CAR_Public/030428.mbx                C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R
  
                 Monday, April 28, 2003, Vol. 5, No. 82

                            Headlines                            

ALASKA: Importer Alleges Poor Sockeye Salmon Caused Low Prices
ALBERTSON'S INC.: WA Customers Sue Over Colored Farmed Salmon
AMERICAN MEDICAL: FL Court Says Policy Did Not Violate State Law
APPLIED CARD: Attorneys General Sue for Low-Income Consumers
BARNES & NOBLE: Employee Launches Overtime Wage Suit in CA Court

BRIDGESTONE CORPORATION: Court Refuses To Dismiss Steeltex Suit
DESIGNPAC INC.: Voluntarily Recalls 37T Oil Lamps for Fire Hazard
EMULEX CORPORATION: Reaches Tentative Settlement For Stock Suits
ENRON CORPORATION: Securities Fraud Suit To Proceed To Discovery
FIRST SECURITY: Board To Settle Lawsuit Over Wells Fargo Merger

INDIAN FUNDS: Appeals Court Suspends Court Monitor Over Comments
KRAFT FOODS: Kraft's Assets Won't Be Used For Tobacco Litigation
OKLAHOMA: Former Candidate For Governor Denied $1M Attorney Fees
PANASONIC CONSUMER: Recalls 64T Battery Packs For Injury Hazard
QUALCOMM INC.: Court Grants Summary Judgment For Employee Suit

QUALCOMM INC.: 21 Employees Launch Breach of Contract Suit in DE
RDO EQUIPMENT: Shareholders Commence Securities Suit in DE Court
SUPERIOR FINANCIAL: Reaches Agreement To Settle Securities Suits
TOBACCO LITIGATION: Punitive Awards Disallowed In IL Lights Suit
VERIZON/MICRONESIAN: Faces Saipan Lawsuit for Inter-Island Tolls

WESTPOINT STEVENS: Recalls 11T Electric Blankets For Burn Hazard


                   New Securities Fraud Cases

ACCREDO HEALTH: Goodkind Labaton Commences Securities Suit in TN
ALLIANT ENERGY: Milberg Weiss Commences Securities Lawsuit in WI
ALLOY INC.: Marc Henzel Commences Securities Lawsuit in S.D. NY
CIT GROUP: Rabin Murray Commences Securities Lawsuit in S.D. NY
NORTHWESTERN CORPORATION: Scott + Scott Lodges Stock Suit in SD

PROVIDENT FINANCIAL: Marc Henzel Commences Securities Suit in GA
ROYAL AHOLD: Wolf Haldenstein Expands Class Period in Stock Suit
ROYAL AHOLD: Kenneth Elan Files Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
VAXGEN INC.: Vianale & Vianale Files Securities Suit in N.D. CA

                         *********

ALASKA: Importer Alleges Poor Sockeye Salmon Caused Low Prices
--------------------------------------------------------------
A major Japanese trading company paid less to a small processor, who
lasted only one season in Bristol Bay, because the processor's frozen
sockeye did not meet standards, a manager with Okaya & Co. testified.  
The lowered payment was not made because the trading company wanted to
drive the Baypack processor Red Sea out of business and limit
competition, said manager Katsunori Mori, according to a report by
Associated Press Newswires.

Mr. Mori also denied that he ever put pressure on a processor to lower
prices to fishermen.  "I don't think it is an efficient way to do
business," he said.  

Rick Magill of Sitka testified earlier, however, that Okaya had not
tried to get a high price for Red Sea's high quality frozen salmon as
it did for other processors upon resale to a second importer, Nichirei
Corp.  Mr. Magill said he was told that this was done because other
processors, as well as the two importers, were angry because he was
paying higher prices to the fishermen.

Mr. Mori's comments came in response to questions from lawyers for
4,500 Bristol Bay commercial fishermen, all permit holders to fish for
sockeye salmon, and all plaintiffs in the class action being tried in
the Superior Court in Anchorage, Alaska.  The lawsuit accuses several
processors and Japanese importers of conspiring from 1989 to 1995 to
keep down prices paid the fishermen.  The processors and importers
argue, however, that a glut of salmon and world economic conditions,
not collusion triggered lowered prices.

The trial began February 3 and is expected to run through May.


ALBERTSON'S INC.: WA Customers Sue Over Colored Farmed Salmon
-------------------------------------------------------------
Seattleite Lori Thomas says she never would have purchased farmed
salmon had she known it was fed a color additive to make its flesh
pink, as experts say most farmed salmon are.  Ms. Thomas said that's
why she's joined a class action against Albertsons Inc., alleging the
Boise-based grocery chain failed to label its farmed salmon as
artificially colored.

It's one of three similar national class-action lawsuits filed
yesterday in King County Superior Court against Safeway, The Kroger Co.
(which owns QFC and Fred Meyer) and Albertsons.  The companies had no
immediate response, their spokesmen saying they had not seen the
complaints.

"There's no way I would have spent my money buying salmon if I'd known
that it wasn't really a red or orange color the way it looks in the
store," Ms. Thomas said in a statement.  "I had no way of knowing the
salmon I buy is artificially colored."

The suits seek damages for all consumers who have purchased farmed
salmon across the country in the last four years.  That could involve
millions of consumers, said Paul Kampmeier, one of the Seattle lawyers
representing the plaintiffs.  Combined, the three companies have some
6,000 stores in 30 states.  The suit also seeks civil penalties and a
court order requiring the stores to label farmed salmon as artificially
colored.

Americans consume about 53 million pounds of farmed salmon a year,
nearly all of it imported from Canada, though a small amount is from
Washington state, according to the Seattle office of the National
Marine Fisheries Service.  Pigments are mixed with the feed of almost
all farmed salmon to give their flesh a pink or red color like that of
wild salmon, experts say. The pigments are federally approved.  Wild
salmon have pink-to-red flesh from eating tiny crustaceans called
krill.  The suit alleges that because of the type of feed farmed salmon
receive, their flesh would be gray without the color additives.  Wild
salmon is usually considerably more expensive than farmed fish.

"Color is the No. 1 factor for the consumer who buys salmon," Mr.
Kampmeier contended.  "Pink sells salmon."

However, a National Marine Fisheries Service spokesman said farmed-
salmon flesh, minus added color, would be more pink than gray, although
probably less pink than that of wild salmon.  He said the added
pigments provide a more consistent color.


AMERICAN MEDICAL: FL Court Says Policy Did Not Violate State Law
----------------------------------------------------------------
Florida's First District Court of Appeals ruled in favor of American
Medical Security Group, Inc., stating that its pricing practices did
not violate state law, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.  

The suit, initially filed in May 2001, challenged the Company's
practice of increasing rates for certain clients after they used their
health plan.  According to the Company, their practice of "tier
rating," where rates were often raised for individuals in poor health,
has been replaced with a system in which rates are spread over a larger
group of clients, eliminating the practice of charging higher premiums
for sicker clients.

Samuel V. Miller, American Medical Security chairman, president and
chief executive officer, told the Journal-Sentinel, "the decision
supports our firm belief that we are and have been operating lawfully
in Florida and everywhere we do business."

Tim Moore, the firm's general counsel, told the Journal-Sentinel a
class action in Florida still is awaiting a hearing regarding damages.  
That case is based on similar points of law involved in the appeals
court ruling late Wednesday, but the ruling has no effect on the
outcome of the class action.  He said the company plans to appeal the
class action after the damages phase is completed.


APPLIED CARD: Attorneys General Sue for Low-Income Consumers
------------------------------------------------------------
Attorneys general in three states recently sued Applied Card Systems
and its banking affiliate, Cross County Bank, located in Delaware,
alleging that the defendants defrauded and harassed low-income
consumers, the Associated Press Newswires reports.

The lawsuits, filed in New Hampshire, Minnesota and New York, allege
that Cross County Bank, which provides high-interest credit cards to
consumers with bad credit histories, charged high fees that used up
much of the cards' available credit lines.  Next, allege the lawsuits,
Applied Card employees used harassing tactics and abusive language to
collect on overdue accounts.

The companies defended their business practices in a recently issued
joint statement.  The companies' statement said that "over the years
the companies have worked closely with leading consumer finance law
firms to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations."

Applied Card cited regulatory limits on lending to high-risk borrowers
as the reason it closed two call centers in Beckley and Ashland,
Kentucky.  The recent closures left more than 1,000 workers without
jobs.


BARNES & NOBLE: Employee Launches Overtime Wage Suit in CA Court
----------------------------------------------------------------
Barnes & Noble, Inc. faces a class action filed in the Superior Court
of California for the County of Orange, alleging that the Company
improperly classified the assistant store managers, department managers
and receiving managers working in its California stores as salaried
exempt employees.  

The complaint alleges that these employees spent more than 50 percent
of their time performing non-exempt work and should have been
classified as non-exempt employees.  The complaint alleges violations
of the California Labor Code and California Business and Professions
Code and seeks relief, including unpaid overtime compensation,
prejudgment interest, penalties, attorneys' fees and costs.

The Company intends to vigorously defend this action, including
contesting its certification as a class action.  The results of these
proceedings are not expected to have a material adverse effect on the
Company's consolidated financial position or results of operations.


BRIDGESTONE CORPORATION: Court Refuses To Dismiss Steeltex Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Riverside Superior Court in California refused to dismiss a $3
billion class action filed against Bridgestone Corporation, charging it
with concealing tread separation problems in its heavy-duty Steeltex
tires, Reuters reports.

The suit was initially filed in Los Angeles federal court, demanding
that the Company recall 27.5 million Steeltex R4S, R4SII and A/T tires.  
The suit further asserts the tires, installed on 43 types of vehicles
such as pickups, vans and mobile homes, caused thousands of serious
accidents including fatalities.  Earlier the federal court refused to
rule on whether to dismiss the suit or remand it to state court.

Riverside Superior Court Judge Christopher Sheldon allowed the lawsuit
to proceed.  He also left intact the suit's five claims -- for design
negligence, concealing problems with the tire, tort liability and
unfair business practices, court officials told Reuters.  

The judge also ordered the plaintiffs to refile the lawsuit without
references to Bridgestone's alleged fraud against federal highway
officials, their attorney Joseph Lisoni told Reuters.  Mr. Lisoni said
seven major insurance carriers have joined the lawsuit as plaintiffs on
behalf of clients who filed damage and injury claims caused by tire
blowouts.  He added he expects to eventually represent some 8 million
Steeltex tire owners, making the case one of the largest class actions
in US history.

A Bridgestone spokesman said the company does not want to litigate a
potential recall in California courts, Reuters reports.  "Our position
has been consistent, that there is no reason for a recall of these
tires," Bridgestone spokesman Dan MacDonald said.  "(The National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration) has reviewed these tires and
clearly stated that they found no evidence of defect."

The tire maker's lawyers have argued that only NHTSA has the authority
to order a recall, and declined to recall the Steeltex line last April.  
Mr. Lisoni has asked the agency to reopen the probe.  A NHTSA spokesman
said the agency is still examining Mr. Lisoni's petition and expect to
make a decision by May 27.


DESIGNPAC INC.: Voluntarily Recalls 37T Oil Lamps for Fire Hazard
-----------------------------------------------------------------
DesignPac, Inc. is cooperating with the US Consumer Product Safety
Commission by voluntarily recalling 37,200 Oil Lamps.  The glass wick
holder can shatter when lit, posing a fire hazard.  There has been one
report of a glass wick-holder shattering.  No injuries have been
reported.

The recalled lamps come in two styles: a clear, heart-shaped glass
container approximately 6-inches tall called "The Vintage Rose Oil
Lamp" and a clear, doorknob-shaped glass container approximately 5-
inches tall with heart-shaped beads on the outside called "Love Potion
Oil Lamp."  Both recalled lamps have an insertable wick with a glass
wick-holder, which sits on top of the glass container.

The products were sold exclusively in Target stores nationwide from
December 2002 through February 2003 for about $7.

For more details, contact the Target Store by Phone: (800) 440-0680
between 7:00 am and 6:00 pm CT Monday through Friday, or visit the
firm's Website: http://www.target.com/gp/browse.html/ref=br_bx_0/601-
3354650-3496108?node=3429381


EMULEX CORPORATION: Reaches Tentative Settlement For Stock Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Emulex Corporation (NYSE:ELX) reached tentative settlements to conclude
securities class action and derivative lawsuits brought against the
company and certain directors and officers in 2001.  The suits were
filed in the United States District Court, Central District of
California.

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

Under the settlements, all claims will be dismissed and the litigation
will be terminated in exchange for a payment of $39.5 million.  
Additionally, the company will record a receivable from the company's
D&O insurance of approximately 32% of the settlement.  The resulting
after-tax settlement charges of approximately $16.7 million will be
recorded as a charge in the third fiscal quarter.

"With these tentative settlements, we can put the expense and
distraction of this litigation behind us and focus on executing our
strategy of delivering innovative products to the market in order to
enhance shareholder value," said Michael Rockenbach, Emulex Executive
Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer.  "Emulex remains a
financially strong company, with cash, cash equivalents and investments
in excess of $570 million."

The company entered into the settlement agreements solely for the
purpose of settling this litigation and believes that settling these
matters at this time is in the best interest of shareholders as it
avoids further protracted litigation expense.  The terms of the
agreements, which are subject to final court approval and notice to
class members, includes no admission of liability or wrongdoing by the
company or other defendants.

For more details, contact Michael J. Rockenbach (Investors) by Phone:
714/513-8213 or Robin Austin (Public Relations) by Phone: 714/513-8152


ENRON CORPORATION: Securities Fraud Suit To Proceed To Discovery
----------------------------------------------------------------
The huge lawsuit against collapsed energy giant Enron Corporation is
ready to move to the discovery phase, after federal judge Melinda
Harmon dropped only two of the defendants in the suit, the Houston
Chronicle reports.

Judge Harmon removed former Enron general counsel James Derrick and
former Enron Broadband Services CEO Joe Hirko as defendants in the
suit. Most of the top executives remain in the suit, including:

     (1) former Enron Chairman Ken Lay,

     (2) former President Jeff Skilling,

     (3) Ken Harrison,

     (4) Lou Pai,

     (5) Richard Buy,

     (6) Kenneth Rice,

     (7) Richard Causey,

     (8) Jeffrey McMahon and

     (9) Kevin Hannon

Judge Harmon had consistently refused to release most of the defendants
named in the suit, which was filed after Enron filed the biggest
bankruptcy proceedings in the nations in late 2001.  Shareholders
accused the Company of securities law violations and fraudulent
accounting practices.  Judge Harmon previously ruled that most other
third parties, such as financial institutions, the Vinson & Elkins law
firm and accounting firm Arthur Andersen, will stay in the suit.

In her 47-page order, Judge Harmon examined these Enron insiders' stock
sales, bonuses, involvement in controlling positions and the
allegations they were a part of specific fraudulent acts.  The judge
had to look at whether the suit's allegations would be sufficient to
sustain a civil finding against various defendants, the Houston
Chronicle reports.

The judge further ruled the plaintiffs had failed to state a claim
against Mr. Derrick because there was not enough evidence indicating he
knew about certain alleged fraudulent business deals or made false
statements.  She also found his employment of his former law firm
Vinson & Elkins to investigate allegations in a prophetic memo by
Sherron Watkins could not be seen as deception.

Mr. Derrick's lawyer, Clifford Gunter, told the Chronicle he was
thrilled with the court's decision.  "This is the major class action;
it's round one.  But there are still a few other lawsuits out there,"
Mr. Gunter noted.  Some lawyers have fought to keep their lawsuits
independent from the larger class action.

Judge Harmon also dismissed Mr. Hirko from the suit, noting that he
stayed in Portland rather than moving to Houston.  She further noted
that he was in the broadband division before the activities that have
come into question.

Trey Davis, director of special projects at University of California,
which is the lead plaintiff, told the Chronicle the regents there are
pleased with Judge Harmon's orders.

"Taken as a whole, these rulings have substantially concurred with our
position and represent a solid victory for the plaintiff.  We are ready
to move forward in our efforts to obtain a substantial recovery on
behalf of the shareholders who were victimized in this fraud," Mr.
Davis said.

The next phase of the case will be trading documents, depositions and
written questions among the myriad parties.  Millions of documents are
expected to change hands, and a depository has already been established
on Allen Parkway to hold the potential evidence.  The "class" of
plaintiffs involved has yet to be certified, the Chronicle states.


FIRST SECURITY: Board To Settle Lawsuit Over Wells Fargo Merger
---------------------------------------------------------------
First Security Corporation's board of directors are preparing to settle
for $29.9 million a shareholder class action filed against the Company
when it agreed to sell First Security Bank to Wells Fargo & Co. in
2000, the Associated Press reports.

The suit was filed just weeks before Wells Fargo completed its
acquisition of First Security.  The shareholder alleged that First
Security board Chairman Spencer Eccles and other directors breached
their fiduciary duty to shareholders by failing to get the best deal
possible for their company's stock, an earlier Class Action Reporter
story states.

The shareholders' lawsuit argues that Chairman Eccles' decision to sell
First Security to Wells Fargo was a rash decision, not grounded in the
well-being of First Security.  The shareholders say the decision was
motivated in part by a desire to spurn Zions Bancorporation, after
Zions' shareholders earlier had rejected their company's proposed
acquisition of First Security.  Zions was considering making another
offer, but this was derailed by First Security's agreement with Wells
Fargo.

In March 3, 2000, First Security made the announcement and its shares
lost more than a third of their market value, plunging from more than
$22 a share to $13.97.  Zions, too, got hit hard and the deal
unraveled, AP reports.

Attorneys for the parties in the suit are preparing settlement
documents and will submit them by the end of the month to Utah's 3rd
District Court for preliminary approval.  The proposed settlement will
have no impact on the financial performance of Wells Fargo.  "We were
not a party to the lawsuit and are not part of the settlement," Wells
Fargo's Utah spokesman Mark Chapman told AP.

A joint statement they issued Wednesday indicated that the legal
representatives for shareholders believe the settlement is a good
result.  It went on to note that "defendant directors continue to deny
liability and believe that the Wells Fargo merger was in the best
interest of shareholders.  However, the settlement was reached to avoid
further costs and uncertainty."
    

INDIAN FUNDS: Appeals Court Suspends Court Monitor Over Comments
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
suspended court monitor Joseph S. Keiffer, over his comments that
harshly criticized the US Interior Department's handling of the Indian
royalty fund, SignOnSanDiego reports.

The ruling came after the court heard the government's appeal of a
contempt ruling against Interior Secretary Gale Norton, over the
Department's inability to account for millions of dollars in Indian
royalties.  The appeals judges who initialed the order said they were
acting on their own initiative, not at the request of government or
plaintiffs in the case, and that the suspension was effective until
they issued further orders.  They did not explain why.

The suit was filed on behalf of thousands of Indians relating to
royalties from the government for the use of their land since 1887.  An
undetermined amount of money was lost or stolen or never collected for
more than a century.  The suit claims the government mismanaged between
$10 billion and $40 billion through failures of the Trust Asset and
Accounting Management System.

Norton is the third Cabinet member - the first two were from the
Clinton administration - held in contempt for allegedly concealing
failures to fix mismanaged royalties from Indian land. The civil
contempt charge stems from actions between March 2000 and January 2001,
the month Norton took office, the judges said.

Federal Judge Royce Lamberth held Ms. Norton in contempt last year,
stating that he found Ms. Norton and Assistant Secretary for Indian
Affairs Neal A. McCaleb did not comply with his 1999 order to account
for more than a century of money collected from oil, gas, mining and
timber royalties on Indian land.  Former Interior Secretary Bruce
Babbitt and Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin were also found in contempt
in 1999, SignOnSanDiego reports.

At the hearing, Chief Judge Douglas Ginsburg questioned Mr. Kieffer's
multiple roles, saying he wondered whether "someone who served as
investigator shouldn't be special master."  Judge Lamberth appointed
Mr. Kieffer in April 2001 to track the department's reform efforts and
to file progress reports with the court, and Ms. Norton's agency had
given Mr. Kieffer access to employees and information needed for his
inquiry.

Government attorneys later asked Judge Lamberth to relieve Mr. Kieffer
after he harshly criticized the management of the money.  Norton's
attorneys also argued Mr. Kieffer was biased and overstepped his legal
bounds.


KRAFT FOODS: Kraft's Assets Won't Be Used For Tobacco Litigation
----------------------------------------------------------------
Louis Camilleri, Chairman of Kraft Foods Inc., a unit of parent company
Altria Group Inc., in an effort to assuage investors' anxieties, told
them that Kraft would not be paying any part of the cost of class
action litigation against cigarette maker Philip Morris USA, also an
Altria unit, according to a report by the Chicago Tribune.

Shares of Kraft, largest North American food maker, have been pressured
recently as potential investors, as well, have expressed fears that
Kraft's assets would be tapped to defray the cost of the tobacco
litigation loss lodged with Philip Morris.  Chairman Camilleri, also is
chief executive of Altria, which owns about 84 percent of Kraft.  
Altria took the food company public in June 2001.

Moody's rating agency recently cut Altria's long-term debt ratings, but
left Kraft's ratings unchanged, saying the company has governance
policies in place to protect it from exposure to the tobacco lawsuits.  
However, earlier this month, Kraft's access to the short-term
commercial paper lending market was cut off after its debt ratings were
downgraded, along with Altria's, on risks of litigation surrounding
Philip Morris USA.

Philip Morris USA is appealing the $10.1 billion verdict in a class
action it lost in March over its description of 'light' cigarettes in a
way, said Judge Nicholas Byron of Madison County, Illinois, that
violated Illinois' Consumer Fraud Law and led the state's 1.1 billion
smokers of 'lights' to believe the cigarette they smoked was less
harmful than regular cigarettes.

Judge Byron ordered Philip Morris to post a $12 billion appeal bond to
assure plaintiffs' judgment was protected during the course of the
appeals, up to the Supreme Court if need be.  Later, Judge Byron
lowered the amount of the appeal bond, removing the immediate fears by
the states nationwide - generated by the tobacco company itself - that
Philip Morris might not be able to deliver its annual installment to 46
states under the terms of the Master Settlement Agreement and would
seek the protection of Chapter 11 bankruptcy.


OKLAHOMA: Former Candidate For Governor Denied $1M Attorney Fees
----------------------------------------------------------------
Oklahoma County District Judge Vicki Robertson has ruled that Gary
Richardson, an unsuccessful candidate for governor, and his Tulsa law
firm are not entitled to attorneys' fees of nearly $1 million for work
done in a class action, filed in 1993, which forced the state to refund
nearly $12 million to more than 40,000 people for overcharging
motorists to reinstate driver's licenses, Associated Press Newswires
reports.  The civil lawsuit was filed by two Oklahoma motorists and
subsequently certified as a class action, thereby opening the door for
the state to pay 40,198 claims.

Mr. Richardson and his law partner Keith Ward said they were hired by
the law firm of Carpenter and Laquer because of their political
influence with state leaders.  Mr. Richardson said it was their job "to
help open their (the state leaders') eyes to the importance of settling
the case."

Richard Laquer said the state was wasting $3,000 a day or about $1
million a year in taxpayer money for interest while it fought the
lawsuit over the refunds for overcharging for license reinstatements.  
His firm, said Mr. Laquer, wanted someone who had the ability to speak
directly with someone in authority.

Mr. Ward, who is Mr. Richardson's partner, said that he and Mr.
Richardson dined with then-Governor Frank Keating to discuss the
litigation, and Mr. Keating told them the proper protocol was to write
the governor's legal counsel, which they did.

"I was doing what I was asked to do, which was to try to cut into the
executive branch, when I did that," Mr. Ward testified.

Mr. Richardson testified he talked to Public Safety Commissioner Robert
Ricks and Attorney General Drew Edmonson.  Judge Robertson heard the
description of the kind of work done by the two attorneys with the
purpose of encouraging the state to settle the case with the suing
overcharged motorists.  She found that the 1999 contract between the
two law firms was a lobbying contract for a contingent fee.  Judge
Robertson ruled that such a contract was unlawful and denied Mr.
Richardson's firm any money for attorney's fees.


PANASONIC CONSUMER: Recalls 64T Battery Packs For Injury Hazard
---------------------------------------------------------------
Panasonic Consumer Electronics is cooperating with the United States
Consumer Product Safety Commission by voluntarily recalling about
64,000 Panasonic cordless power tool battery packs.  Battery packs can
detach from the power tool unexpectedly and strike the operator or
bystander, resulting in injuries.  Two reports of batteries detaching
have been received.  No injuries have been reported.

Only battery packs manufactured between May 1, 2001 and November 20,
2002, with model numbers EY9230, EY9136, EY9231, EY9200, EY9106 and
EY9201 stamped on the top of the battery pack are included in this
recall.  The battery pack is black and yellow.

Home improvement, hardware and mail order outlets nationwide have sold
these products.  Battery packs were sold in the Panasonic Cordless
Power Tool kit and separately as an accessory pack and replacement
battery for the power tools.  The battery packs cost between $150 and
$400 (with kits) and between $50 and $100 (individually).

For more details, contact the Company by Phone: (800) 833-9626 between
9 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit the firm's Website:
http://Panasonic.com/consumer_electronics/bp_cordless_tools/notificatio
n.asp


QUALCOMM INC.: Court Grants Summary Judgment For Employee Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
California granted summary judgment in favor of Qualcomm, Inc. in the
suit filed by three former employees on behalf of themselves and those
former employees of the Company whose employment was terminated in
April 1999.

Virtually all of the purported class of plaintiffs received severance
packages at the time of the termination of their employment, in
exchange for a release of claims, other than federal age discrimination
claims, against the Company.  The suit purports to state ten causes of
action including:

     (1) breach of contract,

     (2) age discrimination,

     (3) violation of Labor Code Section 200,

     (4) violation of Labor Code Section 970,

     (5) unfair business practices,

     (6) intentional infliction of emotional distress,

     (7) unjust enrichment,

     (8) breach of the covenant of good faith and fair
         dealing,

     (9) declaratory relief and

    (10) undue influence

The complaint seeks an order accelerating all unvested stock options
for the members of the class, plus economic and liquidated damages of
an unspecified amount.  

On June 27, 2000, the case was ordered transferred from Los Angeles
County Superior Court to San Diego County Superior Court.  On July 3,
2000, the Company removed the case to federal court, and discovery
commenced.  On May 29, 2001, the court dismissed all plaintiffs' claims
except for claims arising under the federal Age Discrimination in
Employment Act.  On July 16, 2001, the court granted conditional class
certification on the remaining claims, to be revisited by the Court at
the end of the discovery period. Currently, there are 83 individuals
included in the class.

On April 15, 2003, the court granted the Company's summary judgment
motions as to all class members' disparate impact claims and set a
hearing regarding decertification of the class for May 27, 2003.  
Although there can be no assurance that an unfavorable outcome of the
dispute would not have a material adverse effect on the Company's
operating results, liquidity or financial position, the Company
believes the claims are without merit and will vigorously defend the
action.


QUALCOMM INC.: 21 Employees Launch Breach of Contract Suit in DE
----------------------------------------------------------------
Qualcomm, Inc. faces a class action initially filed by 21 former
employees in San Diego Superior Court, ostensibly on behalf of
themselves and other former employees of the Company who purportedly
are similarly situated and who opted out of a similar class action
previously filed against the Company that was resolved in April 2001.  
The complaint alleges claims for:

     (1) declaratory relief,

     (2) breach of contract,

     (3) breach of fiduciary duty,

     (4) fraud,

     (5) suppression of material facts,

     (6) rescission,

     (7) specific performance and

     (8) work, labor and services

The Company removed the case to the United States District Court for
the Southern District of California.  Although there can be no
assurance that an unfavorable outcome of the dispute would not have a
material adverse effect on the Company's operating results, liquidity
or financial position, the Company believes the claims are without
merit.


RDO EQUIPMENT: Shareholders Commence Securities Suit in DE Court
----------------------------------------------------------------
RDO Equipment Co. faces a class action filed in the Delaware Court of
Chancery purporting to be on behalf of the Company's public
stockholders.  The suit also names as defendants Ronald D. Offutt, the
Company's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and each of the
individual directors of the Company.

In general, the complaint alleges, among other things:

     (1) breaches of fiduciary duty by each of the Company, Mr. Offutt
         and the members of the Company's Board of Directors in
         connection with Mr. Offutt's contemplated Tender Offer;

     (2) inadequate disclosure to minority stockholders of RDOE; and

     (3) that the consideration offered is inadequate

Among other remedies, the complaint seeks to enjoin the tender offer
(and the follow-up merger) or, alternatively, damages in an unspecified
amount and rescission, in the event the tender offer (and the follow-up
merger) occur.  The Company and Mr. Offutt believe the complaint is
without merit.


SUPERIOR FINANCIAL: Reaches Agreement To Settle Securities Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Superior Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: SUFI), holding company of
Superior Bank, reached an agreement in principle to settle the
consolidated federal class actions, a similar derivative suit pending
in state court and other related litigation involving the Company's
former employees.

The settlement agreements are subject to final court approval and call
for the Company and its insurance carrier to pay sums well within the
Company's policy limits and materially less than the Company's
estimates of the costs of litigation.  The Company's contribution to
the settlement is approximately $475,000 pretax, or $0.04 diluted
earnings per share, which amount has been recorded as a non-recurring
expense in the first quarter of 2003.  The Company plans to release its
first quarter 2003 earnings announcement and concurrently file its
Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q reflecting the settlement expense as
scheduled on May 5, 2003.

"We are pleased to announce the conclusion of this litigation," Stan
Bailey, Chairman and C.E.O. of Superior, said in a statement.  "While
we were confident of vindication had these matters gone to trial, given
the exorbitant costs of litigation today, we believe that the Company
and its shareholders have reaped a significant benefit by our settling
all of these cases at an amount well below projected litigation costs.
More importantly, the settlement frees management to focus exclusively
on the positive - enhancing shareholder value."

For more information, contact Robert A. Kuehl by Phone: 501/324-7255 or
visit the firm's Website: http://www.superiorfinancialcorp.com


TOBACCO LITIGATION: Punitive Awards Disallowed In IL Lights Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
A Cook County, Illinois judge issued a temporary ruling in favor of
Philip Morris USA, saying that the state of Illinois was not entitled
to collect more damages than it was already allowed under a 1998
nationwide tobacco settlement, known as the Master Settlement Agreement
(MSA), the Associated Press Newswires reports.

Philip Morris had filed a lawsuit in Cook County, to keep the state
from collecting its share of the damages under the verdict issued by
Judge Nicholas Byron in Madison County, said Thomas Frederick, attorney
for Philip Morris.  Mr. Frederick said the state has until May 23 to
respond and the two sides are due back in Cook County Court on May 30.

In Madison County, Stephen Tillery, plaintiffs' lead attorney in the
'light' cigarettes case, has argued in his recent motion before Judge
Nicholas Byron that if the state cannot have the $3 billion punitive
damages awarded by Judge Byron, it should go to a charitable fund
maintained by the Illinois attorney general and then be given to groups
that health or medical related.

However, Mr. Tillery said in the motion that he thinks Illinois
eventually will get the awarded damages.  Judge Byron could rule on Mr.
Tillery's motion very soon.

Philip Morris USA also had filed its motion, asking Judge Byron to
reconsider his $10.1 billion verdict in the class action over `light'
cigarettes; that the judge either reverse his verdict or reduce the
judgment amount.  The judge will rule on the issue soon.

Last month, on March 21, Judge Byron ordered Philip Morris to pay $10.1
billion for misleading smokers into believing light cigarettes are less
harmful than regular brands.  The judge ordered $3 billion of that
amount plus $600 million in interest to be paid in punitive damages to
the state of Illinois.  The remainder was to go as compensatory damages
to the 1.1 million plaintiff smokers of light cigarettes in Illinois,
who, Judge Byron adjudged, had been misled and deceived into believing
light cigarettes were less harmful than the regular brands.

Last week, Judge Byron responded to Philip Morris's request that he
reduce the $12 billion appeal bond the cigarette maker would have to
post in order to appeal by halving the amount of the appeal bond.  
Philip Morris had told Judge Byron that unless the appeal bond was
reduced the company would not be able to make its annual payment to the
46 states under the terms of the 1998 tobacco settlement and would
probably have to seek the protection of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy.


VERIZON/MICRONESIAN: Faces Saipan Lawsuit for Inter-Island Tolls
----------------------------------------------------------------
Verizon/Micronesian Telecommunications Corporation faces a potential
class action filed by the Rota and Tinian Legislative Delegations, in
the United States District court in the CNMI, Saipan, for its alleged
failure to abide by the conditions in the Submerged Lands Act related
to the inter-island tolls, the Saipan Tribune reports.

The suit will seek to stop the toll charges imposed on Tinian and Rota
Verizon subscribers for domestic calls, and also recover the charges
paid by the same subscribers since the Submerged Lands Act came into
effect, Senate Public Utilities, Telecommunications and Communication
Committee (PUTC) Chairman Diego M. Songao told the Tribune.  The suit
is separate from the pending local litigation that the Senate PUTC
Committee had asked to be reactivated through the Office of the
Attorney General.

"We're looking at stopping continuation of charges and also
reimbursement of charges that were made since the inception of this
Submerged Lands Act, which came into effect around 1995," Mr. Songao
told reporters yesterday, the Saipan Tribune states.

Verizon General Manager Tony Mosely yesterday declined to comment,
saying that he has not received any information about the class action
suit.  The Rota and Tinian Legislative Delegations will be the
principal plaintiffs in the lawsuit.


WESTPOINT STEVENS: Recalls 11T Electric Blankets For Burn Hazard
----------------------------------------------------------------
WestPoint Stevens, Inc. is cooperating with the US Consumer Product
Safety Commission by voluntarily recalling 11,000 manufactured electric
blankets.  When the blanket is folded, the heating element can
overheat, causing the heating element and blanket to melt.  This poses
the risk of thermal burns to consumers.  The Company has received 10
reports of the blankets overheating, including four reports of minor
skin burns.

The Vellux (r) fahrenheitTM blankets were sold in various colors and
sizes to fit all mattress sizes.  The temperature controller is white
with the words, "WESTPOINT STEVENS" and "fahrenheit Heated Blanket"
printed on the front.  The recall includes blankets manufactured
from July 2002 through January 2003.  The manufacture date is printed
on a label sewn into the seam.

Department stores, mail order catalogs and Web sites sold the blankets
nationwide from July 2002 through April 2003 for between $80 and $130.

For more details, contact the Company by Phone: (888) 439-4794 anytime.


                     New Securities Fraud Cases


ACCREDO HEALTH: Goodkind Labaton Commences Securities Suit in TN
----------------------------------------------------------------
Goodkind Labaton Rudoff & Sucharow LLP initiated a securities class
action filed pursuant to Section 21D(a)(3)(A)(i) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, in the United States District Court for the
Western District of Tennessee, on behalf of all open market purchasers
of the common stock of Accredo Health, Inc. (NASDAQ:ACDO) during the
period June 16, 2002 through April 7, 2003, inclusive.  The named
defendants are the Company and:

     (1) David Stevens,

     (2) John Grow and

     (3) Joel Kimbrough

The complaint charges Defendants with violations of Section 10(b) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10(b)-5 promulgated
thereunder and Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act of 1934.

Accredo provides specialized contract pharmacy and related services
pursuant to agreements with biopharmaceutical drug manufacturers. The
Complaint alleges that during the period June 16, 2002 through April 7,
2003, inclusive, defendants perpetrated a scheme to artificially
inflate Accredo's stock price by issuing a series of materially false
and misleading financial statements and press releases.  

Specifically, the complaint alleges that the Company reported record
financial results, when in fact the Company was failing to timely
record an impairment in the value of certain receivables pursuant to
the purchase of an entity in 2002.

On April 8, 2003, Accredo announced that it was revising its previously
announced fiscal year 2003 revenue estimate and its previously
announced fiscal year 2003 earnings per share estimate.  The Company
announced that it was examining the adequacy of the reserves of
accounts receivable that it acquired in June 2002 and that it was in
discussions with external auditors concerning the adequacy of the
reserves.  Furthermore, the Company reported that the review of its
finances could result in an adjustment to the purchase price recorded
by the Company, or result in a charge against the Company's fiscal 2003
earnings.  Following the announcement on April 8, 2003, the price of
Accredo's common stock fell precipitously and has not recovered.

For more details, contact Henry J. Young by Mail: 100 Park Avenue, 12th
Floor, New York, New York 10017-5563 by Phone: 212/907-0700 by E-mail:
hyoung@glrslaw.com


ALLIANT ENERGY: Milberg Weiss Commences Securities Lawsuit in WI
----------------------------------------------------------------
Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP initiated a securities class
action on behalf of purchasers of the securities of Alliant Energy
Corporation (NYSE: LNT) between January 29, 2002 to July 18, 2002,
inclusive who have been damaged thereby.  The action is pending in the
United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin,
against the Company and:

     (1) Erroll B. Davis, Jr. (CEO, President and Chairman),

     (2) Thomas M. Walker (CFO) and

     (3) John E. Kratchmer (Chief Accounting Officer, Controller)

The complaint charges that defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a)
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder, by issuing a series of materially false and misleading
statements to the market between January 29, 2002 to July 18, 2002.  
The complaint alleges that the Company falsely touted the performance
of its non-regulated businesses and represented that those businesses
would compensate for expected 2002 weakness in its utilities
operations.

The complaint further alleges that the Company also represented that
its unregulated businesses were integral to the Company's operations
and were key to the Company's expected annual growth rate of 7%-10%.  
Such statements were materially false and misleading when made, the
complaint alleges, because defendants knew, or were reckless in not
knowing, that the unregulated businesses were suffering from serious
problems, that such businesses were a material drain on the Company
overall and could not compensate for any weaknesses in the regulated
businesses and that the Company could not meet its 2002 earnings
targets by the results of its utilities businesses alone.

On July 18, 2002, the Company announced that it was cutting its 2002
earnings expectations by over 35%.  Investors, conditioned by
defendants class period statements, reacted by selling-off the stock,
which fell by 23% in one day, from $23.78 per share on July 18, 2002,
to $18.22 per share on July 19, on unusually heavy trading volume.  A
few months after the end of the class period, the Company announced
that it would sell many of its non-utility assets as part of an effort
to re-focus its business around the Company's utilities operations.

For more details, contact Steven G. Schulman by Mail: One Pennsylvania
Plaza, 49th fl., New York, NY, 10119-0165 by Phone: (800) 320-5081 by
E-mail: alliantenergycase@milbergNY.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.milberg.com


ALLOY INC.: Marc Henzel Commences Securities Lawsuit in S.D. NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Marc S. Henzel initiated a securities class action
in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York, on behalf of purchasers of the securities of Alloy, Inc. (Nasdaq:
ALOY) between August 1, 2002 and January 23, 2003, inclusive, and who
suffered damages thereby.  The action, is pending against the Company,
Matthew C. Diamond (CEO), James K. Johnson Jr. (President and COO) and
Samuel A. Gradess (CFO).

The complaint charges that defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a)
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder, by issuing a series of materially false and misleading
statements to the market between August 1, 2002 and January 23, 2003.
Alloy is a teen-focused media company and direct marketer that targets
Generation Y consumers, i.e. the approximately 60 million people in the
United States between the ages of 10 and 24.

The complaint alleges that the Company claimed that its merchandising
and advertising segments complemented one another in a way that gave
the Company an edge over competitor teen retailers and media businesses
and which would enable it to succeed despite difficult market
conditions in the second half of 2002.

Unbeknownst to investors, the Company faced fierce competition for the
youth market and the weak economy forced the Company to cut its prices
and increase operating expenses, e.g. by offering free shipping and
deep discounts, thereby eroding Alloy's gross profit margin.

On January 23, 2003, the Company shocked the market by announcing that
EBTA for its fiscal fourth quarter ending January 31, 2003 would be $11
million to $12 million instead of the previously projected $15 million
to $16 million and that fiscal 2002 EBTA would be in the range of $30
to $31 million instead of the previously forecast $34 million to $38
million. On this news, the Company's share priced plummeted by 49%, or
$4.57, from the previous day's closing price of $9.10.

For more details, contact Marc S. Henzel by Mail: 273 Montgomery Ave.,
Suite 202, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 by Phone: 610-660-8000 or 888-643-6735
by Fax: 610-660-8080 by E-Mail: mhenzel182@aol.com   


CIT GROUP: Rabin Murray Commences Securities Lawsuit in S.D. NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
Rabin Murray & Frank LLP initiated a securities class action in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, on
behalf of all persons or entities who purchased CIT Group Inc. common
stock (NYSE:CIT) in or traceable to the initial public offering made
pursuant to the Registration Statement, of which the Prospectus was a
part, which was declared effective on or about July 1, 2002.  The suit
names as defendants the Company and:

     (1) Albert R. Gamper, Jr.,

     (2) Joseph M. Leone,

     (3) John F. Fort, III,

     (4) Mark H. Swartz,

     (5) J. Brad McGee,

     (6) Goldman, Sachs & Co.,

     (7) Lehman Brothers Inc., and

     (8) Salomon Smith Barney Inc.

The complaint alleges that defendants violated the Securities Act of
1933.  In particular, it is alleged that the Prospectus contained
materially false and misleading statements concerning the adequacy of
the Company's loan loss reserves.  On July 23, 2003, only three weeks
after the IPO, CIT announced that had to take a $200 million charge to
strengthen its telecommunications loan reserves.

For more details, contact Eric J. Belfi or Sharon Lee by Mail: 275
Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, by Phone: (800) 497-8076 or
(212) 682-1818, by Fax: (212) 682-1892, or by E-mail:
email@rabinlaw.com.  


NORTHWESTERN CORPORATION: Scott + Scott Lodges Stock Suit in SD
---------------------------------------------------------------
Scott + Scott, LLC initiated a securities class action on behalf of
institutional investors in the United States District Court for the
District of South Dakota on behalf of purchasers of NorthWestern
Corporation (NYSE: NOR) publicly traded securities during the period
between February 7, 2002 and March 31, 2003.

The complaint charges the Company and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  
Throughout the class period, defendants issued a series of materially
false and misleading statements concerning the financial and
operational condition of the Company.

In fact, throughout the class period, while many of the Company's
competitors were announcing revised guidance, NorthWestern consistently
stated that the Company's proprietary business model was allowing
NorthWestern to continue to achieve "improved performance" and earnings
of between $2.30 to $2.55 per share by the end of 2002.  Both prior to
and throughout the class period, management of the Company consistently
represented that its subsidiaries, including Expanets and Blue Dot,
were achieving and would continue to achieve these results.

In fact, however, investors would ultimately learn at the close of the
class period, which defendants had managed to conceal throughout the
class period, that:

     (1) The Company's non- utility subsidiaries were not performing
         according to plan, with at least 20 per cent of Blue Dot's
         locations performing so poorly that they would be sold or
         closed within the foreseeable future, and with Expanets
         running its reserves about $66 million short of its rapidly
         escalating delinquencies;

     (2) defendants had artificially inflated the Company's balance
         sheet as well as its reported earnings and EPS figures, by
         failing to write down the impairment of, and take necessary
         reserves for, its failing Blue Dot and Expanets businesses,
         which impairments and reserve adjustments ultimately resulted
         in a massive $880 million charge;

     (3) through a complicated scheme of questionable accounting and
         subsidiaries owned partially by senior management, losses at
         both Blue Dot and Expanets were subverted and reallocated to
         owners of minority interests or shareholders in the Company's
         subsidiary, which allowed the Company to keep these losses off
         its balance sheet, and to artificially inflate earnings and
         income and mask the poor performance of NorthWestern
         throughout the Class Period; and

     (4) defendants had materially misstated the conditions of both
         Blue Dot and Expanets, which were not poised for nor
         experiencing "long-term growth" nor "value creation," but were
         rather in poor financial and operational condition, with at
         least 20 per cent of Blue Dot's locations terminal and with an
         unknown amount of other locations also in poor condition, and
         with almost $302 million in charges and reserves required to
         be taken by Expanets, in addition to an approximate $289
         million charge required for Blue Dot.

As a result of the foregoing, at no time during the class period did
defendants have a good faith basis to project earnings anywhere near
$2.55 per share for fiscal year 2002.

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 by E-mail: drscott@scott-scott.com or
nrothstein@scott-scott.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.scott-scott.com


PROVIDENT FINANCIAL: Marc Henzel Commences Securities Suit in GA
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Marc S. Henzel initiated a securities class action
in the United States District Court for the Northern District of
Georgia, on behalf of all persons who purchased securities of Provident
Financial Group (Nasdaq: PFGI) between January 17, 1997 and March 5,
2003, inclusive, and who were injured thereby.

Provident Financial Group Inc.'s earnings restatement is one for the
record books - its six years worth of revisions is the longest
continuous string of amendments in memory for a U.S. company.  But if
history is any indication, Provident's problems are only just
beginning.

The company's stock lost 20%, the day of the announcement by the
Cincinnati banking company, but a study from New York University's
Stern School of Business finds that the stocks of companies that
announce restatements drop for three straight sessions on average.  
"Earnings restatements rewrite a company's history," generally in an
unflattering way, said Min Wu of NYU's Department of Accounting,
Taxation and Business Law, who conducted the study in conjunction with
Softrax, whose software helps companies tally revenue.

When companies restate earnings, and particularly when that's
accompanied by a warning about future earnings - as was the case with
Provident - there are usually reverberations, Mr. Wu said.  "Analysts'
downgrades, class-action lawsuits and management shuffles are not
uncommon and they cast a shadow over the firms, quite often for a long
time."

But Provident launched a quick offensive in an effort to restore its
credibility, said Christopher Carey, the company's executive vice
president and chief financial officer. "We acted as soon as we found
out and have been talking to people all day emphasizing this was
totally inadvertent on our part and would never had been done if we had
known differently," Mr. Carey told Dow Jones Newswires. "At some point
we expect to go out and tell people face-to-face exactly why it
happened and exactly why it won't happen again."

He acknowledged Provident "has certainly experienced a big setback."  
Provident has plenty of company in revising its financial reports.  
Restatements appear as commonly today as increases in profit
expectations did in the late 1990s. Restatements have spiked further
since the Sarbanes-Oxley Act was passed in July.  The law calls for
stringent reporting by companies and requires executives to certify
results.  Consider how times have already changed.  From 1994 through
1997, just 220 public companies restated earnings.  Over the next four
years - 1998 to 2001 - that number quadrupled to roughly 900, according
to Wu's research.

This year there have already been dozens of restatements, with one of
the most high- profile being Royal Ahold NV (AHO), which said last
month it would restate $500 million of earnings going back two years.  
But six years "is very, very unusual," said Joe Cooper of Thomson
Financial/ First Call, who said he could not recall a longer string
than the 24 quarters that Provident's move will encompass.  Provident
"voluntarily" made its disclosure like three-fourths of companies do,
according to Wu's research, and that can be a plus for retaining
investor credibility.

The bank holding company has since notified the Federal Reserve and the
Securities and Exchange Commission of the errors and said it expects to
file its 10-K report, with the correct data, on time - another
positive, Wu said.  Provident is also in the majority of companies that
give the amount of the restatement on the day they announce the
development, Wu said.  The other one- third do not, with the data
coming as soon as two days after and as late as one and a half years.
The average is one to two months, she added.

Provident's restatement totaled $70.3 million over the six years, and
the company said it was able to pin down the numbers immediately after
recognizing the deals involved nine leases that were posted as off-
balance-sheet transactions and shouldn't have been.  By keeping these
transactions off the balance sheet, the company "gave the appearance it
had more capital and higher income," said Wilson Smith, banking analyst
at Cohen Brothers in Philadelphia.  "That's something that could hang
over their head for a while, but be mitigated by the proactive steps
they're discussing."

For more details, contact Marc S. Henzel by Mail: 273 Montgomery Ave.,
Suite 202, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 by Phone: 610-660-8000 or 888-643-6735
by Fax: 610-660-8080 by E-Mail: mhenzel182@aol.com   


ROYAL AHOLD: Wolf Haldenstein Expands Class Period in Stock Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP expanded the class period of
the class action on file 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. (NYSE:
AHO) between March 10, 1998 and February 21, 2003, inclusive, against
the Company, certain of its officers and directors, and its
accountants.

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.

During the class period, defendants issued many statements and filed
quarterly and annual reports with the SEC which depicted the Company's
net income and financial performance.  The complaint alleges that these
statements were materially false and misleading because they omitted
and/or misrepresented several undesirable facts, such as that, during
the Class Period, AHOLD had significantly overstated its operating
earnings for its U.S. Foodservice division and that AHOLD had reported
the full revenues and operating results of several joint ventures in
which the company held non-controlling interests, in contravention of
applicable accounting rules.

The complaint further alleges that the Company lacked sufficient
internal controls resulting in an inability to determine the true
financial condition of AHOLD, which lead to the value of the Company's
net income and financial results being materially overstated at all
pertinent times.

On February 24, 2003, before the market opened for trading, AHOLD
announced that it discovered over $500 million in "overstatements of
income related to promotional allowance programs," requiring the
Company to restate its previously-issued financial reports for fiscal
years 2001 and 2002.  On this day, the Company also announced that it
would restate its historical financial statements so as to
proportionally consolidate under GAAP ICA Ahold, Jeronimo Martins
Retail and Disco Ahold International Holdings and, for the periods
during which they were 50% owned, Bompreco and Paiz Ahold.

On the day of this disclosure, shares of AHOLD declined over 60%, to
close at $4.16 per share, on volume of more than 16 million shares
traded, or nearly thirty times the average daily volume. The market
capitalization loss on this one day alone was over $4 billion.

For more details, contact Fred Taylor Isquith, Esq., Gustavo Bruckner,
Esq., Michael Miske, George Peters, or Derek Behnke by Mail: 270
Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10016, by Phone: (800) 575-0735 by
E-mail: classmember@whafh.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.whafh.com. All e-mail correspondence should make reference  
to AHOLD.


ROYAL AHOLD: Kenneth Elan Files Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Office of Kenneth A. Elan initiated a securities class action
against Koninklijke Ahold N.V. (Amsterdam: AHLN) and certain of its
officers and directors, in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York.  This suit is brought on behalf of all
persons or entities, other than defendants, who purchased Ahold
securities between May 16, 2000 and February 21, 2003, inclusive.

The complaint alleges that during the class period, the defendants
caused the release of false and misleading statements regarding the
Company's financial results, causing Ahold's securities to trade at
artificially inflated prices.

On February 24, 2003, before the market opened, the Company announced
significantly reduced earnings for the year ended December 29, 2002. It
also announced that:

     (1) it would restate its financial statements for the fiscal year
         2001 and interim results for 2002; and

     (2) during the fiscal 2002, year-end audit by Deloitte Touche
         Tohmatsu significant accounting irregularities were discovered
         in the recognition of income.  

According to the Company, Ahold's operating earnings for 2001 and
expected operating earnings for fiscal year 2002 have been overstated
by amounts exceeding $500 million.  The accounting irregularities
relate to the early booking of promotional income at US Foodservice
Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Ahold.

In addition to the restatement in earnings related to US Foodservice,
the Company also announced it would restate its historical financial
statements so as to proportionally consolidate under Generally Accepted
Accounting Principles (GAAP) certain subsidiaries, which it partially
owned.  Previously, the full results of these subsidiaries were
consolidated in Ahold's results with the minority share in earnings and
equity then deducted, during the relevant periods.  The consolidation
of the full results inflated Ahold's reported sales results.

As a result of the defendants' false and misleading statements during
the class period, the price of Ahold's securities was artificially
inflated throughout the class period.  By way of example, in reaction
to the above announcements, the Company's common shares price plummeted
approximately 63% to close at EUR 3.59 on February 24, 2003.  The news
had similar affect on the ADRs.  The price of the ADRs declined from
$10.69 to $4.16.  The price of Ahold's securities has not recovered.

For more details, contact Kenneth A. Elan by Mail: 217 Broadway New
York, NY 10007 by Phone: 212-619-0261 or by Fax: 212-385-2707


VAXGEN INC.: Vianale & Vianale Files Securities Suit in N.D. CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Vianale & Vianale LLP initiated a securities class action on behalf of
purchasers of the securities of VaxGen, Inc. (Nasdaq:VXGN) between
August 6, 2002 and February 26, 2003, inclusive.  The action (C-03-1801
MHP) is pending in the United States District Court, Northern District
of California, against the Company, Lance K. Gordon and Donald P.
Francis, M.D.

The complaint charges VaxGen and certain of its officers and directors
with issuing materially false and misleading statements concerning its
business and financial condition.  VaxGen is engaged in the development
and commercialization of AIDSVAX, a vaccine designed to prevent HIV
infection or disease.  During the class period, defendants were
completing the final stages of AIDSVAX's Phase III clinical trials
required to obtain FDA approval to market AIDSVAX as an AIDS vaccine.  
Throughout the class period, defendants make positive statements about
the status of the trial and describing their plans to manufacture and
market AIDSVAX, causing VaxGen's stock to trade at artificially
inflated prices.

On February 26, 2003, however, defendants admitted 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 Kenneth J. Vianale or Julie Prag Vianale by
Mail: 5355 Town Center Road, Suite 801, Boca Raton, Florida 33486 by
Phone: (561) 391-4900 or by E-mail:  info@vianalelaw.com  


                              *********


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 2003.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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