CAR_Public/030415.mbx                C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R
  
                Tuesday, April 15, 2003, Vol. 5, No. 74

                            Headlines                            

ALASKA: Sock-eye Salmon Processor Reveals Yearly Losses At Bristol Bay
ALLERGAN INC.: Consumer Sues Over Alleged Damage From Botox Injections
AMERICAN EXPRESS: Sued Over Improper Fee Disclosure For Overseas Cards
ARIBA INC.: NY Court Dismisses Remaining Claim in Securities Fraud Suit
ARIBA INC.: Named As Defendant in Securities Fraud Lawsuit in N.D. CA

CIT GROUP: Investor Sues Over Failure To Get Facts Before IPO Offering
CREDIT CARD COMPANIES: Court Rules in Favor of Plaintiffs in Fees Suit
DuPONT COMPANY: Sued by WV Residents For Hiding Important C8 Study Info
INDIAN FUNDS: Senate Confirms Former Cherokee Chief As Special Trustee
INTEGRATED INFORMATION: NY Court Dismisses Securities Lawsuit in Part

MASSACHUSETTS: Federal Judge To Hear Students' Lawsuit Over MCAS Exam
MCLEODUSA CORPORATION: TX Court Refuses To Dismiss Securities Lawsuits
MERCEDES-BENZ:  Owners Win $32 Million Suit Settlement Over Wrong Oil
MICHIGAN: Appeals Court Strikes Down Drug Testing For Welfare Clients
NATIONAL SERVICE: Faces Suits Over Energy, Environmental, Sales Charges

NEW MEXICO: Says It Is Okay Financially, Can Do Without Tobacco Payment
ROYAL AHOLD: Authorities Launch New Probe on Sara Lee Role in Collapse
SEEBEYOND TECHNOLOGY: Plaintiffs File Amended Fraud Lawsuit in C.D. CA
TEXAS: Anti-Abortion Group Launches Lawsuit To Enforce Facility Rules
TIBCO SOFTWARE: NY Court Dismisses in Part Consolidated Securities Suit

TOBACCO LITIGATION: States Fear Not Getting Payments From Philip Morris
ULTIMATE ELECTRONICS: Faces Shareholder Fraud Lawsuit Filed in CO Court
UNITED PARCEL: Trial Begins In Suit for Discrimination v. Deaf Workers
UNITED STATES: Indians Launch Suit Over Alleged Abuse At Indian Schools
UNITEDGLOBAL.COM: Enters Discussions To Settle Securities Lawsuit in NY

WASHINGTON: Apple Commission Brings Suit For Fees, Now Out-Of-Business

*Senate Propels Legislation To Put Limits on Class Action Litigation


                     New Securities Fraud Cases


ACCREDO HEALTH: Faruqi & Faruqi Commences Securities Lawsuit in W.D. TN
ACCREDO HEALTH: Milberg Weiss Commences Securities Lawsuit in W.D. TN
ACCREDO HEALTH: Charles Piven Launches Securities Fraud Suit in W.D. TN
AFFYMETRIX CORPORATION: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges Fraud Lawsuit in CA
AFFYMETRIX INC.: Cauley Geller Commences Securities Lawsuit in N.D. CA

CIT GROUP: Charles Piven Commences Securities Fraud Lawsuit in S.D. NY
CORE LABORATORIES: Charles Piven Files Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
FISCHER IMAGING: Cauley Geller Commences Securities Fraud Lawsuit in CO
FISCHER IMAGING: Charles Piven Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in CO Court
FISCHER IMAGING: Dyer & Shuman Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in CO Court

FISCHER IMAGING: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Securities Fraud Suit in CO
IMPERIAL CHEMICAL: Charles Piven Commences Securities Fraud Suit in NY
PHARMACIA CORPORATION: Milberg Weiss Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in NJ
ULTIMATE ELECTRONICS: Charles Piven Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in CO

                           *********

ALASKA: Sock-eye Salmon Processor Reveals Yearly Losses At Bristol Bay
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A processor who is a defendant in the Bristol Bay sockeye salmon
lawsuit testified recently that his company kept returning to the bay,
year after year, despite millions of dollars in losses, the Associated
Press Newswires reports.

"We were born to the fish business," testified Alec Brindle, chairman
of the board of Wards Cove Packing Co.  "That is what we do.  We always
hope next season will be better."

Company records presented in Anchorage Superior Court showed Wards Cove
lost nearly $30 million in Bristol Bay from 1989 through 2001.  This
saga of loss does not seem to connect with the plaintiffs' allegations.

Lawyers for the 4,500 Bristol Bay sockeye salmon permit holders charge
that major Japanese importers and the Seattle-based processors
conspired to lower prices to Bristol Bay fishermen.  They are seeking
hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.

The processors, however, blame an oversupply of fish and a slowdown in
the world economy for the lower prices.  Mr. Brindle, testifying for a
second day, denied pressure from importers, or any agreements with
them, to lower the prices paid to fishermen.  Mr. Brindle pointed to
the fact that the processors were losing money during the critical
period identified by the Bristol Bay fishermen; his most vivid
testimony being, perhaps, that Wards Cove had announced that it was
selling its salmon processing facilities and would be getting just $2
million for three Bristol Bay canneries with a replacement value of $90
million.

Mr Brindle's testimony wrapped up the ninth week of the class action
under way in the Superior Court in Anchorage.  Mr. Brindle is expected
to face cross-examination next week.

Prior to Mr. Brindle's testimony, Barry Collier, president of Peter Pan
Seafoods, another processor defendant, would not say why his company
continued to process frozen salmon in Bristol Bay when Peter Pan was
losing money, according to his testimony.  Graphics prepared by the
processors' lawyers indicated that Peter Pan, owned by defendant
importer Nichiro Corporation, consistently lost money on frozen sockeye
salmon and made a profit on canned fish.

"Why would a rational businessman for seven years continue to produce a
product at a loss when there were ways of avoiding that loss?" Steven
Sussman, a lead attorney for the fishermen, asked Mr. Collier during
his testimony.

Mr. Collier said some facilities that used to freeze sockeye products
were also instrumental to Peter Pan's crab processing.  "And we had to
keep those boats going during the summertime," he said.


ALLERGAN INC.: Consumer Sues Over Alleged Damage From Botox Injections
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Former chairman of Tri-Star Pictures, Mike Medavoy, and his wife,
Irena, have sued Botox manufacturer, Allergan Inc. in Superior Court in
Los Angeles, alleging that the three injections she received to treat
her migraine headaches have resulted in several debilitating ailments,
Real Cities reported by Associated Press states.  A hearing is set for
June 24.

Mr. and Mrs. Medavoy claim that dermatologist Arnold Klein gave Mrs.
Medavoy three injections of the company's wrinkle-reducing product,
Botox, to treat her migraine headaches.  The migraines have continued,
but the Medavoys state in their lawsuit that Mrs. Medavoy now has upper
respiratory problems, fever, fatigue and severe muscle pains as a
result.

The lawsuit further alleges that dermatologist Arnold Klein failed to
inform Mrs. Medavoy of the potential risks associated with Boxox, and
that Dr. Klein was on retainer as a consultant to Allergan when he
recommended the Botox treatment.  Mr. Medavoy claims in the lawsuit
that he also has suffered damage by losing the companionship of his
bedridden wife, who is about 20 years his junior.

Boxox is a derivative of the toxin that causes botulism.  It is best
known, however, as an ant wrinkle drug and received Food and Drug
Administration approval last spring.  The drug has been used for years
to treat other conditions, including migraine headaches and sweaty
palms.

Mike Medavoy is chairman and chief executive officer of Phoenix
Pictures, which has produced the films The Thin Red Line and Urban
Legend, among others.  Mr. Medavoy co-founded Orion Pictures and was
named senior vice president of production at United Artists;
subsequently, the studio won three consecutive best-picture Oscars in
the 1970s for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Rocky and Annie Hall.


AMERICAN EXPRESS: Sued Over Improper Fee Disclosure For Overseas Cards
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A lawsuit, seeking class action status, has been filed in California
state court, against New York-based American Express, over the failure
to properly disclose fees for overseas card use, The Wall Street
Journal reports.  The American Express lawsuit resembles a suit that
accused Visa USA Inc. and MasterCard International Inc. with improper
disclosure practices on fees charged for cards used in foreign
countries.  A California state-court judge recently ordered Visa and
MasterCard to refund $800 million to the complaining consumer
plaintiffs.

The lawsuit against American Express was filed in California by the
same law firm that represented the plaintiffs who sued Visa and
MasterCard over their disclosure practices, Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes
& Lerach LLP.  Christopher Burke of Milberg Weiss, argued in the
Visa/MasterCard case that the cardholder agreements are "the kind of
dense things that people, as a practical matter, do not read."  The
ruling in the Visa/MasterCard case echoed Mr. Burke's argument:  It
said that merely disclosing such fees in cardholder agreements did not
constitute adequate disclosure.

The lawsuit against American Express accuses the company of failing to
disclose the transaction fees it assesses on goods and services
purchased in foreign currencies.  Actually, American Express tacks a
two percent currency conversion charge on each transaction.  Judy
Tenzer, American Express spokeswoman, said the conversion charges are
disclosed in the "cardmember agreements" received by cardholders when
they first receive their cards.  Cardholders' monthly statements, she
said, do not break out the conversion fees.  This kind of defense did
not 'hold water' in the Visa/MasterCard case.

Many consumers are unaware of these additional conversion fees, which
add up to several hundred million dollars a year for issuing banks and
card associates.  The similarity between the two cases is startling.

The American Express lawsuit, comes at a time when the credit-card
industry is under legal assault on several fronts.  For example, in a
case scheduled to go to trial in New York federal district court this
month, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Sears, Roebuck & Co. have accused Visa
and MasterCard of forcing merchants to take Visa and MasterCard debit
cards as well as the credit cards.


ARIBA INC.: NY Court Dismisses Remaining Claim in Securities Fraud Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
dismissed the last remaining claim in the consolidated securities class
action filed against Ariba, Inc.

Between March and June 2001, a number of suits were filed against the
Company, certain of its officers or former officers and directors and
three of the underwriters of its initial public offering.  These
actions purport to be brought on behalf of purchasers of the Company's
common stock in the period from June 23, 1999, the date of its initial
public offering, to December 23, 1999 (in some cases, to December 5 or
6, 2000), and make certain claims under the federal securities laws,
including Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act and Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Exchange Act, relating to the Company's initial public
offering.

These suits were later consolidated.  In August 2001, that consolidated
action was further consolidated before a single judge with cases
brought against additional issuers (who numbered in excess of 300) and
their underwriters that made similar allegations regarding the initial
public offerings of those issuers.  The latter consolidation was for
purposes of pretrial motions and discovery only.

On February 14, 2002, the parties signed and filed a stipulation
dismissing the consolidated action without prejudice against the
Company and certain individual officers and directors, which the court
approved and entered as an order on March 1, 2002.  On April 19, 2002,
the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint in which they dropped their
claims against the Company and the individual officers and directors
under Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act, but elected to proceed
with their claims against such defendants under Sections 10(b) and
20(a) of the Exchange Act.

The amended complaint alleges that the prospectus pursuant to which
shares of common stock were sold in our initial public offering, which
was incorporated in a registration statement filed with the SEC,
contained certain false and misleading statements or omissions
regarding the practices of the Company's underwriters with respect to
their allocation to their customers of shares of common stock in our
initial public offering and their receipt of commissions from those
customers related to such allocations.

The complaint further alleges that the underwriters provided positive
analyst coverage of Ariba after the initial public offering, which had
the effect of manipulating the market for the Company's stock.  
Plaintiffs contend that such statements and omissions from the
prospectus and the alleged market manipulation by the underwriters
through the use of analysts caused the Company's post-initial public
offering stock price to be artificially inflated.  Plaintiffs seek
compensatory damages in unspecified amounts as well as other relief.

In July 2002, Ariba and the officer and director defendants, along with
other issuers and their related officer and director defendants, filed
a joint motion to dismiss based on common issues.  Opposition and reply
papers were filed.  On November 23, 2002, the court entered as an order
a stipulation by which all of the individual defendants were dismissed
from the case without prejudice in return for executing a tolling
agreement.

The court rendered its decision on the motion to dismiss on February
19, 2003, granting a dismissal of the remaining Section 10(b) claim
against the Company without prejudice.  Plaintiffs have indicated that
they intend to file an amended complaint.


ARIBA INC.: Named As Defendant in Securities Fraud Lawsuit in N.D. CA
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Ariba, Inc. and certain of its current and former officers and
directors face several securities class actions filed in the United
States District Court for the Northern District of California, on
behalf of a class of purchasers of the Company's common stock in the
period from January 11, 2000 to January 15, 2003.

The complaints bring claims under the federal securities laws,
specifically Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Exchange Act, relating to
the Company's announcement that it would restate certain of its
consolidated financial statements, and also, in the case of one
complaint, relating to the Company's acquisition activity and related
accounting.

Specifically, these actions allege that certain of the Company's prior
consolidated financial statements contained false and misleading
statements or omissions relating to the Company's failure to properly
recognize expenses and other financial items, as reflected in the then
proposed restatement.  Plaintiffs contend that such statements and
omissions caused Company stock price to be artificially inflated.  
Plaintiffs seek compensatory damages as well as other relief.

These cases are still in their early stages.


CIT GROUP: Investor Sues Over Failure To Get Facts Before IPO Offering
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A shareholder recently filed suit in Manhattan federal district court
against CIT Group Inc., the financing company spun off last year by
Tyco International Ltd., claiming CIT misled investors ahead of an
initial stock offering, the Associated Press Newswires reports.  The
lawsuit is seeking class action status and is asking for unspecified
damages.

Shareholder Howard Vogel contends CIT failed to warn investors about
the risk the company had taken by lending $685 million to companies in
the troubled telecommunications sector.  Mr. Vogel, uninformed of these
loans, bought 300 shares of CIT in the initial public offering.  Tyco,
meanwhile, aiming to pay off debt, raised $4.6 billion on July 1, 2000,
by selling 200 million shares of CIT, its financing subsidiary, at $23
each, in the initial public offering.  

At the time, CIT has said subsequently, it had enough cash reserves -
nearly $555 million - to cover the telecom risk.  However, CIT shares
plummeted later that month when the company announced it was taking a
$200 million charge to boost its reserves.

Defendants named are CIT Chief Executive Albert Gamper Jr. and Chief
Financial Officer Joseph Leone.


CREDIT CARD COMPANIES: Court Rules in Favor of Plaintiffs in Fees Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
California State Court for Alameda County Judge Ronald Sabraw ruled
that the undisclosed currency exchange fees charged by top credit card
companies Visa and MasterCard violate California's unfair competition
law.  The court ordered the two firms were o, and the top credit card
companies have been ordered to refund a portion of the fees,
AccountingWeb.com reports.  The judge's ruling did not specify a dollar
amount, but attorneys indicate that the amount could be as much as $800
million.

Alameda County Judge Ronald Sabraw ordered the restitution for Visa and
MasterCard customers who have used their cards overseas and paid
currency conversion charges.  The ruling will hit Visa especially hard,
because Visa International is based in Foster City, California, and
therefore affects all Visa customers.  Only California customers of
MasterCard will be affected by the ruling.

"We are disappointed in the ruling, or in his final decision, and we
will be appealing," said Visa International spokeswoman Cheryl
Heinonen, according to AccountingWeb.com.  MasterCard called the
decision "flawed" and also said they would appeal.


DuPONT COMPANY: Sued by WV Residents For Hiding Important C8 Study Info
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Residents near DuPont Company's West Virginia plant filed a class
action, charging that the Company withheld important details of an
internal study linking a toxic chemical in Teflon to birth defects in
some children, Reuters reports.

Advocacy group Environmental Working Group charged the Company with
hiding findings that perflyorooctanoic acid, or C8, a chemical used to
manufacture Teflon, might be related to birth defects.  The Company
allegedly failed to turn over a 1981 document in 1981 showing the risks
of C8.  Teflon is a widely available household product used to keep
clothing dry or prevent food from sticking to pots and pans.

The 1981 study measured the blood levels of seven women who worked at
the company's Teflon plant in West Virginia.  The study revealed that
all had detectable levels of the chemical in their bodies.  The study
further revealed one woman gave birth to a child with an eye and tear
duct defect, and another employee bore a child with a nostril and eye
defect.  That same year, DuPont reassigned 50 women from the plant to
reduce their exposure to the chemical, the Environmental Working Group
said.

"They obviously had no intention of ever turning this over to the EPA,"
Richard Wiles, a vice president of the advocacy group, told Reuters.  
"This is very damning evidence.  It's not surprising to us that they
withheld it, and who knows what else they've withheld."

The group has asked the Environmental Protection Agency to investigate
and determine if the company broke federal law by failing to
immediately disclose the health impacts of the chemical.  The EPA did
not return calls seeking comment. A Company spokesman said the company
was reviewing the Environmental Working Group's report and had no
immediate comment.

Residents near the West Virginia plant have filed a class action
lawsuit against DuPont.

The Environmental Working Group said laboratory studies have linked
exposure to perfluorochemicals to cancer, hypothyroidism and brain
damage.


INDIAN FUNDS: Senate Confirms Former Cherokee Chief As Special Trustee
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Although the nomination of Ross Swimmer, formerly Cherokee Nation Chief
to serve as special trustee, had been held up for weeks, the US Senate
finally confirmed Mr. Swimmer to manage the American Indian trust fund,
the Associated Press Newswires reports.

Senator Don Nickles, R-Okla, said, "I have known Ross for more than 22
years.  He has decades of experience and has served in many leadership
capacities.  I do not know anyone more qualified to serve in this very
challenging position."

Mr. Swimmer was nominated in January by President Bush, when he was
serving as director of the Office of Indian Trust Transition, a
position some felt helped generate opposition to his nomination.  
Critics said, for example, that the time Mr. Swimmer had spent in that
position would make it impossible for him to represent the best
interests of the tribes and individual members on trust fund matters.

The government holds billions of dollars in trust for individual
American Indians and tribes.  For years, officils have conceded that
the program established to administer the funds in the trust and the
funds coming into the trust is in a state of chaos.  There is actually
no definitive accounting of how much is in the fund and how much has
been squandered, lost, even stolen.  The source of the monies is the
land owned by the Indians, which is leased to third parties for timber
harvesting, grazing, mining, among other endeavors.  It is thought by
some observers that some of the royalties, over the years, have not
even been collected.

A class action brought by about 30,000 American Indians was filed
several years ago and seeks a full accounting.  The lawsuit charges
that many billions are owed the plaintiffs by the government.  The
lawsuit is presided over by Judge Royce C. Lamberth, of the D.C.
District Court, who has ordered the Secretary of the Interior Gale
Norton to produce a plan for the on-going management of the funds as
well as an accounting of what has happened in the past and how much
money is in the fund and how much is missing.

Judge Lamberth, as has happened during other presidential
administrations, has held in contempt those Interior Secretaries who
failed to produce the plans and accountings he has ordered.   This
includes the present Secretary Gale Norton, who has appealed the order
holding her in contempt.

Mr. Swimmer served as the head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in the
Reagan administration.  He has a background as a banker, investment
adviser and practicing lawyer.


INTEGRATED INFORMATION: NY Court Dismisses Securities Lawsuit in Part
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
dismissed in part the consolidated securities class action filed
against Integrated Information Systems, Inc., certain of its current
and former officers and directors and the members of the underwriting
syndicate involved in the Company's initial public offering.

The suit generally alleges that:

     (1) the underwriter defendants allocated shares of the Company's
         initial public offering to their customers in exchange for
         higher than standard commissions on transactions in other
         securities;

     (2) the underwriter defendants allocated shares of the Company's
         initial public offering to their customers in exchange for the
         customers' agreement to purchase additional shares of the
         Company's common stock in the after-market at pre-determined
         prices;

     (3) the Company and the individual defendants violated section
         10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and/or section 11
         of the Securities Act of 1933; and

     (4) the individual defendants violated section 20 of the
         Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and/or section 15 of the
         Securities Act of 1933.

The suit was later transferred to New York Judge Shira Scheindlin for
coordination with more than 300 similar cases.  In July 2002, the
Company, as part of the group of issuers of shares named in the
consolidated litigation and the individual defendants, filed a motion
to dismiss the consolidated amended complaints.

The underwriter defendants filed motions to dismiss as well.  Also in
July 2002, the plaintiffs offered to dismiss the individual defendants,
without prejudice, in exchange for a Reservation of Rights and Tolling
Agreement from each Individual Defendant.  All of the Individual
Defendants have entered into such an agreement.  

On November 1, 2002, Judge Scheindlin heard oral arguments on the
motions to dismiss, and in February 2003, Judge Scheindlin dismissed
the section 10(b) claims against the Company but allowed the plaintiffs
to continue to pursue the remaining claims.  The Company believes that
the claims against it are unfounded and without merit.


MASSACHUSETTS: Federal Judge To Hear Students' Lawsuit Over MCAS Exam
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The class of 2003 is the first graduation class that must pass the
English and math portions of the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment
System exam to earn a diploma, and some members of that class have
taken their class action to a federal court two weeks after a state
court denied their request for a preliminary injunction, the Associated
Press Newswires reports.

US District Judge Michael Ponsor agreed to hear a motion for an
injunction on May 15.  The class action, filed on behalf of students
from across the state, alleges that the students' right to due process
was violated when the graduate requirement of having to pass the MCAS
was placed upon the students.  The plaintiffs claim the students were
not given adequate preparation to succeed on the test, or time to
prepare for the test.

Although Judge Ponsor agreed to hear the motion for the injunction, he
has expressed his "frustration" with the plaintiffs for not seeking all
the remedies they have for resolving the issue in the state courts and
for coming to him so close to graduation that a decision of such
magnitude will have to be made quickly.  However, the judge
acknowledged his concern for the students:  "I have concerns about the
students who deserve to have the issues heard.  I will give you your
shot."

Eight students originally were plaintiffs, but six have dropped out
because they earned passing marks either on retests or through MCAS
appeals, according to plaintiffs' attorneys.  After the original test
and three retests, 90 percent of seniors have passed, leaving 6,000,
however, still ineligible for a diploma.

An attorney for the plaintiffs has said that he would appeal the
state's Superior Court decision of April 4, in which Judge Margot G.
Botsford criticized education officials for long delays in coming up
with guidelines or "frameworks" for school subjects like English and
math.  These delays, Judge Botsford said, have made it more difficult
for teachers to teach and students to learn.


MCLEODUSA CORPORATION: TX Court Refuses To Dismiss Securities Lawsuits
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas
refused to dismiss securities class actions filed against McLeodUSA
Corporation relating to its December 2000 acquisition of CapRock
Communications Corporation, (CapRock) pursuant to an Agreement and Plan
of Merger, dated October 2, 2000, in exchange for approximately 15.0
million shares of Class A Common Stock.

The suits, filed on behalf of all purchasers of CapRock common stock
during the period April 28, 2000 through July 6, 2000, principally
allege that, prior to its merger with McLeodUSA, CapRock made material
misstatements or omissions of fact in violation of Section 10(b) of the
Securities Exchange Act.  Consolidated with these claims are
allegations that CapRock's June 2000 registration statement for a
public offering of common stock contained materially false and
misleading statements and omitted certain material information about
CapRock in violation of Section 11 of the Securities Act.  The named
defendants in these lawsuits include CapRock and certain of its
officers and directors.  The plaintiffs in the lawsuits seek monetary
damages and other relief.

The Company asked the court to dismiss the suits, but the court denied
the motion.  While discovery has been limited and a final evaluation
cannot be made at this point, the Company believes these lawsuits are
without merit.


MERCEDES-BENZ:  Owners Win $32 Million Suit Settlement Over Wrong Oil
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Owners of some 1998 through 2001 model Mercedes-Benz cars who alleged
they were not warned that non-synthetic, or conventional, motor oil
could cause premature engine wear have won a federal court settlement
worth more than $32 million, according to a report by Associated Press
Newswires.

The 351,439 plaintiffs in the products liability class action will
receive vouchers worth $35 toward a scheduled service that includes an
oil change, under the terms of a settlement approved by US District
Judge Franklin S. Van Antwerpen.  The $35 vouchers for the class
members are valued at a total of $12.3 million.

Mercedes-Benz USA also agreed to extend warranty coverage to pay costs
of repairing any damage caused by class members having used non-
synthetic, or conventional, oil  in their Mercedes-Benz cars, 1998
through 2001 model, equipped with a "Flexible Service System" designed
to monitor driving conditions and notify drivers when an oil change is
needed.  However, conventional oil usage in the above-described models
could cause engine damage.

Based on expert testimony, Judge Van Antwerpen decided the best
estimate of potential repair costs under the extended coverage
agreement was $20 million, which when added to the total value of the
vouchers, brings the total settlement to about $32 million.


MICHIGAN: Appeals Court Strikes Down Drug Testing For Welfare Clients
---------------------------------------------------------------------
A federal appeals court recently struck down Michigan's program for the
testing of welfare recipients for drug use, in a case closely watched
by many other states, since Michigan was the first state to pass such a
program, the Associated Press Newswires reports.

Officials for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which filed
the class action in 1999, on behalf of all Michigan welfare recipients,
said upholding the program could have set a dangerous precedent.  Drug
testing could be tied to other state programs, such as applications for
drivers' licenses, said ACLU lawyer Graham Boyd; "that kind of logic
has no stopping point."

The decision by a 12-member panel of the Sixth US Circuit Court of
Appeals reverses an October ruling by a three-judge panel from the same
court.  Michigan's drug-testing program began in 1999, but was halted
five weeks later when US District Court Judge Victoria Roberts agreed
with the ACLU's argument in the class action that the program likely
violated the Fourth Amendment's protection against unreasonable search
and seizure.

However, a three-judge panel for the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of
Appeals reversed Judge Roberts' decision in October, saying the program
is based on a legitimate need to protect the children of welfare
recipients and the public.

Under Michigan's program, welfare applicants would undergo drug
screening before being considered for benefits.  Under the rules of the
pilot program, the results would not affect access to food stamps and
police would not be notified.  However, applicants who tested positive
could gradually lose benefits if they failed to undergo treatment.

In the five weeks Michigan's program was operating in 1999, 268
applicants were tested and 21 tested positive, according to the ACLU of
Michigan.


NATIONAL SERVICE: Faces Suits Over Energy, Environmental, Sales Charges
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Discovery has yet to proceed in four class actions filed against
National Service Industries, Inc., including a case brought "on behalf
of the general public" in California, relating to the collection by
National Linen Service of energy surcharges, environmental charges and,
in two of the cases, sales taxes.

The first case was filed in the Circuit Court of Barbour County,
Alabama in May 2001 and was removed to the United States District Court
for the Middle District of Alabama.  The federal court denied the
plaintiff's motion to remand the case to state court.

The second case was filed in the Court of Common Pleas, Fifteenth
Judicial Circuit, County of Horry, South Carolina in October 2001.  
That case was removed to the United States District Court for South
Carolina, Florence Division.  The South Carolina federal court also
denied plaintiff's motion to remand.

The third case was filed in Superior Court of Napa County, California
in May 2002.  This case alleges that the Company and numerous other
linen and uniform suppliers have violated Sections 17200 and 17500 of
the California Business and Professions Code.

The fourth case was filed in the United States District Court in the
Southern District of Illinois in June 2002.  This case alleges that the
Company and numerous other linen and uniform suppliers and the Textile
Rental Services Association violated federal antitrust laws and state
statutes in setting and charging the fees described above.

As of January 1, 2003, no substantive discovery had occurred in any
case.  Based on information currently available, it is the opinion of
management that the claims in these cases are without merit and that
the ultimate resolution of these legal proceedings will not have a
material adverse effect on the Company's financial condition or results
of operations.


NEW MEXICO: Says It Is Okay Financially, Can Do Without Tobacco Payment
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
New Mexico, unlike many other states party to the Master Settlement
Agreement with the tobacco industry, said it will not suffer an
immediate budget squeeze if Philip Morris fails to make a scheduled
annual tobacco settlement payment on April 15, the Associated Press
Newswires reports.

The tobacco company's payment to New Mexico is $15.4 million.  However,
it remains uncertain whether Philip Morris will deliver its payment to
New Mexico and the 45 other states party to the settlement agreement,
because of the Illinois Circuit Court order that Philip Morris, if it
wants to appeal the recent judge's verdict of $10.1 billion against the
company, must post a $12 billion appeal bond.  Philip Morris, in a
recent hearing before Illinois Circuit Court Judge Nicholas Byron, told
the judge it might have to seek the protection of Chapter 11
bankruptcy, because it is unable to post a bond for this amount of
money.   Philip Morris asked the judge to allow it to post a bond in
the amount of $1.5 billion.

Judge Byron's award of $10.1 billion was made in the trial of the class
action lawsuit filed against Philip Morris on behalf of 1.1 million
Illinois smokers of light cigarettes.  Judge Byron found that Philip
Morris was guilty of fraud under Illinois' Consumer Law because the
company had misled the smokers into believing the "light" cigarettes
are less harmful than the regular cigarettes.

James Jimenez, secretary of the Department of Finance and
Administration, said recently that there were ample cash reserves to
protect the state this year if Philip Morris defaults on the payment.

"At least financially we are in good shape," said Mr. Jimenez.  "But
any time you lose $15 million from something like this, it is a cause
for concern."

In the current budget year, the state anticipates receiving $42.9
million from the tobacco companies as part of the 1998 settlement, with
Philip Morris's share being $15.4 million.  Overall, the tobacco
settlement money is a small part of the $3.9 billion in recurring
revenues the state expects to collect this year to pay for expenses
ranging from public schools and colleges to prisons and state police.

If Philip Morris misses its April 15 payment, New Mexico will not be
forced to make any budget cutbacks.  The state is project to have
reserves of nearly $247 million at the end of the current budget year.  
That is the equivalent of a little more than six percent of spending.

However, Mr. Jimenez admitted that the uncertainty over Philip Morris's
payments raises questions about the reliability of tobacco settlement
revenues as a funding source in the future.  "The longer-term
implications are really what we are focusing on," said Mr. Jimenez.

Ironically, Gov. William Richardson recently signed into law a measure
that allows the state to use more tobacco settlement revenues for
yearly general government expenses.  The governor wanted the change to
help pay for the rising cost of Medicaid, which provides health care
for the poor and children in lower-income families.

In the past, the state divided its yearly allotment of tobacco
settlement payments half into an interest-earning permanent fund and
half paid for health-related services, including anti-smoking programs
and Medicaid.  Under the new law, the full allotment of tobacco
settlement revenues will flow into the state's general budget year for
the next four years.  In 2007, the 50-50 split will resume.

Attorney General Patricia Madrid has joined with 35 other attorneys
general who are asking Judge Byron to reconsider the bond.


ROYAL AHOLD: Authorities Launch New Probe on Sara Lee Role in Collapse
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Prominent class action firm Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz
revealed that an additional investigation was being performed on Royal
Ahold NV because of reports that Sara Lee Corporation has suspended
three employees who provided US Foodservice auditors with inaccurate
information about the size of its vendor discounts.  These discounts
may have contributed to an accounting scandal that caused Royal Ahold
to overstate earnings by at least $500 million.

How US Foodservice accounted for vendor allowances is at the heart of
investigations by the SEC and the Justice Department.  Royal Ahold said
in February that it had overstated 2001 and 2002 earnings by at least
$500 million, sending the company's stock plunging and resulting in the
ouster of its two top executives.

Previously, Wolf Haldenstein filed a federal securities class action
complaint in the United States District Court for the Southern District
of New York on behalf of purchasers of the securities of KONINKLIJKE
AHOLD N.V. d/b/a ROYAL AHOLD, Inc. (AHO) between May 15, 2001 and
February 21, 2003, inclusive, against the Company, certain of its
officers and directors, and its accountant, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu.

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.

For more details, contact Fred Taylor Isquith, Esq., Gustavo Bruckner,
Esq., Michael Miske, George Peters, or Derek Behnke, by Phone:
1-800-575-0735 by E-mail: classmember@whafh.com or visit the firm's
Website: http://www.whafh.com


SEEBEYOND TECHNOLOGY: Plaintiffs File Amended Fraud Lawsuit in C.D. CA
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs in the securities class actions pending against Seebeyond
Technology Corporation and several of its officers and directors filed
an amended suit in the United States District Court for the Central
District of California.

The suit was filed on behalf of purchasers of the Company's common
stock between December 10, 2001 and May 7, 2002.  The suit generally
alleges that during the class periods, defendants made false statements
about the Company's operating results and business, while concealing
material information.

The complaint alleges that the Company made positive but false
statements about its results and business, while concealing material
adverse information about customers pushing out orders.  As a result,
Company stock traded at artificially inflated levels, permitting
defendants to complete a secondary public offering of 8.5 million
shares (plus 1.2 million of an over allotment) for proceeds of $82
million, including 2 million shares sold by the Company's CEO, an
earlier Class Action Reporter story states.

The Company believes the lawsuit is without merit.


TEXAS: Anti-Abortion Group Launches Lawsuit To Enforce Facility Rules
---------------------------------------------------------------------
State District Judge John Coseli told the Texas Justice Foundation, a
conservative San Antonio group, which claims in its lawsuit that dozens
of state agencies are not enforcing abortion facility regulations, that
the plaintiff Foundation should first try to resolve its lawsuit
through mediation before he hears argument on two motions pending in
the case, the Associated Press News reports.

"If you are not able to solve the case in mediation, what I want you to
do is schedule a time to come back and argue those motion," said Judge
Coseli.  One of the motions, from the Texas attorney general's office
asks the judge to dismiss the Foundation's law suit; in the second
motion, the Foundation asks Judge Coseli, in effect, to expand its
lawsuit by granting it class action status.

Allan Parker, the head of the Foundation, filed the lawsuit in January
2002.  He describes the suit as an effort to assure that the state
provides safe abortions by enforcing abortion facility regulations.  
Eleven women and teenagers who are plaintiffs in the case claim their
abortions, or a close family member's abortion, resulted in either
physical or emotional injury.

The lawsuit, as indicated above, seeks class action status.  Mr. Parker
has presented the court with 145 affidavits collected from women who
recently had abortions.  Although the affidavits are not specific to
the case, Mr. Parker said the women who filled them out after having an
abortion were informed they could be used in a legal proceeding.

Mr. Parker said the women he represents are seeking no money, unless
the court deems it "proper and just," and only wants the State of Texas
and its agencies to comply with their own regulations.

Peter J. Durkin, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Houston and
southeast Texas, said the lawsuit is an attempt to chip away at a
woman's right to an abortion.

"We should have no illusions as to what this lawsuit is about," Mr.
Durkin said.  "It is about making abortion more difficult to access.
They want to return to the days when it (abortion) was unsafe and
illegal."

The lawsuit in Judge Coselli's court names more than three dozen state
agencies and individuals as defendants, including the state of Texas,
the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, the Texas Department of
Health, the Texas Medical Disclosure Panel and Texas Child Protective
Services.

Robert O'Keefe, a lawyer with the Texas attorney general's office, said
both sides were working together to eliminate some of the agencies and
individuals who have no standing in the case.  Mr. O'Keefe has said he
believes the lawsuit should be dismissed because the state has immunity
from litigation and claims the plaintiffs, therefore, have no standing
to seek relief.

"The complained of actions constitute alleged past conduct that is
unlikely to be repeated," the Texas attorney general's office wrote in
its response to the lawsuit.  "The plaintiff's (Texas Justice
Foundation) simple assertion that they may suffer the same injury, are
insufficient to provide them standing to seek the relief sought in this
case."


TIBCO SOFTWARE: NY Court Dismisses in Part Consolidated Securities Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District Court for
the Southern District of New York dismissed in part the consolidated
securities class action filed against TIBCO Software, INc., certain
investment bank underwriters, and certain of the Company's directors
and officers.

Plaintiffs generally allege that certain underwriters engaged in
undisclosed and improper underwriting activities, namely the receipt of
excessive brokerage commissions and customer agreements regarding post-
offering purchases of stock in exchange for allocations of IPO shares.  
Plaintiffs also allege that various investment bank securities analysts
issued false and misleading analyst reports.

The complaint against the Company claims that the purported improper
underwriting activities were not disclosed in the registration
statements for the Company's and secondary public offering and seeks
unspecified damages on behalf of a purported class of persons who
purchased the Company's securities or sold put options during the time
period from July 13, 1999 to December 6, 2000.

The suit is one of a number of cases challenging underwriting practices
in the initial public offerings (IPOs) of more that 300 companies.  
These cases have been coordinated for pretrial proceedings as In re
Initial Public Offering Securities Litigation, 21 MC 92 (SAS).

On February 19, 2003, the court issued an Opinion and Order denying the
Company's motion to dismiss certain of the claims in the complaint.  
The Company believes it has meritorious defenses against the
allegations in the complaint and intends to defend the case vigorously.


TOBACCO LITIGATION: States Fear Not Getting Payments From Philip Morris
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
State leaders from Vermont to California, hooked on their annual
payments from the 1998 landmark settlement with the tobacco industry,
are concerned that Philip Morris, whose share is somewhat more than
half the total annual payments from all four of the major tobacco
companies, may not be distributing its annual share this year of $2.6
billion, the Associated Press Newswires reports.  The installment
payments are due 46 states annually, for 25 years, under the terms of
the Master Settlement Agreement between the tobacco companies and 46
states.  The companies settled separately with three of the states.

Some cash-strapped states already have spent their anticipated share,
which is due April 15.  However, so far as the Philip Morris
distribution is concerned, an amount equal to more than one-half the
entire annual distribution as indicated above, that may never arrive.  
Philip Morris has warned the 46 states that if the appeal bond of $12
billion is not reduced by the Illinois court which rendered a verdict
in its disfavor, the cigarette-maker may have to seek the protection of
a Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Recently, Madison County, Illinois, Circuit Court Judge Nicholas Byron
awarded $10.1 billion in a class action alleging that Philip Morris had
committed fraud under the state's Consumer Act, by running
advertisements which misled a class of 1.1 Illinois smokers into
believing that Philip Morris's "light" cigarettes are less harmful than
the company's regular cigarettes.  In order to appeal the judgment
issued by Judge Byron, Philip Morris must post a $12 billion appeal
bond, equal to the amount of the award plus interest plus court costs.

"Philip Morris USA's net worth is south of $12 billion," said William
Ohlemeyer, a Philip Morris vice president and general counsel.  "We
only have so much money.  If the judge requires us to put it all in
Madison County, we would not have enough to make the master settlement
agreement payment."

Philip Morris has asked the judge to lower the bond to between $1.2 and
$1.5 billion, an appeal supported by the attorneys general of 37
states, a request being considered by the judge.

Some Wall Street analysts say Philip Morris's threat about bankruptcy
is not an idle one.  "I do not believe Philip Morris has the ability to
post the bond of $12 billion," said Martin Feldman of Merrill Lynch.  

The uncertainty already disrupting state budgets; in New York, Virginia
and California, for example, plans to sell bonds have been postponed
because money from the tobacco settlement was backing such sales.

Dozens of programs across the country, which are financed by tobacco
money, will be in trouble without the expected tobacco "fix."  
California's state controller warned the state will be running low on
funds by August without Philip Morris's anticipated installment
payment.  Kentucky uses settlement money to diversify its tobacco-based
agricultural economy; Kansas puts the money into and education trust
fun; Indiana earmarks the money for children's health insurance,
prescription drugs for poor seniors and other public health needs.

Without Philip Morris's annual contribution, these programs will have
to be deeply cut, according to the states or raise taxes.  The latter
choice not really viable during an economic downturn.

However, anti-smoking activists don't believe Philip Morris's warning
that it can't pay for the appeal bond and also make its payments to the
46 states under the tobacco settlement.  One of the scoffers is Bill
Corr, executive director of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.  He
said that what Philip Morris wants the states to do is panic because of
their current budget situation.  "Philip Morris has attempted to
manufacture a crisis with its claims of bankruptcy," he said.

Not so, said Lee Dixon, director of health policy for the National
Conference of State Legislatures.  "It's kind of like a paycheck you
were expecting from an employer . you have bills to pay."  Suddenly,
the money is not there and there is no other source of funds:  "The
impact is pretty critical."

Washington Attorney General Christine Gregoire, who negotiated the 1998
Master Settlement Agreement between the attorneys general of 46 states
and the tobacco industry in order to settle the states' claims for
smoking-related health care costs for $206 billion payable over 25
years, said she is convinced the crisis is real.  She sees the crisis
as a continuing one, because the legal woes of the tobacco companies
are going to continue.  The states should get accustomed to fighting
for their tobacco payments, she said.

"I do not think this is by any stretch of the imagination the end (of
the battle)," Attorney General Gregoire said.


ULTIMATE ELECTRONICS: Faces Shareholder Fraud Lawsuit Filed in CO Court
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Ultimate Electronics said today that it had received notice of and was
served with a shareholder lawsuit filed yesterday in the United States
District Court in Denver, the Retail Merchandiser reports.

The lawsuit is a purported class action on behalf of persons who
purchased Ultimate common stock between March 13, 2002 and August 8,
2002, and alleges violations of Section 10b and Rule 10b-5 under the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Section 11 of the Securities Act of
1933.  The named defendants are the company, Ed McEntire, the company's
CEO, David J. Workman, the company's president and Alan E. Kessock, the
company's CFO.

The Company initially reviewed the suit's allegations and believes they
are without merit.  


UNITED PARCEL: Trial Begins In Suit for Discrimination v. Deaf Workers
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Eric Bates was finally promoted from the United Parcel Service (UPS)
loading docks to becoming a delivery driver.  He suspects his lawsuit
was very much the reason for the promotion, reported the Associated
Press.  The 30-year-old, nearly deaf employee filed a class action
against UPS, claiming that the nation's fourth-largest private employer
discriminates against the hearing-impaired in violation of federal
laws.  Lawyers for the firm deny the allegations.

Mr. Bates obtained a US Department of Transportation certification to
drive a truck over 10,000 pounds.  However, UPS would not acknowledge
that he had met the requirements for driving such a truck; that is,
until he filed a lawsuit.

Mr. Bates's case has developed into a class action litigation of
substantial size.  Recently, the awaited trial began for more than 900
current and former hearing-impaired employees nationwide, who claim
they were passed over for promotions, and/or given inadequate training
and safety instructions, because they were hearing-impaired.

UPS attorney Christopher Martin said the plaintiffs' allegations are
'hyperbole.'  Mr. Martin said the judge should not infer that
accusations by individuals are representative of company policy.

There is no jury in the case, which is expected to last months.  There
is present at the trial a sign-language interpreter, who is capturing
the trial for hearing-impaired plaintiffs in attendance.


UNITED STATES: Indians Launch Suit Over Alleged Abuse At Indian Schools
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Six members of Sioux tribes filed a $25 billion lawsuit against the
government for alleged mental, physical and sexual abuse of students at
Indian boarding schools nationwide, the Associated Press Newswires
reports.

The lawsuit seeks class action status and damages on behalf of all
students allegedly abused in the past century at the schools, most of
which were run by churches or other religious groups.  The government
failed in its duty to protect students sent to the schools, the lawsuit
says.  In treaties with many tribes, the government has promised to
reimburse Indians for wrongs done by non-Indians, the lawsuit contends.

Other lawsuits will be filed against the churches or religious
organizations that ran the boarding schools, the plaintiffs' attorneys
said.

The six plaintiffs allege they were beaten and sexually assaulted by
priests or nuns who ran the schools.  Sherwyn Zephier said he was
beaten when he attended St Paul's boarding school in Marty, South
Dakota.

"I was tortured in the middle of the night," Mr. Zephier said at a
recent news conference in Los Angeles.  "When I saw one of my relatives
being sexually abused, I tried to run and was caught.

Jerry Klein, chancellor of the Sioux Diocese of the Catholic Church,
said the diocese was not directly involved in running the St. Paul's
boarding school.  Spokesmen for the Interior and Justice departments
said either they had not yet seen the lawsuit or were not ready to
comment on it.


UNITEDGLOBAL.COM: Enters Discussions To Settle Securities Lawsuit in NY
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
UnitedGlobal.com, Inc. has entered negotiations to settle a securities
class action filed against it, certain of its officers and certain of
the underwriters of the Company's February 1999 initial public offering
in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York.

According to the complaint, violations of Sections 11, 12(a)(2) and 15
of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and
Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, were based on the purported failure
of the Company, its officers and other defendants to disclose that some
of the underwriters in the offering, including the lead underwriters,
had solicited and received excessive and undisclosed commissions from
certain investors.

The US Bankruptcy Court lifted the automatic stay in the Company's US
Chapter 11 Case to permit the plaintiffs to pursue this litigation for
the purpose of attempting to obtain a judgment or settlement up to the
amount of the Company's insurance in respect to such liability and to
collect any judgment or settlement solely out of such insurance in full
satisfaction of any such claim.

The Company believes that the claims are without merit and intends to
vigorously defend against these allegations.  There are discussions
going on to release the Company from this suit.  The Company's
insurance company is also involved in those discussions.


WASHINGTON: Apple Commission Brings Suit For Fees, Now Out-Of-Business
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Washington Apple Commission that has promoted Washington's No. 1
crop for 66 years is shutting down.  The Commission said recently that
it was laying off 33 of its 48 employees immediately and then would
proceed with a "wind down" plan, the Associated Press Newswires
reports.

The Commission's announcement came less than two weeks after a federal
court ruled that it was unconstitutional to force the state's apple
growers to pay fees in support of the Commission and its promotions of
Washington state apples -- a decision that the Commission itself
invited when it initiated the lawsuit.  How did this happen?

In 2001, the Commission sued a pair of north-central Washington apple
growers, who served as defendants in the class action.  Having set up
this scenario, the Commission hoped for the court's affirmation of its
right to collect the fees, there sometimes being pockets of reluctance
to pay the Commission promotion fees for services, in some instances,
not sought.  To this end, the Commission agreed to pay the two growers'
legal bills.

The outcome was something the Commission never anticipated:  US
District Court Judge Edward Shea in Richland ruled against the
Commission, based on a 2001 US Supreme Court opinion that said forcing
growers to pay for promotions that benefited their competitors
infringed upon their constitutional protection of free speech.  The
Commission has decided not to appeal Judge Shea's ruling.

Judge Shea has given the parties to the lawsuit, including a group of
organic apple growers and three large Yakima fruit warehouses that were
allowed to join the case as defendants, until May 19, to reach a
settlement on refunds and damages.  The defendants are seeking nearly
$50 million in refunds.

Whether the Commission might be able to reconstitute in another form is
unclear, as is the future of the two dozen other commodity commissions
that promote Washington's agricultural products.  Legislators, other
commissions and the state's Department of Agriculture have been
studying the situation since Judge Shea's ruling.

James Fleming, a Quincy apple grower and a former member of the
Commission, said another marketing group of some sort will be
established for the Washington apples.  Mr. Fleming said he does not
know the form it will take.   The loss of the promotions would be
hardest on small family orchards and small packing houses, the ones
that don't have the money to sell themselves, said Mr. Fleming.

"The product I grow is known worldwide because of the work of the
Washington Apple Commission.  There is no way I could afford to do that
kind of marketing on my own."


*Senate Propels Legislation To Put Limits on Class Action Litigation
--------------------------------------------------------------------
The US Senate Judiciary Committee's vote of 7 to 12, is advancing
legislation to curb class action, the vote being the vehicle that will
transport the bill to the whole body of the Senate for its
consideration, the Financial Times reports.  In the main, the bill to
be taken up by the Senate aims to reduce the number of class actions in
the United States by transferring their jurisdiction, in many
instances, from state courts to federal courts.

The bill is supported by Republicans and opposed by most Democrats;
demanded by business, but opposed by consumer groups.  However,
circumstances having their way of coming together in not neat ways, the
bill found support in the person of California Democratic Senator
Dianne Feinstein, who is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.  
The result:  not only was success of the bill assured in committee, but
also its chances of being passed both in the Senate and in the House of
Representatives have been greatly enhanced.

Businesses have been lobbying in favor of the enactment of legislation
to curb the number of class actions in which huge sums of money can be
awarded in one case to large numbers of plaintiffs.  The proposed
legislation would shift many of the filed class actions from state to
federal court, where businesses believe they will get a better hearing.

Many Democrats, consumer groups and civil liberties organizations
oppose such a transfer on the grounds that it would reduce the ability
of ordinary citizens to take on the "corporate wrongdoers."  The
deadlock in the Senate committee was broken when Ms. Feinstein decided
to support the bill by proposing an amendment, which was passed and
added to the proposed legislation, which thereupon passed by the 12 to
7 vote, indicated above.

The amendment says that where two-thirds of the members of the lawsuit
are citizens of the same state as the defendant, the case would remain
in state court.  However, if less than one-third of the class are
citizens of the same state as the defendant, the case would go to a
federal court.  On the other hand, a federal judge would decide on the
case's jurisdiction if the number of plaintiffs of the same state of
the defendant was between one-third and two-thirds.

Other amendments by Democratic senators would have exempted specific
industries from control by the proposed legislation, such as tobacco
and arms, but such amendments were not approved.


                     New Securities Fraud Cases


ACCREDO HEALTH: Faruqi & Faruqi Commences Securities Lawsuit in W.D. TN
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Faruqi & Faruqi LLP initiated a securities class action in the United
States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee on behalf
of all purchasers of Accredo Health, Inc. (Nasdaq:ACDO) securities
between June 16, 2002 and April 7, 2003, inclusive.

The complaint charges defendants with violations of federal securities
laws by, among other things, issuing a series of materially false and
misleading press releases concerning Accredo's financial results and
business prospects.  Specifically, the complaint alleges that Accredo
failed to disclose the following adverse facts, among others:

     (1) that the Company artificially inflated its operating results
         by failing to timely record an impairment value of certain
         receivables that it had acquired in a recent acquisition;

     (2) as a result of the foregoing, the Company's financial
         statements published during the class period were not prepared
         in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles;
         and

     (3) that the Company would not have been able to meet its stated
         earnings guidance had it properly reserved for its accounts
         receivable.

As a result, the price of the Company's securities were artificially
inflated during the class period, allowing certain Accredo insiders to
sell over $12 million worth of personally held Accredo stock.  On March
24, 2003, however, the Company shocked the market when it announced it
was reducing previously issued earnings guidance and that it was
examining the adequacy of reserves for accounts receivable it acquired
in a recent acquisition.  Upon this revelation, Accredo's common stock
fell in excess of 40% on extremely heavy trading volume.

For more details, contact David H. Leventhal by Mail: 320 East 39th
Street, New York, NY 10016 by Phone: (877) 247-4292 or (212) 983-9330
by E-mail: dleventhal@faruqilaw.com


ACCREDO HEALTH: Milberg Weiss Commences Securities Lawsuit in W.D. TN
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the Western District of
Tennessee on behalf of purchasers of Accredo Health, Inc. (NASDAQ:ACDO)
publicly traded securities during the period between June 16, 2002 and
April 7, 2003.

The complaint charges the Company and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  The
Company provides specialized contract pharmacy and related services
pursuant to agreements with biotechnology drug manufacturers relating
to the treatment of patients with certain costly, chronic diseases.

The complaint charges that during the class period, defendants caused
Accredo's shares to trade at artificially inflated levels through the
issuance of false and misleading financial statements.  The true facts,
which were known by the defendants but actively concealed, were:

     (1) The Company's Q4 02 to Q2 03 results were grossly overstated.
         Prior to the Company's acquisition of the Specialty
         Pharmaceutical Services (SPS) division of Gentiva Health
         Services, the Company was reserving 12% of gross patient
         receivables as an allowance for doubtful accounts.  After
         completing due diligence of SPS in May/June 2002, defendants
         realized that if they revealed the truth about the
         consolidated receivables it would negatively impact the
         Company's receivables and net income;

     (2) The Company's hemophilia product line was not tracking with
         the Company's projections.  This product line was very
         material to the Company as it represented 30% of the Company's
         gross revenue and was the Company's highest gross margin
         business line (35%-40% vs. consolidated margins of 20%); and

     (3) as a result of the above, the Company's fiscal 2003 revenue
         projections of $1.45 billion and EPS projections of $1.33-
         $1.38 were grossly inflated.

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


ACCREDO HEALTH: Charles Piven Launches Securities Fraud Suit in W.D. TN
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
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 Accredo Health, Inc. (NASDAQ:
ACDO) between June 16, 2002 and April 7, 2003, inclusive.  The case is
pending in the United States District Court for the Western District of
Tennessee.

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, 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


AFFYMETRIX CORPORATION: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges Fraud 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 Affymetrix, Corporation
(Nasdaq:AFFX) from January 29, 2003 through April 3, 2003, inclusive.

The complaint charges Affymetrix with a violation of Section 10(b) of
the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder and certain of
its officers and directors with a violation of Section 20(a) of The
Exchange Act.  More specifically, on January 29, 2003, the Company
issued a press release, announcing its financial results for the fourth
quarter 2002 and fiscal year 2002, wherein it advised that the Company
expected to achieve product revenue growth of 28% in 2003 and expected
that product revenue for the first quarter of 2003 would range between
$71-73 million.

However, these prospects lacked a reasonable basis as they failed to
disclose that the Company was experiencing declining demands for its
products and services, was taking numerous steps to hide the
deterioration in its business, and would no longer be able to conceal
the slowdown in its sales from investors.  What is more shocking is
that the Company, not less than three months after reporting their
bright product revenue outlook, reported that its expectations for
first quarter growth were significantly lower, such that product
revenue growth would only be between $60-62 million.

News of the lower product revenue figures sent the Company's common
stock in a rapid decline.  Additionally shocking is that about eleven
days prior to the Company's announced low first quarter figures,
GlaxoSmithKline PLC (who share a common director with Affymetrix)
engaged in a sale of 4,736,254 shares of Affymetrix common stock, which
resulted in a $124,557190.30 windfall for GlaxoSmithKline PLC.

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


AFFYMETRIX INC.: Cauley Geller Commences Securities Lawsuit in N.D. CA
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Cauley Geller Bowman Coates & Rudman, LLP initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the Northern District of
California on behalf of purchasers of Affymetrix, Inc. (Nasdaq: AFFX)
publicly traded securities during the period between January 29, 2003
and April 3, 2003, inclusive.

The complaint charges Affymetrix with a violation of Section 10(b) of
the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder and certain of
its officers and directors with a violation of Section 20(a) of The
Exchange Act.  More specifically, on January 29, 2003, the Company
issued a press release, announcing its financial results for the fourth
quarter 2002 and fiscal year 2002, wherein it advised that the Company
expected to achieve product revenue growth of 28% in 2003 and expected
that product revenue for the first quarter of 2003 would range between
$71-73 million.

However, these prospects lacked a reasonable basis as they failed to
disclose that the Company was experiencing declining demands for its
products and services, was taking numerous steps to hide the
deterioration in its business, and would no longer be able to conceal
the slowdown in its sales from investors.  What is more shocking is
that the Company, not less than three months after reporting their
bright product revenue outlook, reported that its expectations for
first quarter growth were significantly lower, such that product
revenue growth would only be between $60-62 million.

News of the lower product revenue figures sent the Company's common
stock in a rapid decline.  Additionally shocking is that about eleven
days prior to the Company's announced low first quarter figures,
GlaxoSmithKline PLC (who share a common director with Affymetrix)
engaged in a sale of 4,736,254 shares of Affymetrix common stock, which
resulted in a $124,557190.30 windfall for GlaxoSmithKline PLC.

For more details, contact Samuel H. Rudman, David A. Rosenfeld, Jackie
Addison, Heather Gann or Sue Null by Mail: P.O. Box 25438, Little Rock,
AR 72221-5438 by Phone: 1-888-551-9944 by Fax: 1-501-312-8505 by E-
mail: info@cauleygeller.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.cauleygeller.com


CIT GROUP: Charles Piven Commences Securities Fraud Lawsuit in S.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, P.A. initiated a securities class
action on behalf of shareholders who purchased, converted, exchanged or
otherwise acquired the common stock of CIT Group, Inc. (NYSE: CIT) in
or traceable to the Company's initial public offering commenced on or
about July 1, 2002, in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York.  

The suit names as defendants 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 in the prospectus for the offering.

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 or by E-mail:
hoffman@pivenlaw.com


CORE LABORATORIES: Charles Piven Files Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
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 Core Laboratories, N.V. (NYSE:
CLB) between May 6, 2002 through March 31, 2003, inclusive.

The case is pending in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York.  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


FISCHER IMAGING: Cauley Geller Commences Securities Fraud Lawsuit in CO
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Cauley Geller Bowman Coates & Rudman, LLP initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the District of
Colorado, on behalf of purchasers of Fischer Imaging Corporation
(Nasdaq: FIMG) publicly traded securities during the period between
February 14, 2001 and April 1, 2003, inclusive.

The complaint charges Fischer Imaging with a violation of Section 10(b)
of the Securities Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder
and certain of its officers and directors with a violation of Section
20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act.  During the class period, the
defendants issued and/or failed to correct false and misleading
financial statements and press releases concerning the Company's
publicly reported revenues and earnings directed to the investing
public.

On April 1, 2003, Fischer Imaging announced in a press release that
based on a review being conducted by the Company in conjunction with
Ernst & Young LLP, the Company would delay the filing of its annual
report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2002.  Based on the
Fischer's preliminary findings, the Company believes it will be
necessary to restate its financial statements for the first three
quarters of 2002 and the years ended December 31, 2001 and 2000.  The
news shocked the market and investor reaction was severe.  The value of
the Company's common stock plummeted by 18.36% in one day of trading,
from a close of $5.39 on April 1, 2003 to a closing price $4.40 on
April 2, 2003.

For more details, contact Samuel H. Rudman, David A. Rosenfeld, Jackie
Addison, Heather Gann or Sue Null by Mail: P.O. Box 25438, Little Rock,
AR 72221-5438 by Phone: 1-888-551-9944 by Fax: 1-501-312-8505 by E-
mail: info@cauleygeller.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.cauleygeller.com


FISCHER IMAGING: Charles Piven Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in CO 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 Fischer Imaging Corporation
(NASDAQ: FIMG) between February 14, 2001 and April 1, 2003, inclusive.  
The case is pending in the United States District Court for the
District of Colorado against the Company and certain of its officers
and directors.

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, 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


FISCHER IMAGING: Dyer & Shuman Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in CO Court
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Dyer & Shuman, LLP initiated a securities class action in the United
States District Court for the District of Colorado on behalf of
purchasers of the securities of Fischer Imaging Corporation (NASDAQ:
FIMG), during the period between February 14, 2001 and April 1, 2003,
inclusive, against the Company and certain of its officers and
directors.

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 disseminating materially false and misleading financial
statements and press releases to the public concerning the Company's
revenues and earnings.  Further, the complaint alleges that defendants
failed to timely correct the series of material falsehoods and
misrepresentations falsehoods disseminated to the market between
February 14, 2001 and April 1, 2003, thereby artificially inflating the
price of Fischer Imaging securities.

On April 1, 2003, Fischer Imaging announced in a press release that
based on a review being conducted by the Company and Ernst & Young,
LLP, it was necessary that Fischer Imaging delay the filing of its Form
10-K for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2002.  The Company
announced that based on preliminary findings, it will be necessary to
restate its financial statements for the first three quarters of 2002
and the years ending December 31, 2000 and 2001.  On April 2, 2003, and
as a result of the prior day's announcement, the share price of Fischer
Imaging tumbled to close at $4.40, down 18.36% from the previous day's
close of $5.39.

For more details, contact Trig R. Smith by Phone: 303-861-3003 or by E-
mail: tsmith@dyershuman.com


FISCHER IMAGING: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Securities Fraud Suit in CO
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP initiated a securities class action in the
United States District Court for the District of Colorado on behalf of
all purchasers of the common stock of Fischer Imaging Corporation
(Nasdaq:FIMG) from February 14, 2001 through April 1, 2003, inclusive.

The complaint charges Fischer Imaging with a violation of Section 10(b)
of the Securities Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder
and certain of its officers and directors with a violation of Section
20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act.  During the class period, the
defendants issued and/or failed to correct false and misleading
financial statements and press releases concerning the Company's
publicly reported revenues and earnings directed to the investing
public.

On April 1, 2003, Fischer Imaging announced in a press release that
based on a review being conducted by the Company in conjunction with
Ernst & Young LLP, the Company would delay the filing of its annual
report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2002.  Based on the
Fischer's preliminary findings, the Company believes it will be
necessary to restate its financial statements for the first three
quarters of 2002 and the years ended December 31, 2001 and 2000.  The
news shocked the market and investor reaction was severe.  The value of
the Company's common stock plummeted by 18.36% in one day of trading,
from a close of $5.39 on April 1, 2003 to a closing price $4.40 on
April 2, 2003.

For more details, contact Marc A. Topaz or Stuart L. Berman by Phone:
(888) 299-7706 (toll free) or (610) 667-7706 or by E-mail:
info@sbclasslaw.com


IMPERIAL CHEMICAL: Charles Piven Commences Securities Fraud Suit in NY
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, PA initiated a securities class
action on behalf of shareholders who purchased, converted, exchanged or
otherwise acquired Imperial Chemical Industries PLC (NYSE: ICI)
American Depositary Shares (ADSs), each representing 1 pound Sterling
Ordinary Share, during the period between August 1, 2002 to March 24,
2003, inclusive.  The case is pending in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of New York.

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 or by E-mail:
hoffman@pivenlaw.com


PHARMACIA CORPORATION: Milberg Weiss Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in NJ
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the District of New
Jersey on behalf of purchasers of Pharmacia Corporation (NYSE:PHA)
publicly traded securities during the period between April 17, 2000 and
August 21, 2001.

The complaint charges Pharmacia and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  The
complaint alleges that according to Pharmacia, the unique feature of
Celebrex was that, unlike aspirin or ibuprofen, it allowed Celebrex to
retard pain and inflammation without the adverse side effects of
stomach malaise or gastrointestinal bleeding.

As defendants consistently stated, this critical feature of Celebrex,
provided a tremendous market advantage because the use of traditional
Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug (NSAIDs) resulted in as many as
100,000 hospitalizations each year and more than 15,000 deaths, related
to gastrointestinal problems such as ulcers and bleeding.

In order to remove the FDA's warning label, Pharmacia was required to
demonstrate that Celebrex provided an advantage over traditional
NSAIDs.  Pharmacia then commissioned the "Celecoxib Long-term Arthritis
Safety Study" (the "CLASS" study) -- a clinical study to compare the
gastrointestinal problems of patients who used Celebrex to those of
patients who used other NSAIDs.  Pharmacia, together with its partner
Pfizer, not only funded this study, but every one of the sixteen
physicians who performed the study were either employees of or paid
consultants for Pharmacia.

Because of its purportedly unique safety profile and its ready use by
patients, Celebrex was perceived both by the medical and investment
community as a very important product.  The CLASS data was widely
circulated and reviewed.  One such review appeared in the prestigious
Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), on Sept. 13, 2000.
Based on a review of the data supplied by Pharmacia, the authors of the
JAMA article also reported that patients who took Celebrex had fewer
symptomatic ulcers than those who took diclofenac or ibuprofen, two
traditional NSAIDs.

However, on August 22, 2001, The Wall Street Journal reported that
Celebrex caused higher incidence of cardiovascular problems.  The
Journal reported that noted cardiologists Eric J. Topol and Steven E.
Nissen, chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of cardiovascular
medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, issued a study on Celebrex which
concluded that "'current data would suggest that use of these so-called
"COX-02 inhibitors" might lead to increased cardiovascular events.'"
urther, the Cleveland Clinic doctors concluded that Celebrex was
associated with a relatively high rate of heart attacks.  This report
was also published in the less widely circulated Journal of American
Medicine at or about the same time.  On this news, Pharmacia's stock
declined to below $40 by Aug. 30, 2001, from the $44-$45 range the
stock traded at in mid-August.

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


ULTIMATE ELECTRONICS: Charles Piven Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in CO
----------------------------------------------------------------------
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 Ultimate Electronics, Inc.
(NASDAQ: ULTE) between March 13, 2002 and August 8, 2002, inclusive.  
The case is pending in the United States District Court for the
District of Colorado.

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 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
Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Trenton, New Jersey, and
Beard Group, Inc., Washington, D.C.  Enid Sterling, Aurora Fatima
Antonio and Lyndsey Resnick, Editors.

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

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic re-
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Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to be
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The CAR subscription rate is $575 for six months delivered via e-mail.  
Additional e-mail subscriptions for members of the same firm for the
term of the initial subscription or balance thereof are $25 each.  For
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