CAR_Public/020917.mbx               C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R
  
            Tuesday, September 17, 2002, Vol. 4, No. 184

                           Headlines
                             
AMAZON.COM: Plaintiffs' Attorney Presents Arguments For Hearing Suit
ANADARKO PETROLEUM: KS Court Expected To Rule in Royalty Suit in 2002
ANDRX CORP: Florida Lawsuit Over Securities Act Violations Withdrawn
ARKANSAS: Opponents To Challenge State's Food Exemption Title in Court
AUSTRALIA: Dow Corning Case May Serve As Warning About Cosmetic Surgery

CALIFORNIA: Inmates Forego Share Of Judgment For Wrongful Incarceration
CALIFORNIA: Judge Refuses To Certify Suit Filed V. Youth Authority
CALIFORNIA: Reform Finally Happening At MacLaren Children's Center
CHEAP TICKETS: EEOC Alleges Female Workers Faced Sexually Harassment
COOPER TIRE: Judge Approves Billion Dollar Settlement For Consumer Suit

CRACKER BARREL: Justice Department Investigates Discrimination Claims
DPL INC.: Plaintiffs Drop Several Claims in Securities Suit in N.D. OH
DURATEK INC.: Plaintiffs Appeal Dismissal of Securities Suit in MD
HEALTHSOUTH CORPORATION: AL Hears Arguments For Suit Certification
IMCLONE SYSTEMS: Expects Consolidated Securities Suit To Be Filed Soon

IMCLONE SYSTEMS: Faces Several Shareholder Derivative Lawsuits in NY
MCDONALD'S CORP.: Suit Alleging Promotions Fraud Launched in Canada
MCDONNELL DOUGLAS: Judge Sets Trial Date In Employee Suit Over Benefits
MENORAH GARDENS: Judge May Move Desecration Suit Hearing To Graveyard
OHIO: Judge Ends Federal Oversight For Pittsburgh Police Department

OKLAHOMA: Lawsuit Names Two More Poultry Producers Who Pollute Lake
PEMCO AVIATION: AL Jury Finds No Proof of Hostile Work Environment
PEMCO AVIATION: AL State Court Approves Settlement For Employee Suit
PERINI CORPORATION: Plaintiffs Appeal Dismissal of Securities Lawsuit
PFIZER INC: Judge Blocks 4,000 Plaintiffs From Joining One Rezulin Suit

ROCK HILL BANK & TRUST: SC Resident Files Suit Over Stock Devaluation
SLAVERY REPARATION: IL Officials To Seek Historic Ties From Contractors
TOBACCO LITIGATION: Suit Alleging Tobacco Firms Target Minors Dismissed
TOBACCO LITIGATION: Judge Trims Attendant's Award In Anti-Smoking Suit
TOUCH AMERICA: Employees Commence Retirement Benefits Lawsuit

UNITED STATES: Ambulance Companies Sue, Seeking Equal Compensation
UNITED STATES: State Officials File Briefs To Halt Closing Fee Markups

*Overtime Becomes A Larger Issue As Lines Blur Between Home And Office

                   New Securities Fraud Cases

CONCORD EFS: Milberg Weiss Commences Securities Fraud Suit in W.D. TN
CONCORD EFS: Bernstein Liebhard Commences Securities Suit in W.D. TN
HOUSEHOLD INTERNATIONAL: Leo Desmond Files Securities Suit in N.D. IL
HPL TECHNOLOGIES: Gold Bennett Commences Securities Suit in N.D. CA
MERRILL LYNCH: Stull Stull Commences Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY

UNDERWRITERS LITIGATION: Stull Stull Commences Securities Suit in NY


                           *********


AMAZON.COM: Plaintiffs' Attorney Presents Arguments For Hearing Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------------
The central argument in the securities class action filed against
Amazon.com is how much Amazon.com investors knew and when they knew it.  
The suit was presented recently by the well-known class action attorney
William Lerach, in a Seattle federal courthouse, to convince US
District Judge Robert Lasnik to hear the suit in full, according to a
report by Barron's.

The overarching question is, said Mr. Lerach, what did the market
understand Amazon to say?  "The bottom line as a public company is that
you have an obligation not to mislead and to tell the truth," Mr.
Lerach told the court in his opening argument.

In Mr. Lerach's 200-plus page complaint, he throws everything,
according to the Barron's report, at the Company, hoping some of it
will stick.  That much of it will not stick is something Judge Lasnik
already has shared with the attorneys.  However, he did not rule out
that some of it will, the allegations include various shades of
customer-metrics fraud, improper inventory accounting and insider
trading, among many other allegations.

The Company's attorney, Jonathan Dickey, of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher,
dismissed Mr. Lerach's laundry list of allegations as a "rolling fraud
theory" without a smoking gun.  Mr. Dickey also pointed out that the
Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) had closed its investigation of
Amazon's commerce-partner-network accounting without taking any action.
Meantime, Mr. Lerach's legal team has said that the SEC's investigation
of insider trading by Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos, who cashed out as much
as $60 million at one point, is still active.

Judge Lasnik said he would make the case a priority and hoped to
deliver a ruling soon, perhaps in a few weeks.


ANADARKO PETROLEUM: TX Appeals Court Overrules Suit Certification
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The Houston Court of Appeals overruled the class certification granted
by a lower court to a lawsuit filed by a group of royalty owners
against Anadarko Petroleum purporting to represent RME Petroleum
Company's gas royalty owners in Texas.

The suit was granted class action certification in December 1999, by
the 21st Judicial District Court of Washington County, Texas, in
connection with a gas royalty underpayment case against the Company.  
This certification did not constitute a review by the court of the
merits of the claims being asserted. The royalty owners' pleadings did
not specify the damages being claimed, although most recently a demand
for damages in the amount of $100 million was asserted.

The Company appealed the class certification order, and a favorable
decision from the Houston Court of Appeals decertified the class.  The
royalty owners did not appeal this matter to the Texas Supreme Court
and the decision from the Houston Court of Appeals became final in the
second quarter of 2002.


ANADARKO PETROLEUM: KS Court Expected To Rule in Royalty Suit in 2002
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The 26th Judicial District Court in Stevens County, Kansas is expected
to rule on a class action filed against Anadarko Petroleum Corporation
by the end of 2002, the Company revealed in a disclosure to the United
States Securities and Exchange Commission.

In this action, the royalty owners contend that royalty was underpaid
as a result of the deduction for certain post-production costs in the
calculation of royalty.

The Company believes that its method of calculating royalty was proper
and that its gas was marketable in the condition produced, and thus
plaintiffs' claims are without merit.  This case was certified as a
class action in August 2000 and was tried in February 2002.  


ANDRX CORP: Florida Lawsuit Over Securities Act Violations Withdrawn
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Andrx Corp. (ADRX) said a law firm that has filed a securities class
action against it has decided to drop the complaint, according to a
report by Dow Jones Business News.  The law firm, Milberg Weiss Bershad
Hynes & Lerach LLP, filed the lawsuit last month in United States
District Court in Florida.  The law firm was not immediately available
to disclose why it dropped the suit.

The law firm filed the complaint on behalf of people who purchased
Company stock between February 10, 2000, and August 12, 2002.  The
suit, which named the Company and several of its current and former
officers, alleged that the Company made false and misleading statements
and failed to use proper accounting methods.

The lawsuit was filed days after the Company said that an internal
audit revealed that an employee may have altered accounting records and
inflated its accounts receivable by up to $15 million.

The employee in one of its subsidiaries may have altered accounting
records relating to its pharmaceutical and distribution operations, the
Company said.  The Company also said it was continuing an internal
investigation, but did not believe its business or financial condition
will be affected "in any substantial manner."

On August 20, the Company restated second-quarter results because it
had overstated accounts receivable from January 1999 to date by $5.4
million.

Another law firm, Beatie and Osborn LLP, filed a similar lawsuit
seeking class action status against the Company.  That suit, which
stemmed from the Company's disclosure, also was filed in the US
District Court in Florida.  The Company did not disclose the status of
that complaint.


ARKANSAS: Opponents To Challenge State's Food Exemption Title in Court
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The ballot title for a proposal to repeal the state sales tax on
groceries and medicine will be challenged in court, a group says,
according to a report by the Associated Press Newswires.

Sherri Walker, coordinator of Arkansans to Protect Police, Libraries,
Education and Services, or APPLES, said the group hoped to file a
lawsuit by Friday.  She said the lawsuit will argue the November 5
ballot title used by the Committee to Axe the Food Tax is misleading.

"The proposal looks deceptively simple, but when you start analyzing it
for actual and factual meaning, it is ambiguous and imprecise.  That
will be the focus of the ballot-title challenge," Ms. Walker said.

Axe the Food Tax chairman Karl Kimball has said the group will be
prepared for a legal challenge.


AUSTRALIA: Dow Corning Case May Serve As Warning About Cosmetic Surgery
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
There have been notorious cases that the largely under-regulated
industry of cosmetic surgery would prefer to forget.  Recently, one of
Australia's largest class actions had its final chapter in court with
thousands of women with faulty breast implants receiving individual
payments of up to $120,000, the Ilawarra Mercury reports.

This was the last court appearance, whose aim was to finalize the 10-
year claim by 3,100 Australian women for each one's part of a $35
million lump sum payout from the American company Dow Corning.

The Australian women's complaints range from rupture and leaking of
implants, causing breast hardening and deformity, to complications
involving allegations of tissue disorder and auto-immune disease.

The women involved in the Australian class action can be considered the
lucky ones, for, at least, they have received compensation.  Worldwide,
there are more than 197,000 claimants seeking compensation for faulty
breast implants from Dow Corning, which currently is in Chapter 11
bankruptcy, and looking forward to a reorganization and restructuring
whose terminus has not been predicted.  Many of the women claimants,
therefore, may have to wait for another five to 10 years, for their day
in court and a possible payout.

The class action led to silicone breast implants being taken off the
market in Australia for a decade.  Amid strong criticism from patient
groups, a new silicone implant, claimed to be less likely to rupture
than the Dow Corning product, was approved for cosmetic purposes in
Australia last year.  The new product already has found a ready market.


CALIFORNIA: Inmates Forego Share Of Judgment For Wrongful Incarceration
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Only 10 percent of the 300,000 former inmates eligible to share a $27
million judgment against Los Angeles County for wrongful incarceration
and illegal searches have filed claims for the money, the Associated
Press Newswires reports.

The remaining 270,000 have until September 20, to make a claim or they
will lose their portion of the settlement, said attorney Barry Litt,
who represented the plaintiffs in the class action.

Sheriff's department officials blamed clerical errors for detaining
scores of inmates beyond their release dates between 1996 and 2001 -
one form of wrongful incarceration.   In some cases, inmates were
jailed, because of erroneous warrants, another form of wrongful
incarceration.

The 62 named plaintiffs in the lawsuit were expected to receive the
largest portion of the settlement, but the other former inmates could
receive between $50 and $5,000 apiece, attorneys said.


CALIFORNIA: Judge Refuses To Certify Suit Filed V. Youth Authority
------------------------------------------------------------------
A federal judge has rejected class action status for a lawsuit
challenging conditions at the California Youth Authority (CYA), the
nation's largest youth correctional system, reports the Associated
Press Newswires.

Attorneys representing nine inmates filed the suit alleging youths and
adults are treated inhumanely, forced to live in squalor, in fear of
rape and assault and denied education and mental health care.  They
hoped to make the case that the nine inmates should be permitted to
represent all the 6,000 to 7,000 wards of the state, aged 12 to 25,
held in the system's 11 facilities.

However, US District Judge David F. Levi ruled recently that the
plaintiffs' case "falls far short" of justifying a class action.  
"Beyond bold assertion, plaintiffs do little to substantiate their
claims that they are subject to unconstitutional practices and
policies," Judge Levi ruled in a 58-page order.

He did allow the suit to proceed on three specific claims alleging
constitutional violations, including inmates who were forcibly given a
psychotropic drug during the past year without a hearing, inmates
required to participate in sex offender treatment programs and those
who were segregated for their own safety without a hearing.  Judge Levi
dismissed five other claims, concluding there was no injury or
immediate threat of injury.

While the plaintiffs claimed the abuses were pervasive throughout the
system, Judge Levi found in most cases the plaintiffs failed to produce
"even minimally adequate evidence of repeated violations."

Donald Specter of the Prison Law Office, the inmates' lead attorney,
told The Sacramento Bee that he was disappointed, but dismissed the
rulings as "procedural obstacles that have been placed in our path.  We
will continue to challenge the atrocious conditions at the CYA."

The system's previous director resigned early in 2000 after a state
investigation at one facility, and in January 2001, the state agreed to
pay $165,000 to settle a sexual abuse suit by a CYA ward.


CALIFORNIA: Reform Finally Happening At MacLaren Children's Center
------------------------------------------------------------------
The good news of much-needed reform at MacLaren Children's Center is
tempered, as usual, by the bad news that preceded it, the Los Angeles
Daily News reports.  In both the city and county of Los Angeles, things
seem always to get much worse before they get moderately better.

The horrors at the county's residential facility for emotionally
troubled and abused children have not been a great secret.  They have
been documented for years, including kids running away, abusive
personnel, and children not getting placed in the foster homes they
need.

However, exposes and complaints were not enough to effect any
meaningful change.  A class action was finally filed last November, and
the county finally has begun to clean up MacLaren.  The resident
population has declined, a result of more children going into foster
care.  On site, psychological care is now available 24 hours a day, and
the number of runaways has dropped by more than 50 percent in a year,
all the result of the judge ordering that such improvements shall take
place.

These are all great developments, but a question remains. Why cannot
government, through its local leaders, take initiatives, without being
dragged kicking and screaming into court and subjected to a review of
what has been done and what still must be done?

CHEAP TICKETS: EEOC Alleges Female Workers Faced Sexually Harassment
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Male supervisors at the Los Angeles office of Cheap Tickets, a popular
travel service, subjected female employees to egregious and persistent
sexual harassment, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
recently charged in a federal class action, the Los Angeles Times
reports.

The alleged harassment included propositions for sexual favors,
unwelcome touching and sexually charged remarks.  The class action also
accuses male supervisors of firing a woman who first complained to the
EEOC.  About a half-dozen other female workers later joined in the
complaint.

"Employers should understand that they will be held strictly
accountable to the EEOC for allowing male supervisors to use their
positions of power with impunity to sexually harass women," Olophius
Perry, head of the agency's Los Angeles office, said in a statement.

The lawsuit seeks a permanent injunction barring Cheap Tickets from
engaging in sexual discrimination or retaliation against employees who
complain about workplace abuses.  It also demands that Cheap Tickets
adopt strict policies to eradicate what the commission described as a
sexually hostile work environment.  The lawsuit calls for up to
$300,000 compensation to each victim.

The EEOC said it filed the lawsuit after exhausting efforts to reach an
out-of-court settlement with the company.  Dawn Lyon, spokeswoman for
Cheap Tickets, said the company had closed its Los Angeles office last
year as part of a company-wide consolidation.


COOPER TIRE: Judge Approves Billion Dollar Settlement For Consumer Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
A state judge has approved a national class action settlement under
which an Ohio tire manufacturer will offer extended warranties on
millions of steel belted radial tires, Associated Press Newswires
reported from Trenton, New Jersey.

The recently approved settlement by New Jersey Superior Court Judge
Marina Corodemus in New Brunswick, covers about 175 million steel
belted radial tires manufactured by Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. between
January 1, 1985, and January 6, 2002.

Attorneys had brought class actions in 33 states, under various
consumer protection statutes, and these lawsuits were consolidated in
New Jersey.  The lawsuits alleged that Cooper Tire, of Findlay, Ohio,
did not disclose problems related to adhesion between layers of the
tires.  There were no claims of personal injury or property damage in
the case, and no request for a recall.

Under the settlement, the Company must provide free replacements for
five years for any tires damaged by tread separation related to the
manufacturing process, rather than just offering replacements on a
prorated basis according to mileage, as its standard warranty does.

Company attorneys wrote in a letter that such tread separation involves
less than one-fourth of one percent of its tires.  The Company makes
about 40 million tires a year under the Cooper brand and private brands
sold by Sears, Roebuck and Co., Pep boys and other retailers.

The settlement also requires the Company to improve the inspection
process at its manufacturing facilities, under the eye of court-
approved compliance monitors.  The Company also must help fund consumer
education programs on maintenance and safety.

The settlement is valued at between $1 billion and $3 billion by
plaintiffs' attorneys John E Keefe Jr. of Shrewsbury and the New
Orleans law firm of Allan Kanner & Associates.  It is estimated that
the firm will take a  $55 million pretax charge to cover settlement
costs.


CRACKER BARREL: Justice Department Investigates Discrimination Claims
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Department of Justice is investigating discrimination
claims against Tennessee-based Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc.,
according to Associated Press Newswires.  The Company's parent company,
CBRL Group Inc. of Lebanon, said in an earnings report statement that
it is responding to questions posed by the Justice Department under the
Civil Rights Act of 1964.

"It is an attempt to clarify the company's policies and procedures,"
said company spokeswoman Julie Davis.  "They are asking for a variety
of information, ranging from store locations to training programs."  
Ms. Davis said she did not know whether the investigation stemmed from
a civil lawsuit filed last year that accuses the Company of widespread
racism.

However, plaintiffs' attorney, David Sanford, in the class action
charging the Company with racial discrimination, said the suit, which
seeks $100 million, prompted the Justice Department probe.  "I am not
at liberty to discuss details . I can tell you the investigation has
been conducted over the course of the last few months," said David
Sanford, an attorney with one of the nation's largest civil rights law
firms, Gordon, Silberman, Wiggins & Childs of Birmingham, Alabama, and
Washington.

Justice Department spokespersons could not be reached for comment, the
Associated Press Newswires reports.


DPL INC.: Plaintiffs Drop Several Claims in Securities Suit in N.D. OH
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs in one of the class actions pending against DPL, Inc. filed
an amended lawsuit and derivative complaint, dropping some of the
claims it originally filed against the Company.

On July 15, 2002, the first class action and derivative complaint for
damages was filed by The Buckeye Electric Company Retirement Plan on
behalf of itself and other Company shareholders, and derivatively on
behalf of the Company, in the Court of Common Pleas Montgomery County,
Ohio.  The complaint names as defendants the Company, selected
executive officers of the Company, the Company's Board of Directors.
and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, the Company's independent auditors.  
The suit alleges:

     (1) breach of fiduciary duty,

     (2) violation of the Ohio Securities Act,

     (3) fraud,

     (4) negligence, and

     (5) misrepresentations by defendants in connection with the
         establishment and management of the Company's portfolio of
         financial assets, which the plan alleges were inappropriate
         investments not adequately disclosed to shareholders.

On August 2, 2002, a similar complaint was filed by Louis Lowenstein
and Michelle Nazarovech on behalf of themselves and other Company
shareholders, and derivatively on behalf of the Company in the Court of
Common Pleas, Hamilton County, Ohio.  The complaint:

     (i) names the same defendants as in the above referenced case as
         well as an officer of a subsidiary of DPL Inc.,

    (ii) alleges an extended class period,

   (iii) adds an Ohio class action count and

    (iv) seeks damages of $1.1 billion on behalf of the named
         plaintiffs and the other class members.

Both cases have been removed to the United States District Court for
the Southern District of Ohio.  A motion to consolidate is pending.

On August 9,2002, the plaintiffs in the Hamilton County action filed in
that federal court a first amended action and derivative action suit,
by which they dropped their claims for fraud and for violations of the
Ohio Securities Act.


DURATEK INC.: Plaintiffs Appeal Dismissal of Securities Suit in MD
------------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs in the securities class action against Duratek, Inc. and two
of its executive officers appealed the United States District Court for
the District of Baltimore, Maryland's dismissal of the suit with
prejudice.

The suit alleges that certain statements and information included in
the Company's press releases and in the periodic reports filed by it
with the Securities and Exchange Commission contained materially false
and misleading information in violation of the federal securities laws.

The Company filed a motion to dismiss the complaint, which the court
granted on April 30, 2002.  On May 24, 2002, the plaintiff filed a
notice of appeal.


HEALTHSOUTH CORPORATION: AL Hears Arguments For Suit Certification
------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama
heard arguments for an against the certification of a consolidated
securities class action pending against Healthsouth Corporation,
and certain of its current and former officers and directors.

The suit alleges that, during the period April 24, 1997 through
September 30, 1998, the defendants misrepresented or failed to disclose
certain material facts concerning our business and financial condition
and the impact of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 on the Company's
operations in order to artificially inflate the price of its common
stock and issued or sold shares of such stock during the purported
class period, all allegedly in violation of Section 10(b) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.

Certain of the named plaintiffs in the consolidated amended complaint
also purport to represent separate subclasses consisting of former
stockholders of Horizon/CMS Healthcare Corporation and National Surgery
Centers, Inc. who received shares of the Company's common stock in
connection with its acquisition of those entities and assert additional
claims under Section 11 of the Securities Act of 1933 with respect to
the registration of securities issued in those acquisitions.

Another suit, Peter J. Petrunya v. HEALTHSOUTH Corporation, et al., was
filed in the Circuit Court for Jefferson County, Alabama, alleging that
during the period July 16, 1996 through September 30, 1998 the
defendants misrepresented or failed to disclose certain material facts
concerning the Company's business and financial condition, allegedly in
violation of Sections 8-6-17 and 8-6-19 of the Alabama Securities Act.
The Petrunya complaint was voluntarily dismissed by the plaintiff
without prejudice in January 1999.

Additionally, a suit styled Dennis Family Trust v. Richard M. Scrushy,
et al., has been filed in the Circuit Court for Jefferson County,
Alabama, purportedly as a derivative action on behalf of the Company.  
This suit largely replicates the allegations originally set forth in
the individual complaints filed in the federal actions described in the
preceding paragraph and alleges that the Company's then-current
directors,  certain of its former directors and certain of its officers
breached their fiduciary duties to the Company and engaged in other
allegedly tortious conduct.  

The plaintiff in that case has forborne pursuing its claim pending
further developments in the federal action, and the defendants have not
yet been required to file a responsive pleading in the case.

The Company filed a motion to dismiss the consolidated amended
complaint in the federal action in late June 1999.  On September 13,
2000, the magistrate judge issued his report and recommendation,
recommending that the court dismiss the amended complaint in its
entirety, with leave to amend.  The plaintiffs objected to that report,
and we responded to that objection.

In December 2000, without oral argument, the court issued an order
rejecting the magistrate judge's report and recommendation and denying
the Company's motion to dismiss.  The Company believed that the
December 20, 2000 order failed to follow the standards required under
the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and Rule 9(b) of
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and filed a motion asking the
court to reconsider that order or to certify it for an interlocutory
appeal to the United States Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Oral argument on that motion was held in March 2001, and the court
denied that motion on March 12, 2001.  The court held a hearing on the
plaintiffs' motion for class certification on April 23, 2002, and
requested further briefing on various issues.  

Those issues have now been briefed, and the Company is awaiting the
court's ruling on class certification, although it does not know when
the court will issue its ruling.

The Company believes that all claims asserted in the above suits are
without merit, and expects to vigorously defend against such claims.  
Because such suits remain at an early stage, the Company cannot
currently predict the outcome of any such suits or the magnitude of any
potential loss if its defense is unsuccessful.


IMCLONE SYSTEMS: Expects Consolidated Securities Suit To Be Filed Soon
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Imclone Systems, Inc. expects that the plaintiffs in the securities
class actions pending against it and certain of its officers and
directors will file a consolidated amended suit in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York soon.

The suits were commenced in January 2002 on behalf of purported classes
of its stockholders asserting claims under Section 10(b) of the
Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder
and Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act.  

The original complaints in these actions allege generally that various
public statements made by the Company or its senior officers during
2001 and early 2002 regarding the prospects for FDA approval of ERBITUX
were false or misleading when made, that:

     (1) various Company insiders were aware of material, non-public
         information regarding the actual prospects for ERBITUX at the
         time that those insiders engaged in transactions in the
         Company's common stock; and

     (2) members of the purported shareholder class suffered damages
         when the market price of the Company's common stock declined
         following disclosure of the information that allegedly had not
         been previously disclosed.

On December 28, 2001, the Company disclosed that it had received a
"refusal to file" letter from the FDA relating to its biologics license
application for ERBITUX.  Thereafter, various news articles purported
to describe the contents of the FDA's "refusal to file" letter.

During this period, the market price of the Company's common stock
declined.  The complaints in the various actions seek to proceed on
behalf of a class of the Company's present and former stockholders,
other than defendants or persons affiliated with the defendants, seek
monetary damages in an unspecified amount and seek recovery of
plaintiffs' costs and attorneys' fees.


IMCLONE SYSTEMS: Faces Several Shareholder Derivative Lawsuits in NY
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Imclone Systems, Inc. faces several shareholder derivative lawsuits,
filed against the members of its board of directors and the Company, as
nominal defendant, making allegations similar to the allegations in the
federal securities class action complaints.

All of these actions assert claims, purportedly on the Company's
behalf, for breach of fiduciary duty by certain members of the board of
directors based on the allegation that certain directors engaged in
transactions in the Company's common stock while in possession of
material, non-public information concerning the regulatory and
marketing prospects for ERBITUX.

Another complaint, purportedly asserting direct claims on behalf of a
class of the Company's shareholders but in fact asserting derivative
claims that are similar to those asserted in these eight cases, was
filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York.  

The complaint asserts claims against the board of directors for breach
of fiduciary duty purportedly on behalf of all persons who purchased
shares of the Company's common stock prior to June 28, 2001 and then
held those shares through December 6, 2001.  It alleges that the
members of the purported class suffered damages as a result of holding
their shares based on allegedly false information about the financial
prospects of the Company that was disseminated during this period.

All of these actions are in their earliest stages and a reserve has not
been established in the accompanying consolidated financial statements
because the Company does not believe at this time that a loss is
probable or estimable.  


MCDONALD'S CORP.: Suit Alleging Promotions Fraud Launched in Canada
-------------------------------------------------------------------
A class action was launched recently against McDonald's Corp.,
McDonald's Restaurants of Canada Ltd. and Simon Marketing Inc., over
the fast food chain's various contests, Associated Press Newswires
reports.

Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP, a Toronto law firm representing
the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, said the statement of claim filed in the
Ontario Superior Court of Justice, alleges that Simon Marketing, the
firm hired to conduct the contest promotions, was instructed by
McDonald's to "knowingly" withhold high-level prize contest pieces from
its fast food restaurants in Canada from 1995 to 2001.

The prizes included automobiles and "substantial sums of money," the
law firm said.  The firm said that promotions, such as Monopoly,
McDonalds NHL Muppet Mania and McDonald's NHL An All Star Break Game,
are the subject of the claim.

The firm also said that the proposed representative plaintiff, Preston
Parsons, was to bring the action on behalf of all customers of
McDonald's who purchased food and obtained game pieces for contests
between January 1, 1995 and December 31, 2001.  The law firm said
further that it will apply to the court to have the action certified as
a class action once a case-management judge has been appointed.

In the United States, the Company has agreed to the settlement of a
related case involving the embezzlement of winning prizes from
McDonald's games by Simon Marketing employees.

Under the terms of the settlement, the Company agreed, among other
things, to run a prize giveaway in which 15 $1 million will be randomly
awarded to persons in attendance at McDonald's restaurants, with no
purchase necessary.  The Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, has
yet to decide whether to finally approve the proposed settlement.


MCDONNELL DOUGLAS: Judge Sets Trial Date In Employee Suit Over Benefits
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
A federal judge has set a March 24 trial date to determine how much
1,132 former McDonnell Douglas Corp. employees should get in damages
for the wrongful deprivation of their benefits, an objective toward
which the plaintiffs have been moving in their eight-year-old class
action, the Associated Press Newswires reports.

The employees successfully sued the Company under the Employee
Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), alleging that it closed its
Tulsa, Oklahoma, shop to deprive them of benefits they were due under
ERISA.

US District Judge Sven Erik Holmes, at the recent hearing, said
proceedings in December and January likely will be held to help the
court determine facts that will aid toward determination of damages in
March.

The December, January proceedings will help the court find out how long
McDonnell operations in Air Force Plant No. 3 would have been open if
not for the December 1993 closure announcement, how many of the
plaintiffs would have worked there and what assignments they would have
held.

The findings may lead the parties to make stipulations about damage
amounts that could make the trial unnecessary, plaintiffs' attorney
Joseph Farris said.

In his 92-page opinion, Judge Holmes found that the reasons provided
for the plant's closure were incomplete and misleading and that the
company "embarked upon a remarkable course of obstruction, inconsistent
representations and outright falsehoods" during the lawsuit.  The
employees at the Tulsa plant were the oldest, averaging 50.95 years of
age, and most-senior employees in the company, Holmes wrote.

Defense attorney Thomas Wack noted during the recent hearing that Judge
Holmes' opinion had stated that by closing the Tulsa plant before 1994
and laying off aging workers, the company stood to reap $18 million in
pension savings and $6.7 in medical coverage.  These amounts total
almost $25 million, said Mr. Wack.  "We are talking about substantial
amounts of money here," he said.

The defense has asked for summary judgment on the issue.  He said the
federal retirement law is not a "complete relief" statute and that back
pay is not appropriate under it.

Co-counsel for plaintiffs Michael Mulder asked the court to hear more
facts on the issue before making a decision.  He said Congress' intent
when creating the retirement law was not to eliminate the possibility
of back pay.

Judge Holmes said he hopes to issue ruling on the back-pay controversy
and whether the closure of the plant was an isolated incident or part
of "a pattern and practice" of discrimination.  Neither Mr. Mulder nor
Mr. Wack objected to participating in a mediation effort.  Judge Holmes
said he anticipates including some sort of "settlement directive" into
upcoming orders in the case.


MENORAH GARDENS: Judge May Move Desecration Suit Hearing To Graveyard
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Broward County Circuit Judge J. Leonard Fleet said at the recent
hearing the he may himself walk the rows of the Palm Beach County
Menorah Gardens cemetery that is the center of a lawsuit alleging
graves were oversold, misplaced and desecrated, The Palm Beach Post
reports.

Lawyers for families suing the funeral home want Judge Fleet to declare
the suit a class action and to let them seek punitive damages, a move
that would open up the books of Houston-based Service Corporation
International (SCI).  The lawyers told Judge Fleet that 1,562 people
have at least inquired about being represented, and 1,145 have signed
up in anticipation of being class members.

A dispute over whether to allow a map of the graveyard into evidence
led to Judge Fleet's threat to convene his court in the graveyard and
dashed hopes of wrapping up the two-week hearing.

Plaintiffs' lawyer Ervin Gonzalez said he could not accept on its face
an SCI-produced map of the Palm Beach County cemetery, because the
contractor was not in court to vouch for it.  Since defendant's lawyer
disagreed with this position, it was then that Judge Fleet said that if
the sides could not agree, he would go to the cemetery himself.  He
ordered legal arguments submitted by September 27.

Rusty Scott, SCI's managing director of cemetery operations testified
that he has spent the past several months leading a comprehensive
survey of the Palm Beach and Broward county cemeteries.  Mr. Scott said
that in all burials done since the, opened plots have matched his map

As the hearing dragged into its second week, Judge Fleet said that
before the case was over, he and the lawyers would require the services
of funeral directors themselves.


OHIO: Judge Ends Federal Oversight For Pittsburgh Police Department
-------------------------------------------------------------------
A federal judge freed Pittsburgh police officers from almost all of the
federal oversight they have been facing for the past five years, as the
nation's first police department to agree to reforms under a 1994
federal law, Associated Press Newswires reports.  US District Judge
Robert Cindrich recently approved an agreement between the Justice
Department and the city that lifts most of the provisions of the 1997
agreement.

After a four-hour hearing with testimony from city and police officials
and civil rights groups, the judge said he felt confident that the
reforms of the past five years had remedied most of the problems and
that the department would not revert to old abuses if the provisions of
oversight were lifted.

Under the agreement, federal officials will continue to watch over a
city agency responsible for investigating civilian complaints of police
misconduct, which has been hobbled by a backlog of cases and
understaffing.

City and police officials said the consent decree should be terminated
because the department had complied with most of its terms for the past
two years, a requirement for lifting of the consent decree.

During the hearing, Pittsburgh Mayor Thomas Murphy said the reforms had
transformed the department, which he described as "stuck in the 1950s"
when he reluctantly agreed to the changes five years ago.  "There is
general recognition that this police department has built a model
system that is being replicated across the country," Mayor Murphy said.

The city agreed to federal oversight of police in April 1997, to avoid
a possible federal takeover after Justice Department officials alleged
Pittsburgh had a "pattern and practice" of tolerating civil rights
abuses by its police officers.  The ruling was spurred by a 1996 class
action filed on behalf of 66 people, most of them black, who alleged
that the city, its highest officials and 75 officers condoned a
pervasive pattern of abuse.

Police Chief Robert McNeilly said he would not scale back any of the
reforms.  These include:

     (1) a computerized system to track officers' behavior,

     (2) requirements that officers document all traffic stops and

     (3) annual training in cultural diversity, integrity and ethics

Civil rights activists had argued that police should remain under
federal watch, arguing that the oversight should not be lifted until
the department satisfied all requirements of the consent decree.  
Activists focused on the backlog of some 300 cases in the city's Office
of Municipal Investigations, the agency charged with investigating
civilian complaints against the police.

The civil rights activists did not achieve their goal of "eliminating
all of the disease before you are given a clean bill of health," as Tim
Stevens, president of the Pittsburgh chapter of the National
Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) described the
relationship of the backlog of complaints to the state of the police
department's reformation.   

Still, the activists did not come up empty-handed, according to Witold
Walczak, head of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in
Pittsburgh.  James Ginger, the court-appointed auditor, will begin more
comprehensive audits of the city's police investigations agency, which
has a February 28 deadline to clear the backlog.


OKLAHOMA: Lawsuit Names Two More Poultry Producers Who Pollute Lake
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Two more Arkansas poultry producers have been added to a class action
alleging that chicken producers have dumped contaminated wastewater
into Grand Lake, in Oklahoma, Associated Press Newswires reports.

According to documents obtained from state agencies in Oklahoma and
Missouri, Peterson Farms and Simmons Foods continue to be significant
sources of pollution in the lake, plaintiffs' attorney Charles Shipley
said in the recently filed motion to add the two poultry producers to
the lawsuit.

Plaintiffs R.L. and Deborah Thompson accused Tyson Foods in the
original lawsuit of discharging millions of gallons of wastewater from
its processing plant near Noel, Missouri, into the Elk River, which
flows from Missouri into Oklahoma and the Grand Lake.

Property owners allege that the pollution has left murky, scum-laden
residue on their once clear shorelines.  The owners also allege that
contractors for the poultry producers have deposited poultry waste on
the land, which ends up in Grand Lake when it rains.

According to 2001 Oklahoma Water Resources Board water quality report,
the wastewater discharge at Elk River contains elevated levels of
ammonia, phosphorous, nitrates and algae.


PEMCO AVIATION: AL Jury Finds No Proof of Hostile Work Environment
------------------------------------------------------------------
An Alabama jury ruled in favor of Pemco Aviation Services, Inc. in the
employee class action filed against it, ruling that the Company did not
provide a hostile work environment with regard to any of the 22
plaintiffs in the original suit.

The suit, filed against the Company and its Pemco Aeroplex subsidiary
in the United States District Court, Northern District of Alabama,
alleges unlawful employment practices of race discrimination and racial
harassment by the Company's managers, supervisors, and other employees.  
The complaint sought damages in the amount of $75 million.

In July 2000, the court determined that the group would not be
certified as a class and the plaintiffs withdrew their request for
class certification.  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
(EEOC) subsequently entered the case purporting a parallel class
action.  The court denied consolidation of the cases for trial
purposes.

On June 28, 2002, the jury ruled in favor of the Company.  Plaintiff's
motion for a new trial has been denied.  The company has taken
effective remedial and corrective action, acted promptly in respect to
any specific complaint by any employee, and will vigorously defend this
case.


PEMCO AVIATION: AL State Court Approves Settlement For Employee Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------------
The Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Alabama approved the US$400,000
settlement proposed by the plaintiffs in the class action against Pemco
Aviation Services, Inc. and its Pemco Aeroplex subsidiary on behalf of
those persons hired as replacement workers during the strike by Pemco's
UAW union employees, and who were terminated upon settlement of such
strike, was dismissed in the third quarter of 1999.

Twenty-eight individuals filed a class action shortly thereafter, in
the Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Alabama, which has since been
joined by approximately 90 other individuals.  The company filed for
summary judgment on all claims on February 20, 2000.

Summary judgment was granted with regard to 35 of those individuals.  
The court required two individual cases to be tried prior to
certification of any issues for appeal.  These two cases were tried in
June of 2001.  The court directed a verdict on the Company's behalf in
one case and a jury returned with a defense verdict in favor of the
company in the other case.

The company accepted an offer of settlement proposed by the remaining
plaintiffs of approximately $0.4 million (or approximately $4,000 per
Plaintiff) and the court has approved that settlement.


PERINI CORPORATION: Plaintiffs Appeal Dismissal of Securities Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs in the securities class action against Perini Corporation
appealed its dismissal to the United States Second Circuit Court of
Appeals.  

The suit was initially commenced in May 2001 in the Supreme Court of
the State of New York, County of New York against the Company and
several of its current and former directors.  

Each plaintiff is a holder of the Company's $21.25 Convertible
Exchangeable Preferred Stock.  One plaintiff is a current director of
the Company and another is a former director of the Company.  The
plaintiffs purport to bring the action individually and on behalf of
the entire class of holders of the $21.25 Preferred Stock.  The
plaintiffs have asserted claims for:

     (1) breach of contract,

     (2) breach of fiduciary duty,

     (3) fraud and

     (4) negligent misrepresentation

The plaintiffs principally allege that the Company and its defendant
directors improperly authorized the exchange of Series B Preferred
Stock for Common Stock without first paying all accrued dividends on
the $21.25 Preferred Stock.  

More specifically, plaintiffs allege that the Company and its defendant
directors violated the terms of the $21.25 Preferred Stock when, in
March 2000, the Company authorized the exchange of Series B Preferred
Stock for Common Stock.

The plaintiffs further allege that the Company and its defendant
directors issued a false and misleading prospectus in 1987 relating to
the issuance of the $21.25 Preferred Stock.  The plaintiffs seek
payment of accrued dividends, claiming they are owed approximately
$11.7 million as of May 3, 2001, and other unspecified punitive and
exemplary damages.

In May 2001, the Company and the defendant directors removed the action
from the Supreme Court of New York to the United States District Court
for the Southern District of New York.  The plaintiffs later filed an
amended complaint whereby they limited the suit to an action for breach
of contract against the Company and an action for breach of fiduciary
duty against the defendant directors.  The Company and the defendant
directors then moved to dismiss all of the plaintiffs' claims.

On March 12, 2002, all claims against the Company and the defendant
directors were dismissed by the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York. In April 2002, the plaintiffs appealed
the dismissal.


PFIZER INC: Judge Blocks 4,000 Plaintiffs From Joining One Rezulin Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
A federal judge in New York refused to allow nearly 4,000 plaintiffs
suing Pfizer Inc. over the diabetes drug Rezulin to join their lawsuits
into one class action, a victory for the New York-based drug maker, The
Wall Street Journal reports.

Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, of the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York, ruled that the differing circumstances
and, in rare cases, the injuries, of each plaintiff made the creation
of a single class impossible.

Plaintiffs' lawyers had sought to force the Company to repay any money
that the plaintiffs had expended for purchase of Rezulin, which was
taken off the market in March 2000, in the wake of deaths and liver
problems
linked to the drug.

Plaintiffs' lawyers also sought to force the Company to pay for medical
monitoring of anyone who had taken the drug.  However, Judge Kaplan
found that "only some class members allege that they were injured by
Rezulin," and that the drug actually helped many who took it.  "Even
plaintiffs' experts acknowledge that Rezulin was enormously beneficial
to many patients," the judge ruled.

The ruling applies to roughly 4,000 suits transferred to Judge Kaplan's
court in New York since June 2000.  In November 2001, a West Virginia
judge also denied class action status to some Rezulin plaintiffs, and a
judge in Los Angeles ruled similarly in January 2002.

These rulings do not end Pfizer's problems with Rezulin, because the
injured plaintiffs may continue to sue Pfizer indiviually, and dozens,
if not hundreds, of such cases are likely to go forward.  In January, a
Texas jury awarded $25 million in the death of Beatrice Herrera.  In
December, the Company settled another Texas case just hours after being
hit with a $43 million verdict to compensate a woman whose liver was
badly damaged after taking Rezulin.

Rezulin was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in
January 1997.  Warner-Lambert brought it to market, and it soon became
the Company's second-biggest seller.  However, just 10 months after the
drug's launch, the FDA required that the Rezulin label recommend liver
testing within the first one to two months.

By December 1997, the FDA required liver testing every month for the
first six months of therapy.  By March 2000, Warner-Lambert withdrew
the drug because of reports of as many as 61 deaths resulting from
Rezulin therapy.  Pfizer purchased Warner-Lambert two years ago.


ROCK HILL BANK & TRUST: SC Resident Files Suit Over Stock Devaluation
---------------------------------------------------------------------
A Lesslie, South Carolina man is suing the troubled Rock Hill Bank &
Trust (RHB&T) for the devaluation of his stock, reports the Associated
Press Newswires.

Michael Yarbrough, who owns 375 shares of the bank's stock, filed his
lawsuit recently in state civil court asking for restitution for
himself and stockholders who owned at least 100 shares on July 3, when
the bank announced loan irregularities.

Mr. Yarbrough also has requested that his lawsuit be granted class
action status, and is seeking damages.  His attorney, D. Bradley Jordan
said a judge will determine whether the class action status is
appropriate.  Mr. Yarbrough has filed the lawsuit against:

     (1) Robert Herron, former bank president and chief operating
         officer,

     (2) Rock Hill Bank & Trust,

     (3) its parent company RHBT Financial Corp.,

     (4) Butch Honeycutt, chief executive officer,

     (5) Patricia Stone, senior vice president and chief financial
         officer,

     (6) Philip Frank Gear of Fort Mill, an associate of Mr. Herron,
         and

     (7) Brian Cronenberger of Fort Mill

The lawsuit says "false representations" by Mr. Herron and Mr. Gear
caused the bank to suffer substantial losses that diminished the
stock's value.  Since July, the bank's stock has dropped from $14.35 a
share to Wednesday's close of $5.  It was delisted from Nasdaq earlier
this month.

The price likely will not go above the $5.13 offered by The South
Financial Group when it buys the assets and deposits of RHB&T, for the
price of $8.8 million early in the fourth quarter.

The buyout is part of the bank's recovery plan to the Federal Deposit
Insurance Corp. after it posted a $13.3 million loss for the second
quarter because of bad loans.


SLAVERY REPARATION: IL Officials To Seek Historic Ties From Contractors
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Chicago officials want to know whether companies doing business with
the city have any historic links to slavery, Associated Press Newswires
reports.

The City Council's Finance and Human Relations committees met jointly
recently to recommend an ordinance requiring city contractors to
disclose any former involvement in slavery, particularly in buying or
selling insurance policies on slaves.  The City Council will consider
this measure October 2.

"We will shine the light on this grim chapter of our history that
continues to infect, poison and divide us as a nation," Alderman
Dorothy Tillman said.  "I don't think America can heal without doing
this."  Ms. Tillman is a supporter of reparations for descendants of
slaves.

Under the ordinance, companies failing to report involvement in slavery
- and those found to be untruthful about it - could have their
contracts voided.  Those profit or involvement in slavery would not be
penalized, but would be compelled to provide names of slaves or slave
owners found in their records.  The committees also supported a
resolution urging the Illinois General Assembly to approve a statewide
requirement.

Supporters plan to amend the ordinance so it also applies to city
depositories and companies involved in city bond deals or development
subsidies.  That could affect such companies as FleetBoston Financial
Corp. and CSX, defendants in a class action charging them or their
predecessors with profiting from slavery.

FleetBoston has a $27 million city subsidy to build a 31-story office
building in downtown Chicago.  Company spokeswoman Alison Gibbs said
that Fleet never sold any insurance policies, "so the ordinance does
not apply to us."

A founder of Fleet's predecessor, Providence Bank of Rhode Island,
owned slave transport ships, though company officials say there is no
evidence that the bank itself was involved.  CSX spokesman David Hull
declined to comment


TOBACCO LITIGATION: Suit Alleging Tobacco Firms Target Minors Dismissed
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
A judge said he will dismiss a lawsuit accusing tobacco companies of
continuing to target minors with advertising, but gave the plaintiffs
one last chance to respond, the Associated Press Newswires reports.

Superior Court Judge Ronald Prager, in San Diego, recently issued a
preliminary ruling indicating he will dismiss the class action filed in
1998, against Philip Morris Inc., R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Brown &
Williamson Tobacco Co. and Lorillard Tobacco Co.  Plaintiffs will have
to respond by Tuesday whether to present an oral argument to Judge
Prager later this month.

The lawsuit, filed by four San Diego smokers on behalf of California's
estimated 1.5 million teen smokers, seeks restrictions on advertising
broader than what tobacco companies implemented under their 1998
settlement with California and 45 other states.   The lawsuit also
seeks an estimated $700 million to $2 billion earned from tobacco sales
to minors between 1994 and 1999, said John F. McGuire, one of the four
lead plaintiff attorneys in the case.

In June, Judge Prager fined Reynolds $20 million, agreeing that the
company improperly pitched cigarettes to teens in the pages of
magazines such as Spin, Vibe and Rolling Stone that have large teen
readerships.  

However, that lawsuit was filed by the state, which accused Reynolds of
violating the 1998 settlement.  Private plaintiffs cannot sue to
enforce the settlement, which bars the companies from targeting minors
directly or indirectly.

The class action, on the other hand, alleges that tobacco companies
target minors through tactics that include placing ads in stores near
candy shelves and at a child's eye level.  Judge Prager says that he
has not found evidence that the four companies have run ads directly
encouraging minors to smoke.

RJ Reynolds, the nation's No. 2 tobacco firm, said a dismissal would
be a victory for the First Amendment.  "It is a recognition that there
is such a thing as commercial free speech and that people who
manufacture and sell products that are lawful to be sold have a
protected First Amendment right to advertise," said Daniel W. Donahue,
senior vice president and deputy general counsel for Winston-Salem,
North Carolina-based Reynolds.

Mr. Donahue added, "Reynolds Tobacco does not want kids to smoke,
and we advertise our brands only to adult smokers."  However, Mr.
McGuire said youth marketing is at the heart of the tobacco business,
"If you don't hook them young, you are not going to keep them.  So
there is a business decision for them to target youth."


TOBACCO LITIGATION: Judge Trims Attendant's Award In Anti-Smoking Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Fredricka Smith reduced TWA attendant Lynn
French's award in a secondhand-smoke lawsuit from $5.5 million to
$500,000, saying the jury's award was not justified, the Contra Costa
Times (Walnut Creek, CA) reports.

Flight attendant Lynn French, 56, of Calabasas, had argued that her
sinus disease was caused by exposure to secondhand smoke in airliners.  
Ms. French had worked for 14 years before smoking was banned on
domestic flights in 1990.

She won her case against four major tobacco companies and was awarded
$5.5 million in June.  In a $349 million national class action
settlement, in 1997, a system of mini-trials was created whereby
attendants could sue the four cigarette makers on the accepted premise
that secondhand smoke could cause various illnesses.  Whether the
necessary causation existed between the given attendant's illness and
the secondhand smoke experienced in the planes was to be determined in
the course of a mini-trial.

About 1,800 flight attendants are seeking money for illnesses blamed on
secondhand smoke, but none had ever won a lawsuit.  On September 4, a
Miami jury rejected a similar claim by a former American Airlines
flight attendant who suffers from sinus problems.  Two other suits
resulted in a decision favoring tobacco and a mistrial.

During the two-week mini-trial, lawyers for the tobacco companies
called doctors who said Ms. French's disease was more commonly caused
by a bacteria and allergies than by secondhand smoke.  Ms. French's
lawyers told jurors not to trust the doctors, who were paid to testify.

Defendants along with Philip Morris were R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.,
Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., and Lorillard.


TOUCH AMERICA: Employees Commence Retirement Benefits Lawsuit
-------------------------------------------------------------
Two employees of the former Montana Power Co. recently filed suit,
claiming employees' retirement funds lost millions of dollars, because
they were unable to sell matching company shares as the stock price
fell, the Associated Press Newswires reports.

The lawsuit, filed in District Court in Missoula, seeks class action
status.  The lawsuit claims that CEO and president Robert Gannon and
vice chairman and chief financial officer Jerrold Pederson failed in
their fiduciary duty to protect employees' investments in the company
retirement plan as Montana Power Co. transformed into the
telecommunications company Touch America.

"Our suit claims these men sold away a solid company, the backbone of
many employees' retirement plans, for a pipe dream," Steve Berman, a
Seattle attorney for the plaintiffs, said in a written statement
recently.  "But even worse, the suit will prove that when these men
realized the ship was sinking, they hid information that could have
saved the employees' investments."

The lawsuit contends that thousands of Montana Power employees belonged
to a retirement plan in which they could put away one percent to 16
percent of their income to be invested in one of several diversified
funds.

The company matched employees' contributions up to six percent, with
company stock that employees could not sell until they reached age 55
and had completed 10 years with the retirement savings plan.  Even
then, they were limited to one opportunity a year to divest company
stock and could only divest a maximum of 25 percent each year, the
lawsuit says.

"Had these defendants (Mr. Gannon, Mr. Pederson) performed their
fiduciary duties and caused the divestment of the plan's MPC holdings,
they very likely would have cause shareholders not to approve the
radical restructuring crafted by Mr. Gannon, Mr. Pederson and others
for their own personal benefit," the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit also claims that Mr. Gannon and Mr. Pederson withheld from
stockholders the fact that the company began to have trouble with
Qwest, after it purchased 250,000 customer accounts and 1,000 miles of
fiber-optic cable from the Denver-based Qwest.

The lawsuit further alleges that the company continued to match
employee retirement contributions with matching company stock, "despite
repeated pleas from employees to allow them to divest their company
stock holdings."


UNITED STATES: Ambulance Companies Sue, Seeking Equal Compensation
------------------------------------------------------------------
After gaining a national reputation for taking on automobile
manufacturers and winning large verdicts for injured motorists,
Columbus attorney James Butler and his law firm are taking on the
federal government, the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (Georgia) reports.

Mr. Butler has filed a class action in the United States District Court
on behalf of ambulance service companies across the nation against the
United States and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).  
The suit also names as defendants DHHS Secretary Tommy Thompson and
HCFA Secretary Thomas A. Scully.

The lawsuit is based on Congress' passage of the Balanced Budget Act of
1997, which included a requirement for the Department of Health and
Human Services (DHHS) and the Health Care Financing Administration,
also a defendant in the instant case, to establish a standard fee for
ambulance services provided Medicare patients beginning January 1,
2000.

More than 1,000 ambulance service companies throughout the nation were
being paid rates that varied from state to state for providing those
services, the suit states.  The congressionally mandated uniform fee
would end those disparate payments.

However, the DHHS failed to meet the original deadline and announced it
would be prepared to implement the plan by 2001. It was not implemented
in 2001, instead being postponed until April 1, 2002, when a new fee
schedule was published.

The federal agency refused to pay ambulance providers the difference
between the fees they had been paid since Jan. 1, 2000, and the newly
established rate put into effect in April 2002, according to the
lawsuit.  Congress' mandate required the fees to be established by
January 1, 2000, and ambulance companies relied upon and budgeted for
those fee payments now being denied, the lawsuit states.

The federal agencies had no authority to postpone implementation of the
fee on the date mandated by Congress, or to refuse to apply the adopted
fee to services provided after January 1, 2000, the suit contends.

Although filed on behalf of three ambulance companies, the lawsuit
presents a "straight-forward and clear-cut legal issue, custom made for
class certification," Mr. Butler writes in the request for class
certification, that will be ruled upon by Judge Clay Land of the Middle
District of Georgia.  The suit also asks the federal court to have the
agencies pay the legal fees of the attorneys representing the ambulance
companies.


UNITED STATES: State Officials File Briefs To Halt Closing Fee Markups
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In an unusual series of legal moves, the Bush Administration recently
has intervened quietly in private lawsuits in an effort to establish a
single, critical point of consumer law - mortgage lenders, title
agencies and other companies are not allowed to mark up the costs of
any services that are part of a home real estate settlement, the Los
Angeles Times reports.

The Department of Justice and the Department of Housing and Urban
Development (HUD) have been busy filing friend of the court (amicus
curiae) briefs in class actions pending in three far-flung federal
appellate courts.  In each case, homeowners have alleged that they were
charged "unearned" and "marked up" fees at their mortgage settlements.

Normally, the federal government pays little attention to private
lawsuits in which the government is not a party.  However, the three
rapid-fire interventions in markup cases in recent weeks are special -
though federal housing officials are adamant that their longtime policy
banning all markups is correct, the government's position has been
rejected by two successive federal appellate courts.

As a result of those rejections, home mortgage borrowers in eight
states have no legal protections against marked-up settlement fees - no
matter how high or blatant the excess fees may be.  The appellate
courts' decisions affect home buyers and refinancers in:

     (1) federal judicial 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, Maryland,
         Virginia, West Virginia and the Carolinas and

     (2) federal judicial 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, in Illinois,
         Wisconsin and Indiana

In practical terms, a lender or settlement agent in those states can
legally charge mortgage clients $450 for an appraisal that cost the
lender $20 or less in electronic form or can charge $65 for a credit
report that costs just $12.  Similar discrepancies exist for most other
settlement-sheet line items.

HUD has prohibited markups nationwide for more than a decade.  However,
in a decision last year involving markups of title fees for Chicago
home buyers, the 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that HUD's ban
was not sufficiently supported by the language of the federal Real
Estate Settlement Procedures Act, a consumer protection law for home
buyers enacted in 1974.

Despite a strong policy statement from HUD Secretary Mel R. Martinez,
that disagreed with the appellate court's (7th Circuit) interpretation
in October of last year, a second appellate court (4th Circuit)
rejected the Department's ban on markups in May of this year.

Faced with two straight defeats, lawyers at HUD and the Justice
Department decided to intervene in markup cases in other judicial
circuits around the country.  Part of their intent is to defeat their
mortgage and title industry opponents in at least one appellate court,
thereby clearing the way for a final resolution of the dispute by the
US Supreme Court.

The High Court virtually always reviews issues where appellate courts
have disagreed among themselves - leaving the application of federal
law starkly different for citizens who live in different jurisdictions.

To date, the Justice Department and HUD lawyers have intervened in the
8th and 11th Circuits in an attempt to implement their described
strategy.  These cases are pending.  They also intervened in the 7th
Circuit, where their friend of the court briefs are asking the
appellate court to reconsider its now-controversial decision of October
2001 that opened the floodgates to unlimited markups at real estate
closings.


*Overtime Becomes A Larger Issue As Lines Blur Between Home And Office
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Litigation over overtime payment has become a large, sometimes thorny,
issue recently, as investigation has shown that employers have given
managerial, professional labels to employees in order to place them in
the exempt category so far as payment of overtime is concerned.  

Yet upon looking under and past the label, as the courts have been
willing to do, it has been found that these "exempt" employees have
been mopping the floors, washing the toilets, stocking the shelves and
performing other such menial tasks the greater share of their working
day.  They have been granted overtime pay by the courts.

Meanwhile, another form of exemption has been developing on the work
scene.  Employers have been providing laptops, PCs, cell phones, pagers
and other modern devices to their employee, creating the mobile
workplace, The San Diego Union-Tribune reports.  These are flexible,
useful tools, but they also make it hard for employees to leave the
workplace behind.

A national survey taken this summer, reports the Union-Tribune,
indicates that 93 percent of workers who qualify for overtime under
federal law carry out work at home.  More than half receive no payment
for this work.  These are key reasons for an escalating number of
employee class actions, according to the Employment Law Alliance, the
network of labor and employment attorneys who commissioned the poll.

"There may be no bigger issue in the American workplace," said Stephen
Hirschfeld, a San Francisco lawyer who heads the alliance.  "Employers
just cannot say to non-exempt employees that they are expected to be on
call around the clock but pay them for only the eight hours they work
in the office."

Too many companies do not understand what jobs can be classified as
exempt, said Phil Jones of Locke Liddell & Sapp.  Simply taking someone
off the clock does not mean the worker is not due overtime, stated Mr.
Jones.

"Employers think if they make employees salaried and call them exempt,
they are," said Mr. Jones.  "But their job description must fall into
one of the four exempt categories set up by the Department of Labor;
executive, administrative, professional or outside sales."

Just pushing the keys of the laptop is not going to make a clerical
worker a professional and therefore exempt, just as the courts
determined that the label of manager would not turn a stock boy into an
exempt employee.

                     New Securities Fraud Cases

CONCORD EFS: Milberg Weiss Commences Securities Fraud Suit in W.D. TN
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach, LLP initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the Western District of
Tennessee on behalf of purchasers of Concord EFS, Inc. (Nasdaq: CEFT)
common stock during the period between October 30, 2001 and September
4, 2002.

The complaint charges the Company and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  The
Company is an electronic transaction processor.

The complaint alleges that during the class period, the Company and its
top officers issued false and misleading statements and concealed the
truth about the Company's results and business in order to allow
Company stock to trade at artificially inflated levels.

Defendants repeatedly misrepresented the strength of the Company's
operating performance and its ability to post 30%-35% earnings per
share growth in order to prop up the price of Company stock so that
defendants could complete acquisitions using the Company's stock as
currency and sell off 5.4 million of their own Company shares at prices
as high $32.07 per share, for over $160 million in proceeds.

The truth, however was that the Company's business was not growing as
represented, but rather was suffering from increased costs and
declining margins.  The "record" growth and profits defendants reported
were phony, resulting from the inclusion of non-operating gains in its
results and the exclusion of operating expenses from its reported
results.  These manipulations allowed the Company to report favorable
results despite the fact that its business operations were not as
strong as represented.

Then, on September 5, 2002, the Company shocked the market with news
that its CEO was stepping down and that its 2002 and 2003 earnings
would be much lower than represented.  On this news, Company stock
dropped to $12.60 per share.  Company stock price has fallen more than
60% from its class period high of more than $35 per share.

For more details, contact William Lerach or Darren Robbins by Phone:
800-449-4900 by E-mail: wsl@milberg.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.milberg.com/cases/concord/  


CONCORD EFS: Bernstein Liebhard Commences Securities Suit in W.D. TN
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz LLP initiated a securities class action
on behalf of all persons who acquired the common stock of Concord EFS,
Inc. (Nasdaq: CEFT) between October 30, 2001 and September 4, 2002,
inclusive.  The case is pending in the United States District Court for
the Western District of Tennessee against the Company and:

     (1) Dan M. Palmer,

     (2) Edward A. Labry, III,

     (3) Marcia E. Heister,

     (4) William E. Lucado,

     (5) Christopher S. Reckert,

     (6) E. Miles Kilburn,

     (7) Edward T. Haslam,

     (8) Ronald V. Congemi, and

     (9) Richard P. Kiphart

The complaint 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 Company common stock.

Specifically, the suit alleges that the defendants repeatedly
misrepresented the strength of the Company's operating performance and
growth in order to inflate the price of Company stock to complete
acquisitions using Concord's stock as currency and to sell off their
own Concord stock, pocketing over $160 million in illegal insider-
trading proceeds.

Throughout the class period, defendants maintained that:

     (i) the Company's margins were "immune" to average ticket size
         declines due to its fixed fee;

    (ii) the Company's revenue growth was accelerating;

   (iii) rumors about top management departures were unfounded;

    (iv) the Company was successfully integrating acquired companies
         into Concord such that the Company would achieve synergies and
         improved operating margins going forward;

     (v) new contracts with major companies would contribute
         significantly to 2002 revenues and problems with its new
         WalMart contract had been resolved in December 2001; and

    (vi) the Company was on track to report EPS of $0.75 and $0.93 in
         2002 and 2003, respectively.

The truth, however was that the Company's business was not growing as
represented, but was suffering from increased costs and declining
margins.  Then, on September 5, 2002, the Company shocked the market
with news that its CEO was stepping down and that its 2002 and 2003
earnings would be much lower than represented.

On this news, Company stock dropped to $12.60 per share.

For more details, contact Ms. 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: CEFT@bernlieb.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.bernlieb.com.  


HOUSEHOLD INTERNATIONAL: Leo Desmond Files Securities Suit in N.D. IL
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Leo W. Desmond initiated a securities class action
on behalf of shareholders who acquired Household International, Inc.
(Nasdaq:HI) securities between October 23, 1997 and August 14, 2002,
inclusive.

The case is pending in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Illinois against the Company and:

     (1) Arthur Andersen, LLP,

     (2) W.F. Aldinger, and

     (3) D.A. Schoenholz

It is alleged that defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10(b)(5) promulgated
thereunder, 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 Leo W. Desmond by Phone: 888-337-6663 or
561-712-8000 by E-Mail:  Info@SecuritiesAttorney.com or visit the
firm's Website: http://www.SecuritiesAttorney.com


HPL TECHNOLOGIES: Gold Bennett Commences Securities Suit in N.D. CA
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Gold Bennett Cera & Sidener LLP initiated a securities class action in
the United States District Court for the Northern District of
California on behalf of purchasers of HPL Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:
HPLAE) common stock during the period of July 31, 2001 through July 18,
2002.  The suit names as defendants the Company, Y. David Lepejian and
Ita Geva.

The suit charges the defendants with violations of the Securities Act
of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by issuing false and
misleading statements, including false financial statements, during the
class period.

On July 31, 2001, HPL issued 6 million shares in its Initial Public
Offering (IPO) 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.  The Prospectus and Registration
Statement provided the details of the Company's revenue recognition
policy, which purported to be in conformity with SEC guidelines for
software revenue recognition.

In each of the Company's four subsequent quarterly reports filed with
the SEC, HPL 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, HPL 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."

The suit alleges that 80% of the reported revenues in fiscal 2002 were
phony.  As a result of defendants' false and misleading statements
Company stock plunged 72%, to as low as $4 per share, before trading
was halted. As of today, trading remains halted.

As a result of HPL's alleged false and misleading financials and
statements, its stock traded as high as $17.85 per share during the
class period.  During this period, the defendants sold 85,500 shares of
their individual shares and used Company shares to acquired three
companies.

For more details, contact Joseph M. Barton by Mail: 595 Market Street,
Suite 2300, San Francisco, California 94105 by Phone: 800-778-1822 or
415-777-2230 by Fax: 415-777-5189 or by E-mail: hpl@gbcsf.com.  


MERRILL LYNCH: Stull Stull Commences Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Stull Stull & Brody LLP initiated a securities class action in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, on
behalf of individuals who purchased Exodus Communications, Inc.
(NYSE:EXDS) common stock between December 8, 1999 and June 19, 2001,
inclusive against defendants Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. and its former
star Internet research analyst, First Vice President Henry M. Blodget,
who are charged with issuing misleading analyst reports about Exodus.

The complaint alleges that defendants urged investors to purchase
Exodus stock when defendants knew or should have known that such
purchases were not a good investment.  The complaint alleges that
defendants:

     (1) issued "Buy" recommendations about Exodus without any rational
         economic basis;

     (2) failed to disclose that they were issuing "Buy"
         recommendations to obtain investment banking business; and

     (3) concealed significant, material conflicts of interests that
         prevented them from providing independent objective analysis.

For more details, 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


UNDERWRITERS LITIGATION: Stull Stull Commences Securities Suit in NY
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Stull Stull & Brody LLP initiated a securities class action in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, on
behalf of individuals who purchased Inktomi Corporation (NYSE:INKT)
common stock between June 10, 1998 and April 3, 2001, inclusive
against:

     (1) Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc.,

     (2) Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co., Inc.,

     (3) Henry Blodget and

     (4) Mary Meeker

The complaint alleges that defendants urged investors to purchase
Inktomi stock when defendants knew or should have known that such
purchases were not a good investment.  The complaint alleges that
defendants:

     (i) issued "Buy" recommendations about Inktomi without any
         rational economic basis;

    (ii) failed to disclose that they were issuing "Buy"
         recommendations to obtain investment banking business; and

   (iii) concealed significant, material conflicts of interests that
         prevented them from providing independent objective analysis.

For more details, 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

                              *********

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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