CAR_Public/030425.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Friday, April 25, 2003, Vol. 5, No. 81

                            Headlines

407 ETR: Canadian Court Approves Late Fees Lawsuit Settlement
ALASKA: Sues Financial Institutions Over $26M Worldcom Losses
ALLIED CAPITAL: NY Court Dismisses Consolidated Securities Suit
CALIFORNIA: Los Angeles Settles Cyclists' Rights Suit for $2.7M
COMCAST CABLE: UT Customers Sue Over Cable Service Interruptions

COMPUTERIZED THERMAL: OR Court Dismisses Consolidated Fraud Suit
FISHER-PRICE: Recalls 67T Animal Sounds Farms For Choking Hazard
INTERSTATE BAKERIES: Shareholders File Securities Lawsuits in MO
MICHIGAN: Yemeni Man Accuses Denver PD of Racial Profiling
NEVADA: Norwalk Virus Blamed For Stomach Illness Outbreak in NV

NORTHWESTERN CORPORATION: Faces Securities Fraud Lawsuits in SD
PRUDENTIAL FINANCIAL: Faces Possible Lawsuits Over Fee Increase
TENNESSEE: Knoxville Residents Launch Lawsuit Over Toxic Dumping
TOBACCO LITIGATION: Philip Morris USA Files Post-Judgment Motion
TOBACCO LITIGATION: Moody's Cuts Altria's Unsecured Debt Rating

US SUPERMARKETS: Consumers Sue Over Artificially-Colored Salmon

                           Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Local Council to Pay For Asbestos Damages
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Mayor's Widow To Support Asbestos Victims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Issues Haunt Heatrae Sadia Heating
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ABB Awaits Court's Final Chap. 11 Decision
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Victims Meet South African Lawyers

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Babcock To Revise Its Disclosure Statement
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: US Asbestos Lawsuits Settlement Draws Near
ASBESTOS ALERT: PNM Resources Faces Asbestos-Related Litigation
ASBESTOS ALERT: Phelps Dodge Discloses Role in Asbestos Lawsuit
ASBESTOS ALERT: California Coastal Faces Asbestos Related Claims

                     New Securities Fraud Cases

IMPERIAL CHEMICAL: Charles Piven Commences Securities Suit in NY
MICROTUNE INC.: Milberg Weiss Lodges Securities Suit in E.D. TX
NORTHWESTERN CORPORATION: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges Suit in SD
NORTHWESTERN CORPORATION: Cauley Geller Files SD Securities Suit
ORTHODONTIC CENTERS: Cauley Geller Lodges Securities Suit in LA

SUPERGEN INC.: Brodsky & Smith Lodges Securities Suit in N.D. CA
SUPERGEN INC.: Stull Stull Commences Securities Suit in N.D. CA
VAXGEN INC.: Scott + Scott Lodges Securities Lawsuit in N.D. CA

                           *********

407 ETR: Canadian Court Approves Late Fees Lawsuit Settlement
-------------------------------------------------------------
Canadian Justice Warren Winkler certified the settlement proposed by
407 ETR and representatives of its customers, to settle a class action
related to the company's Late Payment Fee.

As part of the settlement, the Company offers a $6 credit on the
accounts of up to 840,000 customers who were charged its $30 Late
Payment Fee.  The Company improved its fees associated with the
collection of tolls and other charges.  As well, anyone who was charged
the Late Payment Fee as a result of an administrative or system error
is eligible for a credit of the entire $30 fee.  The court ordered that
any class member who does not wish to participate in the settlement
must opt out in writing within 45 days.

As part of the agreement, the Company accepts no admission of liability
in agreeing to the settlement and the plaintiffs agree the old Late
Payment Fee did not represent a criminal interest rate or penalty.  The
Company also agreed to establish a process to ensure that customers
applying for the $6 credit or $30 refund are treated fairly and
equitably.

"This settlement is good news for the company and our customers," Jose
Lopez, President and Chief Executive Officer for 407 ETR, said in a
press statement.  "We believe our old Late Payment Fee would have
withstood this legal challenge, but we agreed that it can be improved
and made more transparent.  That is precisely what we have done."

"This is a fair settlement that we recommend to members of the Class,"
said Ken Rosenberg, from Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP, and
Kirk Baert of Koskie Minsky, firms representing the plaintiffs.  "As a
result of our action, 407 ETR carefully reviewed its collection costs
and practices and made improvements to its collection policies and
fees."

Effective April 21st, 407 ETR replaced the Late Payment Fee with new
fees that are directly tied to the collection costs the company incurs
when a customer has not paid a bill for at least three months.


ALASKA: Sues Financial Institutions Over $26M Worldcom Losses
-------------------------------------------------------------
Alaska, which lost about $26 million from its Constitutional Budget
Reserve, pension and other investment funds when WorldCom collapsed and
went bankrupt, is suing several financial institutions that, the state
claims, failed to inform it and other investors about the
telecommunication company's true financial condition, Associated Press
Newswires reports.  The Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation also lost
about $55 million, mostly in the form of bonds, which the fund will
attempt to recoup through a separate class action in which it is
currently involved, said the fund's executive director Robert Storer.

The lawsuit, filed in Juneau Superior Court against 18 financial
institutions, including CitiGroup Inc., J.P. Morgan and accounting firm
Arthur Andersen, alleges Alaska purchased WorldCom bonds based on the
false and misleading financial information in bond documents provided
by the named defendant financial institutions.

"We hope to restore money to the State of Alaska's funds and send Wall
Street a message that we will hold them accountable if they abandon
honesty for profits," Attorney General Gregg Renkes said in a recent
statement.

The recently filed lawsuit alleges investment banks acting as
underwriters for the bonds had "virtually unbridled access" to
WorldCom's books and knew of the company's accounting irregularities.
Defendants, including J.P. Morgan Securities Inc., Bank of America
Corporation and Arthur Andersen, marketed WorldCom bonds in a "multi-
city roadshow" predicting strong revenue and profit growth for the
company, the lawsuit said.  Other defendants named in the state case
are:

     (1) Salomon Smith Barney,

     (2) Banc of American Securities LLC,

     (3) ABN AMRO Inc.,

     (4) Deutsche Bank AG,

     (5) Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown Inc.,

     (6) Lehman Brothers Inc.,

     (7) Credit Suisse Group,

     (8) Credit Suisse First Boston Corporation and

     (9) Nationsbanc Montgomery Securities LLC

The defendant banks also made sure WorldCom purchased liability
insurance on the offerings and took other steps as well to protect
themselves before the scandal emerged, said the lawsuit.

Alaska joined Illinois, California, Ohio, West Virginia, Montana,
Washington, Minnesota and Wisconsin in hiring San Diego Milberg Weiss
Bershad Hynes and Lerach to represent it, said assistant attorney
general Mike Barnhill.  Mr. Barnhill said he expects the state lawsuit
to be moved to federal court and ultimately end up with other state
suits against WorldCom's money managers in a New York federal court.

WorldCom, the Clinton, Mississippi-based parent company of long-
distance carrier MCI, filed for Chapter 11 protection last year,
following disclosures that it had disguised more than $9 billion in
expenses by use of fraudulent accounting.  The bankruptcy also spawned
federal criminal charges against WorldCom executive Scott Sullivan --
charges of conspiracy, securities fraud and false Securities and
Exchange Commission filings.


ALLIED CAPITAL: NY Court Dismisses Consolidated Securities Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
granted Allied Capital Corporation's motion to dismiss the consolidated
securities class action, for failure to state a claim upon which relief
may be granted.

The suit names as defendants the Company and certain of its directors
and officers.  The suit alleges violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a)
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder.  The suit specifically alleges, among other things, that
the Company purportedly misstated the value of certain portfolio
investments in its financial statements, which allegedly resulted in
the purchase of its common stock by purported class members at
artificially inflated prices.  Several of the complaints also alleged
state law claims for common law fraud.  The complaints sought
compensatory and other damages, and costs and expenses associated with
the litigation.

Judge Gerard Lynch ruled that "(t)here is simply no basis (in the
Complaint) on which to infer that Allied's valuation of its investments
was in fact incorrect or inflated, and thus no basis to infer that
Allied's accounting policies resulted in fraudulent overvaluation." He
further held that "(s)ince Allied's actual valuation policies were
public, as was all adverse information about the companies in which
Allied had invested, plaintiffs have not alleged that Allied concealed
any facts from its investors."  In addition, the judge held that
plaintiffs had not properly pled that any alleged overvaluation was
material.  The court therefore dismissed the case in its entirety.


CALIFORNIA: Los Angeles Settles Cyclists' Rights Suit for $2.7M
---------------------------------------------------------------
Los Angeles County in California agreed to settle for $2.7 million a
lawsuit filed by cyclists who were arrested during the 2000 Democratic
National Convention, while staging a ride downtown to promote a bike-
friendly environment, the Associated Press reports.

Police allegedly arrested them for ignoring traffic laws and showing a
disregard for safety.  The suit alleges that women in the group were
subjected to strip and body cavity searches in a jail corridor.  In
addition, the plaintiffs said they were denied telephone calls and
medication, and were imprisoned for 12 hours after charges were
dismissed.

The county supervisors voted to settle the lawsuit.  The move follows a
decision last month to set aside the money for a settlement.  The
plaintiffs' lawyers say the settlement will compensate 71 clients, 23
of them women.  The women plaintiffs will receive $70,000 each and the
men $5,000 each.


COMCAST CABLE: UT Customers Sue Over Cable Service Interruptions
----------------------------------------------------------------
Cable television provider Comcast faces a class action filed in the
Third District Court in Utah, by four Utah men, alleging that the
company should be required to refund money when customers' cable
service is out, the Deseret News reports.

The suit was filed on behalf of Donald H. Ellefsen, Gary Ellefsen, John
Wilson and Darryl H. Peterson, and alleges that the Company's
advertisements promis "on demand," continuous cable service and that
service interruptions make these claims false and misleading.

Attorney for the plaintiffs James W. McConkie told the Deseret News,
"Our theory is unjust enrichment .. If you don't provide complete
service, then the benefit ought to go to the customer, not to the
company."

He continued, while the money due one customer may not warrant a
lawsuit, the money due many customers does.  "People purchase cable for
so many dollars a month. The cable TV service goes out for a certain
number of hours. If people want to be reimbursed, they can call and the
company will reimburse them," he said.

He continued, "But many, many people, we think, have their cable go out
and aren't reimbursed.  In these types of lawsuits, when you're taking
a little from a large number of people, it makes it difficult for one
person to step in and do anything about it.  The class action lawsuit
allows people to come together and say, 'We'd like to be reimbursed.'"

Mr. McConkie also said the four plaintiffs are required to request that
the case proceed as a "class action" case.  A judge will determine
whether it can; if the judge agrees, the firm may represent clients
nationwide.  Mr. McConkie said Comcast has 30 days to respond to the
initial complaint.  It could be months before a judge decides whether
the case may proceed as a class action.

Comcast spokeswoman Barbara Shelley declined to comment on the lawsuit,
the Deseret News states.


COMPUTERIZED THERMAL: OR Court Dismisses Consolidated Fraud Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the District of Oregon dismissed
without prejudice the securities class action filed against
Computerized Thermal Imaging, Inc. (CTI) (AMEX: CIO) on behalf of
purchasers of its common stock during the period between October 11,
1999 and December 21, 2001, inclusive.

The complaint charges the Company and certain of its officers and
directors with issuing false and misleading statements concerning its
business and financial condition.  Specifically, the complaint alleges
that the Company has admitted that during the class period, the
Company's then-President and Chief Operating Officer, David Packer,
consistently made material public misrepresentations regarding FDA
approval of the Company's Breast Cancer Detection System.

These statements had the effect of artificially raising the price of
Company stock so that investors who purchased shares during the class
period did so at inflated prices and were damaged thereby.

In his written opinion, US District Judge Garr M. King concluded that
the statements made by the Company, which plaintiff's alleged were
misleading to investors, were either not material, not misleading, or
not plead by plaintiffs with sufficient particularity to constitute a
claim.  The court gave plaintiffs 21 days to re-plead three of the nine
claims if the plaintiffs have additional facts.  Judge King's opinion
does not allow plaintiffs to re-plead the remaining claims.


FISHER-PRICE: Recalls 67T Animal Sounds Farms For Choking Hazard
----------------------------------------------------------------
Fisher-Price is cooperating with the United States Consumer Product
Safety Commission, (CPSC) by voluntarily recalling about 67,000 Little
People(r) Animal Sounds Farms manufactured from June 17, 2002 through
July 31, 2002.  Two small metal screws that hold the toy "stall doors"
in place can come off, posing an aspiration or choking hazard to young
children.

Fisher-Price has received 33 reports of the screws coming off of the
toy, including four reports where a screw was found in the child's
mouth and one report of a child that aspirated a screw into his lung.
The latter case required the child to be hospitalized and undergo
emergency surgery to remove the screw from his lung.

The recalled Little People(r) Animal Sounds Farms are shaped like a
barn and make animal sounds when the doors of the cow or horse stall
are opened.  The recalled toys have a model number of 77973 or 77746
and a six-character manufacturing date code that begins with 168
through 212, followed by the number 2 as the fourth digit.   Both the
model number and date code can be found on the underside of the green
ramp.  The Fisher-Price logo appears at the top of the tallest side of
the barn in red and white.  The recalled toys were manufactured in
Mexico.

Mass merchants and toy stores nationwide sold these toys between
July 2002 and December 2002 for about $30.

For more details, contact the Company by Phone: (866) 259-7873 anytime
to receive a free repair kit, or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.service.mattel.com.


INTERSTATE BAKERIES: Shareholders File Securities Lawsuits in MO
----------------------------------------------------------------
Interstate Bakeries Corporation and certain of its current and former
officers and directors face several securities class actions filed in
the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri.
Most of the complaints were brought on behalf of putative classes of
shareholders who purchased or sold Company stock between September 17,
2002 and December 17, 2002.  One complaint, however, is brought on
behalf of a putative class beginning in April 2002 and several
complaints seek to include shareholders who purchased or sold stock
through February 11, 2003.

The complaints generally allege that certain of the Company's press
releases, SEC filings, and other public statements prior to a February
11, 2003 announcement reducing its guidance contained
misrepresentations regarding its financial condition.  The complaints
further allege that certain officers and directors improperly sold IBC
shares at artificially inflated prices during the class period.  The
cases seek compensatory damages (including interest), disgorgement of
allegedly improper gains from insider stock sales, costs and expenses
and any other relief deemed proper by the court.

The Company has not yet been required to file answers to the
complaints. The litigation is in its preliminary stages and the amount
of potential loss, if any, cannot reasonably be estimated.


MICHIGAN: Yemeni Man Accuses Denver PD of Racial Profiling
----------------------------------------------------------
The Detroit Police Department has been accused of racial profiling by a
man questioned by FBI agents for allegedly videotaping an international
bridge and having firecrackers, shotgun shells and a police baton in
his car, the Associated Press reports.

Mohamed Elmathil, 26, and another man were arrested late Sunday near
the Ambassador Bridge.  Mr. Elmathil alleges that the police targeted
him because of his ethnicity.  He said three FBI agents interrogated
him for three hours, asking him if he trained with al-Qaida or had been
to Afghanistan.  "I tried to explain that I have been here since 1981,"
Mr. Elmathil told AP, a native of Yemen.  "Of course, I was profiled."

Neither Mr. Elmathil nor the other man has been charged with a crime,
but the police said the case remains under investigation.  FBI Special
Agent Dawn Clenney would not comment beyond confirming that the two men
were released and no federal charges were filed.

Detroit Police Cmdr. Jesse Banks said officers acted appropriately and
did not profile the men.  "It had nothing to do with anyone being
Arabic," Mr. Banks told AP. "The officers were on routine patrol and
saw suspicious activity."

Authorities initially said the men were stopped for videotaping the
bridge. But now police say they were pulled over because of the tinted
rear windows on Elmathil's car.

The Ambassador Bridge has about 10 million vehicle crossings every year
and handles about 25 percent of all trade traffic between the United
States and Canada.


NEVADA: Norwalk Virus Blamed For Stomach Illness Outbreak in NV
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Norwalk virus is being blamed as the cause of an outbreak of
stomach illness among dozens of teenage girls who competed in a
volleyball tournament in Reno over the weekend, the Reno Gazette-
Journal reports.

Many of the players stayed at the Reno Hilton, and competed in a four-
day tournament in the Reno-Sparks Convention Center.  Officials have
investigated the two places, saying the cause could range from the food
they ate to the balls they spiked.  So far, health officials estimate
more than 100 people were sickened, some of whom neither stayed at the
Hilton nor took part in the tournament.

Bob Sack, head of the Washoe District Health Departments environmental
division, told the Gazette-Journal the search for the source of the
virus could lead investigators to almost any source, including
tournament volleyballs, which may have passed the virus among players.

He continued that the first six tests of sick individuals revealed the
Norwalk virus.  Health inspectors have interviewed about 100 people and
more will be questioned.  He further said additional interviewing must
be done to determine where those people were staying and what they were
doing at the time of the illness.

The virus recently sickened hundreds of cruise ship passengers and
caused an outbreak in 1996 at the Reno Hilton.  It is transmitted when
food or water is contaminated with fecal material or by person-to-
person contact, the Reno-Gazette states.

In 1996, the Norwalk virus affected 642 guests and 365 employees at the
Hilton over a two-month period.  A Washoe District Court jury last year
awarded $25.2 million in punitive damages to plaintiffs in the class-
action suit against the hotel that resulted from the virus outbreak.
The Hilton is appealing the decision.


NORTHWESTERN CORPORATION: Faces Securities Fraud Lawsuits in SD
---------------------------------------------------------------
Northwestern Corporation faces several securities class actions filed
in the United States District Court in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on
behalf of all purchasers of the Company's common stock from August 2,
2000 through March 31, 2003, inclusive.

The complaint charges NorthWestern and certain of its executive
officers and directors with issuing false and misleading statement
concerning its business and financial condition, according to an
earlier Class Action Reporter story.  Specifically the Company failed
to disclose that:

     (1) the Company had not maintained adequate reserves for accounts
         receivable in its subsidiary, Expanets;

     (2) massive amounts of the Company's goodwill was impaired and
         would require significant write-downs;

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

     (4) that as a result, the value of the Company's net income and
         financial results were materially overstated.

Prominent law firm Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach, LLP filed the
most recent suit on behalf of the Carpenters Pension Trust For Southern
California and Oppenheim Investment Management LLC.

"A $700 million charge doesn't just come out of the night," Lawyer
Darren Robbins told the Associated Press.  "This is serious money."

"The payments made to Andersen were not made to insure the veracity and
completeness of these statements, but rather were payoffs for
Andersen's role in helping the senior management of the company set up
and run what has been described as a 'private-equity' company for key
executives - which allowed them to profit handsomely from engaging in
clandestine related-party transactions with the company's
subsidiaries," the complaint said.

NorthWestern spokesman Roger Schrum declined comment on the lawsuits
Wednesday, saying the company had not been served with either suit, the
Associated Press reports.


PRUDENTIAL FINANCIAL: Faces Possible Lawsuits Over Fee Increase
---------------------------------------------------------------
Insurance firm Prudential Financial might face legal action and
ombudsman complaints over its sudden decision to increase its premium
rates for critical illness cover in two months, the Financial Times
reports.

Early this week, the Company announced the changes, which will hit the
terms of the medical conditions covered by the policy, increase the
premiums by up to 40 per cent and rates would be variable after five
years.  Crucially, however, the new terms would also affect
applications received but not yet accepted as well as new business
submitted from 14 April.

This decision will endanger GBP720 million of critical illness
premiums.  Sources close to the decision said there were 48,000 clients
waiting for acceptance letters, some for more than three months.  The
company refused to confirm this figure but said it was significantly
less than 50,000, the Financial Times states.

John Ellis, head of public affairs for the LIA, told FT "I have never
heard of anyone doing this.  It is an example of bad practice as I
cannot see how Prudential can retrospectively do this.  The policies in
the Pru's pipeline would have been sold by IFAs on the basis of
existing terms and conditions but now the advice would be wrong because
of a change in terms."

Keith Carr, senior technical adviser for LifeSearch, told the Financial
Times Prudential had been caught by increasing demand for CI cover and
reduced underwriting by reinsurers following Swiss Re's departure from
the market last year.  LifeSearch said it had instructed solicitors to
bring a class action against the Pru.  Inter-Alliance said it was also
taking legal advice.

Paul Keeble, media relations manager of Prudential, told FT "Our main
concern is to keep customers and IFAs happy.  As with others in the
industry, the reinsurance market for guaranteed business has hardened
which means we have had to change our terms.  While the rates change we
are introducing 30 days' free life and CI cover to anyone who has not
yet received an acceptance letter.  I have not heard about the class
action."


TENNESSEE: Knoxville Residents Launch Lawsuit Over Toxic Dumping
----------------------------------------------------------------
Residents of a Knoxville, Tennessee, community have filed a class
action in Knox County Circuit Court, alleging that, among other things,
the dumping of contaminated debris from a former railroad yard has
"stigmatized" their neighborhood and significantly lowered their
property values, the Associated Press Newswires reports.

Named in the lawsuit brought by lawyers representing 72 residents are
the city of Knoxville, a railroad, four contractors and the owner of
the sinkhole where a demolition company sent more than 800 truckloads
of the debris from the railroad yard.

Subsequent tests, according to the lawsuit, showed the soils in the
sinkhole are laced with diesel fuel, arsenic, lead, polychlorinated
biphenyls (PCBs) and other contaminants.  These same compounds later
showed up in the area's wells, the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit further alleges the defendants handled the hazardous
materials with negligence, resulting in the violation of six federal
and state environmental laws covering the handling of toxic and
hazardous substances and the disposal of solid waste, as well as
causing devaluation of plaintiffs' property.

Each plaintiff is suing for $1 million in compensatory damages and $2
million in punitive damages.  The lawsuit also seeks $20 million in
compensatory damages and $20 million in punitive damages for others who
may join the lawsuit.  The class action is the largest of five civil
actions filed in connection with the dumping controversy.  A federal
grand jury is also reviewing for possible criminal actions.

The complaint names the City of Knoxville, Norfolk Southern Railway
Co., Burnett Demolition & Salvage Co., S&ME Inc., The Development
Corporation of Knox County, Barge Waggoner Sumner & Cannon Inc. and the
sinkhole owner Philip Reagan.  Other defendants might be named later,
said Knoxville attorneys J.D. Lee and Dan Stanley, who are representing
the plaintiffs.


TOBACCO LITIGATION: Philip Morris USA Files Post-Judgment Motion
----------------------------------------------------------------
Philip Morris USA today asked Madison County Circuit Court Judge
Nicholas Byron to overturn the $10.1 billion verdict he issued in the
class action - known as the Price case - over deceiving 1.1 million
Illinois smokers into believing that 'light' cigarettes are safer than
regular cigarettes or, significantly reduce the amount of damages he
awarded, Associated Press Newswires reports.

In the recent filing of this motion, the company listed numerous
reasons why the Illinois state Court should reverse itself and enter a
judgment for Philip Morris USA, grant the company a new trial, modify
its judgment or reduce the damages.

"Simply put, the Price verdict is contrary to the Illinois consumer
fraud law and conflicts with federal laws governing the advertising,
marketing and sale of cigarettes," said William S. Ohlemeyer, Philip
Morris USA vice president and associate general counsel.

"The company is asking the trial court to take what it believes to be
the legally correct action; set this verdict aside or at least
dramatically reduce the damages awarded to an amount that is in line
with the evidence presented in the case," Mr. Ohlemeyer added.

Judge Byron, following a bench trial, awarded $7.1 billion in
compensatory damages and $3 billion in punitive damages to an estimated
1.1 million class members, who claimed they had been misled into
believing 'light' cigarettes were less harmful than full-flavored
cigarettes.

The verdict includes $1.77 billion in fees for the plaintiffs'
attorneys and $2 billion in prejudgment interest on the compensatory
damages award.  The company said even if the court believed damages
were warranted, they should be in the millions, rather than billions,
of dollars, and state law does not permit prejudgment interest in this
type of case.

The claims in this case were brought under the Illinois Consumer Fraud
Act, and under that law an individual or company cannot be held liable
for any 'action or transaction specifically authorized by laws
administered by any regulatory body or officer acting under statutory
authority' of the United States.

"Clearly, every pack of Marlboro Lights and Cambridge Lights purchased
by consumers in the state of Illinois for the past 30 years, was
marketed, advertised and sold in accordance with congressionally-
mandated laws," Mr. Ohlemeyer said.

"In this case, the Court has erroneously declared that conduct
permitted by federal law is nevertheless unlawful in Illinois.  This
verdict ignores the doctrine of federal preemption and interferes with
Congress' uniform, comprehensive, nationwide regulation of cigarette
marketing practices . The bottom line is that this Court may not
declare unlawful, or impose liability based upon, cigarette marketing
practices that are regulated by federal law," Mr. Ohlemeyer added.

"As to claims that plaintiffs believed the cigarettes to be less
hazardous, every package of Marlboro and Cambridge Lights sold in the
United States has carried the same health warnings Congress says must
appear on all cigarette packs and advertising, and the company never
marketed them as a less hazardous alternative to full-flavored
cigarettes . The issues that this court attempted to decide are
national in scope and governed by federal laws and regulations.  It is
not appropriate for a state judge to substitute his judgment on these
issues for those of the Congress and the US Federal Trade Commission,"
Mr. Ohlemeyer said.

Mr. Ohlemeyer noted as well that other courts, including the US Supreme
Court, have ruled that the federal labeling law prohibits states from
requiring additional warnings, including those suggested by the
plaintiffs in the Price case, and have determined that the current
warnings are sufficient, as a matter of law, to notify consumers of the
potential health hazards of smoking.

"We are hopeful that Judge Byron will reconsider his earlier decision
and vacate this verdict, but if not, Philip Morris USA is prepared to
take prompt action necessary to expedite its appeal, up to and
including the United States Supreme Court," Mr. Ohlemeyer said.


TOBACCO LITIGATION: Moody's Cuts Altria's Unsecured Debt Rating
---------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service Inc. cut Altria Group Inc.'s senior unsecured
debt rating to just two notches above non-investment grade, or junk
level, The Wall Street Journal reports.  Moody's left Altria's rating
outlook negative, signaling the likelihood of further downgrades down
the road as the company struggles with litigation woes.  This action by
Moody's affects about $20 billion of debt securities.

Standard & Poor's gives Altria a comparable triple-B rating, with the
negative Credit Watch; while Fitch Ratings has the company rated a
notch higher at triple-B-plus rating with a negative watch.

Corporate-bond investors are braced for the worst.  "The market
obviously has provided for the possibility of them going to junk," said
Robert J. Truesdell, senior fixed-income portfolio manager at M&T Asset
Management.  "The debt is trading very cheap," Mr. Truesdell added.

The Moody's report cited a few reasons for the downgrade.  These
included reduced free cash flow as a result of a bonding requirement
rendered against Philip Morris USA in the class action in Illinois.
Altria is Philip Morris's parent company.  Additional reasons for the
downgrade include as well additional pressure on Altria's profitability
as a result of difficult conditions in the US tobacco market; the risk
of future legal rulings to the company; and Philip Morris's reduced
financial flexibility because of the bonding requirement.

How did Altria reach this point, the point of downward spiral?  On
March 21, Judge Nicholas Byron, in Madison County, Illinois, ordered
Philip Morris USA, a unit of Altria, to pay $7.1billion in compensatory
damages, an additional $3 billion in punitive damages, as well as
$1.78 billion in plaintiff-lawyer fees.  The verdict in the class
action said the company deceived 1.1 billion Illinois smokers by
claiming 'light' cigarettes are less harmful than the regular
cigarettes.  Philip Morris said it was uncertain if it would be able to
make its next annual payments to the state governments, due April 15,
under the 1998 tobacco settlement with 46 states, because of the $12
billion appeal bond it was required to post by the Illinois court in
order to file an appeal of the decision.  Last week, however, Judge
Byron relaxed the bond requirements.  Now, Philip Morris has to post an
appeal bond -- a promissory note for $6 billion between Altria and
Philip Morris -- secured by $800 million in cash, payable in four equal
installments of $200 million, beginning September 2003.  Interest is
payable on the promissory note annually, in the amount of $420 million,
until such time as Philip Morris completes its appeal process.


US SUPERMARKETS: Consumers Sue Over Artificially-Colored Salmon
---------------------------------------------------------------
Supporters of aquaculture reform, say the salmon farming industry in
Canada needs to clean up its act or lose its massive US market.  Class
action lawsuits filed today in Seattle, Washington claim that the three
largest grocery chains in the United States - Safeway, Albertson's and
The Kroger Company - illegally concealed the artificial coloring in
their farm-raised salmon.  Without this artificial coloring, farmed-
salmon fillets would be an unappetizing gray - something most fish
lovers don't know.  Salmon is one of the most popular fish in the US,
second only to shrimp and canned tuna.

According to Jennifer Lash, a spokesperson for the British Columbia-
based Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform, a group that has been
running a consumer education initiative on farmed salmon in Canada and
the US, if the suit deters US consumers from purchasing farmed salmon,
it could have a huge economic impact on the industry based in Canada.
In BC alone, 80% of farmed salmon is exported.

"The US is an enormous market for farmed salmon and the stores named
sell salmon farmed in BC and the east coast of Canada," said Ms. Lash.
"US consumers are not getting the full story when it comes to how it is
raised and produced.  We see this suit as an important step in consumer
health protection as well as a wake-up call to industry."

The lawsuits charge that the chains, which account for over 6,000
stores in more than 30 states across the US, deceived consumers by
failing to comply with federal law requiring disclosure of artificial
coloring in farm-raised salmon.  Unlike wild salmon, farm-raised fish
rely on chemicals to turn their flesh pink.  Industry sponsored market
research shows that "consumers will pay more for redder salmon" because
consumers believe color is an indicator of salmon quality.

Fish farmers use what's called a "Salmofan" -not unlike the chips found
in paint stores - to determine the volume of chemical needed to get the
right flesh color.  Wild salmon develop their trademark color
naturally, because they feed on certain prey like krill (tiny shrimp-
like crustaceans).  Farmed salmon get their color from formulated feed,
which usually contains the chemicals astaxanthin and canthaxanthin.
(In response to concerns about adverse health affects, the European
Union has agreed to significantly reduce the level of canthaxanthin
that may be fed to farm-raised salmon).

According to the suits' claims, lack of labeling also misleads the
public into thinking they're buying wild salmon, avoiding the problems
associated with farm-raised salmon including:

     (1) contamination from antibiotics and exposure to pesticides and
         other chemicals,

     (2) misrepresentation of health benefits - according to the US
         Department of Agriculture, farmed Atlantic salmon is over 200
         percent higher in saturated fat than wild pink or chum salmon,

     (3) Risks to wild salmon and other aquatic species from disease
         and parasites like sea lice, which escape from farm pens,

     (4) Impacts on marine ecosystems in British Columbia from fish
         farm pollution,

The claims are being brought by Smith & Lowney, PLLC, a law firm
specializing in public interest consumer law.  The named
representatives in the class action suits are consumers who purchased
farm-raised salmon from the chains, and were not made aware of the
presence of artificial colorants.  The lawsuits are designed to protect
millions of consumers who purchase farm-raised salmon from the three
chains, and call for:

     (i) Damages for consumers, expected to exceed tens of millions of
         dollars for each chain,

    (ii) A court order requiring the chains to inform consumers that
         the salmon are artificially colored,

   (iii) Civil penalties for violation of various consumer protection
         statutes

For more details, contact Knoll Lowney by Phone: (206) 860-2976 or
(206) 650-1044 or contact Paul Kampmeier Attorney by Phone:
(206) 860-4102 or the Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform, British
Columbia through Jennifer Lash by Phone: (250) 741-4006


                           Asbestos Alert


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Local Council to Pay For Asbestos Damages
--------------------------------------------------------------
Twenty families, of Southwark in East Inner London, criticized the
local council for poor administration, claiming they have been
unknowingly exposed to asbestos for three years.  The Local Government
Ombudsman issued a report which asks the authority to pay compensation
to nine of the households because officers failed to notify them about
the problems with their properties after a 1997 survey.

The families complained they were all put at risk for asbestos exposure
and should be compensated for the worry it caused.  They asserted that
had they known about the problem prior to the purchase of their homes
under the Right to Buy, they may have opted not to do so.

The Southwark council has been told to pay out more than GBP8,500 in
sums ranging from GBP250 to GBP750.  A spokeswoman for the council said
the investigation had not yet been completed and could only say it was
working on an agreement with the ombudsman.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Mayor's Widow To Support Asbestos Victims
--------------------------------------------------------------
Tony Carlin, mayor of Derry in 1989/90, succumbed to mesothelioma in
February, less than a year after being diagnosed.  His wife has pledged
her support for a campaign demanding justice for victims of asbestos-
related illnesses.

Mr. Carlin allegedly contracted the respiratory disease as a result of
inhalation of asbestos fibers nearly 40 years ago.  The 56-year-old,
who retired as postmaster eight years ago, had worked as a laborer for
two companies in Derry where asbestos was used when he was 18.  The
Derry City Council facilitated a special forum for victims and families
of asbestos-related illnesses.   The widow of Mr. Carlin graced the
forum.

Angela Clarke, who heard stories on asbestos-related deaths pushed for
the forum and Mrs. Carlin promised to help out, saying, "I am just
determined to help Angela and all the other people.  There is nothing
we can do for Tony, his case is being taken care of on our behalf by a
firm of solicitors in Belfast . But, if I can help Angela or any of the
other people affected I will do whatever I can. There is going to be a
lot more people needing support as time goes on."

Mrs. Carlin further said that her husband's illness and death has been
a horrible blow.  The family is currently pursuing legal action for
compensation against the companies allegedly culpable.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Issues Haunt Heatrae Sadia Heating
----------------------------------------------------------------
Heatrae Sadia Heating, formerly known as Heatrae Limited, battles
former workers with asbestos-related illnesses and a legal firm
tracking down those who may have been exposed to the killer dust.

The legal team at Irwin Mitchell Solicitors has received an
overwhelming response from people who fear they were exposed to deadly
asbestos.  The firm is particularly hoping to hear from people who
worked for the company between 1955 and 1965, who may be entitled to
compensation.

Adrian Budgen, spokesman for Irwin Mitchell, said several former
workers have come forward since news about their project spread last
month.  "I'm pleased to say we had a tremendous response to our appeal
for witnesses . A good number of those people we have talked to are
themselves suffering from asbestos-related illnesses," he said.

Andrew Davidson, who runs the Norwich based, Asbestos and Respiratory
Industrial Disease Association (Arid), said it was inevitable people
would come forward.  "Hundreds of people have passed through the doors
of Heatrae, so it is likely people will come forward and a number of
them will be asbestosis sufferers . But they are just the surface,
there are dozens of firms that need to be brought to book.  We've known
about the damaging effects of asbestos on people's health since 1895
and still it was used.  We are not expecting the number of sufferers to
peak until 2020," he stated.

Heatrae Sadia is the UK market leader in storage heating and is now
based in Hurricane Way, on the Norwich Airport Industrial Estate.  The
Company refused to comment on this issue.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ABB Awaits Court's Final Chap. 11 Decision
---------------------------------------------------------------
ABB projects that the final court decision on its pre-packaged Chapter
11 filing for Combustion Engineering, might not be finalized till next
week.  The Swiss engineering group, whose US Subsidiary caused its
asbestos problems, is due to publish its report and accounts today,
April 25.

The court decision, which had been expected at early April, was
subsequently postponed until April 24.  ABB said that the court may not
finish hearing evidence until next week.  Two further court dates on
May 1 and 2 have been set aside.  The share price of the group has
hiked in recent weeks amid growing confidence that it would win court
approval of its $1,200,000,000 asbestos settlement plan.

ABB downplayed the significance of the latest delay stressing that it
was in the interest of the court to have as much time as possible to
consider the complex settlement plan.  The delay in finalizing the
settlement may complicate ABB's efforts to draw a line under its past
and revert its attention on the plans to repair its balance sheet and
reach its targets of 4 per cent sales growth in 2003 and a 4 per cent
operating margin.

The said delay may be one of the reasons why no one is still willing to
complete the acquisition of its oil gas and petrochemicals business
which is believed to be worth around to $1,500,000,000.  "Dealing with
the US legal system is always fraught with danger" said Mark Cusack,
Deutsche Bank's veteran ABB-watcher, who believes that if the US court
judgment goes against ABB its fallback plan is to go for a "free fall"
Chapter 11.

"This will give them resolution, but it could mean that the settlement
terms have to be haggled over and renegotiated.  This uncertainty is
unhelpful but at least the company is acting to resolve the asbestos
problem which has caused them such grief in the past," said Mr Cusack.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Victims Meet South African Lawyers
----------------------------------------------------------------
Asbestos claimants met with their London-based lawyers in the Moffat
Mission church in Kuruman.  According to Feirouz Williams, one of the
South African lawyers, far more than 1,000 attended, coming from all
over the Northern Cape, some of them even had to sit outside.  This is
the first visit to South Africa of the lawyers after the multi-million-
rand asbestos settlements with British mining firm Cape plc and South
Africa's Gencor last month.

Mr. Williams said the terms of the agreements were explained at length
to the Northern Cape claimants, which most likely triggered the signing
up of new and potential claimants with the lawyers.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Babcock To Revise Its Disclosure Statement
---------------------------------------------------------------
The lawyers party to the bankruptcy case of Babcock & Wilcox Co. said
the company will revise the Chapter 11 disclosure statement to address
objections.  Another hearing on the disclosure statement is set for May
8, and according to Gay Mayeux, a spokeswoman for the parent company of
the boiler maker, McDermott International Inc. (MDR), Babcock & Wilcox
is hopeful the bankruptcy court will set a confirmation hearing for its
Chapter 11 plan after the said hearing.  She further declared that no
major changes will be made to the plan.

Some of the objections to the disclosure statement related to
qualification of people to vote on the company's reorganization plan
and claims of those who haven't provided adequate information.
Attorneys on the case said the court wants Babcock & Wilcox to submit
an amended disclosure statement, addressing the various objections, by
May 5.

A disclosure statement sets out how a company under bankruptcy
protection plans to pay off creditors and is generally filed in
conjunction with a Chapter 11 reorganization plan.  The company's
disclosure statement faced limited objections from an unofficial
committee of certain asbestos claimants, as well as Texaco Marine
Services Inc. and Atlantic Richfield Co. at a hearing in U.S.
Bankruptcy Court in New Orleans.

In its objection filed with the court, the committee of asbestos
claimants said the voting procedures in the disclosure statement allow
people who made claims after the bar dates to vote on the
reorganization plan and doesn't disqualify claims that don't provide
sufficient information.

Babcock & Wilcox has said up to 75% of the 221,000 asbestos claims it
has received don't supply proper medical or work history information.
Allowing such claims to have votes on the company's plan "severely
impinges on the rights of those with legitimate claims against the
debtor," the objection said.  In separate objections, Texaco Marine
Services, which owned and operated ships containing Babcock & Wilcox
boilers, and Atlantic Richfield, objected to their treatment under the
proposed plan.

McDermott International said in December it reached a settlement with
the representatives of two asbestos-related claimant groups in the
Babcock & Wilcox case.  Under the settlement, McDermott International
agreed to put 4.75 million shares of its stock and $92,000,000 in
unsecured promissory notes into a trust for the benefit of asbestos-
related personal injury claimants.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: US Asbestos Lawsuits Settlement Draws Near
---------------------------------------------------------------
US Congress and the parties involved in the asbestos saga are close to
agreement to settle all asbestos lawsuits.  The idea is to pay people
with asbestos-related diseases from a national privately financed
trust.

The Congress and President Bush will have to approve the trust.  It
would pay more than $100,000,000,000 to hundreds of thousands of
asbestos victims over the next 30 years.  The move would virtually put
a stop to the flood asbestos lawsuits, 200,000 of which are recoded in
the last two years alone.

There are many points of the trust remain to be worked out, including
the exact amount of payments to victims and who will pay if the trust
unexpectedly runs short of money, and the negotiations could still
stall.  An asbestos trust would not allow people to opt out and sue.
All new and existing claims would be settled through the trust, which
would largely or entirely be financed by businesses and insurers.


ASBESTOS ALERT: PNM Resources Faces Asbestos-Related Litigation
---------------------------------------------------------------
The utility subsidiary of PNM Resources Inc. (PNM), Public Service
Company of New, which transmits and distributes electricity to more
than 380,000 customers and natural gas to 440,000 customers, was served
with 20 lawsuits seeking damages for personal injuries (and one death)
allegedly caused by primary exposure to asbestos at PNM's premises.

The company, based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, said 19 lawsuits were
filed in Bernalillo County District Court in Albuquerque on April 17
and another suit was filed in federal court in Albuquerque the same
day.  PNM said it is one of more than 20 defendants named in the suits
and is cited in just one count in the lawsuits. The plaintiffs are
identified as construction workers, their spouses or other family
members. The suits seek unspecified damages.

PNM was also served on February 20, as one of many defendants, with an
amended complaint for wrongful death alleging secondary exposure from
asbestos.  The company said it was covered by a number of different
insurance policies during the time period in question and it is
currently researching the scope of that coverage.  PNM said it intends
to vigorously defend against the lawsuits.

The company said that, although it is unable to fully predict the
outcome of the litigation, at this time it does not believe the
lawsuits will have a material impact on its financial condition.


COMPANY PROFILE

PNM Resources, Inc. (NYSE: PNM)
Alvarado Sq.
Albuquerque, NM 87158
Phone: 505-241-2700
Fax: 505-241-4322
Toll Free: 800-687-7854
http://www.pnm.com

Employees    :2,656
Revenue      : $1,169,000,000
Net Income   : $64,300,000
Assets       : $3,026,900,000
Liabilities  : $2,040,100,000
(As of December 31, 2002)

Description: Most glowing lights in New Mexico are lit by PNM Resources
(formerly Public Service Company of New Mexico).  The company's utility
unit, Public Service Company of New Mexico, transmits and distributes
electricity to more than 380,000 customers and natural gas to 440,000
customers.  PNM Resources operates power plants with nearly 1,900-MW of
generating capacity (primarily coal-fired).  The company also markets
wholesale energy in the western US; however, it is scaling back on its
spot-market trading activities due to volatility in the US power
market.  PNM Resources has terminated its agreement to buy two Kansas-
based electric utilities from Westar Energy (formerly Western
Resources).


ASBESTOS ALERT: Phelps Dodge Discloses Role in Asbestos Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
According to its 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange
Commission, Phelps Dodge or its subsidiaries have been named as a
defendant in a number of product liability or premises lawsuits brought
by electricians and other skilled tradesmen or contractors claiming
injury from exposure to asbestos found in limited lines of electrical
wire products produced or marketed many years ago, or from asbestos at
certain Phelps Dodge properties since around 1990.

Phelps Dodge believes its liability, if any, in these matters will not
have a material adverse effect, either individually or in the
aggregate, upon its business, financial condition, liquidity, results
of operations or cash flow.  There can be no assurance; however, that
future developments will not alter this conclusion.


COMPANY PROFILE

Phelps Dodge Corporation (NYSE: PD)
1 N. Central Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85004-2306
Phone: 602-366-8100
Fax: 602-366-7329
http://www.phelpsdodge.com

Employees  : 13,500
Revenue    : $3,722,000,000
Net Income :  $(338,100,000)
Assets     : $7,029,000,000
Liabilities: $4,215,400,000
(As of December 31, 2002)

Description: Phelps Dodge (PD) acquired Cyprus Amax in 1999 making it
the world's second-largest copper producer, after Chile's Codelco.
Copper accounts for two-thirds of PD's sales, but the company also
produces gold, silver, and other mineral and chemical by-products of
its copper operations. Other businesses -- which may be sold -- include
Phelps Dodge Wire and Cable (magnet wire used in electrical motors;
specialty conductors for the aerospace, computer, and automotive
industries; and telecommunications cables) and Columbian Chemicals (a
producer of carbon black used in rubber products).


ASBESTOS ALERT: California Coastal Faces Asbestos Related Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
The consolidated balance sheet of California Coastal Communities, Inc.
includes reserves for contingent indemnity obligations for certain
businesses disposed of by former affiliates and unrelated to its
current operations, according to its latest annual report filed with
the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In May 2002, Dresser Industries, Inc. filed charges, captioned Dresser
Industries, Inc. vs. California Coastal Communities, Inc. and RESCO
Holdings, Inc. (a former affiliate), in the 58th Judicial District
Court of Jefferson County, Texas.  Dresser seeks a declaratory judgment
regarding the rights and obligations of the parties under a January1988
purchase agreement, whereby Dresser acquired an engineering and
construction business from a former parent of the Company.

Dresser's indemnity claims relate to several hundred contested asbestos
claims made by third parties in connection with work in facilities with
which the business disposed of by the former parent was allegedly
connected.  The Company was not formed until September 1988 and, upon
being spun-off in December 1988, indemnified its former parent for
potential liabilities under the January 1988 purchase agreement with
Dresser to the extent that any such liabilities are not covered by
insurance.

However, California Coastal believes its indemnity for any third-party
asbestos claims expired in March 1991 under the terms of the January
1988 purchase agreement.  This litigation is in the early stages of
discovery and the Company intends to vigorously defend itself in this
case and related matters.

The Company also believes that it has a number of other meritorious
defenses to this litigation.  Thus far, no claim for monetary damages
has been made in connection with this litigation and, given the
preliminary nature of these proceedings, the Company is not able to
assess its potential exposure with any degree of accuracy.  While the
Company currently believes its reserves are adequate, damage awards in
asbestos cases can involve amounts that would have a material adverse
effect on the Company's business, operations or financial condition, in
the event that such an award was to be rendered against the Company.


COMPANY PROFILE

California Coastal Communities, Inc.
6 Executive Circle, Ste. 250
Irvine, CA 92614
Phone: 949-250-7700
Fax: 949-250-7705

Employees  : 33
Revenue    : $39,000,000
Net Income : $11,100,000
Assets     :$180,400,000
Liabilities: $21,400,000
(As of December 31, 2001)

Description: California Coastal Communities owns some 300 acres
situated on important wetlands in Bolsa Chica, so environmental groups
have opposed the company's plan to build over them. Legal wrangling
drove the firm into bankruptcy, from which it emerged in 1997, but the
battle to win the right to develop residential lots on part of the
acreage continues. The company also owns Hearthside Homes, a
homebuilder offering residential lots on some 20 acres each in Yucaipa
and near North Corona, California. California Coastal also owns some 60
acres of residential lots in Upper Peninsula, Michigan.


                     New Securities Fraud Cases


IMPERIAL CHEMICAL: Charles Piven Commences Securities Suit in NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, PA initiated a securities class
action filed 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: 410-332-0030 or by E-mail:
hoffman@pivenlaw.com


MICROTUNE INC.: Milberg Weiss Lodges Securities Suit in E.D. TX
---------------------------------------------------------------
Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP initiated a securities class
action on behalf of an institutional investor, in the United States
District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division, on
behalf of purchasers of Microtune, Inc. (NASDAQ:TUNE) common stock
during the period between April 23, 2001 and February 20, 2003.

The complaint charges Microtune and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
Microtune is a radio frequency silicon and systems company, providing
high-performance radio frequency tuners, upstream amplifiers and
transceivers to the broadband communications markets.

The complaint alleges that during the class period, defendants issued a
series of positive representations regarding the Company's financial
performance and future prospects.  These statements were each
materially false and misleading, as they misrepresented and/or omitted
the following true facts which were known by each of the defendants,
but concealed from the investing public:

     (1) the Company's margins were being squeezed by a dramatic
         decline in the price of low-tech products thereby severely
         reducing Microtune's market opportunity;

     (2) the Company's so-called product "advantages" were grossly
         overstated as the Company was experiencing shortfalls due to
         competitors' successes;

     (3) many of the Company's customers who had agreed to take receipt
         of the Company's products only did so after receiving generous
         "credits" as an inducement and/or were unable to pay for the
         products when shipped;

     (4) the Company was shipping non-compliant products to customers
         to make quarterly earnings; and

     (5) the Company's valuation of its Transilica acquisition was
         overstated by more than $50 million.

On February 20, 2003, Microtune issued a press release announcing its
4thQ 02 results and admitting that 2002 results would be much lower
than originally projected.  In addition, the release stated: "The Board
of Directors of the Company has directed its Audit Committee to conduct
an inquiry into the events that led to ... material negative charges
during the fourth quarter of 2002.  The Audit Committee has retained
independent counsel to investigate the events."

On this news, Microtune stock collapsed to $1.18 per share on volume of
13 million shares.  The Company later announced that its Form 10-K for
2002 would not be filed with the SEC until May 2003.

For more details, visit the firm's Website: http://www.milberg.com


NORTHWESTERN CORPORATION: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges Suit in SD
----------------------------------------------------------------
Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP initiated a securities class action in the
United States District Court for the District of South Dakota on behalf
of all purchasers of the common stock of NorthWestern Corporation
(NYSE:NOR) from August 2, 2000 through April 15, 2003, inclusive.

The complaint charges NorthWestern and certain of its executive
officers and directors with issuing false and misleading statement
concerning its business and financial condition.  Specifically the
Company failed to disclose that:

     (1) the Company had not maintained adequate reserves for accounts
         receivable in its subsidiary, Expanets;

     (2) massive amounts of the Company's goodwill was impaired and
         would require significant write-downs;

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

     (4) that as a result, the value of the Company's net income and
         financial results were materially overstated.

Subsequently, on April 16, 2003, before the market opened, NorthWestern
announced that it would take significant charges for fiscal year 2002
totaling $878.5 million.  The breakdown of the charges included:

     (i) an impairment of goodwill and other long-lived assets related
         to one of the Company's subsidiaries Blue Dot Services, Inc.
         for $301.7 million,

    (ii) an additional impairment of goodwill and other long-lived
         assets related to another Company subsidiary Expanets, Inc.
         for $288.7 million,

   (iii) a charge for discontinued operations for a third subsidiary
         CornerStone Propane Partners L.P. for a net of tax benefit of
         $101.7 million,

    (iv) a valuation allowance of a deferred tax asset for $71.5
         million,

     (v) billing adjustments and accounts receivable write-offs related
         to Expanets equaling $65.8 million,

    (vi) an impairment of the Montana First Megawatts project for $35.7
         million, and

   (vii) the retirement of an acquisition term loan, equaling a net of
         tax benefit of $13.4 million

By the close of trading on April 16, 2003, the share price plummeted to
$1.95 per share, 92% down from its Class Period high of $23.53 per
share.

For more details, contact Marc A. Topaz or Stuart L. Berman by Phone:
1-888-299-7706 (toll free) or 1-610-667-7706 or by E-mail:
info@sbclasslaw.com


NORTHWESTERN CORPORATION: Cauley Geller Files SD Securities Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Cauley Geller Bowman Coates & Rudman, LLP initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the District of South
Dakota, on behalf of purchasers of NorthWestern Corporation (NYSE: NOR)
common stock during the period between August 2, 2000 and April 15,
2003, inclusive.

The complaint charges NorthWestern and certain of its executive
officers and directors with issuing false and misleading statements
concerning its business and financial condition.  Specifically the
Company failed to disclose that:

     (1) the Company had not maintained adequate reserves for accounts
         receivable in its subsidiary, Expanets;

     (2) massive amounts of the Company's goodwill was impaired and
         would require significant write-downs;

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

     (4) that as a result, the value of the Company's net income and
         financial results were materially overstated.

Subsequently, on April 16, 2003, before the market opened, NorthWestern
announced that it would take significant charges for fiscal year 2002
totaling $878.5 million.  The breakdown of the charges included:

     (i) an impairment of goodwill and other long-lived assets related
         to one of the Company's subsidiaries Blue Dot Services, Inc.
         for $301.7 million,

    (ii) an additional impairment of goodwill and other long-lived
         assets related to another Company subsidiary Expanets, Inc.
         for $288.7 million,

   (iii) a charge for discontinued operations for a third subsidiary
         CornerStone Propane Partners L.P. for a net of tax benefit of
         $101.7 million,

    (iv) a valuation allowance of a deferred tax asset for $71.5
         million,

     (v) billing adjustments and accounts receivable write-offs related
         to Expanets equaling $65.8 million,

    (vi) an impairment of the Montana First Megawatts project for $35.7
         million, and

   (vii) the retirement of an acquisition term loan, equaling a net of
         tax benefit of $13.4 million

By the close of trading on April 16, 2003, the share price plummeted to
$1.95 per share, 92% down from its Class Period high of $23.53 per
share.

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 or by E-
mail: info@cauleygeller.com


ORTHODONTIC CENTERS: Cauley Geller Lodges Securities Suit in LA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Cauley Geller Bowman Coates & Rudman, LLP initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Louisiana, on behalf of purchasers of Orthodontic Centers of America,
Inc. (NYSE: OCA) publicly traded securities during the period between
November 14, 2002 and March 18, 2003, inclusive.

The complaint charges OCA and certain of its officers and directors
with violations of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934.  More
specifically, the complaint alleges that on May 17, 2001, OCA and
OrthAlliance, Inc. announced that the parties had entered into a
definitive merger agreement, whereby a wholly owned subsidiary of OCA
would merge into OrthAlliance in a stock-for-stock transaction, with
OrthAlliance becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of OCA.

Following the May 17, 2001 announcement, a number of OrthAlliance's
affiliated practices filed lawsuits against OrthAlliance and/or
notified OrthAlliance that it was in default under their service,
management service, and consulting agreements, in response to which
OrthAlliance engaged outside counsel to represent its interests.

The complaint also alleges that after the announcement of the completed
merger on November 9, 2001, OCA set forth an integration plan with
respect to OrthAlliance affiliated practices.  The integration plan,
however, was not proceeding "very, very well" as articulated by
defendants. In fact, several other OrthAlliance affiliated practices,
in addition to the practices that filed lawsuits, discontinued paying
their services fees under their service, management service, and
consulting agreements; while at the same time, OCA continued to
recognize revenue it allegedly received from such fees.

The complaint further alleges that the statements disseminated by
defendants during the Class Period and with respect to the financial
well- being of the Company were each materially false and misleading
because OCA failed to disclose and indicate that the integration of
OrthAlliance practices was not proceeding as had indicated by the
defendants, which, in turn, caused the Company to experience less
profit generation because:

     (1) not only had some OrthAlliance practices sued but other
         OrthAlliance practices had discontinued paying their services
         fees;

     (2) because the Company continued to recognize revenue from the
         services from OrthAlliance practices that were in litigation
         and from those that had stopped paying their service fees;

     (3) because the defendants mischaracterized that only "some
         doctors" had stopped paying their service fees, which only
         created "a little noise" for the Company when in fact the
         magnitude of the problem, which OCA was required to report,
         was greater than reported;

     (4) because the Company was recognizing revenue in violation of
         the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP); and

     (5) because the defendants were actively concealing these facts in
         order to manipulate the Company's earnings outlooks in order
         to maintain its favorable stock prices.

The complaint additionally alleges that following the close of the
markets on March 18, 2003, OCA issued a press release announcing its
year-end earnings for 2002 wherein the Company reported that earnings
and fee revenue were down from the previous year. The decline in fee
revenue resulted from numerous OrthAlliance affiliated practices that
discontinued paying fees required under their service, management
service, and consulting agreements in 2002.

Market reaction to these revelations was swift. Immediately following
the announcement on March 19, 2003, shares of the Company fell $3.93,
or 41 percent, to close at $5.64, from a closing price of $9.57 per
share on March 18, 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 or by E-
mail: info@cauleygeller.com


SUPERGEN INC.: Brodsky & Smith Lodges Securities Suit in N.D. CA
----------------------------------------------------------------
Brodsky & Smith, LLC initiated a securities class action on behalf of
shareholders who purchased the common stock and other securities of
SuperGen, Inc. (Nasdaq:SUPG) between April 18, 2000 and March 13, 2003,
inclusive.

The case is pending in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of California against the company, its Chairman,
President and Chief Executive Officer.  The complaint charges
defendants with violations of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934,
alleging that the defendants issued materially false and misleading
statements and failed to disclose certain key information regarding the
efficacy and risks associated with its drug MitoExtra(tm).  The
materially false and misleading statements caused the Company's stock
to trade at artificially inflated prices during the Class Period and
caused damages to the Class Members.

For more details, contact Marc L. Ackerman, or Evan J. Smith by Mail:
Two Bala Plaza, Suite 602, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004, by Phone:
877-LEGAL-90 or by E-mail: clients@brodsky-smith.com


SUPERGEN INC.: Stull Stull Commences Securities Suit in N.D. CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Stull Stull & Brody initiated a securities class action in the United
States District Court for the Northern District of California on behalf
of purchasers of SuperGen, Inc. (NasdaqNM:SUPG) securities between
April 18, 2000 and March 13, 2003, inclusive.

The complaint charges that the Company and its Chief Executive Officer,
President and Chairman of the Board violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a)
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10-b(5).  The action
alleges that defendants issued a series of false and misleading
statements concerning its Mitozytrex, also known as MitoExtra, drug and
the drug's ability to treat cancer.

Specifically, the Complaint charges that defendants repeatedly issued
press releases claiming Mitozytrex was a new drug available to treat
gastric and pancreatic cancers, when, in fact, the drug was nothing
more than an injectable form of the already existing drug mitomycin.
Moreover, the Complaint alleges that defendants purposefully did not
inform the public of the significant risks associated with use of
Mitozytrex, including but not limited to fever, anorexia, nausea,
vomiting, myelosuppression and hemolytic uremic syndrome.

As a result of these false and misleading statements, defendants were
able to sell millions of shares of SuperGen stock and notes for
proceeds of $25 million, thereby profiting from the artificial
inflation in SuperGen's stock price.  The complaint charges that as a
result of defendants' actions, plaintiff and the Class were damaged.

For more details, contact Michael Braun or Patrice Bishop by Phone:
888-388-4605 by E-mail: info@secfraud.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.secfraud.com.


VAXGEN INC.: Scott + Scott Lodges Securities Lawsuit in N.D. CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Scott + Scott, LLC initiated a securities class action in the United
States District Court for the Northern District of California on behalf
of purchasers of VaxGen, Inc. (Nasdaq: VXGN) publicly traded securities
during the period between August 6, 2002 and February 26, 2003,
inclusive.

The complaint charges the Company and certain of its officers and
directors with issuing materially false and misleading statements
concerning its business and financial condition.  The Company is
engaged in the development and commercialization of AIDSVAX, a vaccine
designed to prevent infection or disease caused by HIV (Human
Immunodeficiency Virus), the virus that causes AIDS.

During the class period, defendants were completing the final stages of
AIDSVAX's Phase III clinical trials required to obtain Food and Drug
Administration approval to market AIDSVAX as an AIDS vaccine.
Throughout the class period, defendants caused VaxGen to make a number
of positive statements about the status of the trial and describing
their eventual plans to manufacture and market AIDSVAX, causing
VaxGen's stock to trade at artificially inflated prices.

On February 26, 2003, however, defendants were forced to admit that the
reliability of their earlier reports of higher efficacy rates for non-
caucasians were impaired because they had not taken the requisite
"penalties" to account for the fact that less than 500 of the 5000
clinical trial participants were non-caucasians, resulting in an
extremely small subset of data being analyzed for non-caucasians.  As
the news that earlier promises that AIDSVAX could prove useful for non-
caucasians fell apart, the stock declined further, resulting in a total
loss in market cap since November 18, 2002 of approximately 85%.

For more details, contact David R. Scott or Neil Rothstein by Mail: 108
Norwich Avenue, Colchester, Connecticut 06415 by Phone: 800-404-7770 by
Fax: 860-537-4432 or by E-mail: drscott@scott-scott.com or
nrothstein@scott-scott.com

                              *********


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

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
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Copyright 2003.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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