CAR_Public/991118.MBX                 C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

                Thursday, November 18, 1999, Vol. 1, No. 202

                                 Headlines

ABBOTT LAB: Berman Files Il. Suit Over Cancer Diagnostic Kit For Women
ABBOTT LAB: Weiss & Yourman File Securities Suit In Illinois
ALLIED PILOTS: Issues Statement Regarding Magistrate's Recommendations
ALLIED PILOTS: Judge Oks Passengers' Suit Over Illegal Sickout
AVONDALE INC: Defends & Appeals Ala. Suits Over Waste Contamination

AVONDALE INC: Defends & Appeals Ala. Suits Over Waste Contamination
COMPS COM: Will Vigorously Defend CA & Dela Suits Over Fiduciary Breach
FORD MOTOR: CA Judge Won't Let Jury Quit Case Re Alleged Faulty Modules
GUN MANUFACTURER: Sturm Ruger Reveals Suits In Multi States In SEC File
HOLOCAUST VICTIMS: Talks Drag On; Both Sides Come Closer To Numbers

INFORMIX CORP: CA Ct Approves Settlements For Securities Litigation
INMATES LITIGATION: Suit V. Suffolk Sheriff Alleges Of Reign Of Terror
INTELECT COMMUNICATIONS: Kaplan Kilsheimer Files Securities Suit In TX
MIRACLE SUPPLY: Co. Owner Claims Nothing To Do With Camera In Washroom
NANTUCKET ISLAND: Contests Securities Fraud Suit Filed In MA In June 99

NANTUCKET ISLAND: Intends To Contest Delaware Suit Over Rights Offering
NANTUCKET ISLAND: MA Ct Dismisses Partners Securities Suit Filed Oct 98
PLUMAS COUNTY: Sch officials immune; Dog Sniff Was Not Clearly A Search
PRUDENTIAL INSURANCE: Judge Orders Probe Into Settlement For Churning
RITE AID: Steven E. Cauley Files Securities Fraud Suit In Pennsylvania

SEED MANUFACTURERS: Cohen, Milstein's Plans Trigger Global Alliance
ST. LOUIS HOUSING: Sued Over Lead-Poisoning & Lack Of Proper Inspection
TAMPA GENERAL: Poor, Pregnant Women Agree To Settle In Drug Study Case
TOBACCO LITIGATION: CNN Coverage; Cancer Victim Takes Stand In Fla Case
UGA: Savannah Judge Oks Class Against Admissions Based On Gender & Race

VISX INC: Intends To Defend Vigorously Antitrust Suits; Resolves 1 Case
WAR VICTIMS: American WWII Veterans & Heirs Sue Japanese Corporations
WESTERN UNION: Settles Chicago Lawsuit Over Money Wiring To Mexico

* SEC Oks Reimbursing Brokerage Houses For Mailings On Securities Suits

                              *********

ABBOTT LAB: Berman Files Il. Suit Over Cancer Diagnostic Kit For Women
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT), a leading manufacturer of medical
diagnostic test and pharmaceutical products, is the target of a class
action lawsuit which claims that one of its most popular diagnostic
testing kits provides flawed results, causing thousands of women to
undergo unnecessary cancer treatments, including chemotherapy and
hysterectomies.

The Abbott hCG test kit is used across the country in hospitals and
private laboratories and, according to the suit, could account for
thousands of misdiagnoses.

The suit claims that the company knew the test kits returned "false
positive" results, but failed to inform medical professionals who, in
the absence of other pregnancy indicators, relied on the false test
results to misdiagnose women with a deadly form of cancer. The suit
claims many women underwent unnecessary chemotherapy treatment, and
received hysterectomies due to Abbott's defective pregnancy test
results.

According to Steve Berman, the Seattle attorney who filed the proposed
class on behalf of the plaintiffs, Abbott Laboratories has long been
aware of the defect, and failed to provide adequate warning to medical
professionals about the potential for false readings. Berman also
asserts that Abbott knew of an inexpensive chemical blocking agent that
would have eliminated false positive readings. "Women were told their
lives were threatened by cancer," Berman says. "Some of them received
unnecessary chemotherapy because they thought it would save them. Some
even underwent hysterectomies due to the defective readings. The price
they paid because of Abbott's actions is unconscionable."

The proposed class action was filed in the U.S. District Court in
Northern Illinois where Abbott Laboratories' headquarters is located.

                    The Abbott Test Kit and Pregnancy

The Abbott B-hCG test kit, also known as the Abbott test, is an
immunoassay test that medical professionals use to screen for a variety
of medical conditions and diseases. Among other uses, it is commonly
used to determine pregnancy in women.
The Abbott test is used to determine pregnancy in women by measuring
human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG. Known as the "pregnancy hormone,"
elevated hCG is recognized throughout the medical community as a
reliable way to determining pregnancy, including ectopic pregnancy.
However elevated hCG levels in the absence of normal or ectopic
pregnancy is routinely considered evidence of trophoblast disease, a
deadly form of cancer.

Trophoblast disease is considered so deadly that if elevated hCG levels
persist without any sign of pregnancy, physicians often immediately
order chemotherapy. If hCG levels still persist after chemotherapy,
physicians often recommend hysterectomy to stem the spread of the
cancer.

         "False Positive" Readings from the Abbott Test

According to recent medical studies, the Abbott test is known to be
highly susceptible to "false positive" hCG readings. False positive
results occur when the Abbott test falsely detects high hCG levels,
while other pregnancy indicators remain absent. According to the suit,
persistent false positive results from the Abbott test have led doctors
to diagnose patients with trophoblast disease, ordering immediate
chemotherapy, and even hysterectomies.

Dr. Laurence Cole, PhD in biochemistry from Yale University, and a
specialist in the study of hCG, has determined in court documents that
the Abbott test creates false positive results in an unacceptably high
number of women. In a recent sampling, he compared 12 blood samples of
patients who had received false positive Abbott results, and compared
them with results from 10 different hCG tests. His findings revealed
that the Abbott test results had a high percentage of false-positive
result in comparison to other tests.

Dr. Cole attributes the highly false positive results from the Abbott
test to a phenomenon he terms as "phantom hCG." According to Dr. Cole,
phantom hCG is the result of a defect in the Abbott test which he
believes Abbott has long known about, but has failed to fix. He asserts
that the Abbott test endangers women because it "does not conform to
industry standards for these tests and has produced a product that
presents unacceptable risks."

"Abbott has known about this but stood silent while women put their
lives at risk through chemotherapy and surgery," Berman says. "It is
galling to think how their actions have injured these women," Berman
adds.

Women who may have been affected by this can find more information at
http://www.falsepositive.orgor http://www.hagens-berman.com
Contact: Hagens Berman Steve Berman, 206/623-7292 or Firmani &
Associates, Inc. Mark Firmani, 206/443-9357 mark@firmani.com


ABBOTT LAB: Weiss & Yourman File Securities Suit In Illinois
------------------------------------------------------------
The following is an announcement by the law firm of Weiss & Yourman on
November 16, 1999:

A class action lawsuit against Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) and
certain individuals associated with the Company was commenced in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on
behalf of purchasers of Abbott shares. If you purchased Abbott shares
between March 17, 1999 and November 2, 1999, please read this notice.

The complaint charges Abbott and certain of its executive officers with
violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The complaint alleges
that defendants misrepresented or omitted information regarding the
Company and its business operations. The misrepresentation and/or
omission of information caused the Company's stock price to plummet.

Plaintiff is represented by Weiss & Yourman. If you purchased Abbott
securities during the period of March 17, 1999 and November 2, 1999, you
may move the court no later than December 19, 1999, to serve as a lead
plaintiff of the class. In order to serve as a lead plaintiff, you must
meet certain legal requirements. You do not need to seek appointment as
a lead plaintiff in order to share in any recovery.

If you wish to receive an investor package or if you wish to discuss
this action, or have any questions concerning this notice or your rights
or interests with respect to this matter, or if you have any information
you wish to provide to us, please contact: David C. Katz, (888) 593-4771
or (212) 682-3025 or via Internet electronic mail at wynyc@aol.com or by
writing Weiss & Yourman, The French Building, 551 Fifth Avenue, Suite
1600, New York City 10176.


ALLIED PILOTS: Issues Statement Regarding Magistrate's Recommendations
----------------------------------------------------------------------
"Magistrate Kaplan's recommendations cover a wide range of issues, and
the APA agrees with the lion's share of his conclusions, including his
complete dismissal of plaintiffs' claims under the Railway Labor Act, as
well as his dismissal of all claims against individual members and
officers of the APA," said Captain Rich LaVoy, APA President. "The APA
does differ with the Magistrate on a limited number of issues and will
pursue those issues with Judge Solis, as the Magistrate has directed.
Because those issues are still pending, the APA believes that it would
be inappropriate at this time to comment further on the recommendations
or on the further proceedings before the Court."

Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, APA serves as collective bargaining
agent for the 9,800 pilots of American Airlines. The union was founded
in 1963.


ALLIED PILOTS: Judge Oks Passengers' Suit Over Illegal Sickout
--------------------------------------------------------------
United States Magistrate Judge Jeff Kaplan released a ruling late
Tuesday evening in the American Airlines passengers' class action
lawsuit against the Allied Pilots Association. The lawsuit seeks to
recover damages suffered by thousands of American Airlines' passengers
because of the feigned sick-out staged by the Allied Pilots Association
earlier this year. The passengers claim that the illegal sick-out
violated a temporary restraining order issued by Federal District Judge
Joe Kendall directing the pilots to resume their flight schedules.

The pilots sought a complete dismissal of the case arguing that their
actions were protected under the Railway Labor Act. Judge Kaplan held
that those passengers affected by the continuation of the sick-out after
Judge Kendall ordered the pilots back to work should be able to proceed
with their claims. Judge Kaplan ruled that, "plaintiffs have
sufficiently alleged a claim against the Allied Pilots Association for
tortious interference with contract and civil conspiracy based on
violations of the Temporary Restraining Order."

In rejecting the pilots' argument that the Railway Labor Act preempted
the passengers' claims, Judge Kaplan stated that, "defendants ignore the
fact that an entire sub-class of plaintiffs predicate their tortious
interference claim on a violation of the temporary restraining order
entered on February 10, 1999. The 'intentional and willful' interference
at issue here is not the initial work stoppage, but the refusal to
comply with the back-to-work order. Clearly, such a claim ... is not
preempted by the Railway Labor Act." John Malesovas, lead counsel for
the plaintiffs, said that he was very pleased with Judge Kaplan's
ruling. "The pilots argued that they were immune from liability despite
the admission of APA leaders that the sickout was staged for the sole
purpose of gaining an economic advantage in their labor negotiations
with American Airlines. They knew that their illegal sickout was
severely disrupting the lives of thousands of innocent passengers, and
they brazenly ignored the orders of a federal district judge. Judge
Kaplan wisely rejected the pilots' claims of complete immunity for their
egregious conduct."

Judge Kaplan did recommend dismissal of the claims for disrupted flights
occurring before the back-to-work order was issued. The parties have ten
days to object to Judge Kaplan's findings and recommendations.
Contact: John Malesovas of Malesovas, Martin, & Tekell, L.L.P.,
254-753-1777


AVONDALE INC: Defends & Appeals Ala. Suits Over Waste Contamination
-------------------------------------------------------------------
On March 3, 1993, a case was filed in the Circuit Court of Jefferson
County, Alabama by Joe and Darnell Sullivan and Tommy and Stella Fay
Gould and other parties against the Alabama Power Company, Russell
Corporation, the Company and certain other parties. The complaint
alleges that the Company and such other parties negligently or willfully
discharged industrial wastewater containing hazardous materials, which
allegedly damaged the plaintiffs' real properties and caused mental
anguish to the plaintiffs. The complaint seeks an award of compensatory
and punitive damages. After two years and eleven months of litigation,
the plaintiffs amended their complaint to include class action claims
and treatment. Although the Trial Court granted class certification, the
Supreme Court of Alabama reversed the class certification order, and the
case proceeded as to the individual claims of the five plaintiffs.

On November 17, 1998, the court handed down a verdict of $155,200 in
compensatory damages and $52,398,000 in punitive damages against the
Alabama Power Company, Russell Corporation and the Company, on a joint
and several basis, in favor of the plaintiffs. The Company believes that
there are numerous grounds on which the verdict can be appealed and that
the verdict was not supported by the evidence. An appeal of the verdict
is in progress, and the Company intends to pursue such appeal
vigorously.

Although the Company believes that it should be successful in its appeal
of the verdict, there can be no assurance regarding the outcome of the
appeal. If the Company is not successful in its appeal of the verdict,
the Company anticipates that its share of the liability incurred in
connection with the verdict could have a material adverse effect on its
results of operations for the fiscal quarter and year in which the
liability is incurred; however, it does not believe the outcome of this
matter will have a material adverse effect on its financial condition.

On February 28, 1999, a case was filed in the Circuit Court of Jefferson
County, Alabama by Chris and Regina Christian against Russell
Corporation, Russell Lands, Inc., Alabama Power, the Company and certain
other parties. The complaint alleges that the Company, among others,
negligently and/or wantonly caused or permitted the discharge and
disposal of sewage sludge and contaminants into the lake adjacent to the
plaintiffs' property, which allegedly interfered with the plaintiffs'
use of the property. As a result of these alleged actions, the
plaintiffs claim that the value of their property has been diminished
and that they suffered mental anguish, bodily injury and other pecuniary
loss. The complaint seeks compensatory and punitive damages in an
undisclosed amount. The Company intends to vigorously defend this case
and believes that it has a number of defenses available to it. While the
outcome of this case cannot be predicted with certainty, based upon
currently available information, the Company does not believe that it
will have a material adverse effect on the Company's financial condition
or results of operations.

Avondale Mills, along with Russell Corporation and the municipality of
Alexander City, Alabama, was named during fiscal 1998 in two almost
identical citizen suits. The first suit, filed on May 18, 1998, was
brought pursuant to the federal Clean Water Act ("CWA"). The second
suit, filed on August 28, 1998, was brought pursuant to both the CWA and
the RCRA. In both lawsuits, the plaintiff has alleged that Avondale
Mills' permitted discharges of wastewater from its facility in Alexander
City into the waste water treatment plant of Alexander City have
indirectly caused the wastewater treatment plant to exceed the effluent
limitation imposed upon the plant's discharges into a local body of
water, thereby violating the CWA. The plaintiff repeated that claim in
the second lawsuit, but also alleged that Avondale Mills also violated
RCRA by contributing to the disposal of a hazardous waste in such a
manner as to endanger human health or the environment. In September
1998, the cases were consolidated, and the first case filed was
designated the "lead case". In each of these cases, Avondale Mills filed
motions to dismiss and for summary judgment which it believed to be
meritorious. However, prior to the court's ruling on Avondale's motions,
the plaintiff moved the court to dismiss the suits. On September 30,
1999, pursuant to the plaintiff's motion, the court dismissed the lead
case and terminated the remaining case. The dismissal of these cases was
"without prejudice". Concurrent with this litigation, the United States
Environmental Protection Agency had initiated an investigation of the
possibility of CWA violations at Avondale Mills' facility, and this
investigation is continuing at the present time.


COMPS COM: Will Vigorously Defend CA & Dela Suits Over Fiduciary Breach
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The following has been incorporated in the report of Comps Com Inc. for
the conformed period of November 3, 1999 filed with the Securities and
Exchange Commission as of November 10, 1999:

on November 5, 1999, a purported class action suit was initiated in the
Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware in and for New Castle County
under the caption MORRIS V. AVIS, ET. AL (C.A. 17554). The suit alleges
various breaches of fiduciary duties by certain members of the board of
directors of COMPS.COM and by Summit Partners, its general partner. The
Company believes the allegations in the case are without merit and will
vigorously defend this action.

Further, on November 8, 1999, a purported class action suit was brought
in the Superior Court of the State of California of and for the County
of San Diego captioned BERGHOFF V. COMPS.COM ET. AL. (Case No. GIC
738362). The allegations in that lawsuit are similar to the allegations
in the Delaware action and the Company similarly believes the suit is
without merit and intends to vigorously defend against such suit.


FORD MOTOR: CA Judge Won't Let Jury Quit Case Re Alleged Faulty Modules
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
A California judge on Tuesday asked a jury to keep deliberating in a
multibillion dollar class-action suit against Ford Motor Co. after
jurors said they were hopelessly deadlocked. An Alameda County Superior
Court judge sent the jury back for more deliberations after the jury
foreman told him the panel was deadlocked and wanted to be dismissed.
The suit, one of the largest ever lodged against a U.S. automaker and
representing about 3 million California plaintiffs, accuses Ford of
putting faulty ignition modules in 1.7 million 1983-95 cars and trucks
that could cause the vehicles to stall. If found guilty on all counts,
Ford could be forced to pay estimated damages of between $3 billion and
$4 billion. (The Orlando Sentinel, A Section, Pg. A16, Nov-17-1999)


GUN MANUFACTURER: Sturm Ruger Reveals Suits In Multi States In SEC File
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Company has two reportable segments: firearms and investment
castings. The firearms segment manufactures and sells rifles, pistols,
revolvers, and shotguns principally to a select number of independent
wholesale distributors primarily located in the United States. The
investment castings segment consists of three operating divisions which
manufacture and sell titanium, ferrous, and aluminum investment
castings.

The Company is a defendant in approximately 36 lawsuits involving its
products and is aware of certain other such claims. These lawsuits and
claims fall within two categories:

those that claim damages from the Company related to allegedly defective
product design which stem from a specific incident. These lawsuits and
claims are based principally on the theory of "strict liability" but
also may be based on negligence, breach of warranty, and other legal
theories, and those brought by cities, municipalities, counties, and
individuals (including certain putative class actions) against numerous
firearms manufacturers, distributors and dealers seeking to recover
damages allegedly arising out of the misuse of firearms by third parties
in the commission of homicides, suicides and other shootings involving
juveniles and adults. The complaints by municipalities seek damages,
among other things, for the costs of medical care, police and emergency
services, public health services, and the maintenance of courts,
prisons, and other services. In certain instances, the plaintiffs seek
to recover for decreases in property values and loss of business within
the city due to criminal violence. In addition, nuisance abatement
and/or injunctive relief is sought to change the design, manufacturing,
marketing and distribution practices of the various defendants. These
suits allege, among other claims, strict liability or negligence in the
design of products, public nuisance, negligent entrustment, assault,
negligent distribution, deceptive or fraudulent advertising, violation
of consumer protection statutes and conspiracy or concert of action
theories. None of these cases allege a specific injury to a specific
individual as a result of the misuse or use of any of the Company's
products.

The only case against the Company alleging liability for criminal
shootings by third parties to ever be permitted to go to a jury,
Hamilton, et al. v. Accu-tek, et al., resulted in a defense verdict in
favor of the Company on February 11, 1999. In that case, numerous
firearms manufacturers and distributors had been sued, alleging damages
as a result of alleged negligent sales practices and "industry wide"
liability. The Company and its marketing and distribution practices were
exonerated from any claims of negligence in each of the seven cases
decided by the jury. The Court upheld the verdict of the jury and
dismissed each case as to the Company in its May 26, 1999 opinion. The
three defendants found liable have filed a notice of appeal from the
court's decision.

On October 7, 1999 a lawsuit brought against the Company and numerous
firearms manufacturers and distributors by the mayor of Cincinnati, City
of Cincinnati v. Beretta U.S.A. Corp., et. al., was dismissed. This was
the first dismissal of one of the lawsuits which have been filed by
certain cities, municipalities and counties. Motions to dismiss other
such lawsuits are pending.

Camden County Board of Freeholders v. Beretta U.S.A. Corp., et. al. in
the District Court of Camden County, New Jersey. The complaint, which
was served on September 2, 1999, alleges that handgun manufacturers have
created a public nuisance because of allegedly negligent marketing and
distribution practices regarding their products. The complaint also
alleges design defects in firearms because adolescents and children can
obtain and misuse guns. Compensatory, punitive, and treble damages, as
well as injunctive relief, are demanded.

Christopher T. Martin v. Philip A. Toren, individually, et. al. in the
Circuit Court in Palm Beach County, Florida. The complaint, which was
served on September 14, 1999, alleges that on or about September 14,
1999, the plaintiff was injured while he was handling a loaded pistol
handed to him by the owner of the pistol, resulting in injuries to the
plaintiff. Damages in excess of $15,000.00 are demanded.

City of Atlanta v. Smith & Wesson, et. al. in the State Court of Fulton
County, Georgia. The complaint was made known to the Company on February
5, 1999, but was not served until August 11, 1999. The complaint alleges
that all defendants' guns are unreasonably dangerous because they can be
fired by unauthorized users, including children, criminals, and mentally
unstable persons. Compensatory and punitive damages in an amount to be
determined by the Court are demanded.

City of Camden v. Beretta U.S.A.Corp., et. al. in the Superior Court in
Camden County, New Jersey. The complaint was made known to the Company
on June 1, 1999, but was not served as a lawsuit until September 1,
1999. The complaint alleges that the defendants have created a public
nuisance because of negligent marketing and distribution practices which
allegedly allow guns to be purchased and used by criminals, juveniles,
and other prohibited persons in the commissions of crimes. Complaint
also alleges a design defect because unauthorized users, including
children and adolescents can obtain and misuse guns. Compensatory,
punitive, and special damages to be determined by the Court, as well as
injunctive relief, are demanded.

City of Gary, Indiana, by its Mayor, Scott L. King v. Smith & Wesson
Corp., et. al. in Superior Court in Lake, Indiana. The complaint, which
was served on September 7, 1999, alleges that the defendants have
created a public nuisance due to their negligent marketing and
distribution practices, which allegedly enables guns to be purchased by
juveniles, criminals, and other prohibited persons. The complaint also
alleges design defects in firearms due to allegedly inadequate warnings
and lack of safety devices. Compensatory, punitive, general and special
damages, as well as preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, are
demanded.

City of San Francisco, et. al. v. Arcadia Machine & Tool,, Inc. et. al.
in the Superior Court of San Francisco, California. The complaint was
made known to the Company on May 25, 1999, but was not served until July
28, 1999. The complaint alleges that firearms manufacturers,
distributors, and trade associations have created a public nuisance and
have contributed to minors, criminals, and other unauthorized users
obtaining handguns. The complaint also alleges a violation of the
California Business and Professions Code in that the defendants have
allegedly failed to incorporate reasonable safety features which would
allegedly prevent minors, criminals, or other unauthorized users from
using the guns. Injunctive and declaratory relief is demanded.

Mayor Sharpe James, and the City of Newark, New Jersey v. Arcadia
Machine & Tools, et. al. in the Superior Court of New Jersey in Essex
County, New Jersey. The complaint was made known to the Company on June
10, 1999, but was not served until July 23, 1999. The complaint alleges
that firearms manufacturers and their agents have allegedly failed to
implement safety features which would allegedly prevent unauthorized or
unintended users from using the guns. The complaint also alleges that
gun manufacturers and their agents have allegedly created a public
nuisance by making it easy for juveniles, felons, and other unauthorized
users to obtain guns through illegal markets. Punitive and exemplary
damages to be determined by the Court are demanded.

Melissa M. Halliday, et. al. v. Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc., et. al. in
the Circuit Court in Baltimore, Maryland. The complaint, which was
served on July 22, 1999, alleges that the plaintiff's decedent was
playing with a loaded pistol which accidentally fired, resulting in
fatal injuries to plaintiff's decedent. Compensatory damages in amount
of $4,000,000.00 are demanded against defendants. $10,000,000.00 in
punitive damages are demanded against the Company.

People of the State of California ex. rel. the County of Los Angeles,
et. al. v. Arcadia Machine Tool, et. al. in the Superior Court in Los
Angeles, California. The complaint, which was served on July 29, 1999,
alleges a violation of the California Business and Professions Code in
that handgun manufacturers, distributors, retailers and trade
associations have created a public nuisance and have contributed to the
juveniles, criminals, and unauthorized users obtaining handguns. The
complaint also alleges that handgun manufacturers have failed to
incorporate reasonable safety features which allegedly would prevent
felons, minors or other unauthorized users from using handguns.
Preliminary damages to be determined by the Court are demanded, as well
as permanent injunctive relief.

People of the State of California, by and through attorneys for the
cities of Los Angeles, Campton, Inglewood, and West Hollywood, et. al.
v. Arcadia Machine & Tool, et. al. in the Superior Court of the State of
California. The complaint was made known to the Company on May 25, 1999,
but was not served until July 28, 1999. The complaint alleges that
handgun manufacturers, distributors, retailers and trade association
have allegedly created a public nuisance by allegedly contributing to
juveniles and criminals obtaining handguns. The complaint also alleges a
violation to the California Business and Professions Code in that
handgun manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and trade associations
have allegedly failed to implement safety features which would allegedly
prevent unauthorized users from using guns. Injunctive and declaratory
relief are demanded.

During the three months ending September 30, 1999, no previously
reported cases were settled.


HOLOCAUST VICTIMS: Talks Drag On; Both Sides Come Closer To Numbers
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Talks to set up a compensation fund for Nazi-era forced and slave
laborers ended Wednesday without agreement, but both sides said they had
come significantly closer on the key question of money.

Germany is willing to raise its 6 billion mark ($ 3.2 billion) offer to
up to 10 billion marks ($ 5.3 billion), while lawyers representing the
victims dropped their demands by about half, to between 10 billion and
15 billion marks ($ 5.3 and 7.9 billion), participants said. ''There's a
possibility of finding a dignified solution within the lifetime of the
survivors,'' said a member of the Israeli government delegation to the
talks, Bobby Brown. One of the lawyers, Edward Fagan, said the sides
were ''getting closer on the number.''

But he emphasized that still under negotiation was the question of how
the money would be allocated among former slave laborers held in
concentration camps and others forced to work in industry, agriculture
and other areas. The sides planned to mull over the offers during the
next three weeks, participants said.

The spokesman for German companies contributing to the fund, Wolfgang
Gibowski, said his side was still trying to get more German firms to
sign on to the fund, which has so far only raised 2 billion marks ($ 1.1
billion). He said lawyers for the victims had to reduce their demand
further. ''The other side has to move,'' he said.

Envoys to the talks from the German and U.S. governments were to
elaborate on the results at a news conference. The last offer stood at 6
billion marks ($ 3.2 billion) - two-thirds from industry, one-third from
government. But lawyers had been demanding more than $ 12 billion for
victims forced to work for Nazi Germany during World War II.

The German government last week offered to raise its contribution by 50
percent if industry made a similar move, and envoy Otto Lambsdorff told
German radio that the businesses were now ready to do so. ''But it will
be made on the condition that the other side in other words the
class-action lawyers also show movement,'' Lambsdorff said. ''They know
that they have floated some in part totally absurd and unrealistic
demands and numbers.'' Lambsdorff indicated the new offer would be less
than 10 billion marks total. ''Ten is too high, six is too low,'' he
said. ''We have to meet somewhere in the middle.''

Fagan, who had threatened to lead a walkout of lawyers Tuesday, welcomed
the expected new offer as a sign of ''serious movement and flexibility
from Germany.'' ''It will help establish a range in which we can
continue to negotiate in good faith,'' he said.

Earlier, Gideon Taylor, executive vice president of the Jewish Claims
Conference, said time was running out for compensating the elderly
survivors. ''We are hopeful we will reach an agreement by the end of the
year,'' he said. ''All the parties realize that we have little time
left.''

German companies proposed the compensation fund in February under
pressure of class-action lawsuits in the United States. But as the
negotiations, now in their sixth round, dragged on, lawyers have
suggested it might be better to fight the cases in court.

Hans Peter Stihl, head of the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry,
said Wednesday a collapse of the talks would be ''disastrous'' and have
''considerable drawbacks'' for German businesses.

About 50 firms have signed on to contribute to the fund, which aims to
compensate about 1.5 million to 2.3 million survivors. They include
about 235,000 slave laborers, or people who were expected to be worked
to death in concentration camps, and hundreds of thousands of other
forced laborers, mostly non-Jews from Eastern Europe.

Although Germany has already made about $ 60 billion in payments,
pensions and other programs for war crimes, there has never been
compensation for the estimated 12 million people put to work to help
Nazi Germany's war effort.

Participants in the talks include the German and U.S. governments,
class-action lawyers, German industry, Jewish groups, Israel, Ukraine,
Poland, Russia, Belarus and the Czech Republic. (AP Worldstream
Nov-17-1999)

The Detroit News reported that lawyers representing Nazi-era workers
held fast to their demand Tuesday for $ 12 billion in compensation for
the forced labor victims -- four times the amount Germany has offered so
far in negotiations. And participating companies faced new pressure to
raise their contributions.

A German envoy said this sixth round of talks could collapse, though
earlier they were seen as a possible turning point in determining how
much should be given to those whose work was used to fuel Adolf Hitler's
war machine. "The majority of the lawyers is ready to walk out of the
talks," said Edward Fagan, one of the 12 lawyers representing the
victims.

Germany has offered $ 3.2 billion for the fund -- two-thirds would come
from companies and one-third from the government. Later, the government
offered to increase its share by $ 530 million if industry made a
similar move. (The Detroit News, Nov-17-1999)


INFORMIX CORP: CA Ct Approves Settlements For Securities Litigation
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Informix(R) Corporation (Nasdaq:IFMX), announced November 16 final court
approvals of the settlements of the private securities litigation in
which the Company and others were defendants.

The litigation arose from the events that led to the restatement of the
Company's financial statements that was announced publicly in November,
1997. On October 29, 1999 the United States District Court for the
Northern District of California gave final approval to the settlement of
the federal securities class action litigation, which also covers the
related State court securities class action litigation. On November 12,
1999 the Superior Court of California, San Mateo County, gave final
approval to the settlement of the related stockholder derivative
litigation.

The final court approvals resolve all of the major securities litigation
that was pending. The Company hopes to resolve the very few remaining
smaller securities cases not covered by the settlement as soon as
possible.


INMATES LITIGATION: Suit V. Suffolk Sheriff Alleges Of Reign Of Terror
----------------------------------------------------------------------
When Anthony Bova showed up in court in September, the judge was so
horrified by the bruises he saw that he told a court officer to
photograph Bova and ordered that he not be sent back to the Suffolk
County House of Correction, where he had allegedly been beaten by
correction officers.

Bova and 27 other inmates at the county prison filed a civil rights
class-action lawsuit against Sheriff Richard J. Rouse, alleging they
were victims of a "reign of terror" in which they were routinely
subjected to racial epithets, beaten, denied medical care, and kept from
their families.

The lawsuit follows allegations made in August that correction officers
engaged in sexual misconduct with female prisoners.

Rouse has fired five male officers and the FBI is interviewing inmates
and reviewing department records as part of an ongoing federal civil
rights probe of the facility.

In the lawsuit filed November 15, inmate Kenneth Montgomery claimed he
was beaten by correction officers who placed a plastic bag over his head
in an attempt to suffocate him. Montgomery needed stitches to his eyes
after one beating, according to court papers. Another inmate, Jerry
Tolbert, claimed he's been in solitary confinement for two years,
allowed out of his cell for just one hour a day while in restraints.
Tolbert says he has received sporadic medical care for glaucoma and a
back injury and claims he was nearly blinded by correction officers who
punched him in the face.

The lawsuit identifies 64 correction officers and their superiors and
names Rouse and two of his top superintendents. There are approximately
500 correction officers, sergeants, and lieutenants, and 12 captains
working at the prison.

Gerard Lydon, a spokesman for Rouse, said that the sheriff had not yet
seen the complaint but said Rouse will not ignore allegations of
wrongdoing. "We do take these matters seriously," Lydon said. "We are
already cooperating fully with the FBI. . . . Without having been served
with a copy of the complaint, further comment would be inappropriate at
this time."

Bova's court appearance triggered the lawsuit, according to the Natick
attorneys who filed it in Suffolk Superior Court. Joseph M. Mahaney, who
had represented Bova in the past, was in court on Sept. 25 when the
judge noticed the bruises on his ears, Mahaney said. Bova told Mahaney
that he had been beaten by guards. That led to interviews with more
inmates by Mahaney and his partners, Theodore H. Goguen and Sean T.
Goguen, and the filing of the civil rights suit.

"Some of these guys have been in prison before," said Theodore Goguen.
"Usually, you have to worry about the other prisoners, not the guards.
But at this one, you have to worry about the guards."

Theodore Goguen said the number of inmates suing the department may
eventually top 200. He said possible outcomes include payments to the
inmates, court orders against individual guards banning further
violence, and the appointment of a receiver to run the prison. He
stressed, however, that it was too soon to specify what remedies his
clients would seek. "It's not supposed to be a picnic, but, jeez, you
are not supposed to get this kind of treatment," Theodore Goguen said.
He described a "pervasive" atmosphere where correction officers were
routinely allowed to beat inmates without fear of being punished by
their superiors. (The Boston Globe Nov-16-1999)


INTELECT COMMUNICATIONS: Kaplan Kilsheimer Files Securities Suit In TX
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Kaplan, Kilsheimer & Fox LLP has filed a class action in the U.S.
District Court for the Northern District of Texas on behalf of all
persons who purchased the common stock of Intelect Communications, Inc.
(Nasdaq: ICOMC) between February 24, 1998 and November 17, 1998.

The lawsuit charges Intelect and certain of its top officers and
directors with violations of the securities laws and regulations of the
United States. The Complaint alleges, among other things, that during
the Class Period, Intelect's financial statements were false and
misleading in violation of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. On
November 17, 1998, Intelect announced that it was restating its
financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 1998 and was writing
off various assets.

Plaintiff is represented by Kaplan, Kilsheimer & Fox LLP. You may move
the court, no later than 60 days from November 17, 1999 to serve as lead
plaintiff. In order to serve as lead plaintiff, you must meet certain
legal requirements.
If you have any questions about this Notice, the action, your rights, or
your interests, please e-mail us at mail@kkf-law.com or contact:
Robert N. Kaplan, Esq.
Adrienne L. Valencia, Esq.
Brigid T. Kavanaugh, Esq.
Kaplan, Kilsheimer & Fox LLP
805 Third Avenue - 22nd Floor
New York, NY 10022
800-290-1952
212-687-1980
Fax: (212) 687-7714
E-mail address: mail@kkf-law.com


MIRACLE SUPPLY: Co. Owner Claims Nothing To Do With Camera In Washroom
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The owner of a plumbing-supply business on Tuesday defended his company
against charges that a video camera had been hidden two years ago in a
bathroom that his female employees used. Martin Holtzman, president of
Miracle Supply Co. in University City, said there was a camera in the
bathroom. But he said he had nothing to do with its installation, and
defended the employee who put it there.

It is the subject of a lawsuit that four women, three of whom are former
employees, filed in St. Louis County Circuit Court on Oct. 4, alleging
invasion of privacy. 50 members of the National Organization for Women
marched outside Miracle, at 1580 North and South Road, in support of the
lawsuit.

Holtzman was unavailable last week, but he called the Post-Dispatch on
Tuesday to respond to the charges. NOW national president Patricia
Ireland, who was in St. Louis for a debate, led the demonstration. "They
were trying to say that sexual harassment goes on every day, and that's
not true," Martin Holtzman said of the demonstrators. "It's a
misrepresentation of the facts. This whole thing happened two years
ago."

As for the camera, Holtzman said, "I had no knowledge of it until after
the fact." He said he assumed company vice president Michael M. Dattilo
installed it, but Holtzman said he didn't know why. In April 1997,
Dattilo, 42, of St. Charles, was charged with 11 counts of invasion of
privacy, a misdemeanor, after several female employees discovered where
the camera had been.

Court records make no mention of the charges. Dattilo said Tuesday he
received a suspended imposition of sentence, but declined to be more
specific or comment further. If a person meets the conditions of a
suspended imposition of sentence, case files are closed.

Holtzman said he took no action against Dattilo because he is a good
worker. "I can't fire him. It took 25 years for him to be such a
valuable employee," Holtzman said. "He had an off day when he did
something that was unnatural. But that's got nothing to do with his
value to the company."

Betty Hofstetter of Belleville, lead plaintiff in the lawsuit and a
member of NOW, could not be reached. But Martha Tyson, a spokeswoman for
last week's NOW protest, said of Holtzman's comments: "They show such a
deep disrespect for his employees that it's kind of hard to respond. For
women who continue to work there, it was a real slap."

Miracle settled with another former employee in U.S. District Court, but
Hofstetter said she refused to accept the terms. Ira Blank, a company
lawyer, said that means Hofstetter had no right to sue in state court.
(St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Nov-17-1999)


NANTUCKET ISLAND: Contests Securities Fraud Suit Filed In MA In June 99
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The following is incorporated in the report of Nantucket Island
Associates Limited for the quarterly period ended September 30, 1999
filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission as of November 10,
1999. The report states the company's business as at One International
Place, C/O Winthrop Financial Associates and names Three Winthrop
Properties, Inc. as Managing General Partner

Lewis Jacobs et al., vs. Winthrop Financial Associates, et al., United
States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Civil Action
No. 99CV11363WGY.

In June 1999, plaintiffs filed an action in the United States District
Court for the District of Massachusetts as a purported class action on
behalf of themselves and limited partners in Nantucket Island Associates
Limited Partnership [the "Partnership"] against certain affiliates of
the Partnership. Plaintiffs' complaint purports to allege class claims
for fraud under the federal securities laws, breach of fiduciary duty,
breach of contract, and unjust enrichment. Plaintiffs contend in
substance that in connection with a 1996 offering of preferred limited
partnership units in the Partnership and a 1998 sale of property, the
defendants preferred their own interests to those of the limited
partners in the Partnership. Plaintiffs seek an unspecified amount of
damages and an accounting.

The defendants flied a motion to dismiss in response to the complaint,
arguing that the plaintiffs had failed to state a claim for violation of
federal securities laws, and that the court should decline to exercise
supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claims included in the
complaint. The court heard argument on that motion on October 20, 1999,
and granted the motion to dismiss. The court indicated its intention to
hold its decision for 30 days to permit the plaintiffs to appeal, and
thereafter to remand the state law claims to Massachusetts state court.

Discovery has not commenced. The defendants believe the claims are
without merit and intend to contest this action.


NANTUCKET ISLAND: Intends To Contest Delaware Suit Over Rights Offering
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The following is incorporated in the report of Nantucket Island
Associates Limited for the quarterly period ended September 30, 1999
filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission as of November 10,
1999. The report states the company's business as at One International
Place, C/O Winthrop Financial Associates and names Three Winthrop
Properties, Inc. as Managing General Partner

Richard Anisfield, et. al., vs. Three Winthrop Properties, Inc. et. al.,
Court of Chancery for New Castle County, Delaware, CA. No. 17379NC.

In August 1999, the plaintiffs brought suit, as a class action, against
the general partner of the Partnership and one of its affiliates
alleging breach of fiduciary duty in connection with the rights offering
as described in the preceding paragraphs. In September 1999, the
defendants filed a motion to stay the action pending the outcome of the
two actions identified above. That motion has not yet been briefed or
argued. The defendants believe the claims are without merit and intend
to contest this action.


NANTUCKET ISLAND: MA Ct Dismisses Partners Securities Suit Filed Oct 98
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The following is incorporated in the report of Nantucket Island
Associates Limited for the quarterly period ended September 30, 1999
filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission as of November 10,
1999. The report states the company's business as at One International
Place, C/O Winthrop Financial Associates and names Three Winthrop
Properties, Inc. as Managing General Partner.

Frederic D. Nemer et al., vs. Winthrop Securities Co., Inc., et al.,
Superior Court, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, Civil Action No.
98-5536C.

In October 1998, plaintiffs filed an action in Massachusetts state court
as a purported class and derivative action on behalf of themselves and
limited partners in Nantucket Island Associates Limited Partnership [the
"Partnership"] against the Partnership and certain affiliates. The
October 1998 complaint was never served upon any of the defendants. In
July 1999, plaintiffs filed and served an Amended Class Action Complaint
which purports to allege class and derivative claims against the
Partnership and its affiliates (the "Winthrop Defendants"), as well as
certain unaffiliated defendants, seeking damages and equitable relief.
The Amended Class Action Complaint purported to allege claims for unjust
enrichment, violation of the Massachusetts securities laws, breach of
fiduciary duty, gross negligence, fraud and deceit, civil conspiracy,
intentional and negligent misrepresentation, violation of the
Massachusetts consumer protection statute, breach of contract and breach
of covenant. Plaintiffs had contended in substance that in connection
with a 1996 offering of preferred limited partnership units in the
Partnership and a 1998 sale of property, the Winthrop Defendants
preferred their own interests to those of the limited partners in the
Partnership. Plaintiffs also alleged that events and information
occurring in 1996 and 1998 caused them to be misled as to the terms of
the original 1987 offering of limited partnership units in the
Partnership.

On October 27, 1999, the court held a pretrial conference at which
plaintiffs' counsel failed to appear. The court therefore dismissed the
Amended Class Action Complaint in its entirety.


PLUMAS COUNTY: Sch officials immune; Dog Sniff Was Not Clearly A Search
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Although a random dog sniff of students at a California high school
qualified as a search within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment, school
officials and other defendants successfully raised the defense of
qualified immunity against a student's suit asserting violations of his
constitutional rights. B.C. v. Plumas County Sheriff's Department, No.
97-17287 (9th Cir. 9/20/99).

In May 1996, the Quincy High School principal and vice principal
directed the student and his classmates to leave their classroom. As
they left, they passed a deputy sheriff and a drug-sniffing dog, which
"alerted" to one student.

The students waited in the school hallway while the dog proceeded to
sniff backpacks, jackets and other student belongings. When the students
returned to the classroom, the dog again "alerted" to the same student,
who was searched by school officials. However, no illegal drugs were
found that day.

A student who was not singled out for an individualized search sued
under 42 U.S.C. 1983, alleging several deprivations of his Fourth
Amendment right to be free from searches and seizures. He sought
injunctive relief, money damages and class certification. A federal
district court granted summary judgment in favor of school officials,
finding that qualified immunity protected them from money damages.

In affirming, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals addressed an issue
of first impression in determining that the dog sniff was an
unreasonable search. It agreed with case law from other circuits ruling
that a dog sniff in a school setting was intrusive in nature.

The court focused on whether the search in this case was reasonable
under the circumstances, analyzing whether the individual student's
privacy interests were minimal and whether an important governmental
interest was furthered by the intrusion. Even though students maintained
a diminished expectation of privacy, the dog sniff was "highly
intrusive" given the personal nature of body odors, the court
determined. Further, the record failed to show the existence of a drug
problem at the school that could have triggered an important
governmental interest. Thus, the search was unreasonable.

Nevertheless, school officials were still entitled to qualified immunity
because, at the time of the search, it was not clearly established that
the use of dogs to sniff students in a school setting constituted a
search. Accordingly, they were immune from suit for money damages, the
court held. (National Public Employment Reporter Nov-3-1999)


PRUDENTIAL INSURANCE: Judge Orders Probe Into Settlement For Churning
---------------------------------------------------------------------
A federal judge has ordered an investigation into allegations that
Prudential Insurance Company of America is cheating policyholders who
made claims against the company as part of its nationwide class-action
settlement. U.S. District Court Judge Alfred M. Wolin ordered the
investigation based on a request from Prudential and attorneys for
Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach--the law firm that initially
brought the class-action suit over deceptive sales practices.

In 1997, Prudential agreed to a settlement worth as much as $2 billion
after allegations that agents induced customers to switch old policies
for new ones through a practice called churning, causing them to lose
the cash value of their policies or benefits (BestWire, March 11, 1999).
The settlement covered about 10.7 million policyholders. Of those, about
1.15 million applied for relief through the settlement, Prudential has
said. Of those, 500,000 filed a basic claim for the minimum relief. Some
$1 billion covers another 650,000 who pursued the alternative dispute
resolution program.

The latest action involves a group of current and former Prudential
employees in Minnesota who have filed lawsuits against Prudential,
alleging that claims are downgraded to a score of 2 on a scale of 1-3,
thereby yielding a smaller remedy for policyholders. So far, about 25
lawsuits have been filed, with more promised by the Neff Law Firm in
Bloomington, Minn. "What we're being accused of doesn't make any sense,"
said Prudential spokesman Robert DeFillippo. Prudential initially tried
to talk to the employees and their attorneys to try to get details of
the allegations, to no avail. That's why Prudential sought help from the
court. "When it became clear that discussions with the plaintiffs and
plaintiffs' counsel weren't going to be productive, we went to the court
and to regulators," DeFillippo said. DeFillippo said Prudential sought
permission to record sworn testimony from the employees, as did Milberg
Weiss, which continues to work as the overseer of the settlement
process. According to DeFillippo, Prudential has no incentive to
downgrade policyholders' claims. An independent attorney reviews any
claim that is scored at a 2 or below. If the claim isn't upgraded, the
policyholder has a right to appeal to a third-party arbiter. Prudential,
meanwhile, has to pay for the entire review process. "It's an additional
expense, and we have no control over the outcome," DeFillippo said.

At mid-year, Prudential, which has set aside $2.6 billion for the
settlement, had sent $1 billion in payments to claimants. As of June,
about 20% of the claimants qualified for the highest remedy, which
included a refund with interest. Another 64% qualified for smaller
refunds or policy adjustments. Another 12% didn't qualify for a remedy,
while the rest had policies that weren't included in the settlement.
DeFillippo said Prudential officials have so far found no information to
substantiate the plaintiffs' claims, and doesn't expect to. The
depositions will begin as soon as possible, the company spokesman said.
The judge "wants them done right away. He doesn't want any delay, which,
by the way, we completely agree with," he said.


RITE AID: Steven E. Cauley Files Securities Fraud Suit In Pennsylvania
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Steven E. Cauley, P.A. announced on November 17, 1999
that a Class Action has been commenced in the United States District
Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on behalf of all persons
who purchased or otherwise acquired Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE: RAD;
PCX) bonds between May 29, 1997 and October 2, 1998, inclusive.

The complaint filed by Steven E. Cauley charges that Rite Aid and
certain of its officers and directors violated the federal securities
laws by making misrepresentations about Rite Aid's financial condition
and filing false financial statements with the Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC). On June 1, 1999, Rite Aid announced that it would
restate the materially false financial statements it filed with the SEC
for fiscal years 1997, 1998 and 1999. Then, on October 18, 1999, Rite
Aid announced that it would undertake further restatements of the
materially false financial statements it filed for fiscal years 1997,
1998 and 1999, equal to approximately $500 million pre-tax. According to
the complaint, in connection with Rite Aid's admissions that its 1997,
1998 and 1999 financial statements violated GAAP, Rite Aid's accountants
have resigned. As a result of these announcements, the price of Rite Aid
bonds collapsed, falling as much as 30% on November 10, 1999 along, and
now trade at a faction of their trading prices during the Class Period.

If you wish to serve as one of the lead plaintiffs in this lawsuit you
must file a motion with the court within 60 days of November 17, 1999.
If you have any questions regarding this lawsuit or how you may be able
to recover for the losses you have incurred through your purchase of
Rite Aid bonds, please E-mail or call one of the attorneys listed below:

Steven E. Cauley
Scott E. Poynter
Gina M. Cothern
2200 N. Rodney Parham Road
Suite 218, Cypress Plaza
Little Rock, AR 72212
E-mail: CauleyPA@aol.com
1-888-551-9944 - toll free


SEED MANUFACTURERS: Cohen, Milstein's Plans Trigger Global Alliance
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Last summer, news stories about Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll's plans
to file class actions against companies making genetically modified
seeds triggered calls from attorneys as far away as India for more
information from the Washington, D.C., law firm.

In response, lawyers at the firm called a meeting of interested foreign
attorneys in London for Oct. 20, and that has resulted in an
international network of attorneys who plan a global litigation assault
against the seed companies.

Cohen Milstein's Elizabeth Cronise said that the network, which includes
10 domestic firms and three international ones, expects to file the
first suits in November. She declined to comment on which companies will
be named, saying only that all major companies involved in the
production of genetically modified seed and food crops will be involved.
Ms. Cronise said that the suits will include antitrust claims, claims of
misrepresentation and fraud against the farmer-plaintiffs and, perhaps,
environmental, health or ecological claims.

                          Global Alliance

Ms. Cronise declined to elaborate on the specifics of Cohen Milstein's
relationships with any of the firms in the network. She did say that the
Panama-based firm Morgan & Morgan will head up litigation in the
Caribbean and in Latin and South America. India's Udwadia, Udeshi,
Berjis will be in charge of suits in India, and Britain's Mishcon de
Reya will be overseeing litigation in Britain and Europe.

Cohen Milstein has handled numerous complex class actions with favorable
results. Most recently, the firm helped obtain a $ 1.25 billion
settlement with Swiss banks on behalf of Holocaust survivors and was
involved in a $ 176 million settlement with Texaco Inc. in a race
discrimination lawsuit. The firm is also working with a number of top
plaintiffs' attorneys domestically, including San Francisco's Lieff,
Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein L.L.P.; Boies & Schiller L.L.P., in
Armonk, N.Y., and Pomerantz Haudek Block Grossman & Gross L.L.P., in New
York.

The National Family Farm Coalition and a public-interest group, the
Foundation on Economic Trends, initially approached Cohen Milstein about
the litigation. The broadening of the suit into global waters, Ms.
Cronise said, is a first: "We consider this to be, on a global scale,
unchartered territory." Novartis, Monsanto and DuPont representatives
either could not be reached about the intended litigation or declined to
comment, noting that no litigation has been filed yet. (The National Law
Journal, Litigation Pg. B17, Nov-8-1999)


ST. LOUIS HOUSING: Sued Over Lead-Poisoning & Lack Of Proper Inspection
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Neltha Brandon, who moved her family from a federally subsidized house
that was contaminated with lead, sued the St. Louis Housing Authority.
In her suit, filed in St. Louis Circuit Court, Brandon contends the
Housing Authority broke federal regulations by not properly inspecting a
house on the city's South Side in its Section 8 program. The federal
program pays for rental housing for poor families.

Brandon filed the suit on behalf of her 4-year-old son, Darryl Jr., who
suffers from lead poisoning. "The Housing Authority has a long history
of not enforcing lead inspections," said R. Bruce Carlson, whose
Pittsburgh-based law firm represents the Brandons.

In March, Carlson's firm filed a similar federal class-action suit
against the Housing Authority here. That suit is pending.

Lead poisoning can slow the intellectual development of children. The
risk of problems increases as the blood level of lead increases. Low
levels of poisoning over sustained periods increase the risk of
long-term intellectual disability. The damage may be permanent.

Carlson also filed suit on behalf of another mother who lived in Section
8 housing and whose three children became lead poisoned. Carlson's firm
has filed suits across the country on behalf of plaintiffs in lead-paint
cases. The latest suits are asking for at least $ 25,000 per child, but
the families will probably seek more money, Carlson said.

Cheryl Lovell, executive director of the Housing Authority, refused to
comment because she had not yet seen the suits. The Housing Authority
recently hired a private firm to head Section 8 inspections.

Earlier this year, the Post-Dispatch detailed problems with the Housing
Authority's Section 8 program and some of the specifics of Darryl
Brandon's situation. Doctors had suspected that the youngster got lead
poisoning from chipped and exposed lead paint in a Section 8 house the
family occupied. The house had so many problems the city's building
division had refused to give the landlord an occupancy permit, officials
acknowledged. The Brandons should have never been allowed to move into
the house.

Now, the family lives in a Section 8 house in the 4000 block of North
Ninth Street. Until September, the Brandons had lived for nearly six mon
ths in a Salvation Army homeless shelter. Neltha has a husband, Darryl,
and 11 children.

In August, one of the children - Jade - was placed under custody of the
state Division of Family Services. The then 22-month-old girl wound up
in state custody after she was found at the new Life Evangelistic Center
downtown. She had been left behind at the center for several hours
before her parents noticed that she was missing. The family had gone to
the center to pick up school supplies. Jade remains in state custody,
the family said. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch Nov-16-1999)


TAMPA GENERAL: Poor, Pregnant Women Agree To Settle In Drug Study Case
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A lawyer for poor, pregnant women who say they were not informed of
risks a drug study posed to their pregnancies has reached a monetary
agreement with a hospital and university, court records show.

Attorneys for the women, Tampa General Hospital and the University of
South Florida all declined comment on the financial terms, saying
non-monetary terms still need to be worked out.

The monetary settlement would help resolve a federal suit filed in
January 1990 when Steve Hanlon, a public interest lawyer for Holland &
Knight sued on behalf of 279 women. The case, which was certified as a
class action in 1996, had been scheduled for trial in April.

The women were part of a study combining two drugs that had been used
separately to reduce chances of respiratory problems in premature
infants. In the study, the women underwent amniocentesis, a test that
causes spontaneous abortion in one out of 100 cases.

Hanlon maintained the consent forms were misleading and not as clear as
forms given to paying clients. He said the women were done "dignitary
harm." He does not identify a woman, fetus or newborn who suffered
medical harm.

According to the lawsuit, Flora Diaz, 18 in 1987 when she entered Tampa
General Hospital with a high-risk pregnancy, was drowsy from drugs and
told by a nurse amniocentesis was necessary to check the baby's lungs.

Diaz's mother was asked to sign a consent form. She was told the
amniocentesis would not hurt the baby and if the test was not done the
baby would be born early and die, the suit states. The amniocentesis was
done. Diaz's daughter Erica was delivered in November 1987 and has grown
normally.

Hanlon filed a notice of financial settlement last month, but declined
to discuss specifics or the issues that remain undecided. "I believe it
is stupid, frankly, to discuss the terms of settlement in the middle of
the settlement process," Hanlon said.


TOBACCO LITIGATION: CNN Coverage; Cancer Victim Takes Stand In Fla Case
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Broadcast On Cable News Network on November 17, 1999

    BRIAN NELSON, CNN ANCHOR: A lawsuit by Florida smokers seeking
damages from the tobacco industry brought some dramatic testimony,
yesterday. A cancer victim took to the stand to explain why she couldn't
kick the habit, even after developing several tumors.

    MARK POTTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Mary Farnan is only 44
years old and has already had three cancer operations to remove tumors
from both lungs and her brain. On the witness stand in Florida's
historic tobacco trial, she described a smoking addiction so severe that
even as she endured cancer treatments should couldn't quit.

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How could you go through radiation and
chemotherapy and still be smoking three packs of this every day, knowing
what this had done to you?

    MARY FARNAN, TOBACCO LAWSUIT PLAINTIFF: I had to have them. I -- I
would go through withdrawal symptoms, I would get sick to my stomach,
and I was already having enough trouble with the chemotherapy and the
radiation; I couldn't give up my cigarettes then. There was no way. I
was addicted to them. I had to have them.

    POTTER: Mary Farnan, a registered nurse, began smoking at age 10 and
is now one of the lead plaintiffs in Florida's class-action suit against
the tobacco industry. During cross-examination, an attorney for R.J.
Reynolds suggested she knew the dangers and questioned her resolve to
quit. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You never went to a medical doctor and said,
please help me quit smoking?

    FARNAN: No, I never went to a medical doctor or a sociologist to try
to quit smoking.

    POTTER: Mary Farnan's response to the tobacco companies was she
tried quitting and failed many times.

    FARNAN: And I used to blame me, but after I worked at the hospital
and all, and I realized later on about the nicotine and the way that you
put different things in there to make them more addicting, that it
wasn't my fault, it was your fault.

    POTTER: At the end of the trial, the jurors must decide whether to
penalize big tobacco and award damages to Mary Farnan and perhaps
hundreds of thousands of other Florida smokers.

Mark Potter, CNN, Miami.


UGA: Savannah Judge Oks Class Against Admissions Based On Gender & Race
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Now that hundreds of students can join a reverse discrimination lawsuit
against the University of Georgia's admissions program, lawyers will
begin to try to find them. U.S. District Judge B. Avant Edenfield of
Savannah granted class-action status Monday to a lawsuit challenging
UGA's admissions program. The lawsuit, filed by four white females who
were denied admission, claims the university unconstitutionally
discriminated against them by providing preferences to male and
African-American applicants.

UGA no longer uses gender as a factor, but it continues to give added
weight to applications filed by prospective African-American students.
Edenfield ruled the class-action case can include students
unconstitutionally denied admission to future freshmen classes, as well.

UGA spokesman Tom Jackson expressed disappointment in the ruling, but
noted, "It's not an entirely unexpected development." "It's great news,"
said Atlanta lawyer Lee Parks, who represents the women plaintiffs. He
renewed his call for UGA to stop using race as a factor in admissions.
"I think now that they've seen the judge has certified this as a class
action, they'll reconsider it," Parks said. "Every time you reject
somebody based on race at this point, you're just adding another zero to
the check. You can't do it prudently. This is tax money we're talking
about." Parks said damage claims against UGA could be significant.

Almost all the students with potential claims would have qualified for
the HOPE scholarship, he said. When denied admission to UGA, many
attended private schools and now pay tuition costs of as much as $
25,000 a year, he said.

Parks said he will put together a letter, to be approved by Edenfield,
that will be mailed to potential class action plaintiffs. They include
any students who claim to have been denied admission because of their
race or gender in the freshman classes of 1997, 1998 and 1999. The
cutoff is the 1997 academic year due to the statute of limitations on
damage claims, Parks said.

He estimated the potential number of eligible plaintiffs to be 100 to
200 for each year. The number of legitimate claims could be much
smaller. When deciding how many plaintiffs have a viable claim, the
lawyers would have to consider the number of freshman class openings.
Also to be taken into account would be how many students actually
benefited from an admissions formula called the Total Student Index. The
formula gives added weight to an applicant's academic standing if the
applicant is a minority or a male. Getting the names and previous
addresses of potential class members should be accomplished quickly,
Parks said. He predicted UGA may be required to begin admitting
wrongly-denied applicants as early as January.

While Edenfield did not address the issue of whether UGA's admission
policy is constitutional, the judge has made it clear that he thinks the
use of race and gender cannot be legally justified. UGA has said it
modeled its admissions program on the 1978 U.S. Supreme Court decision,
Regents of the University of California v. Bakke. In that decision, the
late Justice Lewis Powell wrote "the interest of diversity is compelling
in the context of a university's admissions program." Edenfield conceded
the Bakke ruling is still the law of the land. But in light of more
recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings, he noted, "there is indeed strong
doubt as to whether Bakke's reasoning remains sound." (The Atlanta
Journal and Constitution Nov-17-1999)


VISX INC: Intends To Defend Vigorously Antitrust Suits; Resolves 1 Case
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Since the commencement of the FTC administrative proceedings on March
24, 1998, a large number of purported class actions have been filed
against VISX and others alleging, among other things, violations of
various state and federal antitrust laws. The case captioned Castino v.
VISX, Inc. and Summit Technology, Inc. (USDC D Minn 99-861) was
voluntarily dismissed without prejudice on July 12, 1999. The remainder
of the purported class actions alleging violations of antitrust laws are
still in the early stages. Although VISX believes it has meritorious
defenses to the claims presented in these actions and intends to defend
them vigorously, it is too early to estimate their outcome.


WAR VICTIMS: American WWII Veterans & Heirs Sue Japanese Corporations
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Edward Jackfert et al. v. Kawasaki, Mitsui, Nippon Mitsubishi, Showa

A group of American World War II veterans and their heirs have filed a
class action suit against five major Japanese corporations, alleging
that while prisoners of war in Japanese camps, they were forced to do
slave labor in Japanese factories. The plaintiffs say that, among other
things, they were beaten and denied food and critical medical attention.
The suit, filed in Albuquerque on September 13, names 11 plaintiffs who
were National Guardsmen in Albuquerque before going overseas.

About 500 other ex-POWs and their heirs have agreed to be part of the
suit, says plaintiffs lawyer Eli Warach. Warach says he has only
recently been able to corroborate some allegations, as a result of the
declassification of certain Japanese wartime military documents. The
plaintiffs seek damages, including the market value of their labor, and
disgorgement and restitution of all economic benefits the companies
derived from their labor.

"Mitsui never used any POW labor, moreover, these claims are
specifically barred by the San Francisco Peace treaty between the U.S.
and Japan." says Mitsui counsel David Balabanian,

For Edward Jackfert, et al. (Albuquerque): Albuquerque-based solo
practitioner Paul Wainwright and Hackensack, New Jersey-based solo
practitioner Eli Warach. Warach was referred to the plaintiffs through
the American Center for Civil Justice. For Nippon Steel Corporation
(Tokyo) At press time counsel had not yet been assigned. For Mitsui &
Co., Ltd. (Tokyo) McCutchen, Doyle, Brown & Enersen (San Francisco):
David Balabanian, Anthony Davis, Christopher Hockett, and Eric Pierson.
Keleher & McLeod (Albuquerque): Kurt Wihl. For Kawasaki Heavy
Industries, Ltd. (Kobe, Japan) At press time counsel had not yet been
assigned. For Mitsubishi International Corporation (New York) Morrison &
Foerster (San Francisco): Kathleen Fisher and Tamu Sudduth, of counsel
Shirley Hufstedler and Arne Wagner, and associate Phyllis Oscar.
Modrall, Sperling, Roehl, Harris & Sisk (Albuquerque): Douglas
Schneebeck. For Showa Denko K.K. (Tokyo) Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen &
Hamilton (New York): Christopher Lunding and Sara Schotland. (Lunding is
in the firm's Tokyo office and Schotland is in their Washington, D.C.,
office.) Sheehan, Sheehan & Stelzner (Albuquerque): Craig Erickson and
Luis Stelzner. (The American Lawyer, Suits, page 41 November, 1999)


WESTERN UNION: Settles Chicago Lawsuit Over Money Wiring To Mexico
------------------------------------------------------------------
Under a preliminary settlement of a lawsuit, Western Union Financial
Services, a subsidiary, Orlandi Valuta, and MoneyGram Payment Systems
will create two funds to help the Latino communities in the U.S.,
attorneys said. Last year, a class-action lawsuit was filed by
plaintiffs who alleged the companies did not disclose all the fees
associated with wiring money to Mexico. One fund of $4.66 million will
benefit community organizations that serve Mexicans and
Mexican-Americans. A second will allow customers to donate money to
Latino community organizations.

Latino community leaders and elected officials voiced their support of
the charitable funds in Chicago Tuesday. Also as part of the settlement,
millions of customers will receive as much as $375 million in coupons to
use on future wire transactions. A final hearing on the settlement is
scheduled for Dec. 10 in federal court in Chicago. (Chicago Tribune,
Metro Chicago, Pg. 6, Zone: S, Nov-17-1999)


* SEC Oks Reimbursing Brokerage Houses For Mailings On Securities Suits
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
A new, controversial and potentially lucrative client solicitation
technique employed by securities fraud litigators at Weiss & Yourman got
the blessing of the Securities and Exchange Commission last week, in the
form of an amicus curiae brief.

The Los Angeles firm this year convinced several brokerage houses to
send out mass mailings informing their clients of stock-drop suits that
Weiss & Yourman had filed. Weiss & Yourman in turn reimbursed the
brokerage houses for the mailings, and then hoped that the stock traders
would sign on as plaintiffs with the firm.

Plaintiff-side giant Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach objected to
Weiss & Yourman's gambit in the Northern District case of Knisley v.
Network Associates, 99-1729. In an attempt to knock Weiss & Yourman from
the competition to be lead counsel in that case, Milberg filed a motion
with Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong that essentially called the practice
an illegal solicitation. Milberg partner William Lerach pointed to
provisions in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act that
prohibited lawyers from paying brokers for clients.

But Armstrong ruled in Weiss & Yourman's favor, saying that reimbursing
the brokerage houses is different from paying brokers. Milberg Weiss
then asked the SEC to make the call, and the commission came down on
Weiss & Yourman's side. Not only is the practice above board, the SEC
said in the brief signed by General Counsel Harvey Goldschmid, it may
even be beneficial.

"The effects of mailings could be to encourage additional investors to
come forward, negotiate with and retain counsel and move to be lead
plaintiff, thereby enhancing competition for lead plaintiff and lead
counsel," the brief stated. The SEC brief, however, said its thumbs up
to Weiss & Yourman's practice should not be construed as an endorsement
of "aggregation." Aggregation is the practice of one firm presenting
dozens -- and sometimes hundreds -- of disparate plaintiffs as a single
group in order to win lead plaintiffs status.

"The commission wishes to make clear that the amalgamation of large
numbers of unrelated shareholders into a proposed lead plaintiff group
is a serious concern because such a 'group' cannot provide the kind of
monitoring that the Reform Act contemplates," the brief stated. "In the
commission's view, a lead plaintiff 'group' should generally be limited
to three to five members, and thus be able to actively oversee the
conduct of the litigation and monitor the effectiveness of counsel for
the protection of the class."

Palo Alto's Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, representing a defendant
in a securities case in the Southern District of Texas, made an
objection similar to the one Lerach filed and lost here.

But the judge has not ruled on the motion in Laney v. Landry's Seafood
Restaurant Inc., 99-1948, which sought to disqualify Weiss & Yourman
from competing for the lead counsel's cudgel. Meanwhile, Judge Armstrong
has since transferred the Network Associates case to newly minted
Northern District Judge William Alsup. (The Recorder Nov-16-1999)


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