CAR_Public/021007.mbx                C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

                Monday, October 7, 2002, Vol. 4, No. 198

                              Headlines


C.H. ROBINSON: Women File Federal Suit Alleging Gender Discrimination
CARGILL INC.: USDA Closes Down Facility, due to E. coli Contamination
CIENA CORPORATION: Faces Two Suits Over Merger With ONI Systems in CA
CIENA CORPORATION: Plaintiffs File Amended Securities Suit in S.D. NY
CIENA CORPORATION: Faces Shareholder Derivative Suit in CA State Court

CONAGRA FOODS: Plaintiffs Appeal Dismissal of Securities Suit in NE
CONAGRA FOODS: To Mount Vigorous Defense V. Shareholder Suits in DE, NE
COST PLUS: Reaches Agreement To Settle Overtime Wage Suit in CA Court
COVERDELL & COMPANY: MI Court To Deny National Certification for Suit
EAGLE BUILDING: Expects Plaintiffs To Consolidate Securities Suits

GARMENT CAPITOL: Appeals Court Affirms Dismissal of Solicitation Suit
GREAT ATLANTIC: Agrees To Settle Two Suits for Overtime Wage Violations
GREAT ATLANTIC: Faces Several Suits For Securities Act Violations in NJ
IMPAC MORTGAGE: Faces Consumer Suits Over Improperly Charged Loan Fees
MOVIE GALLERY: Two Consumer Suits Stayed Pending Settlement Approval

NCS HEALTHCARE: Faces Shareholder Suits Over Genesis Merger in DE, OH
NEBRASKA: Supreme Court To Hear Case Over State's Welfare-To-Work Rule
QWEST INTERNATIONAL: Analysts Warned Firm About Questionable Accounting
RAZORFISH INC.: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Suit For Securities Violations
RAZORFISH INC.: Plaintiffs Ask NY Court To Reconsider Suit Dismissal

SBARRO INC.: General Managers File Overtime Wage Suit in CA State Court
TOBACCO LITIGATION: Trial Seeking Smokers' Medical Monitoring Delayed
TOBACCO LITIGATION: Jury Deliberates Punitive Damages in Smokers' Suit


                       New Securities Fraud Suits


AVISTA CORPORATION: Charles Piven Commences Securities Suit in E.D. WA
AVISTA CORPORATION: Lovell Stewart Commences Securities Suit in E.D. WA
BELLSOUTH CORPORATION: Much Shelist Lodges Securities Suit in N.D. GA
CREDIT SUISSE: Shapiro Haber Commences Securities Suit in MA Court
ELECTRONIC DATA: Much Shelist Commences Securities Suit in E.D. TX

ESS TECHNOLOGY: Rabin Peckel Commences Securities Fraud Suit in N.D. CA
HEALTHSOUTH CORPORATION: Wolf Haldenstein Files Securities Suit in AL
HOUSEHOLD INTERNATIONAL: Kaplan Fox Commences Securities Suit in IL
MERRILL LYNCH: Finkelstein Thompson Lodges Securities Suit in S.D. NY
UNDERWRITERS LITIGATION: Rabin Peckel Lodges Securities Suit in S.D. NY
UNDERWRITERS LITIGATION: Schiffrin Barroway Files Securities Suit in NY


                              *********


C.H. ROBINSON: Women File Federal Suit Alleging Gender Discrimination
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Fourteen women filed a federal lawsuit against C.H. Robinson Worldwide,
accusing the trucking firm of gender discrimination, the Associated Press
Newswires reports.

The lawsuit contends that the Eden Prairie-based company, in Minnesota,
created a "flagrantly hostile" work environment by allowing pornographic and
racist materials to be regularly circulated in its offices.  The lawsuit
also maintains that many women routinely were denied promotions, equitable
salaries and overtime pay.

In a recent statement, Robinson CEO John Wiehoff denied the charges and said
the Company will "aggressively defend" itself against the lawsuit.

Sprenger & Lang, the Minneapolis law firm representing the workers, is
seeking class action status for more than 1,000 former and current female
Robinson Robinson employees.   If it succeeds, damages could run into
hundreds of millions of dollars.


CARGILL INC.: USDA Closes Down Facility, due to E. coli Contamination
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) temporarily shut down a
Cargill, Inc. facility in Wisconsin, due to a separate E. coli 0157:H7
outbreak, wherein its its ground beef sickened at least 57 people in seven
states, the Associated Press reports.  The Company's Milwaukee-based Emmpak
Foods, doing business as Peck Meats, late Wednesday night sharply expanded
its recall of ground beef to 2.8 million pounds.

The tainted ground beef allegedly was linked to illnesses in Wisconsin,
Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, New York and New Jersey.  The ground
beef was produced between August 20 and August 24, and was distributed to
grocery stores, hotels, restaurants and other institutions.

The Company told AP that the recall would turn up much of the contaminated
meat.  "USDA has shut the plant down," said Mark Klein, the company's
spokesman. "We are working with USDA to determine what it will take to
reopen it to their satisfaction.We are expecting very little product to come
back because of the production times.Most of this has already been
consumed."

E. coli O157:H7, typically acquired through contaminated food or water,
causes bloody diarrhea, vomiting and cramps. In some cases, usually
involving the elderly or young children, it can lead to kidney failure and
death, AP reports.  Both E. coli 0157:H7 and listeria are destroyed by
cooking meat to a temperature of at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Consumer advocates told AP the Cargill recall was further evidence that
Congress needs to give USDA the authority to issue mandatory recalls.
Currently, the department can only recommend a company withdraw its products
from commerce.  Lawmakers had no immediate comment on the developments,
which were not expected to result in congressional hearings at this point.


CIENA CORPORATION: Faces Two Suits Over Merger With ONI Systems in CA
---------------------------------------------------------------------
CIENA Corporation faces two substantially identical class actions filed in
the Superior Court of the State of California, County of San Mate4o, and in
the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Santa Clara,
relating to its proposed merger with ONI Systems Corporation.

The suits were filed on behalf of ONI security holders originally brought
against ONI and members of its board of directors.  The complaints allege
that the director defendants breached their fiduciary duties to ONI in
approving the merger with CIENA and seek declaratory, injunctive and other
relief permitted by equity.  The plaintiffs failed to obtain an injunction
against completion of the merger.

The Company believes that these lawsuits are without merit and will continue
to defend them vigorously.


CIENA CORPORATION: Plaintiffs File Amended Securities Suit in S.D. NY
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs in the securities class actions pending against CIENA Corporation
filed a consolidated amended suit in the United States District Court for
the Southern District of New York.  The suit was originally against ONI
Systems Corporation, which the Company acquired in a merger.  The suit also
names as defendants:

     (1) Hugh C. Martin, ONI's former chairman, president and chief
         executive officer,

     (2) Chris A. Davis, ONI's former executive vice president, chief
         financial officer and administrative officer, and

     (3) certain underwriters of ONI's initial public offering

The amended complaint alleges, among other things, that the underwriter
defendants violated the securities laws by failing to disclose alleged
compensation arrangements (such as undisclosed commissions or stock
stabilization practices) in the initial public offering's registration
statement and by engaging in manipulative practices to artificially inflate
the price of ONI's common stock after the initial public offering.

The amended complaint also alleges that ONI and the named former officers
violated the securities laws on the basis of an alleged failure to disclose
the underwriters' alleged compensation arrangements and manipulative
practices.  Similar complaints have been filed against more than 300 other
issuers that have had initial public offerings since 1998, and all of these
actions have been included in a single coordinated proceeding.  The Company
intends to defend these actions vigorously.


CIENA CORPORATION: Faces Shareholder Derivative Suit in CA State Court
----------------------------------------------------------------------
CIENA Corporation faces a shareholder derivative complaint alleging
violations of California state laws was filed in the Superior Court of the
State of California, County of Santa Clara.  The suit was originally filed
against ONI Systems Corporation, which the Company acquired in a merger.
The suit names as defendants:

     (1) Hugh Martin,

     (2) the other members of the ONI's board of directors,

     (3) Terrence J. Schmid, ONI's former chief financial officer and
         vice president, finance and administration, and

     (4) certain underwriters of ONI's initial public offering

The complaint alleges that the defendants breached their fiduciary duties,
acted negligently and were unjustly enriched in determining the offering
price of ONI Systems common stock in its initial public offering. No
specific amount of damages has been claimed.

These allegations arise from the same circumstances as and are related to
the allegations raised in the securities class actions against ONI filed in
NY federal court.  The Company intends to defend this lawsuit vigorously.


CONAGRA FOODS: Plaintiffs Appeal Dismissal of Securities Suit in NE
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs in the consolidated securities class action pending against
ConAgra Foods, Inc. appealed the United States District Court in Nebraska's
decision granting the Company's motion to dismiss the suit.

The suit charges ConAgra and certain of its officers and directors with
issuing false and misleading statements concerning its business and
financial business.  Specifically, the complaint alleges that throughout the
class period, defendants issued press releases reporting ConAgra's quarterly
and year-end financial performance, and filed reports confirming such
performance with the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to an
earlier Class Action Reporter story.

These statements, as alleged in the complaint, were materially false and
misleading because United Agri Products, a ConAgra subsidiary, engaged in
improper accounting throughout the Class Period, including improperly
recognizing revenue and insufficiently reserving for bad debt.

On July 23, 2002, the court granted the defendants' motion to dismiss the
lawsuit and entered judgment in favor of the company and the executive
officers.  On August 20, 2002, the plaintiffs appealed the judgment to the
Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.


CONAGRA FOODS: To Mount Vigorous Defense V. Shareholder Suits in DE, NE
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
ConAgra Foods, Inc. faces several shareholder derivative actions, alleging
the Company's directors breached their fiduciary duties in connection with
the events resulting in the Company's restatement of its financial
statements.

The first suit  was filed, purportedly on behalf of the Company, by
plaintiffs Anthony F. Rolfes and Sandra S. Rolfes in the Court of Chancery
for the State of Delaware in New Castle County.  The action seeks, inter
alia, recovery to the Company, which is named as a nominal defendant in the
action, of damages allegedly sustained by the Company and a direction to the
defendants to establish programs to prevent wrongful and illegal practices.

On October 9, 2001, a second shareholder derivative action was filed,
purportedly on behalf of the company, by plaintiff Harbor Finance Partners
in the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska.  The
complaint contains allegations and seeks relief similar to the Delaware
derivative action.

The directors named as defendants in these actions intend to vigorously
defend the allegations and believe the actions are without merit.


COST PLUS: Reaches Agreement To Settle Overtime Wage Suit in CA Court
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Cost Plus, Inc. reached an agreement to settle all claims related to a class
action pending in the Orange County Superior Court in California, alleging
the Company improperly classified certain California-based employees as
"exempt" from overtime pay.

Although the agreement prevents the Company and plaintiffs from disclosing
the specific terms of the settlement, the Company indicated it will take a
charge of approximately $2.1 million in addition to amounts already accrued.
The additional charge will reduce third quarter earnings per share by
approximately $0.06. The court is expected to review the settlement in
November 2002.

While the Company denies the allegations underlying the suit, it has agreed
to the settlement to avoid the cost, distraction and uncertainty associated
with protracted litigation during the all-important fall and Holiday selling
seasons.  The suit is one of many similar suits filed against retailers with
operations in California.  The settlement is still subject to court
approval.

Cost Plus, Inc. is a specialty retailer of casual home furnishings and
entertaining products.  For more information, contact Murray Dashe of Cost
Plus, Inc. by Phone 510/893-7300 or John Luttrell by Phone: 510/893-7300
ext. 3119


COVERDELL & COMPANY: MI Court To Deny National Certification for Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan has
indicated that it will deny national class certification for the class
action filed against Coverdell & Company by its consumers.

The suit was commenced in March 2001, against the Company, Monumental Life
Insurance Company and other defendants, alleging that they violated the
Michigan Consumer Protection Act and other applicable Michigan laws in
connection with the marketing of Monumental Life Insurance Company insurance
products.

The complaint includes a claim that the suit should be certified as a class
action and the plaintiff filed a motion for class certification to which all
of the defendants have filed opposing papers regarding the same.  The court
has announced that it will deny the motion for national class certification,
but it has certified a class of Michigan residents. No order has been
issued.

The Company believes that the claims made against it are unfounded and
intends to vigorously defend their interests against this suit.


EAGLE BUILDING: Expects Plaintiffs To Consolidate Securities Suits
------------------------------------------------------------------
Eagle Building Technologies, Inc. anticipates that the plaintiffs in the
securities class actions pending against them in the United States District
Courts for the Southern District of Nevada, and the Southern District of
Florida will file a consolidated lawsuit soon.  The suits were commenced in
March 2002, against the Company and:

     (1) Anthony D'Amato,

     (2) Paul-Emile Desrosiers

     (3) Dr. Ralph Thomson,

     (4) Andros Savvides,

     (5) Wilfred G. Mango, Jr.,

     (6) Donald Pollock,

     (7) Robert Kornahrens,

     (8) Charles A. Gargano,

     (9) Samuel Gejedson,

    (10) Meyer A. Berman and

    (11) Tanner + Co.

The suits seek class action certification for alleged securities violations
by the Company pursuant generally to Section 10(b) and 20(a) of the Exchange
Act and Sec Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder.  The complaints generally
alleges that the Company intentionally perpetrated a fraud upon the public
by the dissemination of false and misleading information.

Various law firms have filed motions to be appointed lead counsel and to
have their clients appointed as lead plaintiffs.   The Company anticipates
that lead plaintiffs' counsel, once appointed, will file a consolidated
Complaint.  No trial date has been set.

The Company is unable to express an opinion regarding the outcome of this
litigation or as to any potential loss or range of loss to the Company in
the event that either a favorable or unfavorable outcome results.


GARMENT CAPITOL: Appeals Court Affirms Dismissal of Solicitation Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Court of Appeals upheld a lower court's decision
dismissing the class action pending against Garment Capitol Associates,
relating to the solicitation of consents from the Company's participation
interest holders requesting their authorization for a sale of the Garment
Capitol Building and the land thereunder, located at 498 Seventh Avenue, New
York, New York and forbearance in favor of the 4987 Corporation (known as
the new lessee).  The suit names as defendants the Company and:

     (1) the 4987 Corporation (New Lessee),

     (2) 498 Seventh Avenue Associates (the Original Lessee),

     (3) Peter L. Malkin, partner in the Company,

     (4) Thomas N. Keltner, Jr., partner in the Company,

     (5) Richard A. Shapiro, partner in the Company and

     (6) Apple Bank For Savings, (Supervisor in the transaction).

The suit, which names the Company as a nominal defendant, claims that
defendants violated the anti-fraud provisions of the federal securities laws
and committed breaches of fiduciary duty and fraud in relation to the
solicitation.  The suit seeks to enjoin the allocation of sale proceeds to
the New Lessee approved by the participants, money damages and related
relief.  The suit was filed in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York.

Defendants responded to the complaint with a motion seeking dismissal of the
action in its entirety.  The court granted that motion and dismissed the
action by order and decision dated December 8, 1997.

Plaintiffs appealed that order, and later, the United States Court of
Appeals affirmed in part and reversed in part the dismissal of the action.
By order dated August 11, 1999, plaintiff's derivative claims were
dismissed.  The case was certified as a class action by order dated February
1, 2000 and was tried to the court and a trial jury beginning on September
18, 2000.  On September 27, 2000, the trial jury returned a verdict for all
defendants on all claims.

Plaintiff made a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict and for a
new trial.  By opinion and order dated January 17, 2001, the court denied
plaintiff's motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict and for a new
trial, and plaintiff filed appeals from the jury verdict and the denial of
those motions.

By opinion dated February 26, 2002 the appeals court affirmed the judgment
dismissing the complaint in all respects. Plaintiff has not taken any
further steps to pursue the action.

The complaint does not seek any relief against the Company, and,
accordingly, the Company's litigation counsel is of the opinion that no
material loss or other unfavorable outcome of the action against the Company
is anticipated.


GREAT ATLANTIC: Agrees To Settle Two Suits for Overtime Wage Violations
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., Inc. entered into a memorandum of
understanding to settle two lawsuits, one a class action, alleging
violations of the overtime wage laws.

In January 2000, the Attorney General of the State of New York filed an
action in New York Supreme Court, County of New York, alleging that the
Company and its subsidiary Shopwell, Inc., together with the Company's
outside delivery service Chelsea Trucking, Inc., violated New York law by
failing to pay minimum and overtime wages to individuals who deliver
groceries at one of the Food Emporium's stores in New York City.

A class action suit was filed in January 2000 in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of New York against the Company, Shopwell,
Inc. and other defendants.  The federal suit makes similar minimum wage and
overtime pay allegations under both federal and state law and extends the
allegations to various stores operated by the Company.  In May 2001, the
federal court granted plaintiffs' motion for class certification.

On June 18, 2002, the plaintiffs, the Attorney General and the Company
entered into a a settlement of the actions brought by the plaintiff class
and by the Attorney General.  Under the proposed settlement, the Company
would pay approximately $3 million in full settlement of the actions and
would receive releases from the class and the Attorney General, and the
actions would be dismissed with prejudice.

The proposed settlement remains subject to, among other things, execution of
a definitive settlement agreement and the approval of the federal court.


GREAT ATLANTIC: Faces Several Suits For Securities Act Violations in NJ
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., Inc. faces several securities class
actions pending in the United States District Court for the District of New
Jersey against it and certain of its officers and directors.

The suits purport to assert claims under Sections 10(b) (and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
arising out of the Company's accounting practices, and allege that the
Company made material misrepresentations and omissions concerning its
financial results.

On May 31, 2002, a stockholders' derivative suit was filed in the Superior
Court of New Jersey in Bergen County against the Company's Board of
Directors and certain of its executive officers.  The suit alleges that the
defendants violated their fiduciary obligations to the Company and its
stockholders by failing to establish and maintain adequate accounting
controls and mismanaging the assets and business of the Company, and seeks
unspecified money damages, costs and expenses.

While the outcome of these claims cannot be predicted with certainty, the
Company does not believe that the outcome of any of these legal matters will
have a material adverse effect on the Company's consolidated results of
operations, financial position or cash flows.


IMPAC MORTGAGE: Faces Consumer Suits Over Improperly Charged Loan Fees
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Impac Mortgage Holdings, Inc. faces seven purported class actions pending in
six different courts.  Additionally, there are two cases pending in the
United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee and one
in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

All lawsuits, except for the Illinois matter, allege generally that the loan
originator improperly charged fees in violation of various state lending or
consumer protection laws in connection with mortgage loans that the Company
acquired.  The Illinois matter alleges that the Company charged fees for
services that constitute the unauthorized practice of law and that were not
proper charges.

Although the suits are not identical, they generally seek:

     (1) unspecified compensatory damages,

     (2) punitive damages,

     (3) pre- and post-judgment interest,

     (4) costs and expenses and rescission of the loans, and

     (5) a return of any improperly collected fees

These actions are in the early stages of litigation and, accordingly, it is
difficult to predict the outcome of these matters.  The Company believes it
has meritorious defenses to the actions and intends to defend against them
vigorously.  However, an adverse judgment in any of these matters could have
a material adverse effect on the Company.


MOVIE GALLERY: Two Consumer Suits Stayed Pending Settlement Approval
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Two class actions filed against Movie Gallery, Inc. in Texas and Alabama
state courts have been stayed pending the approval of a settlement for a
similar case in a Tennessee state court.

One suit was filed in December 2000 in the Circuit Court of Tuscaloosa
County, Alabama, another was filed in the Judicial District Court, Harrison
County, Texas.  The last suit was commenced on December 2001, in the
Chancery Court of Fayette County, Tennessee, against the Company.

Each of these lawsuits alleges, on behalf of a nationwide class of all
customers, that the extended viewing fees the Company's video rental stores
charge its customers for keeping its rental products beyond the initial
rental period are penalties in violation of common law and equitable
theories.  The dollar amounts that plaintiffs seek in each of the foregoing
three putative class action lawsuits is not set forth in the complaints.

Similar class action lawsuits have been filed against the two largest chains
in the video rental industry.  Without admitting any fault, one of the
Company's competitors settled all of these lawsuits pending against it.
According to the announced terms of the settlement, this company agreed to
make certificates available to class members for rentals and cash discounts
and to pay approximately US$9 million of the plaintiffs' attorneys' fees.
Although the settlement of this case was approved by the trial court, an
appeal of the approval filed by some of the class members is currently
pending.

In April 2002, the Company obtained a court order preliminarily approving a
settlement agreement between it and the plaintiffs in the Tennessee case, by
which the Company agreed to settle claims of all of the members of the
nationwide class of customers.

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, the Company is required to give
class members certificates with values ranging from US$9 to US$16,
redeemable between January 30, 2003 and June 30, 2003, for movie rentals,
game rentals, and non-food purchases in the Company's stores.  The Company
would also pay the plaintiffs' attorneys up to $850,000 in fees.

A fairness hearing regarding this settlement has been scheduled for November
22, 2002.  At this hearing, the court will consider any objections to the
settlement agreement brought by class members, their attorneys or other
interested parties, and will determine whether to approve, reject or modify
the terms of the settlement.  If approved on the proposed terms, the
settlement would likely release all claims made by all class members in all
the pending class actions, other than members who choose not to participate
in the settlement.

The Company believes that our extended viewing fees do not violate any laws.
As a result, in the event the settlement described above is not approved by
the court, the Company intends to continue to vigorously defend the lawsuits
filed against it.

In connection with the settlement, the lawsuits in Alabama and Texas have
been stayed, requiring the plaintiffs to stop their actions in those
lawsuits pending final approval of the settlement.

Although the Company believes that the foregoing claims against it are
unwarranted and without merit, it cannot give any assurance as to the
outcome of these proceedings, or that any settlement will receive final
court approval.


NCS HEALTHCARE: Faces Shareholder Suits Over Genesis Merger in DE, OH
---------------------------------------------------------------------
NCS Healthcare, Inc. faces several class actions, six filed in the Delaware
Court of Chancery and one filed in the Court of Common Pleas, Cuyahoga
County, Ohio, relating to to enjoin the proposed merger between NCS
Healthcare, Inc. (NASDAQ Bulletin Board symbol: NCSS) and Genesis Health
Ventures, Inc. (NASDAQ symbol: "GHVI").  Under the proposed merger, each
share of the Company would receive .1 of a share of GHVI.  The suit names as
defendants the Company and:


     (1) Jon H. Outcalt,

     (2) Kevin B. Shaw,

     (3) Boake A. Sells,

     (4) Richard L. Osborne,

     (5) Genesis Health Ventures, Inc., and

     (6) Genesis Sub, Inc.

The stockholder claims allege that the Company's directors breached their
fiduciary duties, and certain other duties, to stockholders by entering into
the merger agreement and seek various relief, including:

     (i) an injunction against consummation of the proposed merger,

    (ii) requiring separate class voting on approval of the proposed
         merger by Company stockholders,

   (iii) rescinding the proposed merger if the same is consummated
         prior to a final judgment on the stockholder claims,

    (iv) declaring the voting agreements null and void and compensatory
         damages and costs.

No court dates have been set for these matters.  The Company believes that
the allegations set forth in these lawsuits are without merit and intends to
contest them vigorously.  However, the ultimate outcome of these lawsuits
cannot be predicted with certainty.  These lawsuits could adversely affect
the Company's ability to consummate the merger agreement with Genesis.


NEBRASKA: Supreme Court To Hear Case Over State's Welfare-To-Work Rule
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Nebraska Supreme Court is to hear the case of Angela Kosmicki of
Lincoln, a single mother of two, who signed up for welfare so she could
attend school and work toward becoming self-sufficient, but who has found it
necessary to challenge a state policy that will not allow her to attend
college and collect welfare, the Associated Press Newswires reports.

A 1997 Nebraska law allows single mothers to receive welfare so they can
work or go to school.  The state Health and Human Services System, however,
has determined that Ms. Kosmicki is not eligible to receive welfare benefits
because she chose to pursue a four-year degree.

Ms. Kosmicki's lawyer, Rebecca Gould of the Nebraska Appleseed Center for
Law in the Public Interest, said the law does not preclude someone from
receiving welfare while pursuing a four-year degree.  Ms. Gould says Health
and Human Services made up the rule: "It is not a written policy."

Ms Gould also says that the state agency wrongly argues that "post-secondary
education only includes programs where a degree can be completed in 24
months or less."  That definition is not found anywhere in the records of
the Legislature's discussions when it created the program, Ms. Gould said.
The Appleseed Center has filed a companion case, which it hopes to get
certified as a class action on behalf of hundreds of single mothers in
similar situations, Ms. Gould said.

Nebraska's program, called Employment First, started in 1996, and is
designed to move people from welfare to work.  Under the program, which was
part of a series of national welfare-reform changes in the 1990s, the state
extended the time it provides help with child care, health care, food stamps
and energy costs.  It also said checks under the Aid
to Families with Dependent Children would end after two years.  The program
encourages welfare recipients to enter into a contract with the state,
spelling out educational, job training and other goals.

Special Assistant Attorney General Michael Rumbaugh said that Lancaster
County District Judge John Coburn erred by ruling in favor of Ms. Kosmicki.
"The district courts hold basically that some college education is better
than no college education," Mr. Rumbaugh said.  "This idealistic approach,
however well intentioned, will not be able to be . implemented by (state)
Health and Human Services."

"The caseworker would have to consider the subject area the participant
would like to study, determine if two years of some study in this field
would be beneficial . and decide if ultimate self-sufficiency could follow
from two years of study," Attorney General Rumbaugh said.  "This is not a
feasible approach for Health and Human Services to take."


QWEST INTERNATIONAL: Analysts Warned Firm About Questionable Accounting
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Qwest International Communications Inc. was warned about its questionable
accounting records, records of Arthur Andersen, LLP, its former auditor
showed, the Associated Press reports.

Arthur Andersen LLP warned the Company that booking 20 years of
network-capacity revenue at once was risky and could raise questions from
the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Lynn Turner, a
former SEC chief accountant told AP.  "They were plainly aware that they
were playing with dynamite."

Andersen allegedly warned the Company's board in October 2000 that the SEC
was "vigorously challenging" the booking of future swaps of network
capacity, according to records obtained by The Denver Post and Rocky
Mountain News.

This week former Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio told a subcommittee of the House
Energy and Commerce Committee investigating Qwest and other
telecommunication companies that the Company acted on the advice of
Andersen. In October 2001, Anderson told the Company its accounting methods
were in compliance with general standards, AP reports.

Analysts also warned from Morgan Stanley warned investors to be cautious of
Qwest in June 2001 because of its aggressive accounting practices.  Last
month Qwest decided to reverse $950 million in revenue booked from swaps and
probably will revise its revenues even more, Qwest chief financial officer
Oren Shaffer told AP.


RAZORFISH INC.: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Suit For Securities Violations
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The defendants in the securities class action against Razorfish, Inc. asked
the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York to
dismiss the suit.  The suit names as defendants the Company and:

     (1) Credit Suisse First Boston Corporation,

     (2) BancBoston Robertson Stephens Inc.,

     (3) BT Alex Brown Inc.,

     (4) Lehman Brothers, Inc.,

     (5) Jeffrey Dachis,

     (6) Craig M. Kanarick,

     (7) Per I.G. Bystedt,

     (8) Jonas S.A. Svensson,

     (9) Susan Black,

    (10) Carter F. Bales,

    (11) Kjell A. Nordstrom,

    (12) John Wren

    (13) several other underwriter and non-underwriter defendants


Several suits were initially filed in June 2001, alleging that the
underwriters of the Company's initial public offering engaged in improper
compensation practices that were not disclosed in the offering's prospectus,
among other things.  The suits were later consolidated, in an amended suit
filed in April 2002.

The improper compensation practices allegedly include charging third-party
clients of the underwriters excess commissions in exchange for allocations
of IPO shares or engaging in certain undisclosed market stabilization
practices in order to artificially inflate the price of the stock in the
after-market.

The amended complaint includes claims against the Company and the individual
defendants under Section 11 of the Securities Act, and Section 10(b) of the
Securities Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder.  The amended
complaint also contains claims against the individual defendants under
Section 15 of the Securities Act and Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act.

Similar allegations have been made against more than 300 other issuers and
their underwriters.  No specific amount of damages is claimed.

On July 1, 2002, certain underwriters of the company's initial public
offering (specifically, Credit Suisse First Boston Corporation, BancBoston
Robertson Stephens Inc., BT Alex. Brown Inc., and Lehman Brothers, Inc.) and
other underwriters named in the consolidated action moved to dismiss all IPO
Allocation Litigations, including the action involving the Company.  On July
15, 2002, the individual defendants also moved to dismiss the litigation.

The Company intends to defend the suit vigorously but cannot currently
predict the outcome.  Due to the inherent uncertainties of litigation and
because the litigation is at a preliminary stage, the Company cannot
accurately predict the ultimate outcome of the motions.


RAZORFISH INC.: Plaintiffs Ask NY Court To Reconsider Suit Dismissal
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs in the consolidated securities class action pending against
Razorfish, Inc. relating to its acquisition of i-Cube are seeking
reconsideration of the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York's ruling dismissing the suit.

Several suits were commenced in December 2000 against the Company and
certain of its officers.  The suits were later consolidated.  The
consolidated suit alleges violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder based
on alleged false statements made in the Company's public disclosures
concerning the integration of i-Cube, which the Company acquired in 1999.

On September 26, 2001, the court granted with prejudice the Company's motion
to dismiss the consolidated suit.  The Company believes these allegations
are without merit in law or fact.  However, it cannot give any assurance
that this matter will be resolved in its favor.

On February 13, 2001, a derivative action was filed in Delaware Chancery
Court by Robert C. Nichols on behalf of the Company against the members of
the Company's Board of Directors, alleging breach of the Directors'
fiduciary duties to the Company that were virtually identical to the
allegations in the federal suit.  This action is currently stayed by
agreement of the parties, pending the outcome of the federal suit.


SBARRO INC.: General Managers File Overtime Wage Suit in CA State Court
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Fast food chain Sbarro, Inc. faces a class action filed by five of its
former general managers in California in the Superior Court of California
for Los Angeles County.

The suit alleges that the plaintiffs were required to perform labor services
without proper premium overtime compensation from at least May of 1999.  The
plaintiffs are seeking actual damages, punitive damages and attorney's fees
and costs, each in unspecified amounts.  In addition, plaintiffs have
requested class action status for all managerial employees who worked
overtime and/or were not otherwise paid regular wages due and owing from May
1999 to present.

The Company believes that it has substantial defenses to the claims and is
vigorously defending this action.


TOBACCO LITIGATION: Trial Seeking Smokers' Medical Monitoring Delayed
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The threat from Hurricane Lili has led to delay in start of a trial of
statewide class action, which seeks to compel the nation's largest tobacco
companies to pay for programs monitoring smokers' health and to help them
stop smoking, the Associated Press Newswires reports.

It is expected that opening arguments in the Louisiana lawsuit, which will
take about six months to try, will commence on Monday next week.  Jury
selection took more than a year, as the state Supreme Court disqualified
several potential jurors.

During that delay, the first such class action against the tobacco companies
asking for medical monitoring, was tried in West Virginia, wherein the jury
ruled in favor of the tobacco companies.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs in the Louisiana case have learned from the
West Virginia case.  The attorneys for the smokers claim that nicotine is
addictive and that the major tobacco companies - including Philip Morris,
R.J. Reynolds and Brown & Williamson - manipulated nicotine levels in
cigarettes to keep smokers hooked.  The industry denies that claim.

The attorneys do not ask for individual damages for the smokers.  They ask
instead that the cigarette-makers provide medical monitoring for the healthy
smokers and quit-smoking programs for smokers who want to try to stop.
There has been no estimate made publicly of how much such programs might
cost.


TOBACCO LITIGATION: Jury Deliberates Punitive Damages in Smokers' Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A Los Angeles jury started its deliberations this week in a closely watched
high-dollar punitive damages case filed against tobacco giant Philip Morris
Companies by 64-year-old Betty Bullock of Newport Beach, Reuters reports.

Ms. Bullock began smoking at the age of 17 and blames the Company for her
tobacco addiction, saying it failed to warn her of the risks of smoking.
Ms. Bullock allegedly believed the Company's past statements that there was
no evidence that smoking is linked to cancer.

The same jury already awarded Ms. Bullock US$850,000 in economic and "pain
and suffering" damages last week, and found the Company liable for the
fraud, negligence and products liability claims in the lawsuit.  During the
punitive damages phase, the jury heard from one witness for Ms. Bullock,
Robert Johnson, an economist who testified on the Company's net worth,
Reuters reports.

In the deliberations, the jury will decide whether the Company should be
penalized for its "wrongful conduct" and how much the penalty should be.
According to Reuters, the lawsuit was the first to be tried since the
California Supreme Court issued a pivotal ruling that protects cigarette
makers from liability for actions between 1988 and 1997 -- the years covered
by a state law that shielded companies from liability for products that were
known to be dangerous.

The trial also was closely followed because Ms. Bullock's attorney, Michael
Piuze, previously represented Marlboro smoker Richard Boeken, whose June
2001 lawsuit against Philip Morris resulted in a $3-billion award against
the tobacco company -- later reduced to $100 million, Reuters states.


                              *********


AVISTA CORPORATION: Charles Piven Commences Securities Suit in E.D. WA
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, P.A. initiated a securities class
action on behalf of shareholders who acquired Avista Corp. (NYSE:AVA)
securities between November 23, 1999 and August 13, 2002, inclusive, in the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington against
the Company and:

     (1) Thomas M. Matthews,

     (2) Gary Ely and

     (3) John E. Eliassen

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

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


AVISTA CORPORATION: Lovell Stewart Commences Securities Suit in E.D. WA
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Lovell Stewart Halebian LLP initiated a securities class action on behalf of
all persons who purchased, converted, exchanged or otherwise acquired the
common stock of Avista Corp. (NYSE:AVA) between November 23, 1999 and August
13, 2002, inclusive.

The lawsuit asserts claims under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated by the SEC thereunder and
seeks to recover damages.  The suit is pending in the U.S. District Court
for the Eastern District of Washington.

According to the complaint, defendants made misstatements of material facts
and omitted to state material facts in their public statements and
elsewhere, including failing to disclose that:

     (1) Avista was engaged in highly risky energy trading activities
         with Enron and PG&E involving so-called "Ricochet" or
         "megawatt laundering" trades in which Avista acted as a
         middleman between Enron and PG&E so that Enron could evade
         California's caps on electric power prices and charge
         California artificially high prices for electricity;

     (2) Avista routinely acted as a middleman between affiliates such
         as Enron and PG&E in order to facilitate transactions to
         proceed which would have been prohibited under federal rules
         if the affiliates had engaged in them without an intermediary,
         and

     (3) Avista was and is exposed to substantial contingent legal
         liabilities as a result of the foregoing, including the
         threatened revocation of its license to trade electric power
         on the wholesale markets, or market-based rate authority, by
         the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The complaint alleges that on August 14, 2002, after the Federal Energy
Regulatory Commission announced that it may take formal enforcement action
on charges that Avista helped manipulate California power prices during
2000, Avista stock tumbled 11.85 percent, and on September 17, 2002 Avista
stock traded at as low as $11.10 per share, down from its class period high
of $67.55.

For more details, contact Christopher Lovell or Christopher J. Gray by
Phone: 212/608-1900 by E-mail: classaction@lshllp.com or visit the firm's
Website: http://www.lshllp.com


BELLSOUTH CORPORATION: Much Shelist Lodges Securities Suit in N.D. GA
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Much Shelist Freed Denenberg Ament & Rubenstein, P.C. initiated a securities
class action againt BellSouth Corporation (NYSE:BLS) and certain of its
officers and directors in the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Georgia, on behalf of all persons and entities who purchased
Company securities during the period January 22, 2001 through July 19, 2002,
inclusive.

The suit alleges that during the class period, the Company misled their
investors by issuing false and misleading statements and failing to disclose
material facts about the Company's business.  These alleged misstatements
had the effect of artificially inflating the price of Company securities.

The suit specifically alleges that throughout the class period, the Company
reported quarter after quarter of "record'' financial results and financial
growth despite a rapidly deteriorating market for telecommunications
companies.  The Company ultimately was forced to reveal that its financial
prospects were far worse than it had represented.

At the end of the class period, for example, the Company had to take charges
to earnings totaling over $418 million.  The Company admitted that at least
$163 million of the massive charges resulted from unbilled receivable
balances that were overstated.

The suit is also based on BellSouth's representations during the class
period that it reviewed its account receivables on a monthly basis.  These
representations were ultimately contradicted by the Company's admission that
its overstatement of unbilled accounts had occurred over an extended period
of time.

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

On July 22, 2002, unable to conceal the decline in its business any longer,
the Company announced that its earnings had dropped by an astonishing 67%
for the second quarter of 2002. BellSouth dropped sharply on the news,
plummeting over 18% to $22.61 per share.

For more details, contact Carol V. Gilden by Phone: (800) 470-6824 by
E-mail: investorhelp@muchshelist.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.muchshelist.com


CREDIT SUISSE: Shapiro Haber Commences Securities Suit in MA Court
------------------------------------------------------------------
Shapiro Haber & Urmy LLP initiated a securities class action in the United
States District Court for the District of Massachusetts against Credit
Suisse First Boston, a division of Credit Suisse Group (NYSE: CSR), and two
of its technology analysts.

The case was filed on behalf of all persons who purchased common stock of
Razorfish, Inc. (Nasdaq: RAZF) during the period from June 14, 1999 through
July 20, 2001.  The complaint alleges that the defendants violated section
10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("the Exchange Act"), and Rule
10b-5 promulgated thereunder, and Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act.

Specifically, the defendants allegedly issued a series of favorable research
reports on Razorfish that were materially false or misleading in that they
did not disclose conflicts of interest of Credit Suisse, and in particular
the practice of Credit Suisse to gain lucrative investment banking business
in part by providing coverage and issuing favorable research reports on
prospective investment banking customers.

According to news reports, an investigation conducted by the Secretary of
State of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts uncovered "very troubling"
internal Credit Suisse materials that "suggest . a pattern of breach of
fiduciary duty" and which appear to have "treated investors like suckers."
According to another news report, the Secretary of State has suggested that
criminal charges be filed against Credit Suisse over its fraudulent stock
research coverage.

For more details, contact Ted Hess-Mahan or Liz Hutton by Mail: 75 State
Street, Boston, MA 02109 by Phone: (800) 287-8119 by Fax: (617) 439-0134 by
E-mail: cases@shulaw.com or visit the firm's Website: http://www.shulaw.com


ELECTRONIC DATA: Much Shelist Commences Securities Suit in E.D. TX
------------------------------------------------------------------
Much Shelist Freed Denenberg Ament & Rubenstein, P.C. initiated a securities
class action in the United States District Court Eastern District of Texas,
Texarkana Division on behalf of purchasers of the securities of Electronic
Data Systems Corporation (NYSE:EDS) between September 7, 1999 and September
24, 2002, inclusive.

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
September 7, 1999 and September 24, 2002, thereby artificially inflating the
price of Company securities.

Specifically, defendants issued numerous statements that 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, defendants' materially false and misleading
statements failed to disclose and/or misrepresented, among other things,
that:

     (1) 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 that were not
         reflected in the Company's financial statements;

     (2) 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;

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

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

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, the price of EDS common stock dropped
sharply, falling from $36.46 per share to $17.20 per share.

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. EDS
issued a press release and 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 Carol V. Gilden by Phone: (800) 470-6824 or by
E-mail: investorhelp@muchshelist.com


ESS TECHNOLOGY: Rabin Peckel Commences Securities Fraud Suit in N.D. CA
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Rabin & Peckel LLP initiated a securities class action in the United States
District Court for the Northern District of California, on behalf of all
persons or entities who purchased or otherwise acquired securities of ESS
Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq:ESST) between January 23, 2002 to September 12,
2002, both dates inclusive.  The suit names as defendants the Company and:

     (1) Robert L. Blair,

     (2) Patrick Ang and

     (3) James B. Boyd

The complaint charges the Company and certain of its officers and directors
with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  The complaint
alleges that defendants' material omissions and the dissemination of
materially misleading statements concerning the nature of the Company's
revenue and business prospects caused its stock price to become artificially
inflated, inflicting damages on investors.

Specifically, the complaint alleges that defendants failed to disclose the
declining demand, downward price pressure, and increasing commodification of
its core product - DVD processor chips - as new competitors gained market
share.

The effect of these problems and the true nature of the Company's business
prospects were revealed on the last day of the class period, and the next
day the Company's stock plunged more than 30%.

For more details, contact Eric J. Belfi or Sharon Lee by Phone: (800)
497-8076 or (212) 682-1818 by Fax: (212) 682-1892 by E-mail:
email@rabinlaw.com or visit the firm's Website: http://www.rabinlaw.com.


HEALTHSOUTH CORPORATION: Wolf Haldenstein Files Securities Suit in AL
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the Northern District of
Alabama, Southern Division, on behalf of all persons who purchased the
securities of HealthSouth Corporation (NYSE:HRC) between January 14, 2002
and August 27, 2002, inclusive, against the Company and certain officers and
directors.

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

During the class period, the Company issued press releases and filed reports
with the SEC publicizing strong revenue and earnings growth and continually
assuring the market that the Company would achieve its financial goals for
the year 2002 and that its fundamentals were robust.

The suit alleges that these and other statements were materially false and
misleading because they omitted that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
Services (CMS) had released directives reclassifying certain categories of
reimbursements, resulting in a materially negative effect on the Company's
business.

The suit further alleges that defendants did not reveal these facts, which
they had been privy to for several months, so that certain defendants could
sell, jointly, millions of shares of the Company's stock at artificially
raised prices and in order to permit the Company to begin a $998 million
note exchange/offer on more constructive terms than if the reality of the
CMS directives and their effect on the Company was publicized.  The note
exchange/offering began on August 27, 2002, one day before the Company
initially revealed the negative information.

The suit further alleges that on August 27, 2002, the Company issued a press
release stating that CMS directives issued on July 1, 2002 regarding
reimbursements may end in a $175 million shortfall in EBITDA from earlier
released financial guidance for 2002 and that it could not offer further
guidance for 2002 and 2003 because of doubts caused by the directives.

Additionally, the Company stated that it would spin-off its surgery-center
division as part of a large restructuring undertaken concerning the
developments and that defendant Richard M. Scrushy would be replaced as CEO
by defendant William T. Owens.  Following these revelations, HealthSouth
stock declined by over 43% to close at $6.71 per share in a single day on
particularly high trading volume.

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


HOUSEHOLD INTERNATIONAL: Kaplan Fox Commences Securities Suit in IL
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer LLP initiated a securities class action against
Household International, Inc. (NYSE: HI), certain of its officers and
directors, and Arthur Andersen, LLP, in the United States District Court for
the Northern District of Illinois.  This suit is brought on behalf of all
persons and entities who purchased or otherwise acquired Company securities
between October 23, 1997 and August 14, 2002, inclusive.

The complaint alleges that defendants violated the federal securities laws
by issuing a series of materially false and misleading statements regarding
the Company's business, operations and future prospects.

The class period begins on October 23, 1997 the date on which the Company
announced its third-quarter 1997 results, and ends on August 14, 2002, the
day the Company announced it would restate its prior eight years financials,
because it had overstated its net income by $386 million during that period.

Specifically, the Company said it would revise the way it had accounted for
its MasterCard/Visa co-branding and affinity card relationships, as well as
a credit-card marketing agreement with a third party.

As a result of the defendants' false and misleading statements, Company
securities traded at artificially high levels during the class period.

For more details, contact Frederic S. Fox, or Shelley Thompson by Phone:
800/290-1952, 212/687-1980 by Fax: 212/687-7714 or by E-mail:
mail@kaplanfox.com or Laurence D. King by Phone: 415/772-4700 by Fax:
415/772-4707 or by E-mail: mail@kaplanfox.com


MERRILL LYNCH: Finkelstein Thompson Lodges Securities Suit in S.D. NY
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Finkelstein, Thompson & Loughran initiated a securities class action against
Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. and the former head of its Internet group, Henry
Blodget, on behalf of purchasers of Quokka Sports, Inc. (PNK: QKKAQ.PK)
securities between August 23, 1999 and January 9, 2001, inclusive.

The suit, filed in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York, 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 Quokka
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 suit alleges that the defendants failed to disclose a
significant conflict of interest between their investment banking and
research departments.

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

For more details, contact Jessica F. Whitehurst or Adam T. Savett by Phone:
202-337-8000, by E-mail: jfw@ftllaw.com or ats@ftllaw.com or visit the firm'
s Website: http://www.ftllaw.com


UNDERWRITERS LITIGATION: Rabin Peckel Lodges Securities Suit in S.D. NY
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Rabin & Peckel LLP initiated a securities class action in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York, on behalf of all
persons or entities who purchased or otherwise acquired securities of Level
3 Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq:LVLT) between January 4, 1999 and June 18,
2001, both dates inclusive.  The suit names as defendants:

     (1) Jack Grubman,

     (2) Salomon Smith Barney, Inc. and

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


The complaint charges that Jack Grubman, Salomon Smith Barney, Inc. and
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co., Inc. with violations of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934.  Specifically, the complaint alleges that defendants:

     (i) issued and maintained "Buy" recommendations on Level 3
         securities without any rational economic basis;

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

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

For more details, contact Eric J. Belfi or Sharon Lee by Phone: (800)
497-8076, (212) 682-1818 by Fax: (212) 682-1892 by E-mail:
email@rabinlaw.com or visit the firm's Website: http://www.rabinlaw.com


UNDERWRITERS LITIGATION: Schiffrin Barroway Files Securities Suit in NY
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Schiffrin & Barroway LLP initiated a securities class action on behalf of
purchasers of Level 3 Communications, Inc. securities between January 4,1999
and June 18,2001 in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York.  The suit names as defendants:

     (1) Salomon Smith Barney Inc.,

     (2) Jack Grubman and

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

The suit charges the defendants with misleading investors regarding the
purchase of Level 3 Communications, Inc. common stock.  The complaint
alleges that Salomon Smith Barney Inc., Jack Grubman and Morgan Stanley Dean
Witter & Co., Inc. urged investors to purchase Level 3 stock when they knew
or should have known that such purchases were not a good investment.

Specifically, the complaint alleges that defendants:

     (i) issued "Buy" recommendations about Level 3 without any
         rational economic basis;

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

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

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

                              *********


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

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

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

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or publication
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Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to be
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The CAR subscription rate is $575 for six months delivered via e-mail.
Additional e-mail subscriptions for members of the same firm for the term of
the initial subscription or balance thereof are $25 each.  For subscription
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