CAR_Public/030505.mbx                C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

                 Monday, May 5, 2003, Vol. 5, No. 87

                            Headlines


ANTHEM INC.: To Settle IN Policyholders Lawsuit For $136 Million
BANK OF AMERICA: WA Court Approves $4.1M Overtime Suit Settlement
BIONOVA HOLDINGS: Appeals Court Revives Several Charges in Suit
CARREKER CORPORATION: Texas Court Consolidates Securities Suits
CATHOLIC CHURCH: More Than 200 Abuse Suits Granted Class Status

CATHOLIC CHURCH: MA Court Dismisses Woman's Sexual Abuse Lawsuit
CMGI INC.: Investors File Securities Arbitration Claim With NYSE
CREDIT CARD: Visa, MasterCard To Pay $3B To Settle Retailer Suit
CRYOLIFE INC.: Plaintiffs Launch Securities Fraud Lawsuit in GA
CRYOLIFE INC.: Faces Several Shareholder Derivative Suits in GA

DENMARK: Software Company Found Guilty, Fined For Sending "Spam"
ENRON CORPORATION: Former Officials Surrender To TX Authorities
GENERAL MOTORS: To Recall 1.77 Million Vehicles to Replace Wiper
GREAT BRITAIN: Sexual Discrimination Suit Sparks EOC Inquiry
HOTELS.COM: Plaintiffs Agree To Consolidate TX Securities Suits

GENERAL NUTRITION: To Halt Sales of Products Containing Ephedra
GEORGIA: Malpractice Debate Expected To Continue Through 2004
GOODYEAR TIRE: Trial in Entran II Hose Suit Set July 2003 in CO
GOODYEAR TIRE: Faces Suits Over Entran II Hose in UT, CA Courts
ONE WEST: TX Attorney General Sues Over Fraud, Moneymaking Scheme

RAMBUS INC.: Plaintiffs Ask CA Court To Dismiss Securities Suit
RAMBUS INC.: Plaintiffs Move To Replead Derivative Lawsuit in DE
SECURITIES LITIGATION: New Way To Issue Tainted Analysis Revealed
SECURITIES LITIGATION: $1.4B Settlement Aimed At Culture Change
SECURITIES LITIGATION: Mutual Fund Investors Not Included In Pact

VENTAS INC.: Plaintiffs Resume Appeal of KY RICO Suit Dismissal
WASTE MANAGEMENT: Ex-Pension Plan Member Appeals Suit Settlement
WELLMAN INC.: JPML Transfers Antitrust Suits To NC Federal Court
WELLMAN INC.: 33 Antitrust Lawsuits Commenced in Various Courts
WELLMAN INC.: Firms Commence Antitrust Lawsuits in Canada Court

WHITEHALL JEWELLERS: Reaches Settlement of CA Overtime Wage Suit

                     New Securities Fraud Cases


AFC ENTERPRISES: Wolf Haldenstein Launches Securities Suit in GA
ALLOU HEALTHCARE: Cauley Geller Lodges Securities Lawsuit in NY
BLACK BOX: Bernstein Liebhard Lodges Securities Suit in W.D. PA
PEC SOLUTIONS: Bernstein Liebhard Launches Securities Suit in VA

                           *********


ANTHEM INC.: To Settle IN Policyholders Lawsuit For $136 Million
----------------------------------------------------------------
Anthem Inc. will settle for $136 million a class action filed by
Indiana policyholders who charged the Blue Cross-Blue Shield company
with reneging on paying for skilled nursing care, IndyStar.com reports.

Initially, an individual lawsuit was filed in 1998 by a daughter of
former Indianapolis librarian Elizabeth E. Ewing, who died in a
Shelbyville nursing home.  The suit alleged that Anthem, Inc. denied
Ms. Ewing $75,000 in claims for skilled nursing care, even though her
Blue Cross policy promised skilled nursing coverage up to $1 million.

Plaintiffs said in court documents that Anthem "created secret criteria
for coverage of the skilled nursing facility benefit" that were much
more restrictive in outlining the care Anthem would pay for than the
wording in copies of policies given to customers, the IndyStar.com
reports.  The suit was later made a class action on behalf of Indiana
residents who bought the Company's policies since January 1996 that
contained the skilled nursing benefit and had claims denied based on
Anthem's medical policies.

About 69 policyholders or their heirs would share in the pact, court
records state.  The policyholders would recover 70 percent of their
actual unpaid claims, if court approves the suit.  A hearing, with
possible court approval of the proposed settlement, was set for this
week but was postponed to May 16 before Judge Gary Miller of Marion
Superior Court.  Judge Miller also must decide whether to approve
$475,000 in attorney fees and $114,396 in costs requested by three
legal firms in an affidavit filed Tuesday.

The Indianapolis insurer said it agreed to settle the case, which dates
to early 1999, because "we felt continued litigation wasn't in the best
interest of our customers or our company," spokeswoman Deborah New said
Thursday, IndyStar.com reports.


BANK OF AMERICA: WA Court Approves $4.1M Overtime Suit Settlement
-----------------------------------------------------------------
A Washington state judge approved a $4.1 million settlement of a class
action seeking overtime pay for Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) employees
who were involved in client services for the bank.  The complaint
alleged that the employees qualified for overtime pay under the
Washington Minimum Wage Act (WMWA) and the federal Fair Labor Standards
Act (FLSA).

The suit was filed in King County Superior Court on February 22, 2002,
by Theresa Luciano, Steven Manger and Sylvia See, on behalf of all
client managers and financial relationship managers employed by Bank of
America in the state of Washington.

The plaintiffs contended that their role of familiarizing the Bank's
customers with available investment vehicles and ways to maximize their
return was in fact essentially a sales position requiring them to sell
the Bank's financial products.  The Bank ranked these employees
according to the level of products they sold; as a result, plaintiffs
assert, they were encouraged to work evenings, weekends and through
their lunch hours in order to achieve an acceptable ranking.  Although
they were paid for 40 hours per week, the employees claim they wound up
working many hours "off the clock" for which they were not compensated.

"These practices are common across the financial services industry and
in almost every service industry," said Gary Nece of Nece & Allen, who
represented the plaintiffs.  "Many people think that if they are
salaried, or are highly compensated, or have 'manager' in their job
title, they aren't entitled to overtime pay.  That's just not true.
Many salaried employees are fully entitled to overtime pay."

Shortly after the lawsuit was filed, Bank of America reclassified
client managers, financial relationship managers and similar positions
as non-exempt and therefore entitled to overtime compensation under the
FLSA and WMWA.

"The three of us are very proud that we were able to make a difference
not just for ourselves but also for our co-workers and former co-
workers," said Mr. Luciano, who no longer works for Bank of America.
"In the future, the work we and our co-workers do will be fully valued
and fully compensated."

Approximately 280 current and former employees are included in the
class, and many have claims in excess of $20,000.  Under the terms of
the settlement, class members will each receive payment for overtime
based on 12 hours per week worked above the regular hours recorded on
the Bank's payroll records for the period between February 22, 1999,
and March 18, 2002.  The settlement order was signed by Judge Michael
S. Spearman.

"This settlement demonstrates the need for vigorous enforcement of
state and federal wage and hour laws," added Jim Allen of Nece & Allen,
a frequent speaker at seminars on wage and hour matters.  "Even though
these employees were well-paid, they were working far above and beyond
a 40-hour workweek, sacrificing family and personal time.  They deserve
to be paid for those hours."

The settlement is not an admission by Bank of America that it did
anything illegal.

For more details, contact Gary Nece of Nece & Allen, LLP by Phone:
1-206-621-0619, or by E-mail: necelaw@msn.com or Shelly F. Cohen of
Firmani & Associates by Phone: 1-206-443-9357, (office), or
+1-206-390-8235, (cell), or by E-mail: shelly@firmani.com for Nece &
Allen, LLP.


BIONOVA HOLDINGS: Appeals Court Revives Several Charges in Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals revived several of the
dismissed claims in the consolidated class action filed against Bionova
Holdings Corporation, over its merger with DNAP Holdings Corporation.

The suit was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern
District of California and alleges that, prior to the Merger of DNAP
with a subsidiary of Bionova Holding on September 26, 1996, they owned
shares of DNAP's Preferred Stock.  In connection with the Merger,
all of the shares of common stock and Preferred Stock of DNAP were
convertedinto the number of shares of common stock of Bionova Holding
specified in the merger agreement.

The plaintiffs allege that the Proxy Statement/Prospectus distributed
to DNAP's stockholders in connection with the merger contained material
misrepresentations and omitted to state material facts.  Both DNAP and
Bionova Holding, as well as certain former and current directors of
DNAP and Bionova Holding, have been named as defendants in this matter.
The plaintiffs claim to have been damaged by the alleged actions of the
defendants and therefore the plaintiffs seek unspecified actual
damages, reimbursement of their litigation costs and expenses, and
equitable relief, including rescission of the merger.

The plaintiffs also allege that they were entitled to receive, and seek
specific performance of, special conversion privileges under the terms
of the Certificate of Designation that established the Preferred Stock.

On March 8, 2000, the federal court dismissed nearly all of the
plaintiffs' claims, and subsequently the plaintiffs filed an amended
complaint with respect to some of the dismissed claims.  On September
19, 2000, the court ruled in favor of the Company and DNAP and
dismissed all of the plaintiffs' claims.  The plaintiffs appealed this
judgment to the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which heard
arguments on the matter on February 12, 2002.

The Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of some of the claims,
including all of the claims against DNAP, and reversed the dismissal of
others.  The remaining claims have been remanded to the trial court for
further proceedings.

The Company and DNAP deny any wrongdoing and liability in this matter.


CARREKER CORPORATION: Texas Court Consolidates Securities Suits
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas,
Dallas Division, issued an order consolidating a number of purported
securities class actions filed against Carreker Corporation and
officers John D. Carreker Jr. and Terry L. Gage.

The consolidated suit purports to be on behalf of purchasers of the
Company's common stock between May 20, 1998 and December 10, 2002,
inclusive, allege violations of Section 10(b) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 against all defendants and
violations of Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act against the individual
defendants.

These complaints also allege, among other things, that defendants
artificially inflated the value of the Company's stock by knowingly or
recklessly misrepresenting the Company's financial results during the
purported class period.  The plaintiffs are seeking unspecified amounts
of compensatory damages, interests and costs, including legal fees.

The Company denies the allegations in these complaints.


CATHOLIC CHURCH: More Than 200 Abuse Suits Granted Class Status
---------------------------------------------------------------
Circuit Judge James M. Shake, in Jefferson County, Kentucky, has
granted class action status to more than 200 sexual abuse lawsuits
pending against the Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville, with each of
these suits to be handled as such during settlement talks, the
Associated Press Newswires reports.  The plaintiffs allege sexual abuse
and accuse the Archdiocese of ignoring it.

Plaintiffs now have 30 days to decide whether they want to take part in
the class, which is defined as all pending cases filed from April 2002
through April 23, 2003.  If a plaintiff declines to join the class,
his/her case will be handled separately.  After the 30 days are up,
Judge Shake would be informed how many people remain in the class
action, and attorneys for the class and the archdiocese then would have
roughly two months to negotiate a possible settlement.

"It is an important and unique opportunity to bring to a conclusion
litigation which is taking its toll on all the parties," said William
McMurry, who represents 214 plaintiffs.

The Archdiocese and an attorney representing the plaintiffs were
pleased with Judge Shake's ruling.  "To have the support and guidance
from the court as we attempt this unique approach to addressing civil
litigation against the church is very helpful to us," said Brian
Reynolds, chancellor and chief administrative officer for the
Archdiocese.


CATHOLIC CHURCH: MA Court Dismisses Woman's Sexual Abuse Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court threw out a sex abuse lawsuit
filed against the Archdiocese of Boston by a woman now in her sixties,
only known as "Jane Doe," saying the woman should not have waited 40
years before suing a Catholic priest who allegedly molested her,
Reuters reports.

The plaintiff accused Rev. Gerard Creighton of molesting her in the
spring of 1958, just before her 17th birthday.  The plaintiff alleged
that she suffered from depression, grief and shame for many years after
the alleged abuse.  She further asserted that the she failed to
recognize the link between her self-hatred and the alleged abuse.  It
was only after she spoke to a priest in 1995 about her molestation that
she realized it caused her psychological problems.

The ruling might undermine several hundred suits filed against the
Archdiocese. Under Massachusetts law, plaintiffs who claim sexual abuse
may only file lawsuits within three years of the alleged abuse or
within three years of the time they discover an emotional or physical
injury caused by abuse, Reuters states.

The court affirmed a lower court's judgment, saying a "reasonable
person" in her circumstances should have discovered the link well
before Jane Doe did.  "The connection between the abuse alleged here
and the plaintiff's symptoms should have been particularly obvious
because the abuse was a watershed event; the plaintiff's symptoms first
appeared in the immediate wake of the abusive conduct," Justice Judith
Cowin wrote in the court's unanimous ruling, Reuters reports.

Paul Martinek, editor of Lawyers Weekly USA, said the court ruling by
no means sounded a "death knell" for all abuse cases filed against the
archdiocese. But it did doom an unknown number of them -- particularly
the older claims, he said.

"The court has indicated that these types of old claims need to be
scrutinized individually and that some of them are not going to
withstand scrutiny under the statute of limitations," Mr. Martinek
said.  He continued it would be "irresponsible" to guess how many of
the pending lawsuits could be hurt by the ruling.

Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian reckoned that the ruling affected
less than 10 percent of the 108 abuse lawsuits he has pending against
the archdiocese, Reuters states.


CMGI INC.: Investors File Securities Arbitration Claim With NYSE
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Klayman & Toskes, PA filed an arbitration claim with
the New York Stock Exchange on the behalf of investors with a multi-
million dollar concentration in CMGI, Inc. (Nasdaq: CMGI).  The claim
seeks compensatory damages of $13,276,929 for alleged unlawful conduct
against a major Wall Street firm that was included in the $1.4 billion
regulatory settlement recently announced.

Individual and institutional investors have realized that with hundreds
of filed class actions alleging stock brokerage firm misconduct pending
today, they must carefully weigh all options available to assist them
in recovering their losses. Class action lawsuits are based on one
underlying cause for the damages sustained.  Class actions are filed
against companies in the Finance, Healthcare, Retail/Wholesale,
Technology and Telecommunication industries, for such causes as analyst
conflict, drug side- effect, tobacco, and asbestos.  Securities
arbitrations are brought against broker/dealers and their employees for
sales practice violations.  These violations include over-concentration
in a single stock or market sector, such as technology and
telecommunications; excessive use of margin; unsuitable allocation
between stocks and bonds; unauthorized transactions; excessive account
activity; misrepresentations and material omissions of fact.

The $13.2 million securities arbitration claim that has been filed
alleges specific sales practice violations that occurred instead of
arguing the "analyst conflict" issues that have plagued Wall Street's
investment banking activities that were the target of the recent
settlement.  This specific arbitration claim alleges the failure to
recommend hedging strategies known as "zero cost" collars to properly
manage the concentrated stock position that was the result of a
lifetime of work.

Additionally, the investor's residence is currently in bank foreclosure
due to the structured financing secured by the brokerage firm's
affiliated bank through the collateralization of the concentrated
portfolio.  The claim alleges a conflict of interest on the mortgage
loan secured through the affiliated bank because the loan origination
fees paid would be "charged back" against the stockbroker if the loan
was terminated prior to the initial loan guarantee period.

Arbitration as an alternative path will ultimately depend on whether
the alleged losses are a result of sales practice violations and
whether the alleged damages are large enough to justify the costs
required to file a securities arbitration claim.  Because statistics
for investors suffering large losses reveal an overall lower recovery
rate in class actions, investors are using arbitration as a means of
recovering losses instead of participating in a class action.

Empirical evidence shows that when an investor suffers losses in larger
amounts, usually in excess of $100,000, an individual dispute
resolution process such as an arbitration claim filed before the New
York Stock Exchange or the National Association of Securities Dealers
is the best means of recovering losses suffered.

For more details, contact Lawrence L. Klayman by Phone: 888-997-9956 or
visit the firm's Website: http://www.nasd-law.com.


CREDIT CARD: Visa, MasterCard To Pay $3B To Settle Retailer Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Credit card firms Visa and MasterCard will pay a total of $3 billion to
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other retailers to settle an antitrust lawsuit
over debit card fees that has raged for seven years, representatives of
all sides said Wednesday last week, Reuters reports.

The suit was filed by retailers like Wal-Mart, The Limited, Sears
Roebuck, Safeway, Circuit City, and three trade associations, in the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.  The
suit relates to how the stores process transactions made with debit
cards, which deduct cash from consumers' existing bank accounts, rather
than building up their debt with credit accounts.  The suit charges
both MasterCard and Visa USA with violating US antitrust law by
monopolistic and anticompetitive business practices concerning debit
cards, an earlier Class Action Reporter story states.

Last week, MasterCard reached a settlement, just before the suit was
about to go to trial.  The parties in the settlement have refused to
divulge details.  Later, it was revealed that Visa was also working on
a settlement.

Visa USA will pay $2 billion and MasterCard International will pay $1
billion in separate settlements.  Each will pay $25 million in cash by
year's end and the rest in equal installments over ten years.  That
will mean $100 million a year for MasterCard and $200 million a year
from Visa, Reuters states. The settlement will also include a lowering
of total card fees at the heart of the dispute by an additional $1
billion later in the year.

The settlement could greatly affect how consumers pay for such routine
expenses as clothing and groceries.  It would also give a boost to
retailers such as Wal-Mart and Sears, Roebuck and Co., which started
the suit, and hurt banks that make money from fees on debit purchases
such as J.P. Morgan Chase Co Inc., Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America
Corporation.

"We have freedom to choose, which will lead Visa and MasterCard to
actually compete on price, which will lower prices to merchants and
lower prices to consumers," Lloyd Constantine, a New York-based lawyer
representing retailers, told Reuters.

In addition, after 2003 ends, Visa and MasterCard will no longer be
able to require retailers who accept their credit cards to accept their
debit cards as well. This so-called "honor all cards" policy was at the
center of the dispute.

"Unlike most class actions in which the damages are only monetary, this
one will actually have an impact on future competition," antitrust
lawyer David Balto, who is based in Washington, DC told Reuters.
"Consumers will feel the impact in cheaper prices, safer debit cards
and greater choices."

Visa and MasterCard both hailed the settlement.  "We believe this
settlement is a reasonable and responsible resolution that serves the
interests of consumers, merchants and our member financial
institutions," Daniel Tarman, a vice president at Visa, said in a
statement.

Noah Hanft, MasterCard's general counsel, told Reuters it was "able to
preserve the key benefits that underlie the 'honor all cards rule' and
at the same time give the merchants some of the flexibility to choose
the payment choices they want to offer consumers."

The two pacts were reached under heavy pressure from US District Court
Judge John Gleeson of the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn, as
the case had been set for trial this week, Reuters states.


CRYOLIFE INC.: Plaintiffs Launch Securities Fraud Lawsuit in GA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Several securities class actions filed against Cryolife, Inc. and
certain of its officers were consolidated in the United States District
Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

The consolidated suit alleges that the defendants violated Sections
10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder.  The suit seeks the court's certification of
the litigation as a class action on behalf of all purchasers of the
Company's stock between April 2, 2001 and August 14, 2002.  The
consolidated complaint also seeks recovery of compensatory damages in
an unspecified amount and various fees and expenses of litigation,
including attorneys' fees.

The principal allegations of the consolidated complaint are that the
Company failed to disclose its alleged lack of compliance with certain
FDA regulations regarding the handling and processing of certain
tissues and other product safety matters.  Although the Company
considers all of the claims in the consolidated complaint to be without
merit and intends to defend against them vigorously, the Company is
unable to predict at this time the final outcome of these claims.

An adverse judgment in excess of the Company's insurance coverage could
have a material adverse effect on the Company's financial position,
results of operations, and cash flows.


CRYOLIFE INC.: Faces Several Shareholder Derivative Suits in GA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Cryolife, Inc. faces several shareholder derivative actions filed in GA
state courts.  The suit also names as defendants several of the
Company's officers and directors:

     (1) Steven G. Anderson,

     (2) Albert E. Heacox,

     (3) John W. Cook,

     (4) Ronald C. Elkins,

     (5) Virginia C. Lacy,

     (6) Ronald D. McCall,

     (7) Alexander C. Schwartz, and

     (8) Bruce J. Van Dyne

The suit, filed in the Superior Court of Gwinnett County, Georgia,
alleges the individual defendants breached their fiduciary duties to
the Company by causing or allowing the Company to engage in practices
that caused the Company to suffer damages by being out of compliance
with FDA guidelines, and by causing the Company to issue press releases
that erroneously portrayed the Company's products, operations,
financial results, and future prospects.  By an order entered on
January 21, 2003, the lawsuit was stayed until discovery commences in
the consolidated federal class action.

In January 2003, the Company received notice that another shareholder
derivative lawsuit was filed in the Superior Court of Fulton County,
Georgia against the Company as a nominal defendant, and the same
Company officers and directors.  The complaint asserts claims for
breach of fiduciary duty, abuse of control, gross mismanagement, and
waste of corporate assets.

This suit alleges that the defendant officers and directors caused the
Company to suffer damages by being out of compliance with FDA
guidelines, and by causing the Company to issue press releases that
erroneously portrayed CryoLife's products, operations, financial
results, and future prospects.  The complaint also alleges improper
insider trading by certain Company officers and directors.  The
complaint has not yet been served on any of the named defendants.


DENMARK: Software Company Found Guilty, Fined For Sending "Spam"
----------------------------------------------------------------
A small software company in Denmark was convicted and fined late last
week for sending unsolicited commercial e-mail, known as spam, the
Associated Press reports.  In this first-ever suit, the Maritime and
Commercial Court in Copenhagen fined Fonn Danmark $2,200 under the
country's ban on unsolicited advertising e-mail and faxes.  The law was
enacted in July 2000.  Investigators said the company had sent 156
advertising messages.

The ruling can be appealed. No one answered the phone at Fonn Danmark's
office or replied to e-mails requesting comment, AP states.

"We would have like to see a bigger fine, but considering that we are
talking about a very small company and the fact that it has only been
found guilty of sending 156 advertisements, the fine isn't that bad,"
said Denmark's consumer ombudsman, Hagen Joergensen, AP reported.


ENRON CORPORATION: Former Officials Surrender To TX Authorities
---------------------------------------------------------------
Seven former Enron officers, including Lea Fastow, wife of former Chief
Financial Officer Andrew Fastow surrendered to federal authorities in
Houston, after federal agencies leveled new fraud and criminal charges
against them relating to their role in the energy giant's 2001
collapse, Reuters reports.

The US Justice Department on Thursday announced new charges against
former Enron Chief Financial Officer Andrew Fastow and for the first
time accused his wife and seven other ex-Enron officials of fraud and
other criminal violations linked to the company's collapse.  The
Securities and Exchange Commission also leveled civil charges against
five of the seven, all former executives of Enron's once highly touted
broadband technology division, alleging fraud to inflate the price of
Enron's stock.

"These defendants played important roles in perpetuating the fairy tale
that Enron was capable of spinning straw, or more appropriately fiber,
into gold," said SEC Enforcement Division Deputy Director Linda Thomsen
in a new conference, Reuters states.

The Justice Department further asserted that former Enron executives
conspired with investment bank Merrill Lynch & Co. to pad
Enron's balance sheet in a scheme involving electricity power barges
moored off the coast of Nigeria.  The executives allegedly worked with
Merrill "to fraudulently improve Enron's balance sheet by illegally
'parking' poorly performing Enron assets."

The SEC charged the five former Enron broadband executives with fraud
and unlawful insider trading in an amended civil complaint, accusing
them of reaping more than $150 million in unlawful profits and engaging
in a wide-ranging scheme to inflate Enron stock with false and
misleading statements, Reuters reports.  The commission named in these
charges:

     (1) former Enron Broadband Services Inc. Chief Executive Officers
         Kenneth Rice and Joseph Hirko,

     (2) former EBS Chief Operating Officer Kevin Hannon and

     (3) former EBS senior vice presidents Rex Shelby and Scott Yeager


GENERAL MOTORS: To Recall 1.77 Million Vehicles to Replace Wiper
----------------------------------------------------------------
General Motors Corporation is recalling about 1.77 million pickup
trucks, sport utility vehicles and vans to replace windshield wiper
circuit boards and motor covers it announced Thursday, according to
Reuters.

The Company clarified that there have been no fatal injuries resulting
from the wipers.  The recall was only an extension of the windshield
wiper replacement programs it conducted in 1998 and 2003.  The vehicles
involved in this recall are:

     (1) some of the 1994-1997 Chevrolet C/K and GMC Sierra pickups,
         and Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban/GMC Yukon and Suburban SUVs;

     (2) 1995-97 Chevrolet Astro and GMC Safari mid-size vans and
         Chevrolet/GMC full-size crew cabs;

     (3) 1996-97 Chevrolet Blazer and GMC Jimmy mid-size SUVs, and
         Chevrolet S10, GMC Sierra small pickup trucks; and

     (4) the Isuzu Motors Ltd. <7202.T> Hombre small pickup

Owners will be notified of the recall this summer and instructed to
take their vehicle to a GM dealer, where the circuit board and motor
cover will be replaced free of charge, GM said.


GREAT BRITAIN: Sexual Discrimination Suit Sparks EOC Inquiry
------------------------------------------------------------
Great Britain's Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt asked
watchdog organization Equal Opportunities Commission to find out how
widespread pregnancy discrimination cases are, the Associated Press
reports.

Ms. Hewitt initiated the investigation after an industrial tribunal
awarded Carol Bonehill, 29, an employee of P.H. Adams Electrical
Contractors Ltd. almost $14,400 in compensation for sexual
discrimination and unfair dismissal.  Ms. Bonehill allegedly received a
dismissal notice from her employers along with a card of
congratulations from her colleagues.

Ms. Hewitt said the decision by the Company to enclose a pink slip in a
card sent to Ms. Bonehill on the birth of her second child, was "a
disgrace and a woeful example of Victorian management practice, the
Associated Press reports.

"We have recently changed the law to simplify maternity and paternity
leave for parents and to make it easier for firms to help employees
balance work and family life," Ms. Hewitt said.  "It is depressing that
something as natural as childbirth is still seen as an alien and
unwelcome concept by some employers."

The director of P.H. Adams on Thursday apologized to Ms. Bonehill, but
insisted that she had not been fired for being pregnant or for missing
work due to her pregnancy, AP states.


HOTELS.COM: Plaintiffs Agree To Consolidate TX Securities Suits
---------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs agreed to consolidate several securities class actions filed
against Hotels.com and three of its executives in the United States
District Court for the Northern District of Texas on behalf of
purchasers of the Company's common stock in the period from October 23,
2002 to January 6, 2003.

The suits make certain claims under the federal securities laws.
Specifically, the complaints allege that during the class period, the
defendants knowingly:

     (1) made certain materially false and misleading public
         statements, in a press release and two press interviews, with
         respect to the anticipated performance of our company during
         the fourth quarter of 2002 and

     (2) concealed from the investing public certain material events
         and developments that were likely to render that anticipated
         performance unattainable.

The complaints assert that the individual defendants profited from the
rise in our share price caused by their public statements through sales
of the Company's stock during the class period.  The complaints further
allege that as a result of the Company's announcement, on January 6,
2003, of a downward revision of its guidance for the fourth quarter of
2002, the Company's share price declined precipitously.

The Company believes that this lawsuit is without merit.


GENERAL NUTRITION: To Halt Sales of Products Containing Ephedra
---------------------------------------------------------------
Nutritional supplement retailer General Nutrition Centers announced
that it will refrain from selling products containing the weight-loss
supplement ephedra at the end of June, the Associated Press reports.
The Food and Drug Administration has revealed that products containing
ephedra causes serious health problems, such as heart attacks and
strokes.

GNC president Michael Meyers said the Pittsburgh-based company believes
the products are safe when used as directed, but the company has found
that more customers are using ephedra-free products, AP states.

GNC has more than 5,300 retail stores in the United States and 26
foreign markets, including Canada and Mexico.  The company is owned by
Royal Numico, of the Netherlands, a baby-food maker and supplier of
nutritional supplements.


GEORGIA: Malpractice Debate Expected To Continue Through 2004
-------------------------------------------------------------
The debate about reforming medical malpractice liability is not over
even though the General Assembly has passed a weakened liability bill,
according to predictions by leaders on both sides of the issue, the
Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

One of the most-debated proposals - capping non-economic or "pain and
suffering" damages in medical malpractice cases at $250,000 - was
dropped from the original bill.  The cap's supporters, which included
hospitals, doctors and nursing homes, feel heavy pressures from the
sharp increases in malpractice premiums over the past two years.

Also dropped from the original bill were proposals that would have
exempted hospital emergency room providers from non-economic damages,
except in the case of gross negligence and required expert witnesses to
practice in the same area of medicine as the defendant physician.  The
absence of strong reforms will make malpractice insurance an even
bigger issue next year, said David Cook, executive director of the
Medical Association of Georgia (MAG).

"I think the crisis we are in is only going to deepen," said Mr. Cook.
"Between now and the 2004 legislative session, hospitals will close and
patients will have greater difficulty getting access to physicians."

Although a lobbyist for the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, which
opposes broad reform, did not respond to the issue of crisis raised by
Mr. Cook, the lobbyist did say the measures the Legislature passed
"constitute an erosion of victims' rights in Georgia."

The Legislature passed legislation, toward the end of its session,
giving help to corporations facing litigation.  The provisions enacted
toward this purpose included, among others:

     (1) Limiting the number of times a plaintiff can dismiss a lawsuit
         and refile it, from two times to once; and toughening
         restrictions on when that dismissal can occur;

     (2) Changing the interest rate paid to plaintiffs for the time
         between a court judgment and the actual defendant payment,
         from a flat 12 percent per year to the existing plus three
         percent;

     (3) Making it harder for a lawsuit in Georgia to gain class-action
         status;

     (4) Allowing a Georgia court to reject a lawsuit filed by a person
         who is not a resident of the state;

Earl Rogers of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce said the legislation
that was enacted is not sufficient to ease the malpractice premium
crunch, said Mr. Rogers.

Such insurance is an economic development issue, he added, noting that
if hospitals and doctors must restrict their services or close their
doors because of high premiums, a community will have difficulty
attracting new businesses.

Proponents of the original broader malpractice bill, including Georgia
Watch, a consumer watchdog group, said the malpractice premium crisis
is caused by insurance competition problems, not large jury verdicts.
Bill Clark, lobbyist for the Trial Lawyers Association, said, "I have
no doubt that the medical community and business will come back for
more, having tasted a bit of success."

The cap of $250,000 on non-economic damages, meanwhile, is in play at
the national level.  The US House passed a malpractice bill that
contained the limit, which is supported by President Bush, but the
legislation's fate in the Senate is uncertain.


GOODYEAR TIRE: Trial in Entran II Hose Suit Set July 2003 in CO
---------------------------------------------------------------
Trial for the class action filed against Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.
relating to its Entran II hose is set for July 2003 in the District
Court of Eagle County, Colorado.  The suit alleges breaches of express
and implied warranties in respect of Entran II hose manufactured and
installed by others in houses or on other properties of the plaintiffs
as a part of Heatway radiant floor heating systems.

On February 21, 2003, the court ruled that Goodyear was collaterally
estopped from claiming, among other things, that the Entran II hose was
not defective.  The Company intends to vigorously oppose the suit.


GOODYEAR TIRE: Faces Suits Over Entran II Hose in UT, CA Courts
---------------------------------------------------------------
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. faces several class actions relating to its
Entran II hose in Utah and California courts.

In January 2003, a class action was filed in the Third Judicial
District Court in Salt Lake County, Utah on behalf of all property
owners in Utah who have Entran II hose installed in their property.
The complaint alleges, among other things, that the Entran II hose was
defectively designed and that the Company knew that Entran II was unfit
for its intended use and unreasonably dangerous to the property of
consumers.  The plaintiffs are seeking damages, attorneys fees and
costs and such other relief as the court may deem proper.

A similar action was filed in the Superior Court of California, County
of Los Angeles.  The suit was filed on behalf of all property owners in
California who have Entran II installed in their property.  The
complaint alleges, among other things, that the Company knew that
Entran II was defective and not fit for use in radiant heating, that
Entran II is unreasonably dangerous to homeowners and that Goodyear
violated the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act and the California
Unfair Competition Law.  The plaintiffs are seeking, among other
things, damages, a civil penalty equal to twice the plaintiffs' actual
damages, attorneys fees and costs and such other relief as the court
may deem proper.


ONE WEST: TX Attorney General Sues Over Fraud, Moneymaking Scheme
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today announced legal action
against a Houston pair accused of defrauding investors of more than $13
million.  Defendants Lanny Blake Lown and Lori Ann Franz, who did
business as One West Financial Services, allegedly ran a Ponzi scheme
that affected about 400 investors, many of whom are refinery workers in
the Pasadena area.

An investigation found that Mr. Lown and Ms. Franz have been operating
since at least January 2002 and did not register with the State
Securities Commissioner.  The couple allegedly claimed they were
creating profits for those investors by purchasing processed titanium
overseas and then selling it to the United States government and its
contractors to be used in submarines and other defense systems.  In
reality, any profits or returns given to investors were actually funds
which Mr. Lown and Ms. Franz collected from other investors.

The pair also used investor funds for extravagant personal expenses.
Mr. Lown held the titles to 28 mostly luxury vehicles that were
purchased with approximately $1.5 million of investor funds; he also
spent approximately $1.2 million for personal jewelry and spent other
funds on charter jets, travel and furs.  The pair also purchased five
Houston homes and bought $600,000 worth of furnishings with investor
money.

"These people should be ashamed of themselves for misleading and
preying on people who trusted them with their hard-earned money,"
Attorney General Abbott said.  "The investors put their faith and trust
in something they believed was legitimate, only to find themselves the
victims of obnoxious greed."

Acting on a referral from the State Securities Commissioner, the
attorney general's office filed suit against Mr. Lown and Ms. Franz in
Travis County District Court.  The court granted the attorney general's
request to freeze all assets derived from the fraud, including bank
accounts, real estate and more than two dozen vehicles.  The court also
granted the State's request that a receiver be appointed to take
possession of all records, property and assets while the case
continues.  The receiver will also oversee approximately $1 million in
cash the Harris County District Attorney's Office has previously
confiscated from Mr. Lown and Ms. Franz.  A trial date has been set for
August 18.

For more details, contact the Attorney General's office by Phone:
(713) 523-4032, or visit the Website:
http://www.onewestreceivership.com.


RAMBUS INC.: Plaintiffs Ask CA Court To Dismiss Securities Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs moved for voluntary dismissal of a consolidated securities
class action filed against Rambus, Inc. in the United States District
Court for the Northern District of California, on behalf of plaintiffs
who purchased Rambus Common Stock between January 11, 2000 and May 9,
2001, inclusive.

The suit asserted claims under Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and
Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act, as well as Rule 10b-5.  The
complaint alleges that the Company misled shareholders concerning its
business and the status of its intellectual property in light of
allegations concerning the Company's involvement in JEDEC.

In May 2002, the Company moved to dismiss the consolidated complaint.
On January 15, 2003, the Company's motion to dismiss was granted and
plaintiffs given leave to file an amended complaint within 45 days.
Rather than file such a complaint by such date, on January, 29, 2003,
plaintiffs stipulated that they would wait until after rulings on the
Infineon motion for rehearing or rehearing en banc in the CAFC.
Pursuant to that stipulation, class plaintiffs filed a motion for
voluntary dismissal with prejudice of the securities class action on
April 18, 2003.  A hearing is scheduled for May 30, 2003.


RAMBUS INC.: Plaintiffs Move To Replead Derivative Lawsuit in DE
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs in the shareholder derivative suit against Rambus, Inc. and
its directors moved to re-plead the complaint and filed an amended suit
in Delaware Chancery Court.

The suit alleges that the individual defendants caused the Company to
engage in an improper course of conduct relating to JEDEC and its
intellectual property beginning in 1992 and continuing through the
Infineon trial in May of 2001.  The complaint alleges breaches of
fiduciary duty, misappropriation of confidential information for
personal profit, and asks for contribution or indemnification from the
named director defendants.

The Company filed a motion to dismiss this complaint, which was
granted, with plaintiffs given leave to file a motion seeking leave to
replead the complaint.  Plaintiffs filed that motion and an amended
complaint on March 12, 2003.  The Company opposed this motion on April
4, 2003.  The Company intends to continue to vigorously defend itself
in this action.


SECURITIES LITIGATION: New Way To Issue Tainted Analysis Revealed
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The recent landmark securities fraud settlement revealed that five big
Wall Street securities firms found a new way to issue tainted stock
research to investors during the stock-market bubble, The Wall Street
Journal reports.

The $1.4 billion research settlement said that half of the 10
securities firms cited for civil violations were charged with making or
receiving undisclosed payments for research.  According to the
regulators, firms would pay their rivals what were sometimes called
"research guarantees" to build more positive ratings on stocks, rigging
the system against unwitting investors who did not know the game.

These alleged payments, involving Morgan Stanley, the UBS Warburg unit
of UBS AG, the securities unit of JP Morgan Chase & Co., Bear Stearns
Companies and the Piper Jaffray unit of US Bancorp, amounted to yet
another way Wall Street firms orchestrated the appearance of numerous
favorable research reports for investment-banking clients during the
late 1990s, regulators say.  The firms agreed to the settlement without
admitting or denying the allegations.

Morgan Stanley Chief Executive Officer Philip Purcell attempted to
minimize the charges, when he was asked about the payments at a recent
conference for investors.  Mr. Purcell said his firm simply passed the
money on to other firms and had no involvement in the research.    Mr.
Purcell continued to argue that Morgan Stanley's reputation had not
been damaged by the settlement, and that clients had no reason to
reconsider doing business with the firm.

While it was acknowledged generally that securities firms routinely
issued overly optimistic stock research to investors to curry favor
with corporate clients, and win their lucrative investment-banking
business, yet this system of under-the-table payments was not widely
known within the securities business, according to people on Wall
Street.  Some of the firms that received the payments also did not
disclose that they had been paid for the research in their written
reports, according to the regulators.


SECURITIES LITIGATION: $1.4B Settlement Aimed At Culture Change
---------------------------------------------------------------
The regulators are hoping to achieve a change in the culture of Wall
Street with their recently announced settlement with the 10 large
investment firms accused of issuing biased stock research in order to
win business from corporate clients, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
reports.

William Donaldson, one of the regulators and also chairman of the
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), said that although the
financial penalty of $1.4 billion is the largest in Wall Street
history, the regulators believe the reforms laid out in the settlement
will be more important than the fines.  The regulators also said their
actions were not intended to substitute for private litigation to
recover the losses caused by investors' reliance on the biased research
made accessible to them.

Among the reforms included in the settlement:

     (1) firms will be required to furnish investors with free,
         independent research to help them make more informed
         decisions;

     (2) analysts no longer will be allowed to solicit business or
         accompany investment bankers  when they are making "pitches;"

     (3) certain analysis will have to be made public within 90 days
         after each quarter to allow investors to compare the
         performance of analysts from different firms;

     (4) investment firms will be prohibited from "IPO spinning," which
         is giving preferred clients access to valuable shares from
         initial public offerings of stock;

Regulators say they hope these changes, which add up to a new process
for the dissemination of stock research, will help restore faith in
brokerages and markets following a string of corporate scandals.

"Investors understand that risk is part and parcel of investing," said
Attorney General Eliot Spitzer of New York.  "But we demand that there
be integrity in the research."

The role of stock analysts is to evaluate companies and make
recommendations to investors about their financial futures.  These
analyst typically work for investment banking firms, which raise money
for companies by various means, including offering their stock to the
public.

Analysts are supposed to remain separate from their companies'
investment banking operations - an invisible wall, supposedly,
separates them.  However, critics increasingly have charged, in recent
years, that that some companies have based the analysts' compensation,
in part, on how much investment banking business they helped win.

About $487 million of the settlement is in fines, with the heaviest
penalty of $150 million to be paid by Citigroup's brokerage business,
Salomon Smith Barney.  Citigroup's chief executive, Sanford Weill, is
barred from communicating with his firm's stock analysts about the
companies they cover, unless a lawyer is present.  Merrill Lynch will
pay more than $100 million.

The ten firms will set aside about $387 million for distribution among
investors who claim injuries by reason of the biased research prepared
by the stock analysts' and given the analysts' for their guidance.  The
distribution plan is subject to court approval and likely will not
compensate investors for all their losses.  The large volume of e-mails
and internal documents amassed by regulators in the inquiry, however,
will help individual investors recover losses through arbitration or
class actions, said Boyd Page, a senior partner with the law firm of
Page Gard Smiley and Bishop in Atlanta.

The settlement also requires $432 million be used to pay for
independent stock research for investors, to complement reports from
the securities firms' own analysts for five years, as well as $80
million to be used for investor education.

Two celebrity analysts were singled out for mention and sanction.  Mr.
Grubman, for example, failed to mention AT&T in a 1998 speech on
telecom companies at a conference, according to the papers.  Apparently
that did not sit well with his superiors.  Months later, Mr. Grubman
promised in a memo to be more open-minded.  He soon upgraded his rating
on AT&T's stock.

Other documents include a memo issued to Goldman Sachs analysts, saying
the ideal companies to review were those that could offer meaningful
opportunities for the firm's investment banking side.  Some critics of
the Wall Street culture question whether the regulators' settlement
will result in any real and pervasive structural changes.

Chuck Hill of Thomson First Call pointed out, for example, that the
reforms build upon the premise that there could be a real independence
between the research analysts and the investment banking house.
However, said Mr. Hill, "This does not address the underlying issue
that research is not economically viable on its own these days, and so
has to be dependent on another part of the business."

"As long as an analyst feels that his/her compensation comes from the
investment banking side, despite all the rules, the analyst will still
feel beholden to investment banking to some degree," Mr. Hill added.


SECURITIES LITIGATION: Mutual Fund Investors Not Included In Pact
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The recent Stock Research Settlement says that ten securities or
brokerage firms agree, among other things, to pay $399 million, out of
a restitution pool, to investors who lost money because of the tainted
stock research produced by the firms' analysts, The Wall Street
Journal reports.

There was no mention, however, of whether institutional investors, such
as mutual funds, which hold about 20 percent of US stocks in their
portfolios, would be able to take part in the restitution.  Mutual
funds certainly were among those investors loading up on some of the
popular stocks cited in the settlement.  The mutual funds also were on
the receiving end of the tainted research, as when Salomon Smith Barney
telecom analyst Jack Grubman considered downgrading several stocks he
had recommended that investors buy, but was discouraged by investment
bankers at his firm, according to the settlement; another example of
the failure to maintain the wall between the analysts and the brokerage
houses.

However, such an anecdote apparently does not assure that the funds
will be considered equally -- or at all -- along with the individual
investors when it is time to calculate shares in the restitution pool.
Some legal specialists and regulatory officials say the mutual funds
will not get top priority in the recovery fund; and they may get no
money at all.

The Securities Exchange Commission "is interested in compensating
individual investors, not institutional investors," said Barry Barbash,
a former SEC official, who now works with fund companies in private
practice.  "Funds may be technically eligible to receive money, but the
court-appointed official who will oversee the process is likely to
"look hard at the mutual funds."

One of the reasons the funds may not have a strong claim on recovering
is because many fund companies employ their own analysts to research
the stocks, unlike the individual investors who bought the issues
directly from the brokerage firms and can make a case that they used
Wall Street research in the process.  On the other hand, the funds are
supposedly sophisticated investors who should have known the games
analysts long have played on rating the stocks of corporate clients.

"Over and over again, I have heard from portfolio managers in board
meetings say that we do not pay attention to those (Wall Street)
analyst recommendations, anyway," said Paul Schott Stevens, a lawyer
specializing in mutual funds at Dechert LLP in Washington.

The settlement papers do set forth a certain level of guidance for
determining to whom, and to what extent, restitution will be made.  The
papers say that a court-appointed administrator who is to oversee the
restitution pool may consider "whether the person was a retail or
institutional customer" as well as the timing of the investors' stock
purchase.  A spokesman for the SEC said the administrator, who also
will be approved by the SEC, could also consider the extent that
investors relied on the analysts' research in making their decision on
the 35 stocks mentioned on the SEC's Web site as being affected by the
flawed research practices.

Another interesting interpretation of the guidelines set forth in the
settlement papers has emerged:  The administrator of the restitution
process could take a broader view, The Wall Street Journal states,
saying anyone who bought these stocks, including mutual funds, were
affected, since the Wall Street research potentially boosted the price
of a stock, regardless of what use a fund manager actually made of the
analysts' research.  "The prices of those stocks were certainly
impacted by Wall Street recommendation," said Brian Lewbart, a
spokesman for T. Rowe Price, a large Baltimore-based fund firm.

Of course, the dollar amount that ends up coming to fund investors
would likely be small.  That is because the stocks subject to the
tainted research were some of the most widely held technology stocks of
the late 1990s; and the more investors who are eligible for
restitution, the less money each investor can get.

Even though fund managers could participate in private class actions
that are expected to grow out of the settlement, some observers say
they should have a place at the restitution table.  "All investor
groups should benefit from the settlement," said Kenneth Broad, a
stock-fund manager at Transamerica Investment Management in San
Francisco.

"It would be nice to think," said Mr. Broad, "that institutional
investors were smart enough to not pay attention to the Wall Street
research, but that is not reflective of reality, especially at the
smaller mutual fund firms."

There are some indications abroad of what the 'leaning' toward
inclusion/exclusion is:  SEC Chairman William Donaldson, in announcing
the settlement, singled out "individual customers" when describing the
potential recipients of the restitution money.  New York Attorney
General Eliot Spitzer has said the restitution fund was a way for
"small investors to get some money back."

However, mutual-fund managers point out that their products have a lot
of small investors in them too.  John Montgomery, President of
Bridgeway Capital, a mutual-fund boutique in Houston, said "Funds like
ours are made up almost entirely of smaller investors."


VENTAS INC.: Plaintiffs Resume Appeal of KY RICO Suit Dismissal
---------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs in a class action filed against Ventas, Inc. resumed their
appeal of the United States District Court for the Western District of
Kentucky's decision dismissing the suit in its entirety, by filing an
initial brief with the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The suit was commenced in May 2001, alleging 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:

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

     (2) bankruptcy fraud,

     (3) common law fraud, and

     (4) 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
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, the Company filed defendants' response
brief.  The Company intends to continue to contest the Sixth Circuit
appeal vigorously.


WASTE MANAGEMENT: Ex-Pension Plan Member Appeals Suit Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
A former participant in Waste Management, Inc.'s Employee Retirement
Income Security Act (ERISA) plans appealed the United States District
Court for the Southern District of Texas' approval of the $457 million
settlement of a class action against the Company.

More than 30 similar lawsuits were filed after the Company announced on
July 6 and July 29, 1999, that it had lowered its expected earnings per
share for the three months ended June 30, 1999.  On August 3, 1999, the
Company provided additional information regarding its expected earnings
for that period, including that its reported operating income for the
three months ended March 31, 1999 might have included certain unusual
pre-tax income items.  These lawsuits were later consolidated into a
single action, an earlier Class Action Reporter story states.

In November 2001, the Company reached a settlement agreement with the
plaintiff in this case, resolving all claims against it as well as
claims against its current and former officers and directors.  The
agreement provides for a payment of $457 million to members of the
class and for the Company to consent, for settlement purposes, to the
certification of a class of purchasers or acquirers of the Company's
securities from June 11, 1998 through November 9, 1999.  A hearing was
held April 29, 2002 at which the settlement was approved.

The former participant and another individual also filed a separate
case in Washington, DC against the Company and others, attempting to
increase the recovery of a class of ERISA plan participants based on
allegations related to both the events alleged in, and the settlements
relating to, the class action against WM Holdings that was settled in
1998 and the complaint in this action.


WELLMAN INC.: JPML Transfers Antitrust Suits To NC Federal Court
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation transferred nineteen
federal class actions filed against Wellman, Inc. and certain other
companies to the United States District Court for the Western District
of North Carolina for consolidation and coordinated proceedings.

The suits were brought by direct purchasers of polyester staple fiber
for alleged violation of US antitrust laws.  In each lawsuit, the
plaintiffs allege that the defendants engaged in a conspiracy to fix
the price of polyester staple fiber in violation of the Sherman Act.
In seventeen of the cases, the plaintiff purports to represent a class
of all persons who directly purchased polyester staple fiber and were
similarly affected by such alleged conduct.  Two of the cases are
brought by plaintiffs who do not purport to represent a class.  All of
the federal plaintiffs seek damages of unspecified amounts, attorney's
fees and costs and unspecified relief.  The federal suits were filed
in:

     (1) the United States District Court for the Northern District of
         California,

     (2) the United States District Court for the District of New
         Jersey,

     (3) the United States District Court for the Middle District of
         North Carolina,

     (4) the United States District Court for the Western District of
         North Carolina and

     (5) the United States District Court for the District of South
         Carolina

The Company intends to vigorously defend against the civil claims and
any civil or criminal claims or proceedings that may be brought against
it in the future.  Because of the early stage and complexity of
the suit, the Company has not formed an opinion about whether these
proceedings will have a material adverse effect on its consolidated
financial position or results of operations.


WELLMAN INC.: 33 Antitrust Lawsuits Commenced in Various Courts
---------------------------------------------------------------
Wellman, Inc. faces thirty-three purported class actions alleging
violations of federal antitrust laws, state antitrust or unfair
competition laws and certain state consumer protection acts. These
suits were filed in one federal court and various state courts on
behalf of purported classes of indirect purchasers of polyester staple
fiber products.

In each lawsuit, the plaintiffs allege that the defendants engaged in a
conspiracy to fix prices of polyester staple fiber products.  In
addition, certain of the actions claim restitution, injunction against
alleged illegal conduct and other equitable relief.

One indirect purchaser case is pending in the US District Court for the
Western District of North Carolina and is subject to the order issued
by the Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation for coordination or
consolidation with the other federal cases.  The rest of the indirect
purchaser cases were filed in Arizona, California, the District of
Columbia, Florida, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, North
Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

The case filed in West Virginia has been removed to federal court.  A
motion to remand is pending.  If not remanded, this case will also be
transferred to the Western District of North Carolina by the Judicial
Panel on Multi-District Litigation for coordination or consolidation
with the other federal cases.  The case filed in Wisconsin was removed
to federal court and subsequently remanded to the Circuit Court for
Dane County, Wisconsin.

The Company intends to vigorously defend against the civil claims and
any civil or criminal claims or proceedings that may be brought against
the Company in the future.  Because of the early stage and complexity
of the suits, the Company has not formed an opinion about whether these
proceedings will have a material adverse effect on its consolidated
financial position or results of operations.


WELLMAN INC.: Firms Commence Antitrust Lawsuits in Canada Court
---------------------------------------------------------------
Wellman, Inc. and certain other companies were named in an action
filed in the Superior Court of Justice for Ontario, Canada, by a
plaintiff purporting to represent a class of direct and indirect
purchasers of polyester staple fiber.  This complaint asserts claims
under Canadian law. It contains three counts that ask for compensatory
damages of CDN50 million each.  The complaint also contains one count
asking for punitive damages of
CDN10 million.

The Company intends to vigorously defend against the civil claims and
any civil or criminal claims or proceedings that may be brought against
it in the future. Because of the early stage and complexity of
the suits, the Company has not formed an opinion about whether these
proceedings will have a material adverse effect on its consolidated
financial position or results of operations.


WHITEHALL JEWELLERS: Reaches Settlement of CA Overtime Wage Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Whitehall Jewellers, Inc. (NYSE:JWL) reached a preliminary agreement
with counsel for the plaintiffs to settle a class action which alleged
that certain current and former managers in California were not exempt
from the payment of overtime wages based on California law.  This
settlement covers the period from July 25, 1998 through the date of
settlement approval.

On July 25, 2002, the Company was named a defendant in a wage hour
class action filed in California by three former store managers.  The
case is based principally upon the allegation that store managers
employed by the Company in California should have been classified as
non-exempt for overtime purposes.  The plaintiffs seek recovery of
allegedly unpaid overtime wages for the four-year period preceding the
filing date, along with certain penalties, interest and attorneys fees.
The purported class includes all current and former store managers
employed by the Company in California for the four-year period
preceding the filing of the complaint.

The Company denied liability and asserted that its managers were
properly classified.  The parties have reached a preliminary agreement
to settle the matter for an amount that includes the plaintiffs'
attorneys' fees, costs, interest, penalties and administrative costs.
Completion of the settlement is subject to, among other things, the
successful negotiation and execution of a written settlement agreement,
opt out and other potential contingencies in the settlement agreement,
court approval and administration of the claims process.  The parties
are in the process of negotiating the specific settlement terms.


                     New Securities Fraud Cases


AFC ENTERPRISES: Wolf Haldenstein Launches Securities Suit in GA
----------------------------------------------------------------
Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP filed a class action lawsuit
in the United States District Court for the Northern District of
Georgia, on behalf of all persons who purchased the securities of AFC
Enterprises, Inc. (Nasdaq: AFCEE) between March 2, 2001 and March 24,
2003, inclusive, against the Company and certain officers of the
Company.

According to the complaint, the Company's class period statements were
materially false and misleading because the press releases and SEC
filings issued during the class period failed to reveal that AFC
inflated its operating results by:

     (1) improperly accounting for the sale of corporate-owned stores
         to franchisees;

     (2) improperly accounting for the value of certain long-lived
         assets;

     (3) understating advertising costs; and

     (4) improperly accounting for inventory at the Company's Seattle
         Coffee Company division

As a result of the Company's fraudulent accounting, AFC's financial
statements published during the Class Period were not prepared in
accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and,
therefore, it was not true that the Company's financial statements were
a "fair presentation" of the Company's financial position.  Indeed, by
announcing its intention to restate its financial statements, AFC has
admitted that its prior financial statements were materially false and
misleading when issued.

On March 24, 2003, after the market closed, AFC shocked the market by
announcing that it would be restating its financial statements for
fiscal year 2001 and the first three quarters of 2002.  The Company
also reported that it was examining whether or not its financial
statements for fiscal year 2000 should be restated.

In response to this negative announcement the price of AFC common stock
dropped by over 20% on extremely heavy trading volume.  AFC insiders
privy to the Company's fraudulent accounting practices did not share
investors' losses.  In a December 2001 public offering, AFC insiders
unloaded 7,000,000 shares of their holdings at $23 per share.  Indeed,
during the class period, defendants and other Company insiders cashed
out at prices as high as $34 per share, reaping profits of over $30
million.

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



ALLOU HEALTHCARE: Cauley Geller Lodges Securities Lawsuit in NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
Cauley Geller Bowman Coates & Rudman, LLP initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of
New York, on behalf of purchasers of Allou Healthcare, Inc. (Amex: ALU)
publicly traded securities during the period between June 22, 1998 and
April 9, 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 June 28, 1998 and April 9, 2003, thereby artificially
inflating the price of Allou securities.  The complaint alleges that
defendants issued a series of materially false and misleading
statements concerning the Company's financial results.  In particular,
the complaint alleges:

     (1) that Allou was materially overstating its accounts receivables
         by at least $78 million, thereby overstating its revenues and
         earnings;

     (2) that Allou was materially overstating its inventory, thereby
         overstating its net worth; and

     (3) as a result of the foregoing, Allou's financial statements
         were not prepared in accordance with GAAP and were therefore
         materially false and misleading.

On April 9, 2003, Allou announced that "its lenders have filed an
involuntary petition for bankruptcy in the Eastern District of New York
under the provisions of chapter 11, title 11, of the United States
Code." Following this news, on April 9, 2003, AMEX suspended trading in
Allou's common stock.  Thereafter, press reports revealed that an
outside restructuring expert that had been retained to run Allou
discovered, among other things, that "only $30 million of $108 million
in accounts receivable reported by Allou to its banks seemed to be
valid."  Furthermore, on April 24, 2003, Allou announced that it
"believes that the levels of assets collateralizing loans were
substantially overstated in recent reports submitted by the Company to
its senior lenders.  The preliminary results of the Company's
investigation indicate that inventory was overstated by approximately
$35,000,000 and that accounts receivable may be overstated by
$75,000,000 to $80,000,000, for a total overstatement of $110,000,000
to $115,000,000.  The Company has retained a forensic accounting firm
to assist with the continuing investigation of this matter."

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


BLACK BOX: Bernstein Liebhard Lodges Securities Suit in W.D. PA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz LLP initiated a securities class action
in the United States District Court for the Western District of
Pennsylvania on behalf of all persons who purchased or acquired Black
Box Corporation (NASDAQ: BBOX) securities between October 15, 2002 and
March 11, 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 October 15, 2002 and March 11, 2003, thereby
artificially inflating the price of Black Box securities.

Throughout the class period, as alleged in the Complaint, defendants
failed to disclose and misrepresented the following material adverse
facts:

     (1) that the Company's European operations were not performing
         well and would have to be scaled down significantly and
         staffing levels reduced accordingly;

     (2) that the Company was improperly delaying the write down of a
         material amount of uncollectible receivables, thereby
         overstating its financial results; and

     (3) that the Company was experiencing declining demand for its
         products and services and was not performing according to its
         internal plans.

The class period ends on March 11, 2003. On that date, Black Box
shocked the market when it announced that it expects earnings for the
fourth quarter, the period ending March 31, 2003, to be between 53
cents and 54 cents, prior to one-time charges -- as compared to
analysts' earnings estimates of 74 cents per share.  The Company
further reported that it would be recording a $9 to $10 million one-
time pre-tax charge, or 29 cents to 32 cents per share.

In response to this announcement, the price of Black Box common stock
dropped from $39.14 per share to $26.78 per share, a decline of 31%, on
extremely heavy volume.  During the class period, Black Box insiders
sold their personally held shares of Black Box common stock generating
proceeds of more than $5 million.

For more details, contact Ms. Linda Flood, Director of Shareholder
Relations, by Mail: LLP, 10 East 40th Street, New York, New York 10016,
by Phone: (800) 217-1522 or (212) 779-1414 or by E-mail:
BBOX@bernlieb.com.


PEC SOLUTIONS: Bernstein Liebhard Launches Securities Suit in VA
----------------------------------------------------------------
Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz LLP initiated a securities class action
in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Virginia, on behalf of all persons who purchased or acquired PEC
Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ: PECS) securities.

Throughout the class period, as alleged in the complaint, defendants
issued a series of materially false and misleading statements
concerning the Company's business, operations and prospects.  The
Complaint alleges that these statements were materially false and
misleading when made as they failed to disclose and misrepresented the
following adverse facts, among others:

     (1) the Company was experiencing declining demand for its products
         and services as the failure of Congress to approve a budget
         for 2003 was causing governmental agencies to delay projects;

     (2) the Company was experiencing material problems with certain of
         its biometric identification contracts and would not be
         generating the revenue that it had anticipated from those
         contracts; and

     (3) as a result of the foregoing, the Company was materially
         overstating the strength of its pipeline of projects and its
         prospects.

On March 14, 2003, after the close of the market, Defendants announced
that they were revising PEC's guidance for the first quarter of 2003
and for the year ending December 31, 2003.  In response to this
announcement, the price of PEC common stock declined precipitously
falling from $15.80 per share to $9.81 per share, a decline of more
than 37%, on extremely heavy trading volume.  During the class period,
prior to the disclosure of the true facts, various individual
defendants and other PEC insiders sold their personally-held shares of
PEC common stock to the unsuspecting public reaping proceeds of more
than $13 million.

For more details contact Ms. Linda Flood, Director of Shareholder
Relations, by Mail: 10 East 40th Street, New York, New York 10016, by
Phone: (800) 217-1522 or (212) 779-1414 or by E-mail:
PECS@bernlieb.com.

                              *********


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

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
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Beard Group, Inc., Washington, D.C.  Enid Sterling, Aurora Fatima
Antonio and Lyndsey Resnick, Editors.

Copyright 2003.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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