CAR_Public/021001.mbx                C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R
  
               Tuesday, October 1, 2002, Vol. 4, No. 194

                            Headlines
                           

AGRILINK FOODS: Promises Vigorous Defense in $50 Million Oregon Suit
ALLIANCE GAMING: Judge Denies Certification on $1 Billion RICO Suit
BELL CANADA: Shareholders Slap Firm with Class Suit, Seeking CA$1 BB
CONCORD CAMERA: Securities Suit in S.D. NY Amended; SEC Investigates
CREDIT SUISSE: Abbey Gardy Turns RICO Suit into Securities Fraud Action

ELECTRONIC DATA: Shareholders Allege Misstatements, Fact Omissions
ELKCORP: Certification Denied in Suits, Plaintiffs Now Want Settlement
ESCALON MEDICAL: NY Court OKs Settlement of 7-year-old Securities Suit
FLEMING COS.: Investors File Three Suits Alleging False Statements
FLORIDA: Advocates, Lawyers Join Forces To Reform Child Welfare System

FORD MOTOR: Law Firm Says Safety Tips on Police Cars Admission of Fault
FORD MOTOR: Victims Urge Third-Party Scrutiny of Police Car Safety Tips
GEORGIA: Judge Re-assigns Case for Fear Impartiality Will be Questioned
HOLOCAUST SETTLEMENT: New York Court Orders Increase, Speed in Payments
MARTHA STEWART: Faces Potential Securities Suit As Insider Admits Guilt

MAX'S DONUTS: Recalls Donuts Containing Undeclared Soy Protein
MONTANA POWER: Shareholders Seek Addition of Another Defendant in Suit
MSC INDUSTRIAL: Deadline for Election of Lead Plaintiff October 7, 2002
OLAFSON'S BAKING: Recalls Grain Seed Loaf Containing Undeclared Protein
PAIN CENTER: Hepatitis C Numbers Rise In Oklahoma, Class-Action Filed

PORT ST. LUCIE: City Rejects Settlement, To Appeal Adverse Decision
QUALITY NATURAL: Recalls Products Containing Undeclared Peanut Protein
STOCKWALK GROUP: Agrees to Settle Two Lawsuits for $12.1 Million
TOBACCO LITIGATION: Judge Strikes $1.25B Fees Granted to CA Lawyers
UNITED STATES: Plaintiffs to Appeal Dismissed Toxic Contamination Suit

VODAFONE GROUP: Faces Lawsuit Over Information 'Delay' in New York
WASHINGTON D.C.: Court Monitor Seeks Fine Over Failed School Bus System

                     New Securities Fraud Cases

BELLSOUTH CORPORATION: Chitwood Harley Files Securities Suit in N.D. GA
COMPUWARE CORPORATION: Mantese Miller Files Securities Suit in E.D. MI
CONSECO INC.: Glancy & Binkow Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. IN
CONSECO INC.: Stull Stull Commences Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. IN
ELECTRONIC DATA: Glancy & Binkow Commences Securities Suit in E.D. TX

ELECTRONIC DATA: Mark McNair Commences Securities Suit in E.D. Texas
ELECTRONIC DATA: Milberg Weiss Commences Securities Suit in E.D. Texas
FLEMING COMPANIES: Lockridge Grindal Files Securities Suit in E.D. TX
HEALTHSOUTH CORPORATION: Mark McNair Files Securities Suit in N.D. AL
METRIS COMPANIES: Lockridge Grindal Lodges Securities Suit in Minnesota

SIMON TRANSPORTATION: Kwasi Asiedu Files Securities Fraud Suit in Utah
VODAFONE GROUP: Charles Piven Commences Securities Suit in S.D. NY

                           *********


AGRILINK FOODS: Promises Vigorous Defense in $50 Million Oregon Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Agrilink Foods, Inc. vowed in its latest Securities and Exchange
Commission disclosure that it will mount vigorous defense against a
class action pending in the circuit court of Multnomah County, Oregon.

The suit, filed by Blue Line Farms on September 25, 2001, names as
Defendants Pro-Fac Cooperative, Inc., Mike Shelby, and "Does" 1-50,
representing directors, officers, and agents of the corporate
defendants.

The complaint alleges, among others:

     (i) fraud in operating AgriFrozen, a former subsidiary of Pro-Fac;

    (ii) breach of fiduciary duty in operating AgriFrozen;

   (iii) negligent misrepresentation in operating AgriFrozen;

    (iv) breach of contract against Pro-Fac;

     (v) breach of good faith and fair dealing against Pro-Fac;

    (vi) conversion against Pro-Fac and the Company;

   (vii) intentional interference with a contract against the Company;
         and

  (viii) statutory Oregon securities law violations against Pro-Fac and
         separately against Mr. Shelby.

The relief sought includes:

     (a) a demand for an accounting;

     (b) injunctive relief to compel the disclosure of documents;

     (c) certification of the class;

     (d) damages of $50 million;

     (e) prejudgment and post-judgment interest; and

     (f) an award of costs and expenses including expert fees and
         attorney's fees.

"Management believes this case is without merit and intends to defend
vigorously its position," the SEC disclosure says.


ALLIANCE GAMING: Judge Denies Certification on $1 Billion RICO Suit
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Alliance Gaming Corporation recently disclosed in its Securities and
Exchange Commission report that a court in Nevada refused to
certificate a suit filed against BGII, a subsidiary of the company.

The suit was originally filed on September 25, 1995 in the Federal
District Court in Nevada by Larry Schreirer on behalf of himself and
all others similarly situated.  The plaintiffs filed suit against BGII
and approximately 45 other defendants.

Each defendant is involved in the gaming business as a gaming machine
manufacturer, distributor, or casino operator.  The class action
lawsuit arose out of alleged fraudulent marketing and operation of
casino video poker machines and electronic slot machines.

The plaintiffs allege that the defendants have engaged in a course of
fraudulent and misleading conduct intended to induce people into
playing their gaming machines based on a false belief concerning how
those machines actually operate as well as the extent to which there is
actually an opportunity to win on any given play.

The plaintiffs allege that the defendants' actions constitute
violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
(RICO) and give rise to claims of common law fraud and unjust
enrichment. The plaintiffs are seeking monetary damages in excess of $1
billion, and are asking that any damage awards be trebled under
applicable Federal law.

"In June 2002, the Federal district court denied the plaintiffs' motion
for class action certification. Plaintiffs' appeal of that decision is
pending," the company said in its SEC disclosure.  "Management believes
the plaintiffs' lawsuit to be without merit."

"We will continue to pursue all legal defenses available to us," the
company said.

Alliance Gaming owns Bally Gaming International, a subsidiary that
makes slot machines, video gaming machines, and computer systems under
names such as GameKeeper, GameMagic, GameMaker, and ProSeries.

Another subsidiary, Bally Wulff, makes wall-mounted gaming machines for
arcades, hotels, and restaurants in Germany.  In addition, Bally Wulff
distributes coin-operated amusement machines and wall machines made by
third parties.

Alliance Gaming also has two casino properties, the Rainbow Hotel
Casino in Vicksburg, Mississippi, and the Rail City Casino, located
between Reno and Sparks, Nevada, a Hoovers.com dossier says.


BELL CANADA: Shareholders Slap Firm with Class Suit, Seeking CA$1 BB
--------------------------------------------------------------------
BCE Inc. recently announced that a lawsuit has been filed with the
Ontario Superior Court of Justice by Wilfred Shaw, a common shareholder
of Bell Canada International Inc. (BCI), according to a report by
Canada News Wire.

The plaintiff is seeking the Court's approval to proceed by way of
class action on behalf of all persons who owned BCI common shares on
December 3, 2001.  The lawsuit seeks CA$1 billion in damages from BCI
and BCE in connection with the issuance of BCI common shares on
February 15, 2002, pursuant to BCI's Re-capitalization Plan and the
implementation of BCI's Plan of Arrangement, approved by the Ontario
Superior Court of Justice on July 17, 2002.

BCE is of the view that the allegations contained in the lawsuit are
frivolous and entirely without merit, and BCE intends to take all
appropriate actions to vigorously defend its position.  BCE will seek
to recover its costs incurred as a result of the defense of the
lawsuit.

BCE is Canada's largest communications company.  It has 24 million
customer connections through the wireline, wireless, data/Internet and
the satellite services it provides, largely under the Bell brand.  BCE
leverages those connections with extensive content creation
capabilities through Bell Globemedia, which features some of the
strongest brands in the industry:  CTV, Canada's leading private
broadcaster; The Globe and Mail, Canada's National Newspaper; and
Sympatico-Lycos, the leading Canadian Internet portal.


CONCORD CAMERA: Securities Suit in S.D. NY Amended; SEC Investigates
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Concord Camera Corporation informed the Securities and Exchange
Commission recently that in July 2002, an amended class action
complaint was filed against it and certain of its officers in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida by
individuals purporting to be shareholders of the Company.

The lead plaintiffs in the amended complaint seek to act as
representatives of a class consisting of all persons who purchased the
Company's Common Stock during the period from May 1, 2000 through June
22, 2001, inclusive.

The complaint asserts, among other things, that the Company made untrue
statements of material fact and omitted to state material facts
necessary to make statements made not misleading in periodic reports it
filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and in press releases
it made to the public regarding its operations and financial results.

The allegations are centered on these claims:

     (i) claims that at the outset the Company failed to disclose that
         the transaction with then customer, KB Gear Interactive, Inc.,  
         was a highly risky transaction;

    (ii) claims that throughout the Class Period the Company failed to
         disclose that a large portion of its accounts receivable was
         represented by a delinquent and uncollectible balance due from
         then customer, KB Gear; and

   (iii) claims that such failure artificially inflated the price of
         the Common Stock.

The complaint seeks unspecified damages, interest, attorneys' fees,
costs of suit and unspecified other and further relief from the court.
The Company intends vigorously to defend the lawsuit. The lawsuit is in
the earliest stage and discovery has not yet commenced. The Company
filed a motion to dismiss on August 30, 2002.

"Although the Company believes this lawsuit is without merit, its
outcome cannot be predicted, and if adversely determined, the ultimate
liability of the Company, which could be material, cannot be
ascertained," said the Concord Camera in its Securities and Exchange
Commission disclosure.

The same SEC report says disclosed that on September 17, 2002, the
Company was advised by the staff of the Securities and Exchange
Commission that it is conducting an informal inquiry related to the
matters described above.

Concord Camera makes single-use and conventional 35mm and Advanced
Photo System cameras, plus traditional 110mm models and digital
cameras.  Its products, made in China, are sold under private labels as
well as under the trade names Concord, Goldline, Keystone, Apex, Le
Clic, and Argus (outside North America).

OEMs such as Polaroid, Eastman Kodak, and Agfa-Gevaert account for more
than 50% of sales. The company also sells to retailers. Single-use
cameras provide nearly 60% of Concord's sales, but the company hopes to
grow through its line of low-priced ($100 to $300) digital cameras.


CREDIT SUISSE: Abbey Gardy Turns RICO Suit into Securities Fraud Action
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Abbey Gardy announced Saturday that it amended its class action law
suit against Credit Suisse First Boston Corporation, Citigroup, Inc.
and others on behalf of all persons who acquired:

     (a) Credit Suisse First Boston International JPY First-To-Default
         Credit-linked .85% Notes maturing March 27, 2002, issued on or
         about October 18, 2001;

     (b) Yosemite Securities Trust I 8.25% Series 1999-A Linked Enron
         Obligations maturing November 15, 2004, issued on or about
         November 4, 1999;

     (c) Enron Credit Linked Notes Trust 8% Notes maturing August 15,
         2005, issued on or about August 25, 2000;

     (d) Enron Euro Credit Linked Notes Trust 6 1/2% Notes maturing May
         24, 2006, issued on or about May 24, 2001;

     (e) Enron Sterling Credit Linked Notes Trust 7 1/4% Notes maturing
         May 24, 2006, issued on or about May 24, 2001; or

     (f) Enron Credit Linked Notes Trust II 7 3/8 % Notes maturing May
         15, 2006, issued on or about May 24, 2001 (collectively, the
         Credit Linked Notes), during the period November 4, 1999 to
         December 3, 2001 (the Class Period).

The Complaint was amended to charge defendants, in the alternative,
with violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder.  The Complaint had
previously charged defendants only with violations of the Racketeer
Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, 18 U.S.C. section 1961,
section 1962 et seq.

The complaint alleges, among other things that:

     (i) throughout the Class Period defendants engaged in a scheme
         that enabled CSFB and Citigroup to fraudulently shift the risk
         of loss resulting from these two banks having "lent" Enron
         Corporation more than $2.5 billion;

    (ii) CSFB and Citigroup knew the truth concerning of Enron's
         precarious financial situation because of their intimate
         involvement in the massive financial fraud perpetrated by
         Enron and their roles in creating thousands of Enron off-
         balance sheet special purpose entities; and

   (iii) CSFB and Citigroup utilized sophisticated credit derivative
         instruments known as "credit default swaps" and "credit linked
         notes" to secretly shift the risk of loss of the more than
         $2.5 billion (that had been "lent" to Enron by these two
         banks) from themselves to unsuspecting Class members.

For more information, contact Evan Kaufman, Esq. by Phone: 800-889-3701


ELECTRONIC DATA: Shareholders Allege Misstatements, Fact Omissions
------------------------------------------------------------------
Electronic Data Systems Corp. said recently that it is the target of a
shareholder lawsuit alleging misstatements and omission of material
facts, reports the Associated Press Newswires.

Lovell Stewart Halebian LLP, the shareholders' law firm, said the suit,
which seeks class-action status and recovery of damages, was filed in
the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, on
behalf of purchasers of stock from September 7, 1999, to Tuesday of
this week, when the company's shares hit a new 52-week low.

Last week, the Plano, Texas computer consulting company slashed its
third- and fourth-quarter earnings projections, citing a decline in
corporate spending over the past two months, and also said it would
generate less cash than expected.

The profit warning caused EDS's shares to plummet more than 40 percent,
as at least 10 Wall Street analysts downgraded their ratings on the
world's No. 2 computer-services company behind International Business
Machines Corp.

The shares recovered somewhat Thursday, last week, on the New York
Stock Exchange, to close at $12.90, up 75 cents, or 6 percent.


ELKCORP: Certification Denied in Suits, Plaintiffs Now Want Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In February 2000, Wedgewood Knolls Condominium Association filed a
purported class action in the United States District Court in Newark,
New Jersey, which as amended names two ElkCorp subsidiaries. The
purported nationwide class would include purchasers or current owners
of buildings with certain Elk asphalt shingles installed between
January 1, 1980 and present.

The suit alleges, among other things, that the shingles were uniformly
defective. It seeks various remedies including damages and reformation
of the limited warranty applicable to the shingles on behalf of the
plaintiff and the purported class.

In late March 2002, the United States District Court for the District
of New Jersey issued its opinion denying the plaintiff's motion for
class certification in the Wedgewood Knolls lawsuit pending against
Elk.

In June 2000, an individual homeowner filed a purported class action,
Lastih v. Elk Corporation of Alabama, in the Judicial District of
Hartford, Connecticut. The Lastih suit involves similar class
allegations and claims to those asserted in the Wedgewood Knolls suit
described above.

"Elk has denied the claims asserted in both actions, and vigorously
defended them," the company said in its latest Securities and Exchange
Commission disclosure.  "Elk has reached an agreement in principle to
settle with all plaintiffs represented by the law firm prosecuting the
Wedgewood Knolls and Lastih cases, including without limitation
Wedgewood Knolls Condominium Association, Lastih and several other
individual plaintiffs."

"The proposed settlement would not be a class settlement and would not
have a material adverse effect on the company's consolidated results of
operations, financial condition or liquidity," the SEC report said.  
"The settlement is still subject to the negotiation and execution of a
definitive written settlement agreement."

Building products manufacturer ElkCorp (formerly Elcor Corporation)
operates through subsidiaries to manufacture Elk-brand premium roofing
and building products and to provide technologically advanced products
and services to a range of industries that include the
telecommunications, consumer electronics, computer, aerospace,
automotive, military, medical equipment, rail, shipping, natural gas
processing, and home furnishing industries.

The company operates through two main groups: Elk Premium Building
Products (Elk Corporation) and Elk Technologies Group (Cybershield,
Chromium, Ortloff, Elk Technologies), a Hoovers.com dossier says.


ESCALON MEDICAL: NY Court OKs Settlement of 7-year-old Securities Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Escalon Medical Corporation informed the Securities and Exchange
Commission recently that the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of New York has approved its settlement with plaintiffs of a
7-year-old securities fraud suit.

"In an effort to curtail its legal expenses related to this litigation,
while continuing to deny any wrongdoing, the Company reached an
agreement to settle this action on its behalf and on the behalf of its
former and present officers and directors, for $500,000," the company
said in its latest SEC disclosure.

"The court approved the settlement after a fairness hearing on
September 11, 2002.  The Company's directors and officers insurance
carrier has agreed to fund a significant portion of the settlement
amount.  Both the Company and the insurance carrier have deposited such
funds in an escrow account," the SEC document said.

The suit, captioned George Kozloski v. Intelligent Surgical Lasers,
Inc., et al., 95 Civ. 4299, was originally filed on or about June 8,
1995.  The plaintiff had purported to represent a class of all
purchasers of the Company's stock from November 17, 1993, to and
including September 21, 1994.  The complaint alleged that the Company,
together with certain of its officers and directors, David Blech and D.
Blech & Co., Inc. issued a false and misleading prospectus in November
1993 in violation of Sections 11, 12 and 15 of the Securities Act of
1933.

The complaint also asserted claims under section 10(b) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and common law. Actual and punitive
damages in an unspecified amount were sought, as well as constructive
trust over the proceeds from the sale of stock pursuant to the
offering.

Escalon Medical develops and markets ophthalmic medical devices and
vascular access products. Its Sonomed division (about half of sales)
makes ultrasound systems that are used in eye exams and surgeries. Its
medical division (about a third of sales) makes ISPAN intraocular
gases, which hold retinas in place during surgery; and fiber-optic
light sources used in eye surgeries.

Escalon's vascular unit sells products (such as catheters, monitors,
and needles) that help locate hard-to-reach blood vessels for
injections. The company is building a digital imaging division through
its Escalon Digital Vision subsidiary, which makes the CFA digital
camera back for ophthalmic photography.


FLEMING COS.: Investors File Three Suits Alleging False Statements
------------------------------------------------------------------
Chairman and CEO Mark Hansen of Dallas-based Fleming Cos. Inc.,
announced recently that about 350 executive jobs will be cut with the
sale of Fleming's 110 retail stores around the nation, the Albuquerque
Journal has reported.

Fleming has attributed the move to sell its retail division to the
country's general economic slowdown and increasingly competitive retail
environment.  But investors are suspicious about the timing of certain
behaviors by the company's executive officers, and therefore have filed
at least three class-action lawsuits since August alleging fraud.

Mark Hansen, mentioned above, and Chief Financial Officer Neal Rider
are named in the lawsuits for allegedly misleading investors by giving
glowing statements about the retail division before a stock sale.

Six weeks after the stock sale, Fleming abruptly changed its statements
about its retail division.  The company said the division was doing so
poorly that all of the stores might be sold off, the lawsuits say.

Fleming has faced a slew of problems lately.  Its largest customer,
Kmart Corp., filed Chapter 11 in January; and Fleming's chief
competitor, Supervalu Inc., filed a suit alleging theft of trade
secrets by Fleming's Rainbow Foods executives.  The suit was settled
out of court.  


FLORIDA: Advocates, Lawyers Join Forces To Reform Child Welfare System
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A group of children's advocates and attorneys said recently that they
have formed a watchdog group aimed at reforming the state's child
welfare system through education, lobbying and lawsuits, the Associated
Press Newswires reported recently.

Child welfare advocates say they are upset that chronic problems within
the Department of Children and Families (DCF) are not being fixed.

Florida's new group, Children First, is a nonprofit group associated
with the Children First Project, located at Barry University School of
Law in Orlando.  Broward County attorney Howard Talenfield, president
of the group, said the organization would engage in "multiforum
advocacy."

"We will walk in the legislative halls and before the executive branch
of governor.  We certainly want to encourage DCF Secretary Jerry Regier
to do the right thing before we sue him," Mr. Talenfield said.

"Then we'll fight in the courts the battles that we have to fight,
whether it is class-action litigation or other impact litigation or
damage case," he said.

Another goal of the group is to teach lawyers about the federal rights
of children, Mr. Talenfield added.

"Children's lawyers around the state have fought their own individual
battles on behalf of children at risk," said Bernard Perlmutter,
director of Florida's Children First!  "But the new organization will
allow these efforts to be coordinated, strengthened and built into a
powerful force for children."


FORD MOTOR: Law Firm Says Safety Tips on Police Cars Admission of Fault
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Ford's recommendations for decreasing the likelihood of its Crown
Victoria police cars busting into flame after rear-end impact were
welcomed as a "good first step" last week by victims and family
members, who again urged Ford to adopt state-of-the-art safety measures
shown to prevent fires in very high speed impacts.

According to Corpus Christi, Texas, law firm of Perry & Haas, L.L.P.,
the proposals also are admissions, after the fiery deaths of at least
12 officers, that the Crown Victoria is inadequately designed for the
unique circumstances law enforcement personnel often find themselves
in.

"Eight officers have died in the last two years. It is tragic that Ford
did not deal with this two years ago," said David Perry, co-counsel for
the families of law enforcement officers killed in the cruisers.

"While Ford's recommendations are a good first step, they don't go far
enough in protecting officers, given that much better, more
comprehensive technology is available," said Pat McGroder, Phoenix
attorney and co-counsel for a number of the victims and families of
officers injured or killed.

Ford on Friday said it would offer to upgrade all Crown Victoria police
cars with plastic shields covering some areas of the fuel tank
susceptible to puncture, a special container for carrying sharp objects
in the trunk, and written instructions about how to mount the container
to avoid puncturing the trunk.

Ford's recommendations should be tested by third parties for their
effectiveness before police officers begin relying on them for their
lives, the heads of two national consumer safety organizations urged
Friday in joint letters to the National Highway Transportation Safety
Administration (NHTSA) and Arizona Attorney General Janet Napolitano.

"We strongly urge these fixes be tested independently to confirm they
will protect police officers in the 80-plus mile per hour rear impacts
in which occupants survive the crash forces only to burn to death,"
said Clarence Ditlow, Center for Auto Safety, and Joan Claybrook,
Public Citizen.

At least 12 officers have burned to death and 9 have been seriously
injured after their Crown Victorias burst into flames after being rear-
ended in high-speed collisions.

"We welcome Ford's efforts, but the consequences of an ineffective
solution to this problem can be fatal. We cannot risk that," said Ann
Marie Nielsen, whose husband Robert Nielsen, a Chandler, AZ police
officer, died June 12.

"On behalf of law enforcement, I urge Ford to submit its proposed
solution to testing by NHTSA and other third parties, to ensure it is
the absolute best protection for officers," said Mrs. Nielsen.

Cynthia Cruz, daughter of Arizona Trooper Juan Cruz, killed in 1998,
added, "While we applaud any definitive action by Ford to make the
Crown Victoria safer, we cannot afford to rush into anything without
adequate testing and review. Law enforcement officers believe in
evidence and corroboration.

"We must submit any recommendation to this process or it will forever
be suspect. That is the least we can do for our loved ones who have
already paid the ultimate price of Ford's failure to act until now,"
she said.

At issue is the location of the Crown Victoria fuel tank, which lies
behind the rear axle. High speed rear-end crashes push the fuel tank
against portions of the rear axle or suspension system with enough
force to rupture the tank, spill fuel and ignite the vehicle. With few
exceptions, like Ford's own Mustang, the auto industry has moved gas
tanks forward of the rear axle for greater crash protection. That move
followed litigation in the 1970s that focused on gas tank fires in the
Ford Pinto. However, Ford has steadfastly refused to alter the design
of the Crown Victoria.

Ford's "Panther" platform, which includes the Crown Victoria, Grand
Marquis and Lincoln Town Car, is one of the oldest auto platforms in
the industry. The longer a platform stays in service without
substantial change, the more profitable it becomes.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration began
investigating the fuel-fed fatalities last November, but has not
released any results. Meanwhile, class action lawsuits have been filed
against Ford in Texas, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida and Ohio.

For more details, contact Teresa Kelly by Phone: 512-328-4276.  You may
also contact Richard Jenson at 512-264-3826 or Mike Kelly at
512-327-6788.


FORD MOTOR: Victims Urge Third-Party Scrutiny of Police Car Safety Tips
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Ford must submit any recommended safety enhancement of its Crown
Victoria police car to independent scrutiny, attorneys and victims
urged Friday in anticipation of what is expected to be an announcement
by Ford that it will install plastic shields in all its police cars to
keep fuel tanks from puncturing and igniting in rear-end collisions.

"While we welcome Ford's decision to finally act to prevent these
tragedies, anyone in a position of responsibility with regard to these
vehicles must insist that the safety improvement be independently
evaluated," said Don Barrett, an attorney who represents law
enforcement officers in class action lawsuits against Ford in Ohio,
Indiana, Illinois, Florida, Mississippi and Tennessee.

A Ford blue ribbon panel was in Phoenix Friday reportedly finalizing
recommendations involving fuel-fed fires in Ford police cruisers that
have claimed the lives of 12 police officers so far. Among the
recommendations is expected to be the installation of a plastic shield
behind the tank to help protect against punctures.

"Before the State of Arizona or anyone else adopts this as the answer
to the problem, they should keep in mind that Ford has been playing a
shell game with this issue for years.

"First, Ford denied it was a problem until the State of Arizona threw
down the gauntlet after its third officer was killed. Second, Ford
delayed an investigation more than a year ago by the National Highway
Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). Third, Ford has rejected
outright at least two new, available technologies shown to offer
extraordinary protection from fuel tank fires.

"Any solution presented by Ford must submit to third-party experts
before it can or should be believed," Mr. Barrett said.

The City of Phoenix began installing fuel tank bladders manufactured by
Fuel Safe of Oregon in its patrol cars this summer and is expected to
have completely retrofitted its fleet of nearly 700 cruisers by the end
of the year. Bladder technology has been used by the racing industry
for years, including in Ford's Mustang Cobra R. A second technology,
called a Fire PANEL, which blankets the fuel tank area with a fire-
retardant powder in the event of a rear-end impact, has been shown to
be effective at speeds of more than 80 miles per hour.

In a separate announcement, family members of police officers killed in
the fires issued statements through their attorneys also calling for
independent evaluation of any Ford recommendation.

"We welcome Ford's efforts, but the consequences of a premature
solution to this problem can be fatal. We cannot risk that," said Ann
Marie Nielsen, whose husband Robert Nielsen, a Chandler, AZ police
officer, died June 12.

"On behalf of law enforcement, I urge Ford to submit its proposed
solution to testing by NHTSA and other third parties, to ensure it is
the absolute best protection for officers."

For more details, contact Don Barrett by Phone: 800-889-9622


GEORGIA: Judge Re-assigns Case for Fear Impartiality Will be Questioned
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. district Court Judge Dudley H. Bowen Jr. has removed himself from
trying a lawsuit filed against the Glynn County Board of Assessors, and
has assigned Senior U.S. District Court Judge B. Avant Edenfield to the
case, reports The Florida Times-Union.

After 15 months on the case, Judge Bowen said he is no longer inclined
to handle remaining claims in the case.

"Upon consideration of the year and a half of litigation during which I
have been the presiding judge, the events of the mediation effort and
the current state of my own affairs, I am of the belief that my
impartiality on the remaining claims might reasonably be questioned,"
he said in an order issued last week.

The 19 plaintiffs in the case, all St. Simons Island residents, had
filed a class-action suit on behalf of themselves and more than 3,800
property owners, asserting they were subject to spot appraisals in
which their property values were increased unfairly while others
remained unchanged.

But on September 12, Judge Bowen denied the plaintiffs' motion for
class-action status and for a temporary injunction that would have
required the county to reimburse taxpayers.  County officials said the
injunction would have compelled them to borrow money to make payroll.

Judge Bowen's earlier action also allows the county and Glynn Board of
Education to collect $4.7 million in property taxes that had been held
up by the lawsuit.

The plaintiffs have appealed Judge Bowen's decisions to the 11th U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals.


HOLOCAUST SETTLEMENT: New York Court Orders Increase, Speed in Payments
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Payments from a US$1.25 billion Swiss bank settlement, and reparations,
to victims of the Nazis are to be expedited, and in some cases
increased in amount, under orders from a U.S. judge, according to court
documents, reports the Associated Press Newswires.

Switzerland's two largest banks, UBS and Credit Suisse, agreed with
American Jewish organizations to pay US$1.25 billion into a U.S.-based
fund for Holocaust survivors or their heirs, in order to avert a class-
action lawsuit.

In a recently issued order, Judge Edward Korman of the U.S. District
Court in Brooklyn, New York, told fund administrators to increase
initial payments to Holocaust victims or their heirs, with claims to
World War II-era Swiss bank accounts.

Almost 65 percent of the fund, or US$800 million, was set aside for
individuals who deposited money in Swiss banks for safekeeping as the
Nazis gained power in Europe and expected to retrieve it later.

The fund was to be applied to other purposes as well.  Judge Korman's
order approved as well a 45 percent increase in payments from the fund
to former slave laborers in Nazi Germany and to Jewish refugees turned
back from neutral Switzerland or mistreated by the Swiss after being
admitted into the country.

Such an order by Judge Korman was made following a recommendation by
Judah Gribetz, the court's "special master" supervising payouts to
Holocaust victims.  Mr. Gribetz told Judge Korman in August that the
settlement fund could afford increased payments because it already had
earned more than US$100 million in interest and tax relief granted by
the U.S. Congress.

Thus, by means of the recent court order, Judge Korman released a total
of US$67 million from the fund for the next round of payments, the New
York German biweekly newspaper Aufbau reported.

Holocaust victims, or their heirs who are at least 75 years old, should
receive immediately the full amount to compensate for their bank
accounts, while younger claimants are to receive 65 percent as their
first payments, Judge Korman said.  Previously, only 35 percent was
paid out in the first installment.

Judge Korman also ordered payments for former slave laborers to
increase to US$1,450.

The International Organization for Migration, based in Geneva, is
handling payments from the Swiss bank settlement to slave laborers, who
also may receive payments from a separate German fund.

Judge Korman also ordered a 45 percent increase for refugees rejected
by Switzerland.  They are now to receive US$3,625, while refugees who
were admitted to Switzerland but then mistreated are to receive US$725.

Those who already have received payments under the slave labor or
refugee categories will be entitled to supplemental payments, Judge
Korman said.

Mr. Gribetz recommended faster payments to aging owner or heirs of
Swiss bank accounts, but he said he was not recommending an increase in
the final total to be paid each claimant.  He noted that initially the
payments were based on 10 times the value in the account in 1945, which
now has been increased to 12 times.

About 32,000 claims have been submitted for bank accounts that have
been dormant since the end of World War II, he said.


MARTHA STEWART: Faces Potential Securities Suit As Insider Admits Guilt
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Shares of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. fell after a published
report said that an assistant at Merrill Lynch & Co. had agreed to
plead guilty to a misdemeanor and testify against Martha Stewart and
others in the federal investigation of stock sales in ImClone Systems
last year, reported the Philadelphia Inquirer recently.

The Wall Street Journal said recently that prosecutors planned to
charge the assistant, Douglas Faneuil, with a felony for making false
statements to investigators, but later agreed to a misdemeanor in
exchange for his cooperation.

In the back and forth of recent prosecutors' investigations of and
investors' lawsuits against the wrongdoings of corporations and their
executive officers, there had been a certain symbiotic relationship.
Sometimes, prosecutorial investigations have unearthed facts upon which
investors might rely in order to initiate their class-action lawsuits;
and, sometimes, the investigations have stemmed from facts that became
apparent during the investors' suits.

In this instance, a flurry of investors' class actions is likely to be
brought against Martha Stewart as a result of the evidence about
ImClone insider trading that may result from the recent deal struck
with Mr. Faneuil.


MAX'S DONUTS: Recalls Donuts Containing Undeclared Soy Protein
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Max's Donuts (1964) Ltd.
are warning consumers with allergies to soy protein not to consume
donuts made by Max's Donuts. The affected donuts, listed below, contain
soy protein that is not declared on the label. This alert is of concern
to those individuals who have allergies to soy protein.

These Donuts are affected by this alert:

     (1) 48 Chocolaty Donuts, UPC 0 63396 50401 9

     (2) 40 Mini Donuts - Plain, UPC 0 63396 50400 2

     (3) 40 Mini Donuts - Powder, UPC 0 63396 50398 2

     (4) Donut Bites, Chocolate, UPC 0 63396 98372 2, 468 g

     (5) Donut Bites, Powdered, UPC 0 63396 98332 6, 384 g

     (6) Donut Bites, Chocolate, UPC 0 63396 98370 8, 324 g

     (7) Donut Bites, Powdered, UPC 0 63396 98330 2, 266 g

     (8) OLY'S, 10 Iced Cake Donuts, UPC 0 65776 00203 0

     (9) OLY'S, 18 Cinnamon Donettes, UPC 0 65776 00211 5

    (10) OLY'S, 18 Cake Donettes, UPC 0 65776 00209 2

    (11) OLY'S, 18 Chocolaty Donettes, UPC 0 65776 00204 7

    (12) Venice Bakery, 18 Powder Mini Donuts, UPC 0 68339 13222 9

    (13) Venice Bakery, 18 Chocolaty Mini Donuts, UPC 0 68339 13220 5

    (14) Venice Bakery, 6 Assorted Cake Donuts, UPC 0 68339 13210 6

    (15) All lot numbers from 011 up to and including 392 are affected
         by this alert.

The manufacturer, Max's Donuts (1964) Ltd., Vancouver, British
Columbia, is voluntarily recalling the affected products from the
marketplace. These products have been distributed in British Columbia
and Alberta.

Consumption of these products may cause a serious or life-threatening
reaction in persons with allergies to soy protein. There have been no
reported illnesses associated with the consumption of these products.

The CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.

For more information, consumers and industry can call one of the
following numbers:

Max's Donuts (1964) Ltd., Gerry Van Beek at 604-251-3351
CFIA, in the province of Quebec 1-800-561-3350; or
CFIA, in other provinces and territories 1-800-442-2342. - 8:00 am to
4.00 pm local time - Monday to Friday.

For media enquiries, contact D.D. Sharma, Canadian Food Inspection
Agency, Office of Food Safety and Recall by Phone: 613-755-2890


MONTANA POWER: Shareholders Seek Addition of Another Defendant in Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Stockholders of the former Montana Power Co. (MPC) are asking a judge
in Butte, Montana, to add North Western Energy to the list of
defendants they are suing in their class-action lawsuit over Montana
Power's switch to a telecommunications firm.

North Western Energy is the firm that bought Montana Power's
distribution and transmission assets when MPC left the energy market to
become Touch America.

"Touch America executives, like Chief Executive Robert Gannon and the
board of directors, illegally sold energy assets without the
stockholders' permission," said Whitefish lawyer Frank B. Morrison Jr.

The motion to add North Western as a defendant is the latest legal move
in a class-action suit filed on behalf of eight people who owned shares
in Montana Power.

Since its transformation to Touch America and the sale of its
electricity assets, other lawsuits have been filed against Montana
Power or Touch America.


MSC INDUSTRIAL: Deadline for Election of Lead Plaintiff October 7, 2002
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The deadline for purchasers of MSC Industrial Direct Co. (NYSE:MSM)
publicly traded securities to move for lead plaintiff in a securities
fraud class action recently brought against the Company is rapidly
approaching.

If you purchased MSC Industrial securities between January 11, 1999 and
August 5, 2002, inclusive, and you wish to be a lead plaintiff in the
case, you must move to serve as lead plaintiff by filing a motion in
the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
by October 7, 2002.

The Complaint alleges that defendants MSC Industrial, Mitchell
Jacobson, Sidney Jacobson, Shelley M. Boxer, Charles Boehlke, David
Sandler and James Schroeder violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder,
by issuing a series of material misrepresentations to the market
between January 11, 1999 and August 5, 2002, thereby artificially
inflating the price of MSC Industrial securities.

Throughout the Class Period, as alleged in the complaint, defendants
issued numerous statements and filed quarterly and annual reports with
the SEC which described the Company's increasing net income and
financial performance.

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:

     (i) that the Company had materially overstated its net income by
         approximately $8.3 million over the past four years;

    (ii) that the Company lacked adequate internal controls and was
         therefore unable to ascertain the true financial condition of
         the Company; and

   (iii) that as a result, the value of the Company's net income and
         financial results were materially overstated at all relevant
         times.

On August 5, 2002, the last day of the Class Period, with one minute
remaining before the closing bell, the Company shocked the market when
it announced that it "has discovered incorrect accounting entries
associated with inventory purchases that overstated net income by
approximately $8.3 million over the past four years.

The incorrect entries resulted in the understatement of cost of goods
sold and accounts payable and occurred primarily in fiscal 1999 and
fiscal 2000. As a result, the Company intends to restate its financial
statements for fiscal years 1999, 2000, 2001 and year-to-date 2002."

According to the press release, the specific impact that the
restatement will have will be to reduce previously reported net income
by approximately $2.8 million in fiscal 1999, $4.2 million in fiscal
2000, $0.9 million in fiscal 2001, and $0.4 million in fiscal 2002.

Following this report, shares of MSC Industrial fell $4.99 per share to
close at $10.51 per share, a one-day decline of 32%, on volume of more
than 3.95 million shares traded, or more than twenty-six times the
average daily volume.

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


OLAFSON'S BAKING: Recalls Grain Seed Loaf Containing Undeclared Protein
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Olafson's Baking Company
are warning purchasers not to consume Healthy Way Sprouted Grain Seed
Loaf.  The affected product may contain milk protein, which is not
declared on the label. This alert is of concern to those individuals
who have allergies to milk protein.

Healthy Way Sprouted Grain Seed Loaf is sold in a 600g loaf bearing UPC
0 65776 02820 7 with a quick lock tab which bears the Code "SE14."

Although the likelihood of any remaining affected product being sold at
the retail level is remote, some consumers may have stored this product
in their freezers. For this reason, the CFIA and Olafson's Baking
Company are asking consumers not to consume the affected product.

Olafson's Baking Company, a division of Canada Bread Company Ltd,
Annacis Island, British Columbia is voluntarily recalling the affected
product from the market place. Healthy Way Sprouted Grain Seed Loaf is
distributed in British Columbia and Alberta.

The consumption of this product may cause a serious or life threatening
reaction in persons with allergies to milk protein. There has been one
reported illness associated with the consumption of this product.

For more information, consumers and industry can call one of the
following numbers:
Canada Bread Company Ltd. 416-626-4382 or 416-930-5118
The CFIA In the province of Quebec 1-800-561-3350; or
The CFIA In other provinces and territories 1-800-442-2342. - 8:00 am
to 4:00 pm local time - Monday to Friday.

For media enquiries, contact Garfield Balsom, Canadian Food Inspection
Agency, Office of Food Safety and Recall by Phone: 613-760-4232


PAIN CENTER: Hepatitis C Numbers Rise In Oklahoma, Class-Action Filed
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The number of people testing positive for hepatitis C exposure after
receiving treatment at a pain-management clinic has climbed to 52, a
Norman, Oklahoma Regional Hospital official confirmed recently,
Associated Press Newswires reported.  Hepatitis C is the most serious
of three hepatitis virus strains.

At least 11 people who have been told they tested positive have filed
lawsuits.  One law firm has filed a class-action lawsuit.

The people were patients at the Pain Center, a hospital-affiliated
facility that is under investigation by the state Health Department and
the Oklahoma Board of Nursing for reusing needles and syringes.

Hospital administrator David Whitaker said the patients will receive
free medical treatment from a panel of leading hepatitis experts in the
nation.  The physicians will come from Oklahoma City and Tulsa.  

"Of the 52 patients, many already may have cleared the virus from their
bodies... through the natural functioning of their own immune systems,"
Dr. Whitaker said.

But at least half the patients will remain chronically infected for
years to come, state epidemiologist Dr. Michael Crutcher said.  Dr.
Crutcher added that most will need further evaluations.

About 350 people were treated between December 31, 2001, and August 19,
by anesthesiologist Dr. Jerry W. Lewis and nurse anesthetist James C.
Hill, who assisted Dr. Lewis.  According to records, Mr. Hill told the
state Health Department that he reused needles and syringes on as many
as 25 patients a day while he was part of Dr. Lewis's pain-management
team.

In the pain-management procedures, Mr. Hill normally would deliver a
short-lasting anesthetic medication to sedate the patient through a
heparin lock on a patient's hand.  Dr. Lewis would then perform a
spinal block, a more extensive pain-reducing technique.

It was from Mr. Hill's part in the process that hepatitis C could have
been passed from patient to patient with contaminated needles or
syringes, according to the Health Department.


PORT ST. LUCIE: City Rejects Settlement, To Appeal Adverse Decision
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Port St. Lucie Council members recently rejected an offer to settle a
$14.4 million class-action lawsuit, according to The Palm Beach Post.
Terms of the settlement offer were undisclosed.

Instead, meeting behind closed doors, which they are allowed to do,
they have decided to appeal to the Florida Supreme Court.  The city
wants the high court to overturn a 4th District Court of Appeal
decision that ordered Port St. Lucie to repay lot owners $14.4 million
in stormwater utility fees paid between 1993 and 1998.

The Palm Post comments that Port St. Lucie could have settled this case
earlier "for as little as $700,000."  The newspaper points out that
interest charges alone can be $110,000 per month, until the case is
resolved.

The case dates back to 1997, when owners of vacant home lots sued the
city, claiming that they paid higher stormwater fees than owners of
developed lots.  Moreover, because the city did not give them notice
each time fees were raised, they also claim the fees are illegal.  Port
St. Lucie lost at trial and on appeal and was ordered to give the lot
owners a full refund.

The 4th District appeals court suggested ways for the city to pay a
settlement without impairing its financial stability -- by raising
property taxes or by assessing lot owners a one-time $150-$250 drainage
fee, with owners of vacant lots receiving a refund.

Now, however, resolution rests with the appeal to the high court.


QUALITY NATURAL: Recalls Products Containing Undeclared Peanut Protein
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Quality Natural Foods
Ltd., are warning consumers with allergies to peanut protein not to
consume the Quality brand products identified below. These products may
contain peanut protein that is not declared on the label. This alert is
of concern to individuals with allergies to peanut protein.

These Quality brand products, sold in 100-gram packages, are affected
by this alert:

     (i) Til (Sesame) Laddu

    (ii) Til (Sesame) Chikki

   (iii) Mamra Laddu

    (iv) Mamra Chikki

These products are imported from India.

The importer, Quality Natural Foods Ltd., Scarborough, Ontario is
voluntarily recalling the affected products from the marketplace. These
products have been distributed in Alberta, Ontario and Quebec.

Consumption of these products may cause a serious or life-threatening
reaction in persons with allergies to peanut protein. There have been
no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of these
products.

The CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.

For more information, consumers and industry can call the CFIA at one
of the following numbers:

In the province of Quebec 1-800-561-3350; or
In other provinces and territories 1-800-442-2342. - 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
local time - Monday to Friday.

For media enquiries, contact Michael Hiscock, Canadian Food Inspection
Agency, Office of Food Safety and Recall by Phone: 613-760-4044


STOCKWALK GROUP: Agrees to Settle Two Lawsuits for $12.1 Million
----------------------------------------------------------------
Minneapolis brokerage firm, Stockwalk Group, said recently that it has
agreed to a $12.1 million settlement that would rid the firm of two
knotty legal issues that are clouding its ability to rebuild after
filing for bankruptcy earlier this year, according to a report by the
St. Paul Pioneer Press (MN).

The settlement would end a class-action lawsuit seeking $32 million in
damages for Stockwalk clients who bought commercial paper, a form of
short-term, unsecured corporate debt, from the firm's broker-dealer
subsidiary Miller Johnson Steichen Kinnard.

The settlement also would wrap up a negligence lawsuit against
Stockwalk's chief financial officer and several other executives over
the collapse of another subsidiary, MJK Clearing, a year ago.

"I think it is very significant in the sense that the situation is
continuing to clear up over here," said Stockwalk chief executive Dave
Johnson. " These are two very big issues."

The settlement faces some hurdles, however, and does not eliminate all
the firm's problems.

The federal judge presiding over the class-action lawsuit must approve
the deal.  So, too, must the federal judge in charge of Stockwalk's
bankruptcy case.  Finally, the deal must get the approval of
Stockwalk's insurance company, National Union Fire Insurance Co. of
Pittsburgh, which would pay $10 million of the settlement.  Stockwalk
would put up the remaining $2.1 million.

"If this settlement is approved then that pretty much takes care of any
pending actions that involve the stock loan problem," said Stockwalk
attorney Chet Taylor.  "We are optimistic that the insurance company is
going to see the wisdom of approving this settlement.  If they don't,
we will figure out a Plan B."

Stockwalk said that the settlement talks, which took place during a
12-hour meeting recently, included its own representatives as well as
those of the other parties.  All found the agreement a reasonable
solution, the company said.

Even if the settlement is approved, Stockwalk may face legal action
from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which has requested
documents and interviewed executives about the collapse of MJK
Clearing, a subsidiary that processed Stockwalk's trades and those of
about 70 other firms around the country.

MJK Clearing lost more than $200 million on a series of securities
loans and was forced into liquidation by industry regulators when its
capital reserves fell below federal requirements.  The trustee
overseeing that liquidation filed the negligence lawsuit against
Stockwalk executives in an attempt to recover part of MJK's losses.


TOBACCO LITIGATION: Judge Strikes $1.25B Fees Granted to CA Lawyers
-------------------------------------------------------------------
A New York judge, ruling that the fees were excessive, threw out $1.25
billion in legal fees awarded to a group of California lawyers, who,
along with lawyers in other states, battled the tobacco industry in the
landmark litigation of the late 1990s, the Philadelphia Inquirer
reported recently.

State Justice Nicholas Figueroa said a consortium of law firms
representing California in the 1998 settlement between 46 states and
the tobacco industry, was not entitled to the payment of $1.25 billion
that had been granted by an arbitration panel.

Justice Figueroa, of the trial-level state Supreme Court, said the
arbitration panel had overstepped its authority in its compensation of
the Castano group, a team of 60 law firms that handled the California
class-action portion of the lawsuit, sometimes called the Ellis case.


UNITED STATES: Plaintiffs to Appeal Dismissed Toxic Contamination Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Attorney Ted Kerry said the plaintiffs in the two lawsuits seeking
compensation for potentially hundreds of thousands of people over
toxins released from the Oak Ridge, Tennessee, nuclear weapons complex,
would probably appeal U.S. District Judge James Jarvis's decision
dismissing the lawsuits.

Although plaintiffs allege the pollution from the complex has given
them cancer, Judge Jarvis said their lawsuits came too late to meet
Tennessee's one-year statute of limitations.  Judge Jarvis also said
there was not enough common interest between the plaintiffs to support
a class action.

Plaintiffs' attorney Ted Kerry addressed the issue of the statute of
limitations, saying that the lawsuit would have been filed earlier if
the government "had not tried to keep what happened at these plants
secret for so many years."

Mr. Kerry countered with an eight-year, $14 million study funded by
Department Of Energy and prepared by private consultants overseen by
the Oak Ridge Health Agreement Steering Panel, released in January
2000, documented a history of toxic releases that might have affected
residents.

The most significant were releases of radioactive iodine into the air
from 1944 to 1956, and mercury, some 70,000 pounds into the air and
280,000 pounds into a creek in the 1950s and 1960s.

It was feared both could reach children through the food chain, with
iodine getting into the milk and mercury contaminating fish.

The study said iodine could have caused six to 80 thyroid cancers among
people within 24 miles of the Oak Ridge complex and mercury could have
caused brain damage to as many as 100 fetuses.

Mr. Kerry said the one-year statute of limitations on their lawsuit
began with the release of the report.  Judge Jarvis said, however, that
newspaper accounts of some of these issues appeared as early as 1983,
and "all of the plaintiffs should have known of their causes of action
by the middle 1990s at the latest."

Judge Jarvis, as indicated above dismissed both lawsuits brought by the
plaintiffs, saying there was not enough common interest between the
plaintiffs in either one of the suits to support a class action in
either.

One suit was on behalf of anyone who lived or worked within several
miles of the Oak Ridge nuclear weapons plant that became sick or was at
risk of illness linked to toxic releases.

The second suit was a discrimination complaint keyed to residents of
historically black Scarboro, a neighborhood near the nuclear weapons
plant that began as a government-created blacks-only trailer park.   

Judge Jarvis granted a summary judgment in favor of the University of
Chicago, Union Carbide Corp. and 11 other companies or institutions,
sued for operating the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge complex since
it opened in 1943, as part of the atomic bomb-building Manhattan
Project.

Defense attorney Kevin Van Wart said that the court reached the right
result.   "This case was an attempt to revive claims that had no merit
and were very, very old, and long-known to anybody who if they had the
inclination to sue could have done so years ago," said Mr. Van Wart.

The lawsuits listed more than a dozen cancers and other illnesses that
residents and workers might have contracted through exposure to a
variety of toxins, from mercury to plutonium.


VODAFONE GROUP: Faces Lawsuit Over Information 'Delay' in New York
------------------------------------------------------------------
United States shareholders have filed a class-action lawsuit against
Vodafone, alleging it misinformed the market in the run-up to reporting
the largest loss in British corporate history in May, The Express has
reported recently.

The lawsuit, filed by New York law firm Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes &
Lerach, which Vodafone says it will vigorously defend, alleges that
from March 7 the mobile phone company falsely reassured investors that
it maintained a "strong balance sheet" when the company was, claims
Milberg Weiss, "improperly delaying the write-down of billions of
dollars of goodwill and impaired assets."

"When the company finally did write off the value of its impaired
assets and goodwill, Vodafone obliterated all profits for 2001 and
2002," the law firm said.   

The company had been failing to disclose it had grossly overpaid for
numerous acquisitions, said the law firm.

The suit names Vodafone, chief executive Chris Gent and three fellow
board members as defendants.

Vodafone reported a multibillion loss in May, much of which was the
result of writing off some of the value of German telecom acquisition
Mannesmann.  It is understood that Vodafone believes it had made plain
the purchase might lead to goodwill write-offs at the time it bid for
Mannesmann in early 2000.


WASHINGTON D.C.: Court Monitor Seeks Fine Over Failed School Bus System
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
A court-appointed monitor has recommended that the Washington, D.C.
(the District) school system pay a $1 million fine because of a
shortage of bus drivers and other problems in the long-troubled
transportation service for special education students, The Washington
Post reported recently.

Elise T. Baach is the special master in a seven-year-old federal court
case stemming from a class-action lawsuit over this school
transportation issue in the District.  Ms. Baach wrote in an 11-page
report, which she recently filed with the federal court, that there
have been "horrendous lapses in service," leaving many children
stranded for hours and causing others to miss class.

The amount of the fine is based on an agreement the school system and
the plaintiffs reached last month that spelled out the penalties the
school officials would pay if they failed to meet certain requirements
for transporting special education students to their schools.  Ms.
Baach's report, which cited the details of the school system's failure
to provide enough bus drivers, also acknowledged a point made by
student advocates, that special education officials did not provide the
transportation department with timely student information, which
creates problems in the routing of buses.

Ms. Baach's report on the District's bus failures described the
situation, however, as an "overall organizational indifference to
transportation problems."

Louis J. Erste, the school system's chief operating officer, said he
was unsure whether the school system would contest the fine Ms. Baach
recommended.  He said school officials need to review the data she used
to reach her conclusions.

Superintendent Paul L. Vance promised to fix the transportation
problems when he was hired more than two years ago.  Asked why the
school system was unable to hire enough drivers, Mr. Vance said, "...
It's a national problem."

In 1999, the court fined the school system $400,000 for failing to get
students to school on time.

                     New Securities Fraud Cases

BELLSOUTH CORPORATION: Chitwood Harley Files Securities Suit in N.D. GA
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Chitwood & Harley recently filed filed several class action lawsuits in
the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
(Civil Action No. 1:02-CV-2142-WBH, for example) on behalf of all
persons who purchased or otherwise acquired the securities of BellSouth
Corporation (NYSE:BLS) between January 22, 2001 and July 19, 2002,
inclusive.

The complaints charge BellSouth and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 and SEC Rule 10b-5. The complaints allege that
during the Class Period, defendants misled their investors by issuing
false and misleading statements and failing to disclose material facts
about the Company's business.

The suit claims that during the Class Period, BellSouth reported
quarter after quarter of "record" financial results and financial
growth despite a rapidly deteriorating market for telecommunications
companies. As the Company was ultimately forced to reveal, however, the
financial prospects for BellSouth were far from the Company's
representations.

The complaint says at the end of the Class Period, for example,
BellSouth had to take charges to earnings totaling over $418 million.
At least $163 million of the massive charges, BellSouth admitted,
resulted from unbilled receivable balances which were overstated.

The complaints are also based on BellSouth's representations during the
Class Period that it reviewed its account receivables on a monthly
basis. These representations were ultimately belied by BellSouth's
admission that the overstatement of unbilled accounts had occurred over
an extended period of time.

In addition, the complaints charge BellSouth with delaying the
disclosure that a competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) had stopped
paying its bills and that the Company had ceased recognizing revenues
for wholesale services provided to this customer, despite knowing these
developments would materially and adversely affect the Company.

Unable to conceal the decline in its business any longer, on July 22,
2002, the Company announced that its earnings had dropped by an
astonishing 67% for the second quarter of 2002.

In response to the Company's devastating July 22, 2002 news, BellSouth
stock plummeted 18% to $22 per share on enormous trading volume of over
18 million shares, four times its daily average trading volume.

For additional information, contact Nikole Davenport by Phone:
1-888-873-3999 (toll-free) by e-mail: nmd@classlaw.com or by Mail: 2900
Promenade II, 1230 Peachtree Street, N.E., Atlanta, Georgia 30309


COMPUWARE CORPORATION: Mantese Miller Files Securities Suit in E.D. MI
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Mantese Miller & Shea, PLLC announced recently that it had filed a
claim in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Michigan on behalf of shareholders who purchased securities of
Compuware Corp. during the period between January 1, 1999 and April 3,
2002.

The Complaint charges Compuware and certain executives with violations
of federal securities laws. Among other things, plaintiff claims that
defendants' omissions and misleading statements regarding the nature of
Compuware's relationship with International Business Machines, Corp.
caused Compuware's stock price to become artificially inflated,
inflicting damages on investors.

For more details, contact Powell Miller of Mantese Miller & Shea PLLC
by Phone: 248-267-1200.  You may also contact Lionel Z. Glancy of
Glancy & Binkow LLP by Phone: 310-201-9161 or 888-773-9224


CONSECO INC.: Glancy & Binkow Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. IN
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Glancy & Binkow LLP commenced recently a class action lawsuit in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana on
behalf of a class consisting of all persons who purchased securities of
Conseco, Inc. (NYSE: CNC) (OTCBB: CNCE) between October 30, 2001 and
July 15, 2002, inclusive.

The Complaint charges Conseco and certain of its officers and directors
with violations of sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934 and rule 10b-5 of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Among other things, plaintiff claims that defendants disseminated a
series of materially false and misleading statements regarding problems
with Conseco's liquidity and the Company's manufactured-homes financing
business.

The disclosure on the last day of the Class Period that the Company
would miss certain bond payments caused the price of Conseco stock to
drop 11.5%. The Complaint charges that defendants were in possession of
materially adverse information about the Company's liquidity problems
and manufactured-homes financing business but failed to fully disclose
the information to investors, causing Conseco's stock price to become
artificially inflated, inflicting damages on investors.

For more details, contact Michael Goldberg, Esq. of Glancy & Binkow LLP
by Mail: 1801 Avenue of the Stars, Suite 311, Los Angeles, California
90067 by Phone: 310-201-9161 or 888-773-9224 (toll free) or by e-mail:
info@glancylaw.com


CONSECO INC.: Stull Stull Commences Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. IN
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Stull, Stull & Brody recently commenced a class action lawsuit in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, on
behalf of shareholders who purchased securities of Conseco, Inc. (NYSE:
CNC) between October 30, 2001 and July 15, 2002, inclusive against
defendants Conseco, Gary C. Wendt, William J. Shea and Charles B.
Chokel.

The complaint charges defendants with violations of federal securities
laws. Among other things, the complaint claims that defendants'
omissions and misleading statements regarding the nature of Conseco's
business and financial condition caused Conseco's stock price to become
artificially inflated, inflicting damages on investors.

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


ELECTRONIC DATA: Glancy & Binkow Commences Securities Suit in E.D. TX
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Glancy & Binkow LLP commenced recently a class action lawsuit in the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas on
behalf of a class consisting of all persons who purchased securities of
Electronic Data Systems Corp. (NYSE:EDS) between April 22, 2002 and
September 18, 2002, inclusive.

The Complaint charges EDS and certain of its officers with violations
of federal securities laws. Among other things, plaintiff claims that
defendants' material omissions and the dissemination of materially
false and misleading statements regarding the nature of EDS' operations
and revenue caused EDS' stock price to become artificially inflated,
inflicting damages on investors.

The Complaint alleges that EDS was facing several problems including,
but not limited to:

     (1) sharp reductions in IT spending on its existing contracts;

     (2) sluggish sales of new contracts;

     (3) underperforming contracts;

     (4) asset impairment; and

     (5) write-offs related to the U.S. Airways and WorldCom
         bankruptcies.

The Complaint charges that, despite these looming problems, throughout
the Class Period defendants failed to fully disclose the nature and
effect of these growing problems, and continued to portray EDS'
business prospects as essentially unaffected. The day after these
problems and their effect on the Company's financial performance and
business prospects were finally revealed, EDS stock plummeted more than
50% in one day.

For more information, contact Glancy & Binkow LLP through Lionel Z.
Glancy by Phone: 310-201-9161 or 888-773-9224.  You may also contact
Michael Goldberg by e-mail: info@glancylaw.com


ELECTRONIC DATA: Mark McNair Commences Securities Suit in E.D. Texas
--------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Office Of Mark McNair announced last week that it had filed a
securities class action on behalf of shareholders who acquired
Electronic Data Systems Corp. (NYSE:EDS) securities between September
7, 1999 and September 24, 2002.

The action, pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Texas, charges that the defendants violated federal
securities laws by making misstatements of material facts and omitting
to state material facts in their public statements and elsewhere. Such
actions had the effect of artificially inflating the market price of
the Company's securities during the Class Period.

No class has yet been certified in the above action.

For more information, contact the Law Office Of Mark McNair by Mail:
1101 30th St. N.W. Suite 500, Washington, DC 20007 by Phone:
877-511-4717 (toll free) or 202-872-4717 or by e-mail:
mcnair@justice4investors.com


ELECTRONIC DATA: Milberg Weiss Commences Securities Suit in E.D. Texas
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP filed recently a class action
lawsuit on behalf of purchasers of the securities of Electronic Data
Systems Corporation (NYSE: EDS) between April 19, 2002 and September
24, 2002, inclusive.

The action is pending in the United States District Court, Eastern
District of Texas, Texarkana Division, located at 301 U.S. Courthouse,
500 Stateline Ave., Texarkana, TX 75501, against defendants EDS, James
E. Daley and Richard H. Brown.

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 April 19, 2002 and September 24, 2002, thereby
artificially inflating the price of EDS securities.

The complaint alleges that, throughout the Class Period, defendants
issued numerous statements which highlighted the Company's strong
financial performance and reassured investors that the Company's
"business and financial fundamentals are sound" and the Company's
balance sheet is "rock solid."

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's program to "manage" its future stock
         issuance under its employee stock option program was
         essentially an unhedged bet on the price of EDS common stock,
         which was exposing the Company to substantial liabilities
         which were not reflected in the Company's financial
         statements;

     (b) that the Company was recording and reporting as assets (e.g.
         accounts receivable) and as revenue, purported receipts from
         contracts structured as percentage-of-completion payment
         arrangements where the requirements of Generally Accepted
         Accounting Principles (GAAP) for such recording were not met
         and where sufficient evidential matter did not exist to
         support the claimed positive impact on EDS's books;

     (c) that the Company improperly recorded revenue on contracts for
         software that did not meet GAAP requirements for such revenue
         recognition;

     (d) that the Company was experiencing difficulties with certain of
         its European contracts such that these contracts were not \
         performing according to the Company's expectations; and

     (e) as a result of the foregoing, defendants' statements
         concerning the Company, its earnings, accounting practices and
         prospects were lacking in a reasonable basis at all relevant
         times.

On September 18, 2002, EDS shocked the market by announcing that it
expects "revenues and earnings for its third quarter of 2002 to be
lower than company guidance." In response to this negative
announcement, the price of EDS common stock dropped sharply, falling
from $36.46 per share to $17.20 per share, on extremely heavy trading
volume.

Then, on September 24, 2002, certain analysts downgraded their rating
on EDS stock, citing the Company's obligations on certain put contracts
and that in order to close out the position, EDS would have to pay $225
million. In response, EDS issued a press release in which it
acknowledged that it had borrowed money in the commercial paper markets
to close out the put contracts. In later public comments, an EDS
spokesperson confirmed that the Company borrowed $225 million.

In response to these announcements, the price of EDS common stock
plunged further, falling from the previous day's close of $16.52 per
share to close at $11.68 per share.

For more details, contact Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP
through Steven G. Schulman or Samuel H. Rudman by Phone: 800-320-5081
or by e-mail: EDScase@milbergNY.com


FLEMING COMPANIES: Lockridge Grindal Files Securities Suit in E.D. TX
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Lockridge Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P. recently filed a class action suit
against Fleming Companies, Inc. (NYSE:FLM) and certain of its senior
officers for violations of the United States securities laws.  The suit
is pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District
of Texas, Texarkana Division.

The lawsuit was brought on behalf of all persons who purchased Fleming
common stock on the open market during the period February 27, 2002 and
July 30, 2002 inclusive.  The complaint charges Fleming Companies, Inc.
and certain of its officers and directors with issuing false and
misleading statements concerning its business and financial condition.

Specifically, the complaint 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, a "disappointment."

The complaint says 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.

The suit claims that 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 from 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 Karen M. Hanson, Esq. of Lockridge Grindal
Nauen P.L.L.P. by Mail: 100 Washington Avenue South Suite 2200
Minneapolis, MN 55401 by Phone: 612-339-6900 or by e-mail:
kmhanson@locklaw.com


HEALTHSOUTH CORPORATION: Mark McNair Files Securities Suit in N.D. AL
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Office of Mark McNair filed recently a securities class action
lawsuit against HealthSouth Corporation (NYSE:HRC). The complaint is on
behalf of, and seeks damages for shareholders who purchased the stock
between January 14, 2002 and August 27, 2002.

The Complaint, pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of Alabama, alleges that the Company and certain of its
officers and directors violated federal securities laws by issuing a
series of materially false and misleading statements to the market.

In particular, the Complaint alleges that HealthSouth misled the market
concerning expectations for revenues and earnings by failing to
disclose the impact on its operations of certain Medicare reimbursement
policies.

The complaint alleges that HealthSouth knew throughout the Class Period
that it was in no position to meet the revenue and earnings guidance it
had given to investors. Meanwhile, between May 14, 2002 and July 31,
2002 HealthSouth insiders, and in particular defendant Richard Scrushy,
the Company's CEO and Chairman of the Board, together sold nearly $100
million worth of HealthSouth stock.

On August 27, 2002, the Company issued a press release announcing that
the Company's 2002 earnings would lower than previously projected. As a
result of this announcement HealthSouth stock dropped more than 43%
close at $6.71

For more information, contact Mark McNair by Mail: 1101 30th Street
PN.W. Suite 500, Washington, D.C, 20007 by Phone: 877-511-4717 or
202-872-4717 by e-mail: wmmcnair@justice4investors.com or visit the
firm's Web site: http://www.justice4investors.com


METRIS COMPANIES: Lockridge Grindal Lodges Securities Suit in Minnesota
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Lockridge Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P. recently filed 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 Karen M. Hanson, Esq. of Lockridge
Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P. by Mail: 100 Washington Avenue South Suite 2200
Minneapolis, MN 55401 by Phone: 612-339-6900 or by e-mail:
kmhanson@locklaw.com


SIMON TRANSPORTATION: Kwasi Asiedu Files Securities Fraud Suit in Utah
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Kwasi Asiedu filed recently a class action in the
United States District Court for the District of Utah, Southern
Division, on behalf of shareholders who purchased securities of Simon
Transportation Services, Inc. during the period between April 3, 1998
and August 21, 2001.

The Complaint charges Richard D. Simon and Alban A. Lang with
violations of federal securities laws. Among other things, plaintiff
claims that defendants' omissions and misleading statements regarding
the nature of Simon Transportation's insurance reserves and financial
performance caused Simon Transportation's stock price to become
artificially inflated, inflicting damages on investors.

Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of Simon Transportation
shareholders and is represented by several law firms including Law
Offices of Kwasi Asiedu and Glancy & Binkow LLP.

For more details, contact Kwasi Asiedu by Phone: 310-792-3948.  You may
also contact Lionel Z. Glancy or Glancy & Binkow LLP by Phone:
310-201-9161 or 888-773-9224


VODAFONE GROUP: Charles Piven Commences Securities Suit in S.D. NY
------------------------------------------------------------------
Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, P.A. announced late last week that a
securities class action has been commenced on behalf of shareholders
who acquired Vodafone Group plc (NYSE:VOD) securities between March 7,
2001 and May 28, 2002, inclusive.

The case is pending in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York against defendants Vodafone, Ian
Maclaurin, Chris Gent, Julian Horn-Smith and Ken Hydon.

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

No class has yet been certified in the above action.

For more details, contact the Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, P.A. by
Mail: The World Trade Center-Baltimore, 401 East Pratt Street, Suite
2525, Baltimore, Maryland 21202 by e-mail: hoffman@pivenlaw.com or by
Phone: 410-986-0036


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S U B S C R I P T I O N   I N F O R M A T I O N

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Trenton, New Jersey, and
Beard Group, Inc., Washington, D.C.  Enid Sterling, Aurora Fatima
Antonio and Lyndsey Resnick, Editors.

Copyright 2002.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
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Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to be
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