/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/040203.mbx           C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R
           Tuesday, February 3, 2004, Vol. 6, No. 23


ADECCO SA: Reports Minor Mistakes From Internal Accounting Probe
ARIZONA: Judge Rules Car Dealers Must Sue State Individually
AUSTRALIA: High Court To Hear Lawsuit Over Legionnaire Outbreak
BIOPURE CORPORATION: Faces Securities Fraud Lawsuits in MA Court
BORDERS GROUP: Reaches $3.5M Settlement for CA Overtime Suit

CALIFORNIA: Court Affirms Summary Judgment Ruling in Stock Suit
CATHOLIC CHURCH: Covington Diocese Faces First Sex-Abuse Lawsuit  
CHELTEN HOUSE: Recalls Apricot Spreads For Undeclared Sulfites
CINCINNATI LIFE: Reaches $1.9M Pact In Burial-Policy Lawsuit
DAIMLERCHRYSLER AG: Judge Asserts Merger Trial To Resume Soon

EXELON GENERATION: To Pay $6M To Settle EPA Pollution Charges
FIRST UNION: Appeals Court Reverses Stock Fraud Suit Dismissal
GENERAL MOTORS: Reaches Tentative Settlement In Car Dealer Suit
GRAHAM FARMS: Farm Workers Launch Suit Over Below Minimum Wages
HARAM-CHRISTENSEN: Recalls Oebel Rum Stollen For Undeclared Eggs

HASBRO INC: Recalls NERFr Big Play FootballT For Injury Hazard
J.V. TRADING: Recalls Dried Bamboo Shoot For Undeclared Sulfites
LACTALIS USA: Recalls Brie Cheese For Possible Listeria Content
LEMCKE & ASSOCIATES: Distribution of Assets to Victims Finished
MAGEE-WOMENS: Firms File Suit For Document Preservation In Case

MARTHA STEWART: Judge Faults Prosecution For Withheld Key Report
METABOLIFE INTERNATIONAL: Appeals Court Refuses To Strike Suit
MONTANA: Judge To Decide On Certification Of 'Videotape' Lawsuit
NEW YORK: Agrees To Settle Police Discrimination Suit For $26.8M
NICARAGUA: Former Farm Workers Stage March In Pesticide Lawsuit

NIGERIAN SCAM: Dutch Police Arrest 52 Perpetuators of Net Fraud
NOVELL INC.: Appeals Court Upholds UT Securities Suit Dismissal
OBESITY LITIGATION: House Bills Aim To Prevent Fast-Food Suits
PANWORLD MINERALS: Utah Court Sentences Trader For Stock Fraud
RYANAIR: Court Orders Payment of Damages In Wheelchair Lawsuit   

SALLIE MAE: Announces SEC Investigation Into Company Accounting
SILVERSTREAM SOFTWARE: Reaches Settlement For Securities Suits
SUHAD FOOD: Recalls Sundried Tomatoes For Undeclared Sulfites
TEXAS: HUD Reaches Settlement for Housing Discrimination Lawsuit  
UNITED SERVICES: Appeals Court Affirms Summary Judgment in Suit

                New Securities Fraud Cases

ADVANCED MARKETING: Paskowitz & Associates Files Lawsuit in CA
EDWARD D. JONES: Cauley Geller Files Securities Suit in E.D. MO
GENESIS HEALTH: Pomerantz Haudek Launches Securities Suit in NY
ROYAL DUTCH: Marc Henzel Files Securities Fraud Suit in NJ Court
TELEVISION AZTECA: Marc Henzel Lodges Securities Suit in S.D. NY

VANS INC.: Marc Henzel Launches Securities Fraud Suit in C.D. CA


ADECCO SA: Reports Minor Mistakes From Internal Accounting Probe
Beleaguered global employment firm Adecco SA stated that an
internal probe of its accounting flaws only turned up minor
bookkeeping mistakes in its financial statements, the Associated
Press reports.

Earlier, the Company announced that was delaying the release of
its final 2003 results and would have to restate its earnings
for the first three quarters of 2003.  The company declined to
say when it will publish its 2003 annual report, previously
scheduled for late February.  The announcement caused shares to
drop about 26% in price.

Several law firms have already filed securities class actions in
the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New
York on behalf of purchasers of Adecco securities between March
16, 2000 and January 9, 2004.  

The suits charge the Company and its officers with violations of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  The complaint alleges that
defendants issued false and misleading statements, which
artificially inflated the stock, an earlier Class Action
Reporter story (February 2, 2004) reports.  

The long-awaited statement soothed investor fears that the
world's largest staffing firm could be embroiled in a major
balance sheet fraud.  "Based on the currently available
information, however, the board has so far found no evidence
demonstrating any major misappropriations or irregularities that
would be financially significant to the company as a whole,"
Adecco said in a statement Friday, AP reports.  "Instances of
local misappropriations and irregularities -mainly at branch
level, have been identified in certain countries."

Analysts welcomed Adecco's statement although it failed to
clarify the financial extent of the company's problems.  The
company has refused to comment on specifics, citing U.S. laws on
disclosing information.  "The legal constraints certainly
prevent them from saying more. But at least it's clear now that
no major fraud is involved," Roger Steiner, analyst at Julius
Baer Brokerage, told AP.

ARIZONA: Judge Rules Car Dealers Must Sue State Individually
The Maricopa County Superior Court refused to grant class
certification to a lawsuit filed against the State of Arizona,
by car dealers, over the state's dropping of rebates for
alternative-fuel vehicles, The Arizona Republic reports.

The suit was filed on behalf of 2,100 car dealers, car dealers,
auto converters and sales people who say they had invested money
in anticipation of selling or converting cars to owners who
wanted to take advantage of generous tax credits or rebates for
burning natural gas or propane instead of polluting gasoline.  
However, the state stopped the program in 2000 because of
skyrocketing costs.

Last week, Judge Margaret Downie ruled that the plaintiffs will
have to sue the state one by one, saying that the large group
could not be certified as a class for purposes of suing the

She also ruled that some of the individual claims involved too
much money to be litigated in a class action suit.  Three of the
plaintiffs had claims totaling nearly $30 million.  "Claims of
that magnitude can be litigated independent of a class action
proceeding," Judge Downie wrote.

Rob Carey, who represents the businesses and sales people, told
the Republic that the decision will result in far fewer suits
being filed.  "It is a difficult proposition to sue the state,"
he said.  "For an individual to sue doesn't make financial

Gov. Janet Napolitano, who was attorney general during the
alternative-fuels fiasco, agrees that fewer lawsuits will reduce
the overall cost of the flawed program.  In a prepared
statement, she praised the decision, saying it is "a big step
toward winding up a sorry chapter in our state's history. This
good news means that the impact of the alternative-fuels
legislation overall will be far less than what was originally

Mr. Carey represents 8,000 who bought cars with the belief that
much of the cost would be offset by rebates and tax credits.
"The state," Mr. Carey said, misled Arizonans on one of the
biggest purchases of their lives and now refuses to honor its
word.  That's nothing the governor should be proud of nor
anything that the Arizona Supreme Court will encourage."

AUSTRALIA: High Court To Hear Lawsuit Over Legionnaire Outbreak
Australia's Supreme Court will hear the class action filed on
behalf of 144 people exposed to legionnaires disease in
Australia's largest outbreak, News.com.au reports.

Four people died and more than 100 were infected with the
disease after visiting or being in the vicinity of the newly
opened Melbourne aquarium in April 2000.  Test results linked
the disease outbreak with legionella bacteria found in the
aquarium's water-based cooling units. They were later replaced
with a new air conditioning unit.

Justice Bill Gillard is set to hear the suit, which is expected
to last up to 10 weeks and involves 10 different legal teams.  
The multi-million-dollar class action, being run by Melbourne
legal firm Maurice Blackburn Cashman, is against Melbourne
Underwater World and six other defendants including the builder,
architect, engineer, contractors and insurers.

BIOPURE CORPORATION: Faces Securities Fraud Lawsuits in MA Court
Biopure Corporation, its Chief Executive Officer, its Chief
Technology Officer and its Chief Financial Officer face several
securities class actions filed in the United States District
Court for the District of Massachusetts by alleged purchasers of
the Company's common stock.

The complaints claim that Biopure violated the federal
securities laws by publicly disseminating materially false and
misleading statements regarding the status of its biologic
license application pending with the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration and of its trauma development program, resulting
in the artificial inflation of the Company's common stock price
during the purported class period.  The complaints do not
specify the amount of alleged damages plaintiffs seek to
recover.  The complaints set forth varying class periods but
generally focus on March 2003 through December 24, 2003.  

The defendants believe that the complaints are without merit.  
At this time, the Company cannot estimate what impact, if any,
these cases may have on its financial position or results of
operations, the Company stated in filing with the Securities and
Exchange Commission.

The Company believes that a complaint for a derivative action
has also been filed in the Court naming all of the Company's
directors as defendants and alleging claims for breach of
fiduciary duties and other claims.  The Company is not aware
that this complaint has been served on any of the directors.

BORDERS GROUP: Reaches $3.5M Settlement for CA Overtime Suit
Michigan-based bookstore chain The Borders Group, Inc. reached a
$3.5 million settlement for a class action charging it with
violating California labor laws on paying overtime, Knight-
Ridder/ Tribune Business News reports.

The suit was filed in San Francisco Superior Court on behalf of
about 600 current and former California Borders' employees who
worked as assistant managers between April 10, 1996, and March
18, 2001.  The suit alleges that the plaintiffs were classified
as managers exempt from overtime, but the majority of their
workday was spent performing non-management tasks.  They
plaintiffs believe they are entitled to overtime pay.

In the proposed settlement the company agreed to pay the
disputed overtime pay plus penalties and interest; attorneys'
fees, costs and administrative fees.  The settlement is subject
to court approval.

CALIFORNIA: Court Affirms Summary Judgment Ruling in Stock Suit
The United States Court of Appeals, 2nd District, California,
affirmed a ruling by the Superior Court for the County of Los
Angeles, granting summary judgment of a lawsuit brought against
Kathleen Connell, on behalf of Gene Harris, et al., alleging
violations of federal securities laws.

Gene Harris, Peggy Lee Dominguez, Annette Schoon, Russ Garcia
and Julianne Jackson worked for GTE Corporation during the 1970s
and 1980s.  In June 2000, GTE merged with Bell Atlantic to
create Verizon.  During the period March 2000 to September 2001,
Harris and the others learned they owned stock in GTE that had
been transferred to the State of California and sold without
their knowledge.  They retained counsel, and an investigation
revealed that GTE had issued duplicate shareholder certificates
and delivered them to the California Controller.  The
Controller's records show the stock escheated to the State on
November 1, 1990.  The Controller sold the stock, without notice
to Harris, and deposited the funds from the sale in the
Unclaimed Property Fund. The Controller's records show that
Harris, Dominguez, Schoon and Garcia filed claims and, on
various dates in 1999, received payment for their shares of GTE
stock from the State of California.  The Controller has no
record of any claim by Jackson.
Harris and the others filed a class action complaint against
Kathleen Connell, the controller, on September 24, 2001,
alleging the Controller had a statutory obligation to provide
notice to the stock owners, by direct mail to known owners and
by publication, and failed to do so because of lack of resources
and impracticality. As a result of the Controller's conduct,
Harris and class members were deprived of their shareholder
rights and suffered significant monetary losses, including the
growth in value of the stock and significant capital gain taxes
triggered by the involuntary liquidation of their stock
investments. Harris sought declaratory relief, an accounting,
injunctive relief ordering the Controller to comply with the law
and return the stock to Harris and the other class members, and
recovery of attorney fees.
The trial court granted the Controller's motion for judgment on
the pleadings.  The court concluded that the Controller was
required by law to sell the property; the Controller was
afforded immunity for the sale; and no notice of pending sale of
securities was required under the Unclaimed Property Law.
Judgment was entered in favor of the Controller on June 26,
2002, and this appeal followed.

CATHOLIC CHURCH: Covington Diocese Faces First Sex-Abuse Lawsuit  
The class action filed against the Diocese of Covington,
Kentucky over sex abuse by Roman Catholic priests is moving
forward with plaintiffs' lawyers expecting to represent as many
as 500 people following a deadline set by the court, the
Associated Press reports.

The suit is the United States' first class action over alleged
clergy sexual abuses and was filed on behalf of alleged victims
in Covington since 1956.  It claims the diocese mishandled
claims against its clergymen.

Plaintiffs have until Saturday this week to opt-out of the class
action if they want to sue the church individually.  Failure to
opt out means they'll be included in the suit.  A trial date has
not been set, but pretrial proceedings are scheduled for early

Church leaders are fighting the litigation, and working to
settle cases out-of-court.  The diocese said it has received 158
reports of abuse and, since September, has settled with 39
people for a total of $8.3 million, Carrie Huff, a Chicago
attorney representing the diocese, told AP.

"Each of these resolutions was achieved through personal
outreach and dialogue with the victims, and with as much
attention to the victims' spiritual needs as to their financial
needs," Ms. Huff said.  "Bishop (Roger) Foys and the diocese are
fully committed to this process of listening and being present
for victims and their families, as well as to resolution of
their claims."

Several archdioceses have already reached settlements with its
victims.  The Archdiocese of Louisville inked a $25.7 million
settlement with 243 victims in June.  In November, the
Archdiocese of Cincinnati agreed to establish a $3 million
victim compensation fund.

The Covington suit seeks to force the diocese to implement
reforms, plaintiffs' attorney, Robert Steinberg of Cincinnati,
told AP.  Those changes would include psychological screening of
all priests, opening diocesan records of abuse reports, hiring
an outside monitor for abuse cases and starting a formal program
for employees and parishioners to report incidents to diocesan
authorities.  "Class representatives have to promise to put the
interest of the entire class before his or her personal
interest," Mr. Steinberg said.  "And the interest of the class
is more than just being compensated."

Barbara Bonar, who served as co-counsel until December, when the
lead plaintiff decided to drop out as a class representative and
settle after a favorable meeting with Mr. Foys, thinks
otherwise.  "Victims he knew from childhood were settling in
this pastoral kind of setting," Ms. Bonar, who has represented
about 15 of those who have made separate deals with the church,
told AP.  "And he said 'I want to put an end to this. I don't
want to fight anymore.'"

Ms. Huff, the Covington Diocese attorney, told AP the class-
action litigation is hindering a settlement process that would
allow victims to move on with their lives.  "Class counsel's
repeated public attacks on the diocese and on Bishop Foys'
efforts to reach out to victims are hurtful not just to us, but
to many victims and their families as well," Huff said.

CHELTEN HOUSE: Recalls Apricot Spreads For Undeclared Sulfites
Chelten House Products of Bridgeport, New Jersey, in cooperation
with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is recalling
"Fifty 50 Apricot Spread," because it may contain undeclared
sulfites. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to
sulfites run the risk of serious allergic reaction if they
consume this product. Product was shipped to 54 distribution
areas and reaches consumers through retail stores throughout the
entire U.S.

The product was packed in a 12 oz glass container under the
Fifty 50 Brand "Apricot Spread" with no expiration date.

Chelten House Products also claims no complaint or illness
history while producing this product. The recall was initiated
after it was discovered that the product contained higher levels
of sulfites, and the packaging label statement did not reveal
the presence of sulfites. Subsequent investigation indicates the
problem was caused by a temporary breakdown in the company's
packaging guidelines.

Consumers who have purchased Fifty 50 "Apricot Spread" are urged
to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund.
Consumers with questions may contact the company at

CINCINNATI LIFE: Reaches $1.9M Pact In Burial-Policy Lawsuit
The Ohio Department of Insurance revealed that Cincinnati Life
Insurance Co. has agreed to pay as much as $1.9 million to
settle claims that a company it bought in 1973 had sold burial
insurance to African-Americans for a price 18 percent higher
than what was charged white customers, The Cincinnati Enquirer

The settlement must be approved by other state insurance
regulators and the Butler County Common Pleas Court, where the
plaintiffs had filed a class-action lawsuit in 2002 against
Cincinnati Life, a unit of Fairfield-based Cincinnati Financial

An estimated 8,000 African-Americans or their descendants stand
to collect payouts of at least $100, state Insurance Director
Ann Womer Benjamin said. An investigation conducted by the
department found that Inter-Ocean Insurance Co. had overcharged
blacks for burial policies from 1947 to 1968. Cincinnati Life
notified the state of the possible overbillings after the state
made a request for information in 2000.

"I am pleased that Cincinnati Life reported the discriminatory
practices of Inter-Ocean and has fully cooperated with the
department's investigation," Benjamin said. "Proper restitution
will be made to policyholders who were wronged by the
unacceptable actions of an insurer."

Inter-Ocean charged $100 to $1,000 for policies that covered
individual burial costs. The proposed repayments will cover the
amount that African-Americans were overcharged, plus interest.

Cincinnati Life said the settlement covers 4,774 known
policyholders and up to 3,500 former policyholders whose records
are no longer available. The company said it expects to pay at
least $1 million, but possibly up to $1.9 million. The amount
will include an administrative fine of $100,000 to the states
involved and the $116,751 cost of Ohio's investigation.

"Cincinnati Life does not condone any racially discriminatory
practices," said Timothy Timmel, a senior vice president. "Our
shared goal was to determine the right and fair thing to do, and
we're confident that this settlement resolves issues in the best
interests of the policyholders."

DAIMLERCHRYSLER AG: Judge Asserts Merger Trial To Resume Soon
Federal Judge Joseph Farnan, hearing billionaire investor Kirk
Kerkorian's lawsuit against DaimlerChrysler AG, on Friday said
that the trial will resume in a few weeks and that the automaker
will have to pay at least some of Mr. Kerkorian's legal fees,
the Associated Press reports.

Judge Farnan temporarily halted the trial in December after
DaimlerChrysler suddenly produced 67 pages of handwritten notes
from Gary Valade, Chrysler Corporation's former chief financial
officer.  Mr. Kerkorian's attorneys asked Judge Farnan to end
the trial and rule in their favor, but Judge Farnan agreed to
resume the trial after a court investigation found a copying
error was to blame and DaimlerChrysler didn't act in bad faith.

Judge Farnan told attorneys Friday that he will resume the trial
on either February 9-10 or March 11-12, according to a
transcript of his discussion provided by the U.S. District
Court.  The date will be determined early next week, AP reports.

Judge Farnan said DaimlerChrysler should have to pay at least
some of Mr. Kerkorian's legal fees because of the delay, but he
said he would decide later how much was owed.  Mr. Kerkorian's
attorneys want DaimlerChrysler to pay all of Mr. Kerkorian's
fees after December 16.

Mr. Kerkorian is suing DaimlerChrysler for more than $1 billion,
claiming that Daimler-Benz cheated him out of an acquisition fee
when it took over Chrysler Corporation and falsely characterized
it as a merger.  DaimlerChrysler says the merger was one of
equals and that Mr. Kerkorian only grew disgruntled when his
stock price fell.

EXELON GENERATION: To Pay $6M To Settle EPA Pollution Charges
The owners of Exelon Generation have agreed to pay a $1 million
fine for clean air violations and another $5 million to upgrade
city school buses and commuter trains with filters that block
harmful emissions, the Associated Press reports.

Under the settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA), Exelon will also finance three environmental projects: a
biking and walking path along the Mystic River, a salt-marsh
restoration and a restoration study of the Malden River.

"We came to the realization there were several programs in
Greater Boston that we could get involved in, that would have a
direct benefit to air quality," said John O'Brien, vice
president of government and regulatory affairs for Exelon.

The settlement, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court, involved
smokestack violations at the Mystic Station plant from 1998 to
2003. The plant is located in Everett, just north of Boston.

EPA said the settlement will benefit more than 50 communities
along five rail lines, and that Boston will become the first
major U.S. city with an environmentally clean school bus fleet
after the $3.25 million retrofit. Filters will also be added to
up to 22 trains. "This is a big step forward for improving
Boston's air quality," said Steven Viggiani, senior enforcement
counsel for EPA's New England office. "With the upgrading of the
school buses and trains, we'll remove 100 tons of pollution from
Boston's air each year."

Pennsylvania-based Exelon had been charged with 6,000 violations
of the Clean Air Act at four oil-fired units at the plant over
the past five years. When notified about the violations, Exelon
invested $2.5 million on new equipment and operating procedures
and shut down the three oldest units.

FIRST UNION: Appeals Court Reverses Stock Fraud Suit Dismissal
The United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit reversed a
ruling by the United States District Court for the Middle
District of Florida, which dismissed a lawsuit brought against
First Union Securities, Inc., on behalf of Nicholas La Grasta,
et al., over allegations of investor fraud.

In this securities fraud class action against First Union
Securities, Inc., investors NICHOLAS La GRASTA, DOMENICO La
GRASTA, and MAURO La GRASTA, et al., who purchased the stock of
Ask Jeeves, Inc., an online internet research company, claimed
that First Union's analyst, through her "strong buy"
recommendations, inflated the price of Ask Jeeves shares while
acting under an undisclosed conflict of interest. This conflict,
it was alleged, consisted of First Union and its analyst trying
to obtain investment banking business from Ask Jeeves at the
same time that they were supposed to be providing unbiased
analysis on the company and its stock.  According to the       
investors, this undisclosed conflict caused the analyst to tout
the stock so that First Union would be looked upon favorably
when Ask Jeeves decided who was going to get its investment
banking business, and violated 10(b) of the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934, 15 U.S.C. 78j(b), and Rule 10b-5, codified at 17
C.F.R. 240.10b-5.
First Union asked the district court to dismiss the complaint
under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), arguing in part
that the securities fraud claim was time-barred and that the
investors failed to sufficiently allege loss causation.  The   
district court dismissed the complaint on statute of limitations
grounds, concluding that the investors--who had purchased the
stock at prices ranging from $78 to $134 per share--were on
inquiry notice of securities fraud when the stock dropped to $24
per share. Plaintiffs appealed.

GENERAL MOTORS: Reaches Tentative Settlement In Car Dealer Suit
General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC) reached a tentative
settlement for the class action, charging it and other dealers
of charging blacks higher rates than white car buyers, the
Associated Press reports.

A group of Tennessee customers filed the suit in 1998 on behalf
of a group of Tennessee customers.  The suit, later expanded to
a nationwide class action, alleged that car dealers routinely
charged black customers higher interest rates on auto loans than
whites with similar financial histories.

Under the settlement, GMAC, the nation's second-largest auto
dealer, offered to put tighter limits on dealer increases on
interest rates set by GMAC, The Wall Street Journal reports.  
GMAC also is expected to agree to more complete disclosure to
customers and to changes in how it compensates dealers for
arranging loans.  

In a statement, GMAC, the nation's second-largest auto lender,
said only that the settlement would "preserve fair competition,
appropriate dealer flexibility, and consumer choice."  It said
the deal was not yet final and still needed court approval, AP
reports.  An attorney for the plaintiffs, Stuart Rossman of the
National Consumer Law Center in Boston, told AP that the parties
were in negotiations but said they had nothing final.

GRAHAM FARMS: Farm Workers Launch Suit Over Below Minimum Wages
Graham Farms in Glade County, Florida faces a class action filed
by its farm workers, alleging that they were not being paid the
minimum wage, the Associated Press reports.  The suit is pending
in the United States District Court in Miami, Florida.

The dairy farm, a division of The Graham Companies, owned by the
family of U.S. Senator Bob Graham, allegedly violated federal
law over the past four years, Attorney Greg Schell told AP.  The
suit could involve as many as 200 workers.

The workers allege that the Company pays them $4 an hour, far
below the $5.15 minimum wage in Florida.  Mr. Schell, lawyer for
the plaintiffs, said the company adds "some kind of bonus which
they say brings the gross pay over the minimum wage . But they
keep no records so there is no way to prove that is true and the
workers say they are owed money."

Mr. Schell also alleged that failing to keep wage records is
illegal.  He said the total owed the workers could amount to two
hours pay per day for the time each was employed by the farm.
"It could come to hundreds of thousands of dollars," Mr. Schell,
of the Migrant Farmworker Justice Project, a farmworker advocacy
group, told AP.

A spokeswoman for The Graham Cos., Ellen Selmer, said she had no
knowledge of the suit and declined to comment, AP reports.

HARAM-CHRISTENSEN: Recalls Oebel Rum Stollen For Undeclared Eggs
Haram-Christensen Corporation, 125 Asia Place, Carlstadt, NJ
07072, in cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
(FDA), is recalling Oebel Rum Stollen because the product may
contain undeclared eggs. Consumers who are allergic to eggs may
run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reactions
if they consume this product.

The recalled Oebel Rum Stollen in clear, 17.6 oz. polybags with
UPC code 086776 00318 6 were sold nationwide.

The recall was initiated after routine sampling by New York
State Department of Agriculture and Markets Food Inspectors
revealed the presence of undeclared eggs in Oebel Rum Stollen in
packages which did not declare eggs as an ingredient on the

No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this

Consumers who are allergic to eggs and purchased Oebel Rum
Stollen are urged to return them to the place of purchase. For
more information, contact Haram-Christensen Corporation at

HASBRO INC: Recalls NERFr Big Play FootballT For Injury Hazard
Hasbro Inc., of Pawtucket, R.I., in cooperation with the U.S.
Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), is voluntarily
recalling 294,000 NERFr Big Play Footballs since the football
contains a hard plastic interior frame that can pose a risk of
facial cuts if a child is hit during play.

Hasbro has received nine reports of facial injuries, including
eight requiring stitches or medical attention.

The NERFr Big Play FootballT is a red and silver NERF football
with a silver flip-open top that reveals an erasable writing pad
to plan football plays on in the center of the ball. The NERF
name and an NFL logo are on the silver region of the football.
Mike Vicks signature in red also is written on the football, and
his photo is on the packaging.

The Footballs, manufactured in China, were sold at Toys R Us,
Wal-Mart, Target, KB Toys stores and other toy retailers
nationwide from August 2003 to January 2004 for about $10.

Consumers are urged to stop using this football immediately and
return it to the company for a replacement NERF product of equal
value. Hasbro will provide consumers with a postage-prepaid
label to return the product.

For more information, contact Hasbro, Inc. at (866) 637-3244
anytime, or go to http://www.nerf.com.

J.V. TRADING: Recalls Dried Bamboo Shoot For Undeclared Sulfites
J.V. Trading Glendale, Ltd., in cooperation with the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration (FDA), is recalling Yilin Dried Bamboo
Shoot because it may contain undeclared sulfites. People who
have severe sensitivity to sulfites run the risk of serious or
life-threatening allergic reactions if they consume this

The recalled Yilin Dried Bamboo Shoot, packaged in a 12.3 oz.
(350 g.) clear plastic pouch (code: Q/SMWL4-2002), was sold in
the New York City metropolitan area and in the Chicago, Illinois

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

No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this

Consumers who have purchased Yilin Dried Bamboo Shoot should
return it to the place of purchase. For more information,
contact the company at 1-888-369-8688.

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), announced that it is expanding
the original voluntary recall dated 23 December 2003 of
President brie soft-ripened cheese double cream in green foil
(herb) or gold foil (plain) wedges in seven-ounce and six-ounce
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. 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 President Brie soft-ripened cheese double cream in
green foil (herb) or gold foil (plain) wedges in seven-ounce and
six-ounce wedges was distributed nationwide in retail stores.

Lactalis USA is expanding the original recall as a safety
precaution. No known illnesses have been associated with this

The product being recalled consists of seven-ounce and six-ounce
sizes between the following lot codes. The lot code can be found
on the bottom of the green foil or gold foil packaging.

"Sell by 01/10/04 307" to "Sell by 03/02/04 359" and all code
dates in between.

Consumers who have purchased this product 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 the company at 1 (866) 883-8687 or go to
the web site www.lactalis-usa.com for more information.

LEMCKE & ASSOCIATES: Distribution of Assets to Victims Finished
The Rhode Island federal judge overseeing the suit styled "SEC
v. Alfred M. Lemcke, individually and d/b/a Lemcke & Associates,
Civil Action No.01-CV-547 (D.R.I.)," has completed the
distribution of assets to the victims of former investment
adviser Alfred M. Lemcke.  

By orders dated November 19, 2003, and January 6, 2004, the
Court ordered the distribution of $252,104, representing the
proceeds from the sale of Mr. Lemcke's home and a bank account
that was frozen by the court shortly after the Commission filed
its complaint.  The monies represented substantially all of Mr.
Lemcke's assets.
On September 24, 2002, Mr. Lemcke pled guilty to one count of
fraud in violation of the Advisers Act and nine counts of wire
fraud before the U.S. District Court for the District of
Massachusetts, in U.S. v. Alfred M. Lemcke, Criminal Indictment
No. 02-10144 (DPW).  The criminal indictment was based on the
same facts as a civil fraud action the Commission filed against
Mr. Lemcke.  

On September 30, 2002, Mr. Lemcke was administratively barred by
the Commission from associating with any broker, dealer or
investment adviser based on his guilty plea.  On January 9,
2003, the federal judge in the criminal matter sentenced Lemcke
to 27 months in prison followed by three years probation and
ordered him to pay restitution.     

The suit is styled, "SEC v. Alfred M. Lemcke, et al., Civil
Action No. 01-547 (RRL)."

MAGEE-WOMENS: Firms File Suit For Document Preservation In Case
The law firms of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP,
Sprague & Sprague, and Roda Nast announced the filing of a
motion ordering Magee-Womens Hospital to preserve all
documentation related to the class action lawsuit filed against
the hospital for unreliable Pap smear reports, Business Wire

As alleged in the preservation order, Magee-Womens Hospital
implemented an internal policy instructing employees to destroy
problematic Pap smear reports. A copy of an amended Pap smear
report, provided by a former Magee-Womens Hospital patient,
states, "This is an Amended/Corrected report and reflects a
change to either the diagnosis and/or report. All previous
copies of this report should be destroyed. The Medical Records
Department has likewise been given a copy of this corrected
report, and we have made every effort to remove old copies of
the previous pathology report from the patient record." The
motion contends that destruction of Magee-Womens Hospital
reports would hinder litigation of claims arising from those

"The documentation attached to the motion further raises a real
problem concerning the alleged pattern of destruction of
evidence which may have been used to prove Magee-Womens
Hospital's wrongful course of conduct," said Joseph R. Podraza,
Jr., a member of Sprague & Sprague. "Over the years, tens of
thousands of women have been put at greater risk of having
undetected illness and we need to preserve all documentation to
ensure proper evaluation and patient safety."

"Magee-Womens Hospital's obligation to retain information
relevant to potential litigation has not been sufficient." said
Paulina do Amaral, a Lieff Cabraser partner. "This amended
report demonstrates the defendant's intention to ignore that

The law firms of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP,
Sprague and Sprague and Roda Nast PC filed the class action
lawsuit December 18, 2003 in the Court of Common Pleas,
Allegheny County, Pennsylvania on behalf of tens of thousands of
women whose Pap smear tests were reviewed by Magee-Womens

The lawsuit alleges that Magee-Womens Hospital issued Pap smear
reports bearing physicians' names in cases which were never
reviewed by a physician. According to the suit, that deception
potentially put tens of thousands of women, whose Pap smear
tests were processed at Magee-Womens Hospital from 1995 to the
present, at risk of serious diseases that have gone undetected
due to unreliable Pap smear tests.

The plaintiffs in the case are bringing suit against the Magee-
Womens Hospital; the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Health Services; Dr. George Michalopoulos, chairman of the
Department of Pathology at UPMC HS, whose duties included
oversight of the Magee lab; and Dr. Trevor MacPherson, who was
Chief of Pathology and the Vice President of Quality Management
and Assessment at Magee.

Similar suits were recently filed by two former pathologists who
had been employed by Magee-Womens Hospital.

MARTHA STEWART: Judge Faults Prosecution For Withheld Key Report
U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum criticized
prosecutors in the Martha Stewart trial for waiting too long to
give defense attorneys a copy of an FBI report that could damage
the government's case in the securities fraud trial against
domestic trendsetter Martha Stewart, Reuters reports.

Last week, prosecutors faxed to the defense lawyers an FBI
report that raises doubts about whether the stockbroker ordered
that the tip be passed on - and whether Mr. Faneuil himself
recalls the episode clearly.  The FBI report was on an interview
that Jeremiah Gutman, Faneuil's former attorney, gave to federal
authorities in January 2003.

According to the report, Mr. Gutman told investigators that Mr.
Faneuil had said "he had been instructed by Bacanovic or Waksal
to pass information on to Martha Stewart about ImClone,"
according to a person who has seen the FBI account and discussed
it with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Prosecutors suggested in court Thursday that the document shows
only that Mr. Gutman, who is more than 80 years old, does not
have a clear recollection of Mr. Faneuil's account.  It was "Mr.
Gutman's memory which is the memory failure here," prosecutor
Karen Patton Seymour told the judge.  As a result, lawyers for
Ms. Stewart and Ms. Bacanovic complained that they should have
received the document weeks or months ago.

"I do think that the government should have turned over this
information sooner," Judge Cedarbaum said.  She later ruled that
prosecutors must turn over notes from Mr. Gutman, including
material from the period when he represented Mr. Faneuil.  The
judge, however, refused to give Mr. Bacanovic's attorney the
remedy he wanted - a mistrial or a dismissal of all charges
against the ex-broker.

Judge Cedarbaum also postponed the testimony of Douglas Faneuil,
the government's star witness, for a week - and sent jurors, who
have yet to hear a full day of testimony, home because there had
been a "bit of a mix-up."

Star witness Faneuil was ready to testify Thursday that he gave
Stewart a secret tip from her stockbroker, Peter Bacanovic, that
led her to sell nearly 4,000 shares of ImClone Systems stock in
2001, just before it plummeted on bad news.  

The delay in Faneuil's testimony was a boon to the defense,
forcing the government to scramble its schedule of witnesses and
running the risk of confusing jurors, one legal expert told
Reuters.  "While it's not necessarily fatal, this can be a bit
of a crack in the armor," said Gregory J. Wallance, a former
federal prosecutor.  "Now the question becomes how much can the
defense exploit it."

METABOLIFE INTERNATIONAL: Appeals Court Refuses To Strike Suit
The United States Court of Appeals, Third District, California
affirmed a ruling by the Superior Court of Placer County,
denying Defendants special motion to strike a lawsuit brought
against Metabolife International, Inc., on behalf of Joan Scott,
et al., over allegations she suffered a stroke as a direct
result of consuming one of its products, Metabolife 356.

In her complaint, Ms. Scott alleges Metabolife, a dietary
supplement, contains ephedrine and caffeine which together can
cause serious injuries.  Ms. Scott alleges at the time of its
manufacture and sale to her, Metabolife 356 was unsafe and
defective to consumers using that product for its intended
purposes because it contained these two compounds.

She alleges Metabolife misled users about the product and failed
to adequately warn them about its potential serious dangers. Ms.
Scott alleges Metabolife markets Metabolife 356 by
misrepresenting its efficacy, inducing millions of consumers to
use it.  Further, Metabolife represented Metabolife 356
increased energy, aided in diet and weight loss, and was a safe,
natural metabolic enhancer that decreased fat, increased lean
body mass, and increased energy during exercise.
Based on these representations of safety and efficacy, Ms. Scott
purchased the product, read the label, and took it on a daily
basis.  Using the product in its intended and foreseeable
manner, Ms. Scott then suffered a stroke as a direct result of
using Metabolife 356.  Ms. Scott claims she was ignorant of the
stroke risk associated with Metabolife 356. Had she known of the
risks inherent in the product, she would not have taken
the product.

Ms. Scott alleges Metabolife earned profits while concealing the
potential hazards of the product from the public.  She also
alleges Metabolife knew of the various potential dangers of
Metabolife 356.

Metabolife brought a motion to strike Ms. Scott's complaint
under section 425.16.  Metabolife argued the lawsuit arose from
its advertising, labeling, marketing, and promoting of its
product and those advertising activities were constitutionally
protected speech about an issue of public interest as defined by
section 425.16.  Thus, it argued Ms. Scott needed to establish a
probability of success on the merits or her complaint should be
stricken.  The trial court denied Metabolife's motion.
Metabolife appealed.

MONTANA: Judge To Decide On Certification Of 'Videotape' Lawsuit
Federal Judge Donald W. Molloy will decide on how to handle
multiple lawsuits stemming from the surreptitious locker room
viewing and videotaping of female athletes at Powell County High
School, after a request recently for class certification, The
Montana Standard reports.

Missoula lawyers for the proposed class of around 739 victims,
Mark Jones and Alan Blakley, say they hope to "keep the case
together" by having the class certified by the court, "so we
don't have to file additional cases," Mr. Blakley told Judge
Molloy.  "The reason it makes sense is, there are going to be so
many pre-trial issues in common."

Sub-classes made up of girls from various schools could also be
used to consolidate damages and other issues, Mr. Blakley
suggested.  He said approving the class action would allow the
civil litigation to flow through the courts more efficiently, to
avoid "700 different trials within a trial."

Lawyers from the Missoula firm of Garlington, Lohn and Robinson
represent the Powell County High School district, board,
administrators and staff in the federal lawsuit.  At the
hearing, defense lawyer Larry Daly said the class was "overly
broad."  He said a close look at chronology shows the
numbers of girls affected by the scheme that allegedly began in
2000 and ended in 2003 are actually much lower.  

"We believe that the whole scheme has been exaggerated . by the
press and by the media," Mr. Daly told Molloy. "They did not
videotape anywhere near everybody. They weren't running these
cameras anywhere near all the time during the first two years of

Court records indicate that the three students who allegedly
perpetrated the scheme watched or filmed players from nearly all
of the 18 girls' basketball and volleyball teams that competed
in Deer Lodge at some point during the given time span.  Nude
and semi-nude girls who appear on some of the 10 tapes seized by
the sheriff's department last November remain unidentified.

Mr. Jones said indicators are that the scheme could have been
carried out at the school by others before students Matt Thomas,
Ben Frankforter and Eddie Newman.  "The scheme may have gone on
much longer," Mr. Jones told the court. "This wasn't something
dreamed up by three sophomores."

In an interview this week, Mr. Blakley said there should be no
distinction between the film production and voyeurism that took
place, because both violate the girls' constitutional right to
privacy.  Their expectation of privacy was heightened because
the breach took place in locker rooms and bathrooms, he added.
"Viewing, videotaping - to us, it's the same thing," he said.

On Monday, Mr. Daly said a second major issue in class
certification is determining the extent of damages on each
individual, because individuals could be impacted to different
degrees, making trials within a trial inevitable.  "So you don't
gain anything by having a class proceeding," he said.

Judge Molloy took the matter under advisement.  A related suit,
already certified as a class action involving around 700 minor
victims represented by Jones and Blakley, is pending in Powell
County District Court in Deer Lodge, The Standard reports.

NEW YORK: Agrees To Settle Police Discrimination Suit For $26.8M
The city of New York reached a $26.8 million to settle a class
action filed by Hispanic police officers, alleging they faced
discrimination on the job, the Associated Press reports.

The lawsuit, filed in 1999, alleging that minority workers were
exposed to a hostile work environment, were more severely
punished on disciplinary issues than white officers, and
suffered retaliation when they complained about discrimination.

Under the settlement, approximately 12,000 black and Hispanic
members of the Police Department could be eligible for damages
ranging from $3,500 to $400,000, depending on the nature and
severity of the discrimination they faced.  Terms of the deal
are still subject to final approval by U.S. District Judge Lewis

"This settlement furthers the city's progressive goal of
resolving claims fairly and expeditiously through mediation .
rather than engaging in the unnecessary expense and delay of
protracted jury trials," Michael Cardozo, the city's chief
attorney, said in a statement.

Anthony Miranda, president of the National Latino Officers
Association, praised the agreement. "The city and the NYPD have
finally agreed to meet the LOA's demand for internal changes to
ensure workplace equity and to compensate minority officers who
have suffered from past discrimination," he said.

NICARAGUA: Former Farm Workers Stage March In Pesticide Lawsuit
Several hundred former farm workers in Nicaragua began a long
protest march Saturday to seek the Nicaraguan government's
support of their class action filed against several American
companies, the EFE News Service reports.

Several thousand agricultural workers are suing the companies
for damages and medical problems resulting from their exposure
to the chemical used on banana plantations in the western part
of the country.  The suit names as defendants the U.S. Shell Oil
Company, Shell Chemical Company and the Dow Chemical Company.  

Organizers of the event - which covers 140 kilometers (about 90
miles) and is expected to end February 10 - told the local press
Sunday that it is the farm workers' third march.  The protest
march was begun in the towns of El Viejo and Chinandega, and on
Sunday - after a night's rest in Chichigalpa - the marchers will
move on towards Posoltega and Leon, located 90 kilometers (about
56 miles) west of Managua, organizers said.

As of last year, each one of the former banana plantation
workers is suing for $2 million in damages in both U.S. and
Nicaraguan courts. The total damages sought amount to some $17

NIGERIAN SCAM: Dutch Police Arrest 52 Perpetuators of Net Fraud
Dutch police arrested 52 people suspected of engineering the
infamous "Nigerian e-mail" scam, where they sent spam e-mails
asking for help in transferring a large sum of money out of
Nigeria, in exchange for a generous percentage, the Associated
Press reports.

The scheme, also known as an "advance fee" or "419" scheme,
conned dozens of gullible internet users.  In a variation on one
of the world's oldest scams, the Nigerian e-mail con presents
himself as a well-connected person who needs access to a Western
bank account to transfer a large sum of money that cannot be
spent in his own country.  He promises a cut of the money in
exchange for a smaller upfront cost before the larger sum can be
transferred - but it never is.  The scam has existed for years
in various forms, but in the 1990s it moved online, where it is
cheaper to organize and harder to trace.

The ring reaped millions of dollars from victims all over the
world, including the United States, Japan, England, Russia,
Sweden and Switzerland.  A Dutch task force of 80 officers
raided 23 apartments, seizing computers, fake passports and
EUR50,000 in cash, Robert Meulenbroek, spokesman for the
Amsterdam prosecutor's office, told AP.  He said the ring broken
this week had reaped millions of euros (dollars).  

The Amsterdam scammers referred their potential victims to Web
sites of fictitious companies with names like Global Securities
and Financial Company Limited, or Fortune Trust Finance &
Securities.  Often, they listed a fake address, though most had
a working mobile phone number.  The suspects worked from their
homes and sent more than 1 million e-mails, at times clogging
the servers of their Internet provider, Dutch-based cable
company UPC.  Police enlisted UPC's help to trace them, Mr.
Meulenbroek told AP.

NOVELL INC.: Appeals Court Upholds UT Securities Suit Dismissal
The United States Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld most of
the dismissal of a securities class action filed against Novell,
Inc. and certain of its officers and directors in the United
States District Court for the District of Utah.  The court,
however, remanded certain of the claims to federal court.

The suit alleges violation of federal securities laws by
concealing the true nature of the Company's financial condition
and seeking unspecified damages.  The lawsuit was brought as a
purported class action on behalf of purchasers of the Company's
common stock from November 1, 1996 through April 22, 1997.

After a first dismissal of the suit on November 3, 2000 and
a subsequent amendment to the complaint filed on February20,
2001, the federal court dismissed the amended complaint with
prejudice for failure to state a claim.  

The Company believes it has meritorious defenses to the
remaining claims. The Company does not believe that the
resolution of this litigation will have a material adverse
effect on its financial position, results of operations or cash

OBESITY LITIGATION: House Bills Aim To Prevent Fast-Food Suits
Sen. Larry Mumber, R-Marion, has sponsored one bill seeking to
provide immunity to food and beverage companies from lawsuits
claiming they caused obesity or other health problems, The
Gannett News Service reports.

Sen. Mumper said his bill is a matter of avoiding frivolous
lawsuits and promoting citizens' "personal responsibility" for
their dietary habits.  Critics call the proposals unneeded and
too protective of negligent companies.

Sen. Mumper told the Gannett News Service the need for this
legislation became clear in August 2002, after the parents of
two girls sued McDonald's claiming the restaurant failed to
clearly disclose the ingredients and effects of its food.  "Even
though the (federal) judge in New York threw out the case, I
fully anticipate further attempts to bring these lawsuits
forward," he said.

Plaintiffs in the New York case argued the children were not
aware of the fast-food chain's high-fat, high-cholesterol
products, and sought to make the case a class-action suit for
all obese New York children who thought the restaurant played a
role in their weight gain.

Sen. Mumper's bill would make any Ohio manufacturer or supplier
of food and non-alcoholic beverages exempt from such suits,
arguing that current sanitation codes and disclosure laws
already provide necessary regulation on the industry.  Sen.
Mumper said his legislation would not shield businesses charged
with false or deceptive advertising, or those that violate
health regulations and injure consumers.

Richard Mason, executive director of the Ohio Academy of Trial
Lawyers, told the Gannett News Service the proposals will cheat
consumers by giving businesses too much protection.  "This is
another example of large corporations who fear being held
accountable for the mistakes they make," he said. "Our view is
that frivolous lawsuits should be dismissed, but judges and
juries are competent to handle those decisions."

Gail Baker, executive director of the Central Ohio Restaurant
Association, told the Gannett News Service that case points to a
larger issue of misplaced blame.  "Imagine how you would feel if
you were sued for providing what the public asked for," she
said.  "All foods can be part of a healthy diet. The key is

Both obesity bills had their first hearing Wednesday.  Sen.
Mumper said he hopes future hearings on the issue will include
debate on the larger issues, causes of obesity and how it can be
dealt with.

PANWORLD MINERALS: Utah Court Sentences Trader For Stock Fraud
The Honorable Judge Paul G. Cassell of the U.S. District Court
for Utah sentenced Jerome M. Wenger, formerly of Bethesda,
Maryland, to serve 46 months in federal prison and ordered him
to pay $1,000,000 immediately as a fine.
Mr. Wenger was convicted on August 26, 2003, for failing to
disclose in 1994 that he had been paid 2.1 million shares of
PanWorld Minerals International Inc., a Utah company, to
recommend on his national radio shows and newsletters titled
"The Next SuperStock" that investors buy PanWorld's stock.  he
jury also found that Wenger failed to disclose that he was
selling PanWorld stock at the same time that he was recommending
investors should buy.  Mr. Wenger was convicted of two counts of
violating Section 17(b) of the Securities Act of 1933, and one
count of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
and Rule 10b-5.

The suit is styled "U.S. v. Wenger, case no. 2:99 CR 260 USDC
C.D. Utah."

RYANAIR: Court Orders Payment of Damages In Wheelchair Lawsuit   
A Great Britain Court ordered Irish budget airline Ryanair to
pay GBP1,336 (US$2,418) to a disabled traveler who was forced to
pay to use a wheelchair at London Stansted airport, Agence
France-Presse reports.

Plaintiff Bob Ross, 54, whose cerebral palsy makes it difficult
for him to walk, filed the landmark suit.  Mr. Ross was charged
18 pounds for the use of a wheelchair when he travelled from
London to Perpignan in southwestern France in February 2002 and
again on his return journey a month later.  He told the court
that he rarely used a wheelchair, preferring crutches or sticks
instead, but that he found walking extremely painful.

Judge Crawford Lindsay ruled Friday that Ryanair had acted
unlawfully by not ensuring that a wheelchair was provided free
of charge for Mr. Ross to use at Stanstead, the British
capital's third airport after Heathrow and Gatwick.  Judge
Lindsay said in his judgment: "As appears from the evidence, the
reasons for Ryanair's policy were commercial . They could and,
in my judgment, should have changed that policy so as to pay the
cost for all passengers who required a wheelchair."

Mr. Ross told reporters outside the court, "I hope that Ryanair
will see that it's wrong to charge disabled passengers for the
use of wheelchairs and get rid of the charges."

Ryanair said in a statement that it would appeal against the
decision, which it criticized as "defective," AFP reports.  It
was the responsibility of the airport authorities to provide
wheelchair assistance, the company argued.  "We wish to
reiterate that Ryanair has never charged any wheelchair
passenger for assistance at any airport including Stansted," the
statement said, noting that Ross was not travelling in a
wheelchair. "In the case of wheelchair passengers, Ryanair
absorbs the cost of this assistance at Stansted and the tiny
minority of other airports around Europe where this service is
not provided free of charge by the airport operator."

The Disability Rights Commission, which launched the case on
behalf of Mr. Ross, wants Ryanair to pay compensation to 35
disabled people who have complained about paying the wheelchair
charge.  "Perhaps before counting their pennies, Ryanair should
have considered the cost to their reputation and the distress
caused to disabled people by acting in such a discriminatory
way," the commission's chairman, Bert Massie told AFP.

SALLIE MAE: Announces SEC Investigation Into Company Accounting
The Securities and Exchange Commission is conducting an inquiry
into Sallie Mae's accounting practices, the Associated Press

The Reston, Virginia-based company, the nation's largest holder
of student loans, said Friday in a brief statement that the
SEC's inquiry concerned "year-end accounting entries" made by
employees of one of its recently acquired subsidiaries.

"While the amounts in question appear to be less than $100,000,
the company and its audit committee take such matters very
seriously and are taking all appropriate actions," the statement
said, AP reports.  SEC spokesmen declined to comment.

Attention has been drawn to the accounting troubles of Freddie
Mac, a government-sponsored company that is the second-largest
U.S. buyer of home mortgages. Freddie Mac misstated by $5
billion its earnings for 2000-2002, bringing the ouster of four
top executives since June and investigations by the SEC and the
Justice Department. Federal regulators fined the company $125
million in December.

SILVERSTREAM SOFTWARE: Reaches Settlement For Securities Suits
SilverStream Software, Inc. reached a memorandum of
understanding to settle several class actions filed against it
and several of its former officers and directors, as well as the
underwriters who handled the Company's two public offerings.

The suit, filed on behalf of certain former stockholders of
SilverStream who purchased shares of SilverStream common stock
between August 16, 1999 and December 6, 2000, all allege
violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1933, as amended,
and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.

In particular, they allege, among other things, that there was
undisclosed compensation received by the underwriters of the
public offerings of the Company.  The plaintiffs are
seeking monetary damages, statutory compensation and other
relief that may be deemed appropriate by the court.

While the Company believes that it and its former officers and
directors have meritorious defenses to the claims, a Memorandum
of Understanding has been reached between many of the defendants
and the plaintiffs which contemplates a settlement of the
claims.  The finalization of any settlement, however, has not
been completed.

SUHAD FOOD: Recalls Sundried Tomatoes For Undeclared Sulfites
Suhad Food Corporation, 223 Dyckman Street, New York, in
cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is
recalling "Agro Sun Brand Sundried Tomatoes" for undeclared

Sulfites can cause deadly reactions in asthmatics and others
suffering sulfite allergies. No illnesses have been reported to
date.  The product is packaged in a 3 ounce, clear ridged,
plastic container that is uncoded. It was sold in the New York
City metropolitan area.

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

Consumers who have purchased "Agro Sun Brand Sundried Tomatoes"
should return them to the place of purchase

TEXAS: HUD Reaches Settlement for Housing Discrimination Lawsuit  
The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development
(HUD) reached a settlement for a lawsuit filed against it, by
three blacks, alleging widespread public housing discrimination
throughout East Texas, the Associated Press reports.

Federal Judge William Wayne Justice found HUD had maintained a
system of segregated housing in 36 counties and ordered the
federal agency to integrate them.  Specifically, he ordered the
176 public housing sites throughout the region to desegregate so
that no more than 75 percent of their residents were of one

Under the settlement, federal court oversight of HUD's
operations in east Texas will end when the agency creates an
additional 1,500 integrated housing opportunities in the region.  
The pact, which affects an estimated 10,000 low-income families,
brings an end to what was considered the largest housing
discrimination lawsuit in US history.

"We are very pleased to have achieved that in cooperation with
all parties involved," HUD spokesman Scott Hudman said, AP

Dallas-based civil rights lawyer Mike Daniel, who filed the
lawsuit nearly 24 years ago, told AP the settlement shouldn't
have taken so long.  "It seemed so obvious. It was so
segregated," he said.  "Who knew we would run into the
resistance that we did, brutal resistance?"

In 1980, only one housing unit in the 36 counties was
integrated, Mr. Daniel added.  Today, an estimated 45 percent of
black families and 67 percent of white families who live in
public housing live in integrated units.  "The black projects
have air conditioning, they've got better facilities," he said.  
"There are streets paved that otherwise never would have gotten
paved. It's clearly made a difference out there in the universe
that it was dealing in."

UNITED SERVICES: Appeals Court Affirms Summary Judgment in Suit
The United States Court of Appeals of Texas affirmed a ruling by
the 151st District Court, Harris County, which granted summary
judgment, in the Defendants favor, of a lawsuit brought against
United Services Automobile Association and the USAA Casualty
Insurance Company, on behalf of Plaintiff Albert Hassler, et al.

The dispositive issue in this case is whether the standard
personal auto policy provides coverage for diminished value when
an insured policyholder's vehicle has been damaged, but
adequately repaired. In American Mfrs. Mut. Ins. Co. v.
Schaefer, the Supreme Court of Texas ruled that the Texas
Standard Personal Auto Policy affords no coverage to compensate
an insured policyholder for diminished value of an adequately
repaired vehicle. As in the Schaefer case, it is undisputed that
the repairs in this case were not "faulty, incomplete, or

Hassler initially filed his action in the trial court as a class
action. After Hassler moved for partial summary judgment on
coverage, USAA filed its cross-motion for summary judgment on
coverage. The trial court rendered a final judgment in favor
of USAA. Plaintiff appealed.

                 New Securities Fraud Cases

ADVANCED MARKETING: Paskowitz & Associates Files Lawsuit in CA
Paskowitz & Associates initiated a class action lawsuit in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of
California, on behalf of purchasers of Advanced Marketing
Services Inc. common stock between January 16, 1999 and January
13, 2004, inclusive.

The complaint alleges that certain Advanced Marketing senior
officers, and the Company, violated the Securities Exchange Act
of 1934.

During the Class Period, Defendants are alleged to have issued
or caused to be issued a series of false and misleading
statements to the marketplace resulting in Advanced Marketing's
stock price trading at artificially inflated levels. The
Company's stock traded as high as $25.00 during the relevant
period. On January 14, 2004, the Company announced that it would
restate its previously filed financial statements for each of
the fiscal years in the five-year period ending March 31, 2003.
The false and misleading statements allegedly concern the
Company's net income, advertising revenue and related costs.
Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of class members
and is represented by Paskowitz & Associates, which has
significant experience and expertise in prosecuting class
actions on behalf of investors and shareholder in state and
federal courts.

For more information, contact Paskowitz & Associates, by Phone:
1-800-705-9529 toll free, or by E-mail: classattorney@aol.com.

EDWARD D. JONES: Cauley Geller Files Securities Suit in E.D. MO
Cauley Geller Bowman & Rudman, LLP initiated a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Missouri, on behalf of all who purchased or
otherwise acquired shares or ownership units of Lord Abbett &
Co., American Funds, Federated Investors, Inc., Goldman Sachs
Group Inc., Hartford Mutual Funds Inc., Putnam Investments
Family of Mutual Funds, and Van Kampen Investments Family of
Mutual Funds, during the period between January 25, 1999 and
January 9, 2004, inclusive, against Edward D. Jones & Co. L.P.,

     (1) John W. Bachmann,

     (2) Douglas E. Hill,

     (3) Michael R. Holmes,

     (4) Richie L. Malone,

     (5) Steven Novik,

     (6) Darryl L. Pope, and

     (7) Robert Virgil Jr.

The lawsuit alleges violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated

More specifically, the complaint alleges that defendants failed
to disclose and/or indicate, during the Class Period, that:

     (i) Edward Jones brokers entered into "revenue sharing"
         agreements with seven Mutual Fund companies;

    (ii) Edward Jones exclusively trained its brokerage staff to
         sell the seven Mutual Funds that entered into "revenue
         sharing" agreements with Edward Jones;

   (iii) Edward Jones discouraged its brokers from contacting
         and selling other mutual funds where no "revenue
         sharing" agreement had been made with Edward Jones; and

    (iv) Edward Jones brokers and representatives received extra
         compensation when they sold any of the seven Mutual
         Funds to Class Members.

The full extent of defendants' fraudulent scheme was finally
revealed on January 9, 2004, when The Wall Street Journal
published an article that disclosed Edward Jones' scheme. More
specifically, the article stated that when training its brokers
in fund sales, Edward Jones gave them information almost
exclusively about the seven "preferred" Mutual Funds. Bonuses
for brokers depend in part on selling the preferred Mutual
Funds, and Edward Jones generally discouraged contact between
brokers and sales representatives from rival funds. But while
revenue sharing and related incentives were familiar to industry
insiders, Edward Jones did not tell customers about any of these

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

GENESIS HEALTH: Pomerantz Haudek Launches Securities Suit in NY
Pomerantz Haudek Block Grossman & Gross LLP initiated a lawsuit
in New York state court in Manhattan, on behalf of 275 former
holders of over $200 million worth of debentures issued by
Genesis Health Ventures Inc., against the Company, and:

     (1) Goldman Sachs & Co.,

     (2) Mellon Bank, N.A.,

     (3) Highland Capital Management, L.P. and

     (4) George V. Hager (Genesis' chief financial officer)

The complaint alleges that the defendants conspired to cause
Genesis to issue false financial information during its
bankruptcy proceedings, which understated the company's
earnings. Relying on this financial information, the Bankruptcy
Court approved a reorganization plan that awarded over 90% of
the capital stock of the reorganized Genesis to the senior
creditor group, including Goldman, Mellon and Highland, while
providing minimal distributions to the debenture holders and
other junior creditors.

The fraudulent scheme alleged in the complaint consists of about
a dozen instances where Genesis' earnings were "adjusted" during
the bankruptcy proceedings. While most of these adjustments,
taken alone, were relatively small, taken as a whole they
depressed Genesis' earnings by roughly 25%, and reduced the
valuation of the Company that was presented to the Bankruptcy
Court by hundreds of millions of dollars. Not surprisingly, the
Bankruptcy Court concluded that there was little, if any, value
left over for distribution to junior creditors.

"It takes quite a lot to get 275 bondholders this angry,"
commented H. Adam Prussin, counsel for the plaintiffs. The
scheme alleged here was "sophisticated and comprehensive," he

For more information, contact Ronen Sarraf, by Phone:
(212) 661-1100, (888) 476-6529 or (888) 4-POMLAW, or by E-mail:

ROYAL DUTCH: Marc Henzel Files Securities Fraud Suit in NJ Court
The Law Offices of Marc S. Henzel initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the District of
New Jersey against defendants Royal Dutch, Shell Transport,
Shell Petroleum N.V., the Shell Petroleum Limited, Maarten van
der Bergh, Judy Boynton, Malcolm Brinded, S.L. Miller, Harry
J.M. Roels, Paul D. Skinner, M. Moody- Stuart, Jeroen van der
Veer, and Philip R. Watts on behalf of purchasers of the
securities, including the common stock traded in overseas
markets and the American Depository Receipts trading on the
NYSE, of Royal Dutch Petroleum Company (NYSE: RD) and/or The
Shell Transport and Trading Company, PLC (NYSE: SC) between
December 3, 1999 and January 9, 2004, inclusive (the "Class
Period"), seeking to pursue remedies under the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act").

According to the complaint, defendants violated sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder by the Securities and Exchange
Commission, and all amendments thereto by issuing a series of
material misrepresentations to the market during the Class

The complaint alleges that defendants deliberately violated
accounting rules and guidelines relating to oil and gas reserves
which resulted in a shocking and unprecedented overstatement of
oil and gas reserves, the eventual disclosure of which damaged
purchasers of Royal Dutch and Shell Transport securities and
rocked the investment community. The complaint alleges that
Royal Dutch and Shell Transport had classified and reported, in
SEC filings and other public documents, certain reserves as
"proved reserves" from a project off the western coast of
Australia called the Gorgon Joint Venture, and various projects
in Nigeria. In fact, unbeknownst to investors, the reserves did
not meet SEC and industry requirements necessary to be
classified as "proved," and were improperly reported as proved
reserves in Royal Dutch's and Shell Transport's financial
reports, thereby materially artificially inflating a key measure
of the companies' financial position and competitive standing.
As a result of these material misrepresentations, Royal Dutch
and Shell Transport's true value in the marketplace was severely
overstated and misunderstood.

On January 9, 2004, Royal Dutch announced that it was going to
write-down its proved oil and gas reserves by 20%, or 3.9
billion barrels, from 19.5 billion barrels to 15.6 billion
barrels. The write-down: (a) cut Shell's reserve life from 13.4
years to 10.6 years; (b) increased its worldwide 5-year average
reserve replacement cost per barrel from $5.49 to $12.57 --
$7.06, or 128% greater than the industry average of $5.51; (c)
increased Shell's finding and development costs to $7.90 per
barrel -- well above the costs of its competitors; and (d)
reduced Shell's Appraised Net Worth downward by up to 7.1%, or
$9.6 billion. Following the announcement, Royal Dutch ADRs fell
7.87% from $52.76 to $48.61 on the NYSE and Royal Dutch ordinary
shares fell by 7.10% from the U.S. equivalent of $52.91 to
$49.15 on the Amsterdam exchange. Shell Transport ADRs were down
6.96% from $44.81 to $41.69 on the NYSE and Shell Transport
ordinary shares were down 6.84% on the London exchange from the
U.S. equivalent of $7.36 to $6.86. In addition, Moody's placed
the Aaa rating of Royal Dutch and Shell Transport under review
for possible downgrade because the write-down materially and
adversely affected the companies' reserves-to-debt ratio.

Following the belated disclosure, most analysts and commentators
concluded that, because of the magnitude of the write-down and
the clear SEC and industry guidelines relating to reserve
classification, the reserve overstatements could not have been a
result of error or accident, but rather, that the reserves were
knowingly overstated to preserve the companies' credit rating
and to shore up their competitive position.

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

TELEVISION AZTECA: Marc Henzel Lodges Securities Suit in S.D. NY
The Law Offices of Marc S. Henzel initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York on behalf of all purchasers of the of
Television Azteca SA de CV (NYSE: TZA) from October 6, 2003
through January 7, 2004, inclusive.

During the Class Period defendants failed to disclose certain
related- party transactions between a privately-held company
jointly owned by the Company's Chairman, Ricardo Salinas Pliego
and the Company's President, M. Saba Masri and one of the
Company's affiliates -- Unefon Corporacion RBS, a wireless
telecommunications provider in Mexico.

Specifically, defendants denied any affiliation with a "white-
knight" group of investors that had saved Unefon from bankruptcy
back in June of 2002. Defendants stonewalled disclosure of the
true facts, including ignoring advice from their securities
lawyers in the U.S., until a spin-off of Unefon was completed in
December 2002. The spin-off anticipated that Unefon's shares
would be registered to trade in the U.S. markets facilitating a
merger with Salinas' other telecommunications holdings.

Then, on January 9, 2004, defendants stunned the markets by
admitting that the "white-knight" investors were in fact Salinas
and Saba who made a profit of $218 million when their privately-
held company bought Unefon's debt for $107 million and then sold
it back for $325 million.

Market reaction to defendants' belated disclosures was severe.
By January 12, 2004, the first day of trading following the
Company's admission, the price of TV Azteca securities fell more
than 14.9 percent in value to close at $7.76 per share in heavy
trading volume.

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

VANS INC.: Marc Henzel Launches Securities Fraud Suit in C.D. CA
The Law Offices of Marc S. Henzel initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the Central
District of California on behalf of purchasers of Vans, Inc.
(NASDAQ:VANS) common stock during the period between March 24,
1999 and May 23, 2002.

The complaint charges Vans and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934. Vans is a global sports-and-lifestyle company that
merchandises, designs, sources and distributes VANS-branded
active-casual and performance footwear, apparel and accessories.

The complaint alleges that beginning in 1998, defendants
orchestrated a scheme wherein on a routine basis Vans "posted"
product to three separate Distribution Centers, including Unique
Services, Pronto Services and Special Dispatcher, in order to
inflate EPS on a quarterly basis. This scheme took place each
quarter, causing Vans' quarterly financial statements to be
false. Moreover, defendants actively concealed that literally
millions of dollars worth of Vans' valuable inventory was worth
a fraction of the value claimed.

As a result of the defendants' false statements, Vans' stock
price traded at inflated levels during the Class Period,
increasing to as high as $24.59 on May 31, 2001, whereby the
Company and its top officers and directors caused to be sold $60
million worth of Vans shares.

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


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


S U B S C R I P T I O N   I N F O R M A T I O N

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
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Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick, Maryland
USA.  Roberto Amor, Aurora Fatima Antonio and Lyndsey Resnick,

Copyright 2004.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
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Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed
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