CAR_Public/030919.mbx            C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R
  
           Friday, September 19, 2003, Vol. 5, No. 186

                        Headlines                            


ALTRIA GROUP: Shares Jump 12% After IL's Philip Morris Verdict
APOTHECARY PRODUCTS: Recalls 154T Pacifiers For Choking Hazard
BARNEY'S NEW YORK: Agrees To Settle Unfair Trade Practices Suit
BAYER AG: MN Court Refuses Certification For Baycol Suits
BROOKSTONE INC.: Reaches Settlement For Overtime Wage Suit in CA

CALIFORNIA: Highway Patrol Head Denies Charges in Race Bias Suit
CCDA WATERS: Recalls 3.2M Units Bottled Water For Choking Hazard
CREED: Court Dismisses Suit Over December 2002 Chicago Concert
EKNOWLEDGE INC.: SEC Issues Cease-And-Desist Order Due To Fraud
FAO INC.: Directors, Exec Faces Securities Fraud Suit in E.D. PA

FAY DA: Recalls Butter Cookies For Undeclared Eggs, Tree Nuts
FAY DA: Recalls Sesame Cookies For Undeclared Eggs, Tree Nuts
FAY DA: Recalls Lemon Cookies Due to Undeclared Eggs, Tree Nuts
FAY DA: Recalls Large Almond Cookies For Undeclared Eggs, Nuts
FAY DA: Recalls Hazelnut Cookies For Undeclared Eggs, Tree Nuts

FAY DA: Recalls Chinese Cookies For Undeclared Eggs, Tree Nuts
FLORIDA: Court Rules Fees For Young Inmates "Unconstitutional"
HARD ASSET: SEC Launches Cease-And-Desist Order For Stock Fraud
HOSPITAL ATTENDANTS: FL Court Certifies Suit For Better Benefits
K&G MEN'S CENTER: Tailors File Suit For CA Labor Law Violations

MCDONALD'S CORPORATION: Introduces Healthy Happy Meal For Adults
MEDI-HUT COMPANY: SEC Launches Civil Suit For Securities Fraud
MEN'S WEARHOUSE: Firm, Subsidiaries Face CA Overtime Wage Suits
NCI BUILDING: Plaintiffs File Second Amended TX Securities Suit
PEP BOYS: Agrees To Arbitration For Overtime Wage Lawsuit in CA

PETCO ANIMAL: Applicants Launch Suit For Labor Code Violations
SIMON & SCHUSTER: Recalls Children's Books For Choking Hazard
WAFFLE HOUSE: African-American Customers File Race Bias Lawsuits
WHEAT FIRST: SEC Finds Trader, Firm Guilty of Securities Fraud
WORLD MONEY: SEC Charges Executive, Firm With Securities Fraud

WULF INTERNATIONAL: SEC Files Federal Suit Over Securities Fraud

                        Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Relief Trust to Give First Payment
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Musician Dies 30 Years After Exposure
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Plaza Tower, DEQ Battle on Asbestos
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Chubb Reports Asbestos-Related Suits Status
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Crane Co. Discloses Asbestos Liabilities

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Entergy Units Face 320 Asbestos Lawsuits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Halliburton Shares Surge on Asbestos Talks
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Harsco Faces 38,740 Asbestos Injury Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: IR Unit Posts $7.7M for Asbestos Cases
ASBESTOS ALERT: Briggs & Stratton Gets Asbestos Liabilities

                    New Securities Fraud Cases

CHECK POINT: Shepherd Finkelman Files Securities Suit in S.D. NY
CHECK POINT: Emerson Poynter Lodges Securities Suit in S.D. NY
CONSTAR INTERNATIONAL: Marc Henzel Lodges Securities Suit in PA
FLOWSERVE CORPORATION: Wolf Haldenstein Lodges Stock Suit in TX

                        *********

ALTRIA GROUP: Shares Jump 12% After IL's Philip Morris Verdict
--------------------------------------------------------------
Altria Group, Inc. shares jumped almost 12 percent yesterday,
after the Illinois Supreme Court slashed in half the $12 billion
bond Philip Morris USA, the Company's US tobacco unit, had to
pay to appeal the unfavorable $10.1 billion verdict in an
Illinois light cigarettes case, Reuters reports.  

The court also agreed to hear the Company's appeal of the
verdict, raising hopes that the verdict could be reduced or
overturned.  The ruling will allow the case to proceed directly
to the high court.  

Analysts earlier thought the High Court would wait until October
to say whether it would hear the case and even then to only take
up the question of how much bond the company would have to post
for the appeal.

"We believe this is unexpected, positive news that should create
significant upside in (Altria) by as much as 10 percent to 15
percent," Bonnie Herzog, analyst at Smith Barney, told Reuters.  
Ms. Herzog issued a "buy" rating on the stock.

"As a general matter, bypassing the appellate court for the
state supreme court is rare -- and sends a strong message that
the court could settle the merits (of the case) favorably for
Philip Morris USA," Andrew Conway, analyst at Credit Suisse
First Boston, said in a research note, Reuters states.

The Company had also asserted that the $12 billion bond could
put it at risk for bankruptcy and make it default on billions of
dollars in payments it owes states as the result of a massive
settlement over the costs of health care for sick smokers.  Ms.
Herzog said the bankruptcy threat is "now essentially removed."

Altria shares closed up $4.19 at $44.65 in Wednesday trading on
the New York Stock Exchange after rising as high as $45.30
earlier in the day, Reuters reports.


APOTHECARY PRODUCTS: Recalls 154T Pacifiers For Choking Hazard
--------------------------------------------------------------
Apothecary Products, Inc. is cooperating with the United States
Product and Safety Commission by voluntarily recalling 154,000
"Comforts" pacifiers.  These pacifiers fail federal safety
tests, come apart, and can pose a choking hazard to infants and
small children.

The pacifiers are available in both silicone and latex
formulations in the following colors: powder blue, red, purple,
and pink.  The name "Kroger" appears on the package, along with
the words "Pacifiers," "Latex," "Silicone," "0-6 months," or "6-
18 months."  The model numbers are located on the back of each
package and are the last five digits of the UPC code: 35826,
35827, 35828, 35829.

Many Kroger-owned stores sold the pacifiers from August 2002
through August 2003 for about $3.50 to $5.

For more details, contact the Company by Phone: (866) 274-7956
between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or call The
Kroger Co. by Phone: (800) 632-6900 between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. CT
Monday through Friday.


BARNEY'S NEW YORK: Agrees To Settle Unfair Trade Practices Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Barney's New York reached a settlement for the class action
filed in the Superior Court for the State of California,
County of San Diego, alleging two causes of action for purported
violations of California's Civil Code and Business and
Professions Code relating to the alleged requesting by the
Company of certain information.

The complaint sought relief on a class basis under the statutes
permitting a plaintiff to recover a fine, in the discretion of
the court, and such other damages which each member of the class
may have suffered as a result of our alleged conduct.  The
complaint further sought an accounting of all moneys and profits
received by us in connection with the alleged violations as well
as injunctive relief with respect to the alleged practices.  


BAYER AG: MN Court Refuses Certification For Baycol Suits
---------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court in Minneapolis refused national
class certification for the litigation filed against Bayer AG,
over its cholesterol drug Baycol, which it recalled from the
market in August 2001, FT.com reports.

The Company pulled out Baycol, also known as Lipobay outside the
US, after it was linked to more than 100 deaths, kidney disorder
and a fatal muscle wasting disorder called rhabdomyolysis.  The
Company has tried to settle several suits over the drug, but has
asserted that here were many unsubstantiated claims against the
drug and fought vigorously against litigation.  The Company has
won some early trials refuting plaintiffs' claims that Baycol
was solely responsible for poor health and seeking hundreds of
millions of dollars in damages.

The class certification would have allowed plaintiffs to combine
various and different claims of harm that the plaintiffs
attributed to Baycol.  Grouping together potentially thousands
of different claims from around the country would have created
formidable litigation for Bayer, the German chemicals and
pharmaceutical conglomerate, FT.com states.  Lawyers in the
class action sought three class groups:

     (1) those that had faced injury,

     (2) those who needed medical monitoring to inhibit future
         illness from taking the drug, and

     (3) those who should get a refund for the drug

The court ruled that there were too many complexities to fold
into one national suit.

Asked how this decision will affect the course of the
litigation, attorney for the plaintiffs Charles S. Zimmerman
said in a statement that they were analyzing the Court's
opinions and their options regarding reconsideration or appeal.  
"Simultaneously, we now will prepare for thousands of individual
trials spread all across the country.  It isn't the solution
that we thought would work best for the court, our clients, or
even Bayer.  But without hesitation, we are moving forward to
protect the interests of persons injured by Baycol," he said.

The attorneys pointed out that the Court's decision was not
based on a question of whether these individuals have actually
been injured.  The order reflects a decision of law and the
Court's determination of how the case will be managed going
forward.  

Additionally, the order does not ultimately affect the merits of
the Plaintiffs' case, nor does it address Bayer's ultimate
liability, the lawyers for the plaintiffs said.  Instead, the
court confirmed that close to 1000 personal injury cases have
settled to date -- and that the amount of the settlements
clearly establishes that the value of each personal injury
lawsuit was "substantial."

Two local law firms, Zimmerman Reed and Lockridge, Grindal
Nauen, are leading the consolidated case.  In response to the
decision, Zimmerman noted, "The Order is an obvious
disappointment to those injured by this drug -- but it will not
really affect the lawyers' day to day work, representing
individuals injured by Baycol.  We have already had the
privilege of achieving some very significant awards for some
very deserving clients -- and there's more great work ahead.  
Just a different roadmap."


BROOKSTONE INC.: Reaches Settlement For Overtime Wage Suit in CA
----------------------------------------------------------------
Brookstone, Inc. reached a settlement for the class action filed
California Superior Court in Los Angeles as a class action on
behalf of current and former managers and assistant managers of
the Company's California stores, alleging that they were
improperly classified as exempt employees.  The lawsuit sought
damages including overtime pay, restitution and attorneys fees.

On August 15, 2003, a settlement agreement was finalized in the
amount of $1.5 million for this matter.  As a result of this
settlement and settlement of other ongoing routine legal
matters, a charge of $1.1 million was recorded during the
thirteen-week period ended August 2, 2003.


CALIFORNIA: Highway Patrol Head Denies Charges in Race Bias Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
California Highway Patrol (CHP) Dwight "Spike" Helmick, Jr.
testified in federal court this week, in a lawsuit filed against
the CHP, alleging racial discrimination, the Associated Press
reports.

Retired Lt. Jeff Paige filed the suit in 1995, alleging he put
up with decades of racist remarks from fellow officers and was
denied promotions just because he is black.  About 1,000 black
and Hispanic officers are participants in the suit.

Commissioner Helmick asserted that he doesn't tolerate
discrimination in his department.  He also denied charges that
he called Assistant Chief Greg Manuel, who is black, "boy."

"I am very aware of the derogatory nature of that term," Mr.
Helmick said.  "I do not use those terms, those racial slurs."  

At present, 28.9 percent of CHP officers are non-whites,
compared to 21.4 percent in 1994, the year before the lawsuit
was filed.


CCDA WATERS: Recalls 3.2M Units Bottled Water For Choking Hazard
----------------------------------------------------------------
CCDA Waters LLC is cooperating with the United States Consumer
Product Safety Commission by voluntarily recalling 3.2 million
units of Bottled Water with Push-Pull Sports Cap in 8 oz., 8.5
oz. and .33 liter bottle sizes.

When pulled to open, the drinking spout on the sports cap can
unexpectedly come off, posing a choking hazard for young
children.  There have been 10 complaints with no injuries
reported.

Bottled water with the affected push-pull sports caps was sold
under the brand names Dannon Flouride to Go, Pure American, Enon
Springs, Alhambra Junior Sport Drinking Water and Sparkletts
Junior Sport Drinking Water.  The bottled water was sold as
singles and multi-packs in 8-oz., 8.5-oz, and .33-liter sizes.

The bottled water with this sports cap was sold at a variety of
retail outlets including gas stations, grocery, convenience,
mass merchandise and drug stores from March, 2002 through
September, 2003, for between $0.59 for a single bottle and $3.29
for multi-packs.

For more information, contact the CCDA Water Consumer Line by
Phone: (800) 322-4616 between 9 am and 5 pm Eastern Time, Monday
through Friday, or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.dannonwater.com


CREED: Court Dismisses Suit Over December 2002 Chicago Concert
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois dismissed a class
action filed against popular rock band Creed by four fans who
attended the band's December 29,2002 concert in Chicago, the
Orlando Sentinel reports.  The suit also names as defendants
Jeff Hanson Management & Promotions, Inc., and concert promoter
USA Interactive.

The suit charged that lead singer Scott Stapp "was so
intoxicated and/or medicated that he was unable to sing the
lyrics of a single Creed song," and sought refunds for the
ticket price and parking fees on behalf of more than 15,000 fans
in attendance.

Circuit Court Judge Peter Flynn dismissed the suit "without
prejudice," which essentially paves the way for the plaintiffs
to file a new complaint if they should choose to do so.


EKNOWLEDGE INC.: SEC Issues Cease-And-Desist Order Due To Fraud
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission issued a
cease-and-desist order against Eknowledge Group, Inc. and its
former president Gary S. Saunders.  The Commission found that
Mr. Saunders reviewed three false and misleading press releases,
which were disseminated by Eknowledge between January 2 and
March 11, 2002, thereby violating the antifraud provisions of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
     
In the Order, the Commission found that the releases contained
false and misleading statements concerning:

     (1) financing commitments made to Eknowledge by the entity  
         owned by the third party;  

     (2) revenue projections derived from an agreement with a
         related entity;  

     (3) the financial experience of the third party; and

     (4) the assets of the entity owned by the third party.  

The Commission further found that, at a minimum, Mr. Saunders
and Eknowledge acted recklessly with regard to making these
statements.  
     
Mr. Saunders and Eknowledge were ordered to cease and desist
from committing or causing any violation and any future
violations of Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5
thereunder.   Mr. Saunders and Eknowledge consented to the entry
of the Order without admitting or denying its findings.  


FAO INC.: Directors, Exec Faces Securities Fraud Suit in E.D. PA
----------------------------------------------------------------
FAO, Inc.'s directors face a class action filed in the United
States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
claiming violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder based on alleged misrepresentations made by
defendants.

Lead plaintiff Edward Steele has filed a proof of claim on
behalf of himself and others for $50.0 million in the Company's
bankruptcy case.  The Company has not been named as a defendant
nor has there been any claim made for indemnity though the
defendants did file proofs of claim on the Company's
indemnification obligations set forth in its articles and
bylaws.

An amended consolidated complaint was filed on August 4, 2003
which added certain claims related to the Company's accounting
and added the Company's former Chief Financial Officer, Raymond
Springer, as a defendant.  

The defendants must respond to the amended complaint by October
1, 2003.  Management currently does not believe this claim will
result in a material adverse effect on its business or
operations, financial position or results of operations;
however, new issues may arise that could have such an effect or
management's initial evaluation may prove inaccurate, the
Company stated in a disclosure to the Securities and Exchange
Commission.


FAY DA: Recalls Butter Cookies For Undeclared Eggs, Tree Nuts
-------------------------------------------------------------
Fay Da Manufacturing Corporation is recalling its Butter Cookies
because they may contain undeclared eggs and tree nuts.  People
who have allergies to eggs and tree nuts run the risk of serious
or life-threatening allergic reactions if they consume this
product.

The recalled Butter Cookies packed in uncoded, clamshell type,
clear-top, plastic containers were sold in Fay Da Bakeries
located in the New York Metropolitan area.  The recall was
initiated after it was discovered through a routine
investigation by New York State Department of Agriculture and
Markets Food Inspectors that the product containing eggs and
tree nuts was distributed in packaging that did not reveal the
presence of eggs and tree nuts.  No illnesses have been reported
to date in connection with this problem.

For more details, contact the Company by Phone: 1-718-456-9331.


FAY DA: Recalls Sesame Cookies For Undeclared Eggs, Tree Nuts
-------------------------------------------------------------
Fay Da Manufacturing Corporation is recalling its Sesame Cookies
because they may contain undeclared eggs and tree nuts.  People
who have allergies to eggs and tree nuts run the risk of serious
or life-threatening allergic reactions if they consume this
product.

The recalled Sesame Cookies packed in uncoded, clamshell type,
clear-top, plastic containers were sold in Fay Da Bakeries
located in the New York Metropolitan area.  The recall was
initiated after it was discovered through a routine
investigation by New York State Department of Agriculture and
Markets Food Inspectors that the product containing eggs and
tree nuts was distributed in packaging that did not reveal the
presence of eggs and tree nuts.  No illnesses have been reported
to date in connection with this problem.

For more details, contact the Company by Phone: 1-718-456-9331.


FAY DA: Recalls Lemon Cookies Due to Undeclared Eggs, Tree Nuts
---------------------------------------------------------------
Fay Da Manufacturing Corporation is recalling its Lemon Cookies
because they may contain undeclared eggs and tree nuts.  People
who have allergies to eggs and tree nuts run the risk of serious
or life-threatening allergic reactions if they consume this
product.

The recalled Lemon Cookies packed in uncoded, clamshell type,
clear-top, plastic containers were sold in Fay Da Bakeries
located in the New York Metropolitan area.  The recall was
initiated after it was discovered through a routine
investigation by New York State Department of Agriculture and
Markets Food Inspectors that the product containing eggs and
tree nuts was distributed in packaging that did not reveal the
presence of eggs and tree nuts.  No illnesses have been reported
to date in connection with this problem.

For more details, contact the Company by Phone: 1-718-456-9331.


FAY DA: Recalls Large Almond Cookies For Undeclared Eggs, Nuts
--------------------------------------------------------------
Fay Da Manufacturing Corporation is recalling its Large Almond
Cookies because they may contain undeclared eggs and tree nuts.  
People who have allergies to eggs and tree nuts run the risk of
serious or life-threatening allergic reactions if they consume
this product.

The recalled Large Almond Cookies packed in uncoded, clamshell
type, clear-top, plastic containers were sold in Fay Da Bakeries
located in the New York Metropolitan area.  The recall was
initiated after it was discovered through a routine
investigation by New York State Department of Agriculture and
Markets Food Inspectors that the product containing eggs and
tree nuts was distributed in packaging that did not reveal the
presence of eggs and tree nuts.  No illnesses have been reported
to date in connection with this problem.

For more details, contact the Company by Phone: 1-718-456-9331.


FAY DA: Recalls Hazelnut Cookies For Undeclared Eggs, Tree Nuts
---------------------------------------------------------------
Fay Da Manufacturing Corporation is recalling its Hazelnut
Cookies because they may contain undeclared eggs and tree nuts.  
People who have allergies to eggs and tree nuts run the risk of
serious or life-threatening allergic reactions if they consume
this product.

The recalled Hazelnut Cookies packed in uncoded, clamshell type,
clear-top, plastic containers were sold in Fay Da Bakeries
located in the New York Metropolitan area.  The recall was
initiated after it was discovered through a routine
investigation by New York State Department of Agriculture and
Markets Food Inspectors that the product containing eggs and
tree nuts was distributed in packaging that did not reveal the
presence of eggs and tree nuts.  No illnesses have been reported
to date in connection with this problem.

For more details, contact the Company by Phone: 1-718-456-9331.


FAY DA: Recalls Chinese Cookies For Undeclared Eggs, Tree Nuts
--------------------------------------------------------------
Fay Da Manufacturing Corporation is recalling its Chinese Almond
Cookies because they may contain undeclared eggs and tree nuts.  
People who have allergies to eggs and tree nuts run the risk of
serious or life-threatening allergic reactions if they consume
this product.

The recalled Chinese Almond Cookies packed in uncoded, clamshell
type, clear-top, plastic containers were sold in Fay Da Bakeries
located in the New York Metropolitan area.  The recall was
initiated after it was discovered through a routine
investigation by New York State Department of Agriculture and
Markets Food Inspectors that the product containing eggs and
tree nuts was distributed in packaging that did not reveal the
presence of eggs and tree nuts.  No illnesses have been reported
to date in connection with this problem.

For more details, contact the Company by Phone: 1-718-456-9331.


FLORIDA: Court Rules Fees For Young Inmates "Unconstitutional"
--------------------------------------------------------------
A Second District Court of Appeal in Lakeland, Florida in favor
of parents of young criminal defendants who paid food and
clothing fees for their children could lead to class action
cases against the State, the Associated Press reports.

A state law that took effect in July 2000 mandated the fees,
which often amounted to hundreds of dollars.  Lawmakers
allegedly wanted to send a strong message about parental
responsibility, and the state assessed the fines to cover
expenses of housing juveniles in detention centers.  

However, the state also charged families whose children were
sent home shortly after their arrest or later acquitted.  Unpaid
accounts were turned over to a collection agency, although the
department often canceled fees for families who had no ability
to pay.  The fees used to reach a high of $20 a day, but the
Florida Department of Juvenile Justice reduced the fees to $5 a
day in October 2001.

The appellate court declared the fees "unconstitutional," saying
families shouldn't be forced to pay when their children aren't
held in a facility or are cleared of crimes. The court said the
fines were unconstitutional because it treated juveniles cleared
of crimes differently than adults in the same situation.  It
also ruled that the law violated the due process of parents who
are being forced to pay subsistence costs for a child's
detention at home, the Associated Press reports.

However, attorney for the plaintiffs Bruce Howie said that the
ruling doesn't apply to parents whose children have been found
guilty and who have been detained in a juvenile facility. They
must still pay the fees.

The Florida Attorney General's Office, which argued in favor of
the fines, said it was still reviewing the ruling and could not
comment on it, AP reports.  The Department of Juvenile Justice
could not immediately provide current figures on how many
parents have been fined.


HARD ASSET: SEC Launches Cease-And-Desist Order For Stock Fraud
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission instituted public
administrative and cease-and-desist proceedings against Michael
B. Rawdin, Hard Asset Management, Inc. and David Cohen of Dix
Hills, New York and Coconut Creek, Florida, respectively,
pursuant to Section 8A of the Securities Act of 1933 and
Sections 15(b) and 21C of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  

The proceedings have been instituted to determine whether
remedial sanctions and a cease-and-desist order should be
imposed against them.  The Order Instituting Public
Administrative and Cease-and-Desist Proceedings pursuant to
Section 8A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Sections 15(b) and
21C of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 alleges that Hard
Asset and its president and sole principal, Mr. Rawdin, were
unregistered broker-dealers.  The Order also alleges that Mr.
Cohen was an unregistered broker-dealer.   

The Order further alleges that from October 2001 through May
2002, Mr. Rawdin, Hard Asset, and Mr. Cohen willfully violated,
and committed or caused violations of, Sections 5(a), 5(c),
17(a)(1), 17(a)(2) and 17(a)(3) of the Securities Act and
Sections 10(b) and 15(a)(1) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5
thereunder in connection with their participation in the
unregistered offer and sale to the public of securities in the
form of agreements issued by Starcash, Inc.  A hearing will be
scheduled to determine whether the allegations are true, to
afford Respondents an opportunity to establish any defenses
thereto, and to determine whether remedial sanctions and a
cease-and-desist order should be imposed against them.  


HOSPITAL ATTENDANTS: FL Court Certifies Suit For Better Benefits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Florida Federal Judge Stephan Mickle certified as a class action
the lawsuit filed by the American Federation of State, County
and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) on behalf of 842 unit treatment
and rehabilitation counselors and other front-line workers in
state mental institutions, Tallahasee.com reports.

The class members are generally known as "UTRs" and come in
close contact with the criminally insane, even some Death Row
inmates who are sent to state hospitals for mental evaluation.  
However, these workers do not get the "special risk" retirement
benefits that people working in physically demanding, high
stress jobs like police officers and prison guards get after
about 25 years.

"I've been choked unconscious by a resident who had first-degree
murder charges on him," Kelvin Haywood, a UTR specialist who has
worked 23 years at a Chattahoochee, Florida facility told
Tallahasee.com.  "It's the same setting as a jail or prison, and
the majority of our direct-contact staff are black."

Mr. Haywood, AFSCME State President Jeannette Wynn and Ben
Patterson, the Tallahassee attorney representing the union, told
Tallahasee.com 77 percent of the UTRs and other attendants who
most times restrain, feed and clean residents at the state
hospitals are black.  They said 77 percent of the dietitians,
psychologists, pharmacists and nurses who have little contact
with residents at the institutions are white.

The Department of Children & Families issued a statement saying
certification of the class action is not an "indication as to
which way the court is leaning in this case."  The department
said it was just carrying out legislative intent.

"The Legislature in 2000 included in the special-risk category
psychologists, registered nurses and other professionals," said
DCF, according to Tallahasee.com.  "It did not include non-
professional employees represented by AFSCME."


K&G MEN'S CENTER: Tailors File Suit For CA Labor Law Violations
---------------------------------------------------------------
K&G Men's Center, Inc. faces a multi-party action filed in the
Los Angeles Superior Court of California, alleging that in the
State of California, the Company misclassified the tailors
working in their stores as "independent contractors" and refused
to classify them as non-exempt employees subject to the
application of certain California labor statutes.

Because of this alleged misclassification, the suit alleges that
K&G failed to pay hourly and overtime compensation and provide
the required rest periods required by such labor statutes.  The
suit further alleges that K&G violated several other labor
statutes and regulations as well as the California Unfair
Competition Law.  It seeks, among other things, restitution,
disgorgement due to failure to comply with California labor
laws, penalties, declaratory and injunctive relief.


MCDONALD'S CORPORATION: Introduces Healthy Happy Meal For Adults
----------------------------------------------------------------
Fast food giant McDonald's Corporation has introduced an adult
version of the Happy Meal, containing a salad, an exercise
booklet and a pedometer to encourage walking, in an effort to
offer healthier products, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel
reports.

The Company and other fast food chains have tried to offer
healthier fare, as the fat and calorie content of their menu has
recently come under fire.  The popular chain was the target of
several class actions, blaming it for making people obese, and
charging it with hiding the health risks of eating its popular
Big Macs and Chicken McNuggets.  Two weeks ago, New York Federal
Judge Robert Sweet threw out the lawsuit for the second time.

Fitness guru Bob Greene, also Oprah Winfrey's personal trainer,
agreed to help promote the Go Active Meal, which is being test-
marketed at 150 McDonald's restaurants in Indiana.  Mr. Greene
told the Sun-Sentinel he couldn't remember the last time he
visited a McDonald's restaurant, but consumers had to take
"personal responsibility" for the choices they make when it
comes to consuming food.

McDonald's has a "long, long way to go" solidify a reputation
for promoting healthy foods, Bob Goldin, an analyst at Chicago-
based food consultancy Technomic, told the Sun-Sentinel.  

However, he gave the company points for trying.  "McDonald's
sees some major trends, and the company is trying to be
responsive," he said.  "Whether these initiatives will actually
move the needle (to boost sales), I don't know."


MEDI-HUT COMPANY: SEC Launches Civil Suit For Securities Fraud
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil action
against Medi-Hut Company, Inc., a publicly-traded drug
wholesaler based in New Jersey, and the company's top three
former officers:

     (1) Chief Executive Officer Joseph A. Sanpietro;

     (2) Chief Financial Officer Laurence M. Simon and

     (3) Vice President of Sales, Lawrence P. Marasco

These three corporate officials also pled guilty today to
related criminal charges, including lying during the SEC
investigation.  The civil and the criminal cases were both
filed, before the United States District Court for the District
of New Jersey.

The SEC's complaint, which was filed in the same court, alleges
that Mr. Sanpietro, Mr. Simon and Mr. Marasco inflated Medi-
Hut's revenues and earnings through fictitious period-end
invoices and other accounting irregularities.  According to the
complaint, Mr. Sanpietro and Mr. Simon also concealed from the
investing public the fact that Mr. Marasco secretly owned and
controlled one of Medi-Hut's largest customers, and that all
three defendants lied to Medi-Hut's independent auditors.  

These fraudulent accounting and disclosure violations devices
and the lies to Medi-Hut's auditors enabled the company to tout
"blockbuster" revenue growth and created the appearance of
profitability, when in fact the company was operating at a loss.  
As a result, Medi-Hut's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the
fiscal year ended October 31, 2001, and three Quarterly Reports
on Forms  10-Q  for fiscal year ended October 31, 2002, were
materially false and misleading.  

The complaint further alleged that the market for Medi-Hut
common stock responded to this misinformation, remaining at an
artificially high level.  The stock traded between approximately
$7 and $13 in January 2002.  

After Medi-Hut's fraud was partially disclosed to the market
through news articles and press releases, the stock price began
to spiral downward.  According to the complaint, Mr. Sanpietro
was unjustly enriched by his sale of Medi-Hut common stock
during the relevant period.
     
Without admitting or denying the allegations in the complaint,
Medi-Hut consented to a final judgment permanently enjoining it
from violating Sections 10(b), 13(a), 13(b)(2)(A) and
13(b)(2)(B) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rules
10b-5, 12b-20, 13a-1 and 13a-13, promulgated thereunder.  

Also without admitting or denying the allegations in the
complaint, Mr. Sanpietro, Mr. Simon and Mr. Marasco consented to
final judgments permanently enjoining them from violating
Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rules 10b-5, 13b2-1 and
13b2-2 thereunder and aiding and abetting violations of Sections
13(a), 13(b)(2)(A) and 13(b)(2)(B) of the Exchange Act and Rules
12b-20, 13a-1 and 13a-13 thereunder.  The three individuals also
consented to permanent officer and director bars.  Mr. Sanpietro
agreed to pay disgorgement of $171,000 for his stock sales, plus
prejudgment interest of $14,913.


MEN'S WEARHOUSE: Firm, Subsidiaries Face CA Overtime Wage Suits
---------------------------------------------------------------
Men's Wearhouse, Inc. faces several suits alleging overtime wage
law violations filed in California courts.  The first suit was
filed against the Company in the Superior Court of California
for the County of Orange.  Another lawsuit was filed against K&G
Men's Center, Inc. and K&G Men's Company Inc., wholly owned
subsidiaries of the Company, in the Los Angeles Superior Court
of California.

The Orange County suit was brought as a purported class action.  
The Los Angeles County suit was brought as a multi-party action.  
Both suits allege several causes of action, each based on the
factual allegation that in the State of California the Company
and K&G misclassified its managers and assistant managers as
exempt from the application of certain California labor
statutes.

Because of this alleged misclassification, the suits allege that
the Company and K&G failed to pay overtime compensation and
provide the required rest periods to such employees.  The suits
seek, among other things, declaratory and injunctive relief
along with an accounting as to alleged wages, premium pay,
penalties, interest and restitution allegedly due the class
defendants.

The Company believes that its managers and assistant managers
were properly classified as exempt under such statutes and,
therefore, properly compensated, so the suits are without merit.


NCI BUILDING: Plaintiffs File Second Amended TX Securities Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs filed a second amended class action against NCI
Building Systems, Inc. and certain of its current officers in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of
Texas, on behalf of purchasers of NCI common stock during
various periods ranging from August 25, 1999 through April 12,
2001.

The plaintiffs allege, among other things, that during the
financial periods that were restated, the Company:

     (1) made materially false and misleading statements about
         the status and effectiveness of a management
         information and accounting system used by its
         components division;

     (2) failed to assure that the system maintained books and
         records accurately reflecting inventory levels and
         costs of goods sold;

     (3) failed to maintain internal controls on manual
         accounting entries made to certain inventory-related
         accounts in an effort to correct the data in the
         system;

     (4) otherwise engaged in improper accounting practices that
         overstated earnings; and

     (5) issued materially false and misleading financial
         statements.

The plaintiffs further allege that the individual defendants
traded in the Company's common stock while in possession of
material, non-public information regarding the foregoing.  The
plaintiffs in the consolidated complaint assert various claims
under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934, and seek unspecified amounts of compensatory damages,
interest and costs, including legal fees.

On March 15, 2002, the Company filed its motion to dismiss the
suit.  The court later entered its order granting in part and
denying in part the motion to dismiss.  In addition, the court
granted leave for the plaintiffs to further amend the complaint.


PEP BOYS: Agrees To Arbitration For Overtime Wage Lawsuit in CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Pep Boys - Manny Moe & Jack's California subsidiary agreed
to enter arbitration proceedings for two consolidated class
actions filed on behalf of former and current store management
employees who claim that they were improperly classified as
exempt from the overtime provisions of California law in
California Superior Court.

The suit seeks compensation for all overtime hours worked.  
Plaintiffs' motion to certify the case as a class action to
represent all persons employed in California since March 29,
1996 as salaried store managers, assistant store managers,
service managers and assistant service managers was previously
granted by the trial court.  The Company's appeals of that
decision through the California Supreme Court were unsuccessful.


PETCO ANIMAL: Applicants Launch Suit For Labor Code Violations
--------------------------------------------------------------
Petco Animal Supplies Co. was named as a defendant in a class
action filed by three alleged applicants for employment against
over 100 retailers in the Superior Court of California for the
County of Los Angeles.

The complaint alleges that the individual plaintiffs and the
purported class members sought employment with the other
retailers or the Company, and that the written employment
application asked, in violation of the California Labor Code and
Unfair Business Practices Act, about convictions for certain
marijuana offenses and about convictions that resulted in the
defendant being sent to a diversion program.  The case in state
court was stayed pending an initial status conference.  One of
the co-defendants has removed the action to the United States
District Court for the Central District of California.

The Company has not made an appearance in the case, and no
pleadings or discovery has been initiated.  


SIMON & SCHUSTER: Recalls Children's Books For Choking Hazard
-------------------------------------------------------------
Simon & Schuster, Inc. is cooperating with the United States
Consumer Product Safety Commission by voluntarily recalling
26,000 Dora the Explorer Children's Board Books.  A plastic
replica of a balloon attached to the book can detach, posing a
choking hazard to young children.

The heavy-cardboard book has "Whose Birthday Is It?" printed on
the cover in yellow letters.  Dora the Explorer cartoon
characters are pictured on each page.  A cutout in the top left
corner of book has a small plastic replica of a balloon
attached.  The yellow and orange balloon is used as a slide to
reveal answers to questions in the book.

Discount department stores and bookstores nationwide sold the
books during August 2003 for about $10.

For more details, contact the Company by Phone: (800) 223-2336
between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or
visit the firm's Website: http://www.simonsayskids.com.


WAFFLE HOUSE: African-American Customers File Race Bias Lawsuits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Waffle House and 13 of its restaurants in five states face
several racial discrimination suits filed by its African-
American customers, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.  
The suit seeks monetary damages and a change in how they treat
the members of the class.

"If substantiated, the complaints suggest a corporate culture
that needs to be changed," Henderson Hill of Charlotte, one of
the attorneys for the plaintiffs told the Atlanta Journal-
Constitution.  The thirteen suits are being filed separately,
but the plaintiffs are considering a class action.

The charges in the complaint are "false and we will defend our
restaurants through the courts," Julie London, the chain's vice
president, said in a prepared statement.  "Unfortunately,
alleging discrimination and suing restaurant chains has become a
cottage industry."


WHEAT FIRST: SEC Finds Trader, Firm Guilty of Securities Fraud
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission found that
Wheat First Securities, Inc., f/k/a First Union Capital Markets
Corporation, acting as a municipal securities dealer, and its
former assistant vice-president, Teressa L. Cawley, a registered
municipal securities principal, engaged in deceptive, dishonest,
and unfair practices while serving as financial advisors to
Broward County, Florida, on certain municipal bond refundings,
in violation of Rule G-17 of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking
Board and Section 15B(c)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934.
     
The Commission found that Wheat First, through Ms. Cawley,
breached its federal disclosure obligations by failing to
disclose to the County fees paid to South Florida lobbyist and
lawyer Ronald L. Book in connection with the refundings.  The
Commission further found that the non-disclosures of Book's fees
were particularly egregious in light of the fact that Wheat
First and Ms. Cawley had misled the County as to Book's
involvement in assisting them in securing the financial advisor
position.
     
The Commission suspended Ms. Cawley for three months from
association with any broker, dealer, or municipal securities
dealer; ordered her and Wheat First to cease-and-desist from
committing or causing any violations or future violations of
Exchange Act 15B(c)(1); imposed civil money penalties of $15,000
on Ms. Cawley and $20,000 on Wheat First; and required Wheat
First to disgorge $114, 493.31 in revenues from two of three
bond refundings.  


WORLD MONEY: SEC Charges Executive, Firm With Securities Fraud
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission held that World Money
Managers (WMM) and Terence Michael Coxon violated the antifraud
and disclosure provisions of the Securities Act, Exchange Act,
and the Investment Company Act.  The Commission also found that
Mr. Coxon aided and abetted WMM's violations of Section 206(2)
of the Advisers Act.  

The Commission further found that WMM and Mr. Coxon aided and
abetted and were causes of an investment company's violations of
the investment policy, self-dealing, and fund governance
provisions of the Investment Company Act.  WMM was the
investment adviser to the Permanent Portfolio, an investment
company.  Mr. Coxon is one of WMM's general partners.
     
The Commission found that Mr. Coxon and Alan Michael Sergy, who
was a consultant to WMM, caused the Permanent Portfolio to
invest in a broker-dealer.  WMM, Mr. Coxon, and Sergy then used
the funds from the broker-dealer to pay salaries, rent, and to
fund various unrelated business ventures.  

In addition, although the fund's prospectus represented that WMM
would pay certain of the fund's ordinary operating expenses,
respondents arranged for the fund to pay those expenses.  The
Commission ordered Mr. Coxon and WMM to cease and desist and to
pay disgorgement.  The Commission dismissed the proceeding as to
Mr. Sergy because he is suffering from a serious illness.  

    
WULF INTERNATIONAL: SEC Files Federal Suit Over Securities Fraud
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a federal court
action against Wulf International Ltd. (WIL) and George R. Wulf,
the former chairman of its board of directors and its former
chief executive officer.   

The Commission's complaint alleges that, between January 2001
and April 2002, WIL, through George R. Wulf, made false and
misleading statements in six press releases concerning:  

     (1) its receipt of financing commitments for low-income
         housing projects in the Philippines and Pakistan;  

     (2) its receipt of approval from the Philippines government
         for one such housing project; and

     (3) related earnings projections.
     
The Commission's complaint alleges that WIL and George R. Wulf
violated Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.  The complaint seeks permanent
injunctions against both defendants, and as to George R. Wulf,
disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, civil money penalties, and
officer and director and penny stock bars.  


                        Asbestos Alert


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Relief Trust to Give First Payment
----------------------------------------------------------------
The first relief payments are to be disbursed soon out of the
Asbestos Relief Trust to five mesothelioma sufferers, claimant
representative Reza Williams confirmed, according to a report
from Sunday Times.

The trust was set up in July after Gencor paid out R460,500,000
without admitting liability to former asbestos miners suffering
from occupational diseases.  Mr. Williams, from the Moffat
Mission in Kuruman in the Northern Cape, said the first five
payments were to be interim disbursements.  

The receivers had been given only a few months to live and the
payments were to make their last days more comfortable.  The
trust deed determined that payouts were to be made only after
six months.  However, the board of trustees had used its
discretionary powers in the cases of these five sufferers, Mr.
Williams said.  Three of them lived in Kuruman, one in Riversdal
in the Western Cape and the fifth in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga.   

Mr. Williams expected other payouts from the trust to commence
from February 2004 onwards.  Several thousands of claimants were
to be compensated from the trust, although an exact figure had
not been determined yet, he said.

The trust was currently completing an actuarial investigation.
It held around R4 million in cash after money had been set aside
for environmental rehabilitation costs and legal fees.  Mr.
Williams said the procedure of payouts still had to be
finalized.  More than one bank would be used to deposit the
payments electronically into claimants' accounts.

Legal firm Leigh, Day & Co announced earlier this month that its
asbestosis claimants were to receive their compensation payments
within weeks.  In a case related to the one against Gencor,
Leigh, Day & Co represented around 7,500 Northern Cape claimants
against the British firm Cape plc.  After years of legal
wrangling, Cape plc agreed in March to pay GBP7.5 million to the
7,500 claimants.  It equaled around R97 million at the time.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Musician Dies 30 Years After Exposure
----------------------------------------------------------
George Rackley died at Battle Hospital on July 27, 30 years
after he was exposed to asbestos at the former Earley power
station.  Mr. Rackley, a fitter, of Grazeley Road, Three Mile
Cross, played trombone for the Reading Spring Garden Band for 49
years.

Lavinia Rackley, speaking on the 20th anniversary of their
wedding, said her 60- year-old husband complained of chest pains
that were later found to be caused by an asbestos-related tumor.  
She said her husband worked at the power station before they met
and had been exposed to asbestos without protective clothing
while removing it from pipes.

Reading coroner Peter Bedford recorded a verdict of death by
industrial disease.  He said: "It only takes one single fiber to
get into the lung. You don't know it's there. Then 30 or 40
years later it's discovered and it's too late. It's an awful
disease."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Plaza Tower, DEQ Battle on Asbestos
--------------------------------------------------------
Owners of Plaza Tower office building have refused to settle
with the Department of Environmental Quality, setting the stage
for a three-day trial in February, according to a report from
Times-Picayune.

It has been seven years since the allegations of asbestos
containment regulations violation have been raised against the
building on Howard Avenue.   "We prepared a settlement, they
didn't want to settle, so we're going to trial on the whole
deal," said Alan Kirkpatrick, the latest of three DEQ lawyers to
handle the case.

Kai Midboe, who represents building owners Schumann and Mondona
Rafizadeh, their companies and employees in the case, said he
didn't think negotiations had fallen apart.  "They just haven't
moved forward. I haven't gotten my client's approval for
settlement," he said.

A settlement offered in 1999 included a $120,000 fine and the
implementation of a DEQ-approved asbestos management plan.  
However, Mr. Kirkpatrick wouldn't say what the specific
settlement terms rejected in August were.

The Plaza Tower case dates back to 1996 and 1998, when
inspectors responded to anonymous phone tips that asbestos
procedures were being violated at the building as workers
prepared office space for the state Department of Health and
Hospitals and the Department of Social Services.

Acting on those tips, inspectors took samples from the building,
tested them and determined they were asbestos containing
materials, known as ACM.  Mr. Midboe, in his defense of the
building owners, will argue at the trial in February that
evidence against his clients was illegally obtained because
search warrants were not used.  Only those businesses that are
"pervasively regulated" by DEQ, such as chemical plants and oil
refineries operating under DEQ permits are subject to
warrantless searches, he said.

Other businesses, "like office buildings or your dentist's
office," do not operate under DEQ permits and should not be
subjected to surprise inspections, he said.

Talks with the state have taken place on and off for years as
the case was juggled between DEQ attorneys.  Mr. Midboe said
changes in the building's ownership also stalled the case.  The
Rafizadehs bought the building in 1993, sold it in 2000 and
bought it back in 2001.

Mike Drury, an investigator in the Plaza Tower case, said the
case is the most drawn-out asbestos enforcement action he has
been involved with since joining the DEQ staff in 1991.  Mr.
Drury said he has seen at least 30 asbestos cases cleared
through DEQ, whether by out-of-court settlements or trials.  The
only other pending asbestos case in Louisiana concerns the
abandoned Falstaff brewery building in Mid-City.  Normally, if a
settlement isn't reached, a case is heard before a state
administrative law judge.  A judge has scheduled a trial for
February 22, 23 and 24, 2004.

The asbestos case isn't the only pending litigation involving
the Plaza Tower.  Hundreds of employees who once worked in state
offices in the building have filed a class action against the
owners.  The plaintiffs, who also are suing their employer for
making them work in the building, allege that working conditions
in the 44-story office building at 1001 Howard Ave. made them
sick.  Their suit alleges that asbestos, mold and faulty heating
and air conditioning systems soured air quality.

The Rafizadehs have countersued the state as well as the local
real estate broker who helped the state find new office space.  
The Rafizadehs say the broker and the state conspired to move
the leases from the Plaza Tower to a competitor and that state
workers lied about conditions in the building.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Chubb Reports Asbestos-Related Suits Status
----------------------------------------------------------------
Chubb Indemnity Insurance Company has been served with a total
of 20 complaints in the Texas actions.  The plaintiffs in these
suits generally allege that Chubb Indemnity and the other
defendants breached duties to asbestos product end-users and
conspired to conceal risks associated with asbestos exposure.  
The plaintiffs seek to impose liability on insurers directly.  
The plaintiffs seek unspecified monetary damages and punitive
damages.

Chubb Corporation's Form 10-K, filed with the Securities and
Exchange Commission, indicated the suits filed in Nueces and
Bexar county district courts, and were served to Chubb Indemnity
as early as December.  In July 2003, the trial court ordered
dismissal of seven Nueces County cases. One Nueces County case
was voluntarily dismissed by the plaintiffs.

In the first weeks of June, Chubb Indemnity was served with
similar cases in Cuyahoga County, Ohio.  To date, Chubb
Indemnity has been served in seven cases in Ohio.  The
allegations and the damages sought in the Ohio actions are
substantially similar to those in the Texas actions.  Chubb
Indemnity is vigorously defending all of these actions.



ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Crane Co. Discloses Asbestos Liabilities
-------------------------------------------------------------
Crane Co. is a defendant, among a number of defendants,
typically over 50 and frequently in the hundreds, in cases filed
in various state and federal courts alleging injury or death as
a result of exposure to asbestos.

Activity related to asbestos claims in the periods indicated was
as follows:    

Six Months Ended June 30, 2003               2002

Beginning claims          54,038           16,180   
New claims                13,195           11,866
Settlements               (3,328)          (2,071)  
Dismissals                  (254)            (144)   
Ending claims             63,651           25,831    

Year Ended December 31, 2002          

Beginning claims           16,180
New claims                 49,429  
Settlements               (11,299)
Dismissals                   (272)
Ending claims              54,038
    
Of the 63,651 pending claims as of June 30, 2003, around 22,000
were filed in New York by one firm and several firms in
Mississippi filed around 30,000.  These filings typically do not
identify any of the Company's products as a source of asbestos
exposure.  Based on Crane's past experience, it is expected that
a substantial majority of such New York claims will be dismissed
against the Company for lack of product identification.  
   
The gross settlement and defense costs (before insurance
recoveries and tax effects) for the Company in the six months
ended June 30, 2003 totaled $3.8 million and $4.5 million
respectively.

The Company's total pre-tax cash payments for settlement and
defense costs net of Crane's cost sharing arrangements with
insurers amounted to $2.3 million for the six months ended
June 30, 2003 and reflect the timing and terms of payments in
accordance with the aforementioned arrangements.
   
The liability recorded for asbestos claims constitutes
management's best estimate, based on the Company's past
experience, of costs for pending and reasonably anticipated
future claims through 2007.

For claims that will be filed beyond 2007, management believes
that the level of uncertainty is too great to provide for
reasonable estimation of the number of future claims, the nature
of such claims, or the cost to resolve them and, accordingly, no
accrual has been recorded for any costs which may be incurred
beyond 2007.  A long-term liability was recorded to cover the
estimated cost of asbestos claims through 2007 and a long-term
asset was recorded representing the probable insurance
reimbursement for such claims.

The Company's liability for asbestos-related claims before
insurance recoveries, which is included in other liabilities,
was $195 million and $200 million at June 30, 2003 and December
31, 2002, respectively, or $118 million and $120 million,
respectively, after probable insurance recoveries.

At both June 30, 2003 and December 31, 2002, approximately 70%
of the asbestos liability represented the estimated cost of
unasserted claims against the Company.  


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Entergy Units Face 320 Asbestos Lawsuits
-------------------------------------------------------------
Entergy Corporation (NYSE: ETR) reports that its units, Entergy
Gulf States, Entergy Louisiana, Entergy Mississippi, and Entergy
New Orleans face around 320 lawsuits involving around 7000
claims in federal and state courts in Texas, Mississippi, and
Louisiana primarily by contractor employees in the 1950-1980
timeframe, as premises owners of power plants, for damages
caused by alleged exposure to asbestos or other hazardous
material.

These lawsuits involve many other co-defendants.  Reserves have
been established that are expected to be adequate to cover any
exposure.

Additionally, negotiations continue with insurers for
reimbursement of losses, while new coverage is being secured to
minimize anticipated future potential exposures.  Management
believes that loss exposure has been and will continue to be
handled successfully so that the ultimate resolution of these
matters will not be material, in the aggregate, to the financial
position or results of operation of the domestic utility
companies involved in these lawsuits.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Halliburton Shares Surge on Asbestos Talks
-------------------------------------------------------------
The shares of Halliburton Co. went up on Tuesday a group of
insurers passed a draft on asbestos-related payment schemes to
insurers and asbestos-laden companies.

"Negotiations to reform U.S. asbestos litigation procedures are
building momentum," Reuters reported that Lehman Brothers
analyst Joseph D'Amadeo said in a research note.

According to a report from the Houston Business Journal, Julie
Rochman, spokeswoman for the American Insurance Association,
said that the group is presenting the proposal, which presents
more than 400 insurance firms. However, she did not know the
details of the proposal.

Citing US congressional staff members, Mr. D'Amadeo said the
proposal would commit asbestos-liable companies to an upfront
payment of $52 billion with insurers matching that amount over a
longer period of 20 years to 30 years.  Any additional payments
would be split between the two industries, up to an undetermined
hard cap, he said.

The talks are part of a broader series of negotiations sparked
by an asbestos reform bill in the US Congress.  Its main
sponsor, Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch, has asked insurers
and asbestos companies to try to reach a deal that could help
rescue the floundering measure.

Sen. Hatch's bill, which passed the Judiciary Committee in July
on a near party-line vote, would end asbestos lawsuits and
instead compensate people sickened by the mineral from a trust
funded supported by business and insurers.

Reuters reported that asbestos was widely used for fireproofing
and insulation until the 1970s, when scientists concluded that
inhaled fibers could be linked to cancer and other diseases.
Injury claims have driven 67 US firms into bankruptcy.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Harsco Faces 38,740 Asbestos Injury Claims
---------------------------------------------------------------
Harsco reports that as of June 30, there are around 38,740 open
personal injury claims against the Company, of which 3,330 were
filed in the quarter ended June 30, 2003.  Harsco has been named
as one of many defendants, about 90 or more in most cases, in
legal actions alleging personal injury from exposure to air-
borne asbestos.

The plaintiffs have named as defendants many manufacturers,
distributors and repairers of numerous types of equipment or
products that may involve asbestos.  Most of these complaints
contain a standard claim for damages of $20 million or more
against the named defendants.

As of June 30, 2003, Harsco has obtained dismissal by
stipulation, or summary judgment prior to trial, in all cases
that have proceeded to trial, around 663 dismissals.  Harsco has
not paid any amounts in settlement of these cases, except for
two settlements totaling less than $10,000 paid by its insurance
carrier prior to 1998.  Harsco believes that if the Company is
found to be liable in any of these actions and its liability
were to exceed its insurance coverage, the results of
operations, cash flows and financial condition could be
adversely affected.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: IR Unit Posts $7.7M for Asbestos Cases
-----------------------------------------------------------
For the six months ended June 30, 2003, IR-New Jersey, a
subsidiary of Ingersoll Rand Co. Ltd, reports that the total
costs for settlement and defense of asbestos claims after
insurance recoveries and net of tax is $7.7 million as compared
to $13 million for the full year 2002.

IR-New Jersey is a defendant in numerous asbestos-related
lawsuits in state and federal courts.  In virtually all of the
suits a large number of other companies have also been named as
defendants.

The claims against IR-New Jersey generally allege injury caused
by exposure to asbestos contained in certain of IR-New Jersey's
products.  Although IR-New Jersey was neither a producer nor a
manufacturer of asbestos, some of its formerly manufactured
products utilized asbestos-containing components such as gaskets
purchased from third-party suppliers.

In assessing its potential asbestos liability, the Company bases
its estimates on current laws, an assessment of the nature of
current claims, its claims settlement experience and insurance
coverage.  All claims resolved to date have been dismissed or
settled, and IR-New Jersey's average settlement amount per claim
has been nominal.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Briggs & Stratton Gets Asbestos Liabilities
-----------------------------------------------------------
Briggs & Stratton Corporation (NYSE: BGG) reports that it
encounters asbestos-related liabilities every now and then in
the course of its business.

Although it is not possible to predict with certainty the
outcome of these unresolved legal actions or the range of
possible loss, Briggs & Stratton believes these unresolved legal
actions will not have a material effect on its financial
position or results of operations.   

Accordingly, a reserve is maintained for the estimated costs of
such claims.  On June 29, 2003 and June 30, 2002 the reserve for
product and general liability claims, including asbestos-related
liabilities, was $4.7 million and $2 million respectively.  
Because there is inherent uncertainty as to the eventual
resolution of unsettled claims, no reasonable range of possible
losses can be determined.

Management does not anticipate that these claims, excluding the
impact of insurance proceeds and reserves, will have a material
adverse effect on the financial condition or results of
operations of the Company.


COMPANY PROFILE

Briggs & Stratton Corporation (NYSE: BGG)
12301 W. Wirth St.
Wauwatosa, WI 53222
Phone: 414-259-5333
Fax: 414-259-5773
http://www.briggsandstratton.com

Employees      : 7,249
Revenue        : $1,657,600,000
Net Income     :    $80,600,000
Assets         : $1,475,200,000
Liabilities    :   $960,100,000
(As of June 30, 2003)

Description: Briggs & Stratton is the world's largest producer
of three- to 25-horsepower air-cooled gasoline engines used in
lawn mowers and garden tillers.  Lawn and garden equipment
manufacturers are its biggest customers, with generator,
pressure washer, and pump manufacturers also chipping in.  The
company has acquired former rival Generac Portable Products, a
maker of portable generators, pressure washers, and related
accessories.  Briggs & Stratton's gas engines are made in the
US; it serves overseas customers through a global network of
distributors, a regional office in Switzerland, and a warehouse
in the Netherlands.


                    New Securities Fraud Cases



CHECK POINT: Shepherd Finkelman Files Securities Suit in S.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLC initiated a securities
action on behalf of all purchasers of securities of Check Point
Software Technologies, Ltd., (Nasdaq: CHKP), between and
including July 10, 2001 and April 4, 2002 in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York against the
the Company and:

     (1) Gil Shwed,

     (2) Jerry Ungerman,

     (3) Eyal Desheh,

     (4) Irwin Federman, and

     (5) Alex Vieux

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.  Specifically, the Complaint alleges
that, throughout the Class Period, Defendants issued numerous
statements concerning Check Point's revenue growth, product and
marketing initiatives, and increasing revenues and profits while
failing to disclose that demand for the Company's products was
materially declining.

When this information was belatedly disclosed to the market on
April 4, 2002, shares of Check Point fell as low as $20.09, to
close at $22.07, on extremely heavy trading volume.

For more details, contact James E. Miller or James C. Shah by
Phone: 866/540-5505 or 877/891-9880 or by E-mail:
jmiller@classactioncounsel.com or jshah@classactioncounsel.com
or visit the firm's Website: http://www.classactioncounsel.com


CHECK POINT: Emerson Poynter Lodges Securities Suit in S.D. NY
--------------------------------------------------------------
Emerson Poynter LLP initiated a securities class action on
behalf of purchasers of the securities of Check Point Software
Technologies Ltd. (NasdaqNM:CHKP) during the period between July
10, 2001 and April 4, 2002 inclusive. The action is pending in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York against the Company and:

     (1) Gil Shwed,

     (2) Jerry Ungerman,

     (3) Eyal Desheh,

     (4) Irwin Federman,

     (5) Alex Vieux, and

     (6) Check Point Software Technologies

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 July 10, 2001 and April
4, 2002.  Specifically, the complaint alleges that the Company
made materially false and misleading statements with respect to
its earnings and revenue forecasts, and the success of its sales
initiatives.  

In truth and in fact, the Company's sales and marketing efforts
were not succeeding; the Company was experiencing declining
demand for its products and services and was not performing
according to its internal plans; the Company was improperly
recognizing deferred revenues in order to manage the Company's
revenues, thereby overstating its financial results; and
defendants forecasts and projections lacked a reasonable basis,
at all relevant times.

The truth was revealed on April 4, 2002.  On that date, Check
Point shocked the market when it announced that it expected a
revenue shortfall of at least $15 million for the quarter ending
March 31, 2002. On this news, shares of Check Point fell over
24% on extremely heavy trading volume.

For more details, contact the firm by Mail: 830 Apollo Lane,
Houston, Texas 77058, by Phone: 1 (800) 663-9817 or by E-mail:
shareholder@emersonfirm.com


CONSTAR INTERNATIONAL: Marc Henzel Lodges Securities Suit in PA
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Marc S. Henzel initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania on behalf of all purchasers of Constar
International, Inc. (Nasdaq:CNST) stock issued in connection
with or traceable to its November 2002 Initial Public Offering
(IPO).

The complaint charges Constar and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Act of 1933. Constar
is a wholly owned subsidiary of Crown Cork & Seal Co.  Crown is
a leading supplier of packaging products to consumer marketing
companies around the world.

In November 2002, Constar completed an IPO of 10.5 million
shares of stock pursuant to a Prospectus/Registration Statement.  
The IPO, which was solely comprised of shares sold by Crown, was
priced at $12 per share for total proceeds of $117 million after
underwriting discounts and commissions.  The complaint alleges
that the Prospectus/Registration Statement was materially false
and misleading and failed to disclose, among other things, that:

     (1) the Company was then experiencing an unseasonably low
         demand in its carbonated soft drink bottle business;

     (2) the Company was then experiencing an adverse impact in
         the Company's revenue stream due to the "pass-through"
         of lower resin costs;

     (3) the Company was then experiencing an adverse trend in
         the Company's conventional PET container shipments;

     (4) the Company's management had changed its focus just
         prior to the IPO and purposely reduced its higher
         volume preforms, causing a fourth quarter revenue
         shortfall; and

     (5) the Company's goodwill was impaired, and defendants
         failed to timely take an impairment charge.

As this adverse information was disclosed, the Company's shares
eventually plummeted to $5.00 per share.  Public investors who
purchased shares traceable to the IPO based on Constar's
representations, paying $12 per share for Constar stock, have
suffered tens of millions of dollars in damages.

For more details, contact Marc S. Henzel by Mail: 273 Montgomery
Ave, Suite 202 Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004-2808, by Phone:
888-643-6735 or 610-660-8000, by Fax: 610-660-8080, by E-mail:
Mhenzel182@aol.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://members.aol.com/mhenzel182.   


FLOWSERVE CORPORATION: Wolf Haldenstein Lodges Stock Suit in TX
---------------------------------------------------------------
Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP initiated a securities
class action in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Texas, on behalf of all persons who
purchased securities of Flowserve Corporation (NYSE: FLS)
between October 23, 2001 and September 27, 2002, inclusive,(
against the Company, C. Scott Greer (Chairman, President, and
Chief Executive Officer), and Renee J. Hornbaker (Vice President
and Chief Financial Officer).

The complaint alleges that the defendants made material
misrepresentations and/or failed to make material disclosures
about the Company throughout the Class Period.  For example,
defendants:

     (1) misrepresented that the Company's aftermarket sales
         (the Company's "quick turnaround" business) were
         steady, stable and consistent streams of revenue;

     (2) misrepresented that the Company's growth made it less
         dependent upon the chemical and industrial segments,
         which had historically been very sensitive to economic
         downturn;

     (3) failed to disclose that the Company had instructed one
         or more of its plants to stop building inventory as a
         result of the projected (albeit undisclosed) continuing
         decline in sales; and

     (4) without any reasonable basis, projected full year 2002
         earnings at ranges that were unattainable due to the
         declines the Company was experiencing in critical
         business segments.

After the market closed on July 22, 2002, Flowserve's financial
problems began to be revealed.  In a press release dated July
22, 2002, the defendants revealed that the quick turnaround
business, particularly in the chemical and industrial sectors,
had weakened substantially, resulting in the Company's lowering
their previously projected and reaffirmed earnings guidance for
full year 2002 results.

In addition, the defendants admitted during their conference
call with analysts the next day that they had cut back
production of inventory at several plants due to the declining
demand, despite defendant Greer's positive affirmations about
the Company's business between March and May.  In reducing the
previously reaffirmed year end guidance, however, the defendants
still claimed that they could hit the low end of the range
previously held out to the investing public.

The truth continued to emerge on September 27, 2002 when the
Company announced a further reduction in its full year 2002
earnings guidance, admitting that the deterioration of their
quick turnaround business was even worse than they had led the
market previously to believe, particularly in the chemical,
power and general industrial sectors.

In response to this announcement, the Company's shares fell
precipitously over 38% from the previous trading day's closing
price, to $8.70 -- a decline of over 75% from the Class Period
high of $34.90 reached on May 2, 2002.

For more details, contact Fred Taylor Isquith, Michael J. Miske,
George Peters, or Derek Behnke by Mail: 270 Madison Avenue, New
York, New York 10016, by Phone: (800) 575-0735 by E-mail:
classmember@whafh.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.whafh.com. All e-mail correspondence should make  
reference to Flowserve.

                        *********

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

                        *********


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

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

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

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