CAR_Public/020904.mbx                C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R
  
              Wednesday, September 4, 2002, Vol. 4, No. 175

                              Headlines

ALARA BIOSCIENCES: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Securities Fraud Suit
ARTHUR ANDERSEN: Enron Creditors Ask Permission To Sue To Recover $10M
AT&T BROADBAND: Denies Electronic Redlining Suit Allegations
AUSTRALIA: Tourism Center Staff To Launch Lawsuit Against Government
CAMPBELL SOUP: Plaintiffs File Amended Suit On Behalf of VFI Creditors

DOV PHARMACEUTICAL: NY Court Consolidates Securities Fraud Lawsuits
EXXON MOBIL: Esso Set To Fight Claims Of Workers, Consumers, Businesses
FIRST HORIZON: Denies Securities Suit's Charges in N.D. Georgia
FLEMING COMPANIES: Claims Securities Suit Unfounded in Texas
INTEGRATED INFORMATION: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Securities Fraud Suit

JAPAN: Hepatitis C Victims Consider Filing Suit V. State, Drugmaker
METROPOLITAN LIFE: Agrees To Settle Race Based Underwriting Lawsuit
MISSISSIPPI: Judge Asserts Video Redemption Games Should Be Closed
NEW VALLEY: Discovery Commences in Securities Fraud Suit in DE Court
NUMICO NV: Labels Lawsuits Against Rexall Sundown, GNC "Groundless"

OHIO: More Automobile Dealers Push To Arbitrate Consumer Fraud Suits
OVERTURE SERVICES: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Securities Suit in S.D. NY
OXYCONTIN LITIGATION: Ohio Court Grants Consumer Suit Certification
PENNSYLVANIA:  Judge Orders City To Pay Settlement Over Police Abuse
ROYAL BANK: Reaches Agreement To Settle Pension Related Claims in Suits

SMARTDISK CORPORATION: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Securities Fraud Suit
TERRORIST ATTACK: Judge Weighs Suit Deadline For Victims of 9/11 Attack
UNITED KINGDOM: Disabled Children Sue Over Triple Diphtheria Vaccine
UNITED STATES: Judge Allows Hungarian Jews To Sue Over Seized Valuables
UNITED STATES: Mexican Braceros Vow To Continue Battle Over Back Wages

WAL-MART STORES: Judge Certifies Women Employees' Contraceptives Suit
XCEL ENERGY: Faces New Securities Fraud Suit While Settling Another

                    New Securities Fraud Cases

AMERADA HESS: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in NJ
BELLSOUTH CORPORATION: Bernstein Liebhard Lodges Securities Suit in GA
FLEMING COMPANIES: Cauley Geller Commences Securities Suit in E.D. TX
HEALTHSOUTH CORPORATION: Mark McNair Commences Securities Suit in AL
HEALTHSOUTH CORPORATION: Charles Piven Commences Securities Suit in AL

HPL TECHNOLOGIES: Schatz & Nobel Commences Securities Suit in N.D. CA
HPL TECHNOLOGIES: Chitwood & Harley Lodges Securities Suit in N.D. CA
MARTHA STEWART: Weiss & Yourman Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
MORGAN STANLEY: Wechsler Harwood Commences Securities Suit in S.D. NY
PEMSTAR INC.: Bernstein Liebhard Commences Securities Suit in MN Court

PERKINELMER INC.: Scott + Scott Commences Securities Suit in MA Court


                            *********


ACLARA BIOSCIENCES: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Securities Fraud Suit
------------------------------------------------------------------
ACLARA Biosciences, Inc. asked the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York to dismiss the securities class action
pending against it, its officers and directors and several of the
underwriters involved in the Company's initial public offering.

The suit, filed on behalf of purchasers of the Company's common stock
from the time of the Company IPO (March 20, 2000) through December 6,
2000, alleges that the underwriters in the IPO solicited and received
undisclosed commissions from, and entered into undisclosed arrangements
with, certain investors who purchased Company stock in the IPO and the
after-market.

The complaint also alleges that the defendants violated the federal
securities laws by failing to disclose in the IPO prospectus that the
underwriters had engaged in these allegedly undisclosed arrangements.

Plaintiffs have not yet filed their opposition to the issuers' motion
to dismiss.  The Company believes it has meritorious defenses and
intends to vigorously defend itself against this suit.


ARTHUR ANDERSEN: Enron Creditors Ask Permission To Sue To Recover $10M
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Creditors of Enron Corporation are seeking to recover $10 million that
Enron paid to former auditor Arthur Andersen LLP, just days before
Enron's bankruptcy filing, according to the Associated Press Newswires.

Under federal bankruptcy law, a company is entitled to challenge
payments made within 90 days of a Chapter 11 petition, in order to
prevent any transactions that unfairly benefit one creditor at the
expense of the others.  

Therefore, the official creditors committee in Enron's bankruptcy case
has asked Judge Arthur Gonzalez at the federal bankruptcy court in
Manhattan for the authority to sue Andersen on behalf of Enron to
recover the monies that should not have been paid out of the company.   
Judge Gonzalez will hear the motion on September 19.

In a recent court filing, the creditors committee said all the
available evidence indicates that the payments, among other things,
"enabled Andersen to receive more than it would likely receive" should
Enron go the way of liquidation under Chapter 7.

Andersen spokesman Patrick Dorton declined comment on the creditors'
argument.  Instead, he said, "This is a very routine action by
creditors in any large bankruptcy, and it will be resolved in the court
at some point down the road."

Andersen is wrapping up its auditing business in the United States,
following a criminal conviction in June for its Enron bookkeeping work.  
The firm is also a target in a class action filed by the Enron
shareholders.

Enron's creditors' move to sue Andersen over preferential payments
could signal the beginning of a wave of such actions.  The Company
"made billions of dollars of transfers within the 90-day period," the
committee said.  The committee also stressed the immediate need to take
action given "the sheer size and number of potentially improper
transfers."


AT&T BROADBAND: Denies Electronic Redlining Suit Allegations
------------------------------------------------------------
AT&T Broadband denied the charges in a class action, alleging the
Company was guilty of "electronic redlining" or denying high-speed
broadband services to minority and poor neighborhoods.  The suit also
says the Company overcharged for services elsewhere, according to AFX
news.  

Rick Bailey, senior vice president and general counsel for AT&T
Broadband, told AFX the Company will vigorously oppose the lawsuit.
AT&T Broadband is also confident the lawsuit will have no impact on the
expected close of its merger with Comcast.

"Electronic redlining" purportedly occurs when telecommunications firms
bypass poor neighborhoods while offering new telecommunications
technologies to more affluent areas, in order to give the appearance of
inflated profitability.  The lawsuit alleged that this fact is clearly
illustrated in Broward County, FL, where AT&T Broadband Services holds
several franchises in which only one percent of eligible African
American households have access to high-speed broadband internet
service as opposed to 100 pct of eligible white households, AFX news
reports.


AUSTRALIA: Tourism Center Staff To Launch Lawsuit Against Government
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff from Phillip Island's controversial Seal Rocks Sea tourism center
are launching a class action against the Victorian government for their
jobs, the Australian Associated Press (AAP) reports.

At least 12 of the center's staff of 37 persons are bringing the legal
action against the government for breach of contract after it took over
control of the center last month.  Premier Steven Bracks and
Environment Minister Sherryl Garbutt had both guaranteed to give staff
the first offer of employment when the center reopens under government
control.

However, the former private manager of the center, Ken Armstrong, said
more recently that the new government-appointed interim chief executive
of the center, Frank King, had reneged on the deal.

Mr. Armstrong told AAP, that at a meeting with staff on the 26th of
August, Mr. King told staff that any job vacancy in the nature park
will be advertised, and staff will have to apply to fill those
vacancies and will not automatically be given work.

Mr. King said that the staff feel very poorly treated and believe that
the premier and the minister had promised to keep them employed, and
that they have breached that promise.

Meanwhile, the class action is being brought against the government by
members of the former staff.  The $27 million tourism center is built
on Crown land near a large fur seal colony.  The private operators of
the facility, Seal Rocks Victoria Australia, walked away from the
venture four weeks ago, after an arbitrator found the government had
breached its 25-year contract.

The arbitrator's decision could cost the Victorian taxpayer up to $60
million in compensation.


CAMPBELL SOUP: Plaintiffs File Amended Suit On Behalf of VFI Creditors
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Campbell Soup company faces an amended class action filed on behalf of
the bankruptcy estate of Vlasic Foods International Inc. (VFI),
alleging that the Company made misrepresentations in dealing with the
Internal Revenue Service, the Securities and Exchange Commission and
other entities involved with the 1998 spin-off transaction which
ultimately resulted in VFI's bankruptcy.

John A. Lee, lead counsel for the VFI creditors, had this to say about
the amended filing, "This filing is the result of more than six months
of comprehensive investigation into the circumstances that led to VFI's
bankruptcy and liquidation, including interviews with dozens of former
VFI and Campbell employees.  Our investigation established that
Campbell's real motivation in the spin-off was to unload problem
businesses it wanted to get rid of and transfer as many of its debts to
VFI as it could get away with by manipulating the financial results and
projections of the VFI businesses."

He adds, "Campbell knew well before the spin-off closed that VFI was
careening toward a default and would likely end up in a liquidation but
refused to put the brakes on its $600 million payday.  We expect the
Court will find these allegations are true and that Campbell will be
held 100 percent responsible for VFI's liquidation."

The Company spun off VFI in March of 1998 with more than $500 million
of bank debt, in addition to more than $100 million of other assumed
Campbell liabilities, to decrease its own debt load incurred from its
share repurchase program.  Evidence uncovered by A&K lawyers indicates
that the $500 million figure is almost two times the amount of debt
that these businesses should have had on their books at the time or
could have afforded to pay.

The amended complaint also states that Campbell knew in January 1998
that VFI, then still a part of the Campbell companies, would
significantly miss its target quarterly earnings numbers unless it
loaded over 500,000 cases of Swanson and 100,000 cases of Vlasic
products.

The complaint alleges that Campbell instructed VFI to load the cases
knowing that the $500 million bank loan was dependent on VFI making its
numbers at the end of the coming fiscal quarter.

The architect of the spin-off was Basil Anderson, Campbell's former
Chief Financial Officer.  The Board of Directors for VFI prior to the
spin-off was comprised of Campbell employees, including many of Mr.
Anderson's direct reports.  It is alleged that these Campbell employees
could not have been making decisions in the best interest of the future
of VFI's creditors and shareholders when they structured the
transaction.

The amended suit alleges Campbell knew in January of 1998 that if VFI
loaded its second quarter numbers in order to meet the projections that
Campbell had given to the financial institutions, VFI could not then
make its third and fourth quarter numbers.

Compounding this assertion, the pleading alleges that this information
was never conveyed to the banks and was never disclosed in the Form 10
that Campbell filed with the SEC on March 10, 1998.  Further, Campbell
never disclosed to the banks or to the SEC in the Form 10 that many of
the businesses were carried on Campbell's books, and subsequently
transferred to VFI, at values far in excess of their fair market value.

The complaint continues to allege that in order to make the spin-off
tax-free to Campbell and its shareholders, Campbell concocted an
excessive tax basis in the spin-off companies by assigning fair market
values to the businesses that were hundreds of millions of dollars
greater than the levels at which both Campbell and its investment
banker valued these businesses.

The pleading also alleges that Campbell misrepresented financial data
and values of the spun-off businesses in its dealings with the IRS
which resulted in a private letter ruling that the more than $500
million in proceeds Campbell received from the spin-off would be tax-
free to Campbell and its shareholders.

The suit alleges that what sealed VFI's fate was Campbell's forcing
one-sided supply and co-pack agreements on VFI in the weeks before the
spin-off, well after the projections were given to the banks and after
the Form 10 was filed with the SEC.  It is noted that Campbell hired
several major law firms to protect its interests in the US, UK, Germany
and Canada but did not provide VFI independent legal counsel or
financial advisors to protect its interests. Finally, it is alleged
that Campbell purposely induced many of its long-term career employees
to go with VFI so that Campbell could effect a cost-free layoff.

When VFI filed for bankruptcy less than three years after the spin-off,
many of these employees lost their medical benefits, retirement savings
and their children's education funds.  Many of these former employees
are now listed as unpaid creditors of the bankrupt VFI estate, and
their claims are part of this lawsuit.

For more details, contact Donna Anderson of Andrews & Kurth LLP by
Phone: 713-220-3875 or by E-mail: donnaanderson@akllp.com


DOV PHARMACEUTICAL: NY Court Consolidates Securities Fraud Lawsuits
-------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
consolidated several securities class actions pending against DOV
Pharmaceutical Corporation, certain of the Company's officers and
directors and certain of the underwriters in the Company's April 25,
2002 initial public offering of 5,000,000 shares of its common stock.

The suits were initially filed in the United States District Court for
the Southern District of New York and the United States District Court
for the District of New Jersey.  

The complaints that have been served allege violations of Sections 11,
12 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 as well as Sections 10(b) and
20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder by the Securities and Exchange Commission, based upon the
Company's alleged failure to disclose the filing of a revised
registration statement and prospectus for the Company's initial public
offering reflecting changes to the 1999 financial statements of the
Company's joint venture with Elan Corporation, plc, DOV (Bermuda), Ltd.

In July 2002, Judge Robert W. Sweet consolidated before him the
lawsuits filed in the Southern District of New York and appointed lead
plaintiffs and approved the selection of counsel for the lead
plaintiffs.  In addition, the parties have jointly moved to have the
lawsuits filed in the District of New Jersey transferred and
consolidated with the New York litigation.  Defendants' time to respond
has been extended pending determination of the transfer motion and the
filing of a consolidated complaint.

The Company believes that it has meritorious defenses to the claims
alleged in the class actions and the Company intends to vigorously
defend against the claims.


EXXON MOBIL: Esso Set To Fight Claims Of Workers, Consumers, Businesses
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Businesses, workers and consumers affected by the 1998 Longford gas
plant explosion will fight oil giant Esso for hundreds of millions of
dollars in damages in a case set to begin in the Supreme Court of
Victoria this week.  Two workers were killed in the explosion and the
state's gas supply stopped for nearly two weeks after an explosion at
the gas processing plant on September 25, 1998.

The class action, initiated by plaintiff lawyers Slater & Gordon and
Maurice Blackburn Cashman just days after the explosion, is believed to
be the biggest in Australian history.  The case will turn on the
question of whether or not Esso had a legal obligation not to cause
loss to gas users.  If the massive action is successful, it is
estimated that the damages could range between $200 million and $500
million, most of it to cover business losses.

The case is scheduled to begin before Justice William Gillard this week
and could run for up to 12 weeks.

Slater & Gordon partner Lisa Nichols said, "It is possibly the largest
class action to be dealt with by Australia's legal system to date and
legally it is an unusual factual situation."

Baywater law firm Johnson Tiles will be the lead plaintiff on behalf of
businesses hurt by the gas supply shutdown that followed the explosion.  
The tile manufacturer's finance director told The Age that the shutdown
had dire commercial consequences for the company, like, among other
things, firing the majority of our staff.

Gregory Dean, a worker fired by another company in the explosion's
aftermath, will represent both fired workers and domestic users.

A royal commission, in 1999, found Esso largely to blame for the
Longford explosion because of the company's failure to train its
workers properly.  Last year, the Esso company was found guilty of 11
workplace safety charges and was fined $2 million.

In December, Justice Phillip ordered Esso to pay a record $1,025, 000
compensation for loss and suffering to Longford explosion victims and
their families.  The High Court also cleared the way for the class
action to proceed, in June this year.

Esso, an oil multinational, faces a second class action in Victoria
over the 1999 aviation fuel contamination crisis.


FIRST HORIZON: Denies Securities Suit's Charges in N.D. Georgia
---------------------------------------------------------------
First Horizon Pharmaceutical Corporation (Nasdaq: FHRX), a specialty
pharmaceutical company, intends to vigorously defend itself against a
securities class action lawsuit, alleging violations of securities laws
by the Company and other named defendants.  The Company stated that it
denies the allegations in the lawsuit.

Mahendra G. Shah, Ph.D., Chairman, President and Chief Executive
Officer, commented, "This lawsuit apparently is the result of the price
decline in our shares following our July 2, 2002 press release.  This
is typical of what often happens to public companies, which experience
a significant decline in share price.  We deny the claims in the suit
and intend to vigorously defend against the litigation.  More
importantly, we will remain focused on executing our business plan and
conducting our business in the best interest of our shareholders."

The suit, filed in the District Court for the Northern District of
Georgia, alleges that the Company and other defendants failed to timely
disclose information about the previously reported erosion in sales of
Company's Tanafed Suspension and Prenate GT products.


FLEMING COMPANIES: Claims Securities Suit Unfounded in Texas
------------------------------------------------------------
Fleming Companies labeled "without merit" the securities class action
filed a securities class action on behalf of purchasers of Fleming
Companies, Inc. (NYSE: FLM) common stock during the period between
February 27, 2002 and July 30, 2002, inclusive, in the United States
District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Texarkana Division,
against the Company and:

     (1) Mark Hansen, CEO, Chairman,

     (2) Neal J. Rider, CFO and

     (3) Thomas G. Dahlen, Executive FP, President of retail
         operations

The complaint alleges violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a), of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder.  
Specifically, the suit alleges that beginning in early 2002, the
defendants issued numerous positive statements regarding the Company's
"price-impact" retail supermarket division.

The Company believes this it has acted, and continues to act, in
compliance with federal securities laws and intends to vigorously
defend the action.


INTEGRATED INFORMATION: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Securities Fraud Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Integrated Information Systems, Inc. asked the United States District
Court for the Southern District of New York to dismiss the consolidated
securities class action pending against it, certain of its current and
former officers and directors and underwriters involved in its initial
public offering.

The consolidated suit generally alleges that:

     (1) the Underwriter Defendants allocated shares of the Company's
         initial public offering to their customers in exchange for
         higher than standard commissions on transactions in other
         securities;

     (2) the Underwriter Defendants allocated shares of our initial
         public offering to their customers in exchange for the
         customers' agreement to purchase additional shares of the
         Company's common stock in the after-market at pre-determined
         prices;

     (3) the Company and the individual defendants violated section
         10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and/or section 11
         of the Securities Act of 1933; and

     (4) the individual defendants violated section 20 of the
         Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and/or section 15 of the
         Securities Act of 1933.

In July 2002, the Company, as part of the group of issuers of shares
named in the consolidated litigation and the individual defendants,
filed a motion to dismiss the consolidated amended suit. The plaintiffs
also offered to dismiss the individual defendants, without prejudice,
in exchange for a reservation of rights and tolling agreement from each
individual defendants.  All of the individual defendants in the suits
have indicated that they will accept this offer.

The Company believes that the claims against it are unfounded and
without merit and intends to vigorously defend this matter.


JAPAN: Hepatitis C Victims Consider Filing Suit V. State, Drugmaker
-------------------------------------------------------------------
About 20 people who contracted hepatitis C virus (HCV) from tainted
blood products from the now-defunct drug manufacturer, Green Cross
Corp., have formed a group that is contemplating filing class actions
against the state and the drug producer, according to a report by the
Kyodo News.  Green Cross has been absorbed into Mitsubishi Pharma Corp.
after several mergers.

A team of about 100 lawyers will oversee negotiating relief and
compensation issues, including free treatment, over the infections,
following the release of an internal investigation report by the
Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, the sources said.

Analysts said, however, that negotiations are expected to be difficult
and lawsuits appear inevitable.   An estimated two million people have
been infected with HCV across Japan, medical experts say, adding they
were mainly infected through tainted blood products.

The lawyers argue that the state should be held responsible for its
failure to ban the products when HCV was identified in the late 1970s
as carrying risk of evolving into illnesses such as liver cancer, and
there were alternative treatments that could have been used.

In its investigative report, the ministry virtually denied fault on the
part of the state and instead laid the blame on Green Cross for its
failure to deal with cases of hepatitis C infections in the 1980s from
tainted blood products, including products that were not heat-treated
and those that were.

The ministry admitted inadequate information gathering, as it failed to
learn about a 1977 US ban on blood products that were not heat-treated.  
As a result, it failed to ban such products until mass hepatitis
infections came to light in Aomori Prefecture, northeastern Japan, in
April 1987.

Green Cross is being criticized for taking belated safety measures in
the recall and reporting to the ministry on the tainted products -
blood-clotting fibrinogen drugs - in 1987, after eight cases of
hepatitis infections from the agents surfaced from 1986 to 1987.


METROPOLITAN LIFE: Agrees To Settle Race Based Underwriting Lawsuit
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Metropolitan Life Insurance Company reached a proposed settlement for a
class action concerning alleged race-based underwriting in the sale of
certain life insurance policies from 1901 through 1972.  The
settlement, which has received preliminary approval from the US
District Court for the Southern District of New York, must receive
final approval by the court before it can be implemented. A fairness
hearing has been set for February 7, 2003.

The Company simultaneously is entering into a settlement agreement with
the New York State Insurance Department that will resolve the
Department's examination concerning race-based underwriting practices.

If approved by the court, the settlement would provide benefits to
current and former African-American and other non-Caucasian
policyholders and certain beneficiaries of Metropolitan Life Insurance
Company industrial and certain ordinary life insurance policies issued
from 1901 through 1972.  Benefits may also be paid to family members of
deceased policyholders.

On February 7, 2002, the company announced that it established a
reserve to cover costs associated with the anticipated resolution of
the class action and a regulatory inquiry into race-based underwriting
practices.  The company believes that the previously established
reserve is adequate to cover the costs associated with resolving these
matters.

"The settlement addresses policies that were issued decades ago amid
circumstances that are no longer prevailing today," said Robert H.
Benmosche, chairman and chief executive officer.  "MetLife prides
itself on providing the best products and services to all of our
customers. As we examined the limited records available in this case,
we determined it to be appropriate with respect to certain policies to
make adjustments and payments as provided in the settlement."

"When many other life insurers in the first half of the 20th century
refused to sell to African Americans, MetLife sold policies that
performed as promised. In fact, regardless of race, policy benefits
often significantly exceeded premiums paid over the life of the policy
- in many cases, by multiples of two or three," explained Mr.
Benmosche.  "Beginning in 1948, the company equalized the benefits of
certain rated policies, bringing them to the same level offered by
policies issued with a better risk classification.  The proposed
settlement extends and expands upon the equalization program that
MetLife began in 1948."

"We are proud of the wide diversity that exists among our customer
base. It is my view that it is in the best interest of our company to
put this matter behind us," said Mr. Benmosche.

The settlement includes all policyholders and certain beneficiaries of
certain policies that insured non-Caucasians:

     (1) industrial life policies issued from 1901 through 1964 with
         face amounts less than $1,000;

     (2) ordinary policies issued from 1901 through 1972 with less-
         than-standard risk classifications; and,

     (3) Metropolitan Series policies issued from 1960 through 1972
         with face amounts between $4,500 and $5,000.

Three types of relief are available as a result of the settlement
depending on the type of policy and its current status.  They include
an increased policy death benefit, cash payment or a special settlement
death benefit.


MISSISSIPPI: Judge Asserts Video Redemption Games Should Be Closed
-------------------------------------------------------------------
A Jefferson County, Alabama judge ruled that adult arcade operators
should pull the plug on every video redemption game in the state until
the machines' legality is answered, the Sun Herald (Biloxi, MS)
reports.

Law enforcement officials did not rush to enforce Circuit Judge Dan
King's recent ruling, however, because there have been a variety of
different rulings from different judges on the machines, and the
Alabama Supreme Court has not yet issued a definitive decision.  "We
have had inconsistent decisions from judges throughout the state.  
Hopefully, this will get the issues before the Supreme Court in
Montgomery," said plaintiff lawyer Robert Rhoden.

Judge King's ruling stems from a 1999 lawsuit filed by two lead
plaintiffs against companies that operate arcades.  Judge King granted
class action status to the case, which means anyone who lost money in
the machines since November 1993, the class period, can become a
plaintiff in the lawsuit.   The judge's order also lumps all arcade
owners and operators into a class as defendants.

The suit contends arcades have promoted gambling to "gain millions of
dollars in illegal profits."  The suit seeks compensatory and punitive
damages.  Judge King's ruling noted that law enforcement in some
Alabama Counties have cracked down on the machines, while other
counties have allowed them to operate.


NEW VALLEY: Discovery Commences in Securities Fraud Suit in DE Court
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Discovery has commenced in the securities class action pending against
New Valley Corporation in Delaware Chancery Court.  The suit was filed
on behalf of the Company's former Class B preferred shareholders
against the Company, Brooke Group Holding and certain of the Company's
directors and officers.

The complaint alleges that the recapitalization, approved by a majority
of each class of the Company's stockholders in May 1999, was
fundamentally unfair to the Class B preferred shareholders, the proxy
statement relating to the recapitalization was materially deficient and
the defendants breached their fiduciary duties to the Class B preferred
shareholders in approving the transaction.

The court has dismissed six of plaintiff's nine claims alleging
inadequate disclosure in the proxy statement.  Brooke Group Holding and
the Company believe that the remaining allegations are without merit.  
Discovery in the case has commenced.


NUMICO NV: Labels Lawsuits Against Rexall Sundown, GNC "Groundless"
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Dutch food-supplement and vitamin maker Numico NV (N.NUM) characterized
the lawsuits against its units GNC and Rexall Sundown as "groundless,"
in a recent statement made by the company, according to a report by Dow
Jones International News.  "The lawsuits are groundless and Numico will
vigorously defend (itself) against them."

Dutch afternoon newspaper, NRC Handelsbald, recently reported that the
company faced a EUR350 million legal claim in a US class action.  Fifty
clients are claiming that Numico subsidiaries Rexall Sundown and GNC
have sold an unsafe nutritional supplement, androstenedione, the
newspaper report said.

Numico has said that it denies any legal exposure for the claims.  
"Rexall Sundown terminated the sale of these products containing
androstenedione already in July 2000 and GNC is selling only third-
party products containing this ingredient.   GNC is held harmless by
the vendors," Numico said.


OHIO: More Automobile Dealers Push To Arbitrate Consumer Fraud Suits
--------------------------------------------------------------------
When Robert Gibson of Bath, Ohio, bought a Land Rover Discovery last
fall in Akron, he got a four-wheel-drive, but lost the grip on his
legal rights, The Times-Picayune reports.  Mr. Gibsons says he did not
read the back of the sales contract and wound up forfeiting his right
to sue the dealer if something went wrong.  "They point out all the
good points, but not that clause," Mr. Gibson said.

An increasing number of car dealers nationwide are trying to get their
customers to surrender their day in court in favor of arbitration, in
which an arbitrator, not a judge or jury, makes the decisions, said
Paul Bland, a senior staff lawyer with the Trial Lawyers for Public
Justice, a consumer advocacy group in Washington.

Arbitration advocates said arbitration helps consumers and dealers
settle disputes quickly and less expensively than going through the
courts.  Those opposed to arbitration are chiefly lawyers worried about
losing substantial fees, said Gary Adams of the Greater Cleveland
Automobile Dealers' Association.

However, arbitration can put consumers at a serious disadvantage by
eliminating their right to go to court, to appeal an unfavorable
decision and to require the other side to provide documents that could
support their case, said Reggie James, an official with Consumers
Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports magazine.

Consumers generally also can be hurt, because without the dispute being
aired in court, it is harder for the public to learn about defects or
problems with a dealership, said Jean Sternlight, a professor at the
University of Missouri, who is nationally known for her studies of
arbitration.

Dealers say arbitration is good for consumers.  However, the National
Automobile Dealers Association does not feel it is good for dealers, if
the dealers are the ones being forced into it.  The association has
been lobbying Congress for a law that would stop automakers from
imposing arbitration on dealers as part of their franchise agreements.

A serious problem with arbitration, Paul Bland said, is that under
federal law, even if the arbitrator makes a serious error, there is no
meaningful way to appeal.

There's also the impartiality of the arbitrator, Consumer's Union
Reggie James said.  The theory is that the arbitration companies want
to stay in business and an arbitrator may figure too many unfavorable
decisions could result in them being fired.  The biggest problem say
consumer advocates is when buyers don't know they have agreed to
arbitration or do not understand the implications.

It, also, should give buyers pause that the arbitration clause was not
pointed out to them and is in small print on the back of a contract.  
If arbitration is so great, it should be great for both parties, and
therefore why not speak openly about it.

Moreover, says Mr. Bland, if a dealer insists on keeping an arbitration
clause in a sales contract, "consumers should not buy products at a
company that insists they give up their  rights."


OVERTURE SERVICES: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Securities Suit in S.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Overture Services, Inc. asked the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York to dismiss the consolidated securities
class action pending against it, certain underwriters involved in its
initial public offering, and certain of the Company's current and
former officers and directors.

The consolidated suit alleges, among other things, violations of the
Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
involving undisclosed compensation to the underwriters, and improper
practices by the underwriters, and seek unspecified damages.

Similar complaints were filed in the same court against numerous public
companies that conducted initial public offerings of their common stock
since the mid-1990s.  All of these lawsuits were consolidated for
pretrial purposes before Judge Shira Scheindlin.

In July 2002, the issuers filed an omnibus motion to dismiss for
failure to comply with applicable pleading standards and the remainder
of the briefing is expected to take place over the next several months.
Discovery has been and remains stayed in the case.

The Company believes that it has meritorious defenses to the
allegations and intends to contest the allegations vigorously.


OXYCONTIN LITIGATION: Ohio Court Grants Consumer Suit Certification
-------------------------------------------------------------------
A lawsuit that accuses the makers of OxyContin of irresponsibly
marketing the powerful painkiller to Ohioans has been certified as a
class action, Associated Press Newswires reports.  The lawsuit accuses
Abbott Laboratories and Purdue Pharma of marketing OxyContin for wide
use "despite knowing that OxyContin was unsuited for most patients."

"The abuse, intentional or accidental, of OxyContin, has created a
significant health crisis for Ohio citizens," wrote Judge Michael Sage
of Butler County Common Pleas Court, in a 24-page decision recently
released.  "Numerous individuals have been injured, have died or had
their health, safety and well-being detrimentally affected as a result
of OxyContin."

The lawsuit was filed in Hamilton, about 25 miles north of Cincinnati,
because one of the lead members of the class lives there.  The lawsuit
excludes people who obtained OxyContin illegally.

Cincinnati attorney Stanley Chesley and other lawyers are representing
more than 1,000 people who said they became addicted to prescribed
OxyContin.  The plaintiffs also include some spouses of those using the
drugs.  Class action status makes the lawsuit financially possible,
said Mr. Chesley.  "If an individual were to try to take on these two
giant corporations, they would not stand a chance," Mr. Chesley said.  
"They need a united front."

The drug should have been prescribed only for terminally ill cancer
patients, said Mr. Chesley.  However, there are not enough of those
cases for the company to make money so it began to be marketed as a
treatment for all kinds of pain, he added.

The companies have denied the allegations and argued that OxyContin
should be challenged by one person at a time because users' situation
vary.  The defendants could appeal the judge's order.  Howard Udell,
Purdue Pharma executive vice president and general counsel, has said
the company will fight such cases "to the hilt."


PENNSYLVANIA:  Judge Orders City To Pay Settlement Over Police Abuse
--------------------------------------------------------------------
US District Judge Robert Cindrich ordered the city of Pittsburgh to
quickly pay $275,000 to settle dozens of police abuse lawsuits, The
Washington Post reports.

The city and lawyers for about 40 plaintiffs settled the claims this
summer.  However, city attorneys balked at making payouts, because some
plaintiffs owe back taxes to the city.  City officials say state law
prohibits the city from paying until the tax liens are satisfied.

In his ruling, Judge Cindrich ordered the city to pay the settlement to
the court by September 7, and to determine which plaintiffs are
encumbered by tax liens.  The judge said he will decide at that point
what to do with the settlement money for those who owe back taxes.  
Judge Cindrich also scheduled a September 13 hearing to determine
whether to end a consent decree prompted by the lawsuits that called
for federal oversight of the police department.


ROYAL BANK: Reaches Agreement To Settle Pension Related Claims in Suits
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Royal Bank of Canada and the Association for Pension Enhancement at
Royal Trust (APERT), an association of Royal Trust pension plan
members, reached an agreement to settle a number of pension-related
matters, subject to court and regulatory approval and the satisfaction
of other conditions.

Once ratified by the courts and regulatory authorities, the agreement
will settle issues that are the subject of class action proceedings
related primarily to certain pension administration actions by Royal
Trust prior to its purchase by Royal Bank in 1993.

While there is no admission of fault by Royal Bank, either for its own
actions or the actions of Royal Trust, the proposed settlement will
resolve several long-standing disputes and will be mutually beneficial
to all parties.

As part of the proposed settlement, some members of the Royal Trust
plan will be offered pension improvements and, in most cases, cash
payments.  As well, Royal Bank's right to continue certain
administrative practices with respect to expenses and calculation of
employer contributions will be confirmed.

"Ultimately, we felt it was important to clarify the rights of all
parties going forward and to avoid further misunderstandings," said
Gary Dobbie, senior vice-president, compensation and benefits.  "We are
pleased that we were able to work cooperatively with this group of
Royal Trust pension plan members to find a settlement that is fair for
all parties and resolves matters related to the plan prior to Royal
Bank's purchase of Royal Trust."

"We are recommending acceptance of this deal to our clients," said Iain
Sneddon, partner with Cohen Highley LLP, the London, Ontario, based law
firm acting for APERT.  "Although we believe we have a strong case,
APERT's preference has always been to resolve this matter by
negotiation. The agreement is worth approximately $52 million to plan
members. Balanced against lengthy and expensive litigation with no
certainty of putting money in our clients' pockets, this agreement
makes sense to us."

Under the agreement, the cost of the proposed settlement will be funded
out of the Royal Trust Pension Plan and will not adversely affect the
funding of the plan, which remains in a surplus position. The proposed
settlement will not have a material effect on Royal Bank's financial
position.


SMARTDISK CORPORATION: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Securities Fraud Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------------
SmartDisk Corporation asked the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York to dismiss the consolidated securities
class action pending against the Company and:

     (1) Addison M. Fischer,

     (2) Michael S. Battaglia,

     (3) Michael R. Mattingly,

     (4) FleetBoston Robertson Stephens, Inc.

     (5) Hambrecht & Quist LLC, and

     (6) US Bancorp Piper Jaffray, Inc.

The suit, filed on behalf of all persons who acquired Company
securities between October 6, 1999 and December 6, 2000, charges
defendants with violations of Sections 11, 12(a)(2) and 15 of the
Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act
of 1934 (and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder), for issuing a
Registration Statement and Prospectus that contained material
misrepresentations and/or omissions.

The complaint alleges that the Prospectus was false and misleading
because it failed to disclose:

     (i) the agreements between FleetBoston Robertson Stephens, Inc.,
         Hambrecht & Quist LLC, and US Bancorp Piper Jaffray, Inc. and
         certain investors to provide them with significant amounts of
         restricted Company shares in the initial public offering (IPO)
         in exchange for excessive and undisclosed commissions; and

    (ii) the agreements between FleetBoston Robertson Stephens, Inc.,
         Hambrecht & Quist LLC, and US Bancorp Piper Jaffray, Inc. and
         certain customers under which the underwriters would allocate
         shares in the IPO to those customers in exchange for the
         customers' agreement to purchase Company shares in the after-
         market at pre-determined prices.

This lawsuit is in one of the more than 300 class actions that have
been filed against various underwriters, issuers and individuals in the
court.  These cases have been consolidated and the Company, together
with all or substantially all of the underwriters, issuers and
individual defendants in these consolidated class actions, have moved
to dismiss all of the consolidated amended complaints, including that
directed against the Company, as legally insufficient.

All discovery in these consolidated actions has been stayed pending
determination of the motions to dismiss.  The Company considers this
claim to be wholly without merit and will vigorously defend against
such claim.  


TERRORIST ATTACK: Judge Weighs Suit Deadline For Victims of 9/11 Attack
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
A federal judge will consider whether families of September 11 victims
can launch a legal action against the Port Authority over the next 11
days without forfeiting the chance of receiving money from the
government's victims compensation fund, the New York Post reports.

Families who wish to initiate legal action against the Port Authority,
under the present regulations, have to file suit by September 10, to
meet a one-year deadline.  Under the present regulations, filing a
lawsuit against the Port Authority would operate as an automatic give-
up of a government payout from the victims compensation fund.

Lawyers, including Sanford Rubenstein, who represents about 30
families, yesterday filed a class action against the Port Authority,
seeking to extend the one-year deadline.  Judge Alvin Hallerstein has
indicated it is unlikely the deadline can be extended.


UNITED KINGDOM: Disabled Children Sue Over Triple Diphtheria Vaccine
--------------------------------------------------------------------
The manufacturer of the controversial MMR vaccine is being sued over
claims that another of its triple inoculations has caused cerebral
palsy and autism in hundreds of British children, The Sunday Telegraph
reports.  At present, the legal action has been granted legal aid,
subject to final approval being given by the Legal Services Committee.

A group of 120 disabled children have joined a class action, which
claims that their illnesses were caused by the three-in-one diphtheria,
pertussis and tetanus (DPT) vaccine made by Glaxo Wellcome and the
Wellcome Foundation.

Glaxo Wellcome is now part of GlaxoSmithKline, the company which is
facing a separate claim by several thousand children whose autism was
allegedly triggered by the Company's measles, mumps and rubella (MMR)
vaccine.  The Government previously admitted that the DPT vaccine can
cause problems in some children and paid limited compensation to
victims under the 1979 Vaccine Damages Payment Act.

Deborah Murphy of Alexander Harris, a Manchester-based solicitors firm
that is leading the class action, said, "We are anxious to prove that a
link does exist, and we believe that there is enough evidence to mount
a case against the manufacturers."

The DPT vaccine is usually given to babies, normally at two, three and
four months of age.  It consists of dead bacteria and inactive toxins,
which stimulate a baby's immune system to fight the diseases.

The element of the vaccine known as pertussis, or more commonly
whooping cough, previously has been linked with a rise in childhood
ailments including asthma and cerebral palsy.


UNITED STATES: Judge Allows Hungarian Jews To Sue Over Seized Valuables
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Despite government objections, a judge will allow Hungarian Jews and
their heirs to pursue a lawsuit to recover family treasures seized by
the Nazis and subsequently commandeered by US troops, who sold or stole
them, the Associated Press Newswires reports.

The families claim that valuables, seized from 800,000 people, were
loaded onto the so-called "Gold Train," that moved from Hungary to
Austria to avoid advancing Soviet troops days after the May 7, 1945,
Allied victory.

US soldiers intercepted the 44-car train, but its 1,200 paintings,
3,000 Oriental carpets, gold, silver, jewelry and other valuables, were
sold or looted, without compensation to the owners.  

Judge Patricia Seitz, sitting in federal court, in Miami, decided
recently that parts of the class action should be dismissed, but the
families will still be allowed to pursue claims for compensation and
return of their property.  The government had argued that the lawsuit
was filed decades too late, but the families said they were unaware of
what had happened until a presidential commission on Holocaust assets
reported on the train in October 1999.

"Their own commission is the one that identified the problem," said Sam
Dubbin, attorney for the families, many of whom live in south Florida.  
"They didn't finish the job, however, and that is why we are in court."

In deciding to keep the suit alive, the judge noted the hardships
suffered by Holocaust survivors following World War II, and "the fact
that the government cannot benefit from its own alleged misconduct."

A Jewish board in Hungary concluded in 1947, that French troops seized
two truckloads of jewels and gold.  However, the US military had
control over numerous cases of silver, gold and gold watches, jewelry
and other valuables, the board said.

Much of the property was given to Austria, sold through the Army
Exchange Service, donated to refugee agencies, used by US military
officers as home and office furnishings, or looted from a Salzbury
warehouse, the lawsuit claims.  Some was auctioned in New York.  The
families maintain the Nazis took detailed inventories, but the US
government declared the owners unidentifiable in 1946.


UNITED STATES: Mexican Braceros Vow To Continue Battle Over Back Wages
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Lawyers representing the braceros, the Mexican workers who came to the
United States to work on farms and railroads during World War II when
American men were marching off to war, and who claim they were not paid
money withheld for savings, vowed recently to continue the legal fight
for their clients, reports the San Jose Mercury News.  US District
Court Judge Charles Breyer, San Francisco, dismissed the braceros'
lawsuit the end of last week.

"Neither the braceros nor the lawyers are abandoning this fight.  This
is a fight for justice," said Morris Baller, an Oakland, California,
attorney who represents the plaintiffs.  Attorneys in Chicago, New York
and San Francisco are examining the legal options, Mr. Baller said.  
This includes a suggestion by Judge Breyer that plaintiff file an
amended complaint.

Braceros was the name given about 400,000 Mexican laborers who were
recruited to work in the farms and railroads of the United States
during World War II.  About 10 percent of their wages was deducted from
their paychecks and placed in a savings account in a Wells Fargo bank,
from where the monies were supposed to have been transferred to Mexico.

In their class action, filed in the US District Court, in San
Francisco, the braceros accused the United States and Mexican
governments, Wells Fargo Bank and several Mexican banks of failing to
pay out the money.

Judge Charles Breyer acknowledged that the braceros did not receive
their savings, but said that the Mexican government was immune and that
the statute of limitations to sue the US government had run out.  The
judge also dismissed the case against Wells Fargo.


WAL-MART STORES: Judge Certifies Women Employees' Contraceptives Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------------
A federal judge has granted class action status to a lawsuit claiming
Wal-Mart's denial of health insurance coverage for birth control is
unfair to women employees, the Associated Press Newswires reports.

US District Judge Julie Carnes said recently that all women working at
the nation's largest retailer after March 2001, can pursue claims
against the Company if they are using prescription contraceptives.  
Lisa Smith Mauldin, a customer-service manager at a Wal-Mart store in
Hiram, Georgia, filed the lawsuit October 16, in US District Court.

Atlanta lawyer, George Stein, who represents Ms. Mauldin, called Judge
Carnes' ruling "a major victory for the working women of America."  Mr.
Stein estimates that Wal-Mart has about one million women employees, 80
percent of whom are women, and that as many as 400,000 would be
eligible to join the lawsuit.

Mark Casciari, a lawyer for Wal-Mart, noted that Judge Carnes has yet
to address the merits of the lawsuit.  "For that reason, I do not see
this as a major victory for anybody," Mr. Casciari told The Atlanta-
Journal Constitution.

Ms. Mauldin, divorced mother of two children, earning about $12 an
hour, has worked for Wal-Mart since 1996.  She has been eligible for
employee health insurance since she started working full-time in March
2000, according to the Washington-based National Women's Law Center,
which filled the lawsuit in her behalf.

The organization said that the $29.84 that Ms. Mauldin pays out-of-
pocket each month for birth control pills is a financial burden, and
that Wal-Mart is denying "basic medical care to its women employees."  
The lawsuit asks Judge Carnes to declare the company's health plan
illegal and to order Wal-Mart to reimburse her and all other members of
the class for uninsured prescription contraceptives.

There are some recent rulings upon which the lawsuit may draw in
pursuit of its objectives.  For example, in June 2001, a federal judge
declared that it was unlawful discrimination to offer less complete
insurance coverage to female workers than to males.  Providing this
general statement some definition is the ruling in December of last
year by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that it was against
federal law for employers to exclude contraceptives from their health
insurance plans, when they cover other preventive treatments.


XCEL ENERGY: Faces New Securities Fraud Suit While Settling Another
-------------------------------------------------------------------
A class action has been initiated against Xcel Energy, the Minneapolis
law firm of Chestnut and Cambronne announced in the Duluth News-
Tribune, even while it was settling another suit over pollution.

The suit was filed in the US District Court for the District of
Minnesota on behalf of Chips Investments and all others who purchased
The Company's common stock from January 31 to July 26.  The value of
the Company's common stock declined from $26.70 to $7.55 during the
period.

The complaint states that the Company violated federal securities laws
by not telling investors that the financial problems of its NRG
subsidiary could directly impact the Company's dividend and its ability
to borrow funds.

Last week, the Company's board deferred a decision on the Company's
common stock dividend, pending further review of factors including
progress on NRG's restructuring program.  The board intends to set the
dividend at a Sept. 26 meeting.  Earlier this month, the Philadelphia
law firm Berger an Montague filed a similar class action against the
Company.

Meanwhile, the Company has agreed to pay more than $400,000 to settle a
lawsuit over pollution from one of its plants, according to a recent
report by the Duluth News-Tribune.  The utility will pay $300,000 to La
Crosse County, Wisconsin, to help start a household hazardous waste
program, as well as $167,579 in fines to the state.  The Company also
must find an additional $300,000 in outside funding for the hazardous
waste program.

The state attorney general's office sued the Company in July 2001, on
behalf of the Department of Natural Resources for violating dioxin
emission limits between 1995 and 2001 at its French Island plant,
averting some threatened class actions.

Dioxins are chemical compounds which scientists have linked to cancer,
birth defects and a number of other health effects.  The Company, of
Minneapolis, already was preparing to install new pollution control
equipment at French Island when it was sued.

                    New Securities Fraud Cases

AMERADA HESS: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in NJ
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP initiated a securities class action in the US
District Court for the District of New Jersey, alleging that Amerada
Hess Corp. (NYSE:AHC) misled shareholders about its business and
financial condition.

Plaintiff seeks damages for violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (and/or the Securities Act of 1933)
on behalf of all investors who bought Company securities between
February 9, 2001 and July 11, 2001.

The complaint alleges that Amerada Hess Corp., beginning in early 2001,
Amerada Hess began secret discussions to acquire Triton Energy Limited
(Triton), in order to obtain needed additional oil reserves and to
significantly boost Amerada Hess' crude oil production.

However, it immediately became clear to Amerada Hess' top insiders that
due to the demands of Triton's CEO and Triton's controlling shareholder
that if Amerada Hess was to acquire Triton, Amerada Hess would have to
pay an extremely high price of over $3 billion for Triton, a price in
excess of what standard valuation approaches would justify for Triton.
Moreover, this price would represent a very substantial premium over
Triton's stock trading price and a price that would require Amerada
Hess to borrow billions of dollars to finance the purchase of Triton.

Without disclosing these discussions and negotiations or Amerada Hess'
decision to offer to pay over $3 billion to acquire Triton, the top
insiders at Amerada Hess who were involved in, or aware of, the details
concerning the proposed acquisition of Triton, sold off huge amounts of
their Amerada Hess stock to avoid the losses they knew they would
suffer from the sharp decline in Amerada Hess' stock which they knew
would occur when the Triton acquisition was disclosed.

Consequently, these insiders profited from the artificial inflation in
the price of Amerada Hess' stock that persisted while they failed to
disclose material information about the proposed Triton acquisition.

By not disclosing that defendants were actively negotiating for the
acquisition of Triton, the individual defendants violated their duty to
"abstain" or "disclose" under the 1934 Act and pursued a scheme to
defraud and course of business that operated as a fraud or deceit on
purchasers of Amerada Hess stock by selling off over 1.3 million of
their Amerada Hess shares at as high as $90 per share for proceeds of
$119 million.

On July 10,2001, after the Individual Defendants had completed their
stock sales, Amerada Hess disclosed it was acquiring Triton for $3.2
billion ($45 per share), which represented a 50% premium over Triton's
July 9,2001 closing price of $29-29/32.  Company stock fell from $81-
11/16 on July 9,2001, to $77 on July 10,2001; to $74 per share on July
12,2001 and to $70-19/32 per share on July 18,2001, a cumulative
decline of well over 13% in just seven trading sessions.

By September 26,2002, just weeks after Amerada Hess completed the
Triton deal and disclosed it had to borrow $2.5 billion to finance the
transaction, Amerada Hess' stock fell to $59-3/32 compared to its Class
Period high of $90-13/32 in 5/01, a 34% decline.

For more details, contact Marc A. Topaz or Stuart L. Berman by Phone:
888-299-7706 (toll free) or 610-822-2221 by Fax: 610-822-0002 by E-
mail: info@sbclasslaw.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.sbclasslaw.com.  


BELLSOUTH CORPORATION: Bernstein Liebhard Lodges Securities Suit in GA
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Bernstein, Liebhard & Lifshitz LLP initiated a securities class action
on behalf of all persons who acquired BellSouth Corporation (NYSE: BLS)
securities between January 22, 2001 and July 19, 2002, inclusive, in
the United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta
Division against the Company and:

     (1) F. Duane Ackerman,

     (2) W. Patrick Shannon, and

     (3) Ronald M. Dykes

The suit alleges that Defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder by issuing a series of material misrepresentations during
the class period thereby artificially inflating the price of Company
securities.

During the class period, defendants reported quarter after quarter of
"record" financial results and financial growth despite a rapidly
deteriorating market for telecommunications companies.  However,
unbeknownst to the investing public:

     (i) the Company had been recognizing advertising and publishing
         revenues, purportedly in connection with the performance of
         services for customers who had not been billed, and that $163
         million of this revenue was required to be reversed; and

    (ii) Generally Accepted Accounting Principles were violated as
         there was not an appropriate provision for uncollectible
         accounts.

On July 22, 2002, defendants revealed that the Company's earnings had
dropped by an astonishing 67% for the second quarter of 2002, missing
Wall Street estimates.  The Company revealed that weak economic
conditions in Central and Latin America had been, and were continuing
to have a material, adverse impact on the Company's earnings and
profitability.  Company executives, privy to the truth regarding
BellSouth's financial condition sold millions of dollars of BellSouth
stock during the class period.

For more details, contact Linda Flood by Mail: 10 East 40th Street, New
York, New York 10016 by Phone: 800-217-1522 or 212-779-1414 by E-mail:
BLS@bernlieb.com or visit the firm's Website: http://www.bernlieb.com.


FLEMING COMPANIES: Cauley Geller Commences Securities Suit in E.D. TX
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Cauley Geller Bowman & Coates, LLP initiated a securities class action
on behalf of purchasers of Fleming Companies, Inc. (NYSE: FLM) common
stock during the period between February 27, 2002 and July 30, 2002,
inclusive, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District
of Texas, Texarkana Division, against the Company and:

     (1) Mark Hansen, CEO, Chairman,

     (2) Neal J. Rider, CFO and

     (3) Thomas G. Dahlen, Executive FP, President of retail
         operations

The complaint alleges violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a), of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder.  
Specifically, the suit alleges that beginning in early 2002, the
defendants issued numerous positive statements regarding the Company's
"price-impact" retail supermarket division.

These statements were made despite the fact that the defendants knew,
or recklessly disregarded, that the performance of the Company's
"price-impact" retail supermarket division was, in the words of the
defendants, "disappointing."

These statements falsely portrayed the Company's business prospects and
artificially inflated and maintained the price of the Company's common
stock.  The defendants capitalized on their false and misleading
statements by:

     (i) lowering the interest rate and extending the maturity on $250
         million of Company debt;

    (ii) raising over $155 million through the June 13, 2002 sale of 8
         million shares of the Company's common stock at $19.40 per
         share;

   (iii) raising an additional $200 million through the June 13, 2002
         sale of Company Notes due 2010; and

    (iv) using the proceeds of the June 13, 2002 securities sales to
         complete the purchase of Core-Mark International, Inc. and
         Head Distributing for $330 million in cash -- acquisitions
         described by the defendants as "key" to the Company's
         implementation of its strategic transformation into an
         efficient, national, multi-tier supply chain for consumer
         packaged goods.

Then, approximately six weeks after defendants sold $355 million worth
of Company securities, the Company announced after the close of trading
on July 30, 2002 in an abrupt departure to the repeated and positive
statements made by the defendants during the class period, that its
"price-impact" retail supermarket division was not only performing
poorly, but performing so poorly that the Company was considering
abandoning this line of business entirely.

The price of the Company's common stock dramatically declined on this
announcement, falling from $15.21 on July 30, 2002 to $13.75 on July
31, 2002, on huge trading volume of 3.9 million shares, and continued
to decline over the next two heavy trading days to a 52-week low of
$10.76 on August 2, 2002.

Since then, the price of the Company's common stock has never
recovered, and currently trades well below the $19.40 price at which
the Company sold 8 million shares to unsuspecting investors on June 13,
2002.

For more details, contact Jackie Addison, Sue Null or Ellie Baker by
Mail: P.O. Box 25438, Little Rock, AR 72221-5438 by Phone: 888-551-9944
by E-mail: info@cauleygeller.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.cauleygeller.com


HEALTHSOUTH CORPORATION: Mark McNair Commences Securities Suit in AL
--------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Office of Mark McNair initiated a securities class action has
been commenced on behalf of shareholders who acquired Healthsouth
Corporation (NYSE:HRC) between January 14, 2002 and August 27, 2002
inclusive, in the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Alabama against the Company and certain corporate officers
and directors.

The action charges that defendants violated federal securities laws by
issuing a series of materially false and misleading statements to the
market throughout the class period which statements had the effect of
artificially inflating the market price of the Company's securities.

For more details, contact Mark McNair by Mail: 1101 30th St. N.W. Suite
500, Washington, D.C. 20007 by Phone: 877-511-4717 or 202-872-4717 by
E-mail: mcnair@justice4investors.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.justice4investors.com.  


HEALTHSOUTH CORPORATION: Charles Piven Commences Securities Suit in AL
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, PA initiated a securities class
action on behalf of shareholders who acquired Healthsouth Corporation
(NYSE:HRC) securities between January 14, 2002 and August 27, 2002,
inclusive, in the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Alabama, against the Company and:

     (1) Richard M. Scrushy,

     (2) Weston L. Smith,

     (3) William Owens and

     (4) George Strong

The action charges that defendants violated federal securities laws by
issuing a series of materially false and misleading statements to the
market throughout the class period which statements had the effect of
artificially inflating the market price of the Company's securities.

For more details, 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


HPL TECHNOLOGIES: Schatz & Nobel Commences Securities Suit in N.D. CA
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Schatz & 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 or otherwise acquired the common stock of
HPL Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: HPLAE) from July 31, 2001 through July
18, 2002, inclusive.  Also included are all those who acquired Company
shares through the acquisitions of Covalar Technologies and Defect &
Yield Management.

The suit alleges that the Company, a provider of yield optimization
software, and certain of its officers and directors issued false and
misleading statements in connection with its initial public offering.

It is alleged that the Prospectus and Registration Statement issued in
connection with the IPO falsely represented that the Company recognized
revenue on sales to distributors only when the distributors sold
software licenses or services to customers.

On July 19, 2002, the Company announced that it was investigating
accounting irregularities with respect to revenue recognition on
shipments to its distributors.  It was also announced that the
Company's CEO had been terminated and that its CFO had been reassigned.

On this news, Company shares plummeted 72% from $14.10 to a low of $4.  
The Company later revealed that $11 million of the $13.7 million
reported for the quarter ended March 31, 2002 was based on "fictitious
transactions" and that the Company would restate its financial results
for fiscal 2002 and possibly 2001.

For more details, contact Nancy A. Kulesa by Phone: 800-797-5499 by E-
mail: sn06106@aol.com or visit the firm's Website: http://www.snlaw.net


HPL TECHNOLOGIES: Chitwood & Harley Lodges Securities Suit in N.D. CA
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Chitwood & Harley initiated a securities class action in the United
States District Court for the Northern District of California, on
behalf of purchasers of the common stock of HPL Technologies, Inc.
(Nasdag:HPLAE) between July 31, 2001 and July 18, 2002 for violations
of Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 and Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

The suit alleges that the Company, a provider of yield optimization
software solutions to semiconductor companies, issued false and
misleading statements during the class period.  On July 31, 2001, the
Company became a public company through an IPO of 6 million shares at
$11.00 per share, raising proceeds of $69.1 million.

The IPO was accomplished pursuant to a Prospectus and Registration
Statement filed with the SEC.  Those documents provided the details of
the Company's revenue recognition policy, which purported to be in
conformance with SEC guidelines for software revenue recognition.

In each of the Company's four subsequent quarterly reports (its first,
second, third, and fourth quarter reports of its fiscal year ended
March 31, 2002), it reported increasing net sales and income, and made
positive statements attributing its increasing revenues to the ongoing
need for its software.

On July 19, 2002, the Company announced that it was looking into
"financial and accounting irregularities involving revenue reported
during prior periods."  The Company stated, in part, "the Company
believes that a material amount of revenue was improperly recognized
during one or more earlier periods in connection with sales to an
international distributor."

As a result of defendants' false and misleading statements Company
stock plunged 72%, to as low as $4 per share, before trading was
halted. Trading in the stock has not resumed.

For more details, contact Nikole Davenport by Mail: 2900 Promenade II,
1230 Peachtree Street, NE Atlanta Georgia by Phone: 888-873-3999 (toll-
free) by E-mail: nmd@classlaw.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.classlaw.com


MARTHA STEWART: Weiss & Yourman Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
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Weiss & Yourman initiated a securities class action against Martha
Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (NYSE:MSO), and certain of its officers
and directors in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York, on behalf of purchasers of Company securities
between January 8, 2002 and August 5, 2002.

The complaint charges the defendants with violations of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934.  The complaint alleges that, during the class
period, defendants issued materially false and misleading statements
and omitted to disclose material information concerning Stewart's and
their own trading in the common stock of ImClone Systems, Inc. and MSO.

For more details, contact Mark D. Smilow, David C. Katz, and/or James
E. Tullman by Mail: The French Building, 551 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1600,
New York NY 10176 by Phone: 888-593-4771 or 212-682-3025 by E-mail:
info@wynyc.com


MORGAN STANLEY: Wechsler Harwood Commences Securities Suit in S.D. NY
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Wechsler Harwood Halebian & Feffer LLP initiated a securities class
action on behalf of all persons who purchased any of all four classes
of shares of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Technology Fund (Nasdaq:TEKAX)
from the public offering for the Fund on September 25, 2000 through
July 31, 2002, inclusive against Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co.
(MSDW), Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Technology Fund and others.

The suit, filed in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York, alleges violations of Sections 11, 12 and 15 of
the Securities Act of 1933 and of Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Technology Fund recently changed its name to
the Morgan Stanley Technology Fund.

The defendants were:

     (1) the underwriters for the common stock of certain of the
         companies in the Technology Fund's portfolio;

     (2) the investment bankers and corporate finance specialists for
         certain of the companies whose securities are in the Fund's
         portfolio;

     (3) seeking to obtain additional investment banking business from
         these present and former clients and from other companies
         whose shares also were/are in the Fund's portfolio;

     (4) the issuers of the shares in the Fund;

     (5) preparing and publicly disseminating research reports and
         recommendations on many of the companies whose shares were in
         the Fund's portfolio; and

     (6) the broker for certain members of the class.

This action arises as a result of the issuance by the defendants of
shares in the Fund, and concerns material misstatements and omissions
by defendants in the Prospectus, relating to defendants' conflicts of
interest, which include but are not limited to:

     (i) defendants failed to disclose and omitted material information
         that MSDW had investment banking relationships with, including
         having brought public, certain of the companies whose
         securities were part of the Fund's portfolio.  Defendants
         disclosed neither this general fact nor the identities of the
         particular companies with which it had investment banking
         relationships;

    (ii) defendants failed to disclose and omitted material information
         concerning that MSDW was continuing to seek investment banking
         relationships with many of the companies whose securities were
         part of the Fund's portfolio; and

   (iii) defendants failed to disclose and omitted material information
         concerning that a material part of the total compensation paid
         to MSDW research analysts was based upon obtaining investment
         banking business for MSDW and not upon the accuracy of their
         research about a given company.

Hence, MSDW and its affiliated companies, including the Fund,
recommended investments in and/or invested in companies in order to
enhance MSDW's opportunity to obtain investment banking business from
those companies (without regard to whether they were good investments
for the investors including plaintiffs and the class).

For more details, contact Ramon Pi on by Mail: 488 Madison Avenue, 8th
Floor, New York, New York 10022 by Phone: 877-935-7400 by E-mail:
rpinoniv@whhf.com or visit the firm's Website: http://www.whhf.com


PEMSTAR INC.: Bernstein Liebhard Commences Securities Suit in MN Court
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Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz LLP initiated a securities class action
on behalf of all persons who acquired Pemstar, Inc. (NASDAQ: PMTR)
securities between June 8, 2001 and May 3, 2002, inclusive, in the
United States District of Minnesota against the Company and:

     (1) Allen J. Berning,

     (2) William J. Kullback,

     (3) Robert R. Murphy,

     (4) Steve V. Petracca,

     (5) Karl D. Shurson,

     (6) Robert D. Ahmann,

     (7) Hargopal Singh,

     (8) Gregory S. Lea,

     (9) Thomas A. Burton, and

    (10) Bruce M. Jaffe

The suit alleges that Defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder by issuing a series of material misrepresentations during
the class period thereby artificially inflating the price of Company
securities.

Specifically, the Registration Statement and Prospectus for the
Secondary Offering and other public statements were materially false
and misleading when issued.  In order to attract and maintain the
appearance of a diverse customer base, the Company:

     (i) executed orders from customers without industry track records
         or acceptable financial conditions and which often were on the
         brink of bankruptcy; and

    (ii) had an extremely liberal policy of accepting and holding
         inventory for and from existing and prospective customers
         (often without ever obtaining a written contract).

These increased costs forced Pemstar to write down obsolete inventory.
In addition, due to a lack of internal controls, Pemstar's "cash
conversion cycle" and its "days of sales outstanding," were much longer
than its competitors, meaning that Pemstar had to wait a long time
between the time it sold inventory until it collected payment.

During this extended time, Pemstar carried the totals as accounts
receivables, hiding the fact that payment was unlikely and delaying
disclosure of that fact until Pemstar finally wrote down material
amounts of accounts receivables.

For more details, contact Linda Flood by Mail: 10 East 40th Street, New
York, New York 10016 by Phone: 800-217-1522 or 212-779-1414 by E-mail:
PMTR@bernlieb.com or visit the firm's Website: http://www.bernlieb.com.


PERKINELMER INC.: Scott + Scott Commences Securities Suit in MA Court
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Scott + Scott, LLC initiated a securities class action behalf of
purchasers of PerkinElmer, Inc. (NYSE: PKI) securities between July 15,
2001 and April 11, 2002 inclusive, in the United States District Court
for the District of Massachusetts.  The suit names as defendants the
Company and:

     (1) Gregory L. Summe, CEO, President and Chairman of the Board
         during the class period and

     (2) Robert F. Friel, CFO and Vice President during the class
         period

The suit charges that defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by issuing a series of materially
false and misleading statements to the market during the class period.

According to the suit, the Company issued a number of press releases
regarding its performance during the class period representing that the
Company was successfully growing its revenues and earnings, that the
Company's transformation into a provider of health-related products and
services was proceeding successfully and that the Company would meet
its financial performance targets for 2002.

The suit alleges that these and other representations were materially
false and misleading because they failed to disclose that the Company
was experiencing a decline in the demand for its products, the Company
was carrying tens of millions of dollars of obsolete inventory on its
books and the Company's expenses were soaring in light of numerous
acquisitions and divestitures it had undertaken.

On March 1, 2002, the Company issued a press release revealing that
first quarter 2002 revenues and earnings would be materially less than
the Company had represented only three weeks earlier. In reaction to
the announcement, the price of the Company's common stock plummeted by
31%.

The full truth regarding the Company's business was not fully disclosed
until April 11, 2002 when the Company issued a press release revealing
that its reported earnings would be substantially less than previously
represented and that its revenues had declined in the first quarter of
2002 because of weakness in all of its divisions.  In reaction to the
announcement, Company stock plummeted by another 28% on extremely heavy
trading volume.

The individual defendants and other Company insiders sold a total of
595,000 PerkinElmer common stock during the class period, reaping gross
proceeds in excess of $18.4 million and the Company completed a
significant acquisition using its common stock as currency.

For more details, contact James E. Miller by Mail: 108 Norwich Ave.,
Colchester, CT 06415 by Phone: 860-537-3818 by Fax: 860-537-4432 or
visit the firm's Website: http://www.scott-scott.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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