CAR_Public/010621.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

              Thursday, June 21 2001, Vol. 3, No. 121

                              Headlines


COMMERCE ONE: Stull Stull Commences Securities Suit In S.D. New
York
COMMUNITY FINANCIAL: Faces Milwaukee Suit Over Short-term Loan
Clause
DIGITAL IMPACT: Schiffrin Barroway Files Securities Suit In S.D.
NY
ECI TELECOM: Cauley Geller Commences Securities Suit In E.D.
Virginia
FLEMING COMPANIES: Awaits 10th Circuit Opinion On Four-year Suit

IC ISAACS: Inks Agreement To Settle Suit In MD For Unspecified
Amount
INFOSPACE INC.: Milberg Weiss Files Securities Suit In W.D. WA
INTERVOICE-BRITE: Dyer Shuman Files Suit For Fraud, Other
Violations
NBC INTERNET: Stockholders Sue To Nix Merger And Liquidation
Proposal

NEALE, RICHARD: Ex-patients Sue Over 'Botched' Operations
PHYSICIANS RESOURCE: Asks Fed Court In Nevada To Consolidate
Suits
PURCHASEPRO.COM: Monday Deadline Nears For Appointing Lead
Plaintiffs
RJ REYNOLDS: Appellate Court Says MSA Not Violative Of Antitrust
Laws
ROBOTIC VISION: Milberg Weiss Commences Securities Lawsuit In MA

SEAVIEW VIDEO: Wolf Haldenstein Files Securities Suit In M.D.
Florida
SAN JUAN COUNTY:Supreme Court Says Navajo Lawyer Entitled To More
Pay
WAL-MART: Cohen Milstein Files Nationwide Sex Discrimination Case
WASHINGTON: Retired Cops, Firefighters Sue Over Raided Pension
Fund
WORLD FUEL: Federal Court In Florida Denies Motion To Amend
Complaint

* Civil Rights Group To Open Georgia Office, Safeguard Latino
Rights


                              *********


COMMERCE ONE: Stull Stull Commences Securities Suit In S.D. New
York
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---
Stull, Stull & Brody filed Tuesday a class action lawsuit in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York, on behalf of purchasers of Commerce One, Inc. (NASDAQ:CMRC)
common stock between July 1, 1999 and June 15, 2001, inclusive.

The complaint alleges that defendants Commerce One, Inc., Mark B.
Hoffman, Peter F. Pervere, Thomas J. Gonzales, II, Asim Abdullah,
Jay M. Tenenbaum, John V. Balen, William B. Elmore, Kenneth C.
Gardner, William J. Harding, John P. Swingewood and Jeffrey T.
Webber violated the federal securities laws by issuing and
selling Commerce One common stock pursuant to the July 1, 1999
IPO without disclosing to investors that some of the underwriters
in the offering, including the lead underwriters, had solicited
and received excessive and undisclosed commissions from certain
investors.

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 Commerce One offering
contained material misstatements regarding the commissions that
the underwriters would derive from the IPO transaction and failed
to disclose the additional commissions.

For further details, contact: Tzivia Brody, Esq. at Stull, Stull
& Brody by calling toll-free 1-800-337-4983, or by e-mail at
SSBNY@aol.com, or by fax at 212/490-2022, or by writing to Stull,
Stull & Brody, 6 East 45th Street, New York, NY 10017.


COMMUNITY FINANCIAL: Faces Milwaukee Suit Over Short-term Loan
Clause
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----
Two payday loan companies were sued Monday by a law firm that is
trying to alter short-term loan agreements that threaten
borrowers with having to pay attorney fees if they don't repay
the loans, a report from the Tribune Business News said.

The two lawsuits, if successful, wouldn't bring a big payoff to
borrowers but would reduce the leverage that the payday loan
companies have over them, said Milwaukee attorney Robert
O'Reilly.

"To tell borrowers in loan agreements that if they default they
would have to pay attorney fees is illegal and coercive,"
O'Reilly said.

The named defendants of the suit are Community Financial/
Speedy-loan Corp. and Your Credit Inc.

Both lawsuits were filed in Milwaukee County Circuit Court on
behalf of Milwaukeean Norma Ortega, who took out loans from both
companies, the report said.

O'Reilly expects 100 more plaintiffs to come out once the suit is
certified as a class action by the court.


DIGITAL IMPACT: Schiffrin Barroway Files Securities Suit In S.D.
NY
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--
Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP filed a class action lawsuit in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York, located at 500 Pearl Street, New York, NY 10007, on behalf
of all purchasers of the common stock of Digital Impact, Inc.
(Nasdaq: DIGI) from November 22, 1999 through December 6, 2000,
inclusive.

The complaint charges Digital and certain of its officers and
directors with issuing false and misleading statements concerning
its business and financial condition.

For additional information, contact: Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP
through Marc A. Topaz, Esq. or Stuart L. Berman, Esq. by Mail:
Three Bala Plaza East, Suite 400, Bala Cynwyd, PA  19004 by
Phone: 1-888-299-7706 (toll free) or 1-610-667-7706 or by E-mail:
info@sbclasslaw.com


ECI TELECOM: Cauley Geller Commences Securities Suit In E.D.
Virginia
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The Law Firm of Cauley Geller Bowman & Coates, LLP filed a class
action in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Virginia, Alexandria Division on behalf of purchasers
of ECI Telecom Ltd. (Nasdaq: ECIL) common stock during the period
from May 2, 2000 through February 14, 2001, inclusive.

The complaint charges ECI and certain of its officers and
directors with issuing false and misleading statements concerning
ECI's reported revenue for the first, second and third quarters
of 2000.

Specifically, the complaint alleges that on February 14, 2001,
the Company announced that it expected to move $38 million in
revenue from its 1999 financial statement to 2000, and $61
million from 2000 to 2001.

For more information, contact: CAULEY GELLER BOWMAN & COATES, LLP
through its Client Relations Department: Jackie Addison, Sue Null
or Charlie Gastineau by Mail: P.O. Box 25438, Little Rock, AR
72221-5438 by Phone: 1-888-551-9944 (toll free) or by E-mail:
info@classlawyer.com


FLEMING COMPANIES: Awaits 10th Circuit Opinion On Four-year Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Fleming Companies, Inc. disclosed in a recent regulatory filing
with the Securities and Exchange Commission that briefing on the
appeal by stockholders of a securities suit has already been
completed.

A decision, however, from the Court of Appeals for the Tenth
Circuit is not yet out. According to the Company, the briefing
was conducted on May 15, 2001.

This case has been pending since 1996, when nine purported class
actions were filed separately in the U.S. District Court for the
Western District of Oklahoma against the Company and former
officers and directors.

These lawsuits were consolidated in 1997.  Thereafter, the
consolidated suit was dismissed twice. On February 2000, the
plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal with the Tenth Circuit.

The plaintiffs in the consolidated cases sought undetermined but
significant damages, and asserted liability for the Company's
alleged "deceptive business practices."

The plaintiffs claimed that these alleged practices caused the
Company to change its manner of doing business at great cost and
loss of profit and materially inflated the trading price of its
common stock.


IC ISAACS: Inks Agreement To Settle Suit In MD For Unspecified
Amount
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----
I.C. Isaacs & Company, Inc. (Nasdaq: ISAC) announced Tuesday that
it has reached an agreement in principle to settle the
consolidated securities class action lawsuit filed against the
Company and certain current and former officers and directors of
the Company in the United States District Court for the District
of Maryland.

Under the terms of the settlement, which is subject to the
preparation and execution of definitive settlement documents and
court approval, all claims against the Company and all of the
other defendants will be dismissed without admission of liability
or wrongdoing by any party.

The settlement will be funded entirely by the Company's directors
and officers liability insurer, and that the settlement payment
will not have an adverse effect on I.C. Isaacs' financial
position or results of operations.

Robert J. Arnot, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of I.C.
Isaacs, commented: "We believe that our decision to settle the
consolidated class actions is in the best interest of our
shareholders because it will remove the uncertainty, expense and
distraction of continuing litigation. This will enable us, going
forward, to concentrate exclusively on driving growth and
profitability in our operations."


INFOSPACE INC.: Milberg Weiss Files Securities Suit In W.D. WA
--------------------------------------------------------------
Milberg Weiss filed a class action in the United States District
Court for the Western District of Washington on behalf of
purchasers of InfoSpace Inc. (NASDAQ:INSP) securities during the
period between January 26, 2000 and January 30, 2001.

The complaint charges InfoSpace and its founder and Chairman,
Naveen Jain, with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934.

For more information, contact: Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes &
Lerach LLP through William Lerach by Phone: 800/449-4900 or by
Email: wsl@milberg.com


INTERVOICE-BRITE: Dyer Shuman Files Suit For Fraud, Other
Violations
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---
Dyer & Shuman, LLP filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of
purchasers of InterVoice-Brite, Inc. (Nasdaq:INTV) common stock
during the period between October 12, 1999, and June 6, 2000,
inclusive.

The complaint charges InterVoice and certain of its officers and
directors with issuing materially false statements about
InterVoice's business, its financial results, the success of its
integration with Brite Voice Systems, Inc. and its prospects.

As a result, InterVoice's stock price was inflated to as high as
$38.75 per share. The individual defendants took advantage of
this inflation, selling 525,916 shares of their InterVoice stock
for $13.4 million in proceeds.

On June 6, 2000, InterVoice shocked the market, revealing that it
would report a loss of $0.03 to $0.05 and revenues of only
$67-$68 million for the 1st Q F01 rather than the EPS of $0.22
and revenues of $89 million defendants had led the market to
expect.

Defendants blamed the shortfall on sales people who had begun
leaving the company in the months prior to this disclosure, some
of which were unhappy with the integrated company.

For further details, contact: Dyer & Shuman, LLP, Denver through
Jeffrey A. Berens by Phone: 303/861-3003 or 800/711-6483 by Fax:
303/830-6920 or by Email: jberens@dyershuman.com


NBC INTERNET: Stockholders Sue To Nix Merger And Liquidation
Proposal
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----
NBC Internet, Inc. disclosed in a recent report to the Securities
and Exchange Commission that as of June 11, 2001, 13 complaints
have been filed in the Court of Chancery for the State of
Delaware, New Castle County on behalf of a purported class of the
Company's stockholders.

In addition, as of June 11, 2001, two complaints have been filed
in the Superior Court for the State of California, County of San
Francisco, and one complaint has been filed in the New York
Supreme Court for the County of New York, each on behalf of a
purported class of NBCi stockholders.

These complaints name the Company, one or more current or former
members of the board of directors, NBC and/or GE as defendants
and allege violations of the fiduciary duties of the board of
directors to the public stockholders in connection with a merger
and liquidation scheme proposed recently by management.

The complaints seek, among other things, an injunction of the
merger and the liquidation and unspecified damages.

The plaintiffs have made no attempt so far to pursue an immediate
injunction through a temporary restraining order.


NEALE, RICHARD: Ex-patients Sue Over 'Botched' Operations
----------------------------------------------------------
Seventeen years after leaving Canada in order to start a clean
professional slate in another country, Richard Neale now has to
go back to clean up his mess.

According to a recent report in The Northern Echo, a North
Yorkshire newspaper in England, lawyers acting for more than 30
of Neale's former patients in Canada served a writ on him in the
name of Pat Ball, a 64-year-old woman of Whitby, Ontario, who is
part of a class action representing other women claiming that
Neale "botched" operations.

Before the 54-year-old Neale left Canada for North Yorkshire, he
had worked in two Canadian hospitals.  At the first, he was found
to have shown poor judgment when a patient died after he operated
on her against the advice of his superiors.  He left the second
hospital after using an unauthorized drug on a pregnant woman,
who subsequently died during labor.

Canadian medical authorities struck him from the medical register
after this second death.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, North Yorkshire
detectives will sit down with Crown Prosecution lawyers to decide
whether Neale should face prosecution over the deaths of three
patients who died while in the care of the surgeon/gynecologist.

After his arrival in North Allerton, North Yorkshire, and after
practicing at North Allerton Hospital for a period of time, Neale
was struck off the list of qualified doctors by the UK's General
Medical Council's Professional Conduct Committee.

He was found guilty of performing operations without consent,
sub-standard surgery, performing unnecessary procedures and lying
about his qualifications.

Both the GMC and the Yorkshire Regional Health Authority had been
told that Neale had been struck off in Canada, but these bodies
took no action.

It was not until former patients of Neale in North Yorkshire
formed an action group to pressure the authorities that GMC
suspended Neale.

More than 60 British women who were Neale's patients at North
Allerton hospitals are waiting for compensation after suing these
hospitals.

Neale's spokesman said he has no comment to make at this time.


PHYSICIANS RESOURCE: Asks Fed Court In Nevada To Consolidate
Suits
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-
Physicians Resource Group, Inc. revealed recently that it is
currently facing several securities class actions, along with
certain of its officers and directors.

At least six class action lawsuits are pending in the U.S.
District Court for the Northern District of Texas, the Company
said.

These suits make various allegations of violations of federal
securities laws, specifically sections 10 and 20 of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

Other allegations include misrepresentations and omissions of
material facts in connection with purchases and sales of the
Company's securities.  Damages are claimed but are unspecified as
to the amount.

The Company said in a recent regulatory filing with the
Securities and Exchange Commission that it has already filed a
motion requesting the consolidation of these lawsuits into one
single action.

The Company believes it has meritorious defense against the above
charges.


PURCHASEPRO.COM: Monday Deadline Nears For Appointing Lead
Plaintiffs
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Shareholders who have filed a class action lawsuit against
PurchasePro.com, Inc. (Nasdaq: PPRO) on behalf of all those who
purchased the common stock of PurchasePro during the period
between July 19, 2000 through April 25, 2001, inclusive, have
until Monday June 25, 2001 to seek appointment by the Court as
one of the lead plaintiffs in this action.

The lawsuit charges PurchasePro with making a series of positive
representations during the Class Period concerning the Company's
financial and business prospects, while allegedly knowing that
PurchasePro was improperly recognizing revenue in order to
artificially inflate the trading value of its securities.

As a result of PurchasePro's allegedly false and misleading
statements, the prices of the Company's securities were
artificially inflated during the Class Period.


RJ REYNOLDS: Appellate Court Says MSA Not Violative Of Antitrust
Laws
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The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Tuesday that the
Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) between the major tobacco
companies and the states was not, and could not be, an
anticompetitive agreement in violation of antitrust laws.

A.D. Bedell, a cigarette wholesaler, brought this class action on
behalf of itself and 900 other wholesalers who claimed that the
MSA restrained trade. The plaintiff sought monetary damages and a
permanent injunction of the MSA.

"The court held that because the MSA resulted from the settlement
of litigation with state governments, it was therefore protected
from antitrust attack," said Darryl R. Marsch, senior counsel for
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.

The 3rd Circuit's rejection of these antitrust claims is
consistent with the decisions of the four other federal courts
that have considered antitrust attacks on the MSA. Marsch
observed that, "these successive, consistent decisions make it
clear that these suits have no merit."

The MSA, which was signed in 1998, comprehensively addressed the
major issues regarding cigarette marketing and underage smoking.

Through the MSA and other settlements with the states, Reynolds
Tobacco and other tobacco companies are providing up to $246
billion over 25 years that can be used to develop and implement
efforts to reduce underage smoking.

Other defendants in the case included Philip Morris Inc. and
Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation.


ROBOTIC VISION: Milberg Weiss Commences Securities Lawsuit In MA
----------------------------------------------------------------
Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP filed Tuesday a class
action lawsuit on behalf of purchasers of the securities of
Robotic Vision Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: ROBV) between January 27,
2000 and May 15, 2001, inclusive.

The action, numbered 01-11054 (RGS), is pending in the United
States District Court, District of Massachusetts against
defendants Robotic Vision, Pat V. Costa and Frank D. Edwards. The
Hon. Richard G. Stearns has been assigned to the case.

The Complaint alleges that defendants violated Sections 10(b) and
20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder, by issuing a series of material
misrepresentations to the market between January 27, 2000 and May
15, 2001, thereby artificially inflating the price of Robotic
Vision securities.

For additional information, contact: Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes
& Lerach LLP through Steven G. Schulman or Samuel H. Rudman by
Phone: 800/320-5081 by Email: roboticvisioncase@milbergNY.com or
visit the firm's Website: www.milberg.com


SEAVIEW VIDEO: Wolf Haldenstein Files Securities Suit In M.D.
Florida
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Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP commenced a class
action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Middle
District of Florida, Tampa Division, on behalf of purchasers of
SeaView Video Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq:SEVU.OB - news) during the
period between March 30, 2000 and March 19, 2001, inclusive.

The complaint alleges that defendants SeaView Video Technology
Inc. and Richard McBride, President and Chief Executive Officer
of SeaView during the Class Period, violated Section 10(b) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder.

The Company committed the violations by issuing a series of
material misrepresentations to the market concerning, inter alia,
SeaView's expected revenue for 2000, its reported revenue for the
second and third quarter of 2000, the demand for its products,
and its ability to manufacture sufficient product to meet the
purported demand.

Specifically, the class alleges, defendants had led the market to
believe SeaView would have gross sales of $46 million in 2000,
yet gross sales ended up being slightly over $1 million.

For additional information, contact: Wolf Haldenstein Adler
Freeman & Herz LLP at 270 Madison Avenue, New York, New York
10016, by telephone at (800) 575-0735 (Michael Miske, George
Peters, Fred Taylor Isquith, Esq., or Gregory M. Nespole, Esq.),
via e-mail at classmember@whafh.com or visit the firm's website
at www.whafh.com


SAN JUAN COUNTY:Supreme Court Says Navajo Lawyer Entitled To More
Pay
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----
The U.S. Supreme Court refused recently to hear the San Juan
County Board of Education's challenge to an appeal court's ruling
awarding fees to attorney Eric Swenson.

Swenson had sued the Utah County for providing inadequate
education to Navajo children. Swenson, who filed the class action
lawsuit in 1974, said the Court's decision validates the weight
of the agreement struck in 1997 to resolve the lawsuit, according
to an Associated Press report.

The agreement provided that the San Juan school board would
provide new school construction and commence bilingual and
bicultural education programs on the Utah portion of the
reservation that also covers parts of Arizona and New Mexico.

However, a U.S. District Court judge agreed with school board
attorneys that Swenson's clients had gained little by the
agreement and, therefore,  Swenson was entitled to less than five
percent of his attorney fees; about $25,000 of the $600,000
Swenson had requested, according to the calculation of Randy
Austin, an attorney for the school board.

When Swenson appealed to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals,
the Court ruled that, although the attorney had not won each part
of his case, overall the Navajos had prevailed, and Swenson was
entitled to a fee larger than the one allocated by the U.S.
District Court.

Based on the Supreme Court's action, U.S. District Judge David
Sam has asked attorneys for both sides to submit briefs arguing
the attorney fee claim.  School board attorney Randy Austin said
he expects the court to award an increased attorney fee to
Swenson.


WAL-MART: Cohen Milstein Files Nationwide Sex Discrimination Case
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Six current and former Wal-Mart employees from California,
Illinois, Ohio, Texas and Florida have filed Tuesday a massive
nationwide sex discrimination class action lawsuit in U.S.
District Court for the Northern District of California against
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. -- Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (Case No.
C 012252 MJJ)

The case is believed to be the largest such suit ever filed
against a private employer.

The class action suit charges that Wal-Mart discriminates against
its female employees in promotions, compensation and job
assignments in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of
1964 (Title VII).

It claims that women are largely relegated to lower paying jobs
and systematically denied advancement opportunities.

Despite the fact that women comprise over 72% of the Wal-Mart
sales workforce, a very small percentage are represented in the
supervisory and managerial ranks:

     (i) Men hold 90% of Wal-Mart store manager positions.

    (ii) Less than one-third of store management overall at
Wal-Mart is
         female -- a percentage far lower than the number of
female
         managers employed by Wal-Mart's major competitors (56%),
and
         lower than the percentage employed by its competitors
back in
         1975.

   (iii) There is only one woman among Wal-Mart's 20 top
officers.

The class in this case may include more than an estimated 500,000
current and former female employees of Wal-Mart retail stores in
America, including Wal-Mart discount stores, supercenters,
neighborhood stores, and Sam's Club, making this action
potentially the largest sex discrimination case ever litigated
against a private employer.

According to the lawsuit, Wal-Mart's treatment of its female
employees includes a sexually demeaning atmosphere, where female
employees are told that "women do not make good managers", that
"a trained monkey" could do their jobs, and that women with kids
couldn't be managers.

Wal-Mart, a global retail giant, reported sales in excess of $191
billion in 2000. Currently 3,153 stores are owned and operated by
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in the United States. Wal-Mart employs more
women than any other company in the United States.

"The industry leader should not be the discrimination leader. If
Wal-Mart's top competitors are able to promote qualified women to
more than half of their management jobs, why can't Wal-Mart?"
said plaintiffs' lead counsel Brad Seligman, Executive Director
of The Impact Fund, a nonprofit civil rights organization based
in Berkeley, CA.

"While women in America have made tremendous strides in the
battle for equality, Wal-Mart is living in the America of thirty
years ago. Wal-Mart should not be allowed to continue denying
women an equal chance to advance and earn a living sufficient to
support themselves and their families," says Sheila Thomas,
Litigation Director of Equal Rights Advocates, and a member of
the plaintiffs' legal team.

"This lawsuit marks the D-Day assault that will shatter the glass
ceiling for women at America's largest private employer." said
plaintiffs' attorney Joseph M. Sellers, who heads the civil
rights practice at Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C. of
Washington, D.C., another of the lawyers representing the
plaintiffs.

"We hope that Wal-Mart's systematic and harmful oppression of
women will now be fully exposed," say Stephen Tinkler and Merit
Bennett, partners of the Santa Fe and Honolulu law firm of
Tinkler & Bennett, who have been litigating sexual harassment
claims against Wal-Mart since 1995.

The female plaintiffs are represented by The Impact Fund, Equal
Rights Advocates, Public Justice Center (Baltimore) and the
private law firms of Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, Davis
Cowell & Bowe (SF) and Tinkler & Bennett (Santa Fe, NM and
Honolulu, HI). Plaintiffs' counsel include some of the most
experienced class action and sex discrimination attorneys in the
country.

A toll free number (1-877-WOMAN-WM (966-2696)) and a website have
been set up for present and former female Wal-Mart workers to
learn more about the case: www.walmartclass.com. A copy of the
Complaint in the case, Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., is
available there and at http://www.CMHT.com.


WASHINGTON: Retired Cops, Firefighters Sue Over Raided Pension
Fund
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--
The Washington State Senate's passage of a bill providing funding
for the proposed budget for the 2001-03 biennium brought swift
action Tuesday in the form of a class action lawsuit filed by a
group of retired police officers and firefighters.

The suit claims the lawmakers balanced the budget by illegally
raiding a police officers' and firefighters' pension plan.

Senate Bill 6166 was approved earlier this month by the state
Senate and awaits House action, expected this week. If approved
as anticipated, the funding mechanism will be included in the
proposed state budget to be sent to the governor for his
signature.

Filed in Superior Court of Washington in Thurston County, the
suit asks the court to stop the legislature from terminating the
Law Enforcement Officers' and Fire Fighters' pension plan (LEOFF
1) fund and creating a new fund after bleeding off the majority
of the fund's surplus for other uses.

The suit charges that state action terminating the first LEOFF 1
and moving 76 percent of an approximate $500 million surplus into
a state general reserve fund violates state law. The action also
moves 12 percent of the LEOFF 1 fund surplus to bail out counties
and cities that have failed to fund medical benefits for their
employees.

The lawmakers singled out the LEOFF 1 fund surplus, although the
State of Washington Department of Retirement Systems administers
a dozen plans, most holding surpluses.

"The state legislature selected the LEOFF 1 fund for raiding for
political reasons. The lawmakers could have moved funds from any
of the state's pension plans, including their own, but they
didn't," Berman added. "They assumed that since the firefighters
and police retirees' have a modest political base in Olympia,
they would be an easy target. They guessed wrong."

The class action suit was filed on behalf of named plaintiffs
Alfred K. Fridell, a 27-year veteran of the Seattle Police
Department now living in Mill Creek, and Seattle resident
Clarence Williams, a 30-year veteran of the Seattle Fire
Department. If approved by the court, the suit would represent
all participating Washington state police and fire fighters.

Created in 1969, the LEOFF 1 has long been designated as a fund
for the exclusive benefit of police officers and firefighters.
Washington Attorney General Opinions declare the LEOFF fund
cannot be used for any purpose other than paying participants'
benefits.

Other laws also state that benefit increases in recognition of
devoted service to the public should be given to beneficiaries
when feasible. Several times in the past, legislature ordered
interest earnings on the LEOFF 1 fund paid to beneficiaries.

"This legislative action is simply against the law," said Steve
Berman, attorney for the plaintiffs. "Washington state law states
very clearly that all monies contained in the LEOFF 1 plan --
including the surplus -- are held in trust for the benefit of the
plan participants, and the participants alone."

Berman noted that if the legislature had tried to dip into
teachers' retirement fund, or the state employees' fund, both
political heavyweights, they would have been handed their
political scalps. "It is a simple matter of politics -- whose
pocket can they pick with the least political risk."

Under the plan, the state effectively strips away 88 percent of
the fund's surplus to help balance the budget and returns 12
percent of the surplus to a new fund for the retired firefighters
and police.

Estimates of the fund's value and surplus amount fluctuate
dramatically depending on market conditions. "In April, the state
actuary declared, in snap of a finger, that the fund shrunk by a
half a billion dollars," Berman noted. "We think it is wildly
imprudent to raid the fund of its surplus while the economy can
exert such a whip-saw effect."

The suit asks the court to grant an injunction, preventing the
legislature from raiding the fund while the suit is heard, as
well as a complete accounting of contributions into the fund by
the plan's participants.

The fund currently provides benefits to more than 7,600, with an
additional 1,800 contributing to the fund but not yet drawing
benefits.

The suit names as defendants the state of Washington, the
Washington Department of Retirement Systems (DRS) and John
Charles, director of DRS.


WORLD FUEL: Federal Court In Florida Denies Motion To Amend
Complaint
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----
World Fuel Services Corporation recently told the Securities and
Exchange Commission that the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of Florida has axed a motion to alter or amend the
complaint, which it has dismissed earlier.

According to the Company, the federal court denied the motion
last April.  In December last year, the court dismissed the
securities suit that had been filed against the Company and its
executive officers.

The case stems from two shareholders class action lawsuits filed
from February to March 2000. The lawsuits were subsequently
consolidated.

The lawsuit alleged violations of U.S. federal securities laws
and sought an unspecified amount of damages arising from the
decrease in World Fuel's stock price on January 31, 2000.


* Civil Rights Group To Open Georgia Office, Safeguard Latino
Rights
-----------------------------------------------------------------
---
The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (Maldef),
which
uses class action lawsuits to fight what it perceives to be
discrimination against Latinos, will be sending two lawyers and a
paralegal to Atlanta, Georgia, in about eight months, according
to a
recent Associated Press story.

Georgia's Hispanic population grew the third fastest after North
Carolina and Arkansas, up 300% from 1990 - 2000.

Looking at these demographics, "we realize that Georgia and the
Carolinas need an agency like ours that can really advocate for
the Latinos," said Meyling Eliash-Daneshfar, MALDEF's national
communications director.

Maria Blanco, national senior counsel for MALDEF, said there have
been
complaints about police asking Latinos for Social Security cards
during
traffic stops in an attempt to catch them in possession of
falsified
documents, which could lead to deportation  -- an unreasonable
penalty
for a minor traffic offense.

She said that she also had heard about a North Carolina
kindergarten that illegally had turned away Spanish-speaking
students, and that other schools had insisted on sending
information home in English even though some parents only speak
Spanish.

"There are very detailed federal laws on schools and language
that apparently a lot of the schools have not caught up with,"
Blanco said.


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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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Copyright 2001.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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