CAR_Public/030502.mbx               C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R
  
                Friday, May 2, 2003, Vol. 5, No. 86

                           Headlines                            

AUTONATION: Court Gives Preliminary Nod on FL Case Settlement
AUTONATION: Appeals Class Certification Ruling Vs Texas Units
BRIGHTPOINT INC: Settles Shareholder Lawsuits for $5M Plus
CB BANCSHARES: Shareholder Sues Over Blocking of Stock Purchase
CHICO'S FAS: Court Sets September 16 Settlement Fairness Hearing  

CREDIT CARDS: Visa Working On Antitrust Suit Settlement
CREDIT CARDS: MasterCard Inks MOU To Settle Antitrust Lawsuit
DUPONT CANADA: Says Class Action Allegations Are Without Merit
EMPIRE HEALTHCHOICE: Orthopedic Surgeons File Multi-Million Suit
GEORGESON SHAREHOLDER: Krislov Files Processing Complaint in IL

HEXCEL CORPORATION: Says Antitrust Lawsuits Are Without Merit
MARIMBA INC: New York Court Dismisses in Part Securities Lawsuit
NABI BIOPHARMACEUTICALS: Price Manipulation Case Moved to Mass.
NEW YORK: Montgomery County Sued Over Illegal Strip Searches
PAN PHARMACEUTICALS: Founder Calls Suspension a "Witch Hunt"

PILGRIM'S PRIDE: Court Dismisses in Part Claims in Texas Suit
PILGRIM'S PRIDE: Plaintiffs Drop Product Liability Suit in PA
PRE PAID LEGAL: Class Certification Hearing Scheduled on July 22
REAL ESTATE: California Court Enters $120M Judgement in Lawsuit
SKILLSOFT: Judge Consolidates Six Securities Fraud Suits in NH

SKILLSOFT: California Securities Case Trial Set for September
UNITED STATES: Senate Judiciary Approves Class Action Bill
US BANCORP: Susceptible To More Suits After Securities Pact
VENTAS INC: Contests Plaintiffs' Appeal re Fraud Suit Dismissal
WAL-MART STORES: Sex Bias Suit Certification Hearing Set in July

                     Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Found in Jail Sparks Fear
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Inspector Tagged in $10T Bribery Case
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: AUS Group To Back Asbestos Causes Launched
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Groups Call for Reforms in Asbestos Suits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: GE Settles 350,000 Asbestos Cases

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Miles & Stockbridge Acquires Smaller Firm
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Fund Seen at $90-$120B
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ASSE Says Asbestos Still Major Hazard
ASBESTOS ALERT: The Rijksmuseum Closes After Asbestos Discovery
ASBESTOS ALERT: Met-Pro Faces Asbestos-Related Cases

ASBESTOS ALERT: Death Linked to Asbestos Exposure 40 Years Ago
ASBESTOS ALERT: Widow Sues BT Group for Husband's Death
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Weyerhaeuser Asbestos Suit Still Uncertain

                  New Securities Fraud Cases

ADC TELECOMMUNICATIONS: Stull Files Securities Fraud Suit in MN
ALLIANT ENERGY: Cauley Geller Lodges Securities Suit in WI
CAMINUS CORPORATION: Bernstein Liebhard Commences Lawsuit in NY
I2 TECHNOLOGIES: Marc Henzel Commences Securities Suit in TX
SKECHERS USA: Schatz & Nobel Files Securities Lawsuit in C.D. CA

                           *********

AUTONATION: Court Gives Preliminary Nod on FL Case Settlement
-------------------------------------------------------------
In an action filed in Florida state court in 1999, one of
Autonation Inc.'s subsidiaries was accused of violating, among
other things, the Florida Motor Vehicle Retail Sales Finance Act
and the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act by
allegedly failing to deliver executed copies of retail
installment contracts to customers of the Autonation's former
used vehicle megastores.

In October 2000, the court certified the class of customers on
whose behalf the action would proceed. In July 2001, Florida's
Fourth District Court of Appeals upheld the certification of the
class. The parties subsequently agreed on settlement terms, and
in April 2003, the Court preliminarily approved the settlement.


AUTONATION: Appeals Class Certification Ruling Vs Texas Units
-------------------------------------------------------------
Many of Autonation Inc.'s Texas dealership subsidiaries have
been named in three class action lawsuits brought against the
Texas Automobile Dealers Association and new vehicle dealerships
in Texas that are members of the TADA.

The three actions allege that since January 1994 Texas dealers
have deceived customers with respect to a vehicle inventory tax
and violated federal antitrust and other laws as well. In April
2002, in two actions (which have been consolidated) the state
court certified two classes of consumers on whose behalf the
action would proceed. In October 2002, the Texas Court of
Appeals affirmed the trial court's order of class certification
in the state action and the Company is appealing that ruling to
the Texas Supreme Court. In March 2003, the federal court
conditionally certified a class of consumers in the federal
antitrust case. The Company is also appealing that ruling.


BRIGHTPOINT INC: Settles Shareholder Lawsuits for $5MM Plus
-----------------------------------------------------------
Brightpoint, Inc. (NASDAQ:CELL) has reached agreements to settle
all pending shareholder related litigation against the Company
and others, including its current and former officers and
directors. The Company did not admit any wrongdoing as part of
the settlements, which are subject to court approval.

A stipulation of settlement covering Brightpoint and the other
defendants in a class action filed in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of Indiana, consolidated under
the caption In re Brightpoint Securities Litigation, has been
submitted to the court for approval. In addition, a stipulation
of settlement on behalf of Brightpoint and the others named as
defendants in a shareholder derivative action entitled Nora Lee
v. Robert J. Laikin, et al., filed in the Marion Circuit Court,
Indianapolis, Indiana, has also been submitted to the court for
approval.

Under the Class Action settlement agreement, the Company's
Directors' and Officers' insurance carrier has agreed to pay
$5,050,000 on the Company's behalf and the Company is not
required to make any cash payments thereunder. Under the
Derivative Action settlement agreement, the Company has agreed
to pay up to $275,000 for the representative plaintiff's
attorneys' fees and expenses and will record this expense in
"Other expenses" in the first quarter of 2003.

The terms of the settlements will be fully described in formal
notices to be provided by the plaintiffs' attorneys to the
Company's shareholders and members of the class in the Class
Action. The Company expects that the issuance of notice and the
process preceding final court approval for these settlements
will require between four to six months and the distribution
process will occur thereafter.

"These settlements will put all pending shareholder litigation
behind us. By resolving these issues, we can now devote our
entire focus on continuing to enhance shareholder value," said
Robert J. Laikin, the Company's Chief Executive Officer.

Brightpoint is one of the world's largest distributors of mobile
phones. Brightpoint supports the global wireless
telecommunications and data industry, providing quickly
deployed, flexible and cost effective third party solutions.
Brightpoint's innovative services include distribution, channel
management, fulfillment, eBusiness solutions and other
outsourced services that integrate seamlessly with its
customers. Additional information about Brightpoint can be found
on its website at www.brightpoint.com or by calling its toll-
free Information and Investor Relations line at 877-IIR-CELL
(877-447-2355).


CB BANCSHARES: Shareholder Sues Over Blocking of Stock Purchase
---------------------------------------------------------------
CB Bancshares faces a class action alleging that the Company's
board of directors and chief executive Ronald Migita attempted
to unfairly deprive shareholders the true value of their
investment in CB Bancshares, the Pacific Business News reports.

The suit, filed by a Company stockholder, asserts that the
company's board of directors and chief executive refused to
seriously consider Central Pacific Bank's repeated acquisition
offer.  The suit further claims the defendants are attempting to
"entrench themselves . to protect their substantial salaries and
prestigious positions," while breaching their fiduciary duties.

The suit states that despite shareholders' interests in pursuing
the offer, which would pay them a premium of more than 50
percent, the bank's Rights Plan will kill any deal.  Commonly
referred to as a poison pill, CB Bancshares' bylaws include a
provision that would preclude a hostile takeover by diluting
shares by half, once 20 percent of the company was purchased by
a hostile investor.  "In effect, the Rights Plan makes it
prohibitively expensive for a hostile acquirer to purchase the
company, under any circumstance," the suit states, the Pacific
Business News reports.

"We believe a law suit of this nature is very inappropriate at
this time while our board is considering the CPB proposal,"
Wayne Miyao, senior vice president of corporate marketing for
City Bank told the Business News.  "Our board will make the best
decision for CB Bancshares in due time.  They are properly and
carefully analyzing the proposal, considering the interests of
shareholders, customers and our employees and of course the
communities we serve."

James Bickerton, the attorney filing the suit on behalf of
Barbara Clarridge, could be immediately reached for comment,
Pacific Business News reports.


CHICO'S FAS: Court Sets September 16 Settlement Fairness Hearing  
----------------------------------------------------------------
Chico's FAS, Inc. was named as defendant in a suit filed in
September 2001 in the Superior Court for the State of California
for the County of Orange.

This suit, Carmen Davis vs. Chico's FAS, Inc., was filed by the
plaintiff, seeking to represent all other Company assistant
store managers, sales associates and hourly employees in
California from September 21,1997 to the present. The Company
responded by seeking to dismiss the complaint and strike
selected claims in order to either eliminate the litigation or
gain greater clarity as to the basis for the plaintiff's action.

In response, the plaintiff filed an amended complaint on
February 15, 2002, which differs in a number of material
respects from the original complaint. The amended complaint
alleged that the Company failed to pay overtime wages and failed
to provide rest breaks and meal periods. The action sought
"class action" status and sought unspecified monetary damages.

Following preliminary settlement discussions, the parties
attended a mediation on October 14, 2002, at which the parties
reached a settlement on a class-wide basis. The settlement
provides for a common fund out of which settlement awards to
class members and the costs of the settlement will be paid. The
parties prepared a settlement agreement, which was lodged with
the Court. The settlement agreement states that the settlement
is not an admission of liability and that the Company continues
to deny liability for any of plaintiff's claims.

Subsequent to yearend, the Court heard the plaintiff's motion
for preliminary approval of the settlement. The Court granted
the motion and ordered that the parties give notice of the
settlement to the class members. Once notice is given, class
members will have sixty days to file claim forms to participate
in the settlement or to file exclusion forms to opt out of the
settlement.

On September 16, 2003, the Court will hold a settlement fairness
hearing for the purpose of determining whether to give final
approval to the settlement. If final approval is given, and no
appeals challenging the settlement are filed, the Company will
pay the settlement sums to class members who have filed valid
claims and also will pay amounts owing for attorney's fees,
costs and other expenses of the settlement. The settlement
provides for a release of all covered claims by class members
who do not opt out of the settlement. The Company does not
believe the outcome of this will have a material impact on the
Company's results of operations or financial condition.


CREDIT CARDS: Visa Working On Antitrust Suit Settlement
-------------------------------------------------------
Visa USA is moving towards a settlement with retailers in the
antitrust class action filed against it by retailers like Wal-
Mart, over their debit card fees, Reuters reports.  The suit was
due to commence trial, but opening statements were postponed
until Friday.

Former co-defendant MasterCard International reached a
settlement with the plaintiffs, right before the suit went to
trial.  The credit card giant agreed to pay about $1 billion.  
Visa immediately asked federal judge John Gleeson to postpone
the trial when the MasterCard settlement was announced.  Judge
Gleeson agreed, postponing the trial until Friday.  

Representatives of Visa and the retailers declined comment on
the settlement talks.

The seven year old class action charges the two credit card
giants with violating antitrust laws with their practice of
requiring merchants to accept their signature-verified debit
cards impose more costs that are eventually passed onto
consumers and stifle competition from smaller rivals, Reuters
states.

In a summary judgment ruling earlier this month, Judge Gleeson
denied MasterCard's motion seeking to separate its trial from
Visa's.  The judge ruled that Visa exercised market power, but
the accusations against MasterCard were less clear and could not
be decided without a jury.  

MasterCard had argued in a motion last month that a bulk of the
evidence brought by plaintiffs indicts Visa and if the two
credit card associations were lumped together, it would confuse
a jury and hurt MasterCard, Reuters states.   


CREDIT CARDS: MasterCard Inks MOU To Settle Antitrust Lawsuit
-------------------------------------------------------------
MasterCard International announced that it has signed a
memorandum of understanding, subject to the execution of a final
settlement agreement, to settle claims against it in the class-
action antitrust lawsuit brought against MasterCard and Visa in
1996 by merchants in the United States.

The settlement preserves the important consumer benefits of
MasterCard's Honor All Cards rule, while giving merchants
flexibility to choose how broad a range of payment choices to
offer their customers. In exchange for settlement of all claims,
MasterCard agreed to pay ten annual installments of $100 million
each into a settlement fund account, except for the first year
when the payment will be $125 million.

"We're delighted to have reached an agreement that protects our
brand and the key consumer benefits underlying the Honor All
Cards rule. With the prospect of a lengthy court process behind
us, we can get back to focusing on being the best business
partner for our customers," said Robert W. Selander, MasterCard
president and CEO.

Under the terms of the settlement, MasterCard's key consumer
protections prohibiting merchants from surcharging cardholders
or discriminating against any MasterCard card or cardholder will
be maintained for credit and charge cards and honored by
merchants who continue to accept MasterCard debit cards.
Merchants will have the right to choose not to accept U.S. -
issued MasterCard debit cards, and under the terms of the
agreement, MasterCard is free to establish an Honor All Cards
rule for MasterCard debit cards.

MasterCard, which previously blended credit and debit into a
single interchange rate, will establish a separate interchange
rate for MasterCard debit transactions by August 1, 2003. The
new interchange rate for debit will be at least one-third lower
than the existing interchange rate, and will be set at a level
that should incent both issuance and acceptance of MasterCard
debit cards. MasterCard will also develop rules requiring
issuers to clearly and consistently identify MasterCard debit
cards on their face and to make these debit cards identifiable
through electronic terminals.

Selander said, "We are confident that with the litigation behind
us, MasterCard merchants will recognize the extraordinary value
of offering the broadest range of choice to consumers and will
continue to accept all MasterCard products."

"We're glad that by coming to an agreement with the plaintiffs,
we can avoid the disruption to our business of a lengthy trial,
and can now get back to the business of focusing on our
customers, strengthening our core services, and differentiating
ourselves through customized services and solutions," he said.
"There continue to be enormous global opportunities in both the
credit and debit arenas, and now we can concentrate on pursuing
those opportunities, and continuing to build on the success
we've achieved."

In agreeing to the proposed settlement, MasterCard in no way
admits to any improper conduct with respect to the plaintiffs'
charges. The agreement is subject to court review and approval.

              About MasterCard International

MasterCard International has a comprehensive portfolio of well-
known, widely accepted payment brands including MasterCard,
Cirrus and Maestro. With approximately 25,000 MasterCard, Cirrus
and Maestro members worldwide, MasterCard serves consumers and
businesses, both large and small, in 210 countries and
territories. MasterCard is a leader in quality and innovation,
offering a wide range of payment solutions in the virtual and
traditional worlds. The MasterCard award-winning Pricelessr
advertising campaign is now seen in 96 countries and in 45
languages, giving the MasterCard brand a truly global reach and
scope. For the year ended December 31, 2002, gross dollar volume
exceeded US$1.14 trillion. MasterCard can be reached through its
Web site: http://www.mastercardinternational.com


DUPONT CANADA: Says Class Action Allegations Are Without Merit
--------------------------------------------------------------
DuPont Canada Inc. and DuPont (NYSE: DD) said they believe
allegations raised in Tietjen vs. DuPont and DuPont Canada Inc.
are without merit.

The case, brought by a single stockholder in State Circuit Court
in Elkton, Md., says the lawsuit has been filed on behalf of
minority shareholders of DuPont Canada. It seeks, among other
things, an injunction against the proposed acquisition by DuPont
of the shares in DuPont Canada that DuPont does not presently
own. DuPont presently owns approximately 76 percent of DuPont
Canada's outstanding shares.

"DuPont is offering a full and fair price for the minority
interest in DuPont Canada as described in the Offering Circular
mailed to shareholders of DuPont Canada on April 17, 2003," said
John P. Jessup, DuPont vice president and treasurer. "This claim
is without merit and is an example of the opportunistic lawsuits
common in the United States in public bids. We will respond with
all appropriate actions in due course and are confident that
these allegations will be found to be baseless."

"DuPont Canada believes that there is no basis for, or merit to,
the lawsuit, and DuPont Canada and its directors will vigorously
pursue all available responses to the claim," said Douglas W.
Muzyka, president of DuPont Canada.

On April 17, 2003, DCI Acquisition Inc., a Canadian subsidiary
of DuPont, mailed the take-over bid circular and other materials
containing its offer to purchase for Cdn. $21.00 per share in
cash all of the class A common shares, series 1 of DuPont Canada
not already held by DCI Acquisition Inc. and its affiliates. The
Directors' Circular, prepared by the Board of Directors of
DuPont Canada, was also part of the mailing and contained the
recommendation by the Board of Directors of DuPont Canada that
all public shareholders accept the offer. In making its
recommendation, the Board received the unanimous recommendation
of a Special Committee of the Board (comprised of the
independent directors of DuPont Canada) which had reviewed the
Offer and received advice from TD Securities, its independent
financial advisor. The offer expires at 11:59 p.m. (Toronto
time) on May 23, 2003, unless the offer is extended or withdrawn
by the offeror.

DuPont Canada Inc. is a diversified science company that serves
customers across Canada and in more than 40 other countries.
Headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, the company serves global
markets through offices and/or operations in Canada, the United
States, Mexico, France, the United Kingdom and India. The
company has 4,000 employees. For more information about DuPont
Canada, visit the company's Web site: http://www.ca.dupont.com.

DuPont is a science company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts
science to work by solving problems and creating solutions that
make people's lives better, safer and easier. Operating in more
than 70 countries, the company offers a wide range of products
and services to markets including agriculture, nutrition,
electronics, communications, safety and protection, home and
construction, transportation and apparel.


EMPIRE HEALTHCHOICE: Orthopedic Surgeons File Multi-Million Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
A doctor's ability to determine which medical procedures are
best for their patients is central to a multi-million dollar
class action filed against Empire HealthChoice, Inc. (now known
as WellChoice, Inc.), and certain of its subsidiaries by three
prominent orthopedic surgeons practicing at the Westchester
County Medical Center in Valhalla, New York.

The lawsuit was filed by the law firm of Meiselman, Denlea,
Packman & Eberz, PC on behalf of Howard J. Luks, M.D., Richard
M. Magill, Jr., M.D., and Iris E. Schlesinger, M.D., and all
other orthopedic surgeons in New York State.  It seeks redress
for Empire's failure to reimburse them for medically necessary
procedures they perform for patients.  The plaintiffs, who are
or were participating providers in many of Empire's health care
programs during the last six years, are challenging Empire's
refusal to compensate them for performing multiple procedures
through a single surgical incision.  Empire's current policy
mandates that if orthopedic surgeons, such as Dr. Luks, Dr.
Magill and Dr. Schlesinger, perform multiple procedures through
a single incision they will be reimbursed only for one
procedure.  However, if multiple incisions are made then
reimbursement can be sought for multiple procedures.

The physicians seek to discontinue Empire's policy, which
reimburses them based on the number of times they cut their
patients.  With the progress that has been made in orthopedic
skills and techniques, including advances in arthroscopic
surgery, orthopedic surgeons can routinely treat multiple,
unrelated conditions while making only a single incision.  The
benefit to the patient is indisputable: utilization of a single
incision rather than multiple incisions substantially decreases
the risk of infection and recuperation time, and increases the
likelihood of positive outcomes that will not require further
surgical interventions and procedures.

In their lawsuit, the surgeons ask that Empire be compelled
immediately to cease its "multiple incision" policy and that
doctors who have remained steadfast in their highest duty - that
of loyalty to their patients - be compensated by Empire for the
benefits that they have bestowed upon participants in Empire's
health care plans through their medical expertise.

Attorney Barry Cepelewicz, M.D., J.D., one of the attorneys
representing the physicians, explained, "The defining criteria
for reimbursement should be the number of medically necessary
procedures performed and not the number of incisions made to
perform such procedures.  The impropriety of such a policy has
been recognized by no less than the federal government itself,
which overturned a similar policy in connection with the
Medicare program."

Mr. Cepelewicz continued, "Empire's policy means that when
orthopedic surgeons serve the best interests of their patients -
- they are being told to work without appropriate and earned
compensation."

For more details, contact the firm by Phone: (914) 517-5000 or
visit: http://www.mdpelaw.com.


GEORGESON SHAREHOLDER: Krislov Files Processing Complaint in IL
---------------------------------------------------------------
On April 11, 2003, Krislov & Associates, Ltd. has added federal
securities claims to a class action pending in the United States
District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, asserting
claims for violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5, against
Georgeson Shareholder, Inc., its wholly owned subsidiaries, and
AT&T Corporation, on behalf of all security holders who:

   (1) during the period from June 2000 through the present,
       exchanged MediaOne Corp. share certificates for issuance
       of shares of AT&T pursuant to the June 2000 merger
       between AT&T and MediaOne (the "AT&T Class"), and/or

   (2) during the period since February 1996, submitted
       securities for reissuance through Georgeson as the
       exchange agent, and paid a per-share processing fee (the
       "Georgeson Class").

The complaint alleges that the notices issued to certificate-
holders as part of Georgeson's "post-merger clean-up"(SM)
services, mislead holders to believe that they must use
Georgeson, and incur Georgeson's per-share processing charges,
in order to receive certificates for their ownership of the
surviving company and post-merger dividends; when, in fact,
certificate- holders could have exchanged their shares directly
through the transfer agent or other brokers at little or no
cost.

For more details, contact Clinton A. Krislov, Krislov &
Associates, Ltd. by Mail: Civic Opera Building-Suite 1350, 20
North Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60606; by Phone:
312-606-0500, by Fax: 312-606-0207; by E-mail:
mail@krislovlaw.com, or visit the firm's Web site at
http://www.krislovlaw.com


HEXCEL CORPORATION: Says Antitrust Lawsuits Are Without Merit
-------------------------------------------------------------
Hexcel Corp. has been joined as a party in numerous class action
lawsuits in California and in Massachusetts spawned by the
Thomas & Thomas Rodmakers, Inc. class action. These actions
allege antitrust violations and are brought on behalf of
purchasers located in California and in Massachusetts,
respectively, who indirectly purchased carbon fiber products.

The California cases have been ordered to be coordinated in the
Superior Court for the County of San Francisco and are currently
referred to as Carbon Fibers Cases I, II and III, Judicial
Council Coordinator Proceeding Numbers 4212, 4216 and 4222. The
California cases are Lazio v. Amoco Polymers Inc., et.al., filed
August 21, 2000; Proiette v. Newport Adhesives and Composite,
Inc. et. al., filed September 12, 2001; Simon v. Newport
Adhesives and Composite, Inc. et. al., filed September 21, 2001;
Badal v. Newport Adhesives and Composite, Inc. et.al., filed
September 26, 2001; Yolles v. Newport Adhesives and Composite,
Inc. et.al., filed September 26, 2001; Regier v. Newport
Adhesives and Composite, Inc. et.al., filed October 2, 2001; and
Connolly v. Newport Adhesives and Composite, Inc. et.al., filed
October 4, 2001; Elisa Langsam v Newport Adhesives and
Composites, Inc, et al., filed October 4, 2001; Jubal Delong et
al. v Amoco Polymers, Inc. et al., filed October 26, 2001; and
Louis V. Ambrosio v Amoco Polymers, Inc. et. al., filed October
25, 2001.

The Massachusetts case is Ostroff v. Newport Adhesives and
Composites, Inc. et. al., filed June 7, 2002 in the Superior
Court Department of the Trial Court of Middlesex, Massachusetts,
Civil Action No. 02-2385.

The Company is not in a position to predict the outcome of these
lawsuits, but believes that the lawsuits are without merit as to
the Company.


MARIMBA INC: New York Court Dismisses in Part Securities Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Beginning in April 2001, a number of substantially identical
class action complaints alleging violations of the federal
securities laws were filed in the United States District Court
for the Southern District of New York naming Marimba, Inc.,
certain of its officers and directors, and certain underwriters
of the company's initial public offering (Morgan Stanley & Co.,
Inc., Credit Suisse First Boston Corp. and Bear Stearns & Co.,
Inc.) as defendants.

The complaints have since been consolidated into a single
action, and a consolidated amended complaint was filed in April
2002. The complaint alleges, among other things, that the
underwriters of our initial public offering violated the
securities laws by failing to disclose certain alleged
compensation and tie-in arrangements (such as undisclosed
commissions or stock stabilization practices) in the
registration statement filed in connection with the offering.
Marimba and certain of its officers and directors were named in
the complaint pursuant to Section 11 of the Securities Act of
1933, and Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5 of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934. The complaint seeks unspecified damages,
attorney and expert fees, and other unspecified litigation
costs.

Similar complaints have been filed against over 300 other
issuers that have had initial public offerings since 1998 and
all such actions have been included in a single coordinated
proceeding. In July 2002, the defendants in the consolidated
actions filed motions to dismiss all of the cases in the
litigation (including the case involving Marimba). On February
19, 2003, the court ruled on the motions and granted Marimba's
motion to dismiss the claims against it under Section 10(b) and
Rule 10b-5. The motions to dismiss the claims under Section 11
were denied as to virtually all of the defendants in the
consolidated cases, including Marimba. In addition, the Marimba
individual defendants in the litigation each signed a tolling
agreement and were dismissed from the action without prejudice
on October 9, 2002.

Marimba intends to defend this litigation vigorously. "However,
due to the inherent uncertainties of litigation, we cannot
accurately predict the ultimate outcome of the litigation. Any
unfavorable outcome of this litigation could have a material
adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results
of operations."


NABI BIOPHARMACEUTICALS: Price Manipulation Case Moved to Mass.
---------------------------------------------------------------
During 2002, Nabi Biopharmaceuticals was named as one of over 40
pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical defendants in three class
action lawsuits filed in the Superior Court of the State of
California-- two filed in the County of San Francisco on August
23, 2002 and September 9, 2002 and one filed in the County of
Alameda on July 12, 2002. All three cases were removed to
federal court in the Northern District of California.

The cases each involve claims that insurers and consumers of
defendants' products made over payments for those products based
on an alleged manipulation of Average Wholesale Price, a
standard which governs amounts that physicians, hospitals and
other providers receive as reimbursement for purchases of
defendants' products. The plaintiffs seek damages, equitable
relief and disgorgement of profits. The three lawsuits are in
their preliminary stages; no class has been certified.

To date, the company has been served in only one of the three
suits, but all the cases have now been transferred to the
District of Massachusetts and assigned to the Hon. Patti Saris
for inclusion in the consolidated multi-district litigation. "We
anticipate that we will be formally added as a defendant in the
Master Consolidated Complaint that governs the AWP MDL and,
thereafter, will join the pending motion to dismiss."


NEW YORK: Montgomery County Sued Over Illegal Strip Searches
------------------------------------------------------------
The Montgomery County, New York Sheriff's Department and the
county jail faces a $400 million class action filed on behalf of
nearly 2,00 people over alleged illegal strip searches at the
county jail, Capitol News 9 reports.

The suit asserts the Sheriff's Department had a policy of strip-
searching all individuals who enter the county jail, despite the
nature of their crime.  Lead plaintiff Paul Marriott was one of
these individuals.  He said his strip search was humiliating,
and he questioned the legality of the search given the nature of
his alleged crime, Capitol News 9 reports.  He was facing
misdemeanor charges of failing to feed his horses, and those
charges were later dropped.
  
The sheriff's department said strip searches are necessary for
everyone who enters the jail to ensure the facility's safety.  
Sheriff Amato would not comment on the case, saying he has not
even received documents on it.  The county attorney has not yet
returned a phone call on how he will handle the case, Capital
News 9 states.


PAN PHARMACEUTICALS: Founder Calls Suspension a "Witch Hunt"
------------------------------------------------------------
Australian drug firm Pan Pharmaceuticals' founder and chief
executive officer Jim Selim criticized the Australian government
for being "draconian," after government agencies suspended the
Company's license for six month over alleged safety and quality
breaches, the Associated Press reports.

Federal agencies ordered the Company to halt operations for six
months and recall 219 of its products after the government said
the drugs contained raw materials that had not been tested for
safety and that it had manipulated laboratory test results.  The
announcement triggered speculations of possible class actions
from victims and consumers.

Mr. Selim called the penalty "draconian, unwarranted and most
unusual."  He was quoted in the Australian Financial Review as
saying, the suspension was a " . a witch-hunt, there has
definitely been an overreaction and I am just shocked at the
sudden decision."  He added that he was determined to restore
his company's reputation by working with health authorities to
resolve the crisis.

Pan Pharmaceuticals chairman Ross Brown blamed a laboratory
analyst for falsifying test results, AP reports.  "What happened
was a faulty batch was released on the basis of a rogue analyst
falsifying results and that analyst, of course, is no longer in
the employ of the company," Mr. Brown told Australian
Broadcasting Radio.

The Australian government placed advertisements in newspapers
Tuesday and Wednesday listing the recalled products, and warned
that thousands more products could possibly be recalled in
coming days, AP states.


PILGRIM'S PRIDE: Court Dismisses in Part Claims in Texas Suit
-------------------------------------------------------------
On July 1, 2002, three individuals, on behalf of themselves and
a putative class of chicken growers, filed their original class
action complaint against Pilgrim's Pride Corporation in the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas,
Texarkana Division.  The case is styled "Cody Wheeler, et al.
vs. Pilgrim's Pride Corporation".   

The complaint alleges that the Company violated the Packers and
Stockyards Act (7 U.S.C. Section 192) and breached fiduciary
duties allegedly owed to the plaintiff growers. The plaintiffs
also brought individual actions under the Packers and Stockyards
Act alleging common law fraud, negligence, breach of fiduciary
duties and breach of contract.  

On July 29, 2002, the Company filed its Motion to Dismiss under
Rules 12(b)(1), 12(b)(6) and 9(b).  Upon the filing of the
motion, the plaintiffs entered into an agreement to stay any
certification of the class pending the outcome of the trial of
the three plaintiffs Cody Wheeler, Don Davis, and Davey
Williams.  

On March 14, 2003, the court entered an order dismissing
plaintiffs' claims of breach of fiduciary duty and negligence.   
The plaintiffs also dropped the charges of fraud prior to the
entering of the order by the court.  The company also filed a
Motion to Transfer Venue on August 19, 2002, and the plaintiffs
have filed a Motion for Preliminary Injunction to prohibit any
alleged retaliation against the growers.  The court denied the
company's Motion to Transfer Venue on March 14, 2003, and the
case will remain in the Eastern District of Texas, Texarkana
Division.  The court also denied the plaintiffs' Motion for
Preliminary Injunction on March 3, 2003.  

Discovery is in the initial phases in this case. "We intend to
defend vigorously both certification of the case as a class
action should we not prevail in the trial of the three
plaintiffs and questions concerning ultimate liability and
damages, if any."  

Neither the likelihood of an unfavorable outcome nor the amount
of ultimate liability, if any, with respect to this case can be
determined at this time. The Company does not expect this matter
to have a material impact on its financial position, operations
or liquidity.


PILGRIM'S PRIDE: Plaintiffs Drop Product Liability Suit in PA
-------------------------------------------------------------
In October 2002 a limited number of USDA samples from Pilgrim's
Pride Corporation 's Franconia, Pennsylvania plant tested
positive for Listeria. As a result, the company voluntarily
recalled all cooked deli products produced at the plant from May
1, 2002 through October 11, 2002. The company claims that no
illnesses associated with the Listeria strain in a Northeastern
outbreak have been linked to any of its products and no products
of the Company have tested positive for the outbreak strain.  
The company carried insurance designed to cover the direct
recall related expenses and certain aspects of the related
business interruption caused by the recall, and subject to the
insurer's reservation of rights, the company received a $4.0
million advance payment from its insurer with respect to the
product recall claim.  

As a result of the recall, on November 4, 2002, an individual
who allegedly consumed the company's meat products filed a
putative class action lawsuit in the Philadelphia County Court
of Common Pleas in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Plaintiff allegedly contracted Listeriosis. The case was styled  
"Frank Niemtzow, individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated v. Pilgrim's Pride Corporation and Wampler
Foods, Inc."  The complaint sought recovery on behalf of a
putative class of all persons that purchased and/or consumed
meat products manufactured at the Company's Franconia,
Pennsylvania facility between May 1, 2002 and October 11, 2002,
who have suffered an injury. This class represents all
individuals who have suffered Listeriosis and symptoms of
Listeriosis and other medical injuries.  Plaintiff also sought
to represent a putative class of all persons that purchased
and/or consumed meat products manufactured at the Company's
Franconia, Pennsylvania facility between May 1, 2002 and October
11, 2002, who have not suffered any personal injury.

The complaint sought compensatory and punitive damages under
theories of negligence, alleged violation of the Pennsylvania
Unfair Trade Practices Act and Consumer Protection Law, strict
liability in tort, and unjust enrichment.

On December 6, 2002, the Company filed its Petition for Removal
to Federal court transferring this matter to the United States
District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Plaintiff filed a Motion to Remand to State court on January 6,
2003. In addition, on January 13, 2003, the Company filed its
Motion to Dismiss the plaintiff's class action complaint. On
March 25, 2003, plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the lawsuit.


PRE PAID LEGAL: Class Certification Hearing Scheduled on July 22
----------------------------------------------------------------
On June 29, 2001, an action was filed against Pre Paid Legal
Services Inc. in the District Court of Canadian County,
Oklahoma.  

In 2002, the petition was amended to add five additional named
plaintiffs and to add and drop certain claims. This action is a
putative class action brought by Gina Kotwitz, George Kotwitz,
Rick Coker, Richard Starke, Jeff Turnipseed and Aaron Bouren on
behalf of all sales associates of the Company. The amended
petition seeks injunctive and declaratory relief, with such
other damages as the court deems appropriate, for alleged
violations of the Oklahoma Uniform Consumer Credit Code in
connection with the Company's commission advances, and seeks
injunctive and declaratory relief regarding the enforcement of
certain contract provisions with sales associates.

The impact of the claims alleged under the Consumer Credit Code
and the assertion of entitlement to injunctive relief could
exceed $315 million if plaintiffs are successful both in their
request for class certification and on the merits, but
plaintiffs have stated that they no longer seek class
certification on the Consumer Credit Code claims.  The impact of
the remaining claims as to which plaintiffs  currently seek
class certification could exceed $218  million if  plaintiffs  
are  successful  both in their request for class certification
and on the merits. The plaintiffs' request for class
certification is set for hearing on July 22, 2003.  The ultimate
outcome of this case is not determinable.


REAL ESTATE: California Court Enters $120M Judgement in Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court in Los Angeles California
entered judgment in the amount of $120,804,407 in the lawsuit
captioned In re Real Estate Associates Limited Partnership
Litigation, Case No. CV 98-7035 DDP.  The defendants in the
lawsuit include:

     (1) National Partnership Investments Corp. ("NAPICO"), the
         corporate managing general partner of eight public
         limited partnerships, Real Estate Associates Limited
         Partnerships I - VII, and Housing Programs (REAL
         Partnerships), based in Los Angeles.  In late 1998,
         NAPICO solicited the investors' votes and recommended
         the sale of the REAL Partnerships' limited partnership
         interests to a newly created real estate investment
         trust, Casden Properties, Inc., formed and controlled
         by the Individual Defendants;

     (2) Alan I. Casden, the indirect 100% owner of NAPICO at
         the time of the December 30, 1998 transaction that was
         the subject of the lawsuit;

     (3) Henry C. Casden; Bruce Nelson; and Charles Boxenbaum,
         who were officers and/or directors of NAPICO at the
         time of the challenged transaction.

NAPICO and the Individual Defendants were all named as
defendants in Count I of the Complaint, which charged them with
committing violations of the proxy solicitation provisions and
rules under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  NAPICO was the
sole defendant for the breach of fiduciary duty claim (Count
II).

The challenged 1998 transaction effected the transfer of the
REAL Partnerships' interests to Casden Properties, Inc., a newly
formed private REIT created by Alan Casden, and in which all of
the Individual Defendants were equity owners and directors.  The
Casden REIT, which also acquired NAPICO as part of the REIT
Transaction, merged with Apartment Investment and Management
Company (AIMCO)(NYSE: AIV) in March 2002.  As a consequence,
NAPICO is an AIMCO subsidiary.

On November 15 and 19, 2002, a federal court jury in Los Angeles
rendered a unanimous verdict against all defendants.  On Count
I, the jury found that all defendants knowingly violated Section
14(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 14a-9
promulgated thereunder.  On Count II, the jury found that NAPICO
had fraudulently breached its fiduciary duty owed to its
investors.  The ten member jury awarded more than $185 million
of compensatory and punitive damages on the two Counts.

Subsequent to the jury's verdict, the parties filed post-verdict
motions.  On April 3, 2003, the Court upheld the jury's verdicts
on liability in all respects, confirmed the compensatory damages
of over $92 million, confirmed the plaintiffs' entitlement to an
award of punitive damages (but reduced the amount of punitive
damages to $2.6 million), and awarded pre-judgment interest
totaling more than $25 million.  The court's April 3, 2003
decisions on the post-trial motions had the effect of setting
the total award obtained for the Investor Class at over $120
million, over $91 million on Count II (against NAPICO) and
nearly $30 million on Count I (against all defendants).  In
addition, the Court granted various non-monetary relief
requested by the class.  These awards and decisions are all
reflected in the Judgment entered by the Court on April 29.  
Defendants are expected to appeal the judgment.

The court also denied NAPICO's motion seeking to stay execution
of the judgment during the pendency of the appeal.  NAPICO had
asserted, in an emergency motion for which the Court provided an
expedited briefing schedule and hearing, that its financial
condition would only permit it to post a bond for $6.5 million,
or about 7% of the more than $91 million judgment to be entered
against NAPICO on Count II.  

In an order dated April 29, the court rejected NAPICO's motion,
holding that NAPICO had made various filings with the Securities
& Exchange Commission and had issued press releases which stated
that NAPICO would suffer no harm because of the Judgment and
that the entire matter was the responsibility of the former
shareholders of the Casden REIT pursuant to documents related to
the merger completed with AIMCO in March 2002.  

Those merger documents included an indemnification agreement
whose signatories included the former shareholders of the Casden
REIT, including Alan Casden, a Blackacre Capital Management LLC
entity called Cerberus Partners, L.P., and another entity called
XYZ Holdings LLC, jointly owned and controlled by Alan Casden
and Blackacre.  During the April 25 hearing held on NAPICO's
motion, counsel for NAPICO stated that both NAPICO and AIMCO
stood by their public statements with respect to financial
responsibility for the Judgment.  

The result of the Court's decision is that if the Defendants,
including NAPICO, fail to post a bond in the full amount of the
Judgment entered on both Counts I and II, any appeal taken by
Defendants will not stay execution on the Judgment.  In that
event, Class Counsel will begin immediately to implement all
appropriate steps to execute on the Judgment on and after May
13, 2003, following the expiration of the mandatory 10-day stay
following the entering of the Judgment by the Court.

For more details, contact Nicholas E. Chimicles by Phone:
610-642-8500 by Fax: 610-649-3633 or by E-mail:
nick@chimicles.com


SKILLSOFT: Judge Consolidates Six Securities Fraud Suits in NH
--------------------------------------------------------------
Six class action lawsuits have been filed against SkillSoft
Public Limited Company and certain of its current and former
officers and directors captioned:

   (1) Gianni Angeloni v. SmartForce PLC d/b/a SkillSoft,
       William McCabe and Greg Priest;

   (2) Ari R. Schloss v. SkillSoft PLC f/k/a SmartForce PLC,
       Gregory M. Priest, Patrick E. Murphy, David C. Drummond
       and William G. McCabe;

   (3) Joseph J. Bish v. SmartForce PLC d/b/a SkillSoft, Gregory
       M. Priest, William G. McCabe, David C. Drummond, John M.
       Grillos, John P. Hayes and Patrick E. Murphy;

   (4) Stacey Cohen v. SmartForce PLC d/b/a SkillSoft, William
       G. McCabe and Greg Priest;

   (5) Daniel Schmelz v. SmartForce PLC d/b/a SkillSoft, William
       G. McCabe and Greg Priest; and

   (6) John O'Donoghue v. SmartForce PLC d/b/a SkillSoft,
       William G. McCabe and Greg Priest.

Each lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for
the District of New Hampshire. The first action was filed on
November 22, 2002, the second action was filed on December 4,
2002 and the third and fourth actions were filed on December 11,
2002, the fifth action was filed on December 23, 2002, and the
sixth action was filed on January 16, 2003.

These lawsuits allege that the company misrepresented or omitted
to state material facts in its SEC filings and press releases
regarding revenues and earnings and failed to correct such false
and misleading SEC filings and press releases, which are alleged
to have artificially inflated the price of its ADS. These
lawsuits seek unspecified  monetary damages, including punitive
damages together with interest, costs, fees and expenses.

These lawsuits have all been assigned to Chief Judge Paul J.
Barbadoro. On March 26, 2003, Judge Barbadoro consolidated the
lawsuits under the caption "In re SmartForce Securities
Litigation," Civil Action No. 02-544-B", appointed as lead
plaintiffs the Teacher's Retirement System of Louisiana and the
Louisiana Sheriff's Pension & Relief Fund, and approved the lead
plaintiffs' choice of lead counsel and local counsel.

"We are awaiting plaintiffs' consolidated amended complaint. We
believe that we have meritorious defenses to these actions and
intend to defend ourselves vigorously."


SKILLSOFT: California Securities Case Trial Set for September
-------------------------------------------------------------
At the end of fiscal third quarter of 1998, several purported
class action lawsuits were filed in the United States District
Court for the Northern District of California against SkillSoft
Public Limited Company, one of its subsidiaries and certain of
its former and current officers and directors alleging
violations of the federal securities laws.

It has been alleged in these lawsuits that the company
misrepresented or omitted to state material facts regarding its
business and financial condition and prospects in order to
artificially inflate and maintain the price of its ADSs, and
misrepresented or omitted to state material facts in its
registration statement and prospectus issued in connection with
its merger with ForeFront, which also alleged to have
artificially inflated the price of its ADSs.

The court has set a trial date of September 2003. "We believe
that we have meritorious defenses to these actions and intend to
vigorously defend ourselves against them. Although we cannot
presently determine the outcome of these actions, an adverse
resolution of these matters could significantly negatively
impact our financial position and results of operations."


UNITED STATES: Senate Judiciary Approves Class Action Bill
----------------------------------------------------------
On April 11th, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved, in
partisan fashion, Section 274 (the Class Action Fairness Act).
The bill, supported by business groups, amends current law to
expand federal court jurisdiction over class actions filed in
state court when at least one plaintiff and one defendant are
from different states and the damages claimed total a minimum of
$5 million.

David Goch, Washington Legislative Counsel for the Commercial
Law League of America relates that the committee did adopt Sen.
Feinstein's (D-CA) amendment allowing a class action to remain
in state court if the primary defendant and greater than two-
thirds of the plaintiffs were from the same state.

Despite its proposed floor consideration as early as May, Mr.
Goch adds, Senate prospects remain unclear with Judiciary Chair
Hatch (R-Utah) indicating it is unclear whether they have the 60
votes needed to overcome an anticipated Democrat filibuster.


US BANCORP: Susceptible To More Suits After Securities Pact
-----------------------------------------------------------
Investment firm US Bancorp Piper Jaffray might be susceptible to
more stock fraud litigation, after it joined the $1.4 billion
settlement forged by ten Wall Street investment firms with the
Securities and Exchange Commission, the National Association of
Securities Dealers and other state and federal regulators, the
Star Tribune reports.

The settlement ended the federal probe of the investment firm's
role in underwriting hundreds of initial public offerings made
by companies during the tech market boom in the late 1990s.  The
settlement was reached after investigators concluded that the
firms' pursuit of investment banking business gave rise to
conflicts of interest.  The brokerages neither admitted nor
denied guilt as part of the settlement, but the government
released details of its findings on each firm that can now be
used by individual investors to bring lawsuits.

Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. analyst Brad Hintz projected that the
securities industry may have to pay as much as $3.5 billion just
to settle suits accusing firms of rigging the public stock
offerings of technology companies.  Ben Crabtree, a stock
analyst with Advantus Capital Management in St. Paul, told the
Tribune the investment community "expects there to be a flood of
suits and arbitration suits but the extent of actual damages
paid is still very much an open question."

The regulators concluded that the line between investment
bankers and the stock analysts who followed companies were often
blurred or ignored.  In one example of its findings regarding
Piper, the NASD cited an internal e-mail in which one analyst
expressed strong disappointment in the stock of client company
called Esperion but no change was made in Piper's "buy" rating,
the Star Tribune reports.

For investors who lost money, that kind of information is
significant, Vernon Vander Weide, a Minneapolis attorney who
represents investors in lawsuits and at one time worked for the
SEC told the Tribune.  "An individual litigant now knows that
that stuff exists.  Normally when you start a lawsuit, you don't
know that those kinds of e-mails exist and you stumble across
them in the course of investigating the case," he continued.


VENTAS INC: Contests Plaintiffs' Appeal re Fraud Suit Dismissal
---------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit entitled Sally Pratt, et al. v. Ventas,
Inc. et al. was filed on May 25, 2001 in the United States
District Court for the Western District of Kentucky (Civil
Action No. 3-01CV-317-H).

The putative class action complaint alleges that the Company and
certain current and former officers and employees of the Company
engaged in a fraudulent scheme to conceal the true nature and
substance of the 1998 Spin Off resulting in

    (a) a violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt
        Organizations Act,

    (b) bankruptcy fraud,

    (c) common law fraud, and

    (d) a deprivation of plaintiffs' civil rights.

The plaintiffs allege that the defendants failed to act
affirmatively to explain and disclose the fact that the Company
was the entity that had been known as Vencor, Inc. prior to the
1998 Spin Off and that a new separate and distinct legal entity
assumed the name of Vencor, Inc. after the 1998 Spin Off. The
plaintiffs contend that the defendants filed misleading
documents in the plaintiffs' state court lawsuits that were
pending at the time of the 1998 Spin Off and that the defendants
deceptively used the Delaware bankruptcy proceedings of Vencor,
Inc. (now Kindred) to stay lawsuits against the Company. As a
result of these actions, the plaintiffs maintain that they and
similarly situated individuals suffered and will continue to
suffer severe financial harm. The suit seeks compensatory
damages (trebled with interest), actual and punitive damages,
reasonable attorneys' fees, costs and expenses, declaratory and
injunctive and any and all other relief to which the plaintiffs
may be entitled. Before any class of plaintiffs was certified,
this action was dismissed in its entirety on February 4, 2002
because it was deemed to be an impermissible collateral attack
on the Delaware Bankruptcy Court's confirmation order. The
plaintiffs thereafter filed an appeal of the District Court's
dismissal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth
Circuit. However, on plaintiffs' motion, the appeal was stayed
after the plaintiffs separately filed a motion with the Delaware
Bankruptcy Court seeking, among other things, to have the
Delaware Bankruptcy Court set aside portions of the releases of
the Company contained in the Final Plan, as such releases might
apply to the plaintiffs.

On September 19, 2002, the Delaware Bankruptcy Court denied the
plaintiffs' motion. On February 28, 2003, the plaintiffs resumed
their Sixth Circuit appeal by filing their initial brief with
the Sixth Circuit. On April 1, 2003, Kindred, on behalf of the
Company, filed defendants' response brief. Kindred, on behalf of
the Company, intends to continue to contest the Sixth Circuit
appeal vigorously.


WAL-MART STORES: Sex Bias Suit Certification Hearing Set in July
----------------------------------------------------------------
Attorneys representing seven women in a discrimination lawsuit
against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will request at a July 25 hearing
that a California federal judge allow it to become a nationwide,
sex discrimination class action, Arkansasbusiness.com reports.

The suit alleges that the retail giant discriminated against
female workers in Wal-Mart and Sam's Clubs stores nationwide,
denying them promotions and equal pay.  The suit was filed on
behalf of 1.5 million current and former female employees at
Wal-Mart, and is believed to be the largest sex discrimination
suit filed against any private US employer.

The suit asserts that in the Company, there are about double the
number of women in management at competing retail stores, and
male Wal-Mart workers get higher pay than women for the same
duties.  It further states that the Company passed over women
for promotions and training, and retaliated against women who
complain, Arkansasbusiness.com reports.

The Company denied the allegations saying there was no basis for
a finding of systemwide discrimination.

                  Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Found in Jail Sparks Fear
-------------------------------------------------------
A small asbestos panel found in Lincoln Prison's health care
center sparked moves to relocate eight inmates for 36 hours.

The men, working in an ongoing improvements program at the
Victorian jail in Greetwell Road, uncovered the panel and
notified the staff.

Amanda Bailey, HMP Lincoln's head of corporate services, said
"We moved eight prisoners out of the health care center and into
the main prison as a precautionary measure.

"Some old asbestos was exposed and an air quality expert
produced a negative reading on Friday, April 25, so the inmates
were returned."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Inspector Tagged in $10T Bribery Case
----------------------------------------------------------
Jeffrey D. Edwards, 40, district inspector, was indicted on
April 29 for allegedly seeking $10,000 from a contractor hired
to remove asbestos from the incinerators at the Benning Road
Solid Waste Transfer Station in Northeast Washington.

The city asbestos inspector was charged with two counts of
bribery and extortion for allegedly telling the contractor he
would relax environmental standards during the asbestos removal
for $10,000 in cash. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 35
years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

Edwards allegedly threatened to inform city officials of the
convictions of the owners of the Virginia-based company on the
charges of making false statements to the Environmental
Protection Agency if they did not pay him. The said convictions
would have barred them from doing business anywhere in the
District. The company and the owners were not identified.

Edwards pleaded not guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard W.
Roberts.

"This is a matter we take very seriously, given the potential
health hazards associated with the improper and unsafe removal
of asbestos," said U.S. Attorney Roscoe C. Howard Jr. "Anyone
attempting to illegally undermine or circumvent established EPA
and District of Columbia asbestos-removal guidelines will be
aggressively prosecuted."

The company won the contract for the demolition of incinerators
and the removal of asbestos at the waste station went out for
bid in October, according to the indictment.

The contractors contacted law enforcement authorities, who
documented the cash transfer when it was made, authorities said.

Edwards was nabbed on Feb. 13. His lawyer, Erica J. Hashimoto of
the Federal Public Defender's Office, refused to say anything on
the case.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: AUS Group To Back Asbestos Causes Launched
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Asbestos Information and Support Service was launched in
Melbourne, April 28, to pledge support to asbestos-related
causes.

The group seeks to focus on the 30-year delay between exposure
to asbestos and people showing signs of asbestos-related
diseases.

Spokeswoman Cheryl Wragg says the extent of the problem is only
starting to become evident.

"We're not yet at the peak of asbestos related injury and death
in Australia, the experts are saying that will occur over the
next 15 years," she said.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Groups Call for Reforms in Asbestos Suits
--------------------------------------------------------------
Local business groups have pledged to back moves to stop workers
with asbestos exposures from suing even before they develop
cancer.

A full-page ad in The Orange County Register is a big part of
the campaign headed by the Washington, D.C.-based Citizens for
Asbestos Reform.  Three chambers of commerce, the Newport Beach,
Orange and Anaheim chambers helped pay for the ad.  The ad
linked asbestos lawsuits to lost jobs, "busted retirement plans
and bankrupt companies was also supported by 38 other companies
and groups.

Newport Beach Chamber President Richard Luehrs said, "The
problem is this is so far-reaching, we're concerned about it.  
That's why we joined on."

Full-page newspaper ads, supported by the same group, ran in
seven states on the same day.

The California ad said, in large type: "We urge Senator (Dianne)
Feinstein to stand up for Asbestos Litigation Reform."

Businesses' fear is that thousands of people with asbestosis, an
asbestos-related lung ailment, will join the roughly 700,000
asbestos lawsuits against businesses that have been filed in the
past decade. Steven Kazan, an expert in asbestos litigation,
told the Senate Judiciary Committee in March that half the U.S.
population may have been exposed to asbestos.

As many as 70 companies, including W.R. Grace & Co., Johns-
Manville Corp. and Owens Corning, have been forced into
bankruptcy by asbestos lawsuits, Jerry Jasinolvski, president of
the National Association of Manufacturers, told the House Small
Business Committee this month.

A court ruling in March allows workers with asbestosis who have
not developed cancer to sue and win damages. Awards sometimes
have been in the millions, including one in which six retired
railroad workers won a $4,900,000 judgment against Norfolk &
Western Railway Co.

Lhuers said that he threat of these kinds of cases, in which
some victims have not developed cancer, was one of the most
bothersome developments for the Newport Beach Chamber of
Commerce.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: GE Settles 350,000 Asbestos Cases
-------------------------------------------------------
General Electric Co., the company that has plugged in to most
businesses that have shaped the modern world, said that about
350,000 asbestos cases against it have been settled or dismissed
and that the company has enough reserves beyond its insurance
for the remaining 55,000.

The $2,600,000,000 secondary insurance coverage of the company
may be slashed by at least $800,000,000 to pay for or settle
claims, according to a recent court ruling and some other
unnamed sources.

GE spokesman Gary Sheffer said the $800 million figure is
``highly speculative'' and ``irresponsible'' and that General
Electric doesn't expect future rulings to hurt profit ``win or
lose'' because it has suitable reserves.

Sheffer wouldn't disclose how much is in reserve beyond the
insurance coverage. An April 7 ruling by New York state Supreme
Court Judge Ira Gammerman said the company is liable for the
first $5 million in coverage on each claim filed by people
exposed to asbestos.

In the past decade, General Electric's insurers have spent about
$400 million on claims stemming mostly from contact with power
generation turbines insulated with asbestos, Sheffer said.

General Electric is the world's biggest maker of power-plant
turbines. The ruling covers policies issued from 1965 to 1985.

According to Sheffer, about 70,000 cases were dismissed out of
the disposed 350,000 cases, and 280,000 were settled for $1,500
to $2,000 each. Of the remaining 90,000 cases, 35,000 are frozen
because the claimants aren't sick.

The ``vast majority'' of the remaining 55,000 also aren't ill,
Sheffer said.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Miles & Stockbridge Acquires Smaller Firm
--------------------------------------------------------------
Miles & Stockbridge PC said it has agreed to acquire Baltimore
law firm Church Loker & Silver to strengthen its product
liability and mass tort litigation practices.

The 10 lawyers from the smaller firm joined Miles & Stockbridge
on May 1, bringing the number of attorneys at the combined firm
to 179, including a 40-member litigation team.

Church Loker & Silver, established in 1989 as Church & Houff,
specializes in defending companies in asbestos cases, as well as
in tobacco and lead-paint litigation. Clients include
manufacturers of chemicals, building materials and industrial
and consumer products.

Miles & Stockbridge, with offices in Baltimore, Cambridge,
Columbia, Easton, Frederick, Rockville, Towson and Tysons
Corner, Va., specializes in defending corporations,
manufacturers and financial institutions in class actions, mass
torts and product liability claims and represents clients in
general business, corporate and real estate transactions.

For many years, lawyers from Miles & Stockbridge have worked
jointly with Church Loker & Silver on asbestos cases.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Fund Seen at $90-$120B
----------------------------------------------------
U.S. Congress and business sectors along with other individuals
are nearing agreement on a proposed trust fund of between
$90,000,000,000 and $120,000,000,000 to pay asbestos injury
claims according to Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch

"We're almost there," the senator overseeing the whole process
declared.

Defendant companies, insurers, and unions are close to agreeing
on a legislative proposal to take the cases out of the courts,
set up a special asbestos tribunal to hear them and allocate
payments from a national trust fund, Hatch said.

The size of the trust fund is one of the things yet to be
decided, Hatch, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told
reporters.

The senator said the business community proposed a size
somewhere near $90,000,000,000 while the labor community is
somewhere near $120,000,000,000.

"Frankly it can't be as high as 120 and I don't think it can be
as low as 90," Hatch said. "So I'm going to work that out and
hopefully we can get all of their support."

Asbestos was widely used for fireproofing and insulation until
the 1970s, when scientists concluded that inhaled fibers could
be linked to cancer and other diseases. But because disease can
take decades to materialize, many of those suing for exposure
are not currently ill.

Potential asbestos liability costs are enormous. Tillinghast-
Towers Perrin, an actuarial consulting firm, says cumulative
liability could reach $200,000,000,000.

Hatch said the trust fund idea was a bipartisan effort, with
Democratic and Republican lawmakers trying to reach a deal that
could be put into legislation. Agreement was close in the talks,
which are being held behind closed doors.

"We still want to give it just a little bit more time to see if
we can get there. I'm not going to give an inordinate amount of
time," Hatch added.

He suggested that without complete agreement he may still
introduce a bill. "I think we've got all the elements to put
together a pretty good package. The question is, do we get all
parties together to agree, or do we have to just go ahead with
what we think is the best way."

A spokesman for Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the ranking
Democrat on Hatch's committee, confirmed he was still involved
in the effort to reach an asbestos solution. Leahy held a
hearing on asbestos litigation last September, while Democrats
still had the majority in the Senate.

Among companies that have filed for bankruptcy protection in
recent years because of asbestos liability claims are building
materials company Owens Corning and auto parts supplier Federal-
Mogul Corp.

Hatch said he envisioned a five-judge tribunal, to be appointed
by the president, to hear asbestos claims. There would still be
a limited right to appeal to the courts.

There would be different levels of payments depending on the
category of illness, Hatch said. He said it was important that
the sickest cases get priority, while those who may become sick
later retain their right to recover damages then.

Hatch did not describe how the trust would be funded, other than
to say he did not foresee a federal government contribution. But
business and insurance representatives involved in the talks
have proposed dividing evenly the costs of a $90 billion fund.

Damon Silvers, the AFL-CIO's associate general counsel,
confirmed the union made a proposal last week on how it thought
a trust fund could work, including medical criteria and a
schedule of payments to victims.

"It's not an offer in terms of a lump sum," he said of the
union's proposal. "But you can cost it out, depending on what
you think the future holds, to $120 or $130 billion."

Silvers also said he thought the federal government should step
in if the fund runs out of money. "Otherwise it's the victims
that bear the risk if something goes wrong here."

A group called the Asbestos Alliance represents more than 200
companies and associations, including some in bankruptcy such as
Owens Corning, in the asbestos talks. It also includes insurers
and lawyers for desperately ill victims.

Several Fortune 500 companies not historically associated with
asbestos manufacture but who have been pulled into the
litigation are being represented in the talks by a different
organization, known as the Asbestos Study Group.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ASSE Says Asbestos Still Major Hazard
----------------------------------------------------------
The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) reminds its
members that asbestos is still a significant workplace safety
concern.

According to ASSE Assistant Administrator for the Environmental
Practice Specialty Jeff Camplin, CSP, materials containing
asbestos are still being produced in the U.S.

Many "friable" asbestos products were banned in the 1970's and
the U.S. Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) banned
all other forms of asbestos products in 1989. An EPA ban and
phase out rule prohibited the manufacture, importation,
processing, and distribution of asbestos containing products in
commerce. However, in 1991, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
Fifth Circuit vacated the ban on most of the materials so that
materials containing asbestos that were being produced in the
U.S. at the time of the ban are now legal to produce, import and
use today.

In a peer-reviewed paper titled "It's Back-Asbestos gets a
second wind," Camplin states that the materials that may still
be imported or produced with asbestos include: cement --
corrugated and flat sheeting, clothing, pipeline wrap, roofing
felt, vinyl floor tile, cement shingle, millboard, cement pipe,
automatic transmission components, clutch facings, friction
materials, disc brake pads, drum brake linings, brake blocks,
gaskets, non-roofing coatings and roof coatings.

In his paper, to be published in ASSE's Professional Safety
Journal, Camplin warns fellow occupational safety, health and
environmental (SH&E) professionals that asbestos is still a
problem and could grow even larger with new issues and risks
evolving every day. Also, asbestos was the largest single factor
in the rise of tort costs in 2001 resulting in a $6 billion
increase in liabilities tied to asbestos claims, said Camplin.

"Asbestos can reappear even if all asbestos has been removed
from the building. It can still be an issue even if inspection
reports state no asbestos is present in a building," Camplin
said. "Asbestos inspections typically have flaws that SH&E
professionals need to be aware of including knowing the proper
inspection scope, lack of inspector and lab qualifications, new
regulatory requirements and much more."

Asbestos is a mineral fiber that is extracted from rock and have
been used for centuries for its fire resistance and because it
is not easily destroyed or degraded by natural processes.
Exposure to asbestos occurs when one breathes in asbestos
fibers. This can cause various forms of cancer, including
mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lung and abdominal
cavities. It can also cause asbestosis, an emphysema-like
condition. Symptoms may take 20 years or more to occur. However,
by following safe work practices and by reporting any damage or
disturbance to asbestos containing materials, exposure can be
minimized.

Asbestos is present in our environment as a naturally occurring
mineral, in consumer products and building materials said
Camplin. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (news - web
sites) (CPSC) has identified several consumer products and
building materials that have been inadvertently contaminated
with asbestos. Camplin also notes that even when air in the work
area has been declared clear of asbestos, asbestos fibers can
still remain in the air and on surface work areas. At this time,
there is no federal regulation requiring surface dust to be
tested for asbestos, and, the existing analytical methods used
to determine asbestos contamination in surface dust continue to
be problematic, Camplin noted.

To address these issues Camplin states that SH&E professionals
should use due diligence requirements to identify asbestos with
or without existing asbestos inspections; realize that these
emerging asbestos issues pertain to existing and new
construction; and, that the EPA has developed excellent guidance
for testing, cleaning and clearing asbestos contaminated
buildings.

Camplin, an Illinois licensed asbestos professional since 1986,
states that the U.S. Geological Survey reported that 13,000
metric tons of asbestos were imported into the U.S. in 2001 and
that worldwide mining of asbestos was estimated by the
government at 2,050,000 metric tons in 2001, illustrating a
growing risk.


ASBESTOS ALERT: The Rijksmuseum Closes After Asbestos Discovery
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam closed on April 29 indefinitely
after asbestos was discovered in the building announced the
museum officials.

Asbestos, a dangerous substance once used in insulation, was
found during an inspection by the national buildings service.

The famous museum in the Netherlands contains one of the largest
collections of paintings from the Golden Age of Dutch Art,
including the famous "The Nightwatch" by Rembrandt.

The museum management opted to shut the famous landmark to the
public and staff until further notice as a precautionary
measure, but stressed that the asbestos detected posed a
negligible risk.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Met-Pro Faces Asbestos-Related Cases
----------------------------------------------------
Met-Pro Corporation (NYSE: MPR) has joined the long list of
defendants in asbestos-related cases.

Last year, Met-Pro was named as one of many defendants in a
number of such cases filed in Mississippi.  The Company, along
with the other defendants, is alleged to have sold products
containing asbestos, although as of January 31, 2003, any
plaintiff has specifically identified none of the Company's
products in any case as a cause of the alleged injuries.  

Met-Pro believes that it has defenses to the claims that have
been asserted.  Although the Company is vigorously defending all
of the cases, the amount expended by the Company to date in
responding to these cases has not been material, as most of the
costs have been paid by insurance.

Given the current status of these cases, it is not possible to
determine the Company's potential liability, if any, and no
provision has been made in the Company's financial statements
for any such claims.

COMPANY PROFILE
Met-Pro Corporation (NYSE: MPR)
160 Cassell Rd., P.O. Box 144
Harleysville, PA 19438    
Phone: 215-723-6751
Fax: 215-723-6758
http://www.met-pro.com
  
Employees    :         361
Revenue      : $69,600,000
Net Income   :  $5,900,000
Assets       : $73,800,000
Liabilities  : $17,600,000
(As of January 31, 2003)

Description: Met-Pro is out to clean up the world. Its product
recovery and pollution-control segment, which includes its Flex-
Kleen subsidiary, makes products ranging from particle
collectors (used in food preparation) to fans and blowers (used
in semiconductor manufacturing plants). The fluid-handling
equipment segment makes products for handling corrosive,
abrasive, and high-temperature liquids. Products include filter
systems for the printing, plating, and metal-finishing
industries, as well as pumps for the petrochemical,
pharmaceutical, plastics, and food-processing industries. Met-
Pro has shareholder's rights and stock buyback plans in place.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Death Linked to Asbestos Exposure 40 Years Ago
--------------------------------------------------------------
Michael Holmes, an electronics engineer in Hermitage, died of
cancer, 40 years after having been exposed to asbestos.

Julia Holmes, the bereaved widow, told the West Berkshire
coroner Simon Barrett that her husband had worked for the
Ministry of Defense on the south coast.  He was assigned to work
on radars as an engineer.  He also had a stint in, Plessey, the
telecoms firm in Towcester, before joining the Rutherford
Laboratory at Harwell in 1962.

She mentioned one instance when her husband came home worried
from the job.

She said, "Michael only ever had one contact with asbestos known
to us. That was when he was asked to cut up a two-foot square
panel. He came home and said 'I feel worried' - he'd done the
sawing of it without any protection."

Holmes carried on working at the lab until he retired in 1989,
and then went to work for a refrigeration company in Thatcham.

Julia Holmes said, "He was incredibly fit and the last thing he
did before he became ill in 2000 was go trekking in Nepal with
one of our sons."

After returning home, the family first noticed things were wrong
when the 67-year-old burst a blood vessel at the back of one
eye.

He was seen by a specialist who diagnosed aplastic anemia - a
rare disease when bone marrow fails to produce red blood cells
and platelets.

Blood transfusions and more tests followed but Michael Holmes
died on Jan. 11 this year.

A post-mortem examination by pathologist Dr Leo Horton showed
Holmes had a malignant tumor growing between his right lung and
ribcage besides the anemia.

Summing up Barrett said he was certain the electronics engineer
had been exposed to at least one incident involving asbestos
during his career and added there may have been others.

He recorded a verdict that Holmes died of an industrial-related
disease called mesothelioma, a form of asbestos-related cancer.

He expressed his sympathy to the family.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Widow Sues BT Group for Husband's Death
-------------------------------------------------------
Margaret Wood filed charges against the BT Group blaming the
negligence of the company for the asbestos-caused death of her
husband.

Wood, of Lower Road, claims in a writ issued at London's High
Court and just made publicly available that her husband Roy's
death was the result of him breathing in deadly asbestos dust.

The widow claims her husband was exposed to asbestos when he
worked at South Kensington Telephone Exchange between 1956 and
1992.

She gives an account of how the staff at the telephone exchange
kicked asbestos "pillows" about during their work that were left
lying around for reuse.

The writ alleges the "pillows" of asbestos were used to plug
gaps between cables, but they sometimes broke open, throwing up
clouds of dust.

Wood claims BT should have known that breathing in asbestos
might be dangerous and should have protected her husband against
the risk of breathing in the dust.

Her husband allegedly inhaled substantial amounts of asbestos
dust and fibers. He later developed malignant mesothelioma, from
which he died on June 9, 2000 at the age of 60.

He first developed symptoms in December 1999 and suffered
increasing pain and breathlessness, needing more and more
nursing care.

She claims the company failed to give him adequate protection,
failed to give him breathing apparatus, failed to minimize the
risk of inhaling asbestos dust, and failed to provide him with a
safe workplace.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the case.

COMPANY PROFILE
BT Group plc (NYSE: BTY)
BT Center, 81 Newgate St.
London EC1A 7AJ, United Kingdom      
Phone: +44-20-7356-5000
Fax: +44-20-7356-5520
http://www.btplc.com

Employees   :         108,600
Revenue     : $26,293,000,000
Net Income  :  $1,418,000,000
Assets      : $39,442,000,000
Liabilities : $39,952,000,000
(As of March 31, 2002)

Description: Though competition has taken its toll, BT Group
still wears the crown as the UK's leading telecommunications
carrier. Formerly known as British Telecommunications, the BT
Group offers local and long-distance phone service with about 29
million access lines, and provides Internet and other data
services. In a major reorganization, BT Group has turned itself
into a holding company and split its UK fixed-line network
operations into separate wholesale and retail businesses.  


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Weyerhaeuser Asbestos Suit Still Uncertain
---------------------------------------------------------------
Weyerhaeuser Co. is asking the state Supreme Court to dismiss a
lawsuit filed by the wives of five workers retired from its
Plymouth paper mill.

The timber giant warns that allowing the case to move forth
would drag the North Carolina court system into "the black hole
of asbestos litigation."

Lawyers for the wives responded that Weyerhaeuser is clouding
the specific issues in the case with more general matters that,
if ruled upon, would turn the court into a law-making body.

Weyerhaeuser "is plainly asking this court to usurp the
legislative function and engage in judicial activism," the
wives' lawyers wrote. "But as this court has eloquently written,
'The court does not sit at the entrance of the legislative hall
but rather at the exit. It takes the ball on the rebound." "

The wives are long married to men who worked at the Plymouth
paper mill in Washington County for 20 years and more. The
mill's pipes, walls and machinery were covered with asbestos
that workers say frequently flaked off and filled the air with
tiny particles. Workers went home from work with asbestos dust
clinging to their clothing.

When sealed, asbestos is not harmful to humans. But if asbestos
breaks up and releases particles, the dust can be inhaled and
drawn deeply into the lungs. With at least 10 years of exposure,
a person can develop asbestosis, an illness that restricts
breathing and can progress into more serious diseases such as
cancer. The five wives suing Weyerhaeuser have been diagnosed
with asbestosis, which they say was caused by asbestos dust
brought home on their husbands' clothing.

Nearly 300 workers at the Plymouth mill have filed workers'
compensation cases in the past three years against Weyerhaeuser
claiming they suffer from asbestos-related health problems
because of conditions at the mill. The wives sued Weyerhaeuser
last summer, accusing the company of negligence.

The wives' suit first came before Superior Court Judge William
C. Griffin Jr., who late last year refused to throw it out.
Weyerhaeuser went to the state Court of Appeals, which declined
to act. In March, the company asked the state Supreme Court to
end the case, arguing that it did not have a duty to warn the
wives of the asbestos hazard. To recognize such a duty,
Weyerhaeuser said, would open the state's courts to a flood of
fresh asbestos litigation.

"This court should take immediate action to grant
[Weyerhaeuser's] appeal. To do otherwise will allow the trial
court's ruling to trigger the state court system's rapid slide
into the black hole of asbestos litigation with potential
filings of tens of thousands of asbestos cases, as has been
experienced by the courts in other states such as Mississippi
and Texas," the company said.

In a response filed April 25, the wives said their case is not
breaking new ground, and a jury should be allowed to decide it.

Weyerhaeuser "refers to possible federal legislation and
legislation in other jurisdictions, which is all outside the
record of this case and tells the court nothing about what duty
[Weyerhaeuser] owes to these plaintiffs," the wives said.

When sealed, asbestos is not harmful to humans. But if asbestos
breaks up and releases particles, the dust can be inhaled and
drawn deeply into the lungs. With at least 10 years of exposure,
a person can develop asbestosis, an illness that restricts
breathing and can progress into more serious diseases such as
cancer. The five wives suing Weyerhaeuser have been diagnosed
with asbestosis, which they say was caused by asbestos dust
brought home on their husbands' clothing.

Nearly 300 workers at the Plymouth mill have filed workers'
compensation cases in the past three years against Weyerhaeuser
claiming they suffer from asbestos-related health problems
because of conditions at the mill. The wives sued Weyerhaeuser
last summer, accusing the company of negligence.

The wives' suit first came before Superior Court Judge William
C. Griffin Jr., who late last year refused to throw it out.
Weyerhaeuser went to the state Court of Appeals, which declined
to act. In March, the company asked the state Supreme Court to
end the case, arguing that it did not have a duty to warn the
wives of the asbestos hazard. To recognize such a duty,
Weyerhaeuser said, would open the state's courts to a flood of
fresh asbestos litigation.

"This court should take immediate action to grant
[Weyerhaeuser's] appeal. To do otherwise will allow the trial
court's ruling to trigger the state court system's rapid slide
into the black hole of asbestos litigation with potential
filings of tens of thousands of asbestos cases, as has been
experienced by the courts in other states such as Mississippi
and Texas," the company said.

In a response filed Friday, the wives said their case is not
breaking new ground, and a jury should be allowed to decide it.

Weyerhaeuser "refers to possible federal legislation and
legislation in other jurisdictions, which is all outside the
record of this case and tells the court nothing about what duty
[Weyerhaeuser] owes to these plaintiffs," the wives said.

                  New Securities Fraud Cases

ADC TELECOMMUNICATIONS: Stull Files Securities Fraud Suit in MN
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Stull, Stull & Brody initiated a securities
class action in the United States District Court for the
District of Minnesota, on behalf of all persons who purchased
common stock of ADC Telecommunications, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADCT)
between November 28, 2000 and March 28, 2001, inclusive. Named
defendants are ADC, William Cadogan and Robert W. Switz.

The complaint charges ADC and certain of its officers with
violations of federal securities laws. Among other things,
plaintiff claims that defendants' material omissions and the
dissemination of materially false and misleading statements
concerning ADC's financial prospects caused ADC's stock price to
become artificially inflated, inflicting damages on investors.

ADC is a supplier of broadband-network equipment, software and
services that enable communications service providers to deliver
high-speed Internet, data, and voice services across the so-
called "last mile" connecting providers' offices to end-users'
homes and businesses.

The Complaint alleges that during the Class Period defendants
repeatedly represented that ADC would continue to achieve
significant growth and would not be affected by widely known
reductions in capital spending on the telecommunications
infrastructure by communications service providers.

Plaintiff claims that ADC's true financial performance and
business prospects were revealed on March 28, 2001, when
defendants acknowledged that the Company would lower its fiscal
2001 earnings guidance which defendants had issued only four
weeks earlier, cut as many as 4,000 jobs and close facilities in
the face of canceled orders and declining revenues caused by the
reductions in spending on equipment by telecommunications
service providers.

For more details, contact Tzivia Brody, Esq. at Stull, Stull &
Brody by Mail: 6 East 45th Street, New York, NY 10017; by Phone:
1-800-337-4983, by Fax: 212/490-2022, by E-mail: SSBNY@aol.com;
or visit the firm's Web site: http://www.SSBNY.com


ALLIANT ENERGY: Cauley Geller Lodges Securities Suit in WI
----------------------------------------------------------
Cauley Geller Bowman Coates & Rudman, LLP initiated a securities
class action in the United States District Court for the Western
District of Wisconsin on behalf of purchasers of Alliant Energy
Corporation (NYSE: LNT) publicly traded securities during the
period between January 29, 2002 to July 18, 2002, inclusive.

The complaint charges Alliant and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934.  More specifically, the complaint alleges that during the
class period, defendants issued false and misleading statements
to the marketplace that artificially inflated the price of
Alliant's shares.  

The complaint further alleges that the Company inaccurately
boasted of the performance of its non- regulated businesses and
represented that those businesses would enhance the Company's
2002 financial outlook.  Specifically, defendants knew or should
have known that its non-regulated businesses were suffering from
serious problems; that its non-regulated businesses operated as
a financial strain on the Company's overall financial results
and could not compensate for any weaknesses in its regulated
businesses; and that the Company, in earnest, still heavily
relied on its utilities businesses for earnings even though the
Company reported otherwise.

On July 18, 2002, the Company, unexpectedly, issued a press
release titled: "Alliant Energy Updates 2002 Adjusted Earnings
Guidance, Affirms Dividend Commitment And Issues Initial 2003
Adjusted Earnings Guidance."  Therein, the Company announced
that it was lowering its 2002 adjusted earnings guidance to a
range of $1.35 - $1.55 per diluted share from its previous
guidance of $2.10 - $2.30.  Market reaction to this news was
swift.  

Alliant's stock experienced a sharp 23% decline and closed at
$18.22 per share on July 19, 2002.  After the close of the class
period, the Company, on November 22, 2002, issued a press
release wherein it stated that it would shift its operations to
less aggressive growth targets primarily driven by its utility
operations and sell many of its non-regulated businesses.

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


CAMINUS CORPORATION: Bernstein Liebhard Commences Lawsuit in NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz, LLP initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York, on behalf of all persons who purchased or
acquired Caminus Corporation (NASDAQ: CAMZ) securities between
February 12, 2002 and July 8, 2002, inclusive.

The Complaint alleges that defendants violated Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder, by issuing a series of material
misrepresentations to the market between February 12, 2002 and
July 8, 2002, thereby artificially inflating the price of
Caminus securities.

The Complaint alleges that Caminus is a provider of software and
strategic consulting services that facilitate energy trading,
transaction processing, risk management and decision support
within the wholesale energy markets. Throughout the Class
Period, as alleged in the complaint, defendants issued
statements regarding the Company's financial performance and
filed a prospectus which described the market for energy trading
software. These statements were materially false and misleading
because they failed to disclose and/or misrepresented the
following adverse facts, among others:

     (i) that the Company's business was coming under increasing
         pressure as many of Caminus's clients were deferring
         purchases and/or determining not to proceed at all with
         planned purchases;

    (ii) that the Company's strategic consulting business was
         not performing to the Company's expectations and would
         not be able to contribute the revenues and earnings
         that were anticipated; and

   (iii) that the market for Caminus's products was quickly
         deteriorating as many energy companies were being
         heavily scrutinized by regulatory authorities,
         experiencing declining financial condition and
         grappling to fix the deficiencies in their respective
         businesses. Moreover, energy trading -- an area where
         Caminus provided software systems -- was in steep
         decline as many of the major players exited the field
         amid scandal.

On July 8, 2002, the Company shocked the market when it
announced that revenues for the second quarter would be $18
million -- $7 million less than previously promised on June 3rd
-- and that the Company now would experience a loss of between
$0.18 to $0.20 per share as compared to the $0.03 per share
profit previously represented. Following this report, shares of
Caminus fell $2.96 per share, or $49.7%, to close at $2.99 per
share, on extremely heavy trading volume.

For queries, contact Ms. Linda Flood, Director of Shareholder
Relations, at Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz, LLP by Mail: 10
East 40th Street, New York, New York 10016; by Phone: (800) 217-
1522 or (212) 779-1414; or by E-mail: CAMZ@bernlieb.com.


I2 TECHNOLOGIES: Marc Henzel Commences Securities Suit in TX
------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Marc S. Henzel initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Texas on behalf of purchasers of i2 Technologies,
Inc. (NASDAQ: ITWO) publicly traded securities during the period
between April 18, 2000 and January 24, 2003, inclusive.

The complaint alleges that defendants violated Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder, by issuing a series of material
misrepresentations to the market between April 18, 2000 and
January 24, 2003, thereby artificially inflating the price of i2
securities.  The complaint alleges that throughout the class
period, in press releases and in filings with the SEC, the
Company reported increasing revenues and "record" financial
results.

As alleged in the complaint, these statements were each
materially false and misleading when made because they failed to
disclose and/or misrepresented the following adverse facts,
among others:

     (1) that the Company had materially overstated its revenue
         by improperly recognizing revenue on certain customer
         contracts;

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

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

On January 27, 2003, before the opening of trading, i2 shocked
the investing public when it announced that it would re-audit
its financial statements for the years ended December 31, 2000
and 2001 because "recent information developed during the audit
committee's ongoing investigation of certain allegations
regarding the company's revenue recognition with respect to
certain customer contracts and its financial reporting for those
years."

The Company further reported that it had notified the SEC of
these allegations, and that the SEC staff has begun an informal
inquiry into these matters.  The Company also advised investors
that they should not rely on the financial information contained
in the company's annual reports on Form 10-K for the years ended
December 31, 2000 and 2001 or in the company's quarterly reports
on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2000 through
September 30, 2002.

Market reaction was swift and negative, with i2 common stock
falling from a close of $1.26 on January 24, 2003 to a close of
$0.92 on January 27, 2003, the next trading day, or a single-day
decline of more than 26%, on very heavy trading volume.

For more details, contact Marc S. Henzel, by Mail: 273
Montgomery Ave, Suite 202 Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004-2808, by Phone:
(888) 643-6735 or (610) 660-8000, by Fax: (610) 660-8080, by E-
mail: Mhenzel182@aol.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://members.aol.com/mhenzel182.  


SKECHERS USA: Schatz & Nobel Files Securities Lawsuit in C.D. CA
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schatz & Nobel, P.C. initiated a securities
class action in the United States District Court for the Central
District of California on behalf of all persons who purchased
the publicly traded securities of Skechers U.S.A., Inc. (NYSE:
SKX) from April 3, 2002 through December 9, 2002, inclusive.

The Complaint alleges that Skechers, a company that designs and
markets branded contemporary casual, active, rugged and
lifestyle footwear, and certain of its officers and directors
made misrepresentations concerning Skecher's business and
financial condition. Specifically, on April 3, 2002, Skechers
announced that its first quarter results would exceed analyst
estimates by 25%. These projections sent Skecher's shares to
above $22 per share. The defendants knew, but concealed from the
investing public, that Skechers had accelerated sales by
assuming the role of distributor which would lead to a decline
in later quarters and that future sales would be disappointing
due to the early lead time on orders from customers. These
misrepresentations caused the price of Skechers stock to be
artificially inflated throughout the Class Period and enabled
Skechers to completed a $90 million convertible note offering.
Within months, the individual defendants sold in excess of $33
million worth of stock. On December 9, 2002, defendants
announced that Skechers would fall materially short of hitting
its forecasted projections. On this news, Skecher's shares
plummeted from $12 per share to $7 per share.

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


                              *********


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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