CAR_Public/030228.mbx                C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R
  
               Friday, February 28, 2003, Vol. 5, No. 42

                            Headlines                            

ALASKA: Witness In Price-fixing Suit Says Processor Wrecked His Efforts
BAYER AG: Denies Executives Knew Of Baycol's Problems Before Recall
BRIDGESTONE/FIRESTONE: Lawyer Issues Subpoenas In Ford Explorer Probe
CALIFORNIA: Shasta County Expects Suit Overload Due To RMC Litigation
CONAGRA: Judge Scores Antitrust Suit V. Meatpackers, Suggests Amendment

CATHOLIC CHURCH: Cardinal Law Appears Before Massachusetts Grand Jury
HEALTHSOUTH CORPORATION: SEC Widens Investigation Over Securities Fraud
MARYLAND: NC Student Leaders Await University of Maryland Tuition Suit
MORGAN STANLEY: SEC Launches Investigation of IPO "Laddering" Practices
PEET'S COFFEE: Former Employee Commences Overtime Wage Suit in CA Court

PHARMACEUTICAL FIRMS: Montreal Residents Sue Several Generic Drug Firms
PHILADELPHIA: Three Black Officers Sue Police Dept For Discrimination
PRUDENTIAL SECURITIES: WA Court Allows Securities Fraud Suit To Proceed
SECURITIES LITIGATION: SEC Figuring Out Ways To Compensate Shareholders
SEROLOGICALS CORPORATION: GA Court Dismisses Securities Fraud Lawsuit

SONY CORPORATION: CA Residents Launch Suit Over Defective DVD Players

                           Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NUM Scores Zimbabwe's Objection to Asbestos Ban
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Minister Calls for Urgent Action Against Asbestos
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: CEO Says ABB Ltd. In Danger If Goals Are Not Met
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Alfa Laval Faces 15,000 Asbestos Plaintiffs in US
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Alliance Praises TX Bill Stemming Asbestos Cases

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Groups Raise Objections To Armstrong Voting Plan
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Halts Litigation V. Combustion Engineering
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Dana Reports 139,000 Outstanding Asbestos Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Halliburton Losses Reach $602M on Asbestos Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Businessman Exposed Pal, Four Others to Asbestos

ASBESTOS ALERT: Eastman Faces Asbestos Lawsuits in Various State Courts
ASBESTOS ALERT: Great American Insurance Co. To Settle Asbestos Claims
ASBESTOS ALERT: Kimberly Clark Records 105 Asbestos Related Lawsuits
ASBESTOS ALERT: Maritrans Inc. Faces Seventy Asbestos Related Lawsuits

                     New Securities Fraud Cases  

AEGON NV: Marc Henzel Commences Lawsuit for Securities Fraud in S.D. NY
AMERCO: Marc Henzel Launches Suit For Securities Violations in NV Court
ATMEL CORPORATION: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Securities Lawsuit in CA
ATMEL CORPORATION: Marc Henzel Commences Securities Lawsuit in N.D. CA
BIO-TECHNOLOGY GENERAL: Marc Henzel Lodges Securities Suit in NJ Court

BLOCKBUSTER INC.: Marc Henzel Launches Securities Fraud Suit in N.D. TX
CARREKER CORPORATION: Marc Henzel Commences Securities Suit in N.D. TX
H&R BLOCK: Marc Henzel Commences Securities Fraud Lawsuit in S.D. NY
HAMILTON BANCORP: Vianale & Vianale Launches Securities Suit in S.D. FL
INTERSTATE BAKERIES: Marc Henzel Commences Securities Fraud Suit in MO

MORGAN STANLEY: Falls & Veach Launches Securities Fraud Suit in M.D. TN
MOTOROLA INC.: Spector Roseman Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in N.D. IL
ROYAL AHOLD: Milberg Weiss Commences Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
ROYAL AHOLD: Schoengold & Sporn PC Commences Securities Suit in S.D. NY
ROYAL AHOLD: Lockridge Grindal Commences Securities Lawsuit in S.D. NY

ROYAL AHOLD: Abbey Gardy Commences Securities Fraud Lawsuit in S.D. NY
ROYAL AHOLD: Wechsler Harwood Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in E.D. VA
ROYAL AHOLD: Fruchter & Twersky Commences Securities Lawsuit in S.D. NY
SAWTEK INC.: Stull Stull Commences Securities Fraud Lawsuit in M.D. FL


                              *********

ALASKA: Witness In Price-fixing Suit Says Processor Wrecked His Efforts
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Frederick S. Magill of Sitka, testifying in the Bristol Bay price-
fixing case, said processor Nelbro Packing Co. loaned his company,
Baypack Fisheries, more than $1.5 million for conversion of a
processing vessel.  However, Nelbro didn't deliver the promised
technical support, or the good prices from the Japanese buyers, Mr.
Magill said, according to the Associated Press Newswires.

Mr. Magill said this was an effort, in 1995, to bring an independent
60-foot processing vessel on line in the Bristol Bay sockeye salmon
fishery.  Baypack Fisheries was an investment involving several Bristol
Bay permit holders.  He said, however, that Nelbro failed to provide
the promised skilled technical quality control to grade the fish and
get a good price in Japan, in return for which Baypack was going to pay
Nelbro four percent of Baypack's earnings, up to $20 million, plus
three percent of sales over $20 million.  Baypack went out of business
after one season, and eventually sued Nelbro and settled out of court.

The price-fixing class action began February 3.  Some 4,500 fishermen
are seeking more than $1 billion, alleging that the Seattle processors
and the Japanese importers conspired to fix prices in Bristol Bay from
1989 to 1995.


BAYER AG: Denies Executives Knew Of Baycol's Problems Before Recall
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Bayer AG said yesterday that it acted properly in marketing its anti-
cholesterol drug Lipobay, in response to allegations that company
executives may have known about the drug's problems before it was
withdrawn in August 2001, the Guardian Unlimited reports.

Philip Beck, a lawyer acting for Bayer in the US, said he was confident
that the company acted properly.  "We think we acted responsibly in the
development and marketing of the medicine as well as in our efforts to
keep the medical community informed of areas where they should be
cautious," he said.

Lipobay (also known as Baycol) was withdrawn from store shelves after
it was linked to hundreds of deaths worldwide and to the potentially
deadly muscle condition known as rhabdomyolysis.  The recall cost the
company GBP600 million and gave rise to hundreds of personal injury
suits.

Earlier, the New York Times reported that company executives might have
known of Lipobay's effects before the recall.  This caused the
Company's shares to plunge by a fifth in value.  Investors are
concerned that if it is shown that executives did know about the
problems well ahead of the decision to withdraw the drug it could
affect Bayer's insurance cover against claims, escalating the potential
liabilities facing the group, the Guardian reports.  

The Company is working to settle hundreds of claims.  Mr. Beck said the
vast majority of claims did not come from people who had actually
experienced side-effects.  "A very small percentage involve people who
actually suffered side-effects from the medicine.  But the very large
percentage of claims involve people who did not suffer any side-effects
and for whom the medicine worked safely and effectively," he asserted.

Lawyers acting for claimants in the Texas trial are trying to gain
class action status for their case.  A decision is expected in the next
two weeks.


BRIDGESTONE/FIRESTONE: Lawyer Issues Subpoenas In Ford Explorer Probe
---------------------------------------------------------------------
US Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Miriam F. Miguelon
issued grand jury subpoenas relating to a probe into Ford Explorer
rollover accidents.  The Ford Explorers, equipped with Firestone tires,
resulted in more than 200 deaths and 700 injuries, according to
Washington Post sources.

Ms. Miquelon started the probe late last year, and has subpoenaed at
least eight people and evidence and depositions from civil lawsuits
filed in recent years.  It is not clear, however, what the grand jury
wants to do.  One person close to the investigation told the Washington
Post that it appears to concern whether officials at Bridgestone
Corporation, which makes Firestone tires, and Ford Motor Co. were
forthcoming with Congress and regulators about problems they had
identified in the tires.

"We're not surprised.  Clearly, the evidence we uncovered showed that
Bridgestone knew it had serious problems with these tires long before
they addressed it publicly," Ken Johnson, spokesman for Rep. W.J.
"Billy" Tauzin (R-La.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce
Committee, which conducted hearings starting in the fall of 2000 into
problems with the tires, told the Post.

The federal government ended an investigation into Firestone and Ford
in October 2001, after inking a pact with them to replace 3.5 million
tires for the Explorer.  Despite that, thousands of personal injury and
class actions have been filed against the two companies and are still
pending.

Officials at Bridgestone said they have not been contacted by the
prosecutor and know nothing about the investigation, the Washington
Post reports.  Dan MacDonald, a Bridgestone spokesman, said his company
stands by the information it gave Congress and regulators. "We have
always been honest and with federal officials," he said.

Ms. Miquelon subpoenaed evidence gathered for those lawsuits, a person
familiar with the process told the Post.  She also sought information
from Public Citizen, which helped attract attention to the faulty
tires, said Laura MacCleery, the group's counsel for auto safety.  "She
called us and said . she was looking into criminal allegations,"
MacCleery said.  "And since we thought there was a cover-up, we
assisted."

Other consumer advocates praised the new investigation.  Clarence M.
Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety, a nonprofit
group in the District, told the Post, "When an auto defect kills 200
people, there should be a criminal investigation.  We're happy to see
it."


CALIFORNIA: Shasta County Expects Suit Overload Due To RMC Litigation
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The California Superior Court for Shasta County expects a lawsuit
overload due to lawsuits due to be filed starting next week against two
heart doctors, the Redding Medical Center (RMC) and its parent
corporation, attorneys and court officials said Tuesday, according to
Redding.com.

The litigation centers on an FBI probe of RMC, its parent Tenet
Healthcare Inc. and doctors Chae Hyun Moon and Fidel Realyvasquez, over
allegations that the doctors may have committed Medicare fraud by
performing unnecessary heart procedures and surgeries.  The
controversy, which began October 30 when FBI agents seized records from
both doctors and RMC, shows little sign of easing.  A dozen lawsuits
have been filed relating to this and more suits are expected.

"We're going to see more (civil lawsuits) filed in probably one day
than we would see filed in a year," Melissa Fowler-Bradley, assistant
court executive officer for Shasta County Superior Court, told
Redding.com.  "We've never dealt before with anything this large."

Redding attorneys Dugan Barr and Russell Reiner have told court
officials that they are close to filing litigation on behalf of their
hundreds of clients.  "They are filing a huge number of parties," Ms.
Fowler-Bradley continued.

Atty. Barr, who represents about 350 plaintiffs, told Redding.com that
he hopes to have his lawsuits filed within 30 days.  Atty. Reiner said
that he intends to file lawsuits next week against the Redding hospital
and others on behalf of his 500 clients.  

Due to the complicated nature of the cases and the large number of
clients involved, Ms. Fowler-Bradley said the litigation could place a
heavy burden on the court system.  "It will put a real strain on our
judicial resources," she said. "It's going to be difficult."


CONAGRA: Judge Scores Antitrust Suit V. Meatpackers, Suggests Amendment
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Federal Judge Charles Kornmann told plaintiff beef producers they may
have 20 days to amend their lawsuit.  The judge said fine-tuning the
case was preferable to its being dismissed and ultimately having it re-
filed, the Aberdeen American News (SD) reports.

Beef producers filed the class action, charging that the large
meatpacking companies profited by using US Department of Agriculture's
(USDA) erroneous information for figuring the price of boxed beef.  The
lawsuit charges the erroneous information depressed the price of the
packers' finished product, the boxed beef, and thus depressed the price
paid to the beef producers.  The beef producers allege the meat packers
knew the information USDA used was mistaken.  When it became known
shortly after the prices were reported that they were erroneous, prices
leaped for boxed beef and the packers made high profits.  Now the beef
packers want fair compensation.

When defendants asked that the suit be dismissed, Judge Kornmann did
not rule on the request.  He said he had some concerns with the
lawsuit, that fine-tuning the case was preferable to dismissing it and
ultimately having it re-filed.

Judge Kornmann gave the plaintiffs information about the matters
troubling him, no doubt, so the plaintiffs might address such issues
and file an amended complaint. The judge disagreed with USDA that it
cannot be held liable for the error.  Moreover, the software vendor who
provided USDA with the computer program, also might be held
responsible.

Judge Kornmann also said he wonders whether, in fact, the cattle were
sold off because of the lowered prices as plaintiffs allege (he would
want to see more about that point).  He also added he is concerned that
the case is a class action.

Judge Kornmann also has said he does not think the packers have a
"fiduciary relationship," to the livestock producers, as the producers
allege.  In other words, said the judge, although it is not a final
ruling, right now, he does not think that even if the packers did know
USDA's prices were wrong, that they were obliged to tell the beef
producers (the ranchers).


CATHOLIC CHURCH: Cardinal Law Appears Before Massachusetts Grand Jury
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Former Boston Archbishop Bernard Law appeared before a grand jury
investigating whether to issue a criminal indictment in a clergy sex
abuse case, the Associated Press reports.  Eight other top officials in
the Boston Archdiocese have been subpoenaed to answer questions about
their handling of complaints against priests.

Cardinal Law refused to comment as he left the offices of Massachusetts
Attorney General Thomas Reilly.  His lawyer, J. Owen Todd, told AP
Cardinal Law is "saddened that the situation has developed to where
it's necessary for the cardinal and the grand jury to have to
investigate what happened."  He said he didn't expect the grand jury to
bring charges.

Another official, New Orleans Archbishop Alfred Hughes is expected to
testify on Wednesday.  Archbishop Hughes' spokesman, the Rev. William
Maestri, told AP he intends to hold a news conference to answer
questions about Archbishop Hughes' appearance.

The grand jury focused on the evolution of the archdiocese's policy of
handling abusive priests during Cardinal Law's tenure starting in 1984.  
Attorney General Reilly's office had no comment on Cardinal Law's
appearance or possible criminal charges against church leaders, AP
states. Attorney General Reilly, who convened the grand jury last year,
has said that it could prove difficult to bring criminal charges
against Catholic officials.

Until recently, church officials were not required to report sexual
abuse of children to civil authorities.  A new law now makes reckless
endangerment of children a crime, and requires church officials to
report suspected abuse, the Associated Press states.


HEALTHSOUTH CORPORATION: SEC Widens Investigation Over Securities Fraud
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission has widened the
scope of its investigation into Birmingham-based company, Healthsouth
Corporation, over alleged insider trading of company stock, the
Birmingham Business Journal reports.

In August 2002, the Company announced that its pretax profits would be
reduced by about $175 million, due to lowered Medicare payments.  
Several securities class actions were filed later, alleging that
Company chairman and CEO Richard Scrushy knew about the hurtful
Medicare charges and failed to disclose that he sold $25 million worth
of the Company's shares in advance.

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced earlier this
month that it had commenced a criminal investigation into the matter.
The investigations add to the lawsuits brought by HealthSouth
shareholders, again alleging insider trading.

The company remains adamant that it did nothing wrong, the Birmingham
Business Journal reports.  William W. Horton, HealthSouth's executive
vice president and corporate counsel, says, "We do not believe that
either HealthSouth or individuals associated with HealthSouth violated
any securities laws, and we have continued to cooperate as fully as
possible with the SEC in this matter."

The SEC would not comment on the case, the Birmingham Business Journal
states.  


MARYLAND: NC Student Leaders Await University of Maryland Tuition Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
North Carolina student leaders are closely monitoring a class action
filed by against the University of Maryland system by seven of its
students, questioning the university's power to raise tuition fees, the
Daily Tar Heel reports.

The students filed the suit over the system's mid-semester tuition
increases, which range from $75 to $500 depending on a student's class.  
The suit purports to be on behalf of all 130,000 students in the
Maryland system, even though not all campuses were affected by tuition
increase.

The suit could spark similar litigation in North Carolina and other
states, as many states are also dealing with tough economic times by
raising tuition.  "The spark has already occurred," former Association
of Student Governments President Andrew Payne told the Daily Tar Heel.  
"The spark's there.  It's just a matter of finding somebody with the
legal knowledge to take it on."

Mr. Payne continued that in-state students at UNC-system schools have a
definite argument when it comes to suing about tuition increases
because of a constitutional mandate that says tuition should be "as
free as practicable."  This, he said, gives a lawsuit here more
legitimacy than the one in Maryland.

Sheldon Steinbach, general counsel for the American Council on
Education, told the Daily Tar Heel that although he thinks the case for
litigation against universities for tuition increases has no merit,
there are bound to be more lawsuits against institutions of higher
learning.  Former UNC-system President Bill Friday said lawsuits based
on the Maryland case are likely to happen.  "The precedent for
duplication lawsuits is there," he said.  "Everything will depend on
what happens in the federal court."

Leslie Winner, UNC-system vice president for legal affairs, said that
if litigation was brought against the state, it would not significantly
affect the system because officials notify students as far in advance
as possible about the potential cost of tuition, the Daily Tar Heel
states.  Maryland students assert that the state's university system
raised tuition without warning.

ASG President Jonathan Ducote said students could be more inclined to
take legal action against tuition increases based on the results of the
Maryland case.  "ASG won't take legal action, first and foremost," Mr.
Ducote said.  "But I do think there is an argument. I think later a
viable argument can be made that the state is violating its
constitutional mandate."


MORGAN STANLEY: SEC Launches Investigation of IPO "Laddering" Practices
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is set to
investigate investment firm Morgan Stanley, over charges of "laddering"
or allocating shares in new public offerings to preferred investors,
the Times Online reports.

Thousands of investors have commenced securities fraud suits against 55
underwriting firms who issued more than 300 initial public offerings
(IPO) for companies during the dotcom boom in the late 90s, in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.  
Last week, federal judge Shira Scheindlin allowed the suits to proceed.

The suits generally charge the investment firms with giving preferred
clients allocations in "hot stocks" on the understanding that they
bought additional shares in the open market, once trading commenced.  
The practice effectively ensured that new issues got off to a racing
start in initial dealings, the Times Online reports.  However, ordinary
investors lost out because they bought in the secondary market at
inflated prices and suffered big losses when the artificial support for
the stock was withdrawn.  Also included in the litigation are firms
like Citigroup's Salomon Smith Barney, Credit Suisse First Boston and
Goldman Sachs.

Morgan Stanley could face a large fine if it is found guilty of
"laddering."  Civil charges would also render the bank more vulnerable
to many class actions that are being brought by ordinary investors.

The bank denied any wrongdoing.  "We believe our conduct with regard to
IPO allocation has always been proper and lawful," it said yesterday,
according to the Times Online.


PEET'S COFFEE: Former Employee Commences Overtime Wage Suit in CA Court
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Peet's Coffee and Tea faces a class action, filed in Orange County
Superior Court, Santa Ana, California by a former employee, charging
the Company with allegedly reclassifying him as a manager when he was
largely performing the duties of an hourly worker but not getting paid
overtime, SFGate.com reports.

Brian Taraz, 40, filed the suit on behalf of more than 300 current and
former employees of the Company, alleging that the coffee chain "knew
that they had a duty to compensate plaintiff and the members of the
class at overtime rates as required by California law" but "willfully,
knowingly and intentionally failed so to do."  The Company further
"falsely represented to plaintiff and the class members that they were
properly classified as exempt from the requirements for overtime pay
rates, all in order to increase defendants' profits."

Mr. Taraz told SFGate.com that only 20 percent of his job involved
managerial work.  The bulk of his time was spent serving coffee, wiping
counters, and taking out trash like the rest of his employees.  "It's
basic exploitation," Mr. Taraz, who made $40,000 a year as a manager
before quitting his job in December, said.  "You take resources and you
leverage them. "

The suit is similar to hundreds of cases filed against major companies
such as Pizza Hut, Farmers Insurance and Starbucks Coffee.  Last year,
Starbucks settled its case for $18 million without admitting any guilt.

Officials at Peet's declined to comment, SFGate.com reports.


PHARMACEUTICAL FIRMS: Montreal Residents Sue Several Generic Drug Firms
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Two Montreal residents initiated separate class actions against several
generic drug makers, alleging the companies paid pharmacists to buy
their drugs to keep prices high, CBC News Online reports.  The suits
name as defendants:

     (1) Novopharm,

     (2) Genpharm,

     (3) Apotex,

     (4) Ratiopharm,

     (5) Pharmascience,

     (6) Pro-Doc and

     (7) the Quebec Order of Pharmacists

The suits further allege the Companies paid kickbacks to pharmacists
rather than lower their prices.  They seek $250 million in damages on
behalf of Quebec residents who may have seen an increase in their drug
insurance premiums.  Taxpayers are affected when pharmacists fail to
buy drugs at lower prices because Quebec's drug insurance plan
reimburses drug companies for the full cost of medication, CBC News
Online reports.

A judge still has to rule whether the lawsuits can proceed.  Jim Keon
of the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association told CBC News the
companies were just "trying to promote client loyalty" with incentives.  
Mr. Keon says the province's health insurance board was well aware of
the practice.

Meanwhile, Quebec Health Minister Francois Legault says the government
will lower the prices of all generic drugs in light of the allegations.  
Premier Bernard Landry says he may tighten the laws forbidding
pharmacists from accepting gifts from drug makers, CBC News Online
states.


PHILADELPHIA: Three Black Officers Sue Police Dept For Discrimination
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The Philadelphia police department faces a lawsuit filed by three black
police officers, alleging pervasive racism in their station house, the
Associated Press reports.  Officer Terrence Davis, Detective Terrance
Anderson and Detective Darryl Pearson filed the suit against the city
of Philadelphia and police captains Robert Lynch and Joseph O'Donnell.

The three officers are among 10 black officers who filed complaints
with the US Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC).  The suit
alleges that white commanders at the officer's station created an
atmosphere of "pervasive and relentless discrimination, harassment and
retaliation," by refusing to authorize overtime pay for black
detectives and penalizing blacks more severely for minor workplace
infractions.

The offenses allegedly began when the plaintiffs were diagnosed with
pseudofolliculitis barbae, a skin condition common in black men that
makes shaving painful.  They were told by the doctors that the
irritation would subside if they grew short, neat beards.  The
plaintiffs' white supervisors did not believe the condition was real,
and retaliated by transferring them to clerical jobs.  The harassment
allegedly stopped when Sylvester Johnson, who is black, was appointed
to succeed departing Police Commissioner John Timoney, who is white.

A spokeswoman for Mayor John F. Street said the city would not comment
on the lawsuit, AP states.  A police department spokesman also declined
to discuss the case.

Eugene Blagmond, a spokesman for the Fraternal Order of Police, told AP
the union was aware the dispute over the department's facial-hair
policy had produced racial tensions but believed they had been
addressed.  "There were a lot of problems up there, but I'm not aware
of any that are ongoing," he said.

The Equal Employment Opportunities Commission would not reveal whether
it had received discrimination complaints from other black officers.  
Courts around the country have ruled police officers with
pseudofolliculitis barbae are protected by anti-discrimination laws,
and should be allowed to grow short beards as long as it doesn't
interfere with their work.


PRUDENTIAL SECURITIES: WA Court Allows Securities Fraud Suit To Proceed
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Island County Superior Court in Washington allowed a lawsuit
spearheaded by Bellevue businessman Bob Trimble against Prudential
Securities to proceed as a class action in a ruling issued early this
week, kingcountyjournal.com reports.

Mr. Trimble filed the suit after investing $4 million of his retirement
savings into a municipal bond highly recommended by Prudential, his
long-time broker.  Mr. Trimble and nearly 400 other investors who
bought $20 million in bonds issued by a 250-home Whidbey Island sewer
district lost every cent they invested.

The court ruling said that the bonds were illegal from the start and,
therefore, worthless, thus clearing the way for the suit.  "What was
presented was an unrated, well-secured bond, which would've been a
great investment had the facts been true," Mr. Trimble told
kingcountryjournal.com.  "I was paying Prudential for services that
should've prevented this."

Seattle attorney David Hoff says Prudential failed to check up on the
legality of a $20 million bond offering issued on behalf of Holmes
Harbor Sewer District in Whidbey Island.  If the agency had done this,
then they would have realized that the sewer district had no business
issuing bonds outside its district to benefit a private developer who
wanted to build a 40-acre business park in Everett.  The sewer
district's own attorney said it was an illegal deal because Everett is
outside the Whidbey Island sewer district's boundaries, so the district
simply went to another attorney from California.

The suit also names as defendant Charles Schwab subsidiary US Trust,
over its role as the trustee when the Island County treasurer passed on
it.  The judge ruled that only the county treasurer can be the legal
trustee.

Mr. Hoff further alleged that Prudential sold 83 percent of the bonds
to investors who thought they were buying safe municipal bonds,
kingcountyjournal.com reports.  Many pulled their retirement funds from
a volatile stock market to put them in a safer place.  Municipal bonds
issued by government entities are especially attractive to investors
because they are exempt from federal tax.

Curt Hineline, an attorney for Prudential Securities in the class-
action suit, did not return phone calls for comment,
kingcountyjournal.com stated.


SECURITIES LITIGATION: SEC Figuring Out Ways To Compensate Shareholders
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Investors who were cheated as a result of corporate malfeasance should
be compensated for their losses, a senior official of the US Securities
and Exchange Commission (SEC) said Wednesday, according to the United
Press International.  However, the problem is how the government can
ensure such compensation.

The rise of securities litigation against big firms such as energy
giant Enron Corporation and telecommunications provider WorldCom has
eroded public confidence in the financial markets in the past couple of
years.  Corporate malfeasance and the fact that top executives have
escaped hard consequences for the actions have only added to the
discontent.

The average shareholder in these firms have had to bear with share
price collapses, losing an estimated $4 trillion, UPI states.  
Lawmakers at Wednesday's hearing sought ways to rectify these
inequities, but the SEC made it clear that the task would require
considerable time and manpower, not to mention cost.

"A variety of factors hinder the Commission's ability to collect money
judgments owed by securities violators.  Unfortunately, many of these
difficulties stem from factors outside the Commission's control,"
Stephen Cutler, director of the SEC's division of enforcement told UPI.  
He said, however, that the SEC is "dedicated to improving its
collection success and providing greater recovery to defrauded
investors."

Litigation has been enforced to ensure that the securities fraud
scandals won't happen again.  However, the SEC has had to cope with the
investing population growing by 80% last year, and the increase of
securities fraud suits by 65% in the past ten years.  Given these
constraints, "faster enforcement action and more asset freezes are
primary tools for returning money to defrauded investors," Mr. Cutler
told UPI.

One means to ensure compensation for defrauded investors could be
repealing some real estate laws that have been used as a safe haven by
executives to shield personal assets from government prosecutors as
well as class actions.  Texas, for example -- where Enron was
headquartered -- bars the seizure by creditors of a homeowner's
property, regardless of his criminal activities.  By eliminating such
protection, the SEC could increase the amounts it collected, which
could then be returned to defrauded investors, UPI states.


SEROLOGICALS CORPORATION: GA Court Dismisses Securities Fraud Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
dismissed with prejudice the securities class action filed against
Serologicals Corporation, on behalf of purchasers of the Company's
stock from April 27,1999 to April 10, 2000.

The suit charges the Company and certain of its current and former
executive officers and directors with violations of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, including Sections 10(b) and 20(a) thereof and
Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder.  

Federal Judge Charles A. Pannell, Jr. granted the Company's motion to
dismiss the lawsuit on the basis that the plaintiffs failed to plead
facts sufficient to show a violation of US securities laws.  Judge
Pannell, Jr. had initially dismissed the complaint in September 2001,
but allowed the plaintiffs to file an amended complaint in an attempt
to allege additional facts to survive a motion to dismiss.  In
dismissing this second complaint with prejudice, the court further
ruled that it would not permit further amendment of the lawsuit.  The
ruling is subject to potential appeal by the plaintiffs to the 11th
Circuit Court of Appeals.

"We are extremely pleased that the court has, once again, dismissed
this lawsuit, which we have always believed to be totally without
merit," David Dodd, president and chief executive officer of
Serologicals said in a statement.  "We are hopeful that this will
conclude the matter so that we may continue to focus our total efforts
on the many positive strategic and operational initiatives that we are
implementing."


SONY CORPORATION: CA Residents Launch Suit Over Defective DVD Players
---------------------------------------------------------------------
California residents commenced a consumer class action against Sony
Corporation of America over DVD players, which the complainants allege
are defective.  The suit is filed in the Superior Court of California
in Sacramento, The Inquirer reports.

The suit alleges that Sony Corporation of America knowingly sold tens
of thousands of defective DVD players.  The players, it is alleged show
problems around 12 to 14 months after they've been bought, and the
problems include images freezing on TV screens, failure to recognize
DVDs, and other related problems.  The plaintiffs say that the cost to
fix such defective units amounts to $175.

Sony officials have not responded to the allegations, as of press time.


                             Asbestos Alert


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NUM Scores Zimbabwe's Objection to Asbestos Ban
--------------------------------------------------------------------
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) lashes out at Zimbabwe's
objection to a Southern African Development Community (SADC) resolution
to phase out asbestos mining in the region.  Zimbabwe, the only SADC
country where the mineral is still being mined, earns more than
$50,000,000 a year from asbestos exports.  

Its mining trade unions have rallied to the Harare government's side,
arguing that passing the resolution would result in 7,000 people losing
their jobs.  They warned that at least another 75,000 downstream jobs
could come under threat.  Freda Gona, the national chairman of the NUM,
told a SADC meeting on asbestos that Zimbabwe's position was
unacceptable.

The two-day meeting in Johannesburg hoped to come up with an SADC
declaration on asbestos that could be taken to the International
Conference on Chrysatile Asbestos-Cement Products, which will be held
in India in March.  Hampering the region's ambition to speak as one
voice at the conference next month, Zimbabwe's position also flies in
the face of the worldwide campaign to ban the use of asbestos.

The international lobby has the backing of the International Labour
Organisation, whose members from Australia, Denmark, Norway, South
Africa and Swaziland are among those pushing for the global ban.  The
use of asbestos has been banned by 15 European countries.  Some 7,500
SA claimants are still seeking compensation for asbestos-related
illnesses.

Moferefere Lekorotsoana, the head of information at the NUM, said
Zimbabwe's stubbornness would cost more than jobs.  "All we know is
asbestos kills," Mr. Lekorotsoana said.  

He said the dispute between the NUM and its Zimbabwean counterparts had
become more heated in the wake of the World Summit on Sustainable
Development in September last year.  

Zimbabwe and other countries involved in the fight to stop a worldwide
ban insist that white chrysotile fibre does not pose a risk to
producers and users, as is the case with blue and brown asbestos.  
South Africa has historically been a large producer of blue and brown
asbestos, which had been banned when it was proven to be harmful to
those who inhale the fibres.

Zimbabwe is the third-largest producer of white chrysotile fibre after
Canada and Brazil.  The Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines said asbestos was the
mining industry's second-largest revenue earner after gold, and the
country was the second- or third-largest asbestos producer in the
world.  

David Murangari, the chief executive of the Zimbabwean chamber, said
Zimbabwe produced around 170,000 tons of asbestos fibre last year.  He
said raw fibre was being exported, mainly to Asia and also to SA.  "We
still believe there is a huge use for asbestos in developing
countries," he said.  "We have extended invitations to parliamentarians
and interest groups to visit our facilities, and we believe the
technology we are using to mine and treat asbestos could be exported
and used to create revenue in other developing economies."

Mr. Murangari added that there was not one record of asbestosis being
contracted in its industry to date.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Minister Calls for Urgent Action Against Asbestos
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Health and Safety minister Nick Brown urges building owners and
occupiers to "act quickly" to stop people dying of asbestos-related
diseases.  Speaking at a Health & Safety Executive's conference in
London, Brown said the new duty to manage asbestos regulation, which
comes into force on May 21, 2004, could save 5,000 lives over the next
50 years.

Under the regulations, those with responsibilities for the repair and
maintenance of non-domestic premises will be required to find out if
buildings contain asbestos materials.  "My message to duty holders is
to take action now to ensure that they comply with the law," said Mr.
Brown.

Keith Newell of Slough Estates told the 250 delegates that duty holders
"should plan ahead to take account of future uses of their buildings
and take a measured approach to managing their asbestos".  He added,
"It is essential that everyone responsible for the buildings cooperate
in managing risks."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: CEO Says ABB Ltd. In Danger If Goals Are Not Met
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Swiss engineering company ABB Ltd's chief executive said that the
independence of the company was in danger if it didn't achieve its near
term goals.  "If we won't reach in 18 months the goals we have
communicated, one will have to doubt if ABB can survive as an
independent company," Juergen Dormann said.

ABB is presently being restructured, a move which will last 18 months
and should see savings of about $800,000,000 by 2005.  Last week the
company took a key step of protecting itself against crippling
litigation about asbestos-related actions by placing its affected US
unit, Combustion Engineering, successfully into Chapter 11.  In the
restructure, ABB will cut more than 10,000 jobs, sell company units and
focus on its core divisions - power technology and automation.

ABB is set to post a net loss of about $600,000,000 after its 2001
record loss of $691,000,000.  Their forecasts ranged widely between a
loss of $140,000,000 and $689,000,000 as analysts' estimates of
extraordinary charges for the company's asbestos provisions and other
writedowns differed widely.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Alfa Laval Faces 15,000 Asbestos Plaintiffs in US
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Alfa Laval said that as of Feb 15, its US subsidiary has been named as
co-defendant in a total of 73 asbestos-related lawsuits with 15,000
plaintiffs.  Of these, 19 lawsuits with a total of approximately 7,500
plaintiffs have been filed since Nov 4, 2002.

However, the company said 99.7 percent of the increase in plaintiffs is
related to multiple plaintiff lawsuits filed in Mississippi ahead of a
new law which is likely to limit further such multiple filings after
January 1.  The lawsuits do not identify any Alfa Laval product that
could be a basis of liability.  The company believes the claims are
without merit and intends to vigorously contest each lawsuit.  It also
said it believes the existing claims will be covered by insurance, and
as such will not impact its results.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Alliance Praises TX Bill Stemming Asbestos Cases
---------------------------------------------------------------------
An asbestos litigation reform bill supported by the Alliance of
American Insurers and a broad coalition of businesses and insurers has
been introduced in the Texas Senate.  The bill, SB 496, will "raise the
bar for the criteria necessary to bring an asbestos personal injury
lawsuit, so that the truly injured may have their day in court," said
John Lobert, Alliance senior vice president of state government
affairs.  "We support this bill and will do our utmost to see it
enacted."

Mr. Lobert explained that Texas is a notorious "magnet jurisdiction"
for the filing of asbestos personal injury cases.  "While the
legislature previously amended the state's venue law to restrict the
filing of cases by non-residents and took steps to prevent venue
shopping within the state, much still needs to be done to stem the
growing tide of claims filed by non-impaired claimants," he said.  "The
state is infamous for its broker-lawyers who solicit plaintiffs through
advertising and questionable mass medical screenings."

According to Lobert, SB 496:

     (1) Establishes medical criteria for asbestos claims.  Chest x-
         rays-read by a certified B-reader-must show opacities of ILO
         grade 1/1 or greater or bilateral pleural encasement of ILO
         grade C2 or higher.  Pulmonary function tests much show forced
         vital capacity equal to or less than 70 percent of predicted
         or total lung capacity of less than 70 percent of predicted;

     (2) If these criteria aren't met, puts the claimant on an inactive
         court docket until such time as the requisite level of
         impairment is shown.  Meanwhile, the statute of limitations is
         tolled;

     (3) Prohibits the filing of asbestos claims on behalf of a group
         or class;

     (4) Amends the current Texas law regarding foreign corporations by
         adding a provision that the laws of the jurisdiction of
         incorporation of a foreign corporation licensed in Texas apply
         to any successor liability of the foreign corporation.

"These changes are particularly important because questionable
diagnosis methods have resulted in a flood of new claims costing
billions of dollars from people who aren't sick from asbestos and
likely never will be," Mr. Lobert said.  "The changes included in SB
496 will put a stop to these meritless cases that are taking money away
from the true victims of asbestos-those who are sick or dying."

The Texas Asbestos Consumers Coalition, of which the Alliance is a
member, and the Texas Civil Justice League have been working for some
time to create an atmosphere conducive to change in the state.  
"A more business-minded legislature coupled with a governor interested
in civil justice reform improves the odds that substantive progress
will be made this year.  The introduction and eventual passage of SB
496 is, we hope, just the start," Mr. Lobert said.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Groups Raise Objections To Armstrong Voting Plan
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Five groups are reacting to the way Armstrong World Industries wants to
run the voting on its reorganization plan largely by saying the
equivalent of "show me."  Most of the critics want to see much stronger
proof that the asbestos personal-injury victims who'll vote, or
attorneys who'll cast ballots on the victims' behalf, are eligible to
do so.

Tighter standards are needed "to protect the integrity of the voting
process" and to prevent "rampant vote-box stuffing" that could skew the
outcome, warns a group of asbestos-injury attorneys.  Also objecting to
Armstrong's proposed voting procedures are the US Trustee, Liberty
Mutual Insurance Co., the Center for Claims Resolution and a committee
of asbestos property-damage claimants.

Armstrong spokesman Tom Burlington declined to comment on the
objections.

The objections are filed in US Bankruptcy Court, Wilmington, Delaware,
courtroom of U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Randall J. Newsome.  Should Judge
Newsome order extensive changes to the complex voting procedures, the
issue might threaten Armstrong's timetable for having a vote on the
plan in the coming months and emerging from bankruptcy on July 1.

Separately, the five critics, plus two others, also are objecting to
the content of a key document, the disclosure statement, prepared by
Armstrong in advance of the vote.  Armstrong was pushed into bankruptcy
in December 2000 by a deluge of claims from people alleging personal-
injury due to exposure to asbestos insulation which Armstrong once sold
and installed.

At the core of the voting-procedures dispute is Armstrong's proposal to
make attorneys for asbestos personal-injury claimants the central
players in the voting process.  The Armstrong proposal would allow
attorneys to decide if a person had enough exposure to an Armstrong
product to be a claimant and, therefore, to cast a vote and to cast the
ballot on the claimants' behalf, the critics say, but it does not
require a person to provide any specific proof of injury or exposure to
an Armstrong product to be eligible to vote.  The proposal also fails
to specify how a claimant will authorize his attorney to vote on his
behalf, according to the objections.

"Without any independent scrutiny, many claimants who have no
legitimate claim against Armstrong will control the outcome of
Armstrong's case," said the asbestos-attorney group.  The group wants
the court to order all asbestos personal-injury claimants casting votes
to supply proof of their disease and exposure to an Armstrong product.

"Though this is an unusual request, the (group) believes it absolutely
necessary if rampant vote-box stuffing is to be curtailed," said the
group.  

Liberty Mutual, which insured Armstrong against asbestos-injury claims,
is voicing similar worries about ineligible claimants casting votes,
directly or through their attorneys.  The insurance firm predicts that,
based on what has happened in other asbestos bankruptcy cases, 90
percent of the asbestos personal-injury voters in the Armstrong case
will have claims that ultimately will be found to be invalid.  The
claimants will fall short, said Liberty Mutual, because they will not
be able to prove they have an asbestos-related illness or impairment
because of exposure to Armstrong's products.

"The voting procedures contain no adequate safeguards to ensure that
(the asbestos personal-injury claimants) truthfully complete the
ballots or can actually satisfy the . criteria," said the insurer.  
"This court should require asbestos personal-injury claimants to
provide hard evidence supporting their alleged "claims.'  If (they)
cannot do so, their votes should be excluded."

The Center for Claims Resolution, a non-profit organization which
Armstrong helped create to litigate and settle asbestos personal-injury
claims, cites a concern about one claim -- its own.  Armstrong has
classified the CCR's $294,200,000 claim against the company as an
asbestos personal-injury one; the CCR says the claim should be counted
as an unsecured claim.  That's an important distinction because, in
bankruptcy, claimants' votes are weighed by dollar amount; Armstrong
wants the CCR's kind of asbestos personal-injury claim to carry a
voting weight of $100.

This incorrect categorization "deprives the CCR of its rightful role in
(Armstrong's) reorganization . The CCR's claim is being buried,"
laments the CCR.  Proving the validity of a claim also is a concern for
the committee of asbestos property-damage claimants, who allege their
properties are hurt by having Armstrong asbestos floors.  For a
property-damage claimant to get to vote, the Armstrong procedures
required a claimant to submit proof that his building has an Armstrong
asbestos floor, the committee notes.

Yet Armstrong recently settled 360 property-damage claims for a total
of $2,000,000, without requiring the claimants to provide such proof,
says the committee.  Despite that omission of proof, the settling
claimants will be able to vote on the plan, assuming their settlement
has yet to win court approval by the voting record date, the committee
points out.

The Armstrong voting procedures motion "appears to be setting up this
group to potentially vote in favor of the plan," the committee
concludes, while contesting many other aspects of the voting
procedures.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Halts Litigation V. Combustion Engineering
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Combustion Engineering Inc. wins a temporary restraining order to
suspend all asbestos-related actions against the company.  
The temporary restraining order will last until Judge Judith K.
Fitzgerald of the US Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington considers a motion
on a preliminary injunction on March 17, said Laura Davis Jones, an
attorney with Pachulski Stang Ziehl Young Jones & Weintraub, the firm
representing Combustion Engineering.

Temporary restraining orders last 10 days or until a court can consider
whether to hand down a preliminary injunction.  They are typically
signed before an entity will be granted a preliminary injunction
suspending certain actions for a longer time.  CE filed a prepackaged
Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition to deal with millions of dollars in
asbestos-related personal injury claims.

Out of the top 20 unsecured creditors of CE 18 are asbestos claimants.  
These claimants assert a total claim of $9,530,000.  An entity called
the CE Settlement Trust has a $75,600,000 unsecured claim.  An entity
called Alstom has a $12,000,000 unsecured claim, according to court
documents.

Combustion Engineering, a wholly owned unit of Norwegian energy giant
ABB Ltd., listed assets and liabilities each in excess of $100,000,000
in its Chapter 11 petition.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Dana Reports 139,000 Outstanding Asbestos Claims
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Auto parts maker Dana Corporation had about 139,000 asbestos-related
product liability claims outstanding as of December 31, 2002.  Of
those, about 24,000 were settled pending payment, the Toledo, Ohio,
company said in its annual report.

The manufacturer of axles, brakes, driveshafts and other car parts did
not say which products were involved in the alleged asbestos-related
personal injuries.  The company had 100,000 asbestos-related claims
outstanding at the same time the previous year, including 27,000 that
were settled pending payment.

Dana attributed the increase to the discontinuance in Feb. 2001, of the
Center for Claims Resolution, which had been administering its
asbestos-related claims for several years.  Dana had accumulated
$124,000,000 on September 30, 2002 for contingent asbestos-related
product liability costs, and recorded $105,000,000 asset for probable
recoveries from insurers for those claims.

According to the filing, the company has received $38,000,000 from
insurers, other reimbursements from settled claims and from related
costs for pending and potential claims.  Separately, Dana said it had
accumulated $59,000,000 for contingent environmental liabilities as of
December 31, 2002.  Dana said it based its environmental liability on
laws, regulations, existing technology and the most probable method of
remediation.  The company doesn't expect any recovery from other
parties.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Halliburton Losses Reach $602M on Asbestos Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Halliburton, the oil services giant mired in a US accounting probe,
blames restructuring charges and asbestos claims provisions for the
fourth quarter loss which racked up to $602,000,000.  The group, which
has a 6,000-strong Scottish workforce and is one of the largest
employers in Aberdeen, claims it was still in the black, with revenues
in the quarter rising 6 per cent from last year to $3,300,000,000
despite the exceptional costs.

Halliburton's chairman, president and chief executive Dave Lesar said,
"Given what was available in the marketplace, we had a great quarter."  

A $17,000,000 charge was taken to cover the previously announced
separation of its energy services, engineering and construction groups.  
A separate $214,000,000 charge for asbestos liabilities associated with
its engineering and construction businesses was also included.

Mr. Lesar said first-quarter 2003 earnings per share will be 18 cents
or more before special items but a proposal of an out-of-court
settlement of asbestos claims worth $4,000,000,000 against the company
is likely drag the bottom line heavily into the red.  Drilling activity
in North America is expected to recover in the second half of this
year, he said.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Businessman Exposed Pal, Four Others to Asbestos
---------------------------------------------------------------------
IC Vehicle Deliveries Ltd, owned by businessman Ian Carter, was fined
$1000 after being convicted of two Health and Safety at Work charges.  
He got an assessment of the asbestos present in the building at IC
Vehicle Deliveries Ltd and received quotes from a licensed asbestos
removal firm for the work, according to Linlithgow Sheriff Court.

He then asked a friend, small-scale builder Callum Rose, 40, director
of Specialised Spraying Services Ltd, of East Whitburn, to build him an
extension for a knock-down price of just P30,000.  Mr. Rose said there
had been no mention of asbestos and he did not recognize it when he
battered a wall with a hammer and chisel, leaving the factory in
Livingston, West Lothian, covered in the deadly dust.  It left him, one
of his workers, Hugh Watson, and three factory staff - Colin Renton,
John Brian and David Forsyth - exposed to the asbestos fibers.

Health and Safety inspector Bruce Monaghan, said "The asbestos
insulation on the cement walls of this workshop was the worst kind for
getting dust in the air.  Asbestos causes serious and ultimately fatal
damage to the lungs.  The serious damage to their health might not show
itself for 15 years or more."

Mr. Rose took none of the safety precautions essential for removing
asbestos safely, including sealing the area in a tent and wearing
special protective clothing and breathing equipment.  He told the
court, "I didn't know what asbestos looked like at that time.  Mr
Carter asked me if I was interested in doing some work for him.  There
was no mention of asbestos.  I did not know it was asbestos.  Nobody
told me."  He also told how the 30,000-pound deal was done on a
handshake with no paperwork.

Inspectors shut down work at the factory in Arrol Square, Livingston,
when they visited it in March 2001. Carter, 49, of Royston Hall,
Bathgate, had been abroad when the problem was discovered.  He was
cleared of deliberately exposing the men to the dust claiming he had
warned Rose of the asbestos and had relied on him to carry out the work
properly.

The firm makes a profit of P165,000 a year.  Mr. Carter refused to
comment on it as he left court.  Sheriff Hector MacLean of Linlithgow
Sheriff Court cleared Mr. Carter of deliberately exposing the men to
the asbestos dust, but fined him P1000.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Eastman Faces Asbestos Lawsuits in Various State Courts
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Eastman Chemical Company (NYSE: EMN) has been named as a defendant in
lawsuits in various state courts, over the years, in which plaintiffs
allege injury due to exposure to asbestos at Eastman's manufacturing
sites and seek unspecified monetary damages and other relief.

Historically, these cases have been dismissed or settled without a
material effect on Eastman's financial results.  Recently, Eastman has
experienced an increase in the number of asbestos claims and in the
settlement demands of plaintiffs.  The Company is currently evaluating
the allegations and claims made in recent asbestos-related lawsuits and
intends to vigorously defend these actions or to settle them on
acceptable terms.

The Company presently believes that the ultimate resolution of asbestos
cases will not have a material impact on the Company's financial
condition, results of operations, or cash flows, although these matters
could result in the Company being subject to additional monetary
damages, costs or expenses and additional charges against earnings.


COMPANY PROFILE

Eastman Chemical Company (NYSE: EMN)
100 N. Eastman Rd.
Kingsport, TN 37660    
Phone: 423-229-2000
Fax: 423-229-1351
Toll Free: 800-327-8626
http://www.eastman.com

Employees   : 15,800
Revenue     : $5,384,000,000
Net Income  :  $(179,000,000)
Assets      : $6,086,000,000
Liabilities : $4,708,000,000
(As of December 31, 2001)

Description: Eastman Chemical Company (NYSE: EMN) was once part of film
giant Eastman Kodak. The company has developed into a major producer of
chemicals, fibers, and plastics. Its chemicals include raw materials
for coatings, adhesives, inks, and performance chemicals. Eastman
Chemical, through its Voridian unit, also produces polymers used by
industrial customers to manufacture such products as food and medical
packaging, films, tape, and toothbrushes. Voridian is the world's
largest maker of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a plastic used to
make packaging for soft drinks, food, and water. Voridian also churns
out tons of acetate tow, used in cigarette filters, and yarn used in
apparel and fabrics.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Great American Insurance Co. To Settle Asbestos Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Great American Insurance Co. says it agreed to settle asbestos claims
from insurance policies issued during the 1970s and 1980s for
$123,500,000 on a pretax basis.  The settlement reached with parties
known as A.P. Green Industries Inc. represents the largest known
asbestos-related claims that American Financial believes to be
material, and requires bankruptcy-court and other approvals, Carl
Lindner, chairman and chief executive officer of American Financial
Group, Great American's parent company said.

American Financial said $30,000,000 of the settlement isn't covered by
established reserves and anticipated reinsurance, and the company may
pay up to 10 percent of the settlement in shares.  Great American Life
Insurance Co. is rated A (Excellent) by A.M. Best Co.


COMPANY PROFILE

Great American Insurance Group
580 Walnut Street
Cincinnati,OH 45202
Phone: (513) 369-5000
http://www.greatamericaninsurance.com

Employees               : 7,300
Revenue                 : $3,830,200,000
Net Income              : $84,600,000
Assets                  : $17,401,700,000*
Liabilities             : $15,903,300,000*
(As of December 31, 2002 of American Financial Group,Inc.)

Description: Great American Insurance Group is made up of about 30
insurance companies. It provides insurance coverages and special
programs in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico,
Mexico and Canada. The members of the Great American Insurance Group
are subsidiaries of American Financial Group, Inc.(NYSE:AFG), a
publicly owned, New York Stock Exchange listed corporation based in
Cincinnati, Ohio.  American Financial Group, Inc. is an insurance
holding company that also owns more than 30% of Chiquita Brands
International.  It is engaged primarily in specialty property and
casualty insurance and in the sale of retirement annuities, life, and
supplemental health insurance products.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Kimberly Clark Records 105 Asbestos Related Lawsuits
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Kimberly Clark Corporation, along with numerous other non-affiliated
companies, is a party to around 105 lawsuits in California, Florida,
Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Pennsylvania and
Texas state courts with allegations of personal injury resulting from
asbestos exposure on the defendants' premises and/or allegations that
the defendants manufactured, sold, distributed or installed products
which cause asbestos-related lung disease.

No specific product ever manufactured by the Corporation or its
subsidiaries has been identified by the plaintiffs as having caused or
contributed to any asbestos-related lung disease.  The Corporation has
denied the allegations and raised numerous defenses in all of these
asbestos cases.  All asbestos cases have been tendered to the
Corporation's insurance carriers for defense and indemnity.


COMPANY PROFILE
Kimberly-Clark Corporation (NYSE: KMB)
351 Phelps Dr.
Irving, TX 75038   
Phone: 972-281-1200
Fax: 972-281-1490
http://www.kimberly-clark.com

Employees   : 64,200
Revenue     : $13,566,300,000
Net Income  :  $1,674,600,000
Assets      : $15,007,600,000*
Liabilities :  $9,360,700,000*
(As of December 31, 2002)
(*As of December 31, 2001)
  
Description: Kimberly-Clark is the world's top maker of personal paper
products. Under brand names such as Cottonelle, Kleenex and Scott, the
company produces facial tissues, bathroom tissues, paper towels, and
other consumer products for household use. Its personal care items
include Huggies diapers and baby wipes, Kotex feminine hygiene pads,
and Depend incontinence products. Kimberly-Clark also makes commercial
wipes under the Wypall and Kimwipes names and Classic Crest business
and writing papers. Since 1997 it has been expanding into medical
products and is now a leading US maker of disposable medical goods.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Maritrans Inc. Faces Seventy Asbestos Related Lawsuits
----------------------------------------------------------------------
There are about 70 cases filed against Maritrans, Inc.  Substantial
uncertainty exists regarding how these claims will be handled by
Protection and Indemnity (P&I), and the possibility of coverage
disputes at some point in the future exists.  In virtually all cases,
asbestos manufacturers are also defendants; also, seamen have sailed
for numerous vessel owners, and so there are numerous vessel-owning
defendants.

In addition to the foregoing cases, which were filed as part of a
massive multi-district suit presently pending in the Eastern District
of Pennsylvania, the following individual suits are separately
proceeding against Maritrans:

     (1) Carmean v. McClean Contracting - asbestosis claim; not a part
         of the Jacques group of cases;

     (2) Wactor v. Maritrans - asbestosis claim; not a part of the
         Jacques group of cases.  No action in a year.


COMPANY PROFILE

Maritrans Inc. (NYSE: TUG)
2 Harbour Place, 302 Knights Run Ave.
Tampa, FL 33602    
Phone: 813-209-0600
Fax: 813-221-3189
http://www.maritrans.com

Employees   : 395
Revenue     : $129,000,000
Net Income  :   $9,500,000
Assets      : $200,400,000*
Liabilities : $112,400,000*
(As of December 31, 2002)

Description: Maritrans ships oil and petroleum products in the southern
and eastern US from its main docking facilities in Tampa and
Philadelphia. Having converted its single-hulled tankers into double
hulls, the company boasts one of the largest double-hulled fleets of
independent petroleum carriers in the US coast trade. Maritrans' fleet
consists of four oil tankers and 11 oceangoing tug/barge units, with a
total carrying capacity of 3.6 million barrels. Maritrans, which
evolved from a company that began hauling coal on the Schuylkill River
in Pennsylvania in the 19th century, provides services to integrated
and independent oil companies and petroleum distributors.


                     New Securities Fraud Cases  


AEGON NV: Marc Henzel Commences Lawsuit for Securities Fraud in S.D. NY
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Marc S. Henzel initiated a securities class action
in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York on behalf of purchasers of the securities of Aegon N.V. (NYSE:
AEG) between August 9, 2001 to July 22, 2002, inclusive.  The action is
pending against the Company and:

     (1) Don Shepard,

     (2) Kees Storm and

     (3) Jos B.M. Streppel

The complaint charges that defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a)
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder, by issuing a series of materially false and misleading
statements to the market between August 9, 2001 to July 22, 2002.
Aegon, through its member companies, is an international insurer.  
During the years preceding the class period, and during the class
period, as stock markets suffered substantial declines, increasing
numbers of investors gravitated from variable products to fixed
products.

Aegon distinguished itself from its competitors with the claim that its
purportedly broad product mix better enabled it to take advantage of
this market shift while it simultaneously assured investors that it had
sufficient reserves to fund the sharply increasing guaranteed payout
obligations required by its fixed products.  The complaint further
alleges that the Company also assured investors that it was less
vulnerable to the vicissitudes of the equity and credit markets than
competitors because the Company matched "high quality investment assets
. in an optimal way to the corresponding insurance liability, taking
into account currency, yield and maturity characteristics,"

The Company claimed that, for the foregoing reasons, "(c)onsistency and
reliability in earnings forecasting is a particular source of pride"
and that, while not immune to equity and real estate market shifts, the
Company was not subject to sharp downward variations in annual net
income.  Accordingly, the Company reduced its earnings guidance for
2002 but at all relevant times maintained its forecast that 2002 net
income would at least equal 2001 net income.

The class period ends on July 22, 2002.  The complaint alleges that, on
that date, the Company shocked the market, announcing that 2002 net
income would not equal 2001 net income but, on the contrary, would be
30% to 35% lower than 2001 net income.  On this news, Aegon shares
declined from a closing price of $16.99 on Friday, July 19, 2002 to a
closing price of $13.25 on Monday, July 22, 2002, when trading resumed.

For more information, contact Marc S. Henzel by Mail: 273 Montgomery
Ave., Suite 202, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 by Phone: 610-660-8000 or
888-643-6735 by Fax: 610-660-8080 by E-Mail: mhenzel182@aol.com or
visit the firm's Website: http://members.aol.com/mhenzel182       


AMERCO: Marc Henzel Launches Suit For Securities Violations in NV Court
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Marc S. Henzel initiated a securities class action
in the United States District Court for the District of Nevada, on
behalf of purchasers of Amerco (Nasdaq: UHAL) publicly traded
securities during the period between February 12, 1998 and September
26, 2002, inclusive.

The complaint charges Amerco and certain of its officers and directors
with violating the federal securities laws by issuing false and
misleading statements during the class period.  Specifically, the
complaint alleges that during the class period, defendants caused
Amerco to engage in transactions with SAC Holding Corporation and SAC
Holding Corporation II (SAC Holdings), which falsely improved Amerco's
financials, and which served to benefit Amerco insiders to the
detriment of Amerco shareholders.

According to the complaint, defendants failed to disclose the true
nature and financial impact of the transactions to the public.  The
complaint further alleges that Amerco failed to disclose that
defendants used Amerco's resources to identify, purchase, and/or
develop self-storage properties, which it then sold to SAC Holdings for
inadequate consideration or caused SAC Holdings to buy.  SAC Holdings,
owned and controlled by Amerco insiders, thereby received substantial
benefit from transactions which otherwise served to falsely improve
Amerco's financials.

On September 26, 2002, Amerco restated its 2002 financial results in an
amended 10-K for the year ended March 31, 2002, and restated its 2001
and 2000 financials for the second time.  The complaint charges that as
a result of the defendants' false and misleading statements during the
class period, Amerco's stock price was artificially inflated, averaging
approximately $18 per share.

In the weeks following news of the above events, Amerco's share price
tumbled to less than $5, causing Plaintiff and other members of the
class to suffer damages, according to the complaint.

For more information, contact Marc S. Henzel by Mail: 273 Montgomery
Ave., Suite 202, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 by Phone: 610-660-8000 or
888-643-6735 by Fax: 610-660-8080 by E-Mail: mhenzel182@aol.com or
visit the firm's Website: http://members.aol.com/mhenzel182       


ATMEL CORPORATION: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Securities Lawsuit in CA
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP initiated a securities class action in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of California on
behalf of all purchasers of the common stock of Atmel Corporation
(Nasdaq:ATML) between January 20, 2000 and July 31, 2002, inclusive.

The complaint charges Atmel Corporation and certain of its officers and
directors with issuing false and misleading statements concerning its
business and financial condition.  Specifically, the complaint alleges
that defendants caused Atmel's shares to trade at artificially inflated
levels through the issuance of false and misleading financial
statements, while concealing that Atmel was selling defective chips to
its customers which would lead to product recalls, repairs and loss of
customer relationships.

On July 31, 2002, media reports indicated that the Company had been
sued by a major customer, Seagate Technology Inc., for selling
defective chips which led to defects in millions of disk drives.  On
this news, the Company's stock price declined to $2.96.

For more details, contact Marc A. Topaz or Stuart L. Berman by Mail:
1-888-299-7706 (toll free) or 1-610-667-7706 by E-mail:
info@sbclasslaw.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.sbclasslaw.com


ATMEL CORPORATION: Marc Henzel Commences Securities Lawsuit in N.D. CA
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Marc S. Henzel initiated a securities class action
in the United States District Court for the Northern District of
California on behalf of all persons who acquired securities of Atmel
Corporation (NasdaqNM: ATML) From January 20, 2000 to July 31, 2002.  
The case is pending 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 information, contact Marc S. Henzel by Mail: 273 Montgomery
Ave., Suite 202, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 by Phone: 610-660-8000 or
888-643-6735 by Fax: 610-660-8080 by E-Mail: mhenzel182@aol.com or
visit the firm's Website: http://members.aol.com/mhenzel182       


BIO-TECHNOLOGY GENERAL: Marc Henzel Lodges Securities Suit in NJ Court
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Marc S. Henzel initiated a securities class action
on behalf of shareholders who purchased, converted, exchanged or
otherwise acquired the common stock of Bio-Technology General Corp.
(NasdaqNM: BTGC) between April 19, 1999 and August 2, 2002, inclusive,
in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
against the Company and certain of its executive officers.

The action charges that defendants violated federal securities laws by
issuing a series of materially false and misleading statements to the
market throughout the class period which statements had the effect of
artificially inflating the market price of the Company's securities.

For more information, contact Marc S. Henzel by Mail: 273 Montgomery
Ave., Suite 202, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 by Phone: 610-660-8000 or
888-643-6735 by Fax: 610-660-8080 by E-Mail: mhenzel182@aol.com or
visit the firm's Website: http://members.aol.com/mhenzel182       



BLOCKBUSTER INC.: Marc Henzel Launches Securities Fraud Suit in N.D. TX
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Marc S. Henzel initiated a securities class action
in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas,
Dallas Division on behalf of all purchasers of the common stock of
Blockbuster, Inc. (NYSE: BBI) from April 24, 2002 and December 17,
2002, inclusive.

The complaint charges Blockbuster, Inc. and certain of its officers and
directors with issuing false and misleading statements concerning its
business and financial conditions.  Specifically, the complaint alleges
that 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 information, contact Marc S. Henzel by Mail: 273 Montgomery
Ave., Suite 202, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 by Phone: 610-660-8000 or
888-643-6735 by Fax: 610-660-8080 by E-Mail: mhenzel182@aol.com or
visit the firm's Website: http://members.aol.com/mhenzel182       


CARREKER CORPORATION: Marc Henzel Commences Securities Suit in N.D. TX
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Marc S. Henzel initiated a securities class action
in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas,
Dallas Division, on behalf of purchasers of the securities of Carreker
Corporation (Nasdaq: CANIE) between May 20, 1998 and December 10, 2002,
inclusive, and who sustained damages thereby.  The action, is pending
against the Company, John D. Carreker (Chairman and CEO) and Terry L.
Gage (CFO).

The complaint charges that defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a)
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder, by issuing a series of materially false and misleading
statements to the market between May 20, 1998 and December 10, 2002.  
According to the complaint, throughout the class period, Carreker filed
financial statements with the SEC which represented that the Company
was consistently delivering numerous consecutive quarters of record,
double-digit growth, which the Company attributed to the strong demand
for its products and Carreker's business model.

In addition, according to the complaint, the Company expressly assured
investors of its "dedication to transparent reporting practices" and
highlighted the supposed "quality and integrity of (Carreker's)
accounting and corporate governance practices."  

These statements were materially false and misleading, according to the
complaint, because they failed to disclose that the Company had been
improperly recognizing revenues throughout the class period, thereby
artificially inflating its revenues, income and earnings per share.

On December 10, 2002, the Company issued a press release announcing
that it was investigating whether revenues were improperly recognized
by being booked at once instead of ratably over a period of time, as
required by applicable generally accepted accounting principles.  This
belated disclosure severely and negatively impacted Carreker's stock
price, causing it to fall by 22.6% in one day on extremely heavy
trading volume, from a December 9 close of $5.08 per share to close at
$3.93 per share on December 10.

Subsequently, the SEC initiated an investigation, which is ongoing,
into the Company's accounting practices.  On January 28, 2003, the
Company announced that it will be restating the financial reports it
has filed since 1998.

For more information, contact Marc S. Henzel by Mail: 273 Montgomery
Ave., Suite 202, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 by Phone: 610-660-8000 or 888-
643-6735 by Fax: 610-660-8080 by E-Mail: mhenzel182@aol.com or visit
the firm's Website: http://members.aol.com/mhenzel182        


H&R BLOCK: Marc Henzel Commences Securities Fraud Lawsuit in S.D. NY
--------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Marc S. Henzel initiated a securities class action
in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York on behalf of a class of all persons who purchased securities of
H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB) between November 8, 1997 and November 1,
2002, inclusive.  The suit names as defendants the Company and:

     (1) Mark A. Ernst,

     (2) Frank J. Cotroneo,

     (3) Frank L. Salizzoni,

     (4) Matthew A. Engel,

     (5) Cheryl L. Givens,

     (6) Ozzie Wenich, and

     (7) Partick D. Petrie

The suit alleges that defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder, by issuing a series of material misrepresentations to the
market during the class period thereby artificially inflating the price
of H&R Block's securities.

For more information, contact Marc S. Henzel by Mail: 273 Montgomery
Ave., Suite 202, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 by Phone: 610-660-8000 or
888-643-6735 by Fax: 610-660-8080 by E-Mail: mhenzel182@aol.com or
visit the firm's Website: http://members.aol.com/mhenzel182       


HAMILTON BANCORP: Vianale & Vianale Launches Securities Suit in S.D. FL
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Vianale & Vianale LLP initiated a securities class action on behalf of
purchasers of the securities of Hamilton Bancorp, Inc. (OTC: HABK)
between June 13, 2001 and January 11, 2002, inclusive, in the United
States District Court, Southern District of Florida.  The suit names as
defendants the Company and:

     (1) Eduardo A. Masferrer,

     (2) J. Carlos Bernace and

     (3) Lucious T. Harris

The lawsuit charges that defendants violated the federal securities
laws by making material misrepresentations to the market between June
13, 2001 and January 11, 2002, that artificially inflated the price of
Hamilton securities.  The complaint alleges that Hamilton falsely told
the marketplace that it was working diligently to meet the requirements
of the Office of Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), including meeting
required capital requirements and adopting proper credit administration
to safeguard the assets of Hamilton Bank, N.A., the Company's principal
subsidiary.

In November 2001, the Company announced its third quarter results and
told investors that the bank had revised certain processes to better
estimate allowances for loan losses to satisfy the OCC's concerns.  
After the close of trading, on January 11, 2002, however, the OCC
closed the bank because it had inadequate capital, a high level of bad
loans and had concealed information from federal examiners.  The FDIC
was appointed receiver.

According to the OCC, "the bank's reserve for loan losses and the
method for calculating that reserve, was chronically inadequate."  The
OCC also concluded that the bank's board and management were not
responsive to the OCC's efforts to address the bank's problems.

For more details, contact Kenneth J. Vianale or Julie Prag Vianale by
Mail: 5355 Town Center Road, Suite 801, Boca Raton, Florida 33486 by
Phone: 561-391-4900 or by E-mail: info@vianalelaw.com  


INTERSTATE BAKERIES: Marc Henzel Commences Securities Fraud Suit in MO
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Marc S. Henzel initiated a securities class action
in the United States District Court for the Western District of
Missouri on behalf of purchasers of Interstate Bakeries Corporation
(NYSE: IBC) common stock during the period between September 17, 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 September 17, 2002 and December 17, 2002, thereby
artificially inflating the price of IBC common stock.

Throughout the class period, as alleged in the suit, defendants issued
numerous statements regarding the Company's financial performance and
future prospects.  Specifically, defendants claimed that the Company
was experiencing a rebound in the sales of its sweet cake products,
which had slowed down in the previous quarter, and described how the
Company would be able to increase prices for certain bread products and
maintain its anticipated level of profitability in the face of
increasing commodity prices.

The suit alleges that these statements were materially false and
misleading because they failed to disclose and/or misrepresented the
following adverse facts, among others:

     (1) that since the beginning of the class period, the Company was
         actually experiencing a negative variance with respect to cake
         sales as compared to the prior year and, therefore, had not
         seen any indication of any rebound in cake sales; and

     (2) the Company did not maintain sufficient centralized control
         over price increases to ensure that the Company could raise
         prices on bread products without damaging profitability;
         defendants knew that an increase in prices typically would
         result in a sacrifice in market share and the Company actually
         was exposed to significant risk with respect to its ability to
         attain profits based upon commodity prices.

On December 17, 2002, the last day of the Class Period, IBC shocked the
market by reporting extremely poor second quarter earnings, which it
attributed primarily to weak sales of its sweet cakes.  Following this
announcement, shares of IBC common stock plunged in value by over 35%,
from $23.16 per share on December 16, 2002, to $15.00 per share on
December 17, 2002, on extremely heavy trading volume that was almost
fifty (50) times more active than normal.  

Prior to the disclosure of the Company's true financial condition,
certain of the Individual Defendants and other IBC insiders sold shares
of their personally-held common stock for gross proceeds in excess of
$16 million.

For more information, contact Marc S. Henzel by Mail: 273 Montgomery
Ave., Suite 202, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 by Phone: 610-660-8000 or
888-643-6735 by Fax: 610-660-8080 by E-Mail: mhenzel182@aol.com or
visit the firm's Website: http://members.aol.com/mhenzel182       


MORGAN STANLEY: Falls & Veach Launches Securities Fraud Suit in M.D. TN
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Falls & Veach initiated a securities class action against Morgan
Stanley and several of its affiliates involved in the sale of Morgan
Stanley mutual funds.  The plaintiffs are investors who invested in
Class B shares in Morgan Stanley mutual funds from February 24, 1998
forward.  

The lawsuit alleges that the defendants engaged in fraudulent and
deceptive practices in connection with the sale of Class B shares,
resulting in investors paying excessive fees and/or loads with respect
to such shares.  The lawsuit seeks certification of:

     (1) a class consisting of all investors who invested in Class B
         shares in a Morgan Stanley mutual fund from February 24, 1998
         forward, and

     (2) a subclass consisting of all investors who invested $50,000 or
         more, in a single or combined transaction on or after February
         24, 1998, in Class B shares of one or more Morgan Stanley
         mutual funds

The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the
Middle District of Tennessee.

For more details, contact H. Naill Falls Jr. by Phone: 615-242-1800 or
contact John B. Veach III by Phone: 828-277-6001


MOTOROLA INC.: Spector Roseman Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in N.D. IL
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Spector, Roseman & Kodroff, PC initiated a securities class action in
the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
against defendants Motorola, Inc. (NYSE:MOT), and certain of its
officers and directors on behalf of purchasers of the common stock of
Motorola between February 3, 2000 and May 14, 2001, inclusive.

The lawsuit alleges that defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a)
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder, by issuing a series of material misrepresentations to the
market during the class period, thereby artificially inflating the
price of Motorola securities.

Specifically, on February 3, 2000, defendants issued a press release in
which it announced that Motorola would provide products and services to
Telsim Mobil Telekomunikasyon Hizmetleri A.S. (Telsim), a Turkish
cellular phone system operator controlled by Turkish citizen Kemal
Uzan, his sons Hakan and Cem, and various members of his immediate
family.  The press release, however, failed to disclose that Motorola's
deal with Telsim required Motorola to provide the Turkish company with
$1.7 billion in vendor financing.

On March 29, 2001, Motorola filed its Form Def 14A Proxy Statement with
the SEC in which the Company partially disclosed the magnitude of its
vendor financing commitments.  On April 6, 2001, shares of Motorola
stock dropped twenty three percent.  Six weeks later, Motorola revealed
that $728 million of the Telsim loan was past due and that Motorola
actually had loaned Telsim $2 billion in vendor financing - $300
million more than had been disclosed.

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


ROYAL AHOLD: Milberg Weiss Commences Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP initiated a securities class
action on behalf of purchasers of the securities of Koninklijke Ahold
N.V. (Royal Ahold) (NYSE: AHO) between June 7, 2001 and February 24,
2003, inclusive, in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York.  The suit names as defendants the Company and:

     (1) Cees van der Hoeven and

     (2) A.M. Meurs

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 June 7, 2001 and February 24, 2003, thereby artificially
inflating the price of Ahold American Depositary Receipts (ADR's).  

The complaint alleges that in 2001 and 2002 Ahold issued quarterly
press releases reporting the Company's results of operations and
financial condition.  These press releases and it public filings with
the SEC represented that the Company was growing at a breakneck pace.

The complaint further alleges that on February 24, 2002 Ahold shocked
the market.  It issued a press release announcing that Ahold's
operating earnings for fiscal year 2001 and expected operating earnings
for fiscal year 2002 "have been overstated by an amount that the
company believes may exceed U.S. $500 mln," and that the overstatements
would require the restatement of Ahold's financial statements for
fiscal year 2001 and the first three quarters of 2002.

The release further stated that the Company was investigating the
legality of certain transactions at its Argentine Disco unit, and that
the investigation had uncovered certain transactions that were
"questionable."  The Company further announced that, "in view of the
above:"

     (i) Mr. van der Hoeven and Mr. Meurs were resigning;

    (ii) the Company was deferring the announcement of its full year
         financial results scheduled for March 5, 2003; and

   (iii) that Ahold's auditors had suspended the fiscal year 2002 audit
         pending completion of these investigations.

On this news, the price of Ahold securities plummeted.  As
illustrative, the ADRs closed at $10.69 on Friday, February 21, 2003.  
The Company's announcement was released at about 2:30 am Eastern
Standard Time on Monday, February 24, 2002.  The ADRs opened on the
next trading day at $4.36, fell to $3.60 and closed the day at $4.16,
down 61% from the previous day's closing price.

For more details, contact Steven G. Schulman or U. Seth Ottensoser by
Mail: 800/320-5081 by E-mail: aholdcase@milbergNY.com or visit the
firm's Website: http://www.milberg.com


ROYAL AHOLD: Schoengold & Sporn PC Commences Securities Suit in S.D. NY
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Schoengold & Sporn, PC initiated a securities class action for the New
York Hotel Trades Council and Hotel Association of New York City, Inc.
Pension Fund against Royal Ahold NV (NYSE: AHO) and certain of its key
officers and directors in the United States District Court for the
Southern District Court of New York on behalf of all purchasers of
Ahold securities including American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) of Ahold
during the period between May 15, 2001 and February 24, 2003.

The complaint charges defendants with violations of Sections 10(b) and
20(a) the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder.  The complaint alleges that during the class period,
defendants issued to the investing public false and misleading
financial statements and press releases concerning the Company's
publicly reported earnings and net income, and that the Company failed
to disclose material information necessary to make its prior statements
not misleading.

On February 24, 2003, Ahold shocked the market by announcing that its
"net earnings and earnings per share under Dutch GAAP and U.S. GAAP
will be significantly lower than previously indicated for the year
ended December 29, 2002," and that operating earnings for fiscal years
2001 and 2002 have been overstated by at least U.S. $500 million.  The
Company also stated that there will be a restatement of Ahold's
financial statements for fiscal year 2001 and the first three quarters
of fiscal year 2002.

In addition, it was revealed that there is a pending investigation of
Ahold's Argentine subsidiary Disco concerning the "legality of certain
transactions and the accounting treatment."  According to the press
release, the release of its fiscal year 2002 results scheduled for
March 5, 2002 will be delayed indefinitely.  In response to this
shocking announcement, the price of Ahold ADRs declined sharply,
falling approximately 61% from $10.69 per share to close at $ 4.16 per
share on the 24th.

For more details, contact Jay P. Saltzman or Ashley Kim by Mail: 19
Fulton Street, Suite 406, New York, New York 10038 by Phone:
(212) 964-0046 by Fax: (212) 267-8137 or (866) 348-7700 by E-Mail:
shareholderrelations@spornlaw.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.spornlaw.com


ROYAL AHOLD: Lockridge Grindal Commences Securities Lawsuit in S.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Lockridge Grindal Nauen PLLP initiated a securities class action in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on
behalf of purchasers of Koninklijke Ahold, N.V. (NYSE:AHO) publicly
traded securities during the period between March 6, 2001 and February
21, 2003, inclusive.

Throughout the class period, as alleged in the complaint, defendants
issued numerous statements and filed annual reports with the SEC which
described the Company's increasing income and financial performance.  
As alleged in the complaint, these statements were materially false and
misleading because they failed to disclose and/or misrepresented the
following adverse facts, among others:

     (1) that the Company had materially overstated its income by
         improperly including far higher promotional allowances -
         provided by suppliers to promote their products - than the
         Company actually received in payment;

     (2) that the Company's Disco unit had engaged in certain
         transactions which were possibly illegal and were improperly
         accounted for;

     (3) that the Company was experiencing a slowdown in consumer
         demand and that, contrary to defendants' representations, the
         Company's financial performance was not "very solid" and its
         fundamental business was not "quite robust";

     (4) that, contrary to defendants' representations, the Company was
         having difficulty integrating its numerous acquisitions;

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

     (6) as a result of the foregoing, the Company's financial
         statements issued during the class period were materially
         false and misleading.

On Monday morning, February 24, 2003, before the opening of regular
trading, the Company shocked the market by announcing that it:

     (i) would be reducing its earnings expectations for 2002;

    (ii) would be restating its financial results for 2000, 2001 and
         its interim results for 2002, primarily due to overstatements
         of income, which may exceed $500 million, related to
         promotional allowance programs at U.S. Foodservice in the past
         two years;

   (iii) will deconsolidate its interests in three subsidiaries -- ICA
         Ahold, Jeronimo Martins Retail and Disco Ahold International
         Holdings; and

    (iv) has been investigating the legality of certain transactions
         and their accounting treatment at the Company's Argentine
         subsidiary Disco; and

     (v) as a result of all of this, the Company's CEO and CFO,
         defendants van der Hoeven and Meurs would be resigning.

Later in the day, when the market opened for trading, shares of the
Company's American Depositary Receipts fell $6.53 per share, or more
than 61%, to close at approximately $4.16 per share, well below their
class period high of $32.65 per share, on extremely heavy trading
volume of more than 16.2 million shares traded.

For more details, contact Karen M. Hanson by Mail: 100 Washington
Avenue South, Suite 2200 Minneapolis, MN 55401 by Phone: (612) 339-6900
or by E-mail: kmhanson@locklaw.com


ROYAL AHOLD: Abbey Gardy Commences Securities Fraud Lawsuit in S.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Abbey Gardy, LLP initiated a securities class action in the United
States District Court for the District of Southern District of New York
on behalf of all persons or entities who purchased securities of
Koninklijke Ahold N.V. d/b/a/ Royal Ahold, Inc. (NYSE: AHO News)
between March 6, 2001 and February 21, 2003, 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 during the class period, thereby artificially inflating the
price of Ahold American Depositary Receipts (ADRs).  The complaint
alleges that in 2001 and 2002 Ahold made series of materially false and
misleading statements regarding the Company's results of operations and
financial condition.

The complaint further alleges that on February 24, 2002 Ahold shocked
the market; it issued a press release announcing that Ahold's operating
earnings for fiscal year 2001 and expected operating earnings for
fiscal year 2002 have been overstated by at least $500 million and that
the overstatements would require the restatement of Ahold's financial
statements for fiscal year 2001 and the first three quarters of 2002.  
The release further stated that the Company was investigating the
legality of certain transactions at its Argentine Disco unit, and that
the investigation had uncovered certain transactions that were
"questionable."  

The Company further announced that:

     (1) Cees van der Hoeven and Michiel Meurs were resigning;

     (2) the Company was deferring the announcement of its full year
         financial results; and

     (3) that Ahold's auditors had suspended the fiscal year 2002 audit
         pending completion of these investigations.

On this news, the price of Ahold securities plummeted.  The ADRs closed
at $10.69 on Friday, February 21, 2003.  When the ADRs opened on the
next trading day closed the day the price closed at $4.16, down 61%.

For more details, contact Nancy Kaboolian by Phone: 1-800-889-3701 by
E-mail: Nkaboolian@abbeygardy.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.abbeygardy.com


ROYAL AHOLD: Wechsler Harwood Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in E.D. VA
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Wechsler Harwood LLP initiated a securities class action against Royal
Ahold, NV (NYSE:AHO) and certain of its officers, in the United States
District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on behalf of all
persons or entities who purchased Ahold American Depository Receipts
(ADRs) from January 8, 2002 through February 21, 2003.  Also included
in the class are those US citizens who purchased Company common stock
on foreign exchanges during the class period.

The complaint alleges that defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a)
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder by the Securities and Exchange Commission by materially
overstating Ahold's income in violation of Generally Accepted
Accounting Principles (GAAP).

On February 24, 2003, Ahold stunned the market when it disclosed that
operating earnings for fiscal year 2001 and expected operating earnings
for fiscal year 2002 were overstated by an amount that the company
believes may exceed $500 million.  The overstatements of income
discovered to date will require the restatement of Ahold's financial
statements for fiscal year 2001 and the first three quarters of fiscal
year 2002.

As disclosed by the Company, and as alleged in the Complaint, during
the 2002 fiscal year-end audit for Ahold's U.S. Foodservice subsidiary,
significant accounting irregularities were discovered in the
recognition of income, including prepayment amounts related to U.S.
Foodservice's promotional allowance programs.  In light of the
disclosure, Ahold President and Chief Executive Officer, Cees van der
Hoeven, and Chief Financial Officer, Michael Meurs, will resign.

In response to the disclosure of Ahold's true financial condition, its
ADRs plummeted from a close of $10.69 on February 21, 2003 to as low as
$3.60 per ADR when trading resumed Monday, February 24, 2003.  The
decline represents a one-day loss of over 65%.

For more details, contact Ramon Pinon by Mail: 488 Madison Avenue, 8th
Floor, New York, New York 10022 by Phone: (877) 935-7400 x-283 by E-
mail: rpinon@whesq.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.whesq.com


ROYAL AHOLD: Fruchter & Twersky Commences Securities Lawsuit in S.D. NY
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Fruchter & Twersky LLP initiated a securities class action on behalf of
purchasers of the securities of Koninklijke Ahold N.V. (Royal Ahold)
(NYSE: AHO) between June 7, 2001 and February 24, 2003, inclusive, in
the United States District Court, Southern District of New York.

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 June 7, 2001 and February 24, 2003, thereby artificially
inflating the price of Ahold American Depositary Receipts.  The
complaint alleges that in 2001 and 2002 Ahold issued quarterly press
releases reporting the Company's results of operations and financial
condition.  These press releases and it public filings with the SEC
represented that the Company was growing at a breakneck pace.

The complaint further alleges that on February 24, 2003 Ahold shocked
the market when it issued a press release announcing that, among other
things, Ahold's operating earnings for fiscal year 2001 and expected
operating earnings for fiscal year 2002 have been overstated by an
amount that the company believes may exceed U.S. $500 million, and that
the overstatements would require the restatement of Ahold's financial
statements for fiscal year 2001 and the first three quarters of 2002.

The release further stated that the Company was investigating the
legality of certain transactions at its Argentine Disco unit, and that
the investigation had uncovered certain transactions that were
questionable.  On this news, the price of Ahold ADRs plummeted from a
closing price of $10.69 on Friday, February 21, 2003, before the
Company 's announcement, to an opening price on the next trading day of
$4.36, and subsequently closed the day at $4.16, down 61% from the
previous day's closing price.

For more details, contact Jack G. Fruchter by Mail: One Pennsylvania
Plaza, 19th Floor, New York, New York 10119, by Phone: (212) 279-5050,
(800) 440-8986, by Fax: (212) 279-3655, or by E-mail:
JFruchter@FruchterTwersky.com.  


SAWTEK INC.: Stull Stull Commences Securities Fraud Lawsuit in M.D. FL
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Stull Stull & Brody initiated a securities class action in the United
States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa
Division, on behalf of purchasers of Sawtek, Inc. (formerly NASDAQ:
SAWS), currently a subsidiary of TriQuint Semiconductor, Inc. (NASDAQ:
TQNT), securities between January 4, 2000 and May 23, 2001, inclusive
against the Company and:

     (1) Kimon Anemogiannis (President and CEO since November 14,
         2000),

     (2) Gary A. Monetti (CEO from October 1, 1999 to November 14, 2000
         and director) and

     (3) Raymond A. Link (Senior V.P.-finance, Treasurer and CFO)

The complaint charges that defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a)
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder, by issuing a series of materially false and misleading
statements to the market during the class period.

Specifically, the complaint claims, among other things, that
defendants' material omissions and the dissemination of materially
false and misleading statements concerning Sawtek's business operations
and financial performance caused Sawtek's stock price to become
artificially inflated, inflicting damages on investors.  Sawtek
designs, develops, manufactures and markets a broad range of electronic
signal processing components, based on "surface acoustic wave" or SAW
technology, primarily for use in the wireless communications industry.

The complaint alleges that during the class period, defendants
misrepresented Sawtek's financial performance by improper "channel
stuffing" -- inflating revenue by shipping more products than
distributors could sell -- and by disseminating false and misleading
statements concerning the Company's revenue and business prospects
despite a widespread downturn in the wireless and telecommunications
markets.  Sawtek's actual financial performance was revealed on May 23,
2001, when defendants' acknowledged that the Company's projected
results for the quarter ending June 30, 2001, would fall well below the
Company's previously issued revenue guidance.

By the close of trading on the next day, May 24, 2001, Sawtek's stock
price had plunged more than seventeen percent (17%) from the previous
day's close as a result of this news.

For more details, contact Tzivia Brody by Mail: 6 East 45th Street, New
York NY 10017 by Phone: 1-800-337-4983 by Fax: 1-212-490-2022 or by E-
mail: SSBNY@aol.com

                               *********


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

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
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Copyright 2002.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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