/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/990217.MBX              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

            Wednesday, February 17, 1999, Vol. 1, No. 9


AMAGASKI POLLUTION: Japanese Suit to be Settled Out of Court
CITIZENS UTILITY: Offers Nogales Residents $500,000 for Outages
DATASTREAM SYSTEMS: Berger & Montague File Suit in South Carolina
EXXON CORP.: Deadline for Spill Claims Extended
GENCOR INDUSTRIES: Bashian Firm Files Complaint in Florida

GUN MANUFACTURERS: City of Akron Explores Gun Violence Costs
GUNTHER INTERNATIONAL: Posts Positive Third Quarter Earnings
HOLOCAUST VICTIMS: Germany Discusses Slave Labor Fund                       
HOLOCAUST VICTIMS: Efforts to Make Victims' Recoveries Tax Free
HOLOCAUST VICTIMS: 12 German Firms Agree to Establish $1.7B Fund

LERNOUT & HAUSPIE: Lowey Dannenberg File Complaint in New York
LLOYDS OF LONDON: Names Widen Litigation Net, Suing US Attorneys
PAN AM 103: Libya Agrees to Bring Bombing Suspects to Trial
SAIPAN LABORERS: Milberg Weiss Prepares Three Class-Action Suits
TOBACCO LITIGATION: UK Suits Adjourned at Plaintiffs' Request

TOBACCO LITIGATION: Union Health & Welfare Funds Going to Trial


AMAGASKI POLLUTION: Japanese Suit to be Settled Out of Court
Nine companies in an air pollution suit lasting more than a
decade have decided to pay at least 2 billion yen in compensation
to patients and families of deceased victims in a court-brokered
compromise, judiciary sources said Monday, according to a Kyodo
News release from Kobe.  

It will be the first settlement of a suit over air pollution in
Japan that has been settled before a district court ruling.  The
settlement will be made at the Kobe District Court on Wednesday.

In the dispute, 379 officially recognized patients of diseases
caused by air pollution and families of dead victims in
Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture, demanded  the government, Hanshin
Expressway Public Corp. and nine companies pay a total 9.2
billion yen in damages.

The plaintiffs will negotiate with the central government and the
public corporation later to settle the case, Kyodo sources said.  
As plaintiffs have grown old and some of the original plaintiffs
have died during the long-running trial, they hoped for early
settlement of the case, the sources said.

Although the district court was scheduled to conclude the hearing
March 26, the nine companies may have decided to settle since
they were expected to lose the suit as many other companies
facing air pollution suits have, Kyodo's sources explained.  

Four hundred and seventy-two officially recognized patients of
diseases caused by air pollution and 11 bereaved families filed a
suit with the court in December 1988.  Seven years later, another
14 patients and one bereaved family also filed a suit with the
court.  About 120 of the plaintiffs have since died.

Kansai Electric Power Co., one of the nine companies, intends to
dispute its responsibility, arguing that it has taken steps to
clean plant smoke.  The other companies are Sumitomo Metal
Industries Ltd., Kobe Steel Ltd., Asahi Glass Co., Kubota Corp.,
Kansai Coke and Chemical Co., Furukawa Co., Godo Steel Ltd. and
Nakayama Steel Products Co.

CITIZENS UTILITY: Offers Nogales Residents $500,000 for Outages
A proposal ending Nogales' complaint over spotty electric service
would gain the city and its residents nearly $500,000 in rebates
and programs, but no  written guarantee of improved service.   
This week, Nogales City Council will consider the proposed
settlement with Citizens Utilities, which left Santa Cruz County
customers without power nine times in a four-month period late
last year, according a report appearing in the Arizona Daily

The utility would give one-time $15 rebates to each of its
approximately 12,500 customers in the county.  It also would
donate about $300,000 to social programs, including the mayor's
anti-poverty committee, a new economic development group and
college scholarships.  Citizens also would distribute claim forms
for damage that customers suffered during outages last year.
Customers could take any claims that Citizens denies to a
compulsory arbitration session.

In return, the city would rescind the complaint it filed in
October with the  Arizona Corporation Commission and agree not to
join a class-action lawsuit filed by a local hotel over the

City administrators finalized the proposed settlement last week,
said Ignacio Barraza, the assistant city administrator.  The City
Council will consider the deal at noon today at City Hall.

Citizens Utilities officials say they are making improvements to
better ensure Santa Cruz County's power supply and plan to add a
sought-after second transmission line with an estimated $12
million price tag.  But none of that is in the proposed
agreement.  The promise of a solution to the county's electric
service problems lies not in the proposed settlement but in the
utility's aggressive actions, Barraza said.  "The infrastructure
problems are being taken care of as we speak," Barraza said.
Citizens is "concentrating a major force of people down here in
hopes of dealing with the immediate needs."

DATASTREAM SYSTEMS: Berger & Montague File Suit in South Carolina
Berger & Montague, P.C. announced that Datastream Systems Inc.
(NASDAQ:DSTM) and certain of its officers and directors engaged
in securities fraud, according to a class action complaint filed
in the United States District Court for the District of South
Carolina, Greenville Division, on Jan. 11, 1999, on behalf of all
persons who purchased Datastream common stock between April 1 and
Oct. 20, 1998.  

Neely v. Datastream, D.S.C., No. 699-008813.  The Complaint
alleges that defendants improperly inflated earnings from
operations by utilizing accounting treatments not in conformity
with generally accepted accounting practices.  Specifically, the
Complaint alleges that defendants (1) improperly accounted for
operating expenses as one-time charges connected to acquisitions;
and (2) beginning in the second quarter of  1998, capitalized
marketing expenses that had previously been expenses without  
disclosing a material change in its accounting practices.

The Complaint further alleges that defendants' misleading
positive statements artificially inflated the price of
Datastream's common stock during the Class Period.

On Oct. 20, 1998, Datastream surprised investors by issuing a
press release announcing disappointing earnings for the third
quarter of 1998.  The market reacted sharply to the announcement
with Datastream stock falling $4-1/8 or 29%, to $10 per share.
Datastream common stock had traded above $20 per share for much
of the Class Period.

EXXON CORP.: Deadline for Spill Claims Extended
The deadline for some fishermen and Natives to file claims under
the Exxon Supplemental Claims Program has been extended by a
federal judge.  U.S. District Judge Russel Holland extended the
deadline from February 1, 1999, to April 30, 1999.  The judge
ruled that because of logistical problems, such as locating some
claimants and postal service delays in rural Alaska, the
extension will help ensure that potential claimants can meet the
deadline, according to the Anchorage Daily News.  The claim
categories subject to the extension are:

   * Prince William Sound and Cook Inlet salmon seine, driftnet
     and setnet fishermen;

   * Kodiak salmon purse seine, beach seine and setnet fishermen;
   * Chignik salmon seiners; and

   * Alaska Native subsistence users.

Claim forms for other plaintiffs in the massive lawsuit against
Exxon for the 1989 oil spill will be sent out at a later date and
have a different filing deadline.  To request a claim form or for
questions call 1-800-397-7455.

GENCOR INDUSTRIES: Bashian Firm Files Complaint in Florida
James V. Bashian, P.C. announced that a class action lawsuit was
filed in the United States District Court for the Middle District
of Florida on behalf of purchasers of Gencor Industries, Inc.
(Amex:GX) common stock between  February 5, 1998 and January 28,

The complaint charges Gencor and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of Sections 10(b), 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder.  Among other things, plaintiff claims
that the defendants issued materially false and misleading
statements regarding the company's true financial condition and
operating performance.  On January 29, 1999, it was reported that
Gencor's "fiscal 1998 earnings per share  of $1.52 may be reduced
by as much as $0.35 to $0.50 per share" as a result of  
"accounting irregularities and other improprieties(.)"

GUN MANUFACTURERS: City of Akron Explores Gun Violence Costs
Akron, Ohio, officials, United Press International reports, will
study gun violence in their city and its impact before deciding
whether to join other U.S. cities suing gun makers.  Cleveland,
Chicago, New Orleans, Miami and Cleveland already are asking a
court to force manufacturers to put locks on guns and to pay the
costs of law enforcement and medical treatment.  Akron Law
Director Max Rothal will look into joining other cities in a
class-action suit or filing a separate suit, UPI indicates.

GUNTHER INTERNATIONAL: Posts Positive Third Quarter Earnings
Norwich, Connecticut-based Gunther International, Ltd., the  
defendant in a pending class action litigation relating to
financial and accounting problems previously announced by the
Company, announced that net income for the quarter ended December
31, 1998 was $167,424 on sales for the quarter of $5,682,042.  
For the nine months ended December 31, 1998, Gunther reported a
loss from operations of $777,290 and a loss from the cumulative
effect of an accounting change of $622,953 for a net loss of
$1,400,243 on sales of $14,376,018 for the nine-month period.  
All financial results, the Company notes, reflect the restatement
of the Company's financial statements, which was previously
announced on January 14, 1999.

HOLOCAUST VICTIMS: Germany Discusses Slave Labor Fund                       
>From Berlin, the Associated Press reports that German Chancellor
Gerhard Schroeder's chief of staff met with industry leaders over
the weekend to discuss details of a fund to compensate Nazi-era
slave laborers.  The five-hour closed negotiations in Bonn came
ahead of a planned Tuesday meeting between Schroeder and leaders
of Germany's biggest industries.  Creation of the fund was
expected to be announced after the meeting.

After taking office in October, Schroeder's government pledged to
administer the fund at the request of industries, banks and
insurance companies that have fallen under increasing pressure
from lawsuits seeking restitution for Holocaust victims.  
Previous German administrations had excluded slave laborers from
the $60 billion in reparations paid to Nazi victims, arguing that
they were technically working for private companies, such as
Siemens or Volkswagen.  In setting up the new fund, Germany has
sought assistance from the United States, Israel and Jewish
groups, with U.S. and Israeli ambassadors to Germany acting as
advisers.  Schroeder's chief of staff, Bodo Hombach, has also
traveled to the United States and Israel to discuss the fund.

Participants in weekend talks, however, sought to reassure
eastern European victims that they were not being left out of the
fund, according to a Die Welt newspaper report yesterday.  Die
Welt also quoted sources as saying that slave labor victims would
be compensated regardless of nationality or religion.

According to the AP, Poland in particular has pressed for a role
in determining the shape of the fund similar to that of the
United States and Israel.  More than 20,000 Poles who were forced
to work as slave laborers by the Nazis plan to file suit against
Germany for more than $1 billion in compensation.  They also plan
to seek millions of dollars from the Austrian government and
hundreds of Austrian companies that forced prisoners into labor.

The issue of compensation has become increasingly urgent in the
former Eastern bloc nations, where individuals were barred by the
former communist regimes from seeking restitution.  There are
about 800,000 former slave laborers living in eastern Europe,  
according to the newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

HOLOCAUST VICTIMS: Efforts to Make Victims' Recoveries Tax Free
The Illinois General Assembly will be asked this spring to
considering tax exemptions for survivors of the Nazi Germany  
Holocaust who receive financial settlements.  State
Representative Jeffrey Schoenberg, United Press International
reports, yesterday said he is sponsoring the bill  because he
does not think it right for the Illinois Department of Revenue to  
claim a portion of the settlement for tax purposes.

The bill, which is pending before an Illinois House committee,
would exempt Holocaust victims and their heirs from paying state
taxes on any awards received because of Nazi persecution.

If approved, UPI opines, the measure would be the most dramatic
gesture given by the General Assembly to Holocaust survivors.  
The Illinois government has provided some assistance in the past,
with the Illinois Department of Insurance providing legal help
free-of-charge to Holocaust survivors in filing claims for an

HOLOCAUST VICTIMS: 12 German Firms Agree to Establish $1.7B Fund
Twelve leading German companies -- Allianz AG, BASF AG, Bayer AG,
BMW AG, DaimlerChrysler AG, Degussa AG, Dresdner Bank AG, Fried
Krupp AG Hoesch Krupp, Hoechst AG, Siemens AG and Volkswagen AG
-- said on Tuesday they had received the backing of Chancellor
Gerhard Schroeder to establish a fund to compensate victims of
the Nazi Holocaust.  News reports have estimated that the fund
could be around three billion marks ($1.7 billion).

Schroeder said at a news conference with industry leaders that
the fund, whose total value has not yet been determined, was
designed to pre-empt future lawsuits against German companies
over their involvement in Nazi era injustices.

"Its function is to counter lawsuits, particularly class action
suits, and to remove the basis of the campaign being led against
German industry and our country," Schroeder said.    

Rolf Breuer, chief executive of Germany's largest bank Deutsche
Bank AG, described the fund as a milestone.  "It is a large step
in the right direction," he told the news conference.  "There are
still a lot of details to sort out."

A joint statement from the companies involved said the step had
been welcomed by the U.S. and Israeli governments as "positive
and brave".

LERNOUT & HAUSPIE: Lowey Dannenberg File Complaint in New York
On February 9, 1999, a class action lawsuit was filed in the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of New
York, on behalf of a class of purchasers of common stock and call
options of Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products N.V. (NYSE:LHSPF)
from February 3, 1998 through and including December 1, 1998.  
The suit names as defendants Lernout, its President and CEO
Gaston Bastiaens, and CFO Carl Dammekens for violations  of the
federal securities laws.

On December 1, 1998, Lernout admitted that the Securities and
Exchange Commission had challenged write-offs for in-process
research and development made in connection with Lernout's
acquisitions of Kurzweil Education Systems, Inc. and Tiksoft LLC
in September and October, 1998, respectively, and several other
acquisitions dating back to November 1996. Plaintiff alleges that
during the Class Period Lernout inflated earnings by taking
excessive write-offs for in-process research and development of
the companies acquired, thereby reducing the adverse impact of
acquisitions of earnings in subsequent quarters by improperly
failing to properly amortize goodwill of its acquisitions.
Plaintiff alleges that during the Class Period Lernout officers
and directors reaped more than $23 million in insider trading
proceeds by trading while in possession of  material adverse non-
public information about Lernout's improper accounting practices.
Between December 2-4, 1998, Lernout stock fell $7 to $33, losing  
17.5% of its value in reaction to the news.

LLOYDS OF LONDON: Names Widen Litigation Net, Suing US Attorneys
The law firms of Lord, Bissell & Brook and Mendes & Mount have
been served with a complaint, filed on February 8, 1999, in the
Supreme Court of the State of New York.  The complaint has been
filed and  served on behalf of 13 plaintiffs who were investors
in the loss-ridden Lloyd's of London insurance market.  Investors
in Lloyd's syndicates are commonly referred to as "Underwriters"
and/or "Names."

Plaintiffs in Anthoine vs. Lord, Bissell & Brook and Mendes &
Mount allege in their complaint that the defendant law firms,
long-time U.S. attorneys for Underwriters/Names at Lloyd's of
London, have:

   (1) committed legal malpractice;  

   (2) breached fiduciary duties owed to plaintiffs;

   (3) aided and participated in breaches of fiduciary duties
       owed to plaintiffs by others;

   (4) violated New York General Business Law (deceptive acts
       and practices);

   (5) committed common law fraud; and

   (6) engaged in an unlawful conspiracy.

Jonah Orlofsky, plaintiff's attorney from the firm of Plotkin,
Jacobs & Orlofsky, describes Anthoine vs. Lord, Bissell & Brook,
et al. as "a case that targets the U.S. attorneys who have
represented Names in numerous insurance claim defense cases over
many years."

"Exhibits filed in Anthoine vs. Lord, Bissell & Brook, et al.
reveal long-suppressed documentary evidence of fraud and
conspiracy, including more than 20 years of fraudulent syndicate
accounting and reserving at Lloyd's," commented Jeffrey C.
Peterson, Executive Director of the American Names Association  
(ANA).  The ANA is a non-profit association dedicated to serving
the interests of defrauded U.S. Names.

Four U.S. lawsuits now pend against third-party professional
firms that allegedly aided and abetted Lloyd's in perpetrating
fraud on Lloyd's U.S. Names:

   (1) Anthoine vs. Lord, Bissell & Brook, et al.; Supreme Court
       of the State of New York, County of New York; Index
       #99/102420, filed February 8, 1999;

   (2) In Re Lloyd's American Trust Fund Litigation; United
       States District Court, Southern District of New York;
       96 civ.1262, (RWS);

   (3) Richard D. Rosenblatt vs. Ernst & Young, a general
       partnership, et al.; Superior Court of California, County
       of San Diego, Vista Division; Case #N80207; and

   (4) Abeles, et al., vs. LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae, a   
       partnership, et al.; Los Angeles Superior Court;
       Case #BC146083, filed March 12, 1996.

The 310-year-old Lloyd's of London insurance market is not an
insurance company.  Rather, it is a constellation of syndicates
that independently insure risks and operate worldwide under a
common trade name and broker network.  Syndicates operate as
annual ventures backed by Names.  Between 1991 and 1995 the
Lloyd's market as a whole reported devastating losses.  Lloyd's
own (unaudited!) figures showed the losses to be in excess of  
$14 billion.  However, the May 13, 1995 New York Department of
Insurance (NYID) audit of Lloyd's U.S. situs trust funds revealed
a reserve deficiency of more than $18 billion.  The NYID audit
only covered the reserves for Lloyd's U.S. dollar denominated
business, which is about 40% of its worldwide business, according
to Lloyd's.

In recent years, numerous legal actions have been filed in U.S.
courts against the Corporation of Lloyd's.  Nearly all of these
cases against the Corporation of Lloyd's have been dismissed and
sent to the U.K. courts to be heard.  The cases were dismissed
based on forum selection clauses that stipulated to U.K.
jurisdiction for resolving disputes between Names and Lloyd's.  
The forum clauses were first inserted into Names' investment
contracts in 1987.

U.S. Names argue they are at a severe disadvantage in U.K. courts
for two reasons:

   (1) England has much weaker investor protection laws; and

   (2) Lloyd's secured self-regulatory status and almost complete
       immunity from lawsuits under a Private Act of Parliament
       in 1982.

PAN AM 103: Libya Agrees to Bring Bombing Suspects to Trial
As widely reported, Saudi Arabian diplomats told UN officials
that Libya has agreed to a deal to bring to trial two Libyan
suspects in the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am jet over Lockerbie,
Scotland, a UN spokesman said Saturday.  Saudi officials told UN
Secretary-General Kofi Annan that the Libyans have accepted a
U.S.-British offer, which will include the transfer of the
suspects from Libya to the Netherlands, UN spokesman Fred Eckhard
said.  The suspects will be tried in the Netherlands by Scottish
judges under Scottish law, Eckhard said.  If convicted, they
would be imprisoned in Scotland.

SAIPAN LABORERS: Milberg Weiss Prepares Three Class-Action Suits
This week's edition of Insight Magazine reports that the law firm
of Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach is filing three class-
action lawsuits in New York, Los Angeles and the Marianas capital
of Saipan of behalf of some 40,000 current and former garment
workers.  The plaintiffs seek more than $1 billion in unpaid
wages and damages, charging the Red Chinese enterprises with
perpetrating physical abuse, indentured servitude, forced
abortions and unsafe working conditions.  Fainting from the
sweatshop heat is alleged, as is serving employees spoiled and
bug-infested food dragging workers from rest-room stalls if they
exceed a four-minute time limit.

The legal actions are targeting not only the manufacturers in  
the Northern Marianas but also a list of leading U.S. companies
that import the products, including Ralph Lauren, The Gap Inc.,
J.C. Penney, Sears, Nordstrom and others.  Most of the companies
either have declined to comment or have said that they are not
responsible for the actions of contract suppliers.

Not long ago, Insight relates, a U.S. corrections expert visited
Saipan as a consultant to help the government with the location
and construction of a new prison.  As he rode with a local
official, he said, "Oh, yes, I see the old prison over there."
The local man replied, "No, we haven't reached the prison yet.
That's a garment factory."

TOBACCO LITIGATION: UK Suits Adjourned at Plaintiffs' Request
Imperial Tobacco and Gallaher Group said they agreed to an
adjournment of a UK smoking-claim court case in response to a
request by the plaintiffs.   

Monday, Reuters reported, the British government said that
possible legal action by the National Health Service against the
tobacco industry for the cost of treating smoking related
illnesses would be illegal.

TOBACCO LITIGATION: Union Health & Welfare Funds Going to Trial
On February 22, 1999, a class action suit filed against the
biggest tobacco companies in the United States will begin.  Over
100 Union Health and Welfare Funds will be the plaintiffs in the
case against RJR Nabisco, Brown and Williamson Tobacco Company,
Philip Morris, Lorilard, and the British American Tobacco
Company.  The case concerns trust funds that are jointly managed
by unions and employers to provide health care for union workers
and their families.  The Trust Funds filed suit seeking to
recover costs paid out for smoking related injuries.  This will
be the first trial for any such Trust Fund in the country.

The Plaintiff Trust Funds claim the Tobacco Industry engaged in a
decades-long conspiracy to cover up the health effects of
smoking, manipulate nicotine levels to keep smokers addicted and
target children, blue collar workers and African Americans.  The
suit also alleges the Tobacco Industry had the means of  
manufacturing safer and less addictive tobacco products but
conspired not to do so.  The Trust Funds say these actions
constitute violations of federal and state racketeering laws
(RICO) and a civil conspiracy.  The Court issued a forty-five
page scholarly opinion in September, citing to authorities not  
previously noted by other courts, allowing this case to go
forward, "If (the  claims) are proven, one can scarcely imagine
conduct more harmful."

"The fact that this case is going to trial and will be heard by a
jury is a big victory for working men and women of Ohio.  We have
spent decades contributing our hard-earned dollars into a medical
fund that is intended to protect us.  It should not be the
responsibility of these funds to pay for the medical burden that
the tobacco industry has created," said Michael Murphy, a
Union Trustee for Local 47 Welfare Fund.

"A victory in this case could force tobacco companies to disgorge
their profits and compensate the trust funds for illnesses
attributable to smoking.  The tobacco industry has spent a lot of
time and money to thwart our efforts and the efforts of other
funds around the country -- this is the first step towards making
things right," said John Porada, Management Trustee for the Iron
Workers Local 17.

Similar cases have been filed by Union Trust Funds around the
country. The trial in the Northern District of Ohio will give
impetus to other cases brought by employer/union health and
welfare trust funds that are now pending in major states
including Washington, New York, Tennessee, Kentucky, West
Virginia, Michigan, New Jersey, and California.

The plaintiffs include Iron Workers Local Union No. 17 Insurance
Fund, IBEW Local No.38 Health and Welfare Fund, Ohio Laborers'
District Council-Ohio Contractors' Association Insurance Fund,
Dealers-Unions Insurance Fund, Local 47 Welfare Fund No.1,  
Toledo Electrical Welfare Fund, as well as over 100 additional
funds that are also part of the class of plaintiffs.  



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

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Princeton, NJ, and Beard
Group, Inc., Washington, DC.  Peter A. Chapman, Editor.

Copyright 1999.  All rights reserved.  ISSN XXXX-XXXX.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
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