CAR_Public/030815.mbx            C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R
  
            Friday, August 15, 2003, Vol. 5, No. 161

                        Headlines                            


ARIBA INC.: Agrees To Settle Consolidated Securities Suit in NY
ARIBA INC.: CA Court Consolidates Suit For Securities Violations
ARIBA INC.: Plaintiffs File Amended Derivative Suit in CA Court
ARIBA INC.: Plaintiffs File Amended Shareholder Derivative Suit
AUSTRALIA: Judge Gives Support For Pork Roll Lawsuit Settlement

BRISTOL-MYERS: Plaintiffs File Amended Securities Lawsuit in NJ
BRISTOL-MYERS: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Securities Fraud Lawsuit
BRISTOL-MYERS: Plaintiffs To File Amended ERISA Suit in S.D. NY
BRISTOL-MYERS: Plaintiffs To Seek Dismissal of AWP Master Suit
BROADCOM CORPORATION: Pre-trial Conference Set For December 2004

CAROLINA INVESTORS: Court To Include Investors Of Bankrupt Firm
CLECO CORPORATION: Customers File Antitrust Lawsuit in LA Court
FACTUAL DATA: Plaintiffs Lodge Amended Securities Lawsuit in CO
HECLA MINING: Plaintiffs File Amended Personal Injury Suit in ID
HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL: Mediation Ineffective, Discovery Starts

HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL: Plaintiffs File Amended Lawsuit in NJ
ILLINOIS: Faces Suit Over Mentally-Ill Inmates' Lack of Services
NEXTEL COMMUNICATIONS: Plaintiffs Appeal Dismissal of MD Lawsuit
NEXTEL COMMUNICATIONS: Asks JPML To Consolidate Consumer Suits
OLD REPUBLIC: Fairness Hearing For RESPA Suit Set October 2003

PAYPAL INC.: Certification For Consumer Suit Set November 2003
PAYPAL INC.: Shareholders Launch Suit in DE, CA Over Ebay Merger
SELECTICA INC.: Inks Settlement of NY Consolidated Stock Lawsuit
SEMINIS INC.: Faces Stock Suits Over Fox Paine Merger in DE, CA
SRI SURGICAL: Enters into MOU To Settle FL Securities Fraud Suit

SYKES ENTERPRISES: FL Court Grants Approval To Suit Settlement
TOWNE SERVICES: Agrees To Settle Securities Lawsuit in GA Court
TRIPOS INC.: Shareholders Commence Securities Fraud Suit in MO
TURNSTONE SYSTEMS: CA Court Grants Approval To Suit Settlement
TURNSTONE SYSTEMS: CA Court Approves Securities Suit Settlement

TURNSTONE SYSTEMS: Agrees To Settle Consolidated Securities Suit
UNITED STATES: Indian Farmers Want Farm Loans Collection To Stop
VIACOM: To Refund $13M To Ex-Cable Customers For Tax Surcharges
WELLS REAL: Court Grants Shareholder Motion To Intervene in Suit
XEROX CORPORATION: Discovery Proceeds in Securities Suit in CT

XEROX CORPORATION: Discovery Starts in CA Personal Injury Suits
XEROX CORPORATION: Court Upholds Damages Ruling In ERISA Lawsuit
XEROX CORPORATION: Ask CT Court To Dismiss ERISA Fraud Lawsuit
XEROX CORPORATION: Named as Defendant in Apartheid Lawsuit in NY

* Targeting Stockbrokers Who Hide Mutual Fund Costs

                          Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Israel City Asks Dismissal of Asbestos Suit
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Movie Sparks Hope for Victims of Asbestos
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Boss Continues to Face Asbestos Lawsuits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Eastman Battles Asbestos-Related Suits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Halliburton Gets More Asbestos Claims

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Honeywell Sues Loews Over Asbestos Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: PPL Reports Asbestos-Related Litigation
ASBESTOS ALERT: National Waterworks Not Fazed By Asbestos Claims
ASBESTOS ALERT: Scotts Company Fights Asbestos-Related Lawsuits

                     New Securities Fraud Cases

MATRIA HEALTHCARE: Chitwood & Harley Lodges Stock Lawsuit in GA
SINGING MACHINE: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Stock Lawsuit in FL

                        *********

ARIBA INC.: Agrees To Settle Consolidated Securities Suit in NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
Ariba, Inc. agreed to settle the consolidated securities class
action filed in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York against it, certain of its current
or former officers and directors and three of the underwriters
of its initial public offering.

The suit was purported to be brought on behalf of purchasers of
the Company's common stock in the period from June 23, 1999, the
date of the Company's initial public offering, to December 23,
1999 (or in some cases, to December 5 or 6, 2000).  The suit
made certain claims under the federal securities laws, including
Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended and
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934,
as amended relating to the Company's initial public offering.

The suit was further consolidated before a single judge with
cases brought against additional issuers (who numbered in excess
of 300) and their underwriters that made similar allegations
regarding the initial public offerings of those issuers.  The
latter consolidation was for purposes of pretrial motions and
discovery only.

On February 14, 2002, the parties signed and filed a stipulation
dismissing the consolidated action without prejudice against the
Company and certain individual officers and directors, which the
Court approved and entered as an order on March 1, 2002.

On April 19, 2002, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint in
which they dropped their claims against the Company and the
individual officers and directors under Sections 11 and 15 of
the Securities Act, but elected to proceed with their claims
against such defendants under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Exchange Act.

The amended complaint alleges that the prospectus pursuant to
which shares of common stock were sold in the Company's initial
public offering, which was incorporated in a registration
statement filed with the SEC, contained certain false and
misleading statements or omissions regarding the practices of
the Company's underwriters with respect to their allocation to
their customers of shares of common stock in the Company's
initial public offering and their receipt of commissions from
those customers related to such allocations.

The complaint further alleges that the underwriters provided
positive analyst coverage of the Company after the initial
public offering, which had the effect of manipulating the market
for the Company's stock.  Plaintiffs contend that such
statements and omissions from the prospectus and the alleged
market manipulation by the underwriters through the use of
analysts caused the Company's post-initial public offering stock
price to be artificially inflated.  Plaintiffs seek compensatory
damages in unspecified amounts as well as other relief.

On July 15, 2002, the Company and the officer and director
defendants, along with other issuers and their related officer
and director defendants, filed a joint motion to dismiss based
on common issues.  On November 23, 2002, during the pendency of
the motion to dismiss, the Court entered as an order a
stipulation by which all of the individual defendants were
dismissed from the case without prejudice in return for
executing a tolling agreement.

On February 19, 2003, the court rendered its decision on the
motion to dismiss, granting a dismissal of the remaining
Section 10(b) claim against the Company without prejudice.  
Plaintiffs have indicated that they intend to file an amended
complaint.

On June 24, 2003, a Special Litigation Committee of the Board of
Directors of the Company approved a Memorandum of Understanding
(MOU) reflecting a settlement in which the plaintiffs agreed to
dismiss the case against the Company with prejudice in return
for the assignment by the Company of claims that the Company
might have against its underwriters.  No payment to the
plaintiffs by the Company is required under the MOU.


ARIBA INC.: CA Court Consolidates Suit For Securities Violations
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
California consolidated the securities class actions filed
against Ariba, Inc. and certain of its current and former
officers and directors, all purporting to be brought on behalf
of a class of purchasers of the Company's common stock in the
period from January 11, 2000 to January 15, 2003.

The complaints bring claims under the federal securities laws,
specifically Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Exchange Act,
relating to the Company's announcement that it would restate
certain of its consolidated financial statements, and, in the
case of two complaints, relating to the Company's acquisition
activity and related accounting.

Specifically, these actions allege that certain of the Company's
prior consolidated financial statements contained false and
misleading statements or omissions relating to its failure to
properly recognize expenses and other financial items, as
reflected in the then proposed restatement.  Plaintiffs contend
that such statements or omissions caused the Company's stock
price to be artificially inflated.  Plaintiffs seek compensatory
damages as well as other relief.

In a series of orders issued by the court in February and March
2003, these cases were deemed related to each other and assigned
to a single judge sitting in San Jose.  On July 11, 2003,
following briefing and a hearing on related motions, the court
entered two orders that together consolidated the related cases
for all purposes into a single action captioned "In re Ariba,
Inc. Securities Litigation: Case No. C-03-00277 JF, appointed a
lead plaintiff, and approved the lead plaintiff's selection of
counsel.

The orders further direct the lead plaintiff to file an amended
consolidated class action complaint within sixty days of the
date of the orders, i.e., on or around September 9, 2003, and
direct defendants to file their responses to that complaint on
or around November 10, 2003.  This case is still in its early
stages.


ARIBA INC.: Plaintiffs File Amended Derivative Suit in CA Court
---------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs filed an amended shareholder derivative suit in the
Superior Court of California of Santa Clara County against
Ariba, Inc. (as a nominal defendant) and the Company's officers
and directors.  These actions were filed by shareholders
purporting to assert, on behalf of the Company, claims for:

     (1) breach of fiduciary duties,

     (2) aiding and abetting,

     (3) violations of the California insider trading law,

     (4) abuse of control,

     (5) gross mismanagement,

     (6) waste of corporate assets,

     (7) unjust enrichment, and

     (8) contribution and indemnification

Specifically, the claims were based on the Company's acquisition
activity and related accounting implemented by the defendants,
the alleged understatement of compensation expenses as reflected
in the Company's then proposed restatement, the alleged insider
trading by certain defendants, the existence of the restatement
class action litigation, in which the Company is alleged to be
liable to defrauded investors, and the allegedly excessive
compensation paid by the Company to one of its officers, as
reflected in the Company's then proposed restatement.  The
complaints sought the payment by the defendants to the Company
of damages allegedly suffered by the Company, as well as other
relief.

These actions were assigned to a single judge sitting in San
Jose.  On May 7, 2003 following briefing and hearing on related
motions, the court issued an order that consolidated the cases
for all purposes into a single action captioned "In re Ariba,
Inc. Shareholder Derivative Litigation", Lead Case No. CV
814325, and appointed lead plaintiffs' counsel.

Pursuant to that order, plaintiffs filed an amended consolidated
derivative complaint on May 28, 2003.  The amended consolidated
complaint restates the allegations, causes of action and relief
sought as pleaded in the original complaints, and adds
allegations relating to the Company's April 10, 2003
announcement of the restatement of certain financial statements
and also adds a cause of action for breach of contract.

Defendants' responses to the amended consolidated complaint are
currently due on August 13, 2003.  This case is still in its
early stages.


ARIBA INC.: Plaintiffs File Amended Shareholder Derivative Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs filed an amended shareholder derivative suit in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of
California against Ariba, Inc. (as a nominal defendant) and
certain of the Company's current and former officers and
directors.

Several actions were filed by shareholders purporting to assert,
on behalf of the Company, claims for violations of the Sarbanes-
Oxley Act, violations of the California insider trading law,
breach of fiduciary duties, misappropriation of information,
abuse of control, gross mismanagement, waste of corporate assets
and unjust enrichment.

Specifically, the claims were based on the Company's
announcements that it intended to and/or had restated certain
financial statements and on alleged insider trading by certain
defendants.  The complaints sought the payment by the defendants
to the Company of damages allegedly suffered by the Company, as
well as other relief.

By orders issued by the court on May 27 and June 23, 2003, these
two derivative cases were deemed related to each other and to
the securities class actions pending before the same court as
now consolidated into "In re Ariba, Inc. Securities Litigation,"
Case No. C-03-00277 JF, and accordingly these two derivative
actions were assigned to the same judge sitting in San Jose
assigned to that action.

On June 23, 2003, following submission of a related stipulation
of the parties, the Court issued an order that consolidated the
two derivative cases for all purposes into a single action
captioned "In re Ariba, Inc. Derivative Litigation," Case No. C-
03-02172 JF, and appointed lead plaintiffs' counsel.

In accordance with that order, plaintiffs filed an amended
consolidated derivative complaint on June 26, 2003.  The amended
consolidated complaint restates the allegations, causes of
action and relief sought as pleaded in the original complaints.  
Defendants' responses to the amended consolidated complaint are
currently due in September 2003.  This case is still in its
early stages.


AUSTRALIA: Judge Gives Support For Pork Roll Lawsuit Settlement
---------------------------------------------------------------
A Victorian judge recently gave in-principle support for
compensation to be paid to more than 200 people made ill after
eating contaminated pork rolls.  One man died and 213 people
fell ill with gastroenteritis, with 22 of them hospitalized,
after eating pork rolls from the Thanh Pu restaurant in a
suburban area of Melbourne, according to the Australian
Associated Press General News.

Melbourne law firm Maurice Blackman Cashman launched a class
action against Than Phu Pty Ltd, the restaurant operator, and
its director Van Hai Nguyen, 54, in February.  Barrister Paul
Bingham, for Maurice Blackburn Cashman, told the Victorian
Supreme Court a settlement had been reached between the two
parties.

Justice Bernard Bongiorno said he would approve the settlement
"in principle."  However, he asked the solicitors involved in
the case to amend a newspaper advertisement detailing the
settlement before he would officially approve it.

Eric Tang, 49, died after eating pork rolls from the restaurant
containing a spread harboring salmonella.  Other customers
suffered severe stomach pains, diarrhea, vomiting and fever.  
Some of the victims were put on drips, one woman was given
morphine to cope with the pain; while another was kept in
hospital for a week.  

In June, the Sunshine Magistrates Court convicted and fined the
restaurant $100,500 and the director, Mr. Nguyen $5,500.  The
restaurateur and his company also were ordered to pay costs of
$20,000.


BRISTOL-MYERS: Plaintiffs File Amended Securities Lawsuit in NJ
---------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs filed an amended securities class action filed
against Bristol-Myers Squibb, its former chairman of the board
and chief executive officer, Charles A. Heimbold, Jr., and its
former chief scientific officer, Peter S. Ringrose, Ph.D. in the
United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.

The suit alleges violations of federal securities laws and
regulations.  The plaintiff claims that the defendants
disseminated materially false and misleading statements and/or
failed to disclose material information concerning the safety,
efficacy and commercial viability of its product VANLEV during
the period November 8, 1999 through March 20, 2002.

A number of related class actions, making essentially the same
allegations, were also filed in the US District Court for the
Southern District of New York.  These actions have been
transferred to the US District Court for the District of New
Jersey.  The plaintiff purports to seek compensatory damages,
costs and expenses on behalf of shareholders.

It is not possible at this time reasonably to assess the final
outcome of this litigation or reasonably to estimate the
possible loss or range of loss with respect to this litigation.  
If the Company were not to prevail in final, non-appealable
determinations of this litigation, the impact could be material.


BRISTOL-MYERS: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Securities Fraud Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Bristol-Myers Squibb asked the United States District Court for
the Southern District of New York to dismiss the consolidated
class action filed against it and a number of its current and
former officers, alleging violations of federal securities laws
and regulations.

The plaintiffs variously alleged that the defendants
disseminated materially false and misleading statements and
failed to disclose material information concerning three
different matters:

     (1) safety, efficacy and commercial viability of VANLEV,

     (2) the Company's sales incentives to certain wholesalers
         and the inventory levels of those wholesalers, and

     (3) the Company's investment in and relations with ImClone,
         and ImClone's product, ERBITUX

The allegations concerning VANLEV have been transferred to the
US District Court for the District of New Jersey and
consolidated with the action pending there.  The remaining
actions have been consolidated and are pending in the US
District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Plaintiffs filed a consolidated class action complaint on April
11, 2003 alleging a class period of October 19, 1999 through
March 10, 2003.  The consolidated class action complaint alleges
violations of federal securities laws in connection with, among
other things, the ImClone matter, and certain accounting issues,
including issues related wholesaler inventory and sales
incentives, the establishment of reserves, and accounting for
certain asset and other sales.  The plaintiffs seek compensatory
damages, costs and expenses.


BRISTOL-MYERS: Plaintiffs To File Amended ERISA Suit in S.D. NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs intend to file an amended class action against
Bristol-Myers Squibb in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York, making claims under the Employee
Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA).  The
suit also name as defendants:

     (1) the Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Savings Plan Committee  
         (Committee),

     (2) 13 individuals who presently serve on the Committee or
          who served on the Committee in the recent past,

     (3) Charles A. Heimbold, Jr. and

     (4) Peter R. Dolan (the past and present Chief Executive
         Officer, respectively, of the Company)

The consolidated complaint is brought on behalf of five named
plaintiffs and a putative class consisting of all participants
in the Company retirement program and their beneficiaries for
whose benefit the Savings Plan held and/or acquired Company
stock at any time on or after January 1, 1999 (excluding the
defendants, their heirs, predecessors, successors and assigns).

The complaint generally alleges that the defendants breached
their fiduciary duties under ERISA after January 1, 1999 by
continuing to offer the Company Stock Fund and Company stock as
investment alternatives under the Savings Plan; by, among other
things, continuing to invest Company matching contributions in
the Company Stock Fund and Company stock and by failing to
disclose that the investments in Company stock were (allegedly)
imprudent.  The Savings Plan's purchases of Company stock after
January 1, 1999 are alleged to have been transactions prohibited
by ERISA.  Finally, Mr. Heimbold and Mr. Dolan are alleged to
have breached their fiduciary duties under ERISA by failing to
monitor the actions of the Committee.

The litigations are at a very preliminary stage.  There has not
been any significant discovery.  It is not possible at this time
reasonably to predict the final outcome or reasonably to
estimate the possible loss or range of loss with respect to the
consolidated litigation.  If the Company were not to prevail in
final, non-appealable determinations of these matters, the
impact could be material.


BRISTOL-MYERS: Plaintiffs To Seek Dismissal of AWP Master Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Bristol-Myers Squibb intends to ask for the dismissal of the
amended master class action that started from several private
class actions brought against it and a number of other
pharmaceutical manufacturers by the Nevada and Montana Attorneys
General and the County of Suffolk, New York.  The suits were
later consolidated for pre-trial purposes under the caption "In
re Pharmaceutical Industry Average Wholesale Price Litigation"
before United States District Judge Patti B. Saris in the
District of Massachusetts.

On September 6, 2002, several of the private plaintiffs in the
AWP Multidistrict Litigation filed a Master Consolidated Class
Action Complaint (Master Complaint), which superseded the
complaints in their pre-consolidated constituent cases.  
Defendants moved to dismiss the Master Complaint and, in a
decision dated May 12, 2003, the court granted in part and
denied in part the motion and gave plaintiffs leave to re-plead
the dismissed portions.

On June 12, 2003, plaintiffs in the AWP Multidistrict Litigation
served a proposed amended master consolidated complaint.  On
June 18, 2003, the Court granted plaintiffs' motion for leave to
file the amended master complaint, but also set a briefing
schedule on a proposed motion by defendants, including the
Company, to dismiss the amended master complaint for failure to
state a cause of action.

The amended master complaint contains two sets of allegations
against the Company.  First, it alleges that the Company's and
many other pharmaceutical manufacturers' reporting of prices for
certain drug products (20 listed drugs in the Company's case)
had the effect of falsely overstating the Average Wholesale
Price (AWP) published in industry compendia, which in turn
improperly inflated the reimbursement paid to medical providers
and others who prescribed and administered those products.

Second, it alleges that the Company and certain other defendant
pharmaceutical manufacturers conspired with one another in a
program called the "Together Rx Card Program" to fix AWPs for
certain drugs made available to consumers through the Program.  
The amended master complaint asserts claims under the federal
Racketeer Influenced and antitrust statutes and state consumer
protection and fair trade statutes.

The Amended Master Complaint is brought on behalf of two main
proposed classes, which are further divided into sub-classes:

     (1) all persons or entities who, from 1991 forward,
         directly paid any portion of the price of a listed
         drug, which price was calculated with reference to AWP
         or contracted with a pharmacy benefit manager to
         provide others with the drugs listed in the Amended
         Consolidated Complaint; and

     (2) all persons or entities who, from 2002 forward, paid or
         reimbursed any portion of the purchase price of a drug
         covered by the Together Rx Card Program based in whole
         or in part on AWP.

The Company and the other defendants intend to move to dismiss
the Amended Master Complaint on the grounds it fails to state
claims under the applicable statutes.  It is anticipated that
those motions will be heard by the court on November 12, 2003.  
In the interim, the court in the AWP Multidistrict Litigation
has ruled that discovery should proceed on the limited claims
and identified drugs against those defendant manufacturers that
remain after the dismissal in part of the first master
complaint.

The Nevada and Montana Attorneys General complaints assert
claims similar to those in the Amended Master Complaint under
state law, but also assert claims in the name of their
respective States for alleged violations of state Medicaid fraud
statutes.  The Nevada and Montana Attorneys General moved to
have their respective cases remanded to state court on the
ground that there is no federal jurisdiction.

On June 11, 2003, the court ruled that the Nevada action should
be remanded to state court on the ground that not all defendants
had joined in the original removal petition.  The court retained
jurisdiction over the Montana case.  It is anticipated that
defendants will move to dismiss that case on a motion schedule
similar to that established for the amended master complaint.


BROADCOM CORPORATION: Pre-trial Conference Set For December 2004
----------------------------------------------------------------
Pre-trial conference for the consolidated securities class
action filed against Broadcom Corporation and its executive
officers has been set for December 2004 in the United States
District Court for the Central District of California.

The suit alleges violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934, as amended.  This case is now in discovery.  The court has
established a discovery cut-off in September 2003.  

In February 2002 an additional complaint was filed by several
persons and entities in the Superior Court of the State of
California for the County of Orange, against the Company and
several of its executive officers.  The Company removed the
lawsuit to the United States District Court for the Central
District of California.  The plaintiffs subsequently filed an
amended complaint in that court that tracks the allegations of
the existing federal class action complaint.

The Company believes the allegations in this lawsuit are also
without merit and is defending the action vigorously.  The Court
has established a discovery cut-off in November 2003 and has set
the case for a pre-trial conference in February 2004.  The
Company anticipates that the schedule in this case will be
coordinated with the federal class action case.


CAROLINA INVESTORS: Court To Include Investors Of Bankrupt Firm
---------------------------------------------------------------
The US Bankruptcy Court has proposed a plan that would include
paying investors in the now bankrupt Carolina Investors, The
Associated Press Newswires reports.  By this inclusion, 8,000
people who invested about $275 million into the company could
get some of their money back if the plan is approval.

Under the proposal, all assets of Carolina Investors and its
parent company HomeGold, also bankrupt, would be undertaken by
attorney Ralph C. McCullough from the Columbia, South Carolina
firm Finkel & Altman.  Mr. McCullough would serve as trustee to
oversee the sale of the companies' assets.

The funds derived from sale of the companies' assets and all
other assets would be pooled into one account that the
Bankruptcy Court would supervise.  First, the secured creditors
would be repaid, and second, the unsecured creditors, which
would include the 8,000 investors, would be paid.

During this period of sale of company assets and other steps
leading up to actual disbursements, an oversight committee of
unsecured creditors would continue to monitor the bankruptcies
of Carolina Investors and its parent company.  This plan,
consisting of nearly 85 pages, was born out of more than four
months of negotiations with attorneys, court officials and
financial experts.

The investors have until September 3 to mail ballots accepting
or rejecting the plan to US Bankruptcy Court in Columbia.  After
the vote, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge William Thurmond Bishop
will decide by September 8, whether the plan will be used.

Many of the investors have complained that the documents
explaining the plan and the ballot are filled with legal
terminology making it hard for the investors to understand and
make a knowledgeable choice.  However, Greenville attorney Susan
Gaddy said she has a lot of questions to be answered before she
advises her class-action lawsuit clients to vote for or against
the plan.

"We are concerned because people are being asked to vote on
something they cannot possibly understand," said Ms. Gaddy.  
"The devil is in the details, so we are trying to improve the
details and thus improve the amount that can be returned to
investors under the plan."

Ms. Gaddy plans to meet with other attorneys and the plan's
creators to work out problems.  She cautioned investors not to
cast their votes until changes have been made to the plan."

If the plan does not receive approval from at least 50 percent
of the companies' creditors, the case will move to an automatic
Chapter 7 liquidation of the companies.


CLECO CORPORATION: Customers File Antitrust Lawsuit in LA Court
---------------------------------------------------------------
Cleco Corporation faces a class action filed in the 27th
Judicial District Court, Parish of St. Landry, Louisiana on
behalf of all of Cleco Power LLC's retail customers.  The suit
also names as defendants:

     (1) Cleco Power LLC,

     (2) Midstream,

     (3) Marketing & Trading,

     (4) Evangeline,

     (5) Acadia, and

     (6) Westar Energy

The petition centers around the Company's trading activities
first disclosed by it in November 2002.  The plaintiffs allege,
among other things, that the defendants' conduct was in
violation of Louisiana antitrust law.  They seek treble damages,
restitution, injunctive and other relief.

The lawsuit is still in its formative stages; therefore,
management is unable to estimate the impact on the Company's
financial condition or results of operations.


FACTUAL DATA: Plaintiffs Lodge Amended Securities Lawsuit in CO
---------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs file an amended securities class action in the
District Court for the County of Larimer, Colorado, against
Factual Data Corporation and:

     (1) Jerald H. Donnan,

     (2) Todd A. Neiberger,

     (3) Robert J. Terry,

     (4) J. Barton Goodwin,

     (5) Daniel G. Helle,

     (6) Abdul H. Rajput and

     (7) James N. Donnan

The plaintiff alleges, among other things, that the individual
defendants engaged in self-dealing in connection with the
approval of the merger agreement and the merger.  The plaintiff
also claims the individual defendants obtained benefits not
shared by the plaintiff, and that they breached their fiduciary
duties of care, loyalty, candor and independence owed under
Colorado law to the Company's public shareholders.  The
plaintiff further alleges that the Company aided and abetted the
other defendants' breaches of fiduciary duty.

The plaintiff seeks certification of the case as a class action,
and preliminary and permanent injunctive relief declaring that
the proposed merger agreement is unlawful and unenforceable.  
The plaintiff also seeks an order enjoining consummation of the
agreement, and an order directing the defendants to exercise
their fiduciary duties to obtain a transaction in the best
interests of Company shareholders, and that they arrange to
rescind any implemented terms of the proposed transaction.  
Finally, the plaintiff demands that the court impose a trust on
any benefits received by the defendants, and award attorneys'
fees and costs.

On July 17, 2003, the Company and its directors filed a motion
to dismiss the lawsuit based on the plaintiff's lack of standing
and his failure to state a claim for relief.  On July 23, 2003
the plaintiff filed a motion for expedited discovery.  The
defendants filed a brief in opposition to this motion.  On July
31, 2003, the plaintiff amended his complaint to include
monetary damages based on alleged self-dealing and various
alleged breaches of fiduciary duties by the defendants.  The
defendants intend to file an amended motion to dismiss the
amended complaint.  

The Company's board of directors believes that they have met and
will continue to meet their fiduciary obligations.  The Company
and its directors believe the suit is completely without merit.


HECLA MINING: Plaintiffs File Amended Personal Injury Suit in ID
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs filed an amended class action in the Idaho District
Court, County of Kootenai, against several corporate defendants,
including Hecla Mining Co.

The complaint seeks certification of three plaintiff classes of
Coeur d'Alene Basin residents and current and former property
owners to pursue several types of relief:

     (1) various medical monitoring programs,

     (2) real property remediation and restoration programs, and

     (3) damages for diminution in property value, and

     (4) other damages and costs

On April 23, 2002, the Company filed a motion with the court to
dismiss the claims for relief relating to any medical monitoring
programs and the remediation and restoration programs.  At a
hearing before the Idaho District Court on the Company's and
other defendants' motions held October 16, 2002, the Judge
struck the complaint filed by the plaintiffs in January 2002 and
instructed the plaintiffs to re-file the complaint limiting the
relief requested by the plaintiffs to wholly private damages.  
The court also dismissed the medical monitoring claim as a
separate cause of action and stated that any requested remedy
that encroached upon the Environmental Protection Agency's
cleanup in the Silver Valley would be precluded by the suit.

The plaintiffs re-filed their amended complaint on January 9,
2003.  As ordered by the court, the amended complaint omits any
cause of action for medical monitoring and no longer requests
relief in the form of real property remediation or restoration
programs.  At a hearing on May 7, 2003, the court vacated the
entire amended complaint, issued sanctions against Plaintiffs'
counsel for noncompliance with Idaho law, and gave Plaintiffs'
counsel until June 30, 2003, to re-file an amended complaint
that complies with Idaho law.

Plaintiffs submitted a second amended complaint on June 9, 2003,
which the Company has answered.  The Company believes the claims
alleged against it are subject to challenge on a number of
points.


HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL: Mediation Ineffective, Discovery Starts
----------------------------------------------------------------
Mediation for the consolidated class action filed against
Honeywell International, Inc. seven of its current and former in
the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
proved unsuccessful.

The suit principally alleges that the defendants violated
federal securities laws by purportedly making false and
misleading statements and by failing to disclose material
information concerning the Company's financial performance,
thereby allegedly causing the value of the Company's stock to be
artificially inflated.

On January 15, 2002, the court dismissed the consolidated
complaint against four of the Company's current and former
officers.  The court has granted plaintiffs' motion for class
certification defining the purported class as all purchasers of
Company stock between December 20, 1999 and June 19, 2000.

The parties participated in a two-day settlement mediation in
April 2003 in an attempt to resolve the cases without resort to
a trial.  The mediation proved unsuccessful in resolving the
cases.  Discovery in the cases, which had been stayed pending
completion of the mediation, has resumed.

The Company continues to believe that the allegations in the
suit are without merit.


HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL: Plaintiffs File Amended Lawsuit in NJ
--------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs file an amended class action against Honeywell
International, Inc. and several of its current and former
officers in the United States District Court for the District of
New Jersey.

The complaint principally alleges that the defendants breached
their fiduciary duties to participants in the Honeywell Savings
and Ownership Plan by purportedly making false and misleading
statements, failing to disclose material information concerning
Honeywell's financial performance, and failing to diversify the
Savings Plan's assets and monitor the prudence of Honeywell
stock as a Savings Plan investment.

No answers have been filed and discovery has not commenced.  
Although it is not possible at this time to predict the outcome
of this litigation, the Company believes that the allegations in
these complaints are without merit and expects to prevail.


ILLINOIS: Faces Suit Over Mentally-Ill Inmates' Lack of Services
----------------------------------------------------------------
Disability rights advocates today filed a class action in the US
District Court in Chicago, Illinois on behalf of individuals
with mental illness who are incarcerated by the Cook County
Department of Corrections awaiting trial pending criminal
charges, the Associated Press Newswires reports.

"People with psychiatric disabilities are entitled to equal
access to government programs and services, including those
provided by Cook County Jail," said Barry C. Taylor, legal
advocacy director for Equip for Equality, one of the groups
representing inmates in the lawsuit.

"The ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) prohibits people with
disabilities from being excluded because of mental illness.  Our
lawsuit seeks to rectify this unfair exclusion so people with
psychiatric labels can receive the same opportunities as other
detainees," he continued.

The lawsuit, which alleges violations of the ADA and the 14th
Amendment, names as lead defendants John Stroger, President,
Cook County Board and Michael Sheahan, Sheriff of Cook County.  
The lawsuit alleges that Cook County inmates with mental
illnesses are denied access to substance abuse programs and are
barred from participating in various supervised community
release programs, in violation of the ADA.  It also contends
that 14th Amendment due process has been denied because
individuals with mental illnesses are released into the
community without arrangements for case management or to access
necessary medication or mental health services.

An estimate 1,500 people with chronic mental illnesses are
incarcerated in the Cook County jail at any given time.  Many
have committed low-level offenses, and it is believed that at
least 60 inmates, and possibly many more could be served in the
jail's supervised community and treatment programs if they were
not excluded because of their psychiatric disability.


NEXTEL COMMUNICATIONS: Plaintiffs Appeal Dismissal of MD Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs appealed the United States District Court in
Baltimore, Maryland's decision dismissing the class action filed
against Nextel Communications, Inc, alleging that wireless
telephones pose a health risk to users of those telephones and
that the defendants failed to disclose these risks.

Similar suits are pending in other state courts in Pennsylvania,
New York and Georgia.  The court granted the defendants' motions
to dismiss.  


NEXTEL COMMUNICATIONS: Asks JPML To Consolidate Consumer Suits
--------------------------------------------------------------
Nextel Communications, Inc. asked the Judicial Panel for Multi-
district Litigation to consolidated several lawsuits filed
against it in several state and federal courts around the United
States, challenging the manner by which the Company recovers the
costs to it of:

     (1) federally mandated universal service,

     (2) Telecommunications Relay Service payment requirements
         imposed by the FCC, and

     (3) complying with federal regulatory requirements to
         provide E911, telephone number pooling and telephone
         number portability (including costs to implement
         changes to the Company's network)

In general, these plaintiffs claim that the Company's rate
structure that breaks out and assesses federal program cost
recovery fees on monthly customer bills is misleading and
unlawful.  The plaintiffs generally seek injunctive relief and
damages on behalf of a class of customers, including a refund of
amounts collected under these regulatory line item assessments.


OLD REPUBLIC: Fairness Hearing For RESPA Suit Set October 2003
--------------------------------------------------------------
Fairness hearing for the settlement proposed by Old Republic
International Corporation is set for October 24,2003 in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of
Georgia.

The suit was filed against the Company's principal mortgage
guaranty insurance subsidiary.  The suit alleges that the
subsidiary provided pool insurance and other services to
mortgage lenders at preferential, below market prices in return
for mortgage insurance business.  The suit further alleges that
the practices violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act
(RESPA).  

Substantially identical lawsuits were also filed against all of
the other mortgage guaranty insurers.  The Company's subsidiary
filed a summary judgment motion which the court ruled on
favorably, dismissing the lawsuit.

The class plaintiffs appealed, and the US Court of Appeals for
the Eleventh Circuit vacated the judgment and remanded the case
to the district court.  The subsidiary again filed motions
seeking summary judgment on grounds it had asserted earlier but
which were not considered by the court and opposing
certification of the class.

On February 5, 2003, the court denied class certification.  The
plaintiffs petitioned the court to reconsider its ruling or,
alternatively, to certify sub-classes.  In order to bring the
matter to a conclusion and avoid the uncertainties and expenses
of further litigation, the subsidiary entered into settlement
negotiations with the plaintiffs and reached a settlement, which
the court preliminarily approved on June 3, 2003.


PAYPAL INC.: Certification For Consumer Suit Set November 2003
--------------------------------------------------------------
Class certification hearing for a class action filed against
Paypal, Inc. is set for November 17, 2003 in California
state court.

The suit alleges that the Company's restriction of customer
accounts and failure to promptly unrestrict legitimate accounts
violates state consumer protection law and is an unfair business
practice and a breach of PayPal's User Agreement.  

The federal court has denied the Company's motion to compel
individual arbitration as required by the PayPal User Agreement
and has invalidated that provision of the User Agreement.  
PayPal has appealed that decision to the US Court of Appeals for
the Ninth Circuit.

The parties are currently engaged in class certification
discovery.  The Company is defending itself vigorously, but if
it is unable to prevail in these lawsuits, it may have to change
its anti-fraud operations in a manner that will harm its
business and pay substantial damages.

Even if its defense is successful, the litigation could damage
PayPal's reputation, could require significant management time,
will be costly and could require changes to its customer service
and operations that could increase its costs and decrease the
effectiveness of its anti-fraud program.


PAYPAL INC.: Shareholders Launch Suit in DE, CA Over Ebay Merger
----------------------------------------------------------------
Paypal, Inc. faces several class actions filed following
announcement of the PayPal merger with Ebay.  Three suits were
filed in the court of Chancery in the State of Delaware in and
for New Castle County, and two were filed in the Superior Court
of the State of California, County of Santa Clara, by alleged
Company stockholders.

These complaints name as defendants the Company and each member
of its board of directors as well as eBay.  The complaints are
purported class actions that allege, among other things, that
eBay controlled PayPal prior to the execution of their merger
agreement, the defendants breached fiduciary duties they
assertedly owed to PayPal's stockholders in connection with
PayPal entering into the merger agreement and the exchange ratio
in the merger was unfair and inadequate.  The plaintiffs seek,
among other things, an award of unspecified compensatory
damages.


SELECTICA INC.: Inks Settlement of NY Consolidated Stock Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Selectica, Inc. agreed to settle the consolidated securities
class action filed against it, certain of its officers and
directors, and Credit Suisse First Boston Corporation (CSFB), as
the underwriters of its March 13, 2000 initial public offering
(IPO), in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York.

The suit was consolidated before a single judge along with cases
brought against numerous other issuers, their officers and
directors and their underwriters, that make similar allegations
involving the allocation of shares in the IPOs of those issuers.  
The consolidation was for purposes of pretrial motions and
discovery only.

The amended complaint alleges that the Company, the officer and
director defendants and CSFB violated federal securities laws by
making material false and misleading statements in the
prospectus incorporated in its registration statement on Form S-
1 filed with the SEC in March 2000 in connection with the
Company's IPO.

Specifically, the complaint alleges, among other things, that
CSFB solicited and received excessive and undisclosed
commissions from several investors in exchange for which CSFB
allocated to those investors material portions of the restricted
number of shares of common stock issued in the Company's IPO.

The complaint further alleges that CSFB entered into agreements
with its customers in which it agreed to allocate the common
stock sold in the Company IPO to certain customers in exchange
for which such customers agreed to purchase additional shares of
common stock in the after-market at pre-determined prices.

The complaint also alleges that the underwriters offered to
provide positive market analyst coverage for the Company after
the IPO, which had the effect of manipulating the market for
Selectica's stock.


On July 15, 2002, the Company and the officer and director
defendants, along with other issuers and their related officer
and director defendants, filed a joint motion to dismiss based
on common issues.  Opposition and reply papers were filed and
the court heard oral argument.

Prior to the ruling on the motion to dismiss, on October 8,
2002, the individual officers and directors entered into a
stipulation of dismissal and tolling agreement with plaintiffs.  
As part of that agreement, plaintiffs dismissed the case without
prejudice against the individual defendants.  The court ordered
the dismissal of the officers and directors without prejudice on
October 9, 2002.  The court rendered its decision on the motion
to dismiss on February 19, 2003, denying dismissal of the
Company.

On June 25, 2003, a Special Committee of the Board of Directors
of the Company approved a Memorandum of Understanding (the MOU)
reflecting a settlement in which the plaintiffs agreed to
dismiss the case against the Company with prejudice in return
for the assignment by the Company of claims that the Company
might have against its underwriters.  No payment to the
plaintiffs by the Company is required under the MOU.  There can
be no assurance that the MOU will result in a formal settlement
or that the Court will approve the settlement that the MOU sets
forth.


SEMINIS INC.: Faces Stock Suits Over Fox Paine Merger in DE, CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Seminis, Inc. faces five class actions relating to the proposed
transaction under which Fox Paine and several Savia-related
parties would acquire all of the outstanding shares of the
Company.  Four of these actions were filed in Delaware Court of
Chancer for New Castle County, namely:

     (1) Garry Firth v. Alfonso Romo Garza, et al.,

     (2) Boris Pozniak v. Alfonso Romo Garza, et al.,

     (3) Pablo Herranz v. Seminis, Inc., et al., and

     (4) Haven Capital Management v. Seminis, Inc., et al.,

The fifth suit, Mark Rosales v. Seminis, Inc., was filed in
California Superior Court (Ventura County).  The California
complaint names as defendants the Company and its directors.

In February 2003, the Firth, Pozniak, Herranz and Haven Capital
cases were consolidated into one proceeding entitled "In re
Seminis, Inc. Shareholders Litigation," and the "Haven Capital"
complaint was designated as the operative complaint in the
consolidated lawsuit.  That complaint names as defendants Savia,
the Company and the Company's directors.

Both the Delaware consolidated action and the California action
purport to be brought on behalf of Seminis common stockholders
or their successors.  Both of these actions-which were brought
prior to the public announcement of Seminis entering into the
merger agreement-allege that the merger, if consummated, would
provide insufficient consideration to Seminis common
stockholders and allege that the defendants breached their
fiduciary duties in connection with the transaction.  The
complaints seek a preliminary and permanent injunction to enjoin
the transaction and, in the event the transaction is
consummated, rescission and damages.


SRI SURGICAL: Enters into MOU To Settle FL Securities Fraud Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
SRI Surgical Express, Inc. entered into a memorandum of
understanding to settle the consolidated securities class action
filed in the United States District Court for the Middle
District of Florida against it and certain of its officers and
directors on behalf of purchasers of the Company's common stock
during the period from March 30, 2001 through April 1, 2002.

The suit alleges violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated under
that act, alleging among other things, that during the class
period the Company and the individual defendants made materially
false statements concerning the Company's financial condition
and its future prospects.


SYKES ENTERPRISES: FL Court Grants Approval To Suit Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Middle District of
Florida granted approval to the settlement proposed by Sykes
Enterprises, Inc. for the class action filed on behalf of a
class of purchasers of the Company's common stock during the
period from July 27, 1998 through September 18, 2000.

The consolidated action claims violations of Sections 10(b) and
20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder.  Among other things, the consolidated
action alleged that during 2000, 1999 and 1998, the Company and
certain of its officers made materially false statements
concerning the Company's financial condition and its future
prospects.

The consolidated complaint also claimed that certain of the
Company's quarterly financial statements during 1999 and 1998
were not prepared in accordance with accounting principles
generally accepted in the United States of America.  The
consolidated action sought compensatory and other damages, and
costs and expenses associated with the litigation.

Although the Company denied the plaintiff's allegations and has
defended the action vigorously, due to the extremely high costs
and risks of litigation, as well as the drain on management time
and attention, the Company agreed to a settlement of the suit
with the plaintiffs.  The settlement resulted in a cash payment
of $30.0 million.  


TOWNE SERVICES: Agrees To Settle Securities Lawsuit in GA Court
---------------------------------------------------------------
Towne Services, Inc. agreed to settle a securities class action
filed against it, two of its former officers and a current
officer in the District Court of Georgia, Atlanta Division.

The suit alleged, among other things, that the Company should
have disclosed in the prospectus used for its secondary public
offering in June1999 that it allegedly experienced serious
problems with its network infrastructure and processing
facilities during the move of its corporate headquarters in June
1999, and that these problems allegedly led to a higher than
usual number of customers terminating their contracts during the
second quarter.  The suit seeks an unspecified amount of
damages.  The Company and its officers answered, denying
liability.

The parties reached a tentative settlement, which is subject to
certain conditions including court approval, and which is
memorialized in a Memorandum of Understanding signed January 17,
2003.  Counsel for plaintiffs agreed to dismiss all claims and
release all defendants for a negotiated settlement amount which
will be funded by the Company's directors and officers insurance
carrier and Towne.  The settlement funds were placed in escrow
on February 21, 2003.

Counsel for defendants estimate it will take a minimum of six
months for the court to approve the class action settlement.  
The parties also continue to pursue the question as to whether
the carrier will also pay the cost of defense, including the
attorney's fees incurred by the Company, as provided by the
underlying insurance policy.


TRIPOS INC.: Shareholders Commence Securities Fraud Suit in MO
--------------------------------------------------------------
Tripos, Inc. and two of its executive officers face a securities
class action filed in the United States District Court in St.
Louis, Missouri on behalf of purchasers of the Company's common
stock during the first half of 2002.

The suit alleges that statements made by the Company in press
releases and other public disclosures contained materially false
and misleading information in violation of the federal
securities laws.  

The Company believes that it has meritorious defenses to the
claims alleged against it in this action.


TURNSTONE SYSTEMS: CA Court Grants Approval To Suit Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
California preliminarily approved the settlement proposed by
Turnstone Systems, Inc. to settle a class action filed against
it, certain of its officers and directors and its underwriters
on behalf of persons who purchased common stock issued pursuant
to the Company's secondary stock offering in September 2000.

The suit was settled for $7.0 million, of which insurance for
the Company's directors and officers will pay approximately $6.1
million and the Company will contribute approximately $0.9
million in cash.  While the Company continues to deny any
wrongdoing or violation of securities laws, it believes the
settlement is in the best interest of the Company and its
stockholders to avoid the distraction and expense of continued
litigation.  The settlement is conditioned upon, among other
things, notice to the Company's stockholders of the settlement
and final approval by the court.


TURNSTONE SYSTEMS: CA Court Approves Securities Suit Settlement
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
California approved the settlement proposed by Turnstone
Systems, Inc. to settle the securities class action filed by the
Louisiana School Employees' Retirement System against it,
certain of its current and former officers and directors and the
underwriters of the Company's September 21, 2001 secondary
offering of common stock.

The complaint alleged that the defendants made false and
misleading statements in the Company's prospectus issued in
connection with the secondary offering.  The suit also alleges
that the defendants made false or misleading statements
regarding the Company during the class period of June 5, 2000
through January 2, 2001.

In October 2001, and by court order dated December 3, 2001,
Radiant Advisors, LLC was designated as lead plaintiff and the
law firms of Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossman LLP and
Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz, LLP were designated as co-lead
counsel for the consolidated actions.

The Company filed a motion to dismiss the amended complaint on
October 8, 2002.  On February 7, 2003, the court issued an order
denying in part and granting in part, with leave to amend, the
Company's motion to dismiss.  On March 10, 2003, plaintiff filed
a second amended complaint against the Company, certain of its
current officers and directors, and the underwriters of the
Company's September 21, 2000 secondary offering of stock
alleging that the defendants made false and misleading
statements in connection with the Company's secondary offering
in violation of Sections 11, 12 and 15 of the Securities Act of
1933.

While the Company continues to deny any wrongdoing or violation
of securities laws, the Company believes the settlement is in
its and its stockholders' best interest to avoid the distraction
and expense of continued litigation.  The settlement is
conditioned upon, among other things, notice to the Company's
stockholders of the settlement and final approval by the court.


TURNSTONE SYSTEMS: Agrees To Settle Consolidated Securities Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Turnstone Systems, Inc. agreed to settle the consolidated
securities class action filed in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of New York alleging claims
against it, certain of its current and former officers and
directors, and the underwriters of the Company's initial public
offering of stock as well as its secondary offering of stock.

The complaint is purportedly brought on behalf of a class of
individuals who purchased common stock in the initial public
offering and the secondary stock offering between January 31 and
December 6, 2000.  The complaint alleges generally that the
prospectuses under which such securities were sold contained
false and misleading statements with respect to discounts and
commissions received by the underwriters.

The case has been coordinated for pre-trial purposes with over
300 cases raising the same or similar issues and also currently
pending in the Southern District of New York.  On April 18,
2002, Michael Szymanowski was appointed lead plaintiff in the
action.

On July 1, 2002, the underwriter defendants filed an omnibus
motion to dismiss.  On July 15, 2002, the Company, collectively
with the other issuer defendants, also filed an omnibus motion
to dismiss.  On February 19, 2003, the court issued an order
denying the motions to dismiss with respect to substantially all
of the plaintiffs' claims, including those against the Company.  
Limited discovery is currently underway.

A proposal has been made for the settlement and release of
claims against the issuer defendants, including the Company.  
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
against the allegations.


UNITED STATES: Indian Farmers Want Farm Loans Collection To Stop
----------------------------------------------------------------
Joseph Sellers, attorney for American Indian farmers, contends
in court papers filed recently in US District Court in
Washington, that the United States Department of Agriculture
(USDA) should halt its collection work on his clients' farm loan
debts until their discrimination lawsuit against the department
is resolved, the Associated Press Newswires reports.

USDA can suspend collection against the farmers involved in the
discrimination class action, and has done so in other
discrimination cases, Mr. Sellers said in the court papers.

The current case involves hundreds of Indian farmers who claim
they were unfairly denied loans and loan restructuring, as well
as other farming assistance in the 1980s and 1990s.  The case
could eventually involve thousands of American Indian farmers.

USDA lawyers have argued that the department's collection
practices are being administered fairly and as directed by
federal law.  The USDA lawyers also have said that another
discrimination case in which USDA did suspend collection work,
involved black farmers.  The black farmers' case, said the
lawyers, was certified as a class action and was settled.  In
the instant case - the American Indian case, the lawyers argue,
the exact definition of the class is not fully defined.

Mr. Sellers is asking US District Judge Emmett Sullivan to order
a start to discovery, the legal process in which opposing sides
are compelled to turn over information.  Judge Sullivan has not
set a schedule for when he will decide the matter.

The case was filed in November 1999, and Judge Sullivan
certified it as a class action in December 2001.  After the
certification decision survived an appellate challenge, lawyers
began arguing in court papers over how to manage future
proceedings in the case.

Mr. Sellers said there are enough grounds to move ahead now;
while further delay would only put more farmers at risk of going
out of business before their claims are resolved.  USDA lawyers
have argued that it would be "wasteful and unproductive" to go
ahead until the class description issue is settled.  They want
to argue that question again before Judge Sullivan and possibly
again in front of the appeals court, before going forward.


VIACOM: To Refund $13M To Ex-Cable Customers For Tax Surcharges
---------------------------------------------------------------
Media company Viacom agreed to refund $13 million to former
cable customers in 10 Northern California counties to settle a
class action alleging the Company broke its promise to return a
property tax surcharge collected during the 1990s from plaintiff
customers, the Associated Press Newswires reports.

Eligible customers will receive $5 to $15 each, depending on how
many of the 650,000 eligible claimants apply for the money,
according to the settlement that recently received preliminary
approval from the Alameda County Superior Court.  A final
settlement hearing is scheduled for October 21.

The payments settle a class action revolving around a monthly
surcharge of about $1 that appeared on Viacom's cable bills in
10 Northern California counties from August 14, 1991 through
July 31, 1996.  Viacom had imposed the surcharge to offset
higher property tax bills in the 10 counties.  Viacom told the
cable subscribers charged the surcharge that the company would
appeal the property tax assessments and refund the money after
its appeal was resolved.

However, the company changed its mind after collecting $35
million as surcharge from its customers, said Derek Howard, an
Oakland attorney who represented customers in the lawsuit.


WELLS REAL: Court Grants Shareholder Motion To Intervene in Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Superior Court of Gwinnett County, Georgia granted a Class A
shareholders' motion to intervene in the class action filed
against Wells Real Estate Fund I, by a limited partner holding
Class B units, on behalf of all limited partners holding Class B
units as of January 15, 2003.

The suit seeks equitable relief with regard to the rights and
obligations of all the Partnership's limited partners and
general partners under the partnership agreement.  The plaintiff
generally alleges that the terms of the partnership agreement,
as it relates to the allocation and distribution of net sale
proceeds, are inconsistent with the original intent of the
parties.

The plaintiff alleges that the original intent was that limited
partners holding Class B units would have a priority in payment
of cash distributions of net sale proceeds to bring them even
with the amount of cash distributions previously made to limited
partners holding Class A units.  The suit seeks, among other
things:

     (i) to have the Partnership's partnership agreement
         equitably reformed consistent with the alleged original
         intent or,

    (ii) in the alternative, to have the investments made by
limited partners holding Class B units equitably rescinded, and
requests an injunction prohibiting the General Partners of the
Partnership from distributing net sales proceeds until the
resolution of the action.

On April 2, 2003, the court denied the partnership's previously
filed motion to compel arbitration.  Subsequently, several
limited partners holding Class A units filed a motion to
intervene in the suit on the grounds that the plaintiff seeks
relief that would be detrimental to limited partners holding
Class A units, and that judgment in favor of the plaintiff would
impair or impede the Class A unit holders' ability to protect
their interests.

The Partnership then filed its answer, a counterclaim seeking a
declaratory judgment and an interpleader action, and a motion to
join the intervenor Class A unit holders and recast the action
as one in interpleader.  In its counterclaim, the Partnership
seeks a declaratory judgment as to how net sale proceeds should
be distributed as between limited partners holding Class A units
and limited partners holding Class B units.

On June 27, 2003, the Court entered an order granting the
motion to intervene filed by certain Class A unit holders.  On
July 29, 2003, the Class A Intervenors filed a cross-claim
against the Partnership seeking that the Partnership be required
and directed to disburse funds in accordance with the
partnership documents.  The court has not yet ruled on this
cross-claim or the Partnership's motion to recast the action as
one in interpleader.


XEROX CORPORATION: Discovery Proceeds in Securities Suit in CT
--------------------------------------------------------------
Discovery is proceeding in the consolidated securities class
action filed in the United States District Court for the
District of Connecticut against Xerox Corporation and:

     (1) Barry Romeril,

     (2) Paul Allaire and

     (3) G. Richard Thoman

The consolidated action purports to be a class action on behalf
of the named plaintiffs and all other purchasers of common stock
of the Company during the period between October 22, 1998
through October 7, 1999.  The amended consolidated complaint in
the action alleges that in violation of Section 10(b) and/or
20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended and SEC
Rule 10b-5 thereunder, each of the defendants is liable as a
participant in a fraudulent scheme and course of business that
operated as a fraud or deceit on purchasers of the Company's
common stock during the class period.

The defendants allegedly disseminated materially false and
misleading statements and/or concealed material facts.  The
amended complaint further alleges that the alleged scheme:

     (i) deceived the investing public regarding the economic
         capabilities, sales proficiencies, growth, operations
         and the intrinsic value of the Company's common stock;

    (ii) allowed several corporate insiders, such as the named
         individual defendants, to sell shares of privately held
         common stock of the Company while in possession of
         materially adverse, non-public information; and

   (iii) caused the individual plaintiffs and the other members
         of the purported class to purchase common stock of the
         Company at inflated prices.

The amended consolidated complaint seeks unspecified
compensatory damages in favor of the plaintiffs and the other
members of the purported class against all defendants, jointly
and severally, for all damages sustained as a result of
defendants' alleged wrongdoing, including interest thereon,
together with reasonable costs and expenses incurred in the
action, including counsel fees and expert fees.

On September 28, 2001, the court denied the defendants' motion
for dismissal of the complaint.  On November 5, 2001, the
defendants answered the complaint.  On January 7, 2003, the
plaintiffs filed a motion for class certification.  That motion
is currently pending.

The individual defendants and the Company deny any wrongdoing.


XEROX CORPORATION: Discovery Starts in CA Personal Injury Suits
---------------------------------------------------------------
Discovery proceeds in several lawsuits against Xerox Corporation
and the Abarca Group claiming damages as a result of their
alleged disposal and/or release of hazardous substances into the
soil, air and groundwater

On June 24, 1999, the Company was served with a summons and
complaint filed in the Superior Court of the State of California
for the County of Los Angeles.  Subsequently, six additional
complaints were filed in the same court on behalf of another 459
plaintiffs, with the same claims for damages as the June 1999
action.  All seven cases have been served on the Company, the
Company denies liability and it is actively defending against
them.

Plaintiffs in all seven cases further allege that they have been
exposed to such hazardous substances by inhalation, ingestion
and dermal contact, including but not limited to hazardous
substances contained within the municipal drinking water
supplied by the City of Pomona and the Southern California Water
Company.  Plaintiffs' claims against the Company include:

     (1) personal injury,

     (2) wrongful death,

     (3) property damage,

     (4) negligence,

     (5) trespass,

     (6) nuisance,

     (7) fraudulent concealment,

     (8) absolute liability for ultra-hazardous activities,

     (9) civil conspiracy,

    (10) battery and

    (11) violation of the California Unfair Trade Practices Act

Damages are unspecified.  The seven cases against the Company
have been coordinated with approximately 13 unrelated cases
against other defendants, which involve alleged contaminated
groundwater and drinking water in the San Gabriel Valley area of
Los Angeles County.  In all of those cases, plaintiffs have sued
both the providers of drinking water and the industrial
defendants who they contend contaminated the water.

The body of groundwater involved in the Abarca cases, and
allegedly contaminated by the Company, is separate and distinct
from the body of groundwater that is involved in the San Gabriel
Valley cases, and there is no allegation that the Company is
involved in the San Gabriel Valley cases.  Nonetheless, the
court ordered both groups of cases to be coordinated because
both groups concern allegations of groundwater and drinking
water contamination, have similar theories of liability alleged
against the defendants, and involve a number of similar legal
issues, thus apparently making it more efficient, in the view of
the court, for all of them to be handled by one judge.

No trial date has been set.  Based on the stage of the
litigation, it is not possible to estimate the amount of loss or
range of possible loss that might result from an adverse
judgment or a settlement of this matter.


XEROX CORPORATION: Court Upholds Damages Ruling In ERISA Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a
lower court's ruling on damages for a class action filed against
Xerox Corporation's Retirement Income Guarantee Plan (RIGP) in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of
Illinois.  The RIGP represents the primary US pension plan for
salaried employees.

Plaintiffs brought this action on behalf of themselves and an
alleged class of over 25,000 persons who received lump sum
distributions from RIGP after January 1, 1990.  Plaintiffs
assert violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act
(ERISA), claiming that the lump sum distributions were
improperly calculated.  

On July 3, 2001, the court granted the plaintiffs' motion for
summary judgment, finding the lump sum calculations violated
ERISA.  On September 30, 2002, the court entered a judgment on
damages, stating it would adopt plaintiffs' methodology for
calculating such damages, resulting in a damage award of $284.  
Based on advice of legal counsel, RIGP concluded that success on
appeal was probable and the judgment would be overturned based
on significant errors of law in the lower court.

RIGP appealed the court's ruling with respect to both liability
and damages.  Subsequently, there were briefings, followed by an
oral argument of the appeal to the Seventh Circuit Court of
Appeals on April 9, 2003.  On August 1, 2003, the Seventh
Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court's judgment in
all material respects.  RIGP intends to move for a rehearing.


XEROX CORPORATION: Ask CT Court To Dismiss ERISA Fraud Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Xerox Corporation asked the United States District Court for the
District of Connecticut to dismiss the consolidated class action
filed against it, alleging violations of the Employee Retirement
Income Security Act (ERISA).

The purported class includes all persons who invested or
maintained investments in the Xerox Stock Fund in the Xerox
401(k) Plans (either salaried or union) during the proposed
class period, May 12, 1997 through November 15, 2002, and
allegedly exceeds 50,000 persons.  The defendants include the
Company and the following individuals or groups of individuals
during the proposed class period:

     (1) the Plan Administrator,

     (2) the Board of Directors,

     (3) the Fiduciary Investment Review Committee,

     (4) the Joint Administrative Board,

     (5) the Finance Committee of the Board of Directors, and

     (6) the Treasurer

The complaint claims that all the foregoing defendants were
"named" or "de facto" fiduciaries of the Plan under ERISA and,
as such, were obligated to protect the Plan's assets and act in
the best interest of Plan participants.  The complaint alleges
that the defendants failed to do so and thereby breached their
fiduciary duties.

Specifically, plaintiffs claim that the defendants failed to
provide accurate and complete material information to
participants concerning Xerox stock, including accounting
practices which allegedly artificially inflated the value of the
stock, and misled participants regarding the soundness of the
stock and the prudence of investing retirement benefits in Xerox
stock.

Plaintiff also claims that defendants failed to ensure that Plan
assets were invested prudently, to monitor the other fiduciaries
and to disregard Plan directives they knew or should have known
were imprudent.  The complaint does not specify the amount of
damages sought.  However, it asks that the losses to the Plan be
restored, which it describes as "millions of dollars."  It also
seeks other legal and equitable relief, as appropriate, to
remedy the alleged breaches of fiduciary duty, as well as
interest, costs and attorneys' fees.

The Company and the other defendants intend to vigorously defend
the action and have filed a motion to dismiss the complaint.  
The plaintiffs subsequently filed a motion for class
certification and the defendants moved to stay the class issue
pending a decision by the court on the motion to dismiss.  Based
on the stage of the litigation, it is not possible to estimate
the amount of loss or range of possible loss that might result
from an adverse judgment or a settlement of this matter.


XEROX CORPORATION: Named as Defendant in Apartheid Lawsuit in NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
Xerox Corporation, along with a number of other corporate
defendants, face a class action filed in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York on
September 27, 2002.

The suit alleges the defendants provided material assistance to
the apartheid government in South Africa from 1948 to 1994, by
engaging in commerce in South Africa and with the South African
government and by employing forced labor, thereby violating both
international and common law.  Specifically, plaintiffs claim
violations of:

     (1) the Alien Tort Claims Act,

     (2) the Torture Victims Protection Act and

     (3) the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
         (RICO)

The suit also asserts human rights violations and crimes against
humanity.  Plaintiffs seek compensatory damages in excess of
$200 billion and punitive damages in excess of $200 billion.  
The foregoing damages are being sought from all defendants,
jointly and severally.  The Company has filed a motion to
dismiss the complaint.  Based upon the stage of the litigation,
it is not possible to estimate the amount of loss or range of
possible loss that might result from an adverse judgment or a
settlement of this matter.


*Targeting Stockbrokers Who Hide Mutual Fund Costs
--------------------------------------------------
John Bogle, a longtime critic of the mutual-fund industry's
hidden costs, is getting some help from the Securities and
Exchange Commission (SEC), Congress and the class action
lawyers, who are targeting stockbrokers who do not tell
investors when one class of mutual funds - "A" shares vs. "B"
shares - represent the better deal, The State (Columbia, SC)
reports.

Attorneys General in New York and Massachusetts have taken aim
at sales incentives designed to get brokers to push certain
funds, an incentive that does not have much to do with what is a
good deal for the investor.

Meanwhile, the House Committee on Financial Services is writing
a bill that would require mutual-fund companies to shed more
light on what investors pay in the way of fees, and who shares
in the pie.

Pennies in fees become billions in industry revenue, said Mr.
Bogle.  He said that the $6.4 trillion held in mutual funds last
year consisted of more than $70 billion in fees, according to
his reckoning.

Mutual-fund companies "have arrived at the point where we just
have to be more open," said the founder of the Vanguard Group,
located in Malvern, Pennsylvania.  "Management companies should
be required to disclose what they do with all the money they
have been paid."

Mr. Bogle was saying the same thing during the late, great bull
market, but no one seemed to care as long as the buyers and
sellers of mutual funds were both getting rich.  Costs are front
and center today, now that the investing climate is different,
The State said.

Investors in mutual funds must focus on costs, said Russel
Kinnel, director of fund analysis for Morningstar, the fund-
ranking firm in Chicago.  Fees could spell the difference
between meeting investment goals and missing them.

"We may well be in a low-yield era, Mr. Kinnel said.  "Yet, fees
have gone up.  You could wind up giving back a quarter or a
third of your returns."

For comparison purposes, mutual fund firms publish expense
ratios: Investment management fees and operating expenses are
expressed as a percentage of a fund's assets, but expense ratios
do not cover everything.  By Mr. Bogle's calculation, the
average expense ratio of 1.3 percent would double if the fund
disclosed sales commission on an annualized basis, plus their
securities trading costs.

House Resolution 2420, mentioned above, addresses all these
areas.  Funds would be required to provide each investor with an
estimate of his or her share of fund expenses, along with an
estimate of how much funds pay to buy and sell securities they
hold on behalf of fund investors.

However, the mutual-fund industry opposes some of the
disclosures as complicated and expensive.  "The real question in
any of this is,  "Would it hurt or help investors?" said Matthew
P. Pink, president of the Investment Company Institute, an
industry trade group.

Mr. Fink supports provisions of the bill that shine more light
on sales practices.  Fund companies would be required to
disclose what they pay brokers to sell fund shares to investors.

In a recent enforcement action, the SEC alleged that some
Prudential Securities brokers did not tell prospective clients
they would receive discounts if they invested $50,000 or more in
regular Class A shares, in which commissions were taken upfront.  
Reluctant to cut their own fees, these Prudential brokers
instead steered their clients to a share class that was not
discounted.

In B shares, the salesman collects the commission from the fund
rather than from the investor.  The fund then charges higher
fees to recover the money and levies a deferred charge if the
investor leaves too early, typically within five years.  
Plaintiffs in two recent class actions allege that Citigroup and
Morgan Stanley failed to tell them about discounted A shares,
steering them instead to B shares paying higher commissions.

"Why would they offer a client something that is clearly
inferior to other products they sell, except that it made them
more money?" said New York attorney Joel Bernstein, who filed
one of the suits in June.  

Mr. Kinnel of Morningstar said, "The whole reason B shares exist
is to obscure the commission you are paying."


                          Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Israel City Asks Dismissal of Asbestos Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The city of Nahariya in Israel moved for the dismissal of the
suit filed in the Haifa District Court filed by environmental
groups asking for the clean up of the asbestos-laden areas in
the city and sues certain individuals in an asbestos company for
the exposure for NIS1,000,000

Avi Goldhammer, the lawyer for Nahariya, said that Eitanit, a
co-defendant of the city, should take the responsibility of
cleaning up.  Nahariya sued Eitanit, an asbestos factory,
alleging that the factory has been polluting the area for
decades.  Eitanit, formerly Isasbest, has remained silent on the
issue.  The company has yet to give its side in the two cases.

Nahariya claims that when the "World of Children" amusement park
was to be built, huge quantities of asbestos were discovered so
the Environment Ministry ordered Eitanit and the city to clean
up the asbestos before the construction could begin, but the
city claims that the Eitanit didn't help in the cleanup, slicing
off NIS8.5 M from the city's budget.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Movie Sparks Hope for Victims of Asbestos
--------------------------------------------------------------
Asbestos reform groups see Solid Air, a movie about the
suffering of people with asbestos-related diseases, as hope in
the fight for justice for the victims and their families.  The
movie, directed by award-winning director, May Miles Thomas,
opens at the Edinburgh International Film Festival on August 16
and comes to Glasgow next week.

"Productions like Solid Air highlight the continuing plight of
those suffering from asbestos-related diseases as they struggle
for justice," says Harry McCluskey, secretary of Clydeside
Action on Asbestos, one of the groups backing asbestos victims.

Solid Air was inspired by experience of the director's father
who fought for his asbestos compensation but got only a much
lesser out-of-court settlement payout.  It talks about what the
victims, like the Clyde shipyard workers, have been through.  
One of the film stars, Gary Lewis, discloses that his father was
diagnosed of cadmium poisoning and asbestosis, another lung
disease directly associated with asbestos exposure so the movie
touches something really personal for him.

For asbestos concerns, Clydeside Action On Asbestos may be
reached at 0141 552 8852.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Boss Continues to Face Asbestos Lawsuits
----------------------------------------------------------------
In its latest filing with the Securities and Exchange
Commission, Boss Holdings reports that it continues to face
asbestos-related cases incident to the normal operation of its
business.

These lawsuits primarily involve claims for damages arising out
of commercial disputes.  The Illinois-based company has been
named as a defendant in several lawsuits alleging past exposure
to asbestos contained in gloves manufactured or sold by one of
the Company's predecessors-in-interest, all of which actions are
being defended by one or more of the Company's products
liability insurers.  

The Boss Holdings management believes the ultimate disposition
of these matters should not materially impact the Company's
consolidated financial position or liquidity.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Eastman Battles Asbestos-Related Suits
-----------------------------------------------------------
Eastman Chemical reports that there are around 11,000 claims
filed against the company in 28 cases that involve hundreds of
other defendants.

According to its latest Securities and Exchange Commission
filing, Eastman has been named a defendant, over the years,
along with numerous other defendants, in lawsuits in various
state courts in which plaintiffs alleged injury due to exposure
to asbestos at Eastman's manufacturing sites and sought
unspecified monetary damages and other relief.  Historically,
these cases were dismissed or settled without a material effect
on Eastman's financial condition, results of operations, or cash
flows.

By far, the majority of these claims are in Mississippi. In the
recently filed cases in Mississippi, plaintiffs allege exposure
to asbestos-containing products allegedly made by Eastman.  
Based on its investigation to date, the Company has information
that it manufactured limited amounts of an asbestos-containing
plastic product between the mid-1960's and the early 1970's.  

The Company's investigation has found no evidence that any of
the Mississippi plaintiffs worked with or around any such
product alleged to have been manufactured by the Company.  The
Company intends to defend vigorously all of these actions or to
settle them on acceptable terms.
        
The Company continues to evaluate the allegations and claims
made in recent asbestos-related lawsuits and its insurance
coverages.  Based on such evaluation to date, the Company
continues to believe that the ultimate resolution of asbestos
cases will not have a material impact on the Company's financial
condition, results of operations, or cash flows, although these
matters could result in the Company being subject to monetary
damages, costs or expenses and charges against earnings in
particular periods.

To date, costs incurred by the Company related to the recent
asbestos-related lawsuits have not been material, and in the
case of the Mississippi claims have been limited to legal fees
and expenses.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION:  Halliburton Gets More Asbestos Claims
-----------------------------------------------------------
Halliburton reports that the asbestos claims filed against the
company soared to 425,000 up by 78,000 from its December record
of 347,000, according to the company's second quarter filing
with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company agreed to settle about $4,000,000,000 in cash and
stock last year and was granted restraining order for the
company to validate the cases last month.  The Houston-based
company inherited most of the claims four years ago when
acquired Dresser Industries Inc.  Halliburton tried to seek
Chapter 11 protection when it placed its DII Industries unit
under bankruptcy supervision.

Halliburton states that the growing number of pending asbestos
claims may outstrip the money Halliburton has set aside.  The
company could adjust its reserves but it could be a risky move
that could affect the $4,000,000,000 settlement it agreed to in
December and the DII Industries' bankruptcy.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Honeywell Sues Loews Over Asbestos Claims
--------------------------------------------------------------
Loews Corporation faces asbestos-related suits as Honeywell
International Inc. claims its insurance arm should pay for the
company's asbestos claims.

In a report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission,
Loews reports that Honeywell faces around 50,000 pending
asbestos bodily injury claims resulting from alleged exposure to
Bendix friction products.  Continental Insurance Company Pool,
Loews' insurance unit, primary policies allegedly covered the
period from at least 1939 (when Bendix began to use asbestos in
its friction products) to 1983, although the parties disagree
about whether CIC's policies provided product liability coverage
before 1940 and from 1945 to 1956.  CIC asserts that it owes no
further material obligations to Bendix under any primary policy.

Honeywell alleges that two primary policies issued by CIC
covering 1969-75 contain occurrence limits but not product
liability aggregate limits for asbestos bodily injury claims.  
CIC has asserted, among other things, that even if Honeywell's
allegation is correct, which CNA denies, its liability is
limited to a single occurrence limit per policy or per year, and
in the alternative, a proper allocation of losses would
substantially limit its exposure under the 1969-75 policies to
asbestos claims.  These and other issues are being litigated in
Continental Insurance Co., et al. v. Honeywell International
Inc., No. MRS-L-1523-00 (Morris County, New Jersey).


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: PPL Reports Asbestos-Related Litigation
------------------------------------------------------------
PPL Corporation disclosed, in its latest filing with the
Securities and Exchange Commission, that some of its energy
services subsidiaries have been named as defendants in asbestos-
related lawsuits

There have been increasing litigation claims throughout the US
based on exposure to asbestos against companies that manufacture
or distribute asbestos products or that have these products on
their premises.

Certain of the Pennsylvania power company's generation
subsidiaries and certain of its energy services subsidiaries,
such as those that have supplied, may have supplied or installed
asbestos material in connection with the repair or installation
of process piping and heating, ventilating and air conditioning
systems, have been named as defendants in asbestos-related
lawsuits.

PPL cannot predict the outcome of these lawsuits or whether
additional claims may be asserted against its subsidiaries in
the future.  PPL does not expect that the ultimate resolution of
the current lawsuits will have a material adverse effect on its
financial condition.


ASBESTOS ALERT: National Waterworks Not Fazed By Asbestos Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
The asbestos claims slammed against the company as US Filter
Distribution Group, Inc. retains all liabilities does not faze
National Waterworks, Inc.

NWW, a wholly owned subsidiary of National Waterworks Holding,
Inc., was incorporated in September 2002 for the purpose of
acquiring substantially all of the assets and assuming certain
obligations of USFDG, a wholly owned subsidiary of United States
Filter Corporation, which is an indirect-wholly owned subsidiary
of Veolia Environnement.

Certain of USFDG's predecessors distributed or may have
distributed cement pipe containing asbestos.  Except for one
predecessor, the cement pipe distributed was primarily used in
water and sewage application where the pipe was typically
buried.  Management believes that the nature of the asbestos-
containing pipe distributed by the predecessors and the uses of
such pipe makes it unlikely that a large number of plaintiffs
would be exposed to friable asbestos emanating from the pipe.  
Management is not aware of any predecessor manufacturing or
fabricating asbestos containing products of any type or assuming
any product liability for such products.

US Filter and USFDG sold substantially all of the Group's
assets, net of certain liabilities as defined in the sales
agreement, to NWW.  As part of the agreement, US Filter and
USFDG have retained the liabilities related to all existing and
future, if any, asbestos claims.  Additionally, Veolia, the
parent of US Filter, has agreed to guarantee all obligations of
USFDG and US Filter under the asset purchase agreement up to an
aggregate of $50,000,000 for a period of 15 years.  

As the asbestos claims were retained and in view of the
indemnity provisions included in the sale agreement, management
of NWW believes that it has no liability related to asbestos
claims at June 27, 2003.

The uncertainties of asbestos claim litigation and resolution
make it difficult to accurately predict the results of the
ultimate resolutions of asbestos claims.  That uncertainty is
increased by the possibility of adverse court rulings or new
legislation effecting asbestos claim litigation or the
settlement process.  

Subject to these uncertainties and based on the Predecessor's
experience defending asbestos claims, the estimate of the
amounts to be recovered from insurance companies and the
indemnity provision provided in the sales agreement, NWW
management believes that it has no liability related to
asbestos claims.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Scotts Company Fights Asbestos-Related Lawsuits
---------------------------------------------------------------
Scotts Company reports that it has recently been named a
defendant in a number of cases alleging injuries that the
lawsuits claim resulted from exposure to asbestos-containing
products, according to a report filed with the Securities and
Exchange Commission.

The complaints in these cases, which are in their very
preliminary stages, are not specific about the plaintiffs'
contacts with the Company or its products. Scotts in each case
is one of numerous defendants and none of the claims seek
damages from the Company alone. The Company intends to
vigorously defend the cases and does not believe they are
material to the Company's financial position or results of
operations.

It is not currently possible to reasonably estimate a probable
loss, if any, associated with the cases and, accordingly, no
accrual or reserves have been recorded in the Company's
consolidated financial statements as of June 28, 2003. There can
be no assurance that these cases, whether as a result of adverse
outcomes or as a result of significant defense costs, will not
have a material adverse effect on the Company, its financial
condition or its results of operations. The Company is reviewing
policies and agreements that may provide insurance coverage or
indemnity as to these claims.


COMPANY PROFILE

The Scotts Company (NYSE: SMG)
14111 Scottslawn Rd.
Marysville, OH 43041 (Map)
Phone: 937-644-0011
Fax: 937-644-7614
http://www.scotts.com

Employees  : 3,411
Revenue    : $1,760,600,000
Net Income : $82,500,000
Assets     : $1,901,400,000
Liabilities: $1,307,500,000
(As of September 31, 2002)

Description: The Scotts Company, the world's largest maker and
marketer of horticultural and turf products has garden and
indoor plant care items that include grass seeds, fertilizers,
herbicides, potting soils, and related tools. Brand names
include Ortho, Miracle-Gro, Hyponex, and Turf Builder. In
addition, Scotts markets Monsanto's consumer Roundup herbicide
products worldwide and has a lawn and shrub care service. It
also sells products directly to professionals. Siblings James
Hagedorn (chairman and CEO) and Katherine Littlefield (a
director) own approximately 40% of the company. Hagedorn and
Littlefield are the children of Horace Hagedorn, the creator of
Miracle-Gro plant food.


                     New Securities Fraud Cases


MATRIA HEALTHCARE: Chitwood & Harley Lodges Stock Lawsuit in GA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Chitwood & Harley, LLP initiated a securities class action
against Matria Healthcare, Inc., Parker H. Petit, Jeffrey D.
Koepsell, and George W. Dunaway, in the United States District
Court for the Northern District of Georgia.  The lawsuit was
filed on behalf of all persons who purchased or otherwise
acquired the securities of Matria Healthcare, Inc. (NASDAQ:
MATR), between October 24, 2001 and June 25, 2002, inclusive.

The complaint charges that defendants violated Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder, by issuing a series of materially false
and misleading statements to the market between October 24, 2001
and June 25, 2002.

During the class period, the defendants touted the "strong
performance" of all of its diabetes businesses and repeatedly
bragged about the company's growth, noting the signing of new
contracts and anticipated contracts.  Defendants assured the
market during this time that they were ramping up the company's
infrastructure and implementing a major systems change that
would help them fulfill their goal to be the most
technologically advanced provider in their sector of the health
industry and that would significantly increase their
capabilities.  Citing their growth, defendants explained that
the reason expenses had exceeded anticipated revenues at certain
times was that it was difficult to time the need for additional
personnel and infrastructure with the receipt of large contracts
because "contractual negotiations can delay the anticipated
start dates for new disease management programs."

Unbeknownst to the investors, however, the complaint alleges
that the company was experiencing serious known problems that
rendered defendants' Class Period statements false and
misleading and that defendants had a duty to disclose under Item
303(a)(ii) to Regulation S-K.  Specifically, the complaint
alleges that the defendants failed to disclose until June 25,
2002, despite a duty to do so, the following adverse, known
facts:

     (1) the company's Health Enhancement Segment was
         experiencing significant "information system
         constraints" which led to unfilled customer orders;

     (2) the company's Facet Technologies division was
         experiencing higher costs as a result of undisclosed
         inventory and supply chain management problems;

     (3) Facet's gross margins were materially and adversely
         affected by decreasing price concessions from its major
         suppliers;

     (4) Matria' s gross profit margins were being negatively
         impacted by an increase in the price of one of its key
         drugs; and

     (5) the company's Health Enhancement revenues would be
         negatively impacted by at least $800,000 due to the
         bankruptcy of a health plan whose deteriorating
         financial condition the defendants knew of or were
         severely reckless in disregarding.

The complaint alleges that the defendants were motivated to
conceal these problems in order to inflate the purchase price of
Matria common stock because defendants negotiated two
acquisitions during the Class Period, using Matria common stock
as currency.

On June 25, 2002, after the close of trading, defendants shocked
the market by revising the company's financial outlook for
fiscal 2002 and revealing the problems discussed above.  In
response to the Company's shocking news, the price of Matria's
common stock plummeted on unusually heavy volume the next
trading day, dropping from nearly $12 to $7 before closing at
$8.95 per share.  A chorus of Wall Street analysts also
downgraded the stock as a result.

For more details, contact Lauren S. Antonino by Phone:
888-873-3999/404-873-3900 ext. 6888 or contact Jennifer L.
Morris by Phone: 888-873-3999/404-873-3900 ext.6883 by E-mail:
jlm@classlaw.com


SINGING MACHINE: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Stock Lawsuit in FL
---------------------------------------------------------------
Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP initiated a securities class action in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of
Florida on behalf of all purchasers of the common stock of The
Singing Machine, Inc. (AMEX:SMD) from February 14, 2001 through
July 14, 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 February 14, 2001 and
July 14, 2003, thereby artificially inflating the price of
Singing Machine common stock.

The complaint alleges that these statements were materially
false and misleading because they failed to disclose and
misrepresented the following adverse facts, among others:

     (1) that the Company had materially overstated its net
         income in violation of generally accepted accounting
         principles (GAAP);

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

     (3) that the Company avoided taking sufficient changes to
         earnings in 2001 and 2002 to account for income tax
         liabilities; and

     (4) that as a result, the Company's financial results were
         materially overstated at all relevant times.

On June 27, 2003, the Singing Machine announced that it would
restate its fiscal 2002 financial statements and possibly fiscal
2001 financial statements to increase the accrual for income
taxes.  Moreover, the Company stated that the restatement will
have the effect of reducing net income for fiscal 2002 and
possibly fiscal 2001.  Market reaction to the news was swift.  
The Singing Machine's shares fell 33%, or $1.80 per share, to
close at $3.60 per share on June 27, 2003.

On July 14, 2003, the Company announced further details about
its restatement and also announced that ``its auditors have
expressed 'substantial doubt' about Singing Machine's ability to
continue as a going concern.''  News of this again shocked the
market.  Shares of the Singing Machine fell 19% percent to close
at $3.03 per share on July 15, 2003.

For more details, contact Marc A. Topaz or Stuart L. Berman by
Phone: (888) 299-7706 (toll free) or (610) 667-7706 or by E-
mail: info@sbclasslaw.com


                        *********

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

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

                        *********


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

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

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

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

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

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

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