CAR_Public/031211.mbx            C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

          Thursday, December 11, 2003, Vol. 5, No. 245

                        Headlines

ASIA PULP: NY Court Dismisses Consolidated Securities Fraud Suit
BCN TRADING: Recalls Dried Ginger Tubs For Undeclared Sulfites
BERRY PROCESSORS: Plaintiffs Asking For Freeze on $61M in Assets
BOEING: Faces Potential Lawsuit Over Former Chief's "Excesses"
BRIDGESTONE/FIRESTONE: Plaintiff's Attorneys Face Disbarment

CANADA: Montreal Health Official Takes Over St. Charles Hospital
CASH 4 TITLES: Court Dismisses Appeal on Attorneys' Fees in Suit
CHAPULINES: Lead-Containing Grasshoppers May Pose Health Hazard
COLDWATER CREEK: Recalls Candleholders For Fire/ Burn Hazard
DAIMLERCHRYSLER AG: Chairman Schremp Says Deal Was " A Merger"

GENERAL MOTORS: CA Court Orders Car Loan Refunds For Motorists
GSK: FDA Issues Alert to Recall of Asthma Meds Sold in Canada
GOLDEN CROWN: Recalls Meat Dumplings For Possible Glass Content
HEALTHSOUTH: Ex-Chief's Lawyers to Challenge Sarbanes-Oxley Act
HEALTHSOUTH: Document Details Former CEO's Use Of Fraud Money

HEPATITIS A: FDA Says Outbreak Linked to Mexican Green Onions
HOGLA-KIMBERLY LTD.: Consumers Lodge Fraud Lawsuit in Tel-Aviv
IDAHO: Commission To Join Suit Seeking More Property Tax Revenue
KIEN IMPORT: Recalls Evergreen Melon Candy For Sulfite Content
KOCH OIL: Appeals Court Revises Interlocutory Appeal in TX Suit

MAAX SPAS: Recalls Infinity, Lifestyle Spas Due To Fire Hazard
MAXIM PHARMACEUTICALS: CA Court Dismisses Securities Fraud Suit
MINA QUALITY FOODS: Recalls Dried Apricot Due To Sulfite Content
NORTH DAKOTA: Minot Derailment Report May Be Released In January
SEARS ROEBUCK: IL Court Refuses To Dismiss Securities Fraud Suit

WEIGHT-LOSS PRODUCTS: FTC Releases Guide To Spot Deceptive Ads

                  New Securities Fraud Cases

ALGER FUNDS: Spector Roseman Lodges Securities Suit in S.D. NY
ALKERMES INC: Bernstein Liebhard Launches Securities Suit in MA
BIOVAIL CORPORATION: Scott + Scott Files Stock Suit in S.D. NY
CAMBREX CORPORATION: Charles Piven Files Securities Suit in NJ
CERUS CORPORATION: Charles Piven Commences Securities Suit in CA

INVESCO FUNDS: Spector Roseman Launches Securities Suit in CO
LEAPFROG ENTERPRISES: Gold Bennett Files Securities Suit in CA
PRICESMART INC: Scott + Scott Lodges Securities Suit in S.D. CA
SONICWALL INC.: Milberg Weiss Lodges Securities Suit in N.D. CA
VERTEX PHARMACEUTICALS: Marc Henzel Lodges Securities Suit in MA

WATSON PHARMACEUTICALS: Marc Henzel Lodges Securities Suit in CA

                        *********

ASIA PULP: NY Court Dismisses Consolidated Securities Fraud Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
granted the defendants' motion to dismiss a Consolidated Amended
Class Action Complaint on behalf of shareholders who allege that
they were defrauded in the purchase of certain securities issued
by Asia Pulp & Paper Company, Ltd.

Plaintiffs, purchasers of APP American Depository Shares and
bonds, brought the instant action against APP and various other
individuals and institutions, including APP's officers and
directors; its investment banker, Merrill Lynch & Co.; its
independent auditor, Arthur Andersen Singapore; and AWSC,
alleging that they violated federal securities laws.

Plaintiffs' Amended Complaint contains allegations of primary
liability under Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, and Sections 11 and
12(a)(2) of the Securities Act of 1933.

Plaintiffs' claims under Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act are
based on allegedly false and misleading statements in various
registration statements, prospectuses, Form 20-F filings and
press releases issued by APP during the class period, August 28,
1998 to April 6, 2001.

These statements, plaintiffs maintain, were intended to and did
artificially inflate the price of APP's stock.  Plaintiffs'
claims under Sections 11 and 12 of the Securities Act relate to
allegedly false and misleading statements contained in the
registration statements issued in connection with certain public
offerings of securities - plaintiffs' Section 11 claim relates
to a 1998 debt offering on behalf of one of APP's related
entities and a 1999 secondary offering of ADSs by APP,
plaintiffs' Section 12(a), and, claim relates only to the 1999
ADS offering.

In addition to claims of primary liability, the Amended
Complaint contains allegations against AWSC and certain other
defendants based on "control person" liability under Section
20(a) of the Exchange Act and Section 15 of the Securities Act.
Plaintiffs' allegations of false and misleading statements are
based on APP's failure to disclose information with respect to
the following transactions:

     (1) two currency swaps which were required to be disclosed
         pursuant to a written policy;

     (2) certain receivables owed to APP on transactions between
         APP and several British Virgin Islands companies;

     (3) certain transactions with allegedly related parties;
         and

     (4) certain deposits APP made at private banks allegedly
         controlled by APP's majority shareholders.

Plaintiffs' Section 11 and Section 12(a)(2) claims also include
allegations that APP overvalued its property, plant and
equipment in its registration statements.  Plaintiffs'
allegations against AWSC stem from allegedly fraudulent audits
conducted by Andersen Singapore, which plaintiffs maintain were
integral to APP's fraudulent scheme and for which Andersen
Singapore is primarily liable.

More specifically, plaintiffs' Amended Complaint alleges, inter
alia, that Andersen Singapore audited and opined on the publicly
filed financial statements of APP that were included
and/or incorporated by reference in all Form 20-Fs, prospectuses
and registration statements filed by APP, falsely representing
that its examinations were made substantially in accordance with
U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and U.S. Generally
Accepted Auditing Standards.  Plaintiffs' Amended Complaint does
not contain any allegations that AWSC directly participated in
the above audits or that it made any material
misrepresentations.

As set forth in the Amended Complaint, AWSC is part of the
Andersen Worldwide Organization established by Arthur Andersen &
Co. in 1977 to increase its global presence.  AWSC is a Swiss
Societe Cooperative formed under the Swiss Federal Code of
Obligations and domiciled in Geneva, Switzerland.  It was
created as "an umbrella entity" for the Andersen Worldwide
Organization's member firms, such as Andersen Singapore.

Plaintiffs allege that this worldwide structure was designed to
"maintain [a] 'one firm' concept, and was ... intended to foster
the belief that Andersen operates as a single entity."
According to plaintiffs, AWSC achieves this goal primarily
through partner overlap, sharing of costs and profits, global
setting of professional standards and maintenance of a global
infrastructure and administration.  Plaintiffs also allege that
AWSC markets this "one-firm" concept in its news releases, web
site and recruiting brochures.

The first class action was filed by several members of
the Hertzberg family on August 8, 2001 before District Judge
Lewis A. Kaplan.  Subsequently, several other related complaints
were filed representing various groups of plaintiffs.  Judge
Kaplan ordered that the actions be consolidated and that
plaintiffs submit a consolidated complaint.

On May 20, 2002, after plaintiffs instead attempted to
proceed on two separate complaints, several defendants,
including AWSC, moved to dismiss the complaints.  Without
reaching the merits of defendants' claims, Judge Kaplan
dismissed the motions without prejudice in an Order dated May
29, 2002 and again directed plaintiffs to file a single,
consolidated complaint.

On June 5, 2002, plaintiffs filed the Amended Complaint.  On
July 8, 2002, AWSC, along with other defendants, filed a motion
to dismiss the Amended Complaint.  In October 2002, after AWSC
and other defendants had submitted papers in support of their
motions but prior to oral argument, the consolidated action was
transferred to present Court.  Oral argument was held on all
motions on May 5, 2003.  To date, defendant Andersen Singapore
has filed no appearance in this case.


BCN TRADING: Recalls Dried Ginger Tubs For Undeclared Sulfites
--------------------------------------------------------------
BCN Trading Inc. of South Plainfield, NJ, in cooperation with
the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is recalling 5.25
oz. package and 7 oz. plastic tubs of Asian Boy Brand Dried
Ginger because the product contains undeclared sulfites.  People
who have severe sensitivity to sulfites run the risk of serious
or life threatening allergic reactions if they consume this
product.

The Asian Boy Brand Dried Ginger, a product of Vietnam, was
distributed to retail stores in NJ, NY, FL, MD, VA, CT, MA, OH
and PA in an uncoded 5.25 oz. package and 7 oz. plastic tub.

The recall was initiated after it was discovered through routine
sampling by Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer
Services inspectors that the product containing sulfites was
distributed in packaging that did not declare the presence of
sulfites.  The consumption of 10 milligrams of sulfites per
serving has been reported to elicit severe reactions in some
asthmatics.  Anaphylactic shock could occur in certain sulfite
sensitive individuals upon ingesting 10 milligrams or more of
sulfites.  Analysis of the Asian Boy Brand Dried Ginger revealed
that it contained greater than 10 mg. of sulfites per serving.

Distribution of the product has been suspended until FDA and BCN
Trading Inc. are certain that the problem has been corrected.

Consumers who have purchased 5.25 oz. package or 7 oz. plastic
tubs of Asian Boy Brand Dried Ginger can return the product to
the place of purchase for a full refund.  Consumers with
questions may contact the company at 908-757-2500.


BERRY PROCESSORS: Plaintiffs Asking For Freeze on $61M in Assets
----------------------------------------------------------------
Attorneys for the plaintiffs in an antitrust class action
against three Maine blueberry processors want the companies'
accounts frozen to the amount of $61 million, which allegedly
represents the processors' real and personal properties, the
Bangor Daily News reports.

A few weeks ago, a Maine State Court jury found several wild
blueberry growers liable for participating in a four-year price-
fixing conspiracy to fix the base price which the defendants
paid to approximately 800 growers for wild blueberries.  The
suit, styled "Nate Pease, et al. v. Jasper Wyman & Son, Inc., et
al.," names as defendants:

     (1) Cherryfield Foods, Inc.,

     (2) Jasper Wyman & Son, Inc., and

     (3) Allen's Blueberry Freezer, Inc.

In addition to the price-fixing claim, the plaintiffs alleged
that the defendants agreed not to solicit each other's growers,
a type of market allocation claim that also is a per se
violation of the antitrust laws.

The jury ordered the three wild blueberry processing companies
to pay $18.68 million in damages, the amount which the growers
would have been paid absent the defendants' conspiracy.  After a
mandatory trebling of this damage figure under Maine antitrust
law, the total amount of the verdict for the plaintiffs is $56
million, an earlier Class Action Reporter story (November
20,2003) states.

William Robitzek, a lawyer for the plaintiffs in the suit filed
papers in the Knox County Superior Court on Monday.  The US$18.6
million award's interest alone has been calculated at more than
$5 million as of December 1, Mr. Robitzek said in the motion.
Interest for the award continues to accrue daily at a rate of
$11,392.24.  The motion also sought for the processors to cover
the cost of the growers' fees for attorneys and experts - a
total of $118,097.46.

If Justice Joseph Jabar, who heard the case this fall, grants
the request, any bank or other party holding the processors'
assets would have to freeze the companies' accounts, the Bangor
Daily News states.

Attachment is a legal process by which a court may take control
of a creditor's property, which can involve use of a trustee, or
third party, to manage the process.  The growers' attorney is
seeking a trustee, the Bangor Daily News states.

"I think the trustee process is surprising, because it is not
authorized under Maine law," Melissa Hewey, the Portland
attorney representing Cherryfield Foods Inc., told the Daily
News.  "It seems to me that this motion is really trying to
disrupt the businesses of these processors . I don't see that
that's in anybody's best interests.  It doesn't help the
growers, the processors or the state of Maine.  Why are they
doing this?"

Mr. Robitzek could not be reached for comment Monday, the Bangor
Daily News states.


BOEING: Faces Potential Lawsuit Over Former Chief's "Excesses"
--------------------------------------------------------------
Boeing, the world's biggest aircraft maker, already reeling from
a series of military contract scandals, is also heading for an
embarrassing and potentially costly sex discrimination class
action in America brought by 38 employees, who represent a
cross-section of its female staff, against former chairman Phil
Condit, who quit suddenly last week, Knight-Ridder / Tribune
Business News reports.

During his seven years as chief executive of the Seattle-based
company, Mr. Condit developed a reputation as a womanizer who
loved the high life, according to the respected BusinessWeek
magazine.  It claims that in a "hiatus" between one of his four
marriages, he took up residence at Seattle's Four Seasons
Olympic Hotel, where he had the suite remodeled at company
expense to add another bedroom.

While there was no doubt that Mr. Condit was a brilliant
engineer, his behavior toward female employees became an issue,
with top executives confronting him about his personal
relationships, BusinessWeek claims.

When Mr. Condit became chief executive, the company ran only
three small corporate jets.  Now, Boeing has a fleet of jets,
including a 737 fitted out for Mr. Condit in the style of an
English library.

A spokesman for Boeing said, "We will not comment on matters
concerning Phil Condit's personal life.  But as far as the class
action is concerned, there is no merit in their case and we
shall dispute the matter."

The lawsuit, filed in a federal court in Seattle, alleges that
top officials knowingly underpaid female staff and denied them
promotion to "enrich the corporation" at their expense.  The
company insists that there is no merit in the action but,
unusually, the court has sealed the case papers.

New Chief Executive Harry Stonecipher, who has come out of
retirement following Mr. Condit's sudden resignation, is ready
to fly to Britain this week in a desperate attempt to win a UK-
pound 13 billion order to supply RAF refueling aircraft.  Mr.
Stonecipher, 67, said, "I am prepared to come to London at any
time if it would help."

Though landing the order would boost Boeing after a bad year, a
European consortium led by EADS and Rolls-Royce is the favorite
to win.  A Cabinet decision is expected this month.


BRIDGESTONE/FIRESTONE: Plaintiff's Attorneys Face Disbarment
------------------------------------------------------------
Attorneys in the Firestone Steeltex Class Action Litigation
Group which is handling a national lawsuit against
Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc. filed a response to a complaint
filed against them with The State Bar of California seeking to
have them disbarred.

According to Attorney Joseph L. Lisoni, the group provided the
State Bar with documentation and a written response refuting
allegations by the manufacturer that they violated the Rules of
Professional Conduct and made false claims about its products.

Mr. Lisoni, a senior partner in the Pasadena, California, law
firm of Lisoni & Lisoni, was responding to a November 4, 2003,
letter from the State Bar detailing nearly two dozen instances
in which Bridgestone/Firestone alleged that he made false
statements or breached the legal rules of professional conduct.
Similar letters were sent to attorneys Gail M. Lisoni, his wife
and partner, and to Steven E. Weinberger.

The allegations made by Bridgestone/Firestone against the
consumer advocate attorneys relate to a national class action
lawsuit which his firm filed against the tire manufacturer on
August 12, 2002, seeking damages for alleged defects from its
Steeltex R4S, R4SII and A/T tires.  The lawsuit contended the
tires had caused multiple deaths and injuries nationwide.

Subsequently, on November 15, 2002, Mr. Lisoni filed a petition
with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
requesting it reopen its previous investigation of the Steeltex
tire series.

In filing the response to the State Bar, Mr. Lisoni stressed
that Bridgestone/Firestone's complaint was a "desperate,
dysfunctional act on its part to deflect public attention away
from the extremely serious defects in their Steeltex tires."  He
further noted it represented a "back door" approach to obtain
information from him in the wake of the court's ruling it
couldn't take his deposition.

Commenting on the tire manufacturer's effort to get him
disbarred, he remarked in a statement, "What we have here is a
classic `David v. Goliath' situation combined with another major
multi-national corporation `cover-up.'  We are a small firm
which Bridgestone/Firestone has not been able to shake in the 16
months since we filed the lawsuit.  If the company can't beat us
in court - which it can't - it wants to have us removed from
practicing law.  Even if it succeeds, another law firm would
continue the lawsuit.  It also seeks to deflect attention from
the faulty design and de-engineering of its Steeltex tire series
that continues to cause injuries and deaths."

Mr. Lisoni said the allegations brought by Bridgestone/Firestone
to the State Bar against him and his colleagues fall into three
categories: making false claims about the extent of the deaths
and injuries caused by alleged Steeltex tire defects; not
providing the amount of documentation he claimed to support
those charges; and that correspondence purportedly soliciting
business was not properly labeled "advertisement" or
"newsletter."

With the letter of response filed today, Mr. Lisoni produced the
alleged solicitation correspondence which he emphasized clearly
reveal that they were sent for informational purposes and not to
solicit business.  He also provided the State Bar with
appropriate documentation to verify that the claims he made
regarding alleged deaths and injuries were true as well as the
extent of the documents and claims that he purported to have on
file.

Mr. Lisoni also emphasized that all of the allegations made
against him and his firm by Bridgestone/Firestone were untrue
and that the corporation knew this before filing their
complaint.  "At this point in the litigation process for the
class action lawsuit, it is not going well for
Bridgestone/Firestone and they know it," he stressed.

For more information, contact Bob Fisher or Chris Foster of
Fisher & Associates, Inc. by Phone: 818-346-1750


CANADA: Montreal Health Official Takes Over St. Charles Hospital
----------------------------------------------------------------
Montreal's Health Minister Philippe Couillard is taking control
of a St. Charles Borromée hospital, after a report confirmed
systemic abuse of patients at the hospital, the Montreal Gazette
reports.

Lawyer Jean-Pierre Ménard welcomed the development, saying it
was "exactly what we asked for."  Mr. Ménard has launched a
class action against the hospital on behalf of about 325
patients.  "It's the basis of our claim, that management was not
able to protect patients," he said.

The minister's report recounts incidents such as orderlies
terrorizing a 51-year-old patient, taunting her, calling her a
pig and in one instance, telling her a man was lurking outside
her window masturbating.  Relatives of the woman surreptitiously
taped the event, which launched the probe.

"The report said this is not an isolated case.  We've said the
same thing," Mr. Ménard said.

Minister Couillard suspended the board of directors and
appointed an interim director.  Later, hospital director killed
himself after the report kicked off a media storm and Mr.
Couillard reprimanded him for seemingly trivializing the
incident.

Helene Rumak spokesperson for Disability, Life, Dignity, a
patient group at the hospital for 12 years, praised Couillard
for turning the hospital into " an example.  Everyone will be
watching what is happening there."  She praised Couillard for
getting rid of a board instrumental in the "cover up" of abuse.

"We're very happy about that," she told the Montreal Gazette.


CASH 4 TITLES: Court Dismisses Appeal on Attorneys' Fees in Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit dismissed an appeal
from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of
Florida, concerning the fairness of attorneys' fees the district
court awarded plaintiffs' attorneys in a class action, brought
under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO)
Act, by Robert S. Wolff et al., against Cash 4 Titles et al.,
for involvement in a Ponzi scheme.

The scheme involved the sale of securities of
corporations formed for the purpose of making high-interest
loans to members of the public, who would pledge their
automobile titles as collateral.  The named plaintiffs and the
members of their class are the purchasers of these securities;
the defendants are the issuer corporations and those entities
and individuals who devised or facilitated the scheme.

The plaintiffs' complaint alleged that the defendants
fraudulently misrepresented that the proceeds of the securities
the plaintiffs purchased would be used to fund the loans that
were to be collateralized with the automobile titles, because
the defendants' intent was, instead, to divert most of the
proceeds to their own uses.  Such fraud and the defendants'
misappropriation of investment proceeds, the plaintiffs alleged,
violated the federal mail fraud, wire fraud, and money
laundering statutes, constituted "racketeering activity" under
RICO, and rendered the defendants liable in treble damages.

During their investigation of the matter, the plaintiffs'
attorneys concluded that some of the funds obtained from the
plaintiffs had passed through various bank accounts in the
United States and the Bank of Bermuda (Cayman) Limited. Counsel
concluded that the Bank had aided and abetted the defendants in
their perpetration of the alleged fraudulent scheme and, thus,
was answerable with the defendants in RICO damages. Counsel
therefore amended the plaintiffs' complaint to add the Bank as a
party defendant.

Several months later, on June 16, 2001, plaintiffs' counsel and
the Bank arrived at a settlement and entered into an agreement
which called for the Bank to pay the members of the plaintiff
class $67.5 million in exchange for releases of liability and
the dismissal of the plaintiffs' claims.

Under the agreement, the Bank would deposit this amount with
Phillip S. Stenger, who, acting as the administrator of the
settlement, would pay the class plaintiffs' claims.  After the
parties submitted the Settlement Agreement to the district court
for approval, the court held a fairness hearing.  No one
objected to the settlement, and the court therefore approved it.
Four days later, on October 16, 2001, the court entered an order
dismissing the plaintiffs' claims against the Bank with
prejudice in a final judgment entered pursuant to Rule 54(b) of
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

The Settlement Agreement provided that the fees for the
plaintiffs' attorneys would be paid out of the $67.5 million
settlement fund.  The court entered the final
judgment (dismissing the claims against the Bank) without fixing
counsel's fees; apparently with the consent of the parties, the
court deferred ruling on counsel's fee application.  The court
ruled on counsel's fee application at the conclusion of a four-
day hearing in which it heard from the plaintiffs' attorneys;
members of the plaintiff class; counsel for the Securities and
Exchange Commission, which, as indicated below, was prosecuting
a suit against the defendants other than the Bank in the
Northern District of Illinois; and the appellants.

After considering what they had to say, the court, on November
9, 2001, awarded plaintiffs' counsel fees in the sum of
$11.475 million, which amounted to seventeen percent of the
settlement fund.

Phillip S. Stenger, as "Receiver," two "Joint Official
Liquidators" of Cayman Islands companies, and the Cayman Islands
Liquidations Creditors' Committee appealed the district court's
attorneys' fee decision.


CHAPULINES: Lead-Containing Grasshoppers May Pose Health Hazard
---------------------------------------------------------------
Consumers, particularly pregnant women and children, should
avoid eating chapulines (grasshoppers) from Oaxaca, Mexico,
because they may contain excessively high levels of lead that
could cause serious health problems, California State Health
Director Diana M. Bont , R.N., Dr.P.H., warned.

"Lead is toxic to humans, especially infants, young children and
developing fetuses, in both short- and long-term exposures,"
said Mr. Bont .  "Lead can cause damage to the central nervous
system, resulting in learning disabilities and behavioral
disorders that could last a lifetime."

Residents from some regions of Mexico eat chapulines (chap-oo-
lean-Ős) as a traditional snack food. Chapulines are usually
prepared with ingredients such as garlic, salt, lime juice or a
red chili powder coating. They are not widely available in
commercial distribution and usually brought into the United
States by individuals who have recently visited Oaxaca or other
parts of Mexico.

The product, often a dull red color, is sold in small, unlabeled
bags at Hispanic retail food stores, in restaurants and at flea
markets.  The public and sellers of chapulines are encouraged to
contact the California Department of Health Services (CDHS) at
(916) 445-2264 to provide information that can assist public
health investigators in learning more about the potential threat
that the product poses to children.

Recent analysis of chapulines from Oaxaca, Mexico, showed that
they may contain as much as 2,300 micrograms of lead per gram of
product.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has
recommended that children under age 6 should consume on average
no more than 6.0 micrograms of lead each day from all food
sources.  A young child eating one of these highly contaminated
chapulines could ingest nearly 60 times his or her tolerable
daily intake for lead.  While some of the chapulines analyzed
contained no detectable lead, consumers have no practical way of
determining if the product is contaminated with lead.

The source of lead in the chapulines from Oaxaca is under
investigation CDHS began investigating the product after it was
referred to the department by the Monterey County Health
Department.  County investigations of several lead poisoning
cases involving children determined that the children were
eating chapulines.  CDHS investigators are working with FDA and
local health departments to ensure that the wholesale and retail
food industries are aware of the potential hazards associated
with lead in foods.

Parents of children who may have consumed chapulines should
consult with their physician or health care provider to
determine if further testing is warranted.  For more information
about lead poisoning, parents may contact their local childhood
lead poisoning prevention program or local public health
department.  Additional information and a list of local lead
prevention programs are also available at DHS' Web site:
http://www.dhs.cahwnet.gov/childlead/or by calling the
California Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch in Oakland
at (510) 622-5000.


COLDWATER CREEK: Recalls Candleholders For Fire/ Burn Hazard
----------------------------------------------------------------
Cape Craftsman, of Wilmington, N.C. and Coldwater Creek, of
Sandpoint, Idaho, in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product
Safety Commission (CPSC), are recalling 800 Mica Tree
Candleholders since flames from the tealight candle can ignite
the candleholder, posing a fire and burn hazard.  The company
received one report of the rectangle-shaped candleholder
igniting after a consumer lit the tealight candle.  No injuries
have been reported.

The recalled copper and mica candleholders were sold in
rectangular and square shapes.  The 8.5-inch tall, square-shaped
candleholder has a cut-out of an evergreen tree on each side.
The 10-inch tall, rectangular-shaped candleholder has cut-outs
of an evergreen tree, a star and moon on each side.

The candleholders, manufactured in China, were sold at Coldwater
Creek stores nationwide from October 2003 through November 2003
for about $20.

Consumers should contact the company to receive information on
returning the product for a full refund, including postage.  The
company also will provide consumers a $20 gift card upon return
of the merchandise.  For more information, consumers should
contact Customer Service toll-free at (800) 262-0040 between 6
a.m. and 3 a.m. ET or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.coldwatercreek.com.


DAIMLERCHRYSLER AG: Chairman Schremp Says Deal Was " A Merger"
--------------------------------------------------------------
DaimlerChrysler AG Chairman Juergen Schrempp, accused by
billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian of bilking Chrysler
Corporation shareholders out of takeover premiums worth
billions, said the marriage of Daimler-Benz AG and Chrysler was
a merger of equals, and was always intended to be one, AP news
reports.

"I never had a secret plan," Mr. Schrempp said in a federal
court in Wilmington, responding to questions from
DaimlerChrysler's lawyers.  "I could not have had a secret plan
as an individual on Daimler's management board . What we defined
in the business combination agreement as a merger of equals was
precisely that."

Mr. Schrempp's testimony, which began Tuesday afternoon, was the
opening move in DaimlerChrysler's defense in the trial of Mr.
Kerkorian's civil suit against the auto giant.  Mr. Kerkorian is
accusing DaimlerChrysler and Mr. Schrempp of fraud in the $36
billion merger with the former Chrysler Corporation in 1998.  At
the time, Mr. Kerkorian's Tracinda Corporation was Chrysler's
largest shareholder.  He is seeking $2 billion in damages in
U.S. District Court, arguing that the former Daimler-Benz
falsely characterized a takeover of Chrysler as a "merger of
equals" to avoid paying a higher price to Chrysler shareholders.

The centerpiece of Mr. Kerkorian's case is an October 2000
interview Mr. Schrempp granted to the Financial Times.  In the
interview, he described himself as a "chess player" and said
that he obtained Chrysler in a "roundabout way."  Rather than a
"merger of equals," Mr. Schrempp said he originally envisioned a
structure of "where Chrysler is a division, like Mercedes car or
like Mercedes trucks."

Two former senior U.S. executives - Robert Eaton, who was co-
chairman of Chrysler, and James Holden, Chrysler's former
president - have testified in court last week that the word
"division" never came up.  Mr. Eaton said he would have halted
discussions had Mr. Schrempp used similar language to
characterize the deal back in 1998.

In depositions, Mr. Schrempp has struggled to explain exactly
what he meant in the Financial Times interview.  On Tuesday, in
his testimony, Mr. Schrempp sought to make a distinction between
the "operating" part of Chrysler, which he characterized as a
division of DaimlerChrysler, and the "corporate" part of
Chrysler which he said was merged with Daimler-Benz on a merger-
of-equals basis.  DaimlerChrysler's lawyers have said they will
argue that Mr. Schrempp's words either were taken out of context
in the Financial Times interview, or that he was misunderstood.

Judge Joseph Farnan, who will decide the case, has shown
interest in uncovering Mr. Schrempp's exact intentions with
direct questions to both Mr. Holden and Mr. Eaton.  Mr. Schrempp
testified Tuesday that he never had contact with Mr. Kerkorian.
Instead, he testified that he expected Mr. Eaton "to look after
his constituency" of American shareholders, including Mr.
Kerkorian.

To win over Mr. Kerkorian and his 14 percent share of the
company, Mr. Kerkorian said he was told by Mr. Eaton that U.S.
executives would continue to have an equal share of power in the
company's management.

According to a transcript, Mr. Schrempp said he was interested
in combining with a U.S. auto maker as the first step in
vaulting Daimler ahead as a global automotive company.  At the
time of the Chrysler deal, he said he first had "parallel"
discussions with Ford Motor Co., but dropped those discussions
after it became obvious that the Ford family wouldn't have
wanted to cede control.  He said Chrysler was "our favorite."

In testimony on Monday, an investment banker hired by MR.
Kerkorian's legal team as an expert witness said Chrysler
shareholders were shortchanged by at least $6.4 billion in the
1998 deal that combined the Detroit.

In August, DaimlerChrysler agreed to pay $300 million to settle
a class action filed by a group of institutional investors.
Like Mr. Kerkorian, they also accused the company of lowering
the price paid for Chrysler shares by misrepresenting the nature
of the deal.  Last week, DaimlerChrysler lawyers delved into
Kerkorian's history as Chrysler's largest investor to paint him
as a profiteer who "cynically" crafted the lawsuit once the
value of his Chrysler shares began to fall.


GENERAL MOTORS: CA Court Orders Car Loan Refunds For Motorists
--------------------------------------------------------------
Some of the 30,000 Californians who had their cars repossessed
and sold by General Motors Acceptance Corp. could each receive
thousands of dollars in refunds or have their auto-loan debts
erased following a judge's ruling in favor of their class-action
lawsuit, the Mercury News reports.

The suit claimed that GMAC, the carmaker's financing group,
wrongfully collected money from borrowers after their cars had
been repossessed.  The class action arose out of complaints that
from 1994 to 2001, GMAC failed to give consumers proper notice
of their legal rights as mandated by California law.

Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Jack Komar ruled late
last month that GMAC must refund money already collected from
borrowers and, for people who had not paid their debt, erase
their outstanding loans.

According to lawyers representing the California consumers, GMAC
had collected about $15 million from buyers who had their cars
repossessed and had about $110 million in outstanding loans it
was still attempting to collect.  The average debt amount was
$4,000.

"The people who already paid will get their money back," said
Mark Chavez, the Mill Valley attorney representing consumers in
the lawsuit, told Mercury News.  "The rest will no longer have a
debt hanging over their head."

The judge also required GMAC to inform credit reporting bureaus
that the customers' loan balances have been erased.

GMAC attorney Bill Solomon told Mercury News the required
disclosures weren't included in letters sent to borrowers in
1997 and 1998 because of an error by a vendor.  That oversight
was corrected.  Other letters to consumers contained the legally
required information, Mr. Solomon said, but the judge ruled that
GMAC's wording wasn't explicit enough.

The number of customers affected by the judge's ruling and the
amount of any refunds to be made must still be determined by the
judge.  The actual number of borrowers affected will be less
than 30,000, he said, because of several exclusions.  People who
bought cars out of state are not covered by the California law
and neither are corporate buyers.

Of the customers whose cars were repossessed, 90 percent of them
never paid anything to GMAC, Mark Lonergan, a San Francisco
lawyer who represented GMAC in the case, told Mercury News.
"It's a fairly small subset of customers that will be found to
be entitled to a refund," he said.

The consumer dispute arose after GMAC ran afoul of a California
law governing what happens if people default on their monthly
car note and have their vehicles repossessed by the lender.
If buyers default on a car loan, lenders are entitled to take
back, or repossess, the vehicle and sell it, often at fire-sale
prices, using the proceeds to reduce the borrower's debt.
Money from the sale is nearly always less than the amount of the
loan and borrowers remain responsible for paying the balance.

Under California law, lenders must send borrowers a letter
telling consumers the date their car will be sold, and informing
borrowers that they are automatically entitled to a 10-day
extension from that date to pay off the loan entirely or get
back on track with their monthly payments.  That automatic
extension comes only at the customers' request.  According to
Mr. Komar, GMAC's letters did not make it clear that customers
were automatically entitled to an extension.

Letters to the consumers affected by the ruling are expected to
be sent out early next year.


GSK: FDA Issues Alert to Recall of Asthma Meds Sold in Canada
-------------------------------------------------------------
As a precaution, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is
alerting U.S. residents to the recent recall of certain
GlaxoSmithKline "Diskus" medicines sold in Canada to treat
asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The
three asthma products - Ventolin Diskus, Flovent Diskus, and
Serevent Diskus - were recalled in Canada November 12th, 2003,
because the products' drug delivery system may not function
properly and may deliver too little of the drug - or none at
all.

Canadian patients are being advised to return the affected
product to the pharmacy or physician's office where it was
obtained in order to get a replacement.  FDA emphasizes that
FDA-approved Diskus products (Advair and Serevent) sold in the
U.S. through legitimate marketing channels are not subject to
this recall.  However, because some U.S. residents have obtained
precription drugs from Canada and elsewhere through on-line or
storefront operations, they may have received these potentially
substandard and ineffective products.

The specific affected lots of the products recalled in Canada,
and additional information from the product manufacturer, are
available on the Canadian website of GlaxoSmithKline:
http://www.gsk.ca/en/media_room/news/public_advisory_en.pdf

U.S. patients who may have obtained these affected medications
from Canada who have questions or concerns about these products
should discuss them with their physician, pharmacist, or health
care provider. Consumers and Healthcare professionals have been
asked to report any suspected adverse events associated with the
use of these products directly to GSK or Health Canada using the
following contact information:

Canadian Adverse Reaction Monitoring Program (CADRMP), Marketed
Health Products Directorate, HEALTH CANADA, Address Locator:
0201c2, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1B9, Toll free phone: 1-866-234-2345
Toll free fax: 1-866-678-6789, E-mail: cadrmp@hs-sc.gc.ca.

FDA reminds patients that asthma, COPD and related diseases can
be serious and life-threatening. No one taking medications for
these conditions should stop taking them abruptly without first
talking to their physicians. FDA also emphasizes that all asthma
drugs should be given as part of a comprehensive treatment plan
that takes into account the patient's disease severity and fully
educates patients about the disease and its proper treatment.


GOLDEN CROWN: Recalls Meat Dumplings For Possible Glass Content
---------------------------------------------------------------
Golden Crown Foods Inc., a City of Industry, Calif., firm, in
cooperation with the U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service
(FSIS), is voluntarily recalling approximately 14,400 pounds of
frozen dumplings with meat that may contain pieces of glass.

The dumplings subject to recall are approximately 21 oz. bags
of:

     (1) "FORTUNE AVENUE, CHICKEN & LEEK DUMPLINGS, APPROX. 35
         PCS."

     (2) "FORTUNE AVENUE, CABBAGE & PORK DUMPLINGS, APPROX. 35
         PCS."

     (3) "FORTUNE AVENUE, CABBAGE & CHICKEN DUMPLINGS, APPROX.
         35 PCS."

     (4) "FORTUNE AVENUE, PORK, VEGETABLE & BLACK MUSHROOM
         DUMPLINGS, APPROX. 35 PCS."

Each package bears the establishment number "Est. 18823" inside
the USDA mark of inspection.

The dumplings were packed between October 7 and December 8, 2003
and were distributed to grocery stores in California.  The
products subject to recall have date codes beginning with the
letter J, K and L, denoting products produced in October,
November and December.

For products produced between October 7 and October 31, the date
codes are J07 through J31.  For products produced between
November 1 and November 30, the date codes are K01 through K30
and for products produced between December 1 and December 8, the
date codes are L01 through L08.

The recall was initiated after the company reported to FSIS that
it had received consumer complaints.  Anyone concerned about an
injury from consumption of these products should contact a
physician.

Media and consumers with questions about the recall may contact
Daniel Yang, company general manager, at 626-913-2728.


HEALTHSOUTH: Ex-Chief's Lawyers to Challenge Sarbanes-Oxley Act
---------------------------------------------------------------
Attorneys for ousted HealthSouth chief Richard Scrushy said
Tuesday they will challenge a new federal law aimed at false
corporate reports and used for the first time against Scrushy in
a massive accounting fraud case, AP news reports.

In a meeting with U.S. District Judge T. Michael Putnam, the
Scrushy defense team said they would seek to overturn what is
known as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which was passed in the wake of
scandals at Enron, WorldCom and other corporate giants.

The law requires chief executives and chief financial officers
to certify their company's financial statements as accurate and
holds them criminally liable for falsehoods.  Mr. Scrushy, who
was CEO of the rehabilitation services company, is accused of
signing off on false earnings reports in a scheme that inflated
numbers for his own enrichment.  Mr. Scrushy attorney Abbe
Lowell declined to give details, but he said such a legal
challenge is common where a law is being used for the first
time.

Mr. Scrushy, 51, faces an 85-count indictment that charges him
with conspiracy, wire fraud, mail fraud, securities fraud and
money laundering.  He is accused of directing accounting fraud
at HealthSouth that inflated profit, revenue and assets by $2.7
billion since 1996.


HEALTHSOUTH: Document Details Former CEO's Use Of Fraud Money
-------------------------------------------------------------
A court document shows that ousted HealthSouth CEO Richard
Scrushy has already paid more than $21 million to four law firms
as he fights charges in the accounting fraud investigation that
has engulfed HealthSouth Corporation, AP news reports.

An affidavit signed by IRS agent Charles Traywick details
Scrushy's spending on lawyers and contends the money represented
ill-gotten gains the former HealthSouth CEO obtained from the
fraud - a contention Mr. Scrushy's lawyers deny.

"It's grave error for the government to suggest that the law
firms have received fruits of a crime or ill-gotten gains,"
Thomas Sjoblom, one of Scrushy's lawyers, said Monday.  He said
his client's legal fees are being paid from money he earned
before 1996.

Mr. Traywick's filing says Mr. Scrushy paid Birmingham attorney
Donald Watkins' firm a total of $5.5 million.  Payments to three
other law firms, including Sjoblom's firm, Chadbourne and Parke,
totaled nearly $16 million.  The document shows Mr. Scrushy made
a total of 18 different payments ranging in size from $500,000
to $3 million to the law firms.  All transactions occurred
between May 13 and May 20, except for one $500,000 wire transfer
in August, according to the affidavit.

The payments "have been identified as having been made by
defendant Scrushy from accounts containing substantial deposits
of proceeds from crimes charged in the indictment," Mr. Traywick
said in the affidavit, filed Friday.

Mr. Scrushy, 51, faces an 85-count indictment that charges him
with conspiracy, wire fraud, mail fraud, securities fraud and
money laundering.  He is accused of directing accounting fraud
at HealthSouth that inflated profit, revenue and assets by $2.7
billion since 1996.  Last week, a federal judge set a Tuesday
deadline for attorneys to respond to the government's contention
that ousted Mr. Scrushy's assets should not be released to him.

Federal prosecutors were granted a court order November 3 to
restrain $278.7 million of Scrushy's assets.  Targeted assets
include four homes, paintings, diamond rings, cars and boats.
His lawyers filed a motion on November 26 challenging the freeze
on as much as $79 million as unrelated to the charges against
Mr. Scrushy and have requested a hearing on the assets.  On
Friday, the prosecutors filed a court motion saying Mr.
Scrushy's latest legal attempts to gain access to his frozen
assets are without merit and should be denied.


HEPATITIS A: FDA Says Outbreak Linked to Mexican Green Onions
-------------------------------------------------------------
Federal health investigators have determined that a deadly
outbreak of hepatitis A among restaurant diners in Tennessee,
Georgia and Pennsylvania was caused by green onions produced in
Mexico, the US Food and Drug Administration said on Tuesday,
Reuters reports.  More than 500 people were infected in the
outbreak and three died.

The hepatitis A virus is transmitted in raw or undercooked food
that has been contaminated with the feces of a person with the
disease.  Its symptoms include jaundice, fatigue, nausea,
diarrhea and fever, and the virus can be fatal to those with a
chronic liver disease.

FDA investigators pinpointed a link between the three outbreaks
and green onions from Mexico after visiting four Mexican
companies last week.  They found poor sanitation and inadequate
hand washing facilities and also had concerns about the quality
of water used in the fields, packing sheds, and the making of
ice, which can help spread the disease.  A fourth outbreak of
hepatitis A occurred at a North Carolina restaurant, but health
department workers have not finished their traceback
investigation.  All of the outbreaks occurred between September
and early November, the FDA said.

The investigation has been difficult because no reliable methods
exist to find the virus in green onion samples collected in the
field.  Instead, health workers analyzed the hepatitis A viruses
in infected consumers and found they were virtually identical to
those found in residents who live along the U.S.-Mexican border.
Mexico has stepped up inspections and controls for green onions
and is working with the FDA to ensure the safety of produce
shipped across the border.

The FDA investigation showed that the green onions linked to the
restaurant outbreaks in Tennessee and Georgia were harvested in
July or early August, the agency said.  Green onions blamed in
the Pennsylvania outbreak were picked in September.  The green
onion harvest was no longer under way at the farms and companies
inspected last week in Mexico, the agency said.


HOGLA-KIMBERLY LTD.: Consumers Lodge Fraud Lawsuit in Tel-Aviv
--------------------------------------------------------------
Hogla-Kimberly Ltd. faces a claim and a petition filed in Tel-
Aviv district court for the approval of a class action against
it.  According to the petition, the Company reduced the number
of units of diapers in a package and thus misled the public
according to the Israeli Consumer Protection Act.  The
plaintiffs estimate the scope of the class action to be NIS 18
million ($4.1 million).

The Company rejects the claims and intends to defend itself
against the action.


IDAHO: Commission To Join Suit Seeking More Property Tax Revenue
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Idaho County Commission plans to join a class action seeking
to force United States Congress to pay more money to counties
for land that would otherwise generate property tax revenue, the
Associated Press reports.

Idaho County is the fourth largest county in the nation in terms
of land mass, with 8,500 square miles.  83% of this is public
land, which means that no taxes can be levied to help pay for
schools and county government.

The government pays some money through Payment in Lieu of Taxes
(PILT), but the class action wants more.  A Washington D.C. firm
is assembling a coalition of two thousand counties in the West
to recover some of the tax dollars that the government is exempt
from paying.


KIEN IMPORT: Recalls Evergreen Melon Candy For Sulfite Content
--------------------------------------------------------------
Kien Import Corporation, of 330 Calyer Street, Brooklyn NY
11222, in cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
(FDA), is recalling Evergreen Melon Candy because it may contain
undeclared sulfites.

People who have a severe sensitivity to sulfites run the risk of
serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume
this product.  No illnesses have been reported to date in
connection with this problem.

The recalled Evergreen Melon Candy, a product of Vietnam, is
packaged, in 5 oz., uncoded, clear plastic bags.  They were sold
nationwide.

The recall was initiated after routine sampling by New York
State Department of Agriculture and Markets Food Inspectors
revealed the presence of sulfites in packages which did not
declare sulfites on the label.  The consumption of 10 milligrams
of sulfites per serving has been reported to elicit severe
reactions in some asthmatics.  Anaphylactic shock could occur in
certain sulfite sensitive individuals upon ingesting 10
milligrams or more of sulfites.

Establishments and consumers who have purchased Evergreen Melon
Candy should return it to the place of purchase.  Consumers with
questions may contact the company at 718-349-8282.


KOCH OIL: Appeals Court Revises Interlocutory Appeal in TX Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The US Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit reversed an interlocutory
appeal, from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District
of Texas, in a class action styled "Hector Garcia, et al., v.
Koch Oil Co. of Texas, et al."

On September 3, 1999, Plaintiffs Hector H. Garcia and Inland
Ocean, Inc. filed a putative class action in the 49th Judicial
District Court of Zapata County, Texas, on behalf of all Texas
royalty and leasehold interest holders "from whom the defendants
purchased oil and/or condensate between January 1, 1975 and
December 31, 1989."

Alleging that the defendants surreptitiously failed to reimburse
them for certain oil and gas overages, the plaintiffs sought:

     (1) an equitable accounting to determine whether any part
         of the overages could be attributed to individual
         plaintiffs' well sites,

     (2) restitution damages, and,

     (3) attorney's fees and costs.

The plaintiffs did not demand a specific amount of monetary
damages, as the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure prohibit a
plaintiff from doing so.

The defendants timely removed the case to the United States
District Court for the Southern District of Texas, asserting
that the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000 and that the
parties are diverse.  The plaintiffs then filed a motion to
remand claiming that the defendants had failed to proffer
evidence that the requisite amount in controversy had been met.
The district court denied the motion, however, when the
defendants produced an affidavit stating that it would cost more
than $75,000 per plaintiff to perform the requested accounting.

In their notice of removal, the defendants also claimed that
Koch Oil Company of Texas, Inc. had been fraudulently joined by
the plaintiffs.  The district court agreed, and this issue has
not been preserved on appeal.  In addition, the defendants
asked the district court to attribute all of the plaintiffs'
attorney's fees to the named class representatives in order to
calculate the amount in controversy.  The defendants have since
conceded, however, that class action attorney's fees cannot be
aggregated in this manner.

On agreement of the parties, the case was transferred to the
Houston Division of the district court.  The plaintiffs filed a
second motion to remand on the basis that the costs of
performing an equitable accounting should not be considered part
of the "amount in controversy."

On August 27, 2002, a magistrate judge recommended that the
plaintiffs' motion be denied, because the defendants' affidavit
"makes it clear that the costs of an accounting for even a
single claimant in this matter would exceed the jurisdictional
amount."  The district court subsequently adopted the
magistrate's findings in full and denied the motion to remand.
At the plaintiffs' request, district court stayed the case
pending interlocutory appeal to this court.


MAAX SPAS: Recalls Infinity, Lifestyle Spas Due To Fire Hazard
--------------------------------------------------------------
MAAX Spas, of Beamville, Ontario, Canada, in cooperation with
the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), is recalling
13,000 Infinity and Lifestyle Spas since the motor capacitor,
which is a component of the circulating pump, can overheat
posing a potential a fire hazard.

CPSC and MAAX Spas has received more than 100 reports of
incidents of overheating of the motor capacitor.  Twelve reports
of overheating resulted in fires.  No injuries or property
damage, other than to the spa itself, have been reported.

The recall involves Infinity and Lifestyle model spas
manufactured by MAAX Spas.  Only MAAX Spas equipped with a Motor
Capacitor Inc. capacitor are included in this recall.  Units
that contain the capacitor have a label on the motor that reads,
"Tiny Might."  Various models of the spas are included in the
recall.

The recalled spas were sold at MAAX spa dealers in the U.S. and
Canada from January 1998 through December 2001 for between
$4,000 and $8,000.  The capacitors were manufactured in Taiwan.
The motors and pump assemblies were manufactured in the United
States.  The spas were manufactured in Canada.

Customers are urged to contact the MAAX Spa Fulfillment Center
to arrange for installation of a free replacement pump motor
capacitor.  For more information, contact the MAAX Spa
Fulfillment Center at (877) 259-0289 between 8:30 a.m. and 7
p.m. ET Monday through Friday.


MAXIM PHARMACEUTICALS: CA Court Dismisses Securities Fraud Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
California dismissed the securities class action filed against
Maxim Pharmaceuticals and two of its officers on behalf of
several stockholders, MidnightTrader via COMTEX reports.  The
suit alleges violation of securities laws by purportedly issuing
false and misleading statements to the securities markets.

The Company successfully brought motions to dismiss the
consolidated complaint and a second amended complaint.  The
plaintiff then filed a third amended complaint.  The court
granted the Company's motion to dismiss the lawsuit with
prejudice and without leave to amend.


MINA QUALITY FOODS: Recalls Dried Apricot Due To Sulfite Content
----------------------------------------------------------------
Mina Quality Foods Inc., of 71 Bloomingdale Road, Hicksville, NY
11801, in cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
(FDA), is recalling "Malatya Dried Apricot" due to the presence
of undeclared sulfites in the product.

People who have a severe sensitivity to sulfites run the risk of
serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume
this product.  No illnesses have been reported to date.

The product is packaged in a 340 gram, plastic wrapped styrofoam
tray, labeled with code 09-2004. It was sold in the New York
City metropolitan area.

Routine sampling by New York State Department of Agriculture and
Markets food inspectors revealed that the product contained high
levels of sulfites, which were not declared on the label.

Consumers who have purchased "Malatya Dried Apricot" should
return them to the place of purchase.


NORTH DAKOTA: Minot Derailment Report May Be Released In January
----------------------------------------------------------------
No official word has yet been given, but sources say the
National Transportation Safety Board's long-awaited report on
the January 18, 2002, train derailment near Minot might be
released soon, the Minot Daily News reports.

Minot Rural Fire Chief Bob Wetzler said Monday he was in contact
late last week with Ted Turpin, the lead NTSB investigator of
the Minot accident.  Mr. Turpin said at that time investigators
were shooting for the end of December or the middle of January
for release of the document, the chief said. Mr. Turpin, reached
in his office in California on Monday, said "We're working on it
(the report) real hard.  We've been having internal reviews of
it and going over the report line-by-line and we're moving
ahead.  We just need every word to be right and set right, too."

Mr. Turpin had said earlier he was through making predictions on
when the report might actually come out saying he had been wrong
several times before.  There have been numerous announcements
put out about the report's impending release during the nearly
two years since 31 cars of an eastbound 112-car train derailed
just west of Minot.  Each time the hopes were dashed because of
further studies needed by investigators.

Fifteen of the derailed cars carried anhydrous ammonia, an
agricultural fertilizer.  Eleven of the 15 cars ruptured,
officials said.  It was estimated that the spill involved as
much as 300,000 gallons of anhydrous, believed to be the largest
spill, ever.  The bulk of the chemical vaporized and spread a
dense cloud of gas over the valley in Minot.  The cloud lingered
for considerable time and one man perished and many others were
injured by the gas.  Several people were hospitalized for a time
after the derailment.

The report has been delayed by the need for more technical study
and lab work by the NTSB, according to Turpin.  A hearing was
held in Washington last summer.  Mr. Wetzler, in whose
jurisdiction the derailment occurred, was invited to be a part
of the hearing to ask questions.  Discussions since the incident
have centered on the rails at the site, why the cars ruptured so
severely and other aspects of the derailment.

An initial cause of the derailment, put forth by Mr. Turpin a
few days after the derailment was that a 25-foot section of rail
that had been replaced by the railroad at the site might have
been the culprit.  Pieces of the rail were cut up and taken to a
laboratory for close scrutiny.  The holdups in completing and
releasing the report have delayed legal proceedings against CP
Rail.  A class action is pending and several people are known to
be waiting for the report's release to pursue legal action.

The railroad has not commented on the derailment because federal
law prohibits it from doing so until the NTSB report is
available, according to a railroad spokesperson.  CP Rail was
fined $925,000 by the State Health Department in a settlement
announced in July. Of that total, $500,000 was designated for
construction of a rural water system for the Tierrecita Vallejo
subdivision, near where the derailment occurred.  The water
system has been completed.  The remaining $425,000 was turned
over to the state's general fund for the railroad's violations
of environmental regulations.


SEARS ROEBUCK: IL Court Refuses To Dismiss Securities Fraud Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois,
Eastern Division denied defendants motion to dismiss a federal
securities fraud class action against Sears, Roebuck, and Co.,
and several of its individual former and current officers, over
allegations the Company failed to disclose that customer
defaults on its credit cards had risen dramatically and that
retailer's reserves were inadequate to account for such risk.

Lead plaintiff, the Department of the Treasury of the State of
New Jersey and its Division of Investment, brings this action
under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 on behalf of itself
and all other persons who purchased securities of defendant
Sears, Roebuck & Co. between October 24, 2001 and October 17,
2002.  Plaintiffs allege violations of Section 10(b) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Securities Exchange Commission
Rule 10-b, and Section 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934.


WEIGHT-LOSS PRODUCTS: FTC Releases Guide To Spot Deceptive Ads
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Federal Trade Commission released a guide Tuesday to help
consumers and the media spot deceptive weight-loss products.
The goal is to prevent consumers from wasting their money and to
get newspapers and broadcasters to reject advertisements, AP
news reports.

"There are no magic bullets or effortless ways to burn fat," FTC
Chairman Timothy Muris said in a statement.  Fraudulent weight-
loss products, he said, "target people desperate to lose weight
and willing to try almost anything."  Product claims that should
raise suspicion include:

     (1) users can lose two pounds or more a week for a month
         without dieting or exercise;

     (2) that it causes permanent weight loss even after the
         customer stops taking it;

     (3) that it provides substantial weight loss if rubbed into
         the skin or worn on the body; and

     (4) that everyone who uses it loses substantial weight.

"Ads for so-called miracle weight loss products are often empty
promises," the FTC said in its guide.  "Despite their claims,
there are no easy ways to lose weight and burn off fat."

In September 2002 the FTC reported that 55 percent of weight-
loss ads included claims that were almost certainly false or
misleading.  The agency is asking newspapers, broadcasters and
cable television stations to avoid running ads for questionable
products.  The FTC has brought at least 100 lawsuits since 1990
against companies accused of selling phony weight-loss products.

Mr. Muris announced two $1 million settlements Tuesday.  One was
with Universal Nutrition Corporation, which said its
"ThermoSlim" could help users lose 95 pounds in 60 days while
still eating french fries and milkshakes.  The other with Harry
Siskind, former president of Mark Nutritionals Inc., which
claimed its "Body Solutions Evening Weight Loss Formula" would
cause users to lose weight without diet or exercise.

The FTC announced settlements with the now-defunct company and
co-founder Edward DAlessandro Jr. in October.


                   New Securities Fraud Cases

ALGER FUNDS: Spector Roseman Lodges Securities Suit in S.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
Spector, Roseman & Kodroff, P.C. initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York on behalf of purchasers, redeemers and
holders of shares of the Alger Mutual Funds set forth below
between November 1, 1998 and September 3, 2003, inclusive.

The Funds that are the subject of this suit and their symbols
are:

     (1) Alger SmallCap Portfolio (Nasdaq: ALSAX, ALSCX, AGSCX)

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

     (3) Alger MidCap Growth Portfolio (Nasdaq: AMGAX, AMCGX,
         AMGCX)

     (4) Alger LargeCap Growth Portfolio (Nasdaq: ALGAX, AFGPX,
         ALGCX)

     (5) Alger Capital Appreciation Portfolio (Nasdaq: ACAAX,
         ACAPX, ALCCX)

     (6) Alger Health Sciences Portfolio (Nasdaq: AHSAX, AHSBX,
         AHSCX)

     (7) Alger Balanced Portfolio (Nasdaq: ALBAX, ALGBX, ALBCX)

     (8) Alger Small Cap Institutional Fund (Nasdaq: ALSRX,
         ASIRX)

     (9) Alger MidCap Institutional Fund (Nasdaq: ALMRX, ALGRX)

    (10) Alger LargeCap Growth Institutional Fund (Nasdaq:
         ALGRX, ALGIX)

    (11) Alger Capital Appreciation Institutional Fund (Nasdaq:
         ALARX, ACARX)

    (12) Alger Balanced Institutional Fund (Nasdaq: ABLRX,
         ABIRX)

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

    (14) Spectra Fund (Nasdaq: SPEAX, SPECX)

The Complaint charges Fred Alger Management, Inc., the Alger
Funds, Veras Investment Partners, Inc., and others with
violating the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934, the Investment Company Act of 1940, and with common
law breach of fiduciary duties.

Specifically, it is alleged that during the Class Period,
defendants failed to disclose that they improperly allowed
certain favored investors, including Veras Investment Partners,
Inc., to engage in the "market-timing" of their transactions in
the Funds.

Allegedly, in return for receiving extra fees from Veras
Investment Partners and other favored investors, Fred Alger
Management, and the other Alger defendants, allowed and
facilitated market-timing activities by Veras Investment
Partners and others, at the expense of class members and despite
restrictions on these practices in the prospectuses of the
Funds.

For more information, contact Robert M. Roseman, by Phone:
888-844-5862 (toll free), by E-mail: classaction@srk-law.com or
visit the firm's Website: http://www.srk-law.com.


ALKERMES INC: Bernstein Liebhard Launches Securities Suit in MA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Bernstein, Liebhard & Lifshitz LLP initiated a securities class
action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
District of Massachusetts on behalf of all persons who acquired
securities of Alkermes, Inc. from April 22, 1999 and July 1,
2002, inclusive, against the Company and:

     (1) Richard F. Pops,

     (2) Robert A. Breyer,

     (3) David A. Broecker,

     (4) Michael J. Landine,

     (5) James M. Frates, and,

     (6) James L. Wright

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

Specifically, the Complaint alleges that Defendants announced
they had developed Risperdal Consta through Good Manufacturing
Practices production, using Medisorb technology.  Defendants
also assured investors its Medisorb polymeric sustained-release
delivery technology would mitigate the adverse effects of new or
existing drugs.

However, the true facts, which were known by each of the
Defendants during the Class Period, but were concealed from the
investing public, were that:

     (i) in an attempt to decrease development expenses and
         speed the product to market, Defendants concealed the
         deficient nature of the manufacturing process for the
         Medisorb polylactide-glycolide polymer used to
         manufacture Risperdal Consta, resulting in quality
         management issues and delays in the development
         program;

    (ii) in order to conceal lot-to-lot variations resulting
         from the manufacturing process for Medisorb polymer,
         Defendants minimized process development and validation
         requirements, including the establishment of
         specifications and analytical tests necessary to
         control those variations;

   (iii) significant quality issues for the manufacture of
         Risperdal Consta existed at the Wilmington, Ohio
         facility, impacting the ability of the Company to meet
         clinical development timelines for Risperdal Consta;

    (iv) Defendants' revenue projections for Risperdal Consta
         were grossly inflated based on Defendants' concealment
         of the fact that Risperdal's adverse effects and safety
         or tolerability issues worsen when Risperdal is
         formulated using Medisorb technology and used as
         intended; and

     (v) for one or more reasons related to the known but unmet
         manufacturing, safety or efficacy requirements for the
         drug, Risperdal Consta would not be approved on July 1,
         2002.

On July 1, 2002, Defendants announced the receipt of a non-
approvable letter for Risperdal Consta.  As a result of this
announcement, Alkermes' stock price dropped over the next two
days to a low of $4.04, or a loss of 93% from its Class Period
high of $98 per share, on total volume of 29 million shares.

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


BIOVAIL CORPORATION: Scott + Scott Files Stock Suit in S.D. NY
--------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Scott + Scott, LLC initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York, on behalf of all persons who purchased the
common shares of Biovail Corporation between May 17, 2002 and
October 30, 2003.

Following the action's filing, the Securities and Exchange
Commission announced the commencement of an "informal inquiry"
into the drugmaker's accounting and financial reporting.  After
the SEC's announcement, Biovail shares plummeted 20% to $18.51.
Biovail shares opened trading today at $17.57.

While Biovail has called this lawsuit "frivolous," the Canadian
drugmaker has been criticized for not properly estimating
inventories of its drugs; low revenue from its generic brand of
Prilosec and excess inventory of heart drug Cardizem CD.  Chief
Executive Eugene Melnyk has been criticized for the purchase of
a company plane by an entity he controlled, the use of Barbados
as a tax shelter for Biovail, a doctor compensation program that
pays doctors for using Cardizem LA and acquisitions that led to
confusing accounting.

The Complaint alleges that Biovail and certain of its officers
and directors made materially false and misleading statements
during the Class Period.  Specifically, Defendants made material
misrepresentations concerning Biovail's financial results and
business by improperly reporting revenue and earnings
attributable to sales.

Plaintiff further alleges that these material misrepresentations
artificially inflated the price of Biovail's common shares,
which traded as high as $ 50.30 on the New York Stock Exchange
and as high as CD $ 67.75 on the Toronto Stock Exchange during
the Class Period.

For more information, contact Arthur L. Shingler III, by Phone:
(619) 233-4565, or by E-mail: ashingler@scott-scott.com.


CAMBREX CORPORATION: Charles Piven Files Securities Suit in NJ
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, P.A. initiated a securities
class action in the United States District Court for the
District of New Jersey against defendant Cambrex and certain of
its officers, on behalf of shareholders who purchased,
converted, exchanged or otherwise acquired the common stock of
Cambrex Corporation between October 21, 1998 and July 25, 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.


CERUS CORPORATION: Charles Piven Commences Securities 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
Northern District of California against defendant Cerus and
certain of its officers and directors, on behalf of shareholders
who purchased, converted, exchanged or otherwise acquired the
common stock of Cerus Corporation between October 25, 2000 and
September 3, 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.


INVESCO FUNDS: Spector Roseman Launches Securities Suit in CO
----------------------------------------------------------------
Spector, Roseman & Kodroff, P.C. initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the District of
Colorado on behalf of purchasers, redeemers and holders of
shares of the INVESCO Mutual Funds set forth below between
December 5, 1998 and November 24, 2003, inclusive.

The Funds that are the subject of this suit and their symbols
are:

     (1) INVESCO Advantage Health Sciences Fund (Nasdaq: IAGHX,
         IGHBX, IGHCX)

     (2) INVESCO Core Equity Fund (Nasdaq: ICEAX, ICEBX, IINCX,
         FIIIX, IEIKX)

     (3) INVESCO Dynamics Fund (Nasdaq: IDYAX, IDYBX, IFDCX,
         FIDYX, IDYKX, IDICX)

     (4) INVESCO Energy Fund (Nasdaq: IENAX, IENBX, IEFCX,
         FSTEX, IENKX)

     (5) INVESCO Financial Services Fund (Nasdaq: IFSAX, IFSBX,
         IFSCX, FSFSX, FSFKX)

     (6) INVESCO Gold & Precious Metals Fund (Nasdaq: IGDAX,
         IGDBX, IGDCX, FGLDX)

     (7) INVESCO Health Sciences Fund (Nasdaq: IAHSX, IBHSX,
         IHSCX, FHLSX, IHSKX)

     (8) INVESCO Leisure Fund (Nasdaq: ILSAX, ILSBX, IVLCX,
         FLISX, ILEKX)

     (9) INVESCO Mid-Cap Growth Fund (Nasdaq: IMGAX, IMGBX,
         IMGCX, IVMIX, PRMIX)

    (10) INVESCO Multi-Sector Fund (Nasdaq: IAMSX, IBMSX, ICMSX)

    (11) AIM INVESCO S&P 500 Index Fund (Nasdaq: ISPIX)

    (12) INVESCO Small Company Growth Fund (Nasdaq: ISGAX,
         ISGBX, ISGCX, FIEGX, ISCKX)

    (13) INVESCO Technology Fund (Nasdaq: ITYAX, ITYBX, ITHCX,
         FTCHX, ITHKX, FTPIX)

    (14) INVESCO Total Return Fund (Nasdaq: IATRX, IBTRX, ITRCX,
         FSFLX)

    (15) INVESCO Utilities Fund (Nasdaq: IAUTX, IBUTX, IUTCX,
         FSTUX)

    (16) INVESCO Advantage Fund (Nasdaq: IADAX, IADBX, IADCX)

    (17) INVESCO Balanced Fund (Nasdaq: IBLAX, IBLBX, IBFIX,
         IMABX, IBLKX)

    (18) INVESCO European Fund (Nasdaq: IEUAX, IEUBX, IEUCX,
         FEURX, IEUKX)

    (19) INVESCO Growth Fund (Nasdaq: IAGWX, IBGWX, IBGCX,
         FLRFX, IGWKX)

    (20) INVESCO High-Yield Fund (Nasdaq: IAHYX, IBHYX, IHYCX,
         FHYPX, IHYKX)

    (21) INVESCO Growth & Income Fund, (Nasdaq: IGIAX, IGIBX,
         IGRCX, IVGIX, IGIKX)

    (22) INVESCO International Blue Chip Value Fund (Nasdaq:
         IBVAX, IBVBX, IBVCX, IIBCX)

    (23) INVESCO Real Estate Opportunity Fund (Nasdaq: IAREX,
         IBREX, IRECX, IVSRX)

    (24) INVESCO Select Income Fund (Nasdaq: IASIX, IBSIX,
         ISICX, FBDSX, ISIKX)

    (25) INVESCO Tax-Free Bond Fund (Nasdaq: IXBAX, IXBBX,
         ITFCX, FTIFX, IVTIX)

    (26) INVESCO Telecommunications Fund (Nasdaq: ITLAX, ITLBX,
         INTCX, ISWCX, ITEKX)

    (27) INVESCO U.S. Government Securities Fund (Nasdaq: IGVAX,
         IGVBX, IUGCX, FBDGX)

    (28) INVESCO Value Fund (Nasdaq: IAVEX, IBVEX, IVACX, FSEQX)

The Complaint charges Invesco, Amvescap, AIM Management Group,
Inc., AIM Stock Funds, AIM Stock Funds, Inc., Invesco Stock
Funds, Inc., Edward Stern, Canary Investment Management, LLC,
Canary Partners Ltd., Canary Partners, LLC, and Doe Defendants
with violating the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, the Investment Company Act of 1940, and
with common law breach of fiduciary duties.

Specifically, it is alleged that during the Class Period,
defendants failed to disclose that they improperly allowed
certain favored investors, including Canary and the Doe
defendants, to engage in the "market timing" of their
transactions in the Funds.  According to the Complaint, favored
investors were allowed to market time their transactions despite
specific restrictions on these practices in the prospectuses of
the Funds.

For more information, contact Robert M. Roseman, by Phone:
888-844-5862 (toll free), by E-mail: classaction@srk-law.com, or
visit the firm's Website: http://www.srk-law.com.


LEAPFROG ENTERPRISES: Gold Bennett Files Securities Suit in CA
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Gold Bennett Cera & Sidener LLP initiated a
class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of California, on behalf of purchasers of
LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc. securities during the period July 24,
2003 through October 21, 2003.

The Complaint alleges that, throughout the Class Period, the
defendants violated the federal securities laws, specifically
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
and Rule 10b-5 of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The
Complaint alleges that the defendants made false and misleading
statements regarding LeapFrog's "strong growth" in sales for Q2
2003, sales and income guidance for Q3 and Q4 2003 and
LeapFrog's rising inventory levels.

The Complaint alleges that the defendants' statements were
knowingly, or recklessly, materially false and misleading
because:

     (1) LeapFrog's "strong growth" in sales for Q2 2003
         resulted from the defendants' practice of shipping to
         retailers goods that they had not ordered;

     (2) demand for LeapFrog products was not increasing and, in
         fact, retailers were heavily discounting LeapFrog
         product to move it off their shelves; and

     (3) LeapFrog's inventory for Q2 2003 had risen by 55% from
         the same period in the prior year.

For more information, contact Gwendolyn R. Giblin, by Mail: 595
Market Street, Suite 2300, San Francisco, California 94105, by
Phone: (800) 778-1822 or (415) 777-2230, by Fax: (415) 777-5189,
or by E-mail: GGiblin@gbcslaw.com.


PRICESMART INC: Scott + Scott Lodges Securities Suit in S.D. CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Scott + Scott, LLC initiated a securities fraud action in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of
California on behalf of purchasers of PriceSmart, Inc. publicly
traded securities during the period between December 20, 2001
and November 17, 2003.

The complaint charges PriceSmart and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the U.S. securities laws
(Securities Exchange Act of 1934).  PriceSmart owns and operates
membership shopping warehouses operating in Latin America, the
Caribbean and Asia under the trade name PriceSmart.

The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants
made or approved false statements about the business and
economic future of the Company.  The complaint further alleges
that defendants knew or recklessly disregarded statements that
were materially false and misleading.

PriceSmart has admitted that it inappropriately recorded
transactions included in its 2002 to 2003 results, and will have
to restate those results to remove millions in improperly
reported revenues.  Therefore, these accounting/financial
statements were not a fair presentation of PriceSmart's results
in violation of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and SEC
rules.

On November 10, 2003, the Company issued a press release
entitled "PriceSmart to Restate Financial Statements for Fiscal
2002 and the First Three Quarters of Fiscal 2003."  The press
release stated in part: "PriceSmart, Inc. today announced that
it will restate its financial statements for fiscal year 2002
and the first three quarters of fiscal year 2003 . Regarding the
fourth quarter and fiscal year 2003 results, the Company is
expecting to report a significant loss in the fourth quarter.
The anticipated fourth quarter loss could exceed $20 million."

The stock dropped below $8 per share on this news, an 80%
decline from its Class Period high of more than $42.00 per
share. Today, trading in PriceSmart common stock opened at $5.85
per share.

For more information, contact Neil Rothstein, or David Scott,
Esq., by Mail: 108 Norwich Avenue, Colchester, Connecticut
06415, by Phone: 800/404-7770, or Fax: 860/537-4432.


SONICWALL INC.: Milberg Weiss Lodges Securities Suit in N.D. CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP initiated a class
action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of California on behalf of purchasers of
SonicWALL, Inc. common stock during the period between October
17, 2000 and April 3, 2002.

The complaint charges SonicWALL and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934. SonicWALL provides Internet security solutions designed
for broadband access customers in the small to medium
enterprise, branch office, telecommuter, and education markets.
The Company's Internet security appliance is marketed under the
SonicWALL name.

The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants
knowingly shipped unassembled electronic components even though
they were aware that the components would not and could not meet
the specifications, requirements and warranties of agreements
entered into with SonicWALL's clients. The complaint further
alleges that defendants knowingly caused SonicWALL to enter into
these agreements with its clients knowing that it would be
unable to provide products that would meet the specifications,
requirements and warranties of the agreements. Moreover,
defendants caused SonicWALL to enter into these agreements only
to improve the Company's financial status for these quarters as
part of a fraudulent plan to manipulate its financial earnings
reports and artificially inflate its share price, while actually
having no intention of delivering product conforming with the
agreements. According to the complaint there were substantial
deficiencies in the Company's products, including, among other
things, circuit boards that had not been programmed and that did
not have connector ports that were necessary to perform the
tests required under the warranties and agreements.

As a result of defendants' issuance of false and misleading
financial statements during the Class Period, SonicWALL's shares
traded at artificially inflated levels, allowing defendants to
sell $34 million worth of their own SonicWALL shares.

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


VERTEX PHARMACEUTICALS: Marc Henzel Lodges Securities Suit in MA
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Marc S. Henzel initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the District of
Massachusetts on behalf of purchasers of Vertex Pharmaceuticals
Inc. (NASDAQ: VRTX) publicly traded securities during the period
between March 27, 2000 and September 24, 2001.

The complaint charges Vertex and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934. Vertex is a global biotechnology company focused on the
discovery, development and commercialization of breakthrough
drugs for a range of serious diseases.  The complaint alleges
that during the Class Period, defendants artificially inflated
the price of Vertex stock by concealing critical material
information regarding its p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase
(MAPK) program, for Vertex development compound VX-745.

The following facts which were known by each of the defendants
during the Class Period, but were concealed from the investing
public, were:

     (1) That p38 MAPK has a varied tissue distribution and is
         implicated not only in inflammation and arthritis, but
         also in cellular models for neuronal differentiation
         and effects, presenting multiple targets and
         significant drug design challenges, which defendants
         knew from well before the beginning of the Class
         Period;

     (2) That small, highly lipophilic molecules designed as
         inhibitors of p38 MAPK are at great risk of crossing
         the blood-brain barrier and of causing neuronal
         effects;

     (3) That defendants already knew or should have known what
         constituted an acceptable absorption, distribution,
         metabolism and excretion ("ADME") profile for p38 MAPK
         inhibitors targeting inflammation and arthritis, as
         opposed to inhibitor targets for neuronal effects,
         particularly the desired molecular weight and
         lipophilicity, as well as the correlation of
         lipophilicity with the potential for p38 MAPK related
         neuronal effects;

     (4) That defendants knew or should have known, as early as
         1998, of the importance of lipophilicity in the design
         of p38 MAPK inhibitors, since they had designed at
         least one other class of potential inhibitory molecules
         targeting p38 MAPK, possessing significantly lower
         lipophilicity;

     (5) That VX-745, a potential p38 MAPK inhibitor intended to
         target inflammatory disease, asthma, crohn's disease
         and rheumatoid arthritis, was exceptionally lipophilic
         and thus would be predicted to cross the blood-brain
         barrier and thus to cause neuronal effects;

     (6) That once clinical testing of VX-745 had commenced,
         defendants quietly continued the preclinical testing of
         VX-745 in secret, despite public assurances that they
         would not commence clinical development until all
         preclinical studies were completed;

     (7) That defendants purposefully delayed the announcement
         of renewed long-term preclinical studies of VX-745 in
         animals until announcement of study results to avoid
         connection of the need for the renewed studies with the
         October 2000 disclosure of defendants' problems with
         the Vertex first-generation drug candidate selection
         process;

     (8) That the announcement of the unsuitability of VX-745 as
         a drug candidate was similarly delayed until two months
         after completion of the merger with Aurora Biosciences
         Corp.; and

     (9) That the failure to disclose the defective nature of
         the VX-745 program, including but not limited to
         physical and chemical properties, ADME profile, tests,
         experiments and preclinical and clinical studies, would
         prevent investors and Aurora Biosciences Corp.
         shareholders from learning the extent of the
         misrepresentations made to them during the Class
         Period.

The announcement on Sept. 24, 2001 of the termination of the VX-
745 drug development program caused Vertex's stock price to drop
to as low as $17.74 from its Class Period high of $97.25, on
record volume of over 9.8 million shares, causing hundreds of
millions of dollars in damages to members of the Class.

For more details, contact Marc S. Henzel by Mail: 273 Montgomery
Ave., Suite 202, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 by Phone: 610-660-8000 or
888-643-6735 by Fax: 610-660-8080 or by E-Mail:
mhenzel182@aol.com.


WATSON PHARMACEUTICALS: Marc Henzel Lodges Securities Suit in CA
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Marc S. Henzel initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the Central
District of California on behalf of purchasers of Watson
Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE: WPI) common stock during the period
between November 2, 1999 and November 13, 2001, inclusive.

The complaint alleges that Watson and certain of its officers
and directors violated U.S. securities laws (Sections 10(b) and
20(a) of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder), by issuing materially false and
misleading statements.  These alleged false statements include:

     (1) that Watson was materially overstating its financial
         results by failing to write down the value of its
         inventories and the value of certain of the Company's
         assets;

     (2) that Watson was experiencing significantly increased
         competition for generic drugs and was also experiencing
         manufacturing difficulties; and

     (3) that defendants' positive statements about the Company
         were lacking in a reasonable basis at all times and
         were therefore materially false and misleading.

Defendants used millions of shares of Watson common stock to
acquire other businesses before these facts were disclosed to
the investing public.

On November 13, 2001, Watson disclosed its financial results for
the third quarter 2001 which were well below expectations.
Additionally, the Company announced that it was writing off
almost all of its investment in Dilacor XR and that the Company
was writing off over $20 million in additional impaired
inventory.

In response the price of Watson common stock plummeted, trading
down almost $20 per share, to close trading at $28.54 per share,
compared to the prior day's close of $47.15 per share, on volume
of over 15.3 million shares traded -- almost 20 times the
average trading volume for Watson shares.

For more details, contact Marc S. Henzel by Mail: 273 Montgomery
Ave., Suite 202, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 by Phone: 610-660-8000 or
888-643-6735 by Fax: 610-660-8080 or by E-Mail:
mhenzel182@aol.com.


                        *********

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

                        *********


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