CAR_Public/030801.mbx            C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Friday, August 1, 2003, Vol. 5, No. 151

                        Headlines

AEGIS COMMUNICATIONS: Stockholders File Fraud Suits in TX Court
AT ROAD: Named As Defendant in CSFB Securities Fraud Suit in FL
BLUE COAT: Proposes Settlement For Securities Lawsuits in NY, FL
CORPORATE FRAUD: SEC Head Asserts Crackdown Calming Investors
CUTTER & BUCK: Working For the Settlement of WA Securities Suits

DAIMLERCHRYSLER AG: Ademi & O'Reilly Files Consumer Fraud Suit
FINISAR CORPORATION: Reaches Settlement in NY Securities Lawsuit
GENESIS MICROCHIP: Plaintiffs File Amended Securities Suit in CA
HCA INC.: Inks Settlement With Justice Dep't Over Qui Tam Suits
KING PHARMACEUTICALS: Investors File 22 Stock Fraud Suits in TN

LIPITOR LITIGATION: Users File RICO Suit Over Counterfeit Pills
MARIMBA INC.: Reaches Settlement For NY Securities Fraud Lawsuit
METHODE ELECTRONICS: Enters Settlement For Securities Suit in DE
PREPAID LEGAL: OK Financial Fraud Suit Still in Briefing Stages
PREPAID LEGAL: Faces Multiple Consumer Fraud Lawsuits in AL, MI

PREPAID LEGAL: Certification Hearings To Continue in 2004 in OK
PREPAID LEGAL: Court Refuses To Dismiss Class Suit Allegations
RAMBUS INC.: CA Court Dismisses Consolidated Securities Lawsuit
RAMBUS INC.: DE Court Dismisses Shareholder Derivative Lawsuit
RAMBUS INC.: Plaintiffs Appeal CA Consumer Fraud Suit Dismissal

SIMON WORLDWIDE: Settles Suits Over Fraudulent McDonald's Game
STRATOS LIGHTWAVE: Reaches Agreement To Settle Securities Suits
TOBACCO: Study States Nicotine Levels May Have Been Manipulated
TOBACCO LITIGATION: Both Sides Claim Victory in LA Smokers Suit
TOBACCO LITIGATION: Medical Monitoring Claims Can Be Revisited
TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Investors Launch Securities Suit in S.D. FL

TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Stockholders Launch Amended Suit in NH Court
TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Investors Lodge Securities Fraud Suit in FL

                      Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Senators Call for Changes in Asbestos Bill
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Cabot Posts $20 Million Asbestos Reserve
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: CCR Members to Pay Asbestos Settlement
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: RPM Takes $88M Charge for Asbestos
ASBESTOS ALERT: Former Ship Engineer Dies of Mesothelioma

                  New Securities Fraud Cases


AVATAR HOLDINGS: Abbey Gardy Lodges Securities Suit in DE Court


                        *********


AEGIS COMMUNICATIONS: Stockholders File Fraud Suits in TX Court
---------------------------------------------------------------
Two Aegis Communications Group, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: AGIS)
public stockholders have filed complaints in the District Court
of Dallas County, Texas against the Company and specified
individual members of its Board of Directors.

The complaints allege, among other things, that the proposed
acquisition of Aegis by AllServe Systems is unfair to the public
stockholders of Aegis and that the defendants breached their
fiduciary duties to the Aegis public stockholders in connection
with the proposed acquisition.  The plaintiffs are seeking a
class action in each complaint.

Herman M. Schwarz, Chief Executive Officer of Aegis, stated "the
proposed acquisition of Aegis by AllServe is the best proposal
we can obtain for our stakeholders, including our stockholders,
creditors and employees.  We believe these lawsuits are without
merit, and we intend to vigorously defend them.  We continue to
expect to close this transaction during the third quarter ending
September 30, 2003."

On July 14, 2003, Aegis and AllServe announced the signing of a
definitive agreement by which AllServe will acquire Aegis by
merging a wholly owned subsidiary of AllServe into Aegis for
approximately $22.75 million plus the assumption of all trade
liabilities.


AT ROAD: Named As Defendant in CSFB Securities Fraud Suit in FL
---------------------------------------------------------------
At Road, Inc. was named as one of the defendants in a securities
class action filed in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of Florida against Credit Suisse First Boston
Corporation and related entities and persons, certain companies
that conducted an initial public offering of securities
underwritten by Credit Suisse First Boston Corporation,
including the Company, its Chief Executive Officer and its Chief
Financial Officer.

The lawsuit was filed by an individual who purchased stock in
Commerce One, Inc. and was brought on behalf of all persons and
entities who acquired stock in the defendant companies after an
initial public offering of securities underwritten by Credit
Suisse First Boston Corporation.

The complaint alleges that defendants violated various federal
securities laws and state laws by disseminating fraudulent
information regarding the expected financial performance and
revenue growth of the defendant companies with the objective of
inflating those companies' stock prices.  The complaint seeks
unspecified damages and rescission on behalf of the purported
class.


BLUE COAT: Proposes Settlement For Securities Lawsuits in NY, FL
----------------------------------------------------------------
Blue Coat Systems, Inc. proposed a settlement for the
consolidated securities class action filed against it, some of
its officers and directors and the firms that underwrote in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York.  The Company also faces a similar suit in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

The complaints in the cases in New York and Florida generally
allege that the underwriters obtained excessive and undisclosed
commissions in connection with the allocation of shares of
common stock in the Company's initial public offering, and
maintained artificially high market prices through tie-in
arrangements which required customers to buy shares in the
after-market at pre-determined prices.

The complaints allege that the Company and its current and
former officers and directors violated Sections 11 and 15 of the
Securities Act of 1933, and Sections 10(b) (and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder) and 20(a) of the Securities Act of 1934,
by making material false and misleading statements in the
prospectus incorporated in the Company's Form S-1 registration
statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in
November 1999.

Plaintiffs seek an unspecified amount of damages on behalf of
persons who purchased the Company's stock between November 19,
1999 and December 6, 2000.  In the cases pending in New York,
the court has appointed a lead plaintiff for the consolidated
cases.

On April 19, 2002, plaintiffs filed an amended complaint.  
Various plaintiffs have filed similar actions asserting
virtually identical allegations against over 300 other public
companies, their underwriters, and their officers and directors
arising out of each company's public offering.  

The lawsuits against the Company, along with these other related
securities class actions currently pending in the Southern
District of New York, have been assigned to Judge Shira A.
Scheindlin for coordinated pretrial proceedings and collectively
captioned In re Initial Public Offering Securities Litigation
Civil Action No. 21-MC-92.  Defendants in these cases have filed
omnibus motions to dismiss on common pleading issues.

Oral argument on these omnibus motions to dismiss was held on
November 1, 2002.  The Company's officers and directors have
been dismissed without prejudice in this litigation.  On
February 19, 2003, the court denied in part and granted in part
the motion to dismiss filed on behalf of defendants, including
the Company.  The court's order did not dismiss any claims
against the Company.  As a result, discovery may now proceed.

A proposal has been made for the settlement and release of
claims against the issuer defendants, including the Company, in
exchange for a guaranteed recovery to be paid by the issuer
defendants' insurance carriers and an assignment of certain
claims.  The settlement is subject to a number of conditions,
including approval of the proposed settling parties and the
court.

If the settlement does not occur, and litigation against the
Company continues, the Company believes it has meritorious
defenses to the allegations.  The Company also believes the
outcome would not have a material adverse effect on its
business, results of operations or financial condition.


CORPORATE FRAUD: SEC Head Asserts Crackdown Calming Investors
-------------------------------------------------------------
United Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman William
Donaldson says the recent crackdown on corporate fraud has lured
investors back to the stock market, the Associated Press
reports.

Mr. Donaldson, a Wall Street veteran and former chairman of the
New York Stock Exchange, expressed his confidence in the market
a day before the one-year anniversary of sweeping anti-fraud
litigation.  The law was enacted at the height of big corporate
scandals such as Enron and Worldcom, sponsored by Sen. Paul
Sarbanes (D-Md.) and Rep. Michael Oxley, (R-Ohio).  The law
imposed new criminal penalties and brought the accounting
industry under stricter supervision.

The new corporate accountability law has the helped the market's
recent resurgence, Mr. Donaldson told AP.  "Clearly investors
have gotten back into the market because they like the market,"
he said.  "Clearly a part of that is a feeling that the change
is under way . People recognize that we have a rigorous program
under way."

However, he stated that there were still some companies who have
not grasped the importance of reform over pay packages and stock
options for its executives, incentives that encourage short-term
leaps in a company's stock price often at the expense of a
company's long-term financial health.  Without pinpointing any
company, he reiterated that it was important for boards of
directors to set longer-term goals for their chief executives
and avoid slavishly trying to meet Wall Street's quarterly
profit targets, AP reports.

The accounting "is murky and needs a lot of attention," Mr.
Donaldson told AP, noting that the SEC and the Labor Department
are looking into the issue.

The SEC head asserted that new rules may be needed to ensure
companies put enough money into their pension funds for
employees.  Congress is divided over possible new restrictions
on stock options.  Lawmakers friendly to high-tech industries
are pushing against requiring companies to count options as an
expense against their bottom line.  The head of a standard-
setting board for corporate accounting has accused the lawmakers
of improperly intervening in its work by proposing a three-year
delay of such a requirement, the Associated Press states.


CUTTER & BUCK: Working For the Settlement of WA Securities Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Cutter & Buck, Inc. is working to settle the securities class
action filed against it in the United States District Court for
the Western District of Washington, alleging violations of
federal securities laws, on behalf of all persons who purchased
the Company's common stock during the period from June 23, 2000
to August 12, 2002.

The Company also faces a shareholder derivative lawsuit filed in
the Superior Court of the State of Washington, for King County,
which names as defendants certain of its current and former
directors and its former CFO.  The suit was purportedly brought
on the Company's behalf, and contains allegations that the
individual defendants are liable to the Company for breach of
their fiduciary duties, abuse of control, gross mismanagement
and unjust enrichment in connection with the events giving rise
to the Company's restatement of historical financial results.  
The suit seeks unspecified damages, costs and attorney fees, as
well as equitable relief.

On February 20, 2003, the federal court appointed the Tilson
Growth Fund as lead plaintiff in the securities suits, ordered
the cases to be consolidated, denied the Tilson Growth Fund's
motion for the appointment of liaison counsel and directed the
lead plaintiff to file a consolidated complaint within 60 days.

On April 14, 2003, the federal court granted a joint motion to
extend the deadline for the lead plaintiff to file a
consolidated complaint until May 30, 2003, to allow the parties
the time to pursue settlement.

On May 22, 2003, the parties participated in a non-binding
settlement mediation, and on May 30, 2003, the federal court
granted a joint motion to extend the deadline for the lead
plaintiff to file a consolidated complaint until July 31, 2003.

On June 2, 2003, the Company entered into a Memorandum of
Understanding that represented a proposed settlement of all
claims against it and its former directors and officers alleged
in the securities suits and the derivative suit.  Pursuant to
the Memorandum, the Company was to pay $7 million to the
plaintiff class in the securities suits and were to implement
certain corporate governance policies and practices, conditioned
on obtaining the agreement of Genesis Insurance Company,
Executive Risk Indemnity, Inc. and Lumbermen's Mutual Casualty
Company, the Company's directors' and officers' liability
insurance carriers at the time the lawsuits were filed to
approve the settlement and to fund it.  The Insurers refused to
approve of or fund the settlement and, as a result, the
settlement described in the Memorandum was void.


On June 13, 2003, following the Insurers' refusal to approve or
fund the settlement contained in the Memorandum, the Company
entered into a Supplemental Settlement Memorandum of
Understanding.  Pursuant to the Supplemental Memorandum, the
Company will pay $4 million to the plaintiff class in the
securities suits and will also pay up to an additional $3
million of any recovery obtained by the Company in its ongoing
suit against Genesis Insurance Company, after its recovery of $1
million and the costs of pursuing that litigation.

In addition, in settlement of the Derivative Suit, the Company
agreed to implement certain corporate governance policies and
practices, including periodic reviews of compliance with
shipping procedures and meeting with employees to discuss
ethical expectations.  These practices have already been
instituted.

The settlement represented in the Supplemental Memorandum is
subject to the approval of the federal court in the Securities
Suits and the state court in the Derivative suit.  Pursuant to
the terms of the Supplemental Memorandum, the Company is working
with the plaintiffs in the Securities Suits and the Derivative
Suit to create and file with the Court a stipulation of
settlement for review by the federal court.


DAIMLERCHRYSLER AG: Ademi & O'Reilly Files Consumer Fraud Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Ademi & O'Reilly, LLP, filed a nationwide class
action on behalf of owners of Dodge Durangos, model years 1998-
2003 in the Milwaukee Circuit Court.  The action is pending
against DaimlerChrysler AG and DaimlerChrysler NorthAmerica
Holding Company.

The complaint alleges that the upper ball joints on the 1998-
2003 Dodge Durangos have an unreasonable propensity to fail
suddenly and violently, or to wear prematurely.  Further, it is
alleged that this is a design defect affecting every Dodge
Durango, whether the upper ball joint is currently manifesting
problems or not.  The suit seeks a mandatory recall to install
new upper ball joints, and restitution for the diminished value
of the Dodge Durangos.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has commenced
an investigation into the safety of the Dodge Durango upper ball
joints, after 4 motorists reported that their upper ball joints
were defective, and the defect caused them to lose control of
the Dodge Durangos.  The NHTSA also received 81 complaints that
the upper ball joints have worn prematurely, and had to be
replaced.

For more details, contact Robert O'Reilly by Mail: 3620 East
Layton Avenue, Cudahy, Wisconsin 53110 by Phone: (866) 264-3995
by Fax: (414) 482-8001 by E-mail: inquiry@ademilaw.com or visit
the firm's Website: http://www.ademilaw.com/consumer
           

FINISAR CORPORATION: Reaches Settlement in NY Securities Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Finisar Corporation agreed to settle the consolidated securities
class action filed in the United States District Court for
the Southern District of New York, against it, three of its
executive officers and an investment banking firm that served as
an underwriter for its initial public offering in November 1999
and a secondary offering in April 2000.

The suit was filed on behalf of all persons who purchased the
Company's common stock from November 17, 1999 through December
6, 2000.  The complaint, as subsequently amended, alleges
violations of Sections11 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933
and Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934, on the grounds that the prospectuses incorporated in the
registration statements for the offerings failed to disclose,
among other things, that:

     (1) the underwriter had solicited and received excessive
         and undisclosed commissions from certain investors in
         exchange for which the underwriter allocated to those
         investors material portions of the shares of the
         Company's stock sold in the offerings and

     (2) the underwriter had entered into agreements with
         customers whereby the underwriter agreed to allocate
         shares of the Company's stock sold in the offerings to
         those customers in exchange for which the customers
         agreed to purchase additional shares of the Company's
         stock in the aftermarket at pre-determined prices.

Similar allegations have been made in lawsuits relating to more
than 300 other initial public offerings conducted in 1999 and
2000, all of which have been consolidated for pretrial purposes.  
In June 2003, the plaintiffs in all of the cases presented a
settlement proposal to all of the issuer defendants.

Under the proposed settlement, the plaintiffs will dismiss and
release all claims against participating defendants in exchange
for a contingent payment guaranty by the insurance companies
collectively responsible for insuring the issuers in all the
related cases, and the assignment or surrender to the plaintiffs
of certain claims the issuer defendants may have against the
underwriters.

Under the guaranty, the insurers will be required to pay the
amount, if any, by which $1 billion exceeds the aggregate amount
ultimately collected by the plaintiffs from the underwriter
defendants in all the cases.  If the plaintiffs fail to recover
$1 billion and payment is required under the guaranty, Finisar
would be responsible to pay its pro rata portion of the
shortfall, up to the amount of the self-insured retention under
its insurance policy, which is $2 million.

The timing and amount of payments that Finisar could be required
to make under the proposed settlement will depend on several
factors, principally the timing and amount of any payment
required by the insurers pursuant to the $1 billion guaranty.

In July 2003, Finisar determined to accept the proposed
settlement.  The settlement is subject to acceptance by a
substantial majority of the issuer defendants and execution of a
definitive settlement agreement.  The settlement is also subject
to approval of the Court, which cannot be assured.

The litigation is in its preliminary stages, but if the outcome
of the litigation is adverse to the Company and if it is
required to pay significant monetary damages, its business would
be significantly harmed.


GENESIS MICROCHIP: Plaintiffs File Amended Securities Suit in CA
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs in the securities class action filed against Genesis
Microchip, Inc. filed an amended securities class action in the
United States District court for the Northern District of
California.  The amended suit also names as defendants:

     (1) former Chief Executive Officer Amnon Fisher,

     (2) Interim Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial
          Officer Eric Erdman, and

     (3) Chief Operating Officer Anders Frisk

The complaint alleges violations of Section 10(b) of the
Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder against the Company and the Individual Defendants,
and violations of Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act against the
Individual Defendants.  The complaint seeks unspecified damages
on behalf of a purported class of purchasers of the Company's
common stock between April 29, 2002 and June 14, 2002.

Genesis believes that it has meritorious defenses to these
lawsuits and will defend the litigation vigorously.  The future
financial impact of this claim is not yet determinable and no
provision has been made in the Company's consolidated financial
statements for any future costs associated with this claim.


HCA INC.: Inks Settlement With Justice Dep't Over Qui Tam Suits
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court of the District of Columbia
approved a settlement agreement signed by HCA, Inc. and the
Department of Justice for litigation brought by the Department
of Justice against HCA with respect to cost reports and
physician relations.

The Company has been the subject of various federal and state
investigations, qui tam actions, shareholder derivative and
class action suits, patient/payor actions and general liability
claims.  The Company has also been the subject of a formal order
of investigation by the SEC concerning violations of the anti-
fraud, insider trading, periodic reporting and internal
accounting control provisions of the federal securities laws.

These investigations, actions and claims relate to the Company
and its subsidiaries, including subsidiaries that, before the
Company's formation as an independent company, owned many of the
facilities that the Company now owns.  

The qui tam actions were brought on behalf of the United States
by private parties, known as relators.  The suits, which have
been unsealed and served on the Company, alleged, in general,
that the Company and certain subsidiaries and/or affiliated
partnerships violated the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. 3729, et
seq. by submitting improper claims for reimbursement to the
government.  The lawsuits generally have sought:

     (1) restitution of amounts paid to HCA entities as a result
         of any Medicare or Medicaid false claims,

     (2) a penalty in the amount of three times the restitution
         amount,

     (3) civil fines of not less than $5,500 nor more than
         $11,000 for each such claim, and

     (4) attorneys' fees and costs

The Company disclosed that, in March 2001, the Department of
Justice announced its decision to intervene in certain of the
qui tam actions against the Company.  The Company stated that,
of the original 30 qui tam actions, the Department of
Justice elected to intervene in eight actions.  The Company
disclosed that it is aware of additional qui tam actions that
remain under seal and that it also believes there may be other
sealed qui tam cases of which it is unaware.

The Company later entered into a series of agreements with the
Criminal Division of the Department of Justice and various U.S.
Attorneys' Offices and with the Civil Division of the Department
of Justice which resolved all federal criminal issues
outstanding against it and certain issues involving federal
civil claims by or on behalf of the government against HCA
relating to DRG coding, outpatient laboratory billing and home
health issues.

These December 2000 agreements related only to conduct that was
the subject of the various federal investigations and did not
resolve various qui tam actions filed by private parties against
HCA or pending state actions.

The court approved the Department of Justice settlement on July
1, 2003.  Additionally, HCA has made payments to the Centers for
Medicare and Medicaid Services in accordance with an agreement
to resolve all Medicare cost report, home office cost statement
and appeal issues.  As a result of this settlement, the
remaining outstanding qui tam actions include only those actions
in which the Department of Justice has not intervened.


KING PHARMACEUTICALS: Investors File 22 Stock Fraud Suits in TN
---------------------------------------------------------------
King Pharmaceuticals, Inc. faces 22 securities class actions
filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Tennessee, alleging violations of the Securities Act
of 1933 and/or the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, on behalf of
its shareholders.  The suits also name as defendants its
directors, former directors, executive officers and former
executive officers.

The suits uniformly allege that the Company, through some of its
executive officers, former executive officers, directors and
former directors, made false or misleading statements concerning
its business, financial condition and results of operations
during periods beginning March 31, 1999 and continuing until
March 11, 2003.

Additionally, seven purported shareholder derivative complaints
have been filed in federal and state courts in Tennessee
alleging a breach of fiduciary duty, among other things, by some
of the Company's officers and directors.  The allegations in
these lawsuits are similar to those in the class actions
described above.


LIPITOR LITIGATION: Users File RICO Suit Over Counterfeit Pills  
---------------------------------------------------------------
Consumers of the cholesterol- reducing drug Lipitor today sued
drug distributors Albers Medical and Med-Pro over the use of
counterfeit pills, claiming the companies deceived consumers
into purchasing unapproved and potentially harmful drugs.

Filed in the United States District Court in Kansas City, Mo. by
Hagens Berman attorney Thomas Sobol, the suit contends that the
distributors violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt
Organizations (RICO) Act by scheming with unknown manufacturers
to traffic counterfeit Lipitor.  The suit also claims the
distributors violated several consumer laws by falsely
advertising their products as genuine Lipitor when they were
actually counterfeit.

"These distributors failed to match the promises on the label
with the product in the bottle," said Mr. Sobol.  "Considering
the enormous potential for harm to the millions of people who
take Lipitor, we believe the distributors fell flat in their
obligation to protect consumers."

Distributors have recalled approximately 200,000 bottles since
the FDA announced in May that three lots of Lipitor packaged by
Albers Medical contained counterfeit pills from an unknown
source, and represented a "potentially significant risk to
consumers."

The suit claims that numerous other Lipitor lots packaged by
Albers contained counterfeit pills.  Despite the recall, the
suit alleges Albers and Med-Pro, along with the pharmacies that
resold the counterfeit pills, have failed to refund consumers
the millions of dollars paid for the counterfeits.  The named
plaintiffs in the suit, Paul and Cindy Dumas, each use Lipitor
to combat their high cholesterol levels, and pay on average more
than $200 per 90-tablet bottle.

According to Mr. Sobol, consumers have been swindled twice: once
when they paid the full price for a counterfeit product, and
again when they took a fake pill believing it would aid in
reducing their risk of serious illness.

FDA commissioner Dr. Mark McClellan has stated that the
counterfeit product most likely came from outside the country,
but was packaged in the United States, according to the
complaint.

The number one selling drug in the world, Lipitor (atorvastatin
calcium) is a prescription drug used in treatment of
cardiovascular disorders and cholesterol reduction.  More than
18 million Americans have been prescribed Lipitor, and millions
of Americans take the medication daily to help lower their
cholesterol levels, the suit states.

The suit claims the defendants violated portions of the RICO Act
and the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act, as well as similar
consumer laws in numerous states.  The suit seeks an order
compelling defendants to identify where the counterfeit drugs
were obtained, compensatory and punitive damages, and the
creation of a trust for the benefit of Lipitor consumers.

For more details, contact Thomas Sobol by Phone:
(617) 482-3700 x5500 or by E-mail: tom@hagens-berman.com


MARIMBA INC.: Reaches Settlement For NY Securities Fraud Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Marimba, Inc. reached a settlement for the consolidated
securities class action filed in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of New York against it, certain
of its officers and directors, and certain underwriters of the
its initial public offering:

     (1) Morgan Stanley & Co., Inc.,

     (2) Credit Suisse First Boston Corporation and

     (3) Bear Stearns & Co., Inc.

The complaint alleges, among other things, that the underwriters
of the Company's initial public offering violated the securities
laws by failing to disclose certain alleged compensation and
tie-in arrangements (such as undisclosed commissions or stock
stabilization practices) in the registration statement filed in
connection with the offering.

The Company and certain of its officers and directors were named
in the complaint pursuant to Section 11 of the Securities Act
of 1933, and Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5 of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934.  The complaint seeks unspecified damages,
attorney and expert fees, and other unspecified litigation
costs.

Similar complaints have been filed against over 300 other
issuers that had initial public offerings since 1998 and all
such actions have been included in a single coordinated
proceeding.  In July 2002, the defendants in the consolidated
actions filed motions to dismiss all of the cases in the
litigation (including the case involving the Company).

On February 19, 2003, the court ruled on the motions and granted
the Company's s motion to dismiss the claims against it under
Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5.  The motions to dismiss the claims
under Section 11 were denied as to virtually all of the
defendants in the consolidated cases, including the Company.  In
addition, the Marimba individual defendants in the litigation
each signed a tolling agreement and were dismissed from the
action without prejudice on October 9, 2002.

On June 30, 2003, a special committee of the Company's Board of
Directors conditionally approved a proposed partial settlement
with the plaintiffs in this matter.  The settlement would
provide, among other things, a release of the Company and
Marimba's individual defendants for the conduct alleged in the
action to be wrongful.  The Company would agree to undertake
other responsibilities under the partial settlement, including
agreeing to assign away, not assert and release certain
potential claims Marimba may have against its underwriters.  

Marimba's insurers should bear direct financial impact of the
proposed settlement.  The special committee agreed to approve
the settlement subject to a number of conditions, including the
participation of a substantial number of other issuer defendants
in the proposed settlement, the consent of Marimba's insurers to
the settlement, and the completion of acceptable final
settlement documentation.

Furthermore, the settlement is subject to a hearing on fairness
and approval by the court overseeing the litigation.  In the
event the settlement is not consummated, the defense of the
litigation may increase the Company's expenses and divert its
management's attention and resources.  

Due to the inherent uncertainties of litigation, the Company
cannot accurately predict the ultimate outcome of the
litigation, and any unfavorable outcome could have a material
adverse impact on its business, financial condition and
operating results.


METHODE ELECTRONICS: Enters Settlement For Securities Suit in DE
----------------------------------------------------------------
Methode Electronics, Inc. reached a memorandum of understanding
to settle a class action filed against it and certain of its
directors on behalf of all holders of its Class A Common Shares
and derivatively on behalf of the Company in the Court of
Chancery of the State of Delaware.

Plaintiffs alleged the Company's directors breached their
fiduciary duties of disclosure, care and loyalty by approving
the Agreement between the Company, the trusts and the McGinley
family members, pursuant to which the Company agreed, among
other things, to make a tender offer for the repurchase of all
its Class B Common Shares at a price of $20 per share.

Plaintiffs further alleged that the Company's Board approved the
tender offer for the repurchase of its Class B Common Shares,
caused the Company to enter into certain employment agreements
with its chairman of the board and certain of its officers and
failed to disclose and misrepresented certain information in
connection with its 2002 proxy statement, as part of a scheme to
entrench the incumbent Board and management.

Additionally, the Plaintiffs alleged that the Company's
directors, by approving the repurchase of the Class B Common
Shares, diverted a corporate opportunity to receive a control
premium away from the Company and the Class A stockholders.  
Plaintiff sought, among other things, to enjoin the repurchase
of the Class B Common Shares, as well as other equitable relief.

On March 17, 2003, the parties entered into a memorandum of
understanding providing for the settlement of this litigation.  
Pursuant to the terms of the memorandum of understanding, the
Company agreed, among other things, that:

     (1) it would only proceed with the Offer if it is approved
         by the affirmative vote of a majority of the Class A
         Common Shares present or represented by proxy at the
         special meeting (excluding shares held by the Trusts
         and the McGinley family members) and

     (2) it would declare a special dividend of $0.04 per Class
         A Common Share within 60 days following consummation of
         the Offer.

If the Offer is not consummated, this special dividend will not
be declared or paid.  The memorandum of understanding also
provides for the dismissal of the Action with prejudice and
release of all related claims against the Company and the
director defendants.  The settlement as provided for in the
memorandum of understanding was contingent upon, among other
things, approval by the court.


PREPAID LEGAL: OK Financial Fraud Suit Still in Briefing Stages
---------------------------------------------------------------
The securities class action filed against Prepaid Legal
Services, Inc. and various of its executive officers is in its
briefing state in the United States District Court for the
Western District of Oklahoma.

The suit was filed in early 2001, seeking unspecified damages on
the basis of allegations that the Company issued false and
misleading financial information, primarily related to the
method the Company used to account for commission advance
receivables from sales associates.  

On March 5, 2002, the court granted the Company's motion to
dismiss the complaint, with prejudice, and entered a judgment in
favor of the defendants.  Plaintiffs thereafter filed a motion
requesting reconsideration of the dismissal, which was denied.  
The plaintiffs have appealed the judgment and the order denying
their motion to reconsider the judgment to the Tenth Circuit
Court of Appeals, and as of June 30, 2003, the case was in the
briefing stage.

The Company is unable to predict when a decision will be made on
this appeal.  In August 2002, the lead institutional plaintiff
withdrew from the case, leaving two individual plaintiffs as
lead plaintiffs on behalf of the putative class.  The ultimate
outcome of this case is not determinable at the moment.


PREPAID LEGAL: Faces Multiple Consumer Fraud Lawsuits in AL, MI
---------------------------------------------------------------
Prepaid Legal Services, Inc., certain officers, employees, sales
associates and others face multiple lawsuits filed in various
Alabama and Mississippi state courts by current or former
members seeking actual and punitive damages for alleged breach
of contract, fraud and various other claims in connection with
the sale of memberships.

The Company is aware of 28 separate lawsuits involving
approximately 298 plaintiffs that have been filed in multiple
counties in Alabama.  One suit involving two plaintiffs, which
was filed as a class action, has been dismissed with prejudice
as to the class allegations and without prejudice as to the
individual claims.  

The Company is also aware of 18 separate lawsuits involving
approximately 432 plaintiffs in multiple counties in
Mississippi.  Certain of the Mississippi lawsuits also name the
Company's provider attorney in Mississippi as a defendant.

Proceedings in eleven cases which name the Company's provider
attorney as a defendant had been stayed for at least 90 days as
to the provider attorney (and as to all defendants in some
cases) due to the rehabilitation proceeding involving the
provider law firm's insurer, though plaintiffs now contend that
the stay as to the provider attorney should be concluded due to
the conversion of the rehabilitation proceedings to liquidation
proceedings.  However, one case has been stayed by the
Mississippi Supreme Court pending its ruling on the Pre-Paid
defendants' appeal of the trial court's granting of a partial
summary judgment that the action is not required to be submitted
to arbitration.  Motions to stay other of the actions on that
ground are also pending.  

At least two complaints have been filed on behalf of certain of
the Mississippi plaintiffs and others with the Attorney General
of Mississippi in March 2002 and December 2002.  The Company has
responded to the Attorney General's requests for information
with respect to both complaints, and as of June 30, 2003, the
Company was not aware of any further actions being taken by the
Attorney General.

In Mississippi, the Company has filed lawsuits in the United
States District Court for the Southern and Northern Districts of
Mississippi in which the Company seeks to compel arbitration of
the various Mississippi claims under the Federal Arbitration Act
and the terms of the Company's membership agreements, and has
appealed the state court rulings in favor of certain of the
plaintiffs on the arbitration issue to the Mississippi Supreme  
Court.  These cases are all in various stages of litigation,
including trial settings beginning in Alabama in October 2003,
and in Mississippi in September 2003, and seek varying amounts
of actual and punitive damages.  

While the amount of membership fees paid by the plaintiffs in
the Mississippi cases is $500,000 or less, certain of the cases
seek damages of $90 million.  Additional suits of a similar
nature have been threatened.  The ultimate outcome of any
particular case is not determinable.


PREPAID LEGAL: Certification Hearings To Continue in 2004 in OK
---------------------------------------------------------------
Hearing for class certification in the lawsuit filed against
Prepaid Legal Services, Inc. will continue until February 2004
in the District Court of Canadian County, Oklahoma.  

This action is a putative class action brought by Gina Kotwitz,
George Kotwitz, Rick Coker, Richard Starke, Jeff Turnipseed and
Aaron Bouren on behalf of all sales associates of the Company.  
The amended petition seeks injunctive and declaratory relief,
with such other damages as the court deems appropriate, for
alleged violations of the Oklahoma Uniform Consumer Credit Code
in connection with the Company's commission advances, and seeks
injunctive and declaratory relief regarding the enforcement of
certain contract provisions with sales associates, including a
request stated in June 2003 for the imposition of a constructive
trust as to earned commissions applied to the reduction of debit  
balances and disgorgement of all earned renewal commissions
applied to the reduction of debit balances.  

The impact of the claims alleged under the Consumer Credit Code
and the assertion of entitlement to the other relief requested
could exceed $315 million if plaintiffs are successful both in
their request for class certification and on the merits.  Though
plaintiffs have stated that they no longer seek class
certification on the Consumer Credit Code claims, they have also
made recent statements inconsistent with that position.  The
hearing on plaintiffs' request for class certification has been
continued from July 22, 2003, to February 2004.  The ultimate
outcome of this case is not determinable.


PREPAID LEGAL: Court Refuses To Dismiss Class Suit Allegations
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Western District of
Oklahoma refused to strike class action allegations in the
lawsuit filed against Prepaid Legal Services, Inc. and certain
of its executive officers on behalf of all sales associates of
the Company.

The suit alleges that the marketing plan offered by the Company
constitutes a security under the Securities Act of 1933 and
seeks remedies for failure to register the marketing plan as a
security and for violations of the anti-fraud provisions of the
Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
in connection with representations alleged to have been made in
connection with the marketing plan.  The complaint also alleges
violations of the Oklahoma Securities Act, the Oklahoma Business
Opportunities Sales Act, breach of contract, breach of duty of
good faith and fair dealing and unjust enrichment and violation
of the Oklahoma Consumer Protection Act and negligent
supervision.  

This case is subject to the Private Litigation Securities Reform
Act.  Pursuant to the Act, the court has approved the named
plaintiffs and counsel and an amended complaint was filed in
August 2002.  The Pre-Paid defendants filed motions to dismiss
the complaint and to strike the class action allegations on
September 19, 2002, and discovery in the action was stayed
pending a ruling on the motion to dismiss.  

On July 24, 2003, the court granted in part and denied in part
the Pre-Paid defendants' motion to dismiss.  The claims asserted
under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Oklahoma
Securities Act were dismissed without prejudice.  The motion was
denied as to the remaining claims.  On July 23, 2003, the court
denied the motion to strike class action allegations at this
time.

Accordingly, the case will now proceed in the normal course as
to the remaining claims.  The Company is unable to predict when
a decision will be made.  The ultimate outcome of this case is
not determinable.


RAMBUS INC.: CA Court Dismisses Consolidated Securities Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
California dismissed with prejudice the consolidated securities
class action filed against Rambus, Inc. on behalf of purchasers
of the Company's common stock between January 11, 2000 and May
9, 2001, inclusive.

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

On May 17, 2002, the Company moved to dismiss the consolidated
complaint.  On January 15, 2003, the motion to dismiss was
granted and plaintiffs given leave to file an amended complaint
within 45 days.  Rather than file such a complaint by such date,
the parties stipulated that plaintiffs would wait until after
rulings on the Infineon motion for rehearing or rehearing en
banc in the CAFC.  

Pursuant to that stipulation, class plaintiffs filed a motion
for voluntary dismissal with prejudice of the securities class
action on April 18, 2003.  The case, in which a class had not
yet been certified, was dismissed with prejudice on May 23,
2003.  


RAMBUS INC.: DE Court Dismisses Shareholder Derivative Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Delaware Chancery Court dismissed without prejudice the
consolidated shareholder derivative lawsuit filed against
Rambus, Inc. (as a nominal defendant) and its directors.

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

The Company filed a motion to dismiss this complaint, which was
granted, with plaintiffs given leave to file a motion seeking
leave to replead the complaint.  Plaintiffs filed that motion
and a second amended complaint on March 12, 2003.  

The Company opposed this motion on April 4, 2003.  Plaintiffs
subsequently elected to move for voluntary dismissal without
prejudice rather than pursue their amended complaint.  On June
20, 2003 the court granted plaintiff's motion and dismissed the
case without prejudice.  

Similar derivative actions were filed in California Superior
Court, Santa Clara County.  The complaints assert claims for
breaches of fiduciary duty and violation of California's
proscription against insider trading.  The cases were later
consolidated.  The court also granted defendants' motion to stay
the consolidated case in deference to the earlier filed Delaware
actions.


RAMBUS INC.: Plaintiffs Appeal CA Consumer Fraud Suit Dismissal
---------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs appealed the dismiss of a class action filed against
Rambus, Inc. in California Superior Court, Santa Clara County on
behalf of an alleged class of "indirect purchasers" of memory
from January 2000 to March 2002.

Plaintiff alleges that those purchasers paid higher prices for
various types of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) due to the
Company's alleged unlawful use of market power in the various
DRAM markets to coerce vendors of equipment using that
technology to enter into supposed agreements in restraint of
trade.

Plaintiffs base their claims on the Company's alleged
anticompetitive actions in patenting and licensing various
technologies relating to DRAM, which plaintiffs assert, occurred
during our involvement at JEDEC in 1992 through 1996, as well as
during our subsequent patent licensing and litigation efforts.  
The complaint alleges claims under:

     (1) California Business & Professions Code 16700 for
         allegedly having coerced "market participants" into
         entering supposedly unlawful licensing agreements in
         restraint of trade;

     (2) California Business & Professions Code 17200 for
         supposed "unfair business practices" that forced the
         public to pay "supra-competitive" prices for products
         incorporating DRAM technology; and

     (3) a theory of unjust enrichment based on supposedly
         receiving "unearned royalties" from products that
         incorporated certain DRAM technology.

Plaintiffs seek legal and equitable relief.  The Company
demurred to this complaint in its entirety on June 24, 2002 and
a hearing on this demurrer occurred on August 27, 2002, at which
point the court granted our demurrer, giving plaintiff leave to
amend its complaint.

Plaintiff filed an amended complaint on September 26, 2002.  The
Company filed a demurrer to the amended complaint and a hearing
was held on this demurrer on December 10, 2002.  The court
granted the demurrer and again gave plaintiff leave to amend its
complaint.

After plaintiff filed its second amended complaint, the Company
demurred successfully again and plaintiff moved to dismiss its
complaint with prejudice, reserving however, their rights of
appeal from the decisions against them.  That motion was granted
on April 17, 2003 when the complaint was dismissed with
prejudice.  Plaintiff filed a notice of appeal on June 20, 2003
but has not yet filed papers supporting an appeal.  If plaintiff
does move forward with its appeal, the Company intends to
vigorously oppose the appeal and continues to vigorously defend
itself in this action.  


SIMON WORLDWIDE: Settles Suits Over Fraudulent McDonald's Game
--------------------------------------------------------------
Simon Worldwide, Inc. is in the process of settling numerous
consumer class action and representative action lawsuits filed
in Illinois, the headquarters of McDonald's, and in multiple
jurisdictions nationwide and in Canada.  Plaintiffs in these
actions asserted diverse causes of action, including:

     (1) negligence,

     (2) breach of contract,

     (3) fraud,

     (4) restitution,

     (5) unjust enrichment,

     (6) misrepresentation,

     (7) false advertising,

     (8) breach of warranty,

     (9) unfair competition and

    (10) violation of various state consumer fraud statutes and

    (11) a pattern of racketeering

Plaintiffs in many of these actions alleged, among other things,
that defendants, including the Company, its subsidiary Simon
Marketing, and McDonald's, misrepresented that plaintiffs had a
chance at winning certain high-value prizes when in fact the
prizes were stolen by Mr. Jerome P. Jacobson.  Plaintiffs seek
various forms of relief, including restitution of monies paid
for McDonald's food, disgorgement of profits, recovery of the
"stolen" game prizes, other compensatory damages, attorney's
fees, punitive damages and injunctive relief.

The class and/or representative actions filed in Illinois state
court were consolidated in the Circuit Court of Cook County,
Illinois (the "Boland" case).  Numerous class and representative
actions filed in California have been consolidated in California
Superior Court for the County of Orange.  Numerous class and
representative actions filed in federal courts nationwide have
been transferred by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict
Litigation (the JPMDL) to the federal district court in Chicago,
Illinois.  Numerous of the class and representative actions
filed in state courts other than in Illinois and California were
removed to federal court and transferred by the JPMDL to the
JPMDL Proceedings.

On April 19, 2002, McDonald's entered into a Stipulation of
Settlement (the "Boland Settlement") with certain plaintiffs in
the Boland case pending in the Circuit Court of Cook County,
Illinois.  The Boland Settlement purports to settle and release,
among other things, all claims related to the administration,
execution and operation of the McDonald's promotional games, or
to "the theft, conversion, misappropriation, seeding,
dissemination, redemption or non-redemption of a winning prize
or winning game piece in any McDonald's Promotional Game,"
including without limitation claims brought under the consumer
protection statutes or laws of any jurisdiction, that have been
or could or might have been alleged by any class member in any
forum in the United States of America, subject to a right of
class members to opt out on an individual basis, and includes a
full release of the Company and Simon Marketing, as well as
their officers, directors, employees, agents, and vendors.

Under the terms of the Boland Settlement, McDonald's agrees to
sponsor and run a "Prize Giveaway" in which a total of fifteen
(15) $1 million prizes, payable in twenty equal annual
installments with no interest, shall be randomly awarded to
persons in attendance at McDonald's restaurants.  The Company
has been informed that McDonald's, in its capacity as an
additional insured, has tendered a claim to Simon Marketing's
Errors & Omissions insurance carriers to cover some or all
of the cost of the Boland Settlement, including the cost of
running the "Prize Giveaway," of the prizes themselves, and of
attorneys' fees to be paid to plaintiffs' counsel up to an
amount of $3,000.

On June 6, 2002, the Illinois Circuit Court issued a preliminary
order approving the Boland Settlement and authorizing notice to
the class.  On August 28, 2002, the opt-out period pertaining
thereto expired.  The Company has been informed that
approximately 250 persons in the United States and Canada
purport to have opted out of the Boland Settlement.  
Furthermore, actions may move forward in Canada and in certain
of the cases asserting claims not involving the Jacobson
theft.

On January 3, 2003, the Illinois Circuit Court issued an order
approving the Boland Settlement and overruling objections
thereto and on April 8, 2003 a final order was issued approving
plaintiffs' attorneys' fees in the amount of $2,800.  Even if
the Boland Settlement is approved and is enforceable to bar
claims of persons who have not opted out, individual claims may
be asserted by those persons who are determined to have properly
opted out of the Boland Settlement.  Claims may also be asserted
in Canada and by individuals whose claims do not involve the
Jacobson theft if a court were to determine the claim to be
distinguishable from and not barred by the Boland Settlement.

The remaining cases in the JPMDL Proceedings were dismissed on
April 29, 2003, other than a case originally filed in federal
district court in Kentucky, in which the plaintiff has opted out
of the Boland Settlement.  The plaintiff in that case asserts
that McDonald's and Simon Marketing failed to redeem a purported
$1 million winning ticket.  This case has been ordered to
arbitration.

In the California Court, certain of the California plaintiffs
purported to have opted out of the Boland Settlement
individually and also on behalf of all California consumers.  In
its final order approving the Boland Settlement, the Illinois
court rejected the attempt by the California plaintiffs to opt
out on behalf of all California consumers.

On June 2, 2003, the California Court granted the motion of
McDonald's and Simon Marketing to dismiss all class and
representative claims as having been barred by the Boland
Settlement.  Even with the Boland Settlement, individual claims
may go forward as to those plaintiffs who are determined to have
properly opted out of the Boland Settlement or who have asserted
claims not involving the Jacobson theft.  The Company does not
know which California and non-California claims will go forward
notwithstanding the Boland Settlement.

On August 20, 2002, an action was filed against Simon Marketing
in Florida State Court alleging that McDonald's and Simon
Marketing deliberately diverted from seeding in Canada game
pieces with high-level winning prizes in certain McDonald's
promotional games.  The plaintiffs are Canadian citizens and
seek restitution and damages on a class-wide basis in an
unspecified amount.

Simon Marketing and McDonald's removed this action to federal
court on September 10, 2002 and the JPMDL transferred the case
to the JPMDL Proceedings in Illinois, where it was dismissed on
April 29, 2003.  The plaintiffs in this case did not opt out of
the Boland Settlement.

On September 13, 2002, an action was filed against Simon
Marketing in Ontario Provincial Court in which the allegations
are similar to those made in the above Florida action.  On
October 28, 2002, an action was filed against Simon Marketing in
Ontario Provincial Court containing similar allegations.  The
plaintiffs in these actions seek an aggregate of $110,000 in
damages and an accounting on a class-wide basis. Simon Marketing
has retained Canadian local counsel to represent it in these
actions.  The Company believes that the plaintiffs in these
actions did not opt out of the Boland Settlement.

The Company and McDonald's have filed motions to dismiss or stay
these cases on the basis of the Boland Settlement.  There has
been no ruling on this motion and the actions are in the
earliest stages.


STRATOS LIGHTWAVE: Reaches Agreement To Settle Securities Suits
---------------------------------------------------------------
Stratos Lightwave, Inc. reached a memorandum of understanding to
settle the securities class actions filed against it and certain
of its directors and executive officers in the United States
District Court, Southern District of New York.

The complaints also name as defendants the underwriters for the
Company's initial public offering.  The complaints are
substantially identical to numerous other complaints filed
against other companies that went public over the last several
years.  

The complaints generally allege, among other things, that the
registration statement and prospectus from the Company's June
26, 2000 initial public offering failed to disclose certain
alleged actions by the underwriters for the offering.  The
complaints charge the Company and two or three of its directors
and executive officers with violations of Sections 11 and 15 of
the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and/or Sections 10(b)
and Section 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as
amended.  The complaints also allege claims solely against the
underwriting defendants under Section 12(a)(2) of the Securities
Act of 1933, as amended.

The Company recently agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding,
which reflects a settlement of these class actions as between
the purported class action plaintiffs, the Company and the
defendant officers and directors, and the Company's liability
insurer.  Under the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding,
the Company's liability insurers will pay certain sums to the
plaintiffs, with the amount dependent upon the plaintiffs'
recovery from the underwriters in the IPO class actions as a
whole.  The plaintiffs will dismiss with prejudice their claims
against the Company and its officers and directors, and the
Company will assign to the plaintiffs certain claims that it may
have against the underwriters.


TOBACCO: Study States Nicotine Levels May Have Been Manipulated
---------------------------------------------------------------
A study by the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology revealed
that some brands of cigarettes give a more powerful nicotine
"kick" than others, the Associated Press reports.  

Oregon Health & Science University chemist James F. Pankow
conducted the study, which analyzed samples of smoke from 11
brands.  The study analyzed a specific form of nicotine called
"free base," which passes quickly into the bloodstream when it
is inhaled.  The free-base form of nicotine occurs naturally,
but some tobacco varieties contain more.

The R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.-produced American Spirit topped
the list followed by the French brand Gauloises Brunes.  
According to the study, their "free base" levels were 25 to 35
times higher than those of the lowest level cigarettes.

The nicotine in American Spirits was 29 percent free-base
nicotine in the first three puffs, and 36 percent for the rest -
an exception to the general rule that the first puffs are
stronger, the study showed, AP reports.  Gauloises Brunes
delivered an even dose of 25 percent free-base nicotine
throughout the smoke.  The GPC brand made by Brown and
Williamson had the lowest dose of free-base nicotine at 1.6
percent for the first puffs and 1 percent for the rest of the
cigarette.

The study adds weight to suspicions that some manufacturers
deliberately blend tobacco to boost the addictive effect.  Most
manufacturers have contended they blend tobacco only to enhance
flavor.

Previous studies had measured the acid levels in cigarette smoke
to indirectly test for free-base nicotine.  Mr. Pankow's was the
first to directly test for the chemical, Neal Benowitz, a
nicotine addiction expert at the University of California at San
Francisco, told AP.  

"This is important," he said. "It's been suspected that
cigarettes are manufactured in a way that optimizes the free-
base."

However, he said the study was not conclusive proof that
manufacturers manipulate the level of free-base nicotine.

A spokesman for RJ Reynolds, Seth Moskowitz, told AP he had not
reviewed the study and could not comment.


TOBACCO LITIGATION: Both Sides Claim Victory in LA Smokers Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Both sides in the Louisiana smokers medical monitoring class
action claimed victory right after a Louisiana jury ruled that
tobacco firms were not liable for medical monitoring programs,
but should pay for quit-smoking programs, instead, the
Associated Press reports.

Big Tobacco - namely R.J. Reynolds, Lorillard, Philip Morris USA
and Brown & Williamson - said the verdict was the second time a
court rejected demands for medical monitoring for healthy
smokers.  A jury, saying smokers who were concerned about their
health should just quit, dismissed the first suit, filed in West
Virginia in 2001.

"This case should have never gone to trial," said Philip Morris
general counsel William S. Ohlemeyer, in a statement.  "The vast
majority of class-action cases involving cigarettes have ended
far short of trial because most courts have recognized that
smoking decisions and smoking behavior are almost uniquely
personal and cannot be fairly considered in a class-action
trial."

Attorneys for the plaintiffs however said the part of the ruling
ordering Big Tobacco to pay for smoking cessation programs was a
victory for smokers.  Russ Herman, the lead attorney for the
plaintiffs, said he envisions intense programs centered around
Louisiana hospitals that will include counselors for those who
want to quit smoking.  He also expects the medical monitoring
issue could be revisited in the suit.

"This is a historic victory for Louisiana smokers," Edward
Sweda, senior attorney for the Tobacco Products Liability
Council at Northeastern University told AP.  "The jury
essentially found that the tobacco companies addicted these
smokers through their reprehensible conduct and now must pay to
un-addict them."

Lorillard, whose brands include Kent and Newport, told AP it was
confident that Monday's findings by the jury would be
overturned.  "Liability to fund smoking-cessation programs
should not be tried in class-action lawsuits," said Ronald
Milstein, Lorillard's general counsel.  "Research has shown time
and time again that will power is the only smoking-cessation aid
that always works."

The defendant firms argued against paying for quit programs,
saying such programs are already in existence.  R.J. Reynolds,
maker of Camels and Winstons, also questioned whether the issue
of quit-smoking programs could be determined on a class-wide
basis since the reasons people smoke are individual.

The defendants will back in a second phase that will determine
the details of the "quit-smoking" programs.  State District
Judge Richard Ganucheau has not yet said when the jury will
return to court for the second phase of the trial.  However, Mr.
Ohlemeyer said Philip Morris, the nation's biggest cigarette
maker with brands like Marlboro, was looking at appeals options
in the meantime.


TOBACCO LITIGATION: Medical Monitoring Claims Can Be Revisited
--------------------------------------------------------------
Russ Herman, attorney for the plaintiffs in the Louisiana
medical monitoring class action, says the issue on medical
monitoring can be revisited in court, the Associated Press
reports.

Earlier, the Louisiana jury rejected the claim of 1.5 million
Louisiana smokers and former smokers that the tobacco companies
should pay for medical monitoring, but agreed that the companies
should pay for stop-smoking programs.  The jury report came in
the fact-finding phase of the class action against:

     (1) Philip Morris USA, which is a unit of New York-based
         Altria Group Inc.,

     (2) R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings Inc., Winston-Salem, NC,

     (3) Brown & Williamson, a unit of UK-based British American
         Tobacco PLC and

     (4) Lorillard Tobacco Co., a unit of New York-based Loews
         Corporation

The finding by the state district-court jury was the second time
that tobacco companies had beaten back demands for routine
medical monitoring paid for by cigarette-makers.  In a case last
year in West Virginia, attorneys for smokers prevailed in their
argument that a person with a five-year, pack-a-day habit has a
higher risk of disease.  However, the jury found that routine
medical screening was not necessary and that concerned smokers
should just quit.  That lawsuit did not ask for quit-smoking
programs.

Philip Wittmann, an attorney for R.J. Reynolds, called the
finding "almost a total victory" for cigarette-makers because
the jury also found that the companies had not made a defective
product.

The tobacco companies had argued that medical monitoring for
smokers is not recommended by any major health group, and that
such tests are unreliable and could lead to unnecessary and
life-threatening follow-ups, such as biopsies.

Mr. Herman, however, said he believed the decision "will save
lives."  He said the jury found that cigarette-makers engaged in
conspiracy to mislead the public and targeted youths with
advertisements designed to cultivate additional generations of
smokers.

The jury's findings ended only the first phase of the trial.  A
second phase, with the same jury, will be held in the future to
design the smoking-cessation programs.  At that time, one of the
factors that will be considered is the individual responsibility
of the smokers.  The lawsuit did not ask for individual monetary
damages for smokers and former smokers.

Testimony began in January and the jury took two days of
deliberations to complete the answering of 16 pages of
questions, which they received July 24.  The lawsuit was filed
in 1996; jury selection began in 2001.  There were numerous
delays because of appeals to the Louisiana Supreme Court,
relating to such issues as class-action status and the selection
of some individual jurors.

Among the jury's findings:

     (i) the tobacco industry deliberately tried, through a
         conspiracy and through the use of such groups as the
         Tobacco Institute, to distort the public's knowledge
         about the dangers of smoking and nicotine, beginning in
         the mid-1950s;

    (ii) the industry deliberately marketed cigarettes to minors
         through advertising;

   (iii) smokers failed to prove that the industry marketed a
         defective product.

Martin Feldman, an analyst with Merrill Lynch Tobacco Research,
said smoker victories in court against the tobacco industry have
been rare.  He said about 44 class action claims of various
sorts against cigarette-makers either were rejected or
overturned on appeal.

"To date, there are no class actions that have survived appeal
court scrutiny in the federal system and only a handful in the
state court systems," Mr. Feldman said.

The Associated Press Newswires contributed to this story.


TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Investors Launch Securities Suit in S.D. FL
---------------------------------------------------------------
Tyco International, Inc. faces a securities class action filed
in the United States District Court for the Southern District of
Florida, on behalf of purchasers of its securities between
December 30, 2002 to March 12, 2003.  Plaintiffs name as
defendants the Company and Edward D. Breen, Tyco's Chairman and
Chief Executive Officer.

The complaint asserts a cause of action under Section 10(b) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder against both defendants.  As against Mr. Breen, the
complaint asserts a cause of action under Section 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  

The complaint alleges that defendants violated the securities
laws by making materially false and misleading statements and
omissions concerning, among other things, Tyco's financial and
operating condition and financial prospects for Tyco and its ADT
business segment and the results of its investigation of its
former management.


TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Stockholders Launch Amended Suit in NH Court
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs in the pending United States District Court for the
District of New Hampshire consolidated multidistrict shareholder
derivative litigation filed a verified stockholders' second
consolidated and amended derivative complaint against Tyco
International, Inc.  This second amended complaint drops as
defendants the Company's auditors, and adds as defendant each of
the members of the current Board of Directors of the Company.

The second amended complaint alleges against all defendants
causes of action for breach of fiduciary duty and equitable
fraud, and for waste of corporate assets and equitable fraud.  
The second amended complaint alleges that the defendants who are
former directors and officers of the Company engaged in,
permitted and/or acquiesced in the following alleged improper
conduct:

     (1) using Tyco funds for personal benefit, including  
         misappropriation of funds from its Key Employee Loan
         Program and relocation programs;

     (2) engaging in improper self-dealing real estate
         transactions;

     (3) entering into improper undisclosed retention
         agreements; and

     (4) filing false and misleading financial statements with
         the SEC that were based on improper accounting methods.

The second amended complaint alleges that the defendants who are
current directors of Tyco engaged in, permitted and/or
acquiesced in the following alleged improper conduct:

     (i) making misstatements and omissions in order to disclose
         certain accounting issues slowly over time in order to
         maintain an allegedly artificial inflation of Tyco's
         stock price;

    (ii) making misstatements and omissions in recommending in
         the February 2003 proxy statement against
         reincorporation in Delaware;

   (iii) making misstatements and omissions in recommending in
         the February 2003 proxy statement against a proposal to
         separate the positions of CEO and Chairman; and

    (iv) other allegedly improper conduct

Plaintiffs seek money damages and attorneys' fees and expenses.


TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Investors Lodge Securities Fraud Suit in FL
---------------------------------------------------------------
Tyco International, Inc. faces a securities class action filed
in the United States District Court for the Southern District of
Florida, on behalf of purchasers of Company securities between
December 30, 2002 to March 12, 2003.  The suit also names Edward
D. Breen, Tyco's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, as
defendant.

The complaint asserts a cause of action under Section 10(b) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder against both defendants.  As against Mr. Breen, the
complaint asserts a cause of action under Section 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

The complaint alleges that defendants violated the securities
laws by making materially false and misleading statements and
omissions concerning, among other things, Tyco's financial and
operating condition and financial prospects for Tyco and its ADT
business segment and the results of its investigation of its
former management.


                      Asbestos Alert


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Senators Call for Changes in Asbestos Bill
---------------------------------------------------------------
Four Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who
backed the bill sponsored by Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah earlier
this month, call for major changes in the asbestos legislation.

They are asking whether insurers will pay too much of the
national fund of up to $153,000,000,000 that would pay asbestos
claims, as well as other provisions in the bill that could bring
the fund to an early end.

"These flaws must be corrected prior to final passage," the
group said in a draft statement, obtained by Reuters, which is
to be published this week with a committee report on the bill.

The doubts are being raised by Republicans Charles Grassley of
Iowa, Jon Kyl of Arizona, Jeff Sessions of Alabama, Larry Craig
of Idaho and John Cornyn of Texas.

The bill passed the committee 10-8, with only one Democrat,
Dianne Feinstein of California, supporting it.

"Although the goal of this legislation to compensate those
harmed from asbestos exposure is both noble and necessary, the
means chosen are susceptible to abuses that could bankrupt the
fund, and, ultimately, impose financial obligations on the
taxpayer," the senators warned in their draft statement.

One aide said the Republican senators were especially alarmed by
an amendment passed in committee that would shut down the fund
and return asbestos claims to the courts if the fund's
administrator decides in any given year that he does not have
enough money to pay 95 percent of claims.

"It's basically a poison pill" that spoils the bill, the aide
said of the amendment, sponsored by Sen. Joseph Biden, a
Delaware Democrat. "Some of us realized that at the time, and
others are realizing it now," added the aide, who spoke on
condition of anonymity, according to a Reuters report.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Cabot Posts $20 Million Asbestos Reserve
-------------------------------------------------------------
Cabot Corporation posts a charge of $20,000,000 to cover the
Company's estimated share of liability with respect to existing
and future respirator product liability claims arising from
exposure to asbestos and other materials.

Cabot and certain unspecified third parties and their insurers,
have product liability exposure in connection with a safety
respirator products business that a subsidiary of Cabot acquired
in 1990 and disposed of in 1995.  Since December 2002, these
parties have been in negotiations to fix the allocation of these
liabilities among themselves but no agreement has been reached
as of presstime.

The specialty chemicals company has hired, Hamilton, Rabinovitz
& Alschuler, Inc, to assist in estimating these liabilities.  
The current estimate indicates that Cabot's share of these
liabilities is around $20,000,000.  This is based on a number of
assumptions, including an assessment of Cabot's contractual
obligations and the assumption that these other parties meet
their obligations.

Kennett F. Burnes, Cabot Chairman and CEO, said "Today's
operating environment continues to be extremely challenging.
Competition in the carbon black market is intense, and we are
currently experiencing downward price pressure at the same time
as our raw material costs are increasing.  While there are signs
of improvement in the electronics market, our tantalum business
is not yet benefiting from this due to high inventory levels in
the supply chain, and we expect that earnings of this business
will decline significantly beginning in fiscal 2004 as a
customer's obligation to purchase intermediate products
expires."

Cabot posted a loss in its third quarter, which the Company
attributes to its reconstructuring moves and liabilities.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: CCR Members to Pay Asbestos Settlement
-----------------------------------------------------------
Dana Corporation, Pfizer, Inc., Union Carbide Corporation and
other member companies of the Center for Claims Resolution (CCR)
get a blow as the Ohio Eighth District Court of Appeals upholds
six judgments from the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.

The ruling, written by Presiding Judge Patricia O. Blackmon,
requires each company to pay $120,000,000 to 15,000 asbestos
victims, all of whom are clients of the asbestos plaintiffs law
firm of Cleveland-based Kelley & Ferraro, LLP.

"These multinational corporations have agreed for years that
they had responsibility to contribute financially to the workers
and families victimized by asbestos exposure, and they should
have adhered to their agreement in the first place," says
Michael V. Kelley, managing partner of Kelley & Ferraro.

The decision is based on an agreement that was approved in
Cleveland in 1999 by Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Harry A.
Hanna.  The terms of the settlement called for member companies
to make payments to the plaintiffs every six months, from July
1999 through December 2004, for a total of $120,000,000,
according to a Reuters report.

In 2000, however, the member companies shorted the required
$10,000,000 payment by almost $1,000,000, claiming that one
member company, GAF Corporation, had refused to pay its share of
the payment. GAF later declared bankruptcy.  The CCR companies
further refused to make payments after various other members
also sought bankruptcy protection.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: RPM Takes $88M Charge for Asbestos
-------------------------------------------------------
RPM reports that it has taken $88,000,000 after-tax charge for
its asbestos liabilities, as of May 31, confident that it is
enough to cover its asbestos liabilities for three years.

"It is difficult for us to estimate our potential new asbestos
claims and costs beyond the next couple of years given a number
of recent events including positive changes in state liability
laws, particularly in a number of key states related to our
historic asbestos activity," stated Frank C. Sullivan, CEO in a
press release.

"Over time, these changes at the state level should reduce the
number of claims and our ultimate costs, though it is still too
soon to know the full impact. There are other state tort reform
initiatives underway, and if the recently introduced
Senate bill (S.1125 - FAIR Act) eventually becomes law, this
whole picture will change significantly. We obviously can't
predict when new laws may be enacted or what their effect may be
on RPM," Mr. Sullivan added.

Mr. Sullivan continued, "We believe this asbestos reserve will
be sufficient to cover our asbestos related costs for  
approximately three years. We will regularly evaluate the
adequacy of this reserve and related cash flow implications in
light of actual claims experience, the impact of state law
changes and the evolving nature of federal legislative efforts
to address asbestos litigation, and will make and communicate
appropriate adjustments as, and when, necessary."


ASBESTOS ALERT: Former Ship Engineer Dies of Mesothelioma
---------------------------------------------------------
Eric Adams, 82, an engineer who used to mold asbestos with his
tongue around engine room piping on ships in Plymouth Dockyard
during World War Two, succumbed to mesothelioma, July 4.

The Hollybush Lane resident applied for a Ministry of Defence
disability grant after he was diagnosed with the malignant tumor
in 1999.  Mr. Adams died at Duchess of Kent Hospice in
Liebenrood Road, Reading, and coroner Peter Bedford recorded a
verdict of death by industrial disease.


                  New Securities Fraud Cases


AVATAR HOLDINGS: Abbey Gardy Lodges Securities Suit in DE Court
---------------------------------------------------------------
Abbey Gardy, LLP initiated a securities class action in the
United States District Court for the District of Delaware on
behalf of a class of all persons or entities who hold 7%
convertible subordinated notes due April 1, 2005 sold by Avatar
Holdings Inc. (NasdaqNM:AVTR).

The complaint alleges that defendants violated Sections 12(a)(2)
and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933.  The complaint names as
defendants the Company, Gerald D. Kelfer, Avatar's Chief
Financial Officer, President and Vice Chairman, and Juanita I.
Kerrigan, Avatar's Vice President and Secretary.

Avatar is a corporation primarily engaged in real estate
operations in Florida and Arizona.  The case is brought in
connection with Avatar's July 1, 2003 announcement of its
redemption of $60 million of the $94,429 million in aggregate
principal amount of Notes outstanding.  The Notes were
convertible, at any time prior to maturity, to shares of Avatar
common stock at a conversion price of $31.80 per share or Avatar
could redeem the Notes at its option at specified prices.

Because Avatar is a real estate company, the true value of its
real estate holdings is critical to Noteholders in making a
decision whether to have their Notes redeemed for cash, or
whether to exchange those Notes for shares of Avatar's common
stock.  The Company's public documents state that its real
estate is valued at the lower of cost or market value.

Plaintiff alleges that Noteholders are unable to make an
informed decision whether to convert their Notes to Avatar
common stock or allow them to be redeemed because defendants
failed to disclose the basis on which the Company's land
inventories are valued.  The complaint seeks disclosure of this
material information or damages that flow from the failure to
disclose it.

For more details, contact Nancy Kaboolian by Phone:
(212) 889-3700 or 800-889-3701 or by E-mail:
nkaboolian@abbeygardy.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
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Beard Group, Inc., Washington, D.C.  Enid Sterling, Aurora
Fatima Antonio and Lyndsey Resnick, Editors.

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

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
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