CAR_Public/031229.mbx            C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R
  
           Monday, December 29, 2003, Vol. 5, No. 255

                        Headlines                            

AMERIGAS PROPANE: Settles Individual Claims in Injury Suit
BAYER CORPORATION: IL Court Denies Certification In Baycol Suit
BECTON: Fights Remaining Latex Glove Product Liability Suits
BECTON: Healthcare Workers Lodge Product Liability Lawsuits
BECTON DICKINSON: Faces Suit in B.C. over BD ProbeTec Instrument

CANADA: Driver Sues Montreal Union For Traffic Jam
CANADA: Disabled Vets Win Fight Over Billions In Pension Funds
CATHOLIC CHURCH: San Diego Dioceses Face Clergy Sex Abuse Suits
CONNECTICUT: Medicaid Recipients Drop Lawsuit Against State
COUNTRY DAIRY: Recalls Eggnog Because of Inadequate Processing

CREDIT CARDS: Retailers' Lawyers In Debit Suit To Get Over $220M
DAIMLERCHRYSLER AG: Ex-Officer Says Late Notes Were an "Error"
DEERE & CO: Recalls Compact Utility Tractors For Product Defect
ECKERD CORP: Judge Orders Ex-Workers Be Notified About Wage Suit
FAMILY DOLLAR: Recalls Extension Cords For Electrocution Hazard

FLAGSTAF BANK: Settles Discrimination Lawsuit For $1.2 Million
GENERAL MILLS: Recalls Brownie Mix Because of Undeclared Pecans
HANSEN BEVERAGE: Yeast Possibly Responsible for Cider Recall
HOUSEHOLD INTERNATIONAL: Mortgage Settlement Gets Early Approval
HOUSEHOLD INT: $12.8M Settlement Checks Going Out to Marylanders

INTERSTATE BAKERIES: Working to Resolve W.D. Missouri Lawsuits
INTERSTATE BAKERIES: Faces Wage Suit in California
INTERSTATE BAKERIES: Court Dismisses Asbestos Suit in Illinois
LACTALIS USA: Recalls Brie Cheese For Possible Listeria Content
MIRANT CORPORATION: Bondholder Suit Stayed Through April 2004

MONEY MART: Allegedly Excessive Fees Garner New Suit
MONSANTO CO.: MO Court Denies Certification In Seed Farmers Suit
NETWORK ENGINES: Sued Over Timing of EMC Amended Pact Disclosure
NETWORK ENGINES: Settles TidalWire Acquisition Lawsuit in DE
NEVADA: Firms Face Suit Over Auto Contracts

PALM INC.: Suit Settlement Hearing Deadline Extended To Jan. 20
PENNSYLVANIA: Derry Sticks By New Chief Despite Possible Lawsuit
PITTSBURGH: Hospital Fires Counterattack in `Botched Tests' Suit
PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS LLP: Court Okays $54.5M Travel Suit Pact
PURDUE PHARMA: OH Court Denies Certification In Oxycontin Suit

RENT-WAY INC.: PA Court Grants Approval To Securities Settlement
RICOH CORPORATION: Court Denies Certification In Consumer Suit
SCIL LLC: Court Reverses, Remands Ruling In Credit Card Lawsuit
SOUTH BEND CHOCOLATE: Recalls Products For Undeclared Nuts/ Eggs
TRI-STATE CREMATORY: Trial to Commence on March 1 in Rome, GA

VERNS MOSES: Recalls Beef For Possible BSE Contamination
VIVENDI: Plaintiffs Get Green Light to Proceed with Claims
WAL-MART: Recalls 'Painted Snowman' Candles For Fire Hazard
WHETSTONE INDUSTRIAL: Board Members Face Potential Stock Lawsuit

               New Securities Fraud Cases

ALAMOSA HOLDINGS: Marc Henzel Files Securities Suit in N.D. TX
BOSTON COMMUNICATIONS: Wolf Haldenstein Files Stock Suit in MA
CAREER EDUCATION: Bull & Lifshitz Files Securities Suit in IL
CLEAN HARBORS: Marc Henzel Files Securities Fraud Suit in MA
GILEAD SCIENCES: Cohen Milstein Files Securities Suit in N.D. CA

LEAPFROG ENTERPRISES: Charles Piven Files Securities Suit in CA
LORAL SPACE: Wolf Haldenstein Files Securities Suit in S.D. NY
MFS FUNDS: Stull Stull Commences Securities Lawsuit in S.D. NY
REDBACK NETWORKS: Abbey Gardy Files Securities Suit in N.D. CA
REDBACK NETWORKS: Weiss & Yourman Lodges Securities Suit in CA

REDBACK NETWORKS: Stull Stull Commences Securities Suit in CA

                        *********

AMERIGAS PROPANE: Settles Individual Claims in Injury Suit
----------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs Samuel and Brenda Swiger and their son sustained
personal injuries and property damage as a result of a fire that
occurred when propane that leaked from an underground line
ignited.

In July 1998, the Swigers filed a class action lawsuit against
AmeriGas Propane, L.P. (named incorrectly as "UGI/AmeriGas,
Inc."), in the circuit Court of Monongalia County, West Virginia
(Civil Action No. 98-C-298), in which they sought to recover an
unspecified amount of compensatory and punitive damages and
attorney's fees, for themselves and on behalf of persons in West
Virginia for whom the defendants had installed propane gas
lines, allegedly resulting from the defendants' failure to
install underground propane lines at depths required by
applicable safety standards. Plaintiffs have filed various
motions with the court, which seek to broaden the scope of their
claims and to expand the size of the class to include customers
whose lines were installed by other propane suppliers.

These motions are currently pending before the court and
defendants cannot predict the outcome of those motions.

Beginning in 2001, the defendants voluntarily undertook to
inspect and replace underground lines of its current customers
that may not be in compliance with applicable safety standards.
The General Partner expects to complete the line replacement
project by late fiscal 2004 or early fiscal 2005.

In 2003, the defendants settled the individual personal injury
and property damage claims of the Swigers. The defendants
believe they have defenses to the claims of the class members


BAYER CORPORATION: IL Court Denies Certification In Baycol Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Circuit Court of Illinois, Cook County denied a
Plaintiff's Motion for Class Certification in a lawsuit brought
against Bayer Corporation, on behalf of James W. Jensen, et al.,
with regard to the use of the cholesterol-lowering drug Baycol.

The named plaintiff, James W. Jensen, is a Florida resident who
resided in Illinois at the time of the suit's filing.  Mr.
Jensen purchased and used Baycol, a drug that was sold by
Defendants and prescribed to individuals to lower cholesterol.

In August 2001, defendants discontinued distributing Baycol in
all dosage strengths.  At the time of recall, Defendants
released a letter stating rhabdomyolysis, a deterioration in
muscle tissue, is a potentially fatal adverse effect of Baycol.
The Plaintiff asks to serve as class representative for everyone
in the United States who purchased and used the recalled drug.

The Baycol lawsuit titled James W. Jensen v. Bayer AG et al.,
C.A. No. 1:02-1747 was filed on August 2001 in the Circuit Court
for Cook County, Illinois.


BECTON: Fights Remaining Latex Glove Product Liability Suits
------------------------------------------------------------
In 1986, Becton Dickinson & Co. acquired a business that
manufactured, among other things, latex surgical gloves. In
1995, the company divested this glove business. The company,
along with a number of other manufacturers, have been named as a
defendant in approximately 524 product liability lawsuits
related to natural rubber latex that have been filed in various
state and Federal courts.

Cases pending in Federal Court are being coordinated under the
matter In re Latex Gloves Products Liability Litigation (MDL
Docket No. 1148) in Philadelphia, and analogous procedures have
been implemented in the state courts of California,
Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.

Generally, these actions allege that medical personnel have
suffered allergic reactions ranging from skin irritation to
anaphylaxis as a result of exposure to medical gloves containing
natural rubber latex.

Since the inception of this litigation, 377 of these cases have
been closed with no liability to BD (313 of which were closed
with prejudice), and 28 cases have been settled for an aggregate
de minimis amount. The company continues to fight the remaining
lawsuits.


BECTON: Healthcare Workers Lodge Product Liability Lawsuits
-----------------------------------------------------------
Becton Dickinson & Co., along with another manufacturer and
several medical product distributors, is named as a defendant in
four product liability lawsuits relating to healthcare workers
who allegedly sustained accidental needlesticks, but have not
become infected with any disease. Generally, the remaining
actions allege that healthcare workers have sustained
needlesticks using hollow-bore needle devices manufactured by BD
and, as a result, require medical testing, counseling and/or
treatment. Several actions additionally allege that the
healthcare workers have sustained mental anguish. Plaintiffs
seek money damages in all of these actions.

The company has previously been named as a defendant in seven
similar suits relating to healthcare workers who allegedly
sustained accidental needlesticks, each of which has either been
dismissed with prejudice or voluntarily withdrawn. Regarding the
four pending suits:

     In Ohio, Grant vs. Becton Dickinson et al. (Case No.
     98CVB075616, Franklin County Court), which was filed on
     July 22, 1998, the Court of Appeals, by order dated June 3,
     2003, reversed the trial court's granting of class
     certification and remanded the case for a determination of
     whether the class can be redefined, or the action should be
     dismissed.

     In Illinois, McCaster vs. Becton Dickinson et al. (Case No.
     98L09478, Cook County Circuit Court), which was filed on
     August 13, 1998, the court issued an order on November 22,
     2002 denying plaintiff's renewed motion for class
     certification. The plaintiff has voluntarily dismissed the
     action without prejudice and with leave to refile within
     one year.

     In Oklahoma and South Carolina, cases have been filed on
     behalf of an unspecified number of healthcare workers
     seeking class action certification under the laws of these
     states -- in state court in Oklahoma, under the caption
     Palmer vs. Becton Dickinson et al. (Case No. CJ-98-685,
     Sequoyah County District Court), filed on October 27, 1998,
     and in state court in South Carolina, under the caption
     Bales vs. Becton Dickinson et al. (Case No. 98-CP-40-4343,
     Richland County Court of Common Pleas), filed on November
     25, 1998.

The company continues to oppose class action certification in
these cases and defend itself against these lawsuits.

Accordingly, BD has insurance policies in place, and believes
that a substantial portion of the potential liability, if any,
in the class action matters will be covered by insurance.


BECTON DICKINSON: Faces Suit in B.C. over BD ProbeTec Instrument
----------------------------------------------------------------
On November 6, 2003, a class action complaint was filed against
Becton Dickinson & Co. in the Supreme Court of British Columbia
under the caption Danielle Cardozo, by her litigation guardian
Darlene Cardozo v. Becton, Dickinson and Company (Civil Action
No. S83059) alleging personal injury to all persons in British
Columbia that received test results generated by the BD ProbeTec
ET instrument. Plaintiffs seek money damages in an as yet
undisclosed amount.

As reported in the Class action Reporter's August 27, 2003
edition, Becton Dickinson & Co. recalled its ProbeTec ET
Instruments, an in-vitro diagnostic medical device used for  
Chlamydia and Gonorrhea detection in symptomatic patients
(patients displaying disease symptoms) and in asymptomatic
patients (patients without disease symptoms).

A component of the in-vitro diagnostic device was incorrectly
installed, causing false positive and false negative results in
both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients.  Continued use of
the defective instrument could result in a moderate to high risk
of serious adverse health consequences, including death.


CANADA: Driver Sues Montreal Union For Traffic Jam
--------------------------------------------------
Montreal driver Boris Coll launched a class action suit against
city workers whose protest caused him a half-hour delay in
traffic this past September, CBS News reports.

The Quebec Superior Court has authorized the lawsuit to proceed.

Boris Coll's lawyer is claiming that the Sept. 17 demonstration
was a deliberate infringement of his client's freedom of
movement. "To be told you can't go where you want, by someone
who is doing something they are not supposed to do, is
insulting," said lawyer Bruce Johnston. "Our client was offended
by that."

On the day in question, about 400 blue-collar city workers
slowly drove their trucks through the streets around city hall,
horns blaring.

Coll wants $650 in compensation from the workers' union, plus
punitive damages, to make up for being stuck for about 30
minutes in the resulting monster traffic jam.

Johnston acknowledges that being stuck in traffic is completely
normal, especially in the part of Old Montreal where Coll works.
But he still thinks Coll has a case because of the nature of the
September incident.

"It's quite different if someone decides to make you late by
parking in the middle of the road. That is an illegal act and it
is clear you can get compensation for that."

Johnston says if everyone else affected by the demonstration
joins the class action suit and is compensated, the blue-collar
workers' union faces a bill of up to $6.5 million.


CANADA: Disabled Vets Win Fight Over Billions In Pension Funds
--------------------------------------------------------------
Ontario Superior Court Justice John Brockenshire has ruled that
mentally disabled veterans are entitled to damages for the
federal government's failure to properly invest their trust
accounts, AP reports.

The decision hands hundreds of veterans and thousands of their
survivors a victory in a long-running battle with the government
over 80 years of pensions, allowances and personal fund
management. In his decision, Justice Brockenshire said a July
ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada on one aspect of the case
did not entirely close the door on the veterans.

In a companion ruling, Justice Brockenshire said it appears the
amount owed to them "will exceed, and may very substantially
exceed, $1 billion," but added he needs more information to
arrive at a precise figure.

"This is a good day for veterans," David Greenaway, a lawyer
representing members of the class action suit said Tuesday. "For
decades the government of Canada has stonewalled these people."

The case involves federal management of money belonging to some
30,000 mentally disabled veterans between the First World War
and 1990. Fewer than 1,000 are believed still alive. The suit
was initiated four years ago in the name of Pte. Joseph
Authorson, who spent decades in a psychiatric ward after
returning from the Second World War shell-shocked and
schizophrenic. Authorson died last year at age 88 in London,
Ont., but the case continues.

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court upheld the federal
government's right to bring in a 1990 law declaring it would not
pay billions of dollars of interest on the veterans' money.
However, the high court suggested the government owed a moral
debt, saying the law was passed "in disregard of the Crown's
fiduciary duty to disabled veterans."

The veterans' lawyers subsequently argued in Ontario Superior
Court that the government was liable for its "failure to invest"
the funds held in trust over the years. The government
unsuccessfully contended the veterans were revisiting a question
the Supreme Court had already decided.

At a news conference Tuesday, Greenaway said the federal
government is likely to appeal the Ontario rulings, which could
see the case tied up in court "another two years."

The federal government is reviewing the judgments and has not
yet decided whether to appeal, said Sonya Sheen, a spokeswoman
for the Veterans Affairs Department. "It's a very complex case."

Greenaway indicated he is open to settling the matter out of
court. "My door is open," he said. "I'm a lawyer. My duty is to
do what's best for my client."


CATHOLIC CHURCH: San Diego Dioceses Face Clergy Sex Abuse Suits
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Roman Catholic dioceses of San Diego and San Bernardino,
California faces a class action filed on behalf of people who
claimed they were sexually abused by clergy, but have not yet
filed a suit, and would not meet the December 31 deadline set by
the state, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

Attorney Irwin Zalkin and partner Michael Zimmer filed the
suits, which names three anonymous men as lead plaintiffs.  They
claim the Rev. Edward Anthony Rodrigue molested them from 1975
to 1976 as they served as altar boys in the Our Lady of
Guadalupe parish in El Centro.  Rev. Rodrigue allegedly gave
them alcohol and marijuana, showed pornographic films, and
sexually abused and molested them repeatedly.  

One of the plaintiffs allegedly telephoned the bishop's office
at the San Diego Diocese to report the abuse, but never heard
back from the diocese again.  The suit asserts that the diocese
concealed allegations against abusive priests and covered up
their wrongdoing by moving priests to different parishes, Mr.
Zalkin told the Union-Tribune.

Rev. Rodrigue was removed from the priesthood in 1992, and was
sentenced to 10 years in state prison in 1998, for molesting an
11-year-old developmentally disabled boy.  He is believed to
still be in prison, but his whereabouts could not be confirmed
Monday.  Rev. Rodrigue faces three other lawsuits from now-adult
males, alleging he molested them in the later 1970s in parishes
in San Bernardino.

Lawyers across the state have been pushing to meet the December
31 deadline set by the Legislature as part of a special law
aimed at the church and alleged abuse victims.  The law lifted
the legal time limit for bringing claims, as long as the civil
suits were filed by December 31, thus allowing people who were
molested as long as 60 years ago to file claims.

"By filing this lawsuit, it is our goal and our hope to allow
people to still come forward and be part of this class," Mr.
Zalkin told the Union-Tribune.  "Our hope is we would
effectively extend the deadline."

A spokesman for the diocese said it would challenge the
establishment of a class action.  "Because the cases are
different and the circumstances are different in each case, we
think these should be handled individually," Rod Valdivia, the
chancellor for the diocese told the Union-Tribune.

Up to this time attorneys have been filing suits on behalf of
individuals, or small groupings of plaintiffs. A class action
can, conceivably, incorporate many hundreds of victims under one
suit, Mr. Zalkin told the Union-Tribune.


CONNECTICUT: Medicaid Recipients Drop Lawsuit Against State
-----------------------------------------------------------
Three Medicaid recipients have agreed to withdraw a class action
lawsuit accusing the state of denying them access to urgently
needed medical equipment, AP reports.

In their lawsuit, the plaintiffs criticized the state Department
of Social Services for denying Medicaid recipients equipment
based on a manual used for the Medicare program. They said
Medicare, a supplemental health insurance program, is not
designed for low-income people and has more limited benefits
than Medicaid.

In an agreement with the three Medicaid recipients, the state
will clarify its use of the Medicaid standard when assessing a
patient's needs for medical equipment, Department of Social
Services spokesman David Dearborn said. The agency, however,
will still evaluate each case individually.

Dearborn said the state has paid for the equipment sought by the
three plaintiffs in the case as part of the settlement
agreement. However, Dearborn said that does not mean other
clients would be eligible for the items the plaintiffs received.

The state already pays for medically necessary equipment for
thousands of people with disabilities each year, Dearborn said.

Sheldon Toubman, one of the plaintiff's lawyers, said the
agreement benefits the plaintiffs and the agency. "Ultimately
we're saving state dollars rather than offering institutional
care at a higher expense to the taxpayers," he said.

The lawsuit was filed against Department of Social Services
Commissioner Patricia Wilson-Coker. It alleged that hundreds of
other Medicaid recipients, including many with low incomes and
disabilities, also were denied equipment they needed.

Attorneys said the equipment denied to the plaintiffs included:

     - A stair glide for an elderly man who has to crawl up the
       stairs of his apartment to get to the bathroom.

     - An electronic device that allows a quadriplegic to
       operate his hospital bed, control the temperature, open a
       door and use a telephone.

     - A specialized bed for a person with a spinal cord injury
       who suffers from excruciating back pain.


COUNTRY DAIRY: Recalls Eggnog Because of Inadequate Processing
--------------------------------------------------------------
Country Dairy, Inc., in cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) is recalling Country Dairy Eggnog with sell
by dates of November 28, 2003 or later, due to possible
inadequate processing. To date, no illnesses related to this
product have been reported.

Customers are urged to return this product to the store where it
was purchased for full credit. Country Dairy Eggnog is
distributed throughout Michigan's Lower Peninsula.

Customers who have questions may contact Wendell Van Gunst,
President, Country Dairy, Inc. at 231-861-4636


CREDIT CARDS: Retailers' Lawyers In Debit Suit To Get Over $220M
----------------------------------------------------------------
Lawyers who represented retailers in a suit against Visa USA and
Mastercard International will get millions of dollars, but far
less than what they sought, for reaching a $3 billion debit-card
settlement earlier this year, Reuters reports.

U.S. District Judge John Gleeson, in his final approval of the
settlement issued last week, awarded attorneys' fees of $220.3
million and expense reimbursement of $18.7 million. The
retailers' lead lawyer Lloyd Constantine requested roughly $600
million in fees--18 percent of the settlement, plus expenses.
Judge Gleeson in his approval said the requested fee was
"excessive."

Judge Gleeson's final approval ends a dispute that began in 1996
with a suit by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other big retailers that
mushroomed to include millions of retailers across the United
States.  The suit argued that MasterCard and Visa used their
market power to force merchants to accept their higher-cost,
signature-verified debit cards.  The retailers argued that the
fees on signature-verified debit cards cost retailers over 10
times more per transaction than ones that require the customer
to punch in a PIN.

Visa earlier this year agreed to pay about $2 billion and
MasterCard agreed to pay $1 billion to settle the suit, Reuters
reports.

Daniel Tarman, a vice president at Visa, in a statement said
Judge Gleeson's ruling marked "an important milestone in
resolving the retailers' litigation," Reuters states.  
MasterCard in a statement said it was "glad that Judge John
Gleeson upheld as fair the agreement settling all claims in the
class-action antitrust lawsuit."

In re Visa Check/MasterMoney Antitrust Litigation, case number
96-CV-5238 (JG) was filed in October 1996 in the U.S. District
Court of the Eastern District of New York, Judge John Gleeson
presiding.  Plaintiffs are represented by Lloyd Constantine and
Hagens Berman, among others, and the defendants by attorneys
Kenneth Gallo, Noah Hanft, General Counsel, and Kevin Arquit.


DAIMLERCHRYSLER AG: Ex-Officer Says Late Notes Were an "Error"
--------------------------------------------------------------
Former Chrysler chief financial officer Gary Valade testified
Monday that he didn't know why notes he took on the merger that
produced DaimlerChrysler AG were not provided to attorneys for
investor Kirk Kerkorian, who is suing the automaker over the
deal, the Associated Press reports.

Mr. Valade testified at a hearing before a special master that
he placed notes he took while the merger was being negotiated
into two binders.  The binders were put into a box with other
material that was sent to the general counsel's office at
Chrysler after the lawsuit was filed.  "At that point, they were
out of my hands and I do not know what happened to them," Mr.
Valade said.

Mr. Valade also said he didn't know why the documents were not
included in material previously provided to Mr. Kerkorian's
attorneys.  "I had absolutely no idea that documents were
missing . I had no clue that they had not been produced," he
said.

DaimlerChrysler attorney Michael Schell, however, told AP Mr.
Valade had some of the 61 pages with him while flying to
Wilmington last week, but he would not specify how many of the
pages.  Under cross-exam by Kerkorian attorney Terry
Christensen, Mr. Valade said "I had a substantial amount of
notes."

The production of the documents prompted a halt in the trial
last week.  DaimlerChrysler maintains that the late production
of potentially important documents was an inadvertent mistake,
not a deliberate attempt to hurt Mr. Kerkorian's case.  Five
more pages of documents were turned over on Friday, bringing the
total to 66 pages, attorneys for both sides said.

Mr. Kerkorian is suing DaimlerChrysler for more than $1 billion,
claiming that Daimler-Benz falsely characterized a 1998 takeover
of Chrysler as a merger.  Kerkorian's Tracinda Corporation was
the largest Chrysler shareholder at the time of the deal.

U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Farnan Jr. ordered last
Monday's hearing by a special master of the court to determine
why the documents were presented so late and whether Mr.
Kerkorian's case was prejudiced as a result.  The special master
ordered the documents unsealed at the automaker's request.  Mr.
Kerkorian attorney's said they had no objection to the
unsealing.  The special master, however, rejected a
DaimlerChrysler request to question Valade about the contents of
the notes.  "I don't think it is helpful for me to go into the
substance of these notes," the special master said.

DaimlerChrysler wanted to question Mr. Valade about the contents
of the notes to address any questions about motive that
Kerkorian might raise as to why the documents weren't presented
until late in the trial.

Mr. Christensen argued that testimony about the contents of the
notes should be saved for the trial, when it resumes.  He said
the existence of the notes was the relevant issue for the
special master's hearing.  "It is a two-day examination, just to
find out who said what to whom," he said.  "What's in them is
not relevant to this proceeding."

Under cross-examination by Mr. Christensen, Mr. Valade said he
did not take notes of all the meetings he attended.  "It wasn't
diabolical . I took them if I thought I needed them," Mr. Valade
said, AP reports.

The documents include handwritten notes submitted by Valade to
DaimlerChrysler attorneys as part of the pretrial gathering of
information.  Mr. Valade is now director of global purchasing
for DaimlerChrysler.  Excerpts from the notes presented in court
last week indicate that they refer to the negotiations between
Daimler-Benz and Chrysler leading up to the combination of the
two companies.

Mr. Christensen, who asked Judge Farnan to enter a default
judgment for the plaintiffs, argued that the notes contradict
testimony from Daimler Chrysler witnesses, including chairman
Juergen Schrempp.  He highlighted passages that included phrases
such as "sell out for profit," "why didn't we buy?" and "senior
management sold out."  It was not immediately clear whether Mr.
Valade or someone else wrote those passages, which appeared to
be written on the letterhead of former Chrysler president Tom
Stallkamp.

DaimlerChrysler attorney Tom Allingham told Farnan lawyers for
the company did not realize copies of the documents had not been
provided to the plaintiffs until a discussion between Valade and
DaimlerChrysler's chief counsel, William O'Brien, the day before
Valade was scheduled to testify last week.  He said
DaimlerChrysler attorneys set about immediately to rectify the
situation, and that Valade was not at fault.

In a statement issued late Sunday, DaimlerChrysler said several
witnesses would testify Monday that Tracinda has suffered no
prejudice as a result of the "inadvertent" late production of
the documents, AP reports.  "The company believes its good faith
(and that of its counsel) was conclusively demonstrated by the
speed with which it corrected the problem immediately upon
discovery," the statement said.

DaimlerChrysler said it expects the trial, which began December
1 and was to have concluded last week, to finish sometime next
month.

The investor fraud lawsuit styled Tracinda Corp. v.
DaimlerChrysler was filed in 2000 in the U.S. District Court for
the District of Delaware before Judge Joseph J. Farnan.
Plaintiffs in this action are represented by Terry Christensen
of Christensen Miller Fink Jacobs Glaser Weil & Shapiro LLP, and
defendant by Jonathan Lerner, J. Michael Schell and Joseph N.
Sacca of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP.


DEERE & CO: Recalls Compact Utility Tractors For Product Defect
---------------------------------------------------------------
Deere & Company of Moline, Ill., in cooperation with the U.S.
Consumer Product Safety Commission CPSC), is recalling 1,700
John Deere 4000 Ten Series Compact Utility Tractors since an
internal failure may occur within the Hydrostatic Transmission
preventing the transmission from returning to neutral after the
pedals are released. This can allow unexpected movement or cause
the tractor to continue moving, creating a possible risk of
injury to the operator or a bystander. The company is aware of
several failures of the transmission with no reported injuries.

The following model and serial numbers can be found on the
serial number plate on the tractor frame:

Model Serial Range
4210 CUT with HST LV4210H220677 through LV4210H221025
4310 CUT with HST LV4310H232267 through LV4310H233638
4410 CUT with HST LV4410H241367 through LV4410H241821
4610 CUT with HST LV4610H260774 through LV4610H260906
4710 CUT with HST LV4710H270806 through LV4710H271286

The Compact Utility Tractors, manufactured in the U.S., were
sold at authorized John Deere dealers nationwide and in Canada
from April 2001 to August 2003 for between $18,000 and $27,000.

Consumers are urged to stop using their tractors immediately and
contact a John Deere dealer for a free repair. For more
information, contact John Deere's Customer Communications Center
on (800) 537-8233, Monday through Friday, 8:00 am until 6:00 pm
(Eastern Time), Saturday, 9:00 am until 3:00 pm, or at the John
Deere web site at http://www.johndeere.com.


ECKERD CORP: Judge Orders Ex-Workers Be Notified About Wage Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
A case against Largo-based drugstore chain Eckerd Corp., seeking
overtime pay for photo lab managers, is likely to see an
increase in the number of plaintiffs after U.S. District Judge
John Steele ordered the notification of all the people who were
photo managers since November 13, 2000, the St. Petersburg Times
reports.

Steele made the ruling in the preliminary rounds of a suit
alleging that the nation's fourth largest drugstore chain
violated federal labor standards law by denying photo lab
managers and supervisors overtime. After the case was filed in
September on behalf of five Eckerd photo lab managers in
southwest Florida, publicity attracted 45 more plaintiffs from
Florida, North Carolina and Texas to join the suit.

Federal law defines which hourly employees are entitled to
overtime and which managers and professions are salaried and
exempt from overtime.

The chain contends thousands of its lab managers and supervisors
are salaried.

The lawsuit says managers and supervisors must sign a
"fluctuating work week" agreement when they take the job. It
says they will be paid a base salary if they work fewer than 40
hours a week. But if they work more than that, they are paid for
no more than 40 hours.

The suit claims Eckerd should be paying the lab managers time
and a half for each hour over 40. It also says Eckerd didn't
consistently follow its "fluctuating work week" policy. Some lab
managers say they were paid for less than 40 hours a week if
they did not work that many hours. Others say the chain flouted
the law by routinely ordering them to work far more than 40
hours a week.

Judge Steele has yet to certify the class. He ordered Eckerd to
provide lists of current and former lab managers and supervisors
for a mailing that would allow them to join the case as well.

Eckerd attorneys argued that the company followed the law and
that the plaintiffs offered insufficient proof that it did not.

Eckerd operates photo labs in most of its 2,760 drugstores in 23
states.


FAMILY DOLLAR: Recalls Extension Cords For Electrocution Hazard
---------------------------------------------------------------
Family Dollar Services, Inc., of Charlotte, N.C., in cooperation
with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), is
recalling 60,000 Durex Procraft Outdoor Extension Cords since
use of these extension cords could result in an electric shock
or electrocution to consumers. There have been no reports of
injuries relating to this product.

The extension cords are 25-foot Durex Procraft outdoor extension
cords. These green cords are sold in blue and black packaging.
An Underwriters Laboratories' label is attached to the cord
showing code "E-174825." The item UPC number is 0 74972 01025 1,
and is located on the back of the package in the lower right-
hand corner.

The extension cords, manufactured, and imported from China, by
Royal United Corp., of North Bergen, N.J. were sold at Family
Dollar Stores nationwide from June 2003 through November 2003
for $3.

Customers are urged to return the recalled cords to any Family
Dollar Store for a refund. For more information, contact Royal
United Corp. toll-free at (800) 682-0097 between 9 a.m. and 5
p.m. ET Monday through Friday.


FLAGSTAF BANK: Settles Discrimination Lawsuit For $1.2 Million
--------------------------------------------------------------
Troy, Michigan-based mortgage company Flagstar Bank will pay
$1.2 million in a class action settlement, after U.S. District
Court Magistrate Judge Tim Baker ruled the lender charged white
customers higher fees than minorities, AP reports.

According to the complaint, Flagstar charged minority customers
up to 3 percent in loan officer commission fees while charging
whites a maximum of 4 percent. "I've never seen anything like
it," said Amy Ficklin DeBrota, an Indianapolis attorney who sued
Flagstar on behalf of 970 consumers who claimed they were
overcharged.

Flagstar spokeswoman Susan Cherry said the company does not
comment on lawsuits. Flagstar has agreed to reimburse plaintiffs
the amount they were overcharged, ranging from $63 to more than
$2,000 each and totaling $704,000 plus interest. The company
also will pay each person $193 in non-economic damages, about
$160,000 total.

In addition, the company will pay $300,000 in legal fees.

Most of the lawsuit participants live in Indiana and Michigan,
and should get checks from Flagstar by the end of the year, Ms.
DeBrota said Tuesday.

Ms. DeBrota said the bank started the policy because internal
investigators thought minorities might have been charged more
than whites, and the bank wanted to ensure that wasn't the case.

Flagstar implemented the policy in May of 2001 and discontinued
it in January 2002, according to court documents.


GENERAL MILLS: Recalls Brownie Mix Because of Undeclared Pecans
---------------------------------------------------------------
General Mills, in cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug
Administrtion (FDA), is recalling a limited number of its 21.2-
ounce packages of Betty Crocker Triple Chunk Brownie Mix because
they may contain undeclared pecans.  While not a problem for
most consumers, the potential presence of the nut is a concern
for consumers who are allergic to pecans.  People who have
allergies to pecans are at risk for a severe allergic reaction
if pecans are consumed.

The recall is limited to the 21.2 ounce box, with "Better If
Used By" and one of the following three code dates: 29OCT04CF,
30OCT04CF or 31OCT04CF on the box top.  The recalled Triple
Chunk Brownie Mix was distributed nationwide in retail stores.

The problem has been corrected and no other General Mills
products are affected by this recall.  No illnesses have been
reported to date in connection with this problem.  The recall
was initiated after it was discovered that the pecan-containing
product was distributed in a limited number of boxes that did
not list pecans as an ingredient.

Consumers who have purchased 21.2-ounce boxes of Triple Chunk
Brownie Mix with this date code are urged to return it to the
place of purchase for a full refund.  Consumers with questions
may contact the company at 1-800-446-1898.


HANSEN BEVERAGE: Yeast Possibly Responsible for Cider Recall
------------------------------------------------------------
Hansen Beverage Company, in cooperation with the U.S. Food and
Drug Administration (FDA), is voluntarily recalling its Classic
Sparkling Cider in 50.7 ounce Magnum glass bottles following
reports of some bottles breaking.  The recall covers
approximately 40,000 bottles that were sold to consumers.  

Some of the cider may be contaminated with yeast, which may
result in an increase in internal pressure or there may be
defects in the glass.  This may cause the bottle to break on its
own, on shelves, in cupboards or in consumer's hands.  There
have been two injuries reported from broken glass.  There have
also been additional reports of breakage that did not result in
injuries.

The 50.7 ounce Magnum green bottles are labeled "Hansen's
Classic Sparkling Cider - Hansen Beverage Company, Corona, CA
92882" and have a gold foil wrap over the cap.  The universal
product code (UPC) is 70847 00590.  The glass bottles being
recalled were distributed to retail outlets nationwide in
November 2003.  All lots are being recalled and the product has
been removed from store shelves.

For more details, contact the Company by Phone: (800) 426-7367
ext. 496 Monday through Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
PST.


HOUSEHOLD INTERNATIONAL: Mortgage Settlement Gets Early Approval
----------------------------------------------------------------
A proposed legal settlement of local mortgage borrowers' claims
against loan company Household International got preliminary
approval Monday from Whatcom County Superior Court Judge Michael
Moynihan, the Bellingham Herald reports.

According to the report, Wenatchee attorney Bob Parlette,
representing the borrowers, told Moynihan he didn't have a
precise estimate, but said between 200 and 400 people likely
would be eligible for the settlement. It includes borrowers who
got first mortgages at Household's Bellingham office between
January 1999 and May 31, 2002. Household has agreed to offer
those borrowers lower interest rates and a reduction in loan
fees.

In lawsuits filed here and in U.S. District Court in Seattle
that began nearly two years ago, Household borrowers alleged
that company representatives tricked them into refinancing their
home mortgages at higher rates, and that they were not given
proper notice of the hefty loan points that were part of the
deal.

In October 2002, after similar concerns surfaced across the
country, Household agreed to a nationwide settlement with
attorneys general in all 50 states. They agreed to pay aggrieved
borrowers nationwide a total of $484 million. Settlement checks
were recently mailed out to eligible borrowers, including more
than 10,000 in Washington.

State officials admitted that the deal did not come close to
undoing all the financial damage done to some Household mortgage
customers. Parlette had tried to get the federal courts to
certify a statewide class action suit in connection with the
case, in hopes of getting a better financial deal for thousands
of Household borrowers across the state.

But earlier this year, U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik
rejected that move, thereby setting the stage for the settlement
involving the Bellingham customers. Company officials, state
regulators and Parlette agree that the Bellingham office had a
level of consumer complaints that was far above the norm.

After the legal details of the deal are worked out, the
settlement will go back to Moynihan for final approval in April.


HOUSEHOLD INT: $12.8M Settlement Checks Going Out to Marylanders
----------------------------------------------------------------
Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced that checks are
being mailed this week to the 13,565 Maryland mortgage holders
who are due restitution under the State's $12.8 million
settlement with Household International. The consumer payment
program stems from the landmark settlement, finalized in
December 2002, between Household International and the attorneys
general and banking regulators of all 50 states and the District
of Columbia.

The settlement resolved an investigation by the states into
allegations of unfair and deceptive mortgage lending practices
by Household International, which is one of the nation's largest
sub-prime mortgage lenders through its subsidiaries Household
and Beneficial Finance. The states alleged that Household had
overcharged borrowers with fees and interest, and had misled
borrowers about other loan terms such as prepayment penalties
and credit insurance.

Under the settlement, Household agreed to implement a series of
reforms in its lending operations. Court injunctions in place in
all 50 states restrict prepayment penalties on current and
future home loans, prohibit loan "flipping," limit up-front
points and origination fees, and improve loan disclosures.
Household also agreed to pay $484 million dollars to the states
to be distributed to eligible Household borrowers. The monetary
settlement was the largest ever obtained by state attorneys
general in a consumer protection case.

"I am very pleased to see the money on its way to the Maryland
borrowers who were hurt by Household's practices," Attorney
General Curran said.

"I am very satisfied with this outcome on behalf of the
borrowers in Maryland," said DLLR's Commissioner of Financial
Regulation Charles Turnbaugh. "Not only does it protect
borrowers from the inappropriate fees charged by Household, it
reimburses them for their unfair treatment."

Consumers who obtained a mortgage loan directly from Household
from January 1999 through September 2002 and who filed claims
forms will receive payments. The amount consumers will receive
was determined by the specifics of their loan; the smallest
award was $106.51 and the largest $11,299, with the average
award being $944.53.


INTERSTATE BAKERIES: Working to Resolve W.D. Missouri Lawsuits
--------------------------------------------------------------
In February and March 2003, seven putative class actions were
brought against Interstate Bakeries Corp. and certain of its
current or former officers and directors in the United States
District Court for the Western District of Missouri.

The seven cases have been consolidated before a single judge and
a Court-appointed lead plaintiff. On October 6, 2003, plaintiffs
filed their consolidated amended class action complaint. The
putative class covered by the complaint is made up of purchasers
or sellers of the company's stock between April 2, 2002 and
April 8, 2003.

The company states, "We have not yet responded to the complaint.
In response to a letter received from plaintiffs, we have
engaged in preliminary discussions looking towards the
possibility of settlement. We do not know whether those
discussions may or may not be productive."  


INTERSTATE BAKERIES: Faces Wage Suit in California
--------------------------------------------------
On December 3, 2003, Interstate Bakeries Corp. was served with a
state court complaint pending in the Superior Court of the State
of California, County of Los Angeles alleging violations of
various California Labor Code Sections and violations of the
California Business and Professions Code and California Wage
Orders.

Plaintiff seeks class certification alleging that the wages of
route sales representatives (RSRs) employed in California were
not accurately calculated and that plaintiff and other RSRs were
required to pay part of the cost of uniforms, which plaintiff
alleges violates California state wage and hour laws.

No answer has been filed, as the lawsuit is in the very
preliminary stages. It is too early in the litigation to assess
the merits of plaintiffs' allegations, and the amount of
potential loss, if any, cannot reasonably be estimated.  

As disclosed in the Class Action Reporter's October 8, 2003
edition, certain of Interstate Bakeries Corp.'s route sales
representatives (RSRs) brought a class action on behalf of RSRs
in the State of Washington, alleging that the company had failed
to pay required overtime wages under state law. The case settled
for $6,100,000, and the settlement was paid in October 2003.
Accordingly, the company had reserves that sufficiently covered
the costs of the settlement.   


INTERSTATE BAKERIES: Court Dismisses Asbestos Suit in Illinois
--------------------------------------------------------------
The previously disclosed federal court complaints arising, in
part, from its removal of insulation alleged to have contained
asbestos at one of its bakeries in January 1998 that were filed
in Illinois against Interstate Bakeries Corp. and certain
individuals by a former employee have been dismissed with
prejudice, and the company have been awarded its costs.

In one case, the time for appeal has expired, in the second
case, an appeal was attempted after dismissal, but the appellate
court dismissed for lack of jurisdiction because the trial court
had not decided its counterclaim for payment of court ordered
costs in yet another case filed by the employee, which had been
dismissed.

The purported class action in the Circuit Court of Cook County,
Illinois, Chancery Division is still pending. The company has
obtained summary judgment on several of class plaintiffs' claims
and the court recently decertified a class claim for medical
monitoring.

At issue is class plaintiffs' claim for breach of warranty on
which the court has granted plaintiffs partial summary judgment.
The court has ordered briefing as to whether the warranty counts
may properly be certified as class actions. Plaintiffs claim
class damages of $5 million for breach of the implied warranty
of merchantability. The court has made no ruling with respect to
any damage amount, and the company states that it will continue
to vigorously defend this action.  


LACTALIS USA: Recalls Brie Cheese For Possible Listeria Content
---------------------------------------------------------------
Lactalis USA of Turlock, CA, in cooperation with the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration (FDA), is recalling 1,782 cases of Brie
President Soft-Ripened Cheese Double Cream in seven-ounce gold
foil wedges because it has the potential to be contaminated with
Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and
sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly
people, and others with weakened immune systems.

Lactalis USA representatives report that no illnesses are known
to have occurred as a result of consumption of this product. The
product being recalled consists of seven-ounce packages bearing
the lot code "Sell by 01/10/04 307". The code is found on the
bottom of the gold foil packaging.

The contaminated cheese was discovered through routine sampling
and testing by the Florida State Department of Agriculture and
Consumer Services. Although healthy individuals may suffer only
short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache,
stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, listeria
infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant
women.

The recalled Brie President Soft-Ripened Cheese Double Cream in
seven-ounce gold foil wedges was distributed nationwide in
retail stores.

Consumers who possess any of the suspect packages are advised
not to consume it and are asked to return it to the store where
they purchased it. Refunds may be obtained at that time. For
more information, contact 1 (800) 828-7031.


MIRANT CORPORATION: Bondholder Suit Stayed Through April 2004
-------------------------------------------------------------
On June 10, 2003, certain holders of senior Mirant Americas
Generation notes maturing after 2006 filed a complaint in the
Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware, California Public
Employees' Retirement System, et al. v. Mirant Corporation, et.
al., that named as defendants Mirant, Mirant Americas,Inc.,
Mirant Americas Generation, certain past and present Mirant
directors, and certain past and present Mirant Americas
Generation managers.

Among other claims, the plaintiffs challenge certain dividends
and distributions made by Mirant Americas Generation. Plaintiffs
seek damages in excess of one billion dollars. Mirant has
removed this suit to the United States District Court for the
District of Delaware.

This action is stayed as to Mirant and its subsidiaries by the
filing of their Chapter 11 proceedings. On November 19, 2003,
the Bankruptcy Court entered an order staying this action also
with respect to the other defendants through at least April 2004
to avoid the suit impeding the ability of Mirant to reorganize
or having a negative effect upon Mirant's assets.

The committee representing unsecured creditors of Mirant
Americas Generation, LLC filed a motion in Mirant's bankruptcy
proceedings seeking to pursue claims against Mirant, Mirant
Americas,Inc., certain past and present Mirant directors, and
certain past and present Mirant Americas Generation managers
similar to those asserted in this suit. The Bankruptcy Court has
not authorized any such litigation at this time. The Bankruptcy
Court has noted that while the committee had standing to assert
claims on behalf of the estate of Mirant Americas Generation,
LLC no such claims could be filed without the Bankruptcy Court's
approval and no motions seeking such approval could be filed at
least through April 2004.

Shareholder Derivative Litigation  

Four purported shareholders' derivative suits have been filed
against Mirant, its directors and certain officers, two of which
were consolidated into a single suit. These lawsuits allege the
directors breached their fiduciary duty by allowing the Company
to engage in alleged unlawful or improper practices in the
California energy markets in 2000 and 2001.

These actions are stayed as to Mirant by the filing of its
Chapter 11 proceeding. On November 19, 2003, the Bankruptcy
Court entered an order staying these actions also with respect
to the individual defendants through at least April 2004 to
avoid the suit impeding the ability of Mirant to reorganize or
having a negative effect upon Mirant's assets.


MONEY MART: Allegedly Excessive Fees Garner New Suit
----------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been launched against National Money
Mart Company (Money Mart) and its parent company, Dollar
Financial Group, Inc. by Margaret Smith of Windsor, Ontario.

The lawsuit, originally commenced on August 19, 2003, alleges
that the companies violate section 347 of the Criminal Code of
Canada by charging and collecting fees and interest at an
effective annual interest rate in excess of 60% on certain loans
to customers from the most vulnerable segments of Canadian
society.

The class action seeks damages, including punitive damages, in
the sum of $555 million on behalf of all persons in Canada,
except British Columbia, who obtained a short-term loan from
Money Mart and repaid the loan with a post-dated cheque payable
on the borrower's next payday or pension cheque deposit date.

Ms. Smith is represented by Harvey T. Strosberg, Q.C. of Sutts,
Strosberg LLP. The fresh statement of claim, which sets out
particulars of the allegations in the class action, may be
downloaded or reviewed at http://www.moneymartclassaction.com

Money Mart offers cheque-cashing services, short-term loans and
other financial services to a segment of the population that has
poor credit or is otherwise unable to take advantage of
traditional banking services. Money Mart offers "fast cash
advances", also known as payday loans, in return for hefty
interest rates. To receive a loan, the borrower is required to
provide a post- dated cheque in favour of Money Mart payable on
the borrower's next scheduled payday or pension cheque deposit
date. If the payday loan is paid in full on the day before the
borrower's next scheduled payday, the borrower pays an interest
rate of 59% per annum. However, the majority of payday loans are
paid off by cashing the post-dated cheque. When Money Mart
cashes the borrower's post-dated cheque, it charges a "cheque-
cashing fee" and an "item fee" in addition to the daily interest
charges. The class action alleges that these fees are actually
interest which when combined with the 59% interest rate already
being charged amounts to an effective annual interest rate that
violates section 347 of the Criminal Code.

Ms. Smith paid effective annual interest rates of up to 578% on
her payday loans with Money Mart. "These excessive interest
rates exploit those who are the poorest and most disadvantaged
in society - those who live pay cheque to pay cheque, or pension
cheque to pension cheque," said Mr. Strosberg. "We believe, and
expect to prove in this lawsuit, that Money Mart and its parent
company flout the law by masking the true nature of the criminal
rate of interest being charged."

Those residents of Canada, except British Columbia, who obtained
payday loans from Money Mart on or after August 19, 1997 and
repaid the loan by post- dated cheque may wish to register with
counsel, at no cost, by visiting
http://www.moneymartclassaction.com.

Harvey Strosberg is one of Canada's leading attorneys in class
action lawsuits. He was one of the lead counsel in the
Hepatitis-C class action against the federal government that
resulted in a settlement of $1.1 billion - the largest in
Canada's history. He was also one of the lead negotiators of a
groundbreaking settlement for compensation from the Ontario
government for Walkerton residents as a result of the E coli
contaminated water problem in May 2000. He has settled other
high profile class actions including YBM Magnex and is currently
prosecuting other large class actions.


MONSANTO CO.: MO Court Denies Certification In Seed Farmers Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri,
Eastern Division, denied Plaintiff's Motion for Class
Certification in a lawsuit brought against Monsanto Co., et al.,
on behalf of Frederick L. Sample, et al., alleging a price-
fixing conspiracy as to genetically modified seeds.

In this putative class action, corn and soybean farmers claim
that defendants Monsanto, Pioneer and Syngenta conspired to fix,
raise, maintain, or stabilize prices on genetically modified
Roundup Ready soybean seeds and Yieldgard corn seeds
in violation of the Sherman Act.  According to the complaint,
they did so by agreeing to impose a surcharge or "premium" on
all purchases of Roundup Ready soybean seeds and Yieldgard corn
seeds.
      
Plaintiffs also claim that, in furtherance of this conspiracy,
Monsanto entered into an agreement with defendant Aventis to
restrict the output of its Liberty Link soybean seeds, another
type of herbicide-resistant soybean seed that would have
competed with Roundup Ready soybeans.  Plaintiffs allege that
this second conspiracy was necessary to prevent the first one
from being undermined.

The seed farmers' price-fixing lawsuit titled Sample et al. v.
Monsanto Co. et al. was filed in 1999 in the U.S. District Court
of the Eastern District of Missouri and assigned to Judge Rodney
W. Sippel.

Plaintiffs are represented by Michael Hausfeld as lead counsel,
Joseph R. Saveri of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP and
Victoria Nugent, and defendant by attorney Dan Snively.

Judge Sippel rejected the negligence and "public nuisance"
claims on September 19, 2003, but left intact an antitrust
portion in the complaint. He denied plaintiffs' motion for class
certification on September 30, 2003.


NETWORK ENGINES: Sued Over Timing of EMC Amended Pact Disclosure
----------------------------------------------------------------
A purported class action lawsuit was filed on December 16, 2003
in the United States District Court in the District of
Massachusetts against Network Engines, Inc., John H. Curtis, its
President and CEO, Douglas G. Bryant, its CFO, Vice President,
Treasurer and Secretary, and Lawrence A. Genovesi, its Chairman
of the Board, relating to the timing of the announcement of the
amendment of its agreement with EMC Corporation regarding the
resale of EMC-approved host bus adapters (HBAs).

The plaintiffs in the complaint claim that Network Engines and
Messrs. Curtis, Bryant and Genovesi allegedly failed to disclose
that Network Engines was in the process of renegotiating its
distribution contract with EMC while issuing positive statements
highlighting Network Engines financial performance and related
matters. The plaintiffs are seeking unspecified damages.

Network Engines believes that the action is without merit.  

Plaintiffs in this action are represented by Samuel H. Rudman,
David A. Rosenfeld and Marc A. Topaz of Schiffrin & Barroway
LLP, Thomas G. Shapiro of Shapiro Haber & Urmy, Laurence D.
Paskowitz and Roy L. Jacobs.


NETWORK ENGINES: Settles TidalWire Acquisition Lawsuit in DE
------------------------------------------------------------
A purported class action and derivative lawsuit was filed on
January 7, 2003 in the Court of Chancery in the State of
Delaware against Network Engines, Inc., Robert M. Wadsworth,
Frank M. Polestra, John H. Curtis, Lawrence A. Genovesi, John A.
Blaeser and Fontaine K. Richardson relating to the acquisition
of TidalWire Inc.

The plaintiffs in the complaint allege that the Company and the
named directors of its Board of Directors breached their
fiduciary duties by, among other things, paying an excessive
amount in the acquisition of TidalWire and purportedly failing
to disclose material facts in the Company's Joint Proxy
Statement/Information Statement distributed to stockholders for
approval of the issuance of shares of the Company's Common Stock
in the merger.

The plaintiffs sought damages, rescission of the merger and
other relief. As of September 30, 2003, no liability was
recorded in connection with this litigation.

On October 30, 2003, the court approved a settlement of the
action negotiated by the parties, and that settlement became
final on December 1, 2003.

Under the settlement, all claims against the company and its
individual board members were dismissed with prejudice, and

     (a) the defendants in the lawsuit paid $600,000,

     (b) plaintiff's attorney fees of $185,000 were paid out of
         that $600,000 amount and

     (c) in the disclosure for its next annual meeting, the  
         company will detail certain information concerning
         relationships among its board members.  

The lawsuit is assigned to Vice Chancellor Stephen P. Lamb.  
Defendants in this action are represented by Ronald A. Brown,
Jr. of Prickett, Jones & Elliott and Jesse A. Finkelstein and
John D. Hendershot of Richards, Layton & Finger.


NEVADA: Firms Face Suit Over Auto Contracts
-------------------------------------------
About 8,100 Iowa car and truck owners filed a class action
lawsuit in Nevada alleging that officials of National Warranty
Insurance Group, a Lincoln, Neb., company, and its affiliated
companies participated in a Ponzi scheme that defrauded about 1
million people who bought vehicle service contracts through auto
dealers, the Des Moines Register reports.

A Ponzi scheme is a scam in which money paid by later investors
is used to pay the original investors -in this case, buyers of
the auto warranties -but leaves later investors in the lurch.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of people who bought vehicle
service contracts sold under the Smart Choice name, the report
states. The contracts were sold through auto dealers and were
marketed by SC&E Administrative Services and insured by National
Warranty Insurance Group, according to Iowa Division of
Insurance documents.

The companies collapsed earlier this year and are in the process
of being liquidated, the state agency said. According to the
state, National Warranty transferred about $23 million from its
bank accounts in the United States to a bank in the Cayman
Islands, a British colony.

Attorney Robert Gerard filed the lawsuit in Nevada on behalf of
those who bought vehicle service contracts insured by National
Warranty and who have been unable to get their repair claims
paid or receive a refund of their premium. His lawsuit claims
that about a million people bought vehicle service contracts
under the presumption of stability and reliability offered by
National Warranty's excellent rating from A.M. Best, a national
insurance rating company, and under the presumption that
National Warranty's reinsurers would cover any shortfalls.

However, National Warranty's reinsurance was limited and would
not cover all unpaid claims, according to reports.

"Funds from later-sold (vehicle service contracts) were used to
pay claims on existing (contracts), until the inevitable volume
of new policy sales was insufficient to satisfy the burgeoning
liability for claims," the lawsuit reads. "This is a classic
Ponzi scheme."

Because National Warranty's liquidation proceedings are in the
Cayman Islands, the company is protected from U.S. lawsuits.

The Nevada lawsuit names a number of other companies and
individuals involved with the warranty program, including A.M.
Best and several companies that provided reinsurance to National
Warranty.

The Iowa Securities Bureau has identified 62 car dealers
statewide that it believes sold 8,130 warranties insured by
National Warranty. It has listed those dealerships on its Web
site, www.iid.state.ia.us. The dealerships include some of
Iowa's largest, including Stivers Lincoln Mercury in Des Moines
and Lujack Schierbrock Chevrolet in Davenport.

Most Iowa auto dealers are honoring the Smart Choice warranties,
despite the financial troubles of the companies underwriting the
policies.

Stivers is trying to determine any sort of claims-processing
arrangement before accepting repairs on vehicles with Smart
Choice contracts, said Stivers general manager Scott Politte.
"It's a tremendous mess," he said.


PALM INC.: Suit Settlement Hearing Deadline Extended To Jan. 20
---------------------------------------------------------------
On December 4, 2003, m500 and m505 owners were sent an email
message about a proposed settlement of a class action lawsuit
entitled Eley v. Palm, Inc., PalmLoyal.com reports.  That email
was sent later than the parties intended.  That email message
stated that the deadline for any requests for exclusion from the
class settlement, objections to the settlement and notices of
intention to appear at the final approval hearing for the
settlement was December 1, 2003,

The parties have recommended, and the Court has ordered, that
the deadline for requests for exclusion from the class
settlement, objections to the settlement and notices of
intention to appear at the final approval hearing for the
settlement be extended to January 20, 2004.

In addition, the Court has rescheduled the final settlement
approval hearing for February 20, 2004 at 2:30 p.m. The final
approval of the settlement will occur no earlier than April 20,
2004, and the deadline for submission of claim forms has been
extended to April 20, 2005.

The business tort lawsuit titled Clifford E. Eley v. Palm Inc.,
case number 403768 was filed in the Superior Court for San
Francisco County, California.  Plaintiffs in this action are
represented by the Law Offices of F. James Donnelly P.C. and
Stephen D. Oestreich of Entwistle & Cappucci LLP, and defendant
by Peter S. Hecker of Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe LLP.


PENNSYLVANIA: Derry Sticks By New Chief Despite Possible Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Derry Borough Council in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is
standing by Shannon Wintruba as their choice for their new
police chief, although she could be named a defendant in an age
discrimination class action, the Valley Independent reports.  
The council last week voted unanimously to approve a $35,000-a-
year contract with Ms. Wintruba, and she is scheduled to begin
working on December 29.

However, in June, several part-time security guards working
under Ms. Wintruba at SMG, a private firm running the David L.
Lawrence Convention Center, filed complaints against the Company
with the Pittsburgh Human Relations Commission and the federal
Equal Economic Opportunity Commission (EEOC), alleging their
hours were drastically cut back after Ms. Wintruba was hired
earlier this year.

The EEOC recently sent Kathleen Hussak, the plaintiff group's
head, a letter giving it the go-signal to proceed with the suit.  
Ms. Hussak told the Independent that there is a "strong
possibility" she and more than a dozen other complainants will
soon file a class-action lawsuit against both Ms. Wintruba and
Philadelphia-based SMG.

Mark Leahy, Wintruba's supervisor at SMG, told the Independent
the allegations against her are unfounded and that he would
consider rehiring her if she wanted a job back.  He said the
hours were cut back because SMG needs fewer security guards
working at different points in the year.  Some of the security
guards, however, have said they did not have such cutbacks under
previous supervisors.

Derry council President Debbie Matteo refused to comment on the
allegations, saying they were "not relevant to Derry Borough."  
Council members have told the Independent that they were not
aware of the allegations when they chose Ms. Wintruba.

Vice President Todd Krehlik told the Independent his positive
view of Ms. Wintruba did not change when he learned of the
allegations against her.  After reviewing schedules, he saw the
complainants had high call-off rates, he said.


PITTSBURGH: Hospital Fires Counterattack in `Botched Tests' Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Magee-Womens Hospital and UPMC Health Systems began a
counterattack against three law firms representing plaintiffs
who have accused the hospital of falsifying thousands of Pap
smear tests, Tribune Business News reports.

The hospital filed a federal trademark infringement suit asking
a judge to shut down a Web site that was set up by the firms and
that Magee says is improperly using its name and spreading false
information to recruit women to join a class action suit against
it.

The suit asks U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti to grant
Magee a preliminary injunction against the site operated by
Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein of New York; Roda & Nast of
Lancaster; and Sprague & Sprague of Philadelphia.

In addition to the injunction, Magee is asking for damages to
compensate for lost income created by the Web site.

"This is one of several steps we intend to take against this
unwarranted and baseless lawsuit," said Magee's lawyer, William
Pietragallo.

The firms were involved in the filing of two suits last week in
Allegheny County Common Pleas Court alleging that doctors and
administrators with the hospital and the UPMC Health System
falsified thousands of Pap smear reports in order to boost
profits and prestige while endangering the lives of thousands of
women.

One lawsuit was filed by Dr. Susan A. Silver, fired last year
from her job as a Magee pathologist. The other was filed by two
women, Christine Walter, 58, of Sewickley, and Sharon King, 41,
of West Deer, who are asking the court to notify women who had
Pap smears reviewed by Magee laboratories between 1995 and 2001.

According to attorneys for Walters and King, the hospital's
legal action doesn't diminish the merits of the class action
lawsuit. "It is our hope that the true purpose of Magee's
lawsuit is not to try to use the legal system to keep tens of
thousand of women from receiving the information they need to
make critical health care decisions."

In addition to UPMC Health System and Magee, Dr. Trevor A.
Macpherson, chief of pathology at Magee, and Dr. George K.
Michalopoulos, chairman of the pathology department at the
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, were named as
defendants in the class-action suit.

The suits have been designated as a class action, according to
Pietragallo's complaint.

Irma Goertzen, president and chief executive officer of Magee,
said the suits are unfounded and could frighten women away from
the hospital. In its federal complaint, Magee charged that the
law firms set up a Web site Friday called mageepapsmearsuit.com
that repeats the allegations of the class-action complaint and
"provides disparaging, unsupported and unsubstantiated
allegations made by members of the defendant law firms."

The Web site quotes Lieff Cabraser partner Paulina do Amaral
saying "an unknown number of women may be at risk of serious
diseases that have gone undetected because they received
unreliable Pap smear tests."

Joseph R. Podraza Jr. of Sprague & Sprague is quoted saying, "We
are greatly concerned that the evidence will show negative
reports were issued when the tests clearly showed signs of
significant abnormalities."

The Web site also provides information about the law firms and
gives a toll-free number for women to contact a lawyer about
joining the lawsuit.

Magee says in its federal complaint, filed under the Lanham Act
governing trademark law, that the law firms are using the Magee
name without permission and are confusing the public. "Someone
using the Internet and seeking to access Magee, Magee-Womens
Hospital, or Magee International, may be unknowingly or
unintentionally connected with or linked to the law firms' site,
rather than the valid Magee Web site," the suit reads. The suit
also says the law firms' sole purpose for misrepresenting
Magee's services is to damage Magee and "gain economic benefit
for themselves and thousands of women whom their actions will
cause to endure needless worry and apprehension."


PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS LLP: Court Okays $54.5M Travel Suit Pact
---------------------------------------------------------------
Arkansas Circuit Judge Kirk Johnson on Monday gave preliminary
approval to a $54.5 million settlement with
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in a lawsuit that alleged the
accounting house overcharged clients for expenses, the
Associated Press reports.

Warmack-Muskogee LP, a Texarkana-based real estate manager and
shopping mall operator, brought the case as a class-action
lawsuit in 2001 against PricewaterhouseCoopers and four other
firms, but Pricewaterhouse denied any acts of improper billing.

Judge Johnson approved the class action status for purposes only
of the agreement and set a hearing for March 5 for a final
ruling on the settlement.

Lon Packard, a Salt Lake City attorney representing the
plaintiffs, said the lawsuit will proceed against the remaining
four defendants: Ernst & Young LLP, KPMG LLP, Bearingpoint Inc,
and Cap Gemini.  "They (Pricewaterhouse) have stepped forward
and are showing the leadership among the accounting firms,
regardless of what the other defendants choose to do," he said.

The companies allegedly billed clients for consulting services,
airfare and other travel expenses but later drew rebates that
weren't passed on to their customers.  The suit was filed in
October 2001.  A PricewaterhouseCoopers spokesman said the
company had changed its travel-billing practice before it knew a
lawsuit was filed or that a federal Justice Department
investigation had begun.  The spokesman said the civil
settlement proposal, detailed in court papers filed Friday,
represents a "fair and reasonable" resolution for both sides.

Last week's preliminary settlement covers clients of the
accounting houses between October 16, 1991, and December 31,
2001, according to the court order.  That could mean "tens of
thousands" of clients would be entitled to a share of the
settlement money, Mr. Packard said.

Also Monday, the spokesman for PricewaterhouseCoopers said the
firm has been in talks with the Justice Department and hopes for
an "amicable settlement."


PURDUE PHARMA: OH Court Denies Certification In Oxycontin Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
Ohio, Western Division, denied Plaintiffs Motion for Class
Certification in a lawsuit brought against Purdue Pharma LP, et
al. on behalf of Judy Wethington, et al., over allegations of
consumer fraud.

This case concerns the pharmaceutical drug OxyContin, a
federally controlled Schedule II opioid prescription medication,
approved by the Food and Drug Administration in December 1995
for use in the management of moderate to severe pain.  
OxyContin, sold in tablet form, is designed to provide time-
released delivery of its active ingredient oxycodone
hydrochloride.  Like many prescription pharmaceuticals, the drug
can be abused.  When the tablet is crushed, the time-release
mechanism is destroyed and the person ingesting the drug can
obtain a feeling of euphoria similar to that experienced when
taking heroin.
      
In 2002 OxyContin was the number one prescribed Schedule II
narcotic in the United States, accounting for 9.6 million
prescriptions.  The United States Drug Enforcement Agency lists
the contiguous states of Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia as   
having the highest prescriptions of the drug per capita.        
Defendants Purdue Pharma L.P., Purdue Pharma, Inc., the Purdue
Frederick Company, Purdue Pharmaceuticals L.P., the P.F.
Laboratories, Inc., and PRA Holdings, Inc. manufacture the drug,
while Defendants Abbott Laboratories and Abbott Laboratories,
Inc. have provided promotional assistance in its marketing.
Plaintiffs allege, under ten differing legal theories, the
Defendants' actions have resulted in risks of serious bodily
harm, addiction, and death to members of their proposed class.
           

RENT-WAY INC.: PA Court Grants Approval To Securities Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court in Erie, Pennsylvania formally
approved the $25 million settlement proposed by Rent-Way, Inc.
to settle the securities class action filed against it, certain
of its current and former officers and its firm of independent
accountants, Go Erie reports.

The complaint alleges that, among other things, as a result of
accounting irregularities, the Company's fiscal 1998, 1999, and
2000 financial statements were materially false and misleading
thus constituting violations of federal securities laws by the
Company, by its firm of independent accountants and by certain
officers, an earlier Class Action Reporter story (April 11,
2003) states.  

The action alleges that the defendant violated Sections 10(b)
and/or Section 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act and Rule
10b-5 promulgated thereunder.  The action seeks damages on
behalf of purchasers of the Company's common stock during
various periods, all of which fall between December 10, 1998,
and October 27, 2000.

Under the settlement, Gold Gold Bennet Cera & Sidener - the San
Francisco law firm that represented the class - will get $6.25
million for its work, which was 25% of the total settlement.  
The remainder will be split by Company shareholders.  Those who
held Rent-Way stock or sold their shares during the period
during the accounting troubles will receive a greater share,
according to the settlement.

Judge Sean J. McLaughlin's decision comes just three days after
McLaughlin sentenced the third of three former Rent-Way
executives on federal criminal charges.  It also ends a three-
year flurry of criminal and civil actions against Rent-Way and
the group of former executives who were charged with inflating
the company's earnings in 1998, 1999 and 2000, Go Erie reports.

"This really does bring it to a close," Rent-Way Chief Executive
William Morgenstern told Go Erie.  "It puts the final period to
a very long book."

The settlement, which was agreed to in March, ends the case
against the company, Morgenstern, Chief Financial Officer
William McDonnell and former President Jeffrey Conway.


RICOH CORPORATION: Court Denies Certification In Consumer Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division denied
Plaintiff's motion for Class Certification in a lawsuit brought
against Ricoh Corp., on behalf of Debra F. Fink, D.M.D., MS, PC
and Joel Fink, et al., over allegations of consumer fraud with
regards to the purchase of the RDC-1 digital camera.
   
The lawsuit stems from the Dec. 1996 purchase, by Plaintiff Joel
Fink, of the model RDC-1 digital camera primarily for the use of
his wife, Debra F. Fink, D.M.D., MS, P.C., in her orthodontic
dental practice.  Mr. Fink paid $1,585.52 for the camera, which
was obtained from an independent third party distributor,
Egghead Software, located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  Mr. Fink
bought the camera after reviewing a marketing pamphlet
disseminated by Ricoh in a store in St Louis, Missouri, the city
in which plaintiffs reside.

On the pamphlet, many of the camera's features were represented
and described.  This pamphlet and other similar advertising
materials, were disseminated across the United States for the
purpose of marketing the model RDC-1 digital camera.
      
After attempting to use some of the advertised features of the
camera described below and failing, plaintiffs filed a complaint
with this court seeking redress of their grievances under the
NJCFA.  Plaintiffs contend that all of Ricoh's promotional
materials relating to the RDC-1 camera, including the box in
which the camera was packaged for distribution, contain false
and misleading representations as well as material
factual omissions.

Plaintiffs seek relief in the form of "threefold the damages
sustained by any person in interest", as well as  "reasonable
attorneys' fees, filing fees and reasonable costs of suit,"
pursuant to N.J.S.A. 56:8-19.
      

SCIL LLC: Court Reverses, Remands Ruling In Credit Card Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, Third
Division reversed, and remanded a ruling by the Circuit Court of
Cook County, which denied Defendants motion for arbitration in a
lawsuit, filed against SCIL, LLC, Saks, Inc., and DOES 1-10, on
behalf of Plaintiff Richard Rosen, disputing sales taxes charged
on Plaintiffs credit card and asking that action be certified as
a class action.

Plaintiff filed a class action lawsuit against defendants, SCIL,
LLC, Saks Incorporated and DOES 1-10, disputing two charges of
"fictitious taxes" on his Saks Fifth Avenue credit card.  
Plaintiff's complaint alleged that defendants unlawfully charged
him sales tax on the purchase of services, i.e., alterations on
clothing he purchased at defendants' store.  The sales tax
plaintiff paid on the two transactions totaled  $3.19.  The
complaint further alleged that defendants' practice violated
section 2 of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business
Practices Act.
      
Defendants filed a motion to compel arbitration and to stay the
proceedings pursuant to an amendment to plaintiff's credit card
agreement permitting either party to compel arbitration.  The
circuit court denied the motion and defendants appealed.  


SOUTH BEND CHOCOLATE: Recalls Products For Undeclared Nuts/ Eggs
----------------------------------------------------------------
The South Bend Chocolate Company of South Bend, Indiana, in
cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is
recalling it's 5-pc assortment, 4-pc turtles, 1 and 2 lb and
snowy evening tins, snowmen towers, and fudge because they may
contain undeclared peanuts, tree nuts or egg products.

People who have allergies to peanuts, tree nuts or egg products
run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if
they consume these products.

The recalled 5-pc assortment, 4-pc turtles, 1,2 lb, and snowy
evening tins, snowmen towers, and fudge were distributed
nationwide in retail stores and through mail orders.

The product comes in either a 3 x 3 clear box with the South
Bend Chocolate Company logo on top (5 pc assortment and 4 pc
turtles), 1 and 2 lb gold, red, and snowy evening tin container
with the company logo on top and a 3-piece decorative snowmen
tower, tied with a ribbon with the company logo. The fudge was
packaged in 4.5 lb. disposable baking tins, consisting of the
following flavors: chocolate walnut, peanut butter, peanut
butter/chocolate, maple walnut, rocky road, and turtle.

No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this
problem.

The recall was initiated after it was discovered that the
peanut, tree nut or egg product - containing products were
distributed in packaging that did not reveal the presence of
peanuts, tree nuts or egg products. Subsequent investigation
indicates the problem was caused by a temporary breakdown in the
company's production and packaging processes.

Consumers who have purchased 5-pc assortment, 4-pc turtles, 1
lb, 2 lb, or snowy evening tins or snowmen towers, and above
listed fudge are urged to return them to the place of purchase
for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the
company at 800/301-4961.


TRI-STATE CREMATORY: Trial to Commence on March 1 in Rome, GA
-------------------------------------------------------------
Kathryn E. Barnett, an attorney with the national law firm of
Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, announced that U.S.
Judge Harold L. Murphy has issued a series of significant orders
in the federal class action lawsuit against funeral homes in
Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama that had sent remains of loved
ones to the Tri-State Crematory in Noble, Georgia, for
cremation.

The orders, dated December 19, 2003 denied almost all of the
claims by the defendant funeral homes for summary judgment. As a
result, plaintiffs, whose loved ones' remains were mishandled,
have cleared the last significant legal hurdle to advancing
their case to trial.

"This is a tremendous victory for the families in this case,"
commented Lieff Cabraser attorney Kathryn E. Barnett. "It means
these families will get their day in court, and it means that
the funeral homes cannot escape having a jury decide if they
should be held accountable."

Judge Murphy concluded that plaintiffs had presented sufficient
evidence for a jury to decide whether the defendant funeral
homes bore responsibility for the actions of Tri-State Crematory
in mishandling corpses and interfering with the right of burial.
Of particular note, Judge Murphy found that the contracts for
funeral services that the parties entered into imposed a duty on
the defendant funeral homes to ensure that funeral arrangements,
including cremation services, were performed properly.

On March 18, 2003, Judge Murphy certified the case as a class
action lawsuit. Set for trial are plaintiffs' claims of
negligence, willful interference with remains and intentional
mishandling of a corpse; negligent interference with remains and
mishandling of a corpse; and breach of contract under Georgia
law. Defendants deny any liability on these claims. Phase one of
the trial, to determine liability, is scheduled to commence
March 1, 2004, in Rome, Georgia.

For more information, contact Kathryn E. Barnett, by Phone:  
(615) 313-9000.


VERNS MOSES: Recalls Beef For Possible BSE Contamination
--------------------------------------------------------
Verns Moses Lake Meats, a Moses Lake, Wash., establishment, in
cooperation with the U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service
(FSIS), is voluntarily recalling approximately 10,410 pounds of
raw beef that may have been exposed to tissues containing the
infectious agent that causes bovine spongiform encephalopathy
(BSE), dubbed "Mad Cow Disease".

The beef subject to this Class II recall was produced on Dec. 9
and was shipped to several establishments where it was further
processed. FSIS is continuing its investigation to ensure that
all distribution of the beef products is correctly identified.

FSIS' designation of this recall as Class II is due to the
extremely low likelihood that the beef being recalled contains
the infectious agent that causes BSE. According to scientific
evidence, the tissues of highest infectivity are the brain,
spinal cord, and distal ileum, which were removed from the rest
of the carcass at slaughter. Therefore, the meat produced were
cuts that would not be expected to be infected or have an
adverse public health impact, but are being recalled out of an
abundance of caution.

Media and consumers with questions about the recall should
contact Tom Ellestad, company secretary, at 509-765-4182.

Consumers with other food safety questions can phone the toll-
free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline. The
hotline is available in English and Spanish and can be reached
from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time), Monday through Friday.
Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.

BSE is a progressive neurological disease among cattle. It
belongs to a family of diseases known as transmissible
spongiform encephalopathies. Also included in that family of
illnesses is the human disease, variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob
Disease (vCJD), which is believed caused by eating neural
tissue, such as brain and spinal cord, from BSE-affected cattle.


VIVENDI: Plaintiffs Get Green Light to Proceed with Claims
----------------------------------------------------------
Vivendi Universal is named as a defendant in a consolidated
securities class action filed in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of New York.

That suit is captioned In re Vivendi Universal, S.A. Securities
Litigation (Master File No. 02 CV 5571).

On November 6, 2003, the U.S. District Court Judge issued an
Opinion on Vivendi Universal's motion to dismiss the
consolidated class action complaint.

As a result of that Opinion, issued at a preliminary stage of
the proceedings, the class action plaintiffs are permitted to
proceed with most of their claims against Vivendi Universal.
Plaintiffs and defendants, including Vivendi Universal, have
since filed motions asking the Court to reconsider certain
findings in its Opinion. Those motions remain pending. This
litigation was recently transferred to a new judge: Richard
Holwell.


WAL-MART: Recalls 'Painted Snowman' Candles For Fire Hazard
-----------------------------------------------------------
Wal-Mart, Bentonville, Ark., in cooperation with the U.S.
Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), is recalling 10,085
units of the "Painted Snowman" gift set since the paint on the
exterior surface of the candles could potentially sustain flame
posing a potential fire hazard. There have been no reports of
incidents or injuries relating to this product.

Each Home Trends Natural Holiday Collection Candle gift set
contains three candles with a scene painted on the exterior. The
"Painted Snowman" gift set includes three candles, a display
plate, pine sprigs, and golden berries. The "Painted Snowman"
gift set is model CAD2525193 and has UPC number 069302970040.
Three similar Home Trend Ice Holiday Collection Candle gift sets
were previously recalled.

The "Painted Snowman" candles, manufactured by Qingdao Kingking
Applied Chemistry Co., Ltd., of China, are sold at Wal-Mart
stores nationwide from September 2003 through December 2003 for
about $10.

Consumers are urged to immediately stop using the product and
return the candle gift set to Wal-Mart for a full refund. For
more information, contact Wal-Mart at (800) 925-6278 between
7am and 9pm CT, Monday through Friday.


WHETSTONE INDUSTRIAL: Board Members Face Potential Stock Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Various board members of the liquidated Whetstone Industrial
Holdings face potential legal action in terms of section 424 of
the Companies Act, liquidator Jurgens Steenkamp told creditors
in a letter last week, the Business Report states.

In August 2001, the Company was placed in liquidation after it
was unable to repay its R450,000 debt to Marriott Merchant Bank.  
The Company carried about R3.2 million in liabilities and only
R82,814 of cash on hand.

Furthermore, the Company was listed in the JSE Securities
Exchange on the basis of the underlying value - said to be
several million dollars - in a product known as Olpex, an
additive for use in the hydrocarbon fuel industry.  The only
item of significance in the balance sheet was the goodwill in
non-profitable subsidiaries - which had by then been sold - and
Olpex.

In his letter, Mr. Steenkamp said that he was considering
charging certain employees who set aside payments received at a
stage when the liabilities of the company exceeded its assets
and those employees were preferred above other creditors.  He
was also considering legal action against certain creditors who
have been preferred above others and who were paid in the six
months prior to the Company's liquidation, the Business Report
states.

Mr. Steenkamp also intends to investigate:

     (1) The merits of writing down the value of the investment
         in a entity called Lundin Investments, given that the
         board was under the impression that the underlying
         value in Lundin, being Olpex, was subsequently found to
         have no or a nominal value;

     (2) The manner in which Whetstone's subsidiaries were
         disposed of in the two years prior to its liquidation -
         especially the disposal of courier business Expressit
         to Clareway Investments, a subsidiary of Berco
         Investments - and whether the conduct of the board and
         other company officials made them personally liable in
         terms of section 424 of the Companies Act; and

     (3) The original acquisition of Lundin Investments and
         whether board members could be held personally liable
         for that acquisition at what, on face value, appeared
         to be an inflated value.

According to Section 424 of the Companies Act, the company's
directors can be held personally liable for the debts of the
Company prior to liquidation if they allowed it to trade in
reckless or insolvent circumstances.  In addition to the civil
remedy, the company's directors could be prosecuted.

Mr. Steenkamp told creditors he had already recovered R757,000
and had issued summons against another two parties for a further
R75,000, the Business Report states.

               New Securities Fraud Cases

ALAMOSA HOLDINGS: Marc Henzel Files Securities Suit in N.D. TX
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Mark S. Henzel initiated a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Texas on behalf of purchasers of Alamosa Holdings
Inc. common stock during the period between January 9, 2001 and
June 13, 2002, inclusive.

The complaint alleges that defendants violated Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder, by issuing numerous positive statements
throughout the Class Period regarding the Company's growth and
demand for the Company's services. As alleged in the complaint,
these statements were each materially false and misleading when
made as they misrepresented and omitted the following adverse
facts which then existed and disclosure of which was necessary
to make the statements not false and misleading, including, but
not limited to, the following:

     (a) that the Company was increasing its subscriber base by
         relaxing its credit criteria for new customers. In
         other words, the Company's subscriber growth was the
         result of the extension of credit to high credit risk
         customers;

     (b) that the Company had been experiencing high involuntary
         disconnections related to its high credit risk
         customers and as a result was carrying tens of millions
         of dollars of impaired receivables on its financial
         statements; and,

     (c) that upon the tightening of credit standards, the
         Company experienced lower subscription growth as a
         result of its policy that required credit-challenged  
         customers pay substantial deposits upon the initiation
         of services.

Upon the disclosure of the true facts about the Company, the
price of Alamosa securities declined materially.

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


BOSTON COMMUNICATIONS: Wolf Haldenstein Files Stock Suit in MA
--------------------------------------------------------------
Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman and Herz LLP initiated a class
action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
District of Massachusetts on behalf of purchasers of Boston
Communications Group, Inc. publicly traded securities during the
period between April 16, 2003 and July 16, 2003, inclusive.

The complaint alleges that Boston Communications and certain of
its officers made materially false and misleading statements
during the class period concerning the Company's business.
Specifically, the complaint alleges that the Defendants issued
false and misleading statements concerning Boston
Communications' relationship with Verizon Wireless.

In particular, despite concerns by analysts regarding the
Company's ability to maintain relationships with its primary
customers and the possibility that such customers could
eliminate services performed by Boston Communications by
bringing them in-house, the Company attempted to allay such
concerns by reassuring investors that contract negotiations with
Verizon, and other customers, were continuing as planned. In
fact, Boston Communications was aware that Verizon would not be
renewing its billing services contract with Boston
Communications because Verizon was creating its own internal
billing system which would replace the use of Boston
Communications' billing services and that the loss of the
contract would lead to a significant loss of revenue for Boston
Communications.

On July 17, 2003, Verizon Wireless announced its intention to
"insource" the company's services. As a result, the Company's
stock declined 39%, or $8.46 from a closing price of $21.16 on
July 16, 2003 to close at $12.70 on July 17, 2003.

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


CAREER EDUCATION: Bull & Lifshitz Files Securities Suit in IL
-------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Bull & Lifshitz, LLP initiated a securities
class action in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Illinois on behalf of purchasers of Career
Education Corporation common stock during the period between
January 28, 2003 and December 2, 2003, inclusive.

The complaint charges Career Education, John M. Larson, Patrick
K. Pesch with violations Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder.

More specifically, the complaint alleges that the defendants'
statements made during the Class Period were materially false
and misleading because they failed to disclose and/or
misrepresented the following adverse facts, among others:

     (a) that the Company's "record" financial growth was a
         product of inflated student enrollment, retention, and
         graduation rates procured through the falsification of
         such records;

     (b) that student records were falsified in order to show a
         higher rate of enrollment, student retention, and
         graduation so that the Company would qualify for state
         and federal funding;

     (c) that Company, in order to procure its "record"
         financial results, forced its employees to falsify   
         student records; and,

     (d) that the Company's earning and net income were
         materially inflated and in violation of Generally  
         Accepted Accounting Principles because the Company's
         financial results were derived from the defendants'
         illegal practices.

Similarly on December 3, 2003, The Santa Barbara News-Press
reported that another former employee at a school owned by the
defendants had filed another lawsuit wherein she claimed that
"officials at the school acted illegally and improperly to
inflate enrollment and boost the bottom line." The former
employee also alleged that "(m)any staff members have been asked
by management to commit forgery, fraud, perjury or whatever else
is necessary to pass audit inspections." On news of this, shares
of Career Education fell nearly 28% or $15.28 per share to close
at $39.48 per share on December 3, 2003.

For more information, contact Peter D. Bull, or Joshua M.
Lifshitz, by Mail: 18 East 41st Street, New York, NY 10017, by
Phone: (212) 213-6222, by Fax: (212) 213-9405, or by E-mail:
counsel@nyclasslaw.com.


CLEAN HARBORS: Marc Henzel Files Securities Fraud Suit in MA
------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Mark S. Henzel initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the District of
Massachusetts on behalf of purchasers of Clean Harbors, Inc.
publicly traded securities during the period between November
19, 2002 and August 14, 2003, inclusive.

The complaint alleges that defendants violated Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder. Specifically, the complaint alleges that
by the start of the Class Period, unbeknownst to investors,
Clean Harbors was experiencing difficulties integrating the
operations of Safety-Kleen Corp.'s Chemical Services Division,
which it had just acquired. Moreover, the integration process
was distracting the Company from its core business, thereby
causing the Company to experience declining results.

Notwithstanding the foregoing difficulties, throughout the Class
Period, defendants projected increasing revenues and earnings
for the Company, which caused a dramatic increase in the price
of Clean Harbors common stock. While the stock was trading at
these levels, certain Clean Harbor insiders sold their
personally-held Clean Harbors common stock to the unsuspecting
public. In addition, defendant McKim engaged in a forward sale
of 200,000 shares of his stock which permitted him to lock in
gains in his stock but not suffer from any decline in the price
of Clean Harbors stock.

Then, on May 14, 2003, Clean Harbors surprised the market by
announcing that its EBITDA for the first quarter of 2003 was
below the quarterly minimum required by certain covenants in the
Company's loan agreements and that the Company would have to
renegotiate the terms of its agreements with its lenders. In
response to this announcement, the price of Clean Harbors stock
plummeted from $12.89 per share to $10.90 per share on extremely
heavy trading volume. The true extent of the problems at Clean
Harbors were not finally revealed until August 14, 2003, when it
announced that it would miss its earnings targets for the second
quarter of 2003 and that it was being negatively impacted by a
variety of factors. Following this announcement, the price of
Clean Harbors common stock declined further to $6.23 per share.

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


GILEAD SCIENCES: Cohen Milstein Files Securities Suit in N.D. CA
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C.
initiated a class action lawsuit, on behalf of its client and on
behalf of purchasers of the securities of Gilead Sciences, Inc.
between July 14, 2003 and October 28, 2003, inclusive, in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of
California, against these defendants:

     (1) the Company,

     (2) John C. Martin,

     (3) John F. Milligan,

     (4) Mark L. Perry,

     (5) Norbert W. Bischofberger,

     (6) Anthony Carraciolo, and,

     (7) William A. Lee

The lawsuit alleges that the defendants violated Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder, by issuing a series of material
misrepresentations to the market between July 4, 2003 through
October 28, 2003.

More specifically, the complaint alleges that the defendants'
statements were materially false and misleading because they
failed to disclose and/or misrepresented the following adverse
facts:

     (a) that Gilead was aware that its revenue was not  
         increasing due to sales of its drug Viread;

     (b) that Gilead was aware that Viread sales had only
         increased because wholesalers bought an excessive       
         amount of the drug before July 27, 2003 in an attempt
         to avoid the price increase scheduled for July 27,
         2003;

     (c) that Gilead was aware that its wholesalers' over-buying
         of Viread to avoid the price increase accounted for $33
         to $37 million, not the $25 to $30 million that Gilead
         originally purported; and,

     (d) that Gilead was aware that the wholesaler over-buying    
         would decrease projected revenue in the future.

On October 28, 2003, Gilead announced that sales of Viread in
the third quarter 2003 would be less than expected due to an
inventory buildup by wholesalers. The market reacted swiftly to
this news, with the Company's stock falling 12%, or $7.46 per
share from a high of $59.46 per share on October 28, 2003 to
close at $52.00 per share on October 29, 2003.

For more information, contact Katrina Jurgill, by Mail: 1100 New
York Avenue, N.W., West Tower - Suite 500, Washington, D.C.
20005, by Phone: 888-240-0775 or 202-408-4600, or E-mail:
dsommers@cmht.com, or kjurgill@cmht.com.


LEAPFROG ENTERPRISES: Charles Piven Files Securities Suit in CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, P.A. initiated a securities
class action in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of California against defendant LeapFrog and
certain of its officers and directors, on behalf of shareholders
who purchased, converted, exchanged or otherwise acquired the
common stock of LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc. between August 20,
2003 and October 21, 2003, inclusive.

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

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


LORAL SPACE: Wolf Haldenstein Files Securities Suit in S.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP,
initiated a class action lawsuit in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of New York, on behalf of all
persons who purchased or acquired the securities of Loral Space
& Communications, Ltd. between July 31, 2002, through June 29,
2003, inclusive, against the following defendants:

     (1) Bernard Schwartz (Chairman, CEO), and,

     (2) Richard J. Townsend (CFO during the Class Period)

The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, the
defendants, among other things, materially misrepresented the
Company's financial performance and condition by inflating the
Company's revenues and net income, and by underreporting
expenses. These misrepresentations of the Company's financial
performance included:

     (a) failing to timely account for the obsolescence of its
         inventory;

     (b) inappropriately accounting for general and
         administrative costs in the second and third quarters
         of 2002; and,

     (c) improperly recognizing revenue from its Telstar      
         18/Apstar V contract with APT Satellite Company Ltd.

The Company finally recognized these improprieties in its
financial report filed on Form 10-Q with the Securities and
Exchange Commission on November 13, 2003, months after the July
15, 2003 bankruptcy.

For more information, contact Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman &
Herz LLP, by Mail: 270 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10016,
by Phone: (212) 545-4600, or visit the firm's Web site:
http://www.whafh.com.


MFS FUNDS: Stull Stull Commences Securities Lawsuit in S.D. NY
--------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Stull, Stull & Brody, LLP initiated a class
action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York, on behalf of purchasers of shares
of mutual funds managed by Massachusetts Financial Services
Company, a subsidiary of Sun Life Financial, Inc., between
December 15, 1998 and December 8, 2003, inclusive, seeking to
pursue remedies under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the
Securities Act of 1933 and the Investment Company Act of 1940.

The complaint alleges that defendants 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 III, MFS Series Trust III, MFS Series
Trust III, MFS Series Trust III, MFS Series Trust III, MFS
Series Trust III, MFS Series Trust III, MFS Series Trust III,
MFS Mutual Funds, and the Doe 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 Sections 34 and 36 of the Investment
Company Act of 1940.

The Complaint charges that, throughout the Class Period,
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.

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

MFS Capital Opportunities Fund (Nasdaq: MCOFX, MCOBX, MCOCX,
MFCRX, MCOTX, EACOX, EBCOX, ECCOX)
MFS Core Growth Fund (Nasdaq: MFCAX, MFCBX, MFCCX, MCFRX,
MCRRX),MFS Emerging Growth Fund (Nasdaq: MEGRX, MEGBX, MFECX,
MFERX, EAGRX, EBEGX, ECEGX)
MFS Growth Opportunities Fund (Nasdaq: MGOFX, MGOBX)
MFS Large Cap Growth Fund (Nasdaq: MCGAX, MCGBX)
MFS Managed Sectors Fund (Nasdaq: MMNSX, MSEBX, MMNCX)
MFS Mid Cap Growth Fund (Nasdaq: OTCAX, OTCBX, OTCCX, MMCRX,
MCPRX, EAMCX, EBCGX, EGCRX)
MFS New Discovery Fund (Nasdaq: MNDAX, MNDBX, MNDCX, MFNRX,
MNDRX, EANDX, EBNDX, ECNDX)
MFS New Endeavor Fund (Nasdaq: MECAX, MECBX, MECCX, MNERX,
MENRX)
MFS Research Fund (Nasdaq: MFRFX, MFRBX, MFRCX, MFRRX, MSRRX,
EARFX, EBRFX, ECRFX)
MFS Strategic Growth Fund (Nasdaq: MFSGX, MSBGX, MFGCX, MSGRX,
MSTRX, EASGX, EBSGX, ECSGX)
MFS Technology Fund (Nasdaq: MTCAX, MTCBX, MTCCX, MTQRX, MTERX)
Massachusetts Investors Growth Stock Fund (Nasdaq: MIGFX, MIGBX,
MIGDX, MIGRX, MIRGX, EISTX, EMIVX, EMICX)
MFS Mid Cap Value Fund (Nasdaq: MVCAX, MCBVX, MVCCX, MMVRX,
MCVRX, EACVX, EBCVX, ECCVX)
MFS Research Growth and Income Fund (Nasdaq: MRGAX, MRGBX,
MRGCX, MGIRX, MRERX)
MFS Strategic Value Fund (Nasdaq: MSVTX, MSVCX, MQSVX, MSVRX,
MVSRX, EASVX, EBSVX, ECSVX)
MFS Total Return Fund (Nasdaq: MSFRX, MTRBX, MTRCX, MFTRX,
MTRRX, EATRX, EBTRX, ECTRX)
MFS Union Standard Equity Fund (Nasdaq: MUEAX, MUSBX, MUECX)
MFS Utilities Fund (Nasdaq: MMUFX, MMUBX, MMUCX, MMURX, MURRX)
MFS Value Fund (Nasdaq: MEIAX, MFEBX, MEICX, MFVRX, MVRRX,
EAVLX, EBVLX, ECVLX)
Massachusetts Investors Trust (Nasdaq: MITTX, MITBX, MITCX,
MITRX, MIRTX, EAMTX, EBMTX, ECITX)
MFS Aggressive Growth Allocation Fund (Nasdaq: MAAGX, MBAGX,
MCAGX, MAARX, MAWAX, EAGTX, EBAAX, ECAAX)
MFS Conservative Allocation Fund (Nasdaq: MACFX, MACBX, MACVX,
MACRX, MCARX, ECLAX, EBCAX, ECACX)
MFS Growth Allocation Fund (Nasdaq: MAGWX, MBGWX, MGCWX, MGARX,
MGALX, EAGWX, EBGWX, ECGWX)
MFS Moderate Allocation Fund (Nasdaq: MAMAX, MMABX, MMCAX,
MAMRX, MARRX, EAMDX, EBMDX, ECMAX)
MFS Bond Fund (Nasdaq: MFBFX, MFBBX, MFBCX, MFBRX, MBRRX, EABDX,
EBBDX, ECBDX)
MFS Emerging Markets Debt Fund (Nasdaq: MEDAX, MEDBX, MEDCX)
MFS Government Limited Maturity Fund (Nasdaq: MGLFX, MGLBX,
MGLCX)
MFS Government Mortgage Fund (Nasdaq: MGMT, MGTBX)
MFS Government Securities Fund (Nasdaq: MFGSX, MFGBX, MGFDX,
MGSRX, MGVSX, EAGSX, EBGSX, ECGXX)
MFS High Income Fund (Nasdaq: MHITX, MHIBX, MHICX, EAHIX, EMHBX,
EMHCX, MHIIX, MHIRX)
MFS High Yield Opportunities Fund (Nasdaq: MHOAX, MHOB, MHOCX,
MHOIX)
MFS Intermediate Investment Grade Bond Fund (Nasdaq: MGBFX,
MGBVX, MGBCX, MGBEX, MIBRX)
MFS Limited Maturity Fund (Nasdaq: MQLFX, MQLBX, MQLCX, EALMX,
EBLMX, ELDCX, MLDRX)
MFS Research Bond Fund (Nasdaq: MRBFX, MRBBX, MRBCX, EARBX,
EBRBX, ECRBX, MRBIX, MRBRX)
MFS Strategic Income Fund (Nasdaq: MFIOX, MIOBX, MIOCX, MFIIX)
MFS Alabama Municipal Bond Fund (Nasdaq: MFALX, MBABX)
MFS Arkansas Municipal Bond Fund (Nasdaq: MFARX, MBARX)
MFS California Municipal Bond Fund (Nasdaq: MCFTX, MBCAX)
MFS Florida Municipal Bond Fund (Nasdaq: MFFLX, MBFLX)
MFS Georgia Municipal Bond Fund (Nasdaq: MMGAX, MBGAX)
MFS Maryland Municipal Bond Fund (Nasdaq: MFSMX, MBMDX)
MFS Massachusetts Municipal Bond Fund (Nasdaq: MFSSX, MBMAX)
MFS Mississippi Municipal Bond Fund (Nasdaq: MISSX, MBMSX)
MFS Municipal Bond Fund (Nasdaq: MMBFX, MMBBX)
MFS Municipal Limited Maturity Fund (Nasdaq: MTLFX, MTLBX,
MTLCX)
MFS New York Municipal Bond Fund (Nasdaq: MSNYX, MBNYX, MCNYX)
MFS North Carolina Municipal Bond Fund (Nasdaq: MSNCX, MBNCX,
MCNCX)
MFS Pennsylvania Municipal Bond Fund (Nasdaq: MFPAX, MBPAX)
MFS South Carolina Municipal Bond Fund (Nasdaq: MFSCX, MBSCX)
MFS Tennessee Municipal Bond Fund (Nasdaq: MSTNX, MBTNX)
MFS Virginia Municipal Bond Fund (Nasdaq: MSVAX, MBVAX, MVACX)
MFS West Virginia Municipal Bond Fund (Nasdaq: MFWVX, MBWVX)
MFS Emerging Markets Equity Fund (Nasdaq: MEMAX, MEMBX, MEMCX,
MEMIX)
MFS Global Equity Fund (Nasdaq: MWEFX, MWEBX, MWECX, MWEIX,
MGERX)
MFS Global Growth Fund (Nasdaq: MWOFX, MWOBX, MWOCX, MWOIX,
MGLRX)
MFS Global Total Return Fund (Nasdaq: MFWTX, MFWBX, MFWCX,
MFWIX, MGRRX)
MFS International Growth Fund (Nasdaq: MGRAX, MGRBX, MGRCX,
MQGIX)
MFS International New Discovery Fund (Nasdaq: MIDAX, MIDBX,
MIDCX, EAIDX, EBIDX, ECIDX, MWNIX, MINRX)
MFS International Value Fund (Nasdaq: MGIAX, MGIBX, MGICX,
MINIX)
MFS Research International Fund (Nasdaq: MRSAX, MRIBX, MRICX,
EARSX, EBRIX, ECRIX, MRSIX, MRIRX)

For more information, contact Tzivia Brody, by Mail: 6 East 45th
Street, New York, NY 10017, by Phone: 1-800-337-4983 (toll
free), by Fax: 212/490-2022, or by E-mail: SSBNY@aol.com.


REDBACK NETWORKS: Abbey Gardy Files Securities Suit in N.D. CA
--------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Abbey Gardy, LLP initiated a Class Action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern
District of California, on behalf of a class of all persons who
purchased or acquired Redback Networks, Inc. between April 12,
2000, the day the Company announced its financial results for
its first quarter ended March 31, 2000 and October 10, 2003, the
day the Company announced that the Securities and Exchange
Commission was investigating various transactions between the
Company and Qwest Communications, Inc.

Named defendants are:

     (1) Joel M. Arnold,

     (2) Thomas L. Cronan III,

     (3) Kevin A. DeNuccio,

     (4) Pierre R. Lamond,

     (5) Vinod Khosla,

     (6) Vivek Ragavan, and,  

     (7) Dennis P. Wolf

The Company is not named as a defendant because it has filed for
Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The Complaint alleges that Defendants violated Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder, by issuing a series of material
misrepresentations to the market during the Class Period thereby
artificially inflating the price of Redback securities.

The Complaint alleges that Defendants made a series of false and
misleading statements starting on April 12, 2000. The Complaint
alleges that the press releases issued on April 12, 2000, July
12, 2000, October 13, 2000, January 17, 2001, April 11, 2001,
July 11, 2001, October 10, 2001, January 16, 2002, April 10,
2002, July 10, 2002, October 9, 2002 and January 15, 2002 were
materially false and misleading.

In addition, the Complaint alleges that the Company's Form 10-
Q's and Form 10-K filed with the SEC on May 15, 2000, August 10,
2000, November 13, 2000, April 2, 2001, May 15, 2001, August 14,
2001, March 27, 2002, April 22, 2002, August 14, 2002, November
14, 2002 and March 31, 2003 were materially false and
misleading. The Complaint alleges that each of these above
referenced press releases and SEC filings were materially false
and misleading because, during the Class Period Defendants
failed to disclose that the only way that Redback was able to
report record financial results was because shares of Redback
stock were being given to Qwest insiders in exchange for sales
contracts from Qwest. In fact, Qwest did not need or want the
large quantities of product it had ordered and, in fact, had no
strong obligation to purchase the products. On November 3, 2003,
Redback filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection. After
trading as high as $179.12 during the Class Period, Redback's
shares are now worthless.

For more information, contact Susan Lee by Phone:
(212) 889-3700, or (800) 889-3701 (Toll Free), or by E-mail:
slee@abbeygardy.com


REDBACK NETWORKS: Weiss & Yourman Lodges Securities Suit in CA
--------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Weiss & Yourman initiated a securities class
action in the Northern District of California against certain
senior officers of Redback Networks, Inc., on behalf of those
who purchased Redback securities between April 12, 2000 to
October 10, 2003, inclusive.

The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants
issued a series of false and misleading statements concerning
the Company's relationship with Qwest Communications
International, Inc. Defendants allegedly concealed a scheme in
which they gave shares of Redback stock to Qwest insiders in
exchange for Qwest purchasing large quantities of Redback
products, resulting in Redback's revenues, earnings and stock
price to be artificially inflated, trading as high as $179.12
during the Class Period. On November 3, 2003, Redback filed for
Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Its stock is now considered
worthless.

The Company was not named in the suit because it is protected by
the automatic stay provision of the United States Bankruptcy
Code.

For more information, contact Weiss & Yourman by Phone:
(800) 437-7918, by E-mail: info@wyca.com, or visit the firm's
Website:  http://www.wyca.com.


REDBACK NETWORKS: Stull Stull Commences Securities Suit in CA
-------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Stull, Stull & Brody, LLP initiated a class
action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of California, on behalf of purchasers of
Redback Networks, Inc. common stock between April 12, 2000 to
October 10, 2003, inclusive.  

The complaint alleges that certain Redback senior officers
violated the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The Company
purports to be a provider of telecommunications networking
equipment.

During the Class Period, Defendants allegedly issued a series of
false and misleading statements resulting in Redback's stock
price trading at artificially inflated levels. The Company's
stock traded as high as $179.02 during the Class Period before
announcing bankruptcy. During the Class Period, Defendants
allegedly issued, or caused to be issued, a series of materially
false and misleading statements to the marketplace concerning
the Company's relationship with Qwest Communications
International, Inc. Defendants allegedly knew, but failed to
disclose, that the only reason Redback was able to report
increasing revenues and earnings was through a scheme in which
Defendants gave shares of Redback stock to Qwest insiders in
exchange for Qwest purchasing large quantities of Redback
products.

For more information, contact Tzivia Brody, by Mail: 6 East 45th
Street, New York, NY 10017, by Phone: 1-800-337-4983 (toll
free), Fax: 212/490-2022or, or by E-mail: SSBNY@aol.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

                        *********


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

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