CAR_Public/031209.mbx            C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R
  
           Tuesday, December 9, 2003, Vol. 5, No. 243

                        Headlines                            

ALASKA: Judge Approves Settlement in Salmon Price-Fixing Lawsuit
ALCOHOL: Study Probes Link Between Drinking, Brain Tissue Loss
BLUE DYE: FDA Warns of Adverse Effects on Use In Enteral Feeding
CANADA: New Case Alleging Abuse Surfaces In Montreal Hospital
CATHOLIC CHURCH: Lead Plaintiff In Covington Lawsuit Settles OOC

CONROS CORPORATION: AC Reverses, Remands Ruling In Customer Suit
DAIMLERCHRYSLER AG: Investors' Attorney Says Case Tough To Prove
DUPONT: WV Supreme Court Overturns Ruling on Blood Test Lawsuit
DUPONT: WV Court Says Company Not To Shoulder Blood Test Fees
EL PASO: CA Court Approves Settlement in Consumer Fraud Lawsuit

FARMERS INSURANCE: OR Jury Awards $9.5M Verdict In Fraud Lawsuit
INTERPUBLIC GROUP: Reaches $115M Securities Suit Settlement
JDN REALTY: GA Suit Settlement Hearing Set For January 16,2004
LIVENT INC.: Stock Lawsuit Settlement Hearing Set December 2003
MAGNO-HUMPHRIES: Recalls Acetaminophen Tablets For Mislabeling

MISSISSIPPI: Judge Dismisses Natchez School Desegregation Case
ONEOK: Asks Judge To Move 2001 Explosion Suit Out of KS Court
PANHANDLE TRAIL: Trail Property Owners Reach Settlement in Suit
POLAND SPRINGS: Kane County Sheriff's $1.4M Settlement Opposed
ROCHE DIAGNOSTICS: Recalls PT Test Strips For Packaging Defect

SPRINT CORPORATION: Motion To Remand Denied In Consumer Lawsuit
TENNESSEE: New Bidders Sought For Knoxville Wrecker Contracts
U.S. ARMY: Couple Alleges Observance Spurred Discharge From Army
VOLUME SERVICES: Ex-Employee Launches Overtime Wage Suit in CA
WACHOVIA CORPORATION: Motion For Reconsideration Denied In Suit

WESTERBEKE CORPORATION: Reaches Settlement in Suit Over Merger

                  New Securities Fraud Cases

AEROSONIC CORPORATION: Charles Piven Files Securities Suit in FL
AEROSONIC CORPORATION: Lasky Rifkind Files Securities Suit in FL
FRED ALGER: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Securities Suit in NY
AMERICAN PHARMACEUTICALS: Charles Piven Files Stock Suit in IL
BEST BUY: Charles Piven Commences Securities Fraud Lawsuit in MN

BOSTON COMMUNICATIONS: Charles Piven Files Securities Suit in MA
CHARLES SCHWAB: Goodkind Labaton Commences Securities Suit in NY
CLEAN HARBORS: Charles Piven Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in MA
MARSH & MCLENNAN: Milberg Weiss Files Securities Suit in S.D. NY
PILGRIM BAXTER: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges PA Securities Suit

PILGRIM BAXTER: Stull Stull Launches Securities Suit in S.D. NY
PRICESMART INC.: Charles Piven Lodges Securities Suit in S.D. CA
WATSON PHARMACEUTICALS: Charles Piven Launches Stock Suit in CA

                        *********

ALASKA: Judge Approves Settlement in Salmon Price-Fixing Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Superior Court Judge Peter Michalski gave preliminary approval
to a plan to divide $40 million in settlements created by the
Bristol Bay salmon price-fixing lawsuit, Knight-Ridder/ Tribune
Business News reports.

Judge Michalski's ruling triggers a process in which 4,500
commercial fishermen will be notified that lawyers on both sides
of the class-action case have agreed to the plan and that anyone
with objections should speak up.

The $40 million came from settlements paid by 18 fish processing
and Japanese importing companies that formerly were defendants
the fishermen accused of conspiring to pay artificially low dock
prices for Bristol Bay's abundant sockeye salmon.  An Anchorage
jury in May cleared the 12 remaining defendant companies after a
nearly four-month trial.

The settlement money is being held in an Anchorage bank.  Under
the plan to divide it, the fishermen would share $9.7 million,
receiving an average of $2,145 apiece.  The fishermen's lawyers
would get $16.5 million, and the seafood companies and their
lawyers would get $13.8 million.

"The fishermen's payments could arrive in mailboxes by the
middle of next year," said one of their lawyers, Parker Folse of
Seattle.

Judge Michalski this week preliminarily denied a request from
Gov. Frank Murkowski's administration to intervene in the case.  
The governor said $12 million of the sum sought by the
fishermen's lawyers should be redirected to fishermen and
processors as a way to help the state's economically depressed
salmon industry.

The judge said he wouldn't consider the state's motion until
after the class of fishermen is notified of the pending plan to
divide the $40 million.  He set another hearing date of February
5.  Lawyers on both sides said the state didn't have any
business trying to intervene now in a case filed in 1995.

Frederick Furth, a San Francisco attorney and member of the
fishermen's legal team, said it was "so unfair" of Gov.
Murkowski to characterize the fishermen's lawyers as Outside
agitators who hooked fishermen into a bum case.  Mr. Furth said
his and three other law firms ran up hourly fees and costs of
more than $33 million in pursuing the antitrust case over 10
years, all in hopes of proving the fishermen's claims and of
collecting a share of any winnings.  The lawyers, who argued for
more than $1 billion in damages at trial, built a $40 million
settlement fund and now they deserve a fair piece of it, he
said.

Phil Weidner, an Anchorage attorney for the fishermen, added
that the fishermen's lawyers are asking for no court-ordered
compensation for work during the trial, only for work leading up
to it.


ALCOHOL: Study Probes Link Between Drinking, Brain Tissue Loss
--------------------------------------------------------------
A new study, appearing in Friday's issue of the American Heart
Association journal Stroke, has found that low to moderate
drinking may cause a loss of brain tissue in middle-age people,
AP news reports.  The researchers also found that such alcohol
consumption does not lower the risk of a stroke - contradicting
findings from previous studies.

"I think this is an interesting study because people talk about
the beneficial effects of alcohol intake on cardiovascular
disease and they try to extend that to stroke," the study's lead
researcher, Dr. Jingzhong Ding, a research associate at the
Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University in
Baltimore, told AP.  "Some studies find beneficial effects, but
ours didn't."

Heavy drinking is known to raise the risk of both brain atrophy
and stroke, but findings on the effects of low to moderate
drinking have varied.  The study moves doctors a step closer to
understanding what amounts of alcohol are harmful, said Dr.
Edgar J. Kenton III, a professor of clinical neurology at the
Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.

Mr. Ding and his colleagues evaluated 1,909 patients, ages 55
and older, from North Carolina and Mississippi who were
participants in a study on the buildup of plaque in the
arteries.  Researchers used information collected between 1987
and 1989 and followed up every three years until 1995.

Using magnetic resonance imaging, or MRIs, researchers measured
the patients' ventricular and sulcal areas - voids of the brain
containing only cerebrospinal fluid.  Increased ventricular and
sulcal size indicates a reduction in brain tissue, or atrophy.  
The findings showed that both voids grew larger the more people
drank.

Mr. Ding said researchers cannot make a definitive cause-and-
effect link between drinking and brain atrophy because the MRIs
were done only once during the study and because they found only
a small reduction in tissue.


BLUE DYE: FDA Warns of Adverse Effects on Use In Enteral Feeding
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a Public
Health Advisory that warns about serious adverse events when a
blue dye, FD&C Blue No. 1, is used in enteral feeding solutions
as a way to visually detect pulmonary aspiration.  Blue No. 1 is
allowed by FDA for certain uses in foods, drugs and cosmetics,
but FDA hasn't evaluated its safety when it's used in enteral
feedings.

FDA has received twenty reports of toxicity associated with the
use of Blue No. 1 in enteral feedings. Affected patients showed
systemic absorption of the dye, manifested by a blue
discoloration of the skin or body fluids.  Some cases were also
associated with serious complications such as refractory
hypotension and metabolic acidosis.  Twelve of the patients
died.

The concentration and total amount of dye used in these cases
was not unusually high, but these patients did have a
distinguishing characteristic: a large proportion of them were
likely to have increased gut permeability, including those with
sepsis, burns, trauma or inflammatory bowel disease.  And so the
advisory cautions that patients with these conditions may be at
increased risk of absorbing Blue No. 1 from tinted enteral
feedings.

Blue No. 1 hasn't definitely been established as the direct
cause of these adverse events, but the advisory points out that
the safety and utility of using Blue No. 1 in enteral feeding
have not been evaluated by FDA.

FDA is not making any recommendations for alternatives to Blue
No. 1 for use with enteral feeding. The advisory points out that
other blue dyes haven't been evaluated in this setting, and they
could be equally or more toxic. So replacing Blue No. 1 with
another blue dye wouldn't solve the problem.


CANADA: New Case Alleging Abuse Surfaces In Montreal Hospital
-------------------------------------------------------------
Another case of alleged abuse at St-Charles Borromee Hospital
came to light Friday after a patient complained about poor
treatment that included being bedridden and deprived of liquids,
AP news reports.  The long-term care facility has been at the
centre of controversy since allegations of psychological abuse
against a handicapped patient came to light last week.  The
hospital's director was later found dead of an apparent suicide.

Hubert Dupont, who entered the hospital two years ago after a
debilitating bout with meningitis, said the hospital is
intolerable.  He told a news conference Friday that staff didn't
always have the best interests of their patients at heart.

The 53-year-old recounted he was bedridden for three months
after his walker was taken away because staff were worried about
being held responsible if he fell.  As a result, he said he
almost lost the use of his legs.  Mr. Dupont said once when told
a staff member he was thirsty, the plea was ignored.  "I asked
for a drink of water and he said, `Drink your spit,'" he told
the news conference, AP reports.

Lawyer Jean-Pierre Menard asked again Friday that the
institution be part under trusteeship.  He also has launched a
class action against the hospital involving about 325 patients.  
The hospital is being investigated by the provincial Health
Department and Health Minister Philippe Couillard has said new
allegations of abuse would be investigated.  Last week, the
sisters of the handicapped patient made public tape recordings
of her difficult dealings with staff at the hospital.


CATHOLIC CHURCH: Lead Plaintiff In Covington Lawsuit Settles OOC
----------------------------------------------------------------
The lead plaintiff in the nation's first class action alleging
the Roman Catholic Diocese actively covered up sexual abuse by
its priests has settled his claim outside of court, the
Cincinnati Enquirer reports.  He is among 32 people who have
reached out-of-court settlements with the Covington Diocese
totaling more than $6 million within the last three months,
church officials announced Thursday.

Officials would not release the dollar figure for individual
claims.  The former lead plaintiff said the lawsuit process was
impersonal.  The man, who said he was sexually abused as a
child, said he was not prepared for the attacks that attorneys
representing the plaintiffs in the suit have lobbed at the
Covington Diocese.  He said he found more peace in resolving his
claim directly with the diocese.

"I personally am extremely relieved to no longer be a named
class member in the lawsuit against the Diocese of Covington,"
the man told the Enquirer.  He had come forward initially to
join the suit, saying he was abused 21 years ago at a Roman
Catholic school.

"For many months being head of the class (lawsuit) I had
feelings of emptiness and lacked good peace of mind," he added.

Jeff Anderson, a St. Paul, Minnesota, lawyer who has tracked
similar litigation for 20 years, said he isn't surprised at the
man's remarks.  "Treating these types of claims like they are
'coupon cases' is not the best way to proceed," Mr. Anderson,
who has represented some 700 alleged victims from Los Angeles to
Cincinnati said.  "I'm always pleased to see victims getting
some kind of justice, but in my opinion, a class-action suit is
not the best way to heal the survivors."

Mr. Anderson is not involved in the class action.

Bob Steinberg, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, said
class action status is the best way to proceed.  He said it
allows out-of-state residents and others, who couldn't afford to
bring an individual lawsuit, to benefit from any court victory.
The class action also allows people to get a complete picture of
how the diocese handled claims of abuse, he said.

The 35-year-old, though, said he felt "like a number" during the
lawsuit process.  He complained that the attorneys heading the
case never seemed to focus on what his story was and were not
"real interested" in the details of the severity of his abuse.  
In the settlement process, he was represented by attorney
Barbara Bonar of Covington, who has represented several clients
who settled with the diocese.

One of the class action attorneys, Mr. Steinberg, said he
couldn't discuss specific attorney-client communication.  
However, he said, "Myself and other class counsel met with (the
man) many times and spoke to him on the phone many times.  He
was the number-one class representative, and there was more
focus on him than anyone."

Mr. Steinberg spent 18 years as a magistrate judge in federal
court handling, among other legal issues, class-action cases.  
He also worked 10 years in the U.S. Attorney's office as a
federal prosecutor.

"It is an obligation of a class representative to put the
interest of a class above their personal interest," Mr.
Steinberg told the Enquirer.  "If a person's main interest is in
their own individual settlement they can no longer be a class
representative.  But that is no criticism of the person."

The former plaintiff did not wish to detail his claims of abuse.
In court records, he said a priest at St. Joseph's Elementary
School in Camp Strings abused him in 1981 and 1982, when he was
13.  He claimed the abuse took place at various locations in the
Northern Kentucky area, including the diocesan-assigned
residence of the priest.

"The nature of the lawsuit has to do with very personal issues
and concerns, and I learned over the months through my
experience in the class action that each abused person should be
able to tell their story up front," the former plaintiff said.  
"For me, the class action lawsuit became out of the question,
and that's why I got out."


CONROS CORPORATION: AC Reverses, Remands Ruling In Customer Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Court of Appeal for the Fourth District, Division 2,
California granted an appeal by Plaintiff, and reversed and
remanded a ruling, by the Superior Court of San Bernardino
Count, denying class certification in a lawsuit styled "Conros
Corporation v. Daniel Thomas et al."

In April 2002, plaintiffs filed a class action against Conros
alleging breach of implied warranty, breach of express warranty,
fraud and deceit, negligent misrepresentation, and unfair
business practices based on false claims that a citronella
candle would perform as an ordinary candle.  

The complaint alleged that plaintiffs purchased a citronella
candle marketed by Conros for illumination and repelling bugs
near plaintiffs' outdoor pool.  After awhile, the candle began
to burn aggressively, charring portions of plaintiffs'
furniture.  When plaintiffs' child attempted to extinguish the
candle with water, the candle reacted explosively by shooting
flames and hot wax upwards and outwards.

The complaint alleged that the citronella candles marketed by
Conros had a "tendency" to burn aggressively and react violently
to water.  Other manufacturers allegedly recognized that
tendency and included appropriate warnings, but Conros did not.  
The complaint was brought on behalf of all purchasers of the
subject candle, and sought recovery of the purchase price of the
candle and an injunction requiring Conros to include adequate
warnings.
      
The trial court denied class certification, concluding that
plaintiffs had failed to prove the existence of an ascertainable
class.


DAIMLERCHRYSLER AG: Investors' Attorney Says Case Tough To Prove
----------------------------------------------------------------
Vincent Cappucci, a lawyer for Chrysler Corporation
shareholders, who sued for fraud over the 1998 merger that
formed DaimlerChrysler, on Friday said that the case would have
been tough to prove, AP news reports.

Appearing before a federal judge asked to approve a proposed
$300 million settlement of the shareholder class action, Mr.
Cappucci said the case had potentially fatal flaws.  "The
biggest problem for us was that the Chrysler division post-
merger performance was horrific," Mr. Cappucci told AP.

His comments were meant to convince the judge that the
settlement was a nice result for a case that carried
considerable risk.  Shareholders sued after DaimlerChrysler
fired a series of U.S. executives, claiming that what they had
been told was a merger of equals was in fact a takeover.

DaimlerChrysler now faces another suit, by billionaire investor
Kirk Kerkorian, over similar allegations.  Mr. Kerkorian is
seeking more than $1 billion in damages, and has said he will
not settle his case.

Mr. Cappucci told AP there is evidence that Daimler bought a
company that was on the verge of insolvency, so the merger could
be viewed as a "rescue plan" for Chrysler.  However, he said key
evidence supporting the fraud charges turned up as his class-
action case was being prepared.

The German auto maker agreed to settle soon after lawyers
obtained the audiotape of an interview with chief executive
Juergen Schrempp, the lawyer told AP.

Portions of the Schrempp interview appeared in the Financial
Times in October 2000, touching off a furor in Michigan, where
former Chrysler shareholders interpreted it as evidence they had
been tricked into the merger.  In "off-the-record" comments in
the taped interview, Mr. Schrempp said he was using on another
takeover target tactics similar to those he used to get Chrysler
shareholders to agree to a deal.

Once shareholders had the full tape, DaimlerChrysler became
ready to settle, Mr. Cappucci told AP.

Julie Kamps, an attorney on the Kerkorian trial team who
attended Friday's settlement hearing, said Mr. Cappuci's case
shouldn't be used as a platform to critique the Kerkorian case.  
"We believe there was fraud and deceit in the merger and we
believe our case is going well," she said.


DUPONT: WV Supreme Court Overturns Ruling on Blood Test Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The West Virginia Supreme Court on Friday overturned a ruling
requiring DuPont to pay for blood tests for 50,000 people who
claim a chemical used to make Teflon has contaminated their
water supply, AP news reports.

The 4-1 ruling overturned a lower-court judge's order on behalf
of residents who say their health has been affected by DuPont's
use of ammonium perfluorooctanoate at its plant in Wood County.  
The chemical company was not given proper notice that the
residents were seeking the injunction, so the order is void, the
high court said.

Harry Deitzler, who represents the plaintiffs, said they may ask
again for blood testing.  A DuPont spokeswoman had no immediate
comment, AP stated.

Industry studies have linked ammonium perfluorooctanoate,
commonly referred to as C-8, to a variety of health problems in
rats, including cancer and liver damage, but have not shown
whether it harms humans.  The chemical has been used in the
production of Teflon at the DuPont plant for more than 50 years.


DUPONT: WV Court Says Company Not To Shoulder Blood Test Fees
-------------------------------------------------------------
The West Virginia Supreme Courts ruling in favor of DuPont means
the company will not have to pay for blood testing for those who
say they've been harmed by a chemical used at the company's
plant near Parkersburg, mariettatimes.com reports.  

The Court's decision allows for the continuation of the class
action lawsuit against the company. The company responded to the
Friday ruling by saying it was pleased by the decision. An
attorney for the citizens says it's just one part of the
continuing effort to pursue the lawsuit and won't affect
progress. For citizens, it is another step toward what they hope
will be a determination about whether the chemical, which has a
trade name of C8, is harmful to humans.

The chemical has been found in several area water supplies,
including that of the Little Hocking Water and Sewer
Association.

"I, for one, would be someone who would get myself tested," Kim
McMichael, 49, of Cutler, a Little Hocking Water customer who is
following the court case, told mariettatimes.com.  "I think it's
important from many perspectives to know what levels of this are
in people's bodies."

Ms. McMichael suggested that even though DuPont does not have to
pay for testing of everyone, the company should pay for testing
of at least a sample to see what the results would be.  If that
were to happen, it would be up to the lawyers representing
citizens in the case.

The West Virginia Supreme Court made two decisions Friday that
affect the lawsuit.  First, the court overruled a decision by
Wood County Circuit Court Judge George Hill Jr. that said the
company needs to pay for blood testing for everyone who has the
chemical in their water.  That could have been more than 50,000
people.  The court decided the procedure used to order the
testing was improper.  It means the citizens could again request
a decision to order the blood testing as long as the proper
procedures are followed.

Second, the court ruled Judge Hill cannot preside over the case
until it decides if he should be disqualified.  DuPont had
requested that Judge Hill be removed because he lives in
Parkersburg, which means he is one of the citizens in the
lawsuit.  The chemical has also been detected in Parkersburg's
city water supply.  The lawsuit has been on hold awaiting the
court decisions.  Now that the decisions have come, the case can
continue.

Harry Deitzler, one of the lawyers representing the citizens,
said the next step for the citizens is a meeting of all the
class members, which will be conducted at 6 p.m. Wednesday at
Blennerhassett Junior High School in Parkersburg.  He said the
first rulings would not affect the progress of the case.

"I don't think it will have any impact on the case whatsoever,"
Mr. Deitzler told the mariettatimes.  "We will continue with the
case based on this new ruling."

The case was to have gone to trial this past September, but that
date was postponed awaiting the West Virginia Supreme Court
decision.  No new date has been set.  No one from DuPont was
available to comment, but a lawyer for the company issued a
written statement.

"We are very pleased with the decision made today by the West
Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals to avoid an injunction by a
lower court requiring that DuPont pay for blood testing to
determine the presence of C8 in the blood of the class," said
the statement from Tom Flaherty, counsel to DuPont.


EL PASO: CA Court Approves Settlement in Consumer Fraud Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
California Superior Court Judge J. Richard Haden granted final
approval to a class action settlement valued at nearly $1.5
billion in the El Paso Natural Gas Anti-Trust Cases.  The
litigation was based upon allegations arising out of the natural
gas supply shortages that took place during the California
energy crisis in 2000 and 2001.  The settlement class, with
certain exceptions, includes all California residential
consumers and businesses that purchased natural gas or
electricity between September 1, 1996 and March 20, 2003.

The national plaintiffs' law firm of Lieff Cabraser Heimann &
Bernstein, LLP, played the principal role in crafting the
settlement in the California El Paso natural gas case on behalf
of consumers.  "The El Paso settlement is a tremendous
extraordinary victory for Californians.  The amount, nearly $1.5
billion, constitutes the largest settlement ever of an antitrust
suit on behalf of the residents of a single state in our
nation's history," commented Lieff Cabraser partner Barry R.
Himmelstein who oversaw the litigation.

Members of the media that wish to speak to Mr. Himmelstein
concerning the litigation and settlement can reach him this
weekend at 415-902-5664.


FARMERS INSURANCE: OR Jury Awards $9.5M Verdict In Fraud Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
An Oregon jury ordered Farmers Insurance Co. to pay $9.5 million
to defrauded thousands of Oregon policy holders in a case
sparked by a man who wondered why the company failed to pay all
his medical bills following an auto accident, AP news reports.  
According to the ruling, the company defrauded customers from
1998 to 1999 by reducing the payments for their medical expenses
after auto accidents.

"Farmers broke its promise to me by not paying all my medical
bills," Mark Strawn, the original plaintiff in the case, told
AP.  "We called them on it, and we won."

A spokeswoman for Farmers did not immediately return a message
seeking comment Saturday, AP states.

The $9.5 million award will be paid to about 7,200 Oregonians
who were represented in the class action.  In addition, more
than 1,500 Oregon doctors, chiropractors, therapists, hospitals
and other providers may be entitled to share in the verdict,
according to the attorneys in the case.

Mr. Strawn began investigating after he saw his medical bills
from injuries suffered in a car wreck and wondered why all the
expenses weren't paid.  The amounts that Farmers failed to pay
were generally so small - most less than $10 - that it wasn't
enough for a single policyholder to pursue, said his lawyer,
Richard Yugler.


INTERPUBLIC GROUP: Reaches $115M Securities Suit Settlement
-----------------------------------------------------------
Interpublic Group of Companies has agreed to pay $115 million in
cash and stock to settle pending consolidated shareholder class
action suits related to its earnings restatements and accounting
errors revealed last year, Dow Jones Business News reports.

The advertising agency holding company said the deal calls for a
payment of $20 million cash and $95 million worth of shares.
The stock will be distributed at a price of $14.50 a share,
about 1.3% above Interpublic's closing price of $14.32 Thursday.
Interpublic, which has roughly 392.2 million shares outstanding,
will end up distributing about 6.6 million shares under the
settlement.

The deal - which is subject to a definitive agreement and
approval in the New York federal district court - also calls for
additional shares or cash if Interpublic's stock price falls
below $8.70 before the settlement is finalized.  The company
said it will decide to issue either cash or shares so that the
consideration of the stock part of the settlement will have a
total value of $57 million.

The lawsuits were filed last summer after Interpublic's shares
sank amid discoveries of accounting errors at its McCann-
Erickson agency and a series of earnings restatements for 1997
though part of 2002.

Interpublic said it is still working toward a settlement of
other pending lawsuits as part of the consolidated class action
settlement package.  The company has a suit pending in Illinois
and derivative shareholder actions in Delaware.  Interpublic
recorded a charge of $127.6 million in the third quarter to
cover the estimated cost of its pending legal actions.  The
charge included $12.6 million for an unrelated legal settlement.

New York Stock Exchange-listed shares of Interpublic recently
traded at $14.41, up 9 cents, or 0.6%.


JDN REALTY: GA Suit Settlement Hearing Set For January 16,2004
--------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia,
Atlanta Division, announced Summary Notice of Pendency of Class
Action, Proposed Second Partial and Final Settlement of $7.34
million, and Settlement hearing in regards the class action
lawsuit filed against JDN Realty Corporation, on behalf of all
persons who purchased JDN Securities during the period from
February 15, 1997 through April 12, 2000 inclusive.

The hearting will be held before the Honorable Richard W. Story
in the U.S. Courthouse, Room 2105, 76 Spring Street, S.W.,
Atlanta, Georgia 30303, at 10: 00 a.m., on January 16, 2004.

The first partial settlement of $7.34 million was approved by
the Court on November 15, 2001.  The first partial settlement
was with JDN Realty Corporation, JDN Development Company, and
certain of their officers and directors.

For more information, contact Martin D. Chitwood, or Lauren S.
Antonio, of Chitwood & Harley. LLP, by Mail: 2300 Promenade II,
1230 Peachtree Street, NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30309, or by Phone:
(404) 873-3900.


LIVENT INC.: Stock Lawsuit Settlement Hearing Set December 2003
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
announced that a proposed settlement of $1.75 million has been
reached in the regard the class action securities fraud lawsuit
filed against Livent, Inc. on behalf of all persons who
purchased Livent, Inc. common stock during the period beginning
on March 5, 1996 and concluding on August 10, 1998.

A hearing will be held with respect to the proposed settlement
on December 19, 2003, at 12:00 p.m., before the Honorable Victor
Marrero in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of
New York, in Courthouse 905, United States Courthouse, 40 Centre
Street, New York, New York 10007.

For more information, contact the Claims Administrator, the
Garden City Group, Inc., by Mail: P.O. Box 9000 6016, Merrick,
NY 11566-9000, or by Phone: (888) 707-5882.


MAGNO-HUMPHRIES: Recalls Acetaminophen Tablets For Mislabeling
--------------------------------------------------------------
Magno-Humphries, Inc., of Tigard, Oregon, in cooperation with
the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is voluntarily
recalling one lot consisting of 504 bottles of Dixon'sr, APAP
Acetaminophen 325 mg Analgesic Tablets, an over-the-counter drug
product sold in 100 Tablet bottles with lot number 319687,
Expiration Date 03/05.

The recall is effective immediately and is being undertaken
because this lot contains an excess of the labeled amount of
acetaminophen. The tablets contained in the mislabeled bottles
are 500 mg Acetaminophen, instead of 325 mg Acetaminophen. The
acetaminophen is being recalled because overdoses of
acetaminophen can lead to severe health problems including liver
toxicity and liver failure. The acetaminophen was sold under the
Dixon'sr label at retail stores and pharmacies nationwide
beginning in August 2003. To date, no consumer complaints have
been reported.

Consumers who purchased bottles with lot number 319687 are urged
to discontinue use of the product immediately and return it to
the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with
questions may contact Magno-Humphries, Inc., at 1-800-935-6737.

Any adverse reactions experienced with the use of this product
should also be reported to the FDA's MedWatch Program by phone
at 1-800-FDA-1088, by Fax at 1-800-FDA-0178, by mail at
MedWatch, HF-410, FDA, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20852-
9787, or on the MedWatch website at www.fda.gov/medwatch.


MISSISSIPPI: Judge Dismisses Natchez School Desegregation Case
----------------------------------------------------------------
Judge William H. Barbour Jr. on Friday dismissed a long-running
desegregation case against the Natchez-Adams School District,
agreeing the district has eliminated the vestiges of its
formerly segregated system, AP news reports.  Judge Barbour
approved a joint motion by attorneys for the school district and
the U.S. government to declare the district is operating in a
nondiscriminatory manner.

Judge Barbour's ruling, which ends the court's oversight of the
system in one of Mississippi's longest running school
desegregation cases, came after testimony that the southwest
Mississippi district's schools, faculty and administration are
integrated.

"We are very confident we have done what the court required us
to do," Natchez-Adams Superintendent Anthony L. Morris told AP
after the hearing.

The ruling removed a 1989 court-imposed desegregation plan and
also dismissed a class action filed by the Justice Department in
1988 on behalf of the district's black students, parents and
guardians.  

In 1969, the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had ordered the
district to desegregate its school system.  A 1989 order by
Barbour closed six schools, combined two high schools into one,
and created two attendance zones to determine where children
should attend school.  The district is now free to make
decisions - such as changing attendance zones or opening or
closing schools -- without court approval.  Mr. Morris said he's
not planning any immediate changes.

Mr. Morris and Norris Edney, president of the school board,
testified in favor of the motion.  Both Mr. Morris and Mr. Edney
are black. Rep. Phillip West, D-Natchez, a plaintiff in the 1988
suit, and his son Kareem West, 31, of Jackson, also spoke in
favor of removing the federal desegregation order.

Kareem West, who attended the then-black North Natchez High
School his junior year, and the integrated Natchez High School
his senior year, said he never noticed problems of racism at the
new high school.  "I got a chance to meet people I never would
have," he said. "It was the first time I had attended school
with another race . It was a pleasant introduction to each
other."

While there was no testimony challenging removal of the order,
two written objections were received during the public comment
period, said Holmes Adams of Jackson, an attorney for Natchez-
Adams district.  The two statements from plaintiffs in the 1988
complaint were "generally opposed" to removing the court
desegregation order but gave no reasons to support that stand,
Mr. Adams told AP.  

The school board's three black and two white members voted
unanimously in favor of removing the order, Mr. Edney testified.

About 88 percent of the district's students are black, and 12
percent are white, according Mr. Morris' testimony.  Mr. Morris
testified the district has no one-race schools.  Mr. Morris also
testified that over the last five years the district has seen a
slight increase in black faculty.  About half the elementary
school teachers and roughly 60 percent of the high school
teachers in the district are black.  There are nine black and
eight white administrators.


ONEOK: Asks Judge To Move 2001 Explosion Suit Out of KS Court
-------------------------------------------------------------
ONEOK asked that the class action filed relating to the
destructive January 2001 Hutchison, Kansas gas explosion be
moved out of Kansas District Court in Reno County, WIBW (KS)
reports.

Company attorney Charles Lee asked District Judge Richard Rome
for a delay in the trial set for February 17, 2004, in which
Reno County property owners and business owners are seeking
damages from the explosions.  Judge Rome approved the request
for a delay but declined to rule immediately on the change-of-
venue request.

Judge Rome has considered the requests.  During the same
hearing, attorneys representing Reno County businesses and
property owners asked the judge to let the trial jury decide
whether to award punitive damages in the case.

  
PANHANDLE TRAIL: Trail Property Owners Reach Settlement in Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
A settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit filed on
behalf owners of some properties along the Panhandle Trail in
Washington and Allegheny counties, and pending approval by a
federal judge at a December 19 fairness hearing, they stand to
receive compensation for land originally used for railway
easements, the observer-reporter.com reports.

"The gist of this lawsuit is that, but for the application of
the Rails-to-Trails Act, adjoining landowners would have had
possession of parts of the adjacent land under Pennsylvania
law," David A. Cohen, the Washington, D.C.-based attorney for
the plaintiffs, told the observer-reporter.

The Panhandle Trail represents 29 miles of former rail right-of-
way, most recently owned by Conrail, now being developed for
recreational purposes.  The trail corridor extends from Weirton,
WV, to Collier Township, Allegheny County, and includes 17.3
miles in northwestern Washington County.

"What makes this case interesting is that the railroad acquired
its rights in the 19th century through a variety of ways," Mr.
Cohen said.  "Depending on the method the railroad used in a
particular location, that is going to determine today how people
get compensation."

Owners of property conveyed as an easement for the railroad,
originally the Pittsburgh & Steubenville, would be eligible to
share in about $47,000 available for compensation.  On top of
that amount is interest that has accrued since July 2001, when
Conrail transferred ownership of the right of way to Washington
and Allegheny counties.  Roughly 350 properties could be
affected, Mr. Cohen said.

To receive compensation, property owners have until January 20
to submit a proof of claim.  Notices have been sent to owners,
but those seeking more information can call Cohen at 202-944-
8600 or send e-mail to dac@cullenlaw.com.  The settlement also
looks to address situations in which owners have been cut off
from portions of their property by the trail's presence.

"The government has expressed an interest in trying to resolve
that as part of this case," said Mr. Cohen.  "The landowners
shouldn't have to file another lawsuit."

Collier property owner Saundra Arrigo faced an access problem
when a township commissioner told her about the class action
suit, which was filed in 2001.  "The reason I joined it is when
they put the trail through, I no longer had access to the rear
of my property," she said.  "I pay all these taxes on this
property, and I have no use of it."

She is hopeful the settlement will allow her to properly
maintain the six acres in question once more.  "I have nothing
against the trails," she said. "I go on them myself."

Mr. Cohen said the settlement represents a milestone of sorts in
the development of recreational trails.  "It's certainly one of
the cutting-edge cases.  I believe it's the first settlement of
this type of class action east of the Mississippi," he said. "I
think there's a real program that needs to be addressed, perhaps
by Congress, to give owners of property next to trails the same
type of protection as those who live next to highways."


POLAND SPRINGS: Kane County Sheriff's $1.4M Settlement Opposed
--------------------------------------------------------------
An appeal to block Kane County Sheriff Ken Ramsey's more than
$1.4 million agreement with Poland Spring Water Co. was filed
Monday with the Illinois 2nd District Appellate Court in Elgin,
Kane County Chronicle reports.

On Friday's deadline to appeal, other lawyers indicated that
they also might make an 11th-hour attempt to fight the
settlement, which gives the sheriff $12,000 and his attorneys
about $1.39 million in fees and expenses.  "We're still
determining our course of action," Lance Harke, a lawyer in
Miami, Florida, told the Chronicle.  "We're taking a hard look
at it, that's for sure."

Several lawyers are trying to pursue their own lawsuits against
Poland Spring.  More than 24 lawyers fiercely opposed the
settlement during two days of hearings in late October.

Mr. Ramsey sued Nestle Waters North America Inc., which owns the
Maine-based Poland Spring, on July 29, claiming that he and
others were victims of business fraud and deceit because the
water was inappropriately labeled "spring water" to ratchet up
the price.  Twenty-two days later, even though Mr. Ramsey and
his attorneys acknowledged that their own investigation
undermined their lawsuit, Nestle offered to settle the case.

Attorneys from Massachusetts, New Jersey, Florida, Kentucky,
Missouri and California argued that a deal was quickly made to
shield Nestle and Poland Spring from big-money payouts.  Nestle
maintains there was no wrongdoing but settled with Mr. Ramsey to
end a 10-year legal debate over the definition of "spring water"
that has made the company the target of legal action.

On November 5, Kane County Judge Michael J. Colwell approved the
settlement, which also requires Nestle over five years to pay
about $10.8 million in discounts and donations to charities.
Objecting attorneys had 30 days to file with the Kane County
Circuit Clerk, whose office has seven days to forward the
documents to the appellate court.

Mr. Ramsey, who has declined to comment until the appeals run
their course, has stated that he would donate part of his share
to charity if he prevails.

The sheriff's attorneys, Robert Foote and Kathleen Chavez, both
of Geneva, anticipated that other lawyers would protest the
settlement.  "I would have thought there'd be more appeals
already, but some attorneys like to file at the last minute,"
Ms. Chavez told The Chronicle.


ROCHE DIAGNOSTICS: Recalls PT Test Strips For Packaging Defect
--------------------------------------------------------------
Roche Diagnostics, in cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA), has issued a recall of CoaguChek PT test
strips.  The problem is a packaging defect that could cause
false readings.  A small percentage of the foil pouches that
hold the strips were not cut properly.  

When this happens, the "easy open" notch on the side of the
pouch cuts through the seal of the pouch, exposing the strips to
moisture and air.  When that exposure occurs, even for just a
few minutes, falsely high or low readings can occur.  These
strips are used in clinical settings and by patients at home to
monitor anticoagulation therapy.

Roche Diagnostics says that all lots of both professional use
and patient self-testing strips that have a lot number lower
than 669 may have this problem.

However, the company says that test strips in these lots can
still be used.  First, each foil pouch can be inspected to make
sure the "easy open" notch is in the correct position and the
pouch is sealed properly.  If the notch cuts into the part of
the pouch with the test strip in it, then the test strips from
that box should not be used.  

Second, even if the pouch looks like it's sealed properly, the
company says you should run two tests and compare results, in
case there's a defect that couldn't be seen.

For more information, call Roche Diagnostics at 1-800-428-4674
or go to our web site.


SPRINT CORPORATION: Motion To Remand Denied In Consumer Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division has
denied Plaintiff's motion to remand to state court a lawsuit
filed against Sprint Corporation et al., by Cook County,
Illinois resident Steve Alport et al.

According to the lawsuit, Alport and Sprint entered into an
agreement whereby Sprint promised to provide wireless phone
services for the rate of $39.99 per month plus "any legitimate,
government-mandated taxes, fees, and surcharges."

Sometime around March 2003, Sprint began including on Mr.
Alport's bill, underneath the heading "Surcharges and Fees," a
line-item titled "Federal E911" Mr. Alport's Federal E911
surcharge fee for March 2003 was $0.40.  He claims that other
Sprint customers' Federal E911 surcharges have ranged from that
amount to at least $1.60 per month.  He also asserts that other
Sprint customers' Federal E911 surcharges have been included in
the "Taxes" portion of their monthly bills.

On August 5, 2003, Mr. Alport filed a four-count complaint in
the Circuit Court of Cook County, Chancery Division, on behalf
of himself and similarly situated individuals.  The four counts
of Alport's complaint all stem from his claim that the Federal
E911 surcharge is "a hidden price increase in violation of the
service plans between Sprint and (it's customers) that Sprint
improperly characterized as a federally-mandated tax and
intentionally buried among a list of government-mandated taxes
on consumers' bills."

None of the counts assert a federal cause of action: Count I
alleges violations and seeks recovery under the Illinois
Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, Counts II
and III respectively allege Illinois common law claims of breach
of contract and unjust enrichment.  Count IV seeks an accounting
of revenue from the Federal E911 surcharge, also under Illinois
common law.
      
On September 5, 2003, Sprint filed a notice of removal, removing
the case to present court.  Countering the removal, Alport moved
to remand the case to state court.
                                                 

TENNESSEE: New Bidders Sought For Knoxville Wrecker Contracts
-------------------------------------------------------------
Knoxville city officials have requested bids for new wrecker
service contracts, but said that it will be five years before
four companies accused of overcharging customers will be
eligible to compete, Knight-Ridder / Tribune Business News
reports.

The request for bids went out late Wednesday, just before the
holiday weekend.  The contracts will give winning bidders
exclusive rights in various areas of the city to tow city
vehicles and private vehicles when requested by police.  
Potential bidders for the three-year contracts aren't limited to
Knoxville companies, and all bids must be returned by 11 a.m.
Wednesday, December 10.  Cedar Bluff 24-Hour Towing, Sutherland
Avenue Wrecker Service, Fountain City Wrecker Service and
Chestnut Street Garage won't be among the respondents.

"These firms have knowingly and willfully violated the city
contracts. They have earned this penalty," Mayor Victor Ashe
told the Tribune Business News.

The Knoxville Law Department sent letters to the companies on
Monday telling them they're not eligible to compete for the
contracts, which are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in
business annually.

Citing provisions of the existing contracts, Alyson Eberting of
the Knoxville Law Department wrote to the companies that, "you
will not be eligible to participate in subsequent City towing
and wrecker service contracts for the next five (5) years."

A city officials' review of records showed the companies
overcharged customers by as much as three times for initial
towing jobs.  The records also show they overcharged on storage
fees.  Cedar Bluff 24-Hour Towing, Sutherland Avenue Wrecker
Service and Fountain City Wrecker Service submitted false or
altered documents to the city, officials say, while Fountain
City Wrecker Service didn't turn in documents at all.

The companies have denied wrongdoing.  Their lawyer, Michael
McGovern, couldn't be reached for comment late Monday, the
Tribune Business News reports.

Mr. McGovern has said many of the incidents cited by the city
actually fell outside the scope of the contracts, allowing the
companies to charge the market rate.  He also said rising fuel
and insurance costs make the work unprofitable for the firms.  
The companies gave up their contracts in October, after the
Knoxville Wrecker Commission scheduled public hearings into the
matter.  They will stay on the job until the new contractors
take over on December 29.

The city is divided into eight geographic areas for the purposes
of the contracts.  Contracts for seven of the areas will be up
for bids.  Only the contract for South Knoxville won't be up for
grabs.  The contractor for South Knoxville, Floyd's Wrecker
Service, hasn't overcharged customers, according to the city's
review.

City officials will hold a pre-bid conference for interested
companies on Wednesday.  Mr. Ashe, who leaves office in three
weeks, said he would call a special session of City Council to
consider the new contracts before his successor, Bill Haslam, is
inaugurated on December 20.  "The easiest thing for me to do is
nothing," he said.  "If the mayor's not willing to step forward
and take the lead role, then who is?"

Mr. Ashe said the Law Department is reviewing whether the
companies violated the Tennessee False Claims Act by submitting
false documents.  Officials are also looking for ways to help
citizens and insurance companies file a class action alleging
violations of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act.


U.S. ARMY: Couple Alleges Observance Spurred Discharge From Army
----------------------------------------------------------------
Refael and Margaret Chaiken were supposed to be seven months
into a five-year Army commitment by now, studying to be much-
needed interrogators in the war on terrorism. Instead they are
civilians looking for jobs, AP news reports.  The two were
discharged after disobeying orders by skipping class so they
could attend services for Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the
Jewish year.

"Our religion itself says if you are saving somebody's life, you
have to (cease the observance)," Refael Chaiken told AP.  "No
one can convince us not going to class, when you can make it up,
falls under that category."

The Army calls the Nov. 14 discharges a simple matter.  "They
didn't meet the requirements of the course," Tanja Linton, a
spokeswoman at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, where the Chaikens were
training, told AP.  "You have to meet the requirements of the
course.  We really just don't see the story here."

She said the Army acted within its regulation on religious
practices, which says it will accommodate religious practices
"unless accommodation will have an adverse impact on unit
readiness, individual readiness, unit cohesion, morale,
discipline, safety, and/or health."

The Chaikens said their problems began on October 4, two days
before the holiday, when Battalion Commander Dennis Perkins told
them not to attend all-day services.  They said they were told
to go to class as scheduled, but could go to services after
class.  That meant nothing, Refael Chaiken said, because classes
lasted so long.  So the couple skipped class and attended a
service at the fort's chapel.

Refael Chaiken, 27, knew there would be consequences when they
returned.  "They gave us a counseling statement and read us our
rights, accused us of being AWOL and willful disobedience of a
lawful order," Mr. Chaiken, a veteran of the Israeli army who
holds dual citizenship, told AP.

The couple said they were essentially put under house arrest and
were threatened with military charges and punishment.  "We
couldn't go to the store, we couldn't do anything," Margaret
Chaiken, 26, who holds a master's degree from the Sorbonne and
speaks fluent French and Hebrew, told AP.

The legal problems disappeared when they filed a complaint with
the Army's Equal Opportunity Department, the couple said.  They
were simply given a general discharge that mentions "misconduct"
as a reason behind their return to civilian life.  The couple,
who married in August after enlisting together, are staying with
a relative in Houston and planned to seek work in the New York
area.

Refael Chaiken still wants to employ his Arabic and Hebrew
language skills - honed while living in Hebron since 1984 - but
believes he'll need an honorable discharge to have a chance at
U.S. government work.  "With a discharge like this it's going to
be very hard to get a job with a three-letter agency like the
CIA or FBI," he said.


VOLUME SERVICES: Ex-Employee Launches Overtime Wage Suit in CA
--------------------------------------------------------------
Volume Services America faces a class action styled "Holden v.
Volume Services America, et al." filed initially in the Superior
Court of California for the County of Orange, but now removed to
the United States District Court for the Central District of
California.

A former employee at one of the California stadiums the Company
serves filed the suit alleging violations of local overtime
wage, rest and meal period and related laws with respect to this
employee and others purportedly similarly situated at any and
all of the facilities the Company serves in California.

The purported class action seeks compensatory, special and
punitive damages in unspecified amounts, penalties under the
applicable local laws and injunctions against the alleged
illegal acts.  

The Company is in the process of evaluating this case and, while
the review is preliminary, management believes that the
Company's business practices are, and were during the period
alleged, in compliance with the law.


WACHOVIA CORPORATION: Motion For Reconsideration Denied In Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Court of Common Pleas of Pennsylvania, County denied
Plaintiffs Motion for Reconsideration in a class action lawsuit
filed by Danielle Weiss and Marcia Woolam Goldsmith, Custodian
for Danielle Weiss under the Pennsylvania Uniform Gifts To
Minors Act, against Wachovia Corporation, Wachovia Bank and
First Union National Bank.

The lawsuit stems from allegations made by plaintiff that she
was not notified of fees assessed her passbook savings account
at or around the time First Union Bank became Wachovia Bank.  In
the order dated September 26, 2003, the plaintiffs
question agreed with the defendants, that the Complaint was not
pleaded with specificity, and, there could not be any damages
since the plaintiffs themselves attached an exhibit to their
complaint the content of which utterly refutes the basis of
their claim.

Therefore, the Court sustained the defendants' preliminary
objections and dismissed the plaintiffs' complaint. Plaintiffs
then argue that said Court committed a "manifest error of law"
in dismissing the complaint.  The plaintiffs point out that an
affidavit the defendants submit states that the plaintiff
received an "introductory package" setting forth her fees when
she received a monthly statement.

The plaintiffs allege forthrightly that as a passbook holder the
plaintiff did not receive a monthly statement.  Nonetheless, the
plaintiffs show by means of a letter the lead plaintiff received
that the bank flagged the oversight and offered to remit any
fees of which the plaintiff did not receive notice.
      
According to the Court ruling, the suit was dismissed because it
was plainly vague. Allegations of fraud were not specifically
pleaded, and the Court could not determine from the complaint
who the plaintiffs might be. Also, no copy of the alleged
contract providing the alleged basis for the plaintiff's
allegations is attached to the Complaint.

The plaintiffs say they were never provided with the contract
"pursuant to a writ of summons."  Perhaps the plaintiff or her
guardians by other means--say, by U.S. Mail delivery in the
course of holding her passbook savings account--or just by
simple inquiry (e.g., walking into the bank and getting a copy)
might have secured a copy of said contract. Without a document
attached to the complaint the Court can only guess what this
civil action may be all about. The Court finds no basis to
reconsider its earlier ruling.


WESTERBEKE CORPORATION: Reaches Settlement in Suit Over Merger
--------------------------------------------------------------
Westerbeke Corporation reached a settlement for the class action
filed in Delaware Court against it, following settlement
discussions between counsel for the defendants and counsel for
the plaintiffs in the suit.

The suit was filed against the Company and its directors with
respect to the proposed merger of the Company with Westerbeke
Acquisition Corporation, such counsel have entered into a
memorandum of understanding with respect to a proposed
settlement of the litigation.

As part of the proposed settlement, the cash merger
consideration to be paid in connection with the merger would be
increased from $3.00 to $3.26 per share.  The parties also
agreed, subject to various conditions, to enter into a
settlement agreement and to use best efforts to gain approval of
the settlement by the Delaware courts.

Without any admission of fault by the defendants, the memorandum
of understanding contemplates a dismissal of all claims with
prejudice and a release in favor of all defendants of any and
all claims related to the proposed merger that have been or
could have been asserted by the plaintiffs or any members of the
purported class.

The settlement is subject to numerous conditions, including the
completion of confirmatory discovery, the execution of a
settlement agreement, final approval of the settlement by the
Delaware courts, and completion of the merger.  The proposed
settlement is subject to execution of a settlement agreement,
completion of the merger and the other conditions.


                   New Securities Fraud Cases


AEROSONIC CORPORATION: Charles Piven Files Securities Suit in FL
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, P.A. initiated a securities
class action in the United States District Court for the Middle
District of Florida against Aerosonic Corporation and certain of
its officers and/or directors, on behalf of shareholders who
purchased, converted, exchanged or otherwise acquired the common
stock of the Company between May 3, 1999 and March 17, 2003,
inclusive.

The action charges that defendants violated federal securities
laws by issuing a series of materially false and misleading
statements to the market throughout the Class Period which
statements had the effect of artificially inflating the market
price of the Company's securities.

For more information, contact Charles J. Piven, by Mail: The
World Trade Center-Baltimore, 401 East Pratt Street, Suite 2525,
Baltimore, Maryland 21202, by Phone: 410/986-0036, or by E-mail:
hoffman@pivenlaw.com.


AEROSONIC CORPORATION: Lasky Rifkind Files Securities Suit in FL
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Lasky & Rifkind, Ltd., initiated a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Middle
District of Florida against Aerosonic and certain officers and
directors, on behalf of persons who purchased or otherwise
acquired publicly traded securities of Aerosonic Corporation
between November 13, 1998 to March 17, 2003, inclusive.

The complaint alleges that Defendants artificially inflated the
price of Aerosonic shares during the Class Period.  
Specifically, on March 17, 2003 Defendants revealed that what
appeared to be certain discrepancies in previously reported
financial information concerning inventory accounting and
revenue recognition.  The market reacted negatively to this
news, sending the share price of Aerosonic 24% lower to $3.32
per share.

For more information, call: (800) 495-1868 to speak with an
advisor.



FRED ALGER: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Securities Suit in NY
------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP initiated a class
action in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York on behalf of all purchasers, redeemers and
holders of shares of Alger Capital Appreciation Institutional
Fund (NASDAQ: ALARX) (NASDAQ: ACARX), Alger Balanced
Institutional Fund (NASDAQ: ABLRX) (NASDAQ: ABIRX), Alger
Socially Responsible Growth Institutional Fund (NASDAQ: ASRGX)
(NASDAQ: ASRRX), Spectra Fund (NASDAQ: SPEAX) (NASDAQ: SPECX),
and other Fred Alger Mutual Funds from November 1, 1998 through
September 3, 2003, inclusive.

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

     (1) Alger SmallCap Portfolio (NASDAQ: ALSAX) (NASDAQ:
         ALSCX) (NASDAQ: AGSCX)

     (2) Alger SmallCap and MidCap Portfolio (NASDAQ: ALMAX)
         (NASDAQ: ALMBX) (NASDAQ: ALMCX)

     (3) Alger MidCap Growth Portfolio (NASDAQ: AMGAX) (NASDAQ:
         AMCGX) (NASDAQ: AMGCX)

     (4) Alger LargeCap Growth Portfolio (NASDAQ: ALGAX)
         (NASDAQ: AFGPX) (NASDAQ: ALGCX)

     (5) Alger Capital Appreciation Portfolio (NASDAQ: ACAAX)
         (NASDAQ: ACAPX)(NASDAQ: ALCCX)

     (6) Alger Health Sciences Portfolio (NASDAQ: AHSAX)
         (NASDAQ: AHSBX) (NASDAQ: AHSCX)

     (7) Alger Balanced Portfolio (NASDAQ: ALBAX) (NASDAQ:
         ALGBX)(NASDAQ:ALBCX)

     (8) Alger Small Cap Institutional Fund (NASDAQ: ALSRX)
         (NASDAQ: ASIRX)

     (9) Alger MidCap Institutional Fund (NASDAQ: ALMRX)
         (NASDAQ: AGIRX)

    (10) Alger LargeCap Growth Institutional Fund (NASDAQ:
         ALGRX)(NASDAQ:ALGIX)

    (11) Alger Capital Appreciation Institutional Fund (NASDAQ:
         ALARX) (NASDAQ: ACARX)

    (12) Alger Balanced Institutional Fund (NASDAQ: ABLRX)
         (NASDAQ: ABIRX)

    (13) Alger Socially Responsible Growth Institutional Fund
         (NASDAQ: ASRGX)(NASDAQ: ASRRX)

    (14) Spectra Fund (NASDAQ: SPEAX) (NASDAQ: SPECX)

The complaint charges Fred Alger Management Inc., the Alger
Fund, James Patrick Connelly Jr., the Fred Alger Funds, Veras
Investment Partners, LLP, and Doe Defendants with violations of
the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934,
the Investment Company Act of 1940, and for common law breach of
fiduciary duties.

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

According to the Complaint, the Defendants surreptitiously
permitted certain favored investors to illegally engage in
"timing" of the Fred Alger Funds whereby these favored investors
were permitted to conduct short-term, "in and out" trading of
mutual fund shares, despite explicit restrictions on such
activity in the Fred Alger Funds' prospectuses.

For more information, contact Marc A. Topaz, or Stuart L.
Berman, by Phone: toll free at 1-888-299-7706 or 1-610-667-7706,
or by E-mail at info@sbclasslaw.com.


AMERICAN PHARMACEUTICALS: Charles Piven Files Stock Suit in IL
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, initiated a securities
class action in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Illinois, on behalf of shareholders who
purchased, converted, exchanged or otherwise acquired the common
stock of American Pharmaceutical Partners, Inc. between February
19, 2002 and September 24, 2003, inclusive.

The action charges that defendants violated federal securities
laws by issuing a series of materially false and misleading
statements to the market throughout the Class Period which
statements had the effect of artificially inflating the market
price of the Company's securities.

For more information, contact Charles J. Piven, by Mail:  The
World Trade Center-Baltimore, 401 East Pratt Street, Suite 2525,
Baltimore, Maryland 21202, by Phone: 410/986-0036, or by E-mail:
hoffman@pivenlaw.com.


BEST BUY: Charles Piven Commences Securities Fraud Lawsuit in MN
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, P.A. initiated a securities
class action in the United States District Court for the
District of Minnesota against Best Buy Co., Inc. and certain of
its officers and directors, on behalf of shareholders who
purchased, converted, exchanged or otherwise acquired the common
stock of the Company's between January 9, 2002 and August 7,
2002, inclusive.

The action charges that defendants violated federal securities
laws by issuing a series of materially false and misleading
statements to the market throughout the Class Period which
statements had the effect of artificially inflating the market
price of the Company's securities.

For more information, contact Charles J. Piven, P.A., by Mail:  
The World Trade Center-Baltimore, 401 East Pratt Street, Suite
2525, Baltimore, Maryland 21202, by Phone: 410/986-0036, or by
E-mail: hoffman@pivenlaw.com.


BOSTON COMMUNICATIONS: Charles Piven Files Securities Suit in MA
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The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, initiated a securities
class action in the United States District Court for the
District of Massachusetts The case is pending against defendant
Boston Communications and certain of its officers, on behalf of
shareholders who purchased, converted, exchanged or otherwise
acquired the common stock of Boston Communications Group, Inc.
between June 12, 2003 and July 16, 2003, inclusive.

The action charges that defendants violated federal securities
laws by issuing a series of materially false and misleading
statements to the market throughout the Class Period which
statements had the effect of artificially inflating the market
price of the Company's securities.

For more information, contact Charles J. Piven, by Mail: The
World Trade Center-Baltimore, 401 East Pratt Street, Suite 2525,
Baltimore, Maryland 21202, by Phone: 410/986-0036, or by E-mail:
hoffman@pivenlaw.com.


CHARLES SCHWAB: Goodkind Labaton Commences Securities Suit in NY
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Goodkind Labaton Rudoff & Sucharow LLP initiated a securities
class action in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York, on behalf of persons who
purchased or otherwise acquired publicly traded securities of
The Charles Schwab Corporation, U.S. Trust Corporation, N.A. and
its Excelsior Family of Mutual Funds between November 23, 1998
and November 14, 2003, inclusive.

The complaint alleges that the Excelsior Funds, run by U.S.
Trust Corporation N.A., engaged in fraudulent and illegal
schemes that enabled certain favored investors to reap millions
of dollars in profits at the expense of Excelsior fund investors
through secret and after hours trading and timed trading. In
exchange for allowing and facilitating this improper conduct,
the defendants received substantial fees and other renumeration
to the detriment of the plaintiff.

For more information, contact Christopher Keller, by Phone:
800-321-0476, or by E-mail: investorrelations@glrslaw.com.


CLEAN HARBORS: Charles Piven Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in MA
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, initiated a securities
class action in the United States District Court for the
District of Massachusetts against Clean Harbors, Inc. and
certain of its officers and directors, on behalf of shareholders
who purchased, converted, exchanged or otherwise acquired the
common stock of the Company between November 19, 2002 and August
14, 2003, inclusive.

The action charges that defendants violated federal securities
laws by issuing a series of materially false and misleading
statements to the market throughout the Class Period which
statements had the effect of artificially inflating the market
price of the Company's securities.

For more information, contact Charles J. Piven, by Mail: The
World Trade Center-Baltimore, 401 East Pratt Street, Suite 2525,
Baltimore, Maryland 21202, by Phone: 410/986-0036, or by E-mail:
hoffman@pivenlaw.com.


MARSH & MCLENNAN: Milberg Weiss Files Securities Suit in S.D. NY
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The law firm of Milberg Weiss initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York on behalf of purchasers of Marsh & McLennan
Companies, Inc.  common stock during the period between February
2, 2000 and October 30, 2003.

The complaint charges MMC and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934. MMC is a global professional services firm. MMC is the
parent company of various subsidiaries and affiliates that
provide clients with analysis, advice and transactional
capabilities in the fields of risk and insurance services,
investment management and consulting. MMC's investment
management and related services are provided by Putnam
Investments Trust and its subsidiaries. Putnam provides
individual and institutional investors with a broad range of
both equity and fixed income investment products and services,
invested domestically and globally.

The complaint alleges that MMC represented that Putman's mutual
funds were designed to be long-term investments for "buy and
hold" investors and are therefore favored investment vehicles
for Americans' retirement plans. Certain investors, however,
have attempted to use mutual funds to generate quick profits by
rapidly trading in and out of certain mutual funds. Typically,
these so called "market timers" seek to capitalize on stale fund
prices, often focusing on price discrepancies involving
international funds.

MMC had a duty to treat all shareholders equitably. This
obligation would preclude granting one group of shareholders
(i.e., market timers) privileges and rights not granted to all
shareholders (i.e., long-term investors). In addition, when a
fund's prospectus disclosure indicates that the fund management
will act to limit market timing, it cannot knowingly permit such
activities. Nevertheless, MMC knowingly permitted this behavior.

As a result of the defendants' false statements and/or failure
to disclose adverse facts regarding MMC's Putnam subsidiary,
MMC's stock price traded at inflated levels during the Class
Period, increasing to as high as $67.43 on October 5, 2000,
whereby the Company's top officers and directors sold more than
$31 million worth of their own shares.

For more information, contact William Lerach or Darren Robbins,
by Phone: 800/449-4900, or by E-mail: wsl@milberg.com.


PILGRIM BAXTER: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges PA Securities Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP initiated a class
action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania on behalf of all purchasers,
redeemers and holders of shares of PBHG Growth Fund
(Nasdaq:PBHGX), PBHG Emerging Growth Fund (Nasdaq:PBEGX), PBHG
Large Cap Growth Fund (Nasdaq:PBHLX), PBHG Select Growth Fund
(Nasdaq:PBHEX)(formally known as PBHG Select Equity Fund
(Nasdaq: PBHEX), and other PBHG Mutual Funds, which are managed
by Pilgrim Baxter & Associates, Ltd. from November 13, 1998
through November 13, 2003, inclusive.

Since the filing of this class action lawsuit, defendants Gary
Pilgrim and Harold Baxter have subsequently been charged by
state and federal regulators with allowing illegal short-term
trading of Pilgrim Baxter's mutual funds.  More specifically, on
November 20, 2003, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer
announced civil charges against defendants Gary Pilgrim and
Harold Baxter, alleging that the pair facilitated illegal
trading of their funds to benefit favored investors at the
expense of typical shareholders.

Additionally, on November 20, 2003, the United States Securities
and Exchange Commission announced the filing of a civil
injunctive action against defendants Gary L. Pilgrim, Harold J.
Baxter, and Pilgrim Baxter wherein the SEC charged them with
fraud and breach of fiduciary duty in connection with market
timing of the PBHG Funds.

The following PBHG Mutual Funds are subject to this class
action:

     (1) PBHG Strategic Small Company Fund (NASDAQ: PSSCX)

     (2) PBHG Disciplined Equity Fund (NASDAQ: PBDEX)

     (3) PBHG Mid-Cap Fund (formally known as PBHG Mid-Cap Value
         Fund) (NASDAQ:PBMCX)

     (4) PBHG Small Cap Fund (formally known as PBHG Small Cap
         Value Fund) (NASDAQ: PBSVX)

     (5) PBHG Clipper Focus Fund (NASDAQ: PBFOX)

     (6) PBHG Small Cap Value Fund (formally known as TS&W Small  
         Cap Value Fund, LLC) (NASDAQ: PSMVX)

     (7) PBHG REIT Fund (NASDAQ: PBRTX)

     (8) PBHG Technology & Communications Fund (NASDAQ: PBTCX)

     (9) PBHG IRA Capital Preservation Fund (NASDAQ: PBCPX)

    (10) PBHG Intermediate Fixed Income Fund (NASDAQ: PBFIX)

    (11) PBHG Cash Reserve Fund (NASDAQ: PBCXX)

The complaint charges Pilgrim Baxter & Associates, Ltd, Harold
J. Baxter, Gary L. Pilgrim, PBGH Funds, PBHG Fund Distributors,
PBHG Mutual Funds, and Doe Defendants with violations of the
Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the
Investment Company Act of 1940, and for common law breach of
fiduciary duties. The Complaint alleges that during the Class
Period the PBHG Mutual Funds and the other defendants engaged in
illegal and improper trading practices, in concert with certain
institutional traders, which caused financial injury to the
shareholders of the PBHG Mutual Funds.

According to the Complaint, the Defendants surreptitiously
permitted certain favored investors, including defendant
Pilgrim's private investment limited partnership, to illegally
engage in "timing" of the PBHG Mutual Funds whereby these
favored investors were permitted to conduct short-term, "in and
out" trading of mutual fund shares, despite explicit
restrictions on such activity in the PBHG Mutual Funds'
prospectuses.

For more information, contact Marc A. Topaz, or Stuart L.
Berman, by Mail: Three Bala Plaza East, Suite 400, Bala Cynwyd,
PA  19004, by Phone: toll free at 1-888-299-7706 or
1-610-667-7706, or by e-mail: info@sbclasslaw.com.


PILGRIM BAXTER: Stull Stull Launches Securities Suit in S.D. NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
Stull, Stull & Brody initiated a class action lawsuit in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York against Pilgrim Baxter & Associates, on behalf of all
purchasers, redeemers and holders of shares of PBHG Growth Fund
(Nasdaq: PBHGX), PBHG Emerging Growth Fund (Nasdaq: PBEGX), PBHG
Large Cap Growth Fund (Nasdaq: PBHLX), PBHG Select Growth Fund
(formally known as PBHG Select Equity Fund) (Nasdaq: PBHEX),
PBHG Focused Fund (formally known as PBHG Focused Value Fund
(Nasdaq: PBFVX), PBHG Large Cap Fund (formally known as PBHG
Large Cap Value Fund) (Nasdaq: PLCVX), PBHG Large Cap 20 Fund
(Nasdaq: PLCPX), and others in the PBHG Mutual Funds, which are
managed by Pilgrim Baxter between November 13, 1998 and November
13, 2003, inclusive.

The following PBHG Mutual Funds are subject to this class
action:



     (1) PBHG Strategic Small Company Fund (NASDAQ: PSSCX)

     (2) PBHG Disciplined Equity Fund (NASDAQ: PBDEX)

     (3) PBHG Mid-Cap Fund (formally known as PBHG Mid-Cap Value
         Fund) (NASDAQ:PBMCX)

     (4) PBHG Small Cap Fund (formally known as PBHG Small Cap
         Value Fund) (NASDAQ: PBSVX)

     (5) PBHG Clipper Focus Fund (NASDAQ: PBFOX)

     (6) PBHG Small Cap Value Fund (formally known as TS&W Small  
         Cap Value Fund, LLC) (NASDAQ: PSMVX)

     (7) PBHG REIT Fund (NASDAQ: PBRTX)

     (8) PBHG Technology & Communications Fund (NASDAQ: PBTCX)

     (9) PBHG IRA Capital Preservation Fund (NASDAQ: PBCPX)

    (10) PBHG Intermediate Fixed Income Fund (NASDAQ: PBFIX)

    (11) PBHG Cash Reserve Fund (NASDAQ: PBCXX)

The complaint alleges that defendants violated the Securities
Act of 1933; the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and the
Investment Company Act of 1940.  The Complaint charges that,
throughout the Class Period, defendants issued false and
misleading statements in Pilgrim Baxter's registration
statements and prospectuses and, as a result, plaintiffs and the
Class were damaged.

For more information, contact Tzivia Brody, by Mail: Stull,
Stull & Brody, 6 East 45th Street, New York, NY 10017, by Phone:
toll-free 1-800-337-4983, or by E-mail: SSBNY@aol.com.


PRICESMART INC.: Charles Piven Lodges Securities Suit in S.D. CA
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The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, P.A. initiated a securities
class action in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of California, on behalf of shareholders who
purchased, converted, exchanged or otherwise acquired the common
stock of PriceSmart, Inc. between December 20, 2001 and November
7, 2003, inclusive.

The action charges that defendants violated federal securities
laws by issuing a series of materially false and misleading
statements to the market throughout the Class Period which
statements had the effect of artificially inflating the market
price of the Company's securities.

For more information, contact Charles J. Piven, by Mail: The
World Trade Center-Baltimore, 401 East Pratt Street, Suite 2525,
Baltimore, Maryland 21202, by Phone: 410/986-0036, or by E-mail:
hoffman@pivenlaw.com.


WATSON PHARMACEUTICALS: Charles Piven Launches Stock Suit in CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, P.A. initiated a securities
class action in the United States District Court for the Central
District of California against defendants Watson and certain of
its officers and directors, on behalf of shareholders who
purchased, converted, exchanged or otherwise acquired the common
stock of Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. between November 2, 1999
and November 13, 2001, inclusive.

The action charges that defendants violated federal securities
laws by issuing a series of materially false and misleading
statements to the market throughout the Class Period which
statements had the effect of artificially inflating the market
price of the Company's securities.

For more information, contact Charles J. Piven, by Mail: The
World Trade Center-Baltimore, 401 East Pratt Street, Suite 2525,
Baltimore, Maryland 21202, by Phone: 410/986-0036, or by E-mail:
hoffman@pivenlaw.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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