CAR_Public/031010.mbx            C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

           Friday, October 10, 2003, Vol. 5, No. 200

                        Headlines


BREAST IMPLANTS: Health Groups Protest V. Possible FDA Approval
CHELSEA PROPERTY: NJ Developers Sue Over Property Restrictions
CINGULAR WIRELESS: CA Consumer Group Files Unfair Trade Lawsuit
CREDIT SUISSE: Final Govt Witness Testifies in Quattrone Trial
EUNIVERSE INC.: Stockholders File Securities Fraud Suits in CA

FIRE ALARMS: CPSC Warns Many US Homes Have Defective Fire Alarms
FOOD INDUSTRY: FSIS Increases Efficiency In Detecting Salmonella
HOLOCAUST LITIGATION: Report Says Secrecy Laws Blocking Payments
HOLLYWOOD: Dissent Increases Over MPAA Ban on Oscar Screeners
ILLINOIS: Oak Park School Faces Suit For Installing Wireless LAN

ILLINOIS: Court Dismisses Chicago's Lawsuit V. Lead Paint Firms
LIMP BIZKIT: Disgruntled Fans Sue Over Band's Shortened Set
MONTANA: Counties Dropped From Inadequate Public Defense Lawsuit
NAN YA PLASTICS: Ex-Manager Acquitted, Antitrust Suit Proceeds
NEW HAMPSHIRE: Leak Discovered at Seabrook Station Nuclear Plant

NEW YORK: Appeals Court Mulls Opinion on Domestic Violence Law
OHIO: Court Stops State from Charging People Twice For Licenses
POSTAL SERVICE: Faces Two Lawsuits Over Employee Benefits in CO
RESTAURANT CONCEPTS: E. Coli Incidents at Pat & Oscar's Isolated
RITE AID: PA Court Grants Final Approval to Securities Suit Pact

S&Z TOOL: EEOC Launches Lawsuit For Race, Gender Discrimination
SEPRACOR INC.: NH Court Enters Judgment in Insider Trading Suit
SOUTH AFRICA: Apartheid Lawyer Files New Case Over Work Hazard
TRI-STATE CREMATORY: Plaintiffs Have Until Nov. 8 to Join Suit

                      Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Insurers Protest Asbestos Legislation
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: AM Best Co. Reveals Asbestos Liabilities
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Boise Cascade Faces Asbestos Charges
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Health Alert Out in Maryland Plant
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Bowater Battles 855 Asbestos Claimants

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ex-Workers Urged to Obtain Medical Checks
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Moves to Settle Grace Asbestos Issues
ASBESTOS ALERT: CompuDyne Reveals Asbestos-Related Liabilities

                    New Securities Fraud Cases

ALLIANCE CAPITAL: Cauley Geller Files Securities Suit in S.D. NY
ALLIANCE CAPITAL: Wolf Popper Lodges Securities Suit in S.D. NY
HEALTHTRONICS SURGICAL: Shephard Finkelman Lodges Lawsuit in GA
STRONG FINANCIAL: Rabin Murray Lodges Securities Suit in S.D. NY

                        *********

BREAST IMPLANTS: Health Groups Protest V. Possible FDA Approval
---------------------------------------------------------------
One week before the FDA is set to convene an advisory panel to
consider lifting restrictions on the use of silicone gel breast
implants, women harmed by them came from all over the country to
Washington to picket the US Department of Health and Human
Services, and called on HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson to stop the
US Food and Drug Administration from lifting restrictions on the
sale of the devices.

For three hours, women came to the microphone to share their
personal experiences with breast implants.  They carried giant
photographs of broken breast implants and posters showing
terrible disfigurements caused by the devices and chanted,
"Silicone breast implants hurt women.  Tommy Thompson, protect
women."

"Another generation of women should not suffer because the FDA
has bowed to pressure from manufacturers and plastic surgeons,"
said Kim Gandy, President of the National Organization for
Women.  "How can the FDA approve silicone breast implants while
its parent agency is suing for millions in reimbursement?  Tommy
Thompson must protect American women from silicone gel breast
implants."

As this went on, a lawsuit by another of its agencies, the
Centers of Medicare and Medicaid, asking for the reimbursement
of millions of dollars in health care costs due to breast
implant injuries, was made public.  A letter, signed by Senators
Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Mary Landrieu
(D-LA) was circulated calling attention to the suit and decrying
the government hypocrisy.

Silicone gel breast implants are widely available for cosmetic
purposes through clinical trials.  Women at the rally spoke of
the unacceptably high complication rates for cancer survivors.
"Everyone is concerned about women who need the devices after
mastectomy.  But cancer survivors can already get silicone and
saline implants without restriction.  So there is no public
health need to approve the devices," said Sybil Niden Goldrich,
who received implants after mastectomy.  "Tommy Thompson and
Mark McClellan can not put these things back on the market until
we understand their long-term health effects."

"Tell me I did not suffer in vain," said Mary McDonough, an
actress who played Erin on the Waltons and who founded the LA-
based support group In the Know with other women from the
entertainment community.  "My breast implants nearly killed me.
I simply cannot believe that after all that I have been through
-- and everything hundreds of thousands of women have suffered -
- that the FDA would put these back on the market after looking
at only three years of data."

Breast implant sales continue to soar (up over 600 percent
between 1992 and 2002).  More than 300,000 women received the
devices last year - more than ever before.  All implants fall
apart in the body over time; at least one in four women require
additional surgery related to the implants with five years; and
the little long-term health research that's been done has found
increased incidence of cancer and fibromyalgia.


CHELSEA PROPERTY: NJ Developers Sue Over Property Restrictions
--------------------------------------------------------------
The developers of Sussex Common Lifestyle have filed a complaint
with the Superior Court of New Jersey in Newton against the
largest outlet developer in the country, Chelsea Property Group.

In announcing the court action, Howard Buerkle, Tony Santarelli,
and Steven Craig, the developers of Sussex Commons, expressed
disappointment and concern regarding the matters set forth in
the complaint.

"We have known the principals of Chelsea Property Group for over
twenty years and are disheartened to learn of these desperate
actions with regard to our development," said Mr. Buerkle. "It's
OK for Chelsea to be the dominant outlet developer in the
country but do they really need to resort to such business
practices?"

The complaint states that Chelsea has consistently threatened
and intimidated both potential developers and retailers in an
effort to prevent development of an upscale factory outlet
center at Ross' Corner.  It further describes how retailers
interested in Sussex Commons have been threatened with financial
penalties at other Chelsea properties that are so severe, they
would be unable to proceed with leasing space at Ross' Corner.

In addition, the court papers state that Chelsea has demanded
excessive radius restrictions -- up to sixty miles -- when
tenants renew their lease at Chelsea's Woodbury Commons or the
recently acquired The Crossings in Pennsylvania.

Mr. Santarelli continued, "Some tenants have advised us that
Chelsea is seeking a radius exclusivity that exceeds the
combined area of the states of New Jersey, Rhode Island, and
Delaware. Why the country's largest outlet developer is so
concerned by a new retail center more than an hour and a half
away is hard to fathom."

Steve Craig adds, "As a former COO and president of Chelsea GCA,
now known as Chelsea Property Group, I was dismayed to learn of
their efforts to stop retailers from expanding into such a
promising location thereby depriving residents and the community
of the benefits of such an outstanding development."

Both veterans of the retail industry, Mr. Santarelli was most
recently president of Mikasa, overseeing all of their retail and
outlet operations while Mr. Buerkle was president of the outlet
division of Jones New York for over 10 years.  The two founders
recently partnered with Steve Craig of Craig Realty Group, a
prominent West Coast developer of outlet malls.  Together they
have enthusiastically promoted the benefits of the Sussex County
demographics and the Ross' Corner location. In addition, they
have progressed the various land acquisitions and approvals
necessary for a successful project.

Sussex Commons Lifestyle Outlets is a premium brand outlet
center under development at Ross' Corner, Frankford Township,
Sussex County in Northwest New Jersey.  With space for over 100
tenants, this new retail complex will combine a lifestyle
village feel with a premium brands shopping experience. The
total development also includes a 100-room hotel with four
restaurants on the site and a residential community of 100
homes.  Adjacent to Sussex Commons, Lorterdan Associates of
Montclair is developing an active adult community with
278 units.


CINGULAR WIRELESS: CA Consumer Group Files Unfair Trade Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Cell phone carrier Cingular Wireless faces a class action filed
by California-based consumer activist group Foundation for
Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, charging it with providing poor
service, making false advertisements and charging hefty fees to
consumers who quit the network early, Reuters reports.

The suit, filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court, alleged
violations of state laws barring unfair business practices and
false advertising.  The suit stated that the Company
"deliberately spurred demand that it knew it could not meet
while continuing to require customers to pay large early
termination fees to be released from Cingular's inadequate and
unreasonable service," Reuters reports.

The suit further alleged that the fee was "expressly designed to
prevent unhappy customers from leaving Cingular by making the
cost of doing so prohibitive," according to the group.  The suit
seeks a court order that the Company pay unspecified restitution
to consumers.

Lawsuits against other cellular companies are being considered.
"This is just the tip of the iceberg," attorney Harvey
Rosenfield told Reuters.  "We're pretty confident they're not
the only company engaging in this kind of unfair commerce."

A spokeswoman for Atlanta-based Cingular told Reuters the
company had not seen the lawsuit but considered its allegations
to be "baseless."  "Cingular was and continues to be committed
to providing our millions of California customers with top-
notch, quality service," spokeswoman Lauren Garner said in a
statement.


CREDIT SUISSE: Final Govt Witness Testifies in Quattrone Trial
--------------------------------------------------------------
Government prosecutors rested their case against Credit Suisse
First Boston's former star analyst Frank Quattrone, alleging
that he obstructed justice by instructing employees to destroy
important financial documents in 2000, the Associated Press
reports.

CSFB's vice chairman Gary Lynch was the government's final
witness.  He testified that Mr. Quattrone told him earlier this
year he was unaware of regulatory probes into CSFB when he sent
an e-mail December 5, 2000, urging employees to get rid of some
documents, AP reports.  In calling Mr. Lynch, prosecutors wanted
to contrast earlier testimony showing Mr. Quattrone knew about
the investigations months before he sent the controversial e-
mail, which

Earlier, high-ranking CSFB lawyer Kevin McCarthy told the court
testified that Mr. Quattrone's e-mail alarmed CSFB's legal
department, revealing that "there was an effort made to get
appropriate responses out quickly," an earlier Class Action
Reporter story stated.

Mr. McCarthy told the jury that he contacted Richard Char, the
banker who initially wrote the e-mail, as soon as he found out
about it.  "I asked him simply what the circumstances were as to
why he circulated this e-mail," Mr. McCarthy said, according to
a Reuters report.  "I explained to him that the firm had
generally been the subject of regulatory inquiries . I was
concerned communications like this would be sending an
inconsistent message."

Mr. Char reportedly offered to retract or amend the e-mail with
a second message, but Mr. McCarthy declined, he said in his
testimony.  He and the other lawyers decided to write their own
memo informing staff that normal policies about destroying old
documents were no longer in place and that everything relating
to IPOs must be kept.

Mr. Quattrone has asserted that he was merely following company
policy on document destruction.  After jurors were temporarily
dismissed, prosecutor Steven Peikin said there was "substantial
circumstantial evidence in this case" that Mr. Quattrone
obstructed justice, AP states.  Mr. Quattrone is expected to
testify in his own behalf later in the trial.


EUNIVERSE INC.: Stockholders File Securities Fraud Suits in CA
--------------------------------------------------------------
eUniverse, Inc. expects the securities class actions and the
shareholder derivative suits filed against it and several
current and former Company officers and employees to be
consolidated in the United States District Court for the Central
District of California.

The Company and various current and former Company directors,
officers and/or employees also face two stockholder derivative
actions filed in the Superior Court of California for the County
of Los Angeles.  On September 3, 2003 the two derivative actions
that were filed in the Superior Court of California for the
County of Los Angeles were consolidated and the plaintiffs were
ordered to file a consolidated and amended complaint within 60
days.

All of the stockholder lawsuits, which arise out of the
Company's accounting restatement, include varying allegations
of, among other things, false and misleading statements
regarding the Company's business prospects and financial
condition and performance, sales of Company stock by one Company
officer and one former employee, and breach of fiduciary duty.

The Company intends to fight the eight securities class actions
and to address the purported stockholder derivative actions as
appropriate.  Defending against existing and potential
securities and class action litigation relating to the
accounting restatement will likely require significant attention
and resources of management and, regardless of the outcome,
result in significant legal expenses. If the Company's defenses
were ultimately unsuccessful, or if the Company was unable to
achieve a favorable settlement, the Company could be liable for
large damage awards that could seriously harm its business and
results of operations.


FIRE ALARMS: CPSC Warns Many US Homes Have Defective Fire Alarms
----------------------------------------------------------------
As the nation celebrates Fire Prevention Week (October 5-11),
the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that
millions of American homes have smoke alarms that do not work,
usually due to batteries that are either dead or missing.

Since most of the US will gain an hour when Daylight Savings
Time ends on Sunday, October 26, the CPSC recommends that
consumers make good use of the extra hour by changing their
smoke alarm batteries and testing the alarms to ensure they work
properly.

"Parents and children should make safety a family activity by
changing the batteries in their smoke alarms annually," said
CPSC Chairman Hal Stratton.  "And be sure to test the smoke
alarms every month to make sure they are working."

Although 10 percent of homes have no smoke alarm, millions more
do not have any working alarms.  CPSC recommends consumers test
each smoke alarm every month to make sure it is working
properly.  Long-life smoke alarms with 10-year batteries have
been available to consumers since 1995.  These long-life alarms
also should be tested monthly.

Fire is the second leading cause of unintentional death in the
home.  Each year, nearly 2,700 people die in residential fires,
and more than 330,000 residential fires reported to fire
departments.  CPSC recommends consumers place a smoke alarm that
meets the requirements of a professional testing laboratory,
such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL), on each level of multi-
story homes outside sleeping areas, and inside bedrooms.

CPSC has worked to strengthen smoke alarm performance and
installation requirements and is now studying audibility to see
if there are ways to make the alarms more effective in waking
children and alerting older people.

Over a 10-year period (1989 through 1998), there has been a
decline in fire-related deaths.  This decline can be attributed,
in part, to CPSC and industry standards for cigarette-resistant
mattresses and upholstered furniture, heating and cooking
equipment, electrical products, general wearing apparel,
children's sleepwear, child-resistant lighters, fireworks,
battery-operated children's vehicles, smoke alarms, and
residential sprinklers.

CPSC has designated fire safety as one of three top priorities
for the next five years, with the goal of reducing fire deaths
further.


FOOD INDUSTRY: FSIS Increases Efficiency In Detecting Salmonella
----------------------------------------------------------------
The US Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection
Service has adopted the BAX system to screen for Salmonella in
raw meat and poultry products, a measure that it hopes will
increase efficiency in the detection of the bacteria.

"This measure increases efficiency in detecting pathogens and
saves valuable agency time and resources," said FSIS
Administrator Dr. Garry L. McKee.  "This is another tool that
will help us protect public health."

Aside from having the same sensitivity as the current method
used for detecting Salmonella in raw meat and poultry products,
the BAX system also reduces the reporting time for negative
samples by one to two days.  FSIS has been using the BAX
screening system for Salmonella in ready-to-eat meat, poultry
and pasteurized egg products since February 2003 and for
Listeria monocytogenes since April 2002.

Three FSIS field service laboratories analyzed the BAX system
to determine whether it would be beneficial to the agency.
Testing methods used by FSIS laboratories undergo rigorous
evaluations to determine their validity and reliability.  The
laboratories evaluated approximately 314 random poultry and meat
samples.  The official confirmation analysis method was used to
confirm that the BAX system was as accurate as the current
method, while also reducing reporting time.

FSIS is planning this year to evaluate the BAX system to screen
samples for E. coli O157:H7.


HOLOCAUST LITIGATION: Report Says Secrecy Laws Blocking Payments
----------------------------------------------------------------
A report filed by Special Master Judah Gribetz concerning the
$1.25 billion settlement between Swiss banks and victims of the
Holocaust stated that Swiss bank secrecy could deprive victims
and their heirs of their fair share in the fund, the Associated
Press reports.

Holocaust victims and their relatives filed a class action,
styled "In re Holocaust Victim Assets Litigation, case number
CV-96-4849," in the US District Court of the Eastern District of
New York.  The suit sought to recover the money deposited in
banks for safekeeping before or during World War II.  The
plaintiffs alleged that the banks refused to release the money
after the war, saying they needed to provide detailed detailed
account information or death certificates from Nazi
concentration camps, which were impossible to obtain.

Under the settlement, $800 million will go to those who made the
deposits or their heirs.  The remaining funds were to compensate
Holocaust survivors who had other claims, not related to
personal deposits, AP reports.

Mr. Gribetz said in his report filed with Chief Judge Edward
Korman that $485 million of the settlement has been distributed
so far.  In an email to the Class Action Reporter, court-
appointed lead settlement class counsel Morris Ratner summarized
the amounts paid out as:

     (1) 140,000 slave labor claims totaling $203 million;

     (2) 1,700 bank accounts, totaling $130 million;

     (3) 1,930 refugee claims totaling $4.5 million; and

     (4) cy pres distributions of $145 million

He also stated that a new allocation of $60 million will soon be
distributed for the relief of thousands of the poorest
survivors.  He asserts " . the grand total, including the $60
million, comes to almost $550 million in the slightly more than
two years since the plan received judicial approval."

However, Mr. Gribetz asserted in his report that only $131.5
million has gone to those who had deposited the money in Swiss
banks or their relatives.  "Lack of full access to existing
documentation and the unavailability of other data has
interfered with the claims process," Mr. Gribetz wrote in the
report, AP reports.

"It is particularly frustrating to contemplate the possibility
that not all victim bank records are available, and not all
victim accounts will be returned to their owners," he wrote.

Thomas Sutter, spokesman for the Swiss Bankers Association,
objected to Mr. Gribetz's assertions that the Swiss banks were
blocking access to information.  He told AP that the vast
majority of accounts were totally unrelated to the Holocaust,
and it was never part of the settlement to provide access to all
accounts.  "We definitely think that Mr. Gribetz is wrong in
that respect," Mr. Sutter told AP.

He added that a committee headed by former Federal Reserve
Chairman Paul Volcker, which did have access to all World War
II-era accounts, thoroughly researched them and came up with
50,000 accounts that might be related to the Holocaust.  The
committee then trimmed that number down to 36,000 as being more
likely.

"In our opinion it makes no sense to centralize all bank
accounts that were active during World War II," Mr. Sutter told
AP.  "It makes no sense just because there are not enough claims
. It doesn't mean you have to open up the whole universe."


HOLLYWOOD: Dissent Increases Over MPAA Ban on Oscar Screeners
-------------------------------------------------------------
More opposition to Hollywood's Oscar-screener clampdown surfaced
Tuesday as the trade group for independent film and TV producers
and distributors fired off a letter of protest, while at least
one indie-film producer has begun exploring the possibility of a
class-action lawsuit, Reuters/Hollywood Reporter said.

The outcry comes a week after the Motion Picture Association of
America (MPAA), the trade group representing the major studios,
banned the distribution of free VHS and DVD versions of films
vying for awards recognition to its members.  The concern being
that the screeners could be used to make pirated versions of the
films and easily sold.

Independent producers argue the ban will particularly hurt their
films since these do not play as widely in theaters compared to
films released by major studios, which means industry voters
would be less likely to see them.

"On behalf of AFMA (American Film Marketing Association)
members, we strongly object to the MPAA's unilateral edict to
ban the use of screeners in connection with Academy Award
consideration," AFMA president and CEO Jean Prewitt said in the
letter to MPAA chief Jack Valenti, the veteran Hollywood
lobbyist who arranged the ban.

"This decision has devastating economic consequences for
independent film companies.  We urge that the decision be
reconsidered immediately and that the independents be included
in any future deliberations," the letter said.

AFMA is made up of 170 member companies from 16 countries.
While the organization includes member companies from the
studio-based independents - the AFMA board includes executives
of Miramax Films and Focus Features - the organization also
includes smaller companies, not affected by the MPAA ban that
had not previously weighed in on the controversy.

"I'm still astounded that a decision that has this kind of
importance could be made without any conversation at all (with
independent companies)," Mr. Prewitt said.  He argued that the
MPAA failed to address other important issued including how the
ban would affect other awards ceremonies internationally and
whether the ban interferes with any contracts that studios have
with indie producers.

Several indie producers contacted Tuesday by Reuters said that
while contracts do not usually mention screeners specifically,
they do routinely commit distributors to use "industry
standards" in the promotion of their films.  One producer who
requested anonymity said he has instructed his attorneys
to explore whether the ban on screeners violates that
contractual promise.  Although he added that might be a
"stretch," he said he and others are looking for grounds for a
possible class action.  Another producer told Reuters he was
investigating whether any future contracts could allow either
producers or talent agencies to send out screeners
independently.

Mr. Prewitt's letter urged Mr. Valenti to rescind the ban and
added that "in the interim, it is AFMA's intention to encourage
our members to explore all options, including possible
noncompliance with this initiative, to find ways to protect
their interests."

In other developments, a condemnation of the ban issued last
week through the New York arm of the Independent Film Project
has already attracted nearly 185 signatures. The latest
signatories include filmmakers Ang Lee, Nora Ephron, Barbet
Schroeder, the Polish brothers, Frank Oz, and Catherine
Hardwicke, as well as producing partners James Ivory and Ismail
Merchant and actors Willem Dafoe and Don Cheadle.


ILLINOIS: Oak Park School Faces Suit For Installing Wireless LAN
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Oak Park Elementary School District 1997 in Illinois faces a
class action filed by parents over the installation of wireless
local area network technology in classrooms, The Register
reports.

The suit charged the board with ignoring the health risks that
wireless LANS pose to humans, especially growing children.  The
suit asserts that there is a "substantial body of evidence that
high frequency electro-magnetic radiation poses substantial and
serious health risks, particularly to growing children."

The suit states that "there is a substantial and growing body of
scientific literature studying and outlining the serious health
risks that exposure to low intensity, but high radio frequency
(RF) radiation poses to human beings, particularly children .
(and that) prolonged exposure to low intensity RF radiation can
break down DNA strands, cause chromosome aberrations and break
down the blood-brain barrier, thereby permitting toxic proteins
to invade the brain," the Register reports.

A spokesman for Chicago-based attorneys, Buehler Reed &
Williams, told the Register the class action was active.  No one
representing the plaintiffs was available for comment at the
time of writing.


ILLINOIS: Court Dismisses Chicago's Lawsuit V. Lead Paint Firms
---------------------------------------------------------------
An Illinois Circuit Court judge has dismissed a claim by the
city of Chicago that wanted former manufacturers of lead paint,
including Sherwin-Williams Co., to remove all lead-based paint
from all areas accessible to children in Chicago, the Associated
Press reports.

In his decision Tuesday the judge noted that the plaintiffs had
been unable to specifically identify either a manufacturer or a
specific paint that had caused injury.  He further noted that
the manufacturers have not made or sold lead paint for decades,
and that the defendants "lost control over their products at the
point of sale."

He dismissed suggestions that the lead paint poses an ongoing
"public nuisance" and said the court cannot order a manufacturer
to remove paint from private property that is owned by others.
He said the claim is "a disguised product liability claim
targeting the manufacturers of lead paint based on injuries
arising decades after the paint has been used and allowed to
deteriorate by others."

Bonnie Campbell, a spokeswoman for the paint manufacturers in
the case, told AP the city of Chicago was trying to "shift
responsibility to selected companies for the failure of
landlords to maintain their properties."

She said the best way for government to protect children is to
enforce laws requiring property owners to maintain lead paint
properly.

The judge noted that at least four other state courts have
dismissed similar complaints against lead paint manufacturers.

Jennifer Hoyle, a public information officer for the city of
Chicago's law department, told AP the city was disappointed with
the ruling and feels there's sufficient grounds for appeal.  She
said the city has spent "hundreds of millions of dollars over
the past 20 to 30 years" trying to address the paint issue.
Money has been spent testing children for lead poisoning,
identifying the source of the poisoning and assisting property
owners in fixing it, she said.  The city said it will appeal the
ruling.

Inhaled lead paint dust and ingested lead paint chips have been
linked to a number of health problems ranging from headaches to
brain and kidney damage.  Lead paint is considered a threat when
it starts to flake off.


The public-nuisance suit Chicago v. American Cyanamid Co. et
al., Case No. O2 CH 16212 filed on September 3, 2002 in the
Circuit Court for Cook County, Illinois was dismissed on October
7, 2003.  Plaintiff in this action was represented by Mara
Georges, corporation counsel for Chicago, and defendants
American Cyanamid Co., Atlantic Richfield Co., BP Corp. of North
America, BP America, Inc., EI du Pont de Nemours & Co.,
Millennium Chemicals Inc., Millennium Inorganic Chemicals Inc.,
NL Industries Inc., The O'Brien Corp., The Sherwin-Williams Co.
and the Chicago Paint & Coatings Association were represented by
attorney Bonnie Campbell, among others.


LIMP BIZKIT: Disgruntled Fans Sue Over Band's Shortened Set
-----------------------------------------------------------
An attorney representing 172 displeased concertgoers filed a
class action on October 8, 2003 in Cook County District Court
against the band Limp Bizkit and its corporate arm, Limp
Bizness, demanding $25 each to cover the Bands portion of a $75
concert ticket after claiming they were cheated over a shortened
set during a Summer Sanitarium show outside of Chicago, MTV.com
reports.  More lawsuits are likely, plaintiffs' attorney,
Michael J. Young stated.

According to the complaint, made public by the Smoking Gun Web
site hours after it was filed, concert attendees expected a 90-
minute set, as stated in the concert ticket, but were
shortchanged when band member Fred Durst left in a huff after
only 17 minutes.  Before he left, the suit alleges, Mr. Durst
hurled sexually explicit and anti-gay insults at the crowd and
the city of Chicago that were intended to incite more hostility.
He challenged some members of the audience to a fight before
leaving the stage.

Offstage, the tirade didn't stop, since he still possessed the
wireless microphone.  He told the crowd that Limp Bizkit were
the greatest band in the world in a rant that the class action
elected not to detail in deference to "this court's sense of
decency."

Mr. Young, who did not attend the show, claimed Mr. Durst walked
into a hostile situation he'd created himself by railing against
local radio personality "Mancow" Mueller with verbal insults and
video displays.  Mr. Mueller's station was one of the event's
sponsors.

The organizing of disgruntled fans began just days after the
July 26 concert, when Mr. Young appeared on the radio to answer
questions about whether legal action could be taken for Limp
Bizkit's shortened set.  Afterward, the lawyer's number was
given out over the airwaves, and he received about 900 phone
calls.  If the judge rules in Young's favor and gives the
complaint class action status, everyone who attended the
concert, about 40,000 people, would receive payment.

The suit is similar to one filed against Creed in April by four
Chicagoans unhappy with that band's sloppy performance. The
difference is that this case isn't about a matter of opinion as
to whether Limp Bizkit's performance was good; the fact is it
was short, Mr. Young told MTV.

A spokesperson for Limp Bizkit's label, Interscope Records, had
no comment, MTV.com reports.

The breach-of-contract complaint against Limp Bizkit and Limp
Bizness seeking class action status was filed on October 8, 2003
in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Illinois,
in Cook County.  Plaintiffs in this action are represented by
attorney Michael J. Young.


MONTANA: Counties Dropped From Inadequate Public Defense Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Seven counties in Montana have been dismissed as defendants in a
class action filed by the American Civil Liberties Union in the
Montana First Judicial District Court, over inadequate legal
representation for indigent defendants, the Montana Forum
reports.

The suit was filed in February 2002 against the state, Gov. Judy
Martz, several court officials, and the seven counties and their
commissioners.  The ACLU alleged that the state failed to
provide adequate training, funding and oversight of the public
defense services, causing those who must rely on court-appointed
counsel to be deprived from receiving proper representation.

Judge Thomas Honzel filed a stipulation of dismissal late last
week, dropping from the suit the counties of:

     (1) Ravalli,

     (2) Missoula,

     (3) Glacier,

     (4) Teton,

     (5) Flathead,

     (6) Lake and

     (7) Butte-Silver Bow

According to the stipulation, "Under current law Butte-
Silverbow, Flathead, Glacier, Lake, Teton and Ravalli counties
have no ongoing or future financial responsibility for indigent
defense services to class members."  Only Missoula County
remains named in the suit because it has an extensive public
defender office.

As part of the stipulation, the ACLU will get district court
data for fiscal years 2001, 2002, and 2003 by October 17, from
the above named counties.  The ACLU will also receive fiscal and
budgetary documentation for the same years.  These documents are
supposed to contain amounts allocated and expended by the
indigent defense program, county attorney's office as well as
the submissions made to the Supreme Court Administrator for
reimbursement purposes, the Montana Forum reports.

In a memo to Ravalli County Commissioners, Ravalli County
Attorney George Corn called it "another object lesson" that
lawmakers in Helena do not always have the best interests of
counties at heart when making policy.

"Since providing public defenders has always been the state's
responsibility, the Governor and the Attorney General both
failed to acknowledge this at the beginning of this lawsuit,"
Mr. Corn wrote,  "The net result was that the various counties
had to spend significant time and money to claw their way out of
it." Corn concluded.

Deputy County Attorney James McCubbin told Montana Forum, "I am
pleased we are finally out of this lawsuit; we shouldn't have
been named in it from the beginning. Now we can stop losing
money."


NAN YA PLASTICS: Ex-Manager Acquitted, Antitrust Suit Proceeds
--------------------------------------------------------------
A federal jury acquitted Brad Dutton, sales manager at Nan Ya
Plastics Corporation, Lake City, South Carolina-based polyester
manufacturer, on charges brought by the US attorney's antitrust
division, that he had conspired to fix prices of polyester
fiber, The Charlotte Observer reports.

The two-week trial in US District Court in Charlotte, North
Carolina, was closely watched because it implicated the
country's four major manufacturers of polyester fiber in a
scheme to raise prices and allocate customers.  All four
companies have ties to the Carolinas and have many customers in
the region.

Meanwhile, the price-fixing issue is also the subject of a class
action alleging the companies' customers paid artificially high
prices for polyester staple fiber, a fluffy white substance used
to make sheets and carpets as well as stuff pillows, sleeping
bags and comforters.

Some of the larger plaintiffs in the lawsuit, which is pending
in US District Court in Charlotte, include Spring Industries
Inc. of Fort Mill, SC and Parkdale Mills Inc. of Gastonia, NC.
In court documents, filed last week, bankrupt Pillowtex
Corporation of Kannapolis said it, too, might have been damaged
by the alleged price-fixing of the polyester manufacturers.

Prosecutors in Brad Dutton's case had portrayed the effort to
fix prices from 1999 to 2001, as a move of desperation by
polyester-fiber companies, that were seeing their customers in
textiles and other industries move overseas in the late 1990s,
while their prices fell as much as 60 percent.

Besides Nan Ya, the other major polyester makers are KoSa,
DuPont-Akra Polyester LLC now known as DAK Americas and Wellman
Inc.  The federal government has been more aggressive in
prosecuting antitrust violations in recent years.  Industry
consolidations have concentrated pricing power into the hands of
fewer and fewer companies, increasing the temptation to
illegally collude, federal officials have said.  Meanwhile, the
class action brought by the makers of various polyester products
wends its way through the usual initial stages.


NEW HAMPSHIRE: Leak Discovered at Seabrook Station Nuclear Plant
----------------------------------------------------------------
Inspectors at the Seabrook Station nuclear plant Tuesday
discovered a coolant leak inside the containment dome that is
similar to one that caused an expensive and lengthy shutdown of
a plant in Ohio, the Associated Press reports.

The leak was discovered during a month-long refueling shutdown
that began Saturday morning, plant spokesman Alan Griffith said.
It was immediately reported to the Nuclear Regulatory
Commission, who told them that it "posed no danger and was
caught in time to prevent costly damage".

The leak was in a weld on a pipe that surrounds a mechanism that
moves fuel rods in and out of the reactor.  The leak allowed a
coolant, which contains corrosive particles, to escape from the
pipe.  If allowed to accumulate for months or years, the coolant
can eat through steel.  Plant technicians think the leak started
in the last two to three weeks, Mr. Griffith told AP.

A leak at Ohio's Davis-Besse plant went undetected for years and
the coolant nearly ate through a 6-inch steel cap protecting the
reactor.  It was the most extensive corrosion ever at a US
nuclear reactor and cost the plant's operator more than $500
million for repairs and the purchase of power from other
sources.  That leak was discovered in March 2002; the plant
plans to reopen during the fall.


NEW YORK: Appeals Court Mulls Opinion on Domestic Violence Law
--------------------------------------------------------------
The New York State Court of Appeals will decide in the coming
months whether to offer an opinion on state law directing
children of women living with an abusive partner to be taken
away from them, Women's ENews reports.

The suit, styled "Nicholson v. Scoppetta," was filed in the
United States District Court in Brooklyn, New York on behalf of
a group of battered women who had their children taken away from
them after being charged with neglect for allowing the children
to witness domestic violence.  The suit names as defendant New
York City's Administration for Children's Services, and means to
represent every battered mother in New York, Vermont and
Connecticut.  The named plaintiffs are:

     (1) Sharwline Nicholson,

     (2) Destinee Barnett,

     (3) Kendell Coles,

     (4) Sharlene Tillett and

     (5) Ekaete Udoh

Women's rights advocate have opposed the law, saying that taking
children from their mother solely because she has been abused is
both "punitive" and "shortsighted."  The practice will also
allegedly lead to many negative long-term effects on family
members.  Lawyers for the state allege that in some cases, it is
in the child's best interest to be removed from a violent
household, even if he had not been the primary target of the
abuser.

In January 2002, Federal Judge Jack Weinstein ruled that the
agency had acted unconstitutionally by removing the children,
and enjoined the agency from doing the same to other women.  The
City's lawyers appealed the decision to the United States Second
Circuit Court of Appeals.  Last week, the appeals court upheld
the injunction.  Judge Weinstein kept the original injunction in
place, but asked the appeals court to clarify several points of
state law before rendering his final decision.

According to Women's ENews, state judges will now hear oral
arguments on:

     (i) whether parents allowing their children to witness
         domestic violence against themselves constitutes
         neglect under New York law;

    (ii) whether the injury, if any, to the child as a result of
         witnessing domestic violence constitutes imminent risk
         (which allows the agency to remove children without
         court order) and

   (iii) whether allowing a child to witness such domestic
         violence is sufficient to allow the state's Family
         Courts order of removal without additional,
         particularized evidence.

If the state court decides its opinion has no bearing on the
class action, it will decline to hear oral arguments and the
case will proceed in Brooklyn.

Advocates for battered women hailed last week's ruling.  "This
is an important ruling for women and children," Carolyn A.
Kubitschek, an attorney at Lansner and Kubitschek and lead
counsel in the class action, told Women's ENews.  "Charging a
battered woman with neglect means she'll always have that on her
record, which can negatively impact her chances for employment,
which can actually make it more difficult for her to leave her
abuser.  And it forces the Administration for Children's
Services to take a more comprehensive approach to dealing with
the complexities of family violence instead of just blaming the
victim."

Ms. Kubitschek isn't overly concerned by the possibility of a
detour to state court in Albany.  "The federal judge found that
New York law wasn't clear on three questions and, as is common,
has referred them to the New York Court of Appeals," she told
ENews.  "That's a good thing, actually, because it gives us a
chance to make our arguments on the state and federal level and
clarify the law once and for all."


OHIO: Court Stops State from Charging People Twice For Licenses
---------------------------------------------------------------
In a decision that could cost taxpayers more than $8 million,
the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that the state cannot charge people
twice to reinstate a driver's license after a single drunken
driving conviction, AP Newswire reports.

The court, in a 5-2 ruling, requires the state to pay back one
fee to people who were charged twice with interest.
Reimbursements plus interest could total $8 million, attorney
John Czarnecki, who represented people in the class action
against the state, told AP.  The amount will be split among
20,000 people who joined the lawsuit.

The lawsuit came after the two original plaintiffs, Mark Poirier
of Toledo and Steven Judy of Perrysburg, had to pay two
reinstatement fees of $250 to get their licenses back after
drunken driving convictions in 1994.

After drunken driving laws changed in 1993, police were allowed
to suspend the licenses of drivers whose blood-alcohol ratio
exceeded the legal limit of 0.10 percent.  The double fees would
kick in if the case was not resolved before the expiration of a
90-day administrative license suspension issued by police.  If
later convicted of driving under the influence, a person's
license could be suspended for up to six months.

The Bureau of Motor Vehicles interpreted the law to mean a
person would have to pay the $250 reinstatement fee for the
initial police suspension as well as the suspension ordered by
the judge.  The agency switched to charging only one fee in
1999.

Messages were left with the state and Poirier and Judy's
attorney, AP reports.

Judy v. Ohio Bur. of Motor Vehicles, Case No. 2002-0293 was
decided on October 8, 2003 in the Supreme Court of Ohio.
Appellees and cross-appellants in this action are represented by
John Czarnecki, Cooper & Walinski, Wittenberg Phillips Levy &
Nusbaum, and Jerome Phillips, and appellant and cross-appellee
by Attorney General Jim Petro, Associate State Solicitor Stephen
P. Carney, and Assistant Solicitors Michael Gladman and John W.
Barron.


POSTAL SERVICE: Faces Two Lawsuits Over Employee Benefits in CO
---------------------------------------------------------------
Disabled Colorado postal workers filed two class actions against
the United States Postal Service, charging it with not promoting
workers injured on the job, and of repeatedly denying
applications for a protected type of unpaid medical leave, the
Denver Post reports.

One of the suits accuses the agency with automatically denying
requests for leave under the Family Medical Leave Act, which
asserts an employee's right to unpaid time off to attend to sick
relatives or to one's own serious medical problems.  The suit
was filed on behalf of 31 Colorado employees

Lead plaintiff John Cyncar, 52, processes Express Mail for
southern and southeastern Colorado at the Postal Service's
General Mail Facility in Colorado Springs.  He allegedly suffers
from chronic kidney stones, a sleep disorder and depression,
according to court documents.  Recently, he has been having
"mini-strokes," he said.

He alleges that managers continually denied his requests for
leave, telling him to consult other doctors for second and third
opinions.  Mr. Cyncar said he believes the Service is trying to
discourage employees from applying for leave.

"They tried to tell me that I didn't submit the paperwork right,
and that the regulations don't apply to me," he told the Post.
"I want to change the system, because what they've done to
people is wrong.  Under the current system, they can violate the
law and hurt people, and nobody is accountable for it."

The second suit charges the agency with not promoting disabled
workers whose injuries were incurred on the job.  Lead plaintiff
Chandler Glover, who works at the Denver processing center,
filed the suit on behalf of every postal employee in the country
who was hurt on the job and reassigned to accommodate his or her
resulting disability since 1992.  A January 2002 ruling by
Administrative Judge Dickie Montemayor of the EEOC office in
Denver granted certification to the suit.

Postal Service officials cannot publicly discuss either suit,
spokesman Brian Sperry told the Post.  "We do not comment on
pending litigation," he said.


RESTAURANT CONCEPTS: E. Coli Incidents at Pat & Oscar's Isolated
----------------------------------------------------------------
Worldwide Restaurant Concepts, Inc. asserts that its Pat &
Oscar's division has been contacted by the San Diego County
Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) in connection with their
investigation of several incidents of E. coli that have been
reported in Southern California.

While the exact source of the illness has yet to be determined,
the company stressed that Pat & Oscar's is cooperating fully
with all health agencies, including the San Diego County
Department of Environmental Health and California Department of
Health Services officials, to help determine the source of the
E. coli infection.

Currently, the investigation is focused on food suppliers, as
opposed to the restaurants themselves, and it appears that the
suspected product is limited to pre-packaged and sanitized salad
mix items.  Effectively immediately, Pat & Oscar's has removed
from its menus all products that are suspected of contamination.
In the interim, the company has identified and sourced
alternative vendors for the suspected products.

As a precautionary measure, the company has also undertaken a
comprehensive review of all products served in all of its
domestic operations and has determined that use of the products
suspected of contamination is limited to its Pat & Oscar's
restaurants.

Worldwide Restaurant Concepts, Inc., operates, franchises or
joint ventures 317 Sizzler(R) restaurants worldwide, 110 KFC(R)
restaurants primarily located in Queensland, Australia, and 21
Pat & Oscar's(R) restaurants.

For further information please contact Keith Wall, Vice
President and CFO by Phone: 1-818-662-9800, or Kim Forster, Vice
President, Planning, by Phone: 1-818-662-9800.


RITE AID: PA Court Grants Final Approval to Securities Suit Pact
----------------------------------------------------------------
The non-settling defendants in the securities class action filed
against Rite Aid Corporation have reached an agreement with the
plaintiffs in the suit, filed on behalf of security holders who
purchased Company securities on the open market between May 2,
1997 and November 10, 1999 in the United States District Court
for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

The suit alleges that the Company's financial statements for
fiscal 1997, fiscal 1998 and fiscal 1999 fraudulently
misrepresented its financial position and results of operations
for these periods.

The court approved the settlement in August 2001.  Defendants
KPMG, the Company's former auditor, Martin Grass, the Company's
former chief executive officer, and Frank Bergonzi, the
Company's former chief financial officer appealed the
settlement, but later reached an agreement with plaintiffs.  The
court granted final approval on June 2, 2003.  All parties to
the appeal filed a stipulation of dismissal of the appeal.


S&Z TOOL: EEOC Launches Lawsuit For Race, Gender Discrimination
---------------------------------------------------------------
S&Z Tool & Die Co. faces a class action filed by the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), charging it with
discriminating by race and gender in hiring, The Plain Dealer
(Ohio) reports.

The suit was filed on behalf of seven women who applied for
entry-level jobs in maintenance and general labor in 1999 and
2000.  A lawyer with the EEOC said the 230-employee company had
what the agency referred to as the "inexorable zero," - for
years, the company had no female or black employees.

In 1999, an inquiry commenced after a claim was filed with the
EEOC, charging the Company with discriminating against women in
hiring.  The probe later uncovered that the company also barred
blacks and did not keep personnel and employment records as
required once the agency launches a review, Lawrence Mays, EEOC
supervisory trial lawyer told The Plain Dealer.

The agency wants to hear from any other women or blacks who
sought employment at S&Z from 1991 onward.  "We believe the
class potentially numbers in the hundreds," said Mr. Mays.

The suit asks the court to enjoin S&Z from employment
discrimination, and asks that the plaintiffs be awarded back pay
and other actual damages such as job-search expenses, as well as
punitive damages "for the malicious and reckless conduct."

Officials at the Berea Road company were not available yesterday
for comment, The Plain Dealer reports.


SEPRACOR INC.: NH Court Enters Judgment in Insider Trading Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court in New Hampshire entered final
judgments, by consent, against Timothy J. Potter and his father,
George R. Potter, of Bedford, New Hampshire, in connection with
a complaint filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission
relating to insider trading in the securities of Sepracor, Inc.,
a Massachusetts-based pharmaceutical company.

The court permanently enjoined the Potters from future
violations of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder (antifraud provisions), ordered
them, jointly and severally, to pay disgorgement of $55,172 plus
pre-judgment interest thereon of $10,344, and ordered them each
to pay a civil monetary penalty of $55,172.  The $55,172 amount
represents the profit derived from George Potter's illegal
October 2000 trading in Sepracor options.

The Commission's complaint, filed on January 30, 2003, alleged
that Timothy Potter, a manager in Sepracor's accounting
department, learned by October 18, 2000, that Eli Lilly and
Company might terminate a license agreement with Sepracor
concerning the development of a new version of Lilly's top-
selling antidepressant, Prozac.

According to the complaint, that same day, Timothy Potter tipped
George Potter about the potential termination.  Within half an
hour, George Potter, acting on the tip, purchased put options on
Sepracor stock for $30,694 - in effect, betting that the price
of Sepracor stock would fall.

The next day, on October 19, after Sepracor publicly announced
the termination of the license agreement, George Potter sold the
options, profiting by $55,172.  According to the complaint, on
April 18, 2001, George Potter transferred $55,000 to Timothy
Potter.

For more information see SEC v. Timothy J. Potter and George R.
Potter, et al., Civil Action No. 03-32-M, USDC, D.N.H. (LR-
18396)


SOUTH AFRICA: Apartheid Lawyer Files New Case Over Work Hazard
--------------------------------------------------------------
New York-based lawyer Ed Fagan, known for suing some of the
world's largest corporations over apartheid, has threatened
lawsuits against 13 companies with involvement in South Africa,
accusing them of routinely exposing staff to unsafe working
conditions.

The companies include South African mining giants Anglo American
and De Beers, as well as multinationals such as ExxonMobil, Dow
Chemical and DaimlerChrysler.  These firms were on the receiving
end of a previous lawsuit, which demanded billions of dollars of
compensation for those harmed by South Africa's apartheid
regime.

Currently, the apartheid lawsuit is slowly grinding through the
courts - the South African Government moved to block it in New
York in July.  In this case, Mr. Fagan said he will work with
the South African authorities.  If the government agrees to side
with his complaint, he says, he will drop the lawsuits and begin
negotiating with the companies.  The government has yet to
respond.

Mr. Fagan, who previously launched a series of high-profile
class actions against companies around the world, has been
particularly active in South Africa.  Earlier this month, he
started proceedings against Fluor Chemicals, the US partner of a
South African firm accusing the company of apartheid-related
crimes.


TRI-STATE CREMATORY: Plaintiffs Have Until Nov. 8 to Join Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Circuit Court for Bradley County, Tennessee gave relatives
of people sent to the Tri-State Crematory until November 8 to
decide whether to participate in the grave desecration suit
filed against the Crematory, its operator Ray Brent Marsh and
his family and almost 50 funeral homes that sent bodies to Tri-
State for cremation, the Access North GA reports.

More than 330 uncremated corpses were discovered on the
Crematory's grounds in 2002.  Angry relatives of persons sent to
the crematory filed the suit seeking damages for negligence,
mishandling of remains and breach of contract.  Eligible
plaintiffs are people who sent relatives to the crematory
between 1988 and February 15, 2002, when police found the bodies
strewn about Tri-State wooded compound.

Mr. Marsh faces a separate criminal case.  He appeared in court
in late September, to face 787 felony counts of burial service
fraud, making false statements, abuse of a dead body and theft,
according to an earlier Class Action Reporter story.  In an
interview with the Associated Press, defense attorney Ken Poston
said he would file 50 to 60 motions after the arraignment is
held, including a motion for a change of venue because of
pretrial publicity.


                    Asbestos Alert


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Insurers Protest Asbestos Legislation
----------------------------------------------------------
Insurance groups continue to strongly oppose asbestos liability
reform legislation that could be taken up in the Senate in the
next few weeks, according to Business Insurance Daily News.

In an October 7 letter to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-
Tennessee, five insurer trade groups said that the Fairness in
Asbestos Injury Resolution Act approved by the Senate Judiciary
Committee in July is "inequitable, unaffordable and unworkable
from the standpoint of insurers."

The bill would replace the current litigation-based system for
compensating victims of asbestos-relate diseases with a no-fault
trust fund paid for primarily by defendant companies and their
insurers.  The measure initially called for a maximum insurer
payout of $45 billion over the life of the $108 trillion fund,
but last-minute amendments raised that payout to at least $52
billion plus a potential contingency assessment of $22.5 million
if the fund were to run short of money needed to pay claims.
Additional levies could also be imposed.

"With respect to financing, we must reiterate our strong
opposition to any industry allocation in excess of $45 billion,
which represents a substantial increase over current held
reserves.  This would place great financial stress on these
companies and would greatly diminish the insurance industry's
ability to respond to all of the other claim obligations it
faces, as well as support current and future commercial
policyholder needs," said the insurer groups.

The groups adopted a uniform position on asbestos reform that
now contains eight principles.  In addition to limiting the
industry's collective contribution, the principles hold, among
other things, that non-U.S. entities be held accountable for
contributions on the same basis as domestic insurers and
reinsurers; that there be no contingency funding of the program,
with a reversion to a "modified tort system" if the fund proves
inadequate to pay claims; and that the program provide for
collateral source offsets of awards from the fund.

The Alliance of American Insurers, the American Insurance Assn.,
the National Assn. of Independent Insurers, the National Assn.
of Mutual Insurance Cos. and the Reinsurance Assn. of America
signed the letter.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: AM Best Co. Reveals Asbestos Liabilities
-------------------------------------------------------------
The US property/casualty insurance industry - principally
commercial insurers, and to a lesser extent, professional
reinsurers - remains significantly underfunded by nearly 40%
with regard to reserves for ultimate, undiscounted asbestos and
environmental liabilities, according to a special report
released by AM Best Co.

With incurred-to-date losses of $45 billion (asbestos) and $31
billion (environmental), A.M. Best's estimates of unfunded
asbestos and environmental liabilities as of year-end 2002 are
$20 billion and $25 billion respectively, for a total of $45
billion down from $53 billion at year-end 2001.

While a number of insurer groups have significantly raised their
asbestos reserve levels in recent years, many more have yet to
fully fund their obligations. In addition, environmental
survival ratios are weakening as reserves continue to be paid
down without further strengthening.

U.S. asbestos losses have surged dramatically in recent years,
with incurred losses more than doubling to more than $4 billion
2001 from the previous three-year annual average of $1.7
billion.  Further underlining the industry's move to bolster its
reserves for such losses, an additional $8 billion in asbestos
losses were incurred during 2002, while Hartford Insurance Group
alone posted a $2.6 billion addition to asbestos reserves during
the first quarter of 2003.  A.M. Best fully expects additional,
sizable asbestos charges to be taken during the remainder of
2003.

During 2002, insurers and U.S. asbestos producers entered a
number of high-profile, asbestos-related settlements.  In May,
PPG Industries Inc. announced a tentative settlement of
$2,700,000,000, before taxes and discounting, related to its 50%
owned, bankrupt Pittsburgh Corning subsidiary for all current
and future asbestos claimants.  Pittsburgh Corning's bankruptcy
court has yet to approve the proposed settlement, but more than
30 insurers are expected to fund two-thirds of this settlement.

In July, St. Paul Cos. announced a $1 billion settlement with
claimants suing its USF&G insured, Western MacArthur Cos.  As
part of the settlement, St. Paul incurred an additional $585
million in pretax losses for this insured during 2002.

Also during 2002, several large-scale reserve additions were
made to recognize the trends in asbestos-related losses.  For
instance, Travelers took a pretax charge of $2.9 billion for its
asbestos liabilities, along with a $150 million charge for
environmental losses, while Ace Ltd. boosted its asbestos
reserves by $852 million and its environmental provision by $237
million with most of this strengthening taking place in the
group's Brandywine run-off unit.

BestWeek subscribers can download a free printed copy of the
full 14-page special report, "Asbestos Wave Rises; Crest Yet to
Come," or a combination of the printed report plus a spreadsheet
file of the report data for $75 from their Web site at
http://www.bestweek.com


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Boise Cascade Faces Asbestos Charges
---------------------------------------------------------
Boise Cascade reports in its latest quarterly filing with the
Securities and Exchange Commission that over the past several
years and continuing into 2003, it has been named a defendant in
a number of cases where the plaintiffs allege asbestos-related
injuries from exposure to asbestos products or exposure to
asbestos while working at job sites.

The asbestos-related claims vary widely and often are not
specific about the plaintiffs' contacts with Boise or with its
facilities.  None of the claims seeks damages from Boise alone
and it is generally one of numerous defendants.  Many of the
cases filed against the company have been voluntarily dismissed,
although it has settled some cases.

The settlements paid have been covered mostly by insurance, and
Boise believes any future settlements or judgments of these
cases would be similarly covered.  To date, no asbestos case
against it has gone to trial, and the nature of these cases
makes any prediction as to the outcome of pending litigation
inherently subjective.  At this time, however, Boise believes
its involvement in asbestos litigation is not material to either
its financial position or its results of operations.



ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Health Alert Out in Maryland Plant
----------------------------------------------------------------
Federal environmental officials have issued a health alert that
could apply to thousands of people exposed directly or
indirectly to asbestos from a Beltsville plant that produced
insulation material from 1966 to 1993, Washington Post reports.

The warning covers all who worked at or visited the W.R.
Grace/Zonolite Co. site at 12340 Conway Rd. before the plant was
closed, as well as everyone they lived with.  It is possible
that people at or near the plant went home each day with
asbestos fibers in their hair and on their clothing, so their
families and roommates are also at risk of developing lung
diseases, according to the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and
Disease Registry.

Anyone who handled the worker's laundry would be especially at
risk, said the agency, which provides health information to
prevent disease related to toxic substances.

"It's like a ticking time bomb inside your chest," said agency
spokesman Scott Mall. "The first thing would be to go to a
physician who specializes in asbestos-related diseases and find
out whether you had a problem that needed attention."

The Beltsville plant -- known at various times as Zonolite Co.,
Beltsville and Muirkirk -- was a major processor of vermiculite,
a family of minerals that, when subjected to 1,500-degree
temperatures, expands into wormlike forms used in insulation and
fireproofing.

The plant was retooled in the mid-1990s after Grace shut it
down. Since 1998, the 1.74-acre site near Old Baltimore Pike has
been a bus maintenance and sales facility operated by Atlantic
Transportation Equipment. Federal officials found no evidence of
current asbestos contamination there and said Atlantic workers
and existing commercial neighbors are not at risk of new
exposure.

Those who live within one mile of the plant -- about 320
residents -- are not endangered now, Mall said. But scientists
do not know whether residents or workers at nearby businesses
during the plant's life were exposed to airborne asbestos
emitted by the plant's smokestack or blown off trucks or trains
carrying contaminated materials.

Greg Euston, a spokesman for Columbia-based W.R. Grace and Co.,
said the firm accepts the agency's conclusions. "Grace doesn't
have any quarrel with what's in the report," Euston said. "Grace
has been cooperating with [the toxic substances agency] on this
throughout."

George Lowe, a spokesman for Atlantic, said, "We're a little
taken aback" by the hazards associated with the property. "The
good news is that the site's clean now. We'll share with our
employees that there is no need for alarm or concern," he said.

Down the street, Glenn Klein, controller at James Myers Co., a
commercial roofing firm, expressed concern about longtime
employees.

"We've got a couple of fellows who just retired after working
here 25 years," he said. "I would be quite worried about their
health. It's disappointing to find out that this could put our
employees at risk."

Scott Bryan, a part owner of Karon Masonry, which has occupied
land about a quarter-mile from the site for decades, said he
thinks his workers and former workers are not in jeopardy.

"If I was in the [Grace] plant, I would probably be worried, but
I think we're okay here," he said.

The Beltsville plant processed at least 93,000 tons of
vermiculite between 1966 and the early 1990s, and it sent 13,900
tons of asbestos-contaminated waste to many surrounding
landfills. After a series of newspaper articles appeared in the
Seattle Post-Intelligencer in 1999, federal officials began
studying an ore of vermiculite mined in Libby, Mont., from the
1920s until 1990. They concluded that the ore contained up to 26
percent asbestos, Mall said.

The risk extended far beyond the mine. Libby vermiculite was
shipped to 28 U.S. plants, which converted the material into
insulation for buildings of every kind. In addition to
Beltsville, the agency issued warnings to people from plants in
Santa Ana, Calif.; Denver; West Chicago, Ill.; and Minot, N.D.

For people who were exposed, the risk of lung disease is
drastically increased. A federal screening of 7,300 people who
live around the Montana mine where the contaminated vermiculate
came from found that 18 percent had abnormalities in the lining
of their lungs, compared with 0.2 to 2.3 percent in the nation
as a whole. Deaths from asbestosis were 40 to 60 times higher
than expected.

Unlike the government-sponsored screening in Libby, people
seeking medical exams related to Beltsville and other sites will
receive no government help in paying for them, Mall said.

In August, a federal judge in Montana ordered Grace to pay more
than $54 million to reimburse the federal government for
investigating and cleaning up asbestos contamination in Libby.
The company is now under bankruptcy court protection because of
its massive asbestos liability, and a deadline for all future
asbestos lawsuits will be set by the court soon, Euston said.

According to the Washington Post report, asbestos fibers can
remain in the lungs for 30 or 40 years before causing detectable
harm, experts say. People exposed to asbestos are at heightened
risk of cancers of the lung, the lung's lining and other organs,
as well as extensive non-cancerous scarring and calcification of
lung tissue that can damage breathing capacity and cause
disability or death. Most of the diseases cannot be reversed,
said Vikas Kapil, an occupational and environmental medicine
specialist at the agency.

Exposed people whose lungs are clear now should not assume they
will always be safe, Kapil said. They will remain at risk for
decades, and those who smoke should quit immediately because
smoking can dramatically worsen the outcome for anyone exposed
to asbestos, Kapil said.

"It's important for people with asbestos exposure or
abnormalities to stop smoking, take good care of themselves, see
their doctor on a regular basis and get all the vaccines, such
as those for pneumonia and influenza," he said.

Euston, the Grace spokesman, questioned Mall's assertion that
the Beltsville exposure could extend to thousands of people.
That number was not included in scientific papers, but Mall said
it includes not only all Grace employees who worked there over a
27-year span, but also everyone else who came near the plant,
such as postal workers, vendors, contractors and drivers -- plus
all of their relatives and roommates.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Bowater Battles 855 Asbestos Claimants
-----------------------------------------------------------
Bowater Inc. reports in its latest regulatory filing that 15 new
asbestos-related cases have been filed against the company since
April this year.

In late 2001, Bowater, several other paper companies, and 120
other companies were named as defendants in asbestos personal
injury actions based on product liability claims. These actions
generally allege occupational exposure to numerous products.
Bowater has denied the allegations and no specific product of
Bowater has been identified by the plaintiffs in any of the
actions as having caused or contributed to any individual
plaintiff's alleged asbestos-related injury.

These suits have been filed by around 855 claimants who sought
monetary damages in civil actions pending in state courts in
Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, New York and Texas. A total of
about 715 of these claims have been dismissed, either
voluntarily or by summary judgment, and approximately 140 claims
remain. All claims in Missouri have been dismissed, and
plaintiffs' counsel in Illinois and Missouri has agreed not to
file similar cases.

About fifteen new cases have been filed since April 2003.
Insurers are defending these claims and Bowater has not settled
or paid any of these claims. The company believes that all of
these asbestos-related claims are covered by insurance, subject
to any applicable deductibles and our insurers' rights to
dispute coverage. While it is not possible to predict with
certainty the outcome of these matters, based upon the advice of
special counsel, at this time Bowater does not expect these
claims to have a material adverse impact on Bowater's business,
financial position or results of operations.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ex-Workers Urged to Obtain Medical Checks
--------------------------------------------------------------
Health officials are trying to peg down the number of people who
worked at Western Minerals to warn them of possible risk after
years of asbestos exposure, according to a report from the Daily
Camera.

Health officials are urging anyone who worked at the insulation
plant in Denver from 1967 to 1990 to seek a medical checkup and
to contact the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease
Registry.

The plant is among about 250 across the country that received
vermiculite ore from a W.R. Grace & Co. mine in Libby, Mont.,
registry spokesman Scott Mall said. The vermiculite contained
asbestos, so facilities that received the ore were likely
contaminated.

Eighty percent of the Libby mine's ore went to 28 sites,
including the Denver plant, Mall said. Western Minerals received
more than 100,000 tons from the mine from 1967 to 1988,
according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Heavy exposure to asbestos fibers is associated with lung
cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis, which restrict breathing.

Some of the workers who were exposed may just now be getting
sick. In other cases, illnesses may be misdiagnosed as asthma or
other problems if doctors are not aware a patient was exposed to
asbestos.

Workers and neighbors of the current operation on the site,
which distributes corn syrup, are not thought to be at risk,
state and federal health officials said.

But anyone who worked at the Western Minerals plant could be, as
well as their families if the worker carried contamination home
on clothing.

Some of the material was transported on nearby rail lines, which
means railroad workers may have been at risk, said Aubrey
Miller, the EPA's Denver-based senior medical officer and
toxicologist for the region.

The EPA was reviewing cleanup plans by Burlington Northern Santa
Fe Railroad for the rail lines.

Asbestos was once widely used in insulation, shingles and other
materials because it was lightweight and heat-resistant.

"Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral. It's pervasive, but
none of us is exposed at levels high enough to be concerned
with," Mall said. "However someone at that plant would have been
exposed at much higher levels than those considered safe now."

Miller said the Western Minerals plant may have had only a dozen
workers at any one time. Because of turnover, the number of
people exposed could be much higher.

Miller said he first began investigating the problem after
reading in 1998 about Harris Jorgenson of Minnesota, who died of
lung cancer and asbestosis but had not worked around asbestos.

A plant that processed vermiculite ore was near his house, and
Jorgenson played on the waste pile as a boy, Miller said.

Jorgenson's family thinks the tainted vermiculite led to his
death at age 44.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Moves to Settle Grace Asbestos Issues
----------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Wolin finds that the various
asbestos disputes in the W.R. Grace and other asbestos-related
Chapter 11 cases, "will benefit from the establishment of
working committees to explore resolution" of common issues and
others that may arise in further proceedings.

Judge Wolin, therefore, appoints David R. Gross, Esq., and
Professor Francis E. McGovern to establish a Working Committee
for these purposes, with "such membership as they shall deem
most effective."

The number and membership of the Working Committee will be
determined such that each interest and constituency in these
cases is represented to the fullest extent practicable -- but
the members of the Working Committees are to serve without
compensation as these are not to be considered official
committees under the Bankruptcy Code.


ASBESTOS ALERT: CompuDyne Reveals Asbestos-Related Liabilities
--------------------------------------------------------------
Compudyne Corp reports in its latest regulatory filing that over
the past few years, it has been named as defendant in lawsuits
involving asbestos-related personal injury and death claims.
CompuDyne Corporation has been named as a defendant in cases
related to claims for asbestos exposure allegedly due to
asbestos contained in certain of its predecessor's products.

The insurers of the company have advised and have provided a
defense pursuant to agreement with the company, subject to
reservation of rights by the insurers.  The insurers have
advised that claims in such litigation for punitive damages,
exemplary damages, malicious and willful and wanton behavior and
intentional conduct are not covered.

One of the carriers has given notice that asbestos related
claims are excluded from certain of these policies.  The
insurers have additional coverage defenses, which are reserved,
including that claims may fall outside of a particular policy
period of coverage.

CompuDyne cannot ascertain the total amount of potential
liability, if any, with respect to these matters.  Litigation
costs to date have not been significant and it has not paid any
settlements from its own funds.  The Company believes that any
such liability would not have a material effect on its financial
position, future operations or future cash flows.


COMPANY PROFILE

CompuDyne Corporation (NASDAQ: CDCY)
7249 National Dr.
Hanover, MD 21076 (Map)
Phone: 410-712-0275
Fax: 410-712-0677
http://www.compudyne.com

Employees   :          923
Revenue     : $155,600,000
Net Income  :   $1,800,000
Assets      : $124,400,000
Liabilities :  $75,000,000
(As of December 31, 2002)


                    New Securities Fraud Cases


ALLIANCE CAPITAL: Cauley Geller Files Securities Suit in S.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
Cauley Geller Bowman & Rudman, LLP initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York on behalf of all purchasers, redeemers and
holders of shares of the AllianceBernstein Funds managed by
Alliance Capital Management Holdings L.P. (NYSE: AC) between
October 2, 1998 and September 29, 2003, inclusive.

The following funds are subject to the above class action
lawsuit:

     (1) AllianceBernstein Growth & Income Fund (Sym: CABDX,
         CBBDX, CBBCX)

     (2) AllianceBernstein Health Care Fund (Sym: AHLAX, AHLBX,
         AHLCX)

     (3) AllianceBernstein Disciplined Value Fund (Sym: ADGAX,
         ADGBX, ADGCX)

     (4) AllianceBernstein Mid-Cap Growth (Sym: CHCAX, CHCBX,
         CHCCX)

     (5) AllianceBernstein Real Estate Investment Fund (Sym:
         AREAX, AREBX, ARECX)

     (6) AllianceBernstein Growth Fund  (Sym: AGRFX, AGBBX,
         AGRCX)

     (7) AllianceBernstein Select Investor Series Biotechnology
         Portfolio (Sym: ASBAX, AIBBX, ASBCX)

     (8) AllianceBernstein Small CapValue Fund (Sym: ABASX,
         ABBSX, ABCSX)

     (9) AllianceBernstein Premier Growth Fund (Sym: APGAX,
         APGBX APGCX)

    (10) AllianceBernstein Select Investor Series Technology
         Portfolio (Sym AITAX, AITBX, AITCX)

    (11) AllianceBernstein Value Fund (Sym: ABVAX, ABVBX,
         ABVCX)

    (12) AllianceBernstein Quasar Fund (Sym: QUASX, QUABX,
         QUACX)

    (13) AllianceBernstein Technology Fund (Sym: ALTFX, ATEBX,
         ATECX)

    (14) AllianceBernstein Select Investor Series Premier
         Portfolio (Sym: ASPAX, ASPBX, ASPCX)

    (15) AllianceBernstein Utility Income Fund (Sym: AUIAX,
         AUIBX, AUICX)

    (16) AllianceBernstein Balanced Shares (Sym: CABNX, CABBX,
         CBACX)

    (17) AllianceBernstein Disciplined Value Fund (Sym: ADGAX,
         ADGBX, ADGCX)

    (18) AllianceBernstein Global Value Fund (Sym: ABAGX, ABBGX,
         ABCGX)

    (19) AllianceBernstein International Value Fund (Sym: ABIAX,
         ABIBX, ABICX)

    (20) AllianceBernstein Real Estate Investment Fund (Sym:
         AREAX, AREBX, ARECX)

    (21) AllianceBernstein Small Cap Value Fund  (Sym: ABASX,
         ABBSX, ABCSX)

    (22) AllianceBernstein Utility Income Fund (Sym: AUIAX,
         AUIBX, AUICX)

    (23) AllianceBernstein Value Fund (Sym: ABVAX, ABVBX, AVBCX)

    (24) AllianceBernstein Blended Style Series - U.S. Large Cap
         Portfolio (Sym: ABBAX, ABBAX, ABBCX)

    (25) AllianceBernstein All-Asia Investment Fund (Sym: AALAX,
         AAABX, AAACX)

    (26) AllianceBernstein Global Value Fund (Sym: ABAGX, ABBGX,
         ABCGX)

    (27) AllianceBernstein Greater China '97 Fund (Sym: GCHAX,
         GCHBX, GCHCX)

    (28) AllianceBernstein International Premier Growth Fund
        (Sym: AIPAX, AIPBX, AIPCX)

    (29) AllianceBernstein International Value Fund (Sym: ABIAX,
         ABIBX, ABICX)

    (30) AllianceBernstein Global Small Cap Fund (Sym: GSCAX,
         AGCBX, GSCCX)

    (31) AllianceBernstein New Europe Fund (Sym: ANEAX, ANEBX,
         ANECX)

    (32) AllianceBernstein Worldwide Privatization Fund (Sym:
         AWPAX, AWPBX, AWPCX)

    (33) AllianceBernstein Select Investor Series Biotechnology
         Portfolio (Sym: ASBAX, AIBBX, ASBCX)

    (34) AllianceBernstein Select Investor Series Premier
         Portfolio (Sym: ASPAX, ASPBX, ASPCX)

    (35) AllianceBernstein Select Investor Series Technology
         Portfolio (Sym: AITAX, AITBX, AITCX)

    (36) AllianceBernstein Americas Government Income Trust
         (Sym: ANAGX, ANABX, ANACX)

    (37) AllianceBernstein Bond Fund Corporate Bond Portfolio
         (Sym: CBFAX, CBFBX, CBFCX)

    (38) AllianceBernstein Bond Fund Quality Bond Portfolio
         (Sym: ABQUX, ABQBX, ABQCX)

    (39) AllianceBernstein Bond Fund U.S. Government Portfolio
         (Sym: ABUSX, ABUBX ABUCX)

    (40) AllianceBernstein Emerging Market Debt Fund (Sym:
         AGDAX, AGDBX, AGDCX)

    (41) AllianceBernstein Global Strategic Income Trust
         (Sym: AGSAX, AGSBX, AGCCX)

    (42) AllianceBernstein High Yield Fund (Sym: AHYAX, AHHBX,
         AHHCX)

    (43) AllianceBernstein Multi-Market Strategy Trust (Sym:
         AMMSX, AMMBX, AMMCX)

    (44) AllianceBernstein Short Duration (Sym: ADPAX, ADPBX,
         ADPCX)

    (45) AllianceBernstein Intermediate California Muni
         Portfolio (Sym: AICBX, ACLBX, ACMCX)

    (46) AllianceBernstein Intermediate Diversified Muni
         Portfolio (Sym: AIDAX, AIDBX, AIMCX)

    (47) AllianceBernstein Intermediate New York Muni Portfolio:
         (Sym: ANIAX, ANYBX, ANMCX)

    (48) AllianceBernstein Muni Income Fund National Portfolio
         (Sym: ALTHX, ALTBX, ALNCX)

    (49) AllianceBernstein Muni Income Fund Arizona Portfolio
         (Sym: AAZAX, AAZBX, AAZCX)

    (50) AllianceBernstein Muni Income Fund California Portfolio
         (Sym: ALCAX, ALCBX, ACACX)

    (51) AllianceBernstein Muni Income Fund Insured California
         Portfolio (Sym: BUICX, BUIBX, BUCCX)

    (52) AllianceBernstein Muni Income Fund Insured National
         Portfolio (Sym: CABTX, CBBBX, CACCX)

    (53) AllianceBernstein Muni Income Fund Florida Portfolio
         (Sym: AFLAX, AFLBX, AFLCX)

    (54) AllianceBernstein Muni Income Fund Massachusetts
         Portfolio (Sym: AMAAX, AMABX)

    (55) AllianceBernstein Muni Income Fund Michigan Portfolio
         (Sym: AMIAX, AMIBX, AMICX)

    (56) AllianceBernstein Muni Income Fund Minnesota Portfolio
         (Sym: AMNAX, AMNBX, AMNCX)

    (57) AllianceBernstein Muni Income Fund New Jersey Portfolio
         (Sym: ANJAX, ANJBX, ANJCX)

    (58) AllianceBernstein Muni Income Fund New York Portfolio
         (Sym: ALNYX, ALNBX, ANYCX)

    (59) AllianceBernstein Muni Income Fund Ohio Portfolio
        (Sym: AOHAX, AOHBX, AOHCX)

    (60) AllianceBernstein Muni Income Fund Pennsylvania
         Portfolio (Sym: APAAX, APABX, APACX)

    (61) AllianceBernstein Muni Income Fund Virginia Portfolio
         (Sym: AVAAX, AVABX, AVACX)

Investors in the State of Rhode Island 529 Plan, known as the
CollegeBoundfund(SM), may have invested in one or more of the
funds listed below:

     (i) AllianceBernstein Growth & Income Fund

    (ii) AllianceBernstein Mid-Cap Growth Fund

   (iii) AllianceBernstein Premier Growth Fund

    (iv) AllianceBernstein Quasar Fund

     (v) AllianceBernstein Technology Fund

    (vi) AllianceBernstein Quality Bond Portfolio

   (vii) AllianceBernstein International Value Fund

  (viii) AllianceBernstein Small Cap Value Fund

    (ix) AllianceBernstein Value Fund

The complaint charges the AllianceBernstein Funds, Alliance
Capital Management Holdings L.P., Alliance Capital Management
L.P., AXA Financial, Inc., and certain of its wholly-owned
subsidiaries, with violations of the Securities Act of 1933, the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Investment Company Act of
1940 and for common law breach of fiduciary duties.

The Complaint alleges that during the Class Period, the
AllianceBernstein Funds and the other defendants engaged in
illegal and improper trading practices, in concert with certain
institutional traders, which caused financial injury to the
shareholders of the AllianceBernstein Funds.

According to the Complaint, the Defendants surreptitiously
permitted certain favored investors, including defendants Canary
Capital Partners, LLC and Canary Investment Management, LLC
(collectively, "Canary") to illegally engage in "timing" of the
AllianceBernstein Funds whereby these favored investors were
permitted to conduct short-term, "in and out" trading of mutual
fund shares, despite explicit restrictions on such activity in
the AllianceBernstein Funds' prospectuses.

For more details, contact Samuel H. Rudman, Robert M. Rothman,
Jackie Addison or Heather Gann by Mail: P.O. Box 25438; Little
Rock, AR 72221-5438 by Phone: 1-888-551-9944 by Fax:
1-501-312-8505 by E-mail: info@cauleygeller.com or visit the
firm's Website: http://www.cauleygeller.com


ALLIANCE CAPITAL: Wolf Popper Lodges Securities Suit in S.D. NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
Wolf Popper LLP initiated a securities class action in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York, Case No. 03-Civ-7955, charging improper trading practices
at mutual fund companies including Alliance Capital Management
Holding LP (NYSE:AC), Bank One Corporation (NYSE:ONE), Janus
Capital Group, Inc. (NYSE:JNS), Bank of America Corporation
(NYSE:BAC), and Strong Financial Corporation.

The Complaint filed today is brought against Alliance Holding
and its investment management and advisory affiliate, Alliance
Capital Management L.P. on behalf of persons who acquired,
redeemed or owned mutual fund shares of the AllianceBernstein
Technology Fund, from January 1, 2002 through September 2, 2003,
pursuant to the prospectus therefore.

The Complaint charges violations of Section 11 of the Securities
Act of 1933 for false and misleading statements and omissions in
the prospectuses, and common law breach of fiduciary duty.  The
Complaint alleges that during the Class Period, the above-named
mutual fund companies engaged in illegal and/or improper trading
practices, in concert with certain institutional traders, which
caused financial injury to the shareholders of the subject
mutual funds, in return for substantial fees and other income
for themselves and their affiliates.

The Complaint alleges that the schemes at the above-named mutual
fund companies took two primary forms.  First is the "late
trading" of mutual fund shares by select customers of the fund
(including hedge funds).  Specifically, the Complaint alleges
that certain institutional investors in funds run by the above-
named fund companies, including Canary Capital Partners, LLC and
Canary Investment Management, LLC, improperly arranged with
defendants that orders placed after 4 p.m. on a given day would
illegally receive that day's price (as opposed to the next day's
price, which the order would have received had it been processed
lawfully).

This allowed Canary and other mutual fund investors who engaged
in the same wrongful course of conduct to capitalize on post
4:00 p.m. information, while those who bought their mutual fund
shares lawfully could not.

The Complaint further alleges that defendants engaged in
wrongful conduct known as "timing."  Timing is an investment
technique involving short-term, "in and out" trading of mutual
fund shares, designed to exploit inefficiencies in the way
mutual fund companies price their shares.  It is widely
acknowledged that "timing" inures to the detriment of long-term
shareholders.  Nonetheless, in return for investments from
certain hedge funds and other traders that would increase fund
managers' fees, fund managers entered into undisclosed
agreements to allow them to "time" their funds.

The Complaint alleges that individuals at Alliance allowed the
AllianceBernstein Technology Fund to be timed by institutional
traders, to the detriment of the Fund's other shareholders.

For more details, contact Michael A. Schwartz, Chet B. Waldman,
Andrew E. Lencyk, or Mark Marino by Mail: 845 Third Avenue, New
York, NY 10022 by Phone: 212-759-4600 or 877-370-7703 (toll
free) by Fax: 212-486-2093 or 877-370-7704 by E-mail:
mschwartz@wolfpopper.com, cwaldman@wolfpopper.com,
lencyk@wolfpopper.com, mmarino@wolfpopper.com,
irrep@wolfpopper.com or visit the Website:
http://www.wolfpopper.com


HEALTHTRONICS SURGICAL: Shephard Finkelman Lodges Lawsuit in GA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLC initiated a securities
class action in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Georgia against HealthTronics Surgical
Services, Inc., Argil J. Wheelock, M.D., Russell Maddox, Ronald
Gully, Martin McGahan, and Victoria W. Beck on behalf of all
persons who purchased or otherwise acquired the securities of
HealthTronics Surgical Services, Inc., (Nasdaq: HTRN), between
January 4, 2000 and July 25, 2003, 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, and by failing to
disclose material information that plaintiffs contend defendants
had a duty to disclose, between January 4, 2000 and July 25,
2003.

More specifically, the complaint alleges that defendants made
material misrepresentations and/or omitted to make material
disclosures during the Class Period concerning the efficacy,
testing and market acceptance of OssaTron(R), its leading
product for the treatment of heel pain.

Among other things, the complaint charges, defendants failed to
disclose that some of the Company's own tests failed to support
defendants' statements that OssaTron(R) was more effective,
safer and less costly than alternative, non-surgical treatments
for heel pain.

In addition, the complaint alleges that defendants
misrepresented the market acceptance of OssaTron(R) because
defendants knew, or were severely reckless in disregarding at
the time these statements were made, that serious questions
existed among the medical community concerning the effectiveness
of extracorporeal shock wave treatment (ESWT) for heel pain,
which in turn raised serious issues as to whether insurance
carriers and other third party payors would cover OssaTron(R)
procedures.

As a result, and because the Company was experiencing difficulty
in its billing and collection department, which further made
insurance reimbursement difficult to obtain, the complaint
claims, the Company's January 28, 2003 earnings projections
lacked any reasonable basis in fact when made.

When defendants finally acknowledged that the OssaTron(R)
product was not being absorbed by the market as they had
previously claimed, the market's reaction to the disclosures was
swift and severe.  On July 28, 2003, the market price of
HealthTronics common stock tumbled over 26% in unusually heavy
trading.

Indeed, the price of HealthTronics common stock dropped from a
high of $17.60 per share during the Class Period to as low as
$7.76 per share on July 28, 2003.

For more details, contact James C. Shah by Mail: 35 E. State
Street, Media, Pennsylvania, 19063 by Phone: 1-877-891-9880
(toll-free) or by E-mail: jshah@classactioncounsel.com


STRONG FINANCIAL: Rabin Murray Lodges Securities Suit in S.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Rabin, Murray and Frank LLP initiated a
securities class action in the United States District Court for
the Southern District of New York, case number 03-CV-7438, on
behalf of all persons or entities who purchased or otherwise
acquired Strong Corporate Bond Fund (Nasdaq:SCBNX)
(Nasdaq:STCBX), Strong High-Yield Bond Fund (Nasdaq:SHYYX)
(Nasdaq:STHYX), Strong Government Securities Fund (Nasdaq:SGVIX)
(Nasdaq:STVSX), and other Strong Funds owned and operated by
Strong Financial Corporation, and its subsidiaries and
affiliates, between October 1, 1998 and July 3, 2003, inclusive.

The complaint names Strong Financial Corporation, Strong Capital
Management, Inc., and each of the Funds' registrants and
issuers, Edward J. Stern, Canary Capital Partners, LLC, Canary
Investment Management, LLC, Canary Capital Partners, Ltd, each
of the Funds, and John Does 1-100.

The Funds, and the symbols for the respective Funds named below,
are as follows:

     (1) Strong Advisor Bond Fund (SVBDX, SADBX, SABCX, SIBNX,
         F008W1, SBDIX)

     (2) Strong Advisor Municipal Bond Fund (SAMAX, SMBBX,
         F00BH8)

     (3) Strong Advisor Municipal Select Fund (SMUIX, STAEX,
         F005LZ, F005M9)

     (4) Strong Advisor Short Duration Bond A Fund (STSDX,
         SSDKX, SSHCX, STGBX)

     (5) Strong Advisor Common Stock Fund (SCSAX, SCSKX, STSAX,
         STCSX)

     (6) Strong Advisor Endeavor Large Cap Fund (STALX, F008GO)

     (7) Strong Advisor Focus Fund (F005MO, F005M7, F005LT)

     (8) Strong Advisor International Core Fund (F008GQ, F008GR,
         F008GS)

     (9) Strong Advisor Large Company Core Fund (SLGAX, F00AO2,
         F00AO3, SLCKX)

    (10) Strong Advisor Mid-Cap Growth Fund (F005LQ, F005M1,
         F005LO, SMDCX)

    (11) Strong Advisor Small Cap Value Fund (SMVAX, SMVBX,
         SMVCX, SSMVX)

    (12) Strong Advisor Strategic Income Fund (SASAX, F005L7,
         SASCX)

    (13) Strong Advisor Technology Fund (SASCX, F005LM, F005LM)

    (14) Strong Advisor U.S. Small/Mid Cap Growth Fund (F009D0,
         F009D1)

    (15) Strong Advisor U.S. Value (F005M2, F005M5, F005MA,
         SEQKX, SEQIX)

    (16) Strong Advisor Utilities and Energy Fund (SUEAX,
         F00AED, F00AEE, F009D5)

    (17) Strong All Cap Value Fund (F009D5)

    (18) Strong Asia Pacific Fund (SASPX)

    (19) Strong Balanced Fund (STAAX)

    (20) Strong Blue Chip Fund (SBCHX)

    (21) Strong Discovery Fund (STDIX)

    (22) Strong Dividend Income Fund (SDVIX, F008VY)

    (23) Strong Dow 30 Value Fund (SDOWX)

    (24) Strong Endeavor Fund (SENDX)

    (25) Strong Energy Fund (SENGX)

    (26) Strong Enterprise Fund (SENAX, F04ANX, SENTX, SEPKX)

    (27) Strong Growth & Income Fund (SGNAX, SGNIX, SGRIX,
         SGIKX)

    (28) Strong Growth 20 Fund (SGTWX, SGRTX, SGRAX, F00B67,
         SGRNX)

    (29) Strong Growth Fund (SGROX, SGRKX)

    (30) Strong Index 500 Fund (SINEX)

    (31) Strong Large Cap Core Fund (SLCRX)

    (32) Strong Large Cap Growth Fund (STRFX)

    (33) Strong Large Company Growth Fund (SLGIX, F04ANY)

    (34) Strong Mid Cap Disciplined Fund (SMCDX)

    (35) Strong Multi-Cap Value Fund (SMTVX)

    (36) Strong Opportunity Fund (SOPVX, SOPFX, F00AH2)

    (37) Strong Overseas Fund (F00B4I, SOVRX)

    (38) Strong Small Company Value Fund (F009D3)

    (39) Strong Technology 100 Fund (STEKX)

    (40) Strong U.S. Emerging Growth Fund (SEMRX)

    (41) Strong Value Fund (STVAX)

    (42) Strong Life Stages - Aggressive Portfolio Fund (SAGGX)

    (43) Strong Life Stages - Conservative Portfolio Fund
         (SCONX)

    (44) Strong Life Stages - Moderate Portfolio Fund (SMDPX)

    (45) Strong Corporate Bond Fund (SCBDX, SCBNX, STCBX)

    (46) Strong Corporate Income Fund (SCORX)

    (47) Strong High-Yield Bond Fund (SHBAX, SHYYX, STHYX)

    (48) Strong Government Securities Fund (SGVDX, F00B66,
         SGVIX, STVSX)

    (49) Strong High-Yield Municipal Bond Fund (SHYLX)

    (50) Strong Intermediate Municipal Bond Fund (SIMBX)

    (51) Strong Municipal Bond Fund (SXFIX)

    (52) Strong Minnesota Tax-Free Fund (F00B64, F00B65, F00B63)

    (53) Strong Wisconsin Tax-Free Fund (F0068K)

    (54) Strong Short-Term High-Yield Municipal Bond Fund
         (SSHMX, SSTHX, STHBX)

    (55) Strong Short-Term Municipal Bond Fund (F00B62, STSMX)

    (56) Strong Short-Term Income Fund (F00B1K)

    (57) Strong Short-Term Bond Fund (SSTVX, SSHIX, SSTBX)

    (58) Strong Ultra Short-Term Income Fund (SADAX, SADIX,
         STADX)

    (59) Strong Ultra Short-Term Municipal Income Fund (SMAVX,
         SMAIX, SMUAX)

    (60) Strong Florida Municipal Money Market Fund (SLFXX)

    (61) Strong Heritage Money Fund (SHMXX)

    (62) Strong Money Market Fund (SMNXX)

    (63) Strong Municipal Money Market Fund (SXFXX)

    (64) Strong Tax-Free Money Fund (STMXX)

The Complaint alleges that defendants violated Sections 11 and
15 of the Securities Act of 1933; Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder; and Section 206 of the Investment Advisers Act of
1940.

The Complaint charges that, throughout the Class Period,
defendants failed to disclose that they improperly allowed
certain hedge funds, such as Canary, to engage in the "timing"
of their transactions in the Funds' securities.  Timing is
excessive, arbitrage trading undertaken to turn a quick profit.
Timing injures ordinary mutual fund investors - who are not
allowed to engage in such practices - and is acknowledged as an
improper practice by the Funds.

In return for receiving extra fees from Canary and other favored
investors, Strong Financial Corporation and its subsidiaries
allowed and facilitated Canary's timing activities, to the
detriment of class members, who paid, dollar for dollar, for
Canary's improper profits.  These practices were undisclosed in
the prospectuses of the Funds, which falsely represented that
the Funds actively police against timing.

For more details, contact Eric J. Belfi or Gregory Linkh by
Mail: 275 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10016, by Phone:
(800) 497-8076 or (212) 682-1818, by Fax: (212) 682-1892, or by
E-mail: email@rabinlaw.com.


                        *********

A list of Meetings, Conferences and Seminars appears in each
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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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Copyright 2003.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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