/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/020924.mbx               C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R
             Tuesday, September 24, 2002, Vol. 4, No. 189

ARIZONA: Court Orders Stemming From Lawsuits Costly To Arizona
BRIDGESTONE/FIRESTONE: Plaintiffs Welcome Case Move to Federal Court
CALDERA INTERNATIONAL: Faces Securities Fraud Lawsuits in S.D. New York
CHARGETEK INC.: Requests Customers Return Fire-prone Battery Chargers
CITIGROUP INC.: Will Pay $215 Million To Settle FTC's Allegations

CONNECTICUT: Monitor's Report Says Adoptions Up, More Services Needed
DELIA*S CORPORATION: Litigation Drags On In S.D. New York Suits
DELIA*S CORPORATION: Issues One Million Class "A" Stocks to Settle Suit
EMBRYO DEVELOPMENT: Securities Suit Settlement Still Needs Final Nod
ENRON CORPORATION: Bankruptcy Court Says Creditors May Sue Andersen

EV GLOBAL: Recalls Mini E-Bike Lithium Batteries Due To Fire Hazard  
HEALTHSOUTH CORPORATION: Sued By Investors, Investigated By SEC
INTERVOICE INC.: Dallas Court Drops Securities Suit Without Prejudice
JAKARTA: NGOs, Student Groups To File Citizens' Suit To Annul Election
LABONTE HONEY: Pulls Honey Products That Can Cause Aplastic Anaemia

MARVELL TECHNOLOGY: Not Expecting Suit to be Concluded Before 2003
MCDONALD'S: Obese Teens' Parents Sue The Fast-Food Giant
NCS PEARSON: Students May Seek Punitive Damages In Suit v. Testing Firm
NEW HAMPSHIRE: Committee Refuses To Hire Extra Child Protection Workers
NORTHERN TOOL: Voluntarily Recalls 3,400 Electric Air Compressors

ORACLE CORPORATION: Court Nixes Another Amended Securities Fraud Suit
ORACLE CORPORATION: Derivative Lawsuits in Delaware, California Stayed
PENNSYLVANIA: Bucks County Prison Inmates Sue Over Poor Conditions
RITE AID: Overcharged Accident Victims May Get Prescription Refunds
SLOAN'S SUPERMARKETS: Class Suit Set for Trial January 6 Next Year

SOYAWORLD INC.: Recalls Soya Drink Containing Life-Threatening Protein
SWITCHBOARD INCORPORATED: Building Vigorous Defense in S.D. NY Suit
TOBACCO LITIGATION: New York District Court Certifies Nationwide Class
UNITED STATES:  Ex-Braceros Begin Trek To Seek Wages Earned Decades Ago
VISUAL NETWORKS: Dismissed Securities Fraud Suit in Maryland Appealed

* Courts Divided on Enforcement of Contracts Forged Online
* Maryland Pension Board Weighs Tougher Stance v. Future Enrons

                     New Securities Fraud Cases   

AT&T CORPORATION: Emerson Firm Commences Securities Suit in S.D. NY
HOUSEHOLD INTERNATIONAL: Kaplan Fox Commences Suit in N.D. Illinois


ARIZONA: Court Orders Stemming From Lawsuits Costly To Arizona
Court orders that require the state to pay for costly errors or to fund
programs and services gobbled up about $200 million this year,
according to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, reported the
Associated Press Newswires recently.

"The courts and electoral initiatives set the level of funding," said
Francie Noyes, a spokeswoman for Governor Jane Hull.  "That is a
problem when revenues drop and there is no way to cut these
predetermined amounts."

Some politicians are blaming activists for using the judicial system to
legislate, while some activists blame politicians for forcing them to
take their issues before a judge or to the ballot.  All the while, the
budget deficit grows, costs mount and state services rank low compared
with other states.

There is a debate among policy-makers over how lawsuits fit into the
budget crisis.  "One reason we have all the deficits is because of all
the lawsuits," said Rep. Laura Knaperek, R-Tempe.  She is calling for a
legal rainy day fund to cushion the impact of lawsuits on the budget.

"The courts seem favorable to class actions, which puts the general
fund in more danger.  So it is a big concern," Rep. Knaperek.

Her legislative colleague, State Senator Ruth Solomon, the Democratic
nominee for state treasurer, believes lawmakers' inaction brought on
most of the lawsuits.

"When the state had a great deal of money, instead of improving
spending for the mentally ill or for public schools, we tended to cut
the budget.  People had no choice but to take to the courts to get the
Legislature to act responsibly," said Senator Solomon.

BRIDGESTONE/FIRESTONE: Plaintiffs Welcome Case Move to Federal Court
Plaintiffs' attorneys in the class action lawsuit against
Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc. and Bridgestone Corporation over its
Steeltex tire series expressed satisfaction with the petition filed
last week by the international tire manufacturer to move the recently
filed lawsuit from California Superior Court to the Eastern District of
the United States District Court.

According to Joseph Lisoni of the Pasadena, CA law firm of Lisoni &
Lisoni, which filed the class action lawsuit on August 12, 2002 in
conjunction with The Law Offices of Steven E. Weinberger, the federal
courts are the appropriate venue for this issue to be resolved and he
is pleased that Bridgestone/Firestone has taken this action.

The class action lawsuit alleges that Bridgestone/Firestone's Steeltex
R4S, R4SII and A/T tire series contain a lamination defect which can --
and has -- caused the entire tread of the tire to separate leading to
the tire's destruction. Causes of action in the lawsuit charged the
tire manufacturer with Fraudulent Concealment, Deceptive Practices in
Violation of the CLRA, Violations of the Unfair Practices Act,
Negligence and Strict Liability.

On September 12, 2002 Bridgestone/Firestone filed a "Notice of Removal"
to remove the lawsuit from the California state court to the local
federal district court. Among the grounds for this action, it cited the
fact the plaintiffs were pleading federal claims, required
interpretation of federal law, seeking to impose California statutory
standards upon individuals outside of California and were applying laws
that related to the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act and
the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Commenting on the removal of the lawsuit to federal court, Mr. Lisoni
stated: "This legal action was filed to protect and represent the
interests of Americans throughout the country who have purchased one of
the more than 27.5 million Steeltex tires manufactured. We welcome the
change to the federal jurisdiction as we do Bridgestone/Firestone's
request for a jury trial. This issue should be decided by American

Mr. Lisoni emphasized that in the four weeks since the lawsuit was
filed, he has received scores of reports from Steeltex tire owners
nationwide of tire defects and damages as well as accidents and
injuries resulting from the defects. "We are gathering evidence and
documentation from them which we will be presenting to NHTSA, a
subdivision of the U.S. Department of Transportation, on November 14
with our formal petition to reopen the investigation into the Steeltex
tires." Part of the evidence, he emphasized, will be damaged tires,
which will be transported to Washington, D.C.

The purpose of this lawsuit is not about money, Lisoni stressed,
adding: "First and foremost, it is to motivate Bridgestone/Firestone to
take responsibility for their defective product and do what is best for
the safety of its customers -- immediately recall the entire Steeltex
tire series."

CALDERA INTERNATIONAL: Faces Securities Fraud Lawsuits in S.D. New York
Four class action lawsuits were filed against the Company, certain of
its officers and directors, and the underwriters of the Company's
initial public offering in the Unites States District Court for the
Southern District of New York by parties alleging violations of the
securities laws.

The complaints allege certain improprieties regarding the circumstances
surrounding the underwriters' conduct during the IPO and the failure to
disclose such conduct in the registration statement.  The complaints
have recently been amended and consolidated into a single complaint.
Over 300 other issuers, and their underwriters and officers and
directors, have been sued in similar cases pending in the same court.

The Company is not aware of any improper conduct by the Company, its
officers and directors, or its underwriters, and the Company denies any
liability relating thereto.  The Company has notified its underwriters
and insurance carriers of the existence of the claims and plans to
vigorously defend the action.

Caldera International, which plans to change its name to The SCO Group,
develops operating systems and network management software for PCs and
servers.  In addition to its OpenLinux and OpenServer operating
systems, Caldera also sells its OpenUnix business software and
Volution, a Web and directory-based network management application.
Services such as consulting, custom development, technical support, and
training account for about 15% of sales, a Hoover.com dossier says.  

Chairman Ralph Yarro and director Raymond Noorda share control of 47%
of the company through The Canopy Group (a venture capital firm) and
MTI Technology.

CHARGETEK INC.: Requests Customers Return Fire-prone Battery Chargers
In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC),
Chargetek Inc., of Oxnard, Calif., is voluntarily recalling about 200
CT-2000 battery chargers used with recreational vehicles, such as
boats.  A manufacturing defect inside the charger can cause overheating
of internal connections or external wiring, presenting a fire hazard.

Chargetek has received three reports of fires involving the CT-2000.
The fires were contained to the charger with minor soot damage to
nearby materials. No injuries have been reported.

The chargers were made in the USA and the words "Chargetek CT2000" are
printed across the front of the charger's black housing. Indicator
lights for charge mode, battery polarity and charge current are also
located on the front. Wires for the AC power and three batteries extend
from the bottom of the unit. Only models with a serial number in the
range of 030260 to 030603 and/or a day code between "Jan 01 2001" and
"June 30 2002" are included in the recall. The serial number is written
on the top of the charger and the day code is stamped on the bottom.

Specialty product dealers sold these chargers nationwide from January
2001 to June 2002 for between $220 and $260.

Consumers should stop using and disconnect the AC power and the
batteries from the chargers immediately.  To arrange for a free
replacement, consumers should contact Chargetek at 888-453-4135 between
9 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday.  For more information,
consumers can visit the firm's web site at http://www.chargetek.com

CITIGROUP INC.: Will Pay $215 Million To Settle FTC's Allegations
Citigroup Inc. has agreed to pay $215 million to settle the Federal
Trade Commission's (FTC) allegations that a consumer lender it
purchased in 2000, engaged in deceptive and abusive lending practices,
The Wall Street Journal reported recently.

As part of the settlement, Citigroup agreed to pay $25 million to
settle a national class-action lawsuit brought in California against
its consumer lender, Associates First Capital Corp., a Dallas-based
lender to "subprime" borrowers with spotty credit histories.

The $215 million paid to the FTC will provide as many as two million
Associates borrowers with either cash refunds or reduced loan balances,
FTC officials said.

"When we bought Associates, we found certain unacceptable practices
that needed to be changed," Citigroup President Robert Willumstad said
in a statement.  "We are confident that today's settlement provides
redress to those former Associates customers who were harmed."

The settlement, which covers Associates' practices from December 1995
to November 2000, ends a lawsuit filed by the Commission in federal
court in Atlanta in 2001 against Associates.

Citigroup and its own consumer-finance unit, CitiFinancial, into which
Associates was merged, also were named as defendants in the case.

The class-action and FTC settlements must be approved by judges in the
respective cases.

Among the alleged abuses that occurred at Associates, according to the
FTC's suit, were:  deceptive marketing practices that induced clients
to consolidate their debts into home loans with high interest rates,
costs and fees; inducing borrowers to unknowingly purchase optional
insurance on loans; and abusive debt-collecting practices.

Since it purchased Associates, Citigroup has taken a series of steps
aimed at reforming some of Associates' practices.  This week, for
instance, the company said it would lower the maximum number of points
charged on real-estate loans to three points from five points.  FTC
acknowledged the reforms Citigroup has made, though FTC Chairman
Timothy Muris added that, "we will be watching Citigroup and many other
lenders closely in the future."

Consumer advocates and community groups allege that Citigroup's reforms
still do not mean that borrowers are adequately protected.  Some added
that the settlement, while the FTC's biggest related to consumers,
still fails to properly compensate Associates' aggrieved borrowers.

CONNECTICUT: Monitor's Report Says Adoptions Up, More Services Needed
Connecticut is making progress finding adoptive parents for foster
children, but the state still needs to do more to eliminate an adoption
backlog, according to a new report issued by the court-appointed
monitor, who is watching over the Department of Children and Families'
(DCF) foster care system, the Associated Press Newswires reported.

Children's Rights Inc., a New York-based advocacy group, filed a class-
action lawsuit against DCF, in 1990, on behalf of the state's foster
children.  The lawsuit resulted in a federal consent decree on DCF's
foster care system that has increased staffing and required other

The court-appointed monitor watching over Connecticut's foster care
system has determined that some children whose biological parents had
their parental rights terminated are waiting too long for a permanent
home.  "They are obligated to move these children," said Marcia
Robinson Lowry, president and executive director of Children's Rights.

DCF has not yet complied with a stipulation, stemming from the consent
decree, requiring the Department to hire a private adoption agency to
place a child if the state can't find a home within 90 days, said Ms.

Children's Rights asked the court-appointed monitor, D. Ray Sirry, in
July to issue the report on Connecticut's progress in placing children
in permanent homes.  The report is a follow-up to the agreement reached
earlier this year between the DCF and child advocates.  A federal judge
in Bridgeport approved the agreement and mandated the corrective
actions that should be taken by the Department to address a backlog of
more than 600 foster children waiting for homes.

Mr. Sirry's report highlights three categories of children: those
living with families who want to adopt them, but are waiting for DCF to
finish paper work, those waiting to be placed in homes already
identified, and those with no permanent home identified.

The monitor's report says that significant progress has been made with
those waiting on paper work and those with identified homes.  For
example, more than two-thirds of the nearly 400 children in the first
category were adopted this year.  There are, however, 58 children whose
parental rights were terminated who have not been placed in a timely
manner.  The monitor plans to release more information this month.

The Children's Rights' associate director, Ira Lustbader, is determined
to bring about compliance with the consent decree's stipulation
mandating hiring of an outside agency if the state cannot find a home
for a child within 90 days of termination of the biological parents'
rights.  "There must be an all-out effort so they do not languish in
foster care," said Mr. Lustbader.

On Wednesday, the DCF announced it had hired a consultant to help the
Department improve its foster care system.  Casey Family Services and
its Casey Center for Effective Child Welfare Practices, already have
organized a team of adoption experts to help evaluate the state's
program.  The length of time from the termination of parental rights
over the child, to a permanent home will be among the issues examined.

DELIA*S CORPORATION: Litigation Drags On In S.D. New York Suits
In 1999, two separate purported securities class action lawsuits were
filed against dELiA*s Inc. and certain of its officers and directors,
and one former officer of a subsidiary.  The original complaints were
filed in Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York
by Allain Roy on June 1, 1999 and by Lorraine Padgett on June 3, 1999.
The suits were consolidated into a single class action and an amended
and consolidated complaint was filed on March 22, 2000.  

The complaint in this lawsuit purports to be a class action on behalf
of the purchasers of the company's securities during the period January
20, 1998 through September 10, 1998.  The complaint generally alleges
that the defendants violated Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder by making material misstatements
and by failing to disclose allegedly material information regarding
trends in our business.  The complaint also alleges that the individual
defendants are liable for those violations under Section 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act.  The complaint seeks unspecified damages,
attorneys' and experts' fees and costs, and such other relief as the
court deems proper.  

On April 14, 2000, dELiA*s Inc. and the other named defendants filed a
motion to dismiss the lawsuit.  The motion to dismiss was denied on
March 29, 2001.  By order dated December 10, 2001, the court certified
the class.

"We filed our answer to the consolidated amended complaint in February
2002 and merit discovery was completed in May 2002.  We intend to
continue to vigorously defend against this action," the Company's
latest Securities and Exchange Commission report said.  "We believe
that the claim is covered under our insurance policy and do not expect
the ultimate resolution of this lawsuit to have a material adverse
effect on our results of operations, financial position or cash flow."

The Company sells to women, ages 10-24, trendy clothing, accessories,
and home furnishings.  About 58% of sales come from its Web site and
catalog (which is distributed in Canada, Japan, and the US).  The
Company's namesake chain (some 45 stores along the East Coast and in
the Midwest) generates another 38%.  It has sold or converted most of
its segments not related to the dELiA*s brand, such as gURL.com (Web
site for teenage girls).  The company spun off majority-owned
subsidiary iTurf (Web sites for teens) in 1999 but repurchased it in
late 2000; iTurf then took the dELiA*s name.  The Kahn family,
including CEO Stephen Kahn, owns nearly 35% of the firm.

DELIA*S CORPORATION: Issues One Million Class "A" Stocks to Settle Suit
Between August 17 and August 25, 2000, three purported class action
complaints on behalf of stockholders of iTurf Inc., a partly owned
subsidiary of dELiA*s Inc. at the time, were filed in Delaware Chancery
Court against iTurf Inc., dELiA*s Inc. and each of iTurf's directors.

These actions include: Pack v. Kahn, et al., Del. Ch., C.A. No.
18242NC, Semeraro v. Kahn, et al., Del. Ch., C.A. No. 18258, and Engel
v. Kahn, et al., Del. Ch., C.A. No. 18260NC.  All three complaints made
virtually identical claims, alleging that dELiA*s Inc. and the members
of iTurf's board of directors breached their fiduciary duties to
iTurf's public stockholders and that the merger exchange ratio was
unfair to iTurf's public stockholders.  The actions were consolidated
and an amended complaint was filed on January 19, 2001.

On March 5, 2001, the Company answered that complaint, asserted
affirmative defenses and separately moved to strike certain
allegations.  Also on March 5, 2001, the company moved to dismiss the
complaint.  On January 15, 2002, all parties entered into a stipulation
and agreement of compromise, settlement and release, which became a
final order in May 2002.

Pursuant to the settlement, the company issued one million shares of
dELiA*s Class A common stock, of which 300,000 have been distributed
and the remaining 700,000 shares will be distributed upon the
completion of the claims administration process.  The total $6.3
million value of the non-cash settlement was recorded as a fiscal 2001

EMBRYO DEVELOPMENT: Securities Suit Settlement Still Needs Final Nod
The Company has been named as a defendant in a consolidated class
action pending before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District
of New York.  In a consolidated complaint, plaintiffs assert claims
against the Company and others under the Securities Act of 1933, the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and New York common and statutory law
arising out of the November 1995 initial public offering of 1 million
shares of the Company's common stock.

According to the complaint, the underwriter of the offering, Sterling
Foster & Co., Inc., which is also a defendant, manipulated secondary
market trading in shares of the Company's common stock following the
offering and covered certain short positions it created through such
manipulation by purchasing shares of Company stock from persons who
owned such stock prior to the offering pursuant to an arrangement with
such persons that was not disclosed in the registration statement and
prospectus distributed in connection with the offering.  The complaint
seeks unspecified damages.

In November 1998, it was announced that Michael Lulkin, a director and
Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Company at the time of the
Company's initial public offering, had plead guilty to, among other
things, conspiracy to commit securities fraud.  The charges to which
Mr. Lulkin plead were premised on allegations that Mr. Lulkin, Sterling
Foster, and others had entered into an undisclosed agreement pursuant
to which, upon conclusion of the Company's initial public offering,
they would (a) cause Sterling Foster to release Mr. Lulkin and others
who owned the Company stock prior to the offering from certain "lock
up" agreements restricting them from selling such stock; and (b) cause
Mr. Lulkin and such other persons to sell the Company stock to Sterling
Foster at prearranged prices to enable Sterling Foster to use such
stock to cover certain short positions it had created.

In August 1999, an agreement in principle was entered into providing
for settlement of the consolidated class action against the Company,
Mr. Lulkin and Steven Wasserman, who was also a member of the Company's
Board of Directors at the time of the Company's initial public
offering.  Under the agreement in principle, all claims in the action
against the Company, and against Mr. Lulkin and Mr. Wasserman insofar
as they were members of the Company's Board of Directors, would be
dismissed in exchange for a payment of $400,000, of which $100,000
would need to be paid by the Company and $300,000 would be paid by an
insurance company under a directors and officers liability policy of

In June 2001, definitive settlement documents were executed.  The
settlement documents provide that the Company would pay the foregoing
$100,000 by remitting to the class representatives $25,000 and a note
in the amount of $75,000 payable in June 2003 with interest thereon at
7% per year.

The Company has remitted the funds and note described above to the
class representatives to be held by them in accordance with the terms
of the settlement agreement and pending final court review of the
settlement.  The settlement is contingent upon, among other things,
final approval by the court.  There can be no assurance that the
settlement will be concluded.  In the year ended April 30, 2000, the
Company recorded a reserve of $100,000 for this obligation.

Embryo Development Corporation makes medical devices used primarily in
emergency medicine; the company is currently considering the sale of
its assets and/or its patents, according to a Hoovers.com dossier.

ENRON CORPORATION: Bankruptcy Court Says Creditors May Sue Andersen
Judge Arthur Gonzalez recently granted creditors of Enron Corp. the
right to try to recover $10 million paid by Enron to former auditor
Arthur Andersen LLP days before the energy company's collapse,
Associated Press Newswires has reported recently.

The official committee of unsecured creditors, which looks after the
interests of those owed money by Enron, sought the authority to sue
Andersen on the company's behalf.  The Chapter 11 code entitles a
company to challenge payments made within 90 days of a bankruptcy
filing, to prevent any transactions that unfairly benefit one creditor
at the expense of the others.

The creditors panel said in its court papers that all the available
evidence indicates Andersen received "more than it would likely
receive" if Enron had gone to liquidation under Chapter 7.  In that
case, the absolute priority rule applies, meaning that creditors with
secured claims get the first call on the company's assets, followed by
unsecured claimants.

Andersen, once the world's most respected accounting firm, recently
shut down its auditing practice following a criminal conviction in June
for its Enron bookkeeping work.

Andersen is also a target in a class-action lawsuit filed in a Houston
federal court by Enron investors and former workers.  Those plaintiffs,
who said they suffered $29 billion in losses in Enron's fall, accuse
Andersen of contributing to fraud at Enron by behavior that included
hiding $1 billion in losses in off-the-books partnerships.

Meanwhile Enron's creditor committee also has been conducting its own
investigation of Andersen's role in Enron's demise, which could lead to
additional claims against the former auditor.

EV GLOBAL: Recalls Mini E-Bike Lithium Batteries Due To Fire Hazard  
In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC),
EV Global Motors Co., of North Hills, Calif., is voluntarily recalling
about 2,000 lithium batteries in Mini E-Bike electric bicycles.  The
lithium ion batteries in these bicycles can overheat and pose a fire

EV Global Motors has received five reports of the batteries
overheating, three of which caught fire, though no injuries have been

The recalled lithium ion batteries are used to power EV Global's
folding Mini E-Bike.  The battery, which is located in the battery
compartment just in front of the seat, is supplied with most models of
the Mini E-Bike.  The words "mini e-bike" are printed on the side of
the bicycle near the steering column.  These bicycles are manufactured
in Taiwan and the battery packs are assembled in the U.S.

Bicycle, automobile and Internet retailers nationwide sold the electric
bikes from February 2001 through July 2002 for between $1,400 and

Consumers should stop using these bicycles immediately and contact EV
Global at 888-875-4545 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT Monday through
Friday for information on receiving a free replacement battery and
charger.  Consumers also can log on to the company's web site at
http://www.EVGlobal.com The firm also will extend the warranty of the  
battery from 6 months to a year.

HEALTHSOUTH CORPORATION: Sued By Investors, Investigated By SEC
HealthSouth Corp., which operates rehabilitation hospitals and clinics
around the country, said recently it is being investigated by the
Securities and Exchange Commission in the wake of recent disclosures
that its earnings would be sharply lower than expected and that its
founder, Richard Scrushy, had sold half his stake in the firm a few
weeks before the profit warning, Associated Press Newswires reported.

Investors have filed class-action lawsuits against Mr. Scrushy and
HealthSouth executives that question the timing of the insider stock
sale and whether or not information was kept from stockholders who lost
some $2.7 billion in value in the initial plunge.

One issue in the shareholder lawsuits is whether Mr. Scrushy knew how
much impact the clarification of a Medicare billing policy, issued May
17, would have on HealthSouth's earnings when he sold his shares.

On August 27, HealthSouth announced it was reducing its earnings
estimates by $175 million based on the clarification of a Medicare
billing policy, which was issued May 17.  It was disclosed subsequently
in an SEC filing that Mr. Scrushy sold about $25 million worth of stock
-- half his stake in the company -- on July 31.

The earnings announcement sent the company's share price skidding 44
percent lower on August 27.

"We have been subjected to misleading and inaccurate press reports,"
Mr. Scrushy said during a conference call.  He said the company has
strong cash flow and high revenues, he dismissed pending class-action
lawsuits from investors as frivolous.  Mr. Scrushy said that a
difficult environment prevails, one in which "reactions are so severe
to even the smallest bit of news."

Mr. Scrushy said the company did not have any indication as to the
impact the Medicare policy change would have on earnings until August
15.  Mr. Scrush said he sold back his shares on July 31 to pay off a
loan from the company in an overall effort to reduce HealthSouth's debt

The Birmingham-based company did not specify which areas the SEC would
be looking at, but told investors during a recent conference call that
it would be cooperating fully.  In its news release, HealthSouth
officials said they contacted the SEC earlier on their own initiative
and volunteered to provide "any information that might be helpful to it
in evaluating recent events."  The company said it was later notified
that the SEC was conducting an investigation.  SEC spokesman John Heine
refused to confirm whether HealthSouth is being investigated.

HealthSouth has asked law firm Fulbright & Jaworski LLP to conduct a
review of issues related to litigation and other matters.  Their
findings will be presented to the Board and shared with regulatory

HealthSouth is the nation's largest provider of outpatient surgery,
diagnostic imaging and rehabilitation services with about 1,900
locations in all 50 states, Britain, Australia, Puerto Rico and Canada.
The company had revenues of some $4.3 billion last year.

INTERVOICE INC.: Dallas Court Drops Securities Suit Without Prejudice
InterVoice, Inc. (Nasdaq NM: INTV) issued a press release on last week
after the market closed to announce that a federal judge in Dallas has
granted the Company's motion to dismiss all claims in a class action
lawsuit brought by certain purchasers of the Company's common stock.  
The plaintiffs in the case may, if they choose to, file an amended
complaint that complies with applicable federal securities laws.

JAKARTA: NGOs, Student Groups To File Citizens' Suit To Annul Election
Public opposition to election of Sutiyoso as governor continued
recently with several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and student
organizations planning to file a citizens lawsuit, demanding the
annulment of the recent gubernatorial election, reports the Jakarta

The NGOs and students organizations that will file a citizens lawsuit
are Jakarta Residents Reform, Jakarta Legal Aid Institute, Islam
Defenders Front, Betawi Against Sutiyoso and Jakarta Universities'
Student Executive Bodies.

"We will soon file the lawsuit at the district court.  The defendants
will be the council's chairman and the election committee," said
Jakarta Resident Forum chairman Azas Tigor Nainggolan.

Mr. Tigor said the suit asked the court to annul the gubernatorial
election, since it violated election principles and the practice of
good governance.  Mr. Tigor claimed that from the beginning of the
election process, transparency, accountability and public participation
as key principles of good governance, were ignored by the council.

Separately, chairman Sardi Effendy of the Jakarta Universities' Student
Executive Bodies confirmed that his organization would join the NGOs in
filing the lawsuit.

Meanwhile, Sutiyoso's supporters, grouped under the Center of Jakarta
Studies, visited the Ministry of Home Affairs recently and demanded the
ministry install the elected governor.  But ministry spokesman I Nyoman
Sumaryadi said installment of Sutiyoso could be canceled if there is
evidence of irregularities during the election.

LABONTE HONEY: Pulls Honey Products That Can Cause Aplastic Anaemia
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Labonte Honey Inc. are
warning consumers not to consume Paradise brand Natural Honey and
Labonte brand Natural Honey from Clover flowers as they may be
contaminated with honey imported from China. Honey imported from China
may contain chloramphenicol.

These products are affected by this alert:

     (i) Paradise brand, Natural Honey, sold in a 500 g glass container
         with UPC 0 64597 00113 0 bearing code 012035, 022035, and
         032035.  The code is found on the bottle shoulder.  

    (ii) Paradise brand, Natural Honey, sold in a 500 g glass container
         with UPC 0 64597 00113 0 bearing code 012035, 022035, and
         032035. The code is found on the bottle shoulder.

   (iii) Labonte brand, Natural Honey from Clover flowers, sold in a
         500 g glass container with UPC 0 64597 00110 9 bearing codes
         042035, 052035, 062035, 072035 and 082035. The code is found
         on the bottle shoulder.

    (iv) Labonte brand, Natural Honey from Clover flowers, sold in a 15
         kg container with UPC 0 64597 00280 9, bearing code 012035.

The manufacturer, Labonte Honey Inc. of Victoriaville, Quebec, is
voluntarily recalling the affected products from the marketplace. These
products have been distributed in Quebec and New Brunswick.

The presence of chloramphenicol in honey from China poses the slight
risk of a serious blood disorder known as aplastic anaemia.

Chloramphenicol is a drug, which is not permitted for use in Canada in
food producing animals, including bees. There have been no reported
illnesses associated with the consumption of these products.

The CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.

For more information, consumers and industry can call one of these

Labont, Honey Inc., Josee Michaud, Quality Control, at 819-758-3877

For media inquiries, contact Josee Michaud, Labonte Honey Inc Quality
Control by Phone: 819-758-3877

MARVELL TECHNOLOGY: Not Expecting Suit to be Concluded Before 2003
On July 31, 2001, a putative class action suit was filed against two
investment banks that participated in the underwriting of Marvell
Technology Group Ltd.'s initial public offering on June 29, 2000.  That
lawsuit, which did not name the Company or any of its officers or
directors as defendants, was filed in the United States District Court
for the Southern District of New York.

Plaintiffs allege that the underwriters received excessive and
undisclosed commissions and entered into unlawful tie-in agreements
with certain of their clients in violation of Section 10(b) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  

Thereafter, on September 5, 2001, a second putative class action was
filed in the Southern District of New York relating to the Company's
IPO.  In this second action, plaintiffs named three underwriters as
defendants and also named as defendants the Company and two of its
officers, one of whom is also a director.

Relying on many of the same allegations contained in the initial
complaint in which the Company was not named as a defendant, plaintiffs
allege that the defendants violated various provisions of the
Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

In both actions, plaintiffs seek, among other items, unspecified
damages, pre-judgment interest and reimbursement of attorneys' and
experts' fees.  These two actions relating to the Company's IPO have
been consolidated with hundreds of other lawsuits filed by plaintiffs
against approximately 40 underwriters and approximately 300 issuers
across the United States.

To date, there have been no significant developments in the
consolidated litigation.  It is expected that a small number of cases
will be designated as test cases for purposes of initial challenges to
the pleadings, which are not expected to be briefed, argued and decided
before early 2003.

The Company believes that the claims asserted against it and its
officers are without merit and intends to defend these claims
vigorously.  Based on currently available information, it does not
believe that the ultimate disposition of the lawsuit naming the Company
and its officers will have a material adverse impact on its business or
financial condition.

MCDONALD'S: Obese Teens' Parents Sue The Fast-Food Giant
Parents of two obese teenagers filed a recent lawsuit, seeking class-
action status, against McDonald's. The suit claims the chain's
unhealthy meals made the teens obese, causing them to develop severe
health problems including heart disease, the Atlanta Journal-
Constitution reported recently.

John Banzhaf, a George Washington University law professor who
pioneered lawsuits against tobacco firms, is acting as an adviser on
the case.

He said children often are unable to resist the chain's playgrounds,
Happy Meals and toy promotions often tied to the release of popular
movies.  "Children clearly are not capable of making health-related
decisions," he said.  McDonald's tries to attract children and has an
obligation to them."

Attorney Samuel Hirsch filed the lawsuit in the New York Supreme Court
in the Bronx.

This suit comes just weeks after Mr. Hirsch filed another lawsuit
against McDonald's, Burger King, KFC and Wendy's, on behalf of a
270-pound New York City maintenance worker, Caesar Barber, 56, who said
he developed diabetes and suffered two heart attacks after eating the
greasy fare from the fast-food restaurants four or five times a week
for decades.

Professor Banzhaf said that while Mr. Barber's lawsuit is snaking its
way through the court system, Mr. Hirsch has decided to focus more on
the lawsuit involving children, since children cannot be expected to be
personally responsible for their health.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of the two teenagers claims that McDonald's
contributed to their poor health and obesity by enticing them to
consume larger portions through the use of "value meal" advertisements
without disclosing the health effects.

The two teenagers are asking that a jury decide how much they should be
compensated for the harm they have suffered.  They also want the court
to order McDonald's to do more to publicize the dietary content of its
products, including a program on the dangers of eating certain items.

The youths' ages have not been released.  Mr. Hirsch's office says one
is 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs 270 pounds, while the other is 5
feet 3 inches and weighs 200 pounds.  Apparently the two have been
eating at McDonald's several times a week for years.

Walt Riker, a spokesman for McDonald's said that, "McDonald's is a
full-menu restaurant providing variety and choices."  He said children
are becoming overweight due to an increasingly sedentary lifestyle.

"The notion that there is no parental authority over these children is
ridiculous," said Mike Burita, a spokesman for the Center for Consumer
Freedom, an organization representing restaurant operators and
individuals who want to preserve consumer choice.  "Do little kids
steal their parents' car keys and drive themselves to McDonald's?"

NCS PEARSON: Students May Seek Punitive Damages In Suit v. Testing Firm
Students involved in a class-action lawsuit against a testing company
will be allowed to ask for punitive damages, because the judge has
reversed his earlier decision, reports the Associated Press Newswires.

Hennepin County, Minnesota, District Judge Allen Oleisky wrote in an
order recently that he now will allow students whose tests were
incorrectly scored in 2000, to seek punitive damages from the testing

Judge Oleisky's decision comes just three weeks before the class-action
case is to go to trial.  At issue is whether jurors could only award
actual damages for things like tutoring, missed work, embarrassment and
humiliation, or whether the jury could award additional damages simply
to punish the testing company, NCS Pearson of Eden Prairie.

The judge said the students' lawyer had presented enough evidence to
convince him to rethink his initial decision and allow the punitive

"Although it appears that the mistake that led to the scoring error was
simple, plaintiffs have demonstrated that the error was preceded by
years of quality control problems at NCS," Judge Oleisky wrote.

NCS gained notoriety for a grading error handing 47,000 students
incorrectly scored required exams, and about 8,000 students wrongly
given failing grades.

Shawn Raiter, a St. Paul attorney representing the students, argued
successfully that NCS had previous problems that were not addressed and
that the company should be punished as a result.

The judge agreed, writing, "The class has presented numerous examples
of NCS employees on the Minnesota project requesting additional
staffing and resources and having those requests denied... It was in
this culture, emphasizing profitability and cost-cutting, in which the
Minnesota error occurred."

The case is set to go to trial October 7.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: Committee Refuses To Hire Extra Child Protection Workers
A legislative committee has refused to hire extra child protection
workers, leaving the state open to another battle in federal court, the
Associated Press Newswires reported.

The Legislative Fiscal Committee recently voted 7 to 3 not to hear
reports from smaller legislative committees that unanimously had
recommended the state spend $3.3 million in federal money to hire 62
workers.  The Fiscal Committee instead cited a need first to solve
management problems with the Division of Children, Youth and Families.

The hiring recommendation was a major part of mediated discussions to
settle a 1991 federal class-action lawsuit, which accused the state's
human services system of violating the rights of abused and neglected

Governor Jeanne Shaheen disagreed with the Fiscal Committee, saying
that the Fiscal Committee's decision not to approve was "penny wise and
pound foolish."  She added, "Instead of acting responsibly, the Fiscal
Committee chose to open New Hampshire up to expensive litigation and a
solution imposed by a federal court."

On Monday, a court panel said the state still has not lived up to the
terms of its settlement.  In its fourth and final evaluation of the
division, the three-member panel said the state has made some
improvements, but has failed to hire enough workers to watch over the
state's increasing numbers of abused children.

"We engaged in a good-faith negotiation over many months to try to
reach a settlement," said Ronald Lospennato, a lawyer for the
Disability Rights Center in Concord, which represents lawyers and
plaintiffs in the lawsuit.  "We felt the state's desire to make a
commitment to hire 62 case workers was a step in the right direction...
I think the Fiscal Committee has essentially robbed them of that
opportunity to avoid more drastic action."

Said Mr. Lospennato, a return to court "is a lot more likely."

The original federal class-action lawsuit was filed on behalf of "Eric
L." and other abused and neglected children in New Hampshire.  The
federal court found the state failed to respond promptly to reports of
child abuse, and children in foster care received spotty mental health
and dental care.  The division also lacked long-range plans for the
children it removed from their homes, and families in crisis were not
receiving adequate help to keep children and their parents together,
the court found.  The court gave the state five years to fix those and
other problems.

NORTHERN TOOL: Voluntarily Recalls 3,400 Electric Air Compressors
In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC),
Northern Tool & Equipment, of Burnsville, Minn., is voluntarily
recalling about 3,400 electric air compressors.  The capacitors on
these compressors can overheat, catch fire and ignite the plastic cover
above the capacitor.

Northern Tool has received six reports of capacitors overheating or
igniting.  No injuries have been reported.

The recalled air compressors are Model 191000 and Model 192000. The
model number on both units can be found on the shipping carton and
invoice.  The Model 191000 is a 2.5 HP air compressor with a red, six-
gallon capacity tank.  A blue "Northern Industrial Tools" label is on
the side of the tank.  The compressor motor sits on top the tank and is
covered with a black plastic shell. The Model 192000 is a 2.5 HP unit
with twin two-gallon tanks.  The twin tanks are red and stacked
vertically on one side of the unit.  A blue "Northern Industrial Tools"
label is on the side of the top tank.  The motor is located at the base
of the unit, adjacent to the twin tanks, and is partially covered with
a black plastic shell.

Northern Tool sold the recalled Model 191000 and 192000 air compressors
through direct mail and Northern Tool specialty stores nationwide from
January 2002 to May 2002 for between $110 and $120.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled Model 191000 and
192000 air compressors and should contact Northern Tool for a refund.
For more information, consumers can contact Northern Tool at
800-222-5381 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday or
visit the firm's web site at http://www.northerntool.com

This recall includes only those Model 191000 and 192000 compressors
sold between January and May 2002.

ORACLE CORPORATION: Court Nixes Another Amended Securities Fraud Suit
Oracle Corporation informed the Securities and Exchange Commission
recently that the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
California had again thrown out a second amended securities suit filed
against it.  

The court threw out the complaint on September 6, 2002, six months
after it similarly dismissed an amended suit in March, said the company
in its latest SEC report.

This suit stems from several stockholder class actions filed on and
after March 9, 2001, naming the company and its Chief Executive
Officer.  On June 20, 2001, the Court consolidated the class actions
into a single action and appointed a lead plaintiff and class counsel.  
A consolidated amended complaint adding the Chief Financial Officer and
an Executive Vice President as defendants was filed on August 3, 2001.
The consolidated amended complaint was brought on behalf of purchasers
of the company's stock during the period from December 15, 2000 through
March 1, 2001.  Plaintiffs alleged that the defendants made false and
misleading statements about the company's actual and expected financial
performance and the performance of certain of its applications
products, while certain individual defendants were selling Oracle
stock, in violation of Federal securities laws.  Plaintiffs further
alleged that some of the individual defendants sold Oracle stock while
in possession of material non-public information.  

"On March 22, 2002, the Court granted the company's motion to dismiss
the consolidated action without prejudice and the plaintiffs filed an
amended complaint on April 10, 2002.  On September 6, 2002, the Court
granted another motion to dismiss, again without prejudice," said the
SEC document.  "We believe that we have meritorious defenses against
this action and, should plaintiffs file a second amended consolidated
complaint within 30 days, as permitted by the Court's order, we will
continue to vigorously defend it."  

No class has been certified, the company said.  

Oracle is a leading provider of systems software, including database
management, application development, and application server software.
Its Oracle9i database management software is used by companies to store
and access data across numerous platforms.  The company continues to
expand past its legacy database products into online services and
business applications, adding business intelligence and collaboration
software to its offerings, which also include supply chain and human
resource management applications.  Consulting and support services
account for over 60% of sales.  Chairman and CEO Larry Ellison owns
some 25% of Oracle.

ORACLE CORPORATION: Derivative Lawsuits in Delaware, California Stayed
Oracle Corporation says the three derivative suits it faces in
California and Delaware are currently stayed, pending the report of a
Special Litigation Committee (SLC) created by the Board of Directors to
investigate the allegations in the suit.

In its latest SEC report, the company said it is now waiting for the
court's ruling on a motion to dismiss by plaintiffs.  The court had
earlier denied this motion and stayed the action, pending the report by
the SLC on the status of its investigation.  The committee submitted
its report on September 6, 2002.  

This suit is currently pending in the Court of Chancery in the State of
Delaware and for New Castle County.  The originally derivative suits
were filed on or after March 12, 2001.  An amended suit consolidated
these actions and was later lodged on October 9, 2001.

In California, the lawsuits in the Superior Court of the State of
California, County of San Mateo and County of Santa Clara and the U.S.
District Court for the Northern District of California are in various
stages of litigation.

In the San Mateo derivative action, the court denied the company's and
the individual defendants' respective motions to stay the action
pending the SLC's investigation, and required that the SLC intervene in
the action should it desire to move to stay it.  The SLC filed its
complaint in intervention on July 12, 2002 and was granted leave to
intervene on August 2, 2002.  The plaintiffs' demurrer to the SLC's
complaint in intervention was denied on September 4, 2002.  The SLC
also renewed its motion to stay on August 2, 2002, and a hearing on
that matter was scheduled to proceed on September 4-6, 2002. That
hearing was further postponed until September 27, 2002.  While the stay
motion is pending, the Court ordered certain document discovery to

As for the federal derivative suit, the company has entered into a
stipulated stay of the action while the SLC conducts its investigation,
Oracle said in its SEC report.  

The derivative suits were brought by stockholders, purportedly on the
company's behalf, against some of the current and former directors.  
The derivative plaintiffs allege that these directors breached their
fiduciary duties by making or causing to be made alleged misstatements
about the company's revenue, growth and the performance of certain
applications products while certain officers and directors sold Oracle
stock based on material, non-public information, and by allowing the
company to be sued in the stockholder class actions.  The derivative
plaintiffs seek compensatory and other damages, disgorgement of profits
and other relief.  

PENNSYLVANIA: Bucks County Prison Inmates Sue Over Poor Conditions
Ten current and former inmates at the Bucks County Prison recently
filed a federal lawsuit against the county commissioners and other
officials, alleging that the facility is unsanitary and allows
communicable diseases to fester, the Allentown Morning Call has

The inmates seek more than $4 million in damages.  Anita F. Alberts, an
attorney for the inmates, said additional papers will soon be filed in
federal court that will seek to designate the case a class-action

If the federal judge provides the suit with class-action status, Ms.
Alberts said she would seek a court order forcing the county government
to upgrade sanitary conditions.

Ms. Alberts and attorney Martha Sperling filed the lawsuit in U.S.
District Court in Philadelphia.  The two Doylestown lawyers already
represent several inmates in another case alleging women do not receive
adequate medical treatment at the prison.  Commissioners have been in
settlement negotiations for months on that case, and have agreed to
establish a board that oversees the jail and construct a separate
medical wing for women inmates at the maximum security institution in
Doylestown Township.

Ms. Alberts said she has spent months sitting at the negotiating table,
telling the commissioners, other corrections officials, as well as
county Health Department officials, that unsanitary conditions exist at
the jail.  According to Ms. Alberts the commissioners did nothing.  "It
was absolute indifference.  That is the standard for a constitutional
violation and that is what we have here," said Ms. Alberts.

The lawsuit alleged that unsanitary conditions at the county prison
violate the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which protect
against cruel and unusual punishment.

Ms. Alberts and Ms. Sperling are aware of the hurdles involved in
reaching the officials' awareness of the seriousness of the sanitary
conditions in the jail:  They first charged last month that cases of
methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, were going
untreated at the jail, which county officials denied.  But this week a
state Health Department report said at least 24 inmates have tested
positive for MRSA, an infection manifesting boils and lesions or more
serious blood infections; and also pneumonia.  Inmates also have tested
positive for tuberculosis.

The 10 inmates seek payments of $150,000 each on multiple counts
outlined in the lawsuit.  The total damage sought is $4.2 million.

RITE AID: Overcharged Accident Victims May Get Prescription Refunds
Rite Aid and CVS would have to give reimbursements or discounts to
traffic accident victims who say they were overcharged for medications
under a $2 million settlement tentatively approved by a judge recently,
Associated Press Newswires reported.

Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, Judge Edgar B. Bayley can give final
approval to the settlement at a hearing on November 27.  The accord
could affect thousands of crash victims throughout the state who have
had prescriptions filled at Rite Aid Corp. and CVS Inc. pharmacies
since 1995.

Three class-action lawsuits were filed in 1999, by five local accident
victims.  They said the pharmacies violated a 1990 state law that
requires them to give traffic accident victims 20 percent off the
prices of medications for their injuries.

The settlement says the companies must create a $550,000 fund to
reimburse accident victims who paid the full cost of prescriptions.
They also will have to set up a $750,000 fund to give discount coupons
to victims whose insurers paid full cost.

Also, under the agreement, the companies will pay $300,000 to
administer distribution of claims money and coupons.  And they will pay
$400,000 to the three law firms that represented the victims who filed
the original lawsuits.

A condition of the settlement is that none of the parties involved may
talk about it publicly.

CVS and Rite Aid say in the settlement that their agreement to it is
not an admission of liability or wrongdoing.

SLOAN'S SUPERMARKETS: Class Suit Set for Trial January 6 Next Year
RMED International, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: TUSH) was notified by the
Federal Court that January 6, 2003 is the trial date set for RMED's
class action suit against defendants Sloan's Supermarkets, Inc. (now
Gristede's Food, Inc. (Amex: GRI)) and John A. Catsimatidis.

The case number is 94CV5587 in the United States District Court of the
Southern District of New York.  The class seeks to recover damages
based on the defendants' failure to disclose, in its public filings and
otherwise, the existence of an investigation by the Federal Trade
Commission regarding the concentration of supermarkets by entities
owned or controlled by the defendants.

SOYAWORLD INC.: Recalls Soya Drink Containing Life-Threatening Protein
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and SoyaWorld Inc. are
warning consumers not to consume So Good brand Fortified Soy Beverage.
The affected product may contain milk protein, which is not declared on
the label.  This alert is of concern to those individuals who have
allergies to milk protein.

The affected product, So Good brand Fortified Soy Beverage, is sold in
1.89 L container, bearing the Best Before date OC 19 and the UPC 6
26027 26550 7.

SoyaWorld Inc., Vancouver, British Columbia, is voluntarily recalling
the affected product from the marketplace. The affected product is
distributed only in Ontario.

The consumption of this product may cause a serious or life threatening
reaction in persons with allergies to milk protein. There have been two
reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product.

The CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.

For more information, consumers and industry can call one of these

     (i) SoyaWorld Inc., at 1-888-401-0019

    (ii) CFIA, in the province of Quebec 1-800-561-3350; or

   (iii) CFIA, in other provinces and territories 1-800-442-2342.

For media enquiries, contact Davendra Sharma, Canadian Food Inspection
Agency, Office of Food Safety and Recall by Phone: 613-755-2890

SWITCHBOARD INCORPORATED: Building Vigorous Defense in S.D. NY Suit
On November 21, 2001, a class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of New York naming as
defendants Switchboard, the managing underwriters of Switchboard's
initial public offering, Douglas J. Greenlaw, Dean Polnerow, and John
P. Jewett.

Mr. Greenlaw and Mr. Polnerow are officers of Switchboard, and Mr.
Jewett is a former officer of Switchboard.  The complaint is captioned
Kristina Ly v. Switchboard Incorporated, et al., 01-CV-10595.

The complaint alleges that the registration statement and final
prospectus relating to Switchboard's initial public offering contained
material misrepresentations and/or omissions related, in part, to
excessive and undisclosed commissions allegedly received by the
underwriters from investors to whom the underwriters allegedly
allocated shares of the initial public offering.

The complaint seeks an unspecified amount of damages.  This class
action lawsuit is similar to over 300 others filed recently against
companies that went public between 1998 and 2000.  Switchboard believes
the claims against it and its officers, former officers and directors
are without merit and intends to defend them vigorously.

Switchboard offers an online directory for phone numbers, addresses,
and e-mail addresses of individuals and businesses in the US.  Its
Switchboard.com site, which is visited more than 80 million times each
month by more than 3 million users, also features a search engine, a
product directory, and maps (through its MapsOnUs service). The company
also provides customized Web-hosted directory platforms to online
portals (AOL Time Warner accounts for about 25% of sales) and other
clients.  Switchboard has ended an advertising partnership with CBS,
and CBS parent Viacom has relinquished its minority stake in the
company. Networking software company ePresence owns 52% of Switchboard.

TOBACCO LITIGATION: New York District Court Certifies Nationwide Class
Elizabeth J. Cabraser, Plaintiffs' Lead Counsel in the nationwide
smokers class action entitled In Re Simon II Litigation, No. 00-CV-
5332, filed in the Eastern District of New York, commented Friday on
U.S. District Court Judge Jack B. Weinstein's order last week that
granted certification of a class of persons seeking punitive damages
against the tobacco industry who at the time of their deaths smoked the
defendants' cigarettes or have been diagnosed by a physician with a
qualifying smoking-related disease on or after April 9, 1993.

"For the first time, a judicial forum has been created for holding the
tobacco industry accountable on a comprehensive basis for the harm and
misery its conduct and products have caused American smokers and their
families.  This class action is the best and only way to fulfill the
policy of punitive damages in American law: to punish the tobacco
industry in an amount proportional to the wrong," said Ms. Cabraser, a
partner with Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP.  "Judge
Weinstein's order builds upon the framework established by the U.S.
Supreme Court in recent opinions on punitive damages that require the
punishment to be proportional to the harm."

The Court's Order

On September 19, 2002, U.S. District Court Judge Jack B. Weinstein
granted certification of a class of persons who at the time of their
deaths smoked the defendants' cigarettes or have been diagnosed by a
physician with a qualifying smoking-related disease on or after April
9, 1993.

Specifically, the court certified a punitive damages non-opt-out class
pursuant to Rule 23(b)(1)(B) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,
consisting of:

All persons residing in the United States, or who were residents of the
United States at the time of their deaths, who smoke or smoked
Defendants' cigarettes, and who were first diagnosed by a physician
with one or more of the following diseases from April 9, 1993 through
the date notice to the class is ordered disseminated: lung cancer;
laryngeal cancer; lip cancer; tongue cancer; mouth cancer; esophageal
cancer; kidney cancer; pancreatic cancer; bladder cancer; ischemic
heart disease; cerebrovascular heart disease; aortic aneurysm;
peripheral vascular disease; emphysema; chronic bronchitis; or, chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease (also called chronic air flow

The following persons are excluded from the class:

(1) Persons who have obtained judgments or settlements against any or
    all Defendants;

(2) Persons against whom any or all of the Defendants have obtained     

(3) Persons who are members of the certified class in Engle v. R.J.
    Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 94-08273 CA-22 (Circuit Court of the 11th
    Judicial District, Dade County, Florida);

(4) Persons who should have first reasonably realized that they had the
    disease prior to April 9, 1993; and

(5) Persons whose diagnosis or reasonable basis for knowledge predates
    their use of tobacco.

A copy of the order may be obtained by visiting

Among the allegations raised in the Simon case are that over a course
of decades the cigarette companies manufactured and sold cigarettes in
a dangerous condition because the cigarettes were not accompanied with
adequate warnings and the cigarette companies fraudulently denied and
concealed from smokers the significant health risks, including nicotine
addiction, of smoking.

It is expected that the defendants will file an appeal from the court's
order to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

UNITED STATES:  Ex-Braceros Begin Trek To Seek Wages Earned Decades Ago
A small group of aging men began a journey recently to find ways of
demanding repayment of the millions of dollars in withheld wages for
work they did in the United States decades ago, the Associated Press
Newswires has reported.

In a symbolic gesture, the group departed from the same rail station
many of them used 60 years ago to travel north, the now-shuttered
Buenavista rail station, where they posted a wreath and observed a
moment of silence for comrades who have since died.  The group plans to
gather on September 29 in Stockton, California, the arrival point for
many of the first Braceros.

The remaining men were among some 2.5 million Mexicans who toiled in
the United States between 1942 and 1964 under a guest worker program
known as the "Bracero" program.  Bracero means 'arm', and the Mexicans
lent their arms to work in farms and other critical industries in the
United States as American men marched off to World War II.

The Alianza Braceroproa, which represents thousands of the men and
their heirs, is campaigning to find restitution for the millions of
dollars in savings and pension funds that were withheld from the men's
pay and may have disappeared at a government bank in Mexico.

Alianza leader Ventura Gutierrez said the amount could range from $500
million to $1 billion, apparently based partly on inflation.

Late last month, a federal judge in San Francisco, Judge Charles
Breyer, dismissed most of a class-action lawsuit filed on their behalf,
saying that while the court was sympathetic to the plaintiffs' plight
and recognized that many of the braceros never received the monies
deducted from their wages, they were not entitled to relief in a U.S.
court of law.  The defendants in the lawsuit were the United States and
Mexican governments and the Wells Fargo Bank, which was in charge of
transferring the funds to Mexico.

Mr. Gutierrez said the group still supports a boycott of the Wells
Fargo Bank in order to compel it to release documents that could help
determine what happened to the funds in Mexico.  Wells Fargo officials
have said they have few documents, but said they believe the bank
complied with its obligations under the arrangements made years ago.

A commission of Mexico's Congress also is investigating what happened
to the money.  Government officials first promised to help the Braceros
more than three years ago.

VISUAL NETWORKS: Dismissed Securities Fraud Suit in Maryland Appealed
Visual Networks, Inc. (Nasdaq NM: VNWK) released an 8-K on Thursday,
after the market closed.

In July, August and September 2000, several purported class action
complaints were filed against the Company and Scott Stouffer, chairman
of board and former chief executive officer.  These complaints have
since been combined into a single consolidated amended complaint. The
complaint alleges that between February 7, 2000 and August 23, 2000,
the defendants made false and misleading statements that had the effect
of inflating the market price of the Company's stock, in violation of
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

On August 20, 2002, United States District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow
entered an order in the United States District Court for the District
of Maryland dismissing the consolidated securities class action
complaint filed against the Company and Mr. Stouffer.  On September 17,
2002, the plaintiffs appealed the District Court's decision to the
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

* Courts Divided on Enforcement of Contracts Forged Online
E-commerce success depends not only on government policies such as
jurisdiction and taxation, but also on an even more critical underlying
issue: Will the courts enforce the electronic contracts consummated on-
line, typically by consumers clicking an "I agree" icon on a Web page?  
On that question, courts appear split, according to a report by The
Globe and Mail considering this subject.

Three recent cases illustrate the differing perspectives.  The first
case involves an attempted class-action lawsuit brought by a
disgruntled Verizon high-speed Internet subscriber in a District of
Columbia court.  The subscriber was a D.C. resident who, after
experiencing delays in service and slower speeds than advertised,
decided to sue.

Verizon responded to the suit by asking the D.C. court to dismiss the
case on the grounds that its service contract, which all subscribers
entered into electronically, required that disputes be resolved in the
State of Virginia.  The selection of Virginia was no accident; it was,
on the part of Verizon, carefully selected -- Virginia being one of
only two states in the United States that lacks a class-action
procedure similar to that found in D.C.

The D.C. Court of Appeal sided with Verizon and dismissed the case.  It
ruled that all the Verizon Internet subscribers received adequate
notice about the terms of the agreement, and that, therefore, it was
not unreasonable to enforce the clause requiring enforcement of the
contract in the venue of Virginia.

The D.C. case is strikingly similar to an Ontario case from earlier
this year, involving another attempted class-action lawsuit, this time
against Rogers Cable by a group of equally unhappy high-speed Internet
subscribers.  The Rogers contract included a clause that mandated that
all disputes be decided by arbitration rather than by the courts.

An Ontario court upheld that contract, even though the clause was not
in the original subscriber agreement, but was added in an amendment
posted on the company's Web site.  The court ruled that posting
contract amendments on-line could constitute sufficient notice and
acceptance of the amendment by the subscriber.

In stark contrast to the D.C. and Ontario decisions, a federal court in
California recently reached the opposite conclusion when it examined
the electronic agreement used by PayPal, an on-line payment service.  
The case involved yet another attempted class action, this time by
angry PayPal users, who argued that the company engaged in a series of
unfair consumer practices.  Much like Rogers, PayPal sought to dismiss
the lawsuit on the grounds that its agreement contained a clause
requiring that all disputes be resolved by arbitration in California.

Unlike the Verizon and Rogers cases, however, the court in this case
refused to enforce the terms of the contract setting forth how disputes
between the parties would be handled, and refused to enforce the
arbitration clause.

The court first expressed reservations about whether there was
sufficient evidence that users had agreed to the PayPal electronic
contract.  And, then, the court left little doubt that it viewed the
arbitration clause as completely one-sided, with all the power resting
with the company.

Moreover, the court was very troubled that the clause required that the
arbitration occur in California, noting that the average PayPal
transaction value was only $55 (U.S.), effectively eliminating dispute
resolution for most consumers who live outside the state and who would
be unwilling to go to the expense of traveling to California.

The PayPal case, along with two other U.S. cases involving disputes
with America Online, stress the need for consumer protection to extend
on-line in the same manner as it does off-line, even at the expense of
contractual certainty.  Staying out of the courtroom seems, on balance,
to be the better method of handling on-line contract enforcement so
long as adequate consumer protections are left intact.

* Maryland Pension Board Weighs Tougher Stance v. Future Enrons
The state of Maryland's pension board wants to take a tougher stance
against companies such as Enron Corp. and like Enron, whose accounting
frauds cost Maryland's retirement system millions of dollars in
investments, The Baltimore Sun reported recently.

The board is looking at becoming the lead plaintiff in lawsuits against
such companies, said Joseph M. Coale, spokesman for the State
Retirement and Pension System of Maryland.  Up to now, the pension
board has played a passive role in the current scandals, joining
lawsuits filed by others.

For example, the pension board joined others in filing a class-action
lawsuit against Texas-based Enron, in hopes of recovering the nearly
$50 million it lost as the company's stock plummeted and the company
filed for bankruptcy.

"We feel that the board's policy is evolving from one of being passive
to being more assertive and more aggressive," Mr. Coale said.  For
example, board members have discussed taking a more active role against
companies such as Enron, but, as yet, have taken no formal votes on a
new policy.  Nonetheless, the tougher stance has significant support,
Mr. Coale said of the idea.

Mr. Coale said the board hopes to increase any judgments it can win in
court by becoming lead plaintiff, and added that the state owes it to
the pension system's participants to recapture whatever losses it can.

Some industry experts said they expect to see many retirement systems
take more combative action to protect their investments.  Their methods
might include filing lawsuits, increasing lobbying efforts and
strengthening accountability standards, said Edwin Boyer, a principal
with Asset Strategy consultants.

"Basically, as all institutions organizing pension funds step up their
level of oversight, I think they are going to be more in concert with
each other," Mr. Boyer said.

                     New Securities Fraud Cases   

AT&T CORPORATION: Emerson Firm Commences Securities Suit in S.D. NY
The Emerson Firm, a securities class action trial law firm, announced
Friday last week that a class action has been filed in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf
of purchasers of AT&T Corp. common stock (NYSE:T) during the period
between November 29, 1999 and August 22, 2002, inclusive, or of the
AT&T Wireless tracking stock (NYSE:AWE) from its inception until August
22, 2002, inclusive, against Salomon Smith Barney, Inc., analyst Jack
Grubman, Salomon's parent company Citigroup, Inc. and Citigroup CEO
Sanford Weill.  

The complaint charges defendants with recommending the purchase of AT&T
common stock without regard to the factual basis and without disclosing
its conflicts of interest. When issuing the analyst report, the
Defendants Salomon and Grubman failed to disclose significant, material
conflicts of interest, including the following: that, in an explicit or
implicit quid pro quo, Salomon was granted a lucrative role in the
April 2000 issuance of an AT&T Wireless tracking stock, after Grubman,
at AT&T's request, passed to Grubman by Weill, raised his
recommendation of AT&T in November 1999 from "neutral" to "buy."

For additional information, contact Investor Relations Department: Ms.
Tanya R. Autry by Mail: 830 Apollo Lane, Houston, Texas 77058 by Phone:
800-663-9817 (toll free) or by e-mail: tanya.autry@worldnet.att.net

HOUSEHOLD INTERNATIONAL: Kaplan Fox Commences Suit in N.D. Illinois
Kaplan Fox (kaplanfox.com) has filed a class action suit against
Household International, Inc. (NYSE:HI), certain of its officers and
directors, and Arthur Andersen, LLP, in the United States District
Court for the Northern District of Illinois.  This suit is brought on
behalf of all persons and entities who purchased or otherwise acquired
Household International securities between October 23, 1997 and August
14, 2002, inclusive.

The complaint alleges that defendants violated the federal securities
laws by issuing a series of materially false and misleading statements
regarding the Company's business, operations and future prospects.

The Class Period begins on October 23, 1997 the date on which Household
International announced its third-quarter 1997 results. The Class
Period ends on August 14, 2002, the day Household International
announced it would restate its prior eight years financials, because it
had overstated its net income by $386 million during that period.
Specifically, Household International said it would revise the way it
had accounted for its MasterCard/Visa co-branding and affinity card
relationships, as well as a credit-card marketing agreement with a
third party.

As a result of the Defendants' false and misleading statements,
Household International securities traded at artificially high levels
during the Class Period.

For more details, contact Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer LLP by Phone:
800-290-1952 or 212-687-1980 by e-mail: mail@kaplanfox.com or visit the
firm's Web site: http://www.kaplanfox.com


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
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Copyright 2002.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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