CAR_Public/990405.MBX              C L A S S  A C T I O N  R E P O R T E R

              Monday, April 5, 1999, Vol. 1, No. 42

                            Headlines

CHEVRON: Lawsuits Commence Following Richmond CA Explosion
CHS ELECTRONICS: Wechsler Harwood Files Complaint in Florida
CONSUMER PROTECTION: "Payday Loan" Lenders Face Complaints
HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS: Banks Sued in California
NICE SYSTEMS: US Suit Hits Israeli Digital Systems Maker

PARACELSUS HEALTHCARE: Settlement of Texas Securities Suit
PARTY CITY: Bashian Firm Files Complaint in New Jersey
PARTY CITY: Berman DeValerio Files Complaint in New Jersey
PARTY CITY: Wechsler Harwood Files Complaint in New Jersey
PARTY CITY: Weiss & Yourman File Complaint in New Jersey

PATHOGENESIS CORP.: Bernstein Litowitz Files Suit in Washington
PATHOGENESIS CORP: Cohen Milstein Files Complaint in Washington
SAFESKIN CORP.: Weiss & Yourman Files Complaint
TOTAL RENAL: Berman DeValerio Files Complaint in California
TRANS-RESOURCES: New Agreements Concerning 1998 Settlement

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CHEVRON: Lawsuits Commence Following Richmond CA Explosion
----------------------------------------------------------
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that personal injury
complaints are now being filed just days following a recent
fiery explosion in a Chevron hydrocracker unit. The first of
these may be the claim of Ruby Judge, who alleges that the
refinery's negligence allowed oily smoke containing caustic
sulfur compounds to billow through her neighborhood, worsening
her asthma and making her nauseated.

However, the report says that Chevron, county health officials
and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District insist that no
significant amounts of hydrogen sulfide or sulfur dioxide were
found in samples taken in neighborhoods near the refinery during
the fire. Following the incident, residents were advised to stay
indoors to avoid the smoke.

According to the SF Chronicle, Chevron's accident summary in a
report to the county health department does not say why a pipe
failed, leaking partially refined oil, which erupted in flames
moments after workers detected it. Officials did not expect
Chevron to address the cause at this point because access to the
damaged equipment, which smoldered for days, is still limited.

However, attorneys have already sued for negligence. The
Chronicle quotes Judge's attorney, Mike Meadows, as saying,
"These things don't happen without negligence on the part of the
operations or the maintenance." Meadows reportedly helped
negotiate an $80 million settlement for neighbors of a former
Unocal refinery in Rodeo that leaked catacarb over a two-week
period in 1994. His Walnut Creek firm is also representing the
family of one of four workers killed in a flash fire at Tosco's
refinery near Martinez on February 23.

Judge, 77, is described by the SF Chronicle as a longtime
Richmond resident, who says she suffered difficulty breathing,
coughing, headache, nausea, diarrhea and a persistent chemical
taste in her mouth. Judge reportedly attributes her pre-existing
asthma to past exposure to refinery releases. Her lawsuit asks
for punitive damages as well as a fund to monitor health effects
from the fire as well as the establishment of an improved
emergency warning system to warn residents of any future toxic
releases. Meadows reportedly said he expects all such suits,
including any class-action suits, to be consolidated for trial.

The SF Chronicle report also cited air district spokeswoman
Lucia Libretti, who said the agency is likely to issue at least
two citations against Chevron for creating a public nuisance and
for visible emissions from the refinery fire. No citations have
yet been issued. The story also notes that Dean Fryer, a
spokesman for Cal-OSHA, said the agency is investigating the
blast and fire even though no employees were seriously injured.
Two emergency workers received minor injuries, but Fryer said
the consequences could have been much worse.


CHS ELECTRONICS: Wechsler Harwood Files Complaint in Florida
------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit was filed by Wechsler Harwood Halebian &
Feffer LLP on March 26, 1999 in the United States District Court
for the Southern District of Florida, against CHS Electronics,
Inc. (NYSE: HS) and certain directors and officers. The
complaint seeks to recover on behalf of all persons who
purchased or otherwise acquired shares of CHS common stock
between June 19, 1998 and March 22, 1999.


CONSUMER PROTECTION: "Payday Loan" Lenders Face Complaints
----------------------------------------------------------
The Chicago law firm of Edelman & Combs has filed more class
action lawsuits in the federal district court in Chicago against
high-interest "payday loan," "title loan," and similar
establishments. The total number sued is now 20.

"Payday loans" are short term, very high interest rate loans.
The loans are typically two weeks in duration and carry annual
percentage rates of 200% to over 1,800%. At the end of the two
week term, the customer has the option of continuing the loan
for an additional period by paying the interest. The loans are
typically "rolled over" on multiple occasions.

Generally, companies which make "payday loans" do not advertise
the annual percentage rates. Instead, they advertise that the
loans cost $x per $100. The consumer does not see the annual
percentage rate until he or she is presented with the money.

"Payday loans" are generally made to consumers facing financial
emergencies. Once a consumer obtains a "payday loan," he or she
will often be unable to pay it off except from the proceeds of
additional "payday loans." Often, the "payday loan" store is the
last stop prior to bankruptcy court.

The lawsuits generally allege violation of the Truth in Lending
Act or Electronic Funds Transfer Act. In some cases, they allege
that the interest rates are so exorbitant that the loans are
unconscionable and in violation of laws regulating wage
assignments and collection practices. Some of the lawsuits name
individual owners of the payday loan establishments and lawyers
who try to enforce the loans.

Among the high-interest lenders being sued, and the annual
percentage rates charged by each, are: American Loan Company
521%; Americash 365%; Campus Cash Systems 469%; Cash Store 521%;
Chartwell Financial 427%; Check Into Cash 573%;Check-N-Go of
Illinois, Inc. 456%-521%; Fast Cash Advance 365%-456%; GFG Loan
Company 365%; Illinois Title Lenders 216%; Instant Cash Advance
(One Iron Ventures) 486%-912%; Nationwide Budget Finance 521%;
Paycheck Advance Express, Inc. 456%-521%; Payday Check Advance,
Inc., d/b/a Payday Express 521%; Payday Loan Corp. of Illinois
101%; Payday Loan Store of Calumet City, Inc. 684%-995%; Payday
Loan Store of Illinois, Inc. 695%; Payday Today Loans LLC 521%;
ShortTerm Loans 260%-342%; Sun Cash 240%-520%.


HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS: Banks Sued in California
---------------------------------------------
The Jerusalem Post reported on a new lawsuit accusing certain
banks of plundering Jewish assets in France during World War II.
According to the report, Chase Manhattan, JP Morgan and several
French banks, already being sued in US federal court in
Brooklyn, faced a new suit last week in a California state
court.

The Post reports that the latest suit was brought by the firm
Lieff, Cabraser on behalf of a 78-year-old survivor, Lily Mayer,
in San Francisco. Mayer sued under a California law that allows
a single plaintiff to seek restitution on behalf of the public,
according to the Bloomberg news agency.

On a related story, The Post also noted that a group of law
firms representing survivors in the $1.25 billion Swiss banks
settlement appealed to a federal judge to remove as "class
counsel" New York attorney Ed Fagan, who brought the original
suit against the banks in 1996.


NICE SYSTEMS: US Suit Hits Israeli Digital Systems Maker
--------------------------------------------------------
The Jerusalem Post reports that Nice Systems sank 3.12 percent
on the Tel Aviv exchange after US lawyers filed a class action
suit claiming the maker of digital recording systems misled
investors by delaying a report on product flaws.


PARACELSUS HEALTHCARE: Settlement of Texas Securities Suit
----------------------------------------------------------
Paracelsus Healthcare Corporation (NYSE: PLS) has entered into a
global settlement that, if approved by a federal court in Texas,
will resolve more than two years of litigation against the
Company involving the claims of a class of common stockholders
and shareholder derivative claims. Paracelsus, founded in 1981
and headquartered in Houston, Texas, owns or operates sixteen
hospitals and four skilled nursing facilities in nine states.

Shortly after its 1996 merger with Champion Healthcare
Corporation, which included two related public offerings,
Paracelsus announced a shortfall in earnings and an
investigation into certain accounting and financial reporting
practices and procedures of pre-merger Paracelsus. As a result,
the Company, certain of its current and former officers and
directors, its majority shareholder, its auditors, and certain
other parties, were named as a defendant in several putative
class and derivative actions. Paracelsus later restated its
financial statements for the five years preceding the merger.

The global settlement of the securities class actions and
derivative actions consists of three separate but related
agreements among many parties. To settle the class actions, the
Company will pay approximately $14 million in cash and
contribute approximately 1.5 million newly issued shares of
common stock to the class members. Other agreements oblige the
Company to pay certain costs and legal expenses.

Paracelsus expects to fund all or nearly all of these cash
contributions with the proceeds of its directors and officers
liability insurance policies. The Company's majority shareholder
will transfer 8.67 million shares of the Company's common stock
to certain separately represented former Champion shareholders
and 1.19 million shares of common stock to the class members.
The lead underwriter in the Company's equity offering that was
completed contemporaneously with the merger will contribute $1
million to the cash portion of the settlement on behalf of the
underwriting syndicate.

In connection with the settlements, the Company will be relieved
of certain obligations to make payments of approximately $12
million to former officers and directors who are parties to the
settlements and will terminate options held by current and
former officers and directors to purchase over 1.9 million
shares of the Company's stock at $0.01 per share.

Additional settlement provisions concern mutual releases,
corporate governance matters including changes in the Board of
Directors to reflect changes in ownership of the Company's stock
brought about by transfers in connection with the global
settlement, arrangements involving the Company's indemnification
of certain persons, the assignment of claims against the
Company's independent auditor, a note payable to the Company's
current majority shareholder, and the Company's buyout for $1
million and 1 million shares of common stock of the Company's
remaining obligations under a service agreement entered into at
the time of the merger with the person who is the ultimate legal
owner of the majority shareholder and is a former director of
the Company.

The class action and derivative action settlements are subject
to approval by the federal district court in Houston, Texas.
Before court approval, several events must occur including the
preparation of final settlement documentation, the preliminary
approval of that documentation by the court, the distribution of
notice to the affected parties, including potential class
members who will have an opportunity to opt out of the
settlement, and a hearing at which the parties will be entitled
to appear to voice their objections. The court will then decide
whether to enter a final order approving the settlements.

Because the settlement agreements were not signed until late
March, the Company and its independent auditors are working on,
but have not yet fully completed, a determination as to the
accounting treatment to properly reflect the provisions of the
global settlement in the financial statements of the Company as
of and for the year ended December 31, 1998. In order to provide
the Company and its auditors sufficient time to complete this
process, the Company has filed for an extension to delay the
filing of its Form 10-K for the period ending December 31, 1998.


PARTY CITY: Bashian Firm Files Complaint in New Jersey
------------------------------------------------------
The law offices of James Bashian, Esq., filed a class action
lawsuit on March 25, 1999, in the United States District Court
for the District of New Jersey, on behalf of all purchasers of
the common stock of Party City Corporation (NASDAQ: PCTY)
between October 22, 1998, and March 19, 1999.

The complaint charges Party City and certain officers and
directors with violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 as well as Rule 10b-5. The
complaint alleges that defendants issued a series false
statements and failed to disclose material facts concerning the
Company's financial condition, adequacy of internal controls,
and compliance with certain loan covenants.

Because of the issuance of a series of false and misleading
statements, the price of Party City common stock was
artificially inflated. Prior to the disclosure of the adverse
facts, certain insiders and directors sold over 90,000 shares of
Party City common stock to the unsuspecting investing public at
artificially inflated prices. Over $1.5 million in proceeds was
realized as a result of these sales.


PARTY CITY: Berman DeValerio Files Complaint in New Jersey
----------------------------------------------------------
Berman DeValerio & Pease LLP has filed a complaint against Party
City Corporation (Nasdaq: PCTY) for violating the federal
securities laws in a class action filed in the United States
District Court for the District of New Jersey on March 23, 1999.
The case was filed on behalf of all who purchased the common
stock of PCTY during the period February 26, 1998 through March
18, 1999.

The action charges that PCTY and certain of its officers issued
materially false and misleading statements. In particular, it is
charged that PCTY materially misrepresented its financial
condition and compliance with its loan covenants. Additionally,
it is alleged that certain of the defendants sold their PCTY
common stock with inside information for proceeds of more than
$1.5 million.

On March 18, 1999 PCTY announced that its year-end 1998 audit
would be delayed and that the company was "in default of certain
reporting covenants" on its secured credit facility. Upon the
revelation of this news, PCTY's stock plummeted 45% in a single
day, falling from $7 5/16 per share to $4 per share on March 19,
1999.


PARTY CITY: Wechsler Harwood Files Complaint in New Jersey
----------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit was filed by the law firm of Wechsler
Harwood Halebian & Feffer LLP on March 25, 1999, in the United
States District Court for the District of New Jersey, on behalf
of all purchasers of the common stock of Party City Corporation
(Nasdaq: PCTY) between October 22, 1998, and March 19, 1999.

The complaint charges Party City and certain officers and/or
directors with violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 as well as Rule 10b-5.


PARTY CITY: Weiss & Yourman File Complaint in New Jersey
--------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Weiss & Yourman filed a lawsuit against Party
City Corporation (Nasdaq: PCTY) on behalf of all purchasers of
stock between July 23, 1998 and March 19, 1999. The suit was
filed in the United States District Court for the District of
New Jersey.

The complaint charges Party City and certain of its executive
officers with violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The complaint alleges that
defendants issued a series of materially false and misleading
statements regarding the Company's financial condition and
results of operations. These false and misleading statements
caused the price of Party City's common stock to be artificially
inflated.


PATHOGENESIS CORP.: Bernstein Litowitz Files Suit in Washington
---------------------------------------------------------------
Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP, has filed a class
action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
Western District of Washington on behalf of all persons who
purchased securities of PathoGenesis Corporation (NASDAQ:PGNS)
or who sold put options between January 25, 1999 and March 22,
1999.

The complaint charges PathoGenesis, and certain officers and
directors, with violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as well as SEC Rule 10b-5.
Specifically, the complaint alleges that defendants issued
materially false and misleading statements concerning the market
for its sole product, the antibiotic Tobramycin ("TOBI"), a drug
for the treatment of cystic fibrosis.

The complaint further alleges that as a result of the issuance
of these statements, the price of PathoGenesis securities was
artificially inflated, providing an opportunity for the
Company's Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board to
sell 10,000 shares of PathoGenesis common stock to the investing
public at artificially inflated prices, and realize proceeds
from these sales of approximately $475,000.


PATHOGENESIS CORP: Cohen Milstein Files Complaint in Washington
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C. filed
a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Western
District of Washington on behalf of purchasers of the common
stock of PathoGenesis Corp. (Nasdaq:PGNS) during the period
between January 26, 1999 through March 22, 1999.

The complaint charges PathoGenesis and certain officers with
violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934. The complaint alleges that defendants
issued a series of materially false and misleading statements
regarding the market for its principal product tobramycin
solution for inhalation (TOBI).

On March 22, 1999, the Company announced that sales for the
first quarter would only be about $10 million, and that it
expected to report a net loss of $0.30 per share versus
consensus estimates of a $0.20 profit. In addition, the Company
said sales for the year would likely be in the $62 - $63 million
range as opposed to $90 - $100 million. As a result of this
announcement, the stock price fell on March 23rd by over 22
points, from approximately $34 per share to $12 per share on
volume of over 22 million shares.


SAFESKIN CORP.: Weiss & Yourman Files Complaint
-----------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit was filed by the law firm of Weiss &
Yourman on March 12, 1999 on behalf of all who purchased
securities of Safeskin Corp. (Nasdaq: SFSK) between January 12,
1999 and March 11, 1999.


TOTAL RENAL: Berman DeValerio Files Complaint in California
-----------------------------------------------------------
Berman DeValerio & Pease LLP has sued Total Renal Care Holdings,
Inc. (NYSE: TRL) for misleading investors by overstating its
earnings and understating expenses throughout 1998 and 1999. The
case was filed as a class action on behalf of all who purchased
the common stock of Total Renal Care during the period February
17, 1998 through February 17, 1999. The complaint, filed in the
United States District Court for the Central District of
California, charges defendants with violations of the federal
securities laws.

The action charges that Total Renal Care and certain of its
senior officers issued a series of false and misleading
statements about Total Renal Care's business, the successful
integration of Renal Treatment Centers, Total Renal Care's
earnings growth and financial condition, and its ability to
continue to achieve profitable growth. Specifically, it is
charged that defendants overstated earnings, understated
expenses and liabilities and concealed the failure of Total
Renal Care to establish adequate internal controls of Renal
Treatment Centers' accounting and management systems which it
acquired in February 1998.

On February 17, 1999, Total Renal Care disclosed weaker earnings
for the fourth quarter of 1998, announced it was writing- off
$11 million in receivables, and revealed it received a letter
from the Securities and Exchange Commission questioning the
Company's accounting practices. In response to the disclosures,
the price of Total Renal Care common stock plunged to $8 3/4 per
share, from a recent high of $36 1/8.


TRANS-RESOURCES: New Agreements Concerning 1998 Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------
Trans-Resources, Inc. released an announcement concerning recent
developments in the settlement of a class action lawsuit. Trans-
Resources, Inc., is a global developer, producer and marketer of
specialty plant nutrients and specialty industrial and
agricultural chemicals and distributes its products
internationally.

In August, 1998, the Company entered into conditional agreements
to settle the claims in the consolidated Louisiana class action
and the Mississippi suits relating to litigation to which the
Company was party. During March, 1999, amended and restated
conditional agreements to settle the claims were executed by the
parties.

These suits arose out of an October 23, 1995 release of nitrogen
tetroxide at a Bogalusa, Louisiana plant of a customer of one of
the Company's subsidiaries. The nitrogen tetroxide had been
produced and sold by one of the Company's subsidiaries. If the
conditions of the settlement are satisfied, the Company's
funding obligation would be an aggregate of $32 million plus
interest at 6.25% on the not as yet escrowed portion of $17
million as described below. The initial $10 million of the
funding obligation was deposited in escrow on August 31, 1998
and the Company is scheduled to escrow an additional $5 million
on March 31, 1999, $6.8 million on December 31, 2000, and $5.1
million on both June 30, 2001 and December 31, 2001.

The Company recorded a charge of approximately $36.2 million to
cover the cost of the conditional settlement and the related
legal expenses, with such charge being included in the caption
"Interest and other income (expense)-net" in the Company's
Consolidated Statement of Operations for the year ended December
31, 1998.



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

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