CAR_Public/991213.MBX                 C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

                Monday, December 13, 1999, Vol. 1, No. 219

                                 Headlines

ABBOTT LAB: Tester Liability for HIV Tainted Blood Draws Retrial in NJ
AMERICAN FAMILY: Newark Ct Oks Settlement; Co. Undergoes Reorganization
BAKER HUGHES: Abbey, Gardy Files Securities Suit in Texas
BAKER HUGHES: Announces Accounting Issues; Stock Plummets; Faces Suits
BAKER HUGHES: Bernstein Liebhard Files Securities Suit in Texas

BAKER HUGHES: Faruqi & Faruqi File Securities Suit in Texas
BAKER HUGHES: Milberg Weiss Files Securities Suit in Texas
BAKER HUGHES: Wolf Popper Files Securities Suit in Texas
BELL INDUSTRIES: Shareholders Sue in CA over Reject of Steel Partners
CAREMATRIX CORP: Scott & Scott File Securities Suit in Texas

CATHOLIC CEMETERIES: Ex-Clerk for Antitrust Can’t Be Atty Re Settlement
CHS ELECTRONICS: Announces Settlement of Shareholder Lawsuit in Florida
CONTIFINANCIAL: Stull, Stull Files Securities Suit in New York
FEN-PHEN: 5 Opt-outs Sue AHP in MI for $2B; Settlement Is in Doubt
FIRST USA: Il. Ct Oks Only TILA Claims for Lawsuit over Credit Report

GUN MANUFACTURERS: Critics of Fd Action Cite Job Loss & Excessive Power
HAWAII STATE: Sp Ct Ends Drive for Gay Marriage, Overruling Lower Ct
HMO: United Healthcare Faces RICO & ERISA Claims in Nebraska
HOLOCAUST VICTIMS: Lawyers for Nazi Camp Laborers Reject German Offer
HOLOCAUST: Ct Hears $1.25B Pact With Swiss Banks; Attys. Seek $15M Fees

INMATES LITIGATION: 11th Cir Hears Case on Changes in Parole in Georgia
PLAINS ALL: Whittington, von Sternberg Files Securities Suit in Texas
PLAINS ALL: Wolf Popper Files Securities Suit in Texas
STAGE STORES: Announces Dismissal of Securities Lawsuit in Texas
TRIATHLON BROADCASTING: Settles Dela. Suit over Acquisition by Capstar

TYCO INT’L: Entwistle & Cappucci File Securities Suit in Florida
TYCO INT’L: Kaplan Kilsheimer Files Securities Suit in New Hampshire
TYCO INT'L: Kirby McInerney Files Securities Lawsuit
TYCO INT'L: Milberg Weiss Files Securities Suit in Florida
TYCO INT'L: Wolf Haldenstein Files Securities Suit in New Hampshire

UNISYS CORP: Finkelstein & Krinsk File Securities Suit
UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL: Former Employees Sue in Il. over Loss at Closure
XEROX CORP: Milberg Weiss Files Securities Suit in Connecticut

* Deloitte Steps Down from Philip As 40 Banks Analyze Whether to Sue
* MI to Log Race of Drivers, in Response to Claims of Racial Profiling
* TX Sp Ct Takes Comments by Email on Proposed Rules on Teens’ Abortion

                              *********

ABBOTT LAB: Tester Liability for HIV Tainted Blood Draws Retrial in NJ
----------------------------------------------------------------------
(158 N.J. L.J. 856)

It was an issue of bad blood, thick enough that the justices needed to
hear it a second time. The state Supreme Court took the unusual step of
having the lawyers reargue R.F. et al. v. Abbott Laboratories,
A-66/67-98, a case that tests whether the manufacturer of a kit that
screens blood used in transfusions for the presence of HIV did enough to
warn users of possible defects. A related issue is whether the federal
Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and regulations pre-empt New Jersey's
failure-to-warn doctrine.

The case was initially argued on Sept. 13, and in late November, lawyers
representing the lead plaintiff continued to press their claim that
Chicago-based Abbott Laboratories could have sent warnings to health
care workers using their test kits that some results could come back
with false negative readings -- that is, results that showed that blood
was not tainted with HIV when in fact it was.

The plaintiff, a 42-year-old woman identified as R.F. in court papers,
contracted HIV after a 1996 operation at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood.
The blood used in the test came back with what turned out to be a
false-negative reading. A Superior Court jury found no cause against
Abbott Laboratories, as did the Appellate Division. Justice Virginia
Long was a member of the appellate panel that upheld the jury's
rejection of R.F.'s lawsuit, so she has recused herself from the current
review. Presiding Appellate Division Judge Michael Patrick King sat in
her place.

Brian Wolfman, one of R.F.'s lawyers, said the company could have sent
notices to health care workers warning them about the possibility of
false-negative test results without violating FDA regulations. "There
ought to have been a warning," said Wolfman, a lawyer with the
Washington, D.C.-based Public Citizen Litigation Group. "They could have
sent mailgrams to the blood banks."

George Baxter, who heads a firm in Ridgewood, also represents R.F. He
added that New Jersey law clearly imposes a duty on companies to warn
users of its products of possible defects, and that the federal
government and the FDA never intended that its regulations be used to
bar claims filed in state courts.

Several of the justices, including Peter Verniero and Marie Garibaldi,
indicated that there seemed to be little to suggest that R.F. should be
allowed to have her case retried. Garibaldi said blood banks -- at the
time the test kits in question were being used -- already knew that
there were potential problems with them.

Abbott's lawyer, Kimball Anderson, said Abbott did everything that was
required to warn blood banks about potential defects, including placing
information in the package inserts saying that the tests were not 100
percent reliable.

In the mid-1980s, the FDA had been pushing Abbott Laboratories and other
health care companies to create a test to detect HIV in donated blood,
according to Anderson, a partner at Chicago's Winston & Strawn, "There
was a public health crisis of unknown scope," he said.  While the FDA
was pushing companies to create a test, it also imposed strict
regulations on the design and on the information that the companies were
to include with the kits, he said.

Everyone, according to Anderson, knew that the tests were not completely
foolproof and that testing and redesigns were rapidly under way in an
attempt to deal with the AIDS crisis. "Everyone was trying to understand
the science of the virus," he said. "Everyone was trying to gain
information."

Justice Gary Stein, however, seemed somewhat skeptical of Abbott's
position and asked Anderson whether the company could, indeed, have done
more to warn blood banks and health care workers about the potential
defects of its test kits. Stein noted that the company continued to work
to improve the test kits after learning of the potential for
false-negative readings. "Did you ever think we might save lives if we
tell blood banks to retest blood with borderline results?" Stein asked.

Anderson replied such retesting would have been a virtual impossibility
since it could have led to a nationwide shortage of blood. Once blood is
removed from the supply for retesting, he explained, it essentially is
lost for good since it does not have a long shelf life.

Stein seemed unpersuaded and again asked why Abbott could not have done
more. Said Anderson: "There is no principle of law that says the first
generation of this product is defective." Abbott Laboratories and the
other companies, he said, were following the strict guidelines set by
the FDA in manufacturing the test kits and were barred from making any
deviations or changing the wording in its package inserts. "The FDA was
in the driver's seat here," he said. Any change in testing procedures or
changes in warnings on packaging inserts would have required the
approval of the FDA, a process which could have taken years and could
have led to the agency ordering the company to take its test kits out of
service.

Had Abbott taken such steps on its own, said Anderson, the FDA would
have had the authority to revoke the company's license to market the
kit. Abbott should not be held liable since it adhered completely to FDA
regulations and kept the agency informed about developments throughout
the testing process, Anderson said.

To persuade the justices to order a new trial, Wolfman and Baxter are
relying on two cases -- Medtronic v. Lohr, 518 U.S. 470 (1996), and
Baird v. American Medical Optics, 155 N.J. 54 (1998) -- which held that
a general obligation of a requirement to warn about possible dangers of
a product was not automatically pre-empted by a federal agency's
regulations.

In ruling against R.F., though, the Appellate Division cited a Texas
Supreme Court case, Worthy v. Collagen Corp., 967 S.W.2d 360 (1998),
which said federal regulations do pre-empt state warning requirements.

The Court was asked to determine whether the executrix of a man who died
at a Camden hospital should be allowed to pursue a medical malpractice
case filed after the two-year statute of limitations expired -- because
she believed the man, who was the father of her two children, died as
the result of a homicide.

The case, Martinez v. Cooper Hospital-University Medical Center,
A-102-98, already has been dismissed by both trial and appellate courts,
which said Olga Martinez did not exercise ordinary diligence or due
diligence in trying to determine whether the man, Carl Farrish, died as
the result of lack of proper care.

Farrish died on April 8, 1993, after being hospitalized for five days.
He was admitted after he was severely beaten, but died from peritonitis
caused by a perforation to the bowel.

Martinez's lawyer, John Eichmann, said the doctors who treated Farrish
told Martinez after Farrish died that they "did all we could," and that
the death certificate listed "homicide" as the cause of death. There was
nothing, said the Westmont solo, to indicate that the bowel perforation
was the cause of death.

Not until more than two years later, after the statute of limitations
had expired, did Martinez begin to believe that Farrish's death may have
been caused by medical malpractice. An anonymous letter, sent to
Martinez after the statute had run, suggested poor treatment may have
led to his death, said Eichmann. Because of that, he said, Martinez's
lawsuit should be allowed to proceed under the discovery rule.

Eichmann added that Martinez spoke little English and had a limited
education, so that she should not have been expected to question a
doctor's assurances that everything possible had been done, albeit
without success, and to second-guess a death certificate.

"This was all beyond the scope of her understanding," he said. "A layman
should not be charged with knowledge of cause or effect. "To uphold the
trial court and the Appellate Division would be to eviscerate the
discovery rule," Eichmann added.

The hospital's lawyer, Stacy Moore, countered by saying that if the
Court reinstated the lawsuit, the statute of limitations principle would
be gutted. "You had a 35-year-old man in a fight. He was not shot or
stabbed and he lived for five days. That should make anyone suspicious,"
said Moore, a partner at Marlton's Parker, McCay & Criscuolo. A person
acting with ordinary or due diligence would have asked at least some
questions at the time of death, she said. "When the doctor said, 'We did
everything we could,' I would not accept that as the final word," said
Moore.

Justice James Coleman Jr. said he believed there are two groups of
people -- litigious ones and nonlitigious ones -- and that the latter
group are more inclined to trust authority figures such as doctors. "Put
a human face on it," Coleman said. Replied Moore: "Cases are dismissed
every day in courts in this state and people are affected."  (New Jersey
Law Journal, December 6, 1999)


AMERICAN FAMILY: Newark Ct Oks Settlement; Co. Undergoes Reorganization
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The New York Times reports on December 10 that American Family
Publishers on December 9 reached a settlement of several class-action
suits claiming that mail from the company misled recipients. The
settlement, approved in Federal District Court in Newark, will provide
refunds to up to 35 million people who said they thought that buying
magazines increased their chances of winning. Consumers who file claims
should receive payment from a $33 million settlement fund by late
summer. The settlement relates to all AFP sweepstakes mailings received
by consumers after January 20, 1992. Anyone who bought a magazine
subscription or merchandise from American Family Enterprises since Jan.
20, 1992, is eligible for a refund.

American Family Enterprises also agreed to make changes in its mailings.
The literature will include "no purchase necessary" messages and will
not use language like "you are a winner" unless the recipient has
actually won something.

According to an announcement by AFP on December 9, the consumer
settlement fund of $33 million includes a special sweepstakes of $1
million (to be awarded in ten prizes of $ 100,000 each). The fund will
be available to those consumers who certify through a claims process to
be implemented early next year that they believed that purchasing
magazines or merchandise was necessary to win a prize or would enhance
their chances of winning. In addition to the consumer fund, AFP will pay
legal fees, administrative, and notice costs associated with the
settlement.

Consumers are not required to take any action at present. As ordered by
the Court, official notice of the terms of the settlement will begin in
the first quarter of next year. In addition, AFE has set up a website
(http://www.afpsettlement.com)and is offering a toll-free number
(1-888-469-5408) to consumers wishing to obtain a claim form.

The announcement details changes in its mailing materials as follows:

* Inclusion of clear and conspicuous "No Purchase Necessary" messages
  in the Official Rules and the copy of the mailings;
* Printing Official Rules in 8 point type and in such a way that they
  may be retained by consumers after entering the sweepstakes;
* Clear disclosure of the estimated odds of winning the sweepstakes
  prizes in the Official Rules;
* No representation that the recipient is a winner unless in fact the
  recipient is a winner;
* Headline copy which is clear and readily understandable;
* No mailing of solicitations that, when viewed in their entirety,
  simulate government documents;
* Notification to consumers as to how they can be removed from AFP's
  mailing lists;
* Clarification of deadlines for returning sweepstakes entries;
* No representation that a recipient's order history enhances chances
  of winning the sweepstakes;
* Return of all sweepstakes entries, whether or not they contain an
  order, to the same city;
* No implication that failure to respond will result in the loss of any
  previously submitted entries;
* A proactive program of communicating with frequent enterers reminding
  them that no purchase is necessary to enter or win.

                       Reorganization of AFE

AFE recently filed for Chapter 11 protection in federal court in Newark,
NJ. According to the Company’s announcement, the decision to settle
without admission of any wrongdoing enables AFE to avoid costly and
protracted litigation by implementing a variety of consumer-oriented
initiatives and establishing a $33 million consumer fund.

The announcement says that the settlement resolving the pending
litigation, along with AFE's restructuring of its finances and
operations, is a key element of the company's strategy to successfully
rebuild its business and compete over the long term. Brian Wolfe,
President and CEO of AFE, noted that during the reorganization AFE will
continue its business of offering consumers the lowest available
magazine prices, as well as opportunities to enter a variety of ongoing
contests. "The Chapter 11 filing, company restructuring, and the class
action settlement, will have no impact at all on our ability to conduct
the on-going sweepstakes. All monies for AFE's contests have been
pre-funded and are held in trust by federally-insured, independent
financial institutions until the award date. Consumers should be
reminded that their entries into AFE's sweepstakes are valid and all
prizes, including the upcoming $10 million on January 31, 2000 will be
awarded."


BAKER HUGHES: Abbey, Gardy Files Securities Suit in Texas
---------------------------------------------------------
The following statement was issued by the law firm of Abbey, Gardy &
Squitieri, LLP on December 9:

YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED that a class action has been commenced in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas on
behalf of all purchasers of Baker-Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) between May 3,
1999 and December 9, 1999, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The Complaint charges Baker-Hughes Inc. ("BHI") and certain of its
officers and directors with violations of federal securities laws. Among
other things, plaintiffs claim that defendants issued a series of
materially false and misleading statements regarding the company's
financial condition during the Class Period, including but not limited
to falsely accounting for its Inteq drilling technology unit. As a
result, BHI's stock price was inflated from May 3, 1999 through December
9, 1999.

Contact: Joshua N. Rubin  at JRubin@a-g-s.com or James S. Notis  at
JNotis@a-g-s.com  both of ABBEY, GARDY & SQUITIERI, LLP, (800) 889-3701
(toll free), (212) 889-3700 or (415) 538-3725


BAKER HUGHES: Announces Accounting Issues; Stock Plummets; Faces Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The latest in a series of adverse developments, this time accounting
irregularities at its Inteq drilling systems group, sent the stock of
Baker Hughes falling on December 9. After trading as low as 15, the
stock staged a partial recovery to close at 19 1/4 on the New York Stock
Exchange, down 3 1/4. As recently as early September, Baker Hughes'
stock was in the 35 range.

Late December 8, after the stock market closed, the company disclosed
"various accounting issues" at Inteq that are expected to cost it $ 40
million to $ 50 million before taxes. This also caused the Houston-based
company to cancel a $ 200 million bond sale that was arranged earlier in
the week. The note was to have been used to refinance debt and buy a
seismic vessel.

In short order, a New York law firm, Abbey, Gardy & Squitieri, announced
that it was initiating a class-action lawsuit on behalf of shareholders.
It claims the company violated securities laws between May 3 and Dec. 9,
using misleading statements about its financial condition.

At least four Wall Street analysts lowered their ratings for Baker
Hughes, although others like Jim Wicklund of Dain Rauscher Wessels in
Dallas reiterated his "strong buy" recommendation. None of this will
affect Baker Hughes' 2000 earnings or its cash flow, said Wicklund, "and
by most valuation measures Baker is an incredibly cheap stock." Its
stock is trading at a dramatic discount to its peer group, he said. The
oil-field service industry is in a recovery mode that will propel it
forward in 2000 and possibly 2001, said Wicklund.

Investors were rattled by the part of the company's announcement saying
it may restate earnings from prior periods, said Wicklund, which he
likened to "yelling fire in a crowded movie theater to investors."
Failing to elaborate on the accounting irregularities, which may have
occurred over a period of years, creates investor uncertainty, according
to Wicklund.

Early this month, Baker Hughes announced it was taking a $ 130 million
charge primarily because of weakness in its seismic sector, but taking a
charge in this kind of business "is no big thing," said Wicklund.

In early November, the company warned that its fourth-quarter earnings
would be lower than expected. "There has been a string of bad news, and
I think there has been an awful lot of frustration on the part of
investors," said Joe Agular of Johnson Rice in New Orleans. But from an
investment standpoint he calls Baker Hughes is a solid company "with
great products and technologies."

Its Inteq group generates probably 20 percent of Baker Hughes' revenues,
said Agular. It provides directional drilling services and technologies
such as logging while drilling.

The company has offered few details on the accounting problems at Inteq,
saying only that it is still in the process of determining their extent
and impact. The problems were discovered by the company's internal audit
department. No cash outlays are likely to be required as the result of
the discovery, it said. (The Houston Chronicle, December 10, 1999)


BAKER HUGHES: Bernstein Liebhard Files Securities Suit in Texas
---------------------------------------------------------------
A securities class action lawsuit was commenced on behalf of purchasers
of the common stock of Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) ("Baker Hughes" or
the "Company"), between May 3, 1999 and December 8, 1999, inclusive,
(the "Class Period"), in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of Texas.

The complaint charges Baker Hughes and certain of its directors and
executive officers with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder. The complaint alleges that
the defendants issued materially false and misleading statements due to
improper accounting practices at its INTEQ drilling unit. As a result of
these misrepresentations and omissions, the price of Baker Hughes's
common stock was artificially inflated throughout the Class Period.

Contact: Mr. Mark Punzalan, Director of Shareholder Relations at
Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz, LLP, 10 East 40th Street, New York, New
York 10016, 800-217-1522 or 212-779-1414 or by e-mail at HI@bernlieb.com



BAKER HUGHES: Faruqi & Faruqi File Securities Suit in Texas
-----------------------------------------------------------
The following announcement was issued on December 9 by the law firm of
Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP.:

Notice is hereby given that a class action lawsuit has been commenced in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas on
behalf of all purchasers of Baker Hughes Inc, (NYSE: BHI) common stock
between May 3, 1999 and December 9, 1999, inclusive (the "Class
Period").

The Complaint charges Baker Hughes and certain of its executive officers
with violations of the federal securities laws, including Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5. Among
other things, plaintiff claims that defendants issued a series of
materially false and misleading statements in press releases and SEC
filings concerning Baker Hughes' revenues and earnings. As a result, the
price of Baker Hughes' common stock was inflated throughout the Class
Period. On December 9, 1999, Baker Hughes shocked the market by
announcing that it has discovered "accounting issues" at its Integ
oil-exploration unit that may require the Company to restate certain of
its earlier financial results.

Contact: STACEY J. DANA, ESQ. ANTHONY VOZZOLO, ESQ. FARUQI & FARUQI, LLP
415 Madison Avenue New York, NY 10017 Telephone: (877) 247-4292 or (212)
986-1074 Fax: (212) 986-1792 or by e-mail at FaruqiLaw@aol.com


BAKER HUGHES: Milberg Weiss Files Securities Suit in Texas
----------------------------------------------------------
Milberg Weiss (http://www.milberg.com)announced on December 9 that a
class action has been commenced in the United States District Court for
the Southern District of Texas on behalf of those who purchased or
otherwise acquired Baker Hughes Inc. ("Baker") (NYSE:BHI) common stock
during the period between May 3, 1999 and Dec. 8, 1999 (the "Class
Period").

The complaint charges Baker and certain of its officers and directors
with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Baker services
the oil and gas industry, providing reservoir-centered products,
services, and systems to the worldwide oil and gas industry, provides
products and services for oil and gas exploration, drilling, completion
and production, and manufactures and markets a variety of roller cutter
bits and fixed cutter diamond bits.

The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants reported
favorable earnings and represented that there were no accounting issues
at the company, which caused its stock to trade at artificially inflated
levels. On 12/1/99, Baker announced it expected 4thQ 99 earnings to be
short of expectations. Then on 12/8/99, Baker announced it might restate
its past results due to accounting issues in its Inteq unit that would
require charges of $40-$50 million be taken. On these disclosures,
Baker's stock declined as much as 26% to as low as $15 on volume of 28
million shares. As a result of the defendants' false statements, Baker's
stock price traded at as high as $36-1/4 during the Class Period.

Contact plaintiff's counsel, William Lerach or Darren Robbins of Milberg
Weiss at 800/449-4900 or via e-mail at wsl@mwbhl.com


BAKER HUGHES: Wolf Popper Files Securities Suit in Texas
--------------------------------------------------------
Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) ("BHI") and two of its senior officers
have been named in a securities fraud lawsuit filed on December 10, 1999
in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. The
lawsuit was filed on behalf of all persons or entities who purchased BHI
common stock (the "Class") during the period May 3, 1999 through
December 8, 1999, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The lawsuit alleges that during the Class Period, defendants issued
inflated financial statements in violation of generally accepted
accounting principles. On December 8, 1999, after the close of the U.S.
securities markets, defendants announced that its internal accounting
department had discovered "various accounting issues" at its Inteq
drilling services unit which could have a cumulative pretax effect "in
the range of $40 million to $50 million, including the possible
restatement of prior periods". Baker Hughes acknowledged in public press
reports that these "accounting issues" were "irregularities", which are
generally defined as intentional misstatements or omissions of amounts
or disclosures in financial statements. On this news, the price of BHI
common stock dropped $3-3/8 to $19-1/4 per share, after falling as low
as $15 per share earlier in trading on December 9, 1999.

Under the federal securities laws, investors who purchased BHI
securities during the period May 3, 1999 through December 8, 1999, have
until February 7, 1999, to file a motion to be a lead plaintiff in the
class action.

Contact: Robert C. Finkel, Esq. Or Catherine E. Anderson, Esq., WOLF
POPPER LLP, 845 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10022-6689, Telephone:
212-451-9676, Toll Free: 877-370-7703, Facsimile: 212-486-2093, E-Mail:
rfinkel@wolfpopper.com or wolfpopper@aol.com Website:
http://www.wolfpopper.com


BELL INDUSTRIES: Shareholders Sue in CA over Reject of Steel Partners
---------------------------------------------------------------------
In October 1999, the Company announced that Steel Partners II, L.P.
("Steel"), Bell's largest shareholder with approximately 17% of the
outstanding stock, offered to purchase the Company's remaining stock.
The Company's Board of Directors after concluding that the offer did not
reflect an optimum value for the Company, rejected Steel's bid.

On October 20, 1999, two purported class action complaints on behalf of
the shareholders of the Company, were filed in the Superior Court for
the State of California, County of Los Angeles (the "Lawsuits"). The
first was entitled William Steiner vs. Bell Industries, Inc., et al.
(Case No. BC218887), and the second was entitled Charles Miller vs. Bell
Industries, Inc., et al. (Case No. BC218886). The Lawsuits name the
Company and certain of its directors as defendants and allege, among
other things, that directors breached their fiduciary duties by adopting
the Company's Rights Agreement in February 1999 and by entering into
severance agreements with certain senior executives in an alleged effort
to entrench themselves in their positions and prevent Steel from
acquiring the Company for $5.30 per share. The Company and the Board of
Directors believe that the Lawsuits are without merit and plan to
vigorously defend against them.


CAREMATRIX CORP: Scott & Scott File Securities Suit in Texas
------------------------------------------------------------
Scott & Scott LLC (nrothstein@scott-scott.com) announced on December 9
that a class action has been commenced against Carematrix Corp.
(Nasdaq:CMDC - news; Class Period: 10/29/98 - 10/07/99). Carematrix
allegedly misrepresented the company's financial results and prospects
for completing development projects necessary to sustain the company's
growth and future earnings.

The firm also announced that a class action has been commenced in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas on
behalf of those persons who purchased the common limited partnership
units ("units") of Plains All American Pipeline LP ("Plains" or the
"Company") (NYSE:PAA) and the common stock of Plains Resources, Inc.
("Plains Resources") (AMEX:PLX) between November 17, 1998 and November
26, 1999, inclusive (the "Class Period"), including those who acquired
their Units pursuant to the Plains' Initial Public Offering and
Secondary Offering Registration Statements/Prospectuses.

Contact Neil Rothstein, Esq. of Scott & Scott, LLC 800/449-4900, or
800/404-7770, or 619/338/3887. E-mail at nrothstein@scott-scott.com


CATHOLIC CEMETERIES: Ex-Clerk for Antitrust Can’t Be Atty Re Settlement
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
A former law clerk cannot represent a party in a case that grows out of
litigation handled by the judge who employed her and to which she was
assigned, a federal judge has ruled. U.S. District Judge Stewart
Dalzell's decision to disqualify attorney Anne L. Carroll from
performing any future work in Monument Builders of Pennsylvania, Inc. v.
The Catholic Cemeteries may be the first published opinion to analyze
the Code of Conduct for Law Clerks and the Code of Conduct for Judicial
Employees.

According to court papers, Carroll worked as a deputy clerk for U.S.
District Judge E. Mac Troutman in 1983 and became his law clerk in 1984,
a position she held for 14 years until the judge's retirement in August
1998. Early on in her tenure as law clerk, Troutman was assigned an
antitrust class action suit brought by the Monument Builders of
Pennsylvania, an association of independent cemetery monument builders
and dealers, against various Pennsylvania cemeteries and cemetery
associations. After years of negotiations, MBPA reached a settlement
agreement with the Pennsylvania Cemetery Association. Judge Troutman
later entered the agreement as an order of court that was binding on all
CAP members who did not opt out of the settlement. MBPA also entered
into a separate settlement agreement in July of 1989 with certain
individual cemeteries and three Catholic cemetery groups, including the
Catholic Cemeteries Association of the Diocese of Pittsburgh. Both
settlements gave Troutman continuing jurisdiction to oversee compliance.

After Troutman's retirement, the case was re-assigned to Dalzell. Then,
in 1999, a new suit was filed against the Catholic cemetery groups and
others, alleging breach of the two settlement agreements as well as
Sherman and Clayton Act antitrust violations. At the lawyers' first
conference with Dalzell, MBPA's lawyer, Mitchell A. Kramer, disclosed to
the judge that he was being assisted on the case by Carroll and that she
had worked on the original case while clerking for Troutman.

Dalzell issued a rule to show cause why Carroll should not be
disqualified, and lawyers on both sides filed briefs. In his 12-page
opinion, Dalzell said the ethical question of Carroll's current
representation of MBPA is governed by four things:

     * the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct;
     * the Code of Conduct for Law Clerks;
     * the Code of Conduct for Judicial Employees; and
     * the principles contained in the Chambers Handbook for Judges’
       Law Clerks and Secretaries.

The court's interest in policing violations of any of those standards,
Dalzell said, would outweigh any right of MBPA to retain co-counsel of
its choosing as well as any right Carroll has in practicing without
excessive restrictions. Under Pennsylvania Rule of Professional Conduct
1.12, Dalzell said, a lawyer "shall not represent anyone in connection
with a matter in which the lawyer participated personally and
substantially as a ... law clerk [to a judge], unless all parties to the
proceeding consent after disclosure."

Carroll conceded that her work for Judge Troutman included substantial
work on MBPA's 1984 case and that she was substantially involved in the
decision to award counsel fees in the 1984 action, participated in
hearings and decisions regarding the default of one of the defendants
and had substantial involvement in researching and preparing a
memorandum opinion on alleged violations of the consent decree.

On the basis of those concessions, Dalzell said it was clear that
Carroll must be removed from the new case if the court treats the 1999
lawsuit as part of the same "matter" as the 1984 suit. "There is little
doubt that the two actions should be treated as the same 'matter,'"
Dalzell wrote. "They involve the same parties and largely the same facts
and conduct, and, more importantly, this new action seeks to recover for
the violation of a consent decree that Carroll had a hand in construing
while she served as Judge Troutman's law clerk."

Having concluded that Pennsylvania's Rules of Professional Conduct
required Carroll's disqualification, Dalzell turned to Canon 2 of both
the Code of Conduct for Law Clerks and the Code of Conduct for Judicial
Employees. Each provides that "a law clerk should avoid impropriety and
the appearance of impropriety in all activities." The two Canon 2s, he
found, are "broader than Rule 1.12" because they go "well beyond the
'participated personally and substantially' language of the Rule of
Professional Conduct." In his own research, Dalzell said he found no
published decision construing either Code of Conduct. "Thus, no federal
court to our knowledge has made the threshold determination that these
Codes are authoritative and govern a law clerk's practice after the
clerkship ends," Dalzell wrote.

Writing on a clean slate, Dalzell ruled that both codes must extend to a
clerk's conduct after she leaves the court. "Lest the codes merely
constitute high-sounding words on paper, we hold that they are legally
authoritative and binding on law clerks even after they leave judges'
employment," he wrote. Applying the two Canon 2s, Dalzell said both
required Carroll's disqualification. "We find that her shift from law
clerk to advocate, on what we have already found to be the same
'matter,' implicates at least the appearance of impropriety," he wrote.
"Because Carroll seeks here to recover for her client for the alleged
violation of a consent decree that, working as an arm of the court, she
had a hand in construing, her representation of MBPA in this matter
would, to reasonable eyes, appear improper."

Similarly, Dalzell found that Chambers Handbook for Judges' Law Clerks
and Secretaries advises that on the issue of "practice after termination
of a clerkship," former law clerks "must not participate in a case in
which they performed work of any kind while law clerks." Like the two
Canon 2s, he said, the rule "stems from the extraordinarily close
relationship that exists between judge and law clerk. Because of that
relationship's very uniqueness and value, the court has an institutional
duty to the public independent of any litigant's interest or consent to
assure that there is never even a hint that it is being exploited to
advance a private party's interest in a lawsuit."

But Dalzell said he saw no need to disqualify the entire firm of
Mitchell A. Kramer & Associates because Carroll primarily works from
home, and because the firm has promised that "a screen could readily be
established to prevent [Carroll's] access to any files or information
concerning the case." The decision to allow Kramer to keep the case, he
said, was bolstered by his prompt notice to the court of the potential
ethics issue. (The Legal Intelligencer December 10, 1999)


CHS ELECTRONICS: Announces Settlement of Shareholder Lawsuit in Florida
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
CHS Electronics, Inc. (NYSE: HS) announced on December 9 that it has
reached an agreement to settle, subject to court approval, the
securities class-action lawsuit brought by certain shareholders in the
U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Florida. The litigation
contended that the Company and certain of its officers had violated
federal securities laws in connection with financial reporting and
disclosure. The settlement does not reflect any admission of liability
by the Company, and there has been no finding of any violation of
federal securities laws.

In the settlement, CHS Electronics has agreed to pay $11.75 million in
cash, which will be fully funded by the Company's insurance policies,
and issue 1,650,000 shares of common stock. The settlement covers the
period August 7, 1997 through May 13, 1999 who suffered a loss. The
Company stated that the settlement will have no impact on its cash flow.

Claudio Osorio, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We are
pleased that we have reached a settlement. We came to this decision
after considering the time and costs connected with such cases. This
settlement enables us to move forward without the uncertainty associated
with the lawsuit and focus on our business as we reposition the
Company."

Miami-based CHS Electronics is an international distributor of
microcomputers, peripherals, and software to approximately 150,000
resellers in 47 countries in Europe, Latin America, Asia, the Middle
East and Africa.


CONTIFINANCIAL: Stull, Stull Files Securities Suit in New York
--------------------------------------------------------------
The following was announced on December 9 by Stull, Stull & Brody:

Notice is hereby given that a class action lawsuit was filed on Dec. 9,
1999, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of
New York on behalf of all persons who purchased the common stock of
ContiFinancial Corporation (NYSE:CFN)("ContiFinancial" or the "Company")
between Jan. 28, 1998, and July 21, 1999 (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges ContiFinancial certain of its officers and
directors and its controlling shareholder with violations of Sections
10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 as well as Rule
10b-5 promulgated thereunder. The complaint alleges that ContiFinancial
and certain of its officers and directors issued a series of materially
false and misleading statements regarding the Company's financial
condition and the level of prepayments the Company was experiencing. As
a result of these materially false and misleading statements, plaintiff
alleges that the price of ContiFinancial common stock was artificially
inflated during the Close Period. Before the disclosure of the
aforementioned adverse facts, certain ContiFinancial insiders sold
thousands of shares of ContiFinancial common stock to the public and the
Company completed several acquisitions.

Contact: Tzivia Brody, Esq. at Stull, Stull & Brody by calling toll-free
1-800-337-4983, or by email at SSBNY@aol.com or by fax at 212/490-2022,
or by writing to Stull, Stull & Brody, 6 East 45th Street, New York, NY
10017.


FEN-PHEN: 5 Opt-outs Sue AHP in MI for $2B; Settlement Is in Doubt
------------------------------------------------------------------
A trial under way in a small Mississippi town could jeopardize a
proposed settlement of thousands of lawsuits over fen-phen, the diet
drug combination alleged to cause heart damage. Five fen-phen users who
declined to participate in the settlement are suing American Home
Products Corp. (AHP), which made half the combination, for $2 billion,
the Associated Press reported.

If they succeed, others may follow, undermining efforts by plaintiffs'
lawyers and the company to lay the health claims to rest. "Most of the
parties want the thing to be over, but there is a sense of 'Wait a
minute. I'm settling for this and someone in Mississippi is getting
that,'" said Walter Olson of the Manhattan Institute, a conservative
research group in New York.

Olson believes the suit was filed in Fayette, Miss., because the state
has a reputation for being generous to plaintiffs. He pointed to a
landmark 1997 case in which Mississippi won $4 billion from the tobacco
industry. Colorado lawyer Frank Azar, in town to observe the trial, said
the outcome will determine whether he files a suit in his state.

This year, American Home agreed to a $4.83 billion settlement to cover
all six million users. But there are more than 11,000 fen-phen suits
pending against the company and if the Mississippi plaintiffs prevail,
many others could choose to pursue suits independently. If too many
people drop out of the settlement, American Home could scotch the deal.

American Home Products made the "fen" in fen-phen, a drug called
fenfluramine. It sold the drug under the brand name Pondimin along with
a related drug, Redux. About six million people took the mix of
fenfluramine and phentermine, the other half of fen-phen, after it came
out in the mid-1990s. In 1997, American Home withdrew Pondimin and Redux
from the market after a study linked fen-phen to potentially fatal heart
valve damage. Phentermine is still on the market. American Home has
admitted no wrongdoing. (Dow Jones Business News, December 9, 1999)


FIRST USA: Il. Ct Oks Only TILA Claims for Suit over Credit Report
------------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois has
dismissed Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) claims and related state law
claims from a class action complaint filed by a potential credit card
customer against a bank. The counts were dismissed because the bank
acted properly when obtaining consumer credit reports without consent in
order to assess whether to offer credit cards, the judge held. Swift,
individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated v. First USA
Bank, No. 98 C 8238 (ND IL, Sept. 30, 1999).

Following receipt of a credit card solicitation from First USA Bank,
Shelley D. Swift filed a class action suit against the bank in the U.S.
District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Her first amended
complaint asserted violations of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), 15
U.S.C. Sec. 1642; the FCRA, 15 U.S.C. Sec. 1681 et seq.; the Illinois
Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Trade Practices Act (ICFA), 815 ILCS Sec.
505/1 et seq.; and the Illinois Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act
(DTPA), 815 ILCS Sec. 510/1 et seq. First USA moved to dismiss both the
state law and FCRA counts.

With regard to the FCRA, Swift alleged that First USA was able to
pre-approve her for the credit card because it had obtained her consumer
credit report without her permission. She claimed, inter alia, that the
report was obtained for the illegitimate business need of evaluating her
creditworthiness, and that the report was not obtained in conjunction
with any particular credit transaction.

She further asserted that First USA failed to ask for permission prior
to obtaining the report, and made statements based on false pretenses to
credit reporting agencies in order to access the report, all in
violation of the FCRA.

The district court stated that under specific circumstances credit
reports can be acquired without the knowledge or consent of the
consumer. Section 1681b(c)(1)(B)(I) of the FCRA outlines these
situations, the court said. That section provides, in part, that
consumer reporting agencies can furnish reports in connection with any
credit or insurance transaction which is not initiated by the consumer,
only if the consumer authorizes disclosure or if the transaction
consists of a firm offer of credit, the judge explained. A firm offer of
credit is any offer to a consumer that will be honored if the consumer
is determined, based on the credit report, to meet the specific criteria
used by the lender, the district court elaborated.

Looking to the complaint, the judge stated that First USA did not
violate the FCRA by gaining Swift's credit report for the purpose of
screening her for an offer of credit. This was a legitimate activity
authorized by the act, the district court held.

The judge rejected Swift's argument that the form of the firm offer was
an improper, illegal unsolicited credit card and was invalid as a
result. The judge stated that First USA's use of an allegedly improper
means of conveying the offer did not invalidate that offer. The court
went on to discuss additional allegations raised by Swift, and ruled
that she did not plead any facts showing a violation of the FCRA. The
counts based on the act were dismissed from the complaint.

Turning to the state law allegations, the district court stated that
Swift claimed First USA violated the ICFA and the DTPA by deceiving
class members by obtaining credit reports without consent, and by doing
so in order to engage in target marketing and pre-screening. The
complaint also contended that the acts were violated by First USA's
practice of using the illegally obtained reports to extend unsolicited
credit cards and by its intent that class members would rely on
omissions of fact concerning the reports and then accept the cards.

The judge stated that Swift failed to allege violations of the state
statutes because she based her claims on the FCRA violations which were
held to be insufficient. Therefore her state law claims failed, the
judge ruled. In addition, even if Swift had successfully plead a FCRA
claim, the ICFA and DTPA counts would still fail, the court stated,
because they did not put forth specific facts showing exactly how First
USA performed a deceptive act or practice as alleged. The ruling left
the suit to proceed on the TILA claims alone. (Bank & Lender Liability
Litigation Reporter, Vol. 5; No. 5; Pg. 3, November 3, 1999)


GUN MANUFACTURERS: Critics of Fd Action Cite Job Loss & Excessive Power
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Colt's Manufacturing Co., inventor of the legendary six-shooter handgun,
said that lawsuits against gun makers could cost jobs and may force some
companies out of business, Reuters reported. "If these lawsuits continue
I fear that not only will this legacy disappear, but so will the jobs of
hard-working Americans in this industry if we are forced out of
business," Colt's Chief Executive William Keys said, according to
Reuters, which cited a news release.

"I am disappointed with this administration," said Keys, a retired U.S.
Marine Corps lieutenant general who took charge of the 163-year-old,
privately held gun maker in October, Reuters said.

"It cannot find funding to prosecute thousands of firearm-related
crimes," Keys said. "Yet somehow it can find funding to participate in
politically motivated lawsuits brought by mayors and in large part
funded by plaintiffs' trial lawyers," Reuters quoted Keys as saying.

HUD officials wouldn't detail any previous outreach to gun makers, but
said new talks were planned. The gun makers have acknowledged the talks,
but objected to the characterization of the meetings as "negotiations."

The suits have had mixed success in the courts. A judge dismissed
Cincinnati's suit in October, but another judge allowed Atlanta's suit
to proceed and ordered the industry to open its files. (Dow Jones,
December 9, 1999)

The Stuart News/Port St. Lucie News (Stuart,FL) of December 10 opins
that the phoniness of the national intervention becomes especially
apparent when you note that the class-action lawsuit would be brought by
the local authorities running housing projects under the direction of
the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The question is raised: what do administrations ordinarily do after
concluding that some form of legal conduct is harmful to the public?
Administrations try to persuade Congress to pass laws making this
conduct illegal and that is what the Clinton administration did,
according to the report.

The report says this is supposed to be a constitutional republic, and
that means there are certain rules of the game. If the administration
can ignore those rules any time it believes in the righteousness of the
outcome it seeks and the validity of its polls, no one is safe. It says
that the power of the federal government is awesome to behold and as the
founders of this nation concluded a couple of hundred years ago, that
power must stay bridled.


HAWAII STATE: Sp Ct Ends Drive for Gay Marriage, Overruling Lower Ct
--------------------------------------------------------------------
The Hawaii Supreme Court has effectively ended the drive to legalize gay
marriage in a state once considered one of the most likely to accept
same-sex unions.  In a ruling on December 9, the court said the effort
by homosexual couples was rendered moot by a 1998 amendment to the state
constitution overwhelmingly approved by voters. The amendment gave
lawmakers the authority to limit state-recognized marriages to
opposite-sex couples.

"Thank you to the Hawaii Supreme Court for affirming what we've known
all along – that marriage, by God's definition, is between opposite-sex
couples," said Mike Gabbard, chairman of the Alliance for Traditional
Marriage.

Genora Dancel and Ninia Baehr sued Hawaii for the right to marry
legally. The high court considered an appeal of a lower court ruling
that the state could not justify its 1994 ban on same-sex marriages. The
judge in the case had ordered the state to grant marriage licenses to
gay couples, but delayed the order pending the appeal.

Lawmakers later drafted the amendment giving them the authority to pass
the ban. Voters approved the proposal by a 2-to-1 margin last year.

Many in Hawaii's gay community expected the high court to grant equal
protections to homosexuals, said Sue Reardon, a Kailua high school
teacher who wants to marry her female partner.  "The people's vote was
based on fear and a lack of knowledge and understanding," said Reardon,
who was not a plaintiff. "But the Supreme Court is expected to
understand, or at least to be knowledgeable of, civil rights. "This is a
sad day for Hawaii."

Vermont's high court is now the only one in the nation currently facing
the question of whether same-sex marriage should be legal.

The Hawaii case drew attention after a 1993 state Supreme Court ruling
that said the state's failure to recognize gay marriages amounted to
gender discrimination.

The ruling set off preemptive legislating around the nation. At least 30
states banned gay marriages, and Congress passed the Defense of Marriage
Act, which denied federal recognition of homosexual marriage and allowed
states to ignore same-sex unions licensed elsewhere. The ruling also led
Hawaii lawmakers to pass the 1994 ban on gay marriage. What the court
did was find that last year's amendment made the 1994 law valid, meaning
the relief sought by the plaintiffs no longer existed and their case was
moot. "It's very difficult to see how they arrived at this decision,"
plaintiff Joseph Melillo said. "It's really a cop-out." (The Associated
Press , December 10, 1999)


HMO: United Healthcare Faces RICO and ERISA Claims in Nebraska
--------------------------------------------------------------
The RICO claim in a class action suit against United Healthcare of
Nebraska Inc. (UHN) is identical to that in Humana v. Forsyth, according
to a brief filed in opposition to UHN's motion to dismiss (Lisa Rae
Wineinger v. United Healthcare of Nebraska, Inc., No. 8:99CV00141, D.
Neb., Omaha Div.; See 6/16/99, Page 9). UHN's contention that the court
in Humana (119 S.Ct. 710 [1999]; See 1/27/99, Page 3) allowed the RICO
claim to proceed only "because it authorizes a private right of action"
mischaracterizes the court's holding, according to the brief.

Further, Nebraska, like Nevada in Humana, recognizes claims against
insurers for "dishonesty, fraud and concealment" at common law (Braesch
v. Union Insurance Company, 464 N.W.2d 769, 777 [Neb. 1991]). (Text of
Brief in Section I. Mealey's Document # 31-991028-109.)

                             Background

The lawsuit alleges that subscribers were required to pay a percentage
of their health care providers' charges and/or are subject to maximums
on benefits. The percentage on the co-payment is based on the provider's
charge as determined by various discount agreements UHN has with the
provider. "Unbeknownst to the participants, plan sponsors and
subscribers, UHN calculates the member's co-payment based on an inflated
amount," the complaint says.

Further, UHN enters into secret contracts or oral agreements with its
preferred health care providers that require that the provider cannot
disclose these additional discounts to patients, the class alleges.

The lawsuit alleges breach of fiduciary duty pursuant to ERISA Sections
409(a) and 406(b), saying that UHN, as fiduciary, has a duty "not to
lie, misinform, deceive, or misrepresent, information concerning
payments; not to interpret the plan arbitrarily or capriciously; and to
administer the plans in accordance with their terms."

                               ERISA

UHN argues that ERISA does not provide, under 29 U.S. Code Section 1109,
an individual cause of action for breach of fiduciary duty because any
remedies must inure to the benefit of the plan, according to the brief,
which cites Massachusetts Mut. Life Ins. Co. v. Russell (473 U.S. 134,
140 [1985]).

But the brief says there is contrary Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of
Appeals case law, as noted by the U.S. Supreme Court in Varity v. Howe
(516 U.S. 489 [1996]). The high court said that "the Eighth Circuit in
this case, [has] not read any such limitation into the statute."

The cases cited by UHN are distinguishable because, as in Varity, the
issue is not wrongful denial of benefits; rather, the wrongs are acts of
deception by plan fiduciaries that harmed the plaintiffs by forcing them
through a pattern of deception to pay more than the applicable share by
way of excess co-payments, the brief says. "The conversion of discounts
to the benefit of UHN in derogation of the rights of the plan
participants may not be adequately remedied by relief under @ 1132," the
brief says.

The class notes that in two other "co-pay" cases, the courts found
plaintiffs did not have to exhaust administrative remedies under the
plan because they were not complaining of the failure to receive or
denial of benefits under the plan, according to the brief (Drazen v. PHP
of Greater St. Louis, No. 4:95CV2198JCH, slip op. at 5-6 [E.D. Mo. Nov.
15, 1996] and Burris v. Iasd Health Services Corp., No. 4-94-CV-10845,
slip op. at 7-8 [S.D. Iowa, Oct. 2, 1995]).

The brief was filed by Adam J. Sipple of Quinn & Wright in Omaha, Neb.,
Jeffrey J. Lowe of Gray & Ritter in St. Louis and Joseph P. Danis of
Carey & Danis in St. Louis. (Mealey's Litigation Report: Managed Care,
Vol. 3; No. 20, October 28, 1999)


HOLOCAUST VICTIMS: Lawyers for Nazi Camp Laborers Reject German Offer
---------------------------------------------------------------------
German-American negotiations on a proposed multibillion dollar
compensation package for Nazi-era slave laborers are on the verge of
collapse, an article in the Christian Science Monitor of December 10,
1999 says.

Lawyers representing the former victims have rejected the latest - and
apparently final - 8 billion mark ($ 4.2 billion) offer from Berlin. "It
is the unanimous opinion of all counsel that the offer at that level is
unacceptable," wrote the lawyers representing former slave laborers.
Attorneys say they will continue to talk only if German negotiators
increase their offer by at least $ 1 billion.

In a letter to President Clinton, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder
reportedly reiterated that the German offer, funded by government and
industry, is final. But in an interview on December 9 on German
television, chief German Holocaust negotiator Otto Lambsdorff called on
lawyers to produce a concrete counterproposal.

A breakdown of the talks threatens to unleash a flood of class-action
lawsuits in the US against German corporations, strain bilateral
relations, and leave the long-neglected survivors of Hitler's
forced-labor regime empty-handed.

As long as there is no official statement from Deputy Treasury Secretary
Stuart Eizenstat, the chief US negotiator, a spokesman for the special
compensation fund set up by German industry says he doesn't consider the
month-long negotiations to have failed. Advocates for Nazi victims
express hope for an agreement. "It's too early to say that the
negotiations have failed," says Deidre Berger, director-designate of the
American Jewish Committee office in Berlin. "I hope they don't break
down because they just can't get through that last stretch."

There may be more than 2 million survivors eligible, including 250,000
slave laborers from concentration camps and at least 480,000 others who
were deported from Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe to work in German
factories and farms. Most are non-Jews living in the former Soviet
Union.

                     Only $ 600 Per Person

The last stretch carries a billion-dollar price tag, which the
representatives of slave laborers say makes a crucial difference. "From
the 8 billion marks, only two-thirds at the most would go to
compensation for forced labor, the rest to property issues, other
damages, administrative costs, and a future fund," says Andreas Plake of
the Cologne-based Federation for Persons Persecuted by the Nazi Regime.
He calculates that each former laborer could end up with less than $
600.

The German government envisions sharing a compensation fund with
industry that would eliminate all future legal claims against German
businesses. So far, only 60 companies have volunteered to take part,
although nearly all branches of the Nazi-era economy employed forced
labor. Wolfgang Gibowski, spokesman for the fund, says there is simply
no more money. "Where should it come from?" he asks. "There is no legal
obligation."

To many in Germany, the emphasis on the missing billions overshadows the
suffering of survivors. "I thought the German media focused almost
exclusively for many months on the details of the financial
negotiations," says Ms. Berger. "I'm very disappointed that there
weren't more articles about the forced-labor system ... about the
victims and what they suffered."

Some observers have said that dragging out these latest negotiations
could have a negative impact on public opinion in Germany, which since
World War II has paid some $ 60 billion in damages for Holocaust-related
crimes.

                     Lawsuits and Boycotts

If the negotiations are called off and the compensation fund falls
through, German industry could be swamped with a new flood of lawsuits
and calls for a boycott of German products. "Parts of German industry
still have not grasped how dangerous this will be for German-American
relations," says Berger, referring to German industry's strong reliance
on exports. She adds that US politicians could turn the matter into a
campaign issue.

Many critics of German industry here hint that in the end, it will be
more cost-effective for businesses to steer clear of the fund and deal
with compensation claims on a case-by-case basis.

Mr. Gibowski of the Germany industry's compensation initiative voices
skepticism about the effectiveness of a boycott or legal action in
helping victims. "I don't think it's a gigantic threat to German
industry. To boycott consumer products is very, very difficult," he
says. Gibowski adds that lawsuits could drag on for years and that there
are no legal precedents favoring victims.

"So what do you have from that?" he asks. "To haggle about money and to
let the people die? Or to give the people the money?"


HOLOCAUST: Ct Hears $1.25B Pact With Swiss Banks; Attys. Seek $15M Fees
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs’ lawyers, appearing at the federal court hearing in Brooklyn
on whether to approve a $ 1.25 billion settlement of Holocaust claims
against Swiss banks and other businesses, submitted fee requests
totaling nearly $ 15 million. The lion's share of those requests came in
an application for $ 10 million on behalf of eight firms aligned with
Robert A. Swift, of Kohn, Swift & Graf of Philadelphia, and Edward D.
Fagan, whose practice is headquartered in New York City. Several other
firms that have asked for fees have pledged to donate any award to
charity.

One serious objection to the $ 1.25 billion accord, which settles claims
of Holocaust survivors and family members, emerged during the hearing.
That objection, raised by the European Commission on Looted Art and
others, was that the settlement would cut off claims against Swiss art
dealers and museums for the recovery of artworks stolen by the Nazis.

Eastern District Judge Edward R. Korman, who must decide whether to
approve the settlement, let Anne Webber, the lawyer presenting the
Looted Art group's objections, speak well beyond her allotted time. When
Ms. Webber was finished, Judge Korman told her that he would give
"careful thought to the remarks you made."

One lawyer close to the case predicted that if necessary, Judge Korman
would sidestep the issue by ruling that persons with claims for the
return of artwork would not be bound by the settlement because they did
not have notice that the settlement would foreclose their rights.

In any event, Peter Widmer, one of the lawyers representing the two
Swiss banks involved in the case, UBS and Credit Suisse, said the banks
would "think about" taking steps to clarify the agreement to meet the
"concerns" that had been raised about looted artworks. He said further
that the Swiss government has made it clear that it assures the return
of stolen artwork.

The suit settles claims that Swiss entities profited from Holocaust
victims' assets that were stolen by the Nazis; bank accounts, insurance
policies or other assets in Switzerland which were abandoned by Jews and
other Holocaust victims; and slave labor.

A second hearing on the fairness of the agreement will be conducted in
Jerusalem on Dec. 14.

The requests for attorneys' fees, according to New York University Law
School Professor Burt Neuborne, are "restrained" in that the lawyers
restricted themselves to billing for hours worked that advanced the
lawsuit. Under Second Circuit case law, Professor Neuborne said, the
plaintiffs' lawyer in a "common fund" case could have requested 15
percent of the $ 1.25 billion, or $ 188 million.

Should Judge Korman award the full $ 15 million as requested, the
lawyers recovery would be only 1.2 percent of the $ 1.25 billion fund
created for the class. By contrast, the lawyers who represented the
first four states to win recoveries in the litigation against the
tobacco industry received a total of $ 8.6 billion, or 21 percent of the
$ 40.9 billion they recovered for their clients.

                       Donations Promised

Professor Neuborne, who sits on the nine-member plaintiffs' steering
committee, has been asked by Judge Korman to evaluate the fee requests.
Professor Neuborne said the ultimate fee award that Judge Korman would
likely approve would be in the range of $ 10 million. He predicted that
Judge Korman would be unlikely to approve the "multiplier" requested by
the eight firms aligned with Mr. Fagan and Mr. Swift, and instead
restrict them to a straight figure based on hours times an hourly fee.

Two other firms that submitted their fee requests with the Fagan/Swift
group asked for $ 1 million each on a straight hourly billing formula.
The two firms are Melvin Urbach, who has his own practice, and Stephen
Whinston, of Berger & Montague, both in Philadelphia. Mr. Urbach and Mr.
Whinston are co-counsel for the World Council of Orthodox Jewish
Communities, the only organization involved as a named plaintiff in the
class action suit.

The Indianapolis-based firm of Cohen & Malod, which was also aligned
with the Fagan/Swift group, put in a fee request for $ 850,000,
calculated on a straight hourly basis.

Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach is asking for $ 1 million in
compensation, and says it will donate any recovery to advance public
interest legal education.

Similarly, Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein has committed to
dedicating any recovery to establish a professorship at Columbia
University Law School's International Human Rights Program.

The executive committee roughly breaks down into two groups, with firms
aligned with Fagan/Swift group urging that the recovery fund be used to
compensate Holocaust victims directly. In contrast, those aligned with
Milberg Weiss and the Washington, D.C.-based firm, Cohen, Milstein,
Hausfeld & Toll, are pressing for the funds to be allocated to
organizations that provide social and other service for Nazi victims and
their families.

Judge Korman has appointed Judah Gribetz, of Richards & O'Neil, as
special master to recommend how the funds should be dispersed if the
settlement is approved.

                      Attorneys Fees Requested

Eight firms aligned with
Edward Fagan Associates and Kohn, Swift & Graf           $10 million
Melvin Urbach and Stephen Whinston, of Berger & Montague $ 2 million
Milberg, Weiss, Bershad Hynes & Lerach *                 $ 1 million
Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein *                   $ 1 million
Cohen & Malod                                            $   850,000
                                                         --------------
Total                                                    $14.85 million

* Have pledged to donate any fee recovery to charity.

Source: Interviews with lawyers. (New York Law Journal, November 30,
1999)


INMATES LITIGATION: 11th Cir Hears Case on Changes in Parole in Georgia
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
For convicted burglar Willis L. Metheny, March 31, 1995, was supposed to
be the day before he would be eligible for parole after three and a half
years in prison. Instead, that was the day the Georgia Board of Pardons
and Paroles informed him he would have to serve his entire 60-year
sentence.

The board's decision had nothing to do with the merits of Metheny's
record in prison. Instead, it came from a complex change in
then-Attorney General Michael J. Bowers' view of a 1953 law under which
those convicted of four or more felonies would have to serve their
entire sentences.

Metheny, who was in a halfway house when he got the board's letter, had
been convicted of five felonies, all either burglary or receiving stolen
property.

For 42 years, the AG's office had considered the law an unconstitutional
violation of parole board power. But in 1995, Bowers concluded a state
Supreme Court decision the year before changed all that. In an official
opinion he advised the board to end parole for recidivists convicted of
four or more felonies. The board heeded Bowers' advice and it has since
informed at least 129 inmates they are ineligible for parole.

                    Inmates Sued Parole Chief

In 1996 Metheny and three other recidivists sued the chairman of the
parole board claiming that its decision denying them parole violated the
U.S. Constitution's prohibitions against retroactive laws.

In March, U.S. Magistrate Judge Claude W. Hicks Jr. agreed and ordered
the board to consider parole for the plaintiffs. The board appealed and
a three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral
arguments. Hammonds v. Metheny. No. 99-10646-D (11th Cir., arg'd Dec. 7,
1999).

Representing the state, Senior Assistant Attorney General Christopher S.
Brasher said Bowers' 1995 official opinion was "merely the correction of
erroneous advice." That advice came from then-Attorney General Eugene
Cook, who in 1953 said the General Assembly was violating the state
constitution by passing what is now called O.C.G.A. 17-10-7 (c). In
1969, then-Attorney General Arthur Bolton reaffirmed Cook's opinion,
noting that while he rarely concluded laws to be unconstitutional, in
this case, "the possibility of differences of opinion is remote."

                    '94 Supreme Court Decision

But the 1994 decision by the Georgia Supreme Court set in motion the
decisions that ended parole for Metheny, three other plaintiffs and
perhaps hundreds of other inmates.

The court ruled in Freeman v. State, 264 Ga. 27, that the General
Assembly could pass criminal laws to sentence defendants to life without
parole, yet not infringe on the parole board's powers under the state
constitution. The court's decision was unanimous but surprising to many.

According to Metheny's brief, William F. Amideo, the board's director of
legal services, said in his deposition, "Frankly, the Freeman decision
was difficult to understand or interpret and inconsistent with 40 years
of practice and law in the state of Georgia."

The Freeman decision prompted Bowers to exchange letters with the parole
board discussing how Freeman severely limited the board's powers. Among
the powers lost by the Freeman decision, Bowers wrote, were those that
allowed the board to grant parole to inmates considered recidivists
under the 1953 law.

At December 7's oral argument, 11th Circuit Judge J.L. Edmonson presided
over the panel, joined by 11th Circuit Judge Stanley Marcus and visiting
U.S. District Senior Judge Lyle E. Strom of Nebraska. Edmonson said, "It
seems to me the Attorney General's position is pretty good."

Robert E. Toone, Metheny's lawyer from the Southern Center from Human
Rights, agreed that Freeman invalidated the board's powers to grant
parole to recidivists such as Metheny. But until that decision, the
board's rules allowing parole "had the force and effect" of law, Toone
argued.

But Strom asked Toone, "How can a rule or law that is unconstitutional
have any force and effect?" Edmonson added in sarcastic tone that while
he thought the state Supreme Court and General Assembly had the power to
decide the law, the board of pardons and paroles did not. "They were
guessing," Edmonson said of the board members who assumed the recidivist
law violated the state constitution. "They just guessed wrong."

"We know that now," Toone answered, pointing out that, for decades, the
1953 law was considered unconstitutional and that no one expected the
Freeman decision which changed that view.

Edmonson said Freeman was only surprising in how long it took to occur.
The judge compared the decision the U.S. Supreme Court's decision on
December 6 to reconsider its landmark 1966 Miranda decision. The high
court's decision isn't so surprising, Edmonson said, because "the legal
argument was there," but it just took a long time for someone to make
it. That said, the judge added, "we don't need to argue Miranda here."
(Fulton County Daily Report December 8, 1999)


PLAINS ALL: Whittington, von Sternberg Files Securities Suit in Texas
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The Houston law firm of Whittington, von Sternberg, Emerson & Wilsher
L.L.P. announced on December 9 that a class action has been commenced in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas here
in Houston on behalf of those persons who purchased the common limited
partnership units ("Units") of Houston-headquartered Plains All American
Pipeline LP ("Plains" or the "Company") (NYSE:PAA) and the common stock
of Plains Resources Inc. ("Plains Resources")(AMEX:PLX) between Nov. 17,
1998 and Nov. 26, 1999, inclusive (the "Class Period"), including those
who acquired their Units pursuant to the Plains' Initial Public Offering
and Secondary Offering Registration Statements/Prospectuses.

The complaint charges Plains, Plains Resources and certain of its
officers and directors with violations of the Securities and Exchange
Act of 1934. The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, the
Individual Defendants engaged in a scheme to conceal Plains' and Plains
Resources' badly flagging oil trading activities in order to prevent the
decline in the price of Plains Units and Plains Resources stock in order
to: (I) protect and enhance their executive positions and substantial
compensation; (ii) enhance the value of their personal Plains and Plains
Resources securities holdings and options; (iii) allow Plains to sell
over $300 million of Plains Units at inflated prices to obtain large
amounts of cash to fund its acquisition spree; (iv) compensate and pay
key employees for their participation in the defendants' plan; (v)
extract the sum of $148 million for Plains Resources, Plains' General
Partner and also a partnership in which defendants Pefanis, Armstrong
and Kramer served as officers and highly compensated executives; (vi)
use Plains' artificially inflated Units as currency to fund the
Company's acquisition of the companies in units-for stock transactions;
(vii) allow Plains Resources to convert its preferred Units for Plains
common Units once Plains traded at or above $21.60 per Unit for 30
consecutive days; and (viii) complete a$75 million debt offering for
Plains Resources.

Then, on Nov. 29, 1999, Plains revealed that it had incurred a loss of
over $ 160 million which had been concealed since the spring of 1999 as
the result of speculative commodity trading and that contrary to its
representations in the Initial Public Offering Prospectus and the
Secondary Offering Prospectus, Plains was not monitoring its hedging
activities. It was then revealed that during the bull oil market of
1999, Plains had engaged in "shorting" crude oil throughout the year and
that it was still short 12 million barrels of crude oil for December
delivery and 1 million barrels for January delivery. Thus, contrary to
the defendants' statements during the Class Period, neither Plains nor
Plains Resources would benefit from an "increase" in crude oil prices.
In fact, Plains revealed that it would likely be restating its
previously reported financial results for each of the prior three
quarters of fiscal 1999. This in turn would force Plains Resources to
restate its financial results for the same period. This revelation
caused Plains Units to fall as low as$9-5/8 per Unit, a decline of 55%
from its Class Period high. Plains Resources stock immediately followed,
plummeting more than 45% the same day.

Contact Plaintiffs' counsel, John G. Emerson, Jr., Whittington, Von
Sternberg, Emerson & Wilsher LLP 2600 S. Gessner, Suite 600 Houston,
Texas 77063 Telephone: 713/789-8850 Facsimile: 713/789-0033 or via
e-mail at je-mlaw@worldnet.att.net


PLAINS ALL: Wolf Popper Files Securities Suit in Texas
------------------------------------------------------
Wolf Popper LLP announced on December 9 that a class action lawsuit has
been filed against Plains All American Pipeline, L.P. ("Plains") (NYSE:
PAA) in the United States District Court for the Southern District of
Texas. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of all persons who purchased
Plains common stock during the period from May 12, 1999 through November
29, 1999 as well as on behalf of all persons who purchased limited
partnership units pursuant to an offering dated October 1, 1999,

The Complaint charges that Plains violated sections 11 and 12 of the
Securities Act of 1933 and section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act
of The Complaint specifically alleges that Plains issued materially
false and misleading statements about its business and its internal
policies. The securities markets were, shocked when the Company
announced on November 29, 1999 that it expects to take a $160 million
loss as the result of so-called "unauthorized trading" by an employee in
its crude oil trading operations Plains' common stock price plummeted
approximately 470X, in response to the disclosure of this massive loss.

Any purchaser of Plains' common stock during the period from May 12,
1999 through November 29, 1999 or any purchaser of Plains' units in the
October 1, 1999 offering who desires to be appointed lead plaintiff in
this action must file a motion with the Court no later than sixty days
after November 29, 1999. Class members must meet certain legal
requirements to serve as a lead plaintiff. If you have questions or
information regarding this action, or if you are interested in serving
as a lead plaintiff in this action, you may call or write.
Peter Safirstem, Esq., or James A. Harrod, Investor Relations
Representative, Wolf Popper LLP, 845 Third Avenue, New York, NY
10022-6689, Telephone: 212-451-9626, 212-451-9642, Toll Free:
1-877-370-7703, Facsimile: 212-486-2093, E-Mail: psafirst@wolfpopper.com
or IRRep@wolfpopper.com


STAGE STORES: Announces Dismissal of Securities Lawsuit in Texas
----------------------------------------------------------------
Stage Stores Inc. (NYSE:SGE) announced on December 9 that U.S. District
Judge Kenneth Hoyt, in an order entered Dec. 8, 1999, dismissed the
class action lawsuit alleging violations of federal securities laws. The
lawsuit was originally filed in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of Texas on March 30, 1999 against the Company and
certain of its officers, directors, underwriters and controlling
shareholders.

At the time of the filing, the Company categorically denied that any
securities laws had been violated and announced that it intended to
vigorously contest all of the allegations contained in the complaint. On
July 23, 1999, the Company filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit
alleging that it was without merit. The court granted that request, and
the lawsuit was dismissed.

Stage Stores Inc. brings nationally recognized brand name apparel,
accessories, cosmetics and footwear for the entire family to small towns
and communities throughout the United States. The company operated 654
stores in 33 states at the end of the third quarter, primarily under the
Stage, Bealls and Palais Royal trade names.


TRIATHLON BROADCASTING: Settles Dela. Suit over Acquisition by Capstar
----------------------------------------------------------------------
On July 24, 1998 in connection with the acquisition of Triathlon
Broadcasting Company, Capstar Broadcasting was notified of an action
filed on behalf of all holders of depository shares of Triathlon against
Triathlon, its directors, and Capstar Broadcasting. The action was filed
in the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware in and for New Castle
County, Delaware. The complaint alleges that Triathlon and its directors
breached their fiduciary duties to the class of depository shareholders
by agreeing to a transaction with Capstar Broadcasting that allegedly
favored the Class A common shareholders of Triathlon at the expense of
the depositoIn October 1999, the Company announced that Steel Partners
II, L.P. ("Steel"), Bell's largest shareholder with approximately 17% of
the outstanding stock, offered to purchase the Company's remaining
stock. The Company's Board of Directors after concluding that the offer
did not reflect an optimum value for the Company, rejected Steel's bid.

On October 20, 1999, two purported class action complaints on behalf of
the shareholders of the Company, were filed in the Superior Court for
the State of California, County of Los Angeles (the "Lawsuits"). The
first was entitled William Steiner vs. Bell Industries, Inc., et al.
(Case No. BC218887), and the second was entitled Charles Miller vs. Bell
Industries, Inc., et al. (Case No. BC218886). The Lawsuits name the
Company and certain of its directors as defendants and allege, among
other things, that directors breached their fiduciary duties by adopting
the Company's Rights Agreement in February 1999 and by entering into
severance agreements with certain senior executives in an alleged effort
to entrench themselves in their positions and prevent Steel from
acquiring the Company for $5.30 per share. The Company and the Board of
Directors believe that the Lawsuits are without merit and plan to
vigorously defend against them.

Capstar Broadcasting is accused of knowingly aiding and abetting the
breaches of fiduciary duties allegedly committed by the other
defendants. The complaint seeks to have the action certified as a class
action and seeks to enjoin the Triathlon acquisition or, in the
alternative, seeks monitory damages in an unspecified amount.

On February 12, 1999, the parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding
that provides for the settlement of the lawsuit. The amount of the
settlement will equal $0.11 additional consideration for each depository
share owned by any class member at the effective time of the Triathlon
acquisition. Capstar Broadcasting also agreed not to oppose plaintiff's
counsel's application for attorney's fees and expenses in the aggregate
amount of $150. The proposed settlement is contingent upon a
confirmatory discovery by the plaintiff, executive of a definitive
settlement agreement and court approval.


TYCO INT’L: Entwistle & Cappucci File Securities Suit in Florida
----------------------------------------------------------------
Entwistle & Cappucci LLP gives notice on December 9 that, pursuant to
Section 21(D)(a)(3)(A)(i) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the
"Exchange Act"), a class action lawsuit for violations of the federal
securities laws has been filed against Tyco International Ltd. ("Tyco"
or the "Company") (NYSE: TYC) and certain of its officers and directors
in the United States District Court for the Southern District of
Florida. The lawsuit was brought on behalf of all persons who purchased
Tyco common stock between December 10, 1998 and December 8, 1999,
inclusive (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges Tyco and certain of its officers and directors
with violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Exchange Act as well
as Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder. The complaint alleges that
defendants issued a series of materially false and misleading statements
concerning Tyco's financial condition and future growth prospects.
Specifically, the complaint charges that defendants had taken
"accounting baths" related to certain acquisitions in order to improve
future period operating results. Prior to the disclosure of the adverse
facts described above, certain insiders sold over 1.5 million shares of
Tyco to the investing public at artificially inflated prices. These
sellers realized over $170 million in proceeds from these insider
trading activities.

Contact plaintiff's counsel, Vincent R. Cappucci, Esq. of Entwistle &
Cappucci LLP, 400 Park Avenue, 16th Floor, New York, New York 10022 by
telephone at 212-894-7200 or by e-mail at mboyle@entwistle-law.com

Tyco announced on December 9 that the SEC had begun an inquiry into the
company's accounting practices.


TYCO INT’L: Kaplan Kilsheimer Files Securities Suit in New Hampshire
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Kaplan, Kilsheimer & Fox LLP announced on December 9 that it has filed a
class action in the U.S. District Court for the District of New
Hampshire on behalf of all persons who purchased or otherwise acquired
the common stock of Tyco International Ltd. (NYSE: TYC) ("Tyco" or the
"Company") between October 1, 1998 and December 8, 1999 (the "Class
Period").

The lawsuit alleges that Tyco and certain of its top officers and
directors violated certain of the securities laws and regulations of the
United States. The Complaint alleges, among other things, that during
the Class Period, Tyco misled investors by utilizing accounting methods
which made it appear that companies Tyco acquired were experiencing
healthier growth than they actually were after being acquired by Tyco.
On December 9, 1999, Tyco announced that the Securities and Exchange
Commission was conducting an informal inquiry relating to charges and
reserves taken in connection with the Company's acquisitions.

Contact: Frederic S. Fox, Esq., Joel B. Strauss, Esq., Janine R.
Azriliant, Esq., Brigid T. Kavanaugh, Esq., Kaplan, Kilsheirner & 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


TYCO INT'L: Kirby McInerney Files Securities Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------
The following is an announcement by the law firm of Kirby McInerney &
Squire, LLP on December 9:

Please take notice that a class action lawsuit has been commenced on
behalf of all purchasers of Tyco International, Ltd. (NYSE: TYC)
securities between October 22, 1998 and December 8, 1999 (the "Class
Period"). The action asserts claims against Tyco and certain of its
officers for violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 by reason of material misrepresentations and
omissions.

The complaint alleges that Tyco, during the class period, reported
spectacular earnings and earnings growth, that was achieved in large
part through a series of accounting manipulations centered around the
company's many mergers and acquisitions. After allegations questioning
Tyco's accounting methods first surfaced publicly in mid-October, 1999,
causing the value of Tyco's shares to fall significantly, Tyco
vehemently and consistently denied the reports. On October 14, a day
after the first questions had surfaced about Tyco's accounting
practices, Tyco's chief executive stated in an official press release
that "There are no restatements coming from Tyco, no irregularities, no
investigations nor reasons for any investigations." On December 9,
however, Tyco announced that the Securities and Exchange Commission had
begun an inquiry into the company's accounting practices. As a result of
the questions concerning Tyco's accounting and financial reporting, Tyco
shares have lost more than 40% of their value since mid-October, 1999.

Contact: Jeffrey H. Squire, Esq. Ira M. Press, Esq. Robert Feinstein,
Paralegal Kirby McInerney & Squire, LLP 830 Third Avenue 10th Floor New
York, New York 10022 Telephone: (212) 317-2300 or Toll Free (888)
529-4787 E-Mail: kms@kmslaw.com


TYCO INT'L: Milberg Weiss Files Securities Suit in Florida
----------------------------------------------------------
The following is an announcement by the law firm of Milberg Weiss on
December 9:

Notice is hereby given that a class action lawsuit was filed in the
United States District Court for the District of Southern District of
Florida, on behalf of all persons who purchased the common stock of Tyco
International Limited ("Tyco" or the "Company") (NYSE: TYC) between
December 10, 1998, through December 8, 1999, inclusive (the "Class
Period").

If you wish to discuss this action or have any questions concerning this
notice or your rights or interests with respect to these matters, please
contact, at Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach ("Milberg Weiss"),
Steven G. Schulman or Samuel H. Rudman at One Pennsylvania Plaza, 49th
Floor, New York, New York 10119-0165, by telephone 1-800-320-5081 or via
e-mail: endfraud@mwbhlny.com or visit our website at www.milberg.com, or
Kenneth Vianale of Milberg Weiss' Boca Raton office at 561/361-5000.

The complaint charges Tyco and certain of its officers and directors
with violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934 as well as Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder. The complaint
alleges that defendants issued a series of materially false and
misleading statements concerning Tyco's financial condition and future
growth prospects. Specifically, the complaint charges that defendants
had taken "accounting baths" related to certain acquisitions in order to
improve future period operating results. Prior to the disclosure of the
adverse facts described above certain insiders sold over 1.5 million
shares of Tyco to the investing public at artificially inflated prices.
These sellers realized over$170 million in proceeds from these insider
trading activities.

Contact: Boca Raton Office Kenneth Vianale Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes &
Lerach LLP (561) 361-5000 or New York Office Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes
& Lerach LLP Shareholder Relations Dept. 1-800-320-5081, E-Mail:
endfraud@mwbhlny.com


TYCO INT'L: Wolf Haldenstein Files Securities Suit in New Hampshire
-------------------------------------------------------------------
The following is an announcement by the law firm of Wolf Haldenstein
Adler Freeman & Herz LLP on December 9:

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 Hampshire on behalf of investors who bought Tyco
International Ltd. (NYSE:TYC) ("Tyco" or the "Company") stock between
October 1, 1998 and October 29, 1999 (the "Class Period").

The lawsuit charges Tyco and executive officers, Dennis Kozlowski and
Mark H. Swartz, with violations of the securities laws and regulations
of the United States. The lawsuit alleges that defendants issued a
series of false and misleading statements during the Class Period
concerning the Company's revenue growth rate. The Complaint further
alleges that defendants used deceptive and overly aggressive accounting
practices to give the market a false and misleading impression of the
Company's revenue growth rate. Meanwhile defendants Kozlowski and Swartz
used their inside knowledge regarding the Company's revenues to sell
over 2.8 million shares of their own stock at prices close to the Class
Period high for proceeds of over$281,000,000.

Between October 13, 1999 and October 29, 1999, several analysts and
financial reporters revealed that the Company was engaging in overly
aggressive and deceptive accounting practices concerning its
acquisitions. Upon the release of these revelations the Company's stock
price plummeted from a Class Period high of $52.96 to as low as$35.5625
on November 1, 1999.

On December 9, 1999, the market was further rocked by the announcement
that the Securities and Exchange Commission was mounting an
investigation of the Company's accounting practices. Upon the release of
this announcement the Company's stock sank to as low as $25 1/2 on
extraordinarily heavy trading volume.

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
website at http://www.whafh.com(All e-mail correspondence should make
reference to Tyco.)


UNISYS CORP: Finkelstein & Krinsk File Securities Suit
------------------------------------------------------
Unisys Corporation (NYSE:UIS) is accused in a class action lawsuit filed
by Finkelstein & Krinsk of violating the federal securities laws by
misrepresenting the Company's business condition, finances and
prospects.

According to the Complaint, the Company and its controlling insiders
issued a series of false and misleading statements to the market
regarding, amongst other things, purported significant contracts with
major clients which could not generate touted revenues due to
undisclosed contingencies. A number of the Company's insiders took
advantage of the inflated price of Unisys stock to sell large amounts of
stock, reaping more than $4 million dollars in proceeds from their
insider sales.

According to the Complaint, defendants' statements were false and caused
Unisys stock to trade at artificially inflated levels during the Class
Period (May 4, 1999 - October 14, 1999). When the truth about
defendants' misrepresentations became known to the market, the price of
Unisys shares dropped dramatically as the market digested the adverse
revelations.

For any inquiries or to discuss this lawsuit and alternatives, contact:
Jeffrey R. Krinsk at Finkelstein & Krinsk, the Koll Center, 501 West
Broadway, Suite 1250, San Diego, CA 92101 by calling toll free
877/493-5366 or by e-mail at fk@class-action-law.com Or fax
619/238-5425.


UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL: Former Employees Sue in Il. over Loss at Closure
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Argosy Education Group Inc., Dr. Markovitz and certain other companies
in which Dr. Markovitz has an interest have been named as defendants in
Charlena Griffith, et al. v. University Hospital, L.L.C. et al., a class
action lawsuit filed in November 1997 and currently pending in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois,
Eastern Division. No specific amount of damages is sought by the
plaintiffs.

This lawsuit arose in connection with the closing of a for-profit
psychiatric hospital located in Chicago, which was established in 1989
by Dr. Markovitz and operated under the name University Hospital
("University Hospital"). University Hospital was substantially dependent
on Medicare reimbursement for its revenues. In May 1997, after continued
Medicare reimbursement to University Hospital was effectively
terminated, University Hospital ceased operations and made an assignment
for the benefit of its creditors, which is ongoing. Argosy owned a 95%
equity interest in University Hospital at the time of the assignment for
the benefit of its creditors.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit, former employees of University Hospital,
allege that (i) the hospital was closed without proper notice to
employees in violation of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining
Notification Act; (ii) employee contributions to the hospital's profit
sharing plan made prior to the hospital closing were not delivered to
the plan in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of
1974; (iii) the hospital failed to pay the final compensation due its
employees prior to the hospital closing in violation of the Illinois
Wage Payment and Collection Act; and (iv) the defendants converted for
their own use and benefit the amount of the plaintiffs' last paycheck,
accrued vacation, profit sharing contributions and credit union
contributions. Argosy and Dr. Markovitz have been named as defendants in
this lawsuit based upon an allegation that they are alter egos of
University Hospital.

Argosy, Dr. Markovitz and the other defendants in this lawsuit deny all
claims asserted and are vigorously defending themselves. The cost of
defense has not been borne by the Company. Dr. Markovitz has entered
into an indemnification agreement with the Company providing that the
cost of the defense and any settlement amounts or damage awards will be
paid by Dr. Markovitz. The Company believes that the potential loss, as
it relates to this matter, is not probable and that an estimate of the
potential settlement amounts or damage awards cannot be made at this
time. However, the Company does not expect the ultimate outcome of this
matter to have a material adverse effect on its results of operations or
financial condition.


XEROX CORP: Milberg Weiss Files Securities Suit in Connecticut
--------------------------------------------------------------
The following is an announcement by the law firm of Milberg Weiss
Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP on December 9:

Notice is hereby given that a class action lawsuit was filed in the
United States District Court for the District of Connecticut, on behalf
of all persons who purchased the common stock of Xerox Corporation
("Xerox" or the "Company") (NYSE: XRX) between January 25, 1999, through
October 7, 1999, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges Xerox and certain of its senior officers and
directors (the "Individual Defendants") with violations of Sections
10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 as well as Rule
10b-5 promulgated thereunder. The complaint alleges that defendants
issued a series of materially false and misleading statements concerning
the declining demand for the Company's products and services and had
engaged in a number of deceptive practices to conceal these trends.
Prior to the disclosure of the adverse facts described above, certain
insiders sold hundreds of thousands of shares of Xerox common stock to
the investing public at artificially inflated prices. These sellers
realized over $ 51.7 million in proceeds from these insider trading
activities.

Contact: Steven G. Schulman or Samuel H. Rudman, or the New York
Shareholder Relations Dept., Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP,
at One Pennsylvania Plaza, 49th Floor, New York, New York 10119-0165, by
telephone 1-800-320-5081 or via e-mail: endfraud@mwbhlny.com or visit
website at http://www.milberg.com


* Deloitte Steps Down from Philip As 40 Banks Analyze Whether to Sue
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Deloitte & Touche quit as the longtime auditors for Philip Services
Corp. on December 9, heeding a request from the troubled scrap and waste
giant that they step down. The departure comes as the 40 banks who now
control Philip continue to 'analyze' whether to sue Deloitte over its
auditing of the Philip books. A source close to Carl Icahn, the New York
financier who owns the largest single chunk of Philip, recently
described a suit against Deloitte as 'one of the major assets of this
company.'

Deloitte has been Philip's auditor since 1990. Philip stock crashed last
year, wiping out more than $3-billion in shareholder equity, after the
company said three years of financial statements had been wrong.

In a new filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Philip
notes that its investors have made class-action claims against Deloitte,
'that Deloitte was negligent in performing its duties as auditors for
the company by failing to discover and disclose certain information in
the company's financial statements.'

According to the filing, Deloitte repeatedly wrote to Philip requesting
a release from legal action as part of Philip's bankruptcy restructuring
plan. Philip declined. Deloitte then opposed the plan. The court
supported Deloitte and Philip drafted a new plan.

The filing details a two-day mediation session in late October during
which '[Philip] used its best effort to resolve the various issues
involving Deloitte unfortunately, the mediation did not result in a
settlement.' Philip then amended its plan, again with no release for
Deloitte.

While Philip could be the one to launch the suit, the beneficiaries
would be the 40 banks and other lenders who now control the company. The
biggest of those is Mr. Icahn, who specializes in taking control of
troubled companies.

Tracy Remkes, a spokeswoman for Deloitte in Toronto, said, 'We have
resigned and our resignation is a direct result of Philip's actions that
prevented us from maintaining the independence required of an auditor.'
She did not elaborate. (National Post (formerly The Financial Post),
December 10, 1999)


* MI to Log Race of Drivers, in Response to Claims of Racial Profiling
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Michigan State Police next month will begin tracking the race of all
drivers pulled over for traffic stops. Reflecting a national push for
such monitoring programs, troopers will log the race and gender of every
motorist stopped -- even if no ticket is issued. They'll also note
whether the vehicle was searched.

The program, to be presented to troopers, comes in response to claims by
civil rights groups and individuals who believe some law enforcers show
bias in traffic stops. "We want to respond to the perception that some
minority groups are unfairly singled out for traffic stops," said Maj.
Tim Yungfer at the state police headquarters. "That's something the
state police has never engaged in, and we want to be able to back that
up. ... The numbers don't lie."

Racial profiling, which refers to police checks made on the basis of
race or a general profile of suspects, has been widely criticized
nationwide. In June, President Clinton ordered federal law enforcement
agencies to collect racial and gender data from people they stop or
arrest, following the admission in April that some New Jersey troopers
had engaged in racial profiling on the New Jersey Turnpike. "Most black
people at one time or another have been the target of a traffic stop
based on their race," said Godfrey Dillard, a Detroit attorney. "Look,
if you're an 18-year-old black man from Detroit, you're going to get
searched an awful lot more than a suburbanite."

Michigan joins North Carolina and Connecticut among states that begin
collecting race data Jan. 1 on all traffic stops. Ohio has been
collecting the data for 1 1/2 years.

The ACLU filed a class-action suit against the California Highway
Patrol, charging that it had engaged in racial profiling. Closer to
home, the son of Detroit's mayor was stopped with an assistant Oakland
County prosecutor in Royal Oak on Memorial Day and handcuffed briefly.

State troopers typically make about 830,000 traffic stops and issue
about 400,000 tickets annually. Commanders said they will monitor the
race data by officer, region and post -- looking for red flags. If there
are suspicions that any trooper is inaccurately reporting the data, they
will audit the officer's daily reports.

In July, state police Col. Michael Robinson, who is the president of the
International Association of Chiefs of Police, announced plans to begin
keeping track of race and gender data of motorists by October, but that
delayed that plan. Post commanders were notified of the final plans,
said Capt. Jack Shepard.

Lt. Mike Morenko, commander of the Richmond State Police Post that
covers Macomb and St. Clair counties, concedes that recording the race
of all motorists stopped will be "somewhat cumbersome." "I don't believe
that racial profiling has ever been a problem at the state police, so
anything we can do to maintain public confidence is fine," said Morenko,
a 27-year-veteran of the force who spent 15 years patroling highways in
southeast Michigan. The plan sidesteps a few potential problems:
Troopers won't ask people to identify their race. Instead, they will
make their best guess. "We didn't want to put people in an uncomfortable
position," said Shepard.

Troopers will note the race in daily activity reports that get recorded
in a computer database, but won't mark the race on tickets -- though a
box to do so is on tickets, and some local departments may continue to
use it.

The new monitoring also will focus on vehicle searches, noting whether
such checks were consensual or based on probable cause. State police
plan to compile a report after the first three months.

The Michigan Sheriff's Association said a pilot program to collect race
data will begin in Kalamazoo County early next year. "We want to get all
the bugs worked out," said Terry Jungle, the executive director of the
association. "I think we're all on the same page on this one."

Dearborn will also collect data and report its findings to the Michigan
Association of Chiefs of Police. In April, a statewide conference in
southeast Michigan will bring together top law enforcers, civil rights
advocates and community leaders. "We need to reassure motorists that
they aren't being singled out because of their race," said U.S. Attorney
Saul Green.

The conference comes the same month as a state law that will let police
stop a driver solely for not wearing a seat belt; under current law,
motorists can't be stopped unless they are committing another
infraction. Some groups are concerned because a 1996 national survey
showed only 58 percent of minorities wear seat belts. State police had
recorded the race of motorists ticketed for years, until the Michigan
Civil Rights Commission asked them to stop in 1995. Most local
departments followed the state police's lead, though some continue to
collect the data. Earlier this year, the state commission reversed
itself, asking the department to collect the data again.

The National Conference for Community and Justice, a civil rights group
that's an organizer of the April conference, praised the data collection
plans and said racial profiling is widespread in Metro Detroit. "This is
a serious problem that has gone on for too long," said Daedra A. McGhee,
the group's regional director in Detroit. "But we've seen a wonderful
first step, with law enforcement sitting down with community groups like
ours and asking our opinions."

The Ohio Highway Patrol has been keeping racial data on traffic stops
since 1998, said Lt. John Born, on the nearly 900,000 tickets its
troopers write annually -- among the most in the nation. The force plans
to announce new monitoring plans in January. "This is about keeping the
public's confidence in our integrity," said Born, noting that no trooper
has been disciplined for racial profiling since the scrutiny began.

Florida also plans to collect data. State police commanders asked
legislators for money to pay for computers to keep track of the data.
New York State has contacted Michigan for more details about its
program, which has cost less than $ 50,000 to date, Shepard said.

                         How It Will Work

* Beginning Jan. 1, state troopers will list all drivers stopped as
  "black, Latino/Hispanic, white or other" on their daily activity
  report.

* Troopers will not ask the driver to identify his or her race, but
  will make a best guess.

* Troopers will report whether they asked the driver to allow a vehicle
  search or whether such a search was made under probable-cause rules.

State police are going to begin keeping track of the race of all drivers
stopped, ticketed and searched. Is this a good way to reduce racial
profiling? Vote and comment in the CyberSurvey on Detroit News Online at
http://detnews.com/metro/(The Detroit News, December 10, 1999)


* TX Sp Ct Takes Comments by Email on Proposed Rules on Teens’ Abortion
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
For the first time, the Texas Supreme Court is taking comments by e-mail
on a proposed set of rules. The rules would govern the judicial bypass
procedures of the state's new parental notification law. The law
requires that parents of teen girls seeking abortions be notified. A
judge can bypass the notification requirement by finding that the girl
is mature and well-informed and that notifying her parents or guardians
would not be in her best interest or could subject her to abuse. The
rules require complete secrecy in handling the applications, with the
identity of the judges and their rulings kept confidential. The rules
are available on the court's Web site at www.courts.state.tx.us. Bob
Pemberton, rules attorney for the court, says the court hopes the ease
of using e-mail will encourage people to comment. The court is taking
comments until Dec. 10 and has scheduled a public hearing for 2 p.m.
Dec. 6 in the courtroom of the Supreme Court. (Texas Lawyer November 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

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

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

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without prior
written permission of the publishers.

Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to be
reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The CAR subscription rate is $575 for six months delivered via e-mail.

Additional e-mail subscriptions for members of the same firm for the
term of the initial subscription or balance thereof are $25 each.  For
subscription information, contact Christopher Beard at 301/951-6400.


                    * * *  End of Transmission  * * *