CAR_Public/020927.mbx                C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R
  
              Friday, September 27, 2002, Vol. 4, No. 192

                              Headlines
                             

BRIDGESTONE/FIRESTONE: Settles "Roll-over" Death Suit in California
CHRONIMED INC.: Securities Suit Trial in Minnesota Set for January 2004
CONSECO FINANCE: Sued the Second Time for not Paying Overtime Work
COOPER INDUSTRIES: County Residents to Work Out Individual Settlements
ERPENBECK CO.: Homebuilder Involved In Kentucky's Biggest Bank Fraud

FLEETBOSTON FINANCIAL: Summit Bancorp Investors Sue Over False Reports
FLEMING COMPANIES: Cauley Geller Announces New Developments in Lawsuit
GEORGIA-PACIFIC: Many Affected Residents in '97 Explosion Still Unpaid
IPALCO ENTERPRISES: Investors Name President's Budget Director In Suit
NORFOLK SOUTHERN: Class Action Filed Over Freight Train Derailment

ROADHOUSE GRILL: Suit Will Likely Be Subordinated, Creditors Come First
ROCK HILL: Former President, Two 0thers Charged with Fraud in Columbia
ROCK HILL: Ex-President's Trial for Defrauding Bank to Begin November
SOUTHWESTERN ENERGY: Settles Arkansas Suit by Agreeing to New Contract
TRITON ENERGY: Settles Shareholders Suit in Texas for $49 Million

UNITED STATES: Court Junks Claims Against Government for Toxic Exposure
UNITED STATES: More Robins Air Force Base Workers Support Bias Suit

* Amidst the Corporate Rubble, There Comes a Truth-Seeker
* U.S. Judicial Conference Endorses Rule Changes To Protect Plaintiffs

                       * Asbestos Alert *

ASBESTOS ALERT: Foster Wheeler Faces 110,700 Cases at End-2001
ASBESTOS ALERT: Huttig Posts $900,000 Reserve for Asbestos Costs
ASBESTOS ALERT: Union Carbide Ties Wave of Cases to Bankruptcies
ASBESTOS ALERT: Viacom Has 118,000 Pending Asbestos Cases
ASBESTOS ALERT: ABB Asbestos Cases Rise in March to 94,000

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Companies Settle But Trial Goes Ahead
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Senate Panel to Hear Asbestos Woes

                    New Securities Fraud Cases

AT&T CORPORATION: Schatz & Nobel Commences Securities Suit in S.D. NY
ESS TECHNOLOGY: Brodsky & Smith Commences Securities Suit in N.D. CA
FLEMING COMPANIES: Marc Henzel Commences Securities Suit in E.D. Texas
FLEMING COMPANIES: Milberg Weiss Lodges Securities Suit in E.D. Texas
FLEMING COMPANIES: Wolf Popper Commences Securities Suit in E.D. Texas

INTERBANK FUNDING: Cohen Milstein Commences Securities Suit in Columbia
MERRILL LYNCH: Cohen Milstein Commences Securities Suit in S.D. NY
MERRILL LYNCH: Rabin & Peckel Commences Securities Suit in S.D. NY
METRIS COMPANIES: Cauley Geller Commences Securities Suit in Minnesota
METRIS COMPANIES: Weiss & Yourman Lodges Securities Suit in Minnesota

METRIS COMPANIES: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Securities Suit in MN
SALOMON SMITH: Stull Stull Commences Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
VODAFONE GROUP: Milberg Weiss Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
VODAFONE GROUP: Scott + Scott Lodges Securities Suit in S.D. New York


                              *********


BRIDGESTONE/FIRESTONE: Settles "Roll-over" Death Suit in California
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. settled last week for an undisclosed amount
another "roll-over" case involving its Wilderness ATX tire fitted onto
a Ford Explorer, reports the Associated Press.

Jury selection for the suit filed by Cristina Hernandez began September
4, but a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ordered that
settlement discussions occur before another judge, who approved the
deal Thursday last week.

Plaintiff's attorney John Denove says the accident happened on October
31, 1999 when the tire manufactured by Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. lost
its tread and blew, causing the SUV to roll over.  The accident, which
killed 19-year-old Cathy Dizon and injured four others, occurred on a
freeway near Bakersfield.

Mr. Denove told jurors that he would prove Ford and
Bridgestone/Firestone knew the type of tire on the SUV was defective
but ignored years of evidence of accidents.  In addition, he claimed
that the Explorer had a defect that made it more susceptible to
rollover.

"After laying out our case in opening statement and putting on
witnesses for a couple of days, the matter has settled," Mr. Denove
told the Associated Press.

For its part the tire manufacturer denied the allegations and argued
that the tire on Ms. Hernandez's Explorer failed because it had been
damaged and should have been repaired or replaced.

Nevertheless, Bridgestone/Firestone Spokesman Dan MacDonald told the
news agency that the company decided to settle because "we don't think
that protracted litigation is in the best interests of anyone."

"I can confirm that we've reached an agreement, but we respect the
right to privacy of the family so we will not discuss the details,"
Ford spokeswoman Kathleen Vokes told the Associated Press Friday.

More than 250 people have been killed and hundreds more injured in
accidents involving Bridgestone/Firestone tires. Most of the accidents
involved Ford Explorers and tires losing their tread.  
Bridgestone/Firestone has settled about 700 lawsuits and has several
still pending.

In November 2001, state attorneys general across the nation announced
that Bridgestone/Firestone would pay $41.5 million in a settlement to
end state lawsuits over the tires.


CHRONIMED INC.: Securities Suit Trial in Minnesota Set for January 2004
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
On June 15, 2001, a putative class action lawsuit captioned Judith
Barclay v. Chronimed Inc., et. al. (01-CV-1092 DWF) was commenced in
the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota against
Chronimed Inc. and certain of its current and former officers.

The Complaint alleges that the company and individual defendants
violated Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule
10(b)-5 promulgated thereunder, and that the individual defendants
violated Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act.  Eight other lawsuits
asserting claims identical to the Barclay case were brought by other
plaintiffs during the weeks following the initial filing. The nine
lawsuits have been consolidated into a single case.

The Complaints allege in general terms that the company made false and
misleading statements about its financial statements in violation of
the securities laws. The alleged violations arise out of the
requirement to restate previously issued financial statements. The
company issued public statements regarding these matters on June 14,
June 21, August 14, August 23, and September 25, 2001.

Each plaintiff seeks compensatory damages in an unstated amount,
interest, fees, expenses, and unspecified equitable relief. The company
is unable to reasonably quantify the alleged damages on the basis of
the general allegations of the Complaints.

"We believe that the above claims are wholly without merit and will
vigorously defend against the lawsuits. We have retained the law firm
of Dorsey & Whitney LLP to represent us in the shareholder actions," a
Securities and Exchange Commission disclosure said. "An adverse ruling
in these actions in excess or outside of our insurance coverage could
have a material adverse impact on us."

The lawsuit is in the discovery phase and is scheduled for trial in
January 2004.

Chronimed specializes in special deliveries.  Through agreements with
such manufacturers as Amgen, Biogen, and Novartis, the company
distributes some 2,700 brand name and generic prescription drugs for
patients with such chronic conditions as AIDS, cancer, and multiple
sclerosis, a Hoovers.com dossier says.

Chronimed focuses on medications that have unique packaging or delivery
requirements. It sells the drugs both by mail and through its
StatScript retail pharmacy chain, which provides pharmacy services to
HIV/AIDS patients. Chronimed also offers pharmaceutical management
services to insurers and other third-party payers. The company expanded
its services for transplant patients with its purchase of The
Transplant Pharmacy from SangStat, the dossier says.


CONSECO FINANCE: Sued the Second Time for not Paying Overtime Work
------------------------------------------------------------------
Beleaguered Conseco Finance Corporation faces a second class action for
non-payment of overtime work and altering time sheets to reflect a 40-
hour workweek, says the Tribune Business News.

The suit filed Thursday last week before the U.S. District Court in
Minneapolis accuses managers at St. Paul-based Conseco Finance of
ordering employees not to record overtime hours.  Potential class
members include thousands of current and former loan originators at
Conseco Finance's home improvement and manufactured housing division
since April 2000 and its retail mortgage services division since March
2000.

Lawyer Don Nichols of Minneapolis-based Nichols, Kaster & Anderson
filed the suit on behalf of the employees.  This same law firm filed
the first suit in June 2000, disputing the company's classification of
its employees.  Changes made by Conseco in response to this original
suit are key elements in the latest litigation.

Some 2,900 plaintiffs claimed in the original suit that the company
withheld overtime wages; 1 1/2 times regular pay beyond 40 hours per
week, because it considered them "salaried and commissioned employees,"
Mr. Nichols said.

In late March, the court ruled in favor of some 2,200 plaintiffs. The
decision was based in part on Supreme Court and U.S. Department of
Labor rulings that credit and finance institutions do not qualify under
the "retail or service establishment" exemption of the Fair Labor
Standards Act that would allow overtime to be denied, according to
court documents cited by the Tribune Business News.

Businesses that fall under the exemption, typically supermarkets,
hardware stores, clothiers, restaurants and hotels, can forgo overtime
if an employee's regular pay rate exceeds 1 1/2 times "the minimum
hourly rate applicable" or if "more than half the employee's
compensation represents commissions on goods or services."

Loan originators at Conseco Finance earn a base salary of $25,000
annually, along with commissions and other payments that raise total
compensation to an average of $65,000 to $70,000 a year.

Although Conseco Finance changed its policy to include loan originators
as overtime employees, the company continues to pressure employees not
to claim overtime, Mr. Nichols said.  

He said damages from the original suit, which he expects to range from
$15 million to $18 million, had yet to be determined.  A hearing on
that matter is scheduled for next week, he said.

"But I would estimate that damages from our latest suit will be higher
-- probably several times higher -- than the original suit," Mr.
Nichols said.

Officials at Conseco's Carmel headquarters could not be immediately
reached for comment.


COOPER INDUSTRIES: County Residents to Work Out Individual Settlements
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A Texas-based company blamed for contaminating Dayhoit with cancer-
causing pollutants will be permitted to negotiate settlements with
residents and others who frequented the Harlan County community, the
Associated Press Newswires reported recently.

Circuit Judge Ron Johnson approved a deal that will allow Cooper
Industries to work out individual settlements with people who may have
been adversely affected by polychlorinated biphenys, or PCBs.

More than 3,000 Dayhoit residents and others who frequented the
community have asked for $500 million in the class-action lawsuit.
Only a portion of those is expected to receive settlements under the
deal.

Lead attorney Louise Roselle of Cincinnati, Ohio, worked out the
settlement agreement in August.  The settlement was viable only if
Judge Johnson dissolved the class-action.

Judge Johnson did that on Friday, the same day he ordered an attorney
not to try to win clients away from Ms. Roselle.  Donna Holt of
Knoxville, Tenn., had asked Judge Johnson to appoint her to the case,
because, she claimed, residents were not being adequately represented.

Ms. Holt had represented a group of Dayhoit residents in a previous
lawsuit against Cooper Industries, which owns property in Dayhoit, a
community that has been declared a federal Superfund site.

Ms. Holt asked the court to name her as the attorney in the case and
require Ms. Roselle and other attorneys to turn case files and
information over to her.  Ms. Holt said that allowing Cooper to make
individual settlement offers is not in the best interest of the people
affected.

Ms. Roselle responded by accusing Ms. Holt and her representatives of
unethically recruiting her clients.

The lawsuit originally asked for compensatory damages of at least $400
million, punitive damages of at least $100 million, and $10 million to
provide for future health needs.


ERPENBECK CO.: Homebuilder Involved In Kentucky's Biggest Bank Fraud
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Kentucky's top banking regulator says a Northern Kentucky loan fiasco
that ensnared about 20 financial institutions in the state could be the
biggest case of bank fraud in its history, The Lexington Herald Leader
recently reported.

Peoples Bank of Northern Kentucky arranged the "participation loans"
with the homebuilder Erpenbeck Co. for a number of banks.  Peoples
faces a class-action lawsuit from shareholders, which was filed last
Thursday in Campbell County Circuit Court on behalf of Jeffrey
Eschenbach, who owns 565 shares of Peoples stock.

"This is the first case of this magnitude that I am aware of," said
Ella Robinson, Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Financial
Institutions.  "We might have some small bank-fraud cases that happen
occasionally, but nothing this unique given the size of losses and
number of people involved."

Banks as far away as Pikeville and Middlesboro lent Erpenbeck Co. $28.5
million through "participation loans" arranged by Peoples Bank. The
bank with the most at stake is Frankfort-based Farmers Bank and Capital
Trust.  The 152-year-old bank took a $15.3 million piece of the
Erpenbeck loan package.

Others that have declared their Erpenbeck loans "non-earning" and have
taken steps to recover their money include Bank of Corbin, $2 million;
Community Trust Bank in Pikeville, $5.5 million; and First State Bank
of Pineville, $3.8 million.

In reports filed last week with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.,
all the banks said they remained in the highest bracket of capital-to-
assets ratio, a chief indicator of a financial institution's health.  
Ms. Robinson said she does not anticipate any need for intervention in
the wage of the participation loans gone bad.  She called it an
"isolated situation."

Five months ago, the FBI began investigating Erpenbeck, an
Edgewood-based homebuilder, and its former president A. William "Bill"
Erpenbeck for possible bank fraud.  Although no charges have been
filed, the image of Peoples Bank and its finances have been tarnished
by ties to the homebuilder.

The lawsuit filed against Peoples Bank (described above, in part) seeks
class-action status on behalf of the 40 or 50 people who own the 20
percent of Peoples' shares not owned by the bank's executives and
directors.  The stock, initially issued on the bank's formation in
1992, is privately held and not traded.

The lawsuit, filed by Cincinnati lawyer Michael Brautigam, alleges that
Peoples and its directors' "reckless conduct" and breach of fiduciary
duties in the handling of Erpenbeck Co. home-sale closing proceeds
caused the bank's assets to "evaporate," thereby damaging the stock's
value.

The lawsuit also names former Peoples executives John Finnan and Marc
Menne, who were forced to resign in April for having separate,
undisclosed business dealings with Erpenbeck.


FLEETBOSTON FINANCIAL: Summit Bancorp Investors Sue Over False Reports
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Former Summit Bancorp shareholders have filed suit against FleetBoston
Financial, alleging that the New England-based banking firm has misled
them about the conditions of its operations in Argentina.

The lawsuit, filed recently in U.S. District Court by Stull, Stull and
Brody, a New York City law firm that specializes in shareholder
actions, seeks class-action status and unspecified damages.

The Summit shareholders' complaint alleges that statements FleetBoston
made in several Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including a
proxy statement, contained "false financial information" about earnings
from its Argentine operations and reserves set aside for potential
losses related to loans in Argentina.

Troubled loans and investment in Argentina have resulted in FleetBoston
taking $2.3 billion in charges, and its shares have fallen more than 40
percent this year.

The Argentine government defaulted on $95 billion in bonds late last
year and devalued its currency. FleetBoston has more exposure to
possible loan and investment losses in financially troubled Argentina
than any other U.S. banking company.

FleetBoston's profits have been reduced by losses in Argentina, the
decline and eventual shuttering of its investment banking business on
the West Coast, and losses on large corporate loans in the United
States.


FLEMING COMPANIES: Cauley Geller Announces New Developments in Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Firm of Cauley Geller Bowman & Coates, LLP previously announced
that a class action was filed on August 29, 2002, on behalf of
purchasers of Fleming Companies, Inc. (NYSE: FLM) common stock during
the period between February 27, 2002 and July 30, 2002, inclusive.

Late Tuesday, the Company lowered its third- and fourth-quarter
guidance and said it would sell its off-price supermarket chains in a
series of transactions over the next several months. Fleming announced
on Wednesday that it has received multiple offers for most of its 110-
store retail supermarket operation, Food 4 Less and Rainbow Foods
supermarkets, which have been battered by intense competition and
sluggish sales.

The complaint filed by Cauley Geller late last month alleges violations
of the Federal Securities Laws relating to Fleming's numerous positive
statements regarding its "price-impact" retail supermarket division.

The suit alleges that beginning in early 2002, defendants Fleming, Mark
Hansen (CEO, Chairman), Neal J. Rider (CFO) and Thomas G. Dahlen
(Executive FP, President of retail operations) issued numerous positive
statements regarding Fleming's "price- impact" retail supermarket
division.

Defendants knew, or recklessly disregarded, that the "price-impact"
stores were not living up to defendants' expectations, yet the
statements were released to the investing public nonetheless. The
effect of these statements was to falsely portray Fleming's business
prospects and to artificially inflate and maintain the price of Fleming
common stock.

Further, the defendants used the artificially high stock price to:

     (1) lower the interest rate and extend the maturity on $250
         million of Fleming's debt;

     (2) raise over $155 million through the June 13, 2002 sale of 8
         million shares of Fleming common stock at $19.40 per share;

     (3) raise an additional $200 million through the June 13, 2002
         sale of Fleming Notes due 2010; and

     (4) to use 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 Fleming's
         implementation of its strategic transformation into an
         efficient, national, multi-tier supply chain for consumer
         packaged goods.

Then, after only approximately six weeks after defendants sold $355
million worth of Fleming securities, Fleming startled the market by
announcing after the close of trading on July 30, 2002 that its "price-
impact" retail supermarket division was not only performing poorly, but
performing so poorly that Fleming was considering abandoning this line
of business entirely.

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

For more information, contact Cauley Geller Bowman & Coates, LLP
through its Investor Relations Department: Jackie Addison, Sue Null or
Ellie Baker by Mail: P.O. Box 25438, Little Rock, AR 72221-5438 by
Phone: 888-551-9944 (toll free) or by e-mail: info@cauleygeller.com


GEORGIA-PACIFIC: Many Affected Residents in '97 Explosion Still Unpaid
----------------------------------------------------------------------
About 1,500 South Side Columbus residents have yet to receive
compensation stemming from a 1997 explosion at the Georgia-Pacific
chemical plant -- even though a settlement was approved more than nine
months ago, reported The Columbus Dispatch.

James Hopple, the court-appointed settlement administrator, said
yesterday that the payments should be mailed by December 31.  They
initially were to be sent in early summer.  Mr. Hopple said, "We are
now in the process and trying very diligently to have it completed with
the calendar year."

Attorneys for the South Side Community Action Association, which had
sued Georgia-Pacific in 1998, announced the $22 million settlement last
October.  And Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Jennifer Brunner
approved the agreement on December 19.

The settlement called for Georgia-Pacific to compensate as many as
6,000 people who suffered health problems or property damage resulting
from the September 10, 1997, explosion of an 8,500-gallon resin kettle
at the company's Watkins Road plant.  The blast killed one employee and
injured at least 13 others.

About 1,750 area residents submitted claims by the deadline of February
15, and about 1,500 met the geographic criteria established by the
settlement.


IPALCO ENTERPRISES: Investors Name President's Budget Director In Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A recently filed lawsuit by shareholders of IPALCO Enterprises Inc. has
named President Bush's budget director Mitch Daniels as one of its
defendants, according to a report by Associated Press Newswires.

The proposed class-action lawsuit also names Chairman John Hodowal and
22 IPALCO officers and board members as defendants.

The lawsuit contends that IPALCO insiders misled investors about the
financial condition of the energy company AES Corporation and the
volatile nature of its stock.  Shareholders lost hundreds of millions
of dollars when IPALCO was sold to AES.  The lawsuit was filed on
behalf of all IPALCO investors who held stock as of September 8, 2000.

"We intend to show that while IPALCO company executives were publicly
touting the sale to AES, they had information that painted a much
different picture which they never disclosed," said Steve Berman, the
attorney representing the plaintiffs.

Mr. Daniels, when he became budget director in January 2001, sold
millions of dollars worth of stock, including 60,000 shares of IPALCO
stock.  He made a $552,540 profit on the sale.  Mr. Daniels, who has
been mentioned as a possible Republican candidate for governor of
Indiana, in 2004, has repeatedly said the stock sale had nothing to do
with IPALCO's sale to AES.

He has said he sold the stock because of an ethics agreement common to
new administration officials designed to avoid appearances of
impropriety.  

"To me, the cleanest, clearest thing to do was to liquidate
everything," Mr. Daniels has said.

Mr. Daniels was not named in the previous lawsuit over the IPALCO sale,
but was included in the most recent one filed in U.S. District Court in
Indianapolis, in which the new allegations are that AES originally
offered to buy IPALCO for $25 a share in cash, an offer it later
retracted without explanation and replaced with a stock-swap agreement.

"It appears that the board of IPALCO was single-mindedly focused on
closing the deal with AES, regardless of the terms or risk," said Mr.
Berman.  According to the lawsuit, former IPALCO executives received
more than $46 million in stock sales and other compensation packages.

Almost immediately after the purchase of IPALCO, AES stock plummeted.


NORFOLK SOUTHERN: Residents File Suit Due To Freight Train Derailment
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Two Knox County, Tennessee, residents filed a class-action lawsuit
against Norfolk Southern Corp. railroad for damages from a freight
train derailment that forced more than 3,000 people from their homes.

Two attorneys, Donn Stelzer and Bret Freeman sued for up to $75,000 in
punitive and compensatory damages for every plaintiff suffering
"economic losses" caused by the 22-rail car pileup on September 15.  
The attorneys filed their complaint in Knox County Chancery Court the
day after the wreck.

A two-day evacuation was ordered after sulfuric acid leaked from a
ruptured tank car.  Norfolk Southern, which owned both the train and
the tracks, set up a claims center to reimburse residents for
everything from motel bills to lost pay.

The cause of the accident remains under investigation by the railroad
and the National Transportation Safety Board.


ROADHOUSE GRILL: Suit Will Likely Be Subordinated, Creditors Come First
----------------------------------------------------------------------
As a result of a review of its accounting records, Roadhouse Grill
Inc., in August 2001, restated its previously reported, audited
financial statements for the fiscal years ended April 30, 2000, and
April 25, 1999, and the related, unaudited quarterly financial
statements for those periods, as well as the unaudited financial
statements for the quarters ended July 30, 2000; October 29, 2000 and
January 28, 2001.

In connection with the restatement, the Company filed amended Form 10-
Ks for fiscal years 2000 and 1999, and amended Form 10-Qs for the
fiscal 2001, 2000 and 1999 quarters containing the restated financial
statements.  The restatement occurred because of a determination by the
Company that certain operating expenses were more appropriately
attributable to fiscal 2000 and 1999 than later periods. The
restatement resulted in a decrease in net income for fiscal 2000 and
1999, and the related quarterly periods, and an increase in net income
for the quarters ended July 30, 2000, October 29, 2000, and January 28,
2001.

On April 10, 2002, a purported class action complaint alleging
violations of federal securities laws was filed in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of Florida against the
Company, the chairman of the Company's board of directors, and the
Company's president and chief executive officer. This action is styled:
Sears v. Roadhouse Grill, Inc, et al., Case No.02-CV-60493.

The Action purports to be brought on behalf of all purchasers of the
stock of the Company between August 31, 1998 and August 1, 2001, with
certain exclusions, and appears to be based principally if not solely
on the fact that certain financial statements have been restated as
described above.

The Company believes there is no merit to the Action.  The Company
further believes that, under section 510(b) of the Bankruptcy Code,
even if claims of the type asserted in the Action are allowed, they
will be subordinated, in the Chapter 11 Case, to the claims of all
creditors of the Company.

Accordingly, such claims are treated under the Reorganization Plan as
subordinate to the claims of all creditors. To the extent, if any, such
claims are allowed, they will share in the distribution of stock in
Reorganized Roadhouse Grill with the Holders of the Old Common Stock,
and will not dilute the recoveries of Roadhouse Grill's creditors. The
Company believes there is no merit to the Action.

As the Company filed for relief under Chapter 11 of the United
States Bankruptcy Code on April 16, 2002, any claims in this Action
should have been filed by the plaintiffs with the United States
Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida.  If the
plaintiffs had filed a claim with the Court, their claim against the
Company would have been subordinated to the claims of all creditors of
the Company. However, no claim against the Company was filed during the
bankruptcy proceedings.

Therefore, based on discussions with counsel, it is the Company's
expectation that the case against the Company will be dismissed.
However, this would not carry over to the individuals who are named as
defendants.

Roadhouse Grill operates nearly 80 casual dining restaurants (all but a
handful are company-owned) that offer grilled entrees such as steak,
chicken, and seafood. Roadhouse Grills can be found in about a dozen US
states, as well as in Brazil and Malaysia.

The company has inked deals to expand into Europe, and opened a
franchise in Milan, Italy, in 2001. The restaurants' design offers
traditional roadhouse elements: rough-sawed siding, wood plank porches,
and tin roofs. Chairman Vincent Tan's Berjaya Group owns about 62% of
the company.

In 2001 Nasdaq temporarily halted trading of the company's stock and
the SEC began investigating discrepancies in its financial statements.
The following year Roadhouse Grill filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.


ROCK HILL: Former President, Two 0thers Charged with Fraud in Columbia
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Rob Herron, the former president of Rock Hill Bank & Trust, faces 12
counts of bank fraud in the U.S. District Court in Columbia, says The
Herald.

He was set for arraignment Tuesday before the chamber of magistrate
Judge Bristow Marchant.  He was expected to plea innocent to the
charges, which could put him behind bars for 30 years, plus fine of $1
million for each count, the report says.

The indictment alleges that between April 8, 1998, and June 28, 2002,
Mr. Herron, along with co-accused Philip Gear, 62, and Brian
Cronenberger, 42, both of Fort Mill purchased 34 pieces of rental
property in York, Chester and Lancaster counties at inflated prices.
The loans were backed by appraisals issued by Mr. Herron that were
based on properties that were not comparable, court documents cited by
The Herald say.  Loans ranged from $60,000 to $95,000.

By overvaluing the property, the men could borrow more money than the
property was worth and pocket the difference.  The scheme was devised
to help Mr. Herron make payments on a mobile home park in Fayetteville,
N.C., court documents say.  Documents show Mr. Gear reportedly received
$93,689; Mr. Herron, $32,000 and his wife, Susan, $10,000.

Shortly after Mr. Herron was fired July 3, the bank reported a $13.3
million loss for second quarter because of bad loans that have been
attributed to Mr. Herron.  The bank's recovery plan to the Federal
Deposit Insurance Corp. includes an $8.8 million buyout by The South
Financial Group of Greenville.  The buyout is expected to close early
in fourth quarter.

Bank shareholders have filed two civil suits to recoup losses from the
falling stock price.  Attorneys of both suits hope the suits will be
certified as class action, the paper said.


ROCK HILL: Ex-President's Trial for Defrauding Bank to Begin November
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The trial of Rock Hill Bank & Trust former President Rob Herron, who
faces 12 counts of bank fraud in Columbia, will begin November, says
The Herald in a report early this week.

Chief Judge Joseph Anderson of the federal court in Columbia will
handle the trial.  Pre-trial motions are due Oct. 14, with a pre-trial
conference set for Oct. 23, the paper said.  Mr. Herron, along with co-
accused Philip Gear, 62, and Brian Cronenberger, 42, both of Fort Mill,
pleaded not guilty Tuesday.

The not guilty plea places the burden on the prosecution to prove
Herron's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, Thomas McKinney, Mr. Herron's
attorney, told The Herald.  

Mr. McKinney would not answer any other questions except to say that
answers will come out in court. "We will find out the whys and ins and
outs of it at a later time," he said. "You always need to wait for
judgment until the facts are in."

The prosecution alleges that between April 8, 1998, and June 28, 2002,
the men purchased 34 pieces of rental property mostly in Great Falls,
Chester and Lancaster at inflated prices. The loans were backed by
appraisals issued by Mr. Herron that were based on properties that were
not comparable. Loans ranged from $60,000 to $95,000.   Some pieces of
rental property were vacant lots.  No surveys or appraisals were done
on the rental property, the paper says.

By overvaluing the property, the men could borrow more money than the
property was worth and pocket the difference, court documents cited by
The Herald show.  The scheme was devised to help Mr. Herron make
payments on a mobile home park in Fayetteville, N.C., documents say.

Mr. Gear reportedly received $93,689; Mr. Herron, $32,000 and his wife,
$10,000, the documents say.

Most of the mortgages were put in the name of Mr. Cronenberger, who was
coerced by Mr. Gear, according to an affidavit filed in August. Mr.
Cronenberger had often provided maintenance work for Gear.

"When he signed, he was acting on the advice of others," said Mr.
Cronenberger's attorney, Dennis Bolt of Columbia, during an interview
with The Herald after the hearing.  Mr. Bolt said many people wonder if
his client is a criminal or a victim. He pointed out that Mr.
Cronenberger has no previous record.

"This has been devastating to his wife and family.  He's a carpenter,
not a financier," Mr. Bolt said of his client.

Since the irregularities were discovered, the bank reported a $13.3
million loss for second quarter because of bad loans.  The bank's
recovery plan to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. includes an $8.8
million buyout by The South Financial Group of Greenville. The buyout
is expected to close early in the fourth quarter, the report says.

Shareholders in the meantime are angry that their stock value has
fallen from $14.35 to $5 and at least two suits have been filed against
bank officers, with one filed against the board of directors.  
Attorneys of both suits hope they'll be certified as class action.


SOUTHWESTERN ENERGY: Settles Arkansas Suit by Agreeing to New Contract
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Southwestern Energy Company disclosed in its latest Securities and
Exchange Commission report that it has settled the suit filed against
it and two subsidiaries in a state court in Sebastian County, Arkansas.

The suit filed on August 25, 2000 relates to the company's Stockton Gas
Storage Facility in Franklin County, Arkansas.  The suit was filed on
behalf of a class of plaintiffs comprised of all surface owners,
mineral owners, royalty owners and overriding royalty owners in the
Stockton Storage Facility.  The plaintiffs alleged various wrongful,
intentional and fraudulent acts relating to the operation of the
storage pool beginning in 1968 and continuing to the present.

According to the Class Action Reporter in its April 18, 2002 issue, the
Company was granted authority in 1968 by the Arkansas Oil and Gas
Commission to operate a gas storage facility in one section of Franklin
County.  Based upon subsequently developed geological data, the Company
sought authority to expand this area and was granted authority by the
Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission to operate gas storage in additional
sections.  

The suit challenges the storage agreements that the Company obtained
from the mineral interest owners in 1968, 1999 and 2000 to operate the
gas storage facility known as "Stockton."  The Company has owned and
operated the Stockton storage unit through its Arkansas Western Gas
Company subsidiary until 1994, at which time it was transferred to its
subsidiary, SEECO, Inc.  

The suit claims ownership rights in the gas that the Company has stored
in the storage pool in an amount in excess of $5 million in actual
damages, interest, attorney's fees and punitive damages.  

Under the terms of the settlement, which is subject to approval by the
Court, the Company will pay the plaintiffs a cash settlement amount and
enter into new gas storage agreements at rental rates commensurate with
current market rates.  

"The settlement of this litigation did not have a material impact on
the Company's results of operations for 2001," the SEC document says.

Southwestern Energy operates in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico,
Oklahoma, Texas, and along the Gulf Coast, where it has proved reserves
of 402 billion cu. ft. of natural gas equivalent. Southwestern Energy
is also engaged in natural gas transportation and marketing, a Hoovers
dossier says.

The company had announced plans to sell subsidiary Arkansas Western
Gas, which distributes natural gas to more than 136,000 customers in
Arkansas, to help pay a $109 million judgment in a lawsuit brought by
royalty owners. However, another court ruling in its favor prompted
Southwestern Energy to take the unit off the auction block.


TRITON ENERGY: Settles Shareholders Suit in Texas for $49 Million
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Shareholders of Triton Energy Ltd., who filed a suit under the Private
Securities Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA), got a $49 million settlement
from the oil company, reports the Texarkana Gazette.

Believed to be the largest settlement in Texas, U.S. District Judge
David Folsom signed the agreement Monday, allowing it to go forward.

"We believe it's the largest PSLRA securities settlement in the Eastern
District and one of the largest ever in the state of Texas," Richard
Adams, the lawyer representing the shareholders, told the Texarkana
Gazette.

The shareholders' payout will be $42 million to $49 million -- based on
an agreement between the company and the shareholders, led by D.H. Lee,
a Texarkana resident.

Shareholders sued the Dallas-based oil company in July 1998 alleging
the company "oversold" the company and when a key deal failed to
materialize, the stock prices tanked.  The report says about seven
national class action lawsuits were filed but were rolled into a
"megasuit" in federal court in Texarkana, Texas.  Mr. Adams said 9,000
notices were sent out to shareholders.  At the time the lawsuit was
filed, the company had 30 million shares outstanding.

"We are extremely pleased with the results that we were able to give
these shareholders," Mr. Adams told the newspaper.

During the litigation, Triton was sold to Amerada Hess, which trades on
the New York Stock Exchange as AHC, the report says.


UNITED STATES: Court Junks Claims Against Government for Toxic Exposure
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. District Judge James Jarvis, of the Eastern District of Tennessee
in Knoxville, recently refused to certify a class in a suit against the
federal government for exposing to toxic substances residents near
federal facilities in Oak Ridge.

According to the Oak Ridger, the judge, instead, granted defendants
summary judgment based on the statute of limitations.

"The classes proposed for certification and others which the plaintiffs
have suggested, are overly broad, ill-defined and unmanageable in a
class setting," Judge Jarvis said in its decision.  "Accordingly the
plaintiffs' motions to certify are denied.  All individual claims are
clearly barred by the one-year statue of limitations and the defendants
are entitled to summary judgment on those claims."

This case was originally filed in January 2001 by residents of Scarboro
and other neighborhoods, alleging dangerous exposure over more than a
50-year period to radioactive and other toxic substances in Oak Ridge.
Defendants included contractors of the federal facilities. Also named
were Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham and John A Gordon, administrator
of the National Nuclear Security Administration.

"Thirteen separate defendants operated the Oak Ridge facility for a
more than fifty-year period," wrote Judge Jarvis.  "The plaintiffs have
listed fifteen separate toxins which may have escaped the Oak Ridge
facilities during that period. A few of the times when a specific toxin
may have escaped are known, but the vast majority are unknown, if they
in fact occurred.

"Some were allegedly by air, some by land and some by water," continued
Judge Jarvis. "The effect that these emissions may have had is unknown,
and by any modern scientific standards, unknowable."

The judge noted that only one disease, thyroid cancer, has been linked
with an emission, and that during the period of the 1950s.  

The Oak Ridger says the court relied heavily on a research report
funded by the Department of Energy and overseen by the Oak Ridge Health
Agreement Steering Panel. The DOE, through a contract with the state
Department of Health, hired private firms to study the federal
facility's environmental releases and potential off-site health
effects. ORHASP was formed for oversight.

The paper says the report, completed in 1999, cited two groups of
people who might have been affected by past releases from Oak Ridge
plants: "Local children drinking milk from a 'backyard' cow or goat in
the early 1950s; and fetuses carried in the 1950s and early 1960s by
women who routinely ate fish taken from the contaminated creeks and
rivers located downstream of the Oak Ridge Reservation."

The plaintiffs claimed to have been exposed to a vast number of toxins
including plutonium-239/240, tritium, uranium-233, uranium-235, iodine-
131, iodine-133, cesium-137, strontium-90, krypton-85, mercury, lead,
cadmium, cesium and beryllium.  They claimed to have been at risk for
contracting a vast number of diseases, including leukemia, thyroid
cancer, breast cancer and many others.


UNITED STATES: More Robins Air Force Base Workers Support Bias Suit
-------------------------------------------------------------------
More than 30 current and former Robins Air Force Base employees say
minorities and women regularly get promoted over more-qualified white
males at the base, according to affidavits filed recently in federal
court, the Macon Telegraph recently said.

The affidavits, from 34 current and former Robins employees who say
they witnessed or were personally affected by discrimination at the
base, were filed in response to an Air Force motion to dismiss a
reverse-discrimination case filed by Robins employees this year.

Lee Parks, the Atlanta attorney representing the employees, argued in
his response to the motion that it was premature to dismiss the case,
because neither side has had a chance to present any evidence.

Mr. Parks included the affidavits in his filing late last week to
bolster his motion to keep the case alive, saying they were examples of
how the Air Force "consciously enforces the quota system that is at
issue in this case."

The Air Force has until October 15 to respond, although it can request
a two-week extension.

An example of one of the 34 affidavits, being used by Mr. Parks to keep
alive the case of reverse discrimination, is embodied in the affidavit
of sheet metal mechanic Richard Rogers, a white man who told lawyers he
was teamed with Rene Primus, a black woman, to replace fasteners on
aircraft wings.

"I did almost all the work on this job because Ms. Primus disliked
getting dirty," Mr. Rogers said in his affidavit.  "She sat on the wing
tapping cracks with a hammer to help me locate the fractures inside the
wing fuel tanks as I repaired them."

Despite their team status, Ms. Primus was singled out for an award on
the work the two did, Mr. Rogers said, and Ms. Primus received a higher
job appraisal score and was selected for promotion to an office job.
Mr. Rogers said he was told he could not be the victim of
discrimination because he is white.

Others filing affidavits include supervisors who say they were told to
downgrade favorable performance ratings for white males and raise the
appraisal ratings for minorities and women.

Five white men filed the lawsuit under consideration after e-mails
surfaced that seemed to indicate that the performance appraisals of
some white men were altered to give at least one minority employee a
better evaluation.

The lawsuit does not ask for a specific dollar amount but asks for back
pay, lost benefits, lost money for pensions and bonuses, attorney's
fees and other compensatory and punitive damages.

The men who are suing are assigned to the software division of Robins'
Avionics Management Directorate.  Mr. Parks, the men's attorney, said
he believes the appraisal discrimination practices could be more
widespread.  He has asked the court to certify the lawsuit as a class
action so more workers could join the case.

Robins officials said in a statement earlier this year that an informal
inquiry into the allegations "concluded there was no wrongdoing with
regard to either law or policy."


* Amidst the Corporate Rubble, There Comes a Truth-Seeker
---------------------------------------------------------
The leading lights of global finance still have plenty of explaining to
do in relation to their various complex and creative dealings with
Enron Corp., the once high-flying energy trader that crashed last year,
taking billions of investors' dollars down with it, The Globe and Mail
relates in a recent report.

That includes such Canadian heavyweights as Royal Bank of Canada and
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, which were once proud to count
Enron as a valued client and now must wish they had never heard of the
Houston company and its remarkably nimble use of the tools of
structured finance.

But amid the welter of high-profile political, criminal and regulatory
probes, lawsuits and countersuits stemming from Enron's collapse, who
would have guessed that the ultimate truth-seeker would turn out to be
a low-key, 61-year-old bankruptcy lawyer from Atlanta, named Neal
Batson?

Mention the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Justice
Department or the U.S. Congress and the bankers merely shrug.  In the
face of formidable opposition, the politicians have all but abandoned
any pretext of serious reform of the kind needed to prevent another
Enron debacle, say, by more strictly regulating the use of leverage or
derivatives.

The public has scandal fatigue and Iraq is making all the headlines
these days.  Enron is such an old story it is barely on the radar
screen any more.

But Mr. Batson, who was appointed in May by a U.S. bankruptcy court to
conduct an independent inquiry into Enron's collapse, gamely soldiers
on in his effort to lift the veil of secrecy shrouding the bankers'
dealings with the disgraced company.  Armed with a wide mandate,
bulldog-like tenacity and vast resources he has spent $9 million of
Enron's dwindling capital on the effort so far. He seems to be just
getting started.

Earlier this month, Mr. Batson received the go-ahead to issue more than
200 subpoenas to major financial institutions, including six Canadian
banks and prominent law firms to force them to hand over millions of
documents related to their roles in a series of complex transaction
that inflated Enron's revenue and kept debt off its balance sheet.

Banks and brokerage houses are squirming, and with good reason.  Mr.
Batson already has concluded from a preliminary probe into six examples
that these deals were essentially loans to Enron masquerading as sales
of various assets by Enron or its affiliates to off-balance sheet
entities set up solely for that purpose.

More than the banks' cherished reputations are at stake here.  Their
claims to millions of dollars worth of real assets could be set aside.

If the court agrees with the examiner's eventual findings, all of the
assets underlying the transactions could be tossed back into the mix of
surviving Enron holdings, where all the company's creditors would have
a claim to them.  And the financial institutions themselves could face
massive lawsuits over their actions.

As several observers have noted, with Enron in bankruptcy and auditor
Arthur Andersen dissolved, the banks that played a crucial role in the
creation of the world's biggest house of cards could become the target
of U.S. class-action lawyers seeking fat damage awards for burned
investors.

We already know that Enron executives used every financial device
available to make their company appear far healthier than it actually
was.  This, after all, is the crew that set up a fake trading room
staffed by secretaries and salespeople to trick visiting analysts.

On November 19, 2001, senior Enron executives met with a select group
of the company's bankers at the Waldorf Astoria, in Manhattan.  The
folks from Enron revealed that while the company's debt was nearly $13
billion under generally accepted accounting principles, its actual
obligations were a shade under $38.1 billion.

That was the beginning of Enron's rapid slide into bankruptcy.  
Bankers, by the very nature of their work and by natural inclination,
hate disclosing anything; and they rarely do beyond the bare minimum
required by law.  But they should have realized way back then that one
day Mr. Batson would eventually come calling, armed with a subpoena.


* U.S. Judicial Conference Endorses Rule Changes To Protect Plaintiffs
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The top policy-making body for the federal judicial system recently
endorsed changes to the rules for class-action lawsuits, wrote Linda
Greenhouse for The New York Times.  The intention of the rule changes,
wrote Ms. Greenhouse, is to protect individual plaintiffs from becoming
trapped in a legal process that may not serve their best interests.

The changes adopted by the Judicial Conference of the United States
represent the most substantial revision of the class-action rules since
the modern class-action lawsuit came into being in 1966.  The new rules
were described by Chief Judge Charles H. Haden II, the head of the
Conference's executive committee, at a briefing that followed the
group's semiannual closed-door meeting at the Supreme Court.

The Judicial Conference, a group of 27 federal judges headed by Chief
Justice William H. Rehnquist, conducted a 10-year study of class
actions that included public hearings around the country.  The
proposals now go to the full Supreme Court, which will transmit them to
Congress by next spring.  Unless rejected or modified by Congress, the
rules will achieve the status of law on December 1 of next year.

The most significant change would allow judges who handle these
lawsuits to give plaintiffs the opportunity to opt out of a settlement.  
Under the current rules, the only chance to opt out comes at the start
of the lawsuit when plaintiff often have no way of knowing whether they
will benefit from remaining in the class or whether they would be
better served by bringing an individual lawsuit.  But plaintiffs are
now bound by the eventual settlement and may not sue on their own once
the original period for opting out has passed.

Another important change gives judges greater ability to shape class-
action litigation, including more influence over the selection of the
lawyers who represent the class and more control over the fees that
plaintiffs' lawyers earn.  The changes came in response to cases that
ended with high fees for lawyers and little benefit for class members.

"The award of large attorney fees in the absence of meaningful
recoveries by class members in some class actions, brings the civil
justice system in disrepute," according to an explanatory note that
accompanied the proposal.

Judith Resnik, a Yale Law School professor and specialist in class
actions, said the new rules were "a big step forward" that reflected an
evolution in the use of class actions.  While originally the class
action was a device to aggregate many small consumer claims, Professor
Resnik said, it now is used for large-scale securities cases and mass
damages suits against the makers of asbestos and other toxic
substances, where the financial stakes are very high.

Professor Resnik said the new rules struck a balance that would
preserve the "entrepreneurship" of class actions, necessary to "counter
the long-term resources of the defense bar," while curbing some of the
abuses.

                         * Asbestos Alert *

ASBESTOS ALERT: Foster Wheeler Faces 110,700 Cases at End-2001
--------------------------------------------------------------
Foster Wheeler Ltd. reports that it has recorded a liability for
probable losses on asbestos-related insurance claims of about $500,000
and an asset for probable recoveries of the same amount, net of an
$18,000 reserve. About $60,000 of the balance is classified as short-
term while the remainder is considered long-term.

The liability is an estimate of future defense costs and indemnity
payments, which are based upon assumed average claim resolution costs
applied against currently pending and estimated future claims. The
asset is an estimate of recoveries from insurers based upon assumptions
relating to cost allocation and resolution of pending litigation with
certain insurers, as well as recoveries under a funding arrangement
with other insurers, which has been in place since 1993.

The amount spent on asbestos litigation defense and case resolution,
which was reimbursed or will be reimbursed from insurance coverage, was
$66,900 in 2001, $56,200 in 2000 and $40,400 in 1999.

On March 26, 2002, a San Francisco, California jury found Foster
Wheeler liable for $10,600 in a case brought by a 59-year-old man
suffering from mesothelioma that he claimed resulted from exposure to
asbestos.

The company says it believes there was no credible evidence presented
by the plaintiff that he was exposed to asbestos contained in a Foster
Wheeler product. In addition, the company believes that the verdict was
excessive and should be set aside or reduced on appeal. The company
intends to move to set aside the verdict.

Some of the company's subsidiaries are also named as defendants in
numerous lawsuits and out-of-court informal claims pending in the
United States in which the plaintiffs claim damages for personal injury
arising from exposure to asbestos in connection with work performed and
heat exchange devices assembled, installed or sold by those
subsidiaries, and the subsidiaries expect to be named as defendants in
similar suits and claims filed in the future.

The company says its asbestos-related insurance recoveries are
uncertain. To date, insurance policies have provided coverage for
substantially all of the asbestos costs.

An agreement with a number of insurers to allow for efficient handling
of claims against the company's subsidiaries will not cover claims
filed after June 12, 2001. The company is in talks with its insurers
for an arrangement for handling asbestos claims filed after June 12,
2001.

                                              Number of Claims


                                              2001    2000     1999
                                              ----    ----     ----
Balance, beginning of year                   92,100   73,600   62,400
New claims                                   54,700   41,300   30,700
Claims resolved                             (36,100) (22,800) (19,500)

Balance, end of year                        110,700   92,100   73,600


COMPANY SNAPSHOT

Foster Wheeler Ltd.
Perryville Corporate Park
Clinton, NJ 08809-4000
Phone: 908-730-4000
Fax: 908-730-5315
http://www.fwc.com

Employees                       : 10,394
Revenue                         : $3,392,474,000
Net Income (Loss)               : ($309,143,000)
Assets                          : $3,316,379,000
Liabilities                     : $3,308,832,000
No. Of Asbestos Claims          : 110,700
Estimated Asbestos Liabilities  : $500,000
Insurance Recoveries            : $500,000

(For the year ended December 28, 2001)

Business Description: Foster Wheeler Ltd. operates through two business
groups. The Engineering and Construction group designs and builds
chemical, petroleum, and industrial plants, which produce such items as
fine chemicals, fragrances, food additives, and vitamins. It also
provides environmental remediation services. Foster Wheeler's Energy
Equipment group makes steam generating units and related equipment for
power and industrial plants, including feedwater heaters and steam
condensers. In addition, the group builds, owns, and leases
cogeneration and independent power projects.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Huttig Posts $900,000 Reserve for Asbestos Costs
----------------------------------------------------------------
Huttig Building Products Inc. reports that it has agreed to settle in
March 2002 one of three asbestos-related product liability lawsuits
pending against it and recorded a reserve of $900,000 for the
settlement and related legal costs.

In May 2002, the company was dismissed as a defendant from one of its
then pending asbestos-related product liability lawsuits. Also in May
2002 and in July 2002, the company was named as a defendant,
individually and as successor-in-interest to Rugby Building Products
Inc. and a predecessor company acquired by Rugby Building Products Inc.
in 1994, in two separate asbestos-related product liability lawsuits.

As of August 14, 2002, three such lawsuits were pending against the
company.

The company has filed a lawsuit against The Rugby Group Ltd. (the
company's principal stockholder) and Rugby IPD Corp., a subsidiary of
The Rugby Group Ltd., alleging that they have breached their
contractual obligations to indemnify and defend Huttig against
liabilities and claims arising out of the business that was acquired by
Rugby Building Products Inc. in 1994.

Huttig says it is uncertain if it will recover any of its costs related
to asbestos claims from insurance carriers or from The Rugby Group or
that such costs will not have a material adverse effect on its business
or financial condition.


COMPANY SNAPSHOT

Huttig Building Products Inc. (NYSE: HBP)
14500 S. Outer Forty Rd.
Lakeview Center, Ste. 400
Chesterfield, MO 63017
Phone: 314-216-2600
Fax: 314-216-2601
Web site: http://www.huttig.com

Employees                       : 2,503
Revenue                         : $945,100,000
Net Income (Loss)               : $5,700,000
Assets                          : $246,300,000
Liabilities                     : $167,200,000
No. Of Asbestos Claims          : 3*
Estimated Asbestos Liabilities  : $900,000
Insurance Recoveries            : Unknown

(For the year ended December 31, 2001)
(*As of August 14, 2002)

Description: Huttig Building Products Inc. is one of the largest
domestic distributors of building materials that are used principally
in new residential construction and in home improvement, remodeling and
repair work. The company distributes its products through 57
distribution centers serving 46 states, principally to building
materials dealers, who, in turn, supply the end-user, directly to
professional builders and large contractors, home centers, national
buying groups and industrial and manufactured housing builders. Its
American Pine Products manufacturing facility, located in Prineville,
Oregon, produces softwood mouldings.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Union Carbide Ties Wave of Cases to Bankruptcies
----------------------------------------------------------------
Union Carbide Corp. reports that asbestos-related lawsuits filed
against it and Amchem Products Inc., a divested subsidiary, outpaced
historical average during the third quarter of 2001, resulting in
higher asbestos litigation accrual at December 31, 2001 compared with
the year-ago level. The pace eased up in the fourth quarter.

The company attributes the third-quarter increase in claims to the
bankruptcy filings of several former members of the Center for Claims
Resolution, of which both the company and Amchem were members. As CCR
members, Union Carbide's and Amchem's strategy was to settle claims as
two relatively small (percentage wise) members of the CCR group. The
CCR has ceased operating in this manner although it still administers
certain settlements.

The company now utilizes Peterson Asbestos Claims Enterprise for claims
processing and insurance invoicing.

For pending cases, the company had asbestos-related litigation accruals
of $233 million and $118 million at December 31, 2001 and 2000,
respectively, and related insurance recovery receivables of $223
million and $108 million at December 31, 2001 and 2000, respectively.

The company estimates that its asbestos liability can be reasonably
placed at $233 million. Its insurance receivable associated with the
most reasonable probable liability outcome for pending claims is $223
million. In all of the probable outcomes for pending claims, sufficient
insurance coverage exists to provide a similar percentage of coverage
for the accrued liability, the company says. In addition, insurance is
available for future claims.

Union Carbide is involved in a large number of asbestos-related suits
filed, for the most part, in various state courts at various times over
the past three decades. These suits principally allege personal injury
resulting from exposure to asbestos-containing products and frequently
seek both general and punitive damages, often in very large amounts.

The alleged claims primarily relate to products that UCC sold in the
past; alleged exposure to asbestos-containing products located on the
company's premises; and its responsibility for asbestos suits filed
against Amchem.

The Dow Chemical Co. now owns 100 percent of Union Carbide and has been
retained to provide its experience in mass tort litigation to manage
its response to asbestos-related liability. The company has hired new
outside counsel to serve as national trial counsel to defend or
reasonably resolve both pending and future cases.

To date, substantially all of the amounts paid to resolve asbestos-
related suits have been covered by third-party insurance.


COMPANY SNAPSHOT

Union Carbide Corporation
39 Old Ridgebury Road
Danbury, Connecticut 06817-0001
Phone: 203-794-2000
Fax: 203 794-2851
Web site: http://www.dow.com

Employees                       : 2,503
Revenue                         : $5,402,000,000
Net Income (Loss)               : ($699,000,000)
Assets                          : $7,908,000,000
Liabilities                     : $5,791,000,000
Estimated Asbestos Liabilities  : $233,000,000
Insurance Recoveries            : $223,000,000

(For the year ended December 31, 2001)

Description: Union Carbide Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow
Chemical Co., is a worldwide chemicals and polymers company. Its
business activities are no longer operated as separate business units.
Dow conducts its worldwide operations through global businesses. This
results in Union Carbide's business activities comprising components of
Dow's global businesses rather than stand-alone operations. Prior to
its merger with a Dow subsidiary, Union Carbide was managed as two
separate business segments -- Specialties and Intermediates, and Basic
Chemicals and Polymers, as well as a nonoperating segment.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Viacom Has 118,000 Pending Asbestos Cases
---------------------------------------------------------
Viacom Inc., one of the world's largest media companies, says it is a
defendant in lawsuits claiming various asbestos-related personal
injuries, which allegedly occurred as a result of exposure caused by
various products manufactured by Westinghouse, a predecessor, generally
prior to the early 1970s.

Westinghouse was neither a producer nor a manufacturer of asbestos.
Viacom is typically named as one of a large number of defendants in
both state and federal cases.

Claims against the company in which a product has been identified
principally relate to exposures allegedly caused by asbestos-containing
insulating material in turbines sold for power-generation, industrial
and marine use, or by asbestos-containing grades of decorative micarta,
a laminate used in commercial ships.

Claims typically are both filed and settled in large groups, which
makes the amount and timing of settlements, and the number of pending
claims, subject to significant fluctuation from period to period.

As of June 30, 2002, the company had pending approximately 118,000
asbestos claims, compared with 129,700 as of June 30, 2001 and
approximately 106,000 as of December31, 2001. Of the claims pending as
of June 30, 2002, approximately 86,600 were pending in state courts,
approximately 22,400 in federal court and approximately 9,000 were
third party claims.  During the second quarter of 2002, the company
received approximately 9,700 new claims and closed approximately 6,600
claims.

The company reports claims as closed when it becomes aware that a
dismissal order has been entered by a court or when the company has
reached agreement with the claimants on the material terms of a
settlement.

Settlement costs depend on the seriousness of the injuries that form
the basis of the claim, the quality of evidence supporting the claims
and other factors. To date, the company has not been liable for any
third-party claims. The company's total costs in 2001 for settlement
and defense of asbestos claims after insurance recoveries and net of
tax benefits were approximately $21 million. A portion of such costs
relates to claims settled in prior years.

The company says its reserves and insurance are adequate to cover its
asbestos liabilities.


COMPANY SNAPSHOT

Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA)
1515 Broadway
New York, NY 10036
Phone: 212-258-6000
Fax: 212-258-6464
Web site: http://www.viacom.com

Employees                       : 122,770
Revenue                         : $23,222,800,000
Net Income (Loss)               : $223,500,000
Assets                          : $90,809,900,000
Liabilities                     : $26,881,300,000
No. of Asbestos Claims          : 118,000*  
Asbestos Settlement Costs       : $21,000,000
Insurance Recoveries            : Unknown

(For the year ended December 31, 2001)
(*As of June 30, 2002)

Description: Viacom Inc., together with its subsidiaries, is a
diversified worldwide entertainment company. The company owns and
operates advertiser-supported basic cable television program services
through MTV Networks and BET: Black Entertainment Television and
premium subscription television program services through Showtime
Networks Inc. in the United States and internationally. The Television
segment consists of the CBS and UPN television networks. Infinity's
operations are focused on the out-of-home media business with
operations in radio broadcasting. The Entertainment segment's principal
businesses are Paramount Pictures, which produces and distributes
motion pictures. The company operates in the home video retail
business, which includes both rental and sale of videocassette and DVD
products. The company also publishes and distributes consumer hardcover
books.


ASBESTOS ALERT: ABB Asbestos Cases Rise in March to 94,000
----------------------------------------------------------
ABB Ltd. reports that, during the first quarter of 2002, 14,300 new
claims were filed against Combustion Engineering Inc., a subsidiary
that formerly conducted part of its divested power generation business
and which now owns commercial real estate that it leases to third
parties.  The figures for the quarter are five percent lesser than the
fourth quarter of 2001.

About 13,500 claims were settled during the period, of which more than
50 percent were settled without payment. Settlement costs prior to
reimbursement were approximately $51 million, up from $37 million in
the first quarter of 2001.

At March 31, 2002, there were about 94,0000 pending claims against
Combustion Engineering, the company says. Plaintiffs claim damages for
personal injury arising from exposure to or use of equipment, which
contained asbestos that Combustion Engineering supplied, primarily
during the 1970s and before.

During 2001, Combustion Engineering experienced a significant increase
in the level of new claims and higher total and per-claim settlement
costs as compared to recent years. This resulted in an increase in the
reserves for potential asbestos liabilities by $470 million.

Cash payments to resolve asbestos claims were $136 million, $125
million and $67 million in 2001, 2000 and 1999, respectively.

As of December 31, 2001 and 2000, reserves of $940 million and $590
million, respectively, were recorded in respect of asbestos claims and
related defense costs. The reserves do not reflect probable insurance
recoveries on those claims. ABB also recorded assets of about $150
million and $160 million at December 31, 2001 and 2000, respectively,
for probable insurance recoveries, which were established with respect
to the claims reserved against.

Other ABB Group entities are also named as defendants in asbestos
claims. These claims, however, are insignificant compared to the
Combustion Engineering claims and have not had, and are not expected to
have, a material impact on ABB's consolidated financial position or
consolidated results of operations.

In 2001, the average payment per claim in which a payment was made was
$6,069, representing a 26 percent increase in the average payment per
claim of $4,833 in 2000. Approximately $12.8 million, $10.5 million and
$8.2 million in administration and defense costs were incurred in 2001,
2000 and 1999, respectively.


COMPANY SNAPSHOT

ABB Ltd. (NYSE: ABB)
Affolternstrasse 44
CH-8050 Zurich, Switzerland      
Phone: +41-43-317-7111
Fax: +41-43-317-7958
Web site: http://www.abb.com

Employees                       : 156,865
Revenue                         : $23,726,000,000
Net Income (Loss)               : ($130,000,000)
Assets                          : $32,344,000,000
Liabilities                     : $30,115,000,000
No. of Asbestos Claims          : 94,000,000*
Estimated Asbestos Liabilities  : $940,000,000
Insurance Recoveries            : $150,000,000

(For the year ended December 31, 2001)
(*As of March 31, 2002)

Description: Organized in Switzerland, ABB Ltd. is a global provider of
products and systems incorporating advanced technologies and innovative
applications of those products and systems, specializing in automation
and power technologies for a broad range of industrial and commercial
customers. The company works with customers to engineer and install
networks, facilities and plants with particular emphasis on enhancing
efficiency and productivity for customers that source, refine, transmit
and distribute energy. ABB provides comprehensive market and product
support services, as well as creative financing and risk management
options to enable its customers to buy and use its products and
services.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Companies Settle But Trial Goes Ahead
----------------------------------------------------------
Asbestos trial against some of the world's largest companies got under
way in West Virginia on Tuesday, despite an 11th-hour wave of out-of-
court settlements that sharply reduced the number of corporations
facing litigation.

Two Kanawha County Circuit Court judges began the jury selection
process by dismissing one of two prospective juror pools.

Dozens of multinational companies fighting one of the largest asbestos
compensation trials in U.S. history have broken ranks and opted to
settle out of court on the eve of hearings. The cost of settling the
case involving between 8,000 and 11,000 people claiming to have been
exposed to the toxic mineral is said to be as a high as $3 billion,
although some insurance analysts believe it will be lower than that.

The plaintiffs claim they were exposed to asbestos and sued 259
corporate defendants ranging from manufacturers to groups of employers
and building owners. The cases were consolidated into a mass trial by
the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, sparking an appeal by
defendants to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The U.S. high court is still expected to consider the appeal just
before the start of its next term on October 7.

But by Tuesday morning, all but about 17 defendants had reached out-of-
court settlements with plaintiffs.

The move to avoid even higher costs awarded by jurors is also a blow
for those who hoped the trial would act as a rallying point against a
spiraling number of claims by people with few obvious symptoms of
asbestos illness.

Companies complain they have been unable to distinguish sick claimants
from those with only hypothetical injuries and are worried that juries
will award all the plaintiffs millions of dollars each.

The biggest defendants included Exxon Mobil Corp., Owens-Illinois Inc.,
Dow Chemical Co.'s Union Carbide unit, British Nuclear Fuels unit
Westinghouse Electric Co., and auto parts makers Dana Corp. and Borg-
Warner Inc., according to a composite list of defendants provided by
plaintiffs.

"It doesn't matter if there are only a few defendants left, because
this is an issue trial. You just have to prove that asbestos is a
defective product," said plaintiff lawyer Scott Segal.

In the past three years, the numbers of asbestos lawsuits have been
increasing, forcing about 50 U.S. corporations into bankruptcy because
of related liabilities. Nationwide, there are some 200,000 pending
asbestos claims.

Many of the companies being sued in West Virginia did not make
asbestos, but used it in a range of products, such as car brake
linings.

On Monday, Honeywell, the U.S. industrial group that had been leading
efforts to fight the case, confirmed it had decided to settle out of
court. Honeywell said the cost of settling was confidential and
declined to comment on its reasons, but analysts believe it is not
alone.

One unsourced estimate had put the cost of settling the claims at
$300,000 each, although this is far beyond the $1,000 per claimant paid
by Honeywell in other cases.

Dow Chemical, which is heavily exposed through its Union Carbide
subsidiary, said it would continue to fight the trial.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Senate Panel to Hear Asbestos Woes
-------------------------------------------------------
A trade group representative said an upcoming Senate Judiciary
committee hearing on asbestos litigation is needed because the judicial
system is overloaded with lawsuits from people who aren't sick and may
never get sick.

"A small, but influential, section of the trial bar has gamed this
system and convince people who aren't sick that somehow, because
they've been exposed, they may get sick," said Gary Karr, a spokesman
for the American Insurance Association. "They sue, get a small amount
of money, and sometimes give away their rights to sue later."

Problems caused by the flood of asbestos litigation over the past
several years will be the subject of a Senate Judiciary committee
hearing, which will include testimony from one of several attorneys who
have joined with the insurance industry in calling for reforms.

The hearing is expected to focus specifically on the problems caused by
the flood of asbestos litigation over the past several years, said Mr.
Karr. The Judiciary Committee will look at the numerous companies that
have filed bankruptcy because of the increase in lawsuits, and which of
them can and cannot pay claims.

"We're looking for legislation, but no one expects it to even be
introduced this year," Mr. Karr said. "This is a complicated issue."

No insurance industry representatives are on the witness list, but
Oakland attorney Steven Kazan, part of the Asbestos Alliance, is.  Mr.
Kazan primarily represents clients with mesothelioma, a type of cancer
caused by asbestos inhalation. He is among a group of trial lawyers
working with insurers, manufacturers and victims, as part of the
Asbestos Alliance, to call for reforms in the way asbestos litigation
is handled.

Companies that were the primary targets of asbestos lawsuits, those
that manufactured it, have gone bankrupt. Secondary and tertiary
companies that had slim, if any links to asbestos, have become the
targets in recent years.

London market insurers, led by Equitas, the massive reinsurance vehicle
set up to run off Lloyd's 1992 and prior years' nonlife liabilities,
began cracking down on the indemnification of asbestos bodily injury
claims where claimants have no symptoms of injury

In addition, they intend to ensure that future product, premises or
occupational exposure liability is indemnified only when claims are
settled by the insured that is responsible, rather than any company
that plaintiffs' lawyers seek to pursue.

The London market began imposing new documentation requirements in
advance of any claim payments, with a particular view to class-action
settlements, requiring adequate medical evidence of individual
claimants' injuries and sworn testimony proving exposure to specific
products responsible for that injury.

The requirements are to ensure that if an insured client settles and
wishes to be reimbursed by the London market for that settlement, he or
she must show that their products have injured the claimants.

                    New Securities Fraud Cases

AT&T CORPORATION: Schatz & Nobel Commences Securities Suit in S.D. NY
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Schatz & Nobel, P.C. filed recently a lawsuit seeking class action
status in the United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York on behalf of all persons who purchased or otherwise acquired
the common stock of AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T) from November 29, 1999 through
August 22, 2002, inclusive, or those who purchased the AT&T Wireless
tracking stock (NYSE: AWE) from its inception until August 22, 2002.

The Complaint alleges that Salomon Smith Barney and its well-known
telecommunications stock analyst Jack Grubman violated the federal
securities laws by issuing analyst reports recommending the purchase of
AT&T during the Class Period without regard to the factual basis of
those reports.

The Complaint also alleges that Salomon failed to disclose a
significant conflict of interest between its investment banking and
research departments. Unbeknownst to the investing public, Salomon
Smith Barney was granted a lucrative role in the April 2002 issuance of
AT&T Wireless Tracking stock, after Mr. Grubman honored AT&T's request,
and raised his recommendation of AT&T from "neutral to "buy."

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


ESS TECHNOLOGY: Brodsky & Smith Commences Securities Suit in N.D. CA
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Brodsky & Smith, L.L.C. announced Wednesday that a securities class
action lawsuit has been commenced on behalf of shareholders who
acquired ESS Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq:ESST) securities between January
23, 2002 and September 12, 2002, inclusive.

The case is pending in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of California, against the company and some of its
officers and directors.

The action charges that defendants violated the 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.

No class had yet been certified in the above action.

For more information, contact Jason L. Brodsky, Esq. or Evan J. Smith,
Esq. by Mail: Two Bala Plaza, Suite 602, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 by e-
mail: esmith@Brodsky-Smith.com or by Phone: 877-LEGAL-90 (toll free)


FLEMING COMPANIES: Marc Henzel Commences Securities Suit in E.D. Texas
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Marc S. Henzel filed recently a class action lawsuit
in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas,
Texarkana Division, on behalf of purchasers of Fleming Companies, Inc.
(NYSE:FLM) common stock during the period between February 27, 2002 and
July 30, 2002, inclusive.

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

The complaint alleges that these statements falsely portrayed Fleming's
business prospects and artificially inflated and maintained the price
of Fleming common stock. The defendants capitalized on their false and
misleading statements by:

     (1) lowering the interest rate and extending the maturity on $250
         million of Fleming's debt;

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

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

     (4) 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 Fleming'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 Fleming securities, Fleming 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 Fleming was considering
abandoning this line of business entirely.

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

For more details, contact Marc S. Henzel, Esq. by Mail: 273 Montgomery
Ave, Suite 202 Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004-2808 by Phone: 888-643-6735 or
610-660-8000 by Fax: 610-660-8080 by e-mail: Mhenzel182@aol.com or
visit the firm's Web site: http//members.aol.com/mhenzel182


FLEMING COMPANIES: Milberg Weiss Lodges Securities Suit in E.D. Texas
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Milberg Weiss commenced recently a class action in the United States
District Court for the Eastern District of Texas on behalf of
purchasers of Fleming Companies Inc. (NYSE:FLM) common stock during the
period between May 9, 2001 and Sept. 4, 2002.

The complaint charges Fleming and certain of its officers and directors
with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Fleming is a
wholesale food distributor, supplying brand-name and private-label food
and general merchandise to thousands of retailers. It also owns more
than 100 stores, which operate under the Food4Less and Rainbow Foods
banners.

The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, Fleming issued
false statements, including false financial results in which the
Company included income from vendor discounts to which Fleming was not
entitled. The Company also represented that it would achieve F02 and
F03 EPS of $2.50+ and $3.30+.

As a result of defendants' false statements, the Company's stock traded
at artificially inflated levels, as high as $37.30 per share,
permitting Fleming to complete an 8 million share secondary stock
offering, a $200 million Note offering and the acquisition of Core-Mark
International in the spring of 2002. Also, due to Fleming's
artificially inflated earnings, its CEO and CFO received bonuses for
2001 of $2.6 million and $1.15 million, respectively.

Then, on August 5, 2002, Fleming announced its estimates would need to
be reduced. On the same day, The Wall Street Journal ran an expose of
Fleming's practice of taking excessive deductions on the amounts it
owed to vendors. The article mentioned an executive of the Company who
resigned due to his objection to the practice, and also indicated that
some vendors refused to ship to Fleming because of disputes with
Fleming over the practice. Once this news was revealed, Fleming's stock
collapsed to $6.87 before closing at $6.92, some 80% below the Class
Period high of $37.30.

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


FLEMING COMPANIES: Wolf Popper Commences Securities Suit in E.D. Texas
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Wolf Popper LLP filed recently a securities fraud class action
complaint against Fleming Companies, Inc. (NYSE:FLM) and two of its
senior officers on behalf of purchasers of Fleming common stock from
February 13, 2002 through September 3, 2002 inclusive.

The suit is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District
of Texas, Texarkana Division.

The plaintiff alleges in this class action that during the Class Period
(February 13, 2002 through September 3, 2002, inclusive) defendants
materially misrepresented Fleming's financial results for 2001 and 2002
by failing to record properly the amounts owed to its suppliers.
Defendants effected this scheme by taking large unwarranted deductions
from payments made on invoices from vendors.

The plaintiff further alleges in this action that during the Class
Period, defendants materially misrepresented that its retail grocery
segment was successful and operating according to plan.

The facts began to be revealed on July 30, 2002, when Fleming issued a
press release announcing that it was evaluating its strategic
alternatives related to its price-impact retail stores. More facts
about defendants' misconduct was revealed on September 4 and 5, 2002,
when it was reported that Fleming was squeezing its suppliers by making
large unwarranted deductions from payments on invoices from the
suppliers.

The plaintiff alleges that defendants engaged in this scheme in order
to facilitate two securities offerings in June 2002:

     (1) an offering of 9.2 million shares of Fleming common stock,
         which netted the Company approximately $170 million, and

     (2) an offering of $200 million in 9.25 percent senior notes due
         2010.

During the Class Period, shares of Fleming common stock closed at as
high as $22.95 per share. When the truth about Fleming's retail grocery
operations was revealed on July 31, 2002, the Company's common stock
fell to $10.81 per share within a few days. On September 5, 2002, after
it was reported that Fleming had taken large unwarranted deductions
from payments on invoices from its suppliers, Fleming common stock
closed at $6.92 per share. Fleming common stock is currently trading in
the $4 range.

For more details, contact Wolf Popper LLP through Robert C. Finkel,
Esq. by Mail: 845 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10022-6689 by Phone:
212-451-9620 (toll free) or 877-370-7703 by Fax: 212-486-2093 (toll
free) or 877-370-7704 by e-mail: irrep@wolfpopper.com or visit the
firm's Web site: http://www.wolfpopper.com


INTERBANK FUNDING: Cohen Milstein Commences Securities Suit in Columbia
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C. filed recently a lawsuit
against several officers and directors of InterBank Funding Corporation
and its affiliates and subsidiaries, and Radin Glass & Co., an
accounting firm for InterBank, in the United States District Court for
the District of Columbia on behalf all persons who purchased or
otherwise acquired the securities of InterBank Funding Corp. between
July 26, 1999 and June 7, 2002, inclusive.

The Complaint alleges that the defendants violated the federal
securities laws by knowingly issuing false and misleading statements
regarding the past performance of InterBank securities, the ability of
InterBank to make interest payments, and the true nature and amount of
inter-fund transfers necessary for InterBank to operate.

Specifically, the Complaint alleges that the defendants failed to
disclose millions of dollars in loan losses and the impact of those
losses on return statistics and financial statements published by
InterBank.

The Complaint further alleges that the defendants concealed the fact
that interest payments to investors were made in significant part out
of current or future offering proceeds, not out of income. The
Complaint also alleges that defendants failed to disclose InterBank's
ability to operate depended on tens of millions of dollars of inter-
fund transfers.

For more information, contact Steven J. Toll by Mail: 1100 New York
Avenue, NW, Suite 500 - West Tower, Washington, DC 20005 by Phone:
888-240-0775 or 202-408-4600 or by e-mail: stoll@cmht.com


MERRILL LYNCH: Cohen Milstein Commences Securities Suit in S.D. NY
------------------------------------------------------------------
Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C. filed recently a securities
fraud class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of New York on behalf of purchasers of shares of CMGI
securities between March 23, 1999 through October 6, 2000.

The Complaint alleges that Merrill Lynch and its well-known Internet
stock analyst Henry Blodget violated the federal securities laws by
knowingly issuing false and misleading analyst reports regarding CMGI
during the Class Period.

Based on e-mails and other internal Merrill Lynch communications, which
were made public as a result of the investigation conducted by the New
York State Attorney General, the Complaint alleges that Defendants
failed to disclose a significant conflict of interest between their
investment banking and research departments.

Specifically, the Complaint alleges that Henry Blodget and other
Merrill Lynch analysts issued very favorable analyst reports regarding
CMGI to the public when they allegedly knew that the positive
recommendations were unwarranted and false. The Complaint further
alleges that, unbeknownst to the investing public, Merrill Lynch's buy
recommendations and price targets were driven by its efforts to attract
lucrative investment banking business rather than by the companies'
fundamental merits.

For more details, contact Steven J. Toll, Esq. (stoll@cmht.com) or
Katrina Jurgill (kjurgill@cmht.com) by Phone: 888-240-0775 or
202-408-4600 or by Mail: 1100 New York Avenue, NW West Tower, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20005


MERRILL LYNCH: Rabin & Peckel Commences Securities Suit in S.D. NY
------------------------------------------------------------------
Rabin & Peckel LLP filed recently a class action complaint in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York,
civil action number 02-CV-7682, on behalf of all persons or entities
who purchased or otherwise acquired CMGI, Inc. securities (Nasdaq:CMGI)
between March 23, 1999 and October 6, 2000, both dates inclusive.
Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. and Henry Blodget are named as defendants in
the complaint.

The complaint charges Merrill Lynch and Blodget with violations of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The complaint alleges that defendants
issued analyst reports concerning CMGI that recommended the purchase of
CMGI common stock and that set price targets for CMGI common stock,
which were materially false and misleading and lacked any reasonable
factual basis.

In particular, it is alleged that defendants failed to disclose
significant material conflicts of interest, which resulted from the use
by defendant Merrill Lynch of defendant Henry M. Blodget's reputation
and ability to issue favorable analyst reports, to obtain investment
banking business for Merrill Lynch.

It is also alleged that defendants, in issuing their CMGI analyst
reports, in which they recommended the purchase of CMGI securities,
failed to disclose material, non-public, adverse information, which
they possessed about CMGI. Throughout the Class Period, defendants
maintained an "Accumulate/Buy" recommendation on CMGI stock in order to
obtain and support lucrative financial deals for Merrill Lynch.

For more information, contact Eric J. Belfi or Sharon Lee by Mail: 275
Madison Avenue, New York, NY, 10016 by Phone: 800-497-8076 or
212-682-1818 by Fax: 212-682-1892 or by e-mail: email@rabinlaw.com


METRIS COMPANIES: Cauley Geller Commences Securities Suit in Minnesota
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Cauley Geller Bowman & Coates, LLP filed recently a class action in the
United States District Court for the District of Minnesota on behalf of
purchasers of Metris Companies, Inc. (NYSE: MXT) publicly traded
securities during the period between November 5, 2001 and July 16,
2002, inclusive.

Metris is in the business of providing financial products and services,
including issuing and managing credit cards through its wholly owned
subsidiary, Direct Merchants Credit Card Bank, N.A.

Specifically, the complaint alleges that Metris misled the investing
community concerning the existence of a Report of Examination (the ROE)
released by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (the OCC),
the primary federal regulator of Direct Merchants.  Moreover, the
Complaint charges that defendants misled the investing community
regarding the adverse material effect the ROE would have on Metris'
financial condition.

The Complaint also alleges that the OCC released the ROE to defendants
on November 5, 2001, but that defendants failed to reveal the existence
of the ROE to the public until April 17, 2002, and thereafter
misrepresented the effect it would have on Metris.

As outlined in the Complaint, the findings of the ROE were ultimately
addressed in a consent agreement between Direct Merchants and the OCC,
and obligated Direct Merchants to restructure significant parts of its
operations including its credit policies, credit risk assessment, debt
forbearance, allowance for loan and lease losses and internal controls.
The Complaint further alleges that as a result of defendants' actions,
plaintiff and the Class were damaged.

For more details, contact Cauley Geller Bowman & Coates, LLP through
its Client Relations Department: Jackie Addison, Sue Null or Ellie
Baker by Mail: P.O. Box 25438, Little Rock, AR 72221-5438 by Phone:
888-551-9944 (toll free) or by e-mail: info@cauleygeller.com


METRIS COMPANIES: Weiss & Yourman Lodges Securities Suit in Minnesota
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Weiss & Yourman filed recently a class action lawsuit against Metris
Companies, Inc. (NYSE:MXT), and certain of its officers and directors
was commenced in the United States District Court for the District of
Minnesota, on behalf of purchasers of Metris securities between
November 5, 2001 and July 17, 2002.

The complaint charges the defendants with violations of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934. The complaint alleges that defendants issued
false and misleading statements, which artificially inflated the stock.

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


METRIS COMPANIES: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Securities Suit in MN
------------------------------------------------------------------
Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP filed recently a class action lawsuit in the
United States District Court for the District of Minnesota on behalf of
all purchasers of the common stock of Metris Companies, Inc. (NYSE:
MXT) securities between Nov. 5, 2001 and July 17, 2002, inclusive.

Metris is in the business of providing financial products and services,
including issuing and managing credit cards through its wholly owned
subsidiary, Direct Merchants Credit Card Bank, N.A.

Specifically, the complaint alleges that Metris misled the investing
community concerning the existence of a Report of Examination (the ROE)
released by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (the OCC),
the primary federal regulator of Direct Merchants. Moreover, the
Complaint charges that defendants misled the investing community
regarding the adverse material effect the ROE would have on Metris'
financial condition.

The Complaint also alleges that the OCC released the ROE to defendants
on November 5, 2001, but that defendants failed to reveal the existence
of the ROE to the public until April 17, 2002, and thereafter
misrepresented the effect it would have on Metris.

As outlined in the Complaint, the findings of the ROE were ultimately
addressed in a consent agreement between Direct Merchants and the OCC,
and obligated Direct Merchants to restructure significant parts of its
operations including its credit policies, credit risk assessment, debt
forbearance, allowance for loan and lease losses and internal controls.
The Complaint further alleges that as a result of defendants' actions,
plaintiff and the Class were damaged.

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


SALOMON SMITH: Stull Stull Commences Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Stull, Stull & Brody filed Wednesday a class action lawsuit in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, on
behalf of purchasers of the common stock of Level 3 Communications,
Inc. (NYSE:LVLT) between January 4, 1999 and June 18, 2001, inclusive
against defendants Salomon Smith Barney, Inc. its star
telecommunication research analyst, Jack Grubman, and Morgan Stanley
Dean Witter & Co., Inc.  

The complaint alleges that Defendants Salomon, Mr. Grubman and Morgan
Stanley urged investors to purchase Level 3 stock when defendants knew
or should have known that such purchases were not a good investment.
The complaint alleges that defendants issued "Buy" recommendations
about Level 3 without any rational economic basis; failed to disclose
that they were issuing "Buy" recommendations to obtain investment
banking business; and concealed significant, material conflicts of
interests that prevented them from providing independent objective
analysis.

For additional information, contact Tzivia Brody, Esq. by Phone:
800-337-4983 (toll free) by e-mail: SSBNY@aol.com by Fax: 212-490-2022
or by Mail: 6 East 45th Street, New York, NY 10017


VODAFONE GROUP: Milberg Weiss Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach has filed a class action lawsuit
against Vodafone PLC and four of its board members alleging that the
mobile phone giant violated the Securities Exchange Act of 1934,
according to The Daily Telegraph.

The law firm said it had made the filing on behalf of purchasers of
Vodafone's American Depository Receipts between March 7, 2001 and May
28, 2002.  The suit is pending in the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of New York.

The action alleges that Vodafone, its chairman Lord MacLaurin, Chief
executive Sir Christopher Gent, Chief Operating Officer Julian Horn-
Smith, and Finance Director Ken Hydon issued a series of material
misrepresentations to the market between those dates, thereby
artificially inflating the share price, the newspaper said.

"If this action is served upon us, we will vigorously defend it," a
Vodafone spokesman is quoted as saying. Vodafone has maintained an A
credit rating with independent rating agencies despite market
turbulence.

The complaint alleges that Vodafone issued numerous statements, which
highlighted the company's strong financial performance and growth and
reassured investors that Vodafone maintained a "solid balance sheet".

Milberg Weiss alleges Vodafone failed to disclose and/or misrepresented
what it calls several "adverse facts".

These include allegations that Vodafone was improperly delaying the
write-down of billions of dollars of goodwill and impaired assets,
thereby artificially inflating its reported financial results.


VODAFONE GROUP: Scott + Scott Lodges Securities Suit in S.D. New York
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Scott + Scott LLC filed recently a class action on behalf of purchasers
of the securities of Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) between March 7,
2001 and May 28, 2002, inclusive.

The action, numbered 02-CV-7592, is pending in the United States
District Court, Southern District of New York, located at 500 Pearl
Street, New York, NY, against defendants Vodafone, Ian Maclaurin, Chris
Gent, Julian Horn-Smith and Ken Hydon. The Honorable Leonard B. Sand
has been assigned to the case.

The Complaint alleges that defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a)
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder, by issuing a series of material misrepresentations to the
market between March 7, 2001 and May 28, 2002, thereby artificially
inflating the price of Vodafone securities.

The complaint alleges that, throughout the Class Period, defendants
issued numerous statements, which highlighted the Company's strong
financial performance and growth and reassured investors that Vodafone
maintained a "solid balance sheet."

As alleged in the complaint, these statements were materially false and
misleading because they failed to disclose and/or misrepresented the
following adverse facts, among others:

     (a) that the Company was improperly delaying the write-down of
         billions of dollars of goodwill and impaired assets, thereby
         artificially inflating the Company's reported financial
         results. In fact, despite defendants' claims that the Company
         had a "solid balance sheet," when the Company finally did
         write-off the value of its impaired assets and goodwill,
         Vodafone obliterated all profits for 2001 and 2002;

     (b) that the Company had grossly overpaid for the numerous
         acquisitions it had made in prior years; and

     (c) based on the foregoing, defendants' representation that the
         Company would continue to maintain its "record of delivering
         outstanding performance" was lacking in a reasonable basis.

On May 28, 2002, the last day of the Class Period, the Company
announced its financial results for the fiscal year 2002, the period
ending March 31, 2002, which included massive write downs for goodwill
of approximately GBP13.47 billion and exceptional items and operating
costs of GBP5.4 billion and exceptional non-operating costs of GBP865
million.  At the end of the Class Period, the price of Vodafone ADRs
closed at $15.19 per ADR, as compared to a Class Period high of $33.26
per ADR.

For more information, contact Scott + Scott attorneys Neil Rothstein by
e-mail: nrothstein@scott-scott.com or David R. Scott by e-mail:
drscott@scott-scott.com or by Phone: 800-404-7770



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