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               Friday, March 9, 2001, Vol. 3, No. 48


ANALYTICAL SURVEYS: Contests Consolidated Lawsuit over Common Stock
CRAWFORD & CO: Served with DOJ Subpoenas Re Healthcare Billing Practices
DOJ: Lawyers Find Ally in Moran to Reverse Policy of Not Paying for OT
GENERAL MOTORS: Union Included in Strike-Related Suit; Judge Gives Nod
HOLOCAUST VICTIMS: German Industry Pressed To Pay After Ruling on Suit

HOLOCAUST VICTIMS: German Minister Calls On Firms To Pay
INMATES LITIGATION: Cook County Again Target of Women's Stip Search Suit
INTERSHOP COMMUNICATIONS: Milberg Weiss Announces Securities Suit in NY
L.A. POLICE: Mayor Candidate Makes Election Pledge To Remove LAPD Chief
NEW JERSEY: Group Claims Agency Tampers With Records Of Foster Children

NFL: To Sell Sunday Ticket on Weekly Basis to Settle Antitrust Suit
NIH, THOMPSON: Law Firm Will Sue Over Use Of Tax To Fund Embryo Research
NORTEL NETWORKS: Berman DeValerio Announces Securities Suit Filed in NY
NORTEL NETWORKS: CEO John Roth Issues Open Letter to Stockholders
NORTEL NETWORKS: Johnson & Perkinson Announces Lawsuit Filed in New York

NORTEL NETWORKS: Keller Rohrback Announces Assignment of Suit to Judge
NORTEL NETWORKS: Pomerantz Haudek Announces Securities Suit Filed in NY
OAKWOOD HOMES: Subsidiaries Sued for Allegedly False Advertising
SMITHFIELD FOODS: Judge Weighs Arguments In Hog-Pollution Suit
SUNOCO INC: Hit with Suit over Employment Race Discrimination


ANALYTICAL SURVEYS: Contests Consolidated Lawsuit over Common Stock
The Company has been named as a defendant in a consolidated putative
securities class action alleging a misstatement or omission of material
facts concerning the Company's operations and financial results.
Plaintiffs seek to represent themselves and a class of all public
investors who purchased or otherwise acquired common stock of the Company
and who suffered damages, and seek an award of compensatory damages and
attorneys' fees and costs.

The company says that it is impossible to evaluate the impact that the
above actions, or any future, related actions, may have on the Company.
However, it is reasonably possible that an unfavorable outcome in the
present litigation, or in any related future actions, could have a
material adverse impact on the Company's financial condition or results
of operations in one or more future reporting periods. The Company
intends to defend itself vigorously in these actions.

CRAWFORD & CO: Served with DOJ Subpoenas Re Healthcare Billing Practices
& Company (NYSE: CRDA CRDB) announced on March 7 that the company has
been served with federal grand jury subpoenas issued out of the Northern
District of Ohio seeking certain company records relating primarily to
two of its domestic businesses, Healthcare Management Services and Claims
Management Services. The company has been informed by government
attorneys that the subject of the investigation is the billing practices
of the company.

Crawford believes that this inquiry may have arisen primarily from two
incidents. The first is the February 2000 guilty plea of a former company
branch manager to fraud charges related to inappropriate service billings
from 1992 to 1997. The company cooperated fully in that investigation and
reached a civil settlement with the government in that matter. The second
is a billing dispute with a client involving billings from 1994 to 1999
under a single program. The company is currently negotiating a settlement
of that matter with the client, and has recognized reserves for potential
over billed amounts.

The company is cooperating fully with the government's inquiry and has
commenced an internal review of its billing practices under the direction
of its board of directors, with the assistance of outside legal counsel,
together with an independent accounting firm, and other experts as may be
appropriate. It has taken steps to reduce the likelihood of similar
incidents through enhanced employee awareness programs and additional
internal audit safeguards.

Crawford & Company is the world's largest independent provider of
diversified services to insurance companies, self-insured corporations,
and governmental entities. A few of the many services provided are claims
management, loss adjustment, healthcare management, risk management
services, class action administration, and risk information services.
Crawford & Company is an Atlanta based corporation with approximately
10,000 employees worldwide and over 700 offices in 65 countries. The
Corporation's shares are publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange
under the symbols CRDA and CRDB. The web address is
crawfordandcompany.com .

DOJ: Lawyers Find Ally in Moran to Reverse Policy of Not Paying for OT
Rep. James P. Moran has pressed Attorney General John Ashcroft to reverse
a long-standing Clinton administration policy of not paying overtime to
Justice Department lawyers.

The Virginia Democrat has put together a bipartisan coalition of House
members from the Washington area in an effort to overturn the policy,
which is the subject of a class-action lawsuit brought by 9,100
department lawyers.

In a letter to Mr. Ashcroft, Mr. Moran said federal law requires all
federal agencies to compensate their employees, including professionals,
for overtime, but the Justice Department over the past several years had
refused to pay overtime to its lawyers. He described the lawyers as "the
most dedicated professionals in the entire civil service."

"As the federal work force faces the prospect of losing an unprecedented
number of employees over the next five years, government policies should
encourage rather than discourage the retention of our most capable
workers," Mr. Moran said.

"Attorneys at many other federal agencies are compensated for their
overtime . . . granting overtime pay to Justice Department attorneys is
an issue of basic fairness," he added.

The class-action suit was filed in November 1998 in the U.S. Court of
Federal Claims on behalf of lawyers who have worked for the Justice
Department in Washington and in U.S. attorneys' offices nationwide since
November 1992. The lawsuit first was brought by 180 present or former
Justice Department lawyers; 9,000 department lawyers have joined in the
suit since September 1999.

Department officials have argued that the payment of overtime to its
lawyers could cost taxpayers $40 million a year. (The Washington Times,
March 08, 2001)

GENERAL MOTORS: Union Included in Strike-Related Suit; Judge Gives Nod
More than 140 United Auto Workers members may proceed with their lawsuit
against their union and General Motors Corp. over claims a 1997 strike
against the automaker was needlessly prolonged, a federal judge has

The $550 million suit by the 142 workers claims union leaders demanded
jobs for relatives and improper overtime payments for ending the 87-day
strike at GM's Pontiac truck plants.

The lawsuit also accuses GM of going along with the alleged scheme
related to the strike, which the suit alleges cost the average worker
$10,000 to $20,000.

GM, the UAW and its Local 594 had sought to have the lawsuit thrown out
by U.S. District Judge Paul Gadola, who on Wednesday denied those

Now, the workers' attorney, Harold Dunne, can take depositions and get
internal documents from GM, the international union and the local. "It's
a very important victory for us because we are now able to get to all of
the documents to prove our case," Dunne told the Detroit Free Press.
"That's what this whole thing was about."

Still, Gadola agreed to drop defendants Gordon Campbell and Todd Fante
from the lawsuit, ruling that as individuals they were not liable for

The suit said Campbell, son of Local 594's bargaining committee chairman
in 1997, and Fante, the son of a close friend of a UAW international
representative, were not qualified and got jobs after the strike because
of their connections.

Dunne said he now will ask Gadola to give the lawsuit class-action
status. The plant has 6,000 workers.

The lawsuit alleges fraud, collusion and extortion over alleged
GM-accepted demands by Local 594. Among other things, the suit says the
UAW and GM breached their contract and duty, that Local 594 did not
fairly represent its members.

GM has said it believes the suit will be dismissed. "Our position is that
the courtroom is not the forum to discuss differences with how labor
negotiations went," Andrew Kramer, a lawyer with a Washington, D.C., firm
representing GM, said last month.

Federal investigators also are looking into circumstances surrounding the
strike. (The Associated Press State & Local Wire, March 8, 2001)

HOLOCAUST VICTIMS: German Industry Pressed To Pay After Ruling on Suit
Backers of compensation for Nazi-era slave laborers pressed German
industry Thursday to finally pay its share of a planned fund after a U.S.
judge refused to dismiss a class-action lawsuit, citing concern that the
fund's financing was uncertain.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Shirley Wohl Kram on Wednesday
deepened the deadlock in a joint effort by the German government and
companies to compensate an estimated 1 million survivors of Nazi slave
and forced labor. Most are non-Jews from eastern and central Europe.

"What's most important now is that industry starts paying," said German
lawmaker Volker Beck, one of the fund's trustees. German industry
"provoked" the New York judge's decision by failing to raise its half of
the planned $4.8 billion fund, Beck charged.

A spokesman for companies participating in the fund, Wolfgang Gibowski,
said they still insist on the dismissal of all lawsuits on behalf of
Nazi-era laborers before freeing up what they have raised - currently
$1.7 billion. "It's very bad. It's regrettable, because it will mean that
payments to the victims will be further delayed," Gibowski said on ZDF
television Wednesday night.

Under an agreement last year, German companies insisted on "legal peace"
in U.S. courts in return for compensation payouts to the aging victims.

Deidre Berger, the American Jewish Committee's envoy to Berlin, also
appealed to German industry to break the standoff. "The solution is very
easy if German industry would pay at least the money it has collected
into the fund," she said. "It would set a sign of good will that the
judge would take seriously."

But Gibowski said that besides the New York case, "many more" against
German companies were pending in U.S. courts. German industry has
indicated it doesn't expect to make its first payment into the German
foundation set up to run the fund until June.

Horst Eylmann, an opposition conservative lawmaker, urged Chancellor
Gerhard Schroeder to discuss ways out of the deadlock with U.S. President
George W. Bush. Schroeder visits Washington this month. (The Associated
Press State & Local Wire, March 8, 2001)

HOLOCAUST VICTIMS: German Minister Calls On Firms To Pay
Finance Minister Hans Eichel called Thursday for German firms to pay the
over some two billion dollars promised to compensate former Nazis slaves
and forced laborers, after a New York judge refused to dismiss claims
against German banks. "Now the ball is in the court of German companies,"
Eichel told the German ZDF television network.

A New York judge on Wednesday refused to dismiss legal claims filed
against German banks by former slave laborers under the Nazis, possibly
delaying payments by the banks to surviving victims. The judge, Shirley
Wohl Kram, declined to close the door on further claims citing the fact
the fund for compensating the victims is not yet fully funded.

Such a measure "would effectively block absent class members from
pursuing any remedy other than the Foundation," she said, adding that it
signified an "unacceptable prejudice to the absent plaintiff class." Kram
said many victims with possible claims "have waited decades to receive
compensation for their property claims, and it would be unjust to divert
their claims to a forum whose funding remains in question."

Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder is to meet with German industry
representatives soon to attempt to resolve open questions delaying
compensation for former slave laborers under the Nazis, a government
spokesman said Wednesday.

German firms and the German state have each undertaken to provide five
billion marks (2.5 billion euros, 2.3 billion dollars) for the
compensation. But while the state has come up with its share, the firms
are still some 1.4 billion marks short. Eichel said the government would
not be giving more money to make up for what industry has failed to
pledge. (Agence France Presse, March 8, 2001)

INMATES LITIGATION: Cook County Again Target of Women's Stip Search Suit
Women held in Cook County Jail are subject to strip searches in
conditions so filthy and public that they are unconstitutional, according
a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday.

The lawsuit, which names Sheriff Michael Sheahan and seeks class-action
status, does not call for an end to strip searches but seeks an
injunction to force Sheahan to adopt rules that ensure women's rights are
protected during the searches, said attorney Thomas G. Morrissey. He said
he would seek a temporary restraining order in U.S. District Court in
Chicago to halt the allegedly improper searches while the suit is

The allegations come about 2 1/2 years after a federal judge ordered the
Sheriff's Department to halt searches of women who have been ordered
released from custody.

The sheriff was held liable for damages in that case and has appealed.
Some 2,600 women are preparing to go to trial on their damage claims,
said Morrissey, the attorney in that case as well.

Morrissey filed the latest suit on behalf of inmates Crystal Wilkes,
Sharon Hollister and Tonya Townsend, who were also party to the initial
suit. But Morrissey said he will seek class-action status to represent
the thousands of women he said have undergone "embarrassing, repulsive"

Oftentimes, according to the suit, women are strip-searched in large
rooms that male guards can easily access. Women have also been forced to
strip in rooms with glass walls that look into hallways where male guards
pass, the suit says.

Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Sally Daly said the department has yet
to review the specifics of the suit, but she denied that women's rights
are being violated. "We believe these allegations are completely
baseless," she said. "We don't believe they're true or reflect the
conditions or policies that go on at Cook County Jail."

Daly did not dispute that women are searched in groups, but said, "Given
the volume of prisoners at Cook County Jail," it's "impossible to do"
one-on-one searches. (Chicago Tribune, March 8, 2001)

INTERSHOP COMMUNICATIONS: Milberg Weiss Announces Securities Suit in NY
The law firm of Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP announces that a
class action lawsuit was filed on March 7, 2001, on behalf of purchasers
of the securities of Intershop Communications AG (NASDAQ:ISHP) pursuant
and/or traceable to the Company's September 29, 2000 initial public
offering ("IPO") of American Depositary Shares ("ADS") through January 1,
2001, inclusive.

A copy of the complaint filed in this action is available from the Court,
or can be viewed on Milberg Weiss' website at:

The action, numbered 01-CV-1947, is pending in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of New York, located at 500 Pearl Street,
New York, NY 10007, against defendants Intershop, Stephen Schambach,
Wilfried Beeck, Credit Suisse First Boston, Chase H&Q and U.S. Bancorp
Piper Jaffray. The Honorable Charles S. Haight, Jr. is the Judge
presiding over the case.

The Complaint alleges that defendants violated Sections 11, 12(a)(2) and
15 of the Securities Act of 1933 by issuing a materially false and
misleading Registration Statement and Prospectus in connection with its
September 29, 2000 IPO of ADS, which enabled the Company to raise over
$100 million. Specifically, the Complaint alleges that the Registration
Statement and Prospectus contained statements which falsely and
misleadingly described the success and future operations of Intershop,
when, in fact, the Company was experiencing problems with sales in the
United States and demand for its products was weakening. On January 1,
2001, the Company finally disclosed the problems that it was experiencing
and the impact these problems would have on its earnings for the fourth
quarter of 2000. Investor reaction to this announcement was harsh and
punitive as shares of the Company's ADS fell by $10.3125 per share to
close at$ 4.8125 on volume of almost one million shares traded, more than
ten times the average volume for the Company's shares.

Contact: Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP, New York Steven G.
Schulman or Samuel H. Rudman, 800/320-5081 intershopcase@milbergNY.com

L.A. POLICE: Mayor Candidate Makes Election Pledge To Remove LAPD Chief
Los Angeles City Councilman Joel Wachs said that if he is elected mayor
he will dump Police Chief Bernard C. Parks at the end of the chief's term
in 2002--upping the politically charged discussion about how the next
mayor will deal with the head of the troubled Police Department.

Wachs' statement came two days after Parks was confronted with another
blow--allegations that he misled the public about the department's
purported attempts to bypass the Los Angeles County district attorney's
office in its investigation of the Rampart Division corruption scandal.

Parks has vehemently denied that he tried to funnel evidence in that
investigation to federal prosecutors rather than turning it over to the
district attorney's office. He also rejected suggestions by the
department's inspector general that he misled the public by saying that
the department was fully cooperating with county prosecutors in the
criminal investigation. "At no time was the D.A.'s office ever not given
information they wanted," Parks said. "I will categorically state that I
have not misled the public nor any member of the Police Commission or
this department."

With his call for Parks' ouster, Wachs positioned himself as the mayoral
candidate most critical of the chief, whose public approval has been
badly damaged in the last year but who remains popular among African
Americans. According to Wachs, the recent accusations about Parks'
credibility in the Rampart debate--added to other concerns--convinced him
that the chief should go.

Wachs was meeting with members of The Times editorial board Monday when,
in response to a question, he said that he would remove the 36-year
veteran from his post when the chief's term expires in the summer of
2002. Wachs added that he would have his police commissioners begin a
search for a new chief as soon as they took office later this year to
allow an entire year for a change in police administration.

Parks declined to comment, but a statement released by the LAPD press
office questioned Wachs' motives. "Proposition F, passed by the voters in
1992, provided for the mayor to play a pivotal role in the selection
and/or reappointment of a chief of police," said Lt. Horace Frank, a
department spokesman. "We would hope that any decision to select and/or
reappoint a chief of police would be objectively based and not
politically motivated or based."

Although the statement did not say so directly, Wachs has courted the
support of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, whose leadership and
members have frequently criticized the chief. In the past, the league's
endorsement has been a coveted prize in the city's political sweepstakes.
Ace Smith, campaign manager for candidate Steve Soboroff--who also is
hoping to secure the league's support-- characterized Wachs' action as
one of "a desperate politician."

All of the top six contenders to replace Mayor Richard Riordan have said
in recent weeks that they believe Parks must markedly improve morale,
hiring and oversight of police officers if he is to win a second,
five-year term as chief.

Soboroff, a commercial real estate broker, had previously gone the
furthest--saying that if he had to make the decision now he would not
reappoint Parks. But even Soboroff left open the possibility that Parks
could turn the department around and earn a second term.

Wachs was not so equivocal. Asked how he would deal with the chief if he
were elected mayor, Wachs said in an interview after meeting The Times
editors that a string of recent problems had damaged the credibility of
Parks and the department.

The nearly 30-year city councilman, who was one of the most prominent
backers of former Chief Daryl F. Gates, said he has been particularly
disappointed that Parks has not done more to implement community-based

He noted that Parks eliminated a system of "senior lead
officers"--ranking officers assigned to neighborhoods, where they got to
know residents and specific local crime problems. Although Parks has
pledged to reinstate the community officers, Wachs accused him of
dragging his feet. "The department must actively embrace and reach out to
the people and most officers know that," Wachs said. "But the current
administration doesn't have a really fundamental belief in that and the
desire to give more than just lip service to it."

Wachs also cited a federal lawsuit filed last year by a former LAPD
detective, who charged that his efforts against corruption in the Rampart
Division were thwarted by Parks and other top officials, months before
the scandal became public. That suit was followed closely by another one
in which dozens of current and former officers joined a class-action
alleging retaliation by the department against whistle-blowers. "All of
these things cumulatively make it very difficult to restore the
confidence of the public and of the officers and to start improving the
police department," Wachs said. (Los Angeles Times, March 8, 2001)

NEW JERSEY: Group Claims Agency Tampers With Records Of Foster Children
A children's advocacy group that is suing New Jersey's child protection
agency accused the state of trying to falsify the records of foster
children to "corrupt evidence"in the case.

Children's Rights Inc. alleged in papers filed in federal court in
Trenton that the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services ordered
caseworkers to alter records detailing the treatment of children in
foster care. The New York-based group is seeking a temporary restraining
order against alleged tampering of evidence in the case. U.S. District
Judge Garrett E. Brown Jr. agreed to hold a hearing about the complaint
March 14.

DYFS director Charles Venti blasted the 1 plaintiff's charges. "We are
appalled by these outrageous accusations and wholeheartedly deny the idea
that caseworkers were instructed to alter case records," Venti said in a
written statement."DYFS is committed to serving the children of New
Jersey and will continue to vigorously fight the unfounded accusations
made by Children's Rights."

In Children's Rights two-year-old federal lawsuit, the non-profit group
charged that DYFS is poorly managed, fails to protect thousands of abused
and neglected children in its care, and should be overhauled.

DYFS officials have long sought to have the suit dismissed. They say they
have been working hard to fix the problems highlighted in 1998 by a
blue-ribbon panel commissioned by Gov. Christie Whitman: that DYFS
workers had overwhelming caseloads and insufficient training, that
children languished too long in foster care, and other woes.

On Wednesday, Children's Rights new court papers quoted three DYFS
caseworkers from Newark and southern Jersey who said their supervisors
told them to"audit"the files of foster children and add documentation
that was missing. One Newark caseworker who signed an affidavit said he
was told to backdate newly written records, the group alleges. "I had to
create documents which should have existed but did not because I had been
too overloaded with cases to keep up the files," echoed an affidavit from
a caseworker in Cape May."The documents I was supposed to get into the
files dated back as far as three years,"and included reports assessing
the well-being of the children.

Eric Thompson, a lawyer for Children's Rights, said his office wants to
review DYFS records to determine if foster children are receiving proper

The original suit on behalf of 20 foster children, known as "Charlie and
Nadine H. vs. Whitman", is named after a young brother and sister who
were allegedly beaten with metal rods and buckets in a foster home filthy
with garbage and cat feces.

The plaintiffs charge DYFS has failed to give these children, and many
like them, the safe homes, therapy, and adoptive families they deserve in
a timely manner. 1 Charlie and Nadine H. are still waiting to be adopted
after almost eight years in foster care, the plaintiffs lawyers say.

Earlier this year, Children's Rights asked Brown to certify the lawsuit
as a class action on behalf of all foster children, and DYFS protested
that certification. The judge's decision on that dispute is pending.

DYFS serves about 50,000 children in New Jersey, including more than
9,000 in foster care, group homes, and other residential placements. (The
Record (Bergen County, NJ), March 8, 2001)

NFL: To Sell Sunday Ticket on Weekly Basis to Settle Antitrust Suit
To settle a consumer antitrust suit, the National Football League has
agreed to revamp the way it markets its "Sunday Ticket" to allow viewers
to purchase it on a weekly basis instead of buying the entire 17 weeks as
a package and to pay out more than $ 13 million.

Under the proposed settlement, consumers will share a pool of $ 7.5
million in cash and will be entitled to coupons for discounts on
merchandise from the NFL Shop. Plaintiffs lawyers will also be paid $ 3.7
million in fees and expenses, and the NFL will foot the $ 2.3 million
costs of notifying the class.

U.S. District Judge Eduardo C. Robreno will hold a hearing on Friday on
the issue of whether to grant "preliminary approval" of the settlement.
If he does so, a notice of the proposed settlement will be sent to more
than 1.8 million class members and the judge will hold a second hearing
on final approval in early summer.

In the suit, which was filed in 1997, satellite TV viewers complained
that the NFL and its member teams had illegally "bundled" the Sunday
Ticket so that consumers were forced to purchase the rights to view all
of the games instead of just the few they might be interested in.

The suit cleared its first major hurdle when U.S. District Judge Robert
S. Gawthrop III ruled that professional football's exemption from
antitrust laws does not extend to satellite broadcasts. The 3rd U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that ruling after Gawthrop's death. The
case was reassigned to Judge Robreno who later rejected the NFL's
argument that he should dismiss all claims for monetary damages since the
class members are all "indirect purchasers."Under the proposed
settlement, the Sunday Ticket will still be "bundled," meaning that
viewers will purchase the rights to all of the games. But the NFL has
agreed to sell the Sunday Ticket both on an annual and a weekly basis.
While the full season costs about $ 160, the weekly price is $ 29.99.

"This is a compromise," said lead plaintiffs attorney Howard J. Sedran of
Levin Fishbein Sedran & Berman. "We were trying to allow consumers to buy
games on an ala carte basis."But Sedran said discovery showed that
individual marketing of the games would be impossible for the folks at
Direct TV who said they could not handle a total unbundling of the

The settlement is good for consumers, Sedran said, because market studies
showed that many viewers were interested in buying only a few weekends.
He also said that he suspects the NFL and its teams will make more money
because the demand for the weekly Sunday Ticket will increase. But Sedran
stressed that the settlement has not yet won even preliminary approval
from the court and that Judge Robreno has scheduled an evidentiary
hearing before deciding whether to allow the lawyers to notify the class
and seek comment.

The $ 7.5 million cash portion of the settlement will be shared by class
members who file claims after final approval. Typically, Sedran said,
only a fraction of the class actually files claims.Those who file claims
will also be entitled to a 10 percent discount on up to $ 75 in
merchandise purchased from the NFL Shop, a merchandising arm of the NFL
that sells through the Internet and by mail order. Consumers who
purchased the Sunday Ticket at least three times between 1994 and 2000
will also be entitled to a second discount of 15 percent on one purchase
of merchandise worth more than $ 75 but less than $ 150.

The NFL will also pay the $ 2.3 million expected costs of administrating
the settlement. Any costs over $ 2.3 million will come out of the
settlement fund. Assisting Sedran on the plaintiffs' team are co-lead
counsel Dennis Stewart of Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach in San
Diego; Donald E. Haviland Jr. and Austin Cohen of Levin Fishbein; Roberta
Liebenberg of Fine Kaplan & Black; Ira Neil Richards of Rodriguez &
Richards; and David T. Shulick of Frank & Rosen.The NFL was represented
by attorney Richard P. McElroy of Blank Rome Comisky & McCauley, along
with Peter J. Nickles, Timothy C. Hester, Neil K. Roman and Amy-Kelley
Kemper of Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C. (The Legal
Intelligencer, February 27, 2001)

NIH, THOMPSON: Law Firm Will Sue Over Use Of Tax To Fund Embryo Research
A public interest law firm was going to file a class-action suit on March
8 against Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson and the
National Institutes of Health (NIH) over the use of taxpayer money to
fund research requiring the destruction of embryonic stem cells.

The suit - to be filed by Human Life Advocates just one week before an
application deadline for federal research grants - asks the D.C. federal
court to "declare unlawful" NIH guidelines that "provide for public
funding of research that requires and depends upon the destruction of
living human embryos."

"The purpose of the lawsuit is to stop the National Institutes of Health
from violating the existing ban against the destruction of human embryos
directly or indirectly using taxpayer money," said Samuel B. Casey,
senior staff counsel for Human Life Advocates.

"Human pluripotent stem cells" are microscopic cells harvested from
embryos or fetal tissue. Such cells develop into the specialized cells
that actually form muscle, nerves, blood and eventually almost all human
body parts.

In 1995, Congress passed a law banning the use of federal money for
creation of human embryos solely for research purposes, as well as all
types of research in which embryos are "destroyed, discarded or knowingly
subjected to risk of injury or death."

But last August, encouraged by the Clinton administration, NIH issued
guidelines that allowed federally funded scientists to bypass the law.
Private laboratories using no taxpayer money can provide those scientists
with stem cells that have been separated from the embryo - a process that
kills the embryo. "Such cells are not embryos," the guidelines said.
Thus, under the guidelines, federally funded research may be done on
cells obtained from embryos donated or purchased from private
laboratories - especially fertility clinics, which typically produce an
oversupply of embryos for in-vitro fertilization.

Technicians freeze and store extra embryos and eventually destroy those
not used.

President Bush does not support the research allowed under the
guidelines, a stance which White House spokesman Ari Fleischer
reiterated. "The president . . . is very concerned about any procedure
that would involve taking stem cells from fetuses that are viable," Mr.
Fleischer said. Still, there is confusion within his administration.

On Tuesday, Mr. Thompson, testifying before the Senate Budget Committee,
was asked about stem cell research by Sen. Gordon H. Smith, Oregon
Republican. "I am troubled, as you probably are, by the law," said Mr.
Thompson, who as governor of Wisconsin praised local researchers for
groundbreaking research in the field. "I note Congress is trying to
change the law. But there is a law on the books that is troublesome."

Mr. Thompson's spokesman, Tony Jewell, said the Cabinet secretary meant
to convey exactly the opposite message. "It was the previous
administration's interpretation of the law that he finds troublesome, not
the law itself that he finds troublesome," Mr. Jewell said of the NIH
guidelines. "It's not a departure from what we said previously."

Mr. Fleischer noted the matter is under an HHS review that Mr. Thompson
expects to finish this summer. The plaintiffs, however, say grants could
be awarded before the guidelines are changed.

"After March 15, it's all internal and they can move as fast as they
wish. There's no law that stops them," Mr. Casey said.

Human Life Advocates, with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher of Washington as lead
trial counsel, represents eight plaintiffs, including an adoption agency,
the Christian Medical Association, and parents who want to adopt embryos.
(The Washington Times, March 08, 2001)

NORTEL NETWORKS: Berman DeValerio Announces Securities Suit Filed in NY
Shareholders on March 7 filed a federal class-action lawsuit charging
Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE: NT) with securities fraud, the law firm
Berman DeValerio & Pease LLP (www.bermanesq.com) said.

The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of New York and is captioned as Smith v. Nortel Networks
Corporation, et al. It seeks damages for violations of the federal
securities laws on behalf of all investors who bought Nortel common stock
between November 1, 2000 and February 15, 2001 (the "Class Period")

The complaint charges that Nortel and certain of its officers and
directors violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, by issuing materially
false and misleading financial information concerning the demand for the
Company's product. Specifically, the complaint asserts that during the
Class Period, Nortel touted strong revenue and earnings guidance for
first quarter and fiscal year 2001. On January 18, 2001, Nortel issued a
press release announcing that it would "continue to outpace the market
and gain profitable market share" despite the "tightening of capital
within the telecom sector." All along, however, Nortel executives knew
that the Company was experiencing a substantial shortfall in sales and
earnings due to decreased orders from its customers.

On February 15, 2001, after the close of trading and just 28 days after
issuing a bullish first quarter forecast, defendants issued a stunning
press release dramatically lowering Nortel's guidance for first quarter
and fiscal year 2001 because of decreased demand for its product. On
February 16, 2001, the stock plummeted as much as 36% to $19.50 on
enormous trading volume in excess of 20 million shares, finally closing
at $20.02 - erasing nearly $33 billion in market capitalization.

Moreover, during the Class Period but before the devastating announcement
on February 15, 2001, Nortel's senior managements sold substantial
amounts of Nortel stock, reaping proceeds of over $7 million from insider

Based in Ontario, Canada, Nortel is a global Internet and communications
leader with capabilities spanning optical, wireless, local Internet and

Contact: N. Nancy Ghabai, Esq. of Berman DeValerio & Pease LLP,
800-516-9926, bdplaw@bermanesq.com

NORTEL NETWORKS: CEO John Roth Issues Open Letter to Stockholders
The following open letter to stockholders was released by John Roth,
president and CEO of Nortel Networks (NYSE:NT) (TSE:NT.).

To Nortel Networks Shareholders:

     Much has been said and written about Nortel Networks in recent
weeks. I recognize that this has been of concern to our shareholders. It
has also been a concern to me and all those associated with the company.
That is why I want to review and update you on what has transpired since
we issued a press release on February 15 revising our guidance for the
first quarter and year 2001.

     When issuing that release, we stated that Nortel Networks was not
immune to the current economic downturn in the United States. Based on
previous experience, we had anticipated a longer lead-time for the
effects of a downturn to be felt by our sector and by our company. The
current downturn occurred with unprecedented suddenness and severity. Our
decision to revise guidance on February 15 occurred as soon as the
effects of this downturn were clear to us.

     We were among the first to recognize the severity of the downturn
occurring in the U.S., our largest market. Since February 15, a growing
number of technology companies with heavy dependence on the U.S. market
have also revised their forecasts. This is clearly a broad
market/economic slowdown that has affected companies in our sector with
unprecedented speed.

     At the same time, I want you to know that our position as an
industry leader and innovator remains strong, despite the unfavorable
economic and market conditions we are facing. Our fundamentals remain
sound and we offer an industry-leading portfolio of end-to-end
communications solutions. We have a diverse and strong base of customers
throughout the world. And we have some of the most talented and committed
people in the world working to provide those customers with breakthrough
technologies that create value and competitive advantage for our
customers around the world.

     Where the class action lawsuits resulting from our February 15
announcement are concerned, our shareholders, customers and employees
should also know that we will defend ourselves vigorously. Quite simply,
we believe the allegations in the lawsuits against your company in Canada
and the United States are without merit. I can assure you that your
company is committed to maintaining the highest integrity and credibility
of business practices. The way in which we conduct our business is as
important as the business we conduct.

     On behalf of everyone at Nortel Networks, I want to thank our
shareholders, customers, suppliers and friends for their expressions of
support and encouragement. We greatly value our hard-earned reputation
for integrity, ethical behavior and corporate citizenship. I want to
assure you that the senior executives of Nortel Networks and myself, as
significant shareholders in the company, are fully committed to
delivering the long-term performance and results you have come to expect
of your company.


John Roth President and Chief Executive Officer

NORTEL NETWORKS: Johnson & Perkinson Announces Lawsuit Filed in New York
Johnson & Perkinson announce that a class action lawsuit has been
commenced in the United States District Court for the Southern District
of New York against Nortel Networks Corporation ("Nortel" or the
"Company") (NYSE:NT-news). The Class Period is January 18, 2001 through
February 15, 2001

Contact: Johnson & Perkinson, South Burlington Dennis J. Johnson,
1-888-459-7855 or Jacob B. Perkinson, 1-888-459-7855 LODJJ@aol.com

NORTEL NETWORKS: Keller Rohrback Announces Assignment of Suit to Judge
Seattle's Keller Rohrback L.L.P. (www.SeattleClassAction.com) announces
the following:

The class action lawsuit filed on behalf of purchasers of the securities
of Nortel Networks Corp. ("Nortel" or the "Company") (NYSE:NT - news;
TSE:NT - news) has been assigned to the Honorable Faith S. Hochberg in
the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.

The complaint filed on February 23, 2001, alleges that the defendants
violated federal securities laws by issuing a series of materially false
and misleading information that misrepresented the level of demand for
its products from its customers. The complaint further alleges that
defendants knew at the time they made these statements that, in fact,
Nortel was experiencing a substantial shortfall in first quarter sales
and earnings due to decreased orders from its customers. As a result of
these false and misleading statements, Nortel's stock price was
artificially inflated throughout the Class Period, causing plaintiffs and
the other members of the class to suffer damages.

Contact: Keller Rohrback L.L.P. Jennifer Tuato'o, 800/776-6044
investor@kellerrohrback.com www.SeattleClassAction.com

NORTEL NETWORKS: Pomerantz Haudek Announces Securities Suit Filed in NY
The following was released March 7 by Pomerantz Haudek Block Grossman &
Gross LLP:

Nortel Networks Charged With Securities Fraud, Says the Pomerantz Firm.

Pomerantz Haudek Block Grossman & Gross LLP (www.pomerantzlaw.com) has
filed a class action lawsuit against Nortel Networks Corporation (NYSE:
NT), the Company's President/CEO and a Director-John A. Roth, the
Company's President of eBusiness Solutions-William F. Connor, the
Company's President of Global Operations-Chahram Bolouri, and the
Company's Chief Executive Officer-Frank Dunn, on behalf of all those
persons or entities who purchased the common stock of Nortel during the
period between November 1, 2000 through February 15, 2001, inclusive (the
"Class Period").

The case was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of New York, located at 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, New
York 11201. The Court may be reached by telephone at 718-260-2600. The
case was filed under Civil Action No. CV 01 1361, and has been assigned
to U.S. District Judge Raymond J. Dearie and Magistrate Judge Marilyn
Dolan Go.

The Complaint alleges that Nortel, a global Internet and communications
company with capabilities spanning optical, wireless, local Internet and
eBusiness, violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934 by issuing materially false and misleading financial
information concerning the Company's publicly reported revenues and
earnings, and as a result of these false and misleading statements the
Company's common stock traded at artificially inflated prices during the
Class Period.

As alleged in the Complaint, Nortel touted strong revenue and earnings
guidance for first quarter and fiscal year 2001. However, Nortel
executives knew that it was experiencing a substantial shortfall in sales
and earnings due to decreased orders from its customers. In particular,
on November 1, 2000, Nortel announced guidance on the Company's revenues
and earnings for 2000 and 2001. Nortel stated at that time that it would
experience strong growth in revenues and earnings, and sought to increase
its market share. This was reiterated by the Company in a statement
issued on December 14, 2000.

On January 18, 2001, Nortel issued a further announcement reporting
record results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2000. The Company
projected strong market demand in Nortel's target industry segments and
that Nortel would gain further market share. In particular, Mr. Frank
Dunn predicted that Nortel would achieve 30% growth in revenues and EPS
in 2001.

Thereafter, on February 15, 2001, after the close of trading, Nortel
stunned the market when it issued new earnings and revenue guidance,
drastically lowering first quarter and fiscal year 2001 sales forecasts
by 22% and slashing revenue growth by 50%. As a direct result, the price
of Nortel's stock plummeted as much as 36% to close at $22.02 on February
16, 2001, erasing nearly $33 billion in market capitalization.

Contact: Pomerantz Haudek Block Grossman & Gross LLP Andrew G. Tolan,
Esq. Phone: 888/476-6529 ((888) 4-POMLAW) Internet: agtolan@pomlaw.com

OAKWOOD HOMES: Subsidiaries Sued for Allegedly False Advertising
During 2000 two lawsuits were filed against the subsidiaries of Oakwood
Homes Corp., Oakwood Mobile Homes, Inc. and Oakwood Acceptance
Corporation, and certain of their employees in the Circuit Court of
Jefferson County, Mississippi. These lawsuits generally allege that the
Company's subsidiaries and their employees engaged in various improper
business practices including false advertising and misrepresentation of
material facts relating to financing and insurance matters.

In October 2000 the plaintiffs filed a motion to consolidate the two
cases, add a large number of additional plaintiffs residing in various
parts of the United States to the action and add the Company as a
defendant. As the lawsuits are in the early stages of discovery, the
Company is unable to determine the effect, if any, on its results of
operations, financial position or cash flows. The Company intends to
defend these lawsuits vigorously.

SMITHFIELD FOODS: Judge Weighs Arguments In Hog-Pollution Suit
Do recreational anglers, riverside landowners and others have a right to
sue a company if it pollutes their favorite river?

That's the question facing Wake County Superior Court Judge Donald
Stephens, as he decides whether to allow a lawsuit against pork giant
Smithfield Foods to go forward.

Stephens heard arguments Wednesday from attorneys for Smithfield, which
is seeking to throw out a suit filed last summer against the company by a
group of Eastern North Carolina residents.

The residents contend that the company's factory hog operations illegally
pollute three coastal rivers with their waste. This conduct constitutes
common law negligence, nuisance and trespass, they argue, so the company
should be forced to curtail its spraying of waste onto fields and pay for
past environmental damage.

But the company's lawyers said the residents, which include former Neuse
"river keeper" Rick Dove and other environmental watchdogs, don't have
enough of a legal stake or "standing" in the river's health to allow them
to sue.

The arguments at Wednesday's hearing in downtown Raleigh did not venture
into whether the allegations of persistent pollution were true. Instead,
lawyers limited their arguments to the issue of standing.

None of the plaintiffs has argued that Smithfield's practices have caused
any specific personal damage, such as hurting their fishing business,
said Anne Marie Whittemore, a Richmond, Va., attorney for the company.

That leaves only the government with the right to intervene, Whittemore
said. "Rivers belong to the state," she said. "And only the state may sue
for damages from discharges to rivers."

Burley B. Mitchell Jr., a Raleigh lawyer for the residents, countered
that pollution-free rivers are a "birthright" for all citizens. Mitchell
said the case represented new territory for North Carolina law, one where
"non-commercial" users of rivers have an avenue to deal with the "public
nuisance" of pollution.

"Our posterity is going to curse us for our poor citizenship, our poor
stewardship, if we are unwilling to let citizens address this," he said.

After more than three hours of legal arguments, Stephens said prior cases
gave support to each side, so he needed more time before issuing a
ruling. He said he may postpone a decision on whether to dismiss the case
until both sides argue a separate motion - one in which the plaintiffs
are calling for immediate limitations on the spraying of hog waste on

If Stephens throws out the case, it will deal a serious setback to the
national legal assault against the swine industry. Veteran class- action
lawyers have joined prominent environmentalists to target Smithfield
Foods with lawsuits in at least three states.

Smithfield, which controls about 70 percent of the swine raised in North
Carolina, has denounced the lawsuits as an attack on agriculture by
profit-minded lawyers. (The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), March 8,

SUNOCO INC: Hit with Suit over Employment Race Discrimination
Sunoco Inc. has been hit with a class-action race discrimination suit in
U.S. District Court by a group of black workers who say the company keeps
them in lower paying jobs by preventing or discouraging them from getting
training that would lead to promotions.

"The majority of blacks that have been employed by Sunoco are limited to
staff positions and denied key management positions that instead go to
whites," the suit alleges.In addition to the "glass ceiling" allegations,
the suit also says black workers at Sunoco are forced to toil in a
"hostile environment" in which their white supervisors and co-workers
routinely make racially derogatory remarks and otherwise harass black

Attorneys Robert T. Vance, Adrian J. Moody and Isaac H. Green filed the
suit along with a team of class-action specialists from Kohn Swift & Graf
Joseph C. Kohn, Martin J. D'Urso, Robert J. LaRocca and Neil Glazer.

The suit says Sunoco is one of the largest independent petroleum
refiner-marketers in the United States, operating five refineries and
3,500 retail outlets in 17 states, and employing about 11,000 people.

The proposed class of black workers includes those who work in the
refineries and in office settings, such as Sunoco's corporate
headquarters in Center City Philadelphia.

Sunoco spokesman Jerry Davis said the company never comments on pending
litigation, but that Sunoco "has a policy of respect for all employees"
and does its best to provide "equal opportunity without regard to race."

But according to the suit, Sunoco's anti-discrimination policies aren't
worth the paper they're written on. The company's white managers have
"broad discretion" in implementing the policies, the suit says, and
Sunoco provides no guidance to them in exercising their discretion. "As a
result, those policies and procedures are applied in an inherently
subjective manner and are neither effective nor adequate in remedying the
racial discrimination and harassment present throughout Sunoco," the suit
alleges. "Sunoco's failure to enforce its own policies and to follow its
own procedures fosters and promotes racial harassment and racially
discriminatory employment decisions," the suit says.

The seven black workers who filed the suit claim that blacks receive less
pay than whites for doing the same work. They also say that black workers
who complain of harassment or racism in promotions and pay suffer
retaliation either being fired or exposed to escalating criticism of
their job performance. The suit includes details of the experiences of
the named plaintiffs and the discrimination they allegedly suffered over
the years. DeWayne Ketchum, who has worked at Sunoco for more than 20
years, claims he has repeatedly been passed over for promotions in favor
of whites who had less experience. And when he was promoted to a
manager's post in the accounting department, Ketchum says, he was given a
lower job grade and paid less than his white predecessor. Later, when
Ketchum was moved from the cash management department, the white worker
who took over his job was given a higher grade and paid more, the suit
alleges. The suit, Ketchum v. Sunoco Inc., 01-cv-1042, has been assigned
to Senior U.S. District Judge Clifford Scott Green. (The Legal
Intelligencer, March 7, 2001)


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
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Washington, DC. Theresa Cheuk, Managing Editor.

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

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