CAR_Public/021119.mbx                C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R
  
               Tuesday, November 19, 2002, Vol. 4, No. 229

                              Headlines                            

ANSWERTHINK INC.: Court Grants Approval to Securities Suit Settlement
BEAZER HOMES: Soil Engineer Testifies At Trial About Houses' Defects
BRIDGESTONE/FIRESTONE: Lawyers Attempting To Reopen Steeltex Tire Probe
CANADA: Suits V. Government, Liabilities & Pressures Skyrocketing
CONVERGYS CORPORATION: Named As Defendant in Telesens' Employees Suit

COORSTEK INC.: Shareholder Sues, Claims Buyout Offer Unfair, Inadequate
CORVIS CORPORATION: Court Conducts Hearing on Securities Suit Dismissal
COVENTRY HEALTH: Asks Court To Dismiss Amended Suit For RICO Violations
DUANE READE: Securities Suits Allege Misrepresentations in S.D. NY
DUPONT: Environmental Group Seeks Further Review Of Dangerous Chemical

EXTREME NETWORKS: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Consolidated Securities Suit
FOOTBALL TEAMS: Cowboys, Mavericks Face Costly Litigation Over Faxes
GATEWAY: Finds Itself Target of Securities Fraud Suits, SEC Probe
GEORGIA: Federal Judge Ceases Court Oversight Of Fulton County Jail
HALO BURGER: Recalls 9,500 Flashlights, Batteries For Choking Hazard

HANDSPRING INC.: Asks For Dismissal of Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
HOUSEHOLD INTERNATIONAL: Faces Review Of Tax Refund Lawsuit Settlement
ILLINOIS: Settlement Approved In Racial Profiling Suit V. Police Dep't
IRT PARTNERS: Faces Two Lawsuits Opposing Equity One Merger in GA Court
JNI CORPORATION: Asks CA Court To Dismiss Consolidated Securities Suit

JNI CORPORATION: Faces Shareholder Derivative Suits in CA State Court
LOOKSMART LTD.: Intends To Ask For Dismissal of CA Consumer Fraud Suit
MARIMBA INC.: Officers, Directors Dismissed From NY Securities Lawsuit
MISSOURI: Judge Certifies Suit On Sexual-Offender Registration Program
NEW MEXICO: Parents Sue School Over Inadequate Special Education

OVERTURE SERVICES: Court Dismisses Officers From Securities Fraud Suit
RESOURCE BANKSHARES: To Vigorously Defend Suit Alleging TCPA Violations
ROCK HILL: Shareholders' Motion For Class Certification Put On Hold
RYAN'S FAMILY: Three Former Workers File Suit Over Labor Law Violations
SPRINT CORP.: Court Dismisses Large Part Of Securities Fraud Lawsuit
TOBACCO LITIGATION: Smokers, Philip Morris Prepare For Cigarette Suit

TOBACCO LITIGATION: Court To Allow Trial's Focus On Companies' Actions
UNITED STATES: Justice Dept Lawyers Entitled To Overtime Under Fed Law
UNUMPROVIDENT CORP.: Judge Says Obey The Law, Make Disability Payments
WEYERHAUSER CORP.: Trial in Linerboard Antitrust Suits Set April 2004
WYETH: Cardiologist Chided Over Echocardiogram Review In Fen-Phen Case

                     New Securities Fraud Cases

ALLEGHENY ENERGY: Milberg Weiss Files Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
ALLEGHENY ENERGY: Mark McNair Launches Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
AMERICAN ELECTRIC: Stull Stull Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. OH
FOOTSTAR INC.: Milberg Weiss Commences Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
SYNCOR INTERNATIONAL: Shapiro Haber Lodges Securities Suit in W.D. CA


                              *********


ANSWERTHINK INC.: Court Grants Approval to Securities Suit Settlement
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court in New York granted final approval to
a settlement proposed by Answerthink, Inc. for a securities class
action pending against it and three of its former officers.

The suit was filed on behalf of all individuals who purchased the
Company's common stock from November 5, 1997 through September 21,
1998, and alleges violations of federal securities laws, according to
an earlier Class Action Reporter story.

On April 18, 2002, the parties reached an agreement in principle to
settle this action.  The court held a hearing on September 13, 2002 and
on September 16, 2002 entered an order approving the settlement in all
respects and dismissing the complaint with prejudice.  The time for
appeal has now expired and the settlement has become final.


BEAZER HOMES: Soil Engineer Testifies At Trial About Houses' Defects
--------------------------------------------------------------------
About 200 homeowners from the Village at Craig Ranch filed a class
action against Beazer Homes in North Las Vegas and Thomas Marsh, a soil
engineer testified as an expert witness for the plaintiffs at the
defect trial about the severity of the cracks found in the houses at
the residential development, according to a report by The Las Vegas
Review-Journal.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs are seeking nearly $25 million in damages
caused by the soil, including completely replacing the slabs in more
than 50 homes and the consequent displacement of those residents.  The
homeowners claim they were not told about expansive soil conditions at
the site of the development.

Robert Carlson, defense attorney, has said that while Beazer Homes
recognizes that there are problems with some of the homes at Craig
Ranch, the damage is not as extensive as the lawsuit implies.  Mr.
Carlson has said that Beazer estimates the total cost of repairs to be
about $2.9 million.

Mr. Marsh, in the course of his testimony said that some housing slabs
are more level than others, and said, as well, that there is "inherent
error in angular distortion" of about 10 percent that prevents slabs
from being perfectly level.

"You will find that some homes have more than half an inch, some homes
have less than half an inch," he said under questioning from defense
attorney Robert Carlson.  Mr. Marsh added "one-inch numbers have
been thrown around the geotechnical community, but recent studies have
shown that is a little too liberal, and it is closer to about half an
inch."

"The current damage can be repaired by leveling the slabs, correct?"
Mr. Carlson asked.  Mr. Marsh said no.

Mr Carlson showed photographs taken by Mr. Marsh's company, American
GeoTech, of hairline cracks, some visible and some not, in the exterior
stucco walls, around windows and vents and in drywall.  Mr. Carlson
asked if slab levelness was a "linear function," the longer the plane
area, the more variation in levelness.  

Mr. Marsh said no, that slab levelness was not a "linear function."  
However, Mr. Marsh did agree that slab levelness can vary from slab to
slab, depending on the process used by workers to smooth the concrete
once it has been poured.  The Beazer Homes trial, being heard by Judge
Earl Allen, is expected to continue for the next two to three months,
with breaks during the holidays.


BRIDGESTONE/FIRESTONE: Lawyers Attempting To Reopen Steeltex Tire Probe
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Attorneys who have launched a class action against
Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. plan to petition federal safety regulators
to reopen a probe of the tire maker's Steeltex tires, The Detroit News
reports.

The attorneys, Joe and Gail Lisoni and Steven M. Weinberger of
Pasadena, California, are presenting evidence of an alleged defect in
Firestone Steeltex tires at a news conference in Washington.  Since
they announced their class action in August, they have uncovered
evidence of 3,000 tire failures and 11 deaths.

"It is a much more serious problem than the Wilderness," said Mr.
Lisoni.  "These tires are still on the road.  People are getting hurt
all over the country."

There are about 30 million Steeltex tires in use, the attorneys
estimate.  The tires are original equipment on the Chevrolet Suburban
and Ford Excursion SUVs, the Ford F-series and Chevy Silverado pickups,
and also vans like the Ford Econoline and the GMC Savannah.  The tires
are also found on ambulances and motor homes.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened a defect
investigation into Steeltex tires in September 2000, and closed it on
April 9.  The agency noted the failure rate for Steeltex tires was
below that of similar tires made by other manufacturers.

Bridgestone/Firestone spokeswoman Christine Karbowiak said the
company's own defect-detection system has not turned up evidence of a
problem.  "Based on our review, there is nothing wrong with this tire
line at all," said Ms. Karbowiak.


CANADA: Suits V. Government, Liabilities & Pressures Skyrocketing
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The number and complexity of lawsuits filed against the federal
government has soared in recent years, putting the government under
"intense pressure" and boosting its potential liabilities to over $44
billion, the Justice Department says, according to the National Post.

This six-fold increase in just three years has prompted officials to
institute a new program to try to head off civil actions and lessen
costs when cases do get to court.

The boom in legal claims is being fueled in part by the numerous suits
launched by aboriginals over alleged abuse at residential schools and
other issues, such as cultural ones, the advent of class-action cases
in Canada and a growing tendency of people to try to right historical
wrongs in court, say Justice Department officials.

Among the kinds of cases increasing the pressure on the federal
government in recent years, is a class action filed by veterans who
claim they were deprived of more than $4 billion in interest on
pensions and other benefits, as well as a $1 million wrongful arrest
suit from German-Canadian businessman Karlheinz Schreiber.

The problem is not just the number of lawsuits, but the work involved
in each one.  The use of computers and e-mail has led to people
generating far more documents than they did in the past, all of which
may become relevant evidence that must be perused by lawyers when a
dispute goes to court, Ms. Leslie Holland, a Justice Department
spokeswoman.

Another source of increase of lawsuits is that in recent years some
provinces have begun allowing class actions, with governments often
ending up as the target, said Ms. Holland.

The Department of Indian and Northern Affairs also has experienced an
explosion of litigation as more and more First Nations pursue land
claims and assert other rights in the courts, Ms. Holland said.

People also seem more likely to seek redress for some alleged wrong
done by the government in the past, said Ms. Holland.  She cited a
multi-billion-dollar class action filed against Human Resources
Department of Canada, claiming that millions of seniors failed to
receive an old-age security supplement to which they are entitled.

The government is not just worried about the potential costs of these
lawsuits.  It was thrown for a loop by the non-monetary aftermath of
the 1999 Marshall ruling from the Supreme Court of Canada, which upheld
the right of aboriginal fishermen to fish out of season, and touched
off violent clashes between white and native fishermen in New
Brunswick.

Under the new legal risk management program, Justice lawyers work with
officials in the various departments to identify as early as possible
if a serious legal hazard lies ahead.  Where such risks are identified,
the parties involved are encouraged to avoid costly and time-consuming
court battles if possible, using alternatives such as pre-trial
settlement or mediation.

The last goal is to better manage the litigation if a case does come to
court.  Departments are being asked to pursue policy goals with methods
that are less draconian than bringing in new laws and which can lead to
more court battles in the future.  The alternative include advertising
and "moral suasion," said Ms. Holland.

A government study, for instance, concluded that campaigns by the group
Mothers Against Drunk Driving, had done as much to combat impaired
driving as federal criminal laws against it, Ms. Holland said.  
Programs that institute a sort of mediation, when a federal agency
rules against people on certain issues, have resulted in fewer costly
appeals to the courts, said Ms. Holland.


CONVERGYS CORPORATION: Named As Defendant in Telesens' Employees Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Convergys Corporation has been named as a defendant in a class action
filed against TelesensKSCL, which the Company acquired for US$10
million.  The suit was filed by TelesensKSCL's former employees, after
they were laid off without any redundancy pay in the summer.

The workers allege that they received nothing even though TelesensKSCL
was sold to Convergys for $10m.  They are also claiming unfair
dismissal and sex discrimination under European legislation, according
to an earlier Class Action Reporter story.

The Company intends to vigorously defend against the action.  In the
event of an adverse judgment, the Company believes that the results of
the claim would not have a materially adverse effect on the Company's
financial condition.


COORSTEK INC.: Shareholder Sues, Claims Buyout Offer Unfair, Inadequate
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
A CoorsTek shareholder has filed a lawsuit asking class action status
in Delaware Chancery Court, claiming that the $21-per-share-buyout
offer from members of the Coors family undervalues the stock, the Rocky
Mountain News reports.

The shareholder, Janet Hersh, contends that CoorsTek Chairman John
Coors dominates the board and "timed his offer to take advantage of the
decline in the market price," which has fallen 31 percent this year.

The transaction "is unfair and grossly inadequate" considering the
company's prospects for growth, according to the lawsuit, which not
only asks for class-action status for all minority shareholders, but
also asks the court for an order to stop the buyout.

Family members and family trusts of the Coors brewing dynasty, who own
27 percent to 29 percent of the 11.7 million outstanding shares,
offered recently to buy the shares they do not already own.  CoorsTek
makes parts for machines that make semiconductors.


CORVIS CORPORATION: Court Conducts Hearing on Securities Suit Dismissal
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
heard oral arguments for Corvis Corporation's motion to dismiss the
consolidated securities class action filed relating to the Company's
IPO on behalf of all persons who purchased Company stock between July
28, 2000 and the filing of the complaints.

The suit names as defendants the Company, its directors and officers
who signed the registration statement in connection with the Company's
IPO, and certain of the underwriters that participated in the Company's
IPO.  The consolidated suit alleges that the registration statement and
prospectus relating to the Company's IPO contained material
misrepresentations and/or omissions in that those documents did not
disclose:

     (1) that certain of the underwriters had solicited and received
         undisclosed fees and commissions and other economic benefits
         from some investors in connection with the distribution of the
         Company's common stock in the IPO; and

     (2) that certain of the underwriters had entered into arrangements
         with some investors that were designed to distort and/or
         inflate the market price for the Company's common stock in the
         aftermarket following the IPO.

On May 23, 2002, a conference was held at which the court set a
briefing schedule for the filing of motions to dismiss the amended
complaints.  On July 1, 2002, the underwriter defendants filed their
motion to dismiss the amended complaints.  On July 15, 2002, the issuer
defendants filed their motion to dismiss the amended complaints.  The
briefing on the motions to dismiss has recently been completed, and the
judge heard oral arguments on the motions on November 1, 2002.  No
discovery has occurred.

     
COVENTRY HEALTH: Asks Court To Dismiss Amended Suit For RICO Violations
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Coventry Heathcare, Inc. asked the United States District Court for the
Southern District of Florida to dismiss the second amended class action
filed by a group of physicians against it and 11 other managed care
organizations and healthcare insurers.

The suit alleges violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt
Organizations statute and the "prompt pay" statutes in certain states,
various state law tort claims, and breach of the physicians' provider
contracts for failure to pay claims in accordance with the contractual
provisions.  The lawsuit seeks declaratory, injunctive, compensatory
and equitable relief as well as restitution, costs, fees and interest
payments.  

The Company has also moved to compel arbitration of the plaintiffs'
claims.  Although the Company cannot predict the outcome, management
believes this suit is without merit and intends to defend their
position vigorously.


DUANE READE: Securities Suits Allege Misrepresentations in S.D. NY
------------------------------------------------------------------
Duane Reade, Inc. faces several securities class actions filed in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on
behalf of purchasers of the Company's stock between April 25,2002 and
July 24,2002, inclusive.

The suit charges the Company and Anthony J. Cuti, its Chairman,
President and CEO, with violations of federal securities laws due to
the issuance of a series of materially false and misleading statements.

The Company believes that these actions are completely baseless and
without merit.  


DUPONT: Environmental Group Seeks Further Review Of Dangerous Chemical
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A state study on the health effects of a chemical used to make Teflon
and other products is flawed, says The Washington-based Environmental
Working Group (Working Group), which has reviewed the findings, the
Associated Press Newswires reports.  The Working Group therefore is
urging that an impartial review be conducted to determine the risks to
Wood County, West Virginia, residents.

The Working Group also said that the state Department of Environmental
Protection (DEP) was not accurate in explaining the potential hazards
of the chemical, ammonium perflouroctanoate, during public meetings
with residents living near DuPont's Washington Works plant.  The
chemical, also known as C8, is unregulated and has been used by the
plant for more than 50 years in various manufacturing processes.

Residents living in the Lubeck and Washington areas of Wood County
filed a class action, alleging that DuPont knowingly discharged C8 into
water supplies in amounts exceeding guidelines for discharge and that
the exposure to C8 has made them ill.  The lawsuit seeks funding from
DuPont for medical testing.

In a review of the DEP's public presentations on the chemical, the
Working Group said the agency failed to tell residents about the US
Environmental Agency (EPA) information on long-term health risks
involving C8.

"We are at a loss to explain how the weight of evidence readily
available from the EPA and published sources about the serious risks of
C8 could differ so dramatically from the conclusions the DEP reached,
and the reassurances it communicated to the people of Wood County,"
said Richard Wiles, the Working Group's senior vice president, in a
November 12 letter to DEP Secretary Michael Callaghan.

The Working Group said the DEP also did not properly apply procedures
for establishing drinking water screening levels and contaminant
limits.  Dave Watkins with DEP's Office of Water Resources, and who has
been involved in studying the issue, said he had not seen the letter
and could not comment.

In May, a team of state, federal and private scientists set a drinking
water standard for C8 at 150 parts per billion.  The highest reported
level found in local water supplies was 10.32 parts per billion.  The
Working Group said the standard was flawed because interested parties,
DuPont officials, were allowed to help set the standard.

Since C8 is not regulated by the state or federal governments,
discharge permits do not contain limits on the chemical's release into
the water.  The DEP released an independent review last month that said
concentrations of the chemical in the Ohio River were not high enough
to harm aquatic life.

Mr. Wiles, of the Environmental Working Group, said the DEP should act
to remove any appearance of bias by naming a panel of impartial
scientists to review the issue.  The panel, said Mr. Wiles, should not
include industry-affiliated experts.


EXTREME NETWORKS: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Consolidated Securities Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Extreme Networks, Inc. asked the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York to dismiss the consolidated securities
class action pending against it, six of its present and former officers
and several investment banking firms that served as underwriters of its
initial public offering and October 1999 secondary offering.

Several suits were commenced in July 16,2002 on behalf of all persons
who purchased the Company's common stock from April 8, 1999 through
December 6, 2000.  The suits were later consolidated.  Subsequently,
plaintiffs and one of the individual defendants stipulated to a
dismissal of that defendant without prejudice.

The complaint alleges liability under Sections 11 and 15 of the
Securities Act of 1933 and Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, on the grounds that the registration statement
for the offerings did not disclose that:

     (1) the underwriters had agreed to allow certain customers to
         purchase shares in the offerings in exchange for excess
         commissions paid to the underwriters; and

     (2) the underwriters had arranged for certain customers to
         purchase additional shares in the aftermarket at predetermined
         prices.

The Securities Act of 1933 allegations against Extreme Networks and its
officers are made as to the secondary offering only.  The amended
complaint also alleges that false analyst reports were issued.  No
specific damages are claimed.

The Company is aware that similar allegations have been made in other
lawsuits filed in the Southern District of New York challenging over
300 other initial public offerings and secondary offerings conducted in
1999 and 2000.

On July 15, 2002, the Company (and the other issuer defendants) filed
a motion to dismiss.  That motion was heard on November 1, 2002.  The
Company cannot assure you that it will prevail in the lawsuit.  Failure
to prevail could have a material adverse effect on its consolidated
financial position, results of operations and cash flows in the future.


FOOTBALL TEAMS: Cowboys, Mavericks Face Costly Litigation Over Faxes
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Two Texan professional sports teams, two of the better money managers
in the industry, find themselves in a clumsily-produced, embarrassing
predicament. They are being sued in class-action lawsuits accusing them
of violating state and federal consumer protection laws, after hiring a
telemarketing company to fax unsolicited advertising to thousands of
people, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.

Some three years later, the Cowboys are in the process of paying out
$1.73 million and the Mavericks are paying out $650,000.  Back in 1999,
Dallas-based American Blastfax, now out of business in Texas, was hired
by the Cowboys, and later by the Mavericks, for their mass, quick-hit
advertising via fax machines.  

To the two teams, advertising playoff tickets and ticket packages
through fax solicitation seemed like a good idea for reaching huge
numbers of people quickly.  Blastfax, at the time between 1999 and
2000, was hitting some 125,000 individual and business fax machines.

The teams could have save themselves some cash and a bit of poor PR had
they checked consumer-protection laws regarding fax and phone
solicitations.  The federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act went into
effect in 1992.  In September 1999, three months before the Cowboys
hired American Blastfax, a similar statute went into effect in Texas,
the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

The federal law prohibits sending any commercial material concerning
any property, goods or services to any person's fax machine without
that person's prior consent.  American Blastfax did not receive consent
before faxing the Cowboys' and Mavericks' ads.

"The bottom line is that not a lot of people know about the law," said
Houston-based attorney Ashton Bachynsky, lead counsel on the Cowboys'
case, which is believed to be the largest class action paid out in one
of these fax cases.  "Chances are American Blastfax probably called the
Cowboys and said, 'Hey, we can get out advertisements for those playoff
tickets immediately,' and their marketing director just went ahead and
said, 'Let's do it,' without checking the legal aspects."

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban had the same perspective on the embarrassing
deal.  "Sales people don't check with lawyers before everything they
do.  That is how stuff like this happens."

Now, the Cowboys are mailing out checks for $290.57 to nearly 1,800
recipients.  The Mavericks are paying $500 per fax.


GATEWAY: Finds Itself Target of Securities Fraud Suits, SEC Probe
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Computer maker Gateway has been under investigation by the Securities
and Exchange Commission (SEC) for nearly two years for apparent
misdeeds in 2000, according to a company regulatory filing; the
investigation began in December 2000, the same month that Gateway was
hit by the first of six securities class actions, the Associated Press
Newswires reports.  The lawsuits were eventually combined and settled
this year for $10.5 million, paid by company insurers.  Gateway
admitted no wrongdoing.

Allegations in the shareholder suits, filed against the company's board
of directors, included insider trading and wasteful spending on
executive severance pay.  The class actions also alleged that the
company inflated revenue and earnings statements by temporarily moving
computers to warehouses and listing them as sold.

Spokesman Brad Shaw said the company was not required to disclose the
probe.  Mr. Shaw also said that it expects the SEC to complete its
investigation by the end of next quarter.  He declined to say why the
company had not revealed the probe earlier.  The SEC does not confirm
the existence of an investigation until it has been completed.

Gateway restated its 2000 earnings in February 2001, and has provided
the regulatory agency with information from that fiscal year.

Company founder Ted Waitt returned as chief executive officer after a
13-month hiatus in January 2001.  According to Mr. Shaw, he "assembled
a new management team, restructured and refocused the business, and
restated fiscal year 2000 financials."  He added that the company does
not think the SEC probe will have an effect on its finances, operations
or cash flow.


GEORGIA: Federal Judge Ceases Court Oversight Of Fulton County Jail
-------------------------------------------------------------------
A federal judge recently ceased his oversight of a lawsuit that brought
about profound changes in the way Fulton County, Georgia runs its jail
and its indigent defense system, according to a report by the Atlanta
Journal-Constitution.

US District Judge Marvin Shoob said lawyers for the county and HIV-
postive jail inmates had reached an agreement under which a monitor
will continue to inspect the jail another 18 months.  "We hope we can
work with the county so that we do not have to resort to legal action
again," plaintiffs' lawyer Tamara Serwer said.

The class action, filed in 1999, cited severe jail overcrowding and
poor medical conditions, problems that have been alleviated greatly
under Judge Shoob's oversight.


HALO BURGER: Recalls 9,500 Flashlights, Batteries For Choking Hazard
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Halo Burger is cooperating with the United States Consumer Product
Safety Commission (CPSC) by voluntarily recalling about 9,500
flashlights and batteries that were distributed as a premium in Halo
Burger kids meals and sold individually.  The "AA" batteries provided
with each flashlight can leak, which could cause irritation to the
skin.  When disassembled, the flashlights also have small parts that
can pose a choking hazard to young children.  The Company received two
reports of young children who received minor skin irritation on their
mouths from leaking flashlight batteries.
        
The multicolored flashlights measure about 6-inches in length, and
are made of translucent plastic with a black cord attached at the end.  
"Halo Burger" is written on the side of the flashlight.  "Made in
China" is printed on a gold-colored label on the bottom of the
flashlight.  The two "AA" batteries included with the flashlight are
labeled "Spadelove Ultra" and are black with a bronze top band.
        
Halo Burger restaurants distributed the flashlights as a premium
with the kids meals in Genesee and Saginaw Counties in Michigan from
October 2002 through November 4, 2002.  The flashlights were sold
individually for about $1.50.
        
For more details, contact the Company by Phone: 810-238-1839 ext. 27 at
anytime.


HANDSPRING INC.: Asks For Dismissal of Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Handspring, Inc. asked the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York to dismiss the consolidated securities
class action pending against it and two of its officers.

Several suits were commenced in August 2001, asserting that the
prospectus for the Company's June 20, 2000 initial public offering
failed to disclose certain alleged actions by the underwriters for the
offering.  

The complaints allege claims against the Company and two of its
officers under Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933, as
amended, and under Section 10(b) and Section 20(a) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.  The complaints also name as
defendants the underwriters for the Company's initial public offering.

The Company has sought indemnification from its underwriters pursuant
to the Underwriting Agreement dated as of June 20, 2000 with the
underwriters in connection with the Company's initial public offering.  
These cases have been consolidated with many cases brought on similar
grounds against other parties in the United States District Court for
the Southern District of New York.

The Company officers named as defendants have been dismissed from these
cases by court order.  A motion to dismiss has been filed by a number
of defendants, including Handspring, but the court has not yet ruled on
the motion.


HOUSEHOLD INTERNATIONAL: Faces Review Of Tax Refund Lawsuit Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------------
With its nationwide predatory lending settlement just a month old,
Household International Inc.(Household), is facing a federal judge in
Chicago in another settlement hearing to resolve complaints about its
tax filing refund business, according to a report by the Chicago
Tribune.

The Company's unit, Household Beneficial, acts as the financial
institution standing behind the rapid refund loans provided to tax
filers through H&R Block offices throughout the country.  Consumer
lending advocates contend that these services charge unfair and
deceptive fees to filers to get their income tax refunds immediately,
rather than waiting for them to arrive from the Internal Revenue
Service.

The original settlement in the class action relating to the "unfair and
deceptive fees" charged to filers to receive tax refunds immediately,
was brought up for review in 1999, after plaintiffs for part of the
class objected to the $25 million settlement as being too low.  A final
hearing on this matter will be held before US District Judge Elaine E.
Bucklo.

Meanwhile, plaintiffs attorneys are speculating that because a Texas
judge last week ordered H&R Block to repay $75 million to tax filers
for receiving undisclosed fees on the refund loans, that the old $25
million settlement being reviewed in Chicago may be tossed out or
increased.  The Company was not named in the Texas lawsuit.

Plaintiffs' attorney Michael Hyman said the Texas case raises the
profile of the Illinois case, and that Household's liability in related
suits is significant.  "They have made hundreds of millions of dollars
off poor people with these loans.  The original settlement (of $25
million) should not have been approved," Mr. Hyman said, estimating
that the original deal would pay back the borrower an average of $15.

"The two cases are totally separate, and it is impossible to know if
the figure (of $25 million) could be raised," said Household spokesman
Craig Streem.

Moshe Orenbuch, an analyst who follows Household's activities in and
out of court, said that the implications of the lawsuits, both in
Illinois and Texas, should not be a major problem for Household.  The
tax-refund loan business is decreasing because online refunds direct
from the government are in the not-too-distant future.


ILLINOIS: Settlement Approved In Racial Profiling Suit V. Police Dep't
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A federal judge recently gave preliminary approval to a proposed
settlement in a class action that accuses Mount Prospect police of
illegally targeting Hispanic drivers for arrest, according to a report
by the Chicago Daily Herald.

US District Judge James B. Zagel told attorneys on both sides of the
case, during the recent status hearing, that the proposed settlement,
which he received last week, is "fair, just and reasonable."

The judge's ruling sets into motion a nearly three-month process in
which attorneys will notify the members of the class - Hispanic drivers
who were ticketed by Mount Prospect police from February 11, 1998, to
February 11, 2000 - about the settlement and give them a chance to
respond to it.

Class members who wish to make formal objections to the settlement can
do so at a "fairness hearing" in February.  After that hearing, Judge
Zagel will decide whether to issue final approval of the settlement.


Under the proposed settlement, Mount Prospect would pay at least $75 to
all those ticketed.  The maximum that any individual motorist could
receive for a single traffic stop is $225 .  Attorneys estimate that
3,200 people could qualify for compensation.


In addition to payments made to motorists, $3,000 would be paid to each
of the lawsuit's three main plaintiffs and $150,000 to the plaintiffs'
attorneys.  All payments likely will be made by Mount Prospect's
insurance companies.


The class action lawsuit, filed in 2000, was the fourth lawsuit to
accuse Mount Prospect police of targeting Hispanic drivers for arrest,
a practice known as racial profiling.  The village settled the other
three cases in 2000, for a total of $900,000.

Mount Prospect continues to deny that its police officers ever targeted
Hispanics for traffic stops.  The village admits no wrongdoing in the
current settlement proposal or in the previous settlement agreement.

In the wake of the racial profiling controversy, the village launched
six initiatives designed to bring the police department and the
community closer together.

The last of these to take effect was creation of the community relation
commission, a group of citizens charged with promoting village-wide
harmony and hearing discrimination complaints leveled against village
officials.  The group has met several times so far.


IRT PARTNERS: Faces Two Lawsuits Opposing Equity One Merger in GA Court
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
IRT Partners LP faces two class actions filed in the Superior Court of
Cobb County, Georgia relating to the merger between the Company and
Equity One.

Janet Herzenhorn, an individual Company stockholder commenced the suit
on behalf of a class of holders of IRT common stock, against the
Company, Equity One and each of the Company's directors.  The complaint
alleges, among other things, that the Company and its individual
directors breached their fiduciary duties by agreeing to the merger and
that Equity One aided and abetted such breach.  John Greaves commenced
the other suit, which is substantially similar to the Herzenhorn suit.

Although the defendants believe that these suits are without merit and
intend to defend themselves vigorously, there can be no assurance that
the pending litigation will not interfere with the consummation of the
merger.  The Company and Equity One do not expect that these suits will
interfere with the scheduling of their respective shareholder meetings
or the consummation of the merger, if approved.


JNI CORPORATION: Asks CA Court To Dismiss Consolidated Securities Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
JNI Corporation asked the United States District Court for the Southern
District of California to dismiss a consolidated securities class
action filed against it and certain of its officers and directors on
behalf of purchasers of the Company's common stock during the period
between January 13, 2000 and March 28, 2001.

The suit initially alleges that during the class period, the Company
made false statements about its business and results causing its stock
to trade at artificially inflated levels.  Based on these allegations,
the cases allege that the Company and the others named in the cases
violated the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and the Securities Act of
1933 arising from the Company's secondary public offering in October
2000.

In April 2002, the Company filed a motion to dismiss and a motion to
strike the first consolidated and amended complaint.  Since July 1,
2002, the motions have been under submission with the court for
decision.  The Company believes that these cases are without merit and
intends to defend the cases vigorously.


JNI CORPORATION: Faces Shareholder Derivative Suits in CA State Court
---------------------------------------------------------------------
JNI Corporation faces two stockholder derivative lawsuits filed in the
San Diego County Superior Court against the Company and certain present
and former members of the Company's board of directors.

The first suit was commenced in October 2001 by an alleged stockholder
of the Company Richard Grosset, alleging that during the class period,
the present and former members of the Company's board failed to
adequately oversee the activities of management and, as a result, the
Company allegedly made false statements about its business and results
causing its stock to trade at artificially inflated levels.

Based on these allegations, the plaintiff alleges that the present and
former members of the Company's board breached their fiduciary duties
to the Company.  The alleged stockholder filed the lawsuit without
first making a demand upon the board of directors.  The Company has
retained counsel to defend this case.

On February 1, 2002, the court sustained the Company's demurrer to the
plaintiff's complaint with leave to amend.  The plaintiff then filed a
first amended complaint.  The Company again filed a demurrer to the
first amended complaint and the hearing on the demurrer was set for
April 12, 2002.

On April 12, 2002, the Court entered an order sustaining the demurrer
and giving the plaintiff leave to file another amended complaint.  The
plaintiff then filed a second amended complaint, to which the Company
again filed a demurrer.  Sik-Lin Huang, an alleged stockholder of the
Company, filed a motion to intervene in the case as a plaintiff.

On June 21, 2002, the Court sustained the Company's demurrer and
dismissed Mr. Grosset as a plaintiff because he is no longer a
stockholder of the Company.  The Court, however, granted Mr. Huang's
motion to intervene and ordered Mr. Huang to file a complaint in
intervention.

Mr. Huang filed a complaint in intervention on July 5, 2002.  On
September 16, 2002, the Board of Directors of the Company appointed a
special litigation committee to investigate the allegations in this
case and to determine whether it is in the best interest of the Company
to allow this case to proceed.

On May 30, 2002, an alleged stockholder of the Company, Ali Bemanian,
filed a purported stockholder derivative suit against the Company and
certain present and former members of the Company's board of directors
in the San Diego County Superior Court. The lawsuit repeats the
allegations of the derivative lawsuit filed by Mr. Grosset.

The lawsuit also adds allegations that the defendants caused or allowed
the Company to falsely report its results for the fourth quarter of
fiscal 2001.  These additional allegations relate to the Company's May
20, 2002 announcement that it would restate its financial statements
and file an amended report on Form 10-K.

On September 16, 2002, the Board of Directors of the Company appointed
a special litigation committee to investigate the allegations in this
case and to determine whether it is in the best interest of the Company
to allow this case to proceed.


LOOKSMART LTD.: Intends To Ask For Dismissal of CA Consumer Fraud Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Looksmart Ltd. intends to ask the Superior Court in San Francisco
County to dismiss an amended class action relating to the Company's new
Small Business Listings product announced on April 2002.  The suits
allege:

     (1) breach of contract,

     (2) unfair business practices and

     (3) false advertising

The first suit was commenced in April 2002 by Legal Staffing Partners,
Ltd.  In July 2002, Curt Kramer, an express listing customer, filed a
lawsuit in the same court alleging claims that were substantially
similar to those alleged by Legal Staffing Partners.  In October 2002,
the two plaintiffs agreed to withdraw their complaints and file a
single consolidated amended complaint containing substantially the same
allegations as the prior two complaints.

The Company intends to file a motion to dismiss the claims in the
amended complaint.  Plaintiffs have served document requests, but no
other discovery is being sought at this time.  The Company believes
that the allegations against it are without merit and intends to
contest the allegations vigorously.


MARIMBA INC.: Officers, Directors Dismissed From NY Securities Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Marimba, Inc.'s officers and directors were dismissed as defendants of
the consolidated securities class action charging them and the Company
of violations of federal securities laws in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of New York.

Beginning in April 2001, a number of substantially identical class
action complaints alleging violations of the federal securities laws
were filed naming as defendants the Company, certain of its officers
and directors, and certain underwriters of its initial public offering:

     (1) Morgan Stanley & Co., Inc.,

     (2) Credit Suisse First Boston Corp. and

     (3) Bear Stearns & Co., Inc.

The complaints have since been consolidated into a single action, and a
consolidated amended complaint was filed in April 2002.  The complaint
alleges, among other things, that the underwriters of the Company's
initial public offering violated the securities laws by failing to
disclose certain alleged compensation and tie-in arrangements (such as
undisclosed commissions or stock stabilization practices) in the
registration statement filed in connection with the offering.

The Company and certain of its officers and directors were named in the
complaint pursuant to Section 11 of the Securities Act of 1933, and
Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

Similar complaints have been filed against over 300 other issuers that
have had initial public offerings since 1998 and all such actions have
been included in a single coordinated proceeding.  In July 2002, the
defendants in the consolidated actions filed motions to dismiss all of
the cases in the litigation (including the case involving Marimba), and
those motions have not yet been decided.

In addition, the Marimba individual defendants in the litigation each
signed a tolling agreement and were dismissed from the action without
prejudice on October 9, 2002.

The Company intends to defend this litigation vigorously.  However, due
to the inherent uncertainties of litigation, the Company cannot
accurately predict the ultimate outcome of the litigation.  Any
unfavorable outcome of this litigation could have a material adverse
impact on its business, financial condition and results of operations.


MISSOURI: Judge Certifies Suit On Sexual-Offender Registration Program
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A federal judge in Missouri ruled recently that a lawsuit challenging
the state's sexual-offender registration program could go forward as a
class action, The Kansas City Star reports.  

The order from US District Judge Nanette K. Laughrey in Kansas City,
sets the stage for a ruling that could block county sheriffs statewide
from releasing the names and addresses of sexual offenders, as is
currently permitted by state law.

A small group of local men covered by the law, which established the
sexual-offender registration program, challenged the law's
constitutionality, saying that it did not give the jail mate's the
opportunity to prove they were no longer dangerous.  They argued that
having to register stigmatized them unfairly.

In September, Judge Laughrey blocked local officials from releasing
information about the men while she considered the case.  Judge
Laughrey is considering a motion to stop all Missouri officials from
disseminating such information.

"Should the court issue a preliminary injunction, the classes created
today provide a means by which the court can ensure that its order will
be effective statewide," said lawyer Arthur Benson II, who is
representing the sexual offenders.  Under such an order, all 114
counties would be barred from releasing registration lists to the
public until the constitutional issues are resolved.

In her recent order, Judge Laughrey established a class of plaintiffs,
about 17,000 Missouri offenders who are required to register under the
sexual-offender program, and two classes of defendants, the county
sheriffs and prosecutors, who are responsible for enforcing the law.


NEW MEXICO: Parents Sue School Over Inadequate Special Education
----------------------------------------------------------------
Parents of special education students are suing the Albuquerque school
district, alleging that their children are shortchanged on such things
as planning, grading and facilities like science labs, the Associated
Press Newswires reports.  Parents Gail Stewart and Steven Granberg, who
also are attorneys, are filing the lawsuit on behalf of their daughter
and special-education students district-wide.

Special-education students at Taylor Middle School, for example, were
denied a required science course and sent to substandard science labs,
the lawsuit says.  The lawsuit also contends that the Albuquerque
Public Schools (APS) failed to provide progress reports or plans for
special-education student so they could work on improving their grades.  
Ms. Stewart said the district placed her daughter in an unacceptable
science class last year, and there was no resolution despite extensive
meetings with district officials.

An Education Department hearing officer found in favor of the
Albuquerque Public Schools on 16 of 18 issues last May, but did find
that APS violated federal law by failing to issue progress reports on
Ms. Stewart's daughter and by offering a substandard science lab when
other students had better labs.  Both sides appealed the hearing
officer's conclusion.


OVERTURE SERVICES: Court Dismisses Officers From Securities Fraud Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
dismissed Overture Services, Inc.'s current and former officers and
directors from the consolidated securities class action pending against
them and the Company.

The suit alleges, among other things, violations of the Securities Act
of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 involving undisclosed
compensation to the underwriters, and improper practices by the
underwriters, and seek unspecified damages.

Similar complaints were filed in the same court against numerous public
companies that conducted initial public offerings of their common stock
since the mid-1990s.  All of these lawsuits were consolidated for
pretrial purposes before Judge Shira Scheindlin.

On July 15, 2002, the issuers filed an omnibus motion to dismiss for
failure to comply with applicable pleading standards.  On October 8,
2002, the court entered an order of dismissal as to all of the
individual defendants in the Overture IPO litigation, without
prejudice.

The Company continues to deny the allegations against it, and believes
it has meritorious defenses to the amended complaint.


RESOURCE BANKSHARES: To Vigorously Defend Suit Alleging TCPA Violations
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Resource Bankshares Corporation and Resource Bank faces a class action
filed in the Circuit/Superior Court of Marion County, Indiana, alleging
that the Bank violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, or TCPA,
by sending unsolicited advertisements by facsimile without obtaining
prior express invitation or permission to send the facsimiles.

The Company believes that the facsimile allegedly received by the
plaintiff was transmitted by a third party fax service provider
retained by the Bank.  Subsequently, the Company was dismissed as a
party to the litigation but the lawsuit is still pending against the
Bank.

The suit seeks certification of a class action to pursue statutory
claims by recipients of unsolicited facsimiles and seeks monetary
damages.  Under the TCPA, recipients of unsolicited fax advertisements
are entitled to damages of $500 per fax for inadvertent violations of
the TCPA and treble damages for willful violations.

Because the Bank's mortgage division often uses third party fax service
providers to disseminate product and interest rate information, the
Bank has not yet been able to determine the number of faxes sent during
the relevant class period.  However, the Company expects the number to
be significant.

The Bank is defending the lawsuit vigorously and has filed initial
briefs and motions with the court.  The court will not establish a
trial date until ruling on dispositive motions.  Initially, the Bank
has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit on the grounds that the TCPA
is unconstitutional.  

The motion to dismiss asserts that the TCPA is unconstitutional on
several grounds, including violation of the First Amendment right to
free commercial speech and violation of Eighth Amendment due process
rights in connection with the TCPA's penalty provisions.

The most recent federal court case addressing the constitutionality of
the TCPA found the Act to be an unconstitutional prohibition on
commercial speech.  However, this ruling is on appeal and other federal
courts addressing the issue have held that the TCPA is constitutional.

The Bank is asserting additional constitutional and other defenses in
the litigation.  In particular, the Bank intends to contest vigorously
class certification on the grounds that individual issues surrounding
each facsimile preclude class certification.  However, the Bank
believes that courts in Marion County, Indiana recently have granted
class certifications in other lawsuits filed under the TCPA.  The Bank
does not yet know whether the factual claims underlying these class
action lawsuits are similar or dissimilar to the litigation to which
the Bank is a party.

If appropriate, the Bank also will explore vigorously possible causes
of action against the fax service provider that transmitted the
facsimile allegedly received by the plaintiff in the lawsuit.


ROCK HILL: Shareholders' Motion For Class Certification Put On Hold
-------------------------------------------------------------------
It will be late November or early December before a judge rules on two
motions heard recently for a civil suit against the officers and
directors of Rock Hill Bank & Trust (RHB&T), The Herald Rock Hill (So.
Car.) reported.

The shareholders want certified as class action a lawsuit that claims
bank officers, the board and accountants were responsible for the
devaluation of their stock due to loan irregularities attributed to
fired President Robert Herron.  The lawsuit asks monetary damages for
those among the approximate 1,100 shareholders who lost more than $100.

The defendants; two bank officers, eight board members, Mr. Herron and
the accounting firm of Tourville Simpson and Caskey of Columbia, South
Carolina, want the lawsuit dismissed.

The lawsuit states the six-year-old bank had losses two years in a row
due to misconduct by employees.  It also claims officers and directors
were derelict in their duties to monitor employees and loan activity.  
Robert Herron was charged with 12 counts of fraud, but plans to change
his plea to guilty to one count in federal court in Columbia.

After Mr. Herron was fired, the bank posted a $13.3 million loss due to
bad loans.  The stock for RHBT Financial Corp. fell and was eventually
delisted by Nasdaq.  It stopped trading completely at $5.

The $8.8 million buyout by The South Financial Group, which bought
RHB&T assets and deposits October 31, was part of the recovery plan
filed by the bank, which almost was taken over by the FDIC in August.  
Shareholders are to receive about $5 per share for their RHBT stock, 30
percent of loan recoveries and 50 percent of insurance.

Attorneys for officers and directors argue that only RHBT Financial
Corp. can claim negligence and that right, they claim, was sold, in
October, to Carolina First, a subsidiary of South Financial.

At-large Circuit Court Judge Cordell Maddox Jr. of Anderson, said he
would consider arguments and gave the nine attorneys representing both
sides until Nov. 22 to file memorandums.  "You don't hurry these
things," said Judge Maddox during the hearing at the York County
Courthouse.  "They work out at their own pace."


RYAN'S FAMILY: Three Former Workers File Suit Over Labor Law Violations
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Three former workers at Ryan's Family Steak Houses Inc. restaurants in
Tennessee have filed suit, claiming the company violated federal labor
law by illegally shortchanging hourly employees, the Associated Press
Newswires reports.  The suit was filed in the United States District
Court in Nashville, Tennessee, and are seeking class-action status for
the lawsuit on behalf of more than 20,000 current and former employees.

The suit alleges that the Greer, South Carolina-based restaurant chain

     (1) paid servers $2.13 an hour even when they were performing
         duties such as general cleaning and maintenance that did not
         provide them with tips;

     (2) routinely required hourly employees to work "off the clock";
         deducted break times that were not taken by the workers; and

     (3) shaved hours in the computer system to keep costs down so
         managers could earn their bonuses.

"Ryan's represents the worst of the worst," said Nashville attorney M.
Reid Estes Jr., who represents the plaintiffs and alleged the company
has violated provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act for a decade.

The plaintiffs include Eric Walker, who lives in Nashville and worked
at Ryan's restaurants in Jackson, Hermitage and Sikeston, Mo., Steve
Ricketts of Ooltewah, who worked at a Chattanooga Ryan's location and
Vicki Atchley of Rossville, Georgia, who also worked at the Chattanooga
restaurant.

Ryan's operates 312 company-owned and 23 franchised restaurants that
feature steaks, salad and soup bars, and self-service ice cream bars.  
Net income for the first nine months of the year was $40.4 million on
revenues of $588.7 million.


SPRINT CORP.: Court Dismisses Large Part Of Securities Fraud Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court in Kansas dismissed a substantial part
of a class action against telecommunications company Sprint Corporation
alleging violation of federal securities laws in its failed attempt to
merge with WorldCom, the Associated Press Newswires reports.

According to a document filed with the Securities and Exchange
Commission by Sprint, which is based in Overland, Kansas, the New
England Healthcare Employees Pension Fund and other institutional
shareholders initially filed the lawsuit, in June.

The allegations that were not dismissed claim that the Company and some
of its officers knew in April 2000 that the Company's proposed merger
with WorldCom would be rejected by regulatory authorities, but failed
to publicly disclose that information.  The plaintiff shareholders are
seeking an unspecified amount of damages.  

The Company said it does not expect the outcome of the proceedings to
have a material effect on its financial condition.


TOBACCO LITIGATION: Smokers, Philip Morris Prepare For Cigarette Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------------
A federal judge has ruled that the lawsuit of two smokers of light
cigarettes should be heard in state, not federal court, the next big
question is whom should the lawsuit cover:  tens of thousands of people
in the state of New Hampshire, who smoked a certain brand of light
cigarette, or just the two people who actually filed the lawsuit?  

The smokers' lawyer, Charles Douglas, says that his two clients should
be certified as representatives of anyone who bought Marlboro Lights in
New Hampshire since 1971, the Associated Press Newswires reports.

The two smokers charge that cigarette maker Philip Morris deceived them
into believing that "light" cigarettes are safer.  Denis Tremblay and
Karen Lawrence, both of Manchester, New Hampshire, filed the lawsuit
making this charge in the spring.  They want the court to order the
Company to refund the amount of money the thousands of people who
smoked Marlboro Lights spent in the state since 1971 or, in the
alternative, the two plaintiffs want the court to order the company to
give the thousands who spent money in the state to purchase and smoke
Marlboro Lights, a split of profits from those sales.  

Ken Parsigian, Philip Morris's lead counsel, say that it does not make
sense to include all the smokers in the same lawsuit.  Both plaintiffs
switched from regular Marlboro cigarettes to Marlboro Lights, believing
light cigarettes were less harmful, said Mr. Douglas.

The tobacco industry generally uses the term "light" to describe
cigarettes with less than 15 milligrams of tar, a carcinogen produced
when tobacco is burned.  Tar, in turn, helps deliver nicotine to
smokers.

In separate interviews recently, both lawyers said federal courts
generally have not certified smokers as classes for lawsuits.  That is
one reason Philip Morris wanted a federal trial.   State courts, they
said, are less hostile to the idea of granting class-action status to
smokers' lawsuits.  That is the reason Mr. Douglas fought to have the
case heard in state court.  A federal judge granted his request.  Mr.
Parsigian said Philip Morris will try to persuade the state judge that
a class action is not justified.

"A class action is based on the theory that a particular lawsuit
involves issues that are the same common issues for everybody in the
class," Mr. Parsigian said.  "You don't need to look at each individual
because they all suffered the same."

Mr. Parsigian argues that smokers might have chosen light cigarettes
for various reasons, the taste, the commercials, they thought they were
safer.  "And, if you did think they were safer, why?" he asked.  In a
class action, Mr. Parsigian continued, common issues must be more
important than individual issues, not the opposite.

Mr. Douglas said he is not impressed with Mr. Parsigian's argument.  
"If that is true, on a bad toaster, you would have to have every person
who bought a bad toaster come in and explain why they bought the
toaster," said Mr. Douglas.  The plaintiffs' attorney said that a judge
can certify his class based on one or two people "as long as they
bought the light cigarettes over a period of time in reliance on the
assumption that they were somehow better."

The certification question is a key issue, because without a class,
there likely will not be a case, especially because in state court
damages will amount to less than $75,000 a person.  Without a class,
the case will go away, said Mr. Parsigian.  

Mr. Douglas agreed, explaining that "with just two people, it would not
be worth it; the expenses would far exceed the award."  He added that
even without a class, he still might have a case with the 30 or so
people who have contacted him.  Either way, a trial is at least a year
and a half away, the lawyers said.


TOBACCO LITIGATION: Court To Allow Trial's Focus On Companies' Actions
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In a blow to the tobacco industry, the Louisiana Supreme Court recently
ordered a plan for a class-action trial that will focus on whether
cigarette makers conspired to keep smokers hooked, the Associated Press
Newswires reports.

The court rejected the industry's request to include testimony on the
actions of individual smokers.  The plaintiffs had argued that
inclusion of such testimony would threaten the lawsuit's class-action
status.

Instead of individual damages, the plaintiffs are seeking money from
cigarette companies for medical monitoring of Louisiana smokers and for
programs to help them quit.

The court said that the trial's first phase would concentrate on issues
including the alleged marketing of cigarettes to children, the alleged
manipulation of nicotine levels, manufacturing a dangerous product and
whether the industry engaged in fraud and conspiracy.  The court gave
no indication of when the trial might start.  A jury was seated months
ago.  

Philip Wittmann, an attorney representing the tobacco industry, said he
was analyzing the opinion.  He said the industry was considering asking
the Supreme Court to reconsider its orders as to the issues that would
compose the first phase of the trial.  If the industry is found liable
in the first phase of the trial, other phases will be held on issues
including the setting of damages.

No public estimate has been made of what a loss might cost cigarette-
makers.  However, estimates ran in the hundreds of millions of dollars
for a smaller, unsuccessful case in West Virginia, that asked only for
medical monitoring.


UNITED STATES: Justice Dept Lawyers Entitled To Overtime Under Fed Law
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In a ruling that could cost the Justice Department millions of dollars,
a federal judge has ruled that lawyers at the department who routinely
work more than 40 hours a week are entitled to overtime pay under the
1945 Federal Employees Pay Act, The Washington Post reports.

The recent ruling by Judge Robert H. Hodges Jr., of the U.S. Court of
Federal Claims, came in a class action filed in 1998, on behalf of more
than 9,000 Justice Department lawyers, most of them assistant US
attorneys who try cases for the government around the country.

The lawsuit sought more than $500 million in damages for uncompensated
overtime work by the lawyers.  The Justice Department has estimated
that paying overtime could cost $40 million a year or more in
additional expenses.

Judge Hodges said that he will conduct a trial to determine the amount
of damages the lawyers are entitled to unless the two sides agree on a
settlement.  To settle the case, said Judge Hodges, the Justice
Department should create a fund to compensate its lawyers for past
overtime work and agree to abide by the federal pay statute in the
future.

In testimony, the Justice Department acknowledged that it keeps two
sets of records for its lawyers, one showing them working 40 hours a
week each, and the second set of records showing the actual number of
hours worked.  The second set showing actual hours worked was used for
budgetary purposes, in evaluating the lawyers and for setting
attorneys' fees and other awards in litigation with private parties.

In his ruling, Judge Hodges said that Justice Department practices and
procedures made overtime work more than just a "tacit expectation" of
the agency.  He said he agreed with the department that paying lawyers
for their overtime work could harm the "professional atmosphere" at
Justice.  

However, the Judge added, that argument "is irrelevant.  Attorneys in
the class are covered by the Federal Employees Pay Act, and (under that
Act) are entitled to overtime if they meet the requirements."


UNUMPROVIDENT CORP.: Judge Says Obey The Law, Make Disability Payments
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The nation's largest disability insurance firm is facing a flurry of
lawsuits in California and across the country from policyholders who
contend that UnumProvident Corp. cheated them out of their disability
payments in an aggressive campaign to boost profit, the Los reports
Angeles Times.  The company's tactics allegedly included spying on
customers, shredding medical records and using biased doctors to
justify its cancellations.

The Chattanooga, Tennessee-based company received a harshly worded
rebuke this past week from a San Francisco magistrate, US Magistrate
James Larson, who ordered the company to "obey the law" and stop
targeting certain categories of claims for cancellation, employing
biased medical examiners, destroying medical reports and withholding
from policyholders information about their benefits.

Magistrate Larson issued the unusual injunction in a ruling upholding a
$7.67 million jury verdict for a single mother of two who lost her home
and went on welfare after the company cut off her disability benefits.

Citing corporate documents and testimony of current and former
employees and an industry expert, Magistrate Larson concluded that
former chiropractor Joan Hangarter's case was part of a broader effort
to target expensive claims filed by doctors, lawyers and other self-
employed professionals, particularly in California and Florida.

"They planned to save money by terminating claims like hers," said
Magistrate Larson in his order.  The company developed a "comprehensive
system for targeting and terminating expensive claims."

The litigation has put a spotlight on the culture of an insurer that
once handed out a "Hungry Vulture" award to its best employees.  The
award was discontinued because, said an Unum executive, people outside
the company were misconstruing what was meant as a lighthearted effort
to boost morale.

Nonetheless, lawsuits have criticized the company for requiring its
claims adjusters to maintain and give special attention to "Top Ten"
lists of certain claims that are costing the company the most and for
conducting round-table internal discussions, allegedly to come up with
ways to deny claims and cut off benefits.

A class action has been filed in New York, several lawyers said they
were preparing to file additional lawsuits and the Georgia insurance
commissioner's office continues to investigate the company's practices
in that state, a probe that has been going on for two years.

The disputed policies offer what is known as non-cancelable, own-
occupation disability coverage.  Such policies typically are purchased
by self-employed professionals to make up for lost income if a
disability were to prevent them from working in their specific field.  
Even if a policyholder were able to work in another job, he or she
still would be entitled to benefits.

One insurance analyst said there were concerns within the industry in
the mid-1990s that own-occupation policies were being exploited in some
cases by professionals who were not actually disabled but were looking
to retire with an income.  Christopher Collins, a senior vice president
of Unum, says that some industry experts believe fraud affects five
percent to 15 percent of claims.

However, plaintiffs' lawyers say Unum brought the suits on itself by
cutting off claims and benefits at the expense of policyholders they
contend are legitimately disabled.  The lawyers say that people who
have been terminated by Unum Provident have included individuals with
Parkinson's disease, AIDS, spinal injuries, organic brain damage and
cancer.

"These are the most vulnerable people imaginable," said Ray Bourhis, a
San Francisco lawyer with several class actions against the company,
including the one before Magistrate Larson.  "They are disabled; they
do not have the energy to take on an $8 billion insurance company, and
the company knows it.  You sell them this policy on the basis that you
will be there should anything ever happen.  You take their money, their
premiums, for ten or 15 years.  Then lighting strikes, and you refuse
to pay the claims."


WEYERHAUSER CORP.: Trial in Linerboard Antitrust Suits Set April 2004
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Trial in the two civil antritrust class actions pending against
Weyerhauser Corporation is set to commence in April 2004 in the United
States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Both suits name as defendants several other major containerboard and
packaging producers.  The complaint in the first case alleges the
defendants conspired to fix the price of linerboard and that the
alleged conspiracy had the effect of increasing the price of corrugated
containers.  The suit requested class certification for purchasers of
corrugated containers during the period October 1993 through November
1995.  

The complaint in the second case alleges that the company conspired to
manipulate the price of linerboard and thereby the price of corrugated
sheets.  The suit requested class certification for purchasers of
corrugated sheets during the period October 1993 through November 1995.  

Both suits seek damages, including treble damages, under the antitrust
laws.  No specific damage amounts have been claimed.   In September
2001, the district court certified both classes.  On appeal the 3rd
Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's certification of
the two classes.  The defendants will seek certiorari with the US
Supreme Court.  At the trial level, discussions have begun on
reactivating pretrial discovery efforts.  Trial has been set for April
2004.


WYETH: Cardiologist Chided Over Echocardiogram Review In Fen-Phen Case
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A federal judge recently reprimanded a Kansas City area cardiologist,
saying that her practice "resembled a mass production operation that
would have been the envy of Henry Ford," The Kansas City Star reports.

US District Judge Harvey Bartle III of Philadelphia made the remarks in
a lengthy order, finding that certain medical claims, certified by Dr.
Linda J. Crouse in the nationwide fen-phen case settlement, were
medically unreasonable and should not be paid.

Judge Bartle ruled after lawyers involved in the $3.75 billion
settlement asked him to bar two New York law firms, Dr. Crouse and
another cardiologist from submitting claims.  They argued that the law
firms and cardiologists were running a "production line" resulting in
the submission of spurious claims.

Dr. Crouse, an expert in echocardiograms, or ultrasounds of the heart,
was paid $725,000 for reviewing 725 echocardiograms for the two New
York law firms.  She was paid $2.5 million more over a 10-month period
for reviewing an additional 10,000 cardiograms for a consortium of law
firms, including several in Kansas City.  Although Dr. Crouse has since
stopped reviewing echocardiograms for fen-phen claimants, the ones that
she has reviewed remain controversial.

The 1999 class action settlement provides for payments to people who
took the weight-loss drugs Pondimin and Redux, both made by Wyeth, and
who developed a moderate to sever hear valve problem known as mitral
regurgitation.  Under the settlement with Wyeth, claims for benefits
have to be attested or certified by a cardiologist or a cardiothoracic
surgeon.

At a six-day hearing in September, Judge Bartle heard expert testimony
on 78 contested attestations, 53 of them from Dr. Crouse.  In his
order, Judge Bartle accepted the analysis of one of the experts that
all of the attestations were "medically unreasonable."

Judge Bartle noted that Dr. Crouse spent two to three on what she
characterized at the hearing as easy echocardiograms, six or seven
minutes on more difficult ones and, in one case, just a few seconds.  
Overall, Dr. Crouse found that 60 percent to 70 percent of the 725
cases she reviewed showed moderate or severe regurgitation.  That
contrasted with the five percent that Dr. Crouse found in a 1998
"blinded" clinical study in which she did not know whether the person
had taken diet drugs or not.

The trust that is administering the fen-phen settlement had expected
only 5,000 claims, but 17,000 were filed between February and August
alone.  An additional 35,000 are projected before the end of the year.

With average payments for serious injury claims pegged at $400,000,
that could bring the total payout to $14 billion, or nearly four times
the settlement amount.  William Dirk Vandever, a Kansas City lawyer,
who represents many fen-phen claimants and who retained Dr. Crouse, sai
that the issue was not Dr. Crouse but "whether there are adequate funds
for all the claimants.  Keep in mind there are an estimated six million
people in the United States who took fen-phen."

Judge Bartle reserved his harshest criticism for one of the New York
law firms, Hariton & D'Angelo, which he said had violated the ethical
obligation not to compensate a witness on a contingent fee basis.  The
law firm had paid additional compensation to another cardiologist,
Richard Mueller of New York, if claimants whose echocardiograms he
reviewed, received benefits from the settlement.

"We will refer the matter by separate order to the New York
disciplinary authorities for further review and consideration," Judge
Bartle wrote.


                     New Securities Fraud Cases


ALLEGHENY ENERGY: Milberg Weiss Files Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP initiated a securities class
action on behalf of purchasers of the securities of Allegheny Energy,
Inc., (NYSE: AYE) between April 23, 2001 to November 4, 2002 inclusive,
in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York, against the Company and:

     (1) Alan J. Noia (CEO, President and Chairman),

     (2) Bruce Walenczyk (CFO and Executive VP) and

     (3) T.J. Kloc (Chief Accounting Officer)

The complaint charges that defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a)
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder, by issuing a series of materially false and misleading
statements to the market between April 23, 2001 to November 4, 2002.

For example, throughout the class period, the Company issued numerous
quarterly press releases reporting supposedly "record" results of
operations and representing that it expects to earn $2.50 to $2.70 per
share in 2002 despite the downturn in the economy and energy markets in
particular.

In addition, the Company filed detailed financial reports with the
Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") throughout the class period.  
According to the complaint, these representations were materially false
and misleading because Allegheny Energy was improperly recognizing
revenue from "round trip" energy transactions with Enron Corp.

According to the complaint, such transactions, which were undertaken by
a subsidiary of the Company purchased from Merrill Lynch Capital
Services, are "wash" transactions involving the simultaneous purchase
and sales of energy at the same quantity and price between the same
parties and serve only to artificially inflate revenues for the parties
involved.

In addition, according to the complaint, certain of the Company's
financial reports contained errors and did not accurately reflect the
Company's performance and financial position.  On September 25, 2002,
the Company issued a press release announcing that it had filed a
complaint against Merrill Lynch alleging that Merrill Lynch concealed
that the subsidiary purchased by the Company had artificially inflated
its revenues through sham transactions.

In response to the revelation that the Company's reported revenues were
artificially inflated, Moody's Investor Services lowered Allegheny
Energy's unsecured credit rating two notches to "Ba1", a "junk" rating.  
In response, the Company issued a press release stating that the credit
downgrade did not trigger any defaults or repayment obligations and
that the Company expects its liquidity to remain unaffected.

On October 8, 2002, Allegheny Energy issued a press release announcing
that it had defaulted on its principal credit agreements after lenders
demanded additional collateral in response to the downgrade.  In
response, the price of Allegheny Energy's common stock plummeted by
49%, falling from an October 7, 2002 close of $7.52 per share to close
at $3.80 per share on October 8.

Then, on November 4, 2002, the Company issued a press release
announcing that it would delay the release of its third quarter of 2002
financials because it had uncovered "miscalculations" in its second
quarter financial report filed with the SEC and prior periods.

That day, the price of Allegheny Energy common stock closed at $5.78
per share -- 89% below the Class Period high of $54.79 per share,
reached on May 23, 2001.

For more details, contact Steven G. Schulman or Samuel H. Rudman by
Mail: One Pennsylvania Plaza, 49th fl. New York, NY, 10119-0165 by
Phone: 800-320-5081 by E-mail: alleghenyenergyscase@milbergNY.com or
visit the firm's Website: http://www.milberg.com  


ALLEGHENY ENERGY: Mark McNair Launches Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Mark McNair announces a securities class action
filed against Allegheny Energy, Inc. (NYSE:AYE). The complaint is on
behalf of, and seeks damages for, shareholders who purchased the stock
from April 23, 2001 through October 8, 2002, inclusive, in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The suit alleges that AYE and certain of its officers violated the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as a result of the defendants'
issuance of false and misleading statements to the market during the
class period.

The suit alleges that on March 16, 2001, Allegheny Energy acquired
Global Energy Markets (G.E.M.).  It is alleged that before and after
the acquisition, G.E.M. engaged in sham "wash" trades with Enron and
other companies.  On September 25, 2002 Allegheny Energy sued Merrill
Lynch for fraud and breach of contract related to its G.E.M.
acquisition.  The Company charged that it overpaid for G.E.M. because
its financial reports had been inflated by sham transactions involving
Enron.

On October 1, 2002, Moody's downgraded Allegheny Energy's credit to
junk status.  The following day in a press release, the Company
reassured investors that this would not trigger any default or
prepayment of the firm's debt.  However, a week later Allegheny Energy
admitted it was in technical default under its credit agreements.

Following this announcement the Company's stock price, which had traded
as high as $12.85 on September 25, 2002 staggered to $3.80 on October
8, 2002 -- a drop of $9.05, or 70%.

For more details, contact Mark McNair by Mail: 1101 30th Street N.W.,
Suite 500, Washington, D.C, 20007 by Phone: 877-511-4717 or
202-872-4717 by E-mail: mcnair@justice4investors.com or visit the
firm's Website: http://www.justice4investors.com.


AMERICAN ELECTRIC: Stull Stull Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. OH
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Stull Stull & Brody initiated a securities class action in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, on behalf of
all purchasers of the common stock of American Electric Power Co., Inc.
(NYSE:AEP) between May 17, 1999 and October 9, 2002, inclusive.

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

Specifically, the complaint alleges that AEP and certain of its
officers, directors and three underwriters violated Sections 11 and 15
of the Securities Act of 1933 and Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by issuing materially false and
misleading statements during the class period.

The complaint alleges that AEP's trading operations were in disarray
and its management controls left the company at risk of contingent
legal liabilities arising out of the actions of its electric power
traders. AEP, after first denying it engaged in activities referred to
as "wash" or "round-trip" trading later admitted to engaging in such
trades.

On August 30, 2002 AEP revealed that the SEC had initiated an informal
inquiry into its trading practices and on October 9, 2002 disclosed
that it had fired five employees for reporting inaccurate price
information.  As a result of this disclosure AEP's shares tumbled to a
52-week low.

For more details, contact Tzivia Brody by Mail: 6 East 45th Street, New
York, NY 10017 by Phone: 800-337-4983 by Fax: 212-490-2022 by E-mail:
SSBNY@aol.com or visit the firm's Website: http://www.ssbny.com


FOOTSTAR INC.: Milberg Weiss Commences Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP initiated a securities class
action on behalf of purchasers of the securities of Footstar, Inc.
(NYSE: FTS) between February 8, 2002 and November 12, 2002, inclusive,
in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York
against the Company, J.M. Robinson and Stephen R. Wilson.

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 February 8, 2002 and November 12, 2002, thereby
artificially inflating the price of Company securities.

Throughout the class period, as alleged in the complaint, defendants
issued numerous statements and filed quarterly reports and an annual
report with the SEC which described the Company's increasing revenues
and financial performance.

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

     (1) that, since at least 2001, the Company had cumulatively
         understated its accounts payable by approximately $35 million;

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

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

On November 13, 2002, the Company shocked the market by announcing that
it had "discovered discrepancies in the reporting of its account
payable balances," following management's review of the account
reconciliation processes of its accounts payable balances.

Specifically, defendants had cumulatively understated the Company's
accounts payable balances in its athletic segment by approximately $35
million.  As a result, the Company announced that it will likely be
restating its financial statements for the first nine months of 2002
and prior periods, with a significant portion of the discrepancies
affecting fiscal year 2001 and earlier.

Following this announcement, shares of Footstar fell $1.25, or almost
20%, to close at $5.05, after hitting an intraday low of $3.30, on
volume of 2,137,700 shares traded, or almost six times Footstar's
average daily trading volume.

For more details, contact Steven G. Schulman or Samuel H. Rudman by
Mail: One Pennsylvania Plaza, 49th fl. New York, NY 10119-0165 by
Phone: 800-320-5081 by E-mail: Footstarcase@milbergNY.com or visit the
firm's Website: http://www.milberg.com  


SYNCOR INTERNATIONAL: Shapiro Haber Lodges Securities Suit in W.D. CA
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Shapiro Haber & Urmy LLP initiated a second securities class action
alleging securities fraud against Syncor International Corp. (Nasdaq:
SCOR) and certain of its officers and directors in the United States
District Court for the Central District of California, Western
Division.

This second suit was filed on behalf of all persons who purchased the
Company's common stock during the period March 30, 2000 through and
including November 5, 2002.

The suit charges 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 press releases and public filings trumpeting
significant sales growth in the Company's international business.  

These press releases and public filings were materially false and
misleading in that they failed to disclose that throughout the class
period, the Company's Chairman of the Board and the director of its
Asian division were making illegal payments to Syncor's overseas
customers.

Before the market opened on November 6, 2002, the Company shocked the
market by announcing that it was conducting an internal investigation
into illegal payments to its overseas customers and had contacted the
Justice Department and the Securities Exchange Commission, and that its
previously announced acquisition by Cardinal Health, Inc. (NYSE: CAH)
was in doubt.

As a result of this news, Syncor's stock price dropped sharply in pre-
market trading to $22.50 per share, down $13.42 per share from its
previous closing price of $35.92, and NASDAQ halted trading of Syncor's
stock pending a satisfactory response to its request for additional
information from the Company.

For more details, contact Thomas G. Shapiro or Ted Hess-Mahan by Mail:
75 State Street, Boston, MA 02109 by Phone: 800-287-8119 by Fax:
617-439-0134, or by E-mail: cases@shulaw.com.  


                              *********



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

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
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Antonio and Lyndsey Resnick, Editors.

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

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