CAR_Public/990830.MBX                C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

                Monday, August 30, 1999, Vol. 1, No. 146

                               Headlines

AHP: Wyeth-Ayerst Settlement Could End NJ Suits, The Record(NJ) Says
ALDILA INC.: Not a Target of Carbon Fiber Price-Fixing Despite Subpoena
CHAMPION ENTERPRISES: Lionel Z. Glancy Files Securities Suit In Mich.
FEN-PHEN: Diet Drug Is Subject of More Than 25 Lawsuits in Kansas City
FEN-PHEN: MA Judge Orders Spoliation Sanction in Fen-Phen Case

FEN-PHEN: Philadelphia Fd. Judge Certifies Class For Medical Check-Ups
FEN-PHEN: Plaintiff Differences Preclude Class Cert, Ark. Sp. Ct. Rules
FEN-PHEN: The Legal Intelligencer Relates Conditional Cert. Of Class
FRUIT OF: Subject To Claims For Hazardous Wastes At Superfund Sites
GENERAL DYNAMICS: Contests Verdict By CA Ap. Ct. Over Plan Concealment

GENERAL DYNAMICS: May Settle For Some Claims Over Water Contamination
GENERAL DYNAMICS: May Settle Suit Re Soil And Groundwater Contamination
GENERAL MOTORS: CNN Coverage On Settlement For Gas Tank Explosion
GENERAL MOTORS: Dealers Battling Against Regional Advertising
GENERAL MOTORS: Investor's Business Daily Talks About Jury Award

GENERAL MOTORS: Rejects Burned Plaintiffs' Offer To Settle Damages
HOLOCAUST VICTIMS: Jews Urge Schroeder To Intervene To Speed Deal
HOLOCAUST VICTIMS: Nazi Slave Britons In Battle For Payment
HOLOCAUST VICTIMS: Russia Nazi-Era Slaves Sue German Companies
PROVOST UMPHREY: Former Non-Equity Partner Sues Over Fee Disbursement

SABRATEK CORP.: Milberg Weiss Will File Second Amended Securities Suit
SUGARMAN AUCTIONEERS: Pleads Guilty In Miami Ct To Embezzling From FDIC
U.S. NAVY: Ap. Ct. Remands Case Over Default Termination of Contract
YASHIN: Senators Fans Threaten To Sue Yashin, Alleging Greediness

                              *********

AHP: Wyeth-Ayerst Settlement Could End NJ Suits, The Record(NJ) Says
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A proposed settlement between American Home Products and thousands of
women who used the Norplant contraceptive could end several lawsuits in
New Jersey involving women who claim injury from the birth-control
device.

Norplant, which remains on the market and is considered safe by the Food
and Drug Administration, consists of six thin capsules injected into
women's arms to prevent pregnancy. The device has been implanted in 4.5
million women worldwide, including 1 million in the United States.

"After months of negotiations with American Home Products Corp., we feel
that it is in the best interest of the vast majority of our clients to
accept this settlement," said Turner Branch, an Albuquerque, N.M.,
lawyer and co-chairman of a committee of attorneys representing Norplant
plaintiffs.

The company's stock fell $ 1.81 1/4 to $ 46 a share on the New York
Stock Exchange.

The settlement is expected to cover the claims of more than 36,000 women
who experienced irregular menstrual bleeding, nausea, depression, or
other problems associated with Norplant. Terms were not disclosed, but
The Dallas Morning News reported that the company could pay more than $
50 million including lawyers' fees, or about $ 1,500 per plaintiff.

"Settling these cases was purely a business decision," said Joseph M.
Mahady, president of American Home's North American pharmaceuticals
division, in a statement. "Our legal success has come at a steep price
because lawsuits are time-consuming, expensive, and have a chilling
effect on research."

The pact comes as American Home defends itself in thousands of much
costlier lawsuits by people who say they were injured using the fen-phen
diet-drug combination. American Home's Pondimin comprised one-half of
fen-phen, a combination taken by millions of Americans but which was
never sanctioned by the FDA. American Home also distributed Redux, a
drug similar to Pondimin that also was withdrawn from the market over
concerns that the drugs could damage heart valves and cause a rare but
often fatal lung disorder.

The first U.S. trial of a class-action lawsuit by still-healthy users of
Pondimin and Redux is now under way in New Brunswick. Lawyers
representing an estimated 94,000 New Jersey residents want the company
to pay for regular medical tests that would detect heart or lung
problems.

One analyst said it's a good thing that the company is putting Norplant
behind it, but that the settlement is almost infinitesimal compared to
the cost of fen-phen. Some experts have said the much larger diet-drug
litigation could cost the company several billion dollars over 10 years
or more. "Norplant is certainly a lot less bothersome than fen-phen,"
said securities analyst Richard Stover, of Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder
in New York.

Norplant lawsuits charge that the device was defective because the
company failed to adequately convey the extent of the side effects.
Plaintiffs also said Norplant was inappropriately marketed as a
mainstream contraceptive without strong enough labeling.

But American Home, based in Madison, insists the device is safe when
used as directed under the auspices of a doctor. The company admits no
wrongdoing in the settlement. "Wyeth-Ayerst will continue to make
[Norplant] available to doctors for their patients," said Dr. Philip de
Vane, vice president of clinical affairs for Wyeth-Ayerst, American
Home's pharmaceuticals division.

American Home embarked on a massive advertising campaign for Norplant in
the early Nineties. The drug was heavily advertised in Glamour,
Mademoiselle, and Cosmopolitan magazines.

That marketing was scrutinized by the New Jersey Supreme Court in a
recent decision that denied American Home's motion to dismiss several
Norplant cases.

Many of the New Jersey Norplant cases are being handled by East
Brunswick lawyer Richard Galex. He said Thursday he's unfamiliar with
the specifics of the settlement and has not advised clients whether to
accept the offer. Galex represents 60 women who used Norplant, all of
whom will be eligible for the settlement. An unknown number of other
women in New Jersey will be eligible, he said. "Right now, I don't have
any specifics. If there's a settlement proposal on the table that would
affect my clients, we will certainly consider an offer," Galex said.

According to The Dallas Morning News, each plaintiff who filed a case
before March 1 can obtain a $ 1,500 settlement. Plaintiffs have 120 days
to accept the terms once they are notified. If they refuse, their cases
will proceed in court, where American Home already has sought to have
them dismissed.

The settlement doesn't address claims from several hundred women who
developed serious injuries while the device was implanted. Those claims
will be handled individually.

The company says its Norplant defense team has won three jury verdicts,
more than 20 summary judgments before trial, and the dismissal of
thousands of Norplant-related claims.

"The company will defend any and all new lawsuits aggressively,"
Wyeth-Ayerst spokeswoman Audrey Ashby said. Norplant, Ashby said, "is
not a major portion of the company's portfolio at this stage." The
settlement, she added, "will not have a material impact on the company."
(The Record (New Jersey) 8-27-1999)


ALDILA INC.: Not a Target of Carbon Fiber Price-Fixing Despite Subpoena
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Aldila, Inc. said it had received verbal assurance from the U.S.
Department of Justice that the company is not at this time a target of
the grand jury investigation into alleged price fixing by certain
producers of carbon fiber and prepreg material, although it has been
subpoenaed as a subject of the investigation. The company also stated
that it is not a defendant in any class action lawsuits and that none of
its manufacturing facilities have been "raided" by the federal
government.

"Aldila was to a substantial extent a purchaser of carbon fiber and
graphite prepreg material for its core golf shaft operations, rather
than a seller of these products, during the period we understand is
covered by the investigation," said Gary T. Barbera, Chairman and Chief
Executive Officer, Aldila, Inc. "Although Aldila has sold graphite
prepreg to outside customers since 1997, the majority of the company's
prepreg material has been consumed in our core golf shaft operations
since prepreg production began in 1994." "Aldila's production of carbon
fiber began in Evanston, Wyoming in 1998 and the company has sold
limited amounts of carbon fiber to outside customers mostly in 1999,"
Mr. Barbera said. "Until recently, however, the majority of our carbon
fiber production has been used in the production of graphite golf
shafts."  (The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC) 8-25-1999)


CHAMPION ENTERPRISES: Lionel Z. Glancy Files Securities Suit In Mich.
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Pursuant to Section 21(D)(A)(3)(a)(i) of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934, Notice is hereby given that a Class Action has been commenced in
the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan on
behalf of a class (the "Class") consisting of all persons who purchased
the common stock of Champion Enterprises Inc. (NYSE:CHB) between March
30, 1999 and July 29, 1999, inclusive.

The Complaint charges Champion and its Chief Executive Officer with
violations of federal securities laws. Among other things, plaintiff
claims that defendants' material omissions and the dissemination of
materially false and misleading statements regarding the nature of
Champion's inventory problems drove Champion's stock price to a Class
Period high of $ 21.0625 per share and low of $ 13.50 per share,
inflicting enormous damages on investors. Plaintiff seeks to recover
damages on behalf of Class members and is represented by the Law Offices
of Lionel Z. Glancy which has significant experience in prosecuting
class actions, and substantial expertise in actions involving corporate
fraud.

Members of the Class described above may move the Court, not later than
60 days from August 26, 1999, to serve as lead plaintiff, however, they
must meet certain legal requirements. Contact Lionel Z. Glancy, Esquire,
of the Law Offices of Lionel Z. Glancy, 1801 Avenue of the Stars, Suite
311, Los Angeles, Calif. 90067, by telephone, toll-free, at 888/773-9224
or by e-mail at info@glancylaw.com or mgoldberg@glancylaw.com


FEN-PHEN: Diet Drug Is Subject of More Than 25 Lawsuits in Kansas City
----------------------------------------------------------------------
More than 25 lawsuits involving the combination of diet pills known as
fen-phen and a closely related drug have been filed in the Kansas City
area, and more are expected.

In these actions and thousands of other lawsuits around the country,
consumers say they have experienced significant health problems from
using the diet drugs.

Millions of prescriptions were written for the drugs from 1995 until
September 1997, when they were pulled off the market voluntarily at the
request of the Food and Drug Administration.

In the Kansas City area and around the country, most of the lawsuits
have involved allegations related to heart valve damage and a condition
known as primary pulmonary hypertension, a deadly lung disease.

In one lawsuit, Maria Ubaldo of Independence said she suffered heart
valve damage from taking a combination of Pondimin and phentermine.
In another lawsuit, Edna Ewing said she suffered heart valve damage from
taking the drug known as Redux. The lawsuits were filed against American
Home Products Corp. and its subsidiary, Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, and
A.H. Robins Co., which was acquired by American Home Products. In their
lawsuits, Ewing and Ubaldo allege negligence and fraudulent
misrepresentation, among other charges. Both seek jury trials.

Doug Petkus, a Wyeth-Ayerst spokesman in Pennsylvania, said that he
could not confirm that the lawsuits had been served and that he could
not comment on them.

James W. Jeans, one of the Kansas City lawyers representing Ubaldo and
Ewing, said the two lawsuits were among 26 such actions that he and two
colleagues have filed since June 1998. Jeans said he and lawyers J.
Scott Bertram and William Dirk Vandever would probably have 40 such
lawsuits on file by the end of September.

Also pending are related class-action lawsuits around the country. The
lawsuits here and elsewhere "have the potential to last for many years,"
Bertram said.

Bertram said most or all of the lawsuits might someday be resolved in a
global settlement, "but nobody on the planet knows if or when that will
happen." (The Kansas City Star 8-26-1999)


FEN-PHEN: MA Judge Orders Spoliation Sanction in Fen-Phen Case
--------------------------------------------------------------
After determining that Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories Division of American
Home Products willingly destroyed e-mail evidence in a fen-phen wrongful
death suit, a Massachusetts state judge ruled that the drug maker will
have to face potentially damaging sanctions when the case goes to trial.
Linnen v. A.H. Robins Co. Inc. (Pharmaceutical Reporter, August 1999)


FEN-PHEN: Philadelphia Fd. Judge Certifies Class For Medical Check-Ups
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A federal judge has certified a class-action suit by users of the
''fen-phen'' diet drug combination seeking payments to have medical
checkups for potential heart and lung problems.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Louis C. Bechtle allows the federal
suit filed last year against American Home Products to proceed to trial.

Pondimin and Redux, two prescription diet drugs often taken in
combination, were taken off the market in 1997 at the request of the
Food and Drug Administration after some users developed heart-valve
damage. The combination was popularly known as ''fen-phen,'' a reference
to the first syllables of the chemicals used to make the drugs.

An estimated 6 million people took the drugs, though AHP contends the
majority used them for less than 30 days. More than 4,000 lawsuits
nationwide have been filed against the company by people who say they
suffer heart and lung problems because of the pills.

The Philadelphia class-action seeks to have AHP pay for checkups for
people who used the drugs for 30 days or more between 1992 and 1997.
Residents in six other states are excluded from the Philadelphia-based
suit because similar suits are pending in those states, Bechtle ruled.

News of the ruling weighed heavily on AHP's stock, which fell more than
7 percent in today's trading. The stock was down $3.50 at $42.50 a share
just before noon on the New York Stock Exchange.

The ruling comes just as AHP has agreed to pay more than 36,000 women to
settle claims that the implantable contraceptive device Norplant caused
headaches, irregular menstrual bleeding, nausea and depression.

AHP, the parent of Norplant maker Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, did not
admit any wrongdoing in the settlement, saying Thursday it was ''purely
a business decision.'' (AP Online 8-27-1999)


FEN-PHEN: Plaintiff Differences Preclude Class Cert, Ark. Sp. Ct. Rules
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Baker v. Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories

Class certification in a diet drug suit was improper because the common
questions of law or fact did not predominate over the questions
affecting only individual members, the Arkansas Supreme Court has ruled.
Baker et al. v. Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories et al., No. 98-1479 (AR Sup.
Ct., June 24, 1999).

The panel, in an opinion by Justice Anabelle Clinton Imber, refuted the
appellants' contention that the trial court erred in denying their
request for class certification of their tort action.

Jeanne Baker, Maria Valencia, Tina Thomas and Mirtha Breslin took the
prescription drugs fenfluramine, dexfenfluramine and phentermine for
weight-loss purposes. In 1998, after these drugs were removed from the
market, the plaintiffs filed a class action against numerous
manufacturers, suppliers and distributors. Alleging theories of
negligence and products liability, the plaintiffs proposed that the
class be divided into a subclass of asymptomatic plaintiffs who need to
undergo medical monitoring, and a subclass of plaintiffs who have
suffered serious physical injuries.

The trial court denied the plaintiffs' motion for class certification in
October 1998, holding that they had failed to satisfy the predominance
and superiority factors found in Ark. R. Civ. P. 23(b). In particular,
the court ruled that a class action would not be the superior way to
litigate this matter because the plaintiffs had different medical
conditions and family histories at the time the diet drugs were
prescribed and that these drugs were prescribed by different doctors who
had different degrees of knowledge regarding the risks posed by the
drugs. In addition, the court said a class action was improper because
the plaintiffs took different combinations of the three diet drugs for
different durations.

In upholding the trial court's conclusions, the state supreme court
noted that the numerous and complex individual issues "predominate" over
the individual issues. As in Georgine v. Amchem Products Inc., 83 F.3d
610 (3rd Cir. 1996), this case presents numerous individual issues that
"go to the heart of the defendants' conduct, causation, injury, and
damages such that the defendants' liability as to each plaintiff will
have to be resolved on a case-by-case basis," Justice Imber wrote. The
only thing the plaintiffs have in common, she added, is that they all
took one or a combination of the diet drugs listed in the complaint.

Moreover, Justice Imber continued, the case cannot be bifurcated into
certified and decertified proceedings because there are few global or
common issues that can be resolved in the certified stage. While the
plaintiffs argue that issues concerning the defendants' conduct could be
resolved on a class-wide basis, the resolution of these "seemingly
common issues" will depend upon individual differences among the
plaintiffs such as when they took the drug and the duration of use.

Damages, the court concluded, also cannot be resolved in a class action
because some of the plaintiffs are asymptomatic while others have
manifested physical injuries. (Mass Tort Litigation Reporter, August
1999)


FEN-PHEN: The Legal Intelligencer Relates Conditional Cert. Of Class
--------------------------------------------------------------------
A federal judge has conditionally certified a nationwide class action
for medical monitoring on behalf of consumers who took the fen-phen diet
drug combination for at least 30 days and now fear an increased risk of
heart valve disease.

In a 41-page opinion handed down, Senior U.S. District Judge Louis C.
Bechtle rejected the argument that such a massive class action would be
impossible to manage due to factors that make each individual
plaintiff's claim unique or the need to apply the laws of all 50 states.
The class is actually quite "cohesive," Bechtle said, and the court can
create subclasses to deal with the few individual issues or variations
in state law. Residents of states that don't recognize medical
monitoring will simply be excluded from the federal class, as well as
residents of the six states that already have pending class actions of
their own.

Lawyers for American Home Products insisted that Bechtle should refuse
to certify a national class based on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of
Appeals' decision in Barnes v. American Tobacco which upheld the
decision by Senior U.S. District Judge Clarence C. Newcomer not to
certify a medical monitoring class of Pennsylvania smokers. The Barnes
court found that smokers' claims present too many individual issues
since the focus was on addiction and since each smoker's history of use
would be relevant to the defenses of comparative and contributory
negligence.

But Bechtle found that the fen-phen consumers were legally different.
Unlike smokers, who use hundreds of different brands that contained
different ingredients at different times which were allegedly altered to
induce addiction the fen-phen class members used only two related
chemical compounds, fenfluramine and dexfenfluramine, which were sold as
only two brands, Pondimin and Redux.

AHP's lawyers insisted there would still be a host of individual issues,
including the duration of each class member's use of the drugs and the
method used to combine them.

But Bechtle found that such differences between class members "are more
susceptible to subclass treatment than the claims relating to tobacco
use. "Courts have rejected class actions involving tobacco and asbestos,
Bechtle said, in part because "exposure is often difficult to quantify
and confirm as the exposure levels could vary greatly from claimant to
claimant and, in many cases, exposure extended over decades. "In the
asbestos cases, he said, there were several possible forms of exposure
with varying degrees of danger, and many class members were not even
aware they had been exposed. But for fen-phen users, Bechtle said, the
ingestion of the drugs was "discrete and ascertainable" since their
prescription records will reflect the dates, duration and amounts of
ingestion, as well as the combination of drugs ingested. In their class
action complaint, the plaintiffs are seeking medical monitoring for
anyone who took fen-phen but has not yet manifested any symptoms of
injury. They are seeking:

* The creation of a medical "registry" in which relevant demographic,
  medical and scientific information concerning class members is
  recorded;

* State-of-the-art echocardiograms;

* Full cardiopulmonary examinations including a chest x-ray and
  electrocardiograms;

* The gathering and analyzing of relevant medical demographic
  information from class members;

* Court-ordered medical research on the incidence, prevalence, natural
  course and history, diagnosis and treatment of diet-drug induced
  valvular heart disease;

* Publishing of the research findings to members of the class and their
  physicians.

AHP's lawyers argued that not all states have explicitly recognized an
asymptomatic plaintiff's claim for medical monitoring and that those
states which recognize such a cause of action have varying legal
elements. Such variance of state law makes the class claims
unmanageable, they argued.

The plaintiffs argued that the law of Pennsylvania should be applied to
the class as a whole because Pennsylvania has the greatest interest in
applying its law to the claims at issue.

Bechtle disagreed with both arguments. "Essentially, Plaintiffs request
that Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 act as the conduit through which
Pennsylvania's medical monitoring cause of action extend to all class
members, regardless of whether a given class member's claim arises in a
jurisdiction which does not recognize such a legal theory absent injury.
Such an action would violate the Rules Enabling Act," he wrote. Instead,
Bechtle said, each state's laws must be applied because "those states
which recognize a medical monitoring claim have a governmental interest
in protecting its citizens from exposure to toxic substances....
Conversely, those states which do not recognize a claim for medical
monitoring also have a governmental interest for doing so, whether it be
to encourage the development of new pharmaceutical products or to avoid
the burden of increased litigation state courts would face in abandoning
the traditional tort requirement that plaintiffs demonstrate a physical
injury. "But the court's task of applying the laws of each of the states
"does not necessarily render class treatment unmanageable," Bechtle
said. Instead, he said, it requires the establishment of subclasses
dependent on whether the elements of medical monitoring or the
underlying legal action significantly differ.

As a result, Bechtle said, the conditional class will include a subclass
of persons with known injury who have not filed a personal injury claim,
but class members who are asymptomatic and whose home states require an
injury for a medical monitoring claim would have to be excluded from the
class entirely. Also excluded will be residents of the six states that
currently have fen-phen medical monitoring class actions already
certified and underway Texas, Washington, Illinois, New Jersey, West
Virginia and Pennsylvania.

In closing, Bechtle said he recognized that there are "individual issues
which will be a challenge to the court and the parties in resolving the
class claims," including individual factual issues and variance of
applicable state law. But, he said, "rather than turn its back on these
challenges, the court will conditionally certify the class as outlined
above and will continue to review the class and redefine it as necessary
until it can be said with some certainty that class treatment is
unacceptable under Barnes, Rule 23 or the parties' constitutional
rights." (The Legal Intelligencer 8-27-1999)


FRUIT OF: Subject To Claims For Hazardous Wastes At Superfund Sites
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Fruit of The Loom Ltd.'s generators of hazardous wastes which were
disposed of at offsite locations which are now superfund sites are
subject to claims brought by state and Federal regulatory agencies under
Superfund Legislation and by private citizens under Superfund
Legislation and common law theories. Since 1982, the United States
Environmental Protection Agency (the "EPA") has actively sought
compensation for response costs and remedial action at offsite disposal
locations from waste generators under the Superfund Legislation, which
authorizes such action by the EPA regardless of fault, legality of
original disposal or ownership of a disposal site. The EPA's activities
under the Superfund Legislation can be expected to continue during the
remainder of 1999 and future years.

The Company and its subsidiaries are involved in certain legal
proceedings and have retained liabilities, including certain
environmental liabilities, such as those under the Comprehensive
Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, as
amended ("CERCLA"), its regulations and similar state statutes
("Superfund Legislation"), in connection with the sale of certain
discontinued operations, some of which were significant generators of
hazardous waste. The Company and its subsidiaries have also retained
certain liabilities related to the sale of products in connection with
the sale of certain discontinued operations. The Company's retained
liability reserves at July 3, 1999 related to discontinued operations
consist primarily of certain environmental reserves of approximately
$29,000,000 and product liability reserves of approximately $4,000,000.

During 1998, the Company purchased insurance coverage for potential
cleanup cost expenditures from approximately the level of current
environmental reserves up to $100,000,000 for certain sites with
on-going remediation, pollution liability coverage for claims arising
out of pollution conditions at owned locations including continuing
operations, sold facilities and non-owned sites and product liability
coverage for claims arising out of products manufactured by the sold
operations. Management believes that adequate reserves have been
established to cover potential claims based on facts currently available
and current Superfund and CERCLA Legislation.


GENERAL DYNAMICS: Contests Verdict By CA Ap. Ct. Over Plan Concealment
----------------------------------------------------------------------
On April 19, 1995, 101 then-current and former employees of General
Dynamics Corp.'s Convair Division in San Diego, California filed a
six-count complaint in the Superior Court of California, County of San
Diego, titled Argo, et al. v. General Dynamics, et al. In addition to
General Dynamics, four of Convair's then-current or former managers were
also named as defendants.

The plaintiffs alleged that the company interfered with their right to
join an earlier class action lawsuit by, among other things, concealing
its plans to close the Convair Division. On May 1, 1997, a jury rendered
a verdict of $101 against the company and one of the defendants in favor
of 97 of the plaintiffs. The jury awarded the plaintiffs a total of $1.8
in actual damages and $99 in punitive damages.

The company and one of the defendants have appealed the judgment to the
Court of Appeals of the State of California, Fourth Appellate District,
Division One. On appeal, the company is seeking to have the judgment
overturned in its entirety or, alternatively, a substantial reduction in
the jury's punitive damage award. The company believes it has
substantial legal defenses, but in any case, it believes the punitive
damage award is excessive as a matter of law. Management currently
believes the ultimate outcome will not have a material impact on the
company's results of operations or financial condition.


GENERAL DYNAMICS: May Settle For Some Claims Over Water Contamination
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The company is either a named defendant or a third-party defendant in
certain multi-plaintiff tort cases pending in state or federal court in
Arizona, captioned: Cordova, et al. v. Hughes Aircraft Co.; Lanier, et
al. v. Hughes Aircraft Co., et al.; Yslava, et al. v. Hughes Aircraft
Co.; and Arellano, et al. v. Hughes Aircraft Co.

In these cases the plaintiffs allege that they suffered personal
injuries and/or property damage from chronic exposure to drinking water
alleged to be contaminated with trace amounts of the industrial solvent
trichloroethylene. The alleged source of the contamination was
industrial facilities in and around the site now occupied by the Tucson
International Airport (TIA) and U.S. Air Force Plant #44. In addition to
the company, defendants are Hughes Aircraft Co. (now Raytheon), the
Tucson Airport authority (TAA), the City of Tucson, (the City) and
McDonnell Douglas Corp. (MDC).

In Cordova, the company negotiated a settlement with all but four
defendants, who have appealed the summary judgement entered against
them. The company has reached an agreement to settle all the remaining
cases and is negotiating the final terms of the settlement agreements.
Court approval is required for the settlement of these cases. The
company does not believe that these lawsuits will have a material impact
on the company's results of operations or financial condition.


GENERAL DYNAMICS: May Settle Suit Re Soil And Groundwater Contamination
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
In other litigation concerning the Tucson site, the company is a
defendant in two cases brought in federal district court in Arizona by
TAA and the City under the Comprehensive Environmental Response
Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA). Plaintiffs seek reimbursement
of CERCLA response costs and a declaration of the company's alleged
liability with respect to soil and groundwater contamination at portions
of the Tucson site.

On September 30, 1998, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S.
EPA) issued a Special Notice Letter notifying the company that it was a
potentially responsible party (PRP) with respect to contamination of
soil and shallow groundwater on and near property currently occupied by
the TIA. Other PRPs receiving a similar notice were the U.S. Air Force,
TAA, MDC and the City. The company has reached an agreement to settle
the litigation brought by TAA and the City and is awaiting court
approval of a consent decree negotiated with the U.S. EPA in response to
the Special Notice Letter. The company does not believe that these
lawsuits or the pending consent decree will have a material impact on
the company's results of operations or financial condition.

The company is also a defendant in other lawsuits and claims and in
other investigations of varying nature. The company believes its
liabilities in these proceedings, in the aggregate, are not material to
the company's results of operations or financial condition.

The company is directly or indirectly involved in certain Superfund
sites in which the company, along with other major U.S. corporations,
has been designated a PRP by the U.S. EPA or a state environmental
agency with respect to past shipments of hazardous waste to sites now
requiring environmental cleanup. Based on a site by site analysis of the
estimated quantity of waste contributed by the company relative to the
estimated total quantity of waste, the company believes its liability at
any individual site is not material. The company is also involved in the
investigation, cleanup and remediation of various conditions at sites it
currently or formerly owned or operated.

The company measures its environmental exposure based on enacted laws
and existing regulations and on the technology expected to be approved
to complete the remediation effort. The estimated cost to perform each
of the elements of the remediation effort is based on when those
elements are expected to be performed. Where a reasonable basis for
apportionment exists with other PRPs, the company estimates only its
allowable share of the joint and several remediation liability for a
site, taking into consideration the solvency of other participating
PRPs. Based on a site by site analysis, the company believes it has
adequate accruals for any liability it may incur arising from sites
currently or formerly owned or operated at which there is a known
environmental condition, or Superfund sites at which the company is a
PRP.


GENERAL MOTORS: CNN Coverage On Settlement For Gas Tank Explosion
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Broadcast On Cable News Network On August 27, 1999

Transcript # 99082707V07

GUESTS: David Garrity

HIGHLIGHT: David Garrity discusses the GM lawsuit, saying that GM will
appeal the readjusted settlement and that it is still way too high.
Garrity also discusses Ford looking to spin off their parts division and
the reaction by UAW.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND
MAY BE UPDATED.

    BILL TUCKER, CNN ANCHOR: Something of a bittersweet victory for
General Motors. A judge in Los Angeles has slashed GM's $4.9 billion
liability payment to $1.2 billion. The record-high award was handed out
last month by a California jury in a lawsuit involving a Chevrolet gas
tank explosion, but GM isn't satisfied with the reduced payment. It
plans to appeal the verdict instead.

GM share gained more than a dollar to just above $67 ahead of the
ruling, as you saw coming back from the break.

To discuss the latest development in the General Motors settlement case,
we're joined now by Dave Garrity, auto analyst from Dresdner, Kleinwort
and Benson.

And Dave, thanks for coming in early on this Friday morning.

    DAVID GARRITY, AUTO ANALYST, DRESDNER KLEINWORT BENSON: Thank you.

    TUCKER: What GM really wanted was a new trial, and the judge said
I'm not giving you a new trial, but I'll reduce the damage awards. GM
says it will appeal it. Does GM still have any hope of getting a new
trial?

    GARRITY: Well, the important distinction here is the fact that this
case actually took case -- took place in a state court as opposed to a
federal court. GM on appeal within the state system in California; the
Appeals Court has far more flexibility with respect to judging the facts
of the case.

GM was concerned here about the fact that the reason why this happened
it was an accident; a car traveling from behind the vehicle was coming
-- operating at about 70 miles an hour. The operator was intoxicated.
The issue here for GM is to say, fine, this was a vehicle that was built
to the applicable safety standards in effect by the federal government
at that time, but what the court has said is that those standards
themselves were insufficient.

    TUCKER: Yes, and that's interesting. I mean, how do you write a law
that then goes back and tries to correct the "mistakes," in quotes, of
the past. It creates something of a double jeopardy for all of the auto
makers and probably, well, for all manufacturers, period, doesn't it?
GARRITY: Very much so, and I would argue that, you know, even though the
Clinton administration may have been well supported by attorneys and
particularly the class action attorneys when they campaigned, I mean,
something like this, this is, in and of itself, on a reduced basis, a
very large damage award, $1.2 billion, almost works out to $2 a share
for GM. Will they appeal it? Of course. Is it likely to pay this year?
Likely not, but this is something that's going to drag on. And it does
cry out for legal reform in the United States.

    TUCKER: All right, terrific. I'm going to move on to another issue
within the auto industry, because the UAW is getting ready to sit down
and talk contracts with the auto makers, and everyone likes to position
themselves to be the pattern after which everybody else has to follow.

Ford has succeeded in doing so for the past couple of contracts. They
may not do so this time around because of the decision to spin off a
parts unit. It's angered the union. What are your thoughts on the --
what's going on within the auto industry right now?

    GARRITY: Well, if you look amongst the three major U.S. auto
manufacturers, and I still consider Daimler-Chrysler a U.S. auto
manufacturer, Ford arguably is still in the best financial position. So
much it's like Willie Sutton (ph) liked to rob banks because that's
where the money was...

(LAUGHTER)

... the UAW more than likely will still go back to the company that's in
the best financial position.

At the same time, the UAW has particular concerns with respect to Ford,
because Ford intends to take their own captive auto parts business,
Visteon (ph), into becoming a separately-traded public entity at some
point in time probably over the course of the next contract.

GM, as we're all well aware, has already taken the Adelphi parts
subsidiary public earlier this year. So, the UAW wants to make sure that
those UAW workers that are in the Viseton operations are well protected
in the event that that company is separated from Ford.

    TUCKER: Does it hurt Ford ultimately or is that -- their decision to
move ahead and spin off Visteon a smart move both strategically and
economically?

    GARRITY: It's a smart move strategically and economically from the
standpoint that you're reducing your fixed costs, you're becoming less
vertically integrated, it's -- less vertically integrated. It's a very
competitive market in the auto parts industry.

And from the standpoint that Visteon as an organization outside of Ford
can bid more aggressively for business from other manufacturers away
from Ford, it allows that business itself to grow more rapidly. TUCKER:
All right, terrific. Thanks, David Garrity, auto analyst at Kleinwort --
Dresdner, Kleinwort, Benson, excuse. Thanks for coming in this morning.

    GARRITY: Thank you.

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GENERAL MOTORS: Dealers Battling Against Regional Advertising
-------------------------------------------------------------
General Motors Corp. thought it had a better idea last winter when it
unilaterally introduced a revolutionary new advertising strategy for the
auto industry.

Changing a long-standing practice, GM decided to give executives more
power by having them oversee regional advertising campaigns, and the
company cut off funding for traditional ad campaigns usually put
together across America by local car dealers.

But the automaker, the nation's largest, now finds that it has touched
off a high-stakes, closely watched legal battle with some of its Midwest
dealers, who have been contributing a large portion of the company's $
2.2 billion annual advertising budget.

The dealers insist that GM had no right to shift gears in its
advertising game plan without their approval. What's at stake are
hundreds of millions of dollars and the right to control a significant
portion of GM's advertising.

The first lawsuit, filed on Jan. 26 by Illinois GM dealers in a Cook
County courtroom, could be repeated elsewhere because it is based on an
Illinois law that is similar to laws in more than two dozen other
states, say franchise law experts. All of the laws, they suggest, were
designed to equalize the balance of power between America's giant
automakers and their individual franchisees.

In April, a similar suit was filed against GM by Indiana GM dealers. The
plaintiffs' lawyers and experts in the field say that dealers in other
states are watching the Illinois and Indiana cases closely and that more
suits may be filed down the road.

In addition, the experts say, the GM litigation is of interest to other
franchise-based industries that are thinking of shifting to more
regional advertising campaigns with the help of local franchisee
contributions. They say that every state except Alaska in recent years
has enacted some kind of generic franchisee rights law, usually
prohibiting any "unfair" or "unconscionable" conduct by a franchisor.

"Those doing business in the more strictly regulated states will closely
watch" the GM case for how "reasonable" the court views the auto
company's actions, explains George J. Tzanetopoulos, a partner at
Chicago's Mayer Brown & Platt and a specialist in franchise litigation.

                            What's at stake

At stake in the GM case, says University of Michigan Professor Gerald C.
Meyers, is nothing less than "who gets to control the company's
advertising message." Prof. Meyers, a former chairman of American Motors
Co., notes that control is a particularly sore spot with both GM
executives and GM dealers who have watched their national market share
plummet from 35% in 1990 to 29% today.

It all started in December when GM announced that effective April 1, it
would no longer "rebate" the $ 500 million advertising assessments it
had been collecting from its hundreds of dealers so that they could
arrange for advertisements on local television and radio as well as in
their hometown newspapers.

Instead, the advertising assessments would be retained and spent by GM's
hand-picked regional advertising executives over wider geographic areas
so as to cull consumer brand loyalty more effectively, a la food
industry titan Procter & Gamble.

But as many as 69 Illinois GM dealers and six dealer advertising
associations viewed the new marketing strategy as a possible lemon that
shelved what they claim hadbeen a successful local marketing approach.
In the Chicago area last year, for instance, GM dealers boasted a 38%
market share, far greater than the company's national average.

The Illinois car dealers and advertising groups hired Samuel K. Skinner,
former secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation and one-time
chief of staff for President Bush. He filed a class action accusing GM
of violating the Illinois Motor Vehicle Franchise Act, a state law
requiring local dealer "participation" in advertising campaigns at the
dealers' expense. Anthony Pontiac GMC Buick v. General Motors Corp. No.
99 CH 1189 (Cir. Ct., Cook Co.).

GM denied any wrongdoing and retaliated with a countersuit accusing its
Illinois dealers of conspiring to foil the company's legitimate business
plans by paying Mr. Skinner's legal fees with advertising assessments
contractually owed to GM.

But GM's hardball response did not confine the litigation to the Windy
City. The Hoosier State GM dealers' class action, filed on April 8 by
local attorneys in an Indianapolis federal court, not only asks for
injunctive relief under an Indiana franchisee rights law, but also
demands treble monetary damages. Moreover, unlike Mr. Skinner's suit,
the Indiana dealers' suit alleges "criminal conversion" of "their"
advertising monies. Hubler Chevrolet Inc. v. GMC, No. IP 99-0485 C B/S
(S.D. Ind.).

The Indiana dealers have not been countersued, explains GM in-house
lawyer Michael J. Robinson, because they are financing their lawsuit
without using "GM's rebated advertising money."

                            Long-running spat

What these cases are going to come down to is who owns those advertising
dollars, says Mr. Skinner, now a partner at Chicago's Hopkins & Sutter.
"If the judge decides that the advertising assessments belong to the GM
dealers, then those dealers will be entitled to damages under the auto
franchise acts. If he decides those assessments belong to GM," then the
automaker can do whatever it wants with them.

In the 1960s and 1970s, says Ronald C. Smith, the lead plaintiffs'
lawyer in the Indiana suit and a partner at Indianapolis' Stewart &
Irwin P.C., many Illinois and Indiana GM dealers were "encouraged" to
form associations, called dealer marketing groups (DMGs), to advertise
GM products locally. The DMGs, he says, were funded by "voluntary"
assessments that member dealers agreed to pay when purchasing new autos
from GM for resale to consumers.

Initially, the dealers paid these assessments to their associations.
Subsequently, and at the dealers' request, says Mr. Smith, GM agreed to
collect the assessments -- about 1% of the manufacturer's suggested
retail price from the dealers and to "remit" them to the DMGs. "GM has
always accounted for this money in separate 'liability' accounts and has
never paid income tax on it -- and rightfully so," he insists.

GM attorneys do not concede that this arrangement was the dealers' idea
or that the assessments were accounted for as other people's money. But
they do not deny that, in the late 1980s, encouraged by the success of
this Midwest marketing approach, GM established new, companywide local
advertising programs based on it. GM referred to these new programs as
"dealer marketing initiative programs" and began referring to the
dealers' 1% payment as the "GM Marketing Adjustment" which was added as
a line item to the cost of a GM auto.

For years, the company continued to remit this money to the dealers and
their assorted advertising associations, regardless of who technically
"owned" it. But then, in December, GM announced that it would radically
alter its marketing approach.

                            The agreements

According to GM's attorneys in court, it's clear that when GM took the
Chicago-area incentive program national, tied the local dealer
assessment to 1% of the MSRP and made this amount a line item on a GM
auto's invoice, it made the 1% part of the selling price of each car.
And under the typical GM franchise agreement, as well as other written
documents, they have reasoned, those sales proceeds belong to GM, not to
its dealers, who are generally entitled only to commissions and other
financial incentives.

Even Mr. Skinner and Mr. Smith concede that any automaker has a great
deal of leverage in such revenue-sharing disputes because it knows it
had its lawyers write its standard franchising agreement -- and any
related documents -- to make it so.

"These aren't true franchise agreements, as in the case of a fast-food
scenario like McDonald's," notes William A. Newman, chief operating
officer for the McClean, Va.-based National Automobile Dealers
Association. "These are contracts of adhesion. The 30 car and truck
manufacturers call all the shots and award their franchises on a 'take
it or leave it' basis."

If the local marketing assessments therefore are not owned by the GM
dealers, defense lawyers have concluded, GM's new "marketing strategy"
cannot be recharacterized now as a disguised dealer-funded "advertising
campaign" that violates state law.

According to Mayer, Brown & Platt's Mr. Tzanetopoulos, the franchise
litigation expert, this "strategic price increase vs. advertising
campaign" issue has been litigated once before, although with the issues
reversed.

In 1994, he explains, a federal judge ruled that it was up to the jury
to decide whether GM had violated Pennsylvania's auto dealer franchisee
rights law when, ironically, it took what is now the "old" Midwest
marketing approach nationwide. And in that one instance, the jury found
in favor of GM. Videon Chevrolet Inc. v. GMC, No. 91-4202 (E.D. Pa.).

But neither side in the current GM litigation says that outcome is
necessarily indicative of what might happen in the cases now pending.

                            Vow to fight on

In the current battle, the first test of each side's relative strength
now looms in the Illinois suit.

Extensive expert testimony in Mr. Skinner's motion for a preliminary
injunction has already been heard before Cook County Circuit Court Judge
Stephen Schiller, although the court's decision is not expected to be
rendered until later this summer.

GM has found little moral support from other automakers. Business Week
reported in February, for instance, that Ford's brass is openly calling
GM's Procter & Gamble-style approach "inappropriate" for the auto
industry.

The more important question, of course, is whether the complaining
dealers have the stomach for test-driving a drawn-out legal battle.

Lead outside defense lawyers declined to be interviewed, including
Kirkland & Ellis' J. Andrew Langan and Michael H. Carpenter, a name
partner at Columbus, Ohio's Zeiger & Carpenter. But, says GM's Mr.
Robinson, "Counting the litigating dealers in Illinois and Indiana, 85%
of GM's dealers nationwide have signed up" for its new marketing
program. As a result, he anticipates no additional lawsuits, the
plaintiffs' lawyers' claims notwithstanding.

Mr. Smith says that such numbers do not reflect true dealer sentiment.
The dealers may be signing up, he explains, but only because, under the
auto industry's one-sided franchise agreement, "they have no choice but
to do so if they want to stay in business." Mr. Smith promises a fight
to the finish. "If Sam obtains his restraining order and we are
successful in proving a conversion of dealer money in our lawsuit," he
concludes, "I can see a significant hiccup in GM's marketing plans
nationwide." (The National Law Journal 8-16-1999)


GENERAL MOTORS: Investor's Business Daily Talks About Jury Award
----------------------------------------------------------------
Six Los Angelenos hit it big last month when a jury awarded them $ 4.9
billion in compensatory and punitive damages. Their target? General
Motors, for allegedly unsafe vehicle design. More accurately, GM's deep
pockets enticed trial lawyers to play the lottery, truth be damned.

According to a Los Angeles jury (and judge), GM is a company that ''puts
profits over safety.'' That's why it, in their view, purposely installed
unsafe fuel tanks in its 1979 Malibu. One of those cars was involved in
a 1993 accident at issue in the case Anderson vs. General Motors. The
refrain is familiar: Corporations are greedy and out to get the little
guy. Indeed, this image is so ingrained in the culture that it's taken
as gospel, no matter what the facts of a case may be. The jury believed
it so much that it granted the plaintiffs the largest damage award in
history.

But in this case, the facts paint a far different picture of GM.

Briefly, Patricia Anderson and five passengers were burned after her
Malibu's fuel tank ruptured as a result of being struck in the rear by a
car going around 70 mph.

Anderson's entrepreneurial lawyers, Brian Panish and Christine Spagnoli,
wanted to dive into GM's deep pockets and sued on her behalf.
But rather than contest the case on factual grounds, the lawyers pulled
out the old class-envy arguments to sway the jury. It worked.

There's more to the case, though, than just the lawyers' sophistry and
the jurors' gullibility. The judge seems to have decided, almost before
the case started, that GM should go down.

Semiretired Judge Ernest Williams was assigned the case because it was
expected to take a while, and he had the time.

In the course of the trial, Williams gave Panish and Spagnoli every
break. He let them make the same profits-over-safety argument with
witness after witness. He let them badger other witnesses. He let the
attorneys suggest that GM was suborning perjury, without offering
supporting evidence. He also let the plaintiffs' attorneys introduce two
documents that supposedly proved that GM ''put a price tag on human
lives.''

The problem? Neither GM document had anything to do with the design of
the 1979 Malibu. Written at least five years before that model came out,
neither had anything to do with the model's design.

Perhaps most importantly, the judge agreed with the plaintiffs' motion
to exclude the fact that the driver of the car that hit Anderson's
Malibu was drunk. Daniel Moreno's blood was tested several hours after
the accident. The alcohol in his bloodstream was twice the legal limit.

Then, when GM's attorneys presented their case, the judge excluded data
that showed the Malibu's record in crashes with fires was safer than
most every other car on the road. He OK'd the plaintiffs' motion to
include a claim for punitive damages made a week before the trial's end.
That, despite the fact that Panish and Spagnoli had not followed court
procedures.

GM lawyers today are back in court to argue in pre-appeal motions that
the trial was full of egregious errors. They'd like a reversal of the
judgment. But they'll take a new trial.

Unfortunately, they have to make these arguments before the same judge
who seems to have botched the case in the first place. It's unlikely
Williams will admit to any mistakes. That means GM will have to appeal
the case and spend more money. GM estimates the costs of defending this
case to date are nearing $ 1 million.

The plaintiffs' attorneys are spending similar amounts. But they've got
an incentive: pocketing a third of the $ 4.9 billion judgment. If they
lose, that all disappears.

California does not have caps on punitive damages. Trial lawyers have
made sure to block any such legislation in the state legislature.

Fifteen states have passed some sort of limit on punitive damages - even
once lawsuit-happy Texas. California and the other 34 should follow
suit.

Until they do, trial attorneys will continue to play the litigation
lottery, hoping for judges like Williams. (Investor's Business Daily
8-26-1999)


GENERAL MOTORS: Rejects Burned Plaintiffs' Offer To Settle Damages
------------------------------------------------------------------
General Motors has rejected a settlement offer from plaintiffs severely
burned when their Chevrolet Malibu exploded in a crash, and the
automaker today continued to seek a reduction in the $ 4.9 billion a
jury awarded the victims.

The two sides were in court on GM's request for a new trial or reduced
damages. GM told Superior Court Judge Ernest Williams that critical
information on the vehicle's safety record, the cause of the crash and
other evidence were excluded at the trial.

"The fact is it was not a fair fight," said GM attorney David Heilbron.
"We really didn't get our side of the story told to the jury."

The six plaintiffs, driver Patricia Anderson of Los Angeles, her four
children and a family friend, offered to settle for about $ 400 million
if GM recalled similar vehicles and replaced what they said were faulty
gas tanks.

A jury last month awarded the plaintiffs $ 107 million in compensatory
damages and $ 4.8 billion in punitive damages for injuries from the 1993
accident, the largest product-liability award in U.S. history. Legal
experts have said the punitive damages probably would be reduced on
appeal.

While the accident was caused by a drunken driver who rear-ended Ms.
Anderson's 1979 Malibu, the explosion resulted from a poorly designed
fuel system, said Brian Panish, the plaintiffs' attorney.

The settlement offer would require GM to recall all vehicles from 1978
to 1983 with the same gas-tank design.

During the 10-week trial, GM said, it was not allowed to introduce
evidence on the Malibu's safety record or present information about the
drunken driver that would have cleared the automaker.

"As we tried to show during the trial - but were not permitted to -
there is nothing wrong with the fuel systems of these vehicles," GM
spokesman Terry Rhadigan said in a statement GM issued rejecting the
settlement offer. "This is another effort on the part of the trial
lawyers to avoid dealing with this case on the merits, which is what we
intend to do during the post-trial process," Rhadigan said.

Panish made the settlement offer in a letter Aug. 20 to GM Chairman Jack
Smith. The plaintiffs offered to reduce the punitive damages by $ 4.5
billion. Millions of the vehicles remain on the roads, and the
plaintiffs want to "protect people in the future," Panish said. "Our
clients have been through so much tragedy, they don't want this to
happen to anybody else."

GM attorneys said the accident was solely the fault of the driver who
hit Ms. Anderson's car and that the Malibu was among the safest vehicles
on the road from that time. "This vehicle saved the lives of those six
people," said GM attorney Richard Shapiro.

In the letter to Smith, Panish said the plaintiffs would fight any
reduction in punitive damages if GM does not accept the settlement.
"You will have made it clear to everyone, including the court, that even
$ 4.8 billion is not quite enough to get a corporation of your wealth to
change its conduct," Panish wrote.

The gas tank in the 1979 Malibu and similar vehicles was too close to
the rear bumper and could have been placed in a safer position over the
axle or protected by a shield at minimal cost, the plaintiffs said.

GM attorneys said the engineers who designed the vehicle determined that
putting the gas tank behind the axle, as it was on the Malibu, was a
safer design. (The Associated Press 8-26-1999)


HOLOCAUST VICTIMS: Jews Urge Schroeder To Intervene To Speed Deal
-----------------------------------------------------------------
A Jewish organization urged German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder on
Thursday to intervene in talks on German firms' compensation for
Nazi-era slave laborers.

The Jewish Claims Conference, which administers various compensation
payments to Holocaust victims, said its chief negotiators requested
Schroeder's help to speed a deal on a fund for slave and forced
laborers.

The German government had hoped to have details of the fund worked out
by Sept. 1, the 60th anniversary of the start of World War II. But all
sides have acknowledged the deadline would be missed because of the
difficulty of the negotiations.

''We need somebody to intervene to help push it forward,'' said Alissa
Kaplan, spokeswoman for the Claims Conference. ''Survivors are dying
every day. The longer we wait, the people who deserve some form of
compensation the most won't be around to see it.''

Thursday's talks were the last before the proposed deadline lapses, but
Schroeder is to meet with industry representatives Sept. 6.

''I hope that will be the day the chancellor will take his promise to
deal with the matter seriously,'' said Israel Singer, chief negotiator
for the Claims Conference.

The demand for Schroeder's involvement came ahead of a session bringing
together more than 90 representatives met from the myriad sides to the
dispute: Jewish groups, class-action lawyers, the companies and
government representatives.

The U.S. and German governments are mediating the talks. Also at the
table were the governments of Israel and central European nations where
former slave and forced laborers now live: Belarus, the Czech Republic,
Poland, Russia and Ukraine.

Negotiators trying to reach agreement on who would be eligible for
compensation and for what amount were cautious on predicting any
breakthrough heading into the session, held around an immense oval table
at a Foreign Ministry building in Bonn.

''The group is too large to expect to find solutions for the salient
problems,'' said Wolfgang Gibowski, spokesman for the planned industry
fund.

The 16 companies in the talks including leading German firms such as
BMW, Siemens, Volkswagen and Deutsche Bank want to be guaranteed
immunity from future lawsuits over the slave labor issue. The companies
proposed the idea of the fund last year under pressure of class-action
lawsuits in the United States.

Gibowski said despite some progress, there still was no agreement on how
an immunity agreement would proceed.

This round of talks is the first to open discussion of how much money
claimants would be eligible to receive. No figures have been disclosed,
but New York lawyer Ed Fagan, representing former slave laborers, said
numbers were being floated.

Germany has already paid more than dlrs 54 billion to Holocaust victims
for their suffering, but said the question of compensation for slave
laborers was up to the companies. (AP Worldstream 8-26-1999)


HOLOCAUST VICTIMS: Nazi Slave Britons In Battle For Payment
-----------------------------------------------------------
British Jews who worked as slave labourers in Nazi Germany have
condemned the behaviour of German negotiators at this week's
compensation talks in Bonn. "They don't seem to feel they owe us
anything," said Rudy Kennedy, from London, who attended the latest round
of talks which ended yesterday with the two sides still far apart.

Mr Kennedy, who spent two years in the Second World War as a slave
labourer with I G Farben at Auschwitz and later worked in the V2 rocket
works at Dora, represents more than 200 members of a British group
called Claims for Jewish Slave-Labour Compensation.

He was appalled by the German negotiators' attitude. "[They] behaved to
my mind in a most terrible way," he said. "They feel they're doing us a
big favour in offering us anything at all."

Seventeen of Germany's biggest firms are jointly trying to negotiate an
out-of-court settlement with their former forced labourers, of whom up
to 2.3 million are thought to be still alive out of an original total of
10 million.

The firms, including BASF, Bayer, BMW, Daimler Chrysler, Krupp, Siemens
and Volkswagen, as well as the Deutsche and Dresdner banks, have come
under intense pressure to reach a deal because of class actions begun by
ex-slave labourers in American courts. These could lead to huge awards
unless an out-of-court settlement is reached.

Lothar Evers, a German campaigner, accused the firms of showing "an
entire lack of sensitivity towards the victims", and of wanting to limit
payments to those who lived in guarded camps or closed ghettoes.

The average age of the former forced labourers is nearly 80, with many
of them older than that, and the fear is that, if the companies continue
to put off a settlement, many more of them will have died before any
resolution.

The companies consider they have a duty to their present shareholders
and to the workers who built them up after the war to avoid entering
into open-ended financial commitments for crimes committed generations
ago.

Negotiations are likely to resume in Washington in early October. (The
Daily Telegraph(London) 8-27-1999)


HOLOCAUST VICTIMS: Russia Nazi-Era Slaves Sue German Companies
--------------------------------------------------------------
Russians enslaved by the Nazis filed what was believed to be the first
class-action suit from that country seeking damages from the German and
Austrian firms they worked for, lawyers said.

The lawsuit joins a number of other actions filed against German
companies by former slave and forced laborers who live in the United
States and European countries, which seek about $18 billion in damages.

The new lawsuit was filed during the middle of negotiations in Bonn
which aim to put an end to future suits. The talks are trying to resolve
a way for German companies to pay compensation through a new fund and in
return get a guarantee they will not face any new suits like the one
filed Wednesday.

The latest class action was filed in the U.S. District Court for the
District of New Jersey, by Kenneth McCallion, a New York-based attorney,
who has filed other such actions.

The Russian Holocaust survivors want reparations for their own suffering
as well as that of children, from infants to 16 years old, who were
allowed to live only as long as they could work.

"If these children showed the slightest resistance or any signs of
illness and exhaustion at their tasks, they were killed with a blunt
object, as Nazi practices dictated that children were not worth the
expenditure of any army supplies, even a bullet," the lawsuit charged.

No specific dollar amount was sought in damages. "We're looking for an
accounting," McCallion said.

The sorts of companies where the so-called name plaintiffs -- the
individual Holocaust survivors who are suing the German and Austrian
companies -- were compelled to toil ranged from aircraft and munitions
plants to a brewery and and a food processing firm, according to the
copy of the lawsuit provided Reuters by McCallion.

There had been considerable speculation that a class-action suit from
Russia soon would be filed. It was expected to be one of the biggest
because so many people from the former Soviet Union were forced to work
as slave and forced laborers. Slave laborers were meant to be worked to
death and forced laborers were not.

Asked how big the potential class of former slave and forced laborers
was, McCallion, replied: "Certainly in the tens of thousands. We have
one thousand people in St Petersburg who have signed agreements (to be
represented by his firm.)" "Upwards of two million Russians were used in
(forced) labor," he added, in a telephone interview with Reuters.

"By the end of October, 1941, over 660,000 Soviet POWs were used in
Germany's slave labor programs in the most appalling, oppressive and
degrading of conditions," he said, in a prepared statement. (Reuters)


PROVOST UMPHREY: Former Non-Equity Partner Sues Over Fee Disbursement
---------------------------------------------------------------------
former non-equity partner with Beaumont's Provost Umphrey wants a cut of
the $ 3.3 billion in fees that Walter Umphrey is sharing with four other
lawyers who represented the state in its suit against the tobacco
industry.

Sonya Coffman, who worked in the firm's asbestos department, also
alleges in a suit filed July 1 in federal court that she was sexually
harassed and that the environment at the firm made it clear that
compensation and advancement "were dependent upon quid pro quo of a
sexual nature."

Coffman contends the firm breached its fiduciary duty to her and other
non-equity partners by forming a separate firm, Provost Umphrey Tobacco,
to disburse the tobacco fees. An equity partner at Provost Umphrey has
said the fees were distributed among the equity partners based on their
financial stake in the firm, but that other members of the firm are
getting bonuses based on their work. [See "Share and Share Alike," Texas
Lawyer, March 15, 1999, page 28.]

According to Coffman's lawyer, Keith Verges, of Dallas' Figari &
Davenport, Coffman is also alleging that the firm's profits may have
been improperly calculated, but he would not give further details.
Umphrey declines comment, referring questions to the firm's lawyer,
Larry Germer, of Beaumont's Germer & Gertz, who could not be reached.
Verges says he and Germer are scheduled to meet and talk potential
settlement soon. The suit is pending before U.S. District Judge Richard
Schell of Beaumont, Verges says. (Texas Lawyer 8-16-1999)


SABRATEK CORP.: Milberg Weiss Will File Second Amended Securities Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The following was released by Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP:

At a court hearing on August 25, 1999, Lead Counsel Milberg Weiss
Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP in the original pending securities fraud
class action (No. 99-C-0351) filed earlier this year against Sabratek
Corporation (NASDAQ: SBTKE) was granted leave by the United States
District Court for the Northern District of Illinois to file a Second
Amended Complaint for violations of the federal securities laws against
Sabratek.

The action was commenced in January 1999 and an amended complaint was
filed on June 7, 1999, which alleged that Sabratek and certain of its
officers and directors had committed securities fraud by, inter alia,
improperly reporting artificially inflated revenue in violation of GAAP
and by failing to disclose other improprieties relating to its sales
practices.

The second amended complaint will allege a common, continuous course of
misconduct during the extended class period, which will include all
class periods in all pending related actions, and will constitute the
most inclusive such class period.

Contact Steven G. Schulman, William C. Fredericks or Michael A. Swick at
Milberg Weiss at One Pennsylvania Plaza, 49th Floor, New York, New York
10119-0165, or by telephone 1-800-320-5081, or via e-mail:
endfraudmwbhl.com or visit the firm's website at http://www.milberg.com
TICKERS: NASDAQ:SB


SUGARMAN AUCTIONEERS: Pleads Guilty In Miami Ct To Embezzling From FDIC
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Jay Sugarman and Jay Sugarman Auctioneers of North Miami Beach last week
pleaded guilty in federal court in Miami to charges of embezzling a
total of $118,130 from the proceeds of auctions the firm conducted for
the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in the early 1990s, the FDIC said.

The FDIC, as receiver of FDIC-insured banks, manages and sells the
banks' assets, including furniture, fixtures and equipment, through
actions and other means. The FDIC said it had contracted with Sugarman
and Jay Sugarman Auctioneers to organize and conduct various auctions
and sales in the Miami area and elsewhere from September 1990 through
February 1992.

Sugarman pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge that he embezzled less
than $1,000 from proceeds of an auction in February 1992. He entered a
plea on behalf of Jay Sugarman Auctioneers, a division of American
Auctioneers of North Miami Beach, to a felony charge that the company
embezzled $118,130 from the proceeds of a series of auctions the firm
conducted for the FDIC from September 1990 through February 1992.

The FDIC said that that Sugarman and the firm submitted fraudulent
recaps of the auctions, substantially misrepresenting and underreporting
the total proceed received from each auction and sale.

Jay Sugarman was on vacation in Switzerland and could not be reached for
comment.

Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 2, in Miami. (Newshound)


U.S. NAVY: Ap. Ct. Remands Case Over Default Termination of Contract
--------------------------------------------------------------------
The A-12 contract was a fixed-price incentive contract for the
full-scale development and initial production of the Navy's new
carrier-based Advanced Tactical Aircraft. The Navy terminated the
company's A-12 aircraft contract for default. Both the company and
McDonnell Douglas, now owned by the Boeing Company, (the contractors)
were parties to the contract with the Navy, each had full responsibility
to the Navy for performance under the contract, and both are jointly and
severally liable for potential liabilities arising from the termination.
As a consequence of the termination for default, the Navy demanded that
the contractors repay $1,352 in unliquidated progress payments, but
agreed to defer collection of the amount pending a decision by the U.S.
Court of Federal Claims on the contractors' challenge to the termination
for default, or a negotiated settlement.

The contractors filed a complaint on June 7, 1991, in the U.S. Court of
Federal Claims contesting the default termination. The suit, in effect,
seeks to convert the termination for default to a termination for
convenience of the U.S. government and seeks other legal relief. A trial
on Count XVII of the complaint, which relates to the propriety of the
process used in terminating the contract for default, was concluded in
October 1993. In December 1994, the court issued an order vacating the
termination for default. On December 19, 1995, following further
proceedings, the court issued an order converting the termination for
default to a termination for convenience. On March 31, 1998, a final
judgment was entered in favor of the contractors for $1,200 plus
interest.

The U.S. government filed an appeal from the trial court's ruling in the
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. On July 1, 1999, the
Court of Appeals found that the trial court erred in converting the
termination for default to a termination for convenience without first
determining whether a default existed. The Court of Appeals remanded the
case for determination of whether the government's default termination
was justified. The Court of Appeals stated that it was expressing no
view on that issue, and it left the parties the opportunity to fully
litigate that issue on remand.

The company continues to believe that the government's default
termination was improper, both as to process (the basis relied upon by
the trial court) and because the contractors were not in default. The
company continues to believe that at a full trial it will be able to
demonstrate that the default termination was not justified and that the
termination for default will be converted to a termination for
convenience. If the company is successful in such a new trial, it could
result in the same, a lesser or a greater award to the contractors.

The company has fully reserved the contracts in process balance
associated with the A-12 program and has accrued the company's estimated
termination liabilities and the liability associated with pursuing the
litigation through the appeals process and remand proceedings. In the
event that the contractors are ultimately found to have been in default
under the A-12 contract and are required to repay all unliquidated
progress payments, additional losses of approximately $675, plus
interest, may be recognized by the company. The company believes the
possibility of this result is remote.


YASHIN: Senators Fans Threaten To Sue Yashin, Alleging Greediness
-----------------------------------------------------------------
An Ottawa businessman has issued an ultimatum to Senators captain Alexei
Yashin on behalf of season ticket-holders -- play hockey or we sue. "We
think it's wrong what he's doing," said Len Potechin.

Hockey fans have been patient in two previous contract disputes between
Yashin and the Senators, said Potechin. "The third time, there's no
understanding. He's just greedy."

So Potechin, aided by friend and lawyer Arthur Cogan, has set the wheels
in motion for a lawsuit against Yashin for breach of contract.

After hearing from Yashin's agent that the star forward won't play this
season because he is unhappy with his $3.6-million contract, the
disgruntled fans moved into action.

"Bingo, we said," said Potechin, a Senators season ticket-holder since
the team's first season in 1992. "If he's not available, we won't sit
back and take it. We put out money in good faith."

On Wednesday, Cogan sent a letter to Yashin stating that his holdout
will put him in breach of contract with the season ticket-holders. "You
have been quoted to have stated that you only must think about yourself.
However, let me remind you that there are thousands of season
ticket-holder who have committed serious funds in contemplation of your
fulfilling your contract," the letter said.

If Yashin doesn't show up for the first game, Cogan says he will file
for a certification of the class action. Yashin might then be served
with an action. The player would have to file a defense and answer
questions under oath. "I think this might serve as a wakeup call for
other athletes in a similar position who refuse to honor their
contract," said Cogan.

Yashin, training in Florida with a some other Russian players, said he
wasn't worried. "Whatever they do, it's fine with me. It's a free
country, they can do whatever they want to do," he said. (From Ottawa
(AP) Delivered By Newshound)


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