CAR_Public/021008.mbx               C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R
  
              Tuesday, October 8, 2002, Vol. 4, No. 199

                           Headlines
                             
APARTHEID LITIGATION: Novartis, Sulzer Named in Fagan Lawsuit in NY
BRIDGESTONE/FIRESTONE INC.: Judge Dismisses Two Shareholder Lawsuits
BROCADE COMMUNICATIONS: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Securities Fraud Suit
CENDANT CORPORATION: Consumer Sues Firm, Subsidiaries For Overcharging
CONNECTICUT: Suit Claims Governor Benefited From Failed CRRA-Enron Deal

CRACKER BARREL: Class Certification For Discrimination Suit Denied
DOLLAR GENERAL: TN Court Approves Amended $162M Securities Settlement
DOLLAR GENERAL: Agrees To Settle Shareholder Derivative Suits in TN
FMC CORPORATION: Judge Approves Settlement of WV Environmental Suit
GEORGIA: Implementation of Tough New Predatory Lending Law Commences

GERBER SCIENTIFIC: Plaintiffs To File Consolidated Suit in CT Court
GOODY'S FAMILY: Plaintiffs Ask GA Court To Certify Race Bias Lawsuit
GOODY'S FAMILY: Stockholder Files Suit To Block Buyout by Private Group
INDIANA: Medicaid Coverage Ordered For Mentally Ill Kids' Treatment
MISSOURI: Sex Offenders Seek to Bar Release of State, County Name Lists

MTI TECHNOLOGY: Trial in Securities Fraud Suit Set August 2003 in CA
NBTY INC.: NY Court Dismisses Securities Suit Due To Lack of Basis
NCS PEARSON: Reaches Settlement For Student Basic Skills Testing Suit
OPENING SCHOOLS: Faces Suit On Behalf of Students Who Paid for Courses
PORTAL SOFTWARE: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Consolidated Securities Suit

RENT-A-CENTER INC.: $47M Sex Discrimination Suit Settlement Approved
TOBACCO LITIGATION: Jury Rejects Attendant's Claim On Secondhand Smoke
XCEL ENERGY: Fraternal Group Commences Securities Suit in MN Court
XEROX CORP.: Judge Orders Payment of Nearly $300M In Retirement Suit

*New York's New Noise Reduction Program Might Spur Rights Litigation

                    New Securities Fraud Cases     

ELECTRONIC DATA: Chitwood Harley Commences Securities Suit in E.D. TX
FLEMING COMPANIES: Wechsler Harwood Commences Securities Suit in TX
HOUSEHOLD INTERNATIONAL: Emerson Firm Commences Securities Suit in IL
MSC INDUSTRIAL: Marc Henzel Commences Securities Fraud Suit in E.D. NY
PERKINELMER INC.: Marc Henzel Commences Securities Suit in MA Court

VODAFONE GROUP: Marc Henzel Commences Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
WALT DISNEY: Marc Henzel Commences Securities Fraud Suit in C.D. CA

                           *********

APARTHEID LITIGATION: Novartis, Sulzer Named in Fagan Lawsuit in NY
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Novartis AG and Sulzer AG faces a class action commenced in New York
court by prominent rights attorney Ed Fagan, on behalf of victims of
South Africa's former apartheid regime, AFX news reports.  The suit
also names computer giant IBM and mining companies Anglo American PLC
and De Beers.

Daniel Heeb, Mr. Fagan's Swiss coordinator, told AFX the suit was filed
two weeks ago and encompasses companies already named in a lawsuit in
June including UBS AG, Credit Suisse and Citicorp, and nine other
American and European banks.

Novartis has not yet been served with the lawsuit, a Novartis
spokesperson told AFX, "It is hardly imaginable that our pharmaceutical
activities in South Africa helped to prolong the apartheid regime."  

Sulzer has also not yet been served, but expects to receive the
complaint in the coming days, a Sulzer spokesperson told AFX.  "We are
surprised that we've been sued, and thoroughly reject the basis of the
complaint," he added.

Mr. Fagan, who in 1998 forced Swiss Banks into a $1.25 billion
settlement for victims of the Holocaust, is now accusing the banks of
financing the former apartheid regime through investments and debt
restructuring, Mr. Heeb said. He added that the other companies named
in the new class action suit allegedly exploited the black majority by
taking advantage of the discriminating racial laws.


BRIDGESTONE/FIRESTONE INC.: Judge Dismisses Two Shareholder Lawsuits
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. views a federal judge's dismissal of two
shareholder lawsuits against its Japanese parent company as a major
victory, in part because it points out that "it remains ambiguous
today" whether the Company's tires or the Ford Explorer were to blame
for hundreds of fatal crashes, the Associated Press Newswires reports.

The lawsuits, which had been consolidated, were filed in January 2001,
by a Michigan pension fund and a Colorado woman.  They sought class
action status for all Bridgestone stockholders who lost money after the
Company's Bridgestone/Firestone subsidiary recalled 6.5 million tires
in August 2000.

However, US District Judge Robert Echols, sitting in Tennessee, said in
a 62-page memorandum and order that plaintiffs had "failed to produce a
strong inference that Bridgestone or Firestone knew of or recklessly
disregarded the existence of tire defects that rendered their
statements false and misleading."

He also noted that "far from being obvious that Firestone tires are to
blame for the Explorer accidents, it remains ambiguous today whether
the tires or the Explorer, or some combination of the two, is to
blame."

George Barrett, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said that his team
would decide by next week whether to appeal.  Bridgestone/Firestone
attorney Steven Riley said Judge Echols "issued a very clear and
thoroughly analyzed opinion finding the claim was  without merit."

Bridgestone/Firestone and Ford have settled hundreds of lawsuits for
millions of dollars, but still have several pending.


BROCADE COMMUNICATIONS: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Securities Fraud Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Brocade Communications, Inc. asked the United States District Court for
the Southern District of New York to dismiss the consolidated
securities class action pending against it, certain of its officers and
directors and certain of the underwriters in the Company's initial
public offering.

The consolidated suit generally alleged that various investment bank
underwriters engaged in improper and undisclosed activities related to
the allocation of shares in the Company's initial public offering. The
complaint seeks unspecified damages on behalf of a purported class of
purchasers of common stock from May 24, 1999 to December 6, 2000.

On March 1, 2002, the court entered an order dismissing without
prejudice all claims against the Company and its officers and directors
named in the original consolidated proceeding.  On April 19, 2002, a
consolidated amended suit was filed asserting claims against the
Brocade parties that are substantially similar to those alleged in the
earlier case.

Motions to dismiss have been filed. The Company believes that it has
meritorious defenses to the claims and intends to defend the action
vigorously.


CENDANT CORPORATION: Consumer Sues Firm, Subsidiaries For Overcharging
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A homeowner in Southern California filed a lawsuit alleging that an
NRT-affiliated company overcharged her for a natural hazards disclosure
report that, according to the legal complaint, is inexpensive to
prepare and based entirely on easily accessible public records,
according to a COMTEX report.

The subject matter of the lawsuit draws attention to a company's
alleged practice of charging home sellers a higher price for a
particular transaction-related service when the seller is represented
by a brokerage company affiliated with the service provider.

The homeowner who filed the lawsuit listed her home for sale with
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Southern California, then
purchased a natural hazards disclosure report from Property ID, an
affiliated company of the NRT-owned Coldwell Banker brokerage,
according to the complaint.  She paid $114 through escrow for the
report, but later learned that Property ID charges $99 for the same
report if the home seller pays for it directly.  She also learned that
also-affiliated Real Estate Disclosures charges $39 for the same report
and that competitors charge $29.50 for reports that also comply with
state law, again according to the complaint.

Though the $84.50 difference between charges might not appear worthy of
a class-action lawsuit, especially in the context of a costly
California home sale, the plaintiff is seeking it on behalf of all
California homeowners who sold a home through a Cendant brokerage and
purchased a natural hazard disclosure statement from Property ID.  
Class action status could put millions of dollars at stake.

The lawsuit doesn't allege price gouging; it charges the defendants
with breach of fiduciary duty, aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary
duty and unfair competition.  The lawsuit names a group of "Cendant
defendants" that includes:

     (1) Cendant Corp.,

     (2) Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corp.,

     (3) Century 21 Real Estate Corp.,

     (4) ERA Franchise Systems,

     (5) NRT,

     (6) Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage and

     (7) a group of "Property ID defendants" that includes that company
         and its owners

The complaint alleges that the defendants induce home sellers to
purchase overpriced reports and that Property ID charges home sellers
who hire a Cendant-affiliated real estate broker more money than it
charges other home owners for essentially the same report.

"The Property ID defendants have been able to charge such exorbitant
prices because real estate brokers and agents associated with the
Cendant defendants, who are fiduciaries for the client homeowners, have
been directed to encourage their clients to buy reports prepared by the
Property ID defendants and to conceal from their clients that the
amount charged for such report is far above the price for reports
charged by competitors of the Property ID defendants," the complaint
alleges.

The complaint notes that Real Estate Disclosures is "nothing more than
Property ID operating under a different name for purposes of competing
for sales of natural hazard disclosure services to customers
represented by real estate brokers and agents not affiliated with the
Cendant defendants."

An NRT spokesperson said Cendant does not comment on litigation, but
will be very aggressive in its response to the lawsuit.  "Property ID
believes the complaint is completely without merit, and they will seek
to have the matter dismissed. Both Property ID and Cendant are
reviewing legal options and will be very aggressive in their response
to this litigation," he said.

California law requires home sellers (or the seller's broker or agent)
to disclose to prospective buyers whether the home is located in
certain special or designated areas prone to geological hazards,
flooding, fire or seismic activity.  Sellers (or agents) who lack
knowledge about such matters can provide a third-party natural hazards
disclosure report in lieu of personally answering questions about
natural hazards zones and areas that affect the home.  The report's
content and format are specified by state law.

Virtually every home seller in the state elects to purchase a third-
party report rather than completing the form.  The huge demand for such
reports-Californians closed more than 500,000 home sales last year-
supports a significant cottage industry of companies that prepare and
sell these reports to home sellers.


CONNECTICUT: Suit Claims Governor Benefited From Failed CRRA-Enron Deal
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
A lawsuit, recently filed in Hartford Superior Court, alleges that
Governor John G. Rowland benefited from a failed $220 million deal
between Connecticut's trash authority (CRRA) and Enron Corp., The
Hartford Courant reports.

The class action claims there was a secret deal in which Enron got the
contract in exchange for contributions to the Governor's campaign and
the Republican Governors Association, of which Gov. Rowland is
chairman.

The lawsuit, prepared by the town of Rocky Hill, contends that the
Governor and other Republicans benefited politically as a "quid pro
quo" for Enron getting the deal.  The trash authority lost all of the
$220 million paid outright to Enron, when Enron subsequently went
bankrupt.  Rocky Hill is one of the 70 CRRA member-towns whose trash-
disposal rates are set to increase as a result of the loss.

Under the 1999 deal, the CRRA paid Enron $220 million in exchange for
an agreement that Enron would pay the authority $26.4 million a year
for power from a Hartford trash-to-energy plant.  Enron then would sell
this energy on the open market.  State Attorney General Richard
Blumenthal has characterized the deal as an illegal loan.

The lawsuit names more than 40 defendants, including Governor Rowland,
Enron and the CRRA.  The lawsuit alleges that "Connecticut authorities
were enticed by the false show of Enron's apparent wealth."  The suit
says that this "show" was abetted by a conspiracy of financial
institutions named as defendants, such as Citigroup Inc. and J.P.
Morgan Chase & Co., whose conduct "propped Enron up over the years."

The lawsuit further alleges, "A deal was made to give money and
business to Enron in return for promises of Enron's contributions to
the campaign of John Rowland, and increased and continued contributions
to the Republican Governors Association."  The lawsuit states further
that "John Rowland, his chief of staff, Peter Ellef, and others
participated in the quid pro quo arrangement."

The Republican governor's campaign quickly dismissed the class action
lawsuit.  "This is clearly a politically motivated lawsuit," said the
campaign spokesman, Dean Pagani.  Mr. Pagani said a leading lawyer
behind the lawsuit, Richard A. Bieder of Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder of
Bridgeport, is a longtime supporter of Democratic gubernatorial
candidate William Curry and his running mate, George Jepsen.

Attorney General Blumenthal and the town of West Hartford already have
filed lawsuits over the CRRA-Enron deal.  However, none alleges such a
broad web of interconnections and political conspiracy as the one
prepared for Rocky Hill by three lawyers including Richard Bieder.

Mr. Bieder, who said no one involved in drafting the lawsuit had spoken
with anyone from the Curry campaign, said that other towns would be
able to join the class action eventually if a judge approves.


CRACKER BARREL: Class Certification For Discrimination Suit Denied
------------------------------------------------------------------
A federal court denied class action status in a discrimination lawsuit
against Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. restaurants, according
to a report by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  The 11th Circuit
Court of Appeals in Atlanta says 40 separate parties and the NAACP
cannot join the lawsuit filed last year.

The would-be plaintiffs claim that black customers were subjected to
racial slurs and served food taken from the trash.  The Company has
strongly denied the claims. The Company now applauded the court's
decision.

The United States Justice Department announced earlier this month that
it would investigate discrimination claims against the Company.  The
lawsuit was originally filed in December 2001.


DOLLAR GENERAL: TN Court Approves Amended $162M Securities Settlement
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee
approved the amended US$162 million settlement agreement proposed by
Dollar General Corporation to settle a consolidated securities class
action pending against it.

In April 2001, the Company announced that it had become aware of
certain accounting issues that would cause it to restate its audited
financial statements for fiscal years 1999 and 1998, and to restate the
unaudited financial information for fiscal year 2000 that had been
previously released by the Company.  The Company subsequently restated
such financial statements and financial information by means of its
Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended February 2, 2001, which was filed
on January 14, 2002.

Following the April 30, 2001 announcement more than 20 purported class
action lawsuits were filed against the Company and certain current and
former officers and directors of the Company, asserting claims under
the federal securities laws.  These lawsuits were later consolidated
into a single action.

On July 17, 2001, the court entered an order appointing the Florida
State Board of Administration and the Teachers' Retirement System of
Louisiana as lead plaintiffs and the law firms of Entwistle & Cappucci
LLP, Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP and Grant & Eisenhofer,
P.A. as co-lead counsel.  On January 3, 2002, the lead plaintiffs filed
an amended consolidated class action complaint.

Among other things, plaintiffs alleged that the Company and certain of
its current and former officers and directors made misrepresentations
concerning the Company's financial results in the Company's filings
with the Securities and Exchange Commission and in various press
releases and other public statements.

January 3, 2002, the Company reached a settlement agreement with the
putative class action plaintiffs, pursuant to which the Company agreed
to pay up to $162 million to the plaintiffs in settlement for their
claims and to implement certain enhancements to its corporate
governance and internal control procedures.  Such agreement was subject
to confirmatory discovery, to the final approval of the Company's Board
of Directors, and to court approval.

On April 1, 2002, following the completion of such confirmatory
discovery, the Company and the putative class action plaintiffs amended
their settlement agreement and the plaintiffs filed a second amended
complaint, purporting to name as plaintiffs a class of persons who
purchased or otherwise made an investment decision regarding the
Company's securities and related derivative securities between March 5,
1997 and January 14, 2002.

Pursuant to the amended settlement agreement, the Company agreed to pay
$162 million to the plaintiffs in settlement for their claims and to
implement certain enhancements to its corporate governance and internal
control procedures.  The amended agreement was approved by the court on
May 24, 2002.

Pursuant to the terms of such agreement, the Company disbursed $1
million of such funds in April 2002 and the remaining amount of $161
million in June and July 2002.  In addition, the Company received from
its insurers $4.5 million in respect of such settlement in July 2002.

Plaintiffs representing fewer than 1% of the shares traded during the
class period chose to opt out of the class settlement and may elect to
pursue recovery against the Company individually.  Because no separate
litigation has yet been filed by parties who opted out, the Company
cannot estimate the potential liabilities associated with related
litigation, but it does not believe that its resolution will have a
material effect on the Company's financial position.


DOLLAR GENERAL: Agrees To Settle Shareholder Derivative Suits in TN
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Dollar General Corporation agreed to settle six shareholder derivative
lawsuits filed in Tennessee State Court against certain current and
former Company directors and officers and Deloitte & Touche LLP, the
Company's former independent accountant.  The Company is named as a
nominal defendant in the actions.

By order entered October 31, 2001, the court appointed Michael Dixon,
Jr., Carolinas Electrical Workers Retirement Fund and Thomas Dewey,
plaintiffs in one of the six filed cases, as lead plaintiffs and the
law firms of Branstetter, Kilgore, Stranch & Jennings and Stanley,
Mandel & Iola as lead counsel.  In the same order, the court stayed the
remaining cases pending completion of the lead case.

Among other things, the plaintiffs allege that certain current and
former Company directors and officers breached their fiduciary duties
to the Company and that Deloitte & Touche aided and abetted those
breaches and was negligent in its service as the Company's independent
accountant.

During August and September 2001, the Company moved to dismiss all six
cases for failure to make a pre-suit demand on the Board of Directors
and, in the alternative, requested that the court stay the actions
pending the completion of an investigation into the allegations in the
complaints by the Shareholder Derivative Claim Review Committee of the
Company's Board of Directors.  The lead plaintiffs filed an opposition
to this motion on October 2, 2001.

The Company and the individual defendants later reached a settlement
agreement with the plaintiffs in the lead Tennessee state shareholder
derivative action.  The agreement includes a payment to the Company
from a portion of the proceeds of the Company's director and officer
liability insurance policies as well as certain corporate governance
and internal control enhancements.  

The agreements' terms require that all of the stayed cases be dismissed
with prejudice by the courts in which they are pending in order for the
settlement to be effective.  Following confirmatory discovery, the
settlement agreement was preliminarily approved by the Tennessee State
Court on April 19, 2002, and received final approval on June 4, 2002.

On July 5, 2002, Cornelius P. Warren, the lead plaintiff in the federal
derivative case, appealed the approval of the settlement in the state
derivative cases to the Court of Appeals of Tennessee.  Such appeal was
dismissed by the Court of Appeals of Tennessee by Order dated July 22,
2002.  Mr. Warren has not yet filed notice of his intention to appeal
this dismissal - any such notice must be filed by no later than
September 20, 2002.

Two purported shareholder derivative lawsuits also have been filed and
consolidated in the United States District Court for the Middle
District of Tennessee against certain current and former Company
directors and officers alleging that they breached their fiduciary
duties to the Company. The Company is named as a nominal defendant in
these actions.

By motion filed on September 28, 2001, the Company requested that the
federal court abstain from exercising jurisdiction over the purported
shareholder derivative actions in deference to the pending state court
actions.  By agreement of the parties and court order dated December 3,
2001, the case was stayed until June 3, 2002.  Based on the settlement
of the Tennessee state derivative actions described below and the
dismissal of the appeal filed by Cornelius P. Warren, the lead
plaintiff in the federal derivative case, the Company and the
individual defendants moved to dismiss the federal derivative case on
August 27, 2002.  A status conference with respect to this case was
held on September 12, 2002.

Pending the final resolution of the federal derivative case and any
further appeal of the settlement that Mr. Warren may bring, $31.5
million of proceeds of the Company's director and officer insurance
policies are being held in escrow.  If the settlement becomes final,
the Company expects that it will result in a net payment to the
Company, after attorneys' fees payable to the plaintiffs' counsel, of
approximately $25.2 million, which payment has not yet been accrued in
the Company's financial statements.

The Company has been notified that the SEC is conducting an
investigation into the circumstances that gave rise to the Company's
April 30, 2001 announcement.  The Company is cooperating with this
investigation by providing documents and other information to the SEC.

At this time, the Company is unable to predict the outcome of this
investigation and the ultimate effects on the Company.


FMC CORPORATION: Judge Approves Settlement of WV Environmental Suit
-------------------------------------------------------------------
After going through two jury trials and a federal appeal, the class
action involving a leak at FMC Corporation's chemical plant in Nitro,
West Virginia has been settled with a judge's approval, Associated
Press Newswires reports.

A federal judge approved the $1.35 million settlement between the
Company and people who say they were injured by the 1995 leak.  US
District Court Judge Charles H. Haden II will grant the settlement
final approval in 30 days if no last-minute objections are made.

The settlement addresses the claims of minor injuries, lost wages and
property damages from more than 400 people eligible as a class under
the class action certification.  Those allegedly injured in the
accident will receive allocated shares of about half the settlement
amount.  The remaining money will pay for attorney expenses and fees.

The Company was sued after more than 6,000 pounds of phosphorous
trichloride erupted from a tank on a rainy December 5, 1995.  The
chemical reacted with water in the air, producing a cloud of
hydrochloric acid.  The release forced thousands of residents indoors
and led officials to close several highways.


GEORGIA: Implementation of Tough New Predatory Lending Law Commences
--------------------------------------------------------------------
A tough new lending law recently has taken effect in Georgia, with a
set of rules that stirred controversy even before it took effect, some
of its critics fearing the strict rules would chase many lenders away
from making high-interest, high-fee loans, the Atlanta Journal-
Constitution reports.  

One of the critics referred to the provision of the new law, which
states there is no limit on how much could be collected in a class
action civil suit.  "And that is what really scares people," said
attorney Donald Lampe, partner at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice.

However, the full impact is still uncertain. Advocates on all sides
will watch to see whether the Georgia Fair Lending Act protects
consumers and makes borrowing more affordable or whether it chokes off
credit to those who need cash.

The new law puts Georgia among a handful of mostly larger states aiming
to squash predatory loans, which are calculated to exploit poor and
minority populations.  The rules are far-reaching and the penalties
have a bite, said Mr. Lampe.  "I think it is going to make a
difference," said Mr. Lampe, author of a guide for lenders.

The Georgia law is modeled on regulation passed several years ago in
North Carolina, but the Georgia version goes further.  Virtually
everyone in the lending process, including bankers, brokers and anyone
buying the right to collect payments, is liable if the loan violates
the law.  Penalties include up to six months in jail and a $1000 fine
per violation.

Lenders who make higher-interest loans or who charge higher fees will
now face added scrutiny.  Lenders have argued that the higher charges
are needed to make up for the risk in lending to people with bad
credit.  However, architects of the law argue that those same consumers
need protection.   The contracts sometimes require payments beyond the
consumers' means, putting them in danger of losing their homes.

The trade-off will be handled by the Georgia Department of Banking and
Finance, which must enforce the law.  The effect of the law is hard to
predict, said Acting Commissioner David Sorrell.  "What we are trying
to do is balance the protection of consumers with the availability of
credit," he said.

Senator Vincent Fort (D-Atlanta), the law's chief sponsor, remains
convinced of the law's value.  "Our intent is to restrict the bad
loans, not the good loans," he said.  "It is a good law, and we need to
see how it works over the next few years."

Loretta Salzano, an attorney who represents lenders, however, argues
that fear of the law's enforcement provisions will scare off "good
guys" who will no longer make loans to people who need them.  She
stated that critics will absolutely try to revise the law at the next
legislative session.


GERBER SCIENTIFIC: Plaintiffs To File Consolidated Suit in CT Court
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs in the securities class actions pending against Gerber
Scientific, Inc. and several of its current and former officers and
directors are expected to file a consolidated amended suit in the
United States District Court for the District of Connecticut.  

The suits, filed on behalf of purchasers of the Company's publicly
traded stock between May 27, 1999 and April 12, 2002, allege, among
other things, that during the class period, the Company and the
individual defendants knowingly issued false and misleading financial
statements and financial information in violation of Sections 10(b) and
20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

The first of these complaints was filed on April 18, 2002, three days
after the Company announced, among other things, that it expected to
take a pre-tax charge of roughly $12 million principally in connection
with inventory write-downs in its fiscal fourth quarter ending April
30, 2002.  In conjunction with that charge, the Company would seek a
waiver of certain covenants under its principal credit facility for the
quarter ended April 30, 2002.

The Company was conducting an internal review of its financial
reporting for the period beginning January 1, 1998 and through the
fiscal year ending April 30, 2002, a review prompted by an
investigation initiated by the Securities and Exchange Commission which
the Company understands was originally focused on possible insider
trading and then expanded to encompass the Company's inventory and
reserve accounting practices and related disclosures.  Based on the
information reviewed at the time of the Company's announcement, the
Company believed that a restatement of its historical financial
statements would be likely.

By order, dated July 12, 2002, the court consolidated the eight
putative class action complaints, appointing the Louisiana Municipal
Employees' Retirement System as lead plaintiff.  The Company expects to
respond to the consolidated suit after it is filed and to provide a
vigorous defense to the litigation.

The Company is unable to predict the ultimate outcome of these actual
and potential claims or quantify the cost to resolve them.  However,
the costs of defending the Company and its current and former officers
and directors who have been or may be named as defendants, as well as
related costs, have been and are likely to continue to be substantial
unless these claims and the SEC's investigation are promptly resolved.


GOODY'S FAMILY: Plaintiffs Ask GA Court To Certify Race Bias Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs in the class action against Goody's Family Clothing, Inc.
have asked the United States District Court for the Middle District of
Georgia to certify the suit as a class action.

The suit was originally filed in February 1999 against the Company and
Robert M. Goodfriend, its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, by 20
named plaintiffs, generally alleging that the Company discriminated
against a class of African-American employees at its retail stores
through the use of discriminatory selection and compensation procedures
and by maintaining unequal terms and conditions of employment.

The plaintiffs further allege that the Company maintained a racially
hostile working environment. The plaintiffs' claims are being brought
under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, and under
the Civil Rights Act of 1866.

The plaintiffs are seeking to have this action certified as a class
action, but only as to the issue of promotions.  By way of damages, the
plaintiffs are seeking, among other things:

     (1) injunctive relief (including restructuring of the Company's
         selection and compensation procedures),

     (2) back pay,

     (3) an award of attorneys' fees and costs, and

     (4) other monetary relief

The Company is disputing these claims and is continuing to defend these
matters vigorously.  The Company is unable to estimate the effect, if
any, the above lawsuit may have on its financial position, results of
operations or cash flows.


GOODY'S FAMILY: Stockholder Files Suit To Block Buyout by Private Group
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
A Michigan shareholder filed suit against Goody's Family Clothing, Inc.
and its directors in order to block the sale of the Company to a
private equity group, the Associated Press Newswires reports.  David
Osher of Franklin, Michigan filed the lawsuit, which seeks class action
status, in Knox County Chancery Court, in Tennessee.

The lawsuit alleges that "the defendants have improperly engaged in a
course of conduct designed to benefit themselves at the expense of
Goody's shareholders."  The lawsuit also contends that the sale could
"irreparably" damage the thousands of people holding some 14.3 million
shares in the 328-store chain.

The Knoxville, Tennessee-based company, a retailer of moderately priced
clothing, announced recently that it had signed a letter of intent to
sell all its outstanding common stock to a private equity group for
between $212 million to $245 million.

Company spokeswoman Pam Williams described the group as a financial
buyer looking to increase the Company's value, the group is not another
retailer that will merge it into its operations.  The purchase would be
between $6.50 and $7.50 per share.  If a final agreement is reached,
the transaction would likely close during the first quarter of fiscal
2003.


INDIANA: Medicaid Coverage Ordered For Mentally Ill Kids' Treatment
-------------------------------------------------------------------
A federal judge ordered Indiana's Medicaid program to cover many
treatment expenses for mentally ill children whose parents cannot
afford the costs, according to a report by Associated Press Newswires.

The ruling, which is expected to have a significant impact on the
state's budget, applies to long-term room, board and treatment
expenses.  The Indiana Civil Liberties Union (ICLU), which filed the
civil rights class action against the state's Family and Social
Services Administration on behalf of the children, that led to the
ruling, said the decision could apply to thousands of Indiana residents
under 21 who are eligible for Medicaid.

US District Judge Richard L. Young ruled that the refusal of Indiana's
Medicaid program to pay for residential treatment of mentally ill
children violates federal law.  "The state has decided that these
children are `lost causes'. In other words, that they are too disabled
for treatment,"  Judge Young wrote in a 23-page decision.  "The court
does not believe (taking this point of view) was the intent of
Congress."  Rather, he wrote, federal law requires Indiana Medicaid to
pay for care of children and adolescents who qualify for Medicaid, and
require psychiatric care at accredited residential centers.

State officials could not estimate the cost to the Medicaid program,
except to say it could prove substantial.  If there are not adequate
facilities in Indiana for these children, care for them would have to
be provided out of state, Melanie Bella, the state's Medicaid director,
told The Indianapolis Star.  Ms. Bella said the state is likely to
appeal.

Indiana Medicaid has a long-standing policy of refusing to pay for care
of children and adolescents requiring long-term mental health
treatment.


MISSOURI: Sex Offenders Seek to Bar Release of State, County Name Lists
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
A federal judge has been asked to bar the state and its 114 counties
from releasing their lists of convicted sexual offenders in a recently
filed lawsuit, the Associated Press Newswires reports.

US District Judge Nanette K. Laughrey already has granted a preliminary
injunction barring the release of the names of three Kansas City-area
plaintiffs.  Earlier, she granted class action status to six other men
challenging the law, meaning that those six now potentially represent
more than 17,000 Missouri residents required to register.

Attorney Arthur Benson II, who represents the plaintiffs, asked Judge
Laughrey to extend the preliminary injunction to the entire class,
essentially gutting Missouri's "Megan's Law."  The law requires
convicted sex offenders to register with authorities.  Registration
lists, which are supposed to include names and the current address of
those convicted of certain sexual offenses, can be obtained at the
sheriff's offices.

Plaintiffs' attorney Arthur A. Benson II said the law makes no
distinction between a serial rapist and someone who had underage sex,
and can stigmatize people who are not dangerous.  "We (therefore) have
asked the court to prohibit the dissemination to the public of the
(sexual offender) registration list," Mr. Benson said.

The developments stem from an amendment to Missouri's Megan's Law that
took effect in August.  It requires all sex offenders to register with
their sheriff's office.  Previously, the law only required offenders to
register when they moved into a county.


MTI TECHNOLOGY: Trial in Securities Fraud Suit Set August 2003 in CA
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Trial in the securities class action pending against MTI Technology
Corporation has been set for August 19,2003 in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of California.  

Several suits were filed against the Company and its officers from July
through September 2000, alleging that the Company was aware of adverse
information that it failed to disclose primarily during fiscal year
2000 and, hence, that it violated specified provisions of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the rules promulgated thereunder.  

The suits were later consolidated, alleging a class period from July
22, 1999 to July 27, 2000 and alleges that the defendants were aware of
certain adverse information that they failed to disclose during that
period.  

The Company then filed a motion to dismiss the complaint, which the
court granted.  However, the plaintiffs filed a second amended suit,
which the Company again moved to dismiss.  In October 2001, the court
denied the Company's motion to dismiss.  However, on June 12, 2002, the
court struck all but three allegations of the second amended suit.

The Company believes the alleged claims in this lawsuit are without
merit and is defending the lawsuit vigorously.  However, due to the
inherent uncertainties of the litigation process and the judicial
system, the Company is unable to predict the outcome of this
litigation.


NBTY INC.: NY Court Dismisses Securities Suit Due To Lack of Basis
------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
dismissed the consolidated securities class action pending against
NBTY, Inc. and certain of its officers and directors, saying the suit
was "totally without basis," the Company said in a press release.

The suit, was filed on behalf of purchasers of the Company's stock
between January 27, 2000 and June 15, 2000 against the Company and
certain of its officers and directors.  The suit alleged that the
defendants failed to disclose material facts during the class period
which purportedly resulted in a decline in the price of the Company's
stock after June 15, 2000, according to an earlier Class Action
Reporter story.

In October, 2001, the Company has made an application to the court
seeking dismissal of the lawsuit on the basis that it is legally
deficient, which the court granted. Plaintiffs have thirty days to
amend their suit.


NCS PEARSON: Reaches Settlement For Student Basic Skills Testing Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The Eden Prairie testing company, NCS Pearson, that incorrectly scored
Minnesota's basic-skills test in 2000, has reached a preliminary
settlement in a class action, according to a plaintiffs' attorney, the
Associated Press Newswires reports.

The error resulted in 8,000 Minnesota students being told they had
failed the test, when they actually had passed.  Forty-eight seniors
did not get to participate in their high school graduation ceremonies
due to the scoring debacle.  Sixteen later participated in a NCS
Pearson-funded graduation ceremony hosted by Gov. Jesse Ventura.

The case was scheduled to go to trial in Hennepin County District Court
on Monday, but the parties averted trial by reaching an agreement, said
Shawn Raiter, lead attorney for the plaintiffs.

"The parties have agreed to the main principles, and now we are going
to work on the details," Mr. Raiter said, adding that the details are
"pretty insignificant."

The terms are confidential until Judge Allen Oleisky gives preliminary
approval to the settlement, an action expected in the next two weeks,
Mr. Raiter said.  Judge Oleisky likely will approve it, added Mr.
Raiter, because he was involved in crafting the settlement.

The testing firm, formerly National Computer Systems Inc., gave checks
to more than 60 families and granted college tuition vouchers to at
least a dozen seniors.  About 8,000 students and their families were
included in the class action.  If Judge Oleisky gives preliminary
approval to the settlement, then the members of the class action will
be given the opportunity to comment on or object to the terms, Mr.
Raiter said.

If there are no objections, the settlement will be presented to the
judge for his final approval.  Mr. Raiter said the whole process could
take six to eight weeks.


OPENING SCHOOLS: Faces Suit On Behalf of Students Who Paid for Courses
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Spanish law firm Fabregas & Oriola intends to file a civil class action
in Barcelona against Opening, the collapsed Spanish group of language
schools, and certain banks.  The action is on behalf of 115 Opening
students who have had to continue to pay back loans to banks which
financed the courses, even though they are not being taught, COMTEX
reports.

The lawsuit aims to:

     (1) rescind the contract between the students and Opening;

     (2) cancel the loans;

     (3) get a refund on loan installments paid since the closure and
         damages for the students.

The law firm plans to file further class actions over the next few
days.  Last Wednesday, 38 students affected by the collapse of Opening
filed a civil suit in a Tenerife, Spain court.


PORTAL SOFTWARE: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Consolidated Securities Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Portal Software, Inc. asked the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York to dismiss the consolidated securities
class action pending against it, certain of its officers and several
underwriters of the Company's initial public offering (IPO).

The lawsuit alleges violations of Section 11 of the Securities Act of
1933, as amended and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934, as amended, arising from alleged improprieties by the
underwriters in connection with Company's 1999 IPO and follow-on public
offering, and claims to be on behalf of all persons who purchased
Company shares from May 5, 1999 through December 6, 2000.

Specifically, the complaints allege that the underwriters charged
certain of their customers fees in excess of those disclosed in the
prospectus and engaged in certain allegedly improper activities in
connection with the distribution of the IPO shares.  The complaint was
subsequently amended to allege similar claims with respect to the
Company's secondary public offering in September 1999.

The consolidated suit, filed on April 19, 2002, is part of the IPO
Securities Litigation against over 300 issuers and nearly 40
underwriters alleging claims virtually identical to those alleged
against the Company.

A motion to dismiss addressing issues common to the companies and
individuals who have been sued in these actions was filed, by the
Company on July 15, 2002. The Company intends to vigorously oppose the
suit.


RENT-A-CENTER INC.: $47M Sex Discrimination Suit Settlement Approved
--------------------------------------------------------------------
A judge approved a $47 million settlement for thousands of women who
claim they were unfairly denied or driven out of jobs with the nation's
largest operator of rent-to-own stores, Rent-A-Center Inc., the
Associated Press reports.

Out of the 6,000 current and former female employees and 10,000 female
applicants who were denied jobs, more than 5,000 made class action
claims, according to Mary Anne Sedey, lead attorney for the plaintiffs.

The company, in addition to the financial settlement, also will hire
the plaintiffs and make sweeping changes to its employment practices in
settling the two sex-discrimination lawsuits emanating from federal
courts in East St. Louis, Illinois and Memphis, Tennessee.

The plaintiffs alleged that the Plano, Texas-based Company drove women
out by demoting or firing them, making them work in high-crime areas
and subjecting them to "intrusive tests" about sex, religion and
personal bathroom habits.  Male managers have said that after a change
in ownership in 1998, they were told to do what was necessary to get
rid of women employees, said Ms. Sedey.

The hiring of the plaintiffs works in this way; the company agrees to
fill 10 percent of job vacancies in the first 15 months after the
settlement with women fired because of their gender since 1998, or who
were rejected as job applicants because they were women.  However, the
29 named lead plaintiffs will get a larger award, and will not be
eligible for new job openings with the company.

The Company also agreed to:

     (1) set up a hotline for employees and job applicants to report
         discrimination;

     (2) report regularly on employment policies and training programs,
         sex-discrimination complaints and hirings, firings and
         promotions;

     (3) create a human resource department to replace one that had
         been dismantled;

     (4) publicize its desire to recruit women;

     (5) hire a consultant and ombudsman;

     (6) produce and show a video tape spelling out the company's
         commitment to non-discrimination;

     (7) seek qualified women to serve on its all-male board of
         directors.  

Rent-A-Center operates about 2,400 stores in all 50 states, Washington,
D.C. and Puerto Rico.


TOBACCO LITIGATION: Jury Rejects Attendant's Claim On Secondhand Smoke
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A flight attendant's claim that her sinus disease was caused by years
of working in smoky jet cabins was rejected recently by a jury, the
second such victory for tobacco companies in a month, the Dow Jones
International News reports.  The jury deliberated two hours before
rejecting a $1.1 million claim for damages by Julia Tucker, a 25-year
U.S. Airways Group flight attendant, with chronic sinusitis.  

Industry attorney Daniel Molony blamed Ms. Tucker's illnesses on
allergies, rather than cigarette smoke.  The trial over compensatory
damages grew out of a 1997 class action settlement between four leading
cigarette makers and nonsmoking flight attendants.

The settlement sets up a $300 million foundation to study smoke-related
illnesses and paved the way for compensatory damage mini-trials on
1,800 attendants' claims.  Punitive damages are not allowed.

Four previous trials on attendants' claims have ended with a US$5.5
million verdict, two decisions favoring tobacco and a mistrial.

Philip Gerson, one of Ms. Tucker's attorneys, said he was disappointed
by the verdict, but he said he did not believe the cases would affect
future claims.


XCEL ENERGY: Fraternal Group Commences Securities Suit in MN Court
------------------------------------------------------------------
A fraternal organization that invested in Xcel Energy stock has filed a
lawsuit against the energy provider, accusing it of making fraudulent
financial statements, the Aberdeen American News (SD) reports.  
Catholic Workman, a New Prague-based organization that sells life
insurance and annuities to Catholics in rural areas, filed its lawsuit
in the United States District Court in Minneapolis.

The lawsuit alleges that the Company used fraudulent financial
statements to prop up the value of its stock and bonds and did not
disclose the true nature of the financial difficulties facing NRG
Energy, its wholesale power subsidiary.

Catholic Workman bought $200,373 worth of Xcel stock earlier this year
when the shares were trading between $21.39 and $23.40.  The stock
closed at $8.59 on Friday, making its investment worth about $77,600, a
decline of 61 percent.

Last March, Catholic Workman invested $600,000 in NRG bonds.  The
bonds, investment grade at the time, have since been reduced to junk
status because of NRG's ongoing financial difficulties.  They trade for
about 25 cents on the dollar.

Catholic Workman has 16,000 members and assets of about $53 million.  A
number of shareholder lawsuits have been filed against Xcel, but this
action is the the first to be filed over NRG's bonds.

NRG is on the verge of bankruptcy.  The Company is trying to
restructure more than $9 billion in debt, and it has defaulted on one
$800 million bond issue.  NRG also has been sued for its alleged role
in the California energy crisis.

An Xcel spokesman said the Company could not comment because it had not
seen the lawsuit.


XEROX CORP.: Judge Orders Payment of Nearly $300M In Retirement Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------------
A federal judge has ruled in a class action that Xerox Corporation's
pension plan must pay nearly $300 million to thousands of retirees he
has found were shortchanged, Associated Press Newswires reports.

US District Court Judge David R. Herndon, who sits in East St. Louis,
Illinois, adopted the retirees' method for calculating damages, which
amounted to $284 million.  Last year, Judge Herndon ruled that the
Company incorrectly calculated payments for retiring employees who
chose to receive pension benefits in a single payment rather than in
monthly checks.  The retirees who chose the single-payment method
received lower amounts than they would have been due under federal
pension-benefits regulations, Judge Herndon ruled.

The suit affects about 13,000 Xerox retirees, according to their
attorneys, Stephen Katz and Douglas Sprong.  They said the "vast
majority" will receive additional benefits.

The payment may require the Company to make additional contributions to
the retirement plan based on a potential shortfall, the company said.  
The Company said in a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange
Commission that it will appeal the decision.


*New York's New Noise Reduction Program Might Spur Rights Litigation
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg recently announced a program to tackle the
quality-of-life problem intensely vexing to New York City residents--
the barking dogs, the screeching car alarms, the hideous music blaring
from cars, and the drunken bar patrons who share their feelings with
everyone on a block at three o'clock in the morning, The New York Times
reports.

This initiative, known as Operation Silent Night, is the city's most
aggressive attack on noise since 1994, when the Police Department went
after noisemakers, particularly in Greenwich Village in Manhattan, with
summonses.

As such a program is contemplated, one thinks about what a crack-down
on noise may entail. The possibility of complaints about violations of
freedom of speech by the citizens of that noisy city become apparent,
the courts having found that the numerous ways that people express
themselves, from marching down a street to banging on a drum, to
singing in the streets, may be considered "speech."

Complaints about the violations of freedom of speech can quickly
translate into litigation by groups of people.  Operation Silent Night
will focus on 24 neighborhoods, several in each borough, that have been
identified as among the noisiest in the city, based on calls to the
city's quality-of-life hot line.  Of the 97,000 calls that come into
that hot line each year, 85 percent are about noise.  Already in 2002,
93,000 New Yorkers have called with complaints about excessive or
disruptive noise.

Further, the city has hired consultants to help rewrite the city's
noise laws, not been updated since 1972, which are confusing and do not
account for things like air-conditioners, for example.

Noise complaints that come into the quality-of-life hot line or to
police precincts or the Department of Environmental Protection, will
now be fast-tracked to each precinct's executive officer, who will be
responsible for addressing the complaint quickly.

Mayor Bloomberg has promised that enforcement of noise infractions,
which are frequently dismissed, will increase significantly.  The
program went into effect on October 5. Tickets ranging from
$45 to $25,000 will be issued.  Arrests, in the most extreme cases,
will be made and cars with blaring alarms will be towed.

"Examples will be made," said Vincent A. LaPadula, a senior adviser to
the mayor who is in charge of coordinating the effort.  "We are going
to seize cars; that is how people get the message."

Other messages that may be sent may occur in upper Manhattan, where a
24-hour restaurant has been the object of numerous noise complaints.  
In such an instance, the police would work with the city's Department
of Consumer Affairs, which could close establishments where excessive
noise occurs.  The lawsuits that might follow upon such scenarios are
obvious, and the airwaves will be rife with complaints regarding all
the rights that are being violated.

However, Mayor Bloomberg is insisting that loud noise like music
blaring from speakers in Queens the other night, or people singing on
the corner of Jane Street and Hudson Street, so loudly and so badly as
to elicit complaints, will no longer be tolerated.  The results will be
interesting to watch. New Yorkers don't accept "crack-downs" lightly.

                     New Securities Fraud Cases     

ELECTRONIC DATA: Chitwood Harley Commences Securities Suit in E.D. TX
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Chitwood & Harley initiated a securities class action in the United
States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas on behalf of
all persons who purchased or otherwise acquired the securities of
Electronic Data Systems Corporation (NYSE:EDS) between April 19, 2002
and September 24, 2002, inclusive.

The complaint charges the Company 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 promulgated thereunder.  The
complaint alleges 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, and claims
defendants misrepresented the truth about, inter alia, the Company's
operations and financial condition and as a result, the price of
Company securities was artificially inflated during the class period.

During the class period, the complaint asserts that defendants issued
numerous statements highlighting the Company's strong financial
performance despite the fact that its revenues were contingent on
factors not in the Company's control, that overseas contracts were
performing below expectations, and that the Company was recording and
reporting receipts from contracts as assets even though the contracts
were not yet fully recognized.

When Wall Street began to learn about the foregoing on September 18,
2002 after Company executives warned that a lack of new revenues would
wipe out more than $0.60 per share of its Q3 earnings target of $0.74,
the price of Company stock plummeted to a 52-week low of $20, down from
a class period high of $72.45.

After further revelations regarding the Company's put-option and other
liabilities emerged in the wake of the foregoing disclosures, the
Company's share price tumbled even further, reaching an intraday low of
$10.09 before closing at $11.68 on September 24, 2002.

For more details, contact Nikole Davenport by Mail: 2300 Promenade II,
1230 Peachtree Street, N.E., Atlanta, Georgia by Phone: 1-888-873-3999
(toll-free) by E-mail: nmd@classlaw.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.classlaw.com.  


FLEMING COMPANIES: Wechsler Harwood Commences Securities Suit in TX
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Wechsler Harwood LLP initiated a securities class action in the United
States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas on behalf of
purchasers of Fleming Companies Inc. (NYSE:FLM) common stock during the
period between May 9, 2001 and September 4, 2002.

The complaint alleges that the Company and certain of its officers and
directors violated the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  The Company is
a wholesale food distributor, supplying brand name and private label
food and general merchandise to thousands of retailers.  It also owns
more than 100 stores operating under the Food4Less and Rainbow Foods
banners.

The complaint alleges that during the class period, the Company issued
false statements, including false financial results in which the
Company included income from vendor discounts to which the Company was
not entitled.

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

On September 5, 2002, the Company announced its estimates would need to
be reduced.  On the same day, The Wall Street Journal discussed the
Company practice of taking excessive deductions on the amounts it owed
to vendors.  The article mentioned an executive of the Company who
resigned due to his objection to the practice, and also indicated that
some vendors refused to ship to the Company because of disputes with
Fleming over the practice.

Once this news was revealed, Company stock collapsed to $6.87 before
closing at $6.92, some 80% below the class period high of $37.30.

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


HOUSEHOLD INTERNATIONAL: Emerson Firm Commences Securities Suit in IL
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The Emerson Firm initiated a securities class 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 Household International 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 Ms. Tanya R. Autry by Mail: 830 Apollo Lane
Houston, Texas 77058 by Phone: 800-663-9817 or by E-mail:
tanya.autry@worldnet.att.net  


MSC INDUSTRIAL: Marc Henzel Commences Securities Fraud Suit in E.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Marc S. Henzel initiated a securities class action
in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New
York on behalf of purchasers of MSC Industrial Direct Co., Inc. (NYSE:
MSM) who purchased during the period between November 4, 1999 and
August 5, 2002, inclusive.  The suit names as defendants the Company
and:

     (1) Mitchell Jacobson,

     (2) Sidney Jacobson,

     (3) Shelley Boxer,

     (4) Charles Boehlke,

     (5) David Sandler,

     (6) James Schroeder,

     (7) Dennis Kelly,

     (8) Raymond Langton,

     (9) Roger Fradin and

    (10) Philip Peller

The complaint alleges that defendants issued materially false and
misleading financial statements and press releases concerning the
Company's revenues, income and earnings per share during the class
period in violation of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder.

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


PERKINELMER INC.: Marc Henzel Commences Securities Suit in MA Court
-------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Marc S. Henzel initiated a securities class action
in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts,
on behalf of purchasers of the securities of PerkinElmer, Inc. (NYSE:
PKI) between July 15, 2001 and April 11, 2002, inclusive, against the
Company and:

     (1) Gregory L. Summe (CEO, President and Chairman) and

     (2) Robert F. Friel (CFO)

The complaint charges 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 materially false and misleading
statements to the market between July 15, 2001 and April 11, 2002.

According to the complaint, the Company issued numerous press releases
regarding its performance during the class period which represented
that:

     (i) the Company was successfully growing its revenues and
         earnings;

    (ii) the Company's transformation into a provider of health-related
         products and services was proceeding successfully and that the
         Company would meet its financial performance targets for 2002.

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

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

The full truth regarding the Company's business was not fully disclosed
until April 11, 2002, when the Company issued a press release revealing
that its reported earnings will be breakeven, instead of the figure of
$0.16-$0.17 per share that the Company had stated, on March 1, it
expects to earn, and that its revenues will decline in the first
quarter of 2002 because of weakness in all of its division.  

In reaction to the announcement, Company stock plummeted by another
28%, falling from $16.70 per share on April 10, 2002 to $12.04 by the
close of April 11, on extremely heavy trading volume. The individual
defendants and other Company insiders sold a total of 595,000 common
stock during the class period, reaping gross proceeds in excess of
$18.4 million and the Company completed a significant acquisition using
its common stock as currency.

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


VODAFONE GROUP: Marc Henzel Commences Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Marc S. Henzel initiated a securities class action
on behalf of purchasers of the securities of Vodafone Group plc (NYSE:
VOD) between March 7, 2001 and May 28, 2002, inclusive, in the United
States District Court, Southern District of New York, against the
Company and:

     (1) Ian Maclaurin,

     (2) Chris Gent,

     (3) Julian Horn-Smith and

     (4) Ken Hydon

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

The complaint alleges that, throughout the class period, defendants
issued numerous statements highlighting the Company's strong financial
performance and growth and reassured investors that the Company
maintained a "solid balance sheet."

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

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

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

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

On May 28, 2002, the last day of the class period, the Company
announced its financial results for the fiscal year 2002, the period
ending March 31, 2002, which included massive write downs for goodwill
of approximately (pound)13.47 billion and exceptional items and
operating costs of (pound)5.4 billion and exceptional non-operating
costs of (pound)865 million.  

At the end of the class period, the price of Company ADRs closed at
$15.19 per ADR, as compared to a class period high of $33.26 per ADR.

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


WALT DISNEY: Marc Henzel Commences Securities Fraud Suit in C.D. CA
-------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Marc S. Henzel initiated a securities class action
in the United States District Court for the Central District of
California on behalf of all purchasers of securities of the Walt Disney
Co. (NYSE: DIS) during the period from August 15, 1997 through May 15,
2002.

The complaint asserts claims for violation of Section 10(b) of the
Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder against the Company and certain senior executives, and
asserts claims for violation of Section 20(a) against certain
management executives.

The alleged violations, according to the complaint, stem from
defendants' concealment of the existence, details, and potential
effects of a pending lawsuit over merchandising rights for products
bearing the likeness of Winnie the Pooh characters. The lawsuit seeks
to recover losses suffered by investors during the period described
above, excluding the defendants and their affiliates.

For eleven years, the Company has been involved in a bitterly contested
lawsuit with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake, but throughout
they have never advised their stockholders of its existence.  After the
Company first disclosed the potential effects of the litigation on May
15, its stock price fell, reaching $13.77 on August 13, a decline of
over 40%.

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


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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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