CAR_Public/021115.mbx                 C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

                Friday, November 15, 2002, Vol. 4, No. 227

                               Headlines

APARTHEID LITIGATION: 20 Banks & Multinationals Tagged in Brooklyn Suit
ARTHUR ANDERSEN: Ex-Employees Sue Accounting Firms That Acquired Assets
BANK OF AMERICA: MO Court Approves Settlement of Securities Fraud Suit
BRAWN OF CALIFORNIA: Trial in CA Consumer Fraud Suit Starts April 14
CANADA: Plans To Fast-track Indian Residential Suits To Adjudication

CONSOLIDATED NATURAL: Oral Arguments in Gas Royalties Suit Set for Nov.
DOMESTICATIONS LLC: Trial in CA Consumer Fraud Suit Set For June 2003
DOMINION TELECOM: VA Court Refuses to Dismiss Cable Trespass Lawsuit
GREAT LAKES: Agrees To Settle Ten Antitrust Lawsuits Pending in S.D. IN
GUMP'S BY MAIL: Trial in CA Consumer Fraud Lawsuit to Commence May 2003

HANOVER DIRECT: Oral Argument to Commence Early 2003 in OK State Court
HANOVER DIRECT: CA Court Rules in Favor of Firm in CA Consumer Lawsuit
MATRIXONE INC.: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Consolidated Securities Suit
MICROSOFT CORP.: Supreme Court Refuses Challenge To Workers' Settlement
MUTUAL RISK: Denies Allegations in Securities Fraud Suits in S.D. CA

NETZERO INC.: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Consolidated Securities Lawsuit
PROTECTION ONE: Reaches Agreement With Masterguard in Suit Arbitration
SMURFIT-STONE: Appeals Court Upholds Certification For Antitrust Suit
STIHL INC.: Voluntarily Recalls 3T Chain Saws For Fire, Injury Hazard
SUNSET LIFE: CA Court Grants Final Approval to $18 Mil Suit Settlement

                             Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS ALERT: High Court Considers Limiting Asbestos Exposure Claims
ASBESTOS ALERT: Halliburton Asbestos Plaintiffs Agree to Extend Stay
ASBESTOS ALERT: NARCO Books $29.7 Million Asbestos Related Liabilities
ASBESTOS ALERT: Scottish Power Faces Injury Claims in Asbestos Scare
ALSTOM:  Battles 6,500 Asbestos Related Claims in United States Courts

MOBIL CORP.: Asks High Court To Stop Mass Trial of West Virginia Suits
PHILIP MORRIS: Faces Asbestos Related Litigation from Asbestos Firms
POTOMAC EDISON: Accrues US$1.2 Million Reserves For Asbestos Litigation
RJ REYNOLDS: Faces Asbestos-Related Smoker Suits in San Francisco Court
SOLUTIA INC.: To Continue Seeking Relief From $45 Million Court Verdict

TRAVELERS PROPERTY: Faces Asbestos Related Suits, Trend To Continue

                        New Securities Fraud Cases

ALLEGHENY ENERGY: Berger & Montague Starts Securities Suit in S.D. NY
AMERICAN ELECTRIC: Spector Roseman Commences Securities Suit in E.D. OH
FIRST UNION: Mark Krudys Commences Securities Fraud Suit in WV Court
MORGAN STANLEY: Wolf Haldenstein Commences Securities Suit in S.D. NY
OM GROUP: Wechsler Harwood Commences Securities Fraud Suit in N.D. OH

RETEK INC.: Scott + Scott Commences Securities Fraud Suit in MN Court
SCHERING PLOUGH: Cohen Milstein Commences Securities Fraud Suit in NJ
ST. PAUL: Spector Roseman Commences Securities Fraud Suit in MN Court
SYNCOR INTERNATIONAL: Faruqi Initiates Securities Suit in W.D. CA
TXU CORPORATION: Schatz & Nobel Files Securities Fraud Suit in N.D. TX

                               *********

APARTHEID LITIGATION: 20 Banks & Multinationals Tagged in Brooklyn Suit
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An apartheid victims group is suing 20 banks and major multinational
companies for what it expects could be billions in damages, according
to a report by Associated Press Newswires.  The lawsuit was filed late
Monday in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, on behalf of the
Khulumani Support Group's 33,000 members, and 85 individuals.

The group alleges that the companies helped support a regime that
maimed some of the plaintiffs and raped and tortured others.  Some lost
children to police bullets.  The lawsuit's targets include major banks
like Citigroup, the largest financial institution in the United States,
and the two Swiss banking giants, Credit Suisse and UBS.  The US oil
company Exxon, and auto companies General Motors and Ford were also
among companies targeted.

The three major banks are also being sued in a similar lawsuit for
South African victims, filed in June in the United States, by American
lawyer Ed Fagan.   That case is a class action that seeks to follow a
precedent established in litigation on behalf of Holocaust victims, who
won a $1.25 billion settlement from the Swiss banks.

The apartheid regime, which began in 1948, was held together by an
oppressive web of racist laws that classified all South Africans by
race and stripped even the most basic rights from those who were not
white.

As efforts to overthrow the regime grew, authorities began jailing some
opponents and killing others without trial.  The regime ended in 1994,
with the nation's first all-race elections.

Khulumani's lawyers said the companies named in the case helped prop up
the white government, which struggled to maintain itself as foreign
capital fled the country.  The named companies helped the apartheid
regime with loans and business deals worth billions of dollars.  The
help continued even after the United Nations, in 1962, asked all member
states to break off relations with South Africa.

The companies and banks named in the Khulumani lawsuit are:

      (1) Citigroup,

      (2) JP Morgan Chase,

      (3) Exxon Mobil,

      (4) Caltex Petroleum,

      (5) Fluor Corporation,

      (6) Ford Motor Co.,

      (7) General Motors Corp.,

      (8) IBM,

      (9) Commerzbank,

     (10) Deutsche Bank,

     (11) Dresdner Bank,

     (12) DaimlerChrysler,

     (13) Rheinmetall,

     (14) Credit Suisse,

     (15) UBS,

     (16) Barclays Bank,

     (17) British Petroleum,

     (18) Fujitsu ICL,

     (19) Total-Fina-Elf, and

     (20) Royal Dutch Shell


ARTHUR ANDERSEN: Ex-Employees Sue Accounting Firms That Acquired Assets
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A retired Arthur Andersen LLP partner has sued four firms that picked
large parts of Andersen's business in the wake of the accounting firm's
downfall, accusing them of looting the firm's assets and leaving it
unable to pay retirement benefits, according to a report by The Wall
Street Journal.

The retired partner's action renews concerns about the legal liability
facing firms that have acquired Andersen partners and clients.  The
lawsuit, which was filed last Friday in an Indiana state court and
names as defendants:

      (1) Deloitte & Touche LLP,

      (2) Ernst & Young LLP,

      (3) KPMG LLP,

      (4) Bearing Point Inc., which formerly was KPMG Consulting Inc.

The plaintiff alleges that the defendants interfered with contractual
relations, acquired Andersen's assets at below fair value, and
conspired to suppress that value.  The retired partner seeks class
action status for the lawsuit on behalf of roughly 1,000 former
Andersen partners.  They are seeking damages of $500 million to $1
billion to cover lost retirement payments.

The suit describes a "frenzy" of activity among the accounting firm's
competitors during the first few months of this year, after Andersen's
role in shredding documents relation to its audit client Enron Corp.
surfaced.  In Chicago, for example, 100 Deloitte employees operated two
"war rooms," one targeting Andersen's people for possible jobs and the
other its clients to win business, according to the complaint.

Ernst and Deloitte both called the claims frivolous and promised to
contest them "vigorously."  Deloitte added that Andersen's failure had
"absolutely nothing to do with the fact that other employers were
willing to provide employment to the people who decided to leave . when
it became clear that the firm could not survive."

KPMG said the suit was "a cynical and misguided attempt to lay blame
where there is none and completely without merit."  BearingPoint said
"BearingPoint stepped in and paid $63 million for the right to hire
1,575 people who were losing their jobs.  The idea that this was
somehow unfair is ridiculous."

Last week, before the suit was filed, Deloitte's chief executive James
Copeland said, "Based on all the best legal advice we could get, we did
what was legally prudent."  Ernst's global chairman expressed similar
sentiments, also before the suit was filed, "We feel very comfortable
that there is no liability exposure."


BANK OF AMERICA: MO Court Approves Settlement of Securities Fraud Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Missouri federal court granted approval to a settlement proposed by
the Bank of America Corporation to settle a consolidated class action
pending against it and certain of its present and former officers and
directors.

The consolidated suit alleges, among other things, that the defendants
failed to disclose material facts about BankAmerica's losses relating
to D.E. Shaw Securities Group, L.P. (D.E. Shaw) and related entities
until mid-October 1998, in violation of various provisions of federal
and state laws.

The amended complaint also alleges that the proxy statement-prospectus
of August 4, 1998 falsely stated that the merger between NationsBank
Corporation (NationsBank) and BankAmerica would be one of equals and
alleges a scheme to have NationsBank gain control over the newly merged
entity.

The court has certified classes consisting generally of persons who
were stockholders of NationsBank or BankAmerica on September 30, 1998,
or were entitled to vote on the merger, or who purchased or acquired
securities of the Corporation or its predecessors between August 4,
1998 and October 13, 1998.

The amended complaint substantially survived a motion to dismiss.  A
former NationsBank stockholder who opted out of the NationsBank
shareholder class also commenced an action in the Missouri federal
court asserting claims substantially similar to the claims related to
D.E. Shaw set forth in the consolidated action.

Similar class actions have been filed in California state courts.
Plaintiffs in one such class action, brought on behalf of California
residents who owned BankAmerica stock, claim that the Proxy Statement
falsely stated that the merger would be one of equals.  Plaintiffs in
that matter have been included in the federal action as part of the
BankAmerica shareholder class, and their claims in the California state
court have been dismissed.  Other California state court class actions
were consolidated, but have not been certified as class actions.

The Missouri federal court enjoined prosecution of those consolidated
cases as a class action.  The plaintiffs who were enjoined appealed to
the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, which upheld
the district court's injunction.  Those plaintiffs sought review in the
United States Supreme Court, which was denied.

In February 2002, the Company reached an agreement, subject to judicial
approval, to settle the class actions.  The settlement provides for
payment of $333 million to the NationsBank Classes and $157 million to
the BankAmerica Classes.  The Company agreed to the settlement without
admitting liability.  The settlement will be paid from existing
litigation reserves and insurance and is not expected to have a further
impact on the Company's financial results.

After preliminary approval of the settlement, shareholders were
notified of the terms and given an opportunity to object.  On September
30, 2002, the Missouri Federal Court rejected certain objections and
approved the settlement.  On October 15, 2002, the Missouri Federal
Court ruled on applications for attorneys' fees and expenses, to be
paid from the settlement funds, and instructed the Clerk of the Court
to dismiss the case with prejudice.

It is anticipated that a formal judgment of dismissal will be entered
shortly and that objectors to the settlement will appeal to the United
States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.  The settlement
payments will not be made until final disposition of any such appeal.
On March 15, 2002, the Missouri federal court dismissed the Opt-Out
Action with prejudice following a settlement.


BRAWN OF CALIFORNIA: Trial in CA Consumer Fraud Suit Starts April 14
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Trial in the class action filed against Brawn of California, Inc. (dba
International Male and Undergear) is set to proceed on April 14,2003 in
the Superior Court of the State of California, City and County of San
Francisco.  The suit also names Does 1-100 as defendants.

The suit, filed by Jacq Wilson, on behalf of himself, all others
similarly situated, and the general public.  Does 1-100 are internet
and catalog direct marketers offering a selection of men's clothing,
sundries, and shoes who advertise within California and nationwide.
The complaint alleges that:

      (1) for at least four years, members of the class have been
          charged an unlawful, unfair, and fraudulent insurance fee and
          tax on orders sent to them by Brawn;

      (2) Brawn was engaged in untrue, deceptive and misleading
          advertising in that it was not lawfully required or permitted
          to collect insurance, tax and sales tax from customers in
          California; and

      (3) Brawn has engaged in acts of unfair competition under the
          state's Business and Professions Code.

Plaintiff and the class seek:

      (i) restitution and disgorgement of all monies wrongfully
          collected and earned by Brawn, including interest and other
          gains made on account of these practices, including
          reimbursement in the amount of the insurance, tax and sales
          tax collected unlawfully, together with interest;

     (ii) an order enjoining Brawn from charging customers insurance and
          tax on its order forms and/or from charging tax on the
          delivery, shipping and insurance charges;

    (iii) an order directing Brawn to notify the California State Board
          of Equalization of the failure to pay the correct amount of
          tax to the state and to take appropriate steps to provide the
          state with the information needed for audit; and

     (iv) compensatory damages, attorneys' fees, pre-judgment interest,
          and costs of the suit.

The claims of the individually named plaintiff and for each member of
the class amount to less than $75,000.  On April 15, 2002, the Company
filed a motion to stay the suit, which the court denied.

In October 2002, the Court granted the Company's motion for leave to
amend its answer to the suit.  Discovery is proceeding.  The Company
plans to conduct a vigorous defense of this action.


CANADA: Plans To Fast-track Indian Residential Suits To Adjudication
--------------------------------------------------------------------
A plan to speed thousands of Indian residential school lawsuits by
moving them out of court and into adjudication is set to go before the
federal Cabinet, according to a report by the National Post.  If
approved, the deal could see dozens of retired judges or other
qualified arbiters weigh evidence and make rulings.

Settlements for victims would follow an established grid of offenses,
said sources close to the proposal.  Small payments would be made for
relatively minor assaults, while $100,000 could be paid for the most
serious physical and sexual abuse.

Ottawa will pay 70 percent of the validated claims, which by some
estimates could top $1 billion.  Victims would have to look to the
Catholic, Anglican, United and Presbyterian churches that ran the
government schools for most of the last century for the rest.  Ottawa
would also pay a portion of legal fees for plaintiffs who reach
settlements, said sources who asked not to be identified.

It is hoped adjudication could, within seven years, resolve up to 75
percent of cases now jamming an already stressed legal system.  A
faster method also would put more money into the hands of victims
instead of lawyers, sources said.

About one lawsuit a day is now being resolved out of court with average
payouts of $100,000.  Hundreds more are bogged down in sluggish
litigation that could drag on for decades.  Ottawa has paid more than
$37 million in compensation for about 600 out-of-court settlements
since 1996.

Proponents of the adjudication plan say it is Ottawa's effort to fast-
track causes and ease litigation trauma for fore than 12,000 plaintiffs
alleging physical and sexual abuse.  Claimants would have to back up
their cases with evidence at a hearing, but would not be tied up
in court for years to do so.

Critics point out that the government will not consider claims for loss
of native language and culture.  More troubling is how plaintiffs who
seek a faster settlement through adjudication would have to waive their
right initially to related court action.  The plaintiff would have to
sign off all his/her rights before knowing if he/she is going to get
anything, said Toronto lawyer Darcy Merkur.

"In most alternative dispute resolutions, you try to sort out a deal,
and if everyone is happy, good.  If not, you proceed to court," said
lawyer David Paterson of Surrey, B.C.  "I think the system quite
frankly is designed to cherry-pick the higher-level cases and see if
they can be bought off."

Messrs. Merkur and Paterson are part of a team led by Toronto law firm,
Thomson Rogers, that is pursuing a national class action.  The suit
seeks $12 billion in federal compensation for about 91,000 people who
attended native residential schools between 1920 and 1996, and for
their families.  It claims damages not just for sexual and physical
abuse, but also for how the forced removal of native children from
their homes caused "profound and permanent cultural, psychological and
emotional injury."

The class action will not proceed unless a judge rules that plaintiffs
shared similar enough experiences to sue as a group.  A ruling on this
issue is not expected for several months.  To make its adjudication
alternative more appealing, the federal government is expected to
announce programs to help restore and enhance native language and
culture.

Ottawa argues that there is no precedent for compensating cultural
losses; and programs, it says, are more useful than cash settlements to
restore cultural loss.

The federal government apologized officially four years ago, conceding
that abuse in the residential schools was widespread.  The act of
apology unleashed an unmatched eruption of lawsuits.


CONSOLIDATED NATURAL: Oral Arguments in Gas Royalties Suit Set for Nov.
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Oral arguments are set to commence this month in the class action
pending in Stevens County Court in Kansas against Consolidated Natural
Gas Co.'s subsidiaries and approximately 300 other defendants.

The suit, filed by Quingue Operating Company, seeks damages for alleged
fraud, misrepresentation, conversion and assorted other claims, in the
measurement and payment of gas royalties from privately held gas
leases.

Discovery is currently underway regarding class certification and
personal jurisdiction.  The court has denied the defendants' motion
seeking to dismiss this action on issues other than personal
jurisdiction.  The Company has been dismissed from the case, but
certain subsidiaries of the Company remain as defendants in the matter.


DOMESTICATIONS LLC: Trial in CA Consumer Fraud Suit Set For June 2003
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Trial in the consumer class action pending against Domestications, LLC
is set for June 16,2003 in the Superior Court of the State of
California, City and County of San Francisco.

The suit was commenced in March 2002 by Argonaut Consumer Rights
Advocates Inc., on behalf of the general public and names Does 1-100 as
defendants.  The plaintiff is a non-profit public benefit corporation
suing under the California Business and Profession Code.

Does 1-100 would include persons responsible for the conduct alleged in
the complaint, including the direct sale of tangible personal property
to California consumers including the type of merchandise that
Domestications sells, by telephone, mail order, and sales through the
web site www.domestications.com.

The plaintiff claims that:

       (1) for at least four years members of the class have been
           charged an unlawful, unfair, and fraudulent tax and sales tax
           for different rates and amounts on the catalog and internet
           orders on the total amount of goods, tax and sales tax on
           shipping charges, which are not subject to tax or sales tax
           under California law, in violation of California law and
           court decisions, including the state Revenue and Taxation
           Code, Civil Code, and the California Board of Equalization;

       (2) the Company engages in unfair business practices; and

      (3) the Company engaged in untrue and misleading advertising in
          that it was not lawfully required to collect tax and
          sales tax from customers in California.

Plaintiff and the class seek:

      (i) restitution of all sums, interest and other gains made on
          account of these practices;

     (ii) prejudgment interest on all sums wrongfully collected;

    (iii) an order enjoining Domestications from charging customers for
          tax on their orders and/or from charging tax on the shipping
          charges; and

     (iv) attorneys' fees and costs of the suit.

The Company filed an answer and separate affirmative defenses to the
complaint, generally denying the allegations of the suit and each
and every cause of action alleged, and denying that plaintiff has been
damaged or is entitled to any relief whatsoever.

Discovery is now proceeding.  On September 19, 2002, the Company filed
a motion for leave to file an amended answer, containing several
additional affirmative defenses based on the proposition that the
proper defendant in this litigation (if any) is the California State
Board of Equalization, not the Company, and that plaintiff failed to
exhaust its administrative remedies prior to filing suit.

Discovery is proceeding.  Trial is currently scheduled to begin on June
16, 2003.  The Company plans to conduct a vigorous defense of this
action.


DOMINION TELECOM: VA Court Refuses to Dismiss Cable Trespass Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court in Richmond, Virginia refused to
dismiss a class action filed against Dominion Telecom, Inc. and
Virginia Electric and Power Company in June 2002 by two North Carolina
landowners.

The plaintiffs claim that Virginia Power and Dominion Telecom strung
fiber-optic cable across their land, along a Virginia Power electric
transmission corridor without paying compensation.  The plaintiffs are
seeking damages for trespass and "unjust enrichment" as well as
punitive damages from Virginia Power and Dominion Telecom.  The named
plaintiffs purport to "represent a class . . . consisting of all owners
of land in North Carolina and Virginia, other than public streets or
highways, that underlies Virginia Power's electric transmission lines
and on or in which fiber optic cable has been installed."

In October 2002, the court denied the defendants' motion to dismiss and
granted plaintiffs' motion to amend the complaint to add another
plaintiff.  The outcome of the proceeding, including an estimate as to
any potential loss, cannot be predicted at this time.


GREAT LAKES: Agrees To Settle Ten Antitrust Lawsuits Pending in S.D. IN
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Great Lakes Chemical Corporation agreed to settle ten federal class
actions pending in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of Indiana, alleging that the Company conspired with others in
violation of the antitrust laws regarding the pricing of bromine and
brominated products.

Over the Company's opposition, the court certified a class of direct
purchasers of brominated diphenyl oxides and their blends,
tetrabromobisphenol A and its derivatives and all methyl bromide
products in the United States between January 1, 1995 and April 30,
1998.

The Company applied for an interlocutory appeal of the certification
order at the United States Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, but the
court denied the application.

On September 10, 2002, the Company agreed to settle all of the federal
class actions, subject to an option on the part of the Company to
withdraw from the settlement, which option has now expired without
being exercised, and subject to approval by the federal court.

The settlement agreement affects direct purchasers from Great Lakes of
brominated diphenyl oxides (decabromodiphenyl oxide, octabromodiphenyl
oxide and pentabromodiphenyl oxide) and their blends,
tetrabromobisphenol-A and its derivatives and all methyl bromide
products and their derivatives in the United States between January 1,
1995 and April 30, 1998.

The Company agreed to a $4.1 million cash payment and $2.6 million in
vouchers for the future purchase of decabromodiphenyl oxide and/or
tetrabromobisphenol-A, to be distributed to class members.  The
settlement will be presented to the federal court for approval during
the fourth quarter 2002.

The Company also faces five California purported class actions were
filed against the Company, each asserting the same claims and claiming
treble damages.  The California cases purport to allege violations of
California competition laws and were stayed pending resolution of the
federal cases.

The cases are not impacted by the federal settlement.  The Company has
denied that they were legitimately filed as class actions, denies all
liability and intends to defend the cases vigorously.


GUMP'S BY MAIL: Trial in CA Consumer Fraud Lawsuit to Commence May 2003
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Trial in the class action against Gump's By Mail, Inc. is set to
commence May 2003 in the Superior Court of the State of California,
City and County of San Francisco.

The suit was commenced by the Argonaut Consumer Rights Advocates Inc.,
suing on behalf of the general public and also names Does 1-100 as
defendants.  The plaintiff is a non-profit public benefit corporation
suing under the California Business and Profession Code.

Does 1-100 would include persons whose activities include the direct
sale of tangible personal property to California consumers including
the type of merchandise that Gump's - the store and the catalog - sell,
by telephone, mail order, and sales through the web sites
www.gumpsbymail.com and www.gumps.com.

The complaint alleges that:

      (1) for at least four years members of the class have been charged
          an unlawful, unfair, and fraudulent tax and "sales tax" on
          their orders in violation of California law and court
          decisions, including the state Revenue and Taxation Code,
          Civil Code, and the California Board of Equalization;

      (2) the Company engages in unfair business practices;

      (3) the Company engaged in untrue and misleading advertising in
          that it was not lawfully required to collect tax and sales tax
          from customers in California; is not lawfully required or
          permitted to add tax and sales tax on separately stated
          shipping or delivery charges to California consumers; and

      (4) that it does not add the appropriate or applicable or specific
          correct tax or sales tax to its orders.

Plaintiff and the class seek:

      (i) restitution of all tax and sales tax charged by Gump's on each
          transaction and/or restitution of tax and sales tax charged on
          the shipping charges;

     (ii) an order enjoining Gump's from charging customers for tax on
          orders or from charging tax on the shipping charges; and

    (iii) attorneys' fees, pre-judgment interest on the sums refunded,
          and costs of the suit

On April 15, 2002, the Company filed an answer and separate affirmative
defenses to the complaint, generally denying the allegations of the
complaint and each and every cause of action alleged, and denying that
plaintiff has been damaged or is entitled to any relief whatsoever.

On September 19, 2002, the Company filed a motion for leave to file an
amended answer, containing several additional affirmative defenses
based on the proposition that the proper defendant in this litigation
(if any) is the California State Board of Equalization, not the
Company, and that plaintiff failed to exhaust its administrative
remedies prior to filing suit.

Discovery is now proceeding.  Trial is currently scheduled to begin on
May 19, 2003.  The Company plans to conduct a vigorous defense of this
action.


HANOVER DIRECT: Oral Argument to Commence Early 2003 in OK State Court
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Oral argument in the class action against Hanover Direct, Inc. is
expected to take place in early 2003 in the State Court of Oklahoma, in
and for Sequoyah County.

The suit was commenced in March 2000, by Edwin L. Martin, on behalf of
himself and a class of persons who have at any time purchased a product
from the Company and paid for an "insurance charge." The complaint sets
forth claims for:

      (1) breach of contract,

      (2) unjust enrichment,

      (3) recovery of money paid absent consideration,

      (4) fraud and

      (5) a claim under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act

The complaint alleges that the Company charges its customers for
delivery insurance even though, among other things, the Company's
common carriers already provide insurance and the insurance charge
provides no benefit to the Company's customers.  Plaintiff also seeks a
declaratory judgment as to the validity of the delivery insurance.

The damages sought are:

      (i) an order directing the Company to return to the plaintiff
          and class members the "unlawful revenue" derived from the
          insurance charges,

     (ii) declaring the rights of the parties,

    (iii) permanently enjoining the Company from imposing the insurance
          charge,

     (iv) awarding threefold damages of less than $75,000 per plaintiff
          and per class member, and

      (v) attorneys' fees and costs

The court held a hearing on plaintiff's class certification motion.
Subsequent to the April 12, 2001 hearing on plaintiff's class
certification motion, plaintiff filed a motion to amend the definition
of the class.

The court later granted the plaintiff's class certification motion,
defining the class as "All persons in the United States who are
customers of any catalog or catalog company owned by Hanover Direct,
Inc. and who have at any time purchased a product from such company and
paid money which was designated to be an 'insurance' charge."

On August 21, 2001, the Company filed an appeal of the order with the
Oklahoma Supreme Court and subsequently moved to stay proceedings in
the district court pending resolution of the appeal.  The appeal has
been fully briefed.

At a subsequent status hearing, the parties agreed that issues
pertaining to notice to the class would be stayed pending resolution of
the appeal, that certain other issues would be subject to limited
discovery, and that the issue of a stay for any remaining issues would
be resolved if and when such issues arise.

The Company believes it has defenses against the claims and plans to
conduct a vigorous defense of this action.


HANOVER DIRECT: CA Court Rules in Favor of Firm in CA Consumer Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Superior Court for the City and County of San Francisco California
granted two of Hanover Direct, Inc.'s motions in a four-count class
action, which also names as defendants:

      (1) Hanover Brands, Inc.,

      (2) Hanover Direct Virginia, Inc., and

      (3) Does 1-100

The complaint was filed by a California resident, seeking damages and
other relief for herself and a class of all others similarly situated,
arising out of the insurance fee charged by catalogs and internet sites
operated by subsidiaries of the Company.  Defendants, including the
Company, have filed motions to dismiss based on a lack of personal
jurisdiction over them.

In January 2002, plaintiff sought leave to name six additional entities
as co-defendants:

       (1) International Male,

       (2) Domestications Kitchen & Garden,

       (3) Silhouettes,

       (4) Hanover Company Store,

       (5) Kitchen & Home, and

       (6) Domestications

In March 2002, the Company was served with the first amended suit in
which plaintiff named as defendants the Company, Hanover Brands,
Hanover Direct Virginia, LWI Holdings, Hanover Company Store, Kitchen
and Home, and Silhouettes.

On April 15, 2002, the Company filed a motion to stay the suit in favor
of the previously lawsuit and also filed a motion to quash service of
summons for lack of personal jurisdiction on behalf of defendants
Hanover Direct, Inc., Hanover Brands, Inc. and Hanover Direct Virginia,
Inc.

On May 14, 2002, the court granted the Company's motion to quash
service on behalf of Hanover Direct, Hanover Brands, and Hanover
Direct Virginia, leaving only LWI Holdings, Hanover Company Store,
Kitchen & Home, and Silhouettes, as defendants, and the Company's
motion to stay the action in favor of the previously filed Oklahoma
action, so nothing will proceed on this case against the remaining
entities until the Oklahoma case is decided.

The Company believes it has defenses against the claims.  The Company
plans to conduct a vigorous defense of this action.


MATRIXONE INC.: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Consolidated Securities Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------------
MatrixOne, Inc. asked the United States District Court to dismiss the
securities class action pending against it, two of its officers and
certain underwriters of its initial public offering, on behalf of
purchasers of the Company's common stock during the period from
February 29, 2000 to December 6, 2000.

The suit asserts, among other things, that the Company's IPO prospectus
and registration statement violated federal securities laws because
they contained material misrepresentations and/or omissions regarding
the conduct of the Company's IPO underwriters in allocating shares in
the IPO to the underwriters' customers, and that the Company and the
two named officers engaged in fraudulent practices with respect to this
underwriters' conduct.

Pursuant to a stipulation between the parties, the Company's two named
officers were dismissed from the lawsuit, without prejudice, on October
9, 2002.  The action seeks damages, fees and costs associated with the
litigation, and interest.

The Company understands that various plaintiffs have filed
substantially similar lawsuits against over three hundred other
publicly traded companies in connection with the underwriting of their
initial public offerings.

The Company, along with the three hundred plus other publicly-traded
companies that have been named in substantially similar lawsuits, filed
a motion to dismiss the complaint on July 15, 2002.  The court heard
oral argument on this motion on November 1, 2002.

The litigation process is inherently uncertain and unpredictable,
however, and there can be no guarantee as to the ultimate outcome of
this pending lawsuit.  Even if successfully defended, this lawsuit
could result in significant expense to the Company and the diversion of
its management and technical resources, which may have a material
adverse effect on its operating results.

The Company and its officers and directors believe that the allegations
in the complaint are without merit and intend to contest them
vigorously.


MICROSOFT CORP.: Supreme Court Refuses Challenge To Workers' Settlement
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States. Supreme Court's refusal to consider a challenge to
the Microsoft "permatemp" settlement cleared the way for thousands of
current and former employees to receive their share of $97 million in
payouts, the Associated Press Newswires reports.  The lawsuit had
been certified as a class action.

The High Court issued its ruling without comment, letting stand a 9th US
Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in May.  The 9th Circuit affirmed a
lower court finding that $27 million in legal fees was reasonable for
the Seattle law firm that represented Microsoft's long-term temporary
workers.

Stephen Strong, a partner at Bendich, Stobaugh & Strong, said he is
thrilled his clients can begin applying for their share of the
settlement money.

Lawrence Schonbrun, a Berkeley, California, lawyer with a national
reputation as an opponent of class actions, had appealed the case to
the Supreme Court on behalf of two former temporary employees who
argued that their share of the settlement was too small and the
lawyers' fees were too big.  One of Mr. Schonbrun's clients contended
the $65,000 in settlement money she was to receive was insufficient.

The "permatemp" lawsuit was filed in 1992, by some temporary workers
who had spent years with the company.  The complaint challenged
Microsoft's practice of paying workers through temporary employment
agencies, thus denying them certain benefits provided to permanent
employees -- including the company's employee stock purchase plan.

US District Judge John Coughenour approved the settlement, in May 2001,
finding that the attorney fees amounting to 28 percent of the
settlement were justified, given the 11 years of work plaintiffs'
lawyers put into the case without compensation.  The lawsuit had been
filed in 1992.

Between 10,000 and 12,000 current and former Microsoft employees who
worked at least 750 hours over at least nine months are legible for a
share of the settlement money.  Payment amounts will vary based on a
formula that factors in how long individuals worked for Microsoft and
when.

In an unrelated matter, the judge overseeing the US Justice
Department's antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft formally approved the
settlement worked out by the government, nine states and Microsoft.  US
District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kennedy had approved most of the
settlement on November 1, but had ordered some revisions.  The parties
submitted those changes last week.


MUTUAL RISK: Denies Allegations in Securities Fraud Suits in S.D. CA
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Mutual Risk Management, Inc. faces five substantially identical class
actions filed in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of California, on behalf of purchasers of the Company's
publicly traded equity securities from February 16,2000 to April
2,2000.  The suit also names as defendants:

      (1) Robert A. Mulderig, the Company's Chairman and Chief
          Executive Officer,

      (2) James C. Kelly, Chief Financial Officer, and

      (3) Andrew Cook, Chief Financial Officer

The suits allege violations of the federal securities laws,
specifically Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934, and Rule 10(b)(5) promulgated thereunder.

The plaintiffs allege that the defendants disseminated financial
statements that were materially false and misleading and that failed to
comply with generally accepted accounting principles for each of the
quarters in the class period, and for the years ended December 31, 2000
and 2001.

The Company believes the allegations in the suits to be without merit
and intends to vigorously defend itself.  The five actions will be
consolidated for purposes of the litigation.


NETZERO INC.: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Consolidated Securities Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Netzero, Inc. asked the United States District Court for the southern
District of New York to dismiss a consolidated securities class action
filed against it, certain of its officers and directors and the
investment firms Goldman Sachs, BancBoston Robertson Stephens
and Salomon Smith Barney alleging violations of the federal securities
laws.

The suit generally alleges that the prospectus through which the
Company conducted its initial public offering in September 1999 was
materially false and misleading because it failed to disclose, among
other things, that:

      (1) the underwriters of the Company's initial public offering had
          solicited and received excessive and undisclosed commissions
          from certain investors in exchange for which the underwriters
          allocated to those investors material portions of the
          restricted number of Company shares issued in connection with
          initial public offering; and

      (2) the underwriters had entered into agreements with customers
          whereby they agreed to allocate Company shares to those
          customers in the initial public offering in exchange for which
          the customers agreed to purchase additional Company shares in
          the aftermarket at pre-determined prices.

The complaints against the Company have been consolidated with similar
complaints filed against other companies and investment firms.  The
defendants, including the Company, in these consolidated cases have
moved to dismiss the plaintiffs' complaints and the motion to dismiss
has been argued and is pending before the court.


PROTECTION ONE: Reaches Agreement With Masterguard in Suit Arbitration
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Protection One, Inc. has reached an agreement with one of its dealers,
who is a plaintiff in the class action filed against the Company in the
United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky.  Six
dealers commenced the suit, alleging breach of contract because of the
Company's interpretation of their dealer contracts.

In September 1999, the Court granted the Company's motion to stay the
proceeding pending the individual plaintiffs' pursuit of arbitration as
required by the terms of their agreements.  In June 2000, the court
denied plaintiffs' motion to have collective arbitration.

In October 2000, notwithstanding the court's s denial of plaintiffs'
motion for collective arbitration, the six former dealers filed a
motion to compel consolidation arbitration with the American
Arbitration Association (AAA).

On November 21, 2000, the AAA denied the dealers' motion and advised
they would proceed on only one matter at a time.  Only one dealer
(Masterguard) has proceeded with arbitration.  Masterguard's claims
against the Company were settled by a mutual agreement of the parties.


SMURFIT-STONE: Appeals Court Upholds Certification For Antitrust Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Third Circuit Court of Appeals denied Smurfit-Stone
Container, Inc.'s appeal of the class certification for the
consolidated class action filed against it and several other
defendants.

The consolidated suit is pending in the United States District Court
for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, alleging that the Company
reached agreements in restraint of trade that affected the manufacture,
sale and pricing of corrugated products in violation of antitrust laws.

The suit seeks an unspecified amount of damages arising out of the sale
of corrugated products for the period from October 1, 1993 through
March 31, 1995.  Under the provisions of the applicable statutes,
any award of actual damages could be trebled.

The Company is vigorously defending against the suit.


STIHL INC.: Voluntarily Recalls 3T Chain Saws For Fire, Injury Hazard
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Stihl Inc., is cooperating with the US Consumer Product Safety
Commission (CPSC) by voluntarily recalling about 3,000 chain saws.
Fuel can leak out of the chain saw's tank, which could cause a fire or
injury hazard to consumers.  The Company has received six reports of
fuel leakage.  No fires or injuries have been reported.

The recalled Stihl chain saws include model number MS 170 and MS 180 C
with serial numbers 255120848 through 255122797 and 255739074 through
255741150.  The name "Stihl" and the model numbers are located on the
starter housing.  The serial number is printed on the housing near the
bumper spikes.  These chain saws were manufactured in Virginia Beach,
Va.

Company dealers nationwide sold the chain saws from July 2002 through
October 2002 for between $180 and $200.

Consumers should stop using the chain saws immediately and return them
to the dealer where purchased for a free repair.  For more information,
consumers can contact the Company by Phone: (800) 610-6677 between 9
a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.stihlusa.com.


SUNSET LIFE: CA Court Grants Final Approval to $18 Mil Suit Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles
granted final approval to the US$18 million settlement proposed by the
Sunset Life Insurance Company to settle the nationwide class action,
relating to its universal life sales practices.

With certain limited exceptions, the class that is bound by the terms
of the settlement includes persons and entities who at any time during
the class period (January 1, 1982 through December 31, 2001) had an
ownership interest in one or more of the Company's universal life
policies during the class period.

In order to obtain relief under the settlement, members of the
Settlement Class were required to file a Claim Form postmarked or
received by the Claims Administrator before April 29, 2002.  Based upon
settlement results in the second quarter, management was of the opinion
that the reserve established for this settlement in 2001 was more than
adequate to discharge all of the Company's obligations arising out of
this matter and released $2.3 million from the reserve.


                             Asbestos Alert


ASBESTOS ALERT: High Court Considers Limiting Asbestos Exposure Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The US Supreme Court was asked Wednesday to limit asbestos lawsuits in
a case that will determine if the fear of getting cancer is enough to
entitle employees to damage awards.

Congress also is being urged to protect companies from asbestos suits,
which could cost businesses $200 billion. There are more than 600,000
asbestos-related lawsuits before courts today and many more are
expected to be filed.

Five years ago the high court ruled that railroad workers cannot sue
their employers for emotional distress over exposure to cancer-causing
asbestos if they had not been made ill by the fibrous mineral once
commonly used in insulation and fireproofing material.

Now justices may take that one more step if they rule that railroad
employees with asbestosis - a potentially deadly lung disease - cannot
be compensated for fears of getting cancer.  Asbestos fibers, when
inhaled, can cause various breathing ailments including lung cancer.

Carter Phillips, an attorney for Norfolk Southern Corp., said the Court
recognized in the 1997 decision that there was a crisis.  "That crisis
is more acute now than any time in our history," he told justices.

Norfolk is appealing a $5.8 million award to six retired workers who
claim they have asbestosis.  The workers sued under a federal law
governing railroad employee suits and part of their award was intended
to compensate for the fear of developing cancer later on.

Justices debated whether that fear was reasonable, and if allowing
cancer concerns to be considered in trials could lead to unpredictable
and unlimited damages.  "The reason these people are worried is that
they have asbestosis and people with asbestosis have a greater
probability of developing cancer," Justice David H. Souter said.

Richard Lazarus, a Georgetown University law professor representing the
retired workers, said the cancer fear is just one of many factors that
the jury was asked to consider.

The case is from West Virginia, where trial lawyers are accused of
using sympathetic courts to get money from railroads for former
employees who live in other states. Mr. Phillips said 5,500 railroad
asbestos cases have been filed in that state.

Justice Stephen Breyer said the cases could cost so much that someone
who develops cancer later will get nothing. "It's $200 billion at
stake, and the fund will run dry," he said.

Dozens of companies have sought bankruptcy protection in the past two
years because of asbestos exposure claims.  Congress has refused in the
past to put limits on asbestos lawsuits, but that could change with
Republicans in the White House and in control of both the House and
Senate.

The Supreme Court passed up a chance this fall to get involved in a
dispute over a giant asbestos trial in West Virginia involving more
than 250 companies that were sued by 8,000 people.  Out-of-court
settlements left just one company in the case.  Jurors will consider
next month how much Union Carbide must pay for having an unsafe
premises.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Halliburton Asbestos Plaintiffs Agree to Extend Stay
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Halliburton (NYSE: HAL) announced that it has reached agreement with
Harbison-Walker Refractories Company and the Official Committee of
Asbestos Creditors in the Harbison- Walker bankruptcy to consensually
extend the period of the stay contained in the Bankruptcy Court's
temporary restraining order until December 11, 2002.

The Court's temporary restraining order, which was originally entered
on February 14, 2002, stays more than 200,000 pending asbestos claims
against Halliburton's subsidiary Dresser Industries, Inc.

For more details on the stay, Halliburton refers to its earlier press
releases of September 18, 2002, July 16, 2002, June 4, 2002, May 20,
2002, February 22, 2002 and February 14, 2002.  Halliburton, founded in
1919, is one of the world's largest providers of products and services
to the petroleum and energy industries.

The company serves its customers with a broad range of products and
services through its Energy Services Group and Engineering and
Construction Group business segments.  For more information, visit the
Company's Website: http://www.halliburton.com.


ASBESTOS ALERT: NARCO Books $29.7 Million Asbestos Related Liabilities
----------------------------------------------------------------------
North American Refractories Company reports that it has to pay steel
workers and survivors of deceased workers $29,736,000.00 for asbestos-
related injuries.  Jurors on April 25 awarded nearly $30 million to the
workers and survivors of workers who suffered from debilitating
diseases linked to exposure to asbestos products.

Four former employees of U.S. Steel in Birmingham, Ala., and the
survivors of two co-workers alleged the men had contracted asbestos-
related diseases from exposure to defendants' products. The six men,
all workers at the open-hearth or blast furnace departments at the
plant, alleged they had contracted lung cancer and/or asbestosis from
exposure to defendants' products.

North American Refractories Company manufactured gunning and castables,
which came in 50- to 100-pound bags and contained one to 10 percent raw
asbestos. Allied Signal, f/k/a Bendix Brakes, manufactured brakes
and/or brake linings for overhead cranes, which contained asbestos.

The defendants denied knowing the asbestos content of their finished
products would harm workers.  Plaintiff attorney John Werner said that
North American Refractories conceded it shipped some asbestos-
containing products to U.S. Steel, but denied they were used in
sufficient quantities and at such places that would have caused the
injuries claimed.

Allied Signal denied its asbestos-containing products were used on the
equipment and in the manner alleged by the plaintiffs or,
alternatively, that any exposure was minimal, said Werner, of Reaud,
Morgan & Quinn, Inc. in Beaumont.

Following a three-week trial, jurors returned with a $29,736,000
verdict. The breakdown of compensatory damages awarded is as follows:
Floyd Douglas, Jr., who was 72 at trial and diagnosed with lung cancer
and asbestosis, $1,800,000 past and $1,380,000 future; Leon Dixon, who
suffers from asbestosis, $450,000 past and $650,000 future; Ernest
Pitts, who suffers from asbestosis,  $225,000 past and $740,000 future;
and Woodrow Taylor , who suffers from asbestosis, $495,000 past and
$585,000 future.

Because wrongful death claims were filed on behalf of Mr. Butera and
Mr. Witherspoon, their estate claims were submitted separately.  Jurors
awarded Mr. Butera's estate $1,730,000 for his physical pain and mental
anguish, and $10,000,000 in punitive damages.  His wife, Rosa Butera,
individually, was awarded $350,000 for loss of consortium and household
services.

Mr. Witherspoon's estate was awarded $980,000 for physical pain and
mental anguish, and $10,000,000 in punitive damages.  Willie
Witherspoon was awarded $350,000 for loss of consortium and services.
Mr. Werner said pre-trial demands and offers were confidential.  He
said he argued for $3 million to $6 million actual damages per
plaintiff; $100 million each for the deceased plaintiffs; and $20
million each for the living plaintiffs.

The defendants disputed liability.  They suggested, if necessary,
$500,000 to $1 million for Mr. Douglas, "something lesser" for Mr.
Butera, and zero for the other four, according to Werner.

The holding company for North American Refractories Co. announced on
January 4, 2002 that NARCO has filed a voluntary petition for
reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. In Re
North American Refractories Co., No. 02-20198 (W.D. Pa. Bankr.).

The petition, filed in the US District Court for the Western District
of Pennsylvania, is part of a major restructuring plan for RHI
Refractories Holding Co., a maker of fireproofing materials for the
steel industry, according to a statement issued by RHI.  RHI is also
the holding company for asbestos defendants Harbison-Walker
Refractories Co. and A.P.Green Industries.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Scottish Power Faces Injury Claims in Asbestos Scare
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Scottish Power has revealed it is contesting 53 legal cases brought
against the group by victims of asbestosis who are suing for damages.
Its US unit PacifiCorp also faces a smaller number of asbestos-related
claims.

The Glasgow-based electricity group moved swiftly this weekend to
stress that the claims are wholly covered by the company's insurance
policies. A spokesman for Scottish Power said, "Financially, the
exposure to us is not material."

Nonetheless, the discovery of the asbestos exposure has alarmed some
City institutional investors and asset managers.  They are pushing the
group to provide greater disclosure on the extent of the asbestos
exposure and cover.

Global markets have been shaken by the surge in the number of claims
being made against companies for asbestos poisoning.  Companies as
diverse as ABB, Saint Gobain and Royal & Sun Alliance have had to raise
provisions.

One big investor said, "It's a new risk that has hit us like a bolt of
lightning.  It's understandable that shareholders would feel alarmed.
Scottish Power must do more to allay investor fears by providing more
detail on the risks."

Scottish Power only confessed to the fact that it is a defendant
against 53 litigants last week when pressed by an anxious shareholder
at a meeting to unveil the company's interim profits of UKpound 265
million (E420 million).

The group is also rumoured to be in talks with rival Scottish &
Southern Energy (SSE) over a possible merger to create a GBP12 billion
(E19.2 billion) national champion.  Analysts suggest that a deal
between the two companies is now more likely after the sale of TXU
Energi to Germany's Eon, and Seeboard to Electricite de France in June.

Chief executive Ian Russell said he will consider merging with SSE if
competition concerns could be overcome and the deal created shareholder
value.


ALSTOM:  Battles 6,500 Asbestos Related Claims in United States Courts
----------------------------------------------------------------------
ALSTOM reports that its exposure to asbestos-related claims or
litigation, in the US or elsewhere, is insignificant.  When ALSTOM
purchased ABB's power generation activities in 1999, the asbestos risk
was retained by ABB Ltd, the ABB parent company in Switzerland. ABB Ltd
assumes full liability for any asbestos claim against ALSTOM, in the US
and elsewhere, concerning the activities acquired from ABB.

The reorganization of ABB's US subsidiary under Chapter 11 of the US
bankruptcy code, which ABB announced as an option to resolve its
asbestos liability, would therefore have no adverse impact on ALSTOM.

Alstom said 6,500 individual legal claims for asbestos damage had been
filed against it in the United States, but any financial impact from
the legal actions would be minimal.

CEO Pierre Bilger told a conference call Alstom was among 200 companies
targeted in the 6,500 individual complaints, which between them covered
60 separate cases.  The company said "approximately 5,800 of these
claims are asserted in two very recently filed cases in Mississippi,
where the company is one of over two hundred defendants" and where
Alstom would attempt to seek indemnity from a third party.

Given the risk of potentially large awards to claimants in the United
States and the unknown amount of indemnities provided by ABB, dealers
said investors were not willing to take chances regarding asbestos
lawsuits, which could mirror the large payments faced by the tobacco
industry in the US in recent years.


COMPANY PROFILE

ALSTOM (NYSE: ALS)
25, avenue Kleber
75116 Paris Cedex 16, France
Phone: +33-147552000
Fax: +33-147552861
http://www.alstom.com

Employees                   :         118,995
Revenue                     : $20,422,700,000
Net Income                  :   ($121,400,000)
Assets                      : $24,559,900,000
Liabilities                 : $23,033,700,000

As of March 31, 2002

Description:  ALSTOM is ready whether you need more power by the hour
or are just waiting for your ship to come in. The company makes power-
distribution equipment for the transfer of electricity to large
customers. ALSTOM is also a leading maker of rail equipment such as
railcars and signaling devices. The company also makes luxury passenger
ships (such as the Queen Mary 2), naval vessels, and natural gas
tankers .Its Alstom Power subsidiary -- formed when it acquired ABB
Asea Brown Boveri's stake in joint venture ABB Alstom Power -- makes
power-generation systems and constructs power plants. Other businesses
include electrical drives, motors, and generators.


MOBIL CORP.: Asks High Court To Stop Mass Trial of West Virginia Suits
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Mobil Corp., defending thousands of asbestos product liability claims
in West Virginia, has asked the US Supreme Court to review state court
decisions allowing a mass trial of the cases.  The Company says it is
the victim of an "ever-widening search for increasingly peripheral but
still solvent defendants." Mobil Corp. et al. v. Adkins et al., No. 02-
132, petition for cert. filed (U.S., 7/24/2002).

In April the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals ruled that a state
trial court could proceed with its plan for a consolidated trial in the
cases of thousands of asbestos plaintiffs suing multiple defendants.
The panel denied a petition from defendant Mobil Corp. to vacate the
trial plan because of alleged due process and equal protection
violations.

Although Mobil is not an asbestos producer or seller, it says it used
small amounts of encapsulated asbestos as a component in a line of
heat-resistant coating products manufactured between 1963 and 1980.
The plaintiffs worked at hundreds of locations around the country, in
different kinds of jobs over the course of almost 60 years.  They named
hundreds of defendants in their suits, including premises owners,
manufacturers, employers and insurance carriers.

In September 2001 the Kanawha County Circuit Court entered a trial
scheduling order in connection with asbestos personal injury suits that
were amassed under West Virginia Trial Court Rule 26.01.

The schedule provided for a June 24 mass trial date, and three judges
and three juries would be convened for the purpose of resolving "issues
that are common to all or almost all of the parties." After this phase,
"additional juries would be picked to try the issues of
exposure/causation and damages."

The court anticipated that the number of litigants would be reduced
dramatically through this process and speculated that it might be able
to use a damages matrix for purposes of unresolved cases.

Mobil sought relief from the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals,
asking, by way of a writ of prohibition, that the high court vacate the
trial court's plan on the grounds that its decision was arbitrary and
capricious.  The company challenged the trial court's refusal to
conduct evidentiary hearings on the issue of whether these claims could
be grouped together and still provide a fair determination of the
issues.  The state high court upheld the lower court's plan for a
consolidated trial.

In its petition to the U.S. Supreme Court, Mobil says the West Virginia
high court ruling violated the Due Process Clause in permitting a mass
trial "without any inquiry into the commonality of those claims or the
prejudice that would result from such an extraordinary undertaking."
Mobil also maintains that the West Virginia decision is "contrary to
this Court's decision in Philips Petroleum Co. v. Shutts, 472 U.S. 797
(1985), and in conflict with decisions of other federal and state
courts, that the Due Process Clause permits a state court to apply its
own state law to thousands of product-liability cases, aggregated for
mass trial, that the court itself acknowledged have no connection at
all to the state."

Mobil says the thousands of plaintiffs in this case are asserting
different theories to recover for different injuries.

The company says the ruling means that a single state jurisdiction may
become the repository for enormous numbers of cases arising throughout
the nation.

COMPANY PROFILE
Mobil Corp
3225 Gallows Rd
Fairfax VA 22037-0001
Phone: 7038463000

Employees    :          97,900
Revenue      :$187,510,000,000
Net Income   : $15,320,000,000
Assets       :$143,174,000,000
Liabilities  : $70,013,000,000

As of December 31, 2001 Annual Report of Exxon Mobil
Description: Mobil Corporation (Mobil) was incorporated in March 1976
in the state of Delaware. Mobil's principal business, which is
conducted primarily through wholly-owned subsidiaries, is in the
petroleum industry. Mobil is also a manufacturer and marketer of
petrochemicals, packaging films and specialty chemical products.
Through its subsidiaries, Mobil had business interests in about 140
countries and employed approximately 41,500 people worldwide at
December 31, 1998. On November 30, 1999, a wholly-owned subsidiary of
Exxon Corporation merged with Mobil Corporation so that Mobil became a
wholly-owned subsidiary of Exxon. At the same time, Exxon changed its
name to Exxon Mobil Corporation. The Merger was accounted for as a
pooling of interests.


PHILIP MORRIS: Faces Asbestos Related Litigation from Asbestos Firms
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Philip Morris, along with other domestic tobacco manufacturers, faces
an estimated 13 pending suits on behalf of former asbestos
manufacturers and affiliated entities as of February 15, 2002.  These
cases seek, among other things, contribution or reimbursement for
amounts expended in connection with the defense and payment of asbestos
claims that were allegedly caused in whole or in part by cigarette
smoking.

Plaintiffs in most of these cases also seek punitive damages.  The
aggregate amounts claimed in these cases range into the billions of
dollars.

In January 2001, a mistrial was declared in a case in New York in which
an asbestos manufacturer's personal injury settlement trust sought
contribution or reimbursement from cigarette manufacturers, including
PM Inc., for amounts expended in connection with the defense and
payment of asbestos claims that were allegedly caused in whole or in
part by cigarette smoking, and in June 2001, the trust announced that
it would not retry the case.

In January 2001, a New York jury returned a verdict in favor of
defendants, including PM Inc., in an individual smoking and health
case.


COMPANY PROFILE

Philip Morris Companies Inc. (NYSE: MO)
120 Park Ave.
New York, NY 10017
Phone: 917-663-5000
Fax: 917-663-2167
http://www.philipmorris.com

Employees          :         175,000
Revenue            : $89,924,000,000
Net Income         :  $8,560,000,000
Assets             : $84,968,000,000
Liabilities        : $65,348,000,000

As of December 31, 2001

Description: Philip Morris Companies, is the world's largest tobacco
firm; it controls about half of the US tobacco market, and the Marlboro
name is one of the world's most valuable brands. It also makes the
Benson & Hedges and Virginia Slims brands. However, tobacco is only
part of the story. Philip Morris owns 84% of Kraft Foods, the world's
#2 food company (after Nestl‚), which makes leading brands including
Jell-O and Post cereal. The tobacco giant bought Nabisco in late 2000,
folding those brands into Kraft's food portfolio. Philip Morris owns
36% of the world's #2 brewer, SABMiller plc.


POTOMAC EDISON: Accrues US$1.2 Million Reserves For Asbestos Litigation
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Allegheny Energy Inc. reports that three of its operating subsidiaries
are named defendants in a number of asbestos-related lawsuits.  Potomac
Edison Co has accrued a reserve of $1.2 million as of June 30, 2002,
for its portion of the estimated cost to settle the asbestos cases to
avoid the anticipated cost of defense.

For the three and six months ended June 30, 2002, the Company received
$500,000 of insurance recoveries (net of $100,000 of legal fees)
related to these asbestos cases.  For the three and six months ended
June 30, 2001, the Company received $.01 million of insurance
recoveries related to these asbestos cases.

As of February 15, 2002, another unit, Monongahela Power Co has been
named as a defendant along with multiple other defendants in a total of
8,266 pending asbestos cases involving one or more plaintiffs. Potomac
and still yet another Allegeny unit, West Penn Power Co, have been
named as defendants along with multiple other defendants in
approximately one-half of those cases.

Because the cases are filed in a format in which multiple plaintiffs
file claims against multiple defendants in the same case, it is
presently impossible to determine the actual number of cases in which
plaintiffs make claims against the Distribution Companies. However,
based upon past experience and available data, it may be estimated that
about one-third of the total number of cases filed actually involve
claims against any or all of the Distribution Companies. All complaints
allege that the plaintiffs sustained unspecified injuries resulting
from claimed exposure to asbestos in various generating plants and
other industrial facilities operated by the various defendants,
although all plaintiffs do not claim exposure at facilities operated by
all defendants.

With very few exceptions, plaintiffs claiming exposure at stations
operated by the Distribution Companies were employed by third-party
contractors, not by the Distribution Companies. Three plaintiffs are
known to be either present or former employees of Monongahela. Each
plaintiff generally seeks compensatory and punitive damages against all
defendants in amounts of up to $1 million and $3 million, respectively;
in those cases which include a spousal claim for loss of consortium
damages are generally sought against all defendants in an amount of up
to an additional $1 million. A total of 1,475 cases have been
previously settled and/or dismissed against Monongahela for an amount
substantially less than the anticipated cost of defense. While the
Distribution Companies believe that all of the cases are without merit,
they cannot predict the outcome nor are they able to determine whether
additional cases will be filed.


COMPANY PROFILE

Potomac Edison Company
10435 Downsville Pike
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740-1766
Phone: +1 301 790-3400

Net Income                   :    $48,035,000
Assets                       : $1,111,788,000
Liabilities                  :   $312,734,000

(As of December 31, 2001)

Description:  The principal activities of Potomac Edison Company (The)
are to generate, transmit, distribute, purchase and sell electric
energy. The Company serves about 398,600 customers in Maryland and West
Virginia. The Company supplies power to commercial, residential and
industrial customers. The Company's principal industries produce
aluminum, cement, fabricated products, sand, stone and gravel. The
Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Allegheny Energy, Inc.


RJ REYNOLDS: Faces Asbestos-Related Smoker Suits in San Francisco Court
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
RJR Tobacco Company has prevailed in most individual smoker cases that
have gone to trial.  However, in Whiteley v. Raybestos-Manhattan, Inc.,
a tobacco-asbestos synergy case brought in San Francisco Superior
Court, the jury found against RJR Tobacco Company and Philip Morris on
March 20, 2000, and awarded $1.7 million in compensatory damages.

On March 27, 2000, the same jury awarded $20 million in punitive
damages, $10 million against RJR Tobacco Company and $10 million
against Philip Morris.  RJR Tobacco Company and Philip Morris have
appealed.

In Jones v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., a wrongful death case, a Tampa
state court jury found against RJR Tobacco Company on October 12, 2000.
Although the jury found that RJR Tobacco Company was negligent and
liable, it refused to find that RJR Tobacco Company was part of a
conspiracy to defraud. The jury awarded approximately $200,000 in
compensatory damages but refused to award punitive damages.

On December 28, 2000, the trial judge granted RJR Tobacco Company's
motion for a new trial.  The plaintiff has appealed the new trial
ruling to the Florida Second District Court of Appeal.

On December 12, 2001, in Kenyon v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., a Tampa
state court jury determined that Floyd Kenyon had been adequately
warned about the risks of smoking and that RJR Tobacco Company was not
negligent in designing its products.  The jury did find, however, that
some of RJR Tobacco Company's products were defective and awarded the
plaintiff $165,000 in compensatory damages.

RJR Tobacco Company is appealing the final judgment to the Florida
Second District Court of Appeal. On February 22, 2002, in Burton v.
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., a federal district court jury in Kansas
found in favor of RJR Tobacco Company and Brown & Williamson on product
defect and conspiracy claims, but found for the plaintiff on failure to
warn and fraudulent concealment claims.

The jury apportioned 99 percent of the fault to RJR Tobacco Company and
1 percent to Brown & Williamson.  It awarded the plaintiff $198,400 in
compensatory damages.  According to the verdict, the plaintiff may be
entitled to punitive damages from RJR Tobacco Company, but not from
Brown & Williamson.  A hearing on punitive damages is scheduled for May
16, 2002.

Finally, 12 lawsuits are pending against RJR Tobacco Company in which
asbestos companies and/or asbestos-related trust funds allege that they
"overpaid" claims brought against them to the extent that tobacco use,
not asbestos exposure, was the cause of the alleged personal injuries
for which they paid compensation.

On May 24, 2001, a Mississippi state court judge dismissed all such
claims by Owens-Corning.  Owens-Corning appealed the dismissal to the
Mississippi Supreme Court on August 15, 2001.  A similar case, H. K.
Porter Co., Inc. v. American Tobacco Co., is pending in the United
States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (Weinstein,
J.). In Fibreboard Corp. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., a case pending
in state court in California, Owens-Corning and Fibreboard asserted the
same claims as those asserted in the Mississippi case.  Motions to
dismiss those claims have been held in abeyance pending the final
determination of the Mississippi case.


COMPANY PROFILE

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: RJR)
401 N. Main St.
Winston-Salem, NC 27102-2866
Phone: 336-741-5500
Fax: 336-741-4238
http://www.rjrt.com

Employees           :           9,300
Revenue             :  $8,585,000,000
Net Income          :    $435,000,000
Assets              : $15,050,000,000
Liabilities         :  $7,024,000,000

As of December 31, 2001

Description: R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings (RJR), the #2 US cigarette
maker (after Philip Morris), is facing lawsuits in 50 states and
multibillion-dollar settlements. Its Camel, Doral, Salem, and Winston
brands are among the best-selling in the nation; other brands include
More, NOW, and American Spirit. RJR also offers Eclipse, which heats
tobacco rather than burns it, possibly reducing health risks. In 2000
RJR purchased former parent Nabisco Group Holdings (formerly RJR
Nabisco). RJR Nabisco spun off RJR in 1999, hoping to keep tobacco
troubles separate from the cracker and cookie business. RJR netted $1.5
billion when Nabisco Group Holding sold its only asset, Nabisco
Holdings, to Philip Morris the same day.


SOLUTIA INC.: To Continue Seeking Relief From $45 Million Court Verdict
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Solutia Inc. reports that it will continue to explore for available
remedies to reverse a $45 million court verdict over the discovery of
asbestos presence on the fire-ravaged Transportation and Safety
Building, which was part of the Commonwealth's Capital Complex in
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

The verdict stemmed from a lawsuit filed against a string of defendants
that included Monsanto Company, now known as Pharmacia Corp., from
which Solutia was spun off in 1997 under an agreement that requires
Solutia to indemnify Monsanto for costs, expenses and judgments arising
from court litigation.  The lawsuit was filed by the Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania under which it sought the payment of damages.

The building was destroyed by fire in June 1994.  Testing following the
fire revealed the presence of low levels of PCBs at various locations
in the building.  That necessitated its demolition.

The commonwealth seeks recovery of costs it incurred in testing,
monitoring, cleanup, demolition and relocation caused by the alleged
contamination.  In addition, it seeks the cost of constructing a new
building on the site of the T&S Building.

On August23, 2000, a jury returned a verdict of $90 million against
Monsanto.  The trial court reduced the verdict to $45 million to
account for a settlement reached with the commonwealth by a co-
defendant during trial.  Prejudgment interest in an amount to be
determined by the court will be added to the verdict.

Solutia says it believes that it can muster meritorious defenses,
including:

      (1) lack of any hazard or danger to occupants of or visitors to
          the T&S Building caused by the presence of PCBs;

      (2) a determination by the Pennsylvania Department of Health that
          the building was safe for use and occupancy;

      (3) the failure of the Commonwealth to act prudently following the
          fire to mitigate its alleged damages;

      (4) the impropriety of using replacement cost as a measure of
          damages; and

      (5) the fact that most of plaintiffs' damages would have been
          incurred during the removal of asbestos fireproofing and the
          installation of fire sprinklers required to comply with the
          1987 Harrisburg Fire Safety Code, and thus cannot be
          attributed to the presence of PCBs.

The Company has filed several post-trial motions that the court has not
yet ruled upon.


COMPANY PROFILE

Solutia Inc. (NYSE: SOI)
575 Maryville Centre Dr.
St. Louis, MO 63166-6760
Phone: 314-674-1000
Fax: 314-694-8686
http://www.solutia.com

Employees             :          9,170
Revenue               : $2,817,000,000
Net Income            :   ($59,000,000)
Assets                : $3,408,000,000
Liabilities           : $3,521,000,000

As of December 31, 2001

Description: Solutia has three business segments: integrated nylon (the
largest segment), specialty products, and performance films. The
company's integrated nylon segment makes fibers for carpets, space
shuttle tires, upholstery, and dental floss; the specialty products
unit makes resins and additives used in paints, soft drinks,
detergents, and water-treatment chemicals. Performance films, the
smallest unit, make plastic interlayer for automotive glass, anti-glare
films for electronic displays, adhesives, and other products.


TRAVELERS PROPERTY: Faces Asbestos Related Suits, Trend To Continue
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Travelers Property Casualty Group is increasingly becoming subject to
more aggressive asbestos-related litigation, and the Company expects
this trend to continue.  In October 2001 and April 2002, two purported
class action suits (Wise v. Travelers and Meninger v. Travelers) were
filed against the Company and other insurers in state court in  West
Virginia.

The plaintiffs in these cases, which were subsequently consolidated
into a single proceeding, allege that the insurer defendants violated
the West Virginia Unfair Trade Practice Act while handling and settling
various asbestos claims.  The plaintiffs seek to reopen large numbers
of settled asbestos claims and to impose liability for damages,
including punitive damages, directly on insurers.

In November 2001, the Company received notice of a potential class
action, and in May 2002, a purported class action (Cashman v.
Travelers) was filed in Massachusetts state court.  The complaint in
Cashman v. Travelers and the notice of potential class action contain
allegations similar to those asserted in the Wise case, and seek treble
damages under Massachusetts law.

Also, in November 2001, plaintiffs in consolidated asbestos actions
pending before a mass tort panel of judges in West Virginia state court
moved to amend their complaint to name the Company as a defendant,
alleging that the Company and other insurers breached alleged duties to
certain users of asbestos products.

In March 2002, the court granted the motion to amend. Plaintiffs seek
damages, including punitive damages.  Lawsuits seeking similar relief
and raising allegations similar to those presented in the West Virginia
amended complaint are also pending against the Company in Louisiana,
Massachusetts, Georgia, and Texas state courts.

All of the actions described in the preceding paragraph are currently
subject to a temporary restraining order entered by the federal
bankruptcy court in New York, which had previously presided over and
approved the reorganization in bankruptcy of former Travelers
policyholder Johns Manville.

In August 2002, the bankruptcy court conducted a hearing on Travelers
motion for a preliminary injunction prohibiting further prosecution of
the lawsuits pursuant to the reorganization plan and related orders.
At the conclusion of this hearing, the court ordered the parties to
mediation, appointed a mediator, and continued the temporary
restraining order.


COMPANY PROFILE

Travelers Property Casualty Corp. (NYSE: TAP)
1 Tower Sq.
Hartford, CT 06183
Phone: 860-277-0111
Fax: 860-954-8497
http://www.travelerspc.com

Employees                :          20,622
Revenue                  : $12,231,000,000
Net Income               :  $1,065,000,000
Assets                   : $57,778,000,000
Liabilities              : $52,187,000,000

As of December 31, 2001

Description:  Travelers Property Casualty (the product of a deal that
merged the property & casualty operations of Travelers and Aetna) has
two lines: commercial and personal. Its commercial coverage includes
multi-peril, workers' compensation, liability, and specialty property &
casualty products (including specialized insurance for financial
institutions, lawyers, architects, and engineers). Personal lines
include auto and homeowners insurance sold through more than 6,000
independent agents and brokers.


                        New Securities Fraud Cases


ALLEGHENY ENERGY: Berger & Montague Starts Securities Suit in S.D. NY
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Berger & Montague, PC initiated a securities class action suit against
Allegheny Energy, Inc. (NYSE: AYE) and certain of its principal
officers and directors in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York on behalf of all persons or entities who
purchased Company securities between April 23, 2001 and October 8,
2002.

The complaint alleges that defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a)
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder by the Securities and Exchange Commission by issuing
materially false and misleading statements throughout the class period
regarding the Company's energy trading practices that had the effect of
artificially inflating the market price of Company's securities.

The complaint alleges that, on March 16, 2001, Allegheny's subsidiary,
Allegheny Energy Supply Company, LLC announced that it had completed
its acquisition of Global Energy Markets (G.E.M.) from Merrill Lynch &
Co., Inc.

The complaint further alleges that Allegheny made false and misleading
statements during the class period, in that it failed to state that its
revenues (and revenue guidance) materially depended upon illusory,
revenue creating, "wash transactions" with Enron, and other deceptive
energy trading practices.

On September 25, 2002, the Company sued Merrill Lynch for fraud and
breach of contract related to the G.E.M. acquisition.  In that lawsuit,
Allegheny alleged, among other things, that it overpaid for G.E.M.
because the unit's financial reports had been inflated by sham trades
involving Enron.

The Company admitted that G.E.M. engaged in a significant amount of
wash or round trip energy trades with Enron and that the effect of
those trades was to artificially inflate revenues, trading volumes and
growth rate.

On October 1, 2002, Moody's downgraded Allegheny's credit to junk
status.  In a press release, the Company reassured investors that this
would not trigger any default or prepayment of the firm's debt.  A week
later, on October 8, 2002, the Company announced that it was in
technical default under its credit agreements.

Upon this news the Company's stock's fell from a high of $12.85 on
September 25, 2002, to $3.80 on October 8, 2002 -- a drop of $9.05 or
70%.

For more details, contact Sherrie R. Savett, Barbara A. Podell or
Kimberly A. Walker by Mail: 1622 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
by Phone: 888-891-2289 or 215-875-3000 by Fax: 215-875-5715 by E-mail:
InvestorProtect@bm.net or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.bergermontague.com


AMERICAN ELECTRIC: Spector Roseman Commences Securities Suit in E.D. OH
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Spector, Roseman & Kodroff, PC initiated a securities class action on
behalf of purchasers of the securities of American Electric Power
Company, Inc. (NYSE:AEP) between April 24, 2002 and October 9, 2002,
inclusive, in the United States District Court, Southern District of
Ohio, Eastern Division, against the Company, E. Linn Draper, Jr. and
Susan Tomasky.

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 April 24, 2001 and October 9, 2002, thereby artificially
inflating the price of AEP securities.

Throughout the class period, as alleged in the complaint, AEP issued
materially false and misleading statements regarding its increasing
energy trading revenues and earnings.  As alleged in the complaint,
these statements were materially false and misleading because they
failed to disclose, among other things, that:

      (1) the Company failed to implement appropriate risk management
          procedures regarding information provided to trade
          publications;

      (2) as a result of this failure to implement appropriate risk
          management procedures, the Company was manipulating price
          indices used throughout the industry;

      (3) as a result of this manipulation, the Company gained revenue
          and profits that it could not maintain absent manipulation;

      (4) without improper manipulation, the Company could not
          successfully maintain its energy trading business; and

      (5) as a result, the energy trading business was not the business
          opportunity that the Company presented throughout the class
          period.

On October 9, 2002, the last day of the class period, AEP announced
that it had fired five of its thirty natural-gas traders, who AEP
stated had given false gas pricing data to index publishers.  While AEP
acknowledged that its traders had not been engaged in "ethical business
practices," it claimed that it did not know whether the false data
affected the published indices.

In fact, no one at AEP asked any of the fired traders why they engaged
in the fraudulent activities.  As alleged in the complaint, by making
this announcement, AEP was essentially admitting that it had failed to
institute appropriate oversight measures to prevent the wrongful
activity, and by doing so, was able to make substantial profits from
its energy selling activities.

For more details, contact Robert Roseman by Phone: (888) 844-5862 by E-
mail: classaction@srk-law.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.srk-law.com


FIRST UNION: Mark Krudys Commences Securities Fraud Suit in WV Court
--------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Mark J. Krudys PLC, initiated a securities class
action on behalf of investors in the First Union Securities Masters
Investment Consulting Program and the Wachovia Securities Masters
Investment Consulting Program.

The complaint is on behalf of, and seeks damages for, investors who
enrolled in either the First Union Securities Masters Investment
Consulting Program or the Wachovia Securities Masters Investment
Consulting Program between November 1, 2000 and October 31, 2002.

The complaint alleges that First Union Securities, Inc., later Wachovia
Securities, Inc., failed to inform Masters Program investors of the
material third-party compensation it received as a result of the
investors' participation in the Masters Program.

Specifically, the complaint alleges that First Union/Wachovia
Securities, Inc., did not inform Masters Program investors that it:

      (1) selected Masters Program investment advisers based, in part,
          upon the profits those advisers generated for First
          Union/Wachovia Securities, Inc.;

      (2) received material third-party compensation as a result of its
          role as "middle-man" in the Masters Program; and

      (3) received other significant material third-party compensation
          as a direct result of the investors' participation in the
          Masters Program.

The complaint alleges that due to its failure to disclose the material
third-party compensation it received as a direct result of the
investors' participation in the Masters Program First Union/Wachovia
Securities, Inc., violated the federal securities laws and prevented
the investors from comprehending the biased and self-interested nature
of First Union/Wachovia Securities, Inc.'s role in the Masters Program.

For more details, contact Mark J. Krudys or Matthew B. Mooney by Mail:
1011 East Main Street, Suite 204, Richmond, VA 23219, by Phone: (804)
692-8244 or by E-mail: matt@markjkrudys.com.


MORGAN STANLEY: Wolf Haldenstein Commences Securities Suit in S.D. NY
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP commenced in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York a
securities class action on behalf of all purchasers of Morgan Stanley
Information Fund shares, of all four share classes (Symbols: IFOAX
through IFODX) from October 25, 1999 through October 25, 2002,
inclusive against Morgan Stanley, Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated,
Morgan Stanley Information Fund and other Morgan Stanley-affiliated
entities.

The suit alleges violations of Sections 11, 12 and 15 of the Securities
Act of 1933 and the Investment Company Act of 1940.  The Morgan Stanley
Information Fund was formerly known as the Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
Information Fund.

The relationships among the defendants include that the defendants are:

      (1) the underwriters for the common stock of certain of the
          companies in the Information Fund's portfolio;

      (2) the investment bankers and corporate finance specialists for
          certain of the companies whose securities are in the Fund's
          portfolio;

      (3) seeking to obtain additional investment banking business from
          these present and former clients and from other companies
          whose shares also were/are in the Fund's portfolio;

      (4) the issuers of the shares in the Fund;

      (5) preparing and publicly disseminating research reports and
          recommendations on many of the companies whose shares were in
          the Fund's portfolio; and

      (6) the broker for certain members of the class

This action arises as a result of the issuance by the defendants of
shares in the Fund, and concerns material misstatements and omissions
by defendants in the Prospectus and other incorporated documents,
relating to defendants' conflicts of interest, which include but are
not limited to the following:

      (i) defendants failed to disclose and omitted material information
          that Morgan Stanley had had investment banking relationships
          with, including having brought public, certain of the
          companies whose securities were part of the Fund's portfolio.
          Defendants disclosed neither this general fact nor the
          identities of the particular companies with which it had
          investment banking relationships;

     (ii) defendants failed to disclose and omitted material information
          concerning that Morgan Stanley was continuing to seek
          investment banking relationships with many of the companies
          whose securities were part of the Fund's portfolio; and

    (iii) defendants failed to disclose and omitted material information
          concerning that a material part of the total compensation paid
          to Morgan Stanley research analysts was based upon obtaining
          investment banking business for Morgan Stanley and not upon
          the accuracy of their research about a given company.

Hence, Morgan Stanley and its affiliated companies including the Fund
recommended investments in and/or invested in companies in order to
enhance Morgan Stanley's opportunity to obtain investment banking
business from those companies (without regard to whether they were good
investments for the investors including plaintiffs and the Class).

For more details, contact George Peters, Derek Behnke, Robert B.
Weintraub, or Daniel Krasner 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. E-mail should refer
to the Morgan Stanley Information Fund.


OM GROUP: Wechsler Harwood Commences Securities Fraud Suit in N.D. OH
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Wechsler Harwood LLP initiated a securities class action in the United
States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio on behalf of
all purchasers of the common stock of OM Group, Inc. (NYSE:OMG)
publicly traded securities during the period between April 25, 2002 and
Oct. 30, 2002, inclusive.

The action charges the Company, as well as its Chief Executive and
Chief Financial Officers, with violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a)
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  The violations, as the
complaint alleges, stem from the issuance of allegedly false statements
during the class period, which had the effect of artificially inflating
the price of OM Group securities.

OM Group makes metal-based chemicals used in the aerospace, auto, and
electronics industries.  On July 30, 2002, the OM Group -- in
announcing slightly worse-than-expected 2nd quarter 2002 financial
results -- said that results for the 2nd half of 2002 would be
adversely affected by low cobalt prices, and guided profit estimates
downwards ($0.92 EPS for the third quarter; $3.64 EPS for the full
year). During the conference call discussing the 2nd quarter results
and the 3rd quarter projections, management repeatedly emphasized that
OM Group was operationally excellent, and that its slightly-reduced
financial guidance for the rest of the year was merely a function of
management's prudent and "conservative picture on cobalt."

On September 19, 2002, OM Group warned that 3rdQ 02 results would be
slightly lower than previously issued financial guidance. On October
29, 2002, OM Group announced a third quarter loss of $2.52 per share,
due to a $108 million write-down of its cobalt inventory (absent the
write-down and certain non-recurring earnings, OM Group would have
earnings approximately 40% below original guidance).

On October 29, 2002, OM Group shares lost 70% of their value (falling
$22 per share to close at $9 per share) after announcing large losses
due to a massive inventory write-down, plans for a operational
restructuring, and a thorough review of its financial reporting.

OM Group shares fell further (to $6 per share) when the company
admitted that OM Group's CEO had sold all his holdings to cover a
margin call on 710,000 OMG shares which he had used as collateral for a
loan.

The complaint alleges that, during the class period, OM Group falsely
represented its financial results and operational state by failing to
take needed inventory write-downs and by failing to inform investors
that it was considering significantly altering certain of its (non-
performing) operations.

For more details, contact Ramon Pi¤on by Mail: 488 Madison Avenue, 8th
Floor, New York, New York 10022 by Phone: (877) 935-7400 by E-mail:
rpinon@whesq.com or visit the firm's Website; http://www.whesq.com


RETEK INC.: Scott + Scott Commences Securities Fraud Suit in MN Court
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Scott + Scott, LLC initiated a securities class action in the United
States District Court for the District of Minnesota on behalf of
purchasers of Retek Inc. (Nasdaq: RETK) securities during the period
between October 17, 2001 and July 8, 2002.

The complaint charges the Company and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  The
Company is a leading provider of software solutions and services to the
retail industry.

In April 2000, the Company announced that it had formed an alliance
with IBM to develop a partnership to develop a merchandising solution
for the food and drug segment of the retail market.  The complaint
alleges that the defendants continuously led the market to believe not
only that the alliance was fully intact but also that the alliance was
on track to generate revenues of more than $1 billion for the two
companies for the year 2003.

Defendants, however, concealed that not only was the $1 billion
prospect a fallacy, but that throughout the class period the so-called
alliance was in shambles.  The Company wanted access to IBM's
consulting deals and IBM wanted the Company to change its software
applications so that they ran on IBM's platform, not Oracle's.

By October 2001, defendants realized that the conversion would be too
costly in the short run and delayed the full conversion to IBM
platforms, including the most critical, a merchandising product for
large-scale retail operations.

The complaint further alleges that by the beginning of the class
period, many of the Company's projects (IBM) were faltering and its new
products Retek 10), which were scheduled to boast earnings, were
riddled with bugs.  Moreover, one of the Company's joint ventures,
PerformanceRetail Inc. (PRI), was hemorrhaging nearly $200,000 of the
Company's monies per month.

Finally, the defendants' projections were not only stale but actually
false when made as the defendants knew or made a conscious decision to
ignore the fact that circumstances underlying those projections (i.e.,
problems with Retek 10, the IBM alliance, PRI, an eroding customer
base) actually compelled the conclusion that the Company could not
possibly achieve the projections.

For more details, contact Neil Rothstein or David R. Scott by Phone; 1-
800-404-7770 by E-mail: nrothstein@scott-scott.com or drscott@scott-
scott.com or visit the firm's Website: http://www.scott-scott.com


SCHERING PLOUGH: Cohen Milstein Commences Securities Fraud Suit in NJ
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, PLLC initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the District of New
Jersey on behalf of purchasers of Schering Plough Corporation
(NYSE:SGP) common stock for the period between October 1, 2002 and
October 3, 2002.

The complaint alleges that the Company, Richard Jay Kogan, its
Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President, and Putnam Investment
Management, LLC violated the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  The
Company and its subsidiaries are engaged in the discovery, development,
manufacturing, and marketing of pharmaceutical products worldwide.

Defendants violated the Act as a result of Mr. Kogan, on behalf of the
company, selectively provided non-public material, adverse information
about the Company's projected earnings to management of Putnam at a
luncheon meeting on October 1, 2002.  Mr. Kogan made further selective
disclosures of this non-public information to analysts at mid-day on
October 3, 2002.

It was not until approximately 11:00 p.m. on October 3, 2002 that the
Company publicly announced that its 2003 and 2004 earnings would be far
below analysts expectations.  As a result of the selective disclosure
by Mr. Kogan of this adverse, material, non-public information to
defendant Putnam and others, defendant Putnam and the others were able
to sell enormous amounts of Company shares before the general public
received such information, thereby enabling the tippees to benefit from
the receipt of their inside information to the detriment of plaintiff
and the class.

From the time Putnam first learned of the material inside information
through the close of the market on October 4, 2002, Company stock
plunged from $21.80 per share to as low as $16.10 per share, a drop of
over 25%.

For more details, contact Steven J. Toll or Katrina Jurgill by Phone:
888/240-0775 or 202/408-4600 by E-mail: stoll@cmht.com or
kjurgill@cmht.com or visit the firm's Website: http://www.cmht.com


ST. PAUL: Spector Roseman Commences Securities Fraud Suit in MN Court
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Spector, Roseman & Kodroff, PC initiated a securities class action on
behalf of purchasers of the securities of St. Paul Companies (NYSE:SPC)
between November 5, 2001 and July 9, 2002, inclusive, against the
Company and Chief Executive Officer J.S. Fishman and Chief Financial
Officer Thomas A. Bradley, in the United States District Court in
Minnesota.

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 St. Paul securities.

The suit alleges that during the class period, defendants failed to
make adequate disclosures or take adequate reserves concerning
litigation filed in 1993 in California state court known as Western
MacArthur Co. et al. v. United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co., et al,
Case No. 721595-7 (consolidated with Case No. 828101-2, Superior Court
of California, Alameda County).

Plaintiff claims that although trial of the Western MacArthur
litigation commenced in approximately March 2002, the Company first
disclosed the existence of the litigation on or about May 15, 2002, but
did not disclose or quantify the amount or general magnitude of
potential exposure to liability which St. Paul might suffer as a result
of the litigation, nor did the Company increase its reserves at that
time.

On June 3, 2002, the Company announced that a settlement had been
reached whereby St. Paul would pay almost $1 billion to satisfy the
claims reflected in the litigation, although the Company's SEC filings
stated that as of December 31, 2001, the Company's net reserves for
asbestos claims was only $367 million.

The suit charges that the Company tried to disguise the impact of the
Western MacArthur litigation settlement by focusing on the alleged
after-tax impact of the litigation and falsely claiming that $150
million of the litigation payments could be charged to the Company's
reserves, and that a subsequent SEC filing by the Company reflected St.
Paul's failure to take adequate reserves for its potential liability in
the litigation.

News of the Western MacArthur litigation settlement caused the price of
the Company's stock to decline during the class period from a high of
$49.20 on November 5, 2001 to a low of $34.65 on July 9, 2002, the last
day of the class period.

For more details, contact Robert Roseman by Phone: 888-844-5862 by E-
mail: classaction@srk-law.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.srk-law.com


SYNCOR INTERNATIONAL: Faruqi Initiates Securities Suit in W.D. CA
------------------------------------------------------------------
Faruqi and Faruqi LLP initiated a securities class action in the United
States District Court for the Western District of California, on behalf
of all purchasers of Syncor International Corp. (Nasdaq:SCOR)
securities between April 25, 2001 through November 5, 2002, inclusive.

The complaint charges defendants with violations of federal securities
laws by, among other things, issuing a series of materially false and
misleading press releases concerning the Company's financial results
and business prospects.

Specifically, the complaint alleges that the Company continuously
touted strong year-over-year revenue increases as well as its unique
attributes which purportedly immunized it from uncertain market
conditions.

On November 6, 2002, however, it was revealed that the Company engaged
in practices overseas which were questionable and potentially illegal
and which may have violated foreign and U.S. law, including the Foreign
Corrupt Practices Act. These questionable and possibly illegal acts
were a source of tremendous revenue for the Company and accounted for
Syncor's strong year-over-year revenue increases.

As a result of the revelation of possible illegal conduct, trading in
Syncor securities was halted.  When trading resumed, Syncor's stock
declined more than 30% in a single day, falling from $35.92 per share
at close on November 5, 2002 to $27.40 per share at close on November
6, 2002 on trading of 5.97 million shares.

For more details, contact Eric Crusius or Anthony Vozzolo by Mail: 320
East 39th Street, New York, NY 10016 by Phone: (877) 247-4292 or (212)
983-9330 by E-mail: Ecrusius@faruqilaw.com or Avozzolo@faruqilaw.com or
visit the firm's Website: http://www.faruqilaw.com


TXU CORPORATION: Schatz & Nobel Files Securities Fraud Suit in N.D. TX
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Schatz & Nobel PC initiated a securities class action in the United
States District Court for the Northern District of Texas on behalf of
all persons who purchased or otherwise acquired the publicly traded
securities of TXU Corporation (NYSE: TXU) from January 31, 2002 through
October 11, 2002, inclusive.  Also included are those who purchased
Company securities pursuant to the Company's May 31, 2002 secondary
offering and its offering of units of FELINE PRIDES, equity linked debt
securities.

The suit alleges that the Company and certain of its officers and
directors issued false and misleading statements concerning its
business condition.  Specifically, defendants represented that:

      (1) the Company could succeed in the competition created by
          deregulation,

      (2) the Company European operations were improving; and

      (3) the Company was on track to report EPS of $4.35 and $4.60 in
          2002 and 2003, respectively.

As a result of these allegedly false statements, Company stock traded
as high as $56.  On October 4, 2002, the Company issued an earnings
warning, indicating that due to customer attrition and ongoing problems
in Europe the Company would report 2002 EPS of only $3.25.

On this news, the stock fell to $27 from over $40 per share, the week
prior.  Defendants further shocked the market on October 14, 2002 with
news that the Company would cut its dividend 80%, to $0.125 and that it
would no longer support its European operations.

For more details, contact Nancy A. Kulesa by Phone: 1-800-797-5499, by
E-mail: sn06106@aol.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.snlaw.net

                               *********

Updates about high-profile asbestos cases and headline news about
target asbestos defendants appear in each Friday edition of the Class
Action Reporter.

                               *********

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

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