CAR_Public/030513.mbx               C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

                Tuesday, May 13, 2003, Vol. 5, No. 93

                           Headlines

AMERITRADE: Customers Want Inadequate Service Lawsuit Revived
APARTHEID LITIGATION: Lawyers Allows Church To Pursue Mediation
APARTHEID LITIGATION: Victims Choose Negotiations, Not Lawsuits
APARTHEID LITIGATION: Gold Fields To Oppose $7.4 B Workers' Suit
BCE INC.: Canada Court Refuses To Certify Shareholder Fraud Suit

CATHOLIC CHURCH: Plaintiffs File New Lawsuits V. KY Archdiocese
CATHOLIC CHURCH: Priest Faces CA Attorney General's Abuse Suit
CHEVRONTEXACO: Ecuador Rainforest Lawsuit Signals Change
CHINA: Jiang Zemin Faces Lawsuit over "Falun Gong" Eradication
COLORADO: Dept Of Human Services Ordered To Pay Contempt Fine

CONNECTICUT: Probe Started Over Reduction Of Kids In State Care
CORVAS CORPORATION: AVF Lodges Lawsuit v. Dendreon Merger in DE
CYTODYNE: Closing Arguments Start in Trial over Weight Loss Pill
DELL CANADA: Canadians To Sue Over Correction of Pocket PC Price
DUPONT: Judge Says C8 Toxic, Firm Guilty Of Destroying Documents

FIRESTONE TIRES: Firm Meets NHTSA Officials Over Steeltex Tires
GENERAL MOTORS: Suits Lodged For Class H Stockholders in DE, CA
GENERAL MOTORS: Investors File Suit Over News Corporation Pacts
HALLIBURTON CO.: Plaintiffs Lodge Amended Securities Suit in TX
HAWAII: Dog Breeder Faces Possible "Deceptive Practices" Lawsuit

HOUSEHOLD FINANCE: Court Orders Credit Card Fee Reimbursements
ILLINOIS TOOL: IL Suit Alleges Ex-Workers Exposed To Manganese
INDIANA: Arguments Over Publishing of Sex Offenders List Heard
MASCO CORPORATION: Court Overrules Objections to Suit Settlement
MASSACHUSETTS: Suffolk County Pays $5.2M Over Strip Searches

OHIO: Senate Adopts Bill To Protect Consumers from Telemarketers
OLD REPUBLIC: GA Court Refuses Certification to RESPA Lawsuit
ORKIN: Settles Fraud Lawsuit Brought By Florida Apartment Owners
POST PROPERTIES: Board Faces Shareholder Derivative Suit in GA
ROCK HILL: Court Grants Class Status to Stockholder Fraud Suit

ROYAL AHOLD: To Meet With Investors About $880M in Irregularities
SUGARCANE GROWERS: Jury Rules Growers Paid Cane Cutters Fairly
TOBACCO LITIGATION: Request to Alter New Bond's Terms Rejected
UNITED STATES: Panamanian Canal Workers Allowed To File Lawsuit
US LIQUIDS: TX Court Says Insurer Not Obligated To Defend Suit

WISCONSIN: Governor, Nursing Home Sued Over Residents' Transfer

                     New Securities Fraud Cases

ACCLAIM ENTERTAINMENT: Cauley Geller Files Securities Suit in NY
ALLIANT ENERGY: Ademi & O'Reilly Lodges Securities Lawsuit in WI
ALLOU HEALTHCARE: Bull & Lifshitz Files Securities Lawsuit in NY
ALLOU HEALTHCARE: Abbey Gardy Lodges Securities Suit in E.D. NY
ALLOU HEALTHCARE: Kirby McInerney Lodges Securities Suit in NY
ALLOU HEALTHCARE: Milberg Weiss Commences Securities Suit in NY
CorTS TRUST: Wolf Haldenstein Lodges Securities Suit in S.D. NY
I2 TECHNOLOGIES: Weiss & Yourman Files Investors Suit in W.D. TX
NORTHWESTERN CORPORATION: Glancy & Binkow Files Securities Suit
PHARMACIA CORPORATION: Chitwood & Harley Lodges Stock Suit in NJ

                         *********


AMERITRADE: Customers Want Inadequate Service Lawsuit Revived
-------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs in a class action are asking the Nebraska Supreme
Court to review their suit, which accuses online discount
brokerage Ameritrade of not fixing glitches that prevented
customers from making trades, Associated Press Newswires
reports.

Douglas County District Court Judge Joseph Troia had dismissed
the suit, saying the plaintiffs failed to submit evidence to
prove the allegations and ruled the lawsuit could not continue.
The plaintiffs want the Supreme Court to reverse Judge Troia's
ruling, thereby reviving the class action.

The lawsuit was filed by David Zannini of Angier, North
Carolina, and three other Ameritrade customers who said the
glitches were caused by "antiquated and inadequate systems and
an insufficient number of "employees" to help customers make
trades.  The lawsuit clamed that Omaha-based Ameritrade spent
its money on recruiting new subscribers rather than fixing the
old problems.

Judge Troia had noted that three of the plaintiffs complained
about problems with only one trade each, and the fourth
complained of problems with only three of 149 trades over an
eight-month period.

"That amounts to approximately six complaints out of 400 trades,
yielding a satisfactory rating of 98.5 percent," Judge Troia
wrote.  "One could argue that six miscues out of more than 400
trades does not indicate negligence."


APARTHEID LITIGATION: Lawyers Allows Church To Pursue Mediation
---------------------------------------------------------------
Lawyers who have brought class actions against international
companies to win reparations for victims of apartheid in South
Africa, said recently that the plaintiffs have held talks with
the Anglican Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane and that they "gave
him the go ahead" to pursue mediation, Agence France-Presse
reports.

John Ngcebetsha, the South African lawyer, who with US attorney
Ed Fagan has filed lawsuits against international corporations,
under the auspices of the Apartheid Claims Taskforce (ACT), in
order to win reparations for victims of apartheid in South
Africa, said the legal team may suspend legal action as a result
of the church mediation bid.

"We would welcome an amicable solution.  Lawsuits are a last
resort," said Mr. Ngcebetsha, adding that his legal team had
offered to "suspend the legal action, provided the defendants
come to the table with the right attitude."

The Archbishop told AFX Global Ethics Monitor, a new service
provided by Agence France Presse, that his proposals for "a
forum for dialogue," had met with a "positive response from the
victims' groups . as well as the lawyers."

The Archbishop would not reveal the identities of any
corporations contacted over his proposals.  He said, "We are
talking to people in business . we are trying to find out some
agreeable formula."

The Archbishop said, "For the good of South Africa and nation-
building, we should pursue dialogue and see what we can come up
with . I do not want to talk about guilt."

He said he hoped to "enable both the litigants and defendants in
the class-action case to have a forum for dialogue, to try to
resolve the issue through negotiation rather than going through
the courts."

Bishop Rubin Phillip of the eastern province of KwaZulu-Natal,
who was with Archbishop Ndungane at a synod of bishops meeting
in Durban, confirmed that the Archbishop's plan to mediate a
settlement includes the lawsuits filed by both the ACT and by
Jubilee South Africa, a coalition of 4,000 non-governmental
organizations.  The legal teams of both groups have indicated
their willingness to suspend legal action to await results of
the bid for church mediation.

John Ngcebetsha and Ed Fagan have filed suits against companies,
such as British-based mining company Anglo American and Swiss
banks UBS AG and Credit Suisse Group.  The Jubilee South Africa
lawsuit alleges that 20 companies, including US-German auto
company DaimlerChrysler, aided and abetted the apartheid regime.

Asked whether he is envisaging a settlement along the lines of
Germany's holocaust victims' fund, Archbishop Ndungane replied,
"We have no idea what the end game will be . the modalities of
where we take the process will be determined by the people round
the table."


APARTHEID LITIGATION: Victims Choose Negotiations, Not Lawsuits
---------------------------------------------------------------
Hundreds of apartheid victims in South Africa have decided the
avenue of negotiation is preferable to the course of litigation,
thus placing multimillion dollar reparations lawsuits aside, at
least for now, said Anglican Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndunigane
recently, according to a report by Associated Press Newswires.

"Everybody has the right to go to court, but we need to sort out
our problems through dialogue instead.  I am sure our brothers
and sisters in business would prefer that," said the Archbishop.

Last Saturday, he hosted a meeting with various groups who have
brought class actions against international corporations alleged
to have propped up the apartheid government.  "We need dignified
closure and also need to hear each other.  We do not need to air
our dirty linen on the international stage," he said from his
home, where the meeting was convened.  The Archbishop said his
next step would be to sit down with the corporations to
"privately and informally convey the views of the victims."

The Archbishop has been meeting with groups that represent
thousands of apartheid victims of torture, rape and brutality.
Among them was the Khulumani Support Group, an organization
suing 21 foreign corporations for their alleged support of the
apartheid regime.

Khulumani has filed charges in the US District Court in
Brooklyn, New York claiming the defendant corporations "acted
with deliberate indifference to the well-being of the African
population," alleging also that over three decades the defendant
corporations aided the South African government "in the
commission of crimes of apartheid, forced labor, genocide,
torture, sexual assault, among other cruel, unusual and
degrading treatment."  Defendants named in the Khulumani include
US-based J.P. Morgan Chase, IBM, Caltex Petroleum, Ford and
General Motors.

Ike Tlholwe, national director of Khulumani, said the lawsuits
were not being stopped.  Corporations should be aware that
lawyers would still be pursuing the cases.  "We did not instruct
our legal teams to stand down.  We are merely pursuing
negotiations as a first option," said Mr. Tlholwe.

Archbishop Ndungane commented about the new course of events,
saying "We have come so far in terms of nation building, that I
feel we should rather concentrate on finding common ground and
understanding instead of getting involved in litigation and
conflict."

The Archbishop said no time frame could be attached to the
negotiations, as he would have approach all businesses as well
as the South African government.


APARTHEID LITIGATION: Gold Fields To Oppose $7.4 B Workers' Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Gold Fields will vigorously defend a $7.4 billion class action
filed on behalf of its former workers in New York state court,
alleging that the workers were knowingly exposed to poisonous
substances, Business Day reports.

US lawyer Ed Fagan and South African attorney John Ngcebetsha
filed the suit.  The company is the latest in the series of
international companies being sued for compensation for
apartheid victims.  The suits followed the release of South
Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission report, according
to an earlier Class Action Reporter story.

The suit seeks compensation for more than 500 former employees
who were exposed to "dangerous working conditions leading to
uranium contamination."  Other mining companies might be also
dragged into the suit, as uranium is a byproduct of the gold-
mining process in South Africa.

Gold Fields told Business Day yesterday it had not been served
with papers pertaining to the case, but had received
notification from the SA lawyers representing the plaintiffs.
CEO Ian Cockerill said, "We are watching this process extremely
carefully.  We believe there may already have been abuses of
process.  If this is the case, and we can establish the
company's or shareholders' interests are being prejudiced, we
will not hesitate to exercise our legal rights."

SA lawyer John Ngcebetsha, who brought the case together with US
lawyer Ed Fagan, told Business Day, "They are obviously welcome
to take aggressive action.  We are not in the business of making
announcements on cases we can't substantiate."


BCE INC.: Canada Court Refuses To Certify Shareholder Fraud Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Ontario Superior Court of Justice refused to grant class
certification to a lawsuit filed against BCE Inc. and Bell
Canada International Inc., on behalf of all those who owned BCI
common shares on December 3, 2001, the Globe and Mail reports.

The lawsuit sought $1-billion in damages from BCI and BCE in
connection with a BCI common share issue under a re-
capitalization plan last year.

BCE is of the view that the allegations contained in the lawsuit
are frivolous and entirely without merit, and BCE intends to
take all appropriate actions to vigorously defend its position.
BCE will seek to recover its costs incurred as a result of the
defense of the lawsuit, an earlier Class Action Reporter story
states.


CATHOLIC CHURCH: Plaintiffs File New Lawsuits V. KY Archdiocese
---------------------------------------------------------------
Two new plaintiffs have filed lawsuits against the Catholic
Archdiocese of Louisville, alleging priests sexually abused them
as children, Associated Press Newswires reports.

One of the priests accused by one of the new plaintiffs, male
and age 50, has been accused in 92 civil lawsuits and has
pleaded guilty to 50 criminal counts of sexual abuse involving
21 children.  The new male plaintiff said the priest abused him
while he was a child.  The second new plaintiff, female, said
the second priest named, abused her at her home between 1962 and
1964, while she was a child.

The two new lawsuits bring the number filed against the diocese
in the last 13 months to 249.  Six of the lawsuits have been
settled.  The two new lawsuits are the first since Jefferson
County Circuit Court Judge James M. Shake issued an order last
month grouping the cases filed, as of April 23, 2003, as a class
for the purpose of negotiating a settlement.

"I expect these (two new cases) to be dropped into the class
action," said David Vish, the attorney representing both new
plaintiffs who filed Friday, last week.  William McMurry, an
attorney for the plaintiffs in the class, who has filed 214 of
the lawsuits, said he would not object to the new plaintiffs
being added to the class.  Plaintiffs have until May 30 to opt
out of the class and pursue individual claims.


CATHOLIC CHURCH: Priest Faces CA Attorney General's Abuse Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
California's Attorney General Bill Lockyer filed sexual assault
charges against retired Catholic priest, Franklyn Becker.  The
four-count criminal complaint stems from an investigation by the
San Diego Police Department of sexual assault complaints within
the San Diego Roman Catholic Diocese.

The complaint alleges that Fr. Becker committed numerous sexual
acts against a male victim, then aged 15, on separate occasions
during the late 1970s.  The alleged acts occurred while Becker
served as a visiting priest at St. Brigid's Church in San Diego
from a Milwaukee Diocese.

"These allegations of sexual abuse represent a tragic and
criminal violation of the sacred trust between parishioners and
their clergy," Mr. Lockyer said.  "My office continues to
investigate these cases and remains committed to prosecuting
those that use their position within the church to perpetrate
acts of sexual abuse."

In March, the Attorney General's office agreed to assume
responsibility for cases alleging sexual abuse by clerics in the
San Diego Roman Catholic Diocese at the request of District
Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.  Local San Diego law enforcement
agencies continue their investigations into several other
Diocese-related sexual assault cases.


CHEVRONTEXACO: Ecuador Rainforest Lawsuit Signals Change
--------------------------------------------------------
Attorneys representing some 30,000 Ecuadorian Indians have filed
a billion-dollar lawsuit against ChevronTexaco Corporation in
Ecuador's Oriente region, in a lawsuit that could boost the
power of local courts in developing countries to hear complaints
involving multi-national corporations, Inter Press Service
reports.

The lawsuit was filed in the oil town of Lago Agrio, and charges
that ChevronTexaco systematically destroyed the environment and
homeland of a number of rainforest peoples through the massive
dumping of billions of gallons of highly toxic wastewater and
crude oil from 1971 to 1992.

The company left behind nearly 350 open waste pits, some just a
few feet from the home of residents.  These pits of toxins
sickened and killed hundreds of people and animals over the past
three decades, claims the lawsuit.  The case has moved for a
decade, from court to court in the United States, almost like a
waif trying to find a place to belong.  In fact, the case did
find an umbrella of protection.

What makes the case potentially so important is a decision last
August by a US federal appeals court that the case should be
brought in Ecuador, and that any final ruling and financial
penalty imposed against ChevronTexaco by the courts in Ecuador
would be enforceable by the US courts.  Moreover, if the
plaintiffs were unable to effectively pursue the case in
Ecuador, then the courts could proceed with it here in the
United States, added the decision.   A kind of quasi-oversight
has been wrapped about the case by the US court system;
certainly, a bold and innovative step.

The unprecedented ruling appeared designed to ensure that
plaintiffs would get their full day in court.  Multinational
corporations frequently prefer to have cases of this kind
brought against them in local courts of undeveloped countries so
if a verdict is returned against them they can claim they did
not receive due process and refuse to pay.  With the United
States courts retaining jurisdiction, companies could find their
leverage substantially reduced.

"This case has the potential to establish a new accountability
for US oil companies that think they can operate abroad without
adhering to responsible environmental practices," said Cristobal
Bonifaz, the lead attorney for some 88 named plaintiffs.

"On the face of it, this is a 'David versus Goliath' battle.
But the United States court has leveled the playing field by
ruling that a small court in a remote town in Ecuador, has the
same power over a $99 billion multinational corporation as a
federal court in Manhattan," Mr. Bonifaz added.  "This alone is
a breakthrough."

Conditions in Ecuador are also more receptive to this class
action which deals in dire environmental woes, for the lawsuit
is being filed under a new Ecuadorian law that requires mining
companies doing business in the country to pay for the costs of
cleaning up pollution caused by their operations.  However,
ChevronTexaco has insisted that it fulfilled all of its
obligations under Ecuadorian law by paying $40 million for a
clean-up that ended in 1998.

In addition, Latin-American courts are increasingly are
permitting "class actions" by workers against multi-national for
environmental and health damages.  In January 2003, for example,
a Nicaraguan court ordered Shell Oil, Dole Food and Dow Chemical
to pay nearly $500 million to 450 workers exposed to a pesticide
that rendered them impotent.  So far, however, the companies
have refused to pay.

In the opinion of the plaintiffs' attorneys, Chevron Texaco's
performance in the Ecuadorian Amazon region was particularly
egregious.  Over 20 years, the firm dumped almost 500 million
barrels of wastewater containing crude oil and cancer-causing
heavy metals, in addition to the open pits it left behind.

"We believe that what ChevronTexaco did in the Ecuador
rainforest was not only negligent, but might rise to the level
of reckless behavior," said Joseph Kohn, another of the
plaintiffs' attorneys.  "The company claims it was fine because
it did not violate any of Ecuador's laws at the time; but, at
the time, Ecuador had no environmental laws governing oil
extraction because it had no oil industry."

The actual complaint alleges that the company engaged in
"negligent, reckless, deliberate and outrageous acts" in the
Ecuadorian Amazon by refusing to adhere to accepted standards of
the oil industry to clean up toxic waste from drilling.  The
waste pits now blanket much of the northern Amazon region; their
contents have leeched into groundwater and rivers that residents
rely on for drinking water and bathing.

One study of one small community by the London School of
Epidemiology found that cancer rates were many times higher than
historical norms and that larynx cancer in particular was found
to be 30 times higher than the norm for males.  The toll has
been "fearsome," according to the attorneys, with three
indigenous tribes -- the Cofan, Secoya and Siona -- especially
hard hit.  Many members have contracted cancer and died.  With
most of the rivers heavily polluted, many others have left their
ancestral lands.

The Cofan tribe numbered 15,000 in 1971, when Chevron first
began operations on their land.  The Cofan have seen their
population in the area fall to less than 300.


CHINA: Jiang Zemin Faces Lawsuit over "Falun Gong" Eradication
--------------------------------------------------------------
Former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin was named in a class action,
for alleged genocide with his systematic policy to "eradicate"
Falun Gong - a peaceful spiritual practice based on the values
of truthfulness, compassion and tolerance, a policy implemented
four years ago.

According to a statement by the Falun Data Information Center,
Jiang has mobilized virtually every apparatus of the Chinese
Communist regime to detain and torture Falun Gong practitioners
until they either renounce their faith or face being tortured to
death.  Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the US
government and other organizations have documented hundreds of
deaths of Falun Gong practitioners from abuse in Chinese police
custody.

Reliable sources within the Chinese government say the true
death toll is well into the thousands.  More than 100,000
practitioners are known to have been arbitrarily detained in
prisons and labor camps where they face brutal violence,
medieval forms of torture, rape, and other horrific methods
designed to destroy them mentally and physically.

On October 18, 2002, individual plaintiffs filed a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court of the Northern
District of Illinois, Eastern Division, against Jiang and the
Falun Gong Control 6-10 Office (a nation-wide Gestapo-like
agency created by Jiang specifically to persecute Falun Gong).

Specific causes of action pleaded in the complaint include
torture, genocide, and denial of the right to life.  Also cited
are violations of the previously mentioned rights and
protections as embodied in customary international law as well
as conspiracy to commit violations of civil rights against Falun
Gong within the jurisdiction of the United States.

Two days after the lawsuit was served in Chicago, China's
foreign ministry tried to deny the lawsuit even existed, but was
forced into retreat when pressed by Associated Press reporters
in Beijing.  Meanwhile, Jiang's supporters began mounting a
campaign to pressure the US State Department in an effort to
block the court process.  The class action against Jiang is the
fifth lawsuit to be served on high-ranking Chinese officials for
their roles in persecuting Falun Gong in China.

In a landmark ruling, on December 21, 2001 a default judgment
was handed down by US District Court against Zhao Zhifei, the
head of Public Security for Hubei Province.  Zhao was served
with a complaint five months earlier in New York City charging
wrongful death, torture, crimes against humanity, and other
gross violations of international human rights law in
persecuting Falun Gong.  Zhao quickly fled the country, and
returned to China without responding to the lawsuit.

The US lawsuit is only one of many international legal actions
against Jiang and the 6-10 Office.  In December last year,
William Bourdon and Georges-Henri Beauthier, the two human
rights lawyers responsible for prosecuting the Chilean dictator
Augusto Pinochet, filed a suit in France charging 6-10 Office
director Li Lanqing with torture and other crimes against Falun
Gong practitioners.

On March 18th at this year's United Nations Human Rights
Commission, Phillip Grant, a Swiss lawyer who heads the non-
governmental organization TRIAL, announced an international
effort to bring legal action against Jiang and the 6-10 Office
in Switzerland and 59 other nations for crimes against humanity,
torture and genocide.

Jiang ruled China in a tyrannical fashion while in power, but
his stranglehold on the Chinese government has been severely
weakened only months after stepping down from the nation's top
post.

With Falun Gong, Jiang has engulfed the entire nation in a Mao-
era mass movement of lies, deceit, hatred and violence.  Along
the way, thousands have lost their lives, hundreds of thousands
have languished in forced labor camps, and tens of millions have
been forced to choose between looking the other way or be
victimized themselves by the campaign.  Jiang does not represent
the Chinese people, nor does he represent China or the future of
China, the Falun Data Center statement asserts.

The statement further says, "The perpetrators of genocide and
crimes against humanity must be brought to justice and be
punished in accordance with the due process of law.  The US
lawsuit against Jiang and the 6-10 Office and other lawsuits
like it around the world are precisely the wheels of due process
turning . We call upon the governments of the international
community to do what they can to nurture such due process so
that Jiang Zemin and the 6-10 Office can and will be brought to
justice."


COLORADO: Dept Of Human Services Ordered To Pay Contempt Fine
-------------------------------------------------------------
Colorado's Department of Human Services (DHS) must pay the $1.4
million contempt of court fine for failing to follow the actions
ordered in the 1994 settlement of a class action affecting about
1,600 homeless people, the Colorado Court of Appeals recently
ruled, according to a report by Associated Press Newswires.

Denver District Court Judge Morris Hoffman, who has jurisdiction
over the 1994 settlement of the lawsuit, named for Ruth Goebel,
who froze to death in an alley shortly after the lawsuit was
filed, ordered the fine two years ago.  He had found that the
DHS was falling short on requirements to provide money and
establish housing for the mentally ill clients of the state
agency.  He also said the state agency failed to seek out
individuals who needed services or to spend money to provide
services.

When the state appealed Judge Hoffman's decision, the Colorado
Court of Appeals said Judge Hoffman retained authority over the
area of the case as to what actions the DHS was supposed to
perform under the settlement and refused to consider that area
of the case.

As to that part of the state's appeal concerning the levy of the
fine of $1.4 million, the appeals court said Judge Hoffman was
right in concluding that the evidence indicated the department
had willfully failed to comply with his orders.

The appeals court said:  "The trial court (rightly) concluded
that the department did not make a good-faith effort to either
secure all available necessary funding, attempt to raise
additional funding as required by the 1994 settlement agreement,
or re-allocate existing resources to comply with the settlement
agreement."


CONNECTICUT: Probe Started Over Reduction Of Kids In State Care
---------------------------------------------------------------
Connecticut's attorney general and child advocate are
investigating whether child welfare officials dropped children
from state care may avoid having to hire more social workers,
Associated Press Newswires reports.

The investigation comes following release of a memorandum from a
former top aide to Governor John G. Rowland.  In his undated
memo, believed to have been written in 1999, the aide Lawrence
Alibozek suggests cutting services to children or the number of
children serviced, as cheaper alternatives to complying with a
court order to hire extra social workers.

The state's Department of Children and Families (DCF) has been
under a consent decree for more than a decade because of a class
action that alleged the state had violated federal laws by not
adequately protecting children in its care.  Child Advocate
Jeanne Milstein and Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said
they will thoroughly investigate what happened to the children
released from DCF care.

"Very serious issues have been raised . that could possibly
impact the safety, lives and well-being of children in
Connecticut," Ms. Milstein said.  "We all want to know what
happened to these children."

Last summer, DCF reported that its programs helped produce a 46
percent decrease in the number of abuse and neglect cases
involving Connecticut children 1997.

Senator Donald Williams, D-Killingly, and co-chairman of the
Legislature's Select Committee on Children, said recently that
while DCF case numbers were going down, the number of calls to
the agency were going up.  "It makes no sense," Senator Williams
said.

Mr. Blumenthal said the Attorney General's office will
investigate whether DCF cases were disguised or disregarded in
an attempt to lower the state's caseloads.  DCF spokesman Gary
Kleeblatt said the agency will fully cooperate with the
investigation and does not believe there has been any wrongdoing
in its reduction of cases.

"Closing a case when the children are safe and the family no
longer needs or will accept services, is the right thing to do,"
said Mr. Kleeblatt.  "There is no indication that anything other
than that principle guided DCF's casework."


CORVAS CORPORATION: AVF Lodges Lawsuit v. Dendreon Merger in DE
---------------------------------------------------------------
Corvas Corporation and its directors face a class action filed
by the Asset Value Fund Limited Partnership (AVF) in Delaware
state court.  The suit alleges that the board of directors
violated its fiduciary duties when it approved the merger
agreement with Dendreon Corporation.

Specifically, the complaint alleges that:

     (1) the directors failed to consider all available
         information when deciding to pursue the combination;

     (2) the directors failed to negotiate a mechanism to
         protect stockholders from the effects of a decline in
         Dendreon's common stock price before the combination;
         and

     (3) a minority of the directors were furthering their own
         interests in approving the combination instead of the
         interests of the Company's stockholders.

AVF is seeking to enjoin the Company from proceeding with the
combination, and also seeks compensatory damages and
reimbursement of the costs of bringing suit.  The Company was
served with the complaint on March 13, 2003.  The Company denies
the allegations in the complaint and intends to defend the
action vigorously.


CYTODYNE: Closing Arguments Start in Trial over Weight Loss Pill
----------------------------------------------------------------
Closing arguments started in the trial of a lawsuit filed
against Cytodyne, over its weight loss pill Xenadrine RFA-1 in
California State Court, the SanDiegoChannel.com reports.

La Jolla resident Jason Park filed the suit after buying a
bottle of Xenadrine.  The suit alleges that the Company paid
professional models and bodybuilders to gain weight, lose it,
then show off in "before and after" photos to tout the merits of
Xenadrine.  The suit alleges that the studies cited by the
Company do not substantiate its claims regarding the safety or
performance-enhancement benefits of the weight-loss pill.  In
court documents filed a year ago, Cytodyne listed published
studies as proof that its products are safe in reducing weight.

The non-jury civil trial is being heard by Superior Court Judge
Ronald Styn.  In March, the San Diego City Attorney's Office
joined in a separate lawsuit aimed at stopping what it calls
misleading advertising involving state sales of Xenadrine RFA-1.


DELL CANADA: Canadians To Sue Over Correction of Pocket PC Price
----------------------------------------------------------------
Dell Canada faces a possible class action in Quebec for adding
hundreds of dollars to the listed price of a hand-held unit on
its website, the Canadian Press reports.

The Company allegedly posted a list price for its Axim x5 pocket
PC models of $89 to $118 last month.  On April 7, the Company
corrected the price, saying the actual retail price for the
units was $379 for a basic model and $549 for a faster unit.

The consumers' group Union des consommateurs said Thursday it
has asked a Superior Court judge for permission to sue the
computer giant.  In a news release, it stated that number of
customers placed Internet orders under the original price.  It
added Dell is violating Canadian competition and consumer-
protection laws by refusing to honor the lower price.

"L'Union des consommateurs believes Dell is bound by the
(original) price listed on its site," the group, which is
launching the suit along with Montrealer Olivier Dumoulin, told
the Canadian Press.  "(We) demand that all transactions be
honored."

The Superior Court must approve the class action before it can
proceed.


DUPONT: Judge Says C8 Toxic, Firm Guilty Of Destroying Documents
----------------------------------------------------------------
Wood County Circuit Court Judge George Hill of West Virginia,
has found that the chemical used to make Teflon, C8, is toxic
and will punish DuPont for destroying documents as it defends
itself in a class action involving the chemical, The Columbus
Dispatch reports.

The lawsuit was filed in August 2001, on behalf of as many as
50,000 people who live near a DuPont plant along the Ohio River,
including residents in West Virginia and Ohio who drank from the
contaminated public water supplies.

Judge Hill said in his recent ruling that people near the plant
were "unwittingly exposed" to the chemical from the plant.  He
said that the evidence showed that C8, chemically known as
ammonium perfluorooctanoate, is "toxic and hazardous to humans."

Levels of C8 in the blood of people living near the plant could
be 1,000 times higher than the general population, according to
calculations based on a study DuPont published in 2001.  The
company now says the study was flawed.

Judge Hill's ruling orders the company to pay for blood tests to
measure exposure levels to C8.  The ruling also orders DuPont to
pay the plaintiffs' attorney fees and other costs for delays in
providing some company documents and destroying others.  Judge
Hill also ruled that DuPont had ignored court orders to make
records available.  The judge has asked plaintiffs' attorneys to
submit expenses incurred because of DuPont's violations of
rules of evidence and court orders.

In a letter to Judge Hill, DuPont acknowledged that Gerald R.
Kennedy, the company's lead toxicologist on C8 issues, had
destroyed "written and electronic documents" about the chemical.
Last month, the US Environmental Protection Agency launched a
scientific study of the potential health hazards of the chemical
C8.  It has been used for more than 50 years to produce
household products that resist water, grease, stains and other
chemicals.

An EPA inquiry has followed upon the finding that C8 was in the
drinking water in Ohio and West Virginia, as well as in the
blood of DuPont workers.  Studies by DuPont and 3M, once the
leading manufacturer of C8, found the chemical in human blood
nationwide.

It is unclear how the chemical is finding its way into people's
blood.  Possibilities include exposure to air or water
contaminated during the manufacturing process, or contact with
consumer products that have been treated with the chemical.


FIRESTONE TIRES: Firm Meets NHTSA Officials Over Steeltex Tires
---------------------------------------------------------------
Continuing their effort to re-open the National Highway Traffic
& Safety Administration (NHTSA) safety-defect investigation of
the Firestone Steeltex tire series, the Lisoni & Lisoni law firm
met with high-ranking National Highway Traffic Safety
administration (NHTSA) officials to answer questions and provide
further information on the alleged unsafe and defective
Firestone Steeltex tire series.

In a rare and valuable display of support, Ms. Joan Claybrook,
the former Administrator of the NHTSA and current president of
Public Citizen (a Washington, D.C.-based national, non-profit,
public safety organization founded by Ralph Nader), appeared at
the meeting with the Lisoni law firm urging the NHTSA to re-open
the Firestone Steeltex safety-defect investigation.  Equally
significant was the appearance of Clarence Ditlow, Executive
Director of Center for Auto Safety.  To further document the
national public concern with the safety of the Firestone
Steeltex tire series, both Public Citizen and Center for Auto
Safety indicated they would submit formal letters recommending
that NHTSA re-open the Firestone Steeltex safety-defect
investigation.  In addition, Safetyforum.com has joined Lisoni &
Lisoni in criticizing the safety of the Firestone Steeltex tire
series and called on NHTSA to re-open their defect
investigation.

Joseph Lisoni stated that tire-safety expert Mr. William Orr,
who previously worked for Firestone for nearly twenty-five years
evaluating defective tires, "blew the whistle" at the meeting to
NHTSA officials, stating that due to a cost-cutting program
where inferior quality materials and practices were used, the
Firestone Steeltex tire series "suffered from self-inflicted
cancer" and posed an undue safety risk to the American motoring
public.  Mr. Orr used an actual defective Steeltex tire to
illustrate that the tire had been "de-engineered" and that
critical safety components were allegedly lacking, among
numerous other alleged defects described.

Since the Lisoni law firm filed a petition on November 15, 2002,
seeking the re-opening of the safety-defect investigation, the
firm has provided the NHTSA with sixteen deaths caused by
allegedly defective Firestone Steeltex tires, in addition to
5,000 claims of failed Steeltex tread separations causing
numerous bodily injuries and extensive property damage.  In
addition to the petition to the NHTSA, the Lisoni law firm has a
national class action against Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc.
seeking the recall of approximately thirty million Steeltex
tires.

For more information, contact Joseph Lisoni by Phone:
626/440-1333 by Fax: 626/564-6004 by E-mail:
lisoni@earthlink.net or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.firestonesteeltexclassaction.com


GENERAL MOTORS: Suits Lodged For Class H Stockholders in DE, CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
General Motors Corporation faces several class actions on behalf
of owners of GM Class H.  The suits also name as defendants
Hughes Electronics Corporation, News Corporation and the Hughes
directors.

The first two suits were filed in the Delaware Chancery Court.
Two other suits were filed in the Superior Court in Los Angeles,
California.  The lawsuits allege that the proposed transactions
involving News Corporation's acquisition of a 34% interest in
Hughes provides benefits to the Company not available to all GM
Class H shareholders, in violation of fiduciary duties.

The Company, Hughes and the director defendants believe these
actions are without merit and intend to vigorously defend the
lawsuits.


GENERAL MOTORS: Investors File Suit Over News Corporation Pacts
---------------------------------------------------------------
General Motors Corporation and its directors faces two
shareholder class actions filed in the Delaware Chancery Court
challenging the recently announced agreements with News
Corporation.

The cases allege that the Company and its directors performed
ultra vires acts and that the directors breached their fiduciary
duties by approving a transaction that is more favorable to the
holders of the Company $1-2/3 par value common stock than the
holders of GM Class H Common Stock.  They claim that the holders
of GM Class H Common Stock will be treated unfairly because:

     (1) GM will receive mostly cash for its shares while the
         holders of GM Class H Common Stock will receive News
         Corporation ADSs that may fluctuate in value;

     (2) GM will be receiving a $275 million payment from
         Hughes;

     (3) a substantial number of shares of GM Class H Common
         Stock were contributed to various GM employee benefit
         plans prior to announcement of the deal to improve the
         prospects of shareholder approval; and

     (4) the transaction was announced just prior to the
         announcement of improved financial results at Hughes
         and PanAmSat to make it appear that holders of GM Class
         H Common Stock would receive a premium that would
         exceed the 20 percent recapitalization premium provided
         for in the GM Restated Certificate of Incorporation, as
         amended.

Plaintiffs seek to enjoin the shareholder vote on the sale of
GM's interest in Hughes, enjoin the transactions from proceeding
and unspecified damages.  The Company and the director
defendants believe these actions are without merit and intend to
vigorously defend the lawsuits.


HALLIBURTON CO.: Plaintiffs Lodge Amended Securities Suit in TX
---------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs in the securities suit filed against Halliburton Co.
filed an amended suit in the United States District Court for
the Northern District of Texas.  The suit was filed on behalf of
purchasers of the Company's common stock alleging violations of
the federal securities laws.  The suit also names as defendants
Arthur Andersen, LLP, the Company's independent accountants for
the period covered by the lawsuit, and several of its present or
former officers and directors.

The suit alleges that the Company violated federal securities
laws in failing to disclose a change in the manner in which it
accounted for revenues associated with unapproved claims on
long-term engineering and construction contracts, and that it
overstated revenue by accruing the unapproved claims.

It is the Company's belief that it has meritorious defenses to
the claims and intends to vigorously defend against the suit.


HAWAII: Dog Breeder Faces Possible "Deceptive Practices" Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Hawaiian dog breeder Lucy Kagan faces a possible class action
from pet owners who allegedly did not get what they paid for,
TheHawaiiChannel.com reports.

Last week, dozens of people who bought puppies from Ms. Kagan
revealed possible animal cruelty.  Deanna Lee, a customer who is
pushing for the class action, allegedly spent thousands of
dollars in medical bills to save her pet Kira's life.

She said that three days after she bought Kira, supposedly a
purebred tiny teacup Pomeranian, the dog almost died from
dehydration and heart problems.  Ms. Lee soon discovered the
puppy had double sets of teeth and would eat her own feces.  She
says she bought the dog from a woman known as Tara Kagan,
although others know her as Lucy Kagan, TheHawaiianChannel.com
reports.

Ms. Lee said that she is looking into possible "deceptive
practices" and "fraud" claims against Ms. Kagan.  "I just want
justice and I'm willing to help people with a class action
suit," Ms. Lee told TheHawaiianChannel.com.

Ms. Lee says even though Ms. Kagan's business card said Tropix
Kennels, Ms. Kagan had Ms. Lee make a check out to her son,
Aaron Kagan.

Lucy Kagan calls the investigation a witch hunt.  "Now, people
are coming out of the woodwork and causing problems that aren't
a problem," Ms. Kagan told TheHawaiianChannel.com.


HOUSEHOLD FINANCE: Court Orders Credit Card Fee Reimbursements
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Quebec Superior Court ordered Household Finance Corporation
to reimburse an estimated 25,000 Quebec residents in a class
action filed against it over late payment fees charged for
popular "buy now, pay later" store promotions, The Gazette
reports.

Store credit cards were issued to consumers who purchased
products from several furniture, electronics and appliance
retailers under plans where they could defer payments for up to
a year.  The court ordered the company to reimburse customers
for abusive credit charges and late fees that they paid for
their Company-issued store credit cards dating back seven years.

The Company could spend as much as 5 million under the judgment,
which was made public yesterday, according to a lawyer for the
local consumer group that launched the class action against HFC
subsidiary Merchant Retail Services Ltd.

St‚phanie Poulin represented Option Consommateurs and lead
plaintiff Lynda Gagn‚.  Ms. Poulin told the Gazette the court
has given the Company 60 days to provide a complete list of its
affected card members and how much each is owed in credit
charges and penalties.

"We don't agree with the judgment and we intend to appeal,"
David McDonald, associate legal counsel for HFC, told the
Gazette in an interview from his Toronto office.

In his ruling, Judge Maurice Laram‚e agreed with the plaintiffs
that a $10 penalty for late payments charged by the HFC
subsidiary wasn't revealed in advance, making the real credit
rate higher than advertised - a rate already considered high at
26 to 36 per cent, the Gazette states.


ILLINOIS TOOL: IL Suit Alleges Ex-Workers Exposed To Manganese
--------------------------------------------------------------
Kenneth B. Moll & Associates, Ltd. filed a worldwide class
action in the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Illinois against Illinois Tool Works, Inc., the
manufacturers of welding products that produce manganese
poisoning that can cause Parkinson's Disease.

According to the complaint, recent research, case studies and
medical literature confirm that there is a causal connection
between exposure to manganese welding fumes and Parkinson's
disease.

Parkinson's disease is a terminal illness that usually affects
people in their late 60's.  Welders have shown symptoms of
Parkinson's Disease as early as age 45.  People who have been
exposed to welding fumes containing manganese should be aware of
the following symptoms which may lead to Parkinson's Disease:
slowed movement, tremors and shaking, loss of coordination or
balance, stiffness in body and limbs, slowed or slurred speech,
tightening of facial muscles, handwriting worsening, difficulty
walking, difficulty turning, anxiety, irritability, depression,
mood changes, short term memory loss, and inability to perform
normal tasks.

According to the complaint, welding sites should use a
combination of ventilation and respiratory protection equipment
to prevent welders from being exposed to toxic manganese fumes
during welding operations.

Kenneth Moll said, "the primary goals of this class action are
to (1) obtain a Court Order forcing manufacturers to stop the
manufacture and sale of welding products that contain manganese
and issue a recall, (2) inform the public that welders (pipe
fitters, electrical workers, ironworkers, steelworkers, metal
workers, plumbers, railroad maintenance workers, piledrivers,
millwrights, glass manufacturers, etc.) and others working near
welding or pipefitting activity, are at an increased risk of
manganese poisoning leading to Parkinson's disease, (3) provide
compensation to all victims for death and personal injuries, (4)
provide a medical monitoring fund for individuals who have shown
symptoms of Parkinson's disease."

For more information contact Kenneth B. Moll by Phone:
312/558-6444 by Fax: 312/558-1112 or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.kbmoll.com


INDIANA: Arguments Over Publishing of Sex Offenders List Heard
--------------------------------------------------------------
Lawyers for released sex offenders argued recently before
Indiana's Supreme Court that the state should not be allowed to
post the addresses and pictures of the formerly convicted sex
offender on the Internet without first giving them a chance to
show that they are no longer dangerous, the Associated Press
Newswires reports.  The Indiana Civil Liberties Union (ICLU)
filed the class action, now before the high court, on behalf of
a man who was convicted several years ago of fondling a minor,
and whose lawsuit seeks a ruling that the state law requiring
posting on the Internet of photos and addresses of now-released
sex offenders, is unconstitutional.

In January 2003, the high court issued a stay preventing
sheriffs from implementing an expanded state law that required
them to post photos and home addresses of convicted, now-
released sex offenders on the Internet, while the issues of the
instant case are argued before the court.  The earlier law
contained no requirement to post such information on the
Internet; it provided only that interested persons could
inspect, upon request at the sheriff's office, a file containing
such information.

Since issuance of the stay and prior to the hearing of the
instant appeal, the US Supreme Court ruled in March that photos
and addresses of sex offenders could be posted on the Internet.
Lawyers for the state are arguing that distribution of the
information over the Internet meets constitutional muster and
helps protect the public.

Kenneth Falk, an attorney for the Indiana Civil Liberties Union,
said the Indiana Constitution provides more privacy protections
than does the US Constitution, including rights regarding a
person's reputation.  Mr. Falk said the expanded state law would
harm the reputation of all past offenders by deeming them
forever dangerous without any legal recourse to show they are
not, and that, therefore, information about them should no
longer be included on the registry.

"We have to give them a chance to show they are not dangerous,"
Mr. Falk said.

Thomas Fisher, a state deputy attorney general, told the court
recidivism rates among sex offenders are extremely high, and the
state had a right to protect the public from the "horrific"
crimes they commit.  Mr. Fisher said, responding to Mr. Falk's
concern that the released sex offenders have the chance "to show
they are not dangerous":  The General Assembly could have
written a law allowing sex offenders to present evidence, at a
carefully selected later date from time of release, that they no
longer were a threat to society.  But, said Mr. Fisher, the
lawmakers are not obligated under constitutional provisions to
do that.

"Besides, said Mr. Fisher, "there is no sure way to know if
someone is going to re-offend or not."

Justice Frank Sullivan posed a question to Mr. Fisher in which
he said that courts frequently weigh the factors, in other types
of criminal cases, relating to whether or not there is evidence
that a former offender will or will not re-offend.

"If the Legislature says we want to take a risk, OK, but that is
up to the Legislature," said Mr. Fisher, not responding to that
part of the question that indicated the court was already a
forum for those kinds of consideration, and that Justice
Sullivan was wondering whether the issue of "reform" or "cure"
as to the sex offender could be weighed by the court, as the
Justice said was done in other criminal cases.


MASCO CORPORATION: Court Overrules Objections to Suit Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
The California Superior Court in San Joaquin County overruled
objections to the settlements proposed by Masco Corporation to
resolve all class actions pending in the United States against
it and its subsidiary, Behr Process Corporation, relating to
exterior wood coating products formerly manufactured by Behr.
The suit alleges "excessive mildew" after customers used the
Company's wood-coating products.

The Company later agreed to settle the suit, but fifteen class
members objected.  Although class members who objected to the
national settlement have the right to appeal the judgment within
60 days, the Company believes that the settlement will
ultimately be implemented without significant change in the
terms previously disclosed.

Earlier, on March 17, 2003, the Grays Harbor County, Washington
Superior Court entered judgment granting final approval to the
Washington Settlement.  No class members objected to the terms
of the Settlement or appealed the judgment of final approval.


MASSACHUSETTS: Suffolk County Pays $5.2M Over Strip Searches
------------------------------------------------------------
The Suffolk County Sheriff's Department recently paid $5.2
million as settlement over illegal strip searches of 1,500
women.  The money was due five months ago, according to a report
by the Boston Herald.

Sheriff Andrea Cabral inherited the unfunded settlement when she
became sheriff last fall.  At a recent hearing before US
District Court Judge Nancy Gertner, Ms. Cabral said it was
insane to delay the payment another day; she said her office is
facing another $196,000 in fines for contempt.

Sheriff Cabral said she could not offer any details of how the
payout will affect operations at the jail, but called the
situation devastating, since there are no funds to refill the
$5.2 million hole.  The Sheriff said she will continue to lobby
for help to cover the hole in the department's budget, made by
the $5.2 million payout.

Boston already has paid its half of the bill stemming from
Boston police arrests of women who were searched at the jail
without probable cause.  The searches included body cavity
inspections.  Some of the women faced charges as minor as
failing to return a video on time and selling sausages without a
vendor's license.  Although 5,000 women were illegally searched
over a period of three years, only 1,500 came forward as class
members eligible to share in the class action settlement.


OHIO: Senate Adopts Bill To Protect Consumers from Telemarketers
----------------------------------------------------------------
Ohio's state senators have adopted legislation to protect
consumers from the telemarketers, The Columbus Dispatch reports.
Senate Bill 28 now goes to the House, where its sponsor, Sen.
Robert F. Spada, R-Parma Heights, said he may have to fight off
attempts by the business community to weaken it.

"This (bill) is not intended to be anti-business or even to
eliminate telemarketers," said Sen. Spada.  He pointed out that
people need to keep their telephone lines open for emergencies
or important calls from family members.

The bill would require the state attorney general to provide for
a "do-not-call" registry for residential telephone subscribers,
either by developing such a registry or accepting a federal one.
Twenty-six states already provide such registries, State Senator
Spada said.  Telephone solicitors would have to purchase the
registry; the fee would pay for keeping it current.  The
solicitors also would be required to keep their own "do-not
call" lists.

Telemarketers would be limited to calling between 8 am and 9 pm,
and prohibited from calling a number on the "do-not-call" list
for 90 days after it appears there.  Attorney General Jim
Petro's office would be empowered to investigate any violation
and pursue punishment, with a civil penalty of $500 to $2,000
for each violation.  In addition, telephone customers could
pursue legal action on their own.  If they prevailed, they would
be awarded their actual monetary loss or $200, whichever was
greater, plus court costs and legal fees.

Sen. Bill Harris, R-Ashland, a retired auto dealer who voted for
the bill, said he is concerned about its impact on business, and
took a position typical of many business advocates.   He said he
would oppose any attempt to restrict the legitimate use of the
telephone by businesses or to allow class actions against
telemarketers.  No example was given of what constituted
`legitimate use.'

Roger Geiger, state director of the National Federation of
Independent Business, representing small businesses, said his
group has no position on the bill.  That's because, said Mr.
Geiger, the Senate took care of his concerns that florists and
lawn-care companies could be punished for seasonal promotions
delivered by phone.  Apparently, that form of promotion is one
of the many exceptions to prohibited telemarketing provided for
in the Senate bill.


OLD REPUBLIC: GA Court Refuses Certification to RESPA Lawsuit
-------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
Georgia refused to grant class certification to a lawsuit filed
against Old Republic International Corporation.

The suit alleges that the Company provided pool insurance and
other services to mortgage lenders at preferential, below market
prices in return for mortgage insurance business, and that such
practices violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act
(RESPA).  The court ruled in favor of a summary judgment motion
filed by the Company and dismissed the suit.

The class plaintiffs appealed, and the US Court of Appeals for
the Eleventh Circuit vacated the judgment and remanded the case
back to the court.  The Company filed a motion seeking a summary
judgment on grounds asserted in its earlier motion but not
considered by the court.

On February 5, 2003, the court denied the plaintiffs' motions to
certify a class in both the lawsuit against the Company and a
similar lawsuit pending before the same court against another
mortgage guaranty insurer.  The plaintiffs have asked the Court
to reconsider its ruling or, alternatively, to certify sub-
classes.  At this time, the ultimate outcome of this litigation
cannot be foreseen.


ORKIN: Settles Fraud Lawsuit Brought By Florida Apartment Owners
----------------------------------------------------------------
Orkin Exterminating settled a fraud and racketeering lawsuit
brought by owners of a Florida apartment complex, who claimed
the complex was badly damaged by termites when the Company,
through its agents, faked pest control treatments and forged
documents to cover up their omissions, Associated Press
Newswires reports.

The settlement was reached a day after opening statements in the
$6.7 million civil case brought by Coachman Crossing Apartments.
Terms of the settlement were confidential.

The instant lawsuit was considered a preview of a much larger
lawsuit brought by individual homeowners.  The latter lawsuit
has been granted class action status by a Hillsborough Circuit
Court judge.  As many as 100,000 Florida homeowners who were
Orkin customers could eventually join in the Hillsborough
lawsuit.  Orkin is currently appealing to block that from
happening.


POST PROPERTIES: Board Faces Shareholder Derivative Suit in GA
--------------------------------------------------------------
Post Properties, Inc.'s board of directors faces a shareholder
derivative and purported class action lawsuit, which also names
the Company as a nominal defendant.  The complaint was filed in
the Superior Court of Fulton County, Atlanta, Georgia on May 2,
2003.

The complaint alleges various breaches of fiduciary duties by
the Company's Board of Directors and seeks, among other relief,
the disclosure of certain information by the defendants.  The
complaint also seeks to compel the defendants to undertake
various actions to facilitate a sale of the Company.

On May 7, 2003, the plaintiff made a request for voluntary
expedited discovery.  The defendants have not yet filed an
answer.  The Company believes this lawsuit is without merit and
intends to vigorously defend against it.


ROCK HILL: Court Grants Class Status to Stockholder Fraud Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Shareholders of the defunct Rock Hill Bank & Trust (Rock Hill
Bank) can join together, in a class action, so long as each
shareholder's loss was more than $100, to sue the bank for the
damages they suffered when the bank's stock value plunged during
its collapse last summer, according to a ruling by Circuit Court
Judge Cordell Maddox Jr., The Herald Rock Hill (SC) reports.

The 'win' of class-action status means most of the 1,100
shareholders can come together to sue the bank in one lawsuit.
The shareholders estimate they have lost in excess of $12
million, according to English McCutchen, a Columbia, South
Carolina attorney, who is lead counsel for the stockholders.

Two civil suits filed by the shareholders in September 2002,
have been combined into one that now represents about 84,700
shares, or 7-1/2 percent of the stock.  The lawsuits state the
bank had losses two years in a row because of misconduct by
employees.  The suits also claim officers and directors were
derelict in their duties to monitor employees and loan activity.

A jury trial has been requested, but likely will not be held for
more than a year, said James Boyd of the law firm Boyd and
Jordan in Rock Hill, co-counsel for the shareholders.  Judge
Maddox refused, in a second ruling, to disallow the
shareholders' lawsuit against two bank officers, eight board
members and various accountants of Rock Hill Bank, among others.

The shareholders' lawsuit is part of the continued fallout from
the demise of RHB&T.  Rock Hill Bank & Trust collapsed and
subsequently was sold last summer after an investigation
revealed it needed $20 million to cover problem loans and nearly
was taken over by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Rock Hill Bank officers have attributed all the problem loans to
its former president Robert Herron, who was fired July 3, 2002,
for irregularities in the commercial loan department.


ROYAL AHOLD: To Meet With Investors About $880M in Irregularities
--------------------------------------------------------------
Shareholders of global retailer Royal Ahold will meet Tuesday
with company's management to question them about accounting
irregularities that has left a $880 million hole in the
company's books, Reuters English News Service reports.

Thousands of retail investors, who put their money and trust in
Ahold will want to know why the Netherlands' biggest
supermarkets group got entangled in the US food service sector,
where allegedly two managers inflated profits by $ 880 million
over three years.

Another area that will be targeted for questions is the spree of
acquisitions worth more than $10.5 billion in 1999-2001,
including the $3.6 billion acquisition of US Foodservice.  Ahold
now says it will focus on mature markets.

It plans to sell assets in Latin America, Indonesia and
Thailand.  Ahold has agreed to sell Santa Isabel in Chile to
Cencosud.  Investors want more disposals identified.  The
Securities and Exchange Commission and the US Department of
Justice are probing Ahold.  Some class actions against Ahold
have been filed.

Investors will surely ask about Chilean retailer D&S, which
claims that Ahold still owes it $45 million after the Dutch
retailer settled a payment for assets in Argentina in pesos
instead of dollars.  The question & answer session is an effort
to build knowledge and understanding, but the issues are many,
the elements of good judgment on some actions taken seem to be
missing.  Whether the investors will be assuaged or inflamed is
anyone's guess.


SUGARCANE GROWERS: Jury Rules Growers Paid Cane Cutters Fairly
--------------------------------------------------------------
A Palm Beach County jury determined recently that Sugar Cane
Growers Cooperative of Florida did not underpay its cane cutters
during a four-year period, giving the sugar cane growers their
third wage-dispute victory, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel
reports.

The six jurors found, after deliberating about two hours during
two days, that the cooperative's contract with the cane cutters,
most of whom came from Jamaica and other Caribbean islands, did
not call for them to earn $5.30 for every ton of cane they cut,
as the cutters' attorneys had argued.

One of the jurors said the verdict reflected the evidence the
jury had heard in the two-week trial and how that evidence fit
the single question it had to answer:  whether the cutters
should have been paid $5.30 for every ton they cut.  "Based on
what we had to work with, there was no other decision we could
make," the juror said.

North Palm Beach attorney David Gorman said that, despite the
jury's verdict, he thinks the cane cutters were cheated on their
pay.  "I believe they were treated essentially as indentured
servants," Mr. Gorman said.

Mr. Gorman represented a class of several thousand men who cut
cane in the fields of western Palm Beach County.  He argued that
the documents filed with the Department of Labor show that the
cane cutters were to be paid $5.30 per ton and were expected to
cut one ton per hour in an eight-hour day.  However, in reality,
said Mr. Gorman, the cutters were paid about $3.80 per ton.

Miami attorney David Ross, who represented the sugar cane
growers, told jurors during the trial that there was nothing in
the contract the cutters signed linking their pay to the tonnage
cut.  Instead, the contract guaranteed they would be paid a
minimum of $5.30 per hour, said Mr. Ross, and that the cutters
were paid based on the condition of the can and field they were
working in.

The case dates to 1989, when Caribbean workers filed a class
action against five Florida sugar companies.  A circuit court
judge sided with the workers in 1992, ordering the companies to
pay $51 million in back pay, a verdict thought to be one of the
state's largest in a wage dispute.

However, the verdict was reversed in 1995, and the companies
opted to handle their cases individually.  US Sugar Corporation,
the state's largest cane producer, paid the workers a $5.65
million settlement.  Two companies owned by the Fanjul family of
Palm Beach won the lawsuits filed against them.  One case
against another Fanjul company is pending.  Mr. Gorman has yet
to decide whether he will pursue the final case.


TOBACCO LITIGATION: Request to Alter New Bond's Terms Rejected
--------------------------------------------------------------
Illinois Judge Nicholas Byron rejected a motion by plaintiffs in
the Philip Morris 'light' cigarette case, asking him to change
the terms of the revised appeal bond he is allowing Philip
Morris to post in order to appeal Judge Byron's judgment against
the cigarette company.  Judge Byron lowered the appeal bond
amount to remove immediate fears that Philip Morris USA would
file for bankruptcy protection, says the report by Reuters
English News Service.

Stephen Tillery, lawyer for the plaintiffs, immediately said he
would appeal the bond issue to the 5th District Court of
Appeals.  Mr. Tillery fears the judgment of $10.1 billion
granted the plaintiffs by Judge Byron's bench ruling in the
'light' cigarette class action, will not be adequately protected
by the terms of the present revised appeal bond, which was
reduced from $12 billion to a $6 billion term note that Altria,
parent company of Philip Morris, owes Philip Morris, plus some
hundred of millions in other deposits.

Madison County Circuit Court Judge Byron told Mr. Tillery that
plaintiffs would have first claim on the $6 billion being held
as assurance for payment, plus the hundreds of million in cash
deposits, as indicated above, all of which will safeguard
plaintiffs' judgment against Philip Morris.


UNITED STATES: Panamanian Canal Workers Allowed To File Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Panamanians who worked in the old Panama Canal Zone can sue the
US government for $1.2 billion in benefits they contend they
were unjustly denied, the Eleventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
has ruled, according to a report by Associated Press Newswires.

The appeals court recently overruled US District Court Judge
Donald Graham, who had dismissed the Panamanians' lawsuit last
May, saying he did not have jurisdiction to settle the dispute.
He referred to the arguments put forward by the Justice
Department's attorneys, who had argued that the dispute over
severance pay, Social Security and other benefits was covered by
US civil service grievance procedures.  The lawsuit will now go
back to Judge Graham, but it will be at least six months before
it is heard, said attorneys on both sides.

An estimated 30,000 Panamanian civilians employed by canal
administrators, the US military and other US agencies since the
1970s, have asked to be covered by the lawsuit, filed in 2001,
by the Canal Zone Employees Association.  Class action status is
pending.

The United States government formally relinquished control over
the canal to Panama at the end of 1999.  Employees claimed they
were owed close to $1 billion in severance pay under a US law
mandating payments when major employers shut down operations.
Some workers said they accepted severance packages but were
never paid.  They estimated Social Security losses at $300
million.

The United States employed 30,000 Panamanians to operate
maintain and defend the canal Military bases have been
abandoned, and about 9,000 workers now run the Canal Zone.


US LIQUIDS: TX Court Says Insurer Not Obligated To Defend Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
Texas granted US Liquid, Inc.'s insurance carrier's motion for
summary judgment that the insurance carrier is not obligated to
defend or to indemnify the Company or certain of its
representatives in the consolidated securities class and
shareholder derivative action filed against the Company and its
representatives in 1999.

As previously announced, during the third quarter of 1999, six
securities class action lawsuits were filed against the Company
and certain of its current and former officers and directors.
These lawsuits and a related shareholder derivative action have
been consolidated into a single action styled In Re: US Liquids
Securities Litigation.

The suit alleges violations of Sections 11, 12(a)(2) and 15 of
the Securities Act of 1933 on behalf of purchasers of the
Company's common stock in the Company's March 1999 public
offering and violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder on behalf of purchasers of the Company's common stock
during the period beginning on May 12, 1998 and ending on August
25, 1999.

The plaintiffs generally allege that the defendants made false
and misleading statements and failed to disclose allegedly
material information regarding the operations of the Company's
Detroit facility and the Company's financial condition in the
prospectus relating to the March 1999 stock offering and in
certain other public filings and announcements made by the
Company.

After being sued, the Company made demand on its insurance
carrier to defend the consolidated action.  The Company's
insurance carrier declined to defend the Company and its named
representatives and filed a declaratory action to determine its
legal rights under the Company's insurance policy.  The Company
and its insurance carrier subsequently filed motions for summary
judgment to determine whether coverage is available under the
insurance policy.

sThe Company intends to appeal the court's ruling that the
insurance carrier has no duty to defend or indemnify the Company
or its current or former officers and directors in the
consolidated action.  Proceedings in the consolidated action
will continue to be suspended pending the outcome of the
Company's appeal.


WISCONSIN: Governor, Nursing Home Sued Over Residents' Transfer
---------------------------------------------------------------
Wisconsin and Governor Jim Doyle face a class action filed in
Chippewa Superior Court by the families of five residents at the
Nothern Wisconsin Center, a state center for the developmentally
disabled, the Herald Times Reporter states.

The suit alleges that the transfer of the Center's residents to
community based residential treatment would result in inferior
care that would endanger their health and well being.  The suit
seeks to block Gov. Doyle's budget proposal to downsize the
facility and relocate its permanent residents.

"These citizens' rights to adequate care cannot be cast aside
just because of the current budgetary crunch," Kurt Kobelt, an
attorney who filed the lawsuit, told the Times Reporter.  Mr.
Kobelt is seeking class-action status on behalf of 150 residents
at the center he said would be affected by Gov. Jim Doyle's plan
to solve the state's $3.2 billion budget deficit.

More than 65 percent of the center's residents suffer from
"profound mental retardation" and are not able to eat, bathe,
dress or use the bathroom on their own, the lawsuit said.  "To
suggest they can receive adequate care in a community-based
residential setting is absurd," Robert Sommerfeld, the lead
plaintiff in the lawsuit told the Times Reporter.

Gov. Doyle told the Times Reporter the state's policy for many
years has been to move people out of large institutions into
smaller settings.  The population at the Northern Wisconsin
Center, for example, was once 2,000 residents, he said.  "People
assure me they're going to work very, very closely with the
families to ensure there is an adequate setting for their loved
one," he said.

                     New Securities Fraud Cases


ACCLAIM ENTERTAINMENT: Cauley Geller Files Securities Suit 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 Acclaim
Entertainment, Inc. (Nasdaq: AKLM) publicly traded securities
during the period between October 24, 2001 and September 19,
2002, inclusive.

The class period had been expanded to include to the Company's
October 24, 2001, announcement that it was increasing its
revenue and earnings guidance for Fiscal 2002 based on
successful product development efforts enabling the Company "to
take full advantage of an emerging next-generation marketplace."

Throughout the class period, as alleged in the complaint,
defendants issued numerous statements which described the
Company's increasing income and improving financial performance.
As alleged in the complaint, these statements were materially
false and misleading because they failed to disclose and/or
misrepresented the following adverse facts, among others:

     (1) that the Company was engaging in aggressive sales
         practices, known as channel stuffing, whereby it
         induced customers to take product that they neither
         wanted, needed or could sell in the short-term.;

     (2) that the Company was currently experiencing severe and
         continued operating problems at the Company's internal
         studios regarding the development, content, cost,
         market testing, distribution and sales of the Company's
         products;

     (3) that the Company was currently experiencing decreased
         demand for the Company's products, including Turoc:
         Evolution and Aggressive In-Line, among others,
         resulting in the Company's inability to meet revenue
         and earnings guidance provided by defendants for fiscal
         2002 and beyond;

     (4) that the Company's distribution and retails sales
         tracking information systems were inadequate causing
         the Company to materially underestimate the Company's
         allowances for sales returns and price concessions;

     (4) that the Company's development of computer games with
         mature themes, including BMX XXX, among others, had
         materially impeded the Company's ability to access
         broad-based retail channels for the Company's products,
         thus impeding the Company's ability to meet revenue and
         earnings forecasts; and

     (5) based on the foregoing, defendants' opinions,
         projections and forecasts concerning the Company and
         its operations were lacking in a reasonable basis at
         all times.

The class period ends on September 19, 2002, when Acclaim
shocked the market by issuing a press release announcing that
the Company now expected to report an operating loss for the 4th
quarter of 2002, primarily because of sharply lower revenues
that fell below defendants' guidance by 25%, among other
reasons.  In addition, the Company lowered its guidance for the
first and second quarters of its 2003 fiscal year, as well as
for the 2003 fiscal year.

Market reaction to defendants' belated disclosures was swift and
severe.  Upon hearing the news, the market for Acclaim common
shares collapsed, losing over 29% of their value in a single
day's trading to close at $1.56 per share on September 19, 2002
and losing over 73% of their value when compared to the class
period high of $5.85 per share reached on April 19, 2002.

For more details, contact Samuel H. Rudman, Russell J. Gunyan,
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 E-
mail: info@cauleygeller.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.cauleygeller.com


ALLIANT ENERGY: Ademi & O'Reilly Lodges Securities Lawsuit in WI
----------------------------------------------------------------
Ademi & O'Reilly, LLP initiated a securities class action on
behalf of purchasers of the securities of Alliant Energy
Corporation (NYSE:LNT) between January 29, 2002 to July 18,
2002, inclusive.  The action is pending in the United States
District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, against
defendants the Company and:

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

     (2) Thomas M. Walker (CFO) and

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

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

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

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

For more details, contact Guri Ademi by Phone: 1-866-264-3995 by
Fax: 1-414-482-8001 by E-mail: gademi@ademilaw.com or visit the
firm's Website: http://www.ademilaw.com


ALLOU HEALTHCARE: Bull & Lifshitz Files Securities Lawsuit in NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
Bull & Lifshitz 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)
between June 22, 1998 and April 9, 2003 inclusive.

The complaint alleges that defendant 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, thereby artificially inflating
the price of Allou securities.  The complaint charges that
defendants, violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, by
issuing a series of materially false and misleading statements
to the market between June 22, 1998 and April 9, 2003.

Specifically, that "the level of assets collateralizing loans
were substantially overstated in recent reports submitted by the
Company to its senior leaders" and that the preliminary results
of a Company 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."

For more details, contact Peter D. Bull or Joshua M. Lifshitz by
Phone: (212) 213-6222 by Fax: (212) 213-9405 by E-mail:
counsel@nyclasslaw.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.nyclasslaw.com.


ALLOU HEALTHCARE: Abbey Gardy Lodges Securities Suit in E.D. NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
Abbey Gardy, LLP initiated a securities class action in the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of New
York on behalf of all persons who purchased securities of Allou
Healthcare, Inc., formerly Allou Health & Beauty Care, Inc.
(Amex: ALU) publicly traded securities during the period between
July 3, 2002 and April 9, 2003, inclusive.

The complaint names as defendants certain officers and directors
of Allou and its auditors, KPMG LLP.  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
during the class period thereby artificially inflating the price
of Allou securities.

On April 9, 2003, Allou announced that its lenders have filed an
involuntary petition for bankruptcy under the provisions of
chapter 11.  Following this news, on April 9, 2003, the American
Stock Exchange suspended trading in Allou's common stock.

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."

Those materially false and misleading statements concerning the
Company's financial results include allegations:

     (1) that Allou was materially overstating its accounts
         receivables by approximately $80 million and its
         inventory by approximately $35 million, thereby
         overstating Allou's revenue and earnings; and

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

For more details, contact Damon Williams or Nancy Kaboolian, by
Phone: (800) 889-3701 or by E-mail: Nkaboolian@abbeygardy.com.


ALLOU HEALTHCARE: Kirby McInerney Lodges Securities Suit in NY
--------------------------------------------------------------
Kirby McInerney & Squire, LLP initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of New York on behalf of all purchasers of Allou
Healthcare, Inc. (AMEX:ALU) common stock during the period from
June 22, 1998 to April 9, 2003, inclusive.

The action charges Allou and three of its senior officers with
violations of Sections 10(b) and Rule 10b-5 of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934.  The alleged violations stem from the
dissemination of false and misleading statements, which had the
effect - during the class period - of artificially inflating the
price of Allou's shares.

Allou issued a series of material misrepresentations to the
market concerning the Company's financial condition during the
class period.  Specifically, Allou materially overstated the
accounts receivables by $78 million, thereby misstating its
earnings and revenues, and its inventory, thereby overstating
its net worth.

For more details, contact Ira M. Press or Elaine Mui by Mail:
830 Third Avenue, 10th Floor, New York, New York 10022 by Phone:
(212) 317-2300 or Toll Free (888) 529-4787 or by E-Mail:
emui@kmslaw.com


ALLOU HEALTHCARE: Milberg Weiss Commences Securities Suit in NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP initiated a securities
class action on behalf of purchasers of the securities of Allou
Healthcare Inc., (AMEX: ALU) between June 22, 1998 and April 9,
2003 inclusive.  The action, is pending in the United States
District Court for the Eastern District of New York against:

     (1) Victor Jacobs (Chairman of the Board of Directors),

     (2) David Shamilzadeh (President, Principal Financial
         Officer and Principal Accounting Officer),

     (3) Herman Jacobs (Chief Executive Officer and Director),

     (4) Mayer Rispler & Company,

     (5) Arthur Andersen LLP and

     (6) KPMG LLP

The complaint charges that defendants violated Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder, by issuing a series of materially false
and misleading statements to the market between June 22, 1998
and April 9, 2003.  In particular, the complaint alleges that:

     (i) Allou was materially overstating its account
         receivables by at least $75 million, thereby
         overstating its revenues and earnings;

    (ii) Allou was materially overstating its inventory by
         approximately $35 million, thereby overstating its net
         worth;

   (iii) as a result of the foregoing, Allou's financial
         statements were not prepared in accordance with GAAP;
         and

    (iv) Mayer Ripsler, Arthur Andersen and KMPG did not conduct
         their audits in accordance with GAAS as they knew of,
         or recklessly disregarded, the accounting fraud at
         Allou.

These material misstatements and omissions had the cause and
effect of creating in the market an unrealistically positive
assessment of Allou and its business, prospects and operations,
thus causing the Company's securities to be overvalued and
artificially inflated at all relevant times.

Several of the Company's operating subsidiaries filed an
involuntary petition for bankruptcy with the Bankruptcy Court in
the Eastern District of New York on April 9, 2003.  The Company
consented to the petition shortly after it was filed.  The
American Stock Exchange (AMEX) halted trading in Allou stock on
April 9, 2003; the last listed trading price was $1.07 per
share, which is 91.92% below the class period high of $13.25,
reached on April 21, 1999.

On April 24, 2003, Allou announced that it believes that "the
level of assets collateralizing loans were substantially
overstated in recent reports submitted by the Company to its
senior leaders" and that the preliminary results of a Company
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."

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


CorTS TRUST: Wolf Haldenstein Lodges Securities Suit in S.D. NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP initiated a securities
class action in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York on behalf of purchasers of
UnumProvident Corporate-Backed Trust Securities (CorTS)
Certificates (NYSE: KV) pursuant to an initial public offering
on or about April 18, 2001 and/or in the aftermarket for CorTS
through and including March 24, 2003.

The complaint charges CorTS Trust II for Provident Financial
Trust I, UnumProvident, Salomon Smith Barney and certain
UnumProvident officers with violations of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 and with violations of the Securities Act
of 1933.

UnumProvident Corporation is the parent holding company for a
group of insurance and non-insurance companies that collectively
operate throughout North America and in the United Kingdom,
Japan and Argentina.  UnumProvident's principal operating
subsidiaries are Unum Life Insurance Company of America,
Provident Life and Accident Insurance Company, The Paul Revere
Life Insurance Company (Paul Revere Life) and Colonial Life &
Accident Insurance Company (Colonial).  UnumProvident, through
its subsidiaries, is a provider of group and individual
disability insurance.  It also provides a complementary
portfolio of other insurance products, including long-term care
insurance, life insurance, employer- and employee-paid group
benefits and related services.

According to the CorTS IPO prospectus, UnumProvident Corporation
guaranteed the payment of distributions on the Underlying
Capital Securities but only to the extent that the Underlying
Issuer had funds legally and immediately available therefor.  On
April 18, 2001, the first day of the class period, the CorTS
were issued pursuant to the Prospectus and Registration
Statement and began to publicly trade.  The trust consisted of a
single class of certificates, which represented interests in the
trust and the certificates would only be paid through the trust.
Therefore, the CorTS would only be paid if UnumProvident paid
the original trust.

During the class period, UnumProvident falsely reported
financial results because it did not properly account for the
long-term impairment of its investments.  Moreover, the
financial information was inflated due to UnumProvident's
overzealous denial of legitimate claims of its insureds through,
what one federal judge deemed "a comprehensive system for
targeting and terminating expensive claims."  The financial
statements and related press releases by UnumProvident
identified above contained statements that were materially false
and misleading when made.

On March 24, 2003, UnumProvident issued a press release in which
they stated their intentions to restate financial statements
from previous years.  This put the payments of the CorTS in
jeopardy and caused the CorTS to lose almost 50% of their value.

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 UnumProvident CorTS.


I2 TECHNOLOGIES: Weiss & Yourman Files Investors Suit in W.D. TX
----------------------------------------------------------------
Weiss & Yourman initiated a securities class action against i2
Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq:ITWOE) and certain of its officers
was commenced in the United States District Court for the
Western District of Texas, on behalf of purchasers of i2
securities between April 18, 2000 and January 24, 2003.

The complaint charges defendants with violations of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  It alleges that defendants
issued a series of material misrepresentations that caused
plaintiff and other members of the class to purchase i2
securities at artificially inflated prices.

For more details, contact David C. Katz, James E. Tullman, or
Mark D. Smilow, by Mail: The French Building, 551 Fifth Avenue,
Suite 1600, New York NY 10176 by Phone: 888/593-4771 or
212/682-3025, by E-mail: info@wynyc.com


NORTHWESTERN CORPORATION: Glancy & Binkow Files Securities Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Glancy & Binkow LLP initiated a securities class action filed on
behalf of all persons and institutions who purchased securities
of NorthWestern Corporation (NYSE:NOR) between August 2, 2000
and December 13, 2002, inclusive.

The complaint charges NorthWestern and certain of its executive
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 NorthWestern's business
operations and financial performance caused NorthWestern's stock
price to become artificially inflated, inflicting damages on
investors.

NorthWestern provides value-added energy and communications
services, including air conditioning, heating, ventilation,
plumbing and related services to residential and business
customers nationwide.  The complaint alleges that during the
class period defendants misrepresented the Company's revenue and
earnings by maintaining insufficient reserves for accounts
receivables at the Company's communications subsidiary Expanets,
and by failing to make full disclosures of problems with the
implementation of a new "information technology system
infrastructure."

NorthWestern's problems were revealed on December 13, 2002, when
the Company issued a press release disclosing that NorthWestern
would dramatically miss its earnings estimates for 2002.  The
press release blamed the earnings shortfall on "the need to
significantly increase reserves for accounts receivable" and
"billing adjustments" at the Company's communications
subsidiary, Expanets.

Moreover, the Company press release revealed that defendants
estimated the NorthWestern would need to increase its reserves
"by at least $50 million" and that financial results for 2002
could not be reported until a year-end audit was completed.  On
the same day as these disclosures, NorthWestern's stock
plummeted 37% from the previous day's close, on higher than
normal trading volume.

For more details, contact Lionel Z. Glancy or Michael Goldberg
by Phone: (310) 201-9161 or (888) 773-9224 by E-mail:
info@glancylaw.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.glancylaw.com


PHARMACIA CORPORATION: Chitwood & Harley Lodges Stock Suit in NJ
----------------------------------------------------------------
Chitwood & Harley initiated a securities class action in the
United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, on
behalf of investors who purchased or acquired the securities of
Pharmacia Corporation, (NYSE:PHA), between April 17, 2000 and
August 21, 2001, inclusive.  The suit is brought against the
Company, and certain of its officers and directors.

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

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

In order to remove the FDA's warning label, Pharmacia was
required to demonstrate that Celebrex provided an advantage over
traditional NSAIDs.  Pharmacia thus commissioned the "Celecoxib
Long-term Arthritis Safety Study" (the CLASS study) - a clinical
study to compare the gastrointestinal problems of patients who
used Celebrex to those of patients who used other NSAIDs.

Pharmacia, together with its partner Pfizer, not only funded
this study, but every one of the sixteen physicians who
performed the study were either employees of or paid consultants
for Pharmacia.  Because of its purportedly unique safety profile
and its ready use by patients, Celebrex was perceived both by
the medical and investment community as a very important
product.  The CLASS data was widely circulated and reviewed.
One such review appeared in the prestigious Journal of the
American Medical Association (JAMA), on September 13, 2000.

Based on a review of the data supplied by Pharmacia, the authors
of the JAMA article also reported that patients who took
Celebrex had fewer symptomatic ulcers than those who took
diclofenac or ibuprofen, two traditional NSAIDs.

On August 22, 2001, The Wall Street Journal reported that
Celebrex caused higher incidence of cardiovascular problems.
The Journal reported that noted cardiologists Eric J. Topol and
Steven E. Nissen, chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of
cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, issued a study
on Celebrex which concluded that "(c)urrent data would suggest
that use of these so-called 'COX-02 inhibitors' might lead to
increased cardiovascular events."

Further, the Cleveland Clinic doctors concluded that Celebrex
was associated with a relatively high rate of heart attacks.
This report was also published in the less widely circulated
Journal of American Medicine at or about the same time.  The
price of Pharmacia dropped to below $40 by August 30, 2001, from
the 45 range the stock traded at in mid-August.

For more details, contact Jennifer Morris by Mail: 1230
Peachtree Street, Suite 2300, Atlanta, Georgia 30309 by Phone:
1-888-873-3999 (toll-free), by E-mail: jlm@classlaw.com or visit
the firm's Website: http://www.classlaw.com


                             *********


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

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

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

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
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re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without
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Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed
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