbH and Strategic Information Systems PTE Ltd and (ii) materially
understating the Company's reserves for doubtful accounts in violation of
GAAP. The plaintiffs sought compensatory damages and unspecified
equitable relief. The court denied the defendants' motion to dismiss on
January 27, 2000.

The Company filed its answer to the consolidated class action complaint
on February 24, 2000. During the third quarter of 2000, the parties,
without any admission of liability by the Company or any of the other
defendants, reached an agreement to settle the litigation, which was
approved by the District Court on December 6, 2000. On that date, the
court entered a final judgment dismissing the claims against the Company
and the individual defendants, and the settlement is now effective.

The principal financial terms of the agreement called for a payment to
the plaintiffs, for the benefit of the class, of a total of $5.0 million
in a combination of $3.75 million in cash and $1.25 million in shares of
the Company's common stock, which was determined to be 132,571 shares.
The cash portion of the settlement was paid in the fourth quarter of
2000, of which the Company's insurance carrier funded $2.4 million.
Datastream issued the common stock portion of the settlement in the first
quarter of 2001. The litigation is now concluded.

GENERAL MOTORS: Wants to Bar Trading on Truck Case Settlement Coupons
General Motors Corp. wants a company legally barred from brokering
coupons the automaker has sent to consumers to settle an 8-year-old
lawsuit over fuel tanks in some older-model GM pickup trucks.

GM planned to seek a Louisiana court's emergency ruling against
Certificate Redemption Group, a Houston-based firm offering to pay $100
for the $1,000 coupons the world's largest automaker sent to nearly 6
million eligible consumers.

GM argues that the firm - formed five years ago exclusively to buy and
resell the coupons - looks to violate terms of GM's 1999 settlement of
the class-action case over claims that some GM trucks built between 1973
and 1991 with gas tanks outside the frames were dangerous.

The coupons have a face value of $1,000 toward the purchase of a new GM
vehicle, though some conditions to their redemption could make them worth
less, GM spokesman Jay Cooney said. The coupons are transferrable to
relatives of recipients, though the settlement bars large re-sales of the
coupons by middlemen, Cooney said.

Viewing the coupons as a hot commodity, Certificate Redemption announced
last Thursday April 19 it will buy them online or by telephone, then
begin marketing them next month "in large quantities" to dealers, leasing
companies and fleets.

Cooney called that "a scheme outside the scope of the settlement,"
illegally looking to transfer the coupon's ownership rights.

"Our view is this: If the certificates are not (redeemed) in accordance
with the settlement agreement, we're not going to honor them. That's the
bottom line," Cooney said. "We would have never agreed to settle under
these conditions" if the coupons could be resold.

"It's completely outside the bounds of fairness," he said. "From our
standpoint, it's clearly not over."

In its statement, Certificate Redemption executive James Dawley suggested
that without his company, GM stood to pay little if few of the coupons
are redeemed.

"Class-action settlements too often ignore the little guys, and they get
nothing from these multimillion dollar settlements," said Dawley, the
firm's chairman and chief executive. "If GM continues to try and prevent
the operation of a secondary market, the class members may lose again.

"In previous certificate settlements, typically no more than 10 percent
of the class members have redeemed their certificates," he added.
"Apparently, that is what GM is counting on to keep their exposure down
in this lawsuit."

Coupons have been used to settle consumer complaints in many class-action

In 1994, nine major airlines used a discount coupon to help settle a
price-fixing suit, though many consumers and travel agents later
complained the coupons were difficult to use. Even after the discount,
they said the fares were higher than those available through regular

GM did not admit liability in the settlement, which includes owners of a
GM C- or K-series truck built from 1973-87 or a R- or V-series truck
built from 1987-91.

In the lawsuit, plaintiffs alleged the fuel tanks are prone to blow up in
collisions, driving down the trucks' value. The owners did not claim to
have suffered damages from explosions or fires.

Similar settlements of two other suits were rejected by federal courts in
Texas and Philadelphia before a Louisiana judge made the GM settlement
final in 1999. GM paid 200 attorneys for the plaintiffs $27 million in
legal fees.

Five months after signing off on the settlement, State District Judge
Jack Marionneaux in Baton Rouge, La., gave the plaintiffs' attorneys
permission to include in mailed notices to truck owners that Certificate
Redemption would pay them $100 for the certificates.

When Marionneaux rejected GM's objection, the automaker last year argued
the issue before a Louisiana appeals court.

Cooney said, GM planned to seek a Marionneaux ruling that Certificate
Redemption's plan violated the settlement's terms, thus forcing the
company to halt its online and telephone pursuit of the coupons.

The automaker also wants a court order that Dawley's firm send letters to
consumers it already has contacted, retracting the offer, Cooney said.
(The Associated Press State & Local Wire, April 20, 2001)

INMATES LITIGATION: Ottawa Sun Reports on Suit v. Kingston Penitentiary
Schoolgirl killer Paul Bernardo and some of Canada's most notorious
criminals are launching a $400,000 class action lawsuit against Kingston
Penitentiary for a Halloween night of terror fuelled by the inmates' own

Joseph Nixon, Bernardo's fellow inmate on the penitentiary's segregated
"A" range, is seeking $13,500 in damages for each of the 30 inmates who
"felt trapped and were put in fear of their lives by the reckless acts of
the prison staff and officials" during the Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 1999, fire,
court documents obtained by the Sun revealed.

Bernardo isn't named, but is housed on the segregation unit with 29
others and is an eligible member of the class action suit, filed last

The suit alleges that staff and officials "took excessive time to respond
and to extinguish the fire while inmates were forced to breathe thick
noxious smoke and fumes.

Prison officials "refused to evacuate the inmates," said the inmates and
plaintiffs' lawyer, John Hill. "Inmates were ringing the emergency panic
buttons in their cells, which weren't working. These people thought they
were going to die.

"You go to prison for punishment, you don't go to prison to die. The
prison owes a duty to the inmates to be safe."

Hill said presumably some inmates started the fires and if they're found
they "would be disentitled to any relief.

"But the government is taking the position that this is like a class
detention, that if one inmate is wrong, then everybody should suffer."

The lawsuit is awaiting certification as a class action at a future,
unknown date. This will be the first class-action lawsuit by inmates
against Corrections Canada.

"If it succeeds, you'll have a better chance of ensuring fairness and
justice within the walls of a penitentiary," Hill said.

Department of Justice lawyer Paul Evraire stated in his defence that
"correctional officers extinguished each fire as soon as possible, but
burning articles continued to be thrown from cells. EVERYONE SHOULD
SUFFER "Officers attempting to extinguish the fires and defuse the
situation were threatened by inmates, falling burning objects and had
unidentified liquid thrown on them," the government's defence stated.

The warden and deputy warden ultimately defused the situation by agreeing
to address the inmates' concerns if the inmates stopped setting fires and
uttering threats to guards. (The Ottawa Sun, April 20, 2001)

LOCKFORMER CO: Parties Will Meet on Saturday about TCE Solvent Spill
In an effort to resolve questions about contamination from a solvent
spill at Lockformer Co., local, county and state legislators and health
experts have agreed to a Saturday morning meeting in Lisle.

The solvent tricholorethene, or TCE, has been found in dozens of private
wells south of Lockformer's Ogden Avenue plant. The metal fabricating
company has acknowledged that the substance was spilled on its site, but
it denies the TCE found in the wells is from its property.

At the request of village staff, state Rep. Mary Lou Cowlishaw
(R-Naperville) has helped to arrange the scheduled 10 a.m. meeting in
Village Hall.

"I recognized the fact that this was a critically important problem for
the Village of Lisle," she said. "We all know how important the health
and cost issues of this are to people of Lisle."

A meeting to update residents is to be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, also
in Village Hall.

Scheduled to join Cowlishaw and village trustees are representatives of:
other state and federal legislators and Gov. George Ryan's office; the
DuPage County Board and Public Health Department; the Illinois
Environmental Protection Agency; Illinois Atty. Gen. James Ryan; and
neighboring suburban governments.

The purpose of the meeting is to update officials on the status of the
contamination and the related litigation.

Three lawsuits have been filed since November against Lockformer,
including one by Atty. Gen. Ryan and the DuPage County state's attorney's
office; a class-action federal lawsuit by homeowners; and a recent suit
by other homeowners that is only one to directly blame the company for a
specific illness.

For months, officials have tried to address the problem of well
contamination. There have been numerous tests by the state EPA as well as
plans by the county and village for installing water mains to the area.

Earlier this year, the Village Board approved a special financial
arrangement to help residents hook up to the town's water system.

In March, the village began negotiating an intergovernmental agreement
with the county to cover the installation of water mains in
unincorporated areas and provide funds to help qualifying homeowners pay
for plumbing costs to bring the water from the mains to their homes.

But village officials especially want to investigate the possibility of
getting funds from other sources such as the state or federal government.

Board members also are eager to discuss a proposal that state
environmental regulators be required to notify municipalities of chemical
releases. Lockformer joined the agency's voluntary site remediation
program in 1994, but the village learned of the spill in 1999. (Chicago
Tribune, April 20, 2001)

LUCENT TECHNOLOGIES: Will face 1 trial in Suits By 2 Shareholder Groups
Lucent Technologies Inc. will face one trial, not two, over class-action
lawsuits by two groups of shareholders who claim the stock lost billions
in value due to company wrongdoing, a federal judge has ruled.

The decision here by U.S. District Judge Alfred J. Lechner Jr. pleased
the Murray Hill telecommunications giant, which has denied the
shareholder charges.

One group of shareholders, known as Lucent I, charges that Lucent misled
investors about internal problems. The Lucent II stockholders claim
accounting fraud by the company and wanted their case heard separately.

Lucent lost about $80 billion in market value under former chairman and
chief executive officer Richard McGinn, who was fired in October.

The judge also named a second lead plaintiff, Parnassus Funds, two San
Francisco mutual funds. The original lead plaintiff is Teamsters Locals
175 and 505 Pension Trust Funds, of West Virginia.

Lead plaintiffs represent the interests of all investors. Lechner said
the institutional investors should lead the class because they have the
largest claim, a combined loss of $3.7 million on their Lucent
investment. (The Associated Press State & Local Wire, April 20, 2001)

MICROFIELD GRAPHICS: Contests Securities Suit in N.Y. re 3M Agreement
During February 2000, the Company was named in a class action lawsuit,
States District Court Southern District of New York. The complaint
alleges that the Company and its Chief Executive Officer issued a series
of false and misleading statements concerning, among other things, the
Company's purchase agreement with 3M. The complaint alleges that, as a
result of these allegedly material misstatements and omissions, the
Company's stock price was artificially inflated during the period from
July 23, 1998 through April 2, 1999 and requests that damages be
determined at trial. The Company denies the allegations and intends to
vigorously defend itself. However, the ultimate outcome of the litigation
is presently undeterminable.

MICROSTRATEGY INCORPORATED: Issues Letter to Stockholders
MicroStrategy(R) Incorporated (Nasdaq: MSTR), a leading worldwide
provider of business intelligence software, announced on April 19 that it
has sent the following letter to its stockholders:

Dear MicroStrategy Stockholder:

     Let me begin by thanking you for your continued support of
MicroStrategy. As a stockholder of MicroStrategy, you know that the last
year has been a rocky one for all of us in the technology industry.
However, as we announced earlier this month, we believe that we have set
MicroStrategy upon a successful future course with the implementation of
a number of initiatives.

     At the beginning of this month we announced a strategic
restructuring that we think has considerable promise. Specifically, we
announced that we would be focusing on the business intelligence software
market, eliminating or downsizing our involvement in non-core technology
initiatives, and instituting a number of changes designed to reduce our
structural costs. The dual goals of this restructuring are to 1) focus
the business on what we do best -- platform software sales; and 2)
maximize our ability to achieve our previously stated goal of
profitability in 2001. Thus, we have directed the entire firm towards our
core offering -- the MicroStrategy Business Intelligence Platform. One
core product -- MicroStrategy 7(TM). One core market -- The Business
Intelligence Software Market. One core business model -- Enterprise
Software. And one core message -- Best in Business Intelligence(TM).

     In connection with the corporate restructuring described above, we
also successfully refinanced the $ 125 million in Series A Convertible
Preferred Stock held by outside investors. This refinancing effectively
removed significant uncertainty by converting a variable security that
could have resulted in significant dilution to existing shareholders into
a combination of common stock, cash, fixed rate securities and securities
that carry a fixed rate until their three year maturity. We believe this
refinancing is good for our existing shareholders and will make it easier
for new investors to properly value and invest in our company.

     We also announced that the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of Virginia has approved the previously announced
settlement of the consolidated securities class action lawsuit filed
against the company and certain of its officers and directors relating to
the company's restatement of financial results for 1997, 1998 and 1999.
The court recognized that the settlement is in the best interests of both
the shareholders and the company and will allow us to focus on executing
our strategic plans and building value for our shareholders.

     Thus, the last few months have been busy ones as we have worked hard
to fulfill our promise of creating a leading software business with short
and long-term value. I am happy to tell you that the entire MicroStrategy
management team is fully committed to achieving this goal.

     We Would Like Your Help. However, there is something that you might
be able to do to help us, and in the process, help yourself. As you know,
like many stocks in the technology industry, MicroStrategy's has been
recently trading at a low share price level. Although general market
sentiments about technology stocks and our company have undoubtedly
played a major role in the recent price of our stock, management believes
that the current stock price is also attributable in part to heavy
selling pressure from "short selling" in the marketplace. Therefore, let
me take a minute to explain "short selling" and what we think you can do
to help.

     Effect of Short Selling on a Company's Stock Price. In "short
selling," traders sell stock they do not own by borrowing shares from a
broker that need to be returned at a later date. If the stock price goes
down, the short sellers buy stock in the market at a lower price, return
the stock to the broker and make a profit. By selling first and buying
later, short sellers benefit from stock prices going down instead of up.
This makes their interest in our company directly opposite from what most
of our stockholders want -- i.e., for the price of our stock to increase.
If there is a lot of short selling, supply of our shares may exceed
demand for our shares, causing the stock price to go down. In other
words, short sellers can make money by selling enough stock short to
artificially increase the volume of selling and drive down the market

     Short Sellers Borrow Stock From Stockholders Like You. Where do the
traders get the stock to borrow? Ironically, whether you know it or not,
they probably have been borrowing shares from stockholders like you. If
your shares are registered in your broker's name instead of yours or are
held in a margin account, your broker may have lent your MicroStrategy
shares out to these "short sellers." In other words, if your
MicroStrategy shares are registered in your broker's name or being held
in a margin account, the brokers are free to lend your shares out to
short sellers. So, while short sellers are borrowing your stock, they are
actually working against your interest in seeing a higher MicroStrategy
stock price.

     While many companies experience short selling in the marketplace,
the amount of short selling compared to the trading volume in our stock
has recently been unusually high. Our financial advisors believe this may
be adding downward pressure on the price of our stock. Friedman Billings
Ramsey, our financial advisor, has commented, "among other factors, a
large short position, like that existing today in MicroStrategy stock,
can significantly depress the price of a stock. Companies should take
action to address the factors that lead to excessive short selling."

     How Stockholders Can Help Combat Short Selling. To arry out short
sales, traders need to borrow stock from brokers that is registered in
"street name" or held in a margin account. However, if enough stock is
taken out of street name or margin accounts, short sellers will have
difficulty maintaining the current volume of short sales. Therefore, we
are asking all of our shareholders to do the following:

     Promptly call your brokers and have your MicroStrategy stock taken
out of street name or put into a cash account. This only means that
instead of your shares being registered in your broker's name or being
held in a margin account, they would be registered in your name or placed
in a cash account. You would still own the stock, and your ability to
hold or sell the stock would not change.

     What would change? A short seller would not be able to borrow your
stock for short sales without your permission. So long as the stock is
registered in the broker's name, the broker is the legal owner of record,
and can lend your stock to a short seller without your permission.
Similarly, so long as you have your stock in a margin account, it is
available for loan by your broker. If you have the stock registered in
your own name or placed in a cash account, brokers will not be able to do

     Would there be any downside for stockholders in having shares
registered in their own names or held in cash accounts? From an economic
point of view, the answer is no -- nothing will have changed. The only
difference would be administrative including some possible paperwork and
expenses you may incur in re-registering or moving your shares. When you
want to sell, you would have to send your broker instructions to move the
stock back into street name or into a margin account, and the broker may
ask you to sign some transfer documents. We think this is a small price
to pay for relieving the heavy short selling pressure on our stock.

     When can shares be taken out of street name or a margin account? You
can seek to take shares out of street name or a margin account at any
time. However, because of the heavy short selling pressure on our stock,
we believe that your immediate help would be desirable. Accordingly, we
are asking stockholders to call their brokers to have their shares
promptly taken out of street name or a margin account.

     The company intends to work with its transfer agent and
participating brokers to make the process of re-registering your shares
or moving them into cash accounts now as quick and easy as practicable.
If you have any questions about this process, please call Bill Chatterton
at 703-744-3281, and he would be happy to assist you.

     As I set out above, the company has undertaken a number of recent
steps to help better position us for the future. As a shareholder, you
can help. We appreciate your consideration of this important matter and
thank you for your continuing support of MicroStrategy.

Very truly yours,

Michael J. Saylor

Chairman and CEO

About MicroStrategy Incorporated

MicroStrategy is a leading provider of business intelligence software for
Global 5000 organizations. Since 1990, the company has specialized in
helping businesses transform their extensive operational data into
actionable information. MicroStrategy's business intelligence platform
gives organizations solutions to all of their query, reporting, and
advanced analytical needs, and distributes insight to users via Web,
wireless, and voice.

MicroStrategy 7(TM), the company's scalable business intelligence
platform, is built specifically for the Internet era. Its pure-Web
architecture provides Web reporting, security, and performance, and
standards that are critical for deployment over the Web. Within
intranets, the company's products provide employees with information to
make better business decisions. In extranets, extended enterprises use
MicroStrategy 7 to build stronger relationships by linking customers and
suppliers via the Internet.

MicroStrategy has approximately 1,100 enterprise-class customers
including Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse, AT&T Wireless Group, First
Union Corporation and GlaxoSmithKline. MicroStrategy also has
relationships with over 200 systems integrators, application development,
and platform partners including IBM, PeopleSoft, Compaq, Informatica, and
JD Edwards.

MicroStrategy is listed on Nasdaq under the symbol MSTR. For more
information on the company, or to purchase or demo MicroStrategy's
software, please visit MicroStrategy's Web site at

MicroStrategy, MicroStrategy 7 and Best in Business Intelligence are
either trademarks or registered trademarks of MicroStrategy Incorporated
in the United States and certain other countries. Other product and
company names mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective

This press release may include statements that may constitute "forward-
looking statements," . . .

Source: MicroStrategy Incorporated

MOBILE PHONE: Angelos Wants Industry To Pay To Prevent Health Problems
As reported in the CAR in December, 2000, a lawyer known for suing
asbestos makers, lead paint manufacturers and the tobacco industry has
set his sights on cellular phone companies.

According to the Associated Press, Peter Angelos last Thursday April 19
filed class-action lawsuits in Maryland and three other states, seeking
to force the wireless industry to cover the cost of headsets that he says
would protect users from possible radiation hazards.

The lawsuits allege that the companies have known about health risks for
users of the phones but failed to warn them.

"Use the earpiece, and you avoid the hazard," Angelos said. "And if we
get that far, at least the public knows that the potential hazard exists,
and they know a way to avoid that potential."

Cell phone makers insist there is no scientific evidence that their
product poses any health risks, but such claims have been raised in
lawsuits across the country - including some in which Angelos' firm is

Federal agencies are studying the issue but have not ruled on cell phone

Companies named in Angelos' lawsuit include Motorola, Ericsson, Sprint
PCS, Nextel, AT&T and Verizon.

Two Baltimore-area residents named as plaintiffs in the Maryland case
don't claim any health problems caused by cell phones but want the
companies to pay for headsets.

Angelos wants the lawsuit certified as a class action, which could
include all current and future cell phone users in the case. He said he
did not know how much it could cost the industry to provide headsets -
which sell for $20 to $100 for every wireless phone user in the state.

The lawsuit also seeks unspecified punitive damages.

Besides the Maryland case, Angelos' firm was involved in preparing
similar lawsuits filed April 19 in state courts in Pennsylvania, New York
and New Jersey. (The Associated Press State & Local Wire, April 20, 2001)

MOBILE PHONE: Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia Sued Over Alleged Health Risks
Several mobile phone companies and equipment manufacturers have been
named as defendants in two class-action lawsuits alleging links between
cell phones and possible health risks, The Washington Post reported.

The lawsuits name as defendants 25 of the largest companies in the
industry from mobile telephone carriers such as Verizon Communications
Inc, Sprint PCS Group and Reston-based Nextel Communications Inc to
equipment and telephone manufacturers such as Motorola Inc, Nokia Corp
and LM Ericsson AB. The alleged links include damage to basic brain
function, genetic irregularities and increased vulnerability to toxins
and infections, it wrote.

In a pair of class-action lawsuits filed in state courts in Baltimore,
New York and Philadelphia, lawyer Peter Angelos accused mobile telephone
companies and equipment manufacturers of knowingly peddling dangerous
products that have inflicted damaging radiation on their customers. The
suits do not claim that anyone has actually suffered an illness. Rather,
they seek money for headsets to mitigate exposure to radiation, plus
unspecified punitive damages, the newspaper said. Industry
representatives disputed claims of possible health risks linked to cell

Motorola's director of global strategic issues, Norman Sandler was quoted
as saying: "There is absolutely no credible scientific evidence of any
health risks associated with the use of wireless phones." Verizon
spokeswoman Nancy Stark said: "The available scientific evidence doesn't
demonstrate any adverse health effects." (AFX European Focus, April 20,

PARTSBASE.COM, INC: Reports Shareholder Complaint re IPO
PartsBase.com Inc. (Nasdaq: PRTS) on April 19 reported that a complaint
has been filed in a purported securities class action against the
Company, certain of its current and former officers and directors, as
well as against the Company's underwriters of its initial public
offering. The complaint alleges violations of Sections 11, 12(a)(2) and
15 of the Securities Act of 1933 an alleges the Company's March 2000
registration statement misrepresented and failed to disclose matters
related to the Company's business operations and membership sales. The
lawsuit seeks damages and certification of a class consisting of
purchasers of the Company's common stock in the offering during the
period from March 22, 2000, through April 25, 2000. The Company believes
that the allegations are without merit and intends to vigorously defend
this action. Nevertheless, an unfavorable resolution of this lawsuit
could have a material adverse effect on the Company in one or more future

PLANETRX.COM, INC: Wolf Haldenstein Commences Securities Suit in NY
Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP commenced a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York on behalf of all purchasers of PlanetRx.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:
PLRX--news) securities during the period between October 6, 1999 and
March 23, 2001, inclusive (the "Class Period"), against PlanetRx, William
J. Razzouk (Chairman of the Board of Directors from September 1998 until
the Company's third quarter 2000), David Beirne (a director of the
Company), Michael Moritz (a director of the Company), Christos M.
Cotsakos (a director of the Company), The Goldman Sachs Group (a lead
underwriter of the PlanetRx IPO), BancBoston Robertson Stephens, Inc. (a
lead underwriter of the PlanetRx IPO), Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner &
Smith (an underwriter involved in the PlanetRx IPO, but not a lead
underwriter), and Salomon Smith Barney, Inc. (an underwriter involved in
the PlanetRx IPO, but not a lead underwriter). The judge presiding over
the case is the Honorable Denny Chin, and the case is numbered
01-CV-3274. If you would like to view a copy of the complaint filed in
this action, please visit the Wolf Haldenstein web site located at

The complaint alleges that defendants violated Sections 11, 12 and 15 of
the Securities Act of 1933 and Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder and seeks to
recover damages. Specifically, the complaint alleges that PlanetRx and
Messrs. Razzouk, Beirne, Moritz, and Cotsakos violated the federal
securities laws by issuing and selling PlanetRx common stock pursuant to
the October 6, 1999 IPO without disclosing to investors that at least two
of the lead underwriters and two of the other underwriters in the
offering had solicited and received excessive and undisclosed commissions
from certain investors.

In exchange for the excessive commissions, the complaint alleges, lead
underwriters The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. and BancBoston Robertson
Stephens, Inc., and underwriters Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith,
Inc. and Salomon Smith Barney, Inc. allocated PlanetRx shares to
customers at the IPO price of $ 16 per share. To receive the allocations
(i.e., the ability to purchase shares) at $16, the defendant
underwriters' brokerage customers had to agree to purchase additional
shares in the aftermarket at progressively higher prices. The requirement
that customers make additional purchases at progressively higher prices
as the price of PlanetRx stock rocketed upward (a practice known on Wall
Street as "laddering") was intended to (and did) drive PlanetRx's share
price up to artificially high levels. This artificial price inflation,
the complaint further alleges, enabled both the underwriters and their
customers to reap enormous profits by buying stock at the $16 IPO price
and then selling it later for a profit at inflated aftermarket prices,
which rose as high as $36.50 during its first day of trading.

Rather than allowing their customers to keep their profits from the IPO,
the defendant underwriters required their customers to "kick back" some
of their profits in the form of secret commissions. These secret
commission payments were sometimes calculated after the fact based on how
much profit each investor had made from his or her IPO stock allocation.

The complaint further alleges that defendants violated the Securities Act
of 1933 because the Prospectus distributed to investors and the
Registration Statement filed with the SEC in order to gain regulatory
approval for the PlanetRx IPO contained material misstatements regarding
the commissions that the underwriters would derive from the IPO
transaction and failed to disclose the additional commissions and
"laddering" scheme discussed above.

Contact: Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP, New York Michael
Miske, George Peters, Gregory M. Nespole, Esq., or Fred Taylor Isquith,
Esq., 800/575-0735 classmember@whafh.com www.whafh.com

REGENCE/BLUE SHIELD: WA State Chiropractic Association Files Complaint
The Washington State Chiropractic Association (WSCA), the sole
professional trade association for over 800 chiropractic doctors in the
state, recently filed a formal complaint with the Office of the Insurance
Commissioner (OIC) against Regence/Blue Shield. The complaint, filed
April 10th, seeks relief for actions and contemplated actions by
Regence/Blue Shield against chiropractors and other complementary and
alternative care professionals (CAM).

Regence/Blue Shield was part of a coalition of 14 insurance carriers that
fought the implementation of RCW 48.43.045, the "any category of provider
law," and lost at the U.S. Supreme Court level after years of litigation.
This statute requires carriers and health plans to allow "any category of
provider" into their plans' coverage. In addition, Regence/Blue Shield
recently settled a class action dispute over coverage of services
provided by CAM professionals arising under RCW 48.43.045 for
approximately $ 30.5 million. (Hoffman vs. Regence). Regence/Blue
Shield's latest actions follow closely on the loss of these actions, and
the contemplated effective date of the new state-level Patient Bill of
Rights. The Patient Bill of Rights allows patients to see their
chiropractors without a prior physician referral, and requires disclosure
of utilization management (UM) guidelines for healthcare providers,
including chiropractic and alternative providers.

"The WSCA wants nothing more than for Regence to accept and follow state
insurance laws without resorting to tactics that will blunt the effect
and purpose of these laws," stated John Peick, attorney for the WSCA.
"The WSCA recognizes the need for patient care to be cost effective and
appropriate," Peick added. "However, the WSCA does not believe this can
be achieved by retaliatory or arbitrary attempts to limit patient access
to necessary care promised by the health plans sold to consumers."

The complaint focuses on the following issues:

   -- Lack of an adequate network of chiropractors if Regence/Blue
Shield's actions to cut the network by 50% are achieved. Network adequacy
can be a vague concept but it revolves around geographic considerations,
and provider availability to patient needs.

   -- Violations and discrimination in the selection of chiropractors for
Regence/Blue Shield networks. Regence/Blue Shield selects chiropractic
doctors at a varying percentage from other CAM providers, and uses
credentialing criteria which is not legally required or sustainable.

   -- Lack of reasonable utilization management guidelines and the
failure to disclose the basis for any standard. The Patient Bill of
Rights requires disclosure of utilization guidelines that are based on
reasonable scientific evidence. Regence/Blue Shield and Complementary
Healthcare Plans (CHcP) have yet to provide these guidelines. These
guidelines will play a crucial role in determining whether contract
benefits (e.g., the number of visits per year) are actually reduced in
practice by guidelines that substantially reduce patient utilization
of the provider for carrier reimbursement. If the carrier cuts off the
patient, further care becomes the economic responsibility of the patient
and they (or their employer) lose the benefit of their contract and

   -- Failure to disclose operational standards, guidelines, and payment
information. Similar to utilization management (UM) guidelines in
terms of assuring patient care, operational guidelines can hinder the
delivery of care without coverage questions, claim filing problems,
and other administrative hurdles that providers are forced to endure
to obtain authorizations and payment.

   -- Use of vague provider grievance processes that violate statutes and
OIC rules.

Depending on the market area tested, there may be antitrust implications
to Regence/Blue Shield's termination of providers and exclusionary
practices. The contemplated outsourced network would not allow point of
service access by patients, so patients would be deprived of choice. This
issue relates to both patient and provider impacts due to the loss of
qualified providers from the available pool of physicians and providers
from whom patients can seek care.

Peick explained that the WSCA believes these changes will have the
following perceived impacts on patient care of projected contract:

   -- Perceived Impact on Patient Care:

* Interrupt continuity of patient care because patients will need to
  transfer care to other panel providers.

* Reduce patient choice by eliminating 50% of providers.

* Increase the likelihood that patients will make an economic decision
  to forego care with diminished patient outcomes because they lose
  rapport with approved providers.

* Reduce the availability of doctors for scheduling patient visits.

* Overload doctors with demands for patient care, thereby risking
  decreased attention to patient needs and concerns.

* Reduce provider independence as Regence/Blue Shield patient load
  begins to economically dominate the practice of selected providers,
  thereby subverting or degrading the doctor-patient decision-making
  relationship in favor of managed care personnel decision-making.

* Managed care decisions will be made by out-of-state Preferred
  Physician Organizations (PPOs) which are not subject to regulation by
  the OIC, and consumer complaints may not be acted upon diligently.

   -- Impact on Providers

* Regional or practice variables may soften the impact of losing panel
  membership, but for the deselected doctors with a sizeable
  Regence/Blue Shield patient base, the loss of patients and consequent
  economic loss may be substantial.

* The risk that other carriers may opt to manage their CAM providers in
  a similar fashion, which will create serious anti-competitive forces
  for excluded providers and further detrimentally affect deselected

* Place managed care decisions in out-of-state PPOs that are not
  regulated by OIC, except indirectly through provider contracts, and
  through pressure on Regence/Blue Shield.

STRIP SEARCH: Schenectady Policy Violated 4th Amendment, Fd Judge Ruled
An upstate police department's policy of strip-searching all cell block
detainees -- regardless of the crime charged and whether reasonable
suspicion existed -- violates the Fourth Amendment's prohibition on
unreasonable searches and seizures, a Northern District federal judge has

U.S. District Judge Thomas J. McAvoy shot down a now-abandoned policy of
the Schenectady Police Department. Judge McAvoy found that the blanket
policy of strip-searching all suspects detained in the city's cell block
cannot withstand constitutional scrutiny.

In granting summary judgment to one of three plaintiffs claiming civil
rights violations predicated on alleged strip searches, Judge McAvoy
found no way for the city to evade the thrust of the decision of the U.S.
Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Weber v. Dell, 804 F2d 796
(1986). The Second Circuit panel in Weber held that a strip search of an
arrestee violates the Fourth Amendment -- unless there is a reasonable
suspicion that the suspect is concealing contraband or weapons. Judge
McAvoy held that the same caveats apply to detainees.

"The fact that the City did not search all arrestees, but only those to
be held in the cell block awaiting court action, does not insulate their
policy from the fact that they conducted blanket searches on such
individuals without first considering, on an individual basis, whether
they had reasonable suspicion to do so," Judge McAvoy wrote in Gonzalez
v. Schenectady, 00-CV-0824.

Judge McAvoy's ruling arises from summary judgment motions in a case
where three detainees commenced civil rights actions under 42 U.S.C @
1983 to challenge the city's strip search policy.

Judge McAvoy found that Michael Fyvie, a college student who was arrested
and charged with disorderly conduct after he was involved in a fight, is
entitled to summary judgment.

Summary judgment was denied in the case of Elizabeth Gonzalez, who was
stopped for a traffic violation and then briefly detained because a
person with the same name was wanted for theft and weapons charges in New
York City. Judge McAvoy said a factual question remains as to whether she
was strip-searched at all, let alone pursuant to an unconstitutional

A third plaintiff, Charles Frisbee, has yet to be deposed.

                      Disorderly Conduct

Mr. Fyvie was issued an appearance ticket at the police station and,
while leaving, got into an argument with police. He was then returned to
the booking area and searched before he was placed in a cell block. Mr.
Fyvie was strip-searched under the city's policy for suspects detained in
the cell block, as opposed to the holding "cage" where some arrestees are
kept until police decide whether to detain them or release them on an
appearance ticket. The search was captured on videotape. The policy was
dropped in 1999.

After Mr. Fyvie filed his complaint, and after a class action against New
York City on behalf of roughly 60,000 arrestees raised similar issues,
Schenectady abandoned its strip-search policy, according to Corporation
Counsel Michael T. Brockbank. Earlier this year, New York City agreed to
settle the claims of its arrestees for $ 50 million.

Still, Schenectady attempted to draw a distinction between suspects who
were detained in the holding area and were not strip-searched, and those
who were held in the cell block area and subjected to the search. Even
though confinement in the 24-cell area does not stem from an order of
commitment, the city maintained that it in effect operates a jail where
more stringent search policies are both appropriate and constitutional,
Mr. Brockbank said. Mr. Brockbank said the policy had been endorsed by
both the Schenectady County Sheriff's Department and the New York State
Department of Corrections.

The city argued that the Second Circuit's holding in Weber was
inconsistent with the U.S. Supreme Court's last major ruling on the issue
of strip searches versus Fourth Amendment protections, Bell v. Wolfish,
441 U.S. 520 (1979).

In Bell, the U.S. Supreme Court held in a case involving the Metropolitan
Correctional Center in New York City that arrestees retain their Fourth
Amendment rights. The High Court attempted to establish a balancing test,
and made clear that the rights of detainees are subordinate to the
government's "legitimate security interests."

But the attorneys for the plaintiffs, Kevin A. Luibrand and Adrienne
Kerwin of Tobin and Dempf in Albany, argued that the Schenectady policy
lacked a reasonable justification, and that Weber controlled.

"They brought him in a room in the presence of four corrections officers,
one of which was a woman... and forced him to [strip] and hold his
genitals in his hand and then turn around and bend over, all in front of
the female officer, " Mr. Luibrand said. "It was to show him that they
were in charge."

Judge McAvoy observed that Weber was decided after Bell, and it is
apparent the Second Circuit fully considered the Supreme Court's

                     Unanswered Questions

Commentators have suggested, however, that Bell left as many questioned
unanswered as it answered, leaving courts and legislatures to wrestle
with the parameters of a legitimate search.

"Because so many courts and statutes expressly limit the Fourth
Amendment's protection to misdemeanants and minor offenders... it remains
unclear that felony detainees have any constitutional protections against
unreasonable strip search," Gabriel M. Helmer wrote in the February issue
of the Boston University Law Review (81 B.L.U. Rev. 239).

For example, Mr. Helmer wrote, in Dufrin v. Spreen 712 F2d 1084 (1984),
the Sixth Circuit held that police may strip-search anyone arrested on a
felony charge. On the other hand, the Ninth Circuit in Kennedy v. Los
Angeles Police Department, 901 F2d 702, (1989), found no Fourth Amendment
distinction between felonies and misdemeanors.

In the Fyvie case, the arrestee was charged only with a violation, to
which he ultimately received an adjournment in contemplation of
dismissal. Judge McAvoy found nothing in Mr. Fyvie's behavior or the
pending charge implicating a reasonable suspicion that he was concealing

"This is particularly so in light of the fact that defendants did not
initially strip search Fyvie upon placing him in the holding cell," Judge
McAvoy wrote. "Defendants did not strip search him until after they had
released him and decided to re-detain him. The fact that defendants chose
'to rescind the appearance ticket and take Fyvie back into custody' and
make him await bail brings him precisely within the parameters of the
unconstitutional strip search policy." (New York Law Journal, April 11,

TAINTED WATER: DHH Finds More Probems With Plaquemine Plant's Water
State health officials have found more problems with drinking water at
the Georgia Gulf chemical plant here.

New inspections revealed more than a dozen problems, including poor
labeling, corrosion and connecting potable and nonpotable water wells.

The Department of Health and Hospitals inspected the plant's water system
after admitting earlier this month that it discovered high arsenic levels
in the plant's water more than three years ago, but never told anyone.

The arsenic oversight at Georgia Gulf was discovered during a review of
all Iberville Parish water records. The parishwide review began after
officials discovered another oversight: the failure three years ago to
report the discovery of vinyl chloride in a nearby trailer park's water

A day after DHH announced the oversights, a group of attorneys filed a
class-action lawsuit against the state.

"We're responding to each alleged violation and the letter as a whole as
quickly as possible. I don't know if any are more serious than another,"
plant spokesman Will Hinson said. "We continue to work with DHH closely
on this. We want it resolved."

Piping at the plant is not properly labeled, the DHH report said.

Several wells are prone to taking on contaminants from outside because of
excessive corrosion, proximity to a drainage ditch, sitting in standing
water, a leak or other faults, the report says.

Since the arsenic contamination was discovered earlier this month, all
550 Georgia Gulf employees and 150 to 200 contract workers are drinking
bottled water and using bagged ice, Hinson said.

The DHH tests found elevated arsenic levels at wellheads, but other tests
found acceptable levels in the water system. (The Associated Press State
& Local Wire, April 20, 2001)

VOTING: Groups Sue for Accessibility & Ban on New Touch-Screen Machines
Blind and disabled voters who already have trouble getting into polling
places in the city also could have problems using new electronic
touch-screen voting machines the city plans to buy, according to a
federal lawsuit.

The groups are seeking to block the city's planned $18.5 million purchase
of new voting machines.

"If something is accessible that means anybody can use it, and that
includes people with low vision and blind people. They have dismissed
us," said Fran Fulton, a visually impaired employee of the Liberty
Resources social services organization.

Jessie Jane Lewis, who has multiple sclerosis and uses a wheelchair, said
only 46 of the city's 1,681 polling places are accessible to wheelchair

"There is no major city in America that has as many inaccessible polling
places," said Jim Dickson of Washington, D.C., vice president of the
National Organization on Disability, the lead plaintiff in the suit filed
April 19 in U.S. District Court.

City Procurement Commissioner Lou Applebaum said he had not seen the
lawsuit and would not comment on its allegations. But he said none of the
voting machines currently certified by the Pennsylvania Department of
State features audio output.

The city planned to buy Direct Recording Electronic voting machines from
Danaher Corp., of Washington, D.C., that were recommended by a city task
force named in 1995.

The city is contracting with Danaher for machines, printers, tabulators
and training to replace aging, 900-pound mechanical-lever voting machines
that are no longer manufactured, are becoming difficult to maintain and
were blamed for problems in the last election.

The federal Americans with Disabilities Act requires new equipment to be
accessible and independently usable by people with disabilities, the
lawsuit said.

"We are seeking injunctive relief ordering the city to provide accessible
polling places and order voting machines with audio output," said Thomas
H. Earle, an attorney for the groups.

According to the lawsuit, an estimated 184,500 city residents are unable
to see or have difficulty seeing words and letters, or are unable to
climb stairs.

The voting machines the city plans to buy can be operated by people in
wheelchairs, said Ed Schulgen, a deputy city commissioner and a member of
Mayor John F. Street's Disabled Polling Place Accessibility Task Force.
But they could not be used by visually impaired or blind voters.

Schulgen said blind voters still can vote by absentee ballot or have
someone assist them at the voting machine.

Those filing the lawsuit didn't approve of either option.

Even using an absentee ballot, Fulton said, "I still have to have
somebody sit there and fill it out."

"I want to be able to show up like my neighbors," said Lewis. "I don't
want them to buy voting machines that are inaccessible to the blind.

"If you told any other minority group the only way you can vote is by
absentee ballot, it wouldn't wash," Lewis said. (The Associated Press
State & Local Wire, April 20, 2001)

WINSTAR COMMUNICATIONS: Wolf Haldenstein Commences Securities Suit in NY
Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP commenced a class action lawsuit in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on
behalf of all purchasers of Winstar Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:
WCII--news) securities during the period between August 2, 2000 and April
2, 2001, inclusive (the "Class Period"), against Winstar, William J.
Rouhana, Jr. (Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of
Directors), Richard J. Uhl (Chief Financial Officer), and Nathan Kantor
(President and Chief Operating Officer).

The judge presiding over the case is the Honorable Miriam Goldman
Cedarbaum, and the case is numbered 01-CV-3276. If you would like to view
a copy of the complaint filed in this action, please visit the Wolf
Haldenstein web site located at http://www.whafh.com.

The complaint alleges that defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a)
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act") and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder, by issuing a series of material
misrepresentations to the market during the Class Period, thereby
artificially inflating the price of Winstar securities. Specifically, the
complaint alleges that the defendants made material misrepresentations
and omissions of material facts concerning the company's business
performance during throughout the Class Period. According to the
complaint, throughout the Class Period defendants repeatedly assured
investors that the company was performing well, that the company was
enjoying strong growth, and that it was well-funded to follow its
growth-oriented business plan through the first quarter of 2002. At the
same time, however, the complaint alleges that the defendants knew or
recklessly disregarded that Winstar was overstating its revenues and
assets. On April 5, 2001, contrary to prior representations, Winstar
announced that it was halting its expansion plans and laying off 2,000
employees (representing about 50% of the Company's workforce). On April
2, 2001, the Company disclosed that it would be filing its annual Report
on Form 10-K late. The decline in the value of Winstar common stock has
been extraordinary, with the stock closing at $0.40 per share on April 6,
2001. The stock traded as high as $32.00 per share during the Class

Contact: Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP, New York Michael
Miske, George Peters, Gregory M. Nespole, Esq., or Fred Taylor Isquith,
Esq., 800/575-0735 classmember@whafh.com

WITTER DEAN: Lawsuit v. Partnership re Fraud Still Pending in NY Sp Ct
As revealed in the report to the SEC by Witter Dean Diversified Futures
Fund LP, on September 18 and 20, 1996, purported class actions were filed
in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, New York County, on behalf
of all purchasers of interests in limited partnership commodity pools
sold by DWR. Named defendants include DWR, Demeter,  DWFCM,  MSDW,  the
Partnership,  certain  limited partnership commodity pools of which
Demeter is the general partner  and certain trading managers to those
pools.  A consolidated and amended complaint in the action pending in the
Supreme Court of the State of New York was filed on August 13, 1997,
alleging that the defendants committed fraud, breach of fiduciary duty,
and negligent misrepresentation in the sale and operation of the various
limited partnership commodity pools. The complaints  sought unspecified
amounts of compensatory  and punitive damages and other relief.

The New York Supreme Court dismissed the New York action in November
1998, but granted plaintiffs leave to file an amended complaint, which
they did in early December 1998. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss
the amended complaint with prejudice on February 1, 1999.  By decision
dated December 21, 1999, the New York Supreme Court dismissed the case
with prejudice. However, on March 3, 2000, plaintiffs appealed the trial
court's dismissal of their case.

* Crisis Expert Sees Lawsuits in Wake of Dot-com Shakeout
Justice Department inquiries are a likely outcome of mounting dot-com
failures, and securities industry broker/dealers will be the primary
target, says crisis consultant Jeffrey Tucker, CEO of Tucker/Hall, a
national crisis management company with offices in Tampa Bay and San
Jose, Calif.

In remarks to a business group, Tucker said several industries will
likely face on-going crises this year, including medical equipment
manufacturers, the securities industry and computer software developers.

"The medical industry has been a target of mounting frustration with
regulators and the public for several years now," Tucker said, "but we
will also likely see a surge in class action lawsuits in the securities
industry and among computer software manufacturers in coming months."

"The huge losses among institutional and individual investors this year
have been brought on by the failure of so many young dot-com companies
and the collapse of Wall Street's market for new issues. I think both the
Securities & Exchange Commission and the Justice Department will likely
launch inquiries to see how much due diligence was paid by market makers
recommending those stocks to the general public," Tucker said.

"The securities industry collected fees in the hundreds of millions of
dollars when they brought the dot-coms public. Some of those stocks are
now bankrupt or are trading at less than 25-cents a share.

"I expect regulators are already poring over the carnage to see if
broker- dealers recklessly disregarded due diligence in the race for fees
and commissions," Tucker said. Tucker said the computer software industry
may also see consumer actions escalate against industry leaders, such as
Microsoft and others, who may be bringing new programs to market without
ironing out all the glitches. "The national industry trade publications
are already pointing fingers at some of these companies, and I think
there is growing outrage among consumers who are experiencing
imperfections in products, like Microsoft's Windows 2000 and Microsoft
NT, which may have come to market too fast," Tucker said.

Tucker, who works with companies nationally on crisis prevention and
crisis management, made his remarks before business leaders attending a
Tampa Chamber of Commerce forum on crisis prevention and containment.

Tucker said the Institute of Crisis Management in Louisville, Ky., has
reported that the number of class action lawsuits increased 122% in 2000
over The largest percentages of those were consumer actions against
management and whistle-blower cases by disgruntled workers.


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

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