/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/030103.mbx                C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R
                Friday, January 3, 2003, Vol. 5, No. 2


ARCHON CORPORATION: Appeals Court Initiates Mediation in Gambling Suit
ARCHON CORPORATION: Settles WARN Lawsuit Over Santa Fe Casino Closure
BEAR STEARNS: NFC Workers Allege Shut Down Violated WARN Law
CALIFORNIA: Judge Rules Police Strip Searching Policy Unconstitutional
CALIFORNIA: Oil Spill Defendants Reach $4M Final Suit Settlement  

CALIFORNIA: Court Allows Muslim Inmates To Attend Services, Grow Beards
CALIFORNIA: Property Tax Rate Method Allegedly Violates Proposition 13
CONCUR TECHNOLOGIES: NY Court Dismisses Officers, Directors From Suit
EARTHLINK.NET: Reaches $2 Million Suit Settlement With Oregon Customers
GENESIS HEALTH: Termination of NCS Merger Renders Investor Suit "Moot"

HMO LITIGATION: Cigna Appeals Order Putting Doctor's Settlement On Hold
INDONESIA: Suits Threatened Over Debtors' Release From Criminal Charges
MANOS TRAVEL: Founder Arrested As Travelers Commence Consumer Lawsuit
MERCATOR SOFTWARE: Gets Court Approval To Settle Securities Fraud Suit
NEULEVEL INC.: ".biz" Internet Domain Settles Suit Over Name "Lottery"

NEVADA: Money Recovered In Pyramid Scheme Probe Returned To Investors
NEW YORK: Awaits Ruling Over Use of Social Security For Foster Care
ONLINE GAMBLING: New Orleans Court Rules Casino-Style Gambling "Legal"
PENNSYLVANIA: Suit Commenced Over Landowners' Civil Rights Violations
PEPSICO INC.: Settles Sexual Harassment Suit Against One Of Its Units

RENT-WAY INC.: Class Certification Discovery Starts in Securities Suit
RITE-AID CORPORATION: PA Court Approves Settlement of 401(k) Lawsuit
TEXAS: Judge Says Regulators Failed To Heed Violations in Pipeline Suit
TYCO INTERNATIONAL: JPMDL Orders Coordination of Securities Suits in NV
TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Securities Suit To Be Moved To New Hampshire Court

UNITED STATES: GOP Plans Caps On Court Awards, Limited Suits V. Firms
UNITED STATES: Airport Screeners Join Suit Over Gender, Race, Age Bias
WILLIAMS COS.: Plaintiffs in Private Suits Join California Settlement
WYOMING: Prison Officials, Inmates Submit Plans To Protect Prisoners

*Audit Committee Disclaimer Comes Under Fire, Irks Investor Advocates

Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ABB CEO Sees Asbestos Suits Resolved by Mid-2003
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: DuPont, Others Become Targets of Asbestos Lawsuits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Orders Eternit to Help With Asbestos Probe
ASBESTOS ALERT: Cabot Corporation Faces Asbestos Related Litigation
ASBESTOS ALERT: Tyco International Faces 11,000 Asbestos-Related Suits

                     New Securities Fraud Cases

CYTYC CORPORATION: Faruqi & Faruqi Launches Securities Suit in MA Court
LEAP WIRELESS: Weiss & Yourman Commences Securities Lawsuit in S.D. CA
SEPRACOR INC.: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges Securities Suit in MA Court
SEPRACOR INC.: Wolf Popper Commences Securities Fraud Suit in MA Court
TELLIUM INC.: Cauley Geller Commences Securities Fraud Suit in NJ Court


ARCHON CORPORATION: Appeals Court Initiates Mediation in Gambling Suit
The United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has been conducting
mediations to resolve the consolidated class action filed against
Archon Corporation, other gaming companies in the United States and
certain gaming equipment manufacturers in the United States District
Court in Nevada.  

The suit alleges that the defendants have engaged in fraudulent and
misleading conduct by inducing people to play video poker machines and
electronic slot machines based on false beliefs concerning how the
machines operate and the extent to which there is actually an
opportunity to win on a given play.  The complaints allege that the
defendants' acts constitute violations of the Racketeer Influenced and
Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and also give rise to claims for
common law fraud and unjust enrichment.

In response to the complaints, all of the defendants, including the
Company, filed motions attacking the pleadings for failure to state a
claim, seeking to dismiss the complaints for lack of personal
jurisdiction and venue.  The court heard the arguments on those motions
and ultimately denied the motions.  Plaintiffs then filed their motion
to certify a class, which the defendants vigorously opposed.

On June 26, 2002, the court denied the motion to certify the class.  
Plaintiffs then sought discretionary review by the Ninth Circuit of the
order denying class certification.  On August 15, 2002, the appeals
court granted the review.  The plaintiffs have not yet filed their

ARCHON CORPORATION: Settles WARN Lawsuit Over Santa Fe Casino Closure
Archon Corporation has settled the class action filed in the United
States District Court for the District of Nevada, alleging that the
Company violated the Worker Adjustment Retraining and Notification Act,
(WARN), by improperly providing notification of the closing of the
Santa Fe Hotel & Casino.  The plaintiffs seek damages in the amount
provided for by the statute.

The plaintiffs filed a motion for class certification, and the Company
stipulated to the certification.  On October 12, 2001, the Company
filed a motion for summary judgment to dismiss the complaint in its
entirety.  Plaintiffs filed a memorandum in opposition to defendant's
motion for summary judgment, as well as a counter-motion for summary
judgment alleging the WARN Act notices sent by the Company were

On February 1, 2002 a hearing was held on the motions and the court
denied both the plaintiffs' and the Company's motions for summary
judgment.  However, the court subsequently narrowed the scope of the
case, and set the case for trial to commence October 21, 2002.  On
October 1, 2002, the parties participated in a settlement conference
with the Magistrate Judge assigned to the case.  A settlement was
reached whereby the Company agreed to pay the plaintiffs the total lump
sum of $202,000 in exchange for a dismissal of the lawsuit with
prejudice and a full release of all claims relating to the closure of
the Santa Fe Hotel & Casino.  The class action settlement was approved
by the court on October 24, 2002.  The Company accrued the settlement
payment in September 2002 and made the payment in December 2002.

BEAR STEARNS: NFC Workers Allege Shut Down Violated WARN Law
Three former employees of defunct mortgage lender, National Finance
Corporation (NFC), sued the company's largest creditor, Bear Stearns &
Co., Inc., claiming the creditor controlled NFC at the time and shut
down the business in late 1999, without adequate notice to the workers,
the Times Union (Albany, New York) reports.  The workers are seeking
class action status for the lawsuit.

The former employees worked at NFC's headquarters in Halfmoon, where
about 350 people lost their jobs just before Christmas of that year
when the company ceased operations.  The workers' lawsuit claims Bear
Stearns, a New York City-based investment banking firm, was controlling
NFC at the time and ordered the shutdown without giving the workers
adequate notice.

The complaint was filed recently in US District Court in Albany.  It
claims that the NFC shutdown by Bear Stearns violated a federal labor
law, the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN).  WARN
requires that employers of more than 100 people give workers at least
60 days notice before a closure.

The complaint says further that the NFC workers received no warning of
the shutdown.  Many workers are still are waiting for back pay from the
NFC estate, which is being liquidated in a bankruptcy court proceeding.  
The penalties for violating WARN can include paying affected workers
their daily wages for every day they should have known about the
impending closure.  The lawsuit seeks such a penalty, as well as
unspecified punitive damages.

The ex-workers filed their case against Bear Stearns because they claim
the firm was running the company from mid-November through the end of
December.  Bear Stearns is the largest creditor in the NFC bankruptcy
case, with a $5.6 million claim.  The investment bank also is suing
NFC's former chief executive officer, David Silipigno, for $10.6
Million.  In proceedings in US Bankruptcy Court in Albany, Bear Stearns
has denied it was running NFC's day-to-day operations in late 1999.

CALIFORNIA: Judge Rules Police Strip Searching Policy Unconstitutional
A Sacramento Superior Court judge has tentatively ruled that the
sheriff's department's policy of strip searching people arrested and
jailed for minor offenses is unconstitutional, Associated Press
Newswires reports.

In his recently issued ruling, Judge Thomas Cecil said the policy has
violated the "state and federal constitutional rights to privacy and
freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures."  The ruling stems
from a class action on behalf of all people arrested on minor charges
and subjected to visual body-cavity searches in the four years before
March 14, 2000.  Judge Cecil's final ruling on the issue is expected
within the next two weeks.

Attorney Mark Merin, who represents the plaintiffs, filed the lawsuit
after seven protesters were arrested in March 2000, and subjected to
visual body-cavity searches.  The sheriff's officials say they search
all people, regardless of charges, for weapons and contraband to ensure
the security of the facility.  They added they are unable categorize
who may pose a threat and who may not, simply by the crime alleged.

CALIFORNIA: Oil Spill Defendants Reach $4M Final Suit Settlement  
An oil tanker owner and other defendants have agreed to pay $4 million
to settle the last remaining lawsuit from a 1990 oil spill that closed
miles of Orange County beaches, harbors and fishing grounds, the Contra
Costa Times (Walnut Creek, CA) reports.

If approved by a federal judge, on January 13, the agreement would end
nearly 12 years of litigation stemming from one of California's worst
oil spills.  The money would go into a fund for about 250 fisherman,
businesses and property owners who claimed financial losses.

About 400,000 gallons of Alaskan crude oil spilled when the tanker
American Trader ran over its own anchor while mooring near Huntington
Beach.  Oil killed or injured about 1,000 birds and gummed up 15 miles
of coastline for a month.  The class action named as defendants, tanker
owner Attransco Inc., BP America Inc., terminal operator Golden West
Refining Co. and Brandenburger Marine Inc., which employed the American
Trader's harbor pilot.

Three years ago, Attransco agreed to a $16 million settlement to
compensate California localities and state agencies for lost use of
public beaches following the spill.

CALIFORNIA: Court Allows Muslim Inmates To Attend Services, Grow Beards
California prison officials cannot discipline Muslim inmates for
attending a recent afternoon prayer service, a federal appeals court
ruled, in a decision that also touches on the power of cities to
restrict the location of places of worship, the Los Angeles Times
reports.  The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals also let stand a lower
court decision that allows inmates to grow beards for religious

The 3 to 0 ruling was the first by a federal appeals court on the
constitutionality of a two-year-old federal law that gives religious
groups greater flexibility in dealing with zoning ordinances and also
requires prison officials to make reasonable accommodations to inmates'
religious practices.  The appeals court ruling, rendered Friday, last
week, benefits a group of Muslims at the California State Prison,
Solano, in Vacaville, who filed a class action, contending that prison
officials were illegally restricting their religious practices.

The inmates challenged regulations that imposed discipline on them for
leaving prison jobs for the Friday noontime Jumu'ah religious service,
a discipline that took away good-work credits for the entire day if an
inmate attended the hour-long service.

In the appeals court ruling, Judge Dorothy W. Nelson wrote:  
"Protecting religious worship in institutions from substantial and
illegitimate burdens does promote the general welfare.  The First
Amendment, by prohibiting laws that proscribe the free exercise of
religion, demonstrates the great value placed on protecting religious
worship from impermissible government intrusion.  By ensuring that
governments do not act to burden the exercise of religion in
institutions," the federal law "is clearly in line with this positive
constitutional value."

Constitutional law professor Erwin Chemerinsky of the University of
Southern California Law School, said the ruling upholding the
constitutionality of the law, the Religious Land Use and
Institutionalized Persons Act of 2002, was significant, with
ramifications outside of prisons.  For instance, said the professor,
religious groups would now have a stronger argument if they were trying
to erect a church or synagogue in an area zoned for homes only, because
a court might rule that the zoning law represented an unwarranted
"substantial burden" on the free exercise of religion.

Constitutional law professor Jesse Choper of University of California
Berkeley's Boalt Hall, said the ruling is "in accord with existing
Supreme Court doctrine" on Congress' power to condition the
distribution of federal funds to states in compliance with certain
federal mandates.

In the opinion joined by Judges Mary M. Schroeder and John B.
Rawlinson, Judge Nelson wrote "Congress has a strong interest in making
certain that federal funds do not subsidize conduct that infringes
individual liberties, such as the free practice of one's religion.   
The federal government also has a strong interest in monitoring the
treatment of federal inmates housed in state prisons and in
contributing to their rehabilitation."

"This decision will make it easier for inmates to practice their
religion," said Susan Christian, a Sacramento attorney.  "I think the
ruling is very important, because the prison now has to demonstrate
that its regulation addresses a compelling state interest, and they
have to show that the regulation is being implemented with the least
restrictive means."

"Previously," said Ms. Christian,  "all the prison officials had to do
was say the regulation was needed for 'security' reasons, and the
courts said it was OK."

CALIFORNIA: Property-Tax Rate Method Allegedly Violates Proposition 13
Nearly a quarter-century after California voters revolted against
soaring property taxes by approving Proposition 13, a court battle over
a single paragraph in the measure could mean thousands of dollars in
refunds for individual homeowners and the loss of billions in revenue
for California, the Los Angeles Times reports.

An Orange County Superior Court judge has ruled that the method local
tax assessors have used for years to set property-tax rates violated
the 1978 landmark ballot initiative, Proposition 13.  If upheld on
appeal, the decision could lead to the biggest property-tax break since
the birth of Proposition 13.

The case boils down to a basic question.  What exactly did Proposition
13 mean when it limited increases in property assessments to two
percent a year?  County assessors around California have one
interpretation.  Tax attorney Robert Pool had another.  Mr. Pool filed
a lawsuit against Orange County after the assessment on his home jumped
four percent in 1999.  Mr. Pool argued that the increase violated the
easy-to-understand language of Proposition 13.  

Superior Court Judge John M. Watson agreed.  Last week, Judge Watson
turned the case into a class action, potentially extending any tax
refunds to millions of homeowners across the state.  "A victory for Mr.
Pool would be a victory for taxpayers statewide.  It is not the
government's money; it's the people's money," said Jon Coupal,
president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer's Association, the anti-tax
organization founded by Proposition 13's author, Howard Jarvis.

Still, Mr. Coupal and the tax experts said the potential effect of
Robert Pool's lawsuit is muddied by legal complexities.  Homeowners
banking on an eventual tax refund may find themselves sorely
disappointed.   For even if Mr. Pool prevails on appeal, the state
Legislature may decide how the tax refunds will be handed out.

Before California voters approved Proposition 13, in June 1978,
assessments were based on a property's "fair market value," and the
skyrocketing housing market was triggering mammoth property-tax
increases.  Proposition 13 limited the annual property-tax increases to
one percent of the assessed property value, and prohibited counties
from increasing a property assessment more than two percent a year.

The much-argued paragraph at the heart of the matter, now part of the
state Constitution, reads: "The full cash value base may reflect from
year to year the inflationary rate not to exceed two percent for any
given year or reduction as shown in the consumer price index or
comparable data for the area under taxing jurisdiction, or may be
reduced to show substantial damage, destruction or other factors
causing a decline in value."

A companion ballot initiative, Proposition 8, passed in November 1978.  
It refined Proposition 13 to allow property values to be reduced in a
declining market.  This bureaucratic prose was put under the microscope
in the Pool case.  Mr. Pool said the language in the Constitution is
clear and must be followed.  The county is prohibited from raising a
resident's property assessment by more than two percent above the
previous year.

Orange County Assessor Webster J. Guillory and state tax officials said
the language can be interpreted differently.  Mr. Guillory said the
Proposition 13 limit on a property-assessment increases at a rate of
two percent every year from the time the property is purchased.  That
cap continues to rise, no matter what.

For example, a $100,000 home purchased this year can have a maximum
assessment of $102,000 in 2003; and continue to increase by two
percent, the maximum assessment until $108,242 in 2006.  Even if a flat
housing market forces the county to keep the home's assessment at
$100,000 until 2005, the county can increase the property assessment to
$108,242 in 2006 if the market fully recovers, even though that is more
than an eight percent increase, Mr. Guillory argues.  The two percent
increase continues to tick until market recovery permits it to become
operable, cumulatively.

Even if the courts find in favor of the plaintiffs on appeal, the
ultimate effect is hard to predict.  To begin with, California has a
three-or-four-year statute of limitations on claiming tax refunds.
In the Orange County case, Judge Watson has one final element of the
case to decide.  He is expected to rule January 30, on how taxpayers
should be notified that they could be due a refund.  He said he will
suspend his ruling to allow the case to move ahead on appeal.

CONCUR TECHNOLOGIES: NY Court Dismisses Officers, Directors From Suit
The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
dismissed Concur Technologies, Inc.'s officers and directors as
defendants in the consolidated securities class action pending against
them, the Company and the underwriters of the Company's December 1998
initial public offering.

The complaint charges defendants with violations of the Securities Act
of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 for issuing a
Registration Statement and Prospectus that contained materially false
and misleading information and failed to disclose material information.

The Prospectus was issued in connection with Concur's initial public
offering of 3,100,000 shares of common stock at $12.50 per share that
was completed on or about December 16, 1998.

In October 2002, the court dismissed the individual defendants from the
consolidated lawsuit, without prejudice, pursuant to a stipulated
agreement between the parties.  The Company believes the consolidated
lawsuit is without merit.  However, any liability it incurs in
connection with this lawsuit could materially harm its business and
financial position and, even if the Company defended itself
successfully, there is a risk that management distraction in
dealing with this lawsuit could harm its results.

EARTHLINK.NET: Reaches $2 Million Suit Settlement With Oregon Customers
Internet service provider Earthlink has agreed to pay up to $2 million
to about 500,000 Oregon customers who experienced Internet service
outages in 2001, Associated Press Newswires reports.

Earthlink, in December of 2002, notified customers of a settlement with
lawyers representing former customers of Portland-based Teleport, whose
parent company was acquired by Earthlink.  When the systems merged in
early 2001, the customers reported Internet outages and e-mail

Under the preliminary settlement, Earthlink will pay $42 to each
customer who received Teleport service at any time in 2001, although
that amount could drop before final approval of the settlement in
February.  The individual settlement amount is equal to about two
months of dial-up Internet service.  Former Teleport customers
complained that for months, e-mail took days to send and receive and
Web pages would not upload onto servers.

It was about more than just suing them for money," said Virginia Bruce,
a Portland Web developer, who was the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit
filed in March 2001.  "It has a lot to do with corporations and
takeovers and how that affects the average person."

Once the settlement receives final approval, customers will receive a
simple claim form entitling them to their portions of the settlement.

GENESIS HEALTH: Termination of NCS Merger Renders Investor Suit "Moot"
Genesis Health Ventures, Inc. terminated a proposed merger with NCS
Healthcare, Inc., effectively negating the shareholders' class action
against it.

The suit was commenced in August 2002 by Dolphin Limited Partnership
LLP in the Court of Chancery, County of New Castle, State of Delaware
against the Company, its directors, NCS and Genesis Sub.  The suit
alleges that the named NCS directors breached their fiduciary duties to
holders of NCS Class A common stock by, among other things, entering
into the voting agreements and the merger agreement, and refusing to
consider Omnicare's bid and not conditioning the NCS transaction on the
approval of the holders of the NCS Class A common stock as a separate
class.  The suit also alleged that the Company aided and abetted the
named NCS directors in breaching their fiduciary duties to the holders
of NCS Class A common stock.

On December 11, 2002, the Chancery Court entered an order preliminarily
enjoining "implementation" of the merger between Geneva Sub and NCS
pending further proceedings.  On December 15, 2002, the Company and
Omnicare entered into a Termination and Settlement Agreement.  Pursuant
to the Termination and Settlement Agreement, the Company agreed to
terminate the merger agreement on Monday, December 16, 2002 by sending
notice thereof to NCS, and Omnicare agreed to pay to Genesis, an amount
in cash equal to $22 million less any termination fees paid by or on
behalf of NCS to Genesis under the merger agreement.

In addition, pursuant to the termination and settlement agreement, the
Company and Omnicare each agreed to release the other party from
any claims arising from the merger agreement and not to commence any
action against the other party arising out of or in connection
with the merger agreement.  On December 16, 2002, Genesis terminated
the merger agreement in accordance with its terms and provided written
notice to NCS.

HMO LITIGATION: Cigna Appeals Order Putting Doctor's Settlement On Hold
Cigna Corporation will appeal Federal Judge Federico Moreno's order
halting a preliminary settlement which the managed care company hopes
will rid it of class actions by the nation's doctors, the York Daily
Record reports.

Cigna is among the health industry leaders targeted with lawsuits
claiming they routinely underpay doctors on their reimbursement claims.  
A federal panel assigned the class actions to Judge Moreno in Miami,
but last month Cigna filed a preliminary settlement in East St. Louis,
Illinois, in a similar case.  Cigna announced it plans to take a $50
million settlement charge and suggested it would extend to the Miami
litigation.  Attorneys for doctors in the Miami case cried foul.

Judge Moreno intervened, stopping the Illinois settlement.  Cigna filed
a bare-bones notice of appeal, which begins a months-long process to
get the issue heard by the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta.

INDONESIA: Suits Threatened Over Debtors' Release From Criminal Charges
A number of professional associations and corruption watchdogs promise
to file a class action against the Indonesian government, should
President Megawati Soekarnoputri insist on releasing big debtors from
possible criminal charges, the Jakarta Post reports.

They say the plan to release the big debtors through the "release and
discharge" warrant is improper and would only offend the people's sense
of justice.  "We will invite the public to join a class-action lawsuit.  
We believe most of the people disagree with the plan to release the
debtors," said Coordinator of the Indonesian Corruption Watch (ICW),
Teten Masduki, at a recently conducted media conference, attended by
three legislators.

Teten Masduki added that the groups will also consider demanding a
judicial review be carried out by the Supreme Court, should the
government release the big debtors.  Agus Purnomo of the Transparency
International-Indonesia (TI-I) and economist Faisal Basri, also spoke
at the event.

Relying on the groups' joint statement, Agus Purnomo said the plan to
release the big debtors is not recognized in the country's legal
system.  The plan would only create more of a burden for the people.  
The groups accuse the debtors of violating the maximum legal lending
limit, which is a criminal act under the country's legal system, and
indicated that the government had no reason to release the debtors from
criminal charges.

Alexander Lay, of the Indonesian Corruption Watch, said the big debtors
must not be released from criminal charges as they failed to comply
with the Master of Settlement and Acquisition Agreement, which contains
the release and discharge clause for the debtors.

MANOS TRAVEL: Founder Arrested As Travelers Commence Consumer Lawsuit
The Greek tourist market was shocked to learn the biggest tourist
agency in the country, Manos Travel, was unable to continue its
operations during the holiday season. The agency's founder, Manos
Tsatsakis, was arrested after angry travelers filed a class action
against him and his company, the Xinhua News Agency reports.

Local press reported that many Greek tourists, traveling mainly to
Italy, were left stranded at home, while other Greek tourists, already
in foreign countries, were obliged to pay double prices for their hotel
reservations and return tickets.  Yiannis Evangelou, chairman of the
Panhellenic Tourist and Travel Agencies' Federation, tried to calm down
angry customers by saying that hoteliers abroad are obliged to service
Greek tourists carrying travel vouchers.  The chairman also said that
all Manos Travel customers would have to be compensated.

The chairman added that Greek authorities had revoked the travel
agency's license and it would be filing bankruptcy, news that caught
the market by surprise, even though rumors had been spreading that the
company was facing severe financial problems.  The company adopted an
aggressive expansion strategy during the previous decade that led to
heavy debt burdens and to its eventual default.

MERCATOR SOFTWARE: Gets Court Approval To Settle Securities Fraud Suit
Mercator Software Inc. has received final federal court approval to
settle a class action shareholder lawsuit filed in August 2000, for
$8.2 million, the National Post (Canada) reports.

The Company said recently that its director and officer liability
insurance carriers will cover the settlement.  The lawsuit alleged that
the Company overstated gross profits and net income, and understated
operating expenses, between April 20, 2000, and August 21, 2000.

The Company, which had revenue of $126.3 million in 2001, said in
October 2002, that it would settle the lawsuit, but would not admit to
wrongdoing.  The settlement does not affect another pending shareholder
lawsuit filed October 25, 2002, in Connecticut, by two individuals with
similar allegations.

NEULEVEL INC.: ".biz" Internet Domain Settles Suit Over Name "Lottery"
Managers of the ".biz" domain have agreed to pay about $1.2 million to
settle charges that their system for handing out "hot" names like
"www.show.biz" amounted to an illegal lottery, Reuters English News
Service reports.

The agreement marks the end of a rocky legal road that domain manager
NeuLevel Inc., a joint venture between private Washington
telecommunications firm NeuStar Inc. and Australia's Melbourne IT, has
traveled since launching one of the first alternatives to established
domains like ".com" last year.

The Sterling, Virginia, firm had hoped that their system would
discourage frivolous registrations and help it cope with an expected
"land rush" as Internet users sought to stake out territory in the new
domain.  Instead it prompted a class action from Phoenix disc jockey
David Smiley and other disgruntled applicants who said the system
amounted to an illegal lottery.

A California judge agreed with Mr. Smiley last fall and blocked the
Company from handing out an estimated 58,000 disputed names.  The
Company subsequently paid $1.7 million in refunds to most of the
applicants who were vying for the disputed names, and made them
available again without an up-front fee.  The settlement covers the
roughly 25,000 applicants who have not yet received refunds.

The lion's share of the settlement will go to cover plaintiffs'
attorneys' fees of $1.175 million, since NeuLevel, as indicated above,
already has sent millions of refunds to customers who paid an average
of $5 for a chance to win control of desirable names like
"computer.biz" when the new domain was opened to the public.

A lawyer for the plaintiffs said that although the amount consumers
will receive is relatively small, the case sets an important precedent
for other companies that may launch new domains in the future.

NEVADA: Money Recovered In Pyramid Scheme Probe Returned To Investors
Millions of dollars recovered in the Franklyn Perry Pyramid scheme
investigation is being returned to many of Perry's investors, court
records obtained recently reveal, according to The Las Vegas Review-
Journal.  The civil lawsuit was filed in 2001 and subsequently received
class action status.

However, if the investors who joined a class action against Mr. Perry
expect a full return on their original investment, they will be
disappointed when they receive their reimbursement checks.  More than
900 investors will be getting about 55 percent of their money back,
said an attorney who litigated the lawsuit, William Urga.  Mr. Urga
said some $32 million in investments with Mr. Perry were documented and
authorized as part of the lawsuit before District Judge Mark Denton.  
That means that a large amount of money, possibly as much as $10
million, has not been located.

In all, about $18 million in checks was mailed to Perry investors.  
According to court records, civil attorneys who litigated the case will
receive 17 percent of the Perry fund, a figure that could approach $4
million.  "This was a great undertaking by counsel, who saw this
through in a very fair way," Judge Denton is quoted as saying in court
calendar notes.

Based on the number of claims in the civil case, more than 1,000 people
from around the world flocked to Mr. Perry to give him their money.  
Mr. Urga said at least one investor gave Mr. Perry more than $1
million.  Others gave hundreds of thousands of dollars.  The minimum
investment was about $10,000.

Mr. Perry is currently housed at the Clark County Detention Center,
awaiting trial on multiple fraud counts, and child pornography charges.

NEW YORK: Awaits Ruling Over Use of Social Security For Foster Care
Cash-strapped New York state and its equally financially-strapped
counties face hundreds of millions of dollars in liability if the US
Supreme Court rules that governments have no right to subsidize foster
children's care by using their Social Security checks, the Times Union
(Albany, New York) reports.

Most states collect Social Security awards of children in their custody
or guardianship to defray program costs.  In New York, the 62 counties
have the authority to do so directly.  Most, if not all, use the
checks.  Also, in New York, the state uses Social Security to help pay
for care of mentally disabled or retarded adults and children.

However, a Washington state lawyer for a former foster child is
challenging the practice in a case now before the US Supreme Court.  In
his class action, Rodney Reinbold, the lawyer for Danny Keffeler,
argues that Washington owes $80 million taken during the past 20 years
from children who were the rightful recipients of the federal checks.

Mr. Reinbold said that New York is one of the 39 states to file an
opposition brief to his claims.  He noted that New York's exposure may
be three or four times greater then Washington's, or more than $300

Schenectady County Social Services Commissioner Dennis Packard said the
counties apply for the right to divert the checks.  The practice stems
from a New York state directive, he said.  "It is for the child's care
and maintenance - food, clothing, shelter and sundries," Mr. Packard
said.  He added that if counties are cut off from using the checks, the
amount required by state legislative appropriations will probably have
to rise.

Mr. Reinbold argues that states have no right to use the money to cut
their costs.  The states have the responsibility to act in the best
interest of the beneficiary, not in the best interest of the
government.  The child may need that money some day for other things,
he argues.  Moreover, added Mr. Reinbold, the checks are defraying the
cost of an entire program that also covers children who are ineligible
for checks.

Mr. Reinbold also pointed out some other reasons for denying the
states' use of the Social Security checks.  There is no regulation or
statute that deems it in a child's best interest to use Social Security
to pay for government care programs.  "They are trying to get the court
to close their eyes to ordinary trust principles," said Mr. Reinbold.

All the courts in the state of Washington have ruled in Mr. Reinbold's
favor in the case, started in 1995.  The US Supreme Court heard
arguments this fall.

ONLINE GAMBLING: New Orleans Court Rules Casino-Style Gambling "Legal"
The United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal
of a class action alleging MasterCard, Visa and other financial
services companies profited illegally by processing illegal online
bets, and the two sought to have their gambling debts forgiven, The
Times-Picayune reports.  

Congress, therefore, may be forced to tackle Internet gambling issues
when it convenes in January, since the decision by the federal appeals
court in New Orleans, found casino-style gambling over the Internet
legal under existing federal law.

The lawsuit tested whether the 1961 Interstate Wire Act, which prevents
sports betting across interstate telephone lines, could apply as well
to Internet gambling.  The US Justice Department and others previously
have interpreted the law to say that the Wire Act extends to casino-
style gambling on the Internet.  Thus, the Wire Act had become the
primary act for deeming Internet gambling illegal.

The Fifth Circuit's ruling, which upheld an opinion by the US District
Court in the Eastern District of Louisiana, however, said the Wire Act
applies only to sports events such as games and contests, but not to
card games or other casino-style gambling.  "Because the Wire Act does
not prohibit non-sports Internet gambling, any debts incurred in
connection with such gambling are not illegal," the appeals court
decision said.  The two original plaintiffs "simply are not victims
under the facts of these cases.  Rather, as the district court wrote,
'they are independent actors who made a knowing and voluntary choice to
engage in a course of conduct.'  In engaging in this conduct, they got
exactly what they bargained for, gambling 'chips' with which they could
place wagers."

Experts say clarification, however, is still needed even after the
Fifth Circuit's decision, particularly since the Justice Department had
interpreted the Wire Act as prohibiting casino-style gambling.  
Gambling companies are still reluctant to step into Internet gambling
without more clarification from the government and from states on the
legality of online casinos.

The question is, should the federal government ban Internet gambling to
protect people from runaway gambling in their homes, even though
enforcement will be difficult?  Or should the government accept
Internet gambling but regulate it?

Various bills have died in Congress, such as the one sponsored by
Representative Jim Leach, R-Iowa, that would have banned financial
institutions from accepting online gambling transactions.  The bill
died when the Senate failed to take up the matter before recessing.

In late November, another bill, sponsored by Representative John
Conyers, D-Mich., was introduced that called for creating a commission
to study Internet gambling and how to regulate it.  That bill also died
with the congressional recess, but Mr. Conyers plans to reintroduce the
matter.  Professor Nelson Rose, a gambling law expert at Whittier Law
College, California, thinks the Conyers bill has the best chance to
pass, but that still means the much-needed congressional clarification
could be several years away by the time a committee studies the issues
and recommends a course of action.

PENNSYLVANIA: Suit Commenced Over Landowners' Civil Rights Violations
A potentially precedent-setting class action involving the alleged
fraud and civil rights violations of several Hazleton area landowners
by a developer and the state's largest bank has been scheduled for
March 3, The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader (PA) reports.

Landowners in the former Valley of the Lakes development, now called
Eagle Rock Resort, on state Route 940, filed a class action against
Frank Cedrone, First Eastern Bank and other companies in 1994, citing a
number of allegations including racketeering.  PNC Bank took over First
Eastern in June 1994, and continued the illegal practices of First
Eastern, said Roger S. Antao, attorney for the plaintiffs.  Mr. Antao
said the case, to be heard in US District Court for the Middle District
of Pennsylvania, is important because it could set precedents or help
bring about changes in four areas of the law.

Decisions in the case could determine when a corporation can be held
liable for racketeering in a civil case filed by private citizens.  "In
recent history, the courts have not allowed these kinds of cases to
move forward," Mr. Antao said.

The case could help determine what kinds of rights homeowners have when
they live in real estate developments.  Mr. Antao said the law has not
kept pace with a trend for people to buy homes in developments.  The
case brings to light loopholes in the ways banks can offer loans and
lines of credit to developers that "allowed an unscrupulous developer
to engage in fraud and walk away, leaving property owners thinking they
are paying a bank" on their mortgage, but actually making the developer

The case brings to light an abuse of the bankruptcy process.  "Congress
tried to pass a bill about protecting big credit card companies from
small consumers, but did nothing to address big companies filing
bankruptcy to avoid lawsuits after defrauding citizens," Mr. Antao

The lawsuit also alleges the developer violated property owners' civil
rights by ruling over them "as if the subdivision were his own personal
fiefdom," placing security checkpoints at both entrances to enforce
rules, setting up his own private court for violations of resort rules  
and issuing fines to property owners for advertising meetings of their

Mr. Antao, plaintiffs' lawyer, said First Eastern brought in MLA
Management Co. to "basically shut down the facilities so they would not
have to spend any money on maintenance" at Valley of the Lakes, as it
was called then.  Cedrone remained in control.  Mr. Antao said MLA is
still included in the lawsuit, and if found guilty, will have recourse
to sue PNC on allegations of keeping the management company "in the
dark" about what was going on.

PEPSICO INC.: Settles Sexual Harassment Suit Against One Of Its Units
The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Monday announced the
settlement of a nearly $1.8 million sexual harassment lawsuit against
South Beach Beverage Company Inc. (SoBe), a division of PepsiCo Inc.,
The Hartford Courant reports.  The firm was sued by five female
employees who claimed they were subjected to sexual harassment and
retaliation at the SoBe sales and distribution facility.

In a consent decree that must be approved in federal court, the
Norwalk-based SoBe and PepsiCo agreed to pay $1.79 million, which will
compensate the employees and help establish a claims fund for other
unidentified victims of the sex discrimination.  The agreement also
provides for the revision of anti-harassment and anti-retaliation
policies, as well as for continued training.

Larry Jabbonsky, a spokesman for PepsiCo in Purchase, New York, said
company officials are "pleased the issue has been settled, and we look
forward to maintaining a respectful workplace for all employees in the

RENT-WAY INC.: Class Certification Discovery Starts in Securities Suit
Discovery is proceeding regarding class certification of the securities
suit filed against Rent-Way, Inc., its firm of independent accountants,
and certain of its current and former officers in the United States
District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

The complaint alleges that, among other things, as a result of
accounting irregularities, the Company's fiscal 1998, 1999, and 2000
financial statements were materially false and misleading thus
constituting violations of federal securities laws by the Company, by
its firm of independent accountants and by certain officers.  The
action alleges that the defendant violated Sections 10(b) and/or
Section 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder.  The action seeks damages on behalf of purchasers of the
Company's common stock during various periods, all of which fall
between December 10, 1998, and October 27, 2000.

The Company filed a motion to dismiss the complaint, which was denied.  
Discovery regarding class certification issues has begun and is

Certain of the Company's officers and directors and the Company, as
nominal defendant, have been sued in a shareholder derivative action
brought on behalf of the Company in the US District Court for the
Western District of Pennsylvania.

The derivative complaint purports to assert claims on behalf of the
Company against the defendants for violation of duties asserted to be
owed by the defendants to the Company and which relate to the events
which gave rise to the purported class actions described above.  All
proceedings in the derivative case have been stayed pending the
resolution of the federal class action.

The Company is presently unable to predict or determine the final
outcome of, or to estimate the amounts or potential range of loss with
respect to, the investigations and the securities litigation described
above.  Management believes that an adverse outcome with respect to
such proceedings could have a material adverse impact on the Company's
financial position, results or operations.

RITE-AID CORPORATION: PA Court Approves Settlement of 401(k) Lawsuit
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Pennsylvania granted preliminary approval to the settlement proposed by
Rite-Aid Corporation to settle the class action filed by its employees
relating to its 401(K) plan.

The suit was commenced after the US Department of Labor initiated an
investigation of matters relating to the Company's associate benefit
plans, including the principal 401(k) plan, which permitted associates
to purchase the Company's common stock.  Purchases of the Company's
common stock under the plan were suspended in October 1999.  In January
2001, the Company appointed an independent trustee to represent the
interests of these plans in relation to the Company and to investigate
possible claims the plans may have against the Company.  Both the
independent trustee and the Department of Labor have asserted that the
plans may have claims against the Company.

On October 31, 2002, the Company reached an agreement with the
independent trustee and the attorneys for the putative class action
plaintiff to settle all claims arising out of the Company's associate
benefit plans.  Under the agreement, the Company agreed to maintain the
current level of benefits though December 31, 2006 and to pay $4,010
and its insurance companies agreed to pay $5,500 into a settlement
fund.  The Company has paid its portion of the cash settlement into the
settlement fund.

On November 12, 2002, the court entered an order preliminarily
approving the settlement, certifying the class and scheduling a
settlement fairness hearing.  The Department of Labor has agreed to
close its investigation upon entry of the final order approving the
settlement based upon the agreement.  There can be no assurance that
the settlement will be finally approved by the court.

TEXAS: Judge Says Regulators Failed To Heed Violations in Pipeline Suit
A federal judge in East Texas is allowing a lawsuit against a major
natural gas pipeline company to go forward, ruling that federal
regulators failed to diligently pursue allegations of widespread safety
violations, the Austin American-Statesman reports.  The lawsuit seeks
class action status to represent all people who live on or own property
along the pipeline system.

The case involves more than 8,000 miles of pipeline stretching from
South Texas to the Florida panhandle.  The system is owned and operated
by defendant Gulf South Pipeline Co. LP, based in Houston, a subsidiary
of Entergy-Koch LP, also of Houston.

Plaintiff Joseph Wyble, who owns 36 acres in Trinity County, and other
landowners who filed the lawsuit, contend that corrosion, overgrown
rights of way, exposed sections of pipe and other conditions constitute
violations of the federal Pipeline Safety Act.  Moreover, the
plaintiffs argue that the US Department of Transportation (DOT), which
regulates pipelines, has failed to require corrective action although
informed of the safety violations by the plaintiffs.

US District Judge John Hannah Jr., of Lufkin, stopped short of ruling
on the condition of the pipeline system, but his order found
"sufficient evidence to conclude that the DOT failed to fulfill its
mandate and did not diligently pursue plaintiffs' allegations."

The allegations were submitted to the DOT two months before the lawsuit
was filed.  Congress recognized the "limited means" of the department
and its Office of Pipeline Safety and allowed for citizen lawsuits in
such circumstances, Judge Hannah said.  Fred Misko Jr., one of the
several lawyers representing the plaintiffs, said the goal of the
litigation is to compel Gulf South to make improvements.  "It would
cost several million dollars to come into compliance," Mr. Misko said.

TYCO INTERNATIONAL: JPMDL Orders Coordination of Securities Suits in NV
The United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordered
the securities class actions pending against Tyco International, Inc.
coordinated in the United States District Court in Nevada.

The suits assert causes of action under Section 10(b) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, and Section
20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  These complaints allege
that the defendants are responsible for the Company's making materially
false and misleading statements and omissions concerning, among other

     (1) the earnings performance of certain companies that the Company
         acquired and its accounting therefor;

     (2) the impact of a new accounting standard (SAB 101, promulgated
         in 1999) on the Company's earnings performance;

     (3) undisclosed sales of Tyco stock by certain former executives
         of Tyco;

     (4) undisclosed payment of $20 million to one of the Company's
         directors; and

     (5) the fact that the Company's former Chief Executive Officer was
        under criminal investigation

TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Securities Suit To Be Moved To New Hampshire Court
A securities class action pending against Tyco International, Ltd. is
set to be transferred to the United States District Court for the
District of New Hampshire.

Two suits were initially filed against the Company - one, entitled
"BRAZEN V. TYCO INTERNATIONAL LTD. ET AL," in the Circuit Court of
Cook County, Illinois, and another entitled "PREMUROSO V. TYCO
INTERNATIONAL LTD., ET AL.," in the Circuit Court for Palm Beach
County, Florida.  Plaintiffs in each of these actions assert claims
under the Securities Act of 1933, and seek class certification,
compensatory damages and attorneys' fees and expenses.

The BRAZEN complaint purports to bring suit on behalf of persons who
exchanged their Mallinckrodt Inc. stock for the Company's shares in
connection with the October 17, 2000 merger of the two companies.  This
complaint alleges that the registration statement filed in connection
with the Mallinckrodt acquisition contained false and misleading
statements concerning, among other things, financial disclosures
concerning certain of the Company's mergers and acquisitions and
accounting therefor.  

The PREMUROSO complaint purports to bring suit on behalf of persons who
exchanged their Sensormatic Electronics Corp. stock for Company shares
in connection with our acquisition of Sensormatic in November 2001.  
This complaint alleges that the registration statement filed in
connection with the Sensormatic acquisition contained false and
misleading statements concerning, among other things, financial
disclosures concerning the Company's mergers and acquisitions and the
accounting therefor, and omitted disclosure of improper conduct by the
Company's former officers.

The defendants removed the BRAZEN action from state court to the United
States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.  In
December 2002, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation issued an
order transferring the action to the United States District Court for
the District of New Hampshire.  The plaintiff in BRAZEN has also made a
motion to remand the action to state court in Illinois.  The defendants
filed a motion to remove the PREMUROSO action from state court to
United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire.  The
plaintiff has not yet responded to the defendants' motion.  However,
the plaintiff in the PREMUROSO action subsequently voluntarily
dismissed their case without prejudice.

UNITED STATES: GOP Plans Caps On Court Awards, Limited Suits V. Firms
Republicans, backed by many corporate executives, are making
significant, if little-noticed progress in their campaign to strike
back at trial lawyers and shield US companies from multimillion-dollar
liability lawsuits.  Now that the GOP controls both chambers of
Congress, they plan deeper pushes in the months ahead, The Washington
Post reports.

President Bush and his congressional allies in the past two years have
written into federal law new limits on the public's ability to airplane
manufacturers, drug makers, builders of anti-terrorism devices and
teachers for alleged misconduct or gross negligence.  Republicans
inserted many of these legal protections into legislation during last-
minute negotiations, with little fanfare or debate, according to the

At the state level, chief executive officers are persuading governors
to do the same.  Their biggest victory came early this month when
Mississippi Governor Ronnie Musgrove (D) signed a law capping court-
awarded punitive damages and protecting retailers from some types of
lawsuits.  The US Chamber of Commerce and other business groups had
targeted Mississippi as the nation's most plaintiff-friendly state, and
spent millions of dollars on campaigns to strengthen the hand of
corporations there, the Post states.

When the GOP-controlled Congress convenes next month, Republicans plan
to build on their success by pushing new federal protections for
physicians, managed care firms, asbestos manufacturers, small
businesses and major corporations hit with class actions, according to
party officials.  Most of the industries seeking legal protections are
major donors, according to the Post article.

Senator Trent Lott (R-Miss.), recently deposed as party leader but
still a veteran member of the majority, said that Republicans have
settled on a strategy to impose broad liability caps in "small pieces"
for "serious problems like medical liability and outlandish class-
action lawsuits."  Such piecemeal measures, said the Senator, can
attract enough support from pro-business Democrats to pass the Senate
and enable proponents to avoid a futile fight over one "big tort reform

Legal protections at the federal level have included caps on punitive
damages and requirements that liability suits be heard in federal
courts, which are less apt than state courts to accept cases in the
first instance and render large verdicts once they are accepted, The
Washington Post reports.

While Democrats and Republicans disagree about the merits of curtailing
lawsuits, this much is indisputable:  Corporations stand to benefit
financially from all these changes, while individuals may lose the
opportunity to win significant jury awards when they are harmed by
certain products.

Consumer activists and many Democrats oppose arbitrary caps on civil
awards meant to compensate victims for pain and suffering, economic
losses or other damages when a defendant has acted unlawfully.  In
egregious or malicious cases, they say, juries should be free to add
"punitive damages" as a way to punish companies for making dangerous
products, to repay Americans hurt by them and to provide some
deterrence against a next time.

Republicans, in general believe trial lawyers abuse the legal system
and drive some companies out of business by filing frivolous lawsuits
designed to pad their pockets.  Now that the Republicans hold the White
House and both chambers, the Republicans plan to press for stronger
action on torts.

Senator Lott says that congressional Republicans plan to push, early in
the year,  for legislation that would dramatically limit the liability
of physicians sued for medical malpractice.  Under the plan, aggrieved
patients could seek no more than $250,000 for pain and suffering, even
if their state's law permitted a much higher award.  There would be no
federal limits on compensation for economic damages, such as lost wages
and medical costs.

President Bush said the $250,000 limit was needed to keep doctors from
being forced out of business by escalating malpractice insurance costs.
Democrats say the proposed limit is much too low, particularly for
patients whose lives are changed forever by a physician's wrongdoing,
the Post reports.

More important to the chief executives who have bankrolled the anti-
trial lawyer campaign through the US Chamber of Commerce, and other
groups as well, is the setting of a broad limit on class actions.  Such
suits allow hundreds or even thousands of similarly situated people to
be considered plaintiffs in a liability suit.  They want legislation
enacted that will substantially change the face of the class action and
which would probably alter in the process the social import of this
kind of action for the average citizen who is not usually able to
pursue an individual action to right his wrongs.

UNITED STATES: Airport Screeners Join Suit Over Gender, Race, Age Bias
Three former airport screeners, in Oregon, have joined a class action
filed in Portland, that claims they were not given a fair chance at
new, federalized screening jobs, the Associated Press Newswires

Congress required that all airport screeners become part of the federal
Transportation Security Administration, after the September 11, 2001
terrorist attacks.  The screeners say they were not hired under the new
plan despite passing the test.

"They told us if we passed the test we would be hired.  It did not
happen that way," said Diana Wadley, a former airport screener from
White City.  Ms Wadley is one of 140 airport screeners who have joined
the lawsuit filed in US District Court in Portland, in November.  
Similar lawsuits have been filed in Los Angeles, Salt Lake City,
Cincinnati, Orlando, Florida and other cities.

According to the lawsuit, former airport screeners who applied for the
new jobs allege they were discriminated against on the basis of gender,
race and age when they applied for the new positions.  Women and
minorities in particular failed at a higher rate than white male
screeners, the suit alleges.

WILLIAMS COS.: Plaintiffs in Private Suits Join California Settlement
Williams Companies Inc. said recently that private class action
plaintiffs have joined in the settlement it has completed with
California, according to a report by Reuters English News Service.

The Company said it had completed renegotiations on a long-term
electricity contract with California, which provided for cutting the
cost of a $4.3 billion deal that was signed at the height of the
state's power crisis. California is likely to save up to $1.4 billion
on the renegotiated 10-year contracts agreed to last year, the state

The settlement also gets the Tulsa-based Company off the hook for many
of the class actions filed against it in Oregon, California and
Washington over allegedly overcharging the state billions of dollars
during its crippling energy crisis of 2000-01.  Many of these lawsuits
are joining in the settlement, although court orders to that effect are
yet to be issued.

"This agreement removes significant uncertainty from our company and
preserves substantial value in our California energy contracts," said
Company President Steven Malcolm.

WYOMING: Prison Officials, Inmates Submit Plans To Protect Prisoners
Attorneys for Wyoming prison officials, and the American Civil
Liberties Union (ACLU) for the inmates, have filed separate court-
ordered plans that seek to protect inmates from attacks by fellow
prisoners, Associated Press Newswires reports.  The ACLU filed the
lawsuit on behalf of inmate Brad Skinner and current and future

Following a class action that stemmed from a prison beating, US
District Judge Clarence A. Brimmer ordered the remedial plans be filed
after he ruled that Corrections Department officials had neglected
their own policy and failed to protect state penitentiary inmates from
violence by fellow inmates.  Both sets of plans were filed recently,
and each side will have until January 28 to comment on the other's
plan.  Judge Brimmer will make the final decision.

Steven R. Czoschke, a senior assistant attorney general, filed the
state's plan on behalf of prison officials.  The state plan includes a
trained person to "impartially investigate and assess staff
involvement" in incidents involving inmates.  The proposal also calls
for staff training and tracking how well employees protect prisoners
from harm.

ACLU attorney Stephen L. Pevar said the state's plan is "very
disappointing," and does not accomplish what the court ordered and
lacks specifics.  "All their plan does is say, 'Here are our goals and
we will enact policies sometime in the future to accomplish these
goals,' " Mr. Pevar said.  "It leaves us totally in the dark as to what
their plans are."

Mr. Pevar's proposal calls for the prison to retain its existing
Serious Incident Review policy, which requires investigations of
inmate-on-inmate assaults that result in serious injuries.  Mr. Pevar's
plan also would establish procedures to make certain that employees are
disciplined if their mistakes or misconduct contribute to or cause

The ACLU plan, submitted by Mr. Pevar, also calls for changing the
culture of the prison.  Mr. Pevar pointed out that court testimony by
Judith Uphoff, director of the Corrections Department, said that prison
administrators have lost their ability to supervise employees
concerning safety.  In this connection, Mr. Pevar said the ACLU plan
calls for adoption of the recommendations of Paul Katsampes, a prisons

Brad Skinner, the prisoner, claims he was beaten severely after other
inmates thought he was an informant.  He spent five weeks in the
hospital and suffered spinal injuries, swelling on his face, a
concussion and bruising.  The lawsuit claimed guards ignored existing
department policies and violated prisoners' Eighth Amendment
protections against "cruel and unusual punishment."

*Audit Committee Disclaimer Comes Under Fire, Irks Investor Advocates
Their purpose may be to prevent the next big accounting scandal, but
many corporate auditing committees warn that they cannot promise
shareholders that the company isn't "cooking" the books, Reuters
English News Service reports.

This boilerplate statement, which appears deep inside annual letters
sent to shareholders, has raised the ire of investor watchdog groups
and class action lawyers.  Critics point out that the audit committee
of WorldCom Inc., which has admitted a $9 billion misstatement of its
results, made just such a disclaimer in its report.

"Reliance upon management is ridiculous, because it is management's
conduct that you are overseeing," said Melvyn Weiss, senior partner of
Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP, a law firm that sues
companies on behalf of shareholders.

Using remarkably similar language, the audit committees of hundreds of
corporations have published reports stating that:

     (1) they rely "without independent verification" on the
         information provided by management and outside auditors;

     (2) they cannot "provide an independent basis" to determine that
         management has maintained proper accounting and financial
         reporting principles or internal controls;

     (3) their sign-off does not necessarily mean that a company's
         outside auditors are truly independent.

This language is included in a single paragraph that was written into
more than 225 annual shareholder letters, known as proxy statements, in
200, and more than 250 this year, according to a search of US
regulatory filings.

"Clearly some lawyer drafted this (paragraph) with the thought that it
might actually protect the audit committee from liability," said Nell
Minnow, co-founder of Corporate Library, a corporate governance
research firm.  "I doubt it would, but I guess we'll have a chance to
find out."

New rules developed in the wake of accounting scandals could force an
end to the boilerplate warnings.  In an early sign, Accenture Ltd., the
world's largest consulting firm, included the language a year ago, but
will remove it from the next proxy statement to investors, a
spokeswoman said.

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, will require the audit committee of a
publicly traded company to consist of at least one financial expert and
to find, pay and oversee the management of the outside auditors.  The
committee will be able to retain outside help, at the company's
expense, to complete its responsibilities.  Moreover, board members who
are designated to work on the audit committee will now need to be
considered independent from the company.

Both insurer St. Paul Companies Inc. and investment bank Goldman Sachs,
for example, said they are reviewing the implications of new corporate
governance rules on the language they use in their proxy statements.  
Goldman Sachs spokeswoman Kathleen Baum said that shareholders should
"understand that there are guidelines with which an audit committee can
reasonably work."

St. Paul's spokeswoman Barbara Reynolds said that the company included
the disclaimer paragraph "so that the shareholders did not, for
example, mistakenly believe the audit committee was a substitute or
back-up independent auditor."

Some auditing and corporate governance experts defended the validity of
the disclaimer, saying that audit committee members are part-timers who
only can do so much to prevent the bad deeds of an executive or outside

"To some extent, this kind of language is the corporate governance
system pushing back a little bit and saying, 'Let's be realistic here
about what you can expect from us,' " said James Gerson, chairman of
the auditing standards board of the American Institute of Certified
Public Accountants.  The audit committee, said Mr. Gerson, cannot
independently verify information on its own.  The chief responsibility
of financial accuracy lies with management, Mr. Gerson said.  Next in
line are the outside auditors who specialize in discovering fishy
entries and potential fraud.

Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ABB CEO Sees Asbestos Suits Resolved by Mid-2003
ABB Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Juergen Dormann expects the biggest
European electrical engineering company to resolve 111,000 asbestos
claims by mid-2003, Boersen-Zeitung said on its Web site, citing the

"The market must first get over the asbestos hurdle," Mr. Dormann told
the German newspaper. "But I expect that the knot will be untied -- in
a positive sense."

The financial stability of the Swiss company, which has proposed a $1.1
billion asbestos settlement with US plaintiffs, has been secured
through 2004 following an agreement with 20 banks including Credit
Suisse First Boston, Barclays Plc and Citigroup Inc. over a $1.5
billion credit line, the newspaper said.

Mr. Dormann told the paper he expects Standard & Poor's and Moody's
Investors Service to return ABB to an investment grade credit rating
from junk status once it has settled asbestos claims, sold units with
annual sales of $6 billion and boosted profit.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: DuPont, Others Become Targets of Asbestos Lawsuits
DuPont Co. and other plastics manufacturers are targets of new asbestos
lawsuits that broaden legal attacks on the cancer-causing substance
beyond the makers of building materials.  The suits mark a shift in
strategy by plaintiffs, who say makers of plastic industrial products
containing asbestos are also to blame for worker health problems.  Many
of the suits have been filed in Mississippi by attorneys acting before
a new state law capping damage awards takes effect tomorrow.

"We have to find out who else is responsible," said Stacey Sims, a
Hattiesburg, Mississippi, attorney who has filed asbestos suits on
behalf of 8,000 workers who used plastic products made by DuPont,
Eastman Chemical Co. and other companies.  "I want everybody to pay
their part."

Asbestos suits already have forced more than 60 companies into
bankruptcy since 1982, including 20 since January 2000, the Rand
Institute reported in September.  Such suits will eventually cost
businesses and insurers more than $200 billion, the policy research
group estimated.  With defendants including Owens Corning, Federal-
Mogul Corp. and W.R. Grace & Co. bankrupt, attorneys are turning their
sights on companies better able to pay damage awards and settlements,
an attorney said.

"The lawyers wanted some fresh blood to feed off of," said Marcy Croft,
a Jackson, Mississippi, lawyer for the Coalition for Asbestos Justice,
a Washington-based group seeking to curb personal-injury suits.  
"Lawyers were getting money from companies who are not here anymore to

Asbestos, a combination of flame-retardant minerals, was used in
insulation, drywall and other building materials through the 1980s and
is still used in some products, including caulk.  Asbestos has been
tied to lung disease as well as cancer.  The recent Mississippi suits
claim asbestos-bearing plastic parts used in industrial settings can
release dust that also endangers workers.

DuPont, already a defendant in building-related asbestos suits, was
sued over plastics products in Mississippi's Lawrence County Circuit
Court on October 8, 2002.  DuPont supplied asbestos-filled plastic
pellets to companies that heated and molded the material for use in
consumer products and industrial equipment, said Alwyn Luckey, an Ocean
Springs, Mississippi, attorney.  He has sued DuPont on behalf of as
many as 1,000 workers, he said.

Wilmington, Delaware-based DuPont, the world's second-largest chemicals
maker after Dow Chemical Co., doesn't expect the previously undisclosed
suits will have a material impact on the company's "competitive
financial position, liquidity or results of operation," spokesman
Clifton Webb said.  He declined to address specific allegations.  
Damage to DuPont from plastics suits won't be significant, agreed
Rafael Tamargo, director of research at Wilmington Trust Co., which
owns 30 million DuPont shares.

Still, disclosure of such suits probably will encourage other lawyers
to try the same strategy, he said. "It's not going to change our view
on holding these things," Mr. Tamargo said.  "It's just more bad news
we have to bear."

DuPont shares were unchanged at $42.31 on the New York Stock Exchange.
The shares have fallen less than 5 percent, compared with a decline of
more than 7 percent in the Standard and Poor's Diversified Chemicals

Kingsport, Tennessee-based Eastman Chemical, the largest US plastics
maker, won't comment on the Mississippi suits, spokeswoman Nancy
Ledford said.  Eastman shares fell 7 percent on Nov. 7, when the
company disclosed the suits.  The shares rose 30 cents yesterday to
$36.60 on the New York Stock Exchange, and have fallen 6 percent this

Mississippi, where companies including Halliburton Co. and 3M Co. have
lost asbestos suits, has seen a flurry of asbestos claims with the
approach of new caps on punitive damages that take effect tomorrow.  
Business groups sought the law, arguing that Mississippi's track record
of multimillion-dollar jury awards was driving companies out of state.  
While the law applies to all liability suits, new asbestos claims have
been especially common, lawyers said.

Lawyers estimated that 25 asbestos suits against plastics makers have
been filed in the state since July. Sims said her firm alone has filed
seven suits.  Atlanta-based Georgia-Pacific Corp. reported last month
in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that 9,500 claims in
multiple suits were filed against it in Mississippi in the third

Mississippi ``is a judicial hellhole for any defendant and asbestos
cases are no different,'' said Mark Behrens, a Washington attorney for
the Coalition for Asbestos Justice. ``It's one of the hot jurisdictions
around the country and is a real problem with asbestos defendants.''

Juries award punitive damages in addition to compensation to penalize
corporate wrongdoing.  The new Mississippi law will cap punitive
damages at $20 million for large companies and at 4 percent of a
company's value for businesses worth less than $50 million.  The law
restricts where lawyers may file suits to prevent shopping for
sympathetic judges.  Mississippi juries have handed down awards
including a $150 million verdict in November 2001 against Halliburton
and 3M.  That verdict was for compensation only and didn't include any
punitive damages.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Orders Eternit to Help With Asbestos Probe
A court ordered Eternit AG, the building-materials company owned by
Switzerland's Schmidheiny family, to send a list of former workers to
an Italian prosecutor investigating asbestos-related deaths,
SonntagsZeitung reports.

A regional court in Eternit's home canton of Glarus told the company, a
subsidiary of Holcim Ltd., the world's second-largest cement maker, to
aid investigator Raffaele Guariniello in Turin, Italy, because there
were indications of involuntary manslaughter.

Guariniello is probing whether Eternit, which left the asbestos
business in the 1990s, took the necessary precautions to protect its
workers.  Asbestos cancer allegedly caused the death of at least 45
former Eternit workers so far.  Eternit is mulling an appeal to the
Federal Court, Switzerland's highest, SonntagsZeitung said, citing
Chief Executive Officer Anders Holte.  The Company set aside about 1
million Swiss francs ($720,000) to cover the costs of legal action,
according to Eternit spokesman Roland Walker.

Eternit always observed the regulations set up by Suva, the dominant
insurer of employees against work-related accidents, Walker told

ASBESTOS ALERT: Cabot Corporation Faces Asbestos Related Litigation
Cabot Corporation has exposure to a safety respiratory products
business that it acquired, through a subsidiary, in April 1990. It
disposed of that business in July 1995.  In connection with its
acquisition of the business, the subsidiary agreed, after an initial
period during which responsibility was shared, to indemnify the seller,
American Optical Corporation (American Optical), for costs, including
legal costs, settlements and judgments, in connection with a number of
lawsuits and claims relating to the respirators (in exchange for which
the subsidiary received the benefits of the seller's insurance and
other indemnities).  

These lawsuits and claims typically involve allegations that the
plaintiffs suffer from asbestosis or silicosis as a result, in part,
from respirators that were negligently designed or labeled.  The
defendants in these lawsuits are often numerous and include, in
addition to respirator manufacturers, makers of asbestos and sand used
in sand blasting.

Neither Cabot, nor its past or present subsidiaries, at any time
manufactured asbestos or asbestos-containing products.  Moreover, not
every person with exposure to asbestos giving rise to an asbestos claim
used a form of respiratory protection.  At no time did the business for
which Cabot is financially responsible for legal costs represent a
significant portion of the respirator market.  In addition, as a result
of the arrangements involving these lawsuits and claims, Cabot has only
a portion of the liability in any given case.

When Cabot's subsidiary disposed of the business in 1995 to Aearo
Corporation, it agreed with Aearo that for an annual fee of $400,000,
the subsidiary would retain responsibility for, and indemnify Aearo
against, claims asserted after July11, 1995 to the extent they are
attributable to the use of respirators sold before that date.  Aearo
can discontinue payment of the fee at any time, in which case it will
assume the responsibility for and indemnify the Company with respect to
these claims.  Between the date of divestiture and fiscal 2001, Cabot
had never spent more than the $400,000 that it collects from Aearo each

As of the beginning of calendar year 2002, there were around 28,000
claimants in pending cases asserting claims against American Optical in
connection with respirators.  As of September30, 2002, there were
approximately 43,000 claimants.  Under the present allocation
arrangements, as claims are settled, Cabot would expect to contribute
toward settlement of a significant percentage, but not all, of these

During the third quarter of fiscal year 2002, Cabot agreed to pay up to
$2million as its contribution toward a settlement involving up to
13,000 claimants in Mississippi.  Cabot, at the time, expected to pay
this amount over a period of approximately eighteen months. Due to
complications in the funding mechanism of the overall settlement of
these Mississippi claims, a shortfall of $5.5million in the initial
amount to be paid to the plaintiff group resulted.

In December 2002, Cabot agreed to fund this shortfall in exchange for
an undertaking from the representatives of the payor group (consisting
of the various insurers and other parties) to exercise their best
efforts to seek a global settlement with the payor group.  While
Cabot's ability to negotiate an acceptable global settlement and its
specific terms are uncertain at this time, the global settlement
discussed with the representatives of the payor group would provide
that as long as the payor group continues to pay all costs and
liabilities in connection with the respirator litigation, Cabot's
liability under a global settlement would be limited to a specified

As a result of the Mississippi settlement and the rate of new claims
which have been filed during the calendar year, Cabot recorded a charge
of $5million during the third quarter bringing its total reserve for
respirator matters to $6million as of September30, 2002.  In estimating
its liability, Cabot made the assumptions:

     (1) that future settlements would continue at the historical rate
         of $320 per claimant;

     (2) while the actual number of claims for which Cabot contributes
         depends upon a number of factors, that Cabot will continue to
         be responsible for well over half of the total claims; and

     (3) that a significant number of the outstanding claims are
         included in the Mississippi settlement. This amount represents
         Cabot's best estimate of the liability it will incur in
         connection with the settlement of pending respirator claims.

Cabot is unable to reasonably estimate a range of possible loss for
pending respirator claims given the current status of litigation and
uncertainty involving the outcome of numerous cases.  In addition,
because this is a very unpredictable area, Cabot is also unable to
estimate the number of future claims or the range of liability that may
be incurred as a result of such claims on any reasonable basis.  

As a result, Cabot has not recorded a reserve for future claims at this
time.  While Cabot's liability associated with these future claims
could have a material effect on the results of operations in a
particular quarter or fiscal year as these matters develop or as a
result of Cabot's initiative to seek a global settlement, Cabot
continues to believe that this issue will not have a material adverse
effect on Cabot's financial position or liquidity.


Cabot Corporation (NYSE: CBT)
Two Seaport Lane, Ste. 1300
Boston, MA 02210   
Phone: 617-345-0100
Fax: 617-342-6103
Employees               : 4,500
Revenue                 : $1,557,000,000
Net Income              : $106,000,000
Assets                  : $ 2,067,000,000
Liabilities             : $ 1,090,000,000

(As of September 30, 2002)

Description: Cabot  is the world's #1 producer of carbon black, a
reinforcing and pigmenting agent used in tires, inks, cables, and
coatings. It has about 25% of the world market for carbon black. Cabot
also makes fumed metal oxides such as fumed silica and fumed alumina,
which are used as anti-caking, thickening, and reinforcing agents.
Other products include tantalum (used to make capacitors used in
electronics), thermoplastic concentrates, ink jet colorants, and fluids
used in gas and oil drilling. Cabot also owns about 42% of Aearo
Corporation (a maker of safety products such as eyewear; formerly Cabot
Safety Holding Corporation).

ASBESTOS ALERT: Tyco International Faces 11,000 Asbestos-Related Suits
Like many other companies, Tyco International, Ltd. and some of its
subsidiaries are named as defendants in personal injury lawsuits based
on alleged exposure to asbestos-containing materials.  Consistent with
the national trend of increased asbestos-related litigation, the
Company has observed an increase in the number of these lawsuits in the
past several years. The majority of these cases have been filed against
subsidiaries in its Healthcare and Specialty Products division and our
Engineered Products and Services division.

A limited number of the cases allege premises liability, based on
claims that individuals were exposed to asbestos while on a
subsidiary's property.  Some of the cases involve product liability
claims, based principally on allegations of past distribution of heat-
resistant industrial products incorporating asbestos or the past
distribution of industrial valves that incorporated asbestos-containing
gaskets or packing.  Each case typically names between dozens to
hundreds of corporate defendants.

Tyco's involvement in asbestos cases has been limited because its
subsidiaries did not mine or produce asbestos.  Furthermore, in its
experience, a large percentage of these claims were never substantiated
and have been dismissed by the courts.  Tyco's vigorous defense of
these lawsuits has resulted in judgments in its favor in all cases
tried to verdict.  It has not suffered an adverse verdict in a trial
court proceeding related to asbestos claims.

When appropriate, Tyco settles claims.  However, the total amount paid
to date to settle and defend all asbestos claims has been immaterial.
Currently, there are approximately 11,000 asbestos liability cases
pending against the Company and its subsidiaries.

Tyco believes that the Company and its subsidiaries have substantial
indemnification protection and insurance coverage, subject to
applicable deductibles, with respect to asbestos claims.  These
indemnitors and the relevant carriers typically have been honoring
their duty to defend and indemnify.  It believes that it has valid
defenses to these claims and intends to continue to defend them

Additionally, based on its historical experience in asbestos litigation
and an analysis of its current cases, it believes that it has adequate
amounts accrued for potential settlements and judgments in asbestos-
related litigation.  While it is not possible at this time to determine
with certainty the ultimate outcome of these asbestos-related
proceedings, it believes that the final outcome of all known and
anticipated future claims, after taking into account its substantial
indemnification rights and insurance coverage, will not have a material
adverse effect on its results of operations, financial position or cash


Tyco International Ltd. (NYSE: TYC)
One Tyco Park
Exeter, NH 03833    
Phone: 603-778-9700
Fax: 603-778-7330

Employees                 : 242,500
Revenue                   : $35,643,700,000
Net Income                : $(9,411,700,000)
Assets                    : $66,414,400,000
Liabilities               : $41,623,800,000

(As of September 30, 2002)
Description: Under new management, manufacturing conglomerate Tyco
International is working to move beyond the controversy associated with
former CEO Dennis Kozlowski, who in 2002 was charged with taking
millions of dollars from the company. Tyco's Fire and Security Services
unit, which includes ADT, is the world leader in security and fire-
protection systems. The company's Electronics unit makes electrical
connectors, conduits, and printed circuit boards; it also includes
Tyco's Telecommunications unit, a leading maker of undersea fiber-optic
cable. Other Tyco companies make bandages, crutches, and respiratory
care equipment, as well as industrial flow control products and
sprinkler systems.  

                     New Securities Fraud Cases

CYTYC CORPORATION: Faruqi & Faruqi Launches Securities Suit in MA Court
Faruqi and Faruqi LLP initiated a securities class action in the United
States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, on behalf of
all purchasers of Cytyc Corporation (Nasdaq:CYTC) securities between
July 25, 2001 and June 25, 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 failed to disclose its impressive revenue growth was a result
of overstocking inventory and deep discounts of it's main source of
revenue, ThinPrep.

As a result, the shares of the Company's stock was artificially
inflated throughout the class period, allowing the Company to acquire
other companies using the artificially inflated stock as currency and
allowing executives to sell in excess of 70,000 shares at inflated
prices.  However, on April 24, 2002, the Company reported that its
revenues would materially deviate from its initial disclosure of
between $295-$305 million in 2001 to $270 million due to a cut in
inventory by its customers which had overstocked ThinPrep,
contradicting earlier repeated assertions from the Company.  On this
news, the price of Cytyc shares plummeted 36.5% from $24.80 to $15.73
the next day.

The full truth of Cytyc's financial situation was not disclosed until
June 25, 2002, when the Company downgraded their revenue expectations
again to between $230-$240 million causing Cytyc shares to plummet
again from $11.46 on June 24, 2002 to $6.88 on June 25, 2002, a drop of

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:

LEAP WIRELESS: Weiss & Yourman Commences Securities Lawsuit in S.D. CA
Weiss & Yourman initiated a securities class action lawsuit in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of California on
behalf of purchasers of Leap Wireless International, Inc. (OTC Bulletin
Board: LWIN) securities during the period of February 11, 2002 through
and including July 24, 2002.

Leap provides digital wireless services to the mass consumer market
under the provider name "Cricket."  The suit charges that the Company
and certain of its officers and directors violated federal securities
laws by issuing a series of false and misleading statements concerning
the Company's financial condition which, among other things, concealed
the deteriorating value of its wireless license assets by grossly
overstating their value.  As a result, the complaint alleges, investors
who purchased Company securities during the class period did so at
artificially inflated prices and were damaged when the true facts were

For more details, contact Weiss & Yourman - Los Angeles by Phone:
(800) 437-7918 by E-mail: info@wyca.com or visit the firm's Website:

SEPRACOR INC.: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges Securities Suit in MA Court
Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP initiated a securities class action in the
United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts on
behalf of all purchasers of the common stock of Sepracor, Inc. (Nasdaq:
SEPR) between April 14, 2000, and March 6, 2002, inclusive.

The complaint charges Sepracor, Inc. and certain of its officers and
directors with issuing false and misleading statements concerning its
business and financial conditions.  Specifically, the complaint alleges
that, among other things, defendants' material omissions and the
dissemination of materially false and misleading statements concerning
Soltara -- an antihistamine for which the Company had applied for FDA
approval, which was ultimately rejected -- caused Sepracor's stock
price to become artificially inflated, inflicting damages on investors.

The suit alleges that, contrary to defendants' representations, Soltara
had caused potentially fatal cardiac effects in dogs and rats, as well
as a serious liver disorder in dogs, and Soltara had not been tested in
patients at maximum tissue concentration, a prerequisite for FDA
approval of antihistamines such as Soltara which had demonstrated
cardiac effects in animal studies.  Additionally, the complaint asserts
that defendants' representations that they were "confident" that the
FDA would approve Soltara by March 2002 were misleading in light of
these facts.

The complaint further alleges that on March 7, 2002, defendants
disclosed that the FDA had declined to approve Soltara, and
subsequently revealed that substantial additional clinical studies
would be required.

For more details, contact Marc A. Topaz or Stuart L. Berman by Mail:
Three Bala Plaza East, Suite 400, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 by Phone:
1-888-299-7706 (toll free) or 1-610-667-7706 or by E-mail:

SEPRACOR INC.: Wolf Popper Commences Securities Fraud Suit in MA Court
Wolf Popper LLP initiated a securities class action against Sepracor
Inc. (Nasdaq:SEPR) and certain of its senior officers in the United
States District Court for the District of Massachusetts.  The lawsuit
was brought on behalf of all persons who purchased Sepracor common
stock on the open market during the period beginning on May 17, 1999
through March 6, 2002, inclusive.

Plaintiff alleges that during the class period defendants made
materially false and misleading statements about the safety of
Sepracor's new allergic rhinitis treatment drug, Soltara, and the
adequacy of safety data to support an approvable New Drug Application
(NDA) for Soltara.  Specifically, the defendants:

     (1) omitted to disclose that extended accumulation and retention
         of Soltara in tissues was observed during preclinical studies;

     (2) omitted to disclose that Soltara had caused hepatic
         phospholipidosis and cardiomyopathy in animals during
         preclinical studies;

     (3) misrepresented that clinical studies for the Soltara NDA
         provided adequate safety data and assurance that Soltara does
         not cause QTc prolongation (delayed or irregular heartbeats)
         in humans; and

     (4) falsely touted the safety profile of Soltara and the
         approvability of the Soltara NDA by March 2002,
         notwithstanding the above.

As a result of the defendants' material misrepresentations and
omissions, the market price of Sepracor common stock was artificially
inflated during the class period, trading as high as $137.39 per share.

On March 7, 2002, Sepracor shocked the market by issuing a press
release, disclosing that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
would issue a "not approvable" letter for the Soltara NDA due to the
FDA's concerns about observed adverse Soltara accumulation and
cardiovascular events, and the inadequacy of safety data in the Soltara
NDA.  Immediately and on the same day, Sepracor common stock price
plummeted by $27.63 per share, or 58.45%, to $19.64 per share --
resulting in substantial loss for Sepracor shareholders.

For more details, contact Robert C. Finkel by Mail: 845 Third Avenue,
New York, NY 10022-6689 by Phone: 212.451.9620 or 877.370.7703 by Fax:
212.486.2093 or 877.370.7704 by E-Mail: IRRep@wolfpopper.com or visit
the firm's Website: http://www.wolfpopper.com

TELLIUM INC.: Cauley Geller Commences Securities Fraud Suit in NJ Court
Cauley Geller Bowman & Coates, LLP initiated a securities class action
in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey on
behalf of purchasers of Tellium, Inc. (Nasdaq: TELM) publicly traded
securities during the period between May 17, 2001 and February 1, 2002,

The complaint charges Tellium, Inc. and certain of its officers and
directors with issuing false and misleading statements concerning its
business and financial condition.  Specifically, the complaint alleges
that defendants failed to disclose that:

     (1) Qwest agreed to purchase Tellium products, in return, Qwest
         executives received lucrative shares of Tellium in
         conjunction with its IPO, a fact that was not disclosed to
         the public;

     (2) Qwest did not need the large number of switches they had
         ordered from Tellium and, in fact, had no strong obligation to
         purchase more switches in the future and could avoid their
         contractual obligations with relative ease;

     (3) after issuing positive statements about the Company's
         financial standing, defendants Bunting and Glassmeyer unloaded
         large amount of their shares; and

     (4) because the Company issued false and misleading statements
         about Tellium's business and the Qwest contract, the Company's
         shares have been traded at artificially inflated prices, as
         high as $29 per share.

For more details, contact Jackie Addison, Heather Gann or Sue Null by
Mail: P.O. Box 25438, Little Rock, AR 72221-5438 by Phone:
1-888-551-9944 by E-mail: info@cauleygeller.com or visit the firm's
Website: http://www.cauleygeller.com/library/user--images/tellium.pdf


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

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

Copyright 2003.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
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Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to be
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