CAR_Public/030403.mbx                C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R
  
                Thursday, April 3, 2003, Vol. 5, No. 65

                            Headlines                            

BENCHMARK ELECTRONICS: Appeals Court Dismisses Suit Dismissal's Appeal
CLOTHING RETAILERS: Retail Associates Commence Lawsuits Over Dress Code
CREDIT CARDS: Court Grants Summary Judgment Motions in Antitrust Suit
DENNY'S CORPORATION: WA Court Approves Overtime Wage Lawsuit Settlement
FINISHMASTER INC.: Faces Suit Over Collision Repair Centers in CA Court

FLORIDA: Homeowners Sue Their Association Over Construction Problems
GLOBIX CORPORATION: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Securities Fraud Lawsuit
HANOVER DIRECT: Trial in CA Consumer Fraud Suit To Commence April 2003
HANOVER DIRECT: CA Court Dismisses With Prejudice Consumer Fraud Suit
HANOVER DIRECT: NJ Court To Hear Motion To Stay Consumer Fraud Lawsuit

HOMESTORE.COM: CA Court Dismisses In Part Consolidated Securities Suit
HONG KONG: Govt Moves Toward Corporate Governance, To Institute Reform
HOUSEHOLD FINANCIAL: Agrees To Settle Illinois Suits Over HSBC Merger
HUDSON'S BAY: Seeks Merger Of Pension Plans For Former, Current Workers
IBASIS INC.: Court Dismisses Individual Defendants From Securities Suit

INCO LTD.: Hearing on Certification Appeal Set For June 2003 in Ontario
INTERNATIONAL FLAVORS: Missouri Employees Injury Lawsuit In Discovery
KOS PHARMACEUTICAL: Plaintiffs Ask For Rehearing of Appeal of Dismissal
LADISH CO.: Stockholders File Suit For Securities Violations in E.D. WI
NATIONAL PARTNERSHIP: Court Hears Oral Arguments For Post-Trial Motion

NET PERCEPTIONS: NY Court Refuses To Dismiss Securities Fraud Lawsuit
OGE ENERGY: Status Conference For KS Gas Royalties Suit Set April 2003
OM GROUP: Shareholders Commence Suits For Securities Violations in OH
PAN PACIFIC: Reaches Settlement in CA Lawsuit Opposing Western Merger
PHARMACIA CORPORATION: Court Hears Arguments For Dismissal of AWP Suit

PHARMACIA CORPORATION: Court Dismisses Injunctive Relief Claim in Suit
QUICKSILVER RESOURCES: Court Refuses To Reconsider Suit Certification
TELLABS INC.: Asks IL Court To Dismiss Consolidated Securities Lawsuit
TOBACCO LITIGATION: S&P Ready To Downrate Philip Morris' Parent Altria
VIVENDI UNIVERSAL: Liberty Media Joins Consolidated Securities Lawsuit

WASHINGTON MUTUAL: Customers Commence Suit Over Prepayment Fees in MN
ZAPATA CORPORATION: Omega Protein Stockholders File Lawsuit in NV Court

                     New Securities Fraud Cases

ADC TELECOMMUNICATIONS: Schatz & Nobel Lodges Securities Lawsuit in MN
ANDRX CORPORATION: Berger & Montague Commences Securities Lawsuit in FL
ANDRX CORPORATION: Marc Henzel Commences Securities Lawsuit in S.D. FL
ANDRX CORPORATION: Bernstein Liebhard Lodges Securities Suit in S.D. FL
ELECTRO SCIENTIFIC: Charles Piven Lodges Securities Lawsuit in OR Court

MONTEREY PASTA: Marc Henzel Commences Securities Fraud Suit in N.D. CA
SKECHERS USA: Charles Piven Commences Securities Fraud Suit in C.D. CA

                           *********

BENCHMARK ELECTRONICS: Appeals Court Dismisses Suit Dismissal's Appeal
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the
plaintiffs' appeal of the dismissal of the securities class action
filed against Benchmark Electronics, Inc.

The consolidated suit arose from several suits commenced in October
1999 after the Company announced that its third quarter 1999 earnings
announcement would be delayed and that its earnings for the third
quarter 1999 were below the level of the same period during 1998 and
were below expectations.  The suits were filed in the United States
District Court in Houston, Texas against the Company and two of its
officers and directors alleging violations of the federal securities
laws.  These lawsuits were consolidated in February 2000.  The lawsuits
sought to recover unspecified damages.

The Company denied the allegations in the lawsuits, however, and
further denied that such allegations provide a basis for recovery of
damages as it believes that it has made all required disclosures on a
timely basis.

The Company asked the court to dismiss the suit, which the court
granted in August 2002.  Plaintiffs appealed the ruling to the US Fifth
Circuit Court of Appeals.  However, in late January 2003, plaintiff
offered to withdraw the appeal and plaintiff and the Company
subsequently entered into an agreement wherein the Company agreed not
to seek sanctions against plaintiff in exchange for plaintiff's
covenant not to sue the Company for the subject matter made the basis
of the current suit and to file with the Fifth Circuit a motion to
withdraw the appeal.


CLOTHING RETAILERS: Retail Associates Commence Lawsuits Over Dress Code
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Retailers, in what is becoming standard industry practice, are
increasingly requiring employees to buy their work clothes from the
brands they sell, thereby forcing the retail associates into
representing, advertising and affirming those brands by the clothes
they wear.  This requirement, called a dress code, has resulted in
three lawsuits recently, brought by former employees of Gap, Inc., Polo
Ralph Lauren and Abercrombie & Fitch Co. in the United States, the
National Post reports.

People are spending so much of their pay for the brand name clothing
"that their net income is below minimum wage," said Patrick Kitchin,
attorney for two of the class actions.

Lindsay Stamhuis, 17, was employed at a Reitman's store in Edmonton
between March and October of 2002.  During that time, Ms. Stamhuis said
she spent most of her $6.20 an hour wage trying to satisfy the store's
dress code.  "It was always stressed upon (us) that we had to be in
Reitman's clothing whenever we walked onto the sales floor," Ms.
Stamhuis said.  "Before I even had my first paycheck, I was scared into
purchasing clothes to wear for the day."

"It defeated the purpose of me getting a job in the first place," she
said. " Most of the money I made went right back to the company to
ensure I'd be able to work there."

On paper, corporate policies encourage employees to wear their brand or
clothing similar to their brand.  Generous discounts are given both as
a perk and to help staff handle the cost of meeting the clothing
policies.  In practice, say some retail associates, the policies are
not that permissive.

Mr. Kitchin, citing the lawsuit against Gap, said, "People are sent
home and told under no circumstances may they wear clothes that are not
Gap-manufactured."

A spokesman for the National Retail Federation, the worldwide voice of
the industry, said sales associates have a choice:  Follow the store's
policy or seek alternative employment.  

"It is only natural for the retailer to expect the associate to wear
clothes that emulate the brand," said Scott Krugman.  "Associates who
work with the customers inside the store are a natural extension of
that brand."

A former Body Shop employee said, "Body Shop requires employees to have
on five pieces of Body Shop makeup at all times.  If you are working
four hours a week at $5.90 an hour, that can be an entire paycheck."

Under tax laws in Canada, an employee required to wear a company's
brand cannot deduct the clothing cost as an employment expense.  
However, if it is purchased from the employer at a discount, there may
be a deemed taxable benefit.  The result is the employee is "burned at
both ends."


CREDIT CARDS: Court Grants Summary Judgment Motions in Antitrust Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------------
New York Federal Judge John Gleeson granted five of the merchants'
eight summary judgment motions and denied all of Visa and MasterCard's
motions, including MasterCard's request for separate trial.

"Around 70 percent of this trial was decided in the merchants' favor in
this summary judgment," said Lloyd Constantine, lead counsel for the
merchants, and a principal in the New York firm of Constantine &
Partners.  "That leaves 30 percent of the case and the relief to be
decided.  This is the final lap toward consumers and merchants being
able to purchase debit card services in a free and competitive market.

Summary judgment oral arguments were held on January 10, 2003 in US
District Court in the Eastern District of New York.  A trial is set for
April 28, 2003 before Judge Gleeson.  This litigation involves more
than five million merchants against Visa USA, Inc. and MasterCard
International, Inc.

"The merchants are seeking damages to compensate them for being forced
to accept more than $1.4 trillion in slow, fraud-prone, off-line
signature debit transactions at exorbitantly high and fixed prices
during the last decade," said Mr. Constantine.

The lawsuit, filed in October 1996, by Sears Roebuck, Safeway, Circuit
City, Wal-Mart, The Limited, three trade associations -- the National
Retail Federation, the International Mass Retail Association and the
Food Marketing Institute -- and 13 other large and small retailers,
charges Visa and MasterCard with violating US antitrust law.

Many of the rulings by the court today are consistent with the previous
decision of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York
in the US government's 2001 antitrust case against the credit card
companies.  Therefore the previously anticipated collateral estoppel
motion by the merchants is no longer necessary.  Oral arguments in the
government's case will be heard May 8 in the Second Circuit Court of
Appeals in New York.  The US government received all documents,
depositions and the analysis of Visa and MasterCard's conduct compiled
by the merchants in their case, which was filed two years before the US
case.

Lead counsel, Constantine and Partners, has been assisted by 30 other
law firms in this case, including co-lead counsel Hagens Berman in
Seattle, Washington.


DENNY'S CORPORATION: WA Court Approves Overtime Wage Lawsuit Settlement
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Superior Court for King County, Washington approved the settlement
proposed by Denny's Corporation for a class action filed against it by
four of its former restaurant managers, seeking, among other things,
overtime compensation.

The action, which was originally filed on May 16, 2000, was certified
on July 31, 2001 as a class action with all managers and general
managers who worked for company-owned Denny's restaurants in Washington
since January 1, 1997 being identified as class members.  The suit
alleged that managers at Denny's were not exempt "executive" employees
because they spend most of their time on non-exempt tasks, thus
entitling them to overtime compensation.  

The Company contends that it properly classifies it managers as
salaried employees, thereby exempting them from the payment of overtime
compensation.  The parties reached an agreement to resolve the claims
of individuals who were employed as managers of Denny's in Washington
between May 17, 1997 and May 24, 2002.  While continuing to deny
liability, the Company elected to resolve the case to avoid the expense
of continued litigation.  The Court approved the settlement by a final
judgment dated October 31, 2002 and paid prior to year-end.


FINISHMASTER INC.: Faces Suit Over Collision Repair Centers in CA Court
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Finishmaster, Inc. was named as one of the defendants in the automotive
refinishing industry in a class action filed by a group of collision
repair centers in California State Court.  The plaintiffs claim to
represent similar businesses throughout the state of California and
allege that paint manufacturers engaged in a horizontal price fixing
conspiracy.

The plaintiffs further allege that the manufacturers together with
paint distributors engaged in a vertical price fixing conspiracy.  
Specifically, the plaintiffs allege that manufacturers and distributors
agreed not to extend their most favorable pricing terms to the
collision repair centers.  The court has stayed the vertical pricing
fixing component of the class action pending resolution of the
horizontal price fixing allegations.

Consequently there are no pending deadlines or trial dates with respect
to the Company.  The Company believes that the class action is without
merit.  At this time the amount of damages has not been specified.


FLORIDA: Homeowners Sue Their Association Over Construction Problems
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Three hundred owners of town homes in Dadeland Cove, Florida have been
told by engineers that their homes are falling apart due to shoddy
construction, and that it would cost about $3 million to repair their
homes.  Perhaps even worse than the crumbling homes they live in is the
fact that they have no recourse to the builder/developer who has gone
bankrupt and also disappeared, The Miami Herald reports.

"The building flaws and structural defects that have been revealed are
pretty much alarming.  That is why the cost is so unbelievable," said
Terry Chavez, president of the Dadeland Cove Homeowners Association.  
Some of the problems include leaks in bay windows, balconies that are
rotting and overhangs and other wall structures that are separating
from the main buildings.

In order to help the homeowners move forward with repairs, the
association has taken out a $3 line of credit after the engineering
firm found that nearly all the home in the development have serious
problems, and came up with the $3 million figure.  The loan means that
owners will be assessed $130, $160 or $180 each month, depending on the
square footage of their homes.  This will be a burden to some of the
homeowners because they will still be assessed the $180 monthly
maintenance fee.

The association will likely be facing legal action.  Attorney James
Roen is partnering with the law firm of Colson Hicks Eidson to file a
class action against the association and its management company on
behalf of the residents.  The lawsuit will allege negligence and breach
of contract by the homeowners association.

Mr. Roen says if the association had maintained the buildings properly,
they would not be in such bad shape and therefore it would not cost so
much to fix them.  "They have not been properly maintained for at least
the last four or five years," said Mr. Roen.  "Water has been able to
seep inside the balconies and other areas because they were not
properly sealed, and the wood is rotted as a result of that."

Mr. Roen has hired an independent engineering firm to study the
buildings, and he said the association has taken a "head in the sand"
approach to the problems by not doing anything sooner.  Mr. Roen hopes
the lawsuit will give half or all of the $3 million back to the
homeowners from insurance funds.

Mr. Chavez, president of the association said that the association had
itself hired a firm of consulting engineers toward the end of 2001, who
found that the leaks were a result of shoddy construction, not poor
maintenance.

"The problems that we have found have nothing to do with the
maintenance.  The developer did not do a good job and got away with
it," said Nasir M. Alam, a principal with the engineering firm of
Pistorino & Alam Consulting Engineers.  "He (the builder) used the
wrong materials and the wrong systems.  They were not suitable for
South Florida, and these poor people are really stuck."

The association, which must now defend against the homeowners' class
action, has recently had to make a settlement with four residents who
may have had the worst construction problems of all in Dadeland Cove.  
The four-unit building in which lived four residents was found to have
been built on a pile of construction debris and began to tilt forward,
causing huge cracks to form, the walls to curve and the staircases to
buckle.  The four neighbors settled for $450,000, part of which is
coming from the Dadeland Cove Homeowners Association, and another part
from an insurance settlement with Lloyd's of London.  Although the
money is enough to rebuild the four townhouses properly, the four
resident of the four-unit building do not think they will ever return.


GLOBIX CORPORATION: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Securities Fraud Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Globix Corporation asked the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York to dismiss the securities class action
filed against it and its former officers:

     (1) Marc Bell,

     (2) Peter Herzig (who remains a director of the company) and

     (3) Brian Reach

The suit asserts claims under sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder on behalf
of all persons or entities who purchased our securities between
November 16, 2000 and December 27, 2001.

On June 25, 2002, the Company entered into a Stipulation and Order with
the lead plaintiffs in the lawsuit.  The Stipulation and Order provides
that 229,452 shares of the Company's common stock and $1,968,000 in
aggregate principal amount of the 11% Senior Notes will be held in
reserve in escrow pending the outcome of the lawsuit.  In the event
that any judgment or settlement entered into in connection with the
class action lawsuit requires the Company to pay an amount in excess of
the Company's liability insurance, it will be required to issue to the
class action litigants and their attorneys all (in the event that this
excess is $10 million or greater) or a portion of (in the event that
this excess is less than $10 million) the shares of the Company's
common stock and the 11% Senior Notes being held in escrow.

A consolidated amended complaint was filed in this lawsuit in June
2002, which the Company has moved to dismiss.  Briefing of that motion
is not yet complete.  If the motion is denied, the case will proceed to
the discovery stage.

The Company believes that the allegations in this lawsuit are without
merit.  Although there can be no assurance as to the outcome or effect
of this lawsuit, the Company does not believe, based on currently
available information, that the ultimate liabilities, if any, resulting
from this lawsuit will have a material adverse impact on its business,
financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.


HANOVER DIRECT: Trial in CA Consumer Fraud Suit To Commence April 2003
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Trial in the class action filed against Hanover Direct, Inc. subsidiary
Brawn of California, Inc. (dba International Male and Undergear) and
Does 1-100 is set for April 14, 2003 in the Superior Court of the State
of California, City and County of San Francisco.  Does 1-100 are
internet and catalog direct marketers offering a selection of men's
clothing, sundries, and shoes who advertise within California and
nationwide.  The complaint alleges that:

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

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

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

Plaintiff and the class seek:

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

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

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

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

The claims of the individually named plaintiff and for each member of
the class amount to less than $75,000.  On April 15, 2002, the Company
filed a motion to stay the suit, but the court denied the motion.  In
October 2002, the court granted the Company's motion for leave to amend
the answer.  Discovery is proceeding.  A mandatory settlement
conference has also been scheduled for April 4, 2003. The Company plans
to conduct a vigorous defense of this action.


HANOVER DIRECT: CA Court Dismisses With Prejudice Consumer Fraud Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The Superior Court of the State of California, City and County of San
Francisco dismissed with prejudice a class action filed against Hanover
Direct, Inc. subsidiary Gump's By Mail, Inc. and Does 1-100.  The
plaintiff is a non-profit public benefit corporation suing under the
California Business and Profession Code.  Does 1-100 would include
persons whose activities include the direct sale of tangible personal
property to California consumers including the type of merchandise that
Gump's -- the store and the catalog -- sell, by telephone, mail order,
and sales through the web sites www.gumpsbymail.com and www.gumps.com.

The complaint alleges that:

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

     (2) Gump's engages in unfair business practices;

     (3) Gump's engaged in untrue and misleading advertising in that it
         was not lawfully required to collect tax and sales tax from
         customers in California, is not lawfully required or permitted
         to add tax and sales tax on separately stated shipping or
         delivery charges to California consumers and that it does not
         add the appropriate or applicable or specific correct tax or
         sales tax to its orders.

Plaintiff and the class seek:

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

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

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

On April 15, 2002, the Company filed an Answer and Separate Affirmative
Defenses to the complaint, generally denying the allegations of the
complaint and each and every cause of action alleged, and denying that
plaintiff has been damaged or is entitled to any relief whatsoever.  On
September 19, 2002, the Company filed a motion for leave to file an
amended answer, containing several additional affirmative defenses
based on the proposition that the proper defendant in this litigation
(if any) is the California State Board of Equalization, not the
Company, and that plaintiff failed to exhaust its administrative
remedies prior to filing suit.  That motion was granted.  At the
request of the plaintiff, this case was dismissed on March 17, 2003.


HANOVER DIRECT: NJ Court To Hear Motion To Stay Consumer Fraud Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Superior Court of New Jersey, Bergen County - Law Division will
hear on April 4, 2003 the motion to stay the class action filed against
Hanover Direct, Inc., and Hanover Brands, Inc.   The plaintiff brings
the action individually and on behalf of a class of all persons and
entities in New Jersey who purchased merchandise from Hanover within
six years prior to filing of the lawsuit and continuing to the date of
judgment.  

On the basis of a purchase made by the plaintiff in August 2002 of
certain clothing from Hanover (which was from a men's division catalog,
the only ones which retained the insurance line item in 2002),
plaintiff claims that for at least six years, Hanover maintained a
policy and practice of adding a charge for "insurance" to the orders it
received and concealed and failed to disclose its policy with respect
to all class members.

Plaintiff claims that Hanover's conduct was:

     (1) in violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, as
         otherwise deceptive, misleading and unconscionable;

     (2) such as to constitute Unjust Enrichment of Hanover at the
         expense and to the detriment of plaintiff and the class; and

     (3) unconscionable per se under the Uniform Commercial Code for
         contracts related to the sale of goods.

Plaintiff and the class seek damages equal to the amount of all
insurance charges, interest thereon, treble and punitive damages,
injunctive relief, costs and reasonable attorneys fees, and such other
relief as may be just, necessary, and appropriate.

On December 13, 2002, the Company filed a Motion to Stay the suit.  
Plaintiff then filed an Amended Complaint adding International Male and
Undergear as a defendant.  The Company's response to the amended
complaint was filed on February 5, 2003.  Plaintiff's response brief
was filed March 17, 2003, and the Company's reply brief is due on March
31, 2003.  


HOMESTORE.COM: CA Court Dismisses In Part Consolidated Securities Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court in California dismissed some of the
plaintiffs claims in the consolidated securities class action filed
against Homestore.com, Inc. and certain of its former officers,
directors and employees.

Several suits were commenced after the Company's December 2001
announcement that the Audit Committee of its Board of Directors was
conducting an inquiry of certain of its accounting practices and that
the results of the inquiry to date determined that its unaudited
interim financial statements for 2001 would require restatement.  In
February 2002, the Company also announced that it would restate its
financial results for the year ended December 31, 2000.

In connection with the restatement, in March 2002, the Company filed an
amended Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2000, and in March
2002, the Company filed amended an Form 10-Qs for each of the first
three quarters of 2001.  Following the December 2001 announcement of
the discovery of accounting irregularities, approximately 20 lawsuits
claiming to be class actions and three lawsuits claiming to be brought
derivatively on the Company's behalf were commenced in various courts
against the Company and certain of former officers, directors and
employees by or on behalf of persons purporting to be the Company's
stockholders and persons claiming to have purchased or otherwise
acquired securities issued by the Company between May 2000 and December
2001.  The California State Teachers' Retirement System has been named
lead plaintiff in the consolidated shareholder lawsuits against the
Company.

In November 2002, the plaintiff filed a first amended consolidated
class action complaint naming the Company, certain of its current
officers and employees, certain of its former officers, directors and
employees and various other parties, including among others
MaxWorldwide, Inc. (formerly L90, Inc.), PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP,
AOL, and Cendant Corporation.  The amended complaint makes various
allegations, including that the Company violated federal securities
laws and seeks an unspecified amount of damages.

On March 7, 2003, the court dismissed, with prejudice, the plaintiff's
claims against a number of corporate and individual defendants whom the
Plaintiff alleged either assisted in the planning and execution of the
purportedly fraudulent transactions at issue, or who were parties to
those transactions.  Those defendants included MaxWorldwide, Inc., AOL
and Cendant, among others.  The court also dismissed, without
prejudice, the plaintiff's claims against a number of the Company's
current and former officers and employees.

With regard to those claims dismissed without prejudice, the plaintiff
has the opportunity to file another amended complaint attempting to
cure the defects in the original claims against those defendants.  At
the same time, the court denied the motions to dismiss of
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and the Company's former chief executive
officer.  The Company did not file a motion to dismiss the plaintiff's
claims against it, but answered the complaint.  Accordingly, the March
7, 2003 decision did not make any ruling with respect to the claims
asserted against the Company.


HONG KONG: Govt Moves Toward Corporate Governance, To Institute Reform
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Hong Kong government has taken some steps "in the right direction"
to bring about awareness of corporate governance and to try to
institute changes, but "much work remains to be done to change
attitudes," Joe Leahy wrote in a recent report in the Financial Times.

The annual meetings of Hong Kong's blue-chip companies are ritualistic
occasions, attended by few investors.  Therefore, normally, the Bank of
East Asia's annual meeting should have been no exception, but this year
it attracted the attention, and the attendance, of shareholder rights
activist David Webb.

Mr. Webb asked from the floor, why did management want to reappoint as
independent board member a certain personage - a local tycoon and bank
customer - when he missed all of his audit committee meetings last
year?

The bank's chairman, David Li, was "befuddled" by this pointed,
relevant question, and replied, "Mr. Lee is a prominent citizen in our
city and is a very, very useful member of the board."  

It was not a response that approached the issue raised by Mr. Webb.  
However, the episode highlights, instead, the work that still needs to
be done to change attitudes about corporate governance in Hong Kong,
despite recent steps by the government in the right direction.

In one of the more significant changes, the government recently agreed
to transfer regulatory authority over new listings from Hong Kong
Exchanges and Clearing (HKEx), the company that runs the stock
exchange, to the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), the market
watchdog.

In a recently issued report, by a group of government-appointed
experts, a number of moves were listed that are scheduled to be taken
during an 18-month transition period, aimed at making the changeover
smooth and the new authority effective.

"The report is just the first step," said Mr. Webb.  "(Second), you
have to implement the moves, or recommendations, and then the SFC has
to tighten up the listing rules."  The group of experts had found in
the process of research preceding putting the report together, that
HKEx had suffered an "irreconcilable" conflict of interest in its dual
role as a for-profit listed company and a frontline regulator of
listings.

The HKEx relied on a disclosure-based, or "buyer beware," system; but
the information being disclosed by companies was sometimes inaccurate.  
Further, the HKEx rarely exercised its discretionary powers to block
IPOs that conformed to the listing criteria but were questionable in
other ways.

Critics hope that, with the transfer of listing powers to the SFC, IPO
candidates will be vetted based on merit as well as disclosure.  As a
government body, the SFC also will have statutory backing for the
exercise of its powers, allowing it to punish wrong-doers more
effectively.  As a private company, the HKEx was essentially
"toothless," said Mr. Leahy in his Financial Times report.

In other recommendations, contained in the report, the expert group
said the government should allow investors to pursue class actions, and
allow contingency fees, under which lawyers are paid only if they win a
case.

"The main problem with Hong Kong is that you don't have class action
lawsuits and you don't have a vocal activist group to take action on
behalf of any minority investors," said Amar Gill, head of research at
emerging markets brokerage CLSA said.

David Webb, the shareholder rights activist, said he would like to see
instituted in Hong Kong such corporate governance practices as
quarterly financial reporting, disclosure of directors' remuneration on
an individual basis and an end to general mandates that allow companies
to issue 20 percent of their shares each year at their own discretion.

Mr. Webb plans to push ahead with campaigns to change the system, such
as "Project Poll," which Mr. Webb launched at the Bank of East Asia
annual meeting.  The campaign aims to force Hong Kong's 33 Hang Seng
index companies plus HKEx to vote by poll, rather than a show of hands,
on all items at their AGMs (Annual Governance Meetings).


HOUSEHOLD FINANCIAL: Agrees To Settle Illinois Suits Over HSBC Merger
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Household Financial Corporation agreed to settle with plaintiffs in
three separate class actions filed relating to its merger with the
Hongkong Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC).

Two of the lawsuits are pending in the Circuit Court of Cook County,
Illinois, Chancery Division.  One, McLaughlin v. Aldinger et al.,
asserts claims on behalf of a purported class of holders of Household
common stock against the Company and certain of its officers and
directors for breach of fiduciary duty in connection with the pending
merger with HSBC on the grounds that the defendants allegedly failed to
take appropriate steps to maximize the value of a merger transaction
for holders of Household common stock.  While the complaint contends
that plaintiffs will suffer irreparable harm unless the pending merger
with HSBC is enjoined, it seeks only unspecified damages.

The other, Pace v. Aldinger et al., is both a purported derivative
lawsuit on behalf of the Company and a purported class action on behalf
of holders of the Company's common stock.  This lawsuit was filed prior
to the announcement of the pending merger with HSBC and originally
asserted claims relating to the restatement of the Company's
consolidated financial statements, the preliminary agreement with a
multi-state working group of state attorneys general, and other
accounting matters.  It has since been amended to allege that the
Company and certain of its officers and directors breached their
fiduciary duties in connection with the pending merger with HSBC and
seeks to enjoin the pending merger with HSBC, as well as unspecified
damages allegedly stemming both from the pending merger and the
original claims described above.  

On March 11, 2003, the plaintiff in the Pace action moved the Court for
expedited discovery and to set a hearing date for a preliminary
injunction motion seeking to enjoin the pending merger with HSBC.  On
March 13, 2003, the court denied the motion without prejudice.

A third lawsuit relating to the pending merger with HSBC, Williamson v.
Aldinger et al., is pending in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Illinois.  This derivative lawsuit on behalf of
Household claims that certain of Household's officers and directors
breached their fiduciary duties and committed corporate waste by
agreeing to the pending merger with HSBC and allegedly failing to take
appropriate steps to maximize the value of a merger transaction.  The
complaint seeks to enjoin the pending merger with HSBC.

Plaintiffs in the three actions have asserted that the proxy materials
provided to the Company's stockholders are deficient in failing to
disclose or sufficiently emphasize the following, which plaintiffs
consider important to its stockholders' decision with respect to the
pending merger with HSBC, including:

     (1) that Household or its financial advisor failed to obtain
         internal projections of HSBC of its expected future
         performance;

     (2) that, as has been alleged, Household failed to take adequate
         steps to "shop" the company before agreeing to the merger
         agreement with HSBC and that the magnitude of the termination
         fee payable to HSBC under the merger agreement in certain
         circumstances constitutes an unreasonable impediment to a
         competing transaction; and

     (3) that, also as has been alleged, the senior management of
         Household and our Board of Directors were motivated to approve
         and recommend the merger with HSBC allegedly in order to
         insulate themselves from personal liability for claims arising
         out of the restatement of the Company's consolidated financial
         statements, the preliminary agreement with a multi-state
         working group of state attorneys general, and other accounting
         matters.

On March 18, 2003, the plaintiffs in the three actions (together with
the plaintiff in another related action pending in the Circuit Court of
Cook County, Illinois, Chancery Division) agreed in principle to a
settlement of the actions based on, among other things, the additional
disclosures above relating to their allegations and HSBC's agreement to
waive $55 million of the termination fee otherwise payable to HSBC from
Household under the merger agreement in certain circumstances.  That
agreement in principle is subject to customary conditions including
definitive documentation of the settlement, additional confirmatory
discovery by the plaintiffs and approval by the courts following notice
to the stockholders and a hearing.  A hearing will be scheduled at
which the court will consider the fairness, reasonableness and adequacy
of the settlement which, if finally approved by the court, will resolve
all of the claims that were or could have been brought in the actions
being settled, including all claims relating to the merger.


HUDSON'S BAY: Seeks Merger Of Pension Plans For Former, Current Workers
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The Hudson's Bay Co. and a group of current and former employees are
battling over a couple issues.  First, the group of employees is
opposing Hudson's proposed merger of the large retailer's pension
plans.  Also at issue is a $76 million class action filed by pensioners
last year against the retailer, alleging it improperly diverted funds
from surplus assets in their pension plan, the National Post (Canada)
reports.

On the issue of the merging of pension plans, the operator of the Bay,
Zellers and Home Outfitters chains has filed an application with the
Financial Services Commission of Ontario for permission to merge
several of its pension plans from other businesses it has combined with
over the years, into one major plan covering all past and current
employees including executives.  The current plans are divided up
between employees at the retailer's different banners, and past
executives at these different banners had contributed under separate
plans.

"The merger of the plans is consistent with what we have been doing
with the business over the past three years," said Robert Moore,
spokesman for the large department store retailer.  "Everything has
been changed to reflect a one-company strategy."  

The company has spent time on streamlining its supply chain and has
merged loyalty programs and credit cards between its divisions.

Pensioners want the Financial Services Commission of Ontario to wait
for the outcome of a class action, which is subject to certification
in May.  They believe the outcome is relevant to the merger issue and
should be known before the government allows the company to merge the
plans.

On the issue of the class action which pensioners have filed against
Hudson, alleging the retailer improperly diverted funds from surplus
assets in their pension plan, the lawsuit alleges Hudson began
siphoning surplus trust money from the Hudson pension plan, in 1994, to
pay for the pensions of Zellers employees and for the former Simpsons
staff, as well as for the pension plans of former KMart employees.  
Simpson and KMart Canada were acquired by retailer Hudson's Bay,
Zellers and Home Outfitters in 1979 and 1998, respectively.

The British Columbia court of appeal has ruled in one case that a
corporation could not use its pension surplus in such a manner as
Hudson's Bay has done, siphoning from the surplus of one to pay for the
contributions to another.  However, Canadian case law is far from
concrete on the issue, according to the National Post.  Hudson's Bay
has said it is within its right to extend the surplus of one plan to
another after they were merged.  The fact remains that Hudson's Bay is
presently seeking permission to merge pension plans; whether it had
authority to merge the two plans issue in the instant case might be in
question.  

Peter Hayden, a lawyer representing former Hudson's Bay executives says
the lawsuit must be resolved before the retailer merges its existing
plans.  Mark Zigler, a partner at the firm of Koskie Minsky, which is
representing the former Simpsons employees, is also opposed to the
proposed plan merger.

At issue is a total pension plan surplus of $350 million as of January
2003.  Mr. Hayden has proposed that Hudson's Bay settle the issue by
disbursing some of the surplus assets to the pensioners, but the
company did not accept.


IBASIS INC.: Court Dismisses Individual Defendants From Securities Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
dismissed individual defendants from the consolidated securities class
action filed against iBasis, Inc.

The suit was initially filed against the Company, several of its
officers, directors, and former officers and directors, as well as
against the investment banking firms that underwrote the Company's
November 11, 1999 initial public offering of common stock and its March
9, 2000 secondary offering of common stock.  The suit was filed on
behalf of persons who purchased the Company's common stock during
different time periods, all beginning on or after November 10, 1999 and
ending on or before December 6, 2000.

The suit alleges violations of the Securities Act of 1933 and the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 primarily based on the assertion that
there was undisclosed compensation received by the Company's
underwriters in connection with its public offerings.  The plaintiffs
are seeking an as-yet undetermined amount of monetary damages in
relation to these claims.

On October 9, 2002, the individual defendants were dismissed from the
litigation by stipulation and without prejudice.  Although iBasis has
not filed an answer in any of these matters, iBasis believes that it
and the individual defendants have meritorious defenses to the claims
made in the complaints and intends to contest the lawsuits vigorously.  

In doing so or deciding whether to pursue a settlement, the Company
will consider, among other factors, the substantial costs and the
diversion of its management's attention and resources that would be
required by litigation.  The Company cannot give any assurance that it
will be successful should it decide to litigate.  In addition, even
though the Company has insurance and contractual protections that could
cover some or all of the potential damages in these cases, or amounts
that it might have to pay in settlement of these cases, an adverse
resolution of one or more of these lawsuits could have a material
adverse affect on its financial position and results of operations in
the period in which the lawsuits are resolved.


INCO LTD.: Hearing on Certification Appeal Set For June 2003 in Ontario
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs in the suit filed against Inco, Ltd. appealed an Ontario,
Canada court's decision denying class certification for the suit.  The
suit, which also names several other parties as defendants, alleged
CD$600 million in compensatory damages and CD$150 million in punitive
damages covering certain residents who lived in the Port Colborne area
since 1995 and allegedly suffered a decline in their property values as
a result of, and health and other injuries from exposure to, metals and
related emissions from the refinery.

In June 2002, hearings were held in the Ontario Superior Court of
Justice to consider whether this action, or any portion of it, should
be certified to proceed as a class action.  In July 2002 the court
rejected certifying any part of the action as a class action.  The
plaintiff has appealed this decision and the appeal is currently
expected to be heard in June 2003.  The material that the plaintiff has
filed as part of the appeal indicates that the plaintiff is seeking
only damages for property value diminution and has narrowed the number
of citizens that the plaintiff is purporting to represent.


INTERNATIONAL FLAVORS: Missouri Employees Injury Lawsuit In Discovery
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The class action filed against International Flavors & Fragrances, Inc.
and Gilster Mary-Lee Corporation in the Circuit Court of Jasper County,
Missouri is currently in discovery.

The suit was filed in September 2001 on behalf of employees of a plant
owned and operated by Gilster-Mary Lee in Jasper, Missouri.  The
plaintiffs are alleging that they sustained respiratory injuries in the
workplace due to the use by Gilster-Mary Lee of a BBA flavor.  All BBA
and IFF flavors meet the requirements of the US Food and Drug
Administration and are safe for handling and use by workers in food
manufacturing plants when used according to specified safety
procedures.  Based on the preliminary report issued by the National
Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), it appears any
injuries the plaintiffs may have suffered are related to inadequate
workplace conditions.

The Company does not expect this litigation to have a material adverse
effect on the Company's financial condition, results of operations or
liquidity.


KOS PHARMACEUTICAL: Plaintiffs Ask For Rehearing of Appeal of Dismissal
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs in the securities class action filed against Kos
Pharmaceuticals, Inc. requested for a rehearing of their appeal of the
dismissal of the suit.  The suit also names as defendants the members
of the Company's Board of Directors, certain of the Company's officers,
and the underwriters of the Company's October 1997 offering of shares
of common stock.

In its complaint, the plaintiff asserts, on behalf of itself and a
putative class of purchasers of the Company's Common Stock during the
period from July 29, 1997, through November 13, 1997, claims under:

     (1) sections 11, 12(a)(2) and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933;

     (2) sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of
         1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder; and

     (3) for common law fraud, negligent misrepresentation and breach
         of fiduciary duty

The claims in the lawsuit relate principally to certain statements made
by the Company, or certain of its representatives, concerning the
efficacy, safety, sales volume and commercial viability of the Niaspan
product.  The complaint sought unspecified damages and costs, including
attorneys' fees and costs and expenses.

Upon the Company's motion, the case was transferred to the United
States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.  The
Company filed a motion to dismiss the complaint against the Company and
the individual defendants on January 7, 1999.  In May 1999, the court
dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice.  The plaintiffs filed an appeal
with the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.  
The appeals court later affirmed the federal court's dismissal of the
plaintiff's claims with prejudice.  The petition for rehearing has not
yet been ruled upon by the court.


LADISH CO.: Stockholders File Suit For Securities Violations in E.D. WI
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Ladish Co., Inc. faces a class action filed in the United States
District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, on February 28,
2003.  The suit, which also names two Company officers as defendants,
includes claims under the federal securities laws and state common law,
and seeks damages for stockholders who purchased the common stock of
the Company between March 10, 1998 and September 27, 2002.

The complaint's allegations, which the Company intends to dispute, are
based primarily on accounting issues relating to the Company's
restatement in 2002.  The Company has notified its insurance carrier of
the claim, retained legal counsel and is vigorously defending the
claim.  The Company has not made any provision for potential costs or
losses, if any, which may arise from this claim.


NATIONAL PARTNERSHIP: Court Hears Oral Arguments For Post-Trial Motion
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Central District of California
heard oral arguments on the National Partnership Investments
Corporation's (NAPICO) post-trial motions in the class action filed
against it and certain other defendants.

The suit asserts claims for breaches of fiduciary duty to the limited
partners of certain NAPICO managed partnerships and violations of
securities laws by making materially false and misleading statements
in the consent solicitation statements sent to the limited partners of
such partnerships.  The actions were certified as a class action, and
trial commenced in October 2002.

In November 2002, the jury returned special verdicts against NAPICO and
certain other defendants in the amount of approximately $25.2 million
for violations of securities laws and against NAPICO for approximately
$67.3 million for breaches of fiduciary duty.  In addition, the jury
awarded the plaintiffs punitive damages against NAPICO of approximately
$92.5 million.

On March 12, 2003, the court heard oral argument on defendants' post-
trial motions seeking to set aside or reduce the jury award and
plaintiffs' motion for relief on their equitable claims and has taken
those matters under submission.  While the matter is not yet final and
no judgment has been entered, the matter is the responsibility of the
former shareholders of Casden pursuant to documents related to the
Casden Merger, which was completed in March 2002.

The Company does not believe that the ultimate outcome will have a
material adverse effect on the Company's consolidated financial
position or results of operations taken as a whole.


NET PERCEPTIONS: NY Court Refuses To Dismiss Securities Fraud Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
refused to dismiss the consolidated securities class action filed
against Net Perceptions, Inc. and:

     (1) FleetBoston Robertson Stephens, Inc., the lead underwriter of
         its April 1999 initial public offering,

     (2) several other underwriters who participated in its initial
         public offering,

     (3) Steven J. Snyder, then president and chief executive officer,
         and

     (4) Thomas M. Donnelly, chief operating officer and chief
         financial officer

The lawsuit has been assigned to the judge who is also the pretrial
coordinating judge for substantially similar lawsuits involving more
than 300 other issuers.  An amended class action complaint was filed in
April 2002, expanding the basis for the action to include allegations
relating to the Company's March 2000 follow-on public offering in
addition to those relating to its initial public offering.

The amended complaint generally alleges that the defendants violated
federal securities laws by not disclosing certain actions taken by the
underwriter defendants in connection with the Company's initial public
offering and its follow-on public offering.  

The amended complaint alleges specifically that the underwriter
defendants, with our direct participation and agreement and without
disclosure thereof, conspired to and did raise and increase their
underwriters' compensation and the market prices of the Company's
common stock following its initial public offering and in its follow-on
public offering by requiring their customers, in exchange for receiving
allocations of shares of our common stock sold in our initial public
offering, to pay excessive commissions on transactions in other
securities, to purchase additional shares of our common stock in the
initial public offering aftermarket at pre-determined prices above the
initial public offering price, and to purchase shares of our
common stock in our follow-on public offering.  

The amended complaint seeks unspecified monetary damages and
certification of a plaintiff class consisting of all persons who
acquired the Company's common stock between April 22, 1999 through
December 6, 2000.  The plaintiffs have since agreed to dismiss the
claims against Mr. Snyder and Mr. Donnelly without prejudice, in return
for their agreement to toll any statute of limitations applicable to
those claims and those claims have been dismissed without prejudice.

On July 15, 2002, all of the issuer defendants filed a joint motion to
dismiss the plaintiffs' claims in all of the related cases.  On
February 19, 2003, the court ruled against the Company on this motion
and the case may proceed to discovery.

The Company believes that the allegations against it are without merit.  
At this stage, the Company is unable to predict the outcome of this
litigation or its ultimate effect, if any, on its financial condition.


OGE ENERGY: Status Conference For KS Gas Royalties Suit Set April 2003
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court in Kansas set status conference for an
amended class action filed against OGE Energy Corporation on April
17,2003.

The Company was served with first amended class action on September
1999 by Quinque Operating Company and other named plaintiffs.  The suit
alleged mismeasurement of natural gas on non-federal lands.  The suit
was later amended.  The suit, filed on behalf of royalty interest
owners, overriding royalty interest owners and working interest owners,
alleges that 178 defendants, including the Company, have improperly
mismeasured natural gas (both volume and Btu content) on all non-
federal and non-Indian lands in the United States.  

Plaintiffs claim underpayment by the Company and all other defendants
of gas royalties claimed to be owed to the plaintiffs and the putative
class under the following theories of recovery:

     (1) breach of contract;

     (2) negligent misrepresentation;  

     (3) civil conspiracy/aiding and abetting civil conspiracy;  

     (4) common carrier liability;  

     (5) conversion;  

     (6) Uniform Commercial Code;  

     (7) Kansas Consumer Protection Act;  

     (8) breach of fiduciary duty; and

     (9) equity, including injunction, accounting, quantum merit
         and unjust enrichment

Plaintiffs seek an injunction and an accounting and a judgment in
excess of approximately $0.1 million, including punitive damages,
treble damages, attorneys' fees, costs and pre-judgment and post-
judgment interest.  Plaintiffs also seek an order certifying the case
as a class action.

In September 2001, the Company filed a motion to dismiss the suit for
failure to state a claim, for improper joinder of the defendants, lack
of standing and lack of personal jurisdiction.  The Company raised a
personal jurisdiction defense.  Pursuant to the court's scheduling
order, a supporting brief on all issues except personal jurisdiction
was filed contemporaneously with the Company's Motion to Dismiss. Prior
to the conclusion of the briefing on the Motion to Dismiss, the court
granted plaintiffs leave to file a third amended petition.  Following
the briefing of the parties on the new issues raised in the third
amended suit and oral arguments, the court denied the Company's motion
to dismiss on all grounds, reserving its decision on the Motion to
dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, pursuant to the court's
scheduling order.

The Company filed an amended motion to dismiss, and filed briefs
supporting their motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction.  
After full briefing by the parties, oral arguments on the Motion to
Dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction were held on August 29, 2002.
The Court took the Motion under advisement and has not issued a ruling.

The plaintiffs' motion to certify this case as a class action was filed
September 2002.  After full briefing by the parties, oral arguments
were held on January 13, 2003.  The Court has taken the motion under
advisement and has not yet ruled.

A status conference was held on February 27, 2003.  The court set a
case management conference for April 17, 2003 to establish deadlines
for issues remaining after the court's ruling on the pending motions to
dismiss for lack of jurisdiction.  All discovery is stayed except for
limited discovery related to the defendants' motions to dismiss for
lack of personal jurisdiction and plaintiffs' motion to certify a
class.

The Company intends to vigorously defend this action.  Since the case
is in the early stages of motions and discovery, the Company is unable
to provide an evaluation of the likelihood of an unfavorable outcome
and an estimate of the amount or range of potential loss to the Company
at this time.


OM GROUP: Shareholders Commence Suits For Securities Violations in OH
---------------------------------------------------------------------
OM Group, Inc. faces several securities class actions filed in the
United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio, Eastern
Division, relating to the decline in the Company's stock price
after the third quarter 2002 earnings announcement.

The lawsuits allege virtually identical claims under Sections 10(b) and
20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and SEC Rule 10b-5 against
the Company, its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, its Chief
Financial Officer and its Board of Directors.  Plaintiffs seek damages
in an unspecified amount to compensate persons who purchased the
Company's stock at various dates between November 2001 and October
2002 at allegedly inflated market prices.

While the ultimate outcome of this litigation cannot be determined at
this time, management believes that these matters will not have a
material adverse effect upon the Company's financial condition or
results of operations. In addition, the named executive officers,
the Board of Directors and the Company have Directors & Officers and
Corporate Liability Insurance available for such matters.


PAN PACIFIC: Reaches Settlement in CA Lawsuit Opposing Western Merger
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Pan Pacific Retail Properties, Inc. entered a settlement for the class
action filed in the Superior Court of the State of California, Alameda
County against it and:

     (1) Western Properties Trust,

     (2) Bradley N. Blake,

     (3) L. Gerard Hunt,

     (4) Dennis D. Ryan,

     (5) James L. Stell,

     (6) Reginald B. Oliver,

     (7) L. Michael Foley,

     (8) Joseph P. Colmery,

     (9) Revenue Properties (US), Inc., and

    (10) Stuart A. Tanz

The allegations of the complaint arise from the Company's November 2000
acquisition of Western.  Plaintiffs' complaint alleges that the merger
terms between the Company and Western were unfair and violated the
defendant's fiduciary obligations to Western's shareholders.

In February 2002, the court granted plaintiffs' motion to certify a
plaintiff class.  In October 2002, the court dismissed the fraud-based
claims, the claims for breach of fiduciary duty in abuse of control and
unjust enrichment, and dismissed in part the claim for breach of
fiduciary duty.

The parties later reached a final agreement in principle to resolve the
litigation.  The proposed settlement provides for payment by the
Company to the plaintiff class in the amount of $975,000.  The
settlement proposal is pending final approval by the court.


PHARMACIA CORPORATION: Court Hears Arguments For Dismissal of AWP Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court in Massachusetts has heard oral
arguments for the dismissal of a consolidated class action filed
against Pharmacia Corporation and other pharmaceutical firms by private
individuals, public interest groups and employee welfare benefit plans,
alleging manipulation of the Average Wholesale Price of several drugs.

The defendants were named in several suits asserting claims for fraud,
unfair competition and unfair trade practices.  Some of the suits
assert claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations
Act (RICO).  Some suits assert antitrust claims.  The suits seek
various measures of injunctive, monetary and other relief, including
civil penalties and treble damages.

All of the private plaintiff lawsuits were later been consolidated for
pretrial purposes and transferred to the Massachusetts court, in the
multidistrict litigation captioned, In re Pharmaceutical Industry
Average Wholesale Price Litigation, MDL 1456, Master File No. 01-CV-
12257-PBS (D. Mass.).

On November 4, 2002, the Company joined the other defendants in the MDL
1456 in moving to dismiss all claims asserted against defendants in the
master consolidated complaint.  The judge indicated that her ruling
would come in the next 90 days.  During this same period, defendants
will be providing limited discovery to the plaintiffs.


PHARMACIA CORPORATION: Court Dismisses Injunctive Relief Claim in Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court in Brooklyn, New York dismissed the
claim for injunctive relief in a class action filed against Pharmacia
Corporation, along with pharmaceutical firms Pfizer and Merck, alleging
cardiovascular safety issues associated with VIOXX and CELEBREX.

Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on August 1, 2001, alleging,
among other things, that the named plaintiffs have suffered "cardiac
illness."  The suit claims that the millions of patients in the US who
took VIOXX and CELEBREX are entitled to a refund for all amounts paid
for the purchase of these drugs, their medical expenses and attorneys'
fees.  The complaint also makes numerous claims for injunctive and
equitable relief, including emergency notice to class members, revised
labeling and a court-ordered and supervised medical monitoring
program funded by defendants.

On September 21, 2001, the Company filed an answer and a motion to
dismiss on a number of grounds.

QUICKSILVER RESOURCES: Court Refuses To Reconsider Suit Certification
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The Circuit Court of Otsego County, Michigan refused to reconsider its
decision granting class certification for parts of a lawsuit filed
against Quicksilver Resources, Inc. and three of its subsidiaries by a
group of royalty owners.  

The suit alleges that Terra Energy Ltd, one of the Company's
subsidiaries, underpaid royalties or overriding royalties to the 13
named plaintiffs and to a class of plaintiffs who have yet to be
determined.  The pleadings of the plaintiffs seek damages in an
unspecified amount and injunctive relief against future underpayments.  
Due to administrative oversight an answer was not timely filed and a
default was entered against the Company in December 2001.

On October 24, 2002, the trial court granted Terra's motion to set
aside the default.  The court heard arguments on class certification on
November 8, 2002, and on December 6, 2002, issued a memorandum opinion
granting class certification in part and denying it in part.  The court
stated that those portions of the royalty owner's complaint against the
Company alleging that it deducted excessive post production costs from
royalty payments should not be certified as class action.  The court
certified the remainder of the complaint for class action status.

On December 20, 2002 the Company filed a motion for clarification and
reconsideration of the court's order.  That motion was denied on March
9, 2003.  Based on information currently available to the Company, it
believes that the final resolution of this matter will not have a
material effect on its operations, equity or cash flows.


TELLABS INC.: Asks IL Court To Dismiss Consolidated Securities Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Tellabs, Inc. asked the United States District Court of the Northern
District of Illinois to dismiss the consolidated securities class
actions filed against it, certain of its current and former officers
and directors and:

     (1) Michael Birck, and

     (2) Richard Notebaert (former CEO, Director, and President of the
         Company)

The consolidated amended complaint alleges that from December 11, 2000
to June 19, 2001, the defendants allegedly violated the federal
securities laws by making materially false and misleading statements,
including, among other things, providing revenue forecasts that
plaintiffs allege were false and misleading and reporting overstated
revenues for the fourth quarter of the year 2000 in the Company's
financial statements.  

Further, certain of the individual defendants are alleged to have
violated the federal securities laws by trading Company securities
while allegedly in possession of material, non-public information about
the Company pertaining to these matters.  No specific amount of damages
has been claimed.  

On January 17, 2003, the Company and the other named defendants filed a
motion to dismiss the consolidated suit in its entirety.

TOBACCO LITIGATION: S&P Ready To Downrate Philip Morris' Parent Altria
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Altria Group Inc.'s US cigarette-making unit, Philip Morris USA, may
have to consider bankruptcy if it can't reduce the amount of an appeal
bond from the $12 billion it has to put up in order to appeal an
Illinois court verdict relating to its marketing of "light" cigarettes,
the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

The ratings company put Altria and its Kraft Foods Inc. subsidiary's
debt on watch recently after Illinois state Judge Nicholas Byron of
Madison County ordered Philip Morris USA to pay $10.1 billion for
deceiving one million Illinois smokers by advertising "light"
cigarettes as less harmful than regular cigarettes.  It was the first
class action over "light" cigarettes to be tried.

Standard & Poor's said it will lower the ratings on Altria and
subsidiaries to below invest grade, or junk, from "A" if Philip Morris
USA is required to post a bond for $12 billion, which reflects the
$10.1 billion award plus costs and interest.  The company is, however,
pursuing "a more reasonable bond cap" through the Illinois Legislature
and the courts, said company spokesman Brendan McCormick.

According to a report by the Associated Press Newswires, the Illinois
court judgment against Philip Morris USA also threatens to disrupt
payments from the 1998 tobacco settlement between 46 states and the
tobacco industry, according to comments by Washington state's Attorney
General Christine Gregoire, who negotiated the 1998 settlement of $206
billion to resolve state claims against cigarette manufacturers for
smokers' death and health costs.  It did not preclude, however,
lawsuits on behalf of smokers, such as the Illinois case.

Ms. Gregoire and the other 45 attorneys general are in receipt of a
letter dated March 27, from Denise Keane, senior vice president and
general counsel for Philip Morris USA, which said, "Because of the
extraordinary amount of the bond presently required by the Madison
County trial judge, it is presently uncertain whether Philip Morris USA
will be able to make the Section IX(c) payment on April 15."  

The section reference is to the provision in the tobacco settlement
that describes the payment schedule.

Attorney General Gregoire said that if the issue is not resolved soon
she and other attorneys general will file motions to intervene in the
Illinois case to get the appeal bond reduced.  The Company, the
plaintiffs and the court will be getting together to discuss the appeal
bond soon, said Ms. Gregoire, and hopefully, something can be worked
out.

"However, we cannot just wait and hope.  We are prepared to take
action," the attorney general said.  If Philip Morris does not pay the
roughly $60 million it owes Washington state on April 15, the state
will sue the company the next day.  Washington's annual share of the
Philip Morris payment to the states is earmarked for tobacco-prevention
efforts and health care, including health insurance for children,
immunizations and other public health needs.  Ms. Gregoire said she has
consulted with market analysts and does not believe Philip Morris is
crying wolf about its inability to pay.

On the other hand, Matthew L. Myers, president of the Campaign for
Tobacco-Free Kids, has pointed out that "there is no indication that
the company is curtailing its multi-billion-dollar annual expenditures
to market and promote its products.  There is also no evidence that
Philip Morris has curtailed its dividend payments to shareholders or
its massive spending on lobbying and political contributions."


VIVENDI UNIVERSAL: Liberty Media Joins Consolidated Securities Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Liberty Media Corporation, a United States media group, has filed a
lawsuit in New York City, joining a consolidated class action that is
working its way through the New York court, according to reports in
various newspapers, the Agence France-Presse reports.

The lawsuit accuses Vivendi Universal of concealing financial problems
before using Vivendi stock, in late 2001, to buy most of Liberty's
stake in USA Networks, the New York Times reports.  The lawsuit also
involves a deal, which was revealed in December 2001, when Liberty
exchanged some of its stake in USA Networks and its shareholding in
Multithematiques, a French television group, for a three-percent
shareholding in Vivendi Universal, the Financial Times states.

Since the deal, however, Vivendi Universal's shares have lost more than
two-thirds of their value.  Liberty's contract with Vivendi contained
assurances by the French group about its financial position, which the
US group claims were misleading, according to the Financial Times.


WASHINGTON MUTUAL: Customers Commence Suit Over Prepayment Fees in MN
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Washington Mutual, Inc. faces a class action filed by customers with
mortgages from, or serviced by the Company and its subsidiaries, the
largest service provider of residential mortgages in the United States,
in the United States District Court in Minnesota.

The suit alleges that the customers were systematically overcharged
tens of millions of dollars in excessive and unauthorized prepayment
fees, according to Mansfield, Tanick & Cohen, law firm for the
plaintiffs.  The plaintiffs claim that Washington Mutual and its
numerous subsidiaries charged prepayment fees that exceeded the amounts
allowed by their mortgage contracts.  In some instances, the company
assessed prepayment fees of over eight percent of the payoff balance,
despite contract language requiring costs that were a fraction of what
they ultimately charged their customers.

One of the plaintiffs, Jimmy Timms, for example, alleges a prepayment
penalty at the time of his loan payoff in 2001 of more than $10,000,
imposing an overcharge of more than $3,000.00.  Plaintiffs Bruce and
Lori Yncera state in their 2001 loan payoff, they were charged a
prepayment penalty of more than $17,000, which amounted to an
overcharge of over $6,000.  In addition, Washington Mutual allegedly
charged an unauthorized pay off statement and tax fees of about $70
each time they sent a payoff statement to customers.

"At a time when millions of Americans were paying off their mortgages
to take advantage of low refinancing rates to better themselves and
their families, Washington Mutual preyed on its unsuspecting
customers," said Aaron Biber, counsel for the plaintiffs.

Seymour Mansfield, also plaintiffs' counsel, added, "Washington
Mutual's unconscionable conduct, apparently driven by corporate greed,
cheated its customers out of the equity in their homes they worked so
hard to build up."

For more details, contact Seymour J. Mansfield or Aaron F. Biber by
Phone: 612/339-4295 or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.mansfieldtanick.com


ZAPATA CORPORATION: Omega Protein Stockholders File Lawsuit in NV Court
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Zapata Corporation and Omega Protein faces a class action instituted
in the District Court of Clark County, Nevada by Omega Protein
shareholder Robert Strougo.  Plaintiff brought the action individually
and on behalf of all Omega Protein stockholders, but no class period
has been identified.  Also named as defendants in the lawsuit are:

     (1) Avram A. Glazer, Chairman, President and CEO of Zapata and
         director of Omega Protein,
      
     (2) Darcie Glazer, a director of Zapata, also a director of Omega
         Protein, and

     (3) all other Omega Protein directors

Plaintiff claims that the individual defendants and Zapata breached
their fiduciary duties to Omega Protein's stockholders by not properly
considering a so-called offer sent via e-mail to Zapata by
Hollingsworth, Rothwell & Roxford, a Florida partnership.  News reports
have identified a Hollingsworth, Rothwell & Roxford partner, Theodore
Roxford, as the former Lawrence Niren.  Mr. Roxford is the subject of a
March 18, 2003 New York Times article entitled "A Financial Big Shot
With an Unusual Past" and a June 19, 1995 Forbes article entitled "Stop
Me Before I Steal Again".

The complaint alleges that the "offer" was to acquire all of Zapata's
shares for $45.00 per share.  It also alleges that the offer was to
acquire all of Omega's shares for $45.00 per share. Plaintiff claims
that Zapata and the individual defendants breached their duties to
Omega's stockholders by rejecting the purported offer and that Omega
Protein's stockholders have been damaged by being prevented from
receiving a fair price for their stock.  Plaintiff seeks an order
directing the defendants to carry out their fiduciary duties to Omega
Protein's stockholders, to refrain from breaching them, and awarding
plaintiff unspecified compensatory damages and his costs and expenses
incurred in the action.

The Company is not aware of any e-mail sent by Hollingsworth, Rothwell
& Roxford to Omega Protein or any offer for the purchase of Omega
Protein shares.  The Company believes that the claims are without
merit.


                     New Securities Fraud Cases


ADC TELECOMMUNICATIONS: Schatz & Nobel Lodges Securities Lawsuit in MN
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Schatz & Nobel PC initiated a securities class action in the United
States District Court for the District of Minnesota on behalf of all
persons who purchased the common stock of ADC Telecommunications, Inc.
(Nasdaq: ADCT) from November 28, 2000 through March 28, 2001,
inclusive.  Also included are all those who acquired ADC's shares
through its acquisition of Commtech Corporation.

The complaint alleges that ADC, a broadband Company that offers value-
added solutions of network equipment, software and systems integration
services, and certain of its officers and directors issued materially
false and misleading statements concerning ADC's earnings and financial
condition.  Specifically, defendants represented that ADC would
continue to achieve significant growth and that ADC would remain
largely unaffected by a widespread downturn in the telecommunications
industry.

On March 28, 2001, defendants acknowledged that ADC would lower its
fiscal 2001 earnings guidance, which defendants had issued only four
weeks earlier, cut as many as 4,000 jobs and close some facilities, in
the face of canceled orders and declining revenues caused by reductions
in spending on equipment by telecommunications providers.  On this
news, the Company's stock plummeted to $8.21 per share, a decline of
68% from the class period high of $26.43 per share.

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


ANDRX CORPORATION: Berger & Montague Commences Securities Lawsuit in FL
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Berger & Montague, PC initiated a securities class action against Andrx
Corporation ADRX and certain of its principal officers in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of Florida on behalf of
all persons or entities who purchased Andrx securities between March 1,
2002 and March 4, 2003.

The complaint alleges that defendants violated the federal securities
laws by issuing materially false and misleading statements throughout
the class period that had the effect of artificially inflating the
market price of the Company's securities.  Specifically, the complaint
alleges that throughout the class period, Defendants misrepresented the
status of the Company's applications for FDA approval of the Company's
generic versions of the billion-dollar-a-year anti-depressant,
Wellbutrin, and its companion smoking cessation drug, Zyban.

In particular, the defendants repeatedly represented that FDA approval
of these generic drugs was imminent and that only minor manufacturing
issues remained to be resolved, which would not interfere with the
drugs' prospects.  In fact, as the defendants admitted in a March 3,
2003 press release and at a March 25, 2003 Banc of America Securities
Healthcare Conference, the FDA had taken the position that the
expiration dating of the drugs would have to be too short for the drugs
to be commercially viable, and the Company could not reformulate the
drug without infringing the patent of the brand name manufacturer of
the drugs.  As a result of the foregoing, the market price of Andrx
securities declined materially.

In addition, the Company failed to write off or provide a reserve for
inventories of its generic Wellbutrin and Zyban, although it was
probable that the Company would suffer a loss on those inventories due
to the facts regarding the Company's application for FDA approval.  At
the end of the class period, the Company belatedly provided a reserve
of tens of millions of dollars for those inventories, which resulted in
a corresponding reduction of the Company's income.

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


ANDRX CORPORATION: Marc Henzel Commences Securities Lawsuit in S.D. FL
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Marc S. Henzel initiated a securities class action
in the United States District Court for the Southern District of
Florida, on behalf of all persons who purchased the securities of Andrx
Corporation (Nasdaq: ADRX) between October 31, 2002 and March 4, 2003,
inclusive, against the Company and certain officers and directors of
the Company.

The complaint alleges that defendants failed to disclose that Andrx's
generic version of Wellbutrin SR had a short expiration period and that
the Company's stockpile of this drug would likely expire before the
Company had obtained FDA approval to market the drug.  Andrx had
released information to investors concerning its expectation of FDA
approval to market the Company's generic version of Wellbutrin by year-
end 2002.  On October 31, 2002, Andrx's CEO told investors that the
Company was "continu(ing) to build inventories of (Wellbutrin) and
other generic products prior to their launches."

Information regarding the drug's short commercial life and the
probability that the Company would need to write off the value of its
inventory or take a charge if its supply of the drug was not soon sold
was not revealed.  On March 5, 2003, Andrx disclosed that it would take
a $26.3 million charge against its generic versions of Wellbutrinr
SR/Zybanr because of FDA concerns over the drugs' expiration dating
kept it from being marketed.  Andrx would also have to resubmit its
applications to produce generics of these drugs.  The Company's stock
price declined 31% following the news.

For more details, 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      


ANDRX CORPORATION: Bernstein Liebhard Lodges Securities Suit in S.D. FL
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz LLP initiated a securities class action
on behalf of all persons who acquired securities of Andrx Corporation
(NASDAQ: ADRX) between October 31, 2002 and March 4, 2003, inclusive,
in the United States District Court for the Southern District of
Florida, Miami Division, against the Company and:

     (1) Richard J. Lane, and

     (2) Angelo C. Malahias

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 material misrepresentations to the
market during the class period, thereby artificially inflating the
price of Andrx securities.  

Specifically, the suit alleges that throughout the class period,
defendants issued positive statements about the Company's ability to
obtain the approval of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for
Andrx's generic version of Wellbutrin SR (Wellbutrin), an
antidepressant drug.  However, Andrx failed to disclose that its
version of the drug had a limited expiration date, so that if the drug
was not marketed by year end 2002, or soon thereafter, the Company
would be forced to write off the value of its Wellbutrin inventory or
at least establish a significant reserve for it.

On March 5, 2003, Andrx shocked the market by announcing that it would
record a $26.3 million charge in its fourth quarter 2002 results,
related primarily to the Company's inventories of its generic version
of Wellbutrin.  According to CEO Richard Lane, the Company established
this reserve because the expiration dating of the generic versions of
these products had become an issue with the FDA.  Additionally, in a
March 5, 2003, conference call, Andrx's Chief Financial Officer Angelo
C. Malahias told analysts that the Company was not going to disclose
the dating on the inventory.

In response to the shocking news, the Company's stock price dropped 31
% from $11.51 on March 4, 2003, to $7.89 at the close on March 5, 2003,
on heavy trading volumes.

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


ELECTRO SCIENTIFIC: Charles Piven Lodges Securities Lawsuit in OR Court
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, PA initiated a securities class
action on behalf of shareholders who purchased, converted, exchanged or
otherwise acquired the common stock of Electro Scientific Industries,
Inc. (NASDAQ: ESIO) between September 17, 2002 and March 20, 2003,
inclusive, in the United States District Court for the District of
Oregon.

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 details, contact Charles J. Piven by Mail: The World Trade
Center-Baltimore, 401 East Pratt Street, Suite 2525, Baltimore,
Maryland 21202, by Phone: 410-986-0036 by E-mail: hoffman@pivenlaw.com
or visit the firm's Website: http://www.pivenlaw.com


MONTEREY PASTA: Marc Henzel Commences Securities Fraud Suit 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 purchasers of Monterey Pasta Company (NasdaqNM:
PSTA) common stock between July 11, 2002 and December 16, 2002,
inclusive.

The complaint alleges that defendant 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 July 11, 2002 and December 16, 2002, thereby
artificially inflating the price of Monterey Pasta securities.

For more details, 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      


SKECHERS USA: Charles Piven Commences Securities Fraud Suit in C.D. CA
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, PA initiated a securities class
action on behalf of shareholders who purchased, converted, exchanged or
otherwise acquired the common stock of Skechers USA, Inc. (NYSE: SKX)
between April 3, 2002, and December 8, 2002, inclusive, in the United
States District Court for the Central District of California.

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

For more details, contact Charles J. Piven, PA by Mail: The World Trade
Center-Baltimore, 401 East Pratt Street, Suite 2525, Baltimore,
Maryland 21202, by Phone: 410-986-0036 or by E-mail:
hoffman@pivenlaw.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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Beard Group, Inc., Washington, D.C.  Enid Sterling, Aurora Fatima
Antonio and Lyndsey Resnick, Editors.

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

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
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