CAR_Public/021015.mbx               C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R
  
              Tuesday, October 15, 2002, Vol. 4, No. 204

                           Headlines
                             
CALIFORNIA: Faces Lawsuit Saying State Culpable For Poor Education
CHICAGO BOARD: Illinois Court Favors CBOT In Soybean Antitrust Lawsuit
CONNECTICUT: Town Favors Settling School Board Employees' Grievance
DORAL DENTAL: Dentist Claims He Was Fired Due To Racial Discrimination
DT INDUSTRIES: MO Court Dismisses Securities Fraud Suit With Prejudice

EL PASO: Shareholder Joins Securities Suit, Seeks Lead Plaintiff Role
FLORIDA: Miami Approves Distribution of Refunds on 20% Parking Tax
GEORGIA GULF: Judge Delays Personal Injury Settlement After Approval
GTECH HOLDINGS: RI Court Partially Grants Dismissal To Securities Suit
HOUSEHOLD INTERNATIONAL INC.: Settles Lawsuit Over Predatory Lending

INTERNATIONAL HOUSE OF PANCAKES: Workers Sue Over Hostile Workplace
IOWA: Children Wait For Court-Ordered Services, Lawyer To Take Action
KANSAS CITY: Local Cardiologist At Center Of Fen-Phen Drug Settlement
LANTRONIX INC.: Plaintiffs File Consolidated Securities Suit in C.D. CA
LANTRONIX INC.: Faces Shareholder Derivative Suit in CA State Court

MISSOURI: Judge Grants More Time For Arguments Over Class Certification
NAHC INC.: Plaintiffs Appeal Dismissal of PA Securities Fraud Suit
NEW YORK: Ex-Undercover Police Officer Sues New York Police Over Safety
PDB SPORTS: Court Rejects Legal Challenge Over Broncos Ticket Prices
PRUDENTIAL SECURITIES: Jury Awards Investors More Than $250M Damages

QUE MANAGEMENT: Mounting Vigorous Defense V. Antitrust Suit in S.D. NY
ROCHE: Profits Down Because of Lawsuits Over Vitamin Price-Fixing
TOBACCO LITIGATION: Smokeless Tobacco Firm Settles Consumer Lawsuit
UNITED STATES: Hungarian Holocaust Survivors Sue To Recover Lost Loot
UST LIQUIDATING: Plaintiffs File Personal Non-Derivative Suit in CA

VARI-L CO.: Reaches MOU To Settle Consolidated Securities Suit in CO
VENTURE CATALYST: CA Court Remands Securities Suit To Federal Court
VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS: Consent Decree Approved In Discrimination Suit
ZALE CORPORATION: Employees File Overtime Wage Suit in CA State Court

                     New Securities Fraud Cases  

CUTTER & BUCK: Milberg Weiss Commences Securities Fraud Suit in W.D. WA
CUTTER & BUCK: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges Securities Suit in W.D. WA
DUANE READE: Wolf Haldenstein Commences Securities Suit in S.D. NY
ELECTRONIC DATA: Abbey Gardy Commences Securities Suit in E.D. Texas
ESS TECHNOLOGY: Milberg Weiss Commences Securities Suit in N.D. CA

SALOMON SMITH: Kaplan Fox Commences Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY

                             *********

CALIFORNIA: Faces Lawsuit Saying State Culpable For Poor Education
------------------------------------------------------------------
The state of California is partly to blame for a shortage of qualified
teachers, inadequate facilities and overcrowding at some California
schools, according to testimony given at a recent hearing in a class
action, filed by students and the American Civil Liberties Union
(ACLU).

The lawsuit, filed in San Francisco Superior Court last year, accuses
the state of providing its poorest public school students with an
inferior education.  The lawsuit alleges that "oversight and management
systems are either nonexistent or inadequate," and also avers that
students at some schools are subject to conditions that include toilets
that do not flush, rat infestation and moldy walls. Experts filed
reports that called the conditions an insult to students.

Seeing rats on the floor sends a message that "people in authority must
not care very much about student learning and about the students
themselves," said New York Commissioner of Education Thomas Sobol.

"The scary part is that the state rejects any accountability for its
system that leaves behind most low-income children and children of
color," said Mark Rosenbaum, the ACLU of Southern California's legal
director.

UCLA professor Jeannie Oakes said that the state "must alter its
policies and practices . to ensure that all students have access to
the basics."

Michelle Fine, a City University of New York professor, surveyed more
than 100 California public schools students and said the shortcomings
undermine learning.  "The conditions in these schools convert yearning
to anger, pride to shame and civic engagement to alienation," Professor
Fine said.


CHICAGO BOARD: Illinois Court Favors CBOT In Soybean Antitrust Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A federal judge recently ruled in favor of the Chicago Board of Trade
(CBOT), in a case in which it was sued after the CBOT moved to stop an
Italian firm from cornering the market for soybeans, according to a
report by the Chicago Tribune.

A group of farmers filed a class action against the exchange over its
decision in July 1989, that required traders and others with large
positions in soybean futures to liquidate.  That had the effect of
driving down soybean prices.  The decision was aimed at Ferruzzi
Finanziaria SpA, which had aggressively bought soybean futures.

"The judge made a determination that the plaintiffs had failed to put
on sufficient evidence that would allow any reasonable jury to find for
them," said lawyer Garrett Johnson of Kirkland & Ellis, which
represented the exchange.


CONNECTICUT: Town Favors Settling School Board Employees' Grievance
-------------------------------------------------------------------
The Town of Stafford's board of selectmen recommended that the town
settle a grievance by school board employees over the financial
windfall resulting from the sale of Anthem Inc. stock, The Hartford
Courant reports.  Anthem, which owns Blue Cross/Blue Shield, disbursed
the stock to policyholders such as Stafford when the company went from
a mutual company to a stock corporation.

Towns and cities received varying amounts of stock depending on the
value of their policies.  By law, the state's municipalities cannot own
stock and were required to sell the Anthem stock.

Stafford made a windfall as a result of the sale; namely, $687,000.  
The school board employees filed a grievance with the town, arguing
that they should receive a share of the Anthem stock proceeds.  In a
September 27 letter, School Superintendent Therese G. Fishman asked the
selectmen to give the board of education $60,000.

Superintendent Fishman proposed to use the money to reimburse about 200
teachers, paraprofessionals and maintenance workers who pay a
percentage of their health plan premiums.  Teachers pay 12 percent;
paraprofessionals, six percent; and maintenance workers, eight percent.

First Selectman Gordon J. Frassinelli Jr. said rather than pay the
employees directly, the school board will offer to cover the employees'
share of their current health plan costs up to amounts prorated
according to their contributions before the stock award.

Selectmen voted to recommend Ms. Fishman's proposal, on the condition
that the town be free of any future school board employee claims to the
stock proceeds.

After Stafford's sale of the stock, selectmen set aside the stock
proceeds until a ruling was made on the employees' class action
lawsuit.  The $60,000 payment to the school board, if approved by union
employees, would resolve the issue.


DORAL DENTAL: Dentist Claims He Was Fired Due To Racial Discrimination
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Local NAACP leaders have asked a managed-care company to apologize to a
black dentist who says he was fired in part for his race, the
Albuquerque Journal reports.  

Officers of the New Mexico and Santa Fe NAACP branches, at a recently
held news conference, alleged that managers at Wisconsin-based Doral
Dental fired Robert Belfon and later accused him of committing Medicaid
fraud and misrepresenting the number of children he cared for as a
pediatric dentist in Taos and Las Vegas, New Mexico.

"There may be legal action on a class-action basis," said Robert Moses,
head of the Santa Fe branch of NAACP's political action committee.  
"What we would like to do is get the apology and get the admission of
injustice and get this man back where he belongs, serving the children
of northern New Mexico."

Dr. Belfon was last paid for treating patients with Medicaid insurance
in June 1999, when his contract with Doral Dental Services expired.  
Doral has a contract with the state to fund and manage the dental care
of New Mexicans who have Medicaid, a federal insurance program for the
poor.

Dr. Belfon said the company only approved about 15 to 20 percent of his
patients, who were mostly poor children and the disabled who could not
afford to go anywhere else.  "A sick patient is an HMO nightmare," he
said.  "It is costly when (such) patients show up."

Dr. Belfon said Doral denied approval for his patients so many times
that he was forced to believe that it was racially motivated.  The
dentist claims he was the only dentist in northern New Mexico who
served children on Medicaid.

However, Mark Sanchez, executive director of Doral Dental Services of
New Mexico, said children and adults in that area have not been denied
Medicaid-funded services over the last four years.  Further, Mr.
Sanchez said that Doral never alleged that Dr. Belfon committed
Medicaid fraud and stands behind its decision not to renew his
contract.

"We have shown great restraint and professionalism regarding Dr. Belfon
and his unwarranted attacks upon Doral," Mr. Sanchez said.  "Every
dollar spend defending his meritless claims is a dollar that could have
been better spent providing dental services to New Mexico Medicaid
beneficiaries."


DT INDUSTRIES: MO Court Dismisses Securities Fraud Suit With Prejudice
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri
dismissed with prejudice the second amended securities class action
pending against DT Industries, its KalishT subsidiary, its SencorpT
subsidiary and certain of their officers and directors.

The consolidated suit asserted causes of action under Section 10(b),
and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, and Section 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and alleged, among other things, that
the accounting adjustments caused the Company's previously issued
financial statements to be materially false and misleading.

The suit also sought damages in an unspecified amount and was
supposedly brought on behalf of purchasers of the Company's common
stock during various periods, all of which fall between September 29,
1997 and August 23, 2000.

In October 2001, the court granted the Company's motion to dismiss the
suit, without prejudice.  Pursuant to the court's dismissal order, all
defendants were dismissed, but the plaintiffs were granted the right to
amend their complaint.  The plaintiffs filed their second amended suit
in January 2002 thereby reviving the Securities Action.  On March 11,
2002, the Company and the other defendants filed a motion to dismiss
the second suit.

The court granted the motion to dismiss, with prejudice, on July 16,
2002.  Pursuant to the court's dismissal order, all defendants were
dismissed and a judgment was entered in favor of the defendants.  The
plaintiffs did not appeal the court's decision, so the court's
dismissal order is final and non-appealable, and the plaintiffs can
neither further amend their complaint nor submit a new complaint in
connection with the above-referenced restatements.


EL PASO: Shareholder Joins Securities Suit, Seeks Lead Plaintiff Role
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Oscar Wyatt Jr., one of the largest shareholders in the El Paso Corp.,
moved to join the class actions that accuse the Company of
misrepresenting its finances and misleading investors, The New York
Times reports.

Mr. Wyatt is the founder of Coastal Corp., which the Company acquired
last year for $10 billion.  He has chided the Company for trying to
"Enron-up" earnings through complex partnerships.  Now, Mr. Wyatt, 78,
is attempting to be named the lead plaintiff in the class action.  Mr.
Wyatt declined to be interviewed, but did issue a statement, saying, "I
am doing this to protect the interest of the El Paso shareholders.  
This matter is in litigation and a decision of whether I will be named
lead plaintiff or not is pending."


FLORIDA: Miami Approves Distribution of Refunds on 20% Parking Tax
------------------------------------------------------------------
Hundreds, if not thousands, of people may be entitled to a refund from
Miami for paying a 20 percent tax on parking in the city that was ruled
unconstitutional by the Florida Supreme Court, according to a report by
The Miami Herald.  The city recently approved a $14 million settlement
for a class action brought against it by people who argued the
surcharge was illegal.

Under the terms of the settlement, anyone who has kept parking receipts
from lots in the city during the past three years will probably be
entitled to a refund of 20 percent on the fee paid.  The city plans to
publicize how people can get their money once the settlement receives
final approval in court.

"The people entitled to it are the people who can show proof of a claim
of paying the surcharge during that period," City Manager Carlos
Gimenez said.  "It is likely that we will get claims from people who
did monthly rentals, that work in an office building Miami and have a
monthly fee for parking."

The 20 percent tax on parking facilities in the city, which was
introduced in 1999, when the city was still in financial trouble,
brings in revenues of about $15 million a year.  

The city's decision to settle was influenced by a recent Florida
Supreme Court ruling that declared unconstitutional the original law
that allowed the city to collect the surcharge.  The surcharge has been
in question since the summer of 2001, when an appeals court agreed with
challenger Patrick McGrath that the original wording of the law that
created the surcharge violates the state Constitution.  The city has
since amended the law to comply with the court rulings, and the city
continues to collect the surcharge under the new wording.

Under the settlement, the city also has agreed to stop collecting the
surcharge in 2004, a year earlier then previously anticipated.


GEORGIA GULF: Judge Delays Personal Injury Settlement After Approval
--------------------------------------------------------------------
A federal judge recently approved, and then put on hold a $3 million
class action settlement stemming from a gas release at a Georgia Gulf
plant in 1996, The Baton Rouge Advocate reports.

US District Judge Frank Polozola approved the settlement during a
recent hearing, but stayed his order later in the day so attorneys can
give him more information about the settlement.  The nature of the
information sought was not clear.

The proposed settlement covers 101 cases involving the claims of 1,048
people.  Nine attorneys representing the plaintiffs will split $1.2
million of the settlement, with another $350,000 paying for
administrative fees.  That leaves $1.45 million, plus the interest that
has accrued on the settlement amount, for the plaintiffs in the case.

The settlement is the second largest agreement for people affected by
the gas release from the Georgia Gulf plant.  Another group of cases
between Georgia Gulf employees and the Company was settled in 1999.

Under the terms of the most recent settlement, contract workers,
visitors to the plant and their families who claim an injury stemming
from the gas leak, will receive part of the settlement.  Georgia Gulf
employees and others who previously have received compensation are
excluded under the terms of the proposed settlement.

Arthur Miller, a Harvard law professor who reviewed the case, testified
that the allocation for attorneys' fees seemed proper, given the volume
of work that was done.  He also said that the claimants were getting
fair settlements.

Former US Attorney L.J. Hymel, who served as the special master in the
case, said that every plaintiff should receive a minimum of $1,000.  
Those who were directly exposed to the gas leak and provided
documentation of their medical problems should get more money, he said.  
The largest allocation listed would go to the lead plaintiff in the
case, who would get $79,340 if the settlement is approved.

Georgia Gulf employees and contract workers at the plant's vinyl
chloride monomer unit, contend they were exposed to Tris (2-
chloroethyl) amine while cleaning the equipment with high-pressure
water.

A "toxic mist" fell on the workers when they sprayed the unit, which
had hazardous chemicals stuck to it, according to one of the more than
100 lawsuits filed as a result of the incident.  The toxic chemical
that injured workers was identified as an agent of mustard gas, a
poisonous gas used during World War I.  Meditext, an online medical
information service, say that Tris "is the most toxic of the nitrogen
mustards" which irritate the eyes and skin and the respiratory and
gastrointestinal tracts.

The chemicals did not affect any areas outside the plant, but
plaintiffs' attorneys said about 600 workers at the facility were
affected.


GTECH HOLDINGS: RI Court Partially Grants Dismissal To Securities Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for Rhode Island granted in part GTECH
Holdings Corporation's motion to dismiss the securities class action
pending against it and:

     (1) William Y. O'Connor, the Company's former Chairman and Chief
         Executive Officer,

     (2) Steven P. Nowick, its former Chief Operating Officer and

     (3) W. Bruce Turner, the Company's former Chairman and current
         President and Chief Executive Officer

The suit relates to various Company announcements made during the class
period, and generally alleges that the defendants violated federal
securities laws (including Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act
of 1934) by making allegedly false and misleading statements (including
statements alleged to be overly optimistic respecting certain lottery
contract awards to the Company and respecting the Company's prospects
in certain non-lottery business lines and investments).  

The suit also alleges that the defendants failed to disclose in a
timely manner certain allegedly material adverse information that it
purportedly had a duty to disclose (including an alleged inability to
close certain contract awards and as to certain alleged cost overruns).

In April 2001, the Company and the other defendants moved to dismiss
the suit, as amended, on the grounds that its allegations are
unsupported by fact and fail, in any event, to state a cause of action
under the federal securities laws.  Oral argument for the Company's
motion to dismiss was held in October 2001.

In September 2002, the court ruled on the Company's motion, granting
the motion to dismiss as to certain statements by the Company, but
denying the motion to dismiss as to certain other of the Company's
statements cited in the complaint.  The court also granted the
Company's motion to dismiss plaintiff's claim against Mr. Turner,
holding that there are no actionable statements attributable to him.

The Company believes that it has good defenses to the claims made in
this lawsuit.  On the basis of information presently available, the
Company believes the outcome of this matter will not materially
adversely affect the Company's consolidated financial position or
results of operations.


HOUSEHOLD INTERNATIONAL INC.: Settles Lawsuit Over Predatory Lending
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Under siege from attorneys general in more than two dozen states,
Household International Inc. is announcing a record settlement of up to
$500 million to end allegations of predatory lending practices,
according to sources close to the agreement, The Boston Globe reports.

Today's announcement stems from a task force representing regulators in
dozens of states that have been investigating the Company's practice of
providing home loans to so-called subprime borrowers, or people with
poor or short credit histories.

"We are very pleased the attorneys general took this action.  It
confirms what we have been saying for many years about Household's
predatory activities," said Lisa Donner, a spokeswoman for Association
of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN).  "We have pushed
hard for states to investigate and take appropriate action against
Household by making sure borrowers' complaints were taken seriously."

ACORN is a national advocacy group that has sponsored a number of
lawsuits against the Company in several states.  The current settlement
will not end several class actions pending against the Company in four
states.

While the Company denies being a predatory lender, it has settled a
handful of similar cases.  It recently agreed to refund $586,278 to
3,100 borrowers after Washington State's Department of Financial
Institutions alleged violations during a routine examination of loans
issued by the company to homeowners in that state.

In January, the Company agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by state of
California.  It refunded $3 million to consumers, paid $8.9 million to
the state's Department of Corporations, and agreed to change its
lending practices.

In August, ACORN's Dorchester office, in Massachusetts, filed suit in
Suffolk Superior Court alleging that the Company and its subsidiaries
violated state banking regulations by overcharging customers for points
and fees on home loans.

The Company is also facing ACORN-assisted class actions in Cook County,
Illinois, and Sacramento, California, alleging the firm trapped
customers in overpriced loans.  In addition, AARP, which represents
older Americans, sued the Company in federal court in New York last
year on behalf of a Rochester couple who were in danger of losing their
home.

So-called subprime lenders, including Household, lend to people with
credit problems.  They say it is legal and appropriate to charge higher
interest rates and fees because of the higher risk involved.  Without
such loans, they say, people with credit troubles could not get loans.
Regulators define a predatory lender as one that charges high interest
rates, points, fees and prepayment penalties, while requiring expensive
credit insurance.

The Company, which does business as HFC and Beneficial, is one of the
nation's largest lenders to consumers with poor credit.  The Company
had a net income last year of $1.9 billion, compared to the $1.7
billion it earned in 2000.


INTERNATIONAL HOUSE OF PANCAKES: Workers Sue Over Hostile Workplace
-------------------------------------------------------------------
The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued the
International House of Pancakes, saying the restaurant chain subjected
women to a hostile work environment, the Associated Press Newswires
reports.

The class action was filed in federal court in Birmingham, Alabama, on
behalf of four lead plaintiffs and a class of women working as
hostesses, servers and waitresses at IHOP restaurants.  The lawsuit,
which seeks a jury trial and various forms of compensation for the
women, names R&J Enterprises and AJM Inc., which do business as IHOP,
and Strategic Outsourcing Inc.

The lawsuit contends the supervisor made sexually offensive comments
and touched them inappropriately.  The lawsuit also alleges the Company
failed to take prompt action to prevent and stop the supervisor at work
sites in Alabama from sexually harassing female employees.  The lawsuit
claims the offensive conduct began in January 2001.

Patrick Lenow, a spokesman for IHOP, said the Glendale, California-
based company, which serves as a franchiser, will conduct an
investigation into the allegations.  

EEOC officials said the women leveled discrimination charges with the
agency in May and September of last year.


IOWA: Children Wait For Court-Ordered Services, Lawyer To Take Action
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The state of Iowa is failing to provide court-ordered services for
children in need of special help.  An attorney for one of these
children plans to launch a class action, challenging the state's
practice of making children wait for care, according to a report by the
Des Moines Register.

Michael Sorci, of Des Moines' Youth Law Center, is taking legal action
to hold the state accountable for failing to provide within a
reasonable period of time the care the children desperately need and
which the court has ordered the state to provide for them.

Martell Cason, Mr. Sorci's client, was arrested in connection with a
convenience store robbery.  The court ordered that 13-year-old Martell
be placed in a residential treatment facility by a juvenile-court
judge.  However, budget cuts have resulted in limits on the number of
children who can readily enter group care.  At the moment, 77 children
are waiting for help in shelters, hospitals or other inappropriate
placements. It's anyone's guess how long they will wait.

So Martell continues to sit in a shelter, where he has been since early
August.  It is no surprise he is having problems there.  Allegedly, he
has been violent and hurt a shelter worker.

Mr. Sorci says he appreciates the state's current financial burdens.  
"But what we are doing is putting our most vulnerable citizens in
harm's way.  My client is not even getting minimally adequate care in a
shelter."

Mr. Sorci says he has been discussing with other lawyers the
possibility of a class action.  He is hoping the court will order the
Department of Human Services (DHS) to provide the already ordered
services to Martell, but if not, Mr. Sorci is prepared to take his case
to federal court.  "I think a federal suit could be brought against the
state under a civil-rights law."

Republican state Representative Betty Grundberg suggests a radical and
risky move.  "This is a crisis," says Representative Grundberg.  
"Rather than adhering to its budget, in the case of a crisis, DHS could
spend its money on children who need help now, and then ask the
Legislature for more money when it convenes in January."


KANSAS CITY: Local Cardiologist At Center Of Fen-Phen Drug Settlement
---------------------------------------------------------------------
A prominent Kansas City cardiologist is at the center of a dispute
involving the $3.75 billion fen-phen diet-drug settlement negotiated in
1999, according to a report by The Kansas City Star.  Lawyers involved
in the settlement have asked a federal judge in Philadelphia to order
an "emergency suspension" of all claims processing and to ensure that
all future claims of heart-valve damage are audited.

They also have asked the judge to bar two New York law firms and two
doctors, including Kansas City cardiologist Linda J. Crouse, from
submitting any claims, asserting that they were running a "production
line" that resulted in the submission of "hundreds of medically
unreasonable claims."

The flood of fen-phen claims threatens to upset the settlement, which
was intended to resolve the claims by thousands of people who took the
popular diet drugs Pondimin and a related drug, Redux, both made by
Wyeth.  The drugs were pulled from the market in 1997, after reports
that they had damaged the heart valves of some users.

Dr. Crouse is recognized as an expert in the field of echocardiography,
or the use of ultrasound waves to make images of the heart's chambers,
valves and surrounding structures.  Dr. Crouse has referred inquiries
to her lawyer, Thomas Wagstaff, who said she has been caught up in a
dispute between the New York law firms and the settlement trust.

They "got crosswise on matters unrelated to Linda Crouse," Mr. Wagstaff
said.  "There clearly are different interpretations that can be put on
(the echocardiograms), just as in any situation."  However, Mr.
Wagstaff added that he thought the motivation behind the dispute is
that a large number of people took fen-phen, and "it doesn't take a
mathematician to realize the (settlement) trust will be gone, and
Wyeth, the manufacturer, could be facing a big hit."

The Philadelphia-based trust administering the settlement had expected
some 5,000 claims.  However, 17,000 claims were filed between February
and August, and 35,000 are projected by the end of the year.  With
average payments for serious injury claims pegged at about $400,000,
that could bring the total payout to $14 billion, nearly four times the
settlement amount.

Dr. Crouse, who practices in Merriam, reviewed 725 echocardiograms for
clients of the two New York law firms and 10,000 echocardiograms for a
consortium of law firms.  Dr. Crouse earned $725,000 for reviewing the
725 cardiograms, and about $2.5 million for reviewing the 10,000
echocardiograms, according to court papers filed by lawyers for the
settlement trust.

"She did all this while continuing to see up to 80 patients a week and
still participating in some, if not all, of her extracurricular
activities," the legal filings allege.

US District Judge Harvey Bartle III of the Eastern District of
Pennsylvania has temporarily suspended payments to clients of the New
York law firms and to anyone whose echocardiograms were read by Dr.
Crouse or by another cardiologist, Dr. Richard Mueller of New York.

Two Kansas City law firms, also involved in the fen-phen litigation,
have submitted 1,300 paid or pending claims in which Dr. Crouse was the
signing cardiologist.  In addition, The Bertram Law Firm and the Popham
Law Firm have yet to submit an additional 2,900 signed by Dr. Crouse.

William Dirk Vandever, a lawyer with the Popham Law Firm, said the
issue was not about Dr. Crouse who, he said, is "impeccably
credentialed," but it is about Wyeth's failure to anticipate
(accurately) how many legitimate claims would be filed.

"They are saying there are too many claims," Mr. Vandever said.  "The
simple answer is that too many people were hurt . They don't have
enough money to pay the claims involved, so they are trying to increase
the intensity of the scrutiny they are giving to the claims."

Lawyers for all of the lead parties in the settlement, the settlement
trust, the class action plaintiffs and Wyeth (formerly fen-phen maker
American Home Products Corp.), have asked Judge Bartle to revamp the
claims process, saying it has been abused.  Judge Bartle recently heard
arguments on the request and is expected to rule soon.

In court documents, the settlement trust's lawyers stated that had
hired their own cardiologists to review claims handled by Dr. Crouse
and Dr. Mueller and found that more than 90 percent of their diagnoses
lacked a "reasonable medical basis."  Dr. Crouse found at least
moderate heart-valve damage in more than 60 percent of the claims she
reviewed.  Dr. Mueller found it in 25 percent of the claims he
reviewed.

Lawyers representing the two New York law firms Napoli Kaiser Bern &
Associates and Hariton & D'Angelo have fired back, accusing the
settlement trust's lawyers of trying to torpedo the settlement and
describing their accusations as reckless.

The two firms' lawyers stated in court papers that Wyeth and the
settlement trust believe that because their independent experts
disagreed with so many of the interpretations made by Dr. Crouse and
Dr. Mueller that some dark systemic explanation must explain the wide
divergence of views, that "Distinguished cardiologists forfeited their
integrity for the dollars they received for interpreting the
echocardiograms."

Mr. Wagstaff, Dr. Crouse's attorney, says the whole controversy stems
from "someone at the trust realizing they are going to run out of, and
they are going to have a lot of these claims left over.  So Wyeth is
going to have major problems."

"Because she is so good at what she does," Mr. Wagstaff said, "she did
a lot of echocardiograms" as part of the fen-phen claims process.She
charged for it, and now someone is trying to suggest that is a crime."

Dr. Crouse, among other professional activities, has helped develop
testing standards in the field of echocardiography and is certified by
the American Board of Internal Medicine.


LANTRONIX INC.: Plaintiffs File Consolidated Securities Suit in C.D. CA
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs in the securities class action filed against Lantronix, Inc.
filed a consolidated suit in the United States District Court for the
Central District of California.  The suit names as defendants the
Company and certain of its current and former officers and directors.

The suit alleges violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, on
behalf of persons who purchased or otherwise acquired the Company's
common stock during the period of April 25, 2001 through May 30, 2002,
inclusive.  

The suit alleges that the defendants caused the Company to improperly
recognize revenue and make false and misleading statements about our
business.  Plaintiffs further allege that the Company materially
overstated its reported financial results, thereby inflating its stock
price during its securities offering in July 2001, as well as
facilitating the use of its stock as consideration in acquisitions.

The Company has not yet replied to the suit, discovery has not
commenced, and no trial date has been established.


LANTRONIX INC.: Faces Shareholder Derivative Suit in CA State Court
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Lantronix, Inc. faces a shareholder derivative suit pending in the
Superior Court of the State of California, County of Orange, against
certain of its current and former officers and directors, and naming
the Company as nominal defendant.

The complaint alleges causes of action for:

     (1) breach of fiduciary duty,

     (2) abuse of control,

     (3) gross mismanagement,

     (4) unjust enrichment, and

     (5) improper insider stock sales

The complaint seeks unspecified damages against the individual
defendants on the Company's behalf, equitable relief, and attorneys'
fees.  Discovery has not commenced and no trial date has been
established.


MISSOURI: Judge Grants More Time For Arguments Over Class Certification
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
A federal judge is allowing more time for arguments before she decides
the next step in a challenge to Missouri's sex offender law, The Kansas
City Star reports.

US District Judge Nanette K. Laughrey recently canceled an order she
made last week granting class action status to the lawsuit brought by
six men who argue they should not have to register as sex offenders.  
As a class, they would potentially represent more than 17,000 people
across the state.

Judge Laughrey listened to the arguments of lawyers on both sides
during a telephone conference, and then gave defendants until October
18 to file a brief opposing class action status.  The plaintiffs will
have until October 21 to file a response to defendants' brief, then
Judge Laughrey will rule.  The defendants include:

     (1) Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon,

     (2) the Missouri Highway Patrol,

     (3) the Jackson County Sheriff's Department and

     (4) the Jackson County prosecutor's office

If Judge Laughrey grants class action status to the plaintiff's
lawsuit, they will ask her to extend a preliminary injunction to stop
the release of offenders' names. All 114 counties in Missouri would
then be barred from releasing the registration lists to the public
until the larger issues are resolved, said Arthur A. Benson, II,
attorney for the plaintiffs.

Megan's Law is named for a New Jersey girl who was murdered by a sexual
offender in 1994.  It requires a person convicted of certain crimes to
register with his county's sheriff's department.  Those lists are then
made public.

Judge Laughrey already has granted a preliminary injunction against the
release of the names of three initial plaintiffs.  They argue they are
not dangerous to the public and that having to register stigmatizes
them unfairly.  The law in Missouri has similarities to a Connecticut
law that is under review by the Supreme Court.


NAHC INC.: Plaintiffs Appeal Dismissal of PA Securities Fraud Suit
------------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs in the class action against NAHC, Inc. appealed the United
States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania's
decision dismissing the suit with prejudice.

The suit, filed on behalf of all persons who purchased the common stock
of the Company during the period between April 5, 1999 through and
including November 22, 1999, alleges that the Company and certain of
its directors and officers violated Section 10(b) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 by:

     (1) making false and misleading statements and omissions regarding
         the prospects of the Company's business and the Company's
         liquidation value; and

     (2) failing timely to disclose the impact of the Balanced Budget
         Act of 1997 on the long term care services business.

The plaintiffs allege that these statements and omissions artificially
inflated the value of the Company's stock during the class period.  The
suit also asserts a violation of Section 14(a) of the Exchange Act and
Rule 14a-9 against the Company and individual defendants as well as
against Wasserstein Perella & Co. in connection with the Company's
proxy statements dated August 13, 1999, as amended through September
10, 1999.

The suit alleges that the defendants were negligent in disseminating
the proxy statements, which allegedly contained materially false and
misleading statements.  

On October 17, 2001, the court dismissed the suit against the Company
and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP with prejudice. The plaintiff has
appealed this decision.


NEW YORK: Ex-Undercover Police Officer Sues New York Police Over Safety
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
A former undercover New York Police Department (NYPD) police officer
launched a lawsuit recently that took aim at safety issues, and smoking
infractions as well, according to a report by the New York Post.  The
lawsuit was filed in Manhattan Federal Court by Richard Tamayo and John
Banks, both undercover Brooklyn North Narcotics Detectives.

Richard Tamayo announced a two-prong, $10 million class action against
the NYPD at a press conference near City Hall, in which he said that
the police department was jeopardizing the safety of undercover buy-
and-bust operations by sending out teams that are understaffed.

Mr. Tamayo said they are suing on behalf of about 2,000 undercover
officers who are black and Hispanic.  Mr. Tamayo, a 12-year veteran, is
Hispanic, while Mr. Banks, a nine-year veteran is black.  Mr. Tamayo
claims the NYPD discriminates against undercover cops, "subjecting
(them) . to working conditions that violate NYPD safety guidelines."

Mr. Tamayo lined up four men and two women he claimed were undercover
officers.  The six were wearing kerchiefs over their faces and
sunglasses, but Mr. Tamayo would not allow them to talk to the media.  
Mr. Tamayo's biggest complaint is that the NYPD rules call for a nine-
person field team - in reality, he says, teams are often smaller.

"In order for an operation to be conducted in a safe way, you need that
amount," he said.  "Anything less is not safe and they are cutting
corners.Many undercovers have been shot, stabbed and beaten, because of
these NYPD practices."  Mr. Tamayo also claims Correction Department
inmates have delivered equipment to secret undercover field offices.

Mr. Tamayo is asking for a hearing before the City Council Public
Safety Committee to inform them of the serious violations of safety
guidelines.  

He also includes smoking complaints in the same lawsuit.  He declined,
however to relate specifics about the violations, and alleges police
"brass" have taken retaliatory action against personnel who complain
about smoking in the workplace.

Mr. Tamayo did say, however, that he noticed consistent and regular
smoking at Police Headquarters in violation of policy and the city's
anti-smoking act.  His complaints, he says, were ignored.

A spokeswoman for the city Law department and a spokesman for the
Police Department declined comment.


PDB SPORTS: Court Rejects Legal Challenge Over Broncos Ticket Prices
--------------------------------------------------------------------
The state of Colorado's Court of Appeals recently rejected a challenge
brought by a class action over Bronco ticket prices, saying a decision
to raise prices did not violate prior agreements, the Associated Press
Newswires reports.

The class action was filed on behalf of 1984-1999 season-ticket holders
against Pat Bowlen's PDB Sports Ltd. and had been dismissed by the
trial judge.  Robert and JoAnn Hedrick and Mike M. Kanderis, the lead
plaintiffs, claimed the Company had violated a decades-old lease
agreement by charging season-ticket holders prices higher than those at
comparable NFL venues.

As part of a contract with the city to build a new stadium, the team
owners agreed prices would not exceed similar charges, in comparable
facilities, made by other owners of a franchise in the league without
written permission.

However, during a campaign to expand the stadium, owners of the Broncos
told season ticket holders, that prices would remain below the National
Football League average and would remain constant in terms of 1974
dollars.

The lawsuit claimed breach of contract and unjust enrichment based on a
1977 cintract.  It claimed the new owners of the team, PDB Sports,
failed to obtain advance approval from the mayor for ticket price
increases that exceeded either the lowest or the average ticket price
in comparable facilities with 70,000 or more seating capacity.

The Company's attorneys argued the season-ticket holders misinterpreted
the agreement, and the trial court agreed.  The appeals court said that
the contract required advance mayoral approval only when the Broncos
propose to charge the highest season ticket prices among comparable
facilities in the NFL.

"Because the Broncos' season-ticket prices were never in that category
between 1984 and 1999, no mayoral permission was required for price
increases, and thus, there was no breach of contract nor (cause) for an
unjust enrichment claim," the appeals court said.


PRUDENTIAL SECURITIES: Jury Awards Investors More Than $250M Damages
--------------------------------------------------------------------
A jury recently awarded more than $250 million in damages to investors
who claimed in their class action that a Prudential Securities, Inc.
stockbroker reallocated their investments without authorization, the
Associated Press Newswires reports.  Three investors from Marion, Ohio,
about 40 miles north of Columbus, Ohio, filed a lawsuit in 1999, which
later was certified a class action to cover all investors

More than 250 investors filed the suit claiming Jeffrey Pickett sold
$40 million of equity investments in 1998, without authorization from
the owners of such investments.   After the securities were sold, their
value rose significantly.

"We hope this verdict sends a message to Prudential and Wall Street
that when you find a problem, you need to take care of the problem,
instead of trying to hide it," said Thomas Hargett, lead attorney for
the plaintiffs.

The jury awarded $11.7 million in compensatory damages and $250 million
in punitive damages.  A spokesman for Prudential Securities, a unit of
Newark, N.J.-based Prudential Financial Inc., said the firm would ask
Marion County, Ohio, Common Pleas Court Court Judge Richard Rogers to
set aside the verdict.

Jeffrey Pickett, the stockbroker at Prudential Securities, was accused
of reallocating the investors' investments from stocks into more
conservative mutual funds without their permission.  Mr. Pickett said
he had feared the stock market was going to plunge.

The jury also found that Prudential Securities was not properly
supervising Mr. Pickett when he moved the investments and that the
Company acted with malice when breaking the agreement with the
investors.  Mr. Pickett was fired by Prudential in February 1999.

In December 2001, the New York Stock Exchange censured Mr. Pickett and
barred him from the securities industry for six months after a hearing
panel found he had performed unauthorized trades while with Prudential.

Mr. Pickett, now a partner in an investment firm in Lewis Center, north
of Columbus, declined to comment and referred questions to his
attorney, Michael Ungar of Cleveland.


QUE MANAGEMENT: Mounting Vigorous Defense V. Antitrust Suit in S.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Que Management, Inc. faces an antitrust lawsuit pending in the United
States District Court, Southern District of New York, seeking to be
classified as a class action under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of
Civila Procedure.  The suit alleges:

     (1) a per se restraint of trade or commerce in violation of the
         Sherman Antitrust Act,

     (2) forfeiture and disgorgement of all fees paid to the Company
         received as a result of its alleged wrongful conduct,

     (3) punitive and exemplary damages and accounting of all costs and
         expenses,

     (4) pre-judgment and post-judgment interest,

     (5) reasonable attorneys fees and costs and such other relief as
         the court deems appropriate.

At this stage of the litigation, the Company cannot estimate the range
of the potential loss, if any, in the event it is unsuccessful in the
defense of this suit.


ROCHE: Profits Down Because of Lawsuits Over Vitamin Price-Fixing
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche expects to report a lower profit
this year than it had last year, and will take another large provision
to cover lawsuits over vitamin price-fixing, the Associated Press
Newswires reports.

The Switzerland-based company, whose US pharmaceutical headquarters,
Hoffmann-La Roche, is in Nutley, New Jersey, said it is too early to
quantify the decline.  The new provision of 1.2 billion Swiss francs
($810 million) for price-fixing in a vitamins cartel in the early
1990s, brings to 4.39 billion Swiss francs ($2.97 billion) the amount
Roche has set aside to cover the cost of punitive fines and legal
challenges from customers.

Roche said it has agreed recently to sell its vitamins business to
Dutch firm DSM NV, but would retain liability for all legal action.  
The company said it could not rule out having to make further
provisions.

Roche said it has agreed to out-of-court settlements with a number of
direct customers in the United States this year.  However, it is still
in negotiations with lawyers of customers who opted out of a 1999 US
class action and faces suits in some European countries as well.

As well as legal challenges by customers, Roche has been stung record
antitrust fines for its role as ringleader in the cartel.  It was fined
a total of $525 million last year by the European Union, and paid $500
million in antitrust fines in the United States in 1999.


TOBACCO LITIGATION: Smokeless Tobacco Firm Settles Consumer Lawsuit
-------------------------------------------------------------------
The nation's largest smokeless tobacco company settled a lawsuit by a
former customer who contracted tongue cancer, marking what could be the
first time a tobacco firm has agreed to pay an individual for injuries
allegedly caused by its products, The Washington Post reports.  

The lawsuit, brought by an individual, without the drama of numbers
that characterizes, at least in part, the class action, is momentous
for the precedent it has set in the tobacco industry by reaching
"resolution" with a plaintiff for alleged injuries.

UST Inc., holding company for U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co., reached the
unspecified "resolution" with Michael L. McMullin, the Los Angeles
Times reports.  A trial had been set to begin October 21, in
Jacksonville, Florida.

Cigarette manufacturers have never settled a case with an individual
smoker, the rationale being that to do so would encourage a possible
influx of new claims.  Analysts said, however, that UST did not face
the same risk with this agreement, because there are fewer smokeless
tobacco users, and because those users' chances of getting oral cancer
are lower than smokers' chances of getting lung cancer and heart
disease.

"If we believed there was a substantial pool of plaintiffs out there,
then I think we might have come to a different decision," said Vincent
A. Gierer Jr., UST's chairman and chief executive.  Terms were not
disclosed, and UST avoided using the word "settlement" in a news
release and a conference call with analysts.

According to court documents, Mr. McMullin started chewing tobacco in
1990, and became a regular user of the UST brands, Copenhagen and
Skoal.  After Mr. McMullin was diagnosed with cancer in 1998, he
underwent radiation treatments and surgery to remove a portion of his
tongue.  The 29-year-old plaintiff has been cancer-free since, said his
attorney Norwood S. Wilner.

Over the years, cigarette manufacturers have faced more than 1,000
individual claims, along with class actions.  Juries have awarded
millions and sometime billions of dollars to individual smokers.  The
largest such award, $28 billion, came October 4, in California.  But
only about 50 claims have been filed against smokeless tobacco
companies since the early 1950s, UST executives said.


UNITED STATES: Hungarian Holocaust Survivors Sue To Recover Lost Loot
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Irene Mermelstein watched her mother stash the family's personal
treaures into a hole in a dirt alley that bordered their home.  It was
April 1944 in a small Hungarian town and Nazi soldiers were rapping on
doors of Jewish homes throughout the country, according to a report by
Associated Press Newswires.

However, like many other families, the Mermelstein family, never dug up
their belongings.  Irene Mermelstein was the only family survivor, for
her parents, brother and sister, all died at Auschwitz.  Today, she
wants to know what happened to these relics of the past.  In search of
an answer, she and a group of other Hungarian Holocaust survivors are
suing an unlikely defendant, the United States government.

Their lawsuit stems from the government's own records. A presidential
Holocaust commission report traced the loot Nazis seized from Hungarian
Jewish families to a single train, the so-called "Gold Train"
intercepted by American troops in 1945.

A judge's recent decision to dismiss the government's claim that the
class action, filed in May 2001, in Miami federal court, was decades
too late revived the efforts of survivors and their families to seek
compensation and the recovery of their property.  No trial date has
been set.

The story of the loot-filled train that wound its way through Hungary
and Austria to elude advancing Soviet troops appears in two reports
released by the Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets in
1999 and 2000.

The suit draws heavily from the 1999 report.  Filed on behalf of 13
survivors and heirs, it states that the Gold Train contained 1,200
paintings, 3,000 Oriental carpets, jewelry, cases of gold weighing up
to 100 pounds, silver bricks, furs, china, cameras and other
possessions.  The survivors say the Nazis kept a meticulous inventory
of their loot, labeling thousands of boxed valuables with family names
and towns of origin.

The United States was required to return identifiable property after
the war, but the lawsuit says that the loot of the Hungarian Jews was
deemed unidentifiable, dispersed as it was among refugee agencies,
sold, pilfered by American generals to decorate their homes and offices
and even auctioned in New York.

The survivors, all elderly and some in frail health, have little hope
of ever recovering the things that filled their plundered childhood
homes, but they hope the lawsuit will provide some answers to what
happened to their treasures and some small compensation.

Attorney Samuell Dubbin, who has filed the lawsuit on the Jews' behalf,
argues that the government committed a breach of trust when it did not
return identifiable looted property to its owners.  "A great sovereign
like the United States should follow the basic rules in time of war.We
want to know what happened.  Some of the property may be sitting in a
warehouse somewhere today."

Mr. Dubbin said each survivor in the suit is seeking the maximum
$10,000 compensation allowed.  US Justice Department spokesman Charles
Miller declined comment on the suit.

Although he is optimistic about the lawsuit, Mr. Dubbin concedes that
the presidential commission's final report released in 2000 is less
condemning of the government's role in the loot's disappearance than
was the 1999 findings.

The final report cuts the number of railcars believed to have comprised
the train to 24 from the original 44.  The report also states that once
the Jews were shipped to Auschwitz, their property was "frequently
rearranged and repacked, divided and subdivided, loaded and unloaded,
and repeatedly looted by German soldiers, Hungarian guards and Austrian
civilians, erasing most traces of ownership."

The report, however, does name army officials, most notably Gen. Harry
J. Collins, commander of the 42nd Division in western Austria, who
"requisitioned," for their homes and offices, rugs, paintings and other
Gold Train valuables "of the very best quality and workmanship
available in the Land of Salzburg."

Ronald Zweig, who teaches history at Tel Aviv University and is
visiting professor at New York University, disputes the lawsuit's
claims in his book, "The Gold Train:  The Destruction of the Jews and
the Looting of Hungary."  

"I think the survivors are suing the wrong government," says Professor
Zweig, who explains what he means in this information from his book.  
According to Professor Zweig, whose research influenced the
commission's final report, the real valuables taken from Hungary's Jews
was the tons of gold jewelry melted down into bullion and loaded onto a
convoy of trucks headed for Austria, where it was buried by Hungarian
soldiers and discovered by French troops in 1945.

Professor Zweig said the French hoarded the loot for over a year before
it was returned to the Hungarian government, then Communist, where it
filled the government coffers.  "The Hungarian Jews were robbed by
their own government twice; once, by the fascists and once, by the
Communists," said Professor Zweig.

Therefore, Professor Zweig concludes the present lawsuit is misguided.
Suing the American government is not the historical righting of the
wrong that they want.

The plaintiffs' individual stories follow the well-known sequence that
begins with a local decree banning Jews from schools and jobs and often
ends with the death camp selections that parted wives from husbands and
parents from children.

David Mermelstein, who later met and married Irene Mermelstein shortly
after the war, was 13 when Nazi soldiers surrounded the town of
Kivjazd.  The Jews were herded into the town square, where buckets were
passed around for families to deposit their watches, jewelry and money.  
Weeks in a crammed ghetto were followed by deportation to Auschwitz.

David Mermelstein tried to cling to his brothers according to his
father's last instructions.  However, in the months that followed of
laying railroad tracks, being shuttled in open cattle cars to various
camps, surviving a winter death march and finally landing in the
Austrian camp of Ebensee shortly before liberation, the young boy found
himself alone.  His parents, two older brothers, nine-year-old twin
brothers, 11-year-old sister, aunt and grandmother were dead.

After weeks at a makeshift hospital run by American troops, David
Mermelstein traveled back to Hungary, where he found his home occupied
by a Hungarian couple and stripped of his family's belongings.

Irene Mermelstein says that she has no vision of a padlocked warehouse
filled with bars of gold.  She knows that more than half a million
Hungarian Jews were killed in a matter of months in what was the Nazis'
quickest and most organized implementation of their genocidal law, The
Final Solution.  When Mrs. Mermelstein's family was swept up in that
mass death, her ties to her country, to her history, were severed.

She says, however, that recovering some piece of personal property, or
knowledge of what happened to it, would help restore some ties.  "It
would be something to remember, to leave for your children, something
from the `old country.'"


UST LIQUIDATING: Plaintiffs File Personal Non-Derivative Suit in CA
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs in the class action against UST Liquidating Corporation
filed a personal, non-derivative suit in a lower court, after the
California Court of Appeals allowed them to.

The class action was filed in June 2000 against the Company and certain
other parties on behalf of certain common shareholders of the Company,
alleging that the Company and other parties breached their fiduciary
duty to the Company's common shareholders in connection with the sale
of most of the Company's assets to Veeder-Root Service Company.  The
Plaintiffs also filed a derivative claim alleging corporate waste.

In August 2000, the plaintiffs filed a motion for a preliminary
injunction, which was denied in a court hearing held on September 18,
2000.  The Company and certain other parties subsequently filed a
demurrer to Plaintiffs' complaints contending that plaintiffs failed to
state a valid cause of action, which was granted in October 2000.

The plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal regarding the demurrer and
voluntarily dismissed the derivative claim alleging corporate waste,
which the trial court dismissed.  Oral argument was heard before the
California Court of Appeals in October 2001.  On November 21, 2001, the
California Court of Appeals reversed the trial court with respect
to the demurrer and ruled that the plaintiffs could assert a personal,
non-derivative claim.

The Company intends to continue to contest this case vigorously.  
However, it is too early at this time to determine the ultimate outcome
of this matter and the extent of the Company's exposure.


VARI-L CO.: Reaches MOU To Settle Consolidated Securities Suit in CO
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Vari-L Co., Inc. reached a memorandum of understanding to settle the
consolidated securities class action pending against it and certain of
its former officers in the United States District Court for the
District of Colorado.

The suit, filed on behalf of purchasers of the Company's common stock
between December 17, 1997 and July 6, 2000, inclusive, charges the
Company and certain of its officers, with violations of the federal
securities laws by issuing materially false and misleading financial
statements.

In November 2001, the Company filed a motion to dismiss all claims
against the Company in the consolidated suit.  The Company's motion
argued that the amended consolidated complaint alleges wrongdoing by
former corporate employees in furtherance of their personal interests,
as opposed to corporate interests, which does not state a claim for
securities fraud against the Company.  The class action representatives
have filed their response to the Company's motion to dismiss and the
Company has filed a reply to that response but the court has not yet
ruled on the motion.

On October 3, 2002, the Company and the class action representatives
reached an agreement in principle for the settlement of the litigation
and executed a memorandum of understanding (MOU), subject to court
approval.  The MOU outlines the general terms of the proposed
settlement and is intended to be a basis for drafting a stipulation of
settlement.

The MOU requires the Company to pay $250,000 in cash and issue 2.0
million shares of the Company's common stock.  The number of shares
issuable pursuant to the MOU is subject to certain anti dilution
adjustments in the event the Company sells its common stock or
securities convertible into its common stock below certain threshold
prices.  The Company has calculated the value of shares to be issued
based upon the closing price of the Company's common stock on the date
in which all substantive aspects with respect to the MOU were agreed
upon.

The Company is also required to transfer its claims against Joseph H.
Kiser, David G. Sherman, Jon C. Clark and Derek L. Bailey to the
plaintiffs.  However, the Company will retain the claims from the
lawsuit filed in the District Court for the City and County of Denver
as a result of the Special Litigation Committee investigation, against:

     (1) David G. Sherman,

     (2) Joseph H. Kiser,

     (3) Joan Sherman,

     (4) the Kathryn Sherman Trust and

     (5) J.C. Enterprises

The Company will also assign to the plaintiffs any right it might have
to proceeds or other damages from the Directors and Officers insurance
policies with Reliance Insurance Company and Agricultural Excess and
Surplus Insurance Company.  

There can be no assurance that the court will accept the proposal.  
Moreover, irrespective of the outcome with respect to the Company, the
individual defendants may assert claims against the Company for
advancement or indemnification of their attorneys fees and other costs
of defense, which claims may be material.


VENTURE CATALYST: CA Court Remands Securities Suit To Federal Court
-------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
California agreed to remand the two securities class actions pending
against Venture Catalyst, Inc. to the San Diego County Superior Court
in California.

The first suit was filed in San Diego Superior Court, seeking to enjoin
the Company's merger with Speer Casino Marketing.  The suit names as
defendants the Company and several of its directors:

     (1) Stephen Dirks,

     (2) Andrew Laub,

     (3) Jana McKeag,

     (4) Cornelius E. ("Neil") Smyth and

     (5) L. Donald Speer, II

In the complaint, the plaintiff alleges, among other things, that:

     (i) the defendants are attempting to complete a management-led
         buyout at a grossly inadequate and unfair price and their
         efforts provide certain insiders and directors with
         preferential treatment at the expense of, and which is unfair
         to, the Company's public shareholders;

    (ii) in pursuing the plan to cash out the Company's public
         shareholders for grossly inadequate consideration, each of the
         defendants have violated applicable law by directly breaching
         and/or aiding the other defendants, breaches of their
         fiduciary duties of loyalty, due care, independence, good
         faith and fair dealing; and

   (iii) instead of attempting to obtain the highest price reasonably
         available for the company, the defendants spent a substantial
         effort tailoring the structural terms of the merger to meet
         the specific needs of Mr. Speer.

The plaintiff asks the court for relief:

     (a) declaring the action is properly maintainable as a class
         action lawsuit;

     (b) declaring the merger agreement was entered into in breach
         of the fiduciary duties of the defendants and is therefore
         unlawful and unenforceable;

     (c) enjoining the consummation of the merger unless and until
         certain procedures are adopted and implemented to obtain the
         highest possible price for the Company's shareholders;

     (d) directing individual defendants to exercise their fiduciary
         duties to obtain a transaction which is in the best interests
         of the Company's shareholders until the process for the sale
         or auction of the company is completed and the highest
         possible price is obtained;

     (e) rescinding the merger transaction;

     (f) establishing a constructive trust, in favor of the plaintiff,
         upon any benefits improperly received by the defendants as a
         result of their wrongful conduct; and

     (g) awarding the plaintiff its costs and disbursements in the
         lawsuit.

On June 26, 2002, a second lawsuit was filed against the same
defendants, making substantially identical allegations to the first
class action

On June 28, 2002, the first suit was removed from San Diego County
Superior Court to the United States District Court for the Southern
District of California, pursuant to, among other things, the Securities
Litigation Uniform Standards Act of 1998 (SLUSA), 15 U.S.C. & 78p. On
July 19, 2002, the second suit was removed from San Diego
County Superior Court to US District Court, pursuant to, among other
things, the SLUSA.  On July 31, 2002, the lead plaintiffs in both suits
moved to remand their respective actions back to San Diego County
Superior Court.

On August 30, 2002, the Company and its directors filed a consolidated
opposition to their motions.  The hearings on both motions were held on
September 18, 2002. On September 23, 2002, the court issued an order
granting the motions for remand but denying the request for attorneys'
fees.

The Company's Board of Directors believes that it and the Special
Committee of our Board of Directors have met and will continue to meet,
their respective fiduciary obligations.  The board believes that each
of the lawsuits is without merit and intends to vigorously defend each
action.  However, no assurances can be made that the Company will be
successful in defending the actions or that the merger will be
completed.


VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS: Consent Decree Approved In Discrimination Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A federal judge has approved a consent decree in a major class action,
alleging pregnancy discrimination against Verizon Communications'
predecessors, Nynex and Bell Atlantic, according to a report by the
Associated Press Newswires.

The suit alleged that the companies, Nynex and Bell Atlantic, denied
female employees service credit related to pregnancy and maternity
leaves of absence taken between July 2, 1965, and April 28, 1979.

Up to 12,500 current and former female employees in 13 states and the
District will receive benefits estimated in many millions of dollars,
according to a statement by the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission.


ZALE CORPORATION: Employees File Overtime Wage Suit in CA State Court
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Zale Corporation, and its subsidiary Zale Delaware, Inc. face a class
action pending in the Superior Court of California, County of Los
Angeles, Central District.  The suit is a purported class action on
behalf of current and former salaried store managers and assistant
store managers of the Company in California.

The complaint alleges that these individuals were entitled to overtime
pay and should not have been classified as exempt employees under
California law.  Plaintiff seeks recovery of overtime pay, declaratory
relief and attorneys' fees.

This action is in the discovery stage and has not been certified as a
class action.  The Company intends to vigorously defend the action.
                         
                     New Securities Fraud Cases  

CUTTER & BUCK: Milberg Weiss Commences Securities Fraud Suit in W.D. WA
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the Western District of
Washington on behalf of purchasers of Cutter & Buck, Inc. (Nasdaq:
CBUKE) publicly traded securities during the period between June 23,
2000 and August 12, 2002.

The complaint charges the Company and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  The
Company designs and markets upscale men's and women's sportswear and
outerwear under the Cutter & Buck brand.  The Company sells its
products primarily through golf pro shops and resorts, corporate
accounts, specialty retail, and Company-owned retail stores.

The complaint alleges that during the class period, defendants caused
Cutter & Buck's shares to trade at artificially inflated levels through
the issuance of false and misleading financial statements.

On August 12, 2002, Cutter & Buck issued a press release entitled,
"Cutter & Buck Announces Discovery of Accounting Irregularities in
Fiscal Years 2000 and 2001; Reports Resignation of Chief Financial
Officer; Announces Preliminary First Quarter Fiscal Year 2003 Operating
Results."  On this news, the stock dropped to below $4 per share on
volume of more than 468,000 shares.

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

CUTTER & BUCK: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges Securities Suit in W.D. WA
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP initiated a securities class action against
Cutter & Buck, Inc. (Nasdaq:CBUKE) claiming that the company misled
investors about its business and financial condition.  The suit was
filed in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington,
on behalf of all investors who bought Company securities between June
23, 2000 through August 12, 2002.

The complaint alleges that the Company caused its shares to trade at
artificially inflated levels.  On August 12, 2002, Cutter & Buck issued
a press release entitled, "Cutter & Buck Announces Discovery of
Accounting Irregularities in Fiscal Years 2000 and 2001; Reports
Resignation of Chief Financial Officer; Announces Preliminary First
Quarter Fiscal Year 2003 Operating Results."  On this news, the stock
dropped to below $4 per share on volume of more than 468,000 shares.

For more details, contact the Shareholder Relations Manager by Phone:
888-299-7706 (toll free), 610-822-2221 by E-mail: info@sbclasslaw.com
or visit the firm's Website: http://www.sbclasslaw.com


DUANE READE: Wolf Haldenstein Commences Securities Suit in S.D. NY
------------------------------------------------------------------
Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP commenced a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York, on behalf of purchasers of the common stock of Duane Reade,
Inc. [NYSE: DRD] between April 25, 2002 and July 24, 2002, inclusive,
against the Company and certain of its officers and directors.

The complaint charges the Company and certain of its officers and
directors with issuing false and misleading statements concerning its
business and financial condition.  Specifically, the complaint alleges
that on April 25, 2002, the start of the class period, defendants
issued the Company's First Quarter 2002 earnings news release for the
quarter ending March 31, 2002.  The Company reported recorded first
quarter sales and earnings results as follows: net sales increased
12.5% to $305.8 million and net income was $5.3 million, or $0.22 per
diluted share, before a previously disclosed one-time non-cash charge,
compared to net income of $2.6 million, or $0.14 per diluted share, in
the prior year period.

With respect to the slight decline in gross profit margin for the
quarter, defendants stated in the news release that it was "primarily
attributable to the temporary dampening of front-end sales in the post
September 11 period and also due to a $0.4 million LIFO provision in
the period."  Additionally, defendants misled the public by presenting
a very positive outlook for the second quarter projecting that the
Company would earn between $0.40 to $0.44 cents per share.

Suddenly, on July 25, 2002, defendants issued a news release announcing
that the Company's second quarter profits had plummeted by more than
half because the Company had failed to disclose previously that

     (1) in connection with the "$218 convertible notes offering,"
         which was completed in April 2002, had incurred expenses of
         $7.7 million, after tax, which expenses would sharply reduce
         Duane's profits in the second quarter of 2002 and cause Duane
         to report earnings significantly lower than the level
         defendants told the market to expect;

     (2) had sharply lowered prices in their stores commencing in April
         2002 and planned to continue such program throughout the
         second quarter in an effort to increase revenues, knowing that
         this would cause reduced profit margins in the second quarter;

     (3) was experiencing increased "shrink," primarily due to
         increased theft and vendor errors, which would further erode
         profits in the second quarter of 2002;

     (4) was experiencing an increase in sales of generic drugs as a
         percentage of total drug sales, which sales were at lower
         prices than sales of branded equivalents;

     (5) was experiencing a fall-off in higher margin items, including
         cosmetics, snacks, jewelry and toys;

     (6) had embarked on a program, beginning in April 2002 when
         defendants learned that they would receive $9 million in
         business interruption insurance proceeds from the claims
         submitted in the aftermath of September 11, to spend
         approximately $5.0 million in the second quarter on product
         promotions due to lost vendor promotional allowances; and

     (7) had embarked on a program, beginning in April 2002 when
         defendants learned that they would receive $9 million in
         business interruption insurance proceeds from the claims
         submitted in the aftermath of September 11, to open in the
         second quarter five additional stores to the number of new
         stores originally planned to be opened during the second
         quarter which, together with the three additional unplanned
         stores opened in the first quarter of 2002, would cause Duane
         to incur additional costs of $1.5 million, including $800,000
         in store pre-opening expenses, in the second quarter of 2002.

In response to the surprise negative announcement on July 25, 2002, the
price of Duane common stock dropped precipitously, falling from a
closing price of $23.55 per share on July 24, 2002 to a closing price
of $14.60 per share on July 25, 2002, a decline of approximately 38%,
on volume of 5.4 million shares traded, compared to average trading
volume of 321,000 shares for the previous five trading days.

For more details, contact Fred Isquith, Gustavo Bruckner, 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 Duane Reade.


ELECTRONIC DATA: Abbey Gardy Commences Securities Suit in E.D. Texas
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Abbey Gardy, LLP initiated a securities class action against Electronic
Data Systems (NYSE:EDS) in the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of Texas, on behalf of all persons or entities who
purchased securities during the period from April 22, 2002 and
September 24, 2002, inclusive.  The suit names as defendants the
Company and:

     (1) Richard H. Brown, its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

     (2) Paul Chiapparone, its Vice Chairman, and

     (3) James E. Daley, its Chief Financial Officer

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 during the class period thereby artificially inflating the price
of Company securities.

The complaint alleges that defendants failed to disclose that the
revenue from the Company's Information Solutions IT outsourcing
business is highly susceptible to interruption due to terms in the
Company's service contracts that enable customers to unilaterally
suspend discretionary spending on IT outsourcing.

The suit alleges that defendants affirmatively misrepresented the
predictability of the Company's future cash flows by touting the
anticipated revenue that it would supposedly receive from its IT
outsourcing service contracts with customers without disclosing that
payments under such contracts were not guaranteed.

The suit further alleges that defendants failed to disclose that the
Company faced significant potential threats to its liquidity if its
share price fell because of put-option and other obligations that
ultimately obligated it to in effect buy back a total of 5.44 million
shares of Company stock at fixed prices averaging over $60.00 per
share.

On September 18, 2002 after executives of the Company 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 EDS stock plummeted to a 52-week
low of $20, down from a class period high of $72.45.

The complaint alleges that after further revelations regarding the
Company's put-option and other liabilities emerged in the wake of the
foregoing disclosures, its share price tumbled even further to close at
$11.68 on September 24, 2002.

For more details, contact Nancy Kaboolian by Phone: 800-889-3701 by E-
mail: nkaboolian@abbeygardy.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.abbeygardy.com


ESS TECHNOLOGY: Milberg Weiss Commences Securities Suit in N.D. CA
------------------------------------------------------------------
Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach, LLP initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the Northern District of
California on behalf of purchasers of ESS Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq:
ESST) publicly traded securities during the period between January 23,
2002 and September 12, 2002.

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 disseminated false and misleading
statements concerning the Company's operations and its prospects for
2002.

Taking advantage of the inflation in Company stock, certain of the
Company's officers sold $1.8 million worth of their own ESS stock at
artificially inflated prices of as much as $25.78 per share, while the
Company itself sold $45.5 million worth of its own stock.

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

SALOMON SMITH: Kaplan Fox Commences Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Kaplan Fox initiated a securities class action against Citigroup Inc.,
Salomon Smith Barney Inc. and Jack Grubman, 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 the common
stock of Metromedia Fiber Network, Inc. (Pink Sheets:MFNXQ) between
November 25, 1997 and July 25, 2001, inclusive.

The complaint alleges that the defendants violated the federal
securities laws by issuing analyst reports regarding the Company that
recommended the purchase of the Company's common stock and which set
price targets for Company common stock, without any reasonable factual
basis.

The complaint further alleges that, when issuing it's the Company's
analyst reports, defendants failed to disclose significant, material
conflicts of interest which it had, in light of defendants' Metromedia
reports, to obtain investment banking business for Salomon.

Furthermore, in issuing Metromedia reports, in which it recommended the
purchase of Metromedia common stock, defendants failed to disclose
material, non-public, adverse information they possessed about
Metromedia.  Throughout the class period, defendants maintained a "BUY"
recommendation on Metromedia in order to obtain and support lucrative
financial deals for Salomon.

The class period begins on November 25, 1997 the date when Salomon
"initiated coverage" of and issued their first report on Metromedia.  
The class period ends on July 25, 2001, the date defendants belatedly
downgraded Metromedia from a "Buy" to a "Neutral."  As a result of
Defendants' false and misleading analyst reports, Metromedia common
stock traded at artificially inflated levels during the class period.

For more details, contact Frederic S. Fox, Donald R. Hall by Mail: 805
Third Avenue, 22nd Floor, New York, NY 10022 by Phone: 800-290-1952 or
212-687-1980 by Fax: 212-687-7714 or by E-mail: mail@kaplanfox.com


                              *********


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

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

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

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic re-
mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without prior written
permission of the publishers.

Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to be
reliable, but is not guaranteed.

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 information, contact Christopher Beard at 240/629-3300.

                  * * *  End of Transmission  * * *