CAR_Public/020402.mbx                C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R
  
                 Tuesday, April 2, 2002, Vol. 4, No. 64

                            Headlines

ACADEMIC MANAGEMENT: To Vigorously Defend Against Fraud Suits in FL
CANADA: Pedophilia Suits Threatened Against Church-Run Institutions
DOUBLECLICK INC.: Agrees To Settle Online Privacy Suits in S.D. NY
ECHOSTAR DBS: Mediation To Resolve Consumer Suits Pending In CA Court
FLORIDA: Suit Over Ex-Felons' Right To Vote Moves Closer To Trial

HEALTH INDUSTRY: HMOs Get Appeal Right Against Patients' RICO Claims
KANSAS CITY POLICE: MO High Court Ends Appeal Over Right To Property
METRIS COMPANIES: Fairness Hearing For Suit Settlement Set May 2002
PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Compensation Suit's Demise A Threat To Nation's Peace
SPORTS EQUIPMENT: Two Firms Recall Basketball Hoops For Injury Hazard

TOBACCO LITIGATION: Dying Plaintiff Wants Own Suit Against Big Tobacco
TORCHMARK CORPORATION: Sued Over Subsidiary's Cancer Policies in AL
UNITED INSURANCE: Faces Suit For Fraud in Campaign For AFCA Membership
UNITED INSURANCE: Settles Kansas Consumer Suit Over Health Policies
UNITED INSURANCE: Denies Allegations in Suit Over Health Policies in NM

*Baby Boomers Increasingly Becoming Victims Of Age Discrimination

                          Securities Fraud

ANDRX CORPORATION: Cauley Geller Commences Securities Suit in S.D. FL
ANDRX CORPORATION: Charles Piven Initiates Securities Suit in S.D. FL
ANDRX CORPORATION: Schoengold Sporn Lodges Securities Suit in S.D. NY
ASIAINFO HOLDINGS: To Vigorously Oppose Securities Suit in S.D. NY
BE FREE: To Mount Vigorous Defense Against Securities Suit in S.D. NY

CALPINE CORPORATION: Stull Stull Commences Securities Suit in N.D. CA
CALPINE CORPORATION: Schatz Nobel Commences Securities Suit in N.D. CA
CELL PATHWAYS: Agrees To Settle Eleven Shareholder Suits in E.D. PA
GLOBAL CROSSING: Three Law Firms Initiate Securities Suit in C.D. CA
GLOBAL CROSSING: Zelle Hoffman Commences Securities Suit in C.D. CA

IMMUNEX CORPORATION: Labels "Without Merit" Securities Suits In WA
JDS UNIPHASE: Cauley Geller Commences Securities Fraud Suit in N.D. CA
L90 INC.: Schiffrin Barroway Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in C.D. CA
L90 INC.: Cauley Geller Initiates Securities Fraud Suit in C.D. CA
LUMENIS LTD.: Stull Stull Commences Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY

MEASUREMENT SPECIALTIES: Adkins Kelston Probes For Securities Fraud
MEDI-HUT CORPORATION: Wolf Haldenstein Lodges Securities Suit in NJ
METAWAVE COMMUNICATIONS: Wolf Haldenstein Lodges Securities Suit in WA
ORAPHARMA INC.: Faces Suit For Securities Act Violations in S.D. NY
TORCHMARK CORPORATION: Court Denies Summary Judgment For Alabama Suit

UNITED INSURANCE: Mediation in TX Securities Suit Set For April 2002
VIROPHARMA INC.: Schiffrin Barroway Launches Securities Suit in E.D. PA
VIROPHARMA INC.: Wolf Haldenstein Initiates Securities Suit in E.D. PA
VIROPHARMA INC.: Charles Piven Commences Securities Suit in E.D. PA
                             
                              *********

ACADEMIC MANAGEMENT: To Vigorously Defend Against Fraud Suits in FL
-------------------------------------------------------------------
The Academic Management Services Corporation faces two class actions in
Florida Federal and State court relating to its Parent Plus Student
Loan offering.

The first suit was commenced in June 2001 in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of Florida (Miami), in
connection with the marketing, solicitation and origination of
federally guaranteed Parent Plus student loans, the Company purportedly
violated:

     (1) the Higher Education Act (HEA) and the Racketeer Influenced
         and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) by allegedly committing
         wire and mail fraud; and

     (2) Florida tort law by allegedly committing negligence, making
         negligent misrepresentations, and breaching its fiduciary
         duty.

In October 2001, the court granted the Company's motion to dismiss the
case in its entirety.  Specifically, the District Court dismissed, with
prejudice, plaintiffs' federal HEA and RICO claims and dismissed,
without prejudice, plaintiffs' state law claims. Subsequently, the
court denied plaintiffs' motion for reconsideration/rehearing.

On December 27, 2001, plaintiffs appealed the District Court's ruling
and filed an appeal with the United States Court of Appeals for the
Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta, Georgia. Plaintiffs also filed a parallel
state class action complaint in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit, Dade
County, Florida, asserting essentially the same tort causes of action
previously dismissed by the federal court and adds a claim alleging
violations of the Florida state deceptive trade practices statute.

On February 19, 2002, the Company petitioned the court in the state
action for a stay pending resolution of the federal action.  The
Company believes that plaintiffs' claims are wholly without merit, and
intends to vigorously contest plaintiffs' federal appeal and state
class action.


CANADA: Pedophilia Suits Threatened Against Church-Run Institutions
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Hundreds of former residents of church-run orphanages and other
institutions in Quebec recently joined forces and plan to seek
reparations for sexual abuse they suffered in the homes in the 1960s
and 1970s, Agence France-Presse has reported.  A Montreal court is
hearing the opening arguments of one of the victims, Herve Bertrand,
and an advocacy group supporting a number of the victims has filed a
class action.

Now in their 50s to 70s, several of the alleged victims said that for
years their complaints of gross sexual abuse fell on deaf ears.
Now, however, an organization that helps defendants take institutions
to court, Mouvement Action Justice (MAJ), has given its support to
these seniors, who have set up a committee of "children victims of
sexual and physical abuse in Quebec institutions."  Their aim is to
hunt down pedophiles who, they say, were rampant in a number of
institutions run by the church at the time.

"Most of the abusers are dead, and others are hard to find," said Yves
Manseau, head of the advocacy group, MAJ.  "But the victims are still
alive, and they should be compensated."

After years of bargaining, about three years ago the Quebec government
tried to clean the slate by offering some 1,500 Duplessis orphans,
named after the provincial premier at the time, about $25,000 Canadian
dollars ($17,000 US) each, on condition that all further lawsuits be
dropped.  Herve Bertrand, one of the Duplessis orphans, said he refused
the money, because it would allow the government and church authorities
to sweep the whole sexual abuse chapter under the rug.  Mr. Bertrand
said he will not accept the police decision to close the files from
1955 while there are still 321 complaints.

Files on another 200 orphans who also turned down the Quebec offer have
been taken up by MAJ and presented in one class action.  "In one of the
worst communities, the Brothers of Mercy, their headquarters are in
Rome, and we are trying to get their cooperation (on the case)," said
Mr. Manseau.

Mr. Manseau said that this religious order ran the Huberdeau orphanage
in an isolated community several hundred kilometers north of Montreal.
"Because the problems there were so endemic and systemic, we have so
many witnesses that these incidents could not be made up," he said.  

One of the witnesses has said that children were killed as well as
abused.  The accusations of sexual fondling, mutual masturbation,
forced sodomy and fellatio, are repeated among former residents from
numerous other institutions.  None of the institutions have commented.

Mr. Manseau has said that he hopes the cases of pedophile priests
currently coming to light in Europe and the United States will help
break the taboos on this sensitive subject in Quebec.


DOUBLECLICK INC.: Agrees To Settle Online Privacy Suits in S.D. NY
------------------------------------------------------------------
DoubleClick, Inc. (Nasdaq: DCLK) has reached an agreement to settle all
the federal and state class action privacy litigation pending against
the Company in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York.

In the agreement, the Company commits to a series of industry-leading
privacy protections for online consumers while continuing to offer its
full range of products and services.  As part of this agreement, the
Company has agreed to adhere to the following practices and policies:

     (1) Clear Notice: The company's privacy policy will include easy-
         to-read explanations of its online ad serving services;

     (2) Enhanced Choice: If the company collects personally
         identifiable information, previously collected clickstream
         obtained by the company from across web sites can only be
         combined with the personally identifiable information after
         the provision of clear and conspicuous notice to the Internet
         user and receipt of the Internet user's opt-in choicel;

     (3) Consumer Education: The company will undertake a consumer
         education effort, which includes 300 million consumer privacy
         banner ads that invite consumers to learn more about how to
         protect their online privacy. Over the last two years, the
         company has already voluntarily delivered 100 million ads
         relating to consumer privacy;

     (4) Consistency: The company will ensure that an Internet user's
         online data will not be used in a manner materially
         inconsistent with the privacy policy under which it was
         collected, unless the consumer has given permission to do
         otherwise. The company will take steps to require that a
         successor to its business does not use Internet users' online
         data in a manner inconsistent with the privacy policy under
         which that data was collected;

     (5) Purging of Data and Cookie Life: The company will institute
         internal policies to ensure the protection and routine purging
         of data collected online. The company will also purge online
         data it obtained during the course of testing the manner in
         which online and offline data could be merged. The company has
         also agreed to limit to five years the life of new ad serving
         cookies;

     (6) Settlement Compliance: A nationally recognized independent
         accounting firm will conduct annual reviews for the next two
         years of the Company's compliance with specified terms of the
         settlement, expanding on its current auditing program with
         PricewaterhouseCoopers;

     (7) Legal Fees: Legal fees and costs of up to $1.8 million will be
         paid by the company. In the third quarter of 2001, the Company
         publicly announced that it had accounted for this charge as
         part of its operating expenses;

The term of the settlement is two years.  A final fairness hearing will
be held on May 21,2002 in the US District Court for the Southern
District of New York.

"The steps we are taking represent by far the most aggressive
leadership position regarding privacy within our industry," said Jules
Polonetsky, the Company's Chief Privacy Officer.  "DoubleClick will
continue to provide the same full range of marketing solutions for our
clients, buttressed by new and improved internal controls and
protections to further safeguard consumer information."

"We are pleased that we accomplished the main goal of the litigation -
namely to ensure that there is a strong set of protections in the event
DoubleClick attempts to merge clickstream and personal information. We
are hopeful that the rest of the online advertising industry looks to
this case as setting a standard for the future," said co-lead
plaintiffs' settlement counsel, Seth Lesser, Dennis Stewart, Bryan
Clobes and Ira Rothken. They said that the settlement is a "very good
result" because it goes further than steps the company had taken since
the lawsuits were filed by "requiring data purging, a public
information campaign, cookie life reduction, and compliance reviews of
DoubleClick's settlement commitments by a reputable, national auditing
firm, all of which significantly promote the protection of Internet
user privacy."

Mr. Polonetsky also noted that over the last two years, the Company has
launched several initiatives in order to further protect consumer
privacy on the Internet.  The Company now has a fully staffed privacy
team. The company maintains an active Consumer Privacy Advisory Board,
has been audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers for compliance with the
Network Advertising Initiative's Self-Regulatory Principles, and
solicits public and governmental feedback on its privacy policy.

For more information, contact Jennifer Blum by Phone: 212-381-5705 or
Seth R. Lesser of Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP by Phone:
212-554-1400.


ECHOSTAR DBS: Mediation To Resolve Consumer Suits Pending In CA Court
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Mediation in the consumer class action against Echostar DBS Corporation
is currently pending in the California State Superior Court for Alameda
County.  The suit, relating to late fees, alleges:

     (1) unlawful, unfair and fraudulent business practices in
         violation of California Business and Professions Code Section
         17200 et seq.;

     (2) false and misleading advertising in violation of California
         Business and Professions Code Section 17500; and

     (3) violation of the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act.

In September 2001, the court entered an order pursuant to stipulation
for a provisional certification of the class, for an orderly exchange
of information and for mediation. The order specifies that the class
shall be de-certified upon notice in the event mediation does not
resolve the dispute.  Mediation commenced on March 11, 2002.

It is too early in the litigation to make an assessment of the probable
outcome of the litigation or to determine the extent of any potential
liability or damages.  The Company intends to deny all liability and to
vigorously defend the lawsuit.


FLORIDA: Suit Over Ex-Felons' Right To Vote Moves Closer To Trial
-----------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit aimed at overturning Florida's 134-year-old
lifetime voting ban against ex-felons recently took one step closer to
a trial, The Miami Herald has reported.

In a hearing before US District Judge James Lawrence King, lawyers for
both sides argued whether Florida history scholar, Professor Emeritus
Jerrell Shofner of the University of Central Florida, should be allowed
to testify at the upcoming trial.  Nancy Northrup, an attorney for the
Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law,
which filed the lawsuit on behalf of Florida's approximately half-
million ex-felons, argued that Professor Shofner should be allowed
to take the stand, because if allowed to testify, he would tell the
jury about the intent behind the state's 1868 Constitution, which
contains the provision prohibiting ex-felons from voting for their
lifetime.

According to the lawsuit, the real purpose of the voting prohibition
was to restrict the voting rights of Florida's newly freed black
population.  A lawyer for the state of Florida, Hamish Hume, argued
that Professor Shofner should not be allowed to testify because he
would merely be expressing his opinion of the intent behind the passage
of Florida's 1868 Constitution, rather than objective facts.

Judge King postponed issuing a ruling, saying, at the end of the
hearing, that he would "take it under advisement."  Judge King
generated headlines a year ago when he certified Florida's roughly
525,000 ex-felons as a class, clearing the way for them to file a
federal lawsuit against Governor Jeb Bush and other state officials.  

The right-to-vote case is expected to draw widespread interest, given
the state's tight presidential election and disclosure by The Miami
Herald that more than 1,200 ex-felons voted in that race, despite the
law.


HEALTH INDUSTRY: HMOs Get Appeal Right Against Patients' RICO Claims
--------------------------------------------------------------------
A federal judge's recent ruling allows health insurers to ask an
appeals court to dismiss racketeering charges made by health-plan
members, the Dow Jones Business News reported.  This decision, say the
analysts, provides the health management organizations (HMOs) with the
means of defending themselves against dozens of class actions in a
Florida federal court.

US District Court Judge Federico Moreno ruled that insurers, including
Aetna Inc. and UnitedHealth Group Inc. could appeal part of an earlier
decision that preserved claims filed under the federal Racketeer
Influenced and Corrupt Organizations law (RICO).  Defendants want to
test an appellate ruling issued two years ago by the Third Circuit
Court of Appeals, in a separate case involving Aetna, that said HMO
members cannot sue under the RICO statutes unless they can show that
they were denied needed care or received poor care.

If successful, the appeals could end up restricting racketeering
claims, which would not only limit the number of plaintiffs but also
deflate the cases, according to industry supporters.

"This is a positive for the HMOs.  They have been trying to get [Judge]
Moreno to listen to arguments based on this case out of the Third
Circuit, called Maio v. Aetna.  Those arguments say you can't file a
RICO lawsuit unless you suffered some injury," said Prudential
Securities Inc. analyst David Shove.

Managed-care companies are facing a horde of lawsuits from patients and
doctors who claim that the companies conspired to withhold medical care
and failed to tell patients that doctors received incentives to limit
care.  As a result of this alleged conduct, patients are claiming they
received lower-quality care.  The lawsuits, which seek class action
status, have been grouped together under Judge Moreno's jurisdiction
for pretrial motions.  So far, they have been divided into two tracks,
one for doctors and the other for patients.

Earlier this month, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta upheld
Judge Moreno's ruling in a physician case that said HMOs may enforce
arbitration clauses in their contracts with doctors.  In February,
Judge Moreno refused to dismiss claims that leading health insurers
violated federal civil-racketeering laws by employing hidden financial
incentives for physicians to deny treatment and cut costs.  He also
ruled that health-plan members could bring claims for breach of
fiduciary duty over alleged "gag" clauses barring doctors from
disclosing the incentives, despite a federal pension-benefits law that
generally bars such claims.

The February ruling, however, was not a complete victory for
plaintiffs.  While Judge Moreno allowed the civil racketeering
allegations to proceed, he ruled that plaintiffs in California, New
Jersey, Florida and Virginia were barred from pursuing them because
those states do not allow private suits for insurance fraud. Each of
these states has its own regulatory mechanism to handle such
complaints.

Judge Moreno previously rejected the managed-care industry's argument
that the Third Circuit's ruling on Maio v. Aetna was applicable.  The
ruling is not controlling law in Florida-based courts, which are under
the jurisdiction of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

However, his decision to let HMOs appeal this particular issue directly
to the 11th Circuit was not unexpected, said Merrill Lynch & Co.
analyst Roberta Goodman.  In a recently published research note, Ms.
Goodman wrote that Judge Moreno's decision shows that he is sensitive
to the fact that his previous ruling was in "somewhat uncharted
territory," and that more definitive guidance from the Court of Appeals
would be useful.  Ms. Goodman said the firm's outside legal advisors
predict there is a good chance the 11th Circuit may rule in the
industry's favor.


KANSAS CITY POLICE: MO High Court Ends Appeal Over Right To Property
--------------------------------------------------------------------
The Kansas City Police Department will have to return more than $34,000
to a convicted drug user after the Missouri Supreme Court refused to
hear the department's appeal of a lawsuit, The Kansas City Star
reported recently.  The state's appellate court ruled that police had
kept the money illegally and the Supreme Court's decision not to hear
an appeal on this ruling paves the way for class actions that have been
filed in several Missouri counties accusing law enforcement agencies of
wrongfully taking property, according to two attorneys involved in the
suits.

"There is no question on the liability issue," said George A. Barton,
one of the attorneys.  "It confirms the right of people whose property
has been taken from them to get that property back."  James McMullin,
another attorney, said that he and Mr. Barton have filed class actions
in several counties, including Jackson, Pettis and Greene.  The
Missouri Highway Patrol is among the law enforcement agencies accused
of illegally keeping money.

Kansas City police detectives seized $33,000 when they were searching
the home of Vincent Karpierz.  They found marijuana in several places
in the house, and seized an additional $1,000 from Mr. Karpierz when he
was pulled over for a traffic violation.  Both Mr. McMullin and Mr.
Barton are attorneys for Mr. Karpierz, who was convicted of possession
of marijuana.

The police called the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and
turned over the money to agents.  The DEA subsequently returned $21,000
to the Police Department.

Missouri law requires that money and property seized and forfeited go
to public education.  However, local and state law enforcement agencies
have argued in such instances as the Karpierz case, that they did not
actually seize the money, they were only holding it until they could
give it to a federal agency.  The DEA then forfeited the money under
federal law and gave a portion back to the police.

State and local police have used this strategy in Missouri, as have the
police in other states, to keep millions of dollars in the past decade.
Mr. Karpierz sued, however, claiming that by transferring the money to
the DEA, the Police Department had violated Missouri law.  The Missouri
Court of Appeals ruled in Mr. Karpierz's favor and spelled out the
missteps the Kansas City police had made.  The appeals panel said the
department must pay back the money with interest.

When the department appealed the panel's decision, the appellate court
reaffirmed the ruling, and when the police department sought to
transfer the case to the state's Supreme Court, that court denied the
transfer.  Beth Riggert, communications counsel for the Supreme Court,
said the court's decision not to hear the case meant that the appellate
court's decision stands.


METRIS COMPANIES: Fairness Hearing For Suit Settlement Set May 2002
-------------------------------------------------------------------
The fairness hearing for the settlement of a class action against
Metris Companies, Inc. and two of its subsidiaries will be held in the
Hennepin County District Court in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 30,
2002.

The suit was filed against the Company and subsidiaries Metris Direct,
Inc. and Direct Merchants Bank, on behalf of all cardholders who were
issued a credit card by Direct Merchants Bank and were allegedly
assessed fees or charges that the cardholder did not authorize.  
Specifically, the complaint alleges violations of:

     (1) the Minnesota Prevention of Consumer Fraud Act,

     (2) the Minnesota Deceptive Trade Practices Act and

     (3) breach of contract

On February 1, 2002, preliminary approval of a settlement was signed by
the court whereby the Company will pay approximately $5.5 million for
attorneys' fees and costs incurred by attorneys for the plaintiffs in
separate lawsuits filed in Arizona, California and Minnesota in 2000
and 2001.  Under the terms of the settlement, the Company denied any
wrongdoing or liability.


PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Compensation Suit's Demise A Threat To Nation's Peace
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Papua New Guinea's (PNG) government has been hoping that enough
Ministers of Parliament will arrive at the Country's parliament to
conduct a vote on the Bougainville peace agreement.  What happens
during a class action lawsuit in an American courtroom, however, could
derail the peace process on the war-torn island, AAP News reported
recently.  This is because rebel leaders on Bougainville have expressed
outrage at efforts by the Papuan New Guinea and Australian governments
to have a class action against the Rio Tinto mining company thrown out
of the US District Court in Los Angeles.

It appears that the Los Angeles Federal Court, which was hearing the
landmark compensation case on behalf of 11,000 Bougainvillians, is to
recommend that the case be heard instead on PNG soil.  Responding to
the expected court ruling, PNG's Minister for Bougainville Affairs, Sir
Moi Avei, criticized some of the claims made in the lawsuit, which
seeks damages relating to the nine-year war of secession against PNG,
waged from 1989 to 1998.  "Some of the charges are really outrageous,"
Sir Moi told journalists during a recent press conference.

The suit, filed by independence leader Francis Ona, alleges that the
Rio Tinto mining company, acting in concert with the PNG government,
was responsible for despoiling the environment on Bougainville and
committed "various atrocities" and "war crimes," including a military
blockade that kept medical supplies from the island.

The war was sparked by years of alleged environmental damage caused by
the operations of then-Australian mining giant, CRA, at its gold and
copper mine at Paguna, in central Bougainville.   CRA became part of
the Rio Tinto mining company three years ago.

Last November, the PNG government warned the United States that
American relations with PNG could be "seriously undermined" if it
allowed the suit to go ahead in the Los Angeles court.  Sir Moi
recently denied that his government had attempted to stifle the rights
of Bougainvillians, but it was evident that the matter was not his
favorite subject.  "I have always told the Bougainvillians," he said,
"to forget any pie-in-the-sky ideas, because the future prosperity of
Bougainvillians, like all Papua New Guineans, is on the land, not in
courts of law."

Sir Moi said the case had wider ramifications for the Country's future
because of its dependence on the mining and petroleum industries.  He
said he was hopeful 72 of the Country' 100 Ministers of Parliament
would turn up to attend parliament to pass legislation which will grant
Bougainville autonomy and the eventual right to a referendum on total
independence.  The first reading of the legislation had been supported
unanimously.  However, getting enough parliamentary ministers to attend
parliament less than three months before an election is a big task in
PNG politics.

Unofficial election campaigning is underway outside Port Moresby,
raising fears that some of the Ministers will not consider the
Bougainville vote for independence a priority.  Once approved, however,
United Nations election inspectors will still need to sign off on the
weapons disposal scheme for Bougainville.

Director of the United Nations Observer Mission on Bougainville,
Ambassador Noel Sinclair, told journalists recently that more than 900
weapons had been collected and impounded on the island, but he warned
that this was "only a start."

The war on Bouganville, which led to a declaration of "independence" by
guerrilla leader Francis Ona in 1993, caused between 5,000 and 20,000
deaths through outright war with the mainland army and police, as well
as internal civil war, starvation, disease and childbirth fatalities.

Under the pending legislation, in 10 to 15 years Bougainville has the
option to vote for total independence from the government or for
continued inclusion in the South Pacific nation.


SPORTS EQUIPMENT: Two Firms Recall Basketball Hoops For Injury Hazard
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Sports equipment companies Escalade Sports and Lifetime Products, Inc.
are cooperating with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
by voluntarily recalling about 1.7 million portable basketball hoops.
There are about 1.7 million Lifetime portable basketball hoops and
about 16,000 Escalade Sports basketball hoops being recalled. The
basketball hoops may have a sharp protruding bolt on the players' side
of the pole that can cause serious leg or body lacerations to consumers
when the bolt is exposed.

Lifetime Products, Inc. have received 27 reports of injuries and
Escalade Sports has received one report of injury from the basketball
hoop bolt. Injuries include scrapes, deep lacerations and bruises.  
Several consumers required stitches for their injuries. Players have
been cut when they hit the pole as they drive toward the basket.

All Lifetime portable basketball system models, except the "Quick
Court" are included in the recall. The Escalade Sports basketball hoop
models included in the recall are the:

     (1) Harvard,

     (2) The Big Easy,

     (3) B3100,

     (4) B3301,

     (5) B3302,

     (6) B3303,

     (7) B3304,

     (8) B3305,

     (9) B3306,

    (10) B3403,

    (11) B3500,

    (12) Spalding,

    (13) Big Easy B3402 and

    (14) Apex B9995, Mini Court, Alley Court

These portable basketball hoops come unassembled with a flat plastic
base that is weighted down by either sand or water that is added during
assembly. The basketball poles are made of black metal. The brand names
or model names may appear on the backboard, main pole or the flat
plastic base of the basketball hoops.

Sporting good, department and toy stores including Wal-Mart, Kmart,
Target and Toys R Us nationwide sold the Lifetime basketball hoops
between January 1994 and July 2000 and the Escalade Sports basketball
hoops between March 1994 and December 2001 for between $80 and $500.

For more details, contact Lifetime Products Inc. by Phone:
800-225-3865 between 8 am and 5 pm MT or 9 am and 6 pm CT Monday
through Friday, visit the firm's Web site: http://www.lifetime.com,or  
contact Escalade Sports by Phone: 800-467-1397 between 9 am and 6 pm CT
Monday through Friday or visit the firm's Web site:
http://www.escaladesports.com


TOBACCO LITIGATION: Dying Plaintiff Wants Own Suit Against Big Tobacco
----------------------------------------------------------------------
John Lukacs, awaiting the result of a Big Tobacco class action brought
several years ago, now has but three to six months to live. A smoker
for 30 years, he wants to bring an individual suit and have his day in
court before his death, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel recently
reported.

Mr. Lukacs, a 77-year-old Miami lawyer wants a trial in order to
persuade a jury that Big Tobacco should compensate him for his
suffering and for making an addictive product that is cutting short his
life.  Miami-Dade County Circuit Judge Amy Steele Donner has set a
trial date for May 28.  However, the tobacco defendants want the 3rd
District Court of Appeals to stop that from happening.

Elliot Scherker, a lawyer for Lorillard Tobacco Company, told the
appeals court recently that Mr. Lukacs had his chance several years ago
when he chose to be a member of the class action against the nation's
largest tobacco Companies.  The class action resulted in a record $145
billion punitive damage verdict against the tobacco companies in July
2000, a verdict which is being appealed by the cigarette makers.  Mr.
Scherker argues that Mr. Lukacs, along with the estimated 700,000
Floridians in the class, should have to wait for a decision on the
appeal before skipping ahead to what is supposed to be the final phase
of that case.

Mr. Lukacs' lawyer Miles McGrane, who is also Mr. Lukacs' son-in-law,
argues that if  Mr. Lukacs dies before the end of the appeals process,
which could take years, his lawsuit against the tobacco companies also
dies.  The doctors' estimation of Mr. Lukacs' survival for three to six
months make this the likely scenario.

The court that now must decide whether Mr. Lukacs' case can proceed is
the same court that approved the class action against the tobacco
companies.  However, Chief Judge Alan R. Schwartz stopped Mr.
Scherker's argument and said he did not see how the pending punitive
damages appeal would be prejudiced if Mr. Lukacs were allowed to go to
trial on May 28.  Mr. Scherker cited a prior 3rd District Court of
Appeal decision that a class member could not bring an individual case.

Judge Schwartz suggested that Judge Donner was acting within her powers
when she gave Mr. Lukacs a trial date.  He pointed to the "extreme
circumstances" of the case, and said he did not think that trying this
individual case would harm the tobacco defendants.

Mr. Lukacs' lawyers have said that he is willing to put aside any
verdict he might win in his trial pending appeal of the $145 billion
verdict.  If the tobacco companies win and the $145 billion verdict is
overturned, Mr. Lukacs would get no money, Steven Harper, another
lawyer for Mr. Lukacs, told the appeals court.   The lawyers and the
three-judge appellate panel did not discuss what would happen if other
class members came forward asking for individual trials and making the
same stipulation that Mr. Lukacs is ready to make.

Ed Sweda, a lawyer for the Tobacco Control Research Institute at
Northeastern University in Boston, said in a recent interview that
other class members might try to file similar individual cases, but
that other trial judges might not agree with Judge Donner that they
were entitled to do so.

Mr. Scherker pointed out to the appeals panel, that according to a deal
made while the punitive damages appeal proceeded, the tobacco companies
were permitted to post $710 million instead of the entire $145 billion
verdict amount.  However, as part of that deal, the smokers were to get
the $710 million to keep, win or lose on the appeal  Now, said Mr.
Scherker, Mr. Lukacs and his lawyers are trying to circumvent the deal

Toward the end of the half-hour argument, Judge Schwartz returned to
the prejudice issue.  If the $145 billion verdict is upheld, he asked,
won't all class members be entitled to individual trials just like the
one Mr. Lukacs has requested?  Mr. Scherker responded that yes, there
would be individual trials, but neither side knows what form they would
take.

The appeals court will issue a ruling at a later date.


TORCHMARK CORPORATION: Sued Over Subsidiary's Cancer Policies in AL
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Insurance company Torchmark Corporation faces a class action filed in
the Circuit Court of Choctaw County, Alabama.  The suit, which also
named subsidiary Liberty National Life Insurance Company as co-
defendant, was filed on behalf of all persons who currently or in the
past were insured under Liberty cancer policies that are no longer
marketed regardless of whether such policies remain in force or have
lapsed.

The plaintiffs in this action purchased guaranteed renewable cancer
policies wherein Liberty reserved the right to change premium rates.
They allege that Liberty ceased marketing certain cancer policies,
"closed" the block of business, capping the potential pool of insureds
and leading to increased premiums to the remaining insureds. They
further allege that in instituting premium increases on cancer policies
after an earlier class action settlement, Liberty misrepresented the
reasons for such premium increases.  The suit asserts claims for:

     (1) breach of contract in implementing premium rate increases on a
         basis other than that set out in the policies,

     (2) misrepresentation regarding the premium increases,

     (3) fraud and suppression concerning the closed block of business,
         and

     (4) unjust enrichment


UNITED INSURANCE: Faces Suit For Fraud in Campaign For AFCA Membership
----------------------------------------------------------------------
United Insurance Companies, Inc. faces two class actions pending in
California state and federal courts, charging it with fraud relating to
its representations on the benefits of membership in the American Fair
Credit Association (AFCA).  The suits also name the American Fair
Credit Association and the United Membership Marketing Group, LLC as
defendants.

Company customer Dadra Mitchell filed the first suit in California
state court, in which plaintiffs have alleged that defendants violated
California law regarding unfair and deceptive trade practices by making
misleading representations about, and falsely advertising the nature
and quality of, the benefits of membership in AFCA.

A companion case was also filed in federal district court in San
Francisco, alleging violations of the federal Truth in Lending Act and
Regulation Z. on the theory that the 90-day notice period required for
termination of AFCA membership was not properly disclosed. The sole
defendant in the federal case is BankFirst, NA, a bank that issued a
VISA credit card made available through the AFCA program.

On April 12, 1999, the California state court certified a class of all
California residents who entered into a membership contract with AFCA
through April 12, 1999.  In October 2000, the state court in the
Mitchell case granted, in part, and denied, in part the joint motions
of the defendants to compel arbitration and to narrow the scope of the
plaintiff class. The court severed from the class action the claims for
recovery of money by way of damages or restitution of class members who
joined AFCA after January 1, 1998 and who executed signed arbitration
agreements. However, the state court denied the Company's motion to
compel arbitration with respect to these class members' claims for
injunctive relief and, as a result, their claims for injunctive relief
remain part of the class action. With respect to class members who were
existing members of AFCA in January of 1998 and who received through
the mail an amendment adding arbitration of disputes to their AFCA
membership agreement, the state court denied the Company's motion to
compel arbitration unless the member also signed a separate arbitration
agreement.

In addition, the state court clarified that its prior April 12, 1999
order certified a class with respect to all claims pleaded in the
complaint, not solely claims under the California Credit Services Act
of 1984. The court also narrowed the scope of the class by applying the
applicable statutes of limitation.

In October 2000, the Company, jointly with the two other defendants
filed a notice of appeal from the state court's October 2000 orders and
from its original class certification order dated April 12, 1999.  
Consequently, all trial court proceedings in the Mitchell case were
stayed.  On February 22, 2002, the California Court of Appeals heard
oral argument on the appeal.

The Company has not received notice from the plaintiffs of a motion for
any relief from the stay, and there have been no further proceedings in
the state court. Accordingly, at this time, it is unclear whether or
not plaintiffs will move for relief from the stay of proceedings, and,
if so, what relief from the stay, if any, will be granted to plaintiffs
pending the outcome of the Company's appeal.


UNITED INSURANCE: Settles Kansas Consumer Suit Over Health Policies
-------------------------------------------------------------------
United Insurance Companies, Inc. settled the class action commenced in
November 1998 in the US District Court for the District of Kansas,
arising out of the concurrent sales of individual health insurance
policies underwritten and marketed by PFL Life Insurance Company and
memberships in The National Association for the Self-Employed.  

The suit charges the Company, Ronald L. Jensen, and UGA, Inc, with:

     (1) fraud,

     (2) conspiracy to commit fraud,

     (3) breach of fiduciary duty,

     (4) violation of the Kansas Consumer Protection Act,

     (5) conspiracy to commit Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt
         Organizations Act (RICO) violations, and

     (6) violation of RICO.

On February 1, 2001, the court approved a settlement including
all potential class members in all states, including Kansas, and the
court dismissed the case without prejudice pending execution of the
settlement.  Final settlement checks were distributed to the class
plaintiffs on January 24, 2002.

The Company stated in a disclosure to the Securities and Exchange
Commission that the settlement did not have a material adverse effect
upon the results of its operations or financial condition.


UNITED INSURANCE: Denies Allegations in Suit Over Health Policies in NM
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
United Insurance Companies, Inc. denied the allegations in a class
action suit pending in New Mexico State Court against the Company, PFL
Life Insurance Company, and The MEGA Life and Health Insurance Company.  
The suit alleges that:

     (1) sales materials associated with a group hospital benefit
         health insurance plan sponsored, marketed, underwritten,
         reinsured and/or administered by defendants contained
         incomplete, inaccurate, misleading and/or false statements;
         and

     (2) benefits and treatment were denied plaintiffs with attendant
         credit damage, pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment.

The suit further alleges, among other things:

     (i) breach of contract,

    (ii) misrepresentation,

   (iii) breach of fiduciary duties,

    (iv) unjust enrichment, and

     (v) the violation of the duty of good faith and fair dealing

The plaintiffs initially brought the case in New Mexico state court,
and the case was subsequently removed to federal court on the basis of
diversity and amount in controversy.  The case has been subsequently
remanded to state court.

Since this suit is in a preliminary stage, no discovery has been
conducted with respect to the class issues and the Company is unable at
this time to assess its ultimate exposure, if any, in the case.


*Baby Boomers Increasingly Becoming Victims Of Age Discrimination
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Age discrimination in both hiring and firing appears to be a growing
problem for baby boomers, most of whom are now in their 40s and 50s,
despite the protections of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act
that dates to 1967.

In an article recently published by the Associated Press, the
experiences of some baby boomers in the hiring/firing areas of
employments were presented.  For example, Ron Heater was laid off about
two years ago. Despite mailing and hand delivering "hundreds and
hundreds of resumes," he says, he still has not landed a new job.  Mr.
Heater, who is 49, believes his age might be part of the problem.

"Most of the time, companies don't even acknowledge my resume was
received, or the interviewers are cold and unreceptive," said Mr.
Heater, a specialist in credit card fraud detection.  "I really believe
they are looking for the 20-to-25-year olds who can hold down the fort
for quite a bit less money," he added.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which enforces age
discrimination law, said age bias is the fastest-growing category of
complaints it receives, with 17,405 filings last year.  Complaints
about discrimination involving disabilities grew at the second-fastest
rate.

At the offices of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP),
in Washington, D.C., Laurie McCann, an attorney specializing in age
discrimination, said complaints often of this kind often rise when the
economy is weak, as it has been for the past year.  "Companies that
need to cut back may target older workers because they believe they
will get more savings because older worker earn more," she said.  "They
(the companies) do not take into account what they lose in
institutional memory and skills," Ms. McCann said.  She added, "Baby
boomers are the type of people more likely to stand up and challenge if
they are wronged."  It may be that companies don't want this kind of
personality in their workplaces.

Late last year, the AARP helped win an agreement from Ford Motor
Company to revise a management evaluation system that older, white
workers alleged was unfairly singling them out for demotion or firing.  
Ford agreed to pay $10.5 million to settle two class actions, although
Ford denied wrongdoing.

Allstate Insurance, meanwhile, is fighting a lawsuit brought by the
EEOC that charges the Northbrook, Illinois company with illegally
converting thousands of agents to private contractors and eliminating
benefits such as health insurance and office allowances.  The AARP is
co-counsel in this case.

Lisa Guerin, an employment specialist at legal publisher Nolo, in
Berkeley, California, says workers who believe they are being unfairly
treated should keep careful records that can be the basis of a lawsuit
complaint.

"Listen for comments by the people who make decisions to lay workers
off, like `We're looking for a more-energetic group of employees'," Ms.
Guerin said.  "Compare the stated reasons for layoffs with who actually
got laid off.  Keep track of dates, places, witnesses."

Ms. Guerin pointed out that there are fewer cases involving hiring
because evidence is hard to come by.  "When you are looking for a job,
you don't know the other people the company had to choose from," she
said.  "Unless someone makes a blatantly biased comment during an
interview, or a company runs an ad with something like `looking for
young, dynamic workers,' it is very hard to prove a case."

Still, baby boomers are going to court with hiring cases.  More than
200 screen writers have filed suit against 23 television networks,
studios and talent agencies, alleging that they are not getting jobs
because of their age.

"There is a perceived notion in the industry that writers who are older
cannot write for younger audiences," said lead attorney Paul Sprenger
of Washington, D.C.  "That is wrong," said Mr. Sprenger, "and we want
to prevent that (attitude) from going forward."

Among the plaintiffs in the lawsuit of the screen writers against the
television networks, is Mollie Levy, 49, a New York comedy writer.  "I
am irate," Ms. Levy said.  "This has been going on for a very long
time.You see quotes in publications all the time, like `How can a
54-year-old writer write for Jennifer Aniston?'  By that reasoning, how
could an adult have written `Little House on the Prairie?'"

Rather than turning to the courts, some baby boomers are forming
support groups.  Ron Heater, one of the first workers described in this
article, has joined one such group, 40 Plus of Greater Washington,
which runs training classes to help older professional workers better
prepare and market themselves.  Cal Gilbert, a retired military
logistics and transportation expert, who heads 40 Plus, believes his
group can help older job seekers put their problems in perspective.

"You can get righteously indignant, which does not seem to help much,"
said Mr. Gilbert.  "You can get confrontational, which seems to help
even less.  You can get depressed and allow yourself to become
isolated.  Or, you can plug on and find a place where your maturity and
skills are appreciated for what they are."


                            Securities Fraud

ANDRX CORPORATION: Cauley Geller Commences Securities Suit in S.D. FL
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Cauley Geller Bowman & Coates, LLP initiated a securities class action
in the United States District Court for the Southern District of
Florida on behalf of purchasers of Andrx Corporation (Nasdaq: ADRX)
common stock during the period between April 30, 2001 and February 21,
2002, inclusive.

The suit charges that the Company and certain of its officers and
directors 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 during the class period,
thereby artificially inflating the price of the Company's common stock.

Specifically, the suit alleges that the Company issued a series of
statements concerning its generic version of the drug Tiazac that the
only thing holding up the drug from reaching the market was continuing
patent litigation with Biovail Corporation in connection with Tiazac.  

The defendants failed to disclose that in fact, the Company had
difficulty making a stable version of generic Tiazac, including that it
had amended its original application to the FDA thirteen times.  When
the Company announced on February 21, 2002 that the FDA had raised
"certain issues" concerning the generic Tiazac, the Company's stock
price dropped from $42.61 per share on February 21, 2002 to $34.96 per
share on February 22, 2002, on volume of 15,767,100, over seven times
the prior day's volume.

For more information, contact Jackie Addison, Sue Null or Shelly
Nicholson by Mail: P.O. Box 25438, Little Rock, AR 72221-5438 by Phone:
1-888-551-9944 by E-mail: info@classlawyer.com or visit the firm's Web
site: http://www.classlawyer.com


ANDRX CORPORATION: Charles Piven Initiates Securities Suit in S.D. FL
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, PA commenced a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of
Florida, on behalf of shareholders who acquired the common stock of
Andrx Corporation (Nasdaq:ADRX) between April 30, 2001 and February 21,
2002, inclusive against the Company and certain of its officers and
directors.

The action alleges that the defendants violated federal securities laws
by issuing false and misleading information, thereby artificially
inflating the price of the Company's common stock, by misrepresenting
the status of the approval process for its generic version of the drug
Tiazacr.

For more information, contact Charles J. Piven, PA by Mail: The World
Trade Center-Baltimore, 401 East Pratt Street, Suite 2525, Baltimore,
Maryland 21202 by Phone: 410-986-0036 or by E-mail:
hoffman@pivenlaw.com  


ANDRX CORPORATION: Schoengold Sporn Lodges Securities Suit in S.D. NY
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Schoengold & Sporn, PC initiated a securities fraud class action on
behalf of all persons or institutions who acquired common shares of
Andrx Corporation (Nasdaq: ADRX) between April 30, 2001 through and
including February 21, 2002 at artificially inflated prices due to the
defendants' materially false and misleading statements concerning its
net income and inventories, in the US District Court for the Southern
District of New York.

The suit alleges that the Company and certain of its directors and
officers 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 during the class period,
thereby artificially inflating the price of its common stock.

Specifically, the suit alleges that the Company issued a series of
statements concerning its generic version of the drug Tiazac that the
only thing holding up the drug from reaching the market was continuing
patent litigation with Biovail Corporation in connection with Tiazac.  

The defendants failed to disclose that in fact, the Company had
difficulty making a stable version of generic Tiazac, including that it
had amended its original application to the FDA thirteen times.  When
the Company announced on February 21, 2002 that the FDA had raised
"certain issues" concerning the generic Tiazac, Company stock price
dropped from $42.61 per share on February 21, 2002 to $34.96 per share
on February 22, 2002, on volume of 15,767,100, over seven times the
prior day's volume.

For more information, contact Jay P. Saltzman or Ashley Kim by Mail: 19
Fulton Street, Suite 406, New York, New York 10038 by Phone:
212-964-0046 or 866-348-7700 by Fax: 212-267-8137 or by E-mail:
Shareholderrelations@spornlaw.com


ASIAINFO HOLDINGS: To Vigorously Oppose Securities Suit in S.D. NY
------------------------------------------------------------------
AsiaInfo Holdings, Inc. intends to seek the dismissal of a securities
class action pending in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York against the Company, certain of its
current officers and directors and the underwriters of its initial
public offering (IPO).

The suit alleges violations of the federal securities laws.  The suit
asserts that the underwriters of the Company's IPO improperly required
their customers to pay the underwriters excessive commissions and to
agree to buy additional shares of the Company's common stock in the
after-market as conditions of receiving shares in the IPO.  The suit
further claims that these supposed practices of the underwriters should
have been disclosed in the Company's IPO prospectus and registration
statement.

The Company mentioned in a disclosure to the Securities and Exchange
Commission that the case is similar to various other class action
against approximately 300 other publicly traded companies and their IPO
underwriters in New York City, all of which have all been transferred
to a single federal district judge for purposes of case management.  
The Company intends to seek dismissal of the complaint on various legal
grounds at the appropriate time, but no definitive schedule has been
set by the Court for the filing of such a motion.


BE FREE: To Mount Vigorous Defense Against Securities Suit in S.D. NY
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Be Free, Inc. labeled "without merit" the securities class action
pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District
of New York against the Company, the managing underwriters of its
initial public offering (IPO), and the officers and former officers of
the Company, namely:

     (1) Gordon B. Hoffstein,

     (2) Samuel P. Gerace, Jr.,

     (3) Thomas A. Gerace, and

     (4) Stephen M. Joseph

The suit alleges, in part, that the Company's IPO registration
statement and final prospectus contained material misrepresentations
and/or omissions related, in part, to excessive and undisclosed
commissions allegedly received by the underwriters from investors to
whom the underwriters allegedly allocated shares of the IPO.

The Company has not yet formally responded to the allegations, but it
intends to defend such claims vigorously. As this case is at an early
stage, it is not possible to express an opinion as to its final outcome
or estimate the amount of a probable loss, if any, that might result.


CALPINE CORPORATION: Stull Stull Commences Securities Suit in N.D. CA
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Stull, Stull & Brody lodged a securities class action on behalf of all
persons who acquired Calpine Corporation (NYSE:CPN) securities between
March 15, 2001 and December 13, 2001, inclusive in the United States
District Court for the Northern District of California.

The suit charges that the Company and certain of its officers and
directors, violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934.  The suit alleges the Company and certain of its officers
and directors issued false and misleading statements concerning its
business and financial condition during the class period.

In particular, the suit charges defendants issued opaque and confusing
balance sheets, which artificially inflated the Company's reported
EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and
amortization).  As a result of the defendants; conduct, plaintiff and
other members of the class suffered damages.

For more details, contact Patrice L. Bishop by Phone: 888-388-4605 by
E-mail: pbishop@secfraud.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.secfraud.com


CALPINE CORPORATION: Schatz Nobel Commences Securities Suit in N.D. CA
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Schatz and Nobel PC initiated a securities class action in the United
States District Court for the Northern District of California on behalf
of all persons who purchased the publicly traded securities of Calpine
Corporation (NYSE: CPN) between January 5, 2001 and December 13, 2001,
inclusive.

The suit alleges that the Company, a company engaged in the generation
and sale of electricity primarily in the United States, along with two
of its top officers, violated federal securities laws by issuing false
and misleading financial statements and press releases regarding demand
and sales of the Company's power, and its ability to service its debt.

Among other things, the suit alleges that, in order to overstate its
2001 earnings, the Company sold electricity to Enron Corporation at a
price 58% higher than that paid by other Company customers, in return
for its earlier purchase of natural gas from Enron at similarly
inflated prices. It is further alleged that, while the price in the
Company's stock was artificially inflated, two of its top officers sold
their personal holdings for combined proceeds in excess of $34 million.

The truth began to emerge on December 9, 2001, when an article in The
New York Times questioned some of the Company's manipulative
transactions.  On December 14, 2001, prior to the market's opening,
Moody's announced that it was considering cutting the credit rating on
the Company's $11.6 billion of debt to junk bond status. On this news,
the share price of Company stock fell to $12.50, more than 26% lower
than the previous day's close, and over 78% lower than the class period
high of $58 per share.

For more information, contact Andrew M. Schatz, Patrick A. Klingman,
Wayne T. Boulton, Nancy A. Kulesa by Phone: 800-797-5499 by E-mail:
sn06106@aol.com or visit the firm's Web site: http://www.snlaw.net


CELL PATHWAYS: Agrees To Settle Eleven Shareholder Suits in E.D. PA
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Cell Pathways, Inc. agreed in principle to settle eleven securities
class actions filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania against the Company and certain of its
officers and directors.

The suits allege that the Company and its officers made false and
misleading statements about the Company's lead drug candidate, which
caused artificial inflation of its stock price during the class period
of October 27, 1999 to September 22, 2000. The Company then announced
that the FDA was issuing a "not approvable" letter regarding its
leading drug candidate.

In February 2002, agreement in principle was reached to settle the
suit for the issuance of 1.7 million shares of common stock by the
Company and the payment of $2 million.  This settlement is subject to
execution of a final agreement and court approval, after which
notice and an opportunity to object must be furnished to the class.


GLOBAL CROSSING: Three Law Firms Initiate Securities Suit in C.D. CA
--------------------------------------------------------------------
The law firms of Farrow, Bramson, Baskin & Plutzik, LLP, the Law
Offices of John W. Allured and Beattie and Osborn LLP initiated a
securities class action in the United States District Court for the
Central District of California on behalf of the purchasers of Senior
Notes and common stock issued by Global Crossing, Ltd. and its
affiliates.

The suit seeks damages for violations of federal securities laws on
behalf of all investors who bought Senior Notes and common stock of the
Company and its affiliates between April 28, 1999 through and including
January 30, 2002.  Purchasers of the following Global Crossing Holdings
Ltd. Senior Notes during the class period are potential members of the
class:

     (1) 9.625%, Coupon Maturity Date: May 15, 2008,

     (2) 9.125%, Coupon Maturity Date: November 15, 2006,

     (3) 9.5%, Coupon Maturity Date: November 15, 2009,

     (4) 8.7%, Coupon Maturity Date: August 1, 2007

For more information, contact Alan R. Plutzik of Farrow, Bramson,
Baskin & Plutzik, LLP by Mail: 2125 Oak Grove Rd., Ste. 120, Walnut
Creek, CA 94598 by Phone: 925-945-0200 by E-mail: aplutzik@fbbp-law.com


GLOBAL CROSSING: Zelle Hoffman Commences Securities Suit in C.D. CA
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Zelle Hofmann Voelbel Mason & Gette LLP filed a securities class action
in the United States District Court for the Central District of
California on behalf of purchasers of the publicly traded securities of
Global Crossing Ltd. from January 2, 2001 to October 4, 2001.

The suit alleges that six of the top Company executives violated the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by issuing false and misleading public
statements during the class period concerning the Company's financial
condition and its ability to generate cash sufficient to service its
debt.

The Company inflated its revenues through the use of transactions by
which it sold capacity on its fiber optic network to other
telecommunications companies and offered to buy capacity back from them
in "swaps."  The Company then recorded the revenue on its income
statement while recording the cost as a capital expense, which
artificially inflated operating revenue.

The true picture of the Company's financial condition emerged on
October 4, 2001, when the defendants announced that Cash Revenues in
the third quarter would be approximately $1.2 billion, $400 million
less than the $1.6 billion expected by analysts and forecast several
times earlier in the year by defendants.  In addition, the Company and
the defendants stated that they expected recurring adjusted earnings
Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) to be
"significantly less than $100 million" compared to forecasts of nearly
$400 million made several times earlier in the year.

Following this series of announcements, the Company's share price
plummeted nearly 50% to $1.07 per share on extremely heavy trading
volume.  Prior to the disclosure of the Company's true financial
condition, the individual defendants and certain other insiders sold
their personally held stock for more than $149 million.

On January 28, 2002, the Company filed for bankruptcy. A proposed plan
of reorganization will extinguish the interests of its preferred and
common stockholders.

For more information, contact David Nemecek by Phone: 800-229-5293 or
by E-mail: dnemecek@zelle.com.


IMMUNEX CORPORATION: Labels "Without Merit" Securities Suits In WA
------------------------------------------------------------------
Immunex Corporation faces three securities class actions, accusing it
of breaching its fiduciary duties over its merger with Wyeth
Corporation in the King County Superior Court of Washington.  

Shareholder David Osher commenced the first suit, which names as
defendants Wyeth Corporation and all members of the Company's Board of
Directors:

     (1) Edward V. Fritzky,

     (2) Kirby L. Cramer,

     (3) Robert J. Herbold,

     (4) John E. Lyons,

     (5) Joseph M. Mahady,

     (6) Edith W. Martin,

     (7) Peggy V. Phillips,

     (8) Lawrence V. Stein

     (9) Douglas E. Williams

The Osher suit, filed on behalf of a class of Company shareholders,
alleges that Wyeth and the Company's board of directors breached their
fiduciary duties owed to Company shareholders by stalling the merger
discussions as a result of positions taken by Wyeth in the negotiations
relating to its control of the Company and its marketing rights in
future Immunex products.  The suit further alleges that Wyeth and the
Immunex board of directors are favoring their own interests and not
acting in good faith toward the plaintiff and other members of the
purported class.

Shareholder Adele Brody commenced the second suit in December 2001
against the Company and Mr.Fritzky, Mr. Williams, Ms. Phillips, and the
marital community of each named individual in the same court, on behalf
of a class of Immunex shareholders.  The suit alleges, among other
things, that the defendants breached their fiduciary duty to the
purported class by failing to take all reasonable steps to assure the
maximization of shareholder value, including the implementation of a
bidding mechanism to foster a fair auction of the Company to the
highest bidder, or the exploration of strategic alternatives which
would return a greater value to plaintiff and the other members of the
purported class.  The suit further alleges that defendants are
continuing to breach their fiduciary duties in order to entrench
themselves in office.

Another suit was commenced on December 20, 2001 against the same
defendants as the second suit, containing substantially similar
allegations and requesting similar relief.

On March 13, 2002, the court in the first suit granted defendants'
motion for a protective order, staying discovery until forty days after
plaintiff serves an amended complaint.  On March 19, 2002, amended
complaints were filed in the last two suits, adding as defendants Mr.
Cramer, Mr. Herbold, Mr. Lyons, Mr. Mahady, Mr. Stein and Dr. Martin,
and the marital community of each, and Wyeth Corporation and adding
allegations of nondisclosure in the registration statement on Form S-4
filed with the SEC on January 31, 2002.

While these cases are in their early stages, the Company believes that
the cases are without merit and intends to contest them vigorously.
Wyeth has advised the Company that it also believes the cases are
without merit and it intends to contest them vigorously.


JDS UNIPHASE: Cauley Geller Commences Securities Fraud Suit in N.D. CA
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Cauley Geller Bowman & Coates, LLP initiated a securities class action
in the United States District Court for the Northern District of
California on behalf of purchasers of JDS Uniphase Corp. (Nasdaq: JDSU)
publicly traded securities during the period between July 27, 1999 and
July 26, 2001, inclusive.

The suit charges the Company, certain of its officers and directors and
its controlling shareholder with violations of the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934.  The suit alleges that during the class period, defendants
were motivated to inflate the value of the Company's stock so that the
Company could make acquisitions using stock and so the individual
defendants, who are the top officers and directors of JDS Uniphase,
could sell their shares.

During the class period, defendants represented that demand was
accelerating and the Company's only problem was its ability to
manufacture enough product to meet demand. Defendants represented that
they had outstanding visibility, including demand for the Company's
products through the end of fiscal 2001 and that the Company had 80
engineers whose job it was to monitor customers and their inventory
levels and as a result, the Company would learn about any slowdown in
demand early. The Company also misrepresented the success of its
largest acquisitions, including Optical Coating Labs, Cronos Integrated
Microsystems, E-Tek Dynamics and SDL Inc. As a result of these positive
statements, Company stock traded as high as $146.32.

The individual defendants (all of whom were top officers and directors
of the Company) and its controlling shareholder took advantage of the
inflation, selling or disposing of 25.5 million shares of their stock
for proceeds of $2.1 billion.  Then, on July 26, 2001, the Company
announced the restatement of its 3rd Quarter F01 results, the write-off
of $44 billion in goodwill associated with its acquisitions, inventory
write-downs and that F01 EPS would be only $0.16 and that it would
incur a loss of $0.15 in F02. On this news, Company shares dropped to
as low as $7.90 - or more than 94% lower than the class period high of
$146.32.

For more information, contact Jackie Addison, Sue Null or Shelly
Nicholson by Mail: P.O. Box 25438, Little Rock, AR 72221-5438 by Phone:
1-888-551-9944 by E-mail: info@classlawyer.com or visit the firm's Web
site: http://www.classlawyer.com


L90 INC.: Schiffrin Barroway Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in C.D. CA
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP initiated a securities class action in the
United States District Court for the Central District of California on
behalf of all purchasers of the common stock of L90, Inc. (Nasdaq:
LNTY) from July 26, 2001 through March 12, 2002, inclusive.

The suit charges the Company and certain of its officers and directors
with issuing false and misleading statements concerning its business
and financial condition. Specifically, the suit alleges that as part of
their effort to boost the price of Company stock, defendants
misrepresented the Company's true prospects in an effort to conceal its
improper acts until they were able to conceal their fraud by selling
the Company to a third party prior to filing its 10-K (due March 31,
2002).

In order to overstate revenues and assets in its second and third
quarters of 2001, the Company violated generally accepted accounting
principles and SEC rules by engaging in improper "round trip"
transactions with HomeStore.com and its customers. These transactions
had the effect of dramatically overstating revenues and assets.

On February 4, 2002, the Company issued a press release entitled, "L90
Reports Regulatory Inquiries."  The press release stated in part, "L90,
Inc., an online media and direct marketing company, today announced
that the Company has received notice from the Securities and Exchange
Commission that the Commission is conducting an investigation into the
Company. In connection with this investigation, the Commission has
issued the Company and one of its directors subpoenas requesting
documents related primarily to the Company's financial records."

On this news the Company's shares plummeted by more than 50% the
following trading day and continued to plummet further in the weeks
that followed and defendants revealed further incriminating facts.

On March 12, 2002, the Company issued a press release entitled, "L90
Provides Additional Information on Internal Investigation."  The press
release stated in part, "L90, Inc., an online media and direct
marketing company, today provided additional information on the status
of the ongoing internal investigation by the Company and the Audit
Committee of its board of directors in response to the previously
announced Securities and Exchange Commission investigation of the
Company, and the request for information from Nasdaq Listing
Investigations."

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


L90 INC.: Cauley Geller Initiates Securities Fraud Suit in C.D. CA
------------------------------------------------------------------
Cauley Geller Bowman & Coates, LLP commenced a securities class action
in the United States District Court for the Central District of
California on behalf of purchasers of L90, Inc. (Nasdaq: LNTY) common
stock during the period between July 26, 2001 and March 12, 2002,
inclusive.

The suit charges the Company and certain of its officers and directors
with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  The suit
alleges that, as part of their effort to boost the price of Company
stock, defendants misrepresented the Company's true prospects in an
effort to conceal its improper acts until they were able to conceal
their fraud by selling the Company to a third party, prior to filing
the Company's 10-K due March 31, 2002.

In order to overstate revenues and assets in its second and third
quarters of 2001, the Company violated generally accepted accounting
principles and SEC rules by engaging in improper "roundtrip"
transactions with HomeStore.com and its customers. These transactions
had the effect of dramatically overstating revenues and assets.

On February 4, 2002, the Company issued a press release entitled, "L90
Reports Regulatory Inquiries."  The press release stated in part, "L90,
Inc., an online media and direct marketing company, today announced
that the Company has received notice from the Securities and Exchange
Commission that the Commission is conducting an investigation into the
Company. In connection with this investigation, the Commission has
issued the Company and one of its directors subpoenas requesting
documents related primarily to the Company's financial records."

On this news the Company's shares plummeted by more than 50% the
following trading day and continued to plummet further in the weeks
that followed and defendants revealed further incriminating facts.

On March 12, 2002, the Company issued a press release entitled, "L90
Provides Additional Information on Internal Investigation."  The press
release stated in part, "L90, Inc., an online media and direct
marketing company, today provided additional information on the status
of the ongoing internal investigation by the Company and the Audit
Committee of its Board of Directors, in response to the previously
announced Securities and Exchange Commission investigation of the
Company, and the request for information from Nasdaq Listing
Investigations."

For more information, contact Jackie Addison, Sue Null or Shelly
Nicholson by Mail: P.O. Box 25438, Little Rock, AR 72221-5438 by Phone:
888-551-9944 by E-mail: info@classlawyer.com or visit the firm's Web
site: http://www.classlawyer.com


LUMENIS LTD.: Stull Stull Commences Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Stull Stull and Brody initiated a securities class action in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York, on behalf
of purchasers of the securities of Lumenis Ltd. (NASDAQ:LUME) between
January 7, 2002 and February 28, 2002, inclusive against the Company
and certain of its officers, including Chairman Jacob Frenkel,
President/CEO Yacha Sutton and COO Sagi Genger.

The suit alleges that defendants violated the federal securities laws
by issuing materially false and misleading statements throughout the
class period that had the effect of artificially inflating the market
price of the Company's securities.

Specifically, the suit alleges that throughout the class period,
defendants discounted and disputed marketplace rumors about its
operations even as it knew it was being investigated by the SEC and
that its distributors had been contacted by the SEC.

Additionally, even after announcing in a press release that it was
subject to an SEC investigation, the Company continued to hide the fact
that it had been aware of the SEC investigation and had been providing
information to the SEC for several weeks.

On February 28, 2002, the Company revealed the facts concerning the SEC
investigation in a conference call. These shocking revelations caused
the stock to plummet 30% in one day and more than 69% from its class
period high, resulting in damages to plaintiff and members of the
class.

For more information, contact Tzivia Brody by Mail: 6 East 45th Street,
New York NY 10017 by Phone: 800-337-4983, by Fax: 212-490-2022 or by E-
mail: SSBNY@aol.com


MEASUREMENT SPECIALTIES: Adkins Kelston Probes For Securities Fraud
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Adkins, Kelston & Zavez, PC is investigating Measurement Specialties,
Inc. (AMEX:MSS), a New Jersey-based maker of sensor-based electronic
measuring devices, for possible violations of federal securities laws.

According to a February 15, 2002 press release, the Company announced
that it expected a significant loss for the quarter ending December 31,
2001 and that it expected to restate its financial statements for the
quarter ending September 30, 2001.

For more information, contact John Peter Zavez by Mail: 90 Canal
Street, Boston, MA 02114 by Phone: 617-367-1040 by Fax: 617-742-8280 or
by E-mail: Jzavez@AKZLaw.com.


MEDI-HUT CORPORATION: Wolf Haldenstein Lodges Securities Suit in NJ
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the District of New
Jersey on behalf of purchasers of Medi-Hut Co., Inc. (NASDAQ: MHUT)
securities between April 4, 2000 and February 4, 2002, inclusive,
against the Company and certain of its officers and directors.

The suit alleges that defendants violated the federal securities laws
by issuing false and misleading statements throughout the class period
that had the effect of artificially inflating the market price of the
Company's securities.

On April 4, 2000, the Company acquired Vallar Consulting Corporation
from Lawrence Marasco.  In exchange for Vallar's assets and
receivables, the Company, instead of trading in cash, issued 350,000
shares of its common stock to Mr. Marasco, who was also provided
employment as a Vice President of Sales and Marketing, his current
position.

In addition, Mr. Marasco owned Larval, another medical supply
wholesaler.  Larval was also the Company's largest customer in fiscal
year 2001. 62% of the Company's total sales during that time resulted
from Larval purchases. After the Company had obtained Vallar, its
reported net sales had increased dramatically.

On January 17, 2001, the Company filed with the SEC its form 10-K for
fiscal year ended October 31, 2000.  In it, the Company reported net
sales of $8.13 million, increased from $4.75 million during fiscal year
1999. The filing was represented as reporting the Company's financial
results satisfactory with generally accepted accounting principles
(GAAP).

However, the suit alleges that the Company did not assess the fact that
a large percentage of the Company's revenues resulted from sales to a
related party.  Because the Company did not account for the
relationship between it and Larval, it failed to disclose that its
financial statements filed with the SEC throughout the class period
were not prepared in accordance with GAAP, rather initiating a
departure from GAAP.  Finally, on February 4, 2002, the Company
divulged the fact that Mr. Marasco has a controlling ownership interest
in the Company's largest customer, Larval.

For more information, contact Fred Taylor Isquith, Gustavo Bruckner,
Michael Miske, George Peters or Derek Behnke by Mail: 270 Madison
Avenue, New York, New York 10016 by Phone: 800-575-0735 by E-mail:
classmember@whafh.com or visit the firm's Web site:
http://www.whafh.com. E-mail should refer to Medi-Hut.  


METAWAVE COMMUNICATIONS: Wolf Haldenstein Lodges Securities Suit in WA
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP commenced a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the Western District of
Washington, on behalf of purchasers of Metawave Communications
Corporation (NASDAQ: MTWV) securities between April 25, 2001 and March
14, 2002, inclusive, against the Company and certain of its officers
and directors.

The suit alleges that defendants violated the federal securities laws
by issuing materially false and misleading statements throughout the
class period that had the effect of artificially inflating the market
price of the Company's securities.

Specifically, the suit alleges that during the class period, defendants
caused Company shares to trade at artificially inflated levels through
the issuance of false and misleading financial statements. As a result
of this inflation, the Company was able to complete private placement
offerings, raising net proceeds of $30 million.

On March 14, 2002, however, the Company revealed that its FY 2001
results were false and that it would restate those results.  The
Company's common stock, which had traded at over $6 per share during
the class period, sunk below $1 per share on this news.

For more information, contact Fred T. Isquith, Michael Miske, George
Peters or Derek Behnke by Mail: 270 Madison Avenue, New York, New York
10016 by Phone: 800-575-0735 or by E-mail: classmember@whafh.com.  E-
mail should refer to METAWAVE.


ORAPHARMA INC.: Faces Suit For Securities Act Violations in S.D. NY
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Orapharma, Inc. intends to vigorously defend the securities class
action pending in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York against the Company, certain of its officers and
certain underwriters of its initial public offering.

The suit alleges, among other things, violations of Sections 11 and 12
of the Securities Act of 1933 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated under the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, based on allegedly material
misstatements and/or omissions in the prospectus for the Company's
initial public offering concerning the commissions received by the
underwriters of such offering, as well as failure to disclose the
existence of purported agreements by the underwriters with some of the
purchasers in such offering to buy additional shares of the Company
subsequently in the open market at pre-determined prices.

The Company cannot predict the ultimate outcome of the litigation. An
unfavorable outcome in litigation could materially and adversely affect
the Company's business, financial condition and results of operations.


TORCHMARK CORPORATION: Court Denies Summary Judgment For Alabama Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama
denied Torchmark Corporation's motion for summary judgment in the
consolidated derivative securities class action litigation involving
Vesta Insurance Group, Inc.

The amended suit alleges violations of Section 10(b) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 by Vesta, certain present and former Vesta
officers and directors, its former independent public accountants.  The
suit charges the Company with violations of Section 20(a) of the
Exchange Act in its role as "controlling persons" of Vesta in
connection with certain accounting irregularities in Vesta's reported
financial results and filed financial statements.

The suit was filed on behalf of a purported class of purchasers of
Vesta equity securities between June 2, 1995 and June 29, 1998.  A
class was certified in this litigation on October 25, 1999.  In
September, 2001, the Company filed a motion for summary judgment, which
was denied by the court on January 10, 2002.


UNITED INSURANCE: Mediation in TX Securities Suit Set For April 2002
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Mediation in the consolidated securities class action pending against
United Insurance Companies, Inc. in the US District Court for the
Northern District of Texas is set to commence in April 2002.  The suit
was filed on behalf of persons who purchased the Company's common stock
from February 10, 1999 through December 9, 1999.

The suit arose from three securities class actions commenced in
December 1999 against the Company and certain of its executive
officers, alleging that the Company's periodic filings with the SEC
contained untrue statements of material facts and/or failed to disclose
all material facts relating to the condition of the Company's credit
card business, in violation of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.  The suits were later ordered
consolidated.

The Company moved to dismiss the consolidated suit, but the court
denied the motion in October 2001.  At a required scheduling meeting
held in November 2001, the parties agreed to voluntarily submit the
dispute to early mediation, and the parties have designated a mediator
and scheduled the mediation for April 2002. Discovery and other
pretrial motions have been suspended pending the outcome of the
mediation.

The Company believes that the allegations in the complaint are wholly
without merit and intends to continue to vigorously contest the
allegations in the case.


VIROPHARMA INC.: Schiffrin Barroway Launches Securities Suit in E.D. PA
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP initiated a securities class action in the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
on behalf of all purchasers of the common stock of ViroPharma, Inc.
(Nasdaq:VPHM) from July 13, 1999 through March 19, 2002, inclusive.

The suit charges the Company and certain of its officers and directors
with issuing false and misleading statements concerning its business
and financial condition. Specifically, the suit alleges that throughout
the class period, the defendants made highly positive statements
regarding the Company's drug Picovir.

The Company represented that its growth was contingent on US Food and
Drug Administration (FDA) approval of its' Picovir (pleconaril) drug as
a cure for the common cold.  The Company informed the investing public
of every positive part of the Picovir studies and insisted that
treatment was well tolerated and that adverse events were comparable to
placebo in the trials. The Company also issued numerous press releases,
which praised the effectiveness of Picovir and minimized and concealed
the potential obstacles to FDA approval.

However, on March 19, 2002, trading on the stock was halted as the
Company revealed that an FDA advisory committee voted 15-0 against
approval of Picovir because of safety concerns. On March 20, 2002,
after the resumption of trading, Company shares plummeted 60 percent.
The 15-member FDA committee had questions about the safety of the drug
in women taking oral contraceptives and in the elderly. In addition,
the committee asked for broader studies on the drug's benefits with
minorities, the elderly, patients with asthma and chronic bronchitis,
children, and more about the drug's interaction with other medications.
They also expressed concern that the drug may develop drug-resistant
cold germs. The FDA pointed out that the drug had several significant
side effects, with headache the most frequently cited.

There were tremendous obstacles for the Company to overcome before it
could receive regulatory approval for Picovir. These obstacles, as
enumerated by the FDA as set forth above, were undisclosed during the
class period, but were well known to defendants by virtue of their
testing and trials of this drug on thousands of people for several
years.

For more information, contact Marc A. Topaz or Stuart L. Berman by
Phone: 888-299-7706 (toll free) or 610-667-7706 by E-mail:
info@sbclasslaw.com or visit the firm's Web site:
http://www.sbclasslaw.com


VIROPHARMA INC.: Wolf Haldenstein Initiates Securities Suit in E.D. PA
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Pennsylvania, on behalf of purchasers of the common stock of ViroPharma
Inc. between July 13, 1999 and March 19, 2002, inclusive, against the
Company and certain of its directors.

The suit alleges that defendants violated the federal securities laws
by issuing materially false and misleading statements throughout the
class period that had the effect of artificially inflating the market
price of the Company's securities.

Specifically, the suit alleges that throughout the class period, the
defendants made highly positive statements regarding the Company's Drug
Picovir.  The Company represented that its growth was contingent on US
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of its' Picovir
(pleconaril) drug as a cure for the common cold.  The Company informed
the investing public of every positive part of the Picovir studies, and
sent numerous press releases praising the effectiveness of Picovir.
Furthermore, the Company minimized or concealed potential obstacles to
FDA approval.

On March 19, 2002 trading was halted as the Company revealed that an
FDA advisory committee was deciding the fate of its cold treatment,
Picovir. The panel voted 15-0 against approval because of safety
concerns.  However, during the class period, the Company insisted that
treatment was well tolerated and that adverse events were comparable to
placebo in the trials.

On March 20, 2002 after the resumption of trading, Company shares
plummeted 60 percent.  The 15-member FDA committee had questions about
the safety of the drug in women taking oral contraceptives and in the
elderly.  In addition, the committee asked for broader studies on the
drug's benefits with minorities, the elderly, patients with asthma and
chronic bronchitis, children, and more about the drug's interaction
with other medications.  They also expressed concern that the drug may
develop drug-resistant cold germs.

The FDA pointed out that the drug had several significant side effects,
with headache the most frequently cited.  Seven patients out of 4,500
who took the drug reported rapid heart palpitations and four patients
withdrew from the study for that reason.  The side effect that most
concerned the panel was abnormal bleeding by 3 percent of women taking
birth control pills.  Because Picovir needs to be taken within the
first 24 hours of getting a cold and after eating, several panelists
worried that doctors would dole out prescriptions before the cold
season began, without discussing safety considerations.

There were tremendous obstacles for the Company to overcome before it
could receive regulatory approval for Picovir. These obstacles, as
enumerated by the FDA as set forth above, were undisclosed during the
class period, but were well known to defendants by virtue of their
testing and trials of this drug on thousands of people for several
years.

For more information, contact Fred Taylor Isquith, Gustavo Bruckner,
Michael Miske, George Peters or Derek Behnke by Mail: 270 Madison
Avenue, New York, New York 10016 by Phone: 800-575-0735 by E-mail:
classmember@whafh.com or visit the firm's Web site:
http://www.whafh.com. All e-mail correspondence should make reference  
to ViroPharma.


VIROPHARMA INC.: Charles Piven Commences Securities Suit in E.D. PA
-------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, PA initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Pennsylvania, on behalf of shareholders who acquired the common stock
of ViroPharma, Inc. (Nasdaq:VPHM) between July 13, 1999 and March 19,
2002, inclusive against the Company and certain of its directors.

The action alleges that the defendants violated federal securities laws
by issuing false and misleading information, thereby artificially
inflating the price of the Company's common stock, by misrepresenting
the status of the approval process for its drug Picovir and by failing
to disclose the numerous obstacles it would have to overcome before it
could receive regulatory approval for Picovir.

For more information, contact Charles J. Piven by Mail: The World Trade
Center-Baltimore, 401 East Pratt Street, Suite 2525, Baltimore,
Maryland 21202 by Phone: 410-986-0036 or by E-mail:
hoffman@pivenlaw.com


                              *********


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., Trenton, New Jersey, and
Beard Group, Inc., Washington, D.C.  Enid Sterling, Aurora Fatima
Antonio and Lyndsey Resnick, Editors.

Copyright 2002.  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-
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Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to be
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term of the initial subscription or balance thereof are $25 each.  For
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