CAR_Public/030603.mbx               C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R
  
                Tuesday, June 3, 2003, Vol. 5, No. 108

                           Headlines                            

AETNA: Wins Approval For $170M Settlement of Doctor's Lawsuit
AMERICAN EXPRESS: CA Court Approves Consumer Lawsuit Settlement
AMERICAN EXPRESS: Plaintiffs Launch Amended Lawsuit in CA Court
AMERICAN EXPRESS: IL Consumers Commence Cardholder Fraud Lawsuit
AMERICAN EXPRESS: IL Consumers File Lawsuit Over Conversion Fees

AMERICAN EXPRESS: TX Consumers Launch Suit Over Conversion Fees
AMERICAN EXPRESS: Consumers Begin Antitrust Lawsuit in E.D. NY
AMERICAN EXPRESS: Named in ADC Telecommunications ERISA Lawsuit
ATMOS ENERGY: Denial of Royalties Suit's Certification Appealed
BROADWING INC.: OH Investors File Securities, Derivative Suits

CARDINAL HEALTH: Asks For Dismissal of Suit Over Syncor Takeover
COMMUNITY BANCSHARES: Faces AL Suit For RICO Violations, Fraud
FORD MOTOR: IL City to Commence Legal Action Over Crown Victoria  
HERCULES INC.: Agrees To Settle Lawsuit Over GA Plant Operations
HERCULES INC.: DE Court Grants Certification To Employee Lawsuit

INTERPUBLIC GROUP: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Securities Lawsuit
INTERPUBLIC GROUP: IL Federal Court Remands Suit To State Court
IONICS INC.: Shareholders Launch Securities Fraud Lawsuit in MA
NASH FINCH: Shareholders Launch Securities Fraud Lawsuits in MN
PNC FINANCIAL: Asks PA Court To Dismiss Securities Fraud Lawsuit

PREDICTIVE SYSTEMS: NY Court Dismisses in Part Securities Suit
RAMBUS INC.: Stock Rises After Securities Fraud Suits Dismissal
RARE MEDIUM: TX Court Refuses To Hear Appeal of Suit Dismissal
RARE MEDIUM: NY Court Refuses To Dismiss Securities Fraud Suit
SEITEL INC.: Asks TX Court To Dismiss Securities Fraud Lawsuit

SEITEL INC.: Plaintiffs Appeal Claims Dismissal in Trespass Suit
SYNCOR INTERNATIONAL: Labels Securities Litigation Without Merit
TELAXIS COMMUNICATIONS: NY Court Dismisses in Part Stock Lawsuit
WASHINGTON: Apple Commission's Sauer To Resign Under Settlement


                    New Securities Fraud Cases

CORNERSTONE PROPANE: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges Securities Suit


                           *********


AETNA: Wins Approval For $170M Settlement of Doctor's Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
US District Court Judge Federico Moreno said recently the
agreement proffered by Aetna for settlement of the racketeering
lawsuit brought by the nation's doctors was "within the range of
reasonableness," Associated Press Newswires reports.  Judge
Moreno set a hearing date of October 13, for the airing of
objections and for either final approval or rejection of the
$170 million settlement.

Therefore, despite objections raised by other managed health
care companies and an attorney representing doctors in another
case, preliminary approval was granted a settlement which was
reached only after 14 months of talks between the doctors and
Aetna.

"We think this is a proud day," said doctors' attorney Harley
Tropin, one of the attorneys who helped negotiate with Aetna.  
Mr. Tropin characterized the settlement, which resulted after 14
months of negotiations as a landmark agreement that doctors hope
to use as a blueprint for other health insurers.

The doctors had claimed, among other things, that they were
routinely shortchanged in their claims for services by a system
that downgraded claims and discounted them when several services
were provided simultaneously.

The settlement calls for certain payouts by Aetna.  Aetna will
pay $100 million to doctors, which is an average of about $142
each.  Aetna also will provide $20 million to establish a
foundation aimed at reducing medical errors, childhood obesity
and racial disparities in treatment.  Aetna also will pay up to
$50 million to doctors' lawyers.

Aetna estimates that its policy changes will cost an estimated
$300 million over several years by speeding up payments to
doctors; and eliminating cuts to reimbursement under the
existing systems.

In changes that Mr. Tropin called the heart of the settlement,
Aetna's codes for filing claims would be based on American
Medical Association guidelines, and the company's fee schedules
could change only once a year.

Timothy Norbeck, executive of the Connecticut State Medical
Society, said the agreement favors better medical care "over the
intrusive technicalities and oppressive minutiae that have long
plagued managed care systems."  Aetna plans to take a $75
million after-tax charge in the second quarter for the
settlement.  

Attorneys for companies other than Aetna and Cigna, which has a
disputed settlement on file, claimed segments of the agreement
were anti-competitive, prejudicial and unfair, but Judge Moreno
turned the complaints aside for now.

The American Medical Association, 19 other medical societies and
the doctors whose names are on the class-action lawsuits have
endorsed the settlement, Mr. Tropin said.

Judy Cates, who represented doctors in the Cigna settlement,
claimed doctors would be unable to calculate their potential
recovery under the Aetna pact.  She suggested that a
mathematical formula should be added to the legal notice sent to
doctors which would represent the methods of calculation
described in the settlement.

"The doctors in this country do not trust the managed care
companies; it is important that the class know what they are
getting," said Ms. Cates.

Ms. Cates also sought an estimate of doctors covered by the
Aetna settlement.  Company attorney Richard Doren said roughly
450,000 doctors in active practice have Aetna contracts.  By
adding retired physicians and others who do business with the
company, the number climbs above 700,000.

Doctors who want to withdraw from the Aetna class action
settlement must do so by August 29.  Objections must be filed in
writing by September 12.


AMERICAN EXPRESS: CA Court Approves Consumer Lawsuit Settlement
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Central District of
California approved the settlement proposed by the American
Express Company in the consumer class action filed against it,
American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc. (TRS) and
American Express Centurion Bank.

The complaint principally alleges that class members improperly
were charged daily compounded interest on the Optima line of
credit cards and that AECB improperly applied credits for
returned merchandise against Optima balance transfer balances.  
The plaintiffs asserted various claims including:

     (1) violation of the federal Truth in Lending Act,

     (2) breach of contract,

     (3) fraud and unfair and deceptive practices and

     (4) violations of the California Consumer Legal Remedies
         Act

The action sought statutory and actual damages, restitution and
injunctive relief.  Although the Company believed it had
meritorious defenses to this action, in light of the inherent
uncertainties and the burden and expense of lengthy litigation,
the Company reached an agreement to settle the lawsuit.

On April 23, 2003, the court approved the proposed settlement
filed by the parties.  The settlement provides for certification
of two classes.  The first class, defined as the "finance
charge" class, includes all customers who incurred finance
charges between August 1994 and September 2002.  The proposed
settlement of the first class consists of a settlement fund in
the amount of $15,950,000 that will be distributed on a pro rata
basis to those class members who are entitled to a refund.

The second class, defined as the "delayed notice" class,
includes all customers who did not receive change in terms
notices and who, as a result, incurred increased charges between
September 2001 and September 2002.

In April 2003, these class members received a refund of the
charges affected by the terms changes that were incurred during
the class period.  The Company has made appropriate reserves for
the settlement amounts.


AMERICAN EXPRESS: Plaintiffs Launch Amended Lawsuit in CA Court
---------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs filed an amended class action against the American
Express Company in the Alameda County Superior Court for the
State of California, asserting two causes of action for
violation of:

     (1) California's Unfair Competition Law,

     (2) California Business and Professions Code Section 17200,
         et seq., and

     (3) the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act, California
         Civil Code Section 1750, et seq.

The suit named as defendants the Company and American Express
Travel Related Services Company, Inc. (TRS).  The plaintiffs
allege that the defendants purportedly failed to disclose a
transaction fee that is assessed on purchases of goods and/or
services in a foreign currency and further allege that the
defendants include in their cardmember agreements unconscionable
and unlawful arbitration provisions.

Initially the complaint was filed on behalf of a putative
California class.  In May 2003, the complaint was amended to
allege a purported nation-wide class.


AMERICAN EXPRESS: IL Consumers Commence Cardholder Fraud Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The American Express Company faces a class action filed in the
Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois County Department,
Chancery Division.  The suit also names as defendants American
Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc. and American
Express Centurion Bank.

In the complaint, the plaintiffs assert causes of action for
violations of Illinois Cardholder Fraud and Deceptive Practices
Act and for "unjust enrichment."  The plaintiffs allege that the
defendants failed to disclose a transaction fee that is assessed
on purchases of goods and/or services in a foreign currency and
further allege that the defendants include in their cardmember
agreements unconscionable and unlawful arbitration provisions.

Based on these allegations, the plaintiffs seek injunctive
relief, restitution, disgorgement, compensatory and exemplary
damages and attorneys' fees and costs on their own behalf and on
behalf of a putative nationwide class of American Express
cardholders "excluding those in the State of California."


AMERICAN EXPRESS: IL Consumers File Lawsuit Over Conversion Fees
----------------------------------------------------------------
The American Express Company faces a class action filed in the
Circuit Court for the Third Judicial Circuit in Madison County,
Illinois alleging that the Company wrongfully collected
conversion fees assessed on transactions made in a foreign
currency.  The suit also names as defendants the American
Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.

The complaint alleges causes of actions for unjust enrichment,
breach of contract and statutory fraud under the Illinois
Consumer Fraud Act.  The plaintiff is seeking an unspecified
amount of damages. The defendants have not yet been served with
the complaint relating to the action.


AMERICAN EXPRESS: TX Consumers Launch Suit Over Conversion Fees
---------------------------------------------------------------
The American Express Company and American Express Travel
Services Company face a class action filed in the State District
Court, Hidalgo, Texas, alleging that the defendants wrongfully
collected conversion fees assessed on transactions made in
foreign currency.  The complaint alleges causes of action for
unjust enrichment and breach of contract.  

The plaintiff is seeking an unspecified amount of damages.  The
Company believes it has meritorious defenses to the suit and
intends to defend them vigorously.  The Company believes that it
is not a party to, nor are any of its properties the subject of,
any pending legal or arbitration proceedings that would have a
material adverse effect on its consolidated financial condition,
results of operation or liquidity.


AMERICAN EXPRESS: Consumers Begin Antitrust Lawsuit in E.D. NY
--------------------------------------------------------------
The American Express Company and one of its subsidiaries face a
class action filed in the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of New York, alleging an unlawful antitrust
tying arrangement between the Company's charge cards, credit
cards and "debit cards."  The plaintiffs seek injunctive relief
and an unspecified amount of damages.

The Company believes it has meritorious defenses to each of
these actions and intends to defend them vigorously.  The
Company believes that it is not a party to, nor are any of its
properties the subject of, any pending legal or arbitration
proceedings that would have a material adverse effect on the
Company's consolidated financial condition, results of operation
or liquidity.


AMERICAN EXPRESS: Named in ADC Telecommunications ERISA Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
American Express Trust Co. (AETC) was named as a defendant in
the class action filed primarily against ADC Telecommunications,
Inc. in the United States District Court, District of Minnesota.  
The Company was named as a defendant in relation to its role as
directed trustee of the retirement savings plan of ADC
Telecommunications.

The complaint alleges that AETC breached fiduciary duties under
the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended
(ERISA), in relation to the retention of ADC common stock in the
ADC Retirement Plan.  The complaint seeks certification of a
class of all participants who held ADC common stock in accounts
in the ADC Retirement Plan during the period from November 2,
2000 to the present.

The Company believes it has meritorious defenses to the suit and
intends to defend them vigorously.  The Company believes that it
is not a party to, nor are any of its properties the subject of,
any pending legal or arbitration proceedings that would have a
material adverse effect on the Company's consolidated financial
condition, results of operation or liquidity.


ATMOS ENERGY: Denial of Royalties Suit's Certification Appealed
---------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs appealed the District Court of Stevens County,
Kansas' ruling rejecting class certification for a lawsuit filed
against Atmos Energy Corporation, its Colorado-Kansas division
and more than 200 companies in the natural gas industry.

The plaintiffs, who purport to represent a class consisting of
gas producers, royalty owners, overriding royalty owners,
working interest owners and state taxing authorities, allege the
defendants have underpaid royalties on gas taken from wells
situated on non-federal and non-Indian lands throughout the
United States and offshore waters predicated upon allegations
that the defendants' gas measurements are simply inaccurate and
that the defendants failed to comply with applicable regulations
and industry standards over the last 25 years.

Although the plaintiffs do not specifically allege an amount of
damages, they contend that this suit is brought to recover
billions of dollars in revenues that the defendants have
allegedly unlawfully diverted from the plaintiffs to themselves.

On April 10, 2000, this case was consolidated for pre-trial
proceedings with other similar pending litigation in federal
court in Wyoming in which the Company is also a defendant along
with over 200 other defendants.  In January 2001, the federal
court elected to remand this case back to the Kansas state
court.  A reconsideration of remand was filed, but it was
denied.  The state court now has jurisdiction over this
proceeding and has issued a preliminary case management order.

On April 10, 2003, the court denied the plaintiffs' motion to
certify the proceeding as a class action.  The Company believes
that the plaintiffs' claims are lacking in merit, and intends to
vigorously defend this action.


BROADWING INC.: OH Investors File Securities, Derivative Suits
--------------------------------------------------------------
Broadwing, Inc. faces several securities class actions and
derivative lawsuits filed in the United States District Court
for the Southern District of Ohio and the Ohio Court of Common
Pleas, Hamilton County Division, respectively, on behalf of
purchasers of the securities of the Company between January 17,
2001 and May 20, 2002, inclusive.

The complaints alleged that the Company, its former Chief
Executive Officer (CEO) and its current CEO violated federal
securities laws arising out of allegedly issuing material
misrepresentations to the market during the class period which
resulted in artificially inflating the market price of the
Company's securities.

In a separate action, a number of complaints have been filed in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of
Ohio on behalf of the Broadwing Retirement Savings Plan and its
beneficiaries alleging that the Company and several of its
directors violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act
by allegedly exposing the beneficiaries' retirement savings to
unreasonable risk of loss and injury.

The Company intends to defend these claims vigorously.


CARDINAL HEALTH: Asks For Dismissal of Suit Over Syncor Takeover
----------------------------------------------------------------
Cardinal Health, Inc. asked the Court of Common Pleas, Delaware
County, Ohio to dismiss the amended shareholder derivative
action filed against it and its directors.  

The suit was filed alleging breach of fiduciary duties and
corporate waste in connection with the alleged failure by the
Board of Directors of the Company to renegotiate or terminate
the Company's proposed acquisition of Syncor International
Corporation, and determine the propriety of indemnifying Monty
Fu, the former Chairman of Syncor.

The Company believes the allegations made in the amended
complaint are without merit and intends to vigorously defend
this action.  The Company currently does not believe that the
impact of this lawsuit, if any, will have a material adverse
effect on its financial position, liquidity or results of
operations.


COMMUNITY BANCSHARES: Faces AL Suit For RICO Violations, Fraud
--------------------------------------------------------------
Community Bancshares, Inc. faces a class action filed in Alabama
State Court.  The suit also names as defendants:

     (1) Community Bank,

     (2) Holsombeck Motors, Inc.,  

     (3) Lee Brown d/b/a Alabama Bond & Investigation a/k/a ABI
         Recovery,  

     (4) Chris Holmes d/b/a Alabama Bond & Investigation a/k/a
         ABI Recovery,

     (5) Regina Holsombeck,

     (6) Kennon "Ken" Patterson, Sr.,

     (7) Hodge Patterson,  

     (8) James Timothy "Tim" Hodge,

     (9) Ernie Stephens, and

    (10) the State of Alabama Department of Revenue

The suit alleges that Community Bank and others conspired or
used extortionate methods to effect a lending scheme of
"churning phantom loans", and that profits from the scheme were
used to secure an interest in and/or to invest in an enterprise
that affects interstate commerce.  

The allegations state that Community Bank used various methods
to get uneducated customers with fair to poor credit to sign
numerous "phantom loans" when the customers only intended to
sign for one loan.  Claims include:

     (i) racketeering activity within the meaning of the
         Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act of
         1970,  

    (ii) conspiracy,

   (iii) spoliation,

    (iv) conversion,

     (v) negligence,

    (vi) wantonness,

   (vii) outrage, and

  (viii) civil conspiracy

The Company intends to defend the action vigorously and
currently is conducting discovery to ascertain what substance,
if any, there is to the claims.  Although management currently
believes that this action will not have a material adverse
effect on the Company's financial condition or results of
operations, regardless of the outcome, the action could be
costly, time consuming, and a diversion of management's
attention.


FORD MOTOR: IL City to Commence Legal Action Over Crown Victoria  
----------------------------------------------------------------
About a week after a Missouri state trooper died when his Ford
Crown Victoria squad car exploded after a crash, an Illinois
county and city are moving ahead with a lawsuit against the Ford
Motor Co., the Associated Press Newswires reports.

St. Clair County and the city of Centreville, both located in
Illinois, were scheduled to ask a court on Friday, May 30, to
certify all police agencies in Illinois as a class to proceed
with a fraud, negligence and breach of warranty claim against
Ford.  Their lawsuit says the automaker knew Crown Victoria cars
were prone to explosion, especially in law enforcement use.

The Company denied that assessment in a statement to the St.
Louis Post Dispatch.  The Company said it makes sure its cars
meet all federal safety standards, and added that it works to
make police vehicles safer.  

"No design can eliminate all risk in high-speed, high-energy
rear collisions," the statement said.  " . (T)here is no car in
the world designed to eliminate the risk of fuel leakage in such
high-speed collisions."

On May 22, Missouri Trooper Michael was killed in a flaming
crash on Interstate 70 near Odessa in Lafayette County.  He had
stopped a motorist, who was with him in the squad car when it
was struck from behind by a pickup truck.  Passersby managed to
pull the motorist from the trooper's car, but Trooper Newton
burned to death.  Mr. Newton's death was the 14th since 1982, of
a law enforcement officer in a Crown Victoria explosion.

Neither St. Clair County nor Centreville, whose cars are at the
center of the lawsuit seeking class action status, has
experienced an explosion.  However, the county has installed an
automatic fire suppression system in each of its more than 40
Crown Victorias.   Many police agencies have taken other safety
steps, including removing from their trunks the pry bars that
could be thrust through the fuel tank in a collision.

Plaintiffs in the St. Clair County lawsuit want Ford to pay to
make their cars safer.  They note that Ford already installs a
device to help contain fuel in the tanks of some high-
performance Mustangs.  Investigations have shown that a breach
of the fuel tank has been the result of being speared by a tool
or part of the car's suspension.

A 10-month investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration (NHTSA) determined last fall that vehicles with
the Crown Victoria's fuel system involved in a rear-end crash
caught fire 8 percent of the time, compared to 6.3 percent with
the fuel system used in the comparable Chevrolet Caprice.

NHTSA said the Crown Victoria meets current federal standards
requiring a vehicle to withstand a rear crash at 30 miles per
hour without leaking fuel.  The agency also said the vehicle did
not leak fuel during a test at 50 mph, which it proposed to be
the new standard.

This week in the wake of the Missouri crash, Senator Charles
Schumer, D-NY, asked NHTSA to reopen its investigation of the
Crown Victoria.  A state trooper from New York was killed last
December in Yonkers, when his patrol car was struck from behind.

"We know that there is a problem, and now we need to figure out
what we need to do to solve it," the Senator said in a letter to
the agency.

Many agencies choose the Crown Victorias because they like the
vehicles' larger accommodations, rear wheel drive and V-8
engine.  The Missouri State Highway Patrol, which never had a
Crown Victoria explode before, plans to stick with the model as
its primary vehicle, Lt. Tim Hull said.


HERCULES INC.: Agrees To Settle Lawsuit Over GA Plant Operations
----------------------------------------------------------------
Hercules, Inc. settled claims of all but six plaintiffs in the
class action filed relating to the operations of its Brunswick,
Georgia facility.

In June 1998, the Company and David T. Smith Jr., a former
employee and plant manager at the Brunswick plant, along with
Georgia-Pacific Corporation and AlliedSignal Inc., were sued in
Georgia State Court by 423 plaintiffs for alleged personal
injuries and property damage.  Plaintiffs allege they were
damaged by the discharge of hazardous waste from the companies'
plants.  In February 2000, the Georgia State Court dismissed
Georgia-Pacific Corporation and AlliedSignal Inc., without
prejudice.  In September 2000, David T. Smith Jr., was dismissed
by the Georgia State Court with prejudice.

On July 18, 2000, the Company was served with a complaint filed
in Cobb County State Court, Georgia.  Based on the allegations
contained in the complaint, this matter is very similar to the
first suit, and is brought on behalf of approximately 700
plaintiffs for alleged personal injury and property damage
arising from the discharge of hazardous waste from Hercules'
plant.

The Company has reached an agreement in principle to settle the
claims of all but six of these plaintiffs for an amount which is
confidential, but which is not material to the financial
condition of the Company.


HERCULES INC.: DE Court Grants Certification To Employee Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Superior Court of Delaware, New Castle County granted a
motion for class certification of the suit filed against
Hercules, Inc. and Thomas Gossage on behalf a class of
approximately 130 present and former Hercules employees.

The suit seeks payments under the "Integration Synergies
Incentive Compensation Plan" a program put into place by the
Company following its acquisition of BetzDearborn Inc. in
October 1998.  The goal of the plan was to provide certain
financial incentives to specific employees who were deemed to
have significant impact on the integration of BetzDearborn Inc.
into the Company.

The amount to be paid under the plan was tied to the successful
achievement of "synergies," which were defined as the annualized
reduction of expenses or improvement of profits realized as a
result of the integration of BetzDearborn Inc. into the Company.  
The lawsuit essentially alleges that the payments made under the
plan were not adequate and that the Company breached the terms
of the plan.  The lawsuit seeks payments of between $25 million
and $30 million, although the Company does not believe that any
payments are owed to the class members.

In February 2003, plaintiffs agreed to dismiss Thomas Gossage
from the lawsuit.  Discovery is ongoing.  The Company denies any
liability to the plaintiffs and is vigorously defending this
action.


INTERPUBLIC GROUP: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Securities Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. asked the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York to dismiss
the consolidated securities class action filed against it and
certain of its present and former directors on behalf of
purchasers of Company stock from October 1997 to October 2002.

Several suits were filed shortly after the Company's August 13,
2002 announcement regarding the restatement of its previously
reported earnings for the periods January 1, 1997 through March
31, 2002.  These actions were consolidated by the court and lead
counsel appointed for all plaintiffs, on November 8, 2002.

Specifically, the consolidated amended complaint alleges that
the Company and certain of its present and former directors and
officers allegedly made misleading statements to its
shareholders between October 1997 and October 2002, including
the alleged failure to disclose the existence of additional
charges that would need to be expensed and the lack of adequate
internal financial controls, which allegedly resulted in an
overstatement of the Company's financial results during those
periods.

The consolidated amended complaint alleges that such false and
misleading statements constitute violations of Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder.  The consolidated amended complaint also alleges
violations of Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933
in connection with Interpublic's acquisition of True North
Communications, Inc. (True North).

No amount of damages is specified in the consolidated amended
complaint.  On February 6, 2003, defendants filed a motion to
dismiss the complaint in its entirety.  On February 28, 2003,
plaintiffs filed their opposition to defendants' motion and, on
March 14, 2003, defendants filed their reply to plaintiff's
opposition to defendants' motion.  The motion is currently
pending.


INTERPUBLIC GROUP: IL Federal Court Remands Suit To State Court
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
Illinois granted the request to remand two class actions filed
against the Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. to Illinois
state court.

The suits were filed against the Company and certain of its
present and former directors and officers by a purported class
of purchasers of Interpublic stock shortly after the Company's
November 13, 2002 announcement regarding the restatement of its
previously reported earnings for the periods January 1, 1997
through March 31, 2002.  The purported classes consist of
shareholders who acquired the Company's stock on or about June
25, 2001 in connection with the Company's acquisition of True
North.

These lawsuits allege that the Company and certain of its
present and former directors and officers allegedly made
misleading statements in connection with the filing of a
registration statement on May 9, 2001 in which the Company
issued 67,644,272 shares of its common stock for the purpose of
acquiring True North, including the alleged failure to disclose
the existence of additional charges that would need to be
expensed and the lack of adequate internal financial controls,
which allegedly resulted in an overstatement of the Company's
financial results at that time.

The suits allege that such misleading statements constitute
violations of Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933.  
No amount of damages is specified in the suits.  These actions
were filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois.  On
December 18, 2002, defendants removed these actions from
Illinois state court to federal court.

On January 10, 2003, defendants moved to transfer these two
actions to the Southern District of New York.  Plaintiffs moved
to remand these actions.  On April 15, 2003, the federal court
granted plaintiffs' motions to remand these actions to Illinois
state court and denied defendants' motion to transfer.  The
Company intends to move to dismiss or stay these actions at the
appropriate time.


IONICS INC.: Shareholders Launch Securities Fraud Lawsuit in MA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Ionics, Inc., its Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial
Officer face a class action filed in the United States District
Court for the District of Massachusetts in March 2003.  
Plaintiff alleges violations of the federal securities laws
relating to the restatement of the Company's financial
statements for the first and second quarters of 2002 announced
in November 2002.

The Company believes the allegations in the lawsuit are without
merit and intends vigorously to defend the litigation.  While
the Company believes that the litigation will have no material
adverse impact on its financial condition, results of operations
or cash flows, the litigation process is inherently uncertain
and the Company can make no assurances as to the ultimate
outcome of this matter.


NASH FINCH: Shareholders Launch Securities Fraud Lawsuits in MN
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Nash Finch Company faces seven class actions filed in the
United States District Court for the District of Minnesota on
behalf of purchasers of the Company's common stock during the
period from February 23, 2000 through February 4, 2003.  The
suit also names as defendants certain of its executive officers.

The complaints generally allege that the defendants violated the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by issuing false statements,
including false financial results in which the Company included
income from vendor promotions to which the Company was not
entitled, so as to maintain favorable credit ratings on its
debt.

Three derivative actions have also been filed in state court in
Minnesota by shareholders alleging that certain officers and
directors violated duties to the Company to oversee and
administer the Company's accounting.  These actions are directly
tied to the allegations in the federal securities suits.

The Company believes that the lawsuits are without merit and
intends to vigorously defend the actions.  No damages have been
specified.  The Company is unable to evaluate the likelihood of
prevailing in these cases at this early stage of the  
proceedings, but does not believe that the eventual outcome will
have a material impact on its financial position or results of
operations.


PNC FINANCIAL: Asks PA Court To Dismiss Securities Fraud Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. asked the United States
District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania to
dismiss the consolidated securities suit filed on behalf of
purchasers of the Company's common stock between July 19, 2001
and July 18, 2002.  The suit also names as defendants the
Company's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, the former Chief
Financial Officer, the Controller, and the Corporation's
independent auditors for 2001.

The consolidated class action complaint alleges violations of
federal securities laws related to disclosures regarding the
three 2001 transactions that gave rise to a financial statement
restatement announced by the Company on January 29, 2002, and
related matters.  

Management believes there are substantial defenses to this
lawsuit and intends to defend it vigorously. The impact of the
final disposition of this lawsuit cannot be assessed at this
time.


PREDICTIVE SYSTEMS: NY Court Dismisses in Part Securities Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York dismissed in part the consolidated securities class
action filed against the Company, and certain of its directors
and officers.

The suit generally alleges that certain underwriters engaged in
undisclosed and improper underwriting activities, namely the
receipt of excessive brokerage commissions and customer
agreements regarding post-offering purchases of stock in
exchange for allocations of IPO shares.  Plaintiffs also allege
that various investment bank securities analysts issued false
and misleading analyst reports.

The complaint against the Company claims that the purported
improper underwriting activities were not disclosed in the
registration statements for our IPO and Secondary Offering and
seeks unspecified damages on behalf of a purported class of
persons who purchased the Company's securities or sold put
options during the time period from October 27, 1999 to
December 6, 2000.

This is one of a number of cases challenging underwriting
practices in the initial public offerings (IPOs) of more than
300 companies.  These cases have been coordinated for pretrial
proceedings as In re Initial Public Offering Securities
Litigation, 21 MC 92 (SAS).

On February 19, 2003, the court issued an Opinion and Order
denying the Company's motion to dismiss certain of the claims in
the complaint.  The Company believes it has meritorious defenses
against the allegations in the complaint and intends to defend
the case vigorously.


RAMBUS INC.: Stock Rises After Securities Fraud Suits Dismissal
---------------------------------------------------------------
A shareholder lawsuit that consolidated multiple purported class
actions filed against Rambus Inc. in 2001, recently was
dismissed with prejudice by a California district court,
Associated Press Newswires reports.  The lawsuit stemmed from
Rambus's involvement in a standard-setting body called JEDEC
from 1991 to 1995.

Shares of Rambus Inc. rose in trading after the shareholder
lawsuit was dismissed, closing at $17.55, up $1.11, or 6.75
percent on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

The lawsuit alleged that Rambus did not tell JEDEC that it held
patents on DRAM, or dynamic random access memory, technology
during the standards-setting discussions.  Rambus has been
embroiled in a series of lawsuits as it seeks royalty payments
from the leading makers of DRAM technology.

Rambus, which makes technology that speeds up memory chips, won
an important victory in January, when a Virginia court of
appeals overturned a jury finding that the company hid patent
applications from JEDEC, as the body set standards for high-
speed memory chips.  Rambus still has to battle an antitrust
case brought by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).  The trial
began last month.

The FTC's complaint also centers on allegations that Rambus did
not tell JEDEC that it held patents on DRAM technology during
standards-setting discussions.  

Analysts said the stock surge is unwarranted.  "What is
remarkable about (the recent rise in Rambus stock), is that
this should be a relatively minor event, but is embraced so
fervently by the market," said Michael Crawford, an analyst at
B. Riley & Co.  "If Rambus moves up like this on what most
people consider a non-issue, what happens when and if it has a
positive outcome from the FTC antitrust trial going on right
now?"


RARE MEDIUM: TX Court Refuses To Hear Appeal of Suit Dismissal
--------------------------------------------------------------
Texas Appeals Court denied plaintiffs appeal of the dismissal of
a class action filed against Rare Medium, Inc., Rare Medium
Group, Inc., and Rare Medium Texas I, Inc.

The suit, initially filed in the United States District Court
for the Southern District of New York, asserted claims for
breach of contract, tortuous interference with contractual
relations, tortious interference with prospective advantage, and
breach of implied obligation of good faith, arising out of the
plaintiffs' alleged attempt to engage in transactions involving
some or all of the approximately 1,200,000 shares of the
Company's common stock (prior to the reverse stock split) that
the plaintiffs obtained in the Company's acquisition of Big
Hand, Inc.

In October 2001, the court dismissed the case without prejudice.  
The plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on December 7, 2001
based on substantially the same alleged facts.  The amended
complaint asserts the following causes of action:

     (1) breach of contract;

     (2) tortious interference with contract; and,

     (3) tortious interference with prospective business

         advantage

On June 27, 2002, the court dismissed the case with prejudice,
which the plaintiffs appealed.  The court of appeals heard oral
arguments on the appeal on February 27, 2003.  On March 14,
2003, the Court of Appeals denied the appeal in its entirety.
Further, on April 11 2003, the Court of Appeals denied a request
for rehearing.

The Company intends to continue to vigorously contest any future
actions with respect to this matter.


RARE MEDIUM: NY Court Refuses To Dismiss Securities Fraud Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York refused to dismiss the consolidated suit against Rare
Medium, Inc., certain of its subsidiaries and certain of their
current and former officers and directors.

Plaintiffs became owners of restricted Company stock when they
sold the company that they owned to the Company.  Plaintiffs
assert the following four claims against defendants:

     (1) common-law fraud,

     (2) violation of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange
         Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder,

     (3) violation of the Michigan Securities Act and

     (4) breach of fiduciary duty

These claims arise out of alleged representations by defendants
to induce plaintiffs to enter into the transaction.  The
complaint seeks compensatory damages of approximately $5.6
million, exemplary and/or punitive damages in the same amount,
as well as attorney fees.

On January 25, 2002, the Company filed a motion to dismiss the
complaint in its entirety, which the court granted, without
prejudice.  The plaintiffs filed an amended complaint asserting
similar causes of action to those asserted in the original
complaint.  On September 12, 2002, the Company filed a motion to
dismiss on behalf of itself and its current and former officers
and directors.  

On March 7, 2003, the court denied the motion to dismiss.  The
Company intends to continue to dispute this matter vigorously.


SEITEL INC.: Asks TX Court To Dismiss Securities Fraud Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Seitel, Inc. and certain of its former and current officers and
directors asked the United States District Court for the
Southern District of Texas to dismiss the consolidated
securities class action against them and Company auditor Ernst &
Young.

The suit alleges that during a proposed class period of May 5,
2000 through April 1, 2002, the defendants violated sections
10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 by
overstating revenues in violation of generally accepted
accounting principles.  The plaintiffs seek an unspecified
amount of actual and exemplary damages, costs of court, pre- and
post-judgment interest and attorneys' and experts' fees.  

The Company intends to vigorously defend this consolidated suit.  
No discovery has been conducted.


SEITEL INC.: Plaintiffs Appeal Claims Dismissal in Trespass Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs appeal the 229th District Court of Starr County,
Texas' decision dismissing claims in the class action filed
against Seitel, Inc., its subsidiary, Seitel Data, Ltd. and
other defendants for geophysical trespass.

The plaintiffs allege that certain defendants conducted
unauthorized 3-D seismic exploration of the mineral interests,
and sold the information obtained to other defendants.  The
plaintiffs seek an unspecified amount of damages.  

All of the defendants have obtained summary judgments dismissing
the plaintiffs' claims, and the case is now on appeal before the
San Antonio Court of Appeals.  The Company intends to vigorously
represent its interests in this appeal.


SYNCOR INTERNATIONAL: Labels Securities Litigation Without Merit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Syncor International Corporation and certain of its officers and
directors face eleven purported class actions, asserting claims
under the federal securities laws, in the United States District
Court for the Central District of California.

The suits purport to be brought on behalf of all purchasers of
Company shares during various periods, beginning as early as
March 30, 2000, and ending as late as November 5, 2002.  The
suits uniformly allege, among other things, that the defendants
violated Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder and Section 20(a) of the
Exchange Act, by issuing a series of press releases and public
filings disclosing significant sales growth in the Company's
international business, but omitting mention of certain
allegedly improper payments to its foreign customers, thereby
artificially inflating the price of Company shares.

The court has appointed the suits' lead plaintiff and a
consolidated complaint filing is expected soon.

On November 14, 2002, two additional actions were filed by
individual stockholders of the Company in the Court of Chancery
of the State of Delaware against seven of the Company's nine
directors.  The complaints in each of the Delaware actions were
identical and alleged that the director defendants breached
certain fiduciary duties to the Company by failing to maintain
adequate controls, practices and procedures to ensure that
Syncor's employees and representatives did not engage in
improper and unlawful conduct.  Both complaints asserted a
single derivative claim, for and on behalf of the Company,
seeking to recover all of the costs and expenses that the
Company incurred as a result of the allegedly improper payments
and a single purported class action claim seeking to recover
damages on behalf of all holders of the Company shares in the
amount of any losses sustained if consideration received in the
merger by stockholders was reduced.

On November 22, 2002, the plaintiff in one of the two Delaware
actions filed an amended complaint adding as defendants the
Company, its subsidiary Mudhen Merger Corporation and the
remaining two Syncor directors, who are hereafter included in
the term "director defendants."

On November 18, 2002, two additional actions were filed by
individual stockholders of Syncor in the Superior Court of
California for the County of Los Angeles against the director
defendants.  The complaints in the California actions allege
that the director defendants breached certain fiduciary duties
to Syncor by failing to maintain adequate controls, practices
and procedures to ensure that Syncor's employees and
representatives did not engage in improper and unlawful conduct.  
Both complaints asserted a single derivative claim, for and on
behalf of Syncor, seeking to recover costs and expenses that
Syncor incurred as a result of the allegedly improper payments.

An amended complaint was filed on December 6, 2002 in one of
these cases, purporting to allege direct claims on behalf of a
class of shareholders.  The defendants' motion for a stay of
these cases pending the resolution of the Delaware actions was
granted on April 30, 2003.

The Company recently learned that a proposed class action was
filed on April 8, 2003, against it and certain Company officers
and employees by a purported participant in the Syncor
Employees' Savings and Stock Ownership Plan.  The suit alleges
that the defendants breached certain fiduciary duties owed under
the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

All these suits are in its early stages and it is impossible to
predict the outcome of these proceedings or their impact on the
Company.  However, the Company currently does not believe that
the impact of these actions will have a material adverse effect
on the Company's financial position, liquidity or results of
operations.


TELAXIS COMMUNICATIONS: NY Court Dismisses in Part Stock Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York dismissed in part the consolidated securities class
action filed against Telaxis Communications Corporation, the
underwriters in its initial public offering and certain of its
officers and directors.

The amended complaint alleges, among other things, violations of
the registration and antifraud provisions of the federal
securities laws due to alleged statements in and omissions from
the Company's initial public offering registration statement
concerning the underwriters' alleged activities in connection
with the public offering.  The amended complaint seeks, among
other things, unspecified damages and costs associated with the
litigation.

These lawsuits against the Company have been assigned along with
approximately 1,000 other lawsuits making substantially similar
allegations against approximately 300 other publicly-traded
companies and their public offering underwriters to a single
federal judge in the US District Court for the Southern District
of New York for consolidated pre-trial purposes.

On July 15, 2002, the Company, together with the other issuers
named as defendants in these coordinated proceedings, filed a
collective motion to dismiss the consolidated amended suit on
various legal grounds common to all or most of the issuer
defendants.

In October 2002, all claims against the Company's directors and
officers who had been parties to these lawsuits were dismissed
without prejudice.  In February 2003, the judge granted in part
and denied in part the motion to dismiss the consolidated
amended suit.  The fraud claims were dismissed with prejudice,
but the non-fraud claims were not.  The Company denies any
liability and intends to vigorously defend the allegations
against it.


WASHINGTON: Apple Commission's Sauer To Resign Under Settlement
---------------------------------------------------------------
Welcome Sauer, president of the much-altered Washington State
Apple Commission, will step down on July 31. His skills, for
which he is paid $176,000 a year, will not be needed once a
federal judge approves a plan to operate the commission on a
dramatically reduced basis, Associated Press Newswires reports.  
Mr. Sauer has been president of the 66-year-old Commission since
2000.

Under a proposed federal court settlement of the class action
engineered by Mr. Sauer, the state's apple growers would pay 3.5
cents per box of 42-pound box of apples to support industry
research, lobbying and other missions that do not involve
promotion or advertising.

The apple commission had initiated the lawsuit in 2001, even
selecting two apple growers to serve as defendants and agreeing
to pay their lawyers' bills, in the hope of affirming the
legality of its 25-cent assessment per box of fresh apples.  
However, the lawsuit exposed the industry's house as divided
when three large Yakima fruit warehouses intervened along with a
group of organic apple growers, who were represented by a
California lawyer with a national anti-assessment reputation.

The end result was that the March 31 ruling took the wind out of
the commission's 66-year-old sails and millions of dollars out
of its budget. Federal Judge Edward Shea in Richland,
Washington, ruled unconstitutional the Commission' practice of
levying a 25-cent fee on growers for every 46-pound box of
apples which, in turn the Commission used to support its
promotion of Washington state apples.

This was a result far different than what Mr. Sauer expected
when he steered his suit into court; he expected an affirmation
of the Commission's right to collect the higher assessments.  
However, Mr. Sauer predicts a number of apple-marketing
alternatives will sprout fairly quickly.

"I am sure that this industry knows how to pull together and
develop an approach to marketing which will allow Washington
apples to continue to be known and promoted as the best apples
on Earth," Mr. Sauer said.


                     New Securities Fraud Cases


CORNERSTONE PROPANE: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges Securities Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP initiated a securities class action
filed in the United States District Court for the Northern
District of California on behalf of all purchasers of
CornerStone Propane Partners LP (Other OTC:CNPP.PK) securities
from November 2, 1999 through February 11, 2003, inclusive.

The complaint charges CornerStone and certain of its officers
and directors with violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder.  Throughout the class period, defendants issued a
series of material misrepresentations to the market between
November 2, 1999, and February 11, 2003, which served to
artificially inflate the price of CornerStone securities.

More specifically, the complaint alleges that during the class
period, the Partnership was faced with the crisis of having to
renegotiate its capital credit lending agreements, which were
set to expire on November 30, 2001.  Faced with this situation
of needing to obtain capital credit or face liquidation, the
Partnership issued statements that failed to disclose and/or
misrepresented the following adverse facts, among others:

     (1) that the Partnership had materially overstated its
         earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and
         amortization (EBITDA), net income and earnings per
         unit;

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

     (3) that as a result, the value of the Partnership's
         EBITDA, net income and financial results were
         materially overstated at all relevant times.

On February 11, 2003, the Partnership revealed in its 8-K filed
with SEC that it had to restate its financial results for fiscal
years 2000 and 2001 due to the Partnership's knowledge of known
errors in reporting its financial results for fiscal years 2000
and 2001.  In response to this announcement, the price of
CornerStone securities declined precipitously.

For more details, contact Marc A. Topaz or Stuart L. Berman by
Mail: Three Bala Plaza East, Suite 400, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 by
Phone: 1-888-299-7706 (toll free) or 1-610-667-7706 or by E-
mail: info@sbclasslaw.com



                         *********

A list of Meetings, Conferences and Seminars appears in each
Wednesday's edition of the Class Action Reporter. Submissions
via e-mail to carconf@beard.com are encouraged.

Each Friday's edition of the CAR includes a section featuring
news on asbestos-related litigation and profiles of target
asbestos defendants that, according to independent researches,
collectively face billions of dollars in asbestos-related
liabilities.  The Asbestos Defendant Profiles is backed by an
online database created to respond to custom searches. Go to
http://litigationdatasource.com/asbestos_defendant_profiles.html

                        *********


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
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without
prior written permission of the publishers.

Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed
to be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The CAR subscription rate is $575 for six months delivered via
e-mail.  Additional e-mail subscriptions for members of the same
firm for the term of the initial subscription or balance thereof
are $25 each.  For subscription information, contact Christopher
Beard at 240/629-3300.

                  * * *  End of Transmission  * * *