CAR_Public/030214.mbx                C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

               Friday, February 14, 2003, Vol. 5, No. 32

                            Headlines

BELLSOUTH CORPORATION: Consumers Commence Suit Over Local Phone Service
COLUMBIA TRAGEDY: TX Atty. General Warns Against Phone & E-mail Scams
DR. CLARK: FTC Files Lawsuit Over Unsubstantiated Product Claims in OH
EL PASO: Failed To Prevent Pipe Corrosion Leading To Rupture, NTSB Says
EMULEX CORPORATION: Trial in Securities Suit Set July 2003 in CA Court

GENCORP INC.: OH Court Denies Summary Judgment For Ex-Employees Lawsuit
HOYTS HONEY: US Marshals Seize Antibiotic Contaminated Honey Products
INDIA: State-Owned Oil Firm May Divest Stake In American Oil, Gas Block
INTERNATIONAL GAME: Plaintiffs Appeal Class Certification Denial in NV
IRVINE SENSORS: CA Court To Hear Dismissal Motions For Securities Suit

JDS UNIPHASE: Asks CA Court To Dismiss Consolidated Securities Lawsuit
JDS UNIPHASE: CA Court Appoints Lead Plaintiff in Securities Fraud Suit
MATRIXONE INC.: NY Court Hears Arguments For Securities Suit Dismissal
PARK PLAZA: TX Therapy Clinic Owner Pleads Guilty To Health Care Fraud
RALPH LAUREN: Saipan Workers Pact Fairness Hearing Set In Spring 2003

RALPH LAUREN: Court To Hear Summary Judgment Motions in Employee Suit
SALOMON SMITH: 50 BellSouth Retirees Sue Over "Bad Investment Advice"
SCT CORPORATION: FDA Asks For Injunction On Three Unsanitary Facilities
TEXAS: Attorney General Warns Against Scam Artists Targeting Immigrants
TOBACCO LITIGATION: Economist Says Damages Could Reach $7.1B in Lawsuit

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS: FDA Probes Pigs Used in Bioengineering Studies
WASHINGTON DC: Military Veterans March For Health Benefits Restoration

                           Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Deal Could Threaten Asbestos Claims in Australia
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ABA's Support of Asbestos Criteria Sparks Furor
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: AWI, Property Owners Agree on Asbestos Settlement
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Chubb Exec Calls on Industry to Fight Class Suits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Electrolux CEO Says Asbestos Cases Rise Possible

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Gefco Offers Additional R30M to Asbestos Victims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Georgia-Pacific's Spinoff Plan on Indefinite Hold
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hanson Supports ABA Asbestos Proposal, Shares Rise
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: MetLife Upgrades Asbestos Reserve To $1.225Billion
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Cost Creates Huge Loss for Owens Corning

ASBESTOS ALERT: Legrand Subsidiary Faces Asbestos Litigation in Italy
ASBESTOS ALERT: Cleveland-Cliffs Subsidiaries Battle Asbestos Lawsuits
ASBESTOS ALERT: Fresenius Medical to Pay $115M for Asbestos Claims
ASBESTOS ALERT: Heatrae Asbestos Victim Denied Asbestos Compensation
ASBESTOS ALERT: Kemper Insurance Companies Faces Asbestos Related Suits

                     New Securities Fraud Cases

AMERICREDIT CORPORATION: Reinhardt & Anderson File Securities Lawsuit
ARIBA INC.: Kaplan Fox Commences Securities Fraud Lawsuit in N.D. CA
ATMEL CORPORATION: Bernstein Liebhard Lodges Securities Suit in N.D. CA
BLOCKBUSTER INC.: Cauley Geller Commences Securities Suit in N.D. Texas
HOTELS.COM: Reinhardt & Anderson Commences Securities Suit in N.D. TX

MERRILL LYNCH: Kaplan Fox Commences Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
MOTOROLA INC.: Alfred Yates Commences Securities Fraud Suit in N.D. IL
UNUMPROVIDENT CORPORATION: Milberg Weiss Launches Securities Suit in TN

                              *********

BELLSOUTH CORPORATION: Consumers Commence Suit Over Local Phone Service
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Bellsouth Corporation faces a consumer class action filed in the United
States District Court in Miami, Florida, on behalf of customers in nine
southern states where the Company provides 85 percent of local phone
service and 80 percent of the fast digital phone lines, the Associated
Press reports.

The suit charges the Company with illegally requiring customers seeking
high-speed DSL lines to buy its local phone service, violating federal
antitrust laws.  The suit claims that the dual-service requirement
artificially raises the market price for local services and aids the
company in retaining its monopoly.  The suit seeks an injunction to
prevent the Company from tying the two services plus damages for
customers required to buy both services.

BellSouth spokeswoman Marta Casas-Celaya told AP that company attorneys
had not seen the lawsuit yet and as a matter of policy do not comment
on pending litigation.  However, under recent rules imposed by
Florida's Public Service Commission, she said existing DSL customers
can switch to a different local provider if the company has an
agreement in place with BellSouth.  The new dispute is just one of many
being waged in court and with regulators over local, high-speed,
wireless, Internet, cable and satellite service.


COLUMBIA TRAGEDY: TX Atty. General Warns Against Phone & E-mail Scams
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott issued a warning for consumers to be
on the lookout for telephone and email scams asking for monetary
donations to aid families of the shuttle Columbia astronauts who
perished in the first weekend of February.

"With the nation still grieving over the loss of these American heroes
in the skies above Texas, we now have information that professional
scam artists are using this tragedy to prey on the goodwill of our
people," Attorney General Abbott said in a statement.  "If my office
finds out that Texas consumers fell victim to this scheme, thinking all
the while they were helping these astronauts' families, we will bring
the fullest measure of the law to bear upon the perpetrators."

The telephone solicitors and email "spammers" urge charitable donations
to benefit a fund established for these families, but these solicitors
are suspect, and federal and state government watchdogs have been
monitoring this activity.

However, a fund established to assist the families of the 1986
Challenger disaster has been reconstituted and is being underwritten by
Bank of America.  Those wishing to contribute may do by sending check
or money order by Mail: Space Shuttle Children's Trust Fund, c/o The
Private Bank at Bank of America, P.O. Box 34600, Washington, D.C.
20043-4600

For more details, contact the Attorney General's Consumer Protection
Hotline: 800/621-0508, or visit the Website: http://www.oag.state.tx.us


DR. CLARK: FTC Files Lawsuit Over Unsubstantiated Product Claims in OH
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Federal Trade Commission has charged a Switzerland-based company
and its US counterpart with making numerous unsubstantiated efficacy
claims for a variety of dietary supplements and devices that they sell
on the Internet.

In its complaint filed in the United States District Court in the
Northern District of Ohio, the Commission alleges that the defendants
advertise that their products and programs can cure advanced and
terminal cancers, AIDS, and other serious diseases.  The FTC's
complaint names Dr. Clark Research Association (DCRA), a California
corporation that uses a San Diego, California, address, Dr. Clark
Behandlungzentrum GMbH, a company based in Munchenbuchsee, Switzerland,
and doing business as Dr. Clark Zentrum (DCZ), and their owner, David
P. Amrein.

The products at issue are:

     (1) the "Zapper," (sold as the "Super-Zapper Deluxe") a device
         that purportedly kills disease causing parasites in the body
         with electricity,

     (2) the "Syncrometer," a device that purportedly can diagnose
         diseases,

     (3) "Dr. Clark's New 21 Day Program for Advanced Cancers," a
         regimen that includes dietary supplements.  It purportedly
         cures advanced cases of cancer, and, when used with the
         "Super-Zapper Deluxe," renders surgery and chemotherapy
         unnecesssary; and

     (4) the "Complete Herbal Parasite Program" - also called the
         Herbal Parasite Cleanse

The FTC's action is part of "Operation Cure.All," a coordinated,
ongoing and comprehensive law enforcement and consumer education effort
with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Health Canada, and
various state Attorneys General that began in 1997 to crack down on
unscrupulous marketers who use the Internet to prey on the sickest and
most vulnerable consumers.

"Zapping outlandish promises that appeal to health and safety concerns
of U.S. consumers is one of our top priorities" Howard Beales, Director
of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection said in a statement.
"Unfortunately, questionable products abound on the Web.  The FTC, with
its partners, will continue the fight to protect consumers from these
compelling but deceptive health claims."

FDA Commissioner Mark McClellan, M.D., Ph.D., said in a statement "The
FDA takes a dim view of devices that make phony claims to cure or treat
serious disease or illness.  Besides being a waste of money, such
products can prevent the user from obtaining needed medical treatment.
FDA will continue to monitor the Internet and other sources for devices
that make false medical claims and work with the FTC to get them off
the market."

According to the FTC, the defendants advertise and sell their products
on the Internet at "http://www.drclark.net"and
"http://www.drclark.com." The Web sites contains statements such as:

     (i) "Cancer can now be cured . just like many other illnesses;"

    (ii) "Electricity can now be used . to kill bacteria, viruses and
         parasites in minutes, not days or weeks as antibiotics
         require;" (Zapper claim)

   (iii) "We have seen amazing results in hopeless cases with this
         program that are nothing short of miraculous." (The 21-day
         cure for advanced cancers claim)

The FTC alleges that the defendants made numerous unsubstantiated
claims about the Zapper, the Syncrometer, the 21 Day Program for
Advanced Cancers, and the Herbal Parasite Cleanse, including through
the use of testimonials.  Specifically, the complaint alleges that the
defendants made unsubstantiated representations that:

     (a) use of the Super-Zapper Deluxe is effective to kill bacteria,
         viruses, and parasites in the human body, and is effective
         against chronic infections, cancer, and AIDS;

     (b) the Super-Zapper Deluxe, used together with the Complete
         Herbal Parasite Program, is effective to cure all forms of
         cancer in humans and to cure AIDS;

     (c) the Supper-Zapper Deluxe, used together with the Complete
         Herbal Parasite Program and avoidance of pollutants, is
         effective to cure diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's,
         endometriosis, asthma, and many other diseases;

     (d) Dr. Clark's New 21 Day Program for Advanced Cancers is
         effective to cure all forms of cancer in humans; has cured
         numerous people diagnosed with advanced cancer; and when used
         with the Super-Zapper Deluxe, make surgery and chemotherapy
         unnecessary; and

     (e) the Syncrometer device is more accurate than the best testing
         methods at diagnosing all forms of disease; and can detect the
         presence of any substance at specific points in the human
         body.

The FTC charges that the defendants did not have a reasonable basis to
substantiate the claims made in their advertisements.

For more information, visit the FTC's Virtual Health Treatments
Website: http://www.ftc.gov/healthclaimsor the FDA's Buying Medicines
and Medical Products Online Website: http://www.fda.gov/oc/buyonline.


EL PASO: Failed To Prevent Pipe Corrosion Leading To Rupture, NTSB Says
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined that the
cause of a pipeline rupture in Carlsbad, New Mexico was the significant
reduction in pipe wall thickness and severe internal corrosion due to
El Paso Natural Gas Company's (EPNG) failure to prevent, detect, or
control internal corrosion within its pipeline, an NTSB report states.
Contributing to the accident were ineffective federal inspections of
the company's internal corrosion control program that did not identify
deficiencies.

On Saturday, August 19, 2000, a 30-inch-diameter natural gas
transmission pipeline operated by El Paso Natural Gas Company ruptured
adjacent to the Pecos River near Carlsbad, New Mexico.  The released
gas ignited and burned for 55 minutes.  Twelve persons who were camping
under a concrete-decked steel bridge that supported the pipeline across
the river were killed and their three vehicles destroyed.  Two nearby
steel suspension bridges for gas pipelines crossing the river were
extensively damaged.

During the investigation, NTSB investigators found that the rupture was
a result of severe internal corrosion that caused a reduction in pipe
wall thickness to the point that the remaining metal could no longer
contain the pressure within the pipe.  Furthermore, the corrosion was
likely caused within the pipeline by the combination of microbes and
such contaminants as moisture, chlorides, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and
hydrogen sulfide, the report notes.

One of the major issues of this investigation involved the use of
cleaning pigs.  A "pig" is a mechanical device that is used to clean
the pipeline.  These devices, which may include scrapers or brushes on
the pig body, are inserted in a pipeline, or launched, and traveled
downstream with the gas flow.

In its report, the Board noted that periodic use of cleaning pigs could
remove water and other liquid and solid contaminants that may cause
corrosion in a pipeline.  However, because the section of pipeline that
ruptured could not accommodate pigs, cleaning pigs were not run in this
section.

Another related issue the Board emphasized in the report was the
partial clogging of the drip.  The drip is a stub line that branched
off the bottom of the gas pipeline.  Its purpose is to collect liquids
and solids that may have built up in the pipeline during normal
transportation of gas or after pigging operations.

The investigation revealed that as a likely result of the partial
clogging of the drip upstream of the rupture location, some liquids
bypassed the drip and continued through the pipeline to the eventual
rupture site.  At the rupture site, a bend in the pipe had created a
low point in the pipeline where liquids and other residue accumulated
and caused corrosion.

Consequently, the Board found that because of the configuration of the
piping, including the location of the pig receiver and the design of
the drip, cleaning pigs could not run in the section of pipeline that
ruptured and therefore removal of substances was incomplete.  The Board
also concluded that if the accident section of pipeline had been able
to accommodate cleaning pigs, and if cleaning pigs had been used
regularly with the resulting liquids and solids thoroughly removed from
the pipeline after each pig run, the internal corrosion that developed
in this section would likely have been less severe.

The Board stated in the report that before the accident, EPNG did not
have in place an internal corrosion control program that was adequate
to identify or mitigate the internal corrosion that was occurring in
its pipelines.  Had EPNG effectively monitored the quality of gas
entering the pipeline and the operating conditions in the pipeline and
periodically sampled and analyzed the liquids and deposits for
corrosivity that were removed from the line, it would likely have
detected the potential for significant corrosion to occur within the
pipeline, the Board determined.  Overall, the Board found that the
current Federal pipeline safety regulations do not provide adequate
guidance to pipeline operators or enforcement personnel in mitigating
pipeline internal corrosion.

As a result of this accident investigation, the Board made several
recommendations to the Research and Special Programs Administration
(RSPA) and NACE, International (formerly known as National Association
of Corrosion Engineers).

For the Research and Special Programs Administration, the NTSB suggests
that they:

     (1) develop the requirements necessary to ensure that pipeline
         operators' internal corrosion control programs address the
         role of water and other contaminants in the corrosion process;

     (2) evaluate the Office of Pipeline Safety's pipeline operator
         inspection program to identify deficiencies that resulted in
         the failure of the inspectors, before the Carlsbad, New
         Mexico, accident, to identify the inadequacies in EPNG's
         internal corrosion control program;

     (3) implement the changes necessary to ensure adequate assessments
         of pipeline operator safety programs;

For the NACE, International, the NTSB suggests they establish an
accelerated schedule for completion of an industry standard for the
control of internal corrosion in steel pipelines that will replace or
update NACE standard RP-01-75.

For more details, contact the Website: http://www.ntsb.gov/default.htm
or contact Keith Holloway by Phone: (202) 314-6100


EMULEX CORPORATION: Trial in Securities Suit Set July 2003 in CA Court
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Trial in the consolidated securities class action pending against
Emulex Corporation and certain of its officers and directors is set for
July 2003 in the United States District Court, Central District of
California.

The suit, filed on behalf of purchasers of the Company's common stock
during various periods ranging from January 18, 2001, through February
9, 2001, allege that the Company and certain of its officers and
directors made misrepresentations and omissions in violation of
sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as
amended.

The Company asked the court to dismiss the suit, but the court denied
this motion in March 2002.  The defendants filed a motion for
reconsideration of that order, which the court denied in May 2002.
Plaintiffs have commenced discovery.  The court certified the class
action by an order dated September 30, 2002.  The court has scheduled a
trial setting conference on June 6, 2003, with an expectation that the
case will be set for trial in July 2003.

As a result of the class action, a number of derivative cases were
filed in state courts in California and Delaware, and in federal court
in California, alleging that certain officers and directors breached
their fiduciary duties to the Company in connection with the events
alleged in the consolidated suit.

The derivative cases filed in California state courts have been
consolidated in Orange County Superior Court and plaintiffs filed a
consolidated and amended complaint on January 31, 2002.  On May 10,
2002, the Orange County Superior Court ordered that the consolidated
actions be stayed pending resolution of the federal class action
described above.

The derivative suit in Delaware was dismissed on August 28, 2001.  On
March 15, 2002, the federal court ordered that the federal derivative
action be stayed pending resolution of the federal class action
described above.  The plaintiffs in that action filed a motion for
reconsideration of that order, which was denied by an order dated June
3, 2002.

The above-described litigation could result in substantial costs to the
Company and a diversion of management's attention and resources.  While
the Company believes that the lawsuits are without legal merit and
intends to defend them vigorously, because the lawsuits are at an early
stage, it is not possible to predict whether the Company will incur any
material liability in connection with such lawsuits.


GENCORP INC.: OH Court Denies Summary Judgment For Ex-Employees Lawsuit
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
denied Gencorp Inc.'s motion for summary judgment in the class action
filed by a group of former GenCorp employees who retired from GenCorp
facilities.  The suit names as defendants the Company, its subsidiary
Omnova Solutions, Inc. and certain retiree medical plans of both
companies, seeking certain retiree medical benefits.

The retirees seek to certify a class consisting of all eligible
retirees at 12 plants formerly represented by the United Rubber
Workers.  The plaintiffs' claims are based primarily on certain GenCorp
labor agreements, which expired in the mid-1990's or earlier, and
GenCorp's adoption of a replacement retiree health care plan that
capped benefit levels.

The Company believes it has meritorious defenses to this lawsuit, and
that the likelihood that it will incur liability materially affecting
its consolidated financial condition is remote.


HOYTS HONEY: US Marshals Seize Antibiotic Contaminated Honey Products
----------------------------------------------------------------------
At the request of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA),
US Marshals seized adulterated imported bulk and finished product honey
from Hoyts Honey Farm, Inc. in Baytown, Texas.

US Marshals seized 266 drums of honey (each containing 639 pounds of
bulk honey) and five totes (each containing a net weight of 3,000
pounds) after FDA tested and confirmed the presence of an unapproved
food additive, chloramphenicol.  In accordance with the Federal Food,
Drug and Cosmetic Act, food products that contain chloramphenicol, an
antibiotic, are adulterated and are not permitted to be sold in or
imported into this country.

This seizure is the third enforcement action against similarly
contaminated honey in six months.  The first such seizure occurred in
August 2002 in Louisiana. The second seizure occurred in January 2003
when U.S. Marshals served a warrant on T.W. Burleson and Son, Inc. in
Waxahachie, TX.  The continued monitoring of food production and
distribution at many levels has enabled FDA to detect this adulterated
honey since the agency learned of the presence of chloramphenicol in
imported honey.

Chloramphenicol is a broad-spectrum antibiotic drug used to treat life-
threatening infections in humans, usually when other alternatives are
not available.  The use of this antibiotic is limited because of its
potentially life-threatening side effect, idiosyncratic aplastic
anemia.  For the very small number of the population susceptible to
this side effect, exposure to chloramphenicol could be serious or life
threatening because of the current uncertainty regarding the dose-
response relationship between chloramphenicol ingestion and aplastic
anemia, it is not possible to define a safe level for the presence of
this antibiotic in food products.  The agency will continue to detain
or seize any honey imports that contain chloramphenicol to ensure that
this product is not released for human or animal consumption in the
United States.


INDIA: State-Owned Oil Firm May Divest Stake In American Oil, Gas Block
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
India's state-owned oil firm, ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) is likely to divest
its entire stake in a US oil and gas block to another Indian company,
Oil India Ltd (OIL), because OVL believes it may have to face a class
action in the United States due to investments it has made in the
Sudan, a country whose political system has been classified as
"dictatorial" by the government in Washington, Asia Pulse reports.

Under US law, a company having a commercial presence in the United
States can face a class action if it invests in a country whose
government has been designated as "dictatorial."  OVL has such a
presence in the United States, since its subsidiary Sakhalin India Inc.
(SII) holds a 10 percent stake in an offshore exploration project in
Louisiana.  The class action could be brought against Sakhalin as well,
because its parent company has invested in a country whose government
has been accused of human rights abuse, company sources said.

Meanwhile, OVL is engaged in buying a 25 percent stake in the Canadian
company, Talisman Energy, which in turn is withdrawing from Greater
Nile Oil Project.  Talisman took this action following a class action
against it, in the United States, by a church group.  The group alleged
that Talisman provided resources to the military ruler of Sudan to curb
rebellion and abuse human rights.


INTERNATIONAL GAME: Plaintiffs Appeal Class Certification Denial in NV
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs in the consolidated lawsuit against International Game
Technologies, Inc. and other gaming companies appealed the United
States District Court in Las Vegas, Nevada's denial of class
certification for the suit.

The consolidated 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 an
opportunity to win on a given play.  The amended complaint alleges that
the defendants' acts constitute violations of the Racketeer Influenced
and Corrupt Organizations Act, and also give rise to claims for common
law fraud and unjust enrichment.

In December 1997, the court denied the motions that would have
dismissed the consolidated suit or that would have stayed the action
pending Nevada gaming regulatory action.  The defendants filed their
consolidated answer to the suit in February 1998.

In March 2002, the court directed that certain merits discovery could
proceed.  In June 2002, the court denied the plaintiffs' motion for
class certification.  An appeal of that denial was filed timely with
the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  The appellants' (class
plaintiffs) opening brief on appeal must be filed on or before March
31, 2003 and the Respondent's brief is due June 30, 2003.


IRVINE SENSORS: CA Court To Hear Dismissal Motions For Securities Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Central District of California
will hear on February 24,2003 the motions for the dismissal of the
consolidated securities class action pending against Irvine Sensors
Corporation, certain of its current and former officers and directors,
and an officer and director of its former subsidiary Silicon Film
Technologies, Inc.

The amended complaint alleges that defendants made false and misleading
statements about the prospects of Silicon Film during the period
January 6, 2000 to September 15, 2001, inclusive.  The amended
complaint asserts claims for violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Securities and Exchange
Commission Rule 10b-5, and seeks damages of an unspecified amount.

Defendants' time to answer or otherwise respond to the amended
complaint was September 2002, at which time the Company filed a motion
to dismiss the amended complaint.

There has been no discovery to date and no trial has yet been
scheduled.  The Company believes that it has meritorious defenses to
the amended complaint if its motion to dismiss is not granted.  Failure
by the Company to obtain a favorable resolution of the claims set forth
in the amended complaint could have a material adverse effect on the
Company's business, results of operations and financial condition.


JDS UNIPHASE: Asks CA Court To Dismiss Consolidated Securities Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
JDS Uniphase Corporation asked the United States District Court for the
Northern District of California to dismiss the consolidated securities
class action pending against it and several of its current and former
officers and directors.

The suit was filed on behalf of those who acquired the Company's
securities from July 27, 1999 through July 26, 2001, as well as on
behalf of subclasses consisting of those who acquired the Company's
common stock pursuant to its acquisitions of OCLI, E-TEK and SDL.

The complaint seeks unspecified damages and alleges various violations
of the federal securities laws, specifically Sections 10(b), 14(a),
20(a) and 20A of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Sections 11,
12(a)(2), and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933.  It also names one of
the Company's stockholders as a defendant.

On December 13, 2002, the Company moved to dismiss the amended
consolidated complaint.  On January 23, 2003, plaintiffs filed an
opposition.  The Company's reply brief is due on February 24, 2003, and
a hearing is scheduled for March 14, 2003.  No trial date has been set.


JDS UNIPHASE: CA Court Appoints Lead Plaintiff in Securities Fraud Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
California appointed shareholder Shirley Zelman as lead plaintiff in
the securities class action filed on behalf of purchasers of certain
GOALS debt securities issued by an investment bank during the period
from March 6, 2001 through September 26, 2001.

The suit named the Company, one of its stockholders, and several of its
current and former officers and directors as defendants and alleges
violations of the federal securities laws, specifically Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5.

No trial date has been set.  The Company labels the suit "without
merit."


MATRIXONE INC.: NY Court Hears Arguments For Securities Suit Dismissal
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Untied States District Court for the Southern District of New York
heard oral arguments for the dismissal of the consolidated securities
class action pending against MatrixOne, Inc., two of its officers, and
certain underwriters involved in its initial public offering of common
stock (IPO).

The complaint, filed on behalf of purchasers of the Company's common
stock during the period from February 29, 2000 to December 6, 2000,
asserts, among other things, that the Company's IPO prospectus and
registration statement violated federal securities laws because they
contained material misrepresentations and/or omissions regarding the
conduct of the Company's IPO underwriters in allocating shares in its
IPO to the underwriters' customers, and that the Company and the two
named officers engaged in fraudulent practices with respect to this
underwriters' conduct.

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

The Company understands that various plaintiffs have filed
substantially similar lawsuits against over three hundred other
publicly traded companies in connection with the underwriting of
their initial public offerings.  The Company and its officers and
directors believe that the allegations in the complaint are without
merit and intend to contest them vigorously.

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

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


PARK PLAZA: TX Therapy Clinic Owner Pleads Guilty To Health Care Fraud
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A Houston physical therapy clinic owner pleaded guilty in the United
States District Court in Houston, Texas to charges of health care
fraud.

Assistant US Attorney Sam Louis of Houston accepted a plea of health
care fraud today from Jonathan Elliott Jackson, 40.  His mother,
Rubylene Jackson Jones, 65, an employee of her son's Park Plaza
Physical Medicine clinic pleaded guilty Monday.  Investigators for the
Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit initiated this case in
1998.

"This scheme amounted to fraudulent billings of millions of dollars, in
concert with other clinics," Attorney General Greg Abbott said in a
statement.  "It also included payment of kickbacks to employees and
other individuals for Medicare/Medicaid patient referrals to the
clinic."

Ms. Jones conducted medical evaluations of mostly elderly
Medicare/Medicaid beneficiaries at their homes, and Mr. Jackson's
clinic falsely billed for physician evaluations.  She also received
kickbacks for patient referrals.  The two entered the pleas before US
District Judge Vanessa Gilmore.  Sentencing is scheduled for May 12.

"It compels us to ferret out the bad apples in the health care
community, and use the court system to demand justice for taxpayers and
those in need who rely on our Medicaid system," Attorney General Abbott
said.

Mr. Jackson and Ms. Jones are among nine Houston physical therapy
clinic owners and employees suspected of conspiring to commit health
care fraud, money laundering and other crimes to the tune of about $11
million in billings since 1996.  Medicare and Medicaid have reimbursed
these clinics more than $5 million from fraudulent billings.  Mr.
Jackson and Ms. Jones billed Medicaid $724,000.  The remaining seven
defendants have been indicted and are awaiting trial.

Mr. Jackson operated Park Plaza from April 1998 through February 1999.
The defendants billed the state and federal health care programs for
therapy services often not performed at all.  They also claimed they
rendered services that were not ordered, performed or supervised by a
physician, or they relied on false diagnoses in submitting claims.

Mr. Jackson recruited patients for therapy services at this and other
clinics operated by co-conspirators who are still awaiting trial.  Mr.
Jackson was paid a $200 kickback for every patient he referred for
treatment.  He also managed Phycare Healthcare Systems Inc., another
fraudulent operation.


RALPH LAUREN: Saipan Workers Pact Fairness Hearing Set In Spring 2003
---------------------------------------------------------------------
A fairness hearing for the settlement of the class action filed against
Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation and several other clothes retailers will
be held in the spring of 2003 in the United States District Court for
the District of Mariana Islands.

The suit, filed by workers of the defendants' factories in Saipan,
alleges, among other things, that the Company and other defendants
violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act in
connection with the labor practices and treatment of workers of
factories in Saipan that make products for the defendants.  The
plaintiffs seek injunctive relief as well as actual and punitive
damages.

The suit was originally filed in the United States District Court,
State of Hawaii but in July 2000 was ordered transferred to the United
States District Court, District of the Mariana Islands.  On March 23,
2001, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied plaintiffs' writ of
mandamus requesting that the action either be transferred back to the
District Court in Hawaii or to the Central District of California.  On
October 29, 2001, the District Court of the Mariana Islands issued an
order granting in part and denying in part the motion to dismiss.  On
December 17, 2001, plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint, an
earlier Class Action Reporter story states.

On May 10, 2002, the court granted in part and denied in part the
defendants' motion to dismiss the second amended suit, giving
plaintiffs leave to amend some of the dismissed claims.  Also on May
10, 2002, the court granted plaintiffs' motions for class certification
and for preliminary settlement approval.


RALPH LAUREN: Court To Hear Summary Judgment Motions in Employee Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
California will hear the cross motions for summary judgment in the
employee class action against Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation and Polo
Retail, LLC on August 14,2003.

The suit was filed in September 2002, alleging violations of California
antitrust and labor laws.  The plaintiff purports to represent a class
of employees who have allegedly been injured by Polo's requirement that
certain retail employees purchase and wear Polo Ralph Lauren
merchandise as a condition of their employment.  The complaint, as
amended, seeks an unspecified amount of actual and punitive damages,
disgorgement of profits and injunctive and declaratory relief.

The Company answered the amended complaint on November 4, 2002.  A
hearing on cross motions for summary judgment on the issue of whether
the Company's policies violated California law has been scheduled for
August 14, 2003, and the motions are expected to be filed in June or
July.


SALOMON SMITH: 50 BellSouth Retirees Sue Over "Bad Investment Advice"
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Salomon Smith Barney, Inc. faces a lawsuit filed in Guildford Superior
Court in North Carolina on behalf of 50 BellSouth Corporation retirees,
charging the investment firm with giving them bad investment advice,
the American City Business Journals reports.  The firm said the suit
could affect 40 to 200 retirees.

Greensboro law firm Hunter Higgins Miles Elam & Benjamin filed the
suit, alleging claims under:

     (1) negligence,

     (2) breach of contract,

     (3) unfair trade practices and

     (4) state racketeering violations

The suit alleges that Salomon Smith and its employees encouraged the
retirees to "retire and quit employment on their own terms rather
continuing in their jobs and face the risk of a layoff," while relying
on advice from the brokerage firm to generate investment returns of
more than 12 percent a year.

The suit additionally asserted that the firm told the retirees that
they could maintain their present lifestyle, without working further
and that they should celebrate retirement by buying a new car, a new
home or by taking a foreign vacation."  However, many of the retirees
claim that they had to return to work, while most of the investors were
subject to tax penalties, the American City Business Journal reports.

Plaintiff Hunter Higgins is seeking to have the suit transferred to the
North Carolina Business Court in Greensboro, which is designed to
handle complex business cases.


SCT CORPORATION: FDA Asks For Injunction On Three Unsanitary Facilities
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) filed a complaint
for permanent injunction against SCT Corporation, doing business as
Jeppi Nut Company, and Theodore Pavlos and Marina Lillie.  An
inspection by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
found that articles of food at three facilities were contaminated with
rodent and insect filth and held under generally unsanitary conditions.

The suit alleges that the defendants have been operating three
different facilities, 312 N. High Street, Baltimore, Maryland, 808 Low
Street, Baltimore, Maryland, and 418 N. Colvin Street, Baltimore,
Maryland, with numerous violative conditions.  The suit outlines FDA's
observations of egregious unsanitary conditions on food products and
food packaging.  FDA also observed violations involving food processing
equipment and various structural defects that provided rodent entry
points.

Because the firm repeatedly ignored the FDA's warnings to take
corrective action, the agency has filed a complaint for permanent
injunction.  The government's goal is to permanently restrain the
defendants from conducting any food processing and distribution from
their facilities until they take action to permanently correct their
violations.


TEXAS: Attorney General Warns Against Scam Artists Targeting Immigrants
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott issued a warning about an ongoing
scam targeting Hispanic immigrants throughout Texas perpetrated by con
artists posing as licensed attorneys or other legal experts.

Accompanied by members of the local clergy, consular officials, and
non-profit organizations, Attorney General Abbott announced a public
outreach effort to educate potential targets about ways they can
protect themselves from this type of crime.  Atty. General Abbott also
announced a judgment against a Travis County woman perpetrating this
type of fraud against immigrants in the Austin area.  The scam plays
off the similar sounds but different meanings of the English term
"notary" and the Spanish term "notario."

In Texas, a notary is someone licensed to witness the signing of legal
documents.  In most Latin American countries, however, a "notario"
implies that the person is a licensed attorney.  Texas law specifically
prevents notaries from providing any type of immigration service unless
they hold a separate license to practice law.

In a common scam, a person obtains a notary public license in Texas yet
presents himself to Spanish-speaking clients as a "notario p£blico" or
licensed attorney who can help the customer with the immigration
process.  Many con artists charge hundreds or thousands of dollars to
allegedly provide legal assistance in processing INS applications.
However, in many cases, the scam artists disappear with the money,
charge high fees for filing unnecessary documents or perform poor
quality services that jeopardize clients' cases.

"The abuses perpetrated by fraudulent 'notarios' and their likes have
caused much suffering for Texas families," Attorney General Abbott said
in a statement.  "These schemes also create chaos in an already
overburdened immigration system."

The Travis County judgment was against Barbara Seigert, a notary
public, who had offered to fill out and process immigration forms on
behalf of consumers.  The judgment stops Ms. Seigert from selling her
services to immigrants or using the Spanish terms "notario" or "notario
p£blico" in her advertising.  She also faces more than $4,000 in fines,
attorneys fees, and restitution.  Repeat violators of the notary
statute can face jail time.

The Office of the Attorney General will hold an open house in El Paso
on Saturday, February 15, from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm to take reports from
victims scammed by fraudulent notarios p£blicos in the area.  On that
date, affected consumers in El Paso can file complaints in person at
St. Pius X Catholic Community Church, 1050 North Clark.

The Attorney General's efforts will be assisted by Mexican consulate
and immigration advocates.  Similar events will take place later this
year in other Texas cities.  The outreach events organized by Attorney
General Abbott serve to encourage consumers to file reports against
those who perpetrate these frauds.  Although scams against immigrants
have been a longstanding problem in Texas, many consumers are hesitant
to report the incidents to authorities.

"For too long victims have been silent.  This has allowed hundreds of
rogue notaries and other operators to line their pockets and provide
little in the way of service," he said.

For more details, contact the Attorney General's office by Phone:
1-800-252-8011 or visit the Website: http://www.oag.state.tx.us.


TOBACCO LITIGATION: Economist Says Damages Could Reach $7.1B in Lawsuit
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Economist Jeffrey Harris of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
testified that monetary damages for smokers of Marlboro lights and
Cambridge lights could reach up to US$7.1 billion in the consumer class
action pending in Madison County, Illinois court against Philip Morris
USA, the Belleville News-Democrat reports.

The plaintiffs are working to prove that Philip Morris fraudulently
advertised that Marlboro and Cambridge cigarettes produce less nicotine
and tar than regular cigarettes.  The trial could affect about 1.1
million Illinois smokers.

Mr. Harris was the last witness for the prosecution.  He said he
arrived at a few different estimates for monetary damages, using
different factors, such as whether interest is included.  His lowest
estimate for damages was $2.65 billion, the News-Democrat reports.
During cross-examination by Philip Morris attorney Jeffrey Wagner, the
economist agreed that light cigarettes and regular cigarettes cost the
same.

"So the consumer has not paid a penny more for the Marlboro Lights?"
Mr. Wagner asked Mr. Harris.  Mr. Harris answered "No."

However, he asserted that light cigarettes smokers didn't the product
they thought they were buying.

Circuit Court Judge Nicholas Byron, who is presiding over the non-jury
trial, told the attorneys Tuesday he has a new policy of awarding
punitive damages in lawsuits to the state, rather than to plaintiffs.
Judge Byron joked that punitive damages in the case could give cash-
strapped Illinois "a new lease on life," the Belleville News-Democrat
reports.


UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS: FDA Probes Pigs Used in Bioengineering Studies
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determined that
pigs involved in certain bioengineering studies at the University of
Illinois - Urbana/Champaign were possibly not properly disposed of, and
may have entered the food supply.  The agency believes that, based on
present information, this incident poses no public health risk.
Nevertheless, if confirmed, it would represent a significant breach of
the FDA requirements for this study - warranting strong action against
the responsible parties.

To date, this appears to be an isolated incident in which measures
already in place to dispose of experimental transgenic animals may not
have been followed.

Recent FDA inspections of research facilities at the University of
Illinois at Urbana/Champaign indicate that between April 2001 and
January 2003 University researchers released 386 pigs from these
studies to a livestock dealer.  The researchers claim that these pigs,
which were the offspring of transgenic animals, did not inherit the
inserted genetic material from their parents - that is, they were not
themselves transgenic.  However, FDA cannot verify this assertion
because the researchers did not conduct sufficient evaluation or keep
sufficient records to assess whether the offspring inherited the
inserted genetic material.

Because these were experimental animals, FDA had not yet determined the
safety or efficacy of the genetic material they contained, however all
available scientific evidence indicates that they would present no risk
to public health.  The genes were engineered so that the proteins would
be produced primarily, if not exclusively, in the mammary glands of
lactating sows.  None of the pigs sent to slaughter are believed to
have been old enough to lactate.  Therefore, FDA does not believe that
any product derived from these animals would have to be removed from
commerce for public health reasons, and USDA concurs.

In collaboration with USDA, FDA is continuing to examine carefully the
records and practices of the individual researchers and the University.
Under the terms of the study protocols, animals involved in this
particular study were to have been destroyed by incineration or
rendering to prevent their introduction into the human food supply.
Based on its current findings, FDA has issued both the University of
Illinois and the individual investigators involved in this case a
notice of its inspectional observations.  FDA will take further action
based on the results of the investigation.


WASHINGTON DC: Military Veterans March For Health Benefits Restoration
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Coalition of Retired Military Veterans staged a demonstration in
front of Congress and the United States Supreme Court in Washington DC
to bring awareness to the condition of many retired veterans who were
allegedly denied government-funded health care, Item.com reports.

A news release by the group states, "Military retirees won't give up .
We will fight until we all die."

Retired WWII, Korean and Vietnam veterans allegedly are being forced to
pay for their own health care or face medical emergencies with nowhere
to go for care and no means by which to pay for it, the veterans group
contends, Item.com reports.

"We, retirees, feel that our government knows we are dying at a rate of
1,500 a day from World War II, Korea and Vietnam and when there are
only about three or four thousand left someone will say, `You know we
did the military retirees wrong, let's fix this,'" Jim Gunn, chairman
of the coalition, said in the press release.

In the march, the group will also unveil the first of 50 hearses it
plans to use in every state.  The hearse will bear the words "the
government's answer to healthcare for retired military veterans."  The
group hopes the march will draw enough national attention to induce the
High Court to reverse a lower court's decision to deny military
retirees government-funded medical attention.  The class action is
being spearheaded by veteran and lawyer Col. George "Bud" Day.

The group also said in the press release that President Bush failed to
fulfill made to military retirees during election campaign jaunts
through parts of Texas and South Carolina, including Sumter.  "What is
so sad, is America has spent billions of the taxpayers' dollars taking
care of medical problems around the world, but they don't want to take
care of their own military retirees," the release states, Item.com
reports.


                             Asbestos Alert


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Deal Could Threaten Asbestos Claims in Australia
---------------------------------------------------------------------
A Melbourne law firm, Maurice Blackburn Cashman Lawyers, is concerned
victims of asbestos poisoning may miss out on compensation because of a
business deal in the United States.

The parent company of Ballarat-based manufacturer, Bendix-Mintex, is
negotiating its sale and the transfer of any possible asbestos
liability to US company Federal Mogul.  Bendix-Mintex is one of the
Bendix companies which will be sold by Honeywell, "in France, Germany,
Italy, the Czech Republic, Spain, Turkey, the Netherlands, Portugal,
China, Brazil and the United Kingdom and Honeywell's joint venture
interests (the 'Asian Joint Venture Interests') in:

     (1) FMP Group (Australia) Pty. Ltd. (formerly Bendix Mintex Pty.
         Ltd.),

     (2) FMP Group Pty. Ltd. (formerly Bendix Mintex Pacific Pty.
         Ltd.),

     (3) FMP Automotive (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. (formerly Don Brake
         (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd.),

     (4) FMP (Thailand) Ltd. (formerly Bendix (Thailand) Ltd.),

     (5) FMP Distribution Co. Ltd. and

     (6) their respective subsidiaries

Federal Mogul is under bankruptcy court protection in the United States
and is currently immune from any asbestos-related legal claims.  Lawyer
Andrew Dimsey says the company's plan to set up a trust fund to
compensate any victims may not be enough.  "The principle problem is
that trust funds are under-resourced and inevitably tend to pay only a
few cents in the dollar to claimants," he said.

The deal will only proceed when:

     (i) the Court has approved the Materials Plan of Reorganization
         establishing Materials 524(g) Trust;

    (ii) Honeywell cedes rights and benefits from Bendix insurance
         policies for Friction Asbestos Liabilities to Materials 524(g)
         Trust;

   (iii) the court has entered a permanent and non-appealable
         injunction prohibiting legal actions from US and other
         claimants against Honeywell or any of its affiliates for
         Friction Asbestos Liabilities;

    (iv) approval of the arrangement by the boards of Honeywell and
         Federal Mogul is given;

     (v) "confirmation (is received) that Honeywell and its affiliates
         have ceased worldwide the manufacturing, sale and distribution
         of any products containing asbestos;"

    (vi) "the approval, consent or clearance of the European Commission
         pursuant to Council Regulation (EEC) No. 4064/89, as amended,
         and approval, consent or clearance of any other governmental
         authorities whose approval, consent or clearance the parties
         reasonably believe is necessary, shall have been obtained;"

   (vii) it has been ascertained that there is an "absence of any
         injunctions or governmental proceedings prohibiting or
         challenging the transaction;"

  (viii) "the required consultation by Honeywell with its European
         Works Council and any other works council consultation
         processes that may be applicable outside the United States" is
         completed.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ABA's Support of Asbestos Criteria Sparks Furor
--------------------------------------------------------------------
In a move that outraged some in the legal community, the American Bar
Association voted to accept new medical criteria that would eliminate
the vast majority of asbestos cases.  The ABA, effectively accepting
blame for swamping the nation's courts with asbestos claims, will lobby
Congress for legislation that embraces the same limits.

"We will do that immediately," said ABA President AP Carlton, noting
that the Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to take up the issue
early next month.  The proposal wouldn't prevent anyone with cancer
caused by asbestos from suing, but addresses the more nebulous area of
asbestos-caused pulmonary disease, which can be debilitating and
ultimately fatal.

Experts have been divided for decades about the criteria that indicate
whether someone is suffering from disease caused by asbestos.
Different doctors look for different features on X-rays, and they
debate whether X-rays alone, or more sophisticated CT scans are the
most appropriate way to tell whether there is scarring or thickening of
the lining of the lungs consistent with asbestos exposure.

However, the vote passed with a 70 percent majority, a big margin that
Mr. Carlton said indicated the sense of urgency about reforming a
litigation area that has threatened to overwhelm courts and forced more
than 60 companies into bankruptcy since 2000.  More than 200,000
asbestos cases are now pending nationwide, many involving people who
aren't actually sick from asbestos, although they may have been exposed
to it in the past.

About 600,000 asbestos cases, representing more than $200,000,000,000
in claims, already have been handled by the courts, and an average of
50,000 more are filed each year.  Critics, however, said the ABA plan
was rammed through and could end up hurting many plaintiffs, including
those from Libby, Montana, who do deserve compensation for illness.

The new standard, opponents said, excludes many people exposed to
tremolite, the type of asbestos found in Libby, as well as talc mines
in New York and taconite mines in Minnesota.  Thousands more people
across the country were exposed to Libby-type asbestos through work in
the manufacturing plants that turned vermiculite into insulation and
garden additives.

In a letter to the ABA, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., urged the group not
to make a hasty decision that could affect millions of American exposed
to asbestos.  "I fear the ABA's Commission on Asbestos Litigation has
not adequately considered critical input from important medical, public
health and industrial-hygiene experts," she wrote.

Labor groups, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America and advocates
for victims in Libby had mounted a furious campaign to try to get that
information into the hands of delegates in the days before the vote.
"It was a rotten product derived through a rotten process," said Bob
Gorman, Seattle representative of the AFL-CIO. "We'll fight to the end
to keep this from getting through Congress."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: AWI, Property Owners Agree on Asbestos Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Armstrong World Industries Inc. reached an agreement that may settle a
good chunk of its asbestos-related lawsuits claiming property damage,
according to court documents.  The settlement, between attorneys for
Armstrong and property damage claimants, is part of the company's
efforts to emerge from bankruptcy.  The settlement must still be
approved by a bankruptcy court judge.

The agreement resolves about 360 of 461 property damage claims and
represents about 78 percent of such claims pending against the
Lancaster-based building products manufacturer, according to court
documents.  The claims settled are mainly from public institutions
claiming property damage to buildings where Armstrong's asbestos-
containing floor tile is installed.  The settlement proposes resolving
the claims for $2,000,000 or about $5,000 to $6,000 per claim, and will
be funded from Armstrong's insurance assets.

"AWI disputes the validity of the settled claims, but recognizes that
the litigation required to challenge the settled claims may take a
substantial amount of time and may subject AWI's estate to substantial
costs in the process," according to a motion filed on behalf of
Armstrong before US Judge Randall J. Newsome in Delaware.  A hearing on
the settlement before Judge Newsome is scheduled for April 4.

In October, Judge Newsome decided that the scientific method advocated
by the building owners for measuring the health risk posed by the
floors was unreliable, according to earlier reports.  By rejecting the
so-called "indirect method" of testing, Judge Newsome left standing a
second measuring technique, known as the "direct method," which has
shown very low or no risk of asbestos contamination.  Judge Newsome's
decision was one of a number of legal victories for Armstrong in its
fight against the building owners, who have filed 600 claims seeking a
combined $852,000,000 in property damages.

Armstrong, which used asbestos as a flooring ingredient from the 1930s
until 1982, has protested paying the claims and said its old floors are
safe under normal use.

The building owners, hoping to show that asbestos-containing floors
release asbestos fibers into the air and thereby create a health risk,
advocated the "indirect method" of testing.  According to earlier
reports, the "indirect method" involves vacuuming a section of floor,
saving the settled dust, treating it in numerous ways, counting the
asbestos fibers, then predicting the amount that would be airborne.

Judge Newsome was skeptical of its reliability, writing in his nine-
page decision, ". there are significant doubts concerning the
correlation between surface dust and airborne asbestos."  In July, the
judge threw out an attempt by the building owners to broaden their
fight against the company into class-action status, with Armstrong
establishing testing centers where building owners could get samples of
their floors checked for asbestos.  In March, Judge Newsome rejected
the building owners' requests for more time to file claims.

Armstrong filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in December
2000 to resolve tens of thousands of claims also alleging personal
injury from exposure to its asbestos insulation.  Armstrong intends to
create an asbestos trust fund to handle the personal injury claims with
about $2,100,000,000 of the firm's assets, according to previous
reports.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Chubb Exec Calls on Industry to Fight Class Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The insurance industry should unite to defend itself against "a pattern
of egregious class action securities lawsuits," a top-ranking executive
at Chubb Corporation said in a speech to the Professional Liability
Underwriting Society in New York.

John Degnan, Chubb's vice chairman, called on insurers, agents and
brokers to establish what he called an "Institute for Securities Class
Action Defense."  Such an organization is needed to "confront and
reverse a very troubling pattern of abusive, outrageously aggressive
and, in some cases, downright dishonest conduct on the part of the
plaintiffs' bar in class-action securities litigation," Mr. Degnan said
in a statement.

The organization would be "devoted exclusively toward advancing the
successful defense" of class-action suits involving the insurance
industry, he said.  "It troubles me, frankly, to watch the plaintiffs'
bar cloak itself in the robes of protectors of the public's interest in
good corporate governance, while it almost methodically settles case
after case for the limits of available insurance in a well-documented
process that advances the financial interests of the advocates to a far
greater degree than it does of the shareholders," Mr. Degnan continued.

In support of his proposal, Mr. Degnan cited the insurance industry's
success in collectively resisting "truly unjust--even specious--
theories of coverage or of liability" involving tobacco, repetitive
stress and electromagnetic fields.  Mr. Degnan's company, Chubb,
announced it had taken a $75,000,000 pretax charge to increase reserves
for asbestos-related claims and a $100,000,000 pretax charge to
increase loss reserves for European directors and officers and errors
and omissions lines.

The financial strength of Chubb's insurance subsidiaries is rated A++
(Superior) by A.M. Best Co.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Electrolux CEO Says Asbestos Cases Rise Possible
---------------------------------------------------------------------
AB Electrolux (NASDAQ: ELUX), the world leader in home appliances, said
it was possible that the number of asbestos lawsuits against it in the
United States could increase in 2003.  "Of course I can't exclude the
possibility that it increases further," Chief Executive Hans Straberg
admitted in an interview.

Earlier Electrolux, the maker of appliances from refrigerators and
vacuum cleaners to lawn mowers and chainsaws, announced in its 2002
results that the number of asbestos lawsuits against it had increased
to 218, representing some 14,000 plaintiffs, compared with 95, and
3,500 plaintiffs, in 2001.

Mr. Straberg said he believed there would be no upward provision for
asbestos damage claims from a current $9,000,000 booked by the company,
even though he said the group was probably not covered by insurance
against such claims.  "It is probable that we are not covered by
insurance. Very seldom is there insurance for cases like this," he
said.

Electrolux had already settled some individual claims, he said.  "We
have had an increase in cases at the end of the year (but) we have also
resolved cases in the US.  We have settled some and some have been
dismissed," Mr. Straberg said.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Gefco Offers Additional R30M to Asbestos Victims
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Griqualand Exploration and Finance Company (Gefco) is expected to make
an additional R30 million contribution to Gencor's proposed
R460,000,000 settlement with South African asbestos victims.
The new offer, which brings the total settlement package to
R490,000,000, makes the deal the largest group action claim in South
African history.  The money will be used to establish a national trust
fund for present and future asbestos victims, many of whom only develop
incurable lung cancers such as mesothelioma up to 40 years after
exposure to asbestos.

Occupational health attorney Richard Spoor said Gefco's offer included
an immediate R15,000,000 cash contribution, as well as 50% of the
proceeds of sale on all Gefco assets after the company winds down its
affairs later this year.  This includes all assets held by subsidiaries
such as Msauli, considered South Africa's last major asbestos mine and
which ceased operation last year.

"We expect our portion of the sales to realize at least another R15
million," said Mr. Spoor.

Mr. Spoor's group of 37 asbestos victims initially demanded
R1,500,000,000 from Gencor and Gefco, but provisionally accepted the
far smaller out-of-court offer in the interest of claimants who were
already so ill they might not live through a court battle.  He
stressed, however, that lawyers for Gencor, Gefco and the victims are
still negotiating the exact details of the settlement and will probably
only sign an agreement.

"It's a long and laborious process, but it is still faster than a court
hearing," Mr. Spoor said.

The settlement ends months of uncertainty and will finally allow Gencor
to unbundle its 46% stake in Impala Platinum (Implats), valued at about
R18,000,000,000.  Mr. Spoor is meanwhile already in negotiations with
other mining companies, including Switzerland's Eternit, believed to
have liability for their asbestos operations in South Africa.

The discussions have unnerved shareholders, who dumped 4,2% of Lonmin
stock in London last week after Spoor announced that the holding
company would have to answer for its predecessor Lonrho.  Lonrho was
ranked South Africa's fourth biggest asbestos producer while operating
its Emerentia and Wandrag mines through Duiker Exploration between 1975
and 1986.  The mines were subsequently bought by commodities trading
company Glencore in 2000, which in turn sold them to Xstrata, a London-
listed diversified resources company that also operates vanadium and
coal mines in South Africa.  Mr. Spoor stressed that Eternit, Lonmin
and Xstrata were not his only targets.

"We'll be meeting Eternit in Zurich in March, but are also looking at
other companies that benefited from the asbestos industry.  This is not
a purely legal issue.  Companies also have a moral obligation to those
who are suffering," said Mr. Spoor.

Eternit, which owned Kuruman Cape Blue Asbestos and Danielskuil Cape
Blue Asbestos, is expected to contribute towards the new asbestos trust
as part of a campaign to raise its endowment to a minimum of
R800,000,000.

The fourth of Mr. Spoor's new asbestos targets, Anglo American, will
however be a tougher nut to crack.  Anglo American had a 40% stake in
Charter Consolidated, which controlled asbestos mining company Cape
until the early 1980s.

"Anglo has never been in the asbestos mining business and never
operated or managed asbestos mines or plants," Anglo spokeswoman Anne
Dunn insisted.

Mr. Spoor concedes Anglo never directly operated an asbestos mine, but
argues it is "the grand daddy of South African asbestos mining.  It
spawned both Gefco and Cape, and therefore has an overwhelming moral
obligation."

"Asbestos poisoning is not a purely legal matter. It's about as close
as you get to large-scale murder and massive corporate malfeasance.
The evidence that asbestos was extremely harmful has been available
since the 1960s, but absolutely nothing was done to protect workers,"
he says.

The proposed national trust fund will meanwhile set aside an estimated
R42,500,000 for asbestos victims who worked on Cape Plc's mines, and
who are expected to benefit from a separate GBP21m (roughly R295m)
trust envisioned by British lawyers who sued the company in London.
The Gencor/Gefco trust will also use 5% of its revenue for social
development and a major awareness campaign through NGOs and affected
communities.  The campaign will include efforts to identify all
remaining asbestos pollution 'hot spots', and will lobby local or
national authorities to immediately rehabilitate the sites.

A linked 'caregiver' campaign will seek to immediately improve
treatment for victims who are already dying of lung cancer and other
asbestos related illnesses.  The campaign will include training for
affected family members, better pain-killing drugs for rural patients,
and a major education drive amongst doctors and nurses in hot spot
areas.

"It will take at least six months to set the trust up, and we realize
that some people with advanced mesothelioma simply cannot wait that
long.  We are therefore looking at emergency payouts to these victims
with fatal ailments," adds Mr. Spoor.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Georgia-Pacific's Spinoff Plan on Indefinite Hold
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Georgia-Pacific's poor performance, sagging stock price and asbestos
liabilities have combined to cast more doubt on its already-delayed
plan to split in two.

Separating the Company's consumer products and packaging businesses
from the building products business was to have been Chairman and Chief
Executive Pete Correll's swan song.  It would position the 61-year-old
to spend his final years in business as head of the new consumer
products company whose brands would include Brawny and Dixie.  Instead,
Mr. Correll has had to play a waiting game, uncertain when or if the
split he envisioned will occur.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hanson Supports ABA Asbestos Proposal, Shares Rise
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Shares in UK building materials company Hanson rose, defying a weaker
London share market, after the American Bar Association agreed to
support legislation that would limit lawsuits for nonmalignant lung
tissue injuries alleged to be caused by exposure to asbestos.

"That is a positive asbestos development and hence Hanson is marked
higher in a falling market," said Darren Shaw, an analyst at Dresdner
Kleinwort Wasserstein.  The US Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a
hearing on asbestos lawsuit reform on March 5.

Lawsuits have multiplied against companies operating in the United
States over contamination by asbestos, which was used for fireproofing
and insulation in the 1960s and 1970s.  Hanson has said it faces
thousands of lawsuits over the cancer-causing material.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: MetLife Upgrades Asbestos Reserve To $1.225Billion
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
MetLife Inc. (NYSE:MET) increased its recorded liability for asbestos-
related claims by $402,000,000 to $1,225,000,000 on Dec. 31, 2002.  The
company said this liability is within the coverage of its excess
insurance policies related to asbestos injuries.

Overall, the increase in recorded liability resulted in a net expense
of $266,000,000, or $169,000,000 after taxes.  According to the filing,
on December 31, 2002, MetLife had 106,500 asbestos personal-injury
claims, compared with 89,000 on December 31, 2001.  MetLife said 66,000
new claims were filed against the company in 2002.

During 2002, MetLife made $95,100,000 in settlement payments, compared
with $90,700,000 in 2001.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Cost Creates Huge Loss for Owens Corning
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Owens Corning reported it lost $2,800,000,000 in 2002 mainly because of
accounting charges to cover asbestos liability expenses.  The maker of
building materials and fiberglass filed for bankruptcy protection in
October 2000 because of rising costs from asbestos lawsuits.  It
stopped selling insulation that contained asbestos 25 years ago.

The Toledo-based company took a $2,400,000,000 charge in the third
quarter of 2002 to reflect rising estimates of the company's asbestos
liability over the next 50 years.  The asbestos debt will be
extinguished if the company successfully emerges from bankruptcy.  A
trust fund likely would be set up to pay claims.

"When we resolve our asbestos liabilities and emerge from Chapter 11,
our reported results should once again more clearly reflect the
operational results of our business," CEO David Brown said Monday.  The
2002 loss comes after the company posted a profit of $39,000,000 in
2001.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Legrand Subsidiary Faces Asbestos Litigation in Italy
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Legrand reports that in the second half of 2001, around 180 current and
former employees of BTicino, its primary Italian subsidiary, commenced
two class actions and three individual suits against the Italian social
security agency for early retirement payments citing alleged exposure
to asbestos during the manufacture of products at our Torre del Greco
facility.

BTicino, as the employer, is a party to the suit, as is customary under
Italian law. Pursuant to Italian law, if the employees prove long-term
(at least 10years) exposure to asbestos, they may be entitled to retire
early and, as a result, could receive higher retirement payments over
the course of their retirement.  Although the early retirement payments
would be payable by the Italian social security agency, the Company
cannot give the assurance that the Italian social security agency will
not seek a contribution for all or a portion of the payments.

Further, should the employees be successful in their claim for early
retirement payments, they could commence personal injury claims
relating to damages they could allege to have suffered.  Should the
employees proceed with such claims, the Company could incur significant
costs defending against such claims and could be required to pay
potentially significant damage awards.


COMPANY PROFILE

Legrand SA
128, avenue du Mar‚chal de Lattre de Tassigny
87045 Limoges Cedex, France
Phone: +33-5-55-06-87-87
Fax: +33-5-55-06-88-88
http://www.legrandelectric.com

Employees                    : 27,000
Revenue                      : $2,742,400,000
Net Income                   : $155,900,000
Assets                       : $4,668,200,000
Liabilities                  : $3,085,200,000
(As of December 31, 2001)

Legrand's low-voltage electrical fittings and wiring accessories
provide shock therapy for homes, commercial buildings, and factories.
Long known for its light switches, the company also makes dimmers,
timers, and circuit breakers for nearly every application.  Other
products include heating controls, audio and video house porters, video
security systems, and distribution cabinets.  Cable wiring accessories
are marketed under the Colring, Lina, and Vikings brand names.  US
subsidiaries include Pass & Seymour, Ortronics, and The Watt Stopper.
The Decoster and Verspieren families control 56% of Legrand.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Cleveland-Cliffs Subsidiaries Battle Asbestos Lawsuits
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Company and/or The Cleveland-Cliffs Steamship
Company, or both, which are subsidiaries of the Cleveland-Cliffs Inc.,
have been named defendants in 478 actions brought during the years 1986
to date by former seamen (or their administrators) in which the
plaintiffs claim damages under Federal law for illnesses allegedly
suffered as the result of exposure to airborne asbestos fibers while
serving as crew members aboard the vessels previously owned or managed
by the Cliffs Entities until the mid-1980s.

In a significant majority of the cases, the Cliffs Entities are co-
defendants with a number of other ship-owners whose employees worked on
the Cliffs Entities' vessels and the vessels of such other ship-owners,
as well as shipyards and manufacturers of asbestos-containing products.
The general understanding among ship-owners is that any liability in
these cases will be divided according to the proportion of time served
by such seamen on the respective owners' vessels.

All these actions have been consolidated into multi-district
proceedings in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, whose docket now
includes a total of over 30,000 maritime cases filed by seamen against
ship-owners and other defendants.  All of these cases have been
administratively dismissed without prejudice, but can be reinstated
upon application by plaintiff's counsel.  The claims against the Cliffs
Entities are insured, subject to self-insured retentions by the
insureds in amounts that vary by policy year; however, the manner in
which these retentions will be applied remains uncertain.  The Cliffs
Entities continue to vigorously contest these claims and have made no
settlements on these claims.


COMPANY PROFILE

Cleveland-Cliffs Inc (NYSE: CLF)
1100 Superior Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44114-2589
Phone: 216-694-5700
Fax: 216-694-4880
http://www.cleveland-cliffs.com

Employees                    : 3,858
Revenue                      : $598,600,000
Net Income                   : $(188,300,000)
Assets                       : $730,100,000
Liabilities                  : $650,800,000
(As of December 31, 2002)

Description: Cleveland-Cliffs is a leading producer of iron ore
pellets, a key component of steelmaking.  It owns or holds stakes in
five North American properties containing nearly a billion tons of
crude iron ore reserves.  Cleveland-Cliffs produces about 33 million
tons annually (the company's share is about 19 million tons; the
remainder represents the holdings of other mine owners).  Cleveland-
Cliffs sells its iron ore pellets to steelmakers in the US, Canada, and
Europe. International Steel Group accounts for a fifth of its sales.
The company also produces magnetite concentrate, which is used in a
variety of industrial applications.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Fresenius Medical to Pay $115M for Asbestos Claims
------------------------------------------------------------------
Fresenius Medical Care AG will pay $115,000,000, an increase from
$15,000,000 agreed to earlier, to settle asbestos claims and tax issues
from the 1996 purchase of a unit from W.R. Grace & Co.

The higher amount covers tax liabilities excluded from a November
agreement and gives the company protection against current and future
W.R. Grace-related claims.  Fresenius, the world's largest provider of
dialysis services, said it has sufficient reserves to cover the
payment.  The settlement makes Fresenius became one of the first
European companies to extricate itself from U.S. asbestos claims that
have hurt manufacturers including ABB Ltd., Europe's largest electrical
engineering company.

Investors once feared Fresenius might have to pay hundreds of millions
of euros, causing the stock to fall by half in the three months before
the November agreement.  "We find this very positive," said Peter
Duellmann, an analyst at Sal, Oppenheim Jr & Cie, which rates the stock
"strong buy."  "Now the last uncertainty has been removed."

Fresenius Medical shares rose 1.05 euros, or 2.6 percent, to 41.60
euros at 9:16 am in Frankfurt, after trading as high as 41.98.  The
stock has risen 19 percent since the company reached its initial
settlement agreement in November.

No admission of liability has been made.  Fresenius's involvement
stemmed from its purchase of US-based National Medical Care, which it
bought from the now-insolvent US chemical maker W.R. Grace in 1996.
Plaintiffs with asbestos-related claims against Grace alleged that the
chemical company sold assets including National Medical for unfairly
low prices to shield them from liability.

Sealed Air Corporation, the US maker of Bubble Wrap, in November agreed
to pay $856,300,000 in stock and cash to settle asbestos and
bankruptcy-fraud claims connected to its 1998 purchase of W.R. Grace's
food packaging unit.

"The terms of this definitive agreement provide certainty and finality
for Fresenius Medical Care upon confirmation," said Fresenius Medical
Chief Executive Officer Ben Lipps in an e-mailed statement.


COMPANY PROFILE

Fresenius Medical Care Aktiengesellschaft (NYSE: FMS)
Else-Kroner Strasse, 1
61346 Bad Homburg, Germany
Phone: +49-6172-609-0
Fax: +49-6172-608-2488
http://www.fmc-ag.com

Employees                    : 37,000
Revenue                      : $4,859,300,000
Net Income                   : $63,400,000
Assets                       : $6,516,000,000
Liabilities                  : $3,899,100,000
(As of December 31, 2001)

Description: Fresenius Medical Care is one of the largest dialysis
providers in the world.  Its staff treats more than 100,000 patients at
its 1,430 dialysis clinics worldwide and the company also provides
inpatient services at more than 800 US clinics.  Fresenius also offers
renal care through a joint venture with Kaiser Permanente, the US's big
not-for-profit HMO which serves Kaiser Foundation Health Plan members.
In addition to performing dialysis, Fresenius makes dialysis machines,
dialyzers, and other supplies.  Fresenius AG owns about half of
Fresenius Medical Care.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Heatrae Asbestos Victim Denied Asbestos Compensation
--------------------------------------------------------------------
A legal loophole is preventing a Norwich grandmother from claiming
compensation from a firm which, she argues exposed her to asbestos as
she did her part for the Second World War effort.  Olive Ellis, 83, has
found it impossible to find any solicitors prepared to take up her
claim against her old bosses because of an outdated law.  Despite
putting in 72-hour shifts at Norwich firm Heatrae during the war years,
a law dating back to 1954 means she cannot claim compensation.

Mrs. Ellis, who lives off Vauxhall Street, was told last year she had
asbestosis and she believes exposure to asbestos when she worked at the
firm in St George's Street was the source of her illness.  She said, "I
went to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital last May because I had a chest
infection . I went for x-rays and it took a month or so before they
told me I had asbestosis . It means I get very short of breath and I
cannot walk like I used to be able to. I cannot do the things I used to
do."

Between 1936 and 1950 Mrs. Ellis worked for Heatrae, creating ovens for
the Navy.  She said, "We used to do all sorts of war work.  I think it
was there where I was exposed to asbestos.  We used to have to cut
metal with a knife and put it on hot plates . Before the war we used
blue asbestos ropes to thread through spirals and make water heaters."

Claims against employers can usually be made within three years of
diagnosis, but because Mrs. Ellis worked so long ago, no solicitor will
touch her case.  However, she does have the backing of Norwich-based
support group, the Asbestos and Respiratory Industrial Disease
Association (Arid).  The group was set up by Andrew Davidson after his
brother-in-law Arthur Bocking died of asbestosis.

Mr. Davidson said, "Normally when you are exposed to asbestos it can
take between 15 and 50 years to manifest itself.  But a legal precedent
set in 1954 by the House of Lords passed a law that stated if exposed
before 1954 you only had two to three years to bring your claim . The
problem is that you can be exposed to it and not have any ill effects
for years.  Olive was diagnosed last year but because of this legal
precedent she cannot pursue her claim."

"It is a national disgrace.  We want to form a legal committee to
challenge for a change in the law.  It would mean us getting a private
members bill passed which would be like moving a mountain, but at the
moment vulnerable people are being victimized . They become victims
when they are exposed to asbestos, they are victims again when they are
diagnosed and once again when they cannot claim compensation . We could
have got between œ20,000 to œ30,000 for Olive, which would have paid
for a stairlift and for the help she needs," he added.

Heatrae is now based in Hurricane Way.  A spokeswoman said it could not
comment on individual cases.  For more information about Arid contact
it by Phone: (01603) 491390.


COMPANY PROFILE

Heatrae Sadia Heating Ltd
Hurricane Way
Airport Industrial Estate
Norwich
Norfolk
NR6 6EA
Phone: 01603 420100
Fax: 01603 420149
http://www.heatraesadia.com

Description: Heatrae Sadia Heating Ltd is the largest electrical water
heating company within Baxi plc which includes leading names in space
and water heating products in the UK.  It employs nearly 500 people in
two manufacturing sites - Norwich and Gt Yarmouth.  Its turnover in
1999 was œ60 million including its Santon and Heatrae brands.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Kemper Insurance Companies Faces Asbestos Related Suits
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Kemper Insurance Companies' future is murky at best, analysts say, as
the company struggles to emerge as a stronger but smaller commercial
insurer.

Most recently, Kemper has been hit with enormous exposure to asbestos
litigation.  Insurers have been making news these days because of the
surge in asbestos lawsuits.


COMPANY PROFILE

Kemper Insurance Companies
1 Kemper Dr.
Long Grove, IL 60049
Phone: 847-320-2000
Fax: 847-320-7992
Toll Free: 800-833-0355
http://www.kemperinsurance.com

Employees                    : 9,000
Revenue                      : $2,847,500,000
Net Income                   : $121,200,000
Assets                       : $8,881,200,000
Liabilities                  : $7,376,700,000
(As of December 31, 2001)

Description: The Kemper Insurance Companies offers an array of
personal, risk management, and commercial property & casualty products.
Its Lumbermens Life Agency offers personal term life and disability
income insurance, wealth accumulation programs, and other services.
Kemper's Business Customer Group provides workers' compensation and
property coverage lines, and the Individual and Family Group offers
auto, homeowners, and general liability insurance.  The Kemper Casualty
Company offers casualty and risk management services to large
businesses.

                     New Securities Fraud Cases

AMERICREDIT CORPORATION: Reinhardt & Anderson File Securities Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Reinhardt & Anderson initiated a securities class action in the United
States District Court for the Northern District of Texas on behalf of
investors who acquired shares of Americredit Corporation (NYSE:ACF)
between April 14, 1999 and January 15, 2003 against the Company and
certain of its individual directors and officers.

The complaint charges Americredit and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
Americredit is a national consumer finance company specializing in
purchasing, securitizing and servicing automobile loans.  The complaint
alleges that during the class period, defendants caused Americredit's
shares to trade at artificially inflated levels through the issuance of
false and misleading financial statements.

The complaint alleges violations of the federal securities laws arising
out of defendants' issuance of false and misleading statements about
the Company's business, operating performance and prospects.
Specifically, defendants were improperly deferring delinquent loans to
avoid consumer defaults so Americredit would have access to cash which
otherwise would have been restricted.

For more details, contact Garrett D. Blanchfield by Phone: 888-253-5139
or 651-227-9990 by Fax: 651-297-6543 by E-mail:
g.blanchfield@ralawfirm.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.ralawfirm.com.


ARIBA INC.: Kaplan Fox Commences Securities Fraud Lawsuit in N.D. CA
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer LLP initiated a securities class action against
Ariba, Inc. (Nasdaq: ARBAE) and certain of its officers and directors
in the United States District Court for the Northern District of
California.  This suit is brought on behalf of all persons or entities,
other than defendants, who purchased the Company's common stock between
January 11, 2000 and January 15, 2003, inclusive.

The complaint charges Ariba and certain of its officers and directors
with violations of the federal securities laws.  It alleges that
beginning in January of 2000 and throughout the class period,
defendants issued numerous positive statements in press releases and
filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding
Ariba's revenue growth and projections.  These statements falsely
portrayed Ariba's business prospects and artificially inflated and
maintained the price of Ariba common stock.

On January 15, 2003, Ariba announced that it would restate all of its
financial results for ten quarters, covering the quarter ended March
31, 2000 through the quarter ended June 30, 2002, and the fiscal years
for 2000 and 2001.  The Company further announced on that date that it
may be delisted by the NASDAQ Stock Market because it has not filed its
annual report with the SEC for 2002.  Ariba's stock plunged 15% on the
day of this announcement.

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


ATMEL CORPORATION: Bernstein Liebhard Lodges Securities Suit in N.D. CA
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz LLP initiated a securities class action
on behalf of all persons who acquired securities of Atmel Corporation
(NASDAQ: ATML) from January 20, 2000 to July 31, 2002, in the United
States District Court for the Northern District of California, against
the Company, George Perlegos, and Donald Colvin.

The suit charges that during the class period, Defendants violated
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and
Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, by issuing a series of material
misrepresentations to the market, thereby artificially inflating the
price of Atmel securities.  Specifically, the suit alleges that,
Defendants inflated the Company's revenues and earnings by concealing
that Atmel was selling defective chips to its customers, which would
lead to product recalls, repairs, and loss of customer relationships.

The suit further alleges that while Atmel's stock price was
artificially inflated, defendants sold more than $500 million in notes
in a private placement offering.  This scheme was revealed on July 31,
2002, when news reports disclosed that Seagate Technology, Inc. had
filed a lawsuit alleging that Atmel chips caused flaws in millions of
disk drives which Seagate manufactured from 1999 to 2001.  On this
news, the Company's stock price declined to $2.96.

For more details, contact Ms. Linda Flood, Director of Shareholder
Relations, by Mail: 10 East 40th Street, New York, New York 10016 by
Phone: (800) 217-1522 or 212-779-1414 by E-mail: ATML@bernlieb.com or
visit the firm's Website: http://www.bernlieb.com.


BLOCKBUSTER INC.: Cauley Geller Commences Securities Suit in N.D. Texas
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Cauley Geller Bowman Coates & Rudman, LLP initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the Northern District of
Texas, Dallas Division, located at 1100 Commerce, 14th Floor, Dallas,
Texas 75242, on behalf of purchasers of Blockbuster Inc. (NYSE: BBI)
publicly-traded securities during the period between April 24, 2002 and
December 17, 2002, inclusive.

The suit alleges that defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder, by issuing a series of material misrepresentations to the
market between April 24, 2002 to December 17, 2002, thereby
artificially inflating the price of Company securities.

Throughout the class period, as alleged in the suit, defendants issued
numerous positive statements regarding the Company's financial
performance and its future prospects.  The suit alleges that these
statements were each materially false and misleading when made as they
misrepresented and/or omitted the following adverse facts which then
existed and disclosure of which was necessary to make the statements
made not false and/or misleading, including:

     (1) that Blockbuster's business was being negatively impacted by
         declining DVD sale prices.  As the prices of DVDs declined,
         consumers began to purchase DVDs from a variety of retail
         outlets, instead of renting them, thereby causing Blockbuster
         to experience declining rental sales;

     (2) that Blockbuster was unable to effectively compete with other
         retailers of DVDs as many of those retailers offered DVDs as
         loss leaders -- selling the DVDs below or at cost -- in order
         to entice shoppers into the store.  As a result, Blockbuster
         was experiencing declining DVD sales as it lost sales to mass
         merchandisers,

     (3) growth at stores that were open for more than one year was
         slowing to such an extent that the same-store growth rates
         that defendants had promised investors would not be realized;

     (4) that Blockbuster was experiencing problems with certain of the
         movie studios with whom it had profit-sharing arrangements.
         In particular, Blockbuster was being accused by Buena Vista of
         breaching the terms of its revenue sharing agreement with it.
         After the class period, Buena Vista brought suit against
         Blockbuster for $120 million and alleged breach of contract;
         and

     (5) as a result of the foregoing, defendants' lacked a reasonable
         basis for their earnings projections and positive statements
         about the Company at all times.

On December 18, 2002, Blockbuster shocked investors when it slashed its
earnings estimates and cut its growth rate for same-store sales and
attributed the revisions to the negative impact of lower DVD prices
which was increasing sales of DVDs and decreasing rentals.  In
response, the price of Blockbuster common stock declined precipitously,
falling from $19.40 per share to $13.64 per share on extremely heavy
trading volume.  Prior to the disclosure of this adverse information to
the market, the Individual Defendants and certain other high-level
executives of Blockbuster sold their personally-held Blockbuster common
stock to the unsuspecting public, reaping proceeds of more than $25
million.

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


HOTELS.COM: Reinhardt & Anderson Commences Securities Suit in N.D. TX
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Reinhardt & Anderson filed a securities class action lawsuit in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas on
behalf of purchasers of Hotels.com (Nasdaq:ROOM) publicly traded
securities during the period between October 23, 2002 and January 6,
2003.

The complaint charges Hotels.com and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
Hotels.com is an online consolidator of hotel accommodations,
contracting with hotels in advance for volume purchases and guaranteed
availability of hotel rooms at wholesale prices, which are then sold to
customers.

On October 10, 2002, USA Interactive announced that it was ending its
ongoing process to acquire all of the shares of Hotels.com that it did
not own. Hotels.com then claimed that its prospects were "excellent"
and days later, on October 23, 2002, the Company projected phenomenal
growth for its Q4, including Q4 02 revenue of $283-$289 million and
cash earnings per share of $0.46 to $0.47.  These projections, on top
of the Company's October 10, 2002 announcement, sent the Company's
shares soaring to above $60 per share, eventually hitting a Class
Period high of $75 on December 2, 2002.  Then on January 6, 2003, with
more than $42 million of insider trading proceeds, the defendants
announced that the Company would fall materially short of hitting its
forecasted projections.  On this news, the Company's shares dropped to
$44 from $59, a market cap loss of more than $855 million.

For more details, contact Garrett D. Blanchfield by Phone: 888-253-5139
or 651-227-9990 by Fax: 651-297-6543 by E-mail:
g.blanchfield@ralawfirm.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.ralawfirm.com.


MERRILL LYNCH: Kaplan Fox Commences Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer LLP initiated a securities class action against
Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc., and Internet stock analyst and First Vice
President of Merrill Lynch, Henry Blodget, in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of all
persons or entities who purchased the common stock of Homestore.com
(Nasdaq:HOMS) between September 8, 1999 and September 21, 2001
inclusive.

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

Furthermore, when issuing their Homestore analyst reports, the
Defendants failed to disclose significant, material conflicts of
interest which they had, in light of their use of Mr. Blodget's
reputation and his Homestore analyst reports, to obtain investment
banking business for Merrill Lynch.

Furthermore, in issuing their Homestore analyst reports, in which they
were recommending the purchase of Homestore common stock, the
Defendants failed to disclose material, non-public, adverse information
which they possessed about Homestore.

Throughout the class period, the defendants maintained a "BUY/BUY" or
"ACCUMULATE/BUY" recommendation on Homestore in order to obtain
lucrative financial deals for Merrill Lynch.  As a result of
Defendants' false and misleading analyst reports, Homestore common
stock traded at artificially inflated levels during the class period.

For more details, contact Frederic S. Fox or Donald R. Hall by Mail:
805 Third Avenue, 22nd Floor, New York, NY 10022 by Phone:
(800) 290-1952 or (212) 687-1980 by Fax: (212) 687-7714 by E-mail:
mail@kaplanfox.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.kaplanfox.com


MOTOROLA INC.: Alfred Yates Commences Securities Fraud Suit in N.D. IL
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Office of Alfred G. Yates, Jr. PC initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court, Northern District of
Illinois, by the Law Office of Alfred G. Yates Jr, P.C. on behalf of
purchasers of the securities of Motorola, Inc. (NYSE:MOT) between
February 3, 2000 and April 6, 2001, inclusive.

The suit alleges that defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder, by issuing a series of material misrepresentations to the
market between February 3, 2000 and April 6, 2001, thereby artificially
inflating the price of Motorola securities.

Throughout the class period, as alleged in the complaint, defendants
issued numerous statements and filed reports with the SEC which
described a $1.5 billion agreement between Motorola and Telsim, under
which Motorola would provide infrastructure, handsets and associated
services to enable Telsim to expand its countrywide global system for
mobile communications network in Turkey.  As alleged in the complaint,
these statements were materially false and misleading because
defendants failed to disclose, among other things:

     (1) the extent to which the Telsim transaction was being
         supported by vendor financing;

     (2) the level of risk which Motorola was exposed to by providing
         such vendor financing; and

     (3) that the vendor financing was secured primarily by a pledge of
         the Telsim's stock.

On March 30, 2001, Motorola filed its Proxy Statement with the SEC and
disclosed for the first time that it had provided over $1.5 billion of
vendor financing in connection with the Telsim deal.  As the market
slowly began to digest this information, Motorola's common stock fell
from a closing price of $14.95 per share on April 5, 2001, to close at
$11.50 per share on April 6, 2001 - a one day decline of 23%, on
extremely heavy trading volume of 64 million shares traded.

For more details, contact Alfred G. Yates, Jr. by Mail: 519 Allegheny
Building 429 Forbes Avenue Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219 by Phone:
412/391-5164 or 1-800/391-5164 or by E-mail: yateslaw@aol.com


UNUMPROVIDENT CORPORATION: Milberg Weiss Launches Securities Suit in TN
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Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Tennessee on behalf of purchasers of UnumProvident Corporation
(NYSE:UNM) publicly traded securities during the period between May 7,
2001 and February 4, 2003.

The complaint charges the Company and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  The
Company provides group disability and special risk insurance, as well
as group life insurance, long-term care insurance, and payroll-deducted
voluntary benefits offered to employees at their worksites.
UnumProvident operates around the World.

The complaint alleges that during the class period, defendants caused
UnumProvident's shares to trade at artificially inflated levels through
the issuance of false and misleading financial statements.  The Company
failed to properly record the impairment to its investments and
operated "long-term denial factories," causing the Company's financial
results to be inflated.  As a result, the Company's shares traded at
inflated prices enabling UnumProvident to raise proceeds of $250
million on June 13, 2002 in its bond offering.

UnumProvident and its top officers inflated the prices of the Company's
securities in order to pursue an accelerated securities sale program.
Defendants knew that by concealing UnumProvident's true financial
results they could foster the perception in the business community that
UnumProvident was a "growth company," i.e., it was the only way
UnumProvident could post the revenue and earnings per share growth
claimed by defendants.

On February 5, 2003, UnumProvident announced that it had recorded
investment losses of $93 million and also reported that it was
responding to Securities and Exchange Commission requests for
information relating to its investment disclosures.

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

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

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

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

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
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