CAR_Public/010430.MBX             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Monday, April 30, 2001, Vol. 3, No. 84

                           Headlines

BEAR STEARNS: Faces New Lawsuit Over Failed Manhattan Hedge Fund
BRITISH NUCLEAR: BNFL Faces Legal Action Over Czech Plant Safety
CALIFORNIA AMPLIFIER: Cauley Geller Expands Period for Securities Suit
COMMONWEALTH MANAGEMENT: Atty. Sanctioned over Repayment in Ponzi Case
DCI TELECOMMUNICATIONS: Dreier Baritz Files Securities Suit in New York

FIRSTMARK CORP: Investment house settles out of suit re Retirees Bilking
FREEMARKETS, INC: Accused of Defrauding Investors, Berman DeValerio Says
GENERAL MOTORS: LA Ap Ct Refuses to Take Over Jurisdiction In Truck Case
GUN MANUFACTURERS: Top NY Court Ruling Limits Liability
INGALLS SHIPBUILDING: Employees Claim Racial Harassment, Discrimination

LITTLEFIELD CORP: Decries Merit of Threatened AC Suit re Video Gambling
MEYER REAL: Plaintiffs Quit lawsuit over tax on Linen Service at Beach
PARTSBASE.COM, INC: Cauley Geller Announces Securities Lawsuit in FL
PARTSBASE.COM, INC: Milberg Weiss Announces Securities Suit in FL
PARTSBASE.COM, INC: Shareholder Suit Filed By Schiffrin & Barroway in FL

PRESERVATIVE MAKERS: Judge Approves Settlement of Wisconsin Suit
PURCHASEPRO.COM, INC: Weiss & Yourman Files Securities Lawsuit
RITALIN MAKERS: Judge Dismisses Suit over Conspiracy with APA and CHADD
SMART WORLD: Bragar Wexler Announces Securities Lawsuit Filed in N. Y.
WACHOVIA CORP: Angry Shareholder Sues to Block Buyout by First Union

                           *********

BEAR STEARNS: Faces New Lawsuit Over Failed Manhattan Hedge Fund
----------------------------------------------------------------
Investors in the Manhattan Investment Fund, the failed hedge fund, will
get another crack at Bear Stearns, the US investment bank that served as
its prime broker.

The trustee for the fund's estate filed a new lawsuit against Bear
earlier this month, days after a US judge threw out a complaint launched
by former investors in the fund.

Although the facts are largely the same in the two suits, the most recent
one is being filed in a different venue, bankruptcy court, and therefore
will pursue a different legal argument.

Rather than trying to prove Bear directly participated in the fraud,
attorneys will argue that Bear is guilty of "fraudulent conveyance".

Essentially, they will try to establish that Bear caused the fund's
assets to be depleted by charging it expensive fees after they knew it
was insolvent, therefore depriving creditors of an adequate recovery when
the fund failed.

If the Manhattan estate wins, a substantial portion of the Dollars 1.9bn
it is seeking is likely to be shared among former investors in the fund.

The verdict could also re-draw the lines in the debate over how much
responsibility a broker has for the fraudulent conduct of hedge funds and
other clients whose trades it processes.

It is a question that is receiving growing attention as the unregulated
hedge fund industry grows rapidly and, along with it, incidents of fraud.

Michael Berger, the head of Manhattan, pleaded guilty last year to
securities fraud. Mr Berger forged performance results for the hedge fund
to conceal huge losses it incurred by taking short positions against
technology stocks in the mid-1990s. The scheme ultimately cost investors
more than Dollars 400m.

Helen Gredd, the court-appointed trustee for the estate, claims Bear
officials knew about the fraud but continued to lend money to the fund
and clear its trades because it paid millions of dollars in commissions.

Bear also used this information to tip off certain clients about the
fund, according to her suit. "Bear Stearns knew or should have known that
by continuing to do business with Berger's fund, it was enabling a
massive fraud to continue," the complaint said.

Bear Stearns said the legal theories in the claim were "novel and
unsupportable", and that the trustee was seeking to recover four times
the fund's losses. "We believe that this lawsuit is without merit and
intend to defend it vigorously."

Judge Denise Cote dismissed a class action lawsuit against Bear earlier
this month, ruling that the investors did not sufficiently prove that
Bear aided and abetted the fraud.

Legal experts were lukewarm on the new complaint's chances. "Fraudulent
conveyance claims are very difficult to prove," said Peter Chapman,
president of Bankruptcy Creditors' Service. "But they are frequently
swept under the rug and settled."

That is what happened when bondholders sued Federated Department Stores
and a subsidiary after they accused it of selling Brooks Brothers and Ann
Taylor stores at low prices in the 1980s to help fund a leveraged buyout.
Although bondholders sought Dollars 1.3bn, they settled for Dollars 360m
in cash. (Financial Times (London), April 27, 2001)


BRITISH NUCLEAR: BNFL Faces Legal Action Over Czech Plant Safety
----------------------------------------------------------------
A subsidiary of British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL) is facing legal action from
protesters concerned about the safety of a nuclear power plant in the
Czech Republic.

Ed Fagan, an American lawyer who has won billions of pounds in
settlements for the relatives of Holocaust victims, says he is preparing
to sue Westinghouse, an American company wholly owned by BNFL, over its
role in upgrading the Temelin nuclear power plant in the Czech Republic.
He wants it to release vital safety documents relating to its work.

The latest setback for BNFL follows the on-going repercussions of the
discovery, revealed by The Independent 18 months ago, that its workers
had faked safety data relating to nuclear fuel destined for Japan.

The company was left fighting to win vital Japanese fuel contracts.
Without them, BNFL is finding it difficult to justify a new pounds 450m
nuclear fuel plant at Sellafield which has yet to receive an operating
licence from the Government.

The Czech government caused a storm by building a Soviet-designed
reactor, originally planned under communism, at Temelin, just 30 miles
from the Austrian border. The Austrian government last year threatened to
veto Czech membership of the European Union over the reactor, and the
German government demanded safety changes to the plant.

Westinghouse's role at Temelin was to design a new instrumentation and
control system to Western standards. But environmental groups, including
Greenpeace, say the finished station is not safe. It is undergoing
testing, and is scheduled to start full operation later this year. It has
been shut down for technical reasons 17 times in the past six months.

"I hope a lawsuit will not be necessary, but frankly I fear it will," Mr
Fagan told The Independent. He is representing two Austrian environmental
groups who wrote to Westinghouse asking to see the documents. The company
refused, saying some of the information was "commercially sensitive".

The Austrian national nuclear watchdog, which is preparing an independent
report on Temelin under an agreement between the Czech and Austrian
governments, has complained that the Czech authorities are preventing it
from seeing important documents.

Mr Fagan says he is preparing a lawsuit against the Czech authorities,
under Czech law. But it is unlikely to succeed: the Czech courts are far
from independent. He admits he is going after Westinghouse because he can
file under US law.

Mr Fagan was the first lawyer to issue a class action against Swiss banks
in 1996 for withholding money in the accounts of Holocaust victims from
their heirs. He secured billions of pounds in pay-outs to relatives from
German and Austrian companies who used forced and slave labour during the
Second World War.

"I'm not an activist, I'm a practical lawyer," says Mr Fagan. "I got
involved in Temelin because from all I can see the facility is dangerous.
I can only go on what the experts tell me. My mandate is to get them
these documents."

A spokesman for Westinghouse said the company had answered more than
2,000 technical questions and provided tens of thousands of pages of
information. "The International Atomic Energy Agency has inspected
Temelin 10 times and deemed that it is safe to operate," he added. (The
Independent (London), April 27, 2001)


CALIFORNIA AMPLIFIER: Cauley Geller Expands Period for Securities Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Firm of Cauley Geller Bowman & Coates, LLP announced that it had
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 publicly traded securities of California
Amplifier, Inc. (Nasdaq: CAMP) between April 7, 2000 and March 28, 2001,
inclusive (the "Class Period"). The Class Period is being expanded to
include purchases between June 11, 1999 and March 28, 2001, inclusive.

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 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.
California Amplifier designs, manufactures and markets microwave
components used in both defense and commercial markets. The Company's
products are used for the amplification and conversion of microwave
signals for satellite television, Global Positioning Satellite, wireless
cable, two-way voice and data communications, and broadband applications.

On March 29, 2001, California Amplifier announced that it will restate
its fiscal 2000 financial statements because of accounting misstatements.
The press release issued in connection with the announcement stated, in
part: "California Amplifier Inc. announced that during preparation for
the Company's fiscal year 2001 audit examination, the Company's corporate
controller abruptly resigned and advised by letter that in fiscal year
2000 he made certain adjustments to the Company's accounting records that
caused a reduction in recorded expenses which may have resulted in
overstating net income for the fiscal year ended February 26, 2000 by as
much as $2.2 million, or $.18 per basic share. The Company is actively
investigating the circumstances reported by the controller but has not
yet been able to interview the controller fully and, as a result, is
unable at this time to reach any definitive conclusions as to the exact
expenses or fiscal year 2000 quarters that are affected by this alleged
overstatement. Due to these developments, the previously scheduled
release of earnings for the fourth quarter and the fiscal year ended
March 3, on April 19, 2001 will be postponed to a future date to be
announced. If the investigation ultimately confirms an overstatement of
income in fiscal year 2000, the Company will be required to restate its
fiscal year 2000 consolidated financial statements." On this news,
trading in California Amplifier shares was halted at $5.03 -- or more
than 90% lower than the Class Period high of $59.25

Contact: media, Charlie Gastineau or Sue Null, both of Cauley Geller
Bowman & Coates, LLP, 888-551-9944


COMMONWEALTH MANAGEMENT: Atty. Sanctioned over Repayment in Ponzi Case
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Two attorneys have been sanctioned for seeking an $ 11.5 million writ of
attachment while failing to disclose that most of the money had already
been returned by the defendants.

Southern District Judge John S. Martin yesterday ordered James D. Fornari
of New York and Mark F. Cohn of California to pay $ 2,500 each for their
role in obtaining an ex parte writ of attachment from the judge in
February.

Judge Martin said that "false and misleading," papers were filed in Four
Star Financial Services v. Commonwealth Management Associates, 01 Civ.
1276, by Mr. Fornari, of counsel at Traub, Bonacquist & Fox, and Mr.
Cohn, general counsel of Four Star Financial Services, a California firm
that claims it was the victim of a high-yield investment "Ponzi scheme."

Judge Martin also castigated the attorneys for submitting a verified
complaint that was "totally misleading," in that it represented that one
of the defendants, Martin D. Fife, was on the brink of absconding with
the $ 11.5 million.

"The question that naturally arises is: 'How could the court grant
plaintiff a writ of attachment in the amount of $ 11.5 million when the
plaintiff had made an investment of only $ 11.75 million and $ 9.6
million had already been returned?' The answer is that the papers in
support of the application were false and misleading," Judge Martin said.

Moreover, Judge Martin said, the verified complaint "contains the false
statement: 'No funds have been received by the plaintiff.' "

On Feb. 21, Four Star Financial filed its verified complaint, sworn to by
Mr. Cohn, suing Commonwealth Management Associates, the Brite Business
Corporation and several others, including Mr. Fife, who Four Star claimed
was to oversee an investment program promising high returns.

Mr. Cohn claimed that the recipients diverted some of the $ 11.75 million
to other purposes and threatened to put the remainder out of Four Star's
reach by moving the money offshore.

Attorneys for the defendants, telling the court that most of the money
had been returned, immediately moved to vacate the attachment.

At a hearing on March 8, Judge Martin vacated the attachment and told
Four Star it would have to pay the fees of defense counsel incurred in
attacking the writ -- an amount he later found to be just over $ 70,000.

Judge Martin also ordered Mr. Cohn and Mr. Fornari to show cause why they
should not be sanctioned under Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. A hearing was held on the sanctions issue on March 29.

Neither Mr. Fornari nor Mr. Cohn could be reached for comment.

In their response to the order to show cause, the judge said, the
attorneys "admit that the verified complaint contains misstatements of
fact and acknowledge an understanding of why the court would consider it
misleading and be upset by their conduct."

Nonetheless, he said, the lawyers contended they acted in good faith "on
the belief they had been defrauded by defendants, and that defendants had
told them that they were moving their assets offshore."

After hearing the attorney's "strained explanation," about the omission
of the repaid monies, Judge Martin wrote, he questioned Mr. Cohn as to
why he indicated that Mr. Fife, a long-time resident of New York who is
on the board of the Dreyfus Fund Incorporated, might be at risk of
absconding with the money.

Mr. Cohn had represented that Mr. Fife had no permanent residence in his
name in state of New York, although Mr. Fife has long lived in a Central
Park West apartment that is in his wife's name.

"In this regard, the verified complaint conveyed a picture of defendants
as itinerant swindlers without roots in New York who continuously
promised to return the plaintiff's investment but never made any of the
promised payments," the judge said.

"Here, no reasonable attorney could believe that a judge would issue an
ex parte order of attachment against Fife in the amount of $ 11.5 million
if informed Fife resided in an apartment in New York City which was owned
by his wife and that he had been responsible for returning $ 9.6 million
of plaintiff's original investment," he said.

Judge Martin said that the lawyers, in making an ex parte application for
a writ of attachment, knew "the court would be required to place
particular trust in the truth of the verified complaint's sworn
statements," since the other side was not represented in the application
process. Therefore, the judge said, the lawyers had a "heightened
obligation to insure that the facts were accurately portrayed."

"Sanctions must be imposed to make it clear to all who practice in the
federal courts that when they come before a judge seeking extraordinary
relief ex parte, they will be held to the highest standards of candor,"
he said. "It is not a defense to claim that, while factual statements to
the court were materially misleading, they were not literally false."

Judge Martin chose not to identify the sanctioned attorneys by name in
the decision, but their names were part of the court record.

Donald S. Zakarin, of Pryor Cashman Sherman & Flynn, represented Mr.
Fife. W. Hans Kobelt, of Pollack & Kaminsky, represented Raymond James
Financial Services Inc., and Morris K. Mitrani represented Commonwealth
Management Associates. (New York Law Journal, April 18, 2001)


DCI TELECOMMUNICATIONS: Dreier Baritz Files Securities Suit in New York
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Dreier Baritz & Federman has commenced a class action lawsuit in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on
behalf of all purchasers of DCI Telecommunications, Inc. (Pink Sheets:
DCTC) securities between April 21, 1998 through June 23, 2000 (the "Class
Period").

The complaint charges DCTC, certain of its officers and directors and
auditors with violations of sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities
Act of The complaint alleges accounting fraud and that DCTC issued
materially false and misleading financial information concerning its
expected and its purportedly-achieved revenues and earnings during the
Class Period. The complaint alleges that as a result of such misleading
information, DCTC's securities traded at artificially inflated prices
during the Class Period.

Specifically, the complaint alleges that, throughout the Class Period,
defendants, including DCTC's auditors, Schnitzer & Kondub, P.C.,
participated in improper accounting for various acquisitions and grossly
overvaluing a purported $15 million contract and $5 million promissory
notes. It is further alleged that these accounting improprieties caused
DCTC's financial statements to be materially false and misleading.

Contact: William B. Federman of Dreier Baritz & Federman, 405-235-1560,
or fax, 405-239-2112


FIRSTMARK CORP: Investment house settles out of suit re Retirees Bilking
------------------------------------------------------------------------
One of three remaining defendants in a class action tied to the infamous
Firstmark Corp. bankruptcy has agreed with plaintiffs to pay $ 1.15
million in exchange for an opportunity to wash its hands of charges it
conspired to bilk $ 57 million in investments from unknowing retirees.

Judge S. Hugh Dillin, of the U.S. District Court, Southern District of
Indiana, has given his blessing to a settlement agreement filed March 29
between Raffensperger Hughes and Co. and a group of nine elderly
investors who lost millions when Firstmark Corp. went bankrupt in 1988.

That leaves Barnes & Thornburg and Catherine L. Bridge as the lone
remaining defendants in the suit. Bridge served as the law firms lead
attorney in its representation of Firstmark the former parent company of
a retirement fund that handled nearly 3,000 investment accounts before
dissolving in a bankruptcy that left former investors with pennies on the
dollar.

Neither Hugh G. Baker Jr., attorney for the plaintiffs, nor Roger Taylor,
attorney for Raffensperger Hughes, were willing to discuss the process
leading to the settlement. However, the two sides wrote in their joint
motion seeking approval for the agreement, To avoid the costs and
uncertainties of litigation, and without making any admissions as to the
merits of their respective positions, Plaintiffs and Raffensperger desire
to settle all matters pending between them.

Judge Dillin denied Raffenspergers motion to dismiss the plaintiffs fifth
amended complaint Nov. 6, 2000, the same day he denied a motion for
summary judgment filed by Bridge and Barnes & Thornburg. Those entries
laid the path to a jury trial, with only a January mediation session
offering a way out.

Plaintiffs alleged that Raffensperger and the law firm were aware of
wrongdoing by Firstmark, which allegedly took capital invested by
retirees and used it to pay down interest on other investments. In doing
so, Raffensperger allegedly knew of fund manager practices and
recommended they set deceptively low yields to allay fears of typically
skeptical elderly investors. The plaintiffs also alleged Raffensperger
knew the portfolios would likely wither away to a fraction of their
original investment value and that Firstmark insiders were siphoning off
the assets.

In the bankruptcy, investors recouped about 17.5 percent of the original
investment. A separate group of investors, known as the Harden class
action, reached a settlement with a group of 20 defendants valued at $ 3
million.

The plaintiffs in the action at hand, known by the name of top plaintiff
Virginia E. Brouwer, had collected $ 5 million through settlements with a
host of other defendants, including former Firstmark heads Leonard and
Jeffrey Rochwarger, and law firms Kavinoky & Cook and Ancel & Dunlap.

The cases against Raffensperger, Barnes & Thornburg and Bridge were
removed from the original suit in the mid-1990s. Judge Dillin granted
Raffenspergers motion to dismiss in 1994, and motions for summary
judgment filed by the firm and Bridge in early 1997.

All three were granted on grounds that their alleged involvement didnt
rise to the level of liability outlined in the federal Racketeering
Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). The 7th Circuit reversed
Dillins findings with the three defendants in January 2000, holding that
their alleged conduct would qualify for damages under the RICO act.

According to language in the settlement agreement, any eventual award the
plaintiffs could expect to win may not have covered the costs of the
prolonged litigation.

Plaintiffs and their counsel have considered the expense and length of
time necessary to prosecute an action the defenses asserted the
uncertainties inherent in complex litigation; and the desire to assure
the benefit provided by the proposed settlement to the Class, the joint
motion reads. Plaintiffs and their counsel have concluded that it is in
the best interest to settle the Action.

Likewise, the motion reads, Raffensperger has concluded that, despite its
belief that it is are (sic) not liable for the claims and it has good
defenses to such claims, it will enter into this Settlement Agreement to
avoid further expense, inconvenience and the burden of protracted
litigation, and to avoid the risks and uncertainties inherent in complex
litigation.

A fairness hearing will be held June 5 at the U.S. Courthouse in
Indianapolis, where plaintiffs and class members who also held Firstmark
notes at the time bankruptcy was granted may comment on the fairness of
the settlement agreement. Class members will have until Aug. 6 to file a
claim seeking a portion of the fund. On June 5, the court will also rule
on Bakers application for attorneys fees and costs, which would be
awarded out of the $ 1.15 million paid into escrow by Raffensperger under
the agreement. (The Indiana Lawyer, April 25, 2001)


FREEMARKETS, INC: Accused of Defrauding Investors, Berman DeValerio Says
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shareholders on April 27 filed a federal class action charging
FreeMarkets, Inc. (Nasdaq: FMKT) with securities fraud, the law firm of
Berman DeValerio & Pease said.

The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Western
District of Pennsylvania and is captioned Pehrson v. FreeMarkets, Inc. et
al., Civil Action No. 01:0746. It seeks damages for violations of federal
securities laws on behalf of all investors who bought FreeMarkets, Inc.
common stock between July 24, 2000 and April 23, 2001 (the "Class
Period").

Berman DeValerio & Pease has represented investors in class actions for
nearly two decades. To review the complaint and learn more about becoming
a lead plaintiff, visit our Website at www.bermanesq.com.

FreeMarkets is charged with improperly accounting for its financial
results for the second, third and fourth quarters and the year of fiscal
2000. In reporting its financial results during the Class Period, the
Company failed to properly account for a warrant that it had provided to
one of its largest customers, Visteon Corporation ("Visteon").
Consequently, FreeMarkets was able to report artificially-inflated
revenues during the Class Period. On April 23, 2001, FreeMarkets revealed
that the Securities and Exchange Commission had informed the Company that
its payments from Visteon should not be classified as revenue, but as
money paid for the warrant. As a result, absent an appeal, the Company
announced its intention to amend its financial statements to eliminate
all the revenue it had received from Visteon during the Class Period.
FreeMarkets' stock price fell from a close of $10.29 per share on April
23, 2001 to $9.30 on April 24, 2001.

The suit names FreeMarkets' chief executive officer and chief financial
officer as defendants. These officers are charged with collectively
selling thousands of shares of FreeMarkets common stock during the Class
Period for proceeds totaling over $17 million.

Contact: Alicia Duff, Esq. of Berman DeValerio & Pease, 800-516-9926 or
bdplaw@bermanesq.com


GENERAL MOTORS: LA Ap Ct Refuses to Take Over Jurisdiction In Truck Case
------------------------------------------------------------------------
General Motors (NYSE: GM) was dealt a significant blow when an appeals
court in Louisiana refused on April 26 to hear GM's request to take over
jurisdiction of pending disputes in the administration of the class
action settlement involving 5.8 million GM pickup trucks with sidesaddle
fuel tanks.

"This is a serious setback for GM in its relentless effort to renege on
its settlement agreement," said Don Barrett of The Barrett Law Firm in
Lexington, Mississippi and Nashville, Tennessee, lead class counsel. "GM
has been totally thwarted and will be forced to honor the certificates."

Instead, the appeals court ruled that the matter remain with the 18th
district court in Plaquemine which was going to hold a hearing on the
settlement's administration on Friday, April 27 at 1 p.m. CDT.

The administrative dispute involves the question of transferability and
whether or not class counsel can act on behalf of the class members and
take possession of the certificates and sell them on their behalf,
thereby creating a secondary market as contemplated in the circuit
court's decision last November. The matter also involves Certificate
Redemption Group of Houston, which is offering to purchase certificates
to create a secondary market.

Contact: Marc Ehrhardt of The Ehrhardt Group, 504-558-1845, or pager,
800-329-4190, or cellular, 504-481-5975, for Class Counsel


GUN MANUFACTURERS: Top NY Court Ruling Limits Liability
-------------------------------------------------------
The state Court of Appeals set back efforts to hold gun makers broadly
responsible for gun-related violence in a unanimous ruling on April 26
that limited manufacturers' liability.

In the case, Hamilton vs. Beretta U.S.A. Corp., victims of gunshots or
their relatives tried to hold the gun industry liable because of
negligent marketing and sales.

A clearly sympathetic court refrained. Civil law does not allow such a
finding, and legal change is a matter for other bodies, the justices
declared, 7-0. Wrote Judge Richard Wesley, "We should be cautious in
imposing novel theories of tort liability while the difficult problem of
illegal gun sales in the United States remains the focus of a national
policy debate."

The decision does provide a road map for assembling the evidence in such
a case in the future, said one of the plaintiffs' lawyers, Marc Elovitz.
Similar lawsuits against gun makers by the state, the city, the NAACP and
others are pending.

In this case, the plaintiffs in 1999 had won in U.S. District Court in
Brooklyn, the first jury verdict in the country holding gun makers
responsible for injuries caused by negligent marketing and sales.

The decision was appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals, which asked the
state's highest court to settle two questions of New York civil law.
First, do the defendants have "a duty to exercise reasonable care in the
marketing and distribution of the handguns they manufacture?" And second,
can liability be assigned based on market share?

The lengthy opinion dissected tort law, which governs lawsuits for harms
caused by wrongful actions, and explored legal theories being developed
to tackle entire industries, such as pharmaceutical firms, and to assign
liability based on a company's market share.

The widely watched case drew briefs, pro and con, from many groups,
including gun control advocates and the American Meat Institute. The case
now goes back to federal court.

In 1995, Stephen Fox of Queens and relatives of six homicide victims, all
from New York, sued 25 gun makers from around the country.

Because the manufacturer of only one gun was identified, the plaintiffs
tried to blame much of the industry for the illegal handgun market. The
jury found 15 of the manufacturers negligent, but awarded damages against
only the three it found had "proximately caused" the injuries to Fox,
whose brain was permanently damaged, and his mother.

Although damages totaled $4 million, the jury assigned blame according to
the share of the national market for handguns held by each gun maker.

Fox and the relatives argued that the gun makers oversupplied gun dealers
in states with weak gun control laws, particularly in the Southeast. This
surplus, they said, fed a pipeline to the illegal market serving minors
and criminals in New York.

In the past, as now, the state Court of Appeals has been cautious about
making parties liable for the actions of others because of concerns about
practicality and fairness.

The pool of possible plaintiffs-thousands of gun victims-is vast and the
chain of responsibility from manufacturer to criminal to victim is
"remote," the court said. Nor had it been proven, the court ruled, that
the gun makers could have prevented the tragedies with different
marketing techniques.

But with an eye toward the future, the court declared, "This case
challenges us to rethink traditional notions of duty, liability and
causation." (Newsday (New York, NY), April 27, 2001)


INGALLS SHIPBUILDING: Employees Claim Racial Harassment, Discrimination
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Litton Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula is accused in a class-action
lawsuit of failing to deal with a racially hostile work place and
routinely passing over blacks for promotions.

The lawsuit, filed April 26 in U.S. District Court in Biloxi, lists as
plaintiffs 10 Ingalls employees, one former employee and a group called
Ingalls Workers for Justice.

The workers initially filed suit March 21, accusing the shipyard of
general failure to promote blacks, said attorney Sandra Jaribu Hill of
the Mississippi Workers Center for Human Rights, one of the groups
representing the employees.

After further investigation, they decided to add other allegations,
including "systematic steering of black workers to the filthiest, most
unappealing and dangerous jobs and an endorsement of a racially hostile
atmosphere," the workers said in a press release.

Ingalls, which recently became part of global aerospace and defense
company Northrop Grumman Corp., is Mississippi's largest private employer
with 10,000 workers.

Ingalls spokesman Den Knecht said the lawsuit had no merit and that the
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had already investigated the
complaints. Knecht would not discuss the racial composition of the work
force.

"The commission...ruled earlier this year that there was no reasonable
cause to support these same or similar accusations," Knecht said in a
statement. "Ingalls does not tolerate discrimination."

Hill, however, disputed Knecht's assessment of the EEOC's findings. She
produced a copy of an EEOC document dated Dec. 20 that stated, "there is
reasonable cause to believe the aggrieved parties have been subjected to
a racially hostile environment" because of graffiti in some areas of the
shipyard.

The plaintiffs claim the graffiti includes racial slurs, references to
the Ku Klux Klan and drawings of black people with nooses around their
necks.

Benjamin Bradley, area director of the EEOC in Jackson, said he couldn't
comment on the matter.

Knecht told the Associated Press that Ingalls has a program to eliminate
graffiti, and the company has strengthened that effort since late last
year.

In September, Ingalls settled a lawsuit with a 46-year-old electrician
who alleged she was treated with hostility because she is black.

Earlean Bell filed a federal lawsuit in 1997 that said a white male
co-worker in 1994 sneaked up behind her on the job, placed a noose around
her neck and tightened it.

In court papers, Bell said she was particularly upset because, as a
child, she was often told tales of her relatives being lynched in the
1930s.

Terms of the Bell settlement were not announced. (The Associated Press
State & Local Wire, April 27, 2001)


LITTLEFIELD CORP: Decries Merit of Threatened AC Suit re Video Gambling
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Joan Caldwell Johnson, et al v. Collins Music Company, et al, Civil
Action No. 3:97-22136-17, United States District Court for the District
of South Carolina, Columbia.

In November 1997, one of the Company’s subsidiaries was named a defendant
(among many other amusements operators) in a purported class action
brought by Plaintiffs allegedly arising out of fraudulent and unlawful
promotion and operation of video gambling devices. Plaintiffs filed a
Motion to Amend the Complaint to add the Company and several Company
subsidiaries as Defendants.

The Company and its named subsidiaries have yet to be added to this
lawsuit and the present status of this case is merely one of threatened
litigation. There have been settlement discussions with Plaintiffs
counsel for the purported class but the company found the settlement
demand unreasonable.

If the Company and its subsidiaries were added to this case, the case
would be litigated to the fullest extent possible. In the event that
Plaintiffs were to prevail on their claims, the range of potential loss
could exceed several million dollars because the Plaintiffs seek to
recoup all profits Defendants made from 1991 through the present.

The Company believes that this action is completely without merit and
will defend itself vigorously. If this case were to be decided against
the Company, it would likely have a material adverse effect on the
financial position and operations of the Company. Also, the impact of the
cessation of amusements in South Carolina will have some effect on this
matter and as of December 31, 2000 the impact has not materialized or
been disclosed to the Company.


MEYER REAL: Plaintiffs Quit lawsuit over tax on Linen Service at Beach
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A lawsuit over a $2.97 tax on linen service at beach condominiums, which
the plaintiff hoped to turn into a class action case against a real
estate company, has been thrown out of court.

In the suit, filed in December in Baldwin County Circuit Court,
Birmingham-area resident Marlin Hood claimed that Meyer Real Estate
charged him $2.97 in tax for linen service valued at $27. The suit
claimed that worked out to an 11 percent tax, exceeding the actual tax
rate of 3.5 percent.

Lawyers for the company challenged Hood's contention.

"We were collecting the taxes imposed by the state of Alabama," said
George Irvine, a lawyer for Meyer.

Irvine filed a motion to dismiss the case in January, and Baldwin Circuit
Judge Robert Wilters tossed it out after both sides agreed.

"There were probably some legitimate defenses that came up," acknowledged
Sam Hill, one of Hood's attorneys.

Lawyers for Hood had said the suit might have forced Meyer to refund
overpayments to thousands of families who had rented condominiums for
their beach vacations if it had been granted class action status.

Hill said he was not aware of all aspects of the state's tax laws when he
filed the suit.

"This one, quite frankly, we decided it wasn't worth the fight," he said.
(The Associated Press State & Local Wire, April 27, 2001)


PARTSBASE.COM, INC: Cauley Geller Announces Securities Lawsuit in FL
--------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Firm of Cauley Geller Bowman & Coates, LLP announced on April 27
that it has filed a class action in the United States District Court for
the Southern District of Florida on behalf of all individuals and
institutional investors that purchased the common stock of PartsBase.com,
Inc. (Nasdaq:PRTS) issued pursuant to the prospectus and registration
statement (the "Registration Statement") filed in connection with
PartsBase's March 2000, initial public offering (the "IPO").

The complaint charges PartsBase, certain of its officers and directors,
and the two lead underwriters for the IPO, Roth Capital Partners, Inc.
and PMG Capital Corp., with violations of the Securities Act of 1933. The
complaint alleges that during 1999, defendants issued and sold more than
$45 million of PartsBase stock in its IPO. Thereafter, in connection with
PartsBase issuing its first earnings press release, defendants revealed
facts confirming that the Registration Statement issued by defendants in
connection with the IPO had been false when issued. In the Registration
Statement, defendants claimed that PartsBase had "over 13,000 members."
Substantially all of the Company's revenues are generated through member
subscription fees. The Complaint charges that the Registration Statement
failed to disclose that PartsBase actually had about 3,000 paying
members. The Company offered a free trial membership that lasted a few
days after which the "trial members'" access codes were revoked if they
did not agree to become paying members. As alleged in the Complaint, the
vast majority of the so-called "13,000 members" were, in fact, "trial
members" whose trial membership had lapsed. Defendants continued to count
the "trial members" as members, even though they did not pay and had
their access to the PartsBase website revoked. In addition, many of the
3,000 "paying" subscribers never actually paid PartsBase any money, but
had merely given a company purchase order for the membership based on
promises from the Company's salespersons that the purchase order did not
need to be paid if the customer was not satisfied with the membership.

Contact: Cauley Geller Bowman & Coates, LLP, Little Rock, Ark. For Media:
Charlie Gastineau or Sue Null, 888/551-9944


PARTSBASE.COM, INC: Milberg Weiss Announces Securities Suit in FL
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes' Lerach LLP announces that a
class action lawsuit was filed on April 26, 2001, on behalf of purchasers
of the securities of PartsBase.com, Inc. ("PartsBase.com" or the
"Company") (NASDAQ:PRTS) who purchased these securities pursuant and/ or
traceable to PartsBase.com's March 22, 2000 initial public offering
("IPO") through April 25, 2000, inclusive.

A copy of the complaint filed in this action is available from the Court,
or can be viewed on Milberg Weiss' website at:
http://www.milberg.com/partsbase/

The action, numbered 01-8376, is pending in the United States District
Court, Southern District of Florida, located at 301 N. Miami Ave, Miami,
FL 33128, against defendants PartsBase.com, Robert A. Hammond, Jr.,
Steven R. Spencer, Michael W. Siegel, Yves C. Duplan, Kevin J. Steil,
Louis W. Storms, IV, Thomas C. Van Hare, David G. Fessler, Pierre A.
Narath, Roth Capital Partners, Inc., PMG Capital Corp. (formerly Penn
Management Group, Ltd.) and Michael Naparstek. The Honorable Donald L.
Graham is the Judge presiding over the case.

The Complaint alleges that defendants violated Sections 11, 12(a)(2) and
15 of the Securities Act of 1933 by issuing a materiallyfalse and
misleading Prospectus and Registration Statement (collec|ively, "the
Prospectus") to the market in connection with its IPO. Specifically,
throughout the Prospectus, PartsBase.com repeatedly stressed its
dependency on revenue from its member base which it represented as
consisting of 13,000 members. Among other things, in the Prospectus,
defendants failed to properly distinguish between paying and non-paying
members. This distinction finally ca e to light, however, when on April
25, 2000, slightly more than one month after its IPO, the Company
disclosed in its first earnings release that as of March 31, 2000 the
Company only had 3,100 paying members - a significant departure from its
earlier representation of 13,000 members.

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


PARTSBASE.COM, INC: Shareholder Suit Filed By Schiffrin & Barroway in FL
------------------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for
the Southern District of Florida, on behalf of all purchasers of the
common stock of PartsBase.com, Inc. (Nasdaq: PRTS) ("PartsBase" or the
"Company") pursuant to the prospectus and registration statement (the
"Registration Statement") filed in connection with PartsBase's initial
public offering ("IPO") on March 20, 2000, up to and including April 25,
2000 (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges PartsBase, certain of its officers and directors,
and the two lead underwriters for the IPO, Roth Capital Partners, Inc.
and PMG Capital Corp., with violations of the Securities Act of 1933.
Specifically, the complaint alleges that during 1999, defendants issued
and sold more than $45 million of PartBase stock in its IPO. Thereafter,
in connection with PartsBase issuing its first earnings press release,
defendants revealed facts confirming that the Registration Statement
issued by defendants in connection with the IPO had been false when
issued. In the Registration Statement, defendants claimed that PartsBase
had "over 13,000 members." Substantially all of the Company's revenues
are generated through member subscription fees. The complaint further
alleges that the Registration Statement failed to disclose that PartsBase
actually had approximately 3,000 paying members. The Company offered a
free trial membership that lasted a few days after which the "trial
members" access codes were revoked if they did not agree to become paying
members. As alleged in the complaint, the vast majority of the so- called
"13,000 members" were, in fact, "trial members" whose trial membership
had lapsed. Defendants continued to count the "trial members" as members,
even though they did not pay and had their access to the PartsBase
website revoked. In addition, many of the 3,000 " paying" subscribers
never actually paid PartsBase any money, but had merely given a company
purchase order for the membership based on promises from the Company's
salespersons that the purchase order did not need to be paid if the
customer was not satisfied with the membership.

Contact: Marc A. Topaz, Esq. or Stuart L. Berman, Esq. of Schiffrin &
Barroway, LLP, 888-299-7706 or 610-667-7706, info@sbclasslaw.com


PRESERVATIVE MAKERS: Judge Approves Settlement of Wisconsin Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Attorneys for two Wisconsin companies announced April 26 that a Dane
County judge gave preliminary approval to a $ 7.8 million settlement in
their class-action lawsuit against several companies that make
preservatives used in cheeses, baked goods, jams, jellies and other
processed foods.

"I think it was a good and fair settlement," said Austin Cohen, a
Philadelphia attorney for Kelley Supply of Colby and Imperial Flavors of
Milwaukee. The firms sued on behalf of themselves and others who bought
the food preservative ingredients, called sorbates, from 1979 through
1997. They alleged that sorbate producers engaged in an unlawful
conspiracy to fix, raise and maintain sorbate prices during that period,
Cohen said.

The defendants were identified as Eastman Chemical Co., Hoechst AG,
Nutrinova Nutrition Specialties and Food Ingredients GmbH, CNA Holdings,
Nutrinova, Daicel Chemical Industries, Daicel and Nippon Gohsei
Industries. The companies have denied any wrongdoing or liability.
Moreover, they denied that companies that bought sorbates for use in food
products paid more because of the alleged conspiracy.

Judge John C. Albert gave preliminary approval to the settlement in
February, Cohen said. The settlement was announced on April 26 because
attorneys began notifying members of the plaintiff class about it. The
class includes anyone who bought the food preservatives or products
containing them from 1979 to 1997 in Wisconsin, Arizona, Maine, Michigan,
Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, South
Dakota, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. (The Wisconsin State
Journal, April 27, 2001)


PURCHASEPRO.COM, INC: Weiss & Yourman Files Securities Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Weiss & Yourman announced that it has filed a class action complaint on
behalf of all persons who acquired PurchasePro.com, Inc. (Nasdaq: PPRO)
securities between July 19, 2000, and April 25, 2001, inclusive (the
"Class Period").

The complaint charges PurchasePro and certain officers/directors with
violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934, alleging that they made numerous positive representations
throughout the Class Period regarding the financial and business
prospects of the Company, while knowing and withholding that the Company
was improperly recognizing revenue in order to artificially inflate the
trading value of PurchasePro securities for their own personal benefit.

According to the complaint, since the disclosure of these, and other,
adverse facts would have caused a severe collapse in the price of the
Company's securities, defendants set out on a scheme to artificially
inflate PurchasePro's stock price so that they could maintain their
lucrative positions and earn ill-gotten gains through their insider
trading practices, among other things.

As a result of defendants' false statements, misrepresentations, and
omissions, the price of PurchasePro's securities was artificially
inflated during the Class Period. In fact, the Company's securities
closed as high as $ 44.95 on September 22, 2000, and were maintained at
an artificially inflated level until the Company disclosed its dismal
financial condition on or about April 25, 2001. These disclosures caused
the stock price of PurchasePro to plummet approximately 35% in one day
from $6.22 to $4.05 on April 25, 2001, on volume of over 11 million
shares. If you are a member of the class described above, you may, no
later than June 25, 2001, move the Court to serve as lead plaintiff, if
you so choose. If you wish to discuss this action, or have any questions
concerning this notice, or your rights or interests with respect to this
matter, please contact: Jennifer Williams of Weiss & Yourman, 10940
Wilshire Blvd., 24th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90024. Telephone: (310)
208-2800 or Toll-free: (800) 437-7918. E-mail: info@wyca.com.

Contact: Weiss & Yourman, 10940 Wilshire Blvd., 24th Floor, Los Angeles,
CA 90024, Telephone: (310) 208-2800 or (800) 437-7918, E-mail:
info@wyca.com


RITALIN MAKERS: Judge Dismisses Suit over Conspiracy with APA and CHADD
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
On April 26, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, the manufacturer of
Ritalin (R) (methylphenidate), learned that U.S. District Judge Rudi M.
Brewster reaffirmed his earlier ruling to dismiss the class action
lawsuit claiming the company conspired with the American Psychiatric
Association (APA) and Children and Adults with Attention-
Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) to promote the diagnosis of
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The case was dismissed
under California's anti-SLAPP statute that provides for dismissal of
lawsuits that attack defendants for their speech about an issue of public
interest.

"We applaud Judge Brewster's dismissal of the California class action,"
said Novartis General Counsel, Dorothy Watson. "The plaintiff's claim is
ludicrous and warrants no consideration. This ruling supports Novartis'
position that this lawsuit and others like it are an unmerited attempt to
promote an agenda that flies in the face of scientific and medical
consensus."

In a March 8 ruling, Judge Brewster dismissed the complaint against
Novartis and co-defendants and held the plaintiff's complaint was so
vague and unclear, that it did not even state a legal claim. Further,
Judge Brewster also held that if the defects in the complaint were not
rectified by the parties who brought the lawsuit he would dismiss the
case entirely under the anti-SLAPP statute. The plaintiff did not make
any attempt to correct the defects in their complaint, but rather
announced their intent to appeal the judge's ruling.

Had the plaintiff issued a new complaint, it would have been the third
attempt to state a valid claim in this litigation. Novartis is confident
that this appeal will be no more successful than the first two
complaints.

The California lawsuits and similar suits filed in Texas, Florida, New
Jersey and Puerto Rico claimed Novartis had conspired with the APA and
CHADD to broaden or expand the diagnosis and diagnostic criteria for
ADHD.

Contrary to the position advanced in the lawsuits, ADHD is a real and
serious disorder. It is a well-established and valid diagnosis recognized
by the leading medical authorities in the U.S., including the American
Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Academy
of Pediatrics, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Surgeon
General.

Ritalin has helped generations of children and adults and has been shown
to be an effective and safe medication for more than 45 years. It has
been scientifically evaluated in more than 200 studies involving over
6,000 school- aged children.

"Ritalin and similar treatments are among the most widely studied
therapies available," said Watson. "We are heartened that an overwhelming
body of scientific evidence cannot just be litigated away by lawyers and
anti- psychiatry advocates."

Ritalin is a mild central nervous system stimulant that helps to address
the neurochemical problems underlying ADHD.

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation researches, develops, manufactures
and markets leading innovative prescription drugs used to treat a number
of diseases and conditions, including central nervous system disorders,
organ transplantation, cardiovascular diseases, dermatological diseases,
respiratory disorders, cancer and arthritis. The company's mission is to
improve people's lives by pioneering novel healthcare solutions.

Located in East Hanover, New Jersey, Novartis Pharmaceuticals
Corporation, is an affiliate of Novartis AG, a world leader in Life
Sciences with core businesses in Healthcare, Agribusiness, and Consumer
Health.


SMART WORLD: Bragar Wexler Announces Securities Lawsuit Filed in N. Y.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Bragar Wexler Eagel & Morgenstern, LLP announces that a
class action lawsuit was filed on February 19, 2001, on behalf of a
purchaser and all other similarly situated purchasers of Smart World
Technologies, LLC (the "Company") securities from November 1, 1999
through June 29, 2000, inclusive (the "Class Period"). The Complaint
seeks remedies for violations of Section 12(a)(1) and (a)(2) of the
Securities Act of 1933 against the defendants as control persons pursuant
to Section 15 of the Securities Act. The action is pending in the
Southern District of New York, and a copy of the Complaint is available
from the Court.

The Complaint alleges that during the Class Period, the Company failed to
register the Company's offering of securities with the Securities and
Exchange Commission as required by Sections 6 and 7 of the Securities
Act, and no exemption from registration was applicable to the Company's
securities offering. In addition, the Complaint alleges that in
connection with the offering, the Company made misstatements of material
facts, and omitted material facts from its disclosures required so as not
to make the disclosures misleading, all in connection with the Company's
financial condition, and prospects for financing the Company's business.
On June 29, 2000, the Company and two of its subsidiaries filed for
protection under chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code.

Contact: Bragar Wexler Eagel & Morgenstern, LLP, New York Paul D. Wexler
, Esq., 212/308-5858 Wexler@BragarWexler.com


WACHOVIA CORP: Angry Shareholder Sues to Block Buyout by First Union
--------------------------------------------------------------------
A Wachovia Corp. shareholder, angry about the bank's pending merger with
First Union, sued Wachovia to halt the union.

The deal's $ 13.4 billion price tag is "wholly inadequate" and offers
"virtually no premium" for Wachovia shareholders, said the suit filed in
late April in federal court in Greensboro.

Charlotte-based First Union will give two of its shares for each Wachovia
share under the terms of the deal announced in late April. The offer gave
Wachovia shareholders a 6 percent premium the day the deal was announced.

Since then, stock in the Winston-Salem based bank has traded for more
than what First Union would pay for every Wachovia share -- a sign that
some investors believe another bank will offer to pay more. However,
analysts say chances of a hostile bidder surfacing are low.

The suit, filed by Virginia investor Jerry Krim, seeks class-action
status.

Both Wachovia and First Union declined to comment, citing long-standing
policies of not discussing lawsuits against their companies.

Wachovia's Chief Executive L.M. "Bud" Baker and director Morris Offit
were named as defendants along with the banking company. The suit alleges
that they have "breached their fiduciary duties" and they should have
tried to "obtain or seek competing bids from other potential suitors."

Officials at both banks have been highlighting what they see as the
deal's strong points to analysts, investors and their employees since the
day it was announced. They say the combined company would be more
efficient than the separate banks are and would hold the majority of
deposits in key East Coast markets. It would also have excess capital to
invest in fee-rich businesses geared toward wealthy customers.

On April 26, First Union chief executive Ken Thompson and chief financial
officer Bob Kelly met with groups of analysts in New York to further tout
the deal and answer questions.

"They're really trying to make their case for this deal," said Marni Pont
O'Doherty, analyst with Keefe Bruyette & Woods Inc. who met with the
First Union executives. "They know the market is still questioning them"
because many analysts aren't certain that First Union, which just
completed a major restructuring, is ready to take on buying a bank.

The combined company would be the nation's fourth-largest bank, with $
324 billion in assets and 19 million customers. It would bear the
Wachovia name with headquarters in Charlotte.

The merger, if approved by shareholders and regulators, is expected to
close by Sept. 30. (The Charlotte Observer, April 27, 2001)


                          *********


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

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by Bankruptcy
Creditors' Service, Inc., Princeton, NJ, and Beard Group, Inc.,
Washington, DC. Theresa Cheuk, Managing Editor.

Copyright 1999.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without prior
written permission of the publishers.

Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to be
reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The CAR subscription rate is $575 for six months delivered via e-mail.
Additional e-mail subscriptions for members of the same firm for the
term of the initial subscription or balance thereof are $25 each.  For
subscription information, contact Christopher Beard at 301/951-6400.


                    * * *  End of Transmission  * * *