CAR_Public/031112.mbx            C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R
  
           Wednesday, November 12, 2003, Vol. 5, No. 224

                        Headlines                            

BLOCKBUSTER INC.: Plaintiffs File Consolidated Securities Suit
BLOCKBUSTER INC.: Working To Finally Settle Rental Fee Lawsuits
BODY FLEX: Weight-Loss Program Faces CA Lawsuit Over Infomercial
BROADCOM CORPORATION: Trial in CA Securities Suit Set July 2004
BURLINGTON NORTHERN: Trial in OK Royalties Suit Expected By 2004

CANADA: Court to Rule on Disabled Veterans' Trust Fund Lawsuit
CB BANCSHARES: Preliminary Injunction Sought For Investors Suit
CONSOLIDATED NATURAL: Dropped As Defendant in Gas Royalties Suit
COSI INC.: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Consolidated Securities Suit
DOMINION TELECOM: Court Refuses To Allow Certification Appeal

E*TRADE FINANCIAL: Overtime Suit Pact Hearing Set For December
HALLIBURTON CO.: Seeking Approval For Securities Suit Settlement
HARMONIC INC.: Plaintiffs' Opening Brief Due November 17, 2003
HEALTHSOUTH CORPORATION: Ex-Chief Hires Lawyers For Fraud Suit
HERCULES INC.: Settles Claims in Personal Injury, Damage Suits

HERCULES INC.: Discovery Commences in Water Pollution Suit in LA
HERCULES INC.: Discovery Commences in Employee Pension Plan Suit
HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL: Mediation For Stock Suit Set Late 2003
HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL: Asks NJ Court To Dismiss Pension Suit
IG FARBEN: German Firm With Nazi Past To Lodge Bankruptcy Claim

IPERU: Pesticide In Soup Claims 6 Lives In Rural Village
LANTRONIX INC.: Files Dismissal Motion in CA Court
LANTRONIX INC.: Discovery Proceeds in Derivative Lawsuit in CA
LANTRONIX INC.: Discovery Proceeds in Synergetic Merger Lawsuit
MICROSOFT CORPORATION: Spat Over Lindows Settlement Site Widens

NEXTEL PARTNERS: Reaches Settlement For NY Securities Fraud Suit
NEXTEL PARTNERS: Dismissal of MD Wireless Phone Lawsuit Appealed
NEXTEL PARTNERS: Court Grants Approval To Nationwide Settlement
ON SEMICONDUCTOR: Reaches Settlement For NY Securities Lawsuit
OVERTURE SERVICES: Reaches Settlement For NY Securities Lawsuit

PANAMSAT CORPORATION: Plaintiffs Appeal Dismissal of Stock Suit
PERINI CORPORATION: Plaintiffs Oppose Dismissal of Stock Lawsuit
PUTNAM FUNDS: Launches Advertising Campaign Promising Reforms
REMEDIA: May Face Flurry Of Suits For Product Liability Claims
SCHERING PLOUGH: NJ Court Grants Certification For Stock Lawsuit

SCHERING PLOUGH: PAL Asks NJ High Court To Hear Consumer Lawsuit
SCHERING PLOUGH: Plaintiffs Launch Amended Securities Fraud Suit
SONIC AUTOMOTIVE: Subsidiaries Mull TX Car Dealership Settlement
SOUTH CAROLINA: State Files Suit Over Municipal Franchise Fees
SOUTH CAROLINA: Faces Suit Over Electric Transmission Easements

TEXTRON FINANCIAL: Trial in CA Lawsuit Expected By Early 2004
UNITED STATES: Study Says Heart Patients Don't Get Basic Care
US NAVY: Poised To Investigate Religious Discrimination Claim
WEST CORPORATION: Court Seeks Cause For Non-Dismissal of Lawsuit
WEST CORPORATION: Seeks Review Of Class Certification For Suit

               Meetings, Conferences & Seminars

* Scheduled Events for Class Action Professionals

                 New Securities Fraud Cases

GOODYEAR TIRE: Bull & Lifshitz Files Securities Suit in N.D. OH
PMA CAPITAL: Milberg Weiss Files Securities Lawsuit in E.D. PA

                       *********

BLOCKBUSTER INC.: Plaintiffs File Consolidated Securities Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs filed a consolidated securities class action against
Blockbuster, Inc. in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, styled "In re
Blockbuster Inc. Securities Litigation.

The consolidated suit claims violations of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 and seeking a class determination for
purchasers of the Company's stock between April 24, 2002 and
December 17, 2002.  The Company and certain of its directors and
officers were named as defendants in the three lawsuits.  Lead
plaintiffs are City of Westland Police and Fire Retirement
System and the Dearborn Heights General Government Employees
Retirement System.

The consolidated amended complaint claims violations of Section
10(b), Section 20(a) and Rule 10b-5 of the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934 for the time period between February 12, 2002 and
December 17, 2002.  The consolidated amended complaint generally
alleges that the defendants made untrue statements of material
fact and/or omitted to disclose material facts about the
business and operations of the Company.  The consolidated
amended complaint also alleges that the value of the Company's
common stock was therefore artificially inflated and that
certain of the individual defendants sold shares of the
Company's common stock at inflated prices.  The plaintiffs seek
unspecified compensatory damages.


BLOCKBUSTER INC.: Working To Finally Settle Rental Fee Lawsuits
---------------------------------------------------------------
Blockbuster, Inc. is working to settle 19 lawsuits filed by
customers in state court in 12 states.  These cases, 17 of which
are putative class actions, allege common law and statutory
claims for fraud, deceptive practices, and unlawful business
practices regarding the Company's extended viewing fee policies
for customers who choose to keep rental product beyond the
initial rental term.  Some of the cases also allege that these
policies impose unlawful penalties and result in unjust
enrichment.  Blockbuster is also a defendant in four similar
lawsuits filed by customers in Canada.

In January 2002, a Texas court entered a final judgment
approving a national class settlement, which included
settlements in 12 of the 17 pending putative class action
lawsuits.  Under the approved settlement, the Company would make
certificates available to class members for rentals and
discounts and would pay up to $9.25 million in plaintiffs'
attorneys' fees in connection with the settlement.

An Illinois state court has entered a provisional order
certifying plaintiff and defendant classes, subject to further
review and final determination.  The Texas court has entered
orders barring the settlement class members from challenging the
Company's extended viewing fee policies in any other litigation
and enjoining the settlement class members and anyone acting on
their behalf, including their lawyers, from prosecuting claims
on their behalf in the Illinois litigation.

Two parties have appealed the Texas settlement and on July 31,
2003 the Beaumont Court of Appeals approved the settlement and
remanded one issue back to the trial court to address the
language in the settlement agreement as to a segment of the
class and to determine if the appealing attorneys are entitled
to any attorneys' fees with respect to that one issue.  One
objecting party has appealed the Texas court orders barring
further litigation.

In another Illinois case, a federal judge has dismissed
litigation because of the Texas settlement and the plaintiff has
appealed.  California state court class claim allegations in one
lawsuit have been dismissed because of the Texas settlement.  
Summary judgment has been granted on all claims in the one case
pending in California that is not a putative class action.  An
appeal of the summary judgment has been filed by the California
plaintiffs.  In Canada, plaintiff's request for class
certification has been denied in Ontario and granted in Quebec.  

The Company believes the plaintiffs' positions in these cases
are without merit.


BODY FLEX: Weight-Loss Program Faces CA Lawsuit Over Infomercial
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit in US District
Court in Los Angeles against Body Flex, a weight-loss program
featured in television infomercials, claiming it does not help
users quickly lose fat and inches off their waists, contrary to
its claims, AP newswire reports.

Body Flex spent $22 million this year to air its infomercial
more than 2,000 times, claiming its program, which involves a
breathing regimen and exercises with a plastic bar and elastic
band, will help users drop four to 14 inches across six body
areas in a week.  The company says the routine could be done
sitting down in 18 to 20 minutes a day.

"These claims of fast, easy inch loss without diet or exercise
exploit the millions of overweight Americans looking for an
effective weight-loss and exercise program," Howard Beales,
consumer protection bureau director, told AP.  "Frankly, we
think Body Flex's breathtaking claims are full of hot air."

Joe Costa, lawyer for the California companies that market Body
Flex, Savvier Inc. and Savvier LP, told AP the product has been
sold for 10 years to customers who love it.  "To the best of our
knowledge, the FTC has not yet had an opportunity to review the
substantiation and the studies supporting the Body Flex
products," Mr. Costa said.  "We look forward to working with the
FTC in providing them with this information and are confident
that once the FTC has fully had an opportunity to review and
analyze the clinical substantiation for this product, the
situation will be resolved."


BROADCOM CORPORATION: Trial in CA Securities Suit Set July 2004
---------------------------------------------------------------
Trial in the consolidated securities class action filed against
Broadcom Corporation and several of its executive officers is
set for July 2004 in the United States District Court for the
Central District of California.  The suit alleges violations of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and is styled
"In re: Broadcom Corporation Securities Litigation."

This case is now in discovery.  The court also scheduled a
discovery cut-off in March 2004 and a pre-trial conference in
June 2004. The Company believes the allegations in the purported
consolidated shareholder class action are without merit and is
defending the action vigorously.


BURLINGTON NORTHERN: Trial in OK Royalties Suit Expected By 2004
----------------------------------------------------------------
Trial for the consolidated class action filed against Burlington
Northern, Inc. and its former affiliate, El Paso Natural Gas
Company, is expected next year in the District Court of Washita
County, State of Oklahoma.

Plaintiffs contend that defendants underpaid royalties from 1983
to the present on natural gas produced from specified wells in
Oklahoma through the use of below-market prices, improper
deductions and transactions with affiliated companies and in
other instances failed to pay or delayed in the payment of
royalties on certain gas sold from these wells.  The Plaintiffs
seek an accounting and damages for alleged royalty
underpayments, plus interest from the time such amounts were
allegedly due.  Plaintiffs additionally seek the recovery of
punitive damages.

The plaintiffs have not specified in their pleadings the amount
of damages they seek from the Company.  The Company believes it
has substantial defenses to these claims and is vigorously
asserting such defenses.  The Company has also asserted
contractual claims for indemnity against El Paso Natural Gas
Company.  The court has certified the plaintiff classes of
royalty and overriding royalty interest owners, and the parties
are proceeding with pre-trial discovery.  A scheduling order for
pre-trial proceedings was issued by the court in September 2003.


CANADA: Court to Rule on Disabled Veterans' Trust Fund Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
On the eve of Remembrance Day thousands of veterans and their
heirs await a ruling by Superior Court of Ontario Justice John
H. Brockenshire which could bring justice to decades of
financial mismanagement by the federal government which held the
veterans funds in trust, yet failed to invest them, Canada
Newswire reports.

"The federal government profited from these veterans as they had
the use of the millions of dollars of their personal funds,
pensions and allowances which accumulated while the government
administered these monies.  As the minds and hearts of Canadians
turn to those who fought so valiantly so that we could live in
freedom, we wanted to take this opportunity to remind the
Government of Canada that their liability to this most
vulnerable group, remains," the lawyers said.

The class action, brought against the federal government on
behalf of thousands of disabled veterans in October 1999, seeks
redress from the federal government for years of failure to
properly administer the personal and other funds of mentally and
physically disabled veterans who were deemed incapable of
managing their money and as such, their funds were in the care
of the federal government.  The Auditor General of Canada noted
in 1986 that the government had failed to manage these monies
effectively and that $83 million had accumulated in the
accounts.

The lawyers acting on behalf of the veterans estimate that the
damages resulting from the government's failure to properly
invest these monies in keeping with the laws governing trustees,
represent an estimated liability of between $1.3 to $3.4 B.  The
lawyers are Raymond Colautti and David Greenaway, Partners,
Raphael Partners Barristers and Solicitors (Windsor, Ontario)
and Peter Sengbusch of London, Ontario.

On July 17, 2003, the Supreme Court of Canada issued a ruling
which affected a narrow portion of the lawsuit, namely, whether
or not the Bill of Rights protected the veterans against the
expropriation of property by passage of federal legislation in
1990 which extinguished the claims of disabled veterans - and
their heirs -- to interest on their governmentally administered
monies.  This ruling upheld the right of the federal
government's legislative power as it relates to this non-payment
of interest.

It did not however, dismiss the other important tenet of the
lawsuit - upheld in the Ontario Court of Appeal -- that the
federal government acted as a fiduciary for each of the veterans
and so was obliged to either invest the funds on their behalf,
or pay interest.  On appeal, the government did not dispute
these findings.  As such, the ruling said, "The Department of
Veterans Affairs Act takes a property claim from a vulnerable
group, in disregard of the Crown's fiduciary duty to disabled
veterans."

"In so ruling, the Supreme Court upheld the supremacy of
Parliament and their right to expropriate property.  While
disappointed, we fully recognized that the matters central to
the lawsuit - namely the government's fiduciary duty to a group
of proud Canadians who served their country with distinction and
paid the highest price - remained an undisputed fact. Further,
the Supreme Court of Canada refused to dismiss the lawsuit. As
such, it did not change, in any way the declarations in the
final judgment of the Ontario Superior Court and the Ontario
Court of Appeal which remain final and binding on the
government," the lawyers noted.

"In order to pursue justice for our clients therefore, we
recently brought a Motion before Justice Brockenshire in the
Ontario Superior Court to see if the 1990 legislation - which
barred claims for non-payment of interest - also prevents our
clients from recovering damages or compensation for failure to
invest the funds and property in the veterans' funds," the
lawyers said.

"We are confident that the Court will uphold its earlier rulings
and end decades of injustice, wrong doing and financial
depravity which so impacted these veterans and their heirs. We
strongly feel it is our duty to ensure that they re-claim what
is rightfully theirs, what was taken from them, and what they
have never properly enjoyed: the benefit of their funds,
properly invested," the lawyers said.


CB BANCSHARES: Preliminary Injunction Sought For Investors Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs filed a motion for preliminary injunction for the
class action filed against CB Bancshares, Inc. and each of the
members of the Company's Board of Directors in the Circuit Court
of the First Circuit, State of Hawaii.

The case is denominated as a class action on behalf of all
Company shareholders although no proceedings have taken place
regarding possible class certification.  Plaintiff alleges,
among other things, that Central Pacific Financial Corporation's
(CPF) proposed exchange offer is futile without approval of the
Company's directors because of the Company's Rights Plan, and
that the defendants have refused to seriously consider the CPF
offer.  The complaint seeks a judgment:

     (1) directing the defendants to give due consideration to
         any proposed business combination;

     (2) directing the defendants to assure that no conflicts of
         interest exist between the directors and their duties
         to the corporation;

     (3) awarding the plaintiff the costs and attorneys' fees;
         and

     (4) granting such other relief as the court deems proper

The Company believes the claims are without merits and
intends to defend against them vigorously.  The plaintiff's
motion for preliminary injunction asks the court to:

     (i) enjoin indefinitely, until further order of the court,
         the special shareholders' meeting scheduled for May 28,
         2003;

    (ii) enjoin enforcement of the Bylaw amendment adopted May
         4, 2003 regarding adjournment of shareholders meetings;
         and

   (iii) enjoin any further amendment to the Company Bylaws
         prior to the special shareholders' meeting.


CONSOLIDATED NATURAL: Dropped As Defendant in Gas Royalties Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Consolidated Natural Gas Company was dropped as a defendant in
the class action filed by Quinque Operating Co. and other
parties against approximately 300 natural gas pipeline
companies, including the Company and three of its subsidiaries,
in Stevens County Court, Kansas.  The complaint seeks damages
for alleged fraud, misrepresentation, conversion and assorted
other claims in the measurement and payment of gas royalties
from privately held gas leases.

Quinque Operating Co. dropped out of the case and Will Price, a
gas royalty owner based in Kansas, assumed the lead plaintiff's
role.  The defendants' motion to deny class certification was
granted in April 2003.  The deadline to file an amended
complaint has expired and this matter is now considered closed.


COSI INC.: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Consolidated Securities Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Cosi, Inc. asked the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York to dismiss the consolidated
securities class action filed against it, certain of its
officers and directors, and the underwriters of its initial
public offering.

The suit alleges that the defendants violated Sections 11,
12(a)(2) and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, by
misstating, and by failing to disclose, certain financial and
other business information.  The suit is styled "In re Cosi,
Inc. Securities Litigation."  The suit was filed on behalf of a
purported class of purchasers of the Company's stock allegedly
traceable to its November 22, 2002 IPO and alleges that at the
time of the IPO:

     (1) its offering materials failed to disclose that the
         funds raised through the IPO would be insufficient to
         implement the Company's expansion plan;

     (2) it was improbable that the Company would be able to
         open 53 to 59 new restaurants in 2003;

     (3) the Company had negative working capital and therefore
         did not have available working capital to repay certain
         debts; and

     (4) that the principal purpose for going forward with the
         IPO was to repay certain existing shareholders and
         members of the Board of Directors for certain debts and
         to operate the Company's existing restaurants.

The plaintiffs in the Securities Act Litigation generally ask to
recover recessionary damages, expert fees, attorneys' fees,
costs of Court and pre- and post-judgment interest.  The
underwriter is seeking indemnification from the Company for any
damages assessed against it in the Securities Act Litigation.

The Securities Act Litigation is at a preliminary stage, and the
Company believes that it has meritorious defenses to these
claims, and intends to vigorously defend against them.

On September 22, 2003, defendants filed motions to dismiss the
complaint.  Plaintiffs filed their opposition to defendants'
motion to dismiss on October 23, 2003.  Defendants' reply briefs
are due November 12, 2003.


DOMINION TELECOM: Court Refuses To Allow Certification Appeal
-------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
refused to allow Dominion Telecom, Inc. to appeal the class
certification of a lawsuit filed against it and Virginia Power
in the United States District Court in Richmond, Virginia.

The plaintiffs claim that Virginia Power and Dominion Telecom
strung fiber-optic cable across their land, along a Virginia
Power electric transmission corridor without paying
compensation.  The plaintiffs are seeking damages for trespass
and "unjust enrichment," as well as punitive damages from the
defendants.  The named plaintiffs purport to "represent a class
consisting of all owners of land in North Carolina and Virginia,
other than public streets or highways, that underlies Virginia
Power's electric transmission lines and on or in which fiber
optic cable has been installed."

In August 2003, the Federal District Court issued an order
granting the named plaintiffs' motion for class certification.
The appeals court also denied Dominion's petition for rehearing
on the class certification issue.  The outcome of the
proceeding, including an estimate as to any potential exposure,
cannot be predicted at this time.


E*TRADE FINANCIAL: Overtime Suit Pact Hearing Set For December
--------------------------------------------------------------
The fairness hearing on the settlement of the class action filed
against E*TRADE Financial Corporation, E*TRADE Mortgage
Corporation and Loansdirect, Inc. (the predecessor to E*TRADE
Mortgage) is set for December 15, 2003 in the Superior Court of
California and for the County of Los Angeles.

The suit, styled "Lisa Arroyo, et al., v. E*TRADE Financial,
E*TRADE Mortgage Corporation, and Loansdirect, Inc., (the
predecessor to E*TRADE Mortgage)," alleges unspecified damages
based on allegations that Loansdirect and E*TRADE Mortgage
misclassified certain classes of employees as "exempt," rather
than "non-exempt" employees.  Plaintiffs claim on behalf of
themselves and all prospective members of the class that they
are entitled to lost overtime and other wages or benefits.

The Company previously answered plaintiffs' complaint and denied
all claims set forth therein.  Without admitting any fault or
liability, the Company subsequently agreed to a proposed
settlement and established a reserve on September 5, 2003, under
the terms of which the Company will receive an unconditional
general release from all participating class members and in
exchange pay to the class of eligible plaintiffs and class
counsel the sum of $6.3 million.

On October 9, 2003, the Court granted its preliminary approval
of the parties' proposed settlement agreement; accordingly, the
Class Administrator commenced mailing notices of the proposed
settlement to potential class members on or about October 20,
2003.


HALLIBURTON CO.: Seeking Approval For Securities Suit Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
Halliburton Co.'s negotiations for the settlement of a
securities class action filed against it in the United States
District Court for the Northern District of Texas is ongoing.  
The consolidated suit also named as defendants Arthur Andersen,
LLP, the Company's independent accountants for the period
covered by the lawsuits, and several of its present or former
officers and directors.

The suit alleges that the Company violated federal securities
laws in failing to disclose a change in the manner in which the
Company accounted for revenues associated with unapproved claims
on long-term engineering and construction contracts, and that
we overstated revenue by accruing the unapproved claims.  The
amended consolidated class action complaint is styled "Richard
Moore v. Halliburton."

In early May 2003, the Company entered into a written memorandum
of understanding setting forth the terms upon which the
consolidated cases would be settled.  The memorandum of
understanding calls for the Company to pay $6 million, which is
to be funded by insurance proceeds.

After that announcement, one of the lead plaintiffs announced
that it was dissatisfied with the lead plaintiffs' counsel's
handling of settlement negotiations and what the dissident
plaintiff regarded as inadequate communications by the lead
plaintiffs' counsel.  The dissident plaintiff subsequently filed
a motion for an order to show cause why the lead plaintiffs'
counsel should not be held to have breached his fiduciary
duties to the class and be replaced as lead plaintiffs' counsel.
That motion was denied.

It is unclear whether this dispute within the ranks of the lead
plaintiffs will have any impact upon the process of approval of
the settlement and whether the dissident plaintiff will object
to the settlement at the time of the fairness hearing or opt out
of the class action for settlement purposes.  The process by
which the parties will seek approval of the settlement is
ongoing.


HARMONIC INC.: Plaintiffs' Opening Brief Due November 17, 2003
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Plaintiff's opening brief for its appeal of the dismissal of
the consolidated securities class action filed against Harmonic,
Inc. and certain of its current and former officers and
directors is due to be submitted on November 17,2003 in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of
California.

The suit was filed on behalf of persons who purchased the
Company's publicly traded securities between January 19 and June
26, 2000 and on behalf of a purported subclass of persons who
purchased C-Cube securities between January 19 and May 3, 2000,
and also named C-Cube Microsystems Inc. and several of its
officers and directors as defendants.

The complaint alleged that, by making false or misleading
statements regarding Harmonic's prospects and customers and its
acquisition of C-Cube, certain defendants violated sections
10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  The
complaint also alleged that certain defendants violated section
14(a) of the Exchange Act and sections 11, 12(a)(2), and 15 of
the Securities Act of 1933 by filing a false or misleading
registration statement, prospectus, and joint proxy in
connection with the C-Cube acquisition.

On July 3, 2001, the court dismissed the consolidated complaint
with leave to amend.  An amended complaint alleging the same
claims against the same defendants was filed on August 13, 2001.  
Defendants moved to dismiss the amended complaint on September
24, 2001.  On November 13, 2002, the court issued an opinion
granting the motions to dismiss the amended complaint without
leave to amend.  Judgment for defendants was entered on December
2, 2002.  On December 12, 2002, plaintiffs filed a motion to
amend the judgment and for leave to file an amended complaint
pursuant to Rules 59(e) and 15(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure.  On June 6, 2003, the court denied plaintiffs' motion
to amend the judgment and for leave to file an amended
complaint.  Plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal on July 1, 2003.  
The court has granted plaintiffs' motion for a 31-day extension
of time to file their opening brief.  


HEALTHSOUTH CORPORATION: Ex-Chief Hires Lawyers For Fraud Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
In a statement released Sunday, the law firm of Chadbourne &
Parke LLP, in Washington, announced that embattled former
HealthSouth chief Richard M. Scrushy has hired two lawyers with
government experience to defend him against federal fraud
charges, including one who helped President Clinton fight
impeachment proceedings, AP newswire reports.

Abbe David Lowell, who was chief lawyer for House Democrats
during the impeachment proceedings, has represented many
executives accused of white-collar crimes.  His past clients
include former Sen. Robert Torricelli and former Rep. Gary
Condit, D-California.  Arthur Leach was chief of asset
forfeiture for the US Attorney's office in Georgia from 1989 to
2002.

Mr. Lowell joins Thomas Sjoblom as co-lead counsel for Mr.
Scrushy, who was HealthSouth's chief executive officer.  Mr.
Lowell and Mr. Sjoblom are partners in Chadbourne & Parke.

Mr. Scrushy, 51, pleaded innocent last week to 85 counts
alleging he directed a corporate fraud scheme that allowed him
to pocket more than a quarter-billion dollars from rigged books
at HealthSouth, the nation's largest provider of health care
services.


HERCULES INC.: Settles Claims in Personal Injury, Damage Suits
--------------------------------------------------------------
Hercules, Inc. has settled the claims of all but eleven
plaintiffs in two class actions, alleging that the discharge of
hazardous waste from the Company's plants caused plaintiffs
personal injuries and property damage.

In June 1998, 423 plaintiffs for alleged personal injuries and
property damage sued Hercules and David T. Smith Jr., a former
Hercules employee and plant manager at the Brunswick plant,
along with Georgia-Pacific Corporation and AlliedSignal Inc., in
Georgia State Court.  This litigation is captioned "Coley, et
al. v. Hercules Incorporated, et al., No. 98 VSO 140933 B."

On February 11, 2000, the Georgia State Court dismissed Georgia-
Pacific Corporation and AlliedSignal Inc., without prejudice.  
In September 2000, David T. Smith Jr., was dismissed by the
Georgia State Court with prejudice.

On July 18, 2000, the Company was served with a complaint in a
case captioned "Erica Nicole Sullivan, et al. v. Hercules
Incorporated and David T. Smith, Jr., Civil Action File No. 00-
1-05463-99," filed in Cobb County State Court, Georgia.  Based
on the allegations contained in the complaint, this matter is
very similar to the Coley litigation, and is brought on behalf
of approximately 700 plaintiffs for alleged personal injury and
property damage arising from the discharge of hazardous waste
from Hercules' plant.  

The Company has settled the claims of all but eleven of these
plaintiffs for an amount which is confidential, but which is not
material to the financial condition of the Company.


HERCULES INC.: Discovery Commences in Water Pollution Suit in LA
----------------------------------------------------------------
Discovery has commenced in the consolidated lawsuits filed
against Hercules, Inc., the State of Louisiana and other
companies, namely:

     (1) American PetroFina,

     (2) Hercofina,

     (3) Ashland Oil,

     (4) International Minerals and Chemicals,

     (5) Allemania Chemical,

     (6) Ashland Chemical and

     (7) the Parish of Iberville

Two suits initially named the Company as defendant, namely
"Jerry Oldham, et al. v. The State of Louisiana, et al., Civil
Action No. 55,160," and "John Capone, et al. v. The State of
Louisiana, et al., Civil Action No. 56,048C," both filed in the
18th Judicial District Court, Parish of Iberville, Louisiana.  
The Oldham case is a purported class action comprised of as
many as 4,000 plaintiffs, and the Capone case is a consolidated
action by approximately 50 plaintiffs.

Both actions assert claims against the State of Louisiana, the
Company, the purported class members and plaintiffs, who claim
to have worked or lived at or around the Georgia Gulf plant in
Iberville Parish, allege injury and fear of future illness from
the consumption of contaminated water and, specifically,
elevated levels of arsenic in that water.

As to the Company, plaintiffs allege that the Company, itself,
and then as part of a joint venture, operated a nearby plant
and, as part of those operations, used a groundwater injection
well to dispose of various wastes, and that those wastes
contaminated the potable water supply at Georgia Gulf.

On October 17, 2002, the Company removed these matters to
federal court.  In January 2003, the US District Court for the
Middle District of Louisiana consolidated the Capone and Oldham
matters with other lawsuits in which the Company is not a party.  
Plaintiffs sought remand, which was granted by Order dated May
6, 2003.


HERCULES INC.: Discovery Commences in Employee Pension Plan Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Discovery is ongoing in a class action filed against Hercules,
Inc. styled "Douglas C. Smith, Individually and on Behalf of All
Others Similarly Situated v. Hercules Incorporated and Thomas
Gossage, CA No. 01C-08-291 WCC," pending in the Superior Court
of Delaware, New Castle County.

The suit, which was filed on August 31, 2001, on behalf of Mr.
Douglas Smith and a class of approximately 130 present and
former Hercules employees, seeks payments under the "Integration
Synergies Incentive Compensation Plan", a program put into place
by the Company following its acquisition of BetzDearborn Inc. in
October 1998.  The goal of the Plan was to provide certain
financial incentives to specific employees who were deemed to
have significant impact on the integration of BetzDearborn Inc.
into Hercules Incorporated.  The amount to be paid under the
Plan was tied to the successful achievement of "synergies,"
which were defined as the annualized reduction of expenses or
improvement of profits realized as a result of the integration
of BetzDearborn Inc. into Hercules.

The lawsuit essentially alleges that the payments made under the
Plan were not adequate and that the Company breached the terms
of the Plan.  The lawsuit seeks payments of between $25 million
and $30 million, although the Company does not believe that any
payments are owed to the class members.

On January 31, 2003, the court granted a motion for class
certification.  In February 2003, plaintiffs agreed to dismiss
Thomas Gossage from the lawsuit.  In June 2003, potential
members who had previously signed releases in favor of the
Company were provided an opportunity to "opt in" to the class,
and the remaining class members were provided an opportunity to
"opt out" of the class.  As a result of this process, the size
of the class has been reduced to approximately 87 members and,
as a result, the maximum potential damages payable to the class,
should plaintiffs prevail, should be significantly lower than
the amounts noted above.


HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL: Mediation For Stock Suit Set Late 2003
---------------------------------------------------------------
A further mediation for the consolidated securities class action
against Honeywell International, Inc. and seven of its current
and former officers is to commence in the last quarter of 2003.

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

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

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


HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL: Asks NJ Court To Dismiss Pension Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Honeywell International, Inc. asked the United States District
Court for the District of New Jersey to dismiss the class action
filed against it and several of its current and former officers,
alleging that the defendants breached their fiduciary duties to
participants in the Honeywell Savings and Ownership Plan by
purportedly:

     (1) making false and misleading statements,

     (2) failing to disclose material information concerning the
         Company's financial performance, and

     (3) failing to diversify the Savings Plan's assets and
         monitor the prudence of Honeywell stock as a Savings
         Plan investment.

Although it is not possible at this time to predict the outcome
of this litigation, the Company believes that the allegations in
these complaints are without merit and expects to prevail.  An
adverse litigation outcome could, however, be material to its
consolidated financial position or results of operations.


IG FARBEN: German Firm With Nazi Past To Lodge Bankruptcy Claim
---------------------------------------------------------------
In a statement released Monday, IG Farben, the former German
chemical giant that used thousands of slave laborers at
Auschwitz, said it will file for bankruptcy, AP Newswire
reports.

The filing means IG Farben likely will not pay further victims'
compensation payments.  Once the world's largest chemical firm,
most of IG Farben's assets were confiscated after World War II
and were transferred to four big German corporations: Bayer,
Hoechst, Agfa and BASF.  IG Farben remained as a trust to settle
claims and lawsuits from the Nazi era, and its shares continued
to be traded on the German stock exchange.

IG Farben's war-related factories included a notorious synthetic
rubber plant at the Auschwitz death camp complex where 30,000
inmates worked until they died or were deemed unfit for work and
sent to the gas chambers.  The company also formerly held a 42.2
percent share in Degesch, which produced the Zyklon-B cyanide
tablets used to gas death camp inmates.  Company executives were
sentenced to prison by the Nuremberg war crimes tribunal in 1945
for their role in the Holocaust, in which 6 million Jews died.

Jews in Western Europe, who were forced to work at IG Farben
plants by the Nazis, received compensation in the 1950s.  
However, the company refused to contribute to a $5.9 billion
national fund in 2001 that began compensating remaining former
slave laborers, most from East Europe.  Monday's news conference
drew about 30 young protesters, who held placards asking "Where
Is The Money To Compensate The Victims?" and whistled at the
trustees as they left, AP reports.

Trustee Volker Pollehn told a news conference that the trust had
planned to continue until 2004 but the company was forced to
file for bankruptcy after a failed deal to sell its last
remaining substantial asset - a set of real estate holdings
valued at around $19.7 million.  The trustees say that all
direct legal claims against the company by former laborers have
been settled but the company had hoped to put money from the
real estate sales toward cases involving people who missed
deadlines or lacked documents to receive payment from the
national fund, Mr. Pollehn said.  "Unfortunately, our own
liquidity is no longer sufficiently secured," he said.

Henry Mathews, who heads a group of IG Farben shareholders,
urged banks to forgo their claims in bankruptcy court in favor
of remaining victims.  His group obtained IG Farben trust shares
to enable them to attend shareholders meetings and press the
company to pay.


IPERU: Pesticide In Soup Claims 6 Lives In Rural Village
---------------------------------------------------------
Four children and two adults have died in a remote Andean
village after eating soup contaminated with a pesticide that had
apparently been spilled months ago on the wheat used to prepare
it, AP newswire reports.  

According to police reports, the incident occurred Tuesday in
the village of Huallhualloc, some 270 miles (440 kilometers)
southeast of Lima. The tainted wheat had been forgotten by one
family member -- who spilled the pesticide -- and used by
another to make the soup, police said.

Officials said they believed the insecticide involved was
methyl-parathion and that a sample of the food had been sent to
Lima for analysis.

Methyl-parathion, also known by the brand name Folidol, was
banned in Peru after 24 school children in another rural village
died in 1999 after drinking milk inadvertently mixed with the
toxin.

Luis Gomero, director of the Peruvian Pesticide Action Network,
said that although banned, Folidol is frequently brought into
Peru from neighboring Bolivia, where it is still legal.

The pesticide, which is produced by Bayer, has come under fire
from international activists, who say farmers in the third
world, who are often illiterate and unable to read warning
labels, are unfairly exposed to the pesticide's risks.

Bayer and the Peruvian government face a class action suit
arising from the 1999 deaths.

Gomero said the case is being reviewed by a Peruvian judge.


LANTRONIX INC.: Files Dismissal Motion in CA Court
---------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Central District of
California has received Lantronix, Inc.'s motion to dismiss
additional claims in the class action entitled "Bachman v.
Lantronix, Inc., et al., No. 02-3899."

The suit, filed against the Company and certain of its current
and former officers and directors, alleges violations of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and seeks unspecified damages.  
The suit alleges that the defendants caused the Company to
improperly recognize revenue and make false and misleading
statements about its business.  Plaintiffs further allege that
the defendants materially overstated the Company's reported
financial results, thereby inflating its stock price during its
securities offering in July 2001, as well as facilitating the
use of its common stock as consideration in acquisitions.

The amended complaint purports to be brought on behalf of
persons who purchased or otherwise acquired the Company's common
stock during the period of August 4, 2000 through May 30, 2002,
inclusive.  The amended complaint continues to assert that the
Company and the individual officer and director defendants
violated the 1934 Act, and also includes alleged claims that the
Company and its officers and directors violated the Securities
Act of 1933 arising from the Company's Initial Public Offering
in August 2000.  

The Company filed a motion to dismiss the additional allegations
on March 3, 2003.  The Company has not yet answered the
complaint, discovery has not commenced, and no trial date has
been established.


LANTRONIX INC.: Discovery Proceeds in Derivative Lawsuit in CA
--------------------------------------------------------------
Discovery has commenced in the shareholder derivative complaint
filed against certain of Lantronix, Inc.'s current and former
officers and directors, entitled "Ivy v. Bernhard Bruscha, et
al., No. 02CC00209," in the Superior Court of the State of
California, County of Orange.

The amended complaint alleges causes of action for breach of
fiduciary duty, abuse of control, gross mismanagement, unjust
enrichment, and improper insider stock sales.  The complaint
seeks unspecified damages against the individual defendants on
the Company's behalf, equitable relief, and attorneys' fees.

The Company filed a demurrer/motion to dismiss the amended
complaint.  The basis of the demurrer is that the plaintiff does
not have standing to bring this lawsuit since plaintiff has
never served a demand on the Company's Board that the Board take
certain actions on behalf of the Company.  The Court later
overruled the Company's demurrer.  All defendants have answered
the complaint and generally denied the allegations.  No trial
date has been established.


LANTRONIX INC.: Discovery Proceeds in Synergetic Merger Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Discovery commenced in the class action filed against Lantronix,
Inc. and certain of its former officers and directors in the
Superior Court of the State of California, County of Orange.

On October 17, 2002, Richard Goldstein and several other former
shareholders of Synergetic Micro Systems, Inc. filed the suit,
styled "Goldstein, et al v. Lantronix, Inc."  The amended
complaint alleges fraud, negligent misrepresentation, breach of
warranties and covenants, breach of contract and negligence, all
stemming from the Company's acquisition of Synergetic.  The
complaint seeks an unspecified amount of damages, interest,
attorneys' fees, costs, expenses, and an unspecified amount of
punitive damages.

The Company answered the complaint and generally denied the
allegations in the complaint.  No trial date has been
established.



MICROSOFT CORPORATION: Spat Over Lindows Settlement Site Widens
---------------------------------------------------------------
In a motion filed earlier this month with the Superior Court of
California for San Francisco County, Microsoft Corporation asked
Judge Paul H. Alvarado to reject all claims processed by the
Lindows site, which offers to help people garner benefits from
Microsoft's US$1.1 billion class-action settlement, ZDNet
reports.

In the latest legal filings, the software giant's attorney,
Robert A. Rosenfeld, writes that the Lindows site violates the
terms of Microsoft's agreement by using so-called digital
signatures to process settlement claims.  Digital signatures are
online validation agreements used to verify individuals'
identities.  

Microsoft contends in the motion that the matter of digital
signatures was hashed out in previous discussions between its
attorneys and counsel representing California's class-action
members and written into the settlement itself.  The software
maker said it asked for a traditional paper-based verification
process in order to help eliminate fraudulent claims and to keep
specific vendors from attempting to cash in on the settlement.  

A Microsoft representative said the software maker is awaiting
advice from the court on how to proceed in its complaint against
Lindows.  "Lindows misuses (the MSfreePC site) as a marketing
tool for its products and could be misleading consumers into
believing that there is an alternate claims process that differs
from the original settlement," the Microsoft representative
said.

The company maintains that it is making every effort to ensure
that qualified people get their hands on settlement funds, and
it restated that it asks for minimal proof-of-purchase
information when processing consumer claims.  On its own forms,
Microsoft asks for a product ID number along with a date of
purchase and consumers' retail distributors' information.

Microsoft has created its own site
(www.microsoftcalsettlement.com) to handle California class
action settlement claims.

In September, Microsoft sent Lindows a cease-and-desist letter
regarding the site, in which Mr. Rosenfeld said claims submitted
using the service would not be honored.  At that time, Microsoft
also demanded that Lindows remove the site, which the Linux
software company continues to operate.

The MSfreePC effort offers California residents qualified for
settlement benefits the ability to swap the vouchers they are
eligible to receive from Microsoft for Lindows software.  The
Microsoft vouchers can be used to buy hardware or software
products from any manufacturer and typically range in value from
US$5 to US$29.  The site also promises a free personal computer
to the first 10,000 people who buy US$100 worth of Lindows
products via the MSfreePC site.  Using the system, participants
authorize Lindows to submit a claim on their behalf and receive
whatever settlement in Microsoft benefits to which they may be
entitled.

Lindows Chief Executive Michael Robertson disputes that anywhere
in the settlement it says that digital signatures cannot be used
by class action members to make their claims.  Mr. Robertson
called the motion an "absurd" tactic meant to confuse consumers
and keep people from demanding their portion of the settlement.

"This is the same digital signature technology that people use
to file their taxes and other federal forms, and which Microsoft
has long-used to market its own products," Mr. Robertson said.  
"Microsoft is trying to create a complex system which will keep
it from having to pay up."

Mr. Robertson said that Microsoft is targeting Lindows for a
number of additional reasons, including trying to spook other
technology vendors from offering similar programs.  The
executive said Lindows will continue to operate the MSfreePC
unless it is ordered by the courts to remove the site.  The
motion is scheduled for review on November 24.  The Lindows CEO
thinks that the settlement allows Microsoft to keep too large a
portion of any unclaimed funds through its agreement to award
two-thirds of any leftover amount to California schools.

Consumers have until March to file claims, after which time one-
third of unclaimed monies will be refunded to Microsoft, and the
remaining balance will be given to schools.  Last week,
Microsoft agreed to an identical class action settlement with
consumers in the state of North Carolina.


NEXTEL PARTNERS: Reaches Settlement For NY Securities Fraud Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Nextel Partners, Inc. reached a settlement for the consolidated
securities class action filed in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of New York against it, two of
its executive officers and four of the underwriters involved in
its initial public offering.  The lawsuit is captioned "Keifer
v. Nextel Partners, Inc., et al, No. 01 CV 10945."

The suit, filed on behalf of all persons who acquired the
Company's common stock between February 22, 2000 and December 6,
2000, initially named as defendants the Company and:

     (1) John Chapple, President, Chief Executive Officer and
         Chairman of the Board,

     (2) John D. Thompson, former Chief Financial Officer and
         Treasurer and current Vice President, Strategic
         Initiatives,

     (3) Goldman Sachs & Co.,

     (4) Credit Suisse First Boston Corporation (predecessor of
         Credit Suisse First Boston LLC),

     (5) Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated and

     (6) Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith Incorporated

Mr. Chapple and Mr. Thompson have been dismissed from the
lawsuit without prejudice.  The complaint alleges that the
defendants violated the Securities Act of 1933 and the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by issuing a registration
statement and prospectus that were false and misleading in that
they failed to disclose that:

     (i) the defendant underwriters allegedly had solicited and
         received excessive and undisclosed commissions from
         certain investors who purchased the Company's common
         stock issued in connection with our initial public
         offering; and

    (ii) the defendant underwriters allegedly allocated shares
         of the Company's common stock issued in connection with
         its initial public offering to investors who allegedly
         agreed to purchase additional shares of the Company's
         common stock at pre-arranged prices.

The Company disputes the allegations of the complaint that
suggest any wrongdoing on its part or by its officers.  However,
the plaintiffs and the issuing company defendants, including the
Company, have reached a settlement of the issues in the lawsuit.  
The settlement, which is not material to the Company, is subject
to final court approval.


NEXTEL PARTNERS: Dismissal of MD Wireless Phone Lawsuit Appealed
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs appealed the United States District Court for the
District of Maryland's decision granting Nextel Partners, Inc.'s
and other wireless phone carriers and manufacturers' motion to
dismiss the multidistrict proceeding alleging that the
defendants, among other things, manufactured and distributed
wireless telephones that cause adverse health effects.  The
plaintiffs seek compensatory damages, reimbursement for certain
costs including reasonable legal fees, punitive damages and
injunctive relief.  

The suit against Nextel Partners, Inc. was initially filed in
the State Court of Fulton County, State of Georgia.  The Company
timely removed the case to federal court and requested that all
similar actions pending in the federal courts be consolidated in
a multidistrict proceeding.  

The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation granted the
defendants' request, and all related proceedings were
consolidated in the United States District Court for the
District of Maryland.  On March 5, 2003, the JPMDL court granted
the defendants' consolidated motion to dismiss plaintiffs'
claims on pre-emption grounds.  

The Company disputes the allegations of the complaint, and
intends to seek indemnification from the manufacturers of the
wireless telephones if necessary.


NEXTEL PARTNERS: Court Grants Approval To Nationwide Settlement
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Western District of
Missouri granted approval to the nationwide settlement of
several class actions filed against Nextel Partners, Inc.,
Nextel Communications, Inc. and Nextel West Corporation.  The
suits are:

     (1) "Rolando Prado v. Nextel Communications, et al, Civil
         Action No. C-695-03-B," filed in the 93rd District
         Court of Hidalgo County, Texas;

     (2) "Steve Strange v. Nextel Communications, et al, Civil
         Action No. 01-002520-03," filed in the Circuit Court of
         Shelby County for the Thirtieth Judicial District at
         Memphis;

     (3) "Christopher Freeman and Susan and Joseph Martelli v.
         Nextel South Corp., et al, Civil Action No. 03-CA1065,"
         filed in the Circuit Court of the Second Judicial
         Circuit in and for Leon County, Florida against Nextel
         Partners Operating Corporation d/b/a Nextel Partners
         and Nextel South Corporation d/b/a Nextel
         Communications;

     (4) "Nick's Auto Sales, Inc. v. Nextel West, Inc., et al,
         Civil Action No. BC298695," filed in Los Angeles
         Superior Court, California against the Company, Nextel,
         Nextel West, Inc., Nextel of California, Inc. and
         Nextel Operations, Inc.;

     (5) "Andrea Lewis and Trish Zruna v. Nextel Communications,
         Inc., et al, Civil Action No. CV-03-907," filed in the
         Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Alabama

All of these complaints allege that the Company, in conjunction
with the other defendants, misrepresented certain cost-recovery
line-item fees as government taxes.  Plaintiffs seek to enjoin
such practices and seek a refund of monies paid by the class
based on the alleged misrepresentations.  Plaintiffs also seek
attorneys' fees, costs and, in some cases, punitive damages.

The Company believes the allegations are groundless.  On October
9, 2003, Judge Gaitan in the United States District Court for
the Western District of Missouri entered an order granting
preliminary approval of a nationwide class action settlement
that encompasses most of the claims involved in these cases.  
The court has authorized the settling parties to issue notice of
the nationwide settlement, and a hearing for final approval of
the settlement is set for January 29, 2004 in the Western
District of Missouri.


ON SEMICONDUCTOR: Reaches Settlement For NY Securities Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
On Semiconductor Corporation reached a settlement for the
consolidated securities class action filed in the United States
District Court in the Southern District of New York against it,
certain of its former officers, current and former directors and
the underwriters for its initial public offering.

The amended complaint alleges, among other things, that the
underwriters of the Company's initial public offering improperly
required their customers to pay the underwriters excessive
commissions and to agree to buy additional shares of the
Company's common stock in the aftermarket as conditions of
receiving shares in the Company's initial public offering.

The amended complaint further alleges that these supposed
practices of the underwriters should have been disclosed in the
Company's initial public offering prospectus and registration
statement.  The amended complaint alleges violations of both the
registration and antifraud provisions of the federal securities
laws and seeks unspecified damages.

The Company understands that various other plaintiffs have filed
substantially similar class action cases against approximately
300 other publicly traded companies and their public offering
underwriters in New York City, which along with the cases
against the Company have all been transferred to a single
federal district judge for purposes of coordinated case
management.  

The Company believes that the claims against it are without
merit.  

On July 15, 2002, together with the other issuer defendants, the
Company filed a collective motion to dismiss the consolidated,
amended complaints against the issuers on various legal grounds
common to all or most of the issuer defendants.  The
underwriters also filed separate motions to dismiss the claims
against them.  In addition, the parties have stipulated to the
voluntary dismissal without prejudice of the Company's
individual former officers and current and former directors who
were named as defendants in the litigation, and they are no
longer parties to the litigation.

On February 19, 2003, the Court issued its ruling on the motions
to dismiss filed by the underwriter and issuer defendants.  In
that ruling the Court granted in part and denied in part those
motions.  As to the claims brought against the Company under the
antifraud provisions of the securities laws, the Court dismissed
all of these claims with prejudice, and refused to allow
plaintiffs the opportunity to re-plead these claims.  As to the
claims brought under the registration provisions of the
securities laws, which do not require that intent to defraud be
pleaded, the Court denied the motion to dismiss these claims as
to the Company and as to substantially all of the other issuer
defendants as well.  The Court also denied the underwriter
defendants' motion to dismiss in all respects.   

In June 2003, upon the determination of a special independent
committee of the Company's Board of Directors, the Company
elected to participate in a proposed settlement with the
plaintiffs in this litigation.  If ultimately approved by the
Court, this proposed settlement would result in a dismissal,
with prejudice, of all claims in the litigation against the
Company and against any of the other issuer defendants who elect
to participate in the proposed settlement, together with the
current or former officers and directors of participating
issuers who were named as individual defendants.  

The proposed settlement does not provide for the resolution of
any claims against the underwriter defendants, and the
litigation against those defendants is continuing.  The proposed
settlement provides that the class members in the class action
cases brought against the participating issuer defendants will
be guaranteed a recovery of $1 billion by the participating
issuer defendants.  

If recoveries totaling less than $1 billion are obtained by the
class members from the underwriter defendants, the class members
will be entitled to recover the difference between $1 billion
and the aggregate amount of those recoveries from the
participating issuer defendants.  If recoveries totaling $1
billion or more are obtained by the class members from the
underwriter defendants, however, the monetary obligations to the
class members under the proposed settlement will be satisfied.  
In addition, the Company and any other participating issuer
defendants will be required to assign to the class members
certain claims that they may have against the underwriters of
the Company's initial public offerings.   

The proposed settlement contemplates that any amounts necessary
to fund the settlement or settlement-related expenses would come
from participating issuers' directors and officers' liability
insurance policy proceeds as opposed to funds of the
participating issuer defendants themselves.  A participating
issuer defendant could be required to contribute to the costs of
the settlement if that issuer's insurance coverage were
insufficient to pay that issuer's allocable share of the
settlement costs.  

Consummation of the proposed settlement is conditioned upon,
among other things, negotiating, executing, and filing with the
Court final settlement documents, and final approval by the
Court.  If the proposed settlement described above is not
consummated, however, the Company intends to continue to defend
the litigation vigorously.  While the Company can make no
promises or guarantees as to the outcome of these proceedings,
the Company believes that the final result of these actions will
have no material effect on its consolidated financial condition,
results of operations or cash flows.   


OVERTURE SERVICES: Reaches Settlement For NY Securities Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Overture Services, Inc. reached a settlement for the
consolidated securities class action filed in the United States
District Court, Southern District of New York against it,
certain underwriters involved in its initial public offering,
and certain of its current and former officers and directors.

Plaintiffs allege, among other things, violations of the
Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
involving undisclosed compensation to the underwriters, and
improper practices by the underwriters, and seek unspecified
damages.

Similar complaints were filed in the same court against numerous
public companies that conducted initial public offerings of
their common stock since the mid-1990s.  All of these lawsuits
were consolidated for pretrial purposes before Judge Shira
Scheindlin.  On April 19, 2002, plaintiffs filed an amended
complaint, alleging Rule 10b-5 claims of fraud.

On July 15, 2002, the issuers filed a motion to dismiss for
failure to comply with applicable pleading standards.  On
October 8, 2002, the Court entered an Order of Dismissal as to
all of the individual defendants in the Overture IPO litigation,
without prejudice.  On February 19, 2003, the Court denied the
motion to dismiss the Rule 10b-5 claims against certain
defendants, including the Company.

Settlement discussions relating to this case on behalf of the
named defendants have occurred over the last several months,
resulting in a final settlement memorandum of understanding
with the plaintiffs in the case and the Company's insurance
carriers.  A proposal has been made for the settlement and
release of claims against the issuer defendants, including the
Company.  The settlement is subject to a number of conditions,
including approval of the proposed settling parties and the
court.  If the settlement does not occur, and litigation against
the Company continues, the Company believes that it has
meritorious defenses to liability and damages, and intends to
defend the case vigorously.


PANAMSAT CORPORATION: Plaintiffs Appeal Dismissal of Stock Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs appealed the Court of Chancery for the State of
Delaware's dismissal of a class action filed against each of the
Company's board of directors and Hughes Electronics on behalf of
certain holders of the Company's common stock.

The suit alleged that the settlement between Hughes Electronics,
General Motors Corporation and EchoStar Communications
Corporation of all claims related to the termination of the
proposed merger between EchoStar and Hughes violated alleged
fiduciary duties.  

On July 10, 2003, the Court of Chancery in the State of Delaware
granted defendants' motions to dismiss all claims with prejudice
and denied plaintiffs' motion for leave to amend the complaint.
The plaintiff filed a notice of appeal to the Supreme Court of
the State of Delaware in relation to the opinion and order of
the Court of Chancery in the State of Delaware.  On October 27,
2003, defendants filed a brief in response to plaintiffs'
appeal.

The Company believes that, unless the appeal is successful, the
July 10, 2003 ruling will effectively conclude this suit.


PERINI CORPORATION: Plaintiffs Oppose Dismissal of Stock Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs opposed Perini Corporation's current and former
directors' motion to dismiss the consolidated class action filed
against them on behalf of the Company's $2.125 Depositary
Convertible Exchangeable Preferred Shares, each of which
represents 1/10th of a share of the Company's $21.25 Convertible
Exchangeable Preferred Stock.

On October 15, 2002, Frederick Doppelt, Arthur I. Caplan and
Leland D. Zulch filed the suit, captioned "Doppelt, et al. v.
Tutor, et al., United States District Court for the District of
Massachusetts, No. 02CV12010MLW."  Mr. Doppelt is a current
Director of the Company and Mr. Caplan is a former Director of
the Company.

Specifically, the complaint alleges that the Defendants breached
their fiduciary duties owed to the holders of the Depositary
Shares and to the Company.  The plaintiffs principally allege
that the defendants improperly authorized the exchange of Series
B Preferred Stock for common stock while simultaneously refusing
to pay accrued dividends due on the Depositary Shares.

On January 6, 2003, the defendants moved to dismiss the lawsuit.
Among other things, the defendants argued that they did not owe
fiduciary duties to the holders of the Depositary Shares and the
claims of breach of fiduciary duty owed to the Company must be
dismissed because the claim could only be brought as a
derivative action.

On March 21, 2003, the plaintiffs filed an opposition to the
motion to dismiss and in May 2003, the plaintiffs asked the
court for leave to file an amended complaint.  In June 2003 the
plaintiffs were given leave to file an amended complaint.  

The amended complaint added an allegation that the defendants
have further breached their fiduciary duties by authorizing a
tender offer for the purchase of up to 90% of the Depositary
Shares and an allegation that the collective actions of the
defendants constitute unfair and deceptive business practices
under the provisions of the Massachusetts Consumer Protection
Act.  The plaintiffs seek damages in an amount not less than
$15,937,500, trebled, plus interest, costs, fees, and other
unspecified punitive and exemplary damages.

On August 29, 2003, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss.  
Plaintiffs filed an opposition thereto and on October 14, 2003,
the defendants filed their reply.


PUTNAM FUNDS: Launches Advertising Campaign Promising Reforms
-------------------------------------------------------------
One week after the departure of its top executive amid withering
criticism for its role in the mutual fund scandal, Putnam
Investments on Monday launched an advertising campaign aimed at
repairing its tattered image, Reuters News reports.

In full-page ads in both the New York Times and the Wall Street
Journal on Monday, Putnam, in a statement signed by its new
chief executive, chairman and vice chairman, pledged to "restore
accountability, integrity, and confidence" and review its
compliance system.  The Boston-based mutual fund company is
reeling from the loss of billions of dollars in pension money
following recent charges by regulators that Putnam engaged in
civil securities fraud through so-called market timing.

Market timing involves rapid fire trading of mutual funds in
order to profit from price lags such as those that may occur
across time zones.  The activity is at the center of a sweeping
investigation by federal and state regulators into the mutual
fund industry, which has already resulted in several high-level
resignations.

In the ad headlined, "We're changing Putnam Investments,"
Putnam's new management team said the fund company is "actively
addressing" the issue of market timing.

On November 3, Putnam's parent company, insurer Marsh & McLennan
Cos., announced the resignation of Putnam's president and chief
executive, Lawrence Lasser.  Federal and Massachusetts
regulators have accused Putnam, the No. 5 U.S. mutual fund
family, of letting some clients and several managers engage in
market timing, a practice Putnam publicly prohibits.  Two Putnam
managers have also been accused of securities fraud.

"Over the coming weeks and months, we will implement any changes
that may be appropriate to improve controls on market timing in
all areas of our business and help ensure adherence to the
highest possible level of fiduciary standards," Putnam said in
its letter.  Underscoring the extent of damage already done to
the firm, Putnam said, "The hard work and dedication of more
than 5,300 people have been called into question because of the
unfortunate acts of a small number of individuals."

The letter was signed by Charles Haldeman, Putnam's president
and chief executive, A.J.C. Smith, the firm's chairman, and
Steven Spiegel, its vice chairman, Reuters reports.  A Marsh &
McLennan spokesperson did not immediately return a call for
comment.  Earlier on Monday, Marsh said in a securities filing
that Putnam has been able to handle mutual fund outflows without
increasing transaction costs,

Investors pulled $4.43 billion from Putnam in the week ended
Wednesday, according to AMG Data Services of Arcata, California.  
Putnam had $263 billion of assets under management as of
November 7, including $171 billion in mutual funds and $92
billion of institutional assets, Marsh said.


REMEDIA: May Face Flurry Of Suits For Product Liability Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
Two class actions have been launched against Remedia over
allegations that several babies died after eating its
soy-based baby food product, Jerusalem Post.com reports.

One suit was submitted to the Tel Aviv District court by Hananel
Mantel whose family was not affected by the product while the
other was filed by an unidentified plaintiff.

"I think this comes a bit early," said commercial litigation
lawyer Ofer Netanel of Pelles, Moser and Co.  "It comes even
before it has been determined who is responsible for the deaths
and I don't think the courts will like it . There are many
possible directions litigation may take in the Remedia case .
First of all, the parents of the victims may choose between a
criminal and civil suit."

In a criminal suit, he said, two types of manslaughter can be
claimed: negligent manslaughter or gross negligent manslaughter.

Negligent manslaughter, which carries a jail sentence of up to
three years, would mean the manufacturer was not aware of the
danger caused by the product.  Gross negligent manslaughter
means the manufacturer was aware that there might be a danger
and decided to sell the product anyway.  This carries a jail
sentence of up to twenty years.

"State Prosecutor Edna Arbel has already convened a meeting to
discuss the Remedia case, which suggests that a criminal suit is
likely," Mr. Netanel said.  "A civil suit would be conducted
under the Liability For Defective Products Law passed by the
Begin government in 1980 . Civil suits could result in the
manufacturer paying up to three times the salary of an injured
party for as long as that party is incapable of working. In the
case of the death of an infant the courts sometimes determine
this via the parents and calculate how much the child could have
earned. But this is not always the case."

Over all, he said, compensation in these types of cases is very
uneven.  "In civil suits it is also normal to sue those with the
deepest pockets.  In this case that would be the Health
Ministry," he continued.

According to the Food Health Law passed in 1983, the Chief
Chemist of the Health Ministry is required to test samples of
all food products.  

"Here the litigants will try and prove that special checking
should have been required for baby food," he said.  The Health
Ministry's new call to remove all Remedia products from
store shelves even those deemed safe is believed to be a move to
protect itself against litigation.

It is also likely that the parents will choose to bring both
criminal and civil suits.  "Israeli courts allow submitting a
guilty verdict in a criminal case as proof in a civil case," Mr.
Netanel asserted.

As a precedent, in 1996, dairy giant Tnuva was found guilty of
violating the merchandising law by adding a silicon-based
substance to some 13 million liters of its long life milk.  
Tnuva had to pay only NIS 28,000 the maximum fine for not
advertising the additive.

In 1999 Pittsburgh-based H.J. Heinz Co. bought a 51 percent
stake in Remedia.  Terms were not announced but at the time the
joint venture represented approximately $30 million of Remedia's
annual revenue.  Stock of Maabarot Products which owns the
rights to Materna, Remedia's main competitor, have jumped some
37% since the problems at Remedia were first announced.


SCHERING PLOUGH: NJ Court Grants Certification For Stock Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court in New Jersey certified as a
class action the securities suit filed against Schering Plough
Corporation and certain named officers.

On February 15, 2001, the Company stated in a press release that
the FDA had been conducting inspections of the Company's
manufacturing facilities in New Jersey and Puerto Rico and had
issued reports citing deficiencies concerning compliance with
current Good Manufacturing Practices, primarily relating to
production processes, controls and procedures.

The next day, February 16, 2001, a lawsuit was filed, alleging
violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder.  The
plaintiffs in the suit purported to represent classes of
shareholders who purchased shares of Company stock between dates
as early as March 2, 2000, and February 15, 2001, the date of
the press release.

In April 2001, a lawsuit was filed in the same court, alleging
substantially the same violations of the Securities Exchange Act
of 1934 as alleged in the putative class actions described above
in this paragraph, as well as alleging violations of Section 11
of the Securities Act of 1933 and failure to disclose
information which is the subject matter of the Federal Trade
Commission (FTC) administrative proceeding described below and
purporting to represent a class of shareholders who purchased
shares of Company stock between July 25, 2000, and March 30,
2001, the last business day before the Company issued a press
release relating to the FTC administrative proceeding.

This complaint and all of the previously filed complaints were
consolidated into one action in the U.S. District Court for the
District of New Jersey, and a lead plaintiff, the Florida State
Board of Administration, was appointed by the Court on July 2,
2001.  

On October 11, 2001, a consolidated amended complaint was filed,
alleging the same violations and purporting to represent a class
of shareholders who purchased shares of Company stock from May
9, 2000, through February 15, 2001.  The Company's motion to
dismiss the consolidated amended complaint was denied on May 24,
2002.  On October 10, 2003, the Court certified the shareholder
class.  Discovery is ongoing.


SCHERING PLOUGH: PAL Asks NJ High Court To Hear Consumer Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Prescription Access Litigation project (PAL) asked the New
Jersey Supreme Court to hear the class action it filed against
Schering Plough Corporation, alleging violations of the New
Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.

On August 9, 2001, PAL, the Boston based group formed in 2001 to
litigate against drug companies, issued a press release stating
that PAL members filed a lawsuit in New Jersey state court
against the Company.  In December 2001, the Company was served
with an amended complaint in the case.  The suit alleges, among
other things, that the Company's direct-to-consumer advertising
falsely depicts the benefits of CLARITIN in violation of the New
Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.

In February 2002, the Company filed a motion to dismiss this
case. In May 2002, the court dismissed the complaint in its
entirety for failure to state a claim.  After the plaintiffs'
appeal was denied by the New Jersey state court, the plaintiffs
requested that the New Jersey Supreme Court hear the case, and
that request is pending.


SCHERING PLOUGH: Plaintiffs Launch Amended Securities Fraud Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs filed an amended consolidated complaint against
Schering Plough Corporation in the United States District Court
in New Jersey.

The original suit alleged that the Company, Richard Jay Kogan
(who resigned as Chairman of the Board November 13, 2002 and
retired as Chief Executive Officer, President and Director of
the Company April 20, 2003) and the Company's Employee Savings
Plan (Plan) administrator breached their fiduciary obligations
to certain participants in the Plan.  The allegations primarily
relate to disclosures about the Company's Good Manufacturing
Practices issues and disclosures about the meetings with
investors the week of September 30, 2002 and other
communications.  In May 2003, the Company was served with a
second putative class action complaint filed in the same court
with allegations nearly identical to the original complaint.  

On October 6, 2003, a consolidated amended complaint was filed
which names as additional defendants:  

     (1) Eugene McGrath,

     (2) Donald Miller,

     (3) Carl Mundy,

     (4) Patricia Russo,

     (5) Kathryn Turner,

     (6) James Wood,

     (7) Regina Herzlinger and

     (8) other corporate officers


SONIC AUTOMOTIVE: Subsidiaries Mull TX Car Dealership Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
Several of Sonic Automotive, Inc.'s Texas dealership
subsidiaries are thinking of joining the settlement of three
class actions filed against them and the Texas Automobile
Dealers Association (TADA), of which they are members.  
Approximately 630 Texas dealerships are named as defendants in
two of the actions, and approximately 700 Texas dealerships are
named as defendants in the other action.

The three actions allege that since January 1994, Texas
automobile dealerships have deceived customers with respect to a
vehicle inventory tax and violated federal antitrust and other
laws.  In April 2002, in two actions the Texas state court
certified two classes of consumers on whose behalf the actions
would proceed.  

In October 2002, the Texas Court of Appeals affirmed the trial
court's order of class certification in the state actions.  The
Company's dealership subsidiary defendants and the other Texas
dealership defendants are appealing that ruling to the Texas
Supreme Court.

In March 2003, the Federal Court conditionally certified a class
of consumers in the federal antitrust case.  The Company's
dealership subsidiary defendants and the other Texas dealership
defendants are also appealing that ruling to the United States
Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit.

While these appeals have been pending, the plaintiffs and
certain defendants have reached an understanding on proposed
settlement terms for all three cases that would provide for
distribution to class members of certificates that are
redeemable, with a variety of limitations, for discounts on
vehicle service or discounts towards the purchase of vehicles
from the settling dealerships in Texas.

The Company is in the process of evaluating the proposed
settlement for purposes of determining whether its Texas
dealerships will participate in the proposed settlement.  Even
if its Texas dealerships elect to participate in the proposed
settlement, the proposed settlement would still be subject to
various conditions outside of the Company's control, including
obtaining a specified level of participation from defendant
dealerships in Texas by November 13, 2003 and court approval of
the proposed settlement terms, neither of which is certain at
this time.  

If the TADA matters are not settled, the Company intends to
vigorously defend itself and assert available defenses.  In
addition, the Company may have rights of indemnification with
respect to certain aspects of the TADA matters.  However, an
adverse resolution of the TADA matters may result in the payment
of significant costs and damages, which could have a material
adverse effect on its business, financial condition, results of
operations, cash flows or prospects.   


SOUTH CAROLINA: State Files Suit Over Municipal Franchise Fees
--------------------------------------------------------------
The South Carolina Electric & Gas Company faces a class action
filed by the state of South Carolina, alleging that it violates
the Unfair Trade Practices Act by charging municipal franchise
fees to some customers residing outside a municipality's limits.

The complaint also alleges that the Company failed to obey,
observe, or comply with the lawful order of the Public Service
Commission of South Carolina (SCPSC) by charging franchise fees
to those not residing in a municipality.  The Complaint seeks
restitution to all affected customers and penalties up to $5,000
for each separate violation.

The Company is confident of the reasonableness of its actions
and intends to mount a vigorous defense.  The allegations
contained in this Complaint are the subject of a similar lawsuit
that was filed and served on the Company and a motion to dismiss
is pending.  The allegations are also the subject of a
threatened class action lawsuit.  The Company further believes
that the resolution of this action will not have a material
adverse impact on its results of operations, cash flows or
financial condition.


SOUTH CAROLINA: Faces Suit Over Electric Transmission Easements
---------------------------------------------------------------
The South Carolina Energy & Gas Company was named as co-
defendant in a purported class action styled as "Collins v. Duke
Energy Corporation, Progress Energy Services Company, and South
Carolina Electric & Gas Company," in South Carolina's Circuit
Court of Common Pleas for the Fifth Judicial Circuit.

The plaintiffs are seeking damages for the alleged improper use
of electric transmission easements but have not asserted a
dollar amount for their claims.  Specifically, the plaintiffs
contend that the licensing of attachments on electric utility
poles, towers and other facilities to non-utility third parties
or telecommunication companies for other than the electric
utilities' internal use along the electric transmission line
right-of-way constitutes a trespass.  

The Company is confident of the propriety of its actions and
intends to mount a vigorous defense.  The Company further
believes that the resolution of these claims will not have a
material adverse impact on its results of operations, cash flows
or financial condition.


TEXTRON FINANCIAL: Trial in CA Lawsuit Expected By Early 2004
-------------------------------------------------------------
Trial in the class action filed against Textron Financial
Corporation, Litchfield Financial Corporation and other firms is
expected to commence in early 2004 in the Superior Court in
Marin County, California.

The suit arose from the sale of promissory notes issued by, and
the operation of, certain trusts organized by DynaCorp Financial
Strategies Inc. (DFS).  The complaint alleges that DFS and the
trusts engaged in a variety of improper dealings with regard to
the sale by the trusts of approximately $50 million of notes and
the operation of the trusts.

During a portion of the time that the allegedly improper
activities occurred, Litchfield extended credit to DFS and was a
shareholder of DFS, and a Litchfield officer was a director on
DFS' Board.  The plaintiffs allege several bases for liability,
including that Litchfield's former officer participated in the
misrepresentations, that Litchfield received favorable treatment
as a creditor, and that Litchfield was a controlling person of
DFS.  Litchfield denies these allegations and is aggressively
defending the litigation.

On August 8, 2003, Litchfield was notified that the judge
hearing the class action issued an order affirming her
preliminary ruling denying Litchfield's motion to dismiss
Litchfield from the case.  The preliminary ruling became final
in September, 2003.

The Company denies the allegations and believes that a
substantial part of any settlement or judgment would be covered
by insurance.  


UNITED STATES: Study Says Heart Patients Don't Get Basic Care
-------------------------------------------------------------
As part of a nationwide survey, which placed emphasis on the
dangerous realities of modern medicine, it was discovered that
1/3 of patients who suffered from Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
often fail to receive ACE inhibitors - a class of anti-
hypertensive drugs that is a cornerstone for the treatment of
the disease, and are sent home without the lifesaving treatment,
AP Newswire reports.  Just why doctors do not give patients the
treatments experts universally agree work best is not always
clear, although those who study the situation say the reasons
probably range from forgetfulness and haste to simple ignorance.

In the latest study, Dr. Gregg Fonarow of the University of
California, Los Angeles, looked at how often patients
hospitalized with heart failure are discharged with four
standard kinds of care.  He found they are often missing,
although this varies widely from hospital to hospital.

"There are certain hospitals in the United States where 100
percent of the patients get this," he said.  "There are others
where patients had a better chance of winning the lottery than
getting the indicated care."

More than 1 million admissions are made each year to U.S.
hospitals for congestive heart failure, which is becoming even
more common as better treatments that help people survive heart
attacks leave them with damaged heart muscle.  Large studies
finished in the early 1990s convinced specialists that every
heart failure patient - with a few clearly defined exceptions -
should be on widely available drugs called angiotensin
converting enzyme, or ACE, inhibitors.  The American Heart
Association and the American College of Cardiology included the
drugs in their formal treatment guidelines in 1995, and the
Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations
later agreed.

The newest survey found that 31 percent of patients considered
ideal candidates for ACE inhibitors are sent home without them.
Even at elite teaching hospitals affiliated with medical
schools, more than one-quarter are not given them, AP reports.

The other findings reveal:

     (1) 72 percent are discharged without receiving a complete
         set of discharge instructions, as guidelines recommend.

     (2) 69 percent of smokers with heart failure are never told
         to quit.

     (3) 18 percent do not have the pumping power of their left
         ventricles measured, a standard indicator of heart
         failure.

Dr. Fonarow noted that doctors can bill insurance companies for
measuring ventricle strength but not for writing prescriptions
or exhorting patients to give up smoking.  "I don't think the
public understands the huge degree of variation between
hospitals," he said.  "People think if they go to a good
hospital, they will get all the standard things."

He based his findings on discharge data on 54,639 heart failure
patients at 260 hospitals between October 2001 and January 2003.  
The registry is sponsored by Johnson & Johnson's Scios
pharmaceutical unit, which is developing new heart disease
treatments.  Dr. Fonarow presented the results at the heart
association's annual scientific meeting in Orlando.

Dr. Richard Pasternak, head of preventive cardiology at
Massachusetts General Hospital, told AP he believes doctors are
actually more likely to follow standard procedures than they
once were.  "Things are getting better," he said.  "The question
is why they aren't getting better faster."

One approach is to set up systems in hospitals that routinely
prompt doctors to offer all the standard kinds of care when they
admit patients or discharge them.  These are like the checklists
airline pilots follow before taking off, AP states.

The heart association recently introduced its "Get with the
Guidelines" program to improve treatment of heart attacks by
helping hospitals establish these checklists.  Dr. Kenneth
LaBresh of MassPRO, the Massachusetts Medical Society's
healthcare quality organization, told AP the program has already
paid off for the first 123 hospitals to join.  He presented data
at the meeting showing doctors at these hospitals are more
likely to give such accepted treatments for heart attacks as
aspirin, beta blockers and cholesterol drugs.


US NAVY: Poised To Investigate Religious Discrimination Claim
-------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Navy is investigating whether superior
officers retaliated against a certain Lt. Cmdr. David Wilder, a
Southern Baptist chaplain, who discussed a religious
discrimination lawsuit on a television news show, AP Newswire
reports.  Mr. Wilder's complaint to the Navy's Inspector General
contends a high-ranking officer tried last year to have criminal
charges brought against him after he discussed the lawsuit on
Fox News Channel.

Officials never brought charges but did order Mr. Wilder not to
talk to reporters while in uniform, his lawyer, Arthur Schulcz
told AP.   Mr. Wilder's complaint, obtained by The Associated
Press, says he also received a poor job evaluation and a
demotion to a junior officer's assignment months after the
interview.

"You put all those things together and it looks like
retaliation," said Mr. Schulcz, the Virginia lawyer representing
Mr. Wilder and other plaintiffs in the discrimination case.  Mr.
Schulcz said Navy investigators have interviewed Mr. Wilder as
part of their probe of his complaint.

Marine Sgt. Spencer Harris, a spokesman at Camp Lejeune, N.C.,
where Mr. Wilder works, said, "A complaint was initiated and is
being looked into."  He would not comment on details.  Mr.
Schulcz contended the officer who demanded a criminal probe of
Wilder after his TV appearance was Rear Adm. Louis Iasiello, now
the Navy's chief of chaplains.  Lt. Jon Spires, a spokesman for
the chaplain corps headquarters, said neither he nor Mr.
Iasiello would comment on an ongoing investigation.

Mr. Wilder is one of dozens of evangelical Protestant chaplains
suing the Navy, claiming the chaplain corps discriminates
against evangelicals and in favor of Roman Catholic and
mainstream Protestant chaplains.  The plaintiffs say
evangelicals were passed over for promotions, ordered to change
their worship services and drummed out of the Navy.  The Navy
denies the discrimination claims.

The television interview came after a federal judge approved the
lawsuit as a class action, meaning Mr. Schulcz could represent
all evangelical Protestant chaplains in the Navy.  Mr. Wilder
has said he joined the lawsuit after being passed over for
promotion several times.

In an interview on "Fox Special Report with Brit Hume" in August
2002, a reporter quoted Mr. Wilder as saying the Navy created a
hostile work environment for some other chaplains involved in
the lawsuit.  In the Fox report, Mr. Wilder also spoke about his
objections to orders from superior officers to include some
liturgical elements in his services.

"The idea is if we have a service like this, it will meet the
needs of everybody," said Mr. Wilder, who appeared on camera in
military uniform.  "But in fact, what it does is, it leaves out
almost everybody."

Days later, Mr. Schulcz contends, the head chaplain at Camp
Lejeune got a call from Mr. Iasiello, a Catholic priest who was
then the Navy's deputy chief of chaplains.  Mr. Wilder's boss
told him that Mr. Iasiello demanded that Mr. Wilder be
prosecuted for the TV appearance, Mr. Schulcz said.

The former head chaplain at Camp Lejeune, Capt. O.J. Mozon,
declined to comment.  "I'm not at liberty to discuss that at the
moment," he told AP when reached by telephone.

Mr. Wilder was off duty when he talked to the Fox reporter.  Mr.
Wilder's complaint contends he suffered more retaliation earlier
this year, after another officer replaced Mr. Mozon as head
chaplain at Camp Lejeune, including demotion to a junior
officer's assignment and poor marks on an evaluation known in
the Navy as a "fitness report."  The Navy has changed the
fitness report, but Mr. Wilder remains in the lower-level job -
as chaplain at the camp's brig, Mr. Schulcz said.


WEST CORPORATION: Court Seeks Cause For Non-Dismissal of Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The California Court of Appeals issued an order directing trial
court to show cause why the class action styled "Sanford v. West
Corporation et al., No. GIC 805541," should not be dismissed.  
The suit was initially filed in the San Diego County, California
Superior Court, alleging violations of:

     (1) the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act,

     (2) California Civil Code 1750 et seq.,

     (3) unlawful, fraudulent and unfair business practices in
         violation of California Business & Professions Code
         17200 et seq.,

     (4) untrue or misleading advertising in violation of
         California Business & Professions Code 17500 et seq.,
         and

     (5) common law claims for conversion, unjust enrichment,
         fraud and deceit, and negligent misrepresentation

The suit requests monetary damages, including punitive damages,
as well as restitution, injunctive relief and attorneys fees and
costs.  The complaint is brought on behalf of a purported class
of persons in California who were sent a Memberworks, Inc. (MWI)
membership kit in the mail, were charged for an MWI membership
program, and were allegedly either customers of what the
complaint contends was a joint venture between MWI and the
Company or West Telemarketing Corporation (WTC) or wholesale
customers of the Company or WTC.

The Company and WTC moved to dismiss the case on the grounds
that the California courts lacked personal jurisdiction over
them, but the court denied that motion and WTC and the Company
appealed the ruling to the California Court of Appeals.  WTC and
the Company are awaiting a final ruling from the Court of
Appeals.


WEST CORPORATION: Seeks Review Of Class Certification For Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
West Corporation and other defendants filed petitions for review
of the 8th District Court of Appeals for the State of Ohio's
ruling granting class certification for the suit, styled "Brandy
L. Ritt, et al. v. Billy Blanks Enterprises, et al.," in the
Ohio Supreme Court.

The suit was initially filed in January 2001 in the Court of
Common Pleas in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, against two of the
Company's clients.  The suit, a purported class action, was
amended for the third time in July 2001 and the Company was
added as a defendant at that time.

The suit, which seeks statutory, compensatory, and punitive
damages as well as injunctive and other relief, alleges:

     (1) violation of various provisions of Ohio's consumer
         protection laws,

     (2) negligent misrepresentation,

     (3) fraud,

     (4) breach of contract,

     (5) unjust enrichment and

     (6) civil conspiracy in connection with the marketing of
         certain membership programs offered by the Company's
         clients

On February 6, 2002, the court denied the plaintiffs' motion for
class certification.  On March 7, 2002, the plaintiffs filed an
interlocutory appeal to the 8th District Court of Appeals for
the State of Ohio.  On July 21, 2003, the appeals court reversed
the trial court's order.

The Company and the other defendants are awaiting the high
court's decision whether it will accept the case.  The Company
is currently unable to predict the outcome or reasonably
estimate the possible loss, if any, or range of losses
associated with this claim.


               Meetings, Conferences & Seminars


* Scheduled Events for Class Action Professionals
-------------------------------------------------

November 10-11, 2003
FEN-PHEN LITIGATION CONFERENCE
Mealey Publications
The Four Seasons Hotel, Houston
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com  

November 13-14, 2003
MASS TORT LITIGATION TOOLS FOR PARALEGALS
Mealey Publications
The Westin Bonaventure Hotel, Los Angeles
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com  

November 13-14, 2003
ASBESTOS LITIGATION IN THE 21ST CENTURY
ALI-ABA
New Orleans
Contact: 215-243-1614; 800-CLE-NEWS x1614

November 17, 2003
WATER CONTAMINATION LITIGATION CONFERENCE
Mealey Publications
Pasadena
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

November 17-18, 2003
INSURANCE ALLOCATION CONFERENCE
Mealey Publications
The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples, FL
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

November 18, 2003
MEDICAL MONITORING CONFERENCE
Mealey Publications
The Ritz-Carlton Huntington Hotel & Spa, Pasadena
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

November 18, 2003
DAUBERT CONFERENCE
Mealey Publications
The Ritz-Carlton Huntington Hotel & Spa, Pasadena
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

November 19-20, 2003
LITIGATION AND RESOLUTION OF CLASS ACTIONS
Glasser Legal Works
New York City
Contact: mbaron@glasserlegalworks.com; 800-308-1700x111

December 3-4, 2003
LITIGATION AND RESOLUTION OF CLASS ACTIONS
Glasser Legal Works
San Francisco
Contact: mbaron@glasserlegalworks.com; 800-308-1700x111

December 8-9, 2003
ASBESTOS PREMISES LIABILITY CONFERENCE
Mealey Publications
The Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

December 8-9, 2003
CALIFORNIA SECTION 17200 CONFERENCE
Mealey Publications
The Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

December 8-9, 2003
D&O LIABILITY INSURANCE
American Conference Institute
San Francisco
Contact: 1-888-224-2480; http://www.americanconference.com  

December 11-13, 2003
CONSTRUCTION DEFECT AND MOLD LITIGATION CONFERENCE
Mealey Publications
The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Las Vegas, Las Vegas
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

December 11, 2003
MOLD LITIGATION 101 CONFERENCE
Mealey Publications
The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Las Vegas, Las Vegas
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

December 11-13, 2003
EMERGING SECURITIES LITIGATION CONFERENCE
Mealey Publications
The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, Scottsdale
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

December 11-13, 2003
CONSTRUCTION DEFECT AND MOLD LITIGATION CONFERENCE
Mealey Publications
The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Las Vegas, Las Vegas
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

December 14-16, 2003
DRUG AND MEDICAL DEVICE LITIGATION
American Conference Institute
The Plaza Hotel, New York City
Contact: 1-888-224-2480; http://www.americanconference.com  

January 22-23, 2004
ENVIRONMENTAL AND TOXIC TORT MATTERS: ADVANCED CIVIL LITIGATION
ALI-ABA
Orlando (Walt Disney World)
Contact: 215-243-1614; 800-CLE-NEWS x1614

January 26-27, 2004
WATER CONTAMINATION CONFERENCE
Mealey Publications
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Pasadena CA
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

January 29, 2004
OBESITY CLAIMS
American Conference Institute
Washington
Contact: 1-888-224-2480; http://www.americanconference.com  

January 29-30, 2004
TOP 10 INSURANCE ISSUES CONFERENCE
Mealey Publications
The Philadephia Marriott, PA
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

February 02, 2004
EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES LIABILITY INSURANCE
American Conference Institute
New York City
Contact: 1-888-224-2480; http://www.americanconference.com  

February 12, 2004
BAYCOL LITIGATION CONFERENCE
Mealey Publications
The Four Seasons Hotel, Houston
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

February 13, 2004
PPA LITIGATION CONFERENCE
Mealey Publications
The Four Seasons Hotel, Houston
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

February 23-24, 2004
ASBESTOS LITIGATION 101
Mealey Publications
The Westin, Philadephia
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

February 23-24, 2004
FUNDAMENTALS OF REINSURANCE
Mealey Publications
The Ritz-Carlton Boston Common, Boston
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

March 18-19, 2004
SECURITIES, DRUGS & ENVIRONMENTAL LITIGATION
MassTortsMadePerfect.Com
The Fairmont, San Francisco, California
Contact: 1-800-320-2227; register@masstortsmadeperfect.com
    
April 14-17, 2004
INSURANCE INSOLVENCY AND REINSURANCE ROUNDTABLE
Mealey Publications
The Scottsdale Princess, Scottsdale, AZ
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

June 10 & 11, 2004
SECURITIES, DRUGS & ENVIRONMENTAL LITIGATION
MassTortsMadePerfect.Com
Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas
Contact: 1-800-320-2227; register@masstortsmadeperfect.com

TBA
FAIR LABOR STANDARDS CONFERENCE
Mealey Publications
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

TBA
AIRLINE BANKRUPTCY LITIGATION CONFERENCE
Mealey Publications
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

TBA
FASTFOOD INDUSTRY LIABILITY CONFERENCE
Mealey Publications
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com


________________________________________________________________
The Meetings, Conferences and Seminars column appears in the
Class Action Reporter each Wednesday. Submissions via e-mail to
carconf@beard.com are encouraged.



                  New Securities Fraud Cases


GOODYEAR TIRE: Bull & Lifshitz Files Securities Suit in N.D. OH
----------------------------------------------------------------
Bull & Lifshitz, LLP initiated a securities class action lawsuit
in the United States District Court for the Northern District of
Ohio on behalf of purchasers of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
securities, between March 26, 1998 and October 22, 2003,
inclusive.

The Complaint alleges that defendants violated Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder, by issuing a series of material
misrepresentations to the market between March 26, 1998 and
October 22, 2003. Due to these misrepresentations, the price of
Goodyear securities became artificially inflated. The Complaint
states specifically that:

     (1) the Company's implantation of an enterprise resource
         planning accounting system in 1999 caused Goodyear to
         materially overstate its net income and earnings by up
         to $100 million;

     (2) the Company's financial statements were not prepared in
         accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting
         Principals;

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

     (4) as a result, the value of the Company's net income and
         financial results were materially overstated at all
         relevant times.

After the market had closed on October 22, 2003, Goodyear
announced that it had overstated its net income and earnings by
approximately $100 million for the years 1998 through 2002 and
for the first and second quarters of 2003. In response to this
news the Company's shares fell more than 10% during inter-day
trading and traded as low as $5.55 per share.

For more information, contact: Peter D. Bull, Esq. or Joshua M.
Lifshitz, Esq., of Bull & Lifshitz, LLP, by Mail: 18 East 41st
Street, New York, NY 10017, by Phone: (212) 213-6222, by Fax:
(212) 213-9405, by E-mail: counsel@nyclasslaw.com, or visit the
firm's Website: http://www.nyclasslaw.com.


PMA CAPITAL: Milberg Weiss Files Securities Lawsuit in E.D. PA
--------------------------------------------------------------
Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP initiated a class
action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania, on behalf of purchasers of the
securities of PMA Capital Corporation between November 13, 1998
and November 3, 2003, inclusive, seeking to pursue remedies
under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  The suit named as
defendants the Company and:

     (1) John W. Smithson, former President and CEO

     (2) Francis W. McDonnell, Former CFO, and

     (3) William E. Hitselberger, current CFO

According to the complaint, 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 November 13, 1998 and
November 3, 2003.

The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, the Company
represented that it had established adequate loss reserves to
pay or settle losses arising from insurance claims made by PMA
policy holders, and that any estimated claims were revised
according to the availability of new information. Defendants
painted this portrait of success to create favorable conditions
for PMA to complete two offerings of convertible senior
debentures and monthly income senior notes during the Class
Period, valued at $75 million and $50 million, respectively.

In addition, defendants sought to obtain positive ratings from
insurance industry rating agencies which would enable them to
underwrite insurance policies and negotiate reinsurance
treaties, worth millions of dollars in premiums, to purchasers
who relied on such ratings as a measurement of PMA's capital
structure.

Unbeknownst to plaintiff and other members of the Class,
however, the Company's seeming success was the product of
defendants' failure to properly account for PMA's liabilities
and expenses arising from insurance claims reported by policy
holders for which PMA failed to establish adequate reserves. As
a result, during the Class Period, defendants understated PMA's
liabilities and expenses, thereby artificially inflating PMA's
reported results and causing injury to plaintiff and other
members of the Class.

On November 4, 2003, before the market opened, PMA disclosed in
a press release and a concurrent SEC filing on Form 8-K, that it
would record a pre-tax charge of $150 million primarily to
compensate for its subsidiary, PMA Re's inadequate loss
reserves. Defendants stated that an internal review of the
Company's reserves revealed that the material charge "relates to
higher than expected underwriting losses in PMA Re's reinsurance
operations, primarily from casualty business written in accident
years 1997 to 2000."

As a result of this charge, the Company suspended its common
stock dividend, and has engaged Banc of America Securities LLC
to explore "strategic alternatives." On the same day, PMA
announced that it was in discussions with the Pennsylvania
Insurance Department over the Company's insurance operations.
Immediately following this announcement, the price of PMA common
stock plummeted $8.11, or 61.7 percent, from its previous day's
trading, to close at $5.03 per share.

On November 6, 2003, PMA revealed that the write down will
effectively force the Company to withdraw from the reinsurance
business, and that defendant John W. Smithson had resigned as
President and Chief Executive Officer of PMA.

For more information, contact: Steven G. Schulman, Esq., Peter
E. Seidman, Esq. or Andrei V. Rado, Esq., of Milberg Weiss
Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP, by Mail: One Pennsylvania Plaza,
49th fl. New York, NY, 10119-0165, by Phone: (800) 320-5081, by
E-mail: PMAcase@milberg.com, or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.milberg.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., Fairless Hills,
Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick, Maryland
USA.  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
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