CAR_Public/031219.mbx            C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R
  
           Friday, December 19, 2003, Vol. 5, No. 250

                        Headlines                            

ABORTION LITIGATION: Court Okays Law Banning Late-Term Abortion
AIRGATE PCS: GA Plaintiffs Seeking Lead Plaintiff Appointment
ALLIANCE CAPITAL: Moving To Reduce Fees In Funds Probe Agreement
AMERICAN WEST: Reaches Tentative Settlement With Pilots Union
BARNEY'S NEW YORK: Reaches Settlement For Consumer Fraud Suits

CALIFORNIA: Pension Fund Seeks Investors To Join Suit v. NYSE
CONNECTICUT: Labor Group Files Rights Suit against Two Hospitals
DE BEERS: Faces Second Diamond Price-Fixing Lawsuit In NJ Court
FACTORY 2-U: Two Ex-Employees Commence Overtime Wage Suit in CA
FACTORY 2-U: Seeks Transfer Of Overtime Wage Lawsuit To C.D. CA

FEDERATED DEPARTMENT: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Securities Suit
FLORIDA: Cordova Park Residents Get Help With Suit V. Contractor
FLU OUTBREAK: Sufferers Across Nation Crowd ER Rooms, Facilities
IBP INC.: Trial in Cattle Producers Antitrust Suit Set Jan. 2004
IBP INC.: SD Court Hears Arguments On Securities Suit Settlement

LEATHER EXPERTS: Fairness Hearing For Settlement Set Jan. 2004
NBTY INC.: Discovery Proceeds in NY Prohormone Supplements Suit
NBTY INC.: Discovery Starts in FL, CA Prohormone Consumer Suits
NBTY INC.: Opposing Class Certification For Nutrition Bar Suit
OHIO: Man Threatens To File Lawsuit Over Botched Diagnostic Test

PEP BOYS: Mails Claim Forms in Consumer Fraud Lawsuit Settlement
PACIFIC BELL: CA High Court Reinstates Deceptive Marketing Suit
PINNACLE BUSINESS: FL Court Enters Final Judgment V. Firm, Execs
PUTNAM FUNDS: Fires More Employees, Charges Improper Trading
SPORTS AUTHORITY: Reaches Settlement For CA Overtime Wage Suits

SPORT-HALEY INC: Announces Settlement of Securities Fraud Suit
TYSON FOODS: FLSA Violations Suit Remanded To PA Federal Court
TYSON FOODS: Factual Discovery Proceeding in DE Securities Suit
TYSON FOODS: Trial in WA Employees Wage Suit Set September 2004
TYSON FOODS: Case Conference in FLSA Suit Set January 2004 in TN

TYSON FOODS: OK Court Certifies Two Classes in Grand Lake Suit
WALGREENS: Suit Settlement Talks Stall Over Compliance Language
WET SEAL: Recalls Zutopia Girl's Loungewear Due To Burn Hazard

                     Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ALCOA Sees Increase in Asbestos Suits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Mulls Over Calls for Judge's Ouster
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Aluminum Co. Sued By Ex-Employee's Daughter
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: CSR Bares Asbestos Woes in AUS, U.S.
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Halliburton Units Tumble into Chapter 11

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Illinois Power Notes 35 Pending Lawsuits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Lucent Technologies Battles Asbestos Suits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Met Pro Continues to Face Asbestos Woes
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Victim Welcomes Workcover Payout
ASBESTOS ALERT: Jury Awards Victim $1.7M in CertainTeed Lawsuit

                 New Securities Fraud Cases

CHARLES SCHWAB: Cauley Geller Files Securities Suit in N.D. CA
EXCELSIOR FUNDS: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges CA Securities Suit
INVESCO FUNDS: Cauley Geller Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in CO
MASSACHUSETTS FINANCIAL: Cauley Geller Launches Stock Suit in MA
MORGAN STANLEY: Cauley Geller Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in NY

NETWORK ENGINES: Schiffrin & Barroway Files MA Securities Suit
PILGRIM BAXTER: Rabin Murray Files Securities Fraud Suit in PA
PILGRIM BAXTER: Cauley Geller Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in PA
SILICON IMAGE: Lasky & Rifkind Lodges Securities Suit in N.D. CA
SILICON IMAGE: Charles Piven Launches Securities Suit in N.D. CA

                        *********

ABORTION LITIGATION: Court Okays Law Banning Late-Term Abortion
---------------------------------------------------------------
A federal appeals court on Wednesday ruled that an Ohio law that
bans a controversial late-term abortion procedure is
constitutionally acceptable and the state can enforce it, the
Associated Press reports.  The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
ruled 2-1 to reverse a lower court's ruling against the law,
which had been challenged before it could take effect in August
2000.

U.S. District Judge Walter Rice of Dayton ruled in 2001 that
Ohio's law was unconstitutional because it wouldn't allow the
procedure, called partial-birth abortion by opponents, to be
used when it is safer for a patient.

Abortion provider Dr. Martin Haskell, who sued three years ago
to challenge Ohio's law, will appeal Wednesday's ruling, said
his lawyer, Alphonse Gerhardstein.  In February 2002, the Bush
administration filed arguments in support of Ohio's law.

Judge Rice ruled that the law would not allow the dilation-and-
extraction procedure to be used when it is safer for a patient
than other alternatives.  The procedure involves pulling the
fetus partially out of the uterus feet first.  The skull is then
punctured and the brain suctioned out, causing the skull to
collapse and easing passage through the birth canal.

Ohio had argued that its law contains an exception that would
allow the procedure when necessary - in reasonable medical
judgment - to preserve the mother's life or health.  However,
Judge Rice said he found that argument "unpersuasive" because
the procedure could be used only on patients who have conditions
that would cause them irreversible harm if other abortion
techniques were used.


AIRGATE PCS: GA Plaintiffs Seeking Lead Plaintiff Appointment
-------------------------------------------------------------
Certain plaintiffs and their counsel filed renewed motions
seeking to be appointed lead plaintiffs and counsel in the
securities class actions filed against AirGate PCS, Inc. in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of
Georgia.  The suit also names as defendants:

     (1) Thomas M. Dougherty,

     (2) Barbara L. Blackford,

     (3) Alan B. Catherall,

     (4) Credit Suisse First Boston,

     (5) Lehman Brothers,

     (6) UBS Warburg LLC,

     (7) William Blair & Company,

     (8) Thomas Wiesel Partners LLC and

     (9) TD Securities

The complaints do not specify an amount or range of damages that
the plaintiffs are seeking.  The complaints seek class
certification and allege that the prospectus used in connection
with the secondary offering of Company stock by certain former
iPCS shareholders on December 18, 2001 contained materially
false and misleading statements and omitted material information
necessary to make the statements in the prospectus not false and
misleading.  The alleged omissions included:

     (i) failure to disclose that in order to complete an
         effective integration of iPCS, drastic changes would
         have to be made to the Company's distribution channels,

    (ii) failure to disclose that the sales force in the
         acquired iPCS markets would require extensive
         restructuring and

   (iii) failure to disclose that the "churn" or "turnover" rate
         for subscribers would increase as a result of an
         increase in the amount of sub-prime credit quality
         subscribers the Company added from its merger with
         iPCS.

On July 15, 2002, certain plaintiffs and their counsel filed a
motion seeking appointment as lead plaintiffs and lead counsel.  
Subsequently, the court denied this motion without prejudice and
two of the plaintiffs and their counsel filed a renewed motion
seeking appointment as lead plaintiffs and lead counsel.  On
September 12, 2003, the court again denied that motion without
prejudice and on December 2, 2003, certain plaintiffs' and their
counsel filed a modified renewed motion.


ALLIANCE CAPITAL: Moving To Reduce Fees In Funds Probe Agreement
----------------------------------------------------------------
Investors in Alliance Capital Management LP mutual funds would
save $350 million on fees over the next five years, while
current investors will share a $250 million restitution fund
under two deals to settle allegations the firm permitted favored
customers to make improper short-term trades, The Washington
Post reports.   
  
Under an agreement with New York state Attorney General Eliot L.
Spitzer, Alliance would roll back fund fees by 20 percent
immediately and be prohibited from increasing them for five
years, officials said.  The firm, which has among the industry's
highest fees, also has agreed to hire an executive to determine
that future charges to investors are fair and competitive.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has negotiated a separate
settlement that requires Alliance to send restitution checks
directly to investors who held shares in its funds during the
period when the company allowed a dozen big customers to engage
in "market timing."  At the SEC's insistence, investors will get
all of the $250 million penalty, the largest ever paid by a fund
company, officials said.

Although more details of the deals, which were approved by
Alliance's board this week, were disclosed Tuesday, the formal
settlements will not be announced until Thursday because lawyers
for all sides are still drafting the final legal documents,
officials said.

The Alliance settlements would be the first to set a price on
restitution since AG Spitzer and the SEC began investigating the
$7.1 trillion industry.  The New York agreement also appears to
be the first mutual fund settlement ever to include fee cuts for
future investors.

"This deal will show that when a mutual fund has failed to look
out for its investors, the payments back to shareholders will be
enormous, the structural changes will be significant, and fee
reductions can play a part," Mr. Spitzer said in an interview,
the Post reports.

The SEC's five commissioners declined to join in the fee-cutting
portion of the settlement and instead pushed Alliance to sweeten
its restitution offer from $200 million to $250 million.  
Officials familiar with the discussion said the commissioners
felt the issue of fees was not tied closely enough to the
trading violations that sparked the enforcement action.  They
also were disposed against a deal that gave benefits to future
customers of Alliance and required the firm's alleged victims to
remain with the company to reap full benefits.

"We believe that any monetary benefits of a law enforcement
settlement should go to the victims of the misconduct," SEC
Chairman William H. Donaldson said in an interview.  He declined
to talk about the Alliance case specifically but added, "the SEC
should not serve as a fee setter. (Instead) investors should be
fully informed about the fees they are charged."

Sources familiar with the probe said regulators found evidence
that Alliance's top managers allowed big customers to engage in
market timing in Alliance mutual funds in exchange for large
investments in several Alliance hedge funds.  Alliance earns
higher management fees for the hedge fund investments than it
does for mutual funds.

Regulators say fund companies are committing fraud if they allow
favored customers to do it while telling ordinary customers the
practice is not permitted.  In the wake of the current
investigations, several fund companies - including AIM
Management Group Inc. and Franklin Resources - have amended
their prospectuses to say they may not be able to prevent
timing.

St. John's University law professor Michael A. Perino likened
the plan for lower fees to coupons or discounts on future
purchases often offered to consumers as part of a class-action
settlement, the Post stated.

However, AG Spitzer defended his deal, saying that Alliance's
fees were excessive because the fund's independent board members
had failed to look out for investors and that the pact would
force them to justify future increases publicly.

Georgetown University law professor Donald C. Langevoort said
both sides of the debate have valid arguments.  "From a
conceptual standpoint, the SEC is right . If fees are an issue,
you want to deal with them comprehensively . but as a fund
shareholder, I love the idea that somebody is out there saying
'reduce these fees, which are a product of opportunism.' It's
frontier justice," he told the Post.

Also yesterday, Putnam Investments, the only other fund company
to reach a settlement with the SEC, revealed that a review of
the personal trading by all 12,700 current and former employees
had found more evidence that workers engaged in market timing in
the company's funds.  In addition to six portfolio managers
previously identified and let go, Putnam officials fired nine
employees after determining they knowingly engaged in improper
short-term trading.  A company spokeswoman described them as
junior employees and said none was a money manager.

Putnam, which has lost major institutional investors, said it
has also given regulators information about a group of six
former employees who allegedly coordinated improper trading.

"We view this as one of the continuing steps to restore investor
confidence," Putnam chief executive Charles E. "Ed" Haldeman
told the Post.


AMERICAN WEST: Reaches Tentative Settlement With Pilots Union
-------------------------------------------------------------
America West Airlines and its pilots union reached their third
tentative contract agreement of the year and hope to get pilot
approval before the year's end, the Associated Press reports.
Union members are expected to begin voting Friday on the new
agreement, reached late Tuesday.  The most recent rejection was
just two weeks ago, with the contract failing by five votes.

Union and America West officials said no additional money was
put on the table for the latest offer.  Instead, other contract
changes were offered.  "We're confident the pilot group is going
to be receptive to these changes because they address the main
issues pilots were concerned about," Terry Stadler, chairman of
the Air Line Pilots Association unit and an America West
captain, told AP.

Key changes in the newest offer include the extension of long-
term disability payments to those who are ages 60 to 65.  Under
a 1995 contract, pilots were eligible for the payments until age
65 but the most recently rejected offer would have set the age
cutoff at 60.

"The pilots had a great amount of concern over that reduction,"
Doug Dotter, chairman of the negotiating committee, told AP.

Mr. Stadler said the proposed changes would also apply to pilots
that have retired since May 2000, after the last contract
expired.  The latest contract offer also provides that pilots
aged 55 or older will not have a new "bridge" retirement benefit
reduced by their signing bonus amounts.  Under the previously
rejected offer, the benefit was offset by the bonus amount, a
$12,000 contribution to the 401(k) for captains and $7,500 for
first officers.  

In addition, the new proposal calls for pilots to get a bigger
share of productivity bonuses in exchange for each pilot working
an additional three hours per month.  The two sides have been in
contract negotiations for more than 3 1/2 years.

"I don't even want to speculate," on the outcome, Elise
Eberwein, an airline spokeswoman, told AP.  "The best thing for
us to do is to trust in the union leadership . We were hopeful
last time . I think both sides agree that it has been too long."

Voting on the latest proposal is expected to continue until 8
a.m., December 30, officials told AP.

In afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange, shares of
America West Holdings Corporation were down 8 cents at $11.88.


BARNEY'S NEW YORK: Reaches Settlement For Consumer Fraud Suits
--------------------------------------------------------------
Barney's New York reached a settlement for the class action
filed against it in the Superior Court for the State of
California, County of San Diego, alleging two causes of action
for purported violations of California's Civil Code and Business
and Professions Code relating to the alleged requesting by the
Company of certain information.

The complaint sought relief on a class basis under the statutes
permitting a plaintiff to recover a fine, in the discretion of
the court, and such other damages which each member of the class
may have suffered as a result of the Company's alleged conduct.  
The complaint further sought an accounting of all moneys and
profits received by the Company in connection with the alleged
violations as well as injunctive relief with respect to the
alleged practices.  It also sought certification of the class
and attorneys' fees.



CALIFORNIA: Pension Fund Seeks Investors To Join Suit v. NYSE
-------------------------------------------------------------
California Public Employees Retirement, the nation's largest
public pension fund is seeking other private and institutional
investors to join a class action lawsuit against the New York
Stock Exchange, the Associated Press reports.

The $154 billion fund sued the exchange and seven trading firms
Tuesday, alleging that fraudulent trading practices had cost it
millions of dollars in recent years.  CalPERS officials said the
suit could potentially include all investors who traded at the
exchange for the last five years.  The lawsuit states the firms
handled 3 billion trades for the pension fund over the last five
years.

"We're convinced, and we will seek to prove in court, that the
New York Stock Exchange not only knew of these rampant problems,
and knew they existed, but also perpetuated them," CalPERS
president Sean Harrigan told AP.

Officials said they decided to sue rather than rely on the
Securities and Exchange Commission, which is conducting its own
investigation into floor-trading, because the agency has not
fulfilled its regulatory duties.

CalPERS is seeking an unspecified amount of money, but officials
of the pension fund said it could add up to hundreds of millions
of dollars if others also join the suit.  CalPERS has $60
billion invested on Wall Street.  The seven specialist trading
firms named in the lawsuit are:

     (1) LaBranche and Co.,

     (2) Bear Wagner Specialists,

     (4) Spear, Leeds & Kellogg Specialists,

     (5) Van Der Mollen Specialists USA,

     (6) Fleetboston Financial Corporation,

     (7) Performance Specialist Group and

     (8) Susquehanna Specialists Inc.

The NYSE and SEC declined to comment on the filing. LaBranche
and Goldman Sachs Group, parent firm of Spear, Leeds & Kellogg,
also had no comment.  The other specialist firms were not
reached for comment.

The job of specialist firms is to make a market in stocks
assigned to them by matching buyers and sellers on the NYSE
trading floor.  The CalPERS suit contends the specialist firms
used their position to make stocks sales and purchases to their
benefit, and that the NYSE failed to stop them.

The firms are accused of failing to fill outstanding buy-and-
sell orders at the best prices and routinely and unnecessarily
intervening in trades, earning fees for themselves and the
exchange at the expense of investors.  CalPERS officials charged
that stock exchange officials hid the extent of the practices
from investors.


CONNECTICUT: Labor Group Files Rights Suit against Two Hospitals
----------------------------------------------------------------
The labor group that orchestrated last year's janitors strike in
Boston filed a lawsuit yesterday accusing two Connecticut
hospitals of illegally denying low-income patients free medical
care, charging them higher rates, and attaching their wages when
they couldn't pay, Knight-Ridder / Tribune Business News
reports.

The allegations are the focus of a class action filed in New
Haven Superior Court by Service Employees International Union
1199 -- New England, part of the 1.5 million-member group that
launched an aggressive union-organizing drive in Boston that led
2,000 of the area's 10,700 janitors to strike for more pay and
healthcare coverage.  The SEIU has launched organizing campaigns
at nursing homes, hospitals, and healthcare centers across the
country.

The lawsuit alleges that Yale-New Haven Hospital and Bridgeport
Hospital violated a state law requiring that hospitals inform
patients of the existence of "free-care funds" for low-income
individuals and families.  The suit also alleges that uninsured
patients were charged up to 50 percent more for treatment at the
two hospitals than insured patients.

New Haven attorney Dan Livingston, who represents the SEIU,
estimated the size of the free-care funds at Yale-New Haven and
Bridgeport hospitals at $30 million and $8 million,
respectively.  He told the Tribune Business News the suit, if
certified as a class action, would be pressed on behalf of about
10,000 low-income patients.  The suit also names Yale-New Haven
Health Services Corporation, the parent of both institutions.

"We're asking the court to vacate all previous judgments against
the plaintiffs and other members of the class, to release them
from the obligation to pay at the hospital's established rates,
and to award compensatory as well as punitive damages and
attorney's fees and costs," Mr. Livingston said.  "We're also
asking that the court appoint an independent board of trustees
to oversee all free bed funds administered by the hospitals."

Vin Petrini, senior vice president of public affairs at Yale-New
Haven Hospital, said the SEIU has been trying to organize 1,800
hospital employees at his institution and is using the suit to
pressure management into allowing the workers to join simply by
signing union cards, rather than participating in an election.

In recent years, unions have shied away from elections.  They
maintain that employers often retaliate by threatening to fire,
suspend, or demote workers who participate in union organizing
campaigns and elections.

"This is a tactic that is part of an orchestrated campaign by
the union to secure representation at the hospital," said Mr.
Petrini.  "It is a way of pressuring Yale-New Haven into
recognizing the union without having to hold a secret ballot
election supervised by the National Labor Relations Board. We
recognize and respect employees' rights to seek union
representation, but we are absolutely committed to an election
process that will ensure a confidential ballot."

Mr. Petrini said the hospital recently reviewed 11,000
outstanding accounts and found 868 that could have qualified for
free care.  He said the hospital closed those accounts and
eliminated the debt.  The hospital's threshold for eligibility
for the funds was also increased to 250 percent of the poverty
level, or an annual salary of $46,000 for a family of four.

Bridgeport Hospital spokesman John Cappiello told the Tribune
Business News the hospital provided more than $20 million worth
of medical care to uninsured and underinsured individuals in
fiscal 2003 and has always posted signs about the availability
of free care. "We even publish a notice in the newspaper
advertising that the funds are available and people are welcome
to apply," he said.

Bill Meyerson, the SEIU's communications organizer, denied the
union was using the lawsuit to pressure Yale-New Haven. He said
Local 1199 sued after talking to low-wage workers about the
hospital's billing practices.

"This did not start off as part of our union organizing
campaign," he said.  "Workers who were interested in forming a
union came to us and told us about it."


DE BEERS: Faces Second Diamond Price-Fixing Lawsuit In NJ Court
---------------------------------------------------------------
A second complaint against diamond group De Beers, alleging
anticompetitive practice, received approval from the District
Court of New Jersey on September 22 to proceed with a class
action suit, Business Journal reports.  The case was brought by
Anco Industrial Diamond Corporation and America Diamond Tool &
Gauge.

According to sources, present and former Diamond Trading Company
sightholders in New York are being subpoenaed to give evidence
on alleged practices, which the accusers say resulted in price
fixing.  The action, which involves rough diamonds, follows a
class action related to synthetic diamonds, filed in October
2001 and settled out of court for $20 million.

De Beers spokesman Lynette Hori told the Business Journal in
London that De Beers knew proceedings were afoot in the U.S.,
where it has been barred from operating since the early 1990s
for alleged antitrust activities.  She said the group was not in
a position to discuss litigation.

An indictment issued in 1994 by the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of Ohio, remains unserved.  Since then De
Beers has had no legal presence in the U.S., by far the largest
consumer market for diamonds, and its directors do not travel
there.

De Beers is under pressure to solve its antitrust problems in
the US ahead of the planned opening of a flagship De Beers LV
store in New York late next year.  It says it is confident it
will break into the US, which could lead to it trading in the US
by the end of next year, the Business Journal states.

The European Commission advanced its investigation into
complaints by several sightholders about De Beers' supplier-of-
choice policy, requesting De Beers to react in writing in the
next few weeks to statements by complainants.  If needed, there
can be bilateral meetings.

A legal expert familiar with the situation in Brussel said,
"Either they (the commission) will decide there is no reason for
infringement and ask the complainants to withdraw their
complaint, or reject them (the complaints).  Or they will issue
a statement of objections to which De Beers has the opportunity
to reply."  He said formal hearings would take place only if
there was some substance so that it could issue a statement of
objections.

Such a statement of objections was issued against De Beers'
trade contract with Russian state diamond company Alrosa in
January, warning about the European Commission's preliminary
view that the sales contract under which Alrosa is committed to
sell half of its production through De Beers' marketing arm in
London is in breach of European Union competition rules.

While the commission gave De Beers and Alrosa the opportunity to
develop their arguments and is still examining the case,
reservations raised are likely to have a significant effect on
the way De Beers structures its future agreements with the
world's second-largest producer.


FACTORY 2-U: Two Ex-Employees Commence Overtime Wage Suit in CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Factory 2-U Stores, Inc. faces a class action, styled "Lynda
Bray, Masis Manougian, etc., Plaintiffs, vs. Factory 2-U Stores,
Inc., etc., Defendants, Case No. RCV071918," filed in the
Superior Court of the State of California for the County of San
Bernardino.

Two former employees Lynda Bray and Masis Manougian filed the
suit, which alleges that the Company violated the California
Labor Code, Industrial Wage Commission Orders and the California
Unfair Competition Act by failing to pay wages and overtime for
all hours worked, by failing to document all hours worked, by
threatening to retaliate against employees who sought to
participate in the settlement of a former suit and by failing to
inform prospective employees of unpaid wage claims.  

Plaintiffs purport to bring this action on behalf of all persons
who were employed in one of the Company's California stores at
any time after April 25, 2003.  Plaintiffs seek compensatory and
exemplary damages, interest, penalties, attorneys' fees and
disgorged profits in an amount which plaintiffs estimated to be
not less than $100,000,000.  Plaintiffs also seek injunctive
relief requiring correction of the alleged unlawful practices.

Although at this stage of the litigation it is difficult to
predict the outcome of the case with certainty, the Company
believes that it has meritorious defenses to the suit and is
vigorously defending against it.


FACTORY 2-U: Seeks Transfer Of Overtime Wage Lawsuit To C.D. CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Factory 2-U Stores, Inc. seeks the removal of a class action
filed against it in the Superior Court of the State of
California for the County of Los Angeles to the United States
District Court for the Central District of California.

In November 2003, Virginia Camarena, a current employee in one
of the Company's California stores, filed a lawsuit against the
Company, entitled "Virginia Camarena, Plaintiff, vs. Factory 2 U
Stores, etc., Defendants, Case No.  BC305173."  The plaintiff
alleges that the Company violated the California Wage for Unpaid
Wages and Overtime Wages, California Labor Code, California
Business and Profession Code and the Fair Labor Standards Act by
failing to pay her wages and overtime for all hours worked, by
failing to provide her with statements showing the proper amount
of hours worked, wrongfully converting the property of plaintiff
by failing to pay overtime wages owed on the next payday after
they were earned.  

Plaintiff purports to bring this as a class action on behalf of
all persons who were employed in one of the Company's California
stores or outside the state of California.  Plaintiffs seek
compensatory, punitive and liquidated damages, restitution,
interest, penalties and attorneys' fees.

In December 2003, the company filed an answer to the complaint.  
Although at this stage of the litigation it is difficult to
predict the outcome of the case with certainty, the Company
believes that it has meritorious defenses to the Lawsuit and is
vigorously defending against it.


FEDERATED DEPARTMENT: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Securities Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Federated Department Stores, Inc. asked the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York to dismiss
the consolidated securities class action filed against it and
certain members of its senior management on behalf of persons
who purchased shares of the Company between February 23, 2000
and July 20, 2000.  

The suit, styled "In Re Federated Department Stores, Inc.
Securities Litigation, Case No. 00-CV-6362 (RCC)," alleges
violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, on the basis
that the Company, among other things, made false and misleading
statements regarding its financial condition and results of
operations and failed to disclose material information relating
to the credit delinquency problem at the Company's former
Fingerhut subsidiary.  The plaintiffs are seeking unspecified
amounts of compensatory damages and costs, including legal fees.  


FLORIDA: Cordova Park Residents Get Help With Suit V. Contractor
----------------------------------------------------------------
Lawsuits filed by Cordova Park residents against a contractor
hired by the City of Pensacola have become high-stakes since a
high-profile Texas attorney signed on, Pensacola News Journal
reports.

Herbert T. Schwartz of WoodFill-Pressler law firm in Houston
filed a notice of appearance on November 20 but has been working
on the case for about two months, said David Woodward, a
Pensacola attorney representing the residents.  Legal action was
taken against Clark Site Contractors, and notices have been
filed stating intent to sue the city after the required six-
month waiting period.

The lawsuits claim millions of dollars in damages - and the
total is growing daily - for damage caused to homes and property
by the heavy equipment used in the construction and installation
of huge underground vaults.  The vaults filter contaminants from
stormwater runoff before it reaches Bayou Texar.

"I am a one-man shop," Mr. Woodward, who maintains a practice in
Pensacola but has worked with Schwartz on several occasions.  
"This case has taken on proportions that are beyond my physical
talents to handle all by myself."

Mr. Schwartz has worked as a deputy attorney general for the
state of Florida as well as a U.S. Air Force military trial
judge.  He specializes in antitrust and class action law and is
an adjunct professor at the University of Houston and the South
Texas College of Law.

"Everything I have ever heard about him has really been
outstanding," Pensacola attorney Fred Levin, a college
fraternity brother of Mr. Schwartz told the News Journal.  "I
imagine he's excellent in the courtroom, and especially in this
area, with him being ex-military, he will do well."

The case will involve many experts, including engineers, and
Schwartz's involvement will help underwrite the costs involved
with the case, Mr. Woodward added.

Jim Smith, who has filed suit against Clark Site Contractors and
given the city notice of intent to sue, said a pile-driving
machine has ruined his home, pool and tennis court at Bayou
Boulevard and Gumwood Road.  "They (Clark Site Contractors) have
destroyed several homes, and they get worse by the day," Mr.
Smith said.  "I think eventually we are looking at 16 to 20
individuals suing who have major damage."

The suit is a "mass-action" case rather than class action
because of the varying degrees of damage to the homes, Mr.
Schwartz said.  He said he became involved with the case after
touring Mr. Smith's home and deeming the suit has merit, but he
declined to comment on the case while it is in progress.

City Council member J.D. Smith told the News Journal the council
wishes to resolve the situation but cannot act because it
violates the relationship the city has with the contractor's
insurance company.

"There has been damage, and everyone acknowledges that," J.D.
Smith told the News Journal.  "But the council is really in a
bind because now it is between the homeowners and the insurance
company to resolve that."

Assistant City Attorney John Fleming said his office has been
monitoring the situation but has not yet been sued. "They have
gone ahead and sued the contractor, and the city has insurance
through the contractor, so it makes little sense for them to sue
(the city)," he said.  "But they will do what they are going to
do."


FLU OUTBREAK: Sufferers Across Nation Crowd ER Rooms, Facilities
----------------------------------------------------------------
Sniffling, achy people suffering from the flu are crowding
hospital emergency rooms around the country, creating long waits
in the ER and frustrating doctors who can do little more than
treat the symptoms, the Associated Press reports.

Hospitals in Arizona and North Carolina report patients swamping
pediatric emergency rooms.  Health departments are scrambling to
get vaccines. Paper masks are being handed out in waiting rooms
in Rhode Island and Tennessee.  The ER at Vanderbilt Medical
Center in Nashville has seen a sharp increase in flu patients -
even though doctors try to discourage most flu patients from
visiting the emergency room.

"In most cases the patient faces increased wait times, and then
they're told they have a viral illness and should go home,"
Vanderbilt spokesman John Howser said.  "There's no treatment
that will make flu go away."

Some flu patients show up in emergency rooms because they don't
have a primary care doctor; others go to the ER because they are
frightened by news reports of widespread influenza activity in
24 states, AP reports.  

The government's best estimate suggests some 92 children under 5
die from flu annually.  So far this year, the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention has received reports of about
three dozen deaths among children of all ages.  In Phoenix,
patients seeking care for the flu have doubled at the pediatric
emergency room in Maricopa Medical Center.  Nearby, Good
Samaritan Regional also reported a 50 percent increase.

"It's been worse because it seems to have hit very quickly,"
said Dr. Stephen Murphey, an emergency room doctor at Good
Samaritan.  "Generally in the past, we've seen a gradual
progression."  The wait in some emergency rooms can be up to
eight hours at peak times, Murphey said.

Instead of going to the ER, "we would recommend that they
contact their family doctor," Dr. Murphey told AP.  "If they are
unable to do that, then yes, we're here and we're going to do
the best we can, realizing that the ER is very busy."

Gaston Memorial Hospital in Gastonia, N.C., has also seen a 50
percent increase in emergency room activity in recent weeks,
hospital spokeswoman Laura Poloniewicz told AP.

Charles Blair, a physician at Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care in
Weaverville, N.C., is seeing the same thing.  "I've been doing
this for 21 years, and this is the first time I've seen things
like this," Mr. Blair told AP.  "It's the first time we're
seeing it this early, with this many people, this bad."

The flood of patients is creating more problems than just long
lines.  Doctors say there is a danger that ER waiting rooms can
become a place where the virus spreads.  "When a large number of
patients come in contact with each other in a concentrated area,
there's a significantly higher risk of contracting the illness,"
Dr. Barry Gilmore, assistant medical director of emergency
services at Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center in Memphis told
AP.

To prevent that, Baptist Hospital in Nashville, Williamson
Medical Center in nearby Franklin, and Rhode Island Hospital in
Providence are passing out paper masks to patients in their
waiting rooms.  Doctors may be frustrated by some patients who
are needlessly clogging their emergency rooms, but others need
to be there.  Infants, children and older people are vulnerable
to the flu, which kills an average of 36,000 Americans a year.

"You have to eyeball people," Pat Smith, a nurse manager in the
pediatrics emergency room at Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix,
told AP.  "It's a habit for nurses to walk out and look for
severe cases. Sometimes, new parents don't know what to look
for."

In most cases, doctors give flu patients medicine to help settle
their stomach or reduce their fever.  They treat the symptoms to
make patients more comfortable.


IBP INC.: Trial in Cattle Producers Antitrust Suit Set Jan. 2004
----------------------------------------------------------------
Trial in the class action filed against IBP, Inc., styled "Henry
Lee Pickett, et al. v. IBP, Inc." is set for January 12, 2004 in
the United States District Court for the Middle District of
Alabama.

The suit seeks certification of a class of all cattle producers.  
The complaint alleged that IBP used its market power and alleged
"captive supply" agreements to reduce the prices paid by IBP on
purchases of cattle in the cash market in alleged violation of
the Packers and Stockyards Act (PSA).  Plaintiffs are seeking
injunctive and declaratory relief, as well as actual and
punitive damages.  

After Plaintiffs failed a number of times to get a class
certified, the court in December 2001 certified a class of
cattle producers who have sold to IBP exclusively on a cash
market basis from approximately 1994 to 2002.  IBP sought
permission to appeal the class certification to the 11th Circuit
Court of Appeals, but appeals court denied that appeal on March
5, 2002.  The Company's motions for summary judgment on both
liability and damages were denied on April 29, 2003.  On
November 19, 2003, the Court judge upheld the admissibility of
an amended Plaintiffs' expert report which calculates total
class damages, exclusive of pre-judgment interest, in excess of
$2.1 billion.  

Management believes IBP's use of marketing agreements and other
contracts for the purchase of cattle do not violate the PSA and
that IBP has acted properly and lawfully in its dealings with
cattle producers, it stated in a disclosure to the Securities
and Exchange Commission.


IBP INC.: SD Court Hears Arguments On Securities Suit Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the District of South
Dakota heard oral arguments for the settlement proposed by IBP,
Inc. for the consolidated securities class action filed on
behalf of all persons who purchased IBP stock between February
7, 2000, and January 25, 2001.

The suit, styled "In re IBP, inc. Securities Litigation,"
alleges that IBP and certain members of management violated
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934,
and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and claims IBP issued materially
false statements about IBP's financial results in order to
inflate its stock price.

The Company filed a Motion to Dismiss on December 21, 2001,
which was then fully briefed.  While the motion was awaiting
decision, IBP and the plaintiffs reached a tentative settlement
of all claims, as reflected by a Memorandum of Understanding
(MOU) that was executed on March 19, 2003.

The MOU set forth the essential terms of a settlement to be
reflected in final settlement documents to be prepared and
submitted to the court for approval, including, among other
terms and conditions, the dismissal with prejudice of all claims
against defendants, releases by class members, and a payment by
IBP of a total amount of $8 million.

In July 2003, a finalized Stipulation of Settlement consistent
with the MOU was executed and submitted to the court for its
preliminary approval.  The tentative settlement is subject to
various conditions, including among other things, execution of
definitive documentation and receiving preliminary and final
court approvals.  In light of this tentative settlement, IBP was
permitted by the court to withdraw its pending motion to
dismiss, without prejudice.

On July 31, 2003, the court issued an order preliminarily
approving the settlement, preliminarily certifying a Settlement
Class of all persons who purchased IBP common stock during the
period from February 7, 2000, through January 25, 2001, and
approving proposed notice to the Settlement Class members.  

The Company does not anticipate that effectuation of the
tentative settlement will have any material impact on its
financial condition, especially in view of IBP's insurance
coverage for the matter.


LEATHER EXPERTS: Fairness Hearing For Settlement Set Jan. 2004
--------------------------------------------------------------
Fairness hearing for the settlement proposed by Wilsons, The
Leather Experts, Inc. for the class action filed against them is
set for January 2004 in California State Court.  

The suit was filed in January 2003 on behalf of current and
former store managers of Wilsons Leather in California regarding
their classification as exempt from overtime pay.  In July 2003,
the Company reached a confidential settlement of the class
action through mediation. In October 2003, the court granted
preliminary approval of the settlement.  


NBTY INC.: Discovery Proceeds in NY Prohormone Supplements Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Discovery is proceeding in the class action filed against NBTY
Inc.'s retail store Vitamin World and several manufacturers and
retailers of so-called prohormone supplements in New York State
Court.

Prohormones are substances such as androstenedione that
plaintiffs allege are hormone precursors ingested to promote
muscle growth.  Plaintiffs allege that the advertising and
labeling of certain prohormone supplements overstate their
efficacy and do not fully disclose their risks, and seek class
certification and injunctive and monetary relief.  The action
was severed into separate class actions against each of the
defendants.

On December 6, 2002, an amended class action complaint was filed
against Vitamin World that purported to elaborate on the claims
initially alleged.  The court has not yet certified a class.

The Company believes that this action is without merit and
intends to vigorously defend against the claims asserted.  
However, because this action is in its early stages, no
determination can be made at this time as to the final outcome
of this action, nor can its materiality be accurately
ascertained.


NBTY INC.: Discovery Starts in FL, CA Prohormone Consumer Suits
---------------------------------------------------------------
Discovery is proceeding in the two class actions filed against
NBTY, Inc.'s retail outlet MET-Rx in Florida and California
state court.  Plaintiffs in each of these cases allege that the
advertising and labeling of certain prohormone supplements
overstate their efficacy and do not fully disclose their risks,
and seek class certification, injunctive and monetary relief.

In the Florida action, plaintiffs allege in the alternative that
if the prohormone products were effective as advertised, they
were anabolic steroids, controlled substances under Florida law.  
On this alternative theory, plaintiffs seek treble damages under
the Florida Civil RICO statute.


NBTY INC.: Opposing Class Certification For Nutrition Bar Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
NBTY, Inc. is opposing class certification of a lawsuit filed in
Alabama state court against it and several other health
supplement companies.

Plaintiffs allege that NBTY manufactured and marketed misbranded
nutrition bars, understating carbohydrate content.  Plaintiffs
seek class certification, injunctive, declaratory, and monetary
relief.  Class discovery is being taken, and no class has been
certified.  The Company is opposing class certification on the
basis that the plaintiffs were not damaged as alleged as a
result of any action by the Company.

On October 3, 2002, the Company was named as a defendant in a
second putative class action commenced in the same Alabama state
court as the above-identified litigation.  Plaintiffs, in an
attempt to pursue several retailers, including Vitamin World,
and not manufacturers of nutrition bars, allege that NBTY
marketed misbranded nutrition bars.

In November 2002, NBTY filed a motion to dismiss or abate the
lawsuit based on the principle that the court lacks subject-
matter jurisdiction because the earlier-filed lawsuit, which
seeks identical relief for the same purported class action
against the manufacturers, preempts this second attempt to
certify a class against NBTY.


OHIO: Man Threatens To File Lawsuit Over Botched Diagnostic Test
----------------------------------------------------------------
A man whose surgically removed lymph node spoiled before it
could be tested for cancer wants the Ohio Supreme Court to allow
patients to sue doctors and hospitals over the anguish of
wondering if a treated disease will return, the Associated Press
reports.

Attorneys for John Dobran argue he should be able to recover
pain-and-suffering damages now that he has lost his best chance
of knowing for sure whether cancer cells lurk somewhere in his
body.

However, Dayton Clinical Oncology Program, the physician
practice Mr. Dobran sued, argues the case would set a precedent
for a flood of patient lawsuits, driving up medical costs.  The
practice asked the justices to reverse an appeals court ruling
that the case should go to trial.  The justices heard arguments
this fall.  A ruling could come by early next year.

Mr. Dobran had a cancerous mole removed from his arm in 1998,
and surgeons removed the nearest lymph node to determine if the
disease had spread, court records show.  Mr. Dobran, 55, of
Dayton, had melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer.  Mr.
Dobran agreed to participate in a study in which half of the
tissue would be examined locally by microscope and the rest sent
to California for more sensitive DNA testing.  If that test
indicated cancer, he would be considered for experimental
treatment.

The microscope showed no cancer, but the frozen tissue thawed on
the way to California and wasn't usable for DNA testing.  "The
folks locally, knowing this shipment was time sensitive, didn't
bother to call ahead," said Sam Caras, Dobran's attorney.  "It
lay on a loading dock and it thawed."

Richard Reiling, attorney for Dayton Clinical Oncology, did not
return telephone messages seeking comment, AP reports.

Mr. Dobran, who told the court he lives in fear, is having all
his moles removed by a dermatologist.  Mr. Dobran and his wife,
Charlene, sued the cancer specialists and a Dayton hospital,
saying they can't enjoy life not knowing if he's cancer-free.
The Montgomery County Common Pleas Court dismissed the case,
saying Ohio law doesn't cover the fear of a disease returning.

The Ohio 2nd District Court of Appeals reinstated the lawsuit,
saying melanoma has a significant risk of spreading and Mr.
Dobran had lost his chance for the best test to determine if it
had.  "That peril is actual and real, even though its harmful
effects are contingent on the reoccurrence or continued
presence" of the cancer after treatment, the appeals judges
said.

Franciscan Medical Center and Dr. Robert Finley III, both of
Dayton, and the National Genetics Institute of Culver City,
California, also were named in the lawsuit but didn't pursue the
appeal to the Supreme Court.

Mr. Dobran's lawyer's arguments to the high court strayed from
an argument with a better chance of success laid out by the 2nd
District, Maxwell Mehlman, director of the Law-Medicine Center
at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland told AP.  
"They've fallen into a trap with this fear-of-illness claim,"
Mr. Mehlman said.  "Given the conservative nature of the court,
my hunch is that they will take the chance to limit these kinds
of actions, and unfortunately it looks like the plaintiff's
lawyer has given them a good avenue to do that."

With a so-called "lost chance" argument, the plaintiff can
recover damages by showing only a probability that there would
have been a better outcome without the defendant's negligence.  
"You could argue you have a lesser chance now of successfully
beating this disease because of the screw-up," Mr. Mehlman said.


PEP BOYS: Mails Claim Forms in Consumer Fraud Lawsuit Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Pep Boys - Manny Moe & Jack mailed claim forms for the
settlement of a class action filed against it in the California
Superior Court in Orange County, to plaintiffs on December
8,2004.

The suit, styled "Dubrow et al vs. The Pep Boys - Manny Moe &
Jack," involves former and current store management employees
who claim that they were improperly classified as exempt from
the overtime provisions of California law and seek to be
compensated for all overtime hours worked.  

The company later agreed to submit to binding arbitration.  At
the request of the parties, the arbitrator has determined how to
distribute the settlement funds among the class members,
attorneys' fees and litigation costs.  

The return deadline for the claim forms is on January 22, 2004.  
The number of claim forms returned by such deadline will
determine the Company's settlement amount, which is expected to
be paid in full by the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2004.  


PACIFIC BELL: CA High Court Reinstates Deceptive Marketing Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The California State Supreme Court on Monday reinstated a
lawsuit by Bay Area prosecutors against Pacific Bell for
allegedly deceptive marketing in a ruling that bolsters
enforcement of consumer-protection laws against utilities, the
San Francisco Chronicle reports.  

The court ruled unanimously that a county district attorney can
sue a utility for practices that are also being investigated by
the state Public Utilities Commission.  Lower courts had
dismissed the suits by the Alameda, San Mateo and Monterey
county district attorneys because the PUC was already looking
into the phone company's actions.

"That should provide better protection for consumers'' John
Wilson, a San Mateo County deputy district attorney, told the
Chronicle.  He noted that county prosecutors can sue under
false-advertising and unfair-competition laws that are beyond
the PUC's enforcement powers.  They also can seek reimbursement
for victims even when the PUC declines to do so.

The ruling also clears the way for private class-action lawsuits
against utilities that could seek additional damages, San
Francisco attorney James Sturdevant, who represents Pacific Bell
customers suing over allegedly unauthorized fees for maintaining
telephone wiring, told the Chronicle.  The court observed,
however, that private damage suits might interfere with PUC
enforcement actions and suggested that a trial judge consult
with the PUC before allowing such a case to proceed.

John Britton, spokesman for SBC Communications, which owns the
former Pacific Bell, said the company was disappointed by the
ruling.  He noted that the PUC has investigated the marketing
practices that are the subject of the prosecutors' suit and
fined the company $15.2 million.  The commission did not order
any reimbursement to customers.  "Additional litigation seems
unnecessary, unproductive and duplicative," Mr. Britton told the
Chronicle.

The PUC investigation was still under way, however, when the
district attorneys filed their suit in Alameda County Superior
Court in September 1999.  It accused the phone company of using
misleading marketing practices to boost the profits of its
Caller ID service, which lets customers see the telephone
numbers of their callers unless callers have chosen to block
their number from display.

As a result of the company's advertising campaign, the suit
said, more than 100,000 customers withdrew orders to block their
phone numbers from appearing on Caller ID, but about one-quarter
later switched back and said they had been deceived or hadn't
authorized the earlier change.  The suit also challenged the
company's marketing of other custom services and wiring
maintenance.  The district attorneys seek fines against the
company and restitution for customers.  

In Monday's ruling, which allows the suit to go to trial, the
court rejected the company's argument that such suits interfere
with the PUC's ability to regulate utilities.  Under state law,
"public prosecutors and PUC officials share the authority and
responsibility to prosecute violations'' of consumer protection
laws affecting utilities, "a task that would be difficult to
accomplish by a single regulatory agency,'' wrote Chief Justice
Ronald George.

A judge should dismiss a prosecutor's suit only if it interferes
directly with the PUC's regulatory program - for example, by
forbidding conduct that the commission had authorized, Justice
George said.


PINNACLE BUSINESS: FL Court Enters Final Judgment V. Firm, Execs
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Honorable Elizabeth A. Kovachevich of the U.S. District
Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, has
entered final judgments against Pinnacle Business Management,
Inc. and two of its former officers, Jeffrey G. Turino and
Vincent A. Lo Castro.  

Each of the defendants was permanently enjoined from violating
the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws.  Mr.
Turino and Mr. Lo Castro also were permanently barred from
serving as an officer or director of a public company and
ordered to pay civil penalties of $60,000 and $25,000,
respectively.  Finally, Mr. Turino was barred from participating
in any offering of penny stock for five years.  The defendants
consented to the judgments without admitting or denying the
allegations in the Commission's complaint.
          
The Commission's complaint alleged that an April 2, 2002, press
release contained materially false and misleading statements
regarding a proposed spin-off of a Pinnacle subsidiary known as
All Pro.   In the press release, Pinnacle stated that after the
spin-off to Pinnacle shareholders, All Pro would seek a listing
on the American Stock Exchange, and that its initial trading
price would be $4.00 per share.

The Commission's complaint alleged that Pinnacle lacked a
reasonable basis for stating that All Pro would trade at $4.00
per share, that Pinnacle misquoted an AMEX floor broker to
convey a false and misleading endorsement of the company's
claims, and that Pinnacle overstated the likelihood that All Pro
would obtain an AMEX listing.  After the Commission filed its
complaint, the All Pro spin-off did not take place.
     
In August 2003, Pinnacle announced that Mr. Turino and Mr. Lo
Castro had resigned from their positions with the company and
that the company has "no assets, no operating business and no
sources of revenue."  The company also disclosed, for the first
time, that it has more than 24 billion shares of common stock
issued and outstanding.
     
The settlements conclude the litigation brought by the
Commission arising out of Pinnacle's April 2, 2002 press
release.  The suit is styled "SEC v. Pinnacle Business
Management, Inc., Vincent A. Lo Castro and Jeffrey G. Turino,
8:02-CV-822."


PUTNAM FUNDS: Fires More Employees, Charges Improper Trading
------------------------------------------------------------
Putnam Investments has fired nine more employees for alleged
improper trading, the fund company disclosed in a letter to
shareholders announcing the results of its internal
investigation into market timing, the Associated Press reports.

Chief Executive Ed Haldeman said other employees were "strongly
admonished" but not fired because they had not been aware of
company policies or stopped the practice after being warned.  
Putnam said Tuesday that its review of all trading activity,
going back nearly six years, found most improper trading took
place between 1998 and 2000 in international and global funds.

The company said none of the nine who were fired managed money
for Putnam, and that no current employees had engaged in
improper trading.  It also found Putnam made no agreement with
clients to allow market timing.

Mr. Haldeman said approximately six former employees were found
to have "acted in a coordinated manner" to engage in market
timing, and their names have been turned over to regulators.  
Six Putnam portfolio managers had already been fired.  "We
believe these actions are an indication of the seriousness with
which Putnam is approaching change and the standards to which we
will hold ourselves as a firm," Mr. Haldeman wrote, AP states.

Putnam has been accused by state regulators of committing fraud
by allowing selective market timing, despite such policies.  The
company has reached a partial settlement with the Securities and
Exchange Commission.  Putnam said it reviewed trading activity
of more than 12,700 people who worked at the company between
January 1998 and October 2003, including 5,200 employed at the
end of that period.

Mr. Haldeman, who replaced Lawrence Lasser as head of the
company after the scandal broke, is trying to rebuild Putnam's
relationship with customers and stem an outflow of as much as
$32 billion from Putnam funds.  The company's assets under
management fell to $245 billion at the end of last month, down
from a recent peak of $277 billion.

Mr. Haldeman reiterated Putnam would make full restitution to
shareholders for any losses associated with improper trades, to
be calculated by an independent consultant.  "Putnam is taking
full responsibility for all improper employee trades," he said.

A spokesman for Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin,
whose office has led the legal case against the Boston-based
company, had no immediate comment, AP reports.


SPORTS AUTHORITY: Reaches Settlement For CA Overtime Wage Suits
---------------------------------------------------------------
Sports Authority, Inc. reached a settlement for two class
actions filed against it in California state court, alleging
certain wage and hour claims in violation of the California
Labor Code, California Business and Professional Code section
17200 and other related matters.

One complaint alleges that the Company classified certain
managers in its California stores as exempt from overtime pay
when they would have been classified as non-exempt and paid
overtime.  The second complaint alleges that the Company failed
to pay hourly employees in its California stores for all hours
worked.

In March 2001, a third class action complaint was filed in the
same court in California alleging the same wage and hour
violations regarding classification of certain managers as
exempt from overtime pay.  In July 2001, a fourth complaint was
filed alleging that store managers should also not be classified
as employees exempt from overtime pay.  

All the complaints seek compensatory damages, punitive damages
and penalties.  The amount of damages sought is unspecified.

Although the court denied motions to dismiss the first two
complaints, the Company intends to vigorously defend these
matters and at this time, the Company has not ascertained the
future liability, if any, as a result of these complaints.


SPORT-HALEY INC: Announces Settlement of Securities Fraud Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Sport-Haley, Inc. announced the signing of a memorandum of
understanding to settle the putative class action lawsuit
brought against the Company and certain officers and directors.
Pursuant to a settlement conference, on November 7, 2003, the
parties to the class action reached a preliminary agreement to
settle the action against all parties and began drafting a
Memorandum of Understanding to set forth the parties' agreement,
under the contemplated settlement, which is subject to further
agreement between the parties, court approval and other
contingencies, the Defendants will pay to the class a total of
$1,000,000.

The settlement amount is expected to come from the Defendants'
liability insurance coverage. In the event the settlement is not
completed, the litigation process will resume.

The Defendants continue to maintain that they have meritorious
defenses to the class action claims, but have agreed to the
settlement for practical and other reasons.  The Defendants have
incurred significant costs and expenses, including the uses of
the Company's resources and executive time, defending the class
action. Of those expenses, a considerable portion is not
recoverable by applicable insurance.

If the settlement is not completed and approved, such
unrecoverable expenses may continue to negatively impact the
Company's financial position and the results of its operations.

Kevin M. Tomlinson, the Chief Executive Officer of the Company,
said, "We believe that the settlement terms are in the best
interests of our current and former shareholders and the Company
itself. We are also pleased to resolve this matter so that we
can more fully devote our efforts to directing the business
affairs of the Company."


TYSON FOODS: FLSA Violations Suit Remanded To PA Federal Court
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Third Circuit Court of Appeals remanded the
class action filed against Tyson Foods, Inc., styled "De Asencio
v. Tyson Foods, Inc.," to the United States District Court for
the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Seven of the Company's employees filed the suit in August 2000,
alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for
allegedly failing to pay for time taken to put on, take off and
sanitize certain working supplies, and violations of the
Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law.  

Plaintiffs seek to represent themselves and all similarly
situated current and former employees of the poultry processing
plant in New Holland, Pennsylvania, and plaintiffs seek
reimbursement for an unspecified amount of unpaid wages,
liquidated damages, attorney fees and costs.  Currently, there
are approximately 500 additional current or former employees who
have filed consents to join the lawsuit.

The court, on January 30, 2001, ordered that notice of the
lawsuit be issued to all potential plaintiffs at the New Holland
facilities.  On July 17, 2002, the court granted the plaintiffs'
motion to certify the state law claims.  On September 23, 2002,
the Third Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to hear the Company's
petition to review the court's decision to certify the state law
claims.  On September 8, 2003, the Court of Appeals reversed the
district court's certification of a class under the Pennsylvania
Wage Payment & Collection Law, ruling that those claims could
not be pursued in federal court.  The appellate court further
ruled that the Company must reissue notice of their potential
FLSA claims to approximately 1,500 employees who did not
previously receive notice.


TYSON FOODS: Factual Discovery Proceeding in DE Securities Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Factual discovery is concluding in the consolidated securities
class action filed in the United States District Court for the
District of Delaware against Tyson Foods, Inc., and:

     (1) Don Tyson,

     (2) John Tyson and

     (3) Les Baledge

The suit, styled "In re Tyson Foods, Inc. Securities
Litigation," seeks monetary damages on behalf of a purported
class of those who sold IBP stock or traded in certain IBP
options from March 29, 2001, when the Company announced its
intention to terminate the Merger Agreement with IBP, through
June 15, 2001, when the Delaware Court rendered its Post-Trial
Opinion in the Consolidated Action.

The suit alleged that the defendants violated federal securities
laws by making, or causing to be made, certain false and
misleading statements in connection with the Company's attempted
termination of the Merger Agreement.  Plaintiffs are seeking an
unspecified amount of compensatory damages, interest, attorney
fees and costs.  The plaintiffs allege that, as a result of the
defendants' alleged conduct, the purported class members were
harmed.

On January 22, 2002, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss
the consolidated complaint.  By memorandum order dated October
23, 2002, the court granted in part and denied in part the
defendants' motion to dismiss.  On October 6, 2003, the court
certified the class proposed by plaintiffs.


TYSON FOODS: Trial in WA Employees Wage Suit Set September 2004
---------------------------------------------------------------
Trial in the class action against Tyson Foods, Inc., styled
"Maria Chavez, et al. vs. IBP, Lasso Acquisition Corporation and
Tyson Foods, Inc.," is set for September 7,2004 in the United
States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington.  
The suit also names as defendant IBP, Inc. (IBP; now known as
Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc.)

Several employees of IBP's Pasco, Washington, beef slaughter and
processing facility filed the suit, alleging various violations
of the FLSA, 29 U.S.C. Sections 201 - 219, as well as violations
of the Washington State Minimum Wage Act, RCW chapter 49.46,
Industrial Welfare Act, RCW chapter 49.12, and the Wage
Deductions-Contribution-Rebates Act, RCW chapter 49.52.

The Chavez lawsuit alleges IBP and/or the Company required
employees to perform unpaid work related to the donning and
doffing of certain personal protective clothing, both prior to
and after their shifts, as well as during meal periods.  
Plaintiffs further allege that similar prior litigation entitled
"Alvarez, et al. vs. IBP (Alvarez)," which resulted in a $3.1
million final judgment against IBP, supports a claim of
collateral estoppel and/or is res judicata as to the issues
raised in this new litigation.  Plaintiffs are seeking
reimbursement for an unspecified amount of damages, exemplary
damages, liquidated damages, prejudgment interest, attorney fees
and costs.  

IBP filed a timely Notice of Appeal in "Alvarez" and plaintiffs
filed a timely notice of Cross-Appeal.  On August 5, 2003, the
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court's
decision in part and reversed the lower court's decision in
part, and remanded the case to the lower court for recalculation
of damages.  If the ruling of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
is upheld in its entirety, IBP will have additional exposure in
"Alvarez" of approximately $5 million.

IBP filed a petition for rehearing by the panel of the Ninth
Circuit Court of Appeals that heard "Alvarez" or, in the
alternative, a rehearing en banc, and it also filed a petition
to certify state law claims to the Washington Supreme Court.  On
September 23, 2003, the Court denied the petition for
certification.  The petition for rehearing or rehearing en banc
is pending before the Court.

"Chavez" initially was pursued as an opt-in, collective action
under 29 U.S.C. 216(b), but the US District Court for the
Eastern District of Washington granted plaintiff's motion
seeking certification of a class of opt-out, state law
plaintiffs under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 and notice
has been sent to potential state law claim class members.


TYSON FOODS: Case Conference in FLSA Suit Set January 2004 in TN
----------------------------------------------------------------
Case Management conference for the lawsuit filed against Tyson
Foods, Inc., styled "Emily D. Jordan, et al. v. IBP, Inc. and
Tyson Foods, Inc," is set for January 8,2004 in the United
States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.

Ten current and former hourly employees of IBP's case-ready
facility in Goodlettsville, Tennessee filed a complaint on
behalf of themselves and other unspecified, allegedly "similarly
situated" employees, claiming that the defendants have violated
the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The suit alleges that the defendants have failed to pay
employees for all hours worked from the plant's commencement of
operations under IBP's control in April 2001.  The Company
acquired the plant as part of its acquisition of IBP.  

In particular, the suit alleges that employees should be paid
for the time it takes to collect, assemble, and put on, take off
and wash their health, safety, and production gear at the
beginning and end of their shifts and during their meal period.  
The suit also alleges that the defendants deduct 30 minutes per
day from employees' paycheck regardless of whether employees
obtain a full 30-minute period for their meal.  Plaintiffs are
seeking a declaration that the defendants did not comply with
the FLSA, and an award for an unspecified amount of back pay
compensation and benefits, unpaid entitlements, liquidated
damages, prejudgment and post-judgment interest, attorney fees
and costs.

On January 10, 2003, another 31 employees from Tennessee filed
consents to join the lawsuit as plaintiffs.  On January 15,
2003, the defendants filed an answer to the complaint denying
any liability.  On January 14, 2003, the named plaintiffs filed
a motion for expedited court-supervised notice to prospective
class members.  The motion sought to conditionally certify a
class of similarly situated employees at all of IBP's non-
unionized facilities that have not been the subject of FLSA
litigation.  Plaintiffs then withdrew a request for conditional
certification of similarly situated employees at all of IBP's
non-unionized facilities and rather sought to include all non-
exempt employees that have worked at the Goodlettsville facility
since its opening on April 1, 2001.

On November 17, 2003, the district court conditionally certified
a collective action composed of similarly situated current and
former employees at the Goodlettsville facility based upon
clothes changing and washing activities and unpaid production
work during meal periods, since the plant operations began in
April 2001.  The parties are, under the supervision of the
court, specifying the terms and conditions of the notice.


TYSON FOODS: OK Court Certifies Two Classes in Grand Lake Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The District Court for Mayes County, Oklahoma certified two
classes in the lawsuit filed against Tyson Foods, Inc., by R.
Lynn Thompson and Deborah S. Thompson on behalf of all owners of
Grand Lake O' the Cherokee's littoral (lake front) property.

The suit alleges that the Company "or entities over which it has
operational control" conduct operations in such a way as to
interfere with the putative class action plaintiffs' use and
enjoyment of their property, allegedly caused by diminished
water quality in the lake.  Plaintiffs are seeking injunctive
relief and an unspecified amount of compensatory damages,
punitive damages, attorney fees and costs.  Simmons Foods, Inc.
(Simmons) and Peterson Farms, Inc. have also been joined as
defendants.  

The Company and Simmons are seeking leave to file a third party
complaint against entities that contribute wastes and wastewater
into Grand Lake.  The class certification hearing was held in
October 2003, and two classes were certified on December 11,
2003.  The defendants are in the process of filing an
interlocutory appeal of the class certification.


WALGREENS: Suit Settlement Talks Stall Over Compliance Language
---------------------------------------------------------------
Dorchester resident Colman M. Herman said a proposed $1.6
million class action legal settlement with Walgreens is stalled
over language that would bar him and others from policing the
drug store chain's compliance with new state pricing
regulations, Knight-Ridder / Tribune Business News reports.

Mr. Herman, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, said Walgreens is
insisting on settlement language that would require the parties
to drop existing lawsuits involving the state's old item-pricing
regulations and also preclude any future actions involving the
new rules.  "They seem to want to get me to go away permanently
and that's not going to happen," he said.

Walgreens spokesman Michael Polzin declined to discuss details
of the settlement talks, saying they are still continuing.  
"We're still working with his attorney toward a comprehensive
settlement," he told Tribune Business News.

The class action with Mr. Herman as the lead plaintiff was filed
in October 2002 against Walgreens in Suffolk Superior Court.  It
alleged the chain failed to comply with state regulations
requiring retailers to stamp prices on most items in their
stores.  Walgreens countersued in November 2002, seeking a
judgment in US District Court in Boston against Herman and the
other plaintiffs for trying to enforce the state's item-pricing
regulations.

The Walgreens lawsuit alleged that those regulations were a
violation of the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution
because the rules hindered the ability of retailers to establish
nationwide pricing and because the rules imposed vast penalties
for violations "that result in little, if any, potential harm."

Mr. Herman said both sides had been working toward a settlement
in recent weeks that would have required Walgreens to pay a $1
million settlement plus $600,000 in attorneys' fees.  He
declined to say who would receive the settlement money, but said
he would receive nothing.

Home Depot settled a similar class action with Mr. Herman as the
lead plaintiff late last year for $3.8 million.  The state
attorney general's office and several charities received money
under that settlement.

Mr. Herman said the settlement talks with Walgreens have
stalled, possibly for good, because of the company's insistence
on language that would preclude him or other members of the
class from monitoring the chain's compliance with new state
pricing regulations that took effect Monday.

Those regulations were approved by Attorney General Thomas F.
Reilly after several retailers complained about class-action
lawsuits filed against them.  The new regulations give nonfood
retailers the option of either marking prices on most items in
their stores or installing scanners that would allow consumers
to check a product's price and print a price sticker for it.

A copy of the settlement language sought by Walgreens was
provided to the Globe by Mr. Herman.  It states, "Plaintiffs
further agree to make no efforts to monitor scanner accuracy, to
otherwise monitor or inspect compliance with the revised item
pricing regulation at any Walgreens store, or to institute any
future litigation or make any other type of claim against
Walgreens relating to compliance with the revised item pricing
regulation."

Mr. Herman said he couldn't agree to those conditions.  He told
the Tribune Business News the proposed settlement agreement
requires Walgreens to comply with the state's pricing
regulations, but the provision sought by the retailer would
preclude him and others in the class from making certain that
the chain adhered to what it agreed to.


WET SEAL: Recalls Zutopia Girl's Loungewear Due To Burn Hazard
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Wet Seal Inc., of Foothill Ranch, Calif., in cooperation
with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), is
recalling 5,500 Zutopia" Girl's loungewear (15 different styles)
since the loungewear fails to meet federal flammability
standards for children's sleepwear, posing a risk of serious
burn injuries to children. The standard requires sleepwear,
including loungewear, to be flame resistant and if the garment
ignites, the flame must self-extinguish. No injuries were
reported.

The 15 different styles of loungewear involved in this recall
are available in girl's sizes small through extra-large
(equivalent to girl's sizes 7-14). The following items are
involved in the recall and are labeled "Zutopia":

     (1) (Style No.) 3254, (Type Description) Two-piece,
         camisole and capri pant, Blue with "Stick with me, my
         dreams come true" on the Camisole and on the Capri,
         (Price) $26.50, (R/N#) 106503;

     (2) 3256, Two-piece, tank and capri pant set White and
         light blue with "Angel's Car-Hop" on the tank, $26.50,
         106503;

     (3) S3258, Two-piece, camisole and short set White and navy
         with "Funky Monkey" on the camisole, $18.50, 106503;

     (4) 3252, Two-piece, tank and capri pant set Red with
         "Chit-Chat Telephone Co." on the tank, $26.50, 106503;

     (5) 3255, Two-piece, camisole and capri pant set Red and
         white with "Your Lips keep moving. but all I hear is
         `Blah, Blah, Blah' " on the camisole and "Blah, Blah,
         Blah" on the capri pant,  $26.50, 106503;

     (6) 3261, Two-piece, camisole and short set White and pink
         with "DJ Scratchy Itchy" on the camisole and hearts and
         notes on the short, $18.50, 106503;

     (7) 3262, Two-piece, camisole and capri pant set White and
         pink with "Sparky's Bowling & Rolling Rink." on the
         camisole, $26.50, 106503;

     (8) 3257, Two-piece, camisole and capri pant set Multi-
         colored set with "Cutie" on the camisole,  $26.50,
         106503;

     (9) 3267, Capri pant Light blue with pink poodles and polka
         dots,  $19.50, 106503;

    (10) 33340722, Lounge pant Black or red with "It's All About
         Me. david & goliath", $24.50, 78749;

    (11) 33106182, Lounge pant White with "Chick's Rule, david &
         goliath" and a caricature of a chick screened on the
         pant, $24.50, 78749;

    (12) 33340685, Lounge pant Blue with "Boys are Smelly, david
         & goliath" on the pant along with a caricature of a
         boy,  $24.50, 78749;

    (13) 33105727, Lounge pant Pink with "Boys are stupid, throw
         rocks at them!" On the pant along with a caricature of
         a boy,  $24.50, 78749;

    (14) 32771848, Capri pant Hawaiian print capri pant in blue
         and pastel colors with palm trees and flowers,  $18.00,
         106503;

    (15) 32771893, Capri pant Hawaiian print capri pant in pink
         and pastel colors with palm trees and flowers,  $18.00,
         106503;

The girl's loungewear, manufactured in the U.S.A., was sold at
Zutopia stores nationwide from January 2003 through October 2003
for between $18 and $26.50.

Parents should stop their children from wearing this loungewear
and return the item(s) to any Zutopia store for a full refund or
exchange and receive $10 in Zu Dollarz for a future purchase.

For more information, contact The Wet Seal at (866) 475-2255
between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday. Consumers
also can write to the company at 26972 Burbank, Foothill Ranch,
CA 92610, attention: Zutopia Recall, or e-mail at
recall@wetseal.com.


                     Asbestos Alert


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ALCOA Sees Increase in Asbestos Suits
----------------------------------------------------------
The Aluminum Company of America feels the pressure of the
growing number of asbestos-related suits against the company.  
ALCOA admits that there are asbestos-containing materials in its
plant for years but adds that the situation is under control.

There is a law firm that facilitates claims and handles the
lawsuits slapped against the company from 100 employees and
retired workers.  "This action is directly against ALCOA because
of those exposures and the failure of ALCOA to protect the
employees like her father and also the families of the
employees," Doug Nichol, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, told WVLT.

The local steelworkers union says health concerns are mounting,
and that ALCOA has assigned only five employees out of 1,700 to
remove the asbestos, according to a report from WVLT.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Mulls Over Calls for Judge's Ouster
-------------------------------------------------------------
A federal appeals court considers removing a judge handling
asbestos-related bankruptcy cases.  Around 100 lawyers listened
as the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia
recently heard arguments on whether or not to remove U.S.
District Judge Alfred Wolin from overseeing the cases.

No decision has been released as of press time. Senior Circuit
Judge Leonard Garth doubts that "there is any bias in Judge
Wolin's soul," but acknowledged that wasn't at issue.  Judge
Wolin has held private discussions with concerned individuals
and groups about the cases since he took charge of the
bankruptcy cases, a practice not usually done.

Judge Wolin also brought in five advisers with expertise in
asbestos cases. Two are advocates for asbestos victims in a
pending bankruptcy before another federal judge in Newark.  
Lawyers seeking to have Judge Wolin ousted call the adviser
appointments a "blatant conflict."

"Judge Wolin knew of this conflict from day one," Roy Englert,
who represents Kensington International, a financial institution
that is owed money from one of the bankrupt companies, told Dow
Jones. "There is increasing evidence of prejudgment and
impropriety."

The five companies that filed for bankruptcy were W.R. Grace
(GRA), Owens-Corning (OWENQ), Armstrong World, U.S. Gypsum and
Federal Mogul.

Judge Wolin did not attend the latest hearing.  In court papers,
he said the private meetings were held on a regular basis
without complaint and included some of the people now calling
for his removal.

Lawyers for asbestos victims, W.R. Grace and Owens-Corning, also
defended Wolin, saying the judge gave ample notice about the
private conversations and is wise enough to filter out any
information from the advisers that isn't objective.  They fear
delaying the cases to assign a new judge would harm both the
bankrupt companies and people suffering from asbestos-related
problems.

"I am worried about a delay of a day or a month because these
dying people will not see relief until these companies come out
of Chapter 11," Elihu Inselbuch, who represents asbestos
victims, told The Star-Ledger of Newark. "More than 15 of them
will die today."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Aluminum Co. Sued By Ex-Employee's Daughter
----------------------------------------------------------------
A daughter of a former Aluminum Company of America worker sues
the company and Breeding Insulation, the company that sold the
asbestos material that he was allegedly exposed to.

Amanda Satterfield, 24, files a $20,000,000 suit and alleges
that asbestos dust from her father's work clothes caused her to
develop lung cancer.  She claims that she has been exposed to
the deadly dust through the clothes her father worn from work at
the ALCOA plant.

Doug Satterfield, the plaintiff's father, worked at the North
Plant of ALCOA where he was exposed to asbestos-containing
thermo-coupling wire and furnace insulation.  The suit alleges
that Doug Satterfield was never warned of the dangers of
asbestos exposure.  According to the lawsuit, the negligence of
the defendant caused Amanda Satterfield to develop an asbestos-
related lung disease.

Mike Infante, ALCOA Communication and Community Affairs Manager
said, "ALCOA has not yet been served with this lawsuit, so we
have not had a chance to review the allegations and, therefore,
are not in a position to comment at this time."

Breeding Insulation Co., Inc. did not issue any statement
regarding the case as of press time.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: CSR Bares Asbestos Woes in AUS, U.S.
---------------------------------------------------------
CSR Limited reports that it has been named as a defendant in
asbestos-related litigation in Australia and in the United
States, according to its latest regulatory filing with the
Securities and Exchange Commission.

CSR Ltd and some of its subsidiaries are involved in mining
asbestos and manufacturing and marketing products containing
asbestos in Australia, and exporting asbestos to the United
States.

Former and current employees of CSR in Australia, as well as
contractors, transporters and users of asbestos-containing
products filed claims against the company.  There are 583
asbestos-related claims as of Sept. 30, the filing said.

In the United States, people who allege exposure to asbestos
fiber liberated either during the manufacture of asbestos-
containing products or in the installation or use of those
products seek damages. There are 2,391 claims of this nature are
pending in the US as of Sept. 30.

CSR asserts that it has been settling claims since 1989. CSR had
resolved around 126,000 claims in the United States, including
resolution of around 103,000 claims in mass settlements in West
Virginia, Texas, Mississippi and Ohio and 1,393 claims in
Australia, as of Sept. 30.

There are uncertainties surrounding litigation in each of the
United States and Australia like the incidence of asbestos-
related disease, the propensity of claimants to make formal
demands on CSR, the amount of those demands, the presence of
other defendants in litigation involving CSR, the impact of the
US litigation environment of recent asbestos-related
bankruptcies, and the possible passage of legislation relating
to asbestos claims in the United States legal system, impact the
numbers and value of claims made against CSR, the filing said.

CSR has commenced proceedings in New Jersey against a number of
insurers who issued policies to CSR from around 1978 to 1989. In
those proceedings CSR seeks indemnity for US asbestos claims and
certain other relief. Those proceedings are being pursued by CSR
as speedily as possible. Costs in relation to this legal action
are being deferred, however the full potential benefit from this
litigation is not included in the financial statements, the
filing said.

CSR sets a provision of AUD324,000,000 has been made for all
known claims and probable future claims but not for such claims
as cannot presently be reliably measured. CSR cannot determine
with certainty the amount of its ultimate liability with respect
to asbestos related claims or the future impact on its financial
condition. However, taking into account the provision already
included in CSR's financial statements, the status of
proceedings in CSR's insurance litigation and current claims
management experience, the directors are of the opinion that
asbestos litigation in the United States and Australia
will not have a material adverse impact on its financial
condition.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Halliburton Units Tumble into Chapter 11
------------------------------------------------------------
Halliburton recently continued its plan to solve all its
asbestos-related problems through a prepackaged bankruptcy
involving several of its subsidiary companies.

The company's DII Industries, Kellogg Brown & Root and other
affected subsidiaries filed chapter 11 proceedings on Dec. 16 in
bankruptcy court in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The cases have
been assigned to the Honorable Judith K. Fitzgerald. The
affected subsidiaries will continue to be wholly owned by
Halliburton and will continue their normal operations.

Halliburton Company, its Energy Services Group and KBR's
government services business are not included in the bankruptcy
filing.

The balloting agent tabulating the votes on the proposed plan of
reorganization advised Halliburton that valid votes were
received from over 386,000 asbestos claimants, representing
substantially all known claimants and meeting the voting
requirements of section 524(g) of the Bankruptcy Code. Of the
votes validly cast, over 98% of asbestos claimants and over 99%
of silica claimants have voted to accept the proposed plan of
reorganization.

Halliburton also announced that the pre-filing internal
reorganization of Halliburton subsidiaries described in the
solicitation materials for the proposed plan of reorganization
was completed as of Monday, Dec. 15. In addition, Halliburton's
offer to issue 7.6% debentures in exchange for outstanding 7.60%
debentures of DII Industries has been completed, and Halliburton
issued $294,000,000 of its 7.6% debentures on Dec. 15 in
exchange for a like amount of DII debentures.

In connection with reaching agreement with representatives of
asbestos claimants to limit to $2,775,000,000 the cash required
to settle pending claims subject to definitive agreements, DII
Industries agreed to pay $326,000,000 of the $2,775,000,000 cash
amount prior to the chapter 11 filing. These payments were made
prior to the chapter 11 filing.

As a result of filing the chapter 11 proceedings, Halliburton
will increase its accrual for current and future asbestos and
claims to reflect the full amount of the proposed settlement,
which will result in a pretax charge of around $1,000,000,000 in
the fourth quarter of 2003.

Halliburton, founded in 1919, is one of the world's largest
providers of products and services to the petroleum and energy
industries. The Company serves its customers with a broad range
of products and services through its Energy Services and
Engineering and Construction Groups. The Company's World Wide
Web site can be accessed at www.halliburton.com.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Illinois Power Notes 35 Pending Lawsuits
-------------------------------------------------------------
Illinois Power Company reports that it has pending asbestos-
related lawsuits for alleged exposure to asbestos at generation
facilities it previously owned.

In its latest regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange
Commission, Illinois Power reports that as of Sept. 30, it has
35 pending asbestos-related cases, 13 of which were served
during the third quarter of 2003.

Illinois Power has recorded a reserve for these matters and does
not believe that any liability it might incur as a result of
these matters would have a material adverse effect on its
financial condition or result of operations.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Lucent Technologies Battles Asbestos Suits
---------------------------------------------------------------
Lucent Technologies Inc. reports in its latest regulatory filing
with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it remains a
defendant in various lawsuits involving alleged exposure to
asbestos.

The cases involve asbestos exposure in premises owned or
operated by the company or by the predecessors of its business,
such as AT&T or Western Electric, or from exposure to products
manufactured or sold by Lucent or its predecessors that
allegedly contained asbestos.

Historically, Lucent has not paid any material amounts related
to asbestos claims, and currently does not expect these cases to
have a significant impact on the Company in the future. However,
asbestos claims are on the rise generally in the United States
and more cases are being asserted against owners or operators of
premises or companies that manufactured or sold products
allegedly containing asbestos, and Lucent has observed a rise in
the number of matters asserted against it.

The Company, however, did not specify the number of claims it
faces.

Lucent Technologies is a global leader in telecom equipment,
manufactures products used to build communications network
infrastructure.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Met Pro Continues to Face Asbestos Woes
------------------------------------------------------------
Met Pro Corporation reports in its latest regulatory filing with
the Securities and Exchange Commission that it continues to face
asbestos-related problems.

There appears to have been a significant increase during the
last several years in asbestos-related litigation claims filed
in particular states on a mass basis by large numbers of
plaintiffs against a large number of industrial companies in the
pump and fluid handling industries, and beginning in 2002, the
Company began to be named as one of many defendants in a number
of such cases, predominantly in Mississippi.

The allegations against the Company are vague, general and
speculative, but in general allege that the Company, along with
the numerous other defendants, sold asbestos-containing products
that caused injuries and loss to the plaintiffs. Most of these
cases have not advanced beyond the early stages of discovery,
and as of the date of the filing of the said report, none of the
Company's products have been determined to be a cause of any
alleged injuries.

The Company's insurers have hired attorneys who together with
the Company are vigorously defending these cases. The Company
believes that these cases are without merit and that none of its
products were a cause of any injury or loss to any of the
plaintiffs. Given the current status of these cases, the Company
does not presently believe that these proceedings will have a
material adverse impact upon the Company's results of
operations, liquidity or financial condition.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Victim Welcomes Workcover Payout
--------------------------------------------------------------
A man battling terminal lung cancer is happy to get the maximum
damages amount from WorkCover for permanent impairment, says an
ABC Online article.

Joe Ludkin, from Gladstone in central Queensland, has a cancer
that was attributed to his asbestos exposure for more than 30
years.

WorkCover recently awarded the 64-year-old Ludkin more than
$320,000 and Ludkin says it brought a sense of relief.

"Naturally I was elated, I never expected it," he told ABC.  "I
never set out to set an amount but when I heard the amount, of
course I was elated, I feel more than happy . The money's going
in the right direction to my family and my two grandchildren and
that's great, that's where I wanted it to go."


ASBESTOS ALERT: Jury Awards Victim $1.7M in CertainTeed Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
A Philadelphia jury recently awarded a verdict of $1,710,000 to
a former CertainTeed's employee's estate, according to
Montgomery Newspapers Online.

Ronald Jackson, who died January 18 at age 57 when esophageal
cancer metastasized to his liver, was an employee of Ambler's
Certainteed plant, according to attorney Steven Barrett.

Barrett said that Jackson's job at CertainTeed included opening
100-pound bags of raw asbestos and dumping their contents into a
hopper, inhaling asbestos dust in the process.  

CertainTeed, a manufacturer of asbestos products and the
successor to Keasbey and Mattison, and the plant where Jackson
worked from 1969 to 1981 was not the defendant in the case but
the Bell Asbestos Mines, a Quebec supplier of raw asbestos fiber
that worked with the plant.

The asbestos-related suit was originally filed in Philadelphia
last year with a group of other plaintiffs suffering from
similar conditions, which Barrett explained is the city's policy
for handling asbestos cases. But while the other group members
settled out of court, Jackson wanted to push forward for his own
trial, but died the day before opening arguments were scheduled
to begin.

Barrett explained this pushed the case back almost 11 months, as
the plaintiff had become Jackson's estate. U.S. District Court
Judge James Murray Lynn presided over the eventual trial, which
lasted from Nov. 13 to 21, with the jury deliberating for less
than 35 minutes. The ultimate verdict was $1,500,000 for
wrongful death and $210,000 for the survival action.

Attorneys for Bell Mines did not return phone calls of
Montgomery Newspapers as of press time.

"There was definitely an extra layer of satisfaction with this
case, since Ron passed away before he figuratively and literally
had his day in court," Barrett told Montgomery Newspapers. "Lots
of his friends and family members came out to testify and I felt
like some poetic justice was served, like he was there in spirit
through [them]."

The ruling's implications for other former employees of
Certainteed could run deep. Having handled many cases of this
nature, Barrett said many diseases related to asbestos exposure
- such as asbestosis, a scarring of the lungs that causes
difficulty breathing, or mesothelioma, an accelerated form of
lung cancer - take 20 to 30 years to develop.

"It is still going on to this day, unfortunately," he said.
"Many people who worked at CertainTeed and [its successor]
Nicolette into the '70s and '80s could still be developing
symptoms and diseases. Tragically, it is retirement, when you
look forward to down time and spending time with the family and
grandkids, that it develops."

COMPANY PROFILE
CertainTeed Corporation, a subsidiary of Saint-Gobain
P.O. Box 860
750 East Swedesford Road
Valley Forge, PA 19482
Phone: 610-341-7000
Fax: 610-341-7777
Toll Free: 800-233-8990
http://www.certainteed.com

Employees   :          8,231
Revenues    : $2,607,000,000
(As of Dec. 31, 2002)

Description: CertainTeed Corporation is a leading North American
manufacturer of building materials including roofing, siding,
insulation, windows and patio doors, fence, decking, railing,
foundations and pipe. CertainTeed is a subsidiary of Saint-
Gobain, one of the top 100 industrial companies in the world.
The company sells its products under the Ashland-Davis,
Bufftech, CertainTeed, Ecophon, Form-A-Drain, and Wolverine
brands. CertainTeed also offers design, build, and remodel
services and operates more than 40 plants throughout the US.
CertainTeed sold its Air Vent (ventilation products) subsidiary
to Gibraltar Steel in 2003.

                 New Securities Fraud Cases

CHARLES SCHWAB: Cauley Geller Files Securities Suit in N.D. CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Cauley Geller Bowman & Rudman, LLP initiated a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern
District of California on behalf of all purchasers of shares of
The Charles Schwab Corporation, U.S. Trust Corporation, N.A.,
and Its Excelsior Family of Mutual Funds, during the period
between November 23, 1998 and November 14, 2003 inclusive.

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

     (1) Excelsior California Tax Exempt Income Fund
         (Nasdaq:UMCAX)

     (2) Excelsior Early Life Cycle Fund (Nasdaq:UMLCX)

     (3) Excelsior Funds Equity Income Fund (Nasdaq:UMEIX)

     (4) Excelsior Funds Inc. Biotechnology Fund (Nasdaq:UMBTX)

     (5) Excelsior Funds Inc. Blended Equity Fund (Nasdaq:UMEQX)

     (6) Excelsior Funds Inc. Emerging Markets Fund
         (Nasdaq:UMEMX)

     (7) Excelsior Funds Inc. Energy & Natural Resource Fund
         (Nasdaq:UMESX)

     (8) Excelsior Funds Inc. High Yield Fund (Nasdaq:EXHYX;
         Nasdaq:UMHYX)

     (9) Excelsior Funds Inc. Large Capital Growth Fund
         (Nasdaq:UMLGX)

    (10) Excelsior Funds Inc. Real Estate Fund (Nasdaq:UMREX)

    (11) Excelsior Funds Inc. Value & Restructuring Fund
         (Nasdaq:EXBIX; Nasdaq:UMBIX)

    (12) Excelsior Funds Mid Cap Value Shares Fund
         (Nasdaq:EXVAX; Nasdaq:UMVEX)

    (13) Excelsior Government Money Fund (Nasdaq:UTGXX)

    (14) Excelsior Institutional Equity Fund (Nasdaq:EXEQX)

    (15) Excelsior Institutional Funds International Equity Fund
         (Nasdaq:EXIIX)

    (16) Excelsior Institutional Money Fund (Nasdaq:EXINX;
         Nasdaq:EXIXX)

    (17) Excelsior Institutional Total Return Fund
         (Nasdaq:EXTBX)

    (18) Excelsior Intermediate-Term Managed Income Fund
         (Nasdaq:UIMIX)

    (19) Excelsior Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt Fund
         (Nasdaq:UMITX)

    (20) Excelsior International Fund (Nasdaq:UMINX)

    (21) Excelsior Long Term Tax Exempt Fund (Nasdaq:UMLTX)

    (22) Excelsior Managed Income Fund (Nasdaq:UMMGX)

    (23) Excelsior Money Fund (Nasdaq:UTMXX)

    (24) Excelsior Optimum Growth Fund (Nasdaq:EXOAX;
         Nasdaq:UMGRX)

    (25) Excelsior Pacific/Asia Fund (Nasdaq:USPAX)

    (26) Excelsior Pan European Fund (Nasdaq:UMPNX)

    (27) Excelsior Short Term Government Securities Fund
         (Nasdaq:UMGVX)

    (28) Excelsior Short-Term Tax-Exempt Securities Fund
         (Nasdaq:USSSX)

    (29) Excelsior Tax Exempt Fund (Nasdaq:USSXX)

    (30) Excelsior Tax Exempt Funds Inc. New York Intermediate
         Term Tax Exempt Fund (Nasdaq:UMNYX; Nasdaq:UTNXX)

    (31) Excelsior Treasury Money Fund (Nasdaq:UTTXX)

The complaint charges The Charles Schwab Corporation, Charles
Schwab & Co., Inc., U.S. Trust Corporation, United States Trust
Company of New York, Excelsior Funds, Inc., Excelsior Funds
Trust, the Excelsior Mutual Funds, and Doe Defendants with
violations of the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, among other claims, and for common law
breach of fiduciary duties.

The Complaint alleges that during the Class Period Charles
Schwab and U.S. Trust Corporation allowed the Doe defendants and
others to engage in illegal and improper trading practices, in
concert with certain institutional traders, which caused
financial injury to the shareholders of the Excelsior Mutual
Funds. According to the Complaint, the Defendants
surreptitiously permitted certain favored investors to illegally
engage in "timing" of the Excelsior 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 Excelsior Mutual Funds'
prospectuses.

For more information, contact: Samuel H. Rudman, or David A.
Rosenfeld, or the Client Relations Department: Jackie Addison or
Heather Gann, by Mail: P.O. Box 25438, Little Rock, AR 72221-
5438, by Phone: 1-888-551-9944 (toll free), Fax: 1-501-312-8505,
or E-mail: info@cauleygeller.com.


EXCELSIOR FUNDS: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges CA Securities Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Schiffrin & Barroway LLP filed a class action in the United
States District Court for the Northern District of California
against:

     (1) The Charles Schwab Corporation,

     (2) Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.,

     (3) U.S. Trust Corporation,

     (4) United States Trust Company of New York,

     (5) Excelsior Funds, Inc.,

     (6) Excelsior Funds Trust, and

     (7) the Excelsior Mutual Funds

The suit was filed on behalf of purchasers of any of the Funds
listed below between November 23, 1998 and November 14, 2003,
inclusive.  These Excelsior Funds are subject to this suit:

     (i) Excelsior California Tax Exempt Income Fund (NASDAQ:
         UMCAX)

    (ii) Excelsior Early Life Cycle Fund (NASDAQ: UMLCX)

   (iii) Excelsior Funds Equity Income Fund (NASDAQ: UMEIX)

    (iv) Excelsior Funds Inc. Biotechnology Fund (NASDAQ: UMBTX)

     (v) Excelsior Funds Inc. Blended Equity Fund (NASDAQ:
         UMEQX)

    (vi) Excelsior Funds Inc. Emerging Markets Fund (NASDAQ:
         UMEMX)

   (vii) Excelsior Funds Inc. Energy & Natural Resource Fund
         (NASDAQ: UMESX)

  (viii) Excelsior Funds Inc. High Yield Fund (NASDAQ:EXHYX)
         (NASDAQ: UMHYX)

    (ix) Excelsior Funds Inc. Large Capital Growth Fund (NASDAQ:
         UMLGX)

     (x) Excelsior Funds Inc. Real Estate Fund (NASDAQ: UMREX)

    (xi) Excelsior Funds Inc. Value & Restructuring Fund
         (NASDAQ: EXBIX) (NASDAQ: UMBIX)

   (xii) Excelsior Funds Mid Cap Value Shares Fund (NASDAQ:
         EXVAX) (NASDAQ: UMVEX)

  (xiii) Excelsior Government Money Fund (NASDAQ: UTGXX)

   (xiv) Excelsior Institutional Equity Fund (NASDAQ: EXEQX)

    (xv) Excelsior Institutional Funds International Equity Fund
         (NASDAQ: EXIIX)

   (xvi) Excelsior Institutional Money Fund (NASDAQ: EXINX)
         (NASDAQ: EXIXX)

  (xvii) Excelsior Institutional Total Return Fund (NASDAQ:
         EXTBX)

(xviii) Excelsior Intermediate-Term Managed Income Fund
         (NASDAQ: UIMIX)

   (xix) Excelsior Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt Fund (NASDAQ:
         UMITX)

    (xx) Excelsior International Fund (NASDAQ: UMINX)

   (xxi) Excelsior Long Term Tax Exempt Fund (NASDAQ: UMLTX)

  (xxii) Excelsior Managed Income Fund (NASDAQ: UMMGX)

(xxiii) Excelsior Money Fund (NASDAQ UTMXX)

  (xxiv) Excelsior Optimum Growth Fund (NASDAQ: EXOAX) (NASDAQ:
         UMGRX)

   (xxv) Excelsior Pacific/Asia Fund (NASDAQ: USPAX)

  (xxvi) Excelsior Pan European Fund (NASDAQ: UMPNX)

(xxvii) Excelsior Short Term Government Securities Fund
         (NASDAQ: UMGVX)

(xxviii) Excelsior Short-Term Tax-Exempt Securities Fund
         (NASDAQ: USSSX)

(xxvix) Excelsior Tax Exempt Fund (NASDAQ: USSXX)

   (xxx) Excelsior Tax Exempt Funds Inc. New York Intermediate

  (xxxi) Term Tax Exempt Fund (NASDAQ: UMNYX) ( NASDAQ: UTNXX)

(xxxii) Excelsior Treasury Money Fund (NASDAQ: UTTXX)

The complaint charges The Charles Schwab Corporation, Charles
Schwab & Co., Inc., U.S. Trust Corporation, United States Trust
Company of New York, Excelsior Funds, Inc., Excelsior Funds
Trust, the Excelsior 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 Charles
Schwab and U.S. Trust Corporation allowed the Doe defendants and
others to engage in illegal and improper trading practices, in
concert with certain institutional traders, which caused
financial injury to the shareholders of the Excelsior Mutual
Funds.

According to the Complaint, the Defendants surreptitiously
permitted certain favored investors to illegally engage in
"timing" of the Excelsior 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 Excelsior 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: 1-888-299-7706 or 1-610-667-7706, or E-
mail: info@sbclasslaw.com.


INVESCO FUNDS: Cauley Geller Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in CO
---------------------------------------------------------------
Cauley Geller Bowman & Rudman, LLP initiated a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of
Colorado on behalf of all purchasers of shares of INVESCO Mutual
Funds managed by Invesco Funds Group, Inc., which is a
subsidiary of Amvescap PLC, during the period between December
5, 1998 and November 24, 2003, inclusive.

The Funds, and the symbols for the respective Funds, are:

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

     (2) INVESCO Advantage Fund (Sym: IADAX, IADBX, IADCX)

     (3) INVESCO Latin American Growth Fund (Sym: IVSLX)

     (4) INVESCO Core Equity Fund (Sym: ICEAX, ICEBX, IINCX,
         FIIIX, IEIKX)

     (5) INVESCO Dynamics Fund (Sym: IDYAX, IDYBX, IFDCX, FIDYX,
         IDYKX)

     (6) INVESCO Energy Fund (Sym: IENAX, IENBX, IEFCX, FSTEX,
         IENKX)

     (7) INVESCO Financial Services Fund (Sym: IFSAX, IFSBX,
         IFSCX, FSFSX, FSFKX)

     (8) INVESCO Gold & Precious Metals Fund (Sym: IGDAX, IGDBX,
         IGDCX, FGLDX)

     (9) INVESCO Health Sciences Fund (Sym: IAHSX, IBHSX, IHSCX,
         FHLSX, IHSKX)

    (10) INVESCO International Core Equity Fund (formerly known
         as International Blue Chip Value Fund) (Sym: IBVAX,
         IBVBX, IBVCX, IIBCX)

    (11) INVESCO Leisure Fund (Sym: ILSAX, LSBX, IVLCX, FLISX,
         ILEKX)

    (12) INVESCO Mid-Cap Growth Fund (Sym: IMGAX, IMGBX, IMGCX,
         IVMIX)

    (13) INVESCO Multi-Sector Fund (Sym: IAMSX, IBMSX, ICMSX,
         ICMSX)

    (14) AIM INVESCO S&P Index Fund (Sym: ISPIX)

    (15) INVESCO Small Company Growth Fund (Sym: ISGAX, ISGBX,
         ISGCX FIEGX ISCKX)

    (16) INVESCO Technology Fund (Sym: ITYAX, ITYBX, ITHCX,
         FTCHX, ITHKX)

    (17) INVESCO Total Return Fund (Sym: IATRX, IBTRX, ITRCX,
         FSFLX)

    (18) INVESCO Utilities Fund (Sym: IAUTX, IBUTX, IUTCX,
         ISTUX)

    (19) AIM INVESCO Cash Reserves Fund (currently known as AIM
         Money Market Fund) (New symbol: AIMXX)

    (20) AIM INVESCO Tax-Free Money Fund (Sym: FFRXX)

    (21) AIM INVESCO Treasurers Money Market Reserve Fund (Sym:
         IMRXX)

    (22) AIM INVESCO Treasurers Tax-Exempt Reserve Fund (Sym:
         ITTXX)

    (23) AIM INVESCO US Government Money Fund (Sym: FUGXX)

    (24) INVESCO Advantage Fund (Sym: IADAX, IADBX, IADCX)

    (25) INVESCO Balanced Fund (Sym: IBLAX, IBLBX, IBNCX, IBFIX,
         IMABX, IBLKX)

    (26) INVESCO European Fund (Sym: IEUAX, IEUBX, FEURX, IEUKX)

    (27) INVESCO Growth Fund (Sym: IAGWX, IBGWX, IBGCX, FLRFX,
         IGWKX)

    (28) INVESCO High-Yield Fund (Sym: IAHYX, IBHYX, IHYCX
         FHYPX, IHYKX)

    (29) INVESCO Growth & Income Fund, (Sym: IGIAX, IGIBX,
         IGRCX, IVGIX, IGIKX)

    (30) INVESCO Real Estate Opportunity Fund (Sym: IAREX,
         IBREX, IRECX, IVSRX)

    (31) INVESCO Select Income Fund (Sym: IASIX, IBSIX, ISICX,
         FBDSX)

    (32) INVESCO Tax-Free Bond Fund (Sym: IXBAX, IXBBX, ITFCX,
         FTIFX)

    (33) INVESCO Telecommunications Fund (Sym: ITLAX, ITLBX,
         INTCX, ISWCX, ITEKX)

    (34) INVESCO U.S. Government Securities Fund (Sym :IGVAX,
         IGVBX, IUGCX, FBDGX)

    (35) INVESCO Value Fund (Sym: 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 violations of the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, among other claims, and for common law
breach of fiduciary duties. The Complaint alleges that during
the Class Period the defendants engaged in illegal and improper
trading practices, in concert with certain institutional
traders, which caused financial injury to the shareholders of
the INVESCO Mutual Funds.

According to the Complaint, the Defendants surreptitiously
permitted certain favored investors, including Canary and the
Doe Defendants, to illegally engage in "timing" of the INVESCO
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 Invesco
Mutual Funds' prospectuses.

For more information, contact: Samuel H. Rudman, or David A.
Rosenfeld, or the Client Relations Department: Jackie Addison,
Heather Gann or Chandra West, by Mail: P.O. Box 25438, Little
Rock, AR 72221 5438, by Phone: 1 888 551 9944 (toll free), Fax:  
(501) 312-8505, or E-mail: info@cauleygeller.com.


MASSACHUSETTS FINANCIAL: Cauley Geller Launches Stock Suit in MA
----------------------------------------------------------------
Cauley Geller Bowman & Rudman, LLP initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the District of
Massachusetts on behalf of purchasers of shares of the MFS
Mutual Funds, which are managed by Massachusetts Financial
Services, a subsidiary of Sun Life Financial, Inc. during the
period between December 15, 1998 and December 8, 2003,
inclusive.

The MFS Mutual Funds subject to this lawsuit:

     (1) MFS Capital Opportunities Fund (Nasdaq:MCOFX),
         (Nasdaq:MCOBX), (Nasdaq:MCOCX), (Nasdaq:MFCRX),
         (Nasdaq:MCOTX), (Nasdaq:EACOX), (Nasdaq:EBCOX),
         (Nasdaq:ECCOX)

     (2) MFS Core Growth Fund (Nasdaq:MFCAX), (Nasdaq:MFCBX),
         (Nasdaq:MFCCX), (Nasdaq:MCFRX), (Nasdaq:MCRRX)

     (3) MFS Emerging Growth Fund (Nasdaq:MFEGX),
         (Nasdaq:MEGBX), (Nasdaq:MFECX), (Nasdaq:MFERX),
         (Nasdaq:MEGRX), (Nasdaq:EAGRX), (Nasdaq:EBEGX),
         (Nasdaq:ECEGX)

     (4) MFS Growth Opportunities Fund (Nasdaq:MGOFX),
         (Nasdaq:MGOBX)

     (5) MFS Large Cap Growth Fund (Nasdaq:MCGAX),
         (Nasdaq:MCGBX)

     (6) MFS Managed Sectors Fund (Nasdaq:MMNSX),
         (Nasdaq:MSEBX), (Nasdaq:MMNCX)

     (7) MFS Mid Cap Growth Fund (Nasdaq:OTCAX), (Nasdaq:OTCBX),
         (Nasdaq:OTCCX), (Nasdaq:MMCRX), (Nasdaq:MCPRX),
         (Nasdaq:EAMCX), (Nasdaq:EBCGX), (Nasdaq:ECGRX)

     (8) MFS New Discovery Fund (Nasdaq:MNDAX), (Nasdaq:MNDBX),
         (Nasdaq:MNDCX), (Nasdaq:MFNRX), (Nasdaq:MNDRX),
         (Nasdaq:EANDX), (Nasdaq:EBNDX), (Nasdaq:ECNDX)

     (9) MFS New Endeavor Fund (Nasdaq:MECAX), (Nasdaq:MECBX),
         (Nasdaq:MECCX), (Nasdaq:MNERX), (Nasdaq:MENRX)

    (10) MFS Research Fund (Nasdaq:MFRFX), (Nasdaq:MFRBX),
         (Nasdaq:MFRCX), (Nasdaq:MFRRX), (Nasdaq:MSRRX),
         (Nasdaq:EARFX), (Nasdaq:EBRFX), (Nasdaq:ECRFX)

    (11) MFS Strategic Growth Fund (Nasdaq:MFSGX),
         (Nasdaq:MSBGX), (Nasdaq:MFGCX), (Nasdaq:MSGRX),
         (Nasdaq:MSTRX), (Nasdaq:EASGX), (Nasdaq:EBSGX),
         (Nasdaq:ECSGX)

    (12) MFS Technology Fund (Nasdaq:MTCAX), (Nasdaq:MTCBX),
         (Nasdaq:MTCCX), (Nasdaq:MTQRX), (Nasdaq:MTERX)

    (13) Massachusetts Investors Growth Stock (Nasdaq:MIGFX),
         (Nasdaq:MIGBX), (Nasdaq:MIGDX), (Nasdaq:MIGRX),
         (Nasdaq:MIRGX), (Nasdaq:EISTX), (Nasdaq:EMIVX),
         (Nasdaq:EMICX)

    (14) MFS Mid Cap Value Fund (Nasdaq:MVCAX), (Nasdaq:MCBVX),
         (Nasdaq:MVCCX), (Nasdaq:MMVRX), (Nasdaq:MCVRX),
         (Nasdaq:EACVX), (Nasdaq:EBCVX), (Nasdaq:ECCVX)

    (15) MFS Research Growth and Income Fund (Nasdaq:MRGAX),
         (Nasdaq:MRGBX), (Nasdaq:MRGCX), (Nasdaq:MGIRX),
         (Nasdaq:MRERX)

    (16) MFS Strategic Value Fund (Nasdaq:MSVTX),
         (Nasdaq:MSVLX), (Nasdaq:MQSVX), (Nasdaq:MSVRX),
         (Nasdaq:MVSRX), (Nasdaq:EASVX),  (Nasdaq:EBSVX),
         (Nasdaq:ECSVX)

    (17) MFS Total Return Fund (Nasdaq:MSFRX), (Nasdaq:MTRBX),
         (Nasdaq:MTRCX), (Nasdaq:MFTRX), (Nasdaq:MTRRX),
         (Nasdaq:EATRX), (Nasdaq:EBTRX), (Nasdaq:ECTRX)

    (18) MFS Union Standard Equity Fund (Nasdaq:MUEAX),
         (Nasdaq:MUSBX), (Nasdaq:MUECX)

    (19) MFS Utilities Fund (Nasdaq:MMUFX), (Nasdaq:MMUBX),
         (Nasdaq:MMUCX), (Nasdaq:MMURX), (Nasdaq:MURRX)

    (20) MFS Value Fund (Nasdaq:MEIAX), (Nasdaq:MFEBX),
         (Nasdaq:MEICX), (Nasdaq:MFVRX), (Nasdaq:MVRRX),
         (Nasdaq:EAVLX), (Nasdaq:EBVLX), (Nasdaq:ECVLX)

    (21) Massachusetts Investors Trust (Nasdaq:MITTX),
         (Nasdaq:MITBX), (Nasdaq:MITCX), (Nasdaq:MITRX),
         (Nasdaq:MIRTX), (Nasdaq:EAMTX), (Nasdaq:EBMTX),
         (Nasdaq:ECITX)

    (22) MFS Aggressive Growth Allocation Fund (Nasdaq:MAAGX),
         (Nasdaq:MBAGX), (Nasdaq:MCAGX), (Nasdaq:MAARX),
         (Nasdaq:MAWAX), (Nasdaq:EAGTX), (Nasdaq:EBAAX),
         (Nasdaq:ECAAX)

    (23) MFS Conservative Allocation Fund (Nasdaq:MACFX),
         (Nasdaq:MACBX), (Nasdaq:MACVX), (Nasdaq:MACRX),
         (Nasdaq:MCARX), (Nasdaq:ECLAX), (Nasdaq:EBCAX),
         (Nasdaq:ECACX)

    (24) MFS Growth Allocation Fund (Nasdaq:MAGWX),
         (Nasdaq:MBGWX), (Nasdaq:MCGWX), (Nasdaq:MGARX),
         (Nasdaq:MGALX), (Nasdaq:EAGWX), (Nasdaq:EBGWX),
         (Nasdaq:ECGWX)

    (25) MFS Moderate Allocation Fund (Nasdaq:MAMAX),
         (Nasdaq:MMABX), (Nasdaq:MMACX), (Nasdaq:MAMRX),
         (Nasdaq:MARRX), (Nasdaq:EAMDX), (Nasdaq:EBMDX),
         (Nasdaq:ECMAX)

    (26) MFS Bond Fund (Nasdaq:MFBFX), (Nasdaq:MFBBX),
         (Nasdaq:MFBCX), (Nasdaq:MFBRX), (Nasdaq:MBRRX),
         (Nasdaq:EABDX), (Nasdaq:EBBDX), (Nasdaq:ECBDX)

    (27) MFS Emerging Markets Debt Fund (Nasdaq:MEDAX),
         (Nasdaq:MEDBX), (Nasdaq:MEDCX)

    (28) MFS Government Limited Maturity Fund (Nasdaq:MGLFX),
         (Nasdaq:MGLBX), (Nasdaq:MGLCX)

    (29) MFS Government Mortgage Fund (Nasdaq:MGMTX),
         (Nasdaq:MGTBX)

    (30) MFS Government Securities Fund (Nasdaq:MFGSX),
         (Nasdaq:MFGBX), (Nasdaq:MFGDX), (Nasdaq:MGSRX),
         (Nasdaq:MGVSX), (Nasdaq:EAGSX), (Nasdaq:EBGSX),
         (Nasdaq:ECGSX)

    (31) MFS High Income Fund (Nasdaq:MHITX), (Nasdaq:MHIBX),
         (Nasdaq:MHICX), (Nasdaq:EAHIX), (Nasdaq:EMHBX),
         (Nasdaq:EMHCX; (Nasdaq:MHIIX), (Nasdaq:MHIRX)

    (32) MFS High Yield Opportunities Fund (Nasdaq:MHOAX),
         (Nasdaq:MHOBX), (Nasdaq:MHOCX), (Nasdaq:MHOIX)

    (33) MFS Intermediate Investment Grade Bond Fund
         (Nasdaq:MGBFX), (Nasdaq:MGBVX), (Nasdaq:MGBCX),
         (Nasdaq:MGBEX), (Nasdaq:MIBRX)

    (34) MFS Limited Maturity Fund (Nasdaq:MQLFX)
         (Nasdaq:MQLBX), (Nasdaq:MQLCX), (Nasdaq:EALMX),
         (Nasdaq:EBLMX), (Nasdaq:ELDCX), (Nasdaq:MLDRX)

    (35) MFS Research Bond Fund (Nasdaq:MRBFX), (Nasdaq:MRBBX),
         (Nasdaq:MRBCX), (Nasdaq:EARBX), (Nasdaq:EBRBX),
         (Nasdaq:ECRBX), (Nasdaq:MRBIX), (Nasdaq:MRBRX)

    (36) MFS Strategic Income Fund (Nasdaq:MFIOX),
         (Nasdaq:MIOBX), (Nasdaq:MIOCX), (Nasdaq:MFIIX)

    (37) MFS Alabama Municipal Bond Fund (Nasdaq:MFALX),
         (Nasdaq:MBABX)

    (38) MFS Arkansas Municipal Bond Fund (Nasdaq:MFARX),
         (Nasdaq:MBARX)

    (39) MFS California Municipal Bond Fund (Nasdaq:MCFTX),
         (Nasdaq:MBCAX), (Nasdaq:MCCAX)

    (40) MFS Florida Municipal Bond Fund (Nasdaq:MFFLX),
         (Nasdaq:MBFLX)

    (41) MFS Georgia Municipal Bond Fund (Nasdaq:MMGAX),
         (Nasdaq:MBGAX)

    (42) MFS Maryland Municipal Bond Fund (Nasdaq:MFSMX),
         (Nasdaq:MBMDX)

    (43) MFS Massachusetts Municipal Bond Fund (Nasdaq:MFSSX),
         (Nasdaq:MBMAX)

    (44) MFS Mississippi Municipal Bond Fund (Nasdaq:MISSX),
         (Nasdaq:MBMSX),

    (45) MFS Municipal Bond Fund (Nasdaq:MMBFX), (Nasdaq:MMBBX)

    (46) MFS Municipal Limited Maturity Fund (Nasdaq:MTLFX),
         (Nasdaq:MTLBX), (Nasdaq:MTLCX)

    (47) MFS New York Municipal Bond Fund (Nasdaq:MSNYX),
         (Nasdaq:MBNYX), (Nasdaq:MCNYX)

    (48) MFS North Carolina Municipal Bond Fund (Nasdaq:MSNCX),
         (Nasdaq:MBNCX), (Nasdaq:MCNCX)

    (49) MFS Pennsylvania Municipal Bond Fund (Nasdaq:MFPAX),
         (Nasdaq:MBPAX)

    (50) MFS South Carolina Municipal Bond Fund (Nasdaq:MFSCX),
         (Nasdaq:MBSCX)

    (51) MFS Tennessee Municipal Bond Fund (Nasdaq:MSTNX),
         (Nasdaq:MBTNX)

    (52) MFS Virginia Municipal Bond Fund (Nasdaq:MSVAX),
         (Nasdaq:MBVAX), (Nasdaq:MVACX)

    (53) MFS West Virginia Municipal Bond Fund (Nasdaq:MFWVX),
         (Nasdaq:MBWVX)

    (54) MFS Emerging Markets Equity Fund (Nasdaq:MEMAX),
         (Nasdaq:MEMBX), (Nasdaq:MEMCX), (Nasdaq:MEMIX)

    (55) MFS Global Equity Fund (Nasdaq:MWEFX), (Nasdaq:MWEBX),
         (Nasdaq:MWECX), (Nasdaq:MWEIX), (Nasdaq:MGERX)

    (56) MFS Global Growth Fund (Nasdaq:MWOFX), (Nasdaq:MWOBX),
         (Nasdaq:MWOCX), (Nasdaq:MWOIX), (Nasdaq:MGLRX)

    (57) MFS Global Total Return Fund (Nasdaq:MFWTX),
         (Nasdaq:MFWBX), (Nasdaq:MFWCX), (Nasdaq:MFWIX),
         (Nasdaq:MGRRX)

    (58) MFS International Growth Fund (Nasdaq:MGRAX),
         (Nasdaq:MGRBX), (Nasdaq:MGRCX), (Nasdaq:MQGIX)

    (59) MFS International New Discovery Fund (Nasdaq:MIDAX),
         (Nasdaq:MIDBX), (Nasdaq:MIDCX), (Nasdaq:EAIDX),
         (Nasdaq:EBIDX), (Nasdaq:ECIDX), (Nasdaq:MWNIX),
         (Nasdaq:MINRX)

    (60) MFS International Value Fund (Nasdaq:MGIAX),
         (Nasdaq:MGIBX), (Nasdaq:MGICX), (Nasdaq:MINIX)

    (61) MFS Research International Fund (Nasdaq:MRSAX),
         (Nasdaq:MRIBX), (Nasdaq:MRICX), (Nasdaq:EARSX),
         (Nasdaq:EBRIX), (Nasdaq:ECRIX), (Nasdaq:MRSIX),
         (Nasdaq:MRIRX)

The complaint charges Massachusetts Financial Services Company,
MFS Investment Management, Sun Life Financial, Inc. MFS Series
Trust I, MFS Series Trust II, MFS Series Trust III, MFS Series
Trust IV, MFS Series Trust V, MFS Series Trust VI, MFS Series
Trust VII, MFS Series Trust VIII, MFS Series Trust IX, MFS
Series Trust X, MFS Series Trust XI, MFS Mutual Funds, and the
Doe Defendants with violations of the Securities Act of 1933,  
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, among other claims, and for
common law breach of fiduciary duties.

The Complaint alleges that during the Class Period the
defendants engaged in illegal and improper trading practices, in
concert with certain institutional traders, which caused
financial injury to the shareholders of the MFS Mutual Funds.
According to the Complaint, the Defendants surreptitiously
permitted certain favored investors, including the Doe
Defendants, to illegally engage in "timing" of the MFS 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 MFS Mutual Funds'
prospectuses.

For more information, contact Samuel H. Rudman, or David A.
Rosenfeld, or the Client Relations Department: Jackie Addison,
Heather Gann or Chandra West, by Mail: P.O. Box 25438, Little
Rock, AR 72221-5438, by Phone: 1-888-551-9944 (toll free), Fax:
1-501-312-8505, or E-mail: info@cauleygeller.com.


MORGAN STANLEY: Cauley Geller Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
Cauley Geller Bowman & Rudman, LLP initiated a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York on behalf of all purchasers of shares of
the Morgan Stanley Family of Funds, which are managed by Morgan
Stanley from October 1, 1999 through December 31, 2002,
inclusive.

These Morgan Stanley Funds are subject to this class action:

     (1) Morgan Stanley 21st Century Trend Fund (TCTAX, TCTBX,
         TCTCX, TCTDX)

     (2) Morgan Stanley Aggressive Equity Fund (AEQAX, AEQBX,
         AEQCX, AEQDX)

     (3) Morgan Stanley All Star Growth Fund (ALLAX, ALLBX,
         ALLCX, ALLDX)

     (4) Morgan Stanley American Opportunities Fund (AMOAX,
         AMOBX, AMOCX, AMODX)

     (5) Morgan Stanley Biotechnology Fund (BTKAX, BTKBX, BTKCX,
         BTKDX)

     (6) Morgan Stanley Capital Opportunities Trust (CPOAX,
         CPOBX, CPOCX, CPODX)

     (7) Morgan Stanley Developing Growth Securities (DGRAX,
         DGRBX, DGRCX, DGRDX)

     (8) Morgan Stanley Financial Services Trust (FSVAX, FSVBX,
         FSVCX, FSVDX)

     (9) Morgan Stanley Growth Fund (GRTAX, GRTBX, GRTCX, GRTDX)

    (10) Morgan Stanley Health Sciences Trust (HCRAX, HCRBX,
         HCRCX, HCRDX)

    (11) Morgan Stanley Information Fund (IFOAX, IFOBX, IFOCX,
         IFODX)

    (12) Morgan Stanley KLD Social Index Fund (SIXAX, SIXBX,
         SIXCX, SIXDX)

    (13) Morgan Stanley Market Leader Trust (MLDAX, MLDBX,
         MLDCX, MLDDX)

    (14) Morgan Stanley Mid-Cap Value Fund (MDFAX, MDFBX, MDFCX,
         MDFDX)

    (15) Morgan Stanley Nasdaq-100 Index Fund (NSQAX, NSQBX,
         NSQCX, NSQDX)

    (16) Morgan Stanley Natural Resource Development Securities
         (NREAX, NREBX, NRECX, NREDX)

    (17) Morgan Stanley New Discoveries Fund (NDFAX, NDFBX,
         NDFCX, NDFDX)

    (18) Morgan Stanley Next Generation Trust (NGTAX, NGTBX,
         NGTCX, NGTDX)

    (19) Morgan Stanley Small-Mid Special Value Fund (JBJAX,
         JBJBX, JBJCX, JBJDX)

    (20) Morgan Stanley Special Growth Fund (SMPAX, SMPBX,
         SMPCX, SMPD)

    (21) Morgan Stanley Special Value Fund (SVFAX, SVFBX, SVFCX,
         SVFDX)

    (22) Morgan Stanley Tax-Managed Growth Fund (TGXAX, TGXBX,
         TGXCX, TGXDX)

    (23) Morgan Stanley Technology Fund (TEKAX, TEKBX, TEKCX,
         TEKDX)

    (24) Morgan Stanley European Growth Fund (EUGAX, EUGBX,
         EUGCX, EUGDX)

    (25) Morgan Stanley Fund of Funds - International Portfolio
         (IOFBX, IOFCX, IOFDX)

    (26) Morgan Stanley Global Advantage Fund, (GADAX, GADBX,
         GADCX, GADDX)

    (27) Morgan Stanley Global Dividend Growth Securities
         (GLBAX, GLBBX, GLBCX, GLBDX)

    (28) Morgan Stanley Global Utilities Fund (GUTAX, GUTBX,
         GUTCX, GUTDX)

    (29) Morgan Stanley International Fund (INLAX, INLBX, INLCX,
         INLDX)

    (30) Morgan Stanley International Smallcap Fund (ISMAX,
         SMBX, ISMCX, ISMDX)

    (31) Morgan Stanley International Value Equity Fund (IVQAX,
         IVQBX, IVQCX, IVQDX)

    (32) Morgan Stanley Japan Fund (JPNAX, JPNBX, JPNCX, JPNDX)

    (33) Morgan Stanley Latin American Growth Fund (LATAX,
         LATBX, LATCX, LATDX)

    (34) Morgan Stanley Pacific Growth Fund (TGRAX, TGRBX,
         TGRCX, TGRDX)

    (35) Morgan Stanley Allocator Fund (ALRAX, ALRBX, ALRCX,
         ALRDX)

    (36) Morgan Stanley Balanced Growth Fund (BGRAX, BGRBX,
         BGRCX, BGRDX)

    (37) Morgan Stanley Balanced Income Fund, (BINAX, BINBX,
         BINCX, BINDX)

    (38) Morgan Stanley Convertible Securities Trust, (CNSAX,
         CNSBX, CNSCX, CNSDX)

    (39) Morgan Stanley Dividend Growth Securities, (DIVAX,
         DIVBX, DIVCX, DIVDX)

    (40) Morgan Stanley Equity Fund (EQFAX, EQFBX, EQFCX, EQFDX)

    (41) Morgan Stanley Fund of Funds - Domestic Portfolio
         (DOFAX, DOFBX, DOFCX, DOFDX)

    (42) Morgan Stanley Fundamental Value Fund (FVFAX, FVFBX,
         FVFCX, FVFDX)

    (43) Morgan Stanley Income Builder Fund, (INBAX, INBBX,
         INBCX, INBDX)

    (44) Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund (REFAX, REFBX, REFCX,
         REFDX)

    (45) Morgan Stanley S&P 500 Index Fund (SPIAX, SPIBX, SPICX,
         SPIDX)

    (46) Morgan Stanley Strategist Fund (SRTAX, SRTBX, SRTCX,
         SRTDX)

    (47) Morgan Stanley Total Market Index Fund (TMIAX, TMIBX,
         TMICX, TMIDX)

    (48) Morgan Stanley Total Return Trust (TRFAX, TRFBX, TRFCX,
         TRFDX)

    (49) Morgan Stanley Utilities Fund (UTLAX, UTLBX, UTLCX,
         UTLDX)

    (50) Morgan Stanley Value Fund (VLUAX, VLUBX, VLUCX, VLUDX)

    (51) Morgan Stanley Value-Added Market Series/Equity
         Portfolio (VADAX, VADBX, VADCX, VADDX)

    (52) Morgan Stanley Active Assets California Tax-Free Trust
         (AACXX)

    (53) Morgan Stanley Active Assets Government Securities
         Trust (AAGXX)

    (54) Morgan Stanley Active Assets Institutional Money Trust
         (AVIXX)

    (55) Morgan Stanley Active Assets Money Trust (AAMXX)

    (56) Morgan Stanley Active Assets Tax-Free Trust (AATXX)

    (57) Morgan Stanley Flexible Income Trust (DINAX, DINBX,
         DINCX, DINDX,)

    (58) Morgan Stanley Federal Securities Trust (FDLAX, FDLBX,
         FDLCX, FDLDX)

    (59) Morgan Stanley High Yield Securities (HYLAX, HYLBX,
         HYLCX, HYLDX)

    (60) Morgan Stanley Quality Income Trust (IISAX, IISBX,
         IISCX, IISDX)

    (61) Morgan Stanley Limited Duration Fund (MSLDX)

    (62) Morgan Stanley Limited Duration U.S. Treasury Trust
         (LDTRX)

    (63) Morgan Stanley Liquid Asset Fund (DWLXX)

    (64) Morgan Stanley Prime Income Trust (XPITX)

    (65) Morgan Stanley U.S. Government Money Market Trust
         (DWGXX)

    (66) Morgan Stanley U.S. Government Securities Trust (USGAX,
         USGBX, USGCX, USGDX)

    (67) Morgan Stanley California Tax-Free Daily Income Trust
         (DSCXX)

    (68) Morgan Stanley California Tax-Free Income Fund (CLFAX,
         CLFBX, CLFCX, CLFDX)

    (69) Morgan Stanley Hawaii Municipal Trust (DWHIX)

    (70) Morgan Stanley Limited Term Municipal Trust (DWLTX)

    (71) Morgan Stanley Multi-State Municipal Series Trust,
         Arizona Series (DWAZX)

    (72) Morgan Stanley Multi-State Municipal Series Trust,
         Florida Series (DWFLX)

    (73) Morgan Stanley Multi-State Municipal Series Trust, New
         Jersey Series (DWNJX)

    (74) Morgan Stanley Multi-State Municipal Series Trust,
         Pennsylvania Series (DWPAX)

    (75) Morgan Stanley New York Municipal Money Market Trust
         (DWNXX)

    (76) Morgan Stanley New York Tax-Free Income Fund (NYFAX,
         NYFBX, NYFCX, NYFDX)

    (77) Morgan Stanley Tax-Exempt Securities Trust (TAXAX,
         TAXBX, TAXCX, TAXDX)

    (78) Morgan Stanley Tax-Free Daily Income Trust (DSTXX)

    (79) Van Kampen Advantage Municipal Income Trust (VKA)

    (80) Van Kampen Advantage Municipal Income Trust II (VKI)

    (81) Van Kampen Advantage Pennsylvania Municipal Income
         Trust (VAP)

    (82) Van Kampen Bond Fund (IOBIX, VBF)

    (83) Van Kampen California Municipal Trust (VKC)

    (84) Van Kampen California Quality Municipal Trust (VQC)

    (85) Van Kampen California Value Municipal Income Trust
         (VCV)

    (86) Van Kampen Comstock Fund (ACSTX, ACSWX, ACSYX, ACSRX)

    (87) Van Kampen Convertible Securities Fund (VXS)

    (88) Van Kampen Corporate Bond Fund (ACCBX, ACCDX, ACCEX)

    (89) Van Kampen Emerging Growth Fund (ACEGX, ACEMX, ACEFX,
         ACEEX)

    (90) Van Kampen Enterprise Fund (ACENX, ACEOX, ACEPX)

    (91) Van Kampen Equity & Income Fund (ACEIX, ACEQX, ACERX,
         ACESX)

    (92) Van Kampen Florida Municipal Opportunity Trust (VMO)

    (93) Van Kampen Florida Quality Municipal Trust (VFM)

    (94) Van Kampen Government Securities Fund (ACGSX, ACGTX,
         ACGVX)

    (95) Van Kampen Growth & Income Fund (ACGIX, ACGJX, ACGKX,
         ACGLX)

    (96) Van Kampen Harbor Fund (ACHBX, ACHAX, ACHCX)

    (97) Van Kampen High Income Corporate Bond Fund (ACHYX,
         ACHZX, ACHWX)

    (98) Van Kampen Income Trust (VIN)

    (99) Van Kampen High Income Trust (VIT)

   (100) Van Kampen Investment Grade Municipal Trust (VIG)

   (101) Van Kampen Limited Maturity Government Fund (ACFMX,
         ACFTX, ACFWX)

   (102) Van Kampen High Income Trust II (VLT)

   (103) Van Kampen Massachusetts Value Municipal (VMV)

   (104) Van Kampen Municipal Income Trust (VMT)

The complaint charges Morgan Stanley, Morgan Stanley DW, Inc.,
Morgan Stanley Investment Advisors, Inc., Morgan Stanley
Investments LP, and the Morgan Stanley Funds with violations of
the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934,
among other claims, and for common law breach of fiduciary
duties. This action concerns Morgan Stanley's prohibited sales
contests for its brokers and managers to promote the sale of
Morgan Stanley mutual funds and a selected few variable
annuities.

More specifically, during the Class Period, Morgan Stanley
cultivated a clandestine culture to aggressively sell the Morgan
Stanley Funds above all other funds. During the Class Period,
defendants engaged in illegal activities involving high-
pressure sales tactics to sell Morgan Stanley Funds over non-
proprietary external funds. At the regional and branch levels,
these tactics included sales contests, various types of hidden
compensation in the form of travel and expense reimbursements,
business development dollars, asset retention dollars and most
importantly, a higher compensation pay out for selling Morgan
Stanley Funds. The branch managers as well as regional
executives received bonus compensation based in part on the
successful sale of the Morgan Stanley Funds. During the Class
Period, Morgan Stanley failed to disclose any of these financial
incentives to Plaintiff and other class members. In fact, in an
effort to conceal the potential conflicts of interest that these
incentives formed, Morgan Stanley intentionally sought to
prevent any written communication concerning these sales
practices.

For more information, contact: Samuel H. Rudman, or David A.
Rosenfeld, or the Client Relations Department: Jackie Addison,
Heather Gann or Chandra West, by Mail: P.O. Box 25438, Little
Rock, AR 72221 5438, by Phone: 1 888 551 9944 (toll free), Fax:
(501) 312-8505, or E-mail: info@cauleygeller.com.


NETWORK ENGINES: Schiffrin & Barroway Files MA Securities Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP initiated a class action lawsuit in
the United States District Court for the District of
Massachusetts on behalf of all purchasers of the common stock of
Network Engines, Inc. from November 6, 2003 through December 10,
2003, inclusive.

The complaint alleges that by the start of the Class Period,
defendants knew, but failed to disclose, that Network Engines
was in the process of renegotiating its distribution contract
with EMC, and that EMC was demanding price reductions, which, if
agreed to, would negatively impact the Company's future
financial results.

Nevertheless, throughout the Class Period, defendants issued
positive statements highlighting the Company's strong financial
performance, continued growth and the success of its
relationship with EMC, its largest customer. Defendants failed
to disclose, however:

     (1) that the Company was in the process of renegotiating
         its distribution contract with EMC;

     (2) that EMC was demanding price concessions to bring its
         agreement with Network Engines in line with the pricing
         that Network Engines was providing to other customers;

     (3) that the new distribution contract with EMC would
         negatively impact the Company's future financial
         performance;

     (4) that the Company would not be able to sustain the
         growth in its gross margins as a result of the amended
         contract; and

     (5) as a result, the Company's positive statements issued
         during the Class Period were materially false and
         misleading when made.

Finally, on December 10, 2003, the Company announced, among
other things, that it had renegotiated its distribution contract
with EMC and the amended contract would negatively impact the
Company's gross profit related to the sale of EMC-approved Host
Bus Adapters and the Company's distribution operations gross
profit.

Following this announcement, shares of Network Engines common
stock fell $3.92 per share, or 39%, to close at $6.10 per share,
on extraordinarily high trading volume, and have continued to
decline since that time.

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: 1-888-299-7706 (toll free) or
1-610-667-7706, or E-mail: info@sbclasslaw.com.


PILGRIM BAXTER: Rabin Murray Files Securities Fraud Suit in PA
----------------------------------------------------------------
Rabin, Murray & Frank, LLP initiated a class action lawsuit in
United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Pennsylvania, on behalf of all persons or entities who purchased
or otherwise acquired PBHG Growth Fund (Nasdaq: PBGWX), (Nasdaq:
PAHGX), (Nasdaq: PCHGX); PBHG Emerging Growth Fund (Nasdaq:
PAEGX), (Nasdaq: PCEGX); PBHG Large Cap Growth Fund (Nasdaq:
PBLAX), (Nasdaq: PLCGX), (Nasdaq: PALGX), (Nasdaq: PCLGX); PBHG
Select Growth Fund (Nasdaq: PAHEX), (Nasdaq: PCHEX), between
November 24, 1998 and November 12, 2003, inclusive.

The complaint names as defendants:

     (1) Old Mutual Asset Management,

     (2) Pilgrim Baxter, PBHG Funds,

     (3) Gary L. Pilgrim,

     (4) Harold J. Baxter,

     (5) Appalachian Trails, L.P.,

     (6) Michael Christian,

     (7) Wall Street Discount Corporation,

     (8) Alan Lederfeind,

     (9) each of the PBHG mutual funds, and

    (10) John Does 1-100.

The Funds, and their symbols, are:

     (i) PBHG Growth Fund (Nasdaq: PBHGX), (Nasdaq: PBGWX),
         (Nasdaq: PAHGX), (Nasdaq: PCHGX)

    (ii) PBHG Emerging Growth Fund (Nasdaq: PBEGX), (Nasdaq:
         PAEGX), (Nasdaq:PCEGX)

   (iii) PBHG Large Cap Growth Fund (Nasdaq: PBHLX), (Nasdaq:
         PBLAX), (Nasdaq: PLCGX), (Nasdaq: PALGX), (Nasdaq:
         PCLGX)

    (iv) PBHG Select Growth Fund (Nasdaq: PBHEX), (Nasdaq:
         PAHEX), (Nasdaq:PCHEX)

     (v) PBHG Focused Fund (Nasdaq: PBFVX), (Nasdaq: PAFCX),
         (Nasdaq: PCFCX)

    (vi) PBHG Large Cap Fund (Nasdaq: PLCVX), (Nasdaq: PBLVX),
         (Nasdaq: PLCAX), (Nasdaq: PCCAX)

   (vii) PBHG Large Cap 20 Fund (Nasdaq: PLCPX), (Nasdaq:
         PLTAX), (Nasdaq: PLGAX), (Nasdaq: PCLAX)

  (viii) PBHG Strategic Small Company Fund (Nasdaq: PSSCX),
         (Nasdaq: PBSSX), (Nasdaq: PSSAX), (Nasdaq: PCSSX)

    (ix) PBHG Disciplined Equity Fund (Nasdaq: PBDEX), (Nasdaq:
         PBOEX), (Nasdaq: PADEX), (Nasdaq: PCDEX)

     (x) PBHG Mid-Cap Fund (Nasdaq: PBMCX), (Nasdaq: PMCAX),
         (Nasdaq: PMCVX), (Nasdaq: PAMIX), (Nasdaq: PCCPX)

    (xi) PBHG Small Cap Fund (Nasdaq: PBSVX), (Nasdaq: PVAAX),
         (Nasdaq: PSAMX), (Nasdaq: PSCMX)

   (xii) PBHG Clipper Focus Fund (Nasdaq: PBFOX), (Nasdaq:
         PCLFX), (Nasdaq: PAFOX), (Nasdaq: PCFOX)

  (xiii) PBHG Small Cap Value Fund (Nasdaq: PSMVX), (Nasdaq:
         PACVX), (Nasdaq: PCCVX)

   (xiv) PBHG REIT Fund (Nasdaq: PBRTX), (Nasdaq: PBRAX),
         (Nasdaq: PCRTX), (Nasdaq: PARTX)

    (xv) PBHG Technology & Communications Fund (Nasdaq: PBTCX),
         (Nasdaq: PTNAX), (Nasdaq: PTCHX), (Nasdaq: PATCX),
         (Nasdaq: PCOMX)

   (xvi) PBHG IRA Capital Preservation Fund (Nasdaq: PBCPX),
         (Nasdaq: PACPX),  Nasdaq: PIRAX), (Nasdaq: PIRCX)

  (xvii) PBHG Intermediate Fixed Income Fund (Nasdaq: PBFIX),
         (Nasdaq: PAFIX), (Nasdaq: PCIRX)

    (xix) PBHG Cash Reserves Fund (Nasdaq: PBCXX)

The Complaint alleges that defendants violated Sections 11 and
15 of the Securities Act of 1933; Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder; and Section 206 of the Investment Advisers Act of
1940. The Complaint charges that, throughout the Class Period,
certain of the defendants failed to disclose that they
improperly allowed certain hedge funds, such as Appalachian
Trails, to engage in "late trading" and "timing" of the Funds'
securities.

In return for receiving extra fees from Appalachian Trails,
Christiani, Alan Lederfeind, and clients of Wall Street Discount
Corporation, and other favored investors, Old Mutual, and
Pilgrim Baxter and its affiliates allowed and facilitated timing
and late trading activities in the Funds, to the detriment of
class members, who paid, dollar for dollar, for improper profits
made by Appalachian Trails, Christiani, Alan Lederfeind, and
clients of Wall Street Discount Corporation.

These practices were undisclosed in the prospectuses of the
Funds, which falsely represented that the Funds actively police
against timing and represented that post-4 P.M. EST trades will
be priced based on the next day's net asset value and that
premature redemptions will be assessed a charge.

For more information, contact Eric J. Belfi, or Gregory Linkh,
by Phone: (800) 497-8076, or (212) 682-1818, Fax:
(212) 682-1892, or E-mail: info@rabinlaw.com


PILGRIM BAXTER: Cauley Geller Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in PA
----------------------------------------------------------------
Cauley Geller Bowman & Rudman, LLP initiated a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania behalf of all purchasers of shares of
the PBHG Family of funds which are managed by Pilgrim Baxter &
Associates, Ltd. during the period between November 13, 1998 and
November 13, 2003, inclusive  

The Funds, and their symbols, are:

     (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, PBHG Funds, PBHG Fund Distributors,
PBHG Mutual Funds, and Doe Defendants with violations of the
Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934,
among other claims, 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: Samuel H. Rudman, David A.  
Rosenfeld, or the Client Relations Department: Jackie Addison or
Heather Gann, by Mail: P.O. Box 25438, Little Rock, AR 72221-
5438, by Phone: 1-888-551-9944 (toll free), Fax: 1-501-312-8505,
E-mail: info@cauleygeller.com, or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.cauleygeller.com.


SILICON IMAGE: Lasky & Rifkind Lodges Securities Suit in N.D. CA
----------------------------------------------------------------
Lasky & Rifkind, Ltd., initiated a class action lawsuit in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of
California, on behalf of persons who purchased or otherwise
acquired publicly traded securities of Silicon Image Inc.
between April 15, 2002 and November 15, 2003, inclusive, against
the Company, and:

     (1) David Lee,

     (2) Steve Tirado, and

     (3) Robert Gargus

The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, Defendants
made a series of false and misleading statements. These
statements were materially false and misleading because the
Defendants had overstated Silicon Image's license revenue by
improperly recognizing revenue that did not satisfy appropriate
criteria. Moreover, while in possession of the material non-
public information regarding the overstatement, Defendants sold
thousands of shares of their personally held Silicon stock.

On November 14, 2003, Silicon announced that its form 10-Q would
not be filed in a timely fashion because an investigation into
the Company's revenue recognition practices was on going. On
this news shares of Silicon Image fell more than 27.7% to close
at $6.40 per share.

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


SILICON IMAGE: Charles Piven Launches Securities Suit in N.D. 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 Silicon Image,
Inc. and certain of its officers and directors, on behalf of
shareholders who purchased, converted, exchanged or otherwise
acquired the common stock of Silicon Image, Inc. between April
15, 2002, when Silicon Image announced financial results for the
quarter ending March 31, 2002, and November 15, 2003, the day
after Silicon Image announced an internal investigation into its
revenue recognition practices associated with certain licensing
transactions.

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 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
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without
prior written permission of the publishers.

Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed
to be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The CAR subscription rate is $575 for six months delivered via
e-mail.  Additional e-mail subscriptions for members of the same
firm for the term of the initial subscription or balance thereof
are $25 each.  For subscription information, contact Christopher
Beard at 240/629-3300.

                  * * *  End of Transmission  * * *