CAR_Public/991102.MBX                 C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

               Tuesday, November 2, 1999, Vol. 1, No. 190

                                 Headlines

ACCLAIM ENTERTAINMENT: Intends To Contest TX Suit Re Employment & Pay
ACCLAIM ENTERTAINMENT: Settles Suit Over Lazer-Tron Acquisition
ACCLAIM ENTERTAINMENT: Shares Costs For Suit Over Violent Video Games
AMPLIDYNE INC: Wolf Haldenstein Files Securities Suit In New Jersey
APPLIED DIGITAL: Milberg Says Ct Denies Injunction Re Dynatech Tender

BERGEN BRUNSWIG: Barrack Rodos Files Securities Suit In California
CA DEPT OF CORRECTIONS: Women's Prisons Under Renewed Scrutiny
DETROIT EDISON: Charfoos & Christensen File MI FLSA Suit Re OT Pay
DOJ: Former Prosecutor Tells DOJ To Abide By the Laws Including OT Pay
DUFFERIN-PEEL'S: Catholic Board Files Ct Papers Denying Mould In School

EMCOR GROUP: Intends To Defend Vigorously Lawsuit Over ERISA Violation
FEN-PHEN: TX Lawyers Say Settlement Too Lean & Plan To Opt Out En Masse
HIV-CONTRACTED HEMOPHILIACS: Divorce Doesnt Bar Share In MDL Settlement
KEYSTONE ENERGY: Announces Dismissal Of CA Securities Suits
LAWNWOOD REGIONAL: Pathologist Seeks To Oust Plaintiff's Attorney

MATTEL INC: Finkelstein, Thompson Files Securities Suit In California
NY STATE: State & Retirement System Sued Over Age Discrimination In Act
PENDA CORP: Settles Illionois Suit Over Potential Risk Of Bedliners
RAYTHEON COMPANY: Pomerantz Haudek Files Securities Suit-GAAP Violation
SEATTLE CITY: Steve Berman Will Go On With Suit Re Parking Tickets

SPORTS CLUB/LA: Judge Rules Membership Contract Void For Over-Charging
TOBACCO LITIGATION: Class Notice Halted In Australian Action
TOBACCO LITIGATION: Florida Jury Reopens Deliberation On Damages Award
TOBACCO LITIGATION: Settlement Bonds Carry No Insurance; Sale Dates Set

* Clinton Proposes Patient Privacy Plan

                              *********

ACCLAIM ENTERTAINMENT: Intends To Contest TX Suit Re Employment & Pay
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The Company, Iguana Entertainment, Inc. and Gregory E. Fischbach were
sued in an action entitled Jeffery Spangenberg vs. Acclaim
Entertainment, Inc., Iguana Entertainment, Inc., and Gregory Fischbach
filed in August 1998. The plaintiff alleges that the defendants (i)
breached their employment obligations to the plaintiff; (ii) breached a
Texas statute covering wage payment obligations based on their alleged
failure to pay bonuses to the plaintiff; and (iii) made fraudulent
misrepresentations to the plaintiff in connection with the plaintiff's
employment relationship with the Company and, accordingly, seeks
unspecified damages. The Company intends to defend this action
vigorously.

The SEC issued orders in April 1996 directing a private investigation
relating to, among other things, the Company's October 1995 release of
its earnings estimate for fiscal 1995. The Company provided documents to
the SEC, and the SEC took testimony from Company representatives. The
Company was advised in August 1999 that the Staff of the SEC proposes to
recommend that the SEC authorize enforcement action against the Company
and three of its directors (two of whom are members of the Company's
Audit Committee) in connection with matters related to the Company's
release. In accordance with the SEC's rules, the Company has submitted a
response to the Staff's proposed recommendation. The Company has
previously settled litigations relating to the Company's October 1995
release, and the related charges were recorded in fiscal 1997. No
assurance can be given as to the outcome of the SEC investigation. The
Company has established an Employee Savings Plan effective January 1,
1995, which qualifies as a deferred salary arrangement under Section
401(k) of the Internal Revenue Code. The plan is available to all U.S.
employees who meet the eligibility requirements. Under the plan,
participating employees may elect to defer a portion of their pretax
earnings, up to the maximum allowed by the Internal Revenue Service (up
to the lesser of 15% of compensation or $10 for calendar year 1999). All
amounts vest immediately. Generally, the plan assets in a participant's
account will be distributed to a participant or his or her beneficiaries
upon termination of employment, retirement, disability or death. All
plan administrative fees are paid by the Company.

Generally, the Company does not provide its employees any other post
retirement or post employment benefits, except discretionary severance
payments upon termination of employment.

The Company has entered into employment agreements with certain of its
officers which provide for annual bonus payments based on consolidated
income before income taxes, in addition to their base compensation.


ACCLAIM ENTERTAINMENT: Settles Suit Over Lazer-Tron Acquisition
---------------------------------------------------------------
Litigations and claims that have been settled include those by Digital
Pictures, Inc., Sound Source Interactive, Inc., Spectrum Holobyte
California, Inc., Ocean of America, Inc., those arising from certain of
the Company's acquisitions, and the class action litigations relating to
the Lazer-Tron acquisition, the 1995 revision of an earnings release and
an action relating to the status of a license agreement with WMS
Industries, Inc. Such settlements totaling $21,358 as of August 31,
1999, net of a settlement gain discussed below, are being satisfied by
the payment of $10,214 in cash and $11,144 in Common Stock and warrants.
The fair value of the shares of Common Stock issued in settlement is
based on the quoted market value of the Common Stock on the date of
issuance and the fair value of warrants issued in settlement is
calculated using the Black Scholes option pricing model. As of August
31, 1999, the Company had paid $8,273 and $8,594 of the cash and
non-cash portions of the settlements, respectively. The non-cash portion
consisted of the issuance of 770 warrants in fiscal 1999 and 1,274
shares of Common Stock in fiscal 1998 with fair values of $1,700 and
$6,894, respectively. The remaining balance of the settlement
obligations combined with other accrued litigation settlements amounted
to $6,812 at August 31, 1999. In the balance sheet, $4,960 is included
in accrued expenses and $1,852 is included in other long-term
liabilities. The balance of the non-cash obligation will be satisfied
with warrants which generally will have exercise prices of $0.50 less
than the fair market value of the Common Stock on the day the price is
set, will be exercisable for three years and provide for a cashless net
option exercise. One settlement agreement provides that, based on the
market value of the Common Stock during the three year period following
final settlement, additional shares of Common Stock could be issued or a
portion of the shares issued could be returned to the Company.

In fiscal 1999, the Company had a litigation settlement gain of $1,753.
The gain resulted from the reduction of a previously recorded
contractual obligation due to the occurrence of various events
identified in the settlement agreement, including an increase in the
market value of the Company's common stock to a value specified in the
settlement agreement.


ACCLAIM ENTERTAINMENT: Shares Costs For Suit Over Violent Video Games
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The Company and several other firms in the entertainment industry were
sued in an action entitled James, et al. v. Meow Media, et al. filed in
April 1999. The plaintiffs allege that the defendants caused injury to
the plaintiffs as a result of, in the case of the Company, its
manufacture and/or supply of "violent" video games. The plaintiffs seek
damages in the amount of approximately $110,000,000. The Company intends
to defend this action vigorously. The Company has entered into a joint
defense agreement and is sharing defense costs with certain of the other
defendants.


AMPLIDYNE INC: Wolf Haldenstein Files Securities Suit In New Jersey
-------------------------------------------------------------------
The following is an announcement from the law firm of Wolf Haldenstein
Adler Freeman & Herz LLP:

Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP announces that it is filing a
class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
District of New Jersey on behalf of investors who bought Amplidyne, Inc.
(NASDAQ:AMPD) securities between September 9, 1998 and September 14,
1999.

The lawsuit charges Amplidyne and several of its top officers with
violations of the securities laws and regulations of the United States.
On September 9, 1999, the Company announced a new set of products that
offered high speed wireless Internet access at rates significantly
faster than the standard dial up service. At the time, the Company knew
that such a claim was false and misleading. The complaint alleges that
defendants issued a series of false and misleading statements concerning
the Company's "new products" during the Class Period. On September 14,
1999, when the truth was revealed, the price of Amplidyne stock fell 40%
from a high of $ 12.25 on September 10, 1999 to $ 7.38.

Plaintiff is represented by the law firms of Wolf Haldenstein Adler
Freeman & Herz LLP (www.whafh.com), New York, New York. If you purchased
Amplidyne securities during the Class Period, you have until November
15, 1999 to participate in the case and ask the Court to appoint you as
one of the lead plaintiffs for the Class. In order to serve as lead
plaintiff, you must meet certain legal requirements. If you wish to
discuss this action or have any questions, please contact Wolf
Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP at 270 Madison Avenue, New York,
New York 10016, by telephone at (800) 575-0735 (Michael Miske, Gregory
Nespole, Esq., Fred Taylor Isquith, Esq. or Shane T. Rowley, Esq.), via
e-mail at classmember@whafh.com or whafh@aol.com or visit our website at
http://www.whafh.comAll e-mail correspondence should make reference to
Amplidyne. TICKERS: NASDAQ:AMPD


APPLIED DIGITAL: Milberg Says Ct Denies Injunction Re Dynatech Tender
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Milberg Weiss announced Nov 1 that on Friday, October 29, 1999, the San
Diego Superior Court denied a Motion for Preliminary Injunction brought
by plaintiffs on behalf of Applied Digital Access ("ADA") shareholders.
The Court concluded that monetary damages would be adequate for the
injuries suffered by ADA shareholders due to defendants' alleged
breaches of fiduciary duty and therefore an injunction was not
necessary. Plaintiffs currently intend to seek an emergency appeal of
the Court's October 29, 1999 ruling and/or seek a determination before a
jury as to the damages suffered by the ADA shareholders as a result of
defendants' alleged breaches of fiduciary duty, including those
attributable to the false and misleading Tender Offer materials
disseminated to ADA shareholders in connection with the proposed
Dynatech Tender Offer/Merger.

If you wish to discuss this action or have any questions concerning this
notice or your rights or interests, please contact plaintiff's counsel,
William Lerach or Darren Robbins of Milberg Weiss at 800/449-4900 or via
e-mail at wsl@mwbhl.com


BERGEN BRUNSWIG: Barrack Rodos Files Securities Suit In California
------------------------------------------------------------------
Counsel for Class Plaintiff, Barrack, Rodos & Bacine, issued the
following:

A class action has been commenced in the United States District Court
for the Central District of California on behalf of all persons who
purchased the common stock of Bergen Brunswig Corp. (NYSE: BBC), between
March 16, 1999 and October 14, 1999, inclusive.

The complaint charges Bergen and certain of its officers with violations
of federal securities laws. Among other things, plaintiff claims that
the defendants caused material omissions and the dissemination of
materially false and misleading statements regarding the acquisition of
Stadtlander Drug Co., Inc. ("Stadtlander"), formerly a wholly owned
subsidiary of Counsel Corp., and the acquisition of PharMerica, Inc.

On October 14, 1999, Bergen announced it would not meet analysts'
consensus estimates for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended Sept.
30, 1999, blaming the shortfall on "lower than expected results at
Stadtlander." That same day, Bloomberg, Dow Jones and other news
services reported the stunning news that Bergen had filed a lawsuit
against Counsel Corp., claiming that Counsel Corp. had "fraudulently
induced" the Company into paying an "inflated purchase price" for
Stadtlander by "grossly overstating the specialty-drug unit's earnings
and net income during periods when it actually had little or no income."
On this news, the price of Bergen common stock, which had attained a
Class Period high of $25-9/16 on March 17, 1999, and which had been
trading in the range of $10 to $11 per share in the weeks preceding this
news, fell precipitously, closing at $7-9/16 per share on October 15,
1999. Further, on October 19, 1999, upon the market's more fully
absorbing the news, it closed at $6-3/4. This drop caused severe damages
to plaintiff and the Class.

The plaintiff is represented by the law firm of Barrack, Rodos & Bacine.
If you are a member of the Class described above, you may, no later than
December 20, 1999, move the Court to serve as lead plaintiff of the
Class, if you so choose. In order to serve as lead plaintiff, however,
you must meet certain legal requirements. If you wish to discuss this
action or have any questions concerning this case or your rights or
interests, please contact:
Maxine S. Goldman, Shareholder Relations Manager
Barrack, Rodos & Bacine, Counsel for Class Plaintiff
3300 Two Commerce Square
Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
800-417-7305 or 215-963-0600
fax number 888-417-7306 or 215-963-0838
e-mail at msgoldman@barrack.com


CA DEPT OF CORRECTIONS: Women's Prisons Under Renewed Scrutiny
--------------------------------------------------------------
Side by side, the two largest women's prisons in the world rise out of
the almond fields and light up the night sky for miles, an eerie shrine
to crime and punishment now under scrutiny again.

For years, inmates at the Central California Women's Facility have
complained that medical care was so shoddy and inhumane that curable
diseases sometimes became death sentences. After a class action prisoner
lawsuit was filed in 1995, state corrections officials pledged reforms.

But despite improvements in medical staffing and day-to-day health care,
inmates and prison watchdog groups continue to allege that serious
medical problems persist and that a handful of guards and medical
staffers are sexually assaulting inmates. The problems, they say, now
have spread to Valley State Prison just across the road.

The state Department of Corrections has been investigating the charges
in an attempt to determine if they are true, said Cal Terhune, the
department's director.

Terhune said the investigation, which is occurring at all four women's
prisons in California, focuses on whether staff engaged in improper
sexual relations with inmates. He defended, however, the quality of
medical care, saying that the department has taken considerable steps to
improve care for inmates statewide.

But 13 inmates have died at the Central California Women's Facility in
the last year after enduring some form of medical neglect, according to
a San Francisco legal group that negotiated the settlement of the 1995
lawsuit and monitors medical conditions. Long delays in cancer
diagnosis, severe dehydration and inmates being forced to lie for hours
in their excrement are a part of everyday life here, the group alleged.

At least one former inmate has told attorneys that her child was
fathered behind bars by a prison staffer. Several other inmates say that
they spent their sentences fending off sexual advances from guards and
work crew supervisors.

One male nurse at the Central California Women's Facility assigned to
care for inmates with serious and terminal illnesses admitted in a
deposition that he sexually abused three patients in 1996, said Ellen
Barry, director of Legal Services for Prisoners With Children in San
Francisco. At least one victim was so weak that she could not move
enough to defend herself, Barry said.

Two weeks ago, the head medical officer at Valley State Prison was
reassigned to a desk job in Sacramento after explaining to a network
news program why his staff was giving pelvic exams to inmates
complaining of headaches. He said the women enjoyed the procedure
because "it's the only male contact they get."

A prison official, however, said that two-thirds of such exams are
performed by female nurse practitioners. The doctor's comments will air
during a six-part "Nightline" series on both Chowchilla prisons.

"To be sure, medical care inside these prisons has improved," Barry
said. "But there are still serious deficiencies that are causing deaths
and causing critically ill women to be without the kind of treatment
they are entitled to both morally and under the law. . . . And we're now
hearing more stories from women about sexual abuse at the hands of
staff."

Terhune said some of the steps taken to improve medical care include
hiring more doctors and nurses and increasing access to medications.
The biggest challenge, he said, is finding and keeping good doctors,
nurses and mental health staff willing to work in penitentiaries.
"We've done a better job lately of recruiting medical staff, but I'm
still not satisfied," Terhune said.

As for the allegations of sexual abuse, Terhune said the department is
in the midst of a months-long internal investigation. "I don't know at
this point if the problem is widespread or not. That's what we're in the
process of trying to determine," he said.

Corrections officials last month disclosed that five corrections
employees had resigned and 40 more were under investigation for sexual
misconduct with inmates at the California Institution for Women in
Frontera, and other prisons.

In the meantime, confidential complaint boxes have been placed inside
each of the four women's prisons to gather any allegations of sexual and
medical abuse. An ombudsman assigned to the four prisons has the only
key, Terhune said.

The department is also reviewing paperwork on every pelvic examination
done at Valley State Prison over the last few years to determine if
there is a pattern of unnecessary exams.

More than 7,000 inmates, from small-time felons to lifers on death row,
are housed in this prison industrial complex in the heart of Madera
County.

Barry's small army of lawyers has conducted more than 300 interviews at
the two prisons since 1995, and her group contends that some inmates are
dying needlessly.

The group alleges that doctors at the Central California Women's
Facility failed to diagnose and treat severe pain in inmate Mia Doiron's
knee for six months. It turned out to be bone cancer and Doiron, a
26-year-old serving a one-year sentence for drug possession, watched her
chances for survival plummet from 90% to 10% because of the delay, Barry
said. She died this summer.

The group contends there also was a delay in diagnosing and treating the
breast cancer of inmate Tina Balagno. A doctor at Valley State found a
lump on Balagno's breast in the summer of 1998. She was transferred
across the street, but the medical finding apparently did not follow
her, Barry said. It took three months for doctors at the Central
California Women's Facility to perform a mastectomy. By that time, the
cancer had spread to her bones. Balagno died in February.

"God help the woman with a lump on her breast because it may be six
months between finding that lump and getting a mastectomy," said
Catherine Campbell, a Fresno attorney who has interviewed hundreds of
inmates at the two prisons as part of the lawsuit and follow-up
monitoring. "By the time something is done, it's gone from curable to
incurable."

Campbell agreed that corrections officials had made important strides in
improving health care for inmates with chronic diseases such as
diabetes. But she and other members of the legal team singled out the
skilled nursing unit at the Central California Women's Facility as a
particular trouble spot. The unit is supposed to offer round-the-clock
nursing care, but sick inmates say that they sit in fear of a transfer
to the infirmary.

Gloria Johnson, a 45-year-old accountant who served three years for
embezzlement, said she had advanced multiple sclerosis when she was
transferred to the skilled nursing facility in 1996. Even though Johnson
could not use her arms or legs, she alleges, the nurses left her
unattended for nine days. Had it not been for other ailing inmates
coming to her rescue, she said she would have gone without food, water
and diaper changes. "I was treated like an animal," said Johnson, who
was paroled last year. "When I was finally returned to the main yard, no
one recognized me. I hadn't been given a shower in nine days." She said
she wrote letters detailing the neglect to the warden, the governor,
state senators and the mayor of San Diego, her hometown. But Johnson
said the only response came from prison staff telling her that her
complaints had landed her a new stint inside the infirmary. "It was
harassment," she said. "I couldn't understand why they were treating me
this way. I wasn't a troublemaker. I wasn't asking for special
treatment. I just wanted to be treated like a human."

Throughout her prison term, Johnson was interviewed by Barry's legal
staff. Her experience is hardly uncommon, Barry said. "The skilled
nursing facility is a hellhole. Terminally ill patients are routinely
left lying in their own excrement or unbathed for days at a time. The
call buttons for nurses are routinely disconnected," Barry said.

An independent assessor, assigned to determine if the correction
department is complying with the reforms, is expected to file a final
report on medical conditions at the Central California Women's Facility
in upcoming weeks.

This summer, the state Department of Health Services documented a number
of medical deficiencies at the prison, including poor patient care and
ineffective procedures to combat the spread of infectious diseases. A
1997 study by the New York-based group Human Rights Watch found that
female inmates in California were frequent victims of sexual abuse. The
group concluded that procedures to report and investigate abuse were
flawed and biased in favor of correctional staff. (Los Angeles Times
10-29-1999)


DETROIT EDISON: Charfoos & Christensen File MI FLSA Suit Re OT Pay
------------------------------------------------------------------
Charfoos & Christensen, P.C. reports a class action lawsuit was filed in
the Eastern District of Michigan Federal Court, Detroit, MI against The
Detroit Edison Company on behalf of past and present Detroit Edison
employees who allege the company violated the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The lawsuit was filed in the name of 61 present Detroit Edison employees
who allege that they, as well as hundreds, if not thousands, of past and
present Detroit Edison employees were wrongly denied overtime in
violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), a federal wage and
hour law.

James Acs and Ray Jones, two of the 61 individually named Plaintiffs,
have each worked for Detroit Edison for over twenty years. They are
currently employed in non-union positions and receive only straight time
compensation when they work more then forty hours in a week. The
Complaint alleges that Mr. Acs, Mr. Jones, as well as the other named
Plaintiffs should have received one and one-half times their hourly rate
of pay when they work more then 40 hours in a week.

The Complaint also alleges that numerous other Detroit Edison non-union
employees were wrongly denied overtime compensation.

Plaintiff's attorneys, Jared P. Buckley and Michelle T. Aiello of the
law firm of Charfoos & Christensen, P.C., Detroit, Michigan, state that
Detroit Edison left the workers no choice but to file this lawsuit.

"Our investigation into this matter has demonstrated that in 1995
Detroit Edison underwent a corporate restructuring. As a result of this
restructuring, hundreds of employees were no longer receiving overtime
compensation of one and one-half times their hourly rate. The affected
workers have repeatedly attempted to resolve this issue with Detroit
Edison on their own to no avail. They were left with no other choice but
to file this lawsuit," says Buckley.

Attorneys Buckley and Aiello, who have filed similar lawsuits against
Ameritech Corporation and Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan, add that,
"hourly workers should always receive one and one-half times their
hourly rate as overtime compensation." "There is no legal way around
this requirement for non-exempt employees."

For more information, or to obtain a copy of the Complaint call Jared P.
Buckley or Michelle T. Aiello at 313-875-8080. SOURCE Charfoos &
Christensen, P.C. CONTACT: Attorney Jared P. Buckley or Michelle T.
Aiello, of Charfoos & Christensen, P.C., 313-875-8080


DOJ: Former Prosecutor Tells DOJ To Abide By the Laws Including OT Pay
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In a Commentary column, Rory Little rightly observes that it was "an
honor to have been permitted to stand up in court" and represent the
United States in prosecuting lawbreakers ("Out of Class: Former Federal
Prosecutor Tells Why He Shuns Action by Ex-Colleagues," Daily Report,
Sept. 27, 1999).

Yet, because he found the job of enforcing the nation's laws rewarding,
Mr. Little announces that he will not participate in a class action on
behalf of all Department of Justice attorneys seeking to remedy the
department's violations of federal wage law. Apparently, he is oblivious
to the irony.

Indeed, from my view as a former federal prosecutor, Mr. Little's column
misses the point of the lawsuit entirely. For those who stand up in
court day-in and day-out and tell private citizens that they must abide
by the law, the revelation that the Department of Justice has been
systematically violating federal wage laws is an acute embarrassment.

Mr. Little does not argue to the contrary. Indeed, he acknowledges that
federal wage laws require overtime for hours worked beyond 40 per week,
that there is no exception for the department's lawyers and that "the
Department of Justice's own internal memorandums appear to acknowledge
liability."

Yet he cavalierly rejects the effort to correct the violations by
asserting that "if DOJ lawyers don't like the compensation they get,"
they can go out and find other work. The headline for his article might
well have read, "Prosecutor Endorses Knowing Violations of Law."

Mr. Little is right about one thing. The department's attorneys take
tremendous pride in their jobs and their service to the nation. They
have worked millions of hours of uncompensated overtime because they
know it is expected by the department and necessitated by the needs of
the citizens they serve.

There is no doubt that few of us would trade our Department of Justice
experiences for the higher salary we could have received in private
practice. But how many, including Mr. Little, would work for 75 percent
of salary? Fifty percent? For free?

Accepting the level of compensation mandated by Congress, which even
including overtime is a fraction of private practice compensation, does
not seem too much to ask. And complying with federal pay laws may even
be in the department's own long-term interests by encouraging
individuals to make public service a career.

Mr. Little's comments about support staff and time accounting also are
telling. As he notes, "lack of resources and support personnel in the
government often contributed" to the late hours he worked. Yet the
department can afford to cut back on secretarial and paralegal support
and shift the burden to its attorney personnel because paralegals and
secretaries are compensated if they stay late to assemble an exhibit
list, but lawyers are not.

And as Mr. Little correctly observes, even when he, like other
department attorneys, worked 60-80 hours a week, "Mother Justice still
nickel-and-dimed me on vacation hours: Use your leave to attend a bar
association meeting or take your child to soccer!"

Professionalism in the department goes in only one direction: work as
many hours as you want, but no fewer than 40.

Equally puzzling is Mr. Little's assertion that he "took the job with
eyes wide open." Really? The U.S. Attorney's Manual states department
attorneys "should expect to work in excess of regular hours without
overtime pay."

Absent is any acknowledgement that the department's attorneys are
entitled to overtime. We were told that we were exempt from the overtime
laws. The department wouldn't mislead us about a basic component of our
compensation, would they? Would Mr. Little have agreed to forego
compensation for all six years of his tenure had he known he was
entitled to it? We'll never know.

What we do know is that not even Mr. Little denies "the legal validity
of the claim" nor questions the propriety of seeking "what the law seems
clearly to demand." But that is not the issue. Department attorneys have
an obligation to ensure that the agency that enforces federal law,
including federal wage laws, against others, itself complies with these
provisions.

Unless the department's hypocrisy is remedied in this case, the agency
and the individuals who represent it lose their moral authority to
enforce the law against others. By refusing to participate, individuals
like Mr. Little condone the actions of a small group of bureaucrats in
Washington who conjured up this policy and who, in the process, have
damaged the reputation of the nation's chief law enforcement agency.

Daniel A. Clancy

Jackson, Tenn.

Daniel A. Clancy, now in private practice, served as the U. S. Attorney
for the Western District of Tennessee in 1993. Prior to that, he was an
Assistant U.S. Attorney in that district and received the John Marshall
Award from the Attorney General, one of DOJ's highest honors. He
likewise is a class member in the suit. (Fulton County Daily Report
11-1-1999)


DUFFERIN-PEEL'S: Catholic Board Files Ct Papers Denying Mould In School
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
In its bid to ward off a $ 2-billion lawsuit, Dufferin-Peel's Catholic
board has filed court papers that deny the presence of mould in its
schools. "Mould, as claimed or at all, is not present in school board
facilities; mould as claimed or at all, does not cause health problems
as claimed or all," say court papers filed by the board, which has spent
more than $ 20 million cleaning up mouldy portable classrooms.

Lawyer Michael Peerless, who is representing the school board, said
there is no proof of mould in its facilities. "It's before the courts.
It's very much being defended. We think the claim is baseless," Peerless
said of the class-action claim by parents who say students are falling
ill from toxic mould. "There will be no school board if this case is
successful."

Stewart Gillis, the lawyer representing parents, said he hopes to extend
the class-action lawsuit to school boards across the province, and added
that he has about 100 families signed up so far.

Only parents Paula and Philip MacDonald and their daughter Chloe, a
student at Blessed Edith Stein Catholic school in Mississauga, have been
named on behalf of the class action.

                               Fatigue

The suit says Chloe suffered from fatigue, headaches, asthma and
vomiting as a result of mould. "I'm getting calls from parents all over
Ontario who are anxious to participate ... I want as many parents as I
can to come forward where children have been made sick," Gillis said.

Board spokesman Bruce Campbell said he could not comment directly on the
lawsuit, but that the board has done invasive inspections and cleanups
of its portable classrooms, expected to be completed by the week of Nov.
8. The cleanup was ordered by the medical officer of health. (The
Toronto Sun 10-29-1999)


EMCOR GROUP: Intends To Defend Vigorously Lawsuit Over ERISA Violation
----------------------------------------------------------------------
On July 31, 1998 a former employee of a subsidiary of EMCOR Group Inc.
filed a class-action complaint on behalf of the participants in two
employee benefit plans sponsored by EMCOR against EMCOR and other
defendants for breach of fiduciary duty under the Employee Retirement
Income Security Act. All of the claims relate to alleged acts or
omissions which occurred during the period May 1, 1991 to December 1994.
The principal allegations of the complaint are that the defendants
breached their fiduciary duties by causing the plans to purchase and
hold stock of EMCOR when it was then known as JWP INC. and when the
defendants knew or should have known it was imprudent to do so. The
plaintiff has not made claim for a specific dollar amount of damages but
generally seeks to recover for the benefit plans the loss in the value
of JWP stock held by the plans. EMCOR and the other defendants intend to
vigorously defend the case. Insurance coverage may be applicable under
an EMCOR pension trust liability insurance policy for EMCOR and those
present and former employees of EMCOR who are defendants in the action.


FEN-PHEN: TX Lawyers Say Settlement Too Lean & Plan To Opt Out En Masse
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Texas plaintiffs lawyers say some of the terms of the $ 3.75 billion
national settlement for users of the diet-drug combination fen-phen are
too lean and plan to opt out en masse.

Lawyers who object to the settlement say while the medical monitoring
plan for fen-phen users who don't show any symptoms yet is good in some
ways, the compensation plan for injured class members is woefully
inadequate.

Texas lawyers who represent most of the plaintiffs who have filed suit
in state court say they will not join the settlement, announced by
American Home Products Corp. on Oct. 7 after months of negotiations.

"I think they're absolutely kidding themselves," says Dallas lawyer
Robert Kisselburgh, who along with partner Kip Petroff won a $ 23.4
million verdict in August in the nation's first fen-phen case to reach a
jury. The case recently settled for less than 10 percent of the verdict.

"I mean, I don't know if it's a ploy to bring the stock up, since it was
down after our verdict, but I think they're kidding themselves if they
think the majority of people in Texas are going to take this
settlement," says Kisselburgh, of Petroff & Kisselburgh.

Texas lawyers took the lead in the litigation and discovery. The first
three fen-phen cases that went to trial were tried here. One of them, in
Cleburne, settled in April a few days after testimony began for a
reported $ 500,000.

Tom Pirtle, of Houston's O'Quinn & Laminack, who along with the Houston
firm Williams Bailey represents 3,200 fen-phen plaintiffs, says he will
file an objection to block the settlement.

Officials with drug manufacturer American Home Products Corp., of
Madison, N.J., and Arnold Levin, a Philadelphia lawyer who helped
negotiate the deal, say the settlement will not collapse if Texas
lawyers don't join. The company retained the right to terminate the
settlement if response is not strong enough; it did not admit any
wrongdoing.

"I happen to think it's a very good settlement, and a lot of plaintiffs
lawyers are supporting it all over the country," says Levin, of Levin,
Fishbein, Sedran & Berman.

"I don't know why they would threaten the settlement," Levin says of the
Texas lawyers. "I mean, they have the perfect right to opt out, so I
don't know why they would threaten the settlement."

Pirtle says he will object because if the settlement is approved, the
judge would make findings that support low compensation for the vast
majority of injuries, especially mild mitral valve regurgitation cases,
a type of injury that does not yet justify surgery. "I cannot let those
findings occur, and will not," Pirtle says.

Kisselburgh estimates that Texas lawyers represent some 4,000 fen-phen
plaintiffs who allege injury in state court. American Home officials say
they are facing about 6,500 suits with 11,500 plaintiffs. An estimated 6
million Americans took Redux or Pondimin, including 600,000 Texans.

The settlement, which with interest will be worth about $ 4.9 billion
over a 16-year payout schedule, is available for users of the diet drugs
Pondimin and Redux, which were manufactured by American Home. Both drugs
contain fenfluramine, or the "fen" part of fen-phen.

At the request of the Food and Drug Administration, Wyeth-Ayerst
Laboratories, the pharmaceutical arm of American Home, pulled both drugs
off the market in 1997 after studies suggested a link between the drugs
and heart-valve leaks, as well as a rare but deadly lung disease called
primary pulmonary hypertension, or PPH.

The settlement excludes anyone who may suffer from PPH, and includes
only users who suffer or fear they may suffer in the future from
heart-valve problems, which can range from mild to severe.

One $ 1 billion fund will cover medical monitoring and screening for
class members. Those who used the drugs 60 days or less, which American
Home officials say constitutes 75 percent of total fen-phen users, will
get reimbursed for the cost of the drugs. If an echocardiogram - a
diagnostic procedure that detects cardiac irregularities through sound
waves - shows aortic valve damage defined by the FDA as mild, moderate
or severe, they get reimbursed for the test and choose either $ 3,000
cash or $ 5,000 worth of more medical help.

Those who used the drugs for 60 days or more are entitled to a free
echo, and if the test shows mild, moderate or severe aortic damage,
they're entitled to either $ 6,000 cash or $ 10,000 worth of more
medical services.

The plan offers those users three chances to opt out: immediately,
before the plan is approved; after a test shows any damage; or even
after they qualify for a compensation payment. American Home will waive
any statute of limitations issue. However, in the latter two instances,
users waive the right to seek punitive damages.

Charles Parker, of Houston's Hill & Parker, lead counsel in a
class-action suit pending in Conroe for Texas fen-phen users who have
not yet filed suit, says the medical monitoring part of the settlement
offers a "best of all worlds" choice for those class members. Parker
consulted closely with lawyers who negotiated this aspect of the
settlement. But Parker, who represents about 100 plaintiffs in
personal-injury suits, says he will advise all those clients to opt out.

But some lawyers object to the monitoring plan. Kisselburgh says under
the settlement terms, his client Debbie Lovett, who won the $ 23.4
million verdict, would qualify only for a $ 6,000 payout because she
suffered a moderate level of damage.

"The gist of it is, the majority of people who have been injured by
these drugs would not be compensated under these plans," Kisselburgh
says.

Donald Bowen, of Houston's Helm, Pletcher, Bowen & Saunders, who
represents about 200 plaintiffs in state court, says the medical
monitoring should guarantee a free echocardiogram to everyone, not just
those who took the drugs more than 60 days. "It seems to me that ought
to be the least that it does," Bowen says.

But the lawyers' biggest gripes focus on the part of the plan that sets
aside a separate fund - $ 2.55 billion at maximum present value - for
users with serious heart-valve disease.

Under factors set up in the plan, including age, severity of injury and
other medical conditions, the most any injured member can get is $ 1.5
million - and that's if the user is 24 years old or younger and has had
heart surgery or a stroke. Youngest class members are eligible for the
most money, yet most of the women who took fen-phen are in their 30s and
40s, lawyers say.

"I'll bet there's not a single person in this country who meets that
criteria," says Tommy Fibich, of Houston's Fibich & Garth. However,
Fibich, co-counsel with Parker in the class action in Conroe, says he
likes the medical- monitoring provision of the plan.

Pirtle and other Texas plaintiffs lawyers were scheduled to meet with
American Home lawyers in Houston on Oct. 14, after press time. Pirtle
says he hopes the company is willing to offer better settlement terms
for his cases. "I just can't let anything they do up there slow down or
interfere with my cases," Pirtle says. (Texas Lawyer 10-18-1999)


HIV-CONTRACTED HEMOPHILIACS: Divorce Doesnt Bar Share In MDL Settlement
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The federal judge handling the class-action settlement of claims brought
by hemophiliacs who contracted HIV from blood-clotting products has
ruled on an issue not contemplated in the agreement.

Four pharmaceutical manufacturers agreed in May 1997 to pay 100,000 to
each of 6,200 hemophiliacs or surviving family members to settle
negligence and wrongful death claims arising from the production of
contaminated clotting products.

A special master is now reviewing the validity of claims from the 640
million settlement. A claim must be premised upon the existence of a
"family relationship," but the agreement doesn't say what happens in the
case of divorce.

Beckie Walker sought 50 percent of the money from the estate of Michael
P. Copper. The special master rejected the claim, deciding that Walker
was not entitled to any money because her family relationship with
Copper terminated upon divorce. The special master instead directed that
100 percent of the money go to Copper's son.

In her motion of objection, Walker argued that she should get something
because she suffered emotional distress from the possibility that she
could have developed AIDS as a result of intimate contact during the
marriage.

U.S. District Judge John F. Grady said that point was well taken.
Without deciding the validity of Walker's assertion, he directed the
special master to reconsider her claim.

The fact that the relationship ended in divorce did not diminish the
potential risk of contracting HIV during the marriage, the judge said,
framing the issue as a "fear of AIDS" allegation. "The claims for
emotional distress and fear of AIDS are claims 'resulting from a family
relationship' within the literal meaning of the settlement agreement,"
Grady said.

The judge rejected an alternative argument raised by Walker. She said
she was entitled to the money because she was a caregiver to her
husband. The judge said care rendered by one spouse to another is
generally presumed to be gratuitous, and in any event, the spouse
rendering services could have no claim against a third party for the
value of the services.

In re Factor VIII or IX Concentrate Blood Products Litigation, MDL-986,
No. 93 C 7452. Claim No. 80017539, 80021472 (N.D. Ill., 6/23/99). (AIDS
Policy and Law 8-6-1999)


KEYSTONE ENERGY: Announces Dismissal Of CA Securities Suits
-----------------------------------------------------------
Keystone Energy Services Inc. (OTC BB: KESE) announced on Nov 1 that all
purported class action lawsuits pending in the United States District
Court for the Central District of California have been dismissed with
prejudice.

These lawsuits sought to certify a class consisting of persons
purchasing or selling Keystone stock during the period from Oct. 23,
1997 through March 27, 1998. The company would like to extend its
gratitude to all their loyal shareholders that continued to support
Keystone during the actions.

Keystone is a green power provider selling renewable electricity under
the trade name EarthChoice(SM) in California's newly deregulated market.
The electricity is transmitted and distributed over existing power lines
under contractual agreements entered between Keystone and Pacific Gas &
Electric Co., a subsidiary of PG&E Corp. (NYSE: PCG), Southern
California Edison, a subsidiary of Edison International (NYSE: EIX), and
San Diego Gas & Electric, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE).


LAWNWOOD REGIONAL: Pathologist Seeks To Oust Plaintiff's Attorney
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Donald Tobkin Presses Willie Gary To Reveal Relationship With Dr Leonard
Walker, Key Defendant And Asserted Gary Should Be Dropped From Case

Willie Gary sauntered out of Courtroom H the same way he entered it last
Thursday afternoon, smiling, snapping his fingers and tapping his hands
to the pant legs of his $ 3,000 black Brioni suit. After a four-hour
hearing in which he sat under cross-examination for an hour and fifteen
minutes, his pumpkin-colored kerchief was still just so in his breast
pocket. He never had to use it. No sweat.

Donald Tobkin had been pressing Gary to reveal something of his
relationship with Dr. Leonard Walker, a pathologist who is the key
defendant in a class-action malpractice lawsuit. Walker alleges he and
Gary met last May to discuss his case and then Gary dropped him as a
client and took up the plaintiffs side.

Gary should be disqualified from the case, Tobkin asserted, because it
violates Walkers attorney-client privilege and gives Gary an unfair
tactical advantage.

Gary represents John O. Hawley, a 63-year-old White City man who in June
sued Lawnwood Regional Medical Center and five doctors, alleging they
incorrectly diagnosed him with lung cancer and removed most of his right
lung - and then conspired to cover up the mistake.

The lawsuit further alleges a prevalence of misdiagnoses ... dating back
several years and affecting 100 as yet unspecified patients. Gary is
seeking $ 1 billion for his clients.

Walker will testify at a later hearing to disqualify Gary from the case.

Last Thursday, Tobkin had an opportunity to question Gary and Miami
lawyer Bradley Stark, who introduced Walker and Dr. John Minarcik, both
pathologists, to Gary last May. Gary vehemently denied - often in a Dr.
Seuss-like cadence - discussing the Hawley case in any way with the
doctors.

Gary and Stark maintained they were discussing a Medicaid-Medicare
collection case with the doctors. They had no knowledge of the Hawley
case, either, they said, until sometime later when Boca Raton attorney
Brian Glick contacted Gary.

I can assure you on my daddy's grave, Gary boomed. I've told you time
and time again: Dr. Walker didn't talk to me about any of that stuff. I
didn't even know Dr. Walker when he walked in today. Do you know how
many people I see? (Press Journal (Vero Beach, FL) 10-29-1999)


MATTEL INC: Finkelstein, Thompson Files Securities Suit In California
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Finkelstein, Thompson & Loughran has filed a securities class action
complaint against Mattel, Inc. (NYSE: MAT) and certain of its officers
and directors in the United States District Court for the Central
District of California. The suit is brought on behalf of all persons or
entities who purchased or otherwise acquired the common stock of Mattel,
Inc. between February 2, 1999 and October 1, 1999 inclusive (the "Class
Period").

The complaint charges Mattel, Inc. and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the securities laws and regulations of the
United States. The complaint alleges that defendants issued a series of
false and misleading statements concerning the Company's finances during
the Class Period. In particular, the complaint alleges that Mattel, Inc.
failed to disclose that its wholly owned subsidiary, The Learning
Company, which it had acquired in 1999 in a stock-for-stock transaction,
was experiencing serious problems, including the return of large
quantities of goods, bad debts which would have to be written off and a
failed licensing agreement. As a result, Mattel, Inc. announced that The
Learning Company would incur a $50 million to $100 million loss rather
than the large profit forecast for the third quarter 1999. The complaint
also alleges heavy insider selling of Mattel stock during the Class
Period by insiders.

Plaintiff is represented by the law firm of Finkelstein, Thompson &
Loughran. If you are a member of the Class, you may move the court, no
later than December 6, 1999, to serve as a lead plaintiff for the Class.
In order to serve as a lead plaintiff, you must meet certain legal
requirements. If you have any questions about this Notice, the action,
or your rights, please contact: Vincent D. Renzi, Esq., with
Finkelstein, Thompson & Loughran, toll free at (888) 333-4409, or at
(202) 337-8000 or by e-mail at vdr@ftllaw.com SOURCE Finkelstein,
Thompson & Loughran CONTACT: Vincent D. Renzi, Esq., of Finkelstein,
Thompson & Loughran, 888-333-4409 or 202-337-8000 or e-mail,
vdr@ftllaw.com


NY STATE: State & Retirement System Sued Over Age Discrimination In Act
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
McGINTY v. STATE OF NEW YORK

Acting on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated, plaintiffs
sued the New York State and Local Employees' Retirement System, charging
violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Plaintiffs
contended that "similarly situated" individuals included people who,
like them, received death benefits that were wrongfully reduced because
of age, in violation of the ADEA. On appeal, plaintiffs claimed that the
District Court erred in dismissing their claims on the ground of
mootness. That court had found that the Retirement System's
administrative correction of the death benefit system and payment of
additional benefits had rendered plaintiffs' claims moot. In reversal,
the panel said that there was a legitimate continuing dispute and that
plaintiffs were entitled to unpaid liquidated damages.

By Cabranes and Sack, C.JJ. and Shadur, * D.J.

The Honorable Milton I. Shadur, of the United States District Court for
the Northern District of Illinois, sitting by designation.

McGINTY v. STATE OF NEW YORK QDS:01761716 - Shadur, D.J.: Mary McGinty
and James Nash are respectively the Executrix of the Estate and the
designated death benefit beneficiary of Maureen Nash ("Nash"), a former
employee of the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance
("Department") and, as such, a former member of the New York State and
Local Employees' Retirement System ("Retirement System"). Acting on
behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, they brought
this action against Department, Retirement System and the State of New
York ("State") itself, charging violations of the Age Discrimination in
Employment Act ("ADEA," 29 U.S.C. @ 621 -634) as amended by the Older
Workers' Benefit Protection Act of 1990 ("Older Workers' Act," Pub. L.
No. 101 -433, 104 Stat. 978). n1 Plaintiffs (the collective term that we
will employ to embrace the entire putative class, not just the name
plaintiffs) contend that "similarly situated" individuals include (1)
approximately 1,000 people n2 who, like them, received death benefits
that were wrongfully reduced because of age in violation of ADEA @
623(a) and also (2) many members and former members of Retirement System
whose disability benefits have been and are wrongfully reduced because
of age.

n1 All citations to ADEA, including the 1990 amendments, will take the
form "ADEA @ -," using the section numbering in the Title 29
codification rather than the internal numbering of either act.

2 384 of those individuals have joined with the name plaintiffs in this
action.

Defendants concede, and the district court (Lawrence E. Kahn, J.) n3
found it undisputed, that the New York Retirement and Social Security
Law ("New York's Retirement Law") @@ 62(b), 448(a)(2), 507, 508(a)(2)
and 606(a)(2), the statute controlling the calculation of death benefits
payable to Retirement System members' beneficiaries, does not comply
with ADEA. It is equally undisputed that because New York's Retirement
Law had continued to make improper distinctions in benefits on the basis
of age in violation of ADEA as amended by the Older Workers Act,
Retirement System had knowingly violated ADEA for several years by
paying the inadequate death benefits called for by New York's Retirement
Law.

n3 Judge Kahn's opinion is reported at 14 F.Supp.2d 241 (N.D. N.Y.
1998).

Nonetheless the district court found that Retirement System's ultimate
administrative correction of the death benefit system in the face of
inaction by the New York legislature, and Retirement System's consequent
additional payments of what it viewed as the required corresponding
compensatory damages to the death benefit beneficiaries, had rendered
plaintiffs' claims moot (14 F.Supp. 2d at 246 - 51). Additionally the
district court found that the name plaintiffs lacked standing to
maintain a claim on behalf of Retirement System members who had suffered
age discrimination with respect to disability benefits rather than death
benefits (id. at 251).

Accordingly, the district court granted defendants' Fed. R. Civ. P.
("Rule") 12(b)(1) motion to dismiss the case for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction, and plaintiffs now appeal. We reverse the district court's
dismissal of plaintiffs' death benefit claims as moot and hold
plaintiffs entitled to the claimed statutory liquidated damages, and we
vacate the district court's dismissal of the disability benefit claims
sought to be advanced by plaintiffs. We remand for reconsideration in
light of this opinion both the unresolved issues as to the death benefit
claims and the question whether the name plaintiffs lack standing to
assert the disability benefit claims.

                             Background

From October 16, 1992 until June 20, 1996 defendants, acting pursuant to
New York's Retirement Law, admittedly violated ADEA by maintaining and
implementing a death benefit system that discriminated unlawfully
against New York state and municipal employees because of their age. n4
Plaintiffs claim that since October 16, 1992 (and continuing through the
present) defendants have also maintained and implemented a disability
benefit system that violates ADEA. n5

n4 New York's Retirement Law discriminated based on age in two ways:
First, death benefits were reduced if the member joined after turning 52
and second, death benefits were reduced by 10 percent for each year that
the member remained employed after turning 60, but subject to a floor of
10 percent of the benefit in force at age 60.

5 Plaintiffs claim that New York's Retirement Law @@ 62(b) and 507
discriminate based on age because they lower the amount of disability
benefits for members who join Retirement System after turning 40 or who
become disabled after turning 60 (or both).

New York's Office of the State Comptroller (the administrative head of
the retirement system and trustee of the Retirement System's fund),
aware that New York's Retirement Law did not comply with the Older
Workers Act amendments, repeatedly attempted without success to have the
state law amended by the New York legislature. In 1992 the Comptroller's
Office had commissioned a report from Buck Consultants, an employee
benefits consulting firm, to analyze New York's Retirement Law's death
and disability benefit provisions and to recommend any necessary changes
to the benefit structure to comply with the Older Workers Act. Despite
the Buck Report's adverse findings as to the New York provisions'
noncompliance with ADEA's requirements, despite that Report's consequent
recommendations for statutory amendments to bring the New York system
into compliance, and despite the support of New York's Governor for the
Comptroller's efforts in that regard, the New York legislature (which
was of course the ultimate authority for instituting any such state law
changes) did nothing.

Ultimately the Comptroller's Office, confronted by the dilemma of New
York's continued statutory noncompliance with the overriding mandate of
ADEA, decided to implement the Buck Report's death benefit
recommendations although the New York Retirement Law itself remained
unchanged. Accordingly, Retirement System began to calculate the revised
amounts in June and July 1996, and it began to make the calculated
supplemental payments in stages, beginning later in 1996 and continuing
on into 1997 and beyond.

Meanwhile, after Nash's death early in 1995 Retirement System had paid
her named beneficiary James Nash an ordinary death benefit of $
36,671.44 under the Retirement Law's ADEA-violative formula, an amount
that was both (1) less than the benefit that would have been paid had
Nash joined Retirement System before turning 52 and (2) less than the
benefit that would have been paid had Nash died before turning 61. By an
original charge filed early in 1996, and then by an April 1996 amendment
to that charge that identified Retirement System as the discriminatory
state agency, plaintiffs tendered to the United States Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") their complaints of age discrimination.
In October 1996, at substantially the same time that a Retirement System
benefits examiner communicated with James Nash seeking to provide him
with forms to process a differential payment in conformity with the Buck
Report's formulation, plaintiffs brought this action in the Northern
District of New York, requesting monetary and injunctive relief, costs,
attorney's fees and disbursements, and such other relief as the court
deemed just and proper.

In response to plaintiffs' interrogatories, defendants admitted their
original ADEA violations in the payment of death benefits for those
whose benefits had been calculated under the age-discriminatory
provisions of New York's Retirement Law. They also disclosed the names
of Retirement System members who were discriminated against with respect
to those benefits, the identity of the death beneficiaries of those
members, the original death benefits paid to those beneficiaries and the
adjusted amounts that defendants believe should have been paid.
According to defendants' records the overall death benefits had
originally been wrongfully reduced by approximately $ 20.8 million.

As stated earlier, it was in June 1996 (nearly four years after ADEA, as
amended by the Older Workers' Act, had been extended to cover employee
retirement benefit plans) that Retirement System implemented the Buck
Report's recommendations of a revised method of calculating death
benefits that it contends is in compliance with ADEA (though plaintiffs
dispute that). When in July 1996 Retirement System began to make further
payments to the beneficiaries who had been affected by the acknowledged
discrimination in earlier death benefit payments, each of those added
payments was in an amount equal to the difference between the initial
benefit and the recalculated benefit, plus 5 percent annual interest
from the date of death.

Plaintiffs assert that the new method is still not in compliance with
ADEA, that they are still entitled to liquidated damages resulting from
the improper death benefit payments and that defendants continue to make
unlawfully reduced payments to disability claimants. In that last
respect, plaintiffs claim that the class of injured disability claimants
exceeds 10,000 members. Plaintiffs also claim (and it would certainly
seem likely in terms of sheer statistical probability, given the large
numbers of members in each category) that many death benefit decedents
also had disability discrimination claims, but plaintiffs cannot confirm
that claim absent defendants' compliance with their discovery requests.

                           Standard of Review

We review de novo a dismissal of a cause of action under Rule 12(b)(1)
(see, e.g., Jaghory v. New York State Dep't of Educ., 131 F.3d 326, 329
(2d Cir. 1997) and cases cited there). To that end we must accept all
factual allegations in the complaint as true and draw inferences from
those allegations in the light most favorable to plaintiffs (id.).

                     Mootness of Death Benefit Claims

We first address whether the District Court correctly determined that
plaintiffs' death benefit claims are moot. Comer v. Cisneros, 37 F.3d
775, 798 (2d Cir. 1994) has reconfirmed the teaching of earlier
precedent that "a case is moot when the issues presented are no longer
live or the parties lack a legally cognizable interest in the outcome."
And Church of Scientology v. United States, 506 U.S. 9, 12 (1992)
(citation omitted) has stressed that a case is moot only if it is
"impossible for the court to grant 'any effectual relief whatever' to a
prevailing party." Hence district courts (and appellate courts as well)
should focus their mootness inquiries on whether there is a legitimate
continuing dispute between the parties. And here the analysis readily
reveals that to be the case.

First, plaintiffs continue to maintain a viable claim for liquidated
damages. ADEA @ 626(b), incorporating the corresponding provisions of
the Fair Labor Standards Act, mandates the payment of liquidated damages
in an amount equivalent to a plaintiff's award for back pay and benefits
where the statutory violation was "willful." Defendants seek to escape
that mandate as the source of a live dispute by urging (1) that their
admittedly ADEA-violative payments were not "willful" violations and (2)
that liquidated damages under ADEA are punitive, so that they are not
potentially awardable in the absence of a viable claim for compensatory
damages.

As to the first of those contentions, violations of ADEA are "willful"
according to Hazen Paper Co. v. Biggins, 507 U.S. 604, 614 (1993)
(citations and quotations omitted) "if the employer knew or showed
reckless disregard for the matter of whether its conduct was prohibited
by the ADEA." Those alternatives are stated in terms of the disjunctive
"or," not the conjunctive "and." And there is no doubt as to New York's
having known that the amounts of its death benefit payments were
ADEA-prohibited - as the district court itself said (14 F.Supp.2d at
248):

Here, it is not disputed that the defendants knew that the old benefit
structure discriminated on the basis of age without cost-justification.

It is critical to the analysis that (1) the State itself is the employer
here (and is a defendant in this action) and (2) that "willfulness"
liability for ADEA violations exists if the employer knows that its
conduct violates the statute - something that was unquestionably the
case here. After all, to speak of the knowing commission of a statutory
violation as having been taken in "good faith" is to pose a classic
oxymoron. Instead the presence or absence of good faith is relevant only
where the employer holds such a good faith belief that its conduct is
not ADEA-violative - and only that good-faith alternative is measured by
the absence of "reckless disregard." Thus in reaffirming the TWA v.
Thurston, 469 U.S. 111 (1985) definition of "willful" as requiring only
a showing that "the employer knew or showed reckless disregard," Hazen
Paper, 507 U.S. at 617 neither mentioned nor suggested any requirement
that the employer should also be found to have acted in subjective bad
faith (and see Thurston, 469 U.S. at 126 n. 19).

As the Seventh Circuit has put the matter succinctly in a recent per
curiam opinion, Wichmann v. Board of Trustees of Southern Ill. Univ.,
180 F.3d 791, 804 (7th Cir. 1999) (internal quotation marks, brackets
and citations, including one to Thurston, omitted):

The term "willful," we have said, as used in the ADEA, is designed to
shield the employer who violates the Act without knowing it, and whose
ignorance is not reckless.

In sum, a knowing violation necessarily equates to a willful violation
for statutory purposes, with the notion of "reckless disregard" being
relevant only as an alternative that - absent proof of actual knowledge
- is deemed to be its equivalent. This is no different from the familiar
criminal law concept applicable where criminal responsibility depends on
a showing of a known violation of law. If actual knowledge is proved,
that is obviously enough to satisfy that element. It is where such
actual knowledge cannot be shown that juries may be given an "ostrich"
instruction - one that treats reckless disregard of the facts as
sufficient to satisfy the requirement of knowledge.

In this case there is no dispute that the New York Controller's office
sought without success to get ADEA-compliant action from the New York
legislature. But the legislature's inaction was by definition the
State's inaction, and the State as defendant cannot obtain insulation
from ADEA willfulness liability because of the fact that its
administrators had tried and failed (in a manner that evidenced their
good faith) to get the ultimate authority - the legislature - to take
the necessary action.

In that respect we do not agree with the district court's ruling that an
employer's behavior cannot be "conduct" within that case's definition of
willfulness unless it takes the form of an affirmative act rather than a
failure to act. That attempted distinction is at odds with the normal
reading of the concept of "conduct." Nothing either in Hazen Paper or in
Stratton v. Department for the Aging, 132 F.3d 869, 881 (2d Cir. 1997),
upon which the district court sought to rely, indicates that the conduct
at issue must qualify as an affirmative act in that sense. Indeed, even
on that overly constricted reading Retirement System's "conduct" took
the affirmative form of continuing to pay lower benefits despite the
realization that ADEA was being actively violated by those payments.

Nor does the holding in EEOC v. Illinois, 69 F.3d 167, 169 (7th Cir.
1995) assist the district court's position. That case held that a state
legislature's failure to repeal an ADEA-preempted state law that set a
mandatory retirement age did not aid and abet a local school board's
violation of ADEA by enforcing the state law. But in EEOC v. Illinois
the plaintiffs who sought to sue the State were employees of the local
school district and not of the State itself, while here the State itself
is the statutorily offending employer. This case involves precisely the
kind of direct employer liability called for by the statute, not the
aider-and-abetter liability that was attempted to be imposed in EEOC v.
Illinois. Unlike that case, plaintiffs here have sued the offending
employer (the State of New York), fully satisfying the position advanced
in EEOC v. Illinois, 69 F.3d at 170 that its plaintiffs should have sued
the "persons whose acts hurt" them (here those persons are both the
employer State and those in charge of distributing the benefits, all of
whom have been named as defendants). EEOC v. Illinois did not suggest
that the school district would be protected simply because its "conduct"
involved only a failure to remedy the discriminatory system that it was
implementing.

We find equally unpersuasive defendants' second argument for the
mootness of plaintiffs' claim for liquidated damages - that such damages
are punitive and therefore cannot be granted where there is no longer a
viable claim for compensatory damages. n6 ADEA's added liquidated
damages may fairly be characterized as "punitive in nature" (see
Reichman v. Bonsignore, Brignati & Mazzotta, P.C., 818 F.2d 278, 282 (2d
Cir. 1987), citing Thurston, 469 U.S. at 125 - 26 for the proposition
that liquidated damages are designed to deter willful violations of ADEA
rather than to compensate the victim) - they do after all provide an
ADEA victim with more than his or her out-of-pocket damages or any other
strictly compensatory amounts. But that does not at all bring liquidated
damages within the ambit of cases holding in other contexts that a
plaintiff cannot collect punitive damages where he or she has failed to
demonstrate that defendants' conduct has caused plaintiff to suffer any
actual damages.

n6 Defendants make the further point that liquidated damages, if allowed
in an ADEA action, are granted in an amount equivalent to a plaintiff's
award for back pay and benefits (29 U.S.C. @ 626(b)). But we find that
adds no force to defendants' position, in light of the ensuing text
discussion.

In sharp contrast, plaintiffs here unquestionably suffered actual
damages at the time that defendants willfully paid them less in death
benefits than ADEA required upon the deaths of their decedents. If
defendants were correct that plaintiffs' consequent statutory right to
liquidated damages could be wiped out by defendants' later preemptive
distribution of the willfully-caused deficit in those death benefits,
any ADEA defendant could violate the law with impunity, then avoid its
statutory obligation to pay liquidated damages simply by paying off
plaintiffs' compensatory damages claims before resolution of the suit.

That cannot be and is not the law. United States v. Bornstein, 423 U.S.
303, 313 -17 (1976) dealt with a similar issue in the False Claims Act
context. There defendants had tendered partial payment of the
compensatory damages before trial, and the lower courts calculated the
"double damages" by doubling only the amount remaining to be paid.
Bornstein, 423 U.S. at 316 rejected that formula and held that double
damages should be calculated by doubling the actual damages owed before
any subtractions were made for previously received payments:

The reasoning of the Court of Appeals and the District Court would
enable the subcontractor to avoid the Act's double-damages provision by
tendering the amount of the undoubled damages at any time prior to
judgment. This possibility would make the double-damages provision
meaningless.

ADEA's mandatory liquidated damages provision would be rendered equally
meaningless if defendants' preemptive payment of compensatory damages
were held to eliminate plaintiffs' claim for the statutorily specified
further relief for willful violations.

In addition to their claim for liquidated damages, plaintiffs continue
to assert that defendants' new administrative method of calculating
death benefits does not comply with ADEA. In dismissing that claim as
moot, the district court relied on the fact that plaintiffs "provided no
evidence to contradict or place in doubt the findings of Buck
Consulting's report" that the new method is in compliance with ADEA (14
F.Supp.2d at 247). As already suggested, the district court's mootness
inquiry should have focused not on whether plaintiffs had demonstrated
the merits of their position at the threshold, but rather on the
existence of any continuing dispute on that score. Here plaintiffs'
claim that the new formula still violates ADEA provides a continuing
live dispute over the sufficiency of defendants' actions in curing their
ADEA violations. That continued dispute, which must be addressed on
remand, further requires the reversal of the district court's
determination that plaintiffs' death benefit claims were moot.

                      Eleventh Amendment Immunity

Defendants assert incorrectly that they are immune from suit under the
Eleventh Amendment because ADEA contains no clear statement of Congress'
intent to subject States to suits by individuals in federal court.
Cooper v. New York State Office of Mental Health, 162 F.3d 770, 776 (2d
Cir. 1998), petition for cert. filed, 67 U.S.L.W. 3614 (U.S. Mar. 23,
1999) (No. 98 - 1524) holds precisely to the contrary:

While it is true that @ 626(c) is phrased in general terms - "any person
aggrieved" may sue in "any court of competent jurisdiction" - the
combination of the amendments to "employer" and "employee" and the
availability of private damage actions makes it clear that States are
intended to be subject to liability under @ 626(c). The fact that the
States are not named again in the enforcement section does not make
ambiguous otherwise clear statements of intent to abrogate. Indeed, @
626(c) does not use the term "employer" at all; by this omission, should
we conclude that Congress did not state clearly its intent to subject
any employer, public or private, to the enforcement provision of the
Act? Surely such a conclusion would be an absurdity.

                Standing as to Disability Benefit Claims

Based in material part (though not entirely) on its dismissal of
plaintiffs' death benefit claims as moot, the district court determined
that plaintiffs also lacked standing to bring disability benefit claims
on behalf of others (14 F.Supp.2d at 251). As the district court viewed
the matter, plaintiffs' lack of a personal stake in the death benefit
claims because they had been fully paid (a holding we have rejected
here) disqualified them as representatives to assert claims for
allegedly uncompensated disability claimants.

In light of our reversal on the principal mootness issue, the district
court's dismissal of the disability benefit claims is vacated and
remanded for reconsideration of the standing issue (which may be a
function of the extent of commonality or lack of commonality of the
issues posed by the death benefit claims and those presented by the
disability benefit claims). If the question of standing is resolved in
plaintiffs' favor, the disability benefit claims will go forward on the
merits.

                          Plaintiffs' Motions

Finally, several of Plaintiffs' motions were also denied by the district
court based on its mootness determination. On remand those motions
(except to the extent that they have been resolved by our rulings on
this appeal) should also be addressed on their merits.

                               Conclusion

We REVERSE the district court's dismissal of plaintiffs' death benefit
claims and hold that plaintiffs are entitled to their claimed statutory
liquidated damages, and we REMAND for a determination of those damages
and for the resolution of any other open issues regarding death
benefits. We VACATE the district court's dismissal of plaintiffs'
assertion of disability benefit claims for lack of standing and REMAND
that standing issue for reconsideration in light of this decision, with
those claims to go forward on the merits if the question of standing is
resolved in plaintiffs' favor. (New York Law Journal 10-21-1999)


PENDA CORP: Settles Illionois Suit Over Potential Risk Of Bedliners
-------------------------------------------------------------------
The Company, along with various other manufacturers of pickup truck
bedliners, is a defendant in certain class action lawsuits. The
plaintiffs in these lawsuits allege that the bedliners prevent the
discharge of static electricity which can accumulate during the filling
of portable fuel containers creating the potential for fire or explosion
and that they did not receive any warning of this danger. The Company
has placed warning labels on its bedliners since 1996. On October 15,
1999, the Circuit Court for Champaign County, Illinois, granted final
approval of a settlement in which the Company and the other defendants
would fund a public education campaign, use uniform warning label, and
pay the plaintiffs' attorneys' fees. The Company has established
reserves on its financial statements for its portion of the settlement.


RAYTHEON COMPANY: Pomerantz Haudek Files Securities Suit-GAAP Violation
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Following is an Announcement by the Law Firm of Pomerantz Haudek
Block Grossman & Gross LLP:

Raytheon Company (NYSE:RTN/A and RTN/B) and two of the Company's senior
officers allegedly omitted to disclose in its financial statements that
it was violating Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ("GAAP") by
engaging in a systematic contract "acceleration" policy, under which the
Company was prematurely recording revenue on contingent sales contracts
prior to actual performance. As a result, the Company's 1997 and 1998
revenues were materially overstated in violation of GAAP and its
financial results for the period were materially inflated, according to
allegations in a Complaint filed by Pomerantz Haudek Block Grossman &
Gross LLP.

According to the Complaint, Raytheon omitted to disclose in its
financial statements that the Company was behind schedule and
experiencing significant cost overruns on several fixed price defense
contracts, which led to Raytheon taking a significantly higher material
charge against 1999 third quarter earnings than was previously
announced. Raytheon allegedly issued a series of materially false and
misleading statements during the Class Period (March 30, 1998 and
October 11, 1999, inclusive) in order to conceal negative trends in the
Company's business to support the company's acquisition of several
companies using company stock as consideration. As a result of these
materially false and misleading statements and omissions, the price of
Raytheon's common stock was artificially inflated during the Class
Period.

If you purchased Raytheon Company common stock during the Class Period
and were damaged, you have until December 13, 1999 to ask the Court to
appoint you as one of the lead plaintiffs for the Class. In order to
serve as lead plaintiff, you must meet certain legal requirements. If
you wish to discuss this action or have any questions, please contact
Andrew G. Tolan, Esq. of the Pomerantz firm at 888-476-6529 (or (888)
4-POMLAW), toll free, or at agtolan@pomlaw.com by e-mail. Those who
inquire by e-mail are encouraged to include their mailing address and
telephone number. TICKERS: NYSE:RTN/A NYSE:RTN/B NYSE:RTNa NYSE:RTNb
NYSE:RTN


SEATTLE CITY: Steve Berman Will Go On With Suit Re Parking Tickets
------------------------------------------------------------------
Responding to Seattle Mayor Paul Schell's announcement that the city
will step up its repair of parking meters, Steve Berman says the move is
in the right direction, but falls short. Steve Berman is the Seattle
attorney who filed suit on behalf of motorists errantly ticketed due to
inaccurate parking meters. "We are glad to hear that the city is
stepping up to the plate and fixing the defective parking meters, but
fixing the meters in the next 90 days isn't a complete solution," Berman
said. "There are thousands of people who have been slapped with tickets
because of meter inaccuracy. The Mayor's move does nothing for them."
Berman said the mayor's move does mean that Berman will not ask the
court to take immediate action, such as declaring new parking meter
violations invalid.

Berman added that he intends to move forward with the proposed class
action suit filed. Berman is available for interview by calling Mark
Firmani at 206/443-9357, 206/849-9357 after hours or weekend. Contact
Attorney Steve Berman, 206/623-7292 or Firmani & Associates Mark
Firmani, 206/443-9357


SPORTS CLUB/LA: Judge Rules Membership Contract Void For Over-Charging
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A Los Angeles Superior Court judge has ruled that Los Angeles-based
Sports Club/LA overcharged one of its members and violated several
consumer protection statutes. The ruling stems from a class action
lawsuit filed by club member, Ilya Lyudmirsky (Ilya Lyudmirsky, et. al.
vs. Sports Club Company, Inc., L.A./Irvine Sports LTD, et. al., BC
212604), and potentially implicates the legality of the contracts of all
of Sports Club's nearly 10,000 current members, and those of thousands
of past members as well.

"In short, every member or former member who paid full price to join
Sports Club/LA, potentially has a claim," says David Vendler of Morris,
Polich & Purdy, who is representing the plaintiff in the suit. The
Sports Club Company, Inc., which owns Sports Club/LA, develops, owns and
operates luxury sports and fitness companies throughout the country
(Amex: SCY).

The ruling by Judge Ronald Sohigian on October 22, 1999 granted the
plaintiff's motion for summary adjudication for violation of
California's Contracts for Health Studio Services Act. The Act limits to
$1,000 the total amount of money a health studio operation, such as
Sports Club/LA, can collect from a customer at any one time. The Act
states: "any contract for health studio services which does not comply
with the applicable provisions of this title shall be void and
unenforceable as contrary to public policy." "Although the Sports
Club/LA membership contract contains language that attempts to avoid the
maximum charge issue, the judge didn't buy it. The Act was created to
prevent just this kind of overcharging practice," said Vendler. This
ruling follows on the heals of an earlier injunction issued against
Sports Club to prohibit future violations of the Health Studio and
Consumers Legal Remedies Acts in its membership contracts.

Lyudmirsky became a Sports Club/LA member on May 25, 1999 by signing
Sports Club/LA's standard membership agreement. To join, Lyudmirsky was
required to pay a one-time initiation fee of $1,295 in addition to
monthly dues. "The initiation fee and up-front membership dues is over
the maximum legal limit," says Vendler. "We believe that this is
standard practice by Sports Club/LA, meaning essentially that every past
and present Sports Club/LA membership agreement is void."

Under the provisions of the Contracts for Health Studio Services Act,
Lyudmirsky and class members will be seeking recovery of three times
their actual damages, including a refund of all initiation fees and that
portion of the monthly dues in excess of the reasonable value of the ser
vices obtained by the club member.

Other counts in the class action complaint charge that Sports Club/LA
has violated the Unruh Civil Rights Act and the Consumers Legal Remedies
Act by offering discriminatory discounts to young and attractive females
in order to sign up full paying male customers. Says Vendler, "discounts
based on beauty are illegal. The Unruh Civil Rights Act was intended to
bar all discrimination based on purely personal characteristics.
California law provides for a minimum of $1,000 damage for each
violation."

Potential class members can contact Vendler at Morris, Polich & Purdy,
213-891-9100 for more information. SOURCE Morris, Polich & Purdy
CONTACT: David J. Vendler of Morris, Polich & Purdy, 213-891-9100,
djv@la.mppmail.com; or Diane Rumbaugh of Rumbaugh Public Relations,
805-493-2877, rumbaugh@earthlink.net


TOBACCO LITIGATION: Class Notice Halted In Australian Action
------------------------------------------------------------
An Australian federal judge has halted notification in a class action
suit pending an appeal of the class certification, according to the
Australian Associated Press. (Mealey's Litigation Report: Tobacco
10-1-1999)


TOBACCO LITIGATION: Florida Jury Reopens Deliberation On Damages Award
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A Miami jury on Monday reopened deliberation on the size of a lump sum
punitive damages payment US tobacco companies must make to sick smokers
in Florida, a court spokesman said.

In July, the jury returned a landmark verdict, finding the firms liable
in a class-action case filed on behalf of an estimated 500,000 smokers
-- the industry's first such loss -- paving the way for an award of
damages that analysts say could reach as high as half a trillion
dollars. The historic July decision found that cigarette companies knew
their product caused various illnesses, including several kinds of
cancer.

In the second phase, officially opened September 7 in Miami-Dade county
Circuit Court and upheld on appeal, the jury must decide the amount of
damages tobacco firms must pay.

In the short term, individual plaintiffs must win separate damage claims
before the division of any lump some award can take place, analysts
said.

Among the defendants are Philip Morris Inc., R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.,
Brown and Williamson, Lorillard, Liggett and the Brooke Group, as well
as the Council for Tobacco Research and the Tobacco Institute.

The jury in July found that the tobacco companies concealed information
and did not tell smokers that tobacco presents health risks and is
addictive.

The firms counter that smokers knew of the dangers and opted to smoke
anyway.

Until US states successfully sued the tobacco industry for the cost of
treating ailing smokers, cigarette makers refused to clearly link their
products to cancer or any other disease.

In 1998, the industry settled lawsuits with 46 states to the tune of
some 246 billion dollars to be paid over a period of years, but now
faces a similar lawsuit by the federal government.

Separately, the US Department of Justice seeks some of the 20 billion
dollars it says the government spends yearly on health care for people
suffering from tobacco-related ailments. (Agence France Presse
11-1-1999)


TOBACCO LITIGATION: Settlement Bonds Carry No Insurance; Sale Dates Set
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The inaugural $705 million of bonds issued by New York City's Tobacco
Settlement Asset Securitization Corp. will carry split ratings --
ranging from Aa1 from Moody's Investors Service for earlier maturities
to A from Standard & Poor's for the final 29 years of the deal. Ratings
from Fitch IBCA Inc. and Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. apply to the
entire deal. Duff & Phelps assigned the TSASC a AA, while Fitch gave the
credit an A-plus.

Alan Anders, director of debt policy with New York City's office of
management and budget and also a director with TSASC, said the city was
pleased with the ratings which, he added, were higher "than what
investors had been led to expect." The ratings will formally be referred
to as "expected ratings" because rating assignments in
structured-finance deals are not final until the closing on the bond
sale, Anders said.

The sale date of the tobacco-settlement bonds, which will not carry bond
insurance, has also been pushed back one day. The retail-order period is
scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday and pricing for institutions on
Thursday, Nov. 4, Anders said. One insurer had been in serious
discussions with the city about the deal, but backed off when the city
accelerated its schedule for unrolling the deal, he added.

This is the first of four planned TSASC deals through which the city
expects to generate $2.8 billion to continue funding its capital plan,
even as it strains against its debt limit under the state Constitution.

The bond structure contains five separate built-in "trapping events,"
which Anders said were instrumental in achieving ratings that were
largely in line with the city's original goals.

The trapping events would be triggered by events that would tend to
undermine the projected revenue flow from the tobacco companies, as
outlined by the Master Settlement Agreement between the tobacco
companies and 46 states.

Several things could occur to trigger a "trapping event." They include:
a lump-sum payment in lieu of future settlement payments by a
participating tobacco company; larger-than-expected declines in
consumption; downgrades to sub-investment-grade level on the corporate
debt of any of the four original MSA participant companies; the
invalidation of the model statute passed by New York State as proposed
in the MSA; and the growth of the market share of any of the companies
not participating in the MSA to a level above 7% of the cigarette
market.

Should a "trapping event" occur, the TSASC would establish a segregated
trust designed to capture revenue from the settlement payments at
various levels, depending on the nature of the event. The size of the
segregated trust would be determined by the nature of the event. In all
scenarios but one, with one series of bonds outstanding, the trapping
account would not exceed 6.25% of the principal, Anders said.

When all four planned transactions have been completed, the trapping
account would not exceed 25% of the principal.

The funds flowing into the trapping account would come from settlement
payments in excess of what TSASC would need to make its planned
principal payments. Without the trapping, those funds would have flowed
to New York City, Anders said. When and if the TSASC recovers from the
trapping event, the trapping account would be released to the city,
minus any assets needed to meet the planned payment amortization
schedule.

In reviewing the trapping accounts, Standard & Poor's had insisted on
having a stronger protection against non-participating manufacturers
assuming a greater share of cigarette sales, Steven Murphy, a director
with the agency, said.

At Fitch, analysts determined in late August that they could not assign
a rating for tobacco settlement bonds higher than A-plus. That top
rating is based on the overall credit quality of the tobacco industry
and the legal protections and characteristics of the MSA as an
"executory contract," said James Grady, an analyst in the agency's
structured finance group.

Ratings for the TSASC bonds will "probably" be linked to the corporate
ratings for the four major tobacco companies, Grady said. Downgrades for
those companies would probably be accompanied by lower ratings for TSASC
debt, he added.

The trapping events did not have an effect on Fitch's rating for the
first series of tobacco bonds, but will ensure that the city can issue
subsequent debt at the same rating level, Grady said.

The ratings New York City's tobacco finance team was able to achieve
rivaled those assigned to the city's Transitional Finance Authority.
Moody's ratings for TSASC, ranging between Aa1 to Aa3, actually exceed
the Aa3 rating it assigned to the TFA. One Moody's official said the
agency was not prepared to comment on the rationale for the rating.

John Hallacy, managing director of municipal bond research with Merrill
Lynch & Co., said the split ratings confirmed market perception about
the importance of the arrangement of tranches for these bonds.

The trapping events established by the city address most of the major
concerns investors are likely to have about the long-term outlook for
the bonds.

The exceptions are the Engle class-action suit filed by individual
smokers in Florida and the outcome of the federal government's separate
litigation against the tobacco industry, Hallacy said. "You can't do
anything about those, those are more macro issues," he said.

The range of the ratings also raises questions about whether the TFA and
New York City's general obligation bonds are rated appropriately, he
said. (The Bond Buyer 11-1-1999)


* Clinton Proposes Patient Privacy Plan
---------------------------------------
President Clinton proposed on October 29 regulations to keep electronic
medical records from the prying eyes of employers, marketers and others,
and urged Congress to take further steps to safeguard patients' most
sensitive information. ''Every American has a right to know his or her
medical records are protected at all times from falling into the wrong
hands,'' the president said. Clinton's proposal would apply to all
electronic medical records and to all health plans. He said the
technology has been wrongfully exploited by employers and marketing
firms. (Washington (AP) Online 10-29-1999)


                               *********


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

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Washington, DC.  Theresa Cheuk and Peter A. Chapman, editors.

Copyright 1999.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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