CAR_Public/030613.mbx               C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R
  
                Friday, June 13, 2003, Vol. 5, No. 116

                           Headlines                            

BLUE RHINO: Shareholders Commence Securities Lawsuits in C.D. CA
CAMPBELL SOUP: NJ Court Approves Securities Lawsuit Settlement
CATHOLIC CHURCH: Expects More Settlements Like Louisville Pact
CHINA: Rights Group Lauds Congress' Support of Jiang Zemin Suit
COEUR D'ALENE: Court Hears Motion For Bunker Hill Suit Dismissal

COLORADO: 32 Female US Mint Works Sue Over Sexual Discrimination
CORAL CALCIUM: FTC Initiates Action For Fraudulent Advertising
DANKA BUSINESS: Customers File Unfair Trade Practices Suit in FL
DEY INC.: Texas Atty. Gen. Reaches Settlement in Fraud Lawsuit
HASTINGS ENTERTAINMENT: TX Court Approves Securities Suit Pact

RENT-WAY INC.: Employees Launch Suit Over Unpaid Overtime in PA
TOBACCO LITIGATION: IL Court Refuses Appeal of $10.1B Verdict
UNITED STATES: House Republicans Push New Class Litigation Bill

                        Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Labor Group Scores Proposed Asbestos Bill
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court to Hear Arguments on Asbestos Reports
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Official Raps Delay in Asbestos Removal
ASBESTOS ALERT: Record Producer's Death Not Caused by Asbestos
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: AWI Bankruptcy Case May Be Over Soon

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Congoleum Discusses Certain Amendments
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Congoleum Discusses Certain Amendments
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Halliburton Units To Enter Chapter 11
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Equitas Banks GBP399M for Asbestos Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Gencor Ltd. Discloses Terms of Unbundling

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ABB Eyes Asbestos Decision By Month-End

                   New Securities Fraud Cases

ALLOU HEALTHCARE: Schatz & Nobel Lodges Securities Lawsuit in NY
CRYO-CELL INTERNATIONAL: Federman & Sherwood Lodges Suit in FL
FEDERAL HOME: Cauley Geller Launches Securities Suit in S.D. NY
FEDERAL HOME: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges Securities Suit in NY
FEDERAL HOME: Weiss & Yourman Lodges Securities Suit in S.D. NY

FEDERAL HOME: Charles Piven Lodges Securities Lawsuit in S.D. NY
FEDERAL HOME: Abbey Gardy Files Securities Fraud Suit in E.D. VA
LEHMAN BROTHERS: Kaplan Fox Commences Securities Suit in S.D. NY
PROVIDENT FINANCIAL: Charles Piven Lodges Securities Suit in NY
PRUDENTIAL SECURITIES: Kirtland & Packard Lodges Suit in N.D. CA

                            *********

BLUE RHINO: Shareholders Commence Securities Lawsuits in C.D. CA
----------------------------------------------------------------
Blue Rhino Corporation and four of its officers and directors
face several securities class actions filed in the United States
District Court for the Central District of California on behalf
of individuals who purchased the Company's common stock between
August 15, 2002 and February 5, 2003.

The plaintiff alleges violations of Section 10(b) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Rule 10b-5 promulgated under
Section 10(b), and Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act.  In
particular, among other claims, the plaintiff has alleged that
the Company and the individual defendants made materially false
and misleading statements and/or concealed material adverse
facts throughout the class period relating to the Company's
financial position, the impact of overfill prevention device
regulations on the Company's business, the financial position of
distributors Ark and Platinum, and the Company's acquisition of
Ark and Platinum. The suits seeks unspecified damages, plus
reasonable costs and expenses, including attorneys' fees and
experts' fees.

The Company anticipates that all of the existing shareholder
class action lawsuits, and any additional similar shareholder
class action suits that may be filed, ultimately will be
consolidated into a single action.


CAMPBELL SOUP: NJ Court Approves Securities Lawsuit Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
granted approval to the settlement of the securities class
action filed against the Campbell Soup Company and two of its
former executives.

The consolidated suit alleges, among other things, that the
Company and the former executives misrepresented the Company's
financial condition between September 8, 1997 and January 8,
1999, by failing to disclose alleged shipping and revenue
recognition practices in connection with the sale of certain
Company products at the end of the Company's fiscal quarters in
violation of Section 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934, as amended, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder.

On February 6, 2003, the Company announced it had reached an
agreement in principle to settle this case.  The district
court's order approving the settlement was issued on May 22,
2003; that order is subject to appeal until June 23, 2003.
Pursuant to the court's order, all claims have been dismissed
and the litigation has been terminated in exchange for a payment
of $35, which is expected on June 23, 2003.  The full amount of
the payment will be covered by insurance.  The settlement does
not constitute an admission of fault or liability by the company
or any other defendant.


CATHOLIC CHURCH: Expects More Settlements Like Louisville Pact
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Roman Catholic Church expects more settlements to be forged
after the Archdiocese of Louisville, Kentucky agreed to pay
$25.7 million to settle clerical sex abuse charges against it,
the Associated Press reports.  

The 243 participants in the Louisville settlement only represent
a small part of outstanding claims nationwide. In the last year,
more than 1,000 people have come forward with new allegations
against dioceses across the country, according to Mark Chopko,
general counsel for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.  This
might signal more financial battles ahead for US dioceses.

"It's going to be substantial period of time - years - before
this is over," Steve Rubino, a longtime victims' attorney from
New Jersey told AP.

Even dioceses like Louisville, that have agreed to multimillion-
dollar payouts, may see more lawsuits.  The Kentucky settlement
was shared among people who all accused priests and employees of
child sex abuse.  The Survivors Network of Those Abused by
Priests said in a statement Tuesday that "we are certain there
are still dozens of wounded victims in the Louisville diocese
who remain trapped in silence," and encouraged them to come
forward.

David Clohessy, the Survivors Network national director, told AP
it is common for victims in the same diocese to await the
outcome of someone else's lawsuit before filing one themselves.  

"The last thing they want is to be hurt again.  They say, 'I'm
going to sit tight and see how this works out,'" Mr. Clohessy
said. "People think these lawsuits come in a deluge.  It's just
the reverse."


CHINA: Rights Group Lauds Congress' Support of Jiang Zemin Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Civil rights group Friends of Falun Gong USA commended the US
House of Representatives Committee on International Relations
for supporting a class action brought by Falun Gong
practitioners who seek to hold Jiang Zemin accountable for
genocide, torture, and acts against humanity.  In filing an
amicus brief in the case, the Committee affirms the sanctity of
the inalienable rights enshrined in our Constitution.

The brief notes that "human rights concerns, such as those
raised by this case, have long been considered a key aspect of
US foreign policy" and endorses the use of the Alien Tort Claim
Act and Torture Victim Protection Act to protect Falun Gong
practitioners' ability to freely practice their faith.

Falun Gong practitioners in China and abroad are individuals who
follow a spiritual belief system that Jiang Zemin has vowed to
"eradicate."  Within China, they are systematically denied the
opportunity to practice their beliefs without fear of severe
reprisal, including various forms of intimidation and torture.  
In filing the lawsuit in October 2002, they sought the
protection of the US legal system and an end to the persecution
under which they suffer.

The International Relations Committee recognizes Falun Gong
followers' quest to live by moral principles such as honesty,
kindness, and tolerance for others and through its brief,
extends the protection of Congressional legislation toward that
end.  

Friends of Falun Gong applauded this stance.  In a statement,
they said "Our fervent hope is that the case will be allowed to
move forward and that justice will ultimately prevail."

For more details, visit the group's Website:
http://www.fofg.org.


COEUR D'ALENE: Court Hears Motion For Bunker Hill Suit Dismissal
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Idaho District Court for the First District in Kootenai
County heard the dismissal motions filed by Coeur d'Alene Mines
Corporation and other defendants in the private class action
filed by eight northern Idaho residents seeking medical benefits
and real property damages from the mining companies involved in
the Bunker Hill Superfund site.

In October 2002, the court conducted a hearing on motions
resulting in an order striking certain of the alleged causes of
action from the complaint, and dismissing the complaint with
leave to amend it.  In January 2003, the plaintiffs filed an
amended complaint.  Certain of the defendants, including the
Company, filed motions to dismiss the complaint, which will be
heard by the court in May 2003.

While the Company believes the suit is without merit, at this
early stage of the proceedings, the Company cannot predict the
outcome of this suit.


COLORADO: 32 Female US Mint Works Sue Over Sexual Discrimination
----------------------------------------------------------------
Thirty-two women working at the United States Mint in Denver,
Colorado filed a petition with the US Treasury Department,
alleging sexual harassment and discrimination by male colleagues
and supervisors, the Associated Press reports.

Employees claimed that women were treated unfairly in all
aspects of work.  Beverly Mandigo Milne, an employee with the
mint since 1978, revealed that women have complained for years
to supervisors, managers and union officials.  She said some
have filed individual complaints with the mint's equal-
employment-opportunity staff.

"There has been unfair treatment to women in promotions, job
assignments, training opportunities - there's been such
harassment, and it has created an overall hostile work
environment," Ms. Mandigo Milne told the Associated Press.

The complaint does not seek punitive damages.  Lynn Feiger, the
women's attorney, said the suit seeks ways to stop
discrimination and changes in how the mint handles complains.  
The suit will be assigned to an administrative law judge with
the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Ms. Feiger
continued.

Kenneth Boris Sr., industrial manager at the Denver Mint,
declined to comment, the Associated Press reports.


CORAL CALCIUM: FTC Initiates Action For Fraudulent Advertising
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is initiating
legal action against an operation that sells Coral Calcium
Supreme, a calcium supplement made from dead marine coral that
allegedly could cure everything from heart disease to cancer,
the Associated Press reports.  The claims are "too good to be
true," the FTC said.

The commission is asking Chicago federal court to shut down Shop
America and Deonna Enterprises Inc., who sold Coral Calcium and
advertised it in one of the most widely run infomercials on
cable television this year.  Hearing is scheduled on Friday.  
The FTC also charged the Company's officers - Kevin Trudeau and
Robert Barefoot - of making unproven health claims.  The agency
wants to freeze their assets and return money to consumers.

The FTC and the Food and Drug Administration also are sending
dozens of warning letters to retail and Internet marketers of
coral calcium products, ordering them to remove false or
deceptive advertising.  Many claims for the products go far
beyond any scientific evidence on the health benefits of
calcium, the FTC said, AP reports.

"The danger here is using an ineffective treatment for a really
serious condition," Howard Beales, director of the FTC's Bureau
of Consumer Protection told AP.  "Calcium is good stuff - it
builds strong bones, but it doesn't cure cancer."

"We disagree with the FTC's interpretation of our practices,"
Nancy Sterling, a spokeswoman for Barefoot told AP.  "There is
ample research to support the benefits of calcium."

The promotions for the products falsely claimed that the product
will treat or cure all forms of cancer and diseases such as
multiple sclerosis, lupus, heart disease and chronic high blood
pressure, the FTC complaint alleges.  The ads also made
allegedly false claims that scientific research shows that
calcium supplements can cure cancer.


DANKA BUSINESS: Customers File Unfair Trade Practices Suit in FL
----------------------------------------------------------------
Danka Business Systems PLC faces a class action filed in Florida
state court, alleging claims for:

     (1) breach of contract,

     (2) fraud/intentional misrepresentation,

     (3) unjust enrichment,

     (4) violation of the Florida Deception and Unfair Trade
         Protection Act and

     (5) injunctive relief

The suit also names other defendants, including American
Business Credit Corporation. The Company does not expect these
legal proceedings to have a material effect upon its financial
position, results of operations or liquidity.   


DEY INC.: Texas Atty. Gen. Reaches Settlement in Fraud Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott reached a settlement with a
pharmaceutical company that deliberately falsified price reports
to the Texas Medicaid program for its products.  Under terms of
the agreement, Dey, Inc. will pay a total of $18,500,000, with
more than $9 million going to the State.  The remaining portion
of the settlement will go to the federal government, which
jointly funds the Texas Medicaid program and has reached its own
settlement with the Company.

Dey, a subsidiary of German pharmaceutical giant Merck KGaA,
manufactures and markets inhalant products that are generally
prescribed for persons suffering from respiratory illnesses.  
Under Texas law, drug manufacturers are required to report the
prices at which they sell their products to wholesalers and
distributors.  The Texas Medicaid program then uses this
pricing information as a basis for calculating provider cost and
reimburses Medicaid providers accordingly.  The attorney
general's Civil Medicaid Fraud Section found that Dey
deliberately falsified its pricing reports for the benefit of
its customers, which directly led to overpayments by the Texas
Medicaid program.

"Texas citizens will not tolerate this kind of behavior by those
who wish to do business in the State," Attorney General Abbott
said.  "Our evidence against Dey was overwhelming, and we were
more than prepared to go to court if necessary.  I'm satisfied
with the agreement because the State is going to get back every
cent it overpaid as a result of unethical practices made at the
expense of Texas taxpayers.  In fact, under the settlement, the
State will recover more than two times its damages, as well as
all costs and attorneys' fees."

The State's case is based on information provided by industry
insider Ven-a-Care of the Florida Keys, Inc., which initiated
the action as a Relator under the Texas Medicaid Fraud
Prevention Act.  Ven-a-Care has also assisted the State and the
federal government in obtaining previous settlements with Bayer
Corp. and TAP Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

In addition to the monies recovered from Dey for its past
violations, the Texas Medicaid program will save millions of
dollars in the future as a result of evidence the attorney
general's office uncovered in its investigation.  The attorney
general's lawsuit against two other drug manufacturers - Warrick
Pharmaceuticals and Roxane Laboratories - is still pending
before Travis County District Judge Suzanne Covington.  The case
is set for trial in August.


HASTINGS ENTERTAINMENT: TX Court Approves Securities Suit Pact
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
Texas granted final approval to the settlement proposed by
Hastings Entertainment, Inc. for the consolidated securities
class action, asserting various claims under Sections 10(b) and
20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  The suit names as
defendants the Company, its current and former directors and
officers at the time of its June 1998 initial public offering
and three underwriters:

     (1) Salomon Smith Barney,

     (2) A.G. Edwards & Sons, Inc. and

     (3) Furman Selz, LLC

The suit asserts various claims under Sections 11, 12(2) and 15
of the Securities Act of 1933.  Motions to dismiss these actions
were filed by the Company and, on September 25, 2001, were
denied by the court.

On September 12, 2002, the Company announced that an agreement
in principle to settle the actions had been reached.  The
settlement required a payment of $5.75 million on behalf of the
defendants in the lawsuits and the assignment to the plaintiff
settlement class of any claims the Company may have had against
KPMG Peat Marwick, LLP, its outside auditors at the time of the
March 7, 2000 announcement.  The settlement resolves all claims
against the Company, its current and former defendant officers
and directors and the defendant underwriters.  The plaintiff
settlement class separately settled all claims against KPMG.


RENT-WAY INC.: Employees Launch Suit Over Unpaid Overtime in PA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Employees for Rent-Way, Inc. filed a class action in the United
States District Court in Erie, Pennsylvania, accusing the
Company of not paying workers for all their overtime work, the
Times Leader report.

The Company allegedly asked store managers to reduce the number
of hours non-salaried workers logged to a maximum of 50 hours
per week, allowing it to save on wages for employees who work
over 50 hours per week.  The Company also allegedly failed to
fully pay workers who logged more than 40 hours a week.

Former Beaver County assistant managers Justin Badgett and John
P. Leasha alleged that they worked for more than 40 hours per
week.  They also worked in the capacity of account
representatives or sales associates.  Sometimes, the two
employees reportedly logged more than 50 hours per week.

"We're not privy to all of Rent-Way's records, but we know this
happened in many of Rent-Way's stores and they have stores all
over the country," Pittsburgh attorney Harry Kunselman, who is
representing workers in the class action along with another
lawyer, E.J. Strassburger, told the Times Leader.

"We don't know how formal it is, but it appears (Rent-Way) at
least has an informal policy (to reduce wage costs)," Mr.
Strassburger said.  "Whether they've sent a written directive,
we'll find that out."

An attorney for Rent-Way disputed the claim and said the company
will fight the lawsuit.  "We've reviewed the complaint," Rob
DeMoss, Rent-Way's general counsel told the Times Leader.  
"We've retained outside counsel and we intend to vigorously
defend against the complaint."


TOBACCO LITIGATION: IL Court Refuses Appeal of $10.1B Verdict
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Illinois Supreme Court declined to accept a direct appeal of
the $10.1 billion verdict against Philip Morris USA handed down
in March by a Madison County Circuit Court in the "lights" class
action lawsuit, a Company press release states.

Philip Morris USA asked the state's highest court to take the
unusual step of accepting a direct appeal of the case, in effect
bypassing the state's intermediate appellate court, the Court of
Appeals for the Fifth District.

"Philip Morris USA will now proceed to the intermediate court
and present our very compelling arguments why this verdict
should be reversed and the class should be decertified," said
William S. Ohlemeyer, Philip Morris USA vice president and
associate general counsel.

"The trial court recognized that this case presents important
legal issues.  We continue to believe that this case should not
have been certified as a class action, and we believe the
essential allegations in the case should be governed entirely by
federal law setting forth requirements for cigarette labeling,"
Mr. Ohlemeyer continued.

Mr. Ohlemeyer noted that the trial court disagreed with the
company on those key issues, and the appellate court will have
an opportunity to take a fresh look at those and other issues.

On March 21, Madison County Judge Nicholas Byron ordered the
company to pay $7.1 billion to an estimated 1.1 million smokers
whom the court found to have been misled about the health risks
of Marlboro Lights and Cambridge Lights cigarettes based upon
the proofs of just two class representatives.  From that amount,
he awarded plaintiffs' attorneys $1.77 billion in fees.  Judge
Byron also awarded punitive damages of $3 billion to be paid to
the state.

In order for Philip Morris USA to stay enforcement of the
judgment pending appeal, the company has posted a bond secured
by a pre-existing $6 billion note owed to Philip Morris USA.  It
also must deposit the annual $420 million in interest that note
generates plus an additional $800 million in cash in an escrow
account with the Clerk of the Court.

Last month, appellate courts in Florida and Massachusetts issued
rulings decertifying class actions in the Engle and Aspinall
cases.  The Engle case, which produced a $145 billion judgment,
was a class action comprised of Florida smokers who have
contracted lung cancer and other diseases.  Like the above suit,
the Aspinall case, was comprised of smokers who purchased
Marlboro "light" cigarettes and sought a refund for all the
cigarettes they bought.  Philip Morris USA is challenging one
other Lights class certification, in the Hines case in Florida,
before a state appellate court.

For more details, contact David Tovar of Altria Corporate
Services by Phone: 917/663-2144


UNITED STATES: House Republicans Push New Class Litigation Bill
---------------------------------------------------------------
Republicans in the United States Congress are pushing
legislation that would move most national class actions from
state to federal courts, the Macon Telegraph reports.  The House
will vote on the proposal Thursday, with most Republicans
arguing that trial lawyers use litigation more for profit from
multimillion dollar settlements.

The proposed law would grant federal jurisdiction in cases where
a member of the proposed class is a citizen of a state different
from where the defendant is located, as long as the amount at
issue exceeds $2 million.  State jurisdiction would apply in
cases where a substantial majority of class members are from the
same state or if fewer than 100 are filing the suit.

Opponents of the measure said businesses would be more favored
by the bill.  The bill would also make it harder for individuals
to go against powerful firms and would add to the overload of
suits in federal courts.

Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group, says more than 100
companies and pro-business groups spent millions and used at
least 475 lobbyists to push the legislation, the Macon Telegraph
states.  The bill "contains a number of changes that will enable
corporations to injure or defraud average Americans while hiding
behind legal loopholes or procedural technicalities," the group
said in a report.

Businesses however said that it would do them good, as they have
long complained about the threats from liability suits and made
changing the way such cases are tried a priority.

"These lawsuits hurt consumers, rewarding them with nearly
worthless coupons, while a handful of personal injury lawyers
walk away with millions in fees," Sherman Joyce, president of
the American Tort Reform Association told the Telegraph.

House Judiciary Chairman James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., planned
changes to the bill to make it closer to the Senate's version.  
"I believe that by offering this amendment we can attract more
bipartisan support for this important legislation," Mr.
Sensenbrenner said Wednesday.



                          Asbestos Alert


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Labor Group Scores Proposed Asbestos Bill
--------------------------------------------------------------
AFL-CIO asked US senators not to back a bill to curb asbestos
lawsuits after a top labor official met Utah Republican Sen.
Orrin Hatch to discuss it.  The labor group sent a strongly
worded letter to all senators on June 10 condemning the
legislative proposal by Sen. Hatch as a step backward in the
effort to adequately compensate victims of the asbestos.

AFL-CIO President John Sweeney met Hatch, chairman of the Senate
Judiciary Committee, for about two hours on June 6 to discuss
labor's concerns about Sen. Hatch's bill, said Senate aides
close to the talks.  The aides said they thought the Hatch-
Sweeney meeting went well, and telephone contacts between Sen.
Hatch's staff and labor representatives have continued this
week, discussing their differences over the legislation.

The AFL-CIO's letter to senators, signed by legislative director
William Samuels and dated June 10, was very negative about Sen.
Hatch's proposal for a $108,000,000,000 fund to pay asbestos
claims.  The bill, which Sen. Hatch introduced over labor's
objections last month, has "extensive and severe shortcomings,"
Mr. Samuels wrote.

Asbestos, a heat-resistant mineral, was widely used for
fireproofing and insulation until the 1970s, when scientists
concluded that inhaled fibers could be linked to cancer and
other diseases.  Hundreds of thousands of asbestos claims
clogging US courts have driven over 60 companies into
bankruptcy.  With no end to claims in sight, Sen. Hatch's
proposal would take the cases out of the courts and set up the
trust fund, supported by business and industry, to pay them.

Sen. Hatch introduced his bill on May 22 after lengthy
negotiations among asbestos companies, their insurers and labor
representatives.  However, labor's unhappiness with the
legislation has kept the number of Democratic co-sponsors to a
minimum, with just two signing on, and reduced its chances of
passage in the closely divided Senate.

Among the bill's worst deficiencies, Mr. Samuels wrote in the
letter, was it sought to set an absolute cap on companies'
asbestos liability, and left workers harmed by asbestos bearing
all the risk if the fund set up to pay claims runs out of money.
Also, the medical criteria set out for victims to qualify for
compensation are too strict, the AFL-CIO letter said.  It
complained the bill limits payments to victims who smoke, and
requires their awards be reduced by amounts received from health
insurance.

Sen. Hatch said last week he is open to proposals for changes in
the bill, but also warned he intended to press ahead with a
committee vote on the legislation this month.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court to Hear Arguments on Asbestos Reports
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Montana Supreme Court will hear arguments later this month
in a lawsuit accusing the state of wrongly keeping secret
occupational health studies that showed miners in Libby were
working around and breathing dangerous levels of asbestos dust.  
Hundreds of people in Libby died or contacted asbestos-related
illnesses while studies documenting the risk remained sealed in
state file cabinets for years.

Nine Libby residents diagnosed with asbestos-related health
problems contend the state knew as early as 1956 of dangers
posed by exposure to asbestos dust from a nearby vermiculite
mine.  The plaintiffs contend the state was negligent in failing
to warn mine workers and their families of the risks.

The case, to be argued by lawyers June 26, appeals an August
2001 decision by District Judge Jeffrey Sherlock of Helena.  He
threw out the suit after concluding the state had no legal
obligation to warn Libby residents of the danger.  In their
appeal, the nine residents contend the state stood by while a
"human disaster of epic proportions unfolded in Libby."

In its response, the state argued that state law and an attorney
general's opinion demanded the government keep secret the
information it gathered in a series of seven studies over 18
years.  The state had no obligation to warn Libby residents, and
no power to set standards to asbestos exposure or regulate mine
safety, it said.  Also, government was immune from suits for
actions before the new Montana Constitution eliminated that
protection in 1973, state lawyers said.

Libby was once home to a vermiculite mine W.R. Grace & Co.
operated from 1963 until it closed in 1990.  Asbestos in the
vermiculite ore has been blamed for hundreds of illnesses and at
least 200 deaths.  The Environmental Protection Agency has been
cleaning up the mine site and other contaminated areas in the
town since 1999.  Libby was declared a Superfund site last
October.

The people involved in the Supreme Court appeal are eight former
mine workers and the wife of one miner, all of whom have
asbestos-related diseases.  They argue studies conducted by the
state in 1956, 1958, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1967 and 1974 warned of
hazardous asbestos dust and recommended steps to control the
problem.  Through death certificates, the state also knew of
deaths caused by the asbestos exposure, it said.

"Harm was not only foreseeable, there was an ongoing health
emergency in Libby, of which the state was on notice with each
new death certificate showing death by asbestos disease," the
appeal says.

Once the state knew of the asbestos danger, the plaintiffs
argue, it had a legal responsibility to alert those in its path.  
The state, however, contends the law imposes a duty on employers
- not the state - to ensure a safe workplace.  Nothing transfers
that obligation to the state simply because government conducted
limited inspections of the workplace, it said.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Official Raps Delay in Asbestos Removal
---------------------------------------------------------------
Councilor Bill Martin of the United Kingdom has accused housing
chiefs of taking too long in removing asbestos from Paisley
homes.  He claims families have been waiting three months for
the potentially deadly substance to be removed.  The asbestos is
in lagging that surrounds water tanks in homes in Glenburn,
Cumbria, the United Kingdom.  

Now, some families are too scared to go into the lofts - where
the tanks are.  Councilor Martin has written to Renfrewshire
Council housing bosses demanding to know why it has taken so
long.  Mr Martin said, "There's people in Glenburn who were told
three months ago that they had this in their houses and that it
would be removed, but they are still waiting . The council
should take steps immediately to have this danger removed from
these homes, because the people in Glenburn are really worried
about this. They received official notification saying that
there was a danger but so far nothing has been done about it and
people really are concerned."

"One woman is too scared to go up into the loft to get her
suitcases out because she knows this asbestos is up there," he
continued.  "She is so worried about this she is seriously
considering buying new cases so she doesn't have to go into the
loft."

He added, "There's about 70 houses affected by this in Colonsay
Road, Raasay Drive, Lismore Drive and Bute Crescent, the
asbestos is in the lagging in the water tank . When they found
the same problem in the Cochrane Castle area of Johnstone the
council sent people in within a week and the tanks and the
lagging were all removed.  I've written to Mike Bailey, the head
of housing, to try to find out why there is a difference in the
way the people in Johnstone are treated and the way the people
in Glenburn are treated."

However a council spokesman insisted there was no difference in
the way they had dealt with the situation in Glenburn.  He said,
"There is no difference in the way we are approaching asbestos
removal in Glenburn and Johnstone . We expect work to start on
the physical removal of the asbestos in the next week to ten
days.  Over the past few weeks the contractor has been visiting
properties and assessing how best to go about that in each
house."

"Simultaneously, as with any such contract, the contractor has
submitted a health and safety plan for the work program.  That
is about to be finalized and approved and the work program will
be ready to commence then," the council spokesman said.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Record Producer's Death Not Caused by Asbestos
--------------------------------------------------------------
The record company of pop music producer Mickie Most denies
speculations that his death was caused by asbestos.  Mr. Most,
who had more number one hits than any other producer worldwide,
died of mesothelioma, a cancer commonly associated with
asbestos.  That led to speculation that the substance had been
used in soundproofing tiles, which Mr. Most was exposed to.

However, recording studio experts said asbestos did not have
acoustic properties and was unlikely to have been used.  Neil
Grant of acoustic and design consultants Harris Grant said
asbestos was inefficient for soundproofing and was more commonly
used for heat insulation.  

"The material is extremely poor for anything we might ever want
within a recording environment," he said.  "It's certainly not
an efficient or state of the art material."

However, it may have been used for "sound deadening" to absorb
noise in some circumstances in the 1950s and 60s, he said.  

A spokeswoman for Mr. Most's record label, Rak, told BBC News
Online it was "impossible" to find out the cause of Mr. Most's
illness.  She said the producer had spent "many years in South
Africa in the 50s and 60s", adding it was strange that more
people in the music industry had not got the disease if studios
contained dangerous materials.

"If you think of all the recording studios in the world and all
the bands and producers who have worked in them over the years,
and then they suddenly come up with this theory, it doesn't
really make any sense," she said.

Cancer Research UK said 90% of cases of mesothelioma were caused
by exposure to asbestos.  "It's impossible to say what the rest
of the causes are," a spokesman said.

Singers and musicians paid tribute at Most's funeral at Golders
Green crematorium in north London on Monday.  Famous names
including Lulu, Donovan and Chrissie Hynde joined Most's wife
Christina, daughters Nathalie and Crystalle and son Calvin for
the service.  Mr. Most, whose real name was Michael Peter Hayes,
died of cancer at home in Totteridge, north London on 30 May.

Some of the hits he produced were played at the ceremony,
including House of the Rising Sun by The Animals and I'm Into
Something Good by Herman's Hermits.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: AWI Bankruptcy Case May Be Over Soon
----------------------------------------------------------
US Bankruptcy Judge Randall J. Newsome, in an eight-page order
filed on June 6, specified the timetable for the final, crucial
steps in the 2-year-old Armstrong case.  Following Armstrong's
recent revisions to its proposed plan for reorganizing under
Chapter 11 and emerging from bankruptcy protection, the judge
detailed the schedule for the remaining parts of the process.

Armstrong's creditors and claimants will vote on the plan then,
assuming the plan is approved, having the court approve the plan
at a confirmation hearing.  Judge Newsome, in line with the
approximate schedule proposed by Armstrong one week ago, told
the company to have ballots in the mail to creditors and
claimants by June 20.

Ballots must be returned by September 22.  Objections to the
plan also are due September 22.  Armstrong and others who wish
to reply to those objections have until October 24.  The
confirmation hearing will start November 17, at 9:30 am, in the
federal courthouse in Newark, NJ.  If the court backs the plan,
Armstrong would be out of bankruptcy before the year's end.

Lancaster-based Armstrong filed for bankruptcy protection in
December 2000 to resolve tens of thousands of claims alleging
personal injury from exposure to asbestos insulation the firm
once sold and installed.  The reorganization plan calls for
dissolving the current corporation and canceling the current
stock, replacing them with a new corporation and new stock.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Congoleum Discusses Certain Amendments
-----------------------------------------------------------
Congoleum Corporation (AMEX:CGM) reported that it has executed
certain amendments to the settlement agreement it entered into
on April 10, 2003 with lawyers representing more than 75% of the
known present claimants with asbestos claims pending against
Congoleum and certain ancillary agreements relating to that
settlement agreement.

The amendments provide additional time for parties to review and
respond to information required in order to participate in the
settlement. The settlement agreement contemplates a Chapter 11
reorganization seeking confirmation of a pre-packaged plan of
reorganization that would leave trade and other unsecured
creditors unimpaired and would resolve all pending and future
asbestos claims against Congoleum, including personal injury
asbestos claims against Congoleum's distributors and affiliates
that derive from claims made against Congoleum. Approval of such
a plan of reorganization will require the supporting vote of at
least 75% of the asbestos claimants with claims against
Congoleum who vote on the plan.

Roger S. Marcus, Chairman of the Board, commented "As we
indicated in our 10-Q filing last month, we anticipated that we
would amend these agreements to address concerns as to whether
the deadlines in the original agreements were too ambitious. We
believe the settlement is a fair and good one for both the
claimants and the company, and felt that our interests would be
best served by assuring that claimants were afforded adequate
time to review the agreement, make a considered decision on
participation, and submit the necessary paperwork. Although this
amendment postpones our anticipated date for entering into
Chapter 11 until September, we believe it reduces the risk of
delays to the confirmation of our plan and the far more
important goal of exiting Chapter 11 with the asbestos issue
behind us, which we still hope to accomplish by the end of the
year. I continue to be encouraged by our progress and grateful
for the continued support of our employees, customers,
suppliers, lenders and shareholders."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Congoleum Discusses Certain Amendments
-----------------------------------------------------------
Congoleum Corporation (AMEX:CGM) reported that it has executed
certain amendments to the settlement agreement it entered into
on April 10, 2003 with lawyers representing more than 75% of the
known present claimants with asbestos claims pending against
Congoleum and certain ancillary agreements relating to that
settlement agreement.

The amendments provide additional time for parties to review and
respond to information required in order to participate in the
settlement.  The settlement agreement contemplates a Chapter 11
reorganization seeking confirmation of a pre-packaged plan of
reorganization that would leave trade and other unsecured
creditors unimpaired and would resolve all pending and future
asbestos claims against Congoleum, including personal injury
asbestos claims against Congoleum's distributors and affiliates
that derive from claims made against Congoleum.  Approval of
such a plan of reorganization will require the supporting vote
of at least 75% of the asbestos claimants with claims against
Congoleum who vote on the plan.

Roger S. Marcus, Chairman of the Board, commented "As we
indicated in our 10-Q filing last month, we anticipated that we
would amend these agreements to address concerns as to whether
the deadlines in the original agreements were too ambitious.  We
believe the settlement is a fair and good one for both the
claimants and the company, and felt that our interests would be
best served by assuring that claimants were afforded adequate
time to review the agreement, make a considered decision on
participation, and submit the necessary paperwork.  Although
this amendment postpones our anticipated date for entering into
Chapter 11 until September, we believe it reduces the risk of
delays to the confirmation of our plan and the far more
important goal of exiting Chapter 11 with the asbestos issue
behind us, which we still hope to accomplish by the end of the
year. I continue to be encouraged by our progress and grateful
for the continued support of our employees, customers,
suppliers, lenders and shareholders."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Halliburton Units To Enter Chapter 11
----------------------------------------------------------
Halliburton expects two of its major subsidiaries to file a pre-
negotiated bankruptcy later this year.  The company further
declared that a due diligence review on cases related to its
proposed asbestos settlement won't be completed until mid-July,
delaying a prepackaged bankruptcy filing until the third
quarter.

On December 18, 2002, Houston-based Halliburton said it had
reached an agreement in principle to settle hundreds of
thousands of asbestos-related claims for about $4,000,000,000 in
cash and stock.

Halliburton also said on June 6 that it would ask the bankruptcy
court in the Harbison-Walker proceeding to extend a stay on more
than 200,000 pending asbestos cases. The hearing is set for July
21.

Harbison-Walker, which incurred the asbestos liability, was spun
off from Dresser Industries in 1992 and filed for bankruptcy
last year.  Halliburton bought Dresser in 1998. The oil services
and engineering and construction giant said it would continue to
follow legislative proposals for asbestos reform now pending in
Congress.  Halliburton said it is reviewing documentation of
asbestos claims and expects to complete its due diligence next
month.

Then Halliburton can focus on finalizing procedures for
distributing settlement funds to individuals claiming personal
injury and agreement on a reorganization plan for subsidiaries
DII Industries and Kellogg Brown & Root and certain of their
subsidiaries.

In a pre-negotiated bankruptcy, companies file Chapter 11 having
already settled most issues with creditors so they can emerge
from the cases more quickly than in instances where the
negotiations occur after the filing.  Kellogg Brown & Root's
U.S. government operations business, Halliburton, Halliburton
Energy Services Inc., Landmark Graphics Corporation and most
other Halliburton subsidiaries won't be part of the filing,
which will include the reorganization plan.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Equitas Banks GBP399M for Asbestos Claims
--------------------------------------------------------------
Equitas, has set aside an extra GBP399 million to settle its
asbestos liabilities.

The chairman of Equitas, Hugh Stevenson, said, "When I wrote to
reinsured 'Names' last December I stated that it was possible we
would have to strengthen our asbestos reserves at the end of the
year.

"I also referred to the falls in the UK and US equity markets
and to the impact of exchange losses on the portion of our
surplus held in US dollars.  These three factors have combined
to produce the decrease in both our accumulated surplus and our
solvency margin . asbestos remains the greatest single threat to
Equitas."

Equitas declared that a review of potential defendants
identified policies that were not previously recognized as
potential targets of asbestos claims.  Equitas said in April it
would pay Honeywell International $472,000,000 to settle
asbestos claims at former divisions of the world's biggest maker
of climate control systems.

The update on Equitas' asbestos reserves came as it reported
weaker results for the year to March.  Its accumulated surplus
after tax fell to GBP527 million compared with GBP679 million
the previous year.  Mr. Stevenson said, "The balance sheet of
Equitas is weaker than it was a year ago, and we still face
significant uncertainties arising from matters over which we
have little or no control."

Equitas says it moved earlier than rivals, increasing its
asbestos reserves by GBP3.2 million three years ago. Others
insurance groups face similar woes.  Royal & Sun Alliance
reported a fourth-quarter loss of GBP245 million last year and
said it has asbestos reserves of GBP8 million.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Gencor Ltd. Discloses Terms of Unbundling
--------------------------------------------------------------
Gencor Ltd. reported that its shareholders would get 8.8 Impala
Platinum shares for every 100 Gencor shares they held, marking
the final stage of Gencor's unbundling.

Gencor said in April it would go ahead with unbundling after
setting aside ZAR460,500,000 to be paid into a trust after it
faced claims to compensate former mine workers, who said they
contracted asbestos-related illnesses while working in asbestos
mines linked to Gencor.  The Asbestos Relief Trust was set up to
compensate current and future claimants.  This settlement
removed any objection to Gencor's proposed unbundling.

Unbundling involves distributing about 30,600,000 Impala shares.  
Impala said, `As a consequence of the unbundling, Implats' free
float has increased significantly to 100%, which will result in
improved liquidity of the share on the international markets.  
At the same time the company's ratings, in respect of the MSCI
index, should also improve in line with the increase in the free
float."

As part of the unbundling Gencor has already transferred its
listing from the "resources-platinum" sector on the JSE
Securities Exchange SA to the "financials-specialty & other
finance."   In the final step of the unbundling, Implats share
certificates will be posted to certificated shareholders.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ABB Eyes Asbestos Decision By Month-End
------------------------------------------------------------
ABB still sees a decision on its proposed $1,300,000,000
asbestos settlement by the end of the month despite market talk
it could come earlier.  A deal is crucial as it caps potentially
ruinous U.S. asbestos claims and would ease a divestment needed
to cut the firm's $8,200,000,000 debt mountain.

A Swedish news agency, citing a lawyer involved in the case,
suggested that Judge Judith Fitzgerald, hearing the case, would
make a decision before June 27.  She had previously indicated no
ruling was likely before the end of June.

"At the moment it seems we will have it before the end of June,"
an ABB spokesman said.  "We have heard these rumors but we don't
have any precise information on that."

Judge Fitzgerald is expected to approve the deal because the
vast majority of claimants and creditors support the agreement,
centering on ABB's Combustion Engineering Inc unit, which once
made industrial boilers insulated with asbestos.  Approval would
be followed by a 10-day appeal window and a district judge would
then sign off if all goes to plan.


                     New Securities Fraud Cases


ALLOU HEALTHCARE: Schatz & Nobel Lodges Securities Lawsuit in NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
Schatz & Nobel PC initiated a securities class action filed in
the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New
York on behalf of all persons who purchased the securities of
Allou Healthcare, Inc. (Amex: ALU) from June 22, 1998 through
April 9, 2003, inclusive.

The complaint alleges that the Company's auditors and certain of
its officers and directors issued materially false and
misleading statements concerning the Company's business
condition.  Allou is a distributor of consumer personal care
products and prescription pharmaceuticals.

The complaint alleges that defendants were materially
overstating accounts receivable, thereby overstating revenue and
earnings.  It is also alleged that Allou had materially
overstated its inventory by approximately $35 million thereby
overstating its net worth.  According to the complaint,
defendants Mayer Ripsler, Arthur Andersen and KMPG did not
conduct their audits in accordance with generally accepted
auditing standards as they knew of or recklessly disregarded,
the accounting fraud at Allou.

On April 9, 2003, Allou announced that "its lenders have filed
an involuntary petition for bankruptcy in the Eastern District
of New York."  Allou consented to the petition shortly after it
was filed.  The Amex halted trading in Allou stock on that day.
The last trading price for Allou was $1.07 per share, which is
91.92% below the class period high of $13.25.

For more details, contact Schatz & Nobel, PC by Phone:
(800) 797-5499, or by E-mail: sn06106@aol.com.  


CRYO-CELL INTERNATIONAL: Federman & Sherwood Lodges Suit in FL
--------------------------------------------------------------
Federman & Sherwood initiated two securities class actions
against CRYO-CELL International, Inc. (Nasdaq: CCELE) in the
United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida.  
The suit also names as defendants certain current and former
officers and directors of the Company, and two of the Company's
former accounting firms.

Each complaint alleges violations of federal securities laws,
including allegations of improper recognition of revenue in the
financial statements included in certain public reports of the
Company.  Previously the Company's accounting firm, Ernst &
Young, resigned as the Company's independent auditor.

For more details, contact William B. Federman by Mail: 120 N.
Robinson, Suite 2720, Oklahoma City, OK 73102 by Phone:
(405) 235-1560 by Fax: (405) 239-2112 or by E-mail:
wfederman@aol.com


FEDERAL HOME: Cauley Geller Launches Securities Suit in S.D. NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
Cauley Geller Bowman & Rudman, LLP initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York, on behalf of purchasers of Federal Home
Loan Mortgage Corporation (NYSE: FRE) publicly traded securities
during the period between April 18, 2000 and June 6, 2003,
inclusive.

The complaint alleges that defendants violated Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder, by issuing a series of material
misrepresentations to the market between April 18, 2000 and June
6, 2003, thereby artificially inflating the price of Freddie Mac
securities.

Throughout the class period, as alleged in the Complaint,
defendants issued numerous statements which described the
Company's increasing financial performance.  The complaint
alleges that 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 failed to properly classify hedges and
         assets with respect to derivative securities;

     (2) that the Company used "cookie jar" accounting wherein
         Freddie Mac deferred gains to quarters in a bid to keep
         its revenue and earnings growth steady;

     (3) that the Company provided investigators with altered
         and misleading documents in order to conceal the
         Company's improper accounting;

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

     (5) that as a result, the value of the Company's net income
         and financial results were materially misstated at all
         relevant times.

On June 6, 2003, the last day of the class period, the Company
issued a press release, which provided details of the progress
of the Company's previously-announced financial restatement.  
Specifically, the Company announced the resignation of certain
senior officers of the Company, as well as the termination of
David Glenn, the Company's former President and Chief Operating
Officer.

As stated in the press release, Mr. Glenn was terminated because
of "serious questions as to the timeliness and completeness of
his cooperation and candor with the Board's Audit Committee
counsel, retained in January 2003, to review the facts and
circumstances surrounding the principal accounting errors
identified during the restatement process." Following

this announcement, shares of Freddie Mac fell $9.61 per share,
or 16 percent, to close at $50.26 per share, wiping out $7
billion in market value.

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


FEDERAL HOME: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges Securities Suit in NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP initiated a securities class action in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York on behalf of all purchasers of the securities of
Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (NYSE:FRE) from April 18,
2000 through June 6, 2003, inclusive.

The complaint alleges that defendants violated Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder, by issuing a series of material
misrepresentations to the market between April 18, 2000 and June
6, 2003, thereby artificially inflating the price of Freddie Mac
securities.

During the class period, the Company issued statements that
failed to disclose and/or misrepresented the following adverse
facts, among others:

     (1) that the Company failed to properly classify hedges and
         assets with respect to derivative securities;

     (2) that the Company used ``cookie jar'' accounting wherein
         Freddie Mac deferred gains to subsequent quarters in a
         bid to keep its revenue and earning growth steady;

     (3) that the Company provided investigators with altered
         and misleading documents in order to conceal the
         Company's improper accounting;

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

     (5) that as a result, the value of the Company's net income
         and financial results were materially misstated at all
         relevant times.

On June 9, 2003, the Company announced sweeping changes in its
management team.  These changes arose out of the Company January
22, 2003 announcement that it would have to restate its
financial results for fiscal years 2000, 2001, and 2002.  Market
reaction to the news was swift.  Shares of Freddie Mac fell
$9.61 per share or 16 percent to close at $50.26 per share,
wiping out $7 billion in market value.

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: (888) 299-7706 or (610) 667-7706 by E-mail:
info@sbclasslaw.com


FEDERAL HOME: Weiss & Yourman Lodges Securities Suit in S.D. NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
Weiss & Yourman lodged a securities class action against Federal
Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (NYSE:FRE) and its officers was
commenced in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York on behalf of purchasers of Freddie Mac
securities between April 18, 2000 and June 9, 2003.

The complaint charges defendants with violations of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  It alleges that defendants
issued materially false and misleading statements which resulted
in plaintiffs purchasing Freddie Mac securities during the class
period at artificially inflated and/or maintained prices.

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


FEDERAL HOME: Charles Piven Lodges Securities Lawsuit in S.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, PA initiated a securities
class action on behalf of shareholders who purchased, converted,
exchanged or otherwise acquired the common stock of Federal Home
Loan Mortgage Corporation (NYSE:FRE) between January 27, 2003
and June 9, 2003, inclusive.  The case is pending in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York
against Freddie Mac and certain of its executive officers.

The action charges that defendants violated federal securities
laws by issuing a series of materially false and misleading
statements to the market throughout the class period which
statements had the effect of artificially inflating the market
price of the Company's securities.

For more details, contact Charles J. Piven by Mail: The World
Trade Center-Baltimore, 401 East Pratt Street, Suite 2525,
Baltimore, Maryland 21202, by Phone: 410-986-0036 or by E-mail:
hoffman@pivenlaw.com


FEDERAL HOME: Abbey Gardy Files Securities Fraud Suit in E.D. VA
----------------------------------------------------------------
Abbey Gardy, LLP initiated a securities class action in the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Virginia on behalf of all persons who purchased securities of
Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) between January 22, 2003 and June 6,
2003 inclusive.

The complaint alleges that defendants violated Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder, by issuing a series of material
misrepresentations to the market during the class period thereby
artificially inflating the price of Freddie Mac securities.

The complaint charges Freddie Mac and Leland Brendsel, David
Glenn and Vaughn Clarke with violations of federal securities
laws.  The complaint alleges that during the class period
defendants materially misled the investing public by issuing a
series of materially false and misleading statements that failed
to disclose and/or misrepresented the following facts, among
others:

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

     (2) that the Company did not provide timely and complete
         information about its business operations;

     (3) that the restatement was not on "track" and would be
         delayed; and

     (4) that the Company had failed to properly account for
         derivative securities resulting in the shifting of
         income from one quarter to another.

On June 9, 2003, Freddie Mac announced that several top officers
and directors were fired or were voluntarily resigning from the
Company.  In addition, the Company announced that the previously
announced restatement of its financial results would be delayed
further than originally reported because certain defendants had
failed to cooperate with the Company's special counsel and
failed to provide documents relevant to the restatement process.

On this news the Company stock price fell $9.61 to close at
$50.26.  The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Attorney
General of Virginia have commenced investigations of Freddie
Mac's financial statements.

For more details, contact Nancy Kaboolian by Phone:
(212) 889-3700 or 800-889-3701 or by E-mail:
nkaboolian@abbeygardy.com  


LEHMAN BROTHERS: Kaplan Fox Commences Securities Suit in S.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer LLP filed a securities class action
against Lehman Brothers, Inc. and Michael E. Stanek, in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York on behalf of all persons or entities who purchased or
otherwise acquired the common stock of RealNetworks, Inc.
(NasdaqNM:RNWK) between July 1, 1999 and June 30, 2001,
inclusive.

The complaint alleges that defendants issued false and
misleading analyst reports to the investing public on
RealNetworks, a global provider of software products and
services for internet media delivery, in a bid to win or
maintain lucrative banking and advisory work from the Company.

From July 1999 through June 2001, Lehman maintained its highest
rating on RealNetworks stock, despite the fact that the stock
lost approximately 90% of its value, falling from a high of
$78.59 per share in February 2000 to a low of $7.06 in April
2001.  

As a result of defendants' false and misleading statements, the
market price of RealNetworks common stock was artificially
inflated, maintained or stabilized during the class period, to
the injury of plaintiff and the other class members who
purchased the stock at the time relying on the integrity of the
market price of the stock.

For more details, contact Frederic S. Fox or Donald R. Hall by
Mail: 805 Third Avenue, 22nd Floor, New York, NY 10022 by Phone:
(800) 290-1952 or (212) 687-1980 by Fax: (212) 687-7714 or by E-
mail: mail@kaplanfox.com


PROVIDENT FINANCIAL: Charles Piven Lodges Securities Suit in NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, PA initiated a securities
class action in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York on behalf of purchasers of CorTS
Trust II for Provident Financial Trust I (NYSE:KVN) (NYSE:UNM)
UnumProvident Corporate-Backed Trust Securities (CorTS)
Certificates 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 Charles J. Piven, PA by Mail: The
World Trade Center-Baltimore, 401 East Pratt Street, Suite 2525,
Baltimore, Maryland 21202, by Phone: 410-986-0036 or by E-mail:
piven@pivenlaw.com


PRUDENTIAL SECURITIES: Kirtland & Packard Lodges Suit in N.D. CA
----------------------------------------------------------------
Kirtland & Packard LLP and Lehmann Law Office initiated a
securities class action in the United States District Court for
the Northern District of California on behalf of California
residents who, while customers of Prudential Securities, Inc
(Prudential), and in the course of the relationship, engaged in
the investment process known as writing put options in not less
than three years prior to the filing of the original complaint
in this matter, which was February 4, 2003.  An amended
complaint in this action was filed on May 22, 2003.

The complaint alleges that as a matter of corporate policy,
Prudential with deliberate recklessness encouraged its brokers
to promote writing put options for its customers.  A person who
"writes" a put agrees, in return for a small fee, to purchase a
stock from any investor who purchases said put during a period
of specified duration in the future at a specified price, at the
purchaser's option, even if the stock sells for a lower price on
the open market.  As alleged in the complaint, it is a high risk
strategy.

The complaint further alleges that while Prudential was writing
puts on behalf of its customers, Prudential and its parent
company, Prudential Insurance Company of America, were buying
puts as a means of hedging against potential losses from market
price declines in equities which they held for their own
accounts.

The complaint alleges that the above actions created an
undisclosed conflict of interest between Prudential and its
customers because Prudential was buying puts in the same markets
in which it was encouraging its customers to write puts.  
Prudential was, in effect, protecting itself and its parent
company by transferring their own investments risks to its
customers.  

Furthermore, the complaint alleges that since Prudential was
itself following the opposite strategy of what it was advising
its customers, thus with deliberate recklessness giving advice
that it did not believe.

Based on the foregoing, the complaint seeks damages, restitution
and injunctive relief based on claims that Prudential breached
its fiduciary and statutory duty to class members and that
Prudential violated Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act
of 1934.

For more details, contact Harry Lehmann by Phone: 415-897-2121
or contact Michael L. Kelly by Phone: 310-536-1000, or visit the
firm's Website: http://www.KirtlandPackard.com.  



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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
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Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed
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