CAR_Public/031016.mbx            C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

           Thursday, October 16, 2003, Vol. 5, No. 204

                        Headlines


AETNA INSURANCE: $170M Pact For Doctors' Suit Nears Completion
BREAST IMPLANTS: Women Testify For, Against Breast Implants Ban
CALIFORNIA: Two Orange County Activists Suing For Big Revenue
COMPUTER ASSOCIATES: Reaches Settlement For Securities Lawsuits
CONTACT LENSES: Decorative Lenses May Lead to Injury, Blindness

CREDIT SUISSE: Quattrone Defense Rests Case in Securities Trial
DIALOGIC COMMUNICATIONS: Arkansas Initiates Civil Investigation
EUREX: US Subsidiary Files Antitrust Suit Against Chicago Rivals
FLORIDA: County To Appeal Judge's Refusal To Recuse From Lawsuit
GOLDEN LUCK: Recalls 7.4 oz Jars Leek Sauce For Botulism Hazard

HALLOWEEN PRODUCTS: CPSC Issues Warning on Toys' Safety Concerns
HOLLYWOOD: WGA Expresses Opposition to Ban on Oscar Screeners
IBM CORPORATION: Employees Knew of Disk Drives' Failure Rates
ILLINOIS: Firefighter Seeks Damages Over Manhandling of Stepson
LOUISIANA: Baton Rouge Man Launches Lawsuit Over DNA Collection

MARTIN LUTHER: Group Sues Over Illegal Discharging of Students
MILLER BREWING: Starts Recall of Sharp's Non-Alcohol Brew Beer
MISYS HEALTHCARE: Initiates Recall of B-AUT-RAPID-LAB Software
MORGAN STANLEY: NY AG, SEC Start Investigation Over Mutual Funds
NATURAL COUNTRY: Hundreds Flee Ammonia Leak in Connecticut Plant

PAT & OSCAR'S: More E. Coli Cases Reported in San Diego County
PFIZER: US Court Revives Lawsuit Against Nigerian Drug Testing
PHILIP MORRIS: Launches UK Ad Campaign Over "Lights" Cigarettes
POSTAL SERVICE: Workers Commence Lawsuit Over Anthrax Attacks
TOBACCO LITIGATION: Firms Win Verdict in Secondhand Smoke Suit

UNITED STATES: Coalition Sues For Decision on Gray Wolf's Status
UNITED STATES: NHTSA Releases Study on Vehicle Weight, Safety
WASHINGTON: Yakima Council Approves $13M Wastewater Plant Pact

                      New Securities Fraud Cases

CHECK POINT: Emerson Poynter Lodges Securities Suit in S.D. NY
CONSTAR INTERNATIONAL: Marc Henzel Lodges Securities Suit in PA
FLOWSERVE CORPORATION: Wolf Haldenstein Lodges Stock Suit in TX
LORAL SPACE: Wolf Haldenstein To File Securities Suit in S.D. NY
STELLENT INC.: Chestnut & Cambronne Lodges Securities Suit in MN

STELLENT INC.: Bernstein Liebhard Lodges Securities Suit in MN
SUREBEAM CORPORATION: Stull Stull Lodges Securities Suit in NY


                               *********

AETNA INSURANCE: $170M Pact For Doctors' Suit Nears Completion
--------------------------------------------------------------
US District Judge Federico Moreno is expected to give final approval to a
$170 million settlement of a racketeering lawsuit filed by 700,000 doctors
across the country who claimed they were improperly denied payments and
shortchanged by insurance giant Aetna, the Sun-Sentinel.com reports.

"This is a landmark agreement," Archie Lamb of Birmingham, Ala., lead
counsel in the lawsuit told The Sun-Sentinel. "It's a good and fair
settlement and we are confident it will be approved."

The settlement calls for Aetna to pay $100 million to doctors, an average of
$142 each, plus $20 million to establish a foundation aimed at reducing
medical errors, childhood obesity and racial disparities.  Aetna also would
pay $50 million in lawyers' fees if Judge Moreno approves that amount.

However, the doctors' lawyers insist that changes Aetna agreed to make in
dealing with physicians are worth far more than the planned reimbursements.
Those changes, which Aetna estimates will cost $300 million to implement,
are intended to speed claims processing and give what doctors say on patient
management procedures greater weight.

In addition, Aetna has agreed to establish an external board to resolve
billing disputes and make more information about reimbursements available to
the doctors via the company's Website.

Still several other insurance companies remain as defendants in the doctors'
class action including Foundation, Humana, Prudential and United Healthcare.
The companies have appealed Judge Moreno's decision to recognize the doctors
as a class.  A ruling is pending at the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in
Atlanta.

Like all class action settlements, however, those who do not agree with the
terms can "opt out" and pursue their claims against Aetna individually.  Mr.
Lamb said between 4,000 and 5,000 doctors have chosen that route.

Judge Moreno gave his initial blessing to the pact in late May and allowed
both sides almost five months to iron out the details.  In the interim,
Cigna HealthCare reached a $540 million settlement with the attorneys, and
Judge Moreno gave preliminary approval pending a final hearing December 18.

The settlement follows much the same route, but chiropractors, podiatrists,
optometrists, therapists, mental health counselors and others were excluded
from the agreement and will not be able to recover money for claims that
were improperly denied or services for which they were shortchanged, lawyers
on the case told The Sun-Sentinel.  Other attorneys are pursuing separate
litigation against Cigna for all those health-care providers.

The class action In re Managed Care Litigation, MDL No. 1334 was filed in
the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida and settled
before Judge Federico A. Moreno.  Plaintiffs in this action are represented
by Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton, Whatley Drake LLC, Milberg Weiss Bershad
Hynes & Lerach, Doffermyre Shields Canfield Knowles & Devine, and defendants
by Greenberg Traurig and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.


BREAST IMPLANTS: Women Testify For, Against Breast Implants Ban
---------------------------------------------------------------
Dozens of women testified before a Food and Drug Administration advisory
panel, which is considering the end of a ban on silicone breast implants
made by Inamed Corporation, Reuters reports.

In 1992, the United States banned silicone implants amid concerns for their
safety.  Studies have found both silicone and saline-filled implants
frequently rupture and cause local complications such as pain and scarring.
However, major studies have failed up to now to show that silicone implants
cause chronic diseases.

Women testifying before the panel described them either as "dangerous
devices" or "safe, natural-looking options."

Susan Cunningham told the panel her body was racked with joint pain after
she got implants, which she later had removed.  She contends that her health
improved after that, but she is still too sick to get to work, Reuters
reports.

Carolyn Wolf told the panel she experienced blisters on her neck, rheumatoid
arthritis and neurological damage to an eye, about 10 years after she got
silicone implants in 1971 following a double mastectomy with no problems for
about 10 years.  One eye had constant pain for six weeks. "After a long,
thin, greasy glob came out, the pain lessened," she said, but silicone still
oozes from her nipples, Reuters stated.

However, other women testified that they were satisfied with their silicone
implants, saying they got a more natural look and feel than saline implants
offered.

"I have had absolutely no complications or regrets about that decision,"
Cindy Teague, who got implants after her breast appearance changed following
child birth, told the panel.

Proponents for the implants asserted women have a right to choose silicone
implants, either for rebuilding breasts after cancer surgery or for cosmetic
reasons, Reuters reports.  As long as they are told of the risks, "let women
make informed decisions about their bodies," said Michele Colombo, a
34-year-old married woman who said she was considering breast implants to
enhance her appearance.

A study of 940 women followed for up to three years showed that the implants
were safe and effective, Inamed officials told Reuters.  Rates for most
complications were lower than with Inamed's FDA-approved saline implants,
JoAnn Kuhne, Inamed's senior director for regulatory and clinical affairs
told Reuters.  "Patient satisfaction was extremely high," Ms. Kuhne said.
Up to 96 percent of women said they were happy with the implants two years
after their surgery.

The advisory panel is scheduled to vote by Wednesday afternoon on whether to
recommend FDA approval for Inamed's implants.  The FDA usually follows the
advice of its panels.


CALIFORNIA: Two Orange County Activists Suing For Big Revenue
-------------------------------------------------------------
Two Orange County, California, activists may cost state and local government
about $20 billion, as they each pursue their respective class actions
through the courts, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Rob Pool, a resident of Seal Beach, is a teacher-turned-attorney, who filed
a lawsuit against a Proposition 13 interpretation after Orange County
refunded him $100 in property taxes and then demanded it back.  If Mr. Pool
prevails, qualifying property owners may get back as much as $10
billion in refunds and interest.

The other activist is Thom Babcock of Fullerton, who operates a company that
services medical equipment and once campaigned for the recall of three City
Council members.  He is presently seeking to block an issuance of a
$10.7-billion bond to rescue the state's budget.

The two do not know each other, and do not yet have the same name recall as
other activists but their strategies of attacking government through the
courts are similar, and "tried and true," the Los Angeles Times reports.

Mr. Pool argued in 1998, that Orange County's assessor, along with assessors
statewide, routinely violated the 1978 voter initiative when they increased
taxes on property by more than two percent, the limit established by
Proposition 13.  In December 2001, an Orange County Superior Court judge
agreed with Mr. Pool and granted the lawsuit class action status; the state
appeals court has scheduled oral arguments in December.

The Orange County Assessor had argued that if a property's value remained
flat or decreased for one or more years, it was legal to collect more than
two percent in following years when the property regained value.  The
practice was merely used to recoup the annual two percent increase that had
gone uncollected, the assessor said.

If Mr. Pool's victory over the assessor's interpretation stands, it could
trigger $10 billion in property tax refunds plus interest, officials with
the California Department of Finance have estimated, according to the Los
Angeles Times.

Mr. Babcock and his group, the Fullerton Association of Concerned Taxpayers,
filed their lawsuit last month.  The group is the plaintiff in a lawsuit by
Sacramento's Pacific Legal Foundation, which is challenging the state's plan
to issue a $10.7-billion "deficit" bond to balance the budget.  The lawsuit
contends that without voter approval, the state Constitution allows
financing only up to $300,000, and only for a specific project or emergency.

Lawmakers, on the other hand, argue that the deficit bonds do not violate
the Constitution because they will have to vote to approve the repayment to
bondholders every year.

Mr. Babcock got good news as he prepared to fly to Sacramento to announce
the lawsuit:  A Superior Court judge there invalidated a smaller state bond
as unconstitutional on the same legal ground put forward by the Pacific
Legal Foundation.  A hearing date has not bet been scheduled on the lawsuit,
which will be heard by the same judge who invalidated the smaller state bond
issue.

Both men are following a purely American path, Jack Pitney, a professor of
government at Claremont McKenna College, told the LA Times.  French
political philosoper Alexis de Tocqueville, said Professor Pitney, observed
that there was "scarcely a political question in the United States that did
not sooner or later become a judicial one."

"This is an old tradition," Professor Pitney told the LA Times.  "The
American political system has many doors through which citizens can walk.
Many of these cases end up changing the law."

Filing lawsuits is one way for citizens to bypass the normal channels of
representative government; just as recalls allow voters to interrupt the
normal cycle of elections, Kenneth Miller, an attorney and colleague of
Professor Pitney told the Times.  Going straight to the courts also give
citizens a way to challenge an "alliance of insiders" within government, Mr.
Miller said.

The class action County of Orange v. Orange County Assessment Appeals Bd.
No. 3 et al., Case No. 00CC03385 was filed in the Superior Court of Orange
County, California and assigned to Judge John M. Watson.  Plaintiffs in this
action are represented by Robert A. Pool and David L. Gangloff, Jr. of
Gangloff Gangloff & Pool and Stephen M. Harris of Knapp Petersen & Clarke,
and defendants by James C. Harman of the Office County Counsel, County of
Orange, and Robert D. Luskin, William A. Kent, Harvey Leiderman and Douglas
J. Maloney.

The class action titled Fullerton Association of Concerned Taxpayers v.
California Fiscal Recovery Financing Authority et al. was filed in September
2003 in the Superior Court of Sacramento, California.  Plaintiffs in this
action are represented by Wiliam S. Mount, John H. Findley, Harold E.
Johnson and Arthur B. Mark III of the Pacific Legal Foundation.


COMPUTER ASSOCIATES: Reaches Settlement For Securities Lawsuits
---------------------------------------------------------------
Computer Associates International, Inc. reaches a settlement for the
securities class actions filed on behalf of all persons or entities who
purchased or transacted in the Company's common stock during the period
January 20,1998 through and including February 25,2002 and who were damaged
thereby and all participants in the Computer Associates Savings Harvest plan
and their beneficiaries whose plan accounts were invested in Company common
stock or any investment fund under the plan that invested in Company stock
during the period January 20,1998 through and including May 30,2003, and all
current Company shareholders.

Pursuant to Rules 23 and 23.1 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,
hearings will be held before the Honorable Thomas C.
Platt at the United States District Court in Central Islip, New York to
determine whether proposed class action settlements in the above Actions,
for Securities and other considerations currently worth approximately
$152,760,000 and the settlement of derivative actions for additional
benefits:

     (1) should be approved by the Court as fair, reasonable, and adequate
for the settlement of the above Actions and

     (2) to consider the applications of plaintiffs' counsel for attorney's
fees and reimbursement of expenses.

For more details, contact Gilardi & Co., LLC by Mail: In re Computer
Associates Securities Litigation c/o Gilardi &Co. , LLC, Claims
Administrator, P.O. Box 80855, Petaluma, CA 94975-8055 by Phone:
(800)654-5763 or visit the firm's Website: http://www.gilardi.com


CONTACT LENSES: Decorative Lenses May Lead to Injury, Blindness
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers regarding the
use of decorative contact lenses distributed without appropriate
consultation from an eye care professional as these can cause permanent eye
injury and may potentially lead to blindness.

The FDA has received reports of corneal ulcers associated with the wearing
of these decorative contact lenses in excess of the recommended period.
Corneal ulcers can progress rapidly, and, if left untreated, could lead to
infection of the eye.  Uncontrolled infection can lead to corneal scarring
and vision impairment. In the most severe cases, this condition can result
in blindness and eye loss.

Other risks associated with its use include:

     (1) conjunctivitis (an infection of the eye);

     (2) corneal edema (swelling);

     (3) allergic reaction and corneal abrasion due to poor lens fit

Other problems may include reduction in visual acuity (sight), contrast
sensitivity and other visual functions, resulting in interference with
driving and other activities.

"Although decorative contact lenses may seem festive during this time of
year, consumers should understand that these lenses can seriously harm the
eye if they are used without appropriate supervision by an eye care
professional," FDA Commissioner Mark B. McClellan said in a statement.

The decorative contact lenses are reportedly marketed and distributed
directly to consumers through sources such as flea markets, convenience
stores, beach shops and the Internet.

The Agency has examined numerous entries of decorative contact lenses
presented for importation.  Currently, none of the products have satisfied
FDA standards to warrant access into US commerce.  Domestically, FDA has
inspected several firms distributing decorative contact lenses, and
additional inspections are planned.  Warnings were issued to several firms
about the potential danger from the selling the items without proper
labeling about the risks and proper instructions for safe
use.  Action will be taken where deemed appropriate.

The Agency also sent letters to Yahoo! and the on-line auction site eBay,
alerting them to the risks of decorative contact lenses distributed without
appropriate eye care professional involvement and requesting their
assistance in preventing improper online sales.

The FDA urges consumers not to use decorative contact lenses unless they
have seen an eye care professional and have obtained proper fitting and
instructions for using the product.  The Agency requests that consumers
report any complaints to the FDA district office consumer complaint
coordinator in their geographic area.

For more details, visit the FDA's website:
http://www.fda.gov/opacom/backgrounders/complain.htmlor contact MedWatch,
the FDA's voluntary reporting program, by Phone: 1-800-FDA-1088 by Fax:
1-800-FDA-0178 or by Mail: MedWatch, Food and Drug Administration, 5600
Fishers Lane (HF-2), Rockville, MD 20850.


CREDIT SUISSE: Quattrone Defense Rests Case in Securities Trial
---------------------------------------------------------------
The defense team for former Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB) star banker
Frank Quattrone rested its case Tuesday in his obstruction of justice trial,
the Associated Press reports.  The defense hopes to convince the jury that
Mr. Quattrone made no decisions on who got shares of hot new stocks from his
bank.

Mr. Quattrone, 47, was one of the nation's most influential investment
bankers during the Internet boom in the late 1990s.  In 2000, securities
regulators and a federal grand jury were investigating whether CSFB clients
paid the bank illegal kickbacks so they could get in on hot new stocks -
stocks that virtually guaranteed instant profits.  The investigation ended
with no charges filed in 2001, while the firm paid $100 million to settle
related civil charges, without admitting wrongdoing.

On December 5,2000, Mr. Quattrone endorsed a controversial email written by
a subordinate telling employees to "catch up on file cleanup."  Two days
after the e-mail, CSFB lawyers alerted employees to preserve IPO documents
because of the government probes.  Mr. Quattrone was later charged with
obstruction of justice and witness tampering.

In his defense, Mr. Quattrone has repeatedly said he was told the focus was
on IPO allocations, and did not believe there was reason for his division of
investment bankers to be concerned.  He also reiterated that he was only
following company policy, which required some document destruction unless
employees were aware of subpoenas or lawsuits, AP reports.

Mr. Quattrone's attorneys argue that he did not believe the investigation,
which focused on share allocation, concerned his investment-banking
division - and therefore was not trying to block the investigation when he
urged document destruction.

On Friday, government evidence showed Quattrone discussed allocations of
three specific IPOs, or initial public offerings, with CSFB executives who
were trying to decide who would receive shares, AP reports.

The charges carry up to 25 years in prison, although federal sentencing
guidelines would likely mean a far shorter sentence if Mr. Quattrone is
convicted.  A jury is set to begin deliberations this week.


DIALOGIC COMMUNICATIONS: Arkansas Initiates Civil Investigation
---------------------------------------------------------------
Three south Arkansas counties say a Tennessee company misrepresented an
emergency alert system they purchased, and now the state attorney general's
office is getting involved in an investigation of the allegedly offending
company, reported Associated Press Newswires.   The attorney general's
office has issued a civil investigative demand against Dialogic
Communications Corporation (DCC) of Franklin, Tennessee.

Within the last six years, Ashley, Columbia and Union Counties each
purchased "The Communicator" emergency alert system, at a price ranging from
$32,000 to $45,000.  These three counties are planning to sue to recover the
cost of the system that they say was misrepresented from the start by
representatives of the
Dialogic Communications Corporation.

Initially, county officials said they would have been satisfied just to
recover the cost of the equipment.  However, the delay, the officials said,
is pushing them to seek a class action against the company in order to
recover both the cost of the equipment and other expenses incurred in the
six-year struggle with Dialogic Communications.

Jerry Foreman, the 911 coordinator and Office of Emergency Management
director for Ashley County, said the units were sold as "turnkey
operations," complete with everything needed to perform call-out and mapping
functions with more than 90 percent accuracy.

"It didn't work for us.  It never fulfilled its mission," said James Kox of
the Union County Local Emergency Planning Committee.  "Their own technicians
could never get it to function either."

The counties said they were sold by DCC's claims that emergency agencies
could draw a radius on a digitized map provided by DCC, and the machine
would contact every residence and business within that radius to give a
recorded message.

"It never even came close to being accurate or complete," Kox said.  "DCC
told us that cities can use the mapping function to contact people, but what
we have learned from the state is that this is impossible to do without
geocoding.   That (geocoding) is done by taking GIS (Geographical
Positioning System) coding machines, one-by-one, to each home in the
county."

James Brayer, DCC's chief financial officer, told county officials in
September that his company would provide a response to the attorney
general's office within two weeks, and later asked for a five-day extension.

The extension was granted, but DCC has not contacted the attorney general to
give that response.  Now the counties must decide whether to embark on the
class-action route.


EUREX: US Subsidiary Files Antitrust Suit Against Chicago Rivals
----------------------------------------------------------------
US Futures Exchange LLC, the American subsidiary of the world's largest
derivatives exchange Eurex, has filed a complaint in the US District Court
for the District of Columbia against the Chicago Board of Trade and the
Chicago Mercantile Exchange, accusing them of trying to illegally block it
from the market, the Associated Press reports.

The lawsuit reflects the intense jockeying for competitive position as
German-Swiss Eurex prepares to take on the venerable Chicago exchanges on
their own turf starting in February.  The lawsuit alleges that the Merc and
Board of Trade offered financial inducements of more than $100 million to
shareholders of The Clearing Corporation to vote against a proposed
restructuring of the company.  The Clearing Corporation, the new exchange's
US partner, is to provide clearing services for its customers.

The lawsuit claims the Chicago exchanges collaborated to launch the offer to
preserve the Board of Trade's monopoly position in clearing.  "We will
improve the efficiency of the marketplace and promote growth for the entire
industry," Michael Merlin, director of U.S. Futures Exchange told AP.  "With
this action we want to re-establish a level playing field on which we can
compete on the merits."

The Merc issued a statement calling the suit "absolutely without factual or
legal foundation."

"Given the timing of this lawsuit, it appears that Eurex U.S. is attempting
to exert some form of pressure to avoid appropriate regulatory scrutiny of,
and industry comment on, its application as a designated contract market,"
Craig Donohue, who takes over as the exchange's CEO on January 1 told AP.

He said the Merc intends to point out "material deficiencies and defects" in
Eurex's U.S. licensing application on Thursday with the Commodity Futures
Trading Commission.

The Board of Trade also called the legal action without merit.  "This
lawsuit is an attempt by Eurex to deflect attention from the shortcomings of
its own U.S. application," said president and CEO Bernard Dan. "We believe
their efforts will fail."


FLORIDA: County To Appeal Judge's Refusal To Recuse From Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Lee County, Florida commissioners plan to appeal Circuit Court Judge James
Seals' decision not to step down as judge for a class action filed against
the County, over school impact fees, the Bonita Daily News reports.

The suit was filed over the new fees, which the commissioners intend to use
for the impact new homes and their residents have on local schools.  The Lee
Building Industry Association and a handful of builders and new homebuyers
launched the suit, which questions the methodology consultants used to
justify the fees.

Later, the county asked Judge Seals to recuse himself from the case, after
he allegedly acted improperly in reversing his own denial of class status.


The county made a recusal motion on Sept. 26. It claimed Seals, a judge
since 1985, acted improperly in reversing an earlier decision on
class-action status for the case. A letter from builders' attorney Ted
Trippe warned he'd been misled by the county and urged him to change his
mind.

"The magnitude of the issue is so great, and the impact fee dollars so
significant and so vital to the school system in Lee County, the decision by
the judge to reverse his earlier action was so egregious that we have no
other choice," Commission Chairman Ray Judah told Bonita News Daily of the
decision to appeal.

Mr. Trippe and partner Jeff Garvin were partners of Judge Seals before he
was elected to the bench in 1985.  They did not offer arguments on the
county's motion to recuse, which Judge Seals rejected.  "The judge did not
ask us to respond," Mr. Garvin told Bonita News Daily.  "We think what the
judge did was appropriate."


GOLDEN LUCK: Recalls 7.4 oz Jars Leek Sauce For Botulism Hazard
---------------------------------------------------------------
Golden Luck, Inc. is cooperating with the United States Food and Drug
Administration by voluntarily recalling 7.4oz jars of leek sauce, because it
has the potential to be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum, a bacterium
which can cause life-threatening illness or death.

The product comes in a 7.4oz glass jar with a yellow, green, and red label.
The bar code used to identify this product 4710849000241.  Consumers are
warned not to use the product even if it does not look or smell spoiled.

The Leek Sauce was distributed to Albuquerque, NM; Alhambra, CA; Arcadia,
CA; Chandler, AZ; Monterey Park, CA; Provo, UT; Rowland Heights, CA; San
Francisco, CA; San Gabriel, CA; Sugar Land TX in retail stores.  No
illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem.

The potential for contamination was noted by a sample testing by the FDA,
which revealed that pH balance in the 7.4oz jar of leek sauce was too high
which provided a more likely environment for the bacterium to grow.

Botulism, a potentially fatal form of food poisoning, can cause the
following symptoms: general weakness, dizziness, double vision, trouble with
speaking or swallowing, difficulty breathing, abdominal distension and
constipation.  People experiencing these problems should seek medical
attention immediately.

For more details, contact the Company by Phone: 1-888-323-6114.


HALLOWEEN PRODUCTS: CPSC Issues Warning on Toys' Safety Concerns
----------------------------------------------------------------
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission found one toy labeling violation
but no flammability concerns with a Halloween costume cited in the October
issue of a widely circulated magazine.

The publication, following in-house testing, concluded that the Rubie's
Nutcracker Barbie ballerina costume failed the federal flammability test and
that a Halloween-themed magnet toy needed a choking hazard warning label.

"We look at many products throughout the year and usually announce only the
hazardous ones," said CPSC Chairman Hal Stratton.  "However, since concerns
regarding these products were published prior to CPSC testing, we thought it
appropriate to correct the public record on the costumes that passed our
tests."

All Halloween costumes must pass the federal Standard for the Flammability
of Clothing Textiles which covers all wearing apparel except children's
sleepwear, for which there is a separate flammability standard.

Oriental Trading Company, the firm that distributed a box containing 17
individual packages of Halloween-theme toys including one package containing
Halloween-theme magnets, has stopped the sale of the items and added the
required warning to the package of magnets.

The package of magnets did not bear the federally-required choking warning
label "Warning: Choking hazard.  Small parts.  Not for children under 3
yrs."  Toys that fit into a small parts test cylinder and that are for older
children must contain this warning.

"We welcome reports from consumers, industry, and the media about
potentially hazardous products.  Once received, CPSC will review these
reports and, where appropriate, scientifically test potentially dangerous
products to determine the level of hazard" said Mr. Stratton.


HOLLYWOOD: WGA Expresses Opposition to Ban on Oscar Screeners
-------------------------------------------------------------
The west coast branch of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) has released a
statement against the major studios' controversial ban on the distribution
of videos and DVDs of the year's Oscar awards hopefuls to members of the
guilds and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,
Reuters/Hollywood Reporter states.

In a statement released Monday, WGA West President Victoria Riskin said,
"Screeners have become an important part of the way small, well-written
films find their audience . To place a gag order on screeners is to tilt the
playing field from small films to large."

She asked the Motion Picture Association of America, the group that
spearheaded the ban two weeks ago, to reconsider and "do the fair and right
thing for all artists."  The statement also asserted that Oscar winners like
Bill Condon ("Gods and Monsters"), Julian Fellowes ("Gosford Park") and John
Irving ("The Cider House Rules") were brought to the attention of Academy
voters through screeners.

The WGA West is the first major Hollywood union to oppose the screener ban.
The Directors Guild of America has not yet released an official stand on the
issue but spokesman Morgan Rumpf said that there might be something coming
in the next few days.

Last week, "Gosford Park" director Robert Altman put together a statement
opposing the ban, which was signed by more than 140 of the industry's
leading directors, including Pedro Almodovar, Bernardo Bertolucci, Francis
Ford Coppola, James Ivory, Mike Leigh, Sydney Pollack, Robert Redford,
Martin Scorsese and Jim Sheridan, Reuters/Hollywood Reporter states.

On Monday, MPAA spokesman Rich Taylor told Reuters the organization would
have no further comment and reiterated last week's statement in which the
group said it would welcome "the exchange of thoughts and ideas on the
critical issue of combating piracy."


IBM CORPORATION: Employees Knew of Disk Drives' Failure Rates
-------------------------------------------------------------
IBM Corporation employees allegedly knew that the Company's DeskStar disk
drives had a higher failure rate than the world's largest computer maker has
acknowledged to customers, according to court papers filed in a class action
pending in the California State Court, Bloomberg News reports.

The suit, filed in Alameda County Superior Court in October 2001 by six
consumers, claims the Company continued to sell the drives knowing they had
a high failure rate.  The plaintiffs allege that the DeskStar drives make a
clicking sound, dubbed "the click of death" by some users, before they fail.
Data stored on the 15- to 75-gigabyte drives becomes damaged and can't be
retrieved.  Attempts to bring up the data can cause the defect to migrate to
another drive, according to court documents.

In testimony, lawyers for the plaintiffs showed e-mail messages from IBM
employees discussing the disk's failure rates, which were much higher than
what the Company claimed.  "Do you mean to tell me we're shipping drives for
distribution with knowing defects of 17 percent?" one unidentified employee
asks another, according to a transcript of an August court hearing in which
the message was read.  The transcript was filed in court records in
California, Bloomberg News reports.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs also added that some IBM customers reported
failure rates as high as 45 percent.  For example, Quantum Corporation
returned 5,000 drives and claimed a full refund after more than 19% of the
drives failed.

A Dell, Inc. executive also said they stopped using IBM drives because the
failure rate was eight times above acceptable levels, the transcript in the
California case cites.  Dell spokesman Jess Blackburn told Bloomberg News
the company doesn't comment on supplier-related issues.  Hewlett-Packard Co.
also reported a 20 percent failure rate with the drives, according to the
court transcript. Hewlett-Packard spokeswoman Brigida Bergkamp said the
company doesn't comment on litigation.

The Company believes the suit's claims are "groundless" and that the company
will be vindicated in court, company spokesman Joe Stunkard told Bloomberg
News.

IBM has asked judges in the California and Texas cases to seal the records.
Bloomberg News is seeking to unseal court documents in the Texas suit.


ILLINOIS: Firefighter Seeks Damages Over Manhandling of Stepson
---------------------------------------------------------------
Chicago Heights firefighter Edward Lustig is suing the city and Chicago
police officer Joseph Fiaoni for $100,000 on behalf of his stepson, whom he
alleges was grabbed by Fiaoni during the St. Kieran School homecoming parade
last September 28, 2002, the Daily Southtown reports.

According to a police report filed last fall, Mr. Fiaoni was off-duty and
participating in the parade when he told the youth to stop throwing candy
back at people in the parade.  After warning the youth again to stop
throwing candy, Mr. Fiaoni grabbed the boy by the throat and threw him to
the ground, the
police report said.

The youth maintained that he was doing what "everyone else was doing" -
throwing candy back and forth between parade participants and spectators,
the report said.  Following the incident, Mr. Lustig then drove his stepson
to St. James Hospital where he was treated for pain to his throat and head
and was later released, the report added.

At the time, Police Chief Robert Pinnow told the Southtown the department's
detective bureau was investigating the incident.  Current Chicago Heights
Police Chief Anthony Murphy said Mr. Fiaoni was suspended without pay for a
specific amount of time following the incident, but would not give more
specifics because of the pending litigation.

"We have insurance to cover this kind of thing", the chief toold the Daily
Southtown.

Chicago Heights' corporate counsel Kathleen Field Orr said the lawsuit was
forwarded to the city's insurance company.  Mr. Lustig is seeking $50,000
each for two counts, according to Ms. Orr, who said she did not have the
paperwork available to specify exactly what the counts stipulate.

The St. Kieran's parade is an annual fall athletics homecoming event that
takes place in the area of 195th and Halsted streets.


LOUISIANA: Baton Rouge Man Launches Lawsuit Over DNA Collection
---------------------------------------------------------------
A Baton Rouge man is suing the Louisiana Sheriff's Office, claiming
detectives acted improperly when they obtained his DNA sample during the
search for the south Louisiana serial killer, The Baton Rouge Advocate
reports.  The lawsuit, recently filed in state court in Baton Rouge, seeks
class action status on behalf of the plaintiff and other men who claim to
have suffered similar damages.

Plaintiff Tommy Brown's lawsuit claims that the East Baton Rouge Parish
Sheriff's Office detectives told him he had no legal right to refuse their
request for a DNA sample when he initially refused to give a sample.  Mr.
Brown alleges not only that he was duped into giving the sample, but that
his DNA profile also was put into statewide databases without his consent.

The lawsuit claims DNA samples were taken from at least 1,200 men, the
majority of whom did not consent to their samples being kept and their DNA
information being added to the state's database.

Attorney Jill Craft said the lawsuit seeks damages, claiming the officers
violated the constitutional right against unlawful searches and seizures.
Ms. Craft said the damages continue because authorities have refused to
return the DNA they collected.

The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office and Sheriff Elmer Litchfield
are named as defendants in the lawsuit.  The lawsuit contends that Sheriff
Litchfield "was unlawfully assisting in the development of a statewide DNA
database," using the samples taken and without getting consent.

The lawsuit asserts Mr. Brown vehemently and adamantly denied any
involvement in or knowledge relating to the murders and that detectives told
Mr. Brown they knew he was not the killer, but that they were going to get a
cheek swab sample of his . DNA anyway to eliminate him as a suspect in the
serial murders."  Mr. Brown initially refused, but submitted because the
detectives told him he had no legal right to refuse.

The same lawyers who filed the state lawsuit on Mr. Brown's behalf also
filed a federal lawsuit that also seeks class action status for men whose
DNA was collected and remains stored in government files.  The lawyers in
the federal case are Ms. Craft, Aidan Reynolds, James Boren, all of Baton
Rouge, and Barry Scheck of New York.

The federal suit asks the judge to declare unconstitutional a Louisiana law
that allows authorities to collect DNA from people accused of sexual or
violent crimes before they have been convicted.  Defendants in the federal
lawsuit are Sheriff Litchfield, Louisiana State Police Superintendent Terry
Landry and Louisiana Attorney General Richard Ieyoub.

In both lawsuits, the plaintiffs are seeking unspecified punitive damages,
legal fees and court costs.

The lawsuit brought by Tommy Brown against East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's
Office and Sheriff Elmer Litchfield, which seeks class-action status was
filed on October 10, 2003 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District
of Louisiana.  Plaintiffs in this action are represented by attorney Jill
Craft, Aidan Reynolds, James Boren and Barry Scheck.  The class action suit
brought by Floyd Wagster Jr. against Sheriff Litchfield et al. was filed on
July 31, 2003 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of
Louisiana.  Plaintiffs in this action are represented by attorneys Jill
Craft, Aidan Reynolds, James Boren and Barry Scheck.


MARTIN LUTHER: Group Sues Over Illegal Discharging of Students
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Martin Luther King Jr. High School in Manhattan, New York faces a class
action charging it with illegally turning away students because of their
age, poor grades, poor attendance or pregnancy, the New York Times reports.

New York advocacy group Advocates for Children filed the suit in the United
States District Court in Brooklyn, New York on behalf of plaintiff S.G., a
pregnant 15-year-old who was sent away last month at the start of her 10th
grade year, and asked to move to a special school for pregnant girls.

The plaintiff started in the school last year.  The suit alleges that she
had a difficult year - with her mother getting sick and her father dying.
S.G. allegedly became depressed before she got pregnant.  Despite all these,
the suit alleges the school did not offer any tutoring, counseling or other
services.

When S.G. and her mother visited the special school, though, the staff there
told them that Martin Luther King High could not force her out.  The Martin
Luther King principal, however, remained steadfast in her refusal to
re-enroll S.G., the Times reported.  The school allegedly never informed the
girl of their right to a hearing, and of the New York law that gives
students the right to remain in high school until they are 21.

Jill Chaifetz, the executive director of Advocates for Children, told The
times that the schools had been pushing out many struggling students in
reaction to new state standards that judge schools on what percentage of
students pass the state Regents exams needed to graduate.

"The new standards are putting tremendous pressure on the schools to
graduate kids, and as a result, many kids just get pushed out if the school
doesn't think they can meet those standards within a four-year period," Ms.
Chaifetz told The Times.  "We think it's happening to thousands of kids.  It
is our understanding from the Department of Education that it is taking
action about this issue, but from our perspective there is a lot more to be
done."

The group has filed a similar lawsuit against Franklin K. Lane High School
in Brooklyn.

The lawsuit seeks an order directing Martin Luther King to readmit S.G. and
refrain from illegally excluding, discharging or transferring other
students.  As in the Franklin K. Lane case, the complaint also asks that the
school write all those who have been illegally discharged in the past three
years, offering them the chance to re-enroll, and to get make-up class work
and remedial tutoring.


MILLER BREWING: Starts Recall of Sharp's Non-Alcohol Brew Beer
--------------------------------------------------------------
Miller Brewing Company, in cooperation with the US Food and Drug
Administration, is issuing a voluntary product recall of 12-ounce cans of
Sharp's non-alcohol brew sold in 12-packs in several Illinois counties
because of a filling error that may have added alcohol into some of the
Sharp's containers.

The Illinois counties affected by the recall are those of Bureau, DeKalb,
DuPage, Kane, Kendall, LaSalle, Lee, Livingston, Marshall, Putnam, Woodford
and far northwest Cook.  Minnesota counties potentially affected include
Aitkin, Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison and Todd.

The recall covers no more than 850 12-packs of Sharp's non-alcohol brew in
12-ounce cans distributed after August 15, 2003.  Only product with the
coding of 12083 A11988 on the bottom of the can may be affected.

Miller, in cooperation with its distributors, is taking aggressive steps to
retrieve the affected product from the market.  Miller Brewing Company urges
any consumers who may have affected product to call 1-800-Miller-6
(1-800-645-5376) between the hours of noon and 9 p.m., Eastern, for further
direction.


MISYS HEALTHCARE: Initiates Recall of B-AUT-RAPID-LAB Software
--------------------------------------------------------------
Misys Healthcare Systems of Tucson, Arizona, in cooperation with the United
States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is initiating a nationwide recall
of the Misys Laboratory software versions 5.2, 5.23 and 5.3. since these
particular versions of the software have demonstrated a defect that could
result in inaccurate readings being used in the diagnosis and/or treatment
of a patient.

The recalled products have been distributed to health care facilities
throughout the country.  To date no injuries have been reported in
connection with this problem.

Misys Healthcare Systems is notifying its distributors and customers and
strongly advises that the health care institutions using this product
request the individual package B-AUT-RAPID-LAB Software version 5.3.3 as
soon as possible.

Such requests should be made to the Misys Software Distribution Department
or the health care institution's client advocate at 1-877-239-6337.


MORGAN STANLEY: NY AG, SEC Start Investigation Over Mutual Funds
----------------------------------------------------------------
Wall Street Investment banking giant Morgan Stanley said it received in July
a subpoena from New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer requesting
information about possible late trading and market timing in mutual funds,
Reuters News reports.

The New York-based company said it is cooperating with Spitzer, as well as
with related probes by the US Securities and Exchange Commission and NASD,
the parent company of NASDAQ and the American Stock Exchange, to resolve the
issue.

Morgan Stanley also told Reuters SEC staff on September 23 said it may
recommend enforcement action in connection with the company's mutual fund
sales practices.


NATURAL COUNTRY: Hundreds Flee Ammonia Leak in Connecticut Plant
----------------------------------------------------------------
A leak at an Ellington, Connecticut Natural Country Farms plant sent a cloud
of ammonia over the town early Tuesday, leading to the evacuation of about
1,000 people, AP Newswire reports.

The leak, which developed after a 2-inch pipe flange came loose in an area
where 8,000 gallons of anhydrous ammonia, used as a refrigerant, was stored,
was reported about 2 a.m. and wasn't plugged until around seven hours later,
fire officials told AP.

"It's going to clean itself up once we ventilate," Assistant Fire Chief Gary
Feldman said.  "It's not like an oil spill, where we've got a bunch of gunk
to clean up.  It's just going to dissipate."

Crews in chemical protection suits were sent in to stop the leak.  Earlier,
police knocked on doors to notify people of the leak.  About 1,000 residents
left their homes; some decided to stay and were allowed to do so.  Among the
evacuees were Diana Gamage and her two children, age 15 and 12.

"I thought the house was on fire.  I opened the door and saw all the
firefighters standing there.  That's the first thing I thought," Ms. Gamage
told AP.

One plant employee was taken to a hospital for treatment and four residents
with pre-existing medical conditions were taken to hospitals as a
precaution, Mr. Feldman said.  The state Department of Environmental
Protection had people at the scene and the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency had been notified.

Environmental tests found that even in areas of heavy concentrations of the
ammonia, the gas didn't reach a level considered dangerous, officials told
AP.


PAT & OSCAR'S: More E. Coli Cases Reported in San Diego County
--------------------------------------------------------------
The number of San Diego County residents infected with E. coli bacteria
increased to 33 over the weekend following reports of five more cases of
poisoning, NCTimes.com reports.

Reports of the poisoning have been streaming into the county's Health and
Human Services Agency since more than a week ago, when the sometimes-deadly
bacteria was traced to lettuce served at several Pat & Oscar's restaurants.

Officials from San Marcos and Alpine, that serve salad mix from the same
company that supplied the popular restaurant chain with lettuce, said Monday
that no E. coli cases had been linked to salad served at schools.

San Marcos officials said Monday that neither the child nutrition department
nor the superintendent had received reports that any San Marcos students had
taken ill. Two 5-year-old Alpine students, however, were stricken with
probable E. coli poisoning last week, after it was discovered that one of
the them ate at Pat & Oscar's before becoming ill, said child nutrition
director Jeff Landers.

Officials are still investigating whether that child may have spread the
bacteria to the other student.

County health department officials visited the Alpine district last week and
said that while schools used the same salad supplier as Pat & Oscar's, the
lettuce did not come from the same farm, Mr. Landers said.

Officials of both school districts said they took the lettuce out of their
cafeterias Wednesday morning.  Pat & Oscar's pulled the lettuce from its
menu and fired its supplier last Tuesday.  None of the lettuce was sold on
supermarket shelves, according to state and local officials.

Several victims of the outbreak said they have hired lawyers, and a La
Jolla-based attorney said Monday that he will file a class action against
Pat & Oscar's today in San Diego Superior Court.

Pat & Oscar's has offered to pay the medical bills of all affected customers
and has maintained that the E. coli outbreak is the fault of its lettuce
supplier, which is being investigated by the state for its food handling and
packaging practices.

E. coli is a bacteria that can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea and in some
cases, kidney failure.  It is generally found in undercooked ground beef,
but can also be found in produce that's come in contact with manure or raw
meat.  Children are especially vulnerable to the bacteria's poison.

Most patients affected by the recent outbreak were hospitalized, while some
still remain in local hospitals.  Because antibiotics may cause major kidney
damage in E. coli patients, most hospitals treat the illness by hydrating
and monitoring patients.  Victims of the outbreak range in age from 17
months
to 84 years, according to the agency.  Most are children, agency officials
said last week.


PFIZER: US Court Revives Lawsuit Against Nigerian Drug Testing
--------------------------------------------------------------
A US appeals court revived a lawsuit that accused Pfizer of conducting
improper drug trials of a new antibiotic, Trovan, in Nigerian children
during a 1996 meningitis outbreak, ABCNews.Online reports.

About two dozen Nigerian families claim their children were injured or died
after the world's largest pharmaceutical drug company conducted the trial
without fully informing them of the risks.

Last year, a US district court dismissed the case on the grounds that the
United States was not the appropriate venue for the litigation, which should
be heard in Nigeria.  The appeals court has overturned that decision and
sent the case back to the district court.


PHILIP MORRIS: Launches UK Ad Campaign Over "Lights" Cigarettes
---------------------------------------------------------------
Big Tobacco firm Philip Morris has started a major newspaper advertising
campaign in the UK, aimed to improve its image in the face of numerous
lawsuits against the tobacco industry, the MediaGuardian reports.

The firm placed ads in all major national newspapers, about problems of
youth smoking and low-tar cigarettes.  One ad also stated that there was no
evidence that "light cigarettes" or cigarettes with reduced levels of tar or
nicotine offer any "significant health benefits."

Philip Morris faces numerous lawsuits filed in the United States, based on
the idea that Philip Morris had committed consumer fraud by marketing
Marlboro Lights and Cambridge Lights as lower in tar and nicotine than
regular cigarettes.

An lawsuit filed in Madison County Circuit Court in Illinois resulted in a
huge $10 billion award for the plaintiffs.  The verdict caused Philip Morris
to warn that it might enter bankruptcy and default on a 1998 master
agreement with several states.  The Illinois Supreme Court later agreed to
hear the Company's appeal of the verdict, and slashed the Company's appeal
bond to $6 billion, plus future payments at hundreds of millions of dollars
a year, an earlier Class Action Reporter story (September 18,2003) states.

The campaign is part of a concerted effort to improve the image of the
tobacco industry - and Philip Morris in particular - in the UK, where major
lawsuits are not yet as prevalent as in the US, the MediaGuardian states.

"You should not assume that lower tar cigarettes are less harmful or that
smoking this kind of cigarette will help you quit," the ads read.  "In fact
the World Health Organisation reports that switching to lower tar products
offers no significant health benefits . The tar and nicotine levels printed
on the pack will not necessarily reflect the amount of tar or nicotine
actually inhaled by any smoker because people do not smoke like the machines
used in the test methods."

Another advert in the campaign detailed the steps Philip Morris has taken to
discourage young people from smoking.  "No one wants kids to smoke,
including us.  We know it might be difficult to accept that a tobacco
company holds this view.  After all, many people believe that if kids don't
smoke, our business could eventually disappear," it said, according to
MediaGuardian.

Critics said the advertisements are a cynical attempt to make consumers more
trusting of tobacco companies.  Anti-smoking pressure group, Action on
Smoking and Health, claimed the campaign was an effort to "spin" Philip
Morris' own corporate image following last February's ban on advertising
tobacco products.

"Philip Morris is using this campaign to try and tell consumers that it
cares, that his is a company who is looking out for you and you can trust,"
the director of ASH, Deborah Arnott told the Observer.  "The tobacco firms
spend huge amounts of money researching these types of schemes, and it would
be naive to think that they were doing this purely in the public interest."


POSTAL SERVICE: Workers Commence Lawsuit Over Anthrax Attacks
-------------------------------------------------------------
Brentwood Exposed, a group representing hundreds of current and former
Washington-area Postal Service employees plans to file a class action
against the agency claiming they were deliberately left in harm's way during
the 2001 anthrax attacks that came in the wake of the 9/11 WTC bombings,
GovExec.com reports.

The group alleges that Postmaster General John Potter and other agency
leaders violated the employees' Fifth Amendment rights by withholding
information relating to contamination at the Joseph Curseen Jr. and Thomas
Morris Jr. Processing and Distribution Center, formerly known as the
Brentwood Mail Processing and Distribution Center.  The facility was renamed
to honor two workers who died as a result of the anthrax attacks.

The group's organizers declined to comment on this story, but have scheduled
a news conference for Wednesday at the National Press Club in downtown
Washington.  Lawyers from Judicial Watch, a Washington-based government
watchdog organization representing Brentwood Exposed, did not return phone
calls.

Sources familiar with the litigation, however, said the group would rely on
copies of a personal log kept by Plant manager Timothy Haney obtained
through the 1974 Freedom of Information Act.  One entry, they said, suggests
that Haney and other postal executives knew the Brentwood facility was
contaminated several days before they decided to close it down.

Postal executives, on the other hand, have said they took their cues from
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, before deciding to shut down
the facility.  Members of Brentwood Exposed note that Senate office
buildings were closed immediately after an anthrax-tainted letter was opened
in the office of Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D.  Postal Service officials were not
available for comment.

The suit is similar to one filed by former Brentwood worker Leroy Richmond
who, along with Curseen and Morris, was among the first employees to show
signs of anthrax exposure, including a high fever, headaches and tightness
in the chest. Mr. Richmond's health problems persist, and he hasn't been
back to work since October 2001.

"He's losing the experience of being able to be active with his (9-year old)
son," said Gregory Lattimer, Richmond's attorney. Mr. Lattimer charges that
the agency acted with "deliberate indifference" by not moving quickly to
safeguard employees.  Mr. Richmond is seeking millions in damages.  A trial
date has not yet been set.


TOBACCO LITIGATION: Firms Win Verdict in Secondhand Smoke Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
A Miami-Dade County Circuit Court jury hearing a case regarding alleged
injuries resulting from exposure in airline cabins to environmental tobacco
smoke (ETS), AKA secondhand smoke, has returned a verdict in favor of the
tobacco companies, including Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation.

The lawsuit, which was filed by former flight attendant Gail Routh, who
claimed her lung cancer, chronic sinusitis and chronic bronchitis were a
result of exposure to cigarette smoke while working as a flight attendant
for 27 years, was the latest in a series coming under the terms of
settlement of the Broin class action permitting individual plaintiffs to
proceed.

Six of the seven such cases that have gone to trial have resulted in
victories for the tobacco companies.  The one defeat is under appeal.

"We are pleased with the jury's verdict," said Ben Shively, an attorney
representing Brown & Williamson.  "As usual, when a jury applies common
sense to the facts, a proper result is reached," he said.

"Medical evidence made it clear that Ms. Routh was genetically predisposed
to contract the type of cancer from which she suffers," Ronald Milstein,
Lorillard vice president and general counsel at Lorillard told CBSNews.
"Her exposure . simply was not a contributing factor."

"The jury decided this case on the facts, and the facts simply did not
entitle the plaintiff to recover damages," William Ohlemeyer, vice president
and associate general counsel for Philip Morris USA told CBSNews.

The verdict was the sixth such case to come to trial since 1997, when the
tobacco industry reached a $349 million settlement in a class action brought
by flight attendants who claimed secondhand smoke caused cancer and other
respiratory ailments in them.  The deal allows attendants to bring
individual cases but bars them from seeking punitive damages, CBSNews
reports.

Four of the verdicts in these cases have favored the cigarette companies.
One case ended in a mistrial, and another resulted in a verdict for the
plaintiff and is currently on appeal to Florida's 3rd District Court of
Appeal.


UNITED STATES: Coalition Sues For Decision on Gray Wolf's Status
----------------------------------------------------------------
A coalition of 17 environmental groups filed a lawsuit in the United States
District Court in Portland, Oregon, seeking to reverse the US Fish and
Wildlife Service's April decision to reclassify the Canadian gray wolf's
status from "endangered" to "threatened," The Washington Times reports.

The Canadian gray wolf has been one of the success stories of the Endangered
Species Act as its numbers in the Rocky Mountains have soared from none to
nearly 800 in eight years.  However, the coalition contends in its lawsuit
that the recovery of the wolf still is not strong enough and that the Fish
and Wildlife Service has violated the Endangered Species Act by removing a
layer of protection before the wolf has been reintroduced to other states.

"Wolves were originally in more than 40 of the lower 48 states," Michael
Senatore, litigation director of Defenders of Wildlife told The Washington
Times.  "We are not saying that you have to recover them everywhere, but you
still have significant chunks of federal land that can support significant
wolf populations . What Fish and Wildlife is saying is, 'No, we have no
interest in putting wolves in those areas."

Tom France, a prominent environmentalist in the National Wildlife
Federation, accused the coalition of trying to snatch "defeat from the jaws
of victory."  However, days later, Mr. France's organization said it also
would sue to maintain the wolves' endangered status.

Critics say the lawsuit is an example of the environmental movement refusing
to be satisfied with victory.  By using the court system to push for more
gains, they say, environmentalists risk placing another wedge in their
relationship with rural Westerners and leave themselves open to accusations
of overreaching.

The coalition argues that the Fish and Wildlife Service should move to
introduce wolves to other areas in its historical range, including the
southern Rockies and New England.  There is vigorous opposition, however, to
the continued growth, even the existence, of the Canadian gray wolf.

There are an estimated 3,500 gray wolves in two regions: the northern Rocky
Mountain region and the Great Lakes states.  About 800 of those wolves are
in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, where the fight over wolf reintroduction has
been the most contentious.

One organization, the Idaho Anti-Wolf Coalition, is raising money to file a
class action to remove all wolves from Idaho.  Rural lawmakers have decried
the toll wolves have taken of cattle and sheep herds.  The Idaho Legislature
has passed a resolution calling for the elimination of wolves "by any means
necessary."

The US Fish and Wildlife Service appears reluctant to provide active agency
protection to the wolves. Since reclassifying the wolves to threatened
status in April, the Fish and Wildlife Service has begun moving to have the
animals delisted altogether.  In that case, state fish and game agencies
would assume wolf management.

The lawsuit Defenders of Wildlife et al. v. Norton was filed on October 1,
2003 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, in Portland.
Plaintiffs in this action are Defenders of Wildlife, Sierra Club, American
Lands Alliance, Animal Protection Institute, Center for Biological
Diversity, Forest Watch, Hells Canyon Preservation Council, Help Our Wolves
Live ("HOWL"), The Humane Society of the United States, Klamath Forest
Alliance, Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center, Public Employees for
Environmental Responsibility ("PEER"), Minnesota Wolf Alliance, Oregon
Natural Resources Council, RESTORE: The North Woods, Sinapu, and the
Wildlands Project.  They are represented by attorney Brian O'Neill of
O'Neill Lysaght & Sun LLP.


UNITED STATES: NHTSA Releases Study on Vehicle Weight, Safety
-------------------------------------------------------------
A study by the US Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration has concluded that weight reduction in passenger cars,
lighter vans, pickup trucks, and sports utility vehicles (SUV's) increase
the risk of fatal crash involvement.  The study of 1991-99 models also found
that large four-door passenger cars and minivans had the lowest fatality
rates of all vehicle types.

The study, done on the recommendation of the National Academy of Sciences,
found that:

     (1) Modest (100-pound) weight reductions in heavier (3,850
         to 5,000 lbs.) light trucks and vans (LTVs) had little
         net effect on crash fatalities;

     (2) Modest weight reductions in the heaviest LTVs (greater
         than 5,000 lbs.) were associated with a reduction in
         fatalities in other vehicles;

     (3) One hundred-pound weight reductions in lighter LTVs and
         most passenger cars significantly increased fatality
         risk;

     (4) Large 4-door passenger cars had the lowest fatal crash
         rates followed closely by minivans;

     (5) The highest fatal crash rate was observed in small 4-
         door cars, mid-sized SUVs and compact pickup trucks;

     (6) Two factors accounted for the difference in fatal crash
         rates between large passenger cars (average weight
         3,596 lbs.) and mid-sized SUVs (average weight 4,022
         lbs.).

According to the study, mid-sized SUVs were 9x as likely to involve a
rollover fatality and 2x as likely to cause a fatality in occupants of other
vehicles.  In non-rollover crashes, the fatality rate for the occupants of
SUVs and passenger cars of similar weight was essentially equal.

The study examined fatality data from 1995-2000 involving 1991-1999 model
vehicles.  Researchers adjusted the data to account for differences in
driver age and gender, rural versus urban driving and other variables such
as nighttime driving.

The full study is available on the NHTSA web site:
http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/regrev/evaluate/pdf/809662.pdf.


WASHINGTON: Yakima Council Approves $13M Wastewater Plant Pact
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Yakima City Council in Washington approved a $13 million settlement of a
lawsuit filed in 1999 over foul odors coming from the Yakima Regional
Wastewater Treatment plant, the Yakima Herald-Republic reports.

The settlement, which awaits approval by Yakima County Superior Court Judge
Susan Hahn, pays $7 million in cash to residents who say their property
values were harmed when the city, in a composting project back in the
1990's, piled up solid wastes between the plant and Interstate 82.  The city
also sprayed Del Monte pear wastewater over a large, nearby field.  It
includes another $6 million the city and plaintiffs hope to get from city
insurance policies covering plant operations.

City officials say a 5 percent increase goes specifically for the city's $7
million cash payout, and a 3 percent increase will help pay for an estimated
$8.7 million in projects to improve the plant.  However, some of those
projects have been postponed because of legal expenses of nearly $6 million,
city officials said.  Another $2 million is earmarked to cover costs
associated with issuing a $17.7 million revenue bond covering the
settlement, capital improvements and interest on the bond.

The settlement with plaintiffs, plus costs for improvements at the plant,
means Yakima ratepayers will pay 8 percent more for sewer service effective
November 10.  For city residents with 1-inch meters, the bimonthly charge
will go from $30.60 to $33.04 (or from $15.30 to $16.52 per month),
according to a city staff report.  For those outside the city with 1-inch
meters, the bi-monthly charge goes from $47.80 to $50.24.

Only 220 people filed the original lawsuit claiming damages of $16.5
million, but Judge Hahn later granted class action status, expanding the
number of residents possibly affected to 3,700 and damages to $39 million.

The settlement is similar to a $13.6 million deal that crumbled in March
2001 over the city's notification of insurance carriers.  In that
settlement, the city agreed to put up $3.6 million in cash and $10 million
from four insurance policies covering plant operations.  Judge Hahn,
however, refused to enforce the settlement after residents' attorneys
complained the city failed to disclose that insurance liability policies
included pollution-exclusion clauses that would have prevented payment of
damages.  The city later sued the insurance companies, but a federal judge
dismissed the case. The city has an appeal pending before the 9th Circuit
Court of Appeals in San Francisco.  Plaintiffs, meanwhile, have filed a
lawsuit in Yakima County Superior Court against the same companies.

The city and plaintiffs have agreed to a formula that would give the city
the first $500,000 from insurance proceeds and plaintiffs the remaining $5.5
million.

City Manager Dick Zais announced September 16 the settlement had been
reached, but the council didn't approve it until Tuesday.  Judge Hahn will
consider the settlement Friday.


                       *********

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

     (1) Gil Shwed,

     (2) Jerry Ungerman,

     (3) Eyal Desheh,

     (4) Irwin Federman,

     (5) Alex Vieux, and

     (6) Check Point Software Technologies

The Complaint alleges that defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder,
by issuing a series of material misrepresentations to the market between
July 10, 2001 and April 4, 2002.  Specifically, the complaint alleges that
the Company made materially false and misleading statements with respect to
its earnings and revenue forecasts, and the success of its sales
initiatives.

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


LORAL SPACE: Wolf Haldenstein To File Securities Suit in S.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP announced its intention to file a
class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York, on behalf of all persons who purchased or acquired the
securities of Loral Space & Communications, Ltd. (OTC Bulletin Board:
LRLSQ.OB) between May 14, 2003 and July 15, 2003, inclusive, against Bernard
Schwartz, the Company's Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board
during the Class Period.

On May 14, 2003, the beginning of the Class Period, Loral announced its
financial results for the first quarter of fiscal year 2003 and held a
conference call to discuss the current financial condition and future
prospects of the Company.

During the conference call, Mr. Schwartz made numerous comments regarding
the current and future viability of the Company as an ongoing entity and
reassured stockholders that the Company would continue to operate for the
benefit of stockholders.  On June 30, 2003, Loral made two announcements
that purportedly would assist in strengthening its balance sheet and its
future prospects.  Loral announced that "it has collected approximately $55
million from Intelsat representing an acceleration of a receivable for
agreed-upon milestone performance payments" and that Loral had resolved all
outstanding legal disputes with Alcatel thereby eliminating potential
exposure to $350 million in liability to Alcatel."

However, the Complaint alleges that the Company failed to disclose that
Loral knew that its future as an ongoing entity did not include ownership by
current common stockholders and that the Company intended to act in a manner
that would eliminate the stockholders stake in the Company.  Moreover,
theCompany failed to disclose that the Company was actively negotiating the
sale of six of its satellites with Intelsat and that Intelsat was pressuring
Loral to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as a condition of closing the deal.

Rather than disclose such material information, the announcement and
subsequent statements issued by Mr. Schwartz left potential investors in
Loral with the misleading impression that Loral was "on plan" as discussed
in the May 14, 2003, conference call, that Loral was not only current on its
debt payments, but also was not in any danger of default and was focused on
preparing for a recovery in its business.  What the Company communicated to
investors was substantially different than the reality that it was
contemplating a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.

On July 15, 2003, prior to the market open, and to the horror of recent
investors who had purchased Loral securities based on the positive news from
the Company, Loral announced that it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as
a precondition to an agreement with Intelsat to sell its six North American
satellites for approximately $1.1 billion.  Once the stock resumed trading
after being halted on the news, the stock lost 90% of its value.

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


STELLENT INC.: Chestnut & Cambronne Lodges Securities Suit in MN
----------------------------------------------------------------
Chestnut & Cambronne, PA initiated a securities class action in the United
States District Court for the District of Minnesota
against Stellent, Inc., (Nasdaq:STEL) and certain of its officers and
directors.

This action is brought on behalf of Brian Haggerty and all others who
purchased Stellent, Inc. common stock during the
period October 2, 2001 through April 1, 2002.  The complaint alleges that
Stellent, Inc. and the other defendants are
responsible for damages caused by issuing misleading information during the
class period concerning Stellent, Inc. revenues.

For more details, contact contact Karl L. Cambronne or Jeffrey D. Bores by
Mail: 3700 Campbell Mithun Tower, 222 South Ninth Street, Minneapolis, MN
55402 by Phone: (612) 339-7300 or by E-mail:
kcambronne@chestnutcambronne.com or
jbores@chestnutcambronne.com.


STELLENT INC.: Bernstein Liebhard Lodges Securities Suit in MN
--------------------------------------------------------------
Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz LLP initiated a securities class action on
behalf of all persons who acquired securities of  Stellent, Inc.
(NasdaqNM:STEL) between October 2, 2001 and April 1, 2002, inclusive in the
United States District Court for the District of Minnesota against the
Company and:

     (1) Robert F. Olson,

     (2) Vernon J. Hanzlik, and

     (3) Gregg A. Waldon

The complaint charges that Stellent and certain of its officers and
directors violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, by
issuing a series of material misrepresentations
to the market during the Class Period, thereby artificially inflating the
price of Stellent securities.

Specifically, the Complaint alleges that Defendants improperly reported
revenue from affiliates who were financed by Stellent.
As a result, Stellent's expected revenue growth was baseless, and Stellent's
reported financial results were materially false
and misleading throughout the Class Period.

This scheme was revealed at the end of the Class Period when Defendants
announced that Stellent's revenues for the quarter
ended March 31, 2002 would be almost 50 percent less than it had previously
forecasted.  In reaction to this news, shares of
Stellent fell almost 13% to close at $8.38 per share.

For more details, contact Ms. Linda Flood, Director of Shareholder Relations
by Mail: 10 East 40th Street, New York,
New York 10016, by Phone: (800) 217-1522 or 212-779-1414 or by E-mail:
STEL@bernlieb.com.


SUREBEAM CORPORATION: Stull Stull Lodges Securities Suit in NY
--------------------------------------------------------------
Stull Stull & Brody initiated a securities class action in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New
York, on behalf of persons who acquired the common stock of SureBeam
Corporation (NASDAQ:SUREE) pursuant to a Registration Statement, effective
March 15, 2001 and on behalf of purchasers of SureBeam common stock in the
open market during the period between March 15, 2001 and August 20, 2003,
inclusive against the Company, certain of its senior officers and/or
directors, SureBeam's former parent, The Titan Corporation, and the lead
underwriters of SureBeam's initial public offering.

The complaint alleges that, among other things, during the Class Period,
defendants improperly utilized the percentage-of-
completion method for accounting for its revenue and improperly accounted
for millions of dollars of revenue derived from sales of equipment to a
Brazilian company causing the Company's Class Period revenues to be
misrepresented.

The true facts began to be revealed when, on June 3, 2003, SureBeam
announced that it had terminated KPMG LLP as its
auditor.  A little more than two months later, on August 21, 2003, SureBeam
announced that it was firing Deloitte & Touche,
which had been hired to replace KPMG, because Deloitte & Touche allegedly
had refused to sign off on the Company's improper accounting.

Prior to the termination of KPMG, SureBeam's stock was selling for $3.10 per
share.  After the substantial issues that Deloitte had contested became
public, SureBeam's stock had dropped almost in half, to $1.62 per share.

For more details, contact Tzivia Brody by Mail: 6 East 45th Street, New
York, NY 10017 by Phone: 800-337-4983 by E-mail: SSBNY@aol.com or visit the
firm's Website: http://www.ssbny.com


                        *********

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

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

                        *********


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

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

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

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or publication
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